MHS Newsletter

Your e-news source for Mansfield High School

From the Principal's Desk...

October 18, 2019

Hi All,

I want to again express my thanks and gratitude to everyone - students, staff, faculty, and town support personnel- for their assistance on Thursday afternoon. I'm grateful that issues were resolved quickly and that everyone was safe. We learned a lot in exercising our evacuation and relocation protocols, and I want to thank everyone for their feeback.

I'm extremely proud of MHS this week!


Last Monday, October 14th, the MHS School Council met for our first session this year. The Council provided feedback regarding lockdown drills and reviewed the current School Improvement Plan in preparation for the creation of our next plan. The charge of the School Council is to provide administration with feedback on a variety of topics, including the school budget, the school improvement plan, and the student handbook.

Next, students in grades 9 and 11currently enrolled in Health will be receiving a letter to bring home and share with parents/guardians this week providing basic information related to the human sexuality units in 9 & 11 Health. Students taking Health this semester may be opted out of the unit if parents/guardians desire. To exercise this option, parents/guardians should send a brief letter or email to me directly at 9th and 11th grade students who are scheduled to take Health starting 2nd semester will receive the same letter and option in February.

8th Grade Opportunities Night will take place on October 24th starting at 6:30PM in the Auditorium. We invite parents and guardians of rising 9th grade students (current 8th grade students) to explore MHS and learn more about our academic and extra curricular programming.

Finally, in honor of STEM Week, October 21st through October 25th, we're highlighting a few STEM/STEAM lessons that illustrate the learning going on at MHS!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Best regards,

Mary Watkins

Environmental Issues: Wildlife

One unit in the Wildlife course focuses on the vanishing honey bee and colony collapse disorder. Ms. Gentili's class spent weeks researching the phenomenon and identifying areas for intervention, conservation and education. This was the perfect opportunity to make this project relevant to students and our local community!

Ms. Gentili's students will pair up with J/J science students over those two days on a walking field trip to get the plants into the ground according to a landscaping schematic that best supports the growth of the plants. In addition, students have created digital professional posters and storybooks that they will share with the fifth graders. One of the posters will be selected to print at a local signage company and be placed permanently in the spring to accompany the plantings and inform the community of the importance of pollinators and what we each can do to encourage pollinator visits within our own yards.

Check out the link below!


Ms. Sclafani's chemistry classes recently completed a Separation of Mixtures lab. The students were given four materials, all mixed together, and they had to use their knowledge of physical properties and separation techniques to recover each substance in its pure solid form.

The students developed the procedure themselves before trying it out!

Making Art in Public Places

Students in Ms. Martinelli's Making Art in Public Places went to Fulton's Pond to create a public art piece for the October 4th Fall Fest. Students worked together to attach branches to the existing bridge then used yarn to add pattern and texture. They also arranged Kindness Rocks that were created by MHS students around the area. It was a wonderful real life experience in creating installation art.
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AP Biology

During the week of October 18th students in Mrs. Gentili's AP Biology and Environmental Issues classes visited Bridgewater State College's Mohler-Faria Science laboratory classrooms to conduct two technology-based investigations.

AP Biology students used the college facilities to carry out indirect and direct tests for the presence and production of carbon dioxide (a product of respiration) in yeast and peas. The experiments used technology such as Vernier pH probes, Vernier Oxygen sensors and Carbon Dioxide sensors interfaced to a LabQuest to measure changes over time and answered scientific questions. In a final component of the lab, students designed their own procedure to select and test an independent variable and predicted the results. After the experiment was completed, students analyzed their findings and prepared a presentation to the entire group discussing their hypotheses and results.

Environmental Science

Environmental Issues students used the facilities at Bridgewater State to investigate the health of the Bridgewater watershed in a lab called, "Does this parking lot look green?" Students engaged in an inquiry regarding commuter car pollution (run-off) in the campus parking lots. Specifically, phosphorus contamination in the parking lot was studied using standard curves and spectrophotometric analysis. Students learned about impervious surfaces and how the use of low impact design (LID) engineering in parking lots can improve water quality. BSU has an LID parking lot that students were able to visit. Discussion included how improvement to design can have a direct impact on ground water quality which in turn can help reduce pollution to our oceans.


Ms. Fournier's Grade 9 Biology class will be running a plant leaf pigment chromatography activity to show the movement of polar pigment molecules in water that demonstrate

cohesive and adhesive properties.

Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian, and teacher astronaut to be sent

out into space, planned to perform various scientific experiments

before the Challenger disaster. One of these experiments "Christa's Lost Lessons" was Plant Leaf Chromatography. Check out the lesson at:

Student Flu Clinic

Wednesday, Oct. 23rd, 6-8pm

MHS Cafeteria

Wednesday October 23, 6-8 PM

Bring a health insurance card and be ready to fill out pre-screening consent forms.

