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)

Grade 1 Poetry Slam.jpg  Gr 1 Poetry Slam a.jpg


Grade 1 Parent Showcase.jpg  Grade 2 Parent showcase.jpg


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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)

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

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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

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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)

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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)  

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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.  

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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)

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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)

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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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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.

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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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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)

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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)


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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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   3   


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)

Department Notes button.png

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)


1 Room 1 Reading Challenge 2.jpg  2  Leanne Class.jpg



3  Julie class.jpg  4  chromebook use 3.jpg

5  chromebook use.jpg

 

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)

          1  IMG_8791.JPG    2           

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

 a great read direct add.png

  • 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)

  • Spelling Bee.jpg gr 3 biography bottles 3.jpg gr 3 biography bottles 5.jpg

  • PE class.jpg


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)

1   IMG_1829.JPG   2  IMG_6500.JPG   3  IMG_6502.JPG


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.

20170309_112238.jpg

  • 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.

District Spotlight - March 3, 2017

posted Mar 6, 2017, 6:10 AM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - March 3, 2017


From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Great news!  The West Springfield High School four-year graduation rate climbed from 82.8 to 86.3%.  Congratulations are in order for all of the hard-working faculty, staff, and administration at the high school!

  • The Partnership for Education Spelling Bee is Monday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m., in the West Springfield High School Mini Theater.  We hope you can attend this fun and festive event!

  • The Athletics Department will present Spring Sports Parent-Athlete Info Night on Wednesday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium.  Tryouts for spring sports begin March 20.

  • Thursday, March 9 is a district Early Dismissal day for students/Professional Development for staff.  Friday, March 10 is a Professional Development day for staff.  There is no school for students on the 10th.

  • I had the pleasure of reading at a few schools yesterday in celebration of Read Across America Day.  Several schools observed this special day to celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss!  Please click this link to view photos from the March 2 events!

  • 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).     

  • In the news:  WSPS Excellence in Teaching Award Recipients; Harlem Wizards vs. W.S. Teachers  

  • The West Springfield Boys & Girls Club is hosting their Annual Open House Event on March 25.  Please see photo below for details!

                        

                                  

Cowing Early Childhood

  • Some of the classes at Cowing School are talking about community helpers. The pictures below are Mrs. Maloney’s class as Police Officers and Mrs. Trznadel’s class as the workers in a Doctor’s office.

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John Ashley School

  • John Ashley held a Math Parent workshop on Thursday night February 16, just before winter break. Thank you to Sullivan, Poulin & Payne, P.C. who sponsored the event, Kindergarten teachers Mrs. Paige Jacobs, Mrs. Valerie Hildonen and Elementary Math coach Laura Gorodisher, who gave the demonstrations.  Parents were surprised how much the teaching of math has changed and the way their children learn and understand it.

  • On Tuesday February 28, Amy Bourque (Yoga teacher) introduced students to Yoga during “Little Gym.”

  • Students participated in an “All School Meeting” on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Students from Mrs. Vedovelli’s class and Mrs. Dufresne’s class led the meeting. Songs were sung, rhyming skills were practiced and school spirit was on display. Leadership is being learned. (Photo 1)

  • On March 2, 2017 the John Ashley school community celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  Distinguished community leaders read in the school library, teachers planned fun activities, pajamas were the dress code for the day, and of course Dr. Seuss books were read.


    1  IMG_2443.JPG


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • RENATA BOWERS:  Author Renata Bowers visited Grades 1-2 on February 17th.  Ms. Bowers read her book “Frieda B. and the Zillabeast” and spoke about the moral of the story.  The moral:  You are free to see kindness and be kindness, ties in directly with Fausey’s PBIS school-wide expectations!  The students were exemplary audience members, showing respectful listening and sharing skills. Pictures below. (Photos 1-2)

  • READERS’ THEATRE:  Fourth graders from Mrs. Martin in room 14 grade 4 performed two plays for Ms. Pichey's third grade class.  They performed "The King With Dirty Feet" and "The Legend of Slapped Hooper".  (Photo 3)

  • THE FALCON FOCUS:  Hot off the presses!  Please enjoy the February issue of the Fausey newspaper!  

