J.G. Whittier Middle School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update (2/8-2/12)


    • PROGRESS REPORTS: Your student’s progress report will be available to view online through the student/parent portal starting Thursday, February 11th at 3pm. Please follow these directions to gain access:
    • Go to HPS main page: https://www.haverhill-ps.org/
      • Click on Parent & Student Resources
      • Click on Parent & Student Portal Login
      • Click Log-in
      • Use your student’s username & password to login
      • Click on Student Portal (top of page)
      • Select Report Cards/Progress Reports
      • Click Download
    • iREADY: As you are all aware, your students have been working with a program called iready. If you are interested in learning more and receiving a detailed individual report of your student’s progress please see below:

    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(s), please reach out to their ELA or MATH teacher directly.

    FEBRUARY VACATION: 2/15-2/19

    School Pictures: Please remember that school pictures can be picked up in the office any day from 8:30 – 3:30

    NEWS FROM OUR NURSES OFFICE (Nurse Cartwright):

    With February break approaching, please be advised of the Massachusetts travel guidelines if you plan on travelling outside of the state. All guidance can be found at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order These guidelines are subject to change so please visit this link for the most up to date guidance 

    COVID-19 Travel Order www.mass.gov

    All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

    • Complete the Massachusetts travel form at the link below prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower risk state designated by the Department of Public Health. As of right now, there are no lower risk states, but this is subject to change.
    Massachusetts Travel Form | Mass.gov All individuals over the age of 18 and unaccompanied minors entering Massachusetts, who are not coming from a COVID lower-risk state and do not fall within certain, limited exemptions, must complete this form upon or prior to entry to the state … www.mass.gov
    • Quarantine for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

    If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result. If you have received a COVID-19 test result, please send results to the school nurse at kelsey.cartwright@haverhill-ps.org. It can also be faxed to 978-372-5999. 



             Please review the list and choose strategies that fit your daily schedule.

    • I will make attending and participating in school every day a priority.
    • I will post my class schedule of classes and log-in information in a visible location near my desk or on the refrigerator.
    • I will set alarms / alerts to remind myself to wake up on time and participate in classes.
    • I will try to find a quiet place at home where I can participate in class and complete my school work. If I cannot, I will ask my school or community organization if they have a safe place where I can study and log into class.
    • I will keep track of my attendance and absences.
    • I will find a relative, friend or neighbor who can help me resolve a problem keeping me from attending or participating in school.
    • If I am absent, I will contact my teachers to find out what I missed.
    • I will keep healthy by wearing a mask, as needed, and getting a flu shot.
    • I will set up non-sick medical and dental appointments for weekdays after school. If I must make a non-urgent medical appointment during the school day, I will try to attend school for the majority of the day.
    • When I am struggling with a challenge that is keeping me from attending or participating in school I will confide in an adult at school and seek help.
    • ATTENDANCE POLICY AND EXPECTATIONS: Here is a reminder of our attendance policy. In this new model of schooling where students are learning from both school and home, attendance and participation in all classes is one of our major concerns. Here are some things to know and we would greatly appreciate it if you reviewed all of these expectations and policies with your students:
    • If you are absent for 10% of the school year, you are considered to be “chronically” absent. That means that if you have missed 4 or more days to this point.
    • We have begun reaching out via mail with attendance letters for students that we are currently concerned are missing too much time.
    • It is the expectation that all students are either present physically or signed on remotely at 8:30am each day.
    • It is the requirement that students attend all of their classes for the duration of the class time. Leaving a meet/class early is equivalent to walking out of class without permission.
    • In addition to sending home letters, we will also be setting up attendance meetings with students and families to address concerns and lend support, and in some cases we will be conducting home visits to do this as well.
    • The first step toward school success is attendance. You cannot be successful in school if you are not showing up. Please reach out to us so that we can set up a plan to best support you and your student(s).
    • Please note that while it is good practice to make your student’s homeroom teacher aware of any absences or appointments, it is most important that you are contacting the main office of the school each and any time that your student is going to be absent. Also, please make sure to forward all doctor’s notes and other absent notes to our main office. Thank you!
    • Wi-Fi Issues: If you are having WiFi issues at home and your student cannot log onto a Google Meet at the moment, please email the teacher or call the school so an office staff member can pass the info onto the teacher. Teachers take attendance every period and when a student does not show up for class, they don’t necessarily know that the student is having a tech issue.


