J.G. Whittier Middle School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update (6/8-6/12)

    Hello J.G. Whittier Students and Families,

    Can you believe that we are finally down to our final two weeks of school?!?! We are all almost there! Lets make sure to all finish strong together!! 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 on Friday, 6/19.

    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. Final grades for trimester 3 will be posted on the student/parent portal on School Brains under Report Card on Friday 6/19 at approximately 4pm. 

    Please continue to encourage your students to hand in assignments to all of their teachers through the final day of the school year. 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 6:30-8:00pm), 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 next week (6/8-6/12) in regard to the directions for the drive through, as well as a link to the live stream.  It is also the hope that when it is safe, we can plan an event to get the 8th grade students together to celebrate so please stay tuned.

    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:


    Image preview

    YEARBOOK: We hope to be able to distribute yearbooks to all 8th graders the night of promotion. If they have yet to be delivered by that date, other arrangements will be made. For all other students who have ordered yearbooks, a distribution day will be scheduled, and we will get that information to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued patience. Remember that all of our 8th graders will be receiving their yearbook for free this year, thanks to the PTO!

    PTO:  Our next PTO meeting will be Wednesday, June 10th at 6 pm 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!


    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.


    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 still learning about common Greek and Latin roots, plus the creation of words using Prefixes and Suffixes. We are building and deciphering words. The end of the year is all about making ourselves better writers, so we will be editing past work and continuing to build skills!
    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: Baylee Purcell and Liam Gray
    ELA Shoutouts: Avery Borden and Anderson Reyes Diaz
    You have all been working hard and I am extremely proud of all of you!
    Ms. Sanguedolce: Congratulations to the following students for completing all of their work last week: Joseph, Jadelyn, Sophia, and Riley in the Orange Group; William, Dillan, Kayleigh, Jude, Mason, Jayden, Jonathan R., Colby, and Dakota in the Red Group; Lauryn, Ethan, Liam, Adriel, Brodie, Raquildis, Baylee, Yilliannis, Cayla, and Jeremy in the Yellow Group. This week we learned about two-dimensional shapes. We also reviewed important math concepts like multi-digit multiplication, fractions, word problems, and math facts. Next week we will tackle some fun family math challenges. It will be fun!
    Ms. MacDonald: 

    Math- This week we will be working on 16-2. Be sure to watch the video lesson and complete the independent practice and quick check.
    Science- this week we will focus on gravity. Participate in the discussion and watch the video and complete the questions. We’re almost there!!!
    Ms. Simes: I want to give a “BIG SHOUT OUT” to the following students who completed all of their Week 7 ELA assignments and are my “ELA Superstars of the Week”: Jaeden A., Connor A., Eve F., Autumn G., Dylan G., Ryan H., Paige K., Saniyah M., Kaelie M.,Aiden M., Dale P., Angelina R., Halley S., Aurora A., Sophia B., William C., Dillan D., Kayleigh D., Cameron F., Shannon G., Cash M., Jude O., Mason P., Colby S., Lauryn C., Ethan G., Liam G., Adriel H., Brodie M., Luis M., Christopher M., Baylee P., Analia R., Yilliannis R., Zenia R., Jeremy S., Nyla S., and Enmanuel V.  Google Meets will be on Monday and Friday this week, 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 6/8 – 6/12.”  They will be publishing their persuasive letter this week.  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.  Have a great weekend.
    Ms. Lees: Miss Lees will work with small groups for ELA and Math. Purple group will take an online test for the completion of Chocolate Fever while Orange group moves on to some grammar and short passages. Purple group will finalize their persuasive letter. 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: 

    Emails will continue to be sent to parents throughout the week informing them of specific assignments and dates/times of my Google Meets.  I appreciate all the communication and support I have received from parents!
    Science (Red, Blue, Purple): We have now completed our study of the human body and will be finishing the year looking at fossils and evolutionary history.  Students will have a few readings and questions to complete on these topics.
    Social Studies (Red, Blue, Purple): Our study of Ancient Civilizations will conclude with a compare and contrast assignment based on the civilizations studied.
    All work must be completed by Friday of this week to count as credit.  Late work will not be accepted after Friday, June 12th. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
    Ms. Aylward: 

