Friday, September 28, 2018

September 28, 2018

Good afternoon-

Thanks to all of the parents that made it out to Back to School Night last night.  It was great to see so many of you. If you weren't there, we started the night by asking parents to think of one word to describe their vision of the Ashland High School graduate.  I couldn't agree more with the words that stood out. 

We spoke briefly last night about the importance of teaching students our expectations and catching them doing the right thing.  The team that helps plan that work of recognizing positive behaviors in the students at AHS and rewarding those students who uphold our Core Values is the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) Team.  In order to continue to support these positive behaviors, the team will be holding a fundraiser next week at the Ashland Ale House.  The Ale House will donate 15% of proceeds from patrons who present the flyer for the fundraiser with their bill.  The fundraiser will run from Monday - Friday, October 1st - 5th, from 4p.m. to close, and the flyer must be printed in order to count toward the fundraiser. Get out of the kitchen next week and support the PBIS!

News from Student Council:
Homecoming is just around the corner and the dance is on Saturday, October 13th.  More info about the whole week is coming out next week, but any students planning on bringing a guest If you are planning on bringing a guest from another school, make sure you pick up a guest approval form from the main office.  All guest approval forms must be returned by Wednesday, October 10th.   Tickets to the dance will be sold during lunch starting on October 9th.

Be sure to check out the Parent Flyers  

Friday, September 21, 2018

September 21, 2018

Good evening-

This week we were very happy to congratulate members of the Class of 2019 who were named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. David Celatka, Neeharika Chanda, Alicia Dean, Andrew Dunn, Swathi Gorantla, Neha Shabeer, Colby Weiss, and Eesha Yadav were presented with a Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).  We are so proud of their academic achievement! 

Next week we will participate in Start with Hello Week, an initiative from the organization Sandy Hook Promise.  
"This program enables students to make a difference with their peers in a simple, fun, and impactful way by encouraging them to take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness and inclusion, and to identify and help others who are showing signs of social isolation.

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely or treated like you are invisible. Young people who feel this way may pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, or choose to hurt themselves or others.

We hope were are doing our part to help to bring attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and empowering young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness."....from Start with Hello Week
I look forward to seeing how our peer leaders step up to create an environment where all students feel they have someone to say hello to.

Back to School Night!
The AHS Back to School Night is Thursday, September 27th from 6:00-8:00pm.  This evening is an opportunity for you to walk through your child's entire schedule, meet their teachers, and hear about the course expectations & syllabus.  There will be a brief presentation in the auditorium then parents will have the opportunity to visit all 7 classes. Each class will meet for approximately 10 minutes. Schedules will be distributed to parents beginning at 5:45pm.

Elections for parent representative to the AHS School Site Council are held at Back-to-School Night.  Please let me know if you are interested in joining the council.  Positions are for two years terms.

The AHS School Council is a group mandated by the MA Department of Education to assist the principal in:
1. Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards.
2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school.
3. Reviewing the annual school building budget.
4. Formulating a school improvement plan.
For any school that contains grades nine to twelve, the council shall review the student handbook each spring to consider changes in disciplinary policy to take effect for the following school year. 

If you would like more information please let me know at Students who are interested in serving are encouraged to email me or come to the office for more information.  We will determine meeting days in the near future but most meetings are held at 4pm for approximately 90 minutes.  

Notes from our School Counseling Department:
On Thursday, October 11th, the Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority (MEFA) is hosting a free financial aid seminar for families.  Primarily geared towards seniors who are starting the financial aid process this fall, it is open to all families who would find this information beneficial.  The financial aid process can sometimes be complicated, and the experts at MEFA are here to help Ashland families get a better idea on how this process works.  The event will be held at 7:00pm in the AHS auditorium.  

Senior Deadlines for Yearbook: 
We will be collecting the following information from seniors this year: Senior Bio (quote, memories, and goal), Senior portrait submitted either by Grynn and Barrett or by your chosen photographer, and senior baby photos, sibling photos, and memory photos (from prior grades and events as younger kids).
Bio is due by 10/15 (fill out this form )
All photos due by 10/29
Details can be found on the new yearbook website: 

Please stay tuned for Yearbook advertisement and purchase information, which will be available soon.

Be sure to check out the Parent Flyers  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

September 15, 2018- Happy Ashland Day!

Good morning and Happy Ashland Day!

I am looking forward to enjoying the fun later today.  

Updates from the week:
Picture day went well on Wednesday.  Grynn & Barrett is scheduled to be on site to do senior portraits this coming Friday (September 21). They reached out to families directly.  If you did not 
receive information from them and would like to schedule a session please let us know.

The buses have been running well and the majority are at AHS by 8:15am.  The two routes that have been arriving between 8:15-8:20 will be adjusted starting Monday and we hope this will get students to school with a couple of minutes to go to their lockers and get to class.  Starting on Monday, September 24 students will no longer be able to ride the bus without a bus pass.  Please remind your student to attach the pass to their bag in a visible place.   

The deadline to obtain a parking pass was yesterday (Friday, September 14).  All students who drive to school must have a parking pass displayed on their vehicle and they must be parked in the student lot.  The Deans and SRO will begin checking the lot for parking passes this week.  Students without a pass will lose the privilege to park until they obtain a pass.  Any student who can not pay the full amount at this time should see their Dean to discuss a payment plan.  Students who do not have a license yet but plan to drive later in the year should apply for a parking pass as soon as they start driving.  The cost of the pass is pro-rated each term.  

