November 7, 2016
Quality Profile

Quality Profile 2016

Mason City Schools recently released our fourth Quality Profile , a robust companion to the state's Local Report Card.

The Quality Profile helps characterize the overall educational value of public education beyond standardized testing by including additional accountability measures that define a high-quality education. The sections reflect what our community says really matters: Academics, Finances, Innovation, Safety, Partnerships, and the Whole Child. The Quality Profile also includes goals for improvement in each area. You can see all of the district's 2016 priorities and goals here .

We'd love to know what you think! Send your feedback or questions to .
MMS Stands with Wounded Vet, UFC Fighter to "Say Something" About Bullying

Keeping our schools safe means growing students who stand up to bullies, and who are not afraid to ask for help if they have a mental health concern. To end #SaySomething Call to Action Week, Mason Middle School Comets participated in a powerful anti-bullying assembly on October 28.

Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) veteran Tom Murphy and Iraq war veteran Rick Yarosh' s energetic and interactive presentation focused on victims and bullies, and the bystanders who can be empowered to make a difference.

"It is important that we give actionable information to our kids about bullying. They need tools in their toolbox to say something - to do something - to stand up for their classmates and be upstanders, not bystanders," shared MMS Principal Tonya McCall .

Read more about the anti-bullying assembly.
MI 5th Graders Raising Money for LLS Cure

LLS Fundraiser
Leukemia and Lymphoma are personal in Mason City Schools. While there are many Mason student and staff warriors fighting these diseases, there are also many Comets committed to finding a cure.  

Recently, the 500 Wing at Mason Intermediate supported fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A penny war between each homeroom in the wing was held October 3-7, and culminated with a team-wide Friday Freetime celebration. The donation, which totaled $1,962.74, was sent to the LLS Light the Night Walk on October 13.

"We've recently learned that our team's fifth grade gifted teacher, Lynne Hutchinson , has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.  Also, Liz Fiehrer , our fifth grade reading teacher, is a leukemia cancer survivor.  Plus we have students in our wing who are currently battling this terrible disease as well," said MI fifth grade Language Arts and Science teacher Cheri Hawkins .

MI 6th Graders Apply Scientific Method to Consumer Challenge
Consumer Challenge

Mason Intermediate sixth grade scientists recently worked in small research teams to challenge the claims of products available to consumers. From head-to-head cleaning challenges to discovering just which brand of paint dries faster, students took the lead in their learning by investigating their world using the scientific method.

"The Consumer Challenge is an annual student run science investigation where students choose a product to test, create an investigation for testing the product, conduct the experiment, and then analyze the data collected," shared MI science teacher Chris Anderson .

Read more about the Consumer Challenge.
MI Team Success Hosts Toothpaste Drive
Team Success Toothpaste Drive
During the last two weeks in October, Mason Intermediate School's Team Success teamed up with local charity Bake Me Home for a toothpaste drive that will contribute to the charity's "Tote Bag Program." During the campaign, MI sixth graders brought in 250 tubes of toothpaste.

"This seems like something simple to do, but it can make a big difference for a homeless family," said Team Success sixth grader Adrian Jacobs .

Students empathized with families who might be undergoing financial hardship, and reflected about how personal care products are instrumental for families to have dignity and respect.

The teen founders of Bake Me Home presented to Team Success students on Oct. 13 about how they began their own charitable organization. 

The students were moved by seeing the impact of the teens' charity work.

"A lot of people think kids can't do big things. But this is an example where kids can do big stuff and help make a different," said sixth grader Sanjana Nair, who brought in five tubes of toothpaste during the drive. "Even though this started out as a team fundraiser, I think our bigger lesson is that we can do acts of kindness even when it is over. You don't need a reward to do good things. You keep doing good things because it makes YOU feel good!"

Read more about the "Tote Bag Program."
MHS English Teacher Named Library's Writer-in-Residence 
Kurt Dinan

Mason High School English and creative writing teacher Kurt Dinan was named the Cincinnati Library Foundation's New Writer-in-Residence on Friday, October 21.