1  ALL SET - GROUP.JPG    2  IMG_0061.JPG


3  20170217_135612.jpg


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]


Weekly Review:


Upcoming:

  • March 8 - Spring Sports Information Night 6 PM

  • March 11 - SATs at WSHS


Department Notes:  (click this link)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

  • 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.

  • Spring Sports Information Night: Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 6:00 p.m. in the high school Auditorium.  Tryouts begin March 20.

  • Girls Basketball tournament playoff game: tonight (3/3) at Central High School at 7:00 p.m.  


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!

  • Alexis Manolakis ‘06 is a criminalist at the Boston Police Crime Lab. Alexis earned her MS in biomedical forensic science from Boston University.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Just before the February break, Class of 2027, Grade 2 students celebrated their 100th day of school with “100” themed centers. Some of the students dressed up as 100 year olds.


IMG_3232 (2).JPG Ourcam1486561888.jpg


Ourcam1486561875.jpg   Ourcam1486561860.jpg


  • Students in room 6 shared some of the things they love about Memorial School.  After sharing, the students learned how to say “I love you” in sign language and made beautiful hands in the picture.  One student wrote: “I love BEE-ing at Memorial”, another student wrote: “I love kindness in school”, another common statement was “I love the teachers.”  This activity not only allowed students to practice writing and spelling, but also allowed them to practice  participating in  meaningful and engaging discussions with their classmates.  It was so lovely to learn about the wonderful things our students find special about Memorial School.  It really is great place to BEE!


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  • Before February break, Memorial observed a Snowshoeing event. This event was sponsored by the PTO and offered by Next Level Adventures. Students learned to snowshoe, engage in relay races using snowshoes, sculpt various animals in the snow, built tunnels and survival igloos.  Everyone learned to work together and it was a very successful team-building activity.  Many teachers also participated in the event with the students.

  

    


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • On Wednesday, March 1, randomly selected WSMS 8th graders participated in NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) testing.  This National exam is used to demonstrate global performance across the state and country.

  • WSMS Faculty continues to closely exam lesson plan design and instructional delivery practices using the “Workshop Model” of planning and teaching.  At this week’s faculty meeting, staff continued their work towards studying and implementing this model.  This work has been the common theme at faculty meetings during the year, and it tightly aligns with the School Improvement Plan.

  • On Monday March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the high school, many WSMS students will participate in the West Springfield Partnership for Education’s Spelling Bee.  Grade 7 teacher, Mr. Boutilier will be the staff representative on a team.  Please attend and enjoy a great evening!

              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • Last Friday, Mittineague held a character awards assembly where one student from each class was celebrated with a “Character Counts” award in recognition of their efforts to “do the right thing.”  In addition to those students, one student was recognized for doing a selfless act of kindness during family night. This student, Ada Lacenski, won a Kindle Fire in the raffle drawing!  As she was given the prize, another student, a classmate was visibly distraught because she did not win the raffle. Ada, told the young girl that her brother had one at home and they could share, and then she reached over and gave that student,  Brianna Mansfield, the Kindle.  Her simple act of generosity and kindness touched us all and the whole school celebrated her kind act by awarding her a handprint on the wall of the auditorium. #mittineaguepride   (Photos 1, 2)

  • Members from the Principal’s Cabinet led a group of students who spent their paw tickets for the chance to create “comfort bags” to be donated to the Springfield Rescue Mission.  These bags contain various items from toothpaste and brushes, to soap, deodorant, trail mix, crackers, hard candies, combs, socks and more. During the 40 minute period, the students assembled 115 bags!! (Photo 3)

  • Read Across America was celebrated this year by having parents come in and read to their child’s class. The focus for this year can be found in the spirit of the message from the poem, The Reading Mother,  by S. Gilllian ,"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be--I had a Parent who read to me."                                                                                                                                                            

          “Reading aloud is, the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for               

          eventual success in reading."  (photos included in Superintendent’s link)



