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MEPS District will be CLOSED Thursday, March 22, 2018.

posted by Leslie Koller


posted Mar 20, 2018, 2:14 PM by Leslie Koller


posted Mar 20, 2018, 9:42 AM by Leslie Koller

A decision about school closings for tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21, HAS NOT yet been made. If a delay or a closing is decided, a phone blast will be sent out later this afternoon or evening. Such information will also be posted on our website, Facebook page, and Channel 6ABC.

School will dismiss today, Tuesday, March 20, at regular three o'clock dismissal time. We ARE NOT dismissing early today.

Shining Stars WILL be in normal operation this afternoon, Tuesday, March 20, from three o'clock to six o'clock pm.

The PTO Meeting and School Security Information Session scheduled for tonight, Tuesday, March 20, are CANCELLED. Both events will be rescheduled for a later date. A blast will be sent out with this updated information when decisions have been finalized.

Also, if you would like to JOIN the REMIND Superintendent-Parent Text Group, please visit our district website announcement board or district Facebook post below for explanations and instructions.

Please STAY TUNED for updated school schedule changes later today.


posted Mar 20, 2018, 8:55 AM by Leslie Koller   [ updated Mar 20, 2018, 8:55 AM ]

Both events will be rescheduled and notification will be sent out as soon as is possible.


posted Mar 20, 2018, 8:53 AM by Leslie Koller

I am sure some of you are familiar with the REMIND app that many of our teachers are using to contact their students' parents.  I have been using this same app to communicate with district staff as well as the Board of Education about inner-district issues.  REMIND has proven to be a very efficient way to get out short messages to people who need information. 

Calling a delayed opening or a school closing is a complicated process. The most difficult part is actually making the decision!  But once that part is over I begin an extensive sequence of events to make sure all relevant parties receive the information they need as soon as possible - and in the correct order.  I have to contact: the Borough, BOE, administrators, staff, parents, Audubon PS, and County.  I disseminate the information in a variety of ways including personal phone calls, text messages, emails, phone app messages and posts, Facebook and website posts, phone blasts, email blasts, and TV channel Internet log-ins.  While I am going through these steps I need to remain conscious of this sequence because it has been my experience that if some parents get the news via the source they regularly rely upon before their neighbors get the information via their relied-upon source, things can get a little critical :-).

The School Messenger phone blast is the most comprehensive method of ensuring all parents get needed information because the phone number identified with each registered student is automatically included in the School Messenger phone blast system.  Every parent/guardian receives a phone blast, but through OnCourse Connect, each parent/guardian can individually choose whether they want to also receive text message blasts and email blasts as well. Unfortunately putting out a phone  blast is the most complicated of all my communication methods even when the technology cooperates.  When the technology does not cooperate, the process is delayed even further.  This is why I usually save the phone blast for last in my sequence.  If I do the phone blast first and run into technology problems, all of the other communications get held up.

Because REMIND is so quick and easy to use, I usually send REMIND messages to my text groups first before working through the rest of the communication methods on my list.  I currently have BOE and staff REMIND text groups.  I would like to try using REMIND to create a text group for parents.  I will continue to disseminate information using the School Messenger phone and email blast processes, and all of the other methods of communication I listed above, however, I would like to try also using REMIND for parents.  On one hand, adding REMIND adds yet another step in my process.  On the other hand, it is a very quick step that I believe will expedite the distribution of information to our largest constituency.

I say let's try it and see how it works.  Again, phone blasts, Facebook posts, website notifications, etc. will still take place.  But parents who sign-up for my REMIND Parent Text Group will receive information about district rescheduling very early in the process and this can only help you to better plan.

That was a long story to get to the point (but parents knowing the process can never hurt).  If you would like to sign-up for my REMIND Parent Text Group, please click on the link directly below or see attachment for alternate instructions.  Looks like I will be putting this new method of communication to use sooner rather than later.

To sign up for MEPS Parents 2017-18 notifications, please visit  https://www.remind.com/join/mepspa

Alternate instructions appear on the attachment to this email:   


posted Mar 15, 2018, 12:59 PM by Leslie Koller

I would like to invite all Mount Ephraim Public School parents and guardians to a School Security Information Session which will be held at the Mary Bray Elementary School on Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30pm directly following the PTO meeting.  The information session will take place in the Mary Bray gymnasium.

Mr. Hunter, Chief Conte from the Mount Ephraim Police Department, and I will be present to share with you the securities that we collaboratively have in place to keep our students and staff safe in case of an emergency in one of our schools.  We will also answer questions that you may have regarding this topic.
This event is for adults only.  No babysitting will be provided.  

We will be videotaping the session and will make the footage available as soon as possible afterward via our website and Facebook pages.

