Friday, September 23, 2016

Homecoming Week!

Good afternoon and happy Friday!




We just finished a fun-filled Spirit Week with a Pep Rally to cheer on all of the fall activities and sports.  There was a lot of pride and spirit in the building this week!
I hope to see many of you at tonight's Homecoming BBQ and the volleyball/football games (field hockey is playing now so come on by! And the volleyball game is free).  The BBQ kicks off at 5pm in the back parking lot for $5pp. Just a reminder that parking continues to be tight so consider car pooling.  If we run out of parking a shuttle from AMS will be provided, starting at 6;30pm.  


 

Student Council has run a fantastic Spirit Week!  It ends tomorrow night with the annual Student Council sponsored Homecoming Dance, one of the biggest events of the year at AHS.  The dance is from 7-10pm and admission is $10 at the door.  Dress is semi-formal.  Any student who is bringing a guest must have completed a guest permission form and turned it in before Wednesday.  No guests will be allowed admittance unless the form has been completed.  All students must arrive by 8pm and any students who leave before 9pm can expect to have their parents called. Student safety is our biggest concern and we want to make sure you know your child's whereabouts.


The solar project is moving along nicely and student and staff parking has not been an issue.   All current student drivers should have their parking pass at this point or they could be ticketed.


We are looking forward to seeing parents at Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 29 from 6-8pm.  We will begin in the auditorium then parents will run through all seven class periods: A-G.  Each class will meet for 10 minutes.  We will provide copies of schedules but you can also access them through your iParent account. Please remember that this evening is a chance for teachers to share some information about their class and expectations.  They will not have time to speak about individual students.  If you have a question or concern about your child I encourage you to call or email the teacher. 

As a reminder we do not have school on Monday, October 3 or the following week, October 10-12 while many of our families celebrate important holidays.  The weekend of October 8-10 is our first Family Reconnect Weekend.  


As always, please take a moment to review the information posted in the Parent Flyers.



If your child needs some math help, the Math Tutoring Center is open for business.

At the end of the math hallway, the MTC is open from 2-3pm Monday through Thursday.  Peer tutors from the National Honor Society receive community service hours for their work, so tutoring is free!

​Your child can work on homework, go over a returned exam, or complete their weekly cumulative review under the guidance of students in upper-level math courses.​


Color Splash Run!

The Ashland PTO, AHS Student Council, and AHS Make-a-Wish Club are working together to organize our first (hopefully annual!) Color Splash Run!

When: Sunday, October 16th at 10am
Where: Stone Park, Ashland (77 Summer St.)
Cost: $25 for the 2 mile road race around Stone Park
         $15 for the kids' race on the grass inside Stone Park

Pre-registration by 10/1/16 includes a white race t-shirt, which will be covered in a rainbow of colors when you have finished the race! Race day registration is available starting at 9am that morning, but participants who want a race t-shirts must be purchased that day, while supplies last.


Proceeds will benefit the Ashland PTO (which provides enrichment opportunities for all APS students) and the Make-a-Wish club (which is working to grant a child's wish for the second year in a row).

Please come join us and bring your families for some good but not so clean fun. :)



TIPS FOR BEATING TEST ANXIETY
Now that we are a few weeks into the school year, students are probably taking tests and quizzes. Below are some tips for beating test anxiety:
  1. Know the test format - Just knowing the test format can help kids feel more prepared and take away some of the shock when they are handed the test.
  2. Reorganize the material when studying - Identify the main ideas of the topic, outline the big events and issues, and think about the themes that unite them.
  3. Think about possible questions - Predicting and answering questions ahead of time helps kids gain more mastery over the material and feel more confident.
  4. Don’t spend too much time on one question - Move on to the next question and go back to the difficult ones later.
  5. Practice calming techniques - Deep breathing or holding worry balls can help kids during tests. Practice these techniques while studying.
  6. Accept when you don’t know something - Sometimes the best way to manage anxiety is to accept that you don’t know the answer to the question and move on.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Week of 9/12/16

Good afternoon-

I hope you (and your children) all successfully made it through the first full week of school.  I was lucky enough to have a small break from AHS Thursday morning to spend some time with all of the community members who are a part of Decisions at Every Turn.  It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on we have done over the past several years and to plan for what the future holds.  Our students are so lucky to be a part of a community where every sector/group/constituency cares so much for their health and well-being.


