Friday, October 25, 2019

October 25, 2019

Good afternoon and happy Friday-
I hope you are looking forward to this Family Reconnect Weekend.  

A reminder that Picture Retake day is Monday, October 28. 

News from the Athletic Department:
Winter Sports Registration is OPEN.  
The deadline to register is November 25th at noon.
To register go to:

Winter Meet the Coaches Night:
Tuesday, October 29th at 7pm in AHS Auditorium
For all MS and HS Students

Fall All-Sports Banquet:
Thursday, November 21st, 6:30PM in AHS Auditorium
For all MS and HS student-athletes & parents

Robot Rodeo 2019!
The AHS Robotics Club invites you and your family to join them for a day of Robot fun at the Ashland High School Cafeteria. Starting at 10:30am, the Robot Rodeo provides an all day experience for kids of all ages to come play with robots, learn about technology, build their own amazing Lego inventions, and have lots of fun! Join us on Saturday, Nov 2nd between 10:30 am and 3 pm. The entry cost is $10 per child and the funds go to support high school students competing in regional robotics competitions. Food will be available for purchase on site (pizza and snacks). Contact Chad McGowan with questions:

Important Upcoming dates:
24             NHS Induction                                                                  7:00 – 8:30 pm
28             Picture Retake Day
30             Senior Pictures Due
31             Class of 2020 Halloween Parade
1/2            AHSTS Fall Production                                                     7:00 – 9:30 pm
3               AHSTS Fall Production                                                     2:00 – 4:30 pm
6               MCAS Make-up ELA Comp
7               MCAS Make-up Reading Session 1 & 2
8               MCAS Make-up Reading Session 3
                 Early Release                                                                    12:35 pm
                 Term 1 Ends              
13             MCAS Make-up Math Session 1
14             MCAS Make-up Math Session 2
                 Band Concert Night                                                           7:00 pm
15             Report Cards
20             Red Cross Blood Drive                                                     1:00-6:00 pm
24             Pancake Breakfast                                                              9:00 – 11:00 am                        
27             Early Release                                                                    11:25 am

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 18, 2019

October 18, 2019

Good afternoon-

It's been another spirited Homecoming Week at AHS culminating in a fun-filled pep rally today. Students and teachers alike had lots of fun playing games and showing school pride. We look forward to seeing lots of people at the various games this weekend and are excited for a fun-fill, safe homecoming dance tomorrow.  As a reminder, the dance starts at 7pm and all students must be here by 8pm to be admitted.  The dance ends at 9:30pm and students are not permitted to leave without parent permission before 9pm. Guests are only permitted if a guest permission form was submitted to and approved by the Deans.

Pictures were handed out in homeroom today. Picture Retake Day is scheduled for October 28 if you student missed the original day or you would like to have their picture retaken.  See the attached flyer for details.

Ashland Public Schools is asking that every student bring home a Medicaid release/consent form.  Students received this form in homeroom this morning and can pick one up in the main office if needed. This release/consent form seeks parental consent for the district to bill Medicaid eligible students for services rendered at school which are medically necessary and supported by Medicaid (such as screenings by the nurse, related services). We appreciate your support in this endeavor. If there are any questions please call the Office of Student Services.  

MCAS reports were mailed to all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who tested in the district last year. Please see the attached MCAS Accountability letter for information about the state accountability information as well as specifics about Ashland. 

Have a wonderful weekend.

News from Athletics!
October 29: Winter Meet the Coaches Night, AHS - 7pm

November 21: Fall All-Sports Banquet, AHS - 6:30pm
*NEW FOR 2019-2020!!! A chance to celebrate the many accomplishments and highlights with ALL teams. 
Note: This does not replace individual team banquets. 

Winter Sports Registration: OPEN NOW
DEADLINE: November 25th at 12pm
Season Starts 12/2
To register: 

HS Offerings- Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Wrestling, Indoor Track, Cheer, Swimming & Diving, Alpine Ski, Boys Ice Hockey, Girls Ice Hockey (via Medway), Gymnastics (via Medfield)

Please join us at the
Delay Your Gray: How to Keep Your Teen Safe and Yourself Sane
Come to our FREE parent workshop for helpful tips and connect with other parents who have questions about setting limits, adolescent development, risky behavior like vaping, mental health issues and how to deal with intense teen moods.

