If this comes at all as a surprise to you, I suggest you don't admit it in any public environment...there is no school next week.
I was hoping to make an announcement at the end of the day to wish everyone a safe and relaxing vacation or more likely tell them because of all of their hard work recently they could take next week off. Unfortunately, it is also Friday the 13th and while the majority of the day was very quiet, we do have 647 adolescents in the building and my day ended needing to address some questionable behavior choices. So, please share my well wishes with any students in your household and let them know they can take the week off!
Well, unless they choose to work on their Distance Learning Assignments...which is different than regular homework...because we have eradicated the dreadful vacation homework in response to our Challenge Success work. The Distance Learning Assignments are allowing us to close out the year in a more reasonable, meaningful and less humid manner. The first assignment is designed to make-up the Snow Day on March 9, 2018 which was a Day 3. So, for each of the classes that students have on a day 3, they are expected to complete 20 minutes or less of the assignments assigned by their current teachers. I say current teachers because the 6th grade students have already rotated to their 4th quarter FLEX class and the assignment will come from that teacher rather than the FLEX teacher they had on March 9, 2018. Clear as
mud. The kids get it even if the adults don't. This first round of assignments are due on March 28, 2018. Plenty of time for students to organize a 20 minute timeframe for each class. We encourage you to support your child in only spending 20 minutes on each individual assignment. If it is not complete, but 20 focused minutes were dedicated to it, then students should communicate that with their teachers so that we can best calibrate the expectations moving forward. Our recent Challenge Success data indicates that the majority of our students feel that the regular workload assigned by teachers is meaningful and productive. We want to make sure this new system for recovering lost time aligns with our regular practices.
Another wonderful activity to consider over the break is to cheer wildly for Mrs. Leone as she runs this year's Boston Marathon!! We wish her and all of the other runners, especially those from our Stony Brook Community, all of the endurance and focus necessary to complete such a monumental challenge. We are very proud of you!!!
Besides getting all ramped up for vacation, this week has been an enjoyable celebration of our fantastic Mr. McElhinney. It is National Assistant Principal's Week and our students and staff had a grand time making him feel appreciated and honored. There were humorous and serious accolades throughout the week as students and staff were able to reflect on ways in which he has supported them along the way. One of my favorite quotes emulates the work that Mr. Mac does on a daily basis; it is from Charles Dickens, " No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." He is constantly going out of his way to better understand individual's circumstances and help students develop the resilient skills they need to be successful. We are grateful that he is with us as he helps to make Stony Brook
the wonderful place that it is.
Another positive moment today that helped balance out any superstitious energy, was the Anti-Defamation League's 24th annual ADL Youth Congress "Courageous Conversations" event in Boston to which we were fortunate to send some of our students and faculty. Alongside groups from Blanchard, Westford Academy and schools across the state, students worked together to plan steps that they can take to address racial bias and prejudice in their schools and communities. Special thanks to Noah A., Alpana B., TJ B., Gia B., Julia D., Ragini K., Sophia K., Megan M., Nate M., Kenedi S., Sharayu T. and faculty members Mr.
Lipschutz, Mrs. Watson, and Mrs. Holden for representing Stony Brook in this important endeavor.
Yesterday, I was able to visit some of the guidance lessons one of our counselors, Mrs. Leblanc, was conducting in some of the math classes about resiliency. She shared this wonderful Ted Talk by Angela Duckworth about the power of grit and resilience. It lead to great discussions about the growth mindset and the importance of experience failure in an environment that allows you to learn from mistakes and move forward. If you have not yet seen it, I highly recommend watching it.
As we approach May, we have been asked to participate in a study regarding helmet use among skiers and snowboarders. Students who participate in our ski/snowboard program will be receiving information in the mail about the study which includes a survey that will be conducted here at Stony Brook. In order to participate, students need to return the consent forms that will be in the mailing. If other students who were not able to participate in the ski/snowboard program this year would like to participate, they can see either me or our nurse, Ms. Hanly, for the pertinent information when we all return from vacation.
SAVE THE DATES! Grade 6 students taking a World Language have just started their final rotation of language learning. In early May, these students will receive a letter with information regarding language preference and selection for the 2018-2019 academic year. On Thursday, May 10th, Sharon Charbonnier, the World Language Curriculum Coordinator, will be available in the Blanchard Middle School Learning Commons from 7:00pm to 8:00pm to answer questions about middle school language offerings and the selection process. This session is for Blanchard and Stony Brook families. The selection form will be completed online and is due Friday 5/18.
When we come back from vacation and your house has beedepleteded of all groceries from the ravenous teenagers frequenting your refrigerator, know that you can help others and feed your family by attending the Do Good with Burritos event at Chipotle on Tuesday April 24th.
As mentioned in previous updates and if you haven't done so already, consider putting a hold on May 4th. Not simply to watch all of the Star Wars movies but to also give yourself the opportunity to attend this special Challenge Successpublic parent education event at Dover-Sherborn High School. Challenge Success co-founder, Dr. Denise Pope, will be speaking alongside renowned psychologist and author, Dr. Brad Sachs on the topic of "Good Enough
Parent, Good Enough Child."
