JUNE 2020


It's hard to believe we are now in Week 11 of Virtual Learning!  Our seniors will be graduating on Friday and our underclassmen will be heading into exam week.  It's truly amazing how our faculty, staff, students, parents and community have all rallied together to make virtual instruction as successful as possible.  We have received kudos from the State on the work that is being done here at Chariho.  Everyone in Chariho owns this recognition and all should be proud, especially our students who have shown that they can adapt, face the unexpected, and rise to the challenge.  Please know that we are working closely with the State and the RI Department of Education in planning for what school may look like in the fall.  We know that it can be unnerving not knowing what lies ahead, rest assured that we will communicate with you along every step of the way.  In the meantime, our June blog shares ways in which our underclassmen can close out the year strong.  There is information on the upcoming exam week, summer night school and summer schoolwork expectations.  We close with a year in review through Twitter.  Enjoy!

Mr. Mac, Ms. Spas & Mr. Auth


As we head into the last few weeks of school, our message to our students is to finish strong and to end on a positive.  Our faculty have prepared some brief clips, specific to their courses, to prepare our students for their final exams and to provide strategies that will help them close out their year on a high note.  Teachers have created clips on study skills, organization, and exam prep strategies.  Our related service providers have prepared clips on goal-setting, coping skills, sustaining engagement, and prioritizing tasks, to name a few.  We encourage our students to also think about their social/emotional health at this time and to make healthy choices as we head into the summer.  We ask that students and parents take some time to scroll through the Flipgrids and find topics relevant to their courses and needs.  The Flipgrids can be found at the following link: https://flipgrid.com/closestrongchs


Underclassmen exams will be held the week of June 10th - June 15th.  The exam schedule can be found here.


We have a new website for all summer portfolio, reading & math work.  Make sure to locate the section specific to the grade-level you are entering next year. The summer study website can be found here:  


New to this summer, we are offering students the opportunity to take advantage of summer credit-bearing experiences through our Summer Learning Leap Program.  Students can choose to complete a Summer Internship, an Independent Study or enroll in a Virtual High School (VHS) course.  To learn more about each of these opportunities, please connect with our STEM Coordinator, Susie Scanapieco at Susie.Scanapieco@Chariho.k12.ri.us or our Humanities Coordinator, Dana Hall at Dana.Hall@Chariho.k12.ri.us.  Please keep in mind that the Virtual High School seats are contingent upon grant funding.  There will be a maximum of 20 VHS seats.


Night School is an opportunity for students to recover high school credits.  The Summer Session for Night School will run from June 22nd - June 30th, this excludes Friday, June 26th.  For more information about Night School and how to sign-up, please go to the following site: https://sites.google.com/a/chariho.k12.ri.us/night-school/welcome


MAY 2020


We have some important updates for virtual learning regarding the revised calendar as well as grading and assessment practices.  Last night, the School Committee voted to approve a couple of key changes that will help you plan for the rest of the academic year:

  1. The revised District Calendar has been approved to align with guidance from the State.  Based upon the revised district calendar, we have updated our Green/White Calendar, found here.  You will notice that there are PD days on May 6th, May 20th and June 1st.  So, students do not report to virtual instruction those days.  Also, May 15th will be a Holiday.  If your child has an AP exam scheduled for May 15th, this AP exam session will still take place that day.

