Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Update 3/27/15

This week's SHS Faculty PD.

Congratulations to Mrs. Chartier for being nominated to the Rhode Island College Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to head football coach Chris Branch and senior Jordan Smith.  Both will be honored later this week by the RI Gridiron Club.  Coach Branch will be named Coach of the Year and Jordan will be named Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Big THANK YOU to the counseling staff for hosting the annual College & Career Fair this past week.

Three of our SHS students, are being honored by the RI Affiliate of the National Center of Women and Information Technology. They and 2 other young women will be recognized for their computing-related aspirations later in April. This year’s recipients from Smithfield High School are: Zoe Schwartz, Theodora Vasella and Paris Lopez.

Our CTE programs were busy this week with a number of field trips.
NEIT;  Health Career Fair & Expo
NEIT:  Marine Boat Management Trades
URI:  GRRL Tech - Girls Reaching Remarkable Levels in STEM
Johnson & Wales:  Business Tour & Etiquette
Fay Butler Metal Shaping

ASVAB test is Tuesday, March 31st.

Four day week!  No School Friday!

Best from Social Media:
The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty
Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves
@mjhobin Grading practices affect a student's mindset. Poor grades with a fixed mindset makes kids shut down.

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

SHS Student Athletes Sign Letter of Intent

Smithfield High School is proud to announce that two senior athletes recently signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the college level. A signing day ceremony took place on March 17, 2015 to celebrate this accomplishment. Congratulations to Rebecca Meinertz and Miranda Peloquin on this tremendous achievement. Best of luck next year!

The full press release may be found here.

PARCC Transcript Update 3/21/15

In my Weekly Update posted on 3/20/15, I provided information regarding the use of PARCC scores on the transcript. I shared the information provided to students and shared the updated regulations from RIDE. I even shared my conversation with my contact at RIDE indicating that this year’s scores would be placed on the transcript.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email around 9:00 pm on Friday, March 20th and read the Commissioner's Field Memo released earlier that day. The first item addresses PARCC, specifically test security. The last portion of item one provides clarification on PARCC scores being placed on transcripts. Here is the statement:

"I also want to clarify for you the issue of PARCC results appearing on student transcripts: PARCC results for this year’s testing will not be placed on student transcripts. We have heard that there is some confusion about this matter, on the part of parents in particular. Please assure parents and others in your community who inquire about PARCC results that this year’s testing provides baseline information for their child and that the results will not appear on their transcript."

I am not aware of where the confusion lies. SHS was simply following the RIDE regulations approved in 2011 and updated on February 23, 2015 by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. These regulations are very clear. On page seven of the 2011 document and on page six of the 2015 document it states:

"Commencing with the graduating class of 2014, state assessment results shall be included on each student’s permanent high school transcript."

Moving forward, SHS will not be placing PARCC scores on the student transcript for this year.  

I apologize to the students and parents of SHS for the confusion RIDE has created.  The SHS administrative team will continue to balance policy and regulations with what is best for kids.  I encourage SHS parents to reach out to us if they have any questions or concerns.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Weekly Update 3/20/15

This week's SHS Faculty PD

Did you know SHS graduate Sarah Potenza is participating on the voice?  Check it out here:

The Voice 2015 Blind Audition - Sarah Potenza: "Stay with Me"
The Voice 2015 Battle - Hannah Kirby vs. Sarah Potenza: "Gimme Shelter"

The SHS College & Career Workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 24 at 6 pm in the auditorium. 

Great blog from a good friend of mine in Iowa - One Simple Interaction

Thank you the SHS math department for hosting a great Pi Day last Saturday.

Check out some of our SHS students working with our new redboard inventor's kit

PARRC Transcript Question - A couple of parents have inquired about state assessment scores being put on the student transcript.  Here is my response for that inquiry;

This past Monday we had an assembly for all 9th and 10th grade students taking the PARCC.  We went over the schedule for the week, security concerns, cell phone and back pack restrictions and answered a number of questions.  During that assembly, I did share that results from the assessment are placed on the transcript.  I told them it is part of the RIDE diploma regulations. I mentioned that with it being a baseline year I did not anticipate local colleges focusing on it.  

We are required by RIDE regulation to post the score on the high school transcript.  Please see page 6 of the regulations passed February 23, 2015.  Here is the full set of regulations.  

L-6-3.3. Use of state assessments for high school graduation.
(a) Commencing with the class of 2020, students shall be required to reach a minimum achievement level on the state assessment or assessments in content areas designated by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. The Council shall (1) designate the content areas in which the state assessment serves as a graduation requirement and (2) establish the minimum student achievement levels on the state assessment necessary for graduation. The Council will determine the minimum level of required achievement; however, LEAs may set higher levels of student achievement as a requirement to receive a diploma. LEAs may choose to use the state assessment or other standardized assessment as one of the local graduation requirements prior to the 2020 date set forth above but no earlier than for the class of 2017.

