Last Website Update:
May 8, 2017 2:27 PM
Welcome to the Lynn Superintendent of Schools
The mission of the Lynn Public School System is that all Lynn students will graduate from high school with the skills to make informed choices and pursue further learning as socially responsible citizens.
The Lynn Public School System is committed to providing an outstanding academic, cultural, and technologically rich education to its students through the work of excellent teachers with high expectations. As part of our team teachers are provided myriad opportunities for collaboration, mentoring support, and professional development in standards based instruction with additional emphasis on strategies for teaching English Language Learners and special education students.
Lynn is looking for self reflective, motivated, technologically literate teachers who are willing to work with veteran staff to learn and practice new skills and teaching strategies for the benefit of our students. Lynn needs teachers who are committed to the profession and see teaching as more than a short-term job opportunity. Our administration, in turn, will invest in those teachers with all resources possible.
Superintendent Dr. Catherine C. Latham
City of Lynn School Budget Archive
"State of the Schools" Addressing Goals For the Lynn Public Schools
It is with great pleasure that I present to you, the Lynn School Committee, as well as the citizens of the City of Lynn my annual report on the state of the Lynn Public Schools. As in the past, I am truly proud of what the dedicated and talented faculty, staff and students of the Lynn Public School System have accomplished.
In this my sixth year as superintendent I can say with confidence that we have seen much to celebrate through the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our district staff, principals and teachers. Our schools and our students have made great gains over the past year in the area of student achievement, and as I visit our schools and classrooms, observe outstanding instruction, talk with parents before and after school and at school sponsored events, and meet with community members and community organizations, I am encouraged, pleased and very proud of the well founded positive perceptions that the community has about the Lynn Public Schools.
Superintendent Dr. Catherine C. Latham
Click below to download current and past "State of the Schools" addresses.
MCAS Spring 2017 Announcement | Mitchell Chester Commissioner
MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
On the Desktop – March 6, 2017
This spring marks the start of the next-generation MCAS assessments in English language arts and math in grades 3-8. After considering for several years how to best update our already strong statewide assessment, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in November 2015 to maintain a test unique to our Commonwealth that would draw some of its questions from the existing MCAS, some of its questions from the PARCC assessment developed by a consortium of states, and some questions created specifically for the next-generation MCAS. This spring is the debut of that new test.
The Board also voted to transition to computer-based testing. For the next-generation MCAS tests this spring, most students will take the computer-based version in grades 4 and 8. Many schools have also chosen computer-based testing in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7; the remainder will be taking the paper version.
Many people ask us why we conduct statewide testing. These tests are required by both state and federal law, but more importantly:
- Test results help parents gauge whether their children are making academic progress.
- Test results help educators identify strengths and weaknesses in their curricula and instructional methods.
- A student’s participation in statewide testing helps provide context to other students in the same school, students in other schools within the district, and students in other districts. Failure to participate denies this perspective not only to the student who refuses to participate, but to other students and parents in the school, district, and statewide.
- Test results help the state target additional resources to underperforming schools.
- Test results help document our progress to the Governor and the Legislature as we seek to ensure adequate funding for all our schools.
MCAS was first instituted as part of the 1993 Education Reform Law. The programs and funding in that law have led to nearly a quarter-century of steady improvement in our K-12 schools. Today Massachusetts is number one in the nation in elementary and secondary education.
Refusal to Participate in State Tests
Every year, some families ask whether students are allowed to opt-out of taking a statewide test. In brief, the answer is no. Testing is a mandatory part of the curriculum, the same as a spelling test or math test, and statewide assessments are most useful when all students take them. Neither the Commonwealth nor Congress provides an opt-out provision. Tenth graders who refuse to take MCAS jeopardize their high school diploma. In addition, refusals to test can impact a school’s accountability rating. The accountability system is set up to encourage high participation rates (if it weren't, results would not be reflective of school-wide achievement). The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires a 95 percent participation rate. Schools with a lower participation rate run the risk of having their accountability rating lowered.
