Around the Courtyard

June 2017

Williams Middle School

Taylor P. Wrye - Principal

Thomas S. Underwood - Assistant Principal



May 31 - June 2: 8th Grade Gettysburg Field Trip

5: 8th Grade LPVEC Field Trip

5: WMS & GMS Grade 7 and 8 Instrumental Concert at GMS - 7:00 PM

6: 5th Grade Step-Up Day

6: 6th Grade Music Concert at WMS - 7:00 PM

8: Jazz & Orchestra Tour

9: WMS Annual Field Day - Rain Date is the 12th

12: Grade 7/8 Choral Concert at WMS - 6:30 PM

13: Boston Science Museum Weather Presentation - Grade 6

13: Grade 5 Welcome to WMS parent night - 6:00 PM

19: 8th Grade Picnic at Bliss Park

20: 8th Grade Graduation at 6:00 at LHS

20: 8th Grade Dance 7-9 at WMS

21: Last Day of School - 11:30 Dismissal - No Lunches will be served.


Around the 3rd Week in August - Advisory Groups will be posted

31- First Day of School - A Day - Schedules will be given out on this day.

** Check the WMS Website for the most up to date calendar of events **


Hello Williams Community,

There are only a few weeks left in the school year but there is so much going on at Williams! We just completed our MCAS testing and are beginning the exciting stretch of field days, concerts and many end-of-the-year events and activities. Our eighth grade students are finishing strong and preparing for their move to the high school. We are also looking ahead to next year at Williams and getting student information loaded and ready for a summer of scheduling and course building. A new group of sixth graders will be welcomed soon, and we are looking forward to meeting them on the morning of June 6th during Move Up Day. I am very excited to meet parents of our incoming 6th grade students on the evening of June 13th at 6:00 PM at 6th Grade Parent Night. I hope to see all of you there! Please be sure to check the calendar of events on our website for important upcoming dates.

As we wrap up the year, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be working in a community where education is valued. The support Williams receives on a regular basis is unparalleled, and I continue to feel privileged to come to Williams each day. Thank you all for your continued support of a strong and engaging education. I look forward to seeing everyone on August 31st for the first day of school.


Taylor Wrye

Summer reading list for all incoming 6th Grade students.


Summer reading list for all incoming 7th Grade students.


Summer reading list for all incoming 8th grade students.

Letter from Assistant Superintendent Bertrand

The following is a letter from Assistant Superintendent Bertrand regarding a student's tempory record.

Notes from the Nurse

This is a reminder for 6th grade parents whose children who will be entering 7th grade in the fall:

Please make sure your child is ready to enter 7th grade in August 2017. DPH regulations state that all 7th graders must have a Tdap immunization, 2 doses of Varicella vaccine and 2 doses of MMR vaccine by the first day of school in August 2017. An up to date physical is also requested for all 7th graders. This means that physicals dated before September 2016 are not current and need to be updated. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 413-565-4260.

I am deeply appreciative to the parents who have already sent in their student’s form.

Have a safe and happy summer.

Liz Gartman, RN School Nurse

Field Day

Field Day is Friday, June 9th. Students have met with their teams and 8th grade captains during advisory, and t-shirts have been distributed. There are a few extra shirts available on a first come- first serve basis. Contact Mrs. Russotto if your child still needs a shirt.

Counselor's Corner

Mary Morrissey - Guidance Counselor

This week, our 6th and 7th grade students will select their courses for the next school year on May 30, 2017. Parents can view these requests by logging into Power School. Course request will go home for signature during the first week of June.

Our 8th grade students will be visiting the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative in West Springfield on June 5. This opportunity will provide our students with a view of vocational options available to them at Longmeadow High School. 8th graders will visit the following shops: Automotive, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Education and Care, Facilities Management, Graphic and Visual Design, Health Assisting/Administration, Information Support Systems and Networking, Landscaping and Machine Technology.

On Tuesday, June 6, our school will welcome 5th graders from Blueberry and Center schools for Step-Up Day. We are so excited to meet them! Our future students will visit 6th grader classrooms to learn about life next year at Williams. They will end their morning with a treat in the cafeteria.