Date: Tuesday, October 22
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Place: Natick Elks Lodge
Elizabeth Driscoll Jorgensen, is a nationally recognized expert in adolescent counseling. She is a consultant to schools and treatment centers who specializes in motivating resistant preteens and teens to change.

Judy Styer is the Director of Health and Wellness at the Framingham Public Schools. Judy will discuss data regarding vaping, substance use and mental health issues from the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey.
Register and attend our parent workshop and you'll be entered into a drawing for one of three, $100 gift cards!
Natick Elks Lodge
95 Speen St.
Natick, MA 01760

Refreshments will be served!

For more information email:

Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Good afternoon-

MCAS reports will go in the mail Tuesday, October 15 to all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who tested in Ashland Public Schools last year. Please reach out to your child's counselor if you do not receive the report within a few days. Ashland students once again did very well, meeting our benchmarks, and we are proud of their accomplishments.

Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit® Scholarship Program 
(Evanston, Illinois) On September 11, 2019 officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. 
Steps in the 2020 Competition 
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through- out high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. 
National Merit Scholarships 
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2020. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 
Ashland High School is proud to announce three Semi-finalist who are moving on in the Scholarship competition. They are Joo Won (Jewel) Han, Sophia Mariona, and Rebecca Moses. We wish them the best in the next steps and look forward to celebrating their accomplishment at graduation on June 7, 2020.

News from Student Council: Spirit Week (October 15th - October 18th)
Next week, leading up to homecoming, is spirit week!  Students are encouraged to dress-up and show their school spirit.
Tuesday, October 15th is pajama day.
Wednesday, October 16th is "tourist day"
Thursday, October 17th is VSCO Girl / E-boy day*
Friday, October 18th is class color day.  (The freshmen wear green, the sophomores red, the juniors blue, the seniors white.)

(* From the Student Council Vice-President: A new day we are having this year is called VSCO girl/ E Boy day. VSCO is a social media platform which was originally created to share photography, but has since turned into a platform in which teenage girls use to post the pictures they don’t deem “acceptable” for their instagrams. A stereotype has since formed for “VSCO girls” across all social media platforms. The typical VSCO girl dresses in big baggy t-shirts, scrunchies, and they carry around large metal water bottles (specifically hydroflasks). An E-Boy is the boy version of this and they have gained popularity on the social media app Tik Tok. E-Boys dress in “emo” attire (i.e. dark clothing, beanies, chains, checkered patterns, etc).

Homecoming Tailgate Barbecue (Friday, October 18th)
Unfortunately, due to the continued EEE-threat, this event has been cancelled.
Homecoming Dance (Saturday, October 19th, 7pm - 9:30pm)
The Student Council's annual semi-formal Homecoming dance is next Saturday, October 19th, in the high school cafeteria. Tickets will be on sale during lunch next week for $8 (cash or a check made out to AHS Student Activities).  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $10.  All students attending must arrive by 8pm.  Any student planning on bringing a guest from another school must pick up a guest approval form from the office.  Guest approval forms are due to the main office by Tuesday, October 15th.

Important Upcoming dates:
10/15-19  Spirit Week
19             Homecoming Dance                                                          7:00 – 9:30 pm
23             Site Council                                                                       4:00 - 5:30 pm
24             NHS Induction                                                                  7:00 – 8:30 pm
28             Picture Retake Day
30             Senior Pictures Due
31             Class of 2020 Halloween Parade
1/2            AHSTS Fall Production                                                     7:00 – 9:30 pm
3               AHSTS Fall Production                                                     2:00 – 4:30 pm
6               MCAS Make-up ELA Comp
7               MCAS Make-up Reading Session 1 & 2
8               MCAS Make-up Reading Session 3
                 Early Release                                                                    12:35 pm
                 Term 1 Ends              
13             MCAS Make-up Math Session 1
14             MCAS Make-up Math Session 2
                 Band Concert Night                                                           7:00 pm
15             Report Cards
24             Pancake Breakfast                                                              9:00 – 11:00 am                        
27             Early Release                                                                    11:25 am

Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Good afternoon and a very happy Friday!

