Thursday, September 7, 2023
News from the Principal
We are off to a great start! Watching the pride and joy on parents’ faces as their child walks into school for the very first time, never gets old to me. It reminds me of the significance of what we do everyday. Thank you for all your help and support at home to get this school year off to a great start! It’s hard to believe that we are almost through our second week of school. I love seeing all the smiles and excitement on our children’s faces each morning. We did have a few tears from some of our new kindergartners and preschoolers on Tuesday morning, however, they didn’t last for very long. There were probably more tears from parents on this very special day.
We are looking forward to seeing you all at our upcoming school events. Tonight is our Westminster Elementary School Parents'/Curriculum Night for grades 2-5. This is a great opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and hear about the upcoming school year. This evening is intended for adults as teachers will be presenting information about curriculum, assessments, homework and behavior expectations. We hope you can make it!
Kathy Taylor, Principal
September 7: Thursday ~ WES Curriculum/Parents' Night 6:00 - 7:15 PM (See more info. below)
September 19: Tuesday ~ School Pictures for MHS and WES
September 20: Wednesday ~ Noon Dismissal, Professional Development
October 5: Thursday ~ MHS Open House 5:30 - 6:30 PM (See more info. below)
WES Curriculum/Parents' Night (Grades 2 - 5)
Thursday, Sept 7th
Cafeteria mix and mingle 6:00 - 7:00
Session 1: 6:00 - 6:30 (Grades 2, 3)
Session 2: 6:45 - 7:15 (Grades 4, 5)
Grade level teachers give a presentation on their curriculum and an overview of their year to parents/guardians. During our cafeteria mix and mingle, stop by to talk with special subject teachers, school adjustment counselors, the PTO, Scouts, The Ashburnham Westminster Foundation for Excellence, SEPAC and more...
MHS Open House (PreK - 1)
Thursday, October 5th
The entire family joins in on the fun. Students give their families a tour of their classroom and building.
News from our School Counselors
Your School Counselors want to welcome everyone back to school and hope you are having a great start to the year so far. We also want to introduce our new School Counselor, Limari Rivera. She is looking forward to working with you and your students! Limari Rivera firstname.lastname@example.org will be working with Kindergarten, Second Grade and Fourth Grade. Lindsay Milne email@example.com will be working with First Grade, Third Grade and Fifth Grade. Both School Counselors will be available to our new Preschool students. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the School Counselors with any questions or concerns you might have. We are excited for a great school year ahead!
Kindergarten & Preschool Classrooms are Nut Free
This year we have multiple students with a severe Peanut/Nut allergy. If exposed to Peanuts/Nuts, a student may develop a life-threatening allergic reaction that would require emergency medical treatment. To reduce the risk of exposure, all kindergarten and pre-school classrooms will be designated Peanut/Nut free. Please do not send in any foods containing Peanuts/Nuts for individual daily classroom snacks. It is also important to reinforce with your child that food should not be shared while at school.
For kindergarten, since lunch is eaten in the cafeteria, your child may bring Peanut/Nut items for
lunch, but please label them as lunch. Thank you for your support and assistance in providing all students with a safe learning environment. If you have any questions/concerns/comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Cassandra Benes RN, BSN
Meetinghouse School Nurse
Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District
There are many food allergies throughout our schools. Please remind your child not to share food at school. Also there is NO eating on the bus. Thank you for your help.
News from Mrs. Luibil ~ Physical Education Teacher
Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! I hope everyone had a happy, healthy, and fun-filled summer. I am very excited to be back with the students for my third year! I have worked hard this summer to improve upon the Physical Education curriculum and add many new activities for the students. One thing I am most excited to teach for the first time this year is Pickleball!
Classes have been going great so far. For the first few weeks, we will work on establishing classroom routines and participating in cooperative games with all grades.
Starting soon, we will be getting into our first units and hopefully start going outside for class when we have nice weather. Grades K+1 will be working on Throwing and Catching while grades 2-5 will start Flag Football. In the Throwing and Catching unit, students will learn how to throw underhand and overhand, how to throw different distances, how to throw with accuracy and the proper form for catching. This unit will help develop students' hand eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, as well as their spatial awareness which are all building blocks to the skills we will learn throughout the year.
In the Flag Football unit, students will review and build upon skills learned last year, such as proper throwing and catching techniques, throwing lead passes, strategies for creating space on offense/scoring, and defensive skills. Students will work on skill development and we will also play small sided lead up games at the end of the unit. This is a great opportunity to develop teamwork, communication and problem solving skills.
I also encourage you to be active at home! Play a flag football game in the yard, go apple picking, rake leaves that are sure to be falling soon, play pass. Not only will this be good practice for students to master skills learned in PE class, but it is also a great way to spend time together!
I am looking forward to another great year filled with lots of movement and physical activity!
MHS/WES Nurses ~ Cassandra Benes and Bridget Hurley
We would like to extend a warm welcome to all students and their parents. We are looking forward to working with you and your children at MHS/WES. We would like to share the following important information with you and ask for your cooperation in providing the necessary documentation and communication regarding your child in order to ensure his/her health and safety.
