Friday, February 6, 2015

Superintendent's Notes

Digital Learning Parent School Community Forum

We are planning to hold an evening forum about digital learning for parents and community members on Wednesday, February 25th, at 7 p.m. in the Fowler Library.  A District Technology Committee (Digital Learning) has been meeting since this fall.  Members hope to write a five year plan to present to the Maynard School Committee for their consideration.  Before beginning a draft of the plan, members want to inform parents of what they are doing.  More importantly, we would like to receive feedback on our efforts.  

We have also contracted with a well-respected firm, Bright Bytes, to help us gather data. Teachers and students (from third grade on) have been completing a brief survey,  We cordially invite parents to participate in the survey by going to and entering the following access codes: for Green Meadow: 946AP; for Fowler BE97P; and for Maynard High School 8J2VP.  Since the survey only takes five minutes, you may wish to complete a survey for each child.  If time constraints won't allow this, please consider completing a survey for your eldest child.

Changes in Head Lice Information and Support

I would like to thank parents Ann Stachowicz and Michelle Grace for meeting with principal Dankner and the school nurses today to discuss the very important public health issue of Pediculosis (Head Lice).  We discussed how many districts in Massachusetts still adhere to old practices that are not in line with the current research and guidance on this issue.  We also discussed how these differences and the voluminous amount of misinformation or information that has not been proven by the medical community makes this topic even more challenging for everyone involved.

While the Maynard Public Schools is very conscientious about state and federal laws, we came to the conclusion that there is always room for improved communication and support.  Collaboratively we developed some short term and long term improvements. 

In the short term we will add information to the Maynard Public Schools Health Website which can be found at:

On this website at the bottom of the page you will see links to information on Head Lice.  More information will be added soon.

One article that will be coming soon from Continuing Nursing Education is titled "Demystifying Pediculosis: School Nurses Taking the Lead."  Please read this article as it was very helpful for us to have a better understanding of the topic.  We used this to discuss some strategies around parent notification.  We looked at information on page 5 under Myth #9 Letters to Parents or Guardians When a Case is identified at school are a Good Way to Control The Spread of Head Lice.  The research in that section and the information in the following two paragraphs titled Confidentiality Violations and The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act helped us to understand why old practices are illegal and would put Maynard at risk of litigation.

We found a school wide parent notification letter in the Comprehensive School Health Manual from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  This does not notify parents of individual classrooms having outbreaks of Head Lice.  It will be used to notify the whole school community as soon as Head Lice is identified in each school.

In the long term we discussed adding more information about Head Lice and Universal Precautions in the student handbooks.  We also talked about other outreach opportunities including Kindergarten Orientation and the backpack information.

I am confident that these new changes will improve the information and support needed on this very important topic.

 Camp Invention is coming to Maynard!

The Camp Invention program is a weeklong, nationally-acclaimed summer science and creativity day experience for elementary school children. This is a unique opportunity to help cultivate the ideas critical to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
by encouraging exploration and curiosity through exciting, hands-on activities.  Helping to instill the understanding that science is everywhere, this inquiry-based approach fosters “whole systems” thinkers.  This summer at Camp Invention, children will learn how to think like inventors, problem-solve, collaborate and create – all while having tons of FUN!

Where: Fowler School
When:  July 27-31 from 8:30AM to 3:00PM
Director:  Sharon Drozen
Register:  Visit or call 800-968-4332
Sponsored by: EXCEL Programs, Maynard Public Schools

Take a look at Camp Invention in action at

13th Annual Taste of Maynard

The Maynard Education Foundation (MEF) is excited to sponsor its 13th Annual Taste of Maynard on Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4 PM to 7 PM at the Maynard Lodge of Elks, 34 Powdermill Road, Maynard.  Restaurants will be serving appetizer, entree and dessert delicacies from 4-6 PM; entertainment will continue until 7 PM.

Every year, this is a  “not to be missed” event, with the general public being encouraged to come and enjoy exceptional samples of food specialties from local food establishments in the Maynard, Acton, Stow, Concord, Hudson and Marlboro area. There will be a cash bar, entertainment by the local sensation "Transistor Kings" and raffle/silent auction prizes.  Tickets are available in advance for $30/adult,  $10 children ages 5-12 and free for children 4 and under by calling Trish Signet (978) 835.7379, Mary Brannelly (978) 764.5279, Fiona Nauseda (978) 897-2460 or at Middlesex Savings Bank, 17 Nason Street, Maynard or by visiting any of the three Maynard public schools.  Tickets may also be purchased by going to MEF’s website  Tickets will be available on a first come first serve basis at the door for $35/each.

