WSPS District Spotlight - May 19, 2017

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

WSPS District Spotlight - May 19, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

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

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


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

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

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

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


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Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

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

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


  • HelpDesk Status

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

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

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


Special Services

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

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

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


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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Cowing Early Childhood

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

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

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John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

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

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

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

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

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

  • May 24 - Stop the Swerve

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


Terrier Closet:

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Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

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

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

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



Alumni Update

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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


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

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

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

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


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

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

                               

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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


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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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

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


                                                 


WSPS District Spotlight - May 12, 2017

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

WSPS District Spotlight - May 12, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         

 Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

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

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


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

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

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

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


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Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

For a free alternative to Microsoft Visio,  give draw.io a try.


Draw.io is a completely free, stand-alone diagram software for making flowcharts, process diagrams, organizational charts, mind maps, and network diagrams.. No registration, no limitations, no catches.  And it works offline!


  • HelpDesk Status

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

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

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


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

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


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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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

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

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Cowing Early Childhood

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

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

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



John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

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

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


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • May 13 - State Banner Unveiling at 10 AM

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


Custodian Heroes:

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Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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

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




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


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

                               

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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

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

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


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WSPS District Spotlight - May 5, 2017

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

WSPS District Spotlight - May 5, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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

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

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 Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @wspscurriculum]

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


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

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

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Photo 1 - Monika, Mwangaza, Jharna         Photo 2 - Abdulrahman, Alex, Edmond

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

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

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

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


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Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

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


  • HelpDesk Status

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

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


Special Services

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


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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

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

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

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Cowing Early Childhood

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

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

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

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


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

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

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

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

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Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:

  • May 6 - SATs at WSHS

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


CTEC Awards Ceremony: Department Notes: (Click here)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]


Alumni

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

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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

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

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


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

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WSPS District Spotlight - April 28, 2017

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

WSPS District Spotlight - April 28, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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

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 Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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


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

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

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

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

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

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


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Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

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


  • HelpDesk Status

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

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


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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

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


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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Cowing is again holding a Community Screening on Friday.

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

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

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


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

  1. Did I learn and improve?

  2. Was this season fun?

  3. Was this season a good experience for me?

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

what your record was.  

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

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

1 BOYS FLOOR HOCKEY.jpg  2  VERNIER.jpg


3 IMG_2305.JPG   4  IMG_7638.JPG


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming Events:


France And Italy Trip 2017

France and Italy redirect.png


Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

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


Alumni

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

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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

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

     

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

  


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

WSPS District Spotlight - April 13, 2017

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

WSPS District Spotlight - April 13, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1    2

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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

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

 


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

     


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

1    2  

                                              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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


1 Canon 2.jpeg  2 Canon 3.jpeg   

3  Canon1.jpeg  4 sample MCAS shirt.jpg


5 MCAS shirts class.jpg  6 eversource.jpg



Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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


  


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

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

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

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

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

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

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

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


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

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


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

  • HelpDesk Status

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

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


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

  • Arctic.jpg stem 2.JPG  stem.JPG

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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

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

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


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Cowing Early Childhood

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

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

IMG_2652.jpg    IMG_2654.jpg

John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

           rooms 8 & 16.

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

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


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

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

WSPS District Spotlight - April 7, 2017

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

WSPS District Spotlight - April 7, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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

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




Alumni News

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

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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

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




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

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


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

                                              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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

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

4 samanthag.jpg5  collin.jpg 6  malyn.jpg


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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

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

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




 










Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment  [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • Role Playing and SEL

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


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

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

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

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

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

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

Special Services

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

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Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

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

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

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


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

  • HelpDesk Status

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

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


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

  • chicks.jpg chicks 2.jpg SusanPrashna6c.jpg



Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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


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Cowing Early Childhood

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

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

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


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

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

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


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

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

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

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


5  ALLY LAVELLI.JPG  6  IMG_0982.JPG



High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

  • April 10 - 13 MVP Week at WSHS


Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

  • Spring sports season is underway!  Go Terriers!

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



WSPS District Spotlight - March 31, 2017

posted Mar 31, 2017, 11:19 AM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - March 31, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • The continuation of the public budget hearing for Fiscal Year 18 is April 4, at 6:30 p.m. (Municipal Office Building/Justin Morgan Auditorium - 2nd floor), immediately followed by the School Choice hearing and School Committee meeting.  The budget presentation can be viewed on this link.

  • Herter Gallery at UMass Amherst collaborative art exhibit featuring works from area public schools, including WSPS presents an opening reception April 2, from 2:00-4:00 in the gallery.  The exhibit will be open daily (excluding Saturdays) from 11:00-4:00 through April 10.

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

  • The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards banquet at The Log Cabin on May 3 will celebrate five WSPS recipients (Andrew Bell, Adrianna Lugo-Zayas, Brendan Landers, Lynne Birks, and Susan Messier).  Tickets ($30 + processing fee) must be purchased on this link in Eventbrite by April 19.

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

  • Save the date!  State Champion Banner Event - Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. at WSHS.  Stay tuned!


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

  • Spring sports season started this week. Go Terriers!

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


Alumni News

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

  • T.J. Drohan ‘14, a junior accounting major at Assumption College, recently was inducted into Omnicron Delta Epsilon, the International Honor Society for students who study economics.  


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Class of 2028, Grade 1, has finished studying sound.  In one experiment, the students worked together to hear and see sound by making grains of rice dance to tapping and then by using music.  They predicted what would happen and then reflected on the results.  In another experiment, the students had to make their own telephones and record how well they worked.