    Our next PTO meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 2/10 from 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom. We are always looking to welcome new members!


    NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY (NJHS): Monday February 1st The NJHS began running a blanket drive to support the MSPCA.  Please bring in any clean, old used towels, blankets, sheets, dog or cat food or treats for these animals.  There will be a recycling barrel in front of the main school doors where you can drop off your donations. We will be running this drive till Friday February 12th.  All Donations will be accepted and appreciated.

    JGW CHORUS CLUB: Chorus meets every Wednesday after school from 3:00pm to 3:45pm on Mr. Gariepy’s Google Classroom. If your child is interested in joining Chorus please email him at robert.gariepy@haverhill-ps.org so he can add them to the Google Classroom.



    GRADE 5:

    Mrs. Sanguedolce: In math, we will take our test on Topic 5: Use Models and Strategies to Divide Whole Numbers. We will also complete a DICE word problem for a grade. In social studies, we will finish Chapter 5 about the American Revolution. We will play Kahoot games to prepare for the Chapter 5 test.

    Ms. Delong: Science – As we head to February vacation, we are wrapping up Unit 6 on Properties of Matter. We have several important assignments coming up that will prepare students for the test Thursday or Friday next week. We have been assigning most assignments on our science platform, STEMscopes so please check with your student that work has been turned in on those remote days. Students will practice multiple choice and open ended response questions, perform a lab, and play a Kahoot review game next week. This week, a CER was assigned on Friday, as well as a fun scavenger hunt on physical properties. Try having your student describe matter around the house using their new vocabulary!

    Science All-Stars: Josue Fernandez-Ventura (Yellow), Faris Alhawi (Red), Kianna Camargo (Orange)

    Social Studies – Our students are getting back into the swing of colony development and are using cause and effect to determine why events happened, what caused them, and what the response was by colonists. This groundwork will be very helpful when the British start levying taxes and infuriate the colonists! 

    Social Studies All-Star: Sandy Tacuri

    Mrs. LaCoste: This week, fifth grade ELA students completed their nonfiction reading study.  They read and analyzed 3 different texts and the features that make nonfiction very different from fiction.  Next week, our focus will shift to informative writing.  Students will choose a topic to research, read, and then write about.  We will break up the task into small manageable portions.  

    Students received their 3rd week of reading homework on Monday.  All entries should be submitted to Mrs. LaCoste by Friday.  

    In Orange Social Studies, we had to push our “Road to the Revolutionary War” test back a bit, due to snow and an unforeseen absence on my part.  Students will take their test Monday, February 8.  This week, to help students sharpen their study skills, we worked in small groups (using breakout rooms) to play a “Jeopardy” game to review important groups, people, vocabulary terms, and events leading up to the Revolutionary War. 

    Ms. Lees: Miss Kelly and Miss Lees are proud of the students’ hard work and flexibility with remote learning changes this week. Our fifth graders persevere and pivot to make their school day meaningful. Next week we will have a test in Math for Division and in Science for Unit on Matter. We will move onto the Revolution in Social Studies as we work on writing skills in ELA. Please don’t forget to work on your LexiaCore 5 reading if you have an account. And, remember to set up times for help before school or after school if you have fallen behind and need help with your work.

    GRADE 6:

    Mrs. Hamel: Science: After learning about the fundamentals of body systems, we are moving into the six main organ systems. We will travel through the human body (think Magic School Bus!!) learning about the Circulatory, Respiratory, Muscular, Digestive, Nervous, and the all-time favorite… Excretory System. It will be a “gas” of a time!!!

