Friday, November 3, 2017

November 3, 2017

Good afternoon-

Term I is just about coming to a close.  Grades will close on Monday, November 6.  Reports cards will be available to students and parents through iStudent/iParent at 3pm on Tuesday, November 14 (this is one day later than originally posted).  If you wish to receive a hard copy of your child's report card please email the main office at and one will be printed and mailed. 

As we continue the conversation on inclusion, diversity, and trust AHS will host it's first ever Challenge Day on Thursday, November 30.  Challenge Day is a day-long interactive program that provides teens and adults with tools to tear down walls of separation, and inspires them to live, study, and work in an encouraging environment of acceptance, love, and respect.  Using highly interactive and energetic activities, leaders guide the participants through a carefully designed exploration of the ways people separate from each other, and model tools for creating connection and building community.  This powerful day will include 100 students and 25 staff members.  The event is held during school hours in our gym.  Any student interested in being a part of this day should contact Ms. St. Coeur.  

Auditions for the AHSTS winter production of Pippin are Tuesday, December 5 at 3PM in the Chorus Room. Callbacks are Wednesday, December 6 at 3PM. Audition information and forms are located at

Clocker Cupboard! Ashland High School is proud to announce the establishment of the Clocker Cupboard.  The Clocker Cupboard will be an on site mini food pantry that will provide shelf staples, snacks and drinks for our students whose families may be experiencing a financial hardship impacting momentary access to food.  Access to the Clocker Cupboard will be done so with a level of discretion and confidentiality.  We have collaborated with the Ashland Food Pantry in establishing a foundation of food at this point. As we move forward, we will be looking for donations to ensure that the supply is maintained and any overstock will be donated to the Ashland food pantry.  Please feel free to send any donations throughout the year and we will be glad to add them to the cupboard.  All donations can be placed in the donation bin in the main office.   

If you are experiencing a moment in time and would benefit from a little extra, please have your student reach out to Jennifer Shiels, your child's guidance counselor or an administrator and we will ensure access to items of choice in the food pantry.  You are also more than willing to contact any one of us directly and we can prepare a bag for your child to come home with.  Unfortunately for security reasons on property, access to the Clocker Cupboard will be limited to staff and students.  If you are seeking a greater level of support, we encourage you to reach out to Cara Tirrell at Ashland Youth and Family Services at Phone: 508-881-0140 ext 3.  The Ashland Food Pantry hours are  MondayWednesday, and Thursday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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.  

In preparation for the upcoming Self-Reflection Ashland High School will be completing as part of the NEASC Accreditation process, all students, families, and faculty will complete surveys designed to provide the school with important feedback on our work. We hope to learn more about what is working well for our students and identify areas for growth and improvement.

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. 

Every student will have an opportunity to complete the survey during the school day during the week of November 20, 2017. If you are interested in reviewing the student survey, it will be available in main office during normal school hours. If you prefer that your student not complete the survey, please send a note to the main office with that request by Friday, November 17, 2017. 


The YMCA will be sponsoring an Open Gym on MondayTuesday, and Wednesday of next week from 2:45 until 4:30 for any High School Student.  Contact Mr. Grimes for more information. 

The Winter Sports Meeting will take place Tuesday 11/7 at 7pm in the High School Auditorium.  Any student who plans on playing a winter sport needs to attend with a parent and or guardian.  There will be a brief presentation from the Assistant U.S. Attorney on social media and the personal/legal impacts regarding the misuse of social media.  You will also have an opportunity to meet our winter coaching staff and find out information about the registration process.

An invite from Senator Spilka-
Dear Friends:

Attached is a flyer to be shared with parents, educators and colleagues inviting you to Senator Karen E. Spilka’s 2nd annual SEL forum on January 9, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland. Here’s the link to sign up:

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions.

Thank you,
Puja Mehta, J.D.
District Director
Office of Senator Karen E. Spilka
Senate Ways and Means
617-722-1640 office

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids
The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
Many use the words ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’ interchangeably, but there is a difference.
Stress is caused by an existing stress-causing factor, or stressor. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or even anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another.
Anxiety is stress that continues after that stressor is gone. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or fear and is almost always accompanied by feelings of impending doom. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress you feel.
Stress is the way our bodies and minds react to something which upsets our normal balance in life; an example of stress is the response we feel when we are frightened or threatened.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a feeling of unease. Everybody experiences it when faced with a stressful situation, for example before an exam or an interview, or during a worrying time such as illness. Anxiety is considered abnormal when it is prolonged or severe, it happens in the absence of a stressful event, or it is interfering with everyday activities such as going to work/school, socializing or affects your sleep or eating.
Learning stress reduction skills can help with stressors we all encounter. Learning coping skills for anxiety can help with both stress and anxiety. Some people with anxiety require professional help. Please discuss concerns with your family medical professional, or reach out to the school guidance staff if you are worried about stress or anxiety in your children.

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