WSPS District Spotlight - June 16, 2017

posted Jun 16, 2017, 12:47 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - June 16, 2017

 

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Despite the excessive heat and humidity on Sunday, the WSHS Class of 2017, their families, and friends were all smiles at the graduation ceremony.  Visit this link to see the Mass Live article and 100+ photos.

  • This is the final District Spotlight (DS) post of the 2016-2017 academic year.  Look for the DS again on September 1, 2017!

  • With the end of the school year fast approaching, West Springfield Public Schools acknowledges and celebrates the service of the 2016-2017 retirees.  Please click this link for a look.  Thank you for your dedication to WSPS and our students and families !

  • As a reminder, the Colleen Marcus ELL Scholarship will serve to help a graduate of WSHS  -- for whom English is their second language -- to pursue their post-secondary education.  In order for the scholarship to be sustainable, contributions in any amount are being sought.  If you are so inclined to contribute, please send a check made payable to WSPS (with “Colleen Marcus ELL Scholarship” in the memo line) to the Central Office at 26 Central Street, Suite 33  West Springfield, MA 01089.  This scholarship will be offered beginning with the WSHS Class of 2018.

  • The last day of school is June 21, 2017, and the last day for kindergarten students is June 19.  Both of these are half days for students.  

  • The Town of West Springfield has formed a newly-formed Information Technology Department, which will service all Municipal, Police, Fire, and School Department needs, effective July 1, 2017.  In addition, new help desk procedures are being implemented; to request assistance, please electronically submit a help desk ticket on townofwestspringfield.org or by clicking here.  For more information, go to this link.

  • Convocation for all staff is Monday, August 28.  This is also the first professional development (PD) day of the 17-18 school year.  The second PD day is August 29.  School starts on August 30 for grades 1-12.  Kindergarten begins on August 31.  Have an enjoyable and safe summer!

 

Information Technology

 

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  • High School Student Chromebook Collection

    • All high school students are required to turn in their assigned Chromebooks for the summer.  Chromebook collection will take place in the High School Library beginning Friday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 21.  Students should turn in their Chromebooks once they determine that they are no longer needed for any final exams, and as soon as possible to avoid long lines on the last day of school.

  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1896 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 6/16/17. (+ 28 this week)

  • 1618 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 78 this week -  after some cleanup of records)

 

Special Services

  • Congratulations to Fausey Staff: Kate Morneau, Lynn Birks and Karen Feeley for an outstanding job presenting at the DSAC-sponsored Inclusive Practice Network.  All three presented on the work that was done this year at Fausey in implementing the co-teach model.

  • If your student has been recommended for Extended Year Services, you will be receiving a letter this week or early next week, giving you information regarding start dates and times of the program your child has been recommended for.

  • SEPAC is the Special Education Parent Advisory Council; membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and any other interested parties. Duties of the Council shall include: advising the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of special education programs; and providing information to its membership regarding specific disabilities, parent’s rights and other current/related topics.

  • West Springfield SEPAC is currently looking for individuals to serve on its leadership committee.  Anyone who is interested can visit the “West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council” Facebook page, which is run by current SEPAC President, Ivonne Hall, or call Special Services at 263-3276.  Planning for the 2017-2018 school year events will occur during the summer.

 

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • A spring concert was held on Monday for grades K-1 & 2-3 under the direction of Mrs. Morgan and with the support of Mr. Rovero.  The students sang beautifully and they put on a great performance for their families.  Thank you to all of the staff that stepped up to help all of the students prepare for their concert. (Photos 1-4)

  • Students from grades 4 and 5 had their Arts Block performance on Wednesday afternoon to showcase what they have been learning during their Arts Block classes.  Performances included Sports & Hiking, Band, Chorus, and Dance.  Artwork was displayed in the hallways to support Spring Concerts and masks from art were displayed on a table in front of the stage.

  • The grade 5 students are finishing out their final full week of elementary school with a graduation breakfast and by receiving their Certificates of Completion on Friday.  Coburn is proud of all of their accomplishments and wishes the students well in middle school!

  • Field Day was a hit at Coburn School last Friday.  The students participated in a number of fun events and activities such as relay races, parachute activities, obstacle course, limbo, bubbles, bounce house, and every child also got a snowcone!  The West Springfield Police and Fire Departments were also able to attend bringing a police car with equipment and a fire truck with their equipment for the students to engage with them.  Thank you to all who participated in getting the field day up and running for our students. (Photos 5-9)

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • CAS celebrated the 8th graders with a graduation on June 9.  It is sad to see them go, but we have every confidence that the 8th graders are ready to embark on the next chapter…...high school.  Best of luck to all of you!

  • The students in Ms. Lindsy’s class created their own board games as an end of the year project.  Anyone want to play “Mine-opoly”?

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • We held our last Community Screening last Friday, and now our classes are full for the fall.

  • Ms. Mahoney’s class had a wonderful day playing with a parachute this afternoon; even the adults had a great time.

 

John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Incoming Kindergarten parents, please remember to turn in registration packets.  Kindergarten screening will take place June 20-21, 2017.  Appointments have been sent and phone calls have been made.

  • Field Day was a huge success!  Thank you to Christopher O’Brien (PE Teacher extraordinaire), the teachers, and the PTO parents who volunteered. The day would not have been possible without them! (Photo 1)

  • Fun, Fun, Fun!  Water Days are here at John Ashley; classes spend the day outside doing everything water, including sprinklers.  Thank you again to the teachers, parent volunteers and our custodian

           Mr. Jim!  (Photos 2-3)

  • Room 12 enjoyed a visit with and a tour of a police cruiser from Officer O’Brien (father of Breighlyn O’Brien).  (Photo 4)

  • Room 18 with their summer bucket lists.  (Photo 5)

 

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • CIRCUS 2017 - The night was beautiful and the performers were prepared after a week of practice.  Fausey Circus 2017 went off without a hitch.  The first graders started off the night with their melodies, and then the fifth graders finally got the chance to show off their skills!  The audience enjoyed hot dogs, burgers, snow cones, and other goodies. Thanks to all the volunteers, led by our PTO president Jenn Poulin!  (Photos 1-3)

  • FIELD DAY - The white teams met the blue teams again in a multitude of physical challenges.  This year’s t-shirt was designed by 5th grader Brenna Cauley.   Field day was once more a success thanks to the PTO coordination.  (Photos 4-6)

  • GRADE 3 PRESENTATION - Grade 3 students wrapped up their studies of the history of the United States with a great play.  Many thanks to their teachers for preparing the performers!  Families weathered balmy gym conditions to enjoy their performance!   (Photo 7)

  • FLAG DAY - June 14 is another tradition that Fausey upholds with a special ceremony in coordination with the Veterans Council.  Many local dignitaries and veterans attended this school-wide event.  The children were each given a flag to commemorate the day.  (Photos 8-10)

  • FALCON FOCUS - Please enjoy our final edition of our school newspaper on this link.

 

 

 

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

 

Upcoming Events:

 

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • The West Side Track & Field Booster Club is holding their 3rd Annual Run for the Terriers 5K Run / 2 Mile Walk on Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the high school.  Click here for more information.

  • Football Tryouts will be Friday, August 18.

  • All other Fall Sports tryouts begin Thursday, August 24.

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.

Memorial (Twitter @WSPSMemorial)

  • Memorial had a very successful Field Day followed by our Annual Family Picnic.  Students participated in cooperative, team and individual activities to invigorate their minds and bodies!  Thank you to the many parent volunteers, Ms. Sirignano for her expert planning, the collegial and accommodating staff members, and the PTO.

  • Memorial’s Annual Family Picnic was enjoyable due to the wonderful family participation and the delicious meal prepared in our kitchen.  Thank you to everyone who made this event a success.  Below, Memorial wishes to thank and highlight the kitchen staff members as well as the lunch monitors!

  • The 2nd Annual family event, “WE Are Memorial,”  was held on Wednesday evening.  Thank you to all of our families, staff members, and Nancy Farrell, who participated.  A big applause for Mercedes who performed a traditional Mexican dance.  A very special thank you to UNICO members who cooked all of the food to perfection!  Below, is Mercedes and  4th grader Jordyn with her sister Lillian and friend Lane. Jordyn baked and decorated an amazing cake for the “Cake Walk.”

 

 

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • KARE Club students visited with seniors at the Monastery Heights facility on Monday!  (Picture 1)

  • Superior Court Judge Hon. Edward McDonaugh visited with team 7-1 on Monday, June 12, to help them prepare for their mock trials they’d be conducting in Mrs. Brown’s English class this week.  The trials featured Justices Mr. Gillen, Mr. Brown, Officer Johnson, and Mr. Korell who listened to students present cases, testimony from witnesses, and examined student prepared evidence in connection with the book,

           Touching Spirit Bear.  (Photo 2)

  • 8th Grade Students were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society this last Thursday evening.

         8th grade Science teacher, Mr. Wegrzyn, was the keynote speaker.  Mrs. McClure is the advisor to              this group, and with Mrs. Gaw and Mrs. Gourley, put on a wonderful evening for these high-                     achieving students!  Click this link to view the program.

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mrs. Penna’s class had a VIP table for the last trimester of the year. Mrs. Penna chose different characteristics to focus on, each week and chose students who exemplified those character traits! The students do not know ahead of time which things she is looking for, so they have to work really hard to show good character all the time!  This past week’s winners were: Morgan Peabody and Kaleigh Connor  (Photos 1-2)

  • The Mittineague garden has been over ridden with strawberries and mint this spring! Miss Diana has taken groups of children out to harvest the strawberries each day. They have also made ice cold mint water and mint iced tea for the office!  (Photo 3 - strawberries picked and shared with Mrs. Doe)

  • Alexis Silva Cassidy, from the class of 2025 paid all her paw tickets in to go in and work with a first grade class. She spent the morning one day this past week, reading with some first graders! (Photo 4)

  • Field Day and the Mittineague Family Picnic 2017 was a rousing success this year, with beautiful weather and great sportsmanship all around!!  Thank you to all the parent volunteers who made the day extra special!! (Photo 5 sponge relay, 6 - clothing relay)

  • The Mittineague School Family would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, action-filled summer!!!  See you August 30!!

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • The first grade took a trip to Forest Park to learn more about animal habitats.  In the Afternoon,

the zoo came to Tatham!  Each year Mrs. Gale hosts Zoo on the Go.  They brought some animal species to the fourth grade as they learned about adaptations.

  • On Thursday, the fifth grade celebrated their years at Tatham with  a special breakfast and slide show. Special thanks to our parent volunteer, Mrs. Murphey for putting the slide show together!  The students received a tee shirts depicting the year they will graduate from high school with all their names.

  • Third graders are using their knowledge of area and perimeter to design their own amusement park.

 

 


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Last day of playgroup is Monday, June 19.  Summer Playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers will take place at 389 Main Street, from 10:30-11:30 on the follow dates this summer: July 11, July 25, August 1, 8, 15 and 22.   Free. Drop in and snack is included.  

  • Thank you to all the families that attended our programs this year and looking forward to summer visits!

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ESL Summer School acceptance letters have been sent home.  Summer School begins on Tuesday, June 27, and it will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for five weeks.             

 

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

For the latest information and resources available in MA, here is a link to the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Hotline website.

WSPS District Spotlight - June 9, 2017

posted Jun 9, 2017, 12:16 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - June 9, 2017

 

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • This is a busy week for the WSHS Class of 2017:  the Baccalaureate Service was held on Wednesday, Senior Awards Night was Thursday, Senior Prom is tonight, and Commencement is Sunday, June 11, at 1:00 p.m. at the Eastern States Exposition Coliseum (doors open at 12:30).  

  • As part of an administration reorganization effort, effective July 1 Ms. Amy Smith will begin serving as the Vice Principal at Coburn Elementary School and Mr. Michael Atkins will assume a Vice Principal’s role at West Springfield Middle School.  Over the next week and a half, Ms. Smith and Mr. Atkins will collaborate and spend time in each other’s current building to meet staff and students.  I am confident that the respective skill-set that each administrator will bring to their new assignment will serve to benefit the staff and students at the Middle School and Coburn Elementary School.

  • As a reminder, the Athletics Department is welcoming donations for the Terrier Pride campaign.  The aim of the fundraising effort is to collect enough money to fund the acquisition of banners to proudly display all of the league and Western Mass titles that student-athletes at WSHS have claimed!  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

  • As a reminder, the Colleen Marcus ELL Scholarship will serve to help a graduate of WSHS  -- for whom English is their second language -- to pursue their post-secondary education.  In order for the scholarship to be sustainable, contributions in any amount are being sought.  If you are so inclined to contribute, please send a check made payable to WSPS (with “Colleen Marcus ELL Scholarship” in the memo line) to the Central Office at 26 Central Street, Suite 33  West Springfield, MA 01089.  This scholarship will be offered beginning with the WSHS Class of 2018.

  • The next School Committee meeting is June 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building Auditorium/2nd floor.  This will be the last School Committee meeting of the 2016-2017 school year.

  • The last day of school for grades 1-11 is June 21, 2017, and the last day for kindergarten students is June 19.  Both of these are half days for students.  

 

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Here is some important information from the CDC about summer safety for youth.

  • As we prepare for summer, please remember to send a copy of your child’s most recent physical and immunizations to the school nurse.

  • For the latest information and resources available in MA, here is a link to the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Hotline website.  

 

Information Technology

 

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A new internet safety curriculum offered by Google is now available.  Featuring a game called Interland where students embark on a quest to be fearless explorers in an online world, the Be Internet Awesome five fundamentals are “Share with Care,” “Don’t Fall for Fake,”  “Secure Your Secrets,” “It’s Cool to be Kind,”  and “When In Doubt Talk It Out.”

 

  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1868 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 6/9/17. (+ 27 this week)

  • 1569 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 47 this week)

 

Special Services

  • SEPAC is the Special Education Parent Advisory Council; membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and any other interested parties. Duties of the Council shall include: advising the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of special education programs; and providing information to its membership regarding specific disabilities, parent’s rights and other current/related topics.

  • West Springfield SEPAC is currently looking for folks to serve on its leadership committee.  Anyone who is interested can visit the “West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council” Facebook page, which is run by current SEPAC President, Ivonne Hall, or call Special Services at 263-3276.  Planning for the 2017-2018 school year events will occur during the summer.

 

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Over this past year, the grade 3 students have had the pleasure of working with the Seniors from our community through the Bridges Program.  This past Wednesday, the Bridges Program invited all of the grade 3 students up to the Senior Center for a walking field trip for Zoo on the Go.  The students will have their last meeting with the Seniors from Bridges on Wednesday, June 14.  (Photos 1-3)

  • The Coburn annual picnic was held last Friday.  It was a beautiful day, families came to Coburn School and had lunch with their children, and overall it was a great turnout!  Special thanks goes to Coburn’s wonder custodian, Onix Cruz, and Coburn’s amazing kitchen staff for pulling off such a great event. (Photos 4-5)

  • All of the students in grade 4 participated in a STEM challenge on Monday.  Students were working on Engineering Design 4.3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out tests of one or more design features of a given model or prototype in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify which features need to be improved. Apply the results of tests to redesign a model or prototype and 4.3-5-ETS1-5(MA). Evaluate relevant design features that must be considered in building a model or prototype of a solution to a given design problem.  Students created boats made out of aluminum foil in order to determine which boat could hold the most paper clips before sinking.  One winner from each grade 4 class was chosen to compete for the ultimate winner in grade 4.  The ultimate winner was Ali Imad from Mrs. Buswell’s classroom. (Photo 6) (additional photos).