  1. The School Committee also voted to approve grading and assessment procedures.  The updated procedures can be found here.  In summary:
    1. We will continue with our traditional, numerical grading practices.  Students will NOT have the option of Pass/Fail.
    2. The Semester Weighting will remain the same at:  Q3: 40%, Q4: 40% and Major Course Assessment: 20%
    3. The Q4 Weighting will change to as follows, this allows for less emphasis/weighting on major assessments/projects: 
      • The following may count for 50% of the final grade:
        • Homework (no more than 15%), quizzes, daily assignments, reviews, warm-ups, and similar short assessments.
      • The following may count for 50% of the final grade:
        • unit assessments, district assessments, performance tasks, major projects, research papers, and similar more substantive, summative assessments
    1. Instead of the “typical semester exams”, each course will create an “Alternative MCA” which will be a summative assessment, performance task, and/or project-based assessment that captures the Essential Power Standards that have been taught over the course of the semester. 
    2. We will be waiving the “Must Pass” expectation for all classes that are graduation requirements.  This means, as long as the student’s semester final average is 70 or above, the student is not required to pass the Alternative MCA to pass the course. 
    3. For students who fail their Alternative MCA, but have a passing grade (70 or above) for the semester (prior to the exam), they will have the opportunity to do a retake. 

Here are some important end-of-year dates:

  • Last Instructional Day for Seniors: May 29th
  • Senior Summative Assessment Window:  May 26th - 29th
  • Senior Assessment/Assignment Make-Ups: June 2nd – June 3rd
  • Senior “Graduation”:  June 5th

  • Underclassmen Summative Assessment Window:  June 10th, 11th, 12th & 15th
  • Underclassmen Summative Assessment Make-Ups:  June 16th & 17th
  • Last day of School:  6/17

We thank you for your continued support of virtual instruction.  

Stay healthy,
Mr. MacKenzie, Mr. Auth & Ms. Spas


Please know that we continue to work with our senior class council, senior class advisors and central office in planning for a way to celebrate and honor our senior class.  It is very important to us that we plan a celebration that honors our seniors while also ensuring their healthy and safety; we continue to look for guidance from the State in our decision-making.  Once a formal plan has been developed, we will make sure to communicate all specifics with you once that time comes.

Also, we are working on a plan for cap, gown, and yearbook distribution.  Once this plan has been finalized, we will share next steps.  Faculty are also in the process of nominating students for senior and underclassmen awards.  We have a plan for how senior awards will be shared and will send that out shortly.  For our underclassmen awards, we hope to be able to hold the award ceremony in-person this upcoming fall.


A few weeks ago, faculty and administrators shared words of encouragement to the senior class, check out their videos here: https://flipgrid.com/messagetochs2020

May 1st was Decision Day, a day that celebrates the post-secondary decisions that students make to pursue college, career or military.  In the following link, faculty and administrators share their former post-secondary decisions and offer words of advice; while seniors share their plans for their future, check out the videos here: https://flipgrid.com/decisiondayseniors


AP Exams will take place online this year during the weeks of May 11th through the 22nd.  Most of the AP Exams will be 1 or 2 free-response questions and all of the exams will be open book and open notes.  Each exam will be approximately 45-minutes, however, students are expected to login 30-minutes prior to the exam.  If your child is taking an AP exam this year, you and your child are encouraged to view the following site: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/ where all updated AP Exam information can be found.  To see which day a specific exam will take place, please see this link: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/taking-ap-exams/ap-exam-schedule.  AP teachers will be reviewing the AP exam protocol and process with students next week and we will be working together for a smooth testing process. You are encouraged to view the following resources:

  • AP Testing Guide for the online exams:  2020 AP Testing Guide.  This guide explains the exam day process, the steps students need to take before exam day, and details about the e-tickets students will need to participate.  
  • Exam Day Checklist for students 2020 AP Exam Day Checklist  Teachers should have their students complete this checklist for each exam they take and keep it next to them while testing.
  • Student Video Lessons:  Please encourage students to access the AP YouTube channel to get review information to help prepare for the exam. All of the live courses are recorded so students can access them on demand. We have begun airing Master Classes hosted by well-known and/or celebrity guest instructors. Here is the link to the AP YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/advancedplacement
  • Parent Webinar:  The parent webinar that was held last week is recorded and can be accessed here:  https://globalmeet.webcasts.com/viewer/event.jsp?ei=1302024&tp_key=73070ccd21 The focus of this webinar is on how parents can help their students prepare for this year’s exam and how colleges and universities consider AP in their admissions policies. The panelists provide generous examples from their role as AP parents as well as educators.


