Friday, October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Good afternoon-
I hope the week of remote learning went well. We look forward to getting back in the building on Monday with our cohort A students. I continue to be grateful for the students and parents who do the right thing in terms of following COVID guidelines. While following these guidelines may not always make us exempt from possible exposure, it makes a difference. It is our response to exposure that is just as important. Thank you for allowing us at AHS, with the amazing support of the nursing department and Board of Health, to work through that response, in the best way possible. As we get ready to resume in-person learning in Monday please have a conversation with your student(s) about respect and responsibility. Words matter and it is important that if your student has a question or a concern they bring it to you or someone else in authority. Hurtful and accusatory language towards each other gets us nowhere. Now, more than ever, we need to be kind and supportive. 
Please review the following two important documents from the Superintendent:
Best of luck to all of the juniors participating in the PSAT's tomorrow. Please remember that all students are expected to follow the nursing protocols to check for symptoms. If you have symptoms, do not attend the PSAT's.
Our "Virtual Parent Night" will be posted on the AHS website and sent out through email next Thursday, October 22nd at 6pm. Each teacher will have a prepared presentation posted covering an introduction of who they are as well as the curriculum in their courses. You will be able to view this presentation at any time. If you have questions or concerns about you child you can always reach out directly to the teacher. Thank you.

The AHS Student Council is starting to plan Homecoming week, and it wouldn't be "Homecoming" without a Homecoming Pep Rally!  This year's rally is going to be a little different, though, and will be done completely "virtually" (with the help of WACA-TV).  But we need student help for this!  We need volunteers to participate in various "rally activities."  All of these activities would involve students doing something at home and filming it (or having a parent film it). 

If your child is willing to participate in the rally, please fill out the form online at https://forms.gle/Cry7qwyGoEWJerKh6.   (The Student Council will then select volunteers from the people who submit the form.)  If they are interested, please be sure they fill this out by Friday, October 23rd.  The Student Council will then get in touch with them after the 23rd with more details about the specifics of what they'll need to do.

Any questions?  Contact the Student Council at STUCO.ashland@ashland.k12.ma.us

IF your student is interested in a STEM career check out: “MassBay STEM Stories: Start Here. Go Anywhere.”, the first one of which is launching during Massachusetts STEM Week on 10/22.  Students/teachers/administrators will hear from MassBay STEM faculty, staff, students, graduates and industry professionals and learn about innovative STEM programs at MassBay, the resources and supports we offer MassBay STEM students and exciting career options in the STEM fields.  Registration is required.  Information is available on the attached flyer.  Students participating will be marked on a field trip for that time.


DAET is offering a Mindful Parenting webinar for caregivers on 10/26. Here are the links to register for the program. The flyer is attached. 
Monday, October 26, 9:30-10:30 AM
Monday, October 26, 6:30-7:30 PM

Monday, October 12, 2020

AHS updates on remote learning week

Good evening-

As you know, AHS will be fully remote this week. We hope we can return to in person learning next week. We can do it by working together to follow the guidelines!

AHS students, both cohort A & B, will be expected to follow their schedule as normal and be "in class" every day. More teachers may choose to teach cohorts synchronously this week. I have included the AHS Hybrid/Remote Learning Expectations here. 

The highlighted bullet points relate directly to full remote learning and can be found here:

Fully Remote Learning Times (added 10/12/2020)
If at any point AHS goes fully remote both A and B cohorts will follow the same remote schedule each day. Teachers are encouraged to use this opportunity to teach both cohorts synchronously if possible. The time schedule for each block will be the same as the hybrid model Monday/Tuesday & Thursday/Friday:
8:35-10:05- C block
10:10-11:40- E block
11:45-12:15-Lunch break 
12:15-1:45- F block
1:50-2:55- D block 
 
Wednesday will continue to be the schedule we have been following:
9:30-10:00-C Block
10:05-10:35-E Block
10:40-11:10-F Block
11:15-11:45-D Block
Students are expected to complete additional work for each class during the afternoon.

Additional Expectations for Full Remote Days
  • All classes should begin with a GoogleMeet check in for attendance and instruction. 
  • Attendance will be tracked in iPass as Remote Present or Remote Absent. If a student is unable to attend the class remotely a parent should call the AHS attendance line at 508-881-0177 or email ahsmainoffice@ashland.k12.ma.us 
  • Teachers do not need to keep students on a GoogleMeet for the entire block but are allowed to do so.  If teachers do not keep students on GoogleMeet for the entire block it is the expectation that they are providing assignments and work that will take the entire block to complete. Students should complete the assignment at that time. 
  • Teachers should be accessible during the entire class block to answer questions or provide help if students need it via GoogleMeet or email.. 
  • All classes should end with a GoogleMeet check in to ensure students have completed work, to answer questions, and to assign homework.   
  • Students do not need to login to a GoogleMeet for study hall, but should be checking in for all other classes each day. 
 

