School News, Jan. 23

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

Thanks to a grant from the JFK Museum, MRHS Kennedy Years class members traveled to Hyannis to work on their final project for the semester, which is an overview of JFK's life both on the Cape and his presidency. The museum holds one-of-a-kind photos, taken by JFK's official photographer Jacques Lowe, so it is the "go-to place" for iconic images of our 35th president.

Preschool Screening

Chatham and Harwich elementary schools provide integrated preschool programs that are designed to meet the requirements of the special needs preschool population as well as other preschool children from the community. 

Chatham Elementary School will conduct its annual early childhood screening, by appointment only, on Wednesday, March 18. Parents interested in having their child attend Chatham integrated preschool as a peer model should call Cathy Karras at 508-945-5135 to schedule a 45-minute screening appointment.

Harwich Elementary School will conduct its early childhood screening, by appointment only, on Wednesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 26. Parents interested in having their child attend Harwich integrated preschool as a peer model should call Karras at 508-430-7216 to schedule a 45-minute screening appointment.

Harwich integrated preschool will also hold an open house on Wednesday, March 18, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. All new parents and caregivers are welcome to visit the preschool classrooms to meet the teachers and answer any questions about the program.

Any parent or caregiver who suspects their 3- or 4-year-old child may have a special need may contact Karras at 508-430-7216 to schedule a screening appointment.

Children's Cove Seeks Input

The YMCA of Cape Cod, Monomoy School District, and Children’s Cove, the Cape and Islands child advocacy center, work together to create a community where children enjoy healthy, safe, and empowered lives. Children’s Cove is seeking input on how it is making an impact within the community, and how Children's
Cove can better serve, educate, and support Monomoy.

Parents and members of our community are invited to attend and participate in a moderated group discussion on Wednesday Jan. 29 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. at Chatham Elementary School. This session will be led by an independent moderator not employed by Children’s Cove or Barnstable County. Free childcare will be provided for children ages 6 years and older by program staff members during this period. Refreshments will be available for participants and dinner will be provided for children in childcare during the session.

To learn more or participate contact Jacob Stapledon at 508-375-6924 or email

Chatham Elementary School

Drumming Concert

Percussionist, educator, activist and Grooversity maestro Marcus Santos leads an ensemble of drummers and dancers in a high-energy survey of Brazilian drumming styles springing from his native Bahia—the original capital of Brazil on Friday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. at the gymnasium. As students are introduced to soul-stirring Afro-Brazilian spirituals, to the jazz that virtuosic street soloists make with instruments as humble as plastic buckets, to the thunderous and gleeful drumming of festival marching bands, to the modern sounds of Samba Funk, they will join in the fun with call-and-response chants and funky dance moves. Volunteers will be called upon to get up on stage and help make some music. All are welcome.

Monomoy High School

New Session Of Internship Program Launched

Nearly half of the senior class at Monomoy Regional High School will get real-world work experience through their participation in the school’s internship program. Now in its fifth year, this year’s cohort of 56 students is the biggest yet. This session kicked off on Jan. 17 with a meet-and-greet luncheon where the students and their mentors could discuss expectations, arrange schedules, and celebrate this innovative program.

Monomoy students will be interning in a wide range of industries, including health care, public safety, education, engineering, banking, law, conservation, media, real estate, the arts, accounting, and more. The experience gained by these students will be invaluable as they move from high school into their future careers. 

The program, led by MRHS teacher Dave Alexander with support from the Chatham and Harwich chambers of commerce and the Monomoy administrative team, continues to grow exponentially each year, thanks to the high level of student interest and the support of local businesses.

Digital Safety And Social Media

A Digital Safety and Social Media Parents University will take place Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at Monomoy High School. Topics will include cybersafety, popular apps and games, monitoring techniques, digital etiquette, laws and social impact. Speakers will include Bill Burke of the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office, Monomoy District Director of Instructional Technology Jim Birchfield and District Director of Student Services Melissa Maguire. For more information or questions, contact Joy Jordan at

Turtle Studies

Students in Ms. Picariello's marine science class had a unique opportunity to perform necropsies (animal autopsies) on four Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that stranded and died on Cape Cod beaches earlier this winter. The turtles were brought into class by scientists from the Mass Audubon/Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and students worked in groups alongside the visiting scientists to dissect each turtle and examine every aspect of their anatomy. The data gathered by Monomoy students will be used not only by the WBWS in their sea turtle population study, but also by scientists around the world who study this species. This global research is an effort to learn more about these critically endangered animals and why they become "cold stunned" on Cape Cod every winter. Many thanks to the Audubon/WBWS for inviting students to participate in this research project and to the seven visiting scientists from the WBWS and NOAA Fisheries who assisted with the necropsies.

New Faculty Members

Amy Major is the school's newest special education teacher. She is from Pennsylvania, returning to her roots on the Cape; she is the sixth generation to live in her family home located in Yarmouth Port. Amy’s previous experience includes teaching middle school learning support.

Joseph Nystrom is the school's newest math teacher. He has been teaching math since 2002. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering, a master's degree in math education and has begun his doctoral studies. He and his wife have three children.