Friday, June 22, 2018

End of the Year News!

Good afternoon and Happy Summer!!!

Grades are now available in iParent/iStudent.  Please reach out to your guidance counselor or Dean if you feel there is an inaccuracy.

The main office will be open throughout the summer with the exception of occasional vacation days.  Please call or email before coming in to make sure someone is there. I will be out of the office for most of July on vacation and attending a couple of conferences but can be reached by email.

Please follow the link below for all summer assignments:
Summer Assignments

Peer Leader applications will be available to all members of the classes of 2019 and 2020 starting early next week.  Students will receive an email with the application and should return it to me prior to August 15.  We welcome all students to apply to be a part of this program and help our new students transition to AHS.

Schedules for the 2018-2019 school year will be available on or around August 6.  Stay tuned!  Guidance and our Deans are working diligently to make sure we have a schedule that meets the needs of the most students.  It's not an easy job.

Here are some tentative dates for Start of the School Year activities/times are to be determined:
Peer Leader training- August 21
Student Leadership training (ALL students interested in having a voice at AHS are encouraged to attend!)- August 23
New Student Orientation- August 22, 2018 4-6pm


Enjoy the summer and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers  for fun around town this summer.

Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8, 2018

Good afternoon-

The year is quickly coming to a close.  Four more days of the regular school year to go!  Thursday, June 14 is the last full day of classes.  Students only need to attend during final exams when their class has an exam.  Buses run on the regular schedule and students are welcome to stay in the building for extra help and to study. Sandwiches and salads will be available for lunch.  

June 15-21: Final exams for grades 9-11


The Fall Sports meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday 6/13 at 6:30 in the high school auditorium.  Any student, along with their parent/guardian, who is interested in playing a fall sport at the high school or middle school level should attend the meeting.  Please note that incoming 6th graders are able to participate in middle school cross country only.  Information on registration, athletic fees, and tryout dates will be made available that evening.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Grimes at mgrimes@ashland.k12.ma.us



Ashland High School will be hosting exchange students from China next year. The students need a home for the year.  If you are interested in hosting a student check out the attached flyer. 




Your Lego Donations Help AHS Robotics Team Succeed

The 2018 New England Regional Botball competition has come and gone, but not before the AHS Robotics Team placed second in the competition. This year marks the 16th year this team has been able to compete, and a big part of the success is due to fundraising and donations from the community. The team is now looking forward to the 2018-19 school year and fundraiser opportunities, including the sale of used Legos at Ashland Day!
Can you help? Somewhere in your garage, basement, or attic, there may be a box, bin, or tub of Legos collecting dust. Through your donations, the Lego team will turn used Legos into awesome sets that will then be sold at Ashland Day in efforts to raise funds for the 2019 competition. If you are interested and able to donate, please drop Legos to the main office at AHS when the building is open (about 9-2 daily during the summer). Simply tape “Robotics Club Donation, A219” to the top of your bin, and the Robotics Club will do the rest. Questions? Contact Chad McGowan, adviser, cmcgowan@ashland.k12.ma.us.
As to the clubs success this year? Led by seven seniors (Sabrina Liu, Nathan Savard, Conrad Tulig, Josef Komissar, Arthur Wang, Hunter Steele, Ethan Prybala, and Matt Levine) the club came in second to perennial winner, Winchester HS. With AHS’s two robots, Frank and Stein, the team made their way through the double elimination finals, where they eventually faced their second defeat of the day.
Thanks to the leadership of seniors as well as an upstart group of sophomores, the team cruised through early rounds as they prepared for an eventual head to head competition with Winchester. In a stunning move in the semifinals, AHS reprogrammed one of their bots on the fly and shocked Pembroke high by removing the oft coveted ‘Botguy’ from their robot’s reach. Unfortunately, the consistency of the Winchester team caught up with Ashland in the finals as they fell to defeat. At the end of the day, Ashland returned home with two trophies, Second Place Overall, and the KISS award for engineering and design. Congratulations AHS Robotics and Good luck next year!


 



Enjoy the weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .



Ways to Nurture a Child’s Mental Health

There are many things you can do to cultivate your child’s mental health. Children need adults to be present in their lives, treat them with respect, and model healthy behaviors and ways to handle emotions.