Our incoming 6th grade parents are invited to attend our Parent Night on June 13th at 6:00 pm. Mr. Wrye will provide an overview of the 6th grade experience at Willams. At the end of this presentation, parents will have the opportunity to have a tour of our school.

Judy Ferber - School Adjustment Counselor

In April we officially launched the Williams School Climate Committee to work on the important issue of school climate. According to the National School Climate Center, “Over the last three decades there has been an extraordinary and growing body of research that attests to the importance of school climate. Positive school climate supports learning and positive youth development.” Thus far, the School Climate Committee includes teachers, administrators, counselors, and specialists, and we plan to involve students down the road. We have discussed areas of strength and challenge for our school, some of our core values as a school, and strategies for building on successful programs and practices already in place at Williams and in the District to support the development of a positive school climate - one in which all students feel safe, supported, and meaningfully engaged at school. We will meet one more time this year to discuss a plan for continuing this work into the 2017-2018 school year.


Visual Art

Grade 6 - the sixth grade students are beginning ceramic mirror frames. Some are completing their house drawings, using two-point perspective. Others are completing tessellations. They will begin portraits in pencil soon.

Grade 7 - the seventh grade students are finishing up their cityscapes, using two-point perspective. Some are working on plaster cloth movement sculptures. And others are working on color portraits. We’re going to try to complete ceramic dwellings, printmaking and tint/shade assignments before the end of the year.

Grade 8 - most of the eighth grade students have completed grid drawings, and are midway through completing their paper mache’ sculptures. Others are working on animation projects, using PowerPoint.

For the 2017-2018 school year, it would be great if all students have a 9’ x 12’ sketchbook, pencils, a hand held pencil sharpener, and colored pencils.

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Math Lab

Math Lab provides hands-on learning and extra practice for grades 6, 7, & 8. We review math concepts being taught in their core class. Grade 6 finished exploring surface area and volume of three-dimensional figures. We are now working on statistical measures, stem-and-leaf plots, histograms, and box-and whisker plots. Grade 7 finished volume and surface area of prisms, cylinders, and pyramids. We are currently graphing linear equations and exploring slope. Grade 8 finished graphing translations, reflections, dilations, and rotations on a coordinate plane. We are now reviewing probability and preparing for 9th grade algebra. I still encourage all of my students to work on Ascend Math & IXL at home. For extra math support I am available every morning from 7:45-8:20 in room 1.


As we wind up our year, our podcast library is growing. Check it out: Wildcat Web Chat

Students choose the topic, research specifics, write a script, record or interview, and upload to their drives.

All our grades are putting finishing touches on their portfolios for the year. What a great skill to have! Google accounts continue to be our go-to platform for all assignments and projects.

Helpful information: If you have a phone with limited storage and always seem to be running out, download the “Photos” app from Google. It will sync all your photos and videos from your phone and it’s free! Then delete them from your photo app on your phone. You will always have them stored in your Google account so when you replace your phone, no worries!

Do your kids play Roblox? What you need to know about the dangers?

Items needed: Next year please make sure your child has a school set of earbuds. Our headphones are not the best quality. Note: 6th graders might need two sets. One set stays with their teachers. They will need one set for the computer lab.

Red Nose Day in the Computer Lab:


The middle school bands are in great shape for our spring concert. The 7th and 8th grade instrumental concert will be on Monday, June 5th at Glenbrook Middle School. The 6th grade spring concert will be on Tuesday, June 6th at Williams Middle School. Concerts begin at 7:00 pm


We are excited to announce that the Longmeadow Summer Music Program for middle school students will take place again in the summer of 2017. Now in its eighth year, this summer enrichment program brings together dozens of band, jazz, orchestra, and vocal students from schools in the Greater Springfield area for a week of musical growth and fun. Students will have the opportunity to get to know each other and grow musically in daily rehearsals, activities, and games. The week culminates with an exciting concert on Friday night for the family, friends, and fellow students. We would like to cordially invite your music students entering grades 6-9 to consider joining us this summer for this wonderful opportunity.

