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3rd Quarter is Starting: Put Your Cell Phones Away!

posted Jan 20, 2017, 12:09 PM by Chuck Caragianes

Good afternoon,

The second quarter of the school year, and the first semester, closed today.  The third marking quarter of the year will be starting this coming Monday, January 23rd.  Teachers will be completing their grading over the next few days and grades should be open for viewing on IPass by Monday January 30th barring complications from any winter storms.

A significant issues that needs to be addressed at Maynard High School is cell phone use during class time.  There is a stated cell phone policy in the student/parent handbook that some students are increasingly attempting to ignore.  Students are also becoming disrespectful and confrontational with staff members when simply asked to put their phones away.  This is leading to increasing disciplinary issues.  Let me be clear, cell phone use for non-academic purposes in the classroom are disruptive to the student using the phone, to the teacher providing instruction, and to the other students in the class.  I urge you to have a serious conversation with your student about the great importance of simply switching their cell phone off, and using them only when appropriate during the day.

As a reminder, students may use their phones up until the start of the day at 7:40, during their lunch period, and as soon as the school day ends at 2:05pm.  At no time does a student have to go more than about 3 hours without the ability to check messages in a non-disruptive way..

Increasingly, we are seeing cell phone disruption of class time coming from home.  Fortunately, the numbers of this type of disruption is still limited, but it is increasing.  As parents, please do not text or message your students during the school day for anything less than essential reasons.  If you are leaving instructions for after school pick up, that text will be there at lunch when your student can read it without restriction.  There is no need for instant reply by your child.  Do not take a text from your child saying they don’t feel well and then simply show up at the school to dismiss them.  If your child feels ill we have a school nurse who will always see them and the nurse will contact you if need be.   If there is an emergency at home please contact the school and we will get your child.  There is no need for even these transactions to go cell phone to cell phone.  The disruptions of instructional time needs to cease, including from home, and I thank you for your help in all of these areas.

On Monday the 23rd of January, as the 3rd quarter and second semester begin, our faculty members are going to be taking steps to ensure that cell phone abuse stops.  At a minimum, your student needs to switch off and put their phone away in all classroom settings.  Teachers may also set up their own individual classroom rules around cell phone use that may include a dropoff and pickup system at the start and end of class to ensure a classroom environment free of cellphone disruptions.  Please support our staff members as they work to enhance your student’s education.

Some additional information about upcoming activities and information follows:

School Dance February 17th

Recently, as many of you know, the National Honor Society dance for homecoming was cancelled for tonight due to an apparent lack interest based on unprecedentedly low advance ticket sales.  Advance sales were incredibly low even before the need to reschedule a basketball game tonight.

In response the Senior Class has decided to make another go at a dance, this time on February 17th here at MHS with a ticket price of $7.00.  Please stay tuned for further details and should your student wish to attend the dance please strongly consider having them buy a ticket in advance.  The funds are used to defray the upfront costs associated with decorating and preparing for the event.

If Only

On January 26 at 7:00pm the Maynard Public Schools will be hosting a screening of the Wahlberg Foundation Film, "If Only" here at MHS.  This film, co-sponsored and endorsed by Millenium Health, addresses important questions about prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction.  Following the screening, there will be a panel presentation by a group of community members directly impacted by the opioid epidemic.

During the school day on January 26th our students will also be viewing “If Only” here at Maynard High School.  7th graders will be walking up from the Fowler School to join our  8th & 9th graders for the presentation and discussion geared to their age group. The film and discussion will run from 8:45 to 9:45am.  Our grade 10, 11 & 12 students will then view the film with a panel follow up geared to their age group.  The film and discussion will run from 9:45 to 10:45am.  Should any parent or guardian wish more information please contact me at Maynard High School.  Any parent or guardian who wishes to have their child opt out of this presentation may do so by contacting your student’s guidance counselor or myself.


