Friday, September 26, 2014

Superintendent's Notes

Guest Speaker Jessica Minahan, Author of The Behavior Code

An estimated one in four teenaged students has dealt with an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety, and the behavioral issues it causes, can negatively impact a student’s ability to succeed in school.

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, and author, is being hosted by the Green Meadow PTO, Fowler PTO and SEPAC to discuss anxiety and its effects on young students. She shifts focus from traditional behavior plans to the use of preventive strategies and the explicit teaching of coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses.  Parents and Educators will learn how to easily implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring.  

When: Monday, October 6th, from 7:00 to 8:45 pm

Where: Fowler Auditorium, Fowler Middle School, 3 Tiger Drive, Maynard, MA

RSVP: Jennifer O’Leary: 978-897-2705
             sepacchair@maynard.k12.ma.us

This event is free and open to the public

Maynard’s Animal Kingdom, an Inclusion Day for Kids of all Abilities

Elementary children of all abilities and their families, and leaders of community groups are invited to Maynard’s Animal Kingdom, an Inclusion Day for kids of all abilities! The event will be held at the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley, 212 Great Rd, Maynard, MA 01754, on Saturday, September 20th, 2014 from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. Come, have fun, network with other families, and learn about inclusion for all abilities for no cost. There will be interactive games, sensory friendly activities and a quiet room for book reading. A table with inclusion tips for community leaders will be available as well.

This is a Girl Scout Gold Award Project about Autism Inclusion Resources (AIR) for Rachel Hahn of Maynard Girl Scout Troop 72622. For more information, email:


and visit:


MHS Band and Chorus Flower Bulb Fundraiser

Support the Maynard High School Band and Chorus trip to Washington DC with some beautiful flowers. Go to the following link to purchase bulbs. The Maynard High School Band/Chorus will receive 50% of all sales and the flowers come directly to you.  The sale ends October 15th.  

 http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com/campaign?campaign_id=19807

Bridges Together is being launched at Green Meadow. 

Bridges: Our Stories is a group that brings together seniors (over age 65) and children in 1, 2, and 3 grade to form friendships and make connections. This group, led by a Green Meadow teacher, pairs 2 seniors with 5 students, to read a classic book, do a craft activity and talk about a particular theme. Children and seniors benefit from hearing each other's stories, learning and laughing together. 

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. 

Thanks in advance!

Kerry
617-596-1559

MHS Fundraiser with Halloween Costumes
The class of 2018 is going to be hosting a fundraiser next Saturday - Oct. 4th from 9:30 am to 3 pm in the High School Gym. We will be selling gently used Halloween costumes and accessories for $5-$10. 

NOTES FROM THE MAYNARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HEALTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT

At the start of every school year a variety of illnesses begin to emerge (colds, fevers, stomach bugs, etc.). Besides frequent and thorough hand washing, keeping a sick child home from school is the best way to prevent an outbreak.

We appreciate those parents/guardians who are being cautious and keeping their children home to try to contain illness and for adhering to the
24 hours/fever-free/without medication rule. Students should also be symptom free (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea) for 24 hours and able to tolerate a normal diet before returning to school.

Please remember to call your school’s absentee line everyday that you keep your child home. Try to be as specific with his or her illness as possible, i.e. “home sick with fever of ___ and cough” or “home with an ear infection” or “home for a fever-free day”. This will help the school nurses identify clusters of illness and prompt preventative measures.

For parents/guardians who are concerned about the much publicized Enterovirus D68, below are questions and answers provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Parents/Guardians of children who have asthma should especially take notice.

Lastly, as we approach influenza (flu) season, keep in mind that the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the flu each year. Please click on the following link for more information that will help you learn how to prevent the flu.


As always, if you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact your school’s nurse directly.

MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET
Enterovirus D68 (EV 68)Massachusetts Department of Public Health | Bureau of Infectious Diseases | 305 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
September 2014

What is Enterovirus D68?

Enterovirus D68 (EV 68) is one of many enteroviruses, a large group of over 100 viruses that can causerespiratory illness, diarrhea, rash and even meningitis and encephalitis.  This particular virus was first identified in California in 1962.  It has been circulating worldwide for several years, causing mild to severe respiratory illness. 
  
