September 4, 2012
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Welcome back to what promises to be a fantastic school year. There is so much positive energy in the building, especially with the students’ return. Although August was quite busy at school, it never feels quite right without seeing hundreds of young, smiling faces. You likely heard about the fun opening assembly where Assistant Principal Matt Smith had the student body singing the chorus to Call Me Maybe. A talented 6th grader, Hazel Delehey also performed a wonderful song for the receptive crowd. Our recent tradition of rockin’ live music is one of many reasons I gave to students explaining why they were so lucky to be coming to CRMS. Another reason is the superb staff at our school, from the teachers who are incredibly committed to each student’s success to the custodians who join the Cross Country team during practices. Come walk through our halls this year - I have no doubt you will feel the magic that seems to have taken hold at CRMS.
During the opening assembly, I spent a few minutes talking to students about a fixed versus growth mindset. Students (and adults) can choose to look at themselves as having a certain level of intelligence (or innate athletic ability) or they can choose to believe that through hard work and effort, they can become smarter, stronger, or more skilled athletically. The former is a fixed mindset, and the latter is a growth mindset. I read a powerful book over the summer, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, that spoke to me as a principal and as a parent. Although my two children are now 18 and 20, it was one of the best parenting books I have ever read. What a gift you can give your child by fostering a growth mindset. In this mindset, people believe they can improve and become better at nearly anything by simply working hard to do so. They understand that success requires hard work. They are not plagued by a lifetime of blaming others for their weaknesses or mistakes. Instead, they recognize them and work to improve them. Michael Jordan is the classic example of the growth mindset. After not making his high school varsity basketball team, and not getting accepted into the college program he wanted, he began to practice relentlessly and honed in on his weaknesses. It resulted in him being one of the best athletes of all time. I highly recommend the book to every parent – it is eye-opening. I have attached a pdf to this newsletter that summarizes some of the main differences between the two mindsets. We will be referring to these mindsets a lot this year, both as an adult and student community.
There have been numerous changes in the district since last spring, including new central office administration. Elaine Nutter, former Asst. Superintendent has become the new Superintendent, and Russell Holden was hired as the new Asst. Superintendent. We were fortunate to hire five wonderful new teachers at CRMS this year. Please welcome Jaclyn Barstow, the new 5th grade teacher, Rebecca Graham, the new Spanish teacher for grades 7 and 8 (filling in for Aaron Henderson who is on sabbatical this year), Hilary Flagg, the new 7th grade Language Arts teacher, Vicki Hamlin, the new 8th grade Language Arts teacher, and Ruth Poland, the new 8th grade Science and Math teacher. In addition, Sarah Dyer moved over from CRES to be the new 5th grade Special Ed teacher. Our new staff adds a lot of great energy, skill, and passion to our school community. We are so excited to have them on board.
This year, CRMS staff will focus on growing our skill level with a few recent initiatives including standards-based assessments and reporting, vocabulary instruction, and writing across the curriculum. In addition, the entire district is focusing on the work of Robert Marzano in the Art and Science of Teaching. Finally, we work diligently each year to make sure to challenge and inspire every one of our students. We talked about this resolve at the opening Workshop Day and will not lose sight of it.
We can’t do it alone, however. We want to work together with parents to support your children’s growth. The better we collaborate, the better off our students will be. Please note, and perhaps clip out, the protocol included later in this newsletter about who to call for various questions and concerns at the middle school. Helping parents understand how the school is organized will help all of us be more efficient and effective in our various roles. In general, it is always best to call the adult most directly involved first. For instance, if you have a concern about a homework assignment, it is best to email the teacher who assigned the work. As another example, if you disagree with a consequence for behavior, it is best to first call the teacher who assigned the consequence. If your issue remains unresolved after talking to a teacher directly, then your next step would be to contact a guidance counselor or an administrator. In recent years, we have seen parent concerns (dare I say, “gripes”) surface on Facebook. That does not help anyone involved, nor does it help build a strong school community. Please help us be role models for effective means of communication.
