The Common, Edition #4
September 16, 2022
September 16, 2022
Dear Nashoba Families,
On Wednesday, we had our first School Committee meeting of the year. It was my opportunity to share my superintendent goals as well as steps we are starting this year relative to the Strategic Plan. You can watch a recording of the meeting by going to the School Committee section of the nrsd.net website, or by clicking this direct link. You can follow the work of the School Committee by referring to the “Agenda, Minutes, Meeting Materials” section of the School Committee web page. At the bottom of the page is a calendar of “Upcoming District Meetings'' that highlights all School Committee and Subcommittee meetings, as well as district forums relative to the high school building project. I encourage you to look at those resources and postings to ensure you are up to speed on the workings of our district. The agendas and meeting materials for public meetings are available on the website 48 hours (business hours) ahead of the scheduled meeting.
Thank you for engaging with us in our important work. Have a great weekend.
News from the Department of Teaching and Learning
Today, Nashoba educators participated in a variety of professional development opportunities across the District. Superintendent Downing and Assistant Superintendent Friend met with high school faculty and staff to review and discuss the District's new Strategic Plan. Following the presentation, staff gathered in sessions to expand upon the plannning and forward visioning for the Nashoba Regional High School. Excitement continues to build with this work and planning.
Discussion and planning was also in full swing at our middle and elementary schools as principals led faculty and staff through collaborative conversations using data protocols, recently released MCAS data, and other District benchmark data.
Renaissance Learning training was held for a representative team of teachers to support the implementation of Star Reading and Star Math. This team of teachers will serve as trainers in their respective schools as we build capacity in the implementation of our new universal screening measures for math and reading. Our Renaissance Training consultant will return in October to provide our teams with further training.
District mental health professionals engaged in part one of a two-part workshop led by Dr. Larry Epstein, originator of Calm, Compassionate Parenting™ and Calm, Compassionate Teaching." Dr, Epstein presented to the District leadership team this summer. Dr. Epstein brings extensive experience having served as a clinical Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Training and Implementation for Think:Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital, overseeing the implementation of Collaborative Problem Solving in schools and various settings. The District welcomes Dr. Epstein as he works to help support and strengthen the social emotional learning foundation our faculty and staff have built over the past three years with specific and practical student interaction strategies. Later this school year, Dr. Epstein will return to Nashoba to present a workshop for parents and community members.
News from the Health and Wellness Department
In recent years, substance use in schools has increased due to the widespread availability of devices that make it easy to conceal substances from peers, parents, and school staff. Students who use substances at school or school sanctioned events are both violating school substance use policies and are at a heightened risk for negative health effects. Nashoba Regional High School, alongside nearly 100 schools across Massachusetts, has committed to launching an exciting new program called iDECIDE (Drug Education Curriculum: Intervention, Diversion, and Empowerment). This program was collaboratively developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Institute for Health and Recovery. iDECIDE aims to provide students experimenting with substances and/or who are disccovered using substances at school with opportunities to strengthen their knowledge, skills, and motivation to make healthier decisions. The iDECIDE program will be available sometime in the 2022-2023 academic year upon staff training and roll out from MGH.
In the meantime, Nashoba will continue with its existing vaping/substance diversion program. In previous years, this six-week vaping diversion program focused solely on nicotine use with vape pens or e-cigarettes for students caught with or who have admitted to using vaping products on school property. The health service department has enhanced the program to promote education and empowerment as an equitable response to adolescent vape use and substance use. Throughout the program, students will have a chance to meet with a school administrator, school nurse, athletic director, and school resource officer. Each week of the program, students engage in assignments on topics such as health risks, marketing, school/state chemical health regulations and more. In week six, the students present a final project to complete the program. Our goal is to collaborate with parents to help support our students in making positive decisions for themselves and their future.
News from the Nutrition Services Department
While school lunches will come at no charge to students this year, understanding the needs of our students is important to the district and for the potential benefits that can support families that would otherwise qualify for free/reduced lunch prices. Please see the flyers below for more information on the potential benefits and application process:
This Week at Nashoba
Hale 8th graders in general music class playing jeopardy and recalling information from last year.
Superintendent Downing reading The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear to Ms. Harris's 1st grade class at the Mary Rowlandson School.
NRHS Spirit Captains before the home football game
Nashoba DECA - More app ideas from presentations this week!
Keeping Kids Safe and Secure Online, Virtual Presentation
Together, we inspire and challenge all learners to reach their unique potential and become active contributors to their community.