District Spotlight - January 13, 2017

posted Jan 13, 2017, 12:09 PM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • On Monday, January 16, 2017, the district will be closed to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Let us pause and think about the impact this activist had on our country.  

“The time is always right to do what is right” ~ MLK   

  • The School Department is pleased to introduce the One Community public service announcement!  Take a look on this link -- and feel free to share.  Thank you to all of the collaborators on this awesome project!  We Are One!

  • Community input needed!  Please complete a brief, important survey (on this link) for the CARE Coalition by February 1!  The data collected from the survey will drive programming to help combat substance use and abuse.  Thank you!

  • National Drug Facts Week is January 23-27, 2017.  Many activities are taking place at the high school and middle school in conjunction with this important program!  A ‘WSHS Morning Show’ segment was filmed earlier this week, in which students promoted National Drug Facts Week and all of the activities happening on January 26 at the CARE Coalition event (photo below).  

  • January 26, 2017 - CARE Coalition, Park & Recreation, and the Lions Club present a Free Community Event at West Springfield High School.  Highlights include a pasta dinner (5:45-6:30), “The Secret Lives of Teens” with parenting expert/mental health counselor Jon Mattleman (6:30-8:00), and supervised activities for youth/teens while adults attend the Jon Mattleman presentation.  Supervised activities include activities/homework help (6:30-8:00), The Secret Lives of Pets movie (6:30-8:00), and open swim/pool games (ages 7 and older) (7:00-8:00).  Attendees at the Jon Mattleman presentation will be eligible to win a great door prize -- a large flat screen TV (donated by Ormsby Insurance/Toomey O’Brien/Costco)!  Check out this article from MassLive for more info.

  • The West Springfield Partnership for Education Annual Trivia Night is February 15, 2017 at the Dante Club, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Register your team of up to five (5) people soon - space is limited!  Details are available on this link.   

     

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Morning Show host Chase Dion with (l to r) Sam Darkwa, Emma Bowler, and Richard Darkwa.

                                                     

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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The District continues to prepare for the new Next generation MCAS. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be providing all districts a practice test that will be provided to the appropriate grade level teachers in preparation for the test. Mass. DESE Next Generation MCAS Test Information

        

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ACCESS testing for ELL students in grades K-12 will continue through February 8.

  • Parent ESL classes are being held on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00 - 4:30 and Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30 - 12:00.  The classes meet at the Community and Family Engagement Office at 389 Main Street.  Neither rain, nor snow or extreme cold cannot keep these parents and grandparents from attending their classes which are taught by Natalya Belaya, the Family Liaison, and Ban Abdulnoor, an ESL translator and paraprofessional.




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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • In conjunction with the WS CARE Coalition, West Springfield High School SAFE Team and WS Middle School Guidance Team, Health Services is planning for the January 26, 2017 evening parent education event and many school activities for awareness during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week at the middle and high schools from January 23-27.



Information Technology


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  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1164 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 1/13/17  ( + 52 this week)

  • 846 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 17 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Tom McCabe has started to work with students in grades K-2 at Coburn School.  His focus has been on writing and vocabulary development in creating stories.  The students brainstorm lists of rich ideas and vocabulary and they will begin to develop their stories over the next three weeks.  This has been made possible through the Massachusetts Cultural Council STARS Grant.  Tom McCabe’s time at Coburn will culminate with a family night in the spring!  (Photo below).

  • Mobile Dentist was at Coburn School to provide a number of services to students.  Some of the services provided include sealants, cleanings, and fillings.  A total of 46 students were able to be seen through the Mobile Dentist program.  Thank you to Mrs. Draghetti for coordinating this for Coburn School.

  • Teachers at Coburn School participated in a Curriculum Day on Thursday.  Grades K-2 focused on embedding AVMR into their upcoming math lessons.  Grades 3-5 participated in a Dreambox Webinar to look at student data reports.

  • ACCESS testing is underway at Coburn School.  The teachers have been testing students in grades K-5.


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Ashley School

  • Coffee with the Principal is happening January 24, 2017 from 8:45-9:15 a.m. at Ashley.  This month, math will be the topic - math coach Mrs. Laura Gorodisher and Mrs. Paige Jacobs will be presenting.  


Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Great things are happening in the middle school classrooms.  In Social Studies, the students have been studying about the Nile River.  They researched interesting facts and then prepared a Google Slide presentation and presented their project to all of the students and staff. (Photos below)

  • The “specials” classes are going very well!  Mrs. O’Connor has cooked some yummy meals in the middle school classrooms.  Music, art and technology classes in the elementary classes are so fun!!

  • Ms. Lindsy and Mrs. Messier’s classes wrote a book that has been sent out to be published.  Cowing Alternative School is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their books!

   

Cowing Early Childhood

  • Ms. Maloney’s class is talking about winter. The children are ice fishing, dressing up for winter and making a snowman.

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  • Next Friday the fourth Community Screening of this school year will take place.  Cowing EC looks forward to meeting some new three and four year old children from our town.  The screening involves a brief check on the child’s developmental skills, as well as a vision and hearing screening.

  • Mrs. Trznadel has a new igloo in her class. Winter seems to be a popular theme this week!  Her students are also ice fishing.

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • School Committee  Grade 3 students and teachers from Room 11 presented to the School Committee on January 11.  Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Wilson were joined by their students Nahla Williams, Maeve Turmel, Jonathan Figueroa and Haya Farhan.  The students did a great job speaking about DreamBox math software, which helps them to learn and practice their math skills.  (Photos below)

  • Mrs. Petit’s Graduates!  With Mrs. Petit’s support, Ahmed A and Thomas M are the most recent reading pros who will no longer need guidance.  Ahmed is really excited about learning and is a perfectionist.  Thomas’s plans for the future includes the presidency!  (Photos below)

  • Full STEAM ahead!  Mrs. DeMagistris’ grade 2 students used the steps of the Engineering Design Process to solve a problem using a robot.  Groups of students decided which everyday problem to focus on, such as washing dishes and picking up trash.  The most popular ‘problem’, however, was doing homework!  The prototype they then designed and constructed was a robot made from recyclables such as plastic bottles, egg cartons and paper tubes.  (Photos below)

  • Writing about Art  It’s not unusual for Mrs. Green’s artists to reflect on their own (or others’) art through writing, reading and discussion. Whether it’s reflection or critique, the students are well-versed!  Fourth grader Michael Zubik exemplifies this through his interesting work of art, which is complemented by an imaginative story about a Lexus in space!  (Photo below)

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Mrs. Petit’s Graduates:  Ahmad A and Thomas M

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Full STEAM Ahead!  Nafisah Alao, Audrey Bunnell, Benjamin Pack, Ryan Maguire

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Alivia Boyd, Christopher Morales and Chase Seymour       Writing about Art:  Michael Zubik   


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • ACCESS testing continues

  • January 10 - HCC Instant Decision Day

Upcoming:

  • January 17-20 - Midterm Exams

  • January 23-27 - National Drug Facts Week; National Drug Chat Day (January 26)

  • January 25 - Scholarship Fair (5:00) & College Planning Night (6:00)


Department Notes:  (click this link)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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


Alumni News

  • Jessica Lollio ‘08 is a PTA at Wingate.

  • Matt Miles ‘12 graduated from Bentley University and works at Wells Fargo Securities.

  • Ben Sawicki ‘12 graduated from Bryant University and started BaS Marketing.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Session II of the ASP program began last week with great success. One group, Literature Arts and Crafts, incorporates students from grades 1-5.  In this group, a different theme is explored every week.  Students read two related stories, they make a healthy snack that corresponds with the story theme, and finally, they create a craft . The group read books about the new year and they created fruit kabobs that resembled fireworks.  Lastly, students used artistic license to create the year 2017 using different media.  Each week, after the books are read, students engage in learning conversations about the theme, characters and general plot.

  • Class of 2028, Grade 1 students began writing friendly letters to Walt Disney World. They are learning how to organize, edit, revise and mail their letters.

  • Class of 2027, Grade 2 students have been writing persuasive letters to parents. They are also finishing the geometry unit where they have been exploring plane shapes and solid figures, and their attributes.

  • Class of 2026, Grade 3 students are studying biographies. The unit commenced with an interactive read aloud.  Additionally, students have been working on related project based activities such as henna hands a traditional art form of Pakistan.

  • In physical science, Class of 2025, Grade 4 students have been studying how energy is transferred by completing an experiment where they saw how energy from sound waves could cause vibrations of salt grains. Students discovered that the more energy they put into their voice level, the more energy was transferred to the salt grains, causing more movement.  After selecting and reading informational texts, students have been working in “expert groups” to create presentations for their classmates.

  • Class of 2024, Grade 5 students have been finalizing their research on explorers and will be presenting their “Hero or Not” projects to their peers.

  • Math students in Room 6 have been applying their single digit multiplication skills to uncover a hidden image.  

  • Art students in grade 1 have been learning about symmetry and asymmetry.  Grade 2 has been learning about visual and actual texture.  Grade 3 has been learning about radial symmetry.  Grade 4 has been learning about making patterns inspired by Kente cloth.  Grade 5 has been learning about making their work look 3D by using a cross-contour line technique.

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • This week, Ms. St. Jean from TDBank came to work with Grade 8 Math Exploration students on financial literacy and math in finance activities.  This is her second visit to WSMS with this class!

  • The full faculty and the WSMS Crisis team reviewed the full evacuation and reunification procedures.  This comprehensive plan was refined following the district’s tabletop sessions with WSPD and WSFD.

  • The WSMS data team took part in its initial training with Mr. Connor using the data wise program.  This 10 member data team will be responsible for data analysis and communication.

  • Members of the WSMS administration and math department participated in a conference call with state officials regarding changes to the math curriculum on Thursday.  A similar call regarding ELA is scheduled for later this month.

  • ACCESS Testing and second Benchmark assessments in Math, ELA, and Social Studies are scheduled to begin next week.

  • The WSHS Pathways to Prosperity program will meet with Gr. 8 students in Math classes to share information with all students about the program and its offering.  This will occur next Friday.

  • Term 2 closes next Friday.  Students will be issued term 3 schedules in homeroom on Monday, January 23, 2017.  

              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Leanne Becker’s students started reading an article a day to create a class “Book of Knowledge” on the Chromebooks after the start of the new year.  The students read up to 6 articles over the course of the week and respond to their reading via google classroom.  The umbrella topic for all six articles was “animals.”  After all articles had been read, they gathered together as a class to share everyone’s thoughts compiled in their “Book of Knowledge” of animals.  (Photo 1)

  • Kristen Shypula’s Class of 2027 students were immersed in their lesson “Do Now” as the students were challenged to take a “sticky,” draw a hexagon and use three lines to separate it into a different shape. Their next direction was to stick, sit, and review!  (Photos 2 - Miss Shypula, 3 - Cassady Joseph and Sarhea Johnston)

  • Julie Penna’s students from the class of 2025 were working on the floor in groups to respond to the challenge to create a number line that would show fractions.  Their first task was to create a number line that would show eighths, and then quarters and halves showcasing the equivalent fractions.  As the students worked through the task, they employed a variety of different strategies to be sure that their number lines were true representations.  As groups started to finish, they were tasked with a new challenge, to create a number line showing fifths and to draw a comparison between the two number lines noting similarities and differences. (Photos 4 - Matt Davis, Isaac Pearsons, Elinore Inacio, Androula Bitzas, and 5 - Kyan Jacobsen, Kyaleigh Connor, Nevaeh Pagan, Led Hajrizi)

  • The students from room 5 and room 4 (class of 2024) welcomed their teacher, Mrs. Jaime Ranstrom, back from her maternity leave by teaching her all about the Tower Garden as they start to plant seeds to begin the next round!. They are all excited to get back into the swing of things with her!


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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • The first graders are building forward/backward number sense with an AVMR activity.  Students pick a number and count backwards to find the correct position to place down the card.

  • On Monday, Meteorologist, Jacob Wycoff from News 40 visited our third graders to talk to them about weather and climate.  

  • During the month of January, students can use their Tatham dollars to purchase Math Bingo Cards. Each morning we announce three math clues.  Students use the clues to see if they have the number on their card.  This is a popular activity that keeps PBIS going strong!  Rilie Kopie a first grader was the school’s first winner!

         



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

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

  • Kick Off for the new Friday Playgroup will be January 20 from 10:30-11:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club!  Stop by for music, movement and play!  Free.  Snack included.

  • Thursday, January 19, from 6-7pm at the West Springfield Public Library Parent Cafe:  “No I Won’t and You Won’t Make Me!”  Come hear guest speaker and parent expert Peggy Hoime from Cooperative Kids of Agawam share easy, sanity saving tips to get you through the toughest parenting challenges.  Free. Registration not required.  No formal childcare available.

  • Parent/Child Date Day in the Park is Wednesday, January 25 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 389 Main Street/ Main Street Park for ages 2-5. Come join us for fun science snow activities and a storytime.  No snow?  No problem!  Hot chocolate will still be served, and there will be lots of indoor/outdoor fun. Registration required because space is limited.

  • Parent ESL Classes are up and running at the Merrick Station.  Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30-12pm and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:30.  Child care is available.

  • Now during the month of January, Community and Family Engagement will be sponsoring a children’s book drive to kick off the Read 15 campaign.  Drop boxes for new or gently used children’s books will be located in the main offices of the all of the West Springfield elementary schools, Ashley and Cowing.  Books will be donated to families in need to support the Read 15 initiative, encouraging families to read aloud to their children 15 minutes a day.  Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Jen Brennan, Community and Family Engagement Coordinator at 413-519-2511 or email brennan@wsps.org.


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District Spotlight - January 6, 2017

posted Jan 6, 2017, 1:19 PM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • The School Committee will meet January 10, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building auditorium (2nd floor).

  • The indoor track at the high school is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 a.m.  Please note that the track will not be open when school is not in session.  Visit wsps.org for more info.

  • SAVE THE DATE: January 26, 2017 - CARE/Park & Recreation/Lions Club collaborate to present a free community event at West Springfield High School.  Highlights include pasta dinner (5:45), “The Secret Lives of Teens” with parenting expert/mental health counselor Jon Mattleman (6:30), and supervised activities for youth/teens while adults attend the Jon Mattleman presentation.  Supervised activities include activities/homework help (6:30-8:00), movie night - The Secret Lives of Pets (6:30-8:00), and open swim/pool games (ages 7 and older) (7:00-8:00).  Attendees at the Jon Mattleman presentation will be eligible to win a great door prize -- a large flat screen TV (donated by Ormsby Insurance/Toomey O’Brien/Costco)!  Check out this article from Mass Live for more info.

    

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

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

  • Kick Off for the new Friday Playgroup will be January 20 from 10:30-11:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club!  Stop by for music, movement and play!  Free.  Snack included.

  • Thursday, January 19, from 6-7pm at the West Springfield Public Library Parent Cafe:  “No I Won’t and You Won’t Make Me!”  Come hear guest speaker and parent expert Peggy Hoime from Cooperative Kids of Agawam share easy, sanity saving tips to get you through the toughest parenting challenges.  Free. Registration not required.  No formal childcare available.

  • Parent/Child Date Day in the Park is Wednesday, January 25 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 389 Main Street/ Main Street Park for ages 2-5. Come join us for fun science snow activities and a storytime.  No snow? No problem!  Hot chocolate will still be served, and there will be lots of indoor/outdoor fun. Registration required because space is limited.

  • Parent ESL Classes are up and running at the Merrick Station.  Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30-12pm and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:30.  Child care is available.

  • Now during the month of January, Community and Family Engagement will be sponsoring a children’s book drive to kick off the Read 15 campaign.  Drop boxes for new or gently used children’s books will be located in the main offices of the all of the West Springfield elementary schools. Books will be donated to families in need to support the Read 15 initiative, encouraging families to read aloud to their children 15 minutes a day.  Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Jen Brennan, Community and Family Engagement Coordinator at 413-519-2511 or email brennan@wsps.org.


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Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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Every school in the District will have developed and been trained in the Data Wise Model. This model will allow for common reflection and language as we review student data for to identify areas of success and improvement.

        

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • All English Language Learner (ELL) students in grades K-12 are participating in ACCESS testing beginning January 5.  ACCESS tests fulfill the federate and state laws which require that ELL students be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in each of the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  

  • The tasks on the assessment will assess the language students need to process or produce in various school contexts.  Each assessment item and task will target at least one of the five WIDA English Language Development Standards:

  • Social and Instructional Language

  • Language of Language Arts

  • Language of Mathematics

  • Language of Science

  • Language of Social Studies


All kindergarten ELL students are tested individually and the speaking test for students in grades 1-2 is also administered to each student individually.  The testing window runs through February 8.

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • In conjunction with the WS CARE Coalition and West Springfield High School SAFE Team, Health Services is planning for the January 26, 2017 evening parent education event and National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week at the high school from January 23-27.


Information Technology


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Setting a timer:  Did you know that  you can set the timer option on Google and continue your work in another tab ?  When your time is up, the Google Timer will sound off.  Just type “timer” in the address bar and go from there.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1,112 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 1/6/17  ( + 95 this week)

  • 829 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 39 this week)

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Just as the year came to a close in 2016, Coburn School ended the year with a beautiful winter concert directed by music teachers Mrs. Meghan Morgan and Mr. Jeremy Milligan.  A big thank you to everyone who helped to decorate, prepare costumes for the students and helped the students practice their songs. (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Students from grade 3 walked over to the West Springfield library to learn all about the library and what it has to offer.  Thank you to Mrs. Minnette, our school librarian for coordinating these walking field trips for our students!  (Photo 3)

  • Dan Brown from Channel 40 visited the grade 2 students and talk about the weather.  The students were excited to hear and learn from a local meteorologist.  (Photo 4)

  • Coburn students attended an assembly on Thursday with Tom McCabe.  Mr. McCabe is a Parent’s Choice Award winning storyteller and educator.  Mr, McCabe will be working with the students and teachers at Coburn School on storytelling and developing student’s writing of stories in grades K-2. (Photos 5 and 6)

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Ashley School

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  • Ashley School ended 2016 with a wonderful winter concert and a visit from Santa played by Mayor Reichelt. Thank you Mayor Reichelt!


Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • CAS students in 4th and 5th grade joined the Coburn Band in the December concert.  They did a fabulous job!!

  • School is in full swing!  Mrs. Aubin is officially back full time.  

