MRHS Parent Newsletter
VOLUME 31, ISSUE NO. 5
FINAL EXAM SCHEDULES - JANUARY 15-18, 2019
TUESDAY JANUARY 15, 2019 (DAY 2)
Alternating Day Final Exams
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 16, 2019 (DAY 1)
A BLOCK EXAM 7:35-9:10
STUDENTS MAY ACCESS THE CAFETERIA
B BLOCK EXAM 9:25-11:00
THURSDAY JANUARY 17, 2019 (DAY 1)
C BLOCK EXAM 7:25-9:10
STUDENTS MAY ACCESS THE CAFETERIA
D BLOCK EXAM 9:25-11:00
FRIDAY JANUARY 18, 2019 (DAY 2) MAKE-UP DAY
D BLOCK 7:35-9:00
B BLOCK 9:05-10:30
C BLOCK 10:35-12:35
A BLOCK 12:40-2:05
Please actively supervise the halls and common areas during the break between exams.
Semester 2 begins on January 22nd and is a Day 2 schedule: H, F, G, E
Please note these dates are subject to change if school needs to be canceled
due to a snow day.
Students who miss final exams will receive “0”s for the exams with up to a 20% decrease in their semester grades and are not allowed to reschedule or arrange for make-ups with teachers directly. There are two possible exceptions:
1. Parents who predict their sons/ daughters will be unable to attend exam blocks due to unusual and/or extenuating circumstances may email Principal Hale at shale@ hwrsd.org to request special accommodations to make-up for missed final exams. Such requests must be received no later than Monday, January 7. Due to the potential disruption and diminished exam validity caused by students taking early exams, only truly unavoidable rescheduling will be approved.
2. Must contact the principal that same day to verify the emergency nature of the absence and request authorization to take a make-up exam. In most cases, doctor’s notes will be required to validate absences due to illness or medical emergency. Some academic departments will be involved in alternative culminating assessments. The times and places of these assessments vary depending upon the particular needs of each class during the non-exam blocks. These students must pursue make-up options directly from their teachers. Your help in avoiding disruptions to the Final Exam Schedule is much appreciated.
FROM THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
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
FINE ARTS NEWS
COME TO THE IRC FOR ARTISTIC INSPIRATION!
The art department will be featuring art work from all their classes in the Minnechaug IRC for the week of January 7th through the 11th. 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!
MINNECHAUG STUDENTS CHOSEN FOR ALL-NEW ENGLAND ORCHESTRA
Senior Logan Mitchell, flute, and junior Andrew Aguilar, French horn, have both been accepted to the 2019 All-New England Orchestra and will perform with the group at Norwich Academy in Connecticut in March. The boys auditioned on complete solos and were chosen among a total of 1100 students who performed on both wind instruments and voice. The concert in March will also feature an honor band and choir made of students from CT, MA, RI, VT, NH and ME. Congrats to Logan and Andrew!
QUABBIN VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Congratulations to Kaileigh Letourneau, Ava Barton, Kellin Burr, Cade Connor, John Chen, Andrew Davignon, Ava Sirois and Asher Simon-Plumb who are all candidates for the 2019 Quabbin Valley Senior High Festival Band. These students will collaborate with musicians from 14 other school districts with a guest conductor to present a concert at Palmer HS in February after only two rehearsals together- impressive!
WESTERN DISTRICT FESTIVAL HELD ON NEXT TWO SATURDAYS
Congratulations and good luck to our bands students, string players, jazzers and singers rehearsing and performing with the MMEA Western District Senior High Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band and Chorus over the next two Saturdays at the University of Massachusetts! Rehearsals begin at 9am, the bus will leave at 7:30am, on both dates. Rides home with your parents/families will be necessary after the concert on the 12th. Tickets are still available for the concert in the UMASS Fine Arts Center!
RAFFLE BASKET ITEMS NEEDED FOR MARCH POPS CONCER
Gift baskets are being created to be raffled off on Tuesday, March 12th at the annual music department Pops Concert. We have volunteers ready to create each basket yet we are in need of donations to actually fill the baskets! Donated items are being accepted to the fine arts office immediately- Anything you can contribute in general categories would be greatly appreciated. We also hope you’ll put the date of March 12th on your calendar, the ‘Pops’ concert is a favorite!
