September 30, 2016
Mason High School Named One of Best in Nation

U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., announced today that William Mason High School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. MHS is one among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor.

Watch MHS students celebrate the announcement.

Schools are usually recognized in one of two categories - closing a wide gap between low- and high-performing students, or, as with MHS, exemplary high performance over a five-year period.

MHS Principal Dave Hyatt said there are many things that make Mason High School special, but the school is particularly proud of its culture that empowers student voice.

The largest high school in Ohio, MHS creates big opportunities for each of our 3,500 students to lead their learning, find their niche, and hone their passions.  MHS students are securing patents, starting businesses, serving others, and speaking out.

"Our high school is very honored to be recognized for the greatness that is happening as our students, staff and families grow together. The award is not only for our school but the entire Mason community," said Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Mason City Schools superintendent.

Kist-Kline, Hyatt and a MHS teacher chosen by the high school staff, Tim King, will represent Mason High School at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their hard-won achievements.

Read more 
about MHS as One of the Best!
22 MHS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Mason High School celebrates the achievement of 22 of its students who were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Competition for 2017.

MHS Principal Dave Hyatt congratulated the students on their accomplishment. "We're extremely proud of these Mason High School students. They have made a huge impact on their teachers, on their classmates, and are poised to make a huge impact on the world. When I think about the future, I know that with students like these at the helm, we are in great hands."

The students will be recognized by the Board of Education on October 25.

Learn more about  who earned Semifinalist status.
34 MHS Seniors Named National Merit Commended Students

Thirty-four Mason High School seniors have been named Commended Students in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

"All of these students are extremely talented and hard working," said MHS principal Dave Hyatt

The National Merit commended scholars, 22 semi-finalists , and three Hispanic scholars , will be honored during the Board of Education meeting on October 25.

Learn more about who earned Commended Status.
MI Fifth Graders Explore Ecosystems in Muddy Creek

Every one of MI's 817 fifth graders are studying the ecosystem of Muddy Creek,
a small tributary of the 
Miami River located behind Banana Leaf Restaurant in downtown Mason. The students have been finding tons of life in the water including crayfish, leeches, dragonfly nymphs, riffle beetles, gilled snails, and caddis fly larvae. They report that our community is pretty lucky because they're finding lots of organisms that are sensitive to pollution - which means we have a very clean creek!

Fifth grade MI teacher Maddy Rossetti worked with retired MMS Guidance Counselor  Rod King at Ohio Scenic Rivers to set up a walking field trip for her Team Aspire fifth grade science classes last spring. The experience was so rewarding, each of the school's 21 science classes chose to participate in the outdoor exploration of Muddy Creek from September 12 through October 21.

Read more about the Muddy Creek exploration.
Three MHS Students Recognized as National Hispanic Scholars

Congratulations to Mason High School seniors Jose Martinez, Derek Morales and   David Raufman who were selected as National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars. This year, the program recognized roughly 5,000 outstanding Hispanic/Latino students of the 250,000 who take the test nationwide. Qualifications for recognition were based on critical reading, mathematics and writing scores on the 2015 PSAT and a minimum GPA of 3.5. In addition, recipients of this honor must be Hispanic or Latino in origin.

"We are proud of David, Derek, and Jose's accomplishment of being named as scholars in this prestigious program," says Dave Hyatt, MHS Principal.

Read more about the National Hispanic Scholars.
OH Report Card Release Illuminates Need for State Testing/Reporting Reform

The Mason City School District takes accountability seriously. Our community sets high expectations for our children, and we are committed to delivering the kind of high quality education our community expects. That's why we use many different data points to guide our classroom instruction. We examine the results from locally developed assessments (things like unit assessments, and formative assessments), standardized tests (like ACT, PSAT, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), Advanced Placement) and state tests.

The individual results of the 2016 Ohio State Tests were released in June, and Mason City Schools teachers and administrators are reviewing students' results along with other measures of growth and achievement that are benchmarked to curriculum standards. Information from all these sources inform instructional plans and guide individualized support and enrichment to help all students be successful.

In contrast, the 2016 Ohio Report Card grades released are less helpful. This year's grades are based on three different versions of state assessments in three years, rendering year-to-year comparisons impossible. While the report grade itself seems simple (A-F), the 30 different calculations to arrive at that grade are anything but simple. The grades leave plenty of room for statistical error, yet no standard deviation is even reported.

Read more about the need for State Testing/Reporting Reform.
Focus on MCS Goals: Personalized Learning 

MECC Students Personalize Their Own Learning Goals
Over twenty years ago, the Mason School District's motto was "Where Each Student is Important." That motto uses a key word that still resonates today - each. No matter what, our district has always tried to stay focused on the needs of each of our learners. Today, however, Mason teachers and administrators are setting goals to go further. Over the next five years, our educators will personalize their students' learning which will give each student the opportunity to design a personal learning plan.

