Friday, September 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

Good afternoon-

Thanks to everyone who attended Back to School/Parent's Night last evening.  I appreciated all of the support and kind words about our teaching staff.  I am proud to work with such an incredibly dedicated and committed group of educators.

If you get a chance, please answer this MentimeterWe'd love to know what skills you hope your student leaves AHS with as we build our Vision of the Graduate!

Important Yearbook Information
The 2020 yearbook is now in production and sales are open. We will be spending the next several weeks collecting senior bios and photos for the yearbook. Please visit our website to order the book, and find all the information students and families need to successfully be included in the yearbook.

Attention 10th grade parents!  Please read the following letter regarding required screenings for 10th graders.  Reach out to our nurses if you have any questions.  Thanks.

Student Council news: The Homecoming Dance is coming up on Saturday, October 19th from 7pm - 9:30pm.  Any student who is interested in bringing a guest from another school must pick up a guest-approval form from the office and return it by October 15th at the latest.

Our newspaper club works diligently to create a product they can share with the student body.  They are ready to move "online" and I am proud to share the first edition of the Union Journal with you.  These students are hard-working and committed to sharing the news of AHS and beyond. 

FYI- We received news from a parent in the community she and others have received a scam phone call saying their child signed up for an SAT prep at school and they need a credit card to hold the spot.  This is untrue.  The only SAT prep information you might see from Ashland High School would come through our Community Ed. program.  

Friday, September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Good afternoon -

This week we were proud to present our National Merit Scholarship Commended students with their certificate for this achievement. They are among 34,000 students out of the 1.5 million that took the 2018 PSAT who are being recognized with the academic achievement. We are proud of their accomplishment!

This week we began the process of piloting a new hall pass system.  This system, called e-hallpass, is one of several systems we looked at last spring and over the summer as part of our goal of implementing an X-block into our schedule.  (The purpose of the X-block, which we plan to pilot in January, will be to provide increased opportunities for enrichment and intervention.  More to come on that later.....)
The current pilot, which we plan to roll out to the whole school in early October, allows for students to create passes digitally, which they now do with paper/pencil, while also allowing teachers to request appointments or send students to other locations in the building (teacher to teacher). We are looking to make this change for the purpose of safety and accountability.  In the event of an emergency, we could have real-time information on where students have said they are going. It does not track the students actual movement however as the device does not travel with the student. The options for devices used include both AHS devices (Chromebooks and iPads) as well as student devices. Most teachers are looking at using a classroom device. The functionality of these options is what a small handful of teachers are currently looking at over the next couple of weeks. Students are in no way mandated to use the system. Students seem to be concerned that we are monitoring the data on pass usage. That is true, but we already monitor it.  It is a work in progress, we have much to learn, and we are taking all questions, thoughts, and concerns into consideration as we look at the best options for scheduling appointments and monitoring student movement and safety around the building.

Community service reminder:
A reminder that students should make a copy (most just take a picture) of all their community service forms.

Mr. Adams forgot to attach these flyers to his newsletter, please see the flyers attached from the Ashland PTO.
PTO membership
PTO Schedule 2019-2020

For your planning purposes....
9/23       Picture Day for all students 
9/26       AHS Back to School/Parents Night                                      6:00-8:00 pm 
This message went out the Class of 2020 today-

Monday is picture day for the entire school. Seniors are required to have your picture taken to be used for your ID card.  This year our expectation is that you take a regular picture.  For safety reasons we can no longer allow students to wear anything on your heads or faces.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
10/2          Financial Aid Night for Seniors & Parents                        7:00 – 8:00 pm
10/15-19  Spirit Week
18             Homecoming Barbecue                                                     5:00 – 7:00 pm
19             Homecoming Dance                                                          7:00 – 9:30 pm
24             NHS Induction                                                                   7:00 – 8:30 pm

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Priority deadline to apply is November 15; rolling admissions follow.

The Foundation for MetroWest’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program is an experiential leadership development program designed to empower and educate local youth to become our community’s next generation of philanthropists – those who give their time, talent, and treasure for the common good. As participants of YIP, students learn about needs in our community, visit local nonprofits, and grant up to $10,000 to nonprofits benefiting youth.