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  • Students in Grade 2, Class of 2027, have been exploring seed dispersal.  They participated in an experiment in which they explored the different ways seeds are dispersed, as well as how the shape of a seed affects how it falls.


  • Grade 3 students continue to study forces and motion in science.  They planned and conducted an investigation to explore forces on the motion of an object (i.e. a ping pong ball, and a golf ball).  Initially third graders predicted what would happen when an equal force was applied to objects of different weights. They tested their hypothesis, recorded their results, and used their data to draw conclusions about the relationship between the amount of force and the weight of an object.

   

  • Upcoming:  MCAS begins for Grades 3 and 4 next week.  Please make sure your child goes to bed early, eats a good breakfast and arrives on time.

   

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Mr. Gillen was one of Springfield College’s inaugural 40 Under 40 award winners recognized on Saturday March 25 at the college.  (Photo 1)

  • Also, this week, Mr. Gillen was selected to present at the New England League of Middle Schools’ annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island on Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31.  He, along with Tim Allen, Principal of Birchland Park Middle School in East Longmeadow, presented their workshop on staff engagement and motivation.  

  • WSMS’ Drama Club put on four wonderful performances of “Holmes on the Range” to students and families this week.  Congratulations to the students and club advisors Mr. Dillon, Mrs. Gaw, and Mr. Boutilier for a wonderful show.  


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(Picture 1)

                                    

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The results of "decluttering" for the Fill the Truck fundraiser are in!  Mittineague families have raised $602.37  for their school by collecting unwanted items and bringing them to Savers in West Springfield.  The truck was stuffed!  Overstuffed!  There were bags in the front with the driver.  Mrs. Lyons followed the truck in her car and was barely able to move because the car was so full!  Details below.  (Photo 1)

Soft Goods - 2,575 pounds x .20 = $515     Hard Goods 849 pounds x .10 = $84.90   

            Books   86 pounds x .02 = $1.72      Other Large Items 15 x .05 = $0.75                 

                                                            TOTAL: $602.37  WOW!!!   

  • Mrs. Canon’s first graders are working on their habitat posters from their work with the MCU (Model Curriculum Unit)  Habitats.  Each child read books, researched and took notes about a habitat over a few days and then took that information and made posters.  They will share their posters to classmates when they are done. (Photo 2 - Kieran and Nick; 3 - Olivia and Landon)

  • Mrs. Penna’s fourth grade has finished reading the book Tuck, Everlasting.  As a culminating project, the students created newspapers with different articles and pieces of information from the story.  They were then asked to have a learning conversation and share their paper with their families.  Parent comments ranged from excitement about the story and the projects, to pondering the question, “Would you like to live forever?” Some parents even commented that they would like the opportunity to read the book! (Photo 4 “Tuck Newsletter, “TreeGap Times” by Kayleigh Connor)


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   4 IMG_2616.JPG

Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Some our Girls on the Run members show off their new Asics Sneakers they

           received for free as part of this program.

  • This month our first graders have been  learning about solid figures and their attributes.

  • It was wild tie day at Tatham School on Friday. Students designed their own ties with the help of their parents, and wore them to school!



Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment  [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

  • March 10 and 17 Elementary Professional Development: The elementary teachers and staff  participated in a menu-approach format of professional development offerings.  The majority of the offerings were facilitated by our own teachers, coaches and administration.  The sessions were well received and we look forward to similar opportunities in the future.  WSHS faculty and staff participated in an EdCamp format and again very well received. The sessions were created by teachers and designed for all faculty and staff:  March 10 Edcamp Offerings, March 17 Edcamp Offerings.  WSMS: Principal Gillen and his administration team decided the goal and focus for this year was to renew and/or create common assessments in the core academic areas.  We are happy to report that the bulk of this work is completed and look forward to the implementation process next year.  

  • Fausey School was the host of several teachers and administrators from Agawam Public Schools on Thursday.  Our colleagues from Agawam came to see the great work that is happening at Fausey School and across the District in the areas of inclusion, Dreambox Math,and literacy instruction.   

Regional Collaboration:

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

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

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

  • Parent Cafe: Kindergarten Readiness April 4, 4:00-4:45 p.m. at Cowing School. Meet kindergarten staff and learn important skills your child will need to be successful for kindergarten. This event is in addition to the Kindergarten Orientation scheduled for May. Free Registration required. Childcare and dinner provided. Translators available.

  • Raising a Reader Spring Session: Registration now open!  First session will start Friday, April 7 from 12:30 to 1:30, and it will run for 8 weeks at the West Springfield Public Library.  Register soon, because space is limited.

  • To register for the above Parent Cafes or Raising a Reader, please email brennan@wsps.org or call 413-519-2511.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • A group of 24 eager ESL parents participated in the first of 10 Citizenship Classes focusing on US History and Federal Government, which was held on Monday, March 27 at the Community and Family Engagement Center, 389 Main Street.  The class is being taught by Michael Beecher, ESL and history teacher at West Springfield High School, with the support of Natalya Belaya, ESL Family Liaison, Kubir Kuikel, Nepali translator, and Ban Abdulnoor, Arabic translator and ESL paraprofessional.

  • IMG_5416.JPGIMG_5415.JPG

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Google has updated its Play Store with a new section that serves up a paid Android app for free every week. The company rolled it out quietly very recently, and so far has offered two games.  This may be worth keeping a watch,  as Chrome OS is soon to be supporting Android apps.


  • A note to WSPS teachers grades 1-8:  As we approach MCAS computer-based testing time, it is crucial that notification of damaged or malfunctioning Chromebooks be submitted via the WSPS Helpdesk.  To best protect the Chromebooks and ensure that they will be ready for online testing and will last as long as possible to continue using after testing, here are some best practices for your consideration.

