FWHMS Family Newsletter

Connecting Families to School - March 2019

Pennies for Patients - March 4th to 22nd

The National Junior Honor Society is hosting Pennies for Patients fundraiser for our school. Click Pennies for Patients letter to learn more.

Chromebook Expectations

If a student does not have their Chromebook for the day or does not fully charge it at night, it is the same as not being prepared for class. Please remind your child to review our expectations for all students on pages 18 and 19 in our student handbook.

If there is an accident with a Chromebook the insurance will cover it. However if it is vandalized, there will be an investigation, and it may not be covered by the insurance. If a Chromebook is lost or stolen, a police report must be obtained via our school resource officer.

Big picture

February Attendance Rate

6th grade - 94.98%

7th grade - 94.13%

8th grade - 95.27%

Total Number of Tardies for February - 133

Total Number of Early Dismissals for February - 80

Attendance Rate for School Year - 95.51%

Total Number of Tardies for School Year - 870

Total Number of Early Dismissals for School Year - 625

Scholastic Book Fair and Poetry Slam Night

The FWHMS Library is hosting a Spring Book Fair the week of March 25th. The Book Fair will be open during the day for students to shop the newest book titles. The Book Fair will also be open to parents and families the evening of March 27th from 5pm-7pm. During this time we will have a student Poetry Slam in the library. Come cheer on our students and staff as they read their own poetry and then do some shopping at the fair! More information will be provided to students and families as the event gets closer.


Attention all 8th grade parents! We want a baby picture of your 8th grader for the yearbook. You can digitally upload the picture directly to the yearbook staff using this link: https://images.jostens.com/412663677

If you would prefer to send in a picture, please have your student bring the picture to Mrs. Tasker in the library. Pictures will be scanned and returned to your student within 24 hours. Please submit your picture by March 15th.

Yearbooks are on sale for $40.00. The deadline to order a yearbook is March 31st. You can place your order online by clicking here.

Or, you can fill out this form and send it, along with payment to school, c/o Mrs. Tasker. Please email stasker@bmrsd.net with any questons.

Donate a book to our library in honor of your 8th grader

Attention 8th grade parents! Would you like to honor your child as they leave FWHMS? Make a $20.00 donation and your money will be used to buy a new book for the FWHMS school library. You will receive notification of the book that you purchased, and the book will have a bookplate with your child’s name on it to honor your donation! If you would like to participate, please complete the form (Click here to print it.) and send it, along with payment, to the main office. This is an excellent way to help the FWHMS library and honor your 8th grader!

Grade 6 Purple and Gold Teams

February vacation is now just a memory, and students are almost halfway through the third quarter. Sixth graders this year will be using Chromebooks to take both the Reading and Mathematics MCAS tests. Practice on how to maneuver the MCAS online test will be provided to give students the opportunity to become familiar with the testing tools (highlighting and split screen). Please remind your child to keep his/her Chromebook charged.

Hopefully by now you are familiar with and are using the “homework page” to see each subject’s assignments and upcoming assessments as well as the parent portal to view your child’s grades. If you need assistance with locating and using either one, please contact your child’s teacher.

Intriguing Books

Mrs. Tasker once again planned an engaging library activity for students this month. Sixth graders perused selected novels by only being able to see the first sentence of that book. The books were completely covered thus keeping the students intrigued by not knowing the title or author. Once a student selected a novel, he/she was then able to remove the book cover. Students were then pleasantly surprised to find a novel written by a new author that they had never considered reading before, or they were delighted to reunite with a familiar author.

Grade 7 Gold Team and Grade 7/8 Purple Team

Team 7 Gold

Can you believe we are already two months into 2019! We certainly cannot, as time is certainly flying by! As we are pressing forward, we want to remind parents/guardians that it is very important that students come to class with pencils, pens, paper, as well as their fully-charged Chromebooks. We will celebrating our quarter two Homework Hot Shots which are students who had zero missing or late assignments in all four of their core classes during second quarter. All Hot Shots have been invited to a make-your-own sundae party during lunch. We are hoping that our number of Homework Hot Shots continues to grow even more next quarter! Speaking of next quarter, be on the lookout for quarter three Progress Reports which will be coming out the week of March 4.

If your student would benefit from meeting with an NJHS tutor after school, then please know tutors are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:17-3:00 PM. If your student will be meeting on Tuesdays, please notify Mrs. Hannon (hhannon@bmrsd.net) and on Thursdays, please notify Ms. Solari (jsolari@bmrsd.net). 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.