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • The CAS teachers and students enjoyed a beautiful day at the Springfield Quadrangle.  They visited the Springfield Science Museum and the Art Museums.

  • THANK YOU, Mr. Turcotte for making the middle school student’s 4th term so much fun!  This week the middle school students learned some chords on the guitar.

  • May Students of the Month are:  Joseph Ocasio and Valentino Gonzalez

  • Upcoming events:  Grade 3 to Mittineague Park on June 13;  Grade 5 to the Josiah Day House on June 15; Field Day on June 16

  • Last day of school:  June 21 with dismissal at 10:30 AM.

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Mrs. Kania’s class used their puppet theater to sign “Old McDonald” and to tell farm stories.

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John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Incoming Kindergarten parents, please remember to turn in registration packets.  Kindergarten screening will take place June 20-21, 2017.  Appointments have been sent and phone calls have been made.

  • On June 6, John Ashley had their family picnic; it was raining outside, but the smiles on the faces of children, grandparents, parents and siblings were great to see.  Thank You to the very hard working, wonderful cafeteria ladies, the custodian and teachers at John Ashley.  Nice job everyone!

  • “Field Day” was held Friday June 9 (weather dependent).  Beach Day has been moved to Friday, June 16, 2017 - don’t forget to wear your favorite, hat, sunglasses, tee shirt etc. on “Beach Day.”

 

Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • AA FIELD DAY ~ Students from throughout the district gathered at Fausey for the second annual Field Day!  The students and their teacher started the physical events with a stellar parade.  Each group was named after a planet in the solar system and were cheered on by the entire Fausey Elementary community.  (Photo 1)

  • CAR WASH ~ The Fausey Student Council held a car wash to benefit the Sturge-Weber Foundation. Sturge-Weber is a rare genetic disorder which causes children to be born with port wine birthmarks on the forehead and face.  This disorder also causes other issues which affect overall growth and development.  The Sturge-Weber Foundation raises money  for research and educational  programs  and to help provide people who have Sturge-Weber with a better quality of life. Thank you to all the students and their mentors:  Mr. Harty, Mrs. Murray and Mr. Navone.  (Photo 2)

  • ART IN ACTION! SPLATTER PAINT SPECTACULAR ~ Coinciding with the car wash, students were also able to participate in an art event.  The could throw and splatter paint onto paper, paint filled hoops, color-drenched foam balls, canvas and clothes!  Parent supervised event, please no drop offs.  Thank you to leaders Mrs. Green and Mrs. Feeley, along with their many helpers.  A special thank you for the West Springfield Partnership Grant for funding this event.  (Photo 3)

  • ALL TOWN BAND ~ Mr. Rovero led his very talented musicians in a memorable performance at the Middle School.  Although the students from all the elementary schools don’t usually get a chance to practice together, their joint performance was applauded by families and the community.  (Photo 4)

  • END OF THE YEAR CELEBRATIONS!  First and second graders shared their year’s work with their families through various gatherings.  First graders included songs, Author’s teas, and visual presentations.  Second graders also shared their work and then had a picnic with their families.  (Photos 5-8)

 

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • Molly Ryder - Artwork of the Week

  • Science MCAS - June 5 - 6

  • AP History students as docents at Josiah Day House continues

  • Senior Awards Night - June 8

  • Senior Prom at Wyckoff Country Club - June 9

 

Upcoming Events:

 

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Fall Sports Information Night for Parents/Student Athletes will be Thursday, June 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the West Springfield High School Auditorium.  It is mandatory for students who intend to play a sport at West Side next year to attend with a parent or guardian.

  • Impact Testing for Student Athletes and band members will take place June 13-15 in room B331 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

  • All Juniors, Incoming freshmen and anyone who has not participated in a sport or band at West Springfield High School will need to take the Impact Test. This information is on the TV monitors at the H.S  & our Athletic Website.

  • The West Side Track & Field Booster Club is holding their 3rd Annual Run for the Terriers 5K Run / 2 Mile Walk on Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the high school.  Online registration is open until June 13 on this link.  Click here for more information.

  • Football Tryouts will be Friday, August 18.

  • All other Fall Sports tryouts begin Thursday, August 24.

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.

Alumni Update

  • Jake Link ‘13 is a software engineer at Wayfair, located in Boston.  Jake graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in May 2017.

  • Marina O’Toole ‘11 graduated from Seton Hall University in 2015 with a BS in Biology, and a Masters in Physician Assistant in May 2017.  After passing her boards, Marina is officially a PA-C - congratulations!

 

Memorial (Twitter @WSPSMemorial)

  • The first graders enjoyed a visit from Forest Park’s “Zoo on the Go” program.  Mr. Ben and his assistant brought many animals from the zoo.  Their visit was a wonderful culmination for their unit on habitats and animal adaptation.  Mr. Ben was very impressed with how much information the students knew!  As part of the experience, students needed to GO outside for a practice fire drill.  Memorial was very proud of the first graders as they quietly and efficiently left their engaging presentation!.

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  • On Monday, Memorial had a Spring Band and Music Concert followed by an Art Show.  The amazing and talented singers and artists impressed a full house of families and friends.  Lindsey Bergeron was the featured soloist for the morning.  Mr. Augusti and Mr. Rovero did a wonderful job preparing our students to perform in a professional manner and Ms. Largey presented the artwork beautifully.  All aforementioned teachers travel between schools, but their level of dedication to students was evident. After the concert (and continuing all week), the annual spring Scholastic Book Fair was held, which was a huge success.  At one point, the line to purchase books for summer reading was all the way down the hall!  Thank you to the Memorial teachers who helped with setting up, and Celinez and Mya Jodoin, Ann Marie Sarkis, and Dan and Jen Fleury for organizing and selling.

   

 

  • Students were treated to a “One Book” presentation and a performance from members of the High School Drama Club followed by a presentation from the West Springfield Public Library.  Memorial  student Semanur was pleased to join the actors as “The Cat” in the play.  The students were all very excited to read a common book with our community and to visit the library to borrow more books during the summer!  Thank you to Tim Connor, Karen Diaz, Terri Mitus, Rachel Svec, and the student performers!

  • Field Day is Tuesday, June 13 followed by the Family Picnic.  The second annual “We Are Memorial” family event will take place on Wednesday, June 14, from 5:30-7:00 outside.  Bring your appetites and enjoy a fun evening of crafts, food and snacks!

 

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • This week, incoming 6th grade students and families toured WSMS, met teachers, and met students in our annual orientation day.  All current fifth graders from across the district met at WSMS during the day for a tour, performances, presentations, and information.  Parents and families were treated to a similar presentation in the evening.  Thank you to our Guidance Department and Student Ambassadors club for helping lead this important day.  

  • This week, 38 grader 8 students and 4 staff members are touring Washington D.C.  They were invited on a private tour of the Capitol Building from Senator Warren’s office and they were granted gallery tickets to Thursday’s House of Representative’s session by Representative Neal.  In addition, they toured the National Mall and monuments, the Supreme Court, and Arlington National Cemetery.  Thank you to Mr. Sullivan for coordinating this incredible trip.  

  • Seventh grade students toured New York City last week.  They saw the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Ellis Island, The 9/11 Memorial, Freedom Tower, The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity Church, Times Square, and the Museum of Natural History.  This incredible experience was led by our 7th grade staff and facilitated by Mr. Boutilier.  Thank you to all of the students, parents, and staff who made this all possible.  

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The spring concert was a success with the band under the leadership of Don Rovero, leading the way with several rousing selections! The classes presented several songs to a standing room only crowd! The band followed their performance a few days later with another stellar performance at the All Town Elementary Band concert at the middle school! Our fifth grade closed the show with a rendition of “The Times of Your Life” as their send off from fifth grade. Congratulations to all of the musicians! (Photo 1 - Mittineague band; and 2 - fifth grade performance )

  • The fifth grade had a busy week this week!  On Monday, they visited the Josiah Day House this year with some honors’ history students as docents!  On Tuesday, they braved the weather to visit Plimoth Plantation in connection to their social studies learning.  On Wednesday, they celebrated with parents and friends at the fifth grade breakfast and awards ceremony.  Thursday brought their orientation visit to the middle school and Friday the family picnic and field day!! All in all it was an amazing week! (Photos 3 - Josiah Day House visit and 4 - Connor Boyd, Kenny Daviau, Angelina Robinson, Lucy Casillas and Kelsey Mutyeiya)

  • Six fifth graders and one fourth grader were recognized for excellence at the awards ceremony!  Angelina Robinson and Logan Trainor were recognized for overall excellence in achievement, while Roxana Ciocalau, Ethan Geddis, Erin Jacobson and Gabbie Mogavero were given excellence in character awards.  Last, but not least, Alexis Silva Cassidy was awarded the “Rising Star” award for overall excellence from a fourth grader!  Congratulations to everyone!  Both fifth grade teachers exclaimed that this was the hardest year ever because there were so many worthy candidates! (Photos 5 - Kristen Hogan, Erin Jacobson, Roxana Ciocalau, Ethan Geddie, Gabbie Mogavero, Logan Trainor, Angelia Robinson and Jaime Ranstrom;  6 - Alexis Silva Cassidy and Julie Penna)

  • The students from the class of 2027 presented their ancestor research projects as the culminating activity from their social studies curriculum unit.  The children had to research their personal history and include a map with a compass rose, key and title, 5 topics chosen from a list about the country of their heritage and then something to present to showcase this to their class.  Students chose anything from music, to food, to native dress, etc.  Kelvin Lubwama chose to share native clothing from Uganda and his mom, Christine joined him to share what their special occasion outfits from Uganda looked like. (Photos 7 - Kelvin and mom, Christine, and 8 - students in room 2)

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • On Thursday, Tatham held their annual spring concert.  The singers managed to get the last song in before the rain!

  • Tatham’s Annual Field Day followed by the Family Picnic was held on Wednesday, June 7. Fun was had by  everyone.

  • Students in grade three have been studying Colonial America. Mr Heath brought in artifacts and gave students the opportunity to look at them and guess their purpose.

           They certainly had creative ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.    

  • Parent/Child Date Night: Field Day with Dad - June 13, from 5:30-6:30pm at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club field, 615 Main Street. Come with your father figure and compete in field and minute-to-win-it challenges!  Free.  Registration required.  Contact Jen Brennan at 413-519.2511 or brennan@wsps.org.           

 

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

  • One Book One Community was released at all of our elementary schools. We look forward to this fun summer read and follow-up activities in the fall.  Parents received a letter on May 26, 2017, explaining the purpose and planned activities.

  • The WSMS is in the process of learning and developing a building based data team. The work and dedication to this process, like many of the schools, has been outstanding. WSMS is using the DATA Wise process of data inquiry.

 

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ACCESS scores were released last week.  These reports, along with district data and teacher input, are used to determine student classification for next year. In the next two weeks, the ACCESS score reports and Annual Parent Notification letters will be sent home to the families of all ELL students.

  • ESL Summer School acceptance letters will be sent home next week. Summer School will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and it will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for five weeks.

WSPS District Spotlight - June 2, 2017

posted Jun 2, 2017, 12:00 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - June 2, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Colleen Marcus ELL Scholarship.  Each year, this scholarship will serve to help a graduate of WSHS  -- for whom English is their second language -- to pursue their post-secondary education.  In order for the scholarship to be sustainable, contributions in any amount are being sought.  If you are so inclined to contribute, please send a check made payable to WSPS (with “Colleen Marcus ELL Scholarship” in the memo line) to the Central Office at 26 Central Street, Suite 33  West Springfield, MA 01089.  This scholarship will be offered beginning with the WSHS Class of 2018.

  • WGBY Connecting Point featured a powerful, poignant segment on May 29 featuring a West Springfield family’s opioid tragedy.  The segment can be viewed on this link.    

  • Tickets for the June 4 CARE Coalition Pancake Breakfast (8:30-11:30 at The Big E Firehouse Restaurant) will be available at the door on Sunday.  Tickets cost $5 for adults, and $3 for children under 12/senior citizens.  Raffle items include a 50-50 raffle and four (4) tickets to a Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball game (donated by CARE Coalition Steering Committee member John Weiss of Ormsby Insurance).  Please save the date and support CARE!

  • The All-Town Elementary Band Concert is Tuesday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the middle school auditorium.

  • The next School Committee meeting is June 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building Auditorium/2nd floor.

  • The last day of school for grades 1-11 is June 21, 2017, and the last day for kindergarten students is June 19.  Both of these are half days for students.  


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ESL Summer School will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and it will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for five weeks.  The ESL Summer School is open to all second languages learners who will be in kindergarten - grade 12 during the 2017-2018 school year.  For additional information about the program, please contact Colleen Marcus at marcus@wsps.org.


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


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VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) -


Speak to Go is a new Google WebVR experiment. Speak to Go lets you explore the world in virtual reality by just speaking the name of a place. Speak into Speak to Go and you'll be shown Street View imagery of that place.  Although it has been designed to be used with phones in virtual reality headsets,  it can also be used with Chromebooks providing a less immersive but still a very interesting experience.  


Speaking of VR, Google is promoting a set of virtual reality tours related to Alexander Hamilton's life.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1841 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 6/2/17. (+ 18 this week)

  • 1522 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 35 this week)


Special Services

  • We are excited to introduce you to a new model of service delivery that we are implementing next year in math at the 6th grade level. This model was developed to address the needs of our students and to ensure that students were given the opportunity to be instructed by highly qualified core curriculum teachers as well as from our Special Educators. Students will be now serviced in one of the following two ways:

  • Co-taught classroom where they will receive services from a content area specialist and a special educator

  • Regular education classroom with paraprofessional support and then will receive their explicit instruction to address their math goals in an academic support class that is taught by a special educator at another time in the day.

  • SEPAC is the Special Education Parent Advisory Council; membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and any other interested parties. Duties of the Council shall include: advising the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of special education programs; and providing information to its membership regarding specific disabilities, parent’s rights and other current/related topics.

  • West Springfield SEPAC is currently looking for folks to serve on its leadership committee.  Anyone who is interested can visit the “West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council” Facebook page, which is run by current SEPAC President, Ivonne Hall, or call Special Services at 263-3276.  Planning for the 2017-2018 school year events will occur during the summer.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Kamila Gavel, Coburn’s first grade winner from the 11th annual MSBA My Ideal School Contest, visited the State House on Wednesday to be recognized as one of 11 winners from across the state.  Kamila attended with her parents, two of her sisters, Mrs. Sullivan her teacher, and Ms. St.George.  Each child received a framed picture of the drawing they entered.  Kamila read her entry aloud in front of all of the participants, and she was given a gift from People’s United Bank.  While we were at the State House, Representative Michael Finn and Senator James Welch stopped by to congratulate Kamila and we were given a special tour from the both of them!  The Coburn contingent visited the Senate Chambers, House Chambers, Governor’s office, had many pictures taken, and learned all about the history of the State House from Rep. Finn.  It was an amazing day and Kamila had a smile on her face all day long!  (Photos 1 & 2)

  • Students from grade 2 and grade 4 decided that they wanted to help clean up the Coburn School playground.  These helpful students came up with this idea on their own!  They worked with Mr. Atkins during their recess time and contributed to helping to help keep Coburn school clean!  (Photo 3)

  • Shelly St. George visited John Ashley School on Tuesday to meet all of the kindergarten students who will be coming to Coburn next year.  She read the students a story, talked about Coburn School and answered many of the questions that the students had.  Many of the students already have siblings that attend Coburn School and they were excited to share that news.  The students at Ashley showed Ms. St. George their ‘whole body listening’ and the voice volume scale.  Coburn students also use these two things, which will help the Ashley students make a smooth transition to Coburn School in the fall!


