Cohasset High School Newsletter

News and Happenings at Cohasset High School

March 5, 2021

Dear Families,


This past Wednesday, School Committee voted to allow further exploration of the feasibility of a return of middle and high school students to full in-person learning with a target date of April 5, 2021. Based on the most current guidelines provided by the state, we had formulated preliminary modifications that might need to be made in order to complete a full return to in-person learning. The most significant modifications were included in the presentation to School Committee and were included in the family survey that was emailed on Thursday, March 4th. A follow up survey regarding the possibility of bussing was sent on Friday, March 5th. I encourage everyone to consider those modifications as you complete the surveys.


The changing guidance also impacts our spring activities. As the state continues to open up, we are considering ways in which this may allow us to gather in ways that have not been allowed. This includes things like fans at games, whole-class activities, and of course, final senior activities including prom and graduation.


Please know that -- as with everything over the past twelve months -- we are creating plans A, B, C, and D in order to give the students the most enriching and engaging experience they can have. Please also know that like the past twelve months, things change quickly. I ask for your patience as we develop these events. As dates and venues become finalized and likely, we will share information with students and families. We certainly understand the need to plan and want to get information to families as soon as possible, and it is indeed in our best interests to do so. But we also want to make sure that what we are communicating is clear, and that we have answers to questions students and families might have, and that plans are unlilkely to change.


Last March 6th, one week before we closed, we were struggling to figure out what we were dealing with, and I stressed in my newsletter that it was in the best interests of students to trust the processes that were in place and those responsible for executing those processes. And by and large we have. Our nurses and healthcare workers have effectively managed school and community spread while our educators and elected officials have gradually returned students more and more to in-person learning. We might not agree on the pace but we've continued to move forward together.


We need to keep working together. We are very close to the end of the school year and the pandemic. We will finish strong because we remain committed to our students.


Sincerely,


Brian T. Scott

Principal

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Senior and Whole School Events

On Friday, February 12th, just before break, seniors from both cohorts came together for an impromptu "senior snow day" where cohorts matched up in feats of strength.


As we gear up for the end of the year, we wil be announcing events as they are finalized. The following events are currently scheduled. More information about May events will be forthcoming as soon as we have it. We are also looking into events like a 3 on 3 tournament, dodgeball, and Powderpuff but are awaiting clarification on the modifications before finalizing plans.


  • 3/23 (A) and 3/26/21 (B) -- Wear Purple day for Epilepsy awareness (ALL SCHOOL)
  • 3/31/21 - Hypnotist; 6:30, CHS Gymnasium -- (SENIORS ONLY)
  • 4/5/21 - Spirit Week (ALL SCHOOL)
  • 4/14/21 - Senior Excursion to Pinz (during the school day) (SENIORS ONLY)
  • Prom - TBD
  • Senior Week Activities and Last Day - TBD
  • Graduation - TBD

PSA: 2020-2021 Yearbook purchase will end at midnight, April 11th!

Order your 2021 TESSAHOC Yearbook. Yearbooks can be purchased on ybpay.com.


COHASSET HIGH SCHOOL CODE: 8485721

Guidance News

MCAS Dates

Please note the following MCAS dates. All students will report on the assigned date, regardless of cohorts:


Grade 11 ELA -- May 20-21

Grade 11 Math -- May 24-25

Grade 10 ELA -- May 26-27

Grade 10 Math -- June 2-3

Grade 9 STE -- June 8-9

2021-2022 Scheduling Information

Please note that the course selection process for high school is officially kicking off! Some important items to note:


  • Teacher course/level recommendations are now available in Aspen to review for current grades 9 through 11. Recommendations for current grade 8 students will be available at a later date and we will communicate additional information once they are posted.
  • Counselors will first meet with students in groups according to the schedule below. Students will draft selections during this meeting but will have a set timeframe afterwards when they can make changes. This will allow for the opportunity to speak with teachers/guidance and have discussions at home.
  • Students will be given a set of detailed instructions during the group meetings. These instructions will also be posted on the guidance section of the high school website under “course scheduling.”
  • Course selection is NOT first come first served; however, students must submit selections by the grade-level specific deadline. Submissions/changes made after the deadline cannot be considered until after the master schedule is finalized.
  • Students will be provided with an online waiver form should they choose to request a course that is a higher level than the teacher recommended.


Please note that the master schedule is built based on student requests, therefore, it is incredibly important that students are thoughtful regarding course selections up front. While we always do our best to accommodate changes after the fact, it will be based on space/availability.


Course Selection Meeting Schedule:


March 8 - Grade 9 Cohort A

March 9 - Grade 11 Cohort A

March 11 - Grade 9 Cohort B

March 12 - Grade 11 Cohort B


The week of March 15th will be reserved for communications/individual meetings for grades 9 and 11.


