WSPS District Spotlight - June 15, 2018

posted Jun 15, 2018, 1:15 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - June 15, 2018

Note:  The District Spotlight will resume at the beginning of the 18-19 school year!


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • Today is the final District Spotlight post of the 17-18 school year; it will resume upon the start of the 18-19 school year.  

  • I would like to wish the entire WSPS community an enjoyable, safe, and healthy summer!  The last day of school for Kindergarten students is June 19 (half day for John Ashley students, full day for Coburn Kindergarten students). The last day for grade 1-11 students is June 21 (half day for students).  

  • To view the 2018-2019 school year calendar, please click this link.   

  • WSPS is switching from PayPams to PaySchools for online food service payments.  Please plan accordingly and contact the Food Service office at 263-3180 with any questions.

  • The School Committee approved the 2018-2021 WSPS District Improvement Plan.  The document is posted on wsps.org ‘About WSPS’ and on this link.

  • On Wednesday, I had the good fortune of spending the day with Landon Tirrell, a student in Ms. Bartolucci’s grade 2 class at Mittineague.  Landon won the West Side Spring Speaker Series grand prize: Superintendent for a Day!

    • Mayor for a Day (Grand Prize) - Jennifer Whalen, WS Middle School, Grade 6

    • Superintendent for a Day (Grand Prize) - Landon Tirrell, Mittineague, Grade 2

    • Principal for a Day - Maci Wise, Fausey, Grade 2

After receiving an official West Springfield Public Schools ID badge and being 'sworn in' by Assistant Town Clerk Karen Hershowitz, Superintendent for a Day Tirrell met several School Department and Town of West Springfield employees, reviewed an incidental (invoice for payment) with Business Manager Carey Sheehan, and signed his timesheet, before heading out to various schools to meet principals (including Fausey Principal for a Day Maci Wise), staff and students.  (Photo collages 1-3)

The drawing for the West Side Spring Speaker Series prizes was held June 8.  Passports demonstrating that the student's parent/guardian attended all three Speaker Series events (Dr. Scott Poland/ March 28, Chris Waddell/April 12, and Chris Herren/May 21) were eligible for the grand prize drawing -- Superintendent for a Day, Mayor for a Day.  Passports demonstrating that two of the series events were attended were eligible for the Principal for a Day drawing.

  • The WSHS Class of 2018 graduation ceremony was Sunday, June 10 (click this link to view the photos/article on Mass Live and this link to watch the video of the ceremony).  A total of 270 diplomas were granted, as well as three Certificates of Attainment, and seven Certificates of Completion.  

  • WSPS has been gathering thoughts of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff on this link.  A few entries have been posted here (with permission), as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  Lucas Patruno shared these thoughts about his colleague Janis Griffin-Thibault, a Cowing paraprofessional who recently passed away: Kind, tolerant, dedicated, soft-spoken and caring, these are all words that come to mind when I think of Jan.   Jan had a tremendous amount of patience with plenty to spare. Weather it was at summer camp or during the school year she was always working with students that needed a lot of care.  She did this without hesitation and without complaint.”

  • The FY19 Budget is on wsps.org - About WSPS / District Administration, and on this link.  

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes air on Channel 15 Monday and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  


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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • SOUPY FOR LOOPY CAR WASH ~ Last Sunday, the Fausey Student Council held a car wash to benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.  The weather was perfect, and $692 was raised to fund research and awareness programs about this disease which affects several members of our Fausey family.  The Student Council advisers are proud of the hard work that all the members did as they handled a busy flow of business throughout the day! You may have noticed all the shiny, clean cars driving around West Springfield!  Photos are on this link.

  • MATH GAMES ~ AVMR Math is a great way for students to practice Math skills.  Mrs. Radon’s second graders welcomed the O’Brien family, who shared the AVMR game ‘Gotcha!’ - which the kids loved!!!  Click this link to view the photos.

  • FAUSEY CIRCUS ~ The yearly event was once again a huge success.  The night was perfect for a circus performance! The families first enjoyed a DJ and inflatable houses, and they ate dinner and snacks.  The first grade began by singing great songs led by Ms. Sapowsky. The fifth graders, in Fausey tradition, then performed their circus skills which they had gleaned during the week-long circus experience.  Thank you to all who contributed to the success of this event, especially PE teachers Ms. O’Shaughnessy and Ms. Hockenberry! Photos are on this link.

  • AUTHORS’ SHOWCASE & MUSICAL PERFORMANCE ~ It’s been a year of great growth for first grade students, and June is a great time to show off to their loved ones.  Students first shared some lovely songs and then led their families to their classrooms so that they could share their work.  View the photos here.

  • THANK YOU PTO!  Thank you to the Fausey PTO, led by Ms. Jennifer Poulin and Ms. Kathy Bunnell, for all the support they give students and staff.  They coordinate huge events like the Fausey Circus, along with supplementing educational activities. The efforts by the PTO co-presidents, secretary Khristine Woytowicz and their helpers are well appreciated by the school community.  Recently, grade one students made an extra huge card to thank the PTO for the visiting Zoo on the Go, which mirrors how everyone feels. (Photos 1-2)

   


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:





Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Girls Softball team lost to Pittsfield in the semifinal game on Tuesday at UMass.  Congratulations to all of the WSHS spring sports teams on a great season!

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for sports schedules.  

  • Fall sports registration is open on FamilyID - on this link.

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.

  • Brendan Monahan ‘06, formerly Manager of Media Relations Affairs at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recently joined Rasky Partners, Inc., a public relations/public affairs firm in Boston, as Associate Vice President.  Brendan focuses on the health care practice, advising clients including hospital systems, insurers, life sciences and medical device companies, and advocacy organizations.


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • Final Report Cards will go home with all students on the last day of school on June 21.  Please remember that dismissal on June 21 is at 10:30.

  • Forty-two (42) eighth graders were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society on June 13.  Thank you to Mrs. McClure for her hard work in coordinating this event. Congratulations to those students and their families!

  • On Friday June 15, seventh graders presented plans for a “Greener West Side.”  Students examined systems which support communities and attempted to solve problems and create greener adjustments to those systems.  They pitched their proposals to the public which included school and town officials on Friday!


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • The Bridges Together program finished the year on a high note!  Many of the volunteers attended a morning breakfast and they returned in the afternoon for a Forest Park "Zoo On the Go" presentation with 2nd and 3rd graders.  Stephanie and Caroline shared information about Ella the Indonesian cockatoo, Olivia the chinchilla, Peaches, the boa constrictor from Madagascar, the ferrett brothers, the iguana, the rabbit and the gentle tortoise.  Many students enjoyed touching and petting the animals during the presentation. Students learned about prey animals vs. predators, why ticks cannot infect the chinchilla, why animals move their noses, how much pressure a tortoise can feel through its shell and the things animals do to let you know that they feel  comfortable in an environment. At the end of the presentation, Mrs. Glaessner and Mrs. Johnson presented the Bridges Together volunteers with cards and posters from the children. In attendance were Barbara Morin, Mary Wisniowski, Mary Long, Pam Rovatti and Julia Davis. Thank you to the PTO and Bridges Together for sponsoring this event!  (Photo collage 1 and 2)

  • Students enjoyed a "PBIS Ice Cream Social" as a reward for their hard work and flexibility during MCAS testing and for their overall positive behavior.  Teachers and staff members scooped, poured sauce, added sprinkles and topped the sundaes with whipped cream. Students were able to eat outside while soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the fresh air.  (Photo collage 3)

  • Memorial school teachers and staff members have been visiting the school’s beloved lunch monitor, Gloria Slusars.  Everyone has been delivering cards and treats to make her day more special. Memorial wishes Gloria a speedy recovery while she is out of school for a bit.  (Photo 4)

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Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • 1st grade students shared what they learned about habitats with families, staff and kindergartners this week. Students created their own “habitat” for an animal of their choice and used their writing skills to make a pamphlet sharing facts about their animal.  (Photos 1, 2, 3)

  • Students in Mrs. Buswell’s 4th grade ESL class shared their published nonfiction books about habitats with their kindergarten buddies this week.  This was a great culminating activity for this unit of study. (Photos 4, 5)

  • Students in Mrs. Gavioli’s ELL kindergarten class made cookies from scratch and followed a recipe. Then, they wrote about what they did using sequential language.  The taste test from Ms. Heil, the principal, proved the cookies were a wonderful learning experience and delicious! (Photo 6)

  • You can read the last issue of the Coburn Community Courier for this school year by clicking HERE


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Approximately 50 parent volunteers showed up to help provide the Mittineague students with a fabulous FIeld Day on Friday!  Games and activities ranged from kickball, bean bag poles, clothes races, water games, face painting and more! The morning ended with the famous “water balloon toss,” before heading back into school. The fun-filled morning was followed by the annual Family Picnic, where parents, grandparents, siblings and more gathered to enjoy hot dogs, macaroni salad, and watermelon! The students held their annual bake sale and lemonade stand and raised almost $500.00 to add to the monies collected to purchase a new sound system for Mittineaguel!  (Photo collage)

  • Friday afternoon was also the setting for the first annual “Cultural Festival.”  This year, the festival included an art show featuring art from around the world brought to us by Ms. Meg Largey, resident art teacher, and dances from around the world brought to us by our P.E. teacher Ms. Ann Sirignano.  The students performed ”The Mexican Hat Dance,” “The Virginia Reel,” traditional Greek and Russian dances, and “La Bomba,” a traditional dance from Puerto Rico! It was an amazing day! (Photo collage)

  • Four students and a teacher were awarded handprint recognitions this week at Mittineague School.  The students were recognized for hard work, perseverance, and solid progress along with good manners, politeness, kindness and empathy!  What a winning combination of traits to have!! (Photo collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham third graders went to Mittineague Park to learn more about life science.  They did many hands-on activities. (Photo 1)

  • As part of their study of Colonial America, Mr Heath brought in some artifacts and had students try and figure out what the items were used for helping families in their daily life.  (Photo 2)

  • Special Thanks to the Cowell family for building our “Little Tiger Library.”  This will be located by our front entrance during the summer. We hope our students will take some of these books to read during the summer and write a postcard to the principal about the book!  (Photo 3)



Cowing Early Childhood

  • Congratulations to Ms. Maloney and Miss Nancy for being awarded the Special Education Parent Advisory Council “Shining Star” award.  Their student, Eli, chose them to be honored and it was well-deserved!!



Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • Two third graders, Saviel and Michael, had the opportunity to learn in an “outside science classroom” at Mittineague Park.  The boys, accompanied by Mr. B., had a great time with their peers from Coburn School.

  • It’s the last harvest of the school year!  Miss Lynn’s class did a fabulous job of planting, caring for, and harvesting the herbs and vegetables from the Tower Garden this year.

  • Thank you to all of our families for sharing your children with us this school year!  Have a wonderful summer and we will see (most of you) in the fall!


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • While writing to the Tree Warden, students in Mrs. Narey’s class discovered that there wasn’t a street sign outside the school.  With one more letter written to the Department of Public Works, they realized just how powerful their words can be. Thanks to their efforts, Ashley now has a street sign!  (Photo 1)

  • Students are continuing to enjoy the time they get to spend with Frigo on Wednesday’s.  Ashley is sad to say goodbye to him, but do hope that he and Cathy Bussolari will return to John Ashley School as visitors next year.  (Photo 2)

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

  • Playgroups are held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader eight-week Spring Session at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., is underway and accepting registrations.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • Father’s Day Celebration “Minute to Win It Challenge” will be June 14, from 5:30-6:30, at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  For children ages 5-8 and their caregivers.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • ELL Summer Program Application deadline extended!


Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • If your child has medication at school, please pick it up by 6/21/18 or contact the school nurse to make arrangements for pick up.  All unused medications must be disposed of after the school year ends and will not be retained for next year. You may also pick up medication order forms for next year.

  • SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) brought together experts in mental health, suicide prevention, education and healthcare professionals who developed this 13 Reasons Why Toolkit, a valuable resource for parents, educators and youth.

  • Parents play an important role in their teen’s life and have the biggest influence on youth decisions about substance use.  Here are 9 Tips for Talking With Kids About Alcohol.

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

  • Physicals are required for students entering the school district for the first time and for students entering kindergarten and grades four, seven and ten.  If your child will need a physical for the 18-19 school year, please make an appointment and send a copy of the physical exam to your child’s school nurse.

  • Please provide up to date immunization records to your child’s school nurse anytime your child receives an immunization.


Information Technology

   

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • The 2018-2019 marking term and report card dates are as follows:

                                                                                                       


WSPS District Spotlight - June 8, 2018

posted Jun 8, 2018, 1:58 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - June 8, 2018

Note:  The final District Spotlight post of the 17-18 school year is June 15, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • This is a big week for WSHS seniors, from the Baccalaureate Ceremony to Senior Awards Night, and the Senior Prom to Graduation (June 10 - 1:00 at Eastern States Coliseum)!  Please join me in wishing all the best to the graduates of the WSHS Class of 2018!

  • On Tuesday, I attended an event in Holyoke sponsored by The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, focusing on community-led early education initiatives in the Pioneer Valley.  Among the features speakers were Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Thomas Weber and Secretary of Education James Peyser.  (Photos 1, 2)

  • The WSEA held their annual Retirement Social yesterday, and I was pleased to be able to congratulate the retirees.  A few of the retiring members are pictured below. (Photo 3 - L to R: Elena Martin, Phyllis Zuccalo, Nancy Granger, Susan Tassinari, Kathleen Hillman, Barbara Dombkowski, and Kim Lyons)

  • The final School Committee meeting of the 17-18 school year is June 12, at 7:00 p.m., in the Municipal Office Building auditorium.

  • WSPS is switching from PayPams to PaySchools for online food service payments.  Please plan accordingly and contact the Food Service office at 263-3180 with any questions.

  • Next Friday, June 15, is the final District Spotlight post for the 17-18 school year.  The blog will resume on Friday, August 31, 2018.  The last day of school for Kindergarten students is June 19 (half day for John Ashley students, full day for Coburn Kindergarten students). The last day for grade 1-11 students is June 21 (half day for students).  

  • Thank you to all of the students who returned their stamped passports to be entered into the drawing for “Principal for a Day,” “Superintendent for a Day,” and “Mayor for a Day.”  The drawing took place this afternoon.  Congratulations to all of the winners!   I look forward to hosting the Superintendent for a Day on June 13!

    • Mayor for a Day (Grand Prize) - Jennifer Whalen, WS Middle School, Grade 6

    • Superintendent for a Day (Grand Prize) - Landon Tirrell, Mittineague, Grade 2

    • Principal for a Day - Maci Wise, Fausey, Grade 2

  • WSPS continues to gather thoughts of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff.  Please consider taking a few moments to share your thoughts on this link.  A few will be selected to post online (with permission), as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  Darlene Bessette shared these thoughts about Janis Griffin-Thibault, a Cowing paraprofessional who recently passed away: Thank you for all the hard work that you did with the students. You will be missed. Rest in peace knowing you were so appreciated.”

