Monday, November 4, 2019

Adjustments to EEE Protocol for HS Athletics


As the HHS Fall season enters the playoff phase, we are pleased to have several of our varsity teams advancing to the playoffs with several teams being high-seeds in their respective brackets – high enough where HHS will be hosting at least three home playoff games during the first full week of November. In addition, because Daylight Savings Time ended on Sunday, November 3rd, sundown will be an hour earlier, requiring us to consider adjustments to our EEE protocol to allow for adequate time for our teams to practice and also host local tournament games. The Holliston Health Department has notified me that weekend lows reached levels that satisfy the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s advisory that “when temperatures between 27-29 degrees Fahrenheit have occurred over wide geographic areas, risk from mosquito-borne disease is considered to have ended inside that area.” However, because Holliston’s EEE level is officially set by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and they have not updated community risk levels since October 28th, Holliston is still designated to be in the Critical risk zone. Until such time as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health officially lowers Holliston’s risk level, we will be implementing an adjusted EEE protocol. These adjustments have been reviewed and approved by the Holliston Board of Health.

Effective, Monday, November 4, 2019, we are lifting the prohibition of all HHS outdoor athletic activities after sundown. Teams may practice under the lights at Kamitian Field and playoff games will be scheduled, where necessary, without regard to the time of sunset.

Because the EEE threat level is still officially high, we are making the following adjustments to our safety protocols:

  1. Student-athletes who will be outside after sunset will be expected to apply spray mosquito-repellent prior to the beginning of the practice or game. This expectation will be enforced by team coaches, our Athletic Trainer and the Athletic Director.
  2. Spectators are STRONGLY encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. In addition, spray mosquito-repellent will be available, free-of-charge, at our ticket booths located at the entrance to Kamitian Field to all spectators who wish to apply it at any time during the game. This information will be announced to spectators at least twice during each game that is held at Kamitian Field.
This revised protocol will remain in place until the Massachusetts Department of Public Health informs the Town of Holliston that our EEE risk level has been lowered to normal.

HPS’ Triennial State Review Scheduled for Week of December 9th



During the week of December 9, 2019, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Holliston Public Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview a member of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations. Parents and other individuals may call Michelle Hennessy-Kowalchek, Public School
Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338-3704 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the Superintendent with a report with information about areas in which the district meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the district requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at www.doe.mass.edu/pqa/review/cpr/reports/.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Student Feature Friday: Ryan Taylor




This week’s Student Feature Friday is senior Ryan Taylor, who is passionate about Robotics, Music, and the Vermont Adaptive Ski program. Giving back to others and mentoring younger students is what unites all three passions. Ryan is an active participant in band, playing Alto Saxophone, an instrument that his older brother introduced him to when he was a student in Holliston. Ryan is taking on the role of Vice-President Student Conductor this year and sees it as an opportunity to display his talents while supporting others in the band. In addition to HHS, he plays in the Blackstone Valley Community Concert band and the Lions All-State band.

When Ryan isn’t playing music he is heavily engaged in Robotics. As a Captain of the Robotics Team this year, he will be responsible for planning, scheduling and building a competition-ready robot with his team. The build season is intense and once they receive the parts to build the frame/chassis,  the team spends nights and weekends over a 6-week period to pull it all together. The team must follow strict guidelines with restrictions on the timeline, size, weight and even locations where they are approved to purchase additional parts for their design. This 6-week race to the finish leads them to competition and the excitement of seeing all their hard work come to fruition. Although Ryan will be graduating this year and pursuing engineering in the future, he hopes to come back and mentor a Robotics team one day and I have no doubt that he will make a significant difference to future generations. To learn more about Ryan visit the Student Feature Friday section of the Principal's Blog.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Student Feature Friday: Nico Doyle



This week’s Student Feature Friday is Nico Doyle, a fantastic senior who is involved in many facets of HHS. Not only is he an integral part of the morning Jam Band at HHS, but he is using his musical talent to bring joy to others. When we sat down to chat about his interests, I asked him why he was involved in music and part of the band. He responded, “ Watching other people do what they love is contagious.” This humble attitude to supporting others and respecting the unique talents that each individual contributes to the world is a direct reflection of the character that Nico exhibits on a daily basis.

Nico is the type of person who is curious about life, seeks solutions for problems to improve the environment for all and isn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone. He is a founding member of the Rowdy Repair Shop, a student-led (with the assistance of Mr. Calais) group who honed their skills in construction technology and are now fixing broken or rundown furniture for teachers throughout the building. After presenting this group to the entire Faculty, he is hard at work fielding requests. Nico stated that, “There is no reward better than doing something for someone else and seeing that smile.” Although helping others provides a sense of reward, it is his love of rock climbing, hiking and guitar that keeps him motivated and happy on a daily basis. His future goals include finding a career that can combine these three passions while continuing to help others and I have no doubt that he will have a big impact on his community. To learn more about Nico visit the Student Feature Friday section of the Principal's Blog.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Winter Sports Registration



Registration for 2019-2020 Winter Sports is now open!

Registration for HHS sports has three required pieces:
  1. Filling out the registration form at http://hhsathletics.holliston.k12.ma.us/registration
  2. Submitting an up-to date physical exam (requirements)
  3. Paying the athletics fee. You may pay on the Town of Holliston website or by check dropped off at/or mailed to HHS Main Office Checks must be made out to "Town of Holliston- Athletics" for $225.00.
The due date for all forms, physical exams, and payment is November 22, 2019.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

HMAPA Kicks Off Citrus Fundraiser



It’s fresh citrus time! The Holliston Music and Arts Parents Association (HMAPA) is kicking off its annual Fall Citrus Fundraiser on October 15th with orders due by November 4th. Brochures will be distributed to all high school and middle school band, chorus, theatre, and art club students and Miller band students beginning on Tuesday, 10/15, so parents, please ask your art student about the sale! This year’s fruit selection includes navel oranges, juicing oranges, pink grapefruit, mandarin oranges, and Washington apples, plus mixed cartons.

If you don’t know a selling student, or if you prefer, you may order online by going to http://www.floridaindianrivergroves.com/ and using Organization ID #155966. All orders will be delivered to the Holliston High School Cafeteria. Online customers must pick up their order from the HHS Cafeteria on the delivery date. Don’t eat fruit? You can also donate fruit to the food pantry and have it delivered by us - see the fundraiser instruction sheet or, if ordering online choose “donate item.”

The fruit will be delivered by truck directly to the Holliston High School cafeteria on an evening between Tuesday, 12/3 and Thursday, 12/5. We will notify all sellers and online customers when we have a definite date from shipper - about one week in advance.

If you have any questions about this fundraiser, please contact Alison Quinan at quinans@yahoo.com or (508) 429-2347.

Thank you for supporting the fine and performing arts in our schools by supporting HMAPA!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

School Start Times Public Forum


The Holliston School Committee voted to hold a public forum on the new school start times for the 2020-21 academic year. The forum will be held Thursday, October 10, 2019, in the Holliston High School auditorium, at 7:00 p.m. It is open to the public.

Judith Owens, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, will present on the science of pediatric sleep. There will be a Q+A so that members of the public may ask questions of Dr. Owens, the School Committee, and Dr. Brad Jackson, superintendent of schools.
For more information on the issue of School Start Times in Holliston, please review the information on the School Start Times website.

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