Principal Updates



10/6/17

Hello Western Hills Community,
Believe it or not ,we are more than halfway through the first quarter.  Progress Reports will be available on Aspen next Friday morning.  We will not be printing out paper copies of Progress Reports or Report Cards at all this year.  I will send out a reminder and directions, next week, on how to access the Progress Reports on Aspen.  Also, we will be having a flu clinic in our gym on October 18th.  

Go Orange!
Western Hills student, Alexandra Cowart, and her sisters organize this great event every year to support children from our local community that are in need of food.  Please see the attachment for further information.  Western Hills will be taking part in this on Friday, October 27th.  Students should wear orange that day and bring in non-perishable food items and/or money.  Every year, Western Hills has a great show of support for this event!

After school activities
Many of our after school activities are underway and are very well-attended.  It is important that students communicate the correct pick-up time in advance and parents are here on time to pick up their children from school.  Please do not tell your child to call you when they are done with the activity.  We need parents here, on time, to pick up their children.  If you are not sure of the correct time, please contact the adult that is running that activity. For students that are watching a sporting event, parents should be here around 4:30 to get them. Thank you in advance for your support.  

Walkathon
Our annual PTO-sponsored Walkathon is coming up on October 20th.  I am, once again, attaching all of the information and forms, including the information about the t-shirt design contest.  Please consider taking part and helping our school raise money.  The PTO uses their funds to support student learning and activities.  For example, they recently purchased our new audio-visual system for the auditorium, they supported several after-school activities, and they supported a program in which middle school students were given the opportunity to explore programs at the Cranston Area Career and Technical Center.  

ALICE training
On Thursday, October 12th, the members of the Cranston Police Department will be here to conduct ALICE training for all of our students.  ALICE stands for - Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.  The police officers will be reviewing, with students, how to deal with an emergency situation such as an intruder in the building.  This is done at all grade levels in Cranston Public Schools and we consider it a very important presentation for our students.

Free and Reduced Lunch Forms
Forms for Free and Reduced Lunch are available in our main office and on the CPS website.  If your child was part of this program last year and you have not filled out the form for this year, you need to do so before October 18th.
 

Students of the Month

Congratulations to the September Students of the Month!  Every 3 months we have a Student of the Month Breakfast.  All students of the month and their parents will be invited to join us for breakfast.

10/2/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
I want to thank all of the parents that were able to attend Open House last week.  We appreciate you coming in and especially for enduring the heat!  We hope that it was enjoyable and informative.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Your feedback is always welcome.
There are a number of attachments with this email from the PTO.  Please take the time to look through them all, as our PTO works very hard to support the students of Western Hills Middle School.

Walkathon
Our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Walkathon, will be taking place on Friday, October 20 at the Cranston West track.  Please see the attachments for this very important event. We would greatly appreciate doing all that you can for this fundraiser.   

5 Guys Fundraiser
Also attached to this email is the flyer for our 5 Guys fundraiser.  Please consider eating at 5 Guys (and bring along friends) on the dates listed on the flyer.

Flu Clinic
A flu clinic will be held at Western Hills Middle School on Wednesday, October 18 from 4-6:30 PM in the gymnasium. This clinic is open to anyone 3 years of age or older. You can register online at www.the wellcomp.com/school and your form will be sent directly to the clinic, or simply fill out a consent form when you arrive at the clinic. Although insurance will be collected, there is NO OUT-OF-POCKET cost for anyone regardless of whether or not they have health insurance.
We encourage all students, parents and grandparents to get vaccinated against flu.
For more information, visit www.health.ri.gov/flu or call the RI Department of Health information line at 401-222-5960.

Sports
The Fall sports season is in full swing with our soccer and cross country teams.  Our boys’ soccer team remains undefeated and will be facing Bain Middle School this afternoon.  The girls’ soccer team suffered this first defeat on Friday afternoon with a tough game against Warwick Vets.  I’m sure that Coach Edwards and the girls will be back with a vengeance at their next game!  Both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams have been having great performances at the team level.  We have also had some outstanding individual performances as well.  This week, the Cobras will be heading to Coventry to take on division rival Feinstein Middle School (hmmm.... My two worlds are colliding...Should I wear Western Hills or Coventry gear to this race…?).

Opportunity for Parents and Guardians
The Rhode Island Association of School Principals (RIASP) is offering a program for parents and guardians titled, “Social Emotional Learning in the Home”.  Follow the link below for more information and to register for this event:

Student Council Officers
Congratulations to our student council officers.  I am looking forward to working with them throughout the year.  They are:

President - Mackenzie Bessette
Vice President - Nya Mainelli
Treasurer - Andrew Garcia
Secretary - Sophia DeSimone


Enjoy the rest of the week.  Let’s hope that the Patriots defense gets it together on Thursday night!

Tim Vesey, Principal

9/22/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
That was a fast week…  Don’t forget, Monday, 9/25, is picture day.  Students were given the handouts earlier this week.  

Open House
Our 6th and 7th grade Open House will be on Wednesday, 9/27, at 6:30 and our 8th grade Open House will be on Thursday, 9/28, at 6:30.  Students will be bringing home an Open House schedule for their parents to follow.  Those schedules will be going home on Tuesday.  Students - please give them to your parents.  Parents - please ask your child for their Open House Schedule.

Student Council Elections
Next week is Student Council Executive Board election week!
On Tuesday (grade 6), Wednesday (grade 8), and Thursday (grade 7) during the last period of the day, students will gather in the gymnasium to hear campaign speeches from our 2017-2018 executive board candidates: The candidates are as follows:
  • President: Mackenzie Bessette, Isabel Mignano, and Gabriella Seal
  •  
  • Vice President: Nya Mainelli and Ava West
  •  
  • Treasurer: Andrew Garcia and Lia Scorpio
  •  
  • Secretary: Sofia DeSimone and Nicole McLewin
  •  
On Friday, 9/29, students will receive a link to an election ballot through their cpsed.net Gmail accounts. Electronic voting will take place from 8:05 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. I will announce the new executive board members at the end of the school day.

RIH/Day One Study
This is just another reminder that our students will be taking part in the survey with RI Hospital and Day One called “Promoting Healthy Relationships in Middle School”.  The attached opt-out form contains further information about the survey and study.  We certainly think that this is a worthwhile program since our middle school students are starting to enter the world of dating,  

Short update this week… have a great weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing you at Open House.  I’m off to watch our girls’ soccer team!

Tim Vesey, Principal
9/18/17
Hello Western Hills Community!
Everyone has settled in to Western Hills and things are going very well.  At this point, everyone can open their lockers and nobody is getting lost anymore.  Fall sports have begun and clubs are starting to get together as well.  Students should listen to the morning announcements about meeting times of all of our various clubs.
If you saw my emails on Friday you know that our fire alarm went off unexpectedly two times.  Please know that the district is well aware of the issue and updates to the system are in the works.  There was a company here working on it all weekend.  

Some important things to know:
  • No school this Thursday due to the observance of Rosh Hashanah
  • Picture Day - 9/25 - Students will be getting the order forms today
  • Open House - 9/27, 6th and 7th grade; 9/28, 8th grade- both nights start a 6:30

Study with Rhode Island Hospital/Day One
Western Hills and other middle schools around the state (including Park View) are working with RI Hospital and Day One on a three year study/education program called “Promoting Healthy Relationships in Middle Schools”. This program is looking at attitudes towards dating and teen dating violence..  This is the first year of the study and it will be primarily geared towards teachers, who will be receiving education on these issues.  In a couple of weeks, all of the students at Western Hills will take a survey on these topics.  Students will not be able to be identified by the survey they fill out.  I have attached a parent opt-out form if you do not want your child to take part in the survey.  

Diaper Drive
The Cranston Police Department is conducting a Diaper Drive until 9/25 to assist those affected by recent hurricanes.  Please see the attachment for more information.  

PTO
This past Thursday, our PTO had their first meeting of the new school year.  It was well-attended and there was quite a bit of information shared with parents.  Among the topic discussed were fundraisers for the year (including our Walkathon), the new sound and projection system in the auditorium, and what new parents and students can expect at Western Hills.  There was also time for any questions that parents had for me.  We hope to see everyone at our next meeting which will take place on November 16th.

