The TC Insider

October 20, 2017

To the Tri-County Community,
Fall is a busy time in most schools, but at Tri-County we not only begin the year welcoming our freshmen, but begin to look towards next year’s freshmen as we entertain eighth graders. We get off to a fast start and don’t slow down until Thanksgiving or so. When you add a Coordinated Program Review by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as the kickoff of a self-study for next year’s New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation visit, it can boarder on overwhelming. In true TC fashion the students, faculty, and administration have risen to the challenge and we are on track and moving forward.
On October 26th and 27th we will welcome district eighth graders to Career Days during the school day as they visit us for tours of the facility. On November 9th we invite the eighth graders to visit in the evening with their families for our 8th Grade Open House. At 8th Grade Open House we formally kickoff the application program for next year’s incoming freshmen class. Homecoming this year will be November 18th the Saturday evening before the Cougar Classic Thanksgiving Game against the Old Colony Cougars on Wednesday evening November 22nd at Bellingham High under the lights.
Fall sports are in full swing and several of our teams have either qualified or are close to qualifying for tournament spots this season. The Girls’ Volleyball team has a 13-1 record and has already qualified, and both Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer are a win away from qualifying. Our Cross Country and Golf teams are starting to prepare for league, division, and state competitions as well.
We had our first Program Advisory meeting of the year, and I want to thank all of you that participated in the evening assisting us in providing valuable industry input into our vocational programs. It was one of the largest turnouts we have had for the event. Please mark Saturday, December 2nd on your calendar for our annual Showcase Spectacular as we open up the school to the public for this wonderful community event. This is our third Showcase Spectacular, and we look forward to welcoming all of you into the school for a visit.  We look forward to seeing you!
Thanks for your support,
Mr. Procaccini

Career Days:
There will be no school on Thursday, October 26, and Friday, October 27, due to our annual Career Days. Students volunteering in their shops as part of the Career Day events will need to supply their own transportation.

Our Annual Showcase Spectacular is Fast Approaching:
Our annual Showcase Spectacular will be on Saturday, December 2nd, from 10 AM to 1 PM. This is a great opportunity for your family and friends to learn more about the career-focused vocational technical education your child is receiving here at Tri-County. This free community event includes a variety of activities, interactive demonstrations, food prepared by our Culinary Arts program, and great door prizes. We hope you can join us and would appreciate your help in spreading the word!

Spirit Week:
Spirit Week is scheduled for November 6th - November 9th. Themes for the week are: Monday - Movie/TV Characters, Tuesday - Twins Day, Wednesday - Cancer Awareness Day (Freshmen wear Pink, Sophomores wear Orange, Juniors wear Grey, and Seniors wear Royal Blue), Thursday: Class Colors Day (Freshmen wear Red, Sophomores wear Green, Juniors wear Gold, and Seniors wear Blue).
The homecoming dance will be Saturday, November 18, from 6 to 9 PM. Tickets are $10 per person, which includes food and drink.  Tickets can be purchased at the school store located in the cafeteria during lunch on Monday 11/13 through Friday 11/17. Students who wish to bring guests from other schools must pick up a guest permission form from the Dean of Students Office. Forms must be returned by October 13.

The Cougar Classic Thanksgiving game against Old Colony is scheduled for Wednesday evening at 6 PM, November 22nd at Bellingham High School under the lights.

Get ready for Ski Club!
The Ski Club will begin their weekly trips to Wachusett Mountain beginning in  January/February. The club visits Wachusett each Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for six weeks. Ski Club sign ups have begun. Students interested in skiing and riding at Wachusett Mountain this winter with Tri-County can contact Ms. Johannesen to get more information and pick up the forms.
From the Office of the Director of Cooperative Education:

Reminder:  All Co-op students must turn their time sheet into Mrs. Roberts in the front office when they arrive back to school on academic Monday. Mrs. Roberts inputs those hours so that your child is not considered absent or delinquent from school. Failure to do so may result in suspension from Co-op for the next shop week. An occasional reminder to your child is always a plus and greatly appreciated!

Time sheets are always available on Mrs. Robert’s desk, so when the Co-op student turns in the completed one, they will help themselves to a new one for next shop week.


Guidance Updates:

FAFSA Day at Dean College
Financial Aid application season has begun! Do you and your child need help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?  FAFSA Day is scheduled for Sunday, November 5th at 1 PM at Dean College, 99 Main Street, in Franklin.  This is a FREE event that will provide the information, resources, and one-on-one assistance needed to complete this federally required financial aid form.

SATs for Seniors
Attention College-bound seniors!  The next available date for SATs is December 2nd, with a registration deadline of November 2nd. Go to to sign up. The cost is $46 or $60 with essay. Students on free or reduced lunch are eligible for a fee waiver.  Please see your counselor, Mr. Casey last names A-K, or Ms. Johannesen last names L-Z.

Happenings at Tri-County:

Dental Assisting Update:
Dental Assisting Seniors began the school fluoridation program at Memorial Elementary School.  Tri-County has partnered with the Department of Public Health.  This will be an on-going event for the remainder of the school year and will be held every Tuesday during senior shop week.

Medical Careers Update:
Sophomores and Junior medical career students are doing a great job trying to solve a medical mystery with PLTW's Principles of Biomedical Science course.  We look forward to their findings. 

