Category Archives: Carol’s Corner

Follow me on Twitter

LloJust wanted to let you know you can follow me on  Twitter  @carolcjacobs . I post regularly there as well as on this blog which automatically connects to District’s Facebook page.  The goal is to communicate with all of you as regularly as possible and I welcome additional ideas should you have any.

Prom 2018 A Beautiful Affair

Last Friday night, close to 220 junior and seniors attended the 2018 prom at the beautiful Ipswich Country Club in Ipswich after the Grand March at GMHS. This is a tradition that I love but have never seen in other districts before coming to Georgetown. I love the way the community comes together in large numbers to see the students all donned in their beautiful dresses and handsome formal wear walking through the archway to the delight of the crowd who was taking pictures like the paparazzi. Again this year, I want to thank Georgetown’s personal photographer  Scott Jones who was taking professional photos for the students as the stood under the arch smiling and looking beautiful. This is always a labor of love for Scott and he does this every year as only one of the ways he supports our schools and gives back to the community. Thanks to Scott!

The Ipswich Country Club was a beautiful venue with a nice deck that students could enjoy and after dark there was a fire pit to keep them warm. The DJ was amazing and as I said in my twitter post that you can tell that a DJ is good when the students stay until 10:00 dancing and enjoy each other’s company and don’t just leave right after the crowning of the queen and king and the court. I would like to congratulate  Kate Irons  (Queen) and Joseph MacDonald ( King) Kyle Chorzewski ( Prince ) and Lyla Krol (Princess) on being selected by their peers for these special titles!

This is a close knit class and everyone seemed to have a good time together. Mr. Lucia said this was his 23th straight and final prom and he was very proud of the students for the respect they showed to their peers and the chaperones. They represented GMHS with class and dignity and I was proud to be in their presence and enjoy this experience with them on such an important night in their lives!

Oh to be young again… but since that is not going to happen, it was so much fun for me to see the world through their eyes for that one night. Having the chance to experience their youthful exuberance and happiness at just sharing time with their friends warmed my heart!

Prom 2018 is in the books! Now onto the senior banquet at the China Blossom and graduation on June 2nd. Did I say how much I enjoy the senior activities?  Best time of the year!

Statement at the Middle High School

Mock Crash- A Sobering Scene at Prom Time

Wow! thanks to the Georgetown Police and Fire Departments for staging a mock crash in the lower parking lot at the Middle High School recently. Juniors and seniors were released from class to see what would actually occur if this happened in real life . The scene was set with two crashed cars provided by Harold Trombly and Trombly Brothers Towing Company  in the parking lot with members of our senior class reacting to the crash along. Two students appeared to be badly hurt  (one fatally).  Students and staff watched somberly as the Police and Fire Departments arrived on the scene to triage the victims and deal with the students who witnessed and survived the crash. The medical examiner arrived at the scene and pronounced the student dead and the body was taken away in a hearse which would not happen in real life but definitely made the point.  The students watched in silence and clearly many of them were moved even though it was not real.  As the trucks ( fire engine, multiple police cars, ambulances) pulled away, the students filed into the auditorium where the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Principal Lucia Assistant Principal Guy Prescott and the SROs, conducted a question and answer session with the students. Statistics about texting and driving were shared and it was reported that crashes due to texting  have doubled in the last couple of years.

This mock crash was staged as students prepare to celebrate the end of the year activities which are all fun and exciting for them. We sincerely want them to make special memories , especially our seniors, but we want them to be safe.  I am usually not a fan of ” scared straight” activities but in this case the intention was to provide students with real information about what does happen in a situation like this and to help them stop and think about their choices with this image in mind. Many of the students continued talking about it throughout the day and indicated that it really made them think. That was the goal!

