J.G. Whittier Middle School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update (10/19-10/23)


    School Picture Day: Picture day will be Thursday, November 5th for Cohort B and Tuesday, November 10th for Cohort A. RLA students will be able to come in either of those days between 3pm and 4pm. More details will follow, so stay tuned…

    Bus Passes: Please remember that if you ride a big yellow bus, that you must have your school issued bus pass starting on Monday, October 19th. If you have any issues, please contact the main office.

    Green Sheets: We have sent home green sheets and health forms for all hybrid students. Families, can you please make sure that you have those filled out and sent back to school with your student as soon as possible.


    As you are all aware, your students have begun working on an online program called iReady.

    Please click the link to learn more: https://i-readycentral.com/articles/engaging-families/#help_families_understand_em_i_ready_em

    How to Access iReady Scores:

    • Have your child log into the HPS Launchpad
    • Click on CLASS LINK
    • Click on iREADY
    • Choose READING or MATH
    • You will now be on the “MY PATH” screen
    • Click on the MY PROGRESS icon
    • Click on the COMPLETED WORK tab
    • DIAGNOSTIC shows your child’s score

    If you would like a detailed report of your child’s score, please reach out to their ELA or MATH teacher directly.


    Meeting Minutes from 10/14: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tNgQRCDcMFSmtw5lkS4_kMF3dO0t46JGiZy3wuRJ0gc/edit?usp=sharing

    Book Fair:

    More Info on the PTO: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rSHMVgjl_9qRonUOwiyZu6beAa8FwQCam090OMzBk4M/edit?usp=sharing


    Please click on the link in order to be connected to some community resources which may prove helpful during the upcoming holiday season: https://www.haverhill-ps.org/haverhill-community-programs/


    GRADE 5:

    Ms. Delong: Grade 5 Science (Yellow, Red, Orange): we are taking our first science test next week! Monday will be a review day with Kahoot, Cohort A will take the test Tuesday, and Cohort B will take the test Thursday. Remote/Cohort C kids will take it Tuesday as well.  Those that are not testing will be catching up on missing work and finishing their benchmark CER assignment.

    Grade 5 Social Studies (Yellow): We are continuing to work on the Age of Exploration and take 2-column notes on main ideas and supporting details. This week we are focusing on Spanish settlements and the creation of New Spain in the Americas.

    Mrs. LaCoste: In fifth grade ELA we’re continuing to read How to Steal a Dog.  Students prepared and took their first quiz on Friday on material covered in chapters 1-3.  The quiz included both comprehension and vocabulary taken from the story.  Students are also identifying genre, inferring character traits based on behaviors exhibited in the story, and answering “beyond the text” questions, which challenge them to make connections outside of what they’ve learned about the story.  In grammar, we’ve begun with our study of nouns.  Ask your student about 5th grade nouns-opposed to what they learned in early elementary school.  Hopefully, they’ll explain concrete and abstract nouns (and if they forget- remind them that they can use their five senses to identify concrete nouns and abstract nouns can’t be perceived in this way).

    Ms. Sanguedolce: In math, we will continue to work with decimals and place value. In Social Studies, we will continue to study explorers that visited the Americas. A reminder to parents and students: During school hours, students should be following their class schedules and working on new and unfinished classwork. Students should not be on game sites, YouTube, and Netflix during school hours unless directed by me. Thank you for your support with this.

    Ms. Lees: Orange group is doing great reading “How to Steal a Dog” and responding to questions presented to them.  Some students have been given LexiaCore5 log-in and instructions how to use.  We hope that those students will soar in the program.  In Math – learning to work with place value and decimals has been great.  Please remember that Ms. Lees always posts on Stream Pages and announces in our subject classroom meets when she and Ms. Kelly are in a classroom to help with assignments and clarify lessons.  Please join! 

    GRADE 6:

    Ms. Hamel: SS: We are continuing in chapter 2, “Geographer’s Tools.” We are learning about maps, projections, and the physical characteristics of a map. Students are reviewing important terms through Quizlet and using McGraw Hill as a platform for our readings.  Our next plan is to start working on Geographical Features such as Hemispheres, Equator, Prime Meridian and Landforms.

    This week we really became scientists and wrote our first Claim, Evidence and Reasoning. We discovered the importance of using evidence to support our hypothesis. Students worked hard in their Stem Scopes platform to compare the patterns of Earth, Moon and Sun to other celestial objects. 
    Next- we are moving into Mixtures… Let’s go Scientists!!

