Summer Reading program to be implemented through Social Studies classes

In September, WHS students will participate in a new and improved version of the Summer Reading Program. After reviewing student and staff feedback from this year's program and looking at programs in other schools, we have developed a Summer Reading model that will be implemented by our Social Studies teachers in the Fall, with students reading a book over the summer that corresponds with the Social Studies course they are taking in the Fall. 

All students entering 9-11 grade and 12th grade AP Economics and AP Psychology students will read a required book during the summer and participate in a class discussion about the book in mid to late September.  For all non-Advanced Placement courses, students will be asked to prepare a short written assignment in preparation for a class discussion.  All AP classes will have specific assignments shared with the students before the start of summer vacation in June.  Please see below for book and specific assignment descriptions.

Many copies of these titles will be available at the Westwood Public Library either in hard copy or as an e-resource.  Students must have a library card to access.

The book titles and writing assignments are:

  • 9th Grade World Civilizations: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (2008); the students' assignment: as you read this book keep a list of passages that you find to be interesting, meaningful or insightful.  Bring three of these to class as well as a paragraph that explains why one of them is so meaningful to you.
  • 10th Grade Modern World History: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (2008); the students' assignment: as you read this book, make a list of five questions you would like to ask Ishmael Beah regarding his experiences during and after the wars in Sierra Leone.  For one of these questions, please compose a short paragraph about why you want to ask it and how you expect Ishmael might respond.  Be prepared to share with the class.
  • 10th Grade A.P European History: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (2009); the students' assignment: to be shared with students by teacher in June 2016
  • 11th Grade U.S. History: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (2014); the students' assignment: as you read this true account of the boys striving toward achieving a goal, think about goals that you have for yourself.  Identify 2-3 specific aspects of their history that resonate with your own pursuit of this goal.  Compose a paragraph about how your own pursuit of a specific goal is reflected in the book.  Be ready to share with your class.
  • 11th Grade A.P. U.S. History: The Hub: Boston Past and Present by Thomas O’Connor (2001); the students' assignment: to be shared with students in June 2016 by the instructor.
  • 12th Grade A.P. Psychology: Opening Skinner’s Box by Lauren Slater (2005); the students' assignment: to be shared with students in June 2016 by the instructor.
  • 12th Grade A.P. Economics: Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Burton Malkiel and Charles Wheelan (2003); the students' assignment: to be shares with students in June 2016 by the instructor.

Social Host Liability Event underscores role of parents, community in curbing teen drinking

More than 200 community members came out to WHS for an event on June 1st, "Social Host Liability: What You Need To Know". The event featured two speakers and a panel discussion about the various challenges of curbing teen drinking. 

Attorney and Westwood resident Marianne Leblanc spoke about the civil and criminal liability associated with being a 'social host'. She discussed several cases wherein individuals were found liable for providing alcohol to underage individuals. And, she cautioned against providing alcohol to minors or looking the other way in cases where alcohol is being consumed by minors under adults' care.

Speaker Kathi Sullivan followed Ms. Leblanc with a powerful retelling of her personal tragedy: her daughter died in 2008 after drinking in a wooded area with her friends. Kathi underscored the importance of initiating and fostering ongoing conversations with our teens about drinking and drug use. 

Afterward, a panel of town and school officials - including Principal Bevan - responded to parent questions on the topic of teen drinking. 

The event would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the members of Westwood Cares. Specifically, three individuals showed tremendous persistence and leadership to make it a success: John Loughnane, David Russell, and Sarah Baroud were tireless in their efforts and planning. Thanks!

My fellow members of Westwood Cares are happy to share the video of the night's presentation, available

Also worth noting: in planning for the event, Westwood Cares conducted an online survey to learn more about parent attitudes about teen drinking and drug use. We are in the process of tabulating the results of the survey and will share them out soon. 

Finally, the members of Westwood Cares and I would like to share with you some helpful resources on the topic of alcohol and drug education:

Wolverine Teacher Award presented to Special Educator, Mr. Mehigan!

A Message from the Food Service Department

Please remember to put a hold on automatic payments for the summer months. Contact Sandy Mack with any questions. 

