If you are not interacting on a regular basis with the amazing children of Mashpee you are missing out on opportunities to enrich your life. Our students are the best and always remind me about what is truly important in life. They are kind, respectful, intelligent, and hard-working. They are creative problem-solvers and critical thinkers. On a daily basis we strive to ensure that academic engaged time is maximized for each student and that each student is able to demonstrate growth. Visiting classrooms allows me the opportunity to observe our talented and dedicated teachers and to interact with our wonderful scholars and share in their learning. The success and well-being of every student in our district are always at the forefront of our daily work and every decision we make.

Attendance is imperative! As of today, we have completed 134 days or 74 percent of school year 2018-2019. If a student has been absent more than 13 days so far this year, he/she is considered to be chronically absent and academically at risk. Attending school regularly is essential to students gaining the academic and social skills they need to succeed. Chronic absence is a powerful predictor of achievement because it measures the amount of instructional time a student has missed over the course of the school year. Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, chronic absence—missing 10 percent of the academic year—can leave 3rd graders unable to read proficiently, 6th graders struggling with coursework, and high school students off-track for graduation. The good news is that chronic absence can be significantly reduced when schools, families, and community partners work together to monitor attendance data, nurture a habit of regular attendance, and address hurdles that keep children from getting to school every day such as lack of access to health care, unhealthy environmental conditions, unreliable transportation, and housing instability. We will continue to work closely with each family to improve attendance with the shared goal of every student being present as many days as possible for the remaining 46 days of school year 2018-19. For more information about the impact of student absenteeism on learning, please visit www.attendanceworks.org.

Vaping is a very addictive, expensive, and harmful habit—one that can easily steal the successful and happy futures that many of our children envision for themselves. Our children don’t seem willing or able to acknowledge to themselves that vaping is harmful and addictive; many children are still drawn to this behavior—as are many adults. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs or vaporizers don’t have the cigarette-smoke smell, the ashes, or the butts. What’s more, the vapor evaporates in the air more quickly than smoke. To make matters worse, e-cigarettes come in all shapes and sizes, which can be concealable or hard to distinguish from a normal pen, a USB memory stick, or any other handheld gadget. Discovering that a child is vaping secretly can be very difficult. The Mashpee Public Schools, the Kiwanis Club of Mashpee, and the Mashpee Substance Use Task Force recently collaborated on an anti-vaping poster contest for students. Our goal was for participants to learn more about the dangers of vaping and to communicate their learning through their poster. We received 165 entries! First place and $100 went to Quashnet School 6th grader Grace Dion, 2nd place and $50 went to MMHS 9th grader Joseph Burton, and 3rd place and $25 went to 7th grader Dylan Foley. The top 40 posters were on display at last Tuesday’s Mashpee Substance Use Task Force’s monthly Drop-In Night at the Community Health Center of Cape Cod. All posters were also viewable at this event. In the coming months, we will be sharing the posters in various ways and at various locations.

A shout-out to our talented student-musicians! Our recent district-wide “Music-in-our-Schools Month” concert was an unbelievable reminder of the importance of music in our schools. Students from Coombs, Quashnet, and the Mashpee Middle-High School came together to perform for a full-house audience of staff, family, and community members. From our youngest Coombs School singers to our soon-to-be-graduate musicians, our students all shined brightly. Thank you to MPS music educators Brian Montgomery, Kris Hill, Alaina Boyd, Liesl Keller, and Andy Troyanos for all that you do every day to help our students grow in their music skills every single day. Thank you to the Mashpee community for valuing music education.

We are so grateful for the positive and productive partnerships we have with our Mashpee community. The Mashpee Men’s Club held their monthly gathering last week at MMHS. During their visit they were treated to impressive presentations from some of our soon-to-be graduates. Seniors Aidan Goddu, Emily Franks, Alison Landry, Sarah McNamara, Noah Tellez, and Tianna Peters-Williams shared their learning with our guests. Thank you to Chef Stoloski and our Pro-Start students for creating a delicious lunch for our guests. Thank you, also, to Mr. Troyanos and senior David McKelvey for providing beautiful music for the event.

Our Southport Falcons partnership matches Mashpee student needs with the interests, experience, and availability of volunteers from Mashpee’s Southport community. These volunteers aim to make a difference in the lives of Mashpee Public School students and also to enhance the quality of their own lives. We have 107 Southport Falcons, and 45 percent of them have volunteered or participated directly in school activities. Recently a group of Southport Falcons participated in a three-day after-school pottery class facilitated by MMHS art teacher Mrs. Troyanos. Participants made pottery bowls from start to finish. A total of $400 was raised from this event for the Southport Scholarship Fund, which benefits our Mashpee seniors. Thank you to outreach coordinator Christina Ball and MMHS student Madison Chisholm for their assistance with this activity. It’s great to be in Mashpee. We so value our connected community.

