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Tiger Beat: Sept. 21, 2013

Our theme this year at the high school is “Taking the Next Step.” We as a high school want our students to take the next step in their growth as students. Ideas and philosophies will change, but our core value of student achievement and student growth remains our number one priority.

I feel that we at Morris Area High School have great programs, great facilities and great students. However, I refuse to be complacent in our accomplishments and refuse to maintain the “status quo.” We work hard for our success and appreciate all of the community support towards our school. We are going to push students to be better. I believe that we need to stay progressive in our approach towards educating students and not rely on our past accomplishments. I believe that our job as educators is to set a vision to help push our students and our community towards taking the next step in education. I feel as a school that we are taking the next steps in education.

The Morris Area School District has laid out our core values for our district. I want to share our core values with the community so all stakeholders can see the hard work our staff and community have put into developing our framework for success.

Morris Area Core Values (TIGER PAW) Teamwork: Work as cooperating partners in achieving success for every student in the district

Integrity and honesty: Consistently seek and speak the truth, keep promises, and know and do the right thing

Great desire for safe, clean, and secure school environment: Create and preserve this for our stakeholders

Every student can learn: Believe in the ability of each student to learn and grow to their potential

Respect for all: Value self, others, property, and diversity

Positive attitude: Display a personality that fosters constructive outcomes and perseverance during challenging times

Accountability for all: Be reliable and follow through service to others and self-control

We communicate effectively: Support students, peers, and community members through interactive district dialogue

Goals As always, student achievement at Morris Area High School is our number one goal. We will continue to raise the rigor in our classroom and push our students to achieve at high levels. Our goal is to increase student growth in reading for all students in the high school. Reading has been a target area for our high school over the past couple years and we want to set a focus upon literacy during the 2013-2014 school year. We will be using data to track our student growth in reading. We will be creating time during the school day for students to read through our Silent Sustained Reading goal.

Our second goal this year is to improve our school climate and school culture. We will continue to have a safe and secure school. We will increase our student leadership inside and outside our classrooms by teaching our students to be better leaders and to make good choices. This includes teaching our students the Olweus anti-bullying curriculum. We will increase participation in all activities at MAHS. We will continue to be active in establishing a school culture of anti-bullying and continue to be proactive in developing students of high character and high ethics.

Changes Minnesota State Testing Requirements: Simply put, the GRAD tests in ninth grade writing, tenth grade reading and eleventh grade math are no longer required to graduate from Morris Area High School. Students that have taken these exams in the past will get credit for their participation. As of July 1, 2013, for students to graduate from Morris Area high school, students must now take a college or career readiness assessment. Students may take the ASVAB, ACT or Work Keys assessment to satisfy the graduation requirement. The ASVAB test is scheduled for all juniors on Monday, Sept. 23. The ACT test is scheduled throughout the school year. For more information on the new Minnesota state testing requirements, please visit the Minnesota Department of Education website.

Email changes: As a reminder to all community members and stakeholders, some staff emails have changed over the summer. All staff email addresses in the district are the first letter of the staff’s first name and the full last name of the staff member (ex. One can get all staff emails on our school website at

CPR and AED training: In cooperation with our local Stevens County ambulance, we at the high school will be providing AED and CPR training for all of our students in grades 7-12 in October. This training will take place within the school day.  

Announcements and School News Homecoming: This past week (Sept. 16 to Sept. 20) was Homecoming Week at Morris Area High School. There were contests, dress-up days and various homecoming activities throughout the week. Congratulations to 2013 Homecoming King Aaron Nelson and Homecoming Queen Paige Schieler. Please come out and support MACA extra-curricular activities during this week and throughout the school year. Over 85 percent of our student body participates in at least one activity in our high school. We are very proud of our students and their parents/guardians for our high participation numbers.

Website News: As a reminder to all parents, please check our Morris Area website at for school updates and school bulletin news. We have a new website that features staff webpages on our school website. Please check out our staff webpages as we as a high school want to communicate with all stakeholders in the school district.

Attendance: As a reminder to parents and guardians, we as a high school run daily attendance checks and speak with students regarding attendance at school. As a parent/guardian you may get a phone call if your son/daughter is absent from school. If your child is absent from school, please make sure to call the high school office or send a note. We take student attendance at school very seriously and monitor as such. We are very proud to have a 95 percent attendance rate at our high school. Thank you student and parents/guardians.

Thank You

Thank you to all of the Morris Area school district supporters for donating money and time to our school district. Without your community support, our goal of being the best school district in west central Minnesota would not be possible.

As always, we want to keep the lines of communication open between stakeholders and the school. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 320-585-2200 or email me at anytime or stop in the high school to visit.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 23: ASVAB/EXPLORE/PLAN test for students in grades 8, 10 and 11

Sept. 24 and Sept. 25: Fall NWEA testing starts in the high school

Oct. 1: 1st Quarter Mid-term

Oct. 9: 2 hour late start

Oct. 14-16: National School Lunch Week

Oct. 17-18: Fall Break

Oct. 21: Gr. 7-12 Choir Concert in Concert Hall

Oct. 21: FCCLA Regional convention at Morris Area HS

Oct. 28: Gr. 7-12 Band Concert in Concert Hall

Oct. 30-Nov.1: FFA National Convention

Nov. 1: End of the 1st Quarter