As a reminder, there is no school on Wednesday, October 9 due to the Yom Kippur.  Classes resume on Thursday.  The following week there is no school on Monday, October 14 due to Columbus Day.

Important Upcoming dates:
10/15-19  Spirit Week
19             Homecoming Dance                                                          7:00 – 9:30 pm

24             NHS Induction                                                                   7:00 – 8:30 pm

News from AHSTS:
Tickets are now on sale for the AHSTS production of Almost, Maine. The production runs Friday, November 1st at 7 PM, Saturday, November 2nd at 7 PM and Sunday, November 3rd at 2 PM.
AHSTS offers online sales up to two hours before show time. AHSTS discounts tickets purchased online (Adults: $11.99, Students/AHSTS Alumni $8.99), Patrons may buy tickets at the door at full price. (Adults: $15, Students and AHSTS Alumni $10) Visit to purchase tickets.
THE STORY: Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.

Important information from Decisions at Every Turn Coalition: 
Our October Coalition meeting will be held on October 17th at 5:30pm at the Ashland Public Library. Dr. Safdar Medina, a pediatrician and Southborough resident, will be part of that program. He will provide some good info about what he is seeing in his patient population and how to support those who are currently vaping and/or trying to quit.
This important information was shared with us from Decisions this week-
Last week, the Governor declared a public health emergency in response to the outbreak of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products  and the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. With the approval of Governor Baker, Commissioner Bharel of DPH issued an Order to pause all sales of e-cigarette and vaping products for four months. Learn more at:

Now is an important time to promote Massachusetts quit vaping/tobacco resources and recognize nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Youth Quit Vaping/Tobacco Resources
  • This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started.  In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
    • Parents and other adults can also text “QUIT” to 202-899-7550 to sign up to receive text messages designed specifically for parents of vapers.
  • My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help or visit to sign up online.
  • Visit for tools and tips.
  • Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help.
  • For more information, young people can visit
  • More information for parents/adults is available at
Adult Quit Vaping/Tobacco Resources
  • You are three times as likely to quit for good with the combination of FDA approved quit smoking medication and counseling.
  • Call the Massachusetts Smokers' Helpline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (7 days per week/24 hours per day, holiday hours may vary) to receive counseling online, by phone or through eChat and at least four weeks of free nicotine patches.
  • The nicotine patch, gum or lozenges, are available over the counter without a prescription. The prescription medications include Chantix, Zyban, inhaler, and spray.
  • Feeling irritable, restless, or jittery
  • Having headaches
  • Increased sweating
  • Feeling sad or down
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling tired or groggy
  • Having trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling hungry
  • Having intense cravings for e-cigarettes/tobacco

Other Updates

  • Standing order for Dispensing Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products
    • Commissioner Bharel also issued an order expanding access to federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, over the-counter nicotine replacement therapy products including gum, lozenges and patches, through a statewide Standing Order that facilitates insurance coverage for these products.
    • The Standing Order authorizes licensed pharmacists to dispense medically appropriate nicotine replacement therapy products to a person 18 years or older with proper identification who requires the products in connection with smoking cessation or vaping cessation.  
  • Yesterday legislation to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in MA was voted favorably out of committee and is in the House and Senate’s Ways and Means Committees.

There’s still much work to do locally. This vaping ban is temporary and does not address all tobacco products. We know that the tobacco and vaping industry has a history of targeting our youth, LGBTQ community, and communities of color. While the pause may help us temporarily protect our communities from vaping, we still have work to do to ensure that we protect our young people and our communities from tobacco and vaping industry tactics, not only now, but also in the months and years to come.  If you are considering supporting any policy changes in your community this year, let me know so I can help your community mobilize.

 Mary Cole, MPH, CHES
Program Coordinator
Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership
Bay State Community Services
1120 Hancock St. Quincy, MA 02169
617.471.8400 x 138

The Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership supports communities’ efforts to lower smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke; enhance state and local tobacco control efforts by exposing tobacco industry tactics; mobilizing the community to support and adopt evidence-based policies; and changing social norms. Funded by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Community Partnerships serve as a resource for local coalitions, health and human service agencies, municipalities, and workplaces on tobacco intervention efforts.