Letter for MSMS Parents/Students from Principal Perchase

August 16, 2018

We hope that you are enjoying the summer with family and friends.  Although the school building is quiet during the summer months, our custodial staff has been busy getting the building ready for our students’ return.  Mr. Murphy and I are excited to see the school come alive on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 4, 2018!

The following communication is meant to provide you with important information about the upcoming school year.  You can expect similar updates about every two weeks and more often at the beginning and end of the school year.

Welcome Night- Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Students often have mixed feelings about returning to school in the fall.  On the one hand, they are excited to return to the structure of the school day and their friends.  On the other hand, students may feel anxious or apprehensive about the new school year.  We are excited to provide all students and their families the opportunity to visit the building on Wednesday, August 29th.  The hope is that providing students the chance to see where their classrooms, the cafeteria, the learning commons, the gymnasium, and the auditorium are located will reduce some of the anxiety a student may be feeling.  I know Mr. Murphy and I are looking forward to meeting some of our students before the first day of school!  The building will be open to students and parents from 5:00-6:00 p.m.  At 6:00 p.m., we invite our grade 6 families and any family new to MSMS to the auditorium for an introductory presentation.  Students are welcome to attend with their families.

Attention 8th Grade Students
As our oldest students and leaders in the school, we were hoping that you would be able to assist us with our “Welcome Night”.  We are looking for volunteers to assist students new to MSMS by providing tours.  If you are available to help, please email Ms. Perchase, cperchase@bpsk12.org,  by August 29, 2018 at noon.  We will be asking you to meet at the main office at 4:45 pm.  Thank you!

Summer Reading
It is our hope to develop a love of reading in our learners!  In addition to fostering a love of reading, reading over the summer is known to provide students the opportunity to practice their reading skills and prevent regression.  At the end of the year, information regarding summer reading was sent home with students.  Please use the grade level specific link below for the summer reading list and expectations for your child.

Incoming Grade 6 Summer Reading

Incoming Grade 7 Summer Reading

Incoming Grade 8 Summer Reading

Back to School Nights- Save the Dates
We are excited to provide families the opportunity to meet their child’s teachers and learn about the curricular program that Marshall Simonds Middle School offers all students.  As has been the practice, we have scheduled two Back to School Nights for early this fall.  Please mark your calendars.  More information about the format of the evening will be provided as we approach the dates.

Grade 6 Back to School Night              Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Grade 7 & 8 Back to School Night        Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Picture Day
Picture day has been scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, September 12, 2018.  More information about ordering will be shared with families once it is received from the photography company, Geskus.

School Calendar and School Hours
Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for school success.  While school work due to absence can be made up, it is difficult to replicate the learning experiences in the classroom  The Burlington Public Schools School Committee has established an attendance procedure policy (File #JH) that states, “The administration and faculty of Burlington Public Schools believe that attendance by students at school is vitally important to a successful education”.

The 2018-2019 school calendar, approved by the School Committee, can be found here.

The Marshall Simonds Middle School day begins at 7:35 am and ends at 1:55 pm.  Students are expected to be in homeroom by 7:35 am.  Students who are not in homeroom by 7:35 am are considered tardy and must sign in at the main office to receive a pass to class. Students who are to be dismissed from school should bring a note signed by a parent or guardian to the office prior to the start of school and will receive a dismissal slip.   Students must be picked up from the main office by a parent, guardian, or other adult who has been given permission, in writing, to pick up the child.

In the event that a student is absent from school, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the school of the absence.  Parents/guardians must call (781) 270-1781 ext. 1 prior to 8:00 a.m. to report a student absence.  In the event that the school is not contacted by the parent/guardian about a child’s absence, the school will contact the family to confirm the child’s absence.

NEW- After School Program
There is a brand new club style after school program starting September 2018 at Marshall Simonds Middle School. The program is designed for students in grades 6, 7 and 8th, bridging the gap between school and home while supporting students both socially and educationally.  Our tween-friendly club format allows students to make choices, giving them more control of their afternoon. There will be daily homework time with staff support as well as enriching activities, like cooking, crafts, sports and more!

