J. W. Leary Junior High School

March 27, 2022

Hello everyone,

We are excited that it is officially Spring! This is my favorite time of year because we can really get moving along with things in classes and across the school.

We have a new member of our staff, Mr. St John who is introduced below. An awesome weekend of youth hockey, spirit week and great things happening in classes (ELA interviewing alumni, debate on social media in science class and models in science class) have provided a lot of information in this update.

Early this coming week attendance letters will be sent home to families whose children have a concerning amount of absences. The goal is to inform you of what we have on record and to help support your child attending school. If you receive a letter and would like support please reach out to your child's guidance counselor or Mrs. Shoen our social worker.

Given a tragedy in a nearby town and an uptick in undesirable social media posts a few resources are provided.

State testing is Tuesday and Wednesday. Please make sure your child's Chromebook is charged and that they come to school with their charger. Information regarding NYS testing is also below.

Monday March 28 Blood Drive at the HS

Tuesday March 29 ELA test

Wednesday March 30 ELA test

School Number Days

Monday 3/28 Day 6

Tuesday 3/29 Day 1

Wednesday 3/30 Day 2

Thursday 3/31 Day 3

Friday 4/1 Day 4

All JH Events

Drop off and Pick Up

Parking in front of the school for Drop Off and Pick Up is creating HUGE problems for our bus drivers.

Cars are blocking their entrance and the space they have to turn out of the bus loop.

Respect our drivers and use the Parent Loop that is off of Highland Parkway.

Thank You for your help with this!

Welcome Mr. St John

Mr. St John joined us last week as a teacher's aide where he will be working with seventh and eighth grade classes. He is excited to be joining the JH staff and looks forward to connecting with children and teachers on a variety of levels.

Outside of school Mr. St John likes football and gaming; he goes for walks around Massena and enjoys scenery and getting out on the boat/camping and hiking.

Mr. St John looks forward to joining the JH staff. We are excited to have him on board!!

Please Bring a Refillable Water Bottle

We are asking that children bring refillable water bottles to school.

The water bottles should have their names on them.

This will help reduce waste and will give kids access to water in classrooms.

Sapling to Cedar Program is at JH on Mondays

The program focus is on helping Native children discovering who we are through storytelling,

hands-on crafts, and Creation Story

About us:

A community where young men’s integrity, respect; roles are restored by using cultural traditions.

Our Mission:

By supporting men's willingness to change, we ensure a safe community for our families to

flourish now, and for future generations.

Reach out to Mrs. Jocko at jjocko@mcs.k12.ny.us with questions.

Great Job 12U Hockey Players

This weekend we had three JW Leary students become the 12U NYS Champions in hockey for TIer II. They play for the St. Lawrence Steel. It is Ayden Clark (goalie), JP Bouchard & Bryce Flynn. The link for the NNY360 article is attached.

These three students were key players for the Steel. One of them scored an overtime goal to win the game. In one of the games the only players to score were our junior high boys. It is all in the article. All three are great student athletes and represent the North Country with pride.

Spirit Week

Twin Day

No Backpack Day

There were so many very creative ideas for this unique day. No BackPack Day is a day that Kids in the US goes to school without their backpacks, carrying all their books and school supplies in their hands or in plastic bags so as to raise awareness for the millions of kids around the world who have to walk miles to school carrying their books and school supplies in their hands or in plastic bags because they cannot afford a backpack. https://www.nobackpackday.org

Pajama Pant Day

Crazy Hair and Hat Day

Junior High Dance

The first junior high dance in two years happened Friday, March 25 from 7 pm-9 pm.

I want to give Mrs. Jarrett a HUGE Thank You for working with student council to plan the dance. Thank You to Mr. Corigliano, Mrs. Goodrich, Mrs. Zaza and Mr. Zaza for chaperoning the event. Thank you to Mr. Gilman who DJ'd. This event was only possible because these folks were willing to help on Friday night!

It was great to see a ton of children all dressed up and dancing/socializing the night away!

Mrs. Hull and Mr. Sovie's class debate social media monitoring by parents.

Thursday afternoon Mrs. Hull and Mr. Sovie's classes presented their annual debate. This years student selected topic was Social Media Monitoring by parents. Judges for the event were: Superintendent Brady, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Norris, Mrs. Paller and Mrs. Zullo.

Mr. Sovie's class was positioned that parents should not monitor their child's social media. Mrs. Hull's class positioned that parents should monitor. The debate consisted of an introduction, three rounds of argument presentation and rebuttal, and then a conclusion.

On behalf of the judges I can share that the insight and perspectives were incredible. They certainly opened our eyes as each class made outstanding points relating to their sides.

A great job to all of the children on their work. It was fact based and a powerful debate. I appreciate your teachers in providing the opportunity for such a spirited and important discussion.

Raider Times is LIVE!

Our 8th-grade honors ELA classes have been working on writing informational text. They have now officially produced the first edition of the "Raider Times"!

Check out their awesome work here or click below!

Raider Times Intro

Mrs. Charleson's class interviews Bailey Crotese

Bailey is a former JW Leary student who is currently in marketing. He has worked with people to on branding and YouTube such as the Ninja and shared how he got to know the person.

