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Girls Ice Hockey Gives Back


One of the most rewarding things I see each athletics season is how our student-athletes find ways to work together on projects outside of the gym and off of the field of play, giving back to various community programs like the Westwood Food Pantry or the sports-specific organizations in town.

For example, on Wednesday, January 18, our girls ice hockey team played Latin Academy in Canton, winning 10-0. Leading up to the game, the team decided to dedicate the game to the I AM Strong Foundation which is a non-profit organization our students and families are familiar with. The I AM Strong Foundation works to shatter the stigma associated with teen mental health issues, emphasizing the need to treat mental health issues no differently than physical health issues. The team raised funds at the event, donating the proceeds to IAM Strong. 

Additionally, the team will be volunteering on 2 Sundays in February at Rosie's Place and 2 Saturdays with the Boston Bear Cubs. Rosie’s Place was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the US. Their mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives.  The team will go to the shelter to help set up, prepare, cook, serve and converse with the women for lunch and dinner.  It’s an incredible learning opportunity for the team to reach out and make a difference in other women’s lives.  

The mission of the Boston Bear Cubs in conjunction with Massachusetts Special Hockey is to offer amateur-level ice hockey program for children and young adults with developmental disorders such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities.

According to coach Ed Amico, "As part of our teams culture we really stress the importance of being the best they can be on but just as important off the ice." I am not able to highlight all of the good things our athletes, performers, and others do each day, unfortunately. But, I thought that this was the kind of information that might help you shake the mid-winter blues. 



Sincerely,
Sean

Course Selections: Finding the Right Balance

This week, students will begin to consider what courses they would like to take next year. While students make those considerations, so too will teachers. As teachers consider which course – including which level – is the best fit for each student, they try to strike a delicate balance: choosing a course that is challenging yet allows the student to find success.

Naturally, this balance is different for each student: some are comfortable taking on a greater challenge than others, even if they might not find the same level of success as they have had in the past. For those students, taking on the challenge is itself a success. For others, finding success at a level that is comfortable is a priority. In fact, these are considerations that students and parents should have when selecting each course. That is, the student and the parent have an understanding both of what other classes the student is considering and what other demands the student intends to meet (i.e. sports, clubs, other outside responsibilities).


Choosing the right courses, then, requires thoughtful and honest conversations about striking that balance – of challenge and success – in consideration of the many other extra-curricular activities our students pursue. The Program of Studies, which will be updated to include next year's courses shortly, is a helpful tool in making these decisions. As you make these decisions, you may have questions. Taking the time now to ask teachers, department heads, and guidance staff about finding the right course can often prevent difficulties later. Contact information for all staff – including department heads and guidance staff – is available here.
 

Teachers will complete course recommendations this week. Students will learn about the process of making course selections in the coming weeks and will be able to access the student portal after the February break. I am hopeful that the coming weeks will find you and your child making these considerations together successfully.

Information from Guidance

Parent Talks
Guidance-Parent Talks offer parents the opportunity to meet with guidance counselors and discuss topics including the college application process, standardized testing and course selection. Guidance-Parent Talks are held in the Faculty Club from 8:00-9:00 a.m. The last meeting of this school year will be:
March 9th  – for all parents

Course Selection for 2017-2018 School Year:
Course selection will be done online through Aspen for the 2017-2018 school year. The updated Program of Studies has been posted on the website, and parents and students are encouraged to review course descriptions. Students in ninth, tenth and eleventh grade will be given access to the Aspen student portal at the end of February. Parents should review their child’s course selections during the week of February 27th.
As part of the Ninth Grade Seminars in January, counselors provided ninth grade students with an introduction to the course selection process, and course options for tenth grade.

Information for Seniors:  
Westwood Community Scholarships & Awards
Seniors will receive information about the Westwood Community Scholarships & Awards later this month. The application will be available online. Seniors who wish to be considered for any community/school-based scholarships and non-monetary awards are encouraged to apply. The FAFSA and SAR (Student Aid Report), along with the financial portion of the application, must be submitted to be considered for scholarships, but is not required for non-monetary awards.

Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery
Seniors who plan on attending one of the Massachusetts state colleges, and received one score of Advanced and one score of Proficient on their MCAS exams, may be eligible for the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver Program. Additional requirements apply. Applications were mailed home to all eligible students and must be submitted to Guidance by May 1st. Please contact your child’s guidance counselor with any questions.

Information for Juniors:
Parents and students are encouraged to visit the Junior Page of the Guidance website for helpful links and resources. Resources/topics covered at College Planning Night on January 25th include:
Powerpoint Presentation
Register for the SAT and ACT
Parent Information Form Parents of juniors’ input is very helpful for the counselor recommendation.
TEC College Fair March 22nd, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at WHS. Juniors are encouraged to attend.

