J.G. Whittier Middle School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update (6/1-6/5)

    Hello J.G. Whittier Students and Families!

    We have made it to June! It is amazing to think that it has been over 11 weeks since we were last physically together in the school building, and we are now down to our final 3 weeks of the school year! We would like to continue to show our appreciation as a school community for your continued patience and perseverance in navigating the new world of remote learning. Our staff at J.G. Whittier are still working hard to ensure that ALL students are successful and will continue to do so up through our last day of school and also moving forward into the future and whatever that brings.

    Please see below for our most up to date news and information for this week in and around our school.

    GRADING: As we close in on the end of the school year, please remember that it is crucial that ALL students continue to put in their best effort into EVERY subject (including Specialist areas: PE, Art, Music, Health) in order to ensure that they receive credit on their report cards at the end of the trimester. When it comes time to post grades for report cards, if your student has not completed and handed in any assignments in any particular subject area, they will be at risk of receiving no credit on their report card.

    Please continue to encourage your students to hand in assignments to all of their teachers. We recognize that each family is different and that your student may not always be able to follow their remote learning schedule exactly as it is written, and that is understandable. The important thing is that the school work get completed (for ALL subjects) and turned in when it is most convenient for you and your family, taking into account your individual circumstances and prioritizing safety and well-being first. As always, if you have specific questions about any assignments, or how to access those assignments, please reach out to the specific teachers with your questions. I am also available via email at tbetty@haverhill-ps.org if you or your students have specific questions and would like to set up a phone call or virtual meeting with me.

    8th GRADE PROMOTION: At this time the J.G. Whittier is planning to hold a live-stream promotion ceremony on Thursday, June 18th from 5:00-6:00pm. This ceremony will be as similar as possible to our typical 8th grade promotion as possible, with awards announced and all promotion certificates. At the conclusion of the ceremony (from approximately 6:30-7:30pm), we are planning to have an 8th grade “right of passage” drive through of the school’s front drive way, where our staff can say congratulations and students can pick up their certificates and any awards that they may have earned. More details will follow in the next couple of weeks, so please stay tuned for those.

    Mrs. Midolo is also looking to do a video for our 8th grade graduating class. She is looking for no more than 2-3 pictures per family.  Please attach your child’s name along with the photos.  

    Deadline for pictures: Wednesday, June 10th.
    Please forward all pictures to:  tmidolo@haverhill-ps.org.  
    Or text @ (978) 872-1449.
    Our 8th grade parents have also designed a yard sign for our 8th grade students for promotion. If you are interested in purchasing one of these signs, you can click the link below and order one. The signs will be shipped right to your home. The price of the sign is $14 plus shipping. You have until June 8th to order. Please click the link below:

    It is also our hope as a school that we can have our 8th graders back at a later date to have a proper celebration for them. Please stay tuned…

    YEARBOOK: There have been many questions about yearbooks. Once yearbooks have been delivered to JGW, we will set up a plan for all of those who ordered a yearbook to receive it. Remember that all of our 8th graders will be receiving their yearbook for free this year, thanks to the PTO! Please stay tuned…

    PTO:  Our next PTO meeting will be Wednesday, June 10th at 6pm using the Zoom platform.  Elections for Executive Committee for the 2020-2021 school year will be held.  An e-mail with the Zoom link will be sent next week.  If you do not receive e-mails from the PTO, please e-mail jrubera@haverhill-ps.org to be added to the contact list.  Thank you!

    TITLE 1 NEWS:  Thank you to the families who have participated in our first Title 1 virtual event.  We hope you and your family enjoyed spending time together learning about Memorial Day.  Thank you for filling out the evaluation form- we appreciate your feedback!  If you would like to learn about Memorial Day, please visit


    The link to the evaluation form is https://forms.gle/YkGpeCUbgzrwgU5t5

    If you have any questions, please e-mail Jean Sargent (jsargent@haverhill-ps.org) or Jen Rubera (jrubera@haverhill-ps.org).  Thank you!


    Here is a reminder of some resources that could be useful to your family or others that you know:

    For Technology: Basic login support for students and parents should always start with the classroom teacher.  Then if there is something the teacher can not assist with please visit this webpage: https://sites.google.com/haverhill-ps.org/athome/   At the bottom of the webpage there are instructions on how students and parents can submit tickets for support. All you have to do is go to the Student Support Ticket system by visiting the HPS LaunchPad > ClassLink > HPS Tech Support and you can submit a ticket for support.

