FWHMS Family Newsletter

Connecting Families to School - January 2019

Winter Club Sign-Ups - Now Open!

The following clubs will run weekly from January 7th to March 22nd from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Please be sure to promptly pick up your child at 3:30 pm.


Coding Club (20 spots)


Board Game Club (20 spots)


Lego Club (20 spots)

We're using SignUp.com to organize our Winter Club SignUps.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.com: http://signup.com/go/GnxHtDZ

2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone.

Parent Portal Right to Your Device

Did you know that you can have Parent Portal updates sent to your phone? First, download the Follett Notifications app by Follett School Solutions, Inc. Next, type in Ma-blackstone-millville.myfollett.com/aspen Lastly enter your username and password. For the notifications you can set the grade threshold that you want to be notified. If you choose 100 as the threshold, you would be notified of every graded assignment.

Any questions, please call the school and speak with Mrs. Rielly.

Attendance Matters

Big picture

December Attendance Rate

6th grade - 95.2%

7th grade - 96.3%

8th grade - 94.9%

Total Number of Tardies for December - 123

Total Number of Early Dismissals for December - 88

Attendance Rate for School Year - 95.6%

Total Number of Tardies for School Year - 556

Total Number of Early Dismissals for School Year - 416


The Frederick W. Hartnett Middle School yearbook is now on sale. Click here to order online, or click here to print out the form and return it, with payment, to Mrs. Tasker in the Library Media Center.

Grade 6 Purple and Gold Teams

It is hard to believe that it is 2019! The school year is passing very quickly. December has certainly been an exciting month at HMS with the arrival of Chromebooks. Each student now has access to a school owned brand new Chromebook.

You may hear your child talking about Google Classroom which most teachers will be utilizing in their classes. Have your child sit down with you and have them show you what he/she has been doing with their Chromebooks in their classes. Please remind your child that Chromebooks need to be charged nightly and brought to school daily just like all their other school supplies. You may want to purchase a cover/case for the Chromebook, but that is entirely your decision.

Grade 7 Gold Team and Grade 7/8 Purple Team

At the start of the new year, we would like to remind you of a few important things to help your child to be successful during the remainder of the school year.

  • The second quarter ends on Wednesday, January 23rd. Please check the Parent Portal to see what work your child may be missing.

  • If your student uses Google Classroom in any of their classes, be sure to accept the guardian summary in those classes.

  • Be sure to check the Homework Page on the school website to keep up with daily work, even if your child is absent.

  • Please check your student’s supplies. At this time of year, many students are in need of new binders, pencils, pens, etc. Please check with your child to see what they may need to restock for the New Year!

Students are now online! Please remember this is a learning process for all of us: students, staff, and administration. If you have any questions about student Chromebooks please reach out to teachers and administration. Together we can help out students build their 21st-Century skills.

If your student would benefit from extra help or from meeting with an NJHS tutor after school then please know that teachers are available after school Monday-Thursday from 2:17-3:00 PM and tutors are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:17-3:00 PM. Please make sure students are picked up promptly at 3:00 PM.

As always, please be sure to check our Homework Page to see all teachers’ homework for the week. We try our hardest to have this updated by the end of the day on Mondays.

7 Gold - Homework HotShots Celebration

On December 7th, we celebrated our first Homework Hot Shot with a make-your-own sundae party. Eligible Hot Shots turned in all of their work on time in all core classes. What an accomplishment! Students were also congratulated by our superintendent, Dr. DeFalco! We hope to have even more students become Homework Hot Shots in quarter two

Big picture

Grade 8 Gold Team

Math - All math classes will be starting the New Year by exploring Pythagoras' discovery of the Pythagorean Theorem, and how it is used often in real life. After that we will be completing our unit on Volume of 3 dimensional shapes. A math mid-term will be given in mid January.

Civics - Students wrapped up 2018 by researching, examining and writing about the different ideologies of our political parties to complete their unit on the Branches of government. 8th Grade students also spend time developing Congressional Bills for the classroom and voted on each "members" bill to get a real life understanding of the what the Congress does. Bills that were accepted will be forwarded out to our local and state representatives for review with an invitation for any of them to come and speak to our students. 2019 brings a whole new unit on the Roles and Responsibilities of being a citizen with the introduction topic of immigration. It should be interesting to see what conversations develop around this very "hot" topic.