Finally, I have included some very important information below from our very dedicated yearbook staff regarding the upcoming yearbook purchases.
With that, I bid you adieu,
Dr. Christopher Chew
Stony Brook School
Westford, MA 01886
Get Your Stony Brook Yearbook
It is time to purchase a yearbook. The deadline for yearbook sales is Friday, May 4. Order your yearbook online at https://commpe.pictavo.com/shop by Friday, May 4 to make sure your student doesn't’ miss out on this year’s school memories. Once on the Pictavo site, search for Stony Brook Middle School. Yearbooks sell out so do not count on getting one at the end of the year. Yearbooks are $27.00 if purchased by the May 4 deadline. Any yearbooks purchased after that will be charged $30.00. Please email Mrs. Smith for a sibling discount if you are purchasing more than one
If you choose to pay by check or cash instead of ordering online, please include the form below with your payment. Please make sure to write your check out to Stony Brook School.
First and Last Name of Student(s)
Quantity of Yearbooks
Middle School PTO Thanks You!
What fantastic support we have gotten from all of our recent badgering. We have been coming at you from all angles to get our fundraising goal met. We are creeping up there and we thank you for all of your support. If you haven't donated, please do! We are still over $10,000 away from our goal and we are WAY into the school year so we need to hustle here, people!!! Click here to donate: https://www.paypal.me/westfordmspto
Upcoming PTO Happenings - We need your help!
Stony Brook vs. Blanchard 8th Annual Basketball game!
This event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Blanchard gym. Stony Brook 8th grade students and teachers will compete against Blanchard 8th grade students and teachers for the coveted trophy that currently resides at Stony Brook. Will Blanchard win it back this year!?
Please encourage your 8th grade students to sign up to play! Sign-up sheets are in the office at each school.
All students and parents are welcome to attend the event as spectators with a $5 admission. There will be concessions and a 50/50 raffle during ½ time.
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming - May 14th to May 18th.
Please click this link to join the volunteer team that is planning the events. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
Mythmasters: Tales from Greek Mythology
This exciting event for the Grade 7 teams will be held on May 21st at 9:00 a.m. (Stony Brook) and 11:40 a.m. (Blanchard). We still need some help at Blanchard - click here to sign up if you can meet the presenter at 11:10.
8th graders will delight in this presentation being held at Stony Brook (9:00 a.m.) and Blanchard (11:55 a.m.) on Wednesday, June 6th. We still need one parent volunteer from each school to meet the presenter a ½ hour before the program starts. Click here to volunteer.
WMSPTO is on Facebook - check it out!
Are You Ready To Run For A Good Cause?
The 19th Annual Westford Road Race is coming! Hundreds of runners from all over the region will come together at the Abbot School to participate in the Family Fun Run or the 5K or 10K races on Sunday, May 6, 2018. The Family Fun Run starts at 2:00 p.m., the 5K starts at 2:20 p.m., and the 10K starts at 2:25 p.m. Want to join us? Go to http://roadrace.westford.org/regform.html for registration information. The first 600 pre-registered participants will receive race t-shirts. Registration fees are $15 per person for the Fun Run, $25 per
person for the 5K, and $30 per person for the10K, if you register before April 21. After April 21, the cost of the 5K is $30 and the 10K is $35. The event is organized by the Westford Charitable Foundation, Inc., which has given nearly $350,000 back to the community. Want to make a tax-deductible donation? Go to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/westford-charitable-foundation-inc for details. This is a fun community event you will not want to miss.
Don’t Miss Your Chance To See Dr. Michael Thompson!
Internationally acclaimed psychologist, consultant, speaker, and best-selling author Dr. Michael Thompson returns to Westford Wednesday, April 25, 2018, to present The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Find Success In School And In Life. Dr. Thompson said his talk is really geared toward pressured parents, who may not remember what school is really like. In his presentation, Dr. Thompson describes the psychological journey children take during their school years. He believes children are constantly searching for connection, recognition, and a sense of power, and that each child develops strategies to cope with pressures he or she may feel. Dr. Thompson shares his extensive experience and wisdom with a wonderful sense of humor and a great deal of compassion.
Dr. Thompson is the author of such bestsellers as Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding The Social Lives Of Children and Raising Cain: Protecting The Emotional Lives Of Boys, which became a critically acclaimed documentary. His most recent book is It’s A Boy! Understanding Your Son’s Development From Birth To Age 18, also a bestseller. Dr. Thompson travels the world as a consultant and lecturer to hundreds of schools, and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, 60 Minutes, The Early Show, and Good Morning America. For more details about Dr. Thompson, check out his website at http://www.michaelthompson-phd.com/.
His presentation – part of the Westford Parent Connection’s speaker series – will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Stony Brook Middle School Auditorium. Due to the generosity of the Westford Parent Connection’s sponsors, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Mary Anne Seraphin at email@example.com or go to the WPC’s website at http://www.westford.org/wpc/.