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Exciting New Changes for the Dracut School District

Sep 11, 2017 05:31AM ● By Juli Couture

Superintendent Steven Stone has been hard at work readying Dracut Public Schools for the 2017-2018 year. In addition to welcoming new faces, many updates have been made continue to advance Dracut technologically, making it easier for the entire student body, staff and families to communicate and stay informed. Mr. Stone and the Administration have also recognized and addressed the growing need and concern for mental health support and safety and have added some wonderful resources to accommodate.

Over the summer, two elementary schools welcomed their new principals. Laurie Fahey, former Assistant Principal of Richardson Middle School, was warmly welcomed at Englesby Elementary. Campbell Elementary welcomed Angela Kimble, who was the beloved Principal of Tewksbury’s North Street Elementary for nine incredible years.

Mr. Stone has also been busy updating the entire district with many technological changes. Mr. Stone states: “our technology infrastructure upgrade is fully underway. All schools are now completely wireless, and we will be installing fiber-optic technology throughout the district, as well as introducing a VoIP communication system this year.” This is in addition to the apps introduced for each school in the district, as well as the district in general, which are available for download in Apple and Play Stores. These apps will allow students and families to receive notifications on test and athletic schedules, special events, field trips and more, while also allowing communication with school staff and administration. To find these apps, search for Dracut Public Schools or your specific school name in your app store to download. The district also is extremely diligent on keeping their website up-to-date, including a calendar of events that is constantly updated.    

The district also relies on technology to get information out to families in real-time in cases of emergency. Mr. Stone adds: “In the event of an emergency, we use an automated phone system to contact parents. I also use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to get messages out.”

Over the summer the administration also addressed the need to bring on addition support in the quest to ensure student safety and well-being. With depression, anxiety and bullying still at all-time highs, Dracut will now have adequate resources available to support each student and ensure they will have the greatest chance for success during their scholastic career and beyond. Mr. Stone stated: “we have hired four additional mental health counselors who will support students with a variety of social and/or emotional struggles.” The American School Counselor Association describes the importance of the role in a 2015 position statement, stating: “School counselors recognize and respond to the need for mental health and behavioral prevention, early intervention and crisis services that promote psycho-social wellness and development for all students.”  

The 2017-2018 school year is shaping up to be the most successful yet, thanks in part to the technological updates and continued drive to enrich the lives of students. To hear more about updates, changes and future plans regarding Dracut Public Schools, Mr. Stone would like to remind residents that there will be a school committee meeting on September 11th at 7pm in the Learning Commons at Dracut High School, and “as always, everyone is encouraged to attend”.


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