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RAMS News February 16, 2018

posted Feb 16, 2018, 4:28 PM by Jessica Beattie

In this edition of RAMS NEWS February 16, 2018

-   Talking to students: Tragic Events in Florida

-   Athletics: Track and Field Information

-   SBIRT- Grade 7 Only

-   High School Program of Studies Parent Night- Gr 8

                -   SEPAC Event

-   MCAS Spring 2018 Schedule

-  Calendar Events

Tragic Events in Florida

Many of you have heard about the sad news regarding recent school shootings, specifically in Florida.  While we offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims of this tragedy, it is important that we recognize our students here at Adams may be struggling to understand the information they will be exposed to over the next few days, weeks, and months.    

Over the past couple of days, the Adams Middle School Crisis Team has been working to determine how to best address these tragic moments with our students. Through the work of our Crisis team and conversations with our entire staff, we will be using part of our upcoming Advisory on Monday, February 26, to have small group discussions regarding tragic events such as the one in Florida. We hope that this will allow students and staff to engage in conversations around their feelings and concerns in a broad, but meaningful manner.   

Additionally, we understand that from a parent perspective these conversations may be difficult to have at home. Below is a resource that may be helpful in guiding your own conversations around tragic events. If you feel you need more information regarding how to talk to your child about these events, or know that your child might need particular attention and support, we encourage you to contact one of our school  counselors.

Tips for Parents and Teachers

Mrs. Gennie Guellnitz, Grade 6 Guidance Counselor at extension 1414

Mr. John Powers, Grade 7 Guidance Counselor at extension 1419

Mrs. Angela Gavan, Grade 8 Guidance Counselor at extension 1415

Mrs. Gretchen Powers, Adjustment Counselor

Mrs. Jessica Smith, School Psychologist

Athletics: Track and Field

We are looking forward to the start of the Robert Adams Middle School SPRING Track and Field Interscholastic Athletic Program!   As we do each year, we are participating in the Middle School “Bay Valley” League.  

Practices will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:45 p.m.  Practices will start in March here at RAMS and then move to Holliston High School (when available).  All Parents/Guardians will be expected to pick up their athletes at RAMS or HHS at 4:45 p.m.  It is VERY important that all parents/guardians provide a frequently-used primary email during the registration process.  We anticipate having to be in regular contact in order to inform everyone of changes to practice times and/or location due to weather, changes in HHS track availability, etc.

Enrollment is NOW OPEN for all grades.  Registrations will be accepted on a first come/first serve basis, however priority will be granted to 7th and 8th grade student athletes if the number of registrations exceed pre-established limits.  In this case, a wait-list will be generated for additional 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.

Student-athletes who are interested in participating are required to complete and turn in ALL of the following Enrollment/Acceptance documents, to be certified by the athletic department and school nurse.  If any of the documents are missing and/or not up-to-date (ie, physical), athletes will NOT be allowed to participate in practices or meets.

Parent/Guardian Track Forms:

1.  Complete the online Sports Registration Form (complete this ASAP to reserve a spot on the team)

2.  Online Concussion Training Program - Parents/Guardians and athletes complete online, print, sign and return the online Concussion Training completion form. This form is required for each season of participation.

3.  Online Holliston Bullying/Hazing Policy - Parents/Guardians and athletes complete online, print, sign and return the online Bullying/Hazing Training completion form.  This form is required for each season of participation.

4.  Opioid Information - Parents/Guardians and athletes must review the information on this link. There is no form to sign, but please review.

5.  Documentation for a physical that was conducted within the past thirteen months.

6.  The program fee of $175 may be paid online during registration or in the form of a check written out to Town of Holliston.  6th Grade parents will not make payment until their child’s position on the team has been confirmed.  Please note on the check the student’s name and the sport the child will be playing. (If anyone requires financial assistance, please send a brief note and a contact phone number to Interim Principal David Jordan that explains the circumstances.)


Important Track Dates:

Wednesday March 14th at 6pm- Spring Sports Information Night for Parents/Guardians and athletes

Tuesday, March 20th - First practice (at RAMS) - All documentation must be completed to begin practicing.

