MRHS Parent Newsletter



On Friday, January 6th, the Student Council will be holding a Dress for a Cause Day to benefit the local Survival Center. Donations can be made in the morning and in the front reception office.

The next Student Council general assembly will be held on Tuesday, January 7th in the auditorium during D-Block.

The Minnechaug Student Council is very excited to host the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils/Special Olympics of Massachusetts Unified Bocce Event. This event will be held in our community event area from 10AM-12:30 PM. School from across the state will be joining us as we come together to play bocce.

The Battle of the Bands is approaching!! Tryouts will be held on Tuesday, January 28th in the auditorium beginning at 2:30 PM. Please contact Mrs. Dungan or Mrs. Rice for more details.

Mark your calendars!! The Battle of the Bands competition will be held on Friday, January 31st in the auditorium at 7 PM. Admission is $5, $4 with a current Renaissance card.


ASVAB TESTING: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB) will be given to interested juniors on February 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in Room A219. This is a free vocational aptitude test. Sign-ups will be in the Counseling Center Office starting on January 6 and will end on February 7. Results will be explained to students during a class presentation when results are in.

SAT AND COLLEGE APPLICATION FEE WAIVERS. Students who are eligible for fee waivers should see their guidance counselors. The guidance counselor can provide SAT waiver forms and sign off for college application fee waivers.

PSAT: PSAT scores are in! Students and parents are encouraged to get their scores from the Collegeboard website and to view the video “Understanding your PSAT Scores.” All students who took the PSAT should have received their results. If you have questions please see your school counselor.

AP COURSES: Students taking first semester AP courses will receive a copy of the “Bulletin for AP Students and Parents”. Please read the important information in it regarding test preparation, cost and dates of the exams. Students taking second semester AP courses will receive their copy in class at the beginning of second semester. See Mr. Marino for any questions.

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION: Scholarships can be found on Naviance under the “Colleges” tab. It lists scholarship applications available to seniors. Seniors are responsible for mailing their own scholarship applications. Students can stop in the Counseling Center weekly to check if local organizations have dropped off their scholarship applications. Please see Mrs. Lavoie, counseling center secretary, to request transcripts and guidance counselor’s letter of recommendations if required with your scholarship. If a scholarship requires a teacher’s letter of recommendation the student must directly ask the teacher. The student must provide the teacher with a legal size envelope with their name on it.

SENIORS, KEEP COUNSELORS INFORMED: Please let your School Counselor know when you receive decision letters from the colleges you have applied to. Students should also go on Naviance and update their college list when they receive decision letters. It is important to have this information for Naviance placement reports and for your records. Students, who are deferred, wait listed or denied acceptance at a college are encouraged to meet with their School counselor to discuss their options.

FINANCIAL AID: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be filled out on line after October 1. *CAUTION* Make sure you go to the “.gov” web site! The FAFSA is required for any type of college financial aid.

SAT and ACT test information is available in the Counseling Center. Students must register online for the SAT at and for the ACT at Juniors should make their plans to take the SAT!



The final day for Semester I interns to report to his or her worksite is Tuesday, January 21. Thank you to all the mentors who welcomed our seniors into their workplace and shared their knowledge and passion for their career.

On Monday, January 27, the Semester 2 Interns will report to Room A204 for an Orientation Program. Interns will report to their worksites on Tuesday, January 28. We are honored to welcome the following people to our ever-growing family of area professionals who support MRHS Career Internships:

Frank Borelli AIC Theater Arts

Greg Cusson Spartan Auto

Diana Rios Diana’s Pawfessional Grooming

Nicole Stuart Pete’s Sweets

Dr. Ziad Kutayli Baystate Medical Center

Jennifer Dubilo Artistic Dance Conservatory

Diane Murray Rick’s Place

Thomas Canto, MD Baystate Wing

Lisa Persson Wingate Wilbraham

Career Readiness Workshop

The School-to-Career Coordinator and Guidance Counselors worked with sophomores currently in physical education classes during the Career Readiness Workshop. Half of the sophomore class participated by completing a job application, building a resume, writing a formal thank you letter, and being interviewed by a member of our business community.

