Archived MSP Articles - Home

Halloween Fun
October, 2017

Recently, the MSP Pep Band performed for the Town of Plainville at the annual Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Festival.  Thanks to the MSP band students and band director, Barbara Senatore for representing the Middle School of Plainville so well!



College Awareness Day at MSP
October, 2017

As part of College Awareness month, MSP held a spirit day on October 19.  Students were encouraged to wear college or post-high school training gear.  All month long, the students have been hearing on the MSP Morning Announcements about the benefits of post-high school education and training.  Thanks to the MSP School Counselors for organizing this event.





















MSP Cross-Country Team in Action
September/October, 2017

Below are some photos of the MSP cross-country team in action at a recent meet.  The students continue to approve with each meet and to represent the Middle School of Plainville with dignity and skill.












Kids in the Middle
September/October, 2017


The Kids in the Middle program is looking forward to another successful year helping our community! Kids in the Middle (or KIM) is run by Plainville Youth Services and sponsored by the United Way. It offers volunteer and community service opportunities for middle school students. To join or learn more about the KIM program all students are invited to attend our monthly lunch meetings.


Our first project this school year was collecting donations for the “Spare Change Drive” to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey. This was followed by an afternoon of making crafts for the “KIM Cares” project. Similar to a “Sunshine Fund”, this project aims to spread cheer and well wishes to those going through a hard time. A few times a year student volunteers will gather to make crafts and other gifts to donate to local senior centers, rehab facilities and shelters.


Other upcoming activities include helping the Park and Recreation Department at the Plainville Pumpkin Fest, volunteering at Elementary Schools’ fall events, and participating in the Plainville Monster Dash. We will have many more opportunities for members to give back to their community as the holiday season approaches!


Contact Amy Kievit at kievita@plainvilleschools.org with any questions. 





Plainville Community Schools Technology
September, 2017

https://sites.google.com/a/plainvilleschools.org/msp/Welcome/Screen%20Shot%202017-09-05%20at%2010.11.38%20AM.png?attredirects=0Channel 8 recently reported on the PCS STEAM Lab/ChromeBook Program. I have the link is provided below for you to watch the spotlight. We are very proud and appreciative of the work that has been done to develop the STEAM lab at MSP and our ChromeBook program districtwide.






MSP's Top Readers
June, 2017
The Top Readers at MSP gathered for a photo in the Library Information Center at MSP recently.  All of the students in this group were consistently voracious readers.  This group read a total of 919 print and e-books this school year! Thanks to Mrs. Joyce Lynch. MSP Library Information Teacher,  for supporting the good reading habits of these students, and all the students at MSP.



Connecticut Association of Schools Honors Middle Level Scholar-Leaders
June, 2017

T
he Connecticut Association of Schools established the Scholar-Leader Banquet in 1985 to give public recognition to one boy and one girl from each middle level school 
in Connecticut who have distinguished themselves in scholarship and leadership in school and the community. The two Scholar-Leaders chosen by the faculty at the Middle School this year, Anne Roux and Tanner Callahan are pictured here on the left with MSP teacher, Mr. Karapanos and Principal Guarino. The students and their parents attended a statewide awards banquet Sunday, June 4 at the Aqua-Turf in Southington. Each Scholar-Leader received a plaque signifying the honor.
 

 


GoBabyGo!

May, 2017

MSP students in the Engineering in Action club worked this year to complete two "GoBabyGo" vehicles. We identified two children within the MSP community that had special needs and can use some help keeping up and playing with their peers. MSP students researched the materials needed for the project, fundraised by holding a bake sale during the winter concerts, purchased and constructed two powerwheels vehicles and then modified the vehicles to match each child's needs. This was a months long project where the MSP students learned about electricity, safety, and parent controls. They modified the electrical components to move the activation button to the steering wheel, installed a safety switch so parents can turn the vehicle off quickly. Students installed safety measures to allow for a five point harness and padded the user area with foam so the operator was protected from hard surfaces. We are very proud of the EIA club students and their efforts. 


Engineering Your Future

April, 2017

Students from the Middle School of Plainville attended the Engineering Your Future (EYF) conference for boys from underrepresented backgrounds designed to introduce them to role models in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The goal is to host students from populations underrepresented in engineering in hopes of inspiring these students to consider STEM fields.

Hands-on, inquiry-based activities—designed to educate and excite—encourage participants to pursue educational and career opportunities in STEM subjects. 

​One of the activities that the boys participated in was the Cantilever Challenge. ​They use​d ​a variety of materials to design and build cantilever​ed​ beam​s​.  They were ​challenged to design and build the longest possible overhanging structure that can support a 100-gram mass suspended at the far end of the beam.  In addition to receiving an introduction to basic engineering principles, students also learn about the physics of Newton's laws of motion.​ ​The materials used to build this beam include Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, paper clips, toothpicks, duct tape, balloons, Dixie cups, and straws.

