Opening letter to parents for the 2014-15 school year

Dear parents/Guardians,

In a little more than a week the 2014-15 school year will be upon us.  As I try to phase my mind back into the education groove from a summer of travel,  I have already started to wake up earlier than usual with a brain full of the things I want to accomplish during this coming school year.

It has been a busy summer at HWRHS.  Along with the usual cleaning and opening day preparations, our tech staff has done an excellent job preparing for and deploying the software, infrastructure and devices to support our move to 1-1 program with our 9th and 10th grade students.

Throughout the summer we have hired several new teachers and look forward to the addition of their expertise and enthusiasm. We have new personnel in Science, Math, and Special Education.

Last year, HWRHS was cited by the Department of Education for  not meeting time on learning requirements because of our study halls.  Part of our school-based discussions last year centered on how to make a change while still supporting the needs of our students.  This year, as a trial, we have scheduled every student for 7 classes and have also added an 8th period power block.  During this block (formerly Block F), students and staff have no formal assignment or location.  The open aspect will give all students the opportunity to meet collaboratively, work independently, seek extra help from their teachers, access guidance staff, receive special services, meet with clubs and special interest groups, etc.  Many schools in this area already use this type of open block successfully.  We also feel that it will help our students to learn about the requirements for personal organization as they move towards the less restrictive college environment.

Things to know about the start of school:

  • On the first day of school each student will be given a signature sheet for the student-parent handbook that must be completed and filled in and returned within the first three days of school.
  • Students will be given a form to update contact and emergency information that must also be reviewed, updated and returned within the first three days of school.
  • Students must be on-time for school.  Students who are late to school will be ineligible to participate in any after school activity on the day they are tardy.
  • If your child is absent from school, please remember to call the absence line by 8:00 AM. (978)468-0409
  • Student schedules will be live on the Aspen portal on Monday, August 18th
  • No changes will be made to student schedules that are complete.
  • Freshman Orientation is Tuesday, August 26th – 7:40 AM – 1:30 PM
  • All students report on Wednesday, August 27th at 7:40 AM

Each new school year brings a renewed spirit, new challenges and opportunities for our students.  As we get closer to the start, my excitement level begins to rise — especially as teams begin meeting and practicing as this is a sure sign of the start of school.  I look forward to another great school year full of new and exciting opportunities for all of our staff and students!

Links to general information:

HWRHS Important Dates for Parents 2014-15

HWRHS calendar of events

District Calendar 2014-15

HWRHS Principal’s Weblog