Pembroke High School Weekly Update

Dear PHS Families,

 

Here is this week's update, reminders, and other important notes regarding PHS matters.  

 

END OF TERM 2:

Monday, February 1 is the last day of Term 2.  Report cards will be distributed on Tuesday, Feb. 9 (Cohorts A and C) and Wednesday, February 10 (Cohort B).  The report cards for Cohort D students will be mailed home on Feb. 10.  

 

REQUEST TO CHANGE LEARNING MODELS:

Today, the window for families to request changes to their learning model closes.  Our counselors and assistant principals are now hard at work creating schedules for the students that have requested a change, looking to accommodate as many as we can.  We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to meet 100% of those requests. 

 

Accommodating moves to Cohort D (100% fully remote) is easier, as we are not facing the same physical limitations.  Counselors will be reaching out to families over the next few days working to create a schedule that is compatible - to the greatest extent possible - with the schedule that the student may have had if he or she had stayed with us in Cohort A or B.  

 

Requests for moves into either Cohort A or B will be a bit more challenging, as we are limited in ways that we never have been before.  As I am hoping you all understand at this point, there is a finite number of desks that we can fit in each room at 6-feet apart.  Some of those rooms are already at capacity.  Our goal is to be able to examine all possibilities within our master schedule so that everyone requesting to come back to the hybrid model can be accommodated.  This may mean placing students in an elective course that is different from what they selected. 

 

Again, counselors will be reaching out to families beginning today and continuing into early next week. With our new semester beginning Tuesday, February 2, our goal is to have everyone in place by that day.  However, we ask for your patience if some students' schedules in the new learning model are delayed by a day or two.  

 

SCHOOL PICTURE DAY:

The new dates for student photos are Thursday, Feb. 4 and Friday, Feb. 5.  As always, we will by using all safety protocols and guidelines, and Lifetouch, our school's photography provider, is well versed in providing a safe picture day for students in schools.  

 

As part of that safety plan, Lifetouch is offering contactless ordering and payment options, which can be accessed by using this online brochure.  Your children will also have this brochure in their emails, and Lifetouch will also still be accepting traditional forms of payment (cash or check).  Hard copies of the brochures are in the main office. 

 

Students in Cohort D are absolutely welcomed to come to school and have their photos taken, as LifeTouch has graciously agreed to stay after school on both Thursday and Friday   Any Cohort D student interested in participating in School Picture Day should come to school on either day between 2:30-3:30.

 

NEW REMOTE MONDAY BELL SCHEDULE:

Beginning Monday, February 8, we will be using a new Remote Monday Bell Schedule, which adds 13 additional minutes to each of our live, synchronous classes and incorporates a lunch period.   As you can see by viewing this NEW Remote Monday Bell Schedule, Remote Mondays will now begin at 9:25 a.m. and conclude at 2:20 p.m. (as they always have).  

 

As some of you may know, we are making this change as the result of new guidelines established by the DESE earlier this month that requires school districts to average 35 hours of live, synchronous instruction across the district and across all grades.  As a district, we are already in compliance with these new guidelines.  However, at the secondary level, we were at 32.5 hours over a 10-day period, and we felt it would be appropriate to shift our learning time to that new standard, which in turn places our district well above the state requirement.  

 

The students have been told of this new schedule and have a copy of it in their Google Drives. I also will be hosting a school-wide Q&A via Google Meet with students in Titan Time on Thursday and Friday of next week.  

 

SPIRIT WEEK:

After meeting with various elected officials within our student body (Class of 2021, Student Council Executive Board), we are happy to announce that we will be running our traditional Spirit Week, albeit with a few non-traditional wrinkles.  

 

First, Spirit Week will be spread out over two weeks to accommodate our Hybrid Model.  This will allow our students to enjoy many of those same themes that we have had over the years.  The schedule is a follows:

  • February 2 and 3 is Color Day.  Seniors wear blue, Juniors wear red, Sophomores wear white, and Freshmen wear gray.
  • We then pause Spirit Week on February 4 and 5 for School Picture Day
  • Spirit Week resumes the following week with Feb. 9 and 10, which is Character Day
  • February 11 and 12 is Decade Day: Seniors have The 80s, Juniors have The 70s, Sophomores have The 60s, and Freshmen have The 50s. 

It is very important to remember that while we want to provide this tradition to our student body and bring a bit of life and excitement into our school's culture, we must maintain all safety protocols and guidelines.  This includes appropriate mask-wearing and physical distancing.  While we understand that students will want to take photos for posterity, they must do so while still adhering to these guidelines.  As I have mentioned to the community before, we cannot include staged or candid photos in the yearbook that are taken in school during this year that captures students not following these procedures.  

 

We have every confidence that our students will do what they have done all year. They have been amazing, which has been a major factor in remaining in our Hybrid Learning Model without interruption.  We thank our families for their support at home as well.  Again, we are thrilled to be able to run Spirit Week this year.  Our school's culture absolutely needs it, and I am grateful to our elected student-leaders for working with me to make this a reality.  

 

GUIDANCE NEWS AND NOTES:

We continue to remind seniors to be active in their Naviance accounts, making sure they are reviewing scholarship opportunities and deadlines to apply.  Seniors have this informational video in their Guidance Google Classrooms. 

 

The Junior Seminars for College Planning will be in full swing beginning next week.  Attached to this email is a thorough explanation of the scheduling and details of those important planning meetings.  Parents of all juniors should be sure to view it.

 

Finally, the Course Selection process for the 2021-22 school year is rapidly approaching.   For your advanced planning, we have included some tentative dates for that process here:

  • Feb 22-March 5:  Teacher recommendations 
  • March 4: Virtual Program of Studies Night for all Families (6:30 p.m.)
  • March 16-April 9: Course Selection Seminars (virtual) for students with their counselors. 

We will have more detailed information about the Course Selection Process as we approach February 22.  

 

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES:

  • 2/1 - Grades for Term 2 close
  • 2/2 - First day of Semester 2
  • 2/4, 2/5 - School Picture Day
  • 2/2, 2/3, 2/9-2/12 - Spirit Days
  • 2/8 - PTO Meeting 
  • 2/9, 2/10 - Term 2 report cards issued
  • 2/15-2/19 - February break
  • 2/22 - Teachers begin making recommendations for the 2021-22 school year.  
  • 3/4 - Virtual Program of Studies Night (6:30 p.m.)

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.  

 

Kind Regards,

Marc