Opening of 2018-2019 School Year
Welcome back! We have had a great opening two weeks. Faculty began the year on Monday August 27th with our annual convocation in the Ferrini Auditorium. The morning’s program included our “Summer Memories” slideshow, and addresses from myself and John Kotch, introductions of new staff, and recognition of teachers attaining professional status. The morning’s program concluded with a keynote address by HWRHS Senior Lauren Verge. Lauren’s remarks reminded the faculty that students are paying attention to what they do and notice everything they give in order to make our students successful.
After concluding the morning’s program, teachers participated in professional development work, including training on our new K-8 mathematics resources. Students in grades 6 and 8 came into the Middle and High Schools on Tuesday for their orientation.
All students returned to school on Wednesday August 29th. I want to thank the staff and students at the Winthrop School, and the Middle and High Schools for their flexibility in dealing with the power outage that affected Bay Rd. in the late morning on Wednesday. The day was extremely hot, and lack of power made it impossible to run fans on classrooms. Additionally, the timing of the outage and the Wednesday schedule made it impossible to dismiss students any earlier. Hopefully, we’ve seen the end of the hot weather and can get to work in more comfortable conditions.
ALICE Instructor Certification
Immediately concluding the faculty convocation on August 27th, a group of over 50 people, representing HWRSD administrators, teachers, nurses, custodians, building secretaries, and members of the Hamilton and Wenham Police and Fire Departments began a two-day course to become ALICE Instructor Certified. ALICE is an active shooter response program. The acronym “ALICE” stands for “Alert,” “Lockdown,” “Inform,” “Counter,” and “Evacuate.” The course entailed 16 hours of instruction in implementing the ALICE Protocols and included drills and role-playing scenarios. Last week, every participant in the course was sent a link to the online component of this training, which they will need to complete by September 28th.
Our ultimate goal is to have the HWRSD become an “ALICE Certified Organization.” The next step in completing this goal will be to have the remainder of our faculty and public safety officers participate in the online component of the ALICE Basic Certification Program. After they have completed the online training program, our in-house certified instructors will then led them through the hands-on component of the training consisting of ALICE Drills. The final phase of our rollout will consist of training our students in the ALICE Protocols.
Buker Playground Ribbon Cutting
Three years ago, the Buker Community experienced a devastating loss—the passing of Jennifer Maio, a third-grade student. Out of this tragedy, the Buker School Community came together to create a wonderful new playground as a celebration of Jennifer’s life. The new Buker School Playground was installed this summer. It looks great and is getting a lot of use from the Buker School Students. On behalf of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, I would like to thank everyone who helped to make this vision a reality: the Playground Committee Members, the Friends of Buker School and Mr. Brian O’Donoghue for developing a vision for this project and leading the fundraising efforts; The Community Preservation Committees of both Hamilton and Wenham for their support for this project; Asst. Superintendent Jeff Sands, Director of Facilities Jason Waldron, for managing this project; the Town of Wenham and their Maintenance Department for doing the demolition and site preparation for the construction of the playground; and last but certainly not least to the students of the Buker School’s Class of 2018, who contributed to the playground’s design in the memory of their classmate. Last Thursday, the Buker School Community invited Jennifer’s parents and brother to cut the ribbon and officially open the new playground.
Last Wednesday, the Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School student government kicked off its yearlong dedication to community service with a whole-school ice bucket challenge. Nancy Frates, mother of Pete Frates, addressed the HWRHS student body on Wednesday, and shared the story of Pete’s battle with ALS and his promotion of the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness about ALS and to raise funding for research and development of a cure. At the conclusion of Nancy’s address, the entire HWRHS student body was invited to participate in the ice bucket challenge. Both the Hamilton and Wenham Police and Fire Departments were on hand to assist in filling buckets and many of them joined us in completing the challenge. The HWRHS student government raised over $600 dollars that afternoon and called on Ipswich High School to do their own ice bucket challenge. Here’s a link to a video of the event.
Cutler Icebreaker Night, September 17 @ 5:00 PM
Buker Curriculum Night, September 17 @ 6:30 PM
HWRHS Senior Parent Night, September 20 @ 6:30 PM
Winthrop Curriculum Night, September 24 @ 6:00 PM
MRMS Open House, September 25 @ 6:30 PM
STEM Night, October 3 @ MRMS, 6:30 PM