In the spirit of preparing for a successful year, I also want to draw your attention to a protocol that we have outlined on page 11 of our Parent/Student Handbook. It reads,
PROTOCOL FOR SCHOOL INCIDENTS: If your child shares a problem s/he has had at school with another student or a staff member, we respectfully ask that parents contact an adult at school (best to contact the adult who is directly involved) before coming to any conclusions about the incident. Pre-adolescent and adolescent children are in a developmental stage where they do not always share the full details of an incident and often deflect their own responsibility. It is often important to have an adult perspective to help evaluate what actually happened. Likewise, it is important for the school to be aware of issues so that we can address concerns and work to improve our climate.
There is a comic depicting a teacher talking to a parent that captures this idea well. The caption reads, “If you don’t believe everything you hear at home, then I won’t believe everything I hear at school.” We all need to keep this in mind as we work together to support and nurture growth in our students. Let’s all refrain from blaming and have a little faith and trust in each other. Thanks so much for seeking to understand first.
Don’t forget that eighth graders head off to Camp Kieve tomorrow morning and return Friday around 5:30pm. We will miss our fearless new leaders, but hope they come back even more well equipped to handle the responsibility of being exceptional role models to the rest of our student body.
Looking forward to September,
Welcome to a new year!! We are looking forward to increasing the PTA involvement at CRMS and we hope to have many different ways that you can support the students, staff, and the PTA of this great school!
First, “Thank you!”
We are only 3 days into the school year and we already have volunteers to recognize! Thank you to Teresa, Gail, & Greta Curtis; Wendy, Zoe, Samantha, & Lea Zwecker; Kerin Lindahl; Tammy Morris; Heather, Dillon & Brenna Mackey; Sunny Conlan; and Claire Pierce for helping to assemble the CRMS First-Day-of-School-Info Packets into their red folders, and then label and distribute them to each classroom. It was a big help to the CRMS Office Staff!
Healthy Snack Pack Drive
The Camden-Rockport PTA is coordinating a Healthy Snack Pack Drive for the CRMS school nurse this year. Currently, snacks are purchased using limited budget dollars or by school staff out of their own pocket. These snacks are on hand for any student who may need them, and they are most necessary in the beginning of the year as their bodies adjust to new schedules! We know there are many parents out there that welcome the opportunity to help support their school and picking up an extra box of snacks is an easy way to make an impact. Suggested snack items are:
Low sugar granola bars
Fruit cups, in juice
Raisins, or other dried fruit
Donations may be dropped off at the Nurse’s Office at CRMS. Thank you!
Introducing: The E Team!
The “E” stands for Extra Eyes, and they are needed for Middle School lunch & recess times, at the request of the school administration. If you are interested in joining this team of parent volunteers, check off the E Team box on your PTA Membership Form, or email us at
Join the PTA!
A PTA Membership Form was included in the packet of info your student received on the first day of school. Kindly return your form and $5 dues by Monday, September 10th. Additional forms are available at the school office. Our first meeting is this Thursday, September 6 at 6pm in the Atrium at the Elementary School. Like us on Facebook to stay up to date on everything that is going on! (Camden Rockport PTA).
PTA Open House, Sept 20th
Come and learn about your PTA! Running at the same time as the Grade 5-8 Open Houses, this will be our official overview of events and volunteer sign up forum. We will have a brief presentation our major activities and initiatives for the year and answer any questions. Stop by, meet this year’s PTA officers and committee chairs, and get involved!
1. Information on Box Tops for Education! Coming home with your student this week….
2. Close Buy Catalogue fundraiser information. Also coming home with your student this week. This is our main fundraiser of the year and once again we are partnering with Close Buy, featuring beautiful, wholesome, delicious, and useful local products. The online store is open now through September 30th. See the attached flyer and get started.
The CRMS yearbook club will hold their first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 2:30-3:30 in the computer lab by the main office. Student editors and photographers are needed from all grades. Especially needed are 8th Graders to lead the club and make sure their yearbook is a success. There will be a sign up sheet in the office.
5th - analyze
MLTI Parent Meeting
There will be a meeting for parents of 7th grade students and new 8th grade students to review the MLTI Laptop program along with parent and student expectations for home use. This is a mandatory meeting; one of the required steps in order for a student to be permitted the privilege of taking their state-issued laptop home.
