Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Announcement: First Day of School Postponed until Tuesday, September 6

There will be no school in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District on Thursday, September 1.  Once again, the reason that school may not be held tomorrow is that there is no electricty or running water at Miscoe Hill Middle School.  At present time, approximately 50% of Mendon still does not have power.  According to National Grid, power will be restored by September 4 at 12 AM.

As Friday, September 2 is already not a scheduled school day, our first day of school in the district for all students, grades 1-12, will be Tuesday, September 6.  Buses and school start times will be per usual.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Announcement: 2nd Postponement of the First Day of School

There will be no school in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District on Wednesday, August 31. The primary reason for this decision is the fact that Miscoe Hill Middle School still does not have power or running water. According to the Mendon DPW, approximately 75% of Mendon still does not have power, and the prospects for restoration of power at Miscoe for tomorrow morning do not look very good. Additionally, approximately 25% of Upton residents still have not had their power restored.

We are monitoring this situation very carefully, and unfortunately, need to make a decision on the start of school on a daily basis.

Right now we are planning on starting school on Thursday, September 1. Buses and school start times will per usual.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Announcement: First Day of School Postponement

Due to the conditions following the hurricane, the staff orientation scheduled for Monday, August 29, 2011 has been postponed to Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Staff should report to the Nipmuc Regional High School Cafeteria at 8:00am on Tuesday for staff orientation.

The first day for students has been postponed from Tuesday, August 30, 2011 to Wednesday, August 31, 2011. Students should report to school on Wednesday at the regularly scheduled time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

For many high school students, a discussion about their summer vacation might lead to a conversation about summer jobs, afternoons relaxing on sun-soaked beaches, or carefree weekends spent with their friends. While many students opted to enjoy the beautiful weather and the opportunity to relax this summer, a group of eighteen Nipmuc students used their vacation as a chance to combine travel, adventure, and community service in a three-week trip that would change their lives.

On July 13, this group of students, accompanied by Nipmuc Spanish teacher Julie Jussaume, departed for Oaxaca, Mexico for the beginning of their journey. Working with World Challenge Expeditions, these students embarked on a trip that not only provided them with a chance to visit another country and to learn about a new culture, but also to develop their skills as leaders and collaborators. With the guidance of Miss Jussaume and the team from World Challenge, our students undertook the responsibility of planning each aspect of their trip. In preparation for their adventure, they organized fundraisers, practiced their wilderness safety skills, and worked to come together as a team.

Early today, I had the chance to meet with these students and Miss Jussaume to learn about their trip, view their pictures, and enjoy their stories. It was wonderful to hear about their activities, including day-long hikes through the rainforest and mountains of Sierra Norte, parades in Oaxaca, festivals in San Cristobal, and swimming with the sharks in Belize. While these experiences may sound glamorous, I learned that their trip provided a series of challenges that tested them on a daily basis. Some of these struggles came from dealing with bugs, snakes, and tarantulas; others came in the form of unrelenting rain, illness, and injury.

Beyond these obstacles, what made this trip an adventure rather than a vacation is the willingness of the team to take on new challenges. As part of their expedition, each student had the opportunity to lead the team for a day. During that time they made all decisions for their group including how to spend their budget, which modes of transportation to use, and how to handle unforeseen complications. They also had to learn to come together as a team and to rely on each other in order to conquer these problems. Whether carrying the pack of an injured friend on a nine hour hike, cheering each other toward a successful river crossing, or keeping the team’s spirits elevated after a pelting rainstorm, they continually found strength to support each other.

In addition, these students spent four days volunteering their time at a water conservation demonstration site outside of Oaxaca. While there, they planted trees, leveled areas for planting, built water filtration systems, cleared dams, and moved compost. On this trip our students abandoned sightseeing and relaxation in favor of discovering ways to make a meaningful connection with the people and places they visited.

When you see the following “World Challengers” please congratulate them on their experience and for being such a great representation of our school and community:
Catherine Adcock, Haley Alexson, Jordan Alexson, Chris Alleman, Matt Annesi, Mike Annesi, Amelia Baynham, Kelsey Campbell, Emily Ciantra, Matt D’Innocenzo, Liam Drennan, Wally Esker, Ethan Fortin, Caitlin Lewis, Fernando Pugleasa, Richie Schofield, Jack Street, and Deanna Valcour

In addition, I’d like to thank Miss Jussaume for continuing to be such a great supporter of this life changing adventure for students. The trip to Mexico marks the fourth time she has guided our students on this type of journey. We can’t wait for the next expedition!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome to the Nipmuc Regional High School Principal's Blog

Thank you for visiting the Nipmuc Regional High School Principal's Blog. I am very excited to begin my first year as principal of Nipmuc and I look forward to using this blog regularly as a way to maintain contact with our students, teachers, parents, and community members. Over the course of the past twelve years, I have enjoyed the privilege to work as a teacher and assistant principal at Nipmuc. During that time I have been fortunate to see the high quality of teaching and learning that takes place in our classrooms each day. As I begin my work as principal, I am looking forward to the opportunity to share the success of our students, the skill of our teachers, and the news of our school community through this blog.

I encourage you to follow this blog as a way to learn more about our school and to stay connected to the Nipmuc community.

With excitement for the coming year,
John Clements