Friday, January 5, 2024

Weekly News and Notes, January 5

 We have a few updates from UHS this week:

1. We will be hosting our first internship fair next Wednesday morning. It will take place in the gymnasium from 8:30-10:30 a.m. We look forward to highlighting the work of our interns, as they share their experiences with supervisors, community members, and other students. Parents/guardians/caregivers of interns are also welcome to attend. If anyone else has an interest in either attending or supporting the program, reach out to Mr. Moura (
Those who attend are asked to use the gym entrance.

2. The week of January 16 will be the final week of the first semester, which means we will have mid-year exams. For most classes, this is an opportunity for teachers and students to determine progress, provide practice on longer assessments that take place, and provide projects that conclude the semester. Grade 8 students will be completing iReady assessments, which monitor progress, in English and math as well. The schedule will be shared with students via email and can be found here:















These are half-days, to give students time to complete assignments, finish work for courses that are concluding, prepare for traditional exams, and have time to reflect on grades. However, teachers are in the building for the full day, so students who need additional support can absolutely stay. Buses typically leave the school by 10:45, which means lunches are available as well.

3. As we anticipate the first snow of the season this weekend, please note that announcements regarding inclement weather will be shared via Parentsquare, traditional media, and, for students, the school's email system. We also know that sometimes this can influence buses, student drivers, and visibility. If school is canceled, after school activities and athletics are also canceled in most cases. Exceptions will be communicated individually.

Finally, it goes without saying that this was a somber week at UHS. Much work and preparation was done before staff and students returned to school on January 2 and 3 respectively to ensure that we had proper supports in place. For many of our youngest community members, the tragic loss of C.J. Gibbons was their first experience with death, grieving, wakes, and the loss of a peer. As school leaders, we review protocols and procedures often, attempting to ensure that we have the right tools in place, should they ever be needed. We frequently do not know if we have either the correct tools or the right preparation until, sadly, terrible events occur. In that respect, the UHS counseling team, including school counselors Ashley Smith, Jamie Toto, and Kyla Gutekunst, adjustment counselors Alison Ciccone, Lori Tobin, and Jackie Lynch, school psychologist Hilary Ritacco, team chair Catherine Taglilatela, nurse Tara Schiller, and counselor/intervention coach Greg Coppolino more than aptly rose to the ​occasion, supporting not only the students and community, but their colleagues ​as well. We could not be prouder of their effort and hope that the community recognizes ​and understands that while much of ​this work goes unseen, this team is well prepared to deal with the challenges we face, both anticipated and otherwise. We also wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to Father Nick of St. Mary's, Paster Bob and Pastor Matt of Valley Chapel, and the staff of Riverside Open Sky for being a presence this week, as it underscores the relationships we have ​and recognize within the community.

We wish everyone a good weekend!

Dr. Rubin

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Lewiston Tragedy


Dear Uxbridge High School Community,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. I am sure that many members of our community have seen the news from Lewiston, Maine, where a shocking mass shooting has left many families shattered in the wake of another senseless tragedy.

I write this because of our geographic proximity to Maine. Lewiston is only a few hours away from us here in Uxbridge, and already I have heard from colleagues in schools in our area who have family members in that area or who have been directly affected. We realize that there may be connections here in Uxbridge as well, and, should that be the case, we want our staff to be properly equipped with the knowledge to support students however possible. Similarly, we understand that events like these can bring about a variety of emotions, and we want to assure you that we are here to provide any assistance that may be needed during these trying times.

These times are complex. We have those in our community struggling with global conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. We have those in our community who have been touched by violence, both domestically and elsewhere. We have those in our community who have struggled with substance abuse and the opioid epidemic. We have those in our community who have faced racial prejudice and bigotry. We have those in our community struggling with the emotional health challenges that are pervasive in society.

The statement has long been, “if you see something, say something.” We amend and expand that statement slightly for our shared work here in Uxbridge - if you need something, say something. If you hear something, say something. And if you feel something is amiss, please let us know. We know that our school provides solace, support, and strength to many who need it most, so if there are concerns that could influence the student’s school experience, we remind you to reach out to school counselors, trusted adults, or administration so that we can partner with you. 

Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by the events in Lewiston, and we stand together, once again, in compassion and support of those who need it during these particularly challenging times.


Michael D. Rubin

Principal, Uxbridge High School

Friday, October 13, 2023

An Atypical Weekly Update for an Atypical Week

Dear Uxbridge Community:

Over the past several years, I have painstakingly provided a weekly update to the school and community of Uxbridge High School. I tend to focus on school happenings, updates for families, important dates, deadlines, and highlights. Every now and then, the school has the challenge of sharing difficult news or updates that provide insight on some of our challenges. There have been messages about medical emergencies, substance use in our young people, reckless behavior, and community responses to bigotry and racism. There have been concerns raised about the online behavior of some of our young people and even some of our adults. We have focused on areas of school that are important to the students, families, and faculty, and I have never really written about myself.

In that vein, I hope everyone will indulge me for a two-pronged messaging this week, as I will eschew the typical messaging to share some very personal, very individual thoughts with our community, with whom I have been bound professionally for nearly a decade, which in some ways I consider home or at the very least have roots, and with which I have always aspired to have a degree of transparency.