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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • The students and staff are very excited we have reached the month of June.  Each classroom has many special events and projects happening to add some educational fun into the end of our school year.  Please be sure to check the calendar for upcoming events.

  • The hydroponic garden has recently produced an eggplant!!  Everyone is so excited, as CAS has been waiting so patiently!!

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • A day on the farm in Room 4.

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  • The classes at Cowing have created kindness rocks that they will distribute around town this week.

  • Next Friday, Cowing EC will hold the last Community Screening of the year for Pre-K.


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Incoming Kindergarten parents, please remember to turn in registration packets.  Kindergarten screening will take place June 20-21, 2017.  Appointments have been sent and phone calls have been made.

  • Mother nature did not cooperate with John Ashley this year.  Field Day outside activities were postponed until next Wednesday, June 7, 2017, but the magician (Ed Popoelarczyk) came!  It was great to hear all the laughter and screams of delight when he did his tricks.  


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • THE FALCON FOCUS - May Edition!  A special thanks to Mrs. Martin for yet another great newspaper edition.  Please use this link to view the latest submission from our very talented reporters.

  • ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY - Mrs. Diaz led the presentation of districtwide initiative of One Book - One Community.  The high school drama club did a great job with a Reader’s Theater of the book Turtle in Paradise.  First grader Mason Sady did his part as the cat!  Fausey students will be reading the book on their own or with a favorite adult so we can all talk about it when school starts next year!  (Photos 1-3).

  • CHICK UPDATE - The new residents are thriving, with the love of their Room 16 students.  Jadien is even reading to them!  They’re going to be the smartest chicks ever. (Photos 4-6).


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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • MCAS (STE) Grade 9 - June 5 - 6

  • Senior Baccalaureate - June 7

  • Senior Awards Night - June 9

  • Senior Prom - June 9


Click on a story:

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Terrier Closet:

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Below are the playoff games:

    • Boys Tennis hosted Northampton H.S. on Thursday June 1

    • Softball hosted Chicopee Comp Thursday, June 1

    • Baseball will host Chicopee H.S. Monday, June 5, at 4 p.m

    • Volleyball will travel to Westfield H.S. Monday, June 5 at 7 p.m.

  • The West Side Track & Field Booster Club is holding their 3rd Annual Run for the Terriers 5K Run / 2 Mile Walk on Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the high school.  Online registration is open until June 13 on this link.  Click here for more information.

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.

Alumni Update

  • Olivia Werenski ‘13 graduated from Champlain College with a B.S. in Public Relations on May 13.

  • Jenna Wright ‘14 graduated in May with honors from Mount Ida College with an Associate's Degree in Dental Hygiene.  She has completed a number of Board exams and she will take the National Dental Hygiene Board Exam in July.  Currently residing in Boston, Jenna plans to  work as a Dental Hygienist while pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Dental Hygiene from Mount Ida in the Fall.


Memorial (Twitter @WSPSMemorial)

  • First graders are busy studying national symbols. Their project was to create a cube where each side displayed a national symbol and some interesting information about that symbol.

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  • The second grade class worked very hard to prepare for their Reader’s Theater presentation. They have been working on The ABC’s of Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad after studying biographies and learning about many important people. Students worked in pairs to learn lines and create a poster to present during their performance. The families, staff and the entire student body exclaimed,  “The performance was amazing!”

  • Third graders enjoyed visiting Mittineague Park for the annual SEEC field trip. In science, students had been studying ecosystems and organisms and they knew a great deal before they visited the park. Students spent the day exploring the field, stream, and pond habitats. This was a fabulous culminating activity. A big thank you to the SEEC staff for hosting the annual field trip!

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  • Coming up: Please join Memorial at the Spring Band and Music concert followed by the Annual Art Show on Monday, June 5, beginning at 9:30.

  • The second annual “We Are Memorial” family event will take place on Wednesday, June 14, from 5:30-7:00 outside.  Bring your appetites and enjoy a fun evening of crafts, food  and snacks!


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • The WSMS Band, Chorus, and Jazz Band all performed this week for students and families.  The evening performance on Thursday was a great event and well attended.  The WSMS Band also performed at the Memorial Day parade on Monday.  

  • 8th Grade students participated in a “Step Up Day” on Friday at West Springfield High School.  Dr. Perrone hosted 8th graders for lunch, a tour, and some connections with students, classes, and activities.  

  • Mr. Brown led a group of about 40 students on a field trip to a Hartford Yard Goats baseball game this week.  This trip was a part of our PBIS program and recognized students who earned unique BARK Bucks for meeting behavioral expectations in exemplary fashion.  

  • Grade 7 students took a field trip to New York City on Friday.  The toured all the historical sites, visited the Museum of Natural History, and the 9/11 Memorial.  

  • Next Friday, June 9, from 8-9:30, Judge McDonough will visit WSMS to speak with 7th Graders and give them advice as they conduct Mock trials in connection with their novel, Touching Spirit Bear.  7th Grade ELA teacher Mrs. Brown established this connection and set up this exciting visit!

  • WSMS will host an incoming 6th grade orientation next Thursday, June 8.  All current fifth grade students will visit and tour WSMS during their school day.  An evening presentation hosted by Mr. Gillen and the Student Ambassadors Club will be held that same evening at 6:30 for families.  Presentations from staff, administration, and a tour will be featured components of the evening.  

                               

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Students from Rachel Svec’s drama class at the high school came to Mittineague on Thursday to present a Reader’s Theatre performance on the upcoming One Book One Community read this summer:  Turtle in Paradise! The high school students presented to books to all students from grades 1-4. (Photos 1-2)

  • Ms. Largey matted and hung student art work through the school to be ready for the Spring Concert and Art Showcase on June 2nd! (Photo 3 - Jagger Sayward, Cayla Harper, Maddie Minalga, Jayden Sizer; Photo 4)

  • Mrs, Penna and Miss Becker’s classes experienced a STEM Day on Wednesday. The day was broken up into three engineering challenges! The first was a pinball challenge where the students were given simple household items, a paper plate and a marble. The goal was to get the marble to move in as many different spaces as it could and make it to the other side. The second challenge was the basketball Shooter challenge in which the students had to create a catapult to propel a ping pong ball into the air and a basket to catch it in. The last challenge was the Jelly Bean Bottle Flipping challenge where students had to use different amounts of jelly beans inside an empty water bottle to see what the ideal amount was for flipping! In each of these challenges, the students had to design and create a prototype and the test and record their results! The day was a huge success and the student designs, ingenious! (Photos 5 Yohalexa Rivas, 6 Angela Caldwell)

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • The Tatham Spring Concert was Thursday, June 1.

  • The annual Field Day is next  Wednesday, June 7, followed by the Tatham Family Picnic. This is always a great day to meet up with all our families!

  • The fifth grade took a trip to the Josiah Day house on Wednesday to learn more about the history of West Springfield. (Photo 1)

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Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.    

  • Parent/Child Date Night: Field Day with Dad June 13, from 5:30-6:30pm at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club field, 615 Main Street. Come with your father figure and compete in field and minute-to-win-it challenges!  Free.  Registration required.  Contact Jen Brennan at 413-519.2511 or brennan@wsps.org.           


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

  • The WSHS Drama class, launched our One Book, One Community today at Mittineague School and Fausey School. We look forward to June 8, finishing the distribution at Tatham, Memorial and Coburn/CAS!!

  • Sharing Practices Related to Students Who Are Above Grade Level:

          West Springfield Public Schools is excited to learn and be part of an effort by the Department of

Elementary and Secondary Education in developing data points that identify best practice strategies to better support our students performing above grade level.  

District Spotlight - May 26, 2017

posted May 26, 2017, 11:51 AM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - May 26, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Thank you to all who participated as players, coaches, and FANS at the Harlem Wizards game Tuesday night.  A great time was had by all and a great cause was supported!

  • Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.  There is no school on Monday.  The Town Memorial Day Parade is Monday, May 29; the parade steps off from St. Thomas School at 10:00.

  • WGBY (PBS Channel 57) “Connecting Point” will air a segment on the western MA opioid epidemic on Monday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m.    

  • A meeting to obtain input from the school community -- staff, students, families, community members -- regarding the development of a WSPS mobile app is scheduled for Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building Merrick Room (26 Central Street, 1st floor).  The focus of the meeting is to discuss the functionality of a mobile app as a means of communication and increased staff/student/family/community engagement, as well as the type of information and resources that will be available in the mobile app.  The meeting is open to all -- please join us and share your feedback!

  • Tickets for the June 4 CARE Coalition Pancake Breakfast (8:30-11:30 at The Big E Firehouse Restaurant) are available to purchase at the School Department, Park & Recreation, Conca Sport & Fitness and the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club.  Tickets cost $5 for adults, and $3 for children under 12/senior citizens.  Raffle items include a 50-50 raffle and four (4) tickets to a Hartford Yard Dogs minor league baseball game (donated by CARE Coalition Steering Committee member John Weiss of Ormsby Insurance).  Please save the date and support CARE!

  • The All-Town Elementary Band Concert is Tuesday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the middle school auditorium.


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

  • The Elementary Science Committee will reconvene next week to review a possible science program for Grades 1-5. The program is called STEMscopes created by the Rice University….more to follow.

  • WSPS is excited to report that School Resource Officer, Rob Wise was recently certified in the program Rape Aggression Defense Systems (RAD).  RAD is a program for junior and senior girls that teaches a holistic approach to self defense.  Students will have the opportunity to select RAD training beginning in September 2017, as part of their Physical Education elective program.



English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ESL Summer School will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and it will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for five weeks.  The ESL Summer School is open to all second languages learners who will be in kindergarten - grade 12 during the 2017-2018 school year.  For additional information about the program, please contact Colleen Marcus at marcus@wsps.org.


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Save the date: The West Springfield CARE Coalition will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Big E Firehouse on June 4, 2017.  Tickets are available at the School Department, Park and Recreation, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, and Conca Sport & Fitness.

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Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Keep offers a variety of tools for taking notes, including text, lists, images, and audio.  You will be able to easily annotate images using Google Keep.  There is a Chrome extension which allows you save your bookmarks so that they will be available across devices, and Keep  is now integrated with Google Docs !  Check it out at http://keep.google.com


  • HelpDesk Status

    • 1823 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 5/26/17. (+ 19 this week)

    • 1524 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 37 this week)

  • You may have noticed that some of the links on the district website have been moved.  We’ve done a little bit of housekeeping in advance of an upcoming template re-design in order to integrate with the Town Of West Springfield’s website.  Most notably, all QUICK LINKS have been placed in the top menu bar and are now accessible throughout the entire website,  rather than appearing only in the switching tabs on the front page.


Special Services

  • SEPAC is the Special Education Parent Advisory Council - Membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and any other interested parties. Duties of the Council shall include: advising the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; to meet regularly to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of special education programs; and to provide information to its membership regarding specific disabilities, parent’s rights and other current/related topics

  • West Springfield SEPAC is currently looking for folks to serve on its leadership committee.  Anyone who is interested can visit the “West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council” Facebook page, which is run by current SEPAC President, Ivonne Hall, or call Special Services at 263-3276.  Planning for the 2017-2018 school year events will occur during the summer.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn is so proud of one of grade 1 ELL student Kamila Gavel, as she was chosen as a winner from the recent contest through the MSBA “My Ideal School” contest.  Participants are asked to send a drawing depicting their “ideal school” and a short essay that explains what they love about their current school, and how it impacts their idea of an “ideal school.”   Kamila was one of eleven winners chosen out of 2,500 submissions.  Kamila, along with her family and teacher, Mrs. Sullivan have been invited to the State House on May 31 to be recognized and presented as a winner!  Congratulations to Kamila and Mrs. Sullivan for this amazing accomplishment!  (Photo 1)

  • The Autism classrooms held their spring concert on Friday under the direction of Meghan Morgan.  The students started off by singing a hello song that they sing at the beginning of each class and then Mrs. Morgan chose a song that each student enjoys during music class.  The students played some musical instruments while they sang (they also used some props).  Some of the songs included Wheels on the Bus, Hokey Pokey, She’ll be Comin’ Around the Mountain, Bingo, and a few others.  A big thank you to all of the paraprofessionals and teachers who supported the students during their concert.  (Photos 2-5)

  • The High School Students from the Reconnecting Youth group came to Coburn School to work with our students from Youth Connect.  The students came together to work on Random Acts of Kindness throughout the school.  The students visited classrooms at Coburn reading stories about friendship and kindness.  They also brainstormed random acts of kindness that they can implement at Coburn School next week.  This was a wonderful way to kick off our Random Acts of Kindness Week. (Photos 6-8)

  • Coburn School sponsored the First Congregational Church dinner.  Many staff members brought food and volunteered their time to help serve at the dinner.

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Cowing has officially completed MCAS testing.  Everyone is excited and relieved to be finished with this rigorous assessment schedule -- teachers and students alike!

  • Next week, the 3rd and 5th graders will have the opportunity to walk to Coburn to participate in some lessons on science (grade 3) and puberty (grade 5).

  • Mrs. Messier’s class raised six beautiful butterflies and released them on Tuesday, May 23.  The students were sad to see them go!

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Butterfly time in Mrs. Kania’s class

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  • Cowing has their own Super Hero!  This morning when Pam Leonard was coming to school she encountered a very small child in the street.  She and some other people in the area tried to find the parents and then called the police.  The child was returned to his mother safely.

  • Collin O’Brien’s mom, Kristin, came to read to the children in Mrs. Leonard’s class this morning. It is great to have someone new read to the students and we believe Collin will remember this for a long time.

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John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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  • John Ashley had their Spring Concerts this past Tuesday, May 23, 2017 and Wednesday May 24, 2017.  The students led by Mrs Morgan did a wonderful job, parents and staff enjoyed the performances.

  • The PTO held a raffle as a fundraiser, congratulations to the three students who won, Jax Reardon, Mackenzie Atkins and Cody Trask.

  • Mr O’Brien, P.E. teacher, is holding annual “Field Days” on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.  A Bounce House and snow cones are being donated by Jumping Jax, a “DJ” Mrs. Morgan (Elementary music teacher) with equipment being donated by a contact of PTO member Nancy Bowie, and Ed Popielarcyzk, a magician, are just a few of the things the students will be enjoying. The students have worked so hard all year, and the end of the year becomes fun and magical at John Ashley.  


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • GO GREEN TEAM!  Mrs. Chalero's class participated in the Green Team Challenge through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The class received a certificate of recognition as well as wrist bands made from recycled materials for their efforts to increase reducing, recycling, and reusing both in the classroom and in their homes. (Photo 1)

  • NEW ‘STUDENTS’:  Mrs. St. Peter and her class have been studying life cycles.  They are proud to welcome four new members to their class!  (Photo 2)

  • FAUSEY’S WIZARDS:  Mr. Bailey, Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Morneau represented Fausey well at the game against The Harlem Wizards on May 24.  (Photos 3 and 4)

  • PROBING SCIENCE:  Mrs. Santos and the students on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council were challenged to create the best ‘Baggie Mitten.’  By using the probes, they were able to compare data to decide what type of material would insulate the best.  (Photos 5 and 6)



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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • Senior Exams (May 30 - June 2)

  • MCAS (STE) Grade 9 - June 5-6

  • Senior Baccalaureate - June 7

  • Senior Awards Night - June 9

  • Senior Prom - June 9


Terrier Closet:

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Both Boys and Girls Outdoor Track will be representing West Springfield High School this Saturday at Fitchburg State College/

  • Volleyball will compete against Minnechaug on Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Western MA Quarter Final Playoffs.

