January 21, 2019
Come ReIMAGINE Learning
Mason City Schools will launch a series of ReIMAGINE Learning Sessions to engage our entire community about how we continue doing the things that make our district special and strong - while reimagining learning to ensure that our schools develop the whole child.

We will ask four core questions at the January 28th ReiMagine Learning Launch:
  • How do we make big schools feel small?
  • What experiences do you want for our community’s children?
  • Which skills are “must haves” for our Mason grads?
  • How should your school district partner with parents, businesses, and the local and global community?

“I’ve loved being a part of so many important CommUNITY Conversations - conversations where we can find common ground on our core values, and confront and solve difficult issues. I’m excited to enter this next chapter where we can co-create Mason City Schools future,” says Cooper. “This is a journey, and I’m grateful to join you, our students, and our staff as we reimagine what learning will look like in Mason in 2025.”

January 28 - ReiMagine Learning Launch & MECC Ribbon Cutting 6-8:00pm MECC
February 4 - Making Big Schools Feel Small 6:00-7:30pm MHS Large Commons
February 13 - Hopes & Dreams for Mason’s Children (Ideal Experiences) 6:00-7:30pm MHS Large Commons
February 28 - Profile of a Mason Grad (Needed Skills) 6:00-7:30pm MHS Large Commons
March 4 - Learning Partnerships 6:00-7:30pm MHS Large Commons
April 16- Mason Moonshots 6:00-7:30pm MHS Large Commons
MCS Seeks Family, Staff, Student Input on School Start Time Options: Final Decision Made by 2.1.19
On January 14, Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper hosted a Special Edition CommUNITY Conversation about school start times, and their impact on learners’ mental health. Over 800 people attended the CommUNITY Conversation in person, or by tuning in while it streamed live on Mason City Schools’ Facebook Page. Mason High School HOPE Squad members and Mason MIddle School students shared perspectives about peers’ mental health, and school start times’ impact.

The district presented a plan that would push back Mason Middle School and Mason High School start times by 30 minutes - and asked for input on two start time options. Cooper shared that a final decision about the start times would be made by the end of January.

Read more about the 19-20 School Start Times .
Comet Skippers Celebrate 15 Years
Fifteen years ago, Mike and Carmen Simpson moved with their three children, who were actively involved with jumprope, from Texas to Ohio. The Simpson's, who were coaches of the jumprope team the Hot Steppers in Grapevine, Texas, promised their children that they would start up a new team in Cincinnati upon arriving.

The family met with the Mason City Schools district in 2003, and with the backing of the District, the Comet Skippers of Mason, Ohio began.

The Simpsons retired from their coaching roles in 2015, but their jumprope legacy lives on.

"We've been overwhelmed from the beginning. Blessed in Mason to have 75 jumpers, and continue to grow each year," explained Comet Skippers head coach Yvonne Hill , who has been with the team for nine years, and head coach for five.

Read more about the Comet Skippers .
MMS Welcomes New Interim Assistant Principal
Javaris Powell is the new interim assistant principal at Mason Middle School. He will begin February 1, 2019, and replaces Assistant Principal Becky Cornett who resigned in December to pursue other career interests. Powell comes to the Mason City School District with a rich mixture of educational experiences that include success as a classroom teacher, administrator, and educational partnership manager.

“I am excited to work with the team to continue forging a path for academic excellence for the entire Mason learning community, and to support the efforts that have made the district a pillar of PreK-12 education in the state of Ohio," said Powell.
Read more about our new MMS AP, Powell .
Focus on Big Rock 1: Fourth Graders Hear 'ShaneTalks'
Shane DiGiovanna has never gone a day in his life without bandages. He was born with a rare skin condition known as EB or epidermolysis bullosa, which means his skin is so fragile just touching it could break it. Last month, Shane shared his story with Mason fourth grade students - encouraging them to ask questions and giving strategies for supporting friends who may not be exactly like them.

"When I went to a TED Talk at Mason High School in August, I just happened to sit in the front row right beside DiGiovanna," explained fourth grade Gifted Intervention Specialist Amy Hammond . "After the first few minutes of talking with him, he shared with me that he has his own website. I wanted to learn more about his story so I got to doing a little bit of research on his site."

