14 - BOE Meeting
20 - Moving Up Monday - 10 am to 11 am for incoming 5th-grade students
29 - First Day of School!!!
3 - No School - Labor Day
4- No School - Professional Development Day
10 - Picture Day
11- BOE Meeting
20 - Open House
28 - Logic Block
** Remember to check the school calendar on our website for the most up to date information on school events **
The Principal's Office
Hello Westbrook Middle School,
With only a few short weeks left until the first day of school, I want to provide an update on events here at the middle school. The summer crew has done a tremendous job of getting the school ready for opening day. Everything from the desks to the lockers are sparkling. The building received a few upgrades such as new carpet in the main office and second floor hallway, and a fresh coat of paint throughout. In addition, I am very excited to introduce a Flexible Learning Space for our students on the second floor. This space utilizes comfortable chairs, tables and Chromebook charging ports along with space for group collaboration.
The 2018-2019 school year will welcome new staff and additions to the curriculum. We welcome a few new faces on the first day of school. Ms. Bartolomeo will be joining the 6th grade team as our new Special Education teacher, Ms. Ouellette will be joining the 8th grade team and our new Science teacher, Ms. Floyd will be taking over as a full-time chorus teacher now that Ms. Bellizzi will be teaching at Daisy, and Mr. Becker will be joining us from the high school as the new middle school Family and Consumer Science teacher. We are very excited to welcome them to the WMS family.
New this year, Ms. Runkle will be teaching Computer Science (CS) to all students. WMS is one of the first middle schools in the state to implement this course and adopt the new state standards for Computer Science. Ms. Runkle attended an amazing CS conference this summer in Arizona, and is looking forward to bringing back all of the knowledge she gained. Students will learn a wide range of STEAM skills like problem solving and writing code. The entire student body will celebrate Hour of Code in December. Look for more information to follow as this date approaches.
With so many new and exciting things to come this school year, we can’t wait to welcome everyone back on August 29th! Follow us on Facebook for up to date information on all the amazing things happening here at WMS.
WMS is very excited to start the school year by providing you with your own Chromebook. Our hope is to increase access to informational technology and enhance student learning this year, Westbrook Middle school will become a 1:1 school meaning that each student in grades 5 to 8 will have their own Chromebook. A Chromebook is a laptop that is made by Google, and uses the Google Operating System (OS). Westbrook Public Schools is already a Google Apps for Education District and the Chromebook works seamlessly with the programs and tools that we already use everyday. This device will be provided by Westbrook Public Schools and there will be an optional Damage Protection Plan available for purchase.
Students started using Chromebooks at the middle school a few years ago. Previously, each student had to borrow a laptop from assigned classroom carts. This new technology will provide a consistent device for each student and eliminate the problems of wasting time signing out laptops, different types of devices, platforms and applications across the classroom. It will also allow students to personalize their Chromebooks. Our staff members are skilled in the art of teaching with Chromebooks. These devices enhance the classroom learning experience both inside and outside of school. Students will keep the device over school breaks and summers, making learning a year-round activity. We will begin the roll out of Chromebooks in the first few weeks of school by grade level. An email will be sent out in the coming weeks with more information.
Parents & Guardians: Please log in to your PowerSchool account and verify that your information in demographics for e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and cell phone numbers are up-to-date. Also, please update your emergency contacts and their phone numbers. We have found many obsolete or incorrect phone numbers on the PowerSchool database. In an emergency, or if your child is ill or hurt, it is vital that we have up-to-date information to be able to contact you. Thank you!
New Faces at WMS
Kayla Bartolomeo - 6th Grade Special Education
Hi there! My name is Ms. Bartolomeo and I am very proud to be the new sixth grade special education teacher for Westbrook Middle School. This year is sure to be an exciting year and I am looking forward to all the progress we will make!
Because I am a new member of the sixth grade team, I'd like to tell you a little about myself. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a duel bachelor's degree in elementary education and psychology, and a minor degree in special populations. During my time in Rhode Island, I also achieved a certification in nonviolent conflict reconciliation and applied behavioral analysis. After my first year teaching, I went back to school to achieve my master’s degree in comprehensive special education with a concentration in students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. Prior to joining the Westbrook Middle School community, I taught seventh grade special education specializing in students with learning disabilities.