Thursday, May 17th - Last regular season meet/End of regular season (tentative; schedule will be released once confirmed)

Saturday, June 2nd - State Meet (athlete must qualify; more information will be provided during the season)

Attempts will be made to schedule competitions on practice days, however there will be times when they are scheduled for Mondays or Fridays.  Meet schedule will be posted and updated on the RAMS website as soon as it is confirmed.

Please note that transportation will not be provided to students following practices; please make arrangements to pick up athletes promptly at 4:45pm.  Also, if there is not sufficient interest in one or more of the athletic programs, the school reserves the right to cancel based on participation numbers.  In that case, your tuition will be refunded.

If you have any questions about the program, you may email or phone Mr. Chris Vanesian, our Interim Athletic Coordinator – or 508-429-0657 x4127.

SBIRT- Grade 7 Students Only

In response to the increase in drug and opioid use in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention” (H. No. 4056). Among its many components, this law mandates that school districts annually conduct verbal substance abuse screenings in two grade levels.

In compliance with this new law and in order to help prevent students from starting to use substances, or intervene with early use, the Holliston Public Schools will be conducting an interview-based screening for 7th grade students around the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. The screening will occur on March 8 with all 7th graders.  This screening will follow the SBIRT protocol (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and will utilize the CRAFFT screening tool, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Substance Abuse. Student screening sessions will be brief (approximately 5 minutes) and conducted confidentially and in private by the school nurse or a guidance counselor who has been specially trained to conduct the screening. Healthy life choices will be reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances, or is at risk for future substance use. If needed, the student will be referred to our adjustment counselor for further evaluation. Results of the screening will not be included in your student’s school record.

As with any school screening, you have the right to opt your child out of this screening. If you wish to do so, please notify Mr. Jordan in writing via email at, ideally prior to March 6.  Additionally, screening is voluntary and students may choose not to answer any or all the screening questions.

Neuroscience tells us that the developing adolescent brain is at particular risk for addiction, so intervening early, before a substance-use disorder develops, is key to the life-long health of our students.  While no single screening or intervention will have 100% success, we welcome the opportunity to increase the chances that our students will remain safe and substance-free.

Rescheduled- Holliston SEPAC Parent Ed: Homework, home routines, and other Executive Functioning Skills in the home setting

We use our executive functioning skills across all aspects of our day, not just within the academic context of school.  Sometimes our students with disabilities present with even more executive functioning challenges in the home setting versus the school setting.

“If only she could brush her teeth and hair without a half dozen reminders?” “If only he could actually remember his homework after he does it?”  This seminar will focus on teaching practical methods to ease homework and home routines as well as increase your child’s independence no matter their age or ability!

Presenters:  Victoria Briggs, District BCBA & Jessica Smith, School Psychologist

Where: RAMS Multi Purpose Room (Room 109)

When: February 28, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

MCAS Schedule Spring 2018

It is that time of year! Please use the following link to view the Spring 2018 MCAS Schedule for Robert Adams Middle School.  

Holliston High School Program of Studies Night

On March 7, 2018 at 7:00pm the 8th grade parents/guardians should plan to attend the Program of Studies night focusing on course selections and the scheduling process.  At this time, you will have an opportunity to meet the high school department leaders and clarify any questions you may have regarding your student's course offerings.

Laps-at-Lunch- Parent -Volunteers Needed!!

Our Laps-at-Lunch initiative has been a huge success!  Students are loving the opportunity to go outside when weather permits or walk in the gym during the cold wintery months. In order to continue with this initiative, we are in serious need of parent volunteers.  If you have any availability between 11:00-12:30 Monday-Friday please consider signing up using the link below. To volunteer, parents will need a CORI on file, which can be filled out in the RAMS front office.

Laps at Lunch Sign up


February 28 SEPAC Event:  Homework, home routines, and executive functioning skills @      

7Pm RAMS Multi Purpose Room

March 1         Grade 7 Culture Connections: Chariot of the Sun

March 7         Grade 8 Program of Studies Night at HHS 7-9PM

March 8           Grade 7 SBIRT Screening in school

March 13         Grade 6 Harvard Museum Field Trip Team 2

March 14         Parent Information Night-Track & Field Grades 6-8 @ 6pm Rams Auditorium

March 16         Grade 6 Harvard Museum Field Trip Team 1

March 21         Grade 6 Harvard Museum Field Trip Team 3

March 23         Special Olympics @ Medway