Final Exams Kick Off with First-Ever "Teen Study Week"

I am very excited to share with you information about a first-ever program, "Teen Study Week", that the WHS PTO developed in cooperation with the Westwood Public Library. Each weekday night before exams (Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday), the library is offering later hours and fun programming to support students as they prep for their exams. The library will be open each night from 7-11, with PTO volunteers on hand to support the students with snacks and fun stress-relieving strategies. 

I am so thankful to our amazing PTO for their tireless support of WHS students and teachers. Thanks!

The Final Exam Schedule is:
Friday, June 19
8:00-9:30    H Block Exam
10:00-11:30    G Block Exam

Thursday, May 28
8:00-9:30    F Block Exam
10:00-11:30    E Block Exam

Friday, May 29
8:00-9:30    D Block Exam
10:00-11:30    C Block Exam

Wednesday, June 24
8:00-9:30    B Block Exam
10:00-11:30    A Block Exam

Have a great summer, everyone!


Congratulations Class of 2015!

News from the Guidance Office 

Guidance Counselors continue to meet with juniors during the month of June to review current grades, standardized test scores, and develop a well balanced list of colleges.  Juniors are encouraged to continue researching and visiting schools throughout the summer in order to finalize their lists in the fall. 
Sophomores & Juniors
Naviance provides free on-line standardized test preparation for sophomores and juniors. The “Prep Me” program is on the homepage of Naviance and provides SAT and ACT test prep.
Summer School Reminder
Students who need to take summer school courses should register at an area high school. There is a link to the Summer School Programs at Norwood High School, Walpole High School and Catholic Memorial High School on the guidance website.

News from the Health Office 

Medications in the Nurse’s Office: All medicine in the nurse’s office must be picked up by the last day of school or it will be destroyed.  Medication cannot be stored in the school during the summer.  This includes medications such as EpiPens or inhalers.  

Please try to pick up any medicine by June 24. Let me know if you will not be able to pick up medicine by June 24.


Seniors: Ask your senior what they learned in the seminar “What Now?” There are some good talking points before your child is living on their own.  See the health office web site for more information.


Health Records and Immunizations: If you will need a copy of your child’s immunization record or physical exam, let Mrs. Poreda or Mrs. Galvin know as soon as possible as the nurse’s office is closed during the summer.


Taking Medication at School Next Year: A form need to be filled out if your child will need to take medication next year during the school day.  The form has a section for the parent to fill out and a section for the health care provider to fill out.  The form is available in the nurse’s office or on the school web site in the health office section.  Any over the counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol require that the forms be filled out.


Medication Disposal: You can dispose of any medicine by bringing it to the lobby of the Westwood Police station 7 days a week, 24 hours a day no questions asked.  You will see a large drug drop off container that you can put medications in.  This keeps medicine out of the hands of your children.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  It is also better for the environment as the medications will not get into the water supply.


Physical Exams: If your child plans to play a fall sport, make sure that their physical is up to date.  Now is the time to schedule an appointment for a physical if you have not already done so.  Students will not be able to try out for a sport without a current physical on file in the nurse’s office.  A physical is current for 13 months.


The Vanderbilt Club generously donated 2 free summer memberships to our senior class raffle.  A big thank you to the Vanderbilt Club!!


Mental Health Awareness and Help: Minding the Elephant was filmed in San Francisco in 2013 to help de-stigmatize and promote awareness of mental health issues. Mental illnesses are treatable, and with proper support individuals attain an improved quality of life and wellness. In this brief video clip the filmmakers capture your attention and provide you with many different facts on mental health concerns. To watch the short 2 minute video, see the related resources and view the ongoing discussion board visit:


Summer: If your child has any changes in health over the summer, please let Mrs. Poreda know at ext. 3353 or Mrs. Galvin at ext. 3350 so they can provide any assistance you or your child may need during the school year.  Have a safe and healthy summer!


Message from Food Services

A reminder to all families: any balances on food services accounts must be paid by the end of the school year. Contact Janis Meany ( with questions. 

WHS Photos Available for Download

Mr. Mao has created a website which allows a free download of all photos. If you enjoy these photos, please consider making a donation to the Westwood Community Scholarship Fund (or another scholarship).
Funds can be mailed to:
Westwood Community Scholarship Fund
c/o Westwood High School
200 Nahatan Street
Westwood, MA 02090

AP Studio Art - A Capstone Experience

The work produced in AP Studio Art is the culmination of years of study and practice. This year, WHS’s AP Studio Art welcomed students from all disciplines of visual study (3D design, ceramics, graphic design, photography), rather than, as in years past, just students who had taken the studio art sequence. The result has energized the visual arts program for both students and faculty.


