Wednesday, February 10 - Day 2
MARCH MADNESS is approaching. Please find your co-ed team of three and sign up for the March Madness Tournament. Forms are in the Guidance office. It is $3 per person. All forms and payment are due to Mrs. Kirshenbaum in room 247 by February 26.
The next BEST BUDDIES meeting will be today from 2:00-3:00 in the Lecture Hall. All are welcome to join us for our movie day.
Valentines Day is just around the corner, and not even two snow storms can keep Cupid away. VALENTINE GRAMS are on sale today at lunch. Your message along with two valentine's surprises will be delivered to your friend, favorite teacher, or special someone on Friday. They are $2 each or you can buy two for $3. All proceeds go to the Hopkinton Animal Shelter.
Check the Lost and Found areas in the cafeteria and the locker rooms for anything you might be missing. All remaining items will be donated after Friday, February 12.
Thursday, February 11- Day 3
Dear Grade 8 Parents,
Planning is in full swing for our Washington, DC trip in June!
The goal of this email is to talk about the next steps to register your child and to inform you about financial assistance; however, I do want to take a moment to reiterate the reason for the change to this field trip. I reviewed these at the Parent Information Night on October 28, 2015:
The Washington, D.C. trip has been a long-standing tradition/rite of passage that, while I can appreciate, needed a greater educational focus to justify the time spent out of the classroom. Teachers have expressed this view for the past several years during trip debriefings, and after accompanying last year’s grade 8, I agreed a change was needed.
Having been disappointed in the past several years with the support, responsiveness, and educational value offered by the previous tour operator, we began assessing our options. I determined that we had two options moving forward:
Discontinue this field trip.
Find an organization whose focus is education and who could help integrate the program into our 8th grade curriculum in a substantive way and make the trip more interactive for students.
Close Up is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization who is working with our teachers throughout the school year to develop lesson plans, hands-on activities, and programming that make DC relevant to the 8th grade curriculum at Hopkinton. Close Up is working with us to design a program that focuses on citizenship, current events, and helping our students to understand how the government works.
On several occasions in past years, we had issues with buses -- most famously last year, when one of our buses spent over five hours at a rest stop. This was a major area of concern, and in our extensive conversations with Close Up and the schools with which they work, we found an extremely strong track record in making travel affordable, manageable and responsive.
The cost of airfare is $300 per student. I have heard from two parents interested in booking a flight on their own as they have found less expensive fares online. Individual travelers will likely find a less expensive flight into Washington, D.C., but when we buy flights for a group of over 200 people, we do so through group reservations. The cost does not reflect the cost for one seat but for purchasing a majority of the seats on a particular flight. We book group rates because we want our students together. I would not support a trip in which we allowed individual booking as this would seriously compromise student safety in keeping our students together and monitored.
I have outlined some additional costs that go into Close Up’s transportation package to make the logistics run smoothly for a trip of this magnitude:
There is a built-in cost per student that covers a 24-hour transportation hotline in case of any emergencies, delays, or cancellations.
Close Up’s travel package includes roundtrip transfers from the airport in DC and a Close Up staff member who will meet each of our flights at the airport and help everyone to load buses and luggage. This is essential when working with a large group.
The $300 flight cost is an average of fares over the year. When Close Up purchases this quantity of seats, they get a range of price points and fares. Some are less than $300 and many are more.
As you can surely imagine, chaperones are an essential part of this trip. Included in the cost of students’ airfare is chaperones’ airfare.
On Tuesday, November 3, you should have received an email from Close Up Foundation with details on registering your child and making your first payment for our Washington, D.C. field trip from June 8 to June 10, 2016.
If you did not receive that email, please check your spam folder. If you cannot locate the email, please let me know and we will resend the information.
As a school, we are finalizing our fundraising plan. If you have suggestions for a fundraiser, are willing to help out with fundraising, or have connections with a local organization or foundation that might be willing to help (or match funds) please let us know.
Finally, should you need financial assistance in order to afford the cost of this trip, we ask that you please contact Alan Keller by December 1, 2015. Please remember to submit the financial assistance form.
Dear Grade 8 Parents,
Thank you for those who attended our Washington, D.C. Parent Information Night on Wednesday, October 28. Here is the Washington, D.C. Parent Information Presentation for your reference and for those who could not attend.
As I mentioned Wednesday night, many of you have indicated a preference for students meeting at HMS on the morning of departure and then taking a bus to the airport. We are certainly willing to do this, but it is estimated to add $12-18. Would you please complete this one-question survey indicating your interest in having your child transported by bus?
Finally, our Spring Washington, D.C. meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 24 from 7-9 pm and attendance is required for student and parent.
Alan M. Keller
September 15, 2015
Thank you for your time and attention in completing the survey regarding recommended changes to our Washington, D.C. field trip. We invite you to view results of the survey as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Trends in Substance Use Among Teens Parent Guidance Presentation
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Hopkinton High School Auditorium
Focus: Grades: 4-9th Grade
Director of Social Work,
Adolescent Substance Abuse Program
Boston Children’s Hospital
Funding Grant: Hopkinton Country Club Charitable Foundation
A presentation designed for parents of 4th-9th graders, this talk will provide basic information about the trends of substance use and abuse among teens, and will focus on what parents can do to keep their children from using. Involved parents are the first line of defense against substance use, yet many parents struggle with how to address these issues with their children. Through this presentation, parents will be given strategies on how to talk to their kids about alcohol and illicit substances, and how to handle potential use.
Dangers of a Popular Social Media App: Yik Yak
In an effort to keep teens safe, we wanted to make you aware of a recent trend in social media. Yik Yak is a social bulletin board displaying messages from people in a user’s area that can be voted “up” or “down” on the page.
The anonymous social wall has been popular in Hopkinton Middle and High School. This app is free and easy to download. The app is location based and allows you to post whatever you want about whomever you want anonymously. Its radius is limited to a 1.5 mile area, so it’s really a conversation by Hopkinton teens about Hopkinton teens. As the School Resource Officer, I have monitored this site and found some positive but mostly negative chats that are derogatory or may even be considered bullying.
There are an infinite number of applications, so we can never eliminate or block all of them. Please talk with your children about what apps they use and educate them about the dangers of social media. If you have questions, please contact:
School Resource Officer
Welcome to Hopkinton Middle School. We are excited to greet you and your child and look forward to this year.
On, all 8th graders should report to the Auditorium; all 7th graders should report to the Brown Gym; and all sixth graders will meet in the Doyle Gym. At that time, their homeroom teachers will call out their names and/or homeroom designations, and students will proceed to their homerooms, where they will receive their locker assignments.
Each homeroom teacher will carefully review schedules with their students. Each student will receive a printed schedule on the first day of school. With the exception of music and physical education classes, all related arts courses are offered on a trimester basis. Subsequently, students will be issued a new schedule each trimester. The schedule that students receive on the first day of school is for trimester one.
Due to traffic congestion and dangerous pedestrian situations, drivers who are dropping off students in the morning and/or picking up students after school must follow the blue traffic flow lines. Do not drive between rows of parked cars.
All students MUST be dropped off at the water tower/Brown Gym parking lot in the mornings. Officer Phil Powers will be present to assist with traffic flow. Please note: If you are dropping off your student, please do not drop off your student BEFOREThe building is open to students at
Please do not drop your student off in front of the Middle School building at the front entrance. Dropping off at the front entrance near the Main Office is ONLY for late drop offs AFTER, when the building is locked. For the safety of our students and staff, there should be no traffic in front of the Middle School building BEFORE
Additionally, if you must come into the Middle School to conduct business, please do not park outside the entrance to the Middle School. Visitor parking spaces are provided for you in the parking lot.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
I am looking forward to an exciting and productive school year.
Alan M. Keller
Parental Permission for Google Apps for Education
Below is the message sent from the HPS Technology Team on Friday, August 29, 2014. It is our desire to begin the year with students understanding and utilizing technology in a responsible manner, and the most efficient way is to frontload these lessons which is why I am sending this follow-up. If you have not already done so, please follow the steps below to complete the Parental Consent Form for your child.
Over the past several years Hopkinton Public Schools has embraced Google Apps for Education as a set of productivity tools and a digital learning space. The use of online tools has grown in importance, and now is an essential part of teaching and learning in our schools. Currently, teachers and students alike use Google Apps in the classrooms to support learning, exchange ideas, and to improve student-teacher communication. Because of this, we are asking that you allow your son or daughter to use these tools beginning in grade 3.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school-year, all Grade 3-12 students will be eligible for Google Apps for Education accounts. The District's Google Apps parental consent form (refer to link below) is designed to authorize student use throughout their schooling at Hopkinton Public Schools. This multi-year consent form allows students to benefit from the increasing capabilities of Google Apps while assuming greater responsibilities in the digital realm as they move up in grade level in our schools. Please be aware that parents may opt their children out of the Google Apps initiative at any point in this progression.
To help answer questions and to provide more detailed information, we have created a website that provides specific details about the tools and various levels of access at each grade. To provide permission for your son or daughter to utilize these tools in the classroom, we ask that you fill out the online consent form. You will need to use your existing schoolwires account to login to the site to gain access to the form. Please click the link below to grant consent for Google Apps for Education.
In addition you can access the information from the parents link on the district’s main website and click on the link that says “HPS Student Apps” At the bottom of the page there is a link that connects you to the form.
The NEW Elementary School start times effective in the 2015-2016 school year are listed below: