Friday, March 16, 2018

Our March Students of the Month

 Gabbi Lewis and Alex Phanord

Abby Hoey and Julia Stathis

Maya Barros

 Jacob Hughes

Patrick Hampton

Finn McGillvary

Other Photos from the week

Mr. Unger getting in the St.Patrick's Day spirit during Phys. Ed.

Students taking part in a Rally to support of the students and staff who lost their lives in Parkland, FL last month

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Steve Kornacki, GD Alum and MSNBC political Analyst
"How the way we receive and consume news has changed"

January 25th at 7:00pm.  Lawrence Academy

Sponsored by the Groton History Center

Free Admission; $15 donation appreciated

Friday, January 12, 2018

Photos from the week of January 8th

January Students of the Month

Emma Fournier; Senior

Lauren Audette (and chicken); Senior

Alec Moulton; Sophomore

Grace Remillard; Senior

Willow Chau; Junior

Charlie Peterson; Junior

Whitney Ellis; Sophomore

Not pictured: Caitlin Tobies; Senior

Staff and recent Alumni gathered on Wednesday afternoon to discuss life after GD.  Alums shared on what aspects of their time at GD really benefitted them and what aspects of college life they felt under-prepared for.  We plan to make this an annual event.

Members of our Seniors community came for a Luncheon on Monday hosted by our Service Learning class.  They enjoyed some food as well as some entertainment provided by the Chamber Choir (pictured) as well as the Korean Dance Club.

The Black Box Theater provided the setting for our Poetry Out Loud Finals hosted by the ELA department (Chair, Kelly Cook, pictured).

Congratulations to Junior, Megan Fitzpatrick on the victory!

Members of our PAVE classroom planned and hosted a breakfast for our Bi-Monthly District Leadership meeting this morning.  I'm not ashamed to say I was one of the first in line for the chocolate chip pancakes.  Thanks to all of the students and staff for a great start to our Friday!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Congratulations to our December Students of the Month!

Lily Orlando, nominated by Mrs. Bennett

Chloe McDonald, nominated by Mr. Hennelly

Kate Suchecki, nominated by Mrs. Liebold and Ms. McHugh

Will Manzi, nominated by Mrs. Penchansky

Abby Harris, nominated by Mrs. Olson

Jillian Van Pelt, Nominated byMr. Brown and Mr. Wilkins

Jordan Sweenie, Nominated by Mr. Brown

Riley Patten, Nominated by Ms. Penchansky

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Important Update: Vaping And Its Dangers

With the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, along with the prevalence of vape shops popping up on seemingly every corner, we wanted to share some critical information. In the past two weeks we have noticed a tremendous increase in reports of "vape use".  The purpose of this correspondence is to inform and educate, solicit help, provide resources, and outline school consequences for students who are caught vaping, or found in possession of vape products on school grounds or a school-related function.  In communicating with several colleagues throughout the state, I can tell you that this is not isolated to our school or geographic area.  With permission I have incorporated some of the information shared to parents in other districts in this entry.

School Consequences
We have witnessed an uptick in activity at GDRHS.  This is not a matter we are taking lightly. Going forward, in accordance with our handbook, students in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia (including vapes) will be suspended from school, no exceptions. Further, this is a violation of the MIAA chemical health rules and will result in loss of eligibility for a portion of the season. 

Vape Products 
Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor produced by an electronic vaporizer or e-cigarette. Pictured above are but a few examples of vapes.  The vapor can contain nicotine along with substances far worse. The liquids that are vaporized come in many different flavors; some emitting a fruit like odor, and students are led to believe vape juice is not harmful.  

Eerily similar to cigarette advertising generations ago, vapes are often marketed as innocuous and/or a healthier alternative to smoking. Not surprisingly, adolescents are a target audience.  Vapes can be used quickly and often without detection since little residual odor results from vaping, and they are usually small and easily disguised.

Vape juice is not regulated by the FDA, and therefore we often don’t know what is in the juice, nor do we know the long-term effects of inhaling these chemicals, particularly on the developing lungs and brains of teenagers.

Vaporizers/e-cigarettes (“vape pens”) come in all different shapes. Some common styles we see look like a thick pen, a stylus for an iPad, a flash drive, or a small flask with a round chimney coming off the top.  The devices are tiny and can easily be hidden on a person or blend in with standard backpack items.  Like cigarettes, stores cannot sell vaping items to people under the age of 18.   However, students report buying the devices online or from older siblings or friends. 
Vape Device:  We have taken 6 of these devices from GD students in the last week alone.  This particular product does not make any "vape juice" without nicotine.

