Stoughton High School - March 2020

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February, A Month in Review!

Stoughton High School students have been working hard and are deep into term 3 and semester 2. Our winter sports teams are concluding their seasons and we are looking forward to Spring.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Stoughton High School invites to come to our annual Science Fair and our Knight of Excellence. This is going to be an amazing evening showcasing all the great work Stoughton High School students have been working on all year in each department. The evening starts at 6:30pm and will run through 8:00pm.

Below, you can read about the different things students have been doing in all of our departments at Stoughton High School throughout the month of February. We hope that you enjoy the rest of the article.

Alan Bontya

Assistant Principal

SHS English Department

Kayla Brown’s Classes:

Students in 10 College are battling their way through fights with monsters alongside the epic hero, Beowulf, and analyzing the use of literary devices within the epic to emphasize the theme of good versus evil.

Students in 10 Honors are unveiling the themes of appearance versus reality and the dangers of blind ambition as Macbeth begins his murderous reign over Scotland.

Students in Film as Literature are discovering what it was like to be on the front lines of the civil rights movement in Selma, Alabama in 1965 with Dr. Martin Luther King as he fought for African Americans' right to vote as portrayed in Ava Duvernay's film, Selma.

Norman’s Classes

12th Sci-Fi & Horror

Norman welcomed two new sections of seniors into his 12th Grade Sci-Fi & Horror elective. Students spent their first few weeks learning the basics of allegory via beloved Dr. Seuss tale, "The Sneetches." They the applied their knowledge to analyzing the thrilling sci-fi film, District 9, a story about alien refugees forced to live in camps in South Africa. Sci-Fi shocker - the monsters wind up being the humane ones while the humans are the real monsters! We are now focusing our attention on the Robot/AI sub-genre of science fiction with the classic sci-fi short story, "Robot Dreams" and the modern novel, Robopocalypse.

Norman & Furioso’s Classes:

11 Honors

Furioso's and Norman's 11 Honors students are studying female archetypes through the plays "The Crucible" and "August Osage County." Students are front and center entertaining their instructors by doing table reads of the plays.

9 College

Furioso's and Norman's students piloted a text new to the SHS curriculum, Long Way Down. The novel was nothing short of a massive hit with the kids. Students enjoyed reading a story about someone their own age living in the present. Students studied characterization, symbols, and themes via this fantastic novel. The students emerged from their first English midyear exam generally unscathed and are now in the thick of John Steinbeck's classic novel, Of Mice & Men.

Ruschioni’s Classes:

11AP just finished up analyzing speeches and then writing and delivering their own - topics ranging from bringing back home economics to the high school curriculum to the value of wind power.

10C is reading and analyzing Macbeth - thinking about larger themes like the effect of guilt, the danger of power, and the ways we lie still haunt us in today's world.

Lauren Fidler’s Classes:

In 12AP, we are working our way through an intensive poetry bootcamp, becoming stronger readers of poetry, and actively engaging with classic and contemporary poetry. We've been examining imagery and the ways that it connects to tone and meaning. Attached are some visually annotated poems we worked on in class.

Senior Victoria Abunaw was awarded a silver key and an honorable mention for her creative writing at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We're very proud of her!

Sophomores are just getting into Lord of the Flies. We've been practicing close-reading and engaging actively with the text through visualization and acting out key passages. We've also read through Genesis and learned the allusion to the Fall of Man to apply not only to the paradisiacal imagery of the island early on in the novel but also to the concept of the snake-like beast and the repetitive use of fallen imagery in the text. Attached are some images from a class examination of Chapter Three in which students traced Jack's movements and making connections to evolution charts.

New sections of Graphic Novels and Connecting Pop Lit to the Classics have started up. We are finding ways to synthesize the classic with the contemporary, reading biblical and mythical allusions and connecting to texts like Emily Carroll's Through the Woods and Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give.

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SHS Math Department

The Conceptual Algebra classes are about to start a new unit on a family of graphs - quadratics equations. With each family of graphs they study what the important features are and what makes that family different from other families of graphs. They have been hard at work identifying various features of the linear family throughout the year and continue to look at patterns in the different families of functions!