1 character counts (2).jpg    2 Ada handprint award.jpg


3  comfort bags.jpg  



Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Fourth graders got a lesson on recycling. They will be taking a field trip to the recycling center in Springfield later in March. (Photo 1)

  • In celebration of Read Across America, teachers changed rooms with a colleague and became a special reader to the class.  As part of Read Across America, Grade 5 students read to first grade students. (Photo 3)

  • Bogdan Renkas, a fourth grader, took an interest in origami. He used this book to create an extra large origami snowman.  (Photo 2)

1  2     3  


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)

High School Co-taught Biology - Ms. Andrews and Ms. Ricks:  ELL and mainstream students are working in cooperative groups on an evolutions/biodiversity “Build the Beast” project.  Groups randomly selected conditions in which the beast will survive in from a list provided. Students then have to determine what adaptations or variations their beast will need in order to thrive in this fictitious environment.  This activity, along with a set of guiding questions, allows students to see how evolution and adaptation work in a variety of diverse environments. (Photos 1 and 2)

High School Co-taught Physics - Ms. Ricks and Mr. Bernard:  ELL and mainstream students participated in a whole group lab presentation, bringing the concepts of waves reflections off the paper and into real life.  Students have been working on understanding the concepts and key terms of the physics of wave energy.  Today students participated in a lab activity using a spring.  Students manipulated the spring to create waves and bring the concept of reflection to life. (Photos 3 and 4)

1    2  

          

                 3      4   

                                  


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

 a great read direct add.png

  • 13 Powerful SEL Activities

  • This week the Department of Curriculum and Instruction worked with Coburn Data Team training on the Data Wise model and reviewing focus areas.

  • The elementary principals reviewed the the policies and protocols for the upcoming Grade 4 computer-based MCAS.  Students in Grade 4 and 8 will begin taking the Department of Education MCAS practice tests in preparation for the new mode of testing.   


Special Services

  • The Special Education and English Language Learner staff met for the third time this year to discuss relevant issues and enhance service delivery.  A more detailed Parent Questionnaire was developed and will be utilized in order to gain useful background information regarding language development and previous school experiences.  In addition, a portion was added to the Instructional Support Team Request, which will provide members with information regarding a student's language level.  This information will assist team members in developing an effective intervention plan.

  

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]


Information Technology


Tip of the Week.png

How many apps are connected to your Google account? How many of those apps have full access to your Google account? If you don't know, you should. Your security depends on it.  Check for connected apps here.  More Info about permissions here.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1429 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 3/2/17  (+ 63 this week)

  • 1112 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. (+ 69 this week)


Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Read Across America was celebrated at Coburn School on Thursday, March 2.  Readers from all over the community come to read,including the Mayor, Superintendent, Curriculum Director, Police officers, family members and friends, Bridges Volunteers, Tom McCabe, Coburn’s Adjustment Counselor, Principal and Vice Principal.  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Read Across America at Coburn School!

  • Kindergarten classrooms held their curriculum family night on Thursday from 4:00-5:00 p.m. The students had an opportunity to engage in learning activities in ELA and math with their parents.  The teachers reviewed and explained each of the activities with each family and the families were provided with take home resources to support their children. (Photos 1-2)

  • Bingo for Books was also held on Thursday from 5:00 - 6:00p.m.  Students had an opportunity to have fun with sight words and vocabulary while playing BINGO.  Hot chocolate was served to all and the students used mini marshmallows as their bingo chips.  This year there were more families in attendance than ever before!  Eighty families attend this event and every student who came left with a book to read! (Photos 3 - 4).  A big thank you to Coburn’s Reading staff who made this night such a success!

1  K family night 2.jpg   2  K family night.jpg

3 bingo for books 3.jpg      4  bingo for books 4.jpg


Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Mission Accomplished!!  The CAS Tower Garden was replanted in January and it was a huge success!   Vegetables are taking over the classroom.  The lettuce makes for a delicious salad.

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  • Ms. Maloney taught the Middle School students about Binary Coding.  Today they made leather bracelets with the binary code for their initials.

