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SHS Back to School Letter

Some of the highlights – dates, need-to-know information – included in the SHS “Back-to-School Letter” from Dr. Ellin Booras, principal – STEM Academy/Sandwich High School. The entire letter is at the end to download, view and print, if you’d like!

SHS school wide goals for the 2016-2017 school year:

 Project Based Learning

 Authentic Assessment

 Project Lead the Way expansion

 PLTW/ AP certification

 Writing Across the curriculum

As you know, everything we do and plan at SHS is done in support of our Core Values and Beliefs. These essential principles guide our curriculum planning, program development, student activities, academics, athletics, arts, hiring practices, and impact and guide every aspect of life at SHS. They are the guideposts to caretaking Blue Knight Pride. To those parents and families new to Sandwich High School, here is a look at our Core Values:

 Every student has value and deserves the opportunity to achieve his or her potential

 Assessment informs instruction

 Learning is personalized, collaborative, and reflective

 Academic, athletic, and artistic excellence are promoted

 Competence and confidence prepare students to contribute to the world

Twenty-first Century Learning Expectations:

 Speak, read and write effectively across the curriculum for a variety of purposes

 Apply reasoning and problem-solving in all disciplines

 Express ideas creatively across the curriculum

 Use information, media, and technology effectively and responsibly

 Develop physical and artistic skills

 Assume responsibility for their own decisions and behavior

 Demonstrate a willingness to resolve conflicts responsibly

 Contribute to the welfare of others

 Learn to collaborate effectively

 Foster respectful and productive relationships in and beyond the community

 Exercise their rights and responsibilities in a democratic society

School Hours:

  • SHS / STEM Academy hours for students will be 7:30- 2:00 p.m. on regular school days
  • SHS/ STEM Academy hours for students on Late Start Days will be 10:21- 2:00 p.m.
  • SHS/STEM Academy hours for students on Early Release Days will be 7:30- 11:09 a.m.
  • Specific dates for Late Start, Early Release, and Parent Conferences are highlighted on the 2015-2016- district calendar.
  • There is no school for students on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016. This day is dedicated to district wide professional development


SHS/ STEM Academy continues it commitment to widespread use of one to one technology.

  • All students must bring a fully charged device to class each day.  
  • All freshmen students will be issued a chrombook, and all STEM students are assigned a chromebook to use in school each day.
  • We also support and encourage students to BYOD (Bring your own Device). So, if your son or daughter would prefer to use a laptop, ipad or chrome book which you have purchased on your own, that is fine.

Stay tuned for regular updates on this important step in our commitment to 21st century practices. This tool was introduced last year as a vehicle designed to improve student writing, and teachers and students report positive experiences. You will learn more about this program at the Back to School Night on September 15 from your students’ teachers.


The Sandwich High School mathematics classes rely heavily on the use of graphing calculators. As your teachers have instructed, each student is expected to bring a T1-83 or T1-84 to math class each day. Additionally, graphing calculators are the only electronic device with graphing function that is allowed on MCAS and SAT and other projected standardized testing. There are school owned classroom sets available for families who need and deserve that support. For maximum personalization with the calculators, students greatly prefer owning their own. Families are encouraged to monitor prices on line and look for back to school sales.

News from Knights Theater Company –  It is time to mark your calendars!

The fall production is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Show dates are Saturday, November 12, Sunday, November 13, Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19, 2016.

The spring musical show dates are Friday, March 24, Saturday, 25, Sunday matinee on March 26, Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1, 2017.


This year, Athletic Administrator Neil Murphy and his team will focus on advancing a culture of positive fan behavior to ensure the continuation of our success in sustained achievement of the MIAA Sportsmanship Awards. Neil and his staff are to be commended.


Just like we have always done for sports, students will now be expected to sign up for extracurricular clubs before their respective seasons begin. The student activity fee of $80.00 has remained stable for almost ten years. We are introducing The Knight Pass, which entitles students to participate in all SHS Clubs. The Knight Pass will go on sale August 15 and 15 in the SHS lobby from 5:00- 7:00 p.m. Please go online (just like you do for sports fees) and register through Family ID before purchasing your pass.

The Knight Pass will also be on sale throughout the first weeks of school. However, remember, students must have a Knight Pass before attending club meetings.

New Staff at SHS:

We are excited to welcome the following:

 Liam Kelly, Spanish

 Beth Simmons, PLTW Biomedical Science and Biology

 Jane Smith, Department Chair, Science

 Joshua Tarsky, SHS Assistant Principal

 Bryan Taylor, ELA

 Brian Tomasini, PE, Health and Wellness

 Jessica Whittier, Mathematics

Learn more about our new teachers here.