Under draft regulations that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education sent out for public comment on February 28, 2017, schools and districts that fall below a 90 percent participation rate will have their accountability status set to Level 3 (out of 5). Further, the 2016-17 and 2017-18 participation rates will be combined to determine participation rates for the 2017-18 accountability levels. In other words, refusals to test in spring 2017 could impact a school's accountability rating for two years.
Students who refuse to take the MCAS test may remain in the testing room as long as they are sitting quietly and are not interfering with other students. If a student becomes disruptive, they should be removed from the testing room and placed in a safe location until testing is completed and regular classroom instruction resumes. Given that statewide standardized tests are a legal requirement, it is my department's expectation that all students will participate.
More information about the next-generation MCAS, including information for parents, is available online at our MCAS page. Questions relating to testing refusals can be directed to Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitchell D. Chester
MCAS Presentations and Results | 2013-2016
Superintendent Latham's Announcements and Appointments
She has been involved in elementary education for over twenty-one years and has spent seventeen years at Lincoln-Thomson as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, librarian, curriculum and instruction teacher, English Language Arts/Mathematics Specialist and Acting Principal.
||Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Mary Foster as the new principal of the Lincoln-Thomson Elementary School. Ms. Foster is currently the Program Specialist at Callahan Elementary School.
Ms. Foster received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Library Media Studies, both from Salem State College. She received a Certificate of Advanced Study of Education from the Northeast Consortium’s Merrimack Education Center and received Principal/Assistant Principal licensure. She also holds certification as a Wilson Language teacher.
Ms. Foster has experience in standards-based curriculum planning, data analysis, common assessment development, the teacher evaluation system, and the design and scheduling of school based professional development. She has served as a member of School Improvement Planning teams and is intimately familiar with both the Massachusetts State Frameworks and the district curriculum and instruction programs that are designed to support those Frameworks.
Ms. Foster will bring extensive elementary experience to her new position and, because of her long term association with the Lincoln-Thomson Elementary School, will provide a seamless transition as long-term Principal Helen Mihos retires after thirty-seven years with the Lynn Public Schools. Ms. Foster is a long time Lynn resident and a graduate of Lynn Classical High School. She is the mother of two boys who also attended the Lynn Public Schools.
||Superintendent Catherine Latham has announced that Ingalls Elementary School Principal Irene Cowdell will temporarily become the Acting Principal of the Washington Elementary School effective immediately.
||While Ms. Cowdell takes over the reins at Washington, Ingalls Program Specialist Anthony Frye will become Acting Principal at Ingalls. Former Washington Principal John Licorish resigned at the end of July.
Ms. Colella, a Lynn resident and graduate of the Lynn Public Schools is an experienced educator. She began her career as a third grade teacher in a Structured English Immersion class at the Harrington Elementary School and also has had classroom experience at the Connery and Sisson Elementary Schools.
Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the appointment of Christina Colella as the principal of the Shoemaker Elementary School. Ms. Colella will replace Patricia Riley who will retire on March 1st of this year.
Ms. Colella, a Lynn resident and graduate of the Lynn Public Schools is an experienced educator. She began her career as a third grade teacher in a Structured English Immersion class at the Harrington Elementary School and also has had classroom experience at the Connery and Sisson Elementary Schools. She has taught Grades 2, 3 and 4 and has been a Curriculum and Instruction Teacher and a teacher of students who are newcomers to the United States. She has been the Program Specialist at Harrington Elementary School for the past three years and during that time was the acting principal while Harrington Principal Ruggiero served as the interim principal at the Ford Elementary School.
Ms. Colella received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst majoring in English with a minor in Early Childhood Education, and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts Lowell majoring in Curriculum and Instruction. She has also completed the Principals’ Preparation Program as part of the Northeast Consortium’s Merrimack Leadership Academy.
Licensed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as an elementary teacher, a teacher of English language learners and as a principal, Ms. Colella is experienced in data driven decision making, school law, school finance, standards based curriculum planning and delivery, and strategic planning in special education. Ms. Colella is excited and highly motivated to continue the excellent tradition of leadership at the Shoemaker School.
Ms. Colella and her husband have three children the oldest of whom attends the Aborn Elementary school in Lynn.
