Sturgis West
April 2016

Sturgis West Arts Festival
Saturday, May 15, 2016

Schedule TBA

Click here for a full size image of this poster.


Note from the Executive Director

SPA Auction

Congratulations to SPA leaders Kristine Jackson, Robyn Hardy, and Catherine Thomas for organizing such an amazing Auction last Saturday night. The food was really tasty, the auction items were diverse and stimulated a great deal of interest, the East and West jazz bands performed admirably, and the whole atmosphere promoted a spirit of camaraderie and commitment to support the school. Sturgis is so lucky to have such outstanding support from SPA, the parent community, and faculty. The whole night was such a success due to the tremendous work of the SPA volunteers. Thanks so much for an unforgettable night!!

Mock IB Exams

All Sturgis seniors and some juniors have been sitting IB mock exams this week. These IB mock exams allow students to experience the "feel" of the real IB exams that will be given next month, and they also allow faculty to determine if there are any gaps in student understanding that can be addressed in the next few weeks prior to the official IB exams. The mock exams also are used to replace the final course exams that would normally be given at the end of the school year. We hope that the students found the mock exam experience to be helpful, even though it may have been somewhat stressful.

OECD Test based on PISA

Next week approximately 80 students who are 15 years old will be taking the computer-based OECD Test based on PISA on Wednesday, April 13. The grade 9 & 10 students were randomly selected using the same selection procedure used in schools in the U.S. and other countries. 2016 is the third year that Sturgis students will have taken the OECD test, which allows the school to determine how students compare with their peers across the globe. In the two previous years, Sturgis students ranked among the highest scoring schools in reading, math, and science in addition to the school culture indices such as disciplinary climate, self efficacy, and student/teacher relationships. It will be interesting to see the results from a test that will be given totally on computer for the first time.

Dissemination of Best Practice Continues

Associate Director Paul Marble and Matt Gonzales, Associate Head of the Dwight School (NY) have been selected to give a presentation at the IB Americas Conference in Toronto in July this summer. The title of their workshop is: IB for All: Building a Culture of Access, Excellence, and Equity.

Executive Director Eric Hieser gave a presentation to the convening of the Northeast Global Learning Network Schools in Barrington, RI this week. The presentation covered initiatives in building a vibrant school culture.

Director of Finance Jim Albrecht and Special Education Coordinator Susan Voigt recently participated on charter school site visit teams at two schools in MA. Jim participated on the visit to Paolo Freire Social Justice Charter School in Holyoke, MA, and Susan was on the team visiting City on a Hill Charter Public School in New Bedford, MA.


Math's Musical Guest


George Scharr, trombonist and outreach coordinator for the Cape Cod Symphony orchestra and Cape Cod Conservatory, spent Monday March 28 at Sturgis West, educating math students in Ms. Singer's, Ms. Bui's, and Mr. Newcombe's classes about Mozart, Music, and Math. The CCSO is providing participating Sturigs students with free tickets to the April 9 "Mozart At Last" concert at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, to encourage the appreciation of classical music by young people. Mr Scharr brought a cello and taught the ratios associated with octaves and other intervals, lead a Fugue-like clapping exercise to show the role of fractions in rhythm, demonstrated Mozart's genius through four anecdotes, and familiarized students with some of the Mozart music that was performed on April 9.


Cape Cod Art Association's
Annual Student Art Show

Congratulations to Christiane Kupping, Isabella Luff, Carlotta Maruca, Greta Nelson, Lindsay Rice, Samuel Smith, and Taylor Waugaman for winning awards at Cape Cod Art Association's annual student art show Beginnings 2016: A Showcase of Cape Cod High School Students Best Work. Eleven student pieces from each Cape high school were included in the invitational exhibit. The "Beginnings" show gives students the opportunity to display their work, meet with other student artists, share experiences and ideas, and receive recognition for their endeavors.

C.A.S. Showcase 2016:

When: Wednesday, April 13th, 6:30pm
Where: Sturgis West
Who: CAS Junior and Senior Presenters from both campuses
What: An evening for CAS participants to showcase progress & achievements




Best Auction Ever!!!

This year's SOLD OUT Gala Event was a HUGE success!! We had 300 parents, Board of Trustees, Corporate Sponsors, Faculty, Staff and friends of Sturgis in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful new venue, amazing food at the Coonamessett Inn of Falmouth, as well as live entertainment by the Sturgis Jazz Bands and auctioneer (some say comedian), Sean Randall. Thank you all for coming out and supporting Sturgis!

As most of you know, the majority of our auction proceeds will be earmarked for a new Sturgis Community Center that will accommodate IB testing, performing arts, assemblies and athletics. This past Saturday night, we unveiled a special Fund-A-Cause auction item, "The Hieser Court", a basketball parquet floor to honor our Executive Director, Eric Hieser for all his years of dedication to Sturgis.

