East Granby High School Newsletter
October 2014 by Principal David Peling, Sr.
LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
It seems that we have temporarily hit the pause button on educational reform in the state. The state Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, has resigned. No replacement has been named. The upcoming elections will obviously have a significant impact on the direction of educational reform in the coming years. Meanwhile the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been renamed the Common Core State Standards in Connecticut. Last year all students in Connecticut did a pilot test of the assessment used to measure students’ progress relative to the CCSS. This test was called the “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).” We will receive the results of this SBAC pilot test sometime this winter. In late spring, our eleventh grade students will take this SBAC assessment. The results from this test will help us to understand where we, EGHS, stand relative to our peers in terms of mastering the skills and content of the CCSS. The state of Connecticut has also not explained what expectations there will be relative to individual students, SBAC, and graduation requirements. I suspect that we may be a few years away before that happens. In the meantime we continue to diligently work to develop curriculum that is deeply aligned with the expectations of the CCSS. For more information on the CCSS in Connecticut, click here.
External assessments, like SBAC, are useful in that they help us to better understand how well we are preparing our students for life after high school. But our experience in school cannot be captured by any single assessment. At EGHS we remain committed to our broader vision of preparing all students to be productive citizens after they graduate.
Research continues to show the positive effect of effective school-parent communications on student achievement. We are working hard on improving parent-teacher communication. To that end, we are trying to get 100% of parents and guardians enrolled in our ed-line program. This means that we will not be mailing progress reports home four times a year, which is very expensive. There are just a few parents (fewer than 20) who are not enrolled. If you have not done so, please contact Mrs. Tubridy in the main office.
In addition, all teachers are required to contact any parent/guardian of any student whose average has fallen below 70. Also, teacher-parents conferences will be coming up in the first week of December.
This year we will be working on the high school library and develop a space that can support 21st century learning.
Check out all the exciting events at EGHS in the letter below.
As always, if you have anything to share with me, good or bad, just call or drop me an email.
WELCOME NEW STAFF
East Granby Public Schools is pleased to announce the hiring of the new high school assistant principal, Robert McGrath. Mr. McGrath completed a B.A. in History at the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in Education at the University of Bridgeport. He began his career in education in 1994 in the Fairfield Public School District. He taught social studies at the middle and high school levels for eighteen years.
While in Fairfield he served as principal of Fairfield Public Schools summer school program and served on the Leadership committee for Fairfield Ludlowe High School during its first NEASC accreditation process and later authored the school’s NEASC Two Year report. In July, 2012, he became the assistant principal of Oxford High School in Oxford, Connecticut. As assistant principal of Oxford High School he worked extensively on efforts to improve the school climate, a result of which was the creation of the B1 Club, a student organization dedicated to building connections between students and promoting a positive school climate. Mr. McGrath also participated in the development and oversaw the implementation of the district’s new teacher and administrator evaluation system as well as the vertical alignment of the curricula throughout the district and the alignment of all curricula to the Common Core State Standards.
When he is not working Mr. McGrath enjoys reading, especially to his son, Matthew, aged three, biking and cooking. Mr. McGrath lives with his wife, Holly and son in Simsbury, Connecticut.
We would also like to welcome Bill George to East Granby Schools Technology Department. He is now filling the shoes of Larry Disciacca, who retired in June. Bill has brought a tremendous amount of knowledge and 30 years of IT experience with him. As a lifelong Granby resident he is happy to be working in the community. Bill has “hit the ground running” and is doing a wonderful job managing all of the many, complex systems throughout the East Granby school district.
This summer has been a busy time with many upgrades and installations completed. New computers were installed in the high school computer lab and the middle school library. In addition, two new labs of computers were installed for the Technology Education Department to be used with their partnership with Asnuntuck. We will also be placing additional carts of Chromebooks in each building to enhance student engagement and learning. Additional enhancements include Creative Suite 6 for the Graphics Class and Solidworks for the Technology Education Department.
The East Granby Schools Technology Department has instituted a new system to attend to the district’s needs. Staff members are now able to submit requests for service via an online, Google-based form. This new system has improved organization of requests, expedited service, and allowed for data and statistics collection. Thus far, the system has dramatically increased the efficiency of our small-scale department.
