August, 2017

Welcome to the start of the new school year!  
For some of you, this will be the beginning of a new adventure. For others you’ll be returning to familiar ground.  Either way, I can’t wait for the first day of school to see you on campus. This is going to be an exciting school year, with new challenges and opportunities.

A big change this year is that we have adopted the newly created Unified Classroom from PowerSchool as our primary standards tracking, grading, reporting and communications system. This program will replace Mastery Connect and provide better communication regarding your child’s progress with standards, including on-going individual standard and overall course grade calculations, homework completion, etc. More information will be forthcoming about how to login and use the new platform.  To that end, we will hold an Open House on September 14th during which we will hold sessions to help families in accessing their student’s information.  Support will also be provided during parent-teacher conferences during the first week in October.

Other grade-related changes will include using half-points (2.5, 3.5) in our grading practices and the elimination of letter grades. As an example, if a student earns a 3.24 in a course, that is what will show on their report card and transcript instead of a traditional letter grade. Thank you to those who gave us much needed feedback to improve the way we carry out proficiency-based education.  If you have questions about grading, please contact your student’s teacher.  I am also happy to talk with parents and students at any time.

Since I have been the Principal at MDI High School, I have made the health and wellness of our students and staff one of my highest priorities.  This focus will continue as long as I’m in this position.  I encourage every student to make decisions that promote staying healthy on a daily basis.  Adequate amounts of physical activity and sleep fueled by a balanced diet set the foundation for success in the classroom.  Additionally, staying clear of drugs and alcohol and moderating screen time are very important.  If a student is struggling with any of these areas, we have a wide support network, which is best accessed through the guidance counselors or Ian Braun, our Dean of Students.  That said, parents and students should feel welcome to reach out to any trusted adult at the school if they are in need.

New Staff

I am excited to welcome Tucker Atwood (Math), Tim McKim (Adult Education), Michelle Merica (English), Shannon Smith (World Language), and Danielle Stockinger (Special Education) to the teaching faculty along with Carrie Joyce and David Lane as Ed Techs.  We are also fortunate to welcome Basil Steele as our School Social Worker.  I am very happy to have this group of educators joining us this year.   

Health Alerts

As you prepare for your upcoming academic years in high school please honor the fact that there are multiple individuals on campus for whom care and attention to allergens is a major concern and even a life threatening circumstance.  With your attention to details of “what you bring to school”, such as animal dander on your clothes, strongly scented colognes, perfumes, oils, deodorants, and lotions people will be spared the inconvenience of an allergic response.

A reminder that we do not allow ANIMALS of any breed in the building and no LATEX balloons or office supplies.

It is of utmost importance that if your student is diagnosed with a Strep illness that the nurse is notified and the student remains home for at least 24 hours after the antibiotic has been started.  Thank you for your considerate response in helping keep our school community safe and healthy.

School Lunch

The school lunch program will again use the NutriKids software. Freshmen will receive a NEW pin number for his/her lunch account; returning students will use their number from last year. There will be no charging of meals. Parents may prepay a student’s lunch account by check or online.  Send checks made payable to “MDIHS” to Wendy Littlefield. Please indicate the student(s) name on the check.  Credit card payments are accepted online at www.myschoolbucks.com. Lunch is available for $3.00.  The lunch program has created a number of meal options that are available at this price.  These include hot lunch, salad bar, and sandwiches.  MDIHS will be continuing our breakfast program through the Maine School Nutrition program.  We will offer a breakfast special each day for $1.75. Students who qualify for free or reduced priced meals will also qualify for a free or reduced price breakfast.  

Opening Days

Freshmen begin school Wednesday, August 30th. This will be an early release schedule, with school in session from 7:45 to 11:45 am.  The day includes a free cookout lunch.  All other students start with a full day of school on Thursday, August 31st.

Required Forms

This packet includes several forms that must be filled out. Using the checklist below, please complete these forms and return them to the Main Office.

I look forward to the beginning of another great year at MDI High School.  I thoroughly enjoy being in classrooms and watching our students excel in extra and co-curricular activities.  This is a wonderful school and community to live in, and I thank you for being a part of it.


Matt Haney, Principal

Ian Braun, Dean of Students

Julie Keblinsky, Dean of Curriculum

Bunky Dow, Activities Director

Michele Gurtler, Guidance Director

MDIHS Administration

Matthew K. Haney

Ian Braun
Dean of Students

Julie Keblinsky
Dean of Curriculum

Alfred Dow, Jr.
Director of Athletics & Student Activities

Purpose of Student Handbook

The purpose of the MDIHS Student Handbook is to help keep parents and students informed and highlight the policies and procedures of Mount Desert Island High School. Since students are expected to understand their responsibilities as a student of our high school, I strongly encourage both students and parents to familiarize themselves with this website. Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me for further clarification. I can be reached at 288-5011 (extension 3350) or by email at ibraun@mdirss.org

Please note that school board policy supersedes any errors or changes made to our policies during the school year. If there is any inconsistency of a school rule or board policy the school board policy takes precedent. School board policies can be located in the Main Office or can be found linked in the MDIRSS - AOS 91 website.

Ian Braun, Dean of Students