Blue Jay Broadcast

News and Notes from the Hallways of MHS

Coffee talk with Mr. Guzman

Every year during grade-level meetings I share information with students which I think will give them food-for-thought. I always like to learn more about the adolescent brain, how it develops and apply what I have learned as I interact with students every day. Educators are tasked with the responsibility to find solutions as we are seeing more and more teenagers exhibiting anxiety and stress.

As parents, some of us may not understand why their teenagers occasionally behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way. At times, it seems like teens don't think things through or fully consider the consequences of their actions. Adolescents differ from adults in the way they behave, solve problems, and make decisions. In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not always at the same rate. That’s why when teens have overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling.

Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to:

  • act on impulse
  • misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions
  • get into accidents of all kinds
  • get involved in fights
  • engage in dangerous or risky behavior

Adolescents are less likely to:

  • think before they act
  • pause to consider the consequences of their actions
  • change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors

These brain differences don't mean that young people can't make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong. It also doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held responsible for their actions. However, an awareness of these differences can help us understand, anticipate, and manage the behavior of adolescents.

At grade level meetings and at Back To School Night I presented some ideas on how our teenagers can overcome the distractions they face every day and make smart decisions. I shared the following suggestions:

  • Make a daily plan.
  • Manage your thoughts while studying.
  • Get enough rest!
  • Engage in self-talk.
  • Practice self-regulation.
  • Pick a setting that is a good match for the academic task.
  • Seek accountability.
  • Take charge of technology distractions.

However, the question we need to have our teenagers ask themselves is, how can someone overcome their brains attempts to distract? Physically removing distractions whenever possible. Shut down the phone when driving or disconnect from wi-fi while doing homework

More importantly, I want to remind our teenagers that are of driving age that distracted driving is a reality and they need to think safety first. There are three main types of distraction while driving; Visual: taking your eyes off the road; Manual: taking your hands off the wheel, and Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving. Please remind our young drivers of these types of distraction and have them focus on the road.

*American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

News & Notes

Key Club is fundraising for Hunger in New Jersey, which is an organization to end poverty in the state. The Club is working towards a $2,000 goal and has started a new fundraising event that is available at every home football game. For $1.00 you can get your face painted at the football games to show school spirit and help raise money toward their goal!

Remind your students to listen for announcements and check out fliers posted in the hallways if they are interested in joining clubs and activities.

Student Emergency Information forms were sent out with schedules at the end of the summer. Please be sure that you have reviewed the form and made any corrections. Students need to return this form to their homeroom teachers. These forms are important in the event there is an emergency and we need to contact the family.

A few reminders as we settle in to the new school year:

Students who are leaving early need to bring a note to the Main Office in the morning so that a pass can be provided to them and they can leave class to meet their parent in the office. If a student is walking, driving or being picked up by someone other than a parent, that information will need to be included in the note.

Student Lanyards

Middlesex High School has adopted new protocols to ensure a continued safe school environment. The new protocols were designed to enrich safety among students and staff around Middlesex. All students are issued a Middlesex High School ID card and Lanyard when they start school. Student IDs and lanyards will help everyone distinguish between students, staff, visitors and substitutes. Every student is required to have a photo ID card each time they enter and exit the building, each time that they enter the cafeteria, library, and each time that they receive books (all of which are tracked using student ID cards) and can be used as a debit card for lunch.

All students must have a student ID card and are expected to carry this card with them while attending school and school events i.e. dances, battle of the classes events.

Check out our video about student lanyards below!

Big picture
Student Lanyards at MHS

Did You Know?

The Blue Jay, the symbol and mascot of Middlesex High School, was the choice of its first administration, Principal Roland Lindwald and Assistant Principal Ruth Hueston. The two administrators selected the Blue Jay because of its scrappy and feisty ways.


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