November 30th

posted Nov 30, 2011, 10:21 AM by

Upcoming Events:

2nd Annual SEPAC Holiday Social

The Maynard SEPAC invites Maynard Special Education students, parents and siblings to its 2nd Annual Holiday Social on Monday, December 5th from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Green Meadow School Cafeteria.   This family event will have lots of crafts, activities, and fun for the whole family!  Last year’s Holiday social was a huge success!  For more information or to RSVP, please contact Kyra Marino at or visit our website at  This event is free and open to the whole family for students receiving Special Education services in Maynard.

Green Meadow PTO Holiday Shopping at Clock Tower Place

Michelle L. Grace, Green Meadow PTO, would like you to join us for a festive, fun evening out and help raise money for the Green Meadow PTO.  This fundraiser is at Clock Tower Place on Thursday evening, December 1, from 6:00 – 9:00.

Enjoy some shopping at the non-profit Global Goods and The Traveling Toy Shop and feel good that 20% of all sales will be donated to the PTO to help fund the projects and support it provides to the  Green Meadow School  community.  The latest games and educational toys, unique global gifts of sterling silver jewelry, scarves, home and personal items, and gorgeous gift baskets will be available. Enjoy some socializing, shopping, and relaxing with gourmet snacks and drinks while helping our schools.

Look for the balloons and large Global Goods sign on the sidewalk across from the Blue Coyote. Parking is available on Main Street or in the Clock Tower lot. Walk through the opening of the black iron fence across from The Blue Coyote and continue down to the lower parking lot between the buildings. Then enter Building 7, Clock Tower Place through the white picket fence. The festivities will be at the shops and next to the Café. Hope to see you on Thursday, Dec. 1!

WAVM Beacon Santa Telethon

The WAVM staff would like to invite parents to donate something to our annual telethon auction.  The items should be new in a sealed container and can not contain alcohol.  Some items that we usually look for our toys, autographed sports items, sporting event tickets, household items, gift certificates, etc.  They can drop them off at WAVM during the hours of 9am to 9pm and we will give them credit. 

MHS Theatre Improve Night

The MHS theatre 101 class is presenting Improv Night this Fri. December 2, 2011.  It will be held at 7pm in the MHS auditorium. Come and enjoy an evening of laughter and fun! Admission is free with donations being gratefully accepted.  The proceeds going towards paying for the rights and royalties for our spring One-Acts.

MHS Winter Concert

The MHS Winter Concert will be held on Wednesday December 14, 2011.  The program will start at 7pm in the Maynard High School auditorium. Come hear choral music from around the world including; an Irish men’s' jig, a Polish carol, a Canadian Mouth music piece, and the
African Harambee. The band will be playing a suite from Harry Potter, Vaughan William's arrangement of Greensleeves, Once Upon a December from Anastasia, the jazz band will blow you away with 4 jazz styles being offered, the madrigals, a cappella group and wind ensemble-all
to perform for you. Admission is free. Come and hear the MHS musicians!

Academic Success

We broke a record! 8 MHS musicians auditioned for and made Senior Districts this year!  Schools are not divided by size and our district spans from 495 out to right before Springfield and up to the NH border.  Our students compete directly with over 100 schools in this district!

This is a huge honor for these students and Cindy Erickson and I are very proud!

Congratulations to:

Joe Barbagallo, Ryan Chiasson and Jeff Umbrell-trumpets,

Brian Terranova-tuba,

Lucien Gerondeau-clarinet,

Leo Kutlowski-trombone,

Tess Weyburne-french horn,
Margaret Small-voice

Jeff, Joe, Brian and Tess scored so highly that they have received an All-State rec. to audition to play in Symphony Hall in March. Tess received the highest score of all in her instrument in the district.

21st Century Learning Skills

In planning to set up the formal 21st Century Learning Skills Committee, I realized that there is a lot of data gathering that still needs to be done and that this would be best done by creating several 21st Century Learning Skills Sub-committees.  I believe that our districts would benefit by focusing on the Global Communication and Technology Integration areas of 21st Century Learning Skills.  I am in the process of developing those sub-committees and expect the business of data gathering to begin in earnest in the New Year.

On a related note, I read an interesting article in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL at:

The article starts out proposing the theory that virtual learning will replace the teacher.  Ironically, with every new technology this claim has been made and it has never come to fruition.  I remember when they said kids would be sitting in front of televisions at home to receive their education;)

The reality is that we educators know that even with the vast information that can be reached through the computer; the performance art of a great teacher motivates and supports students to achieve at higher levels.  Many of us need the interpersonal relationships that schools offer to maximize our potential. 

With that said, there are many people who are very organized and self directed and that can benefit from online learning.  In fact, my niece completed almost an entire Masters Degree in Library Science through on-line learning.  My brother has also benefited from on-line academic work.  Of course my niece and my brother were the Salutatorian and Valedictorian of their classes.   

Ultimately, the on-line learning can be a powerful tool when it is harnessed with Face-to-face teaching in a hybrid model.  This article identifies the pitfalls and lack of success strict on-line programs have had and conversely the successes of hybrid models.  I am fortunate to have some background in this area because I had one of the New England models of hybrid on-line learning in my previous district.  In my last year, we had the first totally on-line educated student graduate from our program and yet he did have face-to face time built in when he was physically able to complete tasks like our senior project.  Please feel free to review the article that I had previously written on this topic at:

It is probably becoming obvious that I enjoy writing and believe that it is an opportunity for me to get more and better school information out to the community.  I have also been writing monthly articles for the Beacon Villager that can be found in print at the end of the month and on line through Wicked Local Maynard.  Just in case you have missed those articles, the most recent on-line editions can be found at: