Millis High School

Weekly Newsletter

January 21, 2022

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MHS 2021-22 Calendar w/ Letter Days

Click here to access the MHS School Calendar for 2021-22

Upcoming Events

  • 1/24 ~ Quarter Three Begins
  • 1/31 ~ Report Cards Scheduled to be Issued at End of School Day
  • 2/11 ~ SOUPer Bowl Ends
  • 2/11 ~ Cabaret Night 7pm
  • 2/21 - 2/25 ~ No School ~ February Break
  • 3/22 - 3/23 ~ MCAS English Language Arts (Grade 10)

  • 5/17 - 5/18 ~ MCAS Math (Grade 10)

  • 6/7 - 6/8 ~ MCAS Biology (Grade 9)

Click for MHS Website and Socials

Click here to access the links to the MHS social media sites

~ This Week at MHS ~

Important Update on COVID Testing Protocols

It’s feeling like we’re turning a corner in the latest surge of COVID cases. We will continue to implement all our mitigation strategies to keep students safe and our school open for business, but we do have news to share about a change around COVID testing.


Please read the following info out of the Superintendent’s office

regarding an update to our Covid testing protocols:


Millis Public Schools, in accordance with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), is updating our COVID-19 Testing Program, effective the week of January 31. We are opting into an at-home testing program that will increase testing of our participating students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about this update to the statewide testing program, please click here.


The at-home testing option will begin during the week of January 31, 2022. In addition to this new at-home antigen test option, we will conduct symptomatic testing as appropriate during the week. As part of this shift in the program, we are discontinuing Test and Stay and contact tracing for in-school close contacts. This means that if your student is a potential contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to be quarantined if they are not experiencing any symptoms. We ask that families continuously monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and contact your school’s nurse if your student is experiencing symptoms. This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who opt-in will receive tests. We strongly encourage you to fill out the online form to have your student(s) participate in the program.

MHS/Jed Foundation Mental Health Focus Group - Parents/Caregivers Needed!

Millis High School has partnered with the Jed Foundation, a national nonprofit that seeks to help schools strengthen their mental health and suicide prevention programs and systems. As part of that partnership, MHS is working with Jed's technical assistance program, JED High School, which helps schools assess and strengthen policies, programs, and systems that prevent suicide and support their student body's emotional well-being. Our partnership will go through the next couple years, during which the Jed Foundation will help us to assess our current mental health supports, create a strategic plan to strengthen our student offerings, and implement the action steps that have been identified.


As part of the assessment phase, the Jed Foundation will be hosting a 60-minute parent/caregiver focus group to learn more about the emotional health of MHS. They also use this focus group to get to know community members and learn more about the needs of our community needs. Your voice matters! Jed will keep identifiers confidential and only share themes they have learned so your identity will be protected.


The focus group will be held on Wednesday, February 16, from 4-5 pm via Zoom. If you are interested, please register by Monday, February 15 by clicking here.

Game Inventors in Spanish Immersion

Peer Leaders Pull off Successful Thrift Shop Pop Up

This week the Peer Leaders ran a Thrift Shop Pop Up in the library. Students got some great deals on new and gently used clothing. Thank you to all donors and volunteers!
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Rostow Cup Champions Crowned

This week, Mr Bigelow’s AP Human Geography class participated in the annual Rostow Cup. Students studied Rostow’s model of economic development that explains the steps countries pass through as they develop. In this activity, students “drafted” countries from all over the world, and then researched seven different indicators measuring the development level of each country. Students then competed against one another, pinning “country” against country, until only one student remained. Congrats to this year’s champions - Sophia Rubalcaba and Izzy Doherty.

Library Receives Grant

GRAPHIC AREA Renovation!

The Middle/High School library received a grant from the Norfolk County Teachers Association to help revitalize the graphic/manga area. This grant included purchase of posters, bookmarks, pictures, wall decorations and drawing materials to invite and encourage students to come to the library and enjoy this area.


Thank you NCTA for the grant! The students are enjoying this renovated area of the library!

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Flexing to End the Term

MHS students were given a Special Flex block today. This allowed students and teachers an extra opportunity to meet prior to grades closing this afternoon. Below, our school counseling staff met with students from all grades and worked on some stress relieving games in a flex event dubbed "Cocoa and Coffee with the Counselors". If it wasn't for the masks, you'd see the smiles on their faces from this much needed break during a busy week wrapping up quarter two!
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Trivia Challenge - Week Two

And the winner of this weeks trivia is....

Rachel Geddes


Class Challenge Update!

The Juniors came on strong in week two. The Seniors are still in the lead, but there is plenty of time for any grade to win. Freshmen and Sophomores your teacher just might be the correct answer. So don't forget to ask. Challenge will run through term 3.