Coming Soon! The Maynard SEPAC will host a workshop on Basic Rights in Special Education on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 at the Fowler School Library from 7 – 9 p.m.  A presenter from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will conduct the workshop, full of super-helpful information to help parents partner with their child’s school in important ways: to decide their child’s eligibility for special education, and to plan, make decisions about, and monitor their child’s progress in school. Come learn, ask questions, and be informed about special education laws. Federation workshops are free and open to the public. Contact Karen Heath at or 978-394-6183 with questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

A Great Community Loss

As many of you know we lost Katherine Lalli, a vibrant and joyous member of the class of 2012, in a tragic accident in late December.

For those of you who are looking for a way to honor the memory of Katherine, the Class of 2012 and Best Buddies are creating a scholarship fund for graduating seniors. The scholarship will benefit students who are pursuing a degree in early childhood education or special education, both passions of Katherine's.  Katherine was a graduate of the Maynard High School Class of 2012 and earned an Associate's Degree in early childhood education from Middlesex Community College.  She passed away on Christmas Eve morning in an automobile accident.

"Remembered for her compassion and her free spirit, Katherine was very social and had friends everywhere. She had a special gift for connecting with people, young and old, especially those with special needs. She made sure to attend family gatherings, and her father loved working with her in Sudbury, MA, on a program that Katherine developed for autistic children which included music."

Please make checks payable to "Town of Maynard." Include "Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship" on the memo line.

Please mail donations to:

Maynard High School

Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship

1 Tiger Drive

Maynard, MA 01754

Acknowledgment of your gift will be forwarded to Katherine's family.

Musical Notes

Our madrigal group has been asked to sing at the Providence Bruins vs. Hershey Bears game on Friday night January 27th.  The puck drops at 7:05pm.  You may want to take your sleigh down to Providence and be in the building by 6:45pm or so to support our singers and have an enjoyable evening on a winter’s night.

Jazz Band

The MHS Jazz Band will be performing at Serendipity Cafe on January 28th from 7:30-9:30pm. Join us for a night of jazz standards.......swing, bossa-nova, and funk tunes! Free and open to the public.

Thank you to an Olympian!

Michael Marx,  a 5 time Olympian in fencing, and Pan Am games medal winner is working with our students rehearsing for our upcoming play Peter and the Starcatcher, the prequel to Peter Pan.  Michael agreed to an initial “stage fencing” lesson with our students, but enjoyed himself and our students so much he will be returning to voluntarily help our actors further.  Thank you Michael!

From Superintendent Gerardi Regarding Inclement Weather

Snow Days /Delayed Openings/Early Emergency Dismissals

Inevitably, school cancellations are a reality in New England.  To prepare for the potential of a school cancellation due to inclement weather, I wanted to share the process for students and parents.

School Closing

In the event that school is canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or any other reason, the Maynard Public Schools will provide notice for parents and students via the following:

1. An automated phone call to each home between 6:00-6:30 a.m. or in rare instances, the evening before. This phone call is based on the home phone number provided on the student‘s emergency contacts form filled out at the beginning of the year and the phone numbers in iParent. Parents need to be sure their child‘s school has the correct phone and email contact information.

2. Traditional television and radio Media.  We use only WBZ TV – Channel 4 and Radio 1030AM (WBZ) 44.  They also post this information on their website at:


3.  New for this year!  I will be tweeting school cancellations on @MaynardSchools

Please do not call the Fire or Police Department for School Information. DO NOT CALL "911".

Delayed Opening

In the event of a delayed opening, school will open two (2) hours after the regular starting time. School will be dismissed at the usual time on delayed opening days. If there is a delayed opening, no breakfast will be served on those days. Occasionally a delayed opening will be later revised to a no school announcement if conditions worsen. Please stay tuned to the TV or radio for a possible cancellation notice after a delayed opening announcement or listen for the town whistle.

That’s the news for this week.

Enjoy the weekend and take care,

Chuck Caragianes

Principal of Maynard High School