I currently reside in Essex where I enjoy taking walks on the beach and going on hikes with my husband and my puppy, Teague. Additionally, in my spare time, I enjoy researching innovative and trending special education teaching strategies and practices.
If you have any questions or ever feel the need to reach out to me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jodi Ouellette - 8th Grade Science
I will be starting my first year as an 8th grade science teacher here at WMS and I am super excited to share my passion for science with our students.
This is not my first year in Westbrook though! Some may recognize me from the athletic fields or substitute teaching. I have been working at WHS/WMS since 2009 as the athletic trainer for the athletic teams and most recently as a substitute teacher in science classrooms in both the HS and MS. I have since completed my certification to be a middle school science teacher and am truly looking forward to this new endeavor.
I have a Bachelors degree in sports medicine from Northeastern University and I was a member of their soccer team. In addition, I have a master's degree in secondary education from Fairfield University. I have work experience as an educator and athletic trainer in the college setting, high school setting and middle school setting that spans over the past 18 years! I am so excited to be settled here in the Westbrook School district, along with my family.
In my free time my husband Tim and 3 kids, Jack, Brooke & McKenna enjoy keeping active with road races, biking, and many other sports. I especially like soccer and still play on a women's team! I enjoy coaching in town and am very excited to be planning our 6th annual Daisy Dash 5k right here in Westbrook!
I look forward to meeting all of my new students in the next few weeks...I know it will be a great school year!
Lynne Floyd - Chorus
Lynne is a Summa cum Laude graduate of the University of Connecticut, from which she received dual degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. After teaching public school music for two years, Lynne moved to Phoenix to pursue a Masters degree in Vocal Performance at Arizona State University. While in Arizona, Lynne performed extensively throughout the southwest with both the Royal Renaissance Singers and “Opera-tunity,” a company specializing in introducing opera to children and the general public. She has performed many roles in opera and musical theater. As a concert soloist, Lynne has sung with the Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona State Chamber Orchestra, The Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the American Institute for Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. An accomplished recitalist, Lynne has performed wide varieties of repertoire in many parts of the country.
Lynne is the Choral Minister and Handbell Choir Director at Niantic Community Church. She taught in Sprague, CT grades K-8 for three years and has been an adjunct professor at Mitchell College, where she taught Class Voice, directed the Mitchell Singers and music directed the musicals for the Drama Society. In addition, she enjoys running, travel and spending time with her husband Peter and their two dogs. Lynne is excited to join the Westbrook staff, and looks forward to meeting the students and their families.
Erik Becker - Family Consumer Science
"Hello! I am a husband, a father, a teacher, a football coach, a naturalist, a bee keeper, an Olympic lifter, a vegetarian, a sprinter, a primitive technologist, an optimist, and an all around good guy.
I have a deep passion for food and nutrition. I believe that what we eat has profound affects on the way we feel, think, act, and play. I believe that our health is our most valuable asset. My goal is to empower students to become interested in their own wellness. I hope to give them the skills and knowledge to create delicious food that supports a healthy lifestyle.
Most of all, I am super excited to get to know the students and families of Westbrook Middle School. "
The Commissioner's Summer Math Challenge
Did you know that the typical child, regardless of socioeconomic status, loses approximately 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math skills over the summer months each year?
A fun way to keep math skills sharp over the summer is by joining the Summer Math Challenge, a FREE math-skills program designed for students who have just completed first through eighth grade. The Summer Math Challenge can help your child retain math skills learned during the school year and keep them on the path towards college and careers.
How It Works
For six weeks in the summer, parents receive daily emails with fun activities and links to educational resources. When the program ends, parents can print an award certificate to celebrate their child’s summer math accomplishment!
