Raider Family News

January 2023

Meet the Guidance Department

Each month we will be highlighting a different department and providing exciting news about the activities occurring within that department. This month we highlight the Guidance Department.

Counseling Department Information:

Number of Department Members: 8

Collective Years of Teaching/Counseling: 119

Collective Years at SBRHS: 83

Number of Post Graduate Degrees Held: 12

· BA in Psychology

· BS in Math

· BA in Foreign Languages

· BA in Sociology

· BA in Human Development and Hispanic Studies

· MA in Clinical Social Work

· MA & CAGS in School Psychology

· MA in Counseling and Psychology

· Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and Administration

· M.Ed. in School Counseling

· M.Ed. in School Psychology

· License in Mental Health Counseling (LMHC)

Our Mission

The mission of the SBRHS Counseling Department is to assist our students in navigating through their high school experience by providing guidance in all domains of the student’s life. In collaboration with our teaching staff and administration, we strive to develop strong relationships with each of our students and their families. Through these connections, we support each student in their academic success, college and career planning and social emotional wellbeing.

We are a multi-lingual Department!

Languages spoken: Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese and French!

Fun fact: All members have traveled abroad, with three members who have studied abroad.

Favorite place to travel: Portugal, California, Amsterdam, France, Austria, Barcelona, Brazil, Colombia and Spain.

The team is in the middle of writing a new curriculum for the Counseling Department which will address standards in Academics, College and Career Readiness and Social and Emotional Learning.

Events we have coordinated and hosted this past year:

- Freshmen Summer Program (with Big Buddies)

- Freshmen Orientation (September 22)

- Common Application Day for Seniors (September 22)

- College tour to URI (October 22)

- College and Financial Aid Informational Night for families (October 22)

- College Fair (November 22)

- MCAS recognition breakfast (December 22)

- Freshmen Shadow Days (Big Buddies, December 22)

*Starting in January the department will be concentrating its efforts in scheduling the entire student body grades 9-11 and also present and schedule both incoming middle schools: Somerset Middle and Berkley Middle School.

We will also be coordinating and supporting MCAS testing!

February 1st and 2nd Biology and Physics retest

March 8th and 9th ELA retest

March 14th and 15th Math retest

Spring ELA and Math for Sophomore Class

March 28th and 29th ELA testing

May 16th and 17th Math testing

June 6th and 7th Science testing for Freshmen ( Biology, Intro to Physics, and Chemistry)

Things to Come! (dates to be announced)

Industry Tours in February (Horner Millworks and Bay Coast Bank)

St. Anne’s Medical Tour and Panel Discussion (February 2023)

Boston Area College Tours (Spring of 2023)

Student Ed Camp, date to be determined (April 2023)

Meet The Team

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Meet the Team!

Elizabeth Coogan, Director of SEL and Student Services

Tanya McCarthy, Lauren Meader, Alexandra Proulx, Guidance Counselors

Tracy Branco Medeiros, Ann Nassiff, School Adjustment Counselors

Melanie Phruksachart, School Psychologist

Rhonda O’Connell, Administrative Assistant

*Not pictured, Ms. Tanya McCarthy and Ms. Rhonda O’Connell

Some of our favorite cuisine: Portuguese, Italian, Sushi and donuts!

Favorite musical artist: Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Morgan Wallen, Adele, Sam Smith, Kenny Chesney.

Favorite go to coffee shop: Pink Bean, New Boston Bakery, Sip and Dip, Starbucks!

Fun Facts: C H I P S!

C – Classroom lessons focused on social emotional wellness, academic achievement & college and career exploration

H- Help support student’s unique needs

I - Individual & group counseling to teach specific coping skills and strategies

P – Partner with teachers, staff and parents to promote student success

S – Share resources and strategies with our school wide community

Classes of 2024, 2025 & 2026--PLEASE READ!!!!

Believe it or not….it is already time to begin thinking about scheduling classes for next year.

This year we will be following a more structured and individualized process to schedule students for the 2023-24 school year. The Guidance Department will be meeting with each one of their students individually to review and finalize their schedule choices for the 2023-2024 school year. Students will be called down from their classrooms to meet with their Guidance Counselor in a predetermined time frame. In the next few weeks, it is very important that students and families review the 2023-24 Course Selection Booklet and have discussions regarding course work for next year.

Prior to these individual meetings, the following will be taking place…

In the first two weeks of January, teachers will be making their recommendations for students course levels for the 2023-2024 school year. Teachers will discuss the level placement with their students.

Once teachers have done this, students will have access in their Aspen accounts (under the Requests section) during the weeks of January 20th - January 27th to look at these recommendations and select their electives. Students must select multiple choices for electives in the event that they cannot get into their first choice elective. Families should be speaking with their students at home to confirm that they are in agreement with the appropriate leveled classes and good elective choices.

Individual meetings between a student and his/her Guidance Counselor will be taking place during the school day in the library, between the dates of January 30th - February 10th.

Things students should consider when making the appropriate course selections for next year:

  • Have you read the Course Selection Booklet to understand the content of the classes you are considering? The Course Selection Booklet is also available on the school website.

