Overlook's Source for News

Welcome Back to Middle School

By: Emma Parsons

Welcome or welcome back to Overlook Middle school. This school year we have a lot going on. Soccer, lacrosse, cross country and many other sports have just started! Clubs in school have also just started. The Wingspan, SOAR, student council, fishing, drama, chorus and many more clubs have started. In SOAR it's all about having fun and spreading positivity around the school and getting other students to be positive all of the time in or out of school. In student council, they plan events that will happen throughout the year and run them. The Wingspan writes stories for the school newspaper about anything, either going on out of school or something big that happened in school. You can also make your own club, all you need you people that might be interested in the club and a teacher or two

Some of the Ashburnham/Westminster police officers gave the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders a social media talk. They talked about what are some of the good and bad things that come with having social media. They also talked about some things you should ignore on social media and some things you might see on any social media platform. But most of all they talked about smart choices to make and how to stay safe while using social media.

One week in September we did "Start with Hello" week. This was created because of Sandy Hook. Each day in the week (Monday- Friday) we did a different activity. On Monday some students in SOAR handed out green sticker name tags to every person in the school, students and teachers. Then everyone wrote their names on them and you would stick it to your shirt. The purpose of this was to get to know everyone and their names, and by saying hello along with their name. On Tuesday, we did a positive sticky note contest. Each team and each teams homerooms got a pile of their team color sticky notes. Each student wrote a positive message on one and they were posted on the glass windows of the library. The goal was to try to have your team have the most sticky notes. Then Wednesday- Friday we did different activities. This was the first time Overlook has ever done this so we hope that everyone enjoyed it and made new friends because of it.

Those are just a few things that have been going on this school year so far. So much more is going to happen. I hope you have a good school year and welcome back to a Overlook!

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Be Smart on Social Media

This month we had the opportunity to attend a presentation about social media and the dangers of it. The presentation altogether lasted all of W.I.N.N block and halfway through specials. I’ve heard that 6th,7th, and 8th grade behaved well, and that is great! The presentation as a whole was really good and informative. The presenter is a law enforcement officer and he was explaining how dangerous the internet can be. He showed us three videos. One was about accidentally posting pictures of drinking at a party, another was about a girl sending inappropriate pictures and it spread throughout the whole school, and the last one was the story of Amanda Todd. Everyone obviously learned a lot from the presentation, and we all hope it will make a difference in social media.
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The Eagle's Nest: Overlook Innovates

By: Mr. Saisa and Mrs. Rigney

This year we are working to expand learning activities outside of the classroom. Our hope is that this will happen by restructuring our learning spaces to give teachers and students better access to activities, materials, equipment, and space that is conducive for innovative learning experiences. Today we would like to highlight just a few of these changes to make you aware of them.

First off, the Overlook Library will now be referred to as the Innovation Center at the Donna Philbin Library. This is not simply a name change, but rather a revision of what a traditional library truly is. While this space will still contain books, there will be added space for innovative learning including challenge areas, whiteboard planning tables, areas for exploratory play, and a new production room complete with a green screen.

Along with the new Innovation Center, we have created an outdoor learning space. This area contains picnic tables along with school gardens and an archaeological dig site. It is our hope that this space allows us to take learning beyond the four walls of our building in an attempt to use our incredible environment to enrich academic pursuits for our students. This space will be used by teachers in all subject areas at all grade levels.

These new spaces will be use in conjunction with robust learning spaces that are already found in our building. Students at Overlook have access to six high quality science labs, one computer lab, seven mobile computer labs, tech heavy classrooms, and an engineering lab that contains 3D printers, and a laser cutter. Together these areas create an environment where students have the ability to work with an innovative mindset. By giving students tools and materials to work through open-ended problems, they will become more adaptable and innovative adults.