East Granby Public Schools welcomes Jessica Lee Drew as the new high school math teacher, teaching two levels of integrated algebra and geometry along with algebra I and precalculus. She additionally teaches computer coding in the middle school. Ms. Drew completed a B.S. in Mathematics and Education at Central Connecticut State University as well as a M.A. in Special Education at Saint Joseph College. She began her career in education in 2008 teaching middle and high school students at Ben Bronz Academy, a private day school in West Hartford. Throughout her six years teaching at the school, Ms. Drew also embraced the roles of academic advisor, student council and yearbook advisor, and guiding her consumer math class in applying their skills to manage the school’s snack store. Ms. Drew further demonstrated her passion for teaching by spending her Saturdays at the Simsbury Huntington Learning Center. Here, she helped prepare students for taking the ACT or SAT as part of the college admission process and individualized mathematics instruction for students with gaps in their learning or looking to ready themselves for AP and honors courses. When Ms. Drew is not working she enjoys reading, running and hiking with her two rescue dogs, snowshoeing, backpacking, kayaking and fishing. She is also an avid Red Sox fan and resides in the neighboring town of Windsor, CT.
East Granby High School would like to welcome Josiah Friedberg as the new School Media and Technology Specialist. Josiah received his Master’s in Library Science at Southern Connecticut state and is currently enrolled in a Data and Telecommunications program. He is here to assist the learning community in harnessing the potential of 21st century education. This is accomplished by shifting our students from consumers of media to creators. Through effective research techniques, online learning platforms, and the digital authoring tools that inspire creativity, From building websites and using Google Apps to accessing information on Edline, he is here for all students, staff and parents.
Knightly News Update
CHECK OUT OUR STUDENTS!
By Liddy Doyle
In July, Joshua Diaz participated in the Cadet Police Academy. He and his partner won a 3rd place medal as they competed against other Police Explorer teams. Josh and his partner investigated a mock fatal car accident and completed all the necessary paperwork to win their award.
In addition, Joshua was one of only two Explorers from Hartford to be selected to attend FBI Leadership Academy held in August in New Britain. While training there, Josh learned about juvenile detention, investigations related to DUI, car accidents and gang activity. Josh also shot tasers and participated in multiple crime simulations.
We would like to congratulate India Little for being selected a student panelist at the next CT Forum at the Bushnell Theater on Thursday, October 9th. India was selected based on her past support and participation in the program from over 400 students to be one of eight student panelists at the Connecticut Youth Forum.
She will get to meet and be part of an interview panel with political strategist Karl Rove, historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin and NY Times columnist Charles Blow for a round table discussion topic, Debating Our Broken Political System.
By Susan Downes
On September 17, five East Granby students, India Little,Samantha Soucy, Aleena Sierra, Nate Duray and Ilija Dokmanovic attended this school year's first meeting of the Connecticut Youth Forum. EGHS students joined students from 12 other high schools at Two Rivers Magnet School in Hartford to discuss "Peer Pressure".
The Connecticut Youth Forum is a student program affiliated with the Connecticut Forum. Youth forum holds monthly meetings at area high schools and sponsors special events associated with Connecticut Forum programs. There are leadership and community service opportunities as well as opportunities round table meetings with Connecticut Forum Panelists. Any interested students should see Mrs. Downes.
OUR MORNING ANNOUNCEMENT CREW
BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF SUMMER READING PROJECTS
By Susan Downes
On Sept 11th the East Granby Spectrum Club held its first meeting to welcome new members and plan upcoming events, activities and fundraisers for the year. The Spectrum club's mission is to promote the cultural, religious, racial and social diversity in EGHS. New members are welcome. Meetings are held Thursdays after school in Mrs. Downes's room. Students should see India Little for more information.
Girls Varsity Soccer
By Coach Cordiano
The Girls Varsity Soccer record is not a representation of the hard work, dedication and perseverance the girls have demonstrated thus far. Senior Kayla Johnson is our leading goal scorer with four goals and freshman Jordin Comstock is not far behind with three goals. Many of our younger players have begun to step up this season as we fill in gaps and are proving to be strong assets to our team. This is a season of growth and determination; there are many winnable games ahead for these girls!
By Coach Templeton
The 2014 season sees a strong junior class return and are joined by three seniors, four sophomores and five freshmen for a total roster of 25. The squad will be lead this year by three captains - Matt Poliks a senior striker, Charie Moger a senior midfielder and Ryan Baird a junior midfielder.