GOOD LUCK TO ALL-STATE AUDITIONERS
The jump from district performance to all-state is always a huge undertaking. Best of luck later this month to instrumentalists Liz Blask, Logan Mitchell, Thomas Taylor, Andrew Aguilar, Ada Cheng, Caitlyn Pelletier as well as singers Charmaine Liu, Sara Goodrich, Anna O’Keefe, Julia O’Keefe and Jacqueline Dolaher.
JAZZ SYMPOSIUM AT MINNECHAUG A HUGE SUCCESS
The Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators along with Gerry’s Music Shop and Music & Arts all funded the first western MA jazz symposium on November 30th at MRHS. Jazz bands from Belchertown and Amherst high schools participated along with students from Minnechaug in day-time clinics with members of the Jeff Holmes Big Band. At night the students were treated to a first-class concert by the 18-piece big band auditorium. The music program hopes to host this event again year!
JEFF HOLMES BIG BAND ON STAGE FEATURING SINGER DAWNING HOLMES
JEFF HOLMES LEADING CLINIC WITH JAZZ BAND STUDENTS FROM MINNECHAUG, AMHERST AND BELCHERTOWN ON NOVEMBER 30TH
Art Show 2019
FROM THE NURSE'S OFFICE
HEALTHY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR TEENS
The following tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
•I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. I will drink sodas only at special times.
•I will do my best to take care of my body through fun physical activity and eating the right types and amounts of foods.
•When I have some down time for media, I will try to choose educational, high-quality and non-violent TV shows and videogames that I enjoy. I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities. I promise to respect our household rules for videogames and Internet use.
•I will do what I can to help out in my community. I will give some of my time to help others, working with community groups or others that helps people in need. These activities will make me feel better about myself and my community.
•When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find helpful ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking about my problem with a parent or friend.
•When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
•When I notice my friends are struggling, being bullied or making risky choices, I will look for a trusted adult so that we can attempt to find a way to help.
•I will be careful about whom I choose to date.
•I will treat the other person with respect and not force them to do something they do not want to do. I will not use violence. I will expect to be treated the same way in return.
•I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco-cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. I will also avoid the use of e-cigarettes.
•I agree not to use a cellphone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.
American Academy of Pediatrics, 12/17
MAKE HEALTH YOUR RESOLUTION
Healthy You: Make healthy food choices, be active, make an appointment for a check - up, vaccination, or screening. Know your numbers – weight, blood pressure, cholesterol. Wash your hands often. Be smoke free. Get enough sleep. Learn and practice a new health tip each week. Make a new friend.
Healthy Family: Plan to eat more meals together as a family. Encourage and support physical activity. Put together a family health history. Know where to go for health care in town if you do not have insurance. Keep pets vaccinated and healthy. Add a health related web site to your favorites list, and check weekly updates. Spend more time together. Be courteous and practice good manners.
Healthy Home: Go green. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Install smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms on every level. Keep cleaning products and medications away from children. Have a winter weather emergency plan, and stock your home and car with necessary supplies. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.
Healthy Community: Volunteer at your church, school, or one of the many community center s needing help or an extra hand. If you have received help from others, try to repeat the gesture. Extend a common courtesy wherever you are – they are always appreciated and hopefully duplicated.
Healthy Workplace: Stay home if you are sick. Wash your hands often, Participate in healthy workplace programs, Take steps to prevent job stress. Reduce work injuries and practice good body mechanics.
Continued Health Office Reminders:
Student Health Screening – Postural screening (for scoliosis) is ongoing for ninth graders during their swimming block in gym class. We will perform height & weight, vision, and hearing screening for all tenth graders on January 8th and 9th and February 11th and 12th. All screening results are strictly confidential. If there is an area of concern we will mail a letter to you with referrals to appropriate health care providers. If you have concerns or do not want your child screened, please contact the nurses in the Health Office at 279-3815.
Cold and Allergy Medication – is not available in the Health Office and must be taken at home if needed. We have a limited supply of cough drops, so we ask students to bring their own to school after the first day of use. The best way to prevent the spread of colds is to practice good handwashing. Thank you for your help with this.
Flu and Flu-like Illness – we like to track how many people in the Minnechaug community have diagnosed flu and flu-like illnesses. If your child is suffering from one of these illnesses, please leave that information when you call in to report their absence, or call the Health Room and let one of the nurses know at 279-3815. Thank you so much. And remember, now is a great time to get your flu vaccination from your doctor’s office or pharmacy!