Some Mason educators are already helping their students to personalize their learning. On September 28, Mason Early Childhood Center teacher Kelly Bello gathered her first graders on the carpet in her room to talk about goal-setting. She shared how to set goals, and then led her students through an exercise to evaluate their writing during writing workshop, in order to set their own personal writing goals. MECC uses Columbia University's Writer's Workshop where our teachers act as a mentor author - modeling writing techniques and conferring with students as they move through the writing process.

"Even first graders can take charge of their learning and set personal learning goals for areas they recognize as needs," says Krissy Hufnagel, Innovative Learning Coach.

Read more about MECC's Personalized Learning.
Mason City Schools Calls for Ohio to Reduce State Testing to ESSA Fed Minimums

The Mason City School District joins other area districts that are members of the Greater
 Cincinnati School Advocacy Network (GCSAN) in voicing concern that Ohio continues to overreach in state testing. The call is simple: "Ohio should not enact any legislation or regulations in addition to the federal minimum requirements of ESSA [Every Student Succeeds Act]," Mason City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline said.

"It is time to reduce the amount of state testing, and let our local communities hold us accountable to the high standards that they set for their public schools," said Kist-Kline.

Read more about the Call to Reduce State Testing.
High Fives to...

... Mason Mayor Victor Kidd, who recently visited with third graders in Mrs. Ertle, Savage, Scalfaro, Conway, Toth, Suer and Marotta's classes. He answered questions like "Is it stressful to be the Mayor?" [sometimes], "What's your favorite part?" [probably getting to meet constituents like you!] and "Can kids can get coffee at Kidd Coffee?" [if their parents say yes :)].

... Mark Sullivan who has been selected by the Ohio High School Swimming and Diving Coaches Association as Ohio's Coach of the Year: Girls Swimming and Diving. We appreciate all that Coach Sullivan does for our Comets in the pool and in the classroom!

... all the MECC families who "passed the hat" to raise money for the MECC PTO. All those funds support Leveled Readers and Building Wide Technology Enhancement, Schoolhouse Symphony, Art Reach Performance and Responsive Classroom Training/Columbia University Partnership!

... MHS Boys Soccer Coach Paul Reedy, whose win over Colerain last night meant his 300th career win. He's building a powerful legacy, but we especially appreciate the integrity and character he models and expects from his team!

... MMS students, staff, and families, who did an awesome job of "Taking it to the House!" The 2nd Walk-a-Thon to support the MMS House System and the Mason Schools Foundation raised over $18,000 - which resulted in an awesome day where all 1,827 MMS students did a 2-mile walk that ended with a huge pep assembly featuring Dodgeball games between the Houses! 

Harpen Named Kiwanis September Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Ellie Harpen was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's September Student of the Month. Harpen was nominated by MHS school psychologist Jeff Schlaeger.

On September 15, the Kiwanis Club presented Harpen with $50 and a certificate commemorating her achievement. Harpen's mom Fran Harper, grandmother Pat Schroeder, assistant principal Dion Reyes, and nominating teacher Schlaeger joined the Kiwanians in recognizing Harpen's accomplishments. The Mason Kiwanis Club meets weekly at noon at the Houston Restaurant in Mason.

Read more about the Kiwanis September SOM.
Mason High School Gears Up for Homecoming

Mason High School Homecoming Parade 
Mason High School and the community will celebrate school spirit with a traditional homecoming parade on Thursday, October 6 at 6:30pm.

Two years ago, MHS's Student Government Association (StuGo) decided to resurrect the tradition in order to spread Comet spirit throughout the community. The parade will feature student-made floats from each class, Mason alumni, the homecoming court, and many student groups. Bring your family and friends to celebrate!

When: Thursday, October 6
Parade staging begins at Rose Hill Cemetery at 5:30 p.m.
Parade begins at 6:30 p.m.

Route : Cross Mason-Montgomery Road onto Foxfield Drive and continue along Foxfield Drive past Mason High School bus circle. Turn right onto Nixon Park Drive and continue down Nixon Park Drive, ending in the first parking lot across from the Mason High School softball field.

Parade Viewing :  Along the bike path of Foxfield Drive and Nixon Park Drive

Parking : Mason High School, Mason Middle School, Mason Intermediate or Mason Municipal Center

Mason High School Homecoming Game
Come cheer on the Long Green Line as they take on Fairfield High School. Watch our 300-member Band and Color Guard perform their halftime show, and celebrate the 2016 Homecoming Court.

When: Friday, October 7, 2016, 7:00PM

Mason High School Homecoming Dance

When: Saturday, October 8, 2016 8:00PM - 11:30PM MMS Arena
Students must have tickets and student ids, and must arrive at homecoming by 9:00pm. Students leaving prior to 10:30pm will have to sign out.  Once a student leaves, he or she is not permitted back inside.  

Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at