News From the Nurse's Office

Do you have a cold or the flu? How do you know?  Click here to find out!

If you would like to learn CPR and how to use an AED, go the American Heart Association website to find a course near you.  You could save a life.

There are many CPR apps for your smart phone if you are interested.  Some of the apps help you keep time while doing CPR and some apps walk you through the steps of CPR.  Search CPR in the app store and explore what is available.

Westwood High School is fortunate to have 5 AEDs in the school.  An AED (automated external defibrillator) and CPR are key to saving a life due to a cardiac arrest. An AED is located outside the little theater, in the main lobby, in the gym lobby, in the pool area, and our trainer has a portable AED that he brings to sporting events.  Our athletic coaches are trained in CPR and AED use along with many of our staff.  Each school in the district has an AED.

Grade 9: All grade 9 students had a postural screening done during the month of December.  If your child needed further evaluation you were notified and asked to take your child to a health care provider as a precaution.  Please let the school nurse know what the health care provider recommended for your child.
 
Grade 12: Now is a great time to book a physical exam for your child before they leave home for work or college.  A current physical exam and current vaccines are college entrance requirements.  Your child will not be able to register for classes without current health information. 

Health Insurance:  Health insurance is required in Massachusetts.  If you do not have health insurance, go to the website MAhealthconnector.org to find information and to sign up.  The Affordable Care Act ensures that children up to age 26 years old are covered by their parent’s insurance.

Grade 12 Health Insurance: Make sure your health insurance will cover your child if they attend college out of state or out of your insurance network.  Check as soon as you know where your child will be going.  Don’t wait to check as this could be very important if your child becomes ill.

Teens and Drugs: Remember that teenagers often start abusing medications that are found in a medicine cabinet at home or at a friend’s home.  You can bring medications no longer needed to the Westwood Police Department and dispose of the medication in the container in the lobby.  You put the medication in the container yourself and no questions are asked!  This is a great way to keep prescription drugs out of the hands of teenagers.  It also keeps them out of our water supply as many people just pour medicine down the drain or flush them. 
 
If your child has any health concerns or you have any questions, please call Mrs. Poreda at ext. 3353 or Mrs. Galvin at ext. 3350.

Site Council Update

The WHS Site Council is an advisory group to the principal. The group is comprised of teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members. Specifically, the group provides input on the principal's School Improvement Plan (SIP), meeting each month to receive updates on initiatives related to the SIP. 

Summary of the 2/7/17 Meeting: 

  • Sean reported that he will be finalizing the International Travel Guide, incorporating the feedback from the group, over February vacation. He hopes to present the final version to School Committee this spring.
  • Westwood Cares, a group led by Westwood Youth & Family Services and WPS Administrative Staff, is currently developing a Strategic Plan. To better inform decision-making about future programming, the group is working to create a survey to collect data about youth risk behavior.  Survey questions will be drawn from the MA Youth Health Survey. This group with then compare the results from the Westwood survey to the national averages.

  • Members of the Site Council discussed which questions from the MA Youth Health Survey were the most relevant and pertinent to WHS and therefore should be included in the WHS survey.

Westwood Students Win Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

37 Westwood High School students and 4 Thurston Middle School students have been recognized for achievement by the Massachusetts Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, sponsored by The Boston Globe. Westwood student work competed with thousands of art and writing entries submitted by Massachusetts public and private schools. Works that best demonstrate originality, technical skill and personal voice or vision were recognized with awards. Combined, WHS and TMS students garnered 56 awards: 8 Gold Keys, 16 Silver Keys, and 32 Honorable Mentions.

Gold Key award-winning work will be exhibited at the Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regional exhibition (Details have not yet been announced). There will be a regional ceremony for award recipients at the the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 (Award recipients will receive ceremony details via email directly from The Boston Globe Awards Affiliate.) More information on the exhibit & ceremony

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is a national program, founded in 1923 to recognize excellence in art and design by students in grades 7-12. For more information about the program, visit www.artandwriting.org.