  • Actively listen before offering your advice.
  • Surround them with healthy adults.
  • Teach them how to be safe.
  • Use open ended questions.
  • Model forgiveness.
  • Be present.
  • Have scheduled family time.
  • Be patient.
  • Share your feelings and validate theirs.
  • Limit electronic time for everyone.
  • Respond calmly when their emotions are elevated.
  • Make play and exercise a requirement.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Be consistent and follow through with what you promise.
  • Practice relaxation exercises together.
  • Recognize positive choices.
  • Set and respect boundaries.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2, 2018

Happy Graduation weekend to all members of the Class of 2018 and their family!

We had a great senior week and are looking forward to celebrating the graduates tomorrow.  As a reminder, the doors to AHS open at 11am and graduation starts at 1pm. The ceremony will be live-streamed by WACA for anyone that wants to tune in at home.
https://livestream.com/WACA-TVAshland/events/8227233
Here are some pictures of the week:


News from the Athletic Department:
Fall Cheer tryouts will take place on Friday 6/8, Monday 6/11, and Tuesday 6/12 from 6:30-8:30 in the High School Cafeteria.  Tryouts for the Fall Cheer Team are open to any current 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grader. All perspective cheerleaders must bring an up to date physical with them to the tryouts in order to participate. If you have any questions please reach out to Mr. Grimes at mgrimes@ashland.k12.ma.us or Coach Burke at mariekatherineb@gmail.com.  


Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
The Benefits of Exercise for Teen Mental Health
One of the best things parents can do for their children is help them build an exercise habit. Summer break is a great time to start and instill this habit in children of all ages. Exercise might mean dance, yoga, swimming, hiking or organized sports. It should be something your children really enjoy so they're inspired to keep doing it.

Studies show that exercise has the following benefits for teen mental health:

  • Positively impacts levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mental health.
  • Releases endorphins, the body's natural "happy chemicals."
  • Lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which improves mood.
  • Increases self-esteem and body positivity.
  • Helps teens sleep better.
  • Exercise prevents substance use disorder.

Friday, May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

A very special thank you to all of the Veterans in our community. Today the Class of 2018 had a wonderful day of community service. They started the day with a presentation from Mass Fallen Heroes.  The speaker delivered a message about the importance of service and why we celebrate Memorial Day.  Check out this powerful video about Mass Fallen Heroes.

Parents of Seniors- Graduation is almost here!  
We are in search of childhood photos of seniors to be included in the slide show that will be presented at the senior class banquet and before the graduation ceremony.  The more seniors the better.  And the more photos of fun times over the years, the better.  Seniors and parents, please send digital images to  ashland18graduation@gmail.com.

Any seniors with food allergies should send details to Ms. Twomey at jtwomey@ashland.k12.ma.us so that accommodations can be made for senior week meals.

The following documents have been shared with the seniors.  Please encourage your son/daughter to return their Senior Week permission form as soon as possible. Students must have the permission slip turned in to attend any event.
Attached are the following documents:
Senior Week Schedule with graduation rehearsal times and senior week events 
Graduation blurb information-return blurb to ashland18graduation@gmail.com


Class Day and Graduation are open to all, no tickets are required!  We have plenty of room and we will live-stream the ceremony in the auditorium for anyone that needs a cool space to sit.  

A message from Student Council:
Student council is still looking for two students interested in running for the School Committee Advisory Council.  This group meets with the School Committee once every other month, informs them about what's going on at Ashland High School, and offers them the student perspective on policy as it relates to the Ashland Public Schools.  Any interested students must see Mr. Wiczer by Wednesday, May 30th to pick up and complete a nomination form.


Ashland High School will be hosting exchange students from China next year. The students need a home for the year.  If you are interested in hosting a student check out the attached flyer. 


Have a wonderful weekend!



Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids" Identifying symptoms of ADD and ADHD

Many people think of ADHD and picture a young boy who cannot sit still. In fact there are three groups of symptoms in both adults and children with ADD/ADHD: Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity.

Inattention

You might not notice it until a child goes to school. In adults, it may be easier to notice at work or in social situations. The person might procrastinate, not complete tasks like homework or chores, or frequently move from one uncompleted activity to another.

They might also:
  • Be disorganized
  • Lack focus
  • Have a hard time paying attention to details and a tendency to make careless mistakes. Their work might be messy and seem careless.
  • Have trouble staying on topic while talking, not listening to others, and not following social rules
  • Be forgetful about daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch)
  • Be easily distracted by things like trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others.

