Friday, April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018

Good afternoon-

Grades are posted in iStudent/iParent as of yesterday, Thursday, April 26.  Please reach out to your student's teacher or guidance counselor if you have questions or concerns.

Here are some important dates to remember as the year comes to a close:
April 24-May 1: Sophomores participate in the MCAS (ELA) Field Test
April 30- May 4: Sophomores participate in Signs of Suicide program
May 7- May 18: AP exams administered
May 11: Early Release for all students
              Grand March & Junior Prom
May 14: Academic Awards Ceremony
May 18: last day of classes for Class of 2018!
May 21-24: Senior exams (schedule)
May 23-24: Math MCAS (sophomores)
May 25: Class of 2018 Community Service Day (attendance is mandatory)
May 29-June 1: Senior Week
June 3: Graduation
June 6-7: Science MCAS
June 15-21: Final exams for grades 9-11

Starting on Monday, April 30 the Signs of Suicide program will be administered in all Wellness II (sophomore) classes throughout the course of the week.  A separate email will go out to all families of student sin the Class of 2020. Students will see a short video on recognizing the signs of depression then complete a short screening tool.  This is the 2nd year Ashland High School has used this evidence-based program when teaching this unit.
I encourage all parents to go to the Screening for Mental Health website at:
The log-in is: ashlandhs-par
The password is: parent
You can review the video students will watch and can see other helpful tools to help discuss mental health with your child.  If you do not wish to have your child participate in this program please send an email to me at

Parents of high school seniors:
Tuesday, May 1st
6:30-8:00 pm
Ashland Public Library.

In the rush and flurry of the college search process little to no time is spent focusing on how parents will handle the move to college and how this milestone will impact everyone in the family.  College… Next Stop helps parents think about how to cope with their student’s growing maturity and the new relationship that lies ahead.  From their unique vantage points as Dean of Students, college parent, and recent college graduate the speakers will share their perspectives and engage parents.

BUS REGISTRATIONS ARE DUE MAY 1, 2018.  A discount price of $280 for an individual and $560 for a family is available until the May 1st deadline.  After May 1st, the fee is $350 for an individual and $700 for a family.  You may register by mail or online at  Please call Diane Goudy at 508-532-4005 if you have any questions regarding bus transportation or would like to discuss setting up a payment plan.  Registrations received after May 1st may be placed on a wait list and are not guaranteed a seat on a bus.

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

Ashland Raises Happy & Healthy Kids: How to talk with your children about difficult news
With the prevalence of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, children are exposed to traumatic news events regularly no matter how much parents or teachers try to keep the "bad things" away. Instead of shielding children from the dangers, violence or tragedies around us, adults should talk to kids about what is happening. The conversation may not be easy, but taking a proactive stance and discussing difficult events in age-appropriate language can help a child feel safer and more secure. As much as adults may try to avoid difficult topics, children often learn or know when something sad or scary happens. If adults don’t talk to them about it, a child may misinterpret the event or misunderstand adults’ silence. So, be the first to bring up the difficult topic. When parents tackle difficult conversations, they let their children know that they are available and supportive.
Think about what you want to say. Some advanced planning may make the discussion easier. You won’t have to think about it off the top of your head.

Find a quiet moment.  Choose a time and place where your children can be  the center of your attention. Find out what they know. Ask them "What have you heard about this?" And then listen. Listen. Listen. And listen more. Often what concerns them is different than what concerns you.

Share your feelings with your child. It is ok to acknowledge your feelings with your children. They see you are human. Be a role model. This applies to emotions, too.

Tell the truth. Lay out the facts at a level they can understand. You do not need to give graphic details. For young children, you may need to have the conversation about what death means (no longer feel anything, not hungry, thirsty, scared, or hurting; we will never see them again, but can hold their memories in our hearts and heads).

Say, "I don’t know." Sometimes the answer to the question is "I don’t know." "Why did the bad people do this?" "I don’t know" is an ok answer.

Above all, reassure. At the end of the conversation, reassure your children that you will do everything you know how to do to keep them safe and to watch out for them. Reassure them that you will always be available to answer any questions or talk about this topic again. Reassure them that they are loved.

Attached is some guidance on Talking to Your Children about Violence

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