Pembroke High School Weekly Update
Dear PHS Families,
Here is this week's update. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about these or any other matters.
WINTER CHEER IS OFF TO NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS:
In this space last week, we celebrated our Winter Cheerleading Team for qualifying for the Massachusetts State Cheerleading Championships. Today, we congratulate them for qualifying for the New England Interscholastic Spirit Championships, which are tomorrow, March 18 at Worcester State University at 10:30 a.m. For logistical information, including ticket sales, please click here. Best of luck to our Winter Cheer Team on this amazing accomplishment.
SBIRT SCREENINGS (10th grade) BEGIN NEXT WEEK:
Earlier this month, we mailed to the homes of all 10th graders information about SBIRT screening for our sophomores.
SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) "is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders," according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. You can learn more about SBORT by clicking here.
Beginning next week, our counseling staff, who have been properly trained, will begin using the completely anonymous screening tool with our sophomores. As the mailing from earlier this month indicated, students and families have the right to opt out of this process, and while the deadline to do so is set for today, March 17, our counseling staff will still accept opt-outs into next week, as these private, one-on-one sessions will happen over the course of March, April, and maybe even May (if necessary). All meetings will occur during Titan Time, so no instructional time will be lost. As the mailing also indicated, student results are anonymous, with the result completely unidentifiable and not a part of any school or student record. I urge everyone to re-read the linked-in mailing and/or to contact me directly with any questions.
As a reminder, SBIRT screening is required by state law and was a key component of then-Governor Baker's Opioid Law of 2016, which was crafted to curb the rise in substance use and abuse, particularly in our youth.
WORLD LANGUAGE - SEAL OF BILITERACY:
In another notice that was sent home earlier this month, all juniors and seniors in one of our World Language courses received this letter promoting the Seal of Biliteracy opportunity that is open to them. The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to high school juniors and seniors that can demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages - English and a partner language - as measured by our state-approved Seal of Biliteracy assessment.
While all students in either an AP or Honors Level IV World Language class (French, Spanish, or Latin) will take this assessment during their respective classes in the coming weeks, the exam is also offered to English Language Learners and Heritage Speakers that are fluent in speaking/reading/writing in a language other than English as well as to any PHS junior or senior not enrolled in a World Language Class and who believes his or her language skills meet the criteria for proficiency.
If you feel that your child possesses those language skills and is NOT enrolled in one of our World Language courses at the AP or Honors IV level, please contact our World Language Curriculum Coordinator, Ms. Saviz Safizadeh per the instructions in the linked-in letter above to have your child scheduled for the Seal of Biliteracy exam.
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS NIGHT - RESCHEDULED:
Our annual College Admissions Night for juniors and their families, which was postponed due to last week's storm, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 28 in the PHS Randall Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Please join us as Christopher O'Brien, Boston College Associate Director of Admissions, and Gregg Meyer, Bridgewater State University Dean of Admission, will discuss the following topics:
- Private and selective college admissions requirements
- State university admission requirements
- Financial aid
- Application and college essay tips
- Merit scholarships
- Any additional questions parents may have
After the presentation, parents are welcome to stay to view a demonstration of SCIOR, our new college and career planning platform, by lead counselor Mrs. Kerran Goff. This is a very informative night for the parents/caregivers of our Junior Class.
COURSE SELECTION PROCESS CONTINUES:
As I have noted in the past few email blasts, course selection for the 2023-24 school year is underway. My thanks to the parents that attended our Program of Studies Night on Thursday, March 2. For those unable to attend, we invite you to review all pertinent information about the process posted on our Guidance Department Webpage.
Our sophomores completed their course selection seminars with their guidance counselors this week, and our freshmen will select their courses during Titan Time all next week.
Remember, the window for students to officially "submit" their course selections in PowerSchool does not close until the week after their guidance seminar. For example, the portal for the juniors closes today, Friday, March 17. The portal for the sophomores closes next Friday, March 24, and the portal for the freshmen closes on Friday, March 31. This allows students to review their course selections with their parents to ensure that they have developed a schedule for next year that suits their needs. We encourage families to take advantage of this opportunity to have a voice in their child's program of study for the 2023-24 school year.
MCAS TESTING - GRADE 10:
The 10th grade ELA MCAS testing window is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28 and Wednesday, March 29. All sophomores will take this important assessment, which will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. each morning. While the test is untimed, we schedule the MCAS to run from 7:30-11:01, which is the start of our lunch block. Students needing additional time are relocated to a common room, with a lunch break built in for them.
Mr. David Rix, our assistant principal and MCAS Coordinator, will soon be communicating with our sophomores via email and Titan Time assemblies to fully prepare all of our sophomores for their ELA MCAS testing window.
For those that like to plan ahead, the Grade 10 Mathematics MCAS window is May 16 and 17, and our 9th Grade Biology MCAS window is June 6 and 7.
Each week, I will conclude this update with the "Celebrating Community" segment, which will highlight the recent successes and accomplishments of our entire school community. In doing so, we draw well-deserved attention to the many people that make our community great. .
- A very happy St. Patrick's Day to the members of our school community observing the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is great to see so many of our students and staff adorned in green today commemorating the occasion.
- The PHS Multicultural Club will once again team up with the PHS French Club at this month's meeting (March 20) to celebrate Women's History Month. They will explore women's suffrage around the world, focusing primarily on the women's rights protests in Iran. We are grateful to these students and staff members for bringing some of these worldwide injustices to the forefront
- Best of luck to the 20 PHS Performing Artists that are performing this weekend at Middleborough High School as part of the Semsba Music Festival
- Congratulations the these 46 PHS student-athletes, who earned Patriot League Awards for the winter sports season.
FORECASTING IMPORTANT SPRING DATES:
While some of these events are still several weeks or even months away, because of their importance, I would like to put them on your radar now.
- May 19 - Last day of classes for the Class of 2023
- May 20 - PHS Promenade (5 p.m.) and Junior-Senior Prom (7 p.m. at the Seacrest Hotel and Resort)
- May 22-25 - Final Exam week for the Class of 2023
- May 30 - Senior Dinner
- June 1 - Senior Awards Night
- June 3 - Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2023
- June 8 - Underclassmen Awards Night
- June 9-14 - Final Exam Week (weather-dependent)
- June 14 - Last day of school (weather-dependent)
I will have much more specific information about each of these important events as they approach.
OTHER IMPORTANT DATES OF NOTE:
- 3/20 - First Day of Spring Athletics
- 3/22 - Early Release Day - Teacher In-Service (student dismissal at 11:10 a.m.)
- 3/28, 3/29 - Grade 10 ELA MCAS
- 3/28 - College Admissions Night - rescheduled (PHS Randall Auditorium 6:30 p.m.)
- 3/31 - Grades for T3 close
Thanks, all. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out about these or other matters. Enjoy your weekend.