The class did a fantastic job crafting awesome questions and learning about Bailey's work.

Mrs. Goodrich's science class modeling mitosis.

DNA edible models and play dough stages of mitosis models.

Positivity Project Trait of next week is Humor

This week our school community will be focusing on the character strength of Humor. Humor means you like to laugh and bring smiles to other people.

Humor is a sense of playfulness and lightness. It is a way of looking at and describing the world that brings laughter to people. A person with the strength of humor is skilled at seeing the funny side of things, bringing smiles and laughter to others, and identifying and communicating the absurdities in life. People with this strength don’t specifically need to be joke tellers, although many are.

Humor plays an important role in helping groups of people rise above difficult circumstances and boost morale. It removes us from our present difficulties by easing tension and making life more fun. This is why athletic teams often need a jokester to help them get through tough losses and early morning fitness sessions. On a larger societal level, humor often helps downtrodden groups to find cohesion and strength. This is why Simon Wiesenthal said, “Humor is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people who are oppressed smile at the situation that pains them.”

To practice and encourage the character strength of humor with your child, please visit the Positivity Project’s P2 for Families (password: P2) where together you will watch a video, read a quote and talk about the answers to three questions.

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Massena CSD Technology Tips

This page contains a getting started, cheat sheet, and tips about using the various platforms we have at JWL and within the entire district.

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Children at Raider Academy learn about seeds and parts of plants

The Nature Center presented on plants at Raider Academy.

Leaders of the group held a discussion about the parts of the plants (stem, roots, and leaves) and helped children make arguments about which part was most important.

They had other discussions about plants, as well. The leaders asked students questions that asked then to utilize academic vocabulary and content knowledge. Students also played plant bingo with seeds as the markers.

Students had the opportunity to look at different types of seeds. Lastly, they all put a seed on a paper towel in a plastic bag, and then they sprayed it with water, to help grow new plants out of the seeds. Students were told to tape it to their window at home to help their seed grow into a plant.

Great job students and staff!

Coming back from break we took a step to acknowledge the students and staff who have been noted for their above and beyond work.

Over 50 students have received notes home outlining their positive contributions to our school community.

The form to nominate those going above and beyond is on our website or located here!

Something is concerning-

We also want to recognize that knowledge of situations is our best defense. The situations we have learned about have been handled before turning into something more.

If people see/hear something, say something.

The below form which is also linked on our website is one way to do that.

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!


We know the pandemic has had numerous impacts on many things. As a building we’ve been fortunate this year to be able to offer support through a part-time social worker as well as the implementation of advisory (small groups with an adult) positivity project, CFES, WEB, and ongoing work with our teachers/counselors/administration.

This past week there was the 4th suicide of a student in St. Lawrence County schools in one year. We continue to have a focus on the safety and mental health of children.

Please share the below information with you child. We are all here to support you and your child. If you need anything please let us know.

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At JW Leary we are fortunate to be able to offer free breakfast for all children.

Doors open at 7:15 am for children getting breakfast. Please see this VIDEO for information about breakfast.

Children do need their Schoolbucks account number to get breakfast and lunch.

This links to the current breakfast/lunch menu!

A big thank you to our amazing cafeteria staff who helps this to be possible!

Breakfast starts at 7:15...

preview this video to learn more! Children need to be settled into advisory by 7:35.

A Note to Parents About the Upcoming NYS Assessments

Spring is here and it is time to administer the New York State Grade 7-8 ELA and Math assessments. This test will be given on March 29 and March 30 for ELA and April 26 and April 27.

Much has changed within the last two years and we wanted to take a moment to share with you the changes at the state and district levels.

· Both the ELA and Math assessments in grades 7-8 have been made shorter than in past years. For this year the test has been reduced from 3 days to 2

· The grades 7 and 8 ELA and Math exams are untimed. This allows students a greater opportunity to demonstrate what they know by allowing them to work at their own pace. As long as students are productively working they will be given as much time as they need to finish.

· The NYS testing program has no bearing whatsoever on teacher evaluations.

It is important to know why we give the assessments.

· These assessments are one of the elements we look at to help us make decisions about the type of support individual students may need. We have found the more data points we have the better we have been able to target support to children's needs.

· We also use this information to improve our program by looking at how our students perform on specific topics

As you can see, NYS has worked diligently to respond to questions and concerns that arose from both parents and educators during testing over the last several years.

Locally, it is our hope that now we can utilize these updated assessments for what they were always truly intended for: a way for our schools to evaluate our programs, highlight our strengths, and identify how we can improve.

These assessments are a tool for the school and nothing more. They do not dictate who your student is or who they will become. These tests do not measure character, nor do they measure artistic or musical ability. They will not show if your student is the next great internet billionaire nor will they tell us about your child’s skill in the garage. They simply provide us a window into the health of our instructional program. Your support in having your child take the test is essential to the continued success of our school community.

Please remind them to try hard and do their best next week. Children not taking the state test will be taking an assessment that aligns with the state test.

Please direct any questions you have about this letter to our office. We will be happy to answer any concerns that you may have.

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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.