Ms. Trudeau’s Sports in Math class has been busy analyzing data and comparing two athletes to see who is the better athlete in various categories. The class has been examining categorical data and the graphs associated as well as numerical data and the graphs associated with that type of data. They presented their data to the class.

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SHS Science Department

The Science department is looking forward to showcasing the talent of our students on March 11th at the Knight of Excellence/Science Fair. Advanced Placement Chemistry, Biology, and Physics students have been preparing for months: first developing a topic of investigation, preparing a literature review of background information, designing an experiment, and preparing the required forms for approval from the Massachusetts State Science Fair Board. Students are now finishing up their experimentation and beginning analysis and presentation of their results. As part of the science fair, students will be judged by 3 individual judges and compete for the honor to represent Stoughton at the State Science Fair on May 1st and 2nd.

In addition to the traditional projects, our engineering and physics students have also been preparing for the science fair. Physics students are investigating the force of a projectile object by building a trebuchet. Students with the most accurate and farthest distance will be awarded a prize.

For yet another event, Engineering students are designing a mousetrap car. The mousetrap car demonstrates the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy. The objective of the event is to design the car that will travel the farthest distance. Students will need to consider the weight of the design, the length of the car to wheel ratio, and other factors.

Other events offered that night will focus on problem solving and teamwork. Chemistry students will use their knowledge of acid/base reactions to launch a small rocket across the room. All students are invited to take part in the Instant Challenge and Wind Turbine Events. In the Instant Challenge, teams of students compete to solve an inquiry based challenge. In the Wind Turbine Event, students will design an aerodynamic blade to maximize the amount of electrical energy harnessed.

We hope to see you at the Knight of Excellence/Science Fair so you can witness our work first hand.

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SHS Social Studies Department

As we say goodbye to the Black History Month and usher in Women's History Month, the Social Studies Department participated in SHS Scrabble Day by celebrating African American abolitionist and women's rights leader Sojourner Truth.

"Ain't I a Woman?" is the famous but inaccurate version of Truth's 1851 speech, "On Woman's Rights". Twelve years after delivering the original speech her words were edited by white abolitionists to suggest Truth spoke in a stereotypical 'southern slave accent'. So while these actions were well-intended and served the suffrage movement at the time, historians today see this as a "gross misrepresentation of Sojourner Truth's words and identity".

The Sojourner Truth Project aims to correct the record:

​"​It is important to see her as a real person who, despite starting life enslaved, rose-up and fought tirelessly with incredible conviction, faith and courage for human rights and personal freedoms.

Throughout her adult life, she worked against a society that thought of her as less than human. Sojourner’s struggle to establish her identity is reflected in the efforts by others to control her... Sojourner Truth's bold assertion of her own identity, “I am a woman’s rights,” serves as a timely reminder that the fight for equality has always been, and will continue to be, a constant challenge and an ongoing rhetorical and physical process within our democratic society." (

Additionally, the Advanced Placement Government and Politics classes created political pamphlets and bumper stickers. Students are learning about the presidential election process and political parties.

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World Language Department

ASL are truly enjoying their exposure to Deaf culture with live presentations from Def Familia. Next week we start learning multiple meaning words from English to ASL.

In Spanish 1 students are learning adjectives and playing competitive games to express them. (See picture) In Spanish 2 honors, students are writing and designing books about their daily routines. In AP Spanish, students have been discussing architecture and fashion as they continue through their unit on Beauty and Aesthetics. Spanish 3 College continues to learn about various ways to narrate the past and have written and designed postcards about their vacation using the preterite tense.

Ms. Turnbull's Spanish classes presented Latin music artists and their importance in Spanish culture dating back from the early 1900s to now, students learned each artists' individual culture and impact on music as a whole.

Latin 1 is learning about the neuter gender, Latin 2 has completed a unit about Julius Caesar as we get closer to the perilous Ides of March, and Advanced Latin Poetry is finishing reading the entirety of Vergil's Aeneid in translation.

Advanced Latin students are studying Roman Religion, with special attention being paid to Roman Weddings and Funerals. Latin II students are working on the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, and have just completed the mythology unit on Hercules. Mr. Babb's Latin I students have been studying neuter nouns, as well as Roman Numbers and Numerals.

French students in Ms. O'Reilly's class created comic strips with the help of Ms. McKay.

