J.G. Whittier Middle School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update 2/22-2/26


    JGW’s 1st VIRTUAL FAMILY TRIVIA/GAME NIGHT: JGW will be hosting a virtual trivia night via zoom on Thursday, March 4th from 7-8pm. Please see the attached flyer for details and sign up to participate on the following link (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc9J3NQyNDwySXjhYzR7ABRYYqSIAVZtlbXM8YPakDYhsyItw/viewform?usp=sf_link) We hope to see everyone there!

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    • PROGRESS REPORTS: Your student’s progress report is currently available to view online through the student/parent portal. 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, and have recently completed their winter diagnostic. 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.

    NEWS FROM OUR NURSES OFFICE (Nurse Cartwright):

    When we return from February vacation, we will continue with our covid-19 pool testing for any staff and student who are interested. Pool testing is a tool to help detect any asymptomatic covid cases within our school. If you have not completed a consent form but are interested in having your child tested, please fill out both consent forms below, and turn them in to Nurse Kelsey. If you have any questions, she can be reached via email at kelsey.cartwright@haverhill-ps.org

    Pool Testing Consent 1

    Pool Testing Consent 2

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



             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, 3/10 from 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom. We are always looking to welcome new members!


    NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY (NJHS): Thank you to all who donated to the MSPCA.  We dropped off all the bags and treats to the animals.  The facility was overwhelmed with the amount of donations. Our next meeting will be Wednesday March 3rd at 3 pm. 

    JR VIP: There will be a meeting on Wednesday, February 24th at 2:50 for 45 minutes.  Our new HHS Mentors will be on hand to do activities with us.

    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: I hope that students are enjoying a well-deserved break, a week away from school! When we return, we will get right back into our routine. In math, we will begin Topic 6: Use Models and Strategies to Divide Decimals. Attending meets every day, taking notes, asking questions, and completing independent practice problems is the key to success in fifth grade math. In social studies, we will begin Chapter 6: Forming a New Government. We will learn about life in the late 1700s after the Revolutionary War. 

    Ms. Delong: Science – We have wrapped up our unit on the Properties of Matter and will be starting to turn our focus to the changes that happen in matter, in terms of matter conservation. We will discuss heating and cooling matter and the reactions and phase changes associated with these processes. This is still part of our overall focus on matter.

    Social Studies – There is a rebellion brewing! Students will take on the role of colonists in the classroom and feel the frustrations that led to the Revolutionary War. We will apply what we know about the French and Indian War to process the reasons for increased taxation of the colonists.

    Ms. Lees: Miss Kelly and Miss Lees hope everyone had a wonderful winter break. Students who have been given a LexiaCore5 log-in should be working at least 45 minutes a week in the program. iReady Math and Reading are also terrific programs to use in free time. Remember that Ms. Lees posts on Classroom Streams when she and Ms. Kelly are in a google classroom to help complete assignments and clarify lessons on remote Wednesdays. Please join! Before and after school time is available too – just ask!

    GRADE 6:

    Mrs. Hamel: WELCOME BACK Grade 6!

    We hope you all had a restful and relaxing break! We hope you are ready to tackle the second half of our school year, looking toward Spring!

    SS: We will be continuing our Trek through Western Africa, looking at the similarities and differences between each region of Africa- comparing and contrasting physical geography, the history and the culture today.  We are enjoying getting some look at the savannahs and the grasslands as well as learning about historical figures such as Mansa Musa.

    Science: We are jumping right back into our Body Systems and looking at how our body works as effectively as possible. We are thinking about what we can do to stay healthy and how these things affect each of our body systems. From hydrating, to exercising, to a positive attitude. Our young scientists are doing a great job at contributing to great class conversations! 

    Mr. Taylor: Welcome back! Things we hope to accomplish, but as we know, plans can always change. We will finish our book, Ghost, this week. We will also be working on some grammar and hopefully starting some persuasive essays. 

    Mrs. Guisti: Mrs. Guisti and Mrs. Cronin hope that everyone had a wonderful and restful February Vacation!  Reminder that our online support class meets every day at 12:05.  Please attend!  Students should be doing 45 minutes of math iReady weekly and 45 minutes of either Reading iReady, Lexia, or Read Live (or a combination).  Families of our small group, please let me know if you are not receiving weekly emails with information from Mrs. Guisti.  You can always contact Mrs. Guisti any time at nancy.guisti@haverhill-ps.org

    GRADE 7:

    Mrs. Berthiaume: In ELA, we will continue working on our poetry unit.  (The literary valentines students created were fabulous!)  Then, we will work on some direct MCAS practice. In Social Studies, we had some fun recently using Google Earth to track the Silk Road.  We are off to more adventures, so stay tuned!

    Mr. Yanoff: ​Red and Yellow groups have started working on factoring and relearning about the GCD. If you do not know what that means, google it!

    Mrs. MacKinnon/Mrs. Lane: Math:  Ms. Lane will be in for Mrs. MacKinnon for the time being. The students will be starting on topic 3-2.  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 will finish working on 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. 

    I hope everyone had a nice February vacation! Thank you! Mrs. MacKinnon and Ms. Lane

    Ms. DiGloria: After vacation, students in Green and Blue ELA will be continuing with poetry by reading two narrative poems – The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes and Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. We will be working with these poems for a few weeks as we wrap up poetry by mid-March. In Social Studies, students will be jumping into our next big unit – Greece. We will look at the geography of the area this week before moving into history and culture in the coming month and beyond. As always, please keep up to date with your student’s grades using the Parent/Student Portal and reach out if you have any questions or concerns. 

    Ms. Bilmazes: Hope you had a wonderful vacation! As we return to school, keep in mind that we are halfway through the term. Make sure to keep up on assignments. Yellow group will be continuing to work on poetry and begin MCAS practice.  Green group will be working on wrapping up poetry and beginning nonfiction.  Reach out for help, as we are always here! 

    GRADE 8:

    Ms. Deblasis: Math: This week we will be starting a lesson on Analyzing Linear Equations using y=mx. Please be sure to check School Brains to check for missing assignments.

    Science: This week we will be continuing our unit on the Structure of Matter.  We will be learning about molecules and how they relate to the elements on the Periodic Table. Please be sure to check School Brains for missing assignments.

    Mr. Blaustein: ELA: We have finished reading “A Retrieved Reformation’ and will now focus on our enrichment activities.

    Civics: I will offer a retake for The Ch 2 Lesson 3 quiz.

    We will continue with our CH 2 reinforcement activities heading towards the Chapter test.

    Ms. Sullivan: Math: This week we will be starting a lesson on Analyzing Linear Equations using y=mx. Please be sure to check School Brains to check for missing assignments.

    Science: This week we will be continuing our unit on the Structure of Matter.  We will be learning about molecules and how they relate to the elements on the Periodic Table. Please be sure to check School Brains for missing assignments.


    Physical Education: (Mr. Demarais): We will continue to log mileage with our walks outside. We will also be working on our racket skills for badminton and eventually transitioning to tennis skills.  Students working from home will continue to perform the workouts I have been posting.

    Art (Ms. Boulger): Fine Arts Red Grades 5/6/7/8     

    The students continue to work on several individual art projects based from written proposals at home and at school. They are making amazing artwork! If they have any artwork at home, please encourage them to bring it in so it can be put on display. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms.Boulger at emily.boulger@haverhill-ps.org      

    artwork by Marriana Robinson and Hadley Albert 

    Health (Mrs. Reynolds):

    5th grade – We will be finishing up our Drug Education Unit by looking at various substances people abuse, as well as refusal skills to stay safe.

    6th grade – First Aid continues with more procedures and helpful tips 

    7th grade – Values Education, we will be exploring our own values and how they help define our identities

    8th grade – We will continue on with our Mental Health unit and explore Anxiety and Depression symptoms, risk factors and warning signs.

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

    Students are learning about communicating professionally and appropriately through technological mediums. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms. Boulger at emily.boulger@haverhill-ps.org     


    GRADE 5:

    Ms. MacDonald: In science, we will be moving onto our “Changes to matter” topic. Students will investigate phase changes between solids, liquids, and gases to help understand how temperature can affect certain substances. 

    In social studies, we have started investigating the causes of the Revolutionary War. This is an exciting chapter for the kids as they learn about and understand the beginning of our independent nation. 

    While attendance has been great in 5th grade, please make sure your child is completing their classwork each day so they don’t fall behind. There is a checklist posted on their stream each day in Google Classroom so they know what is due each day. 

    GRADE 6:

    Ms. Consolazio: In social studies class, we will continue chapter 3 lesson 3. Students will be learning about the water cycle.  Once chapter 3 is completed, students will have an assessment on chapter 3 lessons 1-3.  Reminder, to access the textbook please go into ClassLink.  The textbook is red and labeled McGraw Hill. 

    In science class, we will begin learning about human bodies and systems.  Students will learn about different tissues in the body.  Just a reminder, participation and attendance are very important to be successful in class. 

    Mrs. Simes: In math, students have completed their Topic 3 -Numeric and Algebraic Expressions Assessment.  We begin Topic 4 – Represent and Solve Equations and Inequalities, using our prior knowledge from Topic 3.  All students should continue to access their i-Ready individualized paths on Monday and Thursday during Success Block.  Additionally, intervention groups continue to meet during the week.  In science, students have begun to wonder, “Why can you not function properly without one of your body systems?”  Students are learning about how the “human machine” has different organization levels and that the basic level is cells, followed by tissues.  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: I hope you had a relaxing vacation! In ELA, the week of 2/22/21, we will continue to work a bit on characters. We will also touch base on argument writing. Please be sure your child is accessing 

    i-Ready as required. Grade 6 did a good job on their i-Ready reading diagnostic test. This will be given again in the spring. It is important that your child takes their time, puts forth their best effort and completes it in a timely manner. Progress reports were issued on February 11th. If your child has work to make-up, please see that they arrange a time to meet with me to discuss this. It is hard to believe we are already into the end of February! The school year is flying by, even in this pandemic…… Stay safe!

