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Acton-Acton-Boxborough Regional PTSO Newsletter
Volume 22, No. 3 January 2010
In This Issue
Kiss Me Kate, Jan 29-Feb 5
Summer Camp Fair - Teens with Purpose!
Getting Ready for the NEASC Evaluation
What You Need to Know About HS Course Selection
Stress Management Committee
ABRHS Banner
SC Focusing on Budget
Quick Links...

Kiss Me Kate Logo


Proscenium Circus Presents "Kiss Me, Kate"

Jan 29 - Feb 5

It's summer in Baltimore, 1949, and a new musical is opening tonight. The show's stars, Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, bicker in their dressing rooms, but just before the curtain goes up, Lilli receives flowers from Fred and realizes that she's still in love with him. When she discovers they are for another actress, she has a fit on stage. Meanwhile, two thugs sent to collect a gambling debt, end up on stage and discover they enjoy the limelight. This musical-within-a-musical-comedy was Cole Porter's biggest Broadway hit. [Read more]

Summer Camp Fair - Teens with Purpose!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 5-8 p.m.

Parker Damon Building


Enrich your teen's summer and explore exciting life experiences!  The Summer Camp Fair - Summer 2010 (see flyer below) features 21 teen programs, focused on internships, building academic and creative interests, helping a community in need, travel.  [Read more]

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Lamplighter Now On the Web

The school district's quarterly publication, The Lamplighter, has been mailed to every home in Acton and Boxborough for many years.  This year, in response to concerns about the cost of printing and mailing this publication, Superintendent Steve Mills decided that the publication would be posted on the school district website, but would no longer be mailed.  The current issue is posted now (, and contains articles about the NEASC accreditation process, the budget, and updates from each of the schools.

We hope you enjoy the January-February 2010 edition of our AB Regional PTSO Newsletter.  January brings wintry weather and the flurry of budget season.  For our regional schools, there are difficult proposals being evaluated by our Regional School Committee to balance budgets in the face of reduced state revenues.  These proposals include reductions in teaching positions at both the high school and junior high, increased class sizes at both schools, elimination of 7th grade sports and increased athletic fees.  Take the time to read the article from the Regional School Committee below, and check out the information about the budgets and upcoming meetings where you can learn more about the proposals on the district website (http:// about/ meetings. shtml).  Also on the district's website is the electronic version of the

Lamplighter; as a cost-saving measure, the Lamplighter is no longer being printed and mailed to each household.


We know it's difficult to find the time in our busy lives to attend extra meetings, such as those of the Regional School Committee, but it's very important that the School Committee members hear from parents/guardians like you about your priorities as they make these difficult decisions!  We'll do our best to keep you informed, but we encourage you to attend some of the upcoming meetings, scheduled for Thursday, February 4 and Saturday, February 6.


Also inside you'll find information about two very important ongoing initiatives at the high school (the NEASC evaluation and the Stress Management Committee), as well as updates from the junior high.  The PTSO is sponsoring a forum on Wednesday, February 10 during the day and in the evening to educate all of us about course selection at the high school.  We've also included information about the Proscenium Circus production of Kiss Me Kate! as well as the Summer Camp Fair on January 19 (sponsored by the Merriam PTO).


I'm sorry to report that Becca Capodilupo has resigned her position as co-editor of the Newsletter (after contributing so much to these first two editions!).  Thank you, Becca! If you are interested in learning more about how you could become involved with the PTSO Newsletter, please contact me or one of our PTSO co-chairs, Julie McKinley or Chris Renzi.

Mary Ann Ashton and Becca Capodilupo

Editors, PTSO Newsletter

Getting Ready for the NEASC Evaluation

By Alixe Callen

Over the course of the coming months, you will undoubtedly hear the acronym NEASC bandied about often. NEASC (the New England Association of Schools and Colleges) is our accrediting agency, responsible for certifying the quality of New England's high schools and colleges, including ABRHS. This certification is critical to us as it is one of the prime indicators that colleges and universities use to determine a high school's level of quality.

Every ten years, each school accredited by NEASC must undergo a thorough review, beginning with a self-study and culminating in a site visit by 15-18 educators. Alas, 2010 is our year. We are already hard at work preparing. [Read more]

PTSO Co-Sponsors with ABRHS Admin and Counseling Dept.

What You Need to Know about High School Course Selection

Wednesday, February 10, Noon, Acton Library

Wednesday, February 10, 7 p.m., ABRHS Room 218E

Please join members of the ABRHS administration and counseling department as we provide information on helping your child to navigate the high school's course selection process. The presenters will explain the ins and outs of levels, overrides, extra-curriculars, etc., and will share their tips for helping students to achieve a happy, balanced, challenging high school experience.  The forum will be offered at Noon on February 10th in the Acton Memorial Library and again in the evening at 7:00 pm in Room 218E of ABRHS.

News from the Stress Management Committee

Submitted by Janet Maxwell, Math Teacher, co-chair

Students, parents, and faculty members repeatedly have expressed concern about the high level of stress experienced by ABRHS students.  A standing committee was formed last year which includes 12 staff members from ABRHS, and is co-chaired by myself and Debbie Leavitt from the World Languages Department.  At the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year, the group conducted surveys of students and gathered information from parents and faculty.  [Read more]

New ABRHS Banner for Mission Statement
Mission Statement

Acton-Boxborough Regional High School recently unveiled a student-designed banner depicting its newly-adopted mission statement. Pictured with the banner (below) are (left to right) Student Council President Grace Wilson (grade 12), Arnav Roy (grade 9), Student Council member Nick Forsyth (grade 10), and student artists Julianna Ge (grade 10) and Sunny Li (grade 11).

For more information about the ABRHS mission and learning expectations, see

RJGJHS Updates 
By Craig Hardimon, Principal 
Welcome back!  We hope all of our RJ Grey families had a restful winter holiday.  We are looking forward to a great 2010.  Along with January comes the winter weather and we are looking forward to our annual Ski Trip to Waterville Valley on January 23 as well as our newly formed Ski Club which will travel to Wachusett Mountain on 6 consecutive Tuesdays beginning on January 5th.   If you would like to be a chaperone on either one of these trips, you must have a current CORI form on file in our office.  [Read more]

School Committee Focusing on Budget

By Sharon Smith McManus, Chair, AB Regional School Committee

This is the time of year that budgets become an important focus for the committee.  FY10 state aid has remained stable so far, but we anticipate some actions may be announced by the Governor in January.  The School Administration has identified an additional $135K in cuts which can be implemented, if necessary.  These involve a combination of cost cutting measures and reductions in staff. [Read more]