WPS Superintendent Updates

A Message from Dr. Gough

January 27, 2023


Dear WPS Community,


Don’t blink! It is hard to believe January is coming to an end. This past Monday, we reached the halfway mark of the 2022-2023 school year. In case you are already making plans for the next school year, the 2023-2024 WPS calendar has been approved and can be accessed HERE.

Help Wanted!

Many organizations continue to experience difficulty recruiting and hiring staff. Although WPS is faring better than other districts, we are still looking for the following positions:

  • Elementary Education Support Professionals (ESPs)

  • Teacher Aides

  • LTS Grade 3 Teacher

  • Daily Substitutes

If you, or someone you know, is currently looking for a position, we encourage you to reach out to our Human Resources Coordinator, Laurie Sylvia @ lsylvia@walpole.k12.ma.us or visit https://sites.google.com/walpole.k12.ma.us/wpshumanresources/employment-opportunities.

Walpole High School graduates in college may be eligible to serve as on-call substitutes.


Congratulations are in Order

Last month, we congratulated Walpole’s 4th and 5th grade robotics teams who attended the regional competition in Northboro. The team qualified for the FIRST LEGO League State Championship at WPI. Ryan Garbett, senior at WHS, was named the LEGO League Coach of the Year at the Regional Competition. Congratulations, Ryan! To learn more about the Walpole Lego League, click HERE to access the slideshow.

February Vacation Camp

The Extended Day Program is excited to offer a February Vacation Camp for the upcoming school break, February 20 - February 24. The Vacation Camp is open to all Walpole Schools students in grades K - 5. Click HERE to register. Registration is open through February 6.


Kindergarten Registration Reminder

To pre-register a kindergarten age-qualified child (those that have turned five (5) years old before September 1 of the school year in which they are pre-registering), a parent or legal guardian must:

  • Complete the online pre-registration form.

  • Bring the required registration documents to your neighborhood school. If you are unable to drop off documents at your neighborhood school during the day, families may bring them to the Superintendents’ Office (135 School Street) on Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:00 and Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m.

  • To find out more about registration, click HERE.

Please spread the word to your friends and neighbors that have kindergarten-age children. Early registration is best, as it helps the district with budget and scheduling.

Staff Participate in EdCamp

WPS had a successful EdCamp on January 13th. The day was designed to provide participant-driven professional development and collaboration for our educators. In addition to our talented in-district facilitators, there were also multiple outside presenters. Thank you to Tom Reeve, Jesenia Burke, Jill Kimball, and Sarah Scales for spearheading this important training for our staff.

Massachusetts Mental Health Consortium

Walpole was accepted to participate in the Trauma-Responsive Practices Learning Cohort through the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium. This cohort will enable individuals to deepen their understanding of trauma-responsive practices to lay the groundwork for future implementation. Our representative Ms. Bodenrader, BMS Adjustment Counselor, will meet regularly throughout the remainder of the school year with trauma and school mental health experts.


Middle School Building Project

Of the 13 MSBA projects across the state in 2022, only the Walpole Middle School project came in on budget. The other 12 school building projects’ overages ranged from $1.06 million to as high as $34.77 million.

Construction of the new combined middle school continues. General site development is ongoing. Contractors are using the East Street construction site entrance. Excavations for the foundations are ongoing. Retaining wall install and drainage install continue. The building foundation work has also begun and concrete pours for both footings and foundation walls are ongoing.

As a reminder, the community is encouraged to contact the Middle School Project team with any questions or comments via email at middleschoolproject@walpole.k12.ma.us or visit the middle school project webpage . The current construction look ahead schedule is also posted on this site.

Reminder: Virtual Backpack

The Walpole Public Schools website has a link called the Virtual Backpack that is a great place to look for postings about community events and programs. Please visit the link often to see what is currently happening in our community.


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A Message from Dr. Gough

December 23, 2022


Dear WPS Community,


As we wind down 2022, I want to thank you for your partnership as we continue our work to provide high expectations, opportunity, and access to all of our learners. Additionally, during this holiday season, thank you to our families, students, and staff who have provided the many donations and gifts to our Walpole Public School families. Your kindness and compassion are greatly appreciated. I wish everyone happy holidays and a joyful, restful winter break.

As a reminder, schools are closed from December 26, 2022 to January 2, 2023. We look forward to welcoming our students and staff back to school on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

Kindergarten Registration 2023-2024

Kindergarten Pre-registration for the 2023-2024 school year will be conducted from January 3 - January 31, 2023. To pre-register a kindergarten age-qualified* child, a parent or legal guardian must:

  • Complete the online pre-registration form

  • Present the following required registration documents to the neighborhood school. If unable to drop off documents at your neighborhood school during the day, families may bring them to the Superintendents’ Office (135 School Street) on Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:00 and Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m.

