Friday, December 2, 2016

Week of 11/28/16

Good afternoon and Happy December!

Each year updated school and district report cards, including assessment data and other indicators, are available on Massachusetts ESE's School and District Profiles website. Below you will find an explanatory letter, a report card overview, as well as the complete Ashland High School report card.  We are extremely proud of the success our students have demonstrated on MCAS.  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

AHS Report Card Introduction Letter 

AHS School Report Card Overview

AHS Complete Report Card

Please join the AHS band and NHS at Barnes and Noble tonight!

Looking for a way to do good this holiday season?  Come to Barnes and Noble, Framingham tonight and you can help three AHS groups at once!

The band is presenting its annual "Polar Express" reading and concert at 6:30 p.m.  This is a great family event and fun for both kids and "kids at heart."As part of this event, the band will also be hosting an in-store bookfair, wherein a percent of your purchase will go toward the band. 

There will also be a "wish list" table with books requested by students that you can purchase and donate to the AHS library.  If you do this, be sure to write your name on a donation label that will be placed in the book by the cashier, so that we may thank you for your donation.  (This is a two-fer -- you are donating a book to the library, and a potion of the sale still goes back to the band!).

Lastly, members of the National Honor Society will be at the store from 5 - 9 p.m. to wrap purchases and collect donations for HomeBase Program for Veterans and Families, their designated charity for 2016-2017.  Help them reach their goal of raising $5000 for HomeBase, which provides treatment and support for veterans and 9/11 first responders suffering from the invisible wounds of war.  

Mr. McGowan, our Robotics Club adviser, just shared this album of pictures from the Robot Rodeo. It was a great day with lots of hands on learning.
Robot Rodeo photo album

If your son or daughter is interested in mentoring a younger student and helping them build their reading skills check out this flyer.
Mindess Reading Buddies

Dear All Students and Parents Grades 9-12,

This is a reminder that AHS is sponsoring a "Health Careers Night" on Tuesday, December 6th at 7 pm in the Ruthfield Auditorium.  AHS students and parents will learn from community members about a wide variety of rewarding careers in the health care field.  Panelists include nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physicians assistant, and nutrition will share their path to their career, what they love about it and what their day to day responsibilities are.  We hope to see you there!

The AHS Guidance Staff

We are very excited to once again welcome exchange students from China!  We are in the process of looking for host families who are willing to house a student from January 29-February 18.  Please check out the attached flyer.  We hope to hold an information session on December 7 at 6pm in the AHS library.  Please email me if you are interested at .

Make sure you check out our Parent Flyer's for more information about what's going on around town.

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
Five Quick Ways to Reduce Stress
Everyone has moments of stress or worry, even children as young as preschool age. Below are five easy “in the moment” ways for you and your child to cope with a stressful situation.

  1. Take a deep breath: Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.
  2. Listen to Music: Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety.
  3. Get moving:  All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals.
  4. Do a Full Body Stretch: Stand up, raise your hands over your head, and stretch your body while you take slow, deep breaths.
  5. Be Grateful: Thinking about, or saying out loud, one or two things you are grateful for can cancel out negative thoughts and worries.

Ashland Community Education has an innovative and interactive program called Use Empathy to Understand presented by MindsetGo.  This two hour participatory program will provide strategies, skills and ideas so you can better connect, relate and engage with your kids. Empathic communication and listening are key to building stronger relationships with your kids and to encourage them to share what is going on in their lives.

The program will be on Wednesday night December 7th from 7-9 at the Ashland Middle School Library. We have attached a flyer with more details but you can sign up at Parenting Skills for Life.

A message from the Framingham Public Library:
Thinking Money is a museum-quality traveling exhibition that is traveling to 50 U.S. public libraries between 2016 and 2018. It is aimed at middle/high schoolers and their parents, as well as at caregivers and educators. Framingham Public Library will be hosting it from December 13, 2016 through January 18, 2017. Through an adventure-themed story-line, interactive iPad content and other fun, hands-on activities, the exhibition explores the following themes:

  • Wants vs. needs
  • Earning and paying interest
  • Preparing for rainy/sunny day
  • Imagining your future self
  • Avoiding financial fraud
  • Thinking money
We'll also be hosting a series of programs running concurrently with the exhibit. These will feature a grand opening with a tour and game of Financial Jeopardy, a workshop on getting your first job, a workshop on how credit and debt work, and Shopping Spree Games, with taste tests, a competition to see who can spend their money the best, and more.

