This week’s SHS Faculty PD!

Class of 2016 students and parents should read the Senior Memo.  Lots of information on graduation and end of year events.

Another great Evening of the Arts last week.  Our students are so talented.  A BIG thank you to all the teachers who helped make it a successful night.  This show is a favorite for my own kids.  My daughter made two videos to share what she enjoyed.
Video #1
Video #2

Our Smithfield Playschool hosted their graduation last week.  Check out the video.

Check out the videos from the World Language Department at the Evening of the Arts.

Congratulations to the girls track team for winning the Class C track meet this past weekend!

Head Softball Coach, Tony Torregrossa, asked that I share this:
As many of you are probably aware our softball team has had to forfeit 9 games for using an ineligible player. While there are a number factors involved that contributed to this, it was my responsibility to be sure that this did not happen.

I would therefore like to apologize to all those who are involved with Smithfield Athletics, especially to my players and their parents. We all know just how good these young ladies have played over the past years, and no matter what is says in the record book, we know what they accomplished on the field.

Fortunately all teams make the playoffs. Therefore, our road just got a little tougher, but you can be sure they will represent SHS with class and determination

I had a long talk with my players and while they were disappointed, they also are determined to show everyone what we are made of in the state tournament.

Potential changes for graduation requirements.  Here is latest from the Commissioners memo:
On Tuesday, the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to approve for public comment proposed changes to the Secondary School regulations. These changes would revise the current graduation requirements, or the Rhode Island Diploma System. Under these proposed changes, beginning with the Class of 2021, students would continue to complete 20 credits of coursework plus one “performance-based diploma assessment” (such as a capstone project or portfolio of work) in order to earn a diploma. Students would no longer need to attain a passing score on a standardized assessment; however, students could earn a “Commissioner’s Seal” by attaining a passing score (to be determined) on the PARCC or any number of other approved assessments. Students could also earn local diploma “endorsements” for successful completion of various coursework sequences, such as dual-language instruction, STEM, the arts, or service learning.

The Commissioner’s Seal and the other endorsements are intended to enhance the diploma by taking seriously the idea of pathways that match students’ strengths, interests, and passions. These enhancements will provide students with the opportunity to take ownership of their diploma. One size does not fit all.

We also plan to consider, as a factor in our accountability system, the inclusion of the percentages of students in each school district attaining the Commissioner’s Seal and local endorsements. We want to put incentives on the system to serve students better without putting those requirements in front of students as barriers that would prevent them from earning a diploma, which could have lifelong consequences.

We have begun seeking public comment on these proposed changes, and we intend to hold public hearings on these proposed changes at the start of the coming school year. You can read the proposed revised regulations here: .

Here is a link to some FAQs on the proposed revisions to the Diploma System:
Community service opportunity
Revive the Roots is offering community service to students who want to help work in the Edible
Ecosystem at Smithfield High School. The work would include planting, harvesting, weeding,
mulching and a variety of other tasks that a garden requires. Students are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.  Please contact Chris for more information or to sign up for a spot.  Available times are flexible and can be discussed.
Internship Opportunity

Fruit For Thought Internship Opportunity

The purpose of Fruit for Thought is to create sustainable food forests at public schools and integrate sustainability education into the classrooms in a practical, hands on way. We seek to address climate change, peak energy, food security/justice, and the creation of healthy, holistic relationships between people and nature.
In this position you will help do the leg work needed to make sustainable food forests at public schools.
Some duties may include but are not limited too:
  • Helping work at the smithfield high school forest garden
    • weeding, planting, mulching, general manicuring etc.
  • compiling a list of grants by relevance, deadline, and funding amount
  • researching other school garden programs
    • who, what, when, where, why? whats is working for them or not? where did their funding come from? how do they work with class’s? What can we learn from them and apply here?
  • Research potential partners. Individuals or organizations.
    • orgs with similar/supplementary/supportive missions
  • Find media outlets for the idea.
    • events, websites, newspapers etc. where the idea can be presented.
  • Harvesting produce
  • Attending farmers markets
  • Generate ideas for interd
    isciplinary classroom involvement
  • Be creative and have fun. Fresh ideas are welcome

Contact Chris English at for question or application

Best from social media this week:
Grades, Learning, and Change

Great Ted Talk from my friend Dwight Carter – I quit
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