February 2, 2018

Dear North Middlesex Families,

In my second year of teaching, I clearly remember a veteran teacher looking at the latest Nokia phone, which came equipped with a camera, and saying, “This is going to cause a lot of problems.” While there is no doubt that the digital revolution has brought about a lot of good over the past twenty years, it is equally clear that the rapid changes in technology that we have experienced are leaving us with a lot of catching up to do as a society! In particular, the combination of digital camera phones and social media have created the potential for us to make really bad decisions really quickly, with consequences that may follow us for a long time.

Social media, and the mobile devices that support these platforms, present schools with particular difficulties. I spend much of my time managing the fallout from poor choices in this area. However, schools mirror our wider society, and the negativity and unkindness that I have witnessed in high school social media postings mirrors this same negativity in the wider digital world. I recently observed a high school teacher ask students to look through their social media accounts and make a tally of how many positive comments they had made over the past 24 hours: many struggled to find one! While this upsets me, I was not surprised, and I found myself reflecting on my own role, as an adult, in promoting respect and kindness in all of our interactions.

I believe that we are struggling as a society to get to grips with the rapid changes in technology over the past two decades, and we need to come together as a community to find solutions. There are no easy fixes here; we rightly have an ambivalent relationship with the internet, which brings us an access to knowledge and information in previously unimaginable ways, while at the same time allowing us to hurt and shame each other instantly, without the space for reflection.

In writing, I am asking for your help and support. While I do not believe that there is a single ‘solution’ to the problems that we are currently facing with social media, I am confident that the only way to start to bring about change is by shining a light on this issue, talking about it, and finding ways to develop mutual values and protocols for social media use that promote respect, kindness, and individuality. It is important that students are safe, and that they graduate from NM able to self-regulate both what they post online, and how much time they spend engaging with the digital world.

If you have any thoughts or ideas, I would love to hear them.

Sincerely,

Isaac Taylor, Principal

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UPCOMING EVENTS

DATE

EVENT

TIME

Monday, February 5

Scholarship Committee meeting - Annex

7pm - 9pm

Thursday, February 8

College Admission seminar - PAC

6pm - 8pm

Friday, February 9

Teacher Talent Show - PAC

7pm - 9pm

Saturday, February 10

Project Grad: Comedy Night - PAC (details below)

7pm - 10pm

Monday, February 12

Building Committee meeting - LGI (room 120)

5pm - 7pm

Monday, February 12

School Committee meeting - LGI (room 120)

7pm - 10pm

Tuesday, February 13

Snow date: School Committee meeting - LGI (rm 120)

7pm - 10pm

Tuesday, February 13

Choir Boosters meeting - Rm 110

6:15pm - 8pm

Thursday, February 15

Program of Studies night / Grades 8-11

6pm - 8pm

Thursday, February 15

Band Boosters meeting - Room 112

6:30pm - 8pm

February 19-23

Winter Vacation - NO SCHOOL

 

Friday, March 2

Two one-act plays: Check Please & Black Comedy

7pm - 10:30pm

Saturday, March 3

Two one-act plays: Check Please & Black Comedy

7pm - 10:30pm

Monday, March 5

School Committee meeting - LGI (room 120)

7pm - 10pm

Tuesday, March 6

Snow date: School Committee meeting - LGI (rm 120)

7pm - 10pm

Tuesday, March 6

Choir Boosters meeting - Rm 110

6:15pm - 8pm

Wednesday, March 7

Scholarship Committee meeting - Annex

7pm - 9pm

Thursday, March 8

Early Release - Grades K-12 (No School PreK)

HS dismissal @ 10:25am

WHAT’S HAPPENING…

CONGRATULATIONS to the NM Robotics Team who were tournament finalists at the Robotics Competition held at North Andover High School this past Saturday.  The NM team placed 3rd out of 56 teams.

CONGRATULATIONS to the eight NM students selected to perform in the prestigious Massachusetts All-State Music Festival. Alexander N., Kyle K., Chris E. and Hannah G. were selected for the chorus; Matthew R., Noah L., and Paige D. were selected for the band; and Adam K. was selected for the orchestra. Congratulations to all our talented students!

REMINDER: P.E./Athletic Locker Rooms are locked during the school day. Athletes can drop bags off before school, the next time to access these bags will be after school. School issued lockers should be used during the school day. Thanks!

PROGRAM OF STUDIES NIGHT

Mark your calendar! Our annual Program of Studies evening is on Thursday, February 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for families to talk to our faculty about the curriculum, and get advice and suggestions for course selection. Teachers and guidance counselors will be available to talk about specific courses, explain the difference between college prep, accelerated and advanced placement options, and support families with planning student course loads in preparation for college admission. I hope to see many of you at NM on this evening.

PROJECT GRADUATION

Comedy Night – Join NMRHS Project Graduation on Saturday, February 10th from 7pm to 10pm for a great evening out. Enjoy a night of laughter in the high school auditorium.

COVER - $25 @ door / $20 advance purchase / $25 advance PREMIUM Reserved seating.  

Contract any committee member for tickets – see the event on our Facebook page NMRHS Project Graduation pgnmrsd@yahoo.com   508 736 5116 Kris Bouchard

NMRS SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION

Kenny Chesney tickets at Gillette Stadium!

The NM Scholarship Committee encourages all students to participate in our annual raffle. We hope that all students reserve their "10 tickets" here.  Students can sign up for tickets to sell between now and January 12th.  A member of the Scholarship Committee will then be available both during lunches and after school on January 16h 10:30-12:30 and 2:00-6:00pm, and January 17 10:3-12:30  to distribute the actual tickets.

Sold ticket stubs and money as well as any unsold ticket stubs are due February 14, 2018.

Each student who sell 10 tickets will be entered into a raffle to win $100.  (We did this a few years ago with our Taylor Swift raffle)

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