  • HelpDesk Status

    • 1627 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 3/31/17. (+ 48 this week)

    • 1313 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 53 this week)


Special Services

  • Ms. Kathryn Mahony, the new Administrator of Special Services, will begin her employment with WSPS on Monday, April 3, 2017.  Dr. Ryan Murray will continue to serve as a consultant to Ms. Mahony through the end of the school year to ensure a smooth transition.  Please direct any comments, concerns or questions related to Special Services programming, curriculum and transportation to Ms. Mahony at mahony@wsps.org.   


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Grade 2 students have begun learning all about animals and their habitats.  Students will be learning all about what a habitat is, why animals live in certain places and what happens to animals when their habitats change.  (Photo 1)

  • Coburn School received a 2016 National Education Foundation Read Across America Library Grant  With funding from The Weinstein Company and Walden Media, these grants help school libraries purchase diverse books.  We added some old favorites, award winners, and new titles!  This week, Mrs. Pringle's Grade 5 ELL students had the opportunity to preview the books before they were shelved in the library. Thanks to Coburn Reading teacher, Ms. Albro-Fisher for writing the grant and to Mrs. Minnette for helping organize a new shelf in the Coburn Library!  Students will be reading about inspiring individuals - Misty Copeland, Trombone Shorty, Malala and more. (Photo 2)

  • Students and staff at Coburn school celebrated Spirit Week this week!  Each day represented a different way to celebrate:  Monday - Hat Day, Tuesday - Sports Day, Wednesday - Crazy Hair Day and Mix-match Day, Thursday - Pajama Day, and Friday - West Side Day!  (Photos 3- 5)

  • animal habitat - grade 2.jpg  writing grant.jpg

  • spirit week - hair2.jpg spirit week - PJs.jpg sports day.jpg


Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • The Tower Garden continues continues to grow!  If you look closely at photo 1, you can see a green bell pepper growing.

  • Welcome to the new elementary music teacher Mr. Mark Wurtzel.  The students in Mrs. Messier’s class had so much fun during his first visit!  (Photo 2)



       

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • We've been talking about community and community helpers.  The children are working cooperatively in the "Auto Shop" in our dramatic play area.  They are painting cars, filling them up with fluids and writing bills for the work that is done.


John Ashley [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • Teachers from the Wilbraham/Hampden school district visited John Ashley and observed writer’s workshop and work board in classrooms.

  • On Friday March 24, the PTO Movie Night was held.  Students and their families enjoyed the movie “Finding Dory,” and refreshments.  Pillows and blankets were put on the floor; a good time was had by all!

  • Yoga was again offered during little gym this week.

  • Room 17 students have their dance studio up and running.  Students are choreographing dances to the song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

  • Family Math Night will take place Thursday, April 6, 2017, from 5:30-6:30.

  • Coffee with the Principal is Tuesday April 11, 2017.  Come learn about art and music at John Ashley with teachers Amy Green (art) and Meghan Morgan (music).

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  • Cowing is excited to have families attend the upcoming Parent Playgroup on Friday, April 7 to spend time learning from the early childhood teachers and playing together.

  • Kindergarten Readiness Parent Cafe is happening on April 4, 2017 between 4:00-4:45 at Cowing School.

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


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • FALCON FOCUS:  Please enjoy the issue of the Fausey school paper on this link.  Thank you Mrs. Martin and her Falcon Focus staff writers!

  • BOYS & GIRLS CLUB:  Mrs. Morneau, along with Mr. and Mrs. Mulvaney, attended the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club annual fundraiser last Saturday night, March 25.  The event had a great turnout to help raise funds to support engaging programs that the Boys and Girls Club offers for the children in our community.  Nice job to Dan D'Angelo and his staff and volunteers!  (Photo 1).

  • MCAS STUDENT MEETINGS:  Mrs. Morneau hosted MCAS 2.0 student meetings in Grade 3, 4, and 5 classrooms this week in order to provide students with information about the test as well as motivate them to do their best.  (Photo 2).

  • GRADE FOUR BOSTON FIELD TRIP:  The fourth graders visited Boston on March 29.  They were hosted by Representative Finn and Senator Welch at the State House.  The students were taken on a tour, and experienced first-hand how our government works.  The students concluded their day at the Boston Museum of Science.  A special thanks to the hosts, the parent volunteers and staff that made this great experience possible for our students!  (Photo 3-5)

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2  IMG_0351.JPG


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4  InteractiveParkMuseum2017.JPG 5  Science Museum2017.JPG


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png


WSPS District Spotlight - March 24, 2017

posted Mar 25, 2017, 12:18 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - March 24, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • The first public budget hearing for the Fiscal Year 18 budget was held March 16, 2017.  The hearing will be continued on April 4 at 6:30 p.m. (Municipal Office Building/Justin Morgan Auditorium -2nd floor), immediately followed by the School Choice hearing and School Committee meeting.  The budget presentation can be viewed on this link.

  • Congratulations to middle school nurse Eileen Cohen, on being selected to receive the Autism Connections Above and Beyond Award at the 27th Annual Autism Conference on April 11 in Holyoke!  Eileen was nominated by a middle school family, who in their nomination stated they want her to be recognized for her kindness, courage and professionalism, adding, “...the gains he has made in being able to navigate his health needs are what make him successful in other areas.”       

  • Planning to attend the May 3 Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards banquet at The Log Cabin to celebrate the five WSPS recipients (Andrew Bell, Adrianna Lugo-Zayas, Brendan Landers, Lynne Birks, and Susan Messier)?  If the answer is yes, all tickets ($30 plus processing fee) must be purchased on this link in Eventbrite by April 19.