Sports
Our soccer teams started the season with both the boys and the girls getting wins over Park View.  Both soccer teams are scheduled to play Bain tomorrow and our boys’ and girls’ cross country teams have their first meet tomorrow at Warwick City Park.  The weather is not looking great for tomorrow so we will keep you updated on postponements as they happen.

Have a great week!
Tim Vesey, Principal
Hello Western Hills Community,

School is finally starting!  We have been busy for weeks getting Western Hills ready and we are excited to finally have students walk through our doors on Tuesday morning.

Arrival on the first day
Students that arrive by bus will wait in the cafeteria until 7:50 and then go to their homerooms.  Students that get dropped off will wait in the auditorium until 7:50 before going to homeroom.  Any student that arrives after 7:50 should go directly to homeroom.  
If you are dropping off your child please drop them off in the front of the building.  I know it’s the first day and everyone is excited (and nervous) but it is very important that, when you pull up to the school, you drive as far down as you can before stopping.  Please pull up to the next car and do not stop in front of the building if there is room to keep moving down along the front of the building.  We follow this procedure every day, all year.  It is especially important on the first day because of the large number of kids that tend to get dropped off that day.
For any students that do not know their homerooms, staff will be on hand to assist them.

Open House
Open House will take place on September 27th for 6th and 7th graders and September 28th for 8th graders.  Both nights will start at 6:30 pm.

Unpaid meals policy
Please see the attachment regarding unpaid meals.

Sports
Girls’ Soccer Team
Coach Edwards will be holding an informational meeting (players only) for any girls that are interested in trying out for the soccer team on 9/7 in the gymnasium.  The meeting will only be about 30 minutes.  Tryouts will be taking place after school on our field on 9/8, 9/11, and 9/12 from 2:30-4:15.

Boys’ Soccer Team
Coach Burns will be holding an informational meeting for players on 9/6 in the gymnasium.  Tryout times and dates will be announced at the meeting.  

Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country
Coach Splendorio will be meeting with those that are interested in running on the Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country teams after school on Wednesday 9/6 after school.  He will be sending out an email to all of you that signed up on the district website.  Practice information will be discussed at the meeting.
Enjoy the long weekend and I am looking forward to seeing all of the students arrive on Tuesday morning!

Tim Vesey, Principal

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Attachments area

5/26/17


Hello Western Hills Community,

Will it EVER stop raining??  It looks like we might have a couple of decent days this weekend. There are many baseball tournaments, softball tournaments, soccer tournaments, and cookouts planned this weekend, as well as ceremonies for Memorial Day Weekend.

Here’s what’s going on at Western Hills Middle School:

Honors Night
Honors Night is coming up on June 7th.  Remember, this is an 8th grade only event and students that will be honored that night have already received an invitation.  Some time next week, you will be receiving three tickets for the event.  The student does not need a ticket. This is a different night than National Junior Honor Society.  That event will be taking place on June 19th and it is for eligible 7th and 8th grade students.  

Living Wax Museum
Wow!  I was so impressed with the students and teachers of the King Cobras team today with their Living Wax Museum.  Clearly, a lot of hard work went into this event.  Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, and friends that came and supported our students.  Mrs. Lonardo, Mrs. Morse, Mrs. Murray, and Mrs. Reardon should be commended for their efforts in putting this all together.

Students of the Month
Today we announced our May Students of the Month.  They will be invited, along with March and April Students of the Month, to our breakfast in June.


Green Student of the Month
Ava Kavanaugh was named the Green Student of the Month.  See the description below of this award, along with her science teacher’s (Mr. Worthington) nominating letter.
Green Student of the Month is a recognition program modeled after the President’s Environmental Youth Awards [PEYA] combined with your typical school’s Student of the Month Program with an environmental spin.  This program will increase awareness, inspire K-12 environmental action in our schools & communities, highlight "Best Practices", develop our future Green Leaders/workforce, and celebrate outstanding youth-led environmental projects and initiatives.
Ava Kavanagh is a seventh grade student in my Honors Science 7 Classroom.  She is also heavily involved in our school's STEM club.  In the Club, Ava and her teammates recently won a regional Lexus Eco Challenge competition.  The group of students on the Team has been working very hard to fulfill all of the requirements of the next phase of the competition.  This young lady stands out, however, in that she offered to care for the living specimens during school vacation (she volunteered without being asked), she has taken a leadership -organizing role in the creation of a Team PowerPoint, she often checks in each morning on the plants and fish (she is in a different homeroom and makes a special effort) and she helped institute a data collecting system to keep track of the team data.  This young lady is a budding scientist, and a problem solver with an achieving, can -do mindset that, if properly encouraged, could lead to a rewarding, giving of herself adult life.  She will be an asset to any community in which she lives, and I highly recommend her for your Student of The Month award.

Mr. Maine
See the attachment for an article by Jen Cowart about Mr. Maine that was recently in the Cranston Herald.

Upcoming Concerts
Chorus:
5/30 - 8th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
Orchestra:
5/31 - 6th, 7th, 8th, 7:00 Western Hills
Band:
6/14 - 6th, 7th, 8th, Cranston West, 7:00
Band, Chorus, and Orchestra:
6/20 -  6th, 7th, 8th, McCoy Stadium- Star Spangled Banner for the Pawtucket Red Sox

Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal
5/19/17

Hello Western Hills Community,

Fourth quarter Progress Reports were posted on Aspen today.  It is very important that parents/students communicate with their teachers if there are any concerns about current grades.  Parents can also contact their child’s guidance counselor with any questions as well.  The Guidance Office can be reached at 270-8033.

Sports
Unified Basketball
The Unified Basketball wrapped up their season last week at the Round Robin at Ponaganset High School.  Thank you to the athletes, partners, and coaches for a GREAT season!  This was, by far, the most fun I have ever had watching basketball.

Track and Field
This week, the girls’ track team won the division championship and the boys finished second.  Qualified athletes from both teams will be competing in the State Championship today at Narragansett High School.

Baseball
The Western Hills baseball team is currently 11-0 with one game left to play.  It’s been a very good season so far and the boys are looking forward to the playoffs.

Softball
The Cobras softball team finished up their regular season yesterday with a record of 12-0.  Good luck as you get ready for the playoffs and make a run for the state championship.

Upcoming Concerts
Chorus:
5/23 - 7th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
5/30 - 8th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
Orchestra:
5/31 - 6th, 7th, 8th, 7:00 Western Hills
Band:
6/14 - 6th, 7th, 8th, Cranston West, 7:00
Band, Chorus, and Orchestra:
6/20 -  6th, 7th, 8th, McCoy Stadium- Star Spangled Banner for the Pawtucket Red Sox

8th grade dance
Tickets will be on sale for the 8th grade dance until May 26th.  The dance will be on June 9th from 6:30 to 9:00 at Valley Country Club.  I talked about this last week, but please remember, that this dance is NOT a formal or even a semi-formal.  

Honors Night
Responses for Honors Night were due today.  As of this morning, there are still many of you that have not responded.  Please do so as soon as possible.  Because of the large number of students that are expected to be coming, we are going to have to distribute tickets to families and limit that number to 3 tickets per family.  We understand that this is a big night for our students, but there are only 700 seats in the Cranston West auditorium.  Many of you have responded that you would like to bring 8 or 9 (or more) guests, but the West auditorium cannot accommodate that many people.

NJHS Night
The National Junior Honor Society Induction ceremony will be taking place on June 19th at West for students that have met the requirements.  This is a separate ceremony from Honors Night, which is for invited 8th graders only.  NJHS Night will be for both 7th and 8th grade students that met the qualifications.   
Friday, May 26th, is hat day at Western Hills. If you would like to participate, please bring in a dollar and give it to your homeroom teacher that morning. The money will go towards the National Junior Honor Society community service project. Please help support this worthy cause.

