Category Archives: News

Many Students Continue to Work Hard Despite Challenges

 

May 21, 2020

Kelly Kearns, Veritas Staff

With the Covid-19 pandemic turning everyone’s world upside down, it’s not hard to see why students at RHS would lose their motivation for doing hours of school work. And while you might think students would welcome the chance to get school work done, if only to fight off boredom, the truth is that many are finding it difficult to stay on-track.

However, here at Rockland High School, many students are keeping up with their school work.  Senior Erin Kearns says that although most of the work she was assigned was optional, she still wanted to get it all done.

“As a senior a lot of my work has been optional, but I’ve still been working hard to get all the work done because I still get credit for optional assignments,” says Kearns.  Seniors finished up their classes yesterday, May 20.

Freshman Julia Bahnuk agreed, “It depends on the class. most classes I feel the work is mandatory; however, some teachers said the work was optional so we didn’t have to do it at all.” 

The Rockland Public Schools are following state education guidelines that say students can’t be penalized for failure to do work that was assigned after March 12.  The policy can be found here in the Remote Learning Plan through 6/12.

As if the low motivation levels weren’t making working from home challenging enough, students also have to learn how to teach themselves new topics.  Bahnuk said, “It’s harder to learn from home since we don’t have the teachers helping us all the time like at school.”

Freshman Shea MacDougall says that she’s been able to work from home even though teaching herself new topics can get challenging.

Kearns says that because students are doing all the work online, it can feel like there is more work than they would typically get at school. Bahnuk and MacDougall both feel that sometimes the work can be overwhelming, but not all the time.

Even if students are not always swamped with work, it can be hard to focus. MacDougall says that it is harder to “focus at home because there are more distractions.”

Kearns says that she tried to focus by scheduling her days out. “I’ve been able to focus on my work by keeping my day somewhat scheduled out,” Kearns says. “I set an alarm and get up, eat breakfast and get ready for the day like I would for school and then do my best to get my work done.” 

Even though it is much harder to do work at home, many RHS students are continuing to get their work done, knowing that going forward learning is still important.

 

Senior Parade Scheduled for May 27

Dear Rockland Community,

The administration was approached over the weekend by members of the senior class about having a senior car parade to each of the schools within the district. After speaking with the senior class officers and the Rockland Police Department, we are planning to support a Car Parade on Wednesday, May 27th starting at 2 PM.

Seniors will have the opportunity to decorate their cars, beep their horns, and be loud as they go by each one of the schools in the district. Only one senior is allowed per car in keeping with social distancing expectations. If a senior does not have a license or car, the senior’s parent/guardian is encouraged to drive in the car with the student. Seniors must drive responsibly, adhering to the speed limits, leaving appropriate space in between each car, and remaining inside the car at all times.

On Wednesday, May 27th the senior class will meet in the Veterans Memorial Stadium parking lot at 1:45 PM. The students will form a line (escorted by the Rockland Police Department) and they will follow a set route. The parade will begin promptly at 2 PM.

The students will go from the Veterans Memorial Parking lot down Brian Duffy Way to Memorial Park School, around the circle, and back up Taunton Ave to Union Street.
The parade will then go down Union Street to Crescent Street. They will take a left on Crescent Street and head toward George Street. They will take a right onto George Street and go by Jefferson School.
The students will then take a left onto Market Street and take a right onto Levin Road. They will drive down Levin Road into the entrance of Esten School.
The students will drive around the circle at Esten and then students will return to the Veteran Memorial Stadium parking lot by taking a left onto Summer Street and going up Concord Street, taking a left on Market Street, and then a right onto Union Street. The parade will go down Taunton Ave and end at the stadium parking lot.