Summer Reading Reimagined: Choice, Volume, & Access
When it comes to summer reading, research tells us that three things really matter above all else:
Choice— Students should have the power to choose the books they want to read;
Volume—Research tells us students should read at least 4-5 books over the summer to avoid the dreaded summer slide;
Access to Books— Students need access to great books.
Students can see Mrs. Goad to sign up for a Westbrook Public Library card. We will have the card delivered to your student at school. The public library stocks up on the hottest middle school and young adult reads and keeps multiple copies of the Nutmeg Book Award nominees. The PTO will also be hosting a Buy One Get One FREE Scholastic book fair the week of June 4th. This is a fabulous opportunity to let your child pick out the books they want to read. Please reach out to your child’s English teacher if your child will need help getting books to bring home for the summer. We will do whatever we can to make sure your child has access to enough books that they want to read.
We have revamped and streamlined our summer reading assignments for all grade levels this year. You will notice that the assignments are no longer focused on projects; our main goal is to get kids reading as much as possible, and we do not a project to slow kids down. Here are some ways you can set your child up for success this summer:
Going on a road trip? Consider downloading an audio book or checking one out from the public library.
Make sure your child has access to books they want to read. Make a trip to the library or a book store and let your student pick books they are excited about. Reach out to your child’s English teacher if you need help getting books in your home this summer.
Make reading a habit. We don’t let our children avoid brushing their teeth because they don't want to do it. Regular independent reading should not be optional.
Encourage your student to always have a book available for “reading emergencies.” Rather than staring at a cell phone screen while you are waiting at the doctor’s office or waiting for an oil change, have a book handy.
English teachers will be sending home resources to help students choose books they will enjoy. Please do not hesitate to reach out if your student needs help finding books they will want to read this summer.
Dear Grade 5 Students and Families,
Welcome to Westbrook Middle School! We are very excited you’ll be joining us in Grade 5. We look forward to a year of learning, fun and adventure! On your first day of school, you will be greeted by teachers who will help you get to your homeroom. Soon, you will also be able to access your class schedule on Power School. No worries, we will help you learn and understand it. Your teachers will provide all the materials you will need for Grade 5, however, you may choose to have a large zippered binder to hold all your supplies. Please come with a positive attitude and a smile! We are looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.
Mr. Pennela, Science & Social Studies
Ms. Taylor, Math & Social Studies
Mrs. Novarro, Language Arts & Social Studies
Ms. Fitzgerald, Special Education
Dear Grade 6 Students and Families,
Welcome to Grade 6! We are very excited to meet all of you and are looking forward to a wonderful school year together.This year we have some exciting activities planned! It is a 6th grade tradition to attend a field trip in the fall to Mystic Seaport after reading the outstanding, action-packed novel by Avi, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. This trip gives students a first-hand look at what life was like during the same time period in which the novel is set. Also in the fall, Mountain Workshop will be visiting us for a day filled with team building games and activities. In the spring, as a follow up to a favorite unit on Mount Everest, we will have a special guest speaker who will share the story of her incredible journey to the summit of Mount Everest in 2006. This year you will also take part in the 11th Annual Geography Fair! After extensive research, you will learn almost everything there is to know about your country and then present your project at a fun-filled evening family event.
As sixth graders you are now able to participate in CIAC sporting events. This includes soccer, field hockey, basketball, softball and baseball. Don’t forget that there are also a variety of intramural sports and different clubs that you can participate in as well. There are so many opportunities for you to get involved at WMS!
Your teachers will have all of the supplies and materials that you will need for your classes when you arrive, but don’t forget to bring in your signed Summer Reading form (attached to the packet you were given on Step-Up Day), the list of books you read for the Governor's Reading Challenge and the Summer Math Challenge Certificate, if you participated.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.
The Sixth Grade Team
Dear Incoming 7th Graders and Families,
Welcome to 7th grade! We are looking forward to starting the 2018-2019 school year with you. Back in June, we had the opportunity to meet with students and introduce ourselves and our courses. At Open House next month, parents and guardians will also have the opportunity to visit our classrooms and enjoy a team presentation about the coming year.