Dress Code
Although it is going to cool off a little next week, the warm weather is finally here.  And with the warm weather comes all of the new spring and summer outfits.  Please keep in mind that we do have a dress code here at Western Hills.  All of these rules apply to both boys and girls.    
  • Shorts and skirts should be of appropriate length (around the fingertips) when the student’s arms are relaxed and hanging by their side.  
  • No flip flops or any type of shoe that does not have a back to it.  This is a safety issue for when students are walking up and down the staircases.
  • The student’s midriff is not be exposed.
  • Tank tops are allowed if the shoulder strap is wide (roughly 3 fingers wide; no spaghetti straps)
  • Tops that are low cut in the back or front are not allowed.
  • No hats or headcovers unless for religious or medical purposes.
  • Students are not to wear clothing that has inappropriate messages or displays alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
  • Administrators will make the final call on the appropriateness of clothing.

Park View Food Truck Night
Park View Middle School is holding a community event called Food Truck Night.  Please see the attachment for this fun event.  
Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal
5/14/17

Hello Western Hills Community,

I hope all of you moms (parents, teachers, and staff) had a great Mother’s Day today!

State Testing
On Thursday our 8th graders finished up Science NECAP testing and all PARCC testing (with the exception of some make-ups) will be completed by Tuesday.  Thank you the the faculty members that helped us setup the cafeteria this morning for the Science NECAP Inquiry Task.  Great job by the students working hard to complete that part of the test!

Upcoming Concerts
Chorus:
5/16 - 6th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
5/23 - 7th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
5/30 - 8th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
Orchestra:
5/31 - 6th, 7th, 8th, 7:00 Western Hills
Band:
6/14 - 6th, 7th, 8th, Cranston West, 7:00
Band, Chorus, and Orchestra:
6/20 -  6th, 7th, 8th, McCoy Stadium- Star Spangled Banner for the Pawtucket Red Sox

Cranston High School West Cheerleading
CRANSTON WEST CHEERLEADING TRYOUTS will be held at CRANSTON WEST- Small Gym on MAY 22nd, MAY 24th and MAY 25th from 6pm- 8pm.
Anyone interested in cheering for the 2017-18 season must attend all 3 days of tryouts.

Cranston West Ice Cream Social
Please see the attachment regarding an Ice Cream Social at Cranston West.


National Italian Exam
Forty-one of our middle school students were part of 1,591 students taking the Level 1 exam in 184 schools around the country.  We are proud to announce that four of our Western Hills students were awarded with honorable mention.  They are:

Abigail Shellard: 15th in the country
Catherine Consiglio: 17th in the country
David Marcello: 18th in the country
Hope DiBiasio: 20th in the country

Have a great week everyone,
Tim Vesey, Principal5/5/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
Here we go, another beautiful weekend in Rhode Island...
Next week our 8th graders will be taking the Science NECAP test on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  We are also starting to get towards the end of our PARCC testing as well.  
8th grade dance
Very soon we will begin selling tickets for our 8th grade dance which will be taking place on June 9th at Valley Country Club.  There will be much more detailed information coming out soon.  However, I want to remind you that the 8th grade dance is NOT a formal or a prom and not really a semi-formal either.  Although the vast majority of students get dressed-up for this dance, suits and gowns are not expected.  Most boys wear a shirt and tie with slacks and girls wear a dress.  Students are strongly discouraged from going with a date and limousines are not allowed.  Any limousine arriving at Valley Country Club, before or after the dance, will be turned away.
Every year this a very fun and successful dance, especially now that, since last year, we’ve begun holding it at a facility other than our school.  As I said, this is not a prom; these students are only in the 8th grade.  They will have the opportunity to attend formals and semi-formals during their high school years.

Camp XL at Bain Middle School  
Camp XL is looking for more Cranston residents, in grades K-8, to take part in their Cmp XL this summer.  See the attached flyer for more information.

Sports at Cranston West
Any 8th grade students that are interested in playing football at Cranston West should see Mr. Milewski here at Western Hills.  Also, any incoming freshmen that are interested in playing hockey should contact  Matt Brannon at mattbrannon8812@gmail.com or by cell 401-641-7852.  

Western Hills Sports
Despite some recent weather issues, our spring sports teams have managed to get in their games and meets.  Both the Softball team and the Baseball team are doing well and leading their divisions.  The girls’ and boys’ Track teams are also doing well in team competition and also with many individual accomplishments.

Upcoming Concerts
Chorus:
5/16 - 6th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
5/23 - 7th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills
5/30 - 8th grade chorus, 7:00 Western Hills

Orchestra:
5/31 - 6th, 7th, 8th, 7:00 Western Hills

Band:
6/14 - 6th, 7th, 8th, Cranston West, 7:00
Band, Chorus, and Orchestra:
6/20 -  6th, 7th, 8th, McCoy Stadium- Star Spangled Banner for the Pawtucket Red Sox

3rd Quarter Honor Roll
Attached to this email is the 3rd Quarter Honor Roll.  Unfortunately, the Honor Roll that went out in the Cranston Herald was not completely accurate.  We apologize for the mistake.
Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal
4/28/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
Looks like some nice weather this weekend.  Hopefully everyone can get out and enjoy it!
Western Hills Music
Our music program has announced dates for their upcoming concerts-
Orchestra- May 31st at Western Hills from 6-8pm, all grade levels
Band- June 14 at West, all grade levels
Chorus - (all at Western Hills)
6th Grade Chorus - Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
7th Grade Chorus - Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017
8th Grade Chorus - Tuesday, May 30th, 2017       
PARCC and Science NECAP
PARCC is going very well so far.  I am very pleased with the effort being put in by our students and the hard work and diligence being demonstrated by our faculty.  
On May 9th, 10th, and 11th our 8th graders will be taking the Science NECAP.
National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)
Our NJHS night will be taking place on June 19th at Cranston High School West.  This is a completely different night than Honors night which is taking place on June 7th.  There will be more NJHS information coming to you soon.
Shortest Weekly Update ever… Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal

4/7/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
Week 1 of PARCC is in the books and it was a very good week!  I appreciate how serious the students were about taking the test and I am thankful for our teachers that support them and make the testing process go so smoothly (especially our librarian, Mrs. Flynn!).
Today was the first day of the 4th quarter.  The year is going by very quickly and a lot will be happening over the next few months.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s grades, please do not hesitate to contact any one of your child’s teachers or their guidance counselor.  The Guidance Office can be reached at 270-8033.  

Science Olympiad

As you know from my previous email, our Science Olympiad team finished 5th in the state and took home multiple individual honors.  Here are some pictures from the event.  Thank you to the parents for sending them to me.


Scheduling Courses at Cranston High School West
Please see the note below from Mr. Willette, our 8th grade guidance counselor:
As of today (4/3/17), guidance counselors at WHMS have met with all students who have returned their pink course selection sheets. If you have not returned a course selection sheet, please submit one directly to Mr. Willette in guidance. If you lost your course selection sheet, please see the guidance secretary for a duplicate copy. We will not review course requests with students who have not returned a signed course selection sheet.
Please carefully review your course requests by selecting “requests” under the “My Info” tab in Aspen. Your requested courses appear at the top of the page. Ignore the percentage scheduled information; instead, be sure it reads 6.5 after “Credits.” This is the correct number of credits at this point in the scheduling process. Physical and Health Education courses will be mass added at a later date.
If you would like to change an elective course(s) (any course other than English, math, science, or social studies), you may email Mr. Willette with your requested change(s) at rwillette@cpsed.net or you may see me in my office.
Remember, we are not processing any course overrides of teacher recommendations until after the 4th quarter interim period because teachers will be reviewing their original recommendations and making changes, if warranted.
As always, contact me with any questions or concerns.
Regards,
Mr. Willette
Sports
The weather has not been cooperating for our baseball, softball, and track teams.  However, our softball team was able to get a game in against Bain this week.  The Cobra softball team put together a 16-0 victory here at home.
Our Unified Basketball team went on the road yesterday and had their second win, this time against Winman MS in Warwick.
Upcoming Dates
Thanks to the WH mom that reminded me at the softball game that I should send out upcoming, important dates:

Spring pictures - April 12th
3rd quarter report cards - available on Aspen on April 13th
No School - April 14th
School Vacation - April 17th - April 21st
School Dance - April 28th
Honors night - June 7th, 7:00, Cranston High School West
Student of the Month Breakfast - June 9th, 8:15 am
8th grade dance - June 9th, Valley Country Club
NJHS day/night - TBA
Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal

3/24/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
This may be my briefest Weekly Update yet...  As always, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone (270-8030) with any questions or concerns.  If your questions are academic in nature, it would be best to contact either your child’s Guidance Counselor (270-8033) or the teacher of the class of which you are concerned.
  • Our Guidance Counselors have been meeting with each 8th grade student individually to go over their course selections for next year.  Please contact your child’s Guidance Counselor with any questions.