Kenneth C. Coombs School

Preschool and kindergarten registration for school year 2019–2020 is open. Current students do not need to re-register, but should send in proof of physicals as they are completed. Students going into kindergarten must submit their 5-year-old physical report and record of immunizations. Families of new students should visit our district website (www.mpspk12.org) and click on “New Student Registration for 2019-2020.”

Coombs School students recently participated in an antibullying assembly presented by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) at Bridgewater State University. The presentation introduced students to the concept of bullying—at this age, it is often better understood as being mean to someone on purpose. Students learned about how it makes people feel when this happens. Students were presented with ideas of how to support others and to ask for help when they are being bullied. Students learned the difference between being mean on purpose and accidentally hurting or scaring someone. They also learned about the difference between physical and verbal bullying, and that words can be very damaging. The assembly concluded with students making pledges to be kind to classmates. The idea of this assembly is to engage students in defining bullying in age-appropriate terms, while also brainstorming ways to be a good friend and ways to help people who are being bullied.

Quashnet Elementary School

Thank you to our families and community for supporting the Quashnet School’s recent Pennies for Patients initiative that raised $3,869 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The students in Mrs. Stroshine’s 4th grade homeroom won a lunch provided by The Olive Garden for contributing the greatest amount.

The National Elementary Honor Society organized a Jump Rope for Heart event for students. With only a week of fundraising, the group raised $1,817 for the American Heart Association. We have such a caring and connected community!

Grade 4 students and teachers were recently treated to a visit by author Lauren Wolk. Mrs. Wolk is the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for historical fiction for her novel, “Beyond the Bright Sea.” The setting of this novel is Cuttyhunk and Penikese Island. A 4th grade field trip to Penikese Island is planned for June. Mrs. Wolk shared the history of Penikese Island, facts about the Elizabeth Islands, and her writing process. Thank you to Quashnet School librarian Kari Pons and the 4th grade teachers for organizing this informational visit.

Congratulations to the following Quashnet School students who were recognized in the Cape Cod Times Classroom Times last weekend: Madyson Van Huysen earned 3rd place for her review of the Polar Cave, Eve Mayen earned 2nd place for an article she wrote about skiing, Jordan Eagan won 2nd place in photography, and Samara Andalib won 3rd place in the photography category.

A great time was had by all at the Quashnet School’s annual free Falcon Family skate event held last Sunday at the Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne. Thank you to Quashnet educators Ms. Ali Keohane and Ms. Bretti Keohane for their efforts with this wonderful event. Thank you also to Mrs. Emery.

Students in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 completed their 2019 English/Language Arts MCAS this past week. They worked very hard and gave their best effort on these state-required assessments, which are but one measure of a student’s academic growth.

Southport Falcons are making a difference! Approximately 30 students in grades 3 through 6 are knitting and crocheting every Wednesday after school with three amazing volunteers. We could not provide this opportunity without them.

We are excited to announce that once again the Quashnet School and our families will welcome a group of student visitors from China. If all plans go as expected, the elementary age students should be arriving for a weeklong visit from May 17 through 24. We are seeking host families. More information will be shared soon. Contact Principal O’Brien at mobrien@mpspk12.org if you think you would like to be a host family.

Mashpee Middle-High School

We are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has granted final designation to Mashpee Middle-High School’s new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Pathway. What does this mean? This designation brings $120,600 in grant funding over a five-year period to the Mashpee Public Schools to support the development and implementation of our Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Pathway. Innovation Pathways are designed to give students coursework and experiences in a specific high-demand industry. An Innovation Pathway creates strong partnerships with employers in order to expose students to career options and help them develop knowledge and skills related to their chosen field of study before they graduate high school. Our Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Pathway will offer a broad foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare students for employment in advanced manufacturing positions, via the following: a sequence of courses that provide coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the manufacturing career cluster; technical skill proficiency, competency-based applied learning that contributes to academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills; and knowledge of all aspects of the manufacturing career cluster. Upon completion of the required coursework and immersive experiences, all students receiving a Certificate of Completion will have the skills necessary to engage in post-secondary opportunities as well as entry level positions in the manufacturing industry.

We are also proud to announce that the International Technology and Engineering Educator Association (ITEEA) recently recognized Mashpee Middle-High School’s Career and Technical Education Program (CTE) with their Program Excellence Award. Mashpee is one of only 37 programs worldwide to earn this prestigious award.

