Principal’s Weekly Update (9/20-9/24)


Hello J.G. Whittier Families! Students have just completed their first 5 day school week of the school year, and we are 13 school days into the year. All students and our staff continue to get into consistent routines as we officially head into fall! Please read below for all important updates happening in and around our school and classrooms:


We are asking for your help in putting a stop to a TikTok challenge called “devious licks.” The TikTok challenge asks students to steal various objects and cause mischief. Over the past week, we have had numerous bathrooms vandalized and items stolen. JGW is a great place and to see a small group of students vandalize and disrespect our building is sad and disappointing. Thank you for talking to your child about this issue.


Please also see the letter sent to all families by our Superintendent:

Dear Haverhill Families and Caregivers,

In recent weeks a TikTok challenge, called the “school bathroom challenge” or the “devious licks challenge”, has become increasing popular across the country as students have returned to school this month.  These challenges involve a user submitting a video to TikTok online platform where students can be seen stealing and destroy school property.  This trend started with tearing bathroom items such as soap and paper towel dispensers off of walls, but has since spread to objects like tiles, computers printers, or and parking signs.  Thefts are referred to as “licks” and are assigned a level of difficulty based on the complexity involved in stealing the item.

Haverhill Public Schools does not support the promotion of activities that glorify or enable destruction of school property.  As always, the health and safety of our students is our top priority.  With that in mind, there will be consequences for any student(s) who participate in these types of activities.  The consequence for involvement in stealing or defacing school property will involve the school resource officer, suspension, Saturday school detention as well as monetary restitution.

We encourage our students to make positive choices and refrain from participating in activities that are reckless and promote the destruction of school property.  Rather than engage in activities that take away from a safe and supportive environment, we ask our students to instead choose kindness and make positive contributions to their school community. Please talk with your student about this disturbing trend.

Thank you all for your continued support,

Margaret Marotta EdD

Superintendent of Schools


MASKS: As we continue to adhere to the Massachusett’s State Mandate that all people (students, staff, visitors) are required to wear a mask in the school building, we ask that you please send your student’s to school with a spare mask. Many students have been breaking their masks and need new one’s throughout the school day. We would appreciate families sending students with an extra mask each day. Thank you!




School Start Time: Please be aware that the school day begins at 8:30am sharp. If you drop your students off to school please make sure that they are arriving by 8:25am to avoid being late. Feel free to begin dropping students off at any time after 8:05am. We appreciate your attention to this matter.


Attendance: A reminder to all families that if your student will be absent for the day, please make sure to call the main office (978-374-5782) to notify the school. Thank you.


ATTENDANCE CONTEST: Don’t forget that a student in our school will win a prize for attending school every day this week. We know students get sick, so if you don’t feel well stay home and keep your classmates healthy too. You will have a chance to win each week throughout this month!


Buses: All students must produce a bus pass in order to ride a regular bus. We are no longer taking attendance in the afternoon upon students getting on the bus. That makes it very important that students are paying attention in the afternoon for their buses to be called in order to not miss their bus.


Dress Code: We receive many questions about our school’s dress code. We would ask that all families please review the Haverhill Public Schools Dress Code Policy with their students in order to ensure that it is properly being followed. Thank you for your attention to this. Please find a copy of the HPS Dress Code Policy below:

 Dress Code Policy (HPS)



JGW PTO Newsletter Sept 2021 (1)

The JGW PTO had a successful 2020-2021 school year. We accomplished a lot! We had a successful cookie fundraiser, dress up days and JGW Apparel fundraiser. We also hosted two virtual Scholastic Book Fair which earned funds for the school library. We were able to sponsor and donate to the following: · $2,000 worth of books for the library · Library drop box · 6 digital scales for the STEM Closet · JGW Thanksgiving Feast · Staff Appreciation Luncheon · Teacher Appreciation Week · Yearbooks, balloons, Kona Ice and carnival for Grade 8 Promotion · 6th grade end of year celebration · NJHS 8th grade celebration

2001-2022 PTO Meeting Dates · September 8th · October 13th · November 10th · December 8th · January 12th · February 9th · March 9th · April 14th · May 11th · June 8th



SOCCER: Girl’s Practices will be Tuesday & Friday from 3:00-4:30pm. Boy’s Practices will be Tuesday & Thursday from 3:00-4:30pm. JGW’s first game is scheduled for Thursday, September 30th vs. Consentino.

