KP Connection

March 29, 2018

Need to Know Dates

    • Friday - 3/30 - Good Friday - school & offices closed

    • Monday - 4/2 -- Light It Up Blue - National Autism Awareness Day

    • Tuesday - 4/3 - Faculty Meeting - there are no late buses

    • Friday - 4/6 - Read-A-Thon

    • April 9th through April 13th - Spring Vacation - no school

Daily Bulletin

Click here for KP's daily announcements about upcoming activities and opportunities.

Lead Learner Highlights

I have one-word Read-A-Thon! Please encourage literacy by supporting this inspiring day as students read and engage in activities all about literacy. I will even be running a book discussion for 8th graders who read Angie Thomas' The Hate You Give.

Please encourage your child to light it up blue (by wearing blue) on Monday in support of National Autism Awareness.

As you read below, please enjoy pictures and look at the community section for opportunities for teens to participate in good deeds, the opportunity to nominate a teacher you believe makes a difference and a Chet essay content for scholarship money.

Have a great weekend.

We have become aware of people doing U-turns in the middle of the road after dropping students off. For everyone's safety, please proceed with caution when dropping of your children at school.

Oh, The Places You Will Go! We bid farewell to reading teacher Mrs. Rona Berkowitz as she leaves KP for the world of retirement. KP has had the privilege of having Mrs. Berkowitz as part of our community for a year and a half, but she has been a part of the West Hartford Public School community for 20 years. We will miss her dearly.
Congratulations to 6th Graders Clare S. and Dominic R. for placing first and second in the Letters About Literature competition, a nationwide contest sponsored by the Library of Congress for students in grades 4 through 12. They were among the 1,300 submissions from Connecticut students, who were chosen as 2 of the 120 finalists. Now they are one of three who will advance to the to the national competition, for which winners will be chosen later this month. We want to say congratulations to them and to Mrs. Kulvinskas for providing this opportunity for all of her students to share the impact of literature on their life through this competition. You can read their submissions here:
  • Dominic R, Essay based on The King’s Stilts by Doctor Seuss
  • Clare S, Essay based on Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Read more about the contest here, and click the students’ names below to read their winning essays.

Nominations Close 3/30 --7th Grade Teacher Ms. Harrell won last year!

The Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching honors the spirit of Frank McCourt, a teacher himself in New York City schools for over thirty years before achieving fame with the publication of his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes. Despite the immense success of this book and its two sequels, ’Tis and Teacher Man, Frank McCourt remained a teacher at heart. A resident of Roxbury, he gave generously of his time, talents, and energy to ASAP and other local causes. He was instrumental in establishing the Celebration of Young Writers and making it the wonderful and important event it is today.

The chief goal of the annually awarded Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching is to recognize teachers whose imaginative assignments and techniques have inspired students to become enthusiastic learners. A secondary goal is to find and promote ideas and practices that can be adopted by other teachers.

The Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching is presented annually at the Celebration of Young Writers. The event focuses on celebrating students, but ASAP believes it is also important to honor the devoted teachers who inspire these accomplished students.

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A TEACHER for The Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching


It's time once again to encourage your students to Dream Big! for a chance to win a CHET 529 College Savings Account Contribution. All Connecticut students in grades K-8 are eligible to enter.

  • $26,000 in CHET college savings account contributions will be awarded
  • 48 student winners (K - 8th grade) statewide from all eight counties
  • One school in each county could win $500 for high student percentage participation

Get started today by printing entry forms and posters. Deadline is March 30, 2018. Entries can be mailed to: The 2018 Chet Dream Big! Competition, P.O. Box 849, Groton, CT 06340, or submitted online. All mailed entries must be postmarked by March 30, 2018 and received by April 4, 2018.

Don't forget - the school in each county with the greatest percentage of student participation will receive $500. A minimum of 50 entries must be submitted from the school to be considered eligible for the prize.

Together, we can encourage students to think about their future dreams, and families to think about the importance of saving for college early to help make those dreams come true.

What is World Autism Awareness Day and Light It Up Blue

The Tenth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2018. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.

What is Light It Up Blue?

World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), observed on April 2, was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health priority. Every year on World Autism Awareness Day, Autism Speaks celebrates its international “Light It Up Blue” campaign.

Why blue is the color of autism?

Seeing that our blog is called 'Spectrum' and that cities and landmarks all over the world will be lit blue tonight for Autism Speaks' global Light It Up Blue campaign - we thought it would be a good idea to use our social media outlets to help raise awareness of the Autism Spectrum.

2018-2019 Student Placement Input

Dear 6th and 7th Grade King Philip Families,

As we embrace spring and its announcement of summer, it signals our time to start the scheduling process for next year. As we begin these steps, we want to make sure that you are informed about our process.

At King Philip, student placement has always been a collaborative effort between our teachers, school counselors, clinical staff, and administration. We consider a multitude of factors as we balance our teams to create the most supportive environment for each student's growth and success. We would be remiss if we did not provide you with an opportunity to give us any information you feel is important to your child's continued success. If you choose to share such information, please use the form here, the fillable form below, or a letter submitted by May 18, 2018, to the main office (in a sealed envelope) or you can email your request to your child’s counselor or me at . Please know that we cannot honor requests for specific teams or teachers.

