April 12, 2016
Welcome to Mason City Schools' e-Newsletter that highlights happenings in   Logo the Mason City School District.

For information, email Tracey Carson at carsont@masonohioschools.com.
Quality Profile Gives Fuller Picture of High Quality Schools

Many Mason City Schools students are taking state tests this week - and we appreciate them "showing what they know!" However, our district understands that the full measure of a high quality education goes way beyond state tests. Watch Dr. Gail Kist-Kline present the final video in the district's Quality Profile Series. Watch Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, present the final video in the district's Quality Profile Series .

Read more about the Quality Profile.
Record Number of MHS Speech & Debaters Headed to Nationals 

The MHS Speech and Debate Team achieved a new record-breaking number of national qualifiers to attend the National Speech & Debate Association's (NSDA) National Tournament in Salt Lake City this June. Seven MHS students qualified and four others were chosen as alternates to the nation's top speech and debate competition.

View the list of national qualifiers.

"I am so very proud of these students! They have achieved many state and national-level accomplishments already this season, and I can't wait to see what these team members will do in Salt Lake City!" said Coach Melissa Donahue.

MCSD Asks OH to Pare Back State Tests When Authorizing ESSA

The Mason City School District is joining other school districts in the Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network and the Alliance for High Quality in Education in calling for Ohio to pare back state tests when authorizing the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)- which replaces No Child Left Behind.

"We appreciate the increased rigor of the new learning standards, and are satisfied with Ohio's Learning Standards in math and English language arts," explains Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Superintendent. However, I continue to have concerns about Ohio's accountability system - and the Ohio Department of Education's commitment to use the Every Child Succeeds Act as an opportunity to give relief from the state driven over testing of children."

There has been an overemphasis on testing at the federal and state level. It is time to give back control of assessing students' learning and teacher and principal effectiveness to local school boards - the elected officials closest to the students in their community.

"After three years with three different sets of tests in Ohio, it is time to re-think how the state holds schools accountable. I recommend that Ohio engage in the minimum amount of testing required under ESSA," suggests Kist-Kline.

This could mean reducing the number of subjects tested at each grade level, and administering the nationally-normed ACT to all high school students for assessment of English, mathematics, reading science, and writing - rather than end-of-course exams.

The opportunity presented by ESSA to return control of educational decisions to State and Local officials is one that must not be squandered.  By partnering with local boards of education, superintendents, and educators, Ohio has the chance to rebuild bridges of trust and truly create an assessment and accountability system that works for Ohio's children, families and educators.

Share your thoughts about ESSA with the Ohio Department of Education.
Yempati's Art Earns National Recognition 

Mason Middle School is proud to announce that Tiya Yempati has earned national recognition in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  A panel of creative professionals identified the seventh grader as one of the most talented young artists in the nation for her charcoal, pastel and paper work, "Race Does Not Determine What You Celebrate."  As a result, Yempati was awarded a Silver Medal for her art.

"Tiya's work was one of only 2,400 works from across our nation to receive a National Medal! We are so proud of her," shared her art teacher, Rita Shriver Schehr.

Read more about the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
5 Mason Students Preparing to Make History at OH National History Day Competition

Four Mason Middle School students and a Mason High School student will represent the Comets in Ohio's National History Day Competition on April 30 at Ohio Wesleyan.

MMS students Aadi Pallerla (Website-Commodore Matthew Perry), Pardhu Namburi (Exhibit-Marco Polo), Tejas Srinivasan (Documentary - 1973 Oil Embargo), Manwinder Singh (Website - Mycenaean History), and MHS student Akhil Pallerla (Website - Apollo 11 and the Space Age) all qualified for the state competition based on their performance at regionals.

The MMS National History Day Advisor is Erin White . "I am very proud of our students!  This year's theme was challenging, but these students really rose to the occasion," shared White.

Read more about National History Day.
Mason Heroes Inspire Successful MI Fundraiser for LLS

Leukemia and Lymphoma have hit too close to home for many in the Mason City Schools community. Members of Mason Intermediate School's Team Innovation, Team Quest and Team Venture recently honored their friends and heroes who have battled blood cancer by donating $7,260.74 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

During the fundraising kick-off event on February 26, students were introduced to honored hero and survivor Ella Boynton, four year old of 6th grade math teacher, Amy Boynton.  Ella was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age two and completed her treatment this past August.
The teams also honored two seventh grade students who are survivors as well: Ben Terribilini, diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia while in sixth grade and Maya Collins who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia when she was seven.
Students on the teams earned incentives which included a March 11 visit from local shaved ice and ice cream shop, Kona Ice. Kona Ice donated 50 percent of their proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), so the Teams were able to raise $2,654 through the company's partnership.

Read more about the  MI LLS Fundraiser .
Mason High School, Mason Middle School and Mason Intermediate School families have raised over $70,000 for LLS this school year.
MCS DI Teams Have Strong Showing at Regionals:
4 MCS Teams Next Destination? State!

The Mason City Schools Destination Imagination Teams had an amazing showing at the regional competition held at Miami University on March 19.  Four teams placed first, and many teams won special awards and recognitions - including the Spirit of DI Award, The Renaissance Award, and the Da Vinci Award. 

The first place finishers will advance to the 2016 Ohio Destination Imagination State Tournament on April 16.

Read more about the MCS DI teams at Regionals.
MMS Scientists Qualify for State Science Day 

Eight Mason Middle School students' science research scored among the best of the best to qualify to compete at State Science Day hosted by The Ohio State University on May 14. These scientists brought in over $7,000 in awards at the University of Cincinnati Regional Science Fair.

