MHS WES Newsletter

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Report Cards

Report cards were sent home with all elementary students yesterday. They provide information about the standards and expectations for each grade level. Although progress toward grade level standards is assessed throughout the year, the standards that are graded in Trimester 1 are the standards that teachers spent most of their instructional time on and collected sufficient evidence to determine progress. As a result, you may have seen many standards that were not assessed (N/A) in Trimester 1. As you may know, we are continuing to make up for lost learning time. Although we have much work ahead of us, we are committed to helping your child succeed in all areas of school. Our teachers are working tirelessly to do the best for their students and provide quality learning experiences that best meets the individual needs of all of their students. Please reach out to your child's teacher if you have any questions about the report card.

Important Dates - PLEASE READ

December 16, Thursday - Holiday Concert at Monty Tech ~ 6:30-8:00 PM (B Band/A Band/Chorus perform)

December 24-31 ~ December Break

January 3, Monday ~ Back to School

January 17, Monday ~ No School

January 24, Monday ~ 1/2 day of school Staff Development


We are looking for people to substitute for recess, paraprofessionals, and teachers. If you are interested please click on the link.

Third Grade News

Third graders will be engaged in the writing process this year. As authors they will pre-write, draft, revise, edit, and publish. They will learn that all good writing has six ingredients— ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. They will learn about these 6 Traits of writing through class instruction, conferencing, and by studying real authors.

You can help your children by talking to them about their writing and asking sincere questions. Here are some comments and questions that help a young writer:

I like the part about....

Can you tell me more about...?

What skills/traits were you trying to use in this piece?

Tell me what happened with more detail.

How does this piece compare to others you have written?

What will your next writing be about?

You, their audience and readers, need to bear with them as they learn their craft. Editing standards will be established and the children will practice editing independently. Still, their finished work or published work will not always be perfect. But just as we can all enjoy a band’s performance with the occasional squeaking of a clarinet or a ball game where a ball was missed, so can we enjoy these young authors’ “performances” with the occasional misspellings or omitted period. Receive their writing in the same spirit and encourage them to become the best writers they can be.


Please send your child to school with extra masks. They get dirty, break, or they get lost.

Snacks and Water

Please remember to send your kids to school with a daily snack and a bottle of water.

Thank you!

Did you Know??? - From Bay State Textiles

Your donated clothing through Bay State Textiles helps to create jobs, clothe people and reduce impacts on the environment!

There is a healthy demand for used clothing and shoes from the United States all over the world. BST exports a large percentage of the clothing collected to Central and South American countries, where the “ropa americana” is sold in used clothing markets. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, nearly half of the donated clothing that is not sold domestically in the United States (about 1.6 million tons) is sold on the international secondhand clothing market, and the vast majority of that quantity is resold in secondhand markets in developing nations. This industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs in developing countries. These markets are robust centers of economic activity, and people rely on them not only as a source of clothing but as a source of income and employment. Residents in these developing markets are able to purchase higher quality clothing at a fraction of the price.

There are several different types of jobs that the secondhand clothing industry provides. For example, truck drivers, shipping ports, and steamship line employment all benefit from this industry. The tonnage of textiles exported equates to approximately 75,000 forty foot containers annually. Once these containers arrive the economic benefits are exponential. Small entrepreneurs are buying and selling this material, and employing unskilled labor to grade this material. Employment in the secondhand clothing industry is diverse. Karen Tranberg Hansen, a professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University, says workers “are young and old, women and men, with different educational and employment histories and from many ethnic groups.” These jobs support the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries.

Also, see the picture below for the recycle and upcycle of clothes and textiles no longer used for their original purpose!

(Reprinted from Bay State Textiles November 2021 Newsletter)

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News from The "Purple Palette & Paintbrush"

Lots of continued exploration and creativity happening in both Art Studios!

Grade 5 students learned about one kind of optical illusion art, salt watercolor wash painting, and will be continuing community-building art projects and murals.

Grade 4 students have had an introduction to still-life artwork as well as a lot of studio-center

explorations including Drawing Center, Mixed Media, Building Design, and Weaver's Warp.

Grade 3 students were introduced to the concept of "foreground, middle ground and background" by creating a "Mug on a Table" picture. They also have had multiple centers open for choices.

Grade 2 did a "Mixed Media Around the Room" activity where they were introduced to different collage techniques and paper manipulation. As a result, they now have 4 centers "open" for exploration!

Grade 1 children have had the opportunity to use Model Magic recently, which was great fun! They also learned about paper collage and object collage in the Mixed Media center.

Kindergarten children have graduated from "table boxes" to having the freedom to go to individual centers around the studio. One of the new favorites is "Building Design" where they can build using blocks and keva planks to create beginning architecture projects.


*Most students have at least one piece of artwork uploaded to Artsonia, which is our online "Art Gallery". If you are interested, there is still time to order products, with your child's artwork on them, for upcoming holidays. A percentage of the profits goes to the Art Department for the annual Art Show.