Dates to Know:

August 30 Fall Sports Night 6: 00 p.m. @ SHS

August 30 Freshman Orientation 9:00- 3:00 @ Camp Burgess

August 29 Grade 7 STEM Orientation 7:00 p.m. @ SHS

September 1 Grade 9 Freshman Orientation 7:00 p.m. @ SHS

September 9 Senior Retreat/Picnic 9:00- 2:00 @ Camp Burgess

September 10 SHS Blue Knights Football opens the season at 12:00 p.m. in the DeConto Veterans Memorial Stadium

September 15 SHS/ STEM Academy Back to School Night grades 7-12 @ 7:00 p.m. @ SHS

September 19-23 Homecoming Week!

September 24 Homecoming Dance

October 4 Credit for Life: Program for Class of 2016

October 19 PSATs given for current sophomores and juniors@ SHS

October 12 First meeting of the School Council grades 7-12

School Council

As you know, per Massachusetts General Law, each school has School Council comprised of staff, students, parents, and administrators. We have formed a combined 7-12 site based School Council. One of the key responsibilities tasked to this group is the creation and implementation of an annual School Improvement Plan.

Please consider submitting a letter of intent for School Council. According to the Department of Education guidelines, parents should submit names and an election will be conducted through paper ballot at the September 15 Back to School Night. School Council will meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 2:30- 4:30 p.m. in the SHS conference room. If you wish to serve on the 2016-2017 site based School Council, please send an email expressing your interest to Thanks! We look forward to a great year of working in partnership with our parents! Last year’s meetings were characterized by collaborative norms, great teamwork and proud accomplishments!

Power School- update with information on the portal and student id numbers

Please know that all students and parents received access codes to Power School grades 7-12 included in their summer mailings. Student schedules are available on line to parents and students. We will not issue paper copies to students grades 9-12. We will provide a single copy for grade 7 students at their STEM Orientation on August 29, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. along with training on their new chrome books.

Dress Code

Your acknowledgement of the handbook confirms your understanding of our Standards of Dress. We believe that students must dress in a manner which recognizes the importance of viewing school with the same respect that adults view their workplace regarding appropriate attire. We appreciate and need your full cooperation. Here are the guidelines that appear in the student handbook. Please note that these guidelines were composed by a group of SHS students dedicated to preserving an atmosphere conducive to learning and free from distraction that comes with disrespectful and/unsafe manner of dress.

 No hats, visors or bandanas are to be worn in school

 All headwear should be stored in the student’s locker from the beginning of the school day @ 7:30 a.m. to the end of the school day @ 2:00 p.m.

 No bare midriffs, spaghetti straps or low cut tops

 Shorts and skirts of at least fingertip length

 No backless shirts or beach attire/ bare feet

 No undergarments may be shown

 No inappropriate holes in pants, skirts, shirts, or jerseys

 No promotion of drugs, tobacco, and/or alcohol on any clothing

 No offensive patches or offensive promotions on any clothing or personal item

 No outerwear is to be worn in the halls or classrooms

Food and Drink in the classroom

The Sandwich Public School district has adopted a policy on food and drink in the classroom. At Sandwich High School, we allow students to carry water bottles to classes other than science labs, computer labs, and the library. There is no beverage allowed in these areas per MA safety regulations on school and workplace safety. Teachers planning such events/lessons for which food is considered a curriculum ingredient (i.e. making ice cream in Chemistry, exploring a world culture through cuisine, edible Botany!, etc) must get permission from the principal and the school nurse in advance.

An essential component of the approval process is the submission of a class list to the school nurse along with a complete listing of the food items to be served. The nurse then cross references the class list with the list of students who have food allergies, and makes a decision based on accurate data.

Stay informed!

The best way to stay up to date on the many events that define SHS/STEM Academy is to follow SHS on twitter, follow the athletic department on twitter, and to access the school and district website. Also, much like Gil Newton’s highly successful blog, Newton’s News, I will be using a new blog called BKP Voices to send out updates. A great source of information is the district’s excellent on line magazine, Sandwich Learns Together.

All the Sandwich schools will have an enhanced presence on Facebook and twitter. You can follow our new superintendent for updates and timely information. Twitter @Sandw_super.

Sincere thanks to all the parents of the wonderful students of SHS! Please reach out to me at anytime regarding any questions or concerns. It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve you and your children.We are excited to welcome our students back to school and to reunite with our parent community for a great school year.

Best wishes for a year of great Blue Knight Pride,

Dr. Ellin Booras

Principal, SHS/ STEM Academy

Read and download the full letter here:SHS parent letter summer 2016