​Teachers Laurel Schwartz and Camille Westfall accompanied the boys on the trip.​  "The UConn Engineering department really did a fantastic job ​​running this event and the students really enjoyed the experience​", said Mrs. Schwartz.​



Grade 6 Read-a-Thon
April, 2017

MSP Grade 6 English/Language Arts classes participated in a Read-a-Thon in collaboration with MSP's library. In January, students voted to support Doctors without Borders. Students asked parents and friends to sponsor them for $1.00 or more for every 50 pages they read between February 1 and April 1. Students were responsible for keeping track of their reading.

A total of $285 was raised and donated. Mrs. Baleshiski's homeroom raised the most money and was rewarded for their efforts with a pizza party. Top readers/fund raisers were: Jonah Winkleman and Jacob Schwentke who raised $50 and $25 respectively.



MSP Robotics Wins States for 3rd year in a Row
March, 2017

For the third year in a row, teams from the Middle School of Plainville have WON the State VEX IQ Competition which w

as held at the CREC Aerospace Academy in Windsor.  Teams compete in 5 areas: programming skills, driver skills, teamwork challenge, a STEM research project, and an engineering notebook.

MSP Team Brain Bots: Chris Brojek and Nate Masco earned the coveted state championship Excellence Award which meant that they scored high in all five areas of the competition.  In addition to the Excellence Award, MSP Brain Bots also won the Driver Skills Award, which meant that they had the highest combined scores in the Programming component and the Driver Skills component. 

Only ten teams of the forty eight competing, advance to the final round at the State Championship.  The Teamwork Challenge award is earned during this round by the two teams that together scored the highest amount of points.  The Brain Bots also earned this award along with MSP Salt Crew members Nick Grabowski, Jon Marfia, Jacob Molloy, and Mitchell Williams.  Both MSP teams are now qualified to attend the World VEX IQ Competition which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky this April.

As Chris Brojek commented, "The MSP Robotics program has been a great opportunity to learn about robotics and engineering".  Nate Masco added, "We have enjoyed going to many competitions over the past three years and we are thrilled to be able to compete at the World level.  Thank you to Ms. Westfall and Mrs. Schwartz for being our coaches".  



Read Across America at MSP
March, 2017

MSP's library had its annual Read Across America celebration on Thursday, March 2nd.   NEA's Read Across America is a fun, celebratory way to promote the enjoyment of reading.  It is a wonderful opportunity for students, teachers, librarians, administrators and parents to share the joys of reading aloud to each other.

Over 275 students in grades 6, 7, and 8 participated as readers or listeners. Teachers, administrators, and Plainville Public Library staff joined the celebration as well; reading aloud picture books, short stories and poetry.   Mrs. White's 8th grade FACS classes provided beautifully and colorfully decorated cupcakes using this year's diversity theme of Dr.Seuss around the world. 

The MSP library is very grateful for the generosity of Gnazzo's, which donated water and snacks for all readers and listeners.   Additional thanks go to Snyders of Hanover which generously donated pretzels for all participants.  Of course, thanks go to Mrs. Joyce Lynch, MSP Library Information Teacher, for coordinating the event each year.

 


VEX Robotics
January, 2017

The MSP VEX Robotics club recently participated in a state-wide competition in Manchester, Connecticut.  As usual, our students excelled at the competitions and brought home awards for their performance. VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed to offer young students a rich and exciting introduction to the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The system encourages teamwork, problem solving, and leadership for students as young as second grade, expanding to challenge students through eighth grade!



Unified Sports Brings Student Athletes Together!
January, 2017 
On January 9, student athletes from from the Middle School and High School competed in a Unified Sports® basketball game with student athletes from Rocky Hill.  Unified Sports is a registered program of Special Olympics. It is a program that combines approximately equal numbers of athletes with and without an intellectual disability on sports teams for training and competition. All Unified Sports players, both athletes and Unified partners, are of similar age and matched by sport skill ability. This is a wonderful experience for all of the students to have fun and grow together.  Yesterday's game was inspirational and a whole lot of fun!  This Tweet from a PHS student says it all: "I almost cried when Shannon scored, and I'm crying now.  Unified is the best thing ever. Playing with these kids out there is life-changing." 


Kindness Counts!
December, 2016 

Recently, the 6th grade students participated in a Counselor Workshop titled "Kindness Counts."  This workshop began with students being read the picture book Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.  This story uses the analogy of how kindness spreads much like how ripples of water spread when a stone is dropped into water.  Students then each created their own kindness stone identifying acts of kindness they would engage in.  The stones are displayed in the ivy garden near the main entrance.















MSP Book Fair
December, 2016 

The Middle School of Plainville Library held it's annual Book Fair at the Barnes and Noble Book Store in West Hartford on Saturday, December 3.  The MSP Library Information Center received a percentage of books sales for the day.  The event was arranged by Mrs. Joyce Lynch, MSP library information teacher.  The MSP Military Mailroom also participated, with a station for patrons to write holiday cars to be sent to active military personnel here and abroad.  Art work by MSP students was also on display.




STEM Night at CT Science Center
November, 2016 

A group of 7th and 8th grade MSP students participated in the UCONN Engineering Ambassadors’ STEM Night at the CT Science Center with Ms. Westfall and Mrs. Roberts.  This event took place on Thursday, November 17th.   The event was designed to engage younger students in fun experiments to get them excited about engineering and the sciences.  The students had a chance to tour the exhibits and interact with UCONN engineering students who had demonstrations set up throughout the museum.








Veterans' Day at MSP
November, 2016 

Veterans' Day Slideshow





Costumes for Charity
October, 2016 

Teachers at MSP dressed in Costume on October 31.  Students "voted" for their favorite costumes by donating their spare change.  All funds raised went to benefit the Plainville Food Pantry and Breast Cancer Research.  Students also dressed in pink to show their support for research to prevent breast cancer.  The winning costumes are shown below left: The 7th grade Superheroes!








Superintendent's Award Luncheon
October, 2016 

Two Middle School students and their parents were among the recipients honored at the twenty-fourth Annual Superintendent's Award Luncheon on Friday, October 28, 2016. The 8th graders were chosen by their teachers as the best representatives at MSP of the qualities embodied by the Superintendent's Award; Service to others; Academic prowess; and Leadership. In the picture on the left, BOE member Deborah Hardy, Superintendent Maureen Brummett and Principal Matthew Guarino are shown with the students receiving their award at the luncheon.



Manufacturing Mania! 

October, 2016

On October 7th, Ms. Westfall and Ms. Coyle took 25 seventh and eighth grade students on a field trip to Cromwell to celebrate Manufacturing Month in Connecticut. The field trip was to Manufacturing Mania and was presented by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT).  Students participated in three manufacturing and design activities where they were faced with a design challenge to solve. Students worked in groups with students from other schools within the region and participated in brainstorming, problem solving, and critical thinking while using the design process to solve the challenge.  MSP students showed a high level of excitement and engagement throughout the day.  Students participated in a "Vendor Meet and Greet" as well.  Manufacturing companies from the region came to show students what it means to manufacture a product, discuss tools and machinery used in that process, discuss what is manufactured in CT and talk to the students about the education needed to achieve success in the Manufacturing field.  We are very proud of our students’ engagement and inquiry throughout the day.

















6th Graders Visit Winding Trails 

September, 2016

Sixth graders from MSP visited Winding Trails in Farmington where they actively participated in a challenge course which focused on trust, team building, communication, and getting to know one another.  The Middle School conducts several activities for 6th graders during the fall to help build group cohesiveness.












Opening Day at MSP 

September, 2016

MSP faculty and staff welcomed students back for a great first day of school.









School Supplies List and Summer Reading Assignment - Click on your child's grade below (both teams have same lists):

Grade 6 Supplies,   Grade 6 Summer Reading Assignment

Grade 7 Welcome Letter and Supplies,   Grade 7 Summer Reading Assignment,  Grade 7 Math Packet

Grade 8 Supplies,   Grade 8 Summer Reading Assignment


MSP Top Readers 

June, 2016

Middle School Library Information Teacher Joyce Lynch, and Principal Matthew Guarino recognized the "Top MSP Readers" for 2016-2017.  This group of students read over 500 books this school year!  Two donated  Kindle Fires were raffled off to the group of Top Readers.  The winners are pictured below.  They are all winners in our book! 









Photos from the Unified Arts Student of the Session Celebration ------>Click here

May, 2016

Student-Staff Basketball Game for Charity 

May, 2016

This year, the Middle School of Plainville held its annual charity student-staff basketball game in honor of Mrs. Susan Steele.  One of Mrs. Steele's favorite organizations was the Humane Society.  Students and staff raised over $4,750.00 for the Humane Society in Mrs. Steele's memory.  Special thanks to all the faculty and staff who contributed to the organization and/or played in the game.  In particular, we would like to thank Mr. Greg Warnat for his tireless efforts in organizing  the event and raising the donations.