  • The FY19 Budget is posted on wsps.org - About WSPS / District Administration, and on this link.  

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes air on Channel 15 Monday and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

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Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • Coburn School Literacy Closet: I realize this has been in other sections of the Spotlight but it warrants me adding it to my section.  Coburn Reading Specialist, Lisa DeLong, in her passion and efforts for her students at Coburn, secured donation for over $40,000. This donation has allowed Coburn School to receive a fully-stocked literacy closet for the students.  We want to publicly recognize Lisa for her drive and efforts in supporting our literacy program.

  • Expansion of Advanced Placement Courses at WSHS!!!  WSHS has added the following courses to the program of studies to provide the highest level of academic rigor for our students. Please enjoy the read on this link.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • BOSTON 2018!  The fourth graders traditionally attend the State House and explore the Boston Science Museum each year. Thanks to a LOT of organization by Mrs. Sousa, the classes once more enjoyed the day at our state’s capital.  Photos can be viewed on this link.

  • FALCON FOCUS ~ The next to last newspaper includes many topics.  As Mrs. Martin shares, “The topic choices the kids made for this issue are very telling.  It appears that the world's concerns and issues seep into their thoughts and carry them to question the past - while contemplating the present - and wondering about the future.”  Please peruse the issue on this link to understand her statement.

  • CHICKS IN ROOM 16 ~ When students learn about life cycles with live animals, they also learn how to be kind with living things and how to enjoy each other’s company.  View photos here.

  • ZOO ON THE GO ~ First graders love animals, and they got to learn a few things about them when Forest Park Zoo on the Go visited Fausey.  They learned that they need to be calm and quiet around animals so that they’re not nervous, and they also learned that a ball python is not slimy at all!  Check out photos on this link.

  • SHINING STAR ~ On June 4, West Springfield Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) presented one of the 1st Annual Shining Starts to Special Education Awards to Fausey’s Jennifer Gerhardson.  The devoted nurse goes above and beyond for her student, Ozy. The thankful family nominated her for this well deserved award. (Photo 1)

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:


Click on link:


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Girls Softball team beat Agawam yesterday, advancing to the West Division I Semifinals!  The team will face the winner of the Pittsfield - Ludlow game. The semifinal game will be played at UMass (Sortino Field) on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.

  • Fall Sports Informational Night for Parents and Athletes will be Thursday June 14, 6:00 p.m., in the H.S Auditorium.

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for sports schedules.  

  • Fall sports registration is open on FamilyID - on this link.

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Memorial held its annual family event, “We Are Memorial,” on a beautiful spring evening.  The student art exhibit was a huge success - everyone was in awe of the talented children!  Families and staff members enjoyed interacting while playing games, engaging in crafts, having dinner or ice cream from the truck, and competing in a cake walk.  Students and parents also danced, they created hula hoops and played on the playscape as well. School spirit clothing was on sale as were books at our Scholastic Book Fair (students were excited to purchase books for their summer reading.  Thank you to all of the families, volunteers, and staff members who made the evening a great success! (Photo collage 1 and 2)

  • A recognition and appreciation breakfast was held for Memorial’s amazing volunteers. They are so very important to Memorial students and teachers, and they impart so much knowledge to everyone they meet.  Although some of the volunteers were previously engaged, everyone enjoyed spending time with Jeff and Barbara Bergeron, Mercedes Ordonez, Ann Sarkis, Mary Wisniowski, Julia Davis, and Paul Marai. (Photo 3)

  • First Grade Farmers harvested their vegetables today and made a delicious salad!  Many teachers were able to enjoy the salad along with us because there was so much to go around!  Several room 5 friends even had seconds and thirds! Thank you to Marcie Kearing, Emily Hamel, and her first grade class for lovingly tending our tower garden.  Staff and students enjoyed a delicious salad and a side of string beans. Students even tried vegetables that they had never eaten before, and they were pleasantly surprised with the delicious taste!  (Photo collage 4 and 5)


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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • On Monday, 8th graders visited WSHS to hear presentations from administration, tour the building, and learn about activities available to them next year.  The event included lunch at WSHS and a chance to visit with current students!

  • On Wednesday, 5th graders from around the district came to WSMS to hear from student presenters, see student performances, tour the building, meet staff, and hear from administration.  That same evening, a parent orientation for families of these students provided parents and families the opportunity to take a tour, hear from Department Chairs, and hear from students about transitioning from elementary school to middle school.

  • On Friday, 8th graders participated in the annual Grade 8 Class Day.  Student events included a field day, art class, lunch options, and presentations from staff and students.  This was a tremendous event to cap off their middle school experience!

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • On Monday, Ms. McDonnell and her students from Reconnecting Youth at the high school visited the Coburn 2nd grade students for a community service project.  They read books to the classes, decorated take home book bags and donated books to every child. What a wonderful way to connect students at different age levels.  Fun was had by all. (Photos 1-3)

  • Students in room 30 were excited to see several new additions to their classroom...ducklings.  The children hatched them from eggs. (Photo 4)

  • Coburn’s Girls on the Run did it again!  They competed in their 2nd 5K, this time at Springfield College.  A special thank you to Mrs. Metcalf, Mrs.Pringle and Mrs. Desrosiers, who served as coaches, and to all the staff who participated!   Coburn is proud of these students! (Photos 5 and 6).


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mittineague School is embracing one last “All School Read” this month with The Lawn Boy, by Gary Paulsen.  This hilarious story follows a young boy who takes on a summer job of mowing lawns and with the help of a friend, turns it into a business with employees, investments and a mountain of cash! The third graders from Mrs. Berggrun’s class took the time to write out and draw their predictions of what is to happen after sharing the foreword and chapter one!  (Photo collage)

  • Mrs. Penna’s fourth graders learned about and celebrated their heritage with the final project for their unit on immigration.  Each student dressed up and “became one of their ancestors, sharing with the class their experiences on the voyage over, going through Ellis Island and sharing the things they brought with them.  The living museum was the highlight of their studies! (Photo collage)

  • Mrs. Hogan and Mrs. Ranstrom’s fifth graders spent the day on Tuesday visiting the living history museum, Plimoth Plantation!  The students learned about life in the 17th century Plymouth village by listening to and interacting with first person interpreters who taught them about life as it was and also through participating in tasks such as cooking, working in the mill, planting or blacksmithing!  The students also learned about Wampanoag life during that time including visiting their homes, hollowed out canoes, gardens and tools. (Photo collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Fifth graders are helping first grade students with their research project on animal habitats.  (Photo 1)

  • The fifth grade is heading to the Middle School to get a feel for the school and take a tour.  This will certainly help ease their anxiety in the fall.

  • Tatham had six staff members recognized for supporting students with special needs at the first annual SEPAC’s Shining Stars Awards presentation.  (Photo 2)

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Room 2 students participated in Handwriting Without Tears wood piece activity.  Students named this activity "Welcome to letter land!" (Photo 1)

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Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • The CAS middle school students had the pleasure of visiting LPVEC on Brush Hill on Wednesday to learn about their Career Tech program.  The students were given the grand tour, and many of them came back to school excited about the future possibility of attending the program there. (Photos 1-2)

  • Ms. Lindsy Canuel, the CAS 4th and 5th grade teacher, was awarded the Shining Star Award by the West Springfield SEPAC.  CAS is so very proud of you, Ms. Lindsy! CONGRATULATIONS!! (Photo 3)

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John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Congratulations to Mrs. Biskupic, Mrs. Hildonen, Ms. Minnette, and Ms. Melendez on receiving recognition from the West Springfield Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) on Monday, June 4, during their first Shining Star Award ceremony.  (Photo 1)

  • Students and their families enjoyed a Family Picnic on Tuesday, June 5.  Although the weather didn’t cooperate, families set up blankets and chairs to enjoy lunch together inside!

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

  • Playgroups are held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader eight-week Spring Session at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., is underway and accepting registrations.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • Father’s Day Celebration “Minute to Win It Challenge” will be June 14, from 5:30-6:30, at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  For children ages 5-8 and their caregivers.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • ELL Summer Program Application deadline extended!  

  • The ACCESS scores are in!   The ELL Department is so excited to share the great news that for the coming year there will be a tremendous group of students reclassifying from English Learners to FORMER English Learners as a result of their perseverance to gain English language proficiency in oracy and literacy while in the ELL program.    

    • At the High School, there is a total of 21 students exiting the program - congrats!

    • At the Middle School, there are nine (9) students who ready to be fully mainstreamed - yay!

    • At Coburn Elementary School, there are 56 students who no longer need scaffolded language support to be academically successful - woohoo!

This is a credit to our amazing ELL teachers across the district.  So proud and grateful for your hard work and incredible investment in the English learners and our successful program!  Thank you!!


Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • Here are some sun safety tips from the CDC.

  • SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) brought together experts in mental health, suicide prevention, education and healthcare professionals who developed this 13 Reasons Why Toolkit, a valuable resource for parents, educators and youth.

  • Physicals are required for students entering the school district for the first time and for students entering kindergarten and grades four, seven and ten.  If your child will need a physical for the 18-19 school year, please make an appointment and send a copy of the physical exam to your child’s school nurse.

  • Please provide up to date immunization records to your child’s school nurse anytime your child receives an immunization.


Special Services

  • On Monday of this week the SEPAC, Special Education Parent Advisory Council put on a wonderful celebration to honor staff members who received the Shining Stars in Special Education Award. Twenty-five (25) staff members were recognized for having a positive impact on a student with special needs. The SEPAC Leadership Committee made the evening very special.  Congratulations to all of the award recipients.


Information Technology

WSPS District Spotlight - June 1, 2018

posted Jun 1, 2018, 1:10 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - June 1, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • Thanks to everyone who attended the film screening of “Killing Ed” at the high school on Wednesday evening.  View the playbill here (including a page on ‘what you can you do’).  For more information about the film and concerns regarding HCSS-West, check out this article on MassLive (May 30).  

  • Reminder - stamped West Side Speaker Series Passports must be returned to the main office at the student’s school by June 8 in order to get a homework pass or Paw.  Additionally, Passports demonstrating credit for attending two or more Speaker Series events must be returned to the main office of the student’s school by June 8, in order to be eligible for the “Principal for a Day,” “Superintendent for a Day,” and/or “Mayor for a Day” drawings.  Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information.  

  • I am pleased to report that DESE’s Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Riley is scheduled to visit the district on October 4, 2018.  More information will be shared as the date nears.

  • The District Improvement Plan is in its final stages of completion; I expect to have the School Committee vote to accept it for implementation at the June 12 meeting.

  • WSPS continues to gather thoughts and stories of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff.  Please consider taking a few moments to share your thoughts on this link.  A few will be selected to post online (with permission) in the coming weeks, as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  Krysta Santana shared these thoughts about Kim Kania, a teacher in the Cowing Early Childhood program: “Kim Kania is the most amazing preschool teacher ever.she goes above and beyond.  Both my children had her and I can't say enough. The attention and love she gives is unmeasured.  She loves her students like a parent! So lucky to have her!

  • The FY19 Budget is posted on the district website under About WSPS / District Administration, or it can be viewed on this link.  The Town Council is expected to vote on the Operating Budget at their meeting scheduled on June 4 at 7:00 pm.

  • The West Springfield Partnership for Education (WSPE) Annual Meeting is June 4 at 3:30 p.m., in the Community Room (1st floor) at West Springfield Public Library.  This meeting is open to the public -- it’s a great opportunity to learn about the WSPE’s initiatives!  The 2018-2019 WSPE Mini-Grant recipients have been selected. A reception to recognize the awardees will be held in October.  Click this link to view the list of recipients.

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  

                 

Information Technology


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • SPRING PLANTING - Thank you to all the PTO volunteers and the fifth graders for making sure our entrance is adorned by beautiful annual flowers.  A special thanks to Mrs. Vazquez for ensuring that our flowers stayed alive until they were planted. Photos are on this link.

  • ART GALLERY WALK  - Mrs. Carter went above and beyond (again), putting together the fine art from J. Ashley and Fausey Schools into an beautiful display for all to enjoy.  Student teacher Helen Austin contributed to this great event. It was wonderful to see families try to find their child’s work, and then exclaim at how very creative their child is once they found it!  

Fausey’s music teacher Mrs. Sapowsky and her choir put on a stellar show at the start of the night, singing art-themed songs.  At the end of their last song, a visitor popped out...a pink gorilla named PinkCasso!

Mrs. Carter also collected funds for two very worthy causes:  The face painting collections were slated for the playground fund.  Funds from raffle tickets for the ‘Y-Tree Prints’ were slated for Hurricane Maria Relief for Puerto Rico.  Photos can be viewed here.

  • SPECIAL EDUCATION FIELD DAY - Talk about fun!  Fausey’s Mrs. Lubas organized a field day for students at Tatham, Fausey, the Middle School and High School.  She and Mrs. O’Shaughnessey created a series of events that accommodated our special needs kids. The theme this year was habitats, so each group strutted their t-shirts and signs that depicted a chosen habitat.  

All the Fausey students and staff lined up to cheer the participants on, many with posters and face masks depicting the different habitats.  After the parade and opening ceremony, the kids were able to participate in activities that highlighted what they’re very capable of doing! There was an obstacle course, a ‘car wash,’ a bouncy house and one of the favorites….the sponge relay!  Thanks to all the support from volunteers, contributors, dignitaries, the media and Mayor Reichelt, who handed out awards at the closing ceremony. Photos are available here.

High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:

  • June 6-7 - MCAS STE

  • June 6 - Senior Baccalaureate @ 7 p.m.

  • June 7 - Senior Awards Night @ 6 p.m.

  • June 10 - Commencement at the Big E Coliseum @ 1 p.m.

  • June 14 - Fall Sports Info Night for Parents/Athletes @ 6 p.m.

  • June 18-21 Final Exams grades 9-11


Click on link:


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • Fall sports registration is open on FamilyID - on this link.

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

  • Tasneem Kelly was the recipient of MIAA Girls Outdoor Track and Field Recognition Award for commitment to the sport, High Academic Standards and community Service.

  • Girls Lacrosse and Softball qualified for Tournament playoffs.  Girls Lacrosse Tournament preliminary match: Westfield @ West Springfield, Monday, June 4, 7:00 (Clark Field).  

  • Girls Lacrosse was Awarded the High Academic Team Award with in overall GPA average of 3.89!