Date: Wednesday, September 12
Time: 7 to 8 pm in the Cafeteria
Please contact Dee Kopesky if you are unable to attend in order to set up an alternate meeting time after the 12th.
This has been an exciting summer for Robotics at CRMS. We sponsored our first Robotics camp run by Maine Robotics. It was very successful. The CRMS Robotics Club will begin this fall on Wednesday, September 19 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the computer lab by the main office. There will be a sign up sheet in the main office. The club size is limited so sign up early. One of the focuses this year is to explore entering various state robotics competitions. Parent and community volunteers are needed to make this happen. Please contact Erma Colvin at
if you are interested or have any questions.
The CRMS Outing Club strives to provide a non-competitive outdoors experience for our students and their families. Midcoast Maine offers many opportunities for outdoor excursions: hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing to name just a few. Interested students are invited to attend our first meeting of the school year on Friday, September 7th at 7:00AM in the Computer Lab. The club is open to all grades and parents are invited to attend both meetings and our outings. Contact Dee Kopesky for more information if you are interested and cannot attend early morning meetings.
Protocol: Who to call
Questions about Homework
Questions about Academic Performance
Questions about incidents that occurred in class
Checking in regarding progress
Concerns about curriculum
Guidance Counselors (Margaret Page 5/6, Tanya Reed 7/8)
Questions about schedules
First signs of teasing or mean-spirited behavior toward your child
Assistant Principal (Matt Smith)
Discipline issues if unresolved with classroom teacher
Major discipline issues
Athletic questions that can’t be answered by Athletic hotline
Principal (Maria Libby)
Concerns about staff members
Unresolved concerns about curriculum, grading
When in doubt, call the office and they can direct your call to the appropriate person. Thanks!
In-School Dental Clinic
The Tooth Protectors will be at CRMS on October 11th and 12th. Please see the attached flyer for details. If you would like your child to participate in this affordable and convenient dental hygiene program, please contact me as soon as possible to sign up. If your child is being seen EVERY SIX (6) MONTHS (by other than Tooth Protectors at school), for either an exam by a dentist or a dental cleaning and fillings (if needed) do not fill out this form as she/he does not qualify for the service.
Medication in School
Please remember that students are not allowed to carry or administer their own medication in school. If your child needs to take any medicine while in school, either prescription or over the counter, it must be stored and administered in the nurse's office. Thank you for helping to keep all of our students safe.
Fevers and Stomach Bugs
If your child has had a fever and/or a stomach illness including vomiting or diarrhea, please keep her or him home from school until s/he is fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. Likewise children should stay home from school for 24-hours after a vomiting episode. This will prevent the spread of illness, and help your child to recover more quickly. Thank you again, for helping to keep CRMS students and staff healthy.
Kristin Nelson, RN
236-7805 ext. 130
Early Dismissal Days
Reminder to CRMS families that dismissal time is 2:15 every day of the week. Even though the first day of school, Wednesday the 29th, was an early out day, we do not have early out days each Wednesday as they do at CRES. Please check your school calendar to find out when the other early out days (for parent conferences or work shop days) are scheduled.
Parent Volunteer Forms
If you are planning on filling out a parent volunteer form, please be sure to attach a copy of your driver's license or other identification with name and birthdate.
Calendar of Events
|4 thru 7||Grades 5 and 6 NWEA Testing|
|10 thru 13||Grades 7 and 8 NWEA Testing|
|5||Grades 7 & 8 Parent Orientation ||7 to 8 pm|
|6||Grades 5 & 6 Parent Orientation ||7 to 8 pm|
|5 thru 7||8th grade at Camp Kieve|
|12||MLTI Laptop Meeting - All 7th and new 8th grade parents||7 to 8 pm|
|13||Grade 5 Instrument Rental Information Night|
|20||Open House Grades 5 & 7||5 to 6:30 pm|
|20||Open House Grades 6 & 8||6 to 7:30|
|21||Grade 5 Coastal Cleanup|
|26 thru 28||Grade 7 at Tanglewood|
|5||Workshop Day - No School|
|8||Columbus Day - No School|
|11 & 12||Dental Clinic|
|18||School Picture Day|
5th Grade Instrument
Rental Information Night
5th Grade will host an instrumental demonstration on September 6th at 1 p.m. featuring Mr. Ward and Brian Nadeau from Music and Arts, talking about instruments to choose for beginning band. The presentation will last 30 minutes. This presentation is for students, and information will be handed out in regard to beginning band.