CROSS COUNTRY: Stay tuned for practice and meet information….



DANCE TEAM: Our very first meeting for Dance Team will be in Room 9 on Tuesday, October 5th. I am hoping for an awesome turnout- so join team if dance is something you are interested in. You do NOT need to have prior dance training to be on team- you only need a motivation and passion for music and dance!

DISCOVERY CLUB: Discovery club (after school homework club) will be starting on October 12th this year. Applications are available outside of Mrs. Midolo’s office.  Please see her if you have any questions.

JR VIP: Jr. VIP is starting this week with our first meeting on 9/21 after school from 2:45 to 3:30 in the Art Room.  All students must provide their own rides home.

We will discuss the purpose of Jr VIP, plans for the year and meet our HHS mentors.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CLUB: As a shadow falls upon the small village, the townsfolk look up in horror, as a giant red dragon swoops down from the sky.  It’s mouth burns orange, as smoke billows from its nostrils.  The dragon takes in one final breath, before raining down fire on this poor village!  But one dwarf rushes forth, grabbing the legendary shield of Clan Elderstone, and plants themself defiantly in the path of the flames, protecting those gathered around.  What will this brave dwarf do next?  That is up to you!  Based on the popular tabletop roleplaying game, we are starting a Dungeons and Dragons Club.  Students will be able to make characters and play in a fantasy world crafted by the club advisors.  Interested students should come to the informational meeting.  The meeting will take place after school from 2:45-3:45, in room 13 on Wednesday September 22nd.

BAND: Signup packets went home with students, and are due back by Monday, September 20th. Extra copies are available at the main office.



Hi parents/guardians! School nurses will be doing BMI screenings for all 7th grade students likely starting the week of September 27th. If you would prefer to opt out for your 7th grade student to be screened, please let us know by September 24th! As a reminder, if your child has been experiencing respiratory symptoms, please keep them home from school. Thank you!

MEDICATIONS/INHALERS: A reminder to all parents that students cannot self carry medication of any kind without physician orders and an active administration plan in place developed with the school nurse. Please reach out to our nurse’s office with any questions.





 Ms. Simes: Grade 5 Math/Science (Blue/Purple Group) In math, students have begun to understand whole place value and how to read and write whole numbers in different ways using numerals, symbols, and words.  This week, we will take this further, as we look at decimal place value and how we can use this to compare and round decimals.  In science, students have begun to wonder and are exploring, “how plants use energy.”  Using a data chart, they will observe and describe what happens when there is energy and no energy available.  Also, we will begin our scientific writing (CER) piece of “The Case of The Missing Meatballs.”  After school help will be Tuesday and Thursday this week from 2:50 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at  Have a wonderful weekend!

Ms. Marciano: ELA – We will continue reading “Fish in a Tree” and focusing on different figurative language throughout the book. We will also continue to discuss the new characters who are introduced and their character traits.

SOCIAL STUDIES – We will be starting Unit 1, “The Land and Native Peoples of North America”, which is a review of what students learned in 4th grade. Students will be learning about the first humans to settle in the Western Hemisphere.

Ms. Hogan: We had a great week in fifth grade social studies! At the beginning of the week, we spent some time reviewing basic world geography. Later in the week, we investigated the reasons for European exploration. Next week, we will continue to discuss the reasons for European exploration and we will also learn about the technological advances that helped make these journeys possible. Next Friday, we will have a small quiz about what we have already learned about the European explorers.

Ms. LaCoste: In fifth grade ELA, students have been “flexing” their knowledge with amazing comprehension skills.  You’d never know that last year was atypical…. they know a TON!  They’ve identified point of view, character traits, the importance of dialogue, and genre.  They’ve worked on answering comprehension questions by restating the question, with 3 reasons to support each answer.  I’m in awe of their excellence.  This week, I assigned their long term book report homework project.  Please ask your student about the project- and direct any questions to me in regards to expectations (  It’s been a pleasure getting to know your scholars.

Ms. Consolazio: In science, we have begun our first scope and are learning about energy transfer.  Some of the things students are learning about are where plants and animals get their energy from and how plants make their own food.  Please make sure Chromebooks are charged at night.  Chromebooks are utilized in classes daily.

Mr. Kelly: We have been working on Place Value and using Powers of Ten with Exponents. Next week, we will cover new numbers! We will be learning about going into the decimal places. The students will be adding and subtracting and comparing these new numbers. Please have the students bring notebooks with them to class everyday so we can do work in them.

Ms. Lees: With fifth grade Orange and Green groups in ELA we will continue to read How to Steal a Dog. The first three chapters have the students’ interest and we already had our first quiz. In Math we continue with Place Values to include decimals. Work on individual goals inclusive.

Ms. Blanchette: The fifth grade students have been busy exploring the characters in the novel they have been reading “Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Students will continue to read about Ally and how she overcomes obstacles in her life next week in ELA. In math students will continue to write numbers in expanded form, word form, standard form and base ten form as we learn about the place value system.



 Ms. Hamel: ELA: We are continuing our Read of Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief and the students seem to be enjoying this mythological adventure. PDFs and Audio versions of the story are in Google Classroom for students to keep up with our reading. Students are also turning in some very interesting and well done God/Goddess projects that I am excited to hang around the classroom.

We are off to a great start in ELA and I am thrilled to see the spark in reading within our students!

This week we continue our work on Historians and the important role they have in today’s world. We are learning about Primary and Secondary sources and have even created our very own Cave Paintings to symbolize who we are for generations to later see and learn from us!

We will continue our learning about how to properly research and learn from the past so we can create an even better future.

 Ms. Silveira: In science, we are continuing to examine the lunar cycle and the different phases of the moon. Next week in math, we will be dividing decimals and will continue to work on our multiplication facts to improve our fluency.

Mr. Taylor: We continue on in Percy Jackson. Our myth projects are all done and we wade deeper into the world of Greek Mythology. Vocabulary and comprehension are our main focuses going forward.

Mr. LeGrand: This week, we are continuing with what we started last week.  Students will learn to add and subtract decimals with precision; multiply decimals and use addition, subtraction and multiplication of decimals to solve real-world problems.

Ms. Lane: The students are studying the first Unit about Earth’s place in the universe with “Earth, Sun and Moon Systems”. They begin by accessing their prior knowledge and may not understand that the Moon is visible during the day as well as at night. We are learning the Phases of the Moon by exploring Lunar Cycle  & Eclipses with  hands-on experiments to see where the sun, moon and earth line up during the phases. We will fill out a guided practice and phases of the moon practice sheet to learn these phases.



 Mrs. Berthiaume: Congratulations on completing our first 5-day week of school!  In ELA, we just read “Rikki-tikki-tavi” by Rudyard Kipling. Get ready for some very interesting activities that go along with this classic!  In Social Studies, we are getting to know the geography of South Asia. Please don’t forget:  Students must always bring their charged Chromebooks to class because we use apps (through McGraw-Hill) for ELA and Social Studies.

Mrs. Trombly: Mrs Trombly’s math classes are diving into integers and rational numbers.  We will be quizzing early next week on adding and subtracting integers.  In Social Studies we are starting out with South Asia and it’s geography as well as the ancient civilizations.

Mrs. MacKinnon: This week in science we are finishing up with plant and animal reproduction. Midway through the week we will begin with our unit on ecosystems. Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Ms. DiGloria: In Grade 7 Blue and Green Social Studies next week, students will be completing their first mini project as we embark on the journey into Ancient India. We will be learning about the Indus River Valley and the ancient city of Harappa. In English Language Arts, we will continue to analyze and discuss our first short story, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. I have begun putting grades into SchoolBrains – please check the portal often to keep up with your student’s progress. Please email me with any concerns.

Mr. Auger: Hello everyone!  This week in 7th grade science, students have furthered their knowledge of plant and animal reproduction.  We have done several interactive lessons on the mating rituals of various animals and we’ve learned the many ways that plants and animals reproduce.  We finished the week with our first quiz.  Next week we will expand our knowledge of plant and animal reproduction and work to finish this unit.  In 7th grade social studies, we are learning the history and various religions and cultures of South Asia.

 Mr. Harris: Green & Blue Math – Students are working on their Rational Number Operations.  Students have been developing rules for how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers.  We will continue and extend this learning into how to do all four operations with Rational Numbers (fractions and decimals).