  • Fall Sports Informational Night for Parents and Athletes will be Thursday, June 14, 6:00 p.m., in the H.S Auditorium.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • On Wednesday, Memorial was so pleased to meet its Link to Libraries sponsor, Market Mentors. Student Advisory members Angelica, Fairouz, Om, Malak, Prekeshya, Ethan, Aliva, Julia, and Aayan created original posters with quotes about books and their love of reading.  School librarian, Mrs. Dickson, created a beautiful bulletin board outside of the library. She called upon students in the school to share their favorite books and why they loved the books. Amanda Moyer and Sue Spiry from Market Mentors spoke to the children about commercials, websites and various ways to  advertise, as well as a lifelong love of reading and how visiting the library with family members each week was a happy childhood experience. They were then presented with a plaque by Mrs. Van Beaver. Memorial School will be receiving a wealth of new books through the Link to Libraries Business Book Link program.  Over the next three years, Memorial students will receive between 200-400 books each year - how exciting! Photo Collage 1 & 2 below: Student Advisory members creating posters for their presentation and members of the Market Mentors team and Link to Libraries representative receiving a sponsorship plaque.

  • Daniel Gagnon from Horace Mann helped to make the week special with an “Ice Cream Social” on Wednesday.  Needless to say, this was a big hit on a warm afternoon! Teachers and staff members also entered a school supply raffle, which was greatly appreciated. Thanks to both Brett Ralph and Daniel for their commitment to our schools and for their expertise.  Laura Sarkis was the lucky winner of the school supplies. (Photo 3)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • The orientation for current 5th graders will be held on Wednesday, June 6.  Students will take buses from their elementary schools to WSMS on June 6 for a program beginning at 9:15.  The presentation for parents will also be Wednesday, June 6, and it will begin at 6:30 p.m. at WSMS.

  • This week, the WSMS band and choral groups performed for students at all three grades and for family and community members as well.  Thank you to the students, Mr. Desgres, and Mr. Turcotte for a tremendous presentation. (Photo 1)

  • Thirty-four (34) 8th grade students departed for Washington D.C. this week for a trip which runs from Wednesday to Friday.  Similarly, almost the entire 7th grade class toured historic sites in New York City on Friday, June 1. Thank you to Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Cookish, respectively, for leading these incredible trips.  

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Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Teachers worked diligently this week to create well-balanced classrooms in placement meetings. Classroom teachers and specialists looked at student programming (ESL services, reading support, math support, special education) and how to create classrooms where students’ needs drive placement.  Following these meetings, a committee will work collaboratively to create a master schedule for next year. It is hoped that these discussions will ensure a smooth transition next fall.

  • Congratulations to Miranda Landry, Becky Connolly and Carrie Richards for being nominated by the West Springfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council to receive a Shining Star.  These ladies have been recognized for their dedication, creativity, patience, and determination to help students receiving special education to experience success. Coburn is so proud!

  • Coburn’s Girls on the Run team has been training for their 5K this Sunday, June 3, at Springfield College in Northampton. The event starts at 10:30 a.m.  Come join Coburn in cheering on the girls!

  • 2nd grade ELs enjoyed a “Paper Chain Design Challenge” in rooms 19 and 20.  Groups worked together to cut one piece of paper into links and make the longest paper chain using only glue and scissors.  Students measured their chains in centimeters. The strategies used were impressive! There were great discussions about whether chains should be small or large.  (Photo collage)


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The grade three students in Mrs. Bartolucci’s class are reading the Magic Tree House book American Revolution, while they are studying the colonists and the causes of the American Revolutionary War. They were using maps to show the different areas that were involved and the different interests of the parties involved. The Magic Tree House mystery series book, The Revolutionary War on Wednesday takes them right into the action of that time period!  This book is the non-fiction companion to that story which works to answer such questions as “Why did we fight the Revolutionary War?  What is the Declaration of Independence? What was it like to live in the 13 colonies? and more.” (Photo collage)

  • Every grade has been working hard to perfect their selections for the final concert of the year.  The band under the direction of Mr. Don Rovero and the class performances under the direction of Mr. Jeremy Milligan.  The concert was held today. (Photo collage)

  • Christina, a first grader, went to the State House in Boston on Wednesday to receive her award for her entry for the My Ideal School contest.  She was one of the lucky students picked to go on a tour and visit the State Treasurer’s Office and sit behind her desk!  She even got to go inside the big vault where they keep all sorts of important documents! (Photo collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Third graders went back in time - they visited Storrowton Village to learn about Colonial Living!

The students participated in many hands-on activities.  This is a great experience for the students and it’s in our own “backyard!”  (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Fourth graders learned more about animal habitats and structures.  The Staff at Forest Park Zoo has a Zoo on the Go and brings animals to the classroom.  (Photo 3)                                                                                                              

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Room 2 releasing butterflies! (Photos 1-3)

  • Cowing Art Carnival!!  (Photos 4-6)

  • Students in room 2 made a huge spider web as they finished the read aloud of "The Very Busy Spider.". (Photos 7-8)


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Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • This week’s “spotlight” is on Room 13!  They have been busy learning about life cycles.  The students had the opportunity to raise butterflies and then release them.  They also visited the Fish Lift in Holyoke to see the shad and salmon running over the dam and up the Connecticut River to spawn.  Hands-on, real-life learning is always fun!


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • In Art with Mrs. Carter, artists learned about Pablo Picasso’s Bouquet of Peace and created some vibrant version with their hand prints. (Photos 1 and 2)

  • During the Fausey Art Show, many Kindergarten pieces of work were displayed for parents and students to enjoy.  Mrs. Carter and Ms. Helen Austin posed in front of the Kindergarten cave.  Ms. Austin was from the UMass Amherst Art Education program. She just graduated with Honors, and John Ashley School wishes her the best!  (Photo 3)

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

  • Playgroups are held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader eight-week Spring Session at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., is underway and accepting registrations.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • June Art Night Out is June 7, from 5:30-7:00, at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  For children ages 4-8 and their caregivers.

  • Father’s Day Celebration “Minute to Win It Challenge” will be June 14, from 5:30-6:30, at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  For children ages 5-8 and their caregivers.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • ELL Summer Program Application deadline extended!  

  • Grade 4 and 5 students in Ms. Toolan’s newcomer classroom at Fausey are hardly newcomers anymore!   Students have advanced so much from non-readers in the silent period, to making so much language and literacy growth in just their five months here.  Students have been learning all about the features of biographies, gaining tremendous vocabulary, actively searching for those words in text to increase understanding, making continuous connections, and becoming avid readers in both English and Spanish.  See photos below!

 

              

 

         

Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • Physicals are required for students entering the school district for the first time and for students entering kindergarten and grades four, seven and ten.  If your child will need a physical for the 18-19 school year, please make an appointment and send a copy of the physical exam to your child’s school nurse.

  • Please provide up to date immunization records to your child’s school nurse anytime your child receives an immunization.

WSPS District Spotlight - May 25, 2018

posted May 25, 2018, 1:49 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - May 25, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • On Monday, May 28, there is no school due to the Memorial Day holiday.

  • I am pleased to announce that Christina Page, a first grader at Mittineague Elementary School, is a finalist in the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) 12th Annual "My Ideal School" Contest!  This year, the MSBA received over 2,500 drawings from first grade students across the Commonwealth.  Of these drawings, eleven winners were selected, one of which will be chosen as the grand prize winner, whose artwork will be featured on the cover of the MSBA’s 2018 Annual Report.  Christina will find out if she is the Grand Prize winner on May 30!

  • The West Side Spring Speaker Series concluded on May 21 with “Rebound: The Chris Herren Story.”   Chris Herren’s presentations at West Springfield High School on Monday captivated attendees, to say the least.  WSPS students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attended.  Students are reminded to bring their stamped West Side Speaker Series Passport to the main office at their school by June 8 in order to get a homework pass or Paw.  Additionally, Passports demonstrating credit for attending two or more Speaker Series events must be returned to the main office of the student’s school by June 8, in order to be eligible for the “Principal for a Day,” “Superintendent for a Day,” and/or “Mayor for a Day” drawings.  Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information.  (Photo collage)

  • WSHS Senior Meagan Burke, School Committee student representative, was recognized for her two years of service to the School Committee at their May 22 meeting.  (Photo 2)

  • The WSEA and the Turkish American Society of Western MA are co-sponsoring a free screening of the documentary, “Killing Ed,” on May 30, at 6:00 p.m., at West Springfield High School.  The documentary exposes the corruption, politics and efforts to privatize U.S. public schools. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including, Mark Hall (film’s director/producer), John Martin (attorney with Amsterdam & Partners), Mayor Reichelt, a former charter school teacher from Ohio, a representative from the Turkish American Society, and others.  (Photo 3)

  • As you may know, Janis Griffin-Thibault passed away last week.  Janis was a paraprofessional in West Springfield since 2004; she started at Fausey Elementary School and was most recently working in the autism classroom at Cowing EC.  In lieu of flowers, Janis’s family has asked for donations to be made to Cowing Early Childhood Development Program.  

  • WSPS continues to gather thoughts and stories of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff.  Please consider taking a few moments to share your thoughts on this link.  A few will be selected to post online (with permission) in the coming weeks, as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  

  • The FY19 Budget is posted on the district website under About WSPS / District Administration, or it can be viewed on this link.

  • The West Springfield Partnership for Education (WSPE) Annual Meeting is June 4 at 3:30 p.m., in the Community Room (1st floor) at West Springfield Public Library.  This meeting is open to the public -- it’s a great opportunity to learn about the WSPE’s initiatives! The 2018-2019 WSPE Mini-Grant recipients have been selected.  A reception to recognize the awardees will be held in October. Click this link to view the list of recipients.

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  

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Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • Physicals are required for students entering the school district for the first time and for students entering kindergarten and grades four, seven and ten.  If your child will need a physical for the 18-19 school year, please make an appointment and send a copy of the physical exam to your child’s school nurse.

  • Please provide up to date immunizations records to your child’s school nurse anytime your child receives an immunization.


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • 2017-2018 MCAS Schedule is on this link.

  • West Springfield Public Schools will be opening an Adult Education Center beginning August 2018. The program is designed to provide students who will not be able to attain a West Springfield High School Diploma with an opportunity to earn a West Springfield Adult Education Diploma. The program will also support our Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE).  The target age for this program is 18 -22 year olds. The program will be housed at the former West Springfield Teen Center.

  • West Springfield was the recipient of a $37,000 competitive Compact IT grant.  The funds will support the technology infrastructure and hardware needs at the Adult Education Center.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • ALPACAS - The Balboni family, who own the local Good Dog University & K9 Daycare, visited Fausey’s third graders.  The informative visit taught the students where alpacas can be found, the physiology of an alpaca, along with the value of its wool.  They brought four of their alpacas, who charmed the students (and staff) with their beauty and cuteness. The alpacas enjoyed a well-deserved dust bath afterwards!  Photos are on this link and video is on this link.

  • MASS AUDUBON ARCADIA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY - This time it was Mrs. DeMagistris and Mrs. Radon’s class who enjoyed the great outdoors!  Fantastic pictures captured the great day, on this link.

  • KICKBALL CHAMPIONS - Mrs. Radon’s second graders were given the opportunity of challenging the Fausey staff at a kickball game because they collected the highest amount of Box Tops.  The second graders put up a good fight, but the staff won out this year. Thank you to PTO Mom Mrs. Schneider for coordinating the Box Top collection this year! Photos found here.

  • ENGINEERING PROJECTS:  Mrs. Hill has engaged third graders in projects such as Building Your Dream Tree House.  The students included their interests in their design.  These interests ended up in some interesting results such as an aquarium/tunnel, a floor plan shaped as the letter ‘I’, along with a ‘cat-friendly’ design.  The students learned the importance of setting a theme, working with math connections, and making sure that they followed the engineering process.



 

High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

  • May 24-26 - WSHS Drama Club presents West Side Story @ 7 p.m.

  • May 29-June 1 - Senior Exams

  • June 6-7 - MCAS STE

  • June 6 - Senior Baccalaureate @ 7 p.m.

  • June 7 - Senior Awards Night @ 6 p.m.

  • June 10 - Commencement at the Big E Coliseum @ 1 p.m.


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

  • Girls Lacrosse qualified for the postseason this week.

  • State Track Finals are Saturday, May 26, at Hampshire Regional HS, starting 9:30 a.m.

  • WSHS senior Erin Gladu is this week’s Mass Live H.S Athlete of Week!

  • Congrats to Tasneem Kelly, junior at WSHS  for being selected to attend the MIAA Annual Outdoor Track & Field Recognition Breakfast at Franklin MA headquarters on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. This Breakfast will recognize and celebrate a select group of student athletes for their relentless commitment to their sport, high academic standards and community service. MIAA will honor these student athletes in attendance on their accomplishments for being leaders and positive role models throughout the state of MA.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Fifth graders earned and enjoyed some time outside this week after their three MCAS sessions were complete. The much needed physical activity and fresh air brought them joy as they examined nature, focused on their physical well-being and connected with peers.We are very proud of the efforts of all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders during MCAS and we also thank  all of our students, teachers and staff members for their flexibility during these very important tests. (Photo collage 1)

  • Our UPS driver, Mike, has been watching our tower garden grow as he has made numerous deliveries over the last month. As a frequent school visitor, he has taken an interest in our school and the learning that occurs. Mike was interested in hydroponics after visiting Epcot (Disney World) and he now has a front row seat to understand and watch the process. Thanks to Mike, our community friend, who goes above and beyond to accommodate our school needs!  (Photo 2)

  • Stay tuned...students will be harvesting and sharing the produce next week!

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • MCAS testing concluded this week as students finished all remaining make up exam.                       

  • Next week, a group of 8th grade students will depart for Washington D.C., for a trip which will include visits to National Monuments a tour of the Capitol Building and a review of historic sites!

  • Grade 7 students in Mrs. Brown’s ELA classes began mock trials in conjunction with their novel study.  The students had to assume courtroom roles to try one of the characters. Students studied the characters in the novel and applied their study to the mock courtroom.  Justice Edward McDonaugh spoke with the students last week to help prepare them and came to visit during their trials to watch and offer feedback on their work.

         

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • A reminder that the Elementary Schools’ All Town Concert is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29, from 7-8 p.m. at the middle school.  Coburn hopes everyone can join us to support our young musicians!

  • First grade continues to learn about the various habitats - ocean, arctic, desert.  Students are engaged in conversations about animal life, plant life and the climate in each habitat.

  • Fourth and fifth grade students read The Keeping Quilt with our Bridges friends.  Their culminating activity is to create their own quilt.  On Wednesday, they learned how to do the running stitch and the cross stitch. Then a special guest from the senior center visited to share her homemade quilts. (Photo collage).

  • Students in Mr. Granger’s 3rd grade class are classifying animals in life science.  They are using a matrix to highlight the various characteristics of each animal. (Photo collage).