First, thank you. Thank you to the colleagues, staff members, fellow administrators, parents, coaches, friends from around the Commonwealth and nation, community members, and other stakeholders who reached out to me personally in the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Israel. Thank you to those who gave me some grace and patience this week to process my own fears and challenges, knowing that my family is in harm’s way overseas. Thank you to those who just took a moment to tell me they were praying for both the victims and for peace in the region. Thank you to those who may have known my roots to Israel, being the son of an Israeli mother and grandson of Holocaust survivors, with family still residing there and sheltering this week, and who could thus acknowledge how close to home the past week’s events have hit me personally. Thank you to those who did not know the details but made a presumption and just checked in. Thank you for the words of encouragement, the attempts at compassion and empathy, the simple drops in the office just to say, “how is everything,” even when the answer could not be, in any way, in any sense, anything but “struggling.”

Recognizing when someone is not at his or her best, offering compassion and a gentle ear, and attempting to reconcile another’s perspective is one of the most challenging life skills we teach at UHS. Just last Friday, at our professional development and curriculum workshop, our faculty had a robust discussion on the importance of resilience, tenacity, and toughness - how to instill that in our students when we ourselves do not always have the capacity to be “tough.” I hope that people recognize that toughness comes in many forms, that upholding professional responsibilities in the face of adversity is but one way to demonstrate that resilience or toughness, and that a commitment to that tenacity is a continued state of mind, not a momentary paroxysm.

A second point that I wish to raise is one I do with a great deal and abundance of caution and pause. There are those who use their platform as school leaders as an opportunity to shine a light on themselves or to proselytize their own views, be it politically or socially. I have tried to avoid this practice, and have resisted using the school's or my professional platform as a means for therapy. I write this acknowledging that this week's post is atypical.

Over the past few days, I have seen some political groups blaming victims. Some people have taken the "by whatever means possible" stance in support of Palestinian freedoms. Others stay silent on the brutal terror attacks and massacre inflicted on innocent civilians. I have found myself addicted to the news cycle from different countries, which is giving my multiple language skills a workout, perhaps the only benefit to this past week. My Jewish friends, family, and peers, even at the synagogue and congregation of which I am a member, are frightened by this rhetoric. We have a student group, Mending Spartan Minds, that speaks to normalizing the stigma of mental health awareness. In a word or two, we are not okay, and I think it takes some strength and courage to acknowledge and respect when people are not okay. It also takes support to move past that discomfort.

To be clear: I have no interest in seeing innocent civilians perish because of the actions of terrorists. I know this conflict is more complex than a blog post can begin to explain. I always advocate for peace and understanding, for respecting different perspectives, for attempting to understand others. I do so knowing that the American people have a range of beliefs, and it is hardly the school’s or my responsibility to indoctrinate young men and women to a single hegemony but to guide students in a way that help them make decisions that best suit their individual minds and values while understanding different perspectives and how to discern truth from fiction.

Some people have referred to this as Israeli 9/11. I have started to think of it as a 21st century Kristallnacht, around which the world should coalesce and galvanize against terror, realizing that the mantra of "never again" shared by Jews after the Holocaust is very nearly and quite possibly, "right now." That in and of itself is scary, but is something we can use to motivate us to action or understanding. In short, we must collectively reject acts of pure evil, without negotiation, without exception, and without consideration of how they can be justifiable. 

Thus, the question for our community is how to bring the point back to the local. We have a collective responsibility to combat all forms of violence and hatred. We must understand that there are those in our community who are struggling to reconcile their personal experiences and values with what is happening abroad. We must realize that students and families alike will see news and information conveyed through traditional and social media sources that can and will affect them. We will see images of destruction and hatred, and we will no doubt have concerns about our safety in the face of potential domestic challenges. We will wonder how or if these actions could spill over to our domestic lives.

We remind our community that we have no space for violence or hatred. We acknowledge that the actions being felt personally by a few and certainly those in the Middle East can have reverberations in our classrooms. We must continue to speak up against injustice, offer supports and resources for families, and commit to making the world a better place for all who inhabit the earth. Indeed, we must strike hatred for others from our midst, be it abroad or domestic. We ask our community to embrace those affected by the recent trends and events in the news, renounce the normalization of anti-semitism, promote awareness and empathy, and, most of all, stand together with communities who hurt. Indeed, it is all that may get some of us through these challenging times.

Finally, a saying that people may see popping up in the news this week is the Hebrew phrase, “Ahm Yisrael Chai,” which literally translates to “The People of Israel Live.” The lyrics of a song composed in 1965, the words are often used as a phrase of solidarity. I share it in the hope that others may use it in unity with those fighting against terror.

Again, I offer my deep appreciation for this community’s support, feedback, and camaraderie. 

Sincerely yours,

Michael Rubin, Principal

Uxbridge High School


Monday, August 7, 2023

Schedule Change Requests, 2023-24

Schedules for 2023-24 are posted and active in the iParent and iStudent portal. There will still be some shifts to room assignments and even some teachers before the year starts. Should there be any schedule changes requested, counselors will address them when they return at the end of August. 

This form will help initiate any schedule changes needed for the start of the 2023-24 school year. Please remember that all students should follow the schedule they will be provided on the first day of school until they have met with a school counselor. Please note: we do not honor requests for specific teachers or schedule changes based on personality. If that is the reason for the request, we will share the concern with the teacher, so that s/he may be aware of any potential issues or conflict.  Please submit this form for each course in which a change is being requested. This must be completed by August 15, 2023. As almost all students met with counselors before the end of the school year, there should not be many changes required.

If there are any other questions, please reach out directly.