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District Spotlight - January 6, 2017

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

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

book drive January 2017.PNG


Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

 a great read direct add.png

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


English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

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

  • Social and Instructional Language

  • Language of Language Arts

  • Language of Mathematics

  • Language of Science

  • Language of Social Studies

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

Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

Information Technology

Tip of the Week.png

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

  • HelpDesk Status

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

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

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

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

music concert - dec 2.jpg    music concert - dec.jpg    Library visit.jpg    Dan Brown - weather.jpg

Tom McCabe.jpg Tom McCabe 2.jpg



Ashley School

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

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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

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


Cowing Early Childhood

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


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

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

Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fausey Chorus at BN.jpg      IMG_1680.JPG

 Barnes & Noble:  Band First Grade Holidays

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  First Grade Holidays December Awards

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December Awards


Build a Snowman!


High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:

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

  • December 20 - The Morning Show

  • December 21 - Arts, Media & Communications Career Panel

  • December 23 - HS Band Performance


  • December 13 - Winter Formal

Socksmas Update: Department Notes:

Socksmas Update button.png Department Notes button.png

Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

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


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

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

Alumni News

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

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

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

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

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

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


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

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

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

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

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


Mittineague [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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

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