Friday, March 4, 2016

Lurgio News for March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016

Dear Parents,

It’s once again that time of year for the annual Lurgio Student Voices Vote. This is an opportunity for students to make their voices heard about a major issue that affects their school experience. Last year, we asked students to weigh in on the dress code, and changes we made based on their feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. It was a true testament to the power of asking kids’ opinions and really listening to their ideas.

This year, we are asking students to come out to the polls and vote on the issue of using their personal electronic devices such as iPods and smartphones while at school. Our current practice is that these devices should be off and in their lockers during the academic day. However, we are hearing from more and more parents that they expect their children to have more access to communication at specific times during the day, for example a quick check at lunch. Therefore, this year we are asking students if we should reexamine our current practices and modify our rules about personal electronic devices. There is a simple “Yes/No” question on the Lurgio ballot, and I hope that most students will come out and express their opinions at the polls on Tuesday. Indeed, because this is such an important issue, I will need to get the sense from a majority of our student body if we are going to consider any change at all.

As you head to the polls on Tuesday to vote on important school issues, I ask you to encourage your child to do so as well. The Lurgio Student Voices Vote will be held in the BHS Commons from 7AM to 7PM on Tuesday, March 8.


Ed Joyce

Important Dates

Mar. 8 (Tuesday)
Town Voting (No School)
Mar. 18 (Friday)
Spring Dance
Mar. 24 (Thursday)
Music in Our Schools Concert
Mar. 26 (Saturday)
CBY Lurgio’s Got Talent Show
Apr. 08 (Friday)
Midnight Madness

RAL Cub of the Week
Each week, teachers nominate students for the Cub of the Week Award. Nominated students are those who have shown exceptional kindness, tolerance, and respect during the week. Each Friday, the Lurgio administration and guidance staff will review all nominees and will select the the “Cub of the Week.” The Cub will be announced in the Lurgio News.

This week’s Cub of the Week is Gunner Grant. Gunner’s teacher noted his infectious positive attitude and significant positive impact on fellow students. Great job, Gunner!

Bedford School District Vote on Tuesday March 8
All voters in Bedford are urged to vote on Tuesday, March 8 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m at the Bedford High School gymnasium​. These are the key issues to be decided:

  • OPERATING BUDGET: The proposed operating budget is $68.3M, a 3.9% increase over this year. The increase is primarily due to personnel, health insurance benefits, and significant building maintenance.  If the proposed budget is voted down, the default budget would be $2.3M lower.  
  • SIDEWALK: There is separate article to fund the construction of a sidewalk along Nashua Road from the Bedford High School lower parking lot to the Department of Public Works parking lot. The cost would be $234,000.
  • CAPITAL RESERVES: There are two separate articles about our unused capital reserve funds.  One article would discontinue them.  The other would re-purpose those same funds for a building maintenance reserve. The total amount as of June 30, 2015 was $478,518. Together these two article would have no tax impact.
  • Additional information can be found here.​

​The total estimated tax impact of a "yes" vote on all articles would be $0.66 per thousand, which would be an increase of $198 for the year on a $300,000 home.

RAL/BHS Traffic Flow
Some parents have contacted us about the traffic challenges at the end of the day.  When the Bedford Police Department is fully staffed, they have told us they will have an officer at the Nashua and Country Road intersection at the end of the school day.  In the meantime, here are five key things that parents and students can do to help.
  1. TAKE THE BUS whenever possible.
  2. YIELD to pedestrians at all times when on campus.
  3. PULL AHEAD.  The tighter you pull in, the more cars our lot can handle.
  4. TAKE TURNS at the main intersections when congestion is high.
  5. ARRIVE A LITTLE LATE. If you arrive 10 minutes after school dismisses, traffic has begun to clear and pick up is more convenient.

Smarter Balanced Assessments
This spring students in grades 3 - 8 will be taking the state test in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Please click HERE to read a letter from Mr. Joyce with more information about the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Smarter Balanced Test - Try It Out
You can try your hand at taking a practice version of the new Smarter Balanced test here.  You will find sample questions and tutorials on how the test works.  Over the coming weeks, we will continue to share information about Smarter Balanced, how it works, and what your child can expect.

Book Buzz

Will from 7-East:
I saw the movie The Martian and liked it so much I wanted to read the book.  I read the book, also called The Martian and loved it, and as always, the book was way different from the movie.  That really surprised me.  I guess there is so much more detail in the book that they can't put in the movie, but all the adventure about the astronaut Mark trying to get back to Earth from Mars is great reading.  It's such adventure and action.  I was glad I read the book after seeing the movie.

Lauren from 7-North:
I kept reading chapter after chapter and could not put The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld down at all!  Tally Youngblood lives in a society where looks matter and at age 16 everyone gets an operation to become pretty.  No one thinks for themselves in this society.  Tally questions whether she wants the operation and this is so different from anyone else's way of thinking.  Her best friend, Shay has run away to this outcast part of the society called The Smoke and Tally wants to rescue Shay.  The tension and action in this book is so good that once I finished The Uglies, I immediately had to go to the book store over vacation and buy the next book called The Pretties.  I'm almost finished with that and I know I will immediately get the next books called The Specials and The Extras.  This series is amazing!  The idea of fame and instant celebrity is what these books are all about.