I encourage you to attend and look forward to seeing you next Tuesday night.


posted Mar 13, 2018, 1:02 PM by Leslie Koller


If you or any Mt. Ephraim resident you may know has a child who is of age to enter kindergarten this coming fall 2018 - please contact Mary Bray School to set-up a kindergarten registration appointment.

Please call Mrs. Henderson at 856-931-7807 ext 201 to schedule an appointment on one of our two registration days: Wednesday and Thursday, March 21st and 22nd. If you can't make either of these days, please call anyway and we will accommodate you.

Our goal is to keep elementary school class sizes as low as possible in order to facilitate best learning environment for our students in the early grades. In order to do that we need to make sure we budget for the correct number of teachers. Our budget is due to be submitted by the end of March. Right now it looks like we will have two kindergarten classes...But...If everyone waits until the summer to register - we could end up needing a third kindergarten class which will require us to hire another teacher for whom we did not budget.

and pass this on to anyone you know who has a child that age.


posted Mar 7, 2018, 6:30 PM by Leslie Koller

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 8, both Mary Bray and Kershaw schools will open on a two hour delay.

Doors at both schools will open at ten twenty am.

There will be no shining stars in the morning.

Dismissal remains at 3pm.  Shining stars will operate in the afternoon.


posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:26 AM by Kitty Gallagher   [ updated Mar 6, 2018, 7:27 AM ]


posted Feb 15, 2018, 8:44 AM by Leslie Koller   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 8:50 AM ]

Please listen to the audio at this link....http://cnn.it/2CmQVbQ

I know ONE teacher in the state of Florida...and wouldn't you know....it's Jim Gard.  Jim and I have been friends since kindergarten and still keep in touch via FB communicating regularly about our profession and our home roots.  I texted him yesterday to see if he was alright and when I look back, the time was exactly when he was in lock down.  As you can hear, he and his students were evacuated safely.

Jim brings up two excellent points in his story.  He was able to lock his classroom door from the inside and he was also able to receive public address messages from administration.  

Please take a minute to THANK OUR BOARD OF EDUCATION for ensuring that MEPS has these capabilities as of this very school year.  All of our classroom and office doors in both schools can now be locked from the inside "in a heartbeat".  And as of spring break, we will have the capability to communicate between buildings and throughout all areas of each building via the public address system in any type of emergency (something we can do now only after several complicated steps and only in certain areas of each building). If finances allow, we will also have strobe lights installed in our gyms and cafeterias as well as immediately outside our entrance doors which will provide visual notification of emergency situations in locations where auditory announcements are difficult.

By law, we must have one fire drill and one emergency drill each month at each school during the school year.  (Learn more here: https://sites.google.com/a/mtephraimschools.com/mepsweb/Our-District/school-security-drills

There are several types of emergency drills:
** Bomb Threat
** Building Evacuation
** Lock Down
** Active Shooter  

Each type of drill is practiced for a different purpose and requires different procedures to be carried out by staff and students.  Once or twice each school year, we invite ME Police and Fire Departments to join us during our drills to provide feedback on how we can improve our response as well as to refine processes between our organizations. 

A DRILL......  
When a drill is called in either school, we do not identify it as a "drill" to staff or students.  Students and staff must respond to every emergency notification as if it is "real".  Once following procedure, our teachers will inform students that it is a drill and that they are safe. This will always happen before dismissal. 

We do not send out communication blasts to inform parents that we ran a drill.

If a parent drives by the school and sees police or fire trucks outside and you do not receive a blast or notification - it is safe to assume we were running a drill.  You do not have to be alarmed.  If by any chance your child comes home still fearful that the drill was real, if you did/do not hear otherwise from us, it is safe to assure them that it was only a drill.

Sometimes these things happen.  If an emergency is called and a teacher does not know whether it is a drill or not, they will follow appropriate procedures and keep students safe and calm until they receive further instructions.  Staff and students will be notified that a false alarm occurred and students will be assured by their teachers that they are safe.

If a false alarm of any sort takes place, parents will receive a notification of such.  
** If the false alarm was minor and short, the notification may come via our district website, social media, email, text, or an electronic telephone blast.  
** If the false alarm was more lengthy, a telephone blast will be sent with a personally recorded message from me or Mr. Hunter, in addition to the previously identified communication methods.

If a real threat presents itself, parents WILL receive a communication blast or an appropriate notification of what was/is taking place as soon as is possible.  In the case of any real threat, once law enforcement arrives, they take over and school officials follow their directions as given.  When law enforcement arrives, school officials are no longer in charge and are moved into a support role. 
** If the threat is found to be nonevident, minor and short, your notification may come via our district website, social media, email, text, or a recorded telephone blast.  
** If the threat was real, more serious, and lengthy, a telephone blast will be sent with a personally recorded ma variety of other communication methods.

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