Student Selfies

FullSizeRender_1Since the first day of the school year administrators have been outside the building once a week, holding signs and taking “selfies” with students. We initially heard about this idea from another school Principal who we were discussing positive school with and who was promoting the idea of selfies with students. Although this may have been out of our comfort zone and certainly a different morning routine, we were out there on the first day of school (along with the school rock band and therapy dogs) to welcome students and faculty back to HHS after the summer. We had committed to “welcoming” signs for the first day of school but were unsure at that point if this would continue throughout the year.

IMG_7227Two weeks later, and two selfie days later, a student approached me in the hallway and asked when she could expect our next selfie day. She was interested to see what our sign would be and stated that she wanted us to tweet her selfie. I responded immediately that we would be outside again the next day and to make sure to find us so that we could all take a selfie together. The impact of this small activity was already felt and this interaction left me with a smile for the rest of the day.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is where so much learning takes place and in this case, contributed so significantly to the positive school culture we are always trying to cultivate.


Student Feature Fridays

Melanie Galeaz

Melanie Galeaz

Senior Melanie Galeaz is involved in writing poetry, volunteering, and serving on School Council and the Beautiful Mind Campaign. In addition to her many pursuits, she completed Stress Management & Psychology last year and recently presented her project to the faculty during the October Faculty Meeting.


Q: Why were you interested in taking the Stress Management class?

A: Not only did I think the class would help my stress, but I thought if I learned more about stress I can help others deal with stress.

Q: What skills did you learn from that class that you think all students should know or be exposed to?

A: In stress management, I learned that stress can be a good aspect in our lives and it is all about perspective. In order to handle stress, we have to see it is a motivation for us to succeed and not something that holds us back.

Q: In your video you focus on the message of hope. How did you choose this as your overall theme?

A: Encouraging hope and optimism has always been something I strive to do. Video editing is a passion of mine, and being able to weave the two together was very appealing to me. I already knew the song in the video prior to the project and I always wanted to make an inspirational video with it. I chose “hope” with the goal of inspiring others to find the light in everything they do.

Q: What was it like presenting your video to the faculty at the start of the faculty meeting?

A: Presenting my video was nerve wracking but also a wonderful experience and opportunity to practice presentation skills. Everyone was very welcoming and encouraging during my presentation. I was ecstatic when the faculty enjoyed my video!


Welcome Back to HHS

Every year when I put together the back-to-school email I cannot believe how quickly the summer flies by! I hope everyone is feeling rested and recharged after having some time to relax. We are busy preparing for another exciting school year and will be ready on Monday August 28th to greet faculty and Tuesday August 29th to greet students. Although I typically try to send short email blasts that are event specific, my back-to-school email is always lengthy because there is a lot of information to communicate in order to help students and families prepare for the school year. Below you will find information essential for a successful return to school.

Information for all parents and guardians:

  • You will receive a mailing containing the opening day bell schedule/map and emergency health forms. These student emergency contacts forms and health forms must be completed and returned on the first day of school. Copies can be found on the Back to School page of the HHS Website. Homeroom/Advisory teachers will collect these forms first thing Tuesday morning and they are vital to providing the best care for your student. Please make sure that parents/guardians have signed the forms in all necessary places.
  • The Student-Parent Handbook for 2017-2018 is available on the high school website
  • Opening Day Bell Schedule: The bell schedule for the first day of school begins with homeroom/advisory at 7:30am. The homeroom/advisory location is listed on the student’s schedule. The times for the first day bell schedule are listed bellow and the complete schedule with class meetings held throughout the day is available on the high school homepage.
    • Homeroom: 7:30 – 8:11
    • A Block: 8:15 – 9:34
    • B Block: 9:38 – 10:53
    • C Block: 10:57 – 12:42 (with lunch during this block)
    • D Block: 12:46 – 2:03
  • If you have not done so yet, please sign up for an iParent account through the Holliston High School website. An iParent account will allow you access to your student’s classes, grading information, and attendance. You will receive an email from your student’s teachers at the beginning of each new course, providing information about grading practices and any pertinent information.
  • We do not print Progress Reports and Report Cards throughout the year, as they will be published through iParent. We encourage parents/guardians to share their accounts with their students so that students can access grading information on their devices.
  • Our first Back-to-School Night or Open House is scheduled for Wednesday September 27th, with opening remarks from the Principal at 6:30pm and classes beginning at 7:00pm.

Therapy Dogs Return to HHS

  • Working with Therapy Dogs International (TDI) we were fortunate to have therapy dogs at HHS during senior final exams last May. There was overwhelming positive feedback from students and many requested they return again during the 2017-2018 school year. The therapy dogs will be in the Holliston High School Courtyard before school from 7:00 am – 7:30 am on Tuesday, August 29th to welcome students back to school. Research demonstrates that therapy dogs not only improve the emotional, mental, and academic productivity of students, but also improve school culture as a whole. We recognize that for all students the transition from 8th to 9th grade and/or the return from the summer regardless of the grade level can be a challenging time and we hope that the presence of the therapy dogs will help to alleviate some of that stress/anticipation. We also recognize that not all students will want to participate so the dogs will remain in a contained location.


  • Holliston High is excited to begin Stage 2 of our one-to-one Chromebook program. Chromebooks are low-cost, cloud-centric laptops that allow students and teachers to participate in collaborative, interactive, digital learning experiences. We have seen tremendous success with our Chromebook program during the first year, and are looking forward to expanding the program in 2017-2018. All grade 9 and 10 students will have a school issued Chromebook. Grade 11 and 12 students may request a school issued Chromebook or may continue to BYOD. Please refer to the website for additional information and insurance/waiver forms.

Homework Free Vacations

  • Holliston High School will continue with four homework free vacations. During the 4-day Thanksgiving break, winter break, February Vacation and April Vacation, no homework will be assigned for any classes in order to provide students an opportunity to rest, relax, and reconnect with families. We hope that this will continue to have a positive effect on students and families.

Forms for Parking and Senior Privileges:

  • Parking forms are now available on the High School website under the Publications drop down menu, labeled forms. Stay tuned in the next few days for a new button on the homepage titled “Back to School” that will be a central location for back to school information and forms. If your student is interested in purchasing a parking pass, please download the form, have both parent and student sign, and complete a check for $50. Beginning immediately, these forms can be turned in to the main office. Please let your student know that he/she must show a driver’s license at the time the parking form is dropped off.
  • Senior Privilege forms (leaving for lunch during the week or during DSB on Fridays) are also available on the website in the same location. Students may begin turning these in immediately or on the first day of school and will NOT be able to leave school grounds until these forms are completed and turned in to the main office.

Athletic Tryouts

  • Athletic tryout days and times are listed on the Athletic Page, under Announcements. Please contact Matt Baker, Athletic Director, or the individual coach if you have any questions.

Signing up for Band & Chorus:

  • Any student who wants to sign up for Band (Mr. Bilodeau) and Chorus (Mr. Britton) (which meet during DSB), please plan on coming to the band/chorus rooms during DSB on Wednesday & Thursday, August 30 & 31 to enroll. These groups perform for Celebrate Holliston on Sept. 16 so the groups have to start quickly! Once you are signed up for the DSB ensembles, you will find out all the information for signing up for the after school ensembles (Jazz Band, Act 2, Harmonix and T-Tones).

Fall Athletic Night for Parents/Guardians and Students

  • All Fall, Winter and/or Spring athletes and at least one parent/guardian are required to attend the Athletic Night on August 30th at 6:00pm in the Auditorium. Registration procedures for Winter & Spring sports will be detailed.  The athletic director will review policies/procedures as well as rules and expectations for student athletes and parents for the upcoming sports seasons.  The athletic trainer will also give an overview of athletic training policies and procedures, injury evaluation, concussion overview as well as return to play procedures. Please see the separate Athletic Night email for more information.
HHS Administration
  • Principal – Nicole Bottomley
  • Assistant Principal Grades 10 & 12 – Anne Connoni
  • Assistant Principal Grades 9 & 11 – Patrick Kelley
  • Student Services Administrator – Tracy Conte
  • Athletic Director – Matt Baker

Please feel free to contact the main office if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to a successful school year and are excited to see everyone next week.