J. W. Leary Junior High School

December 23, 2021

Hello everyone,

To say the least, it's been an interesting year.

I can't thank you enough for the support, the kind words, and the treats you've shared with us all year, but especially this week. I am fortunate to go to school every day with some pretty amazing students and staff.

May you have a safe and healthy Holiday Break.

Thursday December 23 to Sunday January 2 is Holiday Break

Progress reports will be mailed after Christmas.

Friday January 14 1/2 day

Monday January 17 No School; Martin Luther King Day

Friday January 28 1/2 day

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All JH Events

Update on the School

We have been taking big strides forward in helping kids with handling everything.

We had a great spirit week this week! There are some pictures below.

When we return for the New Year Mrs. Shoen will be holding several student group sessions in classrooms and during lunch to help with stress and anxiety.

We are all focused on children coming into school and focusing on what they are here to do, learn. I encourage you to reach out to us at school (Mr. Norris, Mrs. Zaza, Mr. Alexander and I) if there is something you are aware of that is a concern. I have also linked an anonymous form for tips.

All concerns expressed to the school are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken. We cannot do something if we do not know about it. It is a service to the entire community when items are shared.

We are all in this together and we all have the same goal. Thank you for your support!

Acceleration and Honors

Here at Junior High we do offer an acceleration program in a few courses for children entering 8th grade.

Last year, we had departments offer these options to some children in some classes in 7th grade.

As we analyze progress provided by the 15 week reports we will begin to put some items into place. Please look for more information in January.

School Number Days

We return Monday 1/3 to a Day 1

JH Holiday Week Theme Days

A big THANK YOU to student council and the JH Academic Leadership Team for their collaboration to make sure that we are able to uphold some of the traditional pre-winter break activities.
A fantastic job on dress up days! I wish I had gotten more photos.

I am proud of all students for getting involved. I appreciate everyone following the dress code too!

Gnome making with Mrs. Jarrett's and Mrs. Ashley's advisories. The gnomes turned out amazing!! Great work everyone!!
NYSED Digital Access Survey

The New York State Education Department is requiring that all schools distribute and seek 100% participation on a quick 'Digital Access Survey". If you have questions or cannot access the survey, call your school and we will assist you.


It was a tough year with the way COVID impacted everything.

I want you to know how much I appreciate all of your support with the concert season.

I am so proud of the work our children, Mrs. Robideau, Mr. Draper and Mr. Pratti did to provide such awesome performances.

Our chorus concert was supported by many people. Thank you to:

  • Mr. Brady and the Board of Education for working with us to provide a live concert;
  • Mrs. Robideau who worked to prepare the children;
  • Mr. Lincoln for playing the piano;
  • Mr. Oliver for setting up the auditorium, checking people in and running the lights/sound;
  • Mr. Corigliano and Mrs. Walton for their special effects during the 7th grade show;
  • The custodial staff at the High School for their adaptation and for helping with set up;
  • and to the children--they sounded amazing. I am so proud of their brave spirits for adjusting to being on stage (which was scary!) and their outstanding performance.
MCS - JW Leary 7th Grade Choral Concert - Dec 2021
JH 8th Grade Choral Winter Concert Dec 2021
Events like this take a community. Huge thank you's for the band/orchestra concert go to:
  • Mr. Brady and the Board of Education for working with us to provide a live concert;
  • Mr. Hunkin's for his great communication and ongoing support of children/teachers as the vision for the concert season became reality;
  • Mr. Draper for helping the kids to safely practice in numerous environments; for working with us to secure the PPE and for helping the kids adjust to the PPE;
  • Mr. Pratti for supporting the kids and building their confidence as the concert approached (and great job with the on spot speedy fixing of a bridge!);
  • Mrs. Robideau for playing the piano during Orchestra and for helping with the transitions;
  • Mr. Oliver for setting up the auditorium according to the county COVID parameters and his general guidance on what to do;
  • Mr. and Mrs. Zaza for checking people into the auditorium;
  • Mr. Corigliano for working with the children back stage;
  • The custodial staff at the High School for their adaptation and for helping with set up;
  • and to our children--their resilience and willingness to adapt is incredible. They have seamlessly gone with the flow. Their curiosity and insightful questions have helped us all. Additionally they sounded amazing. I am so proud of their brave spirits for adjusting to being on stage (which was scary!) and their outstanding performance.
2021 JW Leary Junior High School Orchestra Concert
2021 JW Leary Junior High School 7th Grade Band Concerts
2021 JW Leary Junior High School 8th Grade Band Concert
2021 JW Leary Junior High School Jazz Band Concert

Project Santa

As we entered the holiday season our first period Professional Learning Community Group, led by Mrs. Charleson, proposed a unique idea. They proposed serving as Santa's helpers in returning letters written by elementary school children. This activity was specifically designed to uphold our monthly learning theme of cause and effect, to integrated NYS Learning Standards of writing and interpretation, and to serve as a great deed to our elementary school children.

I appreciate Mr. Brady's support of this activity. I am grateful for our three elementary principals (Mr. Richards, Mrs, Hornung, Mr. Jaggers) who supported their teachers as a writing assignment to Santa/elves was introduced.

The letters from the 250 elementary children in 17 classrooms across all 3 MCS buildings were incredible. Over 11 teachers at the JH were involved in the project from writing the letters, decorating envelopes and reading student work.

The kids really enjoyed connecting with the elementary school students and conveying honest and meaningful holiday messages. Having seen the lessons and reviewed the letters that went out to elementary schools I am so so proud of the work the children put in. JH students had an elevated level of pride with this activity.

Thank you to Mrs. Charleson who spear-headed and coordinated the letter exchanges. I appreciate the work of Mrs. Frohm, Mrs, Pratti, Mrs. Charleson, Mrs. McGowan, Mrs. LaShomb, Mrs. LaBelle, Mrs. Monroe, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Hayes who jumped on board in reviewing letters and helping kids with the reading/interpreting and writing.

It was such a fun project and we hope we will be able to do it again.

In Classes...

Family and Consumer Sciences Project Pillows

Mrs. Jarrett has worked with Mrs. Pratti to establish a partnership where pillows sewn in Family and Consumer Sciences class will be donated to the AmVets Women's Auxiliary for distribution.

Look for more information as this project wraps up.

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Raider Academy for Grades 1-8

Dear Families,
The Massena Central School District is excited to begin an afterschool program named Raider Academy for Grades 1-8. Please click the link to read more about the program and to enroll your child(ren). https://forms.gle/8MokfaQAeZuRWMd36
If you have any questions please email dchapman@mcs.k12.ny.us or call (315) 764-3700 x3024.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help your student or your family. We have so many great things happening at school.

If you have ideas, questions, or concerns please email azullo@mcs.k12.ny.us or call the school 315-764-3720.

Mrs. Zullo

J. William Leary Junior High School

Grades 7-8 of the Massena Central School District.