More information on the exhibit and the programs can be found at this link:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Week of 11/21/16

Good morning and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all AHS families!

It's been an active, although short, Spirit Week here at AHS and we have had a lot of fun.  

Junior "jungle"
Senior "beach" hall

Last evening each class decorated a hall in the theme of their choice for the Annual Hall Decorating Contest.
The freshmen left hot cocoa
               for the judges-a great touch, especially         for those of us that were out at the football game.
They won the contest!

                                                                                                                                                                    The junior and senior girls faced off in flag football having fun while raising money for the Ashland Senior Center. It was a cold night but everyone had a great time.  The seniors came out on top this year. I am so proud of how these young women have turned this into an event that gives to the community.  They collected $259 which will be donated to the Senior Center to be used toward holiday activities/gifts for senior citizens of Ashland. 

Today's Thanksgiving Pep Rally focused on the amazing things each and every club, class, team etc. at AHS does for the community.  It was wonderful to see how much the students have given to those around them.  Students who attended the Sportsmanship Conference last Friday were proud to present the MIAA Sportsmanship Banner to the school.

Finally, we wrapped up the Rally with the announcement of the Term 1 Students of the Term.  Each term the faculty nominates students who best exemplify our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Involvement, and Achievement.  The PBIS Team then tallies the nominations and votes on the winners for each value.  All of the nominated students receive a card acknowledging their accomplishment.

Here is the list of this terms honorees:
RESPECT: Maddie Graves
INTEGRITY: Casey Paolini

Please be sure to look for important updates in the Parent Flyers!

Ashland A+ Program


A little 2nd grade boy was crying in the cafeteria at the Warren school. He could only speak Portuguese and many around him could not understand his dialect. Mr. Manny, the janitor who was clearing up the cafeteria at the time walked over, and immediately put this boy at ease. Shortly, a bilingual child came over and helped this child feel at ease as well. Just another reason to be thankful for the kindness that we share at the Ashland Public Schools. 

This went another step further, when a little girl who was watching all this, was so touched by Mr. Manny's kindness that she decided to write him a not of thanks using the A+ card which was available for use at her school.

This is what the A+ program is all about. A simple but personal way to thank someone in the school system. Every school has A+ cards an envelopes available to all staff, parents and students. This holiday season, please take a few minutes to write a thank you note to someone in our schools, someone who has touched your heart and made a difference. 

More about the A+ program here --

A+ Program Administrators

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend, filled with rest, relaxation, and time spent with loved ones.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Week of 11/14/16

Good evening!

It's been a busy week and hard for me to believe it's already Friday.  I spent the early part of the week in Florida with the Make-a-Wish Club participating in their 2nd annual service trip to Give Kids the World.  It was a truly moving weekend and I am so proud of the 38 students that helped support children with life-threatening illnesses in receiving their wish.  

Today I joined ten student leaders at the MIAA Sportsmanship Summit.  It was an inpiring day and students are coming back to AHS with great ideas.  We were proud to receive the Sportsmanship Honor Roll banner!

Here are some beautiful pictures from the NHS Veteran's Day Event. So proud of this initiative!

Report cards are out today!  All parents with iParent accounts and all students can now see their Term 1 grades.  We anticipate GPA's (for grades 11 & 12) and Honor Roll will be available on Monday.  If you need a paper copy of the report card please email Linda Chaney at

It's spirit week next week, leading up to the Thanksgiving Rally!
Monday, November 24th is "business attire" day -- students should come looking "professional"!
Tuesday, November 25th is "twin day."
Wednesday, November 26th is "class color / Ashland pride day."

Our annual Junior vs. Seniors girls football game is Tuesday, November 23rd at 7pm on the AHS athletic field.  Admission is any monetary amount, $1 to ????.  All money will be donated to the Ashland Senior Center.

Any student interested in participating in the Student Council's "bubble soccer" activity at the Thanksgiving rally must pick up a permission slip by Monday, November 21st (either at lunch or from Mr. Wiczer's room, B251) and return it with a parent signature by Tuesday, November 22nd.  All students who return these permission slips will be entered into a raffle and 16 students will be chosen at the rally to participate in this fun event!
As a reminder dismissal is at 10:30am on Wednesday.  There is no late bus and no after school activities.

Ashland football will be hosting Hopkinton on Thanksgiving.  Before carving the turkey and enjoying time with family and friends, get out and support the football team at 10am Thursday morning.  Pre-sale tickets are now on sale through the Athletic Office.  $5-students/$7- adults.  Go Clockers!

