Principal’s Weekly Update (11/22-11/26)


 EARLY RELEASE: Wednesday, November 24th is an early release day for the Thanksgiving holiday. Students will be dismissed at 11:05am

 NO SCHOOL: There will be No School on Thursday & Friday, November 25th-26th. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Feast: I want to thank everyone who came out for our 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Feast! It was another huge success, where JGW was able to provide over 300 meals to our JGW families!! A special thank you to Covanta and our JGW PTO for their contributions to the evening, and to all of the hard working and dedicated staff who volunteered their time to help serve & entertain our community during the drive thru. A special thank you goes out to our cafeteria workers too for being AMAZING! I can’t wait until we can have the 4th annual feast together!! Please enjoy the pictures and video:


November News: Throughout the month of November, the school theme at JGW has been generosity. Throughout this month (and beyond), we hope to see students be kind, be helpful, and be willing to share and support others. Those recognized by JGW’s Star Poet Society for the month of November will be selected based on those seen embodying this theme. These students will be selected by their teachers at the end of the month.



HAVERHILL PUBLIC SCHOOLS HANDBOOK (K-8): Please click on the link below to be connected to our up to date handbook for grades K-8:

 MASKS: As we continue to adhere to the Massachusetts’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!

LOST & FOUND: Our lost & found is full of clothing articles. If your student is missing anything, please have them take a look!


 JGW Chromebook Policy

We understand that “things happen” and from time-to-time students will forget to charge their Chromebook or leave it at home.  Unfortunately, this is becoming a habit for some students and is happening far too often overall.  Students were made aware at the beginning of the school year that the expectation is for ALL students to bring their fully-charged Chromebook to school each day.

The supply of extra Chromebooks is limited.  Because of this, we are implementing a borrowing policy here at JGW for Chromebooks and chargers.  Students who forget their Chromebooks, bring them to school uncharged, or do not return a borrowed Chromebook the same day will be given consequences as follows:

First Offense: Student will be issued a warning

Second Offense: Parents/Guardians will be called

Third Offense or More:  Student will be given after-school detention

**These consequences will reset for all students each trimester.

If a student loses or damages a Chromebook or charger and  the student needs to be issued another device, the family will be charged a fee for the replacement.  Typically, the Chromebook replacement fee will be $199.00 and the charger replacement fee will be $39.00.

It is very important for students to come to school with charged and functioning Chromebooks.  The devices are used in most, if not all classes; including music and art.  We are asking families to be partners with the JGW in this, and remind your children to charge their Chromebooks and bring them to school every day.


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.

 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)


The PTO has agreed to change future meeting dates to the 2nd Thursday of each month from 6:00pm-7:00pm in the JGW Teacher’s Room. The dates are as follows:

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


BASKETBALL: The Boys Basketball team will have practice on Monday from 2:45 – 4:00 pm. Wednesday is a half day. There will be no practice on that day. The following practice will be on Monday November 29th.

SKI CLUB: Ski Club takes place Fridays, starting on January 7th and runs for 6 weeks

-Lift tickets are valid from 3pm-7pm.

-Transportation to and from the mountain must be provided by parents

-Ski club members must be able to ride the ski lift and ski/snowboard independently in order to participate in the program.

-Parent Lodge Monitors will be onsite for the duration of Ski Club to assist the students in the lodge.

-Ski Club enrollment packets and payment will be due Wednesday, November 24th.

-Please email Ski Club Coordinator Amie Moscaritolo with any questions.



DANCE TEAM: Dance Team will resume the last week of November!

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY: We are still collecting canned goods and toiletries through the last week of November, so keep bringing in those goodies.  Thank you to all who have already donated to this great cause.  We have received so many donations so far!! The next meeting will be Tuesday November 30th from 3-4 in room 11.  We will be sorting through all the donations and coming up with a plan for the gift cards that Mr. Larry Trevette has so generously got for us.

JR VIP: Stay tuned for the next meeting information to discuss the Leadership conference field trip and a plan for a holiday party!!