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

  • Save the date!  State Champion Banner Event - Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. at WSHS.  Stay tuned!

  • Herter Gallery at UMass Amherst presents a collaborative art exhibit featuring works from area public schools, including WSPS.  The “New Visions” opening reception is April 2, from 2:00-4:00 in the gallery.  The exhibit will be open daily (excluding Saturdays) from 11:00-4:00 through April 10.

  • The All-Schools Band performance on Thursday night was a huge hit as the high school auditorium was packed and the music was impressive at all levels...     




High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

  • March 21-23 MCAS ELA Reading & Comp.

Upcoming:


Fueled to Compete:

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Department Notes: (Click here)

Department Notes button.png


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • Spring sports will kick off their seasons next week...Go Terriers!

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


Alumni News

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • First and Second grade students in Mrs. Meara’s, Mrs. Doyle’s, and Mrs. Martin’s class performed a traveling Reader’s Theater.  Both grades read excerpts from A Mink, A Fink, A Skating Rink. First graders performed the play The Mitten, second graders performed Chicken Little and The Coyote and the Rabbit.  Students practiced very hard over the last few weeks and they had a great time performing in front of their friends!


    


  • Grade 5, Class of 2024, Science students designed and engineered containers to protect their egg for delivery!  Many eggs survived their “drop.”  They also made speed racers with Mrs. Condon, Science facilitator, to learn more about potential and kinetic energy.

 


  • COMING UP AT MEMORIAL - The school Playground Grand Opening Ceremony will be on Thursday, March 30 at 2:00.  Please join Memorial School for this exciting event!


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • 8th Grade student Amila Jusufbegovic designed this year’s WS Colleen Float in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s day parade.  The float was selected as the “Best Colleen Float” in the parade.  Congratulations Amila! (Photo 1)

  • 7th graders designed and created prototypes of cooling systems in their science class.  Class finalists had to present their designs to a panel of “Sharks” in the WSMS “Shark Tank.”  Head Custodian Rich Korell, District HVAC specialist Jim Desjardins, Curriculum Director Tim Connor, and WSMS administrators were featured “Sharks” in the tank! (Photo 2)  

  • WSMS students Ericka Colon, Julianna Hoague, Madeline Culver, Paige Menard, Brianna Forrette, Leylanis Barbot, Liam White, Emily Korzeniowski, Kristyn Tirado, Lilian Cloutier, Andrew Kostyushko, Era Orlov, Yairelix Reynoso, Dylan Ackley, and Yegean Torres had art work selected to be showcased at UMass at its annual art show on April 2-10.  Congratulations! (Photo 3)

  • The WSMS Drama Club will present their production of “Holmes on the Range” to families and the community on Wednesday March 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Richard L. Berte Auditorium at WSMS.  Tickets are $5 and all are welcome!

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Many thanks to Ms. Deena Schwarzenbach, a Mittineague parent, for filling in for a week as school secretary while Mrs. Edwards was away.  Deena helped make everything in the office run smoothly for parents, students and staff, and everyone appreciated her pleasant personality and efficiency! (Photo1)

  • EnCore teachers from grades 1 and 2 facilitate AVMR games and strategies with their groups to help their students to build visual memory skills.  All groups are multi-leveled with both first and second graders. (Photo 2 - Mrs. Canon gives directions to her EnCore group)

  • It’s that time of year again...already!!  MCAS is in the house!  As teachers and students prepare to do their best on the state exams, Mrs. Doe and Mrs. Lancour are buried in boxes!!  Please look to the Mittineague Messages Newsletter for testing tips, strategies and upcoming schedules. (Photo 3)


1 IMG_5967.JPG  2IMG_2581.JPG 3  MCAS2.jpg


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Tatham School Began an after-school Enrichment Club on Wednesday.  With the help of the PTO, staff members have planned themed activities.

  • Student Council members volunteered their time helping with our annual Math-Egg-Matic hunt.

           They helped fill over 1,500 eggs!

  • On Thursday evening, Tatham held its third annual Skate Night at Amelia Park. This event has grown in popularity each year.  Many older students participate with their younger siblings - it certainly is a “COOL” night out!






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

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

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

  • Parent Cafe: Budgeting 101 by United Bank. March 30 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Mittineague Children’s Center at 1840 Westfield Street. Free. Come learn helpful tips to secure your family’s financial future. Registration required. Childcare and dinner provided.

  • Parent Cafe: Kindergarten Readiness April 4, 4:00-4:45 p.m. at Cowing School. Meet kindergarten staff and learn important skills your child will need to be successful for kindergarten. This event is in addition to the Kindergarten Orientation scheduled for May. Free Registration required. Childcare and dinner provided. Translators available.

  • Raising a Reader Spring Session : Registration now open! First session will start Friday, April 7 from 12:30 to 1:30, and it will run for 8 weeks at the West Springfield Public Library.  Register soon, because space is limited.

  • To register for the above Parent Cafes or Raising a Reader  please email brennan@wsps.org or call 413-519-2511.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Beginning on Monday, March 27, Mr. Beecher, one of our high school ESL teachers, will be teaching a “U.S. History and State and Federal Government Class” to parents of ELL students who are looking to take their U.S. citizenship test in the near future. Classes will be held at the Community and Family Engagement office at 389 Main Street, from 2:30-3:30 each Monday, for 10 weeks, with the last class being held on June 12.

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Are you looking for a great photo editor that works offline ?  Check out Polarr .  You can install Polarr for free from the Chrome Web Store and use most of its features.  Some of the advanced adjustments are made available only when you purchase the full version of the app,  but what you get for free is works great,  and could be all that you need.


