Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Superintendent's Notes - Heat Precautions

Dear School Community,

There has been discussion across the state in regard to the high heat today and potential school cancellations expected tomorrow due to the weather .  At this time, cancellation of school in Maynard is not a consideration.  However, we will be monitoring the conditions in all of the schools.  Only in extreme situations would the Maynard Public Schools consider an early release.  To be proactive, I felt it was important to let our school community know what measures the Maynard Public Schools take under these circumstances.  

The new Maynard High School is equipped with a system that conditions the air and reduces the humidity.  Principal Caragianes reported that the building was comfortable today.  All principals are making sure that students and staff have access to water in order to maintain hydration.  

The Fowler and Green Meadow Schools have limited areas of air conditioning.  Some areas in these building are warmer than others and the principals work with the staff to find alternate locations when necessary.  Principals may also limit recess or hold indoor recess as needed.  School health professionals are available to monitor students and staff. 

Parent may exercise their right to keep a child home from school if they feel attendance will have a negative impact on the health of their child/children.  Please notify the school office about an absence so that the administration will be aware of student attendance.

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.

Smartest Kids in the World Book Discussion

Maynard Public Schools is hosting a book discussion of Amanda Ripley’s Smartest Kids In the World on September 30 from 7:00-8:00 PM at Maynard High School.  

Launched as the Maynard Public Schools first “Community Summer Read” last spring, Ripely’s account of three diverse education cultures provides an excellent starting point for our community to discuss what kind of educational culture we want in Maynard.  This discussion will be led by Jennifer Gaudet, the Maynard Public Schools Curriculum Director.  Please join us and other faculty and staff to share your thoughts on the book and your vision for education in Maynard.

To find out more about Smartest Kids in the World, here is a link to the New York Time’s Review for this book.  There are several copies of the book available at the Maynard Public Library.  While we certainly recommend this book as a great read, by no means is reading the book required for you to join this discussion.  In fact, we are really interested in gaining our communities perspective on education and the book discussion will just facilitate that.

So we can adequately prepare refreshments, please RSVP by filling out this brief form or calling Colleen Moore at 978-897-2222.  We look forward to seeing you on September 30 at 7:00 PM at the High School for this important conversation.

Maynard Library Survey

The Maynard Public Library is a great partner with the Maynard Public Schools.  Stephen Weiner, the Director of the Maynard Public Library is working on long range planning for the library and has asked me to reach out to the school community.  He has a survey that he will help them gather information at :

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MaynardLibrary

Paper versions of this survey can be found at the library, Town Hall, COA and the Middlesex Bank branch on Nason Street. You can return your paper survey in collection boxes at any of these locations.

Change in Food Service Management

Our new Food Service company is Whitsons School Nutrition.  They have an introductory letter that we have posted on our website at:

https://sites.google.com/a/maynard.k12.ma.us/food-services-in-maynard-schools/home

The Maynard Public Schools Business Office suggested that I relay this information to our school community. 

"Our school cafeterias are now managed by Whitsons School Nutrition.  Chris Piercey is the Maynard Food Service Manager with an office at the Fowler School.

Much will stay the same with our food service program.  Our wonderful cafeteria staff will continue to work in their positions.  From the customer perspective, payment for all cafeteria accounts will continue as it has in the past.

One change you will notice is in the variety of meal options, especially at Fowler and the High School.  We had an opportunity to sample some of the lunch options this week including:  pizza, calzone, Boars Head deli wraps, Tex-Mex and more.  All of the food met the national health standards and was still delicious!

Each school's website will have a link to the Cafeteria Menus - which is a Whitson's webpage.  From there, families and staff can download the breakfast and lunch menus.  Check out the menu here:  


There will also be a separate link on each schools page showing families how to apply for Free/Reduced Lunch.   We encourage families to apply online, it is quicker and easier than the traditional paper applications.  Paper applications are available in the school offices if needed.  

This web page will also include information on how to sign up with MySchoolBucks.com.  This website is a great tool for families to monitor what cafeteria purchases and payments have been made.  Users also have the option to make a payment towards their cafeteria account, but making online payments is not required.  We encourage everyone (including staff) to sign up with MySchoolBucks.com so they can keep track of their cafeteria account balance. 

Another change is that all lunch applications will now be handled in the Business office, not by the cafeteria.  Families, may receive an email next week letting them know what their account balance currently is.  The business office will be reviewing the practice of carrying account balances.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Chris Piercey at cpiercey@maynard.k12.ma.us>" (Maynard Business Office)

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