All athletics are canceled this week and students are expected to remain off school grounds.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. The office will be open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday so you can call or email with any needs. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

October 9, 2020

Good afternoon-

I hope you are looking forward to a nice long weekend. We are thrilled to have made it through four weeks of school and I am proud of our students. 

As you know numbers throughout the state are going up and we are receiving reports of students socializing on a regular basis. I echo the Superintendent's sentiment in asking that you help your students understand the importance of not gathering in large groups and continuing to practice safety protocols like wearing a mask and maintaining distance. 

If your student needs to miss an in person or remote learning day please call or email (ahsmainoffice@ashland.k12.ma.us) the school with that information. Please err on the side of caution and keep your student home if they are experiencing symptoms. Students do not receive a negative consequence for being absent unless it is a habitual incidence impacting academic performance. 

If you have not returned the health emergency forms yet we ask that you complete them as soon as possible. Students can drop them in the box in front of the main office:

Health Emergency Forms- English

Formularios de emergencia de salud - Español

Formulários de Emergência de Saúde - Português


Student drivers are also reminded they must have a parking pass in order to park at AHS. We will begin ticketing next week.

Does your senior need a yearbook photo? Our very own English teacher, Mr. Moshkovitz, is also a photographer. He has volunteered to take senior photos of anyone who has been unable to get their picture done because of  lack of studio accessibility or financial need. Please complete the attached form to express interest and Mr. Mosh will reach out to arrange a time for the session.

Sophomores will receive their Class Ring packets next week. Remote students can pick one up at the school. More information will be shared with parents next week.

Best of luck to our fall athletes competing in their initial competitions this weekend. Thank you to Stephen Marks and the entire team for creating an environment that is safe and gets the kids back playing. Please review the attached spectator policy which will be in effect next weekend.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

Good afternoon families-

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.

Back to School Night! We will have a virtual Back to School Night starting on Thursday, October 22. We will send out links created by each teacher so that you can check out their video message and get information about their curriculum and class at your leisure. 

Elections for parent representatives to the AHS School Site Council are held at Back-to-School Night.  Please let me know if you are interested in joining the council.  We meet monthly on Wednesdays at 4pm, typically the 2nd Wednesday of the month, but the schedule is set at the first meeting. We will meet virtually for the foreseeable future. Positions are for two years terms.

The AHS School Council is a group mandated by the MA Department of Education to assist the principal in:
1. Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards.
2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school.
3. Reviewing the annual school building budget.
4. Formulating a school improvement plan.
For any school that contains grades nine to twelve, the council shall review the student handbook each spring to consider changes in disciplinary policy to take effect for the following school year. 

If you would like more information please let me know at kstcoeur@ashland.k12.ma.us. 

Students who are interested in serving are encouraged to email me or come to the office for more information.  

Health Emergency Forms: Please return the forms sent in the mail before school started and shared in the recent Superintendent newsletter. It is important we have updated student information on file in the event of an emergency. 

Picture day at AHS has been scheduled for November 10 & 12. All students have their picture taken for their ID. 

Grynn & Barrett is not able to offer Senior Picture sessions at high schools this year. They are offering in studio sessions on 10/17 at their Enfield, CT location if anyone would like to schedule an appointment.

Friday, September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

Good afternoon-

Our second week with students continued to go well. We hope the beautiful weather continues as it has been great to have time outside. I am so proud of our students for doing a great job following expectations.

Please continue to monitor your student each day they are coming to school for any illness symptoms and do not send them to school if they are under the weather. Students will not be penalized for being absent. Just as in a regular school year, absent students should email their teacher to discuss how to make up any missed content.

Likewise, if your student is having technology issues on their remote days they should email the teacher to let them know. We understand these things might happen and will continue to work with students to make sure they receive the content they miss, and this could mean when they are in person.

Teachers are expected to update grades at least every two weeks. iParent and iStudent is now open to parents and students to check grades. Please reach out to the teacher if you have questions about any grades. 

Thank you for your continued patience with dismissal procedures. If you pick up your student I encourage you to wait to come to campus until 2:40pm. We will not be dismissing students who are picked up until about 2:45pm after all student drivers have left campus. Please do not cause a safety issue by driving around the line of cars into the student parking lot. 

Meal participation has increased at AHS. Please remind your student that meals are free to all until the end of the year and they are welcome to have breakfast when they arrive in the morning. 

I wish all that are celebrating Yom Kippur well. This is a day off from school and students are not expected to complete any assignments. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 


Saturday, September 19, 2020

End of Week 1

Good afternoon all-

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weekend. It is so nice to relax knowing what school at AHS now looks like. I am so proud of our teachers and staff for the work they did to get ready for last week and thank them for such a great week.

As we get ready for week 2 I will ask that you continue to work as an AHS family to practice mask wearing and social distancing and help our students understand their role in keeping us all healthy. Being in school will only work if we are all following expectations. 