    Social Studies: As we continue our journey through Africa, we are heading west! We will travel through the Sahara Desert, Tibesti Mountains and the Niger River. We will focus our learning on how physical geography impacts our daily lives and learn more about the history of early Africans. 


    Ms. Sargent: Math:  We will continue our work with writing Algebraic Expressions. Don’t forget to practice your multiplication facts!!!! 

    Mrs. Guisti: We hope you are enjoying all of this snow this week!  Mrs. Guisti and Mrs. Cronin’s students have worked on order of operations in mathematics as well as essay writing in ELA.  Consistent practice of computation skills has been provided through modified math packets sent home to students.  Our students have also been encouraged to use tools provided to support their increase of writing organization.  Students have reviewed vocabulary related to the novel Ghost in order to prepare for this week’s quiz.  Our daily online support google meet to provide small group instruction is at 12:05.  Please attend on your remote days.  Please remember that iReady for math is required for 45 minutes each week.  Also reading skills are practiced by working on iReady reading, Lexia, and/or Read Live for 45 minutes each week.

    GRADE 7:

    Mrs. Berthiaume: Can you believe it is already February!?  In ELA, students wrote some terrific list poems this week!  We will be reading and writing more poetry for sure.  (Get ready for something having to do with Valentine’s Day!)  In Social Studies, students played a super review game on Baamboozle!  Well done, everyone!  Please check Google Classroom often to be sure you have turned in your assignments.  

    Mrs. Trombly: Mrs Trombly’s math classes are starting TOPIC 5 late this week.  Equations and Inequalities.  

    Science classes are testing on weathering and erosion late this week and starting Geoscience. Next week.  

    Mr. Yanoff: ​ Time to push hard!  Red and Yellow groups are working on Simplifying Expressions.  We are working on the Commutative,  Associative, and Distributive Properties.  Those who are completing their homework, taking notes, and paying attention are developing a good understanding of these concepts.  I-Ready is a focus for all classes and a way that students will improve math skills. Every class starts with this a do now! On a little of a down note, homework is becoming a problem.  If you want to be a better player in a sport… practice. Homework is practice!

    Mrs. MacKinnon/Mrs. Lane: Ms. Lane will be in for Mrs. MacKinnon for the time being. The students will be starting on topic 3-1.  They will be analyzing percents as numbers. Students will be able to represent percents as ratios. They will be using bar diagrams to represent percent situations and use equivalent ratios to find percents. Students will also work with percents greater than 100 and less than 1.

    Science: We have finished up weathering and erosion.  We will begin working on the next topic which is geoscience processes.  We will continue working on how Earth’s surface has changed over time.  We will continue to explore the tectonic plates and talk about what happens when the oceans meet the continents, or when oceans meet oceans.  We will continue this till February vacation

    Thank you 

    Mrs. MacKinnon and Ms. Lane

    Ms. DiGloria: This week students in Green and Blue ELA will be completing their Poetry Book Projects on Canva. We will spend the week writing two final poems and then sprucing it up for submission with a title page and other design features. When we come back from break, students will be analyzing poems to wrap up our poetry unit. In Social Studies, we will be focusing on early Korea, learning about its geography, early history, and completing a writing assignment on Japan’s influence on Korea. Last week push until a well-earned vacation!

    Ms. Bilmazes: Progress reports will be issued on February 11th, so make sure that you are caught up on any missing work. Green ELA is continuing their work on poetry by writing elegies.  Yellow ELA is continuing to analyze the elements of poetry, by reading a variety of poems in class.  Reach out for help, as we are always here! 

    GRADE 8:

    Mr. Lewis: English class is continuing reading The Diary of Anne Frank. We are beginning Act 1, Scene 3, and are beginning to look at how the conflict in the story evolves.

