HWRHS start of school letter and important information

Dear parents and guardians,

It seems incredible that summer is almost over and school is about to begin.  I would like to welcome the parents and guardians of the students of the Class of 2022 to the high school.  This letter will outline some of the important information, dates, and deadlines that you will need for the start of school.

There are several ways to find information and to stay up-to-date.  Our primary means of communication is email. It is important to update your email address on the emergency card your child will bring home so that it can be updated in Aspen.  We also use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the District Website.

Things to remember about the start of school:

  • On August 30th, each student will be given a signature sheet for the student-parent handbook that must be filled in, signed, and returned within the first 3 days of school.  Students will be also given a form to update contact and emergency information that must also be reviewed, updated and returned by Thursday, September 6th.  There will also be an optional insurance form if you would like to purchase insurance.
  • Students must be on time for school. There is no homeroom to act as a buffer.  Students will report directly to their period one class each day.  Students who are tardy to school (unexcused) will be ineligible to participate in any after-school activity on the day they are tardy.  The only exception is the first two days of school. Students will report to their assigned HR on those days. HR lists will be posted in the front lobby and are also on the student schedule.
  • If your child is absent from school, please remember to call the absence/safe arrival line at (978) 468-0420 by 8:00 AM. Upon return from the absence, you must also send your child in with a note for the school to excuse the absence.
  • Student schedules will be live on the Aspen portal on Friday, August 17, 2018.  If you need access to Aspen please email aspenhelp@hwschools.net
  • No changes will be made to student schedules that are complete.
  • Freshman orientation is Tuesday, August 28, 2018, from 7:40 AM to 1:30 PM. Buses will be running on this day.
  • All students report on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, no later than 7:40 AM.
  • Curriculum Night is Thursday, September 13th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.


Student Pictures:

9th grade – August 28th (during orientation)

10th, 11th and 12th – August 29th

You should receive the information by mail for student pictures from our photographer, O’Connor Studios.  If you have not received the information, we will have picture order forms in the main office of the high school.


Guidance information:

Student assignments by guidance counselor can be found here.

Dr.Kristen Lazzaro, Director of Guidance and Counseling

Matthew Fitzgibbons

Rochelle Morin

Julie Cahill-O’Shea

Here are other places you can get up to date information:

HWRHS Website

Parent-Student Handbook 2018-19

Schedule for 2018 school year

Principal’s Weblog

High School Bus Routes (Will  be updated a week before school begins)

High School Events Calendar

HWRHS Important dates for Parents

The start of a new school year is very exciting.    I look forward to another great school year full of new and amazing opportunities for all of our staff and students!



Eric Tracy


Twitter: @etracyhwhs


Learning through the summer

I often wonder how much learning takes place during the summer months when school is not in session.  Many teachers I know continue to learn about their profession and continue their professional growth through workshops, reading and working with teams of other educators to do the tough work needed to support teaching and learning for the next school year.  I also realize that they take this time to learn about things not related to their professions as well. Things that interest them.

Are students also learning during the summer?  I really believe they are.  In one example I thought about, I imagine kids working together or even alone to learn to play an instrument or to develop a skill.  All without a coordinated, play-by-play of how they should do it.  They can look up blog posts, Youtube videos, talk with more knowledgeable friends and even listen to podcasts to learn more.  As we know, this type of learning sticks and leads us to want to learn more about what we are passionate about.

After thinking about this for a while, I realized that summer learning is not as coordinated or prescribed as school-time learning.  Teachers and students tend to get more involved in something they are passionate about.  For some, it may be learning to program and for others, it may be learning a new skill, sport or hobby.  Even though what we are learning isn’t written out in a syllabus or a curriculum document, we still learn.  I assume, from my own experience with summer learning, that this learning is deep and powerful.  So powerful that we can transfer what we know to other areas of our lives or even teach someone else about what we learned, further strengthening our learning.

So here is why I started writing this post.  How do we help to make learning during the school year as sticky and as transferable?  What would happen if we decided on the first day of this coming school year to have students retake their final exams?  Assuming they did well on the exam, would they do as well as they did the first time?  If they didn’t do as well, did they really learn anything at all? This was actually done. You can read about it in this article.

HWRHS Senior Internship

This year we had our first seniors take the opportunity to leave school during quarter 4 to participate in an internship.  Each opportunity gave our students more insight into an area of interest and also helped them to make decisions about their future choices in college.  Placements included:

An Interior Designer

A Ceramics Shop

An Elementary School

Managing horses at the Polo Grounds

A Doctor

A Beauty and Esthetician shop

Each student had to make a display of their experiences and present to their peers and adults in the front lobby today.  They also had to follow a specific protocol of check-ins and write a reflective paper about their experience.  Each of the students involved enjoyed the internship and felt that they learned so much more about the field they chose by participating.




Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 4.25.18


“Thank You” to the Voters of Wenham

“Thank you” from the entire HWRSD to the voters of Wenham for passing the HWRSD Operating Override and Winthrop School Fire Suppression System Debt Issue at the Town Election on April 12.  This vote was the final step in approving the FY19 HWRSD Operating Budget and the Winthrop Fire Suppression System Project.  We’re so fortunate to have the support of the communities of Hamilton and Wenham in providing our students with a world-class education.

Congratulations to Ms. Sano and Ms. Frost

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) has accepted Foreign Language Curriculum Leader Kevan Sano’s and Miles River Middle School Spanish Teacher Catherine Frost’s proposal to present the workshop “Make it Stick! Strategies to Support Long-term Memory and Comprehension” at the 2018 ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo.  Their presentation will highlight the great work our teachers are…

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HWRHS Tournament update

HW Boy’s Basketball will host Pentucket Regional High School on Saturday, March 3rd at 7:00 PM at HWRHS in Division III North Quarter Finals.

All fans should enter through the Miles River Middle School’s main entrance.  Tickets will go on sale at 6:00 PM.  Tickets are $7 for Adults and $5 for Students (12 & Above) and Seniors (62 & Above).  Children under six are free.  Only MIAA Passes, Media Credentials and Military ID can be used for free admittance to the game.

As this is an MIAA Tournament Game:  We remind you that signs, body paint, and noisemakers of any kind are not permitted in the gymnasium.

HW Girl’s Basketball fell to North Reading last night on the road, 47-27 in the 1st Round of Division II North Tournament.  Congratulations to the Generals, who finished the 2017-18 season as CAL Champs. It was the first time in 18 years the team won the league title.

HW Hockey was eliminated from the Division III North Tournament last night to Newton South last night, 6-0.  That caps a terrific season for the Generals, who went from zero wins last year to the State Tournament this year in only their second season in the re-birth of the program.  It was the first time in 11 years overall HW Hockey made the tournament.