    Mr. Taylor: ELA- We’ll be doing some work on figurative language, affixes, and continue to work on analyzing parts of speech. 

    SS: We are continuing in chapter 2, “Geographer’s Tools.” We are learning about maps, projections, and the physical characteristics of a map. Students are reviewing important terms through Quizlet and using McGraw Hill as a platform for our readings.  Our next plan is to start working on Geographical Features such as Hemispheres, Equator, Prime Meridian and Landforms.

    Ms. Sargent: No Update Provided

    Mrs. Guisti: Hello Mrs. Guisti and Mrs. Cronin’s students!  We have had a great week supporting inclusion classes and taking small groups to work on reading comprehension, grammar, and decimals.  Please remember to attend our 12:05 support class on google meet the days you are remote for support.  We are albe to answer questions that you may have on assignments in a much small group during that google meet so please come at 12:05! Have a wonderful weekend!

    GRADE 7:

    Ms. DiGloria: Next week, students in Blue and Green ELA will continue to read The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street and complete a visual storyboard assignment, in addition to some other practice with mood, tone, and vocabulary. In Social Studies, students will start the week by completing an Illustrated Summary project, and end the week composing a short writing response about the ancient city of Harappa. Students in-person will complete the same work as students who are remote. A friendly reminder that all remote students should be logging into their Google Meets on time or they will miss the lesson. Don’t forget that progress reports are coming out this week and students have until the 21st to get any missing work in to me – anything that is still missing goes in as a zero! 

    Mrs. MacKinnon: Hello 7th grade families-  This week in math we will be working on topics 1-3 and 1-4.  The students will be learning how to add and subtract integers.  

    In science we will be starting competition in ecosystems and talking a lot about living and non living things.  We will also be talking about resources and the availability of them, and why some competition is good.  

    Thank you  all for your continued support. 

    Mr. Yanoff: Yellow and Red Teams continue to make strides on division and multiplication of rational numbers. By increasing their math vocabulary, they are better able to understand the “language of Math”.  Their hard work is showing, as grades continue to rise.  Our constant quizzing shows that they are making strides to learning about the new school. Now, if they would only speak!

    Mrs. Berthiaume: Please finish your i-Ready diagnostic in ELA if you have not already. 

    We continue to read “Rikki-tikki-tavi” by Rudyard Kipling in ELA as we study India (its setting) in Social Studies. Everyone did a great job with the motto activity!  (Your mottos are hanging in rooms 12 and 14.)  

    Mrs. Trombly: Mrs. Trombly‘s math class will be testing on topic one and moving onto topic to early next week. Science classes take their first quiz and we will be moving into ecosystems. 

    Ms. Bilmazes: It’s great to see so many students working so hard. We have been reading some great stories in ELA and will finish them up next week. Make sure to finish up any missing assignments before progress reports are issued next week. I have posted my google classroom link for additional help on Wednesdays. Please log on at 11:30. This is in addition to times I have given individual students for pullout services.  Students will continue to receive support in the classroom from myself and/or Ms. Credit. Have a wonderful weekend!

    GRADE 8:

    Mr. Blaustein: Blue and Green Civics

    We are currently completing the Guided Reading for Lesson 1 Americans, Citizenship and Government and should finish during the coming week. A short quiz will follow completion of that lesson. We will begin Lesson 2 Becoming an American.

    Blue and Green ELA

    We are reading and discussing Flowers for Algernon.

    Ms. Sullivan: Math:  In class this week, we will be learning how to compare and order rational and irrational numbers.  We will be specifically looking at how to estimate square roots.

    Science:  In class this week, we will be wrapping up our lessons on the Moon Phases.  We will begin our unit on Solar and Lunar Eclipses. 

    Mr. Lewis: In ELA, we are continuing with Flowers For Algernon, and should finish next week. At this point in the story, Charlie’s intelligence is quickly increasing and we are starting to analyze how these changes affect his life, primarily in terms of his personal relationships and those at work.

    In Civics, we are continuing exploring the idea of being an American. What does it mean? What do we, as a group, value? How/why is America so diverse? We are slowly diving deeper into specific institutions like school, church, and the family.

    Ms. Deblasis: Math:  In class this week, we will be learning how to compare and order rational and irrational numbers.  We will be specifically looking at how to estimate square roots.