In order to be successful, it is important that students report each day to class with the following tools of the trade: enthusiasm, organization, respect, and perseverance.
The team will provide each student with the following supplies for Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
● A two-pocket folder
● A notebook (graph paper notebook for math)
● An agenda book
Please remind your child to return to school with their completed summer reading assignment and math challenge. The office and town library have extra copies of the summer reading packet, if needed.
Enjoy the rest of August!
The 7th Grade Team
Amy Gallagher ~ Language Arts email@example.com
Eve Barakos ~ Math firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathi Lepore ~ Science email@example.com
Tammy Overchuk ~ Social Studies firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Cost ~ Special Education email@example.comJeanie Cornacchio ~ Paraprofessional firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to grade eight! We are looking forward to an exciting year of learning and growing together!
Get ready to read a ton of fabulous books in eighth grade ELA! Hopefully you have already read some good books this summer, and if not, there is no better time to start! Don’t forget to check our Google Classroom page for reading suggestions from former eighth graders. You will engage in a variety of reading experiences this year from whole class novels to book clubs and reading partnerships. We will work on refining writing about reading skills and get you to write high school-ready literary analysis essays.
Grade eight math units will include: Real Numbers, The Pythagorean Theorem, Transformations in the Coordinate Plane, Linear Equations and Volume. Accelerated Math students will study these topics in addition to completing the Westbrook High School Algebra I curriculum. We will work on developing conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to analyze and solve multi-step problems. Students will develop an understanding of algebraic and geometric representations, the ability to interpret and analyze data, and the skills necessary to effectively communicate mathematical reasoning with others.
Eighth grade Social Studies is a combination of history, civics, geography, and economics. Students will study the post Civil War Era through early modern history. Skills will focus on evaluating sources and using the content of relevant sources in a variety of ways, including written reports and visual presentations.
We welcome a new addition to the team as Mrs. Ouellette joins us to teach Science. Eighth graders can look forward to an exciting year of inquiry labs focused around the topics of genetics, forces and gravity, and chemical reactions.
Enjoy the rest of your relaxing summer days! We look forward to seeing you on August 29!
Queridos padres y estudiantes,
¡Bienvenidos de nuevo! Para quienes no lo sepan, me llamo Señora Ferro, y seré su maestra de español este año. Esto pequeño con la sonrisa radiante es mi hijo, Gio y la monada es mi gata, Sofia. ¡Por supuesto que quiero a los dos tanto!
Este año va a ser muy divertido. Vamos a hacer muchas cosas educativas y divertidas en la clase. También, continuamos a aprender y practicar los modos de comunicación en español. Recuerden, si necesitan ayuda con algo, háganmelo saber. ¡Espero que tengan un año escolar fabuloso!
¡Buena Suerte, trabajen duramente, y ¡Diviértanse!
Dear Parents and students,
Welcome back! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Mrs. Ferro and I will be your Spanish teacher this year. This little one with the bright smile is my son, Gio and the little cutie is my cat, Sofia. Or course I love them both a lot!
This year is going to be very fun. We will be doing many educational and fun activities in class. Also, we will continue to learn and practice the modes of communication in Spanish. Remember, if you need help with anything, let me know. More specific information will be outlined in my class policy located on my web page. A hard copy will also be distributed on the first day of school. I hope you all have a fabulous school year!
Good luck, work hard, and have fun!
Welcome back a la escuela. We are very excited to begin another school year and have some great activities and new ideas that we are eager to try.
The 8th grade will begin the second half of Spanish I. This year will go at a much faster pace than the previous years. Students who successfully complete this course will receive high school credit and move on to Spanish II. We will review previously learned grammar and learn new topics such as the past tense, commands, and the present progressive. New vocabulary will include sports, health, and technology.
The 7th grade will complete the first half of Spanish I. We will review verb conjugation, the verbs ser and tener, and subject pronouns. We will learn about the verb estar, er/ir verbs, stem-changing verbs, and a variety of new vocabulary.
