Principal’s Weekly Update (1/17-1/21)





JANUARY NEWS: For the month of January, the new school theme is growth. Growth is about making progress. Progress looks different for everyone. Making progress toward your goal demonstrates growth. Earning higher grades than you did before is an example of growth because it means making academic progress. Improving your behavior is an example of growth because it means making progress with your actions. Developing better habits is an example of growth because it means making progress with your day to day routines. Star Poet Society winners for the month of January will be selected based on this theme.




FEBRUARY VACATION ACADEMY: February Vacation Academy 2022 (1)

Haitian Creole February Vacation Academy 2022 (1)

Portuguese February Vacation Academy 2022 (1)

Spanish February Vacation Academy 2022 (1)


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 students to school with a spare mask. Many students have been breaking their masks and need new ones 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. 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: Please be aware that students are not allowed to wear pajamas or pajama pants to school. 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 · January 13th · February 10th · March 10th · April 14th · May 12th · June 9th



BASKETBALL: We will restart middle school basketball this coming week with practices only. We will assess things at the end of the week with the hope of resuming games the week after.

The plan will be to continue to extend the basketball season in order to get a full season of games in.

The boys will practice again on Wednesday from 2:45 – 4:00 pm.

The girls will practice on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00-4:30pm.




NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY: Next meeting will be on January 26th from 2:45- 3:45


JR VIP: There will be a Jr VIP meeting on Thursday, Jan 20th in the art room after school. All students are welcome!!  We will be finishing our MLK activity.




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: In math, students are using all their prior connections to prior topics, this conceptual understanding involves number sense and the skills of using models and strategies to divide decimals by 1 and 2 digit whole numbers.  All students should continue to work on their math facts fluency, as this is an important component to our lessons.  In science, students have begun to wonder “How can we identify an unknown substance?”  Activities will have students make observations and measurements of substances to include color, reflectivity, electrical conductivity, magnetism, solidity, and solubility.  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 wonderful long weekend.


Ms. Marciano: ELA: We are continuing to learn about the elements of poetry and will have a test at the end of the week.

SS: We have finished our 13 Colonies projects and are moving onto Unit 4, which begins with the French and Indian war.


Ms. Hogan: This week in social studies, we learned about some of the reasons for the American Revolution! We discussed the many taxes that King George of Britain imposed on the colonies. After learning about the taxes, we thought about what the colonists must have thought about being taxed without any representation in the British Parliament. Next week, we will continue to discuss reasons for the American Revolution.


Ms. LaCoste: In grade 5 ELA, we continue to work on elements of plot in fiction stories.  We will continue to practice followed by a quick quiz at the end of next week.  We also studied symbolism in reading with this week’s read aloud, This is the Rope, by Jacqueline Woodson.  Students continue to read their guided reading books with some teacher support and guidance. In writing, we have completed graphic organizers for the personal narratives that we’ll spend the next few weeks writing. Grammar skills are being strengthened with exercises in which students have to edit and identify correct capitalization, punctuation, quotation marks etc.  Please reach out with any questions or concerns.


Ms. Consolazio: In science, the students started a new scope, Properties of Matter.  In class, students learned about conductors and insulators, wrote vocabulary, and discussed the difference between physical and chemical properties.  Please make sure students bring their Chromebook every day for class.


Mr. Kelly: We have finished up working on Division with Whole Numbers. Next week we are going into Dividing with Decimals in divisors and dividends. This will be our last skill before we move into Fractions. Reminder, there is homework every week that is due on Friday.


Ms. Lees: The students in Fifth grade Orange and Green Groups continue to work with their reading group texts and begin a narrative writing piece about a special or memorable event in their life. In Math class long division continues as we include using decimals. 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. I hope everyone has a great long weekend.


Ms. Blanchette: Students will continue to be engaged in grade level curriculum in math and ELA. If students are absent it is imperative that they make up the work so it does not negatively impact their grades. Please reach out with any questions or concerns. I look forward to another great week!