English - Students will read “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost to examine literary terms such as theme, mood and tone. Students continue to write analytically in response to different genres of literature. They will also read the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Español Happenings

For all classes, please check Señora Riedel’s website for information and remind and Google classroom codes. Señora Riedel Spanish

Wellness Happenings

Grade 6

During the month of December students focused their attention on characteristics needed to reach goals, time management, and e-cigarettes. Students participated in a Socratic Circle on the 3 qualities they each thought were most important in reaching goals. Students applied the WADE acronym for time management in planning a weekend schedule. Students have finished researching the ingredients, dangers, consequences, and addiction potential of e- cigarettes. We are using the research in writing a script for a video targeted at parents with the purpose of educating you about vaping.

Grade 7

During the month of December students learned about sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, circadium rhythm, and ways to improve sleep quality. They engaged in a lively Socratic Circle about the pros and cons of starting the school day later. Officer Dave Laudon has been in class co- teaching substance abuse lessons. The learning has focused on medication and misuse and abuse, illegal drugs, and medicinal and recreational marijuana. After the holidays students will participate in a Socratic Circle about the pros and cons of recreational marijuana.

Grade 8

Students were engaged in a Socratic Circle on whether or not parents should limit screen time, and surprisingly the majority thought parents should limit and monitor their children’s screen time. During a mental health unit, the school adjustment counselor, Mrs. Mignanelli co- taught a suicide lesson which included recognizing warning signs and ways to help. During the promoting healthy relationships lessons, Mrs. Rielly, school guidance counselor presented information about healthy and unhealthy relationships. The classes were well received by students who have acquired a new perspective and reliable information on both topics.

Science/Technology News

Classes are finishing up with programming stories on the “Scratch” website. They will then begin “Robotics” with an introduction to the field of robotics and then some basic programming on the LEGO EV3 robots.

Health Office News

Vision and Hearing Screenings

During the month of January I will be giving state mandated vision and hearing screenings to all 7th grade students. These tests are not diagnostic,however they may indicate a problem with vision or hearing. If I have any concerns I will send home a letter requesting a follow up evaluation by your child’s medical doctor or a specialist. If you would prefer for your child to be excluded from these screenings please send in a written note by Friday, January 5.

Vaping Presentation

Tuesday, January 15th

7 pm at the middle school cafeteria

Click here for flyer

Tips for talking with your kids about vaping

FAQ about Vaping

Please feel free to contact me for more information or any questions you might have.

Sue Wiegers BSN, RN, NCSN

School Nurse


508-876-0193, option 3

Guidance News



Parent involvement is key to helping middle schoolers succeed. But, as your child attempts to become more independent it is difficult to maintain a balance of involvement and hands off.

This month’s article will focus on how to keep communication open with your tween.

Typically between the ages of 9-12 years old our tween will no longer want anything to do with us. Pre-teens are developing new independence and want to see how far they can push limits set by parents. What you may not know is your tween needs you as much as ever. A strong parent-child relationship now can set the stage for a much less turbulent adolescence.

In her article, “10 Parenting Tips for Preteens and Tweens”, Juliann Garey has come up with 10 tips for communicating with your child. The following are a few of the main points.

The first tip is not to feel rejected by your child’s new independence. It’s age appropriate for kids to start to turn away from their parents and rely more on their friends. Don’t misinterpret it as refusal or oppositional behavior.

Secondly, continue to set aside special time with your child. It’s tough to get pre-teens to open up and talk. Continue to set up and spend 1:1 time with your tween. Make sure you provide undivided attention which means also not working or texting during this time. This role plays crucial interpersonal skills.

Try the indirect approach. When they were younger you could ask direct questions. Now you need to take the opposite approach and be more of a listener. Don’t try and step in and solve all their problems. Give advice if they ask for it, otherwise just empathize with them about their feelings.

Don’t be afraid to start conversations about taboo topics. You need to start having difficult and uncomfortable conversations about drugs and relationships. It is important to give them correct information and developmentally appropriate information. You also need to connect on topics around the messages that media instills. Their peer group is going to be providing information, but you want to provide the correct information. Try to do so in a nonjudgmental way. If you child is talking about another student experimenting with substances, don’t judge what they are doing but rather give facts around it.