If you have not already done so, please visit the website 
https://ipass.imgsoftware.com/school/ashland/pamregister.html and sign-up for iParent. 
Accounts for new students have been created and students received information on how to log-in at class meetings last week.  If your child is having trouble logging in have them stop by the front office for assistance.  


As a reminder, the AHS School Improvement Council is looking for two parent reps to join our group for a two year term.  If you are interested in running for a spot or would like more information on School Improvement Council please send me an email.  The School Committee policy on School Councils can be found here.  Elections will be held on Back to School Night, September 29 from 6-8pm.


Just wanted to send out a friendly reminder regarding parking for tonight's football game vs. Norton.  About half of the main parking lot is still under construction. There will be a limited number of spots for Coaches, Players, Officials, and Spectators at the high school.  
  • Only officials, coaches, and handicap parking will be allowed in the back lot closest to the school.
  • There are several other lots located near the entrance of the school and in the front of the school which can be utilized.
  • I recommend if you plan on attending the game Friday to carpool with others.
  • There is no off street parking on E. Union St.  If you park along the street you will run the risk of being ticketed by the police.
  • If you are dropping off a player/student after 5:30 please pull into the back lot to do so to keep the traffic pattern moving.
Once again we will be monitoring the parking situation on Friday night, having a conversation with school administrators and police, and making changes accordingly.  Please be patient as we continue to work on the parking situation.  Again...I will keep everyone posted.  Thanks for your patience.
Mr. Grimes


Ashland High School Student Council's Homecoming week starts on Sunday! We want the whole Ashland Community to join us for two family-friendly events.

On Sunday, September 18th, we are running a pancake breakfast from 9am to 11am in the high school cafeteria.  All you can eat pancakes, sausage, juice/coffee/hot chocolate for just $5 per person.  

On Friday, September 23rd, prior to the football game we are running a barbecue in the small parking lot outside the stadium at the high school from 5pm - 7pm.  Join us for a burger (veggie burgers available) and chips for $5 per person.  Afterwards, stick around for the Homecoming Football game, against Medway.
  
For more information on these events, check out our website at: https://sites.google.com/site/stucoashland/homecoming or email Josh Wiczer, Student Council Advisor, at jwiczer@ashland.k12.ma.us

Monday, September 19th Decisions at Every Turn will host a community discussion on marijuana & vaping at Ashland High School.  Because of building projects at the high school, there may be a crane blocking a part of the road coming into the high school.  To avoid driving around the crane, visitors are encouraged to park in front of the high school or in the lot immediately on the right when entering.  All guests can enter the high school using the front door and you will be directed to the auditorium.  

Please check out the flyer about this event and many others in the Parent's Flyer section!  

It's not too early to buy a yearbook!
After our largest yearbook sale ever, last year, we are looking to increase sales once again. With a great staff on hand, the yearbook is sure to look great and represent the best of AHS. From freshmen to seniors, everyone loves the yearbook, and will cherish the keepsake for years to come. To purchase the Ashland High School 2017 Yearbook at the steady price of $85, visit www.yearbookordercenter.com and enter our school code 13046.