  • All of the CAS classrooms now have the opportunity to visit the new West Springfield Public library weekly.  The students enjoy having the library across the street.  Parents -- if you’d like your child to have their own library card, please let the Cowing Alternative School staff know.

     

Cowing Early Childhood

  • As part of a science lesson, Mrs. Leonard’s class hung bird feeders to be kind to the birds that don’t migrate during the winter.

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  • Mrs. Kania’s class created a Winter Senses Book (ie: “I see snowflakes,” “I smell gingerbread”).

  • Ms. Maloney”s class decorated their hall beautifully, as always, with snowflakes and snowmen.



Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Barnes & Noble - Red Robin  Fausey School PTO held a stellar event at Barnes & Noble and Red Robin last month.  There was a large turnout in spite of frigid weather conditions.  Thanks to all volunteers who made the night a success!  

  • At Barnes & Noble, Mayor Reichelt started the festivities by reading to a group of children.  The Fausey band was then joined by some Tatham band members to perform to an appreciative audience. (Photo below) Volunteers staffed the gift-wrapping table while the students made beautiful gift tags at the craft table.  After shopping, many Fausey families dined at Red Robin.  Along with dinner, there were beautiful gift baskets being raffled off to benefit the school.  Among others, there was a movie basket, a baking basket and ‘Good Morning’ basket.  A favorite of the children was a Rubik’s Cube basket!  All baskets were donated by staff.

  • Student Council & Boys and Girls Club  The members of the Student Council worked with the Boys and Girls after school program to make holiday greeting cards.  They were able to make 30 cards that were delivered to very appreciative recipients at the Senior Center.

  • Fausey Santa Project The annual tradition of delivering presents to Fausey families continued this year.  The school’s own ‘Santa’ carefully selected gifts for each child, and his ‘elves’ wrapped and delivered the gifts to 15 families.

  • First Grade Holiday Celebrations  Fausey first graders welcomed their parents in December through Author’s Theaters and presentations of holiday songs from around the world.  See pictures below.

  • December Awards  Mrs. Morneau handed out December Academic & Citizenship Awards to very noteworthy students!  (Photo below)

  • Do You Want to Build a Snowman?  The ever-crafty students in Mrs. Lubas’ class built a ‘snowman’ with cornstarch and lotion.   (Photo below)

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 Barnes & Noble:  Band First Grade Holidays

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  First Grade Holidays December Awards


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December Awards


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Build a Snowman!

           

High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • December 19 - Key Club sponsored HS Red Cross Blood Drive

  • December 20 - The Morning Show

  • December 21 - Arts, Media & Communications Career Panel

  • December 23 - HS Band Performance

Upcoming:

  • December 13 - Winter Formal


Socksmas Update: Department Notes:

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Winter Sports Season is well underway with teams performing well on and off the field.  Over the vacation break Boys and Girls Basketball hosted the Connecticut River Classic.  Schools represented in the tournament include: Longmeadow, Chicopee High, and Chicopee Comp.  The Boys lost to Longmeadow in the Championship and the Girls beat Chicopee High in the consolation game.  Ice Hockey took part in the Holiday Classic losing their opener and finishing strong by beating Taconic in the consolation game.

  • Our Swimming and Indoor track teams are atop their division currently.  Student Ambassadors (Joey Paier, Erin Gladu, and Haley Dover) will be heading to the MIAA Headquarters in Franklin, MA to work with ambassadors across the state.  One of the goals of the Student Ambassador program is to give back to area communities through community service.  Speaking of Community Service, the Girls Basketball program over the Holiday break served breakfast at Our Friends of the Homeless Soup kitchen (see photo) and sang Holiday music at an area Nursing home.  Keep up the good work.

           


  • “Life of an Athlete” slideshow -- this link.

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page


Alumni News

  • Nicole Palange, ‘08 is Vice President of V&F Auto in Agawam and the cheerleading coach at West Springfield High School.

  • Stephanie Palange, ‘11, is a Registered Nurse at Mercy Medical Center.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Prior to the December vacation, the After-School Program occurred.  Students and their families enjoyed sign language, robotics demonstration, Reader’s Theater and a display of student artwork.  

  • Class of 2028, Grade 1 have been practicing opinion writing and Folktales & Fables.

  • Class of 2027, Grade 2 students are learning about geometry in math. They are exploring many features of solid figures. They also reviewed the concept of erosion with an experiment in which they discussed where sand comes from.

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  • Class of 2026, Grade 3 students are “experimenting with endings” in writing workshop as well as circular and surprise endings in a variety of mentor texts.

  • Class of 2025, Grade 4 students have been working on division resulting in quotients with remainders and discussing what the remainder means within different real life word problems.

  • Class of 2024, Grade 5 students presented a poetry-themed Reader’s Theater during a whole school assembly.  Additionally, many students spoke in their native languages as they wished everyone “Happy Holidays” and a “Happy New Year.”  Memorial is very proud of the students’ ability to speak in front of several hundred people!  

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • During the week before the winter break, the West Springfield High School Guidance Department met with all Gr. 8 students to help prepare them for scheduling and the transition to West Springfield High School.  Further events are coming later in the winter and spring.

  • On December 23, school staff performed in the annual Holiday show for students.  The staff enjoyed putting this on- which featured some songs and dances from teachers and administrators.

  • On Thursday, January 5, members of the WSMS crisis team met with district and town first responders to review the evacuation and reunification plan.  This plan will be shared and reviewed will all staff next Wednesday.  

  • On Thursday January 12, the WSMS Data team will undergo its first training session.  This group will examine all data relevant to student performance and relate the information back for information and planning.  

              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mr. Jeremy Milligan and Mr. Don Rovero led the Mittineague students and families in a fabulous holiday concert, played to a standing room only crowd!  The children sang, stomped and danced their way through an hour of delightful entertainment, while the band shared several of their spotlight songs!  The concert ended with a whole group (staff included) rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ (Photo 1)

  • Maddie Smith and Gabby Mogavero (Class of 2024) are two of the students who were spotlighted during the concert with their flute duet, “Up on the Housetop.” (Photo 2)

  • The Principal’s Cabinet, (a group of 22 fourth and fifth graders who meet monthly after school to plan school wide projects/events) met with Mrs. Penna and Mrs. Doe to plan January’s service project. Their idea?  A blanket and Comfort Bag drive to support local homeless shelters. (Photo 3)

  • A group of teachers met with Mr.Tim Connor and were trained in the process of how to start a school Data Team. These teachers are completing a book study together using the book “Data Wise,” as well as creating an inventory of common assessments.  This group will be learning and using different data protocols to help them on their information journey. (Photo 4)

  • The Mittineague satellite site of the Boys and Girls Club celebrated together and kicked off the new year in great style!  This group, under the direction of Mrs. Sue Gerardi, begins each session with exercise, followed by homework help, a snack, some team-building activities and then of course some games!  The group’s numbers have continued to grow and there are now 24 students!! (Photos 5, 6)


Band concert.jpg   2. Maddie Gabby.jpg  3. Principals Cabinet.jpg


4. Data Team.jpg   5.B&G tshirts.jpg  6.Makinbg a snowman.jpg

    

Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Congratulations to Mrs Gale, who received six Chromebooks with a charging station as well as the Google licenses through Donor’s Choose!

  • Students in Grade 3 worked on writing Biographies. STudents made models to go along with the person they wrote about.

  • Tatham School received a $500 Grant to bring the Tanglewood Marionettes, professional puppeteers, to the school in early February, for an evening show for students and their families. Pizza will be served as well.



District Spotlight - December 16, 2016

posted Dec 16, 2016, 10:03 AM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Dec 20, 2016, 9:10 AM ]

Note:  The next District Spotlight will be posted January 6, 2017.


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • As a reminder, the WSPS Bullying Prevention & Intervention Plan is available on this link, and wsps.org under ’About WSPS - School Safety,’ and also under ‘Quick Links - Parents.’

  • The application window for Administrator of Special Services closed today, December 16.  The application review and interview process will begin in early 2017.

  • The indoor track at the high school is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 a.m.  Please note that the track will not be open when school is not in session.  Visit wsps.org for more info.

  • Today is the last day to take this brief survey for the CARE Coalition; the survey will help inform promotion and programming of events.  

  • On Thursday, we held a conference call with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to review enrollment projections for the Coburn School project.  I was joined by Mayor Reichelt, Assistant Superintendent Kevin McQuillan, School Committee and PCC member Pat Garbacik, Town Council member Bruce Gendron, and PCC member Doug Mattoon.  We benefitted by learning about the process and formula associated with making enrollment determinations.  Among the items discussed were: the District’s Master Plan, the impact of immigration and refugee resettlement, the impact of the MGM Casino in Springfield, and the consolidation of other schools - including Cowing.  A vote by the Town Council is expected in January for the appropriation of Feasibility funding.

  • SAVE THE DATE: January 26, 2017 - CARE/Park & Recreation/Lions Club collaborate to present a free community event at West Springfield High School.  Highlights include pasta dinner (5:45), “The Secret Lives of Teens” with parenting expert/mental health counselor Jon Mattleman (6:30), and supervised activities for youth/teens while adults attend the Jon Mattleman presentation.  Supervised activities include activities/homework help (6:30-8:00), movie night - The Secret Lives of Pets (6:30-8:00), and open swim/pool games (ages 7 and older) (7:00-8:00).  Attendees at the Jon Mattleman presentation will be eligible to win a great door prize -- a large flat screen TV (donated by Ormsby Insurance/Toomey O’Brien/Costco)!

  • This week, I met with Student Advisory Councils at Fausey, Memorial, Tatham and Cowing Alternative School.  See photos below; the Cowing photo was not available at the time of publishing.

      

CARE - Dining for a Cause.      Recipients of Adams Scholarship; AP “5” score at SC meeting.


  

Student Advisory Councils: Fausey…..         Memorial…..

 

      Tatham….


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham Student Council collected 125 gifts and wrapped them.  These gifts will will be given to needy families in West Springfield.

  • Ann Connors returned this week with her Dog Duffy, her therapy dog!  The Read to Rover program is a way to help students with fluency.

  • Grade 3 is learning about forces and motion. They used what they learned about strength and direction to solve a real world problem.

  • As Part of Tatham’s PBIS initiative, students used their Tatham dollars to enter into a daily raffle through the month of December. Grade one student, Nora Keane

           won a movie ticket!



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

  • Parent Cafe - Simplify Your Life: Valerie Smart (www.the413mom.com) will offer tips on how to make life easier this holiday season. December 19, 6-7 p.m., West Springfield Public Library.  Free; registration not required.

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

  • Kick Off for the new Friday Playgroup will be January 20 from 10:30-11:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club!  Come join us for music, movement and play!  Free.  Snack included.

  • Now accepting registrations for a new Raising a Reader group Thursdays, 12:30-1:30, starting January 5 at the West Springfield Public Library for 7 weeks;12 spots available.

  • Parent ESL Classes are up and running at the Merrick Station.  Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30-12pm and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:30.  Child care is available.

Thank you to all who came to the December Parent/Child Date Night!  Everyone had so much fun reading and creating!                                                                 

  • Community and Family Engagement and community partners will launch the Read Aloud 15 campaign to encourage parents to read aloud just 15 minutes with their children everyday.  

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Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • The students in Mrs. Connaughton’s grade one ESL classroom are working hard on writing personal narratives. The students are writing stories with a beginning, middle and end and are learning to improve their writing by adding more details. After they have finished writing for the day, a few students each day sit in the author’s chair to share their writing. The rest of the class listens and then they ask the author any questions they have. They turn this into a conversation about how the students can go back to their writing and add these details, helping them to better describe what is happening in their story by answering the questions that were asked. Students are also learning to use transition words in their writing and to check the word wall to make sure that all of their sight words are spelled correctly.  

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Stay informed about the 2016-2017 Flu season

  • WSPS Nurses would like to share the following important information about E-cigarette Use among youth with the community:

This report confirms that there is no acceptable level of nicotine when it comes to our kids. It notes that e-cigarettes are often a delivery system for nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can harm the developing brain. The report also confirms that the aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain chemicals and particulates that are dangerous to the person using these products (“vaping”) and to anyone who may inhale that aerosol second-hand.


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Know Where Accessibility Features Live

Chromebooks have a menu of accessibility features suited for students with visual disabilities or those who have trouble typing. You can find these features under “settings” and then “show advanced setting.” There is an “accessibility” section in which you can select “enable spoken feedback.”


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1,017 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 12/16/16  ( + 52 this week)

  • 790 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 57 this week)

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Mobile Dentist came to Coburn School on Tuesday.  They were able to provide dental services such as cleaning and filling to many of our students.   

  • The students in Mrs. DeLong’s grade 3 ELL classroom worked through the writing process to complete a Personal Narrative about a small moment during the Bridges Program.  It was also the last day with the Seniors from Bridges.  The Bridges Program was brought to the grade 3 classrooms by Mrs. Lavelle and Mrs. Albro-fisher, Reading Specialists at Coburn School.  Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Murca helped different groups of children through their writing process.  Students had the opportunity to read their writing and share their illustrations with their Bridges friends while having refreshments. (Photos 1-3 below)  

  • Ms. Becky Connolly, the adjustment counselor at Coburn School, has been teaching students the difference between a big problem and a small problem.  Students are learning how they can solve small problems on their own.  The mantra used in this lesson is:  "we're smart enough & we're strong enough, to solve it on our own!"  Below you will find a group of students who earned lunch with Ms. Connolly for being good “problem solvers”.  (Photo 4 below)

  • The Coburn School band held a concert performance for grade 3 students on Wednesday afternoon.  This concert allowed grade 3 students to see the older students perform and get them excited about the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument and join the band next year!

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  • Coming up next week:

    • Coburn’s holiday concert for grades K-3 is on Monday

      

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • On Wednesday, December 14, the Cowing Alternative School band students participated in the band performance at Coburn School with the Cobun band students.  Thank you Mr. Rovero for including the CAS students!  All of the students did a phenomenal job!

  • On Thursday, December 15, WSPS Superintendent, Mr Richard, met with the Student Advisory Council.  The students presented a well-planned agenda and shared their thoughts and ideas with the Superintendent.

  • The students in Mrs. Messier’s class are learning about different holidays through reading, interactive videos, and hands-on projects.


     


Cowing Early Childhood

  • Mrs. Christofori’s class is playing different instruments.

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  • Cowing School held a Parent/Child Play Date last Friday.IMG_1785 (1).jpg


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • RYLIE GEARING - THIRD GRADE:  Rylie Gearing was highlighted on Channel 22 (WWLP), as an inspiration for child who suffer from Juvenile Diabetes.  Rylie and her grandmother worked for months to prepare holiday themed items for a craft show at Grace Lutheran Church.  The family has held various fundraisers for 3 years.  Way to go Rylie!!  

Please use this link the link to view the video.

  • FAUSEY STUDENT COUNCIL  Led by Mrs. Murray and Mr. Harty, the Fausey Student Council continues meeting for the multitude of leadership activities which improve the school and their community!  (Photo 1)

  • BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB - Hour of Code (see above):  The Boys and Girls Club is collaborating with Fausey School to hold an outreach to all Boys & Girls Club parents on Tuesday, December 13.  The students will share the skills they learned at school during Hour of Code this week.  When parents pick up their child, we hope that the adults can learn a thing or two from the coding experts….their children! (Photo 2)

  • STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL:  The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council met with the Superintendent for the first time on Monday.  The discussion included lunches, increased recess, more access to technology and the prevention of bullying.  (Photo 3)

They prepared for the meeting by working with Art teacher Ms. Green to design a Fausey Council logo:

Grade 4 members include:  Ainsley Kearney, Darby Poe, Drew Pomeroy and Hazell Poulin.  Grade 5 members include:  Anthony Curran, Kaelyn Harrison, Charlie Daggett and Ava Methe.  

  • ANIMALS AT FAUSEY:  Mrs. Martin’s menagerie is well known at Fausey.  She supports PBIS by allowing students to ‘rent’ a small animal.  Mrs. Skolnick also has a few hermit crabs in her office that have befriended some of the students, such as Deegan (Photo 4)

  • HOLIDAY VISITOR!:  Mrs. Mulvaney visited Fausey this week, and enjoyed the office decorations set up by Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Crump.  (Photo 5)

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       Photo 3:  Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council   Photo 4:  Hermit Crab


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Photo 5:  Holiday Visitor


  • BARNES & NOBLE  Fausey School PTO will be holding an event at Barnes & Noble, along with dinner at Red Robin on December 15.

           

High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • December 12-13 - HS spring musical auditions occurred.

  • December 15 - Winter Concert in Auditorium.


Upcoming:

  • December 19 - NHS-sponsored Blood Drive in HS Auditorium.

  • December 20 - Alumni Panel for juniors/seniors.

Department Notes:

Arts:

WSHS Winter Concert featuring the HS Marching Band, Concert Band and Color Guard, performed a free concert on December 15.

BCTE:

The school store was able to send a check for $900 to the Conor McCormick Foundation for Team Conor shirts sold during the fall. The Intro to Entrepreneurship classes are creating a résumé and cover letter and preparing for a mock interview. Officer Wise will bring a presentation on constitutional rights and due process to Business & Personal Law students who are working on units in criminal law.

ELA and Math:

Do you recognize these top scholars? The West Side High School community is celebrating students who have shown the most growth, since their eighth grade year, on the 2016 MCAS in ELA or Math. From a list of 100 students, randomly selected students will receive Amazon gift cards  and one lucky winner will receive a tablet!  Nineteen (19) of the students have demonstrated top growth in both subjects!  Congratulations to West Side students!

Foreign Language:

World Language Club met on December 14 to hold officer elections and celebrate the winter holidays of many different cultures. Photos from the night of Italian Opera.

Science:

AP Science Saturday was December 10.

Student Support Services:

Terrier Buddies met Wednesday, December 14 after school in Mr. Marcus’s Room.

 

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • “Life of an Athlete” slideshow -- this link.

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page


Alumni News

  • Kelley Dickson ‘08 is an athletic trainer at Framingham State University.

  • Brendan Culver ‘06 was hired as a firefighter/paramedic in the West Springfield Fire Department in 2011 after completing EMT, Fire Protection & Safety Technology and Paramedic training.   

