New Program Initiated around 40 Developmental Assets Approach

I apologize for the length of this message, but it contains very important details about a new effort underway. I am writing with information regarding a newly formed regional partnership aimed at strengthening the likelihood of success for our students in school and as members of the community. This regional effort, the Essex County Asset Builder Network, is being funded by the Tower Foundation. The focus is on proactive measures to equip our youth to make positive choices, rather than being reactive following an unfortunate event. The effort is framed around The 40 Development Assets Approach by the Search Institute, and you can read more about it by clicking here.

Research has identified 40 developmental assets comprised of skills, relationships and behaviors that enable youth to be successful as adults. While the assets build youth self-esteem and competence, the framework also emphasizes the importance of building community supports to help youth thrive. Recently, the communities of Amesbury, Georgetown, Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury and Newburyport have partnered together to form the Essex County Asset Builder Network and have received a grant to use a common language of asset development (creating protective factors) that will enhance the great work already being done to support youth and families, and expand community supports, opportunities, and resources. Tina Los is the Regional Project Coordinator for this work.

This fall, all communities in the partnership will be administering the Attitudes and Behaviors Survey which anonymously measures youth assets and risk behaviors with students grades 6 – 12. This data will help create a global picture of strengths and needs of our students and to help us understand how we can best support them to be successful in the future. This survey is being conducted as part of a larger regional partnership bringing the communities of Amesbury, Georgetown, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, and Salisbury together to prevent and reduce health risk behaviors among youth. The data will only be reported on a global basis by school, as there won’t be any personal  identifying information included.

We will be administering this voluntary student survey in mid November to all students in grades 6 through 12, with the exact date varying by school. This survey will be administered by your child’s teachers, be taken online, completed anonymously, and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. As a parent, your child’s school will be sending a form to officially opt out of the survey. However, students will also be instructed that they can opt out on the day of the survey, or they can skip any questions they don’t want to answer if they do participate. This will be made very clear by the teacher when administering the survey. As this is global data, the more responses we receive, the more information we’ll have to know where best to target our prevention efforts.

There will be an information session for parents/guardians at each school. Tina Los will be present, and able to answer questions about the 40 Developmental Assets, as well as the survey itself. While we can’t send home copies of the survey, we will have them available to review at the schools and also during these information sessions.

Parent Information Sessions:

  • Middle/High School: Wednesday, October 25th @ 5:30 PM
  • Newbury Elementary School: November 16th @ 6:30 PM
  • Pine Grove School: November 7th @ 6:00 PM
  • Salisbury Elementary School: November 14th @ 5:30 PM

I would encourage you to attend the parent information session if you have questions about the 40 Assets or the survey specifically. You can also reach out directly to Tina Los at TLos@cityofnewburyport.com or by phone at (978) 992-1671.

Thank you, and I look forward to partnering with you and our community at large on behalf of our children!

Brian Forget

Musical Instrument Donation to Triton Elementary Schools

The Triton community is beyond grateful to be the recipient of a generous donation of 15 woodwind instruments from the Richard Kaplan Instrument Scholarship Fund in memory of SES alum, Dick Kaplan.  Sisters Abby Kaplan Broughton, Laura Valme, and Melinda Kouloheras, raised over $2700 through a GoFundMe campaign to purchase the instruments & distribute them in memory of their late father. “He would have loved this,” Abby said.  Somewhat of a celebrity in the local music scene, Kaplan’s spirit and love of music will ring through the halls of the elementary schools for years to come.

To read more about Dick Kaplan, check out the story in the Newburyport Daily News

BRYAN EATON/Staff photo. The family of the late Dick Kaplan, a well-known local musician, donated $2,770 to Triton Regional District Schools from a foundation created for his memory. Presenting the instruments to school officials are his daughters, Laura Kaplan Valme, left, and Abigail Kaplan Broughton. Back from left, school superintendent Brian L. Forget; business administrator Michelle Cresta; Newbury Elementary School principal Beth Yango and district elementary band teacher Deb MacKinnon.

 

Salisbury Elementary PTA receives Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation Award

Salisbury Elementary PTA (SES PTA) recently received $20,000 from the Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation. This award will go to support a number of initiatives at SES including Parent Speakers, playground equipment, Triton Senior Walk, and a filtered water bubbler and bottle filling station.