    Science:  In class this week, we will be wrapping up our lessons on the Moon Phases.  We will begin our unit on Solar and Lunar Eclipses. 

    Ms. Senior: A short week for the “A” cohort and a regular week for the “B” cohort.  Reading comprehension is a focus in ELA and Mathematics is exploring square roots, irrational and rational numbers.  Stay safe everyone.


    Physical Education (Mr. Demarais): Our classes are continuing to progress with our golf unit.  I will be beginning a soccer unit with my 5th grade next week.  When students are working remotely, they should be performing the weekly workout, as well as the weekly challenges.  Students should also be filling out their workout calendars with whatever exercise they are getting on a daily basis.

    Art (Ms. Boulger): All art classes are meeting synchronously (both online and in person) therefore if your child is at home please encourage and remind them to attend Google Meets class during their scheduled art classes and to have materials ready.  

    Technology (Mr. Kowalewski): Students are still working on typing.com and we are now starting some computer history and digital citizenship lessons, those can be found on Brain Pop. Students must check google classroom to get the class code in the stream.   Students should be working at their own pace.  Please make sure Chrome Books are being charged overnight. Tech Tip of the week, if the chrome book is running slow, close everything out and restart it.  If any students are having issues with their Chrome books, please feel free to reach out to me.  Timothy.kowalewski@haverhill-ps.org

    Health (Mrs. Reynolds): Health gr 5 finishing self esteem unit

    Gr6 finishing Healthy Habits unit

    Gr 7 finishing Goal setting unit

    ge 8 beginning Substance Abuse unit

    Students should check their Google classroom regularly to see info on grades and missing assignments.

    Music (Mr. Gariepy): No Update Provided


    GRADE 5:

    Ms. MacDonald: I want to give a huge shout out to our 5th grade RLA students at Whittier. Their attendance and participation have been phenomenal, despite being home. Their responsibility in getting to their classes and getting their work done has been extremely impressive. Please continue to encourage your kiddos to be online and on-time! Lets keep the hard work going! 

    **For our 5th grade RLA students, JGW has teamed up with Upper Tilton to provide our 5th graders with their curriculum this year. Mr. Betty will reach out to see if the ELA and Math teacher at Upper Tilton will contribute to this weekly update each week. Stay tuned…

    GRADE 6:

    Mrs. Simes: Hunking/JGW Math students continue to do a great job attending meets and participating in class.  

    In Math, we continue to work on enVision Topic 1, as we solve problems with rational numbers. This coming week, we will have a day of review before our first remote assessment.  A few students should be working on finishing their i-Ready Diagnostic, as the window for testing is closing this week.

    In Science, JGW students have been introduced to C-E-R writing.  Using “My Dad Is an Alien” video, students were able to work through each part in an organized and thorough manner, using a graphic organizer. Students are ready to begin our C-E-R for the Earth-Sun-Moon System Unit.  Additionally, students are also ready to have their assessment for this unit this coming week.  

    Students should be looking in their math and science Google Classrooms daily at their interactive whiteboard that gives them information of the day’s expectations, along with their schedule.  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. Riley: In ELA, students should finish their i-Ready Diagnostic for ELA this week, as the window for testing is closing this week.  Students are working on mechanics and responding to prompts.  We are moving towards writing personal narratives, focusing on a meaningful moment with details in sequential order while peer editing.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at jamie.riley@haverhill-ps.org.

    Ms. Consolazio: In social studies class, students are learning about evidence and point of view.  We will continue lesson 2 and lesson 3 next week.      

    In science class, we continued learning about lunar phases, seasons, eclipses and the galaxy.  We played Quizlet live this week and the students were very competitive.  Attendance has improved.  I would like to see more participation in class.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at marisa.consolazio@haverhill-ps.org.   

    GRADE 7:

    Ms. Marciano: Week of October 19th – October 23rd

    ELA: We will be starting our Trimester 1 Drama Unit where students will read “Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” and focus on mood/tone.

    Science: We will be starting Unit 2: Competition in Ecosystems and focusing on the question: How does the amount of resources in an ecosystem affect populations?