  • Evan Culver ‘11 was hired as a firefighter/paramedic in the West Springfield Fire Department in 2015 after completing EMT, Fire Protection & Safety Technology, Paramedic training.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • On Tuesday, Mr. Richard & Mrs. Calabrese met with the Memorial Student Advisory Council which is comprised of grade 4 and 5 students.  It was a very productive meeting and we are so very proud of our students and their ability to continue to make our school community the best it can be.  

  • The Memorial School Lego League (Memorial Dominators) competed against 24 teams from Western Mass last weekend.  FLL Challenge (First Lego League) tied for twelfth place.  The entire Memorial community is so proud of this STEM Program offered through the After-School Program.

  • Students participated in a PBIS raffle using their BEE Bucks.  This raffle is entirely sponsored by Memorial staff members and their families who donate items for children to win.  This photo shows some of the setup.

          

  • The playground is completely finished.  When it is a bit warmer outside, students will have an opportunity to play on the new equipment.

  • Grade 1, Class of 2028, has been studying light in science, and opinion writing.

  • Grade 2, Class of 2027, students have been working on adding dialogue to their realistic fiction stories.

  • Grade 3, Class of 2026, has been learning fact families for multiplication and division.

  • Grade 4, Class of 2025, students have begun creating fictional narrative writing through use of interdiction story structure as well as dividing.

  • Grade 5, Class of 2024, has been exploring elements of realistic fiction through a whole class read aloud of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.

  • Students in Mrs. Doyle’s class have been writing sentences summarizing information from a text as well as reading for meaning.

  • Below are photos from the Memorial School Family Luncheon.

 

  • Mrs. Kearing’s LLI students are learning how text features in an informational book can support the text and provide more information.

  • Art students are in beginning stages of preparing projects for African American History Month in January.

  • Friday was the After-School Program Showcase for Session 1.  Memorial is very proud of what the students accomplished, and the photos will be included next week.

Upcoming:

  • The Band & Music Concert was postponed due to inclement weather last Monday.  This wonderful concert will be December 19, 2016, with a special treat from staff members!  


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • On December 13, the WSMS Outreach team met for training.  Mr. Gillen and three teachers will serve on this important team!

  • On December 14, the WSMS Technology team hosted an open house for training and support on using instructional technologies.  Teachers were able to stop in with tips and questions to further develop their ability to use the latest technology with students.

  • Next week, from December 19 to December 21, high school guidance counselors will be meeting and presenting to all 8th grade students in order to prepare for high school course selection and begin the orientation process for transitioning from middle to high school

  • Next week, on December 23, the WSMS staff will present its annual Holiday Show to students over 3 assemblies (45 minutes each per grade level).  This annual event is highlighted by performances by our staff rock band!

              

  Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Some students from Miss Becker’s multi-grade 3-4 classroom presented at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday. The shared the narrative planning and writing process with the audience, taking them through the writing process steps with explanations and examples of each piece. The presentation ended with one complete narrative that showcased all of those steps!  #mittineaguepride (Photo 1)

  • Artist in Residence, Tom Mc Cabe is finishing up his time with Mittineague students, working with them to revise and refine their writing. He facilitated a teacher workshop on Wednesday and worked with teachers on strategies to help students revise their writing. His time working with the children went by quickly and hopefully he will be back to work his magic again!! (Photo 2)

  • First trimester report cards went home on Wednesday and with them, the first term “Most Improved” awards. This terms recipients were: Jackson Lacienski, Sophia DeBarge, Dylan Morrissey, Jada Brunelle, Gia Marini, Alex DePina, Kelvin, Lubwama, Jordan Roberts, Asia Livingston, Alexis Rivera, Blake Pierce, Kayleigh Connor, Erin Jacobson, Roxana Ciocalau, Adien Guindon, Briana Fulton and Ethan Geddis.  These students have been recognized for all around improvement, to improvement in specific subjects (i.e. reading, math), improvement in behavior, etc… Congratulations to all of them! #mittineaguepride (Photo 3 - Jackson Lacienski and Aiden Guindon missing from photo)

  • Once again, Paul Johnson and his high school trainers brought the TAB (Training Active Bystanders) anti-bullying initiative to the fourth and fifth graders. They shared stories of experiences with various forms of bullying.  They had the students write about their own experiences, draw pictures and act out various bullying scenarios.  The students really enjoyed their guests and the time they spent with them.

  • Kindness Elves are working incognito at Mittineague School! Each class has been surprised by an act of kindness (or several) by some mysterious kindness elves!  Mittineague children show that they understand that the season is about giving… not receiving through acts of kindness! (Photos 4 and 5)

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District Spotlight - December 9, 2016

posted Dec 12, 2016, 8:53 AM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]


  • The indoor track at the high school is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 a.m.  Please note that the track will not be open when school is not in session.  Visit wsps.org for more info.

  • The CARE Coalition encourages the community to take this brief survey by December 16 to help inform promotion and programming of events.  The data collected will assist in the identification of issues influencing our community.  Please support the CARE Coalition at the Dining for a Cause fundraiser on December 12, from 5-9 p.m. at the Ninety Nine Restaurant (1053 Riverdale Road).  A voucher must be presented (paper or electronic version) to the server to ensure that CARE receives 15% of the guest check!  Click this link to access the voucher.

  • This week the Town Council recognized the Division 1 Western Mass Champions: Girls Soccer and Boys Cross Country.  Thank you for your support of our teams!

  • A contingent of middle school and high school students and chaperones attended the Massachusetts Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness  in Lowell on December 6.  The event, presented by the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, featured various speakers (including sports celebrities), the short film “If Only,” and a focus on how students can help fight the opioid epidemic.  Special thanks to the CARE Coalition and the Mayor’s Office for supporting this excellent collaborative field trip.

  • Today members of the School Committee joined me for a brief visit to the high school, middle school, Fausey, Ashley, Coburn and Cowing.  A future date will be scheduled to complete the tour of schools.

  • The next School Committee meeting is December 13, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building auditorium.  One agenda item is the recognition of high school students: 2017 National Merit Commended Student, students who earned a 5 (perfect score) on 2016 Advanced Placement exams, and the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship recipients.

                     

Town Council recognition: Girls Soccer, Boys Cross Country.   Student Advisory Council/Mittineague.

            

Display at Youth Summit.  WSPS contingent enjoyed the Summit!          PBIS Lunch at John Ashley


  Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The Superintendent met his new fourth and fifth grade advisory council members on Wednesday. They shared a working lunch and spent some time getting to know each other while gathering ideas and suggestions about ways they could help Mittineague School on its mission to “Be the Change.” (photo above!)

  • Multiplication in its many forms can be observed in classes throughout Mittineague School!  Students working with arrays, working on whiteboards, timing each other for fact fluency, multiplication with decimals, estimating with multiplication, multiplication and its role in division, and even multiplication through skip counting are just some of the many “multiplication superpowers” that can be evidenced around the school! (photos 1,2, 3 and 4 below)

  • This week, the students had a visit from a musician who also happens to be a former Mittineague  student.  Mrs. Linda Payne plays several different instruments and performs at many different venues throughout the northeast.  The highlight of the performance was when Mrs. Payne had the students and staff involved in a rousing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. (photo 5  below)

  • The Principal’s Cabinet, a group of excited fourth and fifth grade students met this Thursday to discuss their ideas about how to promote more school spirit as well as to work together to make a difference in our school and community.  

  • Three fourth grade students were awarded handprints this week! (Alexis Silva-Cassidy, Molly Markham and Lamara Taksilova). They were awarded this recognition for perseverance and always putting forth excellent effort, for outstanding kindness to others, and for never-ending stamina and a desire to succeed at all times!  #Mittineaguepride (photo 6 below)


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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham Students were invited to sing at the Rotary Meeting on Tuesday.  They certainly got the members into the holiday spirit! (photo 1)

  • In PE, Students are learning to jump rope.  As a warm up, she had students review their multiplication facts by having them shape the rope to create the products.

  • Officer Johnson visited our first graders to read a story about how dogs help people. (photo 2)

     

Photo 1 Photo 2


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

  • Community Playgroup has moved to the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Held every Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30, the activity is free (snack included), and drop-ins are welcome. Playgroups will also be offered on Fridays starting in January at the same time and place. This group is free, drop in and will focus on movement or STEM activities. Stay tuned!! (photo 1)

  • Now accepting registrations for a new Raising a Reader group Thursdays, 12:30-1:30, starting January 5 at the West Springfield Public Library for 7 weeks;12 spots available.

  • Parent/Child Date Night: The Polar Express December 9, 5:30-6:30, at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Come celebrate this literary classic with a storytime, crafts and cookie decorating.  All participants receive a copy of the Polar Express. Free. Registration required.

  • Parent Cafe - Simplify Your Life: Valerie Smart (www.the413mom.com) will offer tips on how to make life easier this holiday season. December 19, 6-7 p.m., West Springfield Public Library. Free; registration not required.

  • Parent ESL Classes are up and running at the Merrick Station.  Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30-12pm and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:30.  Child care is available.

  • Community and Family Engagement and community partners will launch the Read Aloud 15 campaign to encourage parents to read aloud just 15 minutes with their children everyday.  Visit. IMG_1009.JPG

Photo 1


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

 a great read direct add.png


  • The West Springfield High School Building Data Team worked this week learning the extensive data tools offered by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  The team will spend this year collecting, analyzing data and developing a draft action plan to be shared with the entire faculty and staff.  The team is engaging and learning the The Data Wise Model  format of data structure. The next Data Team meeting is December 19.

        

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Students in Mrs. Duggan's grade 2 ELL class have been working to improve their “Within The Text” understandings during guided reading.  After reading a text, groups are using a graphic organizer with a word bank to help facilitate a learning conversation that summarizes the text.  Then, they use graphic organizers as a resource for writing a summary in their reading response notebooks.  Students are also gaining fluency with the correct use of capitals, end marks, transition words, and spelling strategies when completing their written response.

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Stay informed about the 2016-2017 Flu season

  • District nurses assisted in planning and preparing for many school, student and staff needs and events

  • All nurses received renewed nasal naloxone training

  • Christine Viens, CARE Coalition program director, attended The Massachusetts Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness with a group of students from the middle and high schools, CARE Coalition members, and guidance/adjustment counselors.


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Start talking to your Chromebook!   You can use your voice to do things like search,  get directions,  and create reminders.  Enable “OK Google” by going to settings (click in the clock area) and scroll down to the SEARCH section.        More Info.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 965 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 12/9/16  ( + 55 this week)

  • 733 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 40 this week)


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Mrs. Busiere's Kindergarten class utilized their new pond, learning about frog life cycles!  All classes are learning about animal habitats, how they live, life cycles and special requirements that are needed to live. (photo 1)

  • Ava from room 17 brought in hundreds of bottle tabs!!! These bottle tabs are brought to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield by Mrs Narey. (photo 2)

  • Rooms 2 and 4 helped the school celebrate “KINDNESS” this week.  Each class took a letter of the word and created a poster with a kind thought, word or gesture.  This is evident at John Ashley -- we take care of ourselves, others and our things.

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Photo 1   Photo 2


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • On Tuesday, December 6, teachers participated in Professional Development during the early release and curriculum day.  

  • The staff at Coburn School celebrated the retirement of Kathy Stadniki during lunch on Tuesday.  Kathy will retire at the end of December and is wished the best of luck in the next stage in her life.

  • Students in grade 3 have been watching the plants and vegetables grow in the Tower Garden.  They were able to enjoy a salad made from the lettuce produced in the Tower Garden! (photos 4 and 5)

  • Students in Mrs. Gavioli’s kindergarten have been learning the names of the parts of the body and they have also been practicing their handwriting skills using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.  Students are getting lots of practice by “Rainbow Writing” their letters.  (photos 2 and 3)

  • In physical education, students are working on basketball knowledge and skills to prepare them to be able to use those skills when playing in a game.

  • Art teacher Mrs. Lewis worked with the kindergarten students on creating a snowman portrait.  Students used their drawing skills as well as cutting and pasting.  Pictures of the beautiful creations can be found below. (photo 1)

  • In computer class, the students in grades 3, 4, and 5 have been working with Mrs. Finn on Hour of Code and internet safety. (photo 6)

  • The Coburn School Winter Concert is December 19.  Students in music have been practicing songs for the winter concert.

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Mrs. Aubin is back!!  She sends her gratitude to all the staff and students for a wonderful job done in her absence.

  • A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Mrs. Susan Mulvaney for substituting at Cowing in Mrs. Aubin’s absence.

  • Students of the month for November are: Andre Descheneaux and Jovonni Gonzalez.  These boys have exhibited mindful behavior, are working hard in all academic areas, and have been leaders in their classrooms.  Congratulations!


Cowing Early Childhood

  • Mrs. Maloney’s class started talking about nursery rhymes this week.  They practiced reciting Little Jack Horner and took turns re-enacting the nursery rhyme using the correct pronoun for girl or boy.

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  • Cowing Early Childhood will hold a Community Screening next Friday, December 16.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Mrs. Florek - Hour of Code:  Students participated in the Hour of Code this week (12/5 - 12/11) with Mrs. Florek.  By learning coding skills through interactive activities, they are honing their skills for the jobs of the future.  There will be a follow-up parent outreach activity for participants of the Boys and Girls Club (see below).  Fausey School encourages families to explore the wonderful activities on the Hour of Code website:  https://code.org/learn

  • Mrs. Sousa - Fourth Grade:   Historical Fiction Reader' Theater parent presentation. It was a supplement to our study of the Historical Fiction genre in reading.  (Picture #1-2).

  • Mrs. Morneau - November Academic and Citizenship Awards:  Students at all grade levels are nominated by their teachers for the monthly awards.  Mrs. Morneau presented the awards (and a neat bracelet!) to each of the notable students during their lunch period. Grade 2 (Picture 3), Grade 3 (Picture 4) and Grade 5 shown (Picture 5).

UPCOMING

  • Calling all volunteers!!  Fausey School PTO will be holding an event at Barnes & Noble, along with dinner at Red Robin!  Looking for volunteers to help out from 4:30 - 8:00, even if it’s a portion of the time.  If unable to volunteer, please participate with your families!  Flyers were sent home.  

  • Boys & Girls Club - Hour of Code (see above):  The Boys and Girls Club is collaborating with Fausey School to hold an outreach to all Boys & Girls Club parents on Tuesday, December 13.  The students will share the skills they learned at school during Hour of Code this week.  The hope is that adults can learn a thing or two from the coding experts….their children!  

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • December 9-10 The Foreigner Drama Club performances in HS Auditorium

Upcoming:

  • December 12-13 Spring Musical auditions in HS Auditorium

  • December 15 WSHS School Council Meeting.

  • December 15 7 p.m. Winter Concert featuring HS Band and Colorguard in Auditorium.

  • December 16 WSHS Spanish IV students perform story translations at the WS Public Library during preschool story hour.


Student Spotlight:  Click here Department Notes:  Click Here

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • “Life of an Athlete” slideshow -- this link.

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page


Alumni News

  • Ashley Puls ‘07 is a social studies teacher at Pathfinder Technical High School in Palmer.

  • Megan Patruski ‘14 is an associate at The Lift Salon.

  • Lauren Sandillo ‘11 is a manager at Marshalls.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Memorial was very fortunate to partner with Paul Johnson, the advisor for the Training Active Bystanders (TAB) program at West Springfield High School. TAB is the high school's anti-bullying initiative that began in 2012 through Quabbin Mediation Services in Orange, MA. Upperclassmen have been trained by Paul and a representative from Quabbin Mediation Services to then teach their new-found knowledge on bullying or harm doing to all students in the freshmen class.  Recently, they have trained 8th graders at West Springfield Middle School.  Once 8th and 9th graders have successfully completed the program, they have the opportunity as a sophomore, junior or senior to then become a student-trainer.  As of now, there are already 25 student-trainers!  Mrs. Calabrese was thrilled to see some of her former students participating in the program!


  • The Annual Family Holiday Luncheon in the cafeteria was full of the school’s wonderful families and happy children.  The PTO and paraprofessionals did an amazing job decorating the gym with beautiful student work.  The ladies in the kitchen prepared a delicious and festive lunch for everyone.


  • The playground is just about ready for an official unveiling!  The mulch is on the ground and the work crew is almost ready to say goodbye to a job well done!


  • PBIS Team prepared a holiday raffle for students.  Each student had an opportunity to shop with their earned BEE Bucks.


  • Under the guidance of Mrs. Mozolevskiy, the tower garden in Grade 1, Class of 2028, has been flourishing! Students have been able to pick the first crop of vegetables and share with staff.  

 

  • Grade 2, Class of 2027, has been wrapping up addition with regrouping.  

  • Students in Grade 3, Class of 2026, have been comparing and contrasting their lives with that of a Pilgrim or Wampanoag Indian.

  • Grade 5 Class of 2024 students have experienced a bullying prevention presentation from high school students through the TAB program.

  • Mrs. Heroux-Slachetka’s Grade 5 class presented projects about theme and author’s purpose supported with text.

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  • Memorial School is taking part in Computer Science Education Week.  The whole school will be programming using the Hour of Code Block Coding. They will solve challenges and program various characters to complete a wide range of activities.  The Memorial Dominators Lego League will be competing at the Agawam Junior High School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10.  They have been programming a Lego robot to complete various tasks.  Students will be competing against 25 teams.  All are welcome to attend.

  • Ms. Largey’s Art students have finished their watercolor paintings and color wheels this week.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • On Tuesday, December 6, a group of WSMS students attending the MA Youth Opioid Summit in Lowell, MA with a group from the West Springfield CARE Coalition.  Students heard from former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown along with local groups and families regarding important information about opioid use and abuse.  

  • On Tuesday, December 6, teachers continued their work towards aligning common assessments.  The district’s half day allowed for this work to continue.

  • On Wednesday, December 7, teachers continued training during their faculty meeting on using the workshop model of lesson planning and delivery.  

  • On Thursday, December 8, a group of 8th grade students attended a field trip to Symphony Hall.

District Spotlight - December 2, 2016

posted Dec 5, 2016, 7:06 AM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • December 6 is a district half-day (early dismissal) for students.  Faculty and staff will engage in professional development activities/workshops.

  • The indoor track at the high school will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 a.m. beginning December 6, 2016.   Please note that the track will not be open when school is not in session.

