Aiken Update

February 26, 2021

Message from the Principal

The warmer weather and sunshine over the last few days makes me hopeful that we are seeing the first signs of spring. As we turn to the month of March, staff are thrilled to begin signing up for the vaccine. The West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District will be offering special clinics for school staff and we are hopeful that staff will be fully vaccinated by the end of April. Brighter days are ahead, both literally and figuratively.

I am very excited that this year we will be celebrating Read Across America week in a new and unique way. Last year, Mrs. Tamaccio our Library Media Specialist received a grant from the Foundation of West Hartford Public Schools to bring the One Book, One School program to Aiken. This is an opportunity for all of our students and families to participate in a school wide book club. On Monday, your youngest child will come home with a book titled A Boy Called Bat. There will also be a letter explaining some of the activities and classroom connections that will be taking place around the book as well as a reading schedule that will last through March 19th. We hope that over the next three weeks you will enjoy reading this book together as a family and that it will help to foster a love of literature, create meaningful discussion and also bring us together as a school community. Please click on the link below for some additional materials from Mrs. Tamaccio including the book trailer, parent letter and reading schedule.

Aiken One Book, One School - A Boy Called Bat

Parent Letter

Reading Schedule

Have a great weekend!


Black History Month

We are excited to share our completed virtual bulletin boards for Black History Month. Each classroom contributed to the slideshow and the students are proud to share what they learned.

Aiken Black History Month Virtual Bulletin Boards

Here is a Black History Month virtual classroom that was created by our ELC teacher Miss Jill.

Black History Month Resources ELC

Also in celebration Black History Month, our parent EDI committee has created an interactive and engaging digital learning experience for parents that recognizes Black history and celebrates it year-round.

To access the experience, visit

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Office of Equity Advancement

A Message from the Office of Equity Advancement

One Community for Equity

Spring Conferences

Conferences are the week of March 8th. Report cards will be sent home with students next Friday, on March 5th.
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News from The Fifth Grade Committee...

The flyer below will be sent home with your 5th grader on Monday, March 1st. There are many exciting things being planned! Please return the flyer in the attached envelope by March 8th.
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Quest Information Night

The Gifted and Talented program of WHPS, QUEST Programs (QUEST, Math QUEST, and Art QUEST) are committed to advancing the learning standards for all students. QUEST is a place for bright minds, curiosity, creativity, and task commitment. The foundation is based on

promoting the individual student's personalized strengths, enhancing and optimizing of the student's potential, and talent development. QUEST is committed to a broad base inclusive representation of students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds that ensure all students can be recognized for their unique gifts and talents. QUEST's priority is to provide the educational services needed for the students' academic, social, emotional learning, and necessary resources ensuring students the opportunity to maximize their potential.

There will be an informational meeting for parents on Monday, March 1st. Further information and the Aiken link for the meeting can be found by clicking on the link listed below.

Quest Information Night

Read-a-thon to Support the Tyler Family

The PTO Read-a-thon was a great success! 188 students participated, and with two days left, a total of $4,975 has been raised. 50% of the proceeds are going directly to the Tyler Family. During the month of February, Aiken students have read for an amazing 112,480 minutes! We are so proud of their hard work!

School Picture Day

Pictures will be taken on March 18th so wear your best smile on that day! Click on the picture below for price list and picture packages. This flyer will also be sent home with your child next week. Listed below are the procedures that we will be following to ensure a safe and successful picture day for everyone.

- This year we will not be taking class photos. It will be individual pictures only.

- Pictures will be taken on the stage in the auditorium.

- Classes will sign up one at a time so there is no mixing of cohorts.

- There will be two picture stations set up on opposite sides of the stage. Students will wait in the hallway with their class until it is their turn.

- Students will take off their mask once they are seated for their picture. The photographers will be wearing their masks at all times.

- When their picture is done, students will exit the auditorium and rejoin their class in the hallway. There will be a hand sanitizer station by the auditorium door for each student to use on their way out.

Aiken Family Cookbook

Calling all families!! Do you have a favorite family recipe? We want to try it! A form will be sent home with your child. Pictures are welcome and encouraged. You can also submit your recipe to This will be the very first Aiken Community Cookbook and we are excited to try your recipes! Submissions will be accepted until the beginning of March.