Team 7/8 Purple

It’s hard to believe that January and February are over and as March approaches, so does the warmer weather! We would like to thank the parents and guardians who were able to join our team for our first “Cookies and Chromebooks” event that took place on Tuesday, February 26th. This was the first time our team has offered this type of event in which each of the teachers, Mrs. Dansereau, Mrs. McKenzie and Mrs. Boyle, demonstrated to parents and guardians the various ways we have implemented Chromebooks into our curriculum. As we learn and grow in implementing Chromebooks into our practice, we look forward to hosting more of these types of events for parents and guardians.

Prior to break, we were also able to celebrate our quarter two Homework Hot Shots which are students who had zero missing, late or incomplete assignments in three of their core classes during second quarter. All Hot Shots were invited to a make-your-own sundae party during lunch. For the Eighth Grade Homework Hotshots, we brought the ice cream party to them. Students were invited to make their sundaes at our “Ice Cream Cart” in the lobby and then return to their friends at lunch. Seventh graders opted for a private party in the classroom. We certainly are eager to share the fun with more students this quarter and next!

Finally, be sure to check your child’s grades on the parent portal frequently. Students do have access to their grades as well and can view them at any time. However, more often than not, they choose not to do anything about poor grades until an adult steps in and asks them what their plan is to raise their grade. This is more easily done throughout the quarter rather than at the end on the quarter. After school help is offered most Mondays and Tuesday through Thursday until 2:47 p.m. If your child does plan on staying after school, it is best to check in with the teacher to make sure they will be available.

Grade 8 Gold Team

Civics classes wrapped up their debate about Immigration and dissected what good citizenship means. We have many exciting things on the Civics docket. Congressional Bills were sent to a number of both our state and local politicians and received a positive response. A few may even come and discuss the meaning of democracy to our students. More information will come on this.

Español Happenings

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

¿Qué pasa en la clase de español?

6th graders have learned the letters and sounds of the Spanish alphabet so that now each one of the students can sound out how to say words correctly in Spanish. Each one of the students spelled their names using Spanish letters, and now we are learning the colors. The students are writing sentences along with the colors, so they are using their new vocabulary in meaningful ways. Later this week, the students will be writing a book in Spanish that they will read to other students in a different class.

7th and 8th graders have learned to describe themselves and others, as well as have basic conversations. They have discussed what they like as well as what their classmates like and are able to read a short story in Spanish and answer questions pertaining to that story. Both grades will continue to learn how to create conversations, introduce others, as well as ask and answer questions about others (where they are from, how old they are, etc.) The 7th graders will also be introduced to where in the world Spanish is spoken, they will be learning all the capitals and countries of the Spanish speaking world. The 8th graders will continue their journey of conversational Spanish, interacting with one another as much as possible. They will work in small groups to create an entertaining skit using all the vocabulary from this unit.

The Spanish 1 students finished a unit on describing their school and surroundings. We learned how to say where we are going, as well as the locations of all the classrooms, etc. in the school building. They learned how to use prepositions of place correctly with conjugating the verb “estar” (to be) and “ir” (to go). The students are expanding their vocabulary in leaps and bounds, they can use -ar verbs correctly, and in the upcoming unit we will be learning how to conjugate -er/-ir verbs. They will be learning about foods this week, and talking about what they eat, what they like to eat, and creating a skit with a group of classmates for a restaurant scene to demonstrate their mastery of the vocabulary. We will be talking about the differences in foods among the various Latin American countries as well as sampling a few dishes – more on that to come via email!

Wellness Happenings

Grade 6

Students have concluded their SMART Goals unit and are beginning to learn about tobacco and e-cigarettes. School Resource Officer, Dave Laudon, will be co-teaching lessons about tobacco and e-cigarettes with me. Please refer to the wellness newsletter you received on February 13th for details about what your child accomplished during the month of February.

Grade 7

Students will be beginning a unit about the importance of sleep, common sleeping problems, and strategies for getting enough sleep. School Resource Officer, Dave Laudon, will be co-teaching substance abuse issues about marijuana and addiction with me during the first week of March. Please be sure you check out the wellness newsletter you were emailed on February 13th to learn about what your child has been doing in class.

Grade 8

Students have learned lots about managing their stress, and are now turning their attention to mental health. They will learn how to recognize mental health conditions and treatments that are available. Mrs. Rielly will be teaching a lesson about suicide. In mid-March, School Resource Officer, Dave Laudon, will be co-teaching lessons with me about the effects of alcohol, alcohol use disorders, and opioid addiction. Please be sure to read the wellness newsletter that you received on February 13th regarding what your child is learning about in wellness.

Music Department News

On February 2nd, select students from the 7th and 8th grade chorus, 7th grade band, and 8th grade band auditioned for the MMEA Central District Concert festival. Of the students that auditioned, Gianna Profenna, Samuel Waugh, Brayden McCarthy, Tori Gervais, Amanda Vinacco, and Emma Maille were selected to participate in the orchestra, band, and chorus. Congratulations to all students who participated in the auditions!