  • On Thursday, the West Springfield Middle School implemented an MCAS computer-based testing infrastructure trial.  Students and teachers in grade 8 participated by completing a “practice” MCAS test utilizing Chromebooks, WiFi, and a proctor caching server.  The process went smoothly, and confirmed that our technology environment is ready to handle the load of computer-based testing.

  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1579 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 3/24/17. (+ 50 this week)

  • 1260 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 27 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn School students in kindergarten through grade 2 had an opportunity to participate in a PBIS incentive with Home Depot on Tuesday for following the Coburn Respect rules with consistency.  Home Depot brought all of the materials and the students had an opportunity to use their skills to build a rain gauge to take home.  The students were excited and worked hard on their creations! (Photos 1-3)

  • Grade 5 students learned about simple and complex machines in science with their teachers and science consultant, Nancy Condon.  Students had to identify types of simple machines, then find simple machines on a bicycle.  Students learned that two or more simple machines in an object makes a complex machine.

  • MCAS materials arrived and preparations for testing are underway.  Teachers and staff who will be administering MCAS were trained on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and they are ready to go.

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • THANK YOU to all of the people involved in fixing Cowing’s internet connection.  Despite a challenging few days this week, CAS did it -- “old school” style with no computers!  The students are thrilled to have their Chromebooks working so they can use DreamBox and Imagine Learning again! (Photo 1)

  • Mr. S worked with Logan C on a special math assignment because Logan is a STAR math student.  He is working above grade level in math and is now learning different math skills to enhance his learning. (Photo 2)

  • Mr. B is teaching the 4th and 5th graders a lesson in the Mindfulness curriculum that he uses daily at CAS.  Students enjoy participating in these calming exercises, yoga, and mindfulness practice. (Photo 3)

                                                                     

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • Cowing enjoyed meeting families at the Early Childhood Screening on Friday!  The next screening will take place on April 28.

  • Mrs. Ricardi taught the students in Ms. Maloney’s class a Second Step Lesson on focusing attention and following directions through role-playing activities.  Students practiced their “attentoscopes” in order to focus their attention throughout the school day.

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  • Cowing is excited to have families attend the upcoming Parent Playgroup on Friday, April 7 to spend time learning from the early childhood teachers and playing together.


John Ashley School

  • Kindergarten Readiness Parent Cafe is happening on April 4, 2017 between 4:00-4:45 at Cowing School.

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


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • AROUND THE WORLD AT FAUSEY!  For a week, each Fausey class was given a country to study.  They then made a display of that country on their classroom door.  Each student was given a passport, and ‘traveled’ within the school to learn about each of the represented countries.  As they learned about each country and compared it to their own, the children were able to include many countries’ stickers onto their passport.

  • To culminate Fausey’s global studies unit, the school had a family outreach event highlighting the displays within the building.  A few parents set up beautiful displays of their own to share their cultures, from Rwanda and Pakistan to Bosnia.  The guests were entertained by Irish Dancers, Cretan (Greek) Dancers and even a bagpiper!  A group of fifth graders joined with their teacher, Mr. Bailey, to end the celebration with their rendition of the Beatles’ song ‘All You Need is Love’.  Many good feelings of understanding and appreciation were evident from students and their families!

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WSPS District Spotlight - March 17, 2017

posted Mar 17, 2017, 12:51 PM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Mar 30, 2017, 6:40 AM ]

WSPS District Spotlight - March 17, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]
  • We have used 4 snow days this school year.  Presently, the last day of school for grades 1-11 is Wednesday, June 21, and the last day for kindergarten is Monday, June 19.  Both of these dates are a half day for students and full day for staff.

  • ‘All School’ Band Concert featuring combined elementary, middle school and high school bands is March 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the high school.   

  • The West Springfield Boys & Girls Club Annual Open House is March 25.  Click this link for details.

  • Save the date!  State Champion Banner Event - Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. at WSHS.  Stay tuned!

  • Herter Gallery at UMass Amherst presents a collaborative art exhibit next month which will feature works by students and teachers from area public schools including Ashley Coburn, Fausey, Memorial, Mittineague, Tatham, WSMS, and WSHS, as well as two schools from eastern Mass.  An opening reception for the “New Visions” exhibit is April 2, from 2:00-4:00 in the gallery; the exhibit will be open daily (excluding Saturdays) from 11:00-4:00 through April 10.     


 Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • THE HARLEM WIZARDS!  Although snow prevented them from showing off their basketball skills, Mr. Bailey, Mrs. Morneau, Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Skolnick are practicing hard to be ready for the rescheduled date (to be announced soon).  Hope to see you there!

  • RECIPES:  More and more delicious recipes have been sent in by our families.  The family culinary secrets are being shared in anticipation of next week’s ‘Around the World at Fausey’ celebration.  Thank you to all that have shared, and we hope to see even more!

   UPCOMING

  • AROUND THE WORLD AT FAUSEY:  Wednesday, March 22nd at 6:30 p.m.


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • State Champion Banner unveiling event honoring Ice Hockey, Baseball, Boys Soccer and Girls Soccer is being planned on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the high school.  Details will be forthcoming.

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

  • Please register for spring sport on Family ID - spring sports tryouts begin on March 20.

Alumni News

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


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Grade 2, Class of 2027, celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a science experiment. After listening to Bartholomew and the Oobleck, students became scientists and made predictions about mixing materials before making oobleck. They really enjoyed themselves! (photo 1) We have also welcomed Ms. Edwards, a long term substitute teacher, who will be joining us at Memorial School for the next 6 weeks. (photo 2)

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Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • Middle School staff continue to use Professional Development days to finalize their development common summative unit assessment and developing and implementing benchmark assessments in four core content areas (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies).  

