Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200
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Plainville Community School News

High School / College Collaboration Supports Manufacturing Career Paths For Students

A group of Plainville High School students recently spent the day learning about 21st century careers in manufacturing at "Manufacturing Awareness Day" held at Middlesex Community College. The program highlighted the growth of manufacturing in Connecticut, the opportunities available for career paths into manufacturing, and the chance for students to meet with and discuss the latest technology, equipment and jobs available throughout the manufacturing sector. Representatives from companies including Pratt and Whitney, Forrest Machine, Precision Grinding, Wepco Plastics, Ripley Tool, and more, attended the event and spoke to students about their products, companies and employment possibilities.

According to Unified Arts faculty members David Gaignard and Mark Chase, who accompanied the students, the field trip is part of a comprehensive focus at Plainville High School on sharing information and resources relative to opportunities in the manufacturing industry, and getting students interested in pursuing career paths in manufacturing. Another example of this focus is the recent formation of a partnership between Middlesex Community College and Plainville High School. Students are able to earn college credits through their coursework at Plainville High School beginning with the CAD and Design course. According to Gaignard, "Manufacturing provides approximately 10% of the jobs in the state of Connecticut and there is a shortage of skilled labor in this sector. Today's manufacturing jobs require a much different set of skills than in years past. Products today are made with 3D Printers, Sintering machines, Lasers, CNC machines, automation and robotics. These technologies allow designers and companies to enhance the quality of the product and the efficiency of the process."

Chase shared, "We are very fortunate at PHS to be able to provide students with the opportunity to use current software, technology and equipment that is common in industry today. These practical, real world experiences will help to prepare and introduce students to the many manufacturing opportunities in high demand careers available in today's global society."

"I applaud Mr. Gaignard and Mr. Chase for providing our students with such valuable opportunities. Their work is right in line with our district goal of insuring all of our students are college and career ready by graduation," said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Maureen Brummett.

-Posted on May 26, 2017 at 10:28 AM

PHS Health Classes Participate In The Clothesline Project

Ninth grade students in Plainville High School Health Classes recently participated in the "Clothesline Project" researching and creating a "clothesline" of information and resources relative to all forms of domestic violence. The clothesline project at the high school is on display in the classroom of PHS faculty members / Health teachers Cindy Birdsall and Sarah Centore. "The students were tasked with conducting research, securing data, statistics, resources and information that they then depicted on paper t-shirts that were ultimately hung on a clothesline for display," explained Birdsall. "The students, working alone or in pairs, were able to select from a variety of domestic violence related topics for their respective research projects. Each paper t-shirt is adorned with the information and resources, and each is color coded for a specific aspect of domestic violence."

The Clothesline Project exercise followed two visits from Prevention Coordinator Tyshaunda Wiley, from the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, CT, who delivered lessons on Dating Violence 101 and Sexual Assault 101 to the ninth grade classes.

Birdsall noted that the guest speaker together with the Clothesline Project exercise was very powerful. "The goal was to educate our students and also create and offer a visual display of this very important topic, which includes tips, resources, data, critical information and support systems for those in need."

"Through our curriculum, partnership with outside organizations, and a positive learning experience, we have provided our students with a valuable learning opportunity regarding important issues centered around domestic violence," said Plainville High School, Principal Roberto Medic.

The Clothesline Project is a non-governmental organization created to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence.

-Posted on May 18, 2017 at 10:18 AM

District Hosts Annual Volunteer Recognition Program

Plainville Community Schools' annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner and Awards Program was held on May 2nd, at Plainville High School. This year's theme was "An Evening In Italy." More than 100 school volunteers, Board of Education members, administrators and staff were present to enjoy an evening of food, friends, and recognition. The event provided an opportunity to thank Plainville's school volunteers for their time and commitment that they make to students across the district. Volunteers share their time and talent in many capacities including mentoring, tutoring, serving as classroom helpers and reading partners, in parent-teacher organizations, as athletic backers, and more.

The program featured guest speakers including Superintendent Dr. Maureen Brummett and Plainville Board of Education Member Foster White. PHS Italian teacher Maria Colangelo "emceed" the event sharing Italian facts and trivia throughout the night. Guests were entertained by Marcello Sparagna who provided Italian themed music and volunteers enjoyed a number of door prizes donated from area businesses which were raffled off throughout the evening. In addition student volunteers from the high school were on hand to teach those in attendance how to play the Italian game Scopa.

Volunteer award winners were also recognized during the program. The 2016-2017 Mentor of the Year recipient was Ann Bucchi, who mentors a student at Louis Toffolon Elementary School. Bucchi, a mentor of five years, was nominated by Chiara Ramos who noted in the nomination, "She goes above and beyond, sharing kindness and patience with her mentee. She is consistent each week and loves hanging out with her mentee/friend. We are very fortunate to know Ann, and have her as a mentor in our district."