    Mr. LeGrand: Math:  We are continuing our study on integers.  This week we will focus our attention on multiplying and dividing integers.  The following topics will be explored: multiply, divide positive and negative integers, use models and mathematical properties to develop a deep understand of and fluency with multiplying and dividing integers 

    Social Studies:  We are wrapping up chapter 1 on South Asia.  We will have our first test this week.  Please encourage your student to complete their assignments on time ( wlegrand@haverhill-ps.org). 

    GRADE 8:

    Mr. Harris: 8RLA Math – we will be continuing our dive into Real Numbers, learning how to solve equations that involve square and cube roots.  After that, we will start to look at how to combine integer exponents in math problems.

    8RLA Science – we will begin looking at the seasons, why we have them, and how the position of Earth causes the seasons to be different depending on your location in the world. 

    As always, attendance in class is very important, as is meeting deadlines for school work.  Students have their schedules and should be following it appropriately. 

    Mr. Marinella: Hello everyone!! What a great start to the year!! I think we are getting more comfortable with remote learning and are making great progress!! A few quick reminders: make sure you are signing in to google meets on time (starting with HR and ending with success block), attendance matters. Remember the rules during google meets and be respectful of others. The expectations are much higher now, work is being accepted and graded, so make sure you get everything in on time and complete!! If you are ever curious about your grade, check school brains! This will tell you everything you neeed to know!

    ELA– We are still in our first novel, Johnny Tremaine, about a boy living in Boston before the American Revolution! Ask your students what we have learned about Johnny so far, and how they’d like living during that time. We are also constantly working on reading skills, writing, and grammar. The focus now is transitions, how to move easily from one idea to another. I encourage all students to have a book or topic of what they like to read for down time, reading makes the brain stronger so more reading=more brain power!! 


    Civics is moving on!! We learned all the important stuff that Athens had to offer, then we learned about Rome contributions to our government. Now we are examinng the french and enlgish philosopher who moved the ball of democracy further down the field. This is going right into the American Revolution, wuic yuor students about different influence of our government!


    A superstar is a student who is always trying, never getting discouraged, working hard, taking risks, helping others, setting great examples, or exhibiting another amazing characteristic important to learning or general success!

    This week’s superstars are Halie Purington and Rayan Kasabi of Orange, and Jayden Woodall and Lily Dewar from purple!! Every student demonstrates superstar qualities, but these were the brightest shiners this week!

    Ms. Blanchette: The middle school students have been engaged in grade level content this week. The special education teachers and support staff have been working to support students during math and ELA classes as well as during small group google meets. Teachers have been grading assignments and work that has been turned in as progress reports will be completed and sent out in the next few weeks. Please check schoolbrains and your child’s google classrooms for any missed assignments and make sure they are submitted as soon as possible. Please reach out for extra help or questions!


    Middle School Support Program (Mrs. Leydon & Mr. Diffin): Keep up the good work! Very proud at how well everyone is doing. Please remember to keep checking your MSSP grade level google classroom and to participate in our groups at your scheduled time. Reach out to us with any questions! 

    Guidance (Mrs. Vlahos): I have started visiting all 5th grade classes, in person and virtually, to formally introduce myself and facilitate a lesson on the transition to middle school and will continue these lessons this week. It has been great getting into the classes and meeting with all the new 5th grade students. Everyone’s participation and engagement has been excellent, and I am so proud at all the students’ effort and mindset as we transition back to school, together.  Later this month and into November, I will begin to meet with 8th grade and 7th grade classes regarding goal setting, high school options and transition to high school.

    As a reminder, I am available to connect with and support all students and families. I will continue to meet and check-in through Google Meet, email and by phone. If desired, please email me to connect and request a check in and I will coordinate a meeting with you. I look forward to working with you in support of having a healthy, safe, and successful school year!

    Parent Liaison (Ms. Arias-Reyes): Dear parents,  My name is Maria Arias and I am the new Parent Liaison at John G Whittier Middle School. If you have any questions or concerns and you need someone to interpret for you, I’m here at your service. Do not hesitate to contact me at 781-666-4085 or email me at maria.ariasreyes@haverhill-ps.org

    Queridos padres,  

    Mi nombre es María Arias y soy el nuevo contacto para los padres hispanos de la escuela intermedia John G. Whittier. Si tienen alguna pregunta o preocupación y necesitan un intérprete, estoy a su servicio.  No dude en contactarme al 781-666-4085 o enviarme un correo electrónico a maria.ariasreyes@haverhill-ps.org

    Student Support Center (Mrs. Greenwood): Student Support Center -Great job this week using your SMART passes! Keep up the good work, and as always, send Ms. Greenwood or Ms. Christine a message on the SSC classroom page and let us know what you need. Have a great weekend!

