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News

Wakefield Co-Op Bank sponsors annual LAA 4th of July Road Race

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Start your 4th off with a bang and join us on Tuesday, July 4th at 9:00 a.m. for the Lynnfield Athletic Association’s 50th annual 4th of July 5K Road Race. The race starts and finishes at the Lynnfield Town Hall at 55 Summer St. It is a pleasant out-and-back route heading down Summer Street, right onto Walnut Street, left onto Thomas Road, left onto Summer Street and back to Town Hall. This is a family friendly event. Awards are given in a variety of age groups ranging from 10 and under to 70 and over. There will be a DJ and raffles. Whether you are a looking for a PR or out for a leisurely run, don’t miss the fun! Rain or sun we run!

All proceeds benefit athletic programs and provide scholarships for deserving student athletes of Lynnfield High School.

Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Lynnfield Town Hall.

Avoid race day lines and register online now at active.com: $15 for 11 and under, $20 for 12-18, $25 for 19 and over. Individuals who register online before June 26 are guaranteed to receive a tee shirt.

For further information, contact Andrea Braconnier at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

At years’ end, resiliency and consistency come to the fore

Lynnfield is trying to bounce back. With another school year closed and in the books, educators are regrouping and figuring out new ways to make Lynnfield schools even better.

According to Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay, the school is carrying out a series of meetings to implement its new School Improvement Plans (SIPs), which were delivered in a workshop format last month (May 23).

Among the topics discussed, resiliency and enhanced communication between schools and parents rose to the top. Amid a Lynnfield Middle School lagging behind at a current Level 2 rating, Principal Stephen Ralston outlined his plan.

A better Middle School

Ralston’s plan was twofold: Make the concept of resiliency standard in schools and promote the school’s “core values” among students.

Ralston said that the “coming together” of the two elementary schools (Huckleberry Hill and Summer) can pose challenges as children navigate new friendships all the while transitioning into a bigger school. He also said that the topic of resiliency would also serve to help kids who may be transitioning out of a childhood friendship, which can be “very devastating.” Merriam-Webster dictionary defines resiliency as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

One way he hopes to spread resiliency is by following a set of “resilient best practices.” Currently, he said, these practices are occurring in “pockets” of the schools – but really the goal is to make it standard. In practice, Ralston said, resiliency-building practices can look like “calling on students” and encouraging them to find the answer themselves rather than giving the answer right away. Another might be more directly addressing how students handle assessment, especially when it’s bad – particularly by fostering close, meaningful relationships with students. Ralston said that the school will also be utilizing the school psychologists to help implement the new plan.

“We’re really looking to formalize this within the school and spread it throughout for all grades and all subjects,” he said.

School Committee Chairman Tim Doyle called resiliency “a great tool.” After Ralston’s presentation, Doyle wondered if the district could similarly follow suit by standardizing resiliency across all schools – “It makes me wonder if it’s a theme that should be woven throughout the district,” he said.

The suggestion developed into a full-blown, enthusiastic discussion among all school leaders about the importance of the skill. “The social/emotional is so critical to the academic,” Director of Teaching and Learning Kevin Cyr said.

Resiliency could help improved kids’ academic performance. In response to a question by Doyle, Ralston offered the “classic example” of a kid worried about someone looking at them. He said that being resilient would allow the child to “tune out some of the social noise and focus on the instruction.”

On the subject of poor grades – rather than a child being defeated – he said that the help of a thoughtful teacher taking the time to check in on the child after class would be beneficial as well.

“A lot of it’s around the approach and the words and the relationship the teacher has with the student” Ralston said, mentioning the need for “fine-tuned approaches.”

In addition to resiliency, Ralston announced another of his goals, which rests on the school’s core values. Ralston said he hopes to bolster the Middle School’s core values, which were conceived a few years ago, even more by weaving them into the school’s curriculum. Dubbed “STARS” (Self-advocacy, Tolerance, Achievement, Respect and Service), the values will bring a sense of direction to students. As part of efforts to guide students, Ralston added that the school has made the slogan the cover of the “student agenda book” and it is up on posters in all classrooms.

But he wants to take it a step further. Ralston said that he hopes to “dovetail [the core values] with the curriculum.”

Among the “best ways to improve student engagement,” Ralston explained, is to relate it “to what the students are experiencing.”

He said that this can be done around many themes. Characters in literature and history can teach “self-advocacy,” he said, while the civil rights unit can help students understand “tolerance.” And there are many more.

There are “unlimited potential connections with our curriculum,” Ralston said.

Last Tuesday The Advocate talked to Superintendent Tremblay to see what she thinks of the School Improvement plans. “I fully support all the school SIP plans,” Tremblay said.

