Superintendent’s Update - January 17, 2014

Post date: Jan 18, 2014 12:01:20 AM

Thank you!

A new school is such a vivid example of a community’s pride and hope for the future. I want to thank the citizens of Lunenburg for supporting the co-located middle/high school building project. We were grateful to see so many people attend Special Town Meeting on a frigid January evening to listen to the presentation and ask questions. We were encouraged to hear so many speak in support of the project, and we were overwhelmed by the number of yes votes at the ballot. We are so very excited that our middle and high school students, faculty and staff will soon have a facility that supports teaching and learning not only for today, but also for the future. The fact that every student in our district, PK-12, benefits from building a new middle/high school compounds our excitement and our gratitude.

This was an amazing team effort with students, parents, faculty, staff, and members of the community spending two full days in educational visioning. Middle and high school faculty met with the design team to provide valuable input. Officials from various town regulatory departments also made time to provide feedback. Local cable access staff regularly taped School Building Committee meetings and other town meetings scheduled to discuss the project. Lunenburg citizens attended meetings, neighborhood gatherings and public forums to become informed. Citizens visited the School Building Committee’s website to review plans, documents, and to stay up to date on the project’s development.

I want to express my appreciation to the members of the School Building Committee, the School Committee, Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Capital Planning Committee and Planning Board who devoted so much to this project over the past two years. The volunteer members of these committees dedicate substantial time and effort to the community. The additional effort they devoted to meetings, forums, and other activities associated with these initial phases of the project is remarkable. Without their knowledge, expertise, input, and commitment this project would never have advanced.

Since entering the first module of the process in January, 2012, when the Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors voted to invite the District into the MSBA’s Eligibility Period, we have worked hard to ensure that process was transparent and information was accessible to every member of the community. We will continue in this spirit as we move forward. The School Building Committee website will remain a source of detailed information. We will also provide updates in the form of editorials and press releases to The Lunenburg Ledger.

We now enter the design development phase working Joslin, Lesser + Associates, our project manager and architectural firm, Tappé Associates, to advance and complete the project’s design. That team will work closely with Shawmut Design and Construction, our Construction Manager At-Risk to plan the building of the project. The MSBA continues to monitor the project to ensure it remains on track and meets the expectations of both the District and the MSBA as defined in the Project Funding Agreement.

We are grateful to the Lunenburg community for this opportunity to move this project forward to completion!

TIGER Returns to Lunenburg

We are excited that TIGER will return next week for performances and classroom workshops at Lunenburg Primary School. On Thursday January 23rd Kindergarten and first grade students will see Bully Free You and Me and Grades 2 and 3 will see Just Between Friends. TIGER, which stands for Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility, embodies a dynamic, forceful collaboration between Plymouth State University’s integrated arts and counselor education graduate programs. TIGER offers these live performances to make children aware of the choices they make with their actions and communication, and to teach compassion, empathy, and tolerance.

The TIGER performances are funded jointly by the Lunenburg Public Schools’ wellness curriculum and the Christopher Maki Foundation. The Foundation is named for the late Chris Maki, a former Lunenburg resident who lost his life on November 5, 1997, in a random act of violence in North Carolina. Chris’s sister Amy, who works at Plymouth State University, works with TIGER in communicating its message of proactive, positive engagement with social issues in schools.

Tiger will perform at THMS on February 7th.

Important Information for Parents to Prevent Another Tragedy

We were saddened to hear recently of the loss of two young children in Franklin, MA as a result of being trapped in a cedar chest that had been recalled by the manufacturer. We learned that many of these unmodified chests are still in homes. Below is information regarding recalled chests and how to obtaining free replacement locks that can prevent any more tragedies.

“Between 1912 and 1987, Lane and Virginia Maid manufactured and sold an estimated 12 million cedar chests. Cedar chests made during these years latch shut without having to depress a button. In recent years, several children have suffocated inside chests with old style locks. As a result, Lane has launched several successful programs concentrating on lock replacement. However, there are still an estimated 6 million chests that need the locks replaced. The chests are often handed down through families, and it is likely that many were purchased second-hand. Chests manufactured after 1987 already have the new safety lock.

Lane is providing new locks, free of charge that will prevent entrapments because they do not automatically latch shut when the lid is closed. The new locks are easy to install by consumers in their homes.

To prevent another tragedy, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Lane are urging consumers to check their “Lane” and “Virginia Maid” brand cedar chests. The brand name “Lane” or “Virginia Maid” is located inside the cedar chest. If the lid latches shut without depressing a button on the outside of the chest, the lock needs to be replaced. Consumers should have the chest's serial and style numbers, which are branded on the outside bottom or outside back of the chest, available when contacting Lane.”

Contact Lane toll-free at (800) 327-6944 anytime or order the free replacement lock online at