Posts

Schedule Pilot

March Schedule Pilot
In 1998 the high school changed its bell schedule from a seven-period day to an eight-period day.  This change did not increase the number of classes students could take, but it did increase the length of the lunch period from 22 minutes to a full 47 minute period.  The reason for the change had most to do with maximizing room use as the increase in student enrollment was surpassing building capacity; the eight-period schedule with four full lunch periods freed up more rooms for scheduling purposes.  In addition, the day was lengthened in order to comply with DESE Time and Learning regulations.  This change in schedule was preceded in 1997 by a two-week trial run of two selected pilot schedules.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the high school began a self-study of the current bell schedule.  This study was prompted by school and community members wanting to look at the connection between student wellness and the bell schedule.  Much of this work coincided with …

Perspective on Vaping/E-Cigarettes

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Based on conversations with colleagues, teachers, parents, and students, vaping (use of e-cigarettes) is a relevant issue that is somewhat of an unknown to many.  Questions have come up like:  How do we warn students of the dangers?  Is it safe for my child to do it?  Are they vaping in class?  Why isn't it a healthier alternative to cigarettes?  This blog entry hopes to serve as one small piece of education on the topic and a venue to share different perspectives on the topic.

High School Administration Perspective
Since the winter break administration has seen an uptick in student possession and use of e-cigarettes/vapes/Juuls.  (A Juul is a specific brand of e-cigarette that seems to be popular with students).  It is really important to educate anyone who is willing to listen to the dangers of e-cigarettes/vapes/Juuls.  We have and will take steps to further support our students in making healthy decisions.  Just a few of the steps we have taken or plan to take are:  individual…

Building Personal Relationships

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At the start of the school year, each administrator is asked to submit professional and student goals to be used as part of our evaluation process.  Around mid-year, we are asked to reflect on our progress towards these goals.  As the high school administrative team, we chose one common goal:  To build personal relationships.   In simplest terms, this goal is about the administrative team being visible and available to staff and students.  It's about making personal connections whenever possible.  As we reach the mid-year point in the school year, I've been reflecting on some of our progress towards this goal.

Last Friday the administrative team hosted thirty-four seniors at our bi-weekly senior luncheon.  The admin team has set a goal of inviting every senior to lunch during the course of the school year.  Lunchtime conversations range greatly depending on the number of students and time of year, but I think it's fair to say that after each of these lunches we all walk a…

Celebrations Big and Small

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This time of year is often a joyful one filled with many events and rituals, as well as opportunities for connection.  As I am sure is the case for many of you at home, there has been a lot going on at school that has brought us joy and allowed us time to connect with each other as a school community.  Here are a few of the things that have brought us joy and allowed us to connect this month.

Annual Winter Concert
Last week I was filled with awe watching our students perform at the Winter Concert.  It was all I could do to keep myself from singing loudly during the Hamilton Medley.  I did not, however, manage to restrain myself from dancing in my seat at several points during the show.  As always the choral program was magnificent, and it was lovely to see our official strings group perform for the second year.


Pop-Ups As has begun to become a bit of a tradition here at AB, we were fortunate to experience a couple of pop-ups. The Peer Leaders and Student Council greeted students on Fri…

The End of Term 1

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We are now two months into our academic year, and the 2017-2018 school year is in full swing.  Routines have been established, classes are wrapping up Term 1, and fall sports are coming to an end.  Here is just a snapshot of some of the exciting things that have been happening around the school to build a greater sense of community.


At the close of summer we witnessed the devastating effects of hurricanes hitting our southern shores.  Our student leaders stepped up and worked together to support those affected.  Student Council organized the Powderpuff game and our juniors faced off against our seniors; the Class of 2018 Leaders worked at the Snack Shack.  All the proceeds from the ticket sales and the concession sales went to the American Red Cross.  Thank you to Ms. Buffam, Ms. Harvey, Ms. Saaristo, and out student leaders for a great fundraiser and a fun night!















Earlier in October we held our annual 9th grade parents’ night.  Counselors hosted parents of our 9th grade students in cla…

2017-2018 Back to School Night

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A Red Sox playoff game, the Bruins season opener, and a Patriots Thursday night football game did not keep our community’s parents out of the classrooms during our 63rd Back to School Night, and it was awesome! I am always taken aback by the level of energy and enthusiasm in the building from parents, staff, and students. From my perspective it was a successful night for all involved. And the best part for me... the night is all in support of our students.
The focus for the night and this school year is rooted in our school’s driving question, “How can staff, students, and families support wellness and balance within a rich learning environment that provides opportunities for all students to experience success?” Larry Dorey, our Principal, said it best when he said, “As educators as well as parents and guardians we have a responsibility to support the growth and overall well-being of our children. We have a responsibility to provide an environment where each student has an opportunity …

2017-18 School Year is Underway!

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Though we are only a few weeks into the 2017-2018 school year, a welcome back message to our school community seems a bit overdue as students and staff appear to be fully back in the swing of school and families seem settled in their autumn routines.

In recollecting the opening days of this school year, I was moved by the positive energy emanating from students and staff.  As students were smiling and laughing, hugging and reminiscing about summer experiences, I was struck by just how much opening day for students mirrored opening day for our faculty and staff just a week earlier. Watching people coming together, many of whom haven't seen each other for the two-month summer vacation, seemed to be a visual representation of Principal Dorey's theme for this school year: Celebrate and strengthen relationships and take care of one another.

Committed to taking care of our staff and students, a steering committee worked with community organizations to establish the AB Because You M…