Effective July 1, 2015, Ms. Panagopoulos will replace Ms. Patricia Mallett who will retire at the end of the school year after serving the Lynn Public Schools for over 40 years, the last nine as the principal of Sewell-Anderson School.
The superintendent is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Mary Panagopoulos as the new principal of the Sewell-Anderson Elementary School.
Ms. Panagopoulos, a Lynn resident and graduate of the Lynn Public Schools, is also a seasoned Lynn Educator with over 30 years of experience. She began her career as a teacher of students with special needs and has served at Connery, Drewicz, Harrington, Ingalls, Shoemaker, and Tracy. She is currently the Curriculum and Instruction teacher at the Drewicz Elementary School. At Drewicz she serves as the MCAS coordinator, a member of the instructional leadership team, the Student Study Team coordinator and as acting principal. For the past three years she has served as the coordinator of the Lynn Public Schools Tutorial in Place summer program, a collaborative summer program with outside agencies, private home day-care providers and the Lynn Public School Department. Over her years in education she has developed excellent relationships throughout the Lynn Public Schools and with our community partners.
Ms. Panagopoulos received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Lesley College, and a Master of Education degree from Salem State College. She holds licenses with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in elementary education, moderate special needs and elementary school administration; and she is a certified Wilson reading instructor and a trained Safety-care Behavioral Safety specialist. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to support differentiated instruction for all students and is dedicated and motivated to continue the excellent academic successes seen at the Sewell-Anderson Commendation School.
Dr. Patrick Tutwiler, an experienced educator, will be leaving his current position as Headmaster of Brighton High School in Boston and will officially begin his duties as Deputy Superintendent for the Lynn public Schools on July 1, 2015.
||Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Deputy Superintendent for the Lynn Public Schools.
Dr. Tutwiler holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from The College of the Holy Cross, a Master of Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Previous to his current position at Brighton High School, he was the principal of Wayland High School, Dean of Students at Westford Academy, and Assistant Headmaster at English High School in Boston. He began his career as a World History and United States History teacher at Brighton High School.
Dr. Tutwiler is well prepared for this new position and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in secondary curriculum and program development. He is a strong proponent for inclusion at all levels and for all students and is experienced in working with community organizations and educational institutions. He is enthusiastic and energized to both support and stimulate our vision for the Lynn Public Schools.
Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Robert Buontempo, Jr. as the new Principal/Director of Lynn Vocational Technical Institute (LVTI). Mr. Buontempo has spent over twenty-seven years at LVTI in various capacities and is himself a graduate of a vocational/technical school, Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield, MA. He is extremely well experienced as a vocational educator, administrator and advocate and is well placed to lead LVTI forward.
Mr. Buontempo began his career as a teacher in the Auto Collision Repair Program, progressed to the position of Vocational Cluster Department Head, and since 2009 has served as Assistant Principal. During his tenure at LVTI, he has served for multiple years as a class advisor, co-chaired the Decennial Review Committee for the 2006 evaluation by the National Association of Schools and Colleges, acted as a new teacher mentor for new faculty members, supervised and maintained program and grant budgets, promoted state and district initiatives for vocational programs, overseen the federal Perkins Grant budget, developed and implemented a school-wide system of student management to increase student accountability, served as the school’s bullying and harassment coordinator and served as the LVTI representative to the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA). Mr. Buontempo also has excellent work experience. Prior to his work at LVTI, he was employed as the business manager for an auto collision repair shop.
Mr. Buontempto received an Associate’s Degree from North Shore Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from Bentley College, and a Master’s Degree from Cambridge College. He is a strong supporter of raising the rigor for all students using an increased focus on reading and writing in all disciplines and is currently implementing a student accountability plan as a means to increase the LVTI graduation rate and decrease the dropout rate.
Mr. Buontempo is knowledgeable and experienced in both academic and vocational areas, skilled in data analysis, and passionate about vocational/technical education. He is enthusiastic and eager to work together with faculty, staff, students, parents, district administration and the community to inspire, prepare and provide LVTI students with the opportunities that lead to lifelong career opportunities.
