Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dr. Tanner Gets A Kidney and New Lease On Life

About a year ago I let members of our school community know that former Penn Brook  Principal Dr. Donna Tanner was suffering from kidney disease and was seeking a living donor match to save her life and avoid dialysis as a last resort. Well I am so happy to share the news that Dr. Tanner found a match and received her new kidney on February 1, 2019! She recently posted the following announcement on her Facebook page and I thought you may enjoy reading the heartwarming story of how she found her donor. You just never know and we can not be more thrilled for Donna that she has a successful end to her search. Now she can concentrate on getting back to doing the things she loves with a new lease on life!

On her Facebook page, Donna wrote: “I have wonderful news to share – last week I was given the most precious gift of life from a very special friend and Lincoln Sudbury Teacher. I received a live kidney donation from a friend from many many years ago. I actually had the pleasure of coaching Kathleen when she was the captain of the college basketball team that I coached. After college, she entered the teaching profession. It was our mutual love for teaching, coaching and doing a job that makes you happy every day that kept us in close contact over the years.

When she told me she wanted to be tested and donate a kidney I was blown away. Kathleen is a Mathematics Teacher at Lincoln Sudbury who has impacted so many lives. Over the years we remained connected through our love of teaching, golf, and bucket list travel vacations. Just last year we won a two day North Conway Country Club Invitational team golf tournament together. Maybe it was a sign…

When Kathleen heard the news about my challenges she never hesitated… and if you know “K.T.” that is just who she is. She is one of the most giving, courageous and generous individuals I know. Words cannot express my gratitude for the precious gift she has given me.

K.T. saved my life! We are both home recuperating now. Every morning I am reminded of the true blessing I have been given thanks to my living donor. She unselfishly gave me the gift of life.

I wanted to share the news with all the people who supported me through this difficult and challenging experience with positive thoughts, ongoing conversations, trips to the doctor and touching encouragement along the way. It meant a lot and helped me along my journey.

Words have been hard to find but I do believe that when you are lucky as I am to have a beautiful friend like K.T. you work extra hard to live up to her example. A special thank you to the staff at Lincoln Sudbury High School who have supported K.T. through this process and Thank you K.T. ! I will be forever inspired by your sacrifice. ”

Image may contain: 2 people, including Donna Tanner, people smiling, indoor
Image may contain: 2 people, including Donna Tanner, people smiling

Congratulations Hunter Lane On 1000 Points!

[Tonight senior basketball player Hunter Lane joined an elite group of athletes who have scored 1000 points in their high school career in Georgetown. This is only the 7th time in the school’s history that this feat  has been accomplished and Hunter’s name will proudly be added to the banner that hangs in the gym for all to see now and in the future.  I think the most remarkable thing about Hunter is that he is not only a talented basketball player but he is one of the most hard-working, team oriented and humble players on the team. He is a role model for commitment to the sport, dedication to teamwork, unselfish play and sportsmanship. As a result, he has earned the respect of the coaches, players, parents  and anyone else who has had the privilege of watching him play. I thought it was interesting but not surprising that as Hunter was approaching achieving this milestone, his play did not change. He did not change his game and continued to be the player who is focused on the success of his team first  and not on himself. We all knew Hunter would achieve this goal at some point in the season but he did it in the same humble and unselfish way he has played throughout his successful high school career and he is not done yet. Hunter and his team have three games remaining and I am sure he will add to his total point count before his name is proudly displayed on that prestigious banner in the gym.  I want to personally congratulate Hunter and his family on achieving this milestone. It is clearly reserved for special players who make Georgetown proud and Hunter Lane deserves to be recognized in this elite group of seven 1000 point scorers. He is a fun player to watch and a fine young man and I know he will be successful in whatever he decides to do in his life beyond high school.  Way to go Hunter! We are so very proud of you!