As the Writer-in-Residence, Dinan will conduct a writers' workshop, speak at community events, host a podcast, write a blog and participate in Library promotions during his residency from October 2016-September 2017, in which he will also receive a $10,000 stipend for his time and efforts as the Writer-in-Residence.

A father of four, Dinan also serves as the advisor for the MHS yearbook, and has published many short stories including Blink and Don't Get Caught . Dinan will make his first public appearance as the Library Foundation Writer-in-Residence at the Main Library's Popular Library Lounge on Tuesday, November 15 at 7 pm when he will read from Don't Get Caught and answer questions.

Read more about Kurt Dinan.
Teacher/Author Inspires MI 4th Graders & Their Teachers 
Author Visit

Mason Intermediate fourth graders once again welcomed author Rob Buyea to their classrooms to discuss writing skills, and to lead students through a guided writing lesson.

MI language arts teachers guided their students through Buyea's book, Because of Mr. Terupt , during the character unit of study. In this unit, students learned how a person's actions reflect their character and what motivates them to act a certain way.

"We emphasized theme at the end of the unit, as students were able to pull deeper life lessons based on the book character's struggles and how they changed because of their teacher," explained fourth grade Language Arts teacher Christine Work , who helped bring Buyea to Mason. "Thus far, my homeroom has identified at least 12 different themes!"

After Buyea's presentation he led students through a guided writing lesson, where traits of each character from the book were discussed. He then had students write a new scene using a current school project, but in the voice of one of the familiar characters in Because of Mr. Terupt.

"We are grateful to the PTO for funding his visit and look forward to future plans with Rob Buyea!" added Work.

Read more about Rob Buyea's visit to MI.
MCS Gives Back During Make a Difference Week

Make a Difference Week
During this season of giving thanks, students, staff and families in Mason City Schools are reflecting on their blessings, and their responsibility to give back. The district recently concluded its Make A Difference Week efforts during the week of October 17.

Our five Mason schools sponsored various drives to support our local community and celebrate "neighbors helping neighbors".  Donations poured in at the end of the week with an amazing turnout, in thanks to the incredible generosity of Mason students and families.

"A special thank you goes out to the Make a Difference Day chairs and student advisors - Roman Malloy, Jennifer Leichman, Melissa DeBrosse, Joy Fowler, Amanda Davenport, and Nicole Paxton - whose leadership, vision and work ethic are unparalleled, and to the many, many volunteers who helped out each day," shared Laurie Mitroff, the coordinator of Make a Difference Week. "Lastly, thanks to the Mason school community who so enthusiastically supports Make a Difference Day each and every year."

Check out what each school collected.
MI Students Participate in Camp Read-A-Lot

The 40 Book Challenage
Students in Mason Intermediate Fourth Grade Gifted Intervention Specialists Liz Dooley and Amy Hammond's classes are participating in Camp Read-A-Lot: The 40 Book Challenge!

"This reading challenge is about having fun, trying new genres, encouraging young readers, and collecting beads along the way!" Hammond says.

Students then complete an online blog for each book they read. The blog is a letter to the author, including two stars (things they liked) and one wish (something that they wish the author had done differently). 

An online bead request form is completed for items such as reading the first book, finishing the first book of each genre, completing a teacher's challenge book, participating in genre master: (one who reads every genre), and for completing the 40 Book Challenge. The Blogger Of The Week receives a star-shaped bead.

Read more about The 40 Book Challenge.
MHS Students Compete in Model UN Competition
Model UN Competition
Model United Nations in the Cincinnati area is growing! On Saturday, October 29, the Mason High School Model United Nations team attended WyoMUN III at Wyoming High School, with a much larger turnout than the previous year.

Cincinnati area middle schools and high schools participated in the event, as students debated issues in the United Nations format. Session topics varied widely from a Game of Thrones mock discussion, to deciding on the future of OTR, to conversations on China's current governmental legacy in transition.

