Friday, September 15, 2017

September 15, 2017

Good afternoon & happy Friday!

It was a busy and exciting first full week of school. I have loved seeing all of the creative learning happening across the building. Today my day started with local speaker and Brandeis Dean of Students, Jamele Adams, working with our peer leaders on love, inclusion, and trust. As we work towards creating an environment that is safe and supportive of all learners I encourage you to have family conversations about treating everyone with respect, despite our differences.

Just a reminder, there is no school next Thursday. Happy Rosh Hashanah to all those who celebrate.

School council:
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. 

The council is made up of AHS administration, faculty, students and parents.  We are currently seeking nominations to fill 2 two-year parent spots as well as 2 two year student spots on the council.  If you are interested in running for a position or would like more information please let me know at  Students are also encouraged to email me or come to the office for more information.

Elections for parents are held at Back-to-School Night and student elections will take place at lunch on the same day.   We will determine meeting days in the near future but most meetings are held at 4pm for approximately 90 minutes.  

Back to School Night!

The AHS Back to School Night is Thursday, September 28th from 5-6:30pm.  This evening is an opportunity for you to walk through your child's entire schedule, meet their teachers, and here about the course expectations & syllabus.  

News from Student Council:
On Sunday, September 24th, the Ashland High School Student Council will be running a fundraiser at Barnes and Noble.  For any purchase made with a voucher (good at any Barnes and Noble), the AHS Student Council will get a percent of the sale.

Throughout the day, members of the Student Council will be running some child-friendly events at the Framingham Barnes and Noble (where you can drop off your kids and enjoy some quite time to shop!)  From 11:30 - 12:30, they will be assisting children in creating, writing, and illustrating their own Golden Book.  Then from 12:30pm - 3:30pm, they be bringing some of their favorite children's board games to play with your children while you shop.  They will also be reading some of their favorite children's stories.

In addition, at 3pm local author and AHS guidance counselor Jenn McMahon will be reading selections from her recently published book Inish Clare. She'll also be signing copies and leading a discussion on the author's craft.

Vouchers are available on the AHS Student Council website at We will also have them available at the store from 11:30am - 4pm that day while we're running our events.

We are also super proud of 10th grader Eryn Flynn who will be doing her own author event at Barnes & Noble this coming Wednesday, September 20
Stop by and see her at Ashland Day as well!

Please take a moment to review the Parent Flyers to check out what is going on around town.

Tips to Boost your (and your child’s) Mental Health
The beginning of the school year can be busy and tiring and overwhelming. Below are some tips to help your whole family relax and stay mentally healthy.
  1. Focus on gratitude and achievement. At dinner each night, have everyone say one thing they were grateful for today and one thing they achieved.
  2. Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task. This can be especially helpful with homework.
  3. Do something creative. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.
  4. Laugh every day! Laughter reduces anxiety.
  5. Go off the grid. Set aside time each day to put away electronics and spend time with friends or family without the interruption of texts and notifications.
  6. Move daily. Play tag with your kids, dance every night as a family, play a fun sport. Exercise/movement reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases endorphins (the body’s “feel good” chemicals).
  7. Write. Writing about upsetting experiences has been shown to reduce depression.
  8. Spend time with a furry friend. Time with animals lowers cortisol, and boosts oxytocin - which stimulates feelings of happiness.
  9. Try prepping your lunch and/or planning your outfits for the week. Planning ahead can give you a sense of control.
  10. Spend time in nature. We are lucky to have Ashland and Hopkinton State Parks close by. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being.

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