Cardinal Notes

information and reflection about Joseph Case High School

Volume 15, No.3 *** September 21, 2018

Interdisciplinary Reading Day

Today's school-wide interdisciplinary reading day focused on many themes in our primary all school summer novel, All American Boys. I witnessed many discussions and exercises that focused on bias in the media, specific discipline areas, the power of perception and perspective, and how art can mirror a culture's social climate.

Activities were a reflective of profound thought, dialogue, writing, calculations, artistry, and technology infusion.

I am so grateful that Case teachers embraced this for the sixth consecutive year, that students continue to be risk-takers, and the varied feedback I have received from many stakeholders about this selection.

I have been challenged and changed through this experience that began last spring. I look forward to announcing an iteration of this annual event in Spring 2019.

Here are some pictoral highlights of today's events.

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AP Kickoff

Yesterday we celebrated all students who are taking AP classes at Joseph Case High this year with an assembly that also had the dual purpose of inspiring Case freshmen and sophomores to choose a rigorous academic pathway. We were joined by guests Mimi Letourneau of Mass Insight Education, representative Steven Howitt, and Senator Michael Rodrigues to congratulate all of our students on risk-taking, both current and future.

Late Start of School on Tuesday, September 25

A reminder that Tuesday, September 25 is a late start day at Joseph Case High School. Students should arrive at school no earlier than 9:45 a.m. for a 10 a.m. start to the day. Buses will pick children up approximately two and a half hours after their usual pick-up time.

The high school staff will be using this time to review the latest NEASC accreditation standards and begin the journey of transitioning from 21st Century Learning Expectations to Visions of the Graduate.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT, September 26: Parent and Family Professional Development: Vaping and Drug Use Warnings

Please join me in the auditorium on Wednesday, September 26, beginning at 6 p.m., for an informative evening of the dangers of vaping and electronic cigarettes. The presentation will also offer opportunities to witness a simulation of a teenager's bedroom that contains multiple hiding places for tobacco, drugs and alcohol.

Joseph Case High School is grateful for the collaboration of Swansea School Nurses, the Southeast Tobacco-free Community Partnership, and the Bristol County District Attorney's office.

School Council: Thursday, September 27

The first school council meting will take place on Thursday, September 27 beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the main office conference room. This meeting is open to the public.

We will be finalizing our outreach for additional parent representatives on the council. Look for details in an upcoming Cardinal Notes. Any parent considering being a representative is invited to experience the council firsthand next Thursday night.

District In-Service: October 5

A reminder to Case families that there is no school for students on Friday, October 5. Swansea faculty and staff will be engaged in a district-wide in-service. We will focus on a granular examination of assessment information, curriculum revision, updating digital learning skills, and strategies to implement certain components of the school improvement plan.
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REMINDER: Student Information Forms

Updated student information forms must be returned to the main office as soon as possible. The forms were mailed to all Case families in August. Blank copies are also available in the main office. Updated Student Information Sheets enable the school to safely contact you in the event of an emergency, inclement weather, or when family contact is needed by a teacher.

Yearbook information

From the 2019 Yearbook Staff:

To Parents and Guardians,

As part of the 2019 Joseph Case High Yearbook, we have a few important announcements to make. Firstly, the yearbook is on sale right now! The going rate from now until September 28th is $65, which is the lowest cost of the year. Additionally, if you order now with personalization ($8), then you can get up to FOUR icons for FREE!!! We also offer other additional add-on features, such as autograph sections, protective jackets, etc. are extra.

Please use the link to connect right to the Jostens yearbook website. You can pay through the Jostens website with a credit card, Paypal, electronic check, and they also offer a payment plan. If you do not wish to use the Jostens website, please find the new order form also attached. You can pay with a check made payable to Joseph Case High School, or cash. All order forms and payments must be sent to:

Joseph Case High

c/o Jay Coulombe Room 242

70 School Street

Swansea, MA 02777

Lastly, right now we are also offering parent recognition advertisements. Please use the link to get right to the Jostens yearbook website.

The great thing about this advertisement feature is that you can personally design your child’s yearbook ad, which includes pictures, write up, fonts etc. You can pay with a check made payable to Joseph Case High School, or cash. Parent recognition advertisements are available through January 31st, 2019.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to contact Jay Coulombe or Tommy Whalen, the yearbook advisers, at or

Thank You!

Case Yearbook 2019

A yearbook order form is also attached to the Cardinal Notes #3 email.
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Power of Silence

This weekend I watched the documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor. It was a celebration of Fred Rogers' life and unique contribution to the American culture beginning in the late 1960s.

As a young boy, I watched his show every day, but did not realize its place in television history nor the societal mirror it held. Part of the documentary (which is still playing theaters, but I got via RedBox) had people engaged in an exercise that he spoke about at Dartmouth's 2002 commencement.

It's called One Silent Minute.

In the words of Rogers:

I’d like to give you all an invisible gift. A gift of a silent minute to think about those who have helped you become who you are today. Some of them may be here right now. Some may be far away. Some, like my astronomy professor, may even be in heaven. But wherever they are, if they’ve loved you, and encouraged you, and wanted what was best in life for you, they’re right inside your self. And I feel that you deserve quiet time, on this special occasion, to devote some thought to them. So, let’s just take a minute, in honor of those that have cared about us all along the way. One silent minute...

Whomever you’ve been thinking about, imagine how grateful they must be, that during your silent times, you remember how important they are to you. It’s not the honors and the prizes, and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted. That we never have to fear the truth. That the bedrock of our lives, from which we make our choices, is very good stuff.

In advisories this week, we took 60 silent seconds to think about one person in our life.

I shared with my group that my focus was longtime Case teacher Tom Marcello who was my friend for 40 years, but more importantly shaped me into the person I am today. I celebrated his impact on me with my small group on the second anniversary of his passing.

We are all powerful people. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that even our smallest actions have an impact.

Peace to you all,