    Students wrapped up their arguments by wrapping up with strong conclusions as a lawyer would. They are also finishing up Percy Jackson, finding out who betrayed him, and going with him to finally meet his father Poseidon.
    Next week students will revise their essays and wrap up Percy Jackson.
    Mr. Taylor: 

    ELA- We are two weeks away from the finale of our book! How will Jonas continue on with his new job of Receiver? How will he change? We’ll examine the vocabulary from chapters 18 and 19 as we come closer to the end.
    SS- This week we start our compare/contrast charts from our notes that we took prior from other students projects. We will be turning these charts into essays for the final week.
    Ms. Rubera: Students and Families, I am so grateful for your support during remote learning.  You have all been working so hard, and I appreciate your efforts!  Students For lessons 21-25, students will be participating in virtual field trips.  Please check out https://jrubera.wordpress.com for many resources to help you learn!
    Ms. Sargent: You are doing a wonderful job.  Two more weeks….final countdown!!!  Keep up the great work!
    Ms. Guisti: 

    Great job grade six!  You have been working on so many assignments, projects, and essays!  I am so proud of you! (From Mrs. Guisti)
    Mrs. Guisti’s small group for ELA is almost done reading Holes!  Please see the google classroom for videos of Mrs. Guisti reading aloud. Mrs. Guisti, Ms. Blanchette, and Ms. Cronin have all been supporting google meets as well as holding small group google meets and one to one google meets to help kids complete assignments and answer any questions across all subjects. All three of us are proud of all of your hard work!
    GRADE 7 NEWS: 
    Ms. DiGloria: In Week 8 of Remote Learning, students had assignments on Tuesday and Thursday. We looked at Greek mythology and Roman engineering, two important cultural developments! Next week, students will look to see how these two civilizations influenced the world for years to come. For Greece, we will talk about Alexander the Great and his conquests; in Rome, we will discuss the rise of Christianity and its spread over Western Europe. We will have assignments on Monday and Wednesday next week, with a Fun Friday activity to cap it off. All late assignments will be accepted until June 10, so student should be working to finish up anything not yet passed in. If you have questions, please continue to reach out via email.
    Ms. Trombly: With only 2 weeks left PLEASE make sure you get your work in.  We are finishing up 4 lessons on IREADY and this weeks work of review on integers.  Please email me if you have any questions.
    Ms. Berthiaume: I got some great feedback about the fables by Aesop and Jon Scieszka.  I am glad you enjoyed reading them!  We will continue the Oral Tradition unit and read some more tales. Congratulations to Boston A. for winning the “spot the typo” contest.  She won a gift card to Dollar Tree!  I will have another contest before the end of the school year, so be on the lookout!  Two more weeks, everyone– you can do it!
    Ms. MacKinnon: 

    We are only two short weeks away!! Thank you again for all your help with getting your children logged on and engaged in science!!  With that being said this will be an A week so Science will be Tuesday and Thursday. There will be a reading on the transfer of energy and temperature and on Thursday there will be a reading with questions on Thermal energy.  We will follow these two readings up with an end of the year project the last week on making homemade ice cream.
    Mr. LeGrand: 

    This week we will be working on Algebraic Expressions: identifying terms & like terms and simplifying algebraic expressions.  Last week, students had a chance to make-up their missing assignments and many of them did take the opportunity to work on those assignments.  Please send me an email if your child is struggling or is in need of extra help (wlegrand@haverhill-ps.org).
    Ms. Marciano: 

    During Week 9, students will be given this time to catch up on their missing/incorrect school work. Students need to be checking School Brains and Google Classroom to see their grades and private comments. If there is a “0” on Google Classroom, there is a comment in the assignment for the student to read. If there is a “0” in School Brains, in the comment section it will state if the assignment is missing or needs to be corrected. Please remember that all student work for Ms. Marciano must be turned in NO LATER THAN JUNE 10th. Next week, we will be completing an end of the year reflection.
    Ms. Bilmazes: This week students continued working on fables and seemed to really enjoy the activities. There’s still time to get in any missing assignments.  Its been great seeing more students on the google meets. Please continue to join all posted meets to get any questions answered and receive extra help. As always, feel free to reach out to me via email. Enjoy the weekend!
    Ms. Senior: Happy June everyone!  This week in Mathematics, students got an opportunity to complete any wayward assignments they’d missed, and in English Language Arts, students became screenwriters/casting managers as they converted their whole-class novel into a movie.  As always, it was wonderful to see students on the computer screen talking about their progress!
    GRADE 8 NEWS: 
    Ms. Deblasis: Lesson 15 Assessment due this Friday 6/5.  Next weeks lesson 16 is Solving Systems of Equations Algebraically.  Google Meets are Monday 12-1, Wednesday 12-2, and Friday 12-1.  All assignments are posted on my Google Classroom.
    Mr. Harris: 