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The first graders have been studying the life cycle and habitat of a butterfly, and they released their “Painted Ladies” this week.  These students who read books, completed activities, and watched the complete metamorphosis had very solemn but happy ceremonies as they released their new friends.  (Photo collage)

  • Congratulations to Christina P., first grader at Mittineague Elementary School, who is a finalist in the 12th Annual "My Ideal School" Contest!  The Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) and State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, Chair of the MSBA Board of Directors, recently held the 12th Annual “My Ideal School” Contest.  This year, MSBA received over 2,500 drawings from first grade students across the Commonwealth. Of these drawings, eleven winners were selected, one of which will be chosen as the grand prize winner and have their artwork featured on the cover of the MSBA’s 2018 Annual Report.  (Photo collage)

  • The third graders at Mittineague are getting ready to travel to Mittineague Park to learn about the ecosystems and habitats there. This Thursday was the first part of that journey as SEEC (science, environmental, education, classroom) educators came to the school to prepare them for the hands on science encounter  they are about to participate in! (Photo collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • First Graders are learning to measure using non standard units. They used items such as paper clips, popsicle sticks, dominoes, crayons, and straws.

  • Mrs. D’Angelo’s first grade class is learning about different animal habitats.  Students sorted the animals and explained their reasoning.

  • Tatham grade 2 is learning about life cycles.  They have been waiting for their chicken eggs to hatch. Tuesday was the big day!  The students were “Egg-cited!”

    

                                                                                                              

Cowing Early Childhood

  • Future farmers of America; no farms, no food -- Room 4 Cowing School (Photos 1-2)

  • Friends are helping each other at the Nurse’s office.  (Photo 3)

  • Mrs. Leonard's class exploring textures on the playground.  (Photos 4-5)

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Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • Last week CAS had to say goodbye to Mr. S.  He has accepted a new position and he will be missed VERY much, but CAS wishes him well at his new job!!

  • Mrs. Cassidy’s middle school students have been quite busy!  During science, they experimented with different powders -- sugar, baking soda, salt -- and used vinegar and iodine and observed what the chemical reactions would be.

  • Mrs. Cassidy’s class also used the leftover fruit from lunch to make apple and pear sauce.  The students used tools to peel and core the fruit, boiled it, and made the apple and pear sauce with just a bit of sugar and cinnamon...it was delicious!

  • Ms. Lindsy’s class worked so hard on MCAS this past month, and CAS couldn't be more proud. Students are working on creating math board games to review all of the skills that they have learned this year. The kids are really enjoying this project!

  


   


John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Mrs. DeForge’s class has been working on creating different two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes.  (Photo 1)

  • Mrs. Hildonen’s class said goodbye to their three butterflies.  They enjoyed watching them change and grow over time. (Photo 2)

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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader eight-week Spring Session at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., is underway and accepting registrations.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • June Art Night Out will be June 7th from 5:30-7 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club. For children ages 4-8 and their caregivers.

  • Father’s Day Celebration Minute to Win It Challenge will be June 14th from 5:30-6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club. For children ages 5-8 and their caregivers.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.

WSPS District Spotlight - May 18, 2018

posted May 18, 2018, 1:03 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - May 18, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • It is with a heavy heart that I report this sad news: Janis Griffin-Thibault passed away at home last night.  Janis worked as a paraprofessional in the district since 2004 and most recently worked at Cowing EC; she had been quite ill, but her passing was not expected.  Please join me in keeping Janis and her family in our collective thoughts and prayers.

  • WSHS Athletics interns raised awareness about substance and alcohol abuse in anticipation of the upcoming assembly at the high school on Monday, May 21, “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren.”  They sold THP Project Purple bracelets during lunches yesterday and today! (Photo 1)  

  • West Side Spring Speaker Series - WSPS families are encouraged to attend bring their student’s “passport” to the final event in the series on May 21 (6:30 at WS High School). Chris Herren’s presentation is free and open to the public!  Child care will be provided by WSHS National Honor Society students.  WSPS students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attends.  Students are reminded to bring their stamped passport to school in order to get a homework pass or Paw, and to be entered into the drawing to win the Principal for a Day, Superintendent for a Day or Mayor for a Day incentive.  Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information.  

    • May 21, 2018 -  Former NBA player Chris Herren, founder of The Herren Project and Project Purple, will share his story of addiction and recovery, “Rebound,” in the West Springfield High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. He will present “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren” to WSPS grade 8-11 students during an assembly in the high school gym.  This CARE Coalition event is made possible thanks to donations from a group of concerned WSHS alumni. Visit this flyer and this announcement for more info.  (Photo 2)  

  • MassDOT Safe Routes to School has awarded Memorial School the "Exemplary Program Award" for Western Massachusetts (all of Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Berkshire counties) for the work that has been done on Safe Routes to School!  Memorial presented to the School Committee in April, and it is so wonderful that their hard work is being recognized at the State level. The awards ceremony takes place on June 25 at the State House in Boston.

  • WSPS continues to gather thoughts and stories of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff.  Please consider taking a few moments to share your thoughts on this link.  A few will be selected to post online (with permission) in the coming weeks, as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  

  • The FY19 Budget is posted on the district website under About WSPS / District Administration, or it can be viewed on this link.

  • The Agawam-West Springfield West of the River Chamber is holding a job fair on May 22, 3:00-6:00, at Storrowton Tavern/Carriage House -- great opportunity for HS and college students looking for a job!   

  • The next School Committee meeting is May 22 at 7:00 p.m., in the Municipal Office Building auditorium on the second floor.

  • The WSEA and the Turkish American Society of Western MA are co-sponsoring a free screening of the documentary, “Killing Ed,” on May 30, at 6:00 p.m., at West Springfield High School.  The documentary exposes the corruption, politics and efforts to privatize U.S. public schools. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including, Mark Hall (film’s director), John Martin (attorney), Mayor Reichelt, a former charter school teacher from Ohio, and others.  Check out the April 26 article on Mass Live by Conor Berry, on this link. (Photo 3)

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  

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English Language Learners

  • The public comment period is open on the proposed regulations for the LOOK Act (Language Opportunity for Our Kids).  The proposed changes include the proposal requirement for establishing an alternative EL program, EL Parent Advisory Councils, criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy, draft requirements for the Bilingual Education Endorsement, SEI Endorsement for Vocational Technical teachers, and changes to voc-tech licensure requirements.  It is important that educators of English learners provide input. Copies of proposed amendments can be found on the Department’s website: Proposed Amendments.  Please provide public comment on proposed revisions using this link: Public Comment on Proposed Revisions.  Deadline for submission is TODAY May 18!

  • Be on the lookout for the ELL Summer School applications which have been sent home this week.

  • Below are photos of the Middle School after-school tutoring program that took place this year.  High School students of many languages and cultures teamed up with the ELL classrooms in grade 6 to provide academic support in a native language to help the students gain better understanding!

        

       

         

Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • Not only adults become depressed. More than one in seven teens experience depression each year. Depression is a treatable medical illness.  Here is a link from the American Academy of Pediatrics to learn the signs and symptoms of depression in children.

  • The Spring Activity Challenge is underway.  Remember to log your minutes of activity each day.  Visit this link for more information.


Information Technology


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • HOCKEY! - The Fausey Grade 5 Floor Hockey League concluded its season last week with the Falcon Cup playoffs.  The Ice Weasels won the girls' division and the Puck Snipers won the boys' division. 58 boys and girls participated in the annual after school intramural program which is about learning the game, teamwork and sportsmanship and most of all, having fun.  Thank you to Mr. Harty and Mr. Bailey for coaching! Photos are on this link.

  • OFF TO ARCADIA!  Second graders are concluding their studies with Mass Audubon.  The first set of classes visited Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton.  The diverse terrain (forest, meadows, grasslands, marsh, and wetlands) attracts an extraordinary variety of wildlife. Students were able to connect their classroom knowledge to Arcadia’s rich, loamy soil, which is characteristic of the Connecticut River floodplain.  View the photos here.

  • MCAS - Fausey third to fifth graders finished strong!  The photo below shows a few 5th graders spelling out ‘M.C.A.S’.

  


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

  • May 21 - “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren” Assembly (Gr. 8-11)

  • May 22 - Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta (see 2017 event here)

  • May 24-26 - WSHS Drama Club presents West Side Story @ 7 p.m.


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

  • Seniors Farrah Adam recorded her 100th hit in softball, and Erin Gladu earned her 200th point in Lacrosse this season.  Both are great individual achievements!


Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.


Special Services

  • Parents of students with special needs received a nomination form in the mail from the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC).  If there is a person in your student’s school who has had a special impact on your child, you are encouraged to nominate them for a “Shining Stars for Special Education Award.”  Nomination forms are available on this link as well as the district website, www.wsps.org / Latest News, and on the scrolling slideshow on the website front page.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Six young optimists from fourth grade used their creativity and artistic skills to create entries for the Life is Good T-Shirt Art Contest.  Pictured are: Aaliyah, Kranti, Giuliana, Alina, Aayan, and Fairouz. (Photo 1)

  • The Memorial LEGO Dominators ran a two-day LEGO Robot Fundraiser.  Students sold “Do-It-Yourself” badges for a dollar. When a student paid a dollar they were given a round template.  They designed their own badge using pencils, crayons, and markers and gave it to a LEGO League member to create using a badge machine.  Students loved it! The LEGO League members ran everything using teamwork to make this fundraiser a success, raising over $100, which will be put towards a new LEGO Robot.  (The robot will cost over $400, so look for more upcoming fundraisers)! (Photo Collage 2)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • This week, WSMS concluded MCAS examinations.  Students in grades 6 and 7 took exams in Math and ELA while 8th grade students took exams in Math, ELA, and Science.  Thank you to all staff and students for your hard work!

  • 7th Grader Kayla Walsh’s Girl Scout Troop is working towards their silver award.  Please consider helping the Troop by bringing in any gently used adult t-shirts you may have around the house.  WSMS is helping the environment by changing these items into reusable bags. The collection boxes for the T-shirts will be in located in the main lobby and outside Officer Johnson's office through May 19.

  • Photo 1 shows an in-progress sample of a Grade 6 Math project from this week.  Students had to design a food truck. They needed to use understanding of surface area and volume of 3D figures to design a truck and include space for appliances and preparation space.  They then had to build a scale model of the truck complete with its appliances and service window!

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Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn’s After School Chess Club competed in their first tournament in Wakefield, MA on Mother’s Day. Coburn student Shrijan Tamang took 2nd place!  Way to go team, and CONGRATS to Shrijan! Special thank you to David Bonomi who funded all the children’s memberships, as well as the busing, to make this tournament happen.  (Photo Collage)

  • MCAS is officially complete at the end of this week!  Coburn is proud of our students’ perseverance and are confident they tried their best!

  • Coburn’s Girls on the Run Team for the spring had their practice 5K on Thursday.  Can’t wait for the event on June 3 at Smith College! (Photo Collage)

  • ELs in Mr. Granger’s class learned about the life cycle of a sea turtle. They practiced using transition words to describe each stage and then made their own sea turtle. (Photo Collage)


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The fourth graders have been studying immigration and they invited a parent in to share the cultural contribution of henna from India.  Mrs. Kalhotra went into all of the fourth and fifth grade classes to talk about the uses for henna, the cultural implications, traditions and her own experiences.  After the discussion, Mrs. Kalhotra drew henna designs with a face paint like material for all the students. (Photo Collage)

  • Mrs. Hogan and Mrs. Ranstrom’s classes are working on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) challenge to create a create a balloon powered car that will be measured in speed and distance.  The students are provided with a straw and a balloon, but must gather all other materials on their own. Materials can not be store bought, but must be things they can find in their home or the classroom. Right now, they are just in the first stages of the challenge!  It will be interesting to see whose design works the best! (Photo Collage)

  • Fifth Graders for safety!!  Once again, the fifth graders have risen to the challenge of trying to monitor and help with the dismissal congestion. Many people try to park in the staff parking lot.  All parents are supposed to pick up their children at the fence at the end of the sidewalk. The students put out cones at the end of the day to block off the entrances of the parking lot to discourage people from parking there.  (Photo Collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Fourth Graders are learning about animal adaptations and structures in science.  One organism that Mrs. Gale has in her classroom to help with this unit is a hissing cockroach!  (Photo 1)

  • The second annual Girls on the Run group completed a practice 5K run on Monday.  They are getting ready for the race in June. Many staff and parents were along the route to cheer them on.  (Photo 2)

  • Fourth graders have been learning about immigration.  Miss Daena had them research their own ancestry and graph their findings.  (Photo 3)

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Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • Ms. Lindsy’s class, accompanied by Mr. B, went to Bear Hole last week to study the watershed.  The kids had many stories to tell upon their return about all of the bugs they collected. They even caught a frog!  (Photos 1-2)

  • The CAS middle school students, accompanied by Ms. Smith, visited the WS Fire Department.  The students will have the opportunity to visit the community around our school in conjunction with their study about Career and Readiness.  This unit will culminate with a visit to LPVEC Career Tech in June. (Photo 3)

  • The Cowing Alternative School staff and students are so very proud of Miss Christine!!  She graduated from Bay Path University on May 12 with honors, after having completed her internship with Mr. B.  She is already missed at CAS, but we know she will do great things for other students in her future. Best wishes Miss Christine!!  (Photo 4)

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John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Students learned about the importance of recycling and reducing our garbage in a fun and interactive presentation.  (Photo 1)

  • Mrs. Busiere’s class said goodbye to their senior visitor Joan Messer.  They are so grateful for the help she offered in the classroom throughout the year.  (Photo 2)

  • As the weather has been getting nicer, Mrs. Materas’s class has been enjoying their snack outside! (Photo 3)

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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader eight-week Spring Session at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., is underway and accepting registrations.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


                                                                                                                     


WSPS District Spotlight - May 11, 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 9:55 AM by Erin Mountain   [ updated May 12, 2018, 12:02 PM ]

We hope you enjoy this Mother's Day Weekend version of the District Spotlight!


WSPS District Spotlight - May 11, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • In recognition of Educator Appreciation Week, WSPS is gathering thoughts and stories of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff.  Please consider taking a few moments to share your thoughts on this link.  A few will be selected to post online (with permission) in the coming weeks, as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  #WeAreOne

  • This week we also celebrate our nursing staff.  The National Nurses Week theme this year is “Nurses Inspire, Innovate, Influence.”

  • The FY19 Budget has been posted on the district website under About WSPS / District Administration, or it can be viewed on this link.

  • This week I had the pleasure of talking with three Coburn students for an “In the Spotlight” episode about the Coburn visioning meetings that took place earlier this spring.  Alondra, Riley and Anirudh did a fantastic job!  Check out the episode here.  