Marine Technology Presentation 

April, 2016

The Marine Technology for Teachers and Students (MaTTS) program,  based at the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center and the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus, provides opportunities for teams of teachers and students from southern New England to experience new technologies related to exploring the global ocean, discover pathways in marine careers using these new tools, and develop leadership capacity.

Two Plainville High School students and science teacher Mr. Ken Fusco are participating in the MaTTs program. They shared their experiences with MSP students and provided an exclusive opportunity for the students to interact with marine biologist Holly Morin of the Inner Space Center.



Local Television Meteorologists Present to Grade 6

April, 2016

Recently, the sixth graders at the Middle School of Plainville welcomed Dan Amarante, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, and Rachel Frank, Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist, from FOX 61 News.  The six graders had just finished up their unit weather and were working on developing board games based on certain weather condition they chose to research.  The presentation by Mr. Amarante and Ms. Frank came at the end of the unit as a culmination activity so students could connect their learning to the outside world.  The presentation was filled with information about how they came to study meteorology, their daily routines as meteorologists, their favorite weather to forecast, as well as how to predict weather patterns and what certain clouds mean.   Their presentation was interactive and informative.  The students were recognized on FOX 61 News at 10 that evening for being an “amazing audience who were respectful and had great questions!”.



Huskies (not UConn) Visit MSP

March, 2016

 Plainville resident and dog sled runner, Joan Kaczmarczyk, visited MSP on March 16th to speak with sixth graders about the care and training of sled dogs and the sport of sled racing. Students recently completed a unit of study in Reading/LA classes where they investigated wolf behaviors and read Gary Paulsen’s Woodsong. They also learned of his experiences running dogs in the Iditarod.  They recently visited the Springfield Museums for a “Wolf to Woof” program about the genetics of both species.


Each student chose a musher to follow in this year's race and searched daily to see their musher's position. They read daily blogs and viewed photos and videos which were sent from the race, and they were able to track their musher's progress by GPS through the Iditarod's website.  Ms. Kaczmarczyk was a primary source for students to further their research.  Her presentation included an explanation of the features of the dog sled, a 'meet and greet' with her six Alaskan Huskies by the sixth graders. 


Even with 60 degree weather, blue skies, and no snow, a few teachers and administrators were treated to rides on the ‘wheeled sled’ in the MSP field.   The day ended with a question and answer session in the auditorium with Joan in order to further students' understanding of the care and treatment of sled dogs.  In addition, MSP raised and donated $200 to the “Second Chance” kennel where Ms. Kaczmarczyk has been a contributor.

 



Pi Day at MSP!
March, 2016
The grade 7 students at MSP celebrated Pi Day on Monday March 14, 2016. Pi day is celebrated around the world on 3/14. Pi is the symbol used in Mathematics to represent a constant - the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter -- which is approximately 3.14159.

Students in grade 7 discovered Pi using circular objects and string, created Pi Day digit plates, read "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi" and even enjoyed eating pie!










MSP has a "Super Library"
March, 2016

MSP's library was recently named as a "Super Library" by author Tim Green and was selected as one of 10 school libraries across the country to win 5 free copies of his newest baseball themed book, Home Run. Students entered a raffle to win one of the free books. Pictured are the lucky winners. 








Unified Sports in Plainville
February, 2016

Twice a week,  
some students special needs from MSP travel to PHS to practice basketball with their high school special need peers and role model students.  During this time, the MSP students have developed both their basketball skills as well as their social skills.  The peer athletes are exceptional. They support, encourage and help teach the basketball skills. These friendships that have been created during this time will hopefully aid in their transition from their middle school years to their high school years. Thanks to MSP physical education teacher Ms. Amy Tennant for coordinating this program for our MSP students.








Celebration of Japanese Culture
February, 2016

On Friday, February 19 grade 7 students participated in Japan Day, a full day of activities focusing on Japanese culture.  Students created paper dragons, origami, koi fish, bookbinding, and cooked yaki onigiri, a Japanese rice cake.  Japan Day supports the 7th grade social studies curriculum and is one of three cultural days throughout the year in which students participate.









MSP Students at the Northern Regional Music Festival
January, 2016

On January 16, about twenty five MSP students auditioned for the Northern Region Music Festival.  Ten MSP students were accepted from over 600 audition entries into this year's festival chorus.  The students will be performing in an honors choir with peers from around the state.  The students will met all afternoon on 
February 19 and all day on February 20 working for about 8 hours preparing their music.  The concert was held on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at CCSU's Welte Auditorium.  







No Name Calling Week
January, 2016 

MS
P students observed No Name Calling Week from January 18 - 22nd. This year's theme is Celebrate Kindness. The focus is on kindness, as well as acceptance and tolerance of one another's differences. There is also a strong anti-bullying component. Students participated in a lesson during enrichment and signed a pledge not to bully or call others names.

