Friday, November 17, 2023
Thank you! Our Boosterthon was a success!
Now that the MHS/WES Fun Run is over, we’ve calculated that Meetinghouse School and Westminster Elementary have a DONATION PROFIT of about
THAT IS TRULY AMAZING! Thank you!
We hope to see many of you at our next PTO meeting as we continue to talk about the ways we are spending this money to support our kids. Since we exceeded our goal, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. O'Brien will be singing Karaoke with the kids during lunch sometime in December. We can't wait!
Student Council Food Drive
5th Grade Fire Safety Lessons
Thank you to all of those parents and guardians who were able to make it to parent-teacher conferences. It is so important for us to connect home and school for these young learners. Also thank you for your part in the Boosterthon! The Fun Run was a huge success. Students had a blast participating and earning class and school rewards!
In the beginning of the year we spend a lot of time in kindergarten practicing expectations, forming positive relationships, and becoming a classroom community. As we continue to work towards those goals, we are also in full swing with our curriculum. With our new CKLA program, students are really grasping the left to right progression we need for reading and writing. They are identifying and hearing sounds in words. Students are tapping sounds and blending together sounds to make words. So far we have covered /m,/,/t/,/d/,/c/,/g/,/a/,/o/,/i/,/n/,/h/. We have 3 “tricky words”(sight words); one, two, three. In our Wit and Wisdom reading program students are noticing and wondering in our picture books, while identifying author, and illustrators roles in book making. They are becoming quite good at noticing and adding details.
Part of our Bridges math curriculum is Number Corner. This daily routine includes our calendar, counting days in school, and collecting objects using a spinner. This month students are collecting popsicle sticks. Students will use one to one correspondence, practice adding, tallying, and grouping. Our November calendar markers are 2d and 3d shapes. We have used many math manipulatives and tools to keep the learning hands on and fun! As the weather turns from cool to cold, please dress your child appropriately. We go outside for recess twice daily, as long as the temperature is above 20 degrees! Also, please send in sneakers if your child comes to school in snow boots. Dry, comfortable shoes are a much better option for the classroom.
First Grade News
We have been busily working away at Wit and Wisdom and are about to reach the end of our first module. Our first module is all about answering the question:
How do books change lives around the world?
Over the upcoming vacations if you are looking for things to do consider visiting
our town library or another library
a museum like Fitchburg Art Museum. Look for still-lifes, portraits, and landscapes.
other museums like the Eric Carle Museum or the Dr. Seuss Museum.
We have also been working hard on our writing. This time of year there are lots opportunities to naturally write at home. Making lists, writing cards, and writing thank you notes are wonderful opportunities for children to practice. When having your child write focus on spelling patterns and tricky words we have learned. Not every word will be spelled correctly because your child has not learned every spelling pattern yet. Also, look for proper letter formation, capitals at beginning of sentences and for proper nouns, and punctuation at the end of sentences. Focusing on what we have learned will allow them to enjoy writing while reinforcing their learning.
For weekly grade level updates please refer to the grade 1 newsletter your child’s teacher sends out.
News from Mrs. Milne and Ms. Rivera
Music News from Mr. Lucander
Greetings Students and Families!
The music rooms have been VERY busy this fall, I’m very excited to see our students working at music at all levels. Here's what has been happening as well as future events.
Grade 4 and 5 students have been in a unit on rhythm. Each student has been working with various notes and rests including whole, half, quarter, and now sixteenth notes. They are starting eighth note triplets as well as playing rhythm pieces on both keyboards and tubano/conga drums. They will soon start two and four part rhythms as well. Recently they learned about the composer Evourd Greig, Norway’s finest Composer. They also have been learning how to play a few short melodies (Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King) from his famous orchestra works.
Grade 3 students have made great strides in their rhythm unit as they can perform quarter notes/rests and eighth notes very well as they either clap or play tubano/conga drums. They also completed a unit on a classical composer named Sergei Prokoviev who was famous for the Peter and the Wolf, where they learned about a story from me, heard the orchestra version, and then saw a cartoon that was made to go with the orchestra piece from Walt Disney. They learned about several instruments in the orchestra.
Grade 2 students have made great strides in their rhythm unit as they can perform quarter notes/rests and eighth notes very well as they either clap or play tubano/conga drums. They also completed a unit on a classical composer named Paul Dukas who was famous for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, where they learned about a story from me, heard the orchestra version, and then saw a cartoon that was made to go with the orchestra piece from Walt Disney. They learned about several instruments in the orchestra.
Grade K and 1 have been busy singing and learning motions to many songs including the ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle, Happy Birthday (clapping and cha cha cha versions) the Animal Fair, Five Little Pumpkins, One Little Skeleton, and The Alphabet Tango. The 1st graders in particular learned a song with bean bags called Ti-De-Oh. Both grades have been working on echoing rhythms at drums as well. Other songs include the Oak Tree song, and Baked Potato.
