"October 7th Reflections": Weekly Update from Dr. V

Weekly Update
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Weekly Update
October 7, 2016

Senior peer minister Hannah Cunniff poses with her small group in the newspaper structure they built on the Eighth Grade retreat on Wednesday.
Reflections on the Week

The incident pertaining to the rumor on social media Wednesday that caused us to initiate our safety protocols was very trying. We had two very positive days Thursday and Friday, returning to our normal routine.  
It bears repeating that there never was a credible threat against the safety of our students; however, it is perfectly understandable that some in our community remain unsettled. We know that the unsubstantiated rumors still weigh on some students’ minds, despite the reassurances from AWHS and the Braintree Police Department.

Furthermore, this incident occurred in a general milieu of unease, which includes the “clown scare” that has made its way through our cities and towns.

Working through this event, we have learned some lessons that will further strengthen our ability to keep everyone safe. I would like to again thank the Braintree Police Department for being such good partners with AWHS, especially School Resource Officer Lisa Fahey.
Moving forward, it will be helpful, as parents, for you to “take your child's temperature” and ascertain any potential anxiety levels. Naming the issue at hand can open the door to productive conversations about the world in which we live.
In discussing the incident with your child, we hope you take the opportunity to extend the conversation begun at our assembly on Wednesday on the consequences of spreading rumors, especially on social media. This particularly includes the “group texts” that many of our students utilize. 

In the assembly, our students identified ways to repair any damage caused by the use of social media. The process begins, as one senior stated in front of the whole school, with an apology. It continues by resolving, as several students added, in not spreading information about others without having direct knowledge.
None of this means that students should not report a social media rumor to an appropriate authority figure. We continue to applaud those students who showed leadership in this regard this past week.We know that more leaders will emerge as we deal with the effects of the incident in the days to come.

Archbishop Williams is an inclusive community and nobody should be made to feel unwelcome here through what others state – without any credibility – on the internet. Instead, let us continue to remind all who pass through our doors that the love of Christ drives us on.
Feast of St. Francis
On Tuesday, we held a beautiful Mass for the Feast of St. Francis in our Auditorium. Fr. Chris Palladino of St. John’s Parish in Quincy celebrated the Liturgy, which was hosted by the seventh grade. As fitting the patron saint of animals, a pre-Mass slideshow featured pictures of our seventh graders with their pets. Our youngest students did a fantastic job, especially our readers: Matt Bolduc, Brianna Adams, Sarah Weitsen, and Joseph Creamer. The choir was also in fine form performing a beautiful post-Communion meditation of The Servant Song.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace:  Fr. Chris Palladino prepares the Gifts with alter servers Sallyrose Savage, Sam Rossini, and Teddy Rossini; Seventh grader Matt Bolduc proclaims the (lengthy) first reading from Galatians.
School Messenger
For the 2016-2017 school year, Archbishop Williams is transitioning its provider of emergency notification services from Parent Reach to School Messenger. School Messenger is the largest notification service in the United States and will offer us some advantages that our previous system did not have. It seamlessly integrates with PowerSchool and will eventually give us the ability to distribute report cards electronically in a FERPA-compliant method and automatically generate absence notifications.
One feature of School Messenger that is different from Parent Reach is that you need to “opt-in” to receive text message notifications.  On Tuesday morning, we will be sending out a test, text message to all of the cell phones that are in our database. The message will ask  if you wish to receive text notifications from the school. You will need to reply to the message with a “Y” in order to have that cell phone activated in the system. 
Prior to the text message on Tuesday, we will also send a test automatic phone call
For more information on the “opting-in” process, you can read this handout.
Flu Shot Clinic: Tuesday, October 18
The Nursing Department in collaboration with the Braintree Board of Health will again be offering free Seasonal Influenza (Flu) vaccination to students in Grades 6-12. The AWHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination clinic will be held during school on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Only students with written parental permission will be allowed to receive the vaccine. Please read the required Consent Form , the Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) and the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS) Fact Sheet.