    GRADE 7:

    Ms. Marciano: ELA: Students have finished reading and analyzing Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and will be taking an assessment on the poem. We will also read a poem by Langston Hughes.

    SCIENCE: Students are finishing Unit 7: Weathering and Erosion this week. Students will be completing their CER and taking the Unit 7 assessment at the beginning of the week. We will then move into Unit 8, where we will learn about geoscience processes.

    Mr. LeGrand: Social Studies:  I hope you had a wonderful winter vacation and eager to get back to school.  We are continuing our study of the Asian Continent.  So far, we have studied South Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Siberian Russia, and East Asia.  This week, we will start our study of the physical geography of South East Asia.  Students will know that many of the countries in Southeast Asia are situated on islands, that the region is mostly marked by seas and oceans, and that Southeast Asia’s climate is generally hot and humid. 

    Math:  We have concluded our study of percents, and we are ready to move on to generating equivalent expressions.   Students will focus on writing and evaluating algebraic expressions and using algebraic expressions to represent real-world and mathematical situations.   

    GRADE 8:

    Mr. Harris: Math – we have finished our unit on Linear Equations and will begin our unit on Functions and Relations.  This unit builds off of the understanding from last unit, and allows students to see the connections between what seem like random points and the graphs created.

    Science – we will be finishing up our unit on Earth’s Materials.  Students have been learning about the different layers of the Earth, and how the tectonic plates of the Earth have moved over time to shape the world as we know it today.

    Mr. Marinella: ELA– ELA has been pulling double duty, splitting our focus on two very important things. We are continuing read and analyzing Flowers for Algernon, but we have also been doing our best to study Black History month. We started by looking at famous African American inventors, Civil Rights Heroes, athletes, and scholars throughout the country’s history. We will continue this when we return from break with a focus on Black poetry! 

    Civics– Civics is currently looking at the Civil War and the aftermath. How did differing lifestyles, land, and cultures lead to the American Civil War, and what happened after? We have identified slavery as the main cause, and we are now in the actual war. The goal is to understand the lasting impact this had on our government and society because although slavery was ended at the war’s end, other pieces of legislature and Constitutional Amendments were passed that have lasting ramifications on the country. So we study the war to better understand the dramatic shift that took place after. The goal will be the 13, 14, and 15th Amendments, but the war and its lasting effects help give us a context for those important changes. 

    Ms. Blanchette: I hope everyone had a great break! Next week we will be jumping right back into learning grade level curriculum and content. Progress reports went home last week, please reach out to me or your child’s other teachers if you have any questions or concerns. As always please check my google classroom page for information on extra help sessions. It is imperative that students attend their google meet classes and complete their online assignments. I look forward to another great week in the Remote Learning Academy!

    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 

    Artwork created by Armaziah Ayala, and Tatiana Nunez 


    7th – Values Education

    8th – Completing Mental Health Unit with material review


    Guidance (Mrs. Vlahos): The virtual interviews for high schools are underway! Whittier Tech interviews are scheduled to be this week February 23 and February 24 and Essex Tech interviews are March 4th  Haverhill High School Classical Academy interviewed applicants virtually prior to vacation and any other interviews will be scheduled by the high school and applicant/family.  We have been doing lots of practice and I am confident any 8th grade student interviewing will do well- Best of luck!  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

    Middle School Support Program (Mrs. Leydon & Mr. Diffin): We hope everyone had a relaxing break! Please remind your students to check all Google Classrooms for work completion and/or work missing.  As always, our MSSP meets daily during specials times. Reach out to any of us with any questions or concerns. 

    Parent Liaison (Ms. Arias-Reyes): ¡Bienvenidos de vuelta! Espero que hayan tenido unas relajantes y bien merecidas vacaciones. Quiero dejarles saber que continúo estando disponible para ayudar a las familias de JGW. Si tienen alguna pregunta o preocupación no duden 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 Pass Click on the link above in the Blue Box Ms. Greenwood and Ms. Christine will be there to greet you.

    Reading Coach/Interventionist (Mrs. Guthrie): Literacy Coaching News: Welcome back! 

    Intervention groups are well underway and new intervention groups for 5th graders start this week. We will continue to work on reading comprehension skills and strategies. 

    I am enjoying working with all the various grades both in the classes and in small groups. It has been so great getting to know everyone. I really enjoy this school. If you have any questions or concerns about your child, please feel free to reach out to me. 

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