A Band has been practicing on Thursdays from 3-4pm. They successfully performed their Spring Concert music at the Westminster Cracker Festival along with the WES Jazz Band. The A Band recently performed at the ORHS halftime show with the Oakmont-Overlook Marching Spartans a few weeks ago, as they learned about the Marching Band program. The A Band performed at the town Veterans Day Ceremony at the monument for Veterans of Foreign Wars on November 11 at 11am, where they performed the Star Spangled Banner and You’re a Grand Old Flag. Our A Band is scheduled to play at the December 8 (for Veterans and Grandparents)and 13 Holiday Concerts (for the school in the am, and the parents in the pm). Students should be using their Google Classroom to learn music at home. A paper will come home soon with concert details.
B Band has had quite the sign up! There are over 40 brand new students in our Beginning Concert Band. Students have had lessons since the end of October. Rehearsals have been on on Fridays from 3-4pm in the cafeteria. Our goal is to learn numbers 1-53 for the Holiday Concerts on December 8 and 13. A paper will come home soon with concert details. Please make sure your child has a consistent experience by coming to lessons each week and B band each week. Also, they should be using their B Band Google Classroom to play along with all of the videos at home, so they can both practice songs they know and learn ones that they don’t know yet.
Chorus is up and running as they prepare for the Town Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 3 on Academy Hill, which starts at 5:30pm. All are invited to come and watch as a special guest will come and light the tree! :) Also, our chorus is gearing up for the Holiday Concerts on December 8 and 13. A paper will come home soon with concert details. Students should be bringing in folders/pencils each week to rehearsals. Also, sign ups for the spring chorus will be at the start of January, with rehearsals on Fridays 3-4pm starting January 12.
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser - On November 19 from 8-11am, The Westminster Lion’s Club will host a pancake breakfast at the VFW for our music department. All proceeds go directly to our bands/chorus programs to help fund needed equipment, music, supplies, etc. So, tickets are $6 each at the door or we gladly accept any monetary donation instead of coming to the breakfast. Either way, we are grateful should you decide to support our program. We will be very busy that morning. So if you are available to help us make/serve pancakes, please reach out to Mr. Lucander directly at email@example.com so you help assist. We certainly need help!
Cool Yule Kids - Advanced members of the A Band, have the opportunity to do extra performances by learning 11 songs from Christmas Favorites music packet. There is a Google Classroom with recording that they must play along with during the performances. It also lists the dates of extra performances, so please take a look at it. All songs must be ready for the 7:30am rehearsal on Thursday December 7 if they are to participate.
Bell Choir - A small group of students have been practicing with our flute teacher Jennifer Lehman on Mondays after school and are hoping to perform at our holiday concerts as well. Look for details coming soon.
Jazz Band - Jazz Band auditions will be Wednesday January 3. Students should be recommended by their lesson teacher if they are capable of participating. Rehearsals will begin on Wednesday January 17 from 3-4pm.
Westminster Community Events
Notes from Parent/Guardians
Written notes from parents/ guardians are required (in addition to excused absences), when your student will be:
- Picked up by someone other than the parent/ guardian.
- Dismissed during the school day.
- Picked up at school rather than taking the bus home, or other similar change in routine.
- Following a standing appointment one day per week such as Brownies, Boy Scouts, etc. One note at the start of the school year will suffice. If there is any change in the schedule, another note is needed.
- Given permission to independently ride a bike to school. (Grades 4 – 5 only)
- Cared for after school by a baby-sitter or family day care provider. Please provide the school with the names and phone numbers of all after-school care providers at the beginning of the school year..
Written notes are essential to insure your child’s safety. We would prefer notes over phone calls as it helps us to document your child's individual dismissal plan. (We have 611 students.) Thank you for your help.
End of Day Procedures
We discourage early dismissals from school and urge you to schedule doctor, dentist or other appointments outside of school hours, on school holidays, or during vacation time. Extra-curricular activities should also be scheduled to allow students to complete the school day. We will send a written reminder if the number of early dismissals becomes unreasonable or excessive.
On the day of a dismissal, the parent or guardian must send a note to school stating the time of dismissal and who will pick up the student. No student will be dismissed to anyone but a parent/guardian or authorized adult, who must report to the office to meet the student.
Dismissals prior to 11:30 am will be considered an absence.
Any changes to dismissal plans must be made in writing on or before the day of dismissal. In the event of an emergency, a phone call to the school office will need to be followed up by an e-mail or fax.
From MHS and WES Nurses
ILLNESS/ABSENCES: As with every Winter, we have seen an increase in illness in our schools. Please be sure to review the district’s illness guidance and reach out to your school nurse with any questions.
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.
