Saturday, December 21, 2013

One-Act-Plays & Student Art Exhibit

Student Art Competition Exhibit at Fruitlands Museum

The following students have been accepted into the exhibition at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts :  

The show will be opening on January 11th and stay on exhibit until the awards ceremony on March 30th at noon

Samantha Ferraro
Sarah Brown
Scott Henriques
Erin Olson
Ryan Hardy
Nicki Wilkinson
Emily Figueroa
Mitch Navetta

"The Challenge is On!

GD’s graduating classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 are preparing to duke it out in the Fifth Annual Festival of One-Act Plays. Freshman Jill, sophomore Emily, junior Ben, and senior Zach are directing casts of students from their respective years in a one-act play competition that will be adjudicated by community judges.  The Fifth Annual Festival of One-Act Plays will be held on Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m. and Friday, February 7 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Groton-Dunstable High School.  The 3 p.m. show is a new idea offered in the hopes that more students will be able to attend the show directly following the school day.  Be sure to mark your calendars and see the four grades compete for the gold!"

Friday, December 20, 2013

Important: GDRHS NCLB Report Card

Dear Parent or Guardian:

We are pleased to include our school’s “report card” which has been provided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Report cards answer important questions about a school's overall performance and contain specific information about Groton-Dunstable Regional High School.
You can access our report card by visiting our website, or by clicking on the link provided.

Specifically, the report provides the following important information about our school:

Student enrollment and teacher qualifications
This section of the report card provides information about the students and teachers in our school as compared to the district and the state.

Student assessment on MCAS and other tests
This section of the report shows how our students are performing on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests as compared to the district and the state.

School and district accountability information
This section of the report contains three important pieces of information:
1. Accountability and Assistance Levels
Schools and districts are placed into one of five accountability and assistance levels (1-5), with the highest performing in Level 1 and lowest performing in Level 5. Our school has been placed into Level 1.

2. School Percentiles
A school percentile between 1 and 99 is reported for most schools, and this number is indicative of the overall performance of our school relative to other schools that serve the same or similar grades. Our school falls into the 98th percentile.  This means that our school is performing higher than 98 percent of the high schools in the state.

3. Progress and Performance Index (PPI)
The PPI is a number that indicates a school’s progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, and preparing all students for success after high school. Massachusetts has a goal of reducing proficiency gaps by half between the years 2011 and 2017. For a group of students to be considered making sufficient progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, the school’s cumulative PPI must be 75 or higher. Our PPI score for our aggregate population (all students) is 100.

For more information about our school’s report card or to request information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers, please feel free to contact us at 978-448-0390.


Michael Mastrullo


Principal's Notes

Gianna Hitsos
The Groton Line and published Gianna's Blog, which chronicled her experience navigating the arduous college application process.  You can read the second part of that blog by clicking on the link below.

GDEF Launches Annual Giving Campaign

The Groton Dunstable Education Foundation (GDEF) asks you to consider a tax-deductible gift to its Annual Giving Campaign when making your year-end charitable donations.  Thanks to support from parents like you, GDEF is proud to have funded over $360,000 in enrichment grants to our district schools over the past 10 years.  GDEF just awarded Robotics Adviser and Tech Engineering teacher Mark Rocheleau a $500 mini-grant for the purchase of a VEX Robotics kit, and Kelly Cook and Danielle Patenaude-Dumont were each awarded mini-grants this fall to attend national conventions for Journalism and English teachers in Boston.  With your generous help, GDEF hopes to award approximately $30,000 in grants to all district schools when our major cycle closes on January 31. 

Besides AGC, donations to GDEF’s Teaching Stars program are a great way to honor special staff members at your child’s school this holiday season.  For more information, please visit, and click on the “Donate Now!” icon to give online. 

Koplick Award

Seniors - Don't forget to check here to see if you qualify for the Koplick Award!!! If you qualify... APPLY...Even if you think you aren't going to attend a MA college or university. After you graduate, you can no longer apply.  

Coat Drive
By Paul Sickinger & Jack Trottier

Jack Trrottier and Paul Sickinger, from Tyngsborough High School, are collecting coats for the homeless as a service project for school. They were inspired to do this by a man named Larry Finn. Larry Finn is a firefighter from Lowell that visited there class and talked to them about the organization he created called "Coats from Anne Above." He started it four years ago and has already collected over 1000 coats. Mr. Finn takes the coats that he collects and directly gives them to the homeless or people in need. His actions has inspired the two boys to have their own coat drive. So if anyone has an old coat or a coat that doesn't fit, please bring it to Groton-Dunstable High School.  There is a box in the main lobby.  An old coat that means nothing to you can fulfill another persons holiday season by keeping them warm.