ART • Westwood High School   *Multiple awards recipient

Name

Grade

Award

Award Category

Title of Work

Kayley Fiorino*

11

Gold Key

Design

Deer Book

Miles Heespelink

10

Gold Key

Sculpture

Red Doors Into Darkness

Kathleen Hernandez

12

Gold Key

Design

Goldfish Book

Molly Hurley

11

Gold Key

Ceramics & Glass

Upsurge

Meg Waggett*

12

Gold Key

Sculpture

Halves

Neil Wei*

11

Gold Key

Design

Biotechnics Game Identity

Sarah Werth*

12

Gold Key

Printmaking

At the Board

Yina Yang*

11

Gold Key

Design

Ice Book Cover

Rose Cautela*

11

Silver Key

Design

Pie Making Illustration Series

Rose Cautela

11

Silver Key

Design

Why Waste? Poster

Kate Doonan

10

Silver Key

Design

Duck Book

Erin Fallon

12

Silver Key

Drawing & Illustration

Lacey Things

Fawaz Ilupeju

11

Silver Key

Design

Swing States Election Poster

Ally Ng

12

Silver Key

Photography

Dream State

Wyatt Ritchey

11

Silver Key

Sculpture

Reverse

Shannon Rooney*

12

Silver Key

Sculpture

Creature

Daniela Serratore

10

Silver Key

Sculpture

Hidden

Rena Shi

11

Silver Key

Photography

Forgotten

Marissa Solomon

11

Silver Key

Photography

Stone Angel

Oneida Struga

11

Silver Key

Sculpture

Curls

Meg Waggett

12

Silver Key

Sculpture

Splash

Christina Wysocki

12

Silver Key

Printmaking

Snack Time

Julie Abi-Elias

11

Honorable Mention

Ceramics & Glass

Lush

Mark Bernardo

12

Honorable Mention

Design

Democracy Calling

Rose Cautela

11

Honorable Mention

Design

Elephant Poster

Sara Daly

12

Honorable Mention

Printmaking

Living in Color

Kenjaya Drayton

11

Honorable Mention

Ceramics & Glass

Royal River Valley

Kayley Fiorino

11

Honorable Mention

Design

Get Out The Vote Poster

Kayley Fiorino

11

Honorable Mention

Design

Magic Master Identity Design

Sunny Fox

11

Honorable Mention

Sculpture

Interweaving

Melissa Gotti

10

Honorable Mention

Photography

Boys Best Bud

Kira Hobson

10

Honorable Mention

Drawing & Illustration

Playing Pretend

Wilson Lam

12

Honorable Mention

Design

Flying Together

Catherine Maughn

10

Honorable Mention

Photography

Doe Eyed Dog

Brenna McQuade

10

Honorable Mention

Ceramics & Glass

Cleanse

Grace Perrone

10

Honorable Mention

Painting

Meraki

Leah Piscitelli

10

Honorable Mention

Photography

Syd on the Bus

Shannon Rooney

12

Honorable Mention

Sculpture

Finding Your Words

Vincent Tran

12

Honorable Mention

Ceramics & Glass

From Inside Out

Anna Varriale

10

Honorable Mention

Photography

No Longer a Child

Neil Wei

11

Honorable Mention

Design

Fido Joe’s Identity Design

Sarah Werth

12

Honorable Mention

Drawing & Illustration

Two Loves, One Lover

Daniel Xu*

9

Honorable Mention

Photography

Infinite Boundaries

Daniel Xu

9

Honorable Mention

Photography

The Music Man

Yina Yang

11

Honorable Mention

Design

In The Chem Lab

Yina Yang

11

Honorable Mention

Design

Interpreter, Editorial Design

eye.png  View WHS’s Award-Winning Artwork

 

WRITING • Westwood High School  *Multiple awards recipient

Ashley Whalen*

12

Silver Key

Flash Fiction

Numb Torn Hearts

Maillane Werner

11

Honorable Mention

Short Story

A Funeral and A Reflection

Ashley Whalen

12

Honorable Mention

Short Story

Countdown

Ashley Whalen

12

Honorable Mention

Critical Essay

The American Dream or American Nightmare?

 

ART • Thurston Middle School   *Multiple awards recipient

 

Name

Gr

Award

Award Category

Title of Work

Angela Buckley*

7

Silver Key

Photography

Untitled

Laurel Barnett

8

Honorable Mention

Printmaking

Midnight Pumpkins

Sarah Bernardo

8

Honorable Mention

Photography

8:20 Homebound

Angela Buckley

7

Honorable Mention

Photography

Untitled

Angela Buckley

7

Honorable Mention

Photography

Untitled

Alys Tsolias

8

Honorable Mention

Drawing & Illustration

Action Portrait

The Foreign Language Department is Looking for Host Families

The Foreign Language Department at Westwood High School is pleased to announce that we will hosting 20 students and 2 teachers coming from Villa Real, Spain during the first two weeks of April.  We have many Westwood families who have already signed up to host a student, but we are in need of a few more families who would be willing to host a student. The students have been learning English for several years, so there shouldn't be any problems with communication.  

Please email Katherine Steen at ksteen@westwood.k12.ma.us for more information or to sign up.

Westwood Underground Music Society Open Mic

The Westwood Historical Society is pleased to host Westwood Underground Music Society for an Open Mic Night Friday, February 10th at 7pm at 830 High Street, The Fisher School, in Westwood.  The Underground Music Society is a small organization at Westwood High School where musicians come together to collaborate, jam with other students and participate in workshops with original songs and perform at Open Mic Nights on a monthly basis.  The group is led by student leaders Ezra Stone and Sophia Paravalos.  The students will be performing and would like to invite WHS students, parents, members of Westwood Historical Society, and Westwood residents. The Underground Music Society is advised by Maria Breen, Special Education Teacher at WHS.  The Open Mic Performance will be from 7pm to 9pm. 

News From Athletics

Congratulations to the girls hockey team for winning the Walsh Hockey Tournament and to the boys basketball team for hosting and winning, the Westwood Holiday Tournament during the holiday break.  All of the winter teams have qualified for participation in the MIAA Tournaments and meets.  Come out and watch our athletes play!  Schedules can be found on the high school website or via the FREE MIAA App.

SPRING SPORTS REGISTRATION:  The Athletic Department would also like to remind athletes and their parents that registration for spring sports runs February 1-March 1.  All athletes must register and assure that your physical has been submitted to the school nurse in order to tryout or participate on a team.  Physicals are valid for 13 months from the date of the physical.  The athletic fee is due before the first contest and is not required in order to tryout. 

Please click on WHS Athletics to register and view other important information.

New Athletic Training Website

Mr. Lilla, our athletic trainer, has put together a new website to provide resources for our athletes and their families. Please contact Mr. Lilla if you have any questions. 

WHS Celebrates the Chinese New Year

The Asian Culture Club and Mandarin Program hosted their annual Chinese New Year celebration this week. This year 2017 is the year of the Rooster! Students from the Chinese Exchange Program enjoyed a performance by Passing Notes members, enjoyed delicious Chinese cuisine, and learned how to make celebratory red lanterns. 

Happy Chinese New Year! For any questions, please contact Ms.Chu and Ms. Spollen

TEC Classroom Annual Coats for Kids Drive

The TEC class and Friendship Club collected coats for the annual Coats for Kids drive. The students made posters and flyers, collected coats from the boxes at WHS and at the Campus School in Walpole, and then brought the coats to Anton’s cleaners to be cleaned and distributed to needy families.
Academics in Action
This section of the newsletter highlights activities happening in the classroom
Midterm Madness in the Sculpture class as students wrap up their cardboard and plaster oversized heads.
Sculpture students brought their clay figures out to the courtyard to frolic in the snow! Lunchgoer's did a a double take for sure!

Green Years Yearbook Now ON SALE

The 2017 Green Years Yearbook is now on sale.
BUY YOUR COPY TODAY!

 
Don't forget the easy and free way your Amazon purchases can benefit the PTO: through the Amazon Smile program, the WHS PTO receives 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases.

All you have to do is begin your Amazon shopping by clicking HERE. It's free for you, but the funds add up to help the PTO support our school programs.

Peer Tutoring is Now Available

National Honor Society students are now available for tutoring in Guidance. Please see this SCHEDULE for details. 

WHS Photos for Scholarships

Please feel free to download the images on this website for free. I donate my time to take the photos because I enjoy photography and watching sports. If you enjoy these photos, please consider making a donation to the Westwood Community Scholarship Fund (or another scholarship at WHS).

Thank you.
M. Mao.

Important Dates to Keep in Mind

  • February 15: Early Release
  • February 20 - 24: February Vacation
  • March 1: Early Release
  • March 15: Early Release
  • March 21 - 23: MCAS English Language Arts
  • March 22: TEC College Fair
  • March 23: Encounters for the Arts
  • March 24: Prom Fashion Show
  • March 29: Early Release
  • April 12: Early Release
  • April 14: Good Friday (School closed)
  • April 17 - 21: Spring Vacation 
  • April 26: Early Release
  • May 10: Early Release
  • May 11: PTO Ice Cream Social
  • May 16 & 17: MCAS Math
  • May 19: Prom
  • May 24: Early Release
  • June 5 & 6: MCAS Science
  • June 12 - 15: Final Exams

Reports to Parents

Updated: 9/30/16
TERM 1 (44 days)
Last day of term: November 4
  • Progress Reports available to students: October 5
  • Report Cards available to students: November 14
TERM 2 (44 days)
Last day of term: January 13
*Midyear Exams: 1/17, 1/18, 1/19. 1/20
  • Progress Reports available to students: December 11
  • Report Cards available to students: January 27
TERM 3 (45 days)
Last day of term: March 31
  • Progress Reports available to students: February 28
  • Report Cards available to students: April 7
TERM 4 (47 days)
Last day of term: June 9
* Final Exams: 6/12, 6/13, 6/14, 6/15
  • Progress Reports available to students: May 14
  • Report Cards available to students: June 19

Important Dates for Seniors

Last day of senior classes: May 23
Senior Exams: May 24 - 26
Final Report Cards available to students: May 30
Senior Week: May 30-June 2

Class Day:  June 2, 4:00 pm
Graduation:  June 4, 2:00 pm




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Westwood High School · 200 Nahatan Street · Westwood, MA 02090 · USA

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