    For Community Resources: The city has a 311 number https://www.cityofhaverhill.com/news_detail_T30_R35.php that can help families connect with services.

    There is also information updated on the HPS website under community resources. https://www.haverhill-ps.org/haverhill-community-programs/. This includes food pantry and other resources as well as weekly updates on available therapeutic resources in the community including wait lists.

    GRADE 5 NEWS: 

    Ms. Sanguedolce: – Congratulations to the following students for completing all of their work last week: Joseph, Jadelyn, and Sophia in the Orange Group; Dillan, Jonah, Mason, Jonathan R., and Colby in the Red Group; Lauryn, Ethan, Liam, Adriel, Brodie, Raquildis, Baylee, Yilliannis, Cayla, Jeremy, and Enmanuel in the Yellow Group. This week we learned some new math vocabulary words. We also reviewed important math concepts like multi-digit multiplication, word problems, and math facts. Next week we will learn about two-dimensional shapes.

    Mr. Marinella: 

    Hello everyone, please continue to check Google and your emails for updates. History is working on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, and English is Monday/Wednesday/Friday. I am encouraging all students to be reading everyday and Orange English will be posting their notes on those days. Please remember to attach or share your work with me. Assignments are generally due on the Friday of that week, but if any more times is needed or any questions arise please just ask via email or comments!
    ELA is moving on to learning about common Greek and Latin roots, plus the creation of words using Prefixes and Suffixes. We are building and deciphering words.
    History is still talking about to the Civil War, ask your students about the differences between the North and South to see what they remember, or about their favorite Civil War person we have read about!
    History Shoutouts: Autumn Gelina and Jude Oosting
    ELA Shoutouts: Jadelyn Baez and Giovanni Giarrusso
    You have all been working hard and I am extremely proud of all of you!
    Ms. Simes: I want to give a “BIG SHOUT OUT”  to the following students who completed all of their Week 5 ELA assignments and are my “ELA Superstars of the Week”: Jaeden A., Connor A., Eve F., Autumn G., Dylan G., Ryan H., Madeline J., Saniyah M., Kaelie M., Dale P., Angelina R., Halley S., Aurora A., Sophia B., Dillan D., Kayleigh D., Cameron F., Shannon G., Cash M., Jude O., Mason P., Jonathan R., Colby S., Lauryn C., Ethan G., Liam G., Adriel H., Brodie M., Christopher M., Baylee P., Analia R., Yilliannis R., Zenia R., Jeremy S., and Enmanuel V.  We will continue with our Google Meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, the link is located on the front page of your student’s classroom page.  Students will be working within their weekly folder of “Week of 6/1 – 6/5.”  They will begin to write their persuasive formal letter, using last week’s prewriting material.  Additionally, students should continue working on their project for “The Great Gilly Hopkins.”  Office hours continue to be everyday from 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. for questions or assistance with assignments.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at michele.simes@haverhill-ps.org.


    Ms. MacDonald: 

    Math: Purple group will begin learning about 2-dimensional figures. Please make sure students are watching the complete video lessons. This is the same format as we did in class where they will watch the visual learning as I guide them through. Students should be completing independent practice and the quick check for both lessons.
    Science: The focus this week is to understand patterns between the objects that move in space; Earth, the Sun, and the Moon. Students will participate in a discussion and complete STEMscopedia with questions. Keep the hard work going, we’re almost there!
    Ms. Lees: Miss Lees will work with small groups for ELA and Math. In Purple we will finish reading last two chapters in Chocolate Fever. Orange group will begin final questions to wrap up Chocolate Fever reading – getting ready to move on to our final weeks. Purple group will begin their rough draft of their persuasive essay. Students should regularly be logging onto Lexia if it is assigned to them. Orange and Purple small group Google Meets and lessons continue on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for both Math and ELA. Students are encouraged to join all of these as well as to check in regularly with Ms. MacDonald, Mrs. Sanguedolce, and Mrs. Simes during Conference Hours. Additional teacher conference time to support students work completion will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 – 11:00. Parents are encouraged to set up weekly phone appointments for check-ins and appointments already set up will continue. Help is available by email (alees@haverhill-ps.org) and directly in Google Classroom for questions about ELA, Math, and History to support all assignments. See Classwork page in the Google Classrooms to see weekly assignments.