Ms. Hamel: ELA: Students continue to learn through text the overriding question, “What do you do when there are no directions” in our Unit In The Dark through Study Sync. Students will continue to work on reading comprehension and answering critical thinking writing prompts.

We are also at the beginning stages of writing our own Narratives. Students are working on developing interesting Protagonists and Antagonists that they will wrap their stories around. By watching videos and referring back to stories we have read, students are figuring out how to create characters who are memorable and who the reader will truly care about. I am excited to see their stories unfold.

SS: Our geographers continue on their adventures through Africa; learning about the Sahara desert, Mt. Kilimanjaro and African Savannahs. Did you know that 2/5ths of Africa is made up of Savannah? This week students will be creating African Masks using colors and patterns that define their own individual personalities. Soon enough you will see their creations as we hang them throughout the 6th grade corridor.


Mr. Taylor: ELA – We are in Unit 3 in Study sync and examining how students figure things out when there are no instructions.

SS- Reading up on East African geography and society and some of the events that occur in that part of the continent.


Mr. LeGrand: Mathematics:  We are currently learning how to represent and solve equations and inequalities.  Last week, we learned to identify equations and variables; use substitution to find solutions to equations and use the properties of equality to keep both sides of an equation equal.  This week, the focus will be on writing and solving addition and subtraction equations

Social Studies:  We are studying the great continent of Africa.  Our focus this week will be on “The Ivory War”.  Students will learn about elephant poaching and the impact it has on their survival.


Ms. Tarbox: Yellow and Orange groups are working on character development and are diving into creating their own narratives! Both classes have also begun reading “Holes.” Be on the lookout for emails regarding updated Fountas & Pinnell reading levels! We have started our mid year benchmark assessments. This will assess progress in fluency, decoding, and reading comprehension since our last assessment in October. In math, both Yellow and Orange groups have started Topic 4. We are learning about the Property of Equality for all operations. As always, please reach out to Mrs. Tarbox with any questions or concerns regarding any subject area,




Mrs. Berthiaume: In Social Studies, we are finishing up our Asia unit.  We took a pause in our study this week to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by watching the “I Have a Dream” speech.  Students did an art activity, creating a portrait of Dr. King. What a great job!  In ELA, we have kicked off Unit 3 with an excerpt from We Beat the Streets.  If your student is absent, whether it is one day or an extended absence, please check Google Classroom for assignments.


Mrs. Trombly: Mrs. Trombly‘s math classes will be finishing up equations and moving on to inequalities within the next week. Please check Google classroom if you are absent there is an absent folder that is posted. Social studies will be moving on from ancient Japan to ancient Korea.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me anytime.


Mrs. MacKinnon: Students will continue to construct an explanation based on evidence for how Earth’s surface has changed over scales that range from local to global in size some  examples of processes occurring over large, global spatial scales include plate motion, formation of mountains and ocean basins, and ice ages and other examples will include  changes occurring over small, local spatial scales include earthquakes and seasonal weathering and erosion.


Ms. DiGloria: Next week in Grade 7 Blue and Green ELA, students will be engaging with a text titled First Americans and practice writing objective summaries using a workshop model. We will also hold our Classroom Spelling Bee on Tuesday, January 18th. Study lists already went home. In Social Studies, we will be starting our third unit which focuses on Ancient Greece. We will start with learning about the geography of this area (the Mediterranean Sea) and slowly work our way into history and culture later in the unit. Progress reports are fast approaching (early feb.) so please keep up with your student’s progress. Emails were sent home earlier this week regarding late projects in both classes.


Mr. Auger: Hello Everyone!  I hope you all enjoy the long weekend! This week in my 7th grade science class, students worked to expand their knowledge of weathering and erosion.  Students learned about the different forces that affect these processes and how these forces have shaped the Earth’s surfaces.  Next week we will wrap up this unit and finish the week with a test on weathering and erosion.  In my 7th grade social studies class, students learned about the history and culture of Japan.  Next week, we will explore the history and culture of Korea.


