Friday, June 22, 2018

Weekly News and Notes

With the last day of school on Monday, there are not too many updates this week. This will be the final weekly update until early August.

Orientation Dates Set for August

Our new student orientations will be held in August, with grade 9 arriving on Wednesday, August 22 and grade 8 on Thursday, August 23. We typically have the day start around 8-8:30 a.m., with the students on hand until 1:30 p.m. Orientation for students includes locker assignment, looking at schedules, some team activities, and iPad distribution. We also provide lunch for the students. Parents and students meet together at the start of the day; after students are dismissed to our orientation leaders, we will hold a brief Q&A with parents, which should conclude by 9:30 at the latest.

We will have some details about iPad registration/insurance coming by mid-July. We strongly recommend purchasing insurance, and there is information on the school website on insurance guidelines. Registration for iPad insurance occurs online through the same platform used for athletic registration.

NEASC Self-Study Complete

It is with great pride that we are able to announce that our self-study reports have been completed in advance of our reaccreditation visit this coming December. Our staff, with some parent support and feedback and student input, has finished writing the reports, which will form the basis of the work that the visiting team will conduct this December. We anticipate needing some support from families throughout the visit, including a couple of parent forums, but the time needed is limited to a couple of hours, tops.

We are confident in the work that we are doing and our adherence to the standards. More importantly, our continued shared commitment to our core values and learning expectations will, hopefully, be validated through the report of the visiting team!

Ms. Fafard Retires

On a somewhat personal note, on Friday, we were able to share in Whitin's final assembly of the year, which served as a retirement tribute to Ms. Fafard. As I reflected on what to say about her in the video that our school produced to honor her commitment to the students of Uxbridge, I kept being drawn to a Talmudic teaching, which is a book of ancient Jewish reflections and teaching. In it, there is a statement that "there is no higher wisdom than kindness." Over the course of her 12 years in Uxbridge, which started when our seniors were but tiny elementary schoolers, Ms. Fafard was guided by the unquestioned commitment to students first, to being kind, and to valuing every person that came in contact with her. For our school leadership team, she has been a trusted confidant, colleague, and friend, and our schools are all better for her wit and wisdom. We know that the entire UHS community joins her colleagues and students at Whitin and beyond in wishing her a very happy, well deserved, and healthy retirement!
The video we produced is below:

Finally, report cards will be distributed next week; final grades should be online by Monday afternoon.

We wish everyone a relaxing and enjoyable summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Athletic Fees Reduced for UHS 2018-19

Good morning,

At the School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, June 19, the Uxbridge School Committee voted to reduce the athletic fees for UHS for 2018-19. The fees for athletics for 2018-19 will thus be:

Uxbridge High School: $185
Whitin Intermediate School: $150
Late registration fee: $25

There will remain no charge for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Please be mindful of registration deadlines. If a family registers after the deadline, after which we are making decisions regarding schedules, coaches, transportation, and programs on the whole, there will have to be a charge of $25 collected.

We thank the committee and community for its support and look forward to a successful 2018-19 athletic year!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Weekly News and Notes

Some updates from UHS:

Class Elections

Congratulations and thank you to all students who participated in class elections this week. We look forward to partnering with the officers next year as we continue to look for ways to improve things at UHS!

Class of 2019:
President, Bridget Redgate
Vice President, Madeleine Schleinitz
Secretary: Lexi Nowicki
Treasurer: Kathleen Redgate
Historian: Carrie Kraich

Class of 2020:
President, Jason Dullaghan
Vice President, Kevin Siefken
Secretary, Rachel McGee
Treasurer, Sonila Murati

Class of 2021: 
President, Nick Fernandes
Vice President, Anna Horne
Secretary, Anastasia Achiaa
Treasurer, Martha Ann Rolandelli
Historian, Jonathan Fabian

Educator of the Year

We proudly awarded our Educator of the Year award to Ms. Leslie Lesperance, our Learning Lab Teacher. Ms. Lesperance will be retiring this year after more than 30 years in the Uxbridge Public Schools, and her years of service have been marked by an unwavering commitment to some of the most compromised and needy students in the school. Her professionalism, compassion, and empathy have made an impact for hundreds of students and co-workers, and we will miss Ms. Lesperance's calming presence, professional demeanor, and incredible skill!

