Newsletter Wizard - Mason Public Schools

March 2015
By Daniel R. McConeghy
All of our Middle School students will be taking the new MStep (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) this
spring. The test replaces the long-standing MEAP Tests
(Michigan Educational Assessment Program) from the past
forty years.
The new M-Step tests are:
 Online tests to be completed by students in a
computer lab or on a laptop computer
 Aligned to the State Common Core Standards
 Provide an increased number of constructed
response test questions that help students
demonstrate higher-order thinking skills, such as
problem-solving and communicating reasoning
 Pilot-tested before statewide implementation
The state legislature put into law that format for these new
tests for all school buildings in the State of Michigan this
past summer. Sixth grade students will be tested on their
math skills and their English Language Arts/Reading skills
this year. Seventh grade students will be tested on math,
reading, and science skills, and 8th grade students will be
tested on math, reading, and social studies skills. Eighth
graders will be tested from April 14-27, seventh grade
students will be tested from April 28-May 12, and the sixth
grade window runs from May 18-June 3.
The M-Step covers current grade level content in math,
reading, and English, while the Social Studies test in 8th
grade will cover all content from 5th grade to 8th grade. The
7th grade Science M-Step will cover all content from 4th
grade to 7th grade. Each math and language arts/reading test
will have three sections to the assessment. Each student will
have an online test portion of the assessment to be completed
in a computer lab, a CA (Classroom Activity) completed in
class, and a PT (Performance Task) to be completed online
in a computer lab.
At Mason Middle School, we use the results of these
assessments to help determine placement in our RtI Math
and Reading classes, qualification for students to be enrolled
in advanced class sections, improving instruction in all
subject areas related to the assessments, and to enhance our
School Improvement Process.
Students prepare for these tests on a daily basis through
teacher instruction and formative assessments
throughout the year.
Since the M-Step is going to be an online assessment,
we plan to take all of our students into our computer
labs throughout March and early April to help them
prepare and familiarize themselves with the
navigational tools used on the assessments. We will
also be practicing the Classroom Activities and the
Performance Tasks problems in class as well.
One reason for supplying you with information
regarding these tests and dates well in advance is to
help you plan on your son or daughter’s calendar for
the spring. Since making up these assessments in a
computer lab will be complicated, we would appreciate
your efforts in avoiding scheduling appointments
during the exact days of testing, when possible. Also,
it is always important on the days of testing to make
sure that your child has had a good night’s sleep, and
comes to school after eating a healthy breakfast. We
want the students to do their best on these assessments.
If you have any questions about the new assessment,
please contact our office, or click here to go to the MStep website for more detailed information and sample
practice items.
For your convenience, and for the purpose of
scheduling any possible appointments for your son or
daughter during the M-Step assessment window, here
are the dates for each grade level test this spring.
8th Grade M-Step Test Dates
Tuesday, April 14- English Language Arts Online Test
Wednesday, April 15- English Language Arts
Classroom Activity
Thursday, April 16- English Language Arts
Performance Task
Tuesday, April 21- Math Online Test
Wednesday, April 22- Math Classroom Activity
Thursday, April 23- Math Performance Task
Friday, April 24- Social Studies Online Test
Monday, April 27- Social Studies Online Test
7th Grade M-Step & ACT Aspire Test Dates
Tuesday, April 14- ACT Aspire Test
Tuesday, April 28- English Language Arts Online Test
~Cont.’ next page
7th Grade M-Step & ACT Aspire Test Dates~Cont.’
Wednesday, April 29- English Language Arts
Classroom Activity
Thursday, April 30- English Language Arts
Performance Task
Monday, May 4- Science Online Test
Tuesday, May 5- Science Online Test
Thursday, May 7- Math Online Test
Monday, May 11- Math Classroom Activity
Tuesday, May 12- Math Performance Task
6th Grade M-Step Test Dates
Monday, May 18- English Language Arts Online Test
Tuesday, May 19- English Language Arts Online
Test/Classroom Activity
Wednesday, May 20- English Language Arts
Performance Task
Thursday, May 21- English Language Arts
Performance Task
Tuesday, May 26- Math Online Test
Wednesday, May 27- Math Online Test/Classroom
Thursday, May 28- Math Performance
Task/Classroom Activity
Friday, May 29- Math Performance Task
Monday, March 23, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
This open-house style evening will showcase all
of the fine arts programs at Mason Middle
School, including performances by the 7th & 8th
grade bands, choirs, and the 8th grade drama class.
