November Edition, November 1, 2019

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Monthly Newsletter

This Newsletter is a monthly letter that will update on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.

Important Upcoming Events

11/3/19: Deer Hill Spelling Bee:

3rd Grade 12:00-1:30pm

4th Grade 2:00-3:30pm

5th Grade 4:00-5:30pm

11/4/19 - 11/8/19: Start With Hello Week at Deer Hill

11/6/19 -- School Committee Meeting

11/7/19 -- Veterans Day Assembly at Deer Hill: 9:15 AM wth reception for Veterans from 8:45AM to 9:15AM

11/8/19 -- Half Day

11/8/19 -11/11/19 -- Veterans Day Weekend: No Homework Weekend

11/9/19 - 11/10/19: A Shot for Life Event in the Cohasset Middle School and Cohasset High School Gymnasium

11/11/19 --No School...Veterans Day

11/12/19 -- Diana Clark presentation on pressures parents can put on kids (6:30 in the auditorium)

11/13/19 -- SEPAC General Meeting- Community Room

11/13/19 - 11/14/19 -- CMS Musical: Alice in Wonderland Junior: CHS & CMS Auditorium at 7:00PM

11/17/19 -- Putting for Patients 11:00-2:00 CHS & CMS Gymnasium

11/21/19 -- NHS Induction Ceremony, 7:00

11/26/19 -- Powderpuff, 5:00, Alumni Field

11/27/19: Half Day of School (no lunch served)

11/27/19 -- Alumni Breakfast (CHS), 10:00 in the cafeteria

11/28/19 -- Thanksgiving Football @ Hull


ASA Sports Anti-Bullying Program Visits Cohasset High School and Cohasset Middle School

The ASA High School Tour visited Cohasset High School and Cohasset Middle School at the beginning of October as part of our bullying prevention efforts. The ASA is a high-energy action sports circuit that visits cities across the United States supporting the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate Campaign and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. ASA brings in five of the world’s top professional skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX riders from the X Games to perform on a state-of-the-art half-pipe and jump box, while an emcee delivers an educational message in a fun, positive and interactive fashion.

The show was a great success and involved some very brave teacher volunteers, as is evidenced by Russ Sears (High School Science) and his nerves of steel (see below). Thanks to everyone who helped bring this program to us, and thank you to Russ for being a great sport.

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Mindful Moments at Cohasset Middle School

Thank you to Nina Berkowitz (High School Art) for her great work leading the seventh grade in a mindful meditation exercise earlier this month. Nina does a fantastic job helping to lead Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) through her work with students and staff regarding self-management and meditation. Thank you to everyone who works to help our students with SEL skills.

Osgood and Deer Hill Fun Run

Thank you to the PSO and to the Osgood & Deer Hill Communities for organizing and implementing a fantastic Fun Run, which took place on Wednesday, October 16. This Cohasset Tradition is a major fundraiser for all of our schools. Thank you to the PSO for the amazing work bringing this wonderful event to the Cohasset school community each year.

The video below is not in fast motion...these kids are just plain fast!

Osgood & Deer Hill Fun Run 2019

Cohasset Safe Schools Night

On October 15 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM in the Middle and High School Auditorium, the Cohasset Safe Schools Committee presented to Cohasset families in an effort to inform them regarding our approaches within each building to promote the physical, social, and emotional safety of every student.

This presentation included a review of A.L.I.C.E. procedures by the Cohasset Police and a presentation of our Youth Risk Behavior Survey and "Hidden in Plain Sight," an educational experience that walked participants through a typical teenage bedroom. The inside of the bedroom is set up with drug paraphernalia “Hidden in Plain Sight.” This interactive display/program offers adults insights into current trends in youth substance use, drug paraphernalia, concealment of illicit drugs & alcohol.

I have attached the presentation below for your review. Thank you to the over 30 parents / guardians, staff members, leaders and students who form the Cohasset Safe Schools Team. And thank you to Cohasset Police, Cohasset Fire and to all of the families who attended the event and who support this important initiative.


Here is a draft of our Long Range Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Plan, which highlights where we have come from in the last two years and what we are hoping to accomplish this year for SEL throughout the District. The impact of this initiative is palpable in our classrooms and stands as a tribute to our school community's prioritization of SEL and to care our faculty and staff show for the social and emotional needs of our students. Also, at the top of this plan is our District created SEL Definition and Vision. Great work, SEL Steering Team. The SEL Steering Team has teacher and educator representation from all of our buildings.

