SIPP Students Raise Over $14K Through First-Ever Dance Marathon

After several months of hard work and planning, students in the Senior Independent Project Program (SIPP) will be sharing a new and exciting program with the Westwood High School community: the first-ever Dance Marathon fundraiser to benefit Boston Children's Hospital.

You can learn more about the Dance Marathon by watching this short introductory video. The event has already raised $14,000, and there’s still a week to go! Students and parents who want to get involved - either by creating a team or by donating - can visit the event web page.

The event will be held this Sunday - December 13th, from 1-5pm at the WHS gymnasium
Dr. Zarrow was named the National Language Teacher of the Year by the American Council on the The Teaching of Foreign Languages. 
Raise Funds for WHS PTO By Shopping at Amazon
The next time you shop on Amazon - including on Amazon Prime - you are able to raise funds for the WHS PTO at no added cost to you. Simply begin your shopping at the Westwood PTO page, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

Spirit Week was a HUGE Success!

Students from all four grades decorated the corridors as part of the kickoff to Spirit Week. The class themes were: Hollywood ('19), Around the World ('18), Wild Wild West ('17), and Throwback ('16).

News From the Guidance Office

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.  Future dates:

January 7th – for all parents

March 1st – for all parents


Information for Seniors:

Students with regular decision deadlines (January 1st, January 15th, February 1st or later) should submit transcript release forms to the Guidance Office by December 14th to ensure prompt delivery of materials to colleges.


Free assistance available for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

FAFSA Day will be held on January 31st and February 21st, 2016. FAFSA Day provides free assistance to students and families completing a FAFSA. This statewide program is administered by the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators with the assistance of many community-based organizations. Visit FAFSA Day for more information and specific locations.


Information for Juniors:


College Board has announced that the results of the October 14th PSAT will be available online December 21st (this is two weeks later than previous years). Guidance will present a general overview of the score report to the junior class on December 22nd. During the month of January counselors will meet individually with juniors to review their PSAT results, current transcript/GPA, and begin an introductory college search discussion. Juniors will delve fully into the college search process in early February during the Junior Workshop program. Please see the College Planning Timeline for Juniors, which forecasts important events and deadlines.


Presentation on New SAT, Monday, December 21st, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

*Newly scheduled event*

Drew Heilpern, a representative from Summit Educational Group, will provide an overview of the new SAT and answer parent and student questions.


Junior Workshops

In January and February the Guidance Department will present the Junior Workshop during junior English classes. In this program students will receive detailed information regarding standardized testing, college and career searches, and the application process. Students will work with the web-based Naviance program to conduct a college search.


College Planning Night, Wednesday, January 27th, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Juniors and their parents are encouraged to attend this informative presentation on the college planning process. An admission representative will present the college admissions perspective, and Guidance will give an overview of the process including researching colleges, developing a well-balanced list, and standardized testing procedures.


February Vacation

February Vacation is a great time to begin visiting colleges.  Visit the college’s website or call the Admission Office to make a reservation for a campus tour and information session.



Juniors are encouraged to register now for the spring SAT at, and ACT with Writing, at, to ensure first choice test site location.


Both College Board and ACT require all students to upload a photo when registering for the test. A photo I.D. and admission ticket are required on the day of the test.  There will be no exceptions, even when students are taking the test at Westwood High School. Students without a photo I.D. and admission ticket with uploaded photo will not be allowed to take the test.


2016 test dates are as follows and marked with an * when being offered at WHS:



March 5th

*May 7th

June 4th



February 6th

*April 9th

June 11th


Information for Sophomores:

Tenth Grade Workshops

During the first week of December guidance counselors will lead a Career Workshop in the tenth grade Wellness classes. Students will be given an overview of options for college majors and careers, and complete a personality and career interest inventory. (Students in second semester Wellness will have this workshop in May.)


College Planning Night, Wednesday, January 27th, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Although the primary audience for College Planning Night is juniors and their parents, sophomores and their parents may attend to get important information on the changing college admission climate.


Information for Freshmen:

Ninth Grade Seminars

The second round of ninth grade seminars were held during November. Students received a copy of their transcripts and were taught how to calculate their grade point average based on first term grades. This introductory discussion is to assist students in understanding that they are already building their high school transcript, and that they still have ample opportunity to improve their grades.

News From the Nurse's Office

Grade 9:  Important!!  All grade 9 students are required to provide written documentation of a current physical exam done by their health care provider.  The physical must be turned in by February 1, 2016 and must be dated February 1, 2015 or later.  Please turn in the physical as soon as possible. If you don’t have health insurance, you can visit or call the school nurse for information.  If you have a physical scheduled after February 1, 2016 please let the school nurse know.  Also call if you are unsure if you turned in a physical exam for your child.

Grade 10: All grade 10 students continue to have their vision and hearing screened.  You already may have received a letter asking that your child be evaluated by their health care provider.  If you received a letter, please return it to the nurse after having it filled out by the health care provider.  Please call the nurse with any questions at ext. 3353 or 3350.

