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Dear Students, Parents and Guardians:
After the heat and rain of the last month the cool weather we are experiencing is a much needed relief and moreover, it is a message to our bodies and minds that it is time to get ready for school. Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! I hope you had a wonderful summer filled with all the activities that rejuvenate you for the school year.
Like many of you, my reading life during the summer grows exponentially. July was my time to decompress and “escape” to Japan, India and Europe and then I found myself anticipating our return to school and returned to the United States where I read three books that reminded me of the power of education. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs, Newcomers by Helen Thorpe and the memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, by Charles Blow all trace the lives of people who were impacted by teachers who cared deeply about their students. In Blow’s memoir he wrote about his teacher, Mrs. Collins, “It was the first time that I felt a teacher cared about me, truly saw me, or believed in me. I figured that if I always shined by my work, Mrs. Collins - and everyone else - would always be able to see me...I felt life stir in me.”
At Mamaroneck High School our goal is to ensure that all students feel “seen” and feel stirred, both intellectually and emotionally, by the experiences and the doors that are opened to them at our school. There is a tremendous amount of research that strong teacher- student relationships are one of the most significant indicators in student achievement and our commitment at MHS is to know our students and to help them reach their potential.
On Wednesday, August 22nd we welcomed 17 new teachers to MHS! Every new teacher participates in a district wide three-day introduction in which they are exposed to the values and expectations of the District and the High School. We are excited to welcome this very accomplished group of educators to our school. In the meantime, our MHS teachers have been preparing for the school year by taking classes, writing curriculum, participating in nationwide seminars and rejuvenating so that they can greet each and every student with energy and commitment on September 5th.
As you look at the online MHS 2018-19 school calendar you will notice that we no longer have assigned days for “summative exams.” After last year’s schedule of mid-year summative exams we conducted a survey and found that both students and teachers were not enthusiastic about this experience. In response to the survey we made the decision to fold all assessments into class periods and teachers are going to work within their disciplines to ensure that students are assessed in appropriate ways. The goal is to decrease the stress for students and to provide more authentic opportunities for teachers to measure growth and learning. In order to ensure that students are not overburdened at the end of a marking period, we have designated specific days that departments can use to assess students and these days are written on the calendar.
The first day of school for all students will be Wednesday, September 5th. We will stagger our start times on opening day in order to accommodate our Ninth Grade Orientation. All incoming 9th grade students are invited to report to McLain auditorium at 8:00 a.m. and will be dismissed at 2:42 p.m. (9th grade students should print out their schedule and bring it to school on day one.) 10th, 11th and 12th grade students should report at 10:45 a.m. to their first period class. Students will spend 20 minutes in every class and will have a short lunch break. All students should bring their lunch to school, the cafeteria will not be open. A copy of the schedule for September 5th appears as a pop-up on this webpage.
Please note that there are a number of documents that you need to access and/or sign in order to begin the school year. Use the list below to make sure you have read and filled out all necessary paperwork:
- MHS is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) school and we rely upon students having their devices in order for instruction to take place. The only devices that can be used are laptops, chromebooks, tablets and iPads. If a student wants to borrow an iPad from MHS they can do so in the library starting the first day of school.
- All students regardless of the device they use must fill in the AUP Form in order to access MHS network accounts. It is critical for a strong start to the school year that all AUP forms are signed by September 5th.
- For those students borrowing the iPads, the cost for insuring the iPad is $27 and insurance is mandatory. Please write checks to the Mamaroneck School District and have your child bring the check in an envelope to the library during lunch starting the first day of school.
- Students’ assigned lockers and combinations can be found on the schedule tab in the portal.
- All students will gain access to their schedules through the parent portal on Monday, August 27th in the afternoon. Should there be an issue with the schedule please contact your child’s counselor directly. All students should bring their schedule to school on September 5th.
- Parents please review the Mamaroneck High School Code of Conduct with your children. At our opening assemblies this year we will review the Code of Conduct and discuss the values that we cherish at MHS.
- The schedule for day rotations and the bell schedule are on our website. Please note there has been a slight change in the length of classes due to new State Regulations. Freshmen do NOT panic in trying to understand the schedule, we will cover this in orientation!
Over the last year MHS has worked to tighten our safety practices, linked to this document is an explanation of the various protocols that MHS follows.
Back to School night is Thursday, September 27th at 7 p.m., in the meantime should your child need any assistance in transitioning to the next step in their high school career please do not hesitate to contact a guidance counselor or any administrator. Enjoy the waning days of summer and I look forward to greeting all students on September 5th.