SOUPer Bowl for the Food Pantry

Ms. Young & Mrs. Divver's Advisories are collecting Soup for the Super Bowl, now through February 11th. Donations are for the Millis Food Pantry. Please bring any non-perishable canned/boxed food (does not need to be just soup) to the library, room 120 (Ms. Young's room) or drop in the HS Office.

Everyone is welcome to do this - including Middle School! Mrs. Divver will be happy to pick up donations from Middle School classrooms on Friday's.

Dress up in your game day jersey on February 11th. Photo op in the cafeteria.

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2021-22 MCAS Schedule & Tutoring

As we move into the second half of the school year, we continue to prepare our students for this year's MCAS Exams, and wanted to update you on the upcoming schedule. Students in the Class of 2024 (sophomores) will be taking MCAS exams in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math this year, while students in the Class of 2025 (freshmen) will be taking the MCAS Biology Exam. These exams, sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), are part of the competency determination required for students to graduate from Millis High School. All exams will be computer-based this year.


In addition to preparing our students in the classroom, we are in the process of identifying students in need of extra tutoring support, and will be mailing home letters in the coming weeks with a contract for tutoring. If you receive one of these letters and would like your child to take part in the tutoring support (which we strongly encourage), please return the contract to the main high school office as soon as possible. The schedule for MCAS Exams at MHS is as follows:


English Language Arts (Grade 10) - March 22 & 23

Math (Grade 10) - May 17 & 18

Biology (Grade 9) - June 7 & 8

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School Counseling Calendar

Click on this link to access the School Counseling Calendar

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Career Corner

Click on this link to access the MHS Career Corner Web page.

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One More Week to Bring in Winter Gear for LEOS

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MHS Clubs 2021-22 Schedule

Click this link to access club information and meeting schedule. Please note the schedule is being updated with more opportunities.

UPDATE!! New Spectator Policy

We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our families, students and fans, as we made the difficult decision to limit home spectators over the past couple weeks. Beginning, January 19, we are lifting the spectator restrictions at home basketball games. As we welcome everyone back to the gym, we continue to ask that fans respect and adhere to our masking guidelines. We'll have more staff on hand to help with enforcement, and failure to comply may result in being removed from the game, and having the privilege to attend future contests revoked. By following the rules put in place, you're not only supporting our student athletes, but also our school and staff who are working hard to ensure the best and safest possible experience for all involved. Thank you for working together as a school and community to make the stretch run of this winter season a great experience for all involved!
Athletic Schedules 2021-22

Click here to access the MHS Athletic Schedules for 2021-22

~ Happenings Around Millis ~

January 21st ~ April 1st

January 22nd

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January 23rd

Click on post to access website

January 29th

Click on post for link to register

February 19th

Click on post to link to registration
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Michele Wong

Sr. Associate, Grants Management and Program Evaluation

MHS Grad :: Class of 2009


Did you attend college?

Yes, I went to UCONN for my freshman year and quickly realized that I couldn’t picture myself there for another 3 years. I transferred to Northeastern University for my sophomore year and majored in Communication Studies and minored in Business Administration. I enrolled in Northeastern’s 5-year Co-Op Education program which allows students to take 6-month Co-Ops – we take a semester off of school and work full time at an internship for 6 months to gain real world experience. I did 2 Co-Ops – 1 at the Boston Red Sox and 1 at WilmerHale, a corporate law firm. I also studied abroad in Italy my junior year.

What is your profession?

My career is in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Corporate social responsibility is a way of describing how companies measure and control their impact on society through philanthropy, volunteerism, environmental/sustainability efforts and ethical labor practices. I work on the Global Philanthropy team at New Balance. New Balance Foundation grants $8 million each year to community organizations. I assist non-profits through the grant application process, distribute funds and evaluate their programs.

What skills do you find yourself needing the most at work?

Teamwork and project management are skills that I use the most often. Our offices are currently closed so we are all working remotely. These skills along with frequent communication have been especially important during this time. We have a small team of 5 people all doing different but intertwined work. Staying updated on everyone's work allows you to adapt your own workflows and priorities to meet the needs of the team. I also use Excel and a grant management system a lot in my day to day.

Do the skills and values that you learned at MHS help you in your professional life?

Absolutely. MHS taught me the importance of agility and adaptability. Being from a small school and having played on HS sports teams as a middle schooler, I quickly recognized the need (and benefits) to learn multiple positions/roles. You see it in our teachers and administrators too who often double as a coach, mentor, club leader, class advisor. They all wear multiple hats. Now, working on a small team, there is always a need to jump into something and fill any gaps to get the job done. This willingness and eagerness to learn and do more has enabled me to grow and advance within my career.

