Friday, September 22, 2017

September 22, 2017

Time flies when you are having fun!  The first 15 days of the 2017-2018 have been full of laughter and learning at AHS.  I had a great time at Ashland Day which is always one of the most fun events of the year.  It was great to see so many people there supporting the great work our students are doing at AHS.  My daughter and I enjoyed the photo booths!

 This year, in a concerted effort to make more opportunities for student voice to be heard, the Deans and I are implementing mobile office hours.  Wednesday morning I spent about two hours sitting at a desk outside the library. It was fun and I learned a lot.  My first lesson was that kids definitely think it's weird for the principal to sit at a student desk in the hallway.  Many got over that and stopped to ask what I was doing and answer a few questions posted on a white board.  A few staff members stopped by for meetings too.  It was the best two hours of my week!

I asked the students "what is your hope for the school year?" and "what could make AHS better?"  Their answers were awesome.  Besides the request for tater tots, tacos, bigger apples and a salad bar (I will share these answers with Nutrition Services) students had some great responses for how to make AHS better.  My favorite? SMILE-I love that and it was written a couple of times.  I also loved "people who encourage greatness, and for the people who do, to keep it up."  Student hopes for the school year were just as inspiring and thought provoking...."for students to use their words and actions to make AHS an accepting, welcoming, clean (!) environment for all", "to create a more accepting school environment, a place where people aren't afraid to have a bad day every once in a while", and finally "to set a good example for younger students in the school!".  This is such a caring community filled with kindness and compassion.  Knowing that the majority of AHS students feel this way is what makes this job so enjoyable.    

Students can have their voice heard several other ways.  Please encourage your student to consider joining the School Site Council or the Principal's Advisory Council.  Any interested student should reach out to Ms. St. Coeur for more information. 

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.  I look forward to welcoming everyone with a very brief introduction before starting classroom visits at 5:15pm.  I do realize the time is earlier than normal but we are trying to fit in multiple events in a short time period. Thank you in advance for your flexibility. 
News from Student Council:
Just a reminder that the Student Council is running a fundraiser this Sunday at Barnes and Noble in Framingham, where we will get a percent of all proceeds for any purchase made with a voucher.  I've left vouchers in your mailboxes; it's also attached to this email.  
For those of you with little kids, we're running a bunch of activities during the day (so you can drop them off with us, and then have some quiet shopping time!)  They can "make their own Golden Book" from 11:30 - 12:30 with members of the Student Council.  Then from 12:30 - 3:30, we're running story time / game time -- members of the Student Council will be reading and playing board games and group games with anyone there (just over in the children's section.)

At 3pm, Jenn McMahon will be reading from her new book, Inish Clare, and will be discussing the writing process, taking questions, and signing books.  Come on out to support her!

 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.
Finally, the vouchers are good at any Barnes and Noble this Sunday (9/24) as well as online at (and online, they're good from Sunday 9/24 until 9/28).

Hope to see some of you there!

The entire Ashland community is invited to join “Team Peach” as we walk to honor the memory of Brendan Petry and support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The 3-mile walk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 24th from 10am - 12 noonstarting at the Natick High School track, 15 West Street, and proceeding through Natick.  Support the Petry family by wearing the color peach, as a nod to Brendan’s nickname, and walk to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Please also consider making a tax-deductible donation on Brendan’s behalf - even a small amount would be appreciated: For more information, email Sue Sicard at

Class of 2018! Grynn & Barrett will be at AHS for Senior Portraits on Monday, October 2nd for anyone that needs their yearbook photo taken.  

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

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
Seven Phrases To Calm an Anxious Child
It happens to every child (and adult) in one form or another – anxiety. We would like to shield our children from life’s anxious moments, but navigating anxiety is a valuable life skill.  In the heat of the moment, try these simple phrases to help your children identify, accept, and work through their anxious moments.

  1. “Can you draw it?” Drawing, painting or doodling about an anxiety provides kids with an outlet for their feelings when they can’t use their words.
  2. “I love you. You are safe.”
  3. “Let’s count _____.”  Counting the number of people wearing hats, the number of tiles on the floor, or the number of kids in the room requires observation and thought, both of which detract from the anxiety your child is feeling.
  4. “I get scared/nervous/anxious sometimes too. It’s no fun.”   
  5. “If you gave your­­ feeling a color, what would it be?” Asking your child to say how they feel with a color, gives them a chance to think about how they feel relative to something simple. Follow up by asking why their feeling is that color.
  6. “Let’s have a debate.”  Older children especially love this exercise because they have permission to debate their parent. Have a point, counter-point style debate about the reasons for their anxiety. You may learn a lot about their reasoning in the process.  
  7. “Let me hold you.”  Physical contact provides a chance for your child to relax and feel safe

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