  • On Thursday, March 16, WSMS held a planned unannounced lockdown drill.  This drill included a planned drug search in conjunction with West Springfield Police Department.  Pike and another Police dog conducted the search while students were in lockdown.  Happily, the search found a clean and drug-free school.

  • High School Guidance Counselors continued to meet with 8th grade students this week to continue creating 9th grade schedules.  Counselors were flexible and supportive in adjusting their schedule with the week’s inclement weather.                   

              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Three students were nominated this past week to receive handprints.  All three nominations represented different parts of the school respect rules:  Respect Ourselves, Respect Others, Respect Learning and  Respect Property, and all were very well deserved!  Andrew Belyshev, from the class of 2024, was awarded  a handprint for shoveling the sidewalk on his street this morning (right outside the school) so children could walk to school more safely.  Matthew Davis, class of 2025, was awarded a handprint for kindness shown to another student through courteous action and supportive encouragement!  The third handprint was awarded to Yohalexa Rivas, class of 2025, for taking the initiative to complete an optional math review packet (30 pages), carefully and accurately to help her better prepare for the upcoming state tests.  She showed determination and perseverance!  Way to go, Mittineague students!! #MittineaguePride  (Photos 1 - Andrew, 2 - Matt, and 3 - Yohalexa)

  • Literacy Specialist Nicole LaBonte read with second graders, practicing the skill of “reading for information” with an article on “honey bees.”  Mrs. La Bonte modeled the skill of locating the information and had the students follow suit.  (Photos 4 - Mrs. LaBonte and Ella, and 5 - second grade group)

  • Lisa Fonte met in the library with the students from Leanne Becker's multigrade 3/4 classroom to talk about how to be a true friend and how to tell if someone is truly being a friend to you.  The talking points were: A friend is someone who... is kind and respectful to you, shares interests with you, spends time doing fun things with you, looks forward to talking to you, and someone who cares for your feelings. The students had roundtable discussions and acted out various scenarios together.  (Photo 6)

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4 Nicole and Ella.jpg  5 Nicole and second graders.jpg  


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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • On Monday, with the help of three parent volunteers, Tatham School began the Girls on the Run

program. The 10 girls will meet once a week after school.  At the end of the program, they will compete in a 5K run with girls from across the region!

  • Next Thursday, Tatham School will hold its third annual Skate Night at Amelia Park.  This is a great family event, and it’s sure to be a lot of fun.


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

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

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

  • Parent Cafe: Budgeting 101 by United Bank. March 30 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Mittineague Children’s Center at 1840 Westfield Street. Free. Come learn helpful tips to secure your family’s financial future. Registration required. Childcare and dinner provided.

  • Parent Cafe: Kindergarten Readiness April 4, 4:00-4:45 p.m. at Cowing School. Meet kindergarten staff and learn important skills your child will need to be successful for kindergarten. This event is in addition to the Kindergarten Orientation scheduled for May. Free Registration required. Childcare and dinner provided. Translators available.

  • To register for the above Parent Cafes please email brennan@wsps.org or call 413-519-2511.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • New England Public Radio featured West Springfield staff members Stephanie Duggan, Sara Almoula, and Colleen Marcus, along with the voices of several grade 2 and 5 students, in their March 8 broadcast and article, Plenty Of Strategies – And Little Funding – To Address Refugee Students’ Needs” by Nancy Cohen.  Mrs. Duggan can be heard teaching math to her grade 2 ELL students while Sara Almoula talks about her own experience arriving as a refugee to West Springfield High School.  The entire broadcast and article can be found on this link

               


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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  • Data Usage

  • Poetry Across Curriculum

  • On March 10 and 17, West Springfield faculty and staff had 12 hours of professional development. The focus of the two days was to provide teacher leaders the opportunity to share best practices. The elementary sessions had over 52 sessions to choose from. The high school faculty and staff participated in an Edu-Camp.  Edu-Camp is a professional development format that allows for choice based on areas within the District Improvement Plan.


  

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

Is your Chromebook randomly shutting itself down and restarting ?


Third party extensions are always suspect. Do a Browser Reset to temporarily disable them all.  Go to Settings . . . Advanced Settings . . . and then click on Reset Settings and test to see if everything is functioning properly and the problem has disappeared.   You will then need to review your extensions as they will all be disabled. Look at them carefully (by typing chrome://extensions in the address bar) and enable only what you really need. Take this as an opportunity to delete the ones you installed and never use. They just take up memory and hurt performance. Watch for the problem returning after you enable each one individually.      More Info….


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1529 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 3/17/17  (+ 32 this week)

  • 1233 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 57 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • The West Springfield Colleen and her Court visited Coburn School on Thursday to read to Mrs. Price’s students in grade 2.  The students had the opportunity to ask the Colleen and her Court questions and the students enjoyed their visit.  (Photos 1-2)

  • Mrs. Cosentini’s 4th grade class won the typing contest between the other 4th grade classrooms.  Their average typing speed was over the 20 word per minute state expectation.  They enjoyed a pizza party for their lunch on Thursday.  Way to go!  (Photo 3)

  • Grade 5 classrooms have begun the process of hatching chicks from eggs.  The teachers have received the incubators and eggs.  During testing time, the incubators will be “egg sat” by younger grades.

  


Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Parents:  more information regarding the recycling field trip for grade 4 will be coming home soon.  It is being rescheduled due to the inclement weather this week.