The season is off to an excellent start with a record of 3-2-1. The three victories came over Stafford, SMSA and Public Safety Academy all at home making “The Hill” a real fortress (no visiting team has taken a win so far). Our defeats came against a strong Somers team and a narrow 1-0 defeat in the local derby against local rivals Granby both on the road. Most recently an entertaining 2-2 tie with Enfield was played into overtime which was a wonderful team performance.
So far the offense has mounted a serious challenge to opposition defenses in the NCCC conference scoring 15 goals in 6 games. Goalkeeper Kevin Raabe and the defensive corps have combined to earn two shutouts on the season so far.
The target for the 2014 season is to make the playoffs – needing 6 wins and a tie to guarantee a place. So far with three wins and a tie and only 6 games played, this young team has plenty of promise and potential and continues to play some of the most attractive soccer to watch in the NCCC.
By Coach Carney
There are twenty two runners on the Boys and Girls Cross Country Team this year lead by Coach Carney and Coach Mendrala. All the runners are three meets deep into their season. The girls have a record of 2-6 with some very close calls against Coventry, Stafford, and Canton. While the boys have a 1-7 record with close calls against Enfield and Stafford. Both teams will have a second chance to pick up those wins at the end of the season at the NCCC on October 18th in Windsorlocks.
This season we have come back with a strong group of veterans who are building a closely knit varsity pack with help from the new comers and individuals stepping up to fill in any gaps from the loss of last years seniors. They have heart and determination and they can see the final goal. We have no doubt that they will take the NCCC's by storm.
The varsity girls pack has been led by freshman Allie Davis, close behind are seniors Sydney Geer, Casey Tobin, and Francesca Brose. Sophomore Alex Geer and freshman Kylie Geer have been switching back and forth creating the top five.
The varsity boys number one position has been held by senior Zack Winalski. New comer, senior Zack Burnham has made an impact running his way into the number two spot in during his first meet. While senior Sai Chintapelly, senior Robbie Glassman, senior Troy Marin, junior Jason Bourgault, and sophomore Jon Kelly have been following closely creating a strong top five in various races.
We are looking forward our next meet on Wednesday, October 1st at Bolton High School against Bolton, Granby, and SMSA.
By John Cirillo
The East Granby High School as Schools Match Wits Team will be "facing off" against Frontier Regional High School on November 1st at 1pm in round #1 of the competition. Most are familiar with the long running series which enters its 54 year of providing a platform for the area's top students.The team is coached by Mr. John Cirillo of our mathematics department and includes seniors Casey Tobin, Lily Gaudreau, Robbie Glassman, Nathan Duray, and Brad Langhoff. Amanda Samuel is the lone junior on the team. The broadcast date has not been announced. WGBY Connecticut Public Television will be broadcasting the competition on Tuesday evenings with a replay on Sunday mornings. 54 local high schools compete in the spirited competition. All the best to this year's EGHS squad!
The School Counseling Department has been meeting with their seniors!
Mrs. Phelan and Mrs. Cordiano have been helping seniors as they continue their postsecondary planning. Students are creating resumes and requesting recommendations from teachers. Seniors have also been hard at work filling out their Commonapp and writing their college essays.
Seniors continue to make appointments to see you school counselors!
PSAT's are Wed Oct 15th! They are recommended for all Juniors who are considering applying to college. They are also open to sophomores who have completed geometry. The cost is $20. Please see Mrs. Phelan or Mrs. Cordiano if there is an issue with the ability to pay the fee. (fee waivers are available for qualifying students)
The Guidance Department will be taking a group of students to ACM’s Aerospace Industry “Future WorkForce Opportunities” Fair on Thursday, October 23rd. Please sign-up in the office.
IN OUR CLASSROOMS...
STEM- (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a “relatively” new educational term being batted about lately all over our country. The goal of STEM is to attract more students into the engineering fields. It’s really Technology Education with a new support system linked to it. Cool! When we work to integrate STEM into our programs, more monies become available to advance our technology program. In time, we in Technology Education will be working to bring in more STEM activities and the free curriculum into our classrooms. Look for this in the near future as, when we are given the time and resources, it should be an exciting new adventure.
Photography classes are at record numbers this year!!! Any old camera donations are appreciated. The preferred camera is the Pentax K1000, but any manual SLR will be greatly appreciated. Students have been developing film, learning how to frame, create better composition and print in the darkroom. The many “critical” steps required to create a great photograph are becoming clearer each passing day. I’m looking forward to some great portfolios in January!
