November 18, 2022

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This Newsletter updates on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.
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Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful to be in such a wonderful community. We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with their family and loved ones. A reminder that Wednesday, November 23 is a half day of school. Lunch will be served at the elementary schools but not at CMS or CHS. Dismissals are as follows:

Cohasset Middle School & Cohasset High School: 12:30PM

Deer Hill School: 1:15PM

Joseph Osgood School: 1:20PM

As we have a shortened week next week, there will not be a newsletter.

Images of the Week

National Honor Society Inducts 30 New Members

Congratulations to the 30 new members of the Cohasset National Honor Society and their families! Thank you, Honor Society Students, Mr. Turner, Principal Scott and team, and honored speaker, Mr. Phil Mahoney.
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Deer Hill and CHS Students Take Part in Town Ceremonies Honoring Veterans

Deer Hill 5th Grade student essay winners participated by reading their essays to honor Veterans during town ceremonies last Friday. Also, Quinn Kearney provided a wonderful version of the National Anthem. Congratulations, students! Thank you to our Veterans.
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"Big Stairs Chat" regarding Veterans Day at Osgood

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CMS Chooses Project 351 Recipient

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Congratulations, Karrine R, for being named the Cohasset Middle School Project 351 Ambassador. We are proud of you! Thank you for being such a wonderful representative of CMS.

"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community inspires our mission and youth-led service movement. Each year, Project 351 honors his life and legacy by convening a new Class of 8th grade Ambassadors who embrace the responsibility to lead with a determination to make a difference.

Selected by hometown educators, these unsung heroes and quiet leaders unite for a transformative year of service and leadership. They join a warm, welcoming community built on the belief that service is joy and that world-changing impact is possible. They offer their unique gifts, force of idealism, and dedication to a cause greater than self. From 351 cities and towns, they become one community, one team, one force for extraordinary good.

Ambassadors are invited to “unite, act, and lead” for a year of inspirational service, empowering leadership training, and teamwork with a statewide network of friends."

Deer Hill Expert Day

Thank you to the PSO and to our wonderful community members who presented during "Expert Day" at Deer Hill. This authentic learning experience for the entire school showcased community experts in the areas of fishing, digital marketing, real-estate, medicine development, construction engineering, chemistry, fisheries, telecommunications, and military piloting. Thank you to the following experts! We are so thankful for the tremendous learning opportunities you afforded the students:

Chris Haddad, tournament fisherman

Nicole Zalkin, digital marketing

Patrick Reardon, real estate process

Angela Card, Ben & Sue Greenbowe, medicine development

Shelley Vanderweil, construction engineering

Susan Roberts, chemistry

Nichole Rossi, department of fisheries

Jennifer Chu, telecommunications & active listening

Daniel Wagner, military pilot

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Osgood celebrates recipients of O SO GOOD Call Home with lunch. These students (and their teachers and principal who chose to honor them for good citizenship) are wonderful!

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"Mrs. Augustine, beloved Deer Hill aide, spoke to Mrs. Holland’s 3rd grade: she was a 9 year old refugee who fled Vietnam w/ her 12 siblings in 1975 to arrive in Norwell days before Thanksgiving. Such an amazing parallel of seeking a better life!" - Principal Sullivan, Deer Hill

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The CMS Pond Street Press journalists share their process - student voice with an authentic audience on matters that are important to them. Thank you, Mrs. Melia and the CMS journalists!

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This week we celebrated Educational Support Professionals Day. Thank you to our ESPs for all they do to help the students and teachers every day.

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Girls Soccer defeated Blackstone Valley (4-2) and Hampshire Regional (3-1) to move the State Finals against Northbridge! The State Final game will take place tomorrow, Saturday, November 19 at 12:30PM at Doyle Field in Leominster. This is the second year in a row that the girls have been in the State Final game. Good luck, Girls !

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Amazing season, Boys Soccer! After defeating Abington in overtime in one of the best soccer games in the tournament, the Cohasset Boys Soccer team lost to top-ranked South Hadley, 2-1, in the Quarter Finals.

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Congratulations to Field Hockey on a wonderful season! Girls lost a close match to Manchester -Essex in the state semi-finals.

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MIAA D7 Football Tournament 🏈. In round of 8 #2 Cohasset defeated #7 Clinton, 27 - 14. Cohasset will play Saint Bernard's tonight, Friday, November 18 at 5:30PM at Burlington High School in the State Semi-finals. We are hoping a victory will bring the team back to Gillette Stadium, where they earned last year's Division 7 Superbowl Title. Go Blue!