Curious about learning more? Check out the "Innovated Library" by Molly McDaniel below

"Be a pineapple: Stand tall and wear a crown and be sweet on the inside." -Anonymous

The Innovated Library

By: Molly McDaniel

Did you hear? The library isn’t just for studying anymore! There are multiple new additions to make our Overlook library the ultimate place. If you’re the kind of student who likes a challenge, trivia, or even just moving, maybe the library is the place for you.

One of the new changes is the STEM-like Maker Space. You will be able to complete challenges using ordinary school supplies. Some of the most recent challenges have been to build an earthquake proof structure using index cards, clothes pins, and paperclips. There are more challenges on their way. Whether they be engineering based, or circuitry, we’re all excited for what will come next.

It’s very possible writing is a pain for you. You have to reach into your backpack, grab a paper, and dig around for a pencil. By the time you’re done with that, you may have forgotten what you wanted to write down. With the new whiteboard tables in the library, this problem is solved. Simply whip out a marker and scribble your notes. Write down anything from a character's feelings, to a complex math formula. Then when you’re done, wipe it away.

Reporters and film-fans, pay attention! The library is getting something to help spruce up video presentations. “We’re supposed to be getting a green screen,” Ms. Kalagher, the Overlook Librarian, said. Imagine adding a moving background to your video, or having graphs behind you as you speak. Bloggers and Youtubers rejoice! Your production values just went way up. Green screens open a world of possibilities for all types of applications. Just film yourself in front of it, and add effects later.

Maybe trivia is your thing. Well, the library has that too! The latest was teacher trivia, and the library was packed. Ms. Kalagher commented, “The students really seemed to like it”. Phones aren’t allowed at school, but you can use it for trivia! The most recent trivia activities have been on a website called Kahoot. Check out their website at You can do trivia with friends and even make a quiz of your own.

Finally, one of the most noticeable things the library has added is the Read and Ride bikes. If you like to move, and reading is just too still for you, this may be a possibility. Petal and read at the same time. “Some studies show that students retain information better when they move,” Ms. Kalagher reported. So, if you need to study for a test and the information just isn’t sticking, give the bikes a try.

With all these new things in the library, there’s something for everyone. Stop by during WIIN block or lunch. Check out a book, ride a bike, do a report, or even write on the tables. Whip out your phone and do some trivia. Anything you could possibly want, the library has. So come on in and check it out!

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Oakmont Overlook Marching Band

By: Kaden Aubin

The Oakmont Overlook Marching Band did a fantastic job at their first performance. It was a strong performance to start the year! After the show, the band director Mr. Demoura stated, “I think it was a great start to the season. We do have a long way to go but I think it was an awesome was to begin our season!”

The performance Evolve is about the human evolution. The pit, color guard, drumline, and hornline all did amazing. Thanks to the pit crew for help moving all the equipment and uniform moms for making sure everyone looks their best! With upbeat songs and captivating visuals it's hard to look away. From the first day of band camp to their first halftime show this performance really evolved. This is one show you don't want to miss!

"Stars can't shine without darkness." -Anonymous

Geo Challenge

Mr. Duncan and Mrs. Duncan are excited to announce the Geo Challenge. The Geo Challenge is a event by National Geographic. This year it's about preventing plastic pollution in our waterways. Teams of students ban together to find a solution and make it! It is grades 5-8! The best products might move on to regionals! Learn more at

Drama Club News

By Kaden Aubin and Willa Olshan

“Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now” ~ Hamilton

Ms. Daigle and Miss McNeill are excited to announce the Drama Club's winter productions, two short Christmas themed plays. One is “A Christmas Carol”, the well known play about Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates Christmas. Scrooge is visited by 3 ghosts, Past, Present and Future. He learns the meaning of Christmas. Drama Club is putting a twist on this classic play by performing it in rhyme!

