Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018

Happy Monday!  

I hope you have all enjoyed the Family Reconnect Weekend.  We are lucky to enjoy today off to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. but this day does remind me of how much still needs to be done.  Students at AHS are the kindest I have ever worked with, yet we are dealing with regular incidents of discrimination and behaviors that cause hurt to groups that are different, whether it be because of their skin color, religion, sexual or gender identity, and a host of other reasons.  We have always taken behaviors that hurt other students with the utmost seriousness.  As we move into 2018 we will continue to find ways to educate students on how to treat all members of the AHS community with respect and kindness.  I hope today offers you some time to have conversations about positive, kind, respectful behavior with your child as well as how to address hurtful behaviors when they encounter them.  I fear we still have such a long way to go to achieve MLK Jr.'s dreams, but my hope is that AHS students can make a positive impact on the world as we work to build a community of respect.  

Mid-term exams:
Mid-terms are at the end of the month: here is the mid-term exam schedule .  Students only need to attend for their exams.  However, the building will be open regular hours and teachers are available outside of exam hours for students needing extra help.  The attached schedule shows regular class meeting times so students can plan when is the best time to meet with teachers if they need to.  The cafeteria will be open for sandwiches and salads for any students who will be at AHS for the day.



Attention all parents: Exam Care Packages for your child are now for sale! Midterm exams are coming up and the Class of 2020 is offering you the opportunity to send your favorite student a little package of goodies just prior to their first exam to show that you care!  It also contains a note of luck from you letting you know that you are thinking of them. Sending an exam care package costs only $10 per package. You can find order forms on the AHS website or can be found at the main office or guidance office.  If you have any questions, you can contact Mr. McGann at cmcgann@ashland.k12.ma.us.


Reminders for 2nd semester:
All AHS students are reminded to check their 2nd semester schedules in iStudent right away, and to make certain that 2nd semester half year classes are in order.  See your counselor immediately, and no later than January 19th if you need to discuss a change.

The course selection process for 2018-2019 will be starting in a couple of weeks.  Make sure your iParent accounts are set up and ready to go so you can have a part in approving your students courses.



Tickets are now on sale for the AHSTS production of Pippin. The production runs Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd at 7PM, and Sunday, March 4th at 2PM.

AHSTS offers online sales up to two hours before show time. AHSTS discounts tickets purchased online (Adults: $11.99, Students and AHSTS Alumni $8.99), Patrons may buy tickets at the door at full price. (Adults: $15, Students and AHSTS Alumni $10) Visit www.ahsts.com to purchase tickets.

AHSTS is offering a sale on adult tickets purchased online by 2/1/2018 using the code AHSTS. Sale price is $9.99. Enter the code: AHSTS to receive the option of purchasing sale tickets.

Please Note:

-Sale price cannot be applied to prepurchased tickets

-No exchanges or refunds.

For more information or tickets, visit www.ahsts.com.



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



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year!

Good afternoon!

The snow days have thrown off my schedule but I'm dug out and ready for a great week.  As a reminder, students have another short week as Friday is a Teacher Professional Day.  It is also the kick-off to Family Reconnect Weekend.  I am looking forward to more quality time with my family. 

Mid-terms are at the end of the month: here is the mid-term exam schedule .  Students only need to attend for their exams.  However, the building will be open regular hours and teachers are available outside of exam hours for students needing extra help.  The attached schedule shows regular class meeting times so students can plan when is the best time to me   The cafeteria will be open for sandwiches and salads for any students who will be at AHS for the day.

Attention all parents: Exam Care Packages for your child are now for sale! Midterm exams are coming up and the Class of 2020 is offering you the opportunity to send your favorite student a little package of goodies just prior to their first exam to show that you care!  It also contains a note of luck from you letting you know that you are thinking of them. Sending an exam care package costs only $10 per package. You can find order forms on the AHS website or can be found at the main office or guidance office.  If you have any questions, you can contact Mr. McGann at cmcgann@ashland.k12.ma.us.


Here is the link to the women's lacrosse team store!
https://www.warrior.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-warrior_us-Site/default/Team-MemberOrder?orderId=52153

Friday, December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017

Good afternoon & happy Winter Break!

I hope you have a wonderful, restful break with lots of quality family time.  

The AHS office will be closed next week so we can spend time with our family and friends.