News From the Guidance Office

Information for Seniors:  
Thank you to seniors for providing us with information about their college admission decisions. It is very helpful data for the juniors conducting college searches. Best of luck in the fall!
Information for Juniors:
Juniors should continue researching and visiting schools throughout the summer in order to finalize their lists by the fall. Are you are wondering if your child is on track with the college search process? You can review the
College Application Checklist, to see completed and future steps in the process.
Note: Any juniors planning to play Division I or II sports in college must register with the
NCAA Clearinghouse.
Test Prep for Juniors & Sophomores

Naviance provides free online SAT and ACT test preparation for juniors and sophomores, on the homepage under the “Prep Me.” Also, all students have access to free SAT prep through the Khan Academy/College Board Partnership and can prepare for the ACT by taking a free ACT practice test.
Information for Sophomores
The April 30th Practice ACT Score Reports were mailed home. Guidance counselors met with sophomores individually to review the reports as well as current transcripts.
Summer School Reminder
Students who need to take summer school courses should register at an area high school. Information on summer school programs at Norwood High School, Walpole High School and Catholic Memorial High School can be found

News From the Nurse's 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 21. Let me know if you will not be able to pick up medicine by June 21.
Seniors: Ask your graduating 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 form 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.
Mental Health:  If your child has mental health concerns over the summer you can use the Interface Referral Service which will connect you to a mental health professional that takes your insurance.  You can reach them at 617-332-3666 x1411 or                           888-244-6843 x1411. The web site is
You should contact Riverside Emergency Services at (781-769-8674 or 800-529-5077) if there is an imminent concern regarding the safety of your child.
The Vanderbilt Club generously donated 2 free summer memberships to our senior class raffle.  A big thank you to the Vanderbilt Club!!
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!


Final 2015-16 Issue of We the People

Read the final 2015-16 issue of We the People, the school's leading (and only) authority on all things politics HERE. In this issue, you will find arguments in favor of Trump and Clinton as president, an update on GE's move to Massachusetts, a recap of the fallout of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death, and a take on the latest court challenge facing Obamacare.

Special thanks to Brianna Winn '16 for all of her work on the layout of this year's WTP as well as the wonderful group of seniors who made up the WTP staff:

Nick Bonfiglio
Meredith Brodsky
Christian Cappuccino, 
Max Cope-Flanagan
Max Eaton
Will Gettings
Cailin Harrington
Jared Lam
KellyAnne Leone
Max McLaughlin
Robbie Rossetti
Keyon Rostamnezhad
Matt Wagner

There are big shoes to fill for next year's WTP, so students if you are interested, please feel free to email me!
Mr. Shuman

AP Studio Art • A Capstone Experience

The work produced in AP Studio Art is the culmination of years of study in visual art. The senior elective, taught by Liza Houston, is an opportunity for students to engage in a college level investigation of drawing, two-dimensional design, or three-dimensional design issues.The Art Department is pleased to share this site - WHS AP Studio Art Gallery - showcasing the work of this year's AP Studio Art students (as well as some fun “action” photos). The site features images of two (of three) portfolio sections that students submit 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. This digital exhibit shows students’ concentrations with artist statements explaining their conceptual and formal decision-making.

LEFT: Checklists for the final two weeks of work leading to portfolio submission. AT RIGHT: The 2016 crew, post-submission to the College Board, with pinwheels made from their completed checklists.

News From Athletics

The athletic department is rounding out a successful year in sports and already looking forward to the 2016-7 school year.  If you have a fall athlete, please remember to do two things before July 31:

1.  Register your student for a fall sport.
2.  Submit a valid physical to Karen Poreda, the school nurse.  Physicals are valid for 13 months from the date of the physical and must be updated before they expire.  Keep in mind that the school nurse is on vacation during the summer so early submission is essential.

No athlete may begin a fall sport until these two requirements are fulfilled.  To register, view coach contact information,start dates and schedules, and to learn more about athletics at Westwood High School, click on 
Westwood High School Athletics.

Matthew Gillis-Athletic Director,
Martha Laughna-Assistant,

Ice Cream Social Success!

Another incredible year of the PTO serving over 1,200 sundaes in less than 90 minutes! Students say, "this is the best day of the year"! Special thanks to Cindy Neville who donates all the rich and savory sauces and Nina Baros who donates all the delicious sugary toppings. We could not do it without their help!

