Submitted by Holliston PTSA
Message from the President
So where is the snow? As I write this, I am looking out of my office window on green lawn. For some, that is the way winter should be! It certainly hasn’t dampened the spirits of our Ski Club! We are halfway through the program, and it is running without a hitch (who needs snow?). Thank you to all those who make Ski Club such a great experience for our students, including our chaperones and most especially Kriss Westland, our Ski Club coordinator and HS Ski Club chair, Joanne O’Connell and Tom Lamont, Middle School chairs, and Lynda Getchell and Michele St. George, Miller School chairs.
Last night I attended a parent workshop at the Middle School on the use of Facebook, YouTube, and other technologies and social media. It was a great opportunity to talk with High School and Middle School students about the technology savvy environment in which they live. It was also somewhat frightening—I realized I need to “get a Facebook” to keep up! It turns out that the High School environment completely depends on this social media tool to communicate about club and sport activities and many other things (like prom dresses!). My children are shocked when I tell them there was no Internet when I was a student, certainly no texting or cell phones, and tagging was a game you played on the playground during recess! What I learned last night was that parents need to stay connected to what their kids are encountering in their world. The high school students last night reported that when they were in middle school (four years ago), Facebook was no big deal and that they first got a page when they were freshman. But the middle schoolers reported that many 6th, 7th, and 8th graders already have a Facebook page. Our kids are being exposed to things at an even earlier age. The Middle School is addressing these issues surrounding social media with students and parents. Be sure to go the school Web site to check for updated material on the subject. And don’t forget to talk with your children about your family values regarding social media, cyber-bullying, texting, and phone use. It is no longer enough now to have the birds and the bees talk with our kids. We now have to have the birds, the bees, and the Facebook talk. I’d much rather talk about snow, but there you have it!
Enjoy the end of winter,
—Annalisa Michielli, President, Holliston PTSA
The next School Committee Office Hours will be Thursday, February 9th, 8–9 a.m. at Pejamajo. This will be the week after Superintendent Jackson has presented his recommended FY13 budget, so if you have any questions, please feel free to come and share them with us!
—Erica Plunkett, Chairperson, Holliston School Committee
Elementary School PTSA (ESPTSA)
There are many exciting events on the horizon—mark your calendars!
ScienceFest returns on Saturday, February 4th! (Snow date is February 11.) Come by the Placentino Cafetorium from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a fun family day of hands-on science exploration for children from pre-K to 5th grade. ScienceFest offers a variety of activities, from shooting off Alka-Seltzer rockets, to making goopy slime, to floating down the hall on a hovercraft! Suggested donation is $5 per family. Refreshments will be available for purchase during the event.
Bingo Night is back! Friday, February 10th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For just $5 per family, come down to the Placentino Cafetorium and play Bingo with your family and friends. Prizes and fun for all!
The Food Pantry drive in January scored over five touchdowns! Each donation moved the Miller flag a yard down the field… the response was phenomenal. Thank you! February’s Food Pantry collection days are as follows: Placentino—Thursday, February 16, and Miller—Friday, February 17. Thank you for your continued support of our community partner.
The next ESPTSA general meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 7, at 9:15 a.m. in the Placentino Cafetorium. Greet some friendly faces and share your ideas. Please join us!
The Spring Book Fair is on its way… Tuesday, March 13, and Wednesday, March 14, 3:30–8:30 p.m. on both days in the Placentino library. Proceeds benefit the Placentino and Miller libraries. Books are appropriate for children ages pre-school through grade 5, and French books will be available. Books will be provided by Bookfairs by Bookends. This year, Culture Connection is in on the Book Fair action: children’s author and illustrator Barbara McGrath will present programs during the school day on Tuesday, March 13, and attend the Book Fair to autograph books. Watch for more details. For further information or to volunteer, please contact Michele Winn at (774) 233-1123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall success—Scholastic Book Fair and Genevieve
The fall fund-raisers and Book Fair exceeded expectations—and the schools and our children will benefit! A special thank-you to Neela Patel for running the Genevieve program and to Michelle Winn and her volunteer team for a very successful fall event. The support of these drives enabled ESPTSA to fund over $16,500 in teacher grants, the lion’s share of which went to technology in the classrooms. The elementary libraries received $3,700 as a result of the Book Fair. Thank you for all your support!
Keep those box tops a-comin’! We recently received a check for $1,637 from Box Tops for Education. We are hoping to beat last year’s total of $3,453.60, so please clip and send your box tops often! Paula Mark, corporate programs chair, is looking for some volunteers to help trim the tops—the company is very particular about how the “tops” are received. If you can lend a hand, please contact Paula at email@example.com.
Got a Target Red Card? Target has a program where you can designate Placentino or Miller as the recipient of Target’s school rewards program. Simply call or click and follow simple directions to allow this donation to take place at no cost to you. Last year, we received $2,410.44 from Target.
The Stop & Shop School Rewards program is up and running. Designate Placentino or Miller as your school of choice to your Stop & Shop card, and earn points that translate into a cash reward. The program runs through March 29th.
These programs are a simple and easy way to help our fund-raising efforts—every little bit helps! Thank you for your ongoing support.
The Ski & Snowboard programs are well under way at all three schools. The Miller and Adams students are having a great time at Nashoba Valley on Thursday and Friday evenings, while the High School students are shredding up Wachusett Mountain on Sunday evenings. The High School program enjoyed a bonus trip to Sunday River, where we enjoyed the fresh powder and had a great time! If your child was not able to join the program this year, we hope that you will reconsider next year, as this is a great social and active outlet. This program is open to Holliston residents not necessarily attending the town schools so please feel free to give one of the coordinators a call with any questions you may have. You can find the list of coordinators on the PTSA Web site, under Programs -> Ski & Snowboard.
These programs could not run without the support of our members, especially given the chaperone infrastructure required; therefore, a big thank-you to all of those volunteering to make the programs successful and provide a fun time for the kids!
—Kriss Westland, Ski Club Chair
Holliston Music & Arts Parents Association (HMAPA)
If the winter blues are hitting you hard, Holliston’s Music Department will certainly bring some cheer with its upcoming concerts….The Annual Holliston Jazz Night will be held on Wednesday, February 8. This is always a great night to come out and enjoy jazz by top-notch ensembles of all ages in the Holliston schools.
Around the corner is the 5th-grade play, The Trial of Goldilocks, on February 16, the RAMS musical, Honk, on March 9, 10 & 11 and the ever-popular High School Pops Concerts on March 16 and 17!
HMAPA would also like to recognize the Holliston students who participated in the Central District Music Festival. Students auditioning from 64 different schools were selected to participate in choral, jazz, orchestra, and concert band ensembles.
Holliston District Audition Results:
Corey Gernes and Robert Martin* (Chorus)
Ben Campbell*, Meg Dooley, and Rachel Harris* (Band)
*These students were recommended to audition for All-State.
Congratulations to these students and all who auditioned! Want to find out more? HMAPA’s new Web site is up-to-date with stories and pictures of music and arts events; check us out at www.hollistonmusicandarts.org.