Completed pledges are displayed in the school's atrium. This is just one of the ways we hope to make MSP a kinder school in which to learn.


Bad Sweaters for a Good Cause
December, 2015 
The students and staff at the Middle school of Plainville recently donned tacky apparel for a great cause. The art club, and teacher advisors, Laura Meehan and Lori Vigue sponsored “Tacky Sweater Day”. Students and staff made a donation to the Plainville Community Food Pantry and wore tacky seasonal sweaters, sweatshirts and T-shirts. Many students and staff members created their own uniquely designed “tacky shirt” for this fundraiser. The “Tacky Sweater Day” event raised over $300 for the Plainville Community Food Pantry.







MSP Honors Veterans

November, 2015 

The Middle School of Plainville celebrated Veterans' Day with numerous activities designed to educate the students and honor our local veterans and veterans across the country.  Each grade held an assembly to honor veterans from the families of the MSP community.  Veterans from all the branches of military service were in attendance. The 8th grade band and the chamber singers provided musical accompaniment.  The student council, military mailroom club and MSP boy scouts and girl scouts assisted with the day's events.  A luncheon was prepared for the veterans and their families as well. Special thanks to Suzanne Schweitzer, school psychologist and army veteran; Christina Corvello, science teacher and military mailroom club advisor; Christina Konovalov, science teacher; Todd Helming, music teacher; and Barbara Senatore, band teacher, for their contributions in putting together the day’s events.  Numerous other faculty and staff also contributed their talents to making the day a success.

 








More photos---> click here

MSP VEX IQ Robotics
October, 2015 

The MSP VEX IQ Robotics teams got to show off their robots at the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Festival 2015 hosted by ESPN in Bristol on Saturday 10/24. The event featured hands-on activities, presentations and displays focusing on the areas of STEAM.

Eight of the eleven MSP teams were able to participate throughout the day and Ms. Westfall, VEX IQ advisor at MSP, said "I am very proud of each team member that was able to be a part of this STEAM Festival. Everyone did a great job and people were very impressed with their robots." This years' VEX IQ Challenge "Bank Shot", involves moving balls around a playing field to score points, including moving the balls off a ramp, and shooting balls into a goal. The robot teams have their first competition in November and there are seven competitions throughout the state culminating in the state VEX IQ championship.

Superintendent's Award Luncheon
October, 2015 

Two Middle School students and their parents were among the recipients honored at the twenty-fourth Annual Superintendent's Award Luncheon on Friday, October 23, 2015. The 8th graders were chosen by their teachers as the best representatives at MSP of the qualities embodied by the Superintendent's Award; Service to others; Academic prowess; and Leadership. In the picture on the left, Superintendent Jeffrey Kitching and Principal Matthew Guarino are shown with the students receiving their award at the luncheon.




 
October, 2015
We were very fortunate to have Nutmeg nominated author Tim Green visit MSP.  Mr. Green played for the Atlanta Falcons as a linebacker and a defensive end during the 1980's and 90's. He was also a radio and television sports commentator for National Public Radio and Fox television.

Mr. Green graduated from Syracuse University law school and is currently a practicing attorney. He is the best-selling author of 32 books including courtroom dramas for adults and sports themed titles for children including the Baseball Great and the Football Genius series. His characters are faced with serious challenges which they must overcome. Instead of giving up, they persevere, making them excellent role models for middle school students.

Mr. Green spoke about the importance of kindness and acceptance of other's differences. He focused his presentations on the importance of hard work, determination, perseverance, and most importantly, education, as it is education that gives one choices in life.

 
 







MSP Students at the Maker Faire
October, 2015

MSP students participated in the Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire on October 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Tunxis Community College.  The MSP students, under the supervision of technology education teacher, Kim Coyle, demonstrated the 3-D printing skills they have learned in Mrs. Coyle’s class. This family-friendly celebration of invention and creativity was open to people of all ages who are interested in creating, making, building, innovating, tinkering, hacking, engineering, designing or connecting. Maker Faires serve as hands-on events that showcase projects other makers have worked on, while sharing new forms of innovation and experimentation across a range of disciplines. Among the projects showcased: • Engineering • Robotics • 3-D printing • Arduinos and other microprocessors • Student projects • Custom tools • Science demonstrations • Design • Food/agriculture • Biotechnology • Wood, glass, and metal work

 
 

Fall Sports at MSP
September/October, 2015

The students at the Middle School of Plainville are enjoying participating on fall interscholastic sports teams and clubs.  We are very proud of our boys and girls soccer teams and our cross country club.  Please consider trying out for one of the upcoming winter and/or spring sports!  Listen on the morning announcements for tryout dates and requirements.  