Don’t overreact, but don’t be clueless either. Pre-adolescents are already hyper-reactive. Don’t amplify drama that your tween might get involved in, instead provide solutions. Don’t also be a parent who ignores stuff. You risk seeming unconcerned to kids.

Finding the right balance with your tween won’t be easy, but keeping communication open during these years is worth the work you will have to put in.

Washington DC Trip Information - Payment #1 due Jan 15th

1. First payment for the Washington DC trip of $195 is due on 1/15. See information below.

2. A parent meeting to discuss the trip will be scheduled around the end of February/early March.

3. Please feel free to email Mrs. Finnegan with any questions: kfinnegan@bmrsd.net

4. Fundraiser #2 of 3 will start January 9th until January 28th. Packets and letters will go home with every student on January 9th. All profits are credited to the student's account. **Any fundraising questions, please contact Mrs. Curt Hoard at tcurt@bmrsd.net.

Departure Date/Time:

Sunday, June 9th

5:30 am - Students will need to arrive at the school

6 am - Depart from the middle school

Students are scheduled to arrive in DC (traffic allowing) at approximately 2:15pm and will begin touring immediately.

Return Date/Time:

Tuesday, June 11th

1 to 2 pm - Depart Washington DC

Time to Be Determined - Arrive at the middle school - As the bus gets closer to the school, students will text/call home to give an accurate arrival time



Trip price includes:

Bus, Hotel, Meals, Museum Costs

Additional Costs

**Students will need to bring an additional $30.00 on 6/7/19 (CASH-NO CHECKS) for dinner on the way down and dinner on the way home.

Payment Plan Schedule

**Make checks payable to: Hartnett Middle School

Payment #1 195.00 Due Date: 01/15

Payment #2 195.00 Due Date: 03/08

Payment #3 195.00 Due Date: 04/12

Tour Company Information - Capital Tours

Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

In an attempt to address the increasing number of requests by school representatives and parents to help with students that have allergies to certain foods and other dietary restrictions, Capital Tours, Inc. will provide to schools or parents the contact information for food service establishments so that alternative menu items can be prepared. Where food courts or buffet style restaurants are used parents may find choices that will allow for students to have a well balanced meal and avoid foods that might cause a problem.

However, neither Capital Tours, Inc. nor its representatives can guarantee or certify that foods are prepared without additives to which students will react negatively and, therefore, Capital Tours, Inc. will not assume liability for any reaction to foods prepared by restaurants used on tour. Clearly only the preparers of foods at the various restaurants can attest to the ingredients. Also, we must rely on the good judgement of teachers and affected students to choose their foods wisely at venues where choices are available.

Trip Insurance Information

Deluxe Protection Plan

Travel Insured International



Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Trip Itinerary - A variety of Smithsonian Museums, Arlington National Cemetery for the wreath laying, Monuments and Dinner Dance.

  2. Chaperones - teachers will be chaperoning this trip-as they have done in the past.

  3. Meals are included (in the price) with the exception of the meal going to DC and the meal returning from DC.

  4. Hotel Rooms typically consist of 4 per room (This is always subject to change.).

  5. Parent Meeting will be scheduled late winter, early spring to cover any additional questions, discuss finalized information for the trip, medical concerns and communication lines.

Please email Mrs. Finnegan: kfinnegan@bmrsd.net with any questions.


The HMS PTO is happy to offer Hartnett Middle School gear through Josten’s School Store. The store will be open all year. Click here for the link.

The PTO is hosting a 6th Grade Social on Friday January 11, 2019 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. There will be an open gym, games, pizza, drink, and an ice cream treat. Students can buy tickets during lunch everyday next week, or you can now purchase tickets online using our new HMS PTO website. Click here to view the new site and purchase a ticket online. (Note: In order to purchase tickets online, you will need to create an account on our new site.)

In order for this event to happen, we do need volunteers! If we do not get at least 8 volunteers, we cannot run the event. Please consider volunteering your time. If you would like to volunteer, click here to sign up.

If you have any questions, contact Sara Tasker at stasker@bmrsd.net.


On February 15th, the HMS PTO is hosting the 2019 Dodgeball Duel fundraiser! The event will be one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. The tournament will take place during the school day, continuing into the afternoon! Check email and social media for more information in the coming weeks!

Homework Website

The homework website is a link on the FWHMS website. It is a place for parents and students to view nightly homework Click here to view the new site directly.

