Oyster River High School Implements FLEX/Advisory Period to Enhance Student Learning

Oyster River Cooperative School District
SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-000
Email: [email protected]

Oyster River High School Implements FLEX/Advisory Period to Enhance Student Learning

DURHAM — In a move designed to empower students and increase learning opportunities at Oyster River High School, a new schedule that will incorporate additional study and enrichment time takes effect in September.

The altered bell schedule will include an added 50-minute Flex/Advisory period each day before lunch, providing students and faculty with flexibility beyond their regularly scheduled classes.

During this period, students can meet with teachers in specific subjects where they need additional learning time, study for tests or quizzes, schedule college and career meetings, check in with their advisers and engage in enrichment activities.

School-wide or grade level assemblies can also be scheduled during this time to decrease the amount of instructional time that would otherwise be affected.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to take seven classes, however not all courses will run every day. The change allows students to diversify their options and further their interests while factoring in workload and homework.

“Through the Flex/Advisory period, the goal is for our students to be empowered to make the appropriate academic and social decisions necessary for success at Oyster River High School and beyond,” ORHS Principal Suzanne Filippone said. “We recognize that this will be a transition for students and staff, however we will continue to work together to ensure this change is implemented as smoothly as possible.”

ORHS faculty, students and administration began the evaluation of the bell schedule in the 2016-17 school year, researching potential alternatives that better meet the district’s mission and vision of student learning.

To make the change work, ORHS moved from having 80-minute periods every two weeks to having them each week, mixed in with 50-minute periods.

Parents and community members who want learn more about the new bell schedule can do so by watching a previous School Board meeting here.


Melrose High School Students Win Amp It Up! Challenge

Melrose Public Schools
Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176

For Immediate Release

Monday, May 14, 2018

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Melrose High School Students Win Amp It Up! Challenge

Left to right: Video Production teacher Anthony DiBenedetto, juniors Kyle Nolan and Dan Maffie, Superintendent Cyndy Taymore, juniors Alex Gillis and Ross Carroll, and Larissa Matzek from MassDevelopment. (Courtesy Photo Melrose Public Schools)

MELROSE — Principal Jason Merrill is pleased to announce that a group of Melrose High Students placed in the Amp it up! Challenge for their video on Southbridge SJC Drums.

A creative video production competition, AMP it up! annually invites students to research the inner workings of an advanced manufacturing innovation to explain how it impacts the world around them in a two-minute video. Entries must capture three main ideas about a product, including how it is made, why it matters and what it means to the creator of the video.

The winning group, one of three entries from MHS, received $3,000 from MassDevelopment, the sponsoring organization behind the AMP it up! Challenge. The money won by the students will be reinvested into the program by adding and upgrading equipment. This is the second time is three years that MHS has placed in the competition.

Juniors Kyle Nolan, Dan Maffie, Alex Gillis and Ross Carroll featured Southbridge SJC Drums, a manufacturer of custom percussion instruments, under the guidance of MHS Video Production teacher Anthony DiBenedetto. Over February vacation, the group went on site to complete interviews, film b-roll and conduct research for their project. They then spent two weeks editing the video before submitting it to the competition.

“Melrose High School and MHS-TV are extremely excited to have participated in the AMP it Up! Challenge,” DiBenedetto said. “The entire process is really interesting for the students and helps to build a variety of skills. It is always great when you can combine student interests and work with other members of our community, like businesses, to promote the awesome things we both are doing.”

To view MHS’ winning entry, click here.

About MassDevelopment:

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During the 2016 fiscal year, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.


Exeter High School Students Compete In Classical League Forum


New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16
Christine Rath, Interim Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833

For Immediate Release

Monday, May 14, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: joh[email protected]

Exeter High School Students Compete In Classical League Forum

EXETER — Exeter High School students challenged their knowledge of the Latin language, as well as Roman and Greek history during the fourth annual New Hampshire Junior Classical League Forum.

Held at Philips Exeter Academy on April 14, 11 students and Latin teacher Emily Ellis attended the event with 10 other schools from New Hampshire and Vermont. The friendly competition was designed to foster learning and pair participants with their peers from around the region to engage in activities and contests.

Students donned period costumes and competed in events like a chariot race — where each team of three (one rider and two to pull the wooden wagon) complete two laps in a series of heats to determine a final round and eventual winner — and a gladiatorial combat.

The latter event featured four rounds of pairs competing at once. To win, students had to touch their opponent twice with a fake sword. Sophomore Noah Robinson and senior Weston Su made it to the final round, coming just short of winning.

Robinson and sophomore Andrew McElroy did however defeat their opponents in “Labble” (Latin Scrabble), which takes the general rules of the board game and slightly modifies them to allow certain consonants to be interchanged and replaced to accommodate Latin spellings.