    Blue & Purple Math – we will be looking at systems of equations this week, which was started on Friday 6/5. Please make sure to have your student logging into google classroom.  Meets are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 12-1
    Yellow & Orange Civics – we will be wrapping up the Legislative Branch and doing a summary of everything we have learned about it.  There will only be one google meet, on Thursday from 12-1
    Mr. Yanoff: Shout out to the grade 8 accelerated math/Algebra 1class! The JGW students worked through these trying times and I can proudly say, they rose to the occasion.  They had the highest percentage of passing grades in the city. They have completed their book, worked on numerous projects, and are well prepared for Honors Geometry next year.
    Mr. Blaustein: 

    • June 12 is the last day for assignments to be submitted
    • I will assign the last Chapter of The Outsiders and a few new articles on Newsela
    • Google meet on Wednesday June 12, 2020 at 1:00
    • June 12 is the last day for assignments to be submitted
    • I will assign a few new articles on Newsela. iCivics and McGraw Hill assignments are still open
    • Google meet on Thursday June 13, 2020 at 1:00
    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. Lewis: In ELA, we are rapidly approaching the end of The Outsiders and should finish the novel to coincide with the end of the school year. We are using Robert Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay to reflect on the best parts of ourselves, the best times of our lives, and why those things are only temporary.
    Ms. Kaiser: Greeting Grade 8 students and families. As the school year winds down, and you find yourself freed up from class assignments, what better time is there to connect with your local library?  While businesses are beginning their phased re-openings, the Haverhill Public Library is also preparing to increase its services. I encourage you to discover all the educational resources available to you from the library by exploring their website, www.haverhillpl.org. There you will find cataloged information specifically focused toward young adults, and current material of interest to teens. The online databases offer content for students, on topics ranging from biographies and people of interest, to global issues. In fact, there is even a tab labeled “Opposing Viewpoints in Context” where teens can learn more about current events and the pressing issues of the day. Search under the “Teens” tab, then “Youth Electronic Resources” and scroll to 6th – 12th grade. And, for information on how to obtain a library card, or choosing your next book, scroll through the choices filed under the “How Do I?” tab. Happy Exploring!
    Ms. Brown: Hello grade 8, perhaps you, as I do, may have lots of feelings, comments, and opinions about recent current events, and, since we can’t be together as we typically are, some of you may be missing that you just can’t simply talk about what you are thinking about in person, with teachers and your peers.  Luckily, PBS has put together some great resources to help us out.  The first is EmbraceRace.org – it’s a list of books and resources about how to talk about race and injustice. The second, is an interview with one of my favorite authors, and activists, from 1963, James Baldwin.  This interview can be seen at: https://www.pbs.org/video/american-experience-james-baldwin-from-the-negro-and-the-american-promise/.  As has been the case, please contact me if you have questions, or just want to say “hello”.  My phone is (978) 361-3024, you can call and text me here, and my email is kbrown1@haverhill-ps.org.
    PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Mr. Demarais): We will be continuing with our weekly workouts and challenges.  There are still many students that have not checked in with a special area.  Please make sure you do so in order to receive credit for specials.
    MUSIC (Mr. Gariepy): 