We are pleased to share this site - WHS-AP-Art-2015 - showcasing the work of this year's AP Studio Art students. This site features two (of three) portfolio sections that students submit this May to the College Board for scoring: breadth and concentration.


The most challenging section is "the concentration," which is a body of visually and intellectually related work. Rather than responding to external prompts or working within teacher-defined parameters, students pursue a self-directed investigation. In addition to demonstrating mastery of art/design issues, a successful concentration evidences risk-taking, critical reflection, and growth. Often, students' best works are those created towards the end of their concentrations when they have really hit their stride. (Unfortunately those strongest works are packaged and shipped to College Board judges as part of the AP exam, so they're rarely exhibited in the school community.)


This digital exhibit shows student concentrations in the order in which works were created. You can see the evolution of students' ideas, and, often, the increasing quality, control, and clarity of intention. The accompanying artist statements explain the students' conceptual and formal decision-making.


AP Psychology Research Exhibition

On Friday, May 22nd, students in AP Psychology held their annual Research Exhibition in the courtyard.  The exhibition was the culmination of a five-month process that included the background research, design, panel defense, and implementation of an original research study in psychology.  This year's projects included the following topics:
The Influence of Conformity on Perception of Phobias
Subliminal Perception of Classically Conditioned Cues
Student Distraction in 1-1 Classroom Technology 
Netflix Addiction as a Diagnosable Condition
Gender Stereotypes in Professional Attire
Test Type Differences in High/Low Functioning Autistic Children
The students enjoyed presenting their studies to fellow students and staff members!    

WHS Students Relish a Bell ‘Italia Tour of Italy!

Photo on Left: Overlooking the gorgeous city of Florence with the enormous Duomo di Firenze (dome) atop the Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore, designed and engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi in the distance.  

Photo on Right: Visiting The Colosseum on a very warm day in Rome. This is the largest amphitheater ever built, and is considered one of the greatest feats of architecture and engineering. 
During April vacation, Mrs. Thurston, the K-12 Director of Art, chaperoned 12 WHS students on an intensive tour of Italy’s art and culture, visiting its most noteworthy provinces. World Strides International Discovery Programs, who coordinated the tour, peppered the week with so many educational extensions and activities, and our tour Director Vanessa Nicol was simply outstanding!
The 9-day tour began with a direct flight to Venice. On of the true highlights of the trip for everyone was venturing through Venice’s canals on authentic Venetian gondolas. We also enjoyed seeing the old-world glassblowers working on the island of Murano. We visited the lovely city of Ravenna, and moved on quickly to Florence, home of the most beloved Renaissance art and abundant shopping opportunities!
Mid-week, students climbed the steep and narrow roads of Assisi in the Umbria region, and enjoyed visiting the quaint shops and cafes there. There was at least one Gelato stop every day!

Just some of the incredible highlights were Doges Palace, Accademia, St. Francis's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Square, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the ruins of Pompeii! It was a trip to remember. Bravo to all who made this trip possible! 

Congratulations to 5 Westwood Writers!

Pictured Above: Gavin Loughnane, Emilie Magnan, and Caroline Scanlan, 3 of 5 Westwood winners/finalists
Please join the English Department in recognizing all WHS students who participated in the Write This Minute writing contest this spring. We are thrilled to congratulate 5 Westwood winners and finalists:
Caroline Scanlan - *First Place, Prose* for "I Understand"
Liz Collins - Finalist, Poetry for "Sad Songs"
Dante Giugliano - Finalist, Prose for "Casper"
Gavin Loughnane - Finalist, Prose for "Stranded"
Emilie Magnan - Finalist, Prose for "Sallowness"
Please visit the contest website
to see all of the winners'/finalists' works..
We are extremely grateful to our cross-town judging panel and the Westwood and Medfield PTOs whose contributions made this community-wide celebration of student writing possible. We hope all WHS students will continue writing as we prepare for next year’s contest!

Congrats to Ultimate Frisbee!

Ultimate frisbee won the D3 tournament on Sunday, May 31 in Fort Devens. Final scores were 13-2 Middleborough, 8-4 Somerville, 10-5 Xaverian, 12-4 Harvard were our 4 games.
Thanks again for all you support!

Day of Silence

Staying Quiet to Speak Out:
On Friday, May 8th, Westwood students & teachers observed the Day Of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the name-calling, bullying, harassment, and abuse—in effect the silencing—faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their straight allies in schools.  Students wore Gay-Straight Alliance shirts, pins, and rainbow bandanas, and handed out cards explaining their reasons for keeping silent.