Drama Guild Update
By Chris Olson

Drama Guild invites you to a public forum with GD alumni to discuss Theatre Arts in the curriculum. Participation in after school clubs provides leadership skills directly applied to success in college and the workplace.  Our own GD alumni will discuss how challenges  and success in high school drama helped prepare them for the future.  The panel members will comprise of current college students majoring in biology, chemistry, English, education and theatre.  The forum is open to the general public.  Please join us in the high school BBX Theater on Wednesday, January 8 at 7 p.m

Art Exhibit

Congratulations to the winners of the Student Art Exhibit during the Art and Craft Fair.

Drawing and Painting
First Place / Best in Show: Dakota O'Driscoll
Second Place: Rachel Olson
Third Place: Maddy Bugbee & Mitch Navetta

Ceramics and Sculpture
First Place / Best in Show: Madison Ready
Second Place: Nicki Wilkinson
Third Place: Ryan Hardy

Photography and Design
First Place / Best in Show: Phoebe Abrahamsen
Second Place: Emma Demers
Third Place: Briana Bozkurt


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Early Dismissal/No After School Activities

Early Dismissal/After School Activities
School dismissed at 1:30 this afternoon.  

All after school activities are canceled as well.  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Progress Reports/Poetry Out Loud Competition

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be available on iParant & iStudent beginning at 5 p.m. tonight.

Poetry Out loud Competition
Groton-Dunstable is participating in a nationwide poetry recitation competition called Poetry Out Loud.  Today was the first round of a school wide competition.  The following students will be moving on the next round of competition, which will take place in the month of January.

Celina Antonellis
Audriana Barranco
Hunter Brying
Laura Donovan
Ethan Gaines
Sisi Liu
Bryce McLaughlin
RJ Murray
Jordan Sheffield
Kyle Thompson
Rebecca Waters

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hour of Code

Hour of Code

We are very excited to participate in the Hour of Code!  The Hour of Code is an opportunity for students of all ages to explore computer programming.  Our goal is to expose a large number of students to computer science and programming, and to prove that anyone can code!  I am pleased to announce that we have 11 participating classrooms and more than 200 students signed up for the event.  Students will also have an opportunity to participate from home.  Please scroll to the bottom of this blog to see a list of events taking place.

 In addition, I have provided some interesting videos and articles that touch on the importance of teaching code. Included is some interesting sound bites from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.  
Thanks to the many teachers and students who helped make this event possible.  A special thanks to Audra Kaplan, GDRHS Technology Integration Specialist, as she was the driving force behind this event.  Well done!

Gates, Zuckerberg: Kids, learn to code

Coding In High School

Hour of Code

Teaching Algebra with Code

Through video game design students are having fun learning algebra and coding. The curriculum is available online for free.

Technovation Challenge 

A coding competition for girls only that runs in the Spring.  Audra Kaplan, GD Technology Integration Specialists, intends to start this initiative after December break.

"Through Technovation, young women from ages 13 to 19 from all over the world identify and solve problems in their local communities by developing mobile app prototypes and business plans. They work in collaboration with local or long-distance mentors to research, design, code, and pitch their apps to prospective investors. Ten finalists come to Silicon Valley for the World Pitch competition every Spring."

Fitchburg Programming Competition (semiannual meet)
Last Friday, three teams from GDRHS participated in a semiannual programming competition at Fitchburg State.  All the teams performed very well.  Congratulations to the team of Ryan Leonard, John DeNyse, Nick Burnett, and Ben Navetta for placing 8th out of 42 competing teams.  We had a great day and look forward to returning on May 2, 2014 for the Spring competition.  Stay tuned for details.