  • Collection boxes for the clothing drive organized by WSMS Project 351 representative/grade 8 student Emily Bergeron, are located in the schools and the Municipal Office Building second floor lobby.  The drive runs through May 15, and donations will support the Puerto Rico evacuees. (Photos 1-2)

  • West Side Spring Speaker Series - WSPS families are encouraged to attend bring their student’s “passport” to the final event in the series on May 21 (6:30 at WS High School). Chris Herren’s presentation is free and open to the public!  Child care will be provided by WSHS National Honor Society students.  WSPS students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attends.  Students are reminded to bring their stamped passport to school in order to get a homework pass or Paw, and to be entered into the drawing to win the Principal for a Day, Superintendent for a Day or Mayor for a Day incentive.  Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information.  

    • May 21, 2018 -  Former NBA player Chris Herren, founder of The Herren Project and Project Purple, will share his story of addiction and recovery, “Rebound,” in the West Springfield High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. He will present “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren” to WSPS grade 8-11 students during an assembly in the high school gym.  This CARE Coalition event is made possible thanks to donations from a group of concerned WSHS alumni. Visit this flyer and this announcement for more info.  (Photo 3)  

  • The Agawam-West Springfield West of the River Chamber is holding a job fair on May 22, 3:00-6:00, at Storrowton Tavern/Carriage House -- great opportunity for HS and college students looking for a job!   

  • The next School Committee meeting is May 22 at 7:00 p.m., in the Municipal Office Building auditorium on the second floor.

  • The WSEA and the Turkish American Society of Western MA are co-sponsoring a free screening of the documentary, “Killing Ed,” on May 30, at 6:00 p.m., at West Springfield High School.  The documentary exposes the corruption, politics and efforts to privatize U.S. public schools. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including, Mark Hall (film’s director), John Martin (attorney), Mayor Reichelt, and others.  Check out the April 26 article on Mass Live by Conor Berry, on this link. (Photo 4)

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.


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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • A special Playgroup took place on May 11, at 10:30, to celebrate Mom.

  • Raising a Reader eight-week Spring Session at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., is underway and accepting registrations.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • The public comment period is open on the proposed regulations for the LOOK Act (Language Opportunity for Our Kids).  The proposed changes include the proposal requirement for establishing an alternative EL program, EL Parent Advisory Councils, criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy, draft requirements for the Bilingual Education Endorsement, SEI Endorsement for Vocational Technical teachers, and changes to voc-tech licensure requirements.  It is important that educators of English learners provide input. Copies of proposed amendments can be found on the Department’s website: Proposed Amendments.  Please provide public comment on proposed revisions using this link: Public Comment on Proposed Revisions.  Deadline for submission is May 18.

  • Be on the lookout for the ELL Summer School applications!

  • On May 10, students in Coburn’s ELL After-School Art Program proudly put on their very own awesome art show!  The artwork portrayed the students self-narrative...where they are from, family, hopes and dreams and even wished for super powers.  It was a beautiful reflection of their individuality and journey, as seen in the photos below. Congratulations to the ELLs who participated and their instructors, Becky Connolly and Sara Almoula, who guided and encouraged their expression!

       

         

Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • National School Nurse day was celebrated on May 9, 2018.  Thank you to all WSPS Nurses for their work to bolster student attendance, safety and wellness!

  • The Spring Activity Challenge is underway.  Remember to log your minutes of activity each day.  Visit this link for more information.


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Massachusetts, Walk, Bike - SAFE ROUTES DAY -  Led by Fausey’s Physical Education Ms. O’Shaughnessy, Fausey children were encouraged to bike, ride or roll to school on Wednesday, May 2.  The children were given a sticker and bookmark for participating. For more information about this great program to get children moving: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/.  Photos on   this link.

  • FALCON FOCUS - Fausey encourages everyone to read the April Falcon Focus, which includes stories of some very inspiring women.  One of the most impactful First Ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt, is revered not only for supporting the president, but also for the contributions she made on her own right.  In Born to Dance!, readers will learn about a famous ballerina, Misty Danielle Copeland.  Her incredible determination led her to become famous despite being faced with challenges.  A young engineer, Brittney Exline, is included in this issue. She is notable not only because she had many academic achievements, but did so at a very young age.  

  • The April issue shares opinions about the Star Wars franchise and makes us look forward to the latest episode coming out on May 25:  Solo:  A Star Wars Story.  It also shares a movie review of a family favorite, Coco!  Lastly, the article about floor hockey notes that is a very special rite of passage for Fausey fifth graders.  The program, headed by Mr. Harty, encourages the student athlete to practice good sportsmanship and fair play. As the reporter states, “This year had to be one of my favorite years here at Fausey because floor hockey was one of the highlights.”

  • THE CIRCUS IS COMING - June 8!  The school will continue the decades-long tradition of the circus at Fausey.  The fifth graders will once again show their skills after training with real circus performers for an entire week!  This year, thanks to the PTO, there will be more activities for all students and their families. Everyone looks forward to fantastic week and the Friday show, but volunteers and contributions are needed from the Fausey Family.  Students whose families contributes and/or volunteers will get a red clown nose for their child. The class with the most ‘noses’ will get to use the bounce house first! View photos on this link this link.

  • FAUSEY PTO SCHOLARSHIP - Scholarship winners received their awards at the last PTO meeting on May 8.  The scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who attended Fausey Elementary School for any or all of their elementary school years. The students submitted a two-page typed essay with their application, which could be a personal narrative written about their future dreams and goals, something unique or exciting that they’ve have experienced in their life, an accomplishment that makes them proud or a memory of an experience at Fausey School that made an impact.  View photos here.

  • STAFF APPRECIATION - Everyone at Fausey was appreciated this week!  Our nurses received a thoughtful gift bag and flowers to acknowledge their efforts in keeping all healthy and safe.  The staff also enjoyed a much-needed break in the library, which included snacks, music and beach-themed decor. Our caring adults are the best!  View the photos here.

  • FAUSEY PLAYGROUND - Fausey Elementary is looking to create a playground that is accessible to all our terrific children.  The money raised will be used, along with grants, to expand the small playground so that ALL our children can climb, swing and explore together.  Thanks to the extended Fausey families and friends for any amount that can be used for this worthy goal! One of the means through which people can donate is via a Go Fund Me page on this link.  Another way is through Pennies for Our Playground.  No amount is too small. Teacher Mrs. Lubas has set up a container in the office so that children and their families can donate. Please also look for the containers around town, and keep an eye on other great events!  (Photo 1)


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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

  • Athletics Department Student Ambassadors showcased this year’s Athletics Community Service initiative at the MIAA Offices this week.  The students packed five boxes of toiletry items that were donated to veterans as part of the State Service Project.


Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.


Special Services

  • In the next week, parents of students with special needs will be receiving a nomination form in the mail from the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC).  If there is a person in your student’s school who has had a special impact on your child, you are encouraged to nominate them for a “Shining Stars for Special Education Award.”  Nomination forms are available on this link as well as the district website, www.wsps.org / Latest News, and on the scrolling slideshow on the website front page.

  • On May 5, West Springfield was represented at two events happening in the area that celebrate the unique skills and accomplishments of our students.  Special Olympics held their May Day games at Chicopee High School and the end of the year celebration for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program was held at Westfield State University.  (Photos 1-2)


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Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Memorial began Staff Appreciation Week with a school-wide event that brought happiness to all!  On Monday, students participated in a “PBIS Clean-Up Day” using BEE Bucks earned for following school expectations. The goal was to make the school a more beautiful place to look at, while infusing science into the activities.  All grade levels had the opportunity to plant a variety of flowers at the school entrances.  Initially,students learned the steps to complete such as wearing gloves, preparing the soil, and pulling weeds to make room for the flowers. The photos below show various grade levels hard at work. In the bottom right corner, we see the trash and weeds that were collected during the process. Thank you to the wonderful students, PBIS Team, and staff members for making Memorial more colorful - can’t wait to see the flowers grow throughout the summer!  Thanks to Central Maintenance for removing the trash so quickly. (Photo Collage 1)

  • Mrs. Flaherty’s and Mrs. Moen’s grade 5 classes attended the Bear Hole trip on Wednesday to explore life in a forest ecosystem.  Students explored the area looking for examples of producers, consumers, and decomposers, and journaled specific characteristics.  Students were also provided instruction on the water filtration system used at Bear Hole. (Photo Collage 2)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • WSMS Recognized Teacher Appreciation Week, National School Nurses Day, and Cafeteria Superhero Day with a series of treats throughout the week.  Photo 1 shows the breakfast spread available for staff as they arrived on Monday.

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  • 7th Grader Kayla Walsh’s Girl Scout Troop is working towards their silver award.  Please consider helping the Troop by bringing in any gently used adult t-shirts you may have around the house.  WSMS is helping the environment by changing these items into reusable bags. The collection boxes for the T-shirts will be in located in the main lobby and outside Officer Johnson's office through May 19.

  • Judge Hon. Edward McDonough met with 7th Graders in Mrs. Brown’s ELA class on Friday, May 11 to help them prepare for their own Mock Trials in conjunction with their novel, Touching Spirit Bear.   

  • 8th Grader Emily Bergeron is  the WSMS Project 351 representative.  She is conducting a district-wide clothing drive, until May 15.  Please bring any clothing donations, especially of toddler clothing, to WSMS for donation to Cradles to Crayons.  Collection boxes also are placed in all of the schools, and in the 2nd floor lobby at the Municipal Office Building.

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all the Coburn faculty.   Coburn is so fortunate to have such passionate, skilled and dedicated teachers working with the students!

  • Next Thursday, May 17, is Kindergarten Orientation for incoming kindergarten students for the 2018-2019 school year.  Parents will be receiving an invitation to this event, which is an opportunity to learn about Coburn’s kindergarten program and meet faculty and staff.  Looking forward to meeting the incoming kindergarten students!

  • Wednesday, May 9, was School Nurses’ Day.  Thank you to Sarah Watson for caring for Coburn students each and every day!

  • Check out Coburn’s May newsletter by clicking HERE.


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mittineague School celebrated the much-loved Laura Bowler, school nurse, thanking her for her dedication and diligence to keep the Mittineague children healthy and safe. (Photo Collage)

  • The Character Awards assembly for this month recognized students for showing the character traits of perseverance, courage, compassion and creativity.  Fourteen students were selected because they consistently displayed compassion, and understanding, did good deeds, showed courage both in and out of class. Teachers nominated students who used creative thinking and problem solving and those who persevered to make connections to go deeper in their work!   Mittineague is very proud of their efforts. (Photo Collage)

  • The highlight of Teacher Appreciation Week was the delicious luncheon hosted by the PTO!  All staff enjoyed being spoiled during this special event! (Photo Collage)

  • The students in Mrs. Berggrun and Mrs. Ranstrom’s fourth graders counted all the change that was brought in for the  “Be the Change” walk! They bagged and counted a book box full of change. After all the coins were counted, the students raised $600.00 towards a new sound system for the school! (Photo Collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • This week was Tatham Staff Appreciation Week!  The PTO provided everyone with a delicious luncheon for everyone on Wednesday.

  • Congratulations to Meghan Morgan, Tatham music teacher, who received the Grinspoon Teacher of the Year award last Wednesday, with a dinner at the Log Cabin.

  • Fourth and fifth graders baked 65 loaves of bread this weekend. The bread was donated to the Parrish Cupboard and the Springfield Rescue mission. (Photo 1)

  • Congratulations to our fourth graders Maia Cowell, Abby McNulty, Isabella Pedro and Kinsey Mclelland as well as fifth graders, Simone Lavoie, Caden Weatherbee-Pike, Charlotte Brooks, for getting their writing published in a book entitled Crazy Creatures!  (Photo 2 and 3)


Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • Grades 4-8 completed their Math MCAS this week.  The students worked hard and expressed they were “so glad” the MCAS are complete…almost.  Grades 5 and 8 will participate in the Science and Technology MCAS next week.

  • Ms. Lindsy’s 5th graders, accompanied by Mr. B, joined the Coburn 5th grade classes on a guided tour of science fun at West Side’s very own Bear Hole.  The students enjoyed their day and had many experiences to share upon their return. (Photos 1-2)

  • The CAS Middle School students, accompanied by Ms. Smith from the WSMS, have begun their walking field trips around town,  Ms. Smith is preparing them for Career Readiness and a tour of the LPVEC campus of Career Tech in June. Last week they visited the WSFD and they will be visiting Nutmeg Trucking and Sullivan Paper in the near future.


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John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Mrs. Rodriguez’s class has their indoor and outdoor planting underway! (Photos 1-2)

  • Our speech and language skills are BLOOMING this spring!  Some of the kindergarten students in speech and language therapy continue to celebrate “May is Better Speech and Hearing” month. Their creative work demonstrates the growth and pride in their speech and language skill development. Each little piece of paper in their projects represents a targeted task of sound production, grammatical sentence formulation, following a direction, answering a question to a story, sequencing story details, or developing a social/emotional skill.  HAPPY SPRING from Mrs. Biskupic and Mrs. Grasso! (Photo 3)

  • Farmer Minor and his pig Daisy came to John Ashley School to visit the students as they celebrated the accomplishment of reading over 1,000 books.  In honor of the school’s efforts in reading, Ms. Bailer, Mrs. Smart, and custodian Jeff Roberts dazzled the students by kissing the pig.




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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Students in room 2 made "butterfly houses" in block area, and filled their bear jar as part of the PBIS program and celebrated with a "show and share" day.  (Photos 1-2)

  • The nests are finished from room 3!!  (Photo 3)

  • Mrs. Leonard's class is building their nest. (Photos 4-5)

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WSPS District Spotlight - May 4, 2018

posted May 5, 2018, 6:21 AM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - May 4, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • Next week, May 7-11, is Educator Appreciation Week.  WSPS is gathering thoughts and stories of appreciation in order to honor our amazing staff.  Please consider taking a few moments to share your thoughts on this link.  A few will be selected to post online (with permission) in the coming weeks, as a way to publicly celebrate our educators.  #WeAreOne

  • Congratulations to West Springfield High School TV Studio Club members and adviser Chris Stone for being named one of five recipients of a $3,000 award for their winning video in the (Advanced Manufacturing Program) AMP it up challenge!  The video featuring local manufacturing company Sullivan Paper, can be viewed on this link.  

  • The FY19 Budget has been posted on the district website under About WSPS / District Administration, or it can be viewed on this link.

  • Collection boxes for the clothing drive organized by WSMS Project 351 representative/grade 8 student Emily Bergeron, are located in the schools and the Municipal Office Building second floor lobby.  The drive runs through May 15, and donations will support the Puerto Rico evacuees. (Photos 1-2)

  • Smiles and congratulations were abundant on Wednesday, May 2, at The Log Cabin in Holyoke educators from Hampden County (west) were lauded at the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards banquet.  WSPS is especially proud of its five recipients:  Amy Pasterczyk - Special Education teacher at the high school; Marlena Pieciul - Grade 8 Mathematics teacher at the middle school; Carrie Richards - Special Education teacher at Coburn School; Meghan Morgan - Elementary Music teacher at various district schools; and Rebecca Connolly - Adjustment Counselor at Coburn School - and the recipient of the 1st Year/New Teacher award.

