Superintendent’s update from 9/24/21

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

This week I want to recognize the absolutely outstanding work of our teachers, paraeducators, transportation staff, food service staff and custodians during such an unusual time.  The pandemic-related safety protocols, while necessary, involve significant shifts to their work, which is further complicated by ever-shifting variables outside our control.  These challenges can take a toll on those who serve our children daily.  Students and families consistently share with me how meaningful it has been to start the year in-person; how they are seeing the well-being of their children improve dramatically; and their appreciation for the work that these professionals are doing everyday.  I see these same things when I visit schools.  The work of our teachers, paraeducators, drivers, food service staff and custodians truly affects the lives of the young people in our community, and they deserve to be commended for their daily efforts that create these positive outcomes for our kids.  I encourage families to take a moment to thank one of these outstanding ARPS staff members who has touched the life of your child!

In keeping with our efforts to support those who serve our children daily, I want to address an issue that has arisen in some of our schools.  Some of you may have heard of a recent challenge circulating on social media called “devious lick,” which urges students to “get their licks.”  The term “devious lick” has been around for a while, but here’s what you need to know about the current trend.

“Got This Devious Lick From School” or “One Month Into School And Got This Absolute Devious Lick” refers to a trend on TikTok where users film themselves pulling supposedly stolen school supplies out of their backpacks with a variation on the phrase “first day of school copped a devious lick.” It has also evolved to include vandalism without theft of items. The word “devious” is often replaced with another word like “diabolical” or “godforsaken,” usually intended to be tongue-in-cheek. The trend began on TikTok in early September 2021.

The original video on TikTok now has over 11 million views and many recreations. Students nationwide are stealing things from their campuses like soap dispensers, toilet paper holders, microscopes, signs, a box of hand sanitizer, and more, all to the same audio. The trend is also spreading outside of schools to stores, movie theaters and more.

This is happening all over the country, and unfortunately, our District is not immune from such vandalism and theft. Replacing the stolen or vandalized items is very costly and takes precious time away from other priorities. Beyond this, our custodial team works very hard to serve our student population and keep our campuses clean and safe; especially with the increased risks from COVID-19.

If your child uses social media, please talk to them about being socially responsible and kind; this “challenge” is criminal behavior, not an innocent prank. To assist in this, I am re-sharing the link to the Digital Culture for Kids webinar presented last spring. Even if your child does not have social media, they may likely hear about this disturbing trend.  We are asking for the entire ARPS community to partner with us to eliminate this behavior in our schools. If you have any information regarding these incidents or questions about this matter, please contact your school principal or assistant principal. 

Finally, based on feedback from the ARPS community, we will continue to maintain our district’s daily COVID dashboard in addition to reporting to DESE for their official dashboard.

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