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Sports Information

Thanks for Giving Thanksgiving 5K

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Arts and Music Events Upcoming

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We are excited for these events and more to come!

CMS Band in Action

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School Cancelation Process

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Like weather forecasting, the school closing decision process is not a perfect science. However, I believe it is important for students and families to understand how it works. I hope this FAQ document answers your questions.

Who makes the decision about whether or not to close school?

As Superintendent, I am responsible for the final decision. I work with District staff to monitor state and local weather forecasts and consult with officials from the Department of Public Works, Cohasset Police, and Cohasset Fire who provide updates to me on snow removal operations, neighborhood road conditions, and any power outages.

What time do I make the call?

My goal is to make the decision to open, close, or delay by 5:45 A.M. or earlier if possible. I try not to wait any longer as families then have little time to make arrangements for childcare, and some of our staff may have already left for work. Also, while I know there is often an interest in having a decision the night before, a lot can change overnight. I will try my best to make a decision as early as possible.

What information is gathered to aid in the decision?

There are multiple factors used in deciding whether or not to close school. Information on road conditions, snow accumulation predictions, building conditions such as electricity and heat, parking lot conditions, air temperature and wind chill, and estimated times from the Department of Public Works and Cohasset Police as to when roads, walkways, and parking lots will be cleared of snow and ice are all considered. I also consider the number of children who walk to school and student drivers.

Are Remote Days a Possibility this Year?

Remote days are not currently permitted as a substitution for in-person days by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

What is a delayed opening?

Rather than close school for a whole day due to short-term weather situations, there may be days when the beginning of school will be delayed one hour, ninety minutes, or two hours. School will simply start later by the length of the delay. Bus pickup, therefore, will also occur later. For example, if your child is normally picked up at 6:55 A.M., during a two-hour delayed opening, your child will be picked up at 8:55 A. M. Lunch will still be available, and dismissal will be at the regularly scheduled times.

What happens to Pre School and Half Day Kindergarten during a delayed opening?

When a delayed opening is called, the Pre School and Half Day Kindergarten classes are cancelled.

What are parents’ / guardians' responsibilities?

The safety of your child is paramount. On days when weather conditions are questionable, but school remains open, parents are free to exercise discretion and keep children home from school. Parents of young drivers are asked to reinforce winter weather driving skills: allowing

extra travel time, reducing speed, and not worrying about being late.

How are days made up?

As per State regulations, students must attend school for a minimum of 180 days and the school year must end by June 30. If school is closed due to weather, the day will be made up at the end of the school year.

How do power outages affect the decision?

Inclement weather can affect the timeline for utility companies to restore electricity. If all school buildings have electricity, the goal will be to open school. Other factors also influence the decision, including whether a large number of neighborhoods are without power.

How is the public notified?

Announcements about school closings and delays are posted as outlined below. Please be advised that, depending upon the severity of the storm, school and district administration offices may also be closed in addition to cancelling classes for students.

· District website (

· Twitter @SuperCohasset (I will usually tweet the cancelation first…so follow me If you want the early scoop)

· Black Board Connect Automated Telephone Notification Service (if operational)

· WBZ TV and Radio (Channel 4)

· WATD 95.9

· WHDH Channel 7 and 56

· WCVB Fox 25 and Channel 5

I will try to send periodic updates via Black Board Connect messages whenever possible should the storm extend for any period of time beyond the day or should the storm result in continued questionable community conditions.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


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CHS Athletic Complex Update

We are excited for the new track. Here are some pictures showing the finished product!

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Turf Renovation Underway

The turf replacement project at Alumni Stadium is underway! Access to the turf and track will be prohibited until further notice. This turf replacement project, along with the recently completed track, and stadium lights is a welcomed improvement to our athletic facilities. We are thankful for the school community and town support and understanding, as we work to provide the best facilities possible for our students and town.

Here are some pictures showing the progress thus far.

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Budget Calendar and Budget Priorities Approved by School Committee

Budget Calendar for 2022-2023

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Budget Priorities

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We are currently adjusting the StopFinder app so that families who are signed up for StopFinder will be able to view their child’s bus route in its entirety. Currently, all bus routes, with the exception of Bus Route #7 (because we are utilizing a spare bus as Bus #7 is serviced) should be experiencing the applications full features.