There will also be an art show displaying over
1,000 pieces of student artwork by 6th – 8th grade
art students, and very creative displays by the 8th
grade Interior & Fashion Design class.
Please join us for a fun, enjoyable evening as we
proudly share the work of our artistic students at
MMS. Refreshments will be served.
Our seventh and eighth grade Parent/Teacher
Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, March
17 and Wednesday, March 18 in the middle
school gymnasium. There will be no school for
students on Tuesday, March 17. (6th grade
conferences are set up individually with their
Seventh & Eighth Grade Parent/Teacher
Conference Schedule:
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
& 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Our goal with conferences is to be as
communicative as possible about your son or
daughter’s grades without keeping you for more
than five minutes. If you feel that you may need
or want more time to discuss your child’s
progress with their teacher, feel free to set up an
appointment either during the teacher’s planning
period or for after school. *There is also no
school for students on Friday, April 3, 2015 for
Teacher Release Day for Parent/Teacher
The next Parent Advisory
Council (PAC) meeting will
be held on
Thursday, April 16, 2015, at
7:00 p.m.
in the Teachers’ Lounge.
You are welcome to join us!
The following students were selected as January
Students of the Month:
SIXTH GRADE: Dreya Thelen, Sage Kissman,
Karsyn Delbridge, Anna VanSplintern, Hayden
Cheney, Alex Charlot, Brandt Trotter, Kierstin
Kilpatrick, Leigha Rue, Logan Trimmer, &
Jamarion Pruitt
SEVENTH GRADE: Ronni Allen, Connor
Richardson, Jacob Hoeve, Dylan Crowl, Alaina
Davis, Michael Montalvo, & Ellyse Weigelt
EIGHTH GRADE: Kris LaClear, Faith Davies,
Ethan Huisken, Nathan Estwick, Olivia Beeney,
Hunter Dodendorf, Haley Presley, Emily
McCarroll, Noah Brodberg, Payton Brown,
Sydney Hill, Maureen St. Pierre, Lauren
Sinnaeve, Catelin Wood, Landen Graybeal, &
Katherine Hofmann
Congratulations, Students!
Thank you for making the SOAR Program a great
success! As a result, we are continuing to offer
activities during the spring. Some of our past
activities included Chess, Model United Nations,
Green Acres, Magic the Gathering card game,
Grasshopper Dissections, and more!
We have SOAR activities from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
For an extra fee of three dollars, students can sign
up for Vanishing Homework in the computer lab
from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please note that some
special activities and field trips may have different
end times or higher fees to cover additional
expenses. Check the activity descriptions and fees
on the activity choice page.
Our March brochure is now available online or in
the main office.
Parents and students may stop by the school office
to pick up a registration packet or find it on the
Internet at
Mr. Berryhill and Mrs. Hamilton recognized
Maureen St. Pierre and Makayla Ricketts as the
Art Stars for the month of February. A couple of
students each month will be recognized and have
their art displayed some place in our building.
Congratulations to our February Art Stars!
8th Grade: Max Barton, Sam Connolly, Zach
Haynes, Kalon Luks, Heh Say, & David Scutt
7th Grade: Kyle Fanson, Jack Gilchrist, Richard
Mayes, & Brandon Singletary
Makayla Ricketts & Maureen St. Pierre,
with Mrs. Hamilton.
On January 23rd, the 7th gr. World Cultures
classes had an African Festival. Students
enjoyed tasting a variety of African foods.
And listening and playing on African
They also colored Egyptian and African pictures,
created Mali Mud Paintings, and played Madala.
A BIG THANK YOU to Mrs. Hebert, Mrs. King and Mrs. Trenary-Retz for their help in
organizing, coordinating, and preparing the Library for the African Festival. Thank you also
to the following parents who brought in food or helped on the day of the African Festival: Mr.