The 6th grade will now go to Spanish each day for the entire year. We will review the basics, the alphabet, numbers, greetings, etc. We will then learn new material such as subject pronouns, verb conjugation, and the verbs ser and tener. New vocabulary will include activities, adjectives, time, classes, and school supplies.
The 5th grade will have Spanish everyday for half the year and switch to French. We will focus on immersing the students in the language while learning the basics of the Spanish language such as greeting, days of the week, the alphabet, numbers, and months.
If you would like to get a head start, there are wonderful resources on the internet. I recommend Duolingo, Quizlet, PurposeGames, and avancemos.conjuguemos.
I hope that you all had a great Summer and we are looking forward to another great school year.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Welcome students! Your Family and Consumer Science class will meet every other day for one semester.
We will explore and learn about the following topics:
- Personal Finance
- Child Development
- Kitchen and Food Safety
Our class is hands-on and full of activity! In order to have a great semester we need each student to arrive each day ready to learn and prepared to work! To get the most from this class bring a good attitude, a willingness to work with others and your appetite, for food and learning! Not everything we make will come out perfect, but sometimes the mistakes we make teach valuable lessons! I hope you will enjoy learning about life skills, food preparation and teamwork! Please don't hesitate to ask for help and always do your best! I am happy to help you!
Welcome back to the 2018-2019 school year from the music department. The music department and our music offerings have grown for the students of Westbrook! We are very excited to have a new choir teacher this school year. We are pleased to welcome Ms Floyd. Ms. In addition to teaching both general music and the grades 5-8 choir classes, she will also be the 4th grade general music teacher at Daisy Ingraham Elementary. Just like the past two years, Mr. Talmadge will be teaching band to students grade 5-8, and students may also still audition to be a part of the jazz band. Students wishing to audition need only to talk to Mr. Talmadge during the first few weeks of school.
We can’t wait to make beautiful music with the children of Westbrook. Welcome back!
I am thrilled to be back as the art teacher and have the opportunity to get to know all the new students and those I did not teach last semester. This year we will explore a variety of techniques, cultures, mediums and artists while being creative and having fun. Art class will challenge and inspire each of you to have an active role in your learning.
In art, we will not only base lessons on student interest, but intertwine other academic subjects so we can make and have personal connections to our works of art. We also will use technology to broaden our horizons and help us become better artists. I have high expectations of all students and cannot wait to see your capabilities and what we will accomplish.
Let’s have a great year!
I would like to welcome fifth grade students to Mr. Abbott’s World of Technology. This is the first year technology classes will be offered to fifth grade students. Students will learn safety, hand tools and proper practices and techniques in a shop setting. All students will work closely with Mr. Abbott to stay safe and have fun.
Fifth graders… are you ready to explore the history of flight? We will trace flight from the first powered flight by the Wright brothers in 1903, including first jet powered plane, and aircraft that hover and fly backwards. Then will we take you into the future of flight and beyond!!!!!!!!
Students will design, fabricate and test a water-powered soda bottle rocket.
You will also be making a small wood project while learning how to measure and mark, hand saw, sand, sand, sand and have fun!
Students will learn safety, hand tools and proper practices and techniques in a shop setting.
All students will work closely with Mr. Abbott to stay safe and have fun.
Sixth grade students will trace the history of Transportation from Henry Fords’ Model T,
Top fuel dragsters then Jet powered cars. Students will draw, design and build a wooden Co2 powered dragster car. Students will then use the “Solidworks” drawing program to design towers. Sixth grade students will then 3D print their tower designs.
Students will learn safety, hand tools and proper practices and techniques in a shop setting.
All students will work closely with Mr. Abbott to stay safe and have fun.
New this year in seventh grade, students will explore Lego Mindstorm EV3 Robots.
Students will build and program their robots to successfully navigate a design challenge course.
Students will also learn Solidworks to design and 3d print individual projects.
Technology students in eighth grade will learn wood shop safety, hand tools and machines.
Students will demonstrate how to apply proper techniques and procedures while making their wood shop projects. Students will then learn the “Solidworks” CADD program. They will design bridges and individual projects. Eighth grade students will then 3D print bridges and individual projects.