MODEL UN: Model UN will not meet next week. The next meeting will be December 2nd. At that meeting, everyone should be done with the first three paragraphs of their paper. This will give us time to make sure we are ready for our conference.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CLUB: There will be a Dungeons and Dragons club meeting on Tuesday, November 23rd until 4 pm. Anyone who has their own set of dice is encouraged to bring them. We will be starting our first campaigns!


If this is something that might interest you, please follow this link:




With a recent uptick in COVID19 cases, we want to thank everyone for being so patient and understanding. Please reach out to the nurses if you have any questions or seek clarification on quarantine or testing protocols. If possible, please send students to school with their own masks. We do have masks here but our supply is going fast!


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 are using their knowledge of estimation and place value to multiply decimals, whether it be by a whole number or another decimal.  In science, students completed their CER on Food Webs and are exploring, “why worms like dirt.” Additionally, they continue to make and record observations of their compost column. After school help will be Monday and Tuesday this week from 2:45 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at  Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!


Ms. Marciano: ELA: We are working on identifying text structures and text features. Students used magazines and newspapers last week to search and identify different text features in print. We will be starting our first nonfiction text, “Look Up!” next week. This text is about bird watching in your own backyard!

SS: We will continue Unit 3, “A Changing Continent”. We will be discussing the colony of Jamestown and what made it possible for colonists to trade with the Powhatan group.


Ms. Hogan: This week in social studies, we learned about the Spanish and French colonies that developed in the Americas in the 1600s. With the Spanish colony, we talked about the encomienda system and catholic missionaries. For the French colonies, we discussed Samuel de Champlain and the Canadian fur trade. Next week, we will be having a quiz on Tuesday 11/23. The quiz will be on the Jamestown settlement, the French colony, and the Spanish colony. On this quiz, students will be allowed to use their notebooks.


Ms. LaCoste: This week in ELA students were introduced to reading groups.  Each student will work with a small group of 4-6 students and the teacher to read a fiction chapter book and practice skills in a more focused setting.  They seemed to love the groups and the book choices!  Ask them which book their group is reading!  We’ve continued with our word work as well.  In writing and grammar news, we’ve begun our study of basic grammar with a focus on appropriate capitalization.

Today, I sent home Scholastic book order forms with your students. If you’d like to order books for your student, please order online using our classroom code (found on the top of the paper attached to the order form) or by sending in a check by November 30.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at  These orders help me earn books to improve my classroom library.  I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families!


Ms. Consolazio: In science, we will continue our scope on Matter Cycles.  Students are learning how matter cycles between air, solid, and liquid between organisms and the environment.  I want to wish all families a Happy Thanksgiving next week.  I am thankful to be able to teach so many great students.

Please donate 2-liter bottles if possible. We will be using them next month to make water filters. Also, please make sure students bring their Chromebooks charged every day.


Mr. Kelly: We have been working on multiplying whole numbers with decimals. This relies on using our previous skills and knowledge to find the products. This is a short week. WIth that in mind, there is no homework this week. Every other week though, there will be homework that will be due on Friday. A reminder, please have students bring pencils with them to school.


Ms. Lees: The Fifth grade Orange and Green Groups are enjoying their new books with small groups – building Reading is Thinking strategies – Summarizing, Connecting, Visualizing, Inferring, Predicting, and Questioning.  In Math students continue to use their new skill with the standard algorithm to multiply multi-digit numbers with decimals  and strengthen math fact skills.  Those students with individual goals continue working towards achievement.  Students who have LEXIA accounts are encouraged to work at home with their reading online as well as to read everyday out loud with someone at home or to themselves.   It will help all students to log into iReady for reading or math to strengthen their skills.  Please reach out if after school or before school help will support your student.


Ms. Blanchette: Students in 5th grade continue to explore different strategies to solve multiplication problems including decimals in math. During ELA students are examining test features for non-fiction texts. Please check in with your child to see if they have any missing assignments. Grades for Trimester 1 are closing on November 30th. Extra help/homework help is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Ms. Blanchette each week from 2:45-3:30. Reach out with any questions or concerns.




