Coastal Washington CIT
Health Occupations Culinary Arts Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement Building Trades
Serving the Students of Machias Memorial High School, Jonesport-Beals High School, Narraguagus High School, and Washington Academy
Machias Memorial High School will begin on Tuesday, September 4 for freshmen only. All students will report to school on Wednesday, September 5. School begins at 7:55 am and is dismissed at 2:20 pm. See you soon!
This post is not the typical Student Spotlight feature, but I wanted to update everyone regarding our new digital sign that was installed this week. It is with great pride and accomplishment that I publish this post.
Finally, the Machias Schools were able to purchase a high quality digital sign! This purchase, which felt like it took an eternity, became a reality on August 27,2018.
For me, this was a purchase that I had been working on for six years. Two years ago Rose M. Gaffney PAWS Group and Machias Memorial High School Athletic Boosters joined forces to work towards the purchase of a sign. This collaboration made it possible to purchase the sign and do some amazing things for our schools.
In addition to the two groups listed above, The Rose M. Gaffney Literacy Group, Machias Memorial High School Athletic Department, and the Machias School Board all contributed funding to make the sign purchase.
This sign will not only be a dynamic source of information for our schools and community, it will also be a source of pride. The two schools and their support groups have worked together and accomplished much. It reminds me of the days when the Rose M. Gaffney PAWS Group purchased and installed two playgrounds at Rose M. Gaffney which as still in great condition. People working together towards a common goal.
As I look at the picture I get a feeling of satisfaction. Not because we purchased an awesome sign, but because we worked together in the best interest of students and their families. I am proud of what Machias Schools can offer students. Machias Schools are doing some special and unique things for students and meeting their needs on an individualized basis from pre-kindergarten to graduation.
I hope you too feel pride for your schools. It is easy to focus on the negative, but there are many more positive, life-changing events going on in your schools. Stop by anytime and visit. You’ll be amazed at how much we do for students and positively influence their lives.
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome to Machias Memorial High School! Thank you for choosing our school. One of the greatest strengths of our school is its size. Students get the individual attention and supports they need to succeed and there is much opportunity to be active in activities and events outside of the classroom.
For a small school we offer a lot to our students. Machias Memorial High School offers a wide range of academic classes such as AP and Honor classes, chemistry, marketing, visual and performing arts, and physical education. We also offer many extracurricular activities such as Video Club, Student Council, and athletics. This summer we received an alumni donation to start a Robotics Club.
Students, during their junior and senior years, may participate in our early college partnership with the University of Maine at Machias and Washington County Community College in Calais. Students who take full advantage of these programs can earn up to 24 college credits. The best thing about this program is that there is no cost to the student for taking classes. We even provide transportation if needed.
Another program I would like to highlight is Career & Technical Education. On the campus of Machias Memorial High School we offer two programs: Culinary Arts and Building Trades. Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement and Health Occupations/CNA are offered at Narraguagus High School in Harrington. These four programs give students the skills needed to enter the job force after high school or to continue their education by enrolling in a community college program. These programs teach skills and competencies. Students can also earn industry related certifications that make them more valuable to employers. You can read more about these opportunities in the following pages.
Over the summer the Maine Legislature passed a law that made standards-based education (SBE) optional for school districts in Maine. Previous to the change SBE was mandated. Machias Memorial High School will continue to base their curriculum and instruction on standards, but also report student learning and progress using a hybrid reporting system that includes progress on standards and a traditional 0-100 point grading system.
Another important piece of SBE will be habits of work. Machias Memorial High School feels strongly that developing these skills and characteristics in our students is important to their success as a student and citizen. Students will be graded, using a rubric, on how well they meet specific criteria. The three areas of focus will be completing assignments on time, being prepared and participating in class, and attendance. Each area will periodically be rated on a scale from 1-4 and reported along with quarterly grades. This will be implemented over the 2018-2019 school year.
