Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Welcome Students and Staff. School year for 2017-2018 officially starts on Thursday August 17th.

Hope you all enjoyed your summer break and are ready to begin fresh. We are ready for the new school year, hope you are too. Let's have a great school year!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New library Circulation Desk!!!

It's here and installed - a new circulation desk in the FKCHS/VRMS library.  As you can see from the before and after photos it was high time for this update. (As a matter of fact the furniture in the library is original to when it was first built!)

This is what we have been using the last couple of years! (Not very pretty OR professional looking!)

Here are the pieces as they came out of the crate! 

And this is the new desk! It looks great and adds a professional touch to the library!

(Thank you Mr. Martin for getting it installed so quickly!)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Trimester 2 Summative Assessments

Trimester 2 Summative Assessments

It has been a while since the last blog post but we are attempting to get back to a normal routine in terms of blog posting! This return post is about Trimester Summative Assessments!

I have had several questions about Trimester 2 summative assessments and I've compiled them into Frequently Asked Questions!n (FAQ's)

1) What are the dates and the schedule?
     They begin Wednesday, March 8 and continue until Friday, March 10.  Each day there will be an
      assessment in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Here is the schedule:

2) Is the Middle School schedule changed too?
The answer is yes.  Since the High School and Middle School share some teachers, in order to make it viable for all teachers to give an assessment we have to mirror the 2 schedules.  Middle Schoolers do not have assessments but instead have extended periods that affords the teachers opportunities to go deeper into the curriculum with students.  The schedule adjustment for middle school is here:

3) Why are we having them again?
We use a system of trimesters - our classes are either 1 trimester, 2 trimesters, or 3 trimesters.  This means that some class need a summative to end the course, some need a summative as a "mid-term", and some classes are taking a 2nd summative as they finish 24 weeks of a course.

4) Will we have summative assessments to end the year?
Here again the answer is yes.  That schedule will be announced in May.  Seniors will have a shortened assessment period to finish all academic requirements before graduation on June 2.  The rest of the student body will have trimester assessments scheduled for the last week of school.

5) What if I'm absent?
The student should immediately see the teachers to arrange a make up time.  (We encourage students to avoid scheduling appointments that happen during school hours to avoid this situation.)

6) What does incomplete mean?
An incomplete is granted when there are extenuating circumstances that a student needs to be out of school.  An incomplete is a temporary extension.  The student will have up to 10 school days after the close of the trimester to make up all work otherwise it is graded according to our reporting standards. Example: March 10 is the close of the Trimester - incomplete work must be completed by Friday March 24.

7) May I come in late or leave early if I don't have a assessment?
The answer is no.  We expect all students to be at school for the full assessment days.

8) Can I make up a Summative Assessment?
The answer to this question is no.  This is an assessment to see what the learning is up to this point an time.  Therefore this is a one shot test, which simulates other national standardized tests.  This gives a picture of student's achievement toward the course standards.  

As more questions arise I will add them to this list! Good luck to our students as they get ready for these assessments! Go warriors!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cell phones, Beverages and Attendance!

On Wednesday January 4, 2017 school will resume and we sincerely hope everyone has had a fun and relaxing Christmas break! As we begin the new year this is a great opportunity to remind everyone of the expectations coming into school:

First Cell Phones: Our rule/policy is that cell phones can be used before school, after school, and during the lunch break.  The remainder of the school day our rule is that cell phones must be off and away. This includes between classes. Students have seen the following sign posted in all our classrooms. Our district cell phone policy can be found here: JICJ Electronic Communication Devices.
Please note Valley Rivers Middle School students are not allowed to have cell phones during the school day!

Second beverages:  Our school rule is students are allowed to have WATER only in clear water bottles. We discourage students from bringing soda, energy drinks, coffee, and fast food type drinks (ie: Frappes, etc.) - this includes lunch time.  Our district has a policy:EFEB Nutritional Standards.  If a student is in possession of these types of drinks they will be confiscated and disposed of immediately per the policy.  Please do not allow your child to bring these items into school for any reason.

Third Attendance:  If your child is going to be absent from school you may call the school directly or send a note when your child returns to school.  Our attendance campaign slogan: "You must be present to win!" still applies! Research shows that attendance and academic success are closely related. Our district attendance policy can be found here: JEAA Student attendance. It defines excused vs unexcused absences, legitimate absences and truancy. 