Available to students and families ages 9 and older.

Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Check out the flyer below.

Picture Retakes

On Thursday, October 24th we will have “Picture Retake” Day. On this day:

  • Students in grades 9, 10 and 11 who were NOT photographed September 12th will have their picture taken for the school year. Students are photographed even if they are not buying the photos. And...

  • Students who were photographed September 12th, purchased a photo package but would like to have it retaken may do so October 24th. **Note: the original photo package must be returned to the Chestnut Hills Studio photographer to be retaken and reprinted. Students should bring the package on Thursday.

AP Exam Registration

Friday, November 8th: Deadline for ALL students to pay for all exams

This year the College Board changed the protocol for Advanced Placement test registration and the fee structure. Based on research conducted by College Board they have determined that students are more invested in their Advanced Placement classes and perform better on exams if they commit to taking the exam in the fall of the school year. College Board has also added an online platform with resources for students and faculty to help students prepare for AP exams in May.

In order to be in compliance with College Board rules and regulations, students will be signing up for their AP exams online in their respective AP classes. Students will have until October 18th to decide if they are taking the exam. By this deadline they will need to have input a "yes" or "no" in the College Board portal. Teachers in each AP class will review this process with their students. This is the first step of the process.

The second step is for students to pay for exams in the School Counseling Office (see Ms. MacKillop). The cost per exam is $94. Checks should be payable to Mansfield High School.

Different this year is the late/cancellation fee from College Board. After November 15th if students change their mind (either they decide that they want to take the test or decide not to take the test) College Board will assess a $40 fee per exam. After March 13th students may no longer decide to enroll in an exam; however, they may cancel the test as late as May.

For students who are preparing on their own for AP Exams not offered by Mansfield High School: Students are responsible for both the cost of the exam ($94 per exam) and the proctor fee ($90 per exam). Students must let Ms. Karidoyanes (in the School Counseling Office) know if they are planning to take an AP exam no later than Friday, October 11th. They will have until November 8th to pay for the exam. Any students who registers after November 15th will be assessed a $40 late fee per exam by the College Board.

Guidance Update

Class of 2020

In the upcoming months there will be several opportunities for SENIORS to meet with a variety of colleges visiting MHS. Seniors can us NAVIANCE to access the list of colleges coming to visit and should sign up at least a week in advance. If students need their password, they should schedule an appointment with their school counselor since this information can not be provided over the phone or through email. Each week we will be sharing important information with students through NAVIANCE so it is important to check email and NAVIANCE regularly.

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Food Drive

Please help us with a food drive designed for young children. Donation boxes will be located at entrances to the field and at Paul's Place. Monetary donations accepted. Checks can be made out to Mansfield Public Schools- Backpack Buddies.

See the flyer below!

Mansfield All Sports Boosters- ANNUAL COMEDY NIGHT

Where: Mansfield Holiday Inn

When: Saturday, November 2

Time: Doors Open at 6:30

Comedy Night featuring Al Parks and headliner Dan Crohn

$30 per person or reserve a table of 8 for $240

Go to for more information and purchase tickets


Support MHS Cheer! Check out the PDF below and buy a lawn sign!

"Voice of Democracy" Audio Essay Competition - Deadline October 31

Students, consider writing and recording an audio essay for the VFW's "Voice of Democracy" audio essay competition.

Theme: "What Makes America Great"

Deadline: October 31, 2019

Record and submit your original 3 to 5 minute essay -enter to win Audio Essay Competition Grand Prize scholarship of $30,000!

Visit for more details!

Yearbooks are on Sale NOW!

Yearbooks are on Sale NOW!

Go to to order your book online.

Books are $73 but order before October 31st and get a $10 discount!

All senior photos and blurbs are due by October 31st.

Go to for all your 2020 Yearbook information including submitting senior photos and blurbs, buying the book, placing a business or family ad and more.

Update to Building Supervision Hours- Cold Weather

In order to better ensure the safety of all students and staff by more closely regulating who accesses the building before and after school hours, school-wide building supervision for students will begin promptly at 7AM and end at 3PM.

Please provision for your child to arrive at school no earlier than 7AM since they will not have access to the building. Students walking to school or being dropped off who may need to wait a few minutes prior to the doors opening should dress appropriately for cold weather.

Thank you for observing these hours as we work to reduce risk and increase safety for all.

About Us

Mary Watkins, Principal

Zachary Abrams, Assistant Director, Special Education

Abigail Barlas, Assistant Principal, Student Support Services

James Schliefke, Assistant Principal, Grades 9 & 11

Timothy Tichacek, Assistant Principal, Grades 10 & 12