Friday, June 12, 2009

Dear Parents, Student, and Staff:

This will be the final newsletter for the school year. I'd like to take this opportunity to share some information with you, as well as to follow up on my last newsletter.

Ashford School’s Summer Hours
Please note that from July 1-August 14, Ashford School’s summer operating hours will be Monday through Thursday 7:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. The building will not be open on Fridays.

The parent survey sent out in May asking your opinion regarding the possibility of implementing a school uniform policy was discussed at the June 4th Board of Education meeting. The results of the survey did not support developing a school uniform policy. As a result, this issue has been dropped. Thank you for your participation in this survey. Parental involvement is a critical aspect of our decision making process, and we appreciate your thoughtful responses.

Superintendent’s Advisory Council
During the past few months several parents have indicated that they would appreciate a mechanism for communicating and advising the superintendent directly. This sounds like a terrific idea. In response to this suggestion, I announced at the June 4th BOE meeting that I am seeking volunteers for Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. This group would meet once in October, January and March, with other meetings if circumstances require them. If you are interested, give us a call and we will put you on the list.

Welcome to Ashford
We are pleased to announce that our new Director of Special Education will be Mrs. Donna Hartigan. Mrs. Hartigan has had a long and distinguished career in Special Education leadership and will begin working in Ashford on July 1. We have also added a new Speech and Language Pathologist, Rebecca Driscoll. Ms. Driscoll comes to us with experience at Day Kimball Hospital with specialized certification in Assistive Technology as well as Augmentative and Alternative Communication. We are very enthusiastic about the addition of these two new colleagues and look forward to their influence in our community.

Ashford’s New Electronic Notification System
You will be receiving a form in your summer packet to ask you to enroll in an electronic notification system in the event of school closings, early dismissals, late openings, other school emergencies and announcements. This system will use automatic e-mail, text messages, and auto-dialed phone calls to alert you to important announcements in a timely fashion. This K-12 alert system is currently used in many other school districts and has proven to be reliable and efficient. We expect to begin the process this July and August.

Thank You
Now that the 2008-2009 school year is about to end, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has made me feel welcome I began at the end of January, and after nearly five months already feel like a member of your community. I am looking forward to many more opportunities for us to work together in a continuing effort to make our school one of the regions best. I also wish to remind you that I welcome your ideas, look forward to answering your questions, and hope to keep our dialogue active and open in the best interests of Ashford’s students. Please feel free to contact me.