 Ms. Bilmazes & Ms. Holmes: At this time, students have completed i-Ready diagnostics in ELA and Math.  Mrs. Holmes and I have begun meeting, during the success block, with those students who have pull-out support in Math and ELA. In addition, students are receiving support in the classroom from myself, Mrs. Holmes, and/or Ms. Credit. In ELA, students read the story Riki Tiki Tavi and are beginning to work on comprehension activities in regards to the story. In Math, students are working on adding and subtracting positive and negative integers. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions. Have a wonderful weekend!



 Mr. Lewis: English has started reading Flowers For Algernon, which follows Charlie Gordon, a man with a low IQ who undergoes an experimental operation. It’s a great story to begin the year as it deals with many subjects students find interesting – technology, empathy, and how we view people with varying levels of intelligence.

We have started with basic writing and organizational skills, mostly using Bubble Maps to quickly get our ideas onto paper. In addition, students have started their studies on character development and analysis.

Ms. Deblasis: We will be continuing on Topic 1: Real Numbers. Students will be learning how to compare and order real numbers, as well as, evaluating square roots and cube roots.

Mr. Marinella: ELA– Hello all! Welcome back to a great year. In ELA we will be exploring all different kinds of stories and tales. To start the year, we begin by exploring Mysteries!! Dissecting them in order to understand how authors craft spooky and suspenseful accounts. This unit will go through the spookiest time of the year, October. We start with a look at Edgar Allen Poe and how he creates elements of fear and suspense in his writing, and what we can learn from it! We are also going to focus on writing about what we read. Taking info from one or multiple sources and using that help convey our ideas and thoughts will be a recurring thing in room 15! I also encourage all students to have an independent reading book with them. We have time dedicated to learning and reading what we want to! But this works best if your student shows up to class with that already decided.

Civics– Civics has been focusing on citizenship this week. We started by looking at the breakdown of the American population, where we all came from and when, now we will look at what sorts of things unite us. What values do we share as Americans? What are the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of living her

Ms. Sullivan: On Tuesday we will be reviewing for a test on rotation, revolution and eclipses.  Later in the week we will be starting our unit on the motion of planets.  Our first lessons will focus on the role gravity plays on the orbital motions of planets,their moons and asteroids in the solar system.

Mr. Harris: Purple & Blue Math – We are continuing learning about Rational Number Operations.  Students will be learning how to evaluate square and cube roots.  From there they will expand their knowledge in how to solve problems involving square and cube roots.

Ms. MacKinnon: In science class We will be finishing up seasons, phases of the moon and eclipses. We will then be going into our next astronomy lesson on orbits and planet movement. Hope everyone had a nice weekend

Ms. Senior: Students in Grade 8 are reading the inaugural pages of “Flowers For Algernon”, the classic journal entry story.  Important elements of short-story writing are being studied, along with characterization.  Math students are reviewing concepts from years past so that they will be ready for the upcoming algebra units.  iReady diagnostics are finished for both Math and ELA. We’re already into mid-September!

Ms. Blanchette: Eighth graders will continue to explore the Mystery Unit next week through poetry and other literature in ELA. In math students will continue to explore rational and irrational numbers as well as finding the square root of numbers.



Physical Education: (Mr. Demarais): We are continuing our outdoor games in PE.  All students should be prepared to be outside as much as possible.  Being outside gives students the option to remove their mask while interacting with their classmates.

Hopefully the lower field will dry out so we can expand on our activities.  Golf is one activity that I would like to introduce to some of the classes.

Art (Ms. Boulger): The students are working on various individual art projects based on written proposals at school. They are making amazing artwork! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms.Boulger at

Artwork created by Annikka


Health (Ms. Reynolds):

grade 5 – We are beginning our Safety unit, finishing Fire Safety and moving on to Internet Safety and Personal Safety activities and information.

grade 6 – This week we are talking about Peer Pressure.  Refusal skills and positive alternative behaviors are discussed.

grade 7 – This week we are finishing our classes on Alcohol Abuse and the dangers of underage drinking.  We will begin our classes on Vaping and its effects on  the body.

grade 8 – We are continuing on with our Substance Abuse unit, looking at the drugs Heroin and Marijuana and how they affect our body systems.  We will also be examining how these drugs contribute to drug culture in our society.