Robotics Club Fundraisers & Volunteer opportunities
The Robotics Club is going through its third consecutive growth spurt! We now have close to 30 members who want to learn and be part of a growing field of interest. Our fall fundraisers include 
  • Ashland Day used Lego sales (donations of used Legos always welcome)
  • $5 Raffle tickets to the best home game on the Patriots schedule (vs. Seahawks)
  • And our 2nd Annual Robot Rodeo coming on November 19th!
How can you help? Support us through these many fundraisers, and/or you can also volunteer your talents and become a mentor (contact Chad, cmcgowan@ashland.k12.ma.us, for details)

Please join the Ashland PTO, AHS Student Council, and AHS Make-a-Wish club in our first annual Color Splash Run!
When: Sunday, October 16th at 10am
Where: Stone Park, Ashland
Cost: $25 for the 2 mile road race around Stone Park
         $15 for the kids' race on the grass inside Stone Park

Pre-registration by 10/1/16 includes a white race t-shirt, which will be covered in a rainbow of colors when you have finished the race! Race day registration is available starting at 9am that morning, but participants who want race t-shirts must be purchased that day, while supplies last.


Proceeds will benefit the Ashland PTO (which provides enrichment opportunities for all APS students) and the Make-a-Wish club (which is working to grant a child's wish for the second year in a row).

Come with your family and join in for some good but not so clean fun. :)


Ashland Raises Happy & Healthy Kids  (click the link to see past columns)
School, sports, and after-school activities have begun. To help get through the busy days, many of us are probably doing things for our children that they can do for themselves. Let’s give our kids the chance to practice and acquire life skills. Once they master them, it will make YOUR life easier. Below is a good rule of thumb for teaching children (and adults!) new things:
First you do it for them,
Then you do it with them,
Then you watch them do it,
Then you let them do it on their own.

This list of things your kids should be able to do on their own is a great place to start.
Ages 2-3: Small chores and basic grooming - Put toys away, put clothes in the hamper, clear plate after meals, assist in setting the table
Ages 4-5: Know important names and numbers and simple chores - Know their name, address and phone number and 911, clear the table after meals, dust, feed pets, brush teeth, comb hair, wash face, choose his/her own clothes
Age 6-7: Basic cooking techniques - Mix, stir and cut with a dull knife, make a sandwich, help put groceries away, wash dishes, make bed, use basic household cleaners
Age 8-9: Take pride in personal belongings - Care for toys/belongings, fold clothes, use a broom and dustpan, read a recipe and prepare a simple meal, help create a grocery list, weed and water flower beds/plants, take out the trash
Age 10-13: Gain independence - Make a purchase at a store, change sheets on bed, use the washing machine and dryer, iron clothes, mow the lawn, plan and prepare a meal with several ingredients, look after younger relatives or neighbors
Age 14-18: More advanced skills - Read and understand medicine labels and dosages, get gas and change a car tire, prepare and cook meals, apply and interview for a job

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week of 9/6/16

Good afternoon-

Today was on of my favorite days of the year at AHS.  This morning we spent two hours in an all school event learning about our core values and expectations while also having fun.  Students were divided into mixed grade teams and competed in Jeopardy, Family Feud, and Charades.  Everyone seemed to have a great time.  

After the all school event we had Convocation where the seniors were given the key to the school.  This year's senior class did an amazing job celebrating their status as the leaders of the school while also creating a welcome environment for the new students.  I was proud of them and I know many of the faculty and staff expressed the same sentiment.  Check out some pictures on my Twitter page @kstcoeur


The AHS School Improvement Council is looking for two parent reps to join our group for a two year term.  If you are interested in running for a spot or would like more information on School Improvement Council please send me an email.  The School Committee policy on School Councils can be found here.  Elections will be held on Back to School Night, September 29 from 6-8pm.


The Ashland High School Student Council is getting ready for Homecoming week (September 18th - September 24th) and we want the whole Ashland Community to join us for two family-friendly events.

On Sunday, September 18th, we are running a pancake breakfast from 9am to 11am in the high school cafeteria.  All you can eat pancakes, sausage, juice/coffee/hot chocolate for just $5 per person.  

On Friday, September 23rd, prior to the football game we are running a barbecue in the small parking lot outside the stadium at the high school from 5pm - 7pm.  Join us for a burger (veggie burgers available) and chips for $5 per person.  Afterwards, stick around for the Homecoming Football game, against Medway.
  
