Pembroke High School Weekly Update

Dear PHS Families,

 

Here is this week's update.  As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions on these or any other matters.  

 

WRAPPING UP TERM 2 and BEGINNING TERM 3

Term 2 (and semester one) comes to an end on our last day of exams, Wednesday, January 26.   Grades close on that day, and report cards will be issued on Thursday, February 3.  

With the start of Term 3 comes the start of a new semester.  For many students, that also means starting new semester-based courses (mostly electives).  All students have had access to these new schedules in PowerSchool for most of the year, but if they have not taken a look at their new semester schedules, they should do so prior to next Thursday, Jan. 27.  

 

COURSE SELECTION for 2022-23: 

I know that it seems hard to believe, but we are preparing for the Course Selection Process for the 2022-23 school year.  While I will be including the specific details of this process in future email blasts throughout February and March, here is an overview of the timeline:

  • February 1-28 - Teachers will start making course recommendations for students in grades 8-11. 
  • February 15-18 - Grade level assemblies (during Titan Time) with students (grades 8-11) to discuss our Program of Studies
  • March 2 - Program of Studies evening (6:30-8:30 p.m.) for parents and families to learn about course offerings and the Course Selection Process.
  • March 7-April 1 - Course selection seminars with guidance counselors (also during Titan Time).  This is where students in grades 8-11 select their courses for next year.  

As I said, as each step in the process approaches, I will include specific details in the weekly email update.  

 

SEMESTER EXAMS: 

Today marks the start of our Exam Week, and they will continue through Wednesday, January 26.  These 90-minute exams do not factor into Term 2 grades.  Rather, they are stand-alone grades that count for 10% of students' final (yearly) grades.  Our exam days are half-days, with two exams scheduled per day.  Student dismissal is at 10:50 a.m. each day.  This is the remaining schedule for our semester exams:

  • Monday, January 24 - Exams for Periods 4 and 7 
  • Tuesday, January 25 - Exams for Periods 3 and 1
  • Wednesday, January 26 - Exams for Period 2 and Makeups
  • Thursday, January 27 - First day of Term 3/Semester 2

Here are a few important notes about exams:

  • Because of their importance, student attendance is required on exam days.  Students without an excused absence are not allowed to make up an exam.  With this in mind, we also realize that the guidance issued by the CDC, MDPH, DESE, and the Pembroke Public Schools School Committee, requires us to consider students staying home with symptoms of COVID-19 as excused.  As has been the case for the past two school years, any student whose absence has been called in and explained as COVID-19 related will have the absence excused.  Parents are urged to contact their child's administrator, either Mr. Rix (grades 10, 12) or Ms. Kelley (grades 9,11), with questions.  
  • That said, students do not need to be in school if they do not have an exam during a particular period (i.e. study hall, Senior Exemption)
  • While dismissal is at 10:50 a.m. each morning, we are not able to add an additional bus run at that time.  Busses will make their usual afternoon run at 2:20 p.m.  While most of our students leave at 10:50 a.m. via alternate transportation (parent pick-up, getting a ride with an upperclassman), our library and our cafeteria are open to students that need to wait for the 2:20 p.m. bus run.  Students can use these spaces to prepare for their exams the next day.  
  • We also serve lunch to any student staying until 2:20 p.m.  Students should order their lunch in the main office prior to 7:35 a.m. each day that they are planning on staying.  
  • In the event of a snow day, the exam schedule is pushed back by one day.  For example, if there is a school cancellation on Monday, the exams scheduled for that day will occur on Tuesday when we return to school.  The rest of the schedule will follow in kind.  

EXAM MAKE-UP PROCEDURES-

Students with an excused absence(s) have a couple of options to make up their exam(s), most of which are dependent upon when the excused absence(s) occurred.  

 

If possible, students can work with their teachers to make up their exams during Exam Week after the 10:50 a.m. dismissal, and/or they can use the scheduled make-up period on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 9:05-10:50 a.m.  

 

Students that have been excused from multiple exams and need additional time after Exam Week are required to make up their exams based on the schedule below.  These make-ups take place in the PHS Library after school from 2:30-4:00 p.m.   Students will work with their guidance counselor and/or their assistant principal to be sure the schedule is clearly understood.  

