Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Good afternoon-

MCAS reports will go in the mail Tuesday, October 15 to all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who tested in Ashland Public Schools last year. Please reach out to your child's counselor if you do not receive the report within a few days. Ashland students once again did very well, meeting our benchmarks, and we are proud of their accomplishments.

Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit® Scholarship Program 
(Evanston, Illinois) On September 11, 2019 officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. 
Steps in the 2020 Competition 
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through- out high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. 
National Merit Scholarships 
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2020. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 
Ashland High School is proud to announce three Semi-finalist who are moving on in the Scholarship competition. They are Joo Won (Jewel) Han, Sophia Mariona, and Rebecca Moses. We wish them the best in the next steps and look forward to celebrating their accomplishment at graduation on June 7, 2020.

News from Student Council: Spirit Week (October 15th - October 18th)
Next week, leading up to homecoming, is spirit week!  Students are encouraged to dress-up and show their school spirit.
Tuesday, October 15th is pajama day.
Wednesday, October 16th is "tourist day"
Thursday, October 17th is VSCO Girl / E-boy day*
Friday, October 18th is class color day.  (The freshmen wear green, the sophomores red, the juniors blue, the seniors white.)

(* From the Student Council Vice-President: A new day we are having this year is called VSCO girl/ E Boy day. VSCO is a social media platform which was originally created to share photography, but has since turned into a platform in which teenage girls use to post the pictures they don’t deem “acceptable” for their instagrams. A stereotype has since formed for “VSCO girls” across all social media platforms. The typical VSCO girl dresses in big baggy t-shirts, scrunchies, and they carry around large metal water bottles (specifically hydroflasks). An E-Boy is the boy version of this and they have gained popularity on the social media app Tik Tok. E-Boys dress in “emo” attire (i.e. dark clothing, beanies, chains, checkered patterns, etc).

Homecoming Tailgate Barbecue (Friday, October 18th)
Unfortunately, due to the continued EEE-threat, this event has been cancelled.
Homecoming Dance (Saturday, October 19th, 7pm - 9:30pm)
The Student Council's annual semi-formal Homecoming dance is next Saturday, October 19th, in the high school cafeteria. Tickets will be on sale during lunch next week for $8 (cash or a check made out to AHS Student Activities).  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $10.  All students attending must arrive by 8pm.  Any student planning on bringing a guest from another school must pick up a guest approval form from the office.  Guest approval forms are due to the main office by Tuesday, October 15th.

Important Upcoming dates:
10/15-19  Spirit Week
19             Homecoming Dance                                                          7:00 – 9:30 pm
23             Site Council                                                                       4:00 - 5:30 pm
24             NHS Induction                                                                  7:00 – 8:30 pm
28             Picture Retake Day
30             Senior Pictures Due
31             Class of 2020 Halloween Parade
1/2            AHSTS Fall Production                                                     7:00 – 9:30 pm
3               AHSTS Fall Production                                                     2:00 – 4:30 pm
6               MCAS Make-up ELA Comp
7               MCAS Make-up Reading Session 1 & 2
8               MCAS Make-up Reading Session 3
                 Early Release                                                                    12:35 pm
                 Term 1 Ends              
13             MCAS Make-up Math Session 1
14             MCAS Make-up Math Session 2
                 Band Concert Night                                                           7:00 pm
15             Report Cards
24             Pancake Breakfast                                                              9:00 – 11:00 am                        
27             Early Release                                                                    11:25 am

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