Friday, March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018

Good evening-
Today was the 5-Town Special Olympics, one of my favorite days of the school year.  The joy and passion of the special athletes from Ashland, Holliston, Medfield, Medway, and Millis is infectious.  It was so great to watch them enjoy the soccer skills stations all morning and their thrilled faces when they received their medals.

And Monday, March 26 is going to be another very special day for Ashland Public Schools.  I am so excited to welcome John Trautwein, founder of the "Will to Live Foundation".  (Check out this PSA created by WACA!)  After following two local stories in the past week about the loss of young people to suicide I can't wait to listen to his message and talk more about how we can help young people realize they have life teammates all around them. Depression is something we need to talk about openly. 
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.  Please join us at the community presentation that evening and hear his powerful message.  See the Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids post this week, it hits on his message! 

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!
At the end of April, Ashland High School will begin to administer the MCAS Field test.  This test will be administered to all sophomores between April 24 and May 1.  Students will take the test during their regular English class and the following period as the test takes 150 minutes.
All members of the sophomore class will take the Math MCAS May 23-24.  The Biology test will be administered to all students currently taking Biology (Biology H, Biology CP2, & Applications of Biology 2) on June 6-7.  

Term 3 Pushed Back!
Because of the snow this March  we will move the end of term 3 back to April 12 (I was hesitant to pick a date until we saw what this past week would bring....but now I am hopeful!)  Therefore, Term 3 report cards will not be available until Thursday, April 26.

Don't forget to attend!
MetroWest College and Career Fair - Saturday, March 24 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Ashland High School Gymnasium.  This is a great event and opportunity for students to see many colleges as well talk to adults in careers that might be of interest.  

Save the Date: U.S. District Attorneys from Project Safe Childhood will be presenting to students in all grades on March 29th on the topic of Cyberbullying and Cybersafety. We are thrilled to have them come back to visit and present to AMS students on this important and challenging topic. I would encourage all parents to attend the community presentation at the AMS Theater at 6:30pm on March 29th. They use information gathered from student surveys to inform parents on current social media use as well as tips for parents to stay engaged and informed about evolving technologies that students are using. I hope to see you there! 

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

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
Six Ways to Stop the Mental Illness Stigma
Stigma is one of the most challenging aspects of living with a mental health condition. It causes people to feel ashamed for something that is out of their control and prevents many from seeking the help they need. Stigma is not something that will go away on its own, but if we work together as a community, we can change the way we perceive mental illness in our society.

  1. Talk openly about mental health.
  2. Educate yourself and others about mental health.
  3. Be conscious of your language. Try to not use word like psycho, lunatic or crazy when describing people.
  4. Encourage equality in how people perceive physical illness and mental illness. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, friends and neighbors bring meals and gifts. If someone is being treated for a mental illness, people tend to avoid them rather than support them.
  5. Push back against the way people who live with mental illness are portrayed in the media.

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