  • Thursday, January 27  - English
  • Friday, January 28 - Math
  • Monday, January 31 - Social Studies
  • Tuesday, February 1 - Science
  • Wednesday, February 2 - World Language
  • Thursday, February 3 - Electives (VPA, PE, Business, Computer Science, Social Sciences)

Students still needing more time after this window will be scheduled on a case-by-case basis and with help from their counselor and/or assistant principal, to complete their exams after school beginning on Friday, February 4, and continuing until the exams are completed.  

 

A FEW IMPORTANT NOTES FROM OUR PTO:

The PHS PTO is a dedicated group of parents that meets with me monthly to discuss ways that we can raise funds to help support teaching and learning at PHS.  To that end, here are a few easy ways you can help support that cause:

 

1.) Baystate Textiles - One of the biggest fundraisers for our PTO comes in the way of donations to Baystate Textiles.  Any unwanted household textiles (clothing, footwear, towels, household linens, and other fabric-based products) can be bagged and dropped in the Baystate Textiles bin behind the high school.  Any proceeds awarded to the PTO are determined by the weight of the materials donated.  If you are planning any winter cleanings around your home this winter, please consider donating these unwanted items.  According to the Baystate Textiles webpage (which also lists items accepted for donations) over 520 million pounds of unwanted textiles were sent to various landfills in Massachusetts last year, 95% of which could have been recycled.  Please consider helping the environment and our PTO all at once!

 

2.) Have a Heart fundraiser - Just in time for Valentine's Day, our PTO is selling Rustic Marlin signs to show our love and support for the entire Pembroke community.  The attached flyer shows the two different types of signs for sale and contains all of the ordering details.  If interested, please act quickly, as the signs must be ordered by today, January 21 so that they can be ready for pick up by February 7.  

 

My continued thanks to our dedicated PTO members for everything that they do to support teaching and learning at PHS, and thanks to all of you for your support of our PTO, our students, and our staff.  

 

WORLD LANGUAGE - SEAL OF BILITERACY:

The State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to high school seniors and juniors that can demonstrate proficiency and literacy in two or more languages - English and a partner language.  PHS uses your child's MCAS scores to demonstrate proficiency in English, and this Seal of Biliteracy exam is used to demonstrate proficiency in a second, partner language. 

 

All students in an Honors Level IV or AP World Language course offered here at PHS will take their respective Seal of Biliteracy exam in class during the testing window, which is from February 7-18, 2022.  The data from these exams also serves as a valuable benchmark assessment for both our students and staff.  However, the following students should also consider the opportunity to earn the Seal of Biliteracy.  

  • Junior or senior English Language Learners (ELL) and Heritage Speakers that are fluent in speaking, reading, writing, and listening in a language other than English
  • Junior or seniors in a CP Level IV World Language class that believe that their language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) meet the criteria should speak to their world language teacher to discuss their next steps. 

If your child is in one of the two groups identified above and wants to register for the Seal of Biliteracy exam please complete this form on behalf of your child by January 31, 2022.  We do not need a form for the students that are already scheduled to take the exam as part of their Honors Level IV or AP World Language class.  

 

The Seal of Biliteracy exams are free to all students.  Successful students will have the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy affixed to their Pembroke High School transcript upon graduation. To find out more about the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy, please click here.

 

Please direct any questions that you may have to our 7-12 World Language Content Supervisor, Ms. Saviz Safizadeh, at saviz.safizadeh@pembrokek12.org

 

UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES OF NOTE:

  • January 24 - Semester Exam Ps 4 and 7
  • January 25 - Semester Exam Ps 3 and 1
  • January 26 - Semester Exam Ps 2 and Makeups
  • January 27 - First day of Term 3/Semester 2
  • February 3 - Report Cards for T2 issued 
  • February 7 - PHS PTO (PHS Library at 7 p.m.)
  • February 9 - PHS Athletic Boosters (PHS Library at 7 p.m.)

Thanks, all.  Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with questions about these or any other matters.  Have a great weekend.

 

Kind Regards,

Marc