  • The CARE Coalition is asking members of the community to take this brief survey by December 16 to help inform promotion and programming of events.  The data collected will assist in the identification of issues influencing our community.  Please support the CARE Coalition at the Dining for a Cause fundraiser on December 12, from 5-9 p.m. at the Ninety Nine Restaurant (1053 Riverdale Road).  A voucher must be presented (paper or electronic version) to the server to ensure that CARE receives 15% of the guest check!  Click this link to access the voucher.

  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently developed an educator licensure public lookup tool on its website that allows people to find basic information about the licensure status of educators who have a Massachusetts license.  All information on the site is a matter of public record, and the new public lookup is designed for very basic inquiries.  If you have any questions about the information contained in the public lookup tool or about licensure, please do not hesitate to contact the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600.

  • Attorney General Healey established a new hotline for residents to report bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence that will be managed by attorneys and staff in the AG’s Office. The hotline number is 1-800-994-3228.  Any Massachusetts resident who has witnessed or experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or violence may call the Attorney General’s hotline or fill out a civil rights complaint form at this link.

  • Thirty-seven (37) West Springfield High School juniors/seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society last night.  Joining me in delivering remarks were Mayor Reichelt and Dr. Perrone; Mr. Pettengill was the keynote speaker.  I congratulate these accomplished students for their dedication to scholarship, leadership, service and character.   

  • I am happy to report that all of the schools have formed a Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.  This week I met with Coburn’s Advisory Council.  I enjoyed talking with these students over lunch, and I look forward to my Superintendent’s Student Advisory meetings at many of the schools this month and throughout the year!   

Jessica Weissman, NHS president addresses the audience.    This year’s NHS Inductees!

  

Ms. Bailer joining students in their work    Coburn Student Advisory Council!

in Mrs. Maloney's class (Cowing).

                  

   Elks Dictionary presentation at Fausey with Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Rossmeisl (pictured on right).



Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Last Wednesday’s half day featured a Camfel motivational presentation for all grades.  Themes included focus, positive choices, and goal setting.   

  • A Grade 6 American Pickers Quality Fair was held last Tuesday afternoon.  The community turnout was tremendous for this event that featured ncredible projects that utilized Science, Math, ELA, and Social Studies in selecting, researching, and repurposing an artifact.  

  • On December 5, a group of WSMS students will meet as part of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.  These 8 students in grades 7-8 completed an application and were selected to meet with Superintendent Richard to offer insight into the student experience at WSMS.  

  • Next week, on Tuesday, December 6, teachers will continue their work on developing rigorous common assessments during the early release day.  

  • Also, on December 6, a group of students will attend the MA Youth Opioid Awareness Conference in Lowell, MA in conjunction with the CARE Coalition.    

  • On December 8, Gr. 8 students will visit Springfield Symphony Hall for a show in conjunction with their ELA classes.  

        

    Above is an example of a Gr. 6 Pickers Summative Project!     Auditorium set up for Camfel Presentations before break!

                

    Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Do you know that Mayor Reichelt once offered to trade his brother for a puppy?  That was one small piece of information he shared in an interview with Mrs.Bartolucci’s third graders last week!  The class of 2026 composed a list of questions for the Mayor and he answered all of their questions, delighting them with stories about himself! (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday, Mittineague School is fortunate to have volunteer grandparent, Mrs. Joan Pearsons, spend time with first graders.  For the past three years she has volunteered her time to read with students, ask them questions about their reading and do activities for a few hours each day that she visits. (Photo 3)

  • The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS grant has made an Artist in Residency featuring Tom McCabe possible at Mittineague. This week, he began his work in the classrooms.  “Don’t know what to write about?? Find a problem”! “Writer’s write about their problems.”  He has enchanted and entertained students from grades 1-5 while teaching them some strategies about writing.  Mr. McCabe is pictured below in Mrs. Gerardi’s first grade and in Mrs. Penna’s fourth grade. (Photos 4 and 5)

  • Grade 1 and 2 students in Mrs. Canon’s room are working with the Model Curriculum Unit literature study on fairy tales.  They have just begun to track the characteristics from this genre on an anchor chart. Pictured below are Julia Salman, Maddie Minalga and Kieran Burke. (Photo 6)

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham students hosted the town’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Town Green December 1.  Mrs Morgan worked hard with the students to ensure a great performance.

  • The third graders are reading and writing about  extreme weather. Jacob Wycoff, a meteorologist  from News 40, will be visiting them as they finish up this unit in science.

  • Both fifth grade classes are enjoying reading the book Wonder by Rachael Palacio. It’s wonderful to see them enjoying a good book.  

  • The fourth grade is getting ready to see the stage production of A Christmas Carol in Hartford.  This is the ninth year that Tatham students will see this live performance.  


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

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

  • Parent Cafe: Cooking Matters - Learn to Shop and Cook on a Budget. Participants receive a $10 gift card to Big Y.  To register for the above programs please call Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511 or email brennan@wsps.org.

  • Parent ESL Classes are up and running at the Merrick Station. Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30-12pm and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:30. Child care is available.


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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  • Depth of Knowledge vs Bloom's Taxonomy

  • Together We Learn

  • Teaching the Whole Child

  • This week we planned for the launch of our new data platform entitled Mastery Connect. Teachers in grades 3-5 will be trained on December 6, 2016, and grades 1 and 2 on March 9, 2017.

  • The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released the following update in the area of MCAS testing and revised standards:

    • On November 29, the Board of Education released for public comment drafts of revised curriculum frameworks for English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. The drafts and a survey on the proposed revisions will be available next month.

    • The Department has named 44 pre-K–12 educators, higher education faculty, and community members to serve on the panel that will recommend revisions to the 2003 History and Social Science learning standards. To support the work of the panel, ESE is seeking input from educators and others on ways to update and improve the current standards. Additional information regarding the revision of the standards is available online.

  • Board votes to extend existing grade 10 MCAS as graduation requirement:

    • The Board voted on October 25 to extend the existing 10th grade MCAS to the class of 2020. This means that the first class of students to take the next-generation grade 10 MCAS in ELA and Math will be the class of 2021, this year's eighth graders, who will take the grade 8 next-generation MCAS in spring 2017.

        

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • At the high school, students have begun an interdisciplinary project in their history and English classes.  In this project, students write narratives about their experiences as immigrants to the United States, using information gathered in interviews conducted with family members.  Once completed, the narratives will be compiled into a book, and students will present the narratives to their peers.

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Stay informed about the 2016-2017 Flu season

  • District nurses assisted in planning and preparing for many school, student and staff needs and programming including:

    • Screenings: Vision, Hearing, Height, Weight, Postural

    • Prevention Programming including SAFE Team and CARE Coalition

    • Student health plans, IEP’s and 504’s

    • Athletics including concussion and wrestler weights

    • Field trip safety and medication planning and attendance

    • Immunization compliance

    • Fluoride mouthrinse program

    • PBIS

    • Health and wellness awareness and teaching

    • CPR certification for staff

  • Next week: Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness with students from the middle school and high school.


Information Technology


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Did you know that you can “right click” by pressing or tapping the trackpad on your Chromebook with two fingers?  Becoming proficient with the trackpad can free you from your mouse.   See this document for more trackpad gestures on a Chromebook.


  • HelpDesk Status

    • 910 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 12/2/16  ( + 94 this week)

    • 693 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 67 this week)

  • In addition to addressing HelpDesk requests,  during the month of December the IT Department will be applying basic PC maintenance routines to WSHS teacher/administrator computers.  Five computers each day will be collected, updated, cleaned, and repaired as necessary until all HP Revolve laptops have been refreshed.  

John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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  • On Monday,November 28, 2016, volunteers from Kohl's on Riverdale Street (Rt 5) in West Springfield came, picked up food donations and dropped them off at the Parish Cupboard on Main Street in West Springfield. We thank all the families for donating during our November food drive!

  • Rooms 7 & 8 are lighting up their classrooms with “kindness” for the month of December. Each light will represent a “kind” gesture, phrase, or thought among classroom community.


  
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  • On Wednesday, the students experienced their first Drop Everything Day for doing such a great job following our school rules!  The focus of the day was on taking care of ourselves and helping others. The students made friendship necklaces, dog treat bags, cards for children at Shriners and bookmarks for Senior Citizens as well as participated in Yoga!


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • On Monday the students had an opportunity to visit a huge inflatable planetarium which came to Coburn School.  It was an amazing experience for the students!  They climbed inside the planetarium to see planets, stars, constellations, astronauts, and other things in space. (Photos 1,2,3 below)

  • The Coburn Student Advisory Council met on Tuesday during lunch to discuss the goals of the group, establish norms for the meetings, and begin an initial discussion about some of their ideas for Coburn School.  The students had a lot of great ideas and they enjoyed meeting with Superintendent Richard on Friday.

  • Students in Darbie Pettengill’s grade 2 classroom made play dough using KOOL-AID.  They wrote and illustrated a book, How To Make PlayDough to share with their families.  They also created a shared list of all the good things that playdough is good for:

  • Family time

  • Math skills (measuring)

  • Muscle practice (helps with handwriting

  • Building letters and numbers

  • Creative play (helps storytelling and writing)

The students’ books were sent home (translated) with a package of KOOL-AID for all to enjoy.  (Photos 4,5,6 below)

  • Lisa Delong’s third grade ELL classroom made Thanksgiving Day Cornucopia with a sequential order lesson. They have been working on sequential order in guided reading.  Joanne Brown and Lisa DeLong did an inclusion co-teaching model for this differentiated activity.  The differentiated activities were having to find sequential order terms (first, next, then, last), placing the steps in order when making a cornucopia, matching their vocabulary terms with pictures, and using poetry.  The final products were amazing! (Photos 7,8,9 below)

  • Coburn School decorated a Christmas Tree for the Yuletree Jubilee at Balise Toyota.  The Coburn tree was adorned with decorations from around the world which represent the diverse cultures at Coburn School.  Thank you to all of the staff and students for helping to create such a beautiful tree to represent Coburn school!  (Photo 10 below)

  • The first round of Coburn’s after-school program wrapped up with a family showcase on Wednesday night (Photos 11-13 below).  The students were proud to display their hard work and perform the skills they have learned during the after school program.

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Interesting things are “shaking and erupting” in Mrs. Cassidy’s middle school classroom.  Students recently completed their study of earthquakes and have moved on to study volcanoes.  This week students created their own volcanoes.  They are now writing about them and look forward to watching them erupt soon!  

  • From the Counselor’s Corner with Mr. Bialek:  Elementary students are enjoying the use of GoNoodle for fun movement breaks and as a new way to learn relaxation techniques. Meanwhile, students at the middle school level have re-created their yoga break as a self-care break.  Students also continue to use movement to take care of themselves and are exploring relaxation using guided imagery and sound.

  • Staff and students look forward to Mrs. Aubin’s return to work on Monday, December 5!


Cowing Early Childhood

  • Mrs. Christofori’s students in Room 4 are sharing all about Family Holiday Traditions.  Its great to learn about each other and how we celebrate during the month of December!

  • In Room 3, Mrs. Leonard’s students are reading the Three Little Pigs fairy tale and constructing  the pigs individual houses with a variety of materials in their block play center.

  • Cowing School had visitors this week: School Administrators visited individual classrooms on Monday.

  • Mrs. Kania’s students are talking about family and creating their unique family shield with their parents as a home school connection.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Falcon Focus - Please enjoy the November issue of the school newspaper on this link.

  • Mrs. Radon - First Grade -  First graders in Mrs. Radon’s class performed their first reading group readers’ theater on Tuesday.  Students presented a fairy tale play which correlated with the literacy focus on that genre this month. (Photos 1-2)

  • Mrs. Sousa - Fourth Grade - The students carried out an experiment entitled “Water Cycle in a Jar”.  Led by Stephanie Roy, student teacher and West Springfield alumni, the students reviewed the water cycle in preparation for a unit on weathering and erosion.  (Photo 3)

  • Mrs. Gibney - Fourth Grade -  Publishing Party - The students have worked hard drafting, revising, and publishing their Small Moment Personal Narratives over the past six weeks.  Their families were invited to listen to listen to the final presentation.  Fausey families are so welcome!  (Photo 4)

  • Mayor Reichelt - First Grade -  The Mayor visited first graders to talk about his job, as a tie-in to their Social Studies unit on leaders and their importance in our community.  (Photos 5-6)

  • Elks Presentation - Thank you to the Elks for presenting a dictionary to each third grader!  Thank you to Superintendent Richard and Mr. Connor for attending the ceremony.  (Photo 7 )

  • Indy 400 - A group of students met with Mrs. Morneau and Mr. Doyle as a reward.  They used the Indy 400 science kit to make their own vehicle.  (Photos 8-9)

  • Pajama Day - Students and staff dressed in their pajamas to support Parish Cupboard. (Photo10)

  • Friday, December 2 is Holiday Apparel Day & Parish Cupboard

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Mrs. Radon - Photos 1-2

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Mrs. Sousa - Photo 3 Mrs. Gibney - Photo 4


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Mayor Reichelt - Photos 5-6

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Elks Presentation - Photo 7


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Indy 400 - Photos 8-9


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Pajama Day - Photo 10

                                                            

High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • November 22 Homecoming Dance

  • November 23 WSHS Pep Rally & Powderpuff Game

  • November 24 Thanksgiving Day Football Game vs. Agawam

  • November 30 P2P (Pathways to Prosperity) Parent Night

  • December 1 NHS (National Honor Society) Induction Ceremony

  • December 1 Lions Club Speech Contest

Upcoming:

  • December Service Projects: TAB & Terrier Buddies presents Toys for Tots Drive, Socksmas Drive

  • December 8-10: WSHS Drama Club Production, "The Foreigner"


Student Spotlight: Department Notes:

Click Here: Click Here

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

Please see below for fall sports tournament information and winter sports updates:

  • Winter Sports tryouts began November 28.  Mr. Doulette presented an informative slideshow, “Life of an Athlete” at Winter Sports Information Night -- here is the link.

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

  • Registration is now open on Family ID for Winter Sports and Ski Club.


Alumni News

  • Emily Roy ‘09, graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Microbiology.  She is currently a PhD candidate in the UMass Amherst Microbiology Department studying the coordination of group behavior in bacteria.

  • Ed Roy, Class of 2011, completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UMass Amherst and is currently working as a mechanical engineer at L-3 SSG building space-based optical systems.  He is currently pursuing a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Prior to the Thanksgiving break, Parish Cupboard director Martha Tighe came to speak with students and staff about the importance of donating, collecting and supplying food to needy individuals. Mrs. Tighe was very happy that Memorial school exceeded its food drive collection goal!

  • Family Math and Literature Night was a huge success.  We thank our children, families, staff, community members Mr. Alamed of Bumblebee Booths and Nancy Farrell of the School Committee for attending.

  • Mr. Rossmeisl of the West Springfield-Westfield Elks Club distributed dictionaries to all third grade students.

  • Paul DiGrigoli of DiGrigoli Salons visited to distribute Eric Carle bookmarks and school supplies to the children.  Paul is a wonderful Link to Libraries Sponsor!


  • The new playground slides have been installed.  The project was coordinated through the WS Park and Recreation Department and Vicky Connor.  Students can’t wait to begin utilizing the playground!

  • Grade 1, Class of 2028, has been investigating light sources in Science and continuing to develop learning conversation skills in all areas.

  • Grade 2, Class of 2027 have begun addition with regrouping.  They are learning new strategies for regrouping with 2 two-digit numbers.  To continue their math skills, they have also been helping to collect Nature’s Vision fundraisers.  Students are excited to see how much they have raised for our school!

  • Grade 3, Class of 2026 has started learning strategies for division.

  • Grade 4, Class of 2025, has been analyzing texts addressing similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge and to compare authors’ approaches.

  • Grade 5, Class of 2024 have  been exploring various types of soil through hands-on and virtual explorations.

  • Prior to Thanksgiving, Room 6 reading classes of all grades made a book filled with all of the things they are thankful for as well as “factor family feather” turkeys.  Students made many connections while completing works within the families.  They saw how numbers were related (i.e., there are many ways to get to a specific number).  Each factor family will serve as reference for future work. To discuss social skills and etiquette with others, students in Room 6 also enjoyed a mini Thanksgiving Day feast with Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Meara.


  • The first round of Instructional Support Team (IST) meetings has finished and the team is now looking into ways to provide more academic and behavioral support to students who need the help to close gaps.  

  • Students are working on mixing secondary and tertiary colors to make their work more interesting.  Younger students are also working on using warm and cool colors next to each other to make their work pop.  Older students are working on using complementary colors next to each other to make their work eye-catching.

  • Upcoming Events:

  • Annual Holiday Luncheon next week!

  • School Council and PTO meeting - December 7 beginning at 5:30.

District Spotlight - November 18, 2016

posted Nov 18, 2016, 1:31 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - November 18, 2016


Note:  No District Spotlight next week!

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, a day on which we pause to give thanks for our blessings.  I am thankful to work with people who give so much to so many - educationally, socially, emotionally!  We are so fortunate to work in a community that supports everyone!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Reminder: Wednesday November 23 is a ½ day for all students, faculty, and staff in West Side.

  • Chalk Dust & Friends perform their 3rd Annual “Rock for the Cause” concert tonight from 5:00-10:00 p.m. at the Dante Club (1198 Memorial Avenue).  Tickets are $10 (proceeds will be donated equally to the Boys & Girls Club After-School program at the middle school and Rays of Hope.  Come enjoy great music, delicious food, and support the cause!

  • The CARE Coalition is asking members of the community to take this brief survey to help inform promotion and programming of events.  The data collected will assist in the identification of issues influencing our community.  Please consider taking a few moments to complete the survey by December 1.  In addition, the next CARE Coalition meeting is November 29 at 2:15 at West Springfield High School, Room B221 - come one, come all!

  • Work began on the Middle School roof earlier this fall to address areas with moisture in the insulation.  Flat sections received a coating product that extends the life of the roof (everywhere except the roof over the classrooms) and other sections received treatment as well. The work was completed today.    

  • The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently released the Coordinated Program Review findings for West Springfield Public Schools.  The findings, which are available on the DESE website (www.doe.mass.edu), focus on Special Education, Civil Rights, and English Language Learners.