Host a French Student in the Fall for Part Deux of the Westwood French Exchange!

Photo courtesy of Mr. Daniel Jibson
There will be an Informational Meeting for families interested in hosting one or more French students on Thursday, June 11th at 6:00 p.m. in room A259. Hosting is open to everyone in the community, whether or not your child takes French. We are still looking for families who would be able to host boys. The group from Rochefort will be arriving in Westwood on Friday, October 9th and staying through Saturday, October 17th. For more details, come to the meeting on June 11th. If you have any questions, or are unable to attend the meeting but would like to host a student, please contact Ms. Aykanian at

We all scream for Ice Cream!

The PTO all school Ice Cream Social held on May 14th was another hands down big hit with students! Special thanks to Nina Barros, who makes all the candy possible
and to Cindy Neville who donates all the syrup toppings!

Fall Sports Registration

Registration for Fall 2015 athletics has begun.  Please register before July 1 to assure that we can accommodate as many athletes as possible by providing us with an accurate count of potential athletes.  Early registration helps us plan for the fall.  In order to be eligible for tryouts athletes must complete the following:
1.  Register for sports at before July 1.
2.  Provide a physical dated less than 13 months from the start of the season to the school nurse.  The nurse is on vacation during the summer so please provide any updated physicals as soon as possible.
Athletic fee payment us due once your athlete has been placed on a team.  Please understand that payment does not constitute registration.  Registration must be completed at before any athlete participates.
For more information about Westwood High School athletics go to:

Spanish Club News

Spanish Club raised over $300 for the Jimmy Fund by having students guess how many jelly beans were in the jar! This year's total number of jelly beans was 423! Chance Myers won with a guess of 414 and Mark Massad came in 2nd with a guess of 444. Spanish Club will be attending the Jimmy Fund Scooper BowlWednesday 6/3 for an all you can eat ice cream event! 

2014 - 2015 SIPP Recap

by Marissa Mealey, Member of the 2015-2016 SIPP Class
This year the Westwood High School community got to watch a group of talented seniors take on their own challenging projects all the while succeeding at it. This opportunity was through SIPP - Senior Independent Project Program. This full year course gives students an opportunity to pursue their own passion in a way that are unlike most traditional ways of learning here at Westwood High School. Independence is especially emphasized in this project because students are essentially taking the reins into their own hands along with a mentorship with a professional related to their passion; however, students do have support from their SIPP teacher and mentor advisor. Students who were a part of SIPP enjoyed the experience, independence, and networking. This year there was a plethora of students’ passions that all took different paths:

  • Animal endangerment → current and future SIPP students were able to attend a field trip to the Franklin Park Zoo and experience behind-the-scenes care for animals

  • “seventeen” → a play written and directed by SIPP student Colin Burke

  • Sweets, Treats, and Good-Eats → a collection of quick easy recipes created by a SIPP student

  • Fair Trade Night → a fair trade festival featuring a variety of high quality foods, goods and handcrafts from around the world

2015-16 Bus Registration: March 1 - June 30

IMPORTANT CHANGE – Bus Stickers will no longer be issued to Middle and High School Students.  At the end of August, families will be notified via email what Bus # their child(ren) have been assigned to and Bus Routes will be posted on the District Web Site and in the local newspaper.
The annual bus fee for 2015-2016 will be $180.00 per student.  The annual family cap will remain at $450.00 for all students in grades K-12.

Online Bus Registration
If you are interested in Bus Transportation for your child, please visit the Westwood Public Schools’ website at and click on, Bus Transportation on the main page.  After reading the FAQ’s, you can Register and pay online for Transportation. To guarantee a seat on the bus, registration and payment must be received by the June 30th deadline.
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.

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.

Heath Petracca
Director of Business & Finance

Westwood Ties & Bowties For Sale

The WHS Student Council is selling forest green polyester ties with the word "WESTWOOD" written repeatedly in a diagonal in white to create a striped effect. The ties sell for $25.00 each with 10% of every sale being donated to the Westwood Community Chest, a local organization that helps Westwood families in need. Checks may be written to Westwood High School and delivered to Paula Lawless at the high school.  Thank you in advance for supporting the WHS Student Council.


Reports to Parents

TERM 4 (40 days):    Last day of term: June 18
Portal opens to view Progress Reports:  May 8
    *Final Exams: 6/19, 6/22, 6/23, & 6/24
Portal opens to view Report Cards: June 26

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