The Middle School Program supports working families by running from school dismissal until 6:00pm Monday through Friday during the regular school year and from 7:30am to 6:00pm school vacation weeks.  Choose the day or days, that works best for you, with flexible enrollment options.

For more information or to sign up for the program contact Donna Sullivan at dosullivan@bpsk12.org or call the After School Program Office at 781-270-1708.

NEW- Cross Country, 2018
Marshall Simonds Middle School is excited to offer students the opportunity to participate in cross country after school this fall.  Thanks to the hard work and support of Mr. Shaun Hart, Burlington High School’s Athletic Director, students will have the chance to practice with other MSMS students and compete with other schools.  Please see below for additional information.

Practice Schedule: Monday through Friday 2:35- 4pm, beginning Tuesday, September 12, 2018.  If there is a half-day or no school, there is no practice.

Every athlete should attempt to be at every practice. The more you train, the better your results will be! With that being said, it is requested that those wishing to join cross country make at least 3 practices a week. If there are any schedule conflicts, please bring them to the coach’s attention as soon as possible.  Arrangements must be made to pick up your child at the end of every practice.

Registration: Every athlete must be registered before attending. This will be done during the first week of school.  Details will follow.

Physical: Each runner must have an updated physical on file with the school nurse (dated 8/4/17 or after).

Meet Schedule: Team will participate in 3-4 meets.  Dates will be announced once they are finalized.


AI Chatbot Presentation at ISTE 2018

Burlington High School Help Desk Students and Teachers representing the school district and community at The International Society for Technology in Education in Chicago. Thank you.

Burlington High School Help Desk

This past semester, the BHS Help Desk and Ms. Tyrrell’s Exploring Computer Science classes were fortunate to be selected by ISTE (The International Society for Technology in Education) to pilot an AI (Artificial Intelligence) Chatbot curriculum. This pilot was made possible through ISTE’s partnership with General Motors. We are doing a poster session at the ISTE 2018 conference, and our Tuesday, June 26, session is entitled, “Shared Solutions in K-12: Artificial Intelligence Using Chat Bots.” My student Gati Aher will also be presenting with us at ISTE. During the conference, there are many other sessions on AI, including “Artificial Intelligence Goes to School” which will give an overview of the program, and “Empowering Students to Develop Artificial Intelligence for Automation and K-12 Solutions.”

This pilot opened up a vast world which we had some understanding of, but we didn’t really know the technology underpinning…

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Burlington High School Post Graduation Party

The Post Grad party for the class of 2018 was held Sunday night June 3rd at Kings in
Burlington. Kings has hosted the graduates the last four years and once again it was a huge success. Kings General Manager Michael Belley and his staff did an amazing job.

We had 190 graduating seniors in attendance and many wore their 2018 Red Devil T-Shirt that they received at post-grad party registration. Each year BHS art teacher, Keith Mistler has his senior students create and submit potential logos for the graduation T-Shirt. Only one logo is chosen. This year, student Kosta Stamides, designed the T-Shirt logo. The Burlington Chamber of Commerce along with the following T-Shirt donors make it possible to purchase and print up a T-Shirt for every graduating senior. An amazing keepsake!

The T-Shirt Sponsors are as follows:

3rd Ave Burlington
The Gutierrez Company
Riemer Braunstein
Burlington AFC (American Family Care urgent care)
Burlington Fitness Together
Cambridge Savings bank
Remax (Realty Experts)
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
Exit Realty
Winbrook PROMO

Students were able to check in to Kings between 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm Sunday night. When they arrived DJ Greg Gervais from Curtis Knight Entertainment already had the tunes cranking. DJ Greg did an amazing job and many of the graduates were still dancing at 5 am. They were also able to enjoy time with classmates and friends as they bowled, played pool and video games.