  • Currently teams in contention for post-season playoffs/championships or those who have clinched a spot include: Softball, Baseball, Boys Volleyball, Boys Tennis.  More information will follow.  

  • The West Side Track & Field Booster Club is holding their 3rd Annual Run for the Terriers 5K Run / 2 Mile Walk on Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the high school.  Online registration is open until June 13 on this link.  Click here for more information.

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.

Alumni Update

  • Hannah Cawley ‘11 graduated from Springfield College with a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT). Congrats to Doctor Cawley!


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • A Harlem Wizards basketball player named “Road Runner” visited Memorial school to interact with students and teach them some great tricks.  Ajdin and Chirah were chosen to model their newly acquired ball handling skills for the entire school.  Thanks to “Road Runner” for his  engaging, motivating and supportive presentation!  Special thanks to high school physical education teacher Sean Kerrigan for organizing the assembly and the evening event.

  • A heartfelt thank you to Memorial’s amazing basketball stars, Ann Sirignano and Whitney Weldon, who volunteered to participate in the charity game with the Harlem Wizards. Students and staff members in attendance were thrilled to cheer the teachers on ...and they each scored several points!

  • All students in P.E. worked on improving their cardiovascular fitness while achieving their rope jumping goals.  At recess many students paid Bee Bucks and entered the PBIS rope jumping endurance contest.  Now students are coordinating and creating routines highlighting their rope “tricks”.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Mr. Gillen, Mr. Federico, and Mr. Hanscom joined the “Terrier Thunder” team which took on the Harlem Wizards in a basketball game May 23 - it was a great event for a great cause.  Check out some pictures here!

  • WSMS staff participated in the National Jeans for Troops Dress Down Fundraiser on Thursday of this week.  Learn more about this great cause at this link.  

  • On Friday, WSMS Staff and Students participated in a “Decades Day” in conjunction with our PBIS work.  Grade 6 staff and students dressed from the ‘60s, 7th from the ‘70s, and 8th from the ‘80s.  View the WSMS twitter page at the above link for some great pictures from the day!

                               

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Grades one and two released the butterflies that had hatched from the life cycles unit they were studying. The Painted Lady Butterflies flew off to the safety of their new environment while the students stood by and said good bye!  (Photos 1 and 2 students from room 3)

  • Excitement abounded as the Harlem Wizards made a stop at Mittineague for a quick demonstration of  what was to come at the WSPS Staff vs Wizards basketball game Tuesday night!  (Photos 3 Asia Livingston and 4 Sophia Gagnon with Harlem Wizard player Seth)

  • Mrs. Hogan and Mrs. Ranstrom took their students on a walk to a surprise trip to Classic Burger for an ice cream to celebrate all of their hard work on the conclusion of the state MCAS testing. The fifth graders finished up this week with the science portion of the tests. (Photos 5 Lucy Casillas, Angelina Robinson, Maya Macar, Erin Jacobson, Roxana Ciocalau and 6 Sage Schleiffer, Logan Trainor, Dylan Strycharz, Tarae Washington, Ethan Geddis)

                                                                                                                                         

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • EGG-citing things are happening in Grade 2.  Baby chicks have been hatching from their eggs.  There are a total of seven chicks so far!

  • Nancy Condon came to visit the third graders to talk to the students about the forest, pond, and field communities and the organisms that live there.  They will be a spending a full day at Mittineague Park in the coming weeks learning more about these ecosystems.

  • The Harlem Wizards visited Tatham prior to the “Big” game on Tuesday night at the high school.  They helped Third grader, Melina Lavar twirl a basketball.

 


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.    

  • Parent Cafe: “Don’t Pop Your Cork! Creating Wellness in Your Life as a Parent” Speaker Jeanne Fitzgerald. June 2, from 6-7 at Mittineague Children’s Center 1840 Westfield Street.  Free.  Registration required because space is limited.  Refreshments provided.  Contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511 or brennan@wsps.org

Parent/Child Date Night: Field Day with Dad June 13, from 5:30-6:30pm at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club field, 615 Main Street. Come with your father figure and compete in field and minute-to-win-it challenges!  Free.  Registration required.  Contact Jen Brennan at 413-519.2511 or brennan@wsps.org.     

WSPS District Spotlight - May 19, 2017

posted May 19, 2017, 12:31 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - May 19, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • I attended the Reconnecting Youth (RY) graduation ceremony today at the high school.  This inspiring event celebrates the successful completion of seven RY classes at WSHS.  The program, coordinated by Belinda McDonnell and Sean Kerrigan, emphasizes goal setting, decision making, communication, managing stress, anger and depression, resisting negative peer pressure, and improving school achievement. (Photo 1)

  • I continue to meet with students across the district as part of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.  This week, I had the pleasure of having lunch with students from John Ashley, Memorial, and Fausey.  Over the last two weeks I have met with students at West Springfield Middle School, Coburn, Mittineague, Tatham, and Cowing.  A very special thank you to all of the students for sharing their thoughts about how to make the West Springfield Public Schools an even better place to teach and learn!

  • The West Springfield Partnership for Education is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Individual and Group Mini-Grant recipients:  Phyllis Altman, Katy Brunelle, Donna Calabrese, Michelle Castonguay, Michael Chotkowski, Lisa DeLong, Deb Fiorentino, Susan Gerardi, Laura Gorodisher, Paul Heath, Angela Hosmer, Marcie Kearing, Nicole LaBonte, Bernadette Lozinski, Maura Lunney, Kim Lyons, Cheri Metallo, Emily O’Brien, Amy Ramos, Amy Rodriguez, Karen Santos, Stanley Svec, Shannon Tanski, Barbara Turmel, and Whitney Weldon. Mini-Grant recipients will receive a check for $300 at a Partnership meeting in October.  

  • Thanks to everyone who played a part in making the WSHS Banner Unveiling event last Saturday a great success!   Special thanks to Erin Mountain, Master of Ceremonies Scott Coen, and to Partners @ The Cup and Donut Dip!  Click this link to view the banner event slideshow.  Many thanks to Janis Sawyer, Haley Dover ‘18 and Sam Darkwa ‘17 for their excellent work on the slideshow!  Media coverage Western Mass News and Mass Live photos/article. (Photo 2)

  • The Terrier Pride Banner Campaign was announced at the State & New England Championships Banner Unveiling event on Saturday as a way to generate interest in and support for the purchase of additional banners to honor the multiple accomplishments of our athletics teams through the years.  Approximately $20,000 is needed to purchase all of the banners.  Any and all donations will be accepted, however four levels of sponsorship will be acknowledged on the Terrier Pride Plaque: Hall of Fame ($5,000), Gold ($2,500), Silver ($1,000) and Bronze ($500).  Please make checks payable to West Springfield High School (memo: WSHS Athletics Banners); checks may be delivered or mailed to: WSHS Athletics Department, 425 Piper Road, West Springfield, MA 01089.  For more information, call 263-3475.  (Photo 3)

  • A West Springfield High School Athletics Athletics Hall of Fame has been formed to recognize and honor West Springfield High School student athletes, coaches, teams, and special contributors for their achievements and/or contributions to the West Springfield High School Athletics programs and the community.  Hall of Fame Committee members include Chairman Brian Griffin, Vice Chairman Christopher Thompson, Former Mayor Edward Sullivan, Athletics Director Glenn Doulette, School Committee Chair/Mayor designee, Coach Deke Pillsbury, Coach Brenda Marti, Mary Ruth Kane, Robert Collins, Julie Karas, and a Hall of Fame inductee, following the inaugural class.  Applications for nominations will be available July 1, 2017.  Nominations will be accepted from July 1 through August 31, 2017.  For more information, please contact Brian Griffin at westsidehalloffame@gmail.com or 413-234-0848.

  • Input from school community needed!  A meeting regarding the development of a WSPS mobile app will take place Thursday, June 1, 2017, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building Merrick Room (26 Central Street, 1st floor).  The meeting goal is to obtain input from staff, students, families, community members.  Please join us and share your thoughts!

  • The Town of West Springfield new website was officially launched this week.  Check it out here: http://townofwestspringfield.org/.

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Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

  • One Book One Community: The books are in and the WSHS Drama class is ready to present their Readers Theater to our students.  We look forward to the launch of this community-wide reading project on June 1 and June 8.  The West Springfield Public Library, West Springfield Park and Recreation will be providing summer opportunities surrounding our common book.

  • Grant 144: West Springfield Public Schools has applied for the Professional Development for Frameworks and Standards grant. This grant would allow for the District to align the math and science standards with the literacy standards to ensure a clear cross-curricular curriculum guide. We are very excited for this opportunity ….more to follow.


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ESL students from the high school have been working hard on Saturday mornings preparing for the upcoming Biology and Physics MCAS. Students meet with Ms. Moynihan and Ms. Ricks at the Community and Family Engagement Center located at 389 Main Street. The students have had some amazing study sessions and they are excited to show what they know on the Big MCAS Day! (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Registration information for ESL Summer School was sent home this week.  The summer program will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and it will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for five weeks. The ESL Summer School is open to all second languages learners who will be in kindergarten - grade 12 during the 2017-2018 school year.  For additional information about the program please contact Colleen Marcus at marcus@wsps.org.

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Please review this important information about ticks and prevention from the CDC.

  • Save the date: The West Springfield CARE Coalition will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Big E Firehouse on June 4, 2017.  Tickets are available at the School Department, Park and Recreation, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, and Conca Sport & Fitness.


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Information Technology


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Get Your Caps Lock Key Back  ( www.digitaltrends.com )

By default, Chromebooks replace the Caps Lock key in the standard keyboard layout with a Search button that activates the Google Search popup. If you rely on a conventional Caps Lock key (or you just like “shouting” at people with all-caps text), there’s an easy way to get it back. Go back to the Chrome settings menu by clicking the clock in the lower left corner, then clicking “Settings.” Look under the Heading “Device” and then click  “Keyboard settings.”  You can then change the action performed by the search key.


  • HelpDesk Status

    • 1804 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 5/19/17. (+ 23 this week)

    • 1487 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 18 this week)

  • MCAS 2.0 Computer Based Testing for Grade 4 Math began this week with two sessions over two days at WS Middle, Coburn, Tatham and Cowing Alternative Schools.  Tech staff were assigned to each building for on-site support.  We are pleased to report that everything went smoothly again this week !  


Special Services

  • SEPAC is the Special Education Parent Advisory Council - Membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and any other interested parties. Duties of the Council shall include: advising the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; to meet regularly to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of special education programs; and to provide information to its membership regarding specific disabilities, parent’s rights and other current/related topics

  • West Springfield SEPAC is currently looking for folks to serve on its’ leadership committee. If you are interested you can visit the “West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council” Facebook page, which is run by our current SEPAC President, Ivonne Hall or call Special Services at 263-3276.

We will begin planning our events for the 2017-2018 school year during the summer.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn School was voted into the Feasibility stage by the MSBA on Friday, May 12th.  We will now move forward with our next steps in the process.  We are very grateful to have this opportunity with the MSBA and moving forward with building a new Coburn School.

  • Coburn School celebrated our family Spring Fling on Thursday evening from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.  The students and their families enjoyed a fun evening beginning with a presentation from our school band and chorus.  We also had activities such as making paper flowers, cards for Veterans, planting seeds/flowers, face painting, dancing, hula hoops for twirling, cookies for decorating, balloon sculptures, and we also served food to the families. We had many families attend and everyone had a great time.  A big thank you to all of the staff who stepped up to help out and participated to make our Spring Fling a success!  (See photos below)

  • Students in grades 4 and 5 will be finishing up their MCAS testing this week.  Grade 4 took Math MCAS and grade 5 will complete science MCAS.  Make-ups are scheduled for next week.

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • We celebrated Mrs. Messier one more time in honor of her Teacher Excellence Award -- but this time it was with the students!  We are all so proud of Mrs. Messier and her hard work!

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Below is a picture from Mrs. Kania’s class in their butterfly center.  I think this class is going to have a lot of Painted Ladies.IMG_0650.JPG

  • Room 2 filled their bear once again as part of PBIS. The students had extra playground time and had a music parade, played with bubbles and crawled through the huge tunnel.

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John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Room 18, Mrs Busiere class decorated in front of the school with “kindness rocks”. (Photo 1)

  • Farmer Minor and Daisy the “pig” came to John Ashley.  The photos below show Mrs Smart, school librarian, with Daisy the pig., and Ms. Bailer “kissing” Daisy the pig. (Photos 2-3)

  • Farmer Minor and Daisy have a reading program, they come to schools when the students read a determined amount of books. The reward is the principal, Ms Bailer kissed the pig, they take pictures with Daisy and her two friends Dixie Cup and Lilly Pug (both are dogs, both are pugs).

  • Kindergarten Orientation is May 18 at 6:00 in the John Ashley School Gym.  Please see/read information on the Blue Channel  (Ch. 15) and in the West Springfield Record (town paper) for Kindergarten registration.  “Countdown to Kindergarten” flyers are located at various town outlets such as the Library, in the Town Hall at the School Department and Central Enrollment, Boys & Girls Club, etc.

  • Kindergarten screening appointments have been mailed. If you have not registered, you do not have a screening scheduled.  PLEASE remember to register your child for kindergarten.

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • STATUE OF LIBERTY:  You never know what you’ll see in Fausey’s hallways!  First grader Jacob Adamson very proudly shared his construction of the Statue of Liberty.  He used aluminum foil and duct tape to make a very detailed model.  (Photo 1)

  • ART GALLERY NIGHT:  On May 11th,  Ms. Green once more showcased the art works from Fausey Elementary and John Ashley Schools.  Families from both schools were able to see the progression of our students’ art skills, which are often accompanied by a literary connection.  Children are encouraged to voice their appreciation for others’ work and to reflect on their own.  Everyone pitched in to make the night a success.  Mr. Augusti and the Fausey Chorus performed for the large audience.  The hard work of putting up and taking down each art piece was supported by a large number of Key Club participants from the High School and Middle School students.  Fausey School Council members also helped, and did some interesting face painting. Art Gallery Night was a huge success thanks to Mrs. Green’s efforts and a show of collaboration from students and staff from all the participating schools!  (Photos 2-5)

  • RESEARCH PROJECT:  Students in Mrs. Sousa’s 4th grade worked on a reading and writing research project for over 4 weeks. Each student read a book and used online resources to create a biography report. The report included a written paper, an illustration, and gifts for the person they chose. Below are pictures of 3 presenters and one cover illustration - Lebron James, Abe Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Michael Phelps. Pictures

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • May 23 - WSPS vs. Harlem Wizards 6:30 PM at WSHS

  • May 24 - Stop the Swerve

  • May 24 - Career Panel: Nonprofits during X-Block


Terrier Closet:

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Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Currently teams in contention for post-season playoffs/championships or those who have clinched a spot include: Softball, Baseball, Boys Volleyball, Boys Tennis.  More information will be available next week.  The WMass Boys & Girls Track Meet is taking place today at 5:00 at Holyoke High School.

  • Terrier Pride Banner Campaign (see Superintendent’s Update)

  • West Side Track & Field Booster Club is holding their 3rd Annual Run for the Terriers 5K Run / 2 Mile Walk on Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the high school.  Online registration is open until June 13 on this link.  Click here for more information.

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.



Alumni Update

  • Michael Mercier ‘12 graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2016.  Since May 2016 he has been working in a pharmacology lab at Yale University, studying mutations that cause epilepsy and screening potential compounds for therapeutic effects in animal models.  He also works at Yale New Haven Hospital, studying how intracranial neurostimulator detections can be used to predict medication response in epilepsy patients.  This fall, Michael will begin his first year at Yale Medical School.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Second grade students from Mrs. Duquette’s and Mrs. Huffman’s classrooms enjoyed making projects using flowers donated by the West Springfield Garden Club. We thank the Garden Club very much for their donation - students enjoyed the opportunity to bring home flowers and they learned about various types of marigolds.