Here is a link to a fabulous article that details our safety efforts through the eyes of a Cohasset student.

Lieren Vigneau is a student at Cohasset High School and Life at Cohasset High School columnist. She does a wonderful job reporting on student life at Cohasset High School. Way to go, Lieren!

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Norfolk County Advocates for Children Presented to All Cohasset Staff at the October 11 Professional Development Regarding Mandated Reporting Requirements and Procedures

As part of our yearly safety and mandated trainings, all Cohasset staff participated in training regarding mandated reporting from members of the Norfolk County Advocates for Children. This will be a regular component of our yearly trainings for all staff.
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At the October 28 School Committee Meeting, after discussion regarding updates from the Superintendent Coffees and after listening to parent concerns, the School Committee has directed me to re-open my efforts to look at school start times for the elementary schools. Stay tuned for soon to come updates on this process.

Credit for Life Fair at CHS!

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Congratulations to Nicole Wilson and to everyone who made the Credit for Life Fair for our Cohasset High School students such a big success. Cohasset High School's Junior and Senior students took part in this first annual fair to learn about the importance of credit, budgeting, and money management. Each booth represented a mock expense or financial decision scenario. Students visited each booth and tried to "balance" their budgets. The booths were run by Cohasset High School Faculty. Each booth focused on one aspect of spending that students will encounter in their future such as buying a car, renting an apartment and purchasing furniture, insurance, clothing, food, etc... The fair was an amazing experience for students as they learned to realistically budget, save money, and avoid negative financial decisions. Thank you to all who were involved in making this event a reality for our students.

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Seasonal Fun...Great Costumes!

Here are just some of the great costumes seen throughout the District


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Deer Hill Spelling Bee: 11/3/19

12th Annual Spelling Bee

Sunday, November 3rd

3rd Grade 12:00-1:30pm

4th Grade 2:00-3:30pm

5th Grade 4:00-5:30pm

The Bee will take place in the Middle and High School Auditorium

Homework Free Weekend Coming for Veterans Day Weekend

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This year, in conjunction with Veterans Day, we are implementing a “homework free” weekend for students as a school district. We recognize that the social-emotional wellness of our students and staff is paramount, so in part, this is a small gesture to allow students time to enjoy a stress free weekend.

In addition, this time away from homework should allow our students and staff, and their families, to focus on the importance of recognizing Veterans Day. In lieu of homework, it is our hope that members of our school community will find the time to thank Veterans for their service to our country and to be involved in the town ceremonies regarding Veterans Day.

Process for Snow Days and Cancellations

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It was a wild month with the high winds, cancellation and postponement. Thank you, All for your perseverance and patience during the difficult weather events.

Here are some reminders about what goes into school cancellation decisions

Like weather forecasting, the school closing decision process is not a perfect science. However, I believe it is important for students and parents 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 the town manager 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 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.

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 cancellation 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.

Thank you to our amazing bus drivers for their work during the storms and their efforts every day to transport our students safely to and from school.

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Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Compass: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

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Data Teams

Data Teams

On October 30th Deer Hill teachers worked with Data Consultant, Laura Tilton, to review MCAS district and school data, test item analysis and to look for trends and patterns to enrich our conversations about teaching and learning. The middle and high schools will be meeting with Laura Tilton during the month of November.

2019 MCAS results were sent to parents on October 10th. There will be a MCAS data analysis prevention to the School Committee in the near future.

MCAS data is just one way we assess student growth, but a valuable resource for the district, as a whole, to look at ways to improve teaching and learning. Amazing teaching and learning is already happening in this district. This is an opportunity to look for trends and patterns which can be used to enhance our practices.

Elementary Math Pilot Update

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This year the elementary schools are piloting two math programs (Investigations and Bridges) along with the current enVision math program. The math specialists are working closely with the teachers to help them try the new programs while weaving the units into the current curriculum. The pilot process will continue through the spring. I will keep you updated throughout the process.


The ACT and SAT scores have arrived and an analysis shows that our students are doing well. Both assessments are used to determine if students are ready for college-level courses. ACT average scores for our students show improvement in all areas tested. There was dip in scores after 2015, but this year shows an improvement to those scores. The SAT mean scores showed good improvement in both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math. A presentation was made to the School Committee on October 30th.

From the Office of Mary Buchanan, Director of Student Services

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Events and Happenings in November:

SEPAC General Meeting on November 13, 2019 Location: Community Use Room, Administrative Offices, 143 Pond Street. All parents/guardians are welcome!! Time 9:30am-11:00am

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Progress Reports will available the same day as Report Cards although will not be visable on the Aspen Portal at this time. Cohasset High School student IEP Progress Reports will be mailed home on November 8, 2019. If you have questions about IEP Progress Reports please reach out to The Office of Student Services at 781-383-6104.