If you are interested in having your child participate in the School Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program, please complete the consent form and have your child return it to the Main Office by Thursday, October 13th. We need the completed consent form so Braintree will appropriately stock the clinic on Tuesday.
We hope everyone who wishes will be able to take advantage of this opportunity. Flu season is coming, stay healthy!
If you have any questions please contact our school nurse, Holly Bartlett, R.N. at 781-843-3636 x11421. 

Memorial Scholarship Volleyball Game
Next Saturday’s home volleyball game (Oct 15 at 4pm vs. SSCA) will be raising money for the Kate McCarthy Memorial Scholarship.  Admission will be charged at the door and it will be discounted by $1 if individual(s) attending wear purple (to honor Kate’s favorite color).  A bake sale and raffle will be held with all proceeds going to the Memorial Scholarship.  Also, all former AWHS volleyball players are invited to play in an alumni game that day vs. the varsity team at 2:30 pm. 

Senior Portrait Make-Up Sessions Next Week

A number of seniors still need to have their senior portraits taken by the official yearbook photographer.  You may not use a different photographer for your yearbook portrait.  If you have not had your picture taken, McGrath studios has scheduled you for a portrait time on either October 11th or 12th.  The assigned times are posted outside room 013.  

See Ms. Roach if you have questions (mroach@awhs.org).

Senior Career Breakfast: Friday, October 21

A week from next Friday will be our Career Breakfast for the senior class. On this date, alumni, parents, and friends of Archbishop Williams will be on hand to talk about their professions in a relaxed setting in our Gymnasium. Students will indicate their preferences for particular fields during their Math classes next week. The event begins at 8AM so there will be no senior privilege on this date. Seniors need to be in Mass Dress.

We still have limited number of spots for guests to represent particular fields. If you would be interest in talking to our seniors on Friday, from about 8:00 - 9:15 AM, please email me by Tuesday.

Eighth Grade Retreat
Lost in the frenzy of Wednesday’s activities, our eighth grade class had its retreat at St. Thomas More in Braintree. The students had an incredible day of team building and reflecting on how they can have a stronger faith and be better citizens of Archbishop Williams.
Paul L. Dignan ’55 Athletic Training Center—Just Over a Week Away
The official ribbon cutting ceremony for our new weight room will be on Saturday, October 15, and it will be fully ready for student use on Monday October 17. In the interim, our Athletic Department will be holding orientation sessions to prepare our students on how to use the new equipment. All students who use the weight room must attend an orientation session and sign an acknowledgment form of the rules of the facility.
Until we officially open the facility on October 17, the locker rooms will remain closed. We appreciate everyone’s patience as it has been a major inconvenience for our fall student-athletes not to have access to the locker rooms. We are confident, however, that the weight room will be well worth the, ahem, wait.

Mark Your Calendar: Parent Teacher Conferences, Nov. 10

Parent Teacher Conferences will be Thursday, November 10 from 3:00-5:00 PM and from 6:00-8:00 PM. On this date, there will be no after school supervision so please plan accordingly.

Message from Cardinal Sean on Ballot Question No. 4

Cardinal Sean has asked that all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston distribute a personal statement from His Eminence as well as this statement from the Massachusetts Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly opposing Ballot Question No. 4. This question pertains to the legalization of marijuana in the state of Massachusetts. 
And Lastly: Enjoy the Long Weekend
Columbus Day weekend is the first mini-break of the school year. I hope all in our community enjoys the fall weather and can decompress a little after a trying week. Please keep in your prayers all of the victims of Hurricane Matthew.
As always, if there is anything we can do to better serve you or your child, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for choosing Catholic education and being part of the Archbishop Williams community.

Dr. V.
Michael R. Volonnino, Ph.D.
Zero Coke: (L to R) Sophmores Kristen Burke and Maria Perez DeVargas Martin try out the new fountain drink dispenser installed this week in the cafeteria. Despite the Coca-Cola branding, there are no soda options. Instead, students can choose from Vitamin Water, Iced Tea, Lemonade, and Powerade. There are zero and reduced sugar offerings. In three days, the cafeteria has already sold out of "Blue" Powerade.
About Williams

Archbishop Williams High School is a Catholic co- educational high school which educates young men and women spiritually, academically, morally, and physically. Archbishop Williams is part of a Christian community that integrates learning with faith and focuses on developing the whole person.
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