Dr. V's Weekly Update

Weekly Update: December 15, 2017: Policy Update on Outerwear and Vaping
Weekly Update
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I Love ID Cards: Ms. Stephanie Mariano '08, shows off her homeroom's ID cards before they got distributed while bemused senior Joey Larossa looks on. All students received their new ID card which can swipe them into our buildings during school hours. Students are reminded to take good care of their cars as replacements cost $10. Additionally, they are reminded to only swipe in AWHS students, faculty, or staff.
One Short Week Left Till Christmas

The holiday spirit really picked up around Archbishop Williams this week as we gear up for Christmas vacation. Doors are being decorated and our Christmas Revels was wonderful. It is hard to believe that next Wednesday is our last day before the break.

Please remember that it is an 11:30 AM Dismissal and there will be no after school supervision. It will also be a Christmas-themed “Red and Green” Dress Down Day. Students should be in red, green, or suitable festive attire. It is our tradition that seniors wear ugly Christmas sweaters. We will close out 2017 at AWHS with an Advent Prayer Service at 10:30 AM that all in our community are invited to attend.

If you need a last-minute gift idea, we still have hats and ties for sale in the Main Office. Ties are $25 and the Parents Support Board has slashed the cost of hats to $20.

Next week’s newsletter will be filled with highlights of our celebrations throughout the school. For this week, however, we wanted to take this space to address two policy concerns as 2017 wraps up. The first, a reminder on outerwear in the cold weather and the second, the ongoing issue of vaping and remind everyone of the seriousness of this issue and its consequences.

Scenes from Christmas Revels Thursday Night

Uniform Outerwear In Cold Weather

As the weather gets cold, we want to remind students that they need to be in uniform outerwear, purchased either through the Adidas spirit-wear shop or through Flynn O’Hara. On almost all days, the outerwear is sufficient warmth for the very brief walk between Nazareth Hall and the Main Academic Building.

We do relax the guidelines on particularly cold days (we’ve only had a few thus far) and permit students to wear non-uniform outerwear while they are outside. However, they should be put on as the student is about to exit a building and removed immediately upon entry. When in the middle of a hallway, “I’m on my way to Nazareth Hall” is not a valid excuse for being in non-uniform outerwear.

We appreciate your support as we work to maintain our school uniform (students are doing a good job with it, in general) and keep our children warm in the winter.

Vaping Policy

The administration, faculty, and staff of Archbishop Williams continue to be concerned about the problem of the use of vaping devices or “juul” devices among our student population. This is an issue that is prevalent among all teenagers across the country and AWHS, unfortunately, is no exception.  We worry that our students do not fully appreciate the potential health risks of the inhalation of the vapor, which can contain an array of chemicals including nicotine and THC (the active chemical in marijuana), and can be addicting.

The Centers for Disease Control has an excellent article explaining this trend and its health risks as well as a parent tip sheet: https://www.cdc.gov/features/ecigarettes-young-people/index.html.

We have spoken to our student body in multiple formats from class meetings to “Meet the Coaches” night about the risks involved with vaping and the disciplinary consequences of being caught. Vaping incidents are usually considered under the tobacco policy found on page 30 of our Student/Parent Handbook as an e-cigarette/electronic cigarette. While we have mentioned it before, we would like to reiterate the seriousness with which we take violations under this policy.

A first offense carries a one-day suspension from school. A second offense results in a two-day suspension, placement on disciplinary probation, and mandated attendance at a smoking cessation program. If the student if placed on disciplinary probation for a violation involving vaping, the student will also not be permitted to assume any leadership position in any school-related activity and be excluded from all non-academic school activities and events (per p. 32 of our Student/Parent Handbook).

Furthermore, the use of a vaping device is also a chemical/health violation under MIAA guidelines. The sanction for a first violation is the loss of 25-percent of the student’s sports season—a punishment that carries over if it happens at the end of a season, in between seasons—even into the next school year.

These sanctions will be invoked regardless of the substance found in the vape. However, under certain circumstances, incidents involving vaping or vape devices may be treated as a violation of the Alcohol/Drug policy (also found on p. 30 of the Handbook), and carry greater sanctions.

We need your support to help our students make the right choice concerning vaping. Below you will find pictures of some of the devices, which can look like USB flash drives, and are easy to conceal.

Have a conversation with your child and be vigilant, especially during our upcoming Christmas vacation.

If you have any questions concerning either of these policies, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for your support.

Common Devices Used in Vaping: (Top to Bottom, Left to Right) A typical vaping pen; A "juul" device; A "juul" device charging in a computer; An oil cartridge used in "juuling" devices with cap.
As always, thank you for being part of our community. It's always special to be part of a Catholic school at Christmastime. If there is ever anything we can do to better serve you or your child, please do not hesitate to ask.

Pax,

Dr. V.
Michael R. Volonnino, Ph.D.
Principal
Perfect Attendance Award: We held a raffle this week among all students who had perfect attendance for the first quarter. There was one winner per grade level. Pictured getting her Mary Lou's gift card from Coach K is senior Chiara Lamparelli. We will have a raffle every quarter based on that quarter's attendance to encourage our students to be in school.
Mission

Archbishop Williams High School is an independent, Catholic, college preparatory, grades 7-12 school. We endeavor to educate young men and women spiritually, intellectually, ethically, and physically. Driven by the love of Christ, in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, we integrate learning with faith. We strive to graduate socially aware, morally responsible citizens prepared to succeed and to serve their local and global communities. 
AWHS Student Handbook
2017-2018 School Calendar
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