Ryan Leonard
John DeNyse
Nick Burnett
Ben Navetta

Nick Odell
Dan Evans
Gregory Saraceno

David Heffernan
Liam Brown
Jesse King

Hour Of Code Information

L24 - Dumont - Scratch Holiday Card in English (teaching guide)
124 - Erickson - Hopscotch on the iPad
201 - (Greg Saraceno & Dan Evans) - Blockly - google program (activities)
209 - Spaulding - Scratch - Make a Guessing Game & More (teaching guide)
211 - Rocheleau & Kevin McCarthy (parent) - Scratch (instructor lead) or self guided Alice & Live Code (RunRev) some experienced suggested
213 - O'Connor - Hello Processing
215 - (Sage Mastakouras) - Frogger
223 - (David Heffernan & Liam Brown) - App Inventor, make an android app for your phone (teaching guide)
Library - (Not 224, we needed a bigger space) - (RJ Murray) - Scratch Holiday Card in Spanish (teaching guide)
227 - Cook - Light bot - a game to learn programming concepts
229 - (Ben Navetta) - Code Academy

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Principal Notes (Important: Cell Phone Use In School)

Cell Phones/ Electronic Communication
We encourage parents to speak with their son/daughter about the proper use of cell phones and other electronic forms of communication.  Too often teachers are wasting valuable class time attempting to control cell phone use in class.  Cell phones are confiscated on a daily basis.  Instead of banning them altogether, we would prefer to treat students like the young adults that they are, and set reasonable limitations as to where and when cell phones can be used properly. When confronted in class students often comment, "my mother/father was texting me, and I was simply responding."  Although we recognize this as a convenient excuse, we are equally surprised at the amount of communication between school and home via cell phone during school hours.  Please be cognizant that students do not wait until lunch time, or other acceptable times during the day, to respond.  They are often responding during class, which can lead to class disruptions and disciplinary action.  Please call the main office if you must relay important information to your son/daughter during school hours. We appreciate your help with this matter.

It is important to note, that some students view the recording of students and staff without their permissions  as a seemingly innocuous act.  Recording and taking pictures of students and staff without prior consent is a serious offense that will lead to disciplinary action.  In addition, posting the content on the Internet could lead to police involvement.   Lastly, students often communicate using the application Snapchat.  This application allows students to send pictures and/or videos to each other, and the sender can limit how long the content is viewable by the receiver.  The notion that the image or video can be "deleted" provides a false sense of security. Some students tend to be more brazen with content produced and sent with the false notion that the image will vanish.  Again, I would encourage all parents to talk with their children about the proper use of technology.

AFL-CIO Scholarship
The AFL-CIO, offers a scholarship program providing hundreds of scholarships totaling over $900,000 to union members, and any non-union Massachusetts high school seniors (which is all of you).
This scholarship requires a Labor & History exam which will be given in February.  If you would like to sign up for this exam you must fill out an application and submit it to guidance by December 16, 2013. Please see your guidance counselor or Mrs. Cain if you have questions about this exam and scholarship.

Thanksgiving Day Win
Groton-Dunstable quarterback Quintin Forbes started all four Thanksgiving games against Tyngsboro in his career, but he saved the best performance for last.G-D 35,Tyngsboro 21
Groton-Dunstable Art & Craft Fair 12/14
Winter Concert
The HS Winter Concert is Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 pm in the PAC. 

Trivia Night
The Drama Guild is hosting a Jeopardy-style Trivia Night and we would like to invite student members of clubs and activities to form a team. The Trivia Night will be on December, 13 at 7 pm in the Black Box Theatre. 

Club/Team Advisors, if you are interested in joining, every team can consist of up to five people, and each team must pay $15 to participate (your group can have as many teams as you would like). The entry fees will be split between the winning team’s club and the Drama Guild. Teams must have their entry fee in to Ms. Martell by Wednesday, December 11th. There is a limited number of spots, so sign up quickly!

Audience members will also be entered to win a prize for correctly answering all questions, so please join us on the 13th for your chance to win!

Thank you for your consideration!
Emily Olson
GD Drama Guild Treasurer 

Morning Announcements
Morning announcements are now available for viewing on the high school website. 

NHS Extra Help
The NHS help center continues for those students 
needing help with homework on Tuesday and Thursday, 
from 2-3pm in the Library. Stop by!

Important Dates

6 Star Search @ BBX 
10 Winter Concert @ PAC/ 7:00PM 
12 Progress Reports 
12 Curriculum – Half day 
14 Art & Craft Fair @ HS 11-5:00PM 
Art Show (Snow date Dec 15th)
21-31 Holiday Vacation 
31 New Year’s Eve 
1 New Year’s Day – 2014 
2 School resumes 
20 MLK Day – No School 

24 End of Term – Finals schedule TBA