Mr. Harris: Green – students are wrapping up their unit on equivalent expressions, and will have a test this week.  Then we will be headed back into unit 2 and looking at proportional relationships.

Blue – students have been working hard taking information from earlier in this chapter – combining like terms – and applying that to a new situation in adding expressions.  As we head into next week, students will work on subtracting expressions, and then analyzing equivalent expressions to finish out the unit.


Ms. Bilmazes & Ms. Holmes: In ELA, students are continuing the Chasing the Impossible unit in StudySync, having just completed the excerpt “We Beat the Streets”. In Math, students are continuing to work on the distributive property using variables and adding like numbers and variables.  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.  As always, feel free to reach out with any questions. Have a great long weekend!





Mr. Lewis: We are currently finishing The Outsiders. Students have been practicing making inferences and what makes someone a hero. There have been 5 reading quizzes on Google Classroom that students need to complete.


Ms. Deblasis: We will be continuing with Topic 4 this week.  Our lessons will include analyzing linear associations and using linear models to make predictions.


Mr. Marinella: ELA– Blue and Purple English has started a new novel that we are going to be reading and dissecting; The Call of the Wild. This story is about a dog named Buck who experiences hardships at the hands of his masters and must ultimately find freedom in the Yukon. While men fight and search for gold, Buck will be fighting and searching for his true identity, one that is tied to his wild ancestry. This book is overcoming hardship, connecting with your past, and becoming who you truly are.

Civics– After the Civil War the nation had a lot of healing to do. How will the South move forward after a failed way and learn to live with the North again? How will the removal of slavery impact this nation politically and socially? And who will stand up to fight for those who have been mistreated for so long? These are all questions our 8th grade Civics classes plan to answer in the classes to come. We are beginning to look at the Civil Rights era, and how these defining moments and people have left their mark on the nation.


Ms. Sullivan: This week in science we will continue working on the differences between atoms, molecules and compounds.  We will be having a quiz at the end of this week. Please email me with any questions.


Mr. Blaustein: We have finally completed Ch 4 Lesson 2: Other Civil Rights Protections and taken our Quiz. We are completing the Third Lesson the Civil War Amendments. I expect the quiz for this lesson to be either Wednesday or Thursday next week. The last Lesson of the Chapter is on the Civil Rights Movement.


Mr. Harris: Students are wrapping up their linear equation unit, and have been working hard putting slope and the y-intercept together into one equation.  We will have a test on unit 2 this week before heading into unit 3 – functions.


Ms. MacKinnon: Students will develop a model to describe that  atoms combine in a multitude of ways to produce pure substances which make up all of the living and nonliving things that we encounter, and atoms form molecules and compounds that range in size from two to thousands of atoms, and how mixtures are composed of different proportions of pure substances. Some examples of molecular-level models could include drawings, three-dimensional ball and stick structures, and computer representations showing different molecules with different types of atoms.


Ms. Senior: The Outsiders novel has brought on some heavy emotions from our 8th grade readers this week, along with life lessons. Math students are becoming experts in detecting the types of slopes in scatter plots and will be moving on to more complex projects.


Ms. Blanchette: Students will continue to be engaged in grade level curriculum in math and ELA. If students are absent it is imperative that they make up the work so it does not negatively impact their grades. Please reach out with any questions or concerns. I look forward to another great week!



Physical Education: (Mr. Demarais): We will be working on football pass plays this week.  Please remember to bring a water bottle to the gym.


Art (Ms. Boulger): The students in 7,8 blue and orange groups are working a variety of mixed media art assignments such as murals, paintings, sculptures and drawings! Students in grades 5 and 6 are making pinch pots and small clay sculptures while learning the stages of clay.