The superintendent is pleased to announce the appointment of a new principal for the Thurgood Marshall Middle School. Ms. Molly Cohen, an experienced educator with the Lynn Public Schools, will be leaving her current position as vice principal at Breed Middle School to officially take over leadership of Marshall on January 5, 2015.
Ms. Cohen has extensive experience as a teacher, guidance counselor and school administrator. She began her career in public education in Salem Massachusetts as an English as a second language teacher and came to the Lynn Public Schools in 2005 as a sheltered English immersion teacher at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute. She has also served as the bilingual guidance counselor at Lynn English High School and as the vice principal at Breed Middle School. Previous to her public school work she was a teacher of English as a foreign language in Chile and English as a second language in Boston.
Ms. Cohen received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont Burlington with a dual major in English and sociology, a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language degree from Simmons College, a Master of Education degree in school counseling from Salem State College and received her principal license after completion of the Merrimack Leadership Academy program.
Ms. Cohen is proficient in written and oral Spanish, knowledgeable in curriculum and instruction planning and implementation, skilled in data analysis, and experienced working with community agencies. She brings excellent organizational skills to her new position and is well prepared and eager to transition faculty, staff and students to the new Marshall Middle School which is scheduled to open in September 2016.
The Superintendent is pleased to announce the appointment of Joanne LaRivee as the new principal of the Robert L. Ford Elementary School. Ms. LaRivee, formerly the Vice Principal at the South Lawrence East Middle School in Lawrence, is an experienced teacher and school administrator with over twenty-five years in the Lawrence Public Schools.
Her teaching experience includes eight years as a third grade teacher and five years as a seventh grade literacy and math/science teacher. She has worked as an elementary curriculum facilitator, a curriculum and literacy coach, and has a strong background in data analysis, instructional technology, and urban school leadership.
Ms. LaRivee received a Bachelor of Education degree from Salem State College with a major in early childhood education, a Master of Education degree from Suffolk University, and received an Education Specialist degree in administration, planning and policy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has also completed the National Institute of School Leadership program sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Leaders in Educational Advancement Program for principal preparation at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Ms. LaRivee brings a wealth of experience in curriculum, instruction, urban school leadership and in the development of professional school culture by family and community engagement. She will begin her duties on January 5, 2015, and will be a great asset to the Lynn Public Schools.
Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Hebert, currently the Program Specialist at the Ingalls Elementary School in Lynn, as the new Principal of the Drewicz Elementary School.
Ms. Hebert holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Education degree from Salem State College with double majors in elementary education and psychology. She is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a principal and an elementary and middle school teacher. She received her principal license after participating in the Commonwealth Leadership Academy. Ms. Hebert is an adjunct faculty member at North Shore Community College in Lynn and Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill.
Ms. Hebert has taught since 1997 and has elementary experience in Florida, North Carolina and Methuen, Massachusetts. Working in the Lynn Public Schools since 2001, she has taught Grade 1, Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grade 6. She was an elementary and middle school mathematics teacher at the Ford School and Ford School Annex and has taught English language arts, science and social studies at the elementary level. She is a strong proponent of the philosophy that the state standards in reading and writing are essential standards that are applicable across the curriculum to all content areas. As a member of the Ingalls Elementary School leadership team, Ms. Hebert has had extensive training in Universal Design for Learning at Harvard University, a practice-oriented program that provides a blueprint for creating flexible goals, methods, materials and assessments that enable all students to succeed in the classroom.
While at Ingalls, Ms. Hebert was a member of the Family Engagement Alignment Team, a member of the School Improvement Committee, the MCAS and ACCESS test coordinator, and an active participant in planning team meetings for students with special needs.
Ms. Hebert is a dedicated educator and a capable and committed leader who will use her extensive experience and fine leadership skills to work closely with parents in the Drewicz School community, to encourage, support and assist her teachers, and to provide an optimal learning environment and program for every child.
Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Richard Held as the Acting Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Science.
