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September 26, 2011

posted Nov 21, 2011, 10:13 AM by Jeffrey Snyder   [ updated Nov 21, 2011, 10:47 AM ]
September 26, 2011

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Happy Fall!  It may not feel quite like fall yet but we will be seeing the signs soon. I look forward to the cool, crisp fall days especially after the muggy weather we have been experiencing recently.

Here’s what is happening at AHS…
What a great community we have in Arlington!
I was touched and overwhelmed by the numerous offers of help for childcare for our Sudanese student. It was heartwarming knowing that we have so many generous and caring families.  The adults who have been helping this student on this are still working to find the right arrangement for her.  Thanks to all of you for caring!

Students sent to Hospital
The three students who were sent to the hospital on Wednesday are doing well. We are fortunate that they only ingested enough medication to make them sick but not enough to cause more serious outcomes.  

Because many parents have asked questions and have shared concerns about this incident, I have gathered the following information and resources for you to read. It will educate you with one type of drug use that we have seen with a small group of students.  It is not new; it has been a problem for quite some time with young people all over the country.  Adolescents take large amounts of over the counter cold medication, in many cases, Coricidin Cough Pills, to get high.  I have been told that taking varying numbers of pills cause different types of effects from a simple high to hallucinations. I would encourage you to look at the resources below for more detailed information. The lesson in this for all of us is that we need to pay close attention to what our kids are doing. Teens experiment with drugs for different reasons and often they do not think about the consequences.  It is not always the “bad kids” that experiment. It can be any one of our children that decide to make a bad choice. It is also a good idea to monitor the medications you have in your home.  Being informed will help you to recognize signs that may indicate that your child may be involved with drugs.



The link below takes you to our APS Physical and Mental Health Handbook. Here you will find a number of resources in our community if you should need support with a variety of issues including Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

At Arlington High School, our staff is vigilant and watchful for signs that students may not be behaving normally. Our goal is to keep students safe at all times. If we notice any signs of impairment or illness, we immediately send students to the nurse for evaluation. The nurse will determine if and when a student needs to be sent to the hospital for further evaluation. We will always err on the side of caution.

One of the more unpleasant aspects of working in a high school is knowing that we cannot always protect the personal belongings of our students.  It is a sad, but true fact that we experience thefts in our school on a pretty regular basis. What is even sadder, is that we regularly warn students not to leave their personal belongings unattended. Students leave $300 cell phones on tables and walk away. They leave money in their backpacks out in the open while in a PE class. They leave their pocketbooks open and turn away from them. When they come to us in tears after their belongings have been stolen, all we can do is feel badly for them.

PLEASE TELL YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAVE VALUABLES AT HOME.  If they must bring them to school, they have to take full responsibility for keeping them out of sight and/or locked up.  Students have lockers in the building and in the PE locker rooms. If they lock them securely, items are usually safe. But if they share their combinations or don’t lock them properly, they are no longer safe from theft.  We are sometimes able to retrieve stolen items but in most cases, we are not. The thieves are clever and quick.  Assume stolen items are lost forever.   

I wish I did not have to share such depressing information but this is our reality.

September 26               Senior Parent Night   Lowe Auditorium   7:00PM

September 29               Rosh Hashanah    NO SCHOOL

October 4                       Early Release Day   Dismissal  12:30 PM

As I reread this newsletter, I see that it has a more negative tone than positive. I would like to end by saying that the positives in this school far outweigh the negatives. The students involved in worrisome behaviors are a minority. The majority of our students are great kids who are working hard, contributing to our community in very positive ways, and are a pleasure to work with on a daily basis.  They are the reason that I love my job!

Have a great week!