  • Falconette and Westernette auditions are coming up soon for any interested 8th graders.  See the attached flyer.

  • PARCC testing begins on April 3rd and goes until May 22nd.  All Western Hills students will be taking three sessions of ELA and three sessions of Math or Algebra.  During that time, 8th graders will also be taking the Science NECAP on May 9th, 10th, and 11th.  

  • At this point, our Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field teams have been picked and all three teams are preparing for the upcoming Spring season.  

Have a great weekend!
Tim Vesey, Principal


Statement of Confidentiality The contents of this e-mail message and any attachments are confidential and are intended solely for the addressee.The information may also be legally privileged. If you have received this transmission in error, any use,reproduction, or dissemination of this transmission is strictly prohibited.If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender by reply e-mail and delete the message. 
3/15/17
Hello Western Hills Community,

  • So much for spring sports getting underway… it looks like our teams will be inside for the foreseeable future.  

  • Third quarter Progress Reports were put on Aspen last Friday.  Please let me know if you are not able to access your account.

  • PARCC testing begins on April 3rd.

  • Pennies for Patients will be taking place on March 20th - 24th

  • NJHS packets are due by Friday.  No late packets can be accepted!

PTO Meeting
From the PTO Executive Board -
The WHMS PTO will be meeting tomorrow evening in the school library at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome to attend.  Also for your calendars, our final meeting will be Thursday May 18 at 7 pm; however, a reminder will go out prior.  Next week, there will be a fundraiser at Chipotle restaurant on Thursday, March 23rd starting at 4 pm...more details to follow next week.  
Student of the Month Breakfast
Last week’s postponed Student of the Month Breakfast will take place this Friday, March 17th at 8:15 am in the Western Hills cafeteria.  We are looking forward to seeing all of you.  
The Cobra
The latest issue of our school newspaper, The Cobra, is attached to this email.  
Social Media
Don’t forget to check out all of the latest happenings at Western Hills by going to our various social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).  There you will see important information, upcoming events, and also what’s taking place in various classrooms around the building.


2/13/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
As you may have seen, the snow banks in the parking lot are really high right now.  Please use extra caution when picking up and dropping off your children.  It may be difficult to see other students around the snowbanks.  Those of you that drive your children know that the afternoon is particularly hectic.  There are buses, many cars, and many children trying to get to those cars.  As a reminder, the buses leave at 2:27 and within a few minutes, the parking lot is almost completely clear.
Surveyworks
Last week, I told you about Surveyworks.  This is your opportunity to help us improve Western Hills Middle School.  By taking this survey,  you can let us know what you think is working and what is not working so well here at Western Hills.  So far only 8 parents have taken the survey.  We need many more responses than this to get an accurate representation from families.
To access the parent survey go to https://surveys.panoramaed.com/ride/login and use  07129family as your login.  
Wrestling
This past weekend, the Western Hills wrestling team competed in the Rhode Island Middle School State Championships.  The Cobras had a great tournament, finishing in 5th place out of over 30 teams!  Finishing in 6th place at the tournament were Luke Montefusco, Rory Perrino, Matt DeFusco, and Landon Giampietro.  Tyler Stephenson finished in fourth place.  Christian Rutherford and Chris Gomez finished in third place.  Finally, congratulations to Anthony Decotis for making it to the finals and finishing in second place.  
Dodgeball Tournament
Due to the school cancellations last week, the annual Dodgeball Tournament has been moved to after vacation.  The 6th grade will compete on 2/28, the 7th grade will compete on 3/1, and the 8th grade will compete on 3/2.  The winners from those three days will all come back on Friday, 3/3 for the championship finals.  Students should see their PE teachers to sign up for the tournament.  


Yearbooks
Yearbooks are available for order.  Please see the attached order form for details.

Have a great week!

Tim Vesey, Principal
2/3/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
Second quarter report cards were made available on Aspen on Friday morning.  We are now into the third quarter of the school year.  If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s grades, it is very important that you contact your child’s guidance counselor or team leader as soon as possible.  If you are unsure of whom to contact, call our Guidance Office at 270-8033.  Our Guidance Clerk, Mrs. Stewart, will be able to connect you to the appropriate counselor.
We recently recognized our January Students of the Month.  They will be invited with the other students of the month to an upcoming breakfast.


Moving on to Cranston High School West
On Tuesday, administrators and guidance counselors from Cranston West will be meeting with our 8th grade students to discuss programming, classes, and opportunities in high school.  This is an exciting time of year as our 8th grade students will be finding out what courses they were recommended for in high school and they will also be picking their electives.  Western Hills guidance counselors will be assisting our students with the selection of elective courses.
Attached to this email is a flyer about Freshman Orientation Night taking place on Wednesday February 8th at Cranston High School West.
Note about a story in the recent issue of “The Cobra”
In the most recent issue of our school newspaper, “The Cobra”, it was said that there are no healthy choices available to students.  A local representative of Aramark contacted me to assure me that -  “Everything on that serving line follows the guidelines. Nothing is fried, everything is required to follow strict guidelines to be under a certain amount of fat, calories, sugar, etc…” So, yes, the food in the cafeteria follows the strict guidelines that must be followed by all public schools.
Early Release and cancellation of after-school activities
During this time of year there is always the possibility of an early release from school and/or cancellation of after-school activities due to the weather.  If you have not already done so, please make sure that your child knows what to do in this situation.  
Sports
The boys’ basketball season came to end last week with a loss against Bain.  Although they didn’t make the playoffs, we are all proud of our boys and Coach Splendorio for their efforts this season.
The girls’ basketball team, however, opens up the playoffs on Monday when they host North Cumberland Middle School at 3:30 in the Western Hills gym.  Good luck to the girls and Coach DeCosta in the playoffs!
Next weekend, Coach Burns and the Cobra wrestlers head to Cumberland for the Rhode Island Middle School State Championship.  Many of our wrestlers are having a great season and they will be striving for both individual championships and the team championship.
Do you have a Favorite Teacher?
Students - We are lucky to have a very talented faculty at Western Hills Middle School.  Is one of them your favorite?  If so, see the attachment for the Barnes and Noble Favorite Teacher Contest.  
Have a great week everyone!
Tim Vesey, Principal

Hi again,
All after school activities are cancelled today in Cranston.  All students will be leaving Western Hills at 2:20 today.
Tim Vesey, Principal

Hi everyone,
The latest edition of "The Cobra" is attached to this email.
Here is some information on Friday night's dance from our Student Council Advisor, Mr. Willette:
Student council organizes several dances throughout the school year. The following is a list of the dances that will be held this school year: November 18 (all grades), February 3 (all grades), April 28 (all grades), and June 9 (8th grade only).
In order to provide for the safety of our students and the success of our dances, there are some policies and procedures students must follow.Dances will be held in the cafeteria (and gymnasium) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Students will not be allowed into the building prior to 6:30 but should arrive no later than 6:45. Students are expected to remain at the dance until 8:30. Students who are not picked up promptly by 8:30 will not be allowed to attend the next dance. All disciplinary policies and procedures outlined in the student planner are to be followed at the dances. Particularly, students must adhere to the dress code.
Tickets will be sold in homeroom from Monday to Wednesday during the week of the dance. No tickets will be sold on Thursday or Friday. Tickets are $6, and students must pay with the exact amount in cash or check made payable to Western Hills. Students may only purchase one ticket each, and the ticket purchased is not transferable. No refunds will be given unless a student is absent from school on the day of the dance. Students who are absent on the day of the dance are not permitted to attend.
Because the Western Hills school community and the student council value the spirit of helping those individuals and families in need, admittance to the dance also requires the donation of two canned goods (a reminder is printed on ticket). Canned donations are collected at the door as students enter the building.
Students who are ineligible may not purchase a ticket to the dance. If they attempt to so, they will face disciplinary action. It is a privilege to attend a school dance. All school obligations, including outstanding library fines and payment for lost books, should be met prior to purchasing a ticket.