Enjoy a new year of healthy possibilities!
Shannon Frederick, RN and Janet Shea,RN
MRHS School Nurses
YEARBOOK MESSAGE & AD FORM
FROM THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
Children’s Drama Workshop
Join us for The Theater Workshop Production of The Lottery!
Mrs. Hall’s talented Theater Workshop class cordially invites you to the event that should not be missed. On Friday, January 4 , 2019 at 7:00 p.m. the Theater Class will present their production of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery in the Minnechaug High School Auditorium.
This unusual play with its shattering last scene captures the story that has become an internationally known classic. Like the classic short story, the play starts as people are assembling for the lottery. What family will it be this time? Which member? Only gradually will you, the audience, begin to suspect the nature of the lottery as the play builds swiftly to its crucial and moving climax.
The play starts at 7:00pm and runs about an hour in length. This is an excellent opportunity for you and your family to see a classic play live on stage. Tickets are sold at the door and are just $7.00 per person or $20.00 for a family of 4.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Children’s Drama Workshop
Sign up Now for Children’s Drama Workshop! On Saturday, January 26, 2019, The Minnechaug Falcon players will present a short play followed by short workshop which will teach children the skills needed to star in a play.
The event will run from 9:00 am to 11:30 am and will begin with a short interactive performance of “Dinosaur” followed by stations where the MRHS drama club will teach the skills of improv, tableau, tone, kinesics, and set design to children between the ages of 4- 12. The fun filled day will end with milk and cookies with the cast of the play.
Pre-registration begins January 7, 2019
Cost $12.00 for pre-registered student tickets, $15.00 for tickets at the door on the day of the event. Parents you are welcome to stay during the event or leave your child with us while they learn new skills of dramatic play.
Checks payable to HWRSD
Questions contact: Kristin Hall KHall@hwrsd.org
FROM THE COUNSELING CENTER
ASVAB TESTING: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB) will be given to interested juniors on February 13 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 9 and will end on February 8. 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 guidance 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 GUIDANCE INFORMED: Please let your Guidance 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 guidance 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 www.collegeboard.com and for the ACT at www.act.org. Juniors should make their plans to take the SAT!
CAREER CENTER ACTIVITIES:
The final day for Semester I interns to report to his or her worksite is Tuesday, January 15. Thank you to all the mentors who welcomed our seniors into their workplace and shared their knowledge and passion for their career. Interns will meet with Mrs. Considine in Room A204 on Friday, January 18 for a wrap up meeting.
On Tuesday, January 22, the Semester 2 Interns will report to Room A204 for an Orientation Program. Interns will report to their worksites on Wednesday, January 23. We are honored to welcome the following people to our ever-growing family of area professionals who support MRHS Career Internships:
Lindsay Brunette ATI Physical Therapy
Patrick Leary MP Group
Rebecca Brocks, MD Baystate Pediatric Surgeons
Donna Stafilarakis Baystate Labor & Delivery
Nathan Goddard Tax & Accounting Associates
Lesli Pechulis Blueberry Hill Elementary
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. There were 135 students who 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:
Kim Downing Luso Credit Union
Loretta Dansereau River East School-to-Career
Steve Hale Principal, MRHS
Krista Mazzuca Director of HR, Hampshire College
Barbara Trombley Trombley Associates
Jason Mourao LUSO Credit Union
Anthony Forzan Independent Financial Services
Donna Hogan Retired Principal & Superintendent, Ludlow Public Schools
Paula Talmadge River East School to Career
Peter Hogan Retired Director of Safety & Security, Springfield Public Schools
John Derosia Assistant Superintendent, HWRSD
Gina Roy Director Student Services, HWRSD
FROM THE STUDENT COUNCIL
On Friday, January 4th, 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 8th in the auditorium during D-Block.
Above the Influence Club
Providence Behavioral Health Hospital & their Inpatient Substance Abuse Unit CLOTHING DRIVE
Used Winter Clothing (young adult to adult sizes):
- Shoes --- Gloves ---- Games
- Games --- Socks --- Art Supplies
- Hats --- Used Books
January 8th - January 29th
ALL DONATIONS CAN BE DELIVERED TO MR. DALESSIO IN ROOM B-108