Monday, May 30, 2016

Weekly Update 5/27

This week's SHS Faculty PD!

Congratulations to our Boys Tennis team for reaching the Division I State finals.  They lost a hard fought match vs. South Kingstown.  This is their third appearance in the state finals in the last four years.  Well done Coach Snow and the boys!

Lots of playoff action heating up this week.  Check out for the latest information.

Check out the video of the Buckle Up Shuffle 2016

Final Exam/End of Year Schedule

Special Assembly for grades 9-11 on Wednesday, June 1st at 10 am.

RI Special Olympics still needs volunteers for the State Summer Games. They are using an online platform this year and it is super easy! Simply go to This link will bring you to a page that will list all the job assignments that still need to be filled. You can choose the one that best suits your availability. After you fill out the form, it will be electronically submitted and you will receive an e-mail confirmation. A more detailed e-mail will be sent out as the date nears as well. If you do not want to register online, you can call (401)349-4900 to volunteer.

Senior Prom this Friday at the Biltmore!

Senior Athletic Banquet this Sunday!

Some interesting reads this week:
Is our grading system fair?
Using grading policies to promote learning
The end of marking periods

Have a great week!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Update 5/20

This week's SHS Faculty PD!

Class of 2016 students and parents should read the Senior Memo.  Lots of information on graduation and end of year events.

Another great Evening of the Arts last week.  Our students are so talented.  A BIG thank you to all the teachers who helped make it a successful night.  This show is a favorite for my own kids.  My daughter made two videos to share what she enjoyed.
Video #1
Video #2

Our Smithfield Playschool hosted their graduation last week.  Check out the video.

Check out the videos from the World Language Department at the Evening of the Arts.
Congratulations to the girls track team for winning the Class C track meet this past weekend!

Head Softball Coach, Tony Torregrossa, asked that I share this:
As many of you are probably aware our softball team has had to forfeit 9 games for using an ineligible player. While there are a number factors involved that contributed to this, it was my responsibility to be sure that this did not happen.

I would therefore like to apologize to all those who are involved with Smithfield Athletics, especially to my players and their parents. We all know just how good these young ladies have played over the past years, and no matter what is says in the record book, we know what they accomplished on the field.

Fortunately all teams make the playoffs. Therefore, our road just got a little tougher, but you can be sure they will represent SHS with class and determination

I had a long talk with my players and while they were disappointed, they also are determined to show everyone what we are made of in the state tournament.

Potential changes for graduation requirements.  Here is latest from the Commissioners memo:
On Tuesday, the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to approve for public comment proposed changes to the Secondary School regulations. These changes would revise the current graduation requirements, or the Rhode Island Diploma System. Under these proposed changes, beginning with the Class of 2021, students would continue to complete 20 credits of coursework plus one “performance-based diploma assessment” (such as a capstone project or portfolio of work) in order to earn a diploma. Students would no longer need to attain a passing score on a standardized assessment; however, students could earn a “Commissioner’s Seal” by attaining a passing score (to be determined) on the PARCC or any number of other approved assessments. Students could also earn local diploma “endorsements” for successful completion of various coursework sequences, such as dual-language instruction, STEM, the arts, or service learning.

The Commissioner’s Seal and the other endorsements are intended to enhance the diploma by taking seriously the idea of pathways that match students’ strengths, interests, and passions. These enhancements will provide students with the opportunity to take ownership of their diploma. One size does not fit all.

We also plan to consider, as a factor in our accountability system, the inclusion of the percentages of students in each school district attaining the Commissioner’s Seal and local endorsements. We want to put incentives on the system to serve students better without putting those requirements in front of students as barriers that would prevent them from earning a diploma, which could have lifelong consequences.

We have begun seeking public comment on these proposed changes, and we intend to hold public hearings on these proposed changes at the start of the coming school year. You can read the proposed revised regulations here: .

Here is a link to some FAQs on the proposed revisions to the Diploma System:
Community service opportunity
Revive the Roots is offering community service to students who want to help work in the Edible
Ecosystem at Smithfield High School. The work would include planting, harvesting, weeding,
mulching and a variety of other tasks that a garden requires. Students are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.  Please contact Chris for more information or to sign up for a spot.  Available times are flexible and can be discussed.
Internship Opportunity
Fruit For Thought Internship Opportunity

The purpose of Fruit for Thought is to create sustainable food forests at public schools and integrate sustainability education into the classrooms in a practical, hands on way. We seek to address climate change, peak energy, food security/justice, and the creation of healthy, holistic relationships between people and nature.
In this position you will help do the leg work needed to make sustainable food forests at public schools.
Some duties may include but are not limited too:
  • Helping work at the smithfield high school forest garden
    • weeding, planting, mulching, general manicuring etc.
  • compiling a list of grants by relevance, deadline, and funding amount
  • researching other school garden programs
    • who, what, when, where, why? whats is working for them or not? where did their funding come from? how do they work with class’s? What can we learn from them and apply here?
  • Research potential partners. Individuals or organizations.
    • orgs with similar/supplementary/supportive missions
  • Find media outlets for the idea.
    • events, websites, newspapers etc. where the idea can be presented.
  • Harvesting produce
  • Attending farmers markets
  • Generate ideas for interdisciplinary classroom involvement
  • Be creative and have fun. Fresh ideas are welcome

Contact Chris English at for question or application

Best from social media this week:
Grades, Learning, and Change
Great Ted Talk from my friend Dwight Carter - I quit

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weekly Update 5/13

This week's SHS Faculty PD!