    GRADE 6 NEWS: 

    Ms. Delong: 

    Science (Red, Blue, Purple): We will be using this week to finish our Human Body System projects.  Remember to answer all of the questions and you should add pictures/diagrams to your Google Slides presentation to make the content more easily understood by your peers.  The project is due this Friday, June 5th!
    Social Studies (Red, Blue, Purple):  We will be starting our final exploration into Ancient Civilizations through exemplary presentations done by your peers for each assigned civilization.  Students will write down important facts about each civilization and the culminating project will be to compare and contrast a few civilizations that we learned about this year.  These assignments will be done through Google Docs.
    Google Meets will be on Monday and Wednesday this week.  The links will be sent to parents via email and posted to Google Classroom.  Thank you all for your hard work during remote learning! You are all doing a great job!
    Ms. Sargent: It was great to see so many of you on the Google Meets this week.  You all worked very hard on averages.  This week we will go over lessons 18, 19, and 20 during our scheduled meets.
    Ms. Aylward: Last week students continued working on their argument essays. They’re focusing on the “meat” of the argument, making sure they use reasons and evidence, and learned about a new concept called a counterclaim. In reading, students continued reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Percy has finally reached the Underworld. Ask your student how he got there and what happened once he arrived. Who and what is he hoping to find there? We’ll keep reading to follow our hero on his journey.
    Ms. Rubera: Students have been working hard solving problems about three types of averages- mean, median, and mode.  Students have been learning about the structures and functions of the human body.  Please check out https://jrubera.wordpress.com for many resources to help you learn!  I am proud of you all for working hard and doing your best.  Keep up the great work!
    Mr. Taylor: 

    ELA- Jonas’s journey to becoming an Honored member of society continues with Chapters 16 and 17 of The Giver. Vocabulary for the chapters and comprehension questions to keep our minds open to what’s happening to Jonas follow the reading.
    SS: The last part of our civilization research is upon us! Presentations done by peers will be the informative pieces students will use to learn about the civilizations they didn’t get to research. They will take notes and write a compare and contrast piece on one of theirs vs 2 others they learned about.
    Ms. Guisti: 

    Dear Grade Six, I love seeing you all when you join our google meets, submit your work, send a message on google classroom, and/or check in over email! I (Mrs. Guisti) have been holding small group google meets during math and ELA.  In Math, students have worked on mean, median, mode, and range.  In ELA Mrs. Guisti’s small group continues to read and discuss Holes and work on online reading programs.  Ms. Blanchette has been holding small group google meet for both math and ELA. Ms. Blanchette and Mrs. Cronin continue to support students in google meets as well. We have also continued to support students during one to one google meets and phone calls.  Please let us know if you would like one to one support and we can schedule that. Please email me at nancy.guisti@haverhill-ps.org 
    GRADE 7 NEWS: 
    Ms. Marciano: 

    ​During Week 8, students will complete a Flipgrid Check In video, read Chapters 21-25 of “Freak the Mighty”, and complete a short written response about what they learned from reading the novel.
    ***Just a reminder that all student work must be turned in no later than June 10th.
    Ms. DiGloria: For Week 7 of Remote Learning, students had assignments on Wednesday and Friday. They learned about the end of the Roman Republic, the death of Julius Caesar, and some important emperors as Rome transitioned into an Empire. This week, students will have an assignment on Tuesday and on Thursday. We will be learning about some cultural elements of both Greece and Rome! If your student has missing work, they can still complete it! Please check SchoolBrains or Google Classroom to figure out what your student has and has not done. Get in touch with me if you or your student has any questions.
    Ms. Berthiaume: I believe Norse mythology was a hit last week!  Many of you know about Thor, but on a Hollywood movie level. I hope the myths you read last week, plus the video about the Norse gods (and that trickster, Loki), offered you some new information.  We will continue the oral tradition unit with more tales.  Keep up the great effort!
    Ms. MacKinnon: 

