MRHS FRIDAY FOCUS Weekly Newsletter

MRHS VOICE: Vision of Innovation, Creativity & Excellence

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10th Edition: 11.14.2014

Building our School of the Future

One of the most effective ways to promote student growth academically, behaviorally, and socially is through a partnership that bridges the school and home together. We'd like to share this weekly newsletter to keep families abreast of the amazing happenings at our school and pass on important information that will allow parents & students to maintain a positive connection with our school. Please visit our blog at & our website at

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New Logo Arrived this Week on Main Street

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Front Entrance to Open Soon!

Stay tuned- we expect to be sending out important notice regarding the official opening of our front entrance next week. This will include changes in traffic pattern, bus drop off/pick up and parent drop off and pick up. We look to officially open December 1, 2014.

Report Cards Issued to Students Friday 11.14.14

If you were unable to receive your report card Friday, you may pick it up in the main office Monday.

Parents: Report Card grades are also easily available through your Aspen account. If you have questions or need assistance with Aspen please contact Ms. Fallon in the main office.

IMPORTANT SCHEDULING INFORMATION: All students should check their second semester schedules on Aspen and make sure they are fully scheduled. If you are missing a class, please make an appointment with your guidance counselor.

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MRHS Students (along with Mr. Gifford & Mr. Housotn) Honor our Veterans

MRHS Latin Program Highlighted in this Week's Chronicle!

Chatham Edition 11/13/2014, Page 1

Latina Est Ubique

Latin Is Alive And Well At Monomoy High

by Susanna Graham-Pye

HARWICH -- A group of students sits in a small alcove off one of the halls in the beautiful new school. They are all Latin students at Monomoy Regional High. Level III.

Theirwordstumbleout,eachstudenteager to speak. They pause to listen appreciatively to one another. They laugh and nod when sharing an inside joke: the group enthusiastically and collectively describes their love for what many claim to be (and here’s the joke) a dead language.

“If a language is being learned, and preserved though, it isn’t dead. Right? It’s still alive,” says student Ashley Benson.

Latin is more alive today than it ever was before,” exclaims Laine Kotoski.

“Latina est ubique,” says Jack Blute. “Latin is everywhere. Really.”

“My family is getting tired of me telling them that,” Olivia Burke says. “I keep pointing out to them how everything somehow comes back to Latin.”

“It’s the father of all languages,” explains junior Samantha Morand. “It helps your understanding of so many things.”

It doesn’t hurt, she adds, if that knowledge gives a little lift to your SAT scores. More and more studies are showing that students who study Latin consistently score higher on both math and verbal SAT tests. Studies aside, her friends laugh and agree that better testing is just one part of something much richer being added to their studies and lives. Morand says she hopes to be a pediatrician, so Latin will help her with medical terminology more than most any other language she might study.

“I love words. I want to be a writer,” Kristen Siegel says. “I want to know as many words as possible. Taking Latin just expands my knowledge of words.”

Not only has Latin expanded her understanding of English, Benson says, it has provided her a platform from which she can improve her study of other languages.

Across the hall from the students is a display case that holds colorful drawings of leaves on folded cards. Inside each card is carefully researched information on Folia et Abores (leaves and trees). Students in the varied levels of Latin learned about taxonomy, binomial nomenclature and its originator, Carolus Linnaeus. They expanded their knowledge to consider how fall leaves have influenced artists, reflecting on poets’works -- Keats, Dickens and Frost -- or Van Morrison song lyrics: “And you were thinking about the wisdom of the leaves and their grace.”

“We’ve been learning a lot about mythology too, Greek and its connections to Rome and Latin. This class isn’t just learning a language. It’s about really cool life lessons too,” Burke notes. “Carpe Diem,” she adds quietly.

As soon as she says the familiar phrase -- “Seize the Day” -- others echo the words, their tone reminiscent of the students portrayed in the 1980s film “Dead Poets Society.” Also like the students in the film, who loved their teacher, played by Robin Williams, is the reverence and affection these students appear to have for their teacher Robert Smeltzer.

“I don’t think any of us would love this as much as we do if we didn’t have a teacher who loves Latin as much,” Grace Fernandes said.

