School Superintendent Kathleen Bodie has accepted the resignation of high school Athletics Director Melissa Dlugolecki.
In a June 6 news release, Bodie wrote that the "resignation this week and the recent completion of a police investigation bring this difficult chapter regarding the Athletics Twitter account to an end."
She said that the administration will begin the search for a new athletic director for the high school.
UPDATED, June 6: The clouds held back until 321 seniors of the Arlington High School Class of 2018 sat down at Peirce Field for commencement ceremonies, but then the rain came. Just as all had in the previous four years, they endured.
“This class has experienced a great deal,” AHS Principal Matthew Janger told those gathered. “This class is the first class, I’ve said this before, where the Student Council and Captains Council came together to try to create an inclusive community. That doesn’t mean we are an inclusive community, but it means we’ve been striving together to achieve that goal.”
Jeremy Kremer-McNeil, who died in the fall of 2015, was a member of the Class of 2018 and was given an in memoriam diploma at the June 2 ceremonies. The Madrigal Singers sang Pink Floyd's “Wish You Were Here” after a moment of silence. Kremer-McNeil’s friends Wilson Li Sosna and Elijah Marshall Vandermel spoke.
Use of current Minuteman an unlikely option | Design feedback was sought until June 14
UPDATED, June 15: An estimated 200 people in Town Hall on Monday, June 4, saw details about four proposed designs for a new Arlington High School, and then many provided feedback to the committee that will recommend one proposed design to the state by the end of June.
Brief summaries of each design are below. First, consider what questions the designs spurred. Here are some selected queries and responses:
-- If construction displaces students to an off-campus location, where will they go?
One suggestion, aired since spring and repeated at the fifth forum, has been the current Minuteman High School in Lexington. That is not expected to be an option.
Dr. Edward Bouquillon, Minuteman superintendent, said in a telephone interview June 5 that timing and the school's contract with the Mass. School Building Authority makes it unlikely that current school will be available when AHS students need it.
The new Minuteman is scheduled to open near the current school, just across the border in Lincoln, in September 2019. If an override vote is successful next year, construction on a new AHS is to start in May 2020. Depending on which design is chosen, full occupancy would occur from 2023 to 2026.
The Student Council is proud to present the Arlington High School Citizen of the Month for May -- Peter Roche.
Matthew Janger, AHS principal, wrote June 4: "Peter was nominated by his peers for countless reasons. He is known by his classmates and teachers to be 'bring a positive attitude to class everyday.'
"We want to thank him for creating a wonderful sense of community and bringing joy to everyone around him, for 'working hard extracurricularly for the Varsity baseball team' and being a great community leader and role model. Some of his peers feel especially that “'his engagement, kindness, and positivity on a daily basis should be recognized/'
Thank you, Peter, for your constant efforts to make AHS a more positive and welcoming environment!
Cites yoga class as reason for leave; seeks legal advice on investigation
UPDATED, June 5: Arlington police have concluded that an image of a high school teacher described by a local TV station as “racy” was not fake and that the Twitter account it came from was not hacked, as the teacher had described.
Melissa Dlugolecki, 34, who has been the high school's athletic director for five years, told school officials in January that a photo of her that appeared on the GoPonders Twitter account was not her and that someone must have broken into her account. But police have officially discounted her version of the events.
COST OF PROBE: The Police Department estimates in good faith that the cost of the investigation to be $4,338.24, which includes an estimated 96 hours of investigative effort directly connected to the various facets of the investigation, Jim Feeney, assistant town manager, wrote June 4 following a public-records request.
"This figure does not account for any costs associated with supervisory review," he wrote.
"The criminal investigation into the alleged unlawful computer access into the AHS Athletic Department Twitter account has been closed, and the allegation was unfounded," Chief Fred Ryan told YourArlington on May 26, referring to the claim that GoPonders account had been hacked.
School Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said in a statement May 28 "... that the preponderance of evidence suggests the image that had been distributed on the Twitter account was in Ms. Dlugolecki's possession.
The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has completed its spring grants cycle and has awarded a total of $17,540 in two grant categories, Innovations in Education and the Continuing Scholar Award.
“The grants we awarded this spring highlight the compassion and depth of learning in our schools. Whether building cultural competence or finding innovative ways to demonstrate math, psychology and art concepts, we are proud to support these creative programs,” Amy Speare, AEF president, said in a May 25 news release.
Innovations in Education grants support innovative teaching and learning in classrooms throughout the district. This spring there were five such grants awarded:
The 14 involved in the May 1-2 vandalism and homophobic graffiti at Arlington High School have all agreed to restorative justice instead of facing charges.
Chief Fred Ryan has told YourArlington that the 14 offenders "have indicated a desire to participate with RJ. If any offender fails to complete the RJ process, criminal complaints for the relevant charges will be sought in a court of proper jurisdiction."
In an email May 26, Ryan noted that the "restorative justice process is unfolding, and it will take many months to complete."
Unlike the traditional criminal-justice process for first-time offenders, Ryan called the restorative process "lengthy and deliberative."
Meanwhile, Matthew Janger, principal at Arlington High, was asked how many of the 14 are seniors, and, of these, how many did he expect to be present for graduation ceremonies, which are Saturday, June 2.
Arlington's public schools are among the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District sustainability awardees.
The U.S. Department of Education has announced the district’s recognition is based on three areas:
-- Reducing greenhouse gases,
-- Addressing the nutrition, fitness, mindfulness and overall health of students and staff, and
-- Teaching curricula that addresses environmental topics at the elementary, middle and high school level.