The art department is looking for donations of the following:

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

new/used frames

new/used/ unused plastic or glass jars to store mixed paint.

new/used T-shirts to use as smocks.


Artwork by Christopher J.



Health (Ms. Reynolds): Grade 5- We are starting our unit on Drug Awareness, with a focus on what makes a substance a drug and the benefits and dangers of drug use.

Grade 6 – We are currently in the middle of our First Aid Unit.  The focus this week is on First Aid Kits and the Heimlich Maneuver

Grade 7 – Empathy and Values are the topics we will cover this week.We will discuss the need for them and why they are important for a Healthy lifestyle.

Grade 8 – This week we will continue working on our Substance Abuse Slideshows as an end of unit project.


Library (Ms. Michitson): Greetings from the JG Whittier Library.

This week we are learning a little more about stock prices, what a stock is, how prices go up or down in the market, what is a Bull or Bear market. The book contest also continues in the library until the end of the trimester.  Have a safe weekend


Technology (Mr. Gordon):

Grade 8 – Starting the Food Truck Entrepreneur simulation using Google Apps

Grade 7 – Continuing with CodeSpark Academy

Grade 6 – Continuing with CodeSpark Academy

Grade 5 – Coding a Dance Party with




Guidance (Ms. Vlahos): Last week I visited each 8th grade classroom and conducted a lesson on interview skills and preparation.  For any 8th grade student that would like to meet with Mrs. Vlahos for further practice regarding interview prep, please email Mrs. Vlahos to request a meeting.  Any student that will be interviewing for a high school will be notified of the high school interview time once scheduled – stay tuned!

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): This week’s focus in both group and individual works was “Being Your Best Self”.   Students were asked to use mindfulness to learn how they can bring their best qualities into others lives.  Following a few minutes of mindful breathing, students were then asked to recall a time when they were not their best self,  when they made a choice that they regretted.  Also, what they noticed where in their body they felt this experience.


Student Adjustment Counselor (Ms. White): We are starting off 2022 focusing on building our self-esteem and identifying our support systems!  Please reach out with any questions or concerns.


Middle School Support Program (Mrs. Leydon & Mr. Diffin): Hope everyone has stayed warm this week! Reminder that every morning from 8:05 to 8:25 there is homework help in the art room for any of our students who could use extra help. Please reach out with any questions or concerns. Enjoy the long weekend!


Parent Liaison (Ms. Arias-Reyes): ¡Feliz año nuevo! Recuerden que mi horario es de 8:30am a 3:30 pm y 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 tienen la opción de llamar a la escuela directamente para contactarme o usar la aplicación Remind, esta aplicación manda los mensajes directamente a mi computadora. 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. RECORDATORIONO HAY ESCUELA el 17 de enero de 2022. ¡Que tengan un buen fin de semana!


ELL (Ms. Khakali & Corporan): Our newcomer English language learners will begin Unit 3: On the Job.  This unit will focus on the vocabulary of actions & careers. Students will learn how to give information, ask & answer questions in English and they will continue to work on present tense action verbs.  Our Level 3-5 English learners will be presenting their Country Project research to our class and reflect on the research process.


Student Support Center (Mrs. Greenwood): It has been a good week in SSC.  We are always here to support all of our students. If you have any questions and or concerns please reach out to Mrs. Greenwood or Miss House. We hope that you all have a great long weekend. Stay safe.


Reading Intervention Team (Ms. Guthrie, Ms. Carney, Ms. Trovato): This week things have been somewhat crazy due to Covid. We have been subbing for teachers, and have been absent due to contracting the virus ourselves. In 5th grade, we are continuing to administer individual midyear literacy tests to the students. 6-8th grade are working on Unit 3 in Studysynch, and the 6th grade team is focusing on a novel for this unit.


Math Coach (Mr. Stelzer): 6th grade math is learning how to write and interpret algebraic expressions, and evaluating expressions by substituting values for variables. Next, we’ll write expressions that represent real-life situations.