  • All 4th grade students completed a Mystery Science Investigation : How can a car run without gas? Students saw potential energy stored in the rubber band, kinetic energy when the rubber band racer went into motion, and they used mechanical energy to wind the rubber bands. The students’ objective was to store just the right amount of energy in their racer to land on the area of the track marked with the star.The 4th grade students and staff would like to thank Cumberland Farms for generously donating the lids needed for this investigation.

Photo 1 - Cooper waits to see if his rubber band racer will land within the marked area.

Photo 2 - Om and Jane show their rubber band racers that were built with Cumberland Farms lids.

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  • All students in the third, fourth and fifth grades have finished their MCAS testing in ELA, Mathematics and Science, Technology and Engineering.  We are very proud of the great effort they put forth! We also thank teachers in fourth grade and Special Education for their commitment to successful computer-based testing. During the entire process, Steven Lucey was extremely helpful as was our skilled technology department.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Grade 8 students completed their Mathematics MCAS examinations this week.  MCAS testing will conclude next week on Monday and Tuesday when Grade 8 students take their Science MCAS exams.  

  • Mr. Gillen and the Computer/Tech staff met this week to tighten programming, expand on current design-based offerings for next year and discuss how to incorporate a makerspace into both our curriculum and library for all subjects.  Continued discussion and planning of building a makerspace will continue throughout the closing month of school.

  • 6th grade students have begun to use nearpod.  Nearpod is a program that allows students to experience virtual field trips, complete interactive and individualized assignments, and link their devices to global landmarks.  This link  to our twitter page shows 6th grade Science students using it to study the moon!

  • On Tuesday May 23, The Harlem Wizards will visit WSMS.  A member of the Wizards will meet with students from all graders prior to their lunches.  This aligns with our evening event where teachers from across the district will take on the Wizards in a basketball game to benefit the McCormick family.  

                               

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The students in Mrs. Hogan and  Mrs. Ranstrom’s classes were given a STEM challenge to build a car that would move 5 feet as one of the science challenges from their center based science units! The students could only use materials they could find around the classroom.  Each group was given a straw and a balloon and the rest was up to them! The results were ingenious as the students problem solved when their prototypes wouldn’t move! Only one group found success on Wednesday. The rest needed more time to problem solve. Friday afternoon is the big showdown between the two classes. Science is so much fun; engagement and excitement galore! (Photos 1 Dan Harty, Sage Schleiffer, Logan Trainor, Vinnie Douglas and 2 Ela Butler, Javier Lopez, Tarae Washington)

  • The students from the class of 2024 have just finished the read aloud, The Giver, by Lois Lowry. As a way to culminate this experience, Mrs. Ranstrom’s class broke into groups and each group chose a scene from the book and rewrote the piece with a different outcome. The students then created dialogue and performed these small skits for the other 5th grade class. Each presentation was well thought out and presented! Great job!  (Photos 3 Lucy Casillas, Logan LaBranche, Madison Rodriguez and 4 Roxana Ciocalau, Kenny Daviau, Eleanor Yates)                                                                                                                                              

  • Students from the Principal’s Cabinet and Superintendent’s Council decided to be proactive about a dismissal issue. The students wrote a note home asking for parents to help out by adhering to the rules at dismissal and then each day they man stations to remind people of the proper drop off/pick up procedure to great results! Matthew Davis, Erin Jacobson, Gabby Mogavero and Maddie Smith the new Safety Patrol! (Photo 5)


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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Our third graders took a trip to Storrowton Village as part of their unit on Colonial times. The students always have a fun time pretending to be Colonists!

  • Our Second Grade has been reading Charlotte’s Web. They went to Symphony Hall to see the stage production. It brought the book to life.

  • MCAS testing is finally over! The students work hard, and did their best!


                                                 


WSPS District Spotlight - May 12, 2017

posted May 12, 2017, 1:58 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - May 12, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • The School Department’s annual Budget Book was presented to the Town Council this week.  Thank you to everyone who collaborated on this project.  Special thanks to Business Manager Carey Sheehan for his tireless efforts to prepare the comprehensive Fiscal Year 18 Budget Book.

  • This week we observed National Nurses Appreciation Week -- hats off to our fantastic school nurses and Health Services Director!

  • On Thursday, I attended Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s Youth Advisory Board Summit.  Members of the law enforcement, education and political communities met with the Youth Advisory Board, which is comprised of high school students from around the area, including WSHS.

  • The MSBA Board voted to move the Coburn Elementary Project into Phase Two (Feasibility) at their meeting in Boston today.  Mr. McQuillan, Ms. St.George, Mr. Mattoon (the Town’s Director of Planning and Development), and I attended.

  • The State Champion Banner Unveiling event Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Former ABC40 Sports Director Scott Coen is the master of ceremonies.  Please join us at the high school on May 13 to celebrate these teams and coaches!

  • Wishing all mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Input from school community needed!  A meeting regarding the development of a WSPS mobile app will take place Thursday, June 1, 2017, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building Merrick Room (26 Central Street, 1st floor).  The meeting goal is to obtain input from staff, students, families, community members.  Please join us and share your thoughts!

         

 Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham’s Girls on The Run did their first practice run on Monday. They jogged 3 miles.  Team Tatham had lots of parents, teachers, and friends present to cheer on the runners.

  • The third grade finished their MCAS Math testing this week. The fifth grade started the Science and Technology test on Wednesday.

  • On Friday, students were once again treated to a puppet show by the Tanglewood Marionettes.  They performed the Greek Myth, Medusa.  They did a fantastic job entertaining the students while teaching them about Greek Mythology.


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  

  • Parent Cafe: Summer Fun with 413 Mom. Come learn fun, free activities to keep your kids busy this summer!  Monday, May 15, 6:00-7:00 at the West Springfield Public Library. Childcare not offered.


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

  • Lesley University Math Grant: We are excited to have the opportunity to participate in the Western Mass Math Project with Holyoke Public School and Easthampton Public Schools.  This opportunity provides mathematical content coursework for teachers in grades K-8. In addition to the coursework, West Springfield Public Schools also receives training for our math coaches as well as classroom modeling support for participants.

  • One Book One Community: The books are in, the WSHS Drama class is ready to present their Readers Theater to our students.  We look forward to the launch of this community wide reading project on June 1 and June 8.  The West Springfield Public Library, West Springfield Park and Recreation will be providing summer opportunities surrounding our common book.


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • On Wednesday, May 3, the SEI Department at the high school held a reception for the 25 ELL students who made the honor roll in at least two of the three completed quarters of this school year.  Students learned how G.P.A. is calculated, how it is used to determine honors and its relevance to their post-graduation plans.  They received certificates for their accomplishments and they were treated to a continental breakfast by their teachers.

  • Registration information for ESL Summer School will go home with students next week.  The summer program will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and it will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for five weeks. The ESL Summer School is open to all second languages learners who will be in kindergarten - grade 12 during the 2017-2018 school year.  For additional information about the program please contact Colleen Marcus at marcus@wsps.org.

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • May 10 was School Nurses Day.  Thank you to all WSPS school nurses!  Read about Five Ways a School Nurse Benefits the School from The National Association of School Nurses.

  • Save the date: The West Springfield CARE Coalition will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Big E Firehouse on June 4, 2017.  Tickets are available at the School Department, Park and Recreation, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, and Conca Sport & Fitness.


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Information Technology


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  • HelpDesk Status

    • 1781 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 5/12/17. (+ 29 this week)

    • 1469 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 13 this week)

  • MCAS 2.0 Computer Based Testing for Grade 4 Math began this week with two sessions over two days at Fausey, Memorial, and Mittineague Schools.  Tech staff were assigned to each building for on-site support.  We are pleased to report that everything went smoothly!  


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Many classrooms have been hosting family events to share the hard work of their students.  Students and teachers alike have been proud of their work and we are thrilled to have so many families join us in celebration.

    • Miss Metcalf’s Third Grade Family Poetry Tea:  Students shared their many works of poetry and biographies.  (Photo 1).

    • Mrs. Duggan’s ELL Second Grade Authors’ Tea:  These amazing students had their nonfiction writing about habits on display.  (Photo 2).

    • Mrs. DalMolin’s Second Grade Family Author's’ Tea: Families were treated to many informational writings on animals and their habitats.  (Photo 3).


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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • The Middle School students continue to work with Mr. Turcotte on the old truck.  This week they were able to get the truck running!  Great job kids!

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  • Grades 5 and 8 have completed their Science and Technology MCAS.  Next week Math MCAS will continue.

  • The CAS April Students of the month are:  Brandon Rodriguez and Deagan Magdalenski.  They have both done a fabulous job of following our school rules:  Be MINDFUL of learning, ourselves, others, and property.  Keep up the good work boys!

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Another Community Screening was held on Friday with 14 three and four year olds visiting the school with their parents.

  • All the classes have been enjoying playing outside everyday it has not been raining.  The children really love the playground.

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  • It is butterfly time at Cowing with all the classes participating in watching caterpillars create their chrysalis and then emerge as Painted Ladies.



John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Perscilla Takondwa Semphere is a student at Smith College in Northampton and author of the book Ekari Leaves Malawi, and Illustrated by Scott Baldwin.  She and her friends spent the morning and part of the afternoon reading the book to John Ashley students. This is a wonderful story of the emotional adventure of a little eight-year-old girl named Ekari.  Her mother has a new job at a television station.  She leaves her friends and familiar surroundings in Malawi as she travels with her whole family to the different countries of Africa.

  • “Art Night” at Fausey School on May 11 featured artwork from students at John Ashley School.

  • Kindergarten Orientation is May 18 at 6:00 in the John Ashley School Gym.  Please see/read information on the Blue Channel  (Ch. 15) and in the West Springfield Record (town paper) for Kindergarten registration.“Countdown to Kindergarten” flyers are located at various town outlets such as the Library, in the Town Hall at the School Department and Central Enrollment, Boys & Girls Club, etc.

  • Kindergarten screening appointments have been mailed. If you have not registered, you do not have a screening scheduled.  PLEASE remember to register your child for kindergarten.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • SCIENCE IN GRADE ONE:  How would you make a model of a tree using straws, pipe cleaners and soil?  Mrs. Brogan’s first graders were given the challenge, and their creations were a sight to behold!  Some of the students were able to explain that a straw is a great choice for the trunk because water and nutrients are pulled up from the soil in a similar fashion that we drink from a straw.  Others created leaves from their pipecleaners. Most were just very happy to be ‘playing’ with the dirt!   (Photos 1-2)

  • CATERPILLARS!: Mrs. Lubas is out on maternity leave, but our students keep on experiencing great things with Mrs. Della Giustina’s lead.  The kids are learning about life cycles!  (Photo 3)

  • BOTTLE BUDDIES:  Mrs. Santos’ third grade students completed their biography Units which included creating their famous person out of a bottle. The students used a wide variety of materials to create an “authentic” looking representation of their chosen person. Some of the famous people on display are: Neil Armstrong who is dressed in his spacesuit ready for his next mission and Thomas Edison who is displaying his famous “lightbulb” invention. The students enjoyed creating a look alike that accompanied their written research report.  (Photo 4)

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • May 13 - State Banner Unveiling at 10 AM

  • May 18 - WSHS Fine Arts Festival  6 - 8 PM


Custodian Heroes:

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Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • This week, Memorial officially welcomed two substitute secretaries, Nancy Flynn and Deana Schwarzenbach. They’ll be at Memorial until the year ends and we’re very grateful for their expert skills! Nancy Flynn.JPGDeana Schwarzenbach.JPG

  • Mrs. Dickson, School Librarian, recently designed and beautified the ends of each bookcase.  Students are now greeted by colorful images as they enter the library.  Below, some of the students who participate in the After School Program are seen browsing for new books in the library.




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  • Third fourth and fifth graders participated in MCAS testing this week.  Fourth and fifth graders finished Mathematics and fifth graders will complete the Science and Technology tests next week while third graders finish Mathematics.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Sixth grade students completed MCAS testing this week.  The students took their MCAS math assessments.  Next week, grade 8 students will begin MCAS testing in math as well.  

  • On Thursday, a WSMS team conducted a brief site visit to Birchland Park Middle School in East Longmeadow to see their makerspace and consider the possibility of including one in the WSMS library beginning in the 17-18 school year.  Here is a link explaining some of the connections growing between libraries and makerspaces.   

  • Students from the WSMS MathCounts team will compete tomorrow in a math tournament held at the Wilbraham-Monson Academy.  Good luck!!

                               

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Students can recognize staff members for going above and beyond or for doing a great job by awarding them a handprint (just as teachers do for students). This week, the students recognized and celebrated many staff members, our nurse,  Laura Bowler was awarded a handprint for being “The best nurse in the world”! Cafeteria manager, Bonnie Koscany and Laurie Jacobsen were also awarded handprints for” being so helpful to the students and for being so nice to them”. (Photos 1, 2, 3)

  • Students also awarded Sara Bartolucci a handprint for “being a brilliant and intelligent teacher with a great sense of humor and filled with kindness!”  While school librarian, Lisa Fonte was awarded a handprint for “giving advice to her students on how to solve things by themselves!  (Photo 4)                                                                                                                                               

  • Testing resumed this week at Mittineague School with fourth and fifth graders tackling the state math tests. All students worked hard and the teachers were very proud of their efforts. Grade three math and fifth grade science are next!

  • School Resource Officer, Eric Johnson came to speak with the third, fourth and fifth graders this week about the “Junior Police Academy” to take place during the summer. “At the academy, students will experience first hand what it is like to be a police officer” including K-9 demonstrations, exercises, investigation techniques and more! The students were very excited and some of them returned the packets filled out by their parents the next day!

  • The Pioneer Valley Ballet came to Mittineague School last week and will come again for the next two Fridays. They are working with our first and second graders to introduce them to the concept of dance as storytelling. Their visits include movement, character work, ballet mime and research. The students are enthralled with this peek into the world that they saw on stage in December. (Photos 5,6)


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WSPS District Spotlight - May 5, 2017

posted May 7, 2017, 8:47 AM by Erin Mountain   [ updated May 8, 2017, 9:34 AM ]

WSPS District Spotlight - May 5, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Congratulations to the 2017 Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award recipients!  Five WSPS educators were celebrated at a banquet held at The Log Cabin on Wednesday.  Pictured below (photo 1) with me and Mayor Reichelt are (left to right): Brendan Landers, Adrianna Lugo-Zayas, Susan Messier, Lynne Birks, and Andy Bell.  Please click THIS LINK to view the Mass Live coverage of the event. (Photos 2-6: Cowing table - 2, HS table - 3-4, MS table - 5, Fausey table - 6)

  • I had an enjoyable meeting with a group of parents (Key Communicators) Tuesday night.  Among the topics discussed: facilities, technology, and curriculum.  I look forward to resuming meetings with this group next academic year.

  • The Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad made a special visit to the home of WSHS student Conor McCormick ‘18 this week, thanks to a nomination by his classmate Olivia Castonguay ‘18.  Check out the heartwarming story on this link!

  • The School Committee will meet on May 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building/Justin Morgan Auditorium, 2nd floor.

  • National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and May 10 is National School Nurse Day!  Let’s take a moment to recognize and applaud the care and concern that WSPS school nurses have for students and families!    

  • The CARE Coalition will meet on Wednesday, May 10, from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at West Springfield Public Library (Community Room, 1st floor).  The meeting is open to the public.

