DHS Community Update

November 20, 2020

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Thanksgiving 2020--Different But Still Grateful

Greetings DHS Community Members:

Thanksgiving 2020 is now upon us and as has been the case with much of 2020, our Thanksgiving celebrations will likely look different than they have in the recent past. At Dartmouth High School that means no pep rally, no Thanksgiving brunch, and sadly no Thanksgiving Day football game vs the Fairhaven Blue Devils (though word is they're grateful for this as it spares them a loss).

While I am saddened that this year's Thanksgiving celebration will not include many of the traditions that make Thanksgiving one of everyone's favorite holidays, I am mindful that there is one tradition that no pandemic can strip from us this Thanksgiving--the tradition of gratitude during this time of year.

This year, despite all that has gone on, I remain thankful for the health of my family, our faculty and community members as well as for the continued opportunity to serve as Principal of Dartmouth High School--a special school with some of the best students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I appreciate and am grateful for the service, flexibility and perseverance of our teachers, teaching assistants, counselors, school social workers, nurses, secretaries, security monitors, food service personnel, custodians, maintenance, librarian, technology specialist, technicians, and fellow administrators--all of whom have demonstrated a remarkable ability to pivot on a moment's notice and to continue to make the most of a very challenging situation.

This Thanksgiving will be different--my family celebration will be outside--weather permitting, yet I remain hopeful that this pandemic will soon come to an end and that we will all be able to celebrate the return of many of our traditions in the near future. Until then, I ask that all members of the community continue to practice the four basic safety protocols that have kept Dartmouth High School a safe environment this school year--namely that we continue to wear masks and practice excellence in hand hygiene while keeping our distance.

Additionally, I have one more ask of each member of the community this holiday season. Please be aware and please adhere to the Governor's COVID-19 Travel Order. Any student who travels out of state MUST quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered up to 72 hours prior to returning to Massachusetts. Students who find themselves having to quarantine because of out of state travel should join their classes remotely using Google Meet.

For additional information about the Governor's COVID-19 Travel Order, including a list of lower-risk states exempted from this travel order, please visit the link embedded below.

With Appreciation & Gratitude,

Ross A. Thibault


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November 25th Early Release Day Schedule

Please click here for the bell schedule for Wednesday, November 25, 2020. Please note that Cohort A is expected to join remotely via Google Meet at the times listed in the schedule.

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DHNN November 23, 2020

From the Desk of the Associate Principal

MCAS Update

Based on DESE’s latest update regarding MCAS, we are administering ELA and Math MCAS starting January 14, 2021 for all juniors and for any senior who has not yet earned their Competency Determination (CD) required for graduation.

Please see the tentative MCAS Schedule. Students in the Class of 2022 may opt to take the MCAS exam in the spring; however it is not encouraged as students will have limited retake opportunities if they opt out of the January administration.

If you wish to have your child opt out of the January administration of the exam, please contact Associate Principal, Rachel Chavier by email at rchavier@dartmouthschools.org or by phone at 508-961-2700 ext. 7410.

Clubs & Activities Updates

Our Clubs and Activities are up and running. Please see our DHS Get Plugged In Newsletter to view all the opportunities students have to pursue their passion here at DHS. The Student Activity Fee is $25.00 per student per year, and if they are in multiple clubs, they only need to pay one fee. If a student receives on a Free/Reduced lunch they do not need to pay the fee. Also, the following Service-based clubs do not need to pay the fee: Key Club, Honor Society, Student Council, and DECA.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, parents should pay this fee online through the Town of Dartmouth website. No other form of payment will be accepted due to the current circumstances.

Student Retakes and Make-up Photos

Mare studios will be at DHS on December 10 (Cohort A) & December 11 (Cohort B) for Photo Retakes & Make-ups. Students will be notified of their scheduled time.

AP Computer Science Study Sessions

All students enrolled in an AP Computer Science course at Dartmouth High School are encouraged to attend the Mass Insight AP Computer Study Sessions listed in this schedule.

School Counseling & Support Services Department Updates

School Counseling Updates

  • Class of 2021 please check for Scholarships in Naviance.

    • Click on colleges on the top right hand side; then click on scholarships and money link. Choose the second option scholarship list.

  • Future Fridays Topics for December 4th - College Applications Q&A and Scholarships. Sign up in Enriching Students under Guidance.

  • UMass Dartmouth upcoming virtual events:

    • Daily live chats with Admissions New sessions added to include representatives from Financial Aid, Housing/Dining, Career Center, International Program Office, Athletics, Student Life, and the Frederick Douglass Unity House.

    • College live chats Representatives from our five colleges will be available to discuss programs and available opportunities.

    • College of Engineering Open House and information sessions Students will have the opportunity to explore the college’s programs and hear from faculty and current students.

    • As part of UMass Dartmouth's commitment to helping students navigate the college search process, they will continue to add events. An up-to-date list of virtual events is available at click this link.

  • The SAT and ACT test registration dates and deadlines are listed in the community update to remind students of upcoming deadlines.

    • SAT test on March 13th - registration deadline is February 12th

    • ACT test on February 6th - registration deadline is January 8th

  • College Planning For Parents: a proactive approach. Students and parents have more control over the college admissions process than they think they do. A presentation by Kerry Lynch and Leanne Soulard of College Edge in Dartmouth, sponsored by SMEC, about the ways you can help your student maximize the high school experience with an eye toward the future.

  • Class of 2021 - College Virtual Visits with Admission Representatives are listed on Naviance. Students will register through Naviance to attend the virtual visits. All College Virtual Visits are held during the PASE period.

