NSBORO NEWS - October 2019
NSBORO News - October Edition
Index:
Superintendent's October Update
Save the Date ~ Community Read
Strategic Planning Steering Committee ~ Seeking Members
School Start Time Task Force ~ Update
Transportation Advisory Working Group ~ Update
Quick links to important information
Superintendent's October Update
As a school district, we are committed to creating and sustaining a comprehensive, coordinated effort to improve the overall safety and well-being of our students, educators, and administrators. 

To accomplish this, we believe this must involve community-wide programs and initiatives involving parents, teachers, administrators, local law enforcement, mental health & wellness professionals, and elected officials to take meaningful action to protect our students. 

In the next couple of weeks, I am happy to share that the District (Grades 6-12) will be launching the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System”. This program teaches students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others to Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:

  • Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors (especially within social media)
  • Take every sign and signal seriously
  • Act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult OR
  • Report it anonymously through the Say Something Crisis Center, mobile app, or website 
  • Respond to and manage the submitted tip via multi-disciplinary educator and administrator teams
  • Sustain the curriculum and awareness via student clubs, in-school activities and call-to-action weeks

The “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System program is being provided through Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a nation-wide non-profit organization. SHP’s programs are in 50 states – with 7,000+ schools and over 3.5 million students and adults trained. They have an excellent track record, reputation, and knowledge of how to work effectively with kids, parents, and teachers to improve school safety and culture. The program is age-appropriate and research-based. They also have funding to provide and sustain the program at NO COST to our District. 

In the next week, our principals will be communicating specific details about the program and how it will be launched in our middle schools and high school. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email me directly.

Respectfully,
Gregory L. Martineau
Superintendent of Schools

Save the Date ~ Community Read 
“Ten Schools, Three Districts and One Community of Readers”
Monday, October 28, 2019, at 6:30 PM in the ARHS Library
This year the District is launching a Ten Schools, Three Districts and One Community of Readers book group. The book selected for our community read is, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey. The purpose of the community read is to engage families in discussing the topic of parenting and the role that failure has in the learning process of a child in a larger conversation about a shared text. In fact, you might completely disagree with the author’s message.  

How can you get involved? First, we encourage anyone who is interested in participating to read the book. Copies of the book are available at each of our ten schools' libraries and the town libraries. Next, there are two opportunities to connect with others to discuss the book. First, on October 28, 2019, at 6:30 PM in the ARHS Library, there is an opportunity to discuss the book with others in a smaller “book group.” At this session, there will be guided discussion questions to facilitate conversations. Secondly, on March 25, 2020, the author, Jessica Lahey, will be visiting our District and giving a keynote speech. You can participate in one or both of these sessions. The goal is to engage the school community in shared learning, making connections, and conversation about parenting.

Lastly, for those who are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, it’s available on Amazon by visiting:  The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey
Strategic Planning Steering Committee ~Seeking Members
The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough is re-authoring its Strategic Plan, Vision 2020: Strategically Planning for the Future , which was approved by the school committees in the spring of 2013. The Plan has served the District well over the past seven years and it is now time to set a new course.  

The process to draft a new plan will be an inclusive effort and will provide many different opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback and input.These opportunities will include participating in community forums, focus groups, and surveys. The outcome of this process is to develop multi-year and annual action plans that are living documents that guide District systems and respond to the changes in the District context.

One of the first steps in this work is to establish a steering committee of key stakeholders. At this time we are seeking a Northborough Public School community member, a Southborough Public School community member, and an Algonquin Regional High School community member. If you are interested in serving as a member, please complete the linked form.

I will provide the community with more specific information about the process in the weeks to come and encourage as many community members, parents, faculty, staff, and students to participate in the strategic planning process.
School Start Time Task Force ~ Update
Since my last communication in September, the School Start Time Task Force has had two meetings. The first phase in the process is to provide the community with opportunities to learn more about the biology of sleep and the importance of sleep for adolescents. The Task Force will be launching a web page, cable show, community forums, as well as a number of means for the community to learn about this important topic.*

*It’s essential to note that if the outcome of this work results in a change to the schools’ start times, the changes would not be implemented until the 2021-2022 school year.
Transportation Advisory Working Group ~ Update
I am pleased to share with the community that we have established a ten-member Transportation Advisory Working Group, which includes parents, educators, and principals. The purpose of the Transportation Advisory Working Group is to provide the District with input and feedback on how transportation services can be improved across our ten schools. The Transportation Advisory Working Group will meet three times during the 2019-2020 school year. The first meeting will be scheduled shortly and updates will be shared with the community.
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