We would like to invite the Rockland community to get out and show these seniors some love. If you are available to stand along the route with supportive signs and/ or decorations and cheer on the senior class of 2020 it would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Officer Ethan Schnabel
School Resource Officer

Kristen Walsh
Senior Class Advisor

Kathleen Paulding
RHS Assistant Principal

John Harrison
Principal

Spellman Oratorical Contest Winners for the Class of 2020

Rockland High School English Department Coordinator, Carol Cahill has announced the winners of the 2020 Spellman Oratorical Contest.  They are:

1st place: Lara Glennon – $1300

2nd place: Tyler Gambon – $1100

Tied for 3rd & 4th: Sarah McLellan and Ashley Gallagher – $750 each

Tied for 5th and 6th: Kerin Dalton & Neleh Dunn – $300 each.

Ms. Cahill was happy to have been able to coordinate and continue the awarding of the Spellman scholarships under these unusual circumstances. The prize money is made available from a trust established by the late Francis Cardinal Spellman of Whitman in memory of his mother, Ellen Conway Spellman, who resided in Rockland. The judges of this year’s contest, who also judged last year, were Laura Whitaker, Steve Waisgerber and Karen Bonn.

The topic for this year’s contest was devised by AP Literature teacher, Chris Neal of the  RHS English Department. It was “Monsters as a Reflection of the Human Experience.” Students who participated discussed the question: “How do literature and other works of art depict monsters, real or imagined, and how do they serve as a reflection of human experience?”  After students wrote their speeches and practiced them, they then recorded them on YouTube.  Public Speaking and Digital Media teacher Dave Cable-Murphy provided each student with instructions on how to do a good video speech and YouTube presentation.

After Ms. Cahill received and compiled the students’ Youtube submissions, she sent them to each of the three judges.  Next, the judges held a zoom meeting and deliberated the merits of each student’s presentation. Speeches are judged on content, delivery, diction and poise.

In her video announcing the results, Ms. Cahill said, “I and the whole English Department were wowed by the results from the six students who entered the contest.” She said that the essays were well written and well thought out and the videos were “fantastic.” Addressing the students she said,  “We couldn’t be more proud of the work you have done under these very non-traditional circumstances.”

First place winner, Lara Glennon explained her motivation for entering despite having to do it independently. “I always knew I wanted to compete in the Spellman Oratorical; doing it remotely didn’t change that. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I feel that it’s something I’m good at, so an essay contest was a perfect way to try for a scholarship.”

She admitted that doing it remotely was difficult without being able to “bounce ideas off my classmates and teachers.” But she said, “It was totally worth it.”  As far as the process she said, “The prompt was monsters as a reflection of the human experience and I had some ideas immediately after hearing the prompt, so it didn’t take me too long to write the essay. Recording it was the hardest part.”

But doing her speech on video also had an upside. “Since I had the opportunity to send in the perfect take, I didn’t stop until I got it right.” Lara will be attending Emerson in the fall where her scholarship will come in handy!

Tyler Gambon who placed second said, “Preparing and reciting my speech honestly didn’t take that long and I’m glad I could be a part of continuing this valued tradition at RHS despite the circumstances.”

Ashley Gallagher said that writing the speech was “really fun due to the interesting topic of monsters given this year. It took me one night to write and multiple hours of revision to bring it to my standards.” She also said, “The recording portion took me at least 7 hours to bring the video close to my standards.”

Ashley gave credit to her classmates. “Every submission this year was amazing and I am glad I got to compete with them all this year.”

Kerin Dalton commented on the experience as well. “Spellman was definitely an interesting experience this year to say the least. The one nice thing about it was that if I messed up I could just stop the camera and start over. Of course that also turned a six minute speech into an hour and a half video shoot. But it was worth it.”

She too enjoyed writing to the prompt. “English has always been my strong suit. It is usually required for AP students to take part, but since it became optional I knew I had a better chance of placing and earning some easy money, also inclining me to pursue the opportunity.”

She says she is glad that she got to see the other seniors’ speeches on YouTube.

Here are the speeches. The “entrants” were numbered for judging purposes. Congratulations to all of these remarkable seniors!