Saputra's Book-for-A-Cure Fundraiser Continues to Support Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Mason High School sophomore Natasha Saputra delivered more than $1,500 worth of books, toys and board games to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital during the fifth year of her Book-for-A-Cure Fundraiser. Saputra founded the fundraiser while in sixth grade as part of the Mason Intermediate ACT Problem Solving Project.

To date, Natasha has raised over $7,500 worth of books and board games for Cincinnati Children's Hospital. She plans to continue this fundraiser year-after-year.

Read more about Book-for-A-Cure.
High Fives to... 
... the Mason High School Wind Symphony, who was  invited to perform at the 70th annual international Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago this December. The Midwest Clinic is among the most prestigious events for bands in the entire world!


the MHS Baseball Team, who is celebrating their 80th Anniversary this year! We look forward to watching this year's Comets represent the 45040 and a strong tradition of excellence!

... the MI-300 wing, who rocked their socks on 3/21/16 in support of World Down Syndrome Day.  This year's theme was #MyFriendsMyCommunity -  highlighting the importance of inclusive environments to prepare all of today's children with and without Down syndrome for life as tomorrow's adults!

... the staff, student & community volunteers, who braved the cold (and snow!) to volunteer for last Saturday's Mason Serves . Western Row Elementary Environmental Science Area is now spruced up and ready for students to do hands-on learning, and the Mason Food Pantry has more donations after an incredible Empty Bowls event!

... MHS Athletic Director Scott Stemple , who recently received the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award. The award is presented to an individual who is a role model for others, exemplifies an unwavering commitment to good sportsmanship, reflects a high level of ethics and integrity and teaches positive values by words and deeds. 
Van Kleunen Named Kiwanis March Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Lauren Van Kleunen was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's March Student of the Month. Van Kleunen was nominated by MHS Science teacher Randy Hubbard.

"Lauren is a tremendous young lady. She is setting a strong example of how to be a true student-athlete. Lauren is not only one of the best women's basketball players in the state, but she is also a tremendous student who works hard every day both in the classroom and on the court. Lauren is a true example of what a student and an athlete should be," shared Hubbard.

The starting center on the state runner-up MHS basketball team, Van Kleunen will play basketball at Marquette University in the fall.

Read more about the Kiwanis Student of the Month.
MMS March Students of the Month
Mason Middle School is proud to announce the March Students of the Month.

They are: Zoe Anello, Kylie Dennison, Lowri Dunkirk, Sailor Gibson, Carson Howard, Liberty Messer, Sruthi Parthasarathi, Kathryn Peck, Raghav Raj, Emily Saunders, Bhavna Sirakumar, Alec Stentz, Cage Tatman, Caitlin Westring, John Whitmore and Rhodas Yemaneab.

About Mason Middle School Students of the Month
Students of the Month are selected for showing good character. This month's character spotlight was Sensitivity.  Students celebrate their accomplishment with their teachers, principals and parents during a breakfast in their honor that is sponsored by the Mason Kiwanis Club.
MHS Recognizes March Rotary Royalty  

Congratulations to the 34 Mason High School students who were recognized as March's Rotary Royalty by the Mason Deerfield Rotary Club.  Four times a year, teachers nominate students who demonstrate one or more of the following criteria: positive attitude and enthusiasm; determination and effort; good attendance; and strong decision-making and choices.  

All nominees are recognized by Rotary members and presented with a certificate, and one student is randomly selected to attend a Rotary breakfast and receive a $25 Amazon gift card.   Vijee Vasanth was this quarter's recipient of the $25 Amazon gift card. At the end of the school year, one student will be named the Rotary Student of the Year and receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

View the list of nominated students.
Mason High School Performing Arts Presents My Fair Lady

On April 28, 29, 30, and May 1, Mason High School Performing Arts will present My Fair Lady in the MHS Auditorium. Curtain on the April 28 performance is at 7 pm, on April 29 and 30 at 8pm, and on May 1 at 3 pm.

Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for students, children and seniors.  All senior citizen Mason Golden Comet Card holders are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on April 27 at 7pm free of charge, or can reserve a limited number of free tickets by calling the Public Information Office at 398-0474, option 7 .  Tickets will be available at the door one hour before curtain, or online at  www.showtix4u.com . Links and additional information can be found at www.masondrama.com .

My Fair Lady features a cast of fifty Mason High School students and features Cara Severson as Eliza Doolittle, Brandon Cole as Henry Higgins, Sam Terribilini as Col. Pickering, James Oden as Alfred Doolittle, and Drew Stidham as Freddie Ensford-Hill. The show is stage-managed by Ri Moodie , assistant directed by Rebekah Cychosz and Matt Berman , assistant choreographed by Michelle Guiot , and assistant technical directed by Matt Slussher . Including performers, instrumentalists and technicians, well over 100 students have contributed their talents to this show.  The play is produced by special agreement with Tams-Whitmark, New York, NY.  My Fair Lady is suitable for general audiences.

Read more about the MHS production of My Fair Lady.
MMS, MHS Conversations: Parenting in the Digital Age

Many Mason families are interested in (and maybe even a little bit concerned about) their kids' digital lives.

On  Wednesday, April 27,  Mason City Schools and the MMS PTO will host a family conversation about raising healthy kids in today's digital world.

Come be part of the conversation about children's media and technology use. We will focus on:
  • establishing a positive digital footprint and managing your digital reputation
  • protecting privacy
  • cyberbullying, "digital drama" & other dilemmas.
Hear from your school counselors and principals, School Resource Officer Karli Dyer, and Student Assistance Coordinator Megan Cameron. Then, join fellow parents in discussing challenges and opportunities in our community.

DATE: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
TIME: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
LOCATION: Mason High School Small Commons
6100 Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason OH 45040
RSVP: Please RSVP  by April 25, 2016

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