As we continue with virtual learning for the remainder of the academic year, it will be very important for students to get into the habit of checking their emails daily.  This helps to ensure communications aren't missed and is an important life skill for our students to develop.

From the Chariho FFA

The FFA is excited to announce that the Plant Sale Fundraiser will still be happening this year!  Instead of holding the plant sale at the school, the FFA is partnering with Our Kids Farm in Exeter.

How to support this fundraiser:
  • Shop online at ourkidsfarm.com to choose from beautiful, quality hanging baskets, annuals, vegetables and herbs
  • Place an order between May 6 - May 20
  • In the checkout, arrange for a pickup time/ date and mention ‘CHARIHO FFA’ in the checkout notes to have your purchase applied to our fundraiser
  • Pick up your order at 555 Gardner Road, Exeter, RI (just past Wawaloam Campground)

Just as in years past, the FFA would like to thank you for your continued support of our program!

APRIL 2020


Our students have now participated in 2 weeks of virtual learning. We understand the challenges families face at home managing family, work and the unknown as we adjust to this new normal.  Virtual Learning will present new challenges, but we hope that the structures we are providing our students are serving as a familiar comfort, a welcome distraction, and a small relief to parents trying to do it all.  If you haven't already done so, we ask that you please familiarize yourselves with our CRSD Virtual Learning Website. It is linked here and can also be found on the District and CHS homepages. This site is intended to be a "one-stop shop" for parents to access information about Chariho's Virtual Learning Plan.

Last Friday afternoon, we sent an email to all parents and guardians requesting that you complete a survey to provide input on week 1 of virtual instruction. We have had a chance to review the results and they are promising. There have been over 250 responses to the high school survey. Here is a summary of those responses:
  • 88% of parents rated the first week of instruction as successful to highly successful
  • 94% of parents reported that their children were engaged in meaningful learning tasks
  • 94% shared that their technology worked successfully during week one
  • 125 parents wrote in positives and highlights. Some of the highlights include the accessibility of our teachers and the prompt feedback they are providing students. Parents report that they value the consistent and clear communication about virtual learning. Parents also shared that they are encouraged by how engaged their children are in virtual learning and how they have "stepped up" as self-directed learners. We plan to share these highlights with our faculty as they love hearing from you and your children. Here are some specific examples below:
    • It was nice to see how my kids interact in a classroom setting. Typically we as parents don't get to see that. Since we are all home either working or in classes, I am enjoying the family bonding. Thank you to all the teachers, faculty and principals and everyone involved to make distance learning possible. I know that a lot of work was put into this and we as parents are grateful to be part of such a great school district and community.
    • For the first week, with no preparation....you all ROCKED IT! It will only improve each week as we all learn and adjust....very well done!
    • We appreciate the staff of CHS, administrators, teachers, the whole crew- and everyone’s collective efforts to implement distance learning!! Yesterday’s response to my question of How was today and this week? was ‘“It was really good” said with a smile. I think in “15 year old boy speak” this translates to a successful week one! Thank you!
Based on feedback from parents, students and faculty, we have created a revised Virtual Schedule that will begin on Monday, April 6th.  The new schedule can be found here and also within the CHS page of the CRSD Parent Website.  You will see that we have reduced the length of our blocks from 90-minutes to 60-minutes and aligned our lunches with the middle school and elementary schools.  We have also moved the start of our day from 7:30 to 8:00 and built in longer movement breaks.  We thank you for your feedback and will continue to make adjustments as needed as we navigate these next few weeks of virtual instruction.  

Also, the State has adjusted some dates in April for Professional Development and for Holidays, please see the revised Green/White Calendar here that captures this information.  In summary, there will be no Virtual Instruction/School for students on April 3rd, 9th, 10th, and 17th.

