Friday, March 31, 2017

Week of 3/27/17

Good afternoon-

As a reminder grades did not close today.  Because of the snow day we have extended the term until Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  Report cards will be available on April 12, 2017 in iParent/iStudent.

The Sophomore Ring Dance, scheduled for tonight, is still on!  The dance is from 7-10pm in the cafeteria.  All members of the Class of 2019 are encouraged to attend.  Admission is $10 at the door and class dues must also be paid.

State Student Advisory Council
Ashland High School is looking for students interested in running for the State Student Advisory Council for the 2017-2018 school year.  This group, made up of two students from every school in the Commonwealth, meets once a month to discuss issues related to education policy and the impacts on students.  Students interested in running should see Mr. Wiczer (in B251) by Wednesday, April 5th at 2pm.  Students will give speeches on Friday, April 7th and the voting will take place that day at lunch.  For more information on this group, please see: or contact Mr. Wiczer at

The Metrowest College and Career Fair will be Saturday morning from 9am - 12pm at Ashland High School.  The fair will begin at 9am with the Mark Altman from MindsetGo who will speak about "How to Differentiate Yourself From Your Peers".  The Speaker Series will continue all morning.  The College and Career Hall will open at 9:30.  This is a great opportunity to speak with Colleges, experts in the field, as well as over 50 Career Representatives. For more information please visit We hope to see you there!  

As a reminder, Supt. Adams book read has been moved to Monday, April 3 at 6:30 PM in the Ashland Public Library for a discussion on The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey.  Attached is the flyer for the program to this email.  

Please consider joining us for a very important presentation sponsored by ASHPAC, PTO, DAET, and Friends of the APL :
Power of Choice, featuring Judy Giovangelo, the Founder & President of Ben Speaks. Judy will share her story on Tuesday,April 4, 2017 at 7:00 PM in the Ashland High School Auditorium. Power of Choice is a workshop for parents, students, educators, and community discussing ways to build resiliency in adolescents.Judy will discuss the power of thought, gratitude, forgiveness, and affirmations, providing concrete tools to build self-esteem and emotional resiliency. She will talk about the challenges that adolescents face in society and share insight on embracing expressive and healing arts as alternatives to traditional therapy. Judy founded Ben Speaks after the loss of her son Ben to suicide and has turned personal tragedy into community purpose: building kinder communities and growing emotionally resilient youth. 

For additional information please see the program flyer.

STAND:  Marijuana Q&A.

In January 2017, the DAET Coalition hosted a STAND lunchtime activity at AHS. Students were asked to write anonymously on sticky notes their concerns, questions, ideas, and thoughts about how the new marijuana law would affect them.  Notes from 65 students were placed on a bulletin board that was displayed in the AHS library. The STAND Leadership team consolidated the questions and selected ten questions to be answered by community leaders inluding DAET Coalition leadership, the APS superintendent, the Town Manager, and the Police Chief. Click this link to see the questions and learn more.

The Ralph F. Brown Jr. Chapter of Blacks in Government is seeking participants for their first annual Communications Academy, Training In Communications program. The program offers youth in grades nine through twelve an 8-session program (1 to 2 hours per session) and we will host the program at Ashland High Schoo on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30pml!  (classroom to be determined).
Youth are educated on various public speaking and leadership topics. Topics may range from such subjects as how to speak effectively; the concept, purpose, and approaches to communication; the process of communication; leadership skills; writing and delivering speeches; use of audiovisual aids; effective listening; and so on. During the academy, students give presentations to practice their communication skills. The program would be followed by the Oratorical contest for those interested members. Please email Ms. St. Coeur to express interest as soon as possible.  

Please check out the Parent Flyers - there is a lot going on around town!

Ashland Raises Happy & Healthy Kids:
Tech Talk Tuesdays
Talking about social media apps, technology and how it affects you and your children at dinner on Tuesdays (along with your tacos!) was one of the recommendations in the documentary ‘Screenagers’. This can lead to some good discussions and you will likely learn a thing or two about your kids, their friends and the things “happening” on social media. Below are some more tips and facts about screen time.
  • Playing video games can decrease sensitivity and empathy and desensitize kids to violence.
  • Pro-social video games (in which characters help each other or work together to solve a problem) can increase helping behaviors in life. There are positives!
  • Use of smartphones has led to a decrease in conversations and eye contact.
  • Screen time can be addictive. Treatment centers are opening to help people “detox” from screens.
  • Set limits on technology time.  The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommend limiting the amount of total entertainment screen time for all children to less than one to two hours per day.
  • Power-down for one hour before bed. Research shows that children fall asleep quicker and sleep better if they are off screens for one hour before bed. Choose a time for school nights (maybe a bit later on weekends) that phones/tablets/computers will be handed to parents to charge for the night. In my house, if phones are not on the kitchen counter by 7:45pm, they lose their phone for the next 24 hours.
  • Make family meals tech free. This includes the parents! And includes meals at restaurants.
  • Be a good role model. If you want your kids to stay off of media, then you have to do it too. Put down your phone and look at your children when they talk to you.
  • Do not allow screens in children’s and teen’s bedrooms! Reduction in the amount of time sleeping and the quality of sleep (from hearing alerts, feeling the need to answer texts immediately) is one of the biggest health hazards from screen use.

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