I appreciate your flexibility as our teachers navigate hybrid learning and how to provide instruction on remote days. If you have questions or concerns about how the remote days are working, please reach out to the teacher. 

Wednesday is our first day of combined cohort classes for all. All students are expected to be logged on for synchronous instruction or check-in's with their teachers. The schedule for class meetings times is:
C period- 9:30-10am
E period- 10:05-10:35am
F period- 10:40-11:10am
D period- 11:15-11:45am
Students can expect to have asynchronous work to complete for the remainder of the day. Please bear in mind that teachers are working on figuring out the right balance of work to assign and students work at different paces. Your student will not be be on the computer for 6.5 hours on these days. Students are also encouraged to use the time from 8:30-9:30am and 12:15-2:55pm to make appointments with counselors. In the near future students will also have social/emotional lessons provided during  this time. We are planning class meetings for this Wednesday as well and will have more information on times by Monday. 

Chromebooks: If your student has had trouble with their Chromebook there is now a link on the AHS website to report the issue to our IT department:

You will find Google Form called "Chromebook Service Request Form" that parents can use to report any physical issues with their child's Chromebook.  It also contains a few troubleshooting steps for the most frequently reported issues. 

There is also a second link in that same box called "Microscope and Camera Check", which is a list of directions on how to test those items on a Chromebook.  We've been getting reports of student Chromebook microphones not working consistently, and this sheet should help parents troubleshoot those issues.

Attendance:
Attendance during remote days of hybrid learning is required. Students must plan to log in to their Google Classroom at the beginning of each class period to check in on assignments or to be ready for synchronous learning. 
Students who are not feeling well should stay at home but can also log in to complete assignments. This is the same as if a student stayed home during a typical school year but was able to complete assignments at home. We are required to track who is in the building when they are scheduled to be in the building. AHS has a very generous attendance policy and students are not penalized for being absent as long as they complete the required work in a timely manner. 

Afternoon pick-up:
Please assist us and the community in easing the traffic congestion each afternoon by pulling all the way to the side of the building, past the gym, if you are the first cars to arrive. Do not stop at the back doors. We also ask that you leave the front drive open so that buses can pull in. If you are arriving early please remember that idling is not permitted for more than 5 minutes and your car should be turned off. Students being picked up by parents will not be dismissed from school until after student drivers have been dismissed. Please help to prevent accidents by using the pick-up line. Do not ask your child to walk to the front of the building or on to East Union.  Dismissal starts at 2:40 and we have been done each day by 3pm. Cars that arrive at 2:55p don't have a wait!

Please reach out if you have any questions.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Day 1 for cohort B

 Good evening all-

Thank you for another great "first day of school". It was wonderful to see the Cohort B students in person. We continue to appreciate your patience and understanding as we work out the kinks that come with hybrid learning. 

As a reminder, doors to the high school do not open until 8:20am. We noticed today that many students arrived much earlier and congregated outside in a non-socially distant manner. Please reinforce with your student(s) that in order for us to have a successful experience they must wear a mask, even when outside, when they are not standing more that 6 feet apart. They are welcome to wait for the doors to open on the lawn, the patio area, and at the entrance but MUST wear a mask or be 6 feet apart. Students have done a great job wearing their masks in the classroom & building. We have been so proud of them!

The nice weather has allowed us to have mask breaks and lunch outside. We hope it continues for a while. We worked with students today to help them understand what sitting distantly while eating and will continue to do so. We have also been reminding students that lunch is free for all at this time. We encourage students to enjoy our great breakfast and lunch program. Students can not bring coffee and breakfast with them at this time unless they plan to finish it in the cafeteria between 8:20-8:35am.

If you are having trouble with your Chromebook please go to the AHS Website. There is a new link on the left side where you can report Chromebook issues as well as some tips for checking the microphones and cameras.

Students have seem to adapted to our QR codes and eHallpass. The phone app on eHallpass has been temporarily disabled because it does not support some of the social distance parameters we have put in place. If your student has questions about using either of these tools encourage them to speak to me or Mrs. Lachapelle. 

We also appreciate your patience as we fine tune the dismissal process. We have far more parents picking up this year than normal. I encourage you consider arriving at 2:55 or after if possible to allow some of the traffic to clear out if possible. Please do not ask your student to walk out onto E. Union. We want to keep all of our students safe!

It is my understanding that our Remote Only students have now all received their welcome emails from Educere. We greatly appreciate your patience as this was all set up. If your students needs a Chromebook as a remote learner we have them at AHS. Send us an email and we'll let you know a good time to stop by!

Have a wonderful night. We look forward to seeing our hybrid Cohort B students tomorrow.

And if your sophomore would like to order a class t-shirt..here is the link:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1KQiDLKXaWb3an6idPN9Wkan_uVH3SPGvXFxlaZgzt5A/edit