    We are almost there!! Only three more weeks to go!! Can you believe it?? This week for your kids is a B week so they will have Science Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I plan on doing a google meet Monday to go over the week at 10 am, and they will have a video with questions.  On Wednesday, I would like to play Kahoot with them to review for their Potential Energy Test on Friday and they will also have a CER.  On Friday, they will have their quiz on Potential Energy.
    I have been so proud of how many of your kids have been doing their science work!!! Again, I thank you for all your help  with getting them to complete assignments, humoring me with my nagging emails, and phone calls to complete their work.
    Mr. LeGrand: As always, all assignments are posted on Google Classroom.  This week, students have an opportunity to make up missing assignments.  Please encourage your student to take this opportunity to catch up and do not hesitate to reach out to me if your student is struggling or need extra help (wlegrand@haverhill-ps.org).
    Ms. Trombly: Mrs. Trombly.‘s math classes continue to work through Google classroom and sending their work through the Remind app.  Please email Mrs. Trombly at Strombly@haverhill-ps.org with any questions.
    Ms. Bilmazes: I hope everyone was able to get outside  and enjoy the beautiful weather last week. It’s been great seeing some of you on the google meets. Please continue to attend to get help and touch base with your teachers. I read some very interesting myths last week, very entertaining! Emails were sent out this weekend to check in with those who I haven’t heard from in a while. Feel free to reach out if I can help you.
    Ms. Senior: Multiplying and Dividing Rational Numbers for Mathematics got some brave souls to enjoy long division last week, with great results.  Journaling their long-weekend activities was instrumental in students constructing Flipgrids in English Language Arts as the groups took a sabbatical from Freak The Mighty, our whole-class novel.  Students are always encouraged to communicate their triumphs and questions!
    GRADE 8 NEWS: 
    Ms. Deblasis: This weeks lesson is Lesson 15: Understanding Systems of Equations.  Interactive video,  Instruction book, and Practice book pages will be posted on Google Classroom on Monday.  Lesson 15 Assessment will be posted on Tuesday and is due by Friday, June 5th.  I will be holding Google Meets next week Monday 12-1, Wednesday 12-2, and Friday 12-1.
    Ms. Sullivan: All 8th grade science assignments will be posted on google classroom.  I have google meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-12 and office hours Tuesday from 1-2. I hold them to either answer questions or to do the assignment together.  Students should be checking their google classrooms for daily updates.

    For the blue group the civics assignments will be posted on google classroom.  I have google meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1 and office hours Tuesday from 1-2. I hold them to either answer questions or to do the assignment together.  Students should be checking their google classrooms for daily updates.
    Mr. Harris: 

    Blue & Purple Math – please make sure your student is logging onto Google Classroom for their assignments, posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  We are going to be working on equations this week, with an emphasis on solving equations where variables appear on both sides of the equal sign.
    Yellow & Orange Civics – please make sure your student completes the weekly assignment, posted on Google Classroom.  This upcoming week, students will get to show off some creativity by writing up their own proposal for a bill.  During this assignment, they will have to make a case for why it should become a law, who the bill would be supported by, and who may oppose it.
    Mr. Blaustein: 

    Civics Red & Purple
    • I will add another few articles from Newsela this week, on the Judicial Branch- Once you are logged in go to Binder and click on My progress to go to new assignments. Remember to click on the activities tag to take the quiz when you finish reading.
    • All assignments in McGraw -Hill remain open including Chapter 6 The Executive Branch activities in iCivics.
    • Our Google meets are Thursdays from 1-2 look for the invitation in our Google classroom. This week 6/4.
    ELA Blue & Yellow
    • I will add another few articles to the 9 article  assignment previously created in Newsela. – Once you are logged in go to Binder and click on My progress to go to new assignments. Remember to click on the activities tag to take the quiz when you finish reading.
    • I will post  Questions for the next two Outsiders Chapters [10 + 11] in our Google classroom as well.
    • Our Google meet are Wednesdays from 1-2 look for the invitation in our Google classroom. This week [6/3]

    Mr. Lewis: 

    We are rapidly approaching the end of The Outsiders! Things are really beginning to heat up – murder, running from the law, love triangles – I hope you are all keeping pace with the book. The ending of the story is well worth it!
    Per usual, students have been reading, summarizing, and doing some creative writing. We reinforced transition use to help guided detailed, logical writing.
    As always, email me at mlewis@haverhill-ps.org if you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting.

    Ms. Kaiser: 

    Greeting to The Poets! In the words of JGW, “I’ll lift you and you lift me, and we’ll both ascend together”. These words hold special meaning in difficult times and remind us of the value of community. I have witnessed that spirit of mutual cooperation that Whittier understood, many times from this 8th grade class, especially now with the challenges of remote learning. I notice students supporting each other in various ways, from sharing tips on how to navigate the computer to access the assigned materials, to checking in on each other’s well-being. Remember, Grade 8, you are the role models for your younger peers. So keep up the good work, and show them how it’s done! Stay on top of your assignments, as best you can, ask for help when you need it, and continue to give to others. Share your talents and expertise, and you will surely “lift” each other up! See you in the Google Meets this week!
    SPECIALIST NEWS: All students please make sure to be checking in with your specialist teachers to receive credit!
    PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Mr. Demarais): We will continue with our weekly fitness workouts and fitness challenges.  I am still hoping to hear from more students in regards to how they are keeping their bodies moving.
    MUSIC (Mr. Gariepy): 