  • The Islamic Society of Western Mass (ISWM) is holding the 4th Annual Ramadan Walk/Fight Against Hunger on Saturday, May 5.  The one-mile walk begins at the ISWM on 377 Amostown Road; registration is at 10:00 and the walk begins at 11:00.  See this flyer for information.  

  • The next quarterly meeting for parents/guardians/community members is Monday, May 7 at 6:00 p.m., Municipal Office Building Merrick Room (1st floor - last door on right).  Join us!

  • The next School Committee meeting is May 8 at 7:00 p.m., in the Municipal Office Building auditorium on the second floor.

  • West Side Spring Speaker Series - WSPS families are encouraged to attend and bring their student’s “passport.”  Students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attends.  Students are reminded to bring their stamped passport to school in order to get a homework pass or Paw. Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information.  Please see below for info the final event in the series -- it’s free and open to the public!  Child care will be provided by WSHS National Honor Society students.

    • May 21, 2018 -  Former NBA player Chris Herren, founder of The Herren Project and Project Purple, will share his story of addiction and recovery, “Rebound,” in the West Springfield High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. He will present “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren” to WSPS grade 8-11 students during an assembly in the high school gym.  This CARE Coalition event is made possible thanks to donations from a group of concerned WSHS alumni. Visit this flyer and this announcement for more info.  (Photo 3)  

  • The Agawam-West Springfield West of the River Chamber is holding a job fair on May 22, 3:00-6:00, at Storrowton Tavern/Carriage House.  This is a great opportunity for high and college students looking for a job!  The flyer is available on this link.  (Photo 4)

  • The WSEA and the Turkish American Society of Western MA are co-sponsoring a free screening of the documentary, “Killing Ed,” on May 30, at 6:00 p.m., at West Springfield High School.  The documentary exposes the corruption, politics and efforts to privatize U.S. public schools. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including, Mark Hall (film’s director), John Martin (attorney), Mayor Reichelt, and others.  Check out the April 26 article on Mass Live by Conor Berry, on this link.

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Mrs.Leonard's class is learning about how birds make their nests. We are collecting materials to make our own nest.

 


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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • A special Playgroup will take place to celebrate Mom on May 11th at 10:30. Registration not required.

  • Raising a Reader is accepting registrations for the eight-week Spring Session, held at the West Springfield Public Library, 12:30-1:30 p.m., which began in April.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • Parent Child Date Night: Mother’s Day Tea will be held May 10th from 5:30 to 6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club. For children ages 4-8 and their caregivers. Registration required.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • The public comment period is open on the proposed regulations for the LOOK Act (Language Opportunity for Our Kids). The proposed changes include the proposal requirement for establishing an alternative EL program, EL Parent Advisory Councils, criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy, draft requirements for the Bilingual Education Endorsement, and SEI Endorsement for Vocational Technical teachers and changes to voc-tech licensure requirements.  It is important that educators of English learners provide input. Copies of proposed amendments can be found on the Department’s website: Proposed Amendments     Please provide public comment on proposed revisions using this link: Public Comment on Proposed Revisions.  Deadline for submission is May 18th.

  • Be on the lookout next week for the ELL Summer School applications!

  • After School ELL Arts Program is hosting their 'Art and Self Narrative' art show at Coburn on Thursday, May 10, 4 p.m.  All are welcome! Come see the artwork and hear the stories of these excited English Language Learners seen in this photo below!  Refreshments will be available, too!

             

Health Services & Employee Wellness [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • The Spring Activity Challenge is underway.  Remember to log your minutes of activity each day.  Visit this link for more information.


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • 2017-2018 MCAS Schedule is on this link.

  • WSPS are fully underway with MCAS testing. The integration of the new computer based assessment is a new platform for many of our grade levels. The students are working extremely hard on the test and we are confident they are doing their very best.

  • We received all of the new science materials for grades 1-8 over the vacation break and the materials have been dispersed to the schools. The official launch of the program will take place on August 28.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT DAY - A special thank you to our Fausey clerks.  They go above and beyond to ensure that children are safe and staff are happy.  Fausey couldn’t function without them!

  • LINK TO LIBRARY PRESENTATION - Link to Libraries has ‘linked’ Fausey Elementary with a local business:  Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C. On May 2nd, Fausey Elementary held a sponsorship presentation in the library to thank this great business for their collaboration.  Representing the Link to Libraries organization were Ms. Flynn and Ms. Vanbeaver. They presented a plaque to Ms. Quink, representative for Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C. as a show of gratitude for their generosity.

This is the first year that the accounting firm has sponsored Fausey Elementary, and the school community is looking forward to a strong relationship.  Sponsorship includes donations of beautiful books, along with readers coming to the school to share their love of books with Fausey students (next year’s third graders).  

Mrs. Spingler, Fausey’s librarian, worked with the students to make a beautiful display for Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C.  The firm’s representative, Ms. Quink, was also given giant ‘Thank You’ card to show the school’s gratitude.  Photos are on this link.

  • ARBOR DAY - Fausey’s Mr. George Downie donated a beautiful tree to honor his late wife.  The tree was planted on Arbor Day, which is observed on May 27, 2018. Mr. Downie was joined by his family, friends and his Fausey students!  Mayor Reichelt presented a plaque to the school in honor of Arbor Day. He shared the history of Arbor Day and the fact that West Springfield is named as one of  the ‘Tree Cities’ by the Arbor Day Foundation. A special thank you to Mayor Reichelt, Mr. Downie, the West Springfield Garden Club, and all attendees, for a very special, although rainy, day.  View the photos on this link.


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:



Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • Reminder - the Terrier Pride Banner Campaign is still underway -- details are on this link.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.


Information Technology

  • The IT Department has received 88 help desk tickets in the past week and resolved 80.

  • An additional Help Desk Technician has been added to the staff -- Scott Fontaine.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Memorial celebrated “Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day” on Thursday, May 3.  Students and staff, pictured below, began the day with an invigorating walk in the fresh air and bright sunshine.  All of the walkers received reflective bands and backpack reflectors to keep them extra safe and bright as they navigate the roads to and from school.  (Photo Collage 1)

  • Thanks to Theresa Loranger for her time spent student teaching (PE) with Ms. Sirignano.  The two women worked so well together and Memorial is grateful that Ms. Sirignano was able to share so much knowledge with Theresa.  Wishing Theresa the very best as she graduates from college and begins her teaching career - she’s amazing! (Photo Collage 2)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • MCAS is underway at WSMS.  Math exams will begin May 7.

  • Students and some staff participated in National Walk/Bike to School/Work Day on Wednesday, May 2.  Thank you to all who participated!

  • 7th Grader Kayla Walsh’s Girl Scout Troop is working towards their silver award.  Please consider helping the Troop by bringing in any gently used adult t-shirts you may have around the house.  WSMS is helping the environment by changing these items into reusable bags. The collection boxes for the T-shirts will be in located in the main lobby and outside Officer Johnson's office May 1 through May 19.

  • 8th Grader Emily Bergeron is  the WSMS Project 351 representative.  She is conducting a district-wide clothing drive, until May 15.  Please bring any clothing donations, especially of toddler clothing, to WSMS for donation to Cradles to Crayons.  Collection boxes also are placed in all of the schools, and in the 2nd floor lobby at the Municipal Office Building.

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Over the past three weeks, EL students working with Mrs. Murca, Mrs. Ladouceur's substitute, have been learning about “everyday” activities.  They have read a daily poem and have had daily vocabulary review. The students have been writing about things they do in the morning, afternoon and the evening.  They celebrated their work with an Author’s Tea this week. (Photo Collage)

  • Walk & Bike to School Day was celebrated at Coburn on May 2.  In order to provide an opportunity for all students to walk that day, classes were scheduled to walk the field for 20 minutes in the morning.  It was a beautiful day to be outside!



Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Wednesday, May 2 was the date of Mittineague’s “Be the Change” walk.  The students brought in change to sponsor themselves as they walked to Mittineague Park and lapped around the fields a few times.  They came up just a little short of a 5K! This walk was designed to promote healthy exercise and safety awareness when walking to school!  (Photo Collage)

  • The first graders in Mrs. Canon and Mrs. Gerardi’s classes worked diligently to create a picture with their words as well as their drawing skills to show what they consider their ideal school to look like. (Photo Collage)

  • The staff and students participated in National Poetry Day by creating and wearing, “A Poem in My Pocket” for the day.  Everyone either wrote a favorite poem or wrote one of their own. The poems were worn and shared with others all day! (Photo Collage)

  • The third, fourth and fifth graders continue to give their all while working on the state tests.  ELA is complete and math testing is underway! Everyone is proud of the perseverance and fortitude they have shown while testing!




Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • It was Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 2.  Tatham had more than 100 students and eight (8) staff members ride their bikes.  The weather was perfect for this activity!!! ( Photos 1- 2)

  • Amy Driscoll from King Arthur Flour taught our fourth and fifth graders how to make bread. Students were given the ingredients to make two loaves of bread- one for the family and one to donate. All donated bread will go to the Parish Cupboard! (Photo 3)

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Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • Third grade students completed their Math MCAS this week.  They worked hard to get smart!! CAS is so very proud of their effort and concentration!

  • Oh how does our Tower Garden grow?  Amazingly! In just one week the lettuce grew!  Look up when you drive by Cowing at night and you can see it lit up in the window.  (Photo 1)

  • Kindness counts…and it shows.  Many students and staff have been recognized for their kindness toward others in school.  (Photo 2)

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John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • The students in Mrs. Narey's class have been observing trees.  They have noticed that the trees on our playground have exposed roots.  They have written an invitation to Mr. Moore, the tree supervisor of West springfield, to come to their classroom to discuss a plan to help our playground trees.  

  • Speech and language skills are BLOOMING!!!!  May is "Better Speech and Hearing Month!" Mrs. Biskupic and Mrs. Grasso will be doing special projects with students to highlight therapy successes in articulation, motor speech disorders, stuttering, voice disorders, use of augmentative communication devices, receptive and expressive language disorders, social/pragmatic language delays, language processing and memory strategy use, and communication using FM systems and hearing aids in the classroom.  All of the speech therapy students have worked very hard all year and Ashley School is so proud of them!

  • Students are working on self portraits in Art class with Mrs. Carter and her student teacher Ms. Austin. (Photo 1)

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WSPS District Spotlight - April 27, 2018

posted Apr 27, 2018, 1:18 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - April 27, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • On Saturday, April 28, the West Springfield Teachers will take on the West Springfield Firefighters and Police in the annual basketball game to benefit the Soupy For Loopy Foundation.  The game will be held at 6:30 in the high school gym. Tickets are $3 ($5 for a family) and will be available at the door. A raffle to benefit the Foundation will be held at halftime.

  • Monday Meals to benefit the Partnership for Education!  Enjoy a bite to eat at the 99 Restaurant (1053 Riverdale St., WS 413-858-1995) in West Springfield, on April 30, between 4:00-8:00 p.m., in support of a worthy cause!  To ensure that the Partnership for Education receives a percentage of the sales, please present the flyer (THIS LINK) when ordering.  Online orders and/or delivery orders are not included in this promotion.  

  • Save the Date!  Wednesday, May 2 is Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day!  West Side is on board!

  • The Islamic Society of Western Mass (ISWM) is holding the 4th Annual Ramadan Walk/Fight Against Hunger on Saturday, May 5.  The one-mile walk begins at the ISWM on 377 Amostown Road; registration is at 10:00 and the walk begins at 11:00.  See this flyer for information.  (Photo 1)

  • The next quarterly meeting for parents/guardians/community members is Monday, May 7 at 6:00 p.m., Municipal Office Building Merrick Room (1st floor - last door on right).  Join us!

  • The next School Committee meeting is May 8 at 7:00 p.m., in the Municipal Office Building auditorium on the second floor.

  • West Side Spring Speaker Series - WSPS families are encouraged to attend and bring their student’s “passport.”  Students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attends.  Students are reminded to bring their stamped passport to school in order to get a homework pass or Paw. Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information on the passport and the events.  Please see below for info the final event in the series -- it’s free and open to the public!  Child care will be provided by WSHS National Honor Society students.

    • May 21, 2018 -  Former NBA player Chris Herren, founder of The Herren Project and Project Purple, will share his story of addiction and recovery, “Rebound,” in the West Springfield High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. He will present “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren” to WSPS grade 8-11 students during an assembly in the high school gym.  This CARE Coalition event is made possible thanks to donations from a group of concerned WSHS alumni. Visit this flyer and this announcement for more info.  (Photo 2)  

  • The Agawam-West Springfield West of the River Chamber is holding a job fair on May 22 from 3:00-6:00 at Storrowton Tavern/Carriage House.  This is a great opportunity for high and college students looking for a job!  The flyer is available on this link.  (Photo 3)

  • The WSEA is sponsoring a free screening of the documentary, “Killing Ed,” on May 30, at West Springfield High School.  The documentary exposes the corruption, politics and efforts to privatize U.S. public schools. Check out the April 26 article on Mass Live by Conor Berry, on this link.

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  

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John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Mrs. Dufresne’s class worked on creating and exploring their flower shop and garden center. (Photo 1)

  • Students and staff enjoyed a “Drop Everything and Have Fun” day before leaving for vacation.  Students were reminded of the importance of taking care of themselves, and had the opportunity to practice taking care of their bodies in many different ways.  There were carnival games set up outside, dance instruction occurring inside, popcorn being offered as a snack, and a dance performance for the students to enjoy as the day concluded.  

  • Cathy Bussolari and her dog Frigo from Bright Spot Therapy started their visits to the school.  Students had the chance to read and spend some time playing with Frigo in the library. (Photo 2)

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Cowing School

  • The nurse is screening students for hearing and vision.  (Photo 1)

  • Room 2 made a rainbow flower garden in block area.  "Some of the flowers are as tall as my knee." (Photo 2)

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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader is accepting registrations for the Spring Session in April, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., running for eight weeks, at the West Springfield Public Library.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • FREE Professional Development to assist all educators in an initiative to understand language learning. This self-paced course will help you to prepare your students, especially ELLs, to clearly communicate oral and written arguments about content-area concepts and topics.  Educators will have until May 31 to complete the five online sessions. 40 PDPs available. Register at this link.

             

Employee Wellness

  • The Spring Activity Challenge began April 9.  Remember to log your minutes of activity each day.  Visit this link for more information.


