The Sentinel Legacy 2/21/18

The Sentinel Legacy: 2/21/18

“We Need to Do Something”

In conjunction with my administrative team and support staff, we shared this announcement (part of the full announcement) over the loudspeaker:

As we share our thoughts and sentiments with the Douglas High school community, the school that endured yesterday’s tragedy in Florida, it is important to remind ourselves of own procedures. Firstly, Smithfield High School is truly a wonderful high school, with a strong school community of positive relationships. Ultimately, the best safety precaution we have is to ensure that no one goes through Smithfield High School alone, isolated, and separated. We are all in this together. We are a Sentinel family. We need to support those who are upset, and recognize that the strength of this school is in the power of the connections we develop with each other: teachers, students, and staff alike. Remember the words from our Sandy Hook Promise assembly: “It starts with hello.”

Secondly, it is important to reiterate the phrase: “If you see something, say something.” No incident, such as the one that occurred yesterday, happens in isolation. If someone is upset, say something. That person deserves the right to come to school and feel supported. If someone indicates a desire to harm someone, whether emotionally or physically, say something. If something on social media causes concern or raises a flag, say something. As educators, we’d rather have a thousand proactive conversations before something happens than the one reactive conversation after it is too late to change course. Right now, there are many people questioning if they could have done something more to stop the unfortunate event at Douglas High. Again, we are all a part of the Sentinel family, and need to look out for one another.

In the next couple of weeks, we still have to perform our regular safety drills. Please note that SHS is a safe place, and we perform these drills to ensure that we have the safest possible environment for our school. Just remember that we need to stick to our safety procedures, make sure that we practice all of our drills properly, and ensure a safe environment for everyone. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. The more we are informed, the better prepared we are.

Thank you to everyone for all you do to make SHS a great high school.

Positivity, relationships, and outreach are an immediate “do now”, which can result in successful interventions to prevent these tragedies from occurring. This does provide one of the most effective proactive measures we can do as a school, and mirrors the theme of the Sandy Hook Promise presentation that occurred during our Respect Week.


Let me say with the utmost emphasis that THIS IS RIDICULOUS. We are living not in a world, but in a country, whereby we have to prepare for (and seek to proactively prevent) lethal, premeditated danger, because it happens with such a degree of frequency that we cannot relegate school shootings to the once in a lifetime incident that should have ended with Columbine. Nationwide, movements are forming. There is a growing momentum building. Some are calling for specific actions. Others for laws. Still others pushing back, receding into the realm of the status quo. With that, I turn to this educational community.

As a father, educator, principal, colleague, and friend, I cannot tolerate that we will pursue the status quo. I will not, after another set of childrens’ and educators’ lives lost, share that we sit idly by and share sentiments until the next school shooting occurs. I urge everyone to follow your hearts, pursue your instincts, follow your convictions, and seek action, as we as a nation are facing a fundamental crossroads. Since 1999, a time I remember well as a senior in high school myself, when Columbine nearly forced school closures across the country for days due to absenteeism for fear of replication, there have been numerous (approximately 25 by strict definition) fatal active school shootings at elementary and high school levels. We need to do something.

A few items to note:

Academic Updates:


-The 2nd semester is underway. Please note that the end of quarter 3 is on March 27th. From today, our seniors have four months left of their high school careers. This is an important academic stretch for our students. Though the “in process” grade shows up-to-date quarterly averages, please note that we will be doing a “progress report” posting next week.

-Our course selection process for current SHS students begins on Friday, 2/23, with course selection sheets being distributed during Alpha Advisory on Friday. During all lunches, we will be having our annual Course Selection Fair to highlight the various programs that SHS has to offer. Our SHS Program of Studies site has been updated to increase ease of use.

GMS 8th graders will receive their course selection sheets on Friday, March 2.

If you have any questions regarding the course selection process, please contact your student’s guidance counselor or school administration

Administrative Updates:

-Smithfield High School Music Department proudly presents “Fiddler on the Roof” a classic musical about family and time honored traditions.

Friday, March 9th at 7 PM

Saturday, March 10th at 7 PM

Sunday, March 11th at 2 PM

Tickets are just $10 for adults, $7 for students and $7 for Senior Citizens. Tickets are available at the door.

Children under 5 are free!

There will be many raffle prizes to support the SHS Music Dept!

-Rescheduled Event: –Relay for Life Flyer: Upcoming Relay for Life (fundraiser to fight cancer) kickoff on Thursday, March 8

-Please check out these resources from the RI Dept. of Health regarding flu and norovirus prevention: RIDOH Resource

-The revised school calendar can be found here: School Calendar. The last day of school is June 12. SHS Graduation is still June 5.

-Barnes and Noble is having a contest that honors your favorite teacher and why he or she has had such an impact on your life. Students are allowed to provide a poem, essay, or thank you letter, recognizing your favorite teacher’s contributions. Each Barnes and Noble store is submitting a written piece to the national competition. Written pieces will be posted at a My Favorite Teacher event in April. Please see the details attached.

The deadline for submission directly to the store is March 2nd. You may also turn in submissions to Mr. Hopkins by Wednesday, February 28, and he will deliver them to the store.

Please consider honoring the great work your teachers do on a daily basis! Let Mr. Hopkins know if you have any questions.

B&N Links:

My Favorite Teacher Link 1

My Favorite Teacher Link 2

My Favorite Teacher Link 3

-Upcoming Smithfield Special Education Local Parent Advisory Committee event:

SSELAC BIOMES Event Saturday, March 24

-Important medical information for the class of 2019:

In accordance with the Department of Health Rules and Regulations pertaining to immunizations, all students entering their senior year are required to have a booster dose of Meningococcal vaccine on or after their 16th birthday.

Also a 12th grade physical exam is required to attend school in September .

Please send this required medical documentation to the nurse as soon as possible . If your child’s physical exam is not scheduled until after the start of the 2018-2019 school year, please send in the most recent exam.

Please call Mrs. Riley, RN at 349-4625 with any questions .


-Congratulations to #12, Taylor Cobain, on becoming the ALL-TIME Leading Scorer for the Lady Sentinels Basketball Program!

And, also, congrats to Taylor on being named the Showcase Cinemas Student Athlete of the Month for January!

-Students from SHS took it upon themselves to hang “Kindness Slips” around the school to promote positivity in the wake of last week’s tragedy. Great work!

-Fun Video from Mr. Lenore to lighten the mood: A Tasty Bite of 2018

Other Important Dates:


-Friday, 2/23: SHS Course Selection Fair

-Monday, 2/26: RI Dept. of Transportation ThinkFast Interactive Presentation on

“Distracted Driving”

-Tuesday, 2/27: Mid-point of the 3rd Quarter

-Friday, 3/2: Incoming Freshmen Course Selection Presentation

-Friday, Saturday, Sunday (3/9-3/11): SHS presents Fiddler on the Roof

Photo Highlights:

-SHS teachers and students showed up in force to support our new student, ZiTong Qi, as she performed a Chinese classical dance at Bryant University’s Lunar New Year Celebration!

-Thirty French language students went to Anna McCabe to teach the beauty of language to our elementary school students:

-Reading Across Rhode Island book distribution The Hate You Give, with a presentation by Rick Metters, Vice President of RI Public Affairs and Corporate Community Relations for Fidelity Investments.

-Boys and Girls Basketball Senior Nights photos:

-Some more costume shots from Fiddler on the Roof:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


Go Sentinels!



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