Finally, we have created Distance Learning Guidelines for Live Videos for Students.  Please view these guidelines here.

We thank you for your support and the positive emails you have been sending our way. It brightens our day to hear examples of how our students and faculty have jumped in and are acclimating to this "new normal".

We miss seeing your children in our hallways, our classrooms and on the playing fields and stage. We hope a time comes soon when we can welcome them back into our buildings.

Stay Healthy,

Craig MacKenzie, Principal
Andrea Spas, Assistant Principal
Gerry Auth, CHARIHOtech Director 

From the Rhode Island Department of Education about State Testing

The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) submitted a request to the United States Department of Education (USED) to waive the requirements for state assessments and accountability as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and to cancel all state assessments for the 2019-20 school year. 

The following Rhode Island state assessments are canceled for the 2019-20 school year:
  • RI SAT School Day with Essay
  • PSAT10
  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) alternate assessments
  • Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS)
  • Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA)
As part of the waiver, RIDE is required gather public comments. An FAQ with additional details on how the waiver impacts assessment, accountability, and school improvement efforts is posted at www.ride.ri.gov/tc. In addition, a short survey asks if you agree with this waiver request and also provides space to share additional comments you feel are important for RIDE to take into consideration. We encourage you to forward this email to educators in your district and to families so they may also provide their comments.

AP Testing: Still Taking Place this year!

Below is some guidance from CollegeBoard regarding AP exams.  This is a brief summary.  Once we receive more information, we will send out more information to teachers and parents.  We also plan to include this in our monthly blog.
  • AP will NOT be cancelling the AP exams.  91% of students who were surveyed indicated that they want to be able to take the exam to earn college credit and placement.
  • For the 19-20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online exam at home.
  • Beginning on March 25th, students and schools will have access to free, live AP review lessons, delivered by AP teachers from across the country.  The lessons will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course.  Here is a link to these resources: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates#free-ap-classes
Please also see the following link for more information on AP testing from College Board: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update

Seniors & The Graduation Portfolio 

Seniors will still be expected to complete their portfolio product submissions as well as present their portfolio.  We are developing a contingency plan in the event that we need seniors to conduct their presentations virtually.  We are currently in the process of piloting this with some of our seniors.  We will share more specifics on this virtual portfolio presentation process once finalized.  Please encourage your students to connect with their portfolio coordinators, Leanne Hackett or Jonathan Kelly, or to check their emails for portfolio-related updates/outreach.

Attention Seniors: Scholarship Info!

Scholarship opportunities have begun to come in!!!  Use the School Counselor link or the Student Resources link on the High School page to access all scholarships.  The link can also be found here.  Remember, you can't win if you don't apply!!!!  If you have any questions, see your school counselor.

From the Library Media Center

The free online and digital resources curated by the Library Media Center provide students with 24/7 access to authoritative grade-level databases, eBooks, languages and more all in support of their learning needs.

Please note that these resources, usernames, and passwords are for Chariho faculty, students, and families and should not be posted to any public forums or social media.

MARCH 2020 Blog

Upcoming SAT & PSAT Testing

On April 14th, juniors will take the SAT and sophomores will take the PSAT.  The PSAT will be a digital assessment, so students will be taking the PSAT on their device.  While these two assessments have always served nationally as a measure of student readiness for post-high school success, their value has increased as they are now a measure of school performance for all Rhode Island schools.  We are proud of the learning experiences we provide our students, and our recognition as a RI Commended school, the only school in the state with a Career and Technical Center.  We want to ensure that the Chariho diploma increases in value, and serves as a vehicle for increased opportunities for our graduates. These tests are also the primary means of meeting Chariho's Standardized Assessment Requirement for graduation.  Please join us in encouraging your students to take these exams seriously, to come to school rested and fed, and to do their very best towards improving future opportunities for themselves and all Chariho students.