Welcome Back!
August 31, 2015

We were very happy to welcome back students to the Middle School on Monday, August 31, 2015.  The students looked excited and ready to be back (most of them). We will work diligently all year to keep the focus on students, teaching and learning. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you or your child has a question or concern.  Together we can make this a great year at MSP – A Great Place to Learn!  


Connecticut Association of Schools Honors Middle Level Scholar-Leaders
May, 2015

The Connecticut Association of Schools established the Scholar-Leader Banquet in 1985 to give public recognition to one boy and one girl from each middle level school in Connecticut who have distinguished themselves in scholarship and leadership in school and the community. The two Scholar-Leaders chosen by the faculty at the Middle School this year are pictured here on the left with two MSP teachers, Mr. Warnat and Mrs. Georgini. The students and their parents attended a statewide awards banquet Thursday, May 28 at the Aqua-Turf in Southington. Each Scholar-Leader received an award signifying the honor, as well as an individual photograph commemorating the event.
 
 


Autism Awareness Month Project
May, 2015

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, students at MSP created a beautiful art installation. Under the guidance of art teachers Ms. Vigue and Ms. Meehan, the art club collaborated with exceptional students from Ms. Gagnes class. Together, these students created small, blue ceramic stones, that once assembled, form the shape of a puzzle piece. The puzzle piece is the most universally recognized symbol for autism awareness. The puzzle piece artwork was assembled in the front entryway at the Middle School of Plainville. This installation will remain on display for the remainder of the school year.




8th Annual Students vs. Staff Charity Basketball Event
April, 2015

On Friday, April 17, The Middle School of Plainville held its 8th Annual Students vs. Staff Charity Basketball Event.  This year the Middle School of Plainville's selected charity was the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Make-A-Wish 's mission is to make life better for children with life-threatening illness.  They grant "wishes" to these children.  To find out more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, you can visit their website at http://wish.org/.    This year, students and staff contributed a whopping $4,850 in  a two week period.  This event is wonderful for student and staff morale and gives them all an opportunity to make a contribution to the greater community.  As you can see from the photograph below, the students and staff dressed in blue and purple for the day - the Make-A-Wish colors.

Once again the students outplayed the faculty and staff .  Special thanks to Mr. Greg Warnat, 8th grade math teacher, for once again organizing and promoting the event.


Read, Right, Run at MSP
April, 2015

Read, Right, Run's medal ceremony was held on Thursday, April 2nd, during enrichment. Although nearly 100 of MSP's students began this six month challenge back in October, only several dozen of the most dedicated and motivated students completed this challenging goal. This is quite an accomplishment! These students deserve congratulations on having the grit, tenacity, drive, and motivation to successfully complete this challenge.

The goal of  Read Right Run was fourfold:

1. To promote reading for pleasure.
2. To encourage participants to do kind deeds.
3. To support physical fitness.
4. To foster perseverance, independence, and personal responsibility.


Many Thanks to our wonderful sponsors:
Plainville Community Fund at Main Street Community Foundation, Healthy
Plainville, YMCAs of Plainville and Wallingford,
GE, Gnazzo's, Fleet Feet
Sports, and Farmer Joe's Gardens



Nutmeg Nominated Author Visits MSP
March, 2015 

Nutmeg nominated author of One For the Murphys and Fish in a Tree, Linda Mullaly Hunt, visited MSP on Wednesday, March 25th.  She spoke with 6th grade reading and LA classes and then provided an interactive writer's workshop for 40 teacher selected 6th grade students. 

Ms. Hunt discussed her inspiration for writing and reminded students that writing, like all worthwhile pursuits in life, requires lots of practice and continual revision. Her presentation mirrored MSP's commitment to a growth mindset. Her message to students is that hard work, effort, perseverance and being true to oneself are keys to success. Thanks to Mrs. Joyce Lynch, MSP’s Library Information Teacher for arranging this visit.







Iditarod Comes to MSP
March, 2015 

Ms. Joan Kaczmarczyk, a Plainville resident and dog sled runner, visited MSP on March 24th to speak with sixth graders about the care and training of sled dogs and the sport of racing.  Students recently completed a unit of study in Reading/LA classes where they investigated wolf behaviors and read Gary Paulsen’s Woodsong.  They also learned of  his experiences running dogs in the Iditarod.  Each student chose a musher to follow in this year's race and searched daily to see their musher's position.  They read daily blogs and viewed photos and videos which were sent from the race, and they were able to track their musher's progress by GPS through the Iditarod's website.  

