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April 2020 Newsletter
Principal's Corner

Middle School Mariners,

Well, here it is the end of April and the start of May. We are currently winding down our most interesting school year.

A big shout out to those students who are completing work and a thank you to the parents who are supporting them at the kitchen table.

If you are the parent of a child, who is not connecting with the school, and you would like your child to be a part of our virtual learning, please contact our main office (Becca and Val) or contact your child's homeroom teacher.  We will do everything in our power to connect your child with our on-line learning.

If you or your child are struggling with this new reality we do have support services in place.  If you need to contact Student Services please call the school and ask for Jess Miller or Linda Wyler and they can support you and your child. 

As I stated in our last newsletter, in 30+ years in public education, I have never seen anything like our current situation.  I think it is a testament to our Mariner resolve that we have accomplished so much in the last month and a half given the short notice that our staff had to get ready for this virtual learning opportunity.  I want to thank you as parents for supporting our work during this time.

There will be more information forthcoming from OMS and from the district.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us, because we are here for you!

Mr. Gifford
OMS Principal

Upcoming Dates
Nurse's Nook
Tech Support
YMCA Substance Abuse Prevention


8th Grade
7th Grade
6th Grade
Gifted & Talented
5/29: last day of school
Nurse's Nook

Well wishes to ALL our Oceanside Middle School families along with a message to our families with a current sixth grade student.

The immunization requirements for students entering 7th grade changed a few years ago to now include a vaccine for meningitis and a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) booster.   Many area pediatricians are not scheduling well child visits at this time so making an appointment before September may be difficult.  Please be in contact with me if your child has not been immunized and is not able get an appointment prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  A signed exemption form will be allowed for philosophical or religious reasons for the 2020-2021 school year. An exemption due to a medical reason will always be accepted.

Please call the school at 354-2502 or send an email to if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank You and Stay Healthy,
Lorraine Lash, RN
School Nurse 
Oceanside Middle School

Need Tech Help?
This applies to students, parents, and staff!  RSU 13 has a tech support line set up to help you.  This applies to stuff like:
- connectivity trouble
- account access
- iPad damage

Not sure if your question is best answered by tech?  Just ask them - they will refer you if they need to!

How to find them?
Phone:  207-446-8000
Music Department 

Chorus 6-8:  Miss Hotopp was excited to host her first set of online zoom chorus classes this week. It was really nice to see everyone's faces again!  Individual lessons are still happening for interested students. Zoom chorus is happening on Tuesdays at 11 for 6th grade and 1pm for 7th and 8th grade.

Band 6-8:  I hope you are all bunkering down at home with your families and staying healthy.   The most important thing right now is that you all take care of yourselves.  It must be difficult for all of you not to see your friends, (although knowing how you are all tech savvy I imagine you are staying in touch via texting, social media and gaming).  I bet some you are missing walking down the halls of OMS as well; I know I miss seeing you all! We will all have a new appreciation for our schools when this is over. Remember, be kind to your parents!

BAND GOOGLE CLASSROOMS: are set up for each grade level 6, 7, 8, if you haven’t joined yet please do so! It is the best way to communicate and stay in touch!   ZOOM BAND classes are also set up.  You will see the zoom meeting link, times, and PW on your band google classroom.  Band zoom are happening every Monday see you on May 4th! 

Here’s a few further suggestions of activities you can do for band at home: 
- Warm-up with scales, drum rolls and buzzing songs (buzzing for brass only). 
- Go on to continue to improve your note reading. 
- Create your own song either by ear or by writing down notes. Record it!
- Record yourselves playing any song garage band, add additional loops or tracks and send me your creations! 
- Give a mini concert for your pets or family members; anyone that will listen!
- When the weather gets nice, play outside, the neighbors might enjoy it. 
- Make your own instrument out of materials you have at home and try to play it. Record yourself or take a pic of what you created. 
- For drummers and anyone else you want to: Consider bucket drumming all you need is a 5-gallon bucket, there are lots of YouTube videos on this.  
- Search YouTube tutorials on your instrument.
- Order a new solo book for your instrument online Hal Leonard, JW Pepper, Amazon are good places to start searching books available. There are solo books for songs from Broadway, Songs from Movies, Classical Songs, Jazz Songs, Rock Songs etc. Find something you like.  
- Consider trying your skills on the piano (all of you have a keyboard you can access on garage band). 
- If you have never looked at body percussion tutorials on YouTube check it out! Good way to practice rhythms. 
- If you get really bored try playing your nose, yes that is right your nose! 
- Block one side with your index finger, take the other finger on the other side of your nose and flick the lower side of your nose while humming.  Although this could drive your parents crazy . . . 
Mr. King, Ms. Sally, and Mrs. Russell have been on trash patrol around the school!  They took some time before vacation to do some clean up and plan to work at it once a week until the OMS campus is clean. 
8th Grade

Mr. McClellan:  Even though we have not physically been in school, many teachers, including myself, really enjoyed the break.  I did some landscaping, trimmed the hedges, and changed the oil on my motorcycle.  While all of these things would have been ordinary spring jobs, the weather cooperated, and it was really good to get out of the house and away from electronics.  My to do list is actually getting done, even things way down on the list!  Coming back feeling energized, teachers mentioned that many more students are engaging in the online environment!  This is rewarding for teachers.  We do understand this is a struggle, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  We appreciate all you are doing.  The weekly teacher plan appears to have helped some students and parents understand what is happening when during our extended period away from school.

