February 2020

Principal's Letter

To Parents and Guardians:
At the time of this newsletter, we have already passed the midpoint of the 19-20 school year. I am hopeful that the winter weather cooperates and avoids impacting upcoming school activities and events.  

March is the time of the year that two required standardized assessments are scheduled at Daniel Hand High School. The junior class will take both the Connecticut State Board of Education adopted SAT and the Next Generation Science Standard (N.G.S.S.) assessment. The SAT is scheduled on Wednesday, March 25th and the N.G.S.S. assessment is scheduled on Thursday, March 26th. Both the SAT and N.G.S.S. assessments will take place during the school day. Standardized test dates will remain the same even if there are school cancellations for any reason unless school is cancelled or delayed on March 25th and/or 26th. 
For planning purposes, Trimester 2 exams are currently scheduled on March 16th, 17th, and 18th. Students should be in school at 7:25 a.m. on these days keeping in mind that trimester exams will begin promptly at 7:45 a.m. School dismissal on exam days will be at 12:15 p.m. As with any day, please encourage your children to get a good night’s sleep and to eat a healthy breakfast. Please keep in mind that trimester exams will be adjusted if school is cancelled for any reason prior to the scheduled dates. Barring any school cancellations, trimester two will end on Wednesday, March 18th and trimester three will begin on Thursday, March 19th. In a continued effort to be environmentally friendly, we will not issue paper copies of trimester three schedules. Students can access their schedules via Infinite Campus.  

One of the ways we recognize the many wonderful student accomplishments at DHHS is by presenting students with PTO and Helping Hands certificates at the end of trimester one and two. Students receive PTO recognition for outstanding achievement, interest, and/or dedication in a particular subject. Helping Hand recipients are recognized for their selfless contributions that make our school community a more welcoming environment. Mr. Bodner, Mrs. Whitcher, and I recently met with the trimester one student recipients to commend them for their effort and positive character. 

For your information, the master scheduling process for the 2020-21 school year is well underway. Students reviewed next year’s Program of Studies and have already submitted the course selection sheets. If needed, an electronic version of the 2020-21 Program of Studies is available on our website. Our counselors are working diligently entering all student requests into Infinite Campus. After all requests are entered, Mr. Bodner will begin the daunting “build” process that is based on the course request information we gathered and entered from all students. Please keep in mind that once the scheduling process is complete, it is difficult to make changes. If all goes as planned, our target date to mail student course request information to parents/guardians is during the week of February 24th. Upon receipt, please carefully review this information and contact your child’s counselor immediately if there seems to be an error or if you have any questions. 
Our fall athletic teams once again experienced quite a bit of success with the season ending in early December. I would like to share a special congratulations to our “four-peat” Class L boys soccer team. Winning one state championship is an incredible accomplishment, so winning four in a row is certainly worthy of high praise. Many of our winter athletic teams are experiencing a high level of success as the regular season is coming to a close and qualifying teams will soon be preparing for SCC and state championship competition. The support from our coaches and the teamwork and effort our student athletes exhibit is always a highlight for me. Equally as important is the consistent demonstration of positive sportsmanship and character no matter the outcome of the competition. We are fortunate to have many quality coaches in our district. I continue to look forward to attending future athletic events.  

In addition to athletic events, there are many other events at Hand I suggest you attend. The fall drama production, The Canterbury Tales, was a hit. Our student performers, the crew, Eli Sherer, and Joy Weaver put on three incredible performances. I was able to attend the final show and was impressed with the student performances as well as the remarkable work on the set that was created by the crew. For your information, the Daniel Hand Art Show opens on March 26th. This year’s spring musical, Cinderella, will be performed on April 16th, 17th, and 18th. The cast and crew are already busy preparing for what should be an amazing performance. If your calendar allows, I encourage you to attend these exciting events. 
For whatever the reason, school years seems to pass by more and more quickly. At this time of the year, I always enjoy observing the seniors as they begin to sense that their high school experience is coming to a close. Many discussions and the planning of end of the year events, including graduation, have already begun and will be communicated to the school community in the near future. On a personal note, I sincerely enjoy every opportunity I have to interact with all members of the D.H.H.S. school community. 
Thank you for taking the time to read my winter newsletter article. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

Anthony R. Salutari, Jr. 


Trimester 2 Exam Schedule

Students are expected to be in school for all classes except study hall. Bus Transportation is only provided in the morning and at 12:15 p.m. Students may leave at 9:45 a.m. if they have no period 2, 4, or 6 exam.