Ms. Hamel: ELA: Students continue working through poems and excerpts leading discussions on “How Relationships Shape Us.” Students have enjoyed reading an excerpt from Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Milfred Taylor. As a class we had strong conversations about the realities of racism and fairness. We have also continued our work on the main types of Conflict and how this affects a story line. We have looked at movie clips to determine what type of conflict the scene is depicting and students are having fun reliving their “younger years” through some fun videos!!!!!

SS: Students are beginning to understand how early civilizations have developed and truly laid the groundwork for who we are as people today. Learning about how History affects our daily lives and that the one thing we can count on is learning from the past as we cannot predict our future!
Students have taken a close look at Mesopotamia and the Sumerian Civilization. We will try our hand at Cuneiform writing in play doh as well as trying to figure out how ancient civilizations were able to buld those impressive ziggurats!


Ms. Silveira: In science this week, students will be introduced to thermal energy and differentiate between endothermic and exothermic reactions.

In math, we have seen how integers are rational numbers and compared them on number lines. This upcoming week, we will define absolute value and find the absolute values of rational numbers.

Please check School Brains weekly for your child’s grades! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me.


Mr. Taylor: ELA- Continue Study sync unit on relationships practicing critical thinking and vocabulary skills.

SS – Studying Ancient civilizations Sumer, Babylon, and others.


Mr. LeGrand: Mathematics: We have completed our study on integers and rational numbers.  Students learned about integers, absolute values of rational numbers, and how to represent rational numbers on the number line and on the coordinate plane.  We will review and take the chapter test this week.

Social Studies:  We are continuing our study on Southwest Asia.  Students will research one country from Southwest Asia and create a poster with all the information that they have gathered.


Ms. Lane: In Science the students are learning that Mixtures can be separated. They are learning that physical properties and physical changes affect the way things can be separated. They completed another Claim Evidence and Reasoning (CER) document during Science this week. They will have a test on Mixtures Friday 11/19.

In Social Studies the students are learning about Southwest Asia. The students are going to write a research paper about a country in Southwest Asia. We are taking our time and studying and learning how to write a 5 paragraph paper.


Ms. Tarbox: In ELA, the Yellow and Orange groups continued to work on finding textual evidence to support their ideas when responding to inferential questions. They have taken a close look at the four types of conflict–character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. society, and character vs. nature. The classes have even explored a 5th type of conflict–character vs. technology. Next week, we will dive back into reading Percy Jackson. In Math, the Yellow and Orange groups are working their way through Topic 2. They have learned about integers, opposites, and rational numbers. Students are currently working with ordered pairs and coordinate grids. For students with reading goals, we have wrapped up Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark assessments this past week and families who have not yet received an email with results should expect one soon. I hope to work with these families regularly throughout the year to support students with strengthening their reading fluency, decoding, and comprehension skills so that all being assessed find success. Success means individual improvement in these areas, excitement about their progress, and increased enthusiasm when it comes to reading. Lastly, all students who work with Mrs. Tarbox should be receiving daily homework updates through the Remind App. These updates are also being sent to parents. Please reach out at anytime,





Mrs. Berthiaume:. In Social Studies, we are continuing our study of East Asia.  In ELA, students are creating quilt pieces on graph paper (after being inspired by the poem “My Mother Pieced Quilts” by Teresa Palomo Acosta). They also wrote poems in class this week.  Don’t forget that the first trimester marks close on November 30.  We will kick off the second trimester on December 1 with our classroom spelling bees.  The top two winners from each ELA class will compete in the school-wide spelling bee on February 4!  Students were given spelling lists to study.  (The classroom bee participation is optional.)


Mrs. Trombly: Social Studies classes are working in chapter 5 Ancient China through Thanksgiving. Math classes are starting Topic 4 Expressions and Equations before jumping back into Top 2.  Grades close November 30th.


Mrs. MacKinnon: In science we will be finishing up the dynamic changes in an ecosystem.  STudents have learned different man made and natural causes that can disrupt an ecosystem.  Some examples include forest fires, tornadoes, oil spills and pollution.  They have learned that one disruption in  a food chain can throw an entire ecosystem off balance.  We will have a quiz on this on Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.    Hope everyone enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday and time with their loved ones.


