Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Next NMS School Council Meeting, Wed November 29 3PM

2017-2018 John T. Nichols, Jr. Middle School Council

Are you interested in getting involved with your child’s education in another way besides PTA or fundraising?

Would you like to be more involved in some of the academic aspects and decision making of your child's education here at Nichols?
If you are, then seriously consider whether you would be interested in joining the Nichols Middle School Council (also called a School Improvement Council).  By law, every school in the country has to have a School Council.  

The law outlines four major areas of responsibility for councils.  School councils are to assist principals in:  
  1. Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards; 
  2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school; 
  3. Reviewing the annual school building budget; and 
  4. Formulating a school improvement plan.

Over the past five years, our School Improvement Plan and School Council have been instrumental in helping us to change our bell schedule, adding back a second assistant principal, obtaining a consistent math program throughout the building, affecting change in all areas of our curricula, securing more technology to being a 1-to-1 Chromebook school, getting more student recognition to be a priority for us as a school, to name just a few.
We meet once a month on the 4th Wednesday of each month, except where specified below – with our next meeting happening on Wednesday, November 29, for about an hour, beginning at 3:00 PM and ending around 4 PM, in the NMS Media Center to discuss such items as our School Improvement Plan, parent involvement, how we are working with MCAS data, what we are doing to improve teaching and learning, different curricular ideas, courses, etc.  In all, the group is not so much similar to the “PTA” in improving the school through fundraising; it is more a group of community members who are looking into school improvement and how we can get the improvement we are looking for.
The group is made up of parents, teachers, and at least one community member.  If you are interested or would just like to come and check it out, please come to our next meeting, Wednesday, November 29, at 3 PM, in the Media Center at NMS or email me at

If you have any questions, please let me know.  Thank you.
2017 – 2018 NMS School Council Meetings
November 29, 2017**
December 20, 2017**
January 24, 2018
February 28, 2018**
March 28, 2018**
April 25, 2018
May 23, 2018

** All dates are the 4th Wednesday of each month – except where specified

An "Hour of Code" 2017 Coming to NMS Tech Classes

NMS Tech Integration Class To See An Hour of Coding

Ms. Falconer's Tech Integration class will be engaging in "An Hour of Coding" here at NMS in the next couple of weeks.  This is something we have participated in the past couple of years with all three grades to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, but it has grown in size and in what the students can do in all of her classes to include every student here at the Nichols.

Just to give you some background, here is some information from the official "Hour of Code" website

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Anybody can host an Hour of Code anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 4-10, 2017, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one specific hour? No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week. You're welcome to split up the Hour of Code into multiple sessions so long as your students finish the Hour of Code tutorial. Just do whatever works best for you and your students. (And if you can't do it during that week, do it the week before or after).

The Hour of Code is organized by, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools. 

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anybody to become an expert computer scientist in one hour. One hour is only enough to learn that computer science is fun and creative, that it is accessible at all ages, for all students, regardless of background. 

Our NMS student will engage in multiple opportunities to increase their understanding of computer science and programming. Our students will participate in many activities through, and more during their Technology Class with Ms. Falconer.

Our ultimate goal is to increase student awareness and interest in computer science and programming, while having some fun too! 

Definitely there will be another post to show how it went.  Here is a post from Mr. G. last year on his experience as well as our students' in an Hour of Code 2016.  Click here.

MHS Sachem Wrestling Team Open to NMS 7th & 8th Grade Students

MHS Wrestling Team Looking for More

The Middleborough High School Sachem Wrestling Team has been granted a waiver to allow NMS 7th and 8th Grade students on its team.

Students, who would like to be a part of the Sachem Wrestling Team should see Mr. Paul Donovan, NMS In-School Suspension Coordinator and MHS Wrestling Coach.

There is a sign-up sheet outside the Main Office as well as outside his room B209.

Coach Donovan can also be reached by email:

Go Sachems!

Minion Mania Matinee on Friday 12/1 for Veterans

Minion Mania Matinee
Friday, December 1st, 2017

Enjoy an afternoon of Minion Madness, viewing The Minion Movie and Despicable Me on the big screen in the auditorium!

This is a fundraiser for Veterans in need of assistance!.

Cost:  Each film will cost you one item of winter apparel.

The perfect donation is:   Winter Hat
                                                Winter Gloves

NOTEs:  1.  All donations should be in ADULT SIZES Please!! We are doing this to support our Veterans.   
2.  You may donate any combination of the above, but EACH FILM has a separate admission of  one piece of winter apparel PLEASE.

Start Time:  After-School (2:30/2:45)

Pick-Up Time:  5:30

Any questions, please see Mr. Minarovich.

Permission slips are available below and in the Main Office, from Mr. Minarovich, or your Social Studies Teacher.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Achieving a Vision Beyond Our Sight with Randy Pierce Presentations

"See No Obstacles"
Randy Pierce Presentations

On Monday, November 20, we had a very special guest speaker come and do three separate presentations with our NMS students.

His name is Randy Pierce, and, in a word, he is amazing.  He is blind and has been for over 20 years.  The title of his presentation is "Reaching Our Peak Potential: Achieve a Vision Beyond Your Sight."  In his presentations, he mentions to all three grades that they are "Not about pitying him and his blindness, but about how you [students] can personally better deal with the challenges that you face."

Reaching Our Peak Potential: Achieve a Vision Beyond Your Sight

Randy referenced many, many times to our students that you need to see that "There are no obstacles; there are only opportunities."  He must have said it at least three or four times in a multiple of ways in each presentation.  He explained what it meant for our students, but more than that he showed it in his life and the things he has done.

The poignant T-shirt Randy wore in the Tough Mudder.

Randy discussed about how disability is just an aspect of who he is; it is not who he is.  Randy is not defined by his blindness or what he can't do.  He sees all the things he can do and what he can achieve with his motto of "practice to make progress" for himself.

Randy Running the Boston Marathon.

The power of his words was phenomenal.  Randy asked our students to tell him what blind people could not do, and he answered with what he could do or what others have achieved through their blindness.  Again, he stressed his point of "Positive Adversity"; things that will make you stronger overall.  He asked them to ask him questions and within each thoughtful answer he made a much larger point on how we can all can and should utilize the backwards A, B, Cs of Conceive a Goal, Believe You Can Do It and Keep Practicing to Progress, and then Achieve It.  It was such an incredible, simple idea but yet so poignant:  The backwards ABCs.  

Posters Randy gave NMS to put up around the school with his Mottos.
"Learning to look at the world differently is the key to really having vision.  Vision is always going to be way more important than sight."

This was another of what I want to refer to as the profound "Randyisms."  They were so extraordinary, one could not help but get caught up in his presentation.  The number of amazing things Randy said are so unbelievable to comment on.  I can continue ... 

"It's not that I can’t. It’s how can I."  

"It's all about the choices you will make."

"Mountains are like Goals."

"You reach peak potential by lifting people up."

This is just one of the videos Randy showed which has him taking on a "Tough Mudder" competition.  It is just an awesome few minutes that display his fearlessness, tenacity, persistence, grit, strength, and words of wisdom.

Please check it out:

Mr. Randy Pierce was easily one of the most powerful speakers we have ever had at the Nichols Middle School.  I see this presentation carry a message well beyond the hour he presented it for.  I can't help but thank Randy, his driver and friend Cathy, and our NMS PTA who generously made a donation to Randy's nonprofit to make this visit possible.

Here is a link to Randy's website: as well as a link to Randy's bio:  Please check them out as well.  Again, he is pretty amazing.

Here are some more pics from his presentations.

Mr. Randy Pierce in our #NMSTigerPride Staff T-Shirt.