Please be aware that in the circumstances where we must double up on routes because of a driver shortage your child’s bus route will not be visible in the app. Also, if a bus goes into routine maintenance, your route will not be visible. Moving forward, we will be informing families when either of these two situations occur.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to learn this program together.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the StopFinder app, please reach out to Jerilyn Ballard @

School Facilities Condition Study & "Senior Study" Visit

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During the 3/30/2022 Cohasset School Committee Meeting, the architectural firm Ai3 presented their Cohasset Schools Existing Conditions Study. This study, which covers all of our schools, was commissioned by our School Facilities Committee. Some of the major findings of the study are:
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Overall Recommendation for Cohasset Middle School and Cohasset High School is for "Comprehensive Renovation and Addition or New Construction as Defined by the Massachusetts School Building Authority and its Core Program"

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In late September, we were visited by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), as our "Senior Study" took place. Thank you to the town officials, school and district administrators, and members of our facilities team who collaborated with MSBA representatives during the meeting and school tour. A special thanks to the MSBA for their careful consideration of Cohasset as a prospective candidate for the program. We were informed that we should receive information in the next few months regarding our status. We will keep the community in the loop concerning any and all developments.


Excessive Student Absence Notification

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76 requires that each school notify parents and guardians if their student has five (5) or more unexcused school absences. Parents and guardians will receive a letter when their child has 5, 10, and/or 15+ days of unexcused absences. The letter will also include the number of unexcused tardies and unexcused early dismissals.

Absences will be excused under the following circumstances:

  • After a medical appointment documented with a note from the medical office

  • Illness or quarantine with a note from the appropriate medical office

  • Observance of a religious holiday

  • Bereavement or serious illness in family

  • Court appearance

  • A child may also be excused for other exceptional reasons with approval of the Principal or designee in accordance with the school committee policy and the regulations set in Chapter 76

Daily attendance is essential to a student's success. Missing a significant number of days of school has a detrimental effect on academic and social development. Therefore, each school will work with individual families to support student attendance.

Volunteers Process Review Committee

The Volunteer Process Review Committee met on November 16 to discuss current process for recruiting and training volunteers and well as create a plan and timeline for the review. I would like to thank Principal Alexandra Sullivan and Principal Lisa Farrell for co-chairing the committee. I would also like to thank the other committee members for offering their time and expertise:

Brian Scott, CHS Principal

Michele Curtain, JOS Kindergarten Teacher

Karin Johnston, DHS Grade 5 Teacher

Ashlee McClary, DHS Parent

Collen Magri, DHS Parent

Wellness Committee

The Wellness Committee met on November 2. The committee is made up of district and school leaders, teachers, students and family members. The committee meets four times a year as a whole group and subcommittees meet through out the year to work on the goals chosen by the committee. Please see the minutes from the November 2, 2022 meeting. The next meeting is December 7th.
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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Curriculum Updates

Curriculum Review Process

The Cohasset Public School District will begin a formalized five-year curriculum review cycle this year. Development of a curriculum review process is an essential component to maintaining a focus on continuous improvement of student learning. The curriculum review cycle consists of four phases:

  1. Self-Study: Analysis of the current curriculum and development of action plan
  2. Develop/Redesign: Development and revision of curriculum
  3. Implement/Monitor: Implementation and monitoring of curriculum (2 years)
  4. Evaluate: Evaluation of data/outcomes

The rationale for a Curriculum Review Process:

  • Ensures that the district has clearly articulated curriculum that is well coordinated through PreK-12
  • Provides for an ongoing review and revision of curriculum
  • Supports the ongoing use of assessment data to inform and improve curriculum and instructional practices
  • Ensures that revisions and updates to curriculum, instruction, and assessment take place to maintain adherence to changes in state and federal mandates, as well as MA Curriculum Frameworks
  • Ensures that curriculum is culturally responsive, unbiased, and inclusive
  • Outlines a planned approach towards researching and budgeting for expenditures in curricular materials and professional development
  • Evaluates potential needs for curricular or programmatic changes to support student learning

This process of curriculum design and revision is based on the process of backwards design. The foundation of backwards design of curriculum is to determine first, based on our state curriculum standards, what students will know and be able to do and clarify these expectations in a written and communicated curriculum map.

This year Math and Music/Art will be in Phase 1 of the Curriculum Review Process. Please see the Curriculum Review Calendar.

Each content area will involve the creation of a steering committee which will have representatives from district and building leadership, department chairs, and teachers PrK-12. There will be opportunities for family input throughout the process.