Thanks to everyone who came out for Clocker Idol, and congratulations to Adrianna Fawkes, our 2017 "Clocker Idol"!  The Ashland High School Council raised $1225.95, to be donated to the Ashland Emergency Fund.

If you weren't able to make it, WACA-TV filmed the event and as soon as they've finished their work on it, it will be posted online at: https://sites.google.com/site/stucoashland/videos


Snapshots of the day before winter break at AHS....
Mr. Shennett's D block class gave him a ping-pong table.  Great stress relief!

























We loved having Gus, the therapy dog in training, visit today.  The holidays and break can be hard for many people.  Gus made a lot of students smile today.
For planning purposes here is the mid-term exam schedule for next month.  Exams are scheduled for the last four days of the semester- January 23-26. 

Have wonderful week and we'll see you 2018!

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017

Good evening-

Hard to believe it but there is only one week left until the winter break.  The year is flying by.

As a reminder early dismissal next week is at 12:35pm on 12/22.

For planning purposes here is the mid-term exam schedule for next month.  Exams are scheduled for the last four days of the semester- January 23-26.  



NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) Accreditation:
NEASC accreditation is a process Ashland High School engages in every 10 years.  Accreditation is a way to show that AHS is doing great work and meeting high standards set forth by the Association.  Thank you to the many families that have completed the survey as well as provided feedback.  
WE WANT AND NEED YOUR INPUT to make ongoing improvements to AHS!  I provided some feedback to NEASC that some of the questions were difficult to answer by parents.  They encourage you to sit with your student(s) and ask for their opinion on questions you aren't sure of.

Parents, please take time to complete the attached survey over the course of the next week:



We ask that every family complete only one survey. You do not need to complete multiple surveys if you have more than one student in the school. We will close the survey next Wednesday and truly value your input.  



The Clocker Idol - Season 4
On Wednesday, December 20th, the Ashland High School Student Council will be presenting the fourth year of "The Clocker Idol" (our version of American Idol) at 7pm in the high school auditorium (65 E. Union St.)  Admission is $5/person and all the proceeds will go to the Ashland Emergency Fund.  The entire community is invited to watch this family-friendly event and help vote on who the next "Clocker Idol" will be.

The contestants are: Anthony Boccabella, Allen Brodskiy, Lauren Burke, Julia Caruso, Adrianna Fawkes, Anne Fejer, Katarina Gertje, James Lee. 

The event will be MCd by: Kaleigh Donovan and Andrew Dunn.  

The judges are AHS faculty members Aleisha Egan, Mary Nemeth, Sue Reap, Kelley St. Coeur, and Janet Twomey.

Check out our promotional video online: https://youtu.be/_AP5qaW-iJw


Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .


Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids: A Few Facts About Vaping

Vaping has increased rapidly among teens across the country and in Ashland and Metrowest according to the Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey.  Many teens, and adults, don’t know the effects vaping can have on emotional and physical health so below are a few facts.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are NOT risk-free.
Although it’s generally agreed that these products are less harmful than smoked cigarettes, there is no evidence that they are, in fact, safe. There is a growing body of research to suggest that they may lead to negative health consequences, including: damage to the brain, heart and lungs; Cancerous tumor development; preterm deliveries and stillbirths in pregnant women; harmful effects on brain and lung development, when use occurs during fetal development or adolescence.

They contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug with known health risks.
Using nicotine, regardless of how it is delivered, increases the risk of addiction. Nicotine addiction is notoriously difficult to reverse, and addiction to e-cigarettes can lead to using other nicotine products, including smoked cigarettes, as well as alcohol and other drugs.

Nicotine can affect brain development and functioning in young people.
Young people are particularly vulnerable to using e-cigarettes and vaping devices and to their effects. The younger a person is when he or she tries nicotine, the greater the risk of addiction. The developing brain is more vulnerable to the effects of addictive substances than a fully developed adult brain. Additionally, nicotine can disrupt brain development, interfere with long-term cognitive functioning, and increase the risk of various mental and physical health problems later in life. 

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are not FDA approved.
Until very recently, manufacturers and distributors of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices were not bound by standards of safety set by the FDA for smoked tobacco products. Despite the new regulations, e-cigarette manufacturers are free to project a risk-free image in their marketing, and offer enticing, candy-like flavors that appeal to children, adolescents and young adults.

