Friday, September 12, 2014

Superintendent's Notes

Resignation Accepted with Sorrow

At last night's School Committee Meeting, the School Committee as a whole accepted the resignation of Mr. Bernard "Ken" Estabrook from the school committee with sorrow.  It was acknowledge how much he has contributed to the School System and that we are confident that he will still find ways to contribute to the larger community.

As a result of his vacancy, the School Committee and Board of Selectmen will be holding a joint meeting to fill this position.  Please go to the Maynard Public Schools website to find out the details on how to apply at:


The information is posted on the right hand side of the homepage.

Who wants to win a free iPAd Mini?

This year the Maynard Public Schools will be giving away one iPad Mini at each school to families that have filled out the Free and Reduced Meals Form.  We are encouraging participation in filling out these forms because the state funding formula for our schools can be improved by more accurate reporting.  Many people do not fill out the form because they do not think they will qualify or for issues around confidentiality. 

Even if you do not think you will qualify, we are encouraging 100% participation in filling out the forms so that we can be as accurate as possible.  Anyone regardless of if they qualify will be eligible to win the iPad Mini if they fill out the form.

In regard to confidentiality, with the new electronic systems, it is very hard for other students to know who is receiving free or reduced lunch.  As a convenience for parents, we have the Free and Reduced Meals On Line Application that can be filled out electronically at:


If you prefer hard copies of the Free and Reduced Meals Form, they can be found by asking the secretary in the office at each school. Please fill out the forms as soon as possible to be eligible.

Maynard Public Schools Lighting

I have received some questions about the security lighting in the parking lot and the building lighting in the evening at our schools.  When I checked with our head custodian, David Herlihy, he explained to me the lighting procedures for the three schools. 

Interior:
Maynard High School interior lighting is on a time clock system and is currently set from 5:00 A.M. till 10:00 P.M., Mon. through Fri. to allow for the later programs like WAVM and athletics to be completed., MHS lights should be completely off Sat. and Sun. unless there is building overtime use which does happen on occasion.  Green Meadow and Fowler interior lighting runs from 5:00 or 6:00 A.M. till 9:00 P.M. and is turned on and shut off manually. Again, at these schools there is no lighting Sat. or Sun. unless there is building overtime.

There is very little interior security lighting at all three schools. Green Meadow only has the red glow from exit signs, and Fowler only has the canopy lights and some small recessed can lighting in the front foyers. MHS has the Main Office half lit and a dimmed classroom at each corner of the building. It really is quite minimal but more noticeable at the high school because of all the glass.

Exterior:
Maynard High parking lot lights run from dusk till dawn on photo cells. We run exterior lighting overnight for several reasons: It is a deterrent to crime, and allows the police to readily see suspicious activity as they routinely patrol all school grounds. The police make nightly drive-by inspections and regularly walk the building perimeter.  They check doors and windows to see if they are secure and report any damage. Visibility is a must for them. Also, winter is our longest season, and our DPW spends a lot of time plowing and sanding our lots during the course of the night when lighting would be helpful.
     
The Maynard Public Schools are community schools that are used extensively.  My hope is that this will answer the questions in regard to this matter.

Exciting New Excel Program
Bridges:  Our Stories will begin October 2, on Thursdays 3:15- 4:30 pm for 8 weeks. Bridges: Our Stories will be offered through the Excel program (any child ages 1st -3rd grade can attend) for $64 for the 8 week session. Students will be able to stay after school, have a snack, and be supervised until the program begins at 3:15 p.m. 

Senior Volunteers are also needed. Please contact Kerry Weeks: at healyweeks@gmail.com or at 617-596-1559 cell. 

Please call me with questions!

Thank you in advance,

Kerry Weeks

DPW Notice: Paving of Summer Street and Acton Street - Starting September 11, 2014. 

During the paving, access to and from residence may be restricted or delayed. Road will remain open to all emergency vehicles and school buses. 

Current Book
I am currently reading the book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work (Achor, 2010).  The author, Shaun Anchor, was a student, resident assistant, lecturer, and professor at Harvard where he did much of his research on this topic. Through brain, visual processing, and other  research they have proven that the brain has more capacity when people are in a happy state.  My favorite quote in this book so far is:
"We can all reap the full benefits of the Happiness Advantage if we work hard enough at it.  Remember, happiness is not just a mood - it's a work ethic." (Anchor, 2010, p. 50)
Important Events and Reminders:                                                                                                     
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

As mentioned in the Boston Globe, on exhibit in Maynard:

"WINDOWS ON EARTH" Photographs by Astronauts on the International Space Station on display at Gallery Seven, 7 Nason St. in Maynard thru September 27th.  Free and Open to the public.  Gallery Hours: Tues. - Fri. 10-6 and Sat. 10-5.  


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