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Ground Hog Day...all over again... Update
This all feels very familiar for some reason...

Punxsatawney Phil's prognostication feels a bit obvious today...six more weeks of winter.

In the spirit of all things Ground Hog day, much of the information in today's missive has a deja vu feel to it.

For example, last Friday, a School Champion was once again selected from our Stony Brook school rounds of the National Geographic Geography Bee.  This year the title goes to 8th grader Dhrut B.  We congratulate him on this fine accomplishment and wish him the very best as he participates in the next level of competition.

Additionally, every year our phenomenal music educators Mrs. Garino, Mrs. Ottesen and Mrs. Watson prepare a large number of students to audition for the Eastern District Junior Music Festival.  This past weekend, we were proud to learn that 13 of our students were selected to participate in the festival concert taking place in March at Lincoln Sudbury High School.  Nearly 1000 students auditioned with only 454 being accepted into the band, orchestra, and chorus.  The following Stony Brook students were chosen to participate in this highly competitive music festival: Julia D., Daniel H., Sarah H., Richa J., Anne Marie M., Avery P., Aruli P., Srinithi R., Alex R., Alexandra S., Katy S., Lauren T., and Alexander Z.  We are all extremely proud, not only of these students, but of all the students who had the courage and dedication to prepare for and take this rigorous audition on Saturday. We hope you will join us in wishing them well as they prepare for the performance in March.

Finally, every year about this time Westford Academy begins reaching out to our 8th graders to facilitate a smooth transition process from middle school to high school.  In that vain,  Mr. Antonelli has asked me to share the following letter from him to all of our 8th grade families:

February 2, 2018

Dear Parent/Guardian of Grade 8 Students,

I would like to invite you to our Curriculum Information Night/Open House on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.  This evening's program will begin at 6:00 PM with tours of Westford Academy.  The curriculum information will be presented at 6:30 PM in the Westford Academy Performing Arts Center.

The program will include:

1.Information regarding courses offered at Westford Academy (Please review our Program of Studies which is available online at the Guidance Department)

2.Information on the course and level expectations

3.Information on the scheduling process and timeline

The Curriculum Coordinators from each of the major disciplines will be present to respond to parents' individual questions regarding course content and appropriate level selection.

This is an important evening.  I strongly encourage all parents/guardians of grade 8 students to attend.

I look forward to meeting and speaking with you on February 14, 2018.

James P. Antonelli

At the end of this email, you will find a number of great upcoming opportunities for our students and families.  I encourage you to read them all as they include a variety of resources.

Hopefully, the deja vu will continue throughout the weekend with very positive results.

Have a wonderful weekend,


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

Big Tobacco Is Sweet Talking Our Kids
In Massachusetts, nearly a quarter of high school students report having used e-cigarettes, and nearly half report having tried them at least once. More high school youth used e-cigarettes than all other tobacco products combined, and they used them nine times more than adults.
Vape pens and e-cigarettes are not harmless. They contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals. The tobacco industry makes its products sweet, inexpensive, and easy to get. Parents should talk with their teenagers about vaping and make sure they know it’s harmful. Nicotine is addictive and negatively affects brain development and can put young people at increased risk of depression, mood disorders, and future drug addiction. The earlier kids start with nicotine products, the harder it is to quit.
Don’t know what to say to your kids? Come to a Westford Parent Connection event, Big Tobacco Is Sweet Talking Our Kids, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, Westford. (Snow date is Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Same time and location.) Diane Knight, RN, is the director of the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. She will share a wealth of information. Joining her will be Westford Police Detective Geoffrey Pavao, who is the school resource officer (SRO) at Westford Academy, and Ray Peachey, Westford’s substance abuse prevention coordinator and member of Westford Against Substance Abuse (WASA). In addition, a Hidden In Plain Sight display will be set up to show parents how kids hide drugs and drug paraphernalia in their bedrooms.
The event is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. For more information, check out or go to the Westford Parent Connection website at For all other questions, contact Mary Anne Seraphin at

Science Saturdays @ MIT

This is a reminder that our next free MIT campus Science on Saturday event will be "Materials with Magical Properties" at 10:00 a.m. on February 3rd. Join experts from MIT's Materials Science and Engineering Department for this highly interactive workshop on chemical reactions and strange materials, which will include an on-stage presentation in which students from the audience can volunteer to help with lots of cool demonstrations.   Following the stage presentation, there will be fun hands-on activity tables where students can conduct their own experiments.
There is also half-price, same-day admission to the MIT Museum for Science on Saturday attendees. 
All of our Science on Saturday events on the MIT campus are free and open to all K-12 students, as well as their parents and teachers. They are sponsored by the MIT Museum and the Akamai Foundation. 
PLEASE NOTE THESE PARKING CHANGES! Our previous parking area, MIT West Garage, is now closed. Attendees can park in Albany Garage (see attached map) and pay the $9 flat fee with a credit card. Other local parking garages are listed here:
Attendees can take MBTA buses to the MIT Massachusetts Avenue stop (very close to the event) or the subway to either the Central or Kendall Square T stops (a ~20-minute walk from the event). For maps of the event and parking garage locations, please see the attached advertising flyer.
Please plan to join us 10:00 a.m.-noon on the following Saturdays in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139:
February 3, 2018  Materials with Magical Properties
March 10, 2018     Rockets and Flight
April 7, 2018         Optics
For more infortmation, please contact:

Dr. Todd H. Rider
Mad Scientist in Residence
MIT Museum
MIT Room N51-205
265 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Westford Academy presents Disney's madcap comedy, Peter and the Starcatcher.  February 2, 3, 4, 2018.

Before Wendy… before he was Captain Hook… before a boy was given the name Peter Pan…and before there was a Neverland, there was a Starcatcher Apprentice named Molly, a pirate named Black Stache, and a nameless orphan…and they are about to be thrown together in a perilous (and wildly hilarious) adventure on the high seas. But, of course none of this actually exists, unless you are prepared to use your imagination.

Westford Academy Theater Arts is proud to present the highly inventive Peter and the Starcatcher - a play by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys - Addams Family) based on the 2004 novel by humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson and directed by Luke Jorgensen.

Performances are February 2nd & 3rd at 7PM and February 3rd & 4th at 2PM. Tickets are available online at and at the Box Office at Westford Academy on Thursdays from 5:00 -7:00PM.

Chinese New Year Celebration at WA

Mandarin Club is holding a night of entertainment and festivities on February 10 at the Westford Academy cafeteria to celebrate Chinese New Year, the year of the dog.  We would like to invite everyone in our community to have an unforgettable evening together.  Event highlights include
  • Authentic all-you-can-eat Chinese New Year dinner sponsored by Bamboo restaurant
  • Professional Lion Dance, Dragon Dance and acrobatics by Chinese Folk Art Workshop Boston
  • Fantastic performances by Mandarin Program students
  • Chinese New Year red packet for every student
  • Professional balloon twisting for every kid
  • Prizes for every guest
Date: Saturday, 2/10, 2018
Time: 5:00-8:30pm
Place: Westford Academy Cafeteria and Performing Art Center
Ticket: $20/Adult       $15/Student             Free/3 years old and under

To purchase tickets, please email Ms. Li at 
We look forward to seeing you at the event…
Link of the flyer

Open House for the Summer School of Performing Arts is taking place on February 15.

More information can be found at this link:

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.