December 10, 2018
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Hartford Memorial Middle School Newsletter
Week of December 7, 2018


On Monday we are undertaking an endeavor that has not been done at HMMS in the last fifteen years--we are taking the entire school together on a field trip.  It is possible we are crazy, but mostly we are super excited. (I mean, let’s be real, we teach middle school, so it is probable we are a little crazy--we just embrace it!)  One of our pushes this year is to continue to honor the value of our teams in creating small continuous communities within our building, while at the same time uniting as whole school community.  Monday is a great example of that effort, and we cannot wait!

On top of that, on Monday we have a great “surprise” (though I think the cat may be out of the bag) for all of our students.  This year we were able to get HMMS t-shirts for every student and adult in our building. We will be handing these out and wearing them on Monday--because what kid doesn’t want to match all of his/her peers on a super fun whole school basketball field trip?!  We also will be encouraging kids to wear their school t-shirt (or other Hurricane apparel) on Fridays for the rest of the year! Spirit Fridays have been growing in popularity over the last several years, so now we are thrilled that all students have the opportunity to participate!

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

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!

Understanding the Vaping Phenomenon

Vaping has been on the rise across schools in America over the past several years, including at our high school.  This year we are seeing the first signs that this issue is spreading more significantly to our middle school students as well.  There is a pervasive sense from students that vaping is not as big a deal as traditional combustible smoking. In addition, families are often unsure of what vaping is or what materials used to vape look like.  This article is being shared with both high school and middle school families in an effort to help all of us who care about our children gain a better understanding of what the vaping phenomenon is about.  

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.