Yesterday, all juniors and seniors who have been at AHS for a least a semester with a 3.2 GPA received their invitation to apply to National Honor Society.  Please review the NHS website for information on admissions.  Ms. Gallant is the NHS adviser and will be meeting with invited students on Monday after school (details are in the letter).  

National Honor Society

We have many new students at Ashland High School so we wanted to share information for transfer students here:
1)  If a student is enrolling and is already an inducted member of their previous school's NHS, their membership will transfer to our chapter.  They should have their adviser send Ms. Gallant a letter directly via school letterhead or school email stating that they were a member.  Students from Marian High School should speak directly to Ms. Gallant regarding their previous membership.  

2)  Other incoming students, who had not been previously inducted into NHS,  cannot qualify until they have an Ashland GPA. Therefore incoming juniors coming from a school that holds their induction in the fall of junior year will have to wait until senior year to be invited, provided they have a 3.2 GPA with us, as with all our students. 

Per our website... 
In the fall of each school year junior and senior students maintaining a grade point average of 3.2 or higher will be invited to complete a Student Information Form (SIF) for National Honor Society, providing they attended Ashland High School the previous term.  
It is important to note that starting with the Class of 2021 a grade point average of 3.5 or higher will be required for students to receive an invitation.  
Please check out the new online access to the Clocker Store!  Get your Spirit Gear.  They have a booth at Ashland Day today as well. 

Be sure to check out the Parent Flyers  

Friday, September 7, 2018

September 6, 2018

Good afternoon and Happy Friday!

Today we enjoyed one of my favorite days at AHS: the All-school PBIS activity and Convocation. Each year the entire school comes together to participate in fun activities that are designed to teach students about our core values and expectations.  This year we had an all-school Scavenger Hunt.  Students in mixed grade classrooms worked as a team to solve the clues.  

After the Hunt we celebrated Convocation, where seniors received the "key to the school".  A fuse blew and we lost power, and therefore sound, but the seniors did a great job moving forward with their celebration.  Andrew Dunn, the Class President, delivered a strong message asking students to stand up by getting involved and enjoying their time.  He also shared...."... it also means standing up and thanking the faculty, friends, and family who got you to where you are today, standing up for the kid that gets picked on or has no one to sit with, and standing up for what is right in this school and in the world. Because I am telling you right now, we have the rest of our lives to sit down, but we only have this moment to stand up next to the people we have grown up next to and live out our senior year to the fullest." It was a great message to end our day of teaching values and expectations.

On Wednesday this week we had class meetings with each class. Last year we rolled out some changes regarding the Community Service expectations which are linked here for your review.
Students were encouraged to review the AHS Student/Parent Handbook on the AHS website and to reach out with any questions.

Bus updates:
We would like to make you aware of some changes to the bus routes. We have added an 18th bus to alleviate some over crowding and eliminate the wait list. 
If your child was effected by this change, you will receive a notification in the mail, along with a new bus pass if applicable. 
The bus routes that are involved in these changes are mainly at the HS/MS. 

These routes include: 
HS/MS Bus 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17

Mindess Bus 17 Dream Station and Bus 4 YMCA will now ride Bus 18 in the afternoon to these daycares

All Warren School students attending Dream Station will now ride Bus 18 in the morning and afternoon.

These changes will take effect Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
Please contact the Transportation Department  at 508-532-4005.

Attention parents of seniors: the AHS School Counseling Department is hosting a College
Information Night for seniors and their families on Thursday, September 13th from 7:00pm 
to 8:00pm in the AHS Auditorium.  The counseling staff will be presenting to families on the 
process of applying to college,how students can maximize their success, and the procedure for 
applying for financial aid for college.  It is an extremely informative event and helpful for all 
families that are navigating this process, and especially those that are encountering this for the 
first time.  If you have any questions about theprogram, feel free to contact Mr. Cory McGann 
Be sure to check out the Parent Flyers  

If you participated in the 2018 Ashland Summer Reading Program please take two minutes to complete this three question survey which will assist us in improving the program for next summer?

18th Annual Student Sportsmanship Essay/Multimedia Contest
Students from MIAA Member Schools are encouraged to submit entries.
Show your creativity in a literary work or multimedia presentation on the following topic:

·         PARTICIPANTS - Contest is open to students in grades 9-12 at MIAA member schools
·         LITERARY ENTRIES - Must be typed, double spaced, and contain no more than 500 words
·         MULTIMEDIA ENTRIES - Must be a video that is no longer than 3 minutes
·         First Place ($400) and Runner-Up ($200) prizes will be presented in two categories (literary and multimedia)
·         Contest winners will present their entries as honored guests during the 25th Annual MIAA Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium on Friday, November 16, 2018
·         First Place and Runner-Up literary entries will be published in a compilation entitled “Sportsmanship: A Game Plan for Life, Volume XVIII”
·         First Place and Runner-Up multimedia entries will be available through the MIAA website
·         All entries must be received by 12:00pm on Friday, October 12, 2018