J. W. Leary Junior High School

December 19, 2021

Hello everyone,

We are all excited for the holiday season! Classes have awesome projects underway.

Student council, advisories, our office helpers and our shelf raiders all have been focused on decorating the school and integrating spirit building activities.

As I think back about this week, one thing really stuck out to me. Our staff is amazing! They have stepped up and stepped in for one another. They have created lessons that have engaged our students. They have continued to build relationships with our students, and one another. They come to school every day ready to give their best, and they do. I think that our students notice this, too. I am honored to go to school with such amazing educators every day.

Thank you JW Leary Staff, for all that you do for and with our students every day!

Thursday December 23 to Sunday January 2 is Holiday Break

Progress reports will be mailed after Christmas.

Thank you everyone for supporting our children!!

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All JH Events

Update on the School

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

This week there was the National TikTok threat. Mr. Brady and I both sent communication for transparency and to outline the precautions being taken.

Please talk with your children about use of the platforms and what they are seeing/posting/sharing.

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.

I appreciate the Massena Police Department's help and support as well as the help/support of Mr. Brady and other school district officials as we navigate this unique time.

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

Monday is Day 4

Tuesday is Day 5

Wednesday is Day 6

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.
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JWL Dress Code Guidelines

The Massena Central School District recommends a mode of dress based upon common sense, good taste, current styles and the concern for the best interest of the entire student body, as well as, the individual. To that end, a student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall:

  1. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
  2. Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tank tops, tube tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, mesh shirts, muscle shirts, midriff shirts, plunging necklines (front and/or back) see through garments, shorts or skirts above mid-thigh, and jeans with holes are not appropriate (with arms at one’s sides, fingertips are considered mid-thigh). Tank tops must have straps that are at least 2 inches wide and fitted sleeves.
  3. Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing. This would include such items as bras, bathing suits, halter tops, or tank tops if worn underneath outer clothing.
  4. Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed. Appropriate footwear for Physical Education and Technology class are required.
  5. Not include hats of any style other than in the corridor. Hoods must remain down at all times. Bandanas of any kind are not allowed in the building.
  6. Not include items that are distracting or offensive, vulgar, make sexual reference, or degrade others on account of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  7. Not include any clothing that advertises alcohol, other substances, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourages other illegal and violent activities.
  8. Not include chains, sharp dog collars, or bracelets or anything that could cause injury.
  9. Not include baggy or sagging pants (waistband must rest on the top of the hip bones).
  10. Not include sunglasses.
  11. Not include pajamas.
  12. Not include coats or jackets during the school day. Hooded sweatshirts are not considered outerwear.


Massena Board of Education has policy 7110 that outlines the attendance policy.

School attendance is always important.

It is also important to know what happens in different circumstances.

As outlined in the 2021 Reopening Meetings; if children are absent for reasons relating to COVID they will have 5 days upon return to school (teachers have been great to support kids with this!) to make up work.

Excused absences are due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, road test, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations or other such reasons as may be approved by the Board of Education.

Upon returning to school following an excused absence the student should consult with teacher(s) regarding arrangements to make up missed work, assignments, and/or tests.

Unexcused absences are if the reason for the lack of attendance does not fall into the above categories (e.g. family vacation, hunting, babysitting, haircut, obtaining a learners permit, oversleeping, work, missing a ride, appointment, sporting competitions).

Nurse Gilman calls the family of every child not present. If you know your child is not going to be present please call the school 315-764-3720 or enter the information into this form.

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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.

A fantastic Band/Orchestra Concert

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

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

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

Once we have the links to the videos of the performances those links will be shared out.

Events like this take a community. Huge thank you's go to:

  • Mr. Brady and the Board of Education for working with us to provide a live presentation;
  • 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.

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 elementary children were incredible. Our JH children did a fantastic job responding. 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.

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 locally.

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.