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October 17, 2011

posted Nov 21, 2011, 10:17 AM by Jeffrey Snyder   [ updated Nov 21, 2011, 10:47 AM ]

Parent Newsletter   October 17, 2011

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Here’s what’s new at AHS…

The Good News and the Bad News

The bad news (for us anyway) is…
Officer Bryan Gallagher, our first SRO, is leaving us. He has been promoted and is now Sargeant Gallagher.  We are very proud of him and will miss him at AHS. He has done an outstanding job as SRO and has been a pleasure to work with. Brian has earned the respect of our staff but more importantly of our students. He has been a mentor, disciplinarian, and advisor to many students, even those who are testing our laws. We could not have asked for a better partner in our school community.
Best Wishes, Sargeant Gallagher!  Go get those bad Guys!

The Good News is…
Our new SRO is Officer Ned Walsh. He was appointed late last week and will begin working with us on Monday, October 24. I have heard wonderful things about Ned and look forward to having him join our team. Sargeant Gallagher will work with him for a couple of weeks to ensure a smooth transition.
Congratulations, Ned!

Lock Down   Practice and Procedures
All of you are familiar with the traditional fire drills we practiced as kids, and that we still have today, where we evacuated the school to prepare for the event of a real fire.  I think our great grandparents practiced fire drills when they were kids.

Over the past several years, events around the country have taught us that it is important to be equally prepared for other emergencies.  Our entire school district engaged in planning for all types of emergencies. Along with the police department and other emergence response personnel, school staff were trained in our roles and responsibilities for all emergency situations.  You can view the entire plan on our district website or through this link.


Most of you are aware that we began practicing some of these procedures in our schools over the past couple of years including Lock Downs and Shelter in Place drills.  We are planning our first Lock Down drill sometime in the next few weeks. Just as in a fire drill, the exact time and date will be unannounced to students and staff so we can identify any problems that need to be addressed in the case of an actual emergency.  The entire drill usually takes about twenty minutes.

At the high school, we also bring in police and their dogs from surrounding communities to practice with us.  The area police departments have joined together for several years to train with their dogs in emergency response
(You may have seen dozens of area police officers and their dogs in the past training after school in the back of the building – quite a scene)

The Lock Down drills in the various high schools offer opportunities for the Police and their dogs to practice as a response team. It also allows schools to get used to their presence and to know that they are well prepared to keep us safe in case of a real emergency.

I wanted to give parents a heads-up that this will be occurring so that if you drive by and see lots of police cars, you do not worry.  And of course we know that students often text parents from school and you may hear from them as it is happening.  They will be safe in their locked classrooms with their teachers but will hear the dogs barking as they travel through the school with the Police. Again, there is nothing to worry about. This is one of those examples of the bark being worse than…..  (OK -  bad joke)  

We have had very good experiences with our past lockdowns and anticipate that this year will be the same.


Although Parent conferences are a month away, I want to let you know that due to larger teacher loads and limited slots for scheduled meetings, that there are not enough slots for teachers to meet with every one of their students’ parents or guardians on the two conference dates. We are not able to schedule more conference nights due to contractual limitations. However, teachers do have 80 minutes after school each week where they are available after school (in some cases before school) to meet with you if you need to make an appointment.  Teachers are very willing to speak to parents about student progress so if you do not get an appointment for a particular teacher on the conference night, please contact them to make an appointment for another time.   

I would respectfully request that if your child is doing very well in a particular class, that you consider not making an appointment with that teacher to leave more openings for the parents who need the conference time.

Thanks for your understanding.

Dates to Remember:

October 17   
Health and Safety Day  “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me”   Per 5 and 6

October 18
Constructing Acceptance Project  2:30 – 5:00 (10 Tuesdays)

October 28  
Last day to change classes

November 2
On-line registration for Parent Conferences begins

November 4
End of term 1

November 11  Veteran’s Day    No School

November 16 and 21   Parent Conferences

A message from Pat Tassone, Director of Performing Arts

Hi All:
Please join me in congratulating Michael Byrne as he participates in Give Me 5, an exciting three-session program to make Science and Technology exciting: become INSPIRED, CONNECT to local innovators / scientists, and EXPLORE hands-on science / creative thinking challenges.

Sports Update from Ted Dever

The football team survived two lightning delays but could not survive Woburn Friday night.  Arlington made it a one touchdown game in the 4th quarter but on the ensuing kickoff Woburn returned it for a touch down winning the game 20-7.

This past weekend we hosted the traditional game day in which we play Arlington Catholic in Volleyball and Soccer.   We had a great student turnout for the all day affair. We lost the volleyball match and both soccer games ended in ties.

Our field hockey team had a great 1-0 win over Belmont last week. Belmont beat our girls 5-0 the first time we played.

Thank you to all our athletes who continuously get complimented for demonstrating great sportsmanship.

Thank you to all our freshman and junior varsity athletes who are practicing and competing everyday to proudly represent Arlington High School!

And a big cheer goes out to the Arlington/Belmont Crew team. Although they are not an official AHS team, we congratulate our Arlington athletes on this team and are proud of its accomplishments.

Congratulations to all of our athletes!

Have a great week!