MRHS FRIDAY FOCUS Weekly Newsletter

MRHS VOICE: Vision of Innovation, Creativity & Excellence

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4th Edition October 9, 2105

Building Connections Through Communication

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.

In addition, we'd like to connect with you through social media - please check out the following:

Monomoy in the Morning- Daily School News presented by our talented students in Mr. Cass' TV/Production Class - Follow from our school website by clicking link:

**We will also post our weekly Friday Focus digital Newsletter here**



  • MRHS: @monomoyrhs
  • Athletic Department: @monomoyathletic
  • MRHS Fine Arts: @ArtsMRHS
  • TV/Production: @Monomoyrhs-TV
  • Monomoy Library: @Monomoylibrary

Principal blog:

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MRHS Hosts Cape Cod Special Olympics!

The 8th annual Monomoy Regional High School Special Olympics took place on Thursday October 7. Over 100 athletes from seven schools across the Cape competed to try to win the gold! There was a smile on each kid's face while they were playing the games. The activities included football, soccer, bowling, cheerleading, and an arts and crafts table. Following the events, there was a lunch cooked for everyone by the Harwich Fire Department-thank you! All the athletes had a great day playing and meeting new people. Special thank you to our amazing Best Buddies! **Enjoy the photos**

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5 Quick Things - Our Way of Introducing our Terrific MRHS Staff!

Ms. Jian Gao: World Language Department

Besides teaching Chinese at Monomoy, I love travel, and have always had a desire to explore different parts of the world. I love simplicity: beach, sunset, moon over a still water, a piece of drifting wood, fall colors, my dog Spark and my cats Muddy and Joey. I also love skiing down the beautiful mountains in Snowmass, CO.

In 1996, on one particularly cold and rainy New England winter day, some colorful origami papers brought to mind the California sunshine, and I suddenly had an urge to resume a hobby I had learned growing up in China. Since then, I have done over 200 paper-cutouts, and participated in three art shows. In my art, I am in constant search for the image that best reflects my voice, the image that matches my emotional and spiritual journey.

5 "quick things" about me:

1) I grew up in China.

2) I came to America in 1996, and became a US citizen in 2005.

3) I met my husband Eric on the Monterrey Beach in CA in 1994, and we were married in 1996.

4) I am an author of five books on Chinese language learning and teaching.

5) My last name is Gao, meaning “Tall” in English. So, even though I am short, all my students call me the “Tall” teacher.

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Shark "Shout Outs" (SSO's) - MRHS's way of Appreciating the Great People here!

Shark Shout Outs are spreading fast & furious at MRHS. We start every staff meeting with Shout Outs to colleagues and Shout Out to students nominated for student of the month during am announcements. Now, students and Parents are welcome to send in a Shark Shout Out as a token of appreciating other students and staff in the school. Email Mr. Burkhead at, or drop them off to Ms. Hooper in the main office! The enthusiasm is contagious!

What a pleasure it is to work with Angie Chilaka and Rose Richard with their students during Special Olympics.

Dave Demers

Shark Shout Out to our AMAZING Guidance Department – Holly Thyng, Jen Police, Jon Bennett and Rick Gifford! Their commitment to the well-being of our students is second to none and their kindness and availability to help does not go unnoticed. Thank you!

Kari Flint

I'd personally like to give a huge shark shout out to Ms. Chilaka for all of her hard work with the Special Olympics, Best Buddies and Peer Leaders! Today could not have gone as smoothly and professionally without you! We're all lucky to have you! If you see her, give her a pat on the back!

Justin Medeiros

A loud appreciative Shark Shout Out to Miriam Massad for helping me in the library the other day. Thank You!!

JoAnne Weekes

Shark Shout out to Nationally-known author and speaker, Janell Burley-Hofmann who gave an enlightening presentation about responsible use of social media to our students and staff during Wednesday's Enrichment Class.

Mr. Burkhead

A Little About Ms. Burley-Hofmann:

Janell Burley-Hofmann is the author of the book, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing Up. She is also a speaker and consultant on topics such as technology, imedia, healthy relationships, and personal growth. Ms. Burley-Hofmann engages readers, clients, and audiences in relevant and meaningful conversations, igniting personal empowerment, awareness, and purpose. She serves families, schools, and communities in a partnership that can positively impact the lives of children and teens.

Monomoy Shark Shout Out and a big welcome to Kristi, Jeanine, Jackie, Delores, & Garth (our cafeteria team). I’ve recently had delicious coleslaw (in-house, homemade), pulled pork, meatloaf, & huge salads. Check it out!

Dave Demers

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Thoughtful Seniors! (Nick Norcott, Maggie O'Donnell and Lily Gorman)

SHARK SHOUT OUT! To the Seniors of Student Council for recognizing Principal Burkhead during “National Principal’s Month”. Mr. Burkhead was truly moved by their gesture of delivering to him delicious pastries from Keilar’s Bakery; and the written note that in part says: “Thank you for everything you do! Just wanted to remind you that you are appreciated!”

Harwichport golf tourney Volunteers (photos above)

Co chairs Liz Hawthorne- Hannah Potter headed up the crew to work on Saturday at the golf tournament fundraiser. Erin Smeltzer , Karley Marchese, and Molly Doncaster played a big part in our success. A large percentage of the money raised that day goes to scholarships for our Monomoy seniors. Nice job!
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Two awesome 8th graders!