March 16              T2  Period 1 Exam 7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m., Period 2 Exam 10:15 a.m. 12:15

March 17              T2  Period 3 Exam 7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m., Period 4 Exam 10:15 a.m. 12:15

March 18              T2  Period 5 Exam 7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m., Period 6 Exam 10:15 a.m. 12:15


Please e-mail attendance wohlegmothc@madison.k12.ct.us or call attendance line at 203-245-6355 to report an absence, late arrival, or early dismissal. Planned absences may be called in in advance. Students who arrive late or have an early dismissals should bring a note to the main office upon arrival to school.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found has a collection of miscellaneous items of clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, keys, electronics and jewelry. To claim items contact the security office at filippones@madison.k.ct.us or delmauroj@madison.k.ct.us.

Safety Message – Dropping off or Picking-up Students

For the safety of students and staff, parents are reminded that all before school student drop offs are at the Tiger door in the West Building. At dismissal time, please pick up students at the Tiger Door. No pick-ups in the front circle or front parking lot. When picking up students from after school activities park in the front or back parking lots.  Please do not wait or idle in the front circle. This area must be kept clear for handicap access at all times.


Message from the Health Office

The health office has had a busy start to 2020. Stephanie Lesnik, RN started as our new nurse and Coordinator of Nursing Services in January. The staff and students have given her a warm welcome and things have moved smoothly in this transition.  We have seen a good deal of viral illness, including the flu and strep throat.  In order to protect the health of all students & staff, we ask parents/guardians to keep their children home when they are ill. Students must stay home from school if they:

  • Have a fever over 100; recorded by a thermometer
  • Have a severe cough
  • Have an undiagnosed rash;
  • Have vomited in the past 24 hours;
  • Have more than one episode of diarrhea;
  • Have copious yellow/green mucus discharge from nose;
  • Complain of severe earache, with or without fever;
  • Until treatment for conjunctivitis is initiated;
  • Have an active infestation of head lice;
  • Have a communicable illness.

And communicate with your child’s medical provider for advice.

While many of these illnesses seem inevitable this time of year, a dose of prevention can go a long way. - please encourage your children to:

  • fuel their system in the morning with a good healthy breakfast,
  • get plenty of rest,
  • wash their hands frequently,
  • contact your medical provider for guidance regarding the flu vaccine.

Nurse Lesnik is an advocate for utilizing the Health Office during times of wellness, as well as in sickness. Please encourage your children to seek the guidance of the health office when they are not feeling well. The health office may be able to offer strategies to help them feel better while in school and continue with their academic day. Avoiding unnecessary absence can help decrease stress and worry for our students. The Health Office Staff is also eager to share and encourage healthy life style choices with our students through education.

Connecticut State law requires each student in grade 10 to have a physical examination performed by a MD, APRN, DO, or PA. Tenth grade physical examinations are due by the end of 10th grade / before entry to the eleventh grade. Forms (State of CT, blue, HAR-3, rev 4/2017 forms) are available in the DHHS Health Office & online. Please note, there is an Oral Assessment portion that must also be completed by your health care provider or dentist.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Lesnik, RN or Mrs. Pat Drake, Health Paraprofessional at 203-245-6370 or e-mail.


Music Department

The DHHS Tiger Band had a very successful marching band season, performing the music of Paul Simon and Elton John for their halftime show, as well as countless favorites in the stands. The band is now in the middle of concert season and  presented  its winter concert on February 12th. Concert bands played classic works for band by Gustav Holst and Clare Grundman, movie music by John Williams, selections from the musical Chicago, and much more. Senior Elena Dreier was featured as a guest conductor with the 11th and 12th grade Symphonic Band. The Jazz Band opened the concert followed by the two concert bands. Jazz Band has been busy this year performing at all of the Madison schools and just returned from a trip to New York City where they performed in a clinic at Lincoln Center. The Jazz Band also attended the 8:30 p.m. show at the famous jazz club Village Vanguard.


Guidance Department

Recent Events:

Open House for Prospective Students – The Guidance and Counseling Department hosted an Open House for prospective incoming freshmen students on January 7, 2020.  The students who currently attend private schools sat in on classes, had school tours, and received information about courses available at DHHS.

Program of Studies & Course Request Forms - The School Counselors met with students to distribute the course request form for next year’s course selection, along with the Program of Studies.  Students need both their parent/guardian and current teacher signatures prior to turning them in during PAW on Friday, January 31, 2020.

