MHS & WES Newsletter

October 5, 2018

News from the Principal

Spring 2018 MCAS Reports for Grades 4 & 5

The spring 2018 MCAS results have arrived. Individual Parents/Guardian score reports went home with our 4th and 5th grade students this afternoon. Please be sure to check your child’s backpack for an envelope from school containing this report. Each year we analyze our school’s performance to inform curriculum decisions and improve our teaching practices. Although these reports provide valuable information, they provide only one piece of the greater picture. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or myself. We are happy to help!

Parent Teacher Conferences

It is hard to believe that the first set of Parent Teacher Conferences begins next week. This is a time to establish a connection with your child's teacher and learn how your child is progressing in school. Please ask questions and use this time to share important information from your perspective. We are a team!

Tumble Book Library

This is a wonderful online library for families to access at home. The Tumblebooks website has over 1000 titles. It includes animated talking picture books, chapter books, videos, non-fiction titles, playlists and much more. You may access Tumblebooks anytime from our MHS and WES websites under "Quick Links" on our homepage or on our "Student Links and Resources" webpage.

Upcoming Dates

  • October 8: No School-Columbus Day
  • October 9: Half Day (all schools) MHS and WES dismiss at 12:00 Noon
  • October 11: Half Day (Elementary and High School Only) Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 18: Half Day (Elementary Only) Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 23: Picture retake day at Both MHS and WES
  • October 30: Flu Clinic MHS 4:00-7:00 p.m.
  • October 31: Trick or treating in town 5:00-7:00 p.m. Bonfire to follow at the Westminster Fire Department

Kindergarten News

Kindergarten children are working hard. We have established rules and routines and children are learning the expectations that we have for them here at school.

We want to thank all of you who attended our Open House last week. We were grateful that so many of you could make it. It was an exciting night for all!

During October, we will be learning more about letter naming and letter-sound associations. We will continue to practice counting and develop number concept as well. To reinforce these skills, singing the alphabet and counting objects around the house, might be helpful.

The weather is starting to turn and with this chill in the air, comes the need for jackets or sweatshirts. Please encourage your child to practice zipping on their own. And, as always, labeling all items is important!

Thanks so much for helping us to get off to a great start in Kindergarten!

4th Grade News

Fourth grade students have been working hard on building their classroom communities through a variety of engaging team-building activities. We have learned a lot about each other and we’re focused on spreading kindness around like confetti! During our science and social studies blocks, we reviewed continents and oceans, as well as ways to locate them on maps. We are also working on finalizing plans for our annual field trip to the Boston Science Museum, which will be in November. Be on the lookout for field trip dates and other important information. We hope everyone has a wonderful fall and we look forward to seeing you at conferences.
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Meet our new kindergarten teacher....Miss Spuria

Hello! My name is Melissa Spuria and I am the newest member of the kindergarten team. I grew up in Westminster and attended WES as a child. I have loved all aspects of this school system and I am thrilled to be here.

I studied Early Childhood Education at Mount Wachusett Community College and later graduated from Fitchburg State College.

I live with my fiancé Jamie and our 11 year old daughter Cameron. Our family loves spending time at the beach and outdoor activities.

I am looking forward to an amazing year in Kindergarten!

Purple Palette and Paintbrush News aka Ms. Banning ART

Greetings from the Purple Palette & Paintbrush! (aka: The 2 art studios at MHS and WES :-) )

Our studios are buzzing with creative activity and super cool ideas from students! I have a brochure to hand out to WES parents at Parent-Teacher Conferences that explains the art program here at MHS and WES. (I already handed these out to MHS parents at their child's Open House last week) The brochure describes how the "T.A.B." philosophy is used in our art studios. (T.A.B. stands for "Teaching for Artistic Behavior") Be on the lookout for this! (I will try to keep a basket of them in the front office as well)

The children are still working on the routines and procedures of the studios as well as experimenting with various materials from The Drawing Studio, Building Design and Inspiration Station. I have seen most class groups 5-6 times so far, and a few are on lesson 7.

A few reminders, updates, information:

* Looking for volunteers to help in the art rooms! Any time any day! Tasks include, but are not limited to: cutting paper, laminating, stapling booklets, measuring yarn, refilling paint bottles etc. Let me know if you have any time to offer!

* DONATIONS NEEDED for THICK yarn. The kind we most often use for finger weaving is "Lion Brand Yarns" Hometown USA 100% acrylic yarn. It is labeled "Super Bulky" and is thicker than most yarns. Works great for small fingers! I find it at WalMart at the craft section, or online. (WalMart is less expensive) Send in a skein or two if you can! The students go through it quickly when that center is open. THANKS to those of you who already donated!!!!!!! :-)

*If you have not signed up for Artsonia yet, please take a moment to do so. Artsonia is an online art gallery for students to take pictures of the art they make in the studio and post to the Artsonia website. (I also need to know if you do not wish to be a part of Artsonia, so I can mark that next to your child's name for my own records) I recently sent home a few reminder slips, and have a few more to send out for new students.

* Keep a lookout for the dates for upcoming "Family Art Nights", "Pop-Up Art Shows" and the annual "Creation Celebration"!

Ms. Banning

News from Mrs. Pinkes and Mrs. Kosciak

Alternate ways to ask your child “How was school today?”

What was the coolest thing that happened today? (What was the worst thing that happened today?)

Pretend you are the teacher. How would you describe the day?

What made you laugh today?

How were you kind or helpful today? Was anyone kind or helpful to you?

Let’s see what you brought home today.

Tell me about a book you enjoyed today.

If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT like to sit by in class? Why?)

Where is the coolest place at school?

Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?

What do you think you should do or learn more of at school? (What do you think you should do or learn less of at school?)

Where do you play most at recess?

Who is the funniest person in your class? Why?

If you got to be the teacher tomorrow what would you do?

News from the PTO

Don’t forget to send in your Box Tops! Last year we raised more than $1,300 for our schools!

It’s as easy as 1...2...3...

1. Clip your box tops ( don’t forget to check the expiration dates!)

2. Place into a zip lock bag

3. Write your child’s teacher’s name on the bag

Do you want help out with the PTO but don’t think you can because you work during the day? We have a perfect spot for you! You could be the “go-to” person for our Scrip Program. We have a partnership with Scrip where we sell gift cards and receive a percentage back for our PTO. The program is run mostly online with just a few times a year where you’d need to send home flyers about the sale and then collect payments and process the orders. If you may be interested please email and I can discuss the program in more detail.


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Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. ~ Og Mandino

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Ashburnham Westminster Foundation for Academic Excellence

This year’s A Night For Excellence to benefit the Ashburnham Westminster Foundation for Academic Excellence will be held on November 16th at 6:30 at the Colonial Hotel. Tickets are available at the door or at the office for $25 each.

If you sign up for a 5 year commitment to our “100 for 100 Club" you will receive 2 FREE tickets to this year’s event. To become a member of the 100 for 100 Club, simply go to, click on Donations and 100 Families for $100. Select the 5 year membership option and enter your details. You will be enrolled in a select group of contributors who have pledged to support the foundation for 5 years at $100 per year.

This is the foundation’s major fundraising event of the year. Not only will you have a great time, you can get amazing deals on fantastic auction items (sporting tickets, vacation packages, shows, etc) and win some pretty cool prizes (iPad, Amazon Echo, clothing, etc).

Some of the programs the foundation has supported at WES/MHS include:

- Invent to Learn iPad Carts

-Green Screen Video Casting

-SPRKS Robot Kits

-Club Intervention

-Enhancing Number Sense

-Tumble Into Reading

and many more.

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