Resources are still available from our October SEPAC Presentation!

Our October SEPAC Presentation at the Joseph Osgood School, “A Spotlight on Early Education” was a great success. Experts from the Joseph Osgood School participated in a panel discussion with parents about important topics such as; Developmental Milestones, Academic Expectations, Social Skills Development, Sensory Regulation, Attention and Behavioral Expectations.

Special Education Child Find Notice

Under federal and state special education regulations, Cohasset Public Schools has a duty to locate, identify, refer, evaluate and, if eligible, provide a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities who reside in the town of Cohasset. For parents or guardians of children ages 3-21 years of age, who are suspected of having a disability, and who would like more information, please contact: Mary Buchanan, Director of Student Services, Cohasset Public Schools, 143 Pond Street, Cohasset, MA 02025 or at 781-383-6104.

504 Child Find Notice

Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination in publicly funded activities the Cohasset Public Schools has a duty to identify refer, evaluate, and if eligible, provide access to public education to student with impairments in its jurisdiction. For additional information about the rights or parents of eligible children, or for answers to any questions you might have about identification, evaluation and placement into Section 504 programs, please contact: Mary Buchanan, Director of Student Services, Cohasset Public Schools, 143 Pond Street, Cohasset, MA 02025 or at 781-383-6104.


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Thank you to all of the families that attended the Host Family Information Session on Saturday, October 26th. We are currently planning an outing to bring all of the families together and will keep you all up to date on what’s happening at the link below.

Feel free to contact Ms. Aleisa Gittens-Carle-Carle or Ms. Atisha Winslow at (781)383-6117 with any additional questions.

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There will be a Screening of the movie Dawnland brought to us by the South Shore Unity Council on Monday, November 25, 2019 in the Cohasset High School and Cohasset Middle School Auditorium

“The Cohasset Diversity Committee, a member of the South Shore Unity Council” is proud to collaborate with their counterparts in Scituate and Hingham to bring a showing of the movie Dawnland to Cohasset. Dawnland is a story of stolen children and cultural survival: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans. All are welcome to attend the screening.
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Start with Hello at Deer Hill

As part of their goal to promote a positive culture and climate in their building, Deer Hill has planned a week of activities to support the idea that we are all valued members of our school community. These activities are based on the Start with Hello campaign launched by Sandy Hook Promise in which many schools nationwide participated in September. The following link details how Deer Hill community will work together build a stronger sense of inclusion next week. Please note that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday include themed dress days. Start with Hello – Week of November 4th – 8th
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CMS MUSICAL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND, JR. November 14 & 15: Call at 5PM and Show at 7:00PM

Alice: What an idea. A crazy, mad, wonderful idea.

We are excited to announce that the Cohasset Middle School musical this fall will be Alice in Wonderland, Jr. This is a stage adaption of the 1951 musical. This week auditions and callbacks were held and today the cast was announced. We look forward to another amazing musical production performed by our students. #proudtobecms

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Date: November 9th-10th (noon to noon)

Location: Starland Sportsplex in Hanover

Cohasset is proud to partner with A Shot for Life by participating in the ASFL Gauntlet. This marathon game is meant to test the physical limits of what the body can handle as a sign of solidarity with all of the people around the world that are battling cancer. Every dribble, every shot, every sprint has an impact that goes far beyond basketball. Through this event, become an advocate and teammate for everyone who is unable to play in a game like this.

Teams play every three hours with an optional shutdown period from 12AM-8AM. Proceeds from the event will benefit the MGH Cancer Center.

Please contact Athletic Director Steve Rotondi for details You don't need to have been on the team to play, and they are also looking for volunteers to help with the event, an excellent opportunity if you are not a basketball player but want to help the cause.

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Red Ribbon Week Collaboration at Deer Hill

Thank you to the Safe Harbor Youth Ambassadors (our amazing middle and high school students) for presenting to Deer Hill Students during "Red Ribbon Week," which endorsed healthy habits and choices!
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We are excited for Cohasset's 250th Celebration. Stay tuned in the coming months for updates regarding how Cohasset Public Schools is taking a part in this important celebration!

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THANKS FOR A GREAT MONTH! HAVE A NICE WEEKEND! Superintendent Patrick E. Sullivan, Ed.D.

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