We have a number of events this week showcasing the many talents of SHS students. Please check the school calendar for more details.
  • On Tuesday, May 17th the SHS music department will be hosting their spring concert at 7pm in the auditorium. 
  • On Thursday, May 19th, Smithfield High School will be holding the annual Evening of the Arts. This exciting event is held from 6:30-8pm and will feature many student work presentations and displays featuring the Art Show, Art Auction, Writers Cafe, World Language performances, student work displays, 'Cabaret' open rehearsals, and much much more. We hope you can make it to this event in support of our amazing students.
Final exams are right around the corner.  Check out the latest schedule.  

One of our very own SHS musicians, Juliana Rivelli, sang the National Anthem at the annual lobby day for the American Cancer Society at the RI State House this week. Check out her performance.

As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)and its Rhode Island affiliates, Roger Williams University and Tech Collective, have recognized eight students and two IT educators with the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their outstanding capacity and interest in computing and technology, proven leadership ability, academic history, and plans for postsecondary education. In addition to student honorees, NCWIT recognizes educators who demonstrate passion and commitment in engaging their students in the technology fields. We are proud to share the Mr. Deslauriers is an Educator Award Recipient this year.  Congratulations Mr. D.!

Articles/Resources/Stuff from Social Media

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weekly Update 5/6

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in our SHS community!

This week's SHS Faculty PD!

Monday, May 9th will be Decision Day at SHS. Seniors are encouraged to wear clothing with the name of their college, technical school, military branch or work choice for next year.

Town Budget Meeting will be held this Tuesday, May 10th at 7 pm  in the auditorium.

World Language Honor's Night will take place this Thursday, May 12th at 7 pm in the auditorium.

PARCC Testing Info
PARCC testing at Smithfield High School will begin tomorrow, Monday, May 9th. Students who are enrolled in 9th or 10th grade English sessions will be tested this week from Monday through Thursday. Students who are enrolled in Algebra I or Geometry will be tested the following week beginning Monday, May 16th through Wednesday May 19th. All testing schedules have been shared with students through their school email and Google Classroom and may be found on the school website.

On each testing day, students will be required to bring their fully charged chromebook and a set of headphones. Students may elect to leave their chromebook overnight in a charging station located in the high school media center.

As with any testing, PARCC provides both families and our school information about our student’s learning and knowledge. The PARCC test is just one of many measures of student learning at SHS. Please reinforce that your student should give their best effort. In addition, students should be well rested, and should eat breakfast.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

English Schedule
Math Schedule
Non-Parcc Room Changes

Congratulations to our Unified Basketball team!  They had a great season.  Unfortunately, they lost this week in the semi-finals to Barrington 39-31.  

Quotes/Thoughts from Twitter:
Let's shift our focus from a 20th century education model:time,tasks, compliance to a 21st century model of learning,competency,&innovation.

Should kids do busy work just because "i don't want to lose points." Let's design to make school about learning not compliance.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekly Blog 4/29/16

This week's SHS Faculty PD.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week!  Please take a moment to send a quick note to your teachers thanking them for everything they do!

Congratulations to our Unified Basketball Team.  With their two point victory this past week, they earned the #1 seed in next week's playoff and a first round bye.  They will play in the semi-finals on Thursday, May 5th at 3:30 at SHS.  Good Luck!

Town of Smithfield is looking for lifeguards for the town beaches this summer.  Must be life guard -non surf certified.  See town website for more details.

Congratulations to our girls track team.  They were the Showcase Cinemas team of the week.  Check out their radio spot here.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is looking for volunteers from across the state to speak with their lawmakers about issues important to cancer patients and their families. Check out the invitation for more information.

Mr. Lenore has completed another sports video.  Check out the Boys Basketball video.

Horace Mann is hosting another Facebook contest during Teacher Appreciation Week.  Check out the link for more information.

The U.S. Department of Education Commission on Presidential Scholars has announced that there are 689 semifinalists in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, including 10 from Rhode Island schools. The program recognizes and honors some of the most distinguished graduating seniors in the country. We are proud to announce that Angela Gattinella is one of the RI finalists! Congratulations!

Our seniors completed their portfolio presentations this past Wednesday.  Extremely proud of what our students have accomplished in four short years.

I would like to give a shout out to the SHS Travel Club and their advisors.  They have provided some awesome travel opportunities for our students.  During vacation week my family and I had the pleasure of attending the Red Sox/Rays baseball game at Fenway with them.  I encourage students to take advantage of this opportunity.

THANK YOU to all of the teachers who have shaped my career over the years!
THANK YOU to all SHS teachers who work their butts off each day for our students!