“We’re lucky to have a teacher who’s so passionate,” Siegel adds.

The students are excited to be planning a trip to Rome in February, but seem almost more incredulous about the fact that Mr. Smeltzer is such an enthusiastic teacher that he’s even learning technology for them.

“Hehatestechnology,”Ferandesaddswith a small shrug, as if to say, what else would you expect from a classics teacher?

Smeltzer laughs, pleased when he hears that his students have recounted his epiphany (“Latin,” he exclaims, “epiphania.”) to become a Latin teacher. It was indeed a revelation and an about-face for someone planning to become a stockbroker. Smeltzer took his first Latin class as a freshman at the University of California, Irvine. He fell in love with the subject and decided to become a Latin teacher. He did have a back-up plan, and double majored in English.

Smeltzer, who’d grown up in Reading, moved back east after he’d graduated, taking a teaching job in Pennsylvania. He worked there for 10 years until the opportunity to teach Latin at Harwich High School opened 15 years ago. He’s been here since.

The effort to build the Latin program in theMonomoysystemhasbeen“Herculean,” he says, pausing to see if his word choice has been appreciated.

When he arrived there were handful of students taking Latin -- today there are nearly 100 students in Latin 1 alone, and the school offers a full four-year course of study. In the past, middle schools in the Monomoy system offered Latin as part of a survey of world languages, a course offered to sixth graders prior to their choosing whether they will study Spanish or French. Today Latin is being offered in Monomoy middle schools as a stand-alone language choice, meeting every other day, though students will still be required to take a year of French, Spanish or Mandarin when they get to high school.

Nationwide, Smeltzer says 98 percent of students will never see a Latin book. That Monomoy students are not among them is, in large part, due to the efforts of the district’s Superintendent Scott Carpenter and Curriculum Director Carla Blanchard.

“They’re really leading the charge on this,” he said.

While some Cape schools still offer Latin -- Sturgis Public Charter among them requiring all students to have at least two years of the language -- others are cutting the program due to lack of interest.

When the Roman Empire ended during the fifth century, the dialects morphed and solidified to become the major Romantic languages, Smeltzer said. Latin did remain the language of scholars through the Middle Ages and Renaissance. While it was lost as a spoken language, its significance never died, Smeltzer argues.

TheCatholicChurch’sdecisionintheearly 1960s to allow its services to be spoken in languages other than Latin had a huge impact on the numbers of students who studied it and schools requiring it, said Smeltzer.

The new school is equipped with a language lab that has “the best and newest of all the tools that are out there for teaching languages,” Smeltzer says. And, he points out, there is a burgeoning understanding that language is being taught for new, exciting reasons that meet many of the challenges students will face in a increasingly global community.

“This is such an exciting time to be teaching languages,” he says. “I’m glad to be right where I am, doing what I’m doing right now.”

This is the first of a three-part series on language studies in the Monomoy system. Having looked at “the old” classics, the next part of this series will look at “the new:” Mandarin at Monomoy.

Monomoy High Latin students. Top row, from left: Ryan Richer, David Dalton, Kristen Seagel, Grace Fernandez, Samantha Morand, Olivia Burke, Laine Kotoski, Vaungh Yerkes, Jack Blute, Dalton Nickerson; bottom row: Kalin Schultz, Ashley Benson, Abby Burke, Jessica Wilson, teachers Robert Smeltzer and Michael Munsey. COURTESY PHOTO

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Copyright © 2014 Cape Cod Chronicle, Inc. 11/13/2014

Talent Show Fundraiser Huge Success

Together with the National Arts Honor Society, MRHS STAND hosted our first event of the year - a talent show fundraiser for a Liberian education foundation, to help students who can't attend school because of the Ebola outbreak. The program featured 10 musical acts playing, dancing, and singing. An enthusiastic crowd of 150 cheered the students on at the first musical event to be hosted in our new auditorium. In all, we raised over $900. Thank you to all who attended and donated, and all the STAND and NAHS students who made this great event happen.