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
  1. Name your blessings - Have a moment of thanks each day when everyone names one thing they are thankful for.
  2. Be a grateful parent - Tell your children why you are grateful to have them.
  3. Resist the urge to shower your kids with too much “stuff” - Buying kids whatever they want, whenever they want, dilutes the gratitude impulse and it can mean that they don’t learn to value or respect their possessions.
  4. Have kids pitch in when they want something new - When kids take the time to save up, they gain an understanding of the value of a dollar by working toward what they want.
  5. Set a good example by saying “thank you” sincerely and often
  6. Have kids hand-write thank you notes
  7. Encourage children to give back - When children give their time and energy to help others, they’re less likely to take things like health, home and family for granted.
  8. Insist on politeness and respect all around

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Week of 11/7/16

Good afternoon & happy Thursday-

I am writing today because I head off shortly on the Make-A-Wish service trip to Give Kids the World in Florida. What an honor to travel with such an amazing group of students committed to giving back to the world around them. 

The end of Term 1 is here. Grades close today. 
Report cards will be available in iParent/iStudent on Friday, November 18.  If you need a paper copy of the report card please email Mrs. Chaney in the front office (  

Dear AHS Parents and Students,
Health Careers are booming, and students and parents are routinely asking us about them.  Our health care system affords a wide range of well-paying health care occupations requiring varying levels of education.  AHS, with the support of several community members is sponsoring a “Health Careers Night” on Tuesday, December 6th at 7 pm here at AHS in the Ruthfield Auditorium.  AHS students and parents will learn from community members in the health care field about a wide variety of rewarding careers in health care.  Panelists will share their path to their career, what they love about it, and what their day to day responsibilities are.  This is the first in what is hoped to become a series promoting other career fields, and we invite parents and students to join us!  Please contact Mr. Garrigan in the guidance office with any questions.
Ashland High School Guidance Department
Brian Garrigan

Dear Ashland Families,

As many of you know, the Decisions of Every Turn (DAET) Coalition & the Friends of the Ashland Public Library Community Programming with support from ASHPAC and the Ashland K-12 PTO, were able to bring Dr. Ken Ginsburg to Ashland for a full day on October 19th. Dr. Ginsburg spoke to students (grades 7, 9 & 10), staff, and parents about fostering resilience in our community. There has been a wave of positive feedback and comments indicating that his messaging should be shared broadly. To that end, several learning opportunities are available:  
  • For a limited time we are able to share Dr. Ginsburg's evening presentation with Ashland families at Invite your Middle or High School-aged child to watch it with you. This is a great opportunity for parents and their teens to have meaningful conversations around fostering and building resilience. For additional information, Dr. Ginsburg’s website can be found at  
  • DAET's Resilience and Social-Emotional & Mental Health Parenting for Prevention tip sheets are attached to help support resilience-building efforts and student social-emotional & mental health.
  • DAET recently convened a Parent Group to discuss how Dr. Ginsburg's messages can be further integrated into our homes, schools, and community. It was a great conversation; thank you to those who attended. DAET looks forward to hosting another Parent Group meeting in January. We hope you can join us; stay tuned for details.
Thank you for all of the generous support of Dr. Ginsburg and the excitement for continuing this very important conversation.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ashland's Decisions at Every Turn Coalition at or visit the website at

 Click here to see Dr. Ginsburg's presentation: Dr. Ginsburg parent presentation

Please take a moment to review the Parent Flyers.  
Consider joining the Friends of the APL and Decisions at Every Turn at the World Cafe Discussion on Alcohol next Tuesday, November 15.  More information can be found in the flyer.  

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
Signs of a healthy teen (or adult) relationship

  1. Mutual respect -  Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands  the other person's boundaries.
  2. Trust -  It's ok to get a little jealous sometimes,  jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
  3. Support - In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on when you go through something difficult  and also there to celebrate your accomplishments.
  4. Fairness/equality - You need to have give and take in your relationship.  Things get bad when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.
  5. Separate identities- Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don't, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.
  6. Good communication - Speak honestly and openly and do not keep your feelings bottled up.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Week of 10/31/16

Good evening and happy Friday-

I just left the AHSTS performance of The Arabian Nights and it was fabulous.  If you can get here tomorrow night at 7pm or Sunday at 2pm I highly recommend it. Congratulations to the cast & crew on a job well done.

