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.

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