Hyperactivity

Kids with hyperactivity may:
  • Fidget and squirm when seated.
  • Get up frequently to walk or run around.
  • Run or climb a lot when it's not appropriate. (In teens this may seem like restlessness.)
  • Have trouble playing quietly or doing quiet hobbies
  • Always be "on the go"
  • Talk excessively

Toddlers and pre-schoolers tend to be constantly in motion, jumping on furniture and having trouble participating in group activities that call for them to sit still. For instance, they may have a hard time listening to a story. Hyperactivity can show up as feelings of restlessness in teens and adults.

Impulsivity

Symptoms of impulsivity include:
  • Impatience
  • Having a hard time waiting to talk or react
  • Have a hard time waiting for their turn.
  • Blurting out answers before someone finishes asking them a question.
  • Frequently interrupt or intrude on others. This often happens so much that it causes problems in social or work settings.
  • Start conversations at inappropriate times.


Talk with your doctor or pediatrician if you identify the above symptoms in yourself or your child. ADD/ADHD can be treated with therapy, learning strategies and organization skills, and sometimes medication.

Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018

Good afternoon and happy Friday!

It was a surprisingly quiet day given that it was the seniors last day of regular classes.  Just an example of what a great group of students  we have with the Class of 2018.  I am so proud them and can't wait to enjoy the next two weeks with them. They will go on to do great things!

Parent Focus Group members still needed:
On May 22nd Ashland High School will participate in the first step of our accreditation, which will formally take place in 2020.  I am still looking for a couple of parents who can meet with the visiting team on May 22nd at 9:35-10:30am.  Please email me if you are available!

Parents of Seniors- Graduation is coming quickly!  
We are in search of childhood photos of seniors to be included in the slide show that will be presented at the senior class banquet and before the graduation ceremony.  The more seniors the better.  And the more photos of fun times over the years, the better.  Seniors and parents, please send digital images to ashland18graduation@gmail.com.

Any seniors with food allergies should send details to Ms. Twomey at jtwomey@ashland.k12.ma.us so that accommodations can be made for senior week meals.

All members of the Senior Class will participate in Community Service Day on Friday, May 25.  The day starts with a presentation from the Fallen Heroes Project at 9am in the AHS Auditorium. This is a mandatory event/school day and all students are required to participate.

The following documents have been shared with the seniors.  Please encourage your son/daughter to return their Senior Week permission form as soon as possible. Students must have the permission slip turned in to attend any event.
Attached are the following documents:
Senior Week Schedule with graduation rehearsal times and senior week events 
Graduation blurb information-return blurb to ashland18graduation@gmail.com
The seniors are aware they must attend school following the senior week schedule and they must have a signed permission slip to attend senior week events.  

Graduation is open to all, no tickets are required!  We have plenty of room and we will live-stream the ceremony in the auditorium for anyone that needs a cool space to sit.  Class Day is open to all as well and we encourage families to attend.  


Students needed to represent AHS- get involved and have your voice heard!
The School Committee Advisory Council meets bi-monthly with the school committee updating them on things going on at the high school and providing the "student voice" to the committee.  In addition, one member from this group will be chosen (by the group) to serve on the school committee as the student rep and attend all bi-weekly meetings.

The Youth Advisory Council is run by Senator Karen Spilka and is made up of two students from each town she presides over.  This group meets 4 or 5 times a year with her, sometimes in MetroWest and other times at the State House in Boston, to discuss legislative matters as they relate to teenagers.  We are asked to elect an incoming junior and an incoming senior to this council.

Students interested in both of these positions should see Mr. Wiczer to pick up a nomination form. All paperwork must be submitted by Friday, May 25th at 2:50pm.


Families of Seniors! The class of 2019 is selling graduation yard signs! The signs are $26 and a portion of the proceeds goes to the class of 2019. Order yours through this link: https://jostens.typeform.com/to/dkLHsJ by Friday May, 18th! Signs will be delivered during senior week. 

As you may remember last spring a letter was sent out from Superintendent Adams regarding the series "Thirteen Reasons Why".  If you are not aware, Season 2 of the series has been released by Netflix today, May 18.  Season One quickly went viral, especially among adolescents, and dealt with intense topics including sexual assault and suicide. The second season is believed to have similar themes which could be disturbing to some youth.
Please remember that if your child has questions, they should always feel able to talk to the support personnel we have in our schools. Guidance Counselors, School Psychologists, Adjustment Counselors, teachers, administration, and any trusted adult in the building are always available to students.
The National Association of School Psychologists and others have created several helpful guides which I have linked here:


Friday, May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018

Good afternoon-

As I get ready to head to prom tonight I want to wish all of the students attending a safe, fun evening!  It is always a wonderful night and I have left every prom grateful for the amazing and responsible students at AHS. We have encouraged them to make good choices and reminded them that school rules apply and I am confident they will meet that expectation.  This past week we received a draft of the results of the Positive Community Norms survey.  The graphic to the right shows that the last time AHS students took this survey 91% of students their parents do not allow them and their friends to use alcohol in their home.  This survey shows the number rose to 93%!  Thank you, it takes a village to keep our kids safe. 