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District Spotlight - February 17, 2017

posted Feb 17, 2017, 2:02 PM by Erin Mountain

WSPS District Spotlight - February 17, 2017


Note:  District Spotlight will not be published on February 24, 2017 (vacation week).

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • I am pleased to announce the five West Springfield Public Schools 2017 Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award recipients:  Andrew Bell - High School (Fine Arts), Lynne Birks - EC-Grade 5 (Fausey Grade 5), Brendan Landers - Middle School (English Language Learners), Susan Messier - EC-Grade 5 (Cowing Alternative School Elementary Special Education), and Adrianna Lugo-Zayas - New Teacher (West Springfield High School Foreign Language/Spanish).  West Springfield Public Schools congratulates and applauds these outstanding educators for their service to our students and their contributions to the school community!  The educators will be celebrated at a banquet on May 3 at The Log Cabin.  (Photos below)   

  • Stop by the Holyoke Mall to view the CARE Coalition’s Hidden in Plain Sight” display now through February 28.  The display has been developed to help parents and family members identify signs that their loved one may be abusing illicit drugs.  Resources are available, and the display will be staffed by volunteers during high traffic times on the weekends and during winter vacation week (February 20-24). Check out the publicity/news coverage here: Mass Live, WWLP, Business West, Western Mass News.

  • More than 15 teams competed in the Partnership for Education Trivia Night on Wednesday evening.  The event was a festive fundraiser for the organization, which supports West Springfield public, private and parochial schools through funding of enrichment programs such as Creative Day and Mini Grants.

  • Winter Break is February 20-24 - we hope our WSPS families have a restful, healthy and fun vacation!

  • Mark your calendar!  The Partnership for Education Spelling Bee is Monday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m., in the West Springfield High School Mini Theater.  

              


Andy Bell - WSHS Fine Arts


Lynne Birks - Fausey Grade 5


  

Brendan Landers - WSMS ELL


Adrianna Lugo-Zayas - WSHS Foreign Language


Susan Messier - Cowing Alternative School Elementary Special Education

                                                

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Thank you to Ms. Mitus at the WS Library!  Every classroom at CAS visits the library each week and enjoys this opportunity.  Choosing “I can read” books is a great way for the students to increase their reading skills.

  • Trivia night was a blast.  “The Alternative Factoids” did not win the grand prize, but we had fun and helped raise some money for the WSPE.  The CAS team consisted of:  Mrs. Sitler (school nurse), Mrs. Messier, Mr. S, Mr. J, and Mrs. Aubin.

  • IMG_6464.JPG

  • The Cowing School family sends a BIG THANK YOU to Mr. Tim, our custodian, who has had to work extra hard these last couple of weeks to keep our school property cleared of snow.  Way to go, Mr. Tim!!


Cowing Early Childhood

  • Mrs. Trznadel’s room has a new Post Office. They even have a postal truck and our Letter Carrier thinks it  looks better than his.

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  • On Valentine’s Day, all of the Early Childhood classrooms participated in a Valentine picture scavenger hunt.  Ms. Maloney’s class all wore funny heart glasses just to make the scavenger hunt even more exciting.  The children also brought in valentines to share with their friends.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Mad Science:  The students watched a presentation for the upcoming Mad Science Winter/Spring session:  Crazy Chemworks!  The session is Wednesday, March 1 and through Wednesday,May 24.  Activities include Kitchen Chemistry, Matter of Fact, and the Glow Show.  There’s much more to discover during this After School Program.

UPCOMING

  • Author Renata Bowers visits Grades 1-2!  Ms. Bowers, authored a series about a little girl named Frieda - the world’s biggest dreamer - and Zilla, her fuzzy little dog and loyal sidekick.  The book she shared is “Frieda B. and the Zillabeast.”  The moral of the story:  You are free to see kindness and be kindness.  Pictures to follow!


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]


Weekly Review:

Upcoming:

  • February 20-24 - Winter Vacation


Department Notes:  (click this link)

Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page.

