NHS PTO Meeting

52690_sdj9g_ptomeeting1NHS PTO Meetings
The PTO will have their last meeting of the school year on Wed June 7 @  7pm in the NHS Library. (1st Wed of the month)
Everyone is welcome.

This year we will continue to host a series of conversations with NHS faculty and staff who will join our monthly meetings to talk about topics on the minds of many parents of teens: Social media and internet safety, drugs/alcohol and healthy living, athletics, homework and standardized testing, and lots more.

Our guest in June TBA.

Join us for this conversation and to learn more about ways you can help the PTO enrich our students’ high school experience this year.

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The NHS PTO publishes a weekly electronic newsletter full of up-to-date information and dates. We also maintain an active Facebook page and Twitter feed – search for Northampton High School PTO on both platforms.

To subscribe, sign into your ASPEN account, scroll to Group Resources, click on NHS PTO, and then click on Hamp Highlights in the right navigation.


Why We Need to Talk About 13 Reasons Why

Image result for 13 reasons whyDear adult in the life of a NHS student:
The following information is being given to you to help inform you in regards to a Netflix television series based on Jay Asher’s 2007 book entitled “Thirteen Reasons Why.” The series was released in full to the public at 12:01 AM on Friday, March 31st . The topics covered in this book and series are: adolescent bullying, rejection, heartbreak, sexual assault, abuse, revenge, depression, desperate but unsuccessful efforts to find help or understanding, and suicide. The book provided 13 reasons related to interactions with peers, family and school personnel justifying the teenaged lead character’s ultimate decision to end her life.  Such series can be very difficult to watch and could easily trigger feelings of distress in vulnerable viewers. We are notifying you of this in order to enable you to make informed decisions regarding viewing this series. In the event your child chooses to view this series, you may wish to discuss some of the issues raised. To facilitate discussion of these issues with your child, we are enclosing an outline of suggestions that may help with such a dialogue.
Please note that this letter is not recommending viewing this series; it is intended only to provide you with information we feel is relevant to the health and well being of our students.  It should also be noted that Netflix opened all 13 episodes for continuous viewing so parents should consider metered viewing of the series.

Karen Jarvis-Vance
Director of Health, Safety & Equity Programs
Northampton Public Schools
413-587-1364 phone


Why We Need to Talk About 13 Reasons Why
Your school’s halls are most likely buzzing with students discussing the most recent Netflix series hit, 13 Reasons Why, based on the popular book by Jay Asher. The series follows a group of high school students as they piece together a story left behind for them by their classmate Hannah Baker, who died by suicide.

While this popular series sheds light on important topics, there are some shortcomings in its execution. Without mention of mental illness, which affects one in five adolescents, and coming dangerously close to romanticizing suicide, this show is missing a crucial opportunity to discuss an issue that is affecting so many teenagers. Additionally, there is no example of successful help-seeking with a theme of silence throughout the story. As Hannah’s classmates struggle with the aftermath of her suicide, there are no scenes highlighting her peers reaching out to talk with their parents, teachers, or coaches despite having a difficult time coping. Without showing how to ask for help, or that treatment and counseling are available, the show is only depicting what not to do without giving an example of what to do.

In addition, there is an unfortunate scene in which Hannah visits a counselor at school and discloses that she has been raped and is struggling. The counselor not only doesn’t offer hope, compassion, or resources, but blames her for the rape and lets her leave while she is clearly distressed. Schools need to be aware that teens are getting this message and make sure students know that their counselors are responsive.

Despite some of its faults, 13 Reasons Why does provide insight into the cultural psyche of the 21st century American teen, and will certainly resonate with viewers. It is a good time to remind students of the messages of hope that you have instilled using the SOS Program and stress that suicide is never the solution. Remind students that there is always something they can do if they are concerned about something someone has said or done in person or online: ACT

  • Acknowledge that they are seeing warning signs and that it is serious
  • Care: show the person your concern
  • Tell a trusted adult

Use SOS wallet cards to distribute the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and resources at your school/organization while reinforcing the ACT message or write the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line (741741) in a visible location, like a white board, to encourage help-seeking.

For more discussion points about 13 Reasons Why, SAVE, in partnership with the Jed Foundation, drafted talking points to assist parents, teachers, and other gatekeepers in talking to youth about suicide as it relates to the situational drama that unfolds in the series.

Additional Resources:

Talking Points



Precollege summer programs at Hampshire College

hampshire-college-logoHampshire College is offering four precollege program offerings that will run this July 17-28 on Hampshire’s campus. In the past we’ve had many local high school students participate in our programs.

Here’s a little information on our summer offerings:

  • All programs will run July 17-28, 2017.
  • Online applications are due May 15.
  • We’ll be offering the following four programs, led by current Hampshire faculty and alum:


The programs are intended for rising high school juniors and seniors.

Program participants will live on campus, work with our faculty, and get a taste of life at Hampshire.

These programs are excellent resume builders and short-term opportunities for students to explore different academic areas of interest. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Work on The Transcript or the Yearbook

Do you want to work on The Transcript or help create the NHS yearbook? The technology department is now accepting applications for the fall semester of their Communications and Media Production Course. Pick up an application outside of Jeromie Whalen’s room (G16) or talk to Joe Marks or Elena Frogameni for more information! APPLICATIONS ARE DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 14.

Cryptography Club

The Cryptography Club meets on Fridays from 2-3 in G16. We will teach how to protect your information from the world at large. It’s never too late to join and stay safe in this technocracy. Contact Elijah Gruszecki for more information.