We look forward to the continuation of a great school year with your support on these issues!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mid-Term Progress Reports


 Mid-term Progress Reports 

You will be very shortly receiving an Empower Mid-Term progress report for your child(ren).  This report will be used with all students moving forward, to clarify students in grade 7, 8, and 9 will receive only Empower reports.  Students in grades 10 and 11 will receive an Empower report for Proficiency Based classes AND a Powerschool report for traditionally scored classes.  Students in Grade 12 will get an Empower report with only the Habits of Work reported AND a Powerschool report with all their traditional scores.  All students are receiving a Habits of Work report, which is one piece of eligibility for co and extracurricular involvement for all students.
We do have Empower parent accounts set up for all students and their families.  Please contact the school if you would like your login information as soon as possible.  Otherwise our plan is to have login information available for you during Parent Teacher Conferences on Thursday, Nov. 10th. We will also we offering sessions on how to access Empower that day beginning every 30 minutes to help parents navigate this new Learning Management System. More information will follow shortly concerning Parent Teacher Conferences.
Just a reminder to parents – the proficiency scores the district has adopted is not comparable to the traditional 100-point scale.  For example a 4 does not equal a 100, our 4-point scale is used to indicate the student's growth in meeting learning targets. A score of 2 or 2.5 shows that the student is in the process of learning the skills and strategies necessary to reach the level of complexity necessary to meet the rigor of the standards.  Meeting the standards necessary for graduation is the basis of our work here at MSAD #27. A score of 3 means the student has meet the standard a score of 4 means the student can apply the information at a higher degree of complexity, it does not mean they have a 100. We will be offering opportunities for 4 level work in both the middle and high school. We will continue to educate students, parents, and the community on this shift away from traditional grading practices.
Middle school parents are also receiving their students STAR reports in Math and Language Arts. (We no longer use NWEA.)  High School students will receive their reports during Parent Teacher Conferences on Nov. 10th.
Please contact the school should you have any questions about these new learner reports.  We welcome the opportunity to help you understand these educational changes and how it applies to your child(ren)’s progression through the curriculum.

Friday, September 16, 2016

New Co & Extra Curricular Policy Simplified

The MSAD #27 School Board passed a new Academic Eligibility: Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation policy (JJIC) at the July 26, 2016 School Board meeting.  There have been many questions about what it means so we put together a handy and helpful guide for students, parents, staff, and community to understand what it all means.

The entire policy can be found at the following url: Policy JJIC .

Finally, you will notice a small change to the blog title.  As many of you know we had some reshuffling of administrator duties.  Mr. Caron was named  Dean of Students for both VRMS and FKCHS and I was named Principal of the two schools.  With that being said that is why you see the name change because over time you will start to see more posts that pertain to the Middle School. I am also attaching the visual that helps define our division of duties.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Laptops - Important Information!

We finished Friday of last week distributing laptops to all our students from grade 7 to grade 12! It took 2 weeks and the help of 7 different people to make it happen.  Each laptop had three steps to go through for set-up taking about 40 minutes to be ready for student use! It was a long slow process getting 400+ laptops out to the students but we did it! Thank you to the students and staff for being so patient and flexible during this time!

Our position here at VRMS and FKCHS is that the laptops (leased from and property of the state of Maine) need to be used for educational purposes.  It is not provided or intended to be used as a personal entertainment device. With that said here are some stop-gaps that we have put in place to emphasize this to all students.

1) All laptops are loaded with a program called LANSCHOOL.  It is a monitoring software that all teachers and administrators have access to view, message, and if necessary to shut down student laptops. This software provides "live" views of the work students are doing with these laptops while at school.
2) VRMS does NOT have access to the app store. Any applications that needs to be downloaded will be done under teacher direction only.
3) FKCHS students do have access to the app store.  Non-educational downloads are discouraged and we ask students to make smart decisions on what is downloaded.
4) Parents you may call at anytime to request the laptop stay at school.  We have carts in the library with charging capacity to pick up the laptop at the beginning of the day and to drop off the laptop at the end of the day.  Contact Mr. Charette or Mr. Caron to make arrangements.
5) Insurance is $40.00 and mandatory to cover damage both in and out of school. (It comes with a $100.00 deductible per occurrence.) This insurance has nothing to do with the capability to bring it home - bringing it home is purely a parental decision.
6) Students will be issued a NEW Apple ID shortly - this ID should be used at all times when at school. (Personal Apple ID's maybe used away from school for all students.)
7) All laptops have a protective case AND a carry case.  These are not to be changed and are expected to be used at all times.
8) Review the acceptable use policy paperwork - there are a few new and updated rules and procedures.

Incentive: (Found in acceptable use policy paperwork!) - Any student with no computer infractions and no damages will be allowed to keep the laptop over the summer! (Senior students will be returning the laptops before graduation.)

Finally, please understand that having a laptop is a privilege NOT a right. It is a very expensive resource to enhance and supplement the learning done in the classrooms - treat it with respect and use it responsibly, as you would any other school provided resources.