    —–> Mr. Gariepy’s Music Class <—–
    I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for such an amazing year!! Between all of the fundraising efforts, the Music Department at JGW now has a total of $1,188.00 to spend on rebuilding the music program in our school. We’ve joined forces with the JGW PTO to promise a better future for our children. Throughout the pandemic we overcame loneliness and practiced yoga daily. We also built on our abilities as musicians so that when we return in the fall, no matter how it looks, we will be able to hit the ground running with music!! Please check out whittiermiddlemusic.webs.com to access loads of student-friendly information, games, resources, and more as I will be updating it throughout the summer.
    HEALTH (Ms. Reynolds): We will be wrapping up with a couple of lessons about dealing with the stress of all that has been going on and a little summer safety information.  Remember students that haven’t been doing assignments in specials, it is not too late to receive credit.  You can email any one of your specials teachers and find out what you need to do.  Hope to hear from many of you.
    ART (Ms. Boulger): All assignments for grades 5-8 art classes are posted in Google Classroom in Required Assignments. 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.
    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 taking good care of yourselves and giving yourselves breaks outside to get fresh air each day.  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.
    STUDENT SUPPORT CENTER (Ms. Greenwood): OK Guys, we are approaching the home stretch! It’s great to see so many students working hard and staying on top of their studies. You are all doing a fantastic job! Let’s keep it going and finish the year well! Check into the SSC Classroom for updates and join us every Tuesday at 1:00 pm for our Google Meet and drawing. Let’s Do This!
    STUDENT ADJUSTMENT COUNSELOR (Ms. Midolo): Hello 8th Grade Families!

    If you haven’t already, please send pictures to Mrs. Midolo to be put in a  video for our 8th grade graduating class. 

    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!!


    SPEECH (Ms. O.): 

    This week in speech, as the year is winding down, we turned our focus to fun and interactive activities.  Along with finishing up their pizza sequencing, bat article, and conjunctions assignments, students practiced their inference skills while watching a funny Pixar video.  Students are also making their own videos about their favorite things and pets! We’ve had lots of fun with this so far, and I can’t wait to see more videos!! And…(drumroll please!)…I can hardly believe we have just posted our LAST assignment of the year!! This is another FUN “show and tell” project where students share their favorite memory of the year.  Students can make a video draw a picture or write about it.  Students can also share their creation with the class on the last day!  All detail can be found in our Google Classrooms.  I want to encourage students who have not yet submitted last week’s assignments to give them a try, as well as any other assignments they haven’t had a chance to complete (happy to accept submission right up until the last day of school).  As a reminder, assignments are NOT graded and students 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 help!  Last, I want to give a huge shout out to students who came to our Meets this week.  We had a great time, and, I hope to see more friends next week!  We ONLY have TWO MORE MEETINGS left, so I strongly encourage all students to attend!  Come for 10 minutes or the whole hour – we’ll be happy to see your face
    I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and I can’t wait to learn all about our friends’ favorite things, pets, and memories of the year!
    MSSP (Mr. Diffin): Congratulations to Grade 5…Winners of the “Social Group” challenge for the week. Mrs. Jarvis has done a tremendous job of keeping them focused and on task. Great Job! They will get a Lg. Cheese Pizza to be delivered on Tuesday 6/9 between 1:00 – 1:30. Again…great job to all 5th grade!
    STUDENT SUPPORT COORDINATOR (Mr. Newell): I am available Monday through Friday by email. Please contact me with questions, concerns or just to say hello.

    Hello, Families! We’re in the home stretch, just two short weeks of school left. We are all so proud of you for your hard work and resiliency during these most challenging times!

    Did you know that one of the best ways to escape or to get away from our everyday lives is to read a book?! It’s true!!! If you are looking for some great book recommendations, please check out these sites:

    Scholastic’s Best Books for Middle Graders


    Don’t forget, you can sign up online to receive a library card from Haverhill Public Library. There is also a link to connect with more libraries in Boston and the Greater Boston area – Haverhill Public Library

    Happy Reading 🙂


    Ms Coffin’s small group ESL class almost finished with the United States ESL maps unit  We are moving into the Rocky Mountains next week.   Students practice their reading, writing and speaking skills while studying characteristics of different regions of the United States.  Focus is on asking and answering questions with material stated explicitly in the text.  A level 3 skill on the WIDA scale but one that level 2 students can manage with support and scaffolding.
    In our small group math class, we continue to work with functions.  Currently we are working on graphing skills and recognising negative and positive rates of change.
    I continue to offer support to ELL students at all grade levels, especially with their reading assignments.
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