There is little consistency across different products.
Until recently, there was limited federal oversight for e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, making it difficult to assess the dangers of any specific product. Across products, there was considerable variation in the nature and concentration of the ingredients, including nicotine and other known toxins.

There is no evidence that the aerosol from these products is safe.
There is limited research into the long-term health effects of aerosolizing nicotine and other chemicals in e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. It is clear, however, that the additives, heavy metals, ultrafine particles, and other ingredients they contain include toxins and carcinogens.
The spread of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices may be re-normalizing smoking behavior.
The increase in nicotine devices and products and their widespread availability is reversing some of the progress made over decades of intense global, national, and local efforts to reduce cigarette smoking, especially among young people.

It’s not always nicotine in those e-cigarettes.
There have been media reports of teens vaping other drugs, such as alcohol. It’s like chugging alcohol. You’re skipping the filtration system in your body and that can lead to alcohol poisoning much faster than drinking. Many teens are also vaping marijuana which is illegal and unsafe.

E-cigarettes are easy for teens to get.
The sale of vaping supplies to minors is banned across the country. But teens have no trouble buying the stuff online.
Share these facts with your teens!

Friday, December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017

Good afternoon-

I hope you have had a wonderful week!  

If you missed the announcement earlier this week please see the attached message.  We are so pleased to announce that Mrs. Lauren Carreiro, Dean of Students, has been named by the Massachusetts School Administrators Association as the 2018 Assistant Principal of the Year.  I couldn't be more grateful to work with such an amazing, caring, and innovative colleague.  






This morning we had a wonderful breakfast hosted by the PBIS team, Peer Leaders and Student Council to honor the 80 students who were nominated by a staff member for continuously modeling the core values. It was a great group!












A few reminders and upcoming dates:
12/13- Winter Choral concert- 7pm
12/20- Clocker Idol - 7pm

Dismissal time on December 22nd- High School12:35 p.m. 


For planning purposes here is the mid-term exam schedule for next month.  Exams are scheduled for the last four days of the semester- January 23-26.




NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) Accreditation:
NEASC accreditation is a system of accountability that is ongoing, voluntary, and comprehensive in scope.  WE WANT AND NEED YOUR INPUT!  

Parents, please take time to complete the attached survey and help provide us with valuable information:



We ask that every family complete one survey. You do not need to complete multiple surveys if you have more than one student in the school. Thanks for the feedback some of you have provided.  I am sharing with NEASC.  This is a relatively new survey and they welcome any thoughts.  


Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .


Enter the PSA and Poster Project
Be the Change
2017-2018 PSA & Poster Projects
All middle and high school students of member districts and organizations of MPY are invited to submit original Public Service Announcements and Posters to the Annual PSA and Poster Project hosted by Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. 
This year's theme is Be the Change.  Individually, and collectively, we have
tremendous power to create positive change in our lives and the lives of
others. This theme is about challenging students to step out of their comfort zone to make their schools and communities better places to live and learn.
Possible topics for the videos and posters include:
  • Speaking up when you see a wrong
  • Showing respect for all, including those
    who are different from you
  • Believing you can become anything you wish to be
  • Using your voice to create a positive change
  • Don't just dream it, do it
This project is open to all middle and high school students of member districts and organizations of MPY. Students may enter one or both projects. 
Click Here for Poster Project Application.  Entries due January 26, 2018.
Click Here for PSA Project Application. Entries due May 4, 2018.

Click Here for PSA and Poster Project flyer.

Please visit our website for the most updated information

All posters must be an 
electronic file (no hard copies please). All entries can be submitted electronically as .JPG/.JPEG. Upload submission to Google Drive or mail USB drive that can operate with Windows. Electronic (preferred): Enclose your signed application (signature of student and parent/guardian is required), a .jpg/.jpeg file that contains your poster submission, and a list of students who were involved in the creative process and upload to Google Drive. Mail: Enclose your signed application, a USB drive that contains a .jpg/.jpeg file with your poster submission, and a list of students who were involved in the creative process and mail to: Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc., 467 Main St., Wakefield, MA 01880
Videos must be between 30 and 60 seconds long. All PSA entries must either be playable on a standard DVD player or in one of the following computer formats: Windows Media Video, AVI or mp4 video. All entries must be submitted on DVD, CD, USB drive, or electronically through Google Drive or Dropbox. If submitting DVD/CD, the disc must be labeled with the name of the PSA, the participants, and the school it is from.Please see the attached applications for the official rules and submission requirements for each project.
Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. 


Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids: Add One of These Games to Your Shopping List
As you are shopping for holiday or birthday gifts, consider getting a fun, family board game. There are benefits of playing board games for people of all ages:
  • Engage in activities that do not involve staring at a computer screen or a smartphone.
  • Exercise your brain by learning something new.
  • Improve your memory by keeping track of what is happening in the game.
  • Revive your creativity and problem solving skills.
  • Spend time with family and friends.

Below are some fun family games:
  • Monopoly Empire
  • Skip-Bo (card game)
  • Pandemic
  • Bubble Talk
  • Telestrations
  • Over Under
  • Ticket to Ride - European Edition
  • 7 Wonders
  • Cranium
  • Hoopla
  • Phase 10 (card game)
  • Sleeping Queens (card game)
  • Tri-ominos
  • Apples To Apples
  • Taboo
  • Quirkle
  • Mad Gab
  • Blokus
  • Last Word
  • Funglish



Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017

Happy December!
How did that happen?  I am sitting here tonight reflecting on yet another amazing experience with Ashland High School students and thinking how truly blessed I am to work for this community.

Yesterday at AHS we held our first ever Challenge Day.  I spent the day with 70 students and 18 other faculty members having fun, dancing, laughing, getting serious, shedding tears, and making plans for how to make AHS a school community that does more to accept everyone for who they are.  We talked about empathy, respect, kindness, and more.  It was a powerful day for our students and I can't wait to see what they do to keep the ripples of kindness and caring moving forward.

Today was filled with kids sharing their stories and excitement about the day with friends.  I saw kids make sure others weren't sitting alone at lunch, stopping to say hi to teachers, and my favorite thing was the senior who stopped me to say.."Ms. St. Coeur, that was life-changing. I am a different person because of yesterday.  Thank you."  I heard about students who were disappointed to not be a part of the day.  I was sad to hear that students who weren't there expressed anger they weren't invited.  We invited all!  It was posted in the announcements and in this newsletter.  I am looking forward to a day with 100 students next year!

This morning Ms. Gallant, our librarian, was inspired as an adult participant to share this calendar with the school.  She and some students posted this calendar around the building.  Join us in doing an act of kindness each day for the month of December and spread the kindness.

ABA internship opportunity
Each year the Ashland Business Association has a variety of businesses who welcome a student intern.  The program began as a social media internship, with businesses who wanted support in learning how to use social media platforms.  While that is still a main goal of the program the businesses are certainly interested in meeting students who can support other parts of their businesses!  Any student who is interested in pursuing an internship with a local small business should email Ms. St. Coeur.

NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) Accreditation:
NEASC accreditation is a system of accountability that is ongoing, voluntary, and comprehensive in scope. It respects differences in institutional populations, missions, and cultures, and fosters institutional change grounded in the expertise of practicing educators. It is based on standards which are developed and regularly reviewed by the members and which define the characteristics of good schools and colleges.  Ashland High School will engage in the re-accreditation process in the spring of 2020.  
Parents, please take time to complete the attached survey and help provide us with valuable information:



We ask that every family complete one survey. You do not need to complete multiple surveys if you have more than one student in the school. 

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids: Eleven Ways to Spread Kindness With Your Family
1. Say thank you to your local fire-fighters or police officers by surprising them with homemade sweet treats or coffee.
2. In line at the drive-through? Pay for the person behind you before they reach the window (the worker taking your order should be able to tell you the amount).
3. Tape coupons to different products around the grocery store — what parent wouldn't love seeing a coupon for diapers?
4. Hand out rolls of quarters at the laundromat.
5. Write thank you notes to people that you don't say "thank you" to often enough — like your favorite barista who always gets your order right, or your favorite gym instructor for creating a workout you love.
6. Tape up inspiring notes inside of dressing rooms, because when it comes to trying on clothes with full body mirrors and fluorescent lights, everyone can use a vote of confidence.
7. Buy a bouquet of flowers for a friend, just because.
8. Pay the bill for someone sitting alone at a restaurant. Or anyone in the restaurant who inspires you in some way.
9. Feed the parking meters for strangers.
10. Create a diaper-change care package and leave it in a public bathroom. At some point, an unprepared mom in need of a diaper for her baby will love you for this!
11. Next time there's a sale on canned goods, buy extra and donate them to the Ashland Food Pantry.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving-

I hope you have a wonderful long weekend filled with family and friends.  Thank you for making
Ashland such an fabulous community to work for.  I am truly grateful to work with such amazing students day in and day out.  They are special.