Longmeadow Summer Music 2017

When: July 10-14, 2017

Where: Longmeadow High School

What: Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, & Chorus

Online registration:

We look forward to working with your child this summer. Please feel free to share this email and brochure with any friends and family members who may be interested in this program!

Choral Notes

Here are the important dates for our choral ensembles:

Grade 6 Spring Concert - Tuesday, June 6th at 7pm

Grade 7&8 Choral Concert - Monday, June 12 at 6:30pm

Rehearsals (all from 3-3:30)

Women’s Chorus - Tuesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 8

Men’s Chorus - Wednesday, June 7 and Monday, June 12


Students in Grade 8 recently had a visit from the LHS peer leaders group.The high school students spoke to the 8th graders about transitioning to LHS and answered many of their questions about academics, sports/clubs and social life. The 8th grade students are learning about the drugs and alcohol in their present unit.

Grade 7 students are learning about nutrition and just entered a typical day of their diet into the food tracker app on This app allowed students to see an overall picture of their diet.

Grade 6 students just finished a unit on the respiratory system and are presently in a unit on decision making/goal setting and communication.

Physical Education

We’re getting organized for Field Day where our 8th grade captains are leading meetings during advisory with each of their teams. Field Day is on Friday, June 9th and the rain date just in case is the Monday the 12th.

Please make sure each student has a sunscreen, a water bottle, and athletic apparel on Field Day. We look forward to another exciting and successful year.


As the end of my first year at Williams draws near, I have begun to reflect on what has been achieved in the library program and to set goals for next year.

Since September, I have taught dozens of lessons at all grade levels on research skills and information literacy. I am confident that students understand the basics of “giving credit when credit is due” and that our 8th graders are ready for the rigor of research at LHS. I am very excited to further integrate technology into classroom lessons so that students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills to others.

I am pleased with the reorganization of the fiction collection, and I’ve made progress towards improving the nonfiction books while adding digital collections, too. After running reports on database usage for the year, I found that students have accessed these new electronic tools on the library’s homepage thousands of times and found hundreds of sources for research assignments. Next year, I plan on refining the nonfiction print collection and adding many new books to better support the curriculum in our classrooms.

I feel fortunate to work in such a fantastic school, where high expectations for academics and school culture go hand-in-hand. I am happy that some improvements to the library’s facilities, technology, and book collection will be happening over the summer. I plan on continuing to build collaborative relationships with staff as we plan for greater integration of information literacy and technology into future student work. I will be excited to start again next August.

Mr. Scott McGinley, Librarian



The physical science unit concluded with a STEM project which involved building a balloon racer and testing how well it functioned. Students are now learning about Astronomy. We have just reviewed the cause of the seasons, moon phases, and eclipses. Some classes are working on a constellation project. These students must research a constellation, prepare a model of it, and then present it to their classmates. Obviously, eighth graders will end the year with a Big Bang!

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Spanish 8

Grade 8 students and a few teachers enjoyed a Mexican lunch at nearby Acapulco Restaurant in Enfield. Students sampled enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, and churros for dessert. A few students tried flan, a typical Mexican dessert made of caramel custard. The lunch was a nice way to end the unit on food and ordering in a restaurant. We will finish the year by learning how to make purchases and bargain in a Mexican marketplace.


For 8th Grade students entering grade 9 in the fall, please use the following link for your summer reading assignment:

The students in Mrs. Cangemi’s English classes are finishing their mystery unit. To begin the unit, the students looked back on the work of Edgar Allan Poe, the original mystery writer. Together the class read, The Man Who Was Poe by Avi, which incorporates biographical information about the time Poe spent in Providence, Rhode Island into a fictional mystery story. Using their close reading skills, students have been tracking characters, identifying clues, eliminating suspects, and discarding red herrings as they unravel the mystery. To conclude the unit, students will write original mystery stories.