Kyle Chase and Dimitris Dedeminicis were absolutely wonderful. They volunteered their time to help unload all of the juice boxes and snacks that were used for the Special Olympics. A Shout Out goes to Kyle and Dimitris-thank you!
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Archers Ready!

Thank you Mr. Gifford and Archery Club members for inviting me to hang out and observe your extremely precise skills! Katniss has nothing on you-

Mr. Burkhead

Music Department News

Greetings from the Fine and Performing Arts Department! We encourage you to check out our department website and especially our calendar of performances, rehearsals and events at

Are you following us on Twitter? @artsMRHS

Ms. Richard, MRHS Music teacher is ecstatic to be bringing a group of students to Cuba during February vacation! There are still places open to join us! Please go to

to see the price and the AMAZING itinerary. The opportunity to register and join us ends October 23rd. If you have questions please e-mail Ms. Richard at

Harwich Chamber of Commerce Presents - 1920's Speakeasy at MRHS

Help support Scholarships for MRHS students!

Substance Abuse Prevention Resources for Families

Substance Abuse Prevention

Substance abuse awareness is the first step in keeping your kids smart and safe with alcohol and drugs. Talking about alcohol and drugs is the next step. It is more difficult and more important than simply learning about the risks involved with substance. Although it seems like your kids aren’t listening, what you say significantly influences their thinking and actions. For more information:


Tips for Parents (Falmouth Prevention Partnership)

· Search for Local Organizations that can help you and your teen (Barnstable County Department of Human Resources Behavioral Health Site)

· Get Involved (Lower Cape Prevention Partnership)

Contact Sheila House for Meeting Schedule: 774-212-3805

Guidance Corner: Progress Reports & MCAS Results now up on Aspen

Monomoy Guidance TEAM

Ms. Police, (A-F)

Mr. Gifford, Director (G-N)

Mr. Bennett (O-Z)

Student MCAS results are located on the "Assessments" side tab

Progress Reports have been posted in the portal and are available for the next two weeks. Parents should have received an email notification when they became available. They are located in pdf form under the Published Reports section of the family portal.

The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 are great ways to preview and practice for the SAT. They test the same skills and knowledge as the SAT — in a way that makes sense for your grade level.

The PSAT 8/9 is a test that will help you and your teachers figure out what you need to work on most so that you’re ready for college when you graduate from high school. It tests the same skills and knowledge as the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10 — in a way that makes sense for your grade level.

10-11 Exam cost $16 8-9 Exam cost $11 payable to MRHS.

EXAM DATES - please report to the Gym:

Grades 10 & 11 - Oct 14 @ 8 AM Grades 8 & 9 - Oct 21 @ 8 AM

Are you interested in a Maritime Career? You could win a $1,000 Scholarship to attend a Sail Training Program. Visit for the National Maritime Sail training Scholarship Essay Contest paperwork and details. The deadline is October 28, 2015.

College Fair:

October 21st (Wednesday) 3:30 – 5:30 at Barnstable High School - All Cape College Day Fair 2015 – we will have a bus going - if you are interested, please see your guidance counselor!

Upcoming College Visits to Guidance – next week:

  • Curry College,Guidance 10/13/15 8:30 AM
  • Boston University, Auditorium 10/13/15 10:30 AM
  • Bryant University, Guidance 10/14/15 9:45 AM
  • Suffolk University, Guidance 10/14/15 11:00 AM
  • United States Marine Corps Recruiter (rescheduled), Guidance 10/15/15 9:10 AM
  • Simmons College, Guidance 10/16/15 8:30 AM

Please check Naviance for updates and to sign up for the college visits!

They are also listed on the Guidance calendar which you can link to your personal google calendar!

The Guidance website is a great place to find information and links!

Navigating the Teenage Years, a parenting workshop with Cindy Horgan hosted by the First Congregational Church of Chatham

Many speak about how challenging and isolating it can be to raise teenagers. We have decided to address this need by offering a three-part workshop with parenting expert, Cindy Horgan. Each session will be held at the First Congregational Church of Chatham. 650 Main Street @ the rotary. There is no fee for this program but a recommended $10 donation will go towards the Cape Cod Children's Place.

Registration is not required but helpful. 508-945-0800,, email:

Monday, 10/19, 6:30-8:00 - Your teen's development and effective communication.

Monday, 11/2, 6:30-8:00 - Creating healthy boundaries.

Monday, 11/23, 6:30-8:00 – Raising resilient teens who are independent thinkers and coping when they make unsafe choices.

About Cindy: Cindy Horgan, Executive Director of the Cape Children's Place, has helped numerous families in the community through her role as a family advocate and as a teacher through her workshops, Raising Healthy Families. Cindy promotes a strength based philosophy model when engaging family and community members. She has her Bachelor's Degree from North Adams State College and a Master's in Education from Wheelock College, as well as a graduate certificate in Parent Education. She is married and the mother of five children.

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Looking for a home

above is a photo of two adorable cats who would like to be adopted together!

The Animal Welfare Club has been asked to inform people that these two local kitties are suddenly looking for a home! (Their owner just became hospitalized and will no longer be able to care for them.) One is a male neutered tuxedo cat and the other is a spayed tortoise shell female. They are both approximately 2 years old, and these kitties have never been apart! They will come with some food, litter, carrying case, and all medical records. They are also up-to-date on all immunizations, have be well cared for, and are very loved!


Please reply to this email if interested or if you need more information!


Paula McMahon,

Advisor - Animal Welfare Club

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