Home‎ > ‎

District Spotlight - October 28, 2016

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

From The Superintendent [Twitter: @WestSideSupt]

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

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

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

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

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


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

during Reader’s Workshop.

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

IMG_1739.JPG     IMG_1738.JPG             IMG_1740.JPG

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

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

High School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSHS and @WSHS_guidance]

Weekly Review:


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

  • 10/31 Girls Soccer Senior Night 6 PM

  • 11/3 WSHS term 1 ends.

From the Principal:

Team Captains1.png


Student Spotlight:

Captains Week1 redirect.png


Department Notes:

Department Notes button.png


Athletics [Twitter: @wshsterriers]

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

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

  • Please visit the MIAA Schedule on the athletics web page

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

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

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

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

Alumni News

Below are updates on a few of our WSHS alumni:

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

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

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

  • Lauren Sandillo ‘11 is a manager at Marshalls.

Memorial School [Twitter: @WSPSMemorial]

Brian Lapis speaks to fifth graders

                                        Fourth graders with pumpkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Middle School [Twitter: @WSPS_WSMS]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mittineague School [Twitter: @WSPSMittineague]

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

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

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

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

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

  • Upcoming events:

    • Family Literacy Night November 3  

    • PTO Bake Election Bake sale, November 8    

IMG_2010.JPG     IMG_2063.JPG

IMG_2047.JPG   IMG_2046.JPG   image1 (2) (1).JPG


Tatham School [Twitter: @WSPSTatham]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment [Twitter: @WSPSCurriculum]

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

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

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

English as a Second Language Department (ESL)

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

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


Health Services [Twitter: @cmviens]

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

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

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

Information Technology

Tip of the Week.png

Use the ALT +   [   or   ]  (ALT +  brackets) to dock windows to the sides of the screen so you can have two visible at one time.   More info on this feature

  • HelpDesk Status

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

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

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

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

John Ashley School [Twitter: @WSPSAshley]

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

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

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

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

  • image1.PNG            image2.PNG

Coburn School [Twitter: @WSPSCoburn]

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

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

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

  • IMG_2501.JPG        IMG_2483.JPG           IMG_2504.JPG

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

  • IMG_7010.JPGIMG_7011.JPGIMG_7013.JPG

Upcoming Events:

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

  • 10/31: School Council

Cowing Alternative School [Twitter: @WSPSCowingCAS]

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

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

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

Cowing Early Childhood

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

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

Fausey School [Twitter: @WSPSFausey]

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

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


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


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


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

FullSizeRender.jpg   FullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender.jpg


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