French IV students are writing their first formal essay in French, analyzing themes from the novel, "The Little Prince." After reading the book, we are viewing filmed versions of the novel, including claymation, pop rock, and opera.

French IIC students are studying a 2008 film shot with non-professional students and adult actors in a Parisian school. We are comparing student life here to that in France.

French V students are finishing their study of the theme of Personal Identity (alienation and assimilation) by screening a 2016 film about a family who immigrates to France from Africa in 1977 and writing about the characters' struggles to integrate without losing themselves
in the process.

Chinese students celebrated Chinese culture and the lunar new year through cooking moon cakes and dumplings after school. Students enjoyed sipping tea and eating the food they made together. Every last piece of food was eaten by the end of the cooking class.
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SHS Business Department

The business department has been working hard since the school opened to get the school store ready to open for the school community. On Wednesday February 26th we were able to open the store before school started for the day. Mrs. Riley’s Retail and Marketing students have been working on stocking the store and worked in the store on the opening day! The class has been learning about school operations and will continue to open the store throughout the spring. We will be open on A and E days of the cycle from 7:05 to 7:30. We are hoping to open more in the future! We are really grateful for all the opportunities the school store is providing to the school community.
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SHS Fine Arts Department

Fine Arts has been busy this February as Term 3 began. The bands and choirs started learning repertoire for their upcoming spring festivals - MICCA, MAJE, and a trip to New York City coming up in just a couple of months! The Stoughton High School Jazz Choir performed at the first-ever Winter Jazz Choir Fest at Foxborough High School on Wednesday, February 6th, then joined the Jazz Combo the following week in an outreach performance for the Stoughton Women's Club. The Tuesday Jazz Band had a fantastic performance shortly before break at the Norwood Jazz Classic. All of our jazz bands from SHS and OMS joined with the jazz bands from Canton in a collaborative clinic with the BTALC Big Band on Tuesday, February 4th, which ended in some great performances both by our students and the pros! The SHS Concert Band and Wednesday Jazz Band finished up the month with a fun Pajama Concert performance in the OMS cafeteria.

The Winter Guard is getting into their competitive season and had stand-out performances at Tewksbury High School and Darmouth High School. Only a couple of performances are left in March for their 2020 show!

The Stoughton Talent Showcase closed out the final Friday of the month and was a wonderful success, with 23 finalist performances.

The Drama Department is getting ready for their spring play, Shakespeare in Love, March 13-15. Students have been hard at work gearing up for their performances just a few weeks!

Fine Crafts students finished up their origami at the end of February and started learning how to create stencil lettering by tracing and cutting paper with exacto knives. Drawing and Painting 3 created and submitted their "Doodle for Google" projects and submitted them to Google; if their doodles are selected, they'll be featured on! National Art Honor Society held their Valentine's Day-themed crafting event at the Stoughton Public Library on the 13th, teaching kids how create their own love bugs.

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SHS Physical Education and Health Department

In Phys. Ed. this month we have wrapped up fitness testing and have had students working on improving fitness levels through fitness circuits, game play, and weight room activities.

Grade 9 and 10: Students have been working on improving their cardiovascular health and agility skills. Grade 9 has been doing this through games like speedball (combination soccer and basketball), aerobic footballand pillow polo. Grade 10 has been playing soccer, ultimate frisbee, and floor hockey.

These students have been able to see their heart rate data by using the IHT heart rate technology we have, and break down when they see a rise and decline in their heart rate levels. We are able to use this data to help students maintain their target heart rate for 60% or more of the class period and talk about the types of activities they should be doing to stay in the health heart rate zones.

Grade 11 Electives have all been focusing on their personal fitness levels by maxing out on the core lifts in Strength and Conditioning. Improving flexibility and core strength with yoga and physio-ball workouts in Alternative Fitness. And lastly, designing and implementing personal training programs in Fit For Life.

Grade 12 students have been enjoying games like basketball and aerobic footballand floor hockey in Competitive Games, where they are working as teams to build strategies that will increase the competitive nature of the games and help their team be successful.

Lifetime Activities have been working on their weight room knowledge for muscular strength and endurance, and building their skills in the lifelong game of badminton!