1/30/17
Hello Western Hills Community,
Believe it or not, the school year is more than half done!  Our next dance is Friday night from 6:30 to 8:30. The cost of the dance is $6 and tickets will be sold until Wednesday in homeroom.
Verizon App Challenge
Don’t forget to vote for our students in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.  Text FOODFIND to 22333.  Our school could win $15,000!  Feel free to share this with friends and family and ask them to vote for us as well.
NEL/CPS Construction and Career Academy
Did you know that there is another high school option in Cranston Public Schools?  It is the NEL/CPS Construction and Career Academy.  Recently, Mrs. Ferris came and spoke to our eighth grade students regarding that program.  I have attached a flyer if you are interested in learning more.
Cranston High School West
On February 7th, administrators and guidance counselors from Cranston West will be meeting with our eighth grade students about going to highschool next year.  The main topic of the conversation will be about course selections.  Currently, our 8th grade teachers are making recommendations for ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  There will be much more information (including the recommendations) coming to you over the next couple of weeks.
2nd Quarter Report Cards and NJHS
We are past the midway point of the school year and 2nd quarter Report Cards will be made available on Aspen on Friday morning.  ALL report cards will be on Aspen and we will not be printing them.  As soon as all grades have been reported, our National Junior Honor Society Committee will begin the application process for students that are interested in being a part of NJHS.  
Sports
Our basketball teams are finishing up the regular season with games tomorrow against Bain. The boys will be on the road and the girls will play here at Western Hills.  Here’s the playoff picture:  the girls are in but need a win tomorrow to hold to a favorable seed for the tournament.  The boys need a win tomorrow to get into the playoffs.  Good luck to both teams!
This past weekend the JV wrestling team participated in the Rhode Island Middle School Futures tournament.  I was there all weekend and I was very impressed with our Cobra wrestlers.  Placing at the tournament were:  Mike Paquette (6th), PJ Desimone (5th), Noah Polion, Sean Robbins, Ethan Quinn (all took 3rd).  Congratulations to our champion, Robert Wilcox.  Robert took 1st place in the 100 pound division!  Those wrestlers that placed in the top three of their weight classes are now eligible to compete with the varsity wrestlers at the State Championship on February 11 and 12th.


Finally, don’t forget to sign-up for spring sports on the district website.  The spring sports are baseball, softball, and track and field.  For those of you that expressed interest in Unified Basketball, there is no online sign-up.  I have the names of interested students and we will be reaching out to you soon.
Project Strong (this is for Mr. Haddad’s male students only, at this point)
Last week the boys on Mr. Haddad’s team met with Kelsey Bala from Rhode Island Hospital. They are conducting a study called Project Strong, which promotes healthy dating relationship skills.  Participants will be paid for their time in the study and, again, this is for boys only.  Attached is the form to fill out if you and your son (Mr. Haddad’s team only, for now) if you are interested.
Have a great week everyone!

Tim Vesey, Principal
1/13/17

Hello Western Hills Community,
I’m a little late on this update...
We have many outstanding kids here at Western Hills and several really stood out this week.  First, I would like to recognize four students that won awards from the 2017 Rhode Island Scholastic Arts Awards:

Angelica Bueno- Sliver Key, Painting
Christina Charie - Gold Key, Painting
Tessa Phillips - Silver Key, Mixed Media
Max Rachiele - Gold Key, Drawing and Illustration

Yesterday we had the finals of our 2017 Western Hills Geography Bee.  The finalists were: Christopher Trek, Sam Latman, Christopher Kendra, Noah Ialongo, Logan Dufficy, Daniel Meyerson, JP Vallot, and Lorraina Chen.  After a grueling competition in front of a packed auditorium, Sam Latzman emerged as the winner.  He will go on to represent Western Hills at a state competition.

We just learned this week that Mr. Blackburn and our STEM Club has done it again!  For the fourth consecutive year, they have achieved the Best in State Award in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.  The winning team included:  Sam Latzman, Isabella George, David Moretti, David Steets, Olivia Martin, Noah Ialongo, and Christina Charie.  

These students have won $5000 for our school!  Each student on the winning team also receives a tablet, t-shirt, and backpack.

The students have advanced to the next round of the competition where they will compete for the Fan Favorite, Best In Region, and Best in Nation awards.

The winning app, Food Finder, is an app that allows the user to input their grocery list.  The app then calculates where to shop in order to obtain the best products at the cheapest prices.  This app has made coupon cutting and comparison shopping obsolete and will allow families throughout the country to save money.

In order to help them win at the next level we need the help of the community.  Starting on 1/16/17, go to https://appchallenge.tsaweb.org/vote/8224 and vote for FoodFinder.  We will be sharing this on all of our social media.  We would appreciate it you would do the same.  We have the chance at winning an additional $15,000!

Also, another group of students in the STEM Club has won the 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge.  Congratulations to the Greenhouse Effect team which consists of Elizabeth Cowart, Julia Deal, Leah Phann, Ava Kavanagh, Jordan Simpson, and Eric Garcia.  The students, with their  have won nearly $1200 each and they are moving on to the next round that will have additional prizes.  The team developed an innovative way in which to remove harmful particles in the air using plants.  The school will also be awarded $2000.  More details will follow as we learn what the team has to do to advance.

National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)
As I mentioned earlier this year, Western Hills will be taking part in National Junior Honor Society.  Once we have the grades for the second quarter, we will be able to send out the applications to eligible students.  In order to be eligible, students must have an overall 85% cumulative average and all 1s and 2s in Effort and Citizenship.  There is also a community service portion to NJHS.  We will be having a school-wide project, however, students can also do their own community service hours.  There will be more information about the community service portion at a later date.
A committee consisting of five teachers from the building will review all applications.  If a student is not accepted into NJHS (or not given an application) they me appeal that decision to me, the principal.

Anime Club
Do you like to draw Japanese animations, Cartoons, comic books? Then join the Western Hills Middle School Anime’ Club. The Club will meet Wednesdays starting Feb.1st and end on March 22nd. Anime’ Club will run from 2:40 until 3:40. Parents will need to pick up students at 3:40. Space is limited and students will be chosen at random. Applications are available in the main office before or after school. The forms need to be returned to the Guidance Office by this Friday January 20th

Spring Sports
Not that I want winter to be over… but it is already time to start signing up for Spring sports.  Students can sign up for boys’ baseball, girls’ softball, or track and field (boys’ and girls’ teams).  As you can imagine, both baseball and softball will have to make cuts.  However, track and field can take many more students onto the team.  Sign up by going to cpsed.net and clicking on Athletics.

Western Hills Student
Have a heart and support our fellow Cobra Isabell. The student council would like to encourage all students and faculty members to wear pink and purple (Isabell’s favorite colors) on Friday, 1/20 to support Isabell as she recovers from her heart surgery. We would also ask you to donate a dollar or more to help her family with her mounting medical bills and travel expenses. Homeroom teachers will collect donations this  Friday, 1/20.
That’s it, have a great week!
Tim Vesey, Principal


1/6/17

Hello Western Hills Community,
Well, that was interesting…  the snow came at just the wrong time this morning and I want to thank everyone for their patience as we dealt with the traffic in the parking lot.  A big thanks to those of you that helped out your fellow parents that were stuck on the hill in the back of the building.  
For those of you that drop off in the front, it is especially important on days like this that you pull your vehicle as far down as you can before letting your child out. On snowy or rainy days we typically have a lot more traffic.  

Sports
Our winter sports teams are back in competition after being on the holiday break.  Both the boys and girls basketball teams had wins over Bain Middle School yesterday.  The wrestling team travels to Johnston today to take on Ferri Middle School.  
** If your child attends a sporting event, as a fan, at Western Hills, please be sure that you pick them  up on time (around 4:30-5:00 for basketball and 5:00-5:30 for wrestling).  Too many students are waiting around for rides long after the event has taken place.  Students that are not picked up at reasonable time may risk being allowed to come to future after-school events.**

Winter Concert
Please see the information below from Mr. Fortier for 8th grade band students:
On Thursday, February 16th at 7:00 pm there will be a short performance from the 8th grade band from Western Hills.  Students will need to arrive at 6:30 in order to prepare for the concert.  Students will report to the band room at that time.  
Students attire will be all black concert attire:       Boys                                            Girls
                                                                  Black Pants                Black slacks, long skirt or dress
                                                                  Black Shirts                                 Black blouses
                                                                  Black socks                 Black socks, leggings or nylons
                                                                  Black shoes                                  Black shoes
The all black attire is standard in the music industry for more serious musical performances.  Please make every effort to acquire and wear all black to the concert.
This is the culmination of months of work, I would expect all students to be in attendance.  I am asking you to clear your calendars, make transportation arrangements so that all students may attend.

