Monday, January 28, 2013

Nipmuc Update: January 28, 2013

Providence Bruins Game:
Tonight’s singing of the national anthem at the AHL hockey all-star game will still go on as planned. We know that this event is a unique opportunity for our chorus students to perform on a big stage. At the same time I also understand parents’ concern about travelling this evening. As I announced to our students this afternoon, parents should feel free to keep their children home should they have concerns about the weather and travel. Should you choose to keep your child home this evening, please contact Mrs. Ledoux.  She can be reached via email at The bus plans to leave Nipmuc at 5pm today.

Winter Semi-Formal:
Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been putting out notices regarding the dress code and dancing guidelines for the winter semi-formal dance. On Saturday we held the dance at the Myriad Ballroom in Mendon. Although the attendance at the dance was lower than it has been in past years, the dance was a great success.

As always, our students responded to my requests. The 160 students at the dance were exceptionally well-behaved, and they had a wonderful time. I was very proud of them, and I wanted to thank parents for speaking to your kids. Without parental support, I know the dance would not have been as successful. I truly appreciate that you took the time to talk to your children about these concerns.

Thank you to our student council for putting the event together and showing great leadership at the dance. Thank you to our student council advisors - Mrs. Grady and Mr. Pezzote – and our chaperones for giving up their time to make the night a success.

First Annual Nipmuc World Language DECA Competition:
On Tuesday, January 29th all students of the Spanish Culture and Business class will be participating in the First Annual Nipmuc World Language DECA Competition. DECA is a marketing club for high school students that prepares rising leaders and entrepreneurs in the fields of marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Our immersion students have worked on their projects over the past four months. The World Language Department would like to extend an invitation to you to attend this event. We hope you will join them on January 29th at 7:00 pm in the lobby at Nipmuc Regional High School to experience our First Annual Nipmuc World Language DECA Competition.

Volleyball Pizza and Play Night:
As a reminder, the Volleyball Pizza and Play Night will be held at Nipmuc on January 31st from 6pm-8pm in the Nipmuc gym. Please review the flyer below for more information.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nipmuc Welcomes Former NBA Player Chris Herren

Earlier today Nipmuc was fortunate to welcome Chris Herren to our school to meet with our students about the dangers of substance abuse. Mr. Herren is a Massachusetts native and a former professional basketball player who shares his life's story and his struggles with addiction with the hopes of making a positive impact on others.

Over the course of the past few weeks, Nipmuc has been preparing for his visit. On January 14 Nipmuc Peer Leadership hosted "Project Purple", a day sponsored by the Herren Foundation to support awareness about substance abuse while encouraging teens to make good choices and stand up to drugs and alcohol. On the evening of the 14th our Peer Leaders held a showing of the movie Unguarded, which tells the story of Mr. Herren's experiences as an NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author, and sobriety advocate.

Today, Mr. Herren held two presentations: one for 9th and 10th graders and another for 11th and 12th graders. In his discussion he shared his emotional journey with our students. His message was moving, emotional, and intense.

Our hope is that today's presentations will have a lasting impact on our students. I encourage parents to discuss the message of the presentations with your children. These conversations can be so important in making this event even more important to our kids. I know they will have a lot to say about the presentation.

Nipmuc will continue its focus on substance abuse awareness during a "Substance Abuse Forum" to be held on Monday, February 4th from 6:30pm - 8:30pm in the Nipmuc auditorium. Please review the flyer below with information about the night. Speakers will include community mental health and substance abuse providers, the school resource officer, and school personnel. All are encouraged to attend.

