Thursday, August 30, 2012

Security Upgrades at Nipmuc

As we make our way back to school, I want to make you aware of a change in the security protocol at Nipmuc Regional High School that you will notice when visiting our building. Starting with the first day of school, the front doors at Nipmuc are now secured throughout the school day.

 A security door and buzzer system have been installed on the front doors of the school. Visitors arriving after the morning rush of students will need to press a button to alert front office staff that they would like to enter the building. Administrative staff in the office will be able to view the guest through the camera and speak to the visitor through a speaker system. When they have confirmed that the visitor should be allowed to enter, they will unlock the door and allow access to the building.  Please note, we will continue to ask our visitors to sign in upon entering the school.

The doors will be unlocked at the beginning of each day, allowing our students to enter the school as they always have. Please be aware that the entrance to the building is monitored during this time. When all of our students have arrived, the front doors will be locked.

Please be aware that we are instituting this safety measure as a proactive way to ensure that Nipmuc remains safe. This decision to secure our doors did not result from concern about any known danger or threat. The system was installed after reviewing our safety protocols and looking for ways to ensure that our building is as safe as possible.  By securing our doors in this way, we have added an additional layer of security that will help to keep Nipmuc safe.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please feel free to contact me and I will further explain this new protocol.

Thank you,
John Clements

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The First Day of School

It was great to have our students back with us this today as we began the 2012-2013 school year. The first day of school is always filled with excitement as students get their schedules, see their friends, and meet their teachers. Today was no exception. Our year is off to an exciting start.

At the beginning of our day, all students picked up schedules before heading off to their first classes of the year. This is a time of transition for all of us as we adjust to a new schedule, the addition of another elective course, and instructional blocks that are approximately one hour in length. Our students did a great job making the adjustment to the new schedule, meeting with guidance counselors to fine-tune their courses, and learning about the classes they will take this year.

For our freshmen, today marked the start of their journey into high school. As we mentioned to them at orientation, the first day of school can often be a bit overwhelming. We know, however, that it will not be long before Nipmuc feels like home. Our sophomores and juniors returned to school knowing the importance of the year ahead. Whether getting ready for the rigors of MCAS or setting their sights on college, they are preparing for a year that is sure to be as challenging as it is rewarding. Our seniors walked through the front doors of the school with a great deal of pride and excitement for what is sure to be a memorable year. We look forward to working with them and benefitting from their leadership.

It was a wonderful start to the school year. We are glad to have our students with us, once again.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Student Schedules

I look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school tomorrow. Your teachers have been working hard to get ready for your arrival. We will be excited to have you back with us on Tuesday morning.

Please be aware that schedules will be distributed to students upon their arrival at school tomorrow morning, August 28th. Students should go to the following locations to get their schedules:

Freshmen: Auditorium
Sophomores: Cafeteria
Juniors and Seniors: Gym

We look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Schedule at Nipmuc

Good afternoon,

I hope everyone has enjoyed the beautiful weather this summer. It’s hard to believe that we are nearly ready to begin another school year.  As we prepare for next week and the first day of school, I want to update you on a schedule change that will go into effect for the 2012-2013 school year.

The change in the schedule comes following two years of discussion on the scheduling model our school uses. Through the work of a committee of teachers, as well as feedback from students and parents, a new schedule has been developed. The implementation of this new schedule will help to lower class size and provide additional opportunities for our students to take elective courses.

Through the schedule change, students will now take seven classes rather than the six that they took last year. These classes will rotate over the course of a seven-day cycle (see below).

Some of the features of the new schedule include the following:
·         Classes meet five times during each seven-day cycle
·         Students have the opportunity to take an additional class.
·         Each class meeting period lasts either 64 or 80 minutes. (Classes at Nipmuc were formerly 81 or 90 minutes in length.)
·         A morning break will continue to be part of the schedule.  During this break time, students will be able to purchase a full breakfast from our cafeteria instead of `a la carte items.
·         Three lunches (rather than four) will run each day. The length of the lunch time has been increased to 25 minutes.

In preparation for the schedule change, we asked our upperclassmen to select a seventh course that they would be interested in taking. Students chose from the current choices of electives in music, art, business, and physical education. They also could select from our twelve Advanced Placement offerings and new courses such as Spanish Culture and Business and Decades of Change.

Students in the ninth and tenth grades will take a series of half-year courses that are intended to strengthen the skills they need to succeed in high school and beyond while reinforcing and supplementing their learning in English, math, and biology.

During freshman year, students will take two new half-year courses: Communications and Literacy and 21st Century Skills. In the Communications and Literacy class students will develop skills for effective communication, conduct an examination of literary genres and skills, and investigate and analyze media. The 21st Century Skills class will help students transition to high school by introducing them to the academic, intellectual, and interpersonal skills that are the foundation for success in high school, college, and beyond.   

All sophomore students will take two different half-year courses: Ecology and Populations and The Fundamentals of Mathematics. The Ecology and Populations class will provide students with a further investigation into topics in macro-biology while providing supplemental learning opportunities to support their study of biology and their success on the biology MCAS test. Fundamentals of Mathematics is aligned with the national Common Core and will help students develop the foundational mathematical skills needed in algebra, geometry, and the advanced study of math.

These changes present some exciting opportunities for our students. Over the next few days we will finalize the schedule and prepare student schedules to be distributed on the first day of school. I am thankful for the work of the teachers, students, and parents who provided input during the process of developing the new Nipmuc schedule.
I hope you enjoy the final days of the summer vacation. I look forward to welcoming our students on Tuesday, August 28.


John K. Clements

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today's Blog Post

Good afternoon,
Due to a technical error a blog post from August 22, 2011 was inadvertently resent to subscribers. Please disregard this post.

We look forward to welcoming new students and the members of Class of 2016 tomorrow, August 23, 2012 at 9am at Nipmuc Regional High School.

Thank you,
John Clements