  • Are you planning on going to a 4-year college? If so, you will need at least 2 years of a consecutive world language, which does count towards elective credits.

  • Are you taking the appropriate electives needed for graduation requirements?

  • Are you feeling challenged enough or struggling in your current class? Do you want to consider moving up (or down) a level for the following school year?

  • Do you have interest in moving up a level? If so, it is important to discuss time management, study habits, and dedication to a particular subject.

    • If you are requesting a level higher than what has been recommended, you will need to fill out an additional request form. Please discuss this with your guidance counselor during your meeting.

  • Do you have a specific interest in a subject and would like to pursue that pathway towards life after high school? (ex: Digital Photography -> Advanced Digital Photography -> AP Studio Art)

Mid Year Assessments

The week of January 16, we will be changing our schedule for the week so that classes can facilitate mid year assessments. These are summative assessments that will be worth 6% of the students' final year grade. Assessments will range from exams, to performances, to self-reflections. In order to allow students maximum time to prepare for these assessments, there will be no out of school work assignments this week other than preparation for assessments. In addition, the schedule has been created to allow class time in the afternoons for students to prepare for the next day's assessments. Teachers will be going into depth with their students regarding exams in the upcoming days/weeks. The schedule for the week of January 16th is below.
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Check Your Email!!!

If a student receives an email regarding a detention for any reason (tardy to class, inappropriate behavior, etc.), he/she has two days from the received email to serve detention. Detention is held in room 139 Monday-Thursday from 2:15-3:30 p.m. The late bus is available and leaves at 3:40 p.m.

If a student cannot meet this obligation within the two allotted days, exceptions can be made if they email their assistant principal prior to the two days expiring.

Mrs. DoCouto: grades 9 & 11

Mrs. Pereira: grades 10 & 12

It is very important to check your emails! We regularly communicate with students using their email account. If students have any difficulty accessing or using their email, please email our IT department at or visit them in the IT Office located next to the TV Studio.

Save the Date--Semi Formals

The dates for this year's semi-formal dances are as follows:

Junior/Senior "Black & White" Semi-Formal: Friday, March 3, 2023

Freshmen/Sophomore Semi-Formal: Friday, March 24, 2023

John & Abigail Adams Scholarship

On December 9, 2022, sixty-six members of the Class of 2023 were honored with breakfast for being the 2022-23 John & Abigail Adams Scholarship recipients. This scholarship is awarded to students who enroll in schools in the University of Massachusetts system, the nine state universities, or fifteen state community colleges. Students receive this scholarship for high achievement on their high school MCAS exams.
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Congratulations to our DECA students

Congratulations to our 60 students who participated in the local DECA competition this past week in Mansfield. We are thrilled to announce that 20 students advanced to the State DECA Finals in Boston - March 9th - March 11th:

Abigail Kettle - Restaurant & Food Service Management

Anya Kanalski & Marissa Medeiros - Travel & Tourism Marketing Team Decision Making - 1st Place

Sophia Schoonover - Retail Merchandising

Adyn Pierce & Gabrielle Silvia - Hospitality Services Team Decision Making - 1st Place

Caroline Puccini & Allessandra Ferrara - Buying & Merchandising

Louise Caso & Lauren Kanuse - Marketing Management Team Decision Making

Sam Grew & Jimmy Phenix - Sports & Entertainment Marketing Team Decision Making

Charlie Phillips & Jocelyn Wilson - Sports & Entertainment Marketing Team Decision Making

Gabriella Arruda & Hunter Pearson - Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

Henry James - Principles of Business and Administration - 1st Place

Kyle Schecter - Financial Consulting

Theresa Borges - Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

Ella Sousa - Principles of Marketing

Congratulations to Kamryn Berube!

On December 15, 2022, the South Coast Educational Collaborative (SCEC) awarded the Francis W. Gallishaw, Jr. Award for Academic Excellence to Kamryn Berube. This scholarship is presented to a student from each member school for their pursuit of excellence in leadership, service, and academics during their high school career.

It was an honor for Dr. Brelsford and Mr. Schoonover, Chairman of the SCEC, to present the award. Kamryn is currently enrolled in four Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and two Project Lead The Way (PLTW) courses, all of which can earn her both high school and college credit. Previously, Kamryn successfully completed four AP courses and one PLTW course. She intends to study neuroscience or dermatology with a career in medicine.

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Student/Staff Recognition Emails

Happy New Year! In some ways, it is hard to believe that January is already upon us.

Each month are recognizing students and staff who exemplify the skills and competencies that we value in our SBRHS Vision of the Graduate. This month's skill is Digital Citizenship. While this is sometimes a difficult "skill" to understand, it is a skill that we use each and every day on our phones, laptops, iPads, etc. Digital Citizenship encompasses both our ability to utilize different technologies but, more importantly, our ability to utilize them appropriately. One's "digital footprint" will be with them for the rest of their lives. Part of our Vision of the Graduate is to not only teach various technologies and applications but also to teach you how to use them appropriately so that, twenty or fifty years from now, you will be happy with the digital footprint you have created for yourself.

