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Mendon-Upton School District building highlights

Students at Memorial Elementary listen while an inflatable planetarium erects in the background. Photo Courtesy of MURSD

Compiled by Scott Calzolaio

Nipmuc Regional High School

The Department of Mental Health has launched a new Behavioral Health Help Line that people can call or text at 833-773-2445. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 200 languages. The help line can help individuals and families navigate the behavioral health system and access treatment, including mobile crisis services. District and school leaders are asked to please share this resource with staff, families, and students, where helpful. Anyone with questions or concerns about the help line can email the help line director at [email protected].

Henry P. Clough Elementary 

Kindergarten screenings were held on May 10 and 11. After screenings, the following will occur:

• July:  Classroom placement letters and orientation schedule will be mailed to you

• August: Kindergarten Student Orientation will be held on August 30, 2023. Refer to the orientation time listed on the letter mailed in July. If you lost this letter and need information, contact the school at 508-634-1580. All students have different orientation times assigned. Parents/Guardians and students have a chance to meet the teacher, see their classroom, and ride the bus together.

Miscoe Hill Middle School

A message from the Health Center at Miscoe - “Recently there has been an increase in students at Miscoe bringing energy drinks to school. With their neon colors and flashy designs, energy drinks are very tempting to young eyes and unfortunately tweens seem to be who the marketers are aiming at. 

Many of these drinks actually have a warning right on the can or their website stating they are not suitable for kids under 18. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that energy drinks should be totally off-limits to kids and adolescents. They often contain 5 to 11 times the amount of caffeine that is in a cup of soda or coffee. Plus, the FDA doesn’t regulate the amount of caffeine in beverages so you cannot always trust what is on the label. 

Something else that parents may not be aware of is that many of these drinks contain a variety of stimulants besides caffeine, including herbal supplements or other natural stimulants from plants. Energy drinks do more than make kids hyper. High amounts of caffeine can cause uncomfortable side effects and even harm a child’s health. Problems include sleep disruption, restlessness, jumpiness, increased anxiety, mood swings, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and even seizures. 

Caffeine is also addictive. Some healthier ways to give kids an energy boost are to move more, get plenty of sleep, eat balanced meals, take a multivitamin and drink enough water. Healthy alternatives to energy drinks are unsweetened, flavored seltzer, plain water infused with sliced lemons or berries, herbal teas (hot or cold) or low sugar sports drinks. 

Many of these energy drinks are designed to look like a regular can of soda so a parent may not be aware what it is. The most popular one at Miscoe right now seems to be ‘Prime’, a drink that is highly marketed on YouTube and higher in caffeine than some of the other energy drinks.”

Every year, the yards of Upton and Mendon are marked by the well-known flocks of plastic pink flamingos, and it’s that time again. The “Flock-a-Friend” fundraiser in Mendon and Upton is a fun way to help the Miscoe Hill 8th Grade Class raise money for their Semi-Formal Dance. For a $25 donation to MURSD, you can send the flock to any Mendon or Upton resident for 24-hours. The annual battle to see which of the two towns can raise more money started on April 23. To send a Flock to someone you know, visit

Memorial Elementary

The week before school vacation, students were invited to step out of the classroom, and into the cosmos. Through PTO funding, an inflatable planetarium was erected in the library, and experts brought in to talk to the students about the stars. “The mobile planetarium was so exciting for our second, third, and fourth graders,” it reads in the school’s April newsletter. “Hopefully it inspired some to look up at the sky in the evenings to notice the stars and planets.”

The Nipmuc Booster Club and Jim Grant have teamed up to hold the annual golf tournament this year at Shining Rock Golf Club on May 25. The cost per player is $150, and $600 for a foursome. If interested, please contact Rick LaCross at 508-397-1251 or [email protected] to reserve your spot. If unable to play, consider being a sponsor for the tournament. The cause is also accepting gift baskets, gift cards or monetary donations. If interested, reach out to Rick LaCross at 508-397-1251 or [email protected].