This week is another opportunity for students to show their school spirit.  Last night was the annual class Hall Decorating Contest.  There were 4 creative ideas but bragging rights went to the SENIOR   class.

To see the hallways in all their glory (with the music, etc.), check out:

And to see some photos:

At the Thanksgiving Pep Rally we acknowledged all of the great things our clubs and teams have done to give back to the community.  Check out some of the signs below.

We were also able to acknowledge some students for their contributions to AHS.

First, I was very proud to recognize Devin Del Campo., a member of the Class of 2018.  Last spring, after winning the state-wide and regional competitions, Devin auditioned for the National Association for Music Education's All-National Ensembles. As a result of that audition, Devin was accepted first chair tuba out of the entire country. The festival is being held at Disney World in Florida next week, and he will leave for Florida the day after Thanksgiving. We are all very proud of him!

Each term the teachers at Ashland High School nominate students who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate the core values of AHS.  The PBIS Team looks at all of the nominations and votes on the students to receive the Term Award.  The recipients of Term 1 Students of the Term are:

Respect - Jacob Pierson
Responsibility - Matt Spielberger
Integrity - Justin Madison
Involvement - Sanjana Mandala
Achievement - Henry Mercado
These students regularly show their commitment to all of the core values and are models for the entire student body.

Here are some pictures of the rally. Lauren and Jon did a great job as MC's. Warren the Clock, the AHS bands, chorus, and cheerleaders entertained the crowd. Of course, bubble soccer was a hit again this year. Look for highlights on WACA in the near future.




NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) Accreditation:
NEASC accreditation is a system of accountability that is ongoing, voluntary, and comprehensive in scope. It respects differences in institutional populations, missions, and cultures, and fosters institutional change grounded in the expertise of practicing educators. It is based on standards which are developed and regularly reviewed by the members and which define the characteristics of good schools and colleges.  Ashland High School will engage in the re-accreditation process in the spring of 2020.  
Parents, please take time to complete the attached survey and help provide us with valuable information:



We ask that every family complete one survey. You do not need to complete multiple surveys if you have more than one student in the school. 

Please join us on Thursday, November 30 at 6:30pm for a Community Presentation on the MetroWest Health Survey Data.  We will share the results of the 2016 survey and talk about steps we can take to address issues related to substance use, mental health, and other topics with adolescents.  


The National Honor Society is holding a fundraiser at Chipotle at Shopper's World in Framingham on Wednesday, November 29 from 5-9 p.m.  If you purchase food there, they will give back to the NHS, which is directing all funds raised to their designated charity for this year, Community Giving Tree.  Help provided essentials for children of low-income families by making a visit to Chipotle on Nov. 29!  Be sure to get a flyer to show at the register.



 --


The AHS Band is again partnering with Barnes and Noble for their annual reading of The Polar Express.  It is a fantastic evening and has been a very successful fundraiser for us.  On Friday, December 1, the students will play holiday tunes starting at 6:45 at the Framingham store.  At 7:00, one of the students will read the story to children who come out to Barnes and Noble's Friday Night Storytime.  Following this, the band will perform a medley of music from the movie and some additional holiday pieces.  Feel free to bring your small(er) children (or someone else's) for the story time -- there will be some art projects for them to do after the music has finished.  It is a really great and fun experience for kids of all ages!!

For the fundraiser:  Using our Voucher Code (Bookfair ID: 12251351), the AHS Band will receive 15-20% of all in-store purchases on December 1 (from 9am to 10 pm) and all online purchases from December 1 through December 6.  Purchases include books, magazines, magazine subscriptions, toys, stationery, nook e-reader devices, nook paraphernalia, e-books, etc.  (Unfortunately, you cannot buy a gift certificate as part of the promotion.)  In addition, M
​arybeth​ Gallant, our librarian,
 will also have a table of books that you can purchase as a donation to the AHS Library . 

Thank you for participating and supporting the Ashland Music Program!!

Mr. Maule