Project Information:

The grants committee of the Institution for Savings Charitable Giving announced awarding SES PTA for a number of projects that the PTA supports. As proven throughout town, Institution for Savings believes in supporting Salisbury, education, youth, arts, and culture. They are dedicated to make our community a better place to live. This award is yet another example of putting their mission into motion. Monies from this award will fund a Parent Speaker Series. The 2016/2017 Salisbury Elementary PTA Community Parent Speaker Series created engaging conversations around cyberbullying, technology, learning, anxiety, behavior, positive parenting, and so much more. Community Parent Speaker Series connect the community with leaders in the fields of socio emotional, physical, technological, and education to discuss important topics that impact our children, our families, and our school.  The 2016/2017 Free Parent Speaker Series at Salisbury Elementary funded by Institution for Savings were a wonderful success. SES Cafetorium was filled with those that live and interact with children, many of which attended all sessions. Parenting is an incredibly hard job, it is dynamic and emotional. Empowering those that interact with children with the resources, tools, and knowledge from respected professionals will lead to our children making better choices and our families living happier lives.

A portion of the award will be used to purchase portable playground equipment. SES Playground was constructed in 2000 and contains the original equipment. Portable equipment will provide much needed, immediate, fun and engaging activities to keep children physically active during recess.

A new, but already favorite tradition: Triton Graduate Senior Walk. Triton Graduating Seniors will be transported to their alma mater, SES, wearing their caps and gowns, parading through the school while children line the hallways and high five and cheer them on. Graduates are then to proceed to the gymnasium for question, answers, and short speeches. This event is inspiring for our elementary students, empowering for our teachers, and builds confidence and celebrates our seniors.  Funding will provide transportation and a luncheon to conclude the event.

Lastly, SES PTA will use a portion of the funding to retrofit a filtered hydration filling station near the café and gymnasium. A filling station will quickly fill a cup or a reusable water bottle with FREE, cold, fresh, and filtered water that children, staff, and/or guests can drink throughout the day.  Filling stations will also move the school toward sustainability—reducing single-use plastic water bottle waste.

Once again, the Institution for Savings generosity will have such a huge impact on our school, the PTA, and more importantly our children! Our relationship with the Institute has always been positive and they have shown such generosity in many different ways. They are truly carrying out the vision to positively affect the lives of every person, business and organization within the communities they serve.

Salisbury Elementary School PTA is a nationally recognized PTA School of Excellence and  is also the oldest operating PTA, founded in 1910. SES PTA strives to carry out the mission and values of the PTA, which are to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. Encouraging and supporting student growth is one of the most important aspects of education. The SES PTA addresses these issues through training and support of local PTA units as well as collaborations on projects and educational programs. SES PTA is continually striving to advocate, communicate and support our units with the ultimate goal of keeping parents and our community involved in our children’s education. 

Not only do they provide a voice for our community’s children, they  work hard to ensure these children have enriching educational experiences that they may not have otherwise.

Graduate Tour Slideshow

Last Thursday, Triton’s graduating Seniors returned to their former elementary schools for a final farewell. It was a wonderful experience for the elementary students, teachers & staff, and the seniors themselves, and will hopefully be the start of a new tradition at Triton. Take a look at the slideshow for a sneak peek of the day.

Triton Seniors Take Graduate Tour

It all started last year when an article was posted on the popular blog site, “Scary Mommy” about a school in Texas that implemented a “Senior Walk” at the end of the year.  The “walk” consisted of this: all graduating seniors donned their caps & gowns and paraded through the hallways of their elementary school as current elementary students cheered them on.  This year, with the support of Superintendent Brian Forget, all three elementary schools in the Triton School District will be part of what promises to be an inspiring new tradition.