    Civics class is creating their own constitution for their ideal school. Students are encouraged to be creative and have fun. We are using the US Constitution as the basis for this assignment. In doing so, the class will have an understanding of the values and beliefs the Constitution strives to achieve.

    Ms. Deblasis: In math, we will be continuing our topic on Analyzing and Solving Linear Equations.  This week we will be learning proportional relationships and slope.

    In science, we will begin on unit on Structure of Matter. 

    Mr. Blaustein:

    Green & Blue Civics

    We are winding our study of the Colonies Disagreements with Great Britain [Lesson 3] and will begin to prepare for the chapter test.

    Green & Blue ELA

    We are reading and analyzing O Henry’s “A Retrieved Reformation”.

    Ms. Sullivan: In math, we will be continuing our topic on Analyzing and Solving Linear Equations.  This week we will be learning proportional relationships and slope.

    In science, we will begin on unit on Structure of Matter. 

    Ms. Senior: On Tuesday, the groundhog saw his shadow and BOOM, we got slammed with snow.  In ELA, students created a story map of “A Retrieved Reformation” and worked on its attendant vocabulary.  Anne Frank’s choral reading play was the backdrop for comprehension activities so that students understand and will apply what they’ve read.  Mathematics continues to provide students with opportunities to delve into equations which can be solved, can’t be solved and some with infinite solutions.  New concept introduced this week was ratios!


    Physical Education: (Mr. Demarais): We will be continuing with our racket skills unit while in person.  Those working remotely will continue with the workouts posted as well as trying to add to their mileage for the workout calendars.

    Art (Ms. Boulger): Fine Arts Red Grades 5/6/7/8 ART classes Orange 5/6, Blue 7/8, Green 7/8     

    The students are working on several individual art projects based from written proposals one at home and one at school. They are making amazing artwork! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms.Boulger at emily.boulger@haverhill-ps.org     

    Health (Mrs. Reynolds): It is not too late to make up old assignments and get late credit in Health.  All students with Health this term need to log in for attendance on remote days, as attendance counts toward your grade. This week we are studying:  Tobacco and NIcotine grade 5, First Aid Techniques grade 6, Explosive Anger grade 7, and Stress and Anxiety grade 8.

    Music (Mr. Gariepy): Hi everyone!! We are fast approaching the halfway point of the trimester. Grades will be updated by Sunday evening. If your child has a low grade it is either due to missing work, lack of attendance, or both. I am not offering much make up work, so please make sure your child is logging in when they should and completing their work. 

    For the next few classes, all grade levels are watching a movie-musical and analyzing it. Please see the list of movies that we are watching in class below and have a great weekend!!

    Grade 8: Hamilton (PG-13)

    Grade 7: The Sound of Music (G)

    Grade 6: Mary Poppins (G)

    Grade 5: Aladdin – Original by Disney (G)

    Techonology (Ms. Boulger): Yellow Grades 7/8     

    Students are currently learning about safety and technology as well as working on technical skills. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms. Boulger at emily.boulger@haverhill-ps.org    


    GRADE 5:

    Ms. MacDonald: We are heading into the last week before February break and our goal is to finish our topic on Physical Properties. The students have been actively participating in labs during this topic and we’ve been able to get as hands-on as possible in our remote setting. This week, we will focus on our vocabulary, scientific reading, and CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) writing. The kids are getting better at scientific writing with each CER we write! 

    In social studies, I am so excited to dive into the Revolutionary War! We will be focusing on the events leading up to it and so far, is seems the kiddos already have some background knowledge in this topic. We will do some fun activities to understand the reasons for the Revolutionary War. 

    Ms. Duquette: This past week, we continued to develop our understanding of the types of story conflict and how they help to develop stories.  We took some time to put our ability to identify the types of conflict when watching the movie, Mulan.  Students kept track of the different types of conflict in a chart as they watched the movie.  Next week, we will continue our reading of Hatchet.  Students will be encouraged to begin keeping notes in order to prepare for a response essay after reading.  We will be using the two column notes method.  We will also continue with our daily grammar reviews in order to improve our understanding of sentence structure and how words are used.