Ready for Kindergarten?

Children residing in West Hartford who are 5 on or before January 1, 2022 are eligible for enrollment in kindergarten. Please call the Aiken office at 860-233-6994 to begin the registration process for the fall 2021 kindergarten enrollment. Our virtual Parent Orientation Meeting date is April 6,2021 at 6:30 pm. A separate Google Meet invitation will be sent to you via email. The registration process is online and Aiken's registration dates are Monday May 10th and Tuesday, May 11th. Please call the office if you have questions.

King Philip Middle School Orientation

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Bristow Middle School

Bristow Lottery Update for 5th Grade Families

Happy New Year! This is a reminder about the timeline for the Bristow Middle School lottery process. All current fifth grade families enrolled in West Hartford Public Schools are automatically enrolled and do not need to take any action at this time.

Bristow will be holding two virtual information sessions on the evenings of Thursday March 4 and Monday March 8. Both sessions are scheduled to start at 6:00PM.

The deadline for parents to inform Bristow of your intentions of whether or not to accept an opening is March 19. The lottery notification letters will have directions and a web address for families to record their intentions.

For additional information, a detailed explanation of the lottery process can be found at this link:

Grade 5 to 6 Mathematics Placement Process

During the upcoming months, the secondary mathematics department supervisors at our middle schools will collaborate with elementary staff to develop math course placement recommendations for incoming sixth graders. West Hartford Public Schools strongly believe that nurturing, challenging environments support successful mathematicians. Teachers will provide input regarding current student progress in Grade 5 mathematics including student performance on standardized measures, perseverance, and use of higher order thinking skills. Placement recommendations will be determined later this spring, and a letter will be sent to parents/guardians by mail in early June with additional information from the middle school math department supervisors.

Applications for '21-'22 Pre-K Programs

The lottery application for West Hartford Public Schools Pre-Kindergarten programs 2021-22 school year located at Charter Oak International Academy, Florence E. Smith STEM School and Webster Hill School will be available online beginning January 7, 2021. Applicants must reside in West Hartford and be four years old on or before January 1, 2022 for programs at Charter Oak, Smith and Webster Hill. Charter Oak is also accepting three year olds who must be three on or before January 1, 2022. Enrollment will be granted based on a lottery system. Online applications will be available at For more information and dates for the Pre-Kindergarten Open Houses, go to or call Irene Garneau, Dept. Supervisor for Early Childhood Education, at (860) 929-5552.

Updated Travel Guidelines

Domestic Travel:

Anyone traveling to a state identified by the State of Connecticut’s travel advisory must quarantine for ten days. This list changes frequently and can be accessed at CT Executive Orders provide the ability to shorten the quarantine period by demonstrating a negative COVID-19 test. If a parent or student wishes to submit a negative test in lieu of quarantine per CT domestic travel guidelines, they should contact their child's school nurse. The nurse and West Hartford's Nursing Supervisor will consult with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District to evaluate the test results and determine any change to a student's status.

International Travel:

The CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. If you must travel, CDC guidance ( requires that if you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

In order to return and engage in in-person classes at our schools after international travel, WHPS follows the CDC recommendation that students and staff members:

  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.

    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.

    • If your test is positive, follow the Health District's guidance and isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.

  • If you don’t get tested, you must stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
If quarantined, please contact your student's school principal for instructional guidance.

FREE Breakfast and Lunch Extended Until June

FREE breakfast and lunch has been approved for ALL students of the West Hartford Public Schools through June 2021. You may be thinking about what WHPS children will do for meals during the school year as a student participating in the hybrid model or in the Remote Learning Experience. The good news is that due to a change in the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulation ALL students are now eligible for FREE breakfast and lunch. There are no income requirements, and any student of the West Hartford Public Schools (WHPS) may enjoy a bagged breakfast and/or lunch. The following outlines information about In-Person/In-School meal service and “Grab and Go” pick-up meal service and other community food programs. please click here for more information.

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Recess Reminder

If the weather is above 20 degrees students will be going outside for recess. Also, whenever possible students will be having snack and lunch outside. Please remember to send your child with appropriate winter gear including a heavy coat, hat and gloves.