Ms. Kaczmarczyk was a primary source for students to further their research.  Her presentation included an explanation of the features of the dog sled, a 'meet and greet' with her 6 Alaskan Huskies by the 6th graders, and runs in the snow with the dogs and sled by some of the sixth grade teachers. You can see Mr. Wachtelhausen in one of the photos below going for a run.   The day ended with a question and answer session in the auditorium with Joan in order to further students' understanding of the care and treatment of sled dogs. 

  
  
 
    




 

Connecticut Music Education Association's Northern Regional Festival
March, 2015

This year, eleven students earned spots in the Connecticut Music Education Association's Northern Regional Festival for Middle School.  Three students were selected for the mixed choir, seven were selected for the treble choir, and one was selected for the band.  These students competed with more than 1,000 other students from around the state in a highly competitive audition process including prepared solos, sight reading, and scales.  The festival ensembles recently performed at CCSU's Welte auditorium before an audience of approximately 1,500 spectators.  



MSP Excels at Vex IQ Robotics Championship
March, 2015

The Middle School of Plainville won five trophies at the first ever CT state VEX IQ robotics championship on March 1, 2015.  VEX IQ is a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics program.  MSP Technology Education teacher, Camille Westfall, received a $6,000.00 grant from The Petit Family Foundation to start a robotics program at MSP.  “I am very grateful to the Petit Family Foundation for providing MSP students with such a wonderful opportunity,” said Ms. Westfall.  Prior to the Championship in March, the MSP teams have had a very busy season, with competitions in Manchester, Mansfield, and Danbury.

At the State Championship, the MSP RoboDevils team won the “Robot Skills Award.”  the “Teamwork Champion Award,”  and placed first in the team driving category.  Team RoboMatics placed fifth in the team driving category and Team IceBreakers  placed seventh. 

The MSP Minionizers team took home three awards:  “Best STEM Research Award,”  the “Programming Skills Award,” and the “Excellence Award.”  The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Challenge. Receiving it means that Team Minionizers best exemplifies overall excellence in creating a well-rounded VEX IQ program and can advance to the World Championship.  This team deserves to be recognized for building a quality robot, delivering an effective STEM Research Project presentation, submitting a well-documented engineering notebook, and demonstrating that their team is committed to excellence in everything that they do. A Minionizers Team Member said,  “It’s unreal, I still find myself pinching myself as a reality check to all of this. The whole team has worked harder than you think for this chance of a lifetime and are more than proud to represent our school, district, and state at World Championships for VEX IQ this April in Kentucky.”

Earlier this year, the students involved in the MSP Robotics program along with Ms. Westfall and Mrs. Laurel Schwartz, a music teacher at MSP and parent of one of the team members, visited the Plainville GE facility to tour their 3D printing facilities and have a question and answer session with GE engineers.  The Minionizers team members shared their engineering notebook and research presentation with the GE engineers and received valuable feedback.  Their presentation had to do with 3D printing prosthetics and they actually made a working 3D prosthetic hand.  According to an MSP student, “This field trip was awesome! GE is a very interesting and fascinating place and it taught me a lot about how much 3D printing is being used to get to an end result faster and easier.”

Dr. Maureen Brummett, Assistant Superintendent of Plainville Schools, attended the competition and was able to see the enthusiasm that this robotics program has generated at MSP.  Dr. Brummett said, “The students' excitement and passion about their work was infectious and the support that we have received from the Petit Family Foundation and GE has been incredible.”


MSP Jazz Band Plays at Black History Month Celebration
February, 2015

The MSP Jazz Band performed at The Albert J. Solnit Center in East Windsor on February 27th for the annual Black History Month Event and Positive Youth in Our Communities Event. It was an honor to be chosen to participate for the program.  The MSP Jazz Band is directed by Barbara Senatore, MSP's instrumental music teacher.



Read Across America Celebration
February, 2015

MSP's library had its annual Read Across America celebration on Friday, February 27th. NEA's Read Across America is a fun, celebratory way to promote the enjoyment of reading. It was a wonderful opportunity for students, teachers, administrators and parents to share the joys of reading aloud to each other.

Over 275 students in grades 6, 7, and 8 participated as readers or listeners. Teachers, administrators, school staff, and parents will join the celebration as readers and as they read aloud picture books, short stories and poetry. 

Ms. Osborn's FACS classes provided beautifully decorated cupcakes in this year's theme of diversity. 

Numerous thanks to Snyder's of Hanover and to Gnazzo's for their very generous donations of snack foods to enhance the celebration.