Music (Mr. Gariepy): A HUGE congratulations to Sarriyah Bazile (g. 8) and Elezair Poisson (g. 5) for earning THREE ROLES in the fall musical: Willy Wonka, the Candy Man, AND Phineous (FINN-eee-us) Trout. Other honorable mentions go to Cassidy Ortiz and Ava Cruz (g. 8) for taking on the comedic roles of Grandpa Joe and Mr. Bucket, as well as Lucas Fairbrother (g. 5) for earning the role of Charlie Bucket and Valerie Acosta (g. 7) for earning the role of Mrs. Bucket. Congratulations to the entire cast!!

The first rehearsal for Willy Wonka Jr. is Monday in the Gym from 3:00pm – 5:00pm. Do NOT report to the Gym until AFTER Walkers/Parent Pick-Up are called. PLEASE MAKE SURE that if you are a Wonka cast member, that you bring your membership form to rehearsal on Monday in order to participate in the musical.

Mr. Gariepy is looking for anyone who likes to sing, dance, and/or act to participate in the upcoming musical, Willy Wonka Jr. The cast is looking for more Oompa Loompas and ensemble members. Please see email for more information.

Library (Ms. Michitson): Hello JG Whittier families!  This week in the Library we are continuing with our reading contests, I am very impressed with the work the students are accomplishing. Please ask your child about their books and the contest.  The library is still working on the Book Checkout system, so please bear with us, also email me should you have any questions or concerns.

 Technology (Mr. Gordon): This week in Technology we started units on Digital Literacy/Citizenship.  Basically, how to be a good student and person when using technology.  We are ending the week with digital mosaics using Google Drawing.




Guidance (Ms. Vlahos): It has been such a pleasure getting to meet new faces at JG Whittier as the days unfold!  I have enjoyed being able to rotate through classes, get some fresh air and take walks with students outdoors and enjoy check-ins inside my new office (at the top of the 7th and 8th grade hallway).  I continue to be available to connect with and support all students and families throughout the school week. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at I look forward to our continued work in support of a healthy, safe, and successful school year!

Student Support Coordinator (Mr. Newell): I am available to help support students and their families in any way possible. Please email me with any questions, thank you.

Student Adjustment Counselor (Ms. Midolo): Hello Poets!  It has been such a great PLEASURE  connecting back with our students.   They are very bright,  hard working individuals who are eager to start off on the right foot, make good choices and do their best!  .  We as the counseling team will continue, as the year progresses, to teach our students the necessary tools/strategies to manage  the necessary skills to help manage emotions, achieve positive goals, show empathy for others, maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime at

Student Adjustment Counselor (Ms. White): Hello families!  It is so nice to be getting back in the swing of things.  It has been such a pleasure getting to know the students and begin working together!  This year’s focus will be supporting the emotional health and wellness of the kids as we continue to navigate all of the ongoing changes and adjustments.  We will also focus on managing our emotions, developing positive relationships with peers, setting and achieving positive goals and making responsible decisions.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns:

Middle School Support Program (Mrs. Leydon & Mr. Diffin): Every grade has officially started group in the MSSP. We are still working on getting to know each other better by asking questions and showing interest in our peers. Please reach out if you’d like to know when your child has group, or with any other questions or concerns.

Parent Liaison (Ms. Arias-Reyes): Para nuestras nuevas familias, me llamo Maria Arias Reyes, si tienen una pregunta o preocupación y necesitan un intérprete no duden en contactarme. Estaré más que feliz de poder ayudarlos a comunicarse con los maestros de sus hijos y el personal de la escuela. Para nuestras familias del pasado año escolar, es un gusto volver a servirles en lo que sea necesario nuevamente. Mi número es 781-666-4085 y mi correo electrónico es, me pueden llamar, mandar un mensaje de texto o enviarme un correo electrónico.  También pueden llamar a la escuela directamente para contactarme.  Y mi horario es de 8:30am a 3:30 pm. ¡Que tengan un buen fin de semana!

Student Support Center (Mrs. Greenwood): The Student Support Center is up and running. Welcome Back!

Reading Intervention Team (Ms. Guthrie, Ms. Carney, Ms. Trovato):

Literacy Team News

The team is working diligently to assess the 5th graders in ELA. We are hoping to complete this process by the end of next week. Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs. Trovato, Mrs. Carney and Mrs. Guthrie