Westwood Grid Iron Club is accepting Reservations for 6th Annual 9 & Dine

The Westwood Grid Iron Club is accepting reservations for its 6th Annual 9 & Dine Golf Tournament and Dinner which will be held on Monday June 13, 2016 at the Norfolk Golf Club in Westwood, Massachusetts.  Golf registration begins at 2:15 p.m. with a 3:00 p.m. shotgun start.  The tournament will be followed by Wine Tasting, Appetizers and Dinner by Conrad’s in the Clubhouse.  New England Patriots Reporter Mike Reiss will be the keynote speaker.   There will be a live and silent auctions and great raffle prizes. The cost is $500 per foursome or $125 per person for the tournament and $40 per person if not golfing. For more reservations and information, please contact Bob Delaney @ or Michelle Berlutti @ All proceeds will benefit the Westwood High School and Middle School Football programs.   

Visiting Artist from MassArt Comes to Westwood

On May 26th, students in Ms. Jellinghaus's Ceramics 1 classes and Ms. Thurston's Studio Art 1 class enjoyed a presentation by Visiting Artist MassArt Professor Ben Ryterband.  Professor Ryterband came back to Westwood for his second visit to demonstrate professional wheel throwing techniques. Upcoming, two more Visiting Artists will be giving presentations to the Advanced Ceramics students -- Vanessa Ruiz, from Montserrat College of Art, and Minotte Romulus, from Artistic Noise. These visits correspond with a new unit on the Individual and Society. We are exploring how art can be used to address larger social issues.  Sincere thanks to the Westwood PTO grant program for making these artist visits possible!

Students are Recognized by Westwood Rotary and Westwood Youth & Family Services

Marisa Blum and William Collins are receiving the Recognize A Youth (RAY award from the Westwood Rotary and Westwood Youth & Family Services. Recipients of this award have distinguished themselves through their initiative and commitment to community service and have demonstrated an ethic of caring for others. Marisa and William were nominated by Trish Tucke from the Senior Center where they volunteer on a weekly basis at the food pantry. They will be honored at a June 7th luncheon where they will receive a certificate of appreciation.

Oxford News!

This year marks the 10th year anniversary of the Westwood-at-Oxford Program. It's hard to believe that it has been a decade since we began offering this amazing summer study abroad opportunity to our graduating seniors. 

This year, fourteen of Westwood's best and brightest will be attending the program from July 5th to the 24th. Congratulations to this year's students for their stellar academic performance and strong character qualities that made them eligible for participation: 

Jessica Walsh, Brigitte Farah, Youssef Boumjahed, MeghanMcManus, James Erickson, Meaghan Wheeler, Adam Bass, Meghan Farrell,  Elizabeth James, Julia Marcantonio, Katherine Koczirka, Olivia Buckle, Conor O’Grady, Marissa Mealey  

Program Coordinator, Karen Brackman, would like to thank Mr. John Antonucci, Ms. Emily Parks, and Mr. Sean Bevan for their unwavering support of the program throughout the years. 

For more information about the program, visit the Oxford Program website. Current juniors will have the opportunity to apply for the summer of 2017. Mrs. Brackman has been visiting English classes to explain the program participation requirements and distributing pre-application forms.

Please email Mrs. Brackman with any questions:

Fall Play

A drum, a Drum!
Macbeth doth come.

The 2016 fall play will be Shakespeare's Macbeth.  Auditions are September 7 & 8.  Information on the production and audition materials can be found on the 
Drama Web Site

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Howard

News from Mandarin
​Thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Westwood Education, students from the Mandarin 2/3 class traveled to New York City in April to experience the city's array of Chinese cultural offerings.  Students began their day at the China Institute where they took part in a workshop examining the relationship between painting and the written Chinese language. The students learned about the origins of Chinese characters, practiced calligraphy techniques, and then created their own Chinese character paintings.  Next, the group traveled to Chinatown for a dim sum lunch, followed by exploration of the neighborhood's Asian bakeries, tea shops and supermarkets. The day finished with a martial arts boot camp at the New York Chinese Cultural Center, ending with the students performing a routine based on the Shaolin kung fu form.  It was a lot of Chinese culture packed into one day, and our Mandarin 2/3 class greatly appreciates WEF's generosity in making it possible!
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.

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).

In the past year, over $1500 has been donated to various scholarships at the high school.  Thank you for your donations!

Important Dates to Keep in Mind

  • June 21: Last Day of School

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 (42 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 (51 days):    Last day of term: June 15
Portal opens to view Progress Reports:  May 17
    *Final Exams:  
6/16, 6/17, 6/20, & 6/21
Portal opens to view Report Cards: June 23

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