  • The State Champion Banner Unveiling event is planned for Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Former ABC40 Sports Director Scott Coen is the master of ceremonies.  Please join us at the high school on May 13 to celebrate these teams and coaches!

  • Input from school community needed!  A meeting regarding the development of a WSPS mobile app will take place Thursday, June 1, 2017, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building Merrick Room (26 Central Street, 1st floor).  The meeting goal is to obtain input from staff, students, families, community members.  Please join us and share your thoughts!

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mayor Reichelt visited and read stories and poems to the students in Mrs. Bartolucci and Mrs. Canon’s classes. He shared several poems from the book, “If Pigs Could Fly” by Bruce Lansky , with Mrs. Canon’s first and second graders and “The Great Gracie Chase” by Cynthia Rylant and “Who Wants Arthur” by Amanda Graham with Mrs. Bartolucci's third graders. The children were delighted to spend time with the Mayor. He is rapidly becoming their favorite visitor! (Photo 1 Mrs. Canon’s class, Photo 2 Mrs. Bartolucci’s class raptly listening!)

  • Mrs. Gerardi and Mrs. Canon’s  first graders shared their thoughts about the perfect school, for the Massachusetts School  Building Authority’s “Ideal School” contest. In the words of first grader Olivia Davis, “Mittineague School is an ideal school because my family went to this school. Another reason is that the teachers are the best. The last reason is everyone is nice and my life is there. That is why Mittineague School is the ideal school for me”.  (Photo 3 - sample drawing of an “ideal school,” Photo 2 - Zavier Carter and Sophia DeBarge ready to mail in their submissions)                                                                                                                                                      

  • Miss Becker’s class took some downtime to enjoy the beautiful weather after testing as they sat outside and listened to their current class read aloud, “Inside Out and Back Again.” by Thanhha Lia. The story depicts the journey of a young Vietnamese refugee as she immigrates to Alabama. The story, told in verse has captivated this class.  (Photo 5)

  • The PTO put on a fabulous, fun filled, Cinco de Mayo themed Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for the staff on Wednesday. Everyone felt so spoiled and appreciated! Special thanks to Mariel Markham, Marcie Knowland, and Robin Sayward  for setting it all up, keeping everything fresh and filled and then cleaning it all up afterwards!! Each and every person commented on what a wonderful job they did!! (Photo 6)

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 Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Students in Grade 3 and 5 continued with MCAS testing. This week it was math!

  • Our First Graders submitted their essays on their ideas of an IDEAL SCHOOL CONTEST.

  • “EGG”- citing things are happening in our second grade. As part of their unit on life cycles, students are incubating chicken eggs. In about 3 weeks we will have lots of chicks peeping!

  • In music, our first graders are learning Patriotic songs. They are getting ready for our spring concert in a few weeks!


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  Please call 413-427-3509 or email brennan@wsps.org.

  • Parent/Child Date Night: Mother’s Day Tea Thursday, May 11 from 5:30-6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club. Registration required. Please call 413-427-3509 or email brennan@wsps.org.

  • Parent Cafe: Summer Fun with 413 Mom. Come learn fun, free activities to keep your kids busy this summer!  Monday May 15, 6-7 at the West Springfield Public Library. Childcare not offered.


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

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  • Our district-wide reading specialists and colleagues from other towns came in to collaborate on Reading Recovery training. The team observed a lesson taught by Coburn’s Beth Ann Albro-Fisher.  It was great to see Senator Welch join the presentation and discussion about the data related to reading intervention and specifically Reading Recovery.


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Registration will begin soon for ESL Summer School. The summer program will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for five weeks. The ESL Summer School is open to all second languages learners who will be in kindergarten - grade 12 during the 2017-2018 school year. For additional information about the program or to apply to work as a teacher or paraprofessional in the program, please contact Colleen Marcus at marcus@wsps.org.

  • Beginner ESL English students at the high school worked on developing their speaking skills by playing games. First, they read and discussed the directions to a game, then they played the same game several times to develop some winning strategies. The culmination of the activity was a writing assignment where they wrote what strategies they used (with a focus on good grammar of course!).

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Photo 3 - Yaren, Emma Photo 4 - Ted, Nuru

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Save the date: The West Springfield CARE Coalition will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Big E Firehouse on June 4, 2017.  Tickets are available at the School Department, Park and Recreation, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, and Conca Sport & Fitness.

  • Parents are a powerful influence in the lives of their teens.  Learn more about monitoring teen activities from the CDC.

  • Please read this important Wall Street Journal article about what teens think about marijuana.


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Information Technology


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On Wednesday,  May 3rd,  Google identified an email phishing campaign that affected some accounts in our domain.  The affected users received an email that appeared to be from a contact offering to share a Google doc. Clicking the link in the attacker's email directed the user to the attacker's application, which falsely claimed to be Google Docs and asked for access to the user's account. If the user authorized the application, it accessed the user's contacts for the purpose of sending the same message to those contacts. This access only retrieved contacts and sent the message onward—customer data such as the contents of emails and documents were not exposed.  Google has resolved this by disabling offending accounts and revoking access to the malicious app.  No further action is necessary.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1752 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 5/5/17. (+ 31 this week)

  • 1446 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 43 this week)


Special Services

  • Last week Dr. Deb Brady from Ribas and Associates spent two days observing teachers in our co-taught classrooms at WSHS. Dr. Brady had many positive things to say about the commitment and cooperation of our teachers using this model. She was also impressed by the student engagement she observed. We look forward to implementing some new ideas and working with Dr. Brady as we continue to improve our practice.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • On Tuesday Coburn School held a Teacher/Staff Appreciation luncheon with pizza, salad, chips and dessert.  This luncheon was held to recognize all of the staff for the hard work that they do each and every day.

  • Ms. DeLong's 3rd grade ELL class has been learning about living things.  They had a plant investigation; they identified the different parts of a plant and understood their functions.  With the help of Mrs. Murca and Ms. Brown,they dissected a Daisy to see the many plant parts and used food coloring with carnations to view the job of a stem.  (see photo 1 below)

  • Kindergarten Orientation for Coburn School families will take place on Thursday, May 11th from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • In honor of Teacher Appreciation week we rolled out the red carpet for all of the Super Star teachers at Cowing School.  Thank you to the Cowing/Ashley PTO for their gracious lunch from Bueno y Sano; massages from Massage Envy, and a bagel breakfast.

  • CAS also would like to congratulate Mrs. Susan Messier on her Excellence in Teaching award.  She was celebrated at the Log Cabin on May 3.  Mrs. Messier IS an excellent teacher and we are proud of her!!

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  • Upcoming events:  Beginning next week the CAS students in grades 3 - 8 will participate in the Science (grades 5 and 8) and Math MCAS.  Please refer to the calendar was sent home for your child’s dates for testing.

  • As a culmination of their Eric Carle unit the K-3 class visited the Eric Carle Museum on Friday, April 28.  All of the boys enjoyed seeing Eric Carle’s work!

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Acceptance letters for 2017-2018 preschool slots were mailed this week. Proof of income is due May 15 to the Cowing office.

  • It looks like the children in Room 4 are getting ready for Kindergarten.

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  • Pumpernickel Puppets put on a show for both our morning and afternoon students.  Some students were the puppeteer’s helpers.

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  • Thanks to the amazing John Ashley/Cowing PTO for the “Red Carpet” Teacher Appreciation week with lunch and breakfast.  Everything was delicious!!


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • John Ashley had a “Drop Everything Day” (which is a PBIS reward) focusing on Taking Care of Themselves and Others, John Ashley School rules.  On Thursday, they participated in different stations set up by Personal Trainer, Kim Bust from TGYF (Tanya Gets You Fit).  The students completed a community project by decorating a rock with an inspirational message. The rocks will be spread around town for community members to pick up and read.  Be on the lookout - feel free to take one home and be inspired. (Photo 1 - Smoothie Bar, Photos 2-3 - kindness rocks project)

  • An all school assembly celebrated the John Ashley community.  A lesson in good nutrition and the value of exercise was reinforced in a skit (characters portrayed/voiced by Christopher O’Brien, Sue Narey, Casey Desposito and Amy Rodriguez- the “oscars” are in the mail) based on the book Henry gets Moving, by Pierre Rouzier M.D. and Chaz Nielsen.

  • “Art Night” at Fausey School, May 11, 2017, will feature artwork from students at John Ashley School. Please come and support the budding young artists.

  • The reading program at John Ashley is pleased that Farmer Minor and His Pig Da-Tu will join the students in celebration of reading if the students reach their goal of 600 books, Ms Bailer will be kissing the pig.

  • Please remember Kindergarten Orientation is May 18 at 6:00 in the John Ashley School Gym.  Please see/read information on the Blue Channel  (Ch. 15) and in the West Springfield Record (town paper) for Kindergarten registration. “Countdown to Kindergarten” flyers are located at various town outlets such as the Library, in the Town Hall at the School Department and Central Enrollment, Boys & Girls Club, etc.

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • PENNIES FOR PATIENTS -  The Fausey Student Council has started a "Pennies for Patients" drive to support the Mass. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.   Letters of explanation and collection packages were sent home.  Students and family members may deposit any loose change they have throughout the Month of May.   They may empty their boxes into a larger class box.  The boxes will be counted and a tally will be kept.   There will be extra recesses and other prizes.  (Photo 1)

  • PARISH CUPBOARD -  The Fausey Student Council has set the high goal of 1,000 items collected on Friday!  The final count will be updated next week.

  • PIONEER VALLEY EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING - Fausey’s very deserving fifth grade teacher, Lynne Birks, was lauded at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on May 3.  She was surrounded by her family and colleagues.  Mrs. Birks is part of a very effective and caring fifth grade team.  (Photo 2)

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • May 6 - SATs at WSHS

  • May 13 - State Banner Unveiling at 10 a.m.


CTEC Awards Ceremony: Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]


Alumni

  • Meredith O’Brien ‘87, author and Northeastern University adjunct professor of journalism, recently published the book, “Mr. Clark's Big Band: A Year of Laughter, Tears and Jazz in a Middle School Band Room.”  An article about the former Republican Newspaper staffer and her new book was published in the April 26 issue of the Republican, available on this link.

  • Anthony Mountain ‘12, a senior at the U.S. Air Force Academy and a four-year manager of the Air Force Falcons Football team, attended a special event at the White House on Tuesday:  President Trump presented the team with the Commander In Chief Trophy.  Go to this link for the full story.  After he graduates on May 24, Anthony will enjoy a 60-day leave.  In July, he will begin his two-year pilot training program at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • The Staff Appreciation Luncheon was held Wednesday, May 3.  Thank you to the PTO members - many of whom are staff members - for their expert planning, terrific ideas, setup, execution of details, cleaning afterward and monetary support.  The food was AMAZING!  All staff enjoyed the opportunity to select their favorite food choice, and it was nice to have Steven Lucey attend as well!  This can’t be said enough...the Memorial staff is outstanding!

  • Mrs. Tolpa is wished the very best!  Although she will be missed terribly, Memorial will be in good hands with two new substitute administrative assistants until she returns.

  • Memorial took a break from MCAS testing this week, but testing will resume next week with Mathematics.  Students continue to work hard to show all they have learned this year.  Staff members have continued to be amazingly engaging educators and extremely flexible and supportive of schedule changes.  HUGE thanks to everyone in the “village” of Memorial School.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • On Wednesday May 3, ELL Teacher Brendan Landers was recognized as WSMS’ Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award winner.  Congratulations to Mr. Landers and thanks to all who attended the great dinner.  

  • MCAS continued this week.  Grade 7 students finalized their state testing this week with the Math MCAS.  Grade 6 Mathematics MCAS testing will commence next week.  

  • This week was National Teacher Appreciation Week.  The WSMS staff were recognized with a breakfast spread upon their arrival on Monday morning, a treat at their faculty meeting on Wednesday, and cakes on Friday afternoon.  It was a nice week of recognition for all staff at WSMS.  

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WSPS District Spotlight - April 28, 2017

posted Apr 28, 2017, 9:53 AM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - April 28, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Next week is Teacher Appreciation week.  I encourage everyone to consider one way that you can thank a West Springfield educator for what he or she does each and every day.  We have the best teachers in the world educating the best students in world who come from the best families in the world!

  • Parents/guardians are invited to join me at the Key Communicators meeting on Tuesday, May 2, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the high school (main office conference room).  The meeting is an opportunity to connect, converse and collaborate.

  • The deadline for the submission of the Partnership for Education mini-grant applications is Thursday, May 4.  Click this link for the digital application.

  • The CARE Coalition will meet on Wednesday, May 10, from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at West Springfield Public Library (Community Room, 1st floor).  The meeting is open to the public.

  • The State Champion Banner Unveiling event is planned for Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Former ABC40 Sports Director Scott Coen is the master of ceremonies.  Event organizers are seeking the community’s assistance in gathering digital photos of the State Champion and New England Champion teams for a slideshow.  Should anyone have photos of the championship teams listed above, please email the photos to suptsocialmedia@wsps.org.  Please be sure to 1) identify people in the photo, and 2) include the team name and year in the email subject line. The deadline for submitting photos is May 5.  All photos will be considered for inclusion in the slideshow; event organizers will make the final determination regarding selection of photos.  For more information, call 263-3475.  Please join us at the high school on May 13 to celebrate these teams and coaches!

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 Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • WSMS Creative Literacy students were featured in a recent issue of the Republican newspaper.  They offered suggestions and reflections in connection with Earth Day (Photo 1)

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The class of 2027 and 2028 have wrapped up a Habitat unit. Their home projects came out wonderful and parents were welcomed in and got to enjoy the projects. Along with the shadow boxes and posters, all students worked with Mrs. Florek to create a google slide to show what they have learned. Students were excited to share their knowledge with all of the visitors who came to their showcase. This showcase was the culminating activity for student teacher Valentina Shyshla’s unit. (Photo 1 - Xavier Trumbull /Owen Grady; 2 - Naomi Rodriguez)

  • Mrs. Gerardi’s first graders invited guests to a Poetry Slam that was held in the cafeteria last week.  The students created booklets filled with different types of poetry and they shared/read their poetry to guests who stopped by their station. The Poetry Slam was the culminating activity for student teacher Carolyn Donahue’s unit on poetry.  Each booklet also held some templates for creating a Bio-poem that students could create on their own or with their invited guests. (Photo 3 Olivia Kaminsky/Ava Lacienski/Nicholas Tourville; and 4 - Vinson Marion/Jada Brunelle)

  • Mittineague staff joined in the testing spirit to wish their third, fourth and fifth grade students well on their testing endeavors! The staff wore tee shirts that bore the message “Just Do Your Best!!”  (Photo 5)

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • To ease the anxiety of third graders taking the MCAS exams, “Mr. Lowe,” the principal of Diffendoofer School, read the book Hooray for Diffendoofer Day. The book is about kids learning everything they need to take an important test!

  • MCAS testing is in full swing this week - ELA finished up this week.  Math is next week!


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Registration will begin soon for ESL Summer School. The summer program will begin on Tuesday, June 27 and be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for five weeks. The ESL Summer School is open to all second languages learners who will be in kindergarten - grade 12 during the 2017-2018 school year. For additional information about the program or to apply to work as a teacher or paraprofessional in the program, please contact Colleen Marcus at marcus@wsps.org.

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Save the date: The West Springfield CARE Coalition will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Big E Firehouse on June 4, 2017.  Tickets are available at the School Department, Park and Recreation, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, and Conca Sport & Fitness.

  • National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 29 from 10:00-2:00 in the Town Hall lobby.  Drop off your unwanted, expired, and unused medications and prescriptions!

