Weekly Update from Dr. V: "Mid Term Time"

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Weekly Update
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Weekly Update
January 13, 2017

Well Vested: Seniors in Mr. Robert Brearley's (right) World Religions class did presentations on the significance of religious clothing. Christian Connors (left presented on Catholic vestments while Anne Pham (center) presented on Shintoism.
Mid-Term Time
 
During the “cold open” to this week, I walked into a junior homeroom. One of the students (who shall remain nameless) remarked, “I’m so happy we’re not going to have a snow day. We have too much material to go over.” Such focus and desire to be in class can only mean one thing—midterm examinations are upon us.
 
The mid-term (and final) examinations are both rite of passage and essential aspect of an Archbishop Williams, college preparatory education. As many of our returning alumni have attested the AWHS’ exam week prepares our students for the high pressure college final exam in a much more supportive (and lower-stakes) environment.
 
During this week, stress and anxiety levels are heightened. Teachers have worked diligently since we’ve returned from Christmas vacation to ease those tensions and ready our students for the exams. We recognize that for some of our students—especially our 7th and 9th graders—this is their first ever mid-term assessment.
 
This newsletter will focus almost exclusively on the exams, some study tips, and a review of the rules and regulations. Please take a moment to review them with your son or daughter.
Captain Planet: AWHS alumnus and current Harvard freshman Jonathan Hamilton '16 guest lectured in Ms. Jordana Churchill's AP Environmental Science class on Thursday. Jon delivered a powerful message on how students can get involved in helping to protect the environment.
Exam Schedule
Mid-term exams begin on Tuesday. On each day, we will have two exams. The first exam runs from 7:50-9:20 and the second exam goes from 9:50-11:20. It is imperative that students are on time for their exams.

Students take their exams in the period order of their schedule (based on a Day 1).
  • Tuesday: Periods 1 & 2
  • Wednesday: Periods 3 & 4
  • Thursday: Periods 5 & 6
  • Friday: Periods 7 & Exam Make-Ups
If a student is going to be absent, he or she should contact the teacher via email to schedule a make-up exam.
 
In between exams, students may be the cafeteria. Snacks and water will be available for sale. Proceeds from snack sales during exams will benefit the Elaine Batting Memorial Scholarship fund. Mrs. Batting was a beloved foreign language teacher at Archbishop Williams.
 
Students are dismissed after their last exam for the day. After school supervision will run until its normal time of 5 PM. Please note, that lunch will not be served. Students should bring their own lunch.

Additionally, the Dignan Athletic Training Facility will be open from 11:30-1PM to all students who have completed their familiarization session to use the weight room.
 
Exam Regulations
 
During mid-term examinations, AWHS will observe a policy of strict academic integrity. Students should bring into the examination room only those materials needed to take the exam. Cell phones, iPads, and other unauthorized electronic devices should be left in their locker. They may bring in a bottle of water and a book to read when finished with the exam, if they so choose. 
 
Please review the policy in the student handbook on pages 9-10 concerning academic integrity, which has very detailed definitions of cheating. Any violation of the policy shall result in the student receiving a grade of 0 for the exam. This especially applies to cell phones. If a cell phone is seen, goes off in any way during an exam, it shall be construed as cheating—this applies even if the student has already turned in the exam. It does not matter why the cell phone was used (including a good luck text).
 
As a parent, if you need to contact your child during the examination period, we encourage you to contact the Main Office. We will be more than happy to communicate the message in an appropriate manner.
Stress Relief: Ms. Olivia Kennedy goes through some relaxation and mediation exercises with her freshmen Biology class.
Study Advice
 