What Are You Reading? There is still plenty of time left to summer vacation to start a series, find a new favorite author or branch out to read a different genre! I look forward to the start of school to hear about all the great books you are reading and share the books I just could not put down. Of course, we will have new books that arrived over the summer and I’ll be looking for your recommendations for new purchases!
A special welcome to our fifth grade students that I was lucky enough to meet at Daisy in June during your library class with Mrs. Sweet! You’ll be getting to visit the library during the first days of school to learn where everything is located in the library, how many books you can check out, and most importantly, when you can visit the library. You’ll be leaving the first library orientation with a book of your choice!
Reading Habit – If you have not made a habit of reading, summer is a great time to start. Studies vary with the number of days it takes to create a habit (good or bad), but if you repeatedly do something, such as reading, 28 days in a row, you have successfully made a habit. With extra time during the summer, spend the first 10 – 15 minutes you wake up or before you go to sleep to read. You will be amazed how quickly it becomes part of your nighttime or morning routine. What a great way to start and end the day!
What to Read Next? Remember to visit the Library Media webpage under “Student Resources” tab to find links for book recommendations. Also, The Governor’s Reading Challenge website provides suggested reading titles by grade levels.
Share some family reading time and read a book from PBS The Great American Read list. Many of these titles that vary from first chapter books to adult have been made into movies. First, read the book together as a family or with a friend. What do the characters and setting look like? Watch the movie and compare which was better. Did the movie leave some details out? Did the casting match what you envisioned the characters to look like? There is a display of middle school books from the Great American Read list in the library. See how many you can read, before voting ends in October, 2018.
Governor’s Reading Challenge Reminder
As part of our summer reading program each year, we participate in the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. Included in students’ summer reading packets is a form to write the titles of books read over the summer. Each student will, at a minimum, write in the books that were read (or listened to) for the required summer reading. Remember to hand in reading challenge forms to Mrs. Goad. These will be tallied and sent to Hartford. We are looking for 100% participation school wide. As an incentive, the grade with the highest participation (by handing in a list of books read over the summer) will earn recess! Let’s hope all grades show 100% participation!
Bonjour et je suis content de vous revoir * en classe de français, chers élèves * ! :-)
I hope your summer break was “incroyable”* and you had lots of fun and rest with your family and friends.
In order for you to make the most out of your first days back (and beyond) to French class, you will need:
- first and foremost, to be open to the possibility that you and every other student has the ability to learn, even what you think is really difficult. This doesn’t mean we all start at the same place but with time, effort and fun, we all can reach the destination.
- to practice your French vocabulary, conjugations and conversational skills in class and at home.
- to be attentive and on-task during class.
- to be prepared and bring the school supplies you need for class (in order for you to take notes and do classwork). A comprehensive list will be handed to you in class.
Also, I’m including two links of videos that I thought would be fun and interesting for you to watch before we meet (again):
Fun facts about France:
Great tips about French pronunciation:
A bientôt * et bonne fin de vacances * !
P.S.: The picture in this article is of Menton, a town on the French Riviera.
* Je suis content de vous revoir (Welcome back)
* Chers élèves (Dear students)
* Incroyable (Incredible)
* A bientôt (See you soon)
* Bonnes fin de vacances (Enjoy the end of your summer break)
Westbrook Youth and Family Services
BACK TO SCHOOL means back to...WYFS’ SCHOOL GROUPS! We are so excited to have your student join our school groups! During the first few lunches we go in and talk about peer groups where students will have the opportunity to sign up. Our peer groups captivate students with engaging themed activities and encourages them always to do better! Our 5th and 6th graders will have the option to pick between Game of Life or Super Heroes. 7th and 8th graders will have the option between Awaken The Force and Going Viral. If you want to sign your student up for group please visit our website www.wyfs.org and register!
We also have a new program, Round Table, starting this October! Round Table is a once a month, after-school group, and open to all Middle School students. Students will learn leadership skills and participate in community service! Stop by our Table at Westbrook Open House to hear more about what we offer students including free school based counseling.