Learner Qualities for Semester 2

Learner Quality Conferencing:  Over the next month, students and teachers will be meeting to conference on students' Learner Qualities in all of their classes.  These conferences provide students an opportunity to self-assess their role and work in their classes and to receive formative feedback on how teachers perceive them as Self-directed Learners, Quality Producers, Collaborative Workers, Respectful Citizens and in having a Growth Mindset.  These conferences are critical in helping students and teachers calibrate expectations, affirm positive qualities, and set goals towards improving the learning experience for all students.  After the conference window, students have the remainder of the semester to work towards areas where they struggled in order to demonstrate that they meet expectations for a particular Learner Quality.  Our goal in assessing Learner Qualities is to reinforce the skills and dispositions that we and our professional partners in industry and higher education value in Chariho graduates.

Community 2000 Virtual Masters Scholarship Event

It is less than a month until Community 2000's 5th annual Virtual Masters Scholarship event (Friday, April 3, 6:30 PM at the Haversham, Westerly), with great food and a live auction of the Masters players!  If you bid on and win the player who wins the Masters on Sunday April 12, you win the first place prize: $4,000 in cash or an all expenses paid trip for four to Pebble Beach with rounds of golf at three great pebble Beach courses.  Check out all the details in the Virtual Masters brochure on the Community 2000 website or email Chris Philips with any questions you may have at jchrisphilips@aol.com.

From the Hospitality Program

Great news for Hospitality Seniors! Two teams presented a Hotel Management Pro-Start Project last week and came in first and second place. This event was hosted by RI Hospitality Association, and the first place team received $1000.00 and the second place team received $750.00 scholarship to Johnson and Wales University to be used each of their 4 years.   

First Place:  Blue Diamond Hotel
Isabella Segura, Meghan Reilly, Nichole Carnevale

Second Place:  Fly Away Hotel
Madison Berlam, Jenna Nadolny, Alyssa Scuncio

The senior class leader, Jenna Nadolny, planned a field trip to the Renaissance Marriott Hotel and Gillette Stadium in March.

Senior, Madison Berlam and Junior, Meagan Butler are organizing and planning Artessy this year.

The sophomore class will participate in a two week training to obtain their Guest Service Gold certification in March.

The freshmen class leader, Morgan Desarro, planned our field trip to the Mystic Marriott. Hospitality students participated in the executive morning meeting and toured the facility with the executive management team.  The Marriott provided a continental breakfast for the students!

Students from all four levels are participating in a SkillsUSA competition at CCRI in March.  They are competing in a presentation on a Hospitality topic, Employment Application/Interview, Customer Service, and Career Safe Video. 

Support Culinary and students in SkillsUSA @ Louisville Buffet this month:  Friday, March 20th 4:30pm-7:00pm.  Follow all of this great news @CharihoHospitality on Instagram.

Thank you from the Robotics Club

The High School Robotics Club would like to thank the Westerly Chamber of Commerce for their donation of $500 for materials.

From the World Language Department

Students in all World Language level 4 and level 5 classes will be taking the AAPPL (ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages) this month.  This can also help students qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy.  More information can be found at languagetesting.com/appl and the RIDE Seal of Biliteracy.

From the Clinic

FLU SEASON IS STILL HERE!  Click here for  more information and guidelines.  

Date has been changed to March 25th for all Grade 9 students who have not provided proof of
a dental exam in the last 12 months.  Parents/Guardians can complete the
Dental Screening Form to Opt In/Out of this mandated screening. Deadline to Submit form is
March 20th. 

Next In School Clinic - March 19,2020 from 9-11am
Free Vaccines administered by a Nurse from The Wellness Company for any student needing to
update their immunizations.  Click Here for more information and forms.
Please return completed forms to the Clinic by March 12th.  

Please check out the Clinic Website for Contact Information, Forms and Other Health-related information.

From Athletics:

Congratulations to the following All State Champions!

Kyle Merritt
Nate Marchione
James Dougherty

Hannah Benavides