Kindergarten age-qualified children are those that have turned five (5) years old before September 1 of the school year for which they are pre-registering.

To find out more about registration, click here.

Congratulations are in order:

Congratulations to our Fales, Leach, Roger, and Kunde Scholarship recipients. The WHS graduates and current college students should have received notification letters regarding their scholarships. The Walpole Scholarship Foundation 2023 Application is now open (due by February 1, 2023). Additionally, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is also open for High School Juniors. Applications are due by March 15, 2023.


At a regional competition in Northboro on Saturday (12/10), both of Walpole's 4th and 5th grade robotics teams qualified for the FIRST LEGO League state championship at WPI. To learn more about the Walpole Lego League, click here to access the slideshow.



Mr. Charlie Ferro was recognized as MIAA Unified Track Coach of the Year. This is a wonderful honor for Mr. Ferro and his tremendous team of coaches, support staff, and athletes. We thank him for his dedication to our students and this program!

Health Office Reminders

When we return in January 2023, please remember if your child is ill with a fever (greater than 100) they need to remain at home for 24 hours without the use of an antipyretic (Tylenol, Motrin, fever reducing medication). If your child has a viral stomach illness with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, please keep them home for an additional 24 hours after symptoms have subsided. If your child has been diagnosed with an infection requiring antibiotic treatment such as Strep Throat, Conjunctivitis, Impetigo, they must be treated with the antibiotic for at least 24 hours before returning to school.


Please refer to the WPS Health Services website for further information. This site also contains links to forms (i.e. medication administration, over the counter medication consent forms), medication policies, and information regarding illnesses, concussions and injuries. As always, please feel free to contact your school nurse with any questions or concerns regarding your child.

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A Message from Dr. Gough

November 18, 2022


Dear WPS Community,


It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner! I would like to express my gratitude to the WPS staff who are committed to providing high expectations and successful opportunities to all of our students. Their continued dedication and hard work are to be commended. I am also grateful for our families who continue to value the importance of education and support our schools. Finally, thank you to our WPS students. I continue to be incredibly proud of the work you do every day. I hope you can take the time to be with family, and friends and I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Remember Wednesday, November 23 is an early release day, and there is no school on the 24 and 25.

Middle School Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday, November 15, at BMS, the site of the new combined middle school. Thank you to the town committee members and legislative dignitaries for their remarks. This combined middle school building showcases the educational goals and needs of this district, supports a team-based approach, provides for future innovation for our students, and provides flexibility that enables us to adapt to future programmatic changes. Additionally, it will be a place where our community can gather to celebrate our students. This project is more than a structure, as it is symbolic of the community’s commitment to our children’s education. I am thankful to be part of a community that supports and invests in our children’s future.

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Panorama Family Survey

Please be on the lookout for an email asking families to take a WPS Districtwide Family Survey to learn more about your child’s experiences in our schools. We have partnered with Panorama Education to conduct this Family Survey. Panorama safeguards your privacy, keeping your responses confidential. Walpole Public Schools values your feedback, and we thank you for continuing to be an essential source of information as we work to create the best learning environment for our students.

Langley Foundation

Throughout the school year, Maura Pastran, a board-certified licensed music therapist, will provide music enrichment to all students at Daniel Feeney Preschool. These 45-minute bi-monthly visits will incorporate music and instruments, gross and fine motor movements, social-emotional learning, listening skills, and self-regulation. This incredible opportunity is funded by the John D. Langley Foundation, whose mission is to “support school initiatives that promote the social and emotional well-being of all children.” The Walpole Public School district is thankful for the support of the Langley Foundation, specifically Dianne and Jack Langley, for making this possible.

Staff Congratulations are in Order!

Mr. David Kujawski, BMS science teacher, was selected as a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).


Coach Dave Wall (PE teacher and Wellness Coordinator) was recognized this past Sunday as Division 2 Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.


Coach Barry Greener was inducted into the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.


Congratulations and well deserved!

Snow Days

The Superintendent of Schools is ultimately responsible for the final decision to cancel school based on various weather-related factors and information received from the Department of Public Works. In the event of school cancellation or delayed opening, a recorded phone message will be sent to each family's phone contact, broadcasted through Channel 4, 5, 7, and Fox 25, Twitter, posted on the Walpole Public Schools website, and an email will be sent to all families. At this time, DESE will not allow any district-wide remote learning days to replace a snow day, and therefore, any snow days will need to be made up in June.

Substitutes Wanted

We are always looking for substitutes. Walpole High School graduates in college may be eligible to serve as on-call substitutes. A great way to make some extra money in between semesters! Please reach out to our Human Resources Coordinator, Laurie Sylvia @ lsylvia@walpole.k12.ma.us.

