FROM THE PRINICPAL’S DESK
Hello Everyone,
I hope you all enjoyed the OPEN HOUSES that we held for all three grades. We hope you found the evenings to be informational as well as enjoyable.

 

A couple of things:

 

1) Beginning Monday, September 21st, all students will complete an administration of the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) test in their English class. This former subtest of the CMT helps teachers assess a student’s ability to read and work with vocabulary. The test will be administered three times over the course of the year so that we can monitor student growth over the course of the school year. Parents will be given information during October on how to access their child’s score in Aspen. This first administration is simply a baseline to help assess each student’s current strengths and weaknesses. As has been the case for several year, future administrations of the DRP will be used as one of the data points in helping to place students in our Advanced English 8 class and at the high school. Shortly following the end of the third marking period, you will receive complete information regarding all of the placement criteria for the Advanced English 8 class, as well as a breakdown of which criteria your student did or did not meet.

 

If you have any questions about the DRP test, please contact Tim Sorensen, the MMS English Department Curriculum Coordinator at tsorensen@darienps.org.
2) Our Annual Magazine Drive Kick Off happened on Wed. Sept. 16. Our students were reminded to only sell to people they know. We do NOT encourage door to door sales in anyway. There are turn in dates that are in the packet. Just so you know, the money we gain from this fundraiser goes to support a myriad of activities through our student activities account. These activities include, but are not limited to: our clubs and activities programs, scholarships for field trips for students in need, helps to underwrite some of the grade level and/or team level activities, and the 8th grade dance and promotion day events.

 

I hope you are all enjoying the busy first weeks back of the school year! I also hope your children are acclimating to their new grade levels! It has been a flurry of activity here at MMS.

 

Thank you.
Debi Boccanfuso

 

MMS NEWS
A MESSAGE FROM THE PTO CO-CHAIRS
Please mark your calendars for our first MPA meeting nextWednesday, September 30 at 9:30 a.m.  In addition to Dr. Boccanfuso, who will speak to the new school year, we will also have an ASPEN tutorial by Sandy Timmons.  We encourage all our new Middlesex parents to attend this meeting as Mrs. Timmons de-mystifies ASPEN and illustrates how to access your child’s grades, report card comments, and medical contact information.  You won’t want to miss it!
Thank you in advance for your support!
Theresa Vogt and Lori Olson

 

THE GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT
The Guidance Department would like to extend a “THANK YOU” to the following students who assisted parents during Open House:
Grade 6 :  Arjun Aggarwal, Anastasia Carey, Leighton Gajawai, Sebastian Mengwall, Alexis Riebold and Jonathan Strong
Grade 7:  Peter Gallagher, Henry Kanlain, Maeve Schoudel, James Strong, and Alyse Wright-Webb
Grade 8: Mariam Ghaloo, Grace Hand, Ben Henry, Amanda Loura, Brianna Lyons, Max Parekh, and Tyler Roland
MIDDLESEX AFTER SCHOOL SPORTS

 

MMS After School Sports is back!!! The program is free for all students who attend MMS; all grades, all genders, all ability levels.  Students involved will be split into teams and PLAY, no drill or practice required. Sports include indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, weight training, handball, and back by popular demand, running club.  All activities meet Monday through Thursday, directly after school.  All activities are finished in time for the late bus, so no parent rides are required.  Students are not required, but are strongly encouraged to participate as many days of the week as possible.  To become involved, all a student must do is listen in the morning and afternoon for “open gym/weight room” or “after school sports sign-ups” on the announcements.

 

For questions please contact:
Megan Rodriguez – mrodriguez@darienps.org
Brian Faust – bfaust@darienps.org
Brian Zeyer – bzeyer@darienps.org
 
8TH GRADE BOSTON TRIP APPAREL
We are counting down the days to the Boston Trip and have available t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, and sweatshirts to purchase.  Apparel is not mandatory but it is a great keepsake of the trip and makes for easy identification for the group.  Here is a link to order:
http://www.darienps.org/uploaded/content/schools/mms/boston/boston_
orderform_2015.pdf or contact Ms. Sandor at lsandor@darienps.org for more information.  Orders must be received by Sept 22nd.
 
MMS MAGAZINE DRIVE
Please support the annual Magazine Drive which begins Wednesday, September 16th and ends September 28th! The Magazine Drive is the largest fundraiser for MMS with funds going directly to supplement student programs – clubs, activities, intramural sports and field trips.  Please support MMS by purchasing a new subscription or renewing a current one. Also, please consider buying a subscription for a wounded soldier or veteran through our 7th annual “Gift of Gratitude” program.
The children will be receiving all the materials at an assembly Wednesday.  Be sure to have them neatly fill out and return their “Reach Out” booklets at lunch time the next day (Thursday, 9/17) with 7- 10 addresses, to be entered in a raffle for a $300 Apple gift card!! This year’s TURN IN DATES for sales are 9/21, 9/24, and  9/28.   If you have questions, please contact Nova Hall ataussienova@gmail.com.  Thanks so much! We could not do this without you!