Report Cards on Aspen
Second quarter Report Cards will be coming out on Friday, February 3rd.  We are going to go to all Report Cards and Progress Reports, starting that day, being all on Aspen and not printed.  Many of you have contacted me regarding gaining access to your parent account on Aspen.  If you still do not have access, please let me know.  
Dance
Our next school dance is taking place on February 3rd, 2017 from 6:30-8:30.  More information will be available once we get closer to that date.
Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal


12/23/16

Hello Western Hills Community,
It feels like the school year just started and here we are going into the Holiday Vacation. Progress Reports were made available on Aspen this morning.  Please let me know if are unable to access it due to not knowing how to get into your parent account.  If you requested a paper copy, I would like to encourage you to go to Aspen to get your child’s reports.  Going paperless will save the school lots of time and money.  Please take a look at Aspen and see how easy it is to open the Progress Report.
Pajama Drive
Thank you to all of you that contributed to our Annual Pajama Drive.  This year we collected 266 pairs of pajamas!  I am always so impressed with the generosity of our school community.
School Newspaper
The latest edition of The Cobra is attached to this email.  Once again our team of reporters outdid themselves with some great articles and pictures of the daily life here at Western Hills.  
Sports
This week the wrestling team defeated McCourt by a score of 49-36.  It’s been great to see some of our new wrestlers learn the sport!  The girls’ basketball team defeated Warwick Vets by a score of 43-31, while the boys lost to Vets 61-29.  The teams will all resume competition after the break.  
Ugly Sweater Day
Today was Ugly Sweater Day and, in a combined effort by our Student Council and Media Club, toiletries were collected for needy members of our community.  It was a lot of fun to see all the different sweaters and imaginative outfits that kids put together.  Our 8th grade guidance counselor, Mr. Willette, was the talk of the school today!

School resumes on Tuesday, January 3rd.  I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season! See you in 2017!  

Tim Vesey, Principal

12/16/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
“Baby, it’s cold outside…”  Sorry, I couldn’t resist (and now that song is stuck in your head).  It was good to see that most of our students were appropriately dressed for the weather this morning.  We have one more full week of school and then we are on vacation and then school re-opens on Tuesday, 1/3/17.
Progress Reports
Second quarter Progress Reports will be available on Aspen next Friday morning, 12/23.. For those of you that are still asking for paper copies, please consider emailing me and letting me know that you are willing to get the Progress Reports and Report Cards on Aspen.  It is very easy to access and you will be saving the school time and money.  Parents should be accessing the reports from the parent account and not their child’s account.  If you still do not have access to your parent Aspen account, please let me know.  
Day One Survey
This week your child should have received an information packet from Rhode Island Hospital.  Western Hills will be participating in a research study titled, “Promoting Healthy Relationships in Middle School.”  Part of that packet is an opt out form if you do not want your child to participate.  The form must be filled out if you want to opt your child out of participating in the survey.
NAEP
Western Hills Middle School has been chosen to participate in National Assessment of Educational Progress.  There were 186 eighth grade students that were randomly chosen to participate in this testing.  Students were chosen to either be tested in math or reading. Those students that were chosen will be given further information about this testing some time next week.   
Sports
Both basketball teams only played one game this week.  The boys travelled to Park View yesterday and got a big win over their cross-city rivals, 65-47.  The girls lost a close game to Park View, here at Western Hills, by a score of 26-23.  
The wrestling team has had a busy week.  On Monday, the Cobra wrestlers were home against Curtis Corner (South Kingstown) and won that match by a score of 52-45.  On Wednesday, they went on the road to East Providence to take on the defending state champions, Martin Middle School.  The Cobras fell by a score of 52-34.  Today the team is home against another tough team, Kickemuit Middle School (Bristol-Warren).
In other exciting sports news, please see the article below about one of our students who is now a member of the Brown University Lacrosse team!  

Finally, if your child is attending a sporting event, please pick them up at a reasonable time. Most basketball games are done by 5:00 and most wrestling matches are done by 5:30. Please plan on arriving at these times and do not wait for your son or daughter to call you.

Emoji Wall
During Open House, many of you secured a permanent place at Western Hills when you bought an emoji for our Emoji Wall.  Thank you to all of you that contributed and a HUGE thank you to Mrs. Blackburn and the students that were at school until 7:00 pm (twice) to make this happen.  The students were Kayla Salvatore, Ava West, Carmela Andreozzi, Annie Chen, Alexis Ratcliffe, Jovina Yu, Emily Webb, Kaylee Nadich, Jenna Szlashta, and Hannah Bagshaw.


Pajama Drive
Our pajama drive is going very well.  We are up to 230 pairs of pajamas!  As you go shopping this weekend, please consider picking up pajamas (infant-teen).  The last day of collection will be Wednesday of next week.
Commissioner Visit
The Rhode Island Commissioner of Education, Ken Wagner, will be visiting Cranston on July 24th at 3:30 at Cranston High School East in the library.  This is open to CPS employees as well as the community.
Western Hills Music
Our holiday concerts will be taking place next week.  On December 20th at 7:00pm, the Western Hills Orchestra will be playing at Cranston West.  On the next night (12/21) also at West at 7:00pm, the Western Hills Chorus will be taking the stage.

Unified Basketball
We are still looking for a few more “partners” to be a part of our Unified Basketball team.  The “partners” will be playing along side students (the “athletes”) in our building that have intellectual disabilities.  There will be one game and one practice each week beginning some time in late March or early April.  
Lost and Found
Our Lost and Found table is full of clothes.  Please come by and find your missing jackets, shorts, shirts, pants, lunch boxes, etc.  We will soon be donating all of the clothes to charity.

Have a great weekend!