Kristen Costantini, a volunteer in Plainville schools for 18 years, was the recipient of the 2016-2017 Volunteer of the Year Award. Plainville High School faculty member Jeri Lynn Turkowitz, who nominated Costantini shares, "It's not unusual to bump into Kristen in the main office, or in town working different events. She always has a smile on her face and running off to her next task. She is always on the go…we are very fortunate to have Kristen as a volunteer in our district sharing her time and talents with our students!"
At the close of the program, Volunteer Coordinator Sue Bradley presented volunteers with pins for years of service. Multiple volunteers were recognized for their 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20+ years of service.

"I have known Ann Bucchi and Kristen Costantini for years and they are most deserving recipients of their respective awards. Plainville Community Schools is fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers and mentors who support students, teachers, and learning," said Superintendent Brummett.

-Posted on May 16, 2017 at 11:59 AM


PHS Robotics Program Receives Grant From Petit Family Foundation

The Plainville High School Robotics Program has received a $3,000 grant from the Petit Family Foundation to support the sustainability and growth of the high school's robotics program, according to Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Steven LePage, who submitted the grant application.

"It is terrific to see our students thriving, competing and learning to problem solve collaboratively with others from their team alongside peers from around the state. I'm very proud of our team's accomplishments and thankful to our students and advisors for their dedication to the Digital Devils. I am also most grateful to our sponsor groups because competing at a high level requires significant funding. Our recent $3,000 grant from the Petit Family Foundation will help the team to compete at an even higher level next year. My sincere thanks to the Foundation for their support of our program and students," said LePage.

The "Digital Devils" Robotics team currently has 18 male and female students from grades 9-12. The group advisors are high school faculty members David Gaignard and Mark Chase. The Digital Devils group participates in the FIRST Robotics competitions throughout the year. FIRST Robotics Competition pairs high school students with adult mentors (primarily engineers and teachers) to design and build robots that compete against each other in a high energy environment. This varsity Sport for the Mind™ combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It's as close to "real-world" engineering as a student can get. Each January at the kickoff, a new, challenging game is introduced. These exciting competitions combine the practical application of science and technology with the fun, intense energy and excitement of a championship-style sporting event. Teams are encouraged to display Gracious Professionalism® and to help other teams and cooperate while competing. This is known as Coopertition®. In 2017, FIRST Robotics Competition will reach 85,000 high-school students representing approximately 3,400 teams. Teams come from nearly every state in the United States, as well as many other countries. FIRST Robotics Competition teams participate in 55 regional competitions, 80 district competitions, and 10 district championships. In addition, approximately 800 teams qualify to go to one of the two FIRST Championships which were held in April.

"The Digital Devils had another action packed year competing at both the Waterbury and Hartford events. When enrolled in Robotics at Plainville High School, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills acquired to solve real world problems in a technical way. These challenges give high school students and their adult mentors the chance to collaborate and work together to solve a common problem. Students were once again able to design, engineer, construct and test a competitive robot capable of carrying out all of the challenges introduced by this year's STEAMWORKS competition," explained Chase.

Participants of all skill levels are welcomed and needed in both technical and non-technical areas in order to have a successful team. Students who have the desire to learn, strategize, share ideas, talents, make new friends, and most importantly have fun are encouraged to join. Being on the team also provides students with more opportunities to apply for various grants and scholarships provided by FIRST. "These competitions are not just about robots, they provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate highly desirable technical and life skills on a global level," noted Gaignard.

"In order to register and compete each year, there is a significant cost involved. Without the help of community sponsors like the Petit Foundation, the Digital Devils robotics team would not be possible. Students would lose out on so many levels and opportunities, but because of these generous donations, this is not the case. As a team, we have already started to brainstorm about next year's season. Conversation about what can be improved; the new technologies to incorporate and how to make the robot more efficient and effective are just some of the ways we are continuously trying to build an even stronger more successful team," added Chase.

“Robotics has been something that has always interested and excited me. Unfortunately this program is very expensive and often times teams don't always have the funds needed to participate to the best of their ability. Thanks to Dr. Petit's help we are starting this upcoming season with less of a worry about money which will allow our team to focus more on building our robot. I cannot thank Dr. Petit enough for supporting our team,” shared team member Raymond Moskus.

"I've been on the Robotics team since my freshman year which was known as our "rookie" year. Since then, I have learned about team building and leadership skills that I used while being the senior captain this past season. Being on the Robotics team has also allowed me to experience some of the latest technologies used in Robotics. Because of my overall involvement with the team I have developed many skills that I hope will help me be successful in my future,” added Taylor Early.

"I am so proud of our Digital Devils who I have enjoyed seeing compete on numerous occasions. They are learning invaluable, real world problem solving and engineering skills with every competition. Many thanks to the Petit Family Foundation for their ongoing support of Plainville Community Schools initiatives," noted Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Maureen Brummett.

The goal of the Petit Family Foundation is to continue to raise and distribute funds to fulfill their mission to help educate young people, especially those with interests in science, to help support those with chronic illnesses, and to help protect those affected by violence.

-Posted on May 16, 2017 at 10:04 AM


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