MRHS Parent Newsletter

Volume 31, Issue 12

Please congratulate our September Employees of the Month!


October Athletic Department News

The Athletic Department over the past few years has been doing some work with our coaches on Growth Mindset principles and Grit principles as we feel that the mental part of the game is just as important, if not more important to teach as are the skills of their sport. Our feeling is that if they can leave our program in 4 years with these mental skills, then they are ready to tackle any challenge or obstacle in their future. Below is the new mission of our department. Please read it and help us achieve this mission by supporting it at home as well. Let it spark conversations when they are frustrated, think they didn’t play well or just need a pick up. It works. Trust me.

The Mission of the Minnechaug Regional High School athletic department is to allow student athletes to develop within the principles of Growth Mindset and Grit. Participants and coaches within our program will be part of an environment that will foster personal and team growth within these principles. Through the “We are Chaug” motto, sportsmanship, integrity and self-discipline will be the cornerstone values that will be associated with our student-athletes. Participants in our program will maintain a standard of high academic performance while giving back to their community in varied community service projects.

Spectator Announcement: As we approach the heart of our athletic game schedule, I would like to bring some attention to important spectator information:

Parking: All parking for athletic events is in the back parking lot first and then park anywhere else there is a marked spot. If you are parked illegally, the police will ticket if they ride through. For night events on the stadium field, the maintenance lot is for officials, any handicap parking needs and visiting team buses. It is NOT for spectators.

Sidelines: At no point are there to be any parents on the sidelines near the teams. For night events in the stadium, all personnel not associated with the coaching staff (ie. Photographers) must have permission from Mr. Roy to be on the sidelines. For games that are being played inside the track, all spectators must remain OUTSIDE of the fence of the track. At no point should any spectator be on the track.

Fan Behavior: We have the best fans at Minnechaug. There is no question that everyone loves to watch our athletes do what they do best. With that comes the expectation that negative fan behavior either towards the team, coaches or officials will not be tolerated. My expectation for our athletes is one of respect while in competition and I have the same expectations for our spectators. Please do your part and keep it POSITIVE.

Adult Athletic Passes: Are you sick of waiting in line for night events? The Athletic Department is offering a discounted Adult pass which is good for ANY 12 charged home events at Minnechaug. Use the pass for football, soccer, basketball, wrestling, lacrosse, etc… The pass is $50 which is a $10 savings. If you are interested, please purchase at any ticket window or call us at 413-599-1831 or stop by our office.

MIAA App: The MIAA now has a “FREE” app for android users and IPhone users. You will have access to schedules, rosters, directions, important notifications that will be sent, schedule changes and more. To download the app, search MIAA in the app store or android store. This is a MUST GET as the world of athletics is ever changing. If you are a twitter and/or instagram user, you can also follow us on @chaugathletics. This is NOT just for the kids!


Winter sports registration will be open beginning October 15th on with a deadline of November 15, 2019. Please register early. Winter season begins Monday, December 2,, 2019. Visit our newly designed website:

All pertinent information is posted there. Tryout schedules will be posted on the athletic section the Minnechaug website in early November. All freshman who have not played a fall sport and all juniors who have not played a fall sport, MUST take the IMPACT test for concussions. You will be notified after registration if you need to take it and when the testing dates will be. Please be sure to check your email AFTER registration.

Our New Multi-Purpose Turf field opened officially on August 15th! Our teams have really enjoyed the excitement revolving around the updated stadium field. Please come and see some of our day or night events on the field. We still have some fundraising to do, so PLEASE consider making a donation at Not often can you see where every dollar is going. Now you can! A special thank you to all who have supported our project and who have donated so far. We are Chaug!



The P.E. / Health Wellness department will be offering the following guest speakers and activities during the first semester. Any parents or guardians not wishing to have their son or daughter participate in these presentations or field trips should contact Mr. Orzech P.E. / Health Department Chairperson via email at or by phone at 596-9011 ext. 6167

  • Freshman P.E. / Health classes will be receiving a 2 week health program during the first semester called “Lifeskills Promoting Health and Personal Development”. Topics will include: The Value of Good Health, Decision Making for Health, Risk-Taking and Substance Abuse, The Media and Health, Managing Stress and other Emotions, Family Communication and Healthy Relationships and “Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program” which includes relevant facts and warning signs of suicide, recognizing and responding to troubled peers, intervention and help-seeking when suicidal behavior is recognized, identifying and knowing how to seek resources and helpful adults
  • Postural (Scoliosis) Screening will be performed by freshman Physical Education teacher’s during first semester.
  • All first semester freshman classes will be participating in the American Heart Association CPR in Schools Training. By the end of class, all students will be able to perform hands-only CPR.
  • All sophomores will participate in a 4 class Career Readiness Workshop. They will learn how to fill out job applications, create a resume, learn interview skills and participate in a mock interview.
  • School Resource Officer Dan Menard will be working with the sophomore classes presenting Alcohol and Drug Awareness classes during Term 2.
  • The sophomores will receive a series of 5-7 classes in human sexuality during the second quarter. Discussion topics include: the reproductive system anatomy and physiology review, sexually transmitted infections, effective communication and prevention of STI’s, gender identity, sexual orientation, healthy interpersonal relationships and HIV/AIDS. An HIV positive person will also speak to students about this disease.
  • The junior and senior students will have an opportunity to participate in our Physical Education Bowling Unit. This will occur during Term 2 with dates set up by individual Physical Education teachers. Students will have an opportunity to bowl at Shaker Bowl in East Longmeadow during Physical Education classes. The cost is $7.00 for each bowling trip which includes (bowling, shoe rental and transportation). The classes will have an opportunity to bowl 2-3 times.
  • The seniors will have an opportunity for a field trip to Empower Leadership and Adventure Center in Middletown, CT. The day will include zip lining through the upper forest canopy, traveling across sky bridges, cargo net climb and tree elements. The trip will occur on October 22nd or 23rd. The cost of the trip is $55.00 per student which includes round trip transportation and admission to the center. The students will depart Minnechaug at 7:00 a.m. and return by 2:05 p.m.