I encourage students to enjoy their high school years, be involved in your school and community to make it a better place for all, and to take pride in what you accomplish while at Machias Memorial High School. If I can ever help you or your student with anything please come see me. I am committed to helping your child to succeed as a student and person.
What is PBE?
The Maine Department of Education has mandated that the class of 2021 will earn a diploma based on the demonstration of proficiency on a set of recognized standards. This is called a proficiency-based diploma. Some schools in Maine and around the nation call this a competency-based or standards-based diploma. At Machias Memorial High School we will use the term proficiency-based diploma.
In English Language Arts and mathematics the standards used are the national Common Core Standards. In all other areas – science, social studies, visual and performing arts, career preparation, physical education and health, and foreign language – the Maine State Learning Results will remain the framework of standards.
In addition to the standards students must be proficient in literacy standards across each content area and demonstrate they have gained the skills and knowledge in Maine’s Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles include being a clear and effective communicator, a self-directed and lifelong learner, a creative and practical problem solver, a responsible and involved citizen, and an integrative and informed thinker.
Proficiency-based education and traditional education are very different. In a proficiency-based educational system students are measured on their progress towards showing proficiency on the standards. Students who don’t show proficiency on a standard, after receiving appropriate instruction, will receive supports and interventions to help them meet the standards. This contrasts with the traditional system where the class continues moving forward whether a student demonstrates understanding of the content or not.
Another way proficiency-based education differs from traditional education is that the focus is on meeting the standard at the level of proficiency and not on works of habit. Works of habit are things that traditionally are calculated into a grade like class participation or passing in homework on time. In a proficiency-based education system the habits of work are still measured and reported, but separately from the demonstration of meeting the standard.
Why is PBE Important?
Although the change to a proficiency-based educational system is being mandated by Augusta it is the right thing to do. It will change the lives of many students in a positive way. No longer will students be able to move through high school barely passing their classes and graduate unprepared for college, career, or the military. A proficiency-based diploma will guarantee that students have met the standards needed to ensure their success after high school.
The transformation to proficiency-based education will be a huge shift for many in education as well as the students, parents, and community. At Machias Memorial High School we are going to move towards a proficiency-based diploma with caution, seek out the best proven practices, and use what makes sense for our students and community. Schools have a moral imperative to provide high quality teaching and learning for all students. Proficiency-based education will help us achieve that goal and do the right thing for students.
Welcome to Machias Memorial High School! It is my hope that you and your student take full advantage of the opportunities offered by our school. If you do so your experience here will be engaging, valuable, and fun!
Machias Memorial High School offers many academic opportunities such as early college classes, Career & Technical Education classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, honors level classes, internships, apprenticeships, and online classes.
The school also offers opportunities to become involved in other activities such as Close-Up Washington, Band and Chorus, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Student Government, Math Team, Anime Club, Outing Club, Video Club, Skills USA, DECA, and athletics that can enhance your educational experience.
I would like to make you aware of two academic supports available to all students. The first is Bulldog Block. Bulldog Block is a daily block of time in the schedule where all teachers are available to meet with students.
The second is JMG Essentials. JMG Essentials is a required freshmen class that has the goal of teaching students how to be successful academically, socially, and civically. Students will learn about topics such as organization, study skills, time management, information research skills, how to handle and stand up to a bully or cyberbully, and digital citizenship just to name a few. The school feels that these two supports will give students a solid foundation to excel in high school regardless of their current academic, social, or civic competencies.
The school will continue to emphasize good attendance, bullying and harassment prevention, and school safety. I will continue to assess the campus for safety concerns, address them, and work with local and state law enforcement organizations to keep illegal substances out of our school.
We encourage students to enjoy their high school years. Learning is important, but encourage them to join a club, sports team, or make a new friend. Encourage them to be involved in their school and community to make it a better place for all. Encourage them to take pride in themselves and what they accomplish while at Machias Memorial High School. If I can ever help you with anything please come see me. I am committed to helping your child succeed as a student and person.
Mr. Brian Leavitt
Principal, Machias Memorial High School Director, Coastal Washington CIT