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. 
Grades for Term 3 close next Friday, March 31, and report cards will be published and sent home via email on Thursday, April 6.  Students and families are reminded that eligibility for extracurricular activities, including athletics and performing arts, could be impacted by Term 3 report cards.  Eligibility for Senior Project and Pathway Internships could also be impacted.  There are plenty of reasons to work hard next week. 
In this, the pilot year of our Pathways Program, we are pleased to congratulate the following seniors, who have earned internships with the following community partners:
  • Business Pathway
    • Aidan Blake - Pembroke Chamber of Commerce
    • Brooke Amiott - Towne Tavern
    • Joey Dywer - Pembroke School of Performing Arts
  • Computer Science Pathway
    • Christian Bekheit -PHS Information Technology
    • Anthony Troiano - PHS Information Technology
    • Ben Bairos - PHS Information Technology
    • Jack Tosone - PHS Information Technology
    • Aidan Callahan - PHS Information Technology
  • Digital Arts
    • Abby Hudson - MB Graphics
    • Sam DeMille - Pembroke School of Performing Arts 
We feel this is an incredible beginning to what we know will be a robust program moving forward.  Remember, these seniors have only had one year to meet our modified pathway certification requirements, and because of their hard work, the internship is their final capstone project toward a major accomplishment. The last day of classes at PHS for these students will be Friday, March 31, and they will begin their internships on the first day of Term 4, April 3.  
Congratulations to these deserving seniors for being the very first wave of PHS Pathways Interns to head out "into the field," gaining invaluable experience from this real-life, hands-on learning opportunity.  I'd also like to congratulate our Pathways Coordinator, Mrs. Maryellen Gates, who has worked tirelessly this year developing the modified criteria for certification, identifying eligible students, guiding and preparing them to the point of completion, and finding local businesses to host internships.  
Finally, we can't thank those community partners enough, for without them, our students would not have these internship opportunities.  If you or someone you know is a small-business owner or works for a company that hosts interns, please consider contacting Mrs. Gates at (781) 293-9218 x2119.  We are always looking for additional internships for our students, especially since we are adding Biomedical Science and Engineering/Manufacturing next year.  
The 10th grade ELA MCAS testing window is next week -  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, has sent important MCAS-related emails to our sophomores regarding their MCAS testing, including their testing rooms.   We ask parents to please remind their 10th graders to check their emails for this important information.  
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.  
This week, we began our SBIRT screening, which 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.  Earlier this month, we mailed to the homes of all 10th graders information about SBIRT screening for our sophomores, and I also included this information in last week's email blast.  
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 SBIRT by clicking here.
Our counseling staff, who have been properly trained, will be administering the screening tool, which is completely anonymous.  While the data from the screenings is recorded and reported to the state, no identifiable student information is included.  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 was March 17, our counseling staff will still accept opt-outs as we move throughout the spring, as these private, one-on-one sessions will happen over the course of March, April, and maybe even May (if necessary).  If your child has not already been screened and you would to have him or her opt out, please contact your child's counselor.  All meetings will occur during Titan Time, so no instructional time will be lost.  I urge everyone to re-read the linked-in mailing and/or to contact me directly with any questions.  
This week, students in Grade 9 concluded our Course Selection Process in guidance seminars during Titan Time.  Please remember that the window for freshmen to officially "submit" their course selections in PowerSchool does not close until next 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.  
The window for the sophomores, who attended course selection guidance seminars all last week, to submit their selections in PowerSchool is tonight.  
All of the pertinent information about the Course Selection Process is posted on our Guidance Department Webpage
Before the school year ends in June, all students in grades 9-11 will be given their course lists for the 2023-24 school year.  Once they have this list, they will have two opportunities to meet with their guidance counselors to make any changes.  The first window to do so will be the first five days following the end of the school year, June 15-16, 20-22.  Our counselors will be in the Guidance Office during this 5-day window after school concludes for the year.  The second window to make changes will be during the five days prior to the first day of school, which has yet to be determined.  Each year, our counselors return from break five days early to prepare for the upcoming school year.  
Please stay tuned for more details on course lists toward the end of the school year. 
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.  
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.
  • This week, several of our clubs and organizations collaborated to celebrate Women's History Month.  Members of the PHS Amnesty International, French, and Multicultural Clubs met to learn about women's suffrage, with a particular focus on the women's rights protests in Iran.  I was delighted to be invited to participate in this discussion, which included a student-driven Google Slide presentation about the history of injustice perpetrated upon these women and the brave protests occurring throughout the Middle East, including social media trends.  Club members then made posters, which adorn our main lobby and atrium, and invited students and staff to sign petitions to end gender apartheid in Iran and Afghanistan and to petition the United Nations to investigate human rights violations in Iran.  We are grateful to these students and staff members for bringing some of these worldwide injustices to the forefront.
  • Next Friday, March 31, the PHS SAGA club is participating in the national Transgender Day of Awareness as we continue to provide a safe space for all members of our school community.    Anyone interested is invited to wear pink, light blue, and white - the colors of the transgender flag - that day, and buttons supporting our LGBTQ+ youth will also be available for anyone interested.   
  • This week, dozens of PHS students took the Seal of Biliteracy Exam during their AP and Level IV Honors World Language classes, as we celebrate those that are proficient in two or more languages - English and a partner language - as measured by our state-approved Seal of Biliteracy assessment.  The exam was also offered to our English Language Learners, Heritage Speakers, and other members of our school community not enrolled in a World Language class but who may possess the language skills necessary to meet the criteria for proficiency.  Our students took exams in Spanish, French, Latin, and Arabic.  We look forward to getting the results later this spring and recognizing those that have earned the Seal of Biliteracy at our Senior Awards Night.  
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. 
  • 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
  • 4/3 - PHS PTO Meeting (6 p.m. PHS Library Conference Room)
  • 4/5 - PHS Performing Arts Disney Trip Kickoff Concert (6 p.m. PHS Randall Auditorium)
  • 4/6 - Term 3 Report Cards Published
  • 4/7 - No School (Good Friday)
  • 4/13-4/16 - PHS Performing Arts Disney Trip
  • 4/17-4/21 - No School (April Vacation)
  • 4/26 - PHS Spring Choral Concert (6:30 p.m. PHS Randall Auditorium)
  • 4/27 - PHS Spring Instrumental Concert (6:30 p.m. PHS Randall Auditorium)
Thanks, all.  Please do not ever hesitate to reach out about these or other matters.  Enjoy your weekend.