In content areas in which the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education has not approved a state assessment for the purpose of determining student eligibility for graduation, the LEA shall use successful course completion and student performance on performance-based diploma assessments and other local evidence to satisfy state graduation requirements.

Commencing with the graduating class of 2014, state assessment results shall be included on each student’s permanent high school transcript.

I spoke with my contact at RIDE this morning and they will be sending out guidance next week about which score to post to the transcript but there is no discussion at this time to remove the transcript requirement from the regulations.    


Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekly Update 3/13/15

This week's SHS Faculty PD.

If you see Mr. Cabral on Saturday (3/14) be sure to wish him a Happy Pi Day! It's the only year until 2115 that you can turn the dial up to the max, at 3/14/15, 9:26:53, an exact match for pi's first 10 digits.

Sound of Music this weekend at SHS.  Friday & Saturday @ 7 pm,  Sunday @ 2 pm

Respect Week was a tremendous success.  Big shout out to Dr. Palazzo and the Student Council for organizing a great week.

SHS Teachers participating in Twin Day!

Respect Day Selfie courtesy of Mr. Lynch!

Congratulations to the Unified Basketball Team for their first victory of the season.  31-16 over Scituate!



SHS sent a team to the Providence College Computer Programming Challenge.
Paris Lopez, Thea Vessella, David English and Ian Wenskowicz

Some interesting info from social media:
Sysiphus38 - We will never change to what we need to be if educators just want their autonomy back. The key will be giving S's the autonomy.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekly Update 3/6/15

This week's SHS Faculty PD.

SHS PARCC Testing Info may be found here.

Smithfield Boys Tennis Team started digging out the tennis courts this weekend!  Spring sports are supposed to start in one week.

Mrs. Damle's US History courses demonstrating some awesome work!


Congratulations to Rachel Balcom for scoring her 1000th point in her career last week!

Congratulations to the boys basketball team for winning their first round contest in the state tournament!  

Congratulations to Ryan Strik for winning a $1000 scholarship in the National Voice of Democracy competition in Washington DC this past week.

We start Respect Week on Monday.  Here is the schedule.

Wednesday 3/11 is the STEM Bridge Building Contest.  Fun starts after school in the cafeteria.

Sound of Music Information
The Sound of Music - Presented by the SHS Music Department
Friday March 13th at 7 pm
Saturday March 14th at 7 pm
Sunday March 15th at 2 pm
Tickets sold at the door Tickets $10 Students and Seniors $7 Children under 5 get in for free



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SHS Graduation Date Change

The SHS graduation date has been changed. The new date for graduation is June 16, 2015 at 7 pm at Bryant University.

This change is necessary for two reasons.
  1. The Smithfield Town Charter requires a town budget meeting to take place on the second Thursday of June. This meeting conflicts with the original graduation date. 
  2. The severe weather this winter has significantly impacted the school calendar. The new graduation date keeps SHS in compliance with RIDE regulations regarding school attendance. 
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause SHS families.

Please visit the SHS calendar for additional information regarding senior activities and exam schedules. Keep in mind that events and times are subject to change.

Senior Prom - May 29

Senior Athletic Banquet - June 7

Honors Night - June 8

Senior Exams Begin - June 8

Senior Last Day - June 10

Rehearsal #1 - June 15

Rehearsal #2 - June 16

Graduation - June 16

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weekly Update 2/27/15

SHS Faculty PD - February 20, 2015

SHS Faculty PD - February 27, 2015

Course selections are due March 12th.  Please submit your requests in Infinite Campus ASAP.

Respect Week is 3/9-3/13.

SHS Spring Musical 3/13 & 3/14.  7 pm in auditorium.

Big thank you to students, staff, and parents for patience during the fire alarm on Thursday morning. A bad smoke detector on the second floor caused the alarm to go off at 7:26 am.  We were able to get everyone evacuated and cars moved in the driveway before the fire department arrived.  Everyone was back in the building by 7:45 am.

Members of our Finance Academy tool their annual Field Trip to Cardi's Furniture. They toured the showroom, the warehouse distribution center, learned about customer service, sales, competition and we were even able to meet with Pete and Ron Cardi.
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The World Language Department in conjunction with Cynthia Davis, our School Based Coordinator, hosted local business leaders to discuss the importance of knowing a second language. Students heard from four panelists representing Johnson & Wales culinary arts program, Miriam Hospital interpreter services, Gonsalves food distribution center, and the Supfina Machine Co.

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SHS has seen an increase in the use of e-cigarettes.  The use of e-cigarettes is not permitted on school grounds.

Best from social media:
Happy secret to better work
Projo Editorial
Best teachers don't expect kids to learn how they teach, they teach the way kids learn. via @PedroANoguera