Grade 9: All grade 9 students will have a postural screening done during the month of December.  The purpose of this is to find early signs of possible spinal problems in your child.  It is not a diagnostic service but a program to help identify children who may need further evaluation.  If your child needs further evaluation you will be notified and asked to take your child to a health care provider as a precaution.  The majority of students do not need further evaluation.  If you don’t want your child screened at school, you must submit a written request to Mrs. Poreda in the nurse’s office by     December 1, 2015.
Teens and Drugs: Many of us have medications in our medicine cabinets that are years past the expiration date or we save medications we no longer need.  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 to the Westwood Police Department and dispose of them in the container in the lobby.  You put them 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. 
Information: Please feel free to call the nurse with any questions you may have about your child’s health, forms that need to be filled out, or any other question you may have.  The nurse can be reached at ext. 3353 or 3350.   You can also email Mrs. Poreda or Mrs. Galvin with any questions.  Check out the health office web site on the high school web site for information and forms.  Never  hesitate to call if you have a question.
Illness at School: If your child is ill during the school day, tell your child to go to the nurse’s office.  The nurse will call you if your child needs to go home.  If a child texts you we don’t know where they are when you come to pick them up.  It is also beneficial for the nurse to take care of your child until you can pick them up.
Hand Hygiene: Remind your child to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently during the school day.  This helps to reduce illness for your child and for the school community.  Also remind them to cough or sneeze into their elbow instead of their hands.  This also will reduce the spread of illness.  

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.

Depression Intervention: An Informal and Informative Session for Parents and Community Members

Date: January 14, 2016
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Thurston Middle School Cafeteria
Dr. Tracy Gladstone is the inaugural director of the Robert S. and Grace W. Stone Primary Prevention Initiatives, which focuses on research and evaluation designed to prevent the onset of mental health concerns in children and adolescents. She is an assistant in psychology at Children's Hospital, and instructor at Harvard Medical School, and a research scientist at Judge Baker's Children's Center. 

Join us in January for an informal presentation on depression prevention. Dr. Gladstone will provide background information, share current research and answer questions. 

Space is limited. Please RSVP for this event!

News From The Math Department

The Pre-Calculus students in Ms. Clifford’s, Mrs. Mehigan’s and Mrs. McGrath’s classes were given the opportunity to complete a free standing representation of the Unit Circle.  As an optional assignment, we were blown away with some of the creative projects that were turned in.  Here are some of our favorites.

News From Model UN

Submitted by Owen Doherty, Model UN Secretary
Westwood High School’s Model United Nations Club was founded in the fall of 2012.  The club seeks to involve students in interscholastic simulations of the United Nations in which they work collaboratively to address current and historical global issues.  This past month, students participated in the nineteenth annual Brown University Simulation of the United Nations (BUSUN XIX).  There, they participated in committee simulations not just limited to the UN like the Security Council and the General Assembly, but also in historical crisis or specialized committees such as the Thirty Years War and the Lebanese Parliament.  Participating in a regional conference like the one at Brown not only gives students an incredible educational opportunity, it allows them to live around a college campus for a weekend and experience all that Providence has to offer from great restaurants to the famous water fires.
While many global challenges were resolved with great success in Providence, unfortunately, the real United Nations has been less than successful in all of its pursuits.  We see some of the organization’s shortcomings when discussing the migrant crisis, the civil war in Syria, and the pressing issue of climate change.  This is because the UN itself does not serve to function as an international government.  In fact, it has no power to compel any of its member states to take any action whatsoever.  This is a problem that many critics of the UN use to argue that now 70 years later, this body is obsolete.  Keeping this in mind, a small group of Model UN club members hosted an hour-long symposium on the relevance of the UN before a group of senior citizens at Fox Hill Village.  There, the group of four students each spoke to a different facet of the UN’s day-to-day responsibilities: keeping the world secure and free from conflict, battling climate change and global pandemics, and the UN’s historical role in housing displaced people.  This was followed by a question and answer session with the audience where the students faced tough, specific questions about why such an organization deserves to exist 70 years after its founding.  November was an exciting month for the Model UN club here at WHS and we are already preparing for upcoming conferences at St. John’s Prep, BC High, and BC.

News from Performing Arts

On Saturday, November 19th, many music students from WHS auditioned for the Eastern District Ensembles. This audition was the culmination of many months of work and practice.  Congratulations to the students who were accepted into the Festival, which will be held on January 8 and 9th.  
Toby Cashook- Band, Baritone
Ian DeTore- Band, Trombone
Peter Firmin, Orchestra
Ari Gurerra, Band, Piccolo
Tim Hoefler, Orchestra, Trumpet
Matt Kutzer, Band, Percussion
Michael Lahiff, Band, Clarinet  
Leona Lo, Band, Flute 
Anusha Manglik, Band, Trombone  
Derek Nong, Band,French Horn
Zane Rahabi, Band, Baritone
Derek Shue, Orchestra, Clarinet 
Noah Stone, Band,  Clarinet 
Ohana Turbak, Band, French Horn

What's Happening in French...

