Haverhill High School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update- Week Ending 2/17/17

    February has not been kind to the non-snow lovers in New England so far. However, the forecast for Sunday looks more promising.

    Grading Practices

    Last night I presented to SC about how HHS has been transitioning to a standards based grading system.  During the presentation it became clear that SC had heard from several parents that were unaware of this transition. I have mentioned it in previous weekly emails, but am putting it at the beginning so it is the first thing that everyone reads. The grading practices transition phase began last year, 2015-2016 with staff discussion over the course of many faculty meetings followed by use of curriculum meeting time for staff to work collaboratively on creating common syllabi for commonly taught courses. This continued earlier this school year and were completed and are in place this year. This year, all teachers were directed to speak to students about the new grading practices in all of their classes and explain what it meant, why we were transitioning to it, and how this transition was to take place. The basic premise of standard-based grading is that a grade indicates how much learning of a subject matter has taken place. It does not include the path the student has taken to reach a particular level of achievement (e.g., class participation, behavior, homework). It presupposes that re-takes are allowed/encouraged. It stresses intrinsic motivation – not extrinsic. I am looking to offer a workshop to present the information to parents and other interested community stakeholders in the near future and will announce the date as soon as it is set. The transition to mastery-based grading has been initiated in stages as part of a three (3) year plan:

    Year I: 2015-2016

    • Three full faculty meetings discussing data and research on grading practices.
    • The creation of common grading rubrics for commonly taught classes

    Year II: 2016-2017

    • Faculty-wide revisions of syllabi.
    • Move to “90-10” mastery grading rubrics.
    • Voluntary departmental moves to common grading rubrics (math, science, ELA and foreign language).

    Year III: 2017-2018

    • Move to 100% mastery grades

    MCAS ELA Tutoring Program

    The grade 10 ELA MCAS Tutoring program has been well attended by students. It is a free opportunity for all grade 10 students to attend to successfully reach the highest possible score on this assessment. We hope to bring all students to advanced or proficient. Immediately after the ELA MCAS Tutoring ends the MCAS Math tutoring will commence. We will be inviting all students with the goal of having all reach the advanced or proficient category. Look for those invitations in early March.

    Term III Information:

    With the four snow days we have made adjustments to our timeline for issuing progress reports, report cards and our parent teacher conferences for Terms 3 and 4. All changes will be posted on our webpage but we wanted to share Term 3.

    Term 3 Progress reports will now be issued on March 3rd.

    Term 3 Report Cards will be issued on April 13th

    Term 3 Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on April 27th. 

    Northern Essex Community College Ceremony

    Last Wednesday, February 8th,  28 of our Haverhill High Seniors attended a ceremony at NECC honoring them for their success in the Early College Program. The Early College Program is a partnership between Haverhill High and NECC and it provides our students with the opportunity to take general education college courses and receive both high school and college credit. Our 28 students’ received credits totaling 721 college credits. Senior Isabella Callahan herself earned 40 credits.

    Juniors- Chyten SAT vs. ACT Comparison Test

    The SAT vs ACT Comparison test was administered to Juniors yesterday. The administrators look forward to seeing the results in the very near future and sharing that information with the students and parents. This report will give students insight into which test format is best for them and what preparation they will need in order to score within the range for their goals.

    HHS CTE Staff Recognized

    The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce held their 26th Annual Business Awards earlier in the month and this year’s recipient for Education went to Haverhill High School’s Career Technical Education and Internship Programs. Congratulations to all who made it happen with a special thank you to Victoria Kelley and Lisa Hunt for working with our community leaders and local businesses to help identify the labor needs in the Merrimack Valley and for building relationships with over 90 businesses in our community over the last seven years.

    Fine Arts Department:

    Auditions have been held, roles have been assigned and rehearsals are in full swing for our spring musical in April – The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Our theater department puts on three shows a year and this one looks to be another great success for us. It is amazing the amount of hours that go into our productions.

    School Counseling Update

    Due to the recent snow days, the timeline for students to choose courses for the 2017-2018 school year have been moved back one week.  When we return from February break, all juniors will meet with their school counselors to review their options and choose their classes for their senior year.  All sophomores and juniors should log in to the Student Portal and choose their potential electives.  Directions on how students and parents access course recommendations can be found on the HHS website.  Sophomores will meet with their counselors during the week of March 6th and freshman will meet with their counselors during the week of March 13th.  

    Mid-year reports were submitted to college admission offices.  This is an important piece of information that is requested of college admission offices for all applicants.  For a number of students, this is the final piece of information that is submitted prior to a college rendering an admission decision for those who applied Regular Decision.  Final admission decisions are released in mid to late March for students who applied under the Regular Decision deadlines.  

    Important Information for Seniors!  

    Scholarship Information

      • The HHS Scholarship Portal is open from January 3rd through March 31st.  Directions on how to access the portal can be found on the School Counseling Department page on the HHS website http://hhs.haverhill-ps.org/scholarship-database-directions/.  
      • Seniors, be sure to check the available scholarships on Naviance each week.  We receive many different scholarship applications and we will post each one on Naviance.  Don’t miss out!

    General Reminders for Seniors

    Many of those seniors who applied Early Action or Early Decision to colleges have heard back with a decision.  Don’t forget to update your counselor and enter the college application decision in your Naviance account!  If you receive any scholarships from a college, please bring us a copy of your merit scholarship letter so that we can brag about your accomplishments!  We are eagerly waiting to see which colleges students are being accepted to and we like to share this news!

    Upcoming Events/Important Dates

    • February 28th- Late registration deadline to sign up for the March SAT
    • March 22nd- 6pm- Junior Parent College Information Night in the HHS Library.  
    • April 4th- 6pm- Early College Information Night in the HHS Library.  Come to learn about the Early College Program and its new dual enrollment options!
    • April 5th- 6pm- Annual HHS College Fair in the HHS Library.  We hope that you can join us to learn about opportunities after high school!

    Summer Opportunities

    • The United States Naval Academy offers two summer programs for high school students each year.  Additional information and applications for these programs should be completed online at https://www.usna.edu/Admissions/Programs/index.php.  
      • Summer Seminar– This is a competitive and fast-paced course for students who have completed their junior year of high school.  Summer Seminar is ideal for students who are interested in pursuing an appointment to one of the service academies.  Students will learn about life and academics at the Naval Academy.  Online applications are now open for students interested in pursuing the Summer Seminar. 
      • Summer STEM program: Interested in Engineering?  Are you curious about what it takes to become an Engineer?  Are you passionate about Math and Science?  Are you going to be a sophomore or junior next year?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Summer STEM Program might be for you!  This is a first come, first served opportunity so do not wait to apply!
    • The Francis College of Engineering at U-Mass Lowell will host two overnight, week-long summer camps for high school students in July.  Students will have the chance to live on campus for a week and discover the many facets of engineering though hands-on projects and interactions with students and faculty.  Students will work in one of the new 3D-Printing or CNC Machining labs.  The cost for the camp includes all overnight accommodations as well as meals and supplies.  There are financial scholarships available.  For more information, visit https://www.uml.edu/Engineering/stem-pipeline/Engineering-summer-camp/default.aspx.  Registration opens February 1st.

             If you have any questions regarding guidance please contact the Supervisor of Guidance K-12 Dion @ 978-374-5700 ext.         1133 or via email @ jdion@haverhill-ps.org

    I am away next week and will not be available by either phone or email. The main office will be open at 978-374-5700 xt. 1101 or 1102 .

    Stay warm and safe over vacation!

    School re-opens February 27th!



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