Before finalizing our numbers, we'd like to give all parents and friends Sturgis who were unable to attend this year's Gala Event the opportunity to participate in "The Hieser Court" Fund-A-Cause. This is our one and only fundraising event for Sturgis, so please support our cause and consider making a donation.

Click here for your donation to "The Hieser Court"!

Our sincerest thanks and appreciation once again to the entire Auction Planning Committee, corporate and local sponsors, Sturgis Jazz bands, auctioneer, Sean Randall and the countless PARENT volunteers who donated their time, talent and treasures to help make this event an overwhelming success! We could not have done it without your dedication to Sturgis! Thank you so much!

That's a Wrap!

Kristine Jackson and Robyn Hardy, Sturgis Auction Co-Chairs, 2016


Gold Star Tradition and Rite of Passage

Seniors celebrate the completion of their Extended Essays. When students complete their research papers, they receive a gold star that reads "I handed in my Extended Essay."GoldStarEastThe Sturgis community celebrates this rite of passage by congratulating students sporting their EE star. Sturgis recently mailed 132 Extended Essays to IB examiners located around the world. The research papers of Sturgis seniors will be assessed by examiners inAustralia, Canada, India, Portugal, Greece, Spain, China, Austria, Ecuador, France, Czech Republic, France, UAE, UK, and US. Our students are "crossing the bridge," not just to the Massachusetts mainland, but to the world. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

DAR Good Citizen Awards

Recently, Lauren Berkley of East and Althea Turley of West were among 14 Cape Cod seniors who received DAR Good Citizen Awards from the Cape Cod Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in their homes, schools and communities. The recipients are selected by their teachers and Class of 2016 peers because they demonstrate these qualities to an outstanding degree. Congratulations to Lauren, Althea and all the recipients. Thanks for all you do for the community.

Coordinated program review from DESE on some of our school programs

Eric Hieser of the Sturgis Charter Public School was informed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of an upcoming Coordinated Program Review that will be taking place this school year. As part of this Coordinated Program Review, Department staff will visit the during the week of May 16, 2016. Such visits are routinely conducted by the Department to satisfy federal and state requirements for the periodic review of specific education programs and services in schools throughout the Commonwealth. The Department is reviewing several programs during a single visit in order to use Department and school staff’s time most efficiently and to encourage strong connections among the programs.

To review the full Press Release, see here.

East/West Coffeehouse

Sturgis students from both campuses came together last month for the 2016 Arts Coffeehouse at Sturgis West. Families and friends were provided a rich mix of extemporaneous speech, poetry, a capella, rock, jazz, and improv from super talented students, with the proceeds going towards supporting children through the Made by Survivors Club. Click here for a video of the Coffeehouse

Guidelines from the School Counselors

The springtime months are also the time for juniors and interested parents to meet with counselors, continue college research, attend campus visits and prepare for SAT and ACT testing. Thank you to all of the parents who have completed their Parent Brag Sheet! This will provide insights for counselors as they write college recommendation letters. Please visit the Parent Brag Sheet link if you haven't yet done so. In addition, we will be soliciting Junior Reflections and Teacher Input for the recommendation letters.

On March 14th, the Counseling Dept held the Junior Parent College Planning Program, which was very well attended. East Counselor Debbie Hempel presented the program and was joined by a panel of college Admission Officers from three area colleges who shared their perspectives on the college admission process.

We are winding down with our seniors and they have many college acceptances in hand! The Making an Informed Decision program will be held on April 11th at 6:30pm. This presentation for seniors and their parents will help families to better understand the components of an aid award letter and will offer guidance on different types of college financial aid. Location: Cape Cod Synagogue: 145 Winter Street, Hyannis. Parking will be at a premium so please come early.

We are moving into phase two of the Cape Cod Community College Pathways Program. On April 15th, several seniors who are considering attending 4Cs next year will visit and tour the college, take the Placement Exam, and learn about course selections, all with the goal of making this transition as seamless as possible.

On Saturday, March 26th, several Sturgis West faculty members, including Kristin Nissen, David Kooharian, John Tecklenberg, and Eric Hillebrand, participated in the Mentors in Violence Prevention workshop. Led by a member of Cape Cod's Independence House, faculty members collaborated during the program with three sophomores from West, exploring the perceptions and realities of healthy relationships, gender stereotypes, and teen dating violence. Now certified Mentors in violence prevention, the student-led group hopes to move forward to bring deeper knowledge and awareness of these issues to the Sturgis student body and local community.

At West, we are gearing up for Career Day on Monday, May 2. That morning we will welcome over 30 professionals from the community from all different fields/careers who will meet in workshops with our students to share valuable information with them. We are very appreciative of all of our community volunteers for this event!