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Morris Area Elementary School

A note from Principal Ken Gagner

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November and early December have been very busy at Morris Area Schools.  We concluded our first “Invest in our Youth” fundraiser (see below) and celebrated parent-teacher conferences, a third and fourth grade music concert, a book fair, and skating at the Lee Community Center, among other things. I use the word celebrate because your children and the staff of Morris Area Schools make a great team! Enjoy the upcoming holiday season and remember the greatest gift you can provide someone is the gift of time. Play some games, read together, get outside, and enjoy each other’s company. Please feel free to contact me or stop in at your convenience; this is your school

1. The Morris Area Elementary “Invest in our Youth Fundraiser” was a success. The generosity in Morris and surrounding communities is truly amazing. I am humbled by the response and on behalf of the entire staff and students, we are truly grateful.  

In the past, every child in grades K-6 has been asked to contribute money or participate in fundraising at some point during the school year.  The money may have helped pay for a trip to the zoo, ski event, skating, UMM theater, music concerts, field trips (including SWELL and the overnight class trip), assignment books, music and PE supplies, or numerous other “extras” which enhance the educational experience for our students.  Instead of this time consuming practice of collecting and asking for money multiple times over the school year, we went to one single fundraising event, with a goal for each child enrolled at Morris Area Elementary to sell one share ($30.00). In addition, we hosted a spaghetti supper (free will offering) and asked local businesses to assist us in the purchase of 100 total shares.  Combined, we raised roughly $20,000, meeting our goal! As a result of this program, we will not ask for any additional fees or participate in any fundraising programs for the remainder of the school year. You may still purchase a share at any time. Any extra funding will be held over for 2014-2015, keeping future share prices low.

2.  As many of you know Morris Area Elementary School was recognized as a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education.  This recognition (the highest possible award given) is based on the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) system used by the state to measure school performance. The rating is based on three categories: student proficiency in reading and math, student growth in reading and math, and closing the achievement gap.  Morris Area Elementary scored a 92.27 percent ranking – 33 points higher than 2011-2012. Thanks to our parents, the community of Morris, the hard working staff at MAES, and especially to our students for putting forth their best effort.  

3. Morris Area School utilizes an Instant Alert program (phone, e-mail, text) to send families’ important information. It is the responsibility of each family to keep phone numbers, e-mail, and mailing addresses current. We do not want you to miss important communications so please take a moment to update! You can access the site through the Morris’ website at: http://www.morris.k12.mn.us/

4. Cold Weather Dress: Students go outside before school and for noon play when the temperature or wind-chill is minus five degrees below or warmer.  Our basic outside rule is that anytime there is snow, students must wear boots. Please encourage your child to dress warmly (hats, mittens, coats, boots) as it is much more fun when students are comfortable.

5. The National Geography Bee is open for students in fourth, fifth and sixth grade. Morris Area Elementary School will be conducting the final round of competition on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 1:45 p.m. in the concert hall.  Parents and community members are invited to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Denzer at 589-1250, ext. 2052.

6.  The District Spelling Bee Finals will be held on Jan. 15, at 1:45 p.m. in the concert hall.  The Bee is open to all students in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The top spellers from those four grade levels will compete against each other for the honor of becoming the District Champion and advancing to a Regional Bee at the Fergus Falls Middle School in February.  Parents and community members are invited to attend. Contact Lisa Denzer at 589-1250, ext. 2052 for more information.

7. Continue to check the school web site for pertinent information.  In addition to individual teacher sites you can access the school lunch menu, assessment schedules, and published work from our monthly MAES Student Authors [First go to the district web site, then click on Elementary Home].

8. Lost and Found items will be donated to the Salvation Army on the 15th of each month. Please check the table (located in the corridor leading to the MAES Cafeteria) often.

9.  If school is late or canceled, you will be notified through our Instant Alert communication system around 6:00 a.m. It will also be broadcast on the following stations: KMRS/KKOK, WCCO Radio/TV, KARE Channel 11, KMSP - FOX 9, KOOL 94.3 FM              RIVER 97.3, KSJS 1590, KIK 100.7 FM, KWLM 1340 AM, KSCR/KBMO, KSTP Channel 5, Q102 FM, and Real Country 100.1 FM

Dates to Remember

Jan. 6-10: NWEA Testing        

Jan. 8: Geography Bee, 1:45 pm, Concert Hall

Jan. 13: MOSAIC Celebration, 2:15 p.m., Concert Hall

Jan. 15: 2 Hour Late Start

Jan. 15: Spelling Bee, 1:45 pm, Concert Hall

Jan. 17: End of Second Quarter

Jan. 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL

Jan.  21: Teacher Work Day – NO SCHOOL

Jan. 24: Second quarter report cards sent home

Jan. 24: K-6 Lyceum: Bully Buster, 2 p.m., Concert Hall

Jan. 30: Fifth and sixth grade band concert, 7 p.m., Concert Hall

Jan. 31: Fourth grade ski trip / Andes Tower Hills

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