Ms. Gleason:  We have started a unit on the Vietnam War and our first Zoom "classes" were a success!  You did a great job discussing the Vietnam in HD documentary.    It was good to see so many of you at ELA Zooms on Tuesday and Thursday after April vacation.  I look forward to seeing you each Tuesday and Thursday until school is out at the end of the month.  We will be discussing Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam at many of our Zooms.  If you don't already have a book (electronic or paper copy), message me as soon as possible so I can get you set up.  I am thinking of you and wishing you well!

Ms. Sally’s ELA/Science: The month of April seems like a blur.  I think we were all getting used to distance learning, understanding how to navigate google classroom, and just getting a grasp on our new situation.  I am awed by how well the students have adjusted and persevere!   

We continue to compare and contrast two different literary modes (short story and poem) that have the same theme.  We are taking a deep look at the author’s word choice and how It impacts the mood of each piece.  It is quite fun to read the “thinking” of the students.  My favorite part of the week is the journal responses!  These kids are amazing!  Thoughtful, honest, and wonderful human beings!  Every day (except Wednesday) we zoom and chat about various things.  It is wonderful to see the kids and hear their voices.  Never did I think we would conduct school this way.  I certainly did not go into teaching to be a “Distance Learning” teacher.  I miss all the kids so much! 

In Science, the students are given a challenge each week.  Before break, we were focusing on Newton’s Laws of Motion.  Students were given a design challenge each week, then had to “show off” their design in a zoom meeting on Friday.  Wow!  Great designs by great minds!  
After break, we started on waves.  The first week the students learned about longitudinal and transverse waves and had to demonstrate one of them using materials they had at home (or not).  It was fun to see what they came up with!  Madolin Ripley designed a very intricate wave using rods and gummy bears!  Very cool.  

I want to shout out to all of the students that continue with distance learning!  I know it is different, awkward, and hard…but…you are doing it.  I am so proud of you.

I also want to shout out to Noah McLellan.  Not only is he doing all of his core work, but he is also doing my science challenges…just for fun! 
And a shout out to Justin Groth…I can always rely on him to be the first to submit his work…usually before 7am

Finally…I hope to see more students at the zoom meetings at 9:30.  It is the highlight of my day to see your faces and just to “hang out” for a bit.
And, Happy Mother’s Day!
7th grade
Mrs. Burns' 7th graders were assigned a Native American Project based on the Maine Wabanaki Confederation culture. They focused on the style and natural resources used to create Wigwams and Longhouses. Many students created their projects using natural resources from their outside as well as their own materials they had. Along with the dwellings, students also created a scene depicting the lifestyle of the Wabanaki. Some incorporated wildlife such as moose, deer, and rabbits. They added crops like corn, beans and squash as well as some weapons used for hunting. They even made birch bark canoes and rivers to show how they used the water sources around them! This was a very impressive project that was done all remotely! All students should be very proud of their work! 
7th grade Wabinaki projects
Mrs. Rackliff:  Students were introduced to the idea that Ted Talk videos provide us with a wide variety of information on topics that interest all ages.  The task was to search for a Ted Talk video that interested them.  They reported what they learned from the video and the reasons that they really enjoyed watching that video.  Then they each watched other students’ videos, and we conducted a vote.  These are the seven Ted Talks that received the most “likes” from their classmates.  We had a tie for 2nd place and a tie for 5th place.
 “What If You Could Trade a Paperclip for a House?” -  Bella Engelberg
“The Future of Cars” – Dylan Emery
“How  Surfboards Connect Us to Nature” - Liz Barstow
“How a 13-year-old Changed Impossible to I’m Impossible” – Clay Whited
“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Office Design” – Reese Novicka
“Exploring the Mind of a Killer” – Madison Peters
“How to Shift Your Mindset and Choose Your Future” – Bailey Breen

I was amazed at the wide variety of topics these 7th grade students were interested in!  Ask your son or daughter to share the Ted Talk that they chose!!
6th grade
This is a reminder of Zoom times for 6th grade core classes:
Monday:  ELA 9-12, Math “Office Hours” (not required, for questions only) 9-11
Tuesday: Math 9-12
Wednesday: Homeroom meeting, Math “Office Hours” (not required, for questions only) 9-11
Thursday: Science 9-12, Math “Office Hours” (not required, for questions only) 9-11
Friday: Social Studies 9-12
Gifted & Talented
The GT Art students from OMS are independently completing their art projects with the CMCA artists! The students visited the CMCA (before school ended) and worked with the artists to develop a project in alignment with one of the exhibits at the CMCA.

Since school ended, the artists from the CMCA have zoomed with the students and are helping them complete their projects while photographing the progression of their work. 

Photographs of their final art projects will be shared on the CMCA website in a few weeks! We look forward to seeing the culmination of all their creative, hard work!
While the spring sports season was cancelled, still be sure you are getting some fresh air and moving your body!

Little League registration is open for those students who are age eligible (league age 12 or less).  You can get more info on their website.
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