RHS Teachers and Staff Deliver Grad Signs to Seniors

April 9, 2020

More than 35 RHS staff delivered lawn signs to members of the Class of 2020 this morning.  In pairs and maintaining safe social distancing faculty and staff members set up lawn signs that read:  “Proud Home of a 2020 R.H.S. Senior Bulldog.”  Needless to say it was a labor of love for RHS staff; many seniors and their parents also expressed thanks and appreciation from their doorways for the surprise visits from their teachers.

Principal John Harrison sent a message to seniors this morning saying:

“Dear Seniors,  The RHS staff is coming together this morning, April 9, (we will adhere to social distancing rules) to deliver a small but special surprise to your residence. If you see an RHS staff member beep from their car, they are going to drop something off outside for you. If you  hear a horn and see a staff member – come outside and give us a wave! If for some reason you do not get a surprise delivered to your house today-please let me know and we will drop something off tomorrow! Thank you, Mr. Harrison”

One parent wrote on Facebook: “To the Teachers and Staff at Rockland High School.  To say I am beyond moved is an understatement. Our kids have had an unusual amount of anxiety, wondering if their prom, graduation, senior activities, and the general bonding that goes with that will be cancelled, and your gift made my daughter’s day.”

Senior Hannah Wyllie expressed the feelings of all the seniors: “It was an awesome surprise to see some of my teachers today. I think all of the seniors are disappointed about everything we are missing right now, but we are so lucky and I am so grateful that we have such supportive teachers and staff. This surprise really made my day!”

WRPS video

Twitter photos

COVID-19 Impact on Our Community

Empty halls at RHS.

Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief

March 17, 2020

Until April 7th, Rockland Public Schools will be closed in order to contain the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Beginning in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus rapidly spread throughout China’s nation, and quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States. As a response to the now declared pandemic, the United States has declared a national emergency and with each day that passes, the U.S. is issuing stricter guidelines to “flatten the curve” of the virus’ spread. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered all private and public schools to be closed for three weeks in order to contain the spread of the virus within Massachusetts. Along with the closing of schools, the MIAA, or the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has decided that the beginning of spring sports will be delayed until April 27.

Precautions:

One of the major ways to keep personal hygiene and protection from the virus is washing the hands with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds. Hand sanitizer with sixty percent alcohol is a great alternative for when soap and water are not applicable. The CDC recommends that individuals do not rely on hand sanitizer to keep them safe, and to wash hands when possible. The CDC also recommends to clean and disinfect surfaces often, and stay home if one is feeling unwell. Wearing a medical mask will only help if the individual wearing the mask is sick. Medical masks will prevent the spreading of illness, but will not prevent the gaining of it. Most importantly, cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing, and keep a six foot distance from individuals who appear to be sick.

Risk Factors:

Individuals over the age of 60 are most prone to more serious related illnesses from the virus. Those who are immunocompromised, including individuals with heart and lung disease and diabetes are in the most danger. In our local community, grocery stores such as Market Basket and Stop and Shop have established specific time frames within their store that are dedicated for those aged 60 and over. This creates a safer and more comfortable environment for those who are at larger risk for the virus. Check the websites of grocery stores for more information.

Individuals under the age of sixty with healthy immune systems will often have no severe cases of the virus. COVID-19 within younger, healthier individuals is compared to having the cold or the flu. In order to decrease the spread to those who are in greater danger, everyone is urged to keep a distance of six feet, called social distancing, and practice healthy hygiene.

Student perspective: 

Due to the possible cancellation and delay of spring sports, many seniors fear they will be unable to share their last memories on the field. Yesterday, the MIAA  announced that spring sports may be able to begin on April 27.

Schools across Massachusetts have also cancelled important events such as their proms and fundraising opportunities.  The RHS music and theatre department’s Mary Poppins that was scheduled on March 27 and 28 has also been cancelled. The College Board has cancelled the May 2 SAT testing.  Juniors should check their website for future testing dates.   For juniors and seniors AP exams are still scheduled. For more on AP tests, check here.