While every student develops a different system of studying, there are some “tried and true” methods to help your child focus for exam preparation:
  • Create a quiet, well-lit space to study free from distractions, especially electronic ones.
  • Create outlines, flowcharts, and flash carts to organize materials. Read key points out loud. Do some oral quizzing. The more senses you can engage during studying, the more likely you are to remember the content.
  • Old tests are the best predictors for future exam questions.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Cramming through late night sessions does not augment retention.
  • Take frequent, regular study breaks (but time them so they do not last too long).
  • Eat healthy. The brain needs proper nutrition to function at its best.
  • Maintain exercise routines. A workout is perhaps the best stress relief. Consider taking advantage of the Dig being open after the exam period.
Congratulations to the Cast of Mary Poppins
Over 55 students auditioned for roles in our Spring Musical, Mary Poppins. The cast list was posted Friday and our Fine Arts Department Chair Mrs. DeRosa-Coakley stated this this was one of the best auditions she has ever seen. Junior Olivia McDonnell landed the title role of Mary Poppins and sophomore Sebastien Joseph will have to channel his best Dick van Dyke as Bert. Congratulations to everyone in the cast. We cannot wait to see the production!

Winter Open House
On Wednesday, January 25, AWHS will have its Winter Open House at 6 PM. If you know any families that should be applying to Archies across all grades, including transfers that have not yet taken a tour of the school, please encourage them to attend. We have a rolling admissions process through the spring, so there is still time to apply!
Track Stars: (Top) Seniors Taylor Jackson, Alexandria Calder, and Ruth LaBranche are all smiles at their track meet this week (Bottom) Junior William Hua sticks the landing after the long jump.
From the Nurse’s Office:
This month our nursing office will be conducting screenings on students in Grades 7 & 10.  These screenings will include hearing, vision and BMI.  (There will be scoliosis screenings in the spring.)
The screening of the Body Mass Index (BMI) is for all students in Grades 7 & 10 and is required by Massachusetts state law. 

The letter linked here explains in more detail the BMI screening and its purpose.  It also contains a BMI screening “opt-out” provision.  If you have a student in Grade 7 and/or 10, please take the time to read the letter and decide if you want your child to have the screening.  Please note that if you choose to “opt-out”, the letter must be returned to the Nurse’s Office by Friday, January 20, 2017.

Good Luck Nick!

 
Freshman Nick Tardanico will trade his blue and gold for red, white, and blue this weekend lining up as a running back for Team USA U-16 Select in the International Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. He is one of five student-athletes chosen from the state of Massachusetts to travel to the land of Friday Night Lights and face Football Alberta. Good luck! Hook ‘Em!

And Lastly: Martin Luther King Day Reflection
Amidst plans to study and get in some relaxation over the long weekend, it is important to remember the reason for the holiday on Monday. A number of years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Memphis and toured the National Civil Rights Museum, which is built in the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated.

Outside the balcony of his room, there is a simple stone plaque inscribed with the words from Genesis 37:19-20, "They said to one another, 'Behold, here cometh the dreamer. Let us slay him, And we shall see what will become of his dreams." It was a powerful conclusion to a deeply challenging tour.

With our country also experiencing the excitement of the inauguration of a new president next week, it is a good time to take stock of the dream and see how far we have come--and how farther still we have to travel--since that fateful day on April 4, 1968. I encourage everyone on this holiday to reflect upon King's magisterial Letter From a Birmingham Jail and pray for an end to all injustice, wherever it is found.
As always, if there is anything we can do to better serve you or your child, do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for being part of our family at Archbishop Williams.

Pax,

Dr. V
Michael R. Volonnino, Ph.D.
Principal
Swimming Over Spellman: Our Swim team had as good a regular season week as an AWHS team can have, crushing St. Mary's and Cardinal Spellman, 91-74 and 95-66, respectively, on Tuesday and Thursday. Senior Vy Doan qualified for the MIAA Swimming Championships in the 100 Fly and senior Andrew Henault qualified for the 50 Free, setting a school record with a time of 23.66. Congratulations!
About Williams

Archbishop Williams High School is a Catholic co- educational high school which educates young men and women spiritually, academically, morally, and physically. Archbishop Williams is part of a Christian community that integrates learning with faith and focuses on developing the whole person.
AWHS Student Handbook
2016-2017 School Calendar
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