 

MMS ORGANIZATIONS
 
STRAIGHT TALK
“Lifting the Veil: Facing the Hidden Drug Epidemic in Darien” Part I*,Wednesday, September 23, 7:00-8:00pm, the Depot
25 Heights Road.  Join us for a frank and alarming discussion about the rise of heroin abuse in our small town. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. Sponsored by The Depot and the Darien Police Department.
Speakers include Roody Joseph, M.Ed., LPC – Center for Discovery and Change; Officer Michael Cummings and Sergeant TJ Whyte – Darien Police Department; Nick deSpoelberch, Recovery Speaker
S4 STUDY SKILLS PARENT WORKSHOP
Thursday, 9/24th, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, The Depot,
25 Heights Road.  This Parent Workshop teaches practical tools to best support your student’s study practice at home.  This highly interactive, information-based session will provide concrete ideas that you can implement right away at home.  Register at http://S4StudySkills.com/enroll
SEPAC OCTOBER MEETING:  IS MY CHILD MAKING PROGRESS?  UNDERSTANDING PROGRESS MONITORING
On Monday, October 5th at 11am in the Royle School Common Room, Dr. Susie Da Silva, Assistant Superintendent of Schools K-12, will discuss the purpose and components of a strong Scientifically Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) model.  She will outline how an effective program supports students in the most meaningful way. Please RSVP: dariensepac@gmail.com  Find out the answer to your questions including:  What are the assessment tools the district currently uses? How will I be notified of my child’s progress in SRBI? How do I know if my child is reading on grade level?
 
TIP OF THE WEEK
 
THRIVING YOUTH/CDSP
What’s in that backpack? A roomy backpack is appealing, but did you know it shouldn’t weigh more than 10% of a child’s weight?   We care about our neighbors: The Community Fund of Darien and the Darien Dept of Human Services
Let’s Get Talking – For more information visit, Thriving Youth www.thrivingyouthdarien.org

 

COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS
BOY SCOUTS COMMUNITY CAMPOREE
Come join the Darien Boy Scouts for a Community Camporee onSaturday 9/26 from 12 to 4 PM at Tilley Pond Park! To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouting in Darien, our two Boy Scout troops are providing an interactive day of family fun for all ages, with hands-on demonstrations of skills such as fire-building, campsite set-up, outdoor cooking, orienteering, pioneering, fishing, and more! We invite the entire community, scouts or not, to come enjoy a day of outdoor fun and get to know your local Scouts and their history!

JR FOREVER 8TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL WALK/RUN
Please join us for the JR Forever 8th Annual Memorial Walk/Run on Sunday, October 4, 2015, 1:15 sign-in, 2:00 walk/run, Pear Tree Point Beach -Rain or Shine. Strollers/wagons are welcome.  In 2008, friends and family established the JR Forever Memorial Walk in memory of JR Schoen, a 9-year-old Darien boy who lost his life to a brain tumor. Last year, a casual 5K run was added to attract runners who are passionate about a good cause. This family and community event will raise funds for Darien organizations that impact the lives of children.This year’s recipients are  Children’s Brain Tumor Research and JR’s Ray of Hope. For more information and registration please go towww.jrschoenmemorial.org.

TREE CONSERVANCY OF DARIEN
With the upcoming colorful fall season, Tree Conservancy of Darien would like to remind all ages to take photos of Darien trees & to capture the beauty of town trees year-round for their annual photo contest. The Celebration of Trees photo contest will have an opening reception on Friday, March 4, 2016, at the Darien Nature Center.

 

2015 DARIEN FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN MOBILEPACK EVENT
Come help pack 200,000 Mannapack meals for starving children all over the world. Darien FMSC Mobilepack is hosted jointly by the churches of Darien and cosponsored by the Council for Darien School Parents on October 17th & 18th at MMS Cafeteria.  Volunteer shift registration opens Monday Sept 21st.  To sign up for a 2 hour shift, go to: http://fmsc.org/mobilepack/events
You must register online to volunteer.  Registration fills up quickly!  Volunteers should be at least 8 years old or 3rd grade.
 
TEEN LEAN MACHINE AT THE DARIEN Y!
The Y’s best program for the youth, designed to incorporate healthy habits in their lives!  Participants will be scored by tracking activity and sleep using a Fitbit Flex Wristband, which is designed to instill healthy habits.  Participants will also be tracked by Fun Fitness Tests and Assessments, which will be administered at the half way point and conclusion of the competition.  Participants also receive 2 group training sessions per week on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5-6pm and 2 Interactive Nutrition sessions.  The competition runs 8 weeks fromSeptember 26th to November 21st.  Registration opens at the Y for Members on September 8th and Non-Members on September 10th for ages 10-15.  Questions? Please reach out to the Health and Fitness Director at jvansciver@darien-ymca.org for more info.