Here’s a small sampling of how Rockland High School students feel about all of this.

Junior Robert Ivil said, “Everyone and the media are making a huge deal about an evolved cold, but I am worried for my grandparents since they are a part of the high risk age.”

Billy Robinson, also a junior, believes that society is treating this as if it is the Black Plague, but believes that having no school is a positive step, since so many aspects of the disease are unknown.

Zachary Solomon says that he is very bored without school, and is worried for his grandparents since they are in the high risk age and have experienced past illnesses. Most of the students in Rockland believe school cancellation is a positive in order to contain the virus.

It is strongly advised that individuals follow quarantine rules to the best of their abilities.

During the school closing, Rockland High School will have free grab and go lunch available Monday through Friday 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at the “Mainstreet” entrance of the  high school.

Dr. Alan Cron has also announced that administration and teachers have worked “to develop a district-wide, comprehensive ‘work from home’ plan for all students and parents. Also, the district will provide laptops or Chromebook computers to those who only have a phone to connect to the internet. Dr. Cron said those that would like to borrow a laptop should email their building principals.

If you are without internet service at home, Comcast is providing a 2-month free internet package for families. Information on the program can be found at http://internetessentials.com/.

Please help spread this information and check the RPS website for updates.

 

 

 

Girls’ Basketball Team Will Play At TD Garden on Weds. March 11

Captains Hannah Wyllie, Caroline Elie and Hannah Murphy with their So. Sectional Trophy on Friday night. Veritas photo

March 8, 2020

The girls basketball team, for only the second time in 20 years, will be playing in the Division 3 State Semifinals. The game will be on Weds. March 11 at TD Garden in Boston at 2 p.m.  Due to the timing, RHS Principal Dr. John Harrison has scheduled Wednesday to be an early release day at 12 p.m. so that students and staff can attend the game and support the girls.  Busses will be provided for all who wish to attend the game.  Principal Harrison said, “I feel this is a special moment for our school community.”

The girls advanced to the state semifinals by defeating Archbishop Williams on Friday night by a score of 53-37.  That game gave them the Division 3 So. Sectional title and a chance to continue to the State Tournament where they will face another private school, St. Mary’s of Lynn.   St. Mary’s played in the State Championship game last year.  They lost to the West Champ, Hoosac in that game.

Captains Caroline Elie, Hannah Murphy and Hannah Wyllie led the girls in the game Friday night as the team looked to avenge their loss to Archbishop Williams in the semifinals last year.  The team took care of business right away by going out to a 10-0 first quarter lead and continued to dominate the Bishops with suffocating defense and precision offense.

Coach Diana Newcomb said, “We followed the game plan exactly.”  Expect the team to be ready for another great game on Weds.

Information about busses will be available and the schedule for Weds. is below.  Go Dogs!!

Schedule for Early Release on Wednesday, 3/11- DAY 1 DROP F & G

8:00-8:41 A Block

8:44-9:25B Block

9:28-10:09 C Block

10:12-10:53E Block

Lunch and Class Time D Block

1st 10:56 – 11:16 Class 11:16-11:56

2nd 11:16 – 11:36 Class 10:56-11:16; Lunch; 11:36-11:56

3rd 11:36- 11:56 Class 10:56-11:36

**F will not meet!!

For students who have third lunch, they will be dismissed from the lunch room.

Photos from Friday night!

Bulldog fans were out in force Friday night in Taunton as the girls basketball team defeated Archbishop Williams 53-37 in the South Sectional Finals.

Valentine’s Day and Kindness Day at RHS

Feb. 14, 2020

Today is not only Valentine’s Day, it is also Kindness Day in the schools and in the Town of Rockland.

The Veritas asked a few people about Valentine’s Day to help celebrate and the Student Government Council posted notes to every student at RHS to BE KIND to all on #KindnessRockland2020.

So, pass on the love and the kindness today and everyday!!

 

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