  • Below are some highlights from various schools and departments…


Ms. Heroux (and Ms. Sheridan). Grade 5 - Memorial School.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • The Memorial School community has collected approximately 493 items to donate to the Parish Cupboard. Thank you to all of the generous families and staff members who have donated.  Fourth graders from Room 11 continue to work on collecting, packaging, tallying, and graphing donations toward our Food Drive.  The school is VERY close to the goal of collecting 500 items - there still is time to accept more donations before next Wednesday…

  • The entire student body created heartfelt cards for Conor McCormick. In the photo, we have a sampling of the beautiful cards from each grade level.  Go Team Conor - our prayers are with you for a full recovery - you are AMAZING!

  • Mrs.Shanna Schnur and her son Noah in the class of 2025 organized a “School Appreciation Day” for all staff.  Mrs. Schnur baked and decorated an amazing array of cookies and cupcakes.  It was such a nice treat and we all appreciate the kind words and thoughts the Schnur family sent our way.

  • The playground shows major progress from last week and the school hopes to be able to begin enjoying it after Thanksgiving or by the beginning of December (see the latest photo on Twitter @WSPSMemorial)

  • Students in class of 2028 have been investigating the phases of the moon. Fairy Tales have been introduced and students have been making predictions about what will happen next. They have also been learning about the President of the United States and what his job entails.

  • Mrs. Duquette’s class of 2027 welcomed Ms. Bunnell, a student teacher, from Westfield State University, Ms. Bunnell, taught the class a lesson on landforms and extended learning through the use of a landforms bingo game in which children worked in pairs. They had learning conversations in order to discover which landform was being defined. Second graders have also been learning how to use math strategies such as subtracting tens and finding parts of 100 to subtract mentally. They shared different ways of doing mental math during number talks.

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  • The grade five class of 2024 has been comparing three types of rocks to various candy bars!  This will assist students in making connections to their learning.

  • Students in Mrs. Doyle’s class have been recognizing and understanding consonant blends.  They have been using known words and word patterns to learn new words.

  • Grade 1 students in Mrs. Meara’s class read The Mitten and they had an opportunity to act out the play to practice expression and phrasing in reading.  Students will soon be performing the play for the entire school!

  • Students in Mrs. Kearing’s reading class have been practicing games and activities for our Peanuts themed Family Math & Literature Night.  LLI groups are working on reading comprehension strategies.

  • Art students have been working on learning diverse color families and using them to complete their drawings.

UPCOMING:

  • The grade 3 class of  2026 will be practicing and reinforcing their place value knowledge by creating treasure hunt games with numbers of their choice!

  • Family Math and Literature Night will be highlighted next week as well as our visit from

Mrs. Martha Tighe of the Parish Cupboard!


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Grade 6 “Signs of Suicide” awareness work continues this week and next with teams.  Adjustment counselors with support from Behavioral Health Network counselors worked with students.  

  • First quarter Report Cards were issued to students on Wednesday, November 16.

  • November 22 at 3:30, grade 6 will be hosting it’s annual Quality Fair showcasing student work from its’ American Pickers themed unit.  

  • Camfel motivational presentations about healthy choices and academic focus will be presented to students on November 23.  This annual event is a great way to leave for the long weekend.

  • Guidance Counselors met with the Rotary Club this week to discuss our Rotary Mentoring program!

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  • Students in grade 8 Modern World visited UMass, Springfield College, and Western New England University on Wednesday.

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Mittineague School [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The class of 2024 hosted the Annual Lee Lang Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday.  The fifth graders set up the tables and dinnerware, greeted their guests, served the luncheon, and managed the cleanup, too! During the meal, there were roving photographers, animated conversations and even a few friendly games of Tic Tac Toe!  This event is one of the highlights of being a fifth grader at Mittineague! (photos 1 and 2)

  • “Thanksgiving Follies” was the entertainment provided for the event!  First and second graders sang songs, told a story of Thanksgiving, and delighted the guests with some Thanksgiving jokes! (photos 3 and 4)

  • The students in Mrs. Gerardi’s room and Mrs. Canon’s room celebrated the 50th day of school on Monday by dressing as if they were from the 1950s!  During the day they explored the number 50 through various math activities and  completed some 50th day writing activities, too!  The highlight of the day was celebrating the fifties experience with lunch at Classic Burger! (photos 5 and 6)

  • Four students received handprints this week for respect, consistent work habits, striving for excellence, and exceptional kindness. #MittineaguePride  (Aidan LaFleche, Kyan Jacobson, Caitlin Olinski and Anish Gautam)

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham’s Annual Thanksgiving luncheon was held on Thursday. It’s great to have our families take the time out of their busy schedule to come and have lunch. Thanks to our kitchen staff for preparing all the extra  food!

  • The Student Council is busy getting ready to help needy families in West Springfield by collecting gifts to be distributed in December.

  • The Winter Concert is coming together. Save the Date! December 15 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


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

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

  • Parent Cafe: Cooking Matters - Learn to Shop and Cook on a Budget. Participants receive a $10 gift card to Big Y.  To register for the above programs please call Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511 or email brennan@wsps.org.

  • Parent ESL Classes are up and running at the Merrick Station. Monday and Friday mornings from 10:30-12pm and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:30. Child care is available.


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

 a great read direct add.png

  • My visit to Memorial School: Students collaborating to solve math equations!!

       

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Mrs. Cameron’s ELL Kindergarten worked hard throughout the month of October learning their shapes! In alignment with the CCSS, Kindergarten students learn to “Identify and Describe Shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon)”. This beautiful bulletin board shows us that these little friends really know their stuff!  (Photo 1)

  • Students in Mr. Granger’s grade 3 ELL classroom culminated their unit on map skills and the state of Massachusetts by creating an edible, physical map. Students identified, located and labeled cities and towns including Boston, Worcester, Springfield, West Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, Agawam and Chicopee as well as the Connecticut River, Berkshire Hills, Quabbin Reservoir, Cape Ann and Cape Cod. (Photo 2 and Photo 3 below)


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Photo 1


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • District nurses assisted in planning and preparing for many school, student and staff needs and programming including:

  • Completed SBIRT and scoliosis screenings on 9th grade

  • Grade 6 SOS programming continued

  • Screenings continue throughout the district

  • Planning for future CARE forums and SAFE Team student prevention program

  • Fausey welcomed and orientation began for new LPN, Theresa Martinson

  • IEP/504 Meetings and individual student health plans

  • Physical exam and immunization compliance

  • Some nurses attended a November 15, 2016 conference on Protecting Developing Brains: What Health Care Providers Need to Know About Sport-Related Concussion

  • Planning for Mobile Dentist and field trips

  • Various staff and student education activities


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

By default, all Chromebooks automatically go to sleep if left inactive for 6 minutes when unplugged (it's 8 minutes if it is plugged in). And while you can adjust the brightness level of the screen,  you cannot tweak display timeout settings on Chrome OS. That is, you cannot do so without a Chrome Extension, like Keep Awake. By following these instructions, you'll be able to keep your Chromebook from going to sleep.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 816 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 11/18/16  ( + 62 this week)

  • 626 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 40 this week)


Special Services [Twitter: @wspsspeded]

  • The first meeting of the West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC), led by Ivonne and Christopher Hall, was held this past Tuesday evening at the West Springfield Middle School. At the meeting, parents discussed various topics that they would like to have addressed this year.  On Jan. 17, 2017,  Karen Mowery from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will discuss basic parental rights per state and federal special education regulations.  All are encouraged to attend this workshop to gain a better understanding about parental rights and the special education process.

  • In support of the ongoing district initiative to increase inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities, nine special and general education teachers attended a full day inclusive teaching workshop led by Dr. Lisa Dieker, a nationally-recognized expert in inclusive teaching practices.  This workshop, entitled “Creating Inclusive Schools and Classrooms While Embracing Higher Learning Standards For All” provided participants with an overview of the seven effective strategies for including students with disabilities in the general education setting grounded in the art and science of co-teaching. The day focused on practical strategies for co-teaching teams related to co-teaching: from developing a collaborative culture to scheduling to staffing to data collection of co-teaching outcomes.

  • Representatives from the Special Services department, West Springfield Middle School, and West Springfield High School participated in the first meeting of the Inclusive Practices Network.  This network includes representatives from multiple school districts who share the common goal of equitable inclusion of all students.  These meetings will explore the culture, structure, instruction, and assessment practices of inclusive schools.  This month’s keynote speaker was Bill Henderson, an experienced educator in inclusive practice and author of The Blind Advantages.  The team will meet again in January.


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

20161115_130922.jpgRoom 18 Mrs Busiere’s class making corn bread.

  • Rooms 2 & 18 are celebrating with a feast!  Room 2 Mrs Narey’s class made cranberry sauce for the celebration.

  • Volunteers from the Senior Center are still coming to read and do other activities with students and will be joining Rooms 2 and 18 at the feast.

  • Thankful Thursdays are being celebrated through words, actions and activities throughout the John Ashley Community. Students have been donating can goods through the month of November and they will be donated this Tuesday to the Parish Cupboard on Main St in West Springfield.

  • Our vegetable garden is growing by leaps and bounds. It will not be long before we reap the harvest.

  • Let Science begin!  Students are learning how to work together to build a habitat for animals.

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This is a cave.

IMG_7244.JPGRoom 15 is building a woodland habitat in their drama center.

  • Mrs Ramistella’s class (room 15) is learning about tadpoles and frogs, and the class is building a woodland habitat in their drama center.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn School leadership is up and running!  Students met and discussed the mission statement and what it means to be a leader in school.  They will support the school during arrival, dismissal and lunch times.  Congratulations to Aseel Flayeh, Josue Jimenez, Mackenzie Perry, Raisa Sirbu, Roza Azizova, Ilayda Basibuyuk, Basmalh Azzawi, Grace Argueta-Pancan, Fatima Manahi, Maab Elssir, Jayme Ray, Falak Kansara, Madison Daletto, and Sheldom Vasquez for being selected to serve as a leader for our school!  (See photo 1 below)

  • Some 5th grade students from Heather Piper’s classroom came to the school committee on Tuesday evening to read their essays on their field trip to Bear Hole.  The students put forth a great deal of effort in composing their essays and writing them on the Chromebooks.  A big thank you to Mrs. Heather Piper, Yasmin Vasquez, Anthony Lopez, Nathalie Aponte, Sean Barton, Grace Argueta-Pancan, and  Savannah Bernard.  

  • During the recent curriculum day after school, teachers in grades K-2 created common writing assessments in the content areas which they will be able to take back to their classrooms and then look at the the data across their grade levels to plan next steps.  Grades 3-5 discussed what a guided math block looks like and how DreamBox as an intervention will fit within that model.  Teachers will participate in the DreamBox training this Friday.  (see photo 2 below)

  • Thanksgiving is coming next week!  Students at Coburn School are learning all about Thanksgiving and how we have come to celebrate this holiday with our families.  We are discussing what it means to be thankful and students are sharing what they are thankful for.  Students in Mrs. Agostino’s group were reading the story Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner in their guided reading group. (see photo 3 below)

leadership.jpg School committee presentation.png Thanksgiving.jpg


Cowing Early Childhood

  • We are pleased to welcome Nancy Flynn as our substitute clerk alongside Judy Hubbard.

  • Picture retakes are Monday, November 21.

  • The Cowing staff celebrated Thankful Thursdays with breakfast from Horace Mann. We are so thankful for their hard work educating our youngest learners!

  • Below is a picture of new Librarian, Donna Smart, reading to Mrs. Maloney’s class.IMG_1632.jpg

  • Mrs. Mulvaney, who is covering for Lisa Aubin upstairs with CAS, came down to read to the children in Mrs. Maloney’s class.

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • WELCOME!  It’s a pleasure to introduce a very important new staff member, Ms. Theresa Martinson.  She will be assisting Mrs. Kavrakis in her role as LPN nurse.  

  • HARLEM AMBASSADORS:  The famous Harlem Ambassadors visited Fausey’s 3rd to 5th graders to share inspirational messages drawn from their personal stories.  Their messages were shared through ball-handling artistry and audience participation.  They shared the obstacles they’ve overcome and the good choices they made to become great athletes, strong students and kind adults.  Their final anti-bullying speech spoke to all participants:  the realization that bullies are really cowards, and that we need to stand up for ourselves and for others.  The event was a resounding success!  (See pictures 1-2 below)

  • JANNA BROWN, METEOROLOGIST:  Channel 40 Meteorologist Janna Brown visited Fausey’s 3rd graders.  The presentation supplemented the students’ weather studies in Science. Thank you to Mrs. Teri Rivers, Fausey paraprofessional, for making the arrangements for Ms. Brown’s visit. (See picture below)

  • ROBOTS IN ROOM 17!  Mrs. Chalero’s engineers completed a "Green Team" Unit. The students learned how to identify items that can be recycled, and then worked hard to build robots out of recycled materials so as to show how items can be repurposed. (See pictures 1-4 below)

UPCOMING

  • Tuesday, November 22:  Book Swap, all grades

  • Tuesday, November 22:  Mayor Reichelt will visit our first graders.

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Harlem Ambassadors entertain students at Fausey.

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      Janna Brown - Meteorologist Room 17 Robots...


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                                                                 Room 17 Robots


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

          



  • November 18 Class of 2019 Great Night Out fundraiser

Upcoming:


Department Notes:

Department Notes button.png

Click Here


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

Please see below for fall sports tournament information and winter sports updates:

  • Girls Soccer - The Western Mass Division 1 Champions played against Nashoba Regional High School in the Division 1 Girls Soccer State Semi-finals on November 16 at Nashoba in Bolton.

  • Boys/Girls Cross Country - The Western Mass Division 1 Champions will compete in the State Cross Country meet on Saturday, November 19 at 1:50 p.m. at Gardner Municipal Golf Course in Gardner.

  • Winter Sports tryouts begin November 28.

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

  • Registration is now open on Family ID for Winter Sports and Ski Club.


Alumni News

  • Mark Wilson ‘15 is a United States Marines Lance Corporal, stationed in North Carolina.

  • Gina Orlando ‘11 works as an RN in Boston.

  • Brandon Charbonneau ‘11 is a sales associate at Bertera.

  • Alyssa Sawyer ‘11 works at the Key Program in Springfield.

  • Superintendent Michael Richard bumped into a group of alumni at a local restaurant after last weekend’s West Springfield - Westfield football game.  Pictured below are: Luanne Miles ‘ 74, Angela Cincotta ‘74, Laurie Simpson ‘74, Marilyn (Vincent) Harpin ‘74, Linda (Ferraro) Hanlin ‘74, Lois (Jasiewicz) Santillo ‘76, Lynn Amato Corrigall ‘73, Cindy Bovat ‘73, Sandra Bovat ‘72, Debi Edwards ‘74, Sheila Jasiewicz ‘73, Darlene Edwards ‘73, Liz (Pappas) Frogameni ‘73, and Josie Golfieri McConkey ‘74



District Spotlight - November 10, 2016

posted Nov 13, 2016, 7:51 AM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Veterans Day, November 11, is a holiday for students and staff.  Student groups, including the Middle School and High School bands, will participate in the Veterans Day Parade at 10:00 a.m. (starts at St. Thomas School).

  • Congratulations to the WSHS Field Hockey, Boys’ Soccer and Girls’ Volleyball teams on excellent seasons!  Good luck to WSHS teams competing in post-season this weekend: Football, Girls’ Soccer and Boys/Girls Cross Country!

  • As part of my efforts to gain a better understanding of the teaching and learning in every school, I have assembled a team approach to building walks.  On a regular basis, I am joined by fellow central office administrators (including Mr. Connor and Mrs. Marcus) and building-level administrators to walk through classrooms and observe instruction and learning.  These walks give me the chance to work with administrators to calibrate our understanding of Depth of Knowledge, Learning Conversations, and Student Engagement.  It also serves as an opportunity for me to “observe” building-level administrators in their work so that I can provide them with the appropriate guidance and support in their work.  The experiences have been quite positive and, not surprisingly, I am always impressed with the work that our faculty are doing with our students!  Below are a few pictures from a recent walk at Fausey. (photos: below left - Mrs. Marcus; below right - Ms. Rivers in Ms. Pichey's room at Fausey)

Ms. Pichey’s classroom at Fausey.


 

 

Asst. Supt. Mr. McQuillan celebrates his birthday at the Lee Lang Luncheon at Mittineague on November 10.


Alumni News

In honor of Veterans Day, we are proud to highlight some of the WSHS alumni who are currently serving in the Armed Forces.  Thank you to ALL veterans and those serving in the military!

Air Force:

  • Jack Taylor ‘11 is a knowledge operations manager/AFOSI stationed in Saudi Arabia.

  • Chelsea Kidman ‘12 is a military police officer stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

  • Cameron Green ‘13 is a network intelligence analyst stationed in Virginia.

  • Justin Moriarty ‘15 is stationed in New Mexico.

Army:

  • Zachary Sullivan ‘11, 2nd Lt., is a signal corps platoon leader in the 25th Infantry Division, stationed in Hawaii.

Marines:

  • TJ Newhouse ‘14 is a military police officer stationed in Japan.

Navy:

  • Michael Bonafilia ‘12, Petty Officer 2nd Class, is a construction mechanic in the Navy’s Seabees, stationed in Sicily for the past three years.  He will soon be headed to Guam for the next two years, where his battalion will be attached to a Navy Seals unit.

  • Peter Marino ‘12 is stationed in Japan, where he works in a F/A-18 squadron.

  • Jesse Brawsay ‘13, Petty Officer 3rd Class, is a military police officer stationed in Virginia Beach, VA.

  • Ariel Marquis ‘10 is a machinist mate 2nd Class at a submarine maintenance facility stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.

  • Joel Tessier ‘90 recently retired as a Commander stationed in Coronado, CA.  He served 22 years in Naval aviation.

  • Kenneth Martinez ‘13 (pictured below) Petty Officer 3rd Class, is an aviation ordnanceman on the USS Gerald R. Ford, one of the Navy’s newest supercarriers.  

Kenneth - US NAVY.png


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • The school’s new playground is slowly being assembled.  Now that the footings are in and safety zones are established, the photo above presents a clearer idea of how it will look. (photo below left)

  • The food drive for the Parish Cupboard is progressing nicely, and Memorial is very committed to reaching its goal.  Please drop off any cans or boxes at our school and remember to bring an item as your  “admission” to Family Math and Literature Night on November 17 - thank you.

  • Grade 4 teachers and paraprofessionals worked diligently during professional development day.  It was wonderful to hear their ideas to support students and enrich their writing experiences.