    • November 23rd - American International College

    • November 24th - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    • November 30th - Merrimack College

    • December 1st - University of Vermont

    • December 3rd - Bridgewater State University

School Social Workers and School Psychologist Update

  • Social workers are available during the school day to students and families. Students can sign up in Enriching Students to see a social worker during the PASE period or sign up with an appointment slot.

  • PACE Food Pantry - PACE continues to operate its own Food Bank, Monday through Friday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

    • Please call the program at 508-999-9920 for information on how to access our Food Bank.

  • Padlet updates:

    • Family Wize Prescription Discount Program - The United Way of Greater New Bedford has partnered with FamilyWize, which is a free program that provides the best available price for prescriptions for those who are insured or uninsured.

    • To sign-up, go to https://familywize.org/ and click, create account. Once you’ve created your free account, you will be able to download your free discount card, which can be used at most pharmacies (including CVS, Wal*Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc).

Updates from the DHS Virtual Learning Academy

Quarter 1 Closing - VLA Student Grading:

Quarter 1 grades closed on Monday, November 16th. VLA students will receive the "Actual Grade" as published by the Edgenuity Learning Program. Students who complete their courses at the end of the Semester (or year) will receive the FINAL grade they earned in the course regardless of their quarterly grades.

Effort & Engagement Leads to Success

A standard school week is approximately 30 hours of time on learning. Students enrolled in the VLA Academy are expected to be putting in an equivalent amount of work each week. Students with scores in the Actual Grade category that are lower than the scores they are receiving on quizzes, exercises and tests are likely behind in the course pacing because they have not put in enough time to that particular course.

Parents and guardians looking to support their child's success in the VLA should be mindful of the difference between student engagement and "idle" time where the student is logged in to Edgenuity but not actually engaging in the learning activities. Edgenuity provides a detailed report which differentiates between engaged and idle time.

If any student, parent or guardian has any questions about the VLA they should email Mr. Gill at richardgill@dartmouthschools.org.

From the DHS Health Office

If your child is exhibiting cold-like symptoms or any other symptoms that mimic or include symptoms of COVID-19, please keep your child home and call your PCP for advice. If your child comes into school with symptoms of COVID-19, they will be isolated and parents will be called to pick up their child and to have their child evaluated by his/her PCP. If the PCP feels the symptoms are related to an illness other than COVID-19, a medical note must be written to the school indicating the diagnosis and when the child may return to school. In EVERY case, the child must have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to school. Resources to support parents in monitoring symptoms are included below.

Also, as a reminder, the state of Massachusetts is requiring additional vaccinations for all students enrolled in public schools. For a complete list of the updated vaccination requirements please see the link below as the vaccination requirements must be met by December 31, 2020.

Can My Child Go To School Today?

Please use this District designed flowchart to determine whether or not it is appropriate for your child to come to school today.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club

The Dartmouth High School Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Club met for the first time on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Students committed to celebrating diversity with the goal of building a more inclusive, equitable community are welcome to join. In order to sign up, students should complete the sign up form by clicking on the embedded link below. The next meeting of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club will take place during the PASE period on Monday, November 30, 2020.

Any questions regarding the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club should be directed to Mr. Thibault at rossthibault@dartmouthschools.org.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club Sign Up

Sign Up for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club by completing this form.

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The Dartmouth High School Class Advisors and Officers, in order to promote school spirit and togetherness in the run up to the Thanksgiving Holiday, have created a week of themed days. All DHS students, faculty and staff are invited to show your school spirit and creativity by dressing according to each day's theme.

Please remember that ALL outfits MUST include an appropriate mask (no bandannas, no gaiters, no vented masks) and MUST be school appropriate!

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DHS Theatre Company--It's a Wonderful Life

Click here to purchase tickets for the performance of It's A Wonderful Life A Live Radio Show.

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Homework Hangout has started virtually and will run after school from 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. This fantastic support is supervised by DHS Teacher Mrs. True and provides students an opportunity to receive support from peer tutors. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, students should utilize the following link: Homework Hangout Meet Link.

LMC To Begin Opening After School

We are happy to announce that our Library Media Center will once again remain open to students beyond the school day. Students who would like to visit the LMC after school hours MUST schedule ahead of time through Enriching Students as capacity is limited in order to comply with all COVID-19 safety guidance. Students who are not signed up in Enriching Students may not be permitted to the LMC if capacity has been reached.

The extended hours for the LMC will begin on Monday, October 26, 2020 and will be open from 2:15 p.m. until 3:25 p.m.

Please note that free bus transportation is available on a reservation only basis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Students MUST reserve a seat on the late bus at least one day prior to the requested date.

Tuesday Late Bus Reservation Form

In order to board the Tuesday late bus, students MUST complete this form by the end of school on Monday.

Wednesday Late Bus Reservation Form

In order to board the Wednesday Late Bus, students MUST complete this form by the end of school on Tuesday.

DHS Safety Protocols Video Playlist

This playlist includes all of the videos used to communicate important safety protocols put in place at DHS for Hybrid Learning. If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to review the videos for important safety information.

Reporting Student Absences, Tardiness & Dismissals

Attendance and academic success go hand-in-hand. We ask that parents continue to report known absences or tardiness to Dartmouth High School using the attendance line (508-961-2700 ext.1). In addition, parents are encouraged to submit medical notes and/or discuss illness related absences with Nurse Wildrick in order to ensure we are able to support your child's health and wellness. Nurse Wildrick can be reached at 508-961-2700 ext. 7420.

If your child needs to be dismissed we ask that you please email DHSdismissals@dartmouthschools.org as early as possible. This will allow us to maintain accurate attendance records.

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