Roisin from 7-North:
I like twisted fairy tales and over vacation I read Grounded by Megan Morrison and this is such a funny and adventurous take on Rapunzel.  Rapunzel is taken by the Witch and put in the tower and lead to believe she is perfect, and wonderful, and innocent.  The Witch writes all these fake books and never allows Rapunzel to meet anyone.  But Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk, who is a thief, climbs into her room to steal one of her enchanted roses.  He's the first person Rapunzel has ever met and he suggests the Witch isn't telling her the whole truth about the world.  All this talk about persuasions and erasing of memories creates all this tension that is hilarious to follow.  Jack tricks Rapunzel and there is this gigantic adventure to get to the First Wood.  This was so much fun to read!

Free Sports Physicals
The Safe Sports Network will be offering free sports physicals on March 16 here in Bedford. If you are interested in this excellent service, please click HERE.

Spring Sports Concussion Testing - March 17, 2016
If your student has not taken an ImPACT concussion screening as a Lurgio student and they plan on trying out for baseball or softball, please register for the concussion screening on March 17 by clicking HERE. If your student has already completed a screening at Lurgio, he/she does not need to complete it again. Furthermore, this screening is not necessary for athletes participating in the tennis club, golf team, or track and field. More information regarding spring sports will be available in mid-March.  

There will be an organizational meeting for the baseball team on Thursday, March 10 from 3:30 - 4:00 in room number 233. Any student who cannot make this meeting, should contact Coach Stevener prior to the meeting. Students should have rides at school for pick-up at 4:00pm.

There will be an informational softball meeting for any girl planning to try out on Thursday, March 10, from 3:15 - 3:45 in Room 131. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Winning or Mr. Courchesne. Students should have rides at school for pick-up at 3:45pm.

Track & Field
An informational meeting will be held for the upcoming Track and Field season on Tuesday, March 15th from 3:15 to 4:00. All those planning on participating should attend. Also, please be sure to have a physical on file with the school nurse. If you have any questions please see Mr. Gookin in room 140, Ms. Busch in room 120, or Ms. Gauthier in room 207.

Lurgio Yearbook Sales
The 2015-2016 yearbooks will be on sale on Monday after the February break.

Cost of each yearbook is $20, and orders can be placed online by following these simple steps:
  • Click on: “Buy My Yearbook” button in upper right hand corner.
  • Choose your school (Ross A Lurgio Middle School)
  • Enter your information (Student’s Name, Teacher’s Name, Homeroom #).
  • Online sales will be open Monday, February 29th until Friday, March 18th.

In-school sales (Cash or Check) will be held Monday, March 7, 2016 through Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lion’s Den
Please check out the latest issue of the student-produced newspaper [LINK].

Media Center Resources
Lurgio’s Library Media Generalist, Mrs. Snow, invites you to visit the Digital Resources and Databases website and explore the variety of resources available to the Lurgio Middle School Community 24/7. Username and password for these resources is “lurgio”.

These databases are the kind of quality resources that the Library Media Center strives to provide the students of Lurgio Middle School as Mrs. Snow works to support the RAL curriculum, promotes information literacy and digital citizenship, and spreads the love of reading.

Guidance Corner
Youth Counselor, Donna LaRue, MA, is a NH Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor as well as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor.  She posts a weekly, helpful parenting newsletter article, as well as other relevant material on her website. Check out Ms. LaRue’s webpage for more information about drug abuse prevention as well as past asset newsletters by clicking here.

A Parent’s Role in Preventing Alcohol and Drug Use in Teens

This week I’ll take a brief opportunity to refer you to the Asset Survey website.   The Asset survey was created by the Search Institute.  There are valuable tools available that will benefit you as you work to create opportunities for your child(ren) to increase the assets they will accumulate as they move forward in their life.

Click here for a link to the parent page on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.

Social Media Apps
Guidance Intern Sarah Demers will be posting information about social media apps that may be popular with students. These informational pages can be found in the Lurgio News; you can also find a backlog of them on the Guidance webpage. Here is a link to this week’s app of interest. What's that App: Whisper

PTG Corner
The Bedford PTG would like to thank those volunteers that gave of their time this week to help RAL sort and pack those books that were donated during the Read-A-Thon.  With over 8.000 books donated, we did a great job packing them up but there are more to do!  If you are able to help this week we would greatly appreciate it as every little bit helps.  We are looking for volunteers to come in Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00-12:00.  If you are able to come in, even if it's just for one hour, please email Sally Thomas at:

Thank you in advance for your help!

Stand By Me
Save the date - Friday, May 20, 2016

Food Pantry Note
COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT:  The Food Pantry at Bedford Presbyterian Church is a newly established resource for those in our community who are facing hunger or food insecurity.  The Food Pantry is a 501(c)3 organization that is a well-coordinated effort between 5 area churches, local organizations including the Bedford Lion's Club, the Boy Scouts, and individuals and families in Bedford. The Food Pantry is located at  Bedford Presbyterian Church, 4 Church Road, Bedford, and is available to all Bedford residents.  The Food Pantry will open Saturday, January 16th, and will be open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday, and the following Monday, of each month. Hours are Saturdays, 9:00 - 11:00 am, Mondays, 5:30 - 7:00PM.

If you, or someone you know in Bedford is struggling with food insecurity please call Bedford Presbyterian Church, 472-5841.