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Miriam Drumming up Support for Stand

5 Quick Things

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Ms. Waystack: Fine Arts Department

I am originally from the Jamaica Plain area of Boston but have lived in Harwich for almost 30 years now. I am married and have 2 adult children. My daughter, son-in-law and 2 year old granddaughter also live in Harwich. My son currently lives in Boston. Five things about me:

1. I once performed on stage in front of actors Julie Harris and Richard Kiley who were in the audience of Anne of Green Gables at the Harwich Junior Theatre. I never made it to Broadway, but once Broadway came to me.

2. I am a painter and am represented by Larkin Gallery in Provincetown. My work has been exhibited in shows at Cape Cod Museum of Art and Provincetown Art Association & Museum as well as other venues.

3. I am a serious chocoholic, addicted to books and also love to travel

4. I have jumped out of an airplane twice in my life. (Parachute was included. It was with the UMASS Sport Parachute Club in my young and foolish years.)

5. I took up running 2 and half years ago and recently completed a Half Marathon. (I have now officially retired from long distance racing. 5 or 10K is enough!)

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Thank you to Mr. Alexander for Bringing the Red Sox World Series Trophy to MRHS!

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Senior Citizen Thanksgiving Dinner at MRHS

Come celebrate the season of kindness with us!

The Monomoy High School students cordially invite you to attend our Senior Citizen Thanksgiving dinner!


Wednesday November 19

at 3:00 P.M.


Monomoy Regional High School Cafeteria


(508) 430-7200

(508) 430-7207


We look forward to seeing you there!

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Mr. Brown's Class Featuring an Intense Mock Trial

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Cape Cod Times Editor Paul Provost Visits Government Classes

Peer Tutoring at MRHS

The after school peer tutors are ready to start running the "Think Tank" (room A186) after school beginning Nov. 5 from 2:30-3:00. Goal is to open Monday through Thursday starting primarily with the 8th graders to help them get organized and to get their homework completed. But we look to expand quickly. Thank you students and Advisor Ms. Graham!
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Staff Participated in an amazing Professional Learning Community activity this week!

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Monday, Nov. 17th, 2:30-7:30pm

Monomoy Regional High School Cafeteria

Call or register on line:

1-800-Red Cross

Our students can also earn scholarships by helping us to get folks to donate blood as well as run the drive.

Follow MRHS on Twitter!

Updates, school news, pictures & More

Help MRHS earn CASH $$ through the Stop & Shop A+ Rewards Program

All you have to do is:

· Log on to select CUSTOMER REGISTRATION to register online using your Stop & Shop Card

After you register your card, each shopping trip at Stop & Shop using your Stop & Shop Card earns CASH for our school. Each month, the amount of CASH awarded will be updated on the Stop & Shop website. You can track the amount of points you earn for our school by checking your grocery receipt and online when you create an account at Our school will receive a check at the end of the program. The money can be used for any of our school’s educational needs.

Guidance Corner: Report Cards Out Today!

Next Week

Wed Nov 19 9:45am Johnson & Wales University

Thu Nov 20 10:00am Marines, 11:30am University of New Haven

Fri Nov 21 10:30am University of Hartford

From the Nurse's Office:

Student-athletes planning on participating in a winter sport must have a current physical on file with the Health Office prior to competing (including tryouts) in a sanctioned sport. Eligibility is based on a physical within 13 months of practice. Please submit physical exam forms to the Health Office to avoid delays in participation. Mr. Demanche has been informed of students who are eligible based on Family ID registrations. Student-athletes who are under the care of a physician for an injury that occurred during the fall season may need additional clearance from their health care provider. Please contact the health office for questions or concerns.

Athletic Department Update: Winter Registration, Sign up Meeting, Ice Hockey Meeting, Sportsmanship Summit

-All student-athletes interested in playing a winter sport must register on

And have a current physical on file with nurse Dufault.

-Our winter sign-up meetings will take place on Thursday, 11/20 @ 5:00pm in the auditorium. Pizza and refreshments will be available in the cafe at 5:45-6:30 followed by our Fall awards in the auditorium .

-Our cooperative ice hockey team with Mashpee will have an introductory meeting Wednesday, 11/19 at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center beginning at 6:30pm. All players and parents are invited to meet the coaching staff and have questions answered.

-On Friday, 11/21, 7 of our junior student-athletes will join Mr. Demanche in attending the MIAA Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium.