WHS to Host Distracted Driving Simulations

As you know, one of the most dangerous behaviors teens exhibit is a tendency to drive while distracted, especially by using their phone or the car radio. Westwood High School is proud to be hosting the Arbella Insurance Foundation’s Distractology program at the end of the month in response to this concern, which we all share. The free program offers video simulations of real-life driving scenarios and teaches new drivers the dangers of driving distractions, including texting behind the wheel. For more info about Distractology, click here.

The eye-catching Distractology trailer will roll into Westwood on Monday, March 27th and sessions are available 7:30am to 3:30pm through Friday, March 31st. 

Students may sign up in the Main Office with Ms. Kinsman. Participants should bring their driver's license or permit with them to make the appointment. 

MCAS Testing Dates
English Language Arts: March 21 - 23
Math: May 16 & 17
Biology: June 5 & 6

Information from Guidance

Course Selection for 2017-2018 School Year:
Students completed the course selection process last week on Aspen. Course confirmation letters will be sent home on March 30th verifying students’ course selections. If your child chose a higher level academic course than their teacher recommended a conversation with the teacher is encouraged. If you choose to override a recommendation, you must speak to the respective department head and complete a Request for Change of Recommended Level Form, these forms will be mailed home next week. Individual schedules, including courses, blocks and teacher assignments, will be sent home in August.

Information for Seniors:  
“So You’re In: Now What”, Wednesday, March 8th, 11:00 to 11:50 a.m.
The workshop is for seniors and will include a panel of former WHS graduates reflecting on their college choice, advice on comparing financial aid packages and selecting the best fit school after acceptance.

Westwood Community Scholarships & Awards
Seniors were given access to the online Westwood Community Scholarships & Awards application. Students who wish to be considered for any community/school-based scholarship, or non-monetary award, are encouraged to apply. The SAR (Student Aid Report) and financial portion of the application must be submitted to be considered for scholarships, but is not required for non-monetary awards. The deadline is April 6th.

Certificate of Mastery
Seniors who plan on attending one of the Massachusetts state colleges, received an application for for the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Scholarship, and meet the additional requirements should submit the application to Guidance by May 1st. Please contact your child’s guidance counselor with any questions.

Information for Juniors:
Parents are encouraged to submit the Parent Information Form, aka the “Parent Brag Sheet,” to their child’s guidance counselor. Information provided on these forms is very helpful for writing letters of recommendation.

The TEC College Fair will be held on March 22nd, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at WHS. Juniors are encouraged to attend.

Many juniors are in the process of preparing for spring SATs and ACTs. Access these links for information regarding SAT & ACT Test Prep and how to Register for the SAT and ACT.

Counselors will be meeting with juniors from now until the end of the year to discuss the college search process and develop a list of colleges. Parents and students are encouraged to visit the Junior Page of the Guidance website for helpful links and resources.

Information for Sophomores:
Guidance counselors will go into second semester Wellness classes next month to discuss career exploration. Students will complete a career interest inventory and research potential majors/careers.

News From the Nurse's Office

Grade 12: Health Insurance:  It is very important that you check your health insurance for your graduating senior.  The Affordable Care Act ensures that children can be covered under their parent’s health insurance until they are 26.  But make sure your insurance will cover them if they will live out of state or out of your insurance network.  Often insurance will only cover for emergency care, not routine care, if you are out of state or out of network.  Check now to make adjustments in your coverage if needed especially if your child has a chronic illness.  But no one can predict the future and what condition your child may develop.  Medical care is expensive!!

Grade 12: Once your child is accepted to college many forms will come in the mail for them to fill out.  One important form is documentation of current immunizations.  Your child won’t be able to register for classes until this form is completed and returned.  Many colleges also require a current physical so make sure you schedule an appointment with the pediatrician.    If your child needs help with this college form or has questions, please tell them to come to the nurse’s office for help. The high school nurse’s office is closed during the summer so don’t wait.

Emergency Information: Please check your emergency information in aspen and change it if necessary.  It is very important that you can be reached in an emergency.  If your phone number has changed make sure you change it in aspen.  If you forget how to make changes, go the
high school web site and instructions are available.

Individual Health Plans (IHP): If your child has an individual health plan in place at school, take time to review it.  The plan must be renewed each year so now is a good time to see if what is in place is working for your child.  New plans for next year will be mailed home in May.  Call Mrs. Poreda or Mrs. Galvin if you have questions or want to make any changes.

Talking with your child: Do you find that your child only gives you one word answers or as little information as possible?  When you ask how their day was do they give a one word answer?
Click here  to get suggestions on how to get your child talking.

Ticks: Spring is wonderful but it brings ticks.  To learn more about tick borne diseases and how to avoid them, go to
the CDC website for information.

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.

2017 - 2018 Bus Registration Now Open

Online Bus Registration
If you are interested in Bus Transportation for your child, please visit this LINK.  After reading the FAQ’s, you can Register and pay online for Transportation.

The annual bus fee for 2017-2018 will be $180.00 per student.  The annual family cap will remain at $450.00 for all students in grades K-12.

To guarantee a seat on the bus, registration and payment must be received by the June 30th deadline.
Bus Stickers will not be issued to Middle and High School Students.  At the end of August, please check the Aspen Portal to see what Bus # your child(ren) have been assigned to. The Bus Routes will be posted on the District Website and in the local newspaper.      
Parents will need their child’s Student ID # (except for Kindergarten) which can be found on elementary school lunch invoices, middle school lunch cards, report cards or high school ID cards.  Please make sure to enter the grade your child will be entering next September.
Heath Petracca
Director of Business & Finance

No Need to Wait!
Sign up now online for next fall.
If you have any questions regarding bus registration, please email, or call the business office 781-326-7500, x1343

All Registrations and Payments are due by June 30th

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 3/7/17 Meeting

  • Sean reported that he and department heads had been working on developing a revised midyears and finals exam schedule, one that would reduce the time dedicated to finals. One driver for the change was that many academic departments have changed the way they assess to include conferencing, projects, presentations, and performance assessments. Additionally, midyear and final exams comprise up to a maximum of 5% each of a student’s final grade and the amount of time spent testing in the old schedule (8 days) was not reflective of this percentage.

  • Sean presented the second draft of the Global Travel Guidebook, which incorporated feedback the group had given in December. Particular attention was paid to the Code of Conduct that students and parents must sign. The handbook will be put into practice this spring.

  • Sean reported that in collaboration with Westwood Cares, he has decided to administer the Youth Health Survey every other year in coordination with towns already doing so. This initiative will provide parents, staff, students, and the community with important data about the behaviors of the students so that community groups can provide appropriate programming.

Upcoming Meetings:
  • April 4
  • May 2
  • June 6
All meetings, unless otherwise noted, take place 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. in the Main Office Conference Room. All are welcome. 

Encounters with the Arts: March 23rd, 7 - 9pm

Westwood High School students have begun preparing for “Encounters with the Arts”, an open house of art, theatre, and music which will take place on Thursday, March 23rd from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. This event will mark the 23nd annual celebration of arts achievement at Westwood High School.

March is National Youth Art Month, Music in our Schools Month, as well as Theatre in Our Schools Month. These observances are on full display during the Encounters with the Arts night. The program will showcase various music and theatre performances as well as an expansive visual arts exhibit.

All performances and exhibitions will take place in the Visual and Performing Arts wing at the high school. Admission is free.

This is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their talent and creativity with the community. It is also a perfect opportunity for middle school students and their parents to observe the wide array of elective opportunities available to them at the high school.

For additional information, please contact:

Heather Cote, K-12 Director of Performing Arts
(781) 326-7500 X4368

Katie Thurston, K-12 Director of Art
(781) 326-7500 X4382  

Green Years Yearbook Now ON SALE

The 2017 Green Years Yearbook is now on sale.

We are pleased to release the second issue of We the Peopleour school's political magazine that is written and produced by WHS students.  

In this issue, we feature a recap of the Women's March on Washington, a summary of President Trump's key Cabinet picks, and several opinion pieces on the new administration's views towards and relationship with the press.

Many thanks to Grace Burke, our WTP editor, for putting together a outstanding issue, as well as Quinn Albert, Owen Doherty, Brett Iarrobino, Anusha Manglik, and Jayson Schultz for their very impressive articles.

Students, if you are interested in writing for We the People, we are always looking for writers to pitch ideas and produce articles of 500 words or less for future issues. Please email me if interested.

Mr. Shuman
WTP Advisor

WHS - Chinese Exchange Program

Westwood High School's first-ever two-way exchange program with China got off to a successful start last month when WHS students hosted 15 Chinese students from a high school in Chengdu.  The Chinese students spent two weeks in Westwood living with host families, attending classes at WHS, and exploring the Boston area.  

WHS students are now getting ready for the next stage of the exchange, a 10-day trip to China!  Over April vacation, they will travel to Chengdu, live with local families, reunite with the Chinese students and attend classes at their high school.  While in Chengdu, the students will visit ancient temples, hike historic Mt. Emei, and see giant pandas up close!  Before heading home, the students will also spend three days in Beijing, where they will visit the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and other cultural landmarks and climb the Great Wall.

Ciao! From Italy and Greece

This past February Break, 24 WHS juniors and seniors and 4 staff members traveled to Italy and Greece for a tour of the Ancient Mediterranean world. From the Colosseum, to the Isle of Capri, to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, and of course, the endless cones of gelato, the students enjoyed an incredible 5 days in Italy, before making our way to Greece. The natural beauty of Greece was breathtaking and the group enjoyed the sites at Delphi, the city of Athens, and the Greek cuisine. Thanks to the students for an incredible insight into the ancient world!

News From Athletics

Last call for spring sports registration!  If you haven't already done so, please register for spring sports by clicking on Westwood High School Athletics website and click on the "Register Now" button halfway down the page.  Also please assure that your registered athlete has a valid physical on file with the school nurse.  Physicals are valid for 13 months from the date of the physical.

The Westwood athletic department is very excited to offer a new program this spring.  Unified Track is a partnership between the MIAA and Special Olympics which brings together athletes, with and without disabilities, as teammates and competitors.  Athletes and partners compete alongside one another, each in a meaningful and integral role on the Unified Track team.  Westwood is very excited to offer Unified Track this Spring 2017.  For registration instructions, please see above.

Finally, congratulations to the boys indoor track team for a resounding victory in the Trivalley League championship meet and to track coach Tim Chant for earning TVL Track Coach of the Year honors.  Good luck to boys and girls hockey, and boys and girls basketball in the MIAA tournaments.

French Club Celebrates Mardi Gras

On Tuesday, February 28, French Club students and their friends ate King Cake from New Orleans and beignets, expertly deep-fried by Ben Dubiner '17, as they listened to Carnaval music, spoke French, and read about how this holiday is celebrated in Louisiana and Martinique. 

Tri-M News

By Jamie Vaccaro, Historian

On January 26th, the Tri-M Music Honor Society held its annual charity concert, raising over $500 for ProjectStep, an organization in Boston that provides string instruments and lessons to students in need. Tri-M Members demonstrated a variety of talent and enthusiasm that left the audience dancing in the aisles. The money raised was a dramatic increase from last year, so Tri-M wants to thanks everyone for their support!. 

This year's Tri-M CD, produced by Ezzie Stone, features music from a number of Tri-M musicians. The CD's will be sold for $5 beginning on Encounters with the Arts. If you are unable to make it, they will also be sold at concerts through the end of the year as well as during lunch.

Key Club Spreads the Love for Valentine's Day

Key Club members made Valentine's Day a little brighter for young patients at Boston’s Children's Hospital by creating special Valentine's Day themed gift bags.  While we could not offer candy due to diet and allergy restrictions, we included many items we were told patients often request such as card games, stickers, drawing materials, chapstick to soothe lips in the dry hospital air, and temporary tattoos. Bridget Murphy also designed a special mini-coloring book for us to include.  (In addition, Bridget coordinated the making of winter holiday cards that were distributed in December to patients at Norwood Hospital.)
We would like to thank Susie McCarthy for co-ordinating this Valentine’s Day project and for making sure bags got assembled over the weekend after a snow day forced us to cancel our club meeting! Thanks also to parent Pamela Wickett for delivering the gift bags to Children’s Hospital and to Rosie Holmes from the Children’s Miracle Network for serving as our liaison.
Key Club would also like to extend our belated gratitude to Julie Abi-Elias and the WHS community for a very successful Thanksgiving Drive. Under Julie's leadership, we were able to make the holidays brighter for many Westwood families via our contribution to the Westwood Food Pantry.  

Jazz Night Was A Great Success!

The 6th annual Jazz Night was held on Monday march 6. The WHS Jazz band had the opportunity to work with 3 professional jazz musicians in a clinic prior to the event, and then play alongside the clinicians and Westwood music faculty in the evening concert. It was a great evening of jazz! 
Academics in Action
This section of the newsletter highlights activities happening in the classroom

Nuntiī Latīnī (News From Latin) 

As the conclusion of our unit on gladiators and violence in the ancient world, students of Latin III participated in their own Munera Rōmāna (Gladiatorial Games) which they organized and hosted in the WHS library.  Students wrote catch phrases, insults, words of encouragement, and vows to the gods, and they were expected to be able to describe their armor and respond to questions that they couldn’t entirely anticipate.  Dr. Z’s Latin students do much more than interpretive reading – they speak Latin everyday as this video demonstrates – fruere! (i.e. enjoy)!
Thomas Herbert (’18) Retiārius “Pastor Populī” contra Matt Mackin (’18) Murmillo “Hircus”
Caroline Kremer (’18) Thraex “Flamma”, threatens to dedicate the burning hair and eyebrows of her opponent to Minerva for the victory!
In order to show off their presentational speaking and writing in Latin, students of Latin III also created an adaptation of Vergil’s Aeneid II, and performed the text as a rap with Cypress Hill’s Rap Superstar in the background.  Dr. Z was able to share the product with with other Latin teachers across the United States. Fēlīciter!

News from TEC

Members of the Westwood High School Friendship Club painted puzzle pieces for an art project created by Christina Wysocki, a WHS senior who is doing an independent project with  TEC students this year. We look forward to seeing all of the art projects on display at the art show on May 2nd!
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

  • 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

If you have any questions or concerns for the School Committee, please contact our liaison, Ms. Carol Lewis:

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

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