Mr. Held has worked in the Lynn Public Schools for the past sixteen years as a grade 5 teacher and as a science and technology specialist, most recently at the Aborn School. He has an in-depth knowledge of the science curriculum and extensive experience with educational technology. Mr. Held has done comprehensive work preparing science lessons integrated with technology for all grades at the elementary level, and he is currently preparing additional lessons and professional development activities that will address the upcoming implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Mr. Held received a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in both elementary education and psychology, and a Master of Arts degree from Salem State University. He is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the Massachusetts Engineering Leadership Committee, and the Gateway STEM Project in collaboration with the Museum of Science. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr. Held had a career in business management and will, no doubt, use his well-honed management skills in this new appointment.
Mr. Held will begin by concentrating on the elementary science program and will eventually expand his focus to include the middle school science program. He is excited, enthusiastic and well prepared to begin work to solidify our elementary science program and bring consistency and uniformity to elementary science instruction throughout the district.
Superintendent Catherine Latham is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Susanne Garrity as the new principal of the Cobbet Elementary School. Ms. Garrity has been at the Harrington Elementary School for the past thirteen years as a teacher in grades one and three, a curriculum and instruction teacher and currently as the Program Specialist. She has extensive experience in standards-based curriculum design and lesson planning, the analysis of data, differentiated instruction, and the planning and presentation of professional development targeted to the needs of an individual school and faculty. She has done extensive professional development for the district in classroom management, reading comprehension, differentiated instruction, and in the implementation of the new teacher evaluation system.
Ms. Garrity graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Study and received a Master of Education degree from Salem State College in Early Childhood Education. Prior to becoming a teacher she worked as an administrator in a therapeutic pre-school for traumatized children where she developed, implemented and supervised their therapeutic curriculum and play therapy.
Ms. Garrity brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new position. She is well versed in the common core curriculum and in the policies and practices demanded by both the district and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and she is blessed with outstanding human relations skills. She will bring excellent leadership to Cobbet and is well prepared to work in an atmosphere that demands a high level of accountability.
Marilyn Mahoney, formerly Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood, will be the new principal for the Early Childhood Center located at the Lynn Vocational Technical Institute Annex at 90 Commercial St. opening in September. Ms. Mahoney is an experienced educator who has taught for 23 years in the Lynn Public Schools. Her teaching experience includes first and second grade, reading, and English as a second language (ESL). She initiated the Lynn pre-school program and works in collaboration with many private agencies in the city. While working in the district curriculum office she has worked closely with both the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care, and has written and managed multiple grants to support our pre-school and kindergarten programs.
Ms. Mahoney received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master's degree in early childhood education from Cambridge College. She brings a wealth of experience and dedication to her new position and will be a great asset to the new program.
Dr. Brian Fay, formerly principal at the Cobbet Elementary School will be moving to become principal of the Callahan Elementary School, a post vacated by the retirement of veteran principal Mr. Edward Turmenne. Dr. Fay began his career at the Connery Elementary School working as a fourth- and sixth-grade teacher, and he has considerable experience working with English language learners. He has also served on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering Standard-Setting Committee and the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks Committee. He is an active member of the Lynn community serving as a youth basketball coach, mentor, member of the Classical Alumni Association, and the Friends of Lynn Woods.
Dr. Fay holds a bachelor's degree in business management and a master's degree in special education, both from Salem State University and a doctorate of education in Management of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to becoming principal at Cobbet in 2008, Dr. Fay served four years as principal of the Burke Elementary School in Peabody. He is also an adjunct professor at American International College. Dr. Fay is an enthusiastic, committed and experienced principal who will bring exceptional personal and professional qualities to his new assignment.
Michelle Flynn will be assuming the position of Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood, the position vacated by Ms. Mahoney. She has worked for Lynn Public Schools for more than 30 years and holds licenses in early childhood education, elementary education and the education of students with special needs. She taught kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes for 26 years. Ms. Flynn is currently Program Specialist for Early Childhood and has been responsible for programmatic and fiscal oversight of the Early Read First initiative. She has worked closely with Ms. Mahoney on all of our early childhood grants and early childhood programs and, most recently, has served on the team providing training on the new educator evaluation system and the district team working with School Works monitoring site visits for our Level 3 schools.