Byrd, Mrs. Willard, Mrs. Kinney, Mrs. Trenary-Retz, Mrs. Hebert, and any other parent that
helped out that day! Without their support this event could not have happened!
Mason Middle School students have been
working for the last four years to raise money for
water filters in Tanzania. We will continue to
work with Global Sustainable Partnerships on
bringing clean water for students in Tanzania,
however, we are changing from providing water
filters to providing clean BPA safe water bottles
for Tanzania students to use. Our new goal will
be to provide all of the schools who already have
water filters, with BPA safe water bottles for all
the students. We will continue to sell water to
our students here at the middle school.
World Water Day is March 22 and in honor of
that, we will reduce the price of bottled water
that we sell to students to 50 cents, during the
month of March. There will also be a special
“Message in a Bottle” campaign going on
between now and the end of the school year.
Students will have the opportunity to purchase a
BPA safe water bottle for a student in Tanzania
and include a message in the bottle for the
Tanzanian student receiving the bottle. We have
sent several filters to Tanzania, now let’s see if
we can top that with water bottles for the
students! Thanks for your help with this school
wide project!
Congratulations to the Mason Middle School
National Junior Honor Society for the completion
of their first group service project this past
Saturday. The MMSNJHS eighth graders walked
2 miles in Saturday’s frigid temperatures and
collected pledges that totaled $995.00. Every
dollar raised by our Honor Society was matched by
Consumers Energy for a total of $1090.00 that will
help to pay for the heating of homes for Mason
area families who are struggling to pay their heat
bills this winter. Also, we would like to
congratulate Jack Hines for being the top
fundraiser for the Walk for Warmth. Jack collected
pledges totaling $120.
Stop by and see our new bulletin board showcases
near Ms. Sauser’s room which will be updated
with pictures from the Walk for Warmth event and
continually throughout the year as new service
projects take place. We are very proud that our
first MMSNJHS group project was such a success.
Thank you, NJHS members, for your hard work!
The following students were selected as February
Students of the Month:
SIXTH GRADE: Logan Rice, Katie Goss, Ella
Kremkow, Brenna Ackley, Chase Graham, Max
Gilchrist, Izzy Klages, Ashley Baker, Chance
Strickland, Mya Cataline, & Corey Koroleski
SEVENTH GRADE: Cassandra Gates, Sarah
Albrecht, Dalton Trimmer, Allison French, Lucy
Petee, Andrew Hebert, Madison Ruthruff,
Madeline Quinlan, Alyssa Reynolds, Kylie
McClung, Ryan Wagner, Mikayla Brown, Isaac
Ashworth, & Aiden Longpre
EIGHTH GRADE: Samuel Gallardo, Aubrey
Parrish, Nicolette Tran, Abe Gill, Heh Say, Darren
Daman, Taylor Little, Elliott Gorishek, & Vy
We had our second Bulldog Breakfast for the
school year on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.
Students who met the following criteria were able
to attend:
On Friday, February 27, the MMS Choir students
hosted the Mason High School Chamber Choir for
a special “Choir Day” event. All of the students
had learned a piece of music prior to the event.
The middle school and high school students
combined to sing their prepared piece, then the
middle school singers had a chance to hear the
Chamber Choir perform two pieces. It was a very
enjoyable day for all of the students. We hope to
make this an annual tradition!
No office referrals
No tardies to classes
No lunchtime discipline
No failures during the second marking
548 students were able to attend out of 699
students enrolled here at the Middle School. All
eligible students received a ticket to attend the
breakfast, and then their tickets were entered for
raffle prizes that were drawn during the breakfast.
This as a way for us to acknowledge and reward
students who exhibit responsible and respectful
behavior and who are ready to learn by being on
time. A special Thank You to the First
Presbyterian Church of Mason for their generous
donation and for supporting positive behavior.
On February 12, 2015, the Mason French
students presented the annual French Festival to
all seventh grade social studies classes in the
district – some two hundred and thirty students.