INSTRUMENT RENTAL NIGHT for all students that would like to be part of Beginning Band for 2012-2013 will be held on SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Music and Arts, based in Falmouth, will handle rentals and service for CRMS this school year.
Representatives will be there with rental instruments, method books, and supplies. This meeting is for prospective band members as well as parents.
Please keep in mind the instruments that students can choose for band are: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone and Percussion (Bells). Percussionists will learn on bells for the first two quarters of the year before auditioning to switch over to snare drum.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Ward at extension 186.
Director of Bands
Japan Exchange Program
There will be a meeting for any 8th grade students and their parents interested in the CRMS Japan Exchange Program on Tuesday, September 11 at 6pm in the mini-theater at CRMS. At this meeting, we'll introduce the program and explain the opportunities to travel to Japan or to host our Japanese guests. The trip to Japan will happen in April, but selection of travelers and then planning and fundraising begin right away!!! Our Japanese guests arrive on January 5 and return to Japan on January 11. Host families will participate in many activities during the stay. We look forward to celebrating our friendship with the Aomori Prefecture this year and hope to see a full mini-theater on September 11!
Youth Arts News
Looking for Past Board and Program Members
Youth Arts is a private, non-profit, all-volunteer organization that has provided arts enrichment in the schools of Camden and Rockport, Maine, including the Five-town high school (serving also Appleton, Hope and Lincolnville) through arts residencies and performances. Youth Arts serves to inspire and enrich each student and the entire school community with a variety of dynamic arts experiences.
Founded in 1972, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary! We are trying to locate past board and program members, to hear about the various performances and programs that have been sponsored over the years. We want to hear your stories! Please mark your calendars for Saturday November 3rd for our 40th Anniversary Auction & Celebration and High Mountain Hall.
If you, or anyone you know, has been involved with Youth Arts since 1972, please contact us at
For more information about Youth Arts, visit www.youthartsmaine.or
Girls Field Hockey Program
Field Hockey program for girls grades K to 8th. Camden Hills Regional High School Field Hockey players are sponsoring a free Field Hockey program for girls grades K to 8th.
Sunday games with Oceanside, Belfast, Mt View, Lincoln Academy. Times and locates TBD
Free Program: Players need to provide their own mouth guard and shin guards
Coaches: Camden Hills Coaches and Players
Start Date: Sept 5th End Date : Oct 3rd
Where: Camden Hills Regional High School
When: Wednesday nights 5:30 – 6:30
Contact: Kim Nason 236-2157 or
Five Town Communities That Care
Come Have Fun With Other Parents!
Yes, it IS a parent workshop…but it really is FUN!
Another round of Guiding Good Choices will be offered on Tuesday evenings beginning September 18 and continuing through October 16 to parents of students in grades 5 through 9 in the five-town area.
Each Tuesday evening session begins with a dinner for all the families from 5:00 to 5:30. Yes, we provide everything! Then at 5:30 the parents and kids separate. The kids stay with two experienced childcare providers and receive homework help, play board games, work on puzzles, or draw. The parents gather together for the workshop portion of the evening. Each of the five sessions focuses on a different topic. Although the topics are serious, the program is interactive in nature and incorporates discussion and group activities. Parents learn a lot in a fun and relaxed setting.
GGC is not an intervention program. Guiding Good Choices is a (tested and effective) prevention program proven to enhance parenting skills and parent-child communication. Feedback from participants shows that by the end of the program parents feel that they have acquired more skills to improve family management practices, to increase bonding in the family unit, to assist children in resisting peer influence, and to network with other parents to continue the dialogue started in the workshop.
For more information, call Five Town Communities That Care at 236-9800.
Registration forms are available at http://www.fivetownctc.org/programs/guiding-good-choices/
Deadline for registering is September 11.
Teen Center Benefit Concert
Teen Center Dance
Lasansky Dance Flyer
Lasansky Dance Schedule