Health Services [Twitter: @WSPShealth]

  • Spring is here and warmer weather is on the way (well, we hope so anyway)!  Flowers and buds are popping up and so are a few not so friendly springtime concerns.  Please see these articles regarding ticks and seasonal allergies.

  • According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the number one chronic childhood illness in the U.S. is pediatric dental disease, also known as severe tooth decay.  Here are some tips from the CDC to promote best dental hygiene practices.


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • SUN HATS! Using a Mystery Science lesson, Mrs. Radon’s scientists collaborated to make a hat that shields them from the sun.  Pretty and functional! Visit this link.

  • SPRINGFIELD SYMPHONY - Fausey students joined the rest of the district’s third graders in a special showing of Peter and the Wolf.  As you can see, the fashionistas dressed to impress. A special thank you to Mr. Tony DiGiore for making this happen every year!  See this link.

  • CRAZY HAIR DAY - Fausey students celebrated interesting hair days as their PBIS fun days.  Go to this link.
    FREE WRITE FRIDAY - For an explanation: click this link.


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

Click on image/link:

    

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • West Side is fortunate to be hosting the MSTCA Dr. George Steele Relays again this year.  The all-day event at Clark Field is Saturday, April 28, 2018, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.

 

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • It was exciting to come across the program "Mass Appeal" on WWLP TV 22 during school vacation week.  WSPS Instrumental Band and Memorial School After School Program teacher, Don Rovero was engaging as he played and discussed the ukulele.  The host of the show, Danny New, interviewed Don and discussed a few basics about the instrument.  The gentleman then played some of the same songs Don uses in Memorial’s After School Program and his other workshops.  Afterward, they discussed a bit about the recent popularity of the ukulele, and some of the aspects of the instrument that make it accessible to children, adults and even those for whom an instrument such as guitar might be challenging (i.e., the small size, fewer strings).  (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Memorial first graders presented at the School Committee meeting on April 24.  The students were AMAZING as they described their experiences and demonstrated some warm up and breathing exercises that actors and actresses use.  Thanks to Ms. Brunelle, Ms. Hamel and Mrs. Hewes for their hard work and dedication, and thanks to Mya Rivera, acting coach extraordinaire. Enchanted Circle Theater was a top-notch organization to work with and the students gained so much self-confidence from the experience.  A link to Enchanted Theater is on the Memorial School Twitter, (@WSPSMemorial) and the meeting link is also displayed on our school website - enjoy!

  • Talented first graders are pictured with Miss Mya, Mrs. Hewes, Ms. Brunelle, and Ms. Hamel.  (Photo 3)

  • Kelsi, Ali and Kamila eagerly await their chance to shine.  (Photo 4)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • MCAS is underway at WSMS.  Math exams will begin May 7.

  • Report Cards were issued to all students on Wednesday of this week!

  • WSMS recognized the clerks on National Administrative Assistants Day - Mrs. Fontana, Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Reardon, and Mrs. Scott - for their fine work, with a lunch from the 99 Restaurant!   

  • 7th Grader Kayla Walsh’s Girl Scout Troop is working towards their silver award.  Please consider helping the Troop by bringing in any gently used adult t-shirts you may have around the house.  WSMS is helping the environment by changing these items into reusable bags. The collection boxes for the T-shirts will be in located in the main lobby and outside Officer Johnson's office May 1 through May 19.

  • 8th Grader Emily Bergeron is  the WSMS Project 351 representative.  She is conducting a district-wide clothing drive.  Please bring any clothing donations, especially of toddler clothing, to WSMS for donation to Cradles to Crayons.  Collection boxes will be placed in all of the schools.

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • To celebrate Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day on May 2, Coburn students will walk the field behind the school in 20 minute intervals.

  • April 25 was Administrative Assistants’ Day.  Coburn recognized Lori Gendreau and Svea Olberg,  who greet families and keep everyone organized at Coburn School!  These secretaries are truly dedicated to the Coburn students, families and staff!

  • 4th grade EL students learned about animal adaptations with Mrs. Buswell and Mrs. Brown.  They examined different animals and how their body parts or behavior helped them survive in its environment.  Some things these scientists examined were a skunk skin, armadillo shell, porcupine quills and lobster claws. (Photo collage)

  • Family Math Night was well-attended and a fun event for all.  Students had the opportunity to play may games that reinforce math skills.  Thank you to Laura Gorodisher for planning this event! (Photo collage)



Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mike Bergen from Top Secret Science visited Mittineague School on April 13.  He is the owner and founder of Top Secret Science from the Massachusetts Science Center.  He has taught and facilitated hands-on science with over one million students over the past 20 years!  From this special daytime workshop, the students participated in hands-on science experiments in two sessions.  The first session was for students in grades 1-3 who did experiments about the concept of weather and different forms of matter.  The second session was for students in grades 4 and 5; their experiments were primarily about working with different forms of energy.  Participation and energy levels were high and the students were able to share what they learned with all! (Photo collage)

  • Mittineague School celebrated Mrs. Lisa Edwards, Administrative Assistant extraordinaire, on Wednesday, April 25.  Lisa organizes the office and is a primary resource for all who enter the building. She is friendly, knowledgeable, and welcoming to everyone who walks through the doors!  (Photo collage)

  • This week, the third graders had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Springfield Symphony to hear the “symphonic fairy tale” of Peter and the Wolf!  They were mesmerized as they watched students from ages 12-16 play solos with the entire professional orchestra behind them! The performers were able to convey the character traits of the different animals using just their instruments!  Everyone was impressed with this magical experience! (Photo collage)



Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • On  Friday, April 13, The Puppet People presented “The Last Dragon” to the student body.  This show was made possible through a West Springfield Arts Council grant that was awarded to Tatham School. Tatham certainly appreciates their support in bringing quality programs to the students!  (Photo 1)

  • The fourth Grade began MCAS testing this week. They worked hard and persevered!

  • Third graders went to Symphony Hall on Wednesday to listen to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. The students enjoyed the concert.

  • Next week, the students in grades 4 and 5 will learn how to make bread (this was rescheduled due to a snow day!).  A representative from King Arthur Flour will teach them the basic skills. Students will then be given all the ingredients to bake two loaves of bread.  They must bring one loaf back to school, which will be donated to the Parish Cupboard. This is a great way for Tatham students to help the West Springfield community.


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Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • Next week Grade 3 will participate in the Math MCAS on Thursday and Friday morning.

  • Mrs. Messier’s class NEVER rests!  They celebrated Earth Day on Monday, April 23 and cleaned up the trash outside around our school and on the town green.  Many vehicles honked in approval and the students were very proud of their work.

  • Mrs. Messier’s class also began their study of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly.  Their butterfly larva arrived this week and they are excited to see them develop into beautiful butterflies.

  • Mrs. Cassidy’s class began the process of planting vegetables in the Tower Garden.  CAS is hopeful that students can eat a delicious salad in a few weeks. Look for the Tower Garden all lit up on Park Street as you drive by at night.


WSPS District Spotlight - April 13, 2018

posted Apr 13, 2018, 12:51 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - April 13, 2018

Note:  Due to the spring vacation week, the next District Spotlight will be posted April 27.


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • Ticket sales for the May 2 Excellence in Teaching Awards banquet close on April 18.  Tickets may be purchased on Eventbrite via this link.  The event will take place at The Log Cabin; five outstanding WSPS educators will be recognized:  Amy Pasterczyk (HS Special Education teacher); Marlena Pieciul (MS Grade 8 Mathematics teacher); Carrie Richards (Coburn Special Education teacher); Meghan Morgan (Elementary Music teacher); and Rebecca Connolly (Coburn Adjustment Counselor).

  • April vacation is April 16-20.  Wishing WSPS students and staff an enjoyable week!  Looking for youth-friendly April vacation activities?  Check out Pioneer Kids Week on this link, presented by Storrowton Village Museum and Eastern States Exposition.

  • Thank you to the sponsors, volunteer, and supporters of the April 12 West Side Spring Speaker Series event featuring western MA native Chris Waddell.  Chris’s messages  were motivational, inspiring and empowering!  Click here to see a promo of Chris’s Nametags program.  His West Side presentations were made possible thanks to donations from Horace Mann Insurance Agency, Conca Sport and Fitness, Colorado Ski Shop, #TeamConor, the McCormick Family, and two anonymous donors.  Check out this preview article posted on Mass Live by Conor Berry.  WWLP coverage of the event is on this link.  (Photo collage)

  • West Side Spring Speaker Series - WSPS families are encouraged to attend and bring their student’s “passport.”  Students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attends.  Students are reminded to bring their stamped passport to school in order to get a homework pass or Paw. Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information on the passport and the events.  Please see below for info the final event in the series, which take place at W.S. High School, at 6:30 p.m. - free and open to the public!  

    • May 21, 2018 -  Former NBA player Chris Herren, founder of The Herren Project and Project Purple, will share his story of addiction and recovery, “Rebound,” at West Springfield High School at 6:30 p.m. He will present “Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren” to WSPS grade 8-11 students during the day at the high school.  This CARE Coalition event is made possible thanks to donations from a group of concerned WSHS alumni. Visit this link for more info.   

  • Monday Meals to benefit the Partnership for Education!  Enjoy a bite to eat at the following establishments in West Springfield, between 4:00-8:00 p.m., in support of a worthy cause!  To ensure that the Partnership for Education receives a percentage of the sales, please present the flyer when you order.  Flyers are located on the WSPE website and below.  Online orders and/or delivery orders are not included in this promotion.  Thank you for your support!  

  • Colorado Ski Shop Bike Swap is April 21-22, in the shop (Westfield Street, West Springfield) starting at 9:00 a.m. both days.  Bikes may be brought in April 15-20 for pricing/tagging. Visit this link and call 746-4144 for more details.     

  • On Saturday, April 28, the West Springfield Teachers vs. West Springfield Firefighters and Police in the annual basketball game to benefit the Soupy For Loopy Foundation.  The game will be held at 6:30 in the high school gym.  Tickets are just $3 ($5 for a family) and they will be available at the door. A raffle to benefit the Foundation will be held at halftime.

  • The West Springfield Partnership for Education is accepting Teacher Mini-Grant Applications until April 24 for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Go to this link for more info.

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • Save the Date!  Monday, May 2 is Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day!  West Springfield is on board!

  • Last day of school (half day for students): Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  


       

                 

Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • The students in Mrs. Messier’s class continue to be very busy!  They made special “thank you’s” for our counseling intern who will be leaving us soon.  They also enjoy their social group time at lunch!

  • The staff (and some students) wore hockey apparel to school on Thursday in honor of the Junior Hockey Team, the Humboldt Broncos.  Several members of this team were in a tragic bus accident in Canada. Our hearts go out to them. (Photos 1-3)

  • ALL Cowing Alternative School students completed their ELA MCAS this week.  In May the students will take the Math MCAS and Grades 5 and 8 will take the Science and Technology MCAS.


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John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • The Family Math Night was a great success.  Many families came to enjoy a night full of fun and learning together.  Thank you to Ms. Bailer, Mrs. Vedovelli, Mrs. Jacobs, Mrs. Materas, Mrs. Baker, and Mrs. Gorodisher who helped to plan and organize a fun event and facilitated lots of math conversations! (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Mrs.Smart, the John Ashley Librarian, has launched the "Pig Out On Reading " program in the library. Children are encouraged to read as many books as they can, and color in a pig for every book read. Once the pig is filled up, Farmer Minor will be visiting in May with his Pot Bellied pig, and Principal Bailer and Mrs.Smart will be kissing the pig as part of the challenge!  (Photo 3)

 

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Cowing School

  • Students in room 2 are using their "wind testers" after learning about "What can the wind move?" (Photos 1-2)

  • Students played with manipulatives (Photo 3)

  • Room 5 is spending amazing time outside. (Photos 4-5)


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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader is accepting registrations for the Spring Session in April, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., running for eight weeks, at the West Springfield Public Library.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • FREE Professional Development to assist all educators in an initiative to understand language learning. This self-paced course will help you to prepare your students, especially ELLs, to clearly communicate oral and written arguments about content-area concepts and topics.  Educators will have until May 31 to complete the five online sessions. 40 PDPs available. Register at this link.

  • Staff interested in applying to work the ELL Summer Program, please see the posting on this link.

  • Wanting to share another opportunity… Interested in helping the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guarantee that educator preparation in MA results in effective educators ready to support the success of all students?  Apply to become an Ed Prep Reviewer or nominate someone! Go to this link.

  • Middle School Newcomers from Puerto Rico celebrating their roots. (Photos 1-4)

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Information Technology

  • IT staff worked quickly to deploy 350 chromebooks in just over one week. (Photo 1)

  • MCAS computer based testing is underway. IT staff have been present in schools testing everyday and we are happy to report that everything is running smoothly.

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Employee Wellness

  • The Spring Activity Challenge began on Monday. Remember to log your minutes of activity each day.  Visit this link for more information.


Health Services [Twitter: @WSPShealth]


Special Services

  • There was a wonderful turnout on Tuesday night for the Special Education Parent Advisory Council workshop entitled “Basic Parent’s Rights.”  Thanks to parent and SEPAC President Ivonne Hall for setting this up, and many thanks to Nancy Stewart from the Federation for Children with Special Needs for answering the many questions asked by our attendees. (Photo 1)

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Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Smith Art Museum & Botanical Gardens Tours in Art class! - Fausey’s Art teacher, Mrs. Carter, coordinated a great field trip to the Smith Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in Northampton.  The second graders worked at the Art Museum finding nature-inspired works of art and connecting it to poetry and art they created in the museum.  After guided tours at the Art museum, our artists visited the botanical gardens on Smith campus to get inspiration for their own art. They are now working on those pieces of art inspired by nature in Mrs. Carter and Ms. Austin’s art class.  Ms. Austin is a student teacher from UMass Amherst who will be working with Mrs. Carter until May. Stay tuned for botanical gardens inspired masterpieces at Fausey’s Art Gallery Night on Thursday, May 24, from 5-7 p.m. Pictures on this link.

  • LOVING DIRT:  Mrs. Desilets’ class was studying dirt together.  Their last session with Mass Audubon will be finishing up their classwork when they return from vacation.  As you know, classwork doesn’t always mean working in the class. The kids love to explore nature outside! Through hands-on environmental education programming which connects students to nature, students gain awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the natural world so that the outdoors is viewed as significant to their quality of life. Fun family  activities will be announced soon! (Photos 1-2)

  • No Free Write Friday this week!  Please feel free to write while on vacation and share with Mrs. Skolnick when you return!  She loves pictures, too.


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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • West Side is fortunate to be hosting the MSTCA Dr. George Steele Relays again this year.  The all-day event at Clark Field is Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.

