9/14/18

September 14, 2018

 

From the Principal’s Desk…

Dear North Middlesex Families,

Like most high school principals, I was caught by surprise last year when vaping or ‘Juuling’ erupted. Unlike smoking or chewing tobacco, the superheated vapors now being inhaled by our children can be difficult to detect, and my administration spent many hours meeting with students and families to reinforce our belief that vaping has no place in our schools.

This week the FDA announced that vaping among teenagers has reached an ‘epidemic proportion.’ Sadly, this announcement simply confirms what educators and families already know. Whatever terms we use (out of control, ‘epidemic proportion’) teen vaping has exploded.

High schools across the country are now at the center of the vaping storm, and the insidious nature of this product makes it much more difficult to monitor and control than cigarette smoking.  I have spoken to a number of high school principals over the past months to discuss the difficulties of tackling vaping in school, typically in bathrooms and locker rooms. The most common approach is lengthy suspensions (5 or more days), followed by fining students, where town regulations allow.

These approaches are blunt instruments at best, and have limited effectiveness, as many vape users will take their chances on what they see as a slim possibility of being caught, even with constant patrols of bathrooms. To compound the problem, many teens believe wholeheartedly that vaping is safe, highly desirable, and without health consequences. Additionally, the research in this area is both extremely limited and challenging to interpret, due to the rapid emergence of the vaping phenomenon.

Principals like myself believe that vaping is an extremely worrying trend. When students vape in bathrooms, this makes other students feel unsafe, leading to children not using the facilities. Vaping is potentially a serious health risk, and may lead to a whole new generation addicted to nicotine. And vaping is a distraction to instruction and learning in our schools.

Tackling the problem of vaping is complex and multi-layered. While it is my sincere hope that the FDA follows through with threats to make vaping less appealing to children (e.g. banning fruit and candy flavors), much of the prevention work will take place in schools. Ultimately, it will involve more education, particularly with younger students. It also means that schools must continue to insist that vaping is not acceptable on school property. At NM, I will continue to enforce suspensions where students are caught vaping, and the staff will regularly monitor bathrooms to ensure appropriate behavior.

I ask for your support in our efforts here at the high school to address this growing problem. We cannot ignore teen vaping- it is everywhere around us! So please talk about these issues with your children. If you haven’t done so already, familiarize yourself with vape paraphernalia and the signs of vaping. And reinforce with your children that vaping has no place in schools. Many students are now choosing to vape, but a majority of young people do not, and no student should have to be confronted with the habit while in school. That is about respect.

If you have any thoughts or ideas, please reach out. I am all ears!

Best,

Isaac Taylor, Principal

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UPCOMING EVENTS

DATE

EVENT

TIME

Friday, September 14

Band Instrument Rental Night - Commons

6pm - 9:30pm

Thursday, September 20

Project Grad meeting - Annex

7pm-9pm

Friday, September 21

NOLA FundFest drop off - back garden area

2pm - 9pm

Saturday, September 22

NOLA FundFest - HS parking lot

8am - 5pm

Sunday, September 23

NOLA FundFest - HS parking lot

8am - 3pm

Tuesday, September 25

TRI-M Induction - PAC

6:30pm - 8pm

Thursday, September 27

Senior Parent Info Night/ Financial Aid Night - PAC

6pm-8pm

Monday, October 1

School Committee mtg - LGI

7pm - 10pm

Wednesday, October 3

Scholarship Committee mtg - Annex

7pm - 9pm

Monday, October 8

Athletic Boosters mtg - Annex

7pm - 9pm

Tuesday, October 9

School Committee mtg - LGI

4pm - 6pm

Friday, October 12

Mr. NM Talent Show - PAC

6pm - 9pm

Firday, October 12

Scholarship Canning  locations - front of building

3:30pm - 8:30pm

Saturday, October 13

Scholarship Canning  locations - front of building

7:30am - 12;30pm

What’s Happening...

OPIOID MISUSE

Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has developed educational materials on opioid misuse prevention and is partnering with schools across the state to share this information with students, parents and school personnel. Because of the risk of injury and the subsequent need for pain management, student athletes may be at risk for opioid misuse.

You can find the materials on the MassTAPP website:

http://masstapp.edc.org/rx-student-athlete

PROJECT GRADUATION

We’re at it again!  Comedy Show, hosted by NMRHS Project Graduation, will be held on Saturday, November 10th at the Pepperell VFW post 3291.  Join us from 6-11 for social hour before and after show. Show starts at 7pm. Tickets will be $20. Spread the word, gather your friends together, mark your calendar and get ready for a night of laughter and good cheer.   For advance tickets, contact Kris Bouchard 508 736 5116 or NMRHS Project Graduation thru Facebook or email to PGNMRSD@yahoo.com

LAWRENCE LIBRARY: PEPPERELL

FrankenREADS: Celebrating 200 Years of Frankenstein

Be part of the international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's, Frankenstein - it’s so much more than the movies! FrankenREADS is a project of the Keats-Shelley Association of America, funded by a Chairman’s grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. As part of this celebration, the Lawrence Library will be hosting two events. On Wednesday, October 17th, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. We invite you to come and learn about the "monster", his creator, and the woman behind it all, Mary Shelley. UMass Lowell Professor, Todd Avery, will present a lecture on the novel and lead our discussion. The second event will be held on Wednesday, October 24th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We will be screening the latest movie about Mary Shelley starring Elle Fanning (Rated PG-13, run time 2 hours). Both events are open to adults and teens ages 13 and up. Light refreshments will be served.

If interested in attending, please REGISTER for this event at lawrencelibrary.org by clicking on Upcoming Events or by calling the library at 978-433-0330.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Lawrence Library. For more information about this event, please contact Donna Andreason at 978-433-0330 or by emailing dandreason@cwmars.org.

HANNAFORD HELPS SCHOOLS

The 2018 Hannaford Helps Schools program is underway! During this program, Hannaford and its vendor partners work together to donate funds to local schools.The program runs from September 2, 2018 to December 1, 2018.  How does the program work? For every four qualifying Hannaford Helps Schools items that a customer buys at any Hannaford, they will receive a $3 ‘school dollar’ printout at the register. Customers then just need to take the school dollars printout to the Helps Schools collections tower at the front of the store and insert it into the NMRHS slot.  NMRHS is registered at the Townsend Hannaford. For additional information and a list of qualifying products, visit the Hannaford website: hannaford.com/helpsschools. Thank you for your support.

REGISTER TAPES FOR EDUCATION - Donelan’s Supermarkets

We are excited to inform you that we are participating in an incredible program that allows us to earn FREE school supplies!  Here’s how: Shop at Donelan’s Supermarkets, save your receipts from September 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019, send them in with your student or drop them off at NMRHS, Attn: Susan Hamel to help us earn free school supplies - all donated by Donelan’s Supermarkets! Thank you for your support.

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