What are the symptoms of EV 68?

EV 68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. 
•Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. 
•Some children, ill with EV 68 infection, have difficulty breathing, and wheezing.  Most of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing. 

How does EV 68 spread?

Since EV 68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory 
secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum.  EV 68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches surfaces contaminated with virus.  

Who is at risk?

In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses.  That's because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses.This appears to be true for EV 68.  Among the EV 68 cases in identified during August and September 2014, children with asthma had a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

How is EV 68 treated?

There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV 68. 
•For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking overthecounter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children. 
• People with severe respiratory illness should be seen by a healthcare provider and may need 
hospitalization. 
• There are no antiviral medications available for people who become infected with EV 68. 

Is there a vaccine for EV 68?

No. There is no vaccine. 

How is EV 68 diagnosed?

EV 68 can only be diagnosed by doing specific lab tests. Respiratory illnesses can be caused by many different viruses and have similar symptoms.  Not all respiratory illnesses occurring now are due to EV 68.  Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor, if they are having difficulty breathing, or if their symptoms are getting worse.  

How can I protect myself from EV 68?

You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:  
•Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers. 
•Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 
•Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. 
•Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
•In schools and daycares, routine environmental cleaning and sanitation is required, especially of hightouch surfaces. Since people with asthma are higher risk for respiratory illnesses, they should take medicines for asthma prescribed for them and maintain control of their asthma.  They should seek care early if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms.  In addition, they should take advantage of influenza vaccine since people with asthma have a difficult time with respiratory illnesses, and influenza is preventable.  

If my child has a respiratory illness, can he or she attend school?

In general, children who are ill should be kept out of school until their symptoms improve.   
For children with chronic cough and/or reactive airway disease, children should return to school when they are clinically well enough to return.

Where can I get more information?

• Your doctor, nurse or clinic, or your local board of health (listed in the phone book under local 
government)  
• The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Division of Epidemiology and 
Immunization at (617) 9836800 or on the MDPH Website at www.mass.gov/dph
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at:
                  

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.

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. 


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.  



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Superintendent's Notes

Guest Speaker Jessica Minahan, Author of The Behavior Code

An estimated one in four teenaged students has dealt with an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety, and the behavioral issues it causes, can negatively impact a student’s ability to succeed in school.

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, and author, is being hosted by the Green Meadow PTO, Fowler PTO and SEPAC to discuss anxiety and its effects on young students. She shifts focus from traditional behavior plans to the use of preventive strategies and the explicit teaching of coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses.  Parents and Educators will learn how to easily implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring.  

When: Monday, October 6th, from 7:00 to 8:45 pm

Where: Fowler Auditorium, Fowler Middle School, 3 Tiger Drive, Maynard, MA

RSVP: Jennifer O’Leary: 978-897-2705
            sepacchair@maynard.k12.ma.us

Free and open to the public

Maynard’s Animal Kingdom, an Inclusion Day for Kids of all Abilities

Elementary children of all abilities and their families, and leaders of community groups are invited to Maynard’s Animal Kingdom, an Inclusion Day for kids of all abilities! The event will be held at the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley, 212 Great Rd, Maynard, MA 01754, on Saturday, September 20th, 2014 from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. Come, have fun, network with other families, and learn about inclusion for all abilities for no cost. There will be interactive games, sensory friendly activities and a quiet room for book reading. A table with inclusion tips for community leaders will be available as well.

This is a Girl Scout Gold Award Project about Autism Inclusion Resources (AIR) for Rachel Hahn of Maynard Girl Scout Troop 72622. For more information, email:


and visit:


Bridges Together is being launched at Green Meadow. 

Bridges: Our Stories is a group that brings together seniors (over age 65) and children in 1, 2, and 3 grade to form friendships and make connections. This group, led by a Green Meadow teacher, pairs 2 seniors with 5 students, to read a classic book, do a craft activity and talk about a particular theme. Children and seniors benefit from hearing each other's stories, learning and laughing together. 

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. 

Thanks in advance!

Kerry
617-596-1559

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.

 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. 

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.  

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.