  • On Monday, March 13 our PBIS Team completed our three-year training.  Ms. Lynn, Mrs. Messier, and Mrs. Aubin attended the conference in Marlborough, MA and shared the CAS PBIS information with all of our colleagues from other parts of our state.

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WSPS District Spotlight - March 10, 2017

posted Mar 13, 2017, 10:24 AM by Erin Mountain   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 1:57 PM ]

WSPS District Spotlight - March 10, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Please note that due to inclement weather on Tuesday, the first public budget hearing for the School Department will be held Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 in the Justin Morgan Auditorium at the Municipal Office Building.  The School Committee meeting will follow at 6:30.

  • SAVE THE DATE!  State Champion Banner Event - Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. at WSHS.  Stay tuned!

  • Congratulations to Tatham for winning the Partnership for Education Spelling Bee on Monday!  Finishing in 2nd place was Coburn, and the 3rd place team was West Springfield Middle School.  Thanks to the sponsors -- Holyoke Mall at Ingleside, Sullivan Paper, MCL Mechanical Services, Inc., West Springfield Federal Credit Union, St. Thomas Parish CYO, West Springfield School Committee, West Springfield Middle School, West Springfield High School, and the elementary schools’ PTOs.  Kudos to the student and adult volunteers, moderator Kevin McQuillan, and the judges, Mayor Reichelt, Senator Welch, and Representative Finn for making this a night to remember!  (Photos 1-2)

  • Two great community events are coming up at West Springfield High School:  the Harlem Wizards vs. West Springfield Teachers (March 15) and the History & Heritage Faire (March 16 at 6:00).     

  • The West Springfield Boys & Girls Club Annual Open House is March 25.  Click this link for details.

  • This week I read to the students at Make Way for Ducklings in celebration of Read Across America. (Photo 3)

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John Ashley School

  • Our very own Behavior Specialist Lucas Patruno will be playing basketball for the Terrier Thunder All Stars against the Harlem Wizards. Come support him and support the fundraiser for the WSHS Boys Lacrosse Team and Conor McCormick. See you there!

  • John Ashley is getting ready for Kindergarten Orientation which will be May 18, 2017 @ 6:00 at John Ashley School.

  • Kindergarten Readiness Parent Cafe is happening on April 4, 2017 between 4:00-4:45 at Cowing School.


 Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • ENERGIZING KIDS’ MINDS!  Fourth grade students explored how energy can make things go. In this activity, students made rubber-band racers and experimented to determine how many times to twist the rubber band in order to calculate the correct "energy needed" to cause their racers to land in the “Sweet Spot” on a path. Students then modified the prototype model to design a more efficient racer that was able to run a straighter path with the least amount of energy.  They will be investigating energy throughout the remainder of the term with many more exciting experiments. (Photo 1)

  • SPELLING BEE:  Teacher representative, Tim Harty, and two fifth grade students, Amelia Paradise and Colby Harrington, competed in this year's annual West Springfield Partnership for Education Spelling Bee.  While they didn't win this year's competition, Fausey School is very proud of Mr. Harty, Amelia, and Colby. (Photos 2-3)

  • FAUSEY ACADEMIC & CITIZENSHIP AWARDS:  Deserving students were presented with February Academic & Citizenship awards this week.  We are so proud of them for their hard work and above and beyond behavior!"

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UPCOMING

  • AROUND THE WORLD AT FAUSEY:  Wednesday, March 22nd at 6:30 p.m.


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

Upcoming:


Department Notes:  (click this link)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • State Champion Banner unveiling event honoring Ice Hockey, Baseball, Boys Soccer and Girls Soccer is being planned on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the high school.  Details will be forthcoming.

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

  • Spring Sports Registration is now open.  Go to Family ID and register for your spring sport.

  • Congratulations to West Springfield HS Varsity Cheerleading team as they advance to the States this Sunday, March 12.  The Competition will take place at Wachusett Regional High School.  Competition starts at 10:30 a.m. and our team is expected to perform around 11 a.m.  

  • West Side Wrestling set a few single season records with an overall record of 30-7-1

    • D1 Western Mass Wrestling Single season wins record

    • Top Individual- Josh Bergeron Sr. 52-8 Record/ 3rd Mass All State Tournament, 3rd in Mass D1 State Tournament, Top-12 New England Tournament

    • Coach Tom Svec honored by Mass HS Wrestling Coaches Association for reaching 400 wins.

Alumni News

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

  • Sam Taylor '10 is a Field Director at the Calvert Street Group in Nashville, TN, a firm specializing in managing corporate/political campaigns.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Class of 2028, Grade 1, had a special guest reader this week!  Jamie Deenihan, former Memorial teacher and aspiring children’s book author, and her son, Alex, read us What If You Had Animal Ears? by Sandra Markle.  The book complements the science unit on sound.  Students followed up the story with an open response writing activity.


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  • Fourth graders enjoyed a phenomenal presentation by Michael Recycle (aka Mr. Pattavina).  Memorial School also visited the Materials Recycling Facility and learned more about the recycling process and importance of recycling.

  • Mrs. Martin’s students celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday by reading “Green Eggs and Ham” and matching   opposite word pair cards. Then they were able to make Dr. Seuss hats by stacking red and white cups.

   


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • The WSMS Data team met this week to refine its work around enhancing student engagement strategies.  The team is chaired by Math Coach Marlena Piecuil and Gr. 8 ELA teacher Chuck Dufault.

  • WSMS used the Professional Development opportunities to continue developing and finalizing Benchmark exams in core subject areas (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) as well as common unit summative assessments in those areas as well.  