Tim Vesey, Principal

12/9/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
Here is what’s happening at Western Hills...
Pajama Drive
Thank you for all of you that have already responded to our Annual Pajama Drive.  Ms. Piascik’s, Mrs. Cox’s, and Ms. Budz’s advisory classes are still collecting new pairs of pajamas for ages infant through teen.  They will be distributed through the Cranston Family Center.  
Special Olympics Unified Basketball
We are excited to announce that Western Hills Middle School will be participating in Unified Basketball this upcoming Spring.  This is an “education-based project that uses sports and education programs to activate young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change.  It fosters respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.”
We are looking for Western Hills students to be the “partners” to play along with students from our special education program.  The commitment is one practice and one game each week starting some time in March.  
Western Hills students or their parents should email me to let me know of their interest in being a part of this exciting program.  Feel free to also email me with any questions as well.  It is a Special Olympics rule that male and female members of our school basketball teams cannot be part of this program.  This gives the opportunity to students that got cut from the basketball team to be part of a team here at school.
Hour of Code
This week, students and teachers throughout the world took part in the Hour of Code.  This was an opportunity for students to learn basic computer programming.  As we move on in the 21st Century, these skills will be more and more in demand.  It was a lot of fun to watch Western Hills students enjoying themselves as they learned about computer programming.  I was very impressed to observe Mrs. Ciccone’s Italian class take part in L’ Ora del Codice.  Not only were her students writing computer code, they were doing it in Italian!
Sports  
It was an up and down week for Cobra sports.  The wrestling team went 1-1 this week with a win over Davisville and then taking a loss against Ponaganset.  The boys’ basketball team split the week as well with a win over Hope Highlands and then a loss yesterday in West Warwick against Deering Middle School.  The girls’ basketball team dropped both of their games this week with losses against Hope Highlands and Deering.  All three teams are looking to regroup and get on the winning track next week and leading up to vacation.
Concerts
Here are our upcoming concerts:
  • December 20th - Orchestra Concert, 7PM at Cranston West
  • December 21st - Chorus Concert, 7PM at Cranston West
Yearbook Art Contest
The Yearbook Club is looking for Western Hills artists to design the first page of the yearbook, showing school spirit.  Submissions are due on December 14th and a copy of the rules is available in the cafeteria.
Hairspray at Cranston West
No, we are not going back to the hairstyles of the 80s, but Cranston West is performing their version of the musical, Hairspray.  See the attached flyer for the times for this weekend.
Have a great weekend!
Tim Vesey, Principal
12/2/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
Here is what’s go on at Western Hills Middle School…
Pajama Drive
Our 8th annual Pajama Drive is taking place again this year and is being run by the advisories of Mrs. Cox, Ms. Budz, and Ms. Piasick.  They are taking NEW pajamas for infants through teens.  Please leave them unwrapped with the tags on.  Students from the three advisories will be collecting them on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  The Cranston Family Center will be picking them up on December 16th and 21st.  
Holiday Concerts
It’s holiday concert time!  The WHMS Orchestra will be performing on December 20th at 7:00pm at Cranston West and the WHMS Chorus will be performing on December 21st at 7:00pm also at Cranston West.  The Chorus will also be performing holiday songs on December 9th from 6:00 to 6:30pm at the Garden City Courtyard (near Bistro 22 and Anthropologie).
Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance
Attached to this email is our list of students that made Honors and High Honors for the 1st quarter.  I would also like to point out that we 380 students that had perfect attendance during the first quarter!  
Sports
The winter sports season is underway.  On Thursday the girls’ basketball opened their season with a victory on the road against Winman.  At home, the boys’ basketball team lost a heartbreaker, in overtime, also against Winman.  The wrestling team begins their season on Monday with an away match against Davisville.
Short update this week… have a great weekend!  
Tim Vesey, Principal11/23/16
Hello Western Hills community,
Here we are, already at Thanksgiving and the school year is going by quickly.  At this point, we are already more than a quarter of the way through the year.  By now all parents should have seen their child’s 1st quarter report card.  The easiest way to do this is by going into your parent Aspen account and looking under Published Reports on the left hand side of the screen.  Even if you requested a paper copy, you should look at your Aspen account to see how easy it is to access your child’s report card.

School Newspaper
Our school newspaper, The Cobra, is attached to this email.  As usual, it’s full of fun and interesting stories, including a story about the end of an era here at Western Hills Middle School.
School Dance
The dance this past Friday night was a great time and had one of the biggest crowds that we’ve seen in several years.  Thank you to the teachers and parents that volunteered their time to chaperone that night.  Not only did we have a great time, we collected an incredible amount of food that was donated to local families in need.
Student of the Month Breakfast
Every month, each of the teams in the building selects a male and female Student of the Month.  Every 3 months, we invite those students and their parents to attend the Student of the Month Breakfast.  The November Students of the Month were announced this morning. They, along with the September and October Students of the Month, will soon be receiving an invitation to the breakfast which will be taking place on December 9th at 8:15am.  
Have a great long weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!
Tim Vesey, Principal



11/18/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
Report cards were distributed today both electronically and some by paper.  We are really hoping to get almost everyone to receive their child’s report card in the electronic form.  Over the years that will save us thousands and thousands of pieces of paper.  This, of course, is better for our budget and for the environment.  If you did, however, receive a signed report card, please sign and return the bottom portion.  
The report cards are available on both the parent and student accounts.  Parents should be using their parent account to view the report card.  Do not share your parent account password with your child.  They have access to all of their own information on their student account. By viewing your child's report card with your account, you are essentially providing us with an electronic signature.
Chorus Information
Here are a couple of chorus dates from Mrs. Tomassi:
- Friday, December 9th, 2016 at Garden City (waiting on word for Gazebo location)?  from 6:00 to 6:30 pm.  - Dress anything warm!!!!  We will be singing outside for approximately 30 minutes.  Attendance is optional.
Wednesday, December 21st, at Cranston High School West auditorium from 7:00 to 7:30 pm - Dress: boys black pants white shirts , black shoes or black sneakers blue or black tie / girls black pants or long black shirts with white blouse or sweater, black shoe.
Attendance is mandatory.
Flyers with information will be sent home.
Sports
The winter sports season is underway.  The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have been selected and the wrestling team is beginning to figure out who will be filling the various weight classes.  
Students- if you were cut from basketball and want to wrestle, it’s not too late.  If you are interested see Mr. Burns.
Commissioner Visit
Due to an unforeseen issue, Commissioner Wagner had to cancel his meeting in Cranston on Tuesday afternoon.
The new date for his visit is: January 10th from 3:30-4:30pm at Cranston High School East Library located at 899 Park Avenue, Cranston.
PTO
Thank you to the parents that came to the PTO meeting last night.  At the meeting we discussed the success of the Walkathon, auditorium repairs, report cards, and upcoming student events.  The next meeting will be on January 19 at 7:00 pm.
Finally, the first dance is tonight.  Students do not need a student ID to get into the dance.  We do ask that, in keeping with WH tradition, that every student brings in two or more canned goods to benefit members of our community in need.
Have a great weekend!  And… we have another three day week next week!
Tim Vesey, Principal

11/10/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
Yes, we have another day off tomorrow… (11/11/16).  This is a short update, but here is what is going on at Western Hills.
Dances!
Student council organizes several dances throughout the school year. The following is a list of the dances that will be held this school year: November 18 (all grades), February 3 (all grades), April 28 (all grades), and June 9 (8th grade only). In order to provide for the safety of our students and the success of our dances, there are some policies and procedures students must follow.
Dances will be held in the cafeteria (and gymnasium) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Students will not be allowed into the building prior to 6:30 but should arrive no later than 6:45. Students are expected to remain at the dance until 8:30. Students who are not picked up promptly by 8:30 will not be allowed to attend the next dance. All disciplinary policies and procedures outlined in the student planner are to be followed at the dances. Particularly, students must adhere to the dress code.
Tickets will be sold in homeroom from Monday to Wednesday during the week of the dance. No tickets will be sold on Thursday or Friday. Tickets are $6, and students must pay with the exact amount in cash or check made payable to Western Hills. Students may only purchase one ticket each, and the ticket purchased is not transferable. No refunds will be given unless a student is absent from school on the day of the dance. Students who are absent on the day of the dance are not permitted to attend.
Because the Western Hills school community and the student council value the spirit of helping those individuals and families in need, admittance to the dance also requires the donation of two canned goods (a reminder is printed on ticket). Canned donations are collected at the door as students enter the building.
Students who are ineligible may not purchase a ticket to the dance. If they attempt to so, they will face disciplinary action. It is a privilege to attend a school dance. All school obligations, including outstanding library fines and payment for lost books, should be met prior to purchasing a ticket.
Sports
This past week the basketball teams and wrestling team had their pre-season meetings.  Practices/tryouts will begin on Monday.  Athletes MUST have the necessary paperwork in order to participate.  You can find what you need on the district website (cpsed.net) under the Student top tab.
Make-up pictures
Lifetouch will be here on November 21st to take pictures of any students that were absent for the original picture day.
Rhode Island Commissioner of Education
Dr. Wagner will be coming to the Cranston East library on Monday, 11/14, at 3:30 for an informal discussion with teachers, administrators, and community members.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Tim VeseySorry, I forgot to mention that the meeting is on Wednesday.
Thank you, Oliva, for letting me know!
Tim Vesey

Hi everyone,
There will be a meeting after school, until about 3:00, for all girls that are interested in trying out for the girls' basketball team.  Coach DeCosta will be collecting paperwork and talking about tryouts.
Tim Vesey, Principal