Our Vaping Detection Program is in the News

Today has been a very busy day in the district with inquiries from the press about the vaping devices we have purchased and installed in some of the bathrooms at the Middle High School.  Apparently there was a story on the news this morning that Georgetown is the first district in the state to install these vape detectors and they wanted to know about why we were doing it and what have we found in terms of their . You may hear from your MHS student  that the press was at the school and I want to let you know the reason. Principal Richards and I met with reporters from two local stations  and I expect there will be coverage on the local news tonight.  We implemented the detectors when we learned of their use in another state. As we told them, vaping among middle and high school students is on the rise nationally and all schools are having some challenges with it , especially since the devices are more available on-line, entice students with flavors and are easily concealed due to their style and size. In the last year or so, we have become aware of vaping particularly in the bathroom and ,as part of our commitment to ensuring the health and wellness of our students, we decided to look into these devices made by Fly Sense which detect vapor and loud noise and send an alert to the administration mostly as a deterrent.  Obviously, if students are caught vaping in the bathroom, there are consequences outlined in the student handbook but we know that these devices will not always result in catching students in the act. We think the value is for those students who might consider vaping but are concerned about the risk of being caught as this acts as a deterrent and keeps the bathrooms safer and healthier for all students.  We all know that students do not always do what is best for them and they have developing brains that do not always help them avoid engaging in risky behavior however our goal is to use education to get in front of the issue for students. One of the things I am most proud about is the start of a vaping diversion program for students who have been caught multiple times and may have an addiction to the liquid nicotine that is in the vaping device.  With this program, students can have their consequences downgraded if they agree to go through this educational program that includes learning about the dangers, meeting with key health,wellness and counselling staff and making a plan to assume a healthier lifestyle. In our experience, punishment does not always change behavior, especially if it involves addiction, so we have a tiered approach to helping our students that we believe will work. We explained this to the press and feel that they left having a better understanding of why we are implementing this program that we are not doing this because we want to catch students vaping and punish them. It is because we care about their health and well-being and want to provide a clean, safe and drug free school environment.  I want to be sure to thank the Georgetown Cares Coalition Committee for appropriating the funds to purchase these vape detectors using funds from the Healthy Phams medical marijuana facility in town.  I understand that there will be press coverage on the television tonight at 6:00 PM.

Special Education Department Wants Your Help

Recently, the district contracted with an outside consulting firm Walker Partnerships to conduct a comprehensive audit of our special education programs. We are a mission driven organization which means we try our best to operate our programs and services based on data, information and student needs and in a way that is consistent with our collective vision and mission for excellence in our schools. As a matter of practice, we periodically bring in an outside organization like Walker to conduct interviews with parents, teachers and students, visit classrooms  and programs and review policies and procedures. The information gleened from this review will let us know how consistent we are with the federal law, the degree to which our programs meet high quality standards, whether our programs meet the needs  of our students and the  level of satisfaction that our parents have about our programs.
During their recent visit to the district, the consultant from Walker Partnerships met with a small group of parents at the end of the school day. Our Director of Student Services Jack Tiano requested a time for parents to to meet with the consultant  beyond the school day but that did not work into the  contracted hours. While we appreciate the input provided by this small group of parents, we realize that hearing the voices of other special education parents is  also important. With this in mind, I have included a link to a brief survey ( no more than 10 minutes) that special education parents can fill out to help us in our program evaluation. You and your child are our customers and we want to be sure we hear your voice in this important process. We need to hear feedback on what is going well and what we can improve  upon. Please complete this survey as soon as possible but before school closes for the holiday break on Friday, December 21, 2018. Thank you in advance for your help and assistance!

NEASC Report for GMHS

Report of the Visiting Team for
Georgetown Middle/High School
Georgetown, MA
March 04, 2018 – March 07, 2018

(CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL DOCUMENT)

Walker Partnerships To Conduct Program Evaluation

November 12, 2018

Dear Members Of The Georgetown Community:

I am writing to inform you that Walker Partnerships is in the process of conducting a review of all special education programming and services available through Georgetown Public Schools. This review is being conducted at the District’s request.

As part of their evaluation, personnel from Walker Partnerships will be onsite on both November 15th at Perley and Penn Brook Elementary, and November 19th at the Middle High School. During those two days, they will meet with staff, conducting interviews and observing our services. They will also have a focus group for parents on each day. Elementary parents will meet on the 15th at the Penn Brook School from 2:30 to 3:30. Parents of students in the Middle High School will meet there on the 19th from 2:00 to 3:00.

Please know that I completely understand that the timing may not work for many of you. Walker Partnerships has much to see in only two days, so scheduling was not an easy task.

If you have interest in participating in one of the focus groups, you can contact Tom Stewart through the SEPAC. You can also reach out to me at (978) 352-5777 x. 100 or via email at tianoj@georgetown.k12.ma.us. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

 

Jack Tiano

Director of Student Services