MHS also ingrained how important relationships and community are. It really does take a village – to raise someone, to grow a career or a successful business. New Balance gives back to the communities where associates live and work. It's important to our company that the communities we do business in are also being supported and uplifted. It's really important to me to give back in any way that I can - I try to accept as many informational interview requests and help connect people as much as I can. So if you're interested in CSR, feel free to find me on LinkedIn!


January 14, 2022

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

As we head into this long weekend, it's important to take a moment to remember the reason for this coming Monday's holiday, which marks the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was a Baptist minister, inspired by advocates of nonviolence. He helped bring an end to legal segregation and played a huge role in the passage of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Dr. King's efforts in the face of adversity helped to change America in profound and lasting ways. His impact around the world is felt to this day. The clip below takes us back top his "I Have a Dream" speech, given on August 28, 1963, at the "March on Washington."
Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream Speech - August 28, 1963

~ This Week at MHS ~

Faculty Professional Learning Day

Today, your Millis Middle and High School educators embarked on a full-day of workshops and training on anti-bias work, creating and maintaining a gender-inclusive school climate, and continuing development towards culturally responsive teaching practices. This essential work is part of our action steps toward our District Equity goals, and helps continue to move our schools along the path of equity and inclusion.

Chem Happenings

In Chem I this week, students explored an additional application of redox reaction. They electroplated copper pennies with zinc, thus turning them into “silver” pennies. Then they took one of the "zinced" pennies and heated it so that the zinc and copper atoms mixed, thereby creating the alloy of brass, and making a “gold” penny.

A&P Dissection Day

Ms. Cheney's Anatomy and Physiology class dissected, identified and labeled parts of a sheep heart this week.

MHS Trivia Challenge

This week we launched the MHS Staff Trivia Challenge. Each week through Term 3, we will give clues describing some interesting facts about one of our faculty or staff members. Students are encouraged to do some investigating to find out which person it is before we announce who it is on Friday. There is a weekly prize winner and at the end of the term the grade with the most participation will be crowned Trivia Champion. Congratulations to our first contest winner, senior Bretton Kohler!

Active Minds All School Assembly

On Tuesday, January 11th, Carli Bushoven from Active Minds spoke to the Millis High School students about suicide awareness and prevention. Students also had the opportunity for a Q&A and completed a brief survey following the presentation. A special thank you goes out to Allie Stallings (pictured below with Carli), who helped coordinate the event as part of her senior project. Carli lost her younger sister, Madison Holleran, to suicide on January 17, 2014. Shortly after Maddy’s death, Carli helped form the Madison Holleran Foundation in an effort to keep Madison’s memory alive and to support others who are struggling with mental illness. You can learn more about Carli's message and the Madison Holleran Foundation here.

February 8th Virtual Info Session Announced

If you are looking for information on IEPs or 504 Plans, please email Millis SEPAC for the link to the virtual meeting on February 8th.

Last Chance to Donate to Thrift Store

Donations to the "Peer Leaders Thrift Store" of new and gently used clothing and accessories are now being accepted. You can drop them off to Mr Alconada or Mrs Dunn. Thrift Store open January 20th.

Service Learning Deadline January 21st

Juniors and Seniors that want to apply for Service Learning consideration for Term 3, the deadline is January 21st. Please submit your application and service hours earned during term 2 to Mrs. Macomber. If you have question about the program stop by the main office.

School Safety Drills

In the coming weeks, we will be practicing a full “Lockdown” drill in the building. We'll post information about that in a future newsletter as we get closer to the date.


The safety of our students and school is always a top priority. While we hope to never activate any of these protocols, trainings such as these help prepare our staff and students in the event we experience an emergency situation. Thank you for your help and support as we work to ensure the safety of your children.

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Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

This year, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) will be taken on January 20, 2022 starting at 8:00 a.m. It will be administered in the conference room next to the School Counseling Office. It usually takes no more than 1 1/2 hours. It is free of charge.


The ASVAB test is a heavily researched and well-respected aptitude test developed by the Department of Defense. It measures a young adult's strengths and potential for success in military training.


Please see Mrs. Harkey in the School Counseling Office to sign up.

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Terpsichore

Terpsichore has started its winter/spring season of dance, which will culminate in the Spring Dance Recital on May 6. They are teaching Ballet on Monday and Wednesday nights, and running a contemporary dance class on Wednesdays and Fridays after school. Additionally there is a turning class on every other Tuesday. All of these classes are free to students in grades 6-12 in the Millis Public Schools.