Pay Online for School Lunch

You can pay for your child's school lunch online at myschoolbucks.com or download the app. You will need your child's ID number to enroll.

You can view the account balance, see what was purchased, and schedule automatic payments if you wish.

Calendar of Events

Monday, January 7th
  • Grade 7 Vision Screening

Wednesday, January 9th

  • DC Fundraiser #2 Begins
  • 6 pm - School Committee Meeting - HMS Media Center

Friday, January 11th

  • Hot Cocoa Friday at all lunches - Sponsored by NJHS
  • 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - 6th Grade Social - Sponsored by PTO

Tuesday, January 15th

  • 6 pm - Vaping is Sweet Talking Our Kids Presentation - HMS Media Center - For Parents Only

Friday, January 18th

  • No School - Staff Professional Development Day

Monday, January 21st

  • No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Wednesday, January 23rd

  • Second Quarter Ends

Friday, January 25th

  • Hot Cocoa Friday at all lunches - Sponsored by NJHS

Monday, January 28th

  • PBIS Kindness Challenge Begins
  • 8th Grade Fundraiser #2 Ends
  • 5 pm - School Council Meeting - Main Office Conference Room
  • 6 pm - PTO Meeting - Lobby Conference Room

Wednesday, January 30th

  • Second Quarter Report Cards Distributed

Friday, February 1st

  • First Career Lunch Presentation

ABC's of Student Success

O is for Overcoming Obstacles
When kids face obstacles that seem insurmountable, parents must be there to:
  • encourage children to have high - but achievable - expectations
  • ask children How do you eat an elephant? (one bite at a time) That's how people face obstacles, too. Help your children divide and conquer their obstacles.
  • help children recall past experiences. Emphasize their accomplishments. Use those memories to build kids' confidence as they "keep their eyes on the prize"

Math @ Home

The Game of Pig

Roll a single die. How many dots do you see? If you wish, keep rolling and keep a running total of your rolls, but if you roll a 1, you score 0 for that round. The key is to roll as many times as you can without getting a 1. For older kids, play with two dice. If 1 comes up on both die, then your score is 0 for that round.


Parent Pointers

Emphasizing the Importance of Reading - Part 2
  • Children value the things they see their parents value. Let your children see you reading.
  • Plan a weekly Family Reading Night or an evening when you go to the public library. Show you value reading by maintaining the routine.
  • Give books as gifts.
  • Visit web sites of your child's favorite characters, books, and authors.

School-wide Ongoing Fundraisers

BoxTops - You can find the tops on participating products. Cut out the top and have your child bring it to school. We earn 10 cents for each top collected. Visit www.boxtops4education.com for a listing of products.

Stop & Shop A Plus Program - Register your rewards card to help us earn $$. Log on to www.stopandshop.com/aplus to register online USE SCHOOL ID: 07080 or dial 1-877-275-2758 to register your card over the phone.

Amazon - Please click here to shop on Amazon.com. A small percentage of what you purchase will go to the Hartnett Middle School PTO to help support field trips, assemblies, special events, and after school programming. It is the same Amazon.com you may use, with a small percentage supporting middle school students.

FWHMS Communication and Happenings

School website (http://www.bmrsd.net/frederick_home.aspx)

Our website is the main hub of information. The following is key information you will find:

  • Daily Intercom Announcements
  • Monthly School Calendar
  • Homework Page
  • Monthly Family Newsletter Links
  • After-school Program Information/Registration
  • BMR Athletes Information/Registration Details
  • Staff names and emails

OneCall will be used in the following ways:


For Emergency only - such as unplanned early dismissals or information on an emergency in the building. They will be sent after 3:30 pm and end before 8 pm.

Roboemails - On Tuesdays and Fridays only (as needed)

For standard communication - such as portal access to progress reports, report card distribution, the monthly newsletter release, registration information for sports/after-school clubs, field trip information, and other information as needed. The emails may be by whole school or by grade level depending on the communication needs.

Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat

We use all our social media to share special happenings after they have happened so that families can see what we are doing. You can find us on all platforms at @fwhms2003

It is the policy of the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, homelessness, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability, in its educational programs, services, activities, or employment practices; as defined and required by state and federal laws. Further information may be obtained by contacting Dr. Janis LaPorte at 508-876-0190 or jlaporte@bmrsd.net.