Friday, April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020

Good evening-

I hope your students are settling in to our new reality of Remote Learning. I heard from teachers that engagement and attendance increased this week. We miss being at school and seeing the students just as much as I am hearing they miss being there. The current situation continues to challenge us as educators but has also brought amazing opportunities to grow and explore new ways of learning. At AHS we are going to continually find reasons to be grateful we have each other, our students and this community. Thank you for your many messages of support!

By now you have all seen the APS Remote Learning Plan. This document answers many questions about how we will move forward with curriculum, grading, as well as end of the year events. Please bear with us we adjust to this new way of teaching and learning. There are many issues we do not have answers to yet.
The suggested schedule in this plan is a great way to help your student structure their day. Teachers will be assigning/teaching new content twice a week. While students do not have to be present at those suggested time, it is highly recommended that they are. Teachers will be providing due dates. This is necessary for students to be able to move forward with the curriculum. Students need to move forward with the curriculum in order to earn credit. There will be more to come on what Credit/No Credit looks like in the new few weeks. While students may not be earning grades at this time, their participation in class, whether in real time or at other times, will be necessary for them to earn credit and move on to the next course in the curriculum.

As we move into Remote Learning teachers have worked to find platforms that allow them to present information and interact with students effectively. Unfortunately, over the past week, several of us, including me during class meetings, have been victims of  Zoombombing. It is horrifying that we have had students exposed to inappropriate and in some cases vile content. Teachers and the Zoom platform are working diligently to set up safe spaces for students.

Please talk to your AHS students about their responsibility in this new format of learning. Teachers are talking to them about this as well!
Students should come to Zoom/GoogleMeets/etc. sessions ready to learn. They should be focused on the teacher and their classroom expectations, just like they should be in the AHS classroom.
Students should not share the links or meeting invitations with their friends, especially when they are not in the class. Any student missing log-in information should reach out to their teacher.

The class meetings I held this week were great. I love seeing student smiles and hearing their questions. The other staff in attendance feel the same way. We will continue holding these meetings Monday through Thursday for the next few weeks as we work together to figure things out.

I have shared or will share these opportunities with students:
There are many senior citizens in town who would love to receive regular phone calls during this period of social distancing. We are starting a program to match high school students with a senior in town and will provide guidance on suggested topics to start conversations. Interested students can email Alison Mawrey at Thank you.

Youth in Philanthropy Hopkinton
Priority deadline to apply is June 5; rolling admissions to 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 Hopkinton, Ashland, Milford, or Westborough. YIP will meet on Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 8:30pm, at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. The program begins on September 15 and runs through January 28. (Full Schedule) For more information about YIP and to apply, visit

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