Waiting outside in the sunshine yesterday afternoon with students from bus #32, I enjoyed the warm sun on my face and was encouraged to be surrounded by green. I would have preferred the green to be in the form of grass and leaves and not merely the theme overwhelming student selection of Friday's apparel, but nonetheless the green was a reminder that spring is coming....eventually.
It humored me that many of the students waiting for the delayed bus were trying to log in to see their report cards. I told them that unfortunately they were not posted yet, because I was standing outside with them and not able to give the green light for Ms. Hendley to publish the reports. A few of them told me they would be ok outside by themselves if I wanted to go inside to publish them. Needless to say, I laughed and continued to wait with them pondering the essential questions: what will our grades be and where is our bus? Hopefully, none of the grades were a surprise.
Just as we did with the Term 1 report cards, the grades for Art & Engineering will be published separately as progress reports since they are operating on a quarter schedule and not the trimester. Access to those reports will be made available next week also through the iParent Portal.
Another sure sign of spring includes our preparation for upcoming MCAS tests. Thursday, our 8th grade teams engaged in an infrastructure trial with all of the other WPS schools participating in online MCAS assessments this year. It was very successful in giving students and teachers a more realistic experience as to what the actual test sessions will be like and it provided us with the ability to test our technological system with all of the schools accessing the online resources at the same time. Each of our grades will test on different days during the actual MCAS sessions, so we started with 8th grade on Thursday and our 7th and 6th grade students will be participating in a trail run later this week. If you are curious, our schedule of the actual MCAS test sessions are listed on the Stony Brook
Not to minimize how excited our students are about standardized testing, but many of our students are also excited about the upcoming Spring Sports season. Informational meetings will be held during Advisory on the following days:
3/21 - Tuesday Day 4: - 6th Grade- Track and Field- Meeting in Gym
3/22 - Wed. Day 5 : 7 and 8 Grade - Girls Volleyball- Room 204
Baseball - First Floor (8th grade team area) Common Room
Softball - Second Floor (6th grade team area) Common Room
Track and Field - Gym
Coaches will meet with students to advise of sign up process and answer questions about the upcoming season.
Information will also be posted on the Stony Brook Sports Website.
Track and Field has a team website linked to the Stony Brook Sports Website
Projected start date for practices and tryouts, weather permitting is Monday 4/3.
For a more comedic sporting event taking place this spring, make sure not to miss the spectacle of watching teachers try to keep up with the students on the court:
Stony Brook v. Blanchard Basketball Game - April 6 - Save the Date!
Will the Stony Brook Panthers keep the trophy for another year? Or will the Blanchard Bulldogs bulldoze them off the court? Join Dr. Chew, Mr. Hislop and the WMSPTO for our 7th Annual Middle School Basketball Game. Wear your school colors! Tickets will be sold at the door, $3/person.
Spring always bring increased social activity among teens. As they are increasingly building their contact lists on mobile devices, it is always important that we remind them of the increased responsibility that they need to develop if they increase online activity. On Thursday, March 30 from 6-7pm, our adjustment counselor, Ms. Oehley, will be presenting a program entitled "Your Digital Footprint: Making the best on-line choices" The presentation and discussion will be focusing on student's use of technology, Netiquette, safety, on-line reputation and the various messages being sent. The presentation portion will be approximately 45 minutes with 15 minutes for questions and discussion. It is a discussion that needs to be ongoing and we need to stay up to date with the latest trends and activities surrounding
our children's online activities. The presentation is designed primarily for parents but students are welcome to attend as well as it can be a great foundation for continued conversations at home.
The recent snow has created an impact on the traffic on Farmer Way in the mornings. On a few occasions, the number of students lining up to sign-in after the bell has extended out of the office. Please be mindful of the potential delay on Farmer Way and give yourself enough time to get students here before the bell. Students can be dropped-off all along our front curb. You do not need to wait until you are at the crosswalk to let your child out...stopping is important...and being aware of the cars in front of you and behind you...but they do not need to wait until they are at the front door in most cases to get out of the car. They may ask you to provide door to door service, but our sidewalk is well maintained and if getting into the building on time is complicated by a long line of traffic, feel free to
encourage them to walk a little farther...unless of course your child is one of the many individuals currently using crutches :?)
While waiting in line on Farmer Way, you may have noticed the recent speed limit signs. The posted limit all along Farmer Way from the entrance at Rt 40 all the way down to the school is 15 MPH. So, while you are considering the traffic and getting to school on time...don't forget the speed limit. Just one more thing to worry about while getting your day started.
If the morning commute increases tension and you don't have a favorite morning talk show or music playing in the car that helps relieve stress, consider some mindful breathing while you are waiting in line, the students are getting more and more accustomed to it so they should be able to talk you through some.
We almost had an additional half-day on Friday, the half-day bells were inadvertently set for both Thursday and Friday. So, at 11:00 am on Friday, the bell went off and I am happy to say that while they may have wanted to leave for the day, all of the teachers...I mean the students...well, both remained in their classes.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Dr. Christopher Chew
Stony Brook School
Westford, MA 01886
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
Making Caring Common: Raising Kind, Ethical, And Happy Children
Research in human development clearly shows that the seeds of empathy, caring, and compassion are present from early in life, but that to become caring, ethical people, children need adults to help them at every stage of childhood to nurture these seeds into full development.
We should work to cultivate children’s concern for others because it’s fundamentally the right thing to do, and also because when children can empathize with and take responsibility for others, they’re likely to be happier and more successful. They’ll have better relationships their entire lives, and strong relationships are a key ingredient of happiness. In today’s workplace, success often depends on collaborating effectively with others, and children who are empathetic and socially aware are also better collaborators.
Dr. Richard Weissbourd, a psychologist and lecturer at Harvard, is the faculty co-director of Making Caring Common (MCC). MCC is a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education that helps educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice. Dr. Weissbourd returns to Westford on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 to present Making Caring Common: Raising Kind, Ethical, And Happy Children. Dr. Weissbourd’s presentation – which is being hosted by the Westford Parent Connection – will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, Westford. The event is free and open to the public through the generosity of WPC’s sponsors. For more information about Dr. Weissbourd or MCC, check out http://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/. For other questions, go to http://www.westford.org/wpc/ or contact Mary Anne Seraphin at email@example.com.
FAME’s 18th Annual Dinner Dance will feature new musical repertoire at a new location! Friends Advancing Music Education is happy to announce that it will host the 18th Annual Dinner Dance at the Fellowship Hall in The First Parish Church United (FCPU) on Friday, April 7 between 6-10 PM. Our fundraiser will feature Westford Academy’s Jazz Bands, String Troubadour Ensemble, Members of the Honors Choir and the Westford Chamber Music Ensemble. Tickets are $55/person and $440 for a table of eight, and will be available until April 3, 2017. The evening’s dinner will be catered by Coleman's Catering from Groton and will include a delicious 3-course menu, along with a cash bar with beer and wine. FAME is also sponsoring a Raffle for an Apple Watch Series 2 (a $300 value) and Apple TV ($100 value).
Both, Dinner Dance and Raffle tickets may be purchased at http://westford.org/fame/dinner_dance_2017.html. There will be additional drawings for prizes generously donated by local restaurants and businesses. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the WPS music program, Senior Scholarships & Music Camp Scholarships for WPS students.