  • Students receiving Title I Math enjoyed subitizing dominoes on a number line. (photo below right)

  • Class of 2027 students are using mental math to add 2 two-digit numbers with and without regrouping and are sharing their strategies during number talks.

  • Third graders in the class of 2026 are studying Pilgrims and Native Americans. They created a flip book as well as a poster comparing and contrasting themselves with a Pilgrim or Native American child.

  • Students in grade 4 class of 2025 began creating their own “Book of Knowledge” to continue building stamina when working with complex texts.  They also are practicing open response questions in math by showing computations and explaining their steps to their solutions.    

  • Class of 2024 students are improving their number sense, multiplication, and division skills by solving problems using compatible numbers, estimation and various mental math strategies.

  • Students in Mrs. Doyle’s class are continuing their work on finding parts of words they know in order to figure out unknown words, and they are working towards building fluency by reading familiar text.

  • Art students are using their knowledge from studying the spectrum and color wheel to add color to their art work.

  • Coming up: Family Math & Literature Night, Thursday, November 17 from 5:30-7:00 - all are welcome!


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • This week WSMS held a mock election which included varied classes counting for electoral votes.  This was led by our Grade 8 civics class and included all staff and students within the building.  

  • On Election Day, WSMS was both a polling place and a professional development site.  Staff participated in training on common assessment development, safety care, and mindfulness trainings.  

  • Grade 6 students began their signs of suicide prevention workshop this week with adjustment counselors.  This work will continue into next week as well.  

  • Grade 8 Students took a survey to help our district work with students on healthy choices and prevention trainings.  This took place on Thursday and was led by our nursing department.

  • Monday, November 14 is picture retake day.

  • Report Cards are scheduled to be issued on Wednesday, November 16.

  • Gr. 8 students in Modern World classes begin a series of field trips to area colleges and universities on Wednesday, November 16.


Mittineague School [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mittineague School is excited to have received a Stars Grant enabling Tom McCabe to work as an ‘Artist in Residence’ who will be working with Mittineague students on the writing process.  He will also spend time with staff during his tenure here.

  • Ms. Becker's students have been creating multiplication games to aid in fact practice and understanding. (pictures below)

  • Students from the class of 2025 are completing inquiry projects about earth's changing land.  Mrs. Penna's class is embroiled in several science activities meant to deepen their understanding of the effects of weathering and erosion on earth's surface.  One activity involved students using the Chromebook to find out information about different types of fossils while connecting their understanding of weathering and erosion to how fossils are formed.  In another activity, the group used the sedimentator, a model that shows how small and large sediments are constantly being moved by water on earth's surface. They recorded and compared observations. The last activities were hands-on experiments with sandstone and limestone that helped students see the effects that rocks have on one another and also helped strengthen their understanding of how powerful a force of nature that water is on our land/environment.

  • Last year's fifth graders created a stepping stone for the friendship garden/buddy bench area. The stone was just laid into the stone chips in the path!  Each year, the outgoing fifth grade class will make a stepping stone for the garden path. (picture)

  • The Family Literacy Night, "Bingo for Books" style was great fun! The night was filled with vocabulary words, books, fun and wonderful families (over 120 attended!).  Students earned raffle tickets just by participating.  Jackson Lacienski (class of 2028) and Tarae Washington (class of 2024) were the lucky winners of new Kindle Fires! (Prizes purchased from funds raised from a staff dress down day)          

bryn olivia.jpg     Haylee Betty.jpg     IMG_4399.JPG

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • The Student Council asked their classmates to donate any extra Halloween candy to our troops. They donated over 120 lbs of candy!

  • The PTO Election Day Bake Sale was a huge success.  Thanks to all bakers and volunteers!  

  • Tatham’s annual Thanksgiving Luncheon is next Thursday.  It is always great to see everyone come to this popular event!

  • Science Night was a huge success!  Students travelled to seven different classrooms and did a variety of investigations. Topics included: electricity, air, polymers, and chemical reactions. Students and and their families had a great time.

  • Mrs. Morgan is getting our students ready for our annual holiday concert, Thursday, December 15. Watch for the flyer.




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

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

  • The Storywalk on Saturday was a major success!  Thank you to everyone that participated.

  • Parent/Child Date Night is Thursday, November 17 from 5:30-6:30 at the WS Boys and Girls Club

  • Thanksgiving Memory Book Ages 5-8

  • Parent Cafe: Cooking Matters Learn to Shop and Cook on a Budget. Participants receive a $10 gift card to Big Y. To register for the above programs please call Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511 or email brennan@wsps.org


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • Beginning with this edition of WSPS Spotlight, I will be including a section entitled Great Read. In this section, I will highlight articles from professional journals that illustrate the work we are focused on acrossed the district.  

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  • Depth of Knowledge

  • Building Data Teams

  • Social/Emotional Learning

  • Cultural Competency

  • On November 8, WSPS held its third full-day professional development day.  The schedule included a host of activities focused around our current District Improvement Plan.

  • The “One Book One Community” committee met again to continue discussing and planning this wonderful event.  It is a wonderful collaboration between the West Springfield Public Schools, local business, Red Thread, West Springfield Boys and Girls Club, West Springfield Park and Recreation, West Springfield Public Library, and the West Springfield Art Council.

       

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Parent ELL classes will be offered beginning on Monday, November 14, 2016 for any parent of an ELL or former ELL student in West Springfield.  Four classes will be offered each week - two during the school day and two after school hours.  Babysitting will also be available for any parent with small children who wishes to attend these classes.  The classes will be held at the Community and Family Engagement Center located at 389 Main Street.


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • The CARE Coalition sponsored Bach Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment Survey was administered in grades 8, 10, and 12.

  • All district nurses attended a professional development conference, The Impact of Culture on Health and Learning, in Marlboro MA.

  • District nurses assisted in planning and preparing for many school, student and staff needs and programming including:

    • High School: along with float nurse, implemented SBIRT screening along with vision and hearing screenings for students in grade 9, participated in a DPH concussion protocol survey.

    • Middle School: Grade 6 Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention programming, health screenings

    • Fausey: Mobile Dentist, before school chorus coverage, preparing for LPN to begin on 11/15

    • Mittineague: Grade 1 fire safety lesson, school fire safety tips

    • Memorial: screenings, fluoride, crisis team, Mobile Dentist, Fluoride Mouthrinse Program (FMR)

    • Coburn: screenings, Mobile Dentist, continuing education program Working with Iraqi Families in Schools

    • Cowing: continuing education program Working with Iraqi Families in Schools, working with students on tower garden, open house at Baystate Partial Program

    • Ashley: DPH Kindergarten immunization survey, lead testing compliance


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

At the bottom or side of your Chromebook screen, you'll see a row of apps, called the shelf.  To pin (add a shortcut) for a website to the shelf, first visit the website you want to add, then click the menu button (three vertical dots) at the top-right corner of the Chrome window, point to “More tools,” and select “Add to shelf.”  Voila !


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 754 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 11/10/16  ( + 27 this week)

  • 586 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 29 this week)


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Peer learning at its best!  Under Aileen Lever’s guidance, teachers and paraprofessionals learned about a new writing rubric during the Professional Development on Tuesday and worked collaboratively to score their students writing.

  • John Ashley has a full School Council in place!  Wednesday evening, four parents, four teachers and two community representatives discussed Ashley’s diverse population, heard about the Cultural Competency training on Tuesday and brainstormed ways to help our young learners understand different cultures.  27.5% of the school population speaks another language other than English in the home and there are 16 different languages represented!

  • Room 17 is spearheading John Ashley’s food drive.  Donations from room 17 and the school community have been accumulating in the donation box.  Non-perishable food items will be accepted until November 21, 2016 and will be donated to the Parish Cupboard.

  • Ashley staff are feeling very thankful this month and celebrating Thankful Thursdays as a staff.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • The Coburn School Student Leadership group has been chosen and will meet next week to kick off their responsibilities.  The Leadership group is comprised of 5th grade students who consistently show exemplary behavior and follow the PBIS rules.  Students had to go through an application process if they were interested in being considered for this elite group.

  • The School Council met on Monday, November 7 and discussed our School Improvement Plan, upcoming events, interventions being put in place for our students, and professional development for our teachers.

  • Classrooms across the school engaged in activities and projects to learn more about Veterans Day;  the Coburn community is proud of and thankful for our veterans.  

  • The Coburn Reading Specialists put on a well attended Family Literacy Night.  We had over 100 people engaged in literacy activities.  Families were provided with various activities to encourage reading at home.  A special thanks to Mrs. Agostino, Mrs. Newell, Mrs. Lavelle, Ms. Lozinski, and Mrs. Albro-Fisher for organizing this great event.

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  • On Thursday, November 10, Coburn held a PBIS event sponsored by Home Depot for students in grades 3-5.  The 86 students who chose to “buy in” with their Coburn Coupons enjoyed constructing sailboats.  Each student also had the opportunity to give their boat a special name!

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • The Cowing staff are feeling very thankful this month, celebrating Thankful Thursdays as a group.

  • The Cowing faculty on Tuesday during professional development worked with the district literacy coach Karen Diaz on supporting students in beginning reading and writing.  Exiting work resulted in ways teachers can observe and assess their students in these early literacy tasks.

  • Many of the classes are talking about nutrition. Room 3 has a new grocery store. The children choose their food, check out, travel to home and cook their food.  Room 2 learned a fruit salsa dance and are sorting fruit.

Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • West Springfield Science Center:  Mrs. Morneau, Ms. Feeley & Mrs. Chalero took a field trip to the Science Center at Cowing Alternative School to meet Ester Donohue, our district's elementary science guru.  They reviewed the many kits available for students to do hands-on science activities.  

  • Veterans Day Observances:  With a multitude of activities, Fausey School students recognized the importance of Veterans Day as a time to honor those that have served in our this country’s armed forces.  Fausey School was honored by visitors, who read a related book to the students, and/or shared their experiences (below).  Thank you to the valued visitors for their visit and their service!

Mr. Mustafa Thompson, active member of the Army National Guard, visited his daughters’ classrooms.  He first met with Addison’s Grade 1 classroom (Mrs. Andre), and then shared with Kennaide’s Grade 3 classroom (Mrs. Glidden). (photos below)

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Mr. Christopher Thompson, active member of the Air Force, visited  his daughter Aryanna’s Grade 3 classroom (Mrs. Pichey). (photo below)

Mr. Norman Gilbert, retired member of the U.S. Navy - and paraprofessional at WSHS - also visited his daughter Zoey’s Grade 1 classroom (Mrs. Andre). (photos below)

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Pumpkins ~ Mrs. Lubas’ Applied Academics students (Sam and Ozy) getting crafty with their very colorful pumpkins! (photos below)

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  • Writing Rubric Calibration: Grade 2 teachers and paraprofessionals from throughout the district met at Fausey to calibrate their scoring of actual student work.  Their collaboration during this professional development will aid in a more cohesive assessment of our students!

UPCOMING

  • PTO Scavenger Hunt - will be held in the Spring.

  • Tuesday, November 15: Channel 40 Meteorologist Janna Brown will visit Fausey’s 4th Graders

  • Wednesday, November 16:  Harlem Ambassadors will visit with our Grades 3-5 for a bullying prevention program.

  • Tuesday, November 22:  Mayor Reichelt will visit our first graders.


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:


From the Principal:

I commend our student athletes, coaches, teams, and athletic director for their efforts this fall.  Every team made post-season playoffs!  While this is an amazing accomplishment, I don't want it to overshadow the academic efforts of our students and teachers.  The first quarter has come to a close and everyone is eagerly awaiting report cards; they will be distributed on November 16.  The report cards take a snapshot in time and reflect the evaluation of the hard work of our students, the excellent instruction of our teachers, and the strong rigor of our curricula.  I challenge everyone to reflect on their work from the first quarter and identify areas where improvements can be made in learning and enhancements in instruction.  Have a great day and GO TERRIERS!!

Student Spotlight:

Captains Week3 redirect.png

CLICK THIS LINK


Department Notes:

Department Notes button.png

CLICK THIS LINK


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

Please see below for fall sports tournament information -

  • Football versus Westfield in the Div. 2 WMass Finals on Saturday, November 12 at 10:00 a.m. at Holyoke HS.

  • Girls Soccer versus Ludlow in the Div. 1 WMass Finals on Sunday, November 13 at 2:15 p.m. at Westfield State University.

  • Boys/Girls Cross Country WMass Championship meet is Sunday, November 13 at Stanley Park in Westfield.

  • Parent/Athlete Night for Winter Sports - Thursday, November 17, at 6:00 p.m. in the H.S Auditorium.  Winter Sports tryouts begin November 28.

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

  • Registration is now open on Family ID for Winter Sports and Ski Club.

District Spotlight - November 4, 2016

posted Nov 7, 2016, 6:33 AM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • The WS Public Library presents an author and illustrator event in the Youth and Teen rooms on November 5 at 10 a..m.  WSHS student Vanessa Bonebo ‘17 organized the event through an internship at WSPL.  Check this link for details.

  • Mayor Reichelt joined members of the School Department and Central Maintenance Department to tour Coburn Elementary School.  The purpose was to identify any issues and make determinations about how to address them in the short- and long-term.

  • November 8 is a district Professional Development day for staff.  There will be no school for students.

  • Veterans Day, November 11, is holiday for students and staff.

  • Student groups, including the Middle School and High School bands, will participate in the Veterans Day Parade, which steps off from St. Thomas at 10:00 a.m. on November 11.

  • Below are some highlights from various schools and departments...

 

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • The Boys/Girls PVIAC Cross Country Championship meet is Saturday, November 5 at Stanley Park in Westfield -- Girls JV - 1:00; Girls Varsity - 3:00; Boys JV - 2:00; Boys Varsity - 3:40

  • Girls Volleyball hosted Chicopee High on November 3, and they won!  The team will face Amherst November 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Williston in Easthampton.

  • Field Hockey traveled to Smith College to play Northampton on November 3.  The Terriers lost but deserve congratulations on an excellent season!

  • Football will travel to Chicopee Comp tonight, Friday November 4, with a start time of 7:00 p.m.

  • Girls Soccer earned a #1 seed and will host a quarterfinal game Monday, Nov 7 at 5 p.m.

  • Boys Soccer earned a #2 seed and will host a quarterfinal game Monday, Nov 7 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Daniel O’Toole recently represented West Side in the Golf State Finals.

  • Every Fall Team qualified for tournament play.  Quite the feat!  Go Terriers!


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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

  • Registration is now open on Family ID for Winter Sports and Ski Club.

  • Parent/Athlete Night for Winter Sports will be Thursday November 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the H.S Auditorium.  Winter Sports tryouts begin November 28.


Alumni News

Below are updates on a few of our WSHS alumni:

  • Ally Stokowski ‘11 works in the crisis clinic at Behavioral Health Network.

  • Annie Walker ‘05 is an occupational therapist at Mercy Hospital.

  • Kenna Clark ‘08 is a PE teacher at Northampton Middle School.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Memorial School students and staff were very excited to see that the old playground was removed and our new playground equipment was delivered!  Thanks to Vicky Connor and Scott Moore for helping to coordinate this event smoothly. (photo below)

  • The school’s non-perishable food drive for the Parish Cupboard continues through November and all families and community members are encouraged to help Memorial reach its goals.  Please feel free to stop in to donate a box or can! (photo below)

  • The Memorial team held an Education Mentor meeting with Community and Family Engagement Coordinator Jen Brennan.  This collaboration will result in being better able to support families.

  • PTO and School Council meetings were very productive; events are planned in the coming months.

  • Staff members of the new school beautification committee have been working very hard on cleaning and organizing the stage to make it more accessible and available for other activities.

  • The After School Program is progressing wonderfully and it is terrific to see so many children engaging in cooperative learning activities.

  • Literacy Specialists Katy Brunelle and Marcie Kearing attended the “Literacy for All” conference. See the teachers below with Fountas and Pinnell; how exciting to meet these pioneering women!

  • Grade 1 students  in the class of 2028 were very excited to meet Pike and his companion officer Eric Johnson, who spoke about his community service. Students have been writing and editing personal narratives while learning about government. (photo below)

  • Second graders in the class of 2027 have begun planning and writing their “All About Book” related to something they feel they are an expert about.

  • Third graders in the class of 2026 continue to investigate the science topic of weather by conducting science experiments with a partner.  Students made a tornado in a bottle, observed the vortex, and learned to write a procedure after they completed the experiment. (photo below)

  • Members of Mrs. Weldon’s Class of 2025 welcomed Mrs. Duquette’s grade 2 class to enjoy an engaging and fun-filled active learning and listening experience.  The grade 4 students were great role models and grade 2 students demonstrated impressive listening skills.  All grade 4 students are demonstrating  impressive knowledge of multiplication by using break apart numbers to multiply 2-digit by 1-digit numbers.  In social studies they have been examining the features of maps.

  • Students in grade 5 in the class of 2024 are exploring text and graphic features in informational books they have been reading. They are considering how an author helps a reader understand a topic.

  • Students in room 6 have been reinforcing their place value knowledge and becoming word problem detectives by playing AVMR games.

  • Students in Mrs. Doyle’s class have been writing to a Pen Pal of their choice.  They drafted and revised letters to give or mail to a friend.  The students really enjoyed writing with an authentic purpose.

  • Art students have been continuing to learn about the properties of light and spectrum in order to use the color wheel to inform their use of color in their original artwork.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Lynda St. Jean and Megan Alaimo from the West Springfield branch of TD Bank visited Mrs. Zymroz’s 8th grade Math Exploration class on Tuesday to discuss financial literacy, math through finance, and its daily impact.  They plan on returning for future groups!

  • On Tuesday, the Fire Department conducted a follow up inspection in which WSMS was in compliance with all fire regulations

  • Term 1 ended on Thursday, students received Term 2 schedules for the new quarter on Friday morning in their homerooms

  • Next Thursday, all Gr. 8 students will take a Prevention Needs Assessment Survey in either their Modern World, Spanish, or Reading class.  A letter went home to Gr. 8 students about this during the week.  The survey will help guide promotion of healthy choices and prevention measures as the year progresses.

  • Sixth Grade students will begin a Signs of Suicide workshop with our adjustment counselors next Wednesday.  One team at a time will meet with adjustment counselors for this workshop which includes support services, steps for helping a friend, and general mental health awareness work.  Individual support and services will be provided as well.   


