Principal's Messages

February 18, 2022

Subject: ABRHS Community Letter - February 18, 2022 

Dear ABRHS Community, 

I know that everyone is looking forward to February Break! I hope that every student and staff member has a chance to relax, take some time for themselves, and enjoy the week away from school. 

I would like to share the following information and updates before we head into the break: 

ABRHS Parents of Color Advisory Group 

The next meeting of the ABRHS Parents of Color Advisory Group will take place on Wednesday, March 2, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. You may join in person in Room 115N or via zoom. Both Assistant Superintendent Marie Altieri and I will be there. If you are interested in learning more about the group please contact Lindsay Rosenman [email protected] or Evelyn Abayaah-Issah at [email protected]

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work 

This week, our Equity Coach, Dr. Michele Shannon of the Leadership Academy, met with two student groups: A World of Difference and the Black Student Union. Dr. Michele listened to students speak about their opinions about recent hate and bias incidents and also heard their ideas about how we can move forward as a school. Our students reminded us of all of the work in front of us, and I was inspired by their honest feedback. 

Masks Update 

Please read Superintendent Light’s message about masks that he sent to the community yesterday. Students will also remember that in our advisory yesterday I explained the possibility that our school will be mask optional when we return from February Break. We will wait for the Acton Board of Health meeting next week. If they decide to lift the mask mandate, then we will be mask optional, and we will update you regarding this information over break. 

We want to make it clear that if we are mask optional, it will be every student and staff member’s decision to determine whether they wear a mask or not. We will be supportive of each individual’s choice, and it will not be acceptable to encourage students not to wear masks. We may not know an individual person’s or family’s medical or personal situation. Yet, it is expected that everyone is supportive and inclusive of all decisions around masks. 

AB Guest Technology Update

We are excited to announce that the Educational Technology Department (EDTech) has completed part of the wireless upgrade at the high school and is ready to test its performance. As part of a network stress test, EDTech will be testing the guest network by turning on the AB-Guest SSID over February Break, and this will allow students to utilize the guest network upon their return to school. As has always been the case, the guest network allows for personal devices to have access to basic internet resources. 

While students will be able to utilize the guest network on personal devices, we ask that all district-issued devices (i.e. student Chromebooks) stay connected to AB-Secure. This will allow these devices to perform better and, therefore, students should be sure to keep their Chromebooks connected to AB-Secure. In the event, a district-issued device loses connection to the AB-Secure network, we request that students visit the Student Help Desk to have this issue resolved as opposed to trying to connect to AB-Guest. This may cause further issues and require us to turn AB-Guest off again. 

Test Kits 

We distributed COVID test kits to students whose families requested them yesterday in advisory. We ask that all students and staff who opted into this program test every Thursday after school. f you would like to sign your student up for the COVID test kit program, please look for an email that was sent from the district on January 24. This email was personalized based on previous test consent information that you provided to us, so we can not send or post a general link. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Upcoming Dates 

Monday, February 21 through Friday, February 25 – Winter Recess, No School Monday, March 7 – Early Release Day for Students at 1:15 pm 

Tuesday, March 8 - YRBS Survey in Advisory 

Wednesday, March 9 – Career Speakers Event 

Please enjoy some pictures from this week below, and have a very enjoyable break! 

Sincerely, 

Joanie Dean 

High School Principal


February 11, 2022
Subject: ABRHS Community Letter - February 11, 2022

Dear ABRHS Community,

This week I had the opportunity to meet with several groups that included many high school students. These meetings included the Principal's Advisory, the Mascot Committee, my Advisory class, School Council, and the Student Speakers Group. 

Whenever I get the chance to meet with students or groups of students, without fail, I feel energized and encouraged about their hope, insight, and their potential to make our world a better place. 

During my discussions this week, I asked students their thoughts on a range of topics such as second semester, classroom engagement, advisory, inclusive practices, and the schedule. Here is some of what I’ve heard:

-I like how my teachers present the classroom material in several different ways and give options for the types of assignments we can complete.


-Increasingly, I notice that my classes incorporate diverse perspectives into the curriculum.


-It has been challenging to get to know students in my advisory this year because we’ve only had them about once a month.


-I like the rotating schedule, the “drop” of a class each day, and the longer class times (especially for assessments).


-Sometimes there isn’t enough time to meet with teachers or schedule meetings.


-Some class times are a little too long, and I lose focus after about 45 minutes.


-Students have a lot of work to do right now, and it can be stressful to get it all done without sacrificing sleep.


-We want to elevate the voices of individual student experiences by sharing them with the entire student body.


Over the next two months, I will be asking students to join with staff in making recommendations for next year’s advisory classes and the schedule. A survey will be sent to all families so they can share their thoughts as well.

Earlier this morning, I had an optional Parent/Caretaker Zoom Meeting, and I thank all those who joined to share their thoughts with me. There will be one more of these optional meetings next Wednesday, February 16, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. Please use this Zoom link to join. I will ask you to share your thoughts about AB’s strengths and future opportunities. Also, feel free to reach out to me at any time. 

Finally, if you would like to sign your child up for the COVID test kit program, please look for an email that was sent to you from the district on January 24. This email was personalized to you based on previous test consent information you provided to us, so we can not send or post a general link. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have an enjoyable weekend,

Joanie Dean

High School Principal








Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year!

Dear ABRHS Students and Families,


The 2021-2022 school year is upon us and, without doubt, it will be another unique year. Given what we’ve collectively been through since the onset of COVID-19, together we all hope to make this year a healthy, calm, and slightly more normal school experience.


Since the pandemic began, students, parents, and staff experienced a completely different way of life. Zoom classes, mask-wearing, distancing, and so much more became the norm. Coming out of the past year with significant amounts of isolation and screen time, everyone’s mental health deserves considerable attention. At the high school, we are committed to providing the support needed to our students so they feel comfortable back at school this fall. In classes, class meetings, and advisory, we will focus on student well-being, and we will offer additional avenues of support when needed. 


While we certainly anticipate a more normal year, the nature of the virus and the subsequent guidance are continually evolving. Our first priority will continue to be the health and safety of our students and staff, and we promise to keep you informed often and in a timely manner. That being said, it is difficult for everyone to manage some of the uncertainties coping with a pandemic entails. Our support services are always available, and we encourage anyone experiencing difficulties to reach out to their counselor.


In conclusion, it is important to note that I feel very fortunate to have joined such an encouraging and welcoming community. In my first few months here, I have seen firsthand the excellent, supportive, and caring environment that defines AB. I am looking forward to getting to know many more students, staff members, and families over the course of this school year. Once again, it promises to be a year unlike any other we’ve experienced, and I am looking forward to embarking on this journey with all of you. 


Sincerely,

Joanie Dean
Principal
 
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