In addition to their classes, they are rehearsing five pieces for the ensemble including works to the music of Prokofiev, Bartok, Alanis Morrisette, Daft Punk, and The Andrew Oldham Orchestra. There are four groups of students working on their own choreography for the show as well.


If you have a student in grades 6-12 who is interested in getting involved, it is not too late. Reach out to Stephanie Copice, scopice@millisschoools.org or just have them stop by room 109 in the high school.



Photos courtesy of Adriana Arguijo Photography - Romanian Folk Dances (bartok) & Tron (Daft Punk)

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UPDATE ~ New Tri-Valley League Spectator Policy

As of January 4, 2022, the Tri-Valley League will be limiting spectators to immediate family members for each rostered athlete on both the home and away teams. These limitations are in place for all TVL schools and immediate family WILL be able to attend away contests during these restrictions. We will reevaluate in the coming weeks to determine if changes need to be made. While we recognize that this is not ideal, limiting the number of spectators will hopefully allow us to continue games. At this time, no students outside of the family members will be allowed to attend games.

~ Happening Around Millis ~

January 15th

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January 19th

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JESSE RICKER

PTC

Operations Specialist

MHS Grad :: Class of 2013


Did you attend college?

Yes, I attended Quinnipiac University and graduated with my Bachelors degree in Legal Studies. After graduating I went back to Quinnipiac where I also received my MBA.

What is your profession?

I work in Channel Operations as an Analyst/Specialist within our greater Revenue Operations Team, and am based out of PTC’s Global HQ in Boston’s Seaport Office. I have been working at PTC for the past 3 years. PTC develops Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/IoT software for a wide variety of companies in a greater effort to help drive digital transformation.

What skills do you find yourself needing the most at work?

Analytics, problem solving and interpersonal skills are just a few that have been key for me. Excel, Salesforce, JIRA, etc. are important hard skills that I have learned on the job, but can be learned and refined through a coachable mindset.

Do the skills and values that you learned at MHS help you in your professional life?

MHS taught me the importance of being a member of a team and a community - something that translates into almost any job I can think of. Much of what you learn may be on the job, so having a strong foundation to build on is key, and something I can attribute to MHS.

January 7, 2022

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December Students of the Month Announced

Grade 9 Nominees:

Andrew Griffith, Katilin Richards, Christian Amaral, and James Duggan

Winner: Andrew Griffith: "Andrew is a very hard worker and diligent student. He is a quiet presence in the classroom but always attentive, participative when called on and respectful. Andrew is friendly and inclusive with peers. Andrew's phone is never out when it shouldn't be and is always completing his assignments using his class time well"


Grade 10 Nominees:

Genesis Figueroa, Izzy Doherty, Rayssa Olivera, Scarlett Ruggieri

Winner: Rayssa Olivera: "Rayssa is a mature student whose daily participation benefits the entire class. She steps out of her comfort zone to maximize her learning. She makes great points during class discussions, volunteers to read aloud, and gives every assignment an honest effort. Rayysa's approach to learning is commendable and should be reinforced."


Grade 11 Nominees:

Daisy Lyons and Mia Braccio

Winner: Daisy Lyons: "Daisy is always prepared, always curious and always willing to help her classmates. She demonstrates a genuine excitement and interest in what we are doing in class and I look forward to seeing her each day."


Grade 12 Nominees:

Colin Streck and Rondell Copeland

Winner: Colin Streck: "Colin is an amazing member of our school community. He performs, runs, volunteers, leads by example, and he is interested in learning and growing not just as a student but also as a person. He is open to feedback and works to incorporate in what he is doing and overall he is just a really nice person."

Winter Illnesses and COVID Numbers

We’ve all seen the rapid increase in COVID numbers throughout the nation and the Commonwealth. Local numbers are always available via the Millis Public Schools Covid Dashboard linked here.


Please be aware of the following reminders from our School Nursing Staff, who have been working overtime to ensure the health and safety of your children. We'd be lost without them!


Winter is a time for many illnesses including the stomach bug, flu, strep and COVID. Please follow the reminders below:

  • If your student has a fever, diarrhea or they are vomiting, please keep them home from school until they are symptom free for 24 hours.

  • If your student tests positive for COVID on any test (home test, etc.) please keep them home from school and in isolation for 5 days. Please let the school nurse know this information so that we can support you with next steps.

  • If you have a family member who tests positive for COVID and who lives in your home, please keep any other students home as well. Please let the school nurse know this information.

  • The positive individual should be isolated for 5 days and wear a mask for 10 days following the onset of symptoms.

  • The remaining family members (unless they are fully vaccinated) would be considered a close contact and should also remain in quarantine.