Health classes are focusing on talking about how bullying impacts all aspects of health, in those directly involved and those who are witnesses. Mental health disorders have been a hot topic in grade 9 classes, raising awareness to the disorders, cause and effects, treatment options and decreasing stigmas that have been placed on these topics for so long.

Grade 10 health classes have been building understanding and knowledge on physiology and anatomy in the world of fitness. This is the starting point for our students to be able to create their own workout programs to better themselves with their physical health.

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School Counseling Department


Final Payments are due by 2:30 PM on March 27th. As a reminder payment must be made in cash or by bank check. The cost of AP exams is set by CollegeBoard.

Attention Class of 2020 Scholarships opportunities have been posted on the School Counseling page of the Stoughton High School webpage. There are many scholarships listed. School Counseling updates listings as the department is made aware of them. The KEY TO SUCCESS is meeting DEADLINES.

Caution: Never pay money to complete an application!

Scholarship Timeline:

  • January-March- Regularly check for opportunities on the SHS School Counseling website

  • MARCH 18th-Scholarship Collection Day in the SHS Cafeteria. Adults who may wish to volunteer at Collection Day (2-4 PM) may signup here.

  • Sunday, May 31st-Scholarship Knight Ceremony at SHS

DATA-School Counselors continue to improve our practice through data collection which is utilized to inform curriculum decisions for the students we serve. With a focus on Tier One delivery, this was a busy month. In February, Counselors delivered presentations covering career exploration, career development, and the college application process. Counseling delivered the ASVAB which helps students identify their aptitudes. They visited classes to assist groups with registering for the SAT. Counselors also presented to a group of 100 students and parents during an evening on College and Career for juniors.

CAREER PREPARATION- Recently Sophomores were asked what do all kids need to know but are never taught. School Counselor Carr created a classroom lesson based on feedback from students. They wanted to learn how to tie a necktie. With the support of SHS School Counselors: Evans, Guba, Meyer and O'Malley, and Administrators Bontya and Small (who also shared their neckties for use) the sophomore students in the B3 seminar course became close to proficient in tying their own neckties! Four class members brought in their own neckties while others used the donated ties. The students first viewed a YouTube video to get a feel for the basics and the difference in tie knots. Then the class was able to observe Counselor Evans and Administrator Bontya model their tying techniques. Counselors and Administrators all helped students acquire this important life and career readiness skill.


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College and Career Center News

On February 4th, Ms. Guba, The College and Career Counselor, presented to the entire Junior Class during advisory regarding career planning. The first topic explored focused on how to become successful in the new economy. Students watched some thought-provoking videos and then Ms. Guba walked through the first 3 steps to planning for life after high school: 1) Self - Exploration 2) Career Exploration 3) Setting a plan. These videos and the presentation can be found on the College and Career Counseling Website.

On February 26th, Ms. Guba teamed up with Mr. Rubin’s Anatomy and Engineering courses to attend the 9th annual STEM Career Exploration Day at Bridgewater State University hosted by MassHire of Greater Brockton. This year’s keynote speaker was Lorren Herren, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor and Director of Operations for BSU’s Flight Training Center. Students had the opportunity to meet with mechanical engineers, advanced manufacturing technicians, professional welders, theoretical physicists, photonics specialists, and forensic analysts to name a few.

A Message from SPS Health Services

Help the RN Team in Stopping the Spread of Germs

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • ALL students need to stay home if they are sick and have a fever or any flu-like symptoms.

  • Students must be fever and Tylenol/Motrin free for 24 hours before returning to school from an illness.

We appreciate your help in keeping our community healthy!

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Upcoming Events

March 2, 4-5: MCAS ELA Retest

March 5: Progress Reports Term 3

March 6 and 9: MCAS Math Retest

March 10-11: 20-21 Course Selection Day

March 11: Science Fair

March 11: Knight of Excellence @ 6:30 - 8:00

March 12: Senior Southeast MAJE Jazz Festival

March 13-15: SHS Play (Shakespeare in Love)

March 18: Scholarship Collection Day @ 2:15

March 20-21: SEMSBA Festival

March 24-25: MCAS Gr. 10 ELA Test (schedule change)

Stoughton High School - Contact Information

Here is some important information about contacting Stoughton High School.