Thank you to the following members of the East of the River Chamber of Commerce, board members from River East Schools-to-Career, Inc. and other local businesses:

Loretta Dansereau - River East School-to-Career

Steve Hale - Principal, MRHS

Katie Anderson - LUSO Credit Union

Anthony Forzano - Independent Financial Services

Paula Talmadge - River East School- to-Career

Albert Ganem - Superintendent of Schools, HWRSD

Gina Roy - Director Student Services, HWRSD

Howie Barber - Director of Finance, HWRSD

Len Rooke Retired - United States Postal Service

Kerry Considine - Clinical Director, Springfield Infant Toddler Services

Amy Scribner - River East School- to-Career


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Congratulations to the ten instrumental and seven vocal students from the Minnechaug music program who will be performing in the Western District Music Festival at UMASS in January. The following students auditioned at Westfield State College in early November against more than 500 students from across western Mass: Ada Cheng, principal jazz trumpet; Madison Hastain, 2nd violin, orchestra; Ava Sirois, 4th chair cello, orchestra; Andrew Aguilar, principal orchestra French horn; Allison Clifford, principal orchestra flute; Cade Connor, 2nd bassoon orchestra; Steph Toth orchestra double bass; John Chen, percussion orchestra; Olivia Knode 2nd oboe band; Thomas Cheng 3rd trombone band and WanHo Lung, 3rd chair french horn, band. In choir, Patrick Cowles, tenor; Jacqueline Dolaher, Aelan Lisowski, Julia O’Keefe and Anna O’Keefe sopranos; Charmaine Liu and Kendall Kessler altos; and Jack Wietsma, bass.


As a member of the Springfield Kiltie Band, drummer Cameron Gray had the opportunity to perform with the Springfield Symphony on December 7th at Symphony Hall. Cameron has been a member of the Kiltie band for more than two years and performed for the school alongside a bagpiper for our annual veteran’s day ceremony on November 7th.


Congratulations to all the performers at this year’s talent show held in November. The following students were recognized with these awards:

Honorable Mentions: Georgia Webster & Natalie Falconer

Third Place: Sumer King

Second Place: Briana Doran

First Place Emma O’Connor

Many thanks to the Theater Tech team for their work and to all the members of Minnechaug’s Performing and Visual Arts Society!


Andrew Aguilar, Allison Clifford, Thomas Taylor, Ada Cheng, Cally Seyler and Lea Kuselias all prepared music for the All-New England Music Festival auditions that took place at Griswold HS in Griswold, CT in December. Students are accepted to the honor ensembles from all six New England states and will perform together in Hanover, NH in March of 2020.


Great job everyone with sharing sales info for our Florida fruit and Butterbraid Breads fundraiser! We were able to make close to $3,000! Many thanks to all of our customers, see you next year!


After the first sale of over 50 mattresses last year, we were able to stay with the average amount sold this time around (25) and raise more than $2500! Many thanks to the hard work of our parent volunteers, the Minnechaug Music Association, for making this event such a success.


The art department will be featuring art work from all their classes in the Minnechaug IRC for the week of January 6th through the 10th. Be sure to stop in and see drawings, paintings, 3-dimensional creations, works in clay and much more! Congratulations to Mrs. Zera and Mr. Garron and their students for this fine display!


The jump from district performance to all-state is always a huge undertaking. Best of luck on January 25th to instrumentalists Andrew Aguilar, Ada Cheng, Ava Sirois and Allison Clifford as well as singer Julia O’Keefe!


The Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators along with Gerry’s Music Shop and Music & Arts is funding the 2nd annual western MA jazz symposium on Friday, January 24th at MRHS. Jazz bands from area schools will participate along with students from the Minnechaug jazz band program in day-time clinics with jazz educators from MAJE. An outstanding opportunity for our students, and a great show case for Minnechaug to host other schools.


All students interested in being considered for this year’s Quabbin Valley Senior High festival band need to submit their application/registration form by Wednesday, January 8th. Forms are in the band room on the forms caddy near the piano. This is a wonderful festival for high school students involving 1 ½ days of rehearsal before presenting the festival concert. Rehearsal #1 will be at Palmer High School. The 2nd rehearsal and concert location is still pending.


When is a Sore Throat a More Serious Infection?

From an Article written by Nicole Bentley, MD and Caroline Paul, MD, FAAP

Three of the most common infections that may include a sore throat are the common cold, Hand, foot and mouth Disease and Step throat.

What we know about the common cold is that it is caused by a viral infection which is common in the winter months but can occur year round. In addition to a sore or scratchy throat, the cold virus may or may not include a fever, runny nose and a cough. Since this type of sore throat is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help. You should however, drink plenty of fluids and rest.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is also caused by a virus from the family of viruses called enterovirus. This type of virus is most common in young children and often occurs during summer and fall. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth are fever and sore throat or mouth pain followed by a rash of small red bumps and blisters that show up primarily on the hands, feet and around the mouth. These blisters may also show up in the mouth or on the throat causing the sore throat. Again, because this disease is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not necessary. You may want to give you child ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the fever and pain. This virus is also very contagious. You will need to keep your child at home until the blisters begin to heal. Drink plenty of fluids and rest.

Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection called Streptococcus pyogenes. It usually occurs in winter and early spring and is most common in children from 5 to 15 years old. Strep throat must be diagnosed by a physician with a throat swab or culture. It is typically treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat, pus on the tonsils, difficulty swallowing, fever and swollen glands. Some children may also experience a stomachache or develop a small peppery rash on their bodies.

Preventing Illnesses that Cause Sore Throat

Whether a virus or bacterial infection that causes the sore throat, they are both transferred from person to person by droplets of moisture in the air such as from a sneeze or cough. It may also be transferred from person to person on the hands. In order to prevent the spread of infection it is important to wash your hands frequently. Should you have a cough or sneeze, it is important to use your elbow or a tissue to cover. Do not share drinks or cups. Washing and disinfecting toys is also a great precaution.


© Copyright 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.

Upcoming Screening Dates

10th grade Height/ Weight/ Vision/ Hearing screenings will occur on the following dates:

1/7/20, 1/8/20, 2/11/10 and 2/12/20.

We are also continuing with ongoing 9th Grade Screening for Scoliosis


As our winter season is underway, I would like to bring your attention to a few items.

Spectator behavior: The Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Association and the MIAA are asking schools across the state to take a hard line on fan behavior at winter events. Please help us in making the atmosphere a positive one for our athletes, coaches, officials and other spectators. Our sports are beginning to lose officials because, for some, it’s just not worth the hassle and heckl. Please do your part and Do Rowdy Right!

Booster club involvement: If you haven’t already done so already, please join our booster club. Meetings are once a month. This is a great organization that supports our student athletes. Contact your team spirit rep or coach for the membership form.

Academics and athletics: The winter season is filled with long days and nights for our athletes and coaches. Please help us in reminding your son/daughter that their academics are important. Help them to find a time to complete homework and have some structured study time. The IRC is open after school for the purpose of getting homework done while some wait for practices to begin.

Winter season Discout Passes: I am often asked, “Why do we have to pay?” User fees and gate receipts are the only sources of revenue for our department. Our school department budget only covers coaches salaries, so that’s the reason the user fees are what they are and why we have to collect gate monies. That being said, we’ve created a discount pass. Great for gifts! 12 games for $50 to be used anytime, any year, at any NON-Tournament ticketed event. Please consider purchasing them. It at least helps a little, but does help us a lot.

I hope to see many of you at our winter events. I am excited to see a continued support of our athletic program. As always, thank you for your support of Falcon Athletics!!! Dare to join the world of twitter and InstaGram and follow us @chaugathletics. It is quite easy and fun to stay tuned to important announcements!

Mike Roy, Athletic Director



Yes, you read that correctly.

Summer Reading planning is in the works.

We need student readers!! Minnechaug Regional High School’s Summer Reading titles are mostly determined upon student recommendations. Beginning over the December Break, students are asked to simply read. When a student determines the book read is simply exceptional, share it with the entire Minnechaug community! Share the title by adding it to our summer reading list using the provided Google Form.

From the classics to the popular, informational and fiction, the more suggestions we receive the better the final five selection will be.

Access the Google Form using your HWRSD Google Account log in. The form will remain open until January 31, 2020. Students may suggest as many book titles as they want to share. Each title should be submitted on a separate completed form.

Students are also invited to join the MRHS Summer Reading Committee. Imagine a list of books suggested and selected by Chaug students. Simply add your name in the Summer Reading Form and Dr. Trebbe will reach out after the December Break.

Thank you for taking the time to contribute to MRHS’s Summer Reading title collection.

Our Best,

The Summer Reading Committee



The Class of 2022 will be sponsoring a Dine Out Fundraiser at Chipotle in East Longmeadow on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 from 5 - 9 pm. Please consider coming out to support the Sophomore Class! Thank you!


There will be a dine-out night fundraiser for the French Club at Red Robin on Boston Road on Wednesday, January 15, from 5-8 pm. The coupons will passed out in student advisories and available at the door.

Thank you for your support!


The Spanish Club collected hygiene products and Christmas cards for the Womanshelter/Compañeras. Thank you to everyone for your support and donations!
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