FSS Happenings

FSS Happenings

FSS Happenings, Monday, March 12, 2018
Dear Parents,

Following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month, students across the nation have begun to develop organized protests including a potential student-led walkout on March 14, from 10:00 to 10:17 AM.  Today, I was asked to meet with our Student Council, who expressed an interest in participating in and planning for a similar protest. I write to you today to make you aware of this event and to share our district perspective should your child decide to participate.

As school leaders, our top priority is to support the academic and social-emotional needs of our students while maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment for all. We respect and support the right of our students to advocate for causes that are important to them, and we are further committed to providing our students the tools and resources to empower their voices and opinions. At the same time, we are obligated to provide a learning environment that remains apolitical and focused on our primary purposes in the teaching and learning process.  As well, some students may not be willing or ready to take a position in support of the message related to the March 14 walkout. For these reasons, FSS staff will not participate in, nor endorse such a protest.

Our teachers will continue with their lessons through this proposed time.   We will consider a student-led walkout an Act of Civil Disobedience and, by definition, a violation of our school’s rules.  Students would not be disciplined for missing class time, but they would be responsible for any work missed during their absence.  Students should also be aware that teachers will not be expected to reteach their lesson outside of class if a student misses the initial instruction because of participation in a walkout. With this being said, I have asked our teachers to not administer tests, quizzes, or other assessments during this timeframe.

Also, it is important to note that disorderly conduct that disrupts school operations is not acceptable and will be handled compassionately but firmly, by the rules and guidelines outlined in our school handbook. Safety for our students is critical. To this end, we will not condone students leaving campus for this event.   The Student Council has agreed to have a designated assembling area for those students wanting to participate. Student plans for this event may include time for quiet reflection and optional letter writing to elected officials and families of the Parkland victims. Participating students will be supervised by the administration, myself included, and non-teaching staff. I have also contacted our local law enforcement who may be present to further ensure a safe environment.  For those students participating, we expect a prompt return to class at 10:17 AM.

As educators, we recognize that student activism is a part of the learning process. When students are passionate about an issue, it is an opportunity for educators to help them see the connection between curriculum and real life. At this time, we have an organized plan should the need to debrief this event with students present itself, and we would do so in a way that is respectful of all viewpoints and aligned with our curriculum and state standards.

Given FSS’s student population from preschool through grade 8, and recognizing the rights of parents to determine how much, if any, sensitive information they would choose to share with their children we will not be sharing any of this with our youngest students and would ask that you respect that as well.

At the time of this writing, there have been minimal conversations that teachers are aware of concerning plans for this type of student protest.  Still, we want to be prepared for every possible eventuality and have given a considerable amount of thought as to how best to approach the situation with the greatest amount of respect for all of our students.

In other FSS News,

This Saturday, March 17, our dedicated Bolton Schools Donations Committee hosts their biennial Auction! “The Luck of the Auction” kicks off at 6:30 at the International.  Tickets are still available for this fun event!  There are incredible live auction items developed in partnership with our amazing local artisans on display this week in the Sawyer Wing.   Silent auction items and services include sporting event tickets, a round of golf with the principal. The evening concludes with For more information, check out the Virtual Backpack below

I’d like to thank parents Janet O’Shea, Tracy Lindsay, Karina Bezerra, Meg O’Leary and staff and the tech management of seventh-grader Tim Shepple, for a spectacular “So, You Think You’ve Got Talent Show!”  I am told that this annual fundraiser brought in $3,963.73. Thanks also to Kristin DeJohn and Bill Farmer for spectacular photos that were published as a Photo Gallery Slideshow on the Telegram/ Item website.

With the closing of school tomorrow, our last day with students has been moved to Thursday, June 21.  Regarding our conferences, as I wrote last Wednesday, conferences scheduled for last Thursday have been moved to this Thursday on an identical schedule. Students will be dismissed on Thursday and Friday at 12:30 PM.

Next week, we will celebrate Kindness Week. Students in the Random Acts of Kindness club have been working hard for months to organize a week full of kind activities to spread the love around our school and community. You can view the week's agenda here.

We will have our 4th annual Family Math Night on Thursday, March 22nd- Family Math Night 6 PM - 7:30 PM for students in grades K-5 and their parents.  Come and play math games with the children. Every family will receive a folder full of math games at the end of the event so you can continue the fun at home!  Kindergarten and 1st grade will meet in their classrooms, while Grades 2 - 5 will meet in the cafeteria so that the games will match the level of your child. If you plan to attend, please send in your response with your child, so we can make sure we have enough packets ready. If you have any questions, please email FSS Math Specialist Karen Walsh-Fortin 

I have been asked to recognize several of our students’ recent athletic accomplishments.  Third-grader Ethanael Vecchiarelli qualified for the New England YMCA swimming championship in 25-yard backstroke and the 25-yard freestyle that was held at MIT yesterday. Also, CMYBL fifth grade girls and boys teams both won their tournaments this weekend.   The Bolton girls on the team are Alexis Prybyla, Riley Dinjian, Erin Farmer, and Addison Pong.

Finally tonight, I’d like to congratulate our middle school Eagles Basketball teams who recently completed their seasons!  The girls’ team, led by coach Bob Keene, completed an undefeated season with 16 wins. The boys’ team, led by coach Corey Brownell, finished with an 11- 3 record.  Both teams combined to win the Coaches against Cancer Nashoba Play Day Tournament as district champions. Members of the girls’ team are Katie Adiletta, Holly Bechara, Bella Cotter, Lyla Cotter, Olivia Gervais, Ashley Green, Kylie Marshall, Kya McCarthy, Kerry Oblak, Sammi Payson, Grace Roth, Payton Richard, Maddie Toth and Emma Toland. Members of the boys’ team are Kevin Collette, Lucas Daukantas, Niklas Pavia, Luke Pavia, Ciaran Murphy, Jake Fleming, Michael Dean, Marcus DiBello, Eric D’Eon, Robert D’Eon, Peter Ward, Connor Salmon, Thomas Kline, Jack Schartner and, (2018 Student-Faculty Game MVP) James Borsari

Yours in Partnership,

Joel Bates,