HEALTH CONCERNS: Please inform your school nurse of any severe allergies, surgeries, accidents or medical conditions. This information will be kept confidential and can be listed on the yearly health form that was sent home, but can also be found HERE
PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS – If your child will be taking any prescribed medication during school hours, has been prescribed an Epi-Pen, Auvi-Q or asthma inhaler, or any emergency medications, we will need the following forms completed and returned to the School Nurse’s office as soon as possible:
Please be sure the bottom half of the form is signed by the prescribing physician, or a separate signed order form is sent to the school nurse. a prescription label IS NOT acceptable in lieu of an MD’s order.
PHYSICAL EXAMS AND IMMUNIZATIONS: In accordance with the AWRSD Policy and Massachusetts State Law, physical exams and documentation of immunizations are required for all students entering Kindergarten and 3rd grade. All students entering Pre-school are also required to present documentation of immunizations in order to attend. The law states that medical exemptions must be presented at the beginning of each school year. Massachusetts Department of Public Health additionally requires annual renewal of religious exemptions in writing at the beginning of each school year.
ILLNESS/ABSENCES: Please contact the main office in the morning if your child is to be absent and inform them why he/she will not be attending. If your child has been ill, he/she should be free of a temperature for 24 hours before returning to school without the use of fever reducing medication.
Finally, please continue to routinely check our website for the most current health services information Here.
Please reach out with any questions or concerns! We look forward to having a fun, safe, and healthy school year.
Bridget Hurley RN, BSN
Westminster Elementary School
P: 978-874-2043 ext 5
Cassandra Benes RN, BSN
News from 2nd Grade
Second graders have done a wonderful job adjusting to the “big school” and have worked hard to learn many new routines. Each classroom is spending time building their classroom communities. We look forward to seeing those of you who are able to attend our annual Curriculum/Parent’s Night. It is tonight, 9/7 from 6:00-6:30 for second grade parents.
On Friday, September 15th we will celebrate International Dot Day. The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to make her mark. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper, becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing. Second graders will spend the day creating colorful dot art and focusing on what makes them special and unique. Students are encouraged to wear clothes with dots on them.
News from 3rd Grade
Students transition from Seesaw to Google Classroom as their on-line learning platform in third grade. Tiffany Davis, our instructional coach, will be visiting our classrooms to teach students how to use Google Classroom and transition from lower elementary to upper elementary Chrombook use. Students will learn how to use Google apps, such as Slides, Docs, Drive, Gmail, and Sheets. They’ll also learn how to use Read&Write and OrbitNote Chrome extensions. They’ll create collages in Google Slides that include favorite memories and favorite things. Students will be able to refer to their collages for writing topic ideas.
Dismissal Plans - We need notes please!
If your child is going to be a parent pick up, walker, or going to extended day, it is VERY IMPORTANT to send in a note. One note is sufficient for the year with a consistent schedule, however, we need to know when plans change. Please include on your note, first and last name of your child. The safety of your child is our priority. Thank you!
As you may have noticed in recent messaging, the Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District has adopted a new form of school-to-home communication called ParentSquare. This unified communications platform is designed to keep parents and guardians informed and encourage greater engagement and connection with teachers and administrators. It provides a safe way for district administrators, school principals, teachers, staff, and parents to:
Send and receive school and class information
Share pictures and files
See calendar items
Sign up to volunteer
Schedule parent-teacher conferences
and much more . . . all in one centralized place!
District and school, grade level and classroom information will continue to be sent to your computer or phone via email and/or text. For even more convenience, download the ParentSquare app (available for free for iOS and Android devices).
Invitations to the app will be going out over the next few days, so please keep an eye on your email.
Have questions? Click the question mark in the top right corner of the desktop version or the Help tab on the app (tap the triple bar icon at the top left) to find answers to most of your questions.
5th Grade Nature's Classroom
Grade 5 Nature's Classroom at Camp Cody 2024
Monday, May 20th - Friday, May 24th
Each year our 5th grade students travel to Camp Cody in Freedom, NH for an outdoor classroom experience. The trip is 5 days/4 nights. Next year we are going the week of May 20-24th. We want to prepare families that the cost of this trip has increased and is estimated to be about $450-475 per student. Please note this trip in your calendars, more information will go home with students in a few weeks.
Ashburnham-Westminster Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
General Ashburnham-Westminster Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) membership is open to all AWRSD parents/guardians of children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Section 504 Plans and other interested parties. We need volunteers to help plan workshops, staff tables at local school and community events, become future leaders, assist other parents, and plan new activities and projects. Learn more about us and our work on our website https://sites.google.com/view/ashburnham-westminster-sepac. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ashwestsepac.
Meetinghouse Picture Day information and codes ~ TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Westminster Picture Day information and codes ~ TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Our Amazing School Secretaries are here to help!
Please reach out with any questions you may have. We are happy to help!
- MHS - Kathi McCarthy 978-874-0163 ext. 0
- WES - Liz Maillet 978-874-2043 ext 0