The Advocate also asked whether Tremblay thought Ralston’s plan would address the Middle School’s Level 2 ranking. According to the Massachusetts Department of Education’s website, Lynnfield Middle School is underperforming in the areas of Special Education, current and former English Language Learners (ELL) and economically disadvantaged students.

The schools “work endlessly,” she said, to “meet the needs of all students.” She went on to emphasize that everything the schools do are meant to impact all students. In terms of specific approaches to problem areas, Tremblay responded by saying that the schools’ “entire practice [is] based on specialized approaches.”

Going forward, she said, the schools are “always going back to the drawing board” to improve school performance and that “as educators, we always have a sense of urgency.”

“We are a high functioning school district, but we can never sit back on our laurels,” she said.

Keeping it consistent

Consistency was also a big topic of discussion at the meeting, especially as it pertains to continuing education at home. The subject is relevant especially now that kids have gone home for the summer; it includes parent engagement in helping reinforce the lessons kids learn at school – including resiliency. Superintendent Tremblay acknowledged that parents are often “overwhelmed” and “busy,” but she nevertheless stressed its importance.

A big part of that goal discussion was making sure that message got across. “We have to make that connection or we’re only educating half the people,” Tremblay said.

Chairman Doyle said that the School Committee will be talking to the Board of Selectmen to “join forces” with the goal of “putting those practices into place at home.”

Lynnfield High School Principal Bob Cleary praised the school’s “Breakfast with Guidance,” a regular program aimed at informing parents about the school’s goings-on, though he acknowledged its limitations with time commitment: “Not everyone can show up at 9:30 on a Thursday morning.”

School Committee members also talked about adding “growth mindset” (a theme that includes resiliency) on the Summer Reading list. Cleary said that the high school regularly sends home a newsletter and updates its website, although it is “constantly looking at other ways to reach out to parents.”

By Melanie Higgins


 

Two children rescued in Suntaug Lake boat accident

Last week two young children were involved in a boating accident at Suntaug Lake, according to the Lynnfield Fire Department. According to a press release by the department, the children were in a boat that had overturned and left them in the water. There were no reported injuries and the children were returned to their parents shortly after the incident.

The incident occurred on Thursday, June 15. Suntaug Lake is located in Lynnfield off of Route 1 near the Holiday Inn and Suites (1 Newbury St.) and Puritan Lawn Memorial Park. It is also the location of Newhall Park.

Firefighters found an overturned boat with “people in the water,” according to a press release, “approximately 150-200 yards off shore.” Multiple units responded to the scene.

The two victims were both girls aged 12 years old. They were both wearing life jackets.

The department said that the victims were returned to the shore “a few minutes later” and were checked for hypothermia and exhaustion before being reunited with their parents.

Considering “the temperature of the water and distance from shore, had they not been wearing life jackets this incident could have ended tragically,” the Fire Department said.

Fire Chief Mark Tetreault, in a phone call with the Advocate this week, said residents should take care regardless of the season. He said that technically any rescue in New England is considered a “cold water rescue” because of the varying temperatures. At the time of the incident, the water can be warm at the surface, but “drops” after a few feet. Tetreault also said that people using lakes should also be mindful of the fact that life jackets are “difficult to swim in” and can lead to exhaustion – as was the case with the two children.

By Melanie Higgins


   

LCWD Outside Water Use Restriction In Effect Lynnfield

The Lynnfield Center Water District has a year round watering restriction. By order of the Mass Department of Environmental Protection, sprinkler use is permitted 5:00PM to 9:00PM on even numbered calendar days only. A hand held hose may be used at any time. Violations of the restrictions are subject to a fine or fines. Excess watering outside of this time period causes low pressure affecting both Fire Protection and everyday use.

Further restrictions may be imposed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and will be posted on the District web site www.LCWD.US and published in local newspapers.

Customers are cautioned that excessive outside water use will result in a very high water bill due to the tiered water rates that are intended to promote conservation per Mass DEP.

Customers may contact the Lynnfield Center Water District Office at 1.781.334.3901 or refer to the District’s web site www.LCWD.US for more information.

 

American Legion Invitation to all Lynnfield Veterans

On behalf of Commander Paul Donato, I extend an invitation to all Lynnfield veterans to join the Lynnfield American Legion Post 131. We typically meet at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Meeting House in Lynnfield Center. Come to a meeting and see for yourself how we carry out our simple mission; honoring veterans, not only on Veterans Day, Patriots Day and Memorial Day, but every day we look for ways to serve our great town. Working with local Boy Scouts to properly collect and dispose of old American flags, and helping a family of a deployed service member are just two of the rewarding ways we seek to serve. Your ideas will always be welcome. The Legion is also a great opportunity to spend some time with fellow veterans, who you have so much in common with.

If you have any questions, please call me at the Lynnfield Town Hall – Bruce Siegel, Veterans Services Officer, 781-334-9440.

 

   

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