Upcoming Items:

Mandatory Testing for all Juniors - On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 all Juniors will take the Connecticut State Board of Education’s mandated Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) during the school day.  In addition, on Thursday, March 26, 2020 there will also be the mandated Next Generation Science Standard Test administered which replaces the former Connecticut Aptitude Performance Test (CAPT). It is important that all juniors report to their assigned rooms on testing days by 7:25 a.m. with pencils, calculator (not provided) and a snack. Room assignments will be posted in March.  Registration will be completed here at Daniel Hand High School with no fees being assessed.  If you have any questions, please see your School Counselor.

AP Testing – In November, all current AP students registered for and indicated intent for taking the AP Testing this May.  Students will soon receive the Bulletin for AP Students and Parents 1-20, as required by the College Board.  This bulletin includes such information as; the AP Exam Schedule, Basic Information for Preparation, Getting Ready for Exam Day, Getting Your Exam Grades, the AP Student Checklist and more.  The last date to register for (with late fees) or cancel a previously ordered test is Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at noon.  Please see Mrs. Hawley or Mrs. Heller in the Guidance and School Counseling Office if your intentions have changed.

Scholarships - A reminder to Seniors to check the Scholarship List located in Naviance to view all regional and national scholarships currently available.  Please be sure to check this list frequently, as scholarships are updated often.  The 2020 DHHS Scholarships will be available to students Friday, February 28th on the website Madison.k12.ct.us/2020 scholarships. Any questions, please see Mrs. Heller in the Guidance and School Counseling Office, or see your School Counselor.

College Outcomes – Once Seniors receive decisions from colleges (accepted, deferred, etc.) please be sure you let your School Counselor know.  Additionally, please log-in to Naviance and indicate the result for each college you hear from.  (1.) Go to Colleges I’m Applying To, (2.) click on the pencil “edit” button next to each college, (3.) Scroll down for “Result”, and use the dropdown arrow to make your selection.  We are excited to hear where you may be going!


Important Dates and Events

Trimester 2 Exams

March 16, 17, 18

Spring Break

April 6-10

Senior Auction

April 26
Dining & Assembly Hall

SAT - Juniors

March 25

NGSS - Juniors

March 26

Junior Prom

May 8
Woodwinds, Branford

Memorial Day

May 25
No School

Senior Prom

June 13
Aqua Turf Club, Plantsville


Typically held on the last day of school.  Date to be set at spring Board of Education meeting.

Student Sponsored Events

February Food for Thought Campaign to benefit Madison and Shoreline East food pantries: Cereal, Peanut Butter, Canned Soups-items may be dropped off at Main Office.

Say Yes to the Dress at DHHS! March 2-31, 2020: collecting gently used prom dresses. Prom dresses may also be dropped off in the LMC.

Hand’s Got Talent 2020: May 1, 2015 -Auditions  are March 9, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m; tapes/video performances may also be submitted to Mrs. La Vista by March 9th.


Purchasing Yearbooks: The deadline to pre-order a yearbook and/or to personalize one is Friday, February 14th. The price of the book is $80 (not including any personalization fees or taxes). You can order a book now at jostensyearbooks.com. Yearbooks will continue to be sold after February 26th, but they will only be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Any questions concerning yearbook should be addressed to one of the advisors:  Julie Johnson (rm 3) and Josh Young (rm 328) .

SAT/ACT Prep Class

A review course will be offered at Daniel Hand High School to prepare students for the spring SAT. The class will meet immediately after school for sessions, Monday - Thursday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The first class will be on Monday, March 9th. The fee for the course is $150. For more information contact Mr. Miller

Interested students should sign up in the main office with a check for $150 made out to DHHS. Class size is limited to 30 students.

Nite In Hand

Nite in Hand Since 1989 Madison, Connecticut

Nite In Hand is an evening of celebration held on the night of Daniel Hand High School graduation. It allows Madison's graduates to spend the entire night celebrating together in a safe, substance-free environment. Our goal is keeping the graduates and the community safe on graduation night!

We need DHHS parents (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior and Senior) and family/friends to volunteer! A successful Nite In Hand depends on great parent/community participation. 

Come, learn and experience the Nite In Hand process so that this extraordinary tradition may be continued for years to come.  Monthly Nite In Hand meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month (November to June), in the DHHS Library Media Center, from 7- 8 p.m.