Ms. Flynn earned a bachelor's degree in special education from Bridgewater State University and a master's degree in education from Cambridge College. Her extensive experience and lifelong dedication to early childhood education at both the school and district level make her a perfect appointment to maintain and advance the excellent programmatic and fiscal integrity of the early childhood programs in Lynn Public Schools.
New Pickering and West Lynn Middle Schools
Letter From The City of Lynn Law Department
March 7, 2017
George S. Markopoulos - Asst. City Solicitor
Richard L. Vitali - Asst. City Solicitor
Dr. Catherine Latham, Superintendent
Lynn School Department, 100 Bennett Street Lynn, MA 01905
Re: Ballot Questions- Two New Middle Schools
Dear Dr. Latham:
This correspondence is in response to your request for an opinion regarding the distinction between the two ballot questions that will appear on the ballot for the Special Election scheduled for March 14, 2017. Question Number One requests the voters to approve the vote of the Lynn City Council dated January 24, 2017 in which the City Council approved bonded indebtedness in excess of four million dollars for the construction of two new middle schools to be located at the Reservoir site and McManus Field. Section 5 - 6 of the Lynn City Charter requires the approval of the voters of the City of Lynn whenever the City proposes to incur bonded indebtedness in excess of four million dollars. Question Number Two requests the voters of the City of Lynn to approve a debt exclusion whereby there would be a temporary tax increase to be utilized solely to pay off the debt incurred for the construction of the two new schools. This tax increase could not be utilized to pay for any costs other than those costs related to the construction of the two new schools and said tax increase would terminate by law on the date that the debt for the schools has been satisfied in full.
Should the voters of Lynn fail to approve either of the two ballot questions, the schools will not be constructed. Following consultation with financial officials of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City will not be permitted to bond these projects unless the voters affirmatively approve both Question Number One and Question Number Two.
Should you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact this office.
Very truly yours,
Michael J. Barry
cc: Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Mayor
Darren Cyr, Council President
Peter M. Caron, Chief Financial Officer
Download This Letter Here | PDF Format
Local News and Superintendent Statement Archive
An Important Message from the Superintendent of Schools
Dear Parents and Guardians:
This letter is to make you aware of the popular Netflix original series, “13 Reasons Why”. The series is based on a young adult novel by Jay Asher originally published in 2011. The miniseries focuses on a high school student, Hannah Baker, who leaves behind 13 tape recordings detailing with why she takes her own life. Her former classmates are left to piece together Hannah’s final weeks. While viewing the series young children and teenagers could interpret the message that suicide is a viable or romanticized option. The content of the show is extremely graphic, with disturbing scenes in each episode which may be difficult for impressionable minds to watch and process in a healthy way. It also addresses issues of cyber-bullying, alcoholism, and depression.
The series includes the following shortcomings:
- There is no mention of mental and behavioral health treatment options.
- The notion of suicide is glamorized.
- There are no examples of help-seeking by the teens portrayed in the series.
- There are several scenes depicting serious trauma including rape, bullying, alcoholism, fights, and suicide in which the teens do not seek help or resources.
- The graphic portrayal of Hannah’s actual suicide was unnecessary and potentially harmful to young people facing challenges.
Please take a moment to find out if your child has read the book or viewed the series. If so, please use the show as an opportunity to talk about some of its complicated issues and open the door to create a safe atmosphere for your child to discuss his or her feelings and emotions. We also urge you as parents or guardians to research the series to fully understand what your child is being exposed to.
Please know that there are resources, support and assistance available to you and your child at our schools through our student support services; Social Workers, School Psychologists, School Adjustment Counselors, School Nurses, School Guidance Counselors, as well as the Principals, Vice Principals and their teachers.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.
Download and Print This Letter Here
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273- TALK (8255)
SAMHSA Prevention Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program: Mass.Gov.
National Association of School Psychologists: Nasponline.org
Union Hospital Updates | Ongoing
Lynn's Union Hospital is located between two of our neighborhood elementary schools. Future plans for the facility, now under discussion, may eventually impact the children and families who live in these neighborhoods.
In an effort to keep parents informed we have listed several recent media articles below.