A Message from Dr. Gough

October 14, 2022



Dear WPS Community,


With the end of September and two weeks of October behind us, it has been great to see our students, families, and staff engaged in our schools and continuing to create a culture of learning. I hope you are able to get out this weekend and enjoy the fall colors.

October is National Principals Month

October is a time for us to celebrate and honor our WPS principals for their leadership and dedication to their students and school communities. We appreciate all that you do.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled during October and November. We are offering both in-person and virtual times. Please check your school(s) for specific schedules and sign up dates.


WPS Branding Style Guide

As youth sports teams and school clubs are updating websites, flyers, and uniforms, we received some requests for resolution versions of both the “W” and Timberwolves logos. Thanks to Tom Reeve, our Digital Learning Director, we have a WPS Branding Style Guide. The purpose is to assist staff, student clubs, and youth and high school sports teams in creating consistent and recognizable branding in documents, communication, and presentations. The new site, which can be found on the WPS website, provides a style guide for WHS and our community.


MCAS

Student MCAS performance reports were just received by the district. The reports will be mailed out to families next week. Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Hahn, will give a districtwide summary presentation at a future School Committee meeting. If you have questions regarding your child’s report, please contact your child’s teacher or the building administrator.

Fales, Leach, Rogers, and Kunde Scholarships

The Fales, Leach, Rogers, and Kunde Scholarship applications are due Monday, October 31st. The application can be found on the District Website or at the Superintendent's Office. Awards shall be distributed to undergraduates at four-year accredited colleges. To be eligible for these scholarships, the student must be a graduate of Walpole High School.


Interface Reminder

As a reminder, Walpole has partnered with William James College INTERFACE Referral Service so that our community can have access to the Mental Health Referral Helpline. This is a free, confidential mental health outpatient referral service for children, adults, and families. Callers are matched with licensed mental health providers from INTERFACE’s extensive database. Information can be found on our webpage and also Town’s webpage.


Middle School Building Project

The work on our new middle school continues. As a reminder, the community is encouraged to reach out to the Middle School Project team with any questions or comments via email at middleschoolproject@walpole.k12.ma.us or visit the middle school project webpage here.

The current construction look ahead schedule is also posted on this site.

Wanted: Substitutes

Walpole Public Schools is seeking substitute teachers. If you are interested please email hr@walpole.k12.ma.us.


Thank you, art teachers, for displaying our students' work at Town Hall!

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A Message from Dr. Gough

September 16, 2022


Dear WPS Community,


We are excited to welcome our students back into classrooms. For the last 10 days, it has been wonderful to see the return of students and witness the awesome instruction from our staff that engages students in robust learning experiences. As always, thank you to our incredible staff for their hard work preparing for a successful opening. Dr. Hahn and I have enjoyed our early visits to schools to connect with our students, families, and staff.


We welcomed students moving in from our neighboring towns and those who returned to WPS from charter, vocational, and private schools. We also welcomed families who moved to Walpole from other states, such as California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and from other countries, such as Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine.


Please make sure to check your individual school site for upcoming events. Next week, Boyden, BMS, JMS, and WHS will all have their Open Houses. Elm and OPR will hold their Open House the week of the 19th, and Fisher’s Open House is October 6th. As a reminder, September 23rd is an early release day.

Scholarship Applications

Please be advised that the Fales, Leach, Rogers, and Kunde Scholarship application will be available on October 1 through October 31. The application is on the District Website and available in the Superintendent's Office. Awards are for undergraduates attending four-year accredited colleges. The primary criteria for awarding scholarships shall be scholastic ability, need and character of the applicant. To be eligible for these scholarships, the student must be a graduate of Walpole High School.


New Online Safety Hub

We are excited to announce that we have partnered up with Linewize by Family Zone, a leading education technology company, to provide our school communities with the highest quality of online safety and digital wellness education. Linewize's global team of experts work together to empower families to navigate the online world with greater ease and confidence. This partnership provides our district with tools, resources, and expert advice on all the latest online safety issues you and your family may encounter. As members of our school community, you have direct access to our custom-designed Online Safety Hub, where you can access a wide array of research-backed tools and educational materials to help you implement online safety measures at home

Middle School Building Project

The work on our new middle school continues. The community is encouraged to reach out to the Middle School Project team with any questions or comments via email at middleschoolproject@walpole.k12.ma.us or visit the middle school project webpage here.

The current construction look ahead schedule is also posted on this site.

Walk the the Supers

Save the dates! Sept. 23rd and October 7th (8:30-9:45 a.m.) at WHS Track: Walk with the Supers! This walk is designed to promote community engagement and wellness. Come for a portion or stay the entire time to walk and talk with Dr. Gough and Dr. Hahn. This is open to all community members.

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Helpful Links