Guest Speaker January 11th

On Tuesday January 11th, Millis High School will be welcoming Carli Bushoven to give a presentation to our students on suicide prevention and reducing the stigma around mental health. Carli tragically lost her younger sister, Madison Holleran, to suicide on January 17, 2014. Beautiful, athletic, kind, and smart, Madison was thought by many to have “had it all.” Her death came as a shock to not only her family, but her friends, community, and people across the country – and became the catalyst for the NYTimes bestselling book “What Made Maddy Run?“ by Kate Fagan. Shortly after Maddy’s death, Carli helped form the Madison Holleran Foundation in an effort to keep Madison’s memory alive and to support others who are struggling with mental illness. Passionate for suicide awareness and prevention, Carli shares Madison’s story in an effort to inspire others to speak out about their mental health struggles and end the stigma that prevented her sister from getting the help that she needed when she needed it.


Counselors from the high school will be on hand both during and following the presentation to talk with and support any students who may need it. In addition to the presentation, students will be asked to complete a brief screening tool in which they will include their name, if they are currently struggling with thoughts of self harm, and whether or not they would like to speak to a counseling department member.


If for some reason you would like to opt your child out of either the presentation or the screening, or both, please contact Erin Sullivan at 508-376-7010 x639 esullivan@millisschools.org or Megan McCarthy at 508-376-7010 x626 mmccarthy@millisschools.org.


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Spanish Immersion Celebrates 26 Years

Millis Public Schools’ Spanish Immersion Program celebrates 26 years. The program started in 1996 and continues to benefit entire district. Click here to read the Millis Medway News article.

Millis Public Schools’ Spanish Conversation Assistants on a trip to Boston, Fall 2021. Left to right: Paloma Chinchilla Martín (Clyde Brown Elementary SCA), Paloma García González (Millis Middle School SCA), María Martínez Sagredo (Millis High School SCA), and Isabel Sánchez Liendo (Clyde Brown SCA). Courtesy photo.
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Communication is Key


As expected, the number of students out of school has increased. It is very important that the main office be contacted each day to update us on your student's attendance for the day. You can email us at:

hsattendance@millisschools.org


or call the attendance line each day. We have one dedicated nurse for both the high school and middle school and her focus needs to be on the health and well being of all our students. Your help in communicating attendance through the main office is appreciated.

High School Parents

We need you to update your students contact records if you have not yet done this. 1/3 of our students records have not been updated.


Please reach out to Jdavies@millisschools.org if you did not receive the email or if you have questions. She will forward the link to complete the required information.

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School Counseling Booking Links

Do you need to make an appointment to see your School Counselor?

You Can Book Me is a quick way to make an appointment.

Mrs. Dunn ~ YouCanBookMe Link: https://rileydunn.youcanbook.me

Ms. McCarthy ~ YouCanBookMe Link: https://mmccarthy-2.youcanbook.me

Armed Forces Release of Information

Pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Millis High School is required to provide, upon request, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of current students to the armed forces' recruiters and institutions of higher education who request them unless the student and/or parent/guardian has submitted a request indicating that such information is not to be released. If a student or that student's parent/guardian does not want such information to be released, they must notify the principal in writing. You only need fill out this form if you DO NOT want information shared with armed forces recruiters and institutions of higher learning.


Here is the link to the Armed Forces Release of Information Opt Out form

~ Happening Around Millis ~

January 8th

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January 9th

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SHANNON BURNS

Construction Superintendent

MHS Grad: Class of 2014


Did you attend college?

Yes, I graduated from Keene State College where I studied Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences and Business Management, with a minor in Economics and an Architecture concentration.


What is your profession?

I am a Construction Superintendent for AECOM Tishman/Hunt. I work as a supervisor overseeing the building of commercial construction projects. This involves understanding civil engineering structures, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components; while coordinating with trades and clients to deliver a building in a safe and timely manner.


What skills do you find yourself needing the most at work?

The skills I find most important would be critical thinking and the ability to problem-solve and communicate effectively.


Do the skills and values that you learned at MHS help you in your professional life?

There are many skills and values I developed at MHS that translate to my career. For instance, work ethic, and the willingness to work hard towards your goals were ingrained at MHS. I was aided and pushed toward achieving success with the support of my teachers, counselors, and classmates. I also received support in my personal life that allowed me to focus on my studies, and succeed in a classroom setting.

Millis High School

Small School.. Big Family

The Millis Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, gender identity, religion, national origins, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness.

Attendance Line Contacts

Options to Call in Attedance


hsattendance@millisschools.org

or

508-376-7010 ~ extension 713

or

508-376-7010 ~ press 1

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