Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Superintendent's Notes



Food Related School Day Celebrations

I was made aware of recent concerns about the changes this year in the traditional end of the year school day celebrations that include food.  I am sorry if the administration did not clearly articulate this change in advance to all of our constituents.  However, I will take this opportunity to provide everyone with the timeline of events and facts that went into the decision to review the administrative regulation regarding these types of celebrations.

At the end of last year we had an incident with a student who had an undiagnosed allergic reaction requiring an ambulance ride to a hospital.  Also, the school nurses are required to keep track of the list of students with diagnosed life-threatening allergens.  The nurses have seen these lists grow significantly and track this information in order to manage the required medication available and keep teachers informed about the needs of the children in their classrooms.  As a result of these facts and the research on increasing undiagnosed life-threatening allergic reactions, the school nurses decided to review the Maynard Public Schools Health and Wellness Administrative Regulation and make multiple recommendations to me.

While I did not approve all of the school nurses recommendations, I realized the need to keep our students safe during the school day and make the change to eliminate food based school day celebrations.  I also reformed the Health and Wellness Committee and asked Kevin Caruso to be the Chair of that committee.  The Committee's goal was to review the rest of the nurses recommendations and other concerns around fitness.  At this time the Wellness Committee has only chosen to focus on school day events so you may see school related events outside of the school day that still have food related celebrations.

In addition, I also know that the principals allowed the school nurses in each building to do a presentation to the entire staff at the first scheduled faculty meeting of the year.  I also know that the PTO at Green Meadow was made aware of this new policy and changed their traditional school day ice cream social event into an end of the year crafts event.   

Again, I am sorry that this information did not get disseminated well enough to everyone.  I appreciate all of those who have made creative accommodations and would suggest that anyone in need of other creative solutions speak to the school nurses and principals.

Sincerely,
Bob Gerardi 

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                  
In an effort to streamline these notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

2014/2015 Bus Registration

The School Committee voted at the May 1st meeting to increase bus fees to $260 for the 1st child and $215 for the 2nd child each additional child beyond 2. 
Registration will be on May 19th. Forms will be available in school offices and on our website on May 16th under “Forms to Download”.  No registrations will be accepted before May 19th.  Please call Colleen Moore if you have any questions (978) 897-2222.

Maynard Community Gardeners 20th Annual Plant Sale                                                                                            
Don’t miss the best plant sale around!  MCG offers a wonderful selection of local, freshly-dug perennials, and annuals.  We’re now offering hanging baskets and annuals! 
The plant sale is being held on the corner of Maple and Summer Streets on Saturday, May 17th from 9:00 am to 12:00pm.
For more information or to join our club, visit: www.MaynardGardeners.org

SING and the Fowler School Harmony Choir Upcoming Performances

Congratulations are in order for the members of the Fowler School Harmony Choir (6th & 7th grade chorus).  These students participated in the prestigious MICCA music festival on April 6th at Norwood High School.  The Harmony Choir earned a bronze medal for their performance and received high scores from judges for tone quality, technical facility, and dynamic control.
If you missed the festivals, don't worry; both of these choirs will be performing on Friday, May 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM in the Fowler School Auditorium.  Mark your calendars!
SING and The Fowler School Harmony Choir are both un-auditioned, after-school choruses run by FASC with support from the Maynard Music Association.  Look for new members welcome next fall.

Be a Host Family for a Maynard International Student

Educatious International introduced us to our first international student from Brazil this year.  As we look to expand the cultural diversity and cultural understanding of Maynard High School, it is helpful to identify hosts families before we receive applications from international students for next year.
Educatius International is currently accepting host family applications for the September 2014 school year.   Educatius International offers a monthly stipend of $700.00 for each student placed in a host families home, each family can host up to 2 students for a total of $1400.00. 
Educatius International is seeking families that want to open their home to an international student.  The host families should desire to provide a warm and supportive home and family environment and the students should become part of your family.  This can be a positive and rewarding experience for everyone in your family.  Hosting a student can provide you with amazing opportunities and lifelong friendships.
To learn more and apply to become a host family, please contact Jodi Del Razo at Jodi.delrazo@educatius.org or Claudette Rowe claudetterowe.educatius@gmail.com (508) 246-7028

Open your heart, your home, and share our unique international community!  Invite an international student into your home.

Pesticide Spraying   
                                                                                                          
Maynard High School, Fowler School, and Green Meadow School will undergo exterior building pesticide spraying this spring by Waltham Service, Inc. Further information is available at www.mass.gov/agr. Follow the links to the Children’s protection page for: Chemical Specific Fact Sheet and Consumer Information Bulletin for school, day care, and school age childcare programs.

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