I am excited to announce that Ashland High School once again received a Silver Award ranking from U.S News & World Report, ranking #52 in the state and #974 in the country.  I am very proud of our teachers who work so hard to prepare our students for the next steps in their educational or work careers! 

Thank you to the PTO for amazing show of appreciation this week!  The AHS faculty & staff loved the breakfast, lunch, and treats provided over the course of the week.  Your generosity and support is what make Ashland such a great community to work for.

Families of Seniors! The class of 2019 is selling graduation yard signs! The signs are $26 and a portion of the proceeds goes to the class of 2019. Order yours through this link: https://jostens.typeform.com/to/dkLHsJ by Friday May, 18th! Signs will be delivered during senior week. 

News from Student Council:
Class Officer Elections
Any student interested in running for a class officer position or Student Council rep position should pick up a nomination form from Ms. Kulik, Mr. McGann, Ms. Dicken, Mr. Wiczer, or the front office.  Nomination forms must be submitted to Mr. Wiczer or the front office by Friday, May 25th at 2:45pm.

School Committee Advisory Council:
Do your child want to have a voice on the Ashland School Committee, sharing with them what's going on at the high school and offering opinions on policies that will directly affect students?  They should consider running for one of five positions on the School Committee Advisory Council.  Interested students should pick up a blue nomination form from Mr. Wiczer in B251.  Nomination forms are due by Friday, May 25th at 2:45pm.

Youth Advisory Council:
State Senator Karen Spilka is looking for two students from AHS to serve on her "Youth Advisory Council."  This group, made up of 2 students from each town that she represents, will meet once every other month with her at the State House, in Boston, or locally in MetroWest to discuss matters related to teens.  AHS is looking to send one incoming junior and one incoming senior.  Interested students should pick up an orange nomination form from Mr. Wiczer in B251.  Nomination forms are due by Friday, May 25th at 2:45pm.

Enjoy the weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:



The phrase I have heard most this past week is, “May is so busy!”. We’re almost there, folks! Five and a half weeks until school ends. We can make it if we do a couple small things each day to take care of ourselves.
  1. Make dinner easier. Grill, make pasta salads, or sandwiches. These can all be made quickly with healthy ingredients.
  2. Move your body every day. Exercise boosts endorphins, increases energy, and reduces anxiety. You don’t need to run 5 miles every day, just try to move your body for 20 minutes every day. Go for a walk after dinner or early in the morning, play soccer with your kids, dance in the kitchen, jump rope - do something you enjoy
  3. Teacher gifts do not need to be Pinterest worthy.  Don’t stress yourself out making, or finding, the perfect gifts for teachers/coaches/instructors. What they really want is a heartfelt note from your child/family.
  4. Call a friend. Chatting and laughing with a friend can immediately make you feel less stressed.
  5. Relax for 20 minutes every day. Take a bath, do yoga, read a book, meditate, watch a tv show with your spouse or kids.
  6. Hug your kids.  Your kids are only this age, in this grade in school, once. Enjoy this time.


Friday, May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

Good afternoon-

We have jumped right into summer and the last few days have been sticky in the building. I am looking forward to a week that is a little bit cooler next week as we head into AP exams, MCAS, and Senior exams. 


Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11!

A Message from the PTO:

Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week!  We want to recognize all the hard work or AMS and AHS teachers and staff do for our students every day with several events next week.  Please see the Sign Up Genius below to help out.


Thank you in advance for your donation


Throughout this week all members of the sophomore class experienced the Signs of Suicide program in the Wellness II (sophomore) classes throughout the course of the week. This is the 2nd year Ashland High School has used this evidence-based program when teaching this unit.
I encourage all parents to go to the Screening for Mental Health website at:  
http://sossignsofsuicide.org/
The log-in is: ashlandhs-par
The password is: parent
You can review the video students watched and can see other helpful tools to help discuss mental health with your child. Please ask your 10th grader what they thought of the program.  The feedback we received from students was very positive.  If you do not wish to have your child participate in this program please send an email to me at kstcoeur@ashland.k12.ma.us.