Dan Coffin is our instructor this year working with us in our ACC 5th year program. He began CNC work with our students this week and is presently working out the “kinks” with our new EMCO milling machine. Catch our video below to learn more. Solid Works is our new CAD creation platform and it is slowly being integrated into our T.E. program in all classes. With Mr. Coffin’s help students are becoming more and more comfortable at completing the given drawings and preparing them for 3-D printing or for rapid proto-typing.
Our new Shed- We now have a shed to store our wood and any of our equipment which is mobile. We have been working like beavers to neatly make the space as useful as possible. Why a shed? Well, our Technology Education Lab was originally a cafeteria/auditorium. The space was never designed to be a Technology Education Lab. This meant that we have never had any designed storage space to use. All our tools, supplies, equipment and student projects were just left exposed. Damage, theft and trip hazards were a constant concern. Not only that, the space always looked very messy and cramped. Now that we have a shed, we have solved some of our issues. To date all of our wood supply is in the shed instead of on our floors or leaning against our walls. Our small engines have a new home and within a week I think we are going to have a space the kids will all be proud of. A space, once cleaned, will actually look clean!
Health classes have started off the year discussing stress, mental health and nutrition.
On Friday, October 24, 2014, students taking 9th grade health will be going on a field trip to the CT Science Center. While there, they will be able to tour the entire center, the main focus will be on two exhibits, Grossolgy: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body and Picture of Health. Both of these exhibits tie into our curriculum and will enrich learning in areas of the human body, nutrition, physical fitness, the immune system and more.
The cost of the trip will be $11 .00 (admission $7.00, bus $4.00). Student s should bring some extra money as we will stop for lunch on our way back to school. If you have any questions, please contact Linda DeFlaun at 860-653-2541 X443 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Physical Education News
The Physical Education Department returned from an active and fun summer, ready to hit the ground..... RUNNING! The first units that students were engaged in were archery, lawn sports, and tennis. Skill work was emphasized and hopefully improvement was seen. Attached are a few pictures from some of the classes.
Sophomores will be taking the CT Physical Fitness Assessment in mid October. Look on Edline for more information.
By Katie Scull
Environmental Science has started its fall research project. Students have explored our school's forest and pond to find two different areas to compare/contrast the complex biodiversity of the area. Study plots have been marked off and analyzed every Friday to assess how differences in slope, soil moisture, sunlight exposure, and human disturbance impact the environment. This project will last until November and students will also get to experience the dramatic differences that occur during the change of our seasons. This has been an excellent experience to introduce many students to real-life and ongoing outdoor research.
By Señora Duffy
The East Granby Middle School and High School welcome two new teachers this year. Sonia Michel will be teaching French and Spanish in the Middle School and Kim Rickevicius will be teaching Spanish in the High School during Señora Mullane’s maternity leave. We are thrilled to have them join our department. They both come to us with a wealth of background and knowledge. In addition, there is a new course this year : Language Exploratory grade 6. In this class the students will be exposed to the culture and language of both Spanish and French and will continue in grade 7.
A highlight of the World Language Department each year is Festival de Mariposas. In May the Spanish IV honors class and AP Spanish class created and supervised the 14th annual program of dance, games, and culture as an interdisciplinary project with the 1st grade classes at Allgrove School as a part of the science and technology curriculum which follows the migration of the Monarch Butterfly from New England to Mexico and back. Señor Ibáñez filmed and photographed the even and Mrs. McCabe’s Food Class provided Mexican cookies for the children. Below is a photo of the high school students after their presentation. A wonderful day was enjoyed by all!
By Madame Ash
All the students in French classe are working on a giant mural on the back wall of the classroom. Every student will have the opportunity to add a little something to the wall over the course of the year. The wall will be covered with a typical Parisienne street scene. Plus there will be a little piece of East Granby making a special appearance! Stop by and check it out when you have a chance.
Students from Madame Ash's French classes had the opportunity to attend a wonderful field trip to the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford to view an exhibit entitled 3 Centuries of French Masters. Students learned about painters likes Delacroix, Manet, Renoir, Matisse, Degas, Picasso and Chagall. After an informative tour, students were lucky enough to lunch at a classic French cafe by the name of La Petite France. The goat cheese baguettes were a real hit, but the favorite by far were the chocolate croissants!
