November 2017 Fiat Lux

A quarter of SLA students in National Honor Society

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SLA inducted six students into the National Honor Society (NHS) on Nov. 1. These students became part of the 26 percent of the students in grades 10-12 who are members of the NHS.

The six new NHS members are: Hannah Allain, senior; Lisette DeLeon, junior; Anji Lee, junior; Joel Morin, junior; Jayda Tulloch, junior; and Amaris Vanegas, junior.

Students qualify for membership based on four pillars of excellence established by the NHS: scholarship, service, leadership and character. SLA students must have a 3.5 GPA, remain current with required volunteer hours and exhibit leadership and quality character.

Current NHS members plan the special ceremony with a spiritual message, special music and prayer to welcome the new members to the NHS. They light five candles representing each pillar of excellence and one for the NHS. New members receive a NHS pin and sign the SLA registry of NHS members.

Being a member of the NHS is helpful when applying to college and scholarships. Since 1946, more than $14 million in scholarships has been awarded to outstanding NHS senior members, according to the NHS.

Another benefit is the opportunity to help people. Students in the NHS host two blood drives each year. The fall blood drive was held this year on Oct. 2, and the spring blood drive will be held on May 2. SLA’s chapter of the NHS has helped the Red Cross collect 273 units of blood since 2014. The students are currently working on the Coats for Kids campaign to donate clean coats to underprivileged children. They are accepting coats until Jan. 7. This semester, the students also made gift bags for 10 children in an orphanage in Africa. An additional service they do is to pick up recycling weekly in each of the school buildings.

NHS is a national organization recognizing outstanding high school students since its establishment in 1921. It is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities in all 50 states. South Lancaster Academy’s chapter of the NHS has been in existence since 1987.

Antibullying education a priority at South Lancaster Academy

ImprovBoston presented a fun, informative and interactive assembly about anti-bullying where the students got a chance to role play and share their thoughts.

ImprovBoston presented a fun, informative and interactive assembly about anti-bullying where the students got a chance to role play and share their thoughts.

Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We don’t want those statistics to be reflected in our students at South Lancaster Academy and we are doing everything we can to combat bullying in our school.

During National Bullying Prevention Month in October, SLA hosted two special assemblies, one for the elementary students and one for the secondary students, to further educate them about bullying and how to prevent it. ImprovBoston presented a fun, informative, and interactive assembly with 9th-12th grade students role-playing various bullying situations and how to handle them. The actors also invited the students to talk about their experiences in an empathetic and constructive manner. The elementary students enjoyed magician and motivational speaker Jim Vagias and the message he shared about respect, responsibility and caring.

Most bullying happens in middle school, the most common types being verbal and social bullying. Only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying. Yet when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The teachers and staff participate in continuing education regarding anti-bullying and are currently involved in a bullying awareness workshop held monthly in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Education.

If you or your child witness bullying behaviors, please report it. Call Principal Jeff Lambert or Vice Principal Theresa Robidoux at (978) 368-8544. Or you may anonymously report an incident online at www.mysla.org/help.

Our elementary students enjoyed a magic show by Jim Vagias demonstrating respect, responsibility and caring for their antibullying assembly.

Our elementary students enjoyed a magic show by Jim Vagias demonstrating respect, responsibility and caring for their antibullying assembly.