Dear Shepherd Hill Learning Community:
In education, the long month of March has earned notoriety. Although winter is waning, there is still an element of unpredictably as we await the official beginning of spring. Throughout the month, a number of activities will help to make this typically long month more enjoyable. Today, the cast of Hamilton will visit Shepherd Hill. Later this month, a dodgeball tournament and musical bingo event will allow staff and students to enjoy the camaraderie of friendly competition. With the successful conclusion of the winter sports season, our student-athletes will attend a mandatory open house on March 13th to kick-off the spring season.
In the classroom, teachers and students are working diligently to prepare for assessment season, including upcoming MCAS and Advanced Placement testing. In Massachusetts, public school students must meet both local and state requirements in order to earn a high school diploma, including earning passing scores on the Grade 10 MCAS in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, and one of the Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests. Notably, overall MCAS performance is also used to compare schools and districts. As an institution that prides itself on a reputation of academic excellence, we take these assessments very seriously. Additionally, students have the opportunity to earn individual recognition, up to and including the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship and the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award.
In order to ensure that Shepherd Hill students are well-positioned for success this spring, we are finalizing several arrangements. On each of the testing dates listed below, we will be providing all students with a free breakfast. In addition, we will be rearranging the testing environment to minimize unnecessary disruptions.
To reduce anxiety, teachers will also adjust homework practices during these critical periods.
We value our partnerships with families, and we kindly ask that you reinforce our high expectations for student performance, while also embracing a growth mindset. Every student should receive a good night’s sleep, and arrive at school on-time on each of the prescribed testing dates. Attendance on testing dates is imperative.
Grade 10 - ELA (Computer-Based) - March 28, 29
Grade 10 - Math (Computer-Based) - May 16,17
Grade 9 - Biology or Introductory Physics (Computer-Based) - June 6, 7
These upcoming assessments will present a variety of challenges, but we are confident that our students will rise to the occasion! Additional details will be communicated in the coming weeks. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school, or visit https://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/.
On behalf of the faculty and staff, thank you for your continued support!
Darren C. Elwell, Principal