By Sarah Carney
The Ceramics, Crafts, and Drawing classes have been quite busy within the first month of the school year! The Advanced & Independents students have been also been at work in their desired fields of advanced drawing, clay, and painting!
The two Ceramics classes have made it through pinch pots and are wrapping up their final assignment before moving onto coiling. Their “Piggy Banks” are some of the most creative that I have seen! The “Piggy Bank” project starts with two pinch pots that are attached and smoothed into a perfect sphere. Then pieces of clay are sculpted and added to create the final form.
The Crafts class is in the paper unit of the course. Recently, they finished Polish Paper Cutting and are beginning their study of Origami. Polish Paper Cutting is decorative cut-outs that became popular throughout Poland in the middle of the 19th century. The single and multi-colored cut-outs of peacocks, rooster, and other birds as well as decorative scenes depicting special events throughout the year were hung on walls or given as gifts. In class, we begin with copying some of the basic styles and then manipulate the ideas by bringing in personalized modern themes.
The beginning Drawing students are working on honing their basic skills and are using contour line to develop drawings. Contour drawing is a foundation technique that sketches the contour of a subject by drawing lines that outline the objects. The purpose of contour drawing is to emphasize the mass and volume of the subject rather than the detail.
We had a guest speaker visit our Child Development Class. Thank You to Mrs. Cahill, for informing us of the, requirements, training needed, benefits, joys, and difficulties that can come with being a foster parent! This was an eye opener which the students enjoyed tremendously.
Thank you to all of the students in our Foods Classes for preparing foods for the open house reception that was held on September 4. Currently the students in Foods are studying vegetable cookery.
By Jeff Keener
Mr. Keener’s Algebra I class is about to complete unit 1 on arithmetic and geometric sequences. It has been a challenging first topic but the students have been working hard and are showing good success. We will finish the unit with fractals and understanding sequences in geometry. The subsequent unit focuses on equations and their components.
By Alison Chaloux and Brianne Gilbert
The East Granby High School Crusaders Marching Band performed at the Big E on Friday, September 26. Attendance was 95,866, which was record attendance for the final Friday of the fair! The Crusaders performed on Storrowton Green and in the Big E Parade. I uploaded pictures to Google Drive. Here is a link to the pictures!
By Lynn Ash
CALLING ALL PARENTS!
Tired of not seeing your child's smiling face in the yearbook? Bored of the old sports' photos with no excitement? Want your voice heard? Now is the time to take action! EGHS Yearbook staff invites you to contribute your photographs from all of our events right into the yearbook community library from which our staff will be able include more photos of our students into the 2014-2015 yearbook. Just follow the simple instructions to log in and upload your images! You and your images will become a part of history!
ORDER YOUR YEARBOOK NOW!
TOTALLY CUSTOMIZABLE. OUR SCHOOL CODE IS 11331815
This year's book is sure to be a keeper? We are giving you parents the opportunity to upload your photos of sports and school activities right onto the yearbook website so you will part of making the memories that will last a lifetime for your child. Also new this year is a "Selfie Section" where the kids can capture their most fun moments in candid shots with their friends. Our goal is to have at least 8 photos of your child in this jam-packed yearbook!
Don't you want to share in fun? Order your yearbook today! Just go to the website and complete your order form. It's easy to do. You don't have to send a check in to the school! You can do it online at your convenience. And don't forget, the yearbooks are totally customizable!
Make this year THE YEAR you say yes to the BEST!
October 10th - Early Release & SOCCER UNDER THE LIGHTS!!!!
October 13th - No School - Columbus Day
October 15th - PSATs for juniors and qualifying sophomores
October 16th - School Photos - Retakes and Makeups
October 22nd - Bonfire (rain date October 23rd)
November 10th - No School
November 11th - No school - Veterans' Day
November 25th - Fall Sports Awards - 6 - 9pm
November 26th - Early Release
November 27th & 28th - No School - Thanksgiving Break
Europe Trip February Break 2015
Grand Tour of Italy
Winter 2015 trip to Italy, including Venice, Florence, Assisi, Pompeii, Capri, and Rome
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
We are changing the Italy trip to February of 2015 in hopes of extending the opportunity to more students. By switching the date, the price is reduced to $3371 and hopefully there will be fewer conflicts with sports. We will leave on Thursday, February 12th and return on Saturday, February 21st.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Carney or myself.