The other play is "North Pole’s Got Talent”. This is a spin off comedy of America’s Got Talent with holiday figures. This will be the first time Overlook Drama Club has not done a musical. We hope to get actors that don’t sing, so more people can try drama. In the spring we are still doing a musical. These plays will be performed in Oakmont auditorium in December. Ms. Daigle and Miss McNeill love working with the Overlook kids doing drama. When the eighth graders go to high school, a lot of them still help with the Overlook drama club. Auditions will be October 1st and 3rd, hope to see you there! “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor”- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

"No one can change my life. No one can do it except for me." -Carol Burnett

Interviews with Sixth Grade

By Robin Kender and Kaden Aubin

Today we interviewed four 6th graders to see how they feel about there first month of middle school!

Matthew Cormier: I like the new teachers and I like how there is more kids here. I feel that how we have different kids in each class is great. I enjoy the lockers because we get more space for our school supplies and no one else can access my belongings.

Karl Sargent: I was nervous at first but then it got better. I enjoy social studies and the lunch menus. All the teachers are really nice! I enjoy cross country a lot!

Then we switched it up and asked specific questions

Q1. Have you felt nervous about grades?

Kaylee Brittain: No because my siblings have gone through it before and had no trouble.

Q2 How do you think the first month is going?

Kaylee Brittain: Great, I like doing all the activities we have, everything is so different!

Q1 Do you like Elementary School or Middle school better?

Carly Gendrou: Middle School because I have way more freedom here! In Elementary School I had to be supervised a lot!

Q2 How do you think the first month is going?

Carly Gendrou: I love it! It's amazing! I know where all my classes all and I'm being social around people!

More Interview Questions for New Students!

By: Robin Kender

Interview with Carly

  1. On the first day of school how did you feel?

Answer: I felt excited yet nervous.

2. After the first 3 day week of school did you feel comfortable in your surroundings?

Answer: Yes and no, because I felt a little like I didn't know anyone, I was also excited on how people there were compared to my old school.

3. Have you been social around new people?

Answer: Yes, I saw this girl sitting alone and walked up to her. I asked if I could sit [with her] and she said yes, so I asked if she had any friends and she said no. So I said, ¨then we will be friends.¨

4. Do you like J.R.Briggs or middle school better?

Answer: Middle school because I have more freedom here.

5. Have you ever been lost or got lost in this school?

Answer: Yes, I have gotten lost. One time I went into the wrong class. i asked if I was in the right block and I was not.

6 The main question: How do you think the first month is going?

Answer: Yes I think it is beyond amazing!! I know where all my classes are and I am still being social around new people.

Interview with Kaylee

  1. Have you felt nervous about grades?

Answer: No, because my sibling have gone to this school and done it before.

2. Do you like your teachers and if so which one?

Answer: Yes, my favorite teacher is Ms. Cormier

3. Have you made any new friends yet?

Answer: No, I am sticking with my old group of friends

4. What is your opinion on your schedule?

Answer: I like how we don’t have to sit in the same class every day with the same kids. Although, I don’t like how we barely get any outdoor time. I feel a little closed in.

5. What goals do you want to accomplish by the end of this year?

Answer: I want to speak out and make new friends.

Main Question: How do you think the first month is going?

Answer: I love it! I think that this school year is going to rock!

Creative Writing from Overlook

Temple of Fate: A Story by Korynn Gagne

“Welcome to the Temple Of Fate. Yes, I do have an explanation in order,” she could barely see her guest in the shadows, but it really didn’t matter to her, not this time.

“Who are you?” This guest was clearly male, his voice trembling, she couldn’t see his face, but she could imagine he was terrified. He sounded adolescent, perhaps fourteen or fifteen years old.

“Who I am doesn’t matter, what matters is who you are because you’re the chosen one! Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself,” she replied, not bothering to kick herself for saying too much. She had found her cognizance of what she said to chosen ones was on a decline for the last few decades. She waited for a response to no avail.

“My name is Tangum, daughter of fate. Of course, a fate goddess can’t create an actual human being so, I’m completely made of soap. Don’t ask how she made soap sentient, I don’t know.” Tangum walked to the corner of the room to light a candle, she could hear splashing behind her as the boy climbed out of the water. She scraped a match on the wall and lit the candle on a shelf in the corner of the room. She had learned to keep a matchbox on her at all times, restocking her match supply was the only reason she’d ever go to the surface. Well, that, and to get new candles. As she lit the candle, she contemplated the chemical reaction behind the fire. After seeing the same thing for centuries one couldn’t help but try to analyze it, but education was obviously not readily available in an ancient temple.

