Tuesday News - March 13, 2012

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Click here to view our Google Calendar of Events.   

All submissions for the Tuesday News should be sent by Friday, 3:00 pm. to publicrelations@merriconeag.org


Upcoming Events

Observe High School Classes

This Thursday, March 15, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
9th & 10th grades – The Art of Poetry with David Sloan
11th grade – Atomic Chemistry with Jeff O’Brien
12th grade – Modern History with David Barham

To register: Call Lyn Baird at 207-865-3900, ext. 103 or email, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org.


Parent Enrichment Coffee Postponed: The Parent Enrichment Coffee scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 9:00 a.m. has been postponed. We will reschedule shortly as we are hoping to host it as a follow up discussion to Simplicity Parenting.



Tea and Play

Fridays, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. March 16, 30
      While your child plays near you, share a cup of tea with our Early Childhood teachers and learn more about our programs for young children.

     Please continue to tell your co-workers, neighbors and friends about Tea & Play. For more information or to register a friend, please call Lyn Baird at 207-865-3900, ext. 103 or email, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org.



The Prep School Negro film has been rescheduled:

This film (originally scheduled for March 1but postponed because of snow) has been rescheduled for Monday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. Please save the date. We hope to see you there!




From the Development Office

Game Show Night

Tuition Support Fundraiser and Silent Auction

Saturday, March 31, 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Final call for donations: We have received a wonderful selection of donations from parents, board members, students, alumni families and local businesses for our silent auction. If you are considering donating something, send it in this week so we can include it in our catalog. This year we have several travel destinations available in the silent auction which might require some planning. We have listed them below, more information about these fabulous destinations and all the other donated items will be included within the next week on our FaceBook page (click here):
Start planning your trip now so you can bid on these wonderful getaways:
• A week at a seaside villa in Brittany, France (2 different units available, either for the same family or 2 different families)
• A week at a house in Provence, France (this will be a raffle item; tickets available next week in the offices). Take a chance on this house for just $25!
• A week at a ski house in Park City, Utah (they usually have snow out west!)
• A weekend at a ski house at Sugarloaf (no airplane tickets required!)
Send in your rsvp card and payment: Your invitation should have arrived by mail last week. If it didn’t, contact us. Please, please rsvp! We want to have plenty of food and drink available. We have kept the entry fee low ($25 each or $40 per couple) so you will come. If this fee is preventing you (or a friend) from coming, please give Lynne Espy a call. We want everyone to come, and we can provide discounted tickets if that’s what is needed to get you there!
Get your sitter – Come for Happy Hour: New This Year – we will have Happy Hour from 5:00 - 6:00 during which we will have drinks half priced, and you can begin bidding on the Silent Auction items. The Silent Auction will close at 8pm, and you may want some extra “quiet” time before the crowds come, to locate, and bid on, your favorite auction items.
Buy cash raffle tickets: Five cash raffle tickets were included in your invitation, and more are available in the office. We sincerely hope you will fill out with your name and phone number and send the stubs back with the payment. It is a 25/75 cash raffle, meaning that if you win, you keep 25% of the total proceeds. Last year, we raised over $10,000 and the winner took home $2,500, having just bought only 5 tickets for $100! The more tickets sold, the bigger the prize money! Buy one, buy 10, or buy more! You need not be present to win, so feel free to sell them to your friends and neighbors. All grandparents have received an invitation to the auction (gratis) and five raffle tickets for purchase.
Volunteer at the Auction: To make the event run smoothly, we need many volunteers to help for an hour or two with specific jobs like setup, bartending, silent auction table runners, check-out and clean-up. Please Click here to sign up online.
Do I have to dress up? You do not have to dress up, but if you want to come looking like you are a Game Show participant and you help with your attire, we have acquired a lot of costumes that you can borrow; they will be available starting this Friday in the fireplace room of the Farmhouse. Come check them out. Fashion consultants available to assist you.
Do I have to bake? There will be delicious and hearty hors-d’oeuvres (from Catering to You), including gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free and carnivorous laden choices. Some parents will be making desserts. There will also be a cash bar, with all wine and beer provided by Freeport Cheese and Wine.
Can anyone help provide these for the Auction?:
• Someone with a truck to help us move two large items before and after the auction
• A 9’x12’ floor rug, any shape, solid color (red, gold or red preferred)
• Coat racks
Submitted by Lynne Espy for the Fun, Fabulous, Glamorous Auction Team



2011-12 Annual Appeal Update:

     Last week, 6 volunteers spent a few hours of their evening calling families who have not yet contributed to the 2011-12 Annual Appeal. We had a lot of fun, thanks to the refreshments and good sense of humor among all, and we were thrilled by your positive response. Most of the parents we reached by phone said they appreciated the reminder, and would be making a donation to the Annual Appeal as soon as possible. Several of you sent it in the next day – thank you so much for helping with this important appeal.