A reminder there is no school on Tuesday, November 8 due to the elections.  

Site Council meets on Wednesday, November 9 at 4pm in the main office conference room.  All are welcome to attend.

It is hard to be believe November is here.  Term 1 ends this coming week on Thursday, November 10. 
Report cards will be available in iParent/iStudent the following week on Friday, November 18.  If you need a paper copy of the report card please email Mrs. Chaney in the front office (  
We appreciate your patience while iPass was closed this week for a software update.  iParent/iStudent are working now.

Prior to the administration of the MetroWest Health Survey on Tuesday our Peer Leaders went to each homeroom to explain the Check it at the Door Declaration.  It's a great concept so I wanted to take a moment to share it.  The Declaration is hanging on the doors of all classrooms.  

Check it at the Door Declaration
I believe:
that ALL people should be valued and appreciated;
that every person is a treasure worthy of dignity and respect;
that diversity in humans is a strength;
that by pre-judging people and holding biases,
I will miss the beauty within each individual person.

I realize:
that it is natural for people to be uncomfortable with those who are different from themselves,
but I will work to overcome these feelings.
that people have different appearances, beliefs, ethnicities, experiences and identities,
and I realize that the world is a better place because of these differences.

I pledge:
to be aware of my biases and the way I pre-judge people;
to try to get to know the person who may look, dress, think or live differently than I do;
to check my biases and temptation to pre-judge people at the door.
Posted at Harmony Cafe, Author Anonymous

*****Connolly Bus Company would like to remind all parents that you should not be in the bus drop off areas in the morning.  Please drop students at the back of the school until 7:30am.******

A message from Paul Vieira, Assistant Superintendent:
We are entering our final week with our Panorama survey. Last week we doubled our parent response rate and I hope to have a few more families respond to the survey this week. The last day of the survey is November 11th. Panorama will send out an email to you tomorrow with another link to the survey.

We will administer the Panorama Student Survey at AHS this week on Wednesday, November 9.  Students will take the survey in homerooms during break.  They will be given the link then and their log-in will be their student id. Students are welcome to bring their own devices to complete the survey.  Any parent who does not want their student to take the survey can email me.  

NHS News: Almost everyone knows a veteran... some deceased, some living, some still serving.  The National Honor Society cares about veterans too...
As part of our efforts this year, we are creating a "Courtyard of Honor" with a field of flags in memory of or in honor of veterans.  Each flag is $10.  

We hope you will consider purchasing a flag for a veteran you love.  The order form is linked here.  Please forward to the National Honor Society here at AHS.  

Help us fill the courtyard!

All funds raised will be given to Home Base Veteran and Family Program (a partnership between the Boston Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital), our designated charity this year.  Home Base provides programs for veterans and 9/11 first responders who are suffering from PTSD and the invisible wounds of war.

The Clocker Idol - Season 3
Does your child have what it takes to be this year's "Clocker Idol"?  We're looking for some talented singers interested in auditioning for this singing contest, AHS's version of "American Idol."  Auditions will take place on Wednesday, November 16th starting at 2:15pm in the chorus room.  Interested students should see Ms. Cardin or Mr. Wiczer to sign-up to audition.  Students auditioning should come with background music to sing over (usually referred to as a "karaoke track").  The actual event will take place on Thursday, December 22nd, at 7pm in the high school auditorium.

There are lots of new Parent Flyers this week.  Please take a moment to read them over.

Ashland Raises Healthy and Happy Kids
Being rude is inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else. In children this takes the form of things such as burping in someone's face, jumping ahead in line, bragging about achieving the highest grade, or throwing a crushed up pile of leaves in someone's face. Incidents of rudeness are usually spontaneous, unplanned, based on thoughtlessness, poor manners or narcissism, but not meant to actually hurt someone.
Being mean involves purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice). Unlike unthinking rudeness, mean behavior very much aims to hurt someone. Very often, mean behavior in kids is motivated by angry feelings and/or the misguided goal of propping themselves up in comparison to the person they are putting down.
Bullying is intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. Kids who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse, even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop. DIfferent kinds of bullying include physical and verbal aggression, social exclusion, hazing, rumor spreading, and cyberbullying. The key aspect to all of them is the ongoing nature of the behavior, which leaves the victims feeling powerless and fearful.
It is important for parents to remember that children depend on a non-jaded adult's ability to discern between rudeness at the bus stop and life-altering bullying. And to talk with their children about the different meanings and motivations of each.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Week of 10/24/16

Good afternoon and happy Friday-

It has been a busy week here at AHS so I thought I would share some pictures of the highlights.