Mrs. Aveyard’s ELA classes will also be finishing up the mystery unit with an 85 question objective test. We will be finishing the year with some reading from Killer Angels, focussing on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine and the Battle of Little Round Top. This will supplement the students’ social studies work.

U.S. History

We have been focusing on the period of American history leading up to the Civil War. This period saw increasing tension called "sectionalism" developing between the North & the South. While new technology allowed industry to flourish in the North, it also led to the expansion of cotton cultivation and the demand for slave labor in the South. The acquisition of new territory in the west to the Pacific, completing "Manifest Destiny" only drove the wedge deeper between North & South.

Forty-five of our 8th graders went on a field trip to Pennsylvania. Here, we would visit sites in Philadelphia relating to our struggle for independence & the framing of the Constitution. By way of Valley Forge, we head west to Gettysburg to explore the most pivotal battle of the Civil War.

8th Grade Pre-algebra Mrs. Lawson:

Mrs Lawson’s 8th grade class putting together MC.Escher puzzles after MCAS testing (left).

The students worked really hard on their Finish Line Books before the MCAS. They felt well prepared for the test and that the review was well worth their effort.

We are finishing the year with probability, where students will use the fundamental counting principle to find the probability of each outcome. They will find permutations and compound events which includes independent and dependent events. For the culmination of the chapter, they will have to apply their knowledge of the vocabulary to board games created by the seventh graders.

IXL is a great way to keep the mathematical concepts we learned in eighth grade this year fresh in students minds. Everyone has a username and password which is still good until September. Just a few minutes a day will give them a great advantage in the fall.

Good luck at the High School next year!!!!


Students will be completing some mixed sections for Chapters 10 and 11 and will have one more test and a quiz to close out the end of the year. Also, they will complete a Travel Project which they will be working on in groups. Please don't hesitate to ask questions. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication. Have a great summer.

Quebec Trip - French 8

Eighteen Williams French 8 students traveled to Quebec May 25-27, 2017. Students enjoyed lessons on the rich history of Quebec, visits to the Montmorency Falls,

Saint Anne de Beaupre Basilica, a local sugar shack, and a trip to the mall where they were able to use their speaking skills to order lunch, make purchases and even ride a roller coaster.

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French 8

The Québec trip was a great success this year! Students from Williams and Glenbrook spent three days in Québec City. The tour guide and bus driver were impressed with our students behavior and use of French throughout the visit.

Also, we are almost done with our cultural presentations in class. The visuals have been excellent. All in all, a very good year!



Grade 7 has been growing their Brassica rapa plants for 24 days now. The students have grown the plants from seeds and they will progress rapidly through their life cycle. The plants have flowered and we pollinated with bee sticks that we made in class. Some of the more advanced plants are beginning to grow seed pods that we will harvest in a few weeks. Students have been really excited about their plant growth. Ask them to tell you about it!


For 7th grade students entering grade 8, please use the link below to access the summer reading assignment:

In both Mrs. Cangemi and Mr. Dupuis’s classes the seventh grade students have been very busy this year developing their skills as readers and writers. As readers, the students have developed close reading skills to become strategic readers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. Close reading means they have learned how to recognize the qualities of different genres as well as the use of figurative language in the text. The Notice and Note reading strategies also develop close reading skills. By modeling the work of professional writers, the students have become skilled as writers as well. With narrative writing, students have used a variety of techniques to write stories that develop plot and theme while keeping their readers engaged. In their informational writing, they have learned to develop a thesis using evidence to support and validate their ideas. In our reading, we have looked at a variety of different historical contexts - from King Arthur to Salva Dut, horizons of understanding have been broadened. Additionally, the students’ choice reading has given them the opportunity to explore all kinds of genres and topics!

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Ms. Keady's 7th grade Geography classes will be finishing up their unit on Japan and the Koreas with our last test of the year on June 6th. From there, we will dive deeper into the Pacific Ocean and visit Indonesia, Australia and take a closer look at some of the tiny countries of Oceania. We have had a great year learning about the countries of the world and I am so impressed with the geography skills everyone has acquired!