    Please note that a required part of student daily work is independent reading.  Students are aware of the different places where they can find books to read independently.  We have an online classroom library, access to EPIC, as well as access to Learning A-Z.  Please talk to your child about their responsibility with this expectation and ask them about the books they are reading.

    Ms. Spadaro: This week, students reviewed Topic 7 in preparation for today’s assessment. Scores can be found on Google Classroom and on Pearson. 

    Next week, students will begin Topic 8, which is multiplying fractions. As we begin a new topic, please remind your child to take notes in class and complete their assignments on time. On classwork assignments, students are able to try a similar question if they make a mistake. They can ask questions, correct their mistake, and earn full credit! 

    GRADE 6:

    Ms. Consolazio: In social studies class, we will finish chapter 3 lesson 2 and will move on to lesson 3 Land and Water. Students will learn about landforms and bodies of water.  Reminder, to access the textbook please go into ClassLink.  The textbook is red and labeled McGraw Hill. 

    In science class, we will be finishing up our section on waves.   Students are learning about reflection, refraction, and absorption.  There will be a quiz next week on waves.  Just a reminder, participation and attendance are very important to be successful in class.  

    Mrs. Simes: In math, students continue to generate and simplify algebraic expressions using the Distributive Property and other properties of operations.  All students should continue to access their i-Ready individualized paths on Monday and Thursday during Success Block.  Intervention groups continue to meet during the week.  In science, students will show mastery to “how do sound and light waves behave when they encounter new mediums or barriers?” through an assessment.  Students will then begin to wonder, “Why can you not function properly without one of your body systems?”  After school help continues on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at michele.simes@haverhill-ps.org.  Have a great weekend.

    Ms. Riley: In ELA, we have started the unit, Writing the Argument. We will continue to work on this until vacation. After vacation we will be finishing the unit on Character Feelings. Please be sure that your child continues to read at home. A nice switch could be an “actual” book or magazine. They have been working hard on the computer daily and I am sure a hard copy of materials would be welcomed. The first step is always finding a topic that interests the child and then ensure it is at an appropriate reading level. Progress reports will go home next week. Have a great vacation! Stay safe and warm!

    GRADE 7:

    Ms. Marciano: ELA: Students have finished analyzing “Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes”. Students will begin reading and analyzing some of Robert Frost’s poetry this week.

    SCIENCE: We have started our study or Earth and Space science with Unit 7: Weathering & Erosion. Students will be learning about the processes that have helped shape the Earth’s surface. Students have been taking a lot of notes in their notebooks/binders, so feel free to ask them to see their notes!

    Mr. LeGrand: Math:  We have concluded our chapter on analyzing percents of numbers, connecting percent and proportion, representing and using the percent equation, solving percent of change and percent of error problems, solving markup and markdown problems and solving simple interest problems.  This week, we will review and take our chapter test.  Students should review their notes and study for the test. 

    Social Studies:   We are wrapping up our study on East Asia.  Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the physical geography, history, and life in East Asia.  Please encourage your child to attend all of his/her classes.   

    GRADE 8:

    Mr. Harris: Math – we are at the end of our Topic 2 study!  Students have learned to solve equations with variables on both sides of the equal sign, what slope and the y-intercept of a line are, and how to write linear equations.  With this being the end of Topic 2, we will be having a test, so please make sure your student is studying hard each night!

    Science – we are continuing to look at Earth Materials.  Students are learning about the movement of tectonic plates, and how that has shaped the world as we know it today.

    Mr. Marinella: ELA– ELA has put “Flowers for Algernon” aside for a bit in order to learn an important reading skill. This week’s main focus was understanding how an author or writer puts their opinion in the writing they make. We have been looking at the author’s Point of View and how that shapes their writing and can distort facts. Point of View helps us understand what thoughts and feelings the author lets creep into their writing. If we can understand this, we can have an easier time finding the facts. We will get back into FFA and what Charlie and the mouse are doing next week! 