March 22 - Grade 8 Cohort A

March 23 - Grade 10 Cohort A

March 25 - Grade 8 Cohort B

March 26 - Grade 10 Cohort B


The week of March 29th will be reserved for communications/individual meetings for grades 8 and 10.


Please feel free to reach out to your student’s guidance counselor with questions at any point during this process.


Thank you,

CHS Guidance Department

Don’t Ask Your Favorite Teacher for a College Letter of Recommendation

by Kevin McGowan, School Counselor


Grit! It’s become a buzzword over the past decade. In her 2013 Ted Talk, Angela Duckworth introduced it to our mainstream conscience, and it is seemingly here to stay. Educational researchers began studying the topic, books were written, podcasts produced, and the best of the best from all walks of life began crediting it for their successes. It is a key variable that can have a huge impact on the learning outcomes of students. What does this mean when it comes to the college application process? You guessed it; colleges want to accept students with grit! How then, do college admissions representatives identify a variable that is not easily quantified?


Letters of recommendation have always played a role in the application equation for colleges. Now, with almost all colleges being test optional, they are even more significant. The most competitive schools are dissecting every aspect of the application, trying to find standouts from highly competitive applicant pools.


With grade inflation and students being more motivated than ever, admissions representatives are faced with a tall task as they work through the thousands of applications. In an MIT guide for “How to Write Good Letters of Recommendation” they specifically state “Has the applicant ever experienced disappointment or failure? If so, how did they react?”. It is the answer to this type of question that all admissions representatives are seeking.


High School Juniors who are considering which teacher to ask for a letter of recommendation should not simply ask their favorite teacher. They should consider a teacher of a class they struggled in yet persevered to achieve a grade they are proud of (even if not their highest one). Teachers are passionate about students who go above and beyond when it does not come easily to them. The student who stays after multiple days a week, sends emails with clarifying questions, and masters the content despite struggling are remembered well beyond their time in a class.


Teachers are looking for opportunities to talk about these students, they take pride in being a part of their journey. These are the teachers who will write the strongest letters of recommendation. In closing, don’t ask your favorite teacher for a letter of recommendation, ask the teacher who saw you overcome and excel in the face of your biggest academic challenge.

May 8th SAT @ Cohasset

The SAT will be offered at Cohasset High School on Saturday, May 8th. Per College Board rules, this administration is open to anyone who registers, regardless of whether they attend Cohasset. To reserve your spot please sign up at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/find-test-centers

College Admissions Night

Each year, we hold a live college admissions panel at CHS for juniors and their parents/guardians. It is one of our most favorite nights of the year and is incredibly informative. Due to restrictions around Covid, we have partnered with Hanover High School to offer this annual College Admissions Panel as a virtual event.


The event will take place on March 31st at 6:30pm and will feature Admissions Officers from Providence College, UC San Diego, Bridgewater State University, Bates College, Quinnipiac University and UMass Amherst. The event will provide general guidance and a variety of perspectives on the admissions process so you do not need to be interested in these specific colleges in order to attend.


Registration is required via the form below and additional details will be sent closer to the date. AS OF NOW ONLY CURRENT JUNIORS MAY REGISTER. WE ARE LOOKING INTO WHETHER IT WILL BE RECORDED. Please note that multiple South Shore communities will be in attendance and space is limited so you must register as soon as possible via this link:

https://forms.gle/u3SA6oiVZKJ4rVGF9

Junior Parent Lunch Hour Recording

CHS Guidance Counselors hosted a Junior Parent Lunch Hour on Tuesday, January 26th focussed on the college admissions process. A recording of the presentation can be found here.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4RqHgYmP9M

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National High School Model United Nations Conference March 5-8


Our CHS Model UN Club has been hard at work preparing for the National High School Model United Nations Conference scheduled for this March. Model UN provides opportunities for student to practice problem solving and diplomacy skills with students from around the world, and the conference provides them with opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of a wide variety of perspectives on a number of issues facing our world today. While students will not be traveling this year to the conference, they are looking forward to debates and diplomatic exchanges virtually from our school’s learning commons.


The following students will be participating:


Madison Gould

Evelyn Dickey

Katie Walsh

Quinn Walsh

Julia Willette

Joshua Kripke

Liam Heinlein

Bridget Kondrat

Catrin Williams

Ethan Maxwell

William Loughlin

Will Duxbury

Kevin Wrenn

Ryo Nozawa

Matt Grimes

Charlie Lankow

Rorie Newman

Shaw Hutton

Lilly Wallingford

Debate Team

Congratulations to all debate team members on a great season! Specific congratulations go to novice debaters Wesley Bodell, Leah Squatrito, Charlie Lankow, and James Donohue for a 9th place finish as a negative team. Congratulations to varsity debaters Will Loughlin and Ethan Maxwell for a 7th place finish as a negative team and, again, to Will Loughlin as a 5th place negative individual. If you are interested in joining debate for next year, the following is the resolved (or the central issue over which debaters will argue): The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States. Have a great off-season, and congratulations again!