     We have two goals: the first goal is to raise $65,000 for the operating budget. This keeps the school running, pays faculty salaries, provides essential supplies for the arts, music and movement programs, and helps families who rely on financial aid. We are doing very well with this goal. The second goal, which is equally important, is to reach 100% participation among all current parents. As we seek funding from foundations, a high level of participation demonstrates our community’s commitment to Merriconeag and to Waldorf education. Please remember that any size gift counts, and your one gift counts toward all of your children’s classes. Please help your child’s class get to 100% participation!

     My offer still stands: the first class to reach 100% participation will receive a decadent chocolate dessert, made by Lynne Espy. Last year, it was the 3rd grade – who will get it this year?

ECC (Jess moore and Hanna Graham’s class): 50%
Other two ECC classes: below 50%
Grade 1 – 77%
Grade 2 – 86%
Grade 3 – 90%
Grade 4 – 55%
Grade 5 – 76%
Grade 6 – 80%
Grade 7 – 55%
Grade 8 – 59%
Grade 9 – 67%
Grade 10 – 80%
Grade 11 – 67%
Grade 12 – 45%

     Please make a donation to the Annual Appeal today by submitting a check to the office (remittance envelopes available), clicking on the paypal link here or on our website and making an online donation, or calling us about a stock gift. If your employer matches your charitable gifts, please let us know so we can stretch your gift even further.

     As a community, we are enormously indebted to every family who chooses to make a donation to the Annual Appeal.   In gratitude, Lynne Espy, 865-3900 Ext. 116, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org.



High School News

Special news from the High School Language Department:

Video by 11th Grade French Students Wins First Prize!

     The video "I shall not speak French on the School Grounds" made by the 11th grade French class, was entered in the annual Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) video contest. FLAME received 13 videos and, last week, at the annual Conference held in Portland, MWHS's film was granted the 1st Prize!

     The story is a historical fiction created by the 11th Grade students who have studied extensively the French America theme this past semester. It is about a class of Francos students in Lewiston in 1854, at the time of the KKK intimidation against the Franco American population. Brian Watko is the strict teacher who imposes his class to speak English. The skit is based on a poem "Je suis Cadien" by Jean Arsenault, which the students memorized when they studied this theme. The skit is both in French (ad lib) and in English.The plot is all theirs!
Lucie James, our Amity Aide assistant, held the camera and Ben Tindall was our masterpiece editor. Overall director was yours truly, the grateful French teacher of this talented group!

     The FLAME board member who announced the Prize to the whole conference of about 125 teachers from all Maine schools (and some from New Hampshire) said it really stood out among all the other videos and it very much deserved 1st Prize. Later, 2 women judges came to me and told me they watched it 3 times and it brought tears to their eyes.

     I want to thank my French class for the enthusiasm and the seriousness they put in this presentation. It was a very rewarding Class project and I am most grateful we were able to complete in time for the contest!
Sincerely, Régine Whittlesey

Click here to view the prize winning video.


A Visitor Offers Her Impressions of Science in the High School:
      My last semester of college (Fall 2011), I was a teaching assistant for the introductory ecology class at Brandeis University. However, the professor I worked for is not just a Biology Professor, he is also the Associate Provost for Assessment and Innovation in Student Learning at Brandeis. This means that it is his job to constantly look for the most effective, lasting, and empowering methods to facilitate student learning. His style is very unique, in my experience, and I know that I am not alone in wishing that more professors shared his dedication to the advancement of student thinking.

     Therefore, I was incredibly surprised when I visited Merriconeag’s freshman science class the other day and encountered the same critical-thinking based learning environment that is created by my ecology professor. Here were fourteen-year-olds embracing a critical-thinking approach to science that challenged some of the top students of a respected university! For those whose scientific training has primarily consisted of attending and recording fact-packed lectures, it can be a shock to enter a classroom where the answers - and, more importantly, the process used to reach them - are neither announced nor written on the board. Instead, students are merely provided with the tools and building blocks necessary to reach the answers on their own, through careful thought and discussion. The teacher serves as a guide and mentor, rather than a delivery unit for pre-processed conclusions. Though this process may appear slow, it allows the students to fully understand why the correct answer (or set of possible answers) is true and to logically defend/employ it as a concept.