  • Please read this important Wall Street Journal article about what teens think about marijuana.


CARE pancake breakfast post.png


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

A new version of Google Earth was released last week.  The really great news about this new version is that it is designed to be used in your Chrome web browser.  In other words, it works on Chromebooks !


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1721 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 4/28/17. (+ 32 this week)

  • 1403 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 37 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn School celebrated family math night on Thursday, April 13.  The theme for the family math night was called “Welcome to math camp” and there was a camping theme throughout each of the stations.  About 30 families attended this event and the children along with their families were able to participate in a number of math games and activities. (Photo 1)

  • Ruvim Panasyuk and Ali Imad were the winners of Coburn’s sports raffle during lunch.  Students were used a Coburn coupon to enter the raffle.  A big thank you for the donation from a generous staff member.  After the students won they exclaimed, “We are the luckiest kids in the whole school!” (Photo 2)

  • Coburn School also received a generous donation from Abel Distributors.  A donation of playground equipment was made in Sandy Trepanier’s name.  The students were very excited to receive the new equipment and they will have a great deal of fun playing outside now that the weather is nice. (Photo 3)

1  IMG_0316.JPG 2  Ali and Ruvim - raffle.jpg    

3  

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Grades 3 and 5 worked very hard this week on their ELA MCAS.  We are very proud of their sustained effort!

  • The students in Ms. Lindsy and Mrs. Messier’s classes made homemade banana bread!  It was a great lesson in listening and following directions, reading a recipe, and measuring in math.  Thank you to Mrs. Messier for baking all of the breads and returning them to school for the children to taste.

  • It’s a jungle in there!  The hydroponic tree continues to grow and grow.  We are waiting patiently for the eggplant and the tomatoes.  There are many flowers that we hope will produce some fruits and vegetables.


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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Cowing is again holding a Community Screening on Friday.

  • Acceptance letters for 2017-2018 preschool slots will be mailed out by next week. Proof of income is due May 15th to the Cowing office.

  • The children in Mrs. Christofori’s room are planting marigolds in the picture below. Spring is here!

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  • The classes have been adding artwork to the front window of our school for “Week of the Young Child” and student drawings about “What they like about school” adorn the school walls.


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Please remember Kindergarten Orientation is May 18 at 6:00 in the John Ashley School Gym.  Please see/read information on the Blue Channel  (Ch. 15) and in the West Springfield Record (town paper) for Kindergarten registration. “Countdown to Kindergarten” flyers are located at various town outlets such as the Library, in the Town Hall at the School Department and Central Enrollment, Boys & Girls Club, etc.

  • May 2, 2017 - “Coffee with the Principal” - come meet 1st grade reading teachers Ms. Ann Marie Petit and Ms. Karin Kane from John R Fausey Elementary School, Ashley;s Title 1 reading teachers Aileen Lever and Janice Gould and CFCE coordinator Jennifer Brennan to discuss “Preparing for First Grade.”

  • The “Kellogg Krew” from 94.7 WMAS visited John Ashley School on April 26, 2017 and read to the students. The “Kellogg Krew” read three books to each classroom; each student received a new book and book mark.  Reading is so important and this was a way to have fun and remind students to read all summer long.

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  • Room 15 earned 30 bears (PBIS) and is celebrating with stuffed animal day.

  • Room 10 earned over 50 bears (PBIS) and are having a costume day.

  • It is all about the reading and the students of John Ashley have an incentive.  Farmer Minor is coming and bringing his pig “DaTu.’  When the students fill the above pig (and they will) with a sticker for each book read, Ms Bailer will “kiss” the pig.48787.jpg

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  • Spring has sprung is Room Mrs. Narey’s class as students become farmers and learn about life cycles and planting.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • FALCON FOCUS - Hot off the presses!  Please enjoy this month’s Falcon Focus, thanks to the hard work of Mrs. Martin’s reporters.

  • FLOOR HOCKEY -  In the Falcon Up Boys’ Championship, ‘Easy Money’ defeated the ‘Raptors’ in a very spirited and well-played game.  Both teams displayed great sportsmanship and a great attitude.  This is what the league is all about. Thank you to Mr. Harty, who shared the following sage words. (Photo 1)

      Whenever you come to the end of a season, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Did I learn and improve?

  2. Was this season fun?

  3. Was this season a good experience for me?

If the answer to each question is YES!, then you had a good season, no matter

what your record was.  

  • SCIENCE SENSORS - Mrs. Skolnick and Mrs. Santos (Gr. 3) participated in a hands-on training session during vacation.  Lessons learned will be shared with our students in the near future.  More to come!  (Photo 2)

  • CRAZY HAIR DAY!  Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier at Fausey, the students participated in a very competitive Crazy Hair Day.  (Photos 3, 4)

1 BOYS FLOOR HOCKEY.jpg  2  VERNIER.jpg


3 IMG_2305.JPG   4  IMG_7638.JPG


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:


France And Italy Trip 2017

France and Italy redirect.png


Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • The Dr. George Steele Relays will take place Saturday, April 29 from 9:00-3:00 at Clark Field.  About 25 track and field teams from western MA will be joining the WSHS Boys and Girls Track teams at this excellent event.  Go Terriers!

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.


Alumni

  • Kristin Palpini '98 has been named editor of the Valley Advocate.

  • Marisa Diaz ‘09 received her bachelor's degree in political science from Northeastern University in 2013. She has worked for the American Bar Association on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and she s currently an account manager with Best of Boston Events.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Mrs. Weldon and several fourth grade students presented at the April 25 School Committee meeting. Students created a Powerpoint presentation and they then read individual essays.  We are very proud of Anastasia, Andrew, Ben, Collin, Deonnee, Emily, Genesis, Jordyn, Om, Solmari, Mrs. Weldon, and the entire class for such dedication to their project.

  • Grade 1 students in Room 5 spent a little over a month learning about poetry elements, reading poetry from different poets, and even experimenting with writing their own poetry using rhyming words, line breaks, and repetition.  To celebrate students’ achievements, Memorial hosted a “Poetry Cafe” and invited families.  Some favorite pieces of poetry were read at the event, and there was a great turnout!

     

  • All students in P.E. worked on improving their cardiovascular fitness while achieving their rope jumping goals.  At recess many students paid Bee Bucks and entered the rope jumping endurance contest.  Now students are coordinating and creating routines highlighting their rope “tricks.”

  


  • Fifth Grade has been very busy taking their MCAS this week.

WSPS District Spotlight - April 13, 2017

posted Apr 13, 2017, 1:53 PM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 6:41 AM ]

WSPS District Spotlight - April 13, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Due to the Good Friday Holiday on April 14, the Spotlight is being posted a day early this week.  The Spotlight will not be posted during vacation week (April 17-21).  

  • An issue with the West Springfield Partnership for Education Teacher Mini-Grant online application has been corrected, and applicants should have received an email confirmation receipt.  Applicants who did not receive an email confirmation are asked to please resubmit.  Click this link for the digital application. The deadline for the submission of the mini-grant applications has been extended to Thursday, May 4, 2017.

  • Tickets for the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards banquet at The Log Cabin on May 3 may be purchased through this link by April 19.

  • The CARE Coalition will meet on Wednesday, May 10 from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at West Springfield Public Library (Community Room, 1st floor).  The meeting is open to the public.

  • Save the date - The State Champion Banner Unveiling event is planned for May 13, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Former ABC40 Sports Director Scott Coen is the master of ceremonies.  Several teams will be recognized:  Ice Hockey (1952), Boys Golf (1970), Boys Gymnastics (1980), Baseball (2005 and 2016), Boys Soccer (2013), and Girls Soccer (2014).  In an attempt to ensure that all State Champion teams are properly recognized, the Athletics Department is seeking input from the community in the event that any team that won a State Championship is not listed above.  If anyone has any additional information on a team that has won a State Championship and is not mentioned above, please contact the WSHS Athletics Department at doulette@wsps.org or 413-263-3475 no later than April 21.  Please join us at the high school on May 13 to celebrate these teams and coaches!

  • Today I visited Ashley School.  Pictured below are two senior volunteers, Joan Messer and Anne Paier, in Ms. Busiere’s class.  (Photo 1)

  • Ashley School's Casey Desposito and Kiara O'Brien are running in the Boston Marathon on Monday -- good luck!  (Photo 2)

1    2

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Fourth grade teachers were presented with certificates this week from their very appreciative principal. Their willingness to engage in an MCAS Infrastructure Trial prior to testing AND for completing their computer-based testing in ELA with such positivity and excitement was most commendable!.  The teachers had never participated in a pilot, so this was the first time that Memorial School has engaged in any type of computer-based testing. Teachers will enter into their vacation week with more technological experience. Third grade teachers have also completed their ELA MCAS testing and we look forward to the experience in fifth grade after vacation.  A heartfelt thank you and congratulations to all of the teachers for their flexibility and patience during testing; they have worked so diligently to prepare students and they are amazing and supportive colleagues!  Thanks also to Steven Lucey for his support.

  • The Grade 3, Class of 2026 attended a Springfield Symphony Orchestra performance entitled, “The Symphony Strikes Back” on Tuesday.  Students learned about the music of famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.  Students learned how famous musical scores relate to to movie and TV shows they are familiar with.  Prior to the performance, teachers utilized links provided by the symphony and students listened to different sections of the orchestra to identify woodwinds, brass, percussion, and  string instruments. Students also read the book I Know A Shy Fellow Who Swallowed A Cello.  Students truly enjoyed their first symphony experience!  Thanks to Tony DiGiore for providing this great opportunity for Memorial students.

 


  • Grade 4, Class of 2025, Social Studies students have been researching characteristics in the five regions of the United States.  In math, students worked with manipulatives to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions.

     


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Gr. 6 and Gr. 7 students completed ELA MCAS testing this week.  Each grade participated in two morning sessions of testing.  Mathematics and Science testing continue following the April Vacation.

  • Teachers have been working on examining the Workshop Model of lesson design and delivery in faculty meetings this year.  Last week, staff collaborated in groups to examine three different lessons with a focus on planning, delivery, and DOK level.  They, then, participated in discussion groups to analyze and apply what they saw.  This collaborative group work has been the ongoing focal point of each faculty meeting this year. (Photo 2)

  • Mr. Chotkowski and Luciana Alves were recognized at the Holyoke Barnes and Noble last week for Luciana’s winning essay which nominated Mr. Chotkowski as the store’s “My Favorite Teacher” winner. (Photo 1)  

1    2  

                                              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Some students from Miss Becker’s multi-aged 3/4 classroom took the initiative to bring the two multi-grade classes together and share some of their knowledge with Mrs. Canon’s class.  The students earned the time by collaborating outside of school and during recess to prepare a small group lesson. They also earned the time by meeting and exceeding Miss Becker’s classroom expectations consistently.  There were four groups: drama, two card games (one with addition and one with subtraction), and art.  All Students worked together exceptionally.  They were quiet, respectful, engaged and on task.  What a wonderful experience for our 3/4 and 1/2 classrooms!  (Photos 1-3)

  • Mrs. Penna’s fourth graders made “testing t-shirts” this week with encouraging slogans and hashtags that they all wear each testing day!  Slogans included, “You’ve got this!” or “Just Do It!” combined with hashtags such as #grit, #stamina or #werock adorned the shirts.  All the fourth graders from room 6 proudly  wore their shirts to test in each day!!  (Photos 4, 5)

  • Representatives from Eversource came to Mittineague to give a presentation on energy conservation to kick off their light bulb fundraiser.  The presenters were highly energetic and very engaging and the students had fun while learning how they can conserve energy at home. The fundraiser kick off was enjoyed by all and a great way to get everyone involved.  The fundraisers are due back to school by April 24th.  (Photo 6)


1 Canon 2.jpeg  2 Canon 3.jpeg   

3  Canon1.jpeg  4 sample MCAS shirt.jpg


5 MCAS shirts class.jpg  6 eversource.jpg



Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • On Thursday, Tatham School held their annual MATH- “EGG”- Matic egg hunt for students in grades 1-3. Students had fun solving 12 problems and finding the correct solution on an egg. The Easter Bunny made a guest appearance!

  • As part of Tatham School’s PBIS initiative, a silent auction was held this week.  Students could use their Tiger Dollars they earned to bid on over 30 items.


  


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  

  • Parent/Child Date Night: Plant Science April 25, from 5:30-6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Recommended for ages 6-8.  Come experience plant- and garden-themed science and literacy activities, and learn ways to protect our planet.  Registration required and space is limited to 12 families.

  • To register for the above Parent/Child date night, please email brennan@wsps.org or call 413-519-2511.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • On  Thursday, April 6, Alyona Nossik, Program Coordinator for the Office of Refugee and Immigration, visited the West Springfield Schools as part of the Office of Refugee and Immigration monitoring of the district's use of Refugee Student Impact funding. Alyona met with Colleen Marcus, Riki Landers and Natalya Belaya and visited ESL classrooms at Coburn School as well as the Community and Family Engagement Center, the location used for ESL Parent Classes and Citizenship Classes. Alyona left the visit saying she was inspired by the West Springfield programming designed to build relationships and provide ongoing support for our refugee and immigrant families and was going to bring back West Springfield's "creative ideas" to share with other communities. Congratulations to all ESL and SEI staff members!

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Save the date: The West Springfield CARE Coalition will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Big E Firehouse on June 4, 2017.  Watch for more info to follow in the coming weeks.

  • An event pertaining to alcohol and substance use/abuse:  Dr. Ruth Potee: The Adolescent Brain & Physiology of Addiction.  

  • National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 29 from 10:00-2:00 in the Town Hall lobby.  Drop off your unwanted, expired, and unused medications and prescriptions!


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Google has added Easter eggs into many of its products and services,They are often well hidden, so that users find it gratifying when they discover them. (Wikipedia)   For example,  typing “spinner” into the Google search bar will produce an interactive spinning wheel with a dropdown menu that lets you change the amount of numbers of the wheel.  [see it]


  • The technology team provided tech support again this week in elementary schools for MCAS ELA computer based testing .  Students, teachers, and administrators did an awesome job acclimating to the online testing process.  MCAS MATH computer based testing will begin in May.

  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1689 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 4/13/17. (+ 18 this week)

  • 1366 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 26 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Grades three and four completed their ELA MCAS this week.  Grade three students said that they were excited to take the MCAS.  Grade 4 took MCAS online and it went pretty smoothly.  The students worked hard and put forth their best effort.  

  • Coburn School held a Family Math Night on Thursday, April 13.

  • Grade 2 students in Darbie Pettengill’s and Stephanie Duggan’s classroom have been learning about habitats.  Today they  were engaged in a STEM challenge.  Students had to work together to create a structure that could withstand the winds in the Arctic.  Their structures had to have a door that opened and closed, be at least 5 inches high, and use only the materials that were given to them to complete the activity (paper plate, yarn, marshmallows, glue, popsicle sticks).  Students were engaged and worked in teams to create their structure and it was tested to see if it could withstand cold Arctic winds. (See photos below).

  • Arctic.jpg stem 2.JPG  stem.JPG

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Grades 4, 6, 7, and 8 worked very hard to complete their ELA MCAS. Grade 3 and 5 will take their ELA MCAS after vacation and Math and Science MCAS will also take place after April vacation.

  • The MS students are working with Mr. Turcotte from the WS Middle School for the last term of the school year.  Mr. Turcotte is a music teacher and a mechanic!!  So, he had an old Chevy truck brought to Cowing School and the students are learning to change tires, change the oil, and other mechanics (Photos 1-2).