At 11:30 pm Hypnotist Frank Santos Jr. began his show. This is always a highlight of the night.  Frank does a phenomenal job of hypnotizing a group, as their classmates watch and laugh in hysterics. A large photo booth with a wide array of props was provided by Curtis Knight Entertainment. Many graduates enjoyed the photo booth throughout the entire night. Additional entertainment was provided by FUN Enterprises, Inc. This included Two Tarot Card Readers, Two Airbrush Tattoo Artists and an amazing Roving Magician. Graduates lined up throughout the night to enjoy all of this entertainment.

On staff, we had Registered Nurses, Officer Fournier, Officer Devlin, Principal Mr. Mark
Sullivan, Assistant Principals Deb Deacon, and Rick Sheehan. In addition, the Class Advisors, Mrs. DiCroce and Mr. Regan, were in attendance, as well as dozens and dozens of parent volunteers throughout the night.

Chicken Fingers, French Fries, soft drinks, and waters were donated by Kings. Tony Cs
donated trays of Mac and Cheese, Chips and Dip, as well Caesar Salad. Pizzas were donated by Pizza Works, Flatbread, Burlington House of Pizza and Dominoes. Newtowne Grille donated Loaded Tater Tots, Not Your Average Joe’s donated Bread and Oil and Papa Gino’s donated Cheesy Bread. Coffee, Donuts, and Munchkins were donated by Dunkin Donuts.

With Gift cards donated by Wegmans, Shaw’s and Market Basket we were able to buy ice cream, fruit, muffins, juice, and milk. Desserts were donated by LaCascia’s and Roma’s Bakery.  Throughout the night we raffled off gift cards, as well as donations from Xtend Barre and Roots Yoga.

As each senior left 5:00 am, they were given a gift bag which included a pair of sunglasses that were created by three of the graduating seniors; Coleman Began, Dylan MacKinnon, and Jeff Russo. The name of their company is Against the Grain. The sunglasses were packaged in a unique wooden case that displayed the Burlington High logo. The gift bags also included water bottles donated by the Burlington Education Foundation, accessories from CrossFit Exclamation, as well as coupons for free coffee at True North, free classes to Xtend Barre and discounts at Bed Bath and Beyond.

This party would not be possible without our Post Grad Party Committee, as well as all of our parent volunteers and the following sponsors:

American LegionMillican-MacKenzie Post 273
Axial Financial
Bedford Farms Ice Cream
Burlington’s Patrolmen’s Assoc
Burlington Police Command Officers Union
Burlington Firefighters Local 2313
Burlington Rotary Club
Burlington Educator’s Assoc
W. Gochis Insurance Agency, Inc.
Gedick Bros
Ernie and Ruth Covino
Gulde Insurance Agency
LTB Insurance
Mount Hope Christian Center
Pandolfo Company, Inc
PTO Fox Hill
PTO Memorial
Riemer & Braunstein Robert C. Buckley, Esq.

7C Learns about Water Filtration with help from MilliporeSigma!

Burlington is so fortunate to have corporate citizens who are invested in our public schools. Thank you MilliporeSigma.

Marshall Simonds Middle School

MilliporeSigma, a biotechnology company with offices in Burlington and Billerica, returned to Marshall Simonds Middle School on Thursday to work with students on Team 7C.  This is part of a community outreach program meant to pair students with real-life scientists.

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MSMS 8th Grader Navya Garg to be Published in The Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts

Marshall Simonds Middle School

Burlington, MA: Navya Garg’s photography, “Chameleon” was selected for publication in The Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts, the only statewide print and online publication featuring jury-selected artwork, photography, poetry and creative writing by students in grades 8 to 12. Navya Garg is an 8th grader at Marshall Simonds Middle School.

“Chameleon” was selected from over 700 works submitted by teens from schools and community organizations across the Commonwealth. All published works are juror-selected to ensure artistic excellence. Through this selective process, The Marble Collection, nonprofit publisher of The Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts, strives to assemble the most diverse and acclaimed collection of work.

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