Nicotine, Diacetyl, Marijuana & Other Vape Products
There is a considerable concern for a product called diacetyl that can found in vape products.  According to the American Lung Association Website,  "over a decade ago, workers in a microwave popcorn factory were sickened by breathing in diacetyl—the buttery-flavored chemical in foods like popcorn, caramel and dairy products. While this flavoring may be tasty, it was linked to deaths and hundreds of cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious and irreversible lung disease. As a result, the major popcorn manufacturers removed diacetyl from their products, but some people are still being exposed to diacetyl - not through food flavorings as a worksite hazard, but through e-cigarette vapor."

Nicotine and marijuana can be vaped with little fear of detection unless caught in the act. According to a school nurse who researched other drugs that can be vaped.  The results are horrifying. One site lists the following drugs:

Bath salts
Liquid THC 
Hash oil
Synthetic marijuana (spice or K2)
Psychedelics (DMT)

A contact at a college police department informed us that any drug dissolvable in glycerin can be vaped. Drugs that can be dissolved in glycerin include; ecstasy, molly (both MDA and MDMA), meth, and other amphetamines, heroin, codeine, Percocet, Ritalin, Xanax, acid, DMT, mushrooms, or even just muscle relaxers or over-the-counter medications.  

Our goal is to partner with parents to help support our students in making positive and healthy decisions.  We encourage you to have a conversation with your child about this topic. 

Below I have included some resources and pictures for your review.  Please scroll to the bottom of the page to read some common misconceptions associated with vaping and e-cigarettes provided by the American Lung Association.  For more information, please visit their website.  

American Lung Association Information

MYTH: E-cigarettes can help smokers quit.

FACT: The FDA hasn't found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.

Instead of quitting, many e-cigarette users are continuing to use e-cigarettes while still using conventional cigarettes. In 2015, 59 percent of the people who recently used e-cigarettes also currently smoked conventional cigarettes. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that even smoking a few cigarettes a day is dangerous to your health.
When smokers are ready to quit, they should talk with their doctors about using one of the seven FDA-approved medications proven to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. They can also contact the American Lung Association to find a program that is right for them.

MYTH: E-cigarettes aren't marketed to kids.

FACT: E-cigarette use among middle and high school students more than tripled from 2013 to 2015.

With aggressive industry tactics such as cartoon characters and candy flavors including bubble gum, fruit loops, chocolate and strawberry, it's no surprise studies show a dramatic increase in kids using e-cigarettes. For the first time ever, teens are smoking e-cigarettes more than traditional cigarettes.

MYTH: There's no secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes.

FACT: E-cigarettes expose others to secondhand emissions.

The aerosol (vapor) emitted by e-cigarettes and exhaled by users contains carcinogens, such as formaldehyde, according to early studies. Little is known about these emissions or the potential harm they can cause.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The week in Pictures

November Students of the Month

Meaghan Sweenie, Grade 11, Nominated by Mrs. Butler

Meira Thompkins, Grade 12, Nominated by Mr. O'Connor

Dmitri Foster, Grade 11, Nominated by Mrs. McCracken

Lauren Hill, Grade 10, Nominated by Ms. McHugh

Matt Munroe, Grade 12, Nominated by Ms. McHugh

Julia Joyce, Grade 12, nominated by Mrs. Olson

Katy Madden, Grade 11, Nominated by Mr. Palumbo

Finn Shiely, Grade 9, Nominated by Ms. McHugh

Thanks to Mrs. Nancy Ohringer for the following photos from Tuesday's Volleyball Tournament win over Wellesley.  Volleyball plays again tonight at home vs. Westford Academy in the Semi-Finals.

Prior to the Volleyball game, Rich Riley of the MIAA personally came to GD to present an award to our Girls Soccer Team.  The girls were recognized for their commitment to service during the season.

This morning we were honored to host a number of local veterans as well as some of the service reps who visit GD regularly.  It was a tremendous program this morning.  Thanks to Carolyn Abraham for the photos.

Best of Luck to the Volleyball team tonight as well as our Football team who plays at Wachusett tomorrow and our Cross Country Runners who will be participating in the Central Mass. Championships in Gardner on Saturday.