For more information on these events, check out our website at: https://sites.google.com/site/stucoashland/homecoming or email Josh Wiczer, Student Council Advisor, at jwiczer@ashland.k12.ma.us




Legos at Ashland Day
This year marks the third year the Ashland Robotics Club will be selling and collecting used Legos at Ashland Day. Visit our booth and bring a few of dollars if you are interested in purchasing used Legos. The club members have worked hard to create kits just for you and your chidren. Prices for sets of Legos will range from $3 to $10. Donations of used Legos will also be gladly accepted at the table.

Can and Bottle Collection
This year, the Ashland Robotics Club will be at Ashland Day ready to collect your empty cans and bottles that can be turned in for deposit. There will be bins located throughout the park specifically for this purpose. Walk, eat, drink, and drop your recyclables in our bins. Want to drop off your own cans and bottles from home? We will gladly accept those as well. Please drop them to us at our booth and we will do the rest!

School buses:
The school bus drivers are requesting parent park cars a distance from the bus stop so they have enough room to safely turn the bus around when necessary.  Also, they want to remind parents that students should be waiting at the bus stop and be ready to board when the bus arrives.  The drivers should not be waiting for students to exit cars and walk to the bus.


Last year we started a new column, written by community members with backgrounds in the mental health field, to share ideas and strategies for raising happy, healthy kids.  The response was wonderful and we are pleased to share it with you again.  
Ashland Raises Healthy Happy Kids
We all want our children to be healthy and happy. This column will address a social-emotional health topic each week. We hope these will be a starting point for discussions and/or a reminder that kids can get stressed and need compassion and understanding. Let’s start with taking care of ourselves as the school year begins.  

  1. Value yourself: Treat yourself with kindness and respect and avoid self-criticism.
  2. Take care of your body: Eat nutritious meals, exercise, and get enough sleep.
  3. Surround yourself with good people.
  4. Volunteer: Helping others, or volunteering for an organization you are passionate about, makes you feel good and is a good example for your children.
  5. Learn how to deal with stress: Future columns will address coping skills for stress. Practice different things to see what helps you best - taking a walk, talking to a friend, yoga, journaling, playing with your pet.
  6. Set realistic goals: Aim high with your goals, both professional and personal, but be realistic and do not over-schedule yourself.
  7. Get help when you need it: Carpool with neighbors to kids’ activities, accept help when offered. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Please take some time to review the information found in our Parent Flyers section. There are a lot of great things happening around town!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Welcome to 2016-2017!

Good afternoon and happy Labor Day weekend!  

I hope that your children have enjoyed their first few days of the 2016-2017 school year and are as excited for the year as I am.  It has been wonderful to see the enthusiasm and energy in every classroom.  As an administration we have worked with our student leaders to promote an experience of inclusion and collaboration across the AHS community.  It is my hope that all students feel safe and comfortable, and therefore ready to learn, when they walk in these doors.  

We will hold class meetings for all classes on Wednesday, September 7 to review expectations and norms within the building.  Seniors will be ordering their caps & gowns at their meeting-June will come so quickly!

You are your child are encouraged to review the AHS Student Handbook this weekend and return the signature page.  Please complete and return the Health Emergency Form as well.  Your student can return both forms to the front office.

Ninth grade and new students will get the information they need to access their iStudent accounts at these meetings as well.

Parents, remind your students that they must make an appointment with their counselor immediately if they have questions about their schedule or wish to inquire about a change.  The last day to adjust schedules is Thursday, September 15th.  Students will not be allowed to drop classes after September 15th without penalty. 

Friday, September 9 is our annual PBIS Day and Convocation.  PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports.  We spend two hours engaged in cross grade, fun activities that teach our core values, expectations, and important information about AHS.  We follow this activity with an all school assembly where the senior class receives the ceremonial key to the school.  