Cohasset Public Schools Curriculum Process

The Art Curriculum Review Committee

The Art Curriculum Review Committee met November 17 to begin Phase 1 - Self-Study process. The committee members are:

Lisa Farrell, Principal of Osgood Elementary School (JOS)

Tammy Breen, JOS Art Teacher

Sarah Kane, JOS Music Teacher

John DeWaal, DHS Band Teacher

Abby Arenstem, CMS Choral Teacher

Mina Berkowitz, CHS Art Teacher

Stephanie Moriarty, Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair

I would like to thank the members for their time and expertise in this process.

Curriculum Initatives

The District has several initiatives for this school year which include the roll out of the Elementary Comprehensive Literacy Approach, Deer Hill pilot of the i-Ready Personalized Learning for Math, Middle School implementation of OpenSciEd, and the District Curriculum Review Process which will focus on Middle and High School Math and Art/Music Pk-12. Please see the School Committee Presentation from August 10, 2022 that gives an updates of the current curriculum initiatives in the District.

Professional Development

Data Analysis

Faculty in grades K-12 are participating in MCAS data analysis. Through this process of a data dialogue leaders and faculty look objectively at the data to look for trends and patterns. There are areas of strength and opportunities that arise during this process. The information from this analysis as well as the analysis of additional assessment information is used to create action steps to improve the teaching and learning in the district.

Elementary Literacy

Elementary teachers are working with Teaching and Learning Alliance (TLA) consultants as we implement our comprehensive literacy approach. TLA consultants will be providing in the moment coaching for teachers through out the year. They are helping us combine the science of reading, structured literacy, and explicit instruction strategies.

Please see the professional development calendar below for more information about the professional development that is planned for the year.


MCAS 2022 Results

The Massachusetts (MCAS) 2022 results have been released to the public. Cohasset data shows noted growth in many areas and some areas that need to improve. A full analysis of the Cohasset MCAS data was provided on the School Committee Meeting on November 2. Here is the link to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) District Profile page and the Next Generation MCAS Tests 2022 percent of students at each achievement level for Cohasset. Individual student results and family letters for students in grades 4-10 were sent home on October 12 via the U.S. Postal. If you have not receive your child's MCAS results please call your school and they will be able to provide you a copy.

Cohasset High School Vision of the Graduate

Please see the graphic below, which was established through the collaborative work of the Cohasset High School Community as part of their accreditation process with NEASC. This work also helped to set our District theme for the year, "Find Your Compass."
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Student Opportunity Act (SOA)

The Student Opportunity Act (SOA) implements the recommendations of the 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission and includes other provisions to benefit our public schools.

As part of the SOA, districts are required to submit three-year, evidence-based plans aimed at closing persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups. The District submitted the SOA Plan in January 2021 and then sent the amended plan in March 2022. Please see the presentation below.

Student Opportunity Act Presentation March 2022

District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) Revised

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Thank you to Director of Student Services, Barbara Cerwonka, and to all the educators who helped work on the revision of our District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP), which is now posted on the District webpage. As articulated in the DCAP, "Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 38Q1/2 states that a school district shall adopt and implement a curriculum accommodation plan to assist principals in ensuring that all efforts have been made to meet the students' needs in regular education. The plan shall be designed to assist the regular classroom teacher in analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles of all children in the regular education programming, including, but not limited to, direct and systematic instruction in reading and provisions of services to address the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning, or who do not qualify for special education services under chapter 71B. The curriculum accommodation plan shall include provisions encouraging teacher mentoring and collaboration and parental involvement."
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Cohasset Public Schools' Strategic Plan for 2021- 2024

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Please Click on the Link Below to Access the Entire Strategic Plan

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A Downloadable Version of the Calendar Can Be Found Below

Please see below for a link to download the District and School Calendars

Just a reminder that for the 2023 - 2024 School Year, the first day of school for students will be Wednesday, August 30 (before Labor Day). There will be no school for students or staff the Friday before Labor Day.

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From Commissioner of Education Riley’s memo to Superintendents sent on August 15, 2022:

“The Commonwealth is not recommending universal mask requirements, surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals, contact tracing, or test-to-stay testing in schools. Districts and schools are reminded that there is no longer any statewide masking mandate in schools (other than school health offices) and there is no testing requirement for schools.” We will continue to respect the right of individuals to wear masks at any time during the school day.

“Effective August 15, 2022, all students and staff in childcare, school in grades K-12, or participating in out-of-school time (OST) and recreational camp settings should follow the updated isolation and exposure guidance issued by DPH, in alignment with recently issued guidance from CDC. No asymptomatic person should be excluded from school as a result of exposure, regardless of vaccination status or exposure setting.”

