April showers bring. . . new tickets?

by beth on April 1, 2015

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Above: Starting next week – no matter how sunny it is, be sure to turn on your headlights when you switch on your wipers. (Photo posted to Flickr by basheertome)

Southborough Police issued a warning on Facebook this week. It’s a reminder to obey a new state law that goes into effect on April 7th.

I missed the news when the law was passed. But a quick check reassures this is no April Fools Day joke.

Effective this coming Tuesday, drivers must turn on headlights when using their windshield wipers.

(I already have trouble getting my husband to turn on his wipers when it drizzles. Here’s one more reason for him to dig his heels in!)

The bill was signed by former Governor Deval Patrick in January. The amendment requires:

headlights and taillights shall be turned on by the vehicle operator at all other times when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, visibility is reduced such that persons or vehicles on the roadway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet or when the vehicle’s windshield wipers are needed

Remembering the new rule could be a challenge for those of us who have come to rely on our cars’ light sensors to activate headlights.

(Does hoping against sunshowers make me anti-rainbows?)

You can take a look at the full adopted bill language here. (Interestingly, there’s a section regulating the lighting of hayrides. Turns out, that’s a carryover from the earlier law being amended.)

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Here is the latest round of videos from local media and the schools.

Algonquin students created the first video below as part of a school project and academic competition. You can read more about their project and accomplishments in the Community Advocate.

To fit these in, I made the windows small. But you can click on the full screen icon [ ] in bottom right corner to expand.

Showcasing Algonquin

As part of their DECA competition, students created this video. Now posted to YouTube with caption: “Algonquin Regional High School, A little something to show one of the best schools in Massachusetts,”

posted to You Tube by We Are Algonquin

Lyme disease presentation at the Southborough Library

Speaker Sandra Bonz shared her knowledge on problems surrounding illness, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

posted to You Tube by Southborough Access Media [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for NSPAC events: Special coffee this morning; Law update on April 15

Northborough/Southborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council is holding two programs this month to help parents and guardians of special education students.

Today’s monthly coffee will feature a guest speaker to help you get organized. Later this month, an update on changes to special education laws, will help you understand your rights.

Both events take place at the Northborough Library, 34 Main Street. (Parking is available in the lot off of Patty Lane.) Click flyers to enlarge:

20150401_nspac_flyer_coffee and connect All Dates_lg“Coffee and Connect”
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Special Topic this month: The Special Organizer (Jennifer Bolduc) will engage us in a discussion about how organized files can change your special education life.

She will join us as an informal speaker with hand out materials, and topic discussion.

[Sorry for the beyond short notice! My system played an April Fools Day joke and didn't post the already last minute story earlier this morning. At least this was in Monday's list of events for the week.]

A Discussion of Special Education Law Updates
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Adventure Day Camp: Summer fun for boys and girls entering 2nd-5th grades

Above: Camp Resolute’s Cub Scout camp has been expanded to include girls this summer. That’s good timing, since Ashland and Bolton Girl Scout camps are closed to “rest”. (Images: left from camp video; right contributed)

adventure_day_camp_logo

[The following information was provided by My Southborough sponsor Adventure Day Camp.]

Are you looking for a summer day camp that provides one solution for your family? One that practices the core values of developing character, citizenship, and fitness? The Adventure Day Camp (ADC) at Camp Resolute in Bolton has what you need for your sons and daughters who are entering 2nd through 5th grade in the fall of 2015. Set on Little Pond, the ADC has been providing quality day camp for over 45 years. Owned and operated by the Knox Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America, ADC provides six, 1 week programs in July and August. Sign up for one or sign up for all, your choice. Each week has a different theme and special entertainment.

[click to keep reading…]

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School musicians month: Honors and photos

by beth on March 31, 2015

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Above: Jazz night at ARHS was just the kickoff of an impressive month by district musicians and singers (Photo from NSMA Facebook page)

At the start of the month, I posted about the flurry of musical activity for the schools in March.

Now it’s time to take a look back at how they did. The answer lies in their new heap of medals and invitations.

The month kicked off with the district’s Jazz Night featuring special guest Jerry Secco. Algonquin’s jazz groups and the middle school jazz bands performed for the crowd.

You can click on thumbnails below to enlarge photos from the night. For more pics, visit NSMA’s Facebook page.

The evening’s performances were good practice for MAJE division competitions.

ARHS Jazz Bands excelled. Peformers were heaped with honors, including a division MVP:

  • Connor Jenks, alto sax was selected by the panel of judges as the overall Division I MAJE MVP
  • Jazz I received a Gold medal
  • Jazz II received a Silver medal
  • Both bands will compete in the State Finals
  • Jazz I named their MVPs as Gretchen Forbush, piano, Eric Coughlin, trombone and Connor Jenks, alto sax
  • Jazz II named their MVPs as Ian Kosovsky, guitar, Trent Jones, drums and Arthreya Ramesh, bari sax

More recently, non-jazz music and singing groups snagged honors at The Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association festival:

Here are the impressive results from this weekend’s festival.(Click on thumbnails to enlarge. For more pics, visit NSMA’s Facebook page.)