The Maynard Education Foundation’s mission is to financially support innovation in teaching for Maynard educators.  Since 2001, MEF has awarded over $161,000 in grants. MEF grants have enabled students to visit the Christa McAuliffe Space Center, participate in anti-bullying initiatives, enjoy cultural performances and to use new materials and technology in their classrooms. MEF grants have enabled teachers to participate in creative writing workshops, introduce new activities and sports such as Tchoukball into the physical education curriculum, start a leveled library and lead biological studies of ecosystems. As one community member recently said "The Maynard Education Foundation adds a layer of quality to the Maynard public schools that has been invaluable to our kids' educational experience here."

Purchase tickets now to this food extravaganza.  Each year, it becomes more successful.  You’ll have an opportunity to taste wonderful food selections from many local food establishments, visit with old and new friends and support the Maynard Education Foundation!  Visit our website at to learn more about the Maynard Education Foundation.

Also, if you shop on during the year, you can support MEF at the same time! When you go to the website (, select the Maynard Education Foundation as your charitable organization and Amazon will make a donation to MEF!.

Boys Basketball News!

Congratulations to the boys basketball team for qualifying for the Clark Tournament as the three seed.  They open up on February 16th at 1:00 pm vs. Douglas.  See the following link for more information:

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.

Maynard High School Coffee with the Principal

Principal Caragianes has asked me to participate in the upcoming Maynard High School Coffee with the Principal.  As he always strives to maximize opportunities for all families to participate, there will be an evening and morning coffee scheduled to accommodate everyone's calendar.  The dates and times for the upcoming events are:

Monday February 9th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday February 10th from 7:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.

Please join us in our beautiful Maynard High School Media Center for coffee and an opportunity to for discussions about Maynard High School and the greater school community. 

Maynard Youth Basketball Announcements

The Boys & Girls Club of Assbet Valley is excited to announce that Maynard Youth Basketball will be holding our second Annual Alumni Basketball Game on February 7, 2015 from 6 PM - 12AM. 

The first part of the evening will consist of two basketball games of MHS Alumni and current high school basketball players.  MHS players from 1988-1999 will be playing MHS players from 2000-2009 at 6pm.  The second game of the evening will be MHS players from 2010-2014 playing against the current MHS high school players at 7pm, both at Maynard High School Gym. 

When the games end we will all head to the Maynard Lodge of Elks for raffles, silent auctions, 50/50 drawings, light food, and a cash bar.  All money raised will help our basketball program with gym costs, league costs, replacement uniforms, and allowing every child a chance to play basketball in Maynard regardless of financial ability.  The tickets for the evening are $20 (Game and Elks), $15 (Just the Elks) and $5 for just the games and will be available at the Boys and Girls Club starting January 20th.  Tickets can also be purchased at the gate on the night of the event.   
We need your help with this event!! The following positions need to be filled to help make this amazing, fun fundraiser a success:

1.  2-3 volunteers for following up on the letters for sponsors, raffle prizes, and food donations.
2.  4-5 volunteers to work the concessions at the game between 5:15pm-7:30pm (Halftime of the 2nd game) (45 minute shifts)
3.  2  volunteers to work the gate at the game from 5:15pm-7:15pm
4.  2 volunteers to work the door at the Elks from 8:00pm - 9:00pm (collect and check wristbands)
5.  4-5  volunteers  to sell raffle tickets and 50/50 squares from 8:00pm -9:30pm (1/2 hour shifts)

To volunteer or for questions, please email Wendy Allegrone-Leslie at

SEPAC Support Group:  Managing Life with a Special Needs Child

Are you a parent of a child with special needs and find that daily life can wear you down?
Would you like to gather with other parents in a positive and supportive group to share feelings, perspectives, and resources?

The Maynard SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is creating a Parent Support Group for Parents of Children with Special Needs between the ages of 4 and 7 years old.
This confidential and interactive group will be moderated by Patty Marquis, LICSW, and will meet together for a six-week session.  The focus will be on sharing thoughts and practices in an effort to find practical, everyday “solutions” to the problems and challenges faced by a family raising a child with special needs.

Participants will discuss a range of topics including:

·         Lifestyle changes in home and family
·         Impact on marriages, family relationships, and friendships
·         Parental stress management
·         Developing a plan for effectively managing your child’s routines and behaviors

The group will meet for a six-week session on Monday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am at the Maynard Town Hall Community Room beginning on February 2nd.  The size of the group is limited and parents are asked to commit to attending all 6 sessions for continuity of the group dynamics.  If you are interested in the group, please contact Jessica O’Toole for more information at or 978-897-0650.

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