On Thursday, June 1st, Triton graduating Seniors will be bussed to their former elementary schools in their graduation regalia to carry out the Graduate Tour.  Current elementary students will line the halls to celebrate the graduates and bear witness to what their own future could look like. It’s no secret that most elementary students are somewhat in awe of and want to emulate “big kids,” so seeing them in such a way will surely serve as inspiration to them.  Likewise, the seniors will have a chance to see how far they’ve come, say thanks to their teachers, and for a moment, step back in time.  Senior Erin Savage reflects, “For me personally, NES was my home away from home when I was a kid, and was where I developed most. I’m beyond grateful for everyone who was a part of the journey and all the opportunities that were given to me. There’s no better way to celebrate than by going back to the place that made it all possible.” Students, of course, won’t be the only ones to benefit.  Former teachers and staff are just as eager to have a chance to congratulate and send off their former students.

Each school has different events planned after the tour, from assemblies to PTA sponsored lunches.  Whatever the day holds, coming full circle will be the perfect way for graduating seniors to complete their experience at Triton. We wish them all the best in the future!

Triton Kitchen Managers Receive School Nutrition Association Certification

Did you know that students who eat a healthy diet are more likely to have improved attention spans,  perform better in academics and generally make healthier life decisions, from food choices to physical activity? 

Triton is proud to announce that every Kitchen Manager across the district has now been certified by the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, nonprofit professional organization recognized as the authority on school nutrition. The SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946.

Why be Certified?

With the ever changing requirements and regulations of the school nutrition program, it’s more important than ever to invest in school nutrition professional development.  School Nutrition staff who achieve a Certificate in School Nutrition from SNA commit to ongoing training, growth & education that align with the USDA Professional Standards. Earning a Certificate in School Nutrition increases an individual’s knowledge of food safety and nutrition and demonstrates a commitment to the profession.

Congratulations to Lucinda Ward (District Director), Sharon Bolduc (MS/HS Kitchen Manager), Melinda Carey (PGS Kitchen Manager), Tammy Souther (SES Kitchen Manager), and Charlene Walsh (NES Kitchen Manager), who are all SNA Certified!

2017-2018 School Calendar

The Calendar for the 2017-18 School year has been approved by the School Committee and can be found below.

 

Download (PDF, 583KB)

Triton Night at Sea Festival of Trees – 11/22

Looking to get in a festive spirit? “Triton Night at SeaFestival of Trees” is Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Students and residents of Newbury, Byfield, Rowley, and Salisbury receive discounted admission, free hot cocoa and a cookie! Admission is only $2. The money raised at the festival benefits Anna Jaques Hospital and the Salisbury Beach Partnership.

This year our district is showcasing four trees! Salisbury Elementary School, the Salisbury Elementary PTA, Triton, and TALC are all donating trees.

Download (PDF, 431KB)

Superintendent Forget Announces Listening Forums at All Schools

 

A letter from Superintendent Forget:

As I have previously mentioned, I am conducting a formal entry planning process that includes a vast array of listening meetings to hear from all constituencies across the Triton district. I have completed 32 meetings to date that include private interviews, as well as public meetings with groups including staff, the Triton SEPAC and Boards of Selectmen. Through these dialogues, I have been able receive clarity on some issues, and provide clarity to some on others. With 32 meetings under my belt, and another 30+ to go, I have already learned invaluable information about our district that will help guide us as we look to celebrate our successes while striving to continually make our schools better.

I have scheduled an open forum style meeting for you as parents and guardians at each of the 5 schools in the coming weeks. With an eye towards learning what we do well and where we need to improve, your perspective as parents and guardians is unique, and can differ significantly from school to school. That is the basis for scheduling meetings at each location.

The following are the dates scheduled for these listening forums.

Newbury Elementary: Monday, November 21st at 7:00 PM – NES Auditorium
Pine Grove School: Wednesday, November 30th at 7:00 PM – PGS All Purpose Room
Salisbury Elementary School: Monday, November 28th at 7:00 PM – SES Library
Middle School: Monday, December 12th at 7:00 PM – Middle School library
High School: Monday, December 19th at 7:00 PM – High School Library

My intentions from these sessions are not to identify those that shared the information in my public findings in the spring, but to look at those data points among many to find trends and patterns of our collective beliefs. That said, if there is information that you believe is important for me to know, but while sitting there you feel it is not something that is not productive to share in an open forum, I would be happy to hear from you directly or to meet with you personally afterwards. You can contact me directly via email or by phone.

I look forward to your thoughts, and encourage everyone to come and participate in these sessions.

Brian