[click to keep reading…]

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Earlier this month, I posted a story about a proposed pilot at Algonquin. If approved, the high school would start the day with a transitional time. Since then, the organizers of a movement to start school later have been inundated with questions.

Algonquin School Start Time organizer Mary Hamaker tells me that many parents have misperceptions about what has been happening. She asked me to help clear those up.

At the March Regional School Committee meeting, Superintendent Christine Johnson floated a proposal to help students ease into the day. The schedule would begin with a Flexible Learning Block. The bus schedule would remain the same.

That proposal came out of the district’s study group. It was not proposed by the Algonquin School Start Time or Start School Later movements.

Below is ASST’s timeline for how their efforts to shift the schools schedule started and where it stands.

It includes information about the reasons for the movement and links to FAQs and supporting data. It also includes some of their concerns about the proposed pilot:

Later School Start Time for Algonquin: How Did We Get to this Point?

The issue whether to move school start times in the Northborough/Southborough Regional School District has touched off lots of discussion, particularly since the Superintendent proposed a pilot “Flexible Learning Block” at the March 18, 2015 Regional School Committee Meeting. There is misinformation about what has happened to date, however. This article provides a chronology of events regarding the efforts to move start time later in this school district.

  • December 2013 APTO Meeting: The APTO authorized research into the effects of start time on adolescent health with a request that a report be provided at the February 2014 meeting.
  • January 2014: A website was established to communicate information to the community: algonquinstarttime.weebly.com
  • February 2014 APTO Meeting: A presentation was made regarding the scientific understanding of adolescent sleep patterns and shift to later release of melatonin,the effects of sleep deprivation on teens, the role that early school start time plays in contributing to sleep deprivation, and the schools in MA that have already moved start time later to address this problem. Based on this evidence, the APTO authorized creation of the APTO Start Time Study Group. The presentation to the APTO was posted on the Algonquin Start Time website.
  • February – April 2014: APTO Start Time Study Group gathered information from stakeholders, including the Algonquin athletic director (and athletic directors at schools that already moved start time later), the bus company providing transportation services to the school district, and the Northborough/Southborough community (including parents, teachers, administrators and students) via an online survey. The link to the community survey was publicized via all of the school district PTO organizations in both towns. The results of the community survey were posted on the Algonquin Start Time website and shared with Principal Mead. There were 332 respondents to the survey with the response rate by town approximately equal. Eighty-two percent of respondents indicated that they want Algonquin start time pushed later. Meanwhile, HOSA conducted a sleep survey with the help of the Algonquin Statistics Department that included approximately 50% of the Algonquin student body. The results are posted on the Algonquin Start Time website. The study showed that only 16% of Algonquin students get 8 or more hours of sleep per night (recommended sleep for adolescents is 8 to 10 hours per night), that 53% use stimulant beverages to stay awake in class “often” or “very often”, and that 46% of students who drive are driving drowsy “often” or “very often”. Drowsy driving teens have a high accident rate. [click to keep reading…]

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Prepare for babysitting: American Red Cross course on Good Friday

March 31, 2015 09:30:00 AM
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Southborough Recreation Department is offering an American Red Cross Babysitting course this Friday.

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Southborough Montessori school invites parents to open houses – April 3 & April 30

March 31, 2015 07:30:00 AM
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[The following information is provided by My Southborough sponsor Montessori Children's House.] If you’re thinking about preschool options for next year and want to learn more about a Montessori approach, consider attending an open house at Southborough’s Montessori Children’s House. There’s one this Friday and another at the end of April.

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The week in government: Vote on cow pastures, Demolition Delay amendment, and station tours

March 30, 2015 04:20:15 PM
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A list of board and committee meetings for the week.

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Events this week: Easter celebrations, a cappella, and butterflies, legos, and music at the library,

March 30, 2015 02:30:33 PM
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Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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SWL: AG’s office determined BOS broke Open Meeting Law

March 30, 2015 11:58:30 AM
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Selectmen attempted to reverse an Open Meeting Law violation this winter. Southborough Wicked Local reports that the Attorney General’s office determined their actions weren’t sufficient.

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SOLF wildlife survey volunteer training – April 4

March 30, 2015 09:30:09 AM
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SOLF is holding a training program for volunteers helping them continue their survey of reptiles and amphibians at the Beals Preserve.

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This week in sports (3/30-4/3/15)

March 30, 2015 07:30:14 AM
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Here’s what’s on tap this week in high school sports.

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Town Warrant: Limiting political signs, revamping employee pay grades, restoring tennis courts and much more

March 27, 2015 05:09:59 PM
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I’ve summarized the articles, focusing on what I consider “new business” voters will need to decide.

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