An additional link on isolation and exposure guidance can be found here:

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We are a proud METCO District!

Please see the METCO webpage on our District website for important information regarding our METCO program.

Cohasset Public Schools Vision of Equity

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CPS Equity Vision Statement

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Please visit our website for resources regarding the promotion of diversity.

We will continue to engage students and staff in the meaningful discussions necessary to promote change. We are committed to promoting anti-racism and cultural responsive teaching and learning.
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Cohasset PSO Happenings

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Cohasset Education Foundation (CEF)

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RISE Program

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CPS is pleased to continue its partnership with the Cohasset Recreation Department by providing before and after school care for our elementary students. We have an amazing staff that provides wonderful opportunities for our students through the RISE program. Please see this link for more information.

Office of Student Services

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Opening Letters and Information Regarding Multi-Tiered Student System of Supports (MTSS)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports

To Parents/Guardians of Cohasset Public Schools :

The Cohasset Public Schools believes in providing the highest quality of education for our students. This letter is to provide you with information about a three-tiered instructional approach we use to meet this goal, referred to as Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

For MTSS, all students will participate in the core curriculum, with three levels (tiers) of interventions for students who demonstrate at-risk skills in general academics or behavior/social emotional areas. Each tier provides additional support beyond the core curriculum and instruction. All students receive formal and informal checks to measure their progress to determine if they are performing at an expected level. Behavioral and social emotional impacts are also monitored on a regular basis through the year.

● Tier One- As the largest tier, and the foundation for the entire framework, Tier 1 encompasses the entire school with core instruction and basic interventions. This structure helps to build positive relationships between staff and students. It includes proactive classroom strategies aimed at creating a supportive learning atmosphere. Teachers will use different strategies as universal supports within the core curriculum and instruction to address all student educational needs. These supports include but are not limited to items identified within the District Accommodation Plan (DCAP) and/or the School Accommodation Plans.

● Tier Two- Based on progress data, students who require more support than Tier One will be provided targeted interventions matched to their needs within the general classroom by the classroom teacher and/or support staff in the classroom. The Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Team will track the student’s progress, and parents/guardians will receive ongoing progress data.

● Tier Three- Students who continue to require measures beyond Tier Two will receive more intensive individualized interventions at this level. Parents/guardians will be notified of these supports and receive ongoing progress data. After Tier Three implementation, students who continue to display limited progress may then be considered for further evaluation and services.

Our School is excited to take part in this process to improve educational outcomes for all students. As always, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or myself if you have questions or concerns.



Barbara Cerwonka, M.Ed.

Director of Student Services

Child Find Notification

Be Sure to View the Information on the Student Services Web Page


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Latest Newsletter

There are many stressors to our day-to-day lives; however, there are many resources available. The District Website has a page dedicated to Social Emotional Learning and Wellness. Please remember that our schools are a resource, and that our counselors, school psychologists, and social workers can support you and your child.

Thank you to all of our counselors for their caring and selfless work throughout the District!

Osgood: Dave Vinton (adjustment counselor)

Deer Hill: Robyn Costa (adjustment counselor)

Deer Hill and Osgood: Maeve Dulles (adjustment counselor)

Deer Hill and Osgood: Alyson Doyle (school psychologist)

CMS: Emily Manewal (adjustment Counselor)

Allison Pearce (school psychologist)

CHS: Laura Struzziery (lead counselor)

Leanne McCarthy (high school adjustment counselor)

Kevin McGowan (high school counselor)

Allison Battista (high school counselor)

Catlin Stromberg (school psychologist)

Robert Collins (middle and high school social worker)

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Take Care of Yourself and Take Care of Each Other

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Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can do anything to help your student or your family during this difficult time. Most important is the physical and mental health of everyone, and we will stay focused on making that a priority. Please take good care.

Please click on the following link to access even more information on the Cohasset Public Schools Web Site.

Please follow me on Twitter for daily updates from the Cohasset Public Schools

You can also follow the entire leadership team on Twitter to see real-time updates.

Assistant Superintendent: @CPSAssistantSup

Joseph Osgood School: @JOsgoodppal

Deer Hill School: @DeerHillSchool

Cohasset Middle School: @comsprincipal

Cohasset High School: @CoHSPrincipal

We utilize both Aspen and Blackboard communications to inform families of important events, cancellations, and happenings.

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