Culinary Arts Update:
Gerry's Place as recently introduced Gerry's Place Marketplace to Tri-County faculty.  The Marketplace will offer all items to go for faculty, foods to go (to bring home for dinner), breakfast foods and snacks.  The daily offerings of food items will change as necessary.  Eventually both refrigerated and frozen entrees will be available for purchase. This is yet another great opportunity for students to build some additional skills and skill sets to utilize in their career upon graduation.

Engineering Technology Update:
Engineering sophomores recently went to North Attleborough Electric Department where they learned about power transmission from the power plants to the distribution sub stations and stepping it down from 115,000 volts to the household currents of 115/220 volts through the use of transformers and finally distribution to the townspeople through a series of circuits.  Students ran tests on actual transformers and seeing how they work on the inside.

Skills USA:
The SkillsUSA Tri-County Chapter Officers are working with Veterans Inc in Worcester, MA for their school wide Community Service Project.  Veterans Inc.’s mission is to help veterans regain control of their lives in an effort to eliminate homelessness among veterans. They aim to remain a leading provider of services that improve the lives of veterans and their families by providing the highest quality services; and continuing to create new opportunities in the areas of health, employment and housing.  Please donate new items for this donation drive. The items vary from personal hygiene items to gift cards.  The Tri-County Chapter Officers thank you for your upcoming help in this drive.  Please note: This Donation Drive Starts October 16th and ends November 30th.

This Old House:
Tri-County Senior, Michael "Mike" Barrett, a carpentry student is now appearing on this season's episodes of This Old House. Mike worked alongside the pros on the show’s project house this past summer in Newton, MA.  After launching a nationwide search for apprentices and local trainees, Mike was chosen to work with the TOH TV crew on the project house, where construction is already under way.

Personal Finance Update:
Mrs. Durfee's Personal Finance class will be hosting guest speakers.  Michael Carroll, VP of Marketing and Communications for Dean Bank, will meet with students on Tuesday, November 7th to discuss "Banking and Money Management”. On Wednesday, November 29th, Mr. P. Durfee, CFP, CLTC, of Ameriprise will be speaking to students about "Investing in Your Future". 

The Tri-County Education Foundation:
Members of the Tri-County community recently founded the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical Education Foundation to enrich and expand programs needed to meet the school district’s stated mission of excellence.  Click here if you'd like to donate to help our students to increase their opportunities for learning.

Save the Date for Tri-County's 40 Year Celebration Dinner:
Tri-County turns 40 this year!  A gala dinner is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 7, 2018.  Please save the date.  More details to follow. 

Library Media Center Update:
Form the desk of Mr. Dagan- Library Media Specialist

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a conference hosted by Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibilities Committee of  the Massachusetts Library Association. I would like  to share with the Tri County  community one takeaway from the many lively discussion during the October 13th event at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden. My hope that you will use this information to help you sort through information you and your family come across through various media channels and use some of these practices while making your observation about what you are hearing, seeing, and/or reading.
What is Fake News?
Fake news is misinformation. Often it is intended to mislead and designed to spread.
Fake news may not be 100% fake; it  may be a mixture of real and fake, or it may be strongly biased, providing a slanted or incomplete perspective on a topic.
How Does Fake News Spread?
"Misinformation is perpetuated because people aren't taking the time to evaluate sources before they accept it as truth and/or pass it on to others".- Professor Nicole A Cooke, University of Illinois School of Information Sciences

  • "Clickbait" headlines are designed to provoke a strong response.
  • People share, "like," and forward fake news through social media.
  • People pay more attention to stories that they agree with, and disregard stories that have a different point of view.
  • Social media becomes and "echo chamber' of agreement, so people don't see opposing viewpoints.
  • Search engines personalize results based on past searches and clicks.

What is the Filter Bubble?
Not all search results are the same.  
When you search online, the results are personalized, based on what the search engine knows about you. You are less likely to encounter points of view you disagree with, and risk becoming isolated in your own cultural "bubble."
"The contents of a pageof search results can influence people's views and opinions."- Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian
What Can I Do?
How Can I tell if It's true?

  • Consider the sources: Who wrote the article, who published it?
  • Is it an ad?
  • Check the date: Is it an old article being "recycled"? Has new, better information emerged recently?
  • Triangulate: Check multiple sources. Do they agree? Do they cite evidence or only offer opinion?
  • Use a fact checker like,, or
  • Think Critically!

Take responsibility Inform yourself
Think critically
"At the heart of (fake) news is the inability to think critically about the information that surrounds us and to perform the necessary due diligence and research to verify and validate...  Today we have access to all the  world's information, yet we take no advantage of that information to be more informed citizens of the world." -Kalev Leetaru, Forbes

 Escaping the Filter Bubble

  • Clear your search history
  • Use different search engines
  • Search anonymously (private or incognito mode)
  • Opt out of being tracked when possible
  • Turn off predictive search ( Google Instant Predictions):

Look for the settings gear wheel
Click on "search settings"
Choose " Never show Instant results"

"We clearly prefer news stories that are likely to reinforce our existing views rather than challenge them."-Katrik Hosanagar, Wired

Upcoming Events
Career Days
October 26 & October 27
Tours begin at 8 AM
No School for Tri-County Students

End of the Quarter
November 3rd

Spirit Week
November 6 - 9

Grade 8 Open House
November 9 @ 6:45 PM

Veterans' Day Observed
November 10 @ - No School

Homecoming Dance
November 18 @ 6 PM

Early Release Day
November 22

Cougar Classic Football Game
November 22nd at 6 PM

Showcase Spectacular
December 2 @ 10 AM

About The TC Insider

The TC Insider is a biweekly newsletter for the families of Tri-County students.