December 15, 2018
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Hartford Memorial Middle School Newsletter
Week of December 14, 2018


On Monday we took over 300 students to the Dartmouth Men’s Basketball event.  It was a truly incredible day. Our students received compliments on their behavior at the game, they had a ton of fun, they got to watch me make a fool out of myself in front of a gymnasium full of people, and best of all, we brought everyone back with us as planned (which, as the organizer, was my biggest worry!)

Having the opportunity to play alongside our students is one of the best parts about being in middle school--while they are getting to the age where they often push back against the adults, they still really do love playing.  It is one way we form deep and lasting relationships with kids and provides the memory making moments that students will look back on fondly in the future.

This coming week will provide other opportunities to play and build relationships with kids.  We are celebrating Spirit Week all week, with some friendly competition between grades (and teachers) for the most spirit.  The winning grade (or teachers) will receive cookies at lunch on Friday! We are hosting a door decorating contest that will help us deck our halls with joyful winter scenes.  Also on Friday, we will spend the last hour of the day engaging in fun, cross-team activities before heading out for the holiday break. We also have a few other surprises to throw in on Friday--but I don’t want to ruin the fun!

Tristan Upson                                                                


An Important Safety Message from Hartford School District and Hartford Emergency Services

Dear Parent/Guardian of a Hartford School District Student:

The safety of your student is our top priority. The school district has a strong relationship with the Hartford Police Department and the Hartford Fire Department. School administrators meet regularly with police and fire department representatives to plan for any type of emergency incident in our schools. Recently we concluded the initial training of all staff in the "Standard Response Protocol". This program provides training and consistent procedures for schools to follow to address emergency situations. Sergeant Jay Pedro of the Hartford Police Department has trained all school staff in the emergency response protocol. Sergeant Pedro sits on the school district safety team and advises the district administration on safety protocols.

The attached parent handout outlines the procedures schools use to train students and staff to be ready in an emergency. Please feel free to visit their website for more information at:

It would be helpful if you could review the language involved with your students so they are familiar with the procedures and what will occur in schools for training drills and in the event of a real emergency. The school will use the Emergency Messenger system to notify parents and guardians about any emergency in the schools. It is extremely important that you listen to the entire message before trying to call the school. The message will contain all the information you need to know. If you call the school back you will be limiting our ability to call out and to manage the emergency.

Together, we hope we can prevent a real emergency in our schools. However, we strive to be ready to safely manage any emergency situation. If you have concerns please do not hesitate to contact your school administrator, police or fire chief or me. I can be reached at 295-8600 or email at

Sincerely yours,

Tom DeBalsi- Superintendent of Schools

Phil Kasten- Chief of Police

Scott Cooney- Chief of Fire Department

Winter Ski and Ride Club

Greetings, Middle School families!

Want to ski or snowboard with your friends this winter? Whaleback Mountain (WB) has partnered up with Hartford to create an after-school ski and ride program for grades 6-12. For six Wednesdays between 1/9/19 and 2/13/19, a bus will leave the school around 3:30 for WB and then it will leave the hill at 6:00 to bring everyone back to the school around 6:20. This program is available for all students, teachers, and a handful of parent volunteers.

To get involved you need to do a few things:

First, e-mail John Mitchell ( with the student’s name plus names and contact information for parents or guardians.

Second, register for discounted tickets at  Tickets are $120. The cost for the passes and rental equipment is $186. If students are on honor roll they can buy a season pass for $140 which includes discounts to stores and other hills as well as three free passes to a half dozen other mountains There are also very generous financial assistance options available to because WB and our school want to make sure that every child who wants to learn how to ski or ride has that chance without having to worry about financial hurdles.

Third, find a friend and a smile to bring with you to the hill.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to or get better at skiing and riding. Please forward any questions and concerns to Also send a message there if you are a parent or teacher interested in chaperoning. Thank you!

Emergency Closing Procedures

Please follow this link to view the Hartford School District Emergency Closing Procedures.  Winter weather can be variable, and while we try to keep kids in school as much as possible, there are times when changes are necessary in order to ensure the safety of our children.  These procedures outline the means by which these decisions are made.

Student Tardies

Over the past few weeks we are seeing a huge uptick in the number of tardies.  We understand that the winter weather sometimes makes the morning commute slower than anticipated, but we ask that you please try to get your students to school before the 7:45 bell each morning.  We recommend that students arrive between 7:30-7:40 to give them time to visit their lockers and get settled before starting advisory so they can start the day on the right foot. Thank you for your help!

SBAC Reports Available

The SBAC reports from the 2017-2018 school year are now available.  If you would like a copy of your child’s report, please contact your child’s school counselor.  The school counselor for Teams Equinox and Nova is Melissa Cole (  The school counselor for Teams Zapatera and Altitude is Sarah Gahm (  We will be happy to print the reports for you.