Superintendents Weekly Letter October 4, 2019

Super

October 4, 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The past eight days have been a flurry of activity in the Hull Public Schools.  The opening of the Hull Community Walking Track and Turf Field at Finlayson Field was a truly amazing event for our entire community.  A  number of people attended and it was incredibly moving to see hundreds of our students from all grades run onto the field with huge smiles on their faces.  To top it off, the Hull Pirates Football Team won the first game ever played on the new field.  Congratulations to all who were involved in this project and the opening of the field.  A special congratulations to Noah Lanner who will go down in the history of our community as the first person to score a touchdown on the new field.

This morning I had the opportunity to attend the monthly Jacobs School Spirit Assembly.  I truly enjoy these assemblies and seeing our young students embracing the Jacobs Elementary School Core Values:  Respect others; Act in ways that make our school safe, caring and welcoming, and; Do your best learning.  This month’s assembly was used to announce two great new initiatives for the students.  The first was “The Toolkit.” Mr. Shaw showed the students a clip from the movie “The Incredibles” that showed the character baby Jack Jack using his superpowers.  He then told the students they were all born with superpowers that can be used for good, to help others and to learn.  Some of the students then told the assembly what superpowers they had, including the power to choose, the power to read, the power to learn, and the power to make good choices.  At next month’s Spirit Assembly, Mr. Shaw will be introducing the students to “The Toolbox” which is a program designed to help students use the skills (or superpowers) they possess to best deal with the challenges they may face.  

Mr. Shaw also introduced the new Perfect Attendance Award.  Each month, any student who has perfect attendance will have her/his name entered into a drawing for a prize.  This month’s prize, given to ten students with perfect attendance, was a free ticket to the Halloween Dance.  Congratulations to the ten winners but, more importantly, congratulations to the 257 students who had perfect attendance in September.  Remember attendance is one of the most important factors in determining the success a student will have at school.

As part of the partnership between the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Massachusetts Library System and the Boston Bruins, the team generously donates prizes to be awarded to selected summer reading participants. Tara Grosso, our high school Library Media Specialist, entered the summer drawing and won a signed Boston Bruins team jersey in the 12-18 category. Working with the Hull Public Library, students had the opportunity to visit the library to receive raffle tickets, and they were awarded a raffle ticket for completing their summer reading when they returned back to school.  Last Friday during the Homecoming Rally, Mrs. Nosek selected the winning ticket. Senior Jack Iverson's name was drawn and he is the lucky winner of the signed Bruins Jersey! 

As you know, a great deal of new and alarming information has come to light over the past few months about the dangers of vaping.  What is even more frightening is the number of middle and high school students vaping .  This is from the September 19, 2019 issue of Time Magazine:

“The magnitude of the teen-vaping problem began to emerge last November, when the FDA announced that almost 21% of high school students had vaped during the previous month, a 78% increase over the year before. That number jumped again this year, to 27.5%, meaning that more than 4 million American teenagers vape regularly, according to preliminary reports from federal health officials. The 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that about 3.5% of high school students–more than 525,000 teenagers–vaped every or almost every day. Particularly alarming is vaping’s appeal to younger teenagers. Use among eighth-graders more than doubled in 2018, to 10%, according to data posted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). There are concerns that such early adoption of vaping will “represent a gateway to the use of traditional cigarettes,” according to HHS. Eighth-graders who vape are 10 times as likely to eventually smoke cigarettes as their nonvaping peers, HHS says.”

https://time.com/5680988/juul-vaping-health-crisis/

We take this matter very seriously in our schools and have invested in technology that will help deter students from using vaping products at school.  Our school nurses, counselors and administrators are trained to help students make good decisions around their health.  Many of our teachers have been trained to recognize vaping materials and in what to do when they see them.  Additionally, vaping is addressed in all Wellness and Health courses.  I ask that you speak with your children about this health issue and, if you need help, suggestions or advice, please reach out to our student services staff. 

Finally, congratulations to Hull High School 2019 Homecoming King and Queen Chad Noto and Rylie Evans!

I hope you and your family enjoy this beautiful autumn weekend.

Sincerely,

Michael F. Devine
Superintendent
Hull Public Schools