  • Boys Indoor Track placed 6th overall in the Division 3 States on Wednesday and will advance to the All States Championship meet on Sunday, February 26 at Reggie Lewis Center.

  • Natalie Armstrong placed 7th overall in Long Jump in the Division 3 Indoor Track State Championship meet, and set a school record in the process (16’ 3.25”)!

  • The Boys Wrestling will compete in Division 1 states Friday & Saturday at Methuen High School.

  • The Boys Swim team will be competing In the State finals Sunday at Boston University.

  • Olivia Dwyer will be attending the the First Annual Indoor Track Recognition Breakfast at the MIAA Friday representing the PVIAC Conference and West Springfield H.S.

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

  • Spring Sports Information Night: Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6:00 p.m. in the high school Auditorium.  Tryouts begin March 20.

  • Jack Renkens presents “Realities of College Athletics Recruiting” March 29 at 7 p.m., in the high school Auditorium.  Mark your calendar!  For more info on Jack Renkens, click this link.


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]

  • Gr. 3 students used informational text sets to identify important information (i.e. cause and effect; problem and solution).  Additionally they completed a project-based learning activity.

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  • Math students in Mrs. Meara’s class, practiced their knowledge of comparing and adding fractions as they made a birthday card for Mrs. Tolpa.  They made fraction foldables to help them find equivalent fractions.

  • During this season of snow and sand, Memorial custodian Uly was busy keeping the school floors beautifully clean and presentable using the newly refurbished floor washer!


Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • This week was Spirit Week at WSMS.  Sports Day, Hat Day, PJ Day, Twins Day and West Side Day saw lots of student and staff support and connected with a fun week as a part of the PBIS program!

  • The WSMS Data Team met on Wednesday; selecting Student Engagement as an area of building-wide focus and study.  The team will collect data to work towards advancing student engagement throughout classes at WSMS!

  • On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, randomly selected 8th graders will participate in NAEP testing.  This national exam is administered to 8th graders around the country for national data comparison purposes.  The exam is not meant for individual skill assessment- but is a global glimpse of student performance across varied states.  

              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • The students from Mrs. Bartolucci’s class (2026) performed their Reader’s Theatre selections to a group of students, Wednesday afternoon.  The two plays that were performed were “The Legend of King Midas” and “Yeh Shen, a Chinese Cinderella Story” (folktales/traditional literature). (Photo 1: Students present “The Legend of King Midas”)

  • The grade 1 and 2 students participated in a variety of AVMR activities including subitizing, (Subitizing is the ability to 'see' a small amount of objects and know how many there are without counting) number patterns/skip counting and activities around the benchmarks of 5,10 and 20 during their EnCore block this week.  Each multi-grade group will stay with this topic for 4 to 5 sessions and then rotate to the next teacher.  By the end of this EnCore session all students will have gone through all classroom enrichment activities.  (Photo 2 - subitizing, 3 - patterns, and 4 - solid with 5,10,20)

  • The fourth and fifth graders who make up the Principal’s Cabinet organized and planned a Paw Reward activity for late Friday afternoon (1:45-2:30).  The students lead groups of students through various activities they planned.  The activities are: Sport’s Club, What’s Your Hobby, Comfort Bags, Art Class, Graph Art & Origami, Reader’s Theatre, All About Birds, and Animal Club.  The students must earn and pay a set amount of Paw Tickets to participate.  Each group of student leaders chose an adult to help supervise each group.  The student leaders spent their paws to plan and create the activities! (photo 5)

  • Upcoming Events

    • Read Across America Day March 3

1 readers theatre.jpg  2 subitizing encore.jpg


3 patterns.jpg   4 EnCore 2.jpg


5 Paw Reward.jpg



Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • The weather was perfect on Tuesday for Tatham fourth and fifth graders, who went  cross country skiing and snowshoeing up in Granville.  The trip was organized by Mrs. Hockenberry. (Photos 1 and 2)

  • Congratulations to Ella Plosky and Meadow Campurciani who won the fifth grade spelling bee.  They will compete in the Partnership for Education’s Annual Spelling Bee on March 6.



