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Connections: Home

What is it?
Connections is a day-long retreat for seventh-grade students, parents, and teachers, held at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) in Haverhill, MA addressing the social and emotional challenges facing today’s families.  This year's event will offer two sessions focusing on the impact of social media on today's adolescents and mental health awareness. 

Who attends?
All seventh graders and parents/guardians of seventh graders are encouraged to attend Connections.  We are proud to note that at least 85-90% of parents attend Connections with their children.  Seventh-grade staff members also attend.  A letter is attached to provide verification for your employer if needed.

Why attend?
Connections gives everyone (students, parents, teachers) a chance to work together on important issues that surround adolescence.  Our workshops, led by experienced facilitators, are selected based on current issues pertinent to middle schoolers and their parents and are intended to strengthen family bonds and actively involve all who attend.


September 2, 2022

9:30 am - 1:30 pm
Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA

Featured Speakers

Dr. Jennifer Frank, Chief of Police, Windsor, VT: The Impact of Social Media: What You Need to Know

Students and Parents:  Have you ever wondered how safe you are online? Are the photos you post, the information you share, and the status updates you write really protected by those privacy features?  What’s the big deal with posting information online anyway? Come find out the inherent risks of using social networking sites such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Discover how a small piece of information discovered online could radically change your life and reveal much more than you ever thought possible and learn tips to protect yourself!

Dr. Frank has spoken to many audiences in the state of New Hampshire, New England, and the Eastern Seaboard on the topic of internet safety. She serves as a school resource officer in Vermont.


Hon. John T. Broderick, Jr.: Mental Health Awareness

For the last six years with the help and support of Dartmouth Health, I have traveled almost 100,000 miles throughout New England stopping at 300 middle schools and high schools to speak to tens of thousands of young people about mental health awareness. After my talks, many students line up to share their stories or to thank me for “ talking about it.” I have hugged or been hugged by more kids in New England these past six years than anyone alive. I have come to admire this generation for their intelligence, their courage, and their candor. But many young people are dealing with mental health challenges they neither asked for nor deserve. I do all I can to enlist their help to change the stigma and shame that for generations has so unfairly followed those who are suffering from mental health challenges. 

If we finally have that awkward conversation in our homes, our schools, and our communities change will come. Much of the anxiety and depression I have seen and hugged these last six years I believe is driven by social/ cultural demands that are unintentionally depriving kids of the social/ emotional growth that is so essential to a fulfilling life. All of us need to “stop the film” to better understand the journey young people experience every day and begin to ameliorate unnecessary stressors and demands that often adversely affect them.” 


Lunch Information

Information regarding lunch will be sent as we get closer to the field trip. 




Conference Schedule

9:00 AM    Students   Leave Woodbury 

9:45 AM – 9:55 AM   Welcome – Matthew Barry, Principal

10:00 – 11:15 AM         

  Group A- Jenn Frank- TC 103
  Group B- Justice Broderick-  Gym

11:15 AM – 11:55 AM       Lunch

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM    

 Group A- Justice Broderick- Gym
 Group B- Jenn Frank-  TC 103

1:15 PM – 1:30 PM            Dismissal

1:30 PM   Students return to Woodbury

Special thanks to the following organizations who, through their financial support, have helped make this conference possible:

Northern Essex Community College
Woodbury Parent/Teacher/Student Association
Salem School District
Salem School Board
Maura Palmer, Superintendent of Schools