    Civics– As we continue our study of the Bill of Rights, we move into other amendments to the Constitution. When the Constitution was written, the people knew it was incomplete and additions/amendments were needed. One specific thing that was missing was how this country would deal slavery. Years of arguing and bloodshed would eventually give us an answer in the form of 3 Amendments to the Constitution. This is where our class is heading next, Slavery, North vs. South, and the next additions to the Constitution.

    Ms. Blanchette: Students are continuing to work on grade level curriculum in the Remote Learning Academy. Please make sure your child is attending their google meet classes/completing assignments throughout the day. Reach out to me or your child’s other teachers if you have any questions about grades, assignments or curriculum. Extra help sessions are offered daily please look on my google classroom for times and links for this support. Have a great week!

    ART: RLA Fine Arts Orange and Purple Grades 7/8    

    The students are working on individual art projects based from written proposals and pieces are coming out amazing! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms.Boulger at emily.boulger@haverhill-ps.org  

    Health: The window to make up work for Inc. grades is now closed.  Grades that reflect work done during Term 1 will soon be posted.

    Grade 7- Values Exploration

    Grade 8 – Beginning Violence Prevention


    Guidance (Mrs. Vlahos): I have been meeting with the 8th grade classes regarding interview preparation and have been following up with students individually and in small groups, as needed.Applicants that have applied to one or more of the HHS application programs, Whittier Tech, Essex Tech and/or any private schools will be hearing of their interview appointments soon, directly from the high school.  Interviews will be virtual this school year. Whittier Tech interviews are scheduled to be February 23 and February 24 and Essex Tech interviews are March 4th.  Any questions regarding interviews please contact me by email at jvlahos@haverhill-ps.org.

    I continue to be available to connect with and support all middle school students and families.  Please do not hesitate to reach out via email at jvlahos@haverhill-ps.org.  I look forward to continued work with all students in support of having a healthy, safe, and successful school year!

    Student Support Coordinator (Mr. Newell): I am available for help with chrome books, attendance concerns and everything in general. Please contact me at jonathan.newell@haverhill-ps.org

    Student Adjustment Counselor (Mrs. Midolo): Next week’s topic will focus on “Having Courage and Being Fearless”. It’s important to know that classroom lessons address important preventative and developmental topics including conflict resolution, bullying, academic skills, personal safety etc.  So PLEASE be sure to have your child attend our weekly group and individual sessions.  

    Please feel free to email me at any time directly with any questions or concerns regarding your child’s safety and/or well-being.  Have a great weekend.

    Middle School Support Program (Mrs. Leydon & Mr. Diffin): Progress reports will be coming out shortly. Please remind students to continue to check all their Google Classrooms for missing work. Please have your child reach out to teachers and/or any of the MSSP staff if they have any questions or need help with anything. As always, we have group time during their specials period. Please reach out to us with any questions and/or concerns! 

    Parent Liaison (Ms. Arias-Reyes): Continúo estando disponible para ayudar a las familias de JGW. Si tiene alguna pregunta o preocupación no dude en contactarme.  Mi número de teléfono es (781) 666-4085 y la dirección de correo electrónico es maria.ariasreyes@haverhill-ps.org

    Student Support Center (Mrs. Greenwood): A friendly Reminder to visit the SSC during the school day for your break!

    SSC OPEN every day from 9-11:30 and 1-2:30
    Ask your teacher to break
    Create a Smart-PassClick on SSC classroom
    Click on the meeting link in the Blue Box
    Ms. Greenwood and Ms. Christine will be there to greet you

    Reading Coach/Interventionist (Mrs. Guthrie): Literacy News- Congratulations to both the 5th and 8th grade groups for making significant progress and participating in our classes. I really appreciate the hard work and effort students have been making! I absolutely love these groups. 

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