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

  • Community Playgroup has moved to 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.

  • Community and Family Engagement and Park and Recreation are hosting a Community Sign up on February 28 from 4-5 p.m. at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Learn about Park and Recreation programs and enjoy light refreshments and a book exchange. Translators available.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • At morning meeting, beginning ELL second graders use storytelling props to recount a shared reading.  Students use the language in the predictable text to pose and respond to peer questions. This oral practice supports their writing of a class book that incorporates newly-acquired classroom and community vocabulary.  (Photo 1)

  • Ms. DeLong's EL third grade class was busy doing their ELA guided groups.  Students worked on traditional literature characteristics and read a folktale during their guided reading groups.  Ms. Brown, the EL inclusion teacher, worked on the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while Ms. Murca and Ms. DeLong's groups worked on The Ugly Duckling.  During independent centers, they worked on the drafting and publishing process for an autobiography poem.  (Photo 2)

  • Congratulations to our grade 6 ESL teacher, Brendan Landers. Brendan was the middle school recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award.  (Photo 3)


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Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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  • Teaching Why Facts Still Matter

  • Each school continues their work in the area Building Data Team design with many schools focused on student engagement.  The analysis of student engagement is a wonderful starting point that can reveal areas of growth in many aspects of learning.  Studies have found that when a school universally focusses on the aspects of student engagement, they tend to see a reduction in behavior referrals, a reduction of social/emotional referrals and an increase in student achievement.

  

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Please stop by the Holyoke Mall to see the Hidden In Plain Sight display sponsored by CARE (through February 28).  Hidden in Plain Sight is a collaborative effort by the Holyoke Mall, the CARE Coalition, and the District Attorney’s Hampden County Addiction Task Force.

Information Technology


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A great app for Interactive training and walkthroughs, right within G Suite !


G Suite Training is a Chrome extension that offers simple and interactive training lessons to get you up and running fast with G Suite (formerly Google Apps).  More info ...


  • HelpDesk Status

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Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Tom McCabe has been working with Coburn grades K-2 students around formulating and writing authentic and original stories.  Students have been learning how to develop their stories and embed rich vocabulary.  Tom recently finished working with Mrs. Cameron’s students and they are all compiling one class book about what they see in school.  (Photos 1-2)

  • Nancy Friedman, who frequently subs at Coburn School, brings her therapy dog Cassie to listen to the students read.  Cassie loves to hear stories read by children!  (Photo 3)

Coburn is preparing for Read Across America on March 2.  Photos to follow in the next Spotlight.

    1 Tom McCabe K.jpg  2 kinder writing 2.jpg

  3  Cassie the reading dog.jpg

District Spotlight - February 10, 2017

posted Feb 12, 2017, 5:53 PM by Erin Mountain

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

  • Stop by the Holyoke Mall to view the CARE Coalition’s “Hidden in Plain Sight” display now through February 28.  The display has been developed to help parents and family members identify signs that their loved one may be abusing illicit drugs.  Resources are available, and the display will be staffed by volunteers during high traffic times on the weekends and during winter vacation week (February 20-24). Check out the publicity/news coverage here: Mass Live, WWLP, Business West, Western Mass News.

  • The next School Committee meeting is February 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Office Building/Justin Morgan Auditorium.

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

  • Parents/guardians are asked to take a few moments to complete an important survey regarding students’ equal access to academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs in our district.  This is part of our annual "Institutional Self-Evaluation."  Please complete the survey FOUND HERE by February 16.

  • Winter Break is coming up quickly…  There is no school the week of February 20-24.

  • Mark your calendar!  The Partnership for Education Spelling Bee is Monday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m., in the West Springfield High School Mini Theater.  

                                                      

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

  • Coburn celebrated the 100th day of school this week and students were engaged in a number of activities to celebrate “100”!  A 100 year old lady subbed in a PE class!  Can you guess who it is? (Photos 1 & 2)

  • The 5th grade students participated in the Coburn School 5th grade Spelling Bee on Friday.  The finalists will represent Coburn School in the District Wide Spelling Bee!

