SHMS e-News

Friday, September 16, 2022

Dear SHMS Families:

I want to start this communication by saying, “our SHMS students are amazing.” We have made several changes this year and our students once again had to adapt. They have done a wonderful job. We understand some students are still getting adjusted to using lockers and finding their way around the building. Our faculty and staff are here to support them. We had grade-level pep rallies today to celebrate the start of the year and kick off our Panther Pride initiatives. I hope everyone has enjoyed their first two weeks of school.

Today we celebrated our school with grade level Pep Rallies! Peppy the Panther made an appearance, the Modern Band, lead by Mr. McLaughlin, was featured, and the students were amped and excited to show their school spirit and see their classmates drawn as raffle winners in our first Panther Pride drawing for following school expectations! It was a blast!

We look forward to seeing everyone at Back to School Night next week. Families are encouraged to know their child’s schedule, but we will have them ready in Connections just in case. Families will begin the night in their child’s Connections class and will then move through the rest of their schedule. This year we have included lunch on the schedule so families have an opportunity to see our school cafeteria. Back to School Night will take place for 6th grade on Monday, September 19th and for 7th/8th grade on Wednesday, September 21st at 7:00 p.m. Please note that students should not attend Back to School Night.

Enjoy your weekend!

Dr. Matsanka

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6th grade Science Marshmallow Challenge!

Last Friday, 6th grade Science classes conducted the STEM Challenge called the Marshmallow Challenge. In 20 minutes, the students had to work together to build the tallest free standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one meter of tape, and one marshmallow. Here are the links to some pictures.

SHMS Sports Schedule

Please note that all sporting events are subject to change.
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Click below for Volleyball Clinic information.

SHMS Music

Thank you to all music students for an exciting first week of ensemble rehearsals! The directors are looking forward to making music together this year. September rehearsal calendar is attached below. All chorus as well as 7th and 8th grade band rehearse on a 3-day rotating schedule at 7 am. 7th/8th orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays at 7 am, and 6th grade orchestra rehearses on Mondays from connections-3:00. Rehearsal calendar can also be found on the bulletin board in the music hallway.

We are working this year to compile a master list of all parent/adult emails for each music student. If you have not completed the contact form for your student, please do so HERE. Only one form is required per family!

Band News:

Lessons for all students will begin next week 9/19. Lessons are provided on a weekly basis during class. All students are expected to check in with their teachers before reporting to lessons. Lesson Schedule B is attached here for your reference, and will take place in the following order:

Monday: 6th Grade Strings

Tuesday: 7th grade band

Wednesday: 6th grade band

Thursday: 8th grade band

Friday: beginning instrumentalists

Chorus News:

Sign-us for any student interested in auditioning for Cantabile this school year are posted on the bulletin board in the music hallway. Cantabile is an audition-only ensemble open to any student already participating in 7th or 8th grade chorus. Auditions will take place in 5 minute time slots on 9/19, 9/20, 9/21 and 9/22. Rehearsals will take place each Tuesday and Thursday from connections-3 pm beginning on Tuesday 9/27. Email with questions.

For any questions or concerns please contact the respective directors, found below. Have a great week!

All Bands, 6th Orchestra: Ally Williams

7th/8th Chorus: Sarah Elsheakh

6th Chorus: James McLaughlin-

7th/8th Orchestra:

SHMS Music Calendar and Schedule

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SHMS Ensemble Informational Sessions

There will be an informational session for parents and families of students in any performing ensemble (Band/Orchestra/Chorus). These will take place on 9/19 and 9/21 at 6:30 before Back to School Night in the SHMS auditorium. Meet your student's directors, and learn important information about concerts, rehearsal schedules and more!

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Swarthmore Farmers' Market Needs Your Help!

The Swarthmore Farmers’ Market is going plastic bag free and needs your help! Starting October 1st, vendors at the Market will no longer give out plastic bags to carry home purchases. To help Market customers with this transition, we will be handing out donated reusable bags to those who do not bring their own. We are looking for volunteers to come for 1.5 or 3 hour shifts for each market for the rest of the 2022 season. The Market runs from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM every Saturday through November 19th in the Swarthmore Center parking lot.

To increase our supply of reusable bags, we are also looking for sewing volunteers in September from anyone who has sewing machine access to make reusable bags out of t-shirts. A short video with instructions is linked to the Signup Genius below.

Sign up for shifts using this Signup Genius. Please contact Susie O’Donnell ( or Jennifer Pfluger ( for more information.