Read more about ' ShaneTalks.'
MMS Students Empower Peers through Comet Closet
Empowerment, an elective eighth grade class for female students at Mason Middle School, is giving back through the creation of Comet Closet.

"Comet Closet was created to help students in need within our building," shared MMS Health/Physical Education teacher Kimberly Shaffer . "After speaking to our guidance department, we understood the financial disadvantage some of our students are facing. Behind the scenes they struggle with appropriate nutrition, finding comfortable clothing, and accessing required school items."

Armed with this knowledge, the students created a closet where students could grab the items or materials they need and keep them.

Read more about Comet Closet .
MHS Theater Presents Almost, Maine
On January 25 and 26, and February 1 and 2, Mason High School Theater will present the touching comedy, Almost, Maine , in the school’s intimate Studio Theater. Show times on each day is 8pm with an additional 3pm matinee on January 26. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students, children, and seniors. All senior citizens are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on January 24 at 7pm free of charge. 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.

Author Visits WR Fourth Graders
Author Sarah Albee recently visited Western Row fourth graders in the classroom of Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Christine Work. The presentation was funded by the WR PTO.

"During her hour-long presentation to each group of students, she used humor, enthusiasm, and willing participants to build the interest level of nonfiction and explain her writing, note-taking, and revising processes," shared Work.

Read more about Albee's visit to WR .
Mason Sixth Graders Brighten the Holiday Season for Local Elderly
Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Venture recently participated in a "Venture Out" service project that helped prepare hearts and minds for the holiday season.

A group of students, parents, and teachers visited the Mason Health Care Center after school in December. Students helped elderly residents at the center create a Christmas craft and sang carols with the residents as they worked.

Read more about MI's "Venture Out."
School Board Appoints 2019 Officers
During its organizational meeting on January 8, Mason City Schools board members re-appointed Matt Steele as president, and appointed Charles Galvin as vice-president for 2018.

Read more the 2019 BOE Meeting Dates .
MHS swimmer Joe Koenig and the Mason Swim family who continue raising funds and spirits of young people fighting cancer. #CometCulture #BigRock1
The INCREDIBLE snow artisans & athletes who built some pretty epic snow people and showed off some awesome sledding skills this winter. We love seeing this #MasonMoment! Check out some of your neighbor’s feats on our 1.13.19 Facebook post!
AP Physics students in Dee Dee Messer's classes created incredibly intricate rooms for MI 5th & 6th graders and district administrators to try to escape. Each escape room had 10 puzzles relating to a different area of science, and participants had 30 minutes to escape. Read The Chronicle Student Newspaper's coverage.
MHS history teacher Vance Reid was recently inducted into the SW OH Wrestling Association's Hall of Fame. Mr. Reid has had an incredible impact on thousands of wrestlers and coaches, has championed thousands of students, and put thousands of smiles on the faces of the people lucky enough to work with him!
For over 20 years, MHS Student Government has spearheaded an effort to bring holiday cheer to families with a child at Children's Hospital. This year, the school provided gifts for 114 patients or siblings. Watch LOCAL 12, WKRC-TV s coverage.
MI students in Nick Washington’s class who turned a math lesson into an opportunity to honor Dave Segrist - our beloved MI AP who lost his battle to cancer in 2011.

MI Team Quest sixth graders collected over 2,000 cans to help stock the Mason Food Pantry for the Holidays. What a great #MasonMoment for some families in our community!
The MECC, WR & MI readers who are ready to make the 2019 Reading Challenge the best ever! Can’t wait to see how you all Enjoy a #ReadingMoment! Visit the Mason Schools Foundation’s website for more details.
586 MHS Students Earn Perfect Attendance: 12 MHS Students Awarded GCCU Cash
During Mason High School’s first semester, 586 students were at school every day and earned a chance to win cash from the Greater Cincinnati Credit Union . This marks the twelfth year that GCCU has sponsored the Perfect Attendance Program at MHS. Russ Henry from GCCU presented $100 to each of the honorees. The company donates $1,200 each semester for twelve students who maintain perfect attendance. GCCU also provides lunch to the winners and their guests during the awards ceremony, which was held on Monday, December 3.

