Revised ELA MCAS Schedule

mcas

In response to the recent snowstorms that have caused an unprecedented number of school closures this month and to allow schools more instructional time prior to assessment, ESE has provided districts with flexibility in the statewide testing windows for MCAS.  Please note our revised testing schedule below:

Tuesday, March 31 Grades 5 & 8 ELA Session 1

Wednesday, April 1 Grades 5 & 8 ELA Session 2

Thursday, April 2 Grade 7 Long Composition

Tuesday, April 7 Grades 6 & 7 ELA Session 1

Wednesday, April  8 Long Composition Make Up

Thursday, April 9 Grades 6 & 7 ELA Session 2

Friday, April 10 Make Ups

Monday, April 13 Last day to complete make ups

 

Attention Military Families

military

In order to ensure that military children can access all educational opportunities and support when transferring school districts, Massachusetts is participating in the Interstate Compact.

Specific issues addressed in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children are:

  • Timely transfer of records
  • Kindergarten and first grade entrance age variances
  • Adequate time to complete immunization requirements
  • Exclusion from extracurricular activities
  • Placement in appropriate courses
  • Missed or redundant entrance and exit testing
  • Graduation requirements
  • Support for children of deployed service members

The district is required to provide information to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support our military families. We are asking families with a parent currently serving in the military, reserves or National Guard, retired military, or medically discharged military to complete a quick form, which can be found at our Military Family Form page.

For more information on the Interstate Compact, please visit the the National Military Family Association.

 

Boston Aquarium Field Trip

Our 7th graders on the Split Team have just begun their study of invertebrates.  This important unit was kicked off with a trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston.  After being postponed twice, the trip was finally a “go” on the Wednesday before vacation.  We braved a 2 1/2-hour bus ride and arrived to an aquarium that was virtually deserted.  We were able to enjoy observing the animals without the hindrance of the usual crowds.
The students’ goal was to observe live animals in their habitats to learn about the adaptations they have to live in their specialized environments.  Additionally, a focus was on reproduction and classification.  Despite the hardships presented by the weather and snow, a great time was had by all!

 

Catapults and Candy!

A Valentine STEM Challenge:  Catapults and Candy for 5 Red

Before vacation,  fifth grade students on the Red Team learned a great deal about force, motion, and structure as they worked in teams of three to meet the challenge of building a catapult that could launch a piece of Valentine candy further than any of the other catapults in the room.

Prior to our STEM challenge of the day, the students were given very little information other than to answer the following questions:  What does a catapult do?  What is a projectile?  How does a catapult work?  What type of simple machine is it (inclined plane, lever, pulley, wedge, screw or wheel and axle?)  How do you know?

After being grouped into teams of three, the students were given the task of designing their catapult and choosing which materials they wished to use from the following list:  up to ten large and/or small craft sticks, one clothespin, one binder clip, one plastic spoon and six rubber bands.

As the students designed, they were instructed to keep in mind the following points – What is your design goal?  How much force will your design require for a successful launch?  What angle launches the projectile the furthest?

After the initial catapults were constructed, students took to the hallway to test them. They tried different projectiles that included small and large candy conversation hearts, gummy hearts, and large, sugar-coated marshmallow hearts. After each launch, students collected data to help them notice patterns and make changes in their design. They quickly learned that the weight and mass of the objects launched made a difference. They all loved the large marshmallow, but no one could get it to launch further than 12 inches while some of the smaller candies sailed well over 20 feet and often even hit the ceiling!

For safety, there was a very strict rule making sure the projectiles were never launched when anyone, even a teammate, was in front of the projectile. If a high level of engagement is the path to learning at higher levels, then we believe STEM education just may be the best route to take!   Students have a whole new idea of what engineers do and were very eager to stretch their thinking to create a working design.

A very challenging and fun day!  We’re really looking forward to our school-wide STEAM day on March 4!

Central District Results

central districts

On Saturday, January 31, thirty two NMS band and chorus students traveled to Gibbons Middle School in

Westborough, MA to audition for the 2015 Central District Music Festival. Over 1000 students from 79

central Massachusetts middle schools auditioned for positions in the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra

and Chorus. We would like to congratulate every music student who prepared solos and auditioned for the festival.

Here are the results of the auditions:

Nine Nissitissit MS students were accepted into the Festival Chorus:

Madisyn B.

Seth D.

Cameron F.

Hannah G.

John M.

Jacob M.

Derek P.

Abigail T.

Erin W.

Eleven Nissitissit MS Band students were accepted:

Patrick M., Highest Score, 1st chair Alto Saxophone, Jazz Band

Jack P., Highest Score, 1st chair, French horn, Concert Band

Riley P., Highest Score, 1st Chair Bassoon, Orchestra

Adam K., Highest Score, 1st Chair, Bass Guitar, Jazz Band

John C., Clarinet, Concert Band

Ryan T., Alto Saxophone, Concert Band

Josh B., Trumpet, Concert Band

Sophia C., Trumpet, Concert Band

Joseph M., Tenor Saxophone, Concert Band

Aidan M., Bass Clarinet, Concert Band

Christopher E., Violin, Orchestra

Congratulations to these students for their outstanding achievement and representing Nissitissit Middle School in the 2015 Central District Music Festival. Also, thank you to Mrs. Wilson and Mr. Tellier for all their work in preparing our students. Well done!