     In my opinion, the sooner a student is immersed in this sort of environment and learns how to utilize his or her critical thinking skills, the more equipped he or she is to engage with the world at a personal level. Therefore, I could not have been more excited about watching a group of high school freshman use their own logic and observations to explore the phenomenon of specific heat, making deductions and testing hypotheses both as individuals and a group. I feel blessed that my younger sister has the opportunity to receive this sort of education, and I have no doubt that it will serve her well when she continues on to college. I wish that every high school student had the opportunity to be challenged to think in this way before he or she ventured on to employment or higher education. Charlotte Oswald (Zoe Oswald's sister)


School Community Updates


Merriconeag Summer Camps for 2012:

This summer we will be offering two summer camps during the week of June 25 - 29, 9:00 a.m. - noon. If there is enough interest, we will consider offering an afternoon program like we did last year. We hope to have the registration forms ready in the next couple of days so please check the home page of the website for those.

Circus Arts Camp: This camp is for ages 8 - 12 (entering grades 3, 4, 5, 6). Campers will learn juggling, clowning, mime, pyramids, tightrope walking, character study and performance techniques. The camp will be led by John Saccone. Cost: $225.

Buttercup Summer Garden Camp: This camp is for ages 3.5 - 6. Campers are lovingly held in a gentle, nature-filled environment that immerses them in magical play and discovery. There is lots of time for crafts, water play, the sandbox, walking woodland paths, and playing games. The camp will be led by Jessica Moore. Cost: $175.


Sign-up Time for the Spring Pizza Session: The spring pizza session consists of eight weeks beginning March 30th and ending June 1st. Sign up for pizza will be for the entire session only.

     Pizza choices will be cheese, pepperoni, and pesto, and the cost will be $2.00 per slice. The total cost of one slice of pizza per week during the winter session will be $16.00. As in prior years, students in grades 4-8 and faculty will have the chance to participate during the spring session.

    Students will have the option to omit or skip a pizza day in the case of a known or anticipated absence (i.e., Pentathlon or Dr.’s appointment). Please provide the date(s) of known absences. Adjustments or refunds cannot be made for unanticipated or last minute absences.

     Pizza order forms will be given to all students in grades 4-8. To order pizza for the spring session, please either complete the order form that was sent home with your child or print the form below. Please return the order form with cash or check (made payable to MWS) to the basket outside the 7th grade classroom no later than Wednesday, March 21st. Click here for pizza order form. Questions? Call Nancy Goldberg, 865-1961


Simplicity Parenting:

     It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Simplicity Parenting talk last Tuesday. We are planning a follow up Parent Enrichment Coffee shortly and we will keep you posted as to that date.

     In the meantime, we continue to have some of Kim's CD's available for sale in the Early Childhood Office. Please call, 865-3900 Ext. 105 or stop by the EC office if you are interested.

     On the Simplicity Parenting website (simplicityparenting.com) you can sign up to receive their montly newsletter, connect to The Power of Less Blog, find support materials for book groups, as well as on-line programs and information about Simplicity Parenting Group Leader Certification.


Photos for Funds: Tricia Toms, an EC and grade school parent, volunteers as our school photographer. She donates 50% of net photo sales to support tuition assistance. Photos from school events have been updated and are on her website: http://triciatoms.zenfolio.com/merriconeag. Check it out today!


Craft Afternoons with Sandy Pearson:

Wednesdays 3:30- 5:00 p.m. in the new Handcraft Building
These afternoons are for parents, friends of the school, and 4th graders and up. Please sign up with Lisa in the Grade School office. Please note: If childcare is an obstacle, please contact Lisa in the grades school office - there are plenty of sitters available. (officemanager@merriconeag.org).

Wednesday, March 14, 21: Crochet Hats

Enjoy crocheting a hat in new spring colors. Beginners welcome. Yarn and pattern supplied. Bring a size "J" crochet hook. Limit: 12 participants. $25.


The Quigg Family's phone number has changed. Their land line, 207-865-3585, is no longer in service. Please use their cell phone numbers


Read (Listen to or Watch) This


Waldorf Education in China
China starts to question strict schooling methods.
By Neil Connor (AFP) Google News, 11 hours ago.



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