EMERGENCY FORMS – Please complete and return the mandatory yellow EMERGENCY/NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION FORM for your child if you have not already done so. If you cannot locate the blank form, please have your child pick one up in the Health Room. The form is also available on the District website > Department > Health Services > Student Health Forms. The information on this form is vital in case of illness or injury to your child. Per school protocol, in October we will send the list of students who have not submitted their Emergency Forms to the APO.

2019-20 FLU SEASON – It’s time for your whole family to be vaccinated against influenza. Vaccine is widely available this year at your doctor’s office or many pharmacies. This season the vaccine is available by injection or by nasal spray. All forms are effective; ask your health care practitioner which is best for you and your children. It is recommended that every person 6 months and older should be vaccinated every year. Some people are at a higher risk of complications from influenza and have an even greater need to be immunized, including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, neurologic diseases, diabetes, and immune system disorders. Learn more about this year’s influenza season from the CDC at this link:

Recent studies have shown flu vaccines are effective for about six months, which is the same length as the typical flu season. October is the perfect time to be vaccinated!

Sometimes it is difficult to tell if you have a cold or the flu as they have many symptoms in common. With the flu you might have any or all of the following: fever and/or chills, body aches, dry cough, fatigue, headache, sore throat, and less often vomiting and diarrhea. With a cold any of these symptoms would likely be much milder, and you would be more likely to have a stuffy or runny nose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.” And the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) says, “People who get flu vaccine are much less likely to get the flu than those who don’t get vaccinated, and if vaccinated people get sick with the flu, their illness is not as severe.”

COLD AND ALLERGY MEDICATIONS – are never available at school. These must be taken at home. We provide cough drops for students one day, and then they must bring in their own supply. Thank you for helping us with this.

EEE (EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS) – There has been a lot in the news lately about EEE, a serious disease transmitted to humans by mosquitos. Hopefully the threat will soon diminish with cooler temperatures on the way. In the meantime, take common sense precautions to protect yourself and your family members:

-Schedule outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

-When you are outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks.

-Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid) or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-Menthane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions given on the product label.

-Keep mosquitoes out of your house by repairing any holes in your screens and making sure they are tightly attached to all your doors and windows.

-Remove areas of standing water around your home.

For more information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health go to:



All sophomores, juniors and seniors should be registered on Naviance, an excellent career/college program available to all of our students. Freshmen will be registering with their guidance counselors in January and February. Naviance has extensive occupation profiles, comprehensive college information including financial aid data, an interest assessment tool with a skills assessment component and a personal e-portfolio tool including a resume builder. All college application support documents will be sent electronically through Naviance. Therefore, it is essential that seniors applying to four year colleges keep Naviance updated with colleges to which they are applying.



Meet with your counselor – Appointments will be made for you by your counselor continuing throughout the year.

Naviance – Freshmen students will be scheduled for Developmental Guidance in January and February during their PE blocks to be registered on Naviance.


Consider taking the PSAT on October 19 – Registration started September 16 and will continue through October 10. See below for details.

Meet with your counselor – ongoing appointments

Utilize Naviance to explore career and college interests


Take the PSAT on Saturday, October 19. Registration started on September 16 and will continue through October 10. See below for details. The junior year PSAT is the National Merit Scholarship qualifying exam.

Attend our College Fair on October 21.

Start to visit colleges, refer to the college website for information.


Finish your college applications on the Common App to be submitted through Naviance.

Ask two teachers to write your recommendation letter.

Take the SAT and/or ACT, if necessary.

Attend College Essay Writing Workshop, October 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Attend our College Fair on October 21.

*Students and Parents should attend the College Financial Aid Night at MRHS on October 1 at 6:30 p.m.


The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) will be administered at Minnechaug on Saturday, October 19. Students can pick up a registration form on Monday, September 16 through Thursday, October 10 in the Counseling Center. The form and a check for $25.00 made out to HWRSD must be returned by October 10. There is no guarantee of test availability for registrations received after that date.


Students apply on line at Seniors can take the SAT Reasoning test in October or November and the SAT Subject tests in November or December. Juniors usually take the SAT Reasoning in the spring. When you register for the SAT on the school’s test center number is 22-896 and the CEEB code is 222398.

