WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/359840

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last year I had the pleasure of touring the Neighborhood House Charter School (NHCS) in Dorchester. A friend of mine from Wellesley is on the Board of Trustees there, and she arranged for the tour so I could see firsthand why she is so enthusiastic and willing to commit so much of her time and energy to the school. Not knowing much about charter schools in general, I really didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the Dorchester campus on a chilly February morning. When I left the school two hours later, I was filled with awe and appreciation for the students and their enthusiastic approach to learning. And I was genuinely impressed by the teachers whose dedication and innovative teaching methods make NHCS a truly special place. Wellesley and Weston residents take great pride in education, and I think that's why so many of us are committed to charter schools that help students in Boston realize the educational dreams that many of us take for granted. In "Closing the Opportunity Gap" you'll learn more about NHCS and about Excel Academy, another charter school with a similar approach to providing high quality education to children. The onset of fall and back-to-school activities go hand in hand and memories of my own children and their first days of school are still vivid for me. I recall many of the elementary school traditions that are high- lighted in our Education article in this issue. I was pleased to read that the Hunnewell School Fun Fair lives on and the dunk tank is still popular (at least with the children who get to do the dunking). I still remember my waterlogged husband who reluctantly volunteered to be a "dunkee" and I believe won the award for being the wettest dad at the Fair. Sending our older children to school presents new challenges and, unfortunately, we are often reminded that our communities are not immune to the problems of our larger cities. In "Bad Habits" we look at the rise of opiate use in Massachusetts and the impact this serious issue has on our own young people. I hope the article will be a catalyst for some meaningful and important conversations between parents and their teenage kids. I hope that you enjoy all of the articles in this issue and that your back-to-school experiences are pleasurable and memorable. 16 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 editor's letter J I L L N I L S E N jill@wellesleywestonmagazine.com C A R O L Y N R O S S

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