Mix-It-Up Day: meeting new friends at lunch

ELL program graduation

NHS Officers light the candles representing the pillars

National Honor Society induction- October 27, 2017
Students heard from AHS graduate  Dr. Sushrut R. Jangi, MD on the importance of giving to others and the impact high school had on him.

Group costume winners!

Honorable mention for dressing as themselves
 The Halloween costume parade is a tradition for the senior class. Students dress in costume and parade through the building for all classes to see.  The creativity is amazing!
The class of 2017 in costume

MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey
Ashland High School students in all grades are once again scheduled to participate in the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey regarding their attitudes and behaviors with regard to a variety of health issues.  We will be administering this survey to students on November 1st, 2016.

The survey is both anonymous and voluntary. The results of this survey provide valuable data for the school and local community to use when setting priorities for addressing the health needs of students and to improve upon the health education programs and prevention services provided for them.

For more detailed information about the test, sample viewing, and opting-out please click here: MWAHS Opt-out

The Sophomore Class of 2019 met on Thursday and received information about ordering class rings from Jostens. There will be a parent ordering night at the HS on Tuesday Nov. 1st from 5-7pm outside of the cafeteria and in school orders can be made at lunches on  Wednesday Nov. 2nd.  If you have any questions contact Mrs. Kulik, the class of 2019 advisor at

Stop by Yogurt Beach in Hopkinton on Wednesday, November 2nd to get your froyo fix and support the Class of 2019! Simply mention the fundraiser and 30% of the proceeds will be donated to the class of 2019! 

Tickets are now on sale for the AHSTS production of The Arabian Nights. The production runs Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th at 7PMSunday, November 6th at 2PM. Patrons may buy tickets in advance online at AHSTS offers discounted tickets purchased online. All seating is reserved. For more information or tickets, visit

Attention Parents and Guardians!  We had an overwhelmingly positive response to our speaker, Dr. Ken Ginsburg, who spoke to students, faculty, and parents about fostering resilience in our community.  At this time, we are looking to continue the momentum by creating a Decisions at Every Turn (DAET) Coalition Parent Group to discuss some of the issues faced by our students today. Any parent/guardian who is interested is welcome to join us on Wednesday, November 2nd at 7pm in the Ashland Middle School Activity Room. At this first meeting we are looking to discuss ways of incorporating Dr. Ginsburg’s message in our community. We hope you can join us!

Robot Rodeo 2016 is Here!
It's back and bigger than ever! The hands-on, family fun, learning, building, and creative all-day event is back at Ashland High School on Nov 19th! What is a Robot Rodeo? It is an opportunity for kids of all ages (that means you too parents!) to come and learn about how robots are made, what they can do, and get hands on with a wide variety of educational robotics. Our high school robotics club is hard at work building an exciting day of activities that includes old fun robots like MiP and Spheero, and introduces new robots including Dash, Ozobot, and much more! Want to learn about circuits? How about Lego robotics? Want to create amazing Lego robot monsters? You and your family can do it all. Food and drinks will be available as well. $5 entry fee gets a student in to join the fun and a fun prize at the end of their day. Learn more:

Samba Restaurant Supporting the AEFI:  Samba Restaurant (East, 1138 Worcester Rd, Framingham) has generously agreed to support the AEFI by donating 10% of your dining & drink costs to the AEFI.  The AEFI will be distributing Samba-AEFI supporter wallet cards to the Ashland community to get 10% of your dining costs donated to the AEFI.  You may receive a Samba-AEFI supporter card from any of the Ashland School Main Offices.  Please email if you have any questions.

Please review the Parent Flyers section.
Ashland Raises Happy & Healthy Kids:
Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age
  1. Create a family media use contract -  Write up rules and guidelines about what when, how, where and for how long different screen activities are ok.
  2. Keep car time for talking - In the car, you have a captive audience. Use this time to chat with your children rather than talking on your phone or allowing them to text or play games.
  3. Put away your smartphone when your kids walk in the house (or get in the car) from school - Nothing says “you don’t matter that much,” or “everyone and everything else is more important than you,” than having a parent or caregiver pull up for pickup but hardly look up from a call or texting.
  4. Make meal time screen free - This includes breakfast!
  5. No screens in the bedroom - Have children charge their devices downstairs or in their parent’s bedroom.