Many thanks go out not only to Mrs. Fagan, Mrs. Bucken, and our Peer Leaders, but especially to Korie Grill and Karlie Jango who organized the event. Korie and Karlie brough Mr. Herren to Nipmuc as part of a DECA project. I am so thankful for their efforts in making a positive impact on our school.
If you are interested in learning more about Mr. Herren and his presentation, you can access the documentary of his life, Unguarded, below:

Friday, January 18, 2013

2nd Reminder: Winter Semi-Formal Dance Guidelines

Good afternoon,

On Saturday, January 26 Nipmuc Regional will hold its annual winter semi-formal dance at the Myriad Ballroom in Mendon from 7pm - 10pm. As a reminder, tickets for the dance are on sale until Friday, January 25th. The cost of the tickets is $20. Additionally, students need to have an updated student data sheet turned into the office in order to be allowed to purchase tickets. 

Prior to the start of the new year, I put out an announcement to parents about this event. I reminded students about the dress code and my expectations for conduct on that evening. I have copied some of that information below. Please be sure to speak with your child about these guidelines. 
Please be aware that:
  • At a minimum, dresses need to be long enough to reach the tips of the fingers when resting at one’s sides. (As a guideline, dresses should be at least mid-thigh in length.)
  • Dresses with plunging necklines or that inappropriately expose the body are not acceptable. 
  • Students will not be permitted to dance in an inappropriate manner. "Grinding" or overly suggestive dancing will not be permitted. 
Mrs. Moran and I appreciate the efforts of parents in discussing these concerns with their children. Although it can be uncomfortable to have these discussions, it will help us to ensure that the dance runs appropriately. 

I continue to be thankful for the input I have received from our student advisory council, parents, and school council in determining the guidelines for the dance and proactively supporting good decision making at this event.

Thank you,
John Clements 

Annual Scholars' Luncheon

Superintendent Maruszczak, Kevin Gurney
& Mr. Clements
Congratulations to senior Kevin Gurney who was recently honored by the Worcester County Superintendents' Association (WCSA) at its annual scholars' luncheon. As a top scholar in the senior class, Kevin was selected to represent Nipmuc Regional at this prestigious annual event. Dr. Maruszczak and I had the pleasure of accompanying Kevin to Clark University where he and other scholars from across Worcester County were honored by our local superintendents.

Dr. Maureen Marshall, President of the WCSA, opened the event by encouraging the students to consider their great potential. She pointed out that achievement data shows that students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regularly outperform students from across the country. She then noted that the achievement of students from Massachusetts measures up globally, demonstrating the high quality of teaching and learning in our state. With that in mind, she commended the scholars not only for being among the best in state and the country, but also the world.

Kevin's achievements certainly distinguish him as an excellent student and talented young man. During his time at Nipmuc he has earned an impressive resume of accomplishments including his receipt of the Rensselaer Medal, winning the 2012 Columbia Book Award, and gaining recognition as an "Advanced Placement Scholar" for his achievement on AP tests. Kevin serves as the Treasurer of the Class of 2013. He has also honed his leadership skills as the Nipmuc delegate to the START conference. He has also pursued his interests outside of school through the EMC Star program and by earning an internship in the Children's Hospital Pathology Department.

Each of the scholars honored at the luncheon were asked to choose a favorite quote to be featured with their profile in the event program. Kevin selected the following quote by Albert Einstein, "The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." We have been thrilled to have Kevin's curiosity and excitement for learning as a part of the Nipmuc community. It was an honor to have him represent the school so well at this event.

Congratulations, Kevin!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Public Health Reminder: Prevent the Flu from Getting to You