MHS Honors English II teacher TJ Wilson is the MHS MUN advisor. 

View the MHS students recognized for their hard work and dedication to the Model UN Conference.
MI Team Venture Cleans School Environmental Study Area 
Team Venture

Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Venture volunteered to clean the school's Environmental Study Area on September 24. 

Students and parents spent a Saturday morning trimming, weeding, and mulching the butterfly garden to prepare the area for the school's academic activities to take place throughout the year.  The City of Mason provided the mulch from trimmings they pick up in area neighborhoods.

The Environmental Study Area is located behind the Mason Intermediate 4/5 building. Mason teachers created this area in 1993 to use as an outdoor site for environmental learning.  Through the process of succession, it has gone from a grassy field, to a place of environmental biodiversity.  Over the years, many features have been added, including walking paths, bird boxes and feeders, pine trees, a pond, and outdoor classrooms.  

High Fives to...

... the MECC PTO , who hosted an AMAZING standing-room only Trunk or Treat for Comet families. This event, in its second year, has become a beloved tradition that celebrates families and fun! We promise you won't stop smiling if you visit our Facebook album of some of the cutest characters you've ever seen. Congrats, also, to the incredibly creative Aaron & Tina Roberts Family who took the "best trunk" prize with their stunning Hogwarts recreation!

... MHS's Peyton Krell , who produced  this poignant video that was shown to every MHS student as part of Red Ribbon Week and Say Something Call to Action Week. We encourage everyone - students, staff, parents, community members - to say something if you are ever concerned about a student or school's safety. "Saving a life is worth a broken promise."  

... Cincinnati Opera, who performed a student-friendly version of the Barber of Seville forMason Middle School Comets  who are in choir. The performance was paid for with the proceeds that came from winning last year's Jeff and Jenn Q102 Christmas Choir Competition, so many thanks to all of the folks who voters for our 2015 MMS Women's Choir!


... MHS's Maanasa Mendu, who continues to attract international attention as America's Top Young Scientist! Check out her interview with BBC World News  where she shares about her bio-energy energy device, called Harvest, that converts energy from wind, rain and the sun into power.

...the WR PTO, who held a very well-attended Pumpkin Carving Night for second and third graders and their families! So many pumpkins, pumpkin guts, AND smiling faces!!!

... MI's Team Imagination, who put together thank you treats for our police and firefighters. We are grateful to our first responders who do so much to make our community a safe, great place to live, work, and learn!
Kiwanis Honors 29 MHS Students for Making a Difference 

On October 25, Red Robin was filled with Mason High School students who are making a difference. The Kiwanis of Mason, in cooperation with Mason City Schools, held its triennial "Making a Difference" lunch to honor students who may not be consistently recognized, but who have shown leadership and academic excellence.

"Making a Difference" rewards students who show initiative and resolve by improving their class performance through outstanding attitude and effort. Students who serve as role models to others by displaying persistence, fortitude, and courtesy are chosen for this award and receive lunch courtesy of Kiwanis.

The MHS honored students were: Nick Agricola, Zach Bates, Jack Bohls, Noelle Champagne, Samantha Childress, Katy Clossen, Ayden Crowley, Danielle Fisher, John Groene, Paige Hacker, Jenna Helkey, Alex Jordan, McKenna Killion, Alison Kyselica, Aniya Longmire, Emily McAtee, Katie Moseley, Josh Mullins, Nikki Richardson, Dilyara Sabirdjanova, Kohei Sakai, Cora Scully, Olivia Simendinger, Tommy Statzer, Jonathan Stevens, Sara Tadros, Emily Theuring, Francesca Wehr, and Lindsay Welage.
MI K-Kids, MMS Builder's Club, MHS Key Club, Mason Kiwanis Pancake Day November 12 

WR to Hold Wacky Carnival November 12 

Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at