  • ​In Science in grade 3, students are observing mealworms as they progress through their life cycle from mealworm larva to pupa to beetle. The students are recording their observations in both pictures and words in their observation booklets. They will also be doing some experiments to see how the mealworms respond to their environment. (Photos 3 & 4)

  • 100 day Cathy.jpg 100 day Kindergarten.jpg

  • gr 3 mealworms.jpg gr 3 mealworms 2.jpg



Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

  • John Ashley celebrated being 100 days smarter (100 days of school) yesterday.  The students were great!  Some dressed up, did projects, and counting to 100 could be heard in all the rooms.  Pictures below are from rooms 10 and 15 from the 100 days smarter celebrations.

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  • Mad Science started this week; this is the first of two (2)  six-week programs offered.

  • Teachers and students both celebrated the Patriots Super Bowl win.  Patriots hats, tee-shirts, and sweatshirts were the apparel of choice in many classrooms.

  • February 16, 2016 - Math Workshop for Parents with Elementary Math coach, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. - “Why we teach Math the way we do.”

                    

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

  • Mrs. Messier’s class celebrated the 100th day of school with many fun and educational activities.  Counting to 100 in many ways was fun!

  • The CAS PBIS team is preparing for the final PBIS Academy training in March.  The team is in the process of designing a tri-fold to present information about the PBIS program to other schools in the CAS training cohort.

  • Coming soon:  Grade 3 and 4 field trips; Trivia Night at the Dante Club will be well represented by the CAS team on February 15.


Cowing Early Childhood

  • Cowing School celebrated the Patriots’ victory as shown by the picture from Room 5.

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  • Cowing EC held its monthly Community Screening today.  Cowing always looks forward to meeting new three and four year olds from town.


Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

  • Black History Month:  Staff writers on Fausey School's newspaper prepared a Black History Timeline display for the school's south wing.  (Photo 1)

  • Floor Hockey: Our fifth graders are in the midst of some great floor hockey competitions, coached by Mr. Harty.  Along with the obvious health connections, participation in floor hockey is connected to good academic standing, thus promoting strong scholar-athletes.  (Photos 2-4)

  • 100 Day Celebration:  Our first graders celebrated 100 days of being in school on Friday, February 3rd.  Along with various classroom activities, the students dressed as 100 year olds and held a grand parade within the building.  The ‘elderly’ first graders were cheered on the rest of the students and staff.  Look for an article in the Republican. Pictures below.



1 20170207_153933.jpg  2 BOYS IMG_2186.JPG


3 GIRLS group IMG_2205.JPG 4  GIRLS IMG_2215.JPG


FAUSEY UPCOMING

  • Author Renata Bowers to visit Grades 1-2 on 2/17!  Ms. Bowers authored a series about a little girl named Frieda - the world’s biggest dreamer - and Zilla, her fuzzy little dog and loyal sidekick.  The book she will share is “Frieda B. and the Zillabeast”.  The moral of the story:  You are free to see kindness and be kindness!


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High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


Upcoming:

  • February 17 - WSHS student Blood Drive

  • February 20-24 - Winter Vacation


Tied to Service:

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Department Notes:  (click this link)

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Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

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

  • Spring Sports Information Night Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6:00 p.m. in the high school Auditorium.  Tryouts begin March 20.

  • Jack Renkens presents “Realities of College Athletics Recruiting” March 29 at 7 p.m., in the high school Auditorium.  Mark your calendar!  For more info on Jack Renkens, click this link.


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!

  • Olivia Werenski ‘13, was inducted into the Champlain College (VT) chapter of The National Honor Society for Leadership and Success in fall 2016.

  • Christopher Webber ‘15, a Theater-Art Science major at Holyoke Community College, was cast in the fall 2016 theater production, “An American Daughter.”  He has appeared in other HCC productions, as well.


Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

  • Memorial School has enjoyed much exercise in recent days!  The Winter Walk Day” was a great success.  All students and most staff members participated. The second group of walkers even enjoyed snow flurries on the walk!  Even Memorial School’s youngest grades chose to do the longest version of the walk because they enjoyed the experience SO MUCH!