The Blackstone Millville Music Association will host its annual Craft Fair on Sunday, March 3rd in the BMR High School Cafeteria from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. The craft fair will contain booths from over 50 vendors, raffles, and prizes. The proceeds from this event will benefit the BMMA and music students.

The 7th and 8th grade bands will perform their Adjudication Concert on Monday, March 11th. The bands will receive feedback from a local clinician in preparation for the MICCA festival in April. The concert will take place in the BMR auditorium at 7:00 pm.

Health Office News

Sports Physicals

Any student trying out for a spring sport must have had a physical within 13 months prior to the first day of tryouts. This spring, the first day of tryouts is March 18. I need to have a copy of the physical exam in order to sign the athletic eligibility form. Students are not allowed to tryout for a sport if the eligibility form is not signed. Dr. Perriello, our school physician, will be here on Wednesday, March 6, to do sports physicals for those students who are not able to get one through their personal physician. Please have your son or daughter come see me as soon as possible if they need to have a physical by Dr. Perriello.

How To Talk With Your Child About Vaping

Talks with your child about vaping can be a learning opportunity for both of you. Below is an article written by Dr. Monica Bharel. Dr. Bharel, MD, MPH, is commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As the state's chief physician, she leads efforts to implement effective health policy, reduce health disparities and respond to the opioid crisis. She was appointed to her position by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2015.

In my role as the state’s chief physician and as the mother of two children, I am asked pretty often these days about vaping, a rising epidemic around the country and here in Massachusetts. What surprises me most, despite increasing headlines and news coverage, is the lack of information — or misinformation — about vaping. Young teens are often unsure if there is nicotine in what they are vaping. And parents may think these products are harmless since they are often sold in flavors such as fruit medley or bubble gum.

This concerns me. Let's be really clear: Vape pens and e-cigarettes are not safe for anyone — particularly not youth and young adults. They contain nicotine and other chemicals and are not yet fully regulated by the FDA. Also deeply troubling is that the nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can prime the developing brain for addiction to other drugs.

E-cigarettes were originally designed for adult smokers as a substitute for cigarettes, but now the devices are being marketed, often on popular social media sites, directly to young people. They are inexpensive and, even worse, they are being designed and packaged to be especially enticing to children. (Today’s parents likely remember the old Joe Camel character created in the late 1980s to attract young people to smoking.)

These products are far from harmless: The nicotine they contain is a highly addictive chemical that can harm brain development. The brain continues to develop through age 25. Nicotine primarily affects the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control.

Here in Massachusetts, our 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted jointly by the Departments of Public Health and Elementary and Secondary Education found that nearly half of Massachusetts high-school students say they’ve tried e-cigarettes and nearly a quarter say they have used the device sometime in the past month. This compares to about 3 percent of adults, making vaping among high school students nine times higher than that of adults.

Talking with your kids about vaping is one of the most important things you can do. I understand it may be difficult to broach the subject, that’s why we’ve launched a statewide public information campaign about vape pens and e-cigarettes and our website offers parents advice for how to have the conversation.

Parents know best what approach is likely to work with their own child but we do provide some ideas. For example, having a conversation while driving or waiting for an appointment might make sense. Some parents find that connecting the information to current events or a TV show and asking the child’s opinion is a good starting point. You might ask your child what he or she thinks about a situation you witness together such as seeing someone use an e-cigarette, passing a vape shop when you are out or seeing an e-cigarette advertisement. Talks with your child about vaping can be a learning opportunity for both of you.

Being open and honest about what you know about the dangers of vaping, and what you don’t, can be helpful. Explaining that some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes and some look like USB flash drives, pens, or other ordinary items and letting them know that an e-cigarette may also be called a “vape” or “vape pen” are important messages you can share. The main point is that the device delivers nicotine — and you want them to steer clear of it

At the state level, we are taking action to address this growing public health epidemic. In 2018, Massachusetts enacted legislation making our state the sixth in the nation to increase the age of sale for all tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law took effect in December and it prohibits the sale of all tobacco products — including e-cigarettes — to anyone under age 21. Just this week, Gov. Charlie Baker proposed in his 2020 budget expanding the cigarette excise tax to e-cigarettes and vaping products.

We know that raising prices will reduce the sale and purchase of vaping products and cut into teen usage rates but we need to continue to have the conversation about the dangers of e-cigarettes. I urge parents to become informed and talk to kids so they understand that using these devices is unsafe and unhealthy and now it’s also illegal. I realize that we can’t always control everything our children do when they’re not with us. But talking with your kids about vaping will let them know that you’re concerned about their health and you care about their safety

Vaping Information Flyers

Tips for talking with your kids about vaping

FAQ about Vaping

2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey

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



How to tell what is normal teen behaviors and what could be a mental health issue?

