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Thank You for Not Calling. (And Especially for Not Texting!)

posted Jan 27, 2017, 10:13 AM by Chuck Caragianes

Good afternoon,

The third quarter, and second semester of the year, is now officially underway at Maynard High School as we enter the second half of the year.  Student grades from the 2nd quarter have been submitted by teachers and are now going through final verification and cross checking.  We continue to anticipate that grades will be available through IPass by the end of the school day on Monday.

Over the course of this week we have seen dramatically reduced instances of inappropriate cell phone use by students at Maynard High School.  This has resulted in greater student concentration and focus in class thanks to the absence of cell phone distraction and abuse.

I want to thank the dozens of parents who have emailed individual teachers as well as myself to support the position we’ve taken.  Pushback by parents and students, claiming that cell phone use at all times is acceptable, has been limited to very isolated individuals.  Your overwhelming support and endorsement of the importance of the educational process in an undistracted environment has been very welcome and heartening.

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.  To be a bit cheeky, society has grown and thrived for millennia without widespread cell phone use.  In the present day, everyone can manage 3 hour chunks of cell phone free time.

Also as a reminder, 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 with haste and afford your child the opportunity to contact you immediately in a safe and quiet space.  There is no need for even these transactions to go cell phone to cell phone.  I thank you for your help in all of these areas.

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 canceled due to an apparent lack interest based on unprecedentedly low advance ticket sales.

In response the Senior Class has decided to make another go at a hosting a dance, this time on February 17th here at MHS with a ticket price of $7.00.  The Class of 2018 has also decided to have all tickets sold at the door that evening.  You will want to review school policy regarding dances that can be found on page 33 of the Student/Parent Handbook.

If Only

Yesterday, Thursday January 26th, students in grades 7-12 viewed the Wahlberg Foundation Film, "If Only" in the morning here at MHS.  This film, co-sponsored and endorsed by Millenium Health, addressed important questions about prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction.  Following the screening, there was presentation by Jim Wahlberg who wrote, directed and co-produced the film along with Melissa Weiksnar a parent who lost her daughter to opioid abuse.

Our students asked thoughtful, incisive questions and were engaged throughout the presentation.  I urge you to speak with your student about their experience on this critically important issue.

Yesterday evening approximately 50 community members came out to Maynard High School to see “If Only” which was personally introduced by Jim Wahlberg, as well as an exhibit called “Hidden in Plain Sight” where a typical teenagers room is recreated demonstrating the many ways substances can be hidden from parents.  I was privileged to moderate a panel discussion featuring the aforementioned Melissa Weiksnar, Brian Teague who runs a men's recovery program and is himself in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, Chief Mark Dubois of the Maynard Police, and Dr. Brian O’Connor who specializes in treating pregnant women with opioid abuse issues and whose own son is in recovery from opioid addiction.

Originally scheduled from 7:00-8:30 this dynamic event did not wrap up until after 9:30pm as the question and answer period was extended and the “Hidden in Plain Sight” exhibit drew a large group at the end of the night.

Many thanks go out to the Maynard Police Department for their role in facilitating this evening including Chief Dubois, Alia Toran-Burrell and the several officers who attended, the generous support of the Maynard School Department and Dr. Gerardi, Mark Minasian and the students of WAVM for their technical support, NHS student volunteers for their generous help, and finally Jim Wahlberg for his generosity of time and effort with our students in the morning and adult community members at night.


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.

MMA January Updates

Like us on Facebook:  Maynard Music Association

Meeting Minutes:

Minutes from our November and December meetings have been posted on our website:  Please click the links below for quick assess to the minutes or visit our website.

Upcoming Events:  

January 28th Junior Districts Auditions

January 28th Miss Gately's Jazz Band to perform at Serendipity at 7:30 pm

February 3rd Pops Night Fowler Auditorium, 7:30:  Volunteers Needed

April 2nd (Sunday)  Jazz Cafe featured by Miss Gately's Jazz and Mr. Kozik's Fowler Stage Band @MHS - Time TBD.

Pops Night on Friday 2/3 @ 7pm @ Fowler Auditorium:

Students have already signed up as performers for this event. We will be asking for student volunteers to help out/earn service points if they have not already via the band room. BUT parent Volunteers are needed to supervise set-up and food table and clean-up at our Annual Pops Night.

Contact Bonnie: Subject: Pops night volunteers

Banquet Volunteers Needed ASAP:   

MMA is in dire need of 8th through 11th grade music parents to plan this years music banquet set for late May.  Coordinators for the following areas are needed: Food: dinner/desserts/beverages, Decorations, Senior Video, Coordination of wills/memories. Planning for this event typically begins in January for Memorial Day annual banquet!

Please contact MMA at Subject: Banquet help

Volunteers for sub-committees:  

Volunteers are needed to work on the following sub-committees:  Enrichment Committee, Survey Committee. 

Please contact Bonnie -

Next MMA meeting:  Wednesday February 1st, Joint Business 7:30, High School Business 8:15 in the Fowler Library.

Bonnie Wilson, Chair HS; Interim Chair, Fowler

Stephanie Gavin, Treasurer Fowler & HS

Annemarie Caloggero, Secretary HS

Like us on Facebook:  Maynard Music Association

Further 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 this evening and be in the building by 6:45pm or so to support our singers and have an enjoyable 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.

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