Friday, March 16, 2018

March 16, 2018

Good evening,

After another snowy week I am hoping next week brings some consistency.  (I am ignoring the forecast for Tuesday/Wednesday.)  Due to the snow days we have experienced the end date for Term 3 will be extended.  I will send out a firm date after we get past the potential weather next week.

On March 26 Ashland Public Schools, along with many other community organizations, is pleased to welcome John Trautwein, founder of the "Will to Live Foundation" as part of the ongoing POWER series.  Check out this PSA created by WACA!
John is a former Red Sox player who lost his son to suicide.  He will speak to Ashland High School students during the day as well as coaches, teachers, and other adults who work with students through athletics after school.  I encourage you to join us at the community presentation that evening and hear his powerful message. 

Please remember that if you ever hear or see something that concerns about say something.  Ashland Public Schools has an anonymous tip line for anyone, adult or student, who does not feel comfortable sharing information in person.  The safety of all members of our community is always our top priority so we encourage you to reach out to administration or counseling staff with any concerns.

MCAS: It's that time of year again. All members of the sophomore class will take the English MCAS on March 27-29.  It is important that students make their best effort to be here.  MCAS is a graduation requirement for all Massachusetts high school students and scores can lead to scholarship money for state colleges!

Interested in learning about Financial Literacy?

Research shows that most people make life-changing financial decisions before they turn 20 years old.  If you want to get an edge in making those decision – please join us for Smart Money 101 during one of your upcoming study halls.  Experienced financial professionals from the Town of Ashland are giving their time to teach you the tips, tricks and traps of finances.  Come to as many or as few classes as you can.   

Where:  AHS library

WhenMarch 26April 5 or March 29April 10 during G block study

Field Trip:  Students that attend two or more classes will be eligible to attend a free field trip to the Consequences section of the course at the Worcester Bankruptcy Court on April 25th.

How do I sign up?:  Please contact Lauren Carreiro with the dates you can attend.

Is there homework?:  Materials will be provided and there is NO homework.

Thank you –
The Ashland Smart Money Team

Class of 2019 Fundraiser!
Need a new book after all of the reading you have been doing during the snow days? You're in luck! 
The Class of 2019 is having a Book Fair this Saturday, March 17th at Barnes and Noble in Shopper's World in Framingham! Use the code 12343737 in store all day on Saturday or online from March 17th- 21st and a portion of your purchase will be donated to the class of 2019! 
There is also a Spring Author Festival happening at Barnes and Noble from 12- 4 on Saturday and 
the class officers will be running a make your own bookmark table if you are interested in attending that event as well: 

News from StuCo/Amnesty:
On Monday, March 19th and Tuesday, March 20th, during all three lunches, members of the Amnesty International Club and the Student Council will be selling bracelets to support the victim's fund for students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The bracelets are $5 each and all of the proceeds go directly to students at that school.  For more information regarding this effort, check out:

Enjoy the weekend and be sure to check out the Parent Flyers .

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
In her book iGen, Jean Twenge, PhD describes today’s kids as “less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy and completely unprepared for adulthood”. Each chapter of her book theorizes on the “why” of this, backed up by research comparing the current generation with past generations. Since every child currently in the Ashland schools is part of this generation, a few weeks of this column will cover each of Twenge’s chapters which she cleverly titles beginning with the letter “i”. These will be very general, broad overviews. I encourage you to read the book for more in-depth information.
Insecure: The New Mental Health Crisis
Although today’s teens stay in close touch with their friends via text, snapchat and other social media, they are lonelier than they were just five years ago. Technology can connect people but it can also show up-to-the-minute what they are missing out on. Kids are feeling left-out which then leads to feelings of loneliness. This loneliness can lead to depression. The number of teens who agreed with the phrase, “I feel like I can’t do anything right”, has skyrocketed since 2011. Social media might play a role in these feelings of inadequacy: many people only post their successes online so teens don’t realize that their friends fail at things too.
Rates of depression and anxiety have increased in high school and college students over the past five years. Could this be because more students are seeking help and talking about their mental health? Maybe. Could smartphones also be contributing to this? Maybe. It is fairly clear that texting and social media can cause heightened anxiety and insecurity in teens - wondering why someone did not answer a text or why they did not get “likes’ from certain people on Instagram; trying to take the “perfect” selfie to post. Anxiety can be a precursor to depression. Depression can lead to self-harm, eating disorders and suicide - all of which have increased in recent years.
Smart phone use is also likely contributing to teens getting less sleep than ever before.Teens admit that they are up until 2 or 3 am on their phones, hiding under their covers so their parents do not know.  Fifty seven percent more teens were sleep-deprived in 2015 than in 1991. Sleep deprivation is linked to compromised thinking and reasoning, weight gain, high blood pressure, susceptibility to illness and depression and anxiety. It’s not just new moms or people who work 10-12 hours per day who are walking around sleep-deprived these days, it’s our children.
What can we, as parents, do?
It’s becoming fairly clear - encourage your children to put down their phones and do something else. Talk about the posts they see on social media, have discussions about how these posts make them feel. Encourage your children to talk about their feelings with a trusted adult. And, it bears repeating, do not allow your teens to keep their phones in their bedroom at night.
This sentence is a good summary: Like the ducks they imitate in their selfies, iGen’ers are calm and composed on the surface but paddling madly underneath.

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