Senior Week and Class Trips

Over the past couple of months, we have been looking at ways we can improve some of the senior class events. That has led to some presumptions and assumptions that we are "canceling" the senior trip. In truth, this year's senior trip went well, despite the distance traveled and time spent in a bus, and many of the experiences of the classes have been largely positive. To indicate that we would be looking at changing things on the basis of a couple of student errors in judgment from the past is simply inaccurate.

That said, there is significant cost incurred on these trips, which places a burden on the class and students' families, and we likewise are limiting, per School Committee policy and the feedback we have consistently gotten from families across the district, the number of fundraisers that organizations can hold, as well as the nature of those events (school groups are prohibited from working with companies that can profit from students). We also have some reluctance on the part of faculty members and administration to chaperone these trips because of the significant personal liability and responsibility.

To help guide our decision-making, we are enlisting feedback on end-of-year events, which has been requested from the grade 9, 10, and 11 advisors.  We also are hoping to find ways we can make Baccalaureate a more inclusive event in the hope of having more students participate, given that the past 4-5 years have seen no more than 60% of the class attend. While other districts have removed events like Baccalaureate from the slate of school-sponsored events, we want to work with the community, classes, and clergy to continue an event that is meaningful but also inclusive.

To provide us with some feedback, please click here and answer the brief 10-question survey.

School Council, 2018-19

We will be looking for parent and student members of School Council for 2018-19, specifically looking for members from the Classes of 2022 and 2023 (incoming grade 8 and 9). If you have questions, please be in touch with Mr. Rubin. If we have multiple parents interested, we may need to hold an election.

A Final Thought

We will have an opportunity to reflect a bit more on the past three years, which has been marked by incredible change and an influx of real positive energy to UHS. Before that, though, we are nearing the end of one partnership for our administrative team. As Mr. Carney nears the end of his tenure in Uxbridge, we have many successes on which to build and which we share, from the revamping of a guidance curriculum, to the integration of significant common planning times for teachers, to the development of more elective courses, to the sustained efforts and supports for arts, special education programs, and advanced classes.
Two years ago, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters inspired my personal remarks at the UHS graduation, which I remarked as "a new day rising." Ironically, Mr. Carney and I both share a love for the Foo Fighters, and that song has been in my consciousness every day I've worked at UHS - for every day is a "new day rising," and we should always be reminded that in "times like these, we learn to live again."
In that spirit, and with a respectful note of gratitude to Mr. Carney for his support, some of which was easily seen, while other was more behind-the-scenes, while, at the same time, looking forward to partnering with Dr. Tiano, I'm sharing my favorite rendition of the song. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend,

Mike Rubin, Principal

Friday, June 8, 2018

Weekly News and Notes

Good afternoon,

We have some updates from UHS this week.

Final Exam Schedule

Our final exam schedule is linked here and posted below. If any student requires a rescheduling of the interview, please let us know. That should start with administration - not individually with teachers.

Monday, June 18, 2018
All 7 classes meet: Day 1 Schedule

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
7:30 - 8:50am (80) G Block Exam

8:50 - 9:03am Break

9:05 - 10:25am (80) F block Exam
10:30 dismissal -- students stay in class of last exam until dismissal

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
7:30 - 8:50am (80) E Block Exam

8:50 - 9:03am Break

9:05 - 10:25am (80) D block Exam
10:30 dismissal -- students stay in class of last exam until dismissal

Thursday, June 21, 2018
7:30 - 8:50am (80) C Block Exam

8:50 - 9:03am Break

9:05 - 10:25am (80) B block Exam
10:30 dismissal -- students stay in class of last exam until dismissal

Friday, June 22, 2018
7:30 - 8:50am (80) A Block Exam

8:50 - 9:03am Break

9:05 - 10:25am (80) Makeup period (if needed)
10:30 dismissal -- students stay in class of last exam until dismissal

Monday, June 25, 2018

Students will go to each class.  Dismissal is at 10:30am.