Ms. DiGloria: Students in Grade 7 Green and Blue English will be wrapping up The Highwayman poem next week by working with inferences and figurative language. In Social Studies, students will be learning about Legalism, a philosophy of the Ancient Chinese, and completing a short writing assignment. Grades close on November 30th, but next week’s assignments will be the final grades for the trimester. Students are encouraged to pass in all late work as soon as possible.


Mr. Auger: Hello Everyone! This week in my 7th grade science class, students have been learning about the dynamic nature of ecosystems.  Students did a hands-on activity where they were required to analyze data and create their own graphs to learn how different factors (such as temperature and snowfall) have different effects on ecosystems.  We also discussed how various natural disasters and man made disasters have significant, long term effects on ecosystems.  Next week, we will finish the unit of ecosystem dynamics before the Thanksgiving break.  In my social studies class, students expanded their knowledge of the various dynasties of Early China.  Next week, we will finish up the unit on Early China.


Mr. Harris: Blue & Green –  I hope you all enjoy whatever traditions you have for Thanksgiving and a much needed break!  As a friendly reminder, the Trimester ends on Tuesday, Nov 30th.  All your student’s grades are up to date on the Parent-Portal of SchoolBrains.  Please check that and know that your child can still make up any missing assignments, or do corrections to any quizzes/tests we have taken.  On top of this, extra credit has been offered every week in the form of a problem of the week (extra credit is typically added in as bonus to assessments or as make up to an assignment, and not entered separately into the gradebook)


Ms. Bilmazes & Ms. Holmes: Mrs. Holmes and I have been meeting, during the success block, with those students who have pull-out support in Math and ELA. This time is spent working on a variety of  interventions, such as iReady, additional practice, help with homework and classwork support. In addition, students are receiving support in the classroom from myself, Mrs. Holmes, and/or Ms. Credit. In ELA, students are continuing with the Highs and Lows unit in StudySync, which includes several thought provoking stories. The students just finished reading “The Highwayman”, and began annotating the poem.  In Math, students have completed  Unit 2-1: Rates and Ratios and have been working on additional practice . As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.





Ms. Deblasis: This week we will be understanding the y-intercept of a line and analyzing linear equations y=mx+b.


Mr. Marinella: ELA- In English we are reading our anchor novel, “The Outsiders”! This is a favorite of past 8th grade classes and a story that many can identify with. This book is part of a unit centered on understanding who you are and learning deep truths about yourself. Students are looking at the actions and emotions of each character in order to better understand them, and hopefully better understand themselves.

Civics– Civics is moving on to our next big topic, understanding the document that created our government, AKA the Constitution. This is massively important document that many do not understand. We will be trying to understand the historical context of the document (how it was written and received) and the modern implications and use.We are looking at viewpoints of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and trying to find how both were correct in what they expected and wanted from this nation.


Ms. Sullivan: This week in science we will be exploring air masses and how they interact.  We will be using weather maps, readings and weather videos to learn about this topic. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


Mr. Harris: Purple & Blue – I hope you all enjoy whatever traditions you have for Thanksgiving and a much needed break!  As a friendly reminder, the Trimester ends on Tuesday, Nov 30th.  All your student’s grades are up to date on the Parent-Portal of SchoolBrains.  Please check that and know that your child can still make up any missing assignments, or do corrections to any quizzes/tests we have taken.  On top of this, extra credit has been offered every week in the form of a problem of the week (extra credit is typically added in as bonus to assessments or as make up to an assignment, and not entered separately into the gradebook)


Ms. MacKinnon: In science class the students are finishing up weather and predictions of weather.  Students have learned the four types of fronts that meteorologists talk about.  They have also learned about air masses and what they cause.   We should be finished with this unit by the end of November.  Hope everyone enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday and time with their loved ones.


Ms. Senior: Slope, coordinates, and unit measure are all being studied by Mathematics students, opening up a new world of learning to them. ELA students are working with vocabulary, parts of speech and elements of poetry in the StudySync curriculum.