New Program At MSP - Positive Kids Influencing Kids, +KIK
January, 2015

Positive Kids Influencing Kids, or +KIK, a new Plainville Community Schools’ Peer Mentor Program matches juniors in the high school with eighth grade students at the Middle School. Our start date was January 13, 2015. A group of PHS juniors will be bussed from the High School to the Middle School for the last period of the MSP day, every other week to visit with their younger peer mentees. The goal is to pair an academically, socially and emotionally strong junior with an eighth grade student for their final year at the middle school and during their freshman year at the high school to provide them with a friend during this transition. The 8th graders were recommended for participation by MSP faculty. Our juniors will follow an informal plan during each visit which includes time for recreational sports or visiting with a new friend. We believe the confidence the student will have when starting school with a friend will potentially enhance their academic achievement as well. We hope this program inspires our eighth grade students to then pay it forward in their junior year and become a mentor in the +KIK program. We are very excited about this new program and the opportunity it affords our students. 

8th Grade Chorus Joins PHS Chorus for Concert
December, 2014 
On December 18, students from grade 8 chorus at MSP performed the traditional carol "Masters in This Hall" with the combined PHS choirs.  This performance provided an opportunity for MSP students to learn about the PHS choral program and meet both the director and students in the program.  In addition to helping with the transition to 8th grade, this provided an extra performance opportunity for MSP students while challenging them to perform an extremely challenging piece at the high school level.  The students more than rose to the occasion and had an outstanding performance with many accolades from parents, teachers, and administrators!




Veterans Day at MSP
November, 2014 

The Middle School recognized Veterans Day throughout the day on November 11.  The day's events were organized by 7th grade science teachers, Christina Corvello and Christina Konovalov. Mrs. Corvello also runs the MSP Military Mailroom.  Lessons and activities related to Veterans Day occurred in all classes and each grade level had an assembly where family members and friends of our staff and students were honored with a wonderful performance by the 8th grade band and a slide show. 







Superintendent's Award
November, 2014 

Two Middle School students and their parents were among the recipients honored at the twenty-fourth Annual Superintendent's Award Luncheon on Thursday, November 6, 2014. The 8th graders were chosen by their teachers as the best representatives at MSP of the qualities embodied by the Superintendent's Award; Service to others; Academic prowess; and Leadership. In the picture on the left, Superintendent Jeffrey Kitching and Principal Matthew Guarino are shown with the students receiving their award at the luncheon.

 

 



 


MSP 8th Grade Pep Band Joins the Plainville Parks and Recreation Annual Halloween Parade!
October, 2014

On October 31, the MSP 8th grade Pep Band joined in the festivities at the annual Parks and Recreation Department Halloween parade in downtown Plainville.  Thanks to MSP band director, Barbara Senatore, and the 8th grade students for volunteering to help liven up the parade!

 




October is “Connecticut. Dream It. Do It.” Manufacturing Month!
October, 2014






34 MSP students, along with Ms. Camille Westfall and Mr. Adam Murphy, celebrated National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014 by attending Manufacturing Mania! held at the Aqua Turf in Southington. Students had the opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of career pathways in today's advanced manufacturing and engineering fields. There were exhibits, speakers, activities, and demonstrations.  Connecticut’s industrial genius has given the world such varied inventions as the first hamburger (served at Louie’s Lunch in New Haven), the Frisbee, discovered by Yale students tossing pie plates on the New Haven Green, friction matches, sewing machines, steamboats, safety fuses, lollipops, corkscrews, mechanical calculators, cylindrical locks and the submarine.

Today, diverse advanced manufacturing industries across Connecticut range from jet aircraft engines and helicopters to hydrogen fuel cells to signal processing and navigational tools to power systems, medical devices, and biotechnology.


Read, Right, Run Kick-Off!
October, 2014

MSP had its Read Right Run kick-off on Monday, October 6th. The weather was perfect as 64 students and 14 faculty and staff completed their first of 26 miles together under the watchful eye of Michelle, a running coach from West Hartford's Fleet Feet. From now through April 1, 2015, Participants will read 26 books, do 26 right deeds, and run 26 miles in 26 weeks. Thanks to Mrs. Joyce Lynch, MSP’s Library Information Teacher, for organizing this wonderful program.



Anti-bullying/Positive School Climate Programs at MSP
September, 2014

On September 30, 6th graders at MSP participated in our annual Step-Up assembly sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Step-Up is a program for middle schools students designed to give a voice to 
the targets of bullying and prejudice, build empathy in the aggressors and inspire bystanders to become allies. Our 7th and 8th graders have participated in this program in previous years.  That evening, the ADL also sponsored a program for parents on what they can do to support the schools' mission to build a healthy and positive climate for students and combat bullying.  A panel of trained student "Allies" from MSP's Bystander to Ally group, answered questions from parents and relatives in the audience on how they can best combat bullying and support their children.  Special thanks to Mr. Tom Laudadio, Dean of Students at MSP, for arranging this program and for supervising MSP's Bystander to Ally training program.