  • 8th Grade Civics Teacher Mike Chotkowski was selected as the Holyoke Barnes and Noble winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award!  8th grade students in Michelle Favolise and Alexis Godden’s Creative Literacy class participated in this regional essay contest.  Luciana Alves’ essay on Mr. Chotkowski was selected as the top essay and Mr. Chotkowski was selected as the winner teacher.  Both Luciana and Mr. Chotkowski will be honored at a ceremony at the Holyoke Barnes and Noble on April 8 at 11:00 a.m.  This ceremony is open to the public.  Luciana’s essay will now be submitted to the New England level for consideration for further awards for both she and Mr. C.  Congratulations!  A picture of the group is included below!  (Photo 3)

  • Some grade 6 math classes have been experimenting with using ThinkBoards.  ThinkBoards turn any flat surface (like a desk or table) into a dry erase whiteboard.  They’re cheaper, cleaner, and require no storage!  (Photos 1-2)

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Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Mrs. Gerardi’s first grade class responded to a reading challenge over February break. They were asked to read 100 minutes in conjunction with the 100th day of school celebration that they had observed. Fourteen out of the 24 students responded by reaching that goal and together they read 1,155 minutes over the break!!  All students read, but those 14 celebrated their accomplishment with hot chocolate and cookies this past week!  (Photo1)

  • Students can be recognized for their accomplishments by receiving a handprint, but sometimes, teachers can be recognized and nominated as well!  In order to nominate a teacher, a student must write a paragraph detailing the special characteristics that make this teacher deserving of this award.  This past week, two teachers were nominated by their class to receive this special award!  Ms. Leanne Becker (grade 3/4) and Mrs. Julie Penna (grade 4) were both awarded a handprint in their classroom! (Photos 2 - Ms. Becker and class; and 3 - Mrs. Penna and class)

  • Chromebooks have become one of the most versatile tools in the classroom arsenal these days.  They boost engagement, they make it easier to differentiate, and both teachers and students love them!  Mrs. Canon has a multi-age 1/2 class this year and she uses Chromebooks daily.  Students use Chromebooks within both their ELA and math blocks as well as to complete their Daily Challenge.  This week during the Daily Challenge,  the first and second graders were using the Chromebooks to type out the paragraphs they were writing, and to complete spelling, reading and math fluency challenges.  The students were operating all on different levels using Google classroom, Epic, and Moby Max all at the same time. (Photos 4-5)


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3  Julie class.jpg  4  chromebook use 3.jpg

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Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • The Tatham community is very proud of grade 5 students Ella Plosky and Meadow Campurciani, who were the winners of the Partnership for Education’s Annual Spelling Bee.  Special thanks to Becky Serlin,  Reading Specialist for volunteering as the adult speller/coach.

  • On Thursday, Tatham School held an all-school Bubble-Mania assembly.  Students enjoyed the magic and science behind bubble making.













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

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

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

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • Sara Almoula, a former ESL student and 2013 graduate of WSHS, provided insight into the plight of a refugee from Iraq as a member of the Cultural Competency Panel during today’s Professional Development activities.  Sara is a paraprofessional in a grade 2 ESL classroom at Coburn School and a social work major at Elms College.  Other panel members included Kubir Kuikel, a Bhutanese refugee who is currently working as a substitute paraprofessional, and Natalya Belaya, the WSPS family liaison, along with Susannah Crolius from the Western Massachusetts Refugee and Immigrant Consortium, and Danah Abu Hamdan, a parent of two young children. (Photo 1, Sara Almoula; 2-3, panel)

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Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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  • A series of peer-led district Professional Development (PD) days began on March 9, followed by two consecutive Fridays (today and next Friday, March 17) featuring insightful, topical workshops.     

  

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

How do you turn a Chromebook screen upside down or sideways?  
(Or more importantly,  right side up ?)

Simply hit ctrl+shift+refresh. The refresh key is the one on the top row with the spinning arrow. It will rotate the screen 90 degrees.  Repeat the key press combination until the screen is positioned properly.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1493 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 3/10/17  (+ 64 this week)

  • 1176 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 64 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Congratulations to the Coburn School Spelling Bee Team, comprised of Falak Kansara, Maab Elissir, and Johnny Granger!  Coburn School finished in second place at the West Springfield Partnership Spelling Bee!  All of the participants invested a great deal of time practicing for this night and their efforts paid off!  (Photo 1)

  • The students in grade 3 are learning all about biographies.  They have been reading biographies about some pretty famous people and in Mrs. Singer and Ms. Metcalf’s classrooms the students made some very creative biography bottles as part of their culmination project around this topic.  Can you guess who they are?  (Photos 2-6)

  • Students in PE were improving their coordination, building their muscles and having fun while climbing the rope ladder in PE.  Samikchya Chhetri from grade 4 did a great job climbing to the top of the rope ladder!  (Photo 7)

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Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • CAS uses a math program called DreamBox.  The students enjoy the computer generated lessons and math “games” every day.  After completing a group of lessons, they earn a certificate.  This week a big round of applause goes to new kindergarten student, Valentino, for a job well done!! (Photo 1)

  • More congratulations go to February Students of the month:  Kaylin Harrimand and Johnathon Noel, who  have both worked very hard academically and socially to achieve these rewards.  CAS is SO

PROUD of them! (Photos 2-3)

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Cowing Early Childhood

  • In Mrs. Kania’s room the students are learning about builders in our community.  After reading “Build Dogs Build” the students all worked together to build a classroom community building.

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  • Mrs. Christofori’s class is learning about all different kinds of transportation.

  • All of the PreSchool teachers at Cowing visited Coburn School Kindergarten classes for a day as a professional development exercise.

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