Students were engaged in an ELA unit of study focused on exploring challenges refugees face when fleeing and finding home. Throughout their research, they studied individuals from all over the world who have been forced to flee their homes mostly due to war. Students were eager to utilize local resources to further their studies by inviting volunteers from the Refugee Center in Utica to our school. 8th graders from Remsen Central School, who have been studying the same unit, were invited to join us for the presentation. Our students hosted a luncheon for the event and were introduced to two refugees, July Htoo from Burma, and Hassaan from Sudan, who shared their journey of fleeing home under dangerous circumstances to later gain freedom in the United States. (Written by Ms. Hawkins)
For those of you who attended the middle school winter concerts, you already know the talent of the our chorus groups. Last night, the 7th and 8th graders boarded the Polar Express train out of Utica Train Station, bound for the North Pole, but before doing so, they spread some holiday cheer. Families who were also riding the train were treated to the chorus singing some of the music from The Polar Express movie, and judging by the reactions from those in the crowd, they were a huge hit. We are proud of our musicians, and thank Mrs. Davis for organizing this exciting event! Thank you to all of the parent and WCS staff for joining our students for this event (and thank to to Mrs. Pike-Roberts for sharing your pictures!).
The 7th and 8th grade band took their annual trip to the Clark Mill's Senior Center to indulge them in the sounds of the season. As they played their decorated (yes, decorated) instruments, the audience sang along. They couldn't say enough about the talents of our students. Each of our students enjoyed a piece of cake with audience members after the show, which was exciting for everyone. Thank you to Mrs. Cutler and the entire band for taking so much PRIDE in your performances.
They're at it again....the Builder's Club was out in full force this past weekend at the Westmoreland Nice n' Easy ringing the bells for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. Eighteen students braved the snow, ice, and cold on Saturday and Sunday as a way to help raise funds that will help others in our local communities. As always, we are proud of the many ways that the Builder's Club makes a difference for others.
As Ms. Hawins said, "Our students are the best!" I would have to agree with her!
If you were able to join us for the eighth grade Infectious Disease Expo, you were likely in awe over the depth of knowledge which students shared. Over the past three weeks, these scientists have been on a journey of exploration, inquiry, discovery, and research with their collaborative teams. Their charge was to uncover an aspect of infectious disease that was particularly intriguing to their team. There were no topic requirements, and the brainstorming list from students was endless. From start to finish, the students were at the helm of their own learning, and that was clear by their extensive expertise.
Thank you to Mrs. Granza, Mrs. Nolan, and Mr. Cichon for providing students with such a unique learning experience through Project Based Learning. Also, thank you to all of the parents, families, and teachers who came out to support our infectious disease experts and for providing them with meaningful feedback.
It is important here in the middle school, and throughout the district, that we maintain a transparent and open line of communication with families. We realize that our continued partnership is crucial in the success of each of our students. In an effort to continue to improve and add to our communication efforts, the SchoolTool Parent Portal Dashboard has been activated. Please see the letter below from Westmoreland Superintendent, Mr. Rocco Migliori, which includes directions for setting up and accessing your account. This information has also been included in the report card envelopes, which will be arriving home within the next few days.
Congratulations to each of the eight students who were awarded with the, "Student of the Month" certificate this week for November! 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 recognize those students who were awarded with, "Principal's Awards" for their outstanding contribution of our learning community. This month's students include:
Students of the Month
Student Council (Julia DePietro representing as Student Council President)
Cody Tarkowski (absent from photo)
Once in a while, someone comes along who leaves a lasting impression on our lives. I think that most of the students and the adults in the middle school would agree that the Transformers certainly left a lasting impression. The group, from the ARC, spreads their message of compassion, dignity, integrity, respect, and self-advocacy through disability awareness. Each of the presenters shared their personal journey, goals for the future, and hopes for how others will treat them. Our students asked countless meaningful questions to heighten their understanding of others with disabilities, and displayed kindness, empathy, and respect during each presentation. The focus of the year in the middle school has centered around "Respect and Dignity," and at this was clearly at the core of the message from the Transformers.
I encourage you to ask your middle schooler about their time with the Transformers, and how their thinking about others has been influenced by their wonderful message. A special thank you to Mrs. Misiak, Mark, Twan, Corinne, Gus, and Charlie from the ARC for joining us at Westmoreland Middle School!
I know it doesn't happen often, but I was speechless at the end of both of the middle school winter concerts this week. I could not be prouder of our middle school musicians for their TWO outstanding performances. The dedication and pride that students invest their vocal and instrumental talents make them a true role model to us all. It's not always easy to juggle academics, athletics, extracurricular clubs, and other commitments, with band/orchestra, but our students certainly rise to the challenge. Congratulations to students for kicking off the holidays with some excellent sounds of the season.
A special thank you to Mrs. Cutler and Mrs. Davis for inspiring our budding musicians. We know how fortunate we are to have such talented teachers leading our middle school students.
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