Westwood French Exchange
As many of you have already heard, the French Exchange in October was a great success. Check out this video made by Anne Palenstijn, one of the teacher chaperones from Rochefort, which chronicles the students’ journey from France to Westwood to NYC. The main character is “la mascotte de la 207,” the mascot of the class of juniors from the Lycée Merleau-Ponty who participated in the Exchange.

Solidarity with France
As a gesture of solidarity with our friends in Rochefort in the wake of the attacks in Paris on November 13th, a group of French Club members and students who participated in the Exchange got together to create this video-message. While the majority of us are not singers, the students and teachers in Rochefort were touched by our message and show of support.

Anyone interested in buying a bracelet to raise money for the families of the victims of the Paris attacks can get in touch with Youssef Boumjahed. He can be reached at

Student Council Invited to Rotary Club

On November 19th, Student Council senior President, Kevin Deeb, and sophomore Co-President, Jack Flynn, were invited to attend the Rotary Club luncheon meeting at the Dedham Holiday Inn.  Kevin prepared a powerpoint presentation to explain Student Council’s mission and role at Westwood High School.  The Rotary Club was interested in knowing how they could support the Student Council.  Kevin suggested three possible ways:  to assist with our recycling program, to help cover the cost for a motivational/inspirational speaker, or to provide a scholarship for StuCo officers to attend the Officershop, a Leadership workshop held at Holy Cross every fall.  The Rotary members also hoped that the Student Council members would assist them with their annual recycling day. Follow-up is expected.


School Store, The Westside, Now Takes Online Orders

Make sure you get all your holiday shopping done at The Westside. You can now place orders online at Also, don't forget to come in and get a gift card that can be used both online and in store, and watch out for our holiday sale coming soon!

2016 Westwood High School Calendar

Order your 2016 WHS Calendar today!  The calendar features many parts of the WHS community including the arts, sports, clubs/activities, and events.


Cost: $20

Checks can be made payable to Westwood High School and left in the Main Office. Please include a student’s name with your order.


Need a Room Makeover?  

Looking to redesign a space so that it has a new purpose or more positive environment? Camille Hoffman, a Senior at Westwood High School and a student in the Senior Independent Project Program (SIPP) is pursuing her passion of interior design by looking for a space in Westwood that she could redecorate to create a more positive and beneficial purpose. She would love for this space to benefit the community in some way; it could be in a school, in a home or in a public place in Westwood! She is very open to learning about potential spaces to work on. Please contact Camille at if you know of a place that would benefit from this opportunity!

WHS Photos for Scholarships

Please feel free to download the images on this website for free. Mr. Mao donates his time to take the photos because he enjoys 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).

To  those who donated to a scholarship fund last year, THANK YOU!

Peer Tutoring is Now Available

National Honor Society students are now available for tutoring. See the Guidance Department for details. 

Important Dates to Keep in Mind

  • December 9: Early Release
  • December 13: Dance Marathon
  • December 23: Early Release
  • December 24 - 31: Winter Vacation
  • January 1: Winter Vacation
  • January 13: Early Release
  • January 18: Martin Luther King Day (No School)
  • January 19 - 22: Mid Terms Exams
  • January 27: Early Release

Reports to Parents

TERM 1 (44 days):    Last day of term:  November 6
Portal opens to view Progress Reports: October 6
Portal opens to view Report Cards: November 13

TERM 2 (43 days):    Last day of term:  January 15            
Portal opens to view Progress Reports:  December 15
    *Midyear Exams:  1/19, 1/20, 1/21, & 1/22
Portal opens to view Report Cards:  January 29

TERM 3 (44 days):    Last day of term:  April 1
Portal opens to view Progress Reports:  March 1
Portal opens to view Report Cards:  April 8

TERM 4 (49 days):    Last day of term: June 13
Portal opens to view Progress Reports:  May 17
    *Final Exams: 6/14, 6/15, 6/16, & 6/17
Portal opens to view Report Cards: June 21

Important Dates for Seniors

Attention seniors and parents of seniors: a representative from the cap and gown company will be stationed outside of the cafeteria during lunch block on Tuesday, December 8th to take seniors’ measurements (just their heights) to order gowns for Graduation. By that time, seniors will also confirm the name to be printed on their diplomas. Students choose between one of three options: "First Name, Last Name"; "First Name, Middle Name, Last Name"; "First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name." We encourage you to speak with your senior children now about how their diploma name will read during Graduation.

Last day of senior classes: May 24
Senior Exams: May 25-27
Senior Week: May 31-June 3   

Class Day:  June 3  – 4:00 pm
Graduation:  June 5  – 2:00 pm

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