So this month's recognition is a bit different. Who in our SBRHS community brightens your day with an email, a text, a Remind, or a post? If none of those fit the person you are thinking about, who brightens your day, just by being them? Let's start the New Year out with positivity!

If someone who you thought was independent also demonstrates this type of digital citizenship, include that person in this month's response as well. If you have not yet participated, we hope you will think about filling out the Google Form this month. Last month, we recognized students and staff members for their independence. Randomly selected, we want to honor one of the students and staff members that were recognized for this:

Student: Hayley Matarese

Staff: Ms. Tinkham

Staff Recognition Form

Student Recognition Form

Attendance Policy & Letters

It is a state mandate that families are notified when a student hits five days absent and ten days absent. Letters must be sent whether or not the school is aware of the reasons for the absence. Our district's attendance policy reads as follows. Please be mindful of this as we move forward through the year.


In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, students are required to be present in school in order to ensure continuity and consistency in the educational process and to prepare them for college and/or career.

School District Responsibility

Official school attendance records including absences, tardies and dismissals will be kept by the Attendance Office. Class attendance will be recorded daily. Students with chronic school attendance problems will be identified as early in the quarter as possible. In accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 76, the school principal or designee will make a reasonable effort to notify by email parents/guardians, or students 18 years of age or older, if a student has five (5) or more unexcused absences to develop action steps for student attendance.

Parent/Guardian & Student Responsibility

Regular and consistent school attendance is the responsibility of students and parents/guardians. Failure to comply with this responsibility violates the legal requirement and may be subject to consequences through the court system. Parents/Guardians and students should use the Aspen Portal to view student’s attendance records for excused and unexcused absences, tardies and dismissals. All students, including those 18 years of age and older, will be bound by school attendance and extracurricular policies and procedures. Teachers have discretion as to whether they honor requests for work in advance of known absences. As always, students have one day to make up for every day absent. Students are highly encouraged to check online platforms (i.e. Google Classroom) any time they are absent. Students are required to enter the school building upon arriving to school grounds. Students will not be able to enter the building until 7am.


All absences must be verified in one of the following ways:

  • Parent/guardian must call the Attendance Office on the day of the absence – (508) 324-3124.

  • If no call is made, the school will notify the parents/guardians on the day of the absence.

This is in accordance with MGL Chapter 76, Section 1A and 1B, Pupil Absence Notification Program. Parents/guardians' phone calls or notes do not excuse absences unless stated below.

Excused Absences, Dismissals or Tardies

For an absence to be excused, one of the following documentations must be provided, in writing, within five (5) school days, unless the absence is due to school discipline:

  • Medical Documentation

  • Driver’s License Test/Permit Test (with RMV documentation)

  • Court (with court documentation)

  • Bereavement (with parent/guardian notification)

  • School sponsored field trips/events

  • College visits/accepted student day (four (4) per year excluding mid-year and final exam dates)

    • The excused absence will be issued after date of visit when official letter from college is given to attendance office

  • Religious observances (with parent/guardian notification)

  • Absences, dismissals and tardies by School Nurse, Administration or School Designee

  • Absences due to suspension or school exclusion

Unexcused Absences and Vacations

Any absence from school not listed in the aforementioned section will be counted towards students’ unexcused absence limit. Two or more unexcused periods in a school day will be considered an unexcused absence. The school will notify parents/guardians of students who have 2 or more unexcused periods within 5 days or have 5 or more unexcused absences in a school year. (Pupil Absence Notification Program in accordance with MGL Chapter 76, Section 1B) A meeting may be scheduled with the building principal (or their designee) with the parents/guardians and the student to develop an action plan to improve the student’s attendance. (Pupil Absence Notification Program in accordance with MGL Chapter 76, Section 1B)

Vacations: Students’ absences resulting from vacations taken at times other than the days/weeks identified in the school calendar are highly discouraged and unexcused due to their impact on time spent learning. As always, students are encouraged to utilize teacher online classrooms during their time out of school.

Absence Limit per Year

Aforementioned excused absences are not counted toward the absence limit. Students who exceed 12 unexcused absences from a full- time course will receive no credit for the course, regardless of grade. Students who exceed 6 unexcused absences from a semester course will receive no credit for the course, regardless of grade.

Absences accumulated will be carried over to the new class for students who transfer from another class. Underclassmen (grades 9-11) are given the opportunity to recover lost credit, due solely to absenteeism, by adhering to the above policy, in its entirety, the following school year.

It is understood that seniors who do not adhere to the policy as stated, will be required to make up lost credit (up to two full time classes) during an evening school program, provided it is equal to the same subject material and rigor. If students feel that their unexcused absences beyond the 12th day for a school year were of an exceptional nature, they may appeal their case to the principal. The appeal for the student must be in writing within ten (10) business days from the mailing of the final report card of the school year.

For further information regarding the SBRSD Attendance Policy, please click here and reference section JH.