Thursday, October 13, 2016

Superintendent's Notes

Clown Concerns

Maynard parents have expressed concerns about the national reports of clown sightings and a recent clown sighting in downtown Maynard.  I was informed by Chief Dubois that  the Maynard Police Department quickly responded to the clown sighting in Maynard.  They found a Maynard teenager on a bicycle with a clown mask riding his bike around McDonald's.  There were no threats or any danger at that incident and the teenager was educated on this issue.  

It is important to know that many of the media reports about clowns have included false information or have been a hoax.  Social media has great communication potential but can also cause anxiety and fear when misinformation is posted.  Parents and Guardians can use this as an opportunity to talk with their children about the benefits and challenges with social media.  I am included the following text from the Leominster Police Face book page:

Let’s talk clowns.
You may have heard your kids mention that people around the country are being scared, threatened or attacked by creepy clowns lingering around streets in the dark. We are hoping to deflate the anxiety and even fear that this phenomenon has created.
Some theories have been tossed around the internet and we’ll do our best to address this problem both for your personal benefit as well as from a law enforcement perspective.
First, a horror movie was released in August 2016 rightfully titled “Clown”. The announcement, review and trailer can be seen on www.rottentomatoes.com/m/clown_2016/reviews/ . According to the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC), the clowns started appearing this August. Is it coincidence that following this film is the bizarre and creepy sightings? NYSIC also posits that this phenomenon appears to be fueled by social media. We all know how powerful and influential those posts, tweets, pictures and SnapChats can be (not to mention how fast they get spread nationwide).
You may hear your kids say that the clowns are killing people. If you go to www.snopes.com, those creepy clowns and this title actually adorn the top spot on their page. Spoiler alert, spoiler alert: the rumor the clowns murdered 23 people in Canada is FALSE.
CNN published an online article on October 6, 2016 entitled “What’s With all the Clowns Everywhere? 6 Legit Possibilities”. These possible explanations are as follows, 1) it’s folklore with a modern twist 2) it’s viral marketing 3) it’s an expression of human anxiety 4) it’s a social media fad 5) it’s an alternate reality game and 6) it’s not always make believe. If you’re able, check out the article for further explanation of their possibilities.
So while social media seems to be the blame for this phenomenon, let’s address some things from our perspective.
First, according to the Commonwealth Fusion Center, they are unaware of any crimes that are committed by people dressed as clowns. A small handful of social media threats involving clowns have been reported but after investigations were deemed to be hoaxes that were dealt with accordingly. Here in Leominster, we have received one post on social media related to the clown phenomenon. This was found to be a repeat of a post sent statewide. There was no credible threat found to Leominster.
Second, a person dressing as a clown and causing a disturbance or creating a hazardous situation may be committing a crime and could be arrested or charged.
Folks this is no laughing matter. One prank thought as harmless by an individual, may result in a criminal record that sticks with you throughout your natural life. While it’s not illegal to dress up like a clown on any given day, it can be illegal to do so with the intent of causing social alarm. These pranks pull law enforcement officers away from other emergency situations and potentially can put First Responders and civilians at risk. These pranks have already caused major disruptions in schools, businesses and neighborhoods.
Flipside, what is thought of as a harmless and humorous act of someone dressing like a creepy clown and lingering around in the dark, heightening fear and panic amongst the viewers, this might lead to violence. The clown may find themselves victim to violence by vigilantes. For example, someone tweeted via Clown Watch on 10/3/16 at 11:49pm that a clown was seen on a bike path at a local college in southern NH. This was retweeted over 300 times causing the students on campus to leave their dorm rooms armed with baseball bats and hockey sticks. No clown was ever located by police- no red nose, no green hair, no trace of white make up or torn fabric.
Kids, something to keep in mind is not everything has be shared or retweeted, that only spreads rumors, hearsay and mistruths. And believe it or not, (spoiler alert) not everything on social media is true and factual.
Tweets, Instagram, SnapChats and Facebook posts will not send police to a location (on most accounts)- we don’t deploy resources that way or take reports that way. If you see a creepy clown, please report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency so that WE can investigate it before any unlikely consequences follow. The Leominster Police Department and Commonwealth Fusion Center will continue to track these events and social media posts. Using social media to incite violence or to create fear and panic within our community will not be tolerated and remember, your on-line activity isn’t anonymous and the Leominster Police Department will not tolerate such activity.
Maynard Detective Sweeney shared this Face book post with me and we both felt that this was good information to get out to all parents and guardians. 

The Maynard Police Department and School Department take all safety concerns seriously.  If anyone is aware of any suspicious activities (clowns included or not), please contact the Maynard Police or Schools to report the incident.

48th Annual Sports Sale at the Fenn School 

Don’t miss the 48th Annual Sports Sale at The Fenn School on Saturday, November 5th from 9am to noon  in the Fenn New Gym, 516 Monument Street, Concord MA.  Gym doors will open at 9am and close promptly at noon

Come early for the best selection. We will have a wide selection of gently used sports equipment for boys and girls including hockey, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and baseball gear as well as other great gear available at low prices.  Representatives from Hardy’s Ski Emporium will be on hand to offer an assortment of brand new skis, boots and poles at great pre-season prices.

Donations of gently used sports equipment are welcome: hockey skates, helmets and pads, baseball bats, baseball gloves, tennis racquets, exercise equipment, bicycles, scooters, etc.  Please drop your items off at The Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord, MA on Thursday November 53rd from 3pm to 6pm  and Friday, November 4th from 8am – 6pm.  Fenn volunteers will be there to collect your items curbside during these hours.

