J. W. Leary Junior High School

January 8, 2022

Hello everyone,

Happy New Year!

I hope that family, friends, and relaxation were all part of your holiday break. We all needed this time to pause from the daily concerns that COVID-19 has brought to our school, classrooms, and families. My New Year’s resolution is to do whatever I can to support my JW Leary families through this uncertain school year.

I am optimistic that the future of learning is bright because of the dedication from our educators, you our families and our students. I am fortunate to go to school every day with some pretty amazing students and staff.

I am sure you have all been monitoring the rising cases of COVID-19 across the region and within the wider state and country. It is very concerning that we continue to have such a high rate of transmission.

Governor Hochul presented to school representatives to provide information on strategies that her administration is considering for adjusting to the increase of cases due to the Omicron and Delta variants.

At this point in time the governor has two priorities for children, families, and schools – 1) protect children from the Omicron variant, and 2) keep students in schools.

The Governor acknowledged that schools have a strong socio-emotional component that was perhaps under-recognized last year. Although remote instruction had its place, it is not a strategy that we would wish to utilize at this point.

The Governor announced that the plan was to send rapid tests to schools to reduce the number of students and staff having to go into quarantine.

As you saw in emails this past week on Friday we distributed COVID tests to children.

  1. If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you should not test them.
  2. At this time, Massena Central School District is not accepting negative home test results as clearance for symptomatic students to return to school.
  3. On Monday, if your child is exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19 and they test negative using one of the home test kits, please keep them home from school and call Nurse Gilman for further guidance.

Lastly, we ask that you continue to monitor your children for symptoms of COVID-19 and request that if your child is exhibiting one or more symptoms, to please keep them home from school and contact your school nurse. We are seeing that many cases of quarantine are caused by students coming to school with symptoms that turn out to be COVID.

It is asked that your child take the test before school on Monday unless they have tested positive in the past 90 days.

Key points in the letter that was sent and is linked below include:

  • The link to report positive results.
  • You can use the second test at their discretion.
  • We cannot say if we will do this again or not, we are working with public health to administer this program based on the recent rise in cases.
  • Each child is allocated 1 set of 2 tests, at this time there are no extras to distribute.
  • Tests are not mandatory, they are recommended to be administered to children before school on Monday.

There are a number of strategies to keep our children safe in schools. First and the best defense: get vaccinated. Increased vaccination rates, along with the effective use of well-fitting masks, are the way we can return closer to normal as soon as possible. Without higher vaccination rates, we all will need to continue implementing the various mitigation strategies in schools.

I am certain that there will be a lot of anxiety and uncertainty as staff and students return Monday. It will be more important than ever that we remain vigilant regarding proper mask-wearing, minimal mask-off time, and physically distancing students and staff.

Friday January 14 1/2 day, dismissal at 10:45 AM

Monday January 17 No School; Martin Luther King Day

Friday January 28 1/2 day, dismissal at 10:45 AM

All JH Events

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.

There was a meeting with eligible children this past Wednesday where information was distributed to children. Approval to participate needs to be turned in.

If you have questions please reach out!

School Number Days

Monday Day 6

Tuesday Day 1

Wednesday Day 2

Thursday Day 3

Friday Day 4


At JW Leary we are fortunate to be able to offer free breakfast for all children.

Doors open at 7:15 am for children getting breakfast.

Breakfast hours are 7:15 am-7:35 am and then from 8 am-9 am.

Children do need their Schoolbucks account number to get breakfast and lunch.

This links to the current breakfast/lunch menu!

A big thank you to our amazing cafeteria staff who helps this to be possible!

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.

Positivity Project Trait of the Week is Prudence

Prudence is the ability to do the right thing, at the right

time, for the right reason. It's a future-oriented way of

thinking that helps a person set goals, make plans, and

have the discipline to accomplish them. It is cognitive –

more a strength of the head than of the heart.

Prudence supports effective individual self-management.

Whether aspiring for an athletic record, academic grade, or

purchasing a car, foresight and planning are necessary.

However, long-term goals – even with a plan – can only be

obtained by overcoming those impulses and desires that

steer you away from your goals. Prudence provides the

wisdom to know which character strength to leverage, at

which time, to achieve your desired end state.

Great job students and staff!

Coming back from break we took a step to acknowledge the students and staff who have been noted for their above and beyond work.

Over 15 students received notes home outlining their positive contributions to our school community.

The form to nominate those going above and beyond is on our website and posted below!

Oh no!

We also want to recognize that knowledge of situations is our best defense. The situations we have learned about have been handled before turning into something more.

If people see/hear something, say something.

The below form which is also linked on our website is one way to do that.

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.

We are all in this together and we all have the same goal. Thank you for your support!

Earn a $25 Gift Card and Help Your Child

Thanks to our inclusion as a College and Career For Every Student (CFES) Brilliant Pathways School we have the opportunity to offer you and anyone in the Massena Central School District the opportunity to attend this CFES training.

The first 1000 registered attendees will earn a $25 gift card.

Last year, US colleges couldn’t spend more than $10 billion in financial aid to enroll children like yours. It is never too early to start planning.

Participate virtually in our College & Career Readiness training and learn how to help your child:

  • access dollars for college;
  • find the right college; prepare for a high-wage career.

Don’t let your child be left behind. Enroll here for this two-hour, four-session training and earn a certificate from the University of Vermont.

In Classes...

Mrs. Goodrich's students participate in an aluminum foil boat activity to see how many pennies can fit in a boat!
Hands on minds on activities...
Big picture
Big picture

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.

This week was the paper airplane challenge!

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.