    —–> Mr. Gariepy’s Music Class <—–
    ***Talent Show Monday June 1st @ 5pm***
    DAILY Yoga & Meditation
    LIVE Poet News Every Monday @ 8:30am
    Mr. G’s Website
    Mr. G’s Facebook
    Mr. G’s Instagram
    ART (Ms. Boulger): 

    All assignments for grades 5-8 art classes are posted in Google Classroom. There is no need to buy any art supplies, all art assignments will focus around only using recycled materials that can be found at home.
    HEALTH (Ms. Reynolds): Make sure you are checking in so that you can receive credit.
    STUDENT ADJUSTMENT COUNSELOR (Ms. Midolo): Hello 8th Grade Families!

    I am looking to do a video for our 8th grade graduating class.  I am looking for no more than 2-3 pictures per student.


    Please attach your child’s name along with the photos.  

    Deadline for pictures: Wednesday, June 10th.

    Please forward all pictures to:  tmidolo@haverhill-ps.org.  

    Or text @ (978) 872-1449.

    Thanks so much!!

    STUDENT SUPPORT COORDINATOR (Mr. Newell): I am available Monday through Friday by email. Please contact me with questions, concerns or just to say hello.

    GUIDANCE (Ms. Vlahos): I want to encourage you all to keep up the great work and finish the school year off strong!  I hope you are all taking good care of yourselves and taking breaks outside in this beautiful weather we have been having and getting some fresh air.  I am very proud of your efforts and hard work during this unusual time.  I continue to be available to connect with and support all students and families throughout the week by email (jvlahos@haverhill-ps.org), please do not hesitate to reach out.  Aside from email, I facilitate check ins through Google Meet or by phone.  If desired, please email me to request a check in and I will coordinate with you.  My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 930-11am.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (Ms. Coffin): As the Whittier ELL support teacher I continue to reach out to our families of English language learners, advocate for them and provide them with support to maximize their success in our mainstream classrooms.

    MSSP (Mr. Diffin): Great job grade 6. They were the winners of this weeks “Social Group” challenge. They have been the leaders in attendance for Google Meets in the MSSP. They also have the highest percentage of homework turned in from all MSSP grade levels. True SUPERSTARS in the remote learning environment. Keep up the great work.

    SPEECH (Ms. Ostrovskaya): 

    Last week in Speech, we continued working on forming sentences with conjunctions, explored figurative language while reading about a real-life “batman”, and worked on sequencing while making a virtual pizza.  Many students have submitted these, and those that haven’t are encouraged to give them a try, as well as any other assignments they haven’t had a chance to complete.  As a reminder, assignments are NOT graded and student will NEVER lose points for turning something in late or not having everything 100% correct, so no need to worry!  I encourage students to just give it their best effort and turn in whatever they can – and to not hesitate to ask me for helpl!
    It’s hard to believe the we’ve arrived at the end of May!  As we start to think about winding down for the year, , we are shifting our focus in Speech to more fun, interactive and engaging projects. With that in mind, there are 2 new assignments posted this week.   I’m SO excited about these assignments I think will find them particularly enjoyable: In the first, students will watch an adorable and funny Pixar short movie and answer a few questions.  In the second, students get to MAKE their OWN video sharing about an object or pet that is special to them!  Student so far are having tons of fun with this, and I can’t wait to see more videos!!
    Last, I want to give another shout out to our Google Meet groups!  It’s been wonderful to see some new faces in the last 2 weeks, and I really hope to see a few more before the end of the year.  Don’t forget, students can stop by for 10 minutes or stay the whole hour, ask questions about homework or just say hi!
    I look forward to see many friends this week!
    As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.
    READING COACH/INTERVENTIONIST (Ms. Forrest): Hello students and families. As the school year is winding down, it’s time to start thinking about summer reading. Are there books that you’ve really been wanting to read all year, but haven’t had the chance to? Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading and to add some new favorites to those books you’ve read and loved.

    If you don’t already have a library card, Haverhill Public library has an online application. Click on this link to apply: https://www.haverhillpl.org/library-services/get-a-library-card/reg-form/. With your library card, you will have access to books online.
    I’m still looking for book recommendations and reviews from students. Please check in with your ELA teacher to get the Google Book Review doc. You can make a copy of the form and share it with your teacher and with me. You can also share your reviews with friends and family.
    Happy Reading!
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