Greenhouse gas initiatives cited include composting lunchroom food waste; solar panels on six school buildings (with display screens in each of the participating schools to educate the school community about how much clean energy each school is producing); LED exterior lighting; and kitchen upgrades.
Wellness is supported by the Arlington Eats program, which provides daily healthy snacks in collaboration with the Arlington Food Pantry. Mindfulness-based programs and before and after school fitness opportunities also improve wellness.
A fund-raiser established by the senior class at Arlington High School the day after news broke about vandalism and homophobic graffiti at the school has topped its $3,000 goal.
Olivia Weiss, a senior, reported the GoFundMe effort on the Arlington List Facebook group Friday, May 11. As of 8 p.m., $4,150 had been raised. See the donations here >>
"As we have already exceeded our goal and donations have slowed," she wrote May 11, "we will be ending the period for donations tonight but I wanted to recognize that this is something that the class of 2018 has been working on and we appreciate any and all support we can get!"
She added: "To be explicitly clear, the money will be given to the high school via the Friends of Arlington High Fund."
A meeting with student government and the administration will be held to determine the exact breakdown of how the money will be used. Find out more information here >>
The effort from the senior class addresses the fact that many of the 14 questioned in connection with the physical and emotional damage are seniors.
The office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has donated $500 to Arlington High School to promote substance-free events after prom and graduation.
Arlington High School is one of 13 high schools that applied to receive $500 from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office for safe postprom and graduation events.
Ryan has hosted events across the county to encourage teenagers to make "safe choices" when attending parties and other activities with their friends.
The Student Council is proud to present the Arlington High School Citizen of the Month -- Emily Narinsky.
AHS Priuncipal Matthew Janger reported that Emily was nominated by her peers for countless reasons. She is known by her classmates to be “kind and a hard worker, inside and outside of class”. We want to thank her for creating a wonderful sense of community and bringing joy to everyone around her, for “always participating and adding more to discussions” and being a great community leader and role model. “She is friendly towards classmates and always willing to socialize with people, even if she doesn't know them well.”
Thank you, Emily, for your constant efforts to make AHS a more positive and welcoming environment!
As April comes to an end, we will now begin accepting nominations for our May Citizen of the Month! Please take the few minutes to nominate AHS Students who:
Student members of the Arlington Regional Model United Nations & Civic Engagement Clubs (ARMUN) had a busy, successful weekend.
On Saturday, April 28, two students from the high school club participated in the Westwood High School Model U.N. Crisis Conference, for which they had spent the last week and a half preparing.
Both reported that the conference was a very engaging and enjoyable, The two were Charlotte Kilroy, home-schooled Arlington ninth grader, and Gabriello Adler-Abramo, a home-schooled Medford senior who won recognition as outstanding delegate.
The next day, the clubs divided forces and were in two places at once. Many members of the middle school club, including five Ottoson students, were at the Commonwealth School/United Nations Association Model U.N. Conference, while others were present as volunteers at the Housing Corporation of Arlington's annual Walk for Affordable Housing.
Students representing the Arlington Regional Model United Nations & Civic Engagement Clubs (ARMUN) attended the Dartmouth University Model U.N. Conference recently.
As members of the eight student team, there were four Arlington students: two from Arlington High, one from Ottoson and one home-schooled AHS freshman.
Other students on the team included two students who attend Winchester High School and a home-schooled senior from Medford and a home-schooled junior from Waltham.
The students who were part of the ARMUN team for this conference, with their school, grade and their committee assignment and committee topic for the conference, were:
Story and photos by Carla DeFord
UPDATED, April 16: This weekend come to Lowe Auditorium at Arlington High School (AHS) and dig the swingin' rhythms of Wonderful Town, a celebration of la vie bohème in Greenwich Village circa 1935, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
The jive will be jumpin' as AHS pays tribute to Bernstein during the centennial year of his birth with a cast of enthusiastic players accompanied by a 23-piece pit orchestra. So, take some advice from songs in the show and "don't be square; truck on down" to AHS on March 23, 24, and 25, and fall "a little bit in love" with Wonderful Town.
The show centers on two sisters, Ruth and Eileen Sherwood, who have come from Columbus, Ohio, to New York City to seek fame and fortune. Ruth, the brainy one, wants to be a writer, and Eileen, the beauty, an actress. Upon their arrival, they are tricked into renting a basement apartment in Greenwich Village that has a window open to passersby and is intermittently rocked by explosions from construction of a subway tunnel under the building. It's no wonder that in their first song, they ask, "Why, oh why, oh why oh -- why did I ever leave Ohio?"
4 designs go to state April 25
UPDATED, April 19: The Arlington High School Building Committee has chosen four design concepts to submit to the state, and a top town official has clarified the estimated projects costs.
After the committee reduced eight drawings from HMFH Architects to four on Tuesday, April 10, YourArlington asked Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine why the forecast costs rose from $200 million last December to more than $300 million this month.
"Thank you for writing about this important matter," he wrote April 12. "Costs have not risen by $100M since December since project estimates had never been developed or shared until last week.
ACMi video overview >>
"At the first public forum earlier this year, I was asked about potential cost for the project. I answered that while no estimates had been developed at that point, High School projects in nearby communities of a similar size and complexity were being estimated at costs well over $200M, with the Somerville High School project being estimated at $255M.
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