Everyone has heard by now that the seasonal flu has arrived early and it looks like it is going to be pretty severe.  Just a few reminders on how the flu is passed from person to person and some ways you can prevent it. 
1.  IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO VACCINATE:  The flu shot will hopefully help keep the flu away or at the very least it will help you get a less severe case.  The flu shot is safe for anyone 6 months and over with very few exceptions.
2.  WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE TOUCHING YOUR FACE:  The flu is spread by droplets.  If your hands get the virus on them you will infect yourself by bringing your hand to your face without washing.  Simple way to avoid the flu is to wash, wash, wash…
3.  STAY AT LEAST 3 FT AWAY FROM ANYONE COUGHING:  Most droplets from the flu will not carry more than 3ft from an uncovered mouth.  Just be aware.
4.  WASH FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES:  No special cleaner is needed.  Things like doorknobs, computers, phones, elevator buttons refrigerator handles etc. can be contaminated with flu (washing hands will take care of this one too).  Most flu virus will be dead on surfaces between 2-8 hours. 
1.  WHAT TO EXPECT:  The flu usually comes on suddenly and really knocks you down.  Expect a temperature, cough, sore throat, body aches sometimes with headache, no appetite and occasionally diarrhea.  It is mostly a respiratory illness.
2.  REST, FLUIDS, FEVER REDUCER:  Most of the remedies for the flu involve taking care of yourself and time.  If you catch it in the first couple of days, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications.  These can not cure the flu, but they may decrease the severity so that you might recover quicker.
3.  STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK:  You will do no one any good by going to work or school when you have the flu.  First, you will infect others.  Second, you can not concentrate or do anything well when you are sick with the flu.  Third, you are likely to relapse or feel worse if you try to do too much too soon.  Rule of thumb:  If you have had no fever for 24 hours without medicine like Advil or Tylenol then it is safe for you to go back to work or school.  You still have to be careful and COVER YOUR COUGH WITH YOUR SLEEVE just in case there is some active virus left in you…

Two Hour Delay Schedule

Good morning, everyone -
Please be aware that we will have a two-hour delay this morning, January 16th. Included below is the schedule of classes for the day.

Two Hour Delay Schedule:
Block 1: 9:30am – 9:40am (10 minutes)*
Block 2: 9:43am – 10:23am (40 minutes)
Block 3: 10:26am – 11:05am (39 minutes)
Block 4: resume regular schedule
Block 5: regular schedule

*Rather than skipping first block completely, teachers will have a chance to check-in with students, take attendance, and collect homework/projects during the first class of the day. 

Today is a Day 3. The order of classes is DEFGA. 

Drive carefully on your way in this morning. I look forward to seeing everyone at 9:30am.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nipmuc Welcomes Project Purple and Chris Herren

Good morning,
Included below you will find information about "Project Purple" and other substance abuse awareness programs being held at Nipmuc Regional High School.
  • Monday, January 14, 2013 - Nipmuc Regional High School “Goes PURPLE!” - The Nipmuc Peer Leadership Group, in collaboration with the SADD group, Friends of Seniors, and STAND will bring Project Purple to Nipmuc High School.  Project Purple is an initiative of The Herren Project, which is a non-profit foundation established by Chris Herren, former NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate, that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.   Project Purple’s goals are to create awareness and educate the public about substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make good choices and stand up to drugs and alcohol.  
  •  During the school day on January 14, Nipmuc High School staff and students are encouraged to wear purple in support of those whose lives have been touched by substance abuse. In addition, on January 14, during the evening, from 6:30-8:00 PM, Nipmuc will present the award winning ESPN documentary “Unguarded”, the story of Chris Herren’s life.  The movie portrays the parallel stories of Chris Herren’s basketball fame, from high school through playing for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, along with his lifelong struggle with substance abuse and addiction. The movie is not rated, but contains language and content that is not appropriate for young children. While the movie contains a powerful message of hope and recovery, it is also the story of a young man’s painful struggle with addiction and as such, contains raw and emotional material and images.  Parents are encouraged to attend with their teenagers. Admission is free, and snacks/drinks will be sold with all proceeds benefitting the Chris Herren Foundation. Please see the following link for additional information:   
  • School wide Presentation - Nipmuc seniors, Korie Grill and Karlie Jango (as part of their DECA project) have booked Chris Herren, himself, to speak to the student body at Nipmuc High School on January 24, 2013.  Please watch for additional information on this powerful and meaningful presentation.
  • Substance Abuse Community Forum and Information Night - On Monday evening, February 4, 2013, between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM, Nipmuc will host a round table discussion/presentation with community mental health and substance abuse providers, law enforcement, and school personnel designed to provide information about substance abuse concerns in our community and raise awareness about available supports and resources in our area. Please join us!