As a caring community of adults, we pride ourselves on knowing our students and work collaboratively to keep our students' best interests in mind in all that we do, and scheduling is no different. Our process will continue to be completed by caring and effective professionals who are thoughtful, deliberate, and systematic. Please know that there is no requirement to complete the form or write a letter; in fact, many families do not. Although the school is responsible for the final placements, as your partner, we believe it is important to seek your input.

As a reminder, team placement letters along with team information will be available in mid-August. Once letters are mailed home, these placements are final unless there is an administrative error. Thank you for your continued support.

Your Partner in Education,

Joy K. Wright

You can also complete the
form linked here.
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Attention All Middle School Families

Save the Date!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

At King Philip Middle School

6:00-8:10pm. (Registration 6pm).

Join the KP Health and Physical Education Department for a fun and informative evening. This opportunity will allow King Philip families to be active, learn, and spend time together.

Come to explore:

1) Yoga/Mindfulness Practice

2) Sport of Pickleball

3) What students and caregivers should know about current trends and concerns about vaping.

In order to help us plan, please complete the RSVP form below by Friday, May 4th.

Click here to RSVP

We've gathered over 200lbs of Film Plastics! Keep recycling!

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Parent Information Follow us on Facebook at - Follow us on Instagram at @whsepto

West Hartford Special Education PTO


2018 Events

Wednesday, March 28 @ 7pm

To Medicate or Not?

The decision to medicate your child is never easy and can be downright gut wrenching. Making the choice to medicate your child for behavior or mental health issues is not one that should be taken lightly.

There are far more questions to answer regarding the topic than we can discuss in this one-hour meeting, but Dr. Namerow will give us an introduction to the topic and hopes to help you make this very important decision.

Dr. Lisa Namerow is a Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist specializing in Developmental Disorders, Mental Health, Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

LOCATION: King Philip Middle School, Media Center

Friday, April 6 @ 9:30am

Coffee & Conversation

Come join some members of SEPTO for a casual get together to meet other people in town. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat and mingle with other parents, caregivers or family members of children receiving special education services in West Hartford.

LOCATION: Panera, Bishops Corner

Saturday, May 19 @ 7-9:30pm

“Silent” Spring Fling Dance

Join us at The Underground on Saturday, May 19th from 7 to 9:30 for an all inclusive dance party experience designed specifically for individuals with sensory sensitivities. The DJ will spin a live set of dance favorites through wireless Bluetooth headphones allowing attendees to control their own volume levels.

All students (typical and non-typical) 10 years of age and older are invited to attend.

Tickets are $5 each for students. Tickets available online now at

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend for free and a parent lounge is provided for families to relax and connect with other members of their community during the event.

Follow us on Facebook at - Follow us on Instagram at @whsepto

Get Involved at KP -- Start with the PTO

There are several events/activities throughout the year. Please choose at least one to get involved.

Community Events

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Sessions are 30-45 minutes long offered at 6:00pm every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.


Mindfulness and Matters
485 New Park Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06110, USA

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Rethinking School Start Time Committee

Rethinking School Start Time Committee


New Dates: Stakeholder Surveys/Family Information Night

The Rethinking School Start Time (RSST) Committee which consists of a group of volunteer parents, students, teachers and administrators, is studying the issue of changing school start times. At the request of the Board of Education, the committee is examining the impact a change will have on all aspects of the educational program.

One important aspect of the committee’s work is to gather information from stakeholders. To that end, the committee will issue a survey for parents, teachers, and secondary school students. Originally, the committee planned to administer the surveys in February and March. The committee has secured the services of the Hanover Research Group to support the creation of a survey personalized to West Hartford’s needs. Hanover will administer the survey and work with the RSST Committee to analyze the results. The new survey window is May 1-May 15. A Family Information Night will held at 7:00 p.m. on May 3 in the auditorium at Town Hall, 50 South Main Street.

The survey and family information night are two ways for stakeholders to communicate their questions, comments and concerns about this important issue. If you prefer to use email, please direct any comments to . You are always welcome to attend a Board of Education meeting and address the Board of Education members in person during the public comment portion of the meeting.

"Public Act 16-189

We believe that it is vital for all students in West Hartford Public Schools to be able to efficiently and effectively use digital tools that empower them in all phases of the learning process, including research, problem solving, content creation, communication, and collaboration. We also believe that we must be committed at all times to protecting students' privacy and providing them with a powerful and safe educational experience. To that end, the West Hartford Public Schools follow the legal requirements of Public Act 16-189 to promote the safety and security of all students and staff.

In compliance with Connecticut State Law, we update online programs used within the district that house student data. The programs may be used district-wide, in a very small number of classrooms, or with individual students. The list will be updated each time the district enters into a new contract where student data is housed. For more information on the specifics of Public Act 16-189 and updates of vendor agreements, visit"