I want to especially thank the Police and Fire Departments from Georgetown and Newbury and their staff beginning with the Chiefs who were very involved in the planning and execution of this entire event including being on site at this event. A big thank you to Trombly Towing for providing the cars and Conte Funeral Home for bringing the hearse. A huge thank you to teacher Kerry Lee and our student actors and actresses Carmine Palmisano, Christine Palmisano, Maryrose Hahan,Kristina Legborg, Katie Lowell and Ethan Block who provided such a realistic portrayal of an actual crash. They were all amazing and seeing Maryrose Hahn transported away in a hearse was very unsettling for all of us. Great job to all involved! We could not have done any of this with out the help and participation from all of these companies, departments and students!

Here is to a safe and memorable Prom and enjoyable end of the year for everyone! As Mr. Lucia always says, It is about making  choices and you have the power to make the right choice.” I agree with him and have faith that ,with all of our support, our students will be safe and make the right choice to keep them safe while having fun.

 

 

 

 

Communication is Key!

One of the important topics that the School Safety Task Force is discussing has to do with ensuring that our data base includes the most updated contact information.  One of the things we heard at the community safety forum is that not everyone received the message that was sent out about the Penn Brook threat. As we went back and tried to figure out what happened, it appears that we might not have had all of the following information for every child.

  • All parents’ names and phone numbers ( including home, work and cell)
  • All parents’ e-mail addresses that would receive a message in case of an emergency.

If you have not been receiving messages, please contact the secretary at your child’s school and she can check to ensure that you have all of the necessary contact information on file.

We use an automated feature in our Student Information Management System( Rediker/ Administrator’s Plus) called AP Notifyer. We began using this system because of its direct connection to our main data base and it doesn’t require parents to sign up nor does it require us to maintain multiple data bases.  It goes without saying however,  that the system will not send messages to anyone who is not in the database. When we checked recently, we did find some families where only one parent received the message but only one parent’s e-mail was in the database. We want to be sure this does not happen so please be sure your file is up to date.

I do want to share how this notification system works so you know what to expect.

1. There are two kinds of messages we can send out. One is an emergency message which we sent out to EVERY number that we have on file . It goes out to all contacts within a matter of minutes ( example is a snow day). The other is a community outreach message which gets sent out to the primary contact only (example reminder about open house).

2. The messages can be sent out by text, e-mail and automated phone message.  It is up to  the sender which feature/s is  selected. In cases of emergency, all of these features are scheduled and sent out at the same time to all numbers we have in the data base.

3. Informational messages that do not require immediate attention are sent out in the early evening to avoid panic when a message is received during the work and school day. If you receive a message during these times, it is a message that you want to pay attention to since it is information you might need to know.

4. I understand that some families prefer not to receive information about school events via this system and would like to opt out. We discourage you from doing this because opting out will prevent you from receiving emergency message as well.  We are aware of this concern and the Principals will try to keep posting all events to a minimum since both schools have daily or weekly communications with parents. There is one exception and that is the messages that are sent out to Penn Brook the families by 6th grade students as part of an initiative that was started by the Student Council.  They thought they could give back to the school by increasing communication and they came up with these messages as a way to do so. I applaud them for trying to be part of the communication solution.

5. We are in the process of developing a threat assessment protocol that identifies  the level of a threat and the notification process. When completed, this will be distributed to all families, posted on the websites and used in in communicating threats to families.  This will begin in the fall.

I hope this post helps to clarify the process we use to communicate with parents but it starts with an accurate data base. No need to worry if you have been receiving the messages but, if not, please contact the school office so we can update or add to the information we have on file.

 

Students Giving Back!

I am always impressed with the way many of  our students embrace community service ! Just one of the examples is the group of students who have been working with interested senior citizens  at our senior center teaching them to use their cellphones and other devices . I had the pleasure to drop by and see this in action and it was heartwarming to see the interaction between different generations working together . Seeing the students “teach” skills that are second nature to them to the interested “students” to which the content was foreign, was just magical.

I am SO proud of every one of these students for sharing their expertise and devoting their time to help these seniors learn new technology skills for life. What a wonderful way to give back to the community that has been so good to them!