Best Buddies

March is Disability Awareness month. In recognition Cohasset Buddies will build awareness by

  • Submitting a different disability awareness fact for the announcements each day
  • Making posters about different disabilities and hang them around the building, and
  • Having a Wear Purple day for Epilepsy awareness on 3/23 for Cohort A and 3/26 for Cohort B

Greatest Song of All Time?

In a Musical March Madness, the Visual and Performing Arts department has collected 32 songs given to us by students and randomly placed into a bracket. Every day for the month of March we will post a poll on our music Instagram story (@cohassetmusic) where people can vote.


Students can fill out brackets during the week after February Break and submit them to Ms. A. All brackets must be in by February 26th. The person with the most correct bracket will win a prize!!

Manie Musicale

Manie Musicale is a national and international Francophone music competition. Originated by two teachers in Maine in 2017, Manie Musicale brings together 16 songs from across the Francophone world each year in a March Madness style competition. Students explore the songs, create brackets, and vote on their favorites until the champion is crowned.


This is Cohasset's second year participating, with students from 49 states, Washington DC, and several countries around the world. Last year, we had 4 students win prizes within our school for perfect brackets! Manie Musicale engages students in contemporary French music and heightens their interest in Francophone culture.


For those who may be interested in this year's (and past years') song selections, information for the competition can be found here: https://sites.google.com/yorkschools.org/maniemusicale2017/bienvenue

CHS Spirit Gear Available

Check out the following link to grab some spirit gear as we enter the second semester and prepare for spring. Special thanks to Mr. Ford for helping us set it up.


https://teamlocker.squadlocker.com/#/lockers/cohasset-high-school-299603

Art Magazine "The Painter"

Click the link below for the latest iteration of "The Painter", Cohasset High School's Art Magazine, a play on words which connects the art of painting to the painter on a boat, the short rope or chain that secures the anchor to the hull when not in use.


Hard copy versions of "The Painter" will be available for sale coming soon. Also follow @coharts on Instagram where art is showcased weekly!

Mindful Moments

Mindful mornings are up and running! Each Wednesday, Ms. Berkowitz Bock leads a mindful moment at 8 am on Wednesdays for students. She offers the meditation via Zoom, but if you are in person that day, you can come to her room! Email Ms. Berkowitz Bock at nberkowitz@cohassetk12.org for the code to participate!

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Cultural Responsiveness Update

Please see a brief timeline of our work around cultural responsiveness as we work towards building an inclusive community.


August / September -- Completed district-wide training around cultural responsiveness and trauma-informed teaching.


October -- Results of the Institutional Climate and Inclusion Survey released to schools.


November -- Contracted with outside consultant to unpack findings of the ICIA Survey results.


December -- Conducted initial faculty and community member focus groups around issues pertaining to the major findings.


January -- Presented findings and plan to School Committee (https://zoom.us/rec/play/dQmS5-9s06D1xA92iSqpD_6sQ-ni7F87BjrpInoQCC1afYG470NF3C7EULag2WlxoNV0_kqXQV5t_R5f.9QkSPODLruXxygqP?continueMode=true).


Conducted student Affinity Groups.


February -- Parent focus group sessions completed.


March -- Larger student body focus groups completed.


April / May -- Information will be synthesized and a draft plan created.


June -- Plan will be finalized for inclusion in the School Improvement Plan and District Strategic Plan.

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Our Safe Home
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Wednesday Cohort Rotation

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Put a Pin in It

Dates to remember:


    Scheduling:
    • March 8 - Grade 9 Cohort A
    • March 9 - Grade 11 Cohort A
    • March 11 - Grade 9 Cohort B
    • March 12 - Grade 11 Cohort B
    • March 22 - Grade 8 Cohort A
    • March 23 - Grade 10 Cohort A
    • March 25 - Grade 8 Cohort B
    • March 26 - Grade 10 Cohort B


    Events:

    • 3/23 (A) and 3/26/21 (B) -- Wear Purple day for Epilepsy awareness (ALL SCHOOL)
    • 3/31/21 - Hypnotist; 6:30, CHS Gymnasium -- (SENIORS ONLY)

    • 4/5/21 - Spirit Week (ALL SCHOOL)
    • 4/14/21 - Senior Excursion to Pinz (during the school day) (SENIORS ONLY)


    MCAS:


    • Grade 11 ELA -- May 20-21

    • Grade 11 Math -- May 24-25
    • Grade 10 ELA -- May 26-27
    • Grade 10 Math -- June 2-3
    • Grade 9 STE -- June 8-9