(Written by Mrs. Mack)
A math student never stops wondering "when am I ever going to use this stuff?" The students in Mrs. Mack's 6th grade honors math class are constantly challenged to answer this question. During their unit on statistics, the 27 students in this class created questions that they genuinely wanted answers to from the entire school population. After compiling their statistical questions in the form of a survey, advisory classes were chosen at random to take the survey, and the data was collected and analyzed. Each team focused on their specific question and was given a particular method of representing their data - either a histogram with a frequency table, a dot plot, or a box plot (also known as a box-and-whisker plot). The students worked diligently for several days studying their data, calculating useful statistical measures like the mean (average), median, range, and interquartile range (IQR), and summarizing their data in organized and appealing graphs, which are on display in the middle school foyer. The next time you are in the middle school, stop and take a look at the interesting data these students found. Topics range from the number of times each person at Westmoreland Middle School has been bullied to the number of siblings each person has to how many times each person has been attacked by a bird! Even though we often don't like to admit it, math certainly is useful and is around each of us every day!
(Written by Mrs. Mack)
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of an important date change on the calendar for March. The superintendent’s conference day, originally scheduled for Friday, March 20th, has been rescheduled for Friday, March 13th. This means that there is no school for students on this date. Students will have a full day of school on March 20th.
Only one word could describe “presentation night” at Hamilton College-EPIC! The level of thinking, depth of research, confidence in presentation skills, and ability to critically analyze challenging questions was truly EPIC. Upon arriving on campus last Wednesday afternoon, Hamilton College students and faculty welcomed eighth graders, and the excitement in the air was hard to contain.
Eighth graders were divided into four classrooms around the Science Center, and each group presented to a panel consisting of students in health-related courses and their professors. Our students presented solutions to a wide range of “global biological problems” including climate change, cholera, tuberculosis, social anxiety, AIDS, and rabies. After presenting their findings and solutions, the Hamilton College panel asked students challenging questions about their research, and pushed students to think differently about their work. The evening commenced with a tour around the beautiful, newly built Science Center, which provided insight into the innovation happening in our own community.
A huge thank you to all of the faculty and students at Hamilton College who helped to make this partnership possible, especially Dr. Herm Lehman. Likewise, thank you and congratulations to our students and staff for their tremendous work. We look forward to future partnerships to provide authentic opportunities to our students.
Below are a few pictures from the event. Please excuse the blurriness of the group photo. The excitement in the room must have caused the camera to be out of focus!
How can you contribute to solving a global biological problem? This is the question that is driving the research, collaboration, inquiry, and critical thinking of our eighth graders. As part of their "Project-Based Learning Unit" students have the task of drafting an in-depth proposal that outlines a solution to various global biological problems. This work is authentic and meaningful for students because they have become an active part of a real-world solution to an issue facing the world today. Next week, our eighth graders will share their findings with a panel of health experts at Hamilton College, and are prepared to defend their solution with their expansive knowledge of their topic. This process has been rigorous and challenging, and students have met this challenge with hard work and dedication.
As part of this work, our eighth graders collaborated with their "Critical Friends" from Hamilton College yesterday. These college students, from the Introduction to Public Health class, met with each group of researchers to provide insight into their work, answer questions, and challenge them to think deeper and more critically. Our students are eager to use this feedback to refine and polish their research and presentations before next week.
Check back for pictures and an update after students visit Hamilton College next Wednesday!
Junior High All-County
On a cold wintry night in January, hundreds of middle school students anxiously went to Clinton Middle School to audition for the Oneida Junior High All-County Music Festival. Each school district in Oneida County sent students to complete for a coveted spot with the All-County Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. In order to audition, students had to prepare solo material and perform that for a pair of judges. They were also asked to play scales and sing and play difficult sigh-reading material. We are proud of all of our students that took the initiative to audition. This year we had record numbers chosen from the pool of students to represent Westmoreland Central School. In addition to seven ninth graders that were chosen, we are pleased to announce the placement of the following Westmoreland Middle School Students. Band: Abigail Mizgala – flute, Jason Crumb – Alto Saxophone, Bryce Daskiewich – Trumpet, Michael Alloggio – Trombone, Joshua Davis – Percussion, and Emily Szmurlo – Mallet Percussion. Grace Waterman was also named first alternate for clarinet. Chorus: Sopranos – Danielle Flack and Meghan Donnelly, Altos – Emma Richards-Simon and Kirstin Bratge. The festival and concert will be held in the Clinton School Auditorium on March 20th and 21st.
Elementary All – County Music Festival is a weekend that participating students will not soon forget. The best 300 5th and 6th grade musicians from Oneida County come together to rehearse and perform a concert that never ceases to amaze its audience. This year the festival is being held in April and Westmoreland is thrilled to be the host. Mrs. Cutler and Mrs. Davis nominated several of our students for the band and are thrilled to announce the following chosen participants: Jason Robinson – Alto Saxophone, Samuel Huyck and Brady Morris – Trumpet, Jason Shafer – French Horn, Austin Edwards – Baritone, and Noah Grant – Tuba. Zoe Bartholomew was also named first alternate for flute. For the All-County Chorus Mrs. Davis is allowed to send 5% of the participating chorus students. Forty–five fifth and sixth graders auditioned for only five spots. The students did a fantastic job with their auditions and we are proud to share the names of the five students that will be representing our school district. They are: Clare Calogero, Ella Richards – Simon, Isabella Mazur, Olivia Golden, and Gianna Schillaci.
(Written by Mrs. Davis)
Congratulations to each of the students who were awarded with the, "Student of the Month" certificate this week for December and January! We are proud to have such a wonderful community here at Westmoreland Middle School, and are thrilled to recognize each of these students. We also want to highlight students who were recognized with "EPIC Awards" for showing Empathy, Pride, Innovation, and Collaboration in our learning community. This month's students include:
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