Ms. Blanchette: Students in 8th grade continue to explore character traits and vocabulary as we read “The Outsiders” by SE Hinton. Students will be taking a quiz on solving for a variable in a multi step equation on Monday in Math class. Students will also be going on a field trip to Whittier Regional Vocational High School on Wednesday to explore options for their future.  Please check in with your child to see if they have any missing assignments. Grades for Trimester 1 are closing on November 30th. Extra help/homework help is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Ms. Blanchette each week from 2:45-3:30. Reach out with any questions or concerns.




Physical Education: (Mr. Demarais): As the first trimester winds down please remember to continue to bring your coat with you to class for the 1/2 mile warm up walk.  Classes have been able to choose the activity they would like to play for the last few classes of this trimester.


Art (Ms. Boulger): The students in 5,6,7,8 red and green groups are wrapping up a variety of assignments such as paintings, flip book drawings and murals.

The art department is looking for donations of the following:

new/ used sports equipment (specifically footballs, and basketballs)

new/used frames

new/used/ unused jars to store mixed paint.

new/used T-shirts to use as smocks


Artwork by Anderson



Health (Ms. Reynolds): Grades 5-7:  We will be doing activities reviewing Health Concepts learned this term, as we get closer to the end of the semester.

Grade 8: Will be finishing lessons in the Sexual Health Unit with a focus on Abstinence and STI information.


Music (Mr. Gariepy):


Library (Ms. Michitson): Hello Families.  We are just about to end our library session,  we are wrapping things up and getting ready for the holidays. I had a wonderful time teaching the students this Trimester and I wish them all the  best throughout their year. Happy Thanksgiving.


Technology (Mr. Gordon): All grades have moved their coding skills over to the Scratch platform (Developed by MIT).  The kids have gone from simply solving puzzles to CREATING animated projects.





Guidance (Ms. Vlahos): Important 8th Grade Dates:

November 23, 2021 – Gr. 8 Whittier Tech Tour (only students who have returned their permission slip completed and signed by parent/guardian will be attending)

December 7, 2021 – Gr. 8 HHS Tour (only students who have returned their permission slip completed and signed by parent/guardian will be attending)

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): Next week we will focus on the meaning of Assumptions and how we can misinterpret other’s intentions. The lesson introduces a simple ethical framework of the 4 Awesome Questions: Is it true?  Is it fair? Will it build better friendships and community? Will it be helpful to those involved?   This lesson provides audio that is paced with the text and follows up with open-ended questions to promote Social Emotional Learning and Critical Thinking.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me @


Student Adjustment Counselor (Ms. White): Groups and individual counseling continue to go well as we continue to focus on making positive and safe decisions for ourselves and others!  As we head into the busy holiday season, we will focus on taking care of ourselves and different ways to manage stress!


Middle School Support Program (Mrs. Leydon & Mr. Diffin): This week we have been learning about expected vs. unexpected behaviors at the dinner table while also giving examples of how to respect and support others. Grades are coming to a close in less than 2 weeks, so very important for all students to be checking in on missed assignments. Reach out with any questions!


ELL (Ms. Khakali & Corporan): In the spirit of Thanksgiving and November being the month of generosity, all of our English language learners will be reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. We will be discussing how the spirit of giving is depicted in the book and applying it to our lives. We will discuss and write about what we are thankful for and how we can be more like The Giving Tree.


Student Support Center (Mrs. Greenwood): The kids in SSC worked on a banner to hang up for Thursday’s nights Thanksgiving Dinner Drive thru family style meal, thanking our donor COVANTA.  It has been a great week in SSC. WE hope that you all have a great weekend. If you have any questions please reach out to Mrs. Greenwood or Miss House. We are here to help and support all of the students at JGW.


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

Our first session of intervention is ending next week. Students are currently being assessed using the iReady growth monitoring tool. We will use these results to develop our next groups. Have a great weekend.


Math Coach (Mr. Stelzer): Whittier’s math teachers are implementing the DICE strategy (Dissect, Illustrate, Calculate, Explain) as a way for students to tackle story problems. DICE is a strategy that was first taught in elementary school and carries over into upper grades. I am working with teachers to introduce and/or practice the strategy with their classes.

The first district math benchmark assessment will take place after the Thanksgiving break. Once all grade levels have completed the benchmark, we will analyze student data to identify areas for intervention, re-teaching or enrichment.