SAT’s will be held at Minnechaug on October 5, November 2, and May 2 and June 6. Registration deadline is normally due 30 days prior to test date.


Apply online at The ACT will be given here on October 26, 2019 and April 4, 2020. Registration deadline is normally 30 days prior to test date.


A College Fair will be held at Minnechaug on October 21 for all juniors and seniors from 12:00-2:00. There are over 90 colleges participating. More information will be available in the Counseling Center.


The following colleges and recruitment officers from the military will be visiting Minnechaug in October:

Western New England University

Dean College

Northeastern University

University of Tennessee

Johns Hopkins University

Babson College

Holyoke Community College

Endicott College

Sacred Heart University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Lynn University Johnson & Wales University

Fisher College

U.S. Marines

These college visits and military recruiter visits are available for seniors and juniors. If a junior would like to meet with a college representative, he/she must sign up with a counselor. A sign up book and a list of all colleges visiting throughout the year is available in the Counseling Center. Students must sign up in advance.


Now is the time to start applying to colleges. All colleges that students apply to must be listed on Naviance. After students submit their application they should see Mrs. Lavoie, counseling center secretary, to fill out a Transcript Request Form. Each request for a college application transcript is $2.00. If you have any questions please see Mrs. Lavoie in the counseling center.

STCC COLLEGE NOW: The application deadline for the dual enrollment program is December 1, 2019 for the Spring Semester at Springfield Technical Community College. See your guidance counselor as soon as possible if interested. Enrollment is first come first served.


Our Financial Aid Night will be held on Tuesday October 1 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the auditorium. This important program will be led by a representative from MEFA (Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority). This presentation is tailored for seniors and their parents; however, any interested parents may attend.


On Wednesday October 9 at 6:30 p.m., Mr. Bryan Gross, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing at Western New England University, will present a seminar on the elements of the college admissions essay. Seniors who want to attend are asked to sign up in the counseling center immediately.

Check out these informative websites:


Financial Aid & Scholarships

Test Preparation


The Career Center is staffed by the School-to-Career Coordinator, Renee Considine, who offers career education opportunities for students in grades 9-12. Some of the activities include career fairs, job shadows, senior internships and field trips.

Career Internships

Work Based Learning Internships offer seniors a real life experience in which to practice skills for successful future careers. Each student is matched with a mentor at a worksite where he or she can explore career options while earning high school credit. We wish to thank the dedicated mentors who are instrumental in making this School-to-Career opportunity successful.


Minnechaug's Video Game Club is currently seeking donations of old tvs, games, consoles, batteries, as well as charging and video cables. If you have anything you think we can use, please contact us to set up a time to drop off your donation.

Justin Bullard

(413) 596-9011 (Ext: 2107) |

Yoga Night in P.E.

For all first semester students and their parents/caregivers

Would you like to learn skills to reduce stress and enhance your social, emotional, and physical health? There will be a yoga night on Thursday October 17th from 6:00 to 7:30 for all parents and caregivers of Ms. Doe’s first semester students. Come by to practice this gentle, compassionate style of yoga. This class is open to “Every Body”…. Even if you have never practiced before come on by! Modifications and variations will be given. Reach out to Melissa Doe at with any questions.


News from the Hampden-Wilbraham Partners for Youth coalition

Youth Mental Health Awareness Training

Did you know?

· The peak age of onset for mental illness is early adolescence

· 1 out of 5 youth (20 %) will experience a serious Mental Health disorder

· How to recognize the signs and symptoms of a Youth Mental Health challenge

· How to help a youth experiencing a Mental Health crisis

Would you like to learn?

  • The unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents
  • The importance of early intervention
  • How to help a youth who is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge
  • A 5-step action plan to assist an adolescent in crisis or exhibiting symptoms of mental illness

Would you like to receive?

  • Training provided by local certified Youth Mental Health First Aid instructors
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid take-home course material and resources
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid certification

Sign up for one of the following workshops being offered this fall: October 19, November 2, or November 16 at Minnechaug Regional High School (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at no cost to participants). Contact Teri Brand, HWRSD Nurse Leader to register, today or at least one week in advance of the training date, by email at . For more information about Youth Mental Health First Aid go to the H-W Partners for Youth website.

Youth Vaping – A Community Challenge

Communicating Parent disapproval to your child about vaping is one of the best strategies to preventing their use. What You Need to Know And How to Talk With Your Kids About Vaping is an excellent resource published by the Partnership for Drug-free Kids for parents to get the facts about vaping and continue this important conversation. You may also be interested to view this 2-minute National Institute of Health video on Why Teens are attracted to Vaping . Finally, please be on the lookout for an announcement coming soon about a Community forum on Youth vaping that needs your voice and attendance, as we continue to work together as a community, to help protect our youth from this growing concern of youth vaping.

Additional resources on how to keep our youth safe, healthy, and drug-free can be found on the H-W Partners for Youth website. Please contact Ruth DiCristoforo, Coalition Coordinator, by email at for additional information or to learn more about the work of the Coalition.