If your child is diagnosed with any communicable diseases please notify the nurse and follow the guidelines given by your medical provider. As a reminder, if your child has a fever they must be fever free for 24 hours without taking fever reducing medication (such as Tylenol/Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen/Motrin)
If you feel as though your child needs to be medicated prior to school to make it through the day, we strongly encourage you to keep your student home that day to rest.
FLU FACTS/INFORMATION: Flu season is upon us! The season for the flu is usually from November to April with most cases occurring between late December and early March. The flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. Although the flu affects everyone, children tend to get it more often than adults.
The flu is often confused with the common cold, but flu symptoms tend to develop quickly (usually 1 to 4 days after a person is exposed to the flu virus) and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. Symptoms can last for a week or two. The flu is very contagious. It is spread by coughing or sneezing into the air.
Symptoms of the Flu May Include:
Fever Chills Headache Muscle Aches Dizziness Loss of Appetite Runny or Stuffy Nose Nausea or Vomiting Weakness Tiredness Sore Throat Cough Ear Infection Diarrhea
Loss of Appetite
Runny or Stuffy Nose
Nausea or Vomiting
Ways to Prevent The Flu:
To have the flu shot if your pediatrician feels you should have it.
Wash your Hands thorough and frequently
Never pick up used tissues.
Never share cups and eating utensils.
Stay home from work or school when you’re sick with the flu.
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
How Do You Treat The Flu?
Stay home from school
Drink lots of fluids.
Get plenty of sleep and take it easy.
Call your doctor for a fever or achiness so that he/she can let you know what to take to make your child feel better.
The student may return to school when he/she is both fever free and has not taken Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) for 24 hours.
If you feel as though your child needs to be medicated prior to school to make it through the day, we strongly encourage you to keep your student home that day to rest.
Meetinghouse is looking for any gently used boys and girls pants to resupply our nursing office. We ask that all donations come from smoke free homes and do not have any rips/holes, or strong scents/perfumes. Thank you!
As always please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Bridget Hurley RN, BSN
Westminster Elementary School
P: 978-874-2043 ext 5
Cassandra Benes RN, BSN
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.
Westminster Elementary Ski/Snowboard Program 2024
1. Open to students in grades 3, 4 and 5. All students MUST purchase a lift badge. [6 week lift badge or
season pass] if they do not already have a 2023-2024 season pass. BRONZE passes are available to purchase through the WES program (Quantities are limited). Parents, siblings, and teachers of enrolled students are eligible to purchase the 6-week lift badge or season pass on the sheet provided (prices go up after December 1).
2. Lessons are required for all 3 rd grade students, beginner and novice students (Levels 1-4).
**New this year ** Advanced level students do not have to sign up for lessons.
3. It will be your responsibility to have your child ready and arrive to check-in on-time. Refunds will
not be issued for missed lessons due to tardiness.
4. Your child will be skiing unaccompanied with a buddy. Do NOT sign up:
a. If your child cannot participate until the end of the program (6pm) each week.
b. If your child is not mature enough to handle the responsibilities necessary to participate.
Be aware that there is about one chaperone per ten students. Chaperones are on the slopes and/or
in the lodge during ski club time. Chaperones are not assigned to ski with children.
5. WES is NOT providing busing. Transportation must rely on a parent or chaperone after school.
6. Drop-offs will be allowed this year. Students must check-in at the designated table inside the lodge
upon arrival. A “buddy” will also be assigned at check-in or after lessons. Parents must sign out
their students at Wachusett Mountain by 6pm. After a student is signed out by a parent, students
are then allowed to ski under their parent’s watch until 7:30pm with each Tuesday session.
Start Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2024. The remaining sessions are Tuesdays Jan. 16, 23, 30 and Feb. 6, 13.Program Details: Start Time: 3:20P End Time: 6:00P – sharp! Lesson Time: 3:50P – sharp!
Fees: Fees are specified in the Student Program form. Additional fees are required if you need rental
Registration: Sign-up for the program is now online. Deadline is December 15th!
Go to www.wachusett.com/schoolgroup and use the program code: WESCH
Sign-up for the WES Ski/Snowboard Program is limited and on a first-come-first-serve basis!
Chaperones: I have a requirement for a limited number of chaperones. If you are interested in being a chaperone, and are available to be at Wachusett mountain by 3:10P please email me. Chaperones receive a pass for their personal use to allow free skiing/snowboarding for the afternoon. Additionally, Wachusett Mountain offers free rental equipment for chaperones.
Additional Info: The activity announced here is not sponsored or endorsed by the Ashburnham
Westminster Regional School District. It is offered by a private agency. Snowboards, skis, poles, or gear are not to be brought to school.
Additional information will be sent prior to the first class after sign-ups close on December 15. Lift badges will be handed out on the first day at check-in. This season is another opportunity to get your students outdoors and enjoying their time on the snow. If you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact me.
978-821-5327 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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