For all of the Punxsutawney Phil critics surfacing during vacation, the cold air is back with a vengeance. It took an entire day of freezing coupled with multiple moments of literally having the wind take my breath away for me to give in and put back on my winter coat.
Coming back from vacation, I was enjoying the additional sunshine earlier in the mornings and did not anticipate the blustery days this week.
By the end of the week, it was hard to realize we had only been back for one week from vacation. While most of the coughing and sneezing had subsided, there was still a bit of restlessness in the early spring air and I found myself checking if we were on the brink of a full moon. There seemed to be a couple of rumors floating about that kept wafting back to the office with less truth than the original tale making for a very interesting version of the telephone game...which some of the students seemed unfamiliar with...what's a telephone...oh, you mean like a cell phone...why wouldn't you just text the message... At any rate, spring tends to bring heightened interest to everyone else's business and initial acts of concern or care for peers can quickly fuel to whispers and misinformation entirely. Remembering our 50% rule,
if your child shares with you a story that involves him or her that makes you say, "that doesn't sound right." Please reach out to an adult at the school so that we can help with the communication. If your child is sharing a story that does not involve him or her, please remind him or her of the fragility of reputations and how hearsay can do harm to both the reputation of the subject of the story as well as the person sharing the information. A few parents in the past, have asked why I wouldn't send home an announcement to let the parents know if a specific rumor was out there to help stop the spread of misinformation. My response then remains the same today. We take great care in protecting the privacy of all of our students and if individual students' privacy would be compromised by an announcement of some kind, then we don't do it. There were a couple of things that individual students chose to do last week that made us pause and say that
was not typical middle school behavior and we addressed them all appropriately as always supporting any student involved as best as we can while maintaining the positive environment we have already for the rest of the student population.
There more engaging parts of this week had nothing to do with sorting out fact from fiction floating through the air, but with actually activity witnessed in multiple classes. Orchestra students were able to demonstrate SmartMusic and discuss how the website benefits their individual practice as they are able to record themselves on a given piece of music and get immediate feedback as to their performance so that they develop their musicianship. Science students were building complex molecules out of legos and were able to articulate the characteristics of the individual atoms and how they work together to form the molecule. Engineering students were focused on safety as they were preparing to work in the woodshop to assemble their creations. Finally, some of our 8th graders were able to participate in the National
Assessment for Educational Progress and show the rest of the country their academic prowess.
Some additional buzz of activity centered on the roommate selection for the 8th grade students going on the trip to Washington DC. Their roommate forms are due Weds March 8. If they have a group together or if they are still looking for people to room with, we need the forms turned in so we can help facilitate the process of finalizing rooms. Encourage your students to think wisely about who they want to room with as sometimes their best friends don't make for the best overnight guests and while they get along well during the day, their sleep patterns might not be conducive to sharing a hotel room. If your child is not sure, encourage him or her to talk with one of the teachers.
I though about calling this update the Rumors update, but then realized the classic Fleetwood Mac album was centered on broken relationships and heartbreak much more so than middle school drama...so, I thought a throw back to Winnie the Pooh might be more appropriate as we remember how young and impressionable our students really still are.
Stay warm and enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Dr. Christopher Chew
Stony Brook School
Westford, MA 01886
Westford Parent Connection Worried About Your Child’s Social And Emotional Health? In today’s high-pressure world, we focus a lot of our attention on our kids’ academic performance. We want them to do well in school so that they can get into good colleges, or to be ready to face the working world. No matter where their lives take them, we want them to be successful. But what about their social and emotional health? Shouldn’t we be as equally concerned about their social and emotional wellbeing? Dr. Joseph Moldover, Psy.D., ABPP/CN, is a development neuropsychologist with a private practice in Wellesley. His interests include the evaluation and management of children and adolescents with learning disorders, developmental disorders, neurological injuries, and psychiatric disabilities. A sough-after speaker, he is coming
to Westford to present Supporting Kids’ Social and Emotional Needs on Thursday, March 9. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is being held at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, at 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Moldover’s presentation is a joint venture between the Westford Parent Connection and the Westford Special Education Parent Advisory Council. The information is appropriate for parents and teachers of children of all abilities, keeping in mind that the social and emotional needs among children in special education are often overlooked or underserved. Dr. Moldover will review the different types of social and emotional challenges which frequently arise among children and adolescents, and will include strategies and recommendations to address those challenges. Time will be allotted for questions. For more information about Dr. Moldover, go to http://drmoldover.com/about/. For other questions, contact Mary Anne Seraphin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Westford Summer Music program is now accepting registrations for instrumental and choral music students entering grades 5 through 9. Band, chorus, and orchestra ensembles will rehearse daily from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Stony Brook School on July 10th through July 14th . During the week, the students will prepare new music and give a free performance on Friday, July 14th at 11 a.m.
Summer Band directed by Ms. Vicki Garino, Blanchard and Stony Brook band director
Summer Chorus directed by Mrs. Karen St. George, WA vocal director
Summer Orchestra directed by Mr. Todd Hamelin, Abbot and Day Schools string director
Teen Centers are a WASA-sponsored event that bring together students from both Blanchard and Stony Brook Middle Schools. This event gives the students an opportunity to meet and socialize in a safe and fun environment. It is held at the Blanchard Middle School. Entertainment includes activities such as a DJ, karaoke, board games, basketball & floor hockey. All Teen Centers run from 7 - 9 p.m. and all students must have a signed permission slip. Westford Middle School Teen Center dates for this year are:
March 10, 2017 - eighth grade Teen Center
April 7, 2017 - sixth grade Teen Center
FAME is looking for baked good donations for the FAME Bake Sales at the upcoming Town Wide Choral Nights on March 7 and 8. Please click on the signup genius links (below) to help. All proceeds from the Bake Sales will go to fund Senior and Summer Music Camp Scholarships.
Town Wide Chorus Bake Sale - Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Town Wide Chorus Bake Sale - Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Thank you for supporting WPS music students!!