Mittineague School [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Officer Eric Johnson and Pike visited the class of 2028 to talk with them about rules and the community. (picture below)

  • Second and third graders are studying non-fiction with Mrs. Labonte. They have begun taking notes and creating posters to inform others about a topic. The topics will be presented to teach others about what they have learned. (pictures below)

  • Alexis Silva Cassidy (class of 2025) chose to spend her well-earned Paw tickets on a coupon that allowed her to read a story and spend time in a grade one class.  (picture)

  • Friday, October 28 was the date of the second annual Trunk or Treat at Mittineague School, sponsored by the West Springfield Church of Christ. Over 125 children participated! (picture below) Mittineague students collected over 150 jars of peanut butter, jelly and fluff for the Parish Cupboard in conjunction with this event! Siobhan Cote, Mason Hamel, Sophia DeBarge and Aiden Hettrick from Mrs. Gerardi’s class sit with the boxes filled with PB&J! (picture)

  • The Educator Mentorship initiative is off to a busy and positive start at Mittineague School. A team comprised of teacher leaders Nicole Labonte and Sara Bartolucci, under the direction of Jennifer Brennan, have already reached out to and have formed working relationships with several families.   

  • Upcoming events:

    • PTO Bake Election Bake sale - November 8  

    • Lee Lang Luncheon - November 10

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • On Friday, October 28th, we had our annual ARITHME-TRICKS and TREATS.  Each student worked on 16 math problems exchanged their answers for treats.  More than 40 volunteers assisted with this event!

  • Students whose birthdays were in October got to eat with the principal at a special table.   

  • The Student Council visited the WSFD and brought thank you cards made by all Tatham students in honor of National Fire Prevention month. (see photo)

  • Election Day Bake Sale - Tuesday, November 8!  Bakers and volunteers needed!

  • Family Science Night is Wednesday, November 9.  




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

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

  • Celebrate Literacy Month on the Story Walk, featuring The Mitten - Saturday, November 5 from 10-12 at John Ashley.  No registration required. Come enjoy literacy, the outdoors and some warm refreshments!


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • West  Springfield faculty and staff will participate in the third full Professional Development day of the year on November 8.  Using the District Improvement Plan as a guide, faculty and staff will work on such topics as Depth of Knowledge, Cultural Competency, Mindfulness and Self-Care, and content-related training.

  • West Springfield High School was trained in the use and structure of a building-based data team. The goal is to have every school in the district trained by the end of the school year.

  • Our new data platform, MasteryConnect was launched this week. The District trained math specialists from each of the Grade 1-5 schools. The specialists will carry this expertise back to their building for implementation. The benefits of having a data platform is the efficiency and pace of which teachers receive student level assessment data to make immediate curricular or instructional changes (photo below).

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English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Susannah Crolius, Coordinator of Outreach and Resource Development for the Western Massachusetts Refugee and Immigrant Consortium, will give a Cultural Competency presentation for all staff members on the November 8 Professional Development day.

  • Parent ELL classes will be offered beginning on November 14, 2016 for any parent of an ELL or former ELL student in West Springfield.  Four classes will be offered each week - two during the school day and two after school hours.  Babysitting will also be available for any parent with small children who wishes to attend these classes.  The classes will be held at the Community and Family Engagement Center located at 389 Main Street.


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • This week, school nurses assisted in planning and preparing for many school, student and staff needs and programming: 504/IEP/Healthcare plans, concussion policy, field trip planning, safety and attendance on some trips, SBIRT, staff flu immunization clinics, student and family education and information.

  • School nurses are reminding people that it is time to get an annual flu shot.  Click here for CDC info.

  • Check school newsletters and Nurse’s Corner page on school websites for communications regarding health-related issues/educational activities.

  • School nurse programming for next week includes: Grade 9 SBIRT, Grade 6 SOS and CARE steering committee meeting.


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Your Chromebook automatically checks for updates, but you can also check for and install updates manually.  You can often resolve common issues by updating the Chrome OS.


  • HelpDesk Status

    • 727 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 11/4/16 ( + 48  this week)

    • 557 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 54 this week)

  • This week, the IT department has supported Special Services with the setup of devices in preparation for the expanded use of Q-Interactive, an online assessment tool.

  • In light of recent email phishing incidents this week, please consider your email account as a de-facto master password for your online identity. Most -- if not all -- of your online accounts are secured through your email. Remember all those "forgot password" and "forgot account" links?  Guess where they ultimately resolve to?  If someone controls your email account, they have nearly unlimited access to every online identity you own across every website you visit.  If you are asked to input your password as the result of reading or responding to an email, then something smells “phishy”, and you should check the source of the request before proceeding!


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • PBIS is still working its magic: respect, kindness, and friendships are blossoming.  

  • Teachers and staff are happy to see so many students using level one voices in our hallways and whole body listening in our classrooms. Great job!

  • The Tower Garden veggies are growing, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers have all sprouted!  Can the basil and peppers be far behind?

  • Room 17 is spearheading John Ashley’s food drive.  Donations from room 17 and the school community have been accumulating in the donation box.  Non-perishable food items will be accepted until November 21, 2016 and will be donated to the Parish Cupboard.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • The first grade classrooms are working on their narrative writing.  They are learning to expand small moments using transition words while developing a beginning, middle and an end.  In social studies, the students are learning about leaders in our government.  Mrs. Cirillo and Mrs. Hannoush’s first grade classrooms will take a walking field trip to the Mayor’s office to visit and speak with him. (Photo 1 below)

  • The fourth grade teachers have been incorporating chromebooks into their lessons in order to enhance their teaching and prepare students to take their online MCAS 2.0 assessments.  Heather Walker used the app Kahoot for her October Test Review.  Ms. St. George also participated in the review with the students. (Photo 2 below)

  • Students at Coburn School had their fall pictures taken on Tuesday.

Upcoming Events:

  • School Council meeting - Monday, November 7

  • Professional Development for staff - Tuesday, November 8.  No school for students.

  • Family Literacy Night - Wednesday, November 9, 5:00-6:00

  • PBIS - Home Depot Buy In for 4th and 5th grade - Thursday, November 10

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Photo 1 Photo 2


Cowing Alternative School (CAS) [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • CAS is proud to announce that two middle school students have prepared for a transition to the WS Middle School and they are taking a Unified Arts class beginning on Nov. 4.  Congratulations to Cory and Brandon!!

  • Cowing Alternative School welcomed Andy to Ms. Scibelli’s class on Tuesday, Nov. 1.  Welcome to CAS!!

  • Mrs. Messier’s class took a walking field trip to the Police Department and the Post office today as part of their social studies “Community Helpers” unit.


Cowing Early Childhood

  • All the EC children participated in a Fall scavenger hunt. Ms. Maloney’s class all wore googly eyes glasses for the event. (Photo 1 below)

  • Mrs. Christofori’s class is learning about eating healthy.  Let’s go shopping! (Photo 2 below)

  • In Room 2 , Mrs. Kania’s class, students filled the classroom bear jar as part of the PBIS group initiative. This special activity included a parade to the playground. Students made windsocks and played instruments.

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Photo 1

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Photo 2


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • November is Literacy Month ~ Mr. Harty, Mrs. Petit and Mrs. Kane began this year’s Fausey literacy activities with an opening proclamation on November 1.  On that day, they also shared the first ‘Word of the Day’ which was MARVELOUS!  The November Calendar with each ‘Word of the Day’ was shared with all staff and posted on a bulletin board.  Many more fun activities will be shared, with the Fausey student council also helping to plan some of the November celebration of reading and writing.

  • Full STEAM Ahead! The Art Room will be used for hands-on science activities on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Working with the support of our district’s Esther Donahue, the teachers and students will be able to use the Science kits more easily in the spacious Art Room.

  • Mobile Dentist:  Fausey students were able to visit the friendly Mobile Dentist this week. Thank you to the visitors and the PTO volunteers who supported the very important event.

  • Academic and Citizenship Awards:  During Monday’s lunches, Mrs. Morneau recognized Fausey students that showed strong academic effort and exhibited exemplary citizenship during the month of October.  The proud students were nominated by their teachers, and the specific reason for the recognition was duly noted on the students’ certificates.  This year, the students were also given a neat bracelet to go along with the certificate.  Congratulations to the Fausey scholars and good citizens!

Upcoming:  

  • Parents night out - Fausey PTO Scavenger Hunt FUNdraiser, November 10, 6:20 p.m.  All adults in the community welcome (teams of three or four - $50/team if registered by 11/9, or $60/team at the door).   Cash/ checks payable to Fausey PTO (please send in envelope marked "Scavenger Hunt, PTO").


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

  • Class of 2017 Cap and Gown orders are due ASAP, avoid late fees

  • 11/7 WEST SIDE HIGH SCHOOL VOTES 2016 Mock Elections

  • 11/8 Professional Development - No School for students

  • 11/10 “Mr. Westside” Pageant at 7:30 in Auditorium

  • 11/11 Veterans Day - No School


From the Principal:

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CLICK THIS LINK

Student Spotlight:

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CLICK THIS LINK


Department Notes:

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CLICK THIS LINK


District Spotlight - October 28, 2016

posted Oct 31, 2016, 6:48 AM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Nov 3, 2016, 8:28 AM ]

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was October 22 in the Municipal Office Building lobby.  I appreciate the CARE Coalition’s support of this important initiative.  In related news, a medication drop box is now housed in the Police Department for safe disposal of unwanted/unused/expired OTC medications and prescription drugs!  (photos below)

  • WSHS welcomed Conor McCormick ‘18 to the high school on Monday, October 24 for an assembly attended by his junior class peers.  The ‘No Obstacles’ presentation was facilitated by the Shepherd Center, where Conor spent the past few months receiving spinal cord rehabilitation treatment in Atlanta.

WSPS is very happy that Conor is back in WS and is attending classes at the HS!  (photo below)

  • The District Spotlight received positive press on MassLive, thanks to a piece by Conor Berry.  Read the article on this link!

  • Below are some highlights from various schools and departments...

  

Miss Shypula’s class learns about geography    Mrs. Martin’s grade 1 class at Tatham.

during Reader’s Workshop.


Excited learners: Mrs. Guimond’s Class of 2027.   Conor McCormick ‘18 - reunited with his peers at WSHS!

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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day 10/22.                 MedReturn drop box located at Police Dept.


WSHS mini college fair on 10/27 for juniors and seniors featured 96 colleges/universities.


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:

  • 10/31 Danny O’Toole plays State Golf Tournament

  • 10/31 Girls Soccer Senior Night 6 PM

  • 11/3 WSHS term 1 ends.


From the Principal:

Team Captains1.png

 

Student Spotlight:

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Go to THIS LINK

Department Notes:

Department Notes button.png


Go to THIS LINK


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

  • Please refer to the High School's Weekly review section for scores and awards

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

  • Registration is now open on Family ID for Winter Sports and Ski Club

  • Upcoming Senior Nights:  Football/Cheer with Band and Color Guard 10/28, and Girls Soccer 10/31

  • Parent/Athlete Night for Winter Sports will be Thursday November 17, 6:00 p.m. in the H.S Auditorium

  • Tournament Seedings for Fall teams are next week.  All of our teams are qualified or still eligible.


Alumni News

Below are updates on a few of our WSHS alumni:

  • Louis Siano ‘11 is a manager at Firestone in West Springfield.

  • Bob Spano ‘11 is an associate accountant at Myers Brothers in Springfield.

  • Erin Cawley ‘08 and Bailey McDonald ‘08 are DCF social workers.

  • Lauren Sandillo ‘11 is a manager at Marshalls.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]


Brian Lapis speaks to fifth graders


                                        Fourth graders with pumpkins


  • The week began with an exciting  PBIS event - the annual “Pick a Pumpkin for PBIS” which is sponsored by Memorial’s CT community partners, Bielonko Farms.  Students cashed in their “BEE Bucks” for a pumpkin of their choice.  Additionally, teachers planned their read-alouds to focus on nonfiction texts about pumpkins.  At the “pumpkin patch,” students read facts about pumpkins and then they chose their favorite facts to write about and research during their ELA blocks.

  • Students in the class of 2028 have been making great gains while writing and editing personal narratives.  Budding writers are emerging!

  • The class of 2026 has been watching math videos from Stanford University about becoming good math learners.  The follow up to the video each day is a problem- solving activity designed to make students deeper math thinkers who allow themselves to make mistakes, which enables their brains to grow.  In the extreme weather science unit, students have been tracking the weather, which has changed dramatically this week.

  • The class of 2025 shared their commercials, comics, Google Slide presentations, and book talks related to the recently completed read aloud, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  Some students even dressed as characters and assumed the identity of a character!

  • Brian Lapis, Meteorologist from  WWLP-22 News, visited on Wednesday to discuss weather with the fifth grade class of 2024.  It was exciting to have a local celebrity in the building!

  • Parent-teacher conferences were successful and productive - thanks to all families for partnering with Memorial to support children in their education.

  • A Family Math and Literacy Night are in the works, starring the Peanuts Gang...more to come!

  • In Art, students have been looking through prisms to experience and discuss the spectrum.  Students are working


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • This week, teachers have attended curriculum meetings after school to develop and improve their use of instructional technology.  The WSPS in-house technology team provided the training and support over the three days.

  • Thursday was PBIS Hawaiian Day at WSMS.  Students had a costume contest and wore Hawaiian attire.  This event was run by the school’s Student Council.

  • Friday was a Pink Out day to support Breast Cancer awareness and research.  This event was 100% student driven and organized.  Pink themed prizes were raffled off with proceeds going to breast cancer research funds.  WSMS is proud of its students for creating and running this initiative.  

  • The Cookie Dough fundraiser was finalized on Tuesday.  This year’s sales were our most successful ever!!  Proceeds directly support the PBIS program and team activities.  Thank you to all who supported this cause.

  • Term 1 ends next Thursday with Term 2 classes beginning on Friday 11/4.  Term 2 Schedules will be distributed in homerooms on Friday 11/4.  

  • Mayor Reichelt visited with 8th Graders for 90 minutes on Monday to discuss civics, leadership, and government structure.  Thank you Mr. Mayor for your time and presentation!  

  • The School Committee approved a History Club field trip to Washington D.C. from June 6-9, 2017 with the tour group Explorica.  Details will be shared with History Club students as the year progresses.  


Mittineague School [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The students in Mrs. Julie Penna’s class presented their projects on the ABCs of North America.  The enjoyable, information- filled presentations were the highlight of the day!!  Pictures below show two students, Kaleigh Goldberg and Aiden LaFleche showing their Google slide presentations.

  • The fourth grade students in Ms. Leanne Becker’s room competed in a fun STEM challenge to create the tallest tower using only recycled paper.  It took two different attempts and a good amount of planning for the students to make it work.  The winning team of Alex Bak, Yohalexa Rivas and Bryn Tourville said they had to make the bottom columns wider almost like feet in order to make the tower stand!! (picture below)

  • EnCore (Enrich the Core) block has started and the students from the classes of 2024, 2025 and 2026 are all engaged in multi-aged groups working on the topics of science and engineering through technology, and the students from the classes of 2027 and 2028 are immersed in the process of reading and responding!  Students are always eager to get to the Encore block!

  • Students from the class of 2024 have been enjoying the fruits of their labors as they made Caprese skewers, BLTs and mint and lemon sachets with the produce and herbs grown in their tower garden!

  • The students of Mittineague enjoyed an old fashioned fall fun recess time, “playing in the leaves”!           

  • Upcoming events:

    • Family Literacy Night November 3  

    • PTO Bake Election Bake sale, November 8    

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham third graders had a great time visiting the West Springfield Public Library.

  • A school-wide assembly on Monday featured the Puppet People, who presented the Legend of Sleepy Hollow to all students.  Afterwards, Mark and Michelle from the Puppet People talked to the students about puppetry. These programs help boost our attendance -- 97% of our students were in school!

  • Teachers finished up with their first round of parent conferences.

  • Tatham is looking for baked goods as well as volunteers for the upcoming bake sale on Election Day, November 8. Please help if you can!

  • It was a special day for students whose birthdays were in October!  They sat

at a special table and were treated to a cup of ice cream!

  • Family Science Night is Wednesday, November 9.  Look for the flyer!

            


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

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

  • Raising a Reader: Registration is full. Program starts October 31st at the West Springfield Public Library.

  • Celebrate Literacy Month on the Story Walk, featuring The Mitten - Saturday, November 5 from 10-12 at John Ashley.  No registration required. Come enjoy literacy, the outdoors and some warm refreshments!


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • On October 26, the district-wide academic coaches spent the day examining best practices in supporting teachers.  These knowledgeable and passionate educators who provide so much professional development received their opportunity of PD in learning ways of improving their own practices.  

  • The next wave of 18 elementary teachers training in Add+Vantage Math Recovery finished their training this week. West Springfield Public Schools have fully trained all teachers in grades K-2....grade 3 is next!!!

  • West Springfield High School Academic Leadership Team worked this week to develop the protocol to be used on the November 8 professional development day.  The Student Assessment Protocol will be used to expand conversations around identifying the level of cognitive complexity in lesson design and assessments.


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ELL parents at Coburn School were given an opportunity to meet with their children’s teachers this past week during Parent/Teacher conferences.  Translation was provided for these meetings to ensure that open communication continues to be a priority for all parents in the district.   

  • In the spirit of the season and in keeping in alignment with the Kindergarten Math Curriculum, Ms. Gavioli’s ESL Kindergarten had an apple tasting activity (McIntosh, Golden Delicious or Granny Smith). They then created a graph to tally their favorites.  Looking at the picture below, McIntosh was the winner, and Golden Delicious coming in second place!

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • School nurses assisted in planning and preparing for many school, student and staff needs and programming: health plans, 504’s, IEP’s, crisis team meetings, mobile dentist, SOS (Signs of Suicide: grades 6 and 9), SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment: grade 9), field trips, staff flu clinics, before and after school activities, wellness, Fluoride Mouthrinse Program, screenings, PBIS Teams, illness surveillance and professional development activities

  • School nurses continually work to keep all students safe from vaccine preventable diseases. Read more about vaccines here.

  • Communication/educational activities through newsletters and Nurse’s Corner pages on school website.