This free, 17-week program is for high school students who live or learn in MetroWest. YIP will meet on Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 8:30pm, at Grange Hall in Sudbury. The program begins on January 14 and runs through May 26. (Full Schedule) For more information about YIP and to apply, visit

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Good evening!

I hope you all had a fantastic week.  It was a great week at AHS!  I had a conversation with a new teacher today who expressed how impressed she was with our students especially how kind and respectful they are.  I couldn't agree more.

Teachers have been busy getting to know students, both as people as well as evaluating their skills. Our counseling office has been busy adjusting schedules as needed and Monday is the final day for add/drop.  If you child is feeling like a class is not the right fit (too difficult, not what they thought it was, etc.) please make sure they see their counselor on Monday.  Electives may be hard to switch at this point but we do want to make sure students are appropriately leveled for their core classes.

There has been a lot of buzz around school about the online pass system we will be piloting soon.  Teachers were trained at the faculty meeting Thursday and we will be trying it out over the course of this semester.  Students will have the ability to use their own device or a classroom device to sign in and out of class and teachers, counselors, etc. will have the ability to make appointments to see a student.  We know there will be growing pains but we are looking forward to trying out this new system.  I'll share more about where we are going with it at Back to School/Parents Night. 

For your planning purposes....
9/16       College Knowledge Night (for seniors & parents)                7:00 – 8:00 pm
9/20       Senior Portraits – CANCELLED
9/23       Picture Day for all students 
9/26       AHS Back to School/Parents Night                                      6:00-8:00 pm 
10/2          Financial Aid Night for Seniors & Parents                        7:00 – 8:00 pm
10/15-19  Spirit Week
18             Homecoming Barbecue                                                     5:00 – 7:00 pm
19             Homecoming Dance                                                          7:00 – 9:30 pm
24             NHS Induction                                                                   7:00 – 8:30 pm

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Friday, September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019

Good afternoon and Happy Friday!

Today we enjoyed one of my favorite days at AHS. We spent the day as a school community reviewing our core values and expectations through class meetings, 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 Escape Room style puzzle solving adventure.  Students in mixed grade classrooms worked as a team to solve the clues and learn about our community.  

The class meeting power point is linked here for students to refer to. Students and families should review the Student Handbook and make sure iStudent is accessible.  

One important handbook change to note is a change in attendance times in order for students to participate in after school activities: (we have worked to align our Student and Athletic Handbooks):  
Any student absent from school may not participate in or attend school activities that day, unless prior approval of the Principal or Dean has been given. Students must be in attendance at school before 9:30 AM to participate in any school activity unless prior approval for absence is granted by the Principal or Dean. In addition, students may not be dismissed prior to 1:30 PM unless prior approval of the Principal or Dean has been given. On early release days, students must be in attendance for the entire school day in order to participate in any school activity unless prior approval for absence is granted by the Principal or Dean. Students dismissed from school due to illness, may not return to school for participation in school activities. (This applies to attendance reasons that are not considered excused.)
*Please note that the Prom is scheduled for Friday, May 8, 2020-students must be in school all day to attend, dismissal is at 12:35pm.

After the PBIS activity we celebrated Convocation, where seniors received the "key to the school".  Brandon Grover, the Class President, shared a positive and encouraging message, asking students to take advantage of their high school years since it will fly by.  Seniors did their traditional fire truck picture and enjoyed a bbq.  

The fire truck picture!

Back to School Night!
The AHS Back to School Night is Thursday, September 26th from 6:00-8:00pm (please note corrected time!).  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.  

Dear Ashland Families, 
Please view the Family SEL Newsletter #2, which includes a link to the new website that
I have created. Have a wonderful start to the new school year! 
Jen Cutler, Director of Counseling & Social Emotional Learning

Please take a minute to read this important message from AHS and Decisions at Every Turn:
MWAHS/STAND letter  We look forward to sharing data from our most recent MetroWest Adolescent Health survey and getting input from students and families regarding how we use this data to better educate our students.

Have a wonderful weekend!