Tangum didn’t even turn around to speak to the boy. “Anyhow, I live my life underground in the Temple Of ‘Mother Dearest’ receiving prophecies and making sure they are fulfilled, which includes substituting for chosen ones who don’t want to be chosen ones,” she had never encountered that in her entire career, she’d go as far as to say it was an unobserved phenomenon, she added “I’ve also been at this for eight thousand four hundred twenty-three centuries.”

“How many years is that?”

“What? Do the math yourself! If you can save the world you move a decimal point.”

“Either way, you’re ancient.”

Nice, he was already getting cocky. She sighed, she’d just get this one over with and wait for the next one, same as always. It was like they got arrogant faster and faster too.

“Thanks. Now, here’s the drill,” she began, “I will take you to the room where I receive prophecies and read the prophecy to you. Interpret it however you want, you’re a chosen one, therefore you will not be wrong because fate owes it to you or something like that,” she fought the urge to roll her eyes, she’d seen some astronomically off interpretations, but they still won in the end.

Tangum lit a match and began walking down a corridor, “Follow me.”

The match didn’t cast much light in the corridor, but she knew this place inside and out and had no problem finding her way around. It suddenly occurred to her that the new chosen one probably couldn’t see a thing. She felt a hand grab her arm, perfect timing. Still not bothering to look at the boy, she offered him the match, he took it with a strange amount of conviction and fell behind once again.

“So… I’m Matt. Average joe name, I know. Your name’s…?” He inquired.

“Tangum,” she replied automatically. As if he was going to remember it.

To be continued...

The Sweet One

By Josslynn Gagnon and Elise Boucher

There was once a mother and her son. They lived in a poor village in the center of Niger. She had already lost 11 of her children, now she only had one. She protected him with her life. But one day, the boy got ill. The mother found out he had a severe case of malnutrition and there was nothing they could do for him. “Help my son, Adeben!” she pleaded. But no one had experience. All they could do was hope for the best.

She was angry at the whole world. Once Adeben died, she became bitter. She hated everyone. “Marcia, come out!” her neighbors would call. “Marcia, please come out. Look at the sky! It’s beautiful!” her friends called out. “Come out of your house!” everyone seemed to say. But she stayed where she was. At her house. She growed her own food, had her own well and had her hut. She was okay.

Soon, no one called to her. Her villagers referred to her as “The bitter one” which made her sad. They didn’t even call her by her name.

One day, she decided to go out in public. She had to go to the bazars in town to get some clothes and to sell her jewelry. She was carrying a couple of bead necklaces when a boy ran up and snatched on of the necklaces. “Give it back!” Marcia screeched. He turned around and gasped. “ The bitter one! I-I am so sorry I…..” his voice trailed off. “I am going to have a talk with you young man.” she said. “Don’t eat me alive!” the boy cried.

Once she dragged him to her hut, he was scared to death. She sat him down on the floor. “What is your name?” Marcia asked the boy. “Zee.” he said, shaking. “Well, I don’t want to turn you in. Where are your parents?” she asked Zee. “I don’t have any..” he said. She then noticed how thin he looked. “Say, why don’t you stay for dinner.” Marcia said to Zee. He looked like he lived on the streets.

Finally, after a long pause he nodded his head.When Marcia cooked dinner, Zee spoke up. “Why do people say your bitter. You are so kind.” Zee asked. She shrugged. “I shut out people for awhile since my son died. Say, you want to a stay a bit?” Marcia asked Zee. His eyes lit up and he said, “Sure!”

From that day forward, people referred to her as “The sweet one.”

About Us

Wingspan is a student-created newsletter. Our writers come up with creative content and publish their articles with the help of Mrs. Sparrow and Mr. Duncan
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