The Mustang Minute

January 11, 2019 - Issue 17


As you may be aware, we have a growing concern at CMS. We have an increasing number of students that are vaping in and out of school. I am writing today with three intents: to inform you of the behaviors we are seeing at CMS, to tell you about the actions we are taking as we try to eliminate vaping at CMS, and to ask for help and partnership in this endeavor.

If you have not heard about vaping it is a small electronic device that produces a vapor for inhalation. Many students believe this to be harmless. Unfortunately, this is not true. There are few long term studies on vaping but some recent reports have indicated it can be addictive and lead to cigarette use, and may also cause pneumonia. Vaping devices do contain tobacco and we know the negative effects tobacco can have on anyone, let alone children. Here is a link for a recent article from John Hopkins:

At CMS we have found that some students are bringing devices to school, using those devices before, during, and after school and sharing them with friends. From these behaviors we can extrapolate that there are issues of peer pressure use happening as well. Primarily, students will use the devices in the bathroom though we have had a few instances of use on the bus, at the bus stop, and in class. As many devices are small enough to hide in your hand, can make minimal smoke, and smell like gum or candy they can easily be used when a teacher is helping a student, turned toward the board, or greeting students at the door. We have also seen multiple videos that have been posted and shared via social media where kids are vaping in and out of school.

I want to be clear that we are seeing a wide variety of students engaging in this behavior - students with straight A's, students that do sports, students that are in clubs, students that struggle both academically and/or socially. There is no "typical" vaping student and there is a very good chance that your child has been exposed to vaping and has tried it themselves.

At CMS we are taking a three prong approach to eliminate vaping at school (and hopefully outside of school).

  • Education
  • Heightened Monitoring
  • Parental Partnerships

First, we will continue to educate students and parents about the dangers of vaping. Vaping has been a part of our health curriculum for several years and our wellness teachers are constantly updating the materials to have the most accurate information. We will add some Mustang Block lessons around vaping and specifically vaping at school to try to take the knowledge out of the health class and have students apply it to their lives. Additionally, the Mustang Block lessons will include how vaping in bathrooms and on buses is negatively affecting our community. There are students that are uncomfortable going to the bathroom because students are vaping in the bathroom. When we catch students we use stark terms - you are using drugs in our bathrooms. They are often taken aback when we use that language but it is important that they understand how their actions affect others. We are consistently working to create a safe and caring environment for all students and vaping is negatively impacting those efforts.

Second, we have significantly increased monitoring in several areas of the building. Administrators and teachers are standing outside of bathrooms noting how many people go in at a time. We are doing regular checks of all bathrooms in the building throughout the day. We are continuing to visit classrooms and have multiple adults in a room when possible to monitor student behaviors. While this is not something we want to do (stationing adults near bathrooms has a certain institutional feel) we believe we have an issue that is significant enough for this level of monitoring. We may not be able to place an adult at every bathroom, every block but we are trying to let students know that we are aware and trying to create a safe atmosphere for all! Please be advised that when students are caught vaping at school the consequences are severe. The first offense is a Saturday detention, with following infractions resulting in In School Suspension. We want to be clear that vaping at school will not be tolerated.

Finally, we are asking for support and help from our parents. Please have discussions about vaping and it's negative effects with your children. Please check your child's social media sites for evidence that they or their friends are vaping. Look for devices and other paraphernalia. Talk to your children about the negative impact this has on them as well as the other students at school. So little is known about vaping that we cannot be certain of the adverse effects for those that use and for those that are around vaping smoke.

This was a very long and very serious Minute this week but also an important one. We want all of our students to engage in healthy behaviors, feel safe at school, and be able to make good choices moving forward. With our combined efforts I know we can eliminate vaping here at CMS.

Additional Resources:

Bus Procedures

A couple of reminders about school bus procedures. Only students with a valid bus pass may take a school bus. If a student needs to take a bus other than their assigned bus they should bring a note from home to the man office for the principal to sign. Bus drivers will only let students on the bus in the afternoon with a bus pass or a note signed by the principal.

Entering and Leaving during Drop-Off and Pick-up

Please make sure that you are following the directives of the crossing guards when entering and leaving CMS during arrival and dismissal. Washington street is very busy and we would not want any child to be hurt or any parent to get into a car accident.

Science Extras

Our Science Teachers go through a lot of consumables during experiments. Many of the items used are common household items we all may have at home. If you have any of the following items (UNOPENED) and are willing to donate them to CMS please fill out the sign-up genius. Thank you in advance for your support!
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Interface Mental Health

A PSA about the Interface Mental Health Service

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Chromebook Tips Update

  • Remind students that NOTHING should be stored inside their Chromebook case (except their Chromebook) when they close it with other items inside, it cracks the screen.
  • Try to keep the battery level above 10% dropping below can cause a hard shut down which can be difficult to restart and recharge.
  • Bring those earbuds!
  • Charge EVERY night!
Norwood School News Weekly TV Program

Check out our kids in the news!

After School Activities

Intramural Sports: Winter sports have started.

Friendship Club: The club meets once a month on Tuesdays in room 107 from 2:10 - 3:00

Cartoon Club: Mondays 2:10-3:05 in room 105

Artist Circle: Meets on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in A1

Drama Club: Meets on Mondays at 2:15 in 101

Student Council: Meetings are announced

SEARCH Mondays 2:10-3:05

Yearbook Club: Meets every other Thursday at 2:15

Honor Band: Mondays 4:00-5:30

Honor Orchestra: Tuesdays 4:00-5:30

Jazz Band: Wednesdays 5:30-7:00

Honor Chorus: Thursdays 3:15-4:45

PTO Corner

The PTO meets the second Thursday of each month to hear an update from the principal and discuss planning related to enrichment, fundraising, activities and other topics of interest. You can also stay up to date with the CMS PTO by following us on Facebook. You can contact the PTO at

Our Next Meeting will be WEDNESDAY, February 13th at 6:30 pm. Will will have a special presentation on social media and our kids by John Greeley and Anthony Freeman.

Important Dates

Thursday, January 10: 6th Grade Chorus and Honor Ensembles Winter Concert

Thursday, January 24th: Festival of Bands Concert at NHS (6-8 band)

Thursday, January 31st: All Town Orchestra Concert at NHS (6-8 orchestra)

Thursday, February 7th: LaLa-Palooza Choral Concert at NHS (8th grade chorus and Honor Chorus)

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