    Student Adjustment Counselor (Mrs. Midolo): Please be sure to have your kids check Mrs Midolo’s google Classroom Page and Look for assignments and updates on Social Groups, which will held on Wednesdays. Please make sure that your student attends in order to receive the proper credit. Have a great weekend.

    Student Support Coordinator (Mr. Newell): I am available to talk about anything that our school community has. Please email me with any questions, concerns, ideas or feedback.

    NEWS FROM OUR NURSES OFFICE (Nurse Cartwright):


    Influenza Vaccine Requirement for School Attendance: 

    Kindergarten through Grade 12 

    Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, influenza vaccine will be required for all students.  Influenza vaccine is always important to receive to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to influenza, as well as preventing the spread of influenza to others.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system.

    Which students need to receive influenza vaccine?

    Students in Kindergarten – Grade 12 will be required to receive influenza vaccine for the current influenza season for school attendance unless they have a medical or religious exemption. 

    When do students need to receive the influenza vaccine?

    Students must receive influenza vaccine for the current season by December 31, 2020. 

    Are there any exemptions to receiving influenza vaccine?

    Medical and religious exemptions are allowable in the state of Massachusetts.

    What type of influenza vaccine can students receive?

    Any age-appropriate licensed influenza vaccine for the current season fulfills the requirement.  This includes injectable and nasal spray vaccine types.

    Should students without a documented dose of seasonal influenza vaccine be excluded from school on January 1st?

    Enforcement of school immunization requirements is determined at the local level.  We encourage school communities to work with families and healthcare providers to satisfy the requirements for students who are not compliant on January 1st.

    What about students who enroll after December 31?

    Newly enrolling students between January 1 and March 31 must have a documented dose of influenza vaccine for the current influenza season (along with all other required vaccinations) when they start school.

    What about students who enroll later in the spring?

    Students enrolling after March 31 are not required to have a dose of influenza vaccine for the current school year. 

    Will my school have to report on influenza vaccine in the Kindergarten and Grade 7 school immunization surveys?

    Yes—the surveys will be open as usual during the fall to input information on other vaccines.   By January 2021, a new section of the survey may be completed to report influenza vaccination rates for students enrolled in Kindergarten and Grade 7.  We anticipate both parts of the survey, the traditional school immunization survey and the influenza component, will be due by the end of January 2021.

    Will my school have to report the number of students who received influenza vaccine in the Grade 11 school immunization survey?

    Yes—the Grade 11 survey will open in early 2021 and will include the influenza question with the survey.  More information on the timeline for the Grade 11 survey will be available in the future.

    Will my school have to report the number of students who received influenza vaccine for students in all grades?

    While the influenza vaccine requirement exists for every grade, you will be asked to complete school immunization surveys for Kindergarten, Grade 7, and Grade 11.

    Will influenza vaccine be required every year or just for the 2020-2021 school year?

    Influenza vaccine is now a required vaccine for school attendance and will be required as of December 31 for all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 each school year.

    Do younger students require 2 doses according to ACIP guidelines?

    Children younger than 9 may need two doses of influenza vaccine depending on the number of influenza vaccines they have received in the past.  Children should be vaccinated according to ACIP recommendations but only one dose of influenza vaccine is required for school attendance. 

    If my school will be providing instruction remotely, will students still need to meet immunization requirements?

    The school immunization requirements, including the requirement for seasonal influenza vaccine, apply to all Massachusetts students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12, regardless of whether the district is providing instruction in-person, or using a hybrid or remote learning model.  

    Do the flu immunization requirements apply to students that are home schooled?

    Immunization requirements, including the flu immunization requirement, do not apply to home schooled students unless the student will ever need to access the school building for sports, after school activities or any other reason.

    For more information, please see the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Website at https://www.mass.gov/news/flu-vaccine-now-required-for-all-massachusetts-school-students-enrolled-in-child-care-pre

    Flu Vaccine Now Required for all Massachusetts School Students Enrolled in Child Care, Pre-School, K-12, and Post-Secondary Institutions | Mass.gov State public health officials today announced that influenza immunization will be required for all children 6 months of age or older who are attending Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities. The new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. www.mass.gov
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