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Final Update of 2017
I considered a top ten list for the update but kept getting distracted remembering many of Dave Letterman's hilarious lists and feared I could never compete with that.  So, just take a minute and consider what humorous moments you could include as you stroll down memory lane reflecting on 2017 with adolescents living in your house.

As students prepared for dismissal today, I shared the following sentiments with them:

At this festive season of the year, take time during the vacation to pause and reflect on 2017 and prepare for a WONDERful 2018.  Over the break, please be safe and make wise choices as I know you are all capable of doing. While it is easy to get caught up in your own wants and desires, do your best to remain mindful and treat those around you with care and dignity.

I share with you two quotes to consider as you leave today:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness.”
~R.J. Palacio’s WONDER

Choose Kind.

At the sound of the bell, please walk carefully as you dismiss. There are still slippery spots out there.  An accident at the beginning of your vacation would be a lousy way to celebrate. So, remember, at the sound of the bell... when the bell rings for dismal...after you have waited for the bell to ring...enjoy a wonderful vacation.

Sometimes, it is like holding back the tide.

Earlier in the week, we honored students from every grade with the first term Citizenship Awards.  The students were nominated by their teachers for setting strong examples of citizenship and going beyond the expectations that we hold for all of our students.  These individuals were recognized for making specific positive contributions to our community that set them apart from their peers.  Please join me in congratulating the following Stony Brook students:  Eloise A., James F., Connor L., Audrey D., Amita V., Brandon M., Todd B., Noah A., Ivy H., Matthew W., Isabella V., Madison W., Zach O., Andrew G., Sarah T., Luke K., Kiani B-P., and Kendall D.

May your break be full of rest and relaxation.  

Happy New Year!

Until 2018,


Dr. Christopher Chew
Stony Brook School
Westford, MA 01886
(978) 692-2708


As a reminder, please save the date for a wonderful opportunity being held on January 16, 2018 at Westford Academy from the Challenge Success organization called The Well-Balanced Student. This is a very important presentation for parents of k-12 students taking place at Westford Academy from 6:30-8:00pm.  During the event they will address the idea that when we are too focused on grades and performance, we deny our teens the time and energy they need to tackle the demanding work of growing up.  In this presentation, you'll learn how you can establish a healthier home environment, reduce academic stress without sacrificing achievement, and increase your teenager's resilience, creativity, and well-being.  During the day on January 16, faculty members working with students in grades 6-12 will also participate in a similar program identifying the school's responsibility in supporting well-balanced students including a session dedicated to examining effective homework practices.

WESTFORD PARENT CONNECTION - Learn How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online - Join the Westford Parent Connection on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 (snow date Wednesday, January 10, 2018) to hear Dr. Elizabeth Englander present Helping Kids Navigate Social Media To Prevent Bullying And Cyberbullying. While our children are so-called digital natives, having grown up with technology, they do not necessarily have the requisite judgement yet to consistently make good decisions. Kids can be incredibly cruel to one another online, saying things to each other they would most likely never say face to face. And the results can be deadly.

Dr. Englander is the founder and director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) and is a psychology professor at Bridgewater State University. She often speaks to teachers, administrators, parent groups, and others who work with kids to help keep them safe online. Dr. Englander is very knowledgeable and presents a wealth of information and practical, compassionate advice. Her presentation, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, is free and open to the public. For more information about her, please go to For more information about the Westford Parent Connection, check out the organization’s website at or contact Mary Anne Seraphin at

Stony Brook Middle School  |  9 Farmer Way, Westford, MA 01886  |  ph: (978) 692-2708  |  fx: (978) 692-5391

Westford Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or homelessness.