  • Congratulations to Logan Bargalla and Bryan Littlefield for being awarded the Student of the Month Award for the month of March (Photos 5-6). Well done, boys!

  • Mrs. Messier’s class learned all about Eric Carle.  They read books, listened to books, watched videos, and made their own tissue paper -- just like Eric Carle did!  They are preparing for their field trip to the Eric Carle museum at the end of April (Photo 3).


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3   4  


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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Students are  learning about the water cycle this week.  They are using cotton balls, eye droppers and water to demonstrate when moisture builds up in a cloud it will rain.

  • The pictures below show everyone having fun at Cowing’s spring-themed Parent/Child Play Date.  

IMG_2652.jpg    IMG_2654.jpg

John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Mayor Reichelt visited John Ashley on Tuesday, April 12, 2017, for “Coffee with the Principal,” where Art and Music at John Ashley was discussed.  Room 14 wowed him with creative community maps of West Springfield. The Mayor expressed a desire for spending more time with the students.

  • It was wonderful to see a music lesson with song and dance presented by the students of

           rooms 8 & 16.

  • Please remember Kindergarten Orientation is May 18 at 6:00 in the John Ashley School Gym.  Please see/read information on the Blue Channel  (Ch. 15) and in the West Springfield Record (town paper) for Kindergarten registration. “Countdown to Kindergarten” flyers are located at various town outlets such as the Library, in the Town Hall at the School Department and Central Enrollment, Boys & Girls Club etc.

  • May 2, 2017 - “Coffee with the Principal” - come meet 1st grade teachers from John R Fausey Elementary School, Jennifer Brennan, and discuss “Preparing for First Grade.”


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • PETE THE CAT ~ It was a rainy Thursday, but the Fausey first graders nevertheless enjoyed their field trip to the Springfield Symphony’s theatrical production of Pete the Cat, based on the books by James and Kimberly Dean.  Pete is a rock and roll cat who helps a young boy named Jimmy to relax and open up his creative mind.  The bus ride was fun too!!  (Photos 1-3)

  • CLASSICAL MUSIC, EDUCATION AND FUN ~ The third graders attended the Springfield Symphony, for the annual ‘Classical Music, Education and Fun!”  The teachers shared that the reaction from the students was even more enthusiastic than usual.  They thoroughly immersed themselves in the music!

  • FLOOR HOCKEY -  The 27th annual Fifth Grade Fausey  Floor Hockey League is concluding this week. In the girls division, The Pucks of Fury defeated The Sticks of Fire in a spirited , hard-fought Falcon Cup championship game.  Fifty-eight ( 58) students participated in this intramural after school program which runs from January to April.  The league is open to any grade 5 student and emphasizes learning the basics of floor hockey as well as promoting good sportsmanship and team play....and most of all that playing on a team should be fun!  The boys final will be Easy Money vs The Ogres.  (Photo 4)

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image7.jpeg   IMG_0474.JPG


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.

WSPS District Spotlight - April 7, 2017

posted Apr 7, 2017, 1:36 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - April 7, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Next week’s Spotlight will be posted on Thursday, April 13, due to the Good Friday Holiday on April 14.  The Spotlight will not be posted during vacation week (April 17-21).  

  • The Partnership for Education is accepting teacher mini-grant applications for the 17-18 academic year.  The mini-grants are awarded to educators who propose creative and innovative programs that enrich the educational experience, and the deadline is April 25.  Click this link for the digital application.

  • Tickets for the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards banquet at The Log Cabin on May 3 may be purchased through this link by April 19.

  • The CARE Coalition will meet on Wednesday, May 10 from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at West Springfield Public Library (Community Room, 1st floor).  The meeting is open to the public.

  • Save the date - WSHS State Champion Banner Unveiling event on May 13, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. will recognize the following teams:  Ice Hockey (1952), Boys Gymnastics (1980), Baseball (2005 and 2016), Boys Soccer (2013), and Girls Soccer (2014). Former ABC40 Sports Director Scott Coen is the master of ceremonies.  Please join us at the high school on May 13 to celebrate these teams and coaches!

  • The opening reception for “New Visions” collaborative art exhibit at UMass Amherst Herter Gallery was held on April 2.  Several works by WSPS students and teachers are featured in the exhibit (pictured below) which is open daily (except Saturday) from 11:00-4:00 through April 10.




Alumni News

Please share news of alumni with us!  Email mountain@wsps.org and include the following information:  name, year of WSHS graduation, current job/accomplishment/update.  Thank you!

  • Brendan Monahan ‘06 is manager of media relations at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  He previously served as manager of public affairs at Baystate Health, and he began his career as a television news reporter with ABC40.  Brendan is a 2010 graduate of Fairfield University.  


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Last week, Memorial School celebrated the Playground Grand Opening!  Check out the MassLive article and photos on this link.  All Memorial students stretched across the beautiful new equipment to listen to essay excerpts from peers in all grade levels.  Prior to the event, all Memorial children wrote about the positive impact of their new playground and what it meant to them on a personal level.  It was a pleasure to hear their words of praise and their delightful comments about the exciting and improved choices they now have for fitness and fun.  

  • From an academic perspective, students observed mathematics and science during the stages of demolition and construction.  Students were able to discuss and observe the flexibility of materials, energy transfer, texture, force and measurement - all components of our curriculum. Mrs. Calabrese wishes to thank Vicky Connor of the Park and Rec Department, Scott Moore, Mauro DiClementi, Mayor Reichelt, Superintendent Richard, School Committee members Dr. Jose Irizarry and Kathy Alevras, West Side DPW, Grounds and Central Maintenance crews, and all of the Memorial staff for their assistance in making this a positive experience throughout the various stages of demolition and completion.




  • Miss Bunnell recently finished her practicum in Grade 2,Room 7. The students really enjoyed having her in class this year. They made her many cards and gifts, including a book titled, “Reasons We Love Miss Bunnell” (Gabriel P. is seen below posing for his page of the book). They look forward to a visit from her later this year.

Ourcam1490702375.jpg   20170327_111359.jpg

  • Grade 4 students have been learning a new fraction game with Mrs. Metallo called Fraction Formula. Students were naming equivalents and adding fractions with unlike denominators. They were having fun and utilizing the stage as a new setting to spread out!  Grade 4 students have also been adapting smoothly during computer-based MCAS testing.  We are very proud of their work ethic and we’re certain it will continue as we resume testing next week! We also thank Steven Lucey and Suzanne Santoni for their support.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • MCAS testing began this week.  Grade 8 students took the computer based ELA test this week.  Next week, Grade 6 and 7 students will take their paper-based ELA exams.  

  • Students recognized Autism Awareness this week by selling blue ribbons at lunches.  This activity was student-led and was embraced by staff and students throughout the building.  

  • Grade 8 Modern World teacher, Mike Chotkowski, was recognized by Barnes and Noble at WSMS’ faculty meeting last Wednesday.  Grade 8 grade student Luciana Alves’ essay (written in Mrs. Favolise’s class) about Mr. Chotkowski was selected as the regional winner.  Both Luciana and Mr. Chotkowski will be recognized on Saturday, April 8 at 11:00 a.m., at the Holyoke Barnes and Noble store.   

                                              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The students from Miss Becker and Mrs. Penna’s class of 2025, spent some time Thursday morning “teaching” the teachers how to use the testing tools from the ELA online test.  The students went through the online ELA practice test with non-classroom teachers who will be proctoring the test, instructing and modeling for them “how to” take the test. Mrs. LaBonte, Miss Balboni, Mrs. McKenney and Mrs. Lancour all participated in this student-driven event!  They even shared the testing tool pamphlets that they made to help the teachers better understand how to use them effectively!

  • Laura Bowler, school nurse extraordinaire, created an anti-test anxiety bulletin board in her office with tips to make the testing experience less stressful for everyone!  Tips like take deep breaths, get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast and be confident are just some of the bits of sage advice that she shared.  Fourth graders begin the state testing next week with the new online platform! (Photo 1)

  • Five handprints were awarded this week at Mittineague School. The students were recognized for kind and thoughtful behavior, being a peacemaker with friends inside school as well as on the playground, and also for helping a younger student in distress.  These students took home a certificate as well as a picture of their handprint on the wall.  Malyn Sayward was the first 1st grader who received a handprint this year. So proud of all of them!!  Recipients were: Lilyana Borelli, Jaisyn Faser, Samantha Grimaldi, Collin Houle, and Malyn Sayward #mittineaguepride (Photos 2-6)

1  test bb.jpg  2 lilyana.jpg 3 jaisyn.jpg   

4 samanthag.jpg5  collin.jpg 6  malyn.jpg


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Fourth grade students will be taking computer-based MCAS beginning next week.  They are ready!

  • The Student Council recently held a Penny Drive to raise money for Shriners’ Hospital. Tatham raised $800.  Tatham also collect aluminum tabs throughout the year to support this local hospital!

  • The Tower garden is flourishing with the help of the fifth graders!

  • This week, Tatham welcomed Karen Cree, an interim adjustment counselor. She will be at Tatham until the end of the school year!




 










Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment  [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • Role Playing and SEL

  • The testing season has begun here in West Springfield. Grades 4 and 8 have started their online testing. We want to recognize our IT team for their support during a heavily involved implementation process.


Community and Family Engagement [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup is at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Monday,  Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome.

  • Parent ESL Classes are at the Merrick Station Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  Childcare is available.

  • Parent/Child Date Night: Plant Science April 25, from 5:30-6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Recommended for ages 6-8.  Come experience plant- and garden-themed science and literacy activities, and learn ways to protect our planet.  Registration required and space is limited to 12 families.

  • To register for the above Parent/Child date night, please email brennan@wsps.org or call 413-519-2511.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • There were 35 parents who attended the second class of the ESL parent US History and State and Federal Government class (Citizenship) this week!  A special thank you to the instructor, high school ESL and history teacher Michael Beecher, for going above and beyond in his support of the district’s ESL students and families.

Special Services

  • In this first week as Director of Special Services, Kathryn Mahony has experienced a whirlwind of activity. She has had the opportunity to visit all of the schools where she met all of our dedicated administrators and very talented educators.  Ms. Mahony commented that it was great fun to see all of the students so engaged and excited to share what they were working on. (Photo - l to r:  Mrs. Aubin, Ms. Mahoney, Mrs. Bedard)

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


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Fixing WSPS Staff Printing Problems:   If your Chromebook is having problems with printing to WSPS printers/copiers,  make sure that:

  1. Your Chromebook is turned on and connected to the internet

  2. You are signed in to your WSPS Google Account.  If you have logged in with a personal GMail account,  you may not be able to print.


  • From a technical perspective, MCAS Computer Based Testing (CBT) went smoothly at West Springfield Middle School, Fausey School, and Memorial School this week.  From a less technical viewpoint,  the students in these schools are commended for their diligence as they worked their way through each session of the computer based test!

  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1671 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 4/7/17. (+ 44 this week)

  • 1340 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 27 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn has some new arrivals in grade 5!  Each of the fifth grade classrooms hatched chicks through the 4-H embryology program. It was a successful year, with a record breaking thirteen per classroom! Throughout the incubation process, the students learned about chick development, instincts vs. learned behaviors, and adaptations.  The students have been very excited to watch the chicks develop and grow each day.  (Photos 1 - 2)

  • MCAS testing kicked off this week with an assembly for grades 3-5.  Talking points included the importance of perseverance, using testing strategies and putting forth the best effort on MCAS.  Grades 3 and 5 are testing this week and the teachers have reported that students have been working hard during each session.  

  • Meaningful and wonderful relationships are being forged at Coburn School between students and the Seniors from the Bridges Program.  One volunteer, Susan Barone, went above and beyond in supporting our students here at Coburn.  During  one of the Bridges sessions, Susan noticed that a student’s glasses were broken, and because of this, the student was having difficulty seeing her work in school.  Susan took it upon herself to help out and pay for new glasses for this student.  As you can see, this student is very happy with her new glasses!  Coburn is fortunate to have such wonderful volunteers in our Bridges program -- they truly care about all of the students!  (Photo 3)

  • chicks.jpg chicks 2.jpg SusanPrashna6c.jpg



Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Thank you very much to CAS paraprofessional, Ms. Danielle Citarella, for contacting Dakin Animal Shelter.  Luca and Ms.Ellen Duffy came to visit CAS students and staff on Friday, March 31.  Students learned all about the special things that Dakin does for all sorts of animals.

  • The CAS staff dressed in blue on Monday, April 3 in support of Autism Awareness Month.


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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Kathleen Bailer and Jen Brennan hosted a Kindergarten Readiness Parent Cafe at Cowing School on Tuesday.  Approximately 30 parents and 28 children who will be attending Kindergarten at Coburn or John Ashley in the fall, came to learn what skills are needed for Kindergarten.  Snacks and childcare were provided.  Thank you to Liz Gavioli, Sue Narey, and Maura Ricardi for presenting, and Natayla Belaya and Ban Abdulnoor for translating.

  • Cowing also hosted a Parent/Child play date this week.  The theme of the play date was Spring.

  • Everyone at Cowing School wore blue on Monday, April 3, in support of Autism Awareness month.


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Berkshire Hills Music Academy located in South Hadley came to John Ashley School and gave an unbelievable performance.  Berkshire Hills Music Academy is a day and residential school for special needs adults with a wide range of disabilities that have an unbelievable love of music.  Music connects them to the world.

  • Ashley hosted the second annual Family Math Night on Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 5:30-6:30.  Super Heroes was the theme and fun was had by all.

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  • Mayor Reichelt visited John Ashley School today to read to the children in Mrs. Vedovelli’s class.

  • John Ashley is getting ready for Kindergarten Orientation - May 18, 2017 at 6:00 at John Ashley School.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • APPLIED ACADEMICS SOCIAL ~ Applied Academics (AA) is a substantially separate classroom for students with severe special needs. The primary focus of Applied Academics is to give children with substantial disabilities access to the general education curriculum at their own individual skill levels.

Mrs. Lubas, AA teacher, and the first grade teachers have coordinated a monthly Applied Academics Social!  First graders are enjoying free time with Fausey’s AA K-2 students.  The children spend 15-30 minutes participating in social activities such as: board games, building blocks, music and dancing!  Mrs. Radon’s first grade class is shown in the pictures below, with the first graders and AA students sharing the common joy of free play!  (Photos 1-3)

  • FAUSEY CHORUS AT SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDS ~ Mr. Harty led an enthusiastic Chorus of 30 Fausey students and one Memorial School student on Friday, March 31st.  They performed a memorable rendition of the National Anthem at the Thunderbirds’ hockey game!  Many Fausey families were present to support this great group of students.  (Photo 4)

  • UMASS ART EXHIBITION ~ Mrs. Green exhibited Fausey students’ artwork at the Art Exhibition at UMASS Herter Hall.  The opening reception was held on Sunday, April 2, from 2-4 p.m. for students, parents, teachers and friends.  The students’ work will continue to be displayed from 11-4 daily (except Saturday) through April 10.  Artist Ally Lavelli, Gr. 5, is shown along with Mrs. Green.  (Photos 5-6)

1  RM 10 SOCIAL.jpg  2  ROOM 10 SOCIAL - BLOCKS.jpg

3  ROOM 10 SOCIAL RINGS.jpg   4  IMG_2396-cropped.jpg


5  ALLY LAVELLI.JPG  6  IMG_0982.JPG



High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

  • April 10 - 13 MVP Week at WSHS


Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Wrestler Josh Bergeron ‘17 will represent Massachusetts in the MA High School vs. New England Prep School All-Star meet on April 9.

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

  • Please follow @wshsterriers on Twitter for daily WSHS Athletics updates of scores and highlights.



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