The seventh graders played “Hangman” using the
French alphabet; “Bingo” using the French
numbers from one to ten; “Twister” using French
words for body parts and colors; “Flyswatter” in
which teams competed to hit French words
written on a bed-sheet; and made valentines – in
French, of course!
Here are some comments from several of the
seventh grade students: “I thought the festival
was pretty groovy,” (Koda Mumea). “I liked all
the people best. They were very kind and funny,
and always there to help if you needed it,” (Hazel
C-C). “I liked the valentine card making because
I like a certain someone,”(anonymous). “I liked
the French festival because I learned another
language and because my brother was
there,”(Sarah Hammond). “I liked that we got an
idea of what we will learn if we take French,”
(Grant Schaberg). “Well, the thing I liked best
was the whole thing because I thought it was
fun,” (Noah Beeman).
Based on the enthusiastic response of the seventh
graders, Mason’s French students are definitely
planning another festival for next year!
If you need to get a message to your
student(s), please call the office by 2:00
pm each day. We will do our best to get
your message to your student(s).
If you need to pick up your student for
an appointment, etc., please call that
morning if possible, or send in a note
with your student to bring to the office
before school begins for the day. It can
be difficult at times to get your student
out of their class if you only give a 5
minute notice to the office.
If you need to see your student’s
teacher(s), please stop in the office first
to sign in, and to see if the teacher is
available. This includes after school
hours as well.
If your student is riding the bus home
with another student, please send in a
note with the other student’s name and
their bus number. The office needs to
sign this note so your student may get
on their friend’s bus. The office cannot
write bus notes.
Thank you in advance for your understanding
and cooperation. If you have any questions,
please contact the school office: 517-6766514
Please be aware that if a student or
students are waiting at the crosswalk on
Temple St., please stop your vehicle and
allow them to safely cross. Please do not
stop on Temple St. to drop off your
student(s). Please encourage your
student(s) to use the crosswalk if needed
to cross Temple St. Thank you for
keeping our students safe each and every
The 7th & 8th grade choir students had a
memorable February as they presented two
performances of the musical “The Ever After.”
The students began working on it in December,
and they presented a matinee performance for the
6th graders, as well as one evening performance
on February 10 for family and friends. The story
uses a fun talk-show format, with familiar fairy
tale characters involved such as Cinderella, Snow
White, and Jiminy Cricket. During the process
of rehearsing, students learned what it takes to be
involved in musical theater. There were many
different roles for actors, as well as opportunities
for learning choreography and doing scenery
work. Congratulations, choir members!
8th gr. District Band Festival, Charlotte
No School for 6th-8th grade
A.M.-Conference Prep
P/T Conferences – 12:00 – 2:30 p.m.
& P/T Conferences – 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
P/T Conferences-4:30-7:00 p.m.
Evening of the Arts, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Choir Festival
8th gr. Winter Dance, Café B, 7:00-9:00
End of the 3rd Marking Period
No School-Spring Conference Release
Day/Good Friday
No School-Spring Break
7th gr. Band, Play National Anthem,
Lugnuts Stadium
8th gr Band Mackinac Island Trip
Spring Choir Concert, 6th grade ODD
Day classes, 7:00 p.m., MMS
Spring Choir Concert, 6th grade EVEN
Day classes, 7:00 p.m., MMS
8th gr. Wash. DC. Trip
Incoming 6th gr. Parent/Student
Orientation, Gymnasium 7:00 p.m.
Spring Concert, MMS Chorus &
Varsity Choir, 7:30 p.m., MHS
No School-Memorial Day
Drama class performance, 7:00 p.m.,
at MMS
Bandapalooza, HS
6th gr. MI Adventure Trip (McCoy,
Matthews, Vondra, Wells, Dodendorf,
Buskirk, Marlan) 7:40 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
6th gr. Sault Ste. Marie Trip (Howe,
Hammond, Hyaduck) 7:00 a.m.
8th gr. Cedar Point Trip, 6:30 a.m.-11:00
7th gr. Craig’s Cruiser’s Trip, 8:00 a.m.2:30 p.m.
Last Day of School, 6th-8th grade
Half Day -7:40-10:55 a.m.
End of the 4th Marking Period