J. W. Leary Junior High School

March 18, 2022

Hello everyone,

We are excited that it is officially Spring! This is my favorite time of year because we can really get moving along with things in classes and across the school.

There are a lot of great things included in this update. Our Free Market earned recognition from the New York State School Board Association, 8th-grade honors ELA produced their first Raider Times, and we have a dance + spirit week coming up! Information regarding sports try-outs and NYS testing is also below.

Monday March 21 Rock Your Socks-crazy socks and crocks day!

Tuesday March 22 Twin Day

Wednesday March 23 No Backpack Day (click the link to learn more) (NOTE--whatever your stuff is brought to school in will need to fit in your locker and will need to follow the JH Code of Conduct)

Thursday March 24 Pajama Pant Day

Friday March 25 Crazy Hair/Hat Day (only in classes where it is OK with your teachers)

JH Dance!

Monday March 28 Blood Drive at the HS

Tuesday March 29 ELA test

Wednesday March 30 ELA test

Big picture

School Number Days

Monday 3/21 Day 1

Tuesday 3/22 Day 2

Wednesday 3/23 Day 3

Thursday 3/24 Day 4

Friday 3/25 Day 5

All JH Events

Drop off and Pick Up

Parking in front of the school for Drop Off and Pick Up is creating HUGE problems for our bus drivers.

Cars are blocking their entrance and the space they have to turn out of the bus loop.

Respect our drivers and use the Parent Loop that is off of Highland Parkway.

Thank You for your help with this!

Please Bring a Refillable Water Bottle

We are asking that children bring refillable water bottles to school.

The water bottles should have their names on them.

This will help reduce waste and will give kids access to water in classrooms.

Spring Sports Are Starting!

  • Girl’s modified lacrosse tryouts are Monday March 21st at 3PM in the junior high gym.

  • Modified baseball tryouts will be held March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd from 7-8 pm at the high school gym.

  • Modified softball tryouts will be held March 21st at 4:15 in the High School lobby by the gym.

  • Boys modified lacrosse will start March 21 from 4:00-5:30 PM on the High School turf for those students who registered and are cleared to start. Bring full equipment, a reversible jersey and dress for inclement weather.

Sapling to Cedar Program will be returning to JH 3/21/2022

The program focus is on helping Native children discovering who we are through storytelling,

hands-on crafts, and Creation Story

About us:

A community where young men’s integrity, respect; roles are restored by using cultural traditions.

Our Mission:

By supporting men's willingness to change, we ensure a safe community for our families to

flourish now, and for future generations.

Reach out to Mrs. Jocko at jjocko@mcs.k12.ny.us with questions.

Junior High Dance

The first junior high dance in two years is happening Friday, March 25 from 7 pm-9 pm.

The cost to attend will be $5.

This is a semi-formal, “dressy” dance, with no sweatpants or ripped jeans.

Dance attendees must be:

  • enrolled at JW Leary JH
  • present in school on the day of the dance
  • have no discipline referrals from Wednesday to Friday the week of the dance
  • have no suspensions (in-school or out of school) the week of the dance

Doors will open at 7 pm. Anyone leaving before 9 pm must be signed out by a parent or guardian.

Snacks will be sold.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Friday!

Free Market Recognized as a NYSBAA Champion of Change

The NYS School Boards Association has a program entitled “Champions of Change for Kids” in which they “celebrate programs that use existing resources to address issues of equity, demonstrate strong student academic performance and introduce unique learning environments that are cutting-edge”. Recently, we received correspondence from NYSSBA announcing that our JW Leary Junior High Free Market would be recognized as a Champion of Change for Kids.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the JW Leary Leadership and Community Schools Coordinator Kristin Colarusso-Martin began working with the Salvation Army of Massena to create the Massena Central School District Free Market. The Free Market has helped to connect numerous district families with food, housing, school supplies, warm clothing, and technology so that students can have the opportunity to be as successful as possible in school.

The Massena Central School District Free Market is truly a community collaborative effort with the donation of the food pantry refrigerator from the AMVETS of Massena and food provided as a satellite to the Salvation Army. The Free Market currently serves families in the Massena Central School district through a combination of appointments and open pantry hours. Mr. Alexander, Mr. Norris, Mrs. LaPrade, and Mrs. Zullo work with educators and families at all levels to provide access to the Free Market. Classes and groups at Junior High are working to increase access to the Free Market and to develop an online portal.

We are excited to provide this support to our community families.

Raider Times is LIVE!

Our 8th-grade honors ELA classes have been working on writing informational text. They have now officially produced the first edition of the "Raider Times"!

Check out their awesome work here or click below!