- Lynn Item | May 20, 2014
- Lynn Item | April 8, 2014
- Lynn Item | February 25, 2014
- Lynn Item | October 19, 2013
Statement from Superintendent Catherine Latham
in Response to the Newtown, Connecticut Tragedy
On behalf of the Lynn School Committee, the entire staff of Lynn Public Schools, and the Lynn community, I send heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the staff, students, and families of Newtown as they deal with this horrific tragedy.
As we seek to comprehend and understand the horror of the event, we naturally look inwardly at our own schools and our own children. I write this message in an attempt to offer some sense of security to the families of all Lynn students and to offer resources to parents on how to speak with their children, answer their questions and calm their fears.
Lynn Public Schools Security Systems
We have performed cutting-edge work over the past six years to maintain safe and secure schools. Our School Safety and Security Liaison, Lynn Police Officer Robert Ferrari, has worked tirelessly with us, the Lynn Police Department and the Lynn Fire Department to establish safety systems in all schools. These systems include:
||Aiphone Systems in every school that allow video monitoring and two-way communication before visitors are buzzed into the buildings.
||Yearly lock-down drills (in addition to fire drills) in every school.
||Card access systems that allow only designated school department personnel into our buildings.
||A strict Visitor Policy newly adopted by the Lynn School Committee and posted on our school department website.
||Collaboration with the Lynn Police Department and the Lynn Fire Department in Mock Active Shooter Drills in our schools. This year a drill was held after school hours at LVTI and included Lynn English High School ROTC student volunteers.
||CCTV Security Camera Systems in 16 of our 25 schools that include more than 400 interior and exterior cameras; a plan to add security cameras in the remaining nine schools in 2013.
||Computer phone systems in all schools that enable phones to be used as intercoms and emergency notification systems.
|Our No. 1 priority is the safety and security of our children.
There is absolutely nothing more important.
Resources for Parents and Teachers
My entire district staff is working to provide school personnel with assistance in dealing with this tragedy. Our principals, school psychologists, school adjustment counselors, and guidance counselors will be available on Monday and throughout the week and beyond to assist you and your children. Below are links to resources to assist parents and teachers in talking to children about school violence. I will add additional resources as they become available.
Guidelines for Visiting the Lynn Public Schools
On behalf of the Lynn School Committee and our principals, directors, teachers and other staff, I extend a warm welcome to parents and others to visit our schools and classrooms. Active involvement of families and the community in our students’ education is a key to student success and one of my highest priorities.
To keep our students and staff safe and secure, and to keep classroom disruptions to a minimum, we have developed guidelines for visiting all Lynn Public Schools. “Visitors” include all parents and school department employees, as well as others.
Please visit our Policies and Guidelines webpage for all the details.
Superintendent Catherine Latham
|A Brief Profile of Doctor Latham
Catherine Latham is the Superintendent of the Lynn Public Schools. Dr. Latham taught mathematics for over twenty years in both the Peabody Public Schools and the Lynn Public Schools and was an former Mathematics Department Chair at Lynn English High School. While teaching at Lynn English High School she received National Board Certification in the area of Adolescent and Young Adulthood Mathematics, was a member of the Corps of Massachusetts Exemplary Educators and in 2001 received the national 2001 Milken Educator Award.
In 2002, Dr. Latham joined the Lynn Public School Department’s district team as the School Support Coordinator and in that capacity worked closely with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to assist all schools in the preparation of their School Improvement Plans and in the analysis of data. In 2005 Dr. Latham became Deputy Superintendent for the Lynn Public Schools and was appointed Superintendent in 2009.
Dr. Latham is a member of the Board of Directors for the Northshore Education Consortium and the Lynn Business Education Foundation. She works collaboratively with the Lynn Community Health Center and received the 2011 Outstanding School-Based Health Center Supporter award from the Massachusetts Association for School-Based Health Care.
Dr. Latham is a lifelong Lynn resident and graduate of Lynn English High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Salem State College. She earned a doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a concentration in Leadership in Urban Schools. Dr. Latham has three adult children, all graduates of the Lynn Public Schools.
Dr. Latham brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to her position and is fully committed to the Lynn Public Schools.
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