Summer Reading

We have updated our summer reading site for 2018, which can be found here.

Sports for 2018-19

There has recently been some confusion and rumor out there regarding athletics for 2018-19. Specifically, there is no change to athletics at the high school other than all sports being open to grade 8 students, which may enable us to add a third level (i.e. freshman sports) to some programs and solidify our JV programs. All middle school programs are planning to run as is.
Football: Middle School/Level 3 (7/8 and MAYBE some 9 based on size); JV (9-11); Varsity (9-12)
Soccer: JV (7-12); Varsity (7-12)
Field Hockey: Middle School, JV, Varsity
Cross Country: Middle School, Varsity
Golf: Varsity (7-12)
Cheerleading: Varsity
Basketball: Middle School, Potentially Level 3 (8-9); JV (9-11); Varsity (9-12)
Winter Track: Varsity
Baseball/Softball: Middle School, JV (8-11); Varsity (9-12)
Tennis: Varsity (8-12)
Spring Track: Middle School, Varsity

Some our programs also have waivers for grade 7 (such as boys tennis) which we will have to renew. If you have specific questions, reach out to the athletic director or principals.

We look forward to working with you in the coming weeks, and feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Spring Sports All Stars

Congratulations to all our spring sports all-stars!

Spring Track: 
First Team: Darian Spencer, Jack Schreiber
Second Team: Scott Kaeller, Ryan Semle, Jordan Washington
First Team: Maddy Schleinitz, Danielle Healey, Hannah Jones
Second Team: Abigail Deary, Anastasia Achiaa
SoftballFirst Team : Morgan McCarty and Sam Dumais
Baseball: First Team: Harrison Mansfield
Second Team: Alex Currie
First Team: James Stark and Joey DuBois
Second Team: Nick Fernandes, Trevor Rafferty, and Dan Salzberg
Second Team: Emily Fernandes, Rachel McGee and Katelyn Jones

Friday, June 1, 2018

Weekly News and Notes

Some updates from UHS this week - including some information for senior parents in what may be the final update of their time here at UHS!

Seniors and parents of seniors:

Good news! Our first "round" of senior graduation portraits have been taken by our school photographer. We will have pictures from the graduation event as well. Portraits of seniors in cap and gown can be found here.

Science MCAS 

Our science MCAS will be administered next Wednesday and Thursday to 9th graders enrolled in Intro to Technology/Engineering or Introduction to Physics. Some students will also take the biology test. We know that the students are prepared, but, as this is a graduation requirement, we hope that students take time, process the questions, and answer things thoroughly. We are pleased with the effort of the students in these classes all year, and wish them well on the test!

Graduation on Sunday

Graduation on Sunday begins at 2:00 p.m. sharp; the doors for the gymnasium will open at 12:30 p.m. If you have needs, please see our student ushers. Seats have been reserved for those who have needs, including handicapped accessibility; if we have made any mistakes, please know that it was mere oversight!

Graduate Parade

Thank you to McCloskey Middle School, Taft Early Center, and Whitin Elementary School for hosting as for our annual graduation parade. This is the third year of this new tradition at UHS, and we are so touched by the energy that meets our graduates at every building.

Footage of the parade can be viewed here. We thank Barry Giles and the Uxbridge Cable Television crew for their hard work - literally sprinting up Granite Street - to make this happen!

A big thank you to everyone who has helped with graduation, senior events, PSG, and all the other culminating activities for the Class of 2018. We are looking forward to graduation on Sunday, and look forward to sharing more about it early next week.

Finally, we will have spring tournament schedules released soon, with seedings underway. Boys tennis will face the winner of Leicester-Tyngsboro on Tuesday at home - but other brackets are still as yet to be determined!

Have a great weekend!