Pembroke High School Weekly Update

Dear PHS Families,
Here is this week's update.  As always, please don't hesitate to see me with any questions on these or any other matters.  
After consulting with school and town officials and meeting with the Student Advisory Council (the 24 elected Class Officers in grades 9-12), we have decided that our annual Homecoming Dance, scheduled for Saturday, October 16 from 7-10 p.m. will be held outdoors on the PHS Athletic Complex.  In short, the indoor mask requirement and the 3-foot social distancing protocol make having an indoor dance with 500+ students untenable.  Those guidelines do not impact us when we are outdoors.  
We understand that an outside event also possesses challenges, particularly the cooler temperatures that are common with mid-fall evenings. However, our Student Advisory Council was adamant that we host the event outdoors, keeping our Homecoming Dance as close to traditional as possible given the numerous other traditions that have already been lost over the past 20 months.  For what it is worth, I agree with them.  We have already developed a few strategies to help with the cold (setting up a warming station in the gym, where students will be masked and distanced, for example), and we will continue to meet over the next week to ensure that Homecoming 2021 will be a memorable one for our students.  
Each year, we administer the PSATs for all of our 10th and 11th-grade students in October.   Last year was the notable exception, with only the Junior Class (our current seniors) sitting for this important assessment.  We are delighted to be able to offer the PSATs to students in both grades again this year, and we will be doing so on Tuesday, October 26 from 7:30-11:01 a.m.  It is worth noting that this date is the alternate date offered by The College Board.  The primary date is October 13, but that is in the middle of our Spirit Week.  To avoid any potential distractions on testing day, we have opted to use the alternate date.  We will have many more details about the test administration in future updates.  
Speaking of the PSATs, one of the benefits of taking the exam is that it is a National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), with qualifying students earning merit scholarships for college. I am proud to announce that this year, four of our current seniors were named as Commended Scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  This means that their scores placed them in the top 50,000 students that took the 2020-21 PSATs (both nationally and internationally).  While we have had students recognized as Commended Scholars in the past, we have not had four in the same year in many years.  Congratulations to seniors Jae Martin, Allison Flaherty, Lauren Canniff, and Charolette Littlefield on this tremendous accomplishment.  
The deadline for all NHS-eligible students to submit their candidacy packets is this coming Monday, October 4.  All students and families should take note of this date, as missing this deadline will result in lost eligibility.  Any student or parent with questions should contact Mrs. Kniffen, our NHS Advisor, prior to Monday's deadline.  
The Pembroke High School Parent/Teacher Organization is looking for new members to volunteer their time to work closely with school administration to support teaching and learning at PHS.  The group meets monthly (usually the first Monday of each month) at 7 p.m. in the PHS Library with me.  There, we discuss and plan fundraising opportunities as well as ways those funds can be spent to support our teachers and students.  I also deliver a Principal's Update to the group each week, which is a great opportunity to hear updates on school matters directly from me and ask questions that you may have.  Please consider attending our next meeting, which is this coming Monday, October 4.  
As I noted last week, grades close for T1 Progress Reports on October 6, and they will be distributed to students on October 8.  Please remember that Progress Reports are a snapshot of where your child is in each class at that moment.  The term does not end for another five weeks, which allows plenty of time for students to keep working hard to positively impact their grades.  
As you know, today is our School Picture Day, but I am writing to confirm that our re-take day is October 22.  
While some of our clubs are up and running, our Extracurricular Coordinator, Mr. Rix, is meeting with club advisors to organize our annual Extracurricular Fair.  This year, the fair will be held virtually on Monday, October 4 during our Advisory Period. This model worked out well last year, as it allows us to offer the fair to all of our students in grades 9-12.  
Last winter, the school committee adopted a user fee structure for all of our clubs and organizations.  The fee schedule is below:
  • Students participating in one club/year - No fee
  • Students participating in a second club/year - $25
  • The family cap is set at $50
Collection of fees will begin next week, with checks made payable to Pembroke High School.  
Earlier today, Mrs. Kerran Goff, our lead guidance counselor, sent out her monthly newsletter.  In case you missed it, you can get it by clicking here.
  • 10/4 PTO Meeting (PHS Library 7 p.m.)
  • 10/6 - PHS Athletic Boosters' Meeting (PHS Library 7 p.m.)
  • 10/8 - Progress Reports issued
  • 10/14 - Financial Aid Night (virtual 6:30 p.m. See our Guidance Department Webpage or Newsletter for details)
  • 10/12-10/15 - PHS Spirit Week
  • 10/15 - Homecoming Football game (7 p.m. - PHS Athletic Complex)
  • 10/16 - PHS Homecoming Dance (7-10 p.m.- PHS Athletic Complex)
  • 10/22 - School Picture Retakes
  • 10/27 - ERD - Parent/Teacher Conferences (1-6 p.m.)
  • 10/28 - Orchestra Halloween Concert (6:30 p.m. PHS Dr. Patricia Randall Auditorium)
Thanks, everyone.  Please enjoy your weekend.