We are anticipating being able to have a "Fine Arts Evening" in person in May 2022. Keep an eye out for details!

Stay creative!

Ms. Banning

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News from First Grade!!

In First Grade we have been very busy with our learning! Students have enjoyed learning about living things that grow and change with our My View, ELA pilot. We have enjoyed the embedded science in the program. We have been reading information texts about animals, baby animals, and plants. Students are getting very knowledgeable with main ideas, and supporting details in the non fiction reads. In our December Number Corner we are exploring the 3D shapes cylinders, rectangular prisms, spheres, and cubes. Students make daily predictions about the pattern, while observing the differences among them. Our Unit 3 of the Bridges program explores adding, subtracting, counting, and comparing numbers. First graders love working on these skills with their math work stations. Overall students are showing growth in many areas, as we continue to work on independence, problem solving, and classroom expectations.

Reading Intervention - From Mrs. Davis

Hello Families,

Here is a brief glimpse of each grade level’s current instruction. Reading Intervention Progress Report Cards - date TBD. *Did you know? Students in grades 2 - 4 will take home their personal phonics binder (sounds, words, morphology, dictation lessons, and fluency charts) at the end of their intervention services. They are very proud of their work!

All groups follow a systematic progression of explicitly taught phonics to support each student’s reading success. Students also learn how to APPLY their knowledge of explicitly taught phonics skills or spelling concepts with rigorous word reading games and writing.

Grade One:

Level A:

Letter identification activities, short vowel word sorts, writing letters in their Mini Alphabet Book, daily application of their personal Fundations Alphabet Sound Booklet, reinforcing phoneme segmentation skills with physical movement, Nonsense Word Practice with vowel objects, reviewing letter formation and reading simple decodable books.

Level B:

In addition to the above skills: sentence writing - reviewing capitalization and punctuation, reviewing Popcorn or Memory Words, dictation which includes spelling CVC words and currently reviewing digraphs “th and sh.”

Level C:

In addition to the above skills: all digraphs, suffix ending -s, and beginning L- blends next week. Reading decodable books with more intensive sight words and text per page.

Grade Two:

  1. Phonics: Reinforcing letter-sound correspondence (common confusion with letter sounds: g/j, b/d, w/y, u/y= using multisensory activities to enhance memory of correct letter-sound correspondence) reinforcing short vowels, digraphs, beginning & ending blends, glued sounds (am, an, all, and -ng and -nk), suffix ending: -s, -es, -ing, and more currently silent - e rigorous word reading.

  2. Reading: utilizing decodable books to support a student’s fluency and strengthen their “silent-e” phonics skill set. Reviewing Closed, Open, and Silent-e Syllable Types.

Grade Three:

  1. Phonics: In addition to the second grade phonics skills: suffix -s,-es, -ing, -ed, -er, silent e,

Closed Syllable Exceptions (-old, -ild), *Vowel Teams, (heavy emphasis on basic vowel teams and spelling application)

  1. Reviewing and identifying syllables: Vowel Teams, R-Controlled and Consonant -le Syllables

  2. Practicing Syllable Division using the Rabbit Rule (VC/CV cac/tus), Tiger Rule (V/CV ro/bot), Reptile Rule (V/CVe cup/cake), and Camel Rule (VC/V lem/on)

  3. Reading: a healthy balance of decodable readers and leveled texts to strengthen a reader’s fluency which represents efficient and effective decoding.

Comprehension: Continuing to focus on strategies such as Making Connections, finding the

Main Idea and Supporting Details.

Grade Four:

  1. Phonics: In addition to ALL the third grade skills…..

  2. Morphology: which is the study of word formation. The benefits of morphology helps our students grow their vocabulary by mastering the most common Greek and Latin word roots. Such as “struct” - to build, construction; “fort” - strong, fortress, etc.

For any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at your convenience,

Mary Jean Davis

Reading Intervention Teacher MHS/WES

Orton Gillingham Academy, Associate Instructor

“The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their child’s achievement in school and through life. When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more”

- Henderson & Mapp

Sting Lacrosse

North Central Mass Sting Registrations are now open! Sting Lacrosse is organization that promotes the game of lacrosse, sportsmanship, teamwork, and athleticism. We welcome players of all abilities and our goal is to teach kids the proper skills, along with training and conditioning, so they get an understanding of the game and develop a lifelong love for lacrosse!
We are offering teams for boys and girls in grades K – 8 for the 2022 season to interested players in the Ashburnham/Westminster and surrounding area. Register by 12/31/2021 to receive a $25 discounted registration fee. Visit for more details.

Report Card Dates

Trimester 1

Grades Close: Wednesday, Dec 1st

Report Cards go Home: Wednesday, December 8th

Trimester 2

Grades Close: Friday, March 11th

Report Cards go Home: Friday, March 18th

Trimester 3

Grades Close: Monday, June 7th (with no snow days)

Report Cards go Home: Tuesday, June 14th (with no snow days)