Thank you for the wonderful attendance at our monthly PTO meetings.  Looking ahead towards the end of the year, we will be hosting a spring Blood Drive and the Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon.  We will need parents’ assistance for these events so please keep an eye out for emails. Our upcoming regular meetings are:

  • Tuesday, March 3
  • Tuesday, April 14
  • Tuesday, May 3    

All meetings begin at 8:00 a.m. and are held in the Library or Guidance Career Center depending upon room availability. Everyone is welcome and we hope you will join us. 

The PTO will have two positions open for the 2020-2021 academic year.  All positions are for a two-year term.
Vice President: Attend PTO meetings (Two Tuesday morning meetings a month), Perform duties of President in his/her absence
Vice President - Hospitality: Attend PTO meetings (Two Tuesday morning meetings a month), Coordinate the twice yearly Blood Drives with the School Nurse and organize parent helpers and donations, Organize the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

Anyone interested in either position should please email the PTO at danielhandpto@gmail.com expressing interest, availability and the graduation years of your children at Hand.  Parents with incoming Freshman are most welcome.

PTO Awards Trimester 1

PTO award recipients are selected by their teachers for:

  • outstanding achievement
  • interest
  • dedication
  • and/or improvement in a particular subject area

Grade 9

Quinlan Brohel, Science    
Collin Cataldo, Band    
Julia Dougherty, Social Studies    
Brooke Istishin, Orchestra 
Aiden Mader, Art    
Jack McDevitt, Science    
Brynn McKeown, World Language
Jackson Milius, Mathematics    
Maci Pellegrino, Physical Education  
Samuel Sisk, Physical Education   Sylvia Sonenstein, Art
Eloise Strabley, World Language  Valerie Thompson, English
Nicholas Valentine, Band
Ryan Xeller, Mathematics

Grade 10
Sydney Aboulian, Science    
Stephen Boretsky, Band    
William Conroy, Science    
Declan DiProspero, World Language    
Sofia Ferrucci, English    
Brandon Gioeli, Art    
Maximo Gulla, World Language    
Aeneas Huy, Mathematics    
Aeneas Huy, Chorus    
Jonathan Isaac, Physical Education    
Emma Kobelia, Health    
Sydney McMullen, Chorus    
Emma  Merkle-Scotland, Band    
Ethan O'Brien, Social Studies    
Brigid O'Keefe, Social Studies    
Timothy Perez, Mathematics    
Liliana Salazar, Art    
Isabelle Vagell, Band    
Shirley Zullo, English    

Grade  11
Erik Bernard, Band    
Mason Betty, Art    
Cameryn Brown, Health    
Maya Burd, Orchestra    
Sean Burke, English    
Roland Calia-Bogan, World Language    
Morgan Combs, Mathematics    
Emma Flaherty, English    
Emma Franson, Science    
Reese Gaudelli, Health    
Reese Gaudelli, Chorus    
Sarabeth Gulcicek, Art    
Carson Hines, Social Studies    
Alexandra Istishin, Science and Physical Education
Philip Jadak, English    
Leah Lingan, Mathematics    
Cedar Lowry, Band    
Aidan McCabe, Social Studies    
Christopher Pellegrino, World Language    
Dylan Stella, CTE    
Sina Takyar, Orchestra and CTE
Maddison Thomas, Physical Education    
Avery Tomicic, Chorus    
Kevin Violette, Physical Education    
Jack White, Physical Education

Grade  12
Daniel Baker, English    
Laurel Bennett, CTE    
Lisa Estrada, Chorus    
Jemma Hoko, Band    
John Hughes, Chorus    
Emma Larivee, Mathematics   
Isabella Larizza, English    
Daniel Mason, Art    
Nicholas Newman, World Language  
Caroline Pfaff, Health    
Sophia Pompilli, Mathematics    
Madison Rotermund, Health    Science
Lindsay Rubino, Art and CTE
Bennett Sprague, CTE    
John Stein, Science    
Reilly Stewart, Band    
Oakley Walker, Social Studies    
Emilie Waters, Social Studies    


Daniel Hand High School's Core Values and Beliefs

Our primary purpose is to graduate successful life-long learners who are responsible citizens in the global community. Daniel Hand High School students, in collaboration with educators, parents, and the Madison community, will develop as motivated, self-reliant, creative, and ethical individuals who respect differences in others.

Core Values and Beliefs Statement:

The Daniel Hand High School community believes that the mission of our school is to support all students by providing them with challenging educational opportunities which will prepare them to be globally aware citizens of the 21st century.  To succeed in this mission, we recognize that our students must demonstrate competence in oral and written communications; understand effective and responsible use of technology; and develop critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. In addition, it is critical that our students respect and contribute to the diverse, multicultural community and international community in which they live.