 

  • Mrs. Doyle’s second grade students in Room 6 are very excited to have Chromebooks, and the privilege of using Kids A-Z.  Students listen to a book at their level, read independently, and answer questions to earn points to level up!  As you can see in the photo below this makes reading very engaging.

  • The PBIS “Let’s Move” activities were hugely successful.  The majority of teachers and paraprofessionals chose to join the students and everyone had a good workout too!

 

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

  • 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher Nicole Manning was named a Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest Fellow.  She’s been invited to participate in a week long summer workshop at Princeton.  Congratulations Nicole on this national honor!

  • This week, counselors from WSHS presented the program of studies and course offerings to 8th grade students as a part of their comprehensive transition process for incoming 9th graders!

  • This week, the WSMS Bell Schedule Committee met for a half year check-in to analyze the new bell schedule and work on adjustments for the 2017-2018 school year.

              

Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

  • First graders celebrated the 100th day of school by doing a variety of reading , writing and math activities centered around the number 100. The students did a take-home project incorporating the number 100. The students then shared their creative projects with the class. (Photo 1)

  • Students and staff dressed in Patriot’s gear for a school spirit day to celebrate the Patriot’s and the Super Bowl! (Photo 2)

  • Mittineague School was fortunate to be able to purchase a table lovingly crafted by the very talented Whitney Weldon, a local artist and colleague from Memorial School!  It will be a special place for students to use to create their own magic inspired by the magical table!  The students named the table www.imaginationstation@mittineague. (Photo 3 - Sophia Debarge, Kieran Burke)

  • Upcoming events:

    • Tom McCabe parent night presentation February 16



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3 imagination station.jpg


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

  • Grade 5 is learning about acids and bases in science. Students worked on experimenting with different liquids to see if they would clean a penny. (Photo 1 & 2)

  • Grade 4 students are learning about static electricity and how positive and negative charges are attracted to each other. (Photo 3)

1  2  3


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

  • Community Playgroup has moved to 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.

  • Parent Child Date Night: Teddy Bear Picnic for children ages 3-6, on Thursday, February 16 from 5:30-6:30 at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club. Bring your teddy bear and enjoys crafts,  refreshments and literacy projects.  Registration required.  Please contact brennan@wsps.org or call 519-2511.

  • Community and Family Engagement and Park and Recreation are hosting a Community Sign up on February 28 from 4-5 p.m. at the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club.  Learn about Park and Recreation programs and enjoy light refreshments and a book exchange. Translators available.

   

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

  • ACCESS testing is complete! Thank you to all the ELL students and staff members for their hard work and flexibility during the testing window.

  

Special Services

  • The Miracle League of Western Massachusetts is now accepting player registrations for our Spring 2017 season!  Please click this link for more info.   


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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This week faculty in grade 4 received the released MCAS 2.0 Computer Based Assessment practice test. We look forward to the release of the grade 8 practice test, hopefully shortly. Principals are working with their faculty to administer the practice test so students feel comfortable with the new testing format.  

     

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

  • Please stop by the Holyoke Mall to see the Hidden In Plain Sight display sponsored by CARE (2/8-28).


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Hidden in Plain Sight is a collaborative effort by the Holyoke Mall,

the CARE Coalition, and the District Attorney’s Hampden County Addiction Task Force.

Press conference to kick off “Hidden in Plain Sight” included (L to R):

Bill Rogalski, Holyoke Mall General Manager; Superintendent Michael Richard;

Anthony Gulluni, Hampden District Attorney; Kirk Jonah, West Springfield parent.


Information Technology


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How to Set Expiration Dates for Shared Google Drive Files


Google Drive lets you set expiration dates for shared files and folders,  but the option is only available if the person or group you are sharing with has “view only” access.   Click here for instructions.


  • HelpDesk Status

  • 1312 HelpDesk tickets received from 8/29/16 - 2/10/17  ( + 35 this week)

  • 991 of those HelpDesk tickets have been closed. ( + 36 this week)

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