Raider Times Intro

Luna visits Social Studies class

Math classes celebrate Pi day on 3/14

ELA Students Hear from Businesses

Activities in PE Class

New Jersey and Virginia Plan in Social Studies

Learning about finances

Positivity Project Trait of next week is Perseverance

Persistence can be directly connected to an individual’s ability to be successful throughout their life. Those who persevere through setbacks often reap the benefits of the success gained by refusing to give up. Sometimes, this comes with the added benefit of increased knowledge and skill as a result of the work needed to achieve. Perseverance is also connected with bravery. Persisting in a task and failing, can result in depleted self-esteem. Therefore, it takes bravery to persist in a task despite the fear of failure.

On a group level, perseverance — like many other strengths — can be contagious. A single group member’s ability or willingness to persevere can have a substantial impact on those working with him/her and the team. Groups that show high levels of perseverance are able to achieve goals they may not have believed possible. The results benefit both individuals and the group. They will be more likely to: enjoy the victory; persist in the future when facing challenges; improve their skills and abilities; and have a greater belief in their capacity to overcome obstacles and achieve goals.

All of the slide presentations are available in our Resources Library.

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated!

ELA classes connected the history of St. Patrick's day with Positivity Project character traits and their current book The Outsiders.

9th Grade Introduction and Course Planning

Mrs. Newman came over from the high school and worked with our 8th-grade social studies classes on planning for their transition to high school. The kids were excited about the different options and a little nervous about the change.

We will continue to work with our 8th-grade children to ensure that they are ready for the transition!

Massena CSD Technology Tips

This page contains a getting started, cheat sheet, and tips about using the various platforms we have at JWL and within the entire district.

Big picture

Great job students and staff!

Coming back from break we took a step to acknowledge the students and staff who have been noted for their above and beyond work.

Over 50 students have received notes home outlining their positive contributions to our school community.

The form to nominate those going above and beyond is on our website or located here!

Something is concerning-

We also want to recognize that knowledge of situations is our best defense. The situations we have learned about have been handled before turning into something more.

If people see/hear something, say something.

The below form which is also linked on our website is one way to do that.

All concerns expressed to the school are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken. We cannot do something if we do not know about it. It is a service to the entire community when items are shared.

We are all in this together and we all have the same goal. Thank you for your support!


At JW Leary we are fortunate to be able to offer free breakfast for all children.

Doors open at 7:15 am for children getting breakfast. Please see this VIDEO for information about breakfast.

Children do need their Schoolbucks account number to get breakfast and lunch.

This links to the current breakfast/lunch menu!

A big thank you to our amazing cafeteria staff who helps this to be possible!

Breakfast starts at 7:15...

preview this video to learn more! Children need to be settled into advisory by 7:35.

A Note to Parents About the Upcoming NYS Assessments

Spring is here and it is time to administer the New York State Grade 7-8 ELA and Math assessments. This test will be given on March 29 and March 30 for ELA and April 26 and April 27.

Much has changed within the last two years and we wanted to take a moment to share with you the changes at the state and district levels.

· Both the ELA and Math assessments in grades 7-8 have been made shorter than in past years. For this year the test has been reduced from 3 days to 2

· The grades 7 and 8 ELA and Math exams are untimed. This allows students a greater opportunity to demonstrate what they know by allowing them to work at their own pace. As long as students are productively working they will be given as much time as they need to finish.

· The NYS testing program has no bearing whatsoever on teacher evaluations.

It is important to know why we give the assessments.

· These assessments are one of the elements we look at to help us make decisions about the type of support individual students may need. We have found the more data points we have the better we have been able to target support to children's needs.

· We also use this information to improve our program by looking at how our students perform on specific topics

As you can see, NYS has worked diligently to respond to questions and concerns that arose from both parents and educators during testing over the last several years.

Locally, it is our hope that now we can utilize these updated assessments for what they were always truly intended for: a way for our schools to evaluate our programs, highlight our strengths, and identify how we can improve.

These assessments are a tool for the school and nothing more. They do not dictate who your student is or who they will become. These tests do not measure character, nor do they measure artistic or musical ability. They will not show if your student is the next great internet billionaire nor will they tell us about your child’s skill in the garage. They simply provide us a window into the health of our instructional program. Your support in having your child take the test is essential to the continued success of our school community.

Please remind them to try hard and do their best next week.

Please direct any questions you have about this letter to our office. We will be happy to answer any concerns that you may have

Big picture

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help your student or your family. We have so many great things happening at school.

If you have ideas, questions, or concerns please email azullo@mcs.k12.ny.us or call the school 315-764-3720.

Mrs. Zullo

J. William Leary Junior High School

Grades 7-8 of the Massena Central School District.