Teens are at a time in life when they are still finding themselves, trying things out and learning to live in their own skin. This time of life it is not uncommon to find yourself not recognizing your teen and seeing unusual behavior, but how do you tell when it has crossed the line into a teenage mental health issue?

If your teen’s behavior has turned into the symptoms below, talk to them about what they’re going through or find someone they trust to talk with them.

  • Missing days in school or poor school performance when there was no prior concern

  • Avoids friends or forming a social life

  • Loss of interest in activities they usually enjoyed

  • No motivation for fun or interesting activities

  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia and nightmares

  • Can’t sit still or focus on tasks

  • Seems chronically anxious or worried

  • Lack of energy or oversleeping

  • Bounces between moods of no-energy and hyperactivity

  • Self harm

  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

  • Constantly irritable or always reacts in an unreasonable manner

  • Manic and risky behaviors

  • Smoking, taking drugs or drinking - If this is combined with other issues on the list

Many types of mental illness first emerge in adolescence such as depression, anxiety and ADHD. Mental health conditions often are contributed by a genetic factor but environmental conditions can also contribute. In many cases ADHD doesn’t manifest itself until puberty. One of two of the symptoms might not mean a mental health issue, but a cluster of them could indicate.

If after talking to your child you feel there may be a mental health issue contact your doctor . Early treatment is key to intervention.

Local Mental Health Agencies:

Riverside Community Care and Emergency Services 508-634-342- available 24 hours

Family Continuity - 508-755-0556

Washington DC Trip Information - Payment #2 due March 8th

1. Second payment for the Washington DC trip of $195 is due on 3/8.

2. A parent meeting to discuss the trip will be held on March 21st from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in our media center.

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

4. Fundraiser #3 will start on March 13th. Packets and letters will go home with every student on March 13th. 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 #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 would like to thank all who participated in the Dodgeball Duel. It was a fun event and with your help we raised over $6500.00! Please join us at our next PTO meeting on Monday March 4th from 6pm-7pm in the conference room beside the library. We will be discussing fundraising events for the spring.

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, March 2nd
  • Pennies for Patients Begins
  • 6 pm - HMS PTO Meeting - Lobby Conference room

Tuesday, March 3rd

  • Progress Reports available in the parent portal

Thursday, March 7th

  • 1:15 pm - Chris Poulos assembly sponsored by HMS PTO

Friday, March 8th

  • DC Trip payment #2 due - $195
  • 6 pm to 8 pm - All School Dance sponsored by StuCo

Monday, March 11th

  • 7 pm to 8 pm - 7th and 8th grade band Adjudication Concert at BMRHS Auditorium

Wednesday, March 13th

  • Final DC Trip Fundraiser Begins

Monday, March 18th

  • 5 pm - School Council - main office conference room
  • 6 pm - PTO meeting - lobby conference room

Thursday, March 21st

  • 6:30 pm to 7: 30 pm - DC Trip Parent Meeting in our media center

Friday, March 22nd

  • Pennies for Patients Ends

Monday, March 25th

  • Scholastic Book Fair Begins
  • Mental Health Awareness Begins - Sponsored by NJHS

Wednesday, March 27th

  • Final DC Fundraiser orders due

Thursday, March 28th

  • 5 pm to 7 pm - Poetry Slam/Book Fair in our Media Center

Friday, March 29th

  • Book Fair Ends

ABC's of Student Success

S is for Security

More than ever, we need to reassure our children that they are safe and secure. We can do that in many ways:

  • Limit exposure to TV, adult conversations
  • Give children only the information they need to know
  • Help them understand that images on TV are far away events, not impending threats
  • Avoide overreacting
  • Watch for child's unspoken reactions
  • Listen to what our children have to say and reassure them that their feelings are normal


Math @ Home

Pennines in the Pot

Start the game with 25 pennies. Each player takes a turn rolling a single die and picking up the number of pennies he or she rolls on the die. To pick up the last pennies, however, the number on the die must match exactly the number of pennies that remain. When there are no pennies left in the pot, the player with the most pennies is the winner. Don't forget to bring in the pennies to school to donate in our Pennies for Patients campaign.


Parent Pointers

Communicating with your Tween and Teen

  • Stay involved with your child
  • Know what is going on at school and with friends in your child's life
  • Spend more time listening to what they have to say. Don't interrupt them when they are talking. Then they'll spend more time listening to you
  • Be brief
  • Avoid the use of words such as guilt, never, and always

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.