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A note from Principal Craig Peterson

The holiday season is a great time for many students and staff here at Morris Area High School. There is much to celebrate as we head into the 2013 school season. MAHS continues to achieve at high levels in extra-curricular activities and in student organizations. A special thank you goes out to the music department and their students for the wonderful holiday music during the concerts this past week.

However, for some students, the holiday season is not a great time due to family issues, economics and other factors beyond their control. I encourage all of you to celebrate the holidays with the joy of giving and sharing. Giving and lending a helping hand is what the holidays are all about. Be kind, be gentle and make someone smile.

An unknown author wrote a poem called "It Takes Courage":

It takes courage to refrain from gossip when other delight in it, To stand up for the absent person who is being abused.

It takes courage to live honestly within your means, And not dishonestly on the means of others.

It takes courage to be a REAL man or a TRUE woman, to hold fast to your ideals when it causes you to be looked upon as strange and peculiar.

It takes courage to be talked about and remain silent, When a word would justify you in the eyes of others, But which you dare not speak because it would injure another.

It takes courage to refuse to do something that is wrong, Although everyone else may be doing it.

It takes courage to not be jealous of a friend who is more successful than yourself.

It takes courage to admit when one is wrong and when everyone around you never admits a mistake.

It takes courage to walk away from a situation and lose something, than stay in the situation and win nothing.

It takes courage to dream and then pursue it, for it is NOT the credentials on the wall that makes us good human beings, but rather it is the kindness in our hearts to make a difference.

Be kind to someone this holiday season.

Reminders to parents and students:

1. Academics: Continue to check the JMC to monitor your child's grades. Many of our teachers here at MAHS have websites to help parents/guardians monitor student academics. We run grade reports and grade checks for all students on Tuesday mornings and will continue to be proactive in keeping kids accountable for their academics. We have high standards at Morris Area high school and will continue to strive to push students to be the best they can be.

2. Handbook committee: I am looking for six parent volunteers to serve on our High School handbook committee with students, staff and a board member. Please contact me if you are interested in serving on this committee to update our HS handbook as we move into the 2013-14 school year.

3. 2nd Semester class changes: We will be doing all 2nd semester course changes for students in grades 9-12 starting from Jan. 3 to Jan. 14. Seniors will do class changes from Jan. 3 to Jan. 4. Juniors will do class changes Jan. 7 to Jan. 8. Sophomores will do class changes Jan. 9 to Jan. 10 and 9th graders will do class changes on Jan. 11. 7th and 8th grade class changes will be on Jan. 14.

As we continue to strive to achieve our goal to communicate better with all stakeholders at MAHS, please do not hesitate to call or email staff about your child. You can also email me at or call me at 320-585-2200 to communicate about your child.

Future Events:

Dec. 24-Jan. 1: No School; Winter Break

Jan. 2: Classes Resume

Jan.3-Jan. 11: 2nd Semester Schedule Changes for students in grade 9-12

Jan.9: 2 hour Late Start- Staff Development

Jan. 9-10: Science Fair

Jan. 18: Last day of 2nd Quarter (1st semester)

Jan. 21-22: No School

Jan. 23-Jan. 25: No Name Calling Week

Jan. 24: 2nd Quarter & 1st Semester Grades DUE; Grades will be mailed home to parents/guardians

Testing Calendar:

Jan. 4-Jan.8: Winter NWEA Tests for student in gr. 7-8

Jan. 28-29: Math MCA-III Practice Tests (OLPA) for students in gr. 7-8

Jan. 28-31: Minnesota Student Survey for gr. 8, 9 and 11

April 16-May 1: MCA-II testing for students in gr. 7-11