Mashpee freshman Skyla Rimple has been selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as one of the commonwealth’s Unsung Heroines for 2019. Annual Unsung Heroine honors are given to incredible women who have been nominated by legislators from their districts and selected for their contributions to their community and the commonwealth. Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but truly make a difference in their communities, businesses, or volunteer endeavors. Skyla has been selected because she is a young woman who, without fanfare or recognition, uses her time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others. Skyla was nominated for this recognition by State Senator Julian Cyr.

Congratulations to this year’s inductees into the Ronald R. Bock Chapter of the National Honor Society: Aidan Goddu, David McKelvey, Hannah Nilsson, Peter Gonzales, Eduarda Zanoni, Raelynn Aguiar, William Baker, Jared Barr, Alexia Brandt, Alexis Bryant, Ceirra Casey, Chapel Fancher, Matthew Fish, Ryan Hendricks, Anna Josselyn, Ben Kennedy, Taylor Lacava, Bridget O’Neill, Shivani Patel, Sydney Pinhack, Sydney Puchol, Jessica Rullo, Clara Signs, Sean Smith, Zachary Taylor, Jack Vinitsky, Nathan Ware, and Logan Westcott.

Seventh grader Mahad Assad’s essay, “Pakistan Visit Marked by Varied Dangers,” won 3rd place in the essay category of the Cape Cod Times Classroom Times publication.

Members of the MMHS HOSA Club (Health Occupations Students of America) recently competed in the State HOSA competition. Falcons soared to 1st and 2nd place in Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking and 2nd place in Health Career Display/Interview Skills. Congratulations to Jordan Willis, Matthew Fish, Olivia Oliveira, and Eduarda Zanoni.

Congratulations to our winter sports South Shore League All-Stars: Devaun Ford—boys’ basketball, Amiyah Peters and Ashley Keleher—girls’ basketball, Kelly Skantz—girls’ winter track, Christopher Hutchenrider—boys’ winter track, and Ava Kelly, Emma Nunes, and Hannah Binette—gymnastics (Cranberry League). Senior Devaun Ford leaves Mashpee High School as the school’s all-time leading scorer in boys’ basketball.

Congratulations to Mashpee senior football players Devaun Ford and Xavier Gonsalves, who were named to the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches’ Association Super 26 All-State Team on March 3rd. The Super 26 Team is the best 26 football players in the state, public or private school. Both Devaun and Xavier were selected to play in the Shriners’ Game.

This year’s Blue Falcon Theater Company’s production of the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” was outstanding! Congratulations to the cast and crew. Their hard work resulted in top-quality, wonderful performances. We thank Mrs. Hallet, Mrs. Hill, and Mrs. Keller for leading and supporting our students in this activity. We also thank our parents and the Mashpee community for their support.

* * *

There are many reasons to be proud of the Mashpee Public Schools. Our students continue to excel in every arena—in the classroom, on the athletic field, at conferences, at robotics competitions, in the arts, through extracurricular activities, and in their service to others. We are well resourced with highly-skilled and caring staff members, with instructional materials and technology, and with well-maintained facilities. Adding to this wealth is our positive partnership with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, our supportive Mashpee community, our families, and, of course, our wonderful students.

We are grateful for the opportunity we have been given to serve the families of Mashpee. A multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework is how we ensure that every student has access to instruction, curriculum, and an environment that ensures achievement of his/her academic and social/emotional projected growth. Thank you for trusting us with your children.

Please stop in and visit us at #wearemashpee, our outreach site at 12 Central Square at Mashpee Commons. Thank you to Mashpee Commons for this partnership for another year! Ms. Christina Ball is our outreach coordinator.

It’s great to be in Mashpee—for you, for me, for us. We are a connected community.

Notice To Parents Of Children Ages 3–12

Childcare will be provided by the Mashpee Public Schools during Mashpee Town Meeting on Monday, May 6. Children ages 3 through 12 may be dropped off at the MMHS gymnasium starting at 6:45 PM. You must preregister your child by Friday, April 19, at 5 PM using the Google form https://forms.gle/yaWxYdfp8Qd5DRx9A. Space is limited.

2019–2020 School Days For Students

Mashpee Middle-High School (Grades 7–12): 8:20 AM to 2:50 PM

Quashnet School (Grades 3–6): 9:05 AM to 3:35 PM

Coombs School (Grades K, 1, 2): 9:05 AM to 3:35 PM

Coombs School PreK (4-year-olds): 9:15 AM to 2:50 PM

Coombs School Preschool (3-year-olds)—Morning Program: 9:15 AM to 11:45 AM

Coombs School Preschool (3-year-olds)—Afternoon Program: 12:20 PM to 2:50 PM

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