Mr. Golen's classes have wrapped up their unit on Japan & the Koreas. After this we will begin studying the United States & Canada. If time allows we will "explore" some of our national parks.

7.2 Math Mrs. Lawson and Mrs. Bradshaw:

The students worked really hard on their Finish Line Books the few weeks before MCAS. They felt well prepared for the test.

We are finishing up the year with linear functions where students are using words, equations, tables and graphs to represent the relationship between two sets of numbers. They will also apply their prior knowledge of proportions and proportional relationships to find a constant rate of change and slope of a line.

The last week we will be completing Math problems in three acts, where students will have to stretch their comfort level to find multi-step solutions.

A great way to keep the mathematical concepts we learned in seventh grade this year fresh in students minds, is the IXL online practice. Everyone has a username and password, which is still good until September. Just a few minutes a day will give them a great advantage in the fall.

Seventh Grade completing a slope experiment using cars and ramps.

7.1 Math - Mrs. Bradshaw

Students in Mrs. Bradshaw’s 7.1 class have been exploring line/angle relationships. We’ve solved for missing angles and reviewed formulas for polygons. We’ll be finishing the year off with more geometry. Look for at least one more quiz and test. There will be no final this year for 7.1.

Spanish 7

Grade 7 Spanish students are learning to tell time, ask questions and talk about their school day. They have been using Quizlet Live and Kahoot, which are interactive games, to help practice their knowledge while competing against their classmates.

French 7

The seventh graders are wrapping up the first half of the French I book. From speaking only a word or two and not having any knowledge of writing in French - the students can now ask and answer questions in complete sentences and write a paragraph about the topic. We are looking forward to more challenges and success next year!


Social Studies

The sixth grade students are leaving Ancient Greece after doing some projects like 3D models, movies, and games. They worked in cooperative groups and did great work! Some of the students participated in the Ancient Olympics too. We are heading to Rome next.


Students continue to study the many aspects of our weather, including air pressure, heat transfer, and wind. We are continuing to use the science tech book to enrich our curriculum. Students will also work cooperatively on “Science Court: Seasons,” which is a one computer classroom investigation.

Math 6

The year is coming to an end quickly! The 6th grade students are finishing up Chapter 9 on Statistical Measures. They were able to find Measures of Center (Mean, Median, Mode), as well as Measures of Variation (Range, Interquartile range, and Mean absolute deviation).

We will finish off the year with Data displays including histograms, stem and leaf plots, and box and whisker plots.

The 6th graders will be taking their Math final the week of June 12th.
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We’re wrapping up the school year with a biography unit. The students worked really hard memorizing their speeches and preparing for the Wax Museum so that they could become the character they read about. We are finishing class novels and ending the year with short stories. Please continue to encourage reading at home. Have a wonderful summer!


Art Club

This has been a very successful year for the WMS Art Club. The numbers have been consistently around 10-15 students attending. They worked on props for the school play, the pottery wheel, ceramic sculptures, paintings and more.

Student Council

We had a wonderful year planning spirit days and community service projects. Our last drive is to collect new items such as crayons, markers, paints, and craft paper for Square One. Please check out this worthy organization online. The deadline is June 16. Thanks for your support.


The yearbook committee has completed its work for the year. The yearbook was submitted for publication April 30th and will be delivered to grade 8 students during the picnic June 19th, and to other students during advisory that same day. Thank you to all of the students for their hard work and dedication, in particular Shelby Carman, Katerina Sanchez-Farina, Meghan Desrosiers, Maddy Messier, Caitlin Judge, Sydney Walbridge and Olivia Anderson in grade 8; Matthew Harty in grade 7; Audrey Oh, Roxanne Oh, Caroline Henry and Avery Halpern in grade 6. The committee spent many hours opening order envelopes, taking photos and working on the layout.

Drama Club

Thirty one Drama Club students went on a field trip to Broadway in NYC on April 27th. Our first stop was a workshop with Sarah Hill, then Lunch at Johnnie’s Pizza and the to see Phantom of Opera.