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Student Representative’s Report – School Committee Meeting December 3, 2014

Katherine Dunham, along with SC member Jim Dever, waiting for the meeting to begin
by Katherine Dunham, Student Representative
For as busy as this past Fall was, Winter promises to be even more eventful and successful.
Just yesterday, the new SHS light fixture in the shape of a Squire went up on Quakermeeting House. By the end of this week, it will be joined by its counterpart, the Knight.
This week also marked the beginning of winter sport tryouts. Groups of cross country runners could be seen running down 6A, basketball players could be heard conditioning and dribbling in the gym, and girls ice hockey players could be found in homeroom, both exhausted from 6AM practices and psyched for the season to begin. Many student athletes will be participating  in this winter season – the registration process having been made incredibly easy because of the option to sign up online. The winter sports season always starts up quickly and this year is no exception, with many teams playing their first game next week.
The final fall sport, football, concluded on Thanksgiving day. Although Mashpee did come away with the win, the Blue Knights put up a great effort not only on Thanksgiving but over the course of the season. Their effort is certainly one that both the graduating seniors and Sandwich as a whole should be proud of.
The arts at Sandwich High, coming off of the success that was the Runaways, also have a busy concert season ahead of them. This Friday, Sandwich Soul kicks off this season, caroling outside of the Daniel Webster as part of Christmas in Sandwich. You can also catch Soul’s performance on the 13th in the automobile room of Heritage Gardens for the annual Gardens Aglow. The high school choral concert will be held in the SHS theater Friday the twelfth at seven. The instrumental concert will be performed on the eighteenth.
At the next meeting, the plans and dates for high school finals will be finalized. Later tonight, you’ll  hear about some of the new courses proposed for STEM and the SHS. The courses will provide cohesive transitions from learning in STEM to learning in the high school while simultaneously enriching the high school program of studies.
Something unique to this season, beyond academics or extracurriculars, is the spirit of giving. One high school team that exemplifies this is that made up of school social worker Sue Coutinho, behaviorist Jeanne Reece, psychologist Jamie Connors, and nurse Kathy Grant. Together, they have begun several new philanthropic initiatives for the high school. One such program is “Adopt A Knight.” Through Adopt A Knight, faculty members are able to anonymously sponsor a student in need during the holiday season. Organized through the guidance department and nurses office, both the identity of the student and teacher remain confidential. The same team is working to make advisories more friendly in the morning through social skills training. The team has trained teachers for this program and also in a program dealing with handling anxieties and depressions prevalent during the holiday season.
The high school student council is working in close partnership with Deputy Fire Chief JJ Burke in their school-wide Toys for Tots drive. Student council annually puts this event on and it’s always a tremendous success.
In a similar spirit, Forestdale’s student council is organizing a coat drive for the month of December. This is just one of many student run efforts at the Forestdale school. Sixth grade student council has organized two spirit days next Wednesday and Thursday: crazy hat day and Bruins pride day. Both those days are half days for students due to parent teacher conferences. This Monday marked the close of the first trimester and report cards will be going home with students on Monday December 8.  Parents of K-2 students should be reminded that they’ll be seeing a new report card this year.  Information will be coming home with these new Standards-Based Report Cards to help parents in understanding the new format.
Oak Ridge students are busy with a wide range of enrichments, many of which are supported by the generosity of the PTA. First Graders will visit Green Briar, fourth graders a local nursing home, fifth graders the Christa MacAuliffe Space Center, and sixth graders the Ziterion Theater. The Holiday Fair and Holiday Concert, an night open to the entire family, will be held on the ninth and the band concert on the 19th.
Wing is celebrating the success of the 20th Annual Wing School Turkey Trot. Close to 500 students participated: running, walking, and donating toys to Toys for Tots. Special thanks to Laura Dunn, a revered teacher and member of the Wing School Celebration and Commemoration Committee, for spearheading the first signature event to celebrate Wing’s past and present. On November 24th, students heard stories from past students and retired and current staff members. Many thanks to the speakers in attendance and the the PTA for hosting a luncheon for guests. Some of the legends that stuck with current students were about students falling through ceilings in the multipurpose room and drying snow pants in the boiler room. All the speakers described Wing as a “family” and current students were proud to say that they still feel the same way.
These are just some of the great things that are happening this month and I cannot wait to tell you about more of them on the seventeenth. It’s certainly a wonderful time of year. Some would even consider it, the most wonderful time of the year! Thank you!