If you are planning ahead Back to School Night at AHS is on September 29th from 6-8pm.  This night is an opportunity for you to walk through your student's schedule and get to hear from teachers about curriculum and expectations.  



If your child has a life threatening allergy please provide the school nurse with an Epipen, MD order, and parent consent.  If your child uses an inhaler to treat his/her asthma please provide the school nurse with an inhaler, MD order, and parent consent.
The forms can be found on the Ashland Public School website http://www.ashland.k12.ma.us/health-services.


The first Student Council meeting of the 2016-2017 school year is on Wednesday, September 7th at 6:55am in the auditorium.  The Student Council is open to all interested students; we will spend some time at the first meeting discussing the "Open Enrollment" process for joining the Student Council.  The Student Council plans Homecoming week and other major school-wide events during the year, and helps out in various ways around the school.  If you or your child have any questions about the Student Council, please contact advisor Josh Wiczer, jwiczer@ashland.k12.ma.us.



Is your child the "Ultimate Clocker"?  The Student Council is looking for a student to be "Warren", our electric-clock mascot, at the Homecoming Rally and Homecoming Football game.  Students who are interested should see Mr. Wiczer in B251 by Friday, September 9th.


Audition information for the Ashland High School Theatrical Society's 2015 Fall Production of The Girl From Maxim's is now located at ahsts.com. Anyone auditioning will be asked to prepare a monologue in advance. The monologue is available from the production's webpage. Auditions are Tuesday, September 8th at 230PM in the theater.


The PSAT will be administered here at AHS on Saturday, October 15th promptly at 7:30 am.  College bound juniors are expected to take it in order to prepare for the SAT.  Sophomores currently taking Algebra II who are considering the PSAT are advised to consult with their counselor about the pros and cons of taking it sophomore year.  Registration is with Mrs. Hunter in the guidance office until Friday, September 30th.  The cost of the test is $20, payable by cash or check made out to "Ashland Public Schools".  Students and parents are encouraged to consult their guidance counselor with any questions about the PSAT.  Students are reminded to bring #2 pencils and a graphing or scientific calculator on the day of the PSAT.


Parents of seniors - "College Night for Seniors and Families" will be Wednesday, September 14th at 7 pm in the AHS auditorium.  College application requirements, procedures and deadlines will be reviewed in detail, from the Common Application to teacher recommendations to tests and transcripts and everything in between. 





Check out the Parent's Flyers for information about upcoming events and activities.

Students interested in an SAT/ACT course flyers will be in the Main Office and in Guidance.  The class starts 9/7.
The AHS Campus Store will be using Signup.com this year to fill volunteer shifts. We are just starting to add the shifts and many more will be added so we encourage parents to check back often! You can sign up for as many shifts as you would like. It truly takes a village so we hope you will consider signing up. The more shifts we can fill the more the store will be open!  Questions can be directed to Lisa Massauro and Vee Dagg at clockerstore@clockerclub.org.



16th Annual Student Sportsmanship 
Essay/Multimedia Contest
 

Students from all MIAA Member Schools are encouraged to submit entries.  Show your creativity and express yourself in a literary work or multimedia presentation on the following topic:
Choose one or more words from this frequency map that best define sportsmanship, what it means to you, and the role it plays in high school athletics.(Click map for larger view)



·         PARTICIPANTS:  Contest is open to all students in grades 9-12 at MIAA member schools
·         LITERARY ENTRIES:  Must be typed, double-spaced, and contain no more than 500 words
·         MULTIMEDIA ENTRIES:  Must be a video that is no longer than 3 minutes

PRIZES
·         First Place ($400) and Runner-Up ($200) for each category (literary and multimedia)
·         Contest winners will present their entries as honored guests during the 23rd Annual Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium on Friday, November 18, 2016
·         First Place and Runner-Up literary entries will be published in a compilation entitled “Sportsmanship: A Game Plan for Life, Volume XVI”
·         First Place and Runner-Up multimedia entries will be available through the MIAA website