Students also partook in academic contests and a certamen — a classics quiz bowl where teams go up against each other to answer questions on the Latin language, Roman history and culture and classical mythology.

Participants had the opportunity to show off their school spirit and love for the classics through scripted dialogues and choreographed dances. Exeter High School students performed “The story of the Mythical Blue Hawk,” which was recited in classical myth form (by a narrator), while other students acted out the various characters.

In the story, Greek God Zeus needed a bird to help deliver an important message. Various birds, portrayed by students, failed to complete the task for various reasons, until the Blue Hawk, which is also Exeter High School’s mascot, came along. The bird used its companions to deliver the message, following its “hawks fly together” mentality, which is the unofficial motto of EHS.

“Every year students have a great time at the classical forum,” Ellis said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to use what they learn in the classroom in a fun and engaging competition, and also meet students from other districts who love the same subjects.”


Kearsarge Regional High School Holds Mock DUI Crash for Students to Illustrate Dangers of Impaired Driving Ahead of Prom

Kearsarge Regional School District
Superintendent Winfried Feneberg
114 Cougar Court
New London, NH 03257

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Kearsarge Regional High School Holds Mock DUI Crash for Students to Illustrate Dangers of Impaired Driving Ahead of Prom

NEW LONDON — The track outside Kearsarge Regional High School looked a little different today. A totaled car sat parked on the turf with three student actors inside. A dummy lay on the ground, representing a life lost. Although not real, it appeared as though a serious motor vehicle crash had occurred. As the scene unfolded, students who came outside to watch a corresponding demonstration were reminded about the dangers of impaired driving in anticipation of the junior prom this weekend.

At 10 a.m., Kearsarge High School, in conjunction with the Sutton Police Department and first responders from Sutton Fire and EMS, put on a mock car crash for students in grades nine through 12.

Students filed into the bleachers and a skit began with sophomore Shane Boucher, of Sutton, pacing furiously outside the crashed car while on the phone with 911. Two passengers remained unconscious in the backseat of the vehicle, while another (the dummy) lay motionless on the track after being ejected from the front passenger’s seat.

Representatives from the Sutton and New London Police Departments arrived on scene, who began assessing the patient on the track, followed by the Sutton Fire Department, Sutton Rescue and the New London ambulance, which tackled extricating the two passengers from the backseat of the car.

“No pulse on this one, no pulse!” shouted New London Lt. Officer Emily Cobb as she assed the victim on the ground.

Police also performed a field sobriety test on Boucher, who failed, and was placed in handcuffs to be taken into custody.

“I saw some shock and disbelief,” Boucher said while he was performing in the skit. “To be sitting in that car, to be responsible for that heavy of a thing, I just can’t imagine it.”

“Hopefully it hit home for kids,” added Shelly Boucher, Shane’s mother, who came for the presentation and couldn’t help feeling emotional despite knowing the crash wasn’t real. “Seeing that car, that could be them sitting there at the mercy of firefighters.”

Students then glanced to the sky as they heard the propellers overhead. Within minutes, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team helicopter landed on the grass nearby and medics rushed over to transport one of the passengers following extrication. The other passenger was loaded into an ambulance to be transported to a nearby hospital.

To conclude the mock crash, a hearse from Chadwick Funeral Service arrived to pick up the ejected victim, who was declared dead on scene.

Students then moved into the auditorium, where they watched a video made by the Sutton and New London Police Departments to show a behind the scenes look at what happened to Boucher following the crash.

After being transported to the New London Police station, Boucher had his blood drawn to test his blood alcohol content, was fingerprinted and informed of his charges: negligent homicide and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Unable to make his $2,000 bail, Boucher was taken to a cell until his court date the following morning. Students were left with the image of him alone and upset in jail.

“I thought it was cool to show what a real situation would be like and how bad the crash and charges could be,” said sophomore Aidan McCullough, of New London, following the presentation. “This could happen to people in our school.”

Sutton Police Chief Jonathan Korbet, who has been working since February to organize the demonstration, spoke to students about the importance of never getting behind the wheel impaired or being in a vehicle where the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He also took time to answer several student questions.

“With junior prom this weekend, we felt the mock crash was timely and really important for students to experience,” Chief Korbet said. “If we can impact a handful of kids, then we did what we wanted to do.”

Superintendent Winfried Feneberg would like to thank the first responders and emergency personnel for their work on the mock crash.

“We have strong community partnerships where everyone works together, and you really see it at events like today,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “It’s all seven towns coming together to get an important message across to students.”

To view a video of the entire mock DUI crash, click here.

To view the video students watched in the auditorium detailing Boucher’s arrest, click here.