For more information please contact Kat Hudson katmhudson@comcast.net

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.

Elementary Literacy & Math Night

Parents and Guardians in Grades K-5 are invited to come to an Elementary Literacy & Math Parent Information Night.  Members of our staff will discuss how we support literacy and math development for all students.  Staff will also share strategies and activities parents can use to help support their students at home.
Sincerely,
Jennifer Gaudet
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

Where:  Fowler School Library - 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.                                                                 

When: October 19, 2016 - RSVP:  goo.gl59yoFp                                                                 

Community Box Top Drive!

Green Meadow is reaching out to the community to support their Box Tops for Education campaign. Box Tops labels can be found on hundreds of products, and every Box Top label donated is worth 10 cents. All money goes directly to the Green Meadow PTO to fund enrichment programs for students along with many other educational activities and events throughout the year. Families and members of the community can help the PTO reach their goal of $1,500 by clipping Box Tops and dropping them in one of these convenient locations around town: Green Meadow, CVS, Maynard Town Hall, Anytime Fitness, Jam Time, the Flower Pot, Middlesex Savings Bank, Maynard Council on Aging, Toast N’ Shine and the Maynard Public Library. Thank you for your support - every Box Top counts!

The Maynard Education Foundation is seeking a Treasurer

The Maynard Education Foundation (MEF) is an independent, non-profit organization that uses its philanthropic contributions to enhance educational excellence in the Maynard Public Schools by funding ideas and projects which promote and celebrate academic rigor and achievement, excitement about learning, and innovation in instruction.

MEF is seeking a Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees. The Treasurer works closely with the MEF President and Clerk to oversee MEF’s annual operations and activities. The Treasurer’s primary responsibility is the financial management of the organization. 

The ideal candidate is detail oriented, has experience or an interest in financial management, and is willing to actively participate on a fun and dynamic board!

Please contact MEF at mefgrants@gmail.com or 978.938.4262 to learn more about this exciting opportunity! 

MMA's Casino Night Fundraiser: What's New?

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 19th at the Maynard Elks. Our annual fundraiser is in its 8th year and raises over $10,000 each year toward supporting the music needs for band and chorus at Maynard High and Fowler School.

Want to make a donation? We are still in need of advertisements, gaming table sponsors, and prizes!
Contact: maynard.music.assoc@gmail.com with subject: donation!

Class Basket donations are due ASAP! Any monetary or theme donations to each music basket are welcome for grades 5-12! Donations can be sent to the main offices marked: MMA/Casino Night Basket grade.  

This year's theme baskets include: 
·  5th grade: Only in Maynard; 
·  6th grade: Swim Fitness; 
·  7th grade: Reduce Stress! Get Coloring; 
·  8th grade: Decadent Delights,
·  9th Grade Italian Dinner Night, 
·  10th grade: Dog Lovers, 
·  11th grade: The Fire Pit and 
·  12th grade: the ever popular Lottery Tower!

Vouchers: Vouchers will be for sale beginning October 1st. $40 each or @/$70. $45 the day of the event. Get yours early!! Each voucher comes with $3000 in gaming chips to play with for the evening. Additional chips are not sold during the event. Prizes are awarded to the highest totals of the night with over 60 prizes!
Contact Bonnie: maynard.music.assoc@gmail.com 
subject: VOUCHERS

Complimentary BABYSITTING?!?: Yes, our MHS band and chorus students will earn service points for offering complimentary babysitting at your home during the Casino Night event! 
Subject: CN Babysitting 

Volunteer Dealers? Yes, we host a fun-filled event with guest dealers from the staff of Fowler and MHS, music parents, music parent alumni and community donors. If you would like to be a guest dealer for Texas Hold 'em or Black Jack for one hour or two contact below:
Subject: Guest Dealer!

Auction Items: Plan ahead to bid on these fantastic items!
1.      Resort Condo Incentives: A TWO bedroom SEVEN day condo stay chosen from several available options. Orlando just might be one of them Disney goers…value: $2000
2.      Disney Park Hopper passes: Good for one day of park hopping at Disney! This might be great for April’s band Disney trip! Value: $620
3.      Jillian’s Pool Hall of Boston: $200 Pool Party for 20! Consider this a night out with friends or co-workers!
4.      Tom Hesbach Scenic Flight: 60+ minute flight around the Maynard and Boston Area in a Hanscom Air Force flying Club Piper Arrow for up to 3 people. Value: $250
5.      *This just in! A verified auction item from the Boston Red Sox…more soon!!!

Cookbook Club Meets

The October meeting of the Friends of the Maynard Public Library Cookbook Club "From the Farmers Market to the Library Table" will celebrate the local apple harvest with an apple tasting and potluck lunch on Monday, October 17. Copies of the selected book, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverse, are available for check-out at the library circulation desk. Participants should select a recipe that includes apples and other seasonal ingredients, prepare their dish, and bring it to the potluck lunch at noon. The group will enjoy the food, evaluate the recipes and cookbook, and talk about sources of local ingredients. The Friends will provide beverages and paper goods although participants are encouraged to be 'green' and bring their own plate and utensils. All are welcome, but please call 
978-897-1010 ext: 103 to register or so that organizers know how many supplies are needed.

Maynard Mandatory Level 3 Water Conservation Restriction

Please be advised that the Maynard Public Water System has increased the water restriction to a full outdoor water ban. This restricts all non-essential outdoor water use. This is in effect until further notice.

Regards,

Aaron Miklosko
Director of Public Works
Town of Maynard

For more information, go to the Town of Maynard homepage at:

http://www.townofmaynard-ma.gov/

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