CONTEST DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
·         All entries must be received by noon on Friday, October 14, 2016
·         Literary entries should be emailed to educationalathletics@miaa.net
·         Multimedia entries should be emailed to the address above or mailed to:
MIAA Essay Contest, 33 Forge Parkway, Franklin, MA  02038

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to School Letter



August 12, 2016

Dear Students, Parents, and Guardians:
I hope this letter finds you well.  It is hard to believe that summer is almost over.  I hope you have all had a chance to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.  Since the end of the 2015-2016 school year we have had a few changes here at the high school.  

We are very excited to welcome the following new staff:      
  • Ms. Kayla Cardin, Chorus
  • Mr. Sean Curran, World Language
  • Ms. Nancy Duffy, Science
  • Ms. Sarah Finn, Special Education
  • Ms. Cyrstal Jankowski, English (Ms. Jankowski was with us as a long-term sub last year)
  • Ms. Anne-Marie Larche, World Language                                          
  • Ms. Katelyn Reno, Education Support Professional                            
  • TBA, English  
Most importantly, schedules for 2016-2017 for all new students were sent in a mailing on Friday, August 9, 2016.  If you did not receive a schedule please call the AHS main office to request one.  All other students can view their schedules through iStudent.  Any current AHS student who does not recall how to access iStudent can email Linda Chaney to have their account reset.  It is important to note that the schedules are not 100% finalized and there will be some changes as we try to balance out class sizes and meet the needs of all students.  The guidance staff and administration have been working tirelessly this summer to produce the best schedule for the greatest amount of students.  Any blank space in the schedule indicates a potential study period.  Study periods are being developed as needed and will be reflected by the first day of school.  Homerooms and lockers will be distributed on the first day of school.

Our guidance staff will return to the office on August 23.  If you would like to set up a meeting with your counselor, we will be offering 15 minute appointments from 8:30 – 11:45, and 12:30-1:30 on August 23, 25, and 26.  On August 24, counselors will be available from 11:30-3:00.  You may call the high school main office at 508-881-0177 to arrange an appointment.

I thank you for your patience in the scheduling process. I fully understand the anxiety that students may feel when it comes to their class requests.  The schedule is always a work in progress and we are trying to meet the needs of all 750 students.

If you have not already done so, please visit our website https://ipass.imgsoftware.com/school/ashland/pamregister.html and sign-up for iParent.  Accounts for new students are in the process of being set up and students will receive information on how to log-in at class meetings during the first week of school.  



Key Dates:

  • Freshman and New Student Orientation- Wednesday, August 24 from 4-6pm.  We will have a barbecue and fun activities so please plan to attend to get to know the school community.  

  • The Student Leadership Summit will be on Wednesday, August 24 from 9am-12pm.  This annual event is a chance for all students interested in helping to build a positive school culture and set goals and expectations for a great school year.  All captains and students in club and activity leadership positions are expected to attend.  Please RSVP to Mrs. Chaney at lchaney@ashland.k12.ma.us or 508-881-0177 to confirm attendance.


  • Football and cheerleading begin practice on August 19 and the other Fall sports team start on August 25.  Please make sure to register for fall sports by August 12.

  • Please sign up to receive the Principal’s Tweets on Twitter, @KStCoeur and the Athletic Director, @ClockerAD

  • First day of classes will be Wednesday, August 31, 2016.  There are no classes on Friday, September 2 and Monday, September 5, 2016 in honor of Labor Day. 

  • I will be using a blog format to share information this year.  All announcements and information will be linked to one page so that you can access information easily.  Check it out at http://ahsprincipalsnews.blogspot.com/

  • I will also be using Remind to send brief texts about upcoming events and other information.  Please join the text or email list by following the link on the blog above.


Enjoy the last couple of weeks of summer and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

Kelley St. Coeur
Principal