 

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • The Memorial School PTO thanks School Committee member Bill Garvey for attending the April meeting.  Mr. Garvey shared pertinent data and his vision to support our schools. Memorial is very fortunate to have such a terrific School Committee.  Memorial PTO parents and staff thank all of the School Committee members for their dedication and the promotion of our schools.  (Photo 1)

  • Students and staff enjoy promoting and recognizing student role models and their achievements. Lynessa, a former Room 2 fourth grader, made a visit from fifth grade to this year’s fourth graders. Lynessa shared and read a text comparison response she wrote last year.  Current fourth graders were inspired by her attention to detail and they worked hard to write a strong response just like Lynessa did last year! (Photo 2)




Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • MCAS is underway at WSMS.  This week, 6th and 8th grade students took their ELA MCAS exams.  Math exams will begin May 7.

  • 8th Grader Emily Bergeron is  the WSMS Project 351 representative.  She is conducting a district-wide clothing drive.  Please bring any clothing donations, especially of toddler clothing, to WSMS for donation to Cradles to Crayons.  Collection boxes will be placed in all of the schools, and in the Mayor’s Office waiting area.

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • This week, Coburn met Ms. Zeiler, who will be filling in for music teacher Mrs. Morgan while she is on maternity leave.  Ms. Zeiler spent the day with Mrs. Morgan so she could meet students and learn about what they have been studying in class.  In the picture below, she observed 2nd graders learning how to use various percussion instruments to keep a rhythm. Ms. Zeiler will start after spring break.  (Photo collage)

  • Students in Mrs. Piper’s 5th grade class learned about germination, pollination, and photosynthesis.  Students moved through several stations to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts. (Photo collage)

  • As the warmer weather approaches, Coburn students at each grade level have been meeting with Ms. Heil and Mrs. Smith to review outdoor recess expectations.  A poster of expected behaviors for outdoor recess will be displayed in each class and in the cafeteria. Coburn hopes parents/guardians will review these with their child to ensure that all children have a safe and enjoyable recess.


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Officer Eric Johnson stopped in to visit grade three, four, and five classrooms to talk with them about the Junior Police Academy camp scheduled for July of this year.  Students received a letter to take home and they watched video clips of last year’s academy participants! Many students were excited about the possibility of participating!  Interested students are asked to please fill out the form and return it to school ASAP, as there are only 35 slots for students in grades 3-5 across the district! (Photo collage)

  • The students in Mrs. Canon’s and Mrs. Gerardi’s classes had the opportunity to attend the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s performance of The Little Mermaid at the Northampton Academy of Performing Arts to enhance their ELA unit on Fairy Tales!  This was a magical experience, and a few students were even chosen to go up on stage and perform with troupe!  (Photo collage)

  • Sixteen children were recognized at this month’s character awards assembly.  The words for this past month were Perseverance, Dependability, Responsibility, Pride.  These are students who never give up, and they work to persevere through assignments even if they are challenging.  They are dependable and responsible, the type of student that you can always count on. They also try to do the right thing and make the right choice, even when it's not the popular choice.  The students body recognized all of them and celebrated each name with a human drum roll! (Photo collage)


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Grade 4 is learning about liquid measurements. Students are discovering the different ways to make a gallon.  (Photo 1)

  • Students in grade 5 wrapped up their science unit on plants and harvested all the garden greens from their tower garden and made a giant salad. Students brought in tomatoes, cucumbers, and other fixings to make a great appetizer before lunch!  (Photos 2 and 3).


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WSPS District Spotlight - April 6, 2018

posted Apr 6, 2018, 12:35 PM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Apr 6, 2018, 2:31 PM ]

WSPS District Spotlight - April 6, 2018


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]     

  • On Wednesday, I was pleased to have the opportunity to talk with Chris Pisano on his Better Western Mass program (ABC40 WGGB) for a preview of the upcoming West Side Speaker Series events.  The interview can be found on this link.

  • The 17-18 Student Advisory Council meetings wrapped up this week; I met on Wednesday for an enlightening and energizing conversation with the HS group.  The students accepted my challenge to work together to personalize their building by using the display cases, televisions, and bulletin boards to celebrate their academic work, athleticism, and artistic abilities!  I can’t wait to see what they do!

  • The fourth meeting in my New Teacher Induction Series was held yesterday, we used the time to identify and resolve challenges that new teachers are facing in their various capacities!  For the record, this group of teachers is awesome!

  • This week, many schools celebrated Paraprofessionals Appreciation Day and National School Librarians Day.  The entire WSPS school community acknowledges and celebrates the vital role these individuals play in our efforts to educate the whole child.

  • West Side Spring Speaker Series events are free and open to the public!  WSPS families are encouraged to attend the events and bring their student’s “passport” to each event.  Students are eligible to earn incentives depending on the number of speaker series events that their parent/guardian attends.  Visit wsps.org ‘Latest News’ for more information on the passport and the events.  Please see below for info on the next two events, which take place at W.S. High School, at 6:30 p.m.  

    • April 12, 2018 - Gold medal-winning Paralympian skier, world-class mountain climber, motivational speaker, and founder of One Revolution, Chris Waddell, will address the community at West Springfield High School at 6:30 p.m.  He also will speak to WSHS students during a school assembly on April 12 (check out this letter from Dr. Perrone to parents, posted on the HS website).  Click here for info.  Mr. Waddell’s presentations are made possible thanks to donations from Horace Mann Insurance Agency, Conca Sport and Fitness, Colorado Ski Shop, #TeamConor, the McCormick Family, and two anonymous donors. (Photos 1-3)

    • May 21, 2018 -  Former NBA player Chris Herren (The Herren Project; Project Purple) will share his story of addiction and recovery, “Rebound,” at West Springfield High School at 6:30 p.m. (he will address grade 8-11 students during the day at the HS).  This CARE Coalition event is made possible thanks to donations from a group of concerned WSHS alumni. Visit this link for more info.   

  • The Town of West Springfield bimonthly newsletter, written by intern and WSHS senior Hailey MacDonald, was introduced last week.  Check it out on this link.

  • Monday Meals to benefit the Partnership for Education!  Enjoy a bite to eat at the following establishments in West Springfield, between 4:00-8:00 p.m., in support of a worthy cause!  To ensure that the Partnership for Education receives a percentage of the sales, please present a flyer when you order.  Flyers are located on the WSPE website.  Online orders and/or delivery orders are not included in this promotion.  Thank you for your support!  

  • April vacation is April 16-20.  Looking for youth-friendly April vacation activities?  Check out Pioneer Kids Week on this link, presented by Storrowton Village Museum and Eastern States Exposition.

  • Colorado Ski Shop is holding a Bike Swap April 21-22 in the shop (Westfield Street, West Springfield) starting at 9:00 a.m. both days.  Bikes may be brought in April 15-20 for pricing/tagging. Visit this link and call 746-4144 for more details.  (Photo 4)

  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner’s Weekly Update latest newsletter is available HERE.

  • In the Spotlight” interviews can be viewed on this link.  Episodes also air on Channel 15 Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Thursday-Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  

  • The West Springfield Partnership for Education is accepting Teacher Mini-Grant Applications until April 24 for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Mini-grants are awarded to educators who propose creative and innovative programs that enrich the educational experience.  Go to this link for more info.

  • Snow on April 6!?  Spring will arrive….and so will summer!  Last day of school for students: Kindergarten - June 19; grades 1-11 - June 21.  (Photo 5)

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Third and fifth graders took the ELA MCAS test this week. They worked very hard showing what they know!

  • First graders have begun learning about fractions and equal parts. Students created a pizza and put toppings on them to explain their understanding.  (Photo 1)

  • Fifth graders just completed their research projects on animals and published them using all their computer skills. (Photo 2)




Cowing Alternative School (CAS)

  • They did it…..and they did it well.  The two third grade students, Saviel and Michael, completed their ELA MCAS today.  Great job boys!!




John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Mrs. Narey’s classroom is growing flowers in their flower shop. (photo 1)

  • Mrs. Cannon’s classroom had a guest reader in.  They listened to the story “Thelma the Unicorn” and learned about the value of being yourself.

  • John Ashley will be hosting a Family Math Night on Tuesday, April 10, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.  Families are invited to the Superhero themed night, where they will be able to enjoy playing a variety of games!


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Cowing School

  • "Kindness in the air"  - the school community in room 2 created their own kindness board as they flew on "Cowing Airlines"  (Photo 1)


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

  • Playgroups continue to be held 10:30-11:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Playgroups are free (drop in) for children 0-5 and their caregivers; this allows for a fun, safe space for socialization and learning for our youngest community members!

  • Raising a Reader is accepting registrations for the Spring Session in April, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., running for eight weeks, at the West Springfield Public Library.  Raising a Reader provides children ages 3-5 and their caregiver opportunities to learn read-aloud strategies and take home new, exciting books to read each week.

  • To register for any programs, please contact Jen Brennan at 413-519-2511, or email brennan@wsps.org.


English Language Learners

  • WIDA is asking all stakeholders involved in language learner education to participate in the public

comment period in order to make your voices heard, and to ensure that WIDA’s work succeeds in meeting stakeholders’ and students’ needs.  Check out WIDA ELD 2019 and wida.us/standards (public comment link will be open through April 20).

  • FREE Professional Development to assist all educators in an initiative to understand language learning. This self-paced course will help you to prepare your students, especially ELLs, to clearly communicate oral and written arguments about content-area concepts and topics.  Educators will have until May 31 to complete the five online sessions. 40 PDPs available. Register at this link.

  • Staff interested in applying to work the ELL Summer Program, please see the posting on this link.

  • The after school ELL arts program has been having so much fun using the arts to express themselves. See the photos of students doing team building activities, making masks, life roadmaps, and of course their favorite: SLIME!

                 

       

Information Technology

  • With MCAS computer-based testing underway, please remember to put in Help Desk requests for any issues with student Chromebooks and the Middle School and elementary schools.


Employee Wellness

  • Enrollment for the Spring Activity Challenge continues until April 15.  This is a team challenge with a Disney theme. Visit this link for more information and sign-up instructions.

  • The Town is partnering with Blue Cross to encourage health and wellness.  The first initiative for 2018 is underway. All employees are encouraged take the Healthy Me Health Assessment -- it’s quick, easy, and responses are confidential.  All participants during the month of March will be entered into a raffle.


Health Services [Twitter: @WSPShealth]


Special Services

  • Please join us for the first Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) workshop, “Basic Parents’ Rights.”  This workshop will help parents of students with IEPs and 504s understand their rights and learn strategies to navigate the IEP process.  The workshop will be held on April 10, at 6:30 p.m., at the West Springfield Middle School.


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • 2017-2018 MCAS Schedule is on this link.

  • WSPS is very excited to be receiving the new Grade 1-8 science program in the next couple weeks. Teachers will have access to their materials to start reviewing prior to the August training and launch.

  • Teacher curriculum leadership opportunities have been posted in an effort to have program experts in each building to support internal professional development around new programing.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • AWARDS - Fausey students receive Academic & Citizenship awards for the second trimester.  Great job going above and beyond! Photos are on this link.

  • MASS AUDUBON GRANT - The second graders continue on their scientific inquiry of water and habitats.  Go to this link to view photos.

  • ART RULES - When their art matches their clothing!!  (Photo 1)

  • FREE WRITE FRIDAY - Appropriate for the first week of MCAS.  The kids will write about what the picture might mean, and then enjoy the explanation in the movie clip.  See accompanying article on this link.  (Photo 2)

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page for spring sports.  

  • West Side is fortunate to be hosting the MSTCA Dr. George Steele Relays again this year.  The all-day event at Clark Field is Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Alumni Update  

Please email alumni updates to mountain@wsps.org; include name and year of WSHS graduation.

 

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Congratulations to Memorial School’s March Academic Effort Award Winners. The children below exemplify hard work and effort which leads to positive results.  Everyone is so proud of their achievements! Below: Aiden, Lillian, Jacqueline,Yordy, Gerandy, Jayden, Hilal, Emirhan,Isah, Brandon and Dominic (Photo collage 1)

  • Utilizing technology when writing is an important skill - especially for 4th and 5th graders who are participating in computer-based MCAS testing.  Multiple 5th grade students have been working with Ms. Brunelle to locate the most important information in a nonfiction text. They collaborated in making a Google Slide presentation around the text.  Click on this link to view “Flashy Flamingos,” which shows what the students learned.  

  • Memorial extends congratulations to former student Emily Bergeron, who presented information about her Project 351 Grant.  Everyone is very proud of Emily’s humanitarian initiative to collect clothing for the people of Puerto Rico. Please consider donating to this very worthy cause.  Pictured below: Mayor Reichelt, Barbara Bergeron, Emily, Jeff Bergeron, Ian Brown, Assistant Principal, Middle School (Photo 2)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPSMiddle]

  • MCAS Testing for students began this week with Grade 7 ELA Exams.  Grades 6 and 8 will also take ELA exams next week.

  • Mr. Gillen was a featured presenter on Thursday and Friday at the New England League of Middle Schools Annual Regional Conference.  Mr. Gillen presented a workshop on student choice and autonomy in assessments and another on establishing a middle school makerspace!

  • Term 4 schedules were issued to students on Thursday of this week.

  • 8th Grader Emily Bergeron is  the WSMS Project 351 representative.  She is conducting a district-wide clothing drive.  Please bring any clothing donations, especially of toddler clothing, to WSMS for donation to Cradles to Crayons.  

Coburn School  [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • April is Autism Awareness Month and Coburn staff supported this by wearing blue on Monday.

  • Happy Spring!  Please view this month’s newsletter HERE

  • MCAS testing for 5th grade started this week for the ELA section.  Next week, 3rd and 4th grades will be taking the ELA section of the MCAS.  Be sure that your child gets a good night sleep and has a healthy breakfast!

  • Coburn is thrilled to participate in Girls on the Run again, this spring.  After a successful fall experience, students will have the opportunity to participate in this very important event this spring.

  • After two rescheduled times due to snow days, Coburn finally held the Bingo for Books event on Wednesday. Thank you to the reading staff for organizing this well-attended event!


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The third graders in room eight have just finished presenting their Biography projects.  Mrs. Berggrun's class spent the month of March working on an at-home biography project. They studied famous women from history in honor of Women's History Month. They gave oral presentations, and focused on three character traits that their woman portrayed.  (Photo collage)

  • Many of the fifth graders (and even a fourth grader, or two) have become Reading Buddies to some first graders!  The first graders bring their book boxes and share some of their stories with a buddy, twice a week. They talk about the story and sometimes even have their buddies read to them!  Miss Diana organizes and works with the Reading Buddies each year! (Photo collage)

  • Mrs, Penna’s fourth graders have been working hard discovering how to measure angles using protractors.  The students drew angles within a circle, measured each angle and added them up to see if their calculations were correct.  After they completed their exploration, they explained in writing what they had discovered about angles, measurement, circles and basic geometry.  (Photo collage)



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