Read more about Perfect Attendance .
Riley Names Kiwanis December Student of the Month
Mason High School senior Kirsten Riley was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's December Student of the Month. Riley was nominated by MHS Language Arts teacher and STUGO advisor Betsy Carras .

“Kirsten Riley is AMAZING! As a senior in Student Government, she has made sure everything she has been in charge of has happened by amazing follow through! Even though she may have committee members helping her in some cases, she was always the one to make things happen!" shared Carras

Read more about the December SOM .
Celebrate Mason City Schools Diversity during the 11th Annual "Taste of Mason" on Feb. 6
Don’t miss the 11th anniversary of “Taste of Mason” - which showcases our community’s diversity!

WHAT: At the Taste of Mason you can sample a new dish, catch up with old friends, and be mesmerized by incredible talent! Enjoy exciting offerings from many ethnic, and independent Mason restaurants. Watch multicultural acts perform. Children can enjoy a global carnival hosted by MHS World Language Societies, and get their passports stamped while purchasing items at the Comet Zone with global currency from the Comet Savings & Loan.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

           5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

WHERE: Mason High School Commons

             6100 Mason-Montgomery Rd.
FOOD: The Mason City Schools Diversity Council’s eleventh annual Taste of Mason event features the finest global offerings from noted local vendors including:

  • Adesso Coffee
  • Chan’s Asian Wok
  • Divine Appetite Café
  • El Vaquero Mexican Cuisine
  • L’Crepe
  • Persis Biryani Indian Grill
  • Soho Japanese Bistro
  • Sweet’s Zone Bakery
  • The Mason Grill
  • Troy’s Café
  • Two Cities Pizza
  • Zona VIP Colombian Street Food
  • Zoup!
  • 20 Mile Deli
Call for Entries for "Honoring the Journey" CommUNITY Art Exhibit
Mason City Schools Diversity Council invites residents and students to enter a piece of art into our first “Honoring the Journey” CommUNITY art exhibit that takes inspiration from Dr. King’s words:

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Artists are encouraged to submit works of drawing, painting, ceramics, media arts, photography and poetry. Work chosen will be on display during a special Black History Month CommUNITY honoring the journey of local African-American leaders on Monday, February 11 from 6-8:00pm at Mason High School . Send art or questions to blackhistory@masonohioschools.com .
2019-20 Mason Kindergarten Registration Drive
The Mason Early Childhood Center’s 2019-2020 kindergarten registration is underway. The Pre-Registration meeting for Kindergarten 2019-2020 will be held on February 20, 2019 at the Mason Early Childhood Center located at 4631 Hickory Woods Drive. Packet sign out will be from 6:00pm-6:30pm followed by a general meeting from 6:30pm-7:30pm. This meeting is for parents only due to limited seating. If you are unable to attend this meeting, please visit the Mason Early Childhood Center at 4631 Hickory Woods Drive or our Central Registrar Office at 211 North East Street AFTER February 20 to sign out a registration packet.
Registration for kindergarten will be held in the MECC Gym on the following dates:
Wednesday, March 13                      6:00 - 8:00 pm
Thursday, March 21                   6:00 - 8:00 pm
**Only parents who register their child at the March 15 or March 21 meeting will be able to preference their child's kindergarten teacher.**

Looking for MCS District Science Fair Judges
The Mason City Schools Science Fair needs judges for 2019! The Thursday, January 31, 2019 event hosts over 100 middle school and high school students - all eager to interact with and learn from members of our community who are interested in science. If you are interested in helping judge Middle School or High School level projects, please fill out the survey.  
If you are interested in Middle School or High School level projects, please fill out the survey link below if you are willing to help judge our young scientists. This quick survey will allow a better pairing of judges. A confirmation letter with directions will be sent by email.
Science Fair Judges Survey
Where: Mason High School
When: January 31
Time: Please arrive by 3:30 Judging will begin promptly at 3:45
Dress: Business Casual
Food: Dinner provided. (Pizza, salad, and drinks)
Contact: Karen Young, youngk@masonohioschools.com