Parent Focus Group needed:
On May 22nd Ashland High School will participate in the first step of our accreditation, which will formally take place in 2020.  We will have a Collaborative Conference where a team of educators visits the school to see how we are doing as a school community working towards the standards put forth by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  Part of the process is a Parent Focus group.  I am looking for 8-10 parents who can meet with the visiting team on May 22nd at 9:35-10:30am.  Please email me if you are available! 

Parents of Seniors- Graduation is coming quickly!  
We are in search of childhood photos of seniors to be included in the slide show that will be presented at the senior class banquet and before the graduation ceremony.  The more seniors the better.  And the more photos of fun times over the years, the better.  Seniors and parents, please send digital images to ashland18graduation@gmail.com.

Any seniors with food allergies should send details to Ms. Twomey at jtwomey@ashland.k12.ma.us so that accommodations can be made for senior week meals.

All members of the Senior Class will participate in Community Service Day on Friday, May 25.  This is a mandatory event/school day and all students are required to participate.  It is also a day the students look forward to as they get a chance to give back to the community that raised them.  If you have a project or need please reach out to Ms. Lachapelle as elachapelle@ashland.k12.ma.us and she will see if the class can support your project in any way.

The following documents were shared with the seniors yesterday.  Please encourage your son/daughter to return their Senior Week permission form as soon as possible.
Attached are the following documents:
Senior Exam Schedule (see below)
Senior Week Schedule with graduation rehearsal times and senior week events (see below)
Graduation blurb information-return blurb to ashland18graduation@gmail.com
The seniors are aware they must attend school until following the senior week schedule and they must have a signed permission slip to attend senior week events.  

Graduation is open to all, no tickets are required!  We have plenty of room and we will live-stream the ceremony in the auditorium for anyone that needs a cool space to sit.  Class Day is open to all as well and we encourage families to attend.  

Here are some important dates to remember as the year comes to a close:
May 7- May 18: AP exams administered
May 11: Early Release for all students
              Grand March & Junior Prom
May 14: Academic Awards Ceremony
May 18: last day of classes for Class of 2018!
May 21-24: Senior exams (schedule)
May 23-24: Math MCAS (sophomores)
May 25: Class of 2018 Community Service Day (attendance is mandatory)
May 29-June 1: Senior Week
June 3: Graduation
June 6-7: Science MCAS
June 15-21: Final exams for grades 9-11



Dear High-Schooler,

In its 8th year, Harvard's Youth Lead the Change program for high schoolers (rising 9th to 12th graders) will run for five days from August 27-31, 2018 and will be held on Harvard's campus. Youth Lead the Change is a leadership program led by a team of Harvard undergraduates that seeks to provide high school kids with tangible leadership skills and empower them to be leaders in their communities. The program features guest speakers who are foremost leaders in their fields as well as numerous projects and modules to hone strong leadership skills. More information about the program can be found at http://www.harvardylc.com/. The application deadline is  May 15st.

If you are interested, you can apply here! If you have previously attended a YLC conference and would like to become a Junior Counselor, please apply here.

The program costs $200 for the five days and this fee includes lunch every day as well as all other materials provided throughout the program. Financial aid is available and we are need blind in our application decisions.  The financial aid application can be found here

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions! I can be reached over email at thomasbassett@college.harvard.edu.

Sincerely,

Thomas Bassett

Harvard University Class of 2021
209-595-8893


Enjoy the weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .


Healthy Sleep Habits for Kids of All Ages

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule – Your child's bedtime and wake up time should be about the same every day of the week, regardless if it is a school day or not.
  2. Exercise daily – Have your child make exercise part of his or her daily routine.
  3. Don't go to bed hungry – Make sure your child doesn't go to bed hungry. Provide a light snack such as a glass of milk, a piece of fruit, or cereal and milk.
  4. Avoid caffeinated products – Your child should avoid products that contain caffeine in the late afternoon/evening. Be aware caffeine-containing products include iced-tea, some sports drinks, and chocolate.
  5. Plan up to 1 hour of quiet time before bed – Before bedtime every night, allow your child to set aside up to 1 hour for calm, enjoyable activities, such as listening to quiet music or reading a book. This means NO SCREENS!
  6. Maintain a bedtime routine - This may include taking a shower or bath, brushing teeth, reading outloud or silently, saying prayers or a statement of gratitude, and a hug and kiss goodnight.
  7. Take phones/ipods out of kids' rooms when they go to bed- The buzzing, vibration and lights of texts and notifications can disrupt  sleep.