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9-5-14 Letter to Parents/Guardians

posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:06 PM by Massabesic highschool
"September 5, 2014
Hi All! I have had several people contact me over the last day about pictures with concerns about the process this year and other related questions. I hate there to be rumors or people being un-informed as all of us have better things to do than listen to, read, question and/or share non-correct information. So let me try and answer these questions and concerns quickly.
1.) Why are pictures so early?
The last three years pictures have been completed this early:
- 2014 Sept 4 & 5
- 2013 Sept 5 & 6
- 2012 Sept 6 & 7
The reason they are now always done this early is for each of your sons and daughters' safety. We must have pictures of your sons and daughters updated as soon as possible for their safety and the safety of others on our campus. We work hard to keep our building safe and so need to be able to document and look up each student, see their face if they are missing, need to be found or may have left school grounds. With 1100 students at MHS we can't memorize every student's face and name and so always go to Infinite Campus to see a student's picture when and if they are missing from class and need to be located. When a student is missing the first thing we do is ask for the name and look up their picture. These are also the first things the authorities ask us for when they are called. Every day earlier we get our pictures back could be the difference for a student and family.
2.) "I didn't get notified of the day." The August 29 letter home had the dates for pictures under the section "Some Important Dates." I had some technical difficulties as I was out of town with sending my beginning of the year letter to you and it wasn't then emailed out until the 29th and not on the 22nd. The form was not included in this mailing and these were my errors. When we realized I didn't send picture info out I immediately sent it to you all.
3.) I didn't get an email? Just like with home addresses we need parents & guardians to send us their updated email addresses and/or to make sure the one we have is correct every year. In the past, each year we have a large number of home addresses that are not correct and have mail returned. It is a process and by working closely together to update addresses this will become less of an issue.
4.) Why wasn't this printed and handed to students? In my 20th year as a principal I shutter to think about all of the paper that has been sent home with students and/or mailed home that either never made it to the house (off of school grounds for that matter), or was never read at the home.
We are fortunate for the funding that our district is able to appropriate for our schools! In my six years in RSU 57 every budget has passed and this is wonderful for our kids! With that said, we are doing our best to try and reduce the funds we have used in the past to mail and/or print things and to send these items home electronically and/or make them available on our school's web site. Our mailing costs alone were headed to almost $15,000.00 a year, a year ago. With the advent of the internet and email this is money much better spent educating your sons and daughters in other ways. As we go more and more paperless there will be bumps and we will do our best to solve problems as they come up.
5.) What if you don't use email or have a printer? Please understand that for any email that is sent home or electronic document that is sent to you, you can always get a paper copy the next day. If this is what you desire please send your son or daughter to either office at the West or East Buildings and our staff will make a copy for your son or daughter to take home to you.
Lastly, I want to make it clear that YOU can still have pictures ordered for your son or daughter. They have now had their picture taken and all you need to do is get an order form in with a check to either main office by Tuesday AM. Every student has a card filled out with the photographer when they had their picture taken. Our photographer will cross-reference your folder with the card and you will be set. Completed forms need to be in by Tuesday AM. If you need a paper copy of the form have your son or daughter come in Monday AM to either main office and we will make one for you.
My apologies go out to each of you for the communication bumps this week. We/I pride my administration in trying to communicate with you in differing ways and as best as possible. You have my word that we will continue to strive to make it so.
Thanks to all for sharing your concerns with me.
My best,
Christian Elkington