Information Technology


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  • HelpDesk Status

    • 679 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 10/28/16 ( + 75  this week)

    • 503 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 78  this week)

  • Along with HelpDesk work, the IT Department has been busy this week updating equipment inventory records so that plans for redeployment of some usable equipment can be drafted.

  • Mr. Lucey has been making his way through the Mastery Connect online training in preparation for the official rollout.


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Let the growing begin!  Students at John Ashley have started studying the cycle of life:  how plants start by planting seeds, watering, sunlight, flowers (that produce the fruit or vegetable) and finally the final product (fruit or vegetable).

  • Mrs Dufresne’s and Mrs Ramistella’s classes are the first classes to start growing seedlings.

  • Mrs Jacobs class is studying the five senses (touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell).

  • Firefighter/EMT Ms. Brina Fondi visited John Ashley this week. Students learned how to be be aware of their surroundings and how to be safe if there is a fire at home or school.  She explained the equipment that is used and what her job is in the community.

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Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • On Monday, the teachers had parent teacher conferences and interviews took place to hire a Kindergarten ELL teacher.  

  • Administration and a teacher representative met with community representatives to discuss plans to collaborate with The Red Thread Network to bring programs focused on the arts to Coburn School.  

  • The Bridges Program continues to be cherished experience for Coburn students and members of the Senior Center.  Once a week members of the community visit a 3rd grade classroom to share a story and work on a project together.  Here are some photographs from this week:

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  • Coburn kindergarten students are working diligently and learning many new things.   They have been learning all about fall and fall vocabulary, letters, and colors, and they even incorporate movement into their classrooms.

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Upcoming Events:

  • 10/31: Fall Festival -- classrooms will engage students through activities revolving around fall in New England.

  • 10/31: School Council


Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Mrs. Messier’s students are learning about their government in Social Studies.  Each of the students was able to be “President of the United States”!!!!

  • On Wed., October 26 the Middle School enjoyed the “vegetable of our labor.”  Lettuce was picked from the Hydroponic garden and enjoyed fresh salads at lunch time.  YUMMY!!

  • Mr. Schoenberger and Mrs. Aubin were both recertified in Safety Care.  Safety is an important aspect at CAS and all of WSPS -- Cowing Alternative School’s motto is  “Students First!”


Cowing Early Childhood

  • The teachers and paras had a productive professional day with Steve Lucey and Kristen Trznadel, helping them become become more proficient with their chromebooks.  Laura Gorodisher also discussed scope and sequence, and talked about the games the teachers have been using in their classrooms.

  • Mrs. Leonard’s class carved and explored the parts of of a pumpkin for their science curriculum.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • The October issue of Fausey Falcon is available on this link.

  • Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR)  Grade 1 and 2 teachers were able to practice their skills with their Fausey students this Tuesday.  This is the third day of the four-session professional development.  Part of the process this week was working as small teams to calibrate their assessments.

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  • Earthquake Proof Homes:  Future engineers in Mrs. Sousa’s class constructed ‘homes’ that would be able to withstand an earthquake.  After much thought and construction, they tested out their creations on a platform that simulated an earthquake (a board on top of marbles).

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  • Student Council’s First Event:  Mr. Harty, Mr. Navone and Mrs. Murray launched the first Student Council project!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Student Council students are hosting a Wear Pink Dress Down day 10/28.  All staff were asked to wear pink and make a suggested donation of $5.00, which will be donated to the Get in Touch Foundation, which funds breast cancer research.  Keep your eye on this involved group of fifth graders, a record number of students this year!

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  • SPOOKTACULAR!  Wednesday night Fausey students and staff alike enjoyed the Mad Scientist’s Spooktacular presentation, and even got to make a crafty craft to take home.  Thank you to Mrs. Florek for donating her time and materials so the kids could make a small bag for their goodies.  Thank you also to parents and staff that donated their time and energy to assure that a large group of Fausey students enjoyed the festivities.

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Upcoming:  

  • Parents night out - Fausey PTO Scavenger Hunt FUNdraiser, November 10, 6:20 p.m.  All adults in the community welcome (teams of three or four - $50/team if registered by 11/9, or $60/team at the door).   Cash/ checks payable to Fausey PTO (please send in envelope marked "Scavenger Hunt, PTO").

District Spotlight - October 21, 2016

posted Oct 24, 2016, 12:15 PM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 1:48 PM ]

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Recipients of the 16-17 West Springfield Partnership for Education Mini Grants were recognized at a reception on Monday.  A total of 24 West Springfield educators received funding for a variety of enrichment projects. Pictured below are the recipients and several WSPE board members.

  • WSPS - in conjunction with the WSPD and other surrounding communities - conducted canine searches of both WSHS and WSMS.  These searches yielded no drug discoveries of the areas that were searched, namely: the student parking lot at the high school, lockers and locker rooms at both schools, and a randomly selected group of classes at the high school.  Great work was done by all involved, and the district will continue to be vigilant in our fight against illegal substance possession, use, and abuse!

  • The district’s SAFE (Student Advocacy & Family Engagement) committee presented a College Campus Safety assembly to the Class of 2017 on Tuesday, featuring Lt. Thomas O’Donnell, UMass Campus Safety, and Molly Fox-Bryant, Elms College Nursing Department.  WWLP covered the event; the video is available on this link.

  • The Key Communicators group - an open meeting of interested parents and guardians - met on Thursday night to have open and honest dialogue with Mr. Richard.  The topics covered included: school safety, school curriculum, communication between schools and families, and more.  Watch future District Spotlights for announcements about when our next meeting will be held!

  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, October 22 from 10:00-2:00 in the Municipal Office Building lobby.  We join the CARE Coalition in encouraging the community to dispose of unwanted/expired medications and prescription drugs!

  • October 24 - Gr. 1-12 early dismissal (parent conferences & professional development).  No school for EC/Ashley students.

  • The School Committee meeting is Tues., October 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building auditorium on the 2nd floor.  Tune in to Ch. 15 and http://livestream.com/westspringfield.

  • Mark your calendar - the WSHS Annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ contest is Oct. 28, 2:30 at the HS!

  • Below are some highlights from various schools and departments...


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Please enjoy the September issue of Fausey’s school newspaper, The Falcon Focus, on this link.

  • AVMR:  The first and second grade teachers participated in a two-day professional development activity to learn how Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR) will enhance their math instruction.  This program will allow teachers to pinpoint individual student understanding with shorter assessments.  The focus is on using data to differentiate and inform whole class and small group instruction.  More to follow as the school takes AddVantage of these resources!

  • BEAR HOLE VISITS:  The entire 5th grade enjoyed Bear Hole class visits on Monday, which prepared them to the related field trips.  Mr. Bailey’s and Mrs. Cameron’s classes had the best weather for the first set of field trips this past Tuesday.  Mrs. Stearns’ and Mrs. Birk’s classes are keeping their fingers crossed that the same will hold true for next Tuesday’s visit to Bear Hole, which is held rain or shine!

  • MAD SCIENCE -  This very popular after-school program began on Wednesday with a full roster of students.  They will be involved in the Secret Agent Lab, a fun and exciting look at forensics, detective science, spy techniques and gadgets!  The first session will run every Wednesday through January 18.

UPCOMING:  
  • Kids night out - PBIS presents a Mad Science SPOOKTACULAR EVENT October 26, 6-7:30 p.m.  Cost is $5/child; space is limited (sign up soon).  Proceeds will benefit the Parish Cupboard.

  • Parents night out - Fausey PTO Scavenger Hunt FUNdraiser, November 10, 6:20 p.m.  All adults in the community welcome (teams of three or four - $50/team if registered by 11/9, or $60/team at the door).   Cash/ checks payable to Fausey PTO (please send in envelope marked "Scavenger Hunt, PTO").


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:

  • 10/24 WSHS Early Dismissal 10 AM

  • 10/27 WSHS College Fair

  • 10/28 Annual Punkin Chunkin 2 PM


WSHS Democracy Club:

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Department Notes:

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

  • Please refer to the High School's Weekly review section for scores and awards

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

  • Registration is now open on Family ID for Winter Sports and Ski Club

  • Currently all of our teams either qualified for postseason play or still have a chance to do so

  • Upcoming Senior Nights:  Volleyball 10/27, Football/Cheer with Band and Color Guard 10/28, and Girls Soccer 10/31


Alumni News

Below are updates on a few of our WSHS alumni:

  • JP Hill and Devan French ‘11 built a successful business based in San Diego called "Boosted Shades" www.boostedshades.com, sunglasses designed for the "driving enthusiast."  

  • Matt Bernier ‘07 is a handicapper for the Daily Racing Form, where he hosts a weekly podcast

  • Louis Siano ‘11 is a manager at Firestone in West Springfield.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]


   Memorial School’s amazing and respectful first graders looking at books at during Scholastic Book Fair


  • The Scholastic Book Fair was successful this week, thanks to the great volunteers Jennifer and Dan Fleury, Ann-Marie Sarkis and Celinez Jodoin.

  • Teachers engaged in both AVMR and Singapore Math training this week and they are looking forward to applying  new strategies in their classrooms.

  • The first day of Parent-Teacher conferences was October 20, and the next opportunity to meet with families and their children to discuss learning and a home-school partnership is Monday, October 24.

  • Thank you to the West Springfield Partnership for Education for awarding mini-grants to Ms. Brunelle, Mrs. Calabrese, Mrs. Fiorentino and Mrs. Metallo!  A lovely reception was held at the Middle School on Monday afternoon.

  • A non-perishable food drive for the Open Pantry began this week and over 100 items have been collected already. Thanks to all of the generous families for supporting such a wonderful organization!

  • Students across grade levels have been working & identifying the “heartbeat” of their personal narrative writing as well as elements of fiction and nonfiction texts. The use of technology has made reading even more fun.  

  • In science, classes have participated in a variety of weather experiments such as making rain and a model tornado.  Students cooperatively gathered information about the difference between climate and weather through videos and discussion. They have also explored different kinds of rocks & the rock cycle. Students are fully engaging and sharing their ideas with each other.

  • Students began earning BEE Bucks to purchase items in the PBIS school store.

  • In physical education students are learning ball handling and passing skills.

  • AVMR groups in grade 3 are making and playing Treasure Hunt games to practice multiples.

  • Last, but certainly not least...thank you to Fausey School administration and staff  - the L1 cake you sent to our school meant a great deal... and it was delicious!


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Ms. Tash’s 7th grade health students have viewed the documentary “He named me Malala” during their Prejudice and Tolerance Unit and have written a reflection on one of Malala’s most powerful quotes -- “Let us pick up our books and pens.They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

  • WSMS participated in a district-wide search of the three pods and locker rooms lockers using Police Department K9s.  Our own Pike, and two dogs from other communities, searched the building on Tuesday.  The entire search took about 10 minutes while students sheltered in place.  No evidence of drugs were found and the procedure went seamlessly.  

  • 6th grade students participated in a field trip themed along the lines of the “American Pickers” TV show.  Students traveled to area antique shops and selected an item to purchase.  They then began a project which researches its historical significance and use while incorporating Math, Science, and ELA into the History unit.  Final projects are shared with families at our annual Quality Fair.

  • Richard Dubuisson joined with teachers in their Friday content meetings to continue to align assessments to the Depth of Knowledge tool.  Richard will return next Friday to continue the work.

  • Monday 10/24 is a half day for students.  Dismissal will be at approximately 10:30.  This is a full day for staff, who will continue to work on creating common and Benchmark assessments.  

  • Tuesday 10/25 - Thursday 10/27 will be the first series of Curriculum meetings for staff after school.  They will continue to develop their use, implementation, and understanding of the latest educational technology available in their classrooms.

  • Thursday 10/27 is PBIS Hawaiian Day.

  • Friday 10/28 is a student-led “Pink Out Day.”  Students and staff will wear pink and participate in fundraisers and activities that benefit breast cancer research.  This 2nd annual event is 100% student driven and initiated!  


Mittineague School [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Wednesday night was the first annual Family STEM Night!  Students and families (about 120 people!) attended.  From the first gasp as the participants mixed ingredients to make “snow,” the evening was a hit!  Mike from Top Secret Science demonstrated the snow-making activity (the mixture was water and sodium polyacrylate).  (pictures below)

  • The class of 2024 went on a team-building and outdoor education experience on Wednesday.  The weather, the setting and the participants were all fabulous! The students couldn’t say enough about their experiences.

  • Parent volunteer Robin Sayward manned the PBIS Paw Store where students could “spend” their paw tickets earned by following the school’s respect rules. Respect ourselves, others, learning and property.

  • Mrs. Doe was the fortunate recipient of a Partnership Grant to create a “Buddy Space” on our playground.  Over the summer SB landscaping helped define and create the space, and the next step will be decorating the bench with kindness and friendship words and putting in plantings. (picture below)

  • October is the Boys and Girls Club fundraising month at Ninety Nine Restaurant.  Ninety Nine gives the Boys and Girl club a percentage for all Boys and Girls Club menu items in October.  The Mittineague B&G Club group designed and decorated pumpkins to display and sell for this event!

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  • Upcoming events:

    • Parent/Teacher Conferences October 24 (11:00 dismissal)

    • Trunk or Treat Friday, October 28 (6:00)

    • Family Literacy Night November 3  

    • PTO Bake Election Bake sale  November 8     

Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham

]

  • The first school-wide math event, Arithme-Tricks and Treats, will be next Friday, October 28 at 1:15.

  • The fifth grade went to Bear Hole on Wednesday to learn about the forest and the history of the reservoir.

  • Tatham School was the recipient of two mini grants from the West Springfield Partnership for Education.  These grants will help fund  upcoming Science Night and another family night to be held in January.    

  • Second grade teachers were trained in AVMR which will help students build number sense.              



Community & Family Engagement/Outreach [Twitter and Facebook: @westspfldcfce]

  • Community Playgroup has moved to the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club!!!  Every Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30. Free, drop in - snack included.

  • Free Parent/Child Date Night: Apple Tasting and Printing Ages 3-8 Only a few spots left!!

Thursday October 27 from 5:30-6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Registration required. Call or email Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511 or brennan@wsps.org

  • Raising a Reader: Registration is full. Program starts October 31st at the West Springfield Public Library.

  • Celebrate Literacy Month on the Story Walk!  Featuring The Mitten - Saturday, November 5 from 10-12 at John Ashley.  No registration required. Come enjoy literacy, the outdoors and some warm refreshments!


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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  • (Above) Memorial and Coburn grade 4 and 5 teachers learn about the benefits of Number Talk.

  • Grades 1 and 2 districtwide began their training of Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR) this week. Great job to the participating teachers and Instructor Emily O’Brien on this highly-intensive work. AVMR

  • West Springfield Middle School completed their Scholastic Reading Inventory assessment (SRI). We look forward to analyzing the data and developing a plan of intervention for the identified for additional support.

  • West Springfield Public Schools is preparing for Mastery Connect training for grade 1- 5 math specialists. Mastery Connect is a data platform that will provide teachers with immediate assessment results for prompt implementation of intervention.


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Theresa Buswell, a grade 4 ESL/SEI teacher at Coburn School, is learning Swahili in order to support and communicate with some of her newest students and families. Theresa tested out her newly acquired language skills with a robust conversation in Swahili with our Swahili translator! The translator was amazed at her ability to both understand and speak the language. Great job,Theresa!!

  • In order to enhance our translation supports we have hired a new Nepali translator. At this time we have translators available for Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Nepali, Hindi, Swahili, Kurdish, Turkish and Karen.


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Staff flu clinics have begun and will continue in the coming weeks at all schools. Read more about the flu vaccine here.  Please attend a clinic, see your provider or a local pharmacy for the immunization.

  • School nurses work throughout the school year to keep students safe and this includes students returning to activities after a concussion or head injury.  Read more about safe return here.

  • School nurses participate in planning prevention efforts with the SAFE team, CARE coalition, wellness efforts, field trip planning, crisis team, mobile dentist, screenings, fluoride mouthrinse program, health care planning for individual student needs and attend educational offerings outside on issues relevant to school nursing practice.

  • School nurses attend multiple field trips each week for students with medical needs.

  • Communication/educational activities through newsletters and Nurse’s Corner pages on school website.


Information Technology


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  • HelpDesk Status

    • 604 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 10/21/16 ( + 54 this week)

    • 425 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 118 this week  😀)

  • This week the IT Department has had the opportunity to focus on the backlog of HelpDesk requests.  The gap is slowly narrowing !

  • Google’s G Suite for Education, the new name for Google Apps, has announced some new features that will be added to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.   Get a sneak peek of the new features here !


Special Services

  • The Elementary Special Education Staff were able to meet and discuss various issues that impact learning at this level. IEP writing, technology, and the upcoming MCAS testing were among issues addressed. It is very helpful for teachers across the district to get together to share ideas, challenges and strategies that work.

  • The special education staff continue to work to correct the specific issues noted in a recent state audit. As always, the special education staff are committed to providing services which address student specific needs in the areas of academics, communication, social/emotional development, and fine/gross motor skills.

  • This week, the district’s Evaluation Team Leaders facilitated 38 IEP meetings.  At each meeting, the ETLs were responsible for overseeing the development of comprehensive Individualized Education Programs.


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Ashley had parent/teacher conferences (or as room 16 calls them parent/teacher “conversations”) Thursday October 20, 2016.  It was wonderful to see all the parents who were able to attend.

  • The “Pumpernickel Puppets” came to John Ashley on Tuesday October 18, 2016. This wonderful show was enjoyed by all.

  • Next Tuesday, October 25, 2016, a member of the West Springfield Fire Department firefighter Ms. Brina Fondi will visit John Ashley and give a presentation on Fire Safety.


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Fourth grade students went on a Field trip to Skinner Mountain last Friday.  They had a beautiful day to hike up to the top and learn all about weathering, erosion and the history of the area.  Here are some beautiful pictures from their trip!  On a visit to the 4th grade classrooms, students were seen writing about their field trip to Skinner Mountain.

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  • On Thursday, Coburn School showed their support for Rays of Hope and The Cancer Society by walking around the school grounds and donating money.  Coburn collected over $1,300 for these wonderful charities.

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  • Third grade teachers held the first in a three-part series of family night events on Monday.  Families from third grade were invited to come and learn what their children are doing in class in the areas of ELA and math.  Teachers created take-home packets for parents and during the workshop, and all parents had an opportunity to actually complete the activities with the teachers so that they would know how to support their children at home.  A great deal of positive feedback was received from those who attended.

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