11/4/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
Sports
The fall sports season came to an end this week as both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams were eliminated from the second round of the playoffs.  We are very proud of both teams for having such great seasons.  Thank you to Coach Burns and Coach Edwards for all your hard work
The winter sports season, believe it or not, starts on November 14.  There was a meeting today for all boys interested in trying out for basketball and there is a meeting next Thursday until 3:00 for anyone (boys or girls) interested in joining the wrestling team.  There will be an announcement at a later date about girls’ basketball.    
School Dance
The first school dance will be on November 18 from 6:30-8:30.  There will be more details about the dance in the next couple of weeks.  The dance is open to 6-8th graders.
Treats for Troops
There’s going to be a lot less cavities this year at Western Hills!  Thank you to everyone that donated to Treats for Troops, which sent pounds and pounds of candy to our troops overseas.  
Commissioner of Education
On November 14, 2016 from 3:30-4:30, in the Cranston High School East Library, the Rhode Island  Commissioner of Education, Ken Wagner,  will be visiting Cranston.
This is an opportunity for teachers, school committee members, parents, and school leaders to meet with the Commissioner in an informal discussion to address education topics.
Park View 5k
On Friday, November 11, Park View Middle School will be hosting their 4th annual Veteran’s Day 5k Run/Walk and 1 Mile Kids Run.  The race will take place at 9:30am at Roger Williams Park and will benefit Operation Stand Down RI and Park View Middle School.  This is a great way to honor our veterans and to support one of our local schools.  See the attached flyer for more information.
Tutor.com
Cranston Public Schools in cooperation with Cranston Public Library is now providing everyone with access to tutor.com.  It is an excellent resource that the students can use only during after-school hours.  Live tutors are available to help students with most subject areas.  They do need a valid Cranston public library card number to log-in and use the site, which is  www.tutor.com/cranston.  Students were given an application for a library card.  If they’ve lost it, I have attached another one for you.
Also, students can download the "tutor.com to go" app from Google Play Store.
Go Orange
As I mentioned last week, our Go Orange campaign was a huge success.  There were many, many boxes of food collected and nearly $500 to support local families in need.  The students that organized the campaign (Caroline, Liz, and Alexandra Cowart) were featured yesterday on the Rhode Show.  You can watch clip from the show here:
Future Falcon Open House
Don’t forget, the Future Falcon Open House will be taking place this Sunday from 1-3 pm at Cranston High School West.
Finally, don’t forget, that there is no school on Tuesday (Election Day) and no school on Friday of next week (Veteran’s Day).

Have a great weekend!
Tim Vesey, Principal

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?ui=2&ik=4a1ad2822b&view=att&th=15830ad939bb5aa1&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw

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Hi everyone,
Don't feel like cooking tonight?  Go to 5 Guys in the Cowesett Plaza any time between 5-8 tonight and 10% of all sales go to Western Hills Middle School!  You do not need to present a flyer.
Tim Vesey

Hello teachers and students,
As you know, we have been experiencing internet issues here at Western Hills.  We were able to create an additional network that should (we hope) alleviate those problems.  Tomorrow when you come to school, log off of WHMS-Wireless and log on to WHMS-Guest.  The password for this new network is WCI_Western.  This is for phones only.  Laptops and tablets will still use WHMS-Wireless.
Thanks,
Mr. Vesey

Hi everyone,
Here is the latest edition of The Cobra- Western Hills' school newspaper.
Tim Vesey, Principal

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?ui=2&ik=4a1ad2822b&view=att&th=1581ade6a39ac69f&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw

10/28/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
It was a great week here at Western Hills, ending today with Go Orange and the Pep Rally at Cranston West.  I’m sure you’ll be able to see many pictures from today on our Facebook page and Instagram.  Here’s a few -
Thank you to Cranston West Principal, Mr. Barbieri, for inviting us to the Pep Rally and thank you (and great job!) to students Alexandra and Liz Cowart for organizing Go Orange!
Sports
The soccer teams ended their regular seasons this week and both are heading to the playoffs.  The boys went 2-0 this week with wins over Warwick Vets and Hope Highlands.  The girls beat Hope Highlands but lost a close game to Vets.
The boys’ and girls’ Cross Country teams competed in the State Championship last weekend at Goddard Park.  The boys’ varsity race had over 300 competitors running.  Blake Santos finished 21st and David Marcello finished 31st.  The girls’ race had 290 runners.  Western Hills’ runners Mackenzie Bessette (134) and Colwynne Owens (138) ran well.  The boys’ team finished in a very respectable 11th place out of almost 40 teams.
Walkathon
We had a great day on Tuesday at our Walkathon.  Thanks to all of you, we raised nearly $12,000!  Thank you, especially, to our PTO moms for their time and efforts.  
Tutor.com
Cranston Public Schools in cooperation with Cranston Public Library is now providing everyone with access to tutor.com.  It is an excellent resource that the students can use only during after-school hours.  Live tutors are available to help students with most subject areas.  They do need a valid Cranston public library card number to log-in and use the site, which is  www.tutor.com/cranston.
Also, students can download the "tutor.com to go" app from Google Play Store.
Aspen Workshop
Many parents have indicated that they love their Aspen access but wish they know how to use it better.  See the attached pamphlet for a parent Aspen workshop taking place on November 7th.
Finally, yes, it is Halloween on Monday.  However, students are NOT allowed to wear costumes to school.  Save them for Monday night.
Have a great weekend!


10/28/16
Good morning parents,
At approximately 9:30 this morning the fire alarm sounded here at Western Hills Middle School.  All of our students, faculty, and staff safely exited the building.  The Cranston Fire Department arrived within minutes and quickly determined that the building was safe and that it was an issue with the alarm.  Students re-entered the building at approximately 9:45.  The Cranston School Department Maintenance department arrived shortly thereafter to look into the cause of the false alarm.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Tim Vesey, Principal

Hello Western Hills community,
Tomorrow is an exciting day at Western Hills.  It is our annual Go Orange day and the Pep Rally at Cranston West.
Go Orange - All students and staff are encouraged to wear orange in support of beating childhood hunger.  Students are encouraged to also bring in either non-perishable food items or a monetary donation.  Face paint is NOT allowed.  Hats will be allowed, however, students must remove the hats in class if directed to do so by a teacher.
Pep Rally - Tomorrow at 1:00, 8th graders only, will be going over to the football field at West to take part in the Cranston High School West Pep Rally.  Students must return a signed permission slip to take part in this event.  If students want to wear something red to the Pep Rally, it needs to be something that they can either put over their orange clothes or have on under their orange clothes.  We will not have time for 300 kids to go to the lavs to change their clothes.
Tim Vesey, Principal


10/21/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
By now all parents should have seen, signed, and returned their child’s Progress Report. This will be the last time that we print them for the whole school.  More information will be coming about this when we get closer to Report Cards.  
Here’s what’s happening around Western Hills-
Sports
Congratulations to the boys’ Cross Country team  for winning the Division Championship Race at Rocky Point on Tuesday.  Tomorrow, both the boy and girls, will be going to Goddard Park for the RIPCOA Rhode Island State Championship.
It was a successful week for both girls’ and boys’ soccer this week.  Both teams avenged earlier losses with wins over Winman and Bain.
Don’t forget that you can sign-up for basketball and wrestling on the district website (cpsed.net).

Future Falcon Open House
If you or your child is a future Falcon, you may want to attend the Future Falcon Open House on November 6 from 1:00 - 3:00pm.

Walkathon
We postponed our Walkathon until Tuesday because of today’s weather forecast.  As it turns out, we could have walked today.  The good news is that gives everyone the chance to get more donations and to get their permission slips turned into their homeroom teacher.
Steered Straight
Attached to this email is a flyer for an informational presentation for parents on the topics of marijuana and e-cigarettes.  Our 8th grade students will also see the presentation on the following day (November 2nd) in school.  
Treats for Troops
Halloween is still over a week away but we it is already on our minds.  I’m sure that many of our students will get enough candy to last them until next summer.  Please see the attachment about a program to send excess candy to our troops overseas.
Cranston West Pep Rally
Once again, Cranston High School West principal, Mr. Barbieri, has invited our 8th graders to attend the Pep Rally next Friday afternoon at the West football field.  There will be more information about this next week.
Go Orange
Also next Friday, our school will be taking part in the Go Orange, No Kid Hungry campaign. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to wear orange and to also bring in either money or non-perishable food items.  Every year Western Hills is very big supporter of this campaign.  Please do what you can to help feed needy families in our area.

Lost and Found
It’s only October and we already have a very full lost and found full of clothes, shoes, books, and bags.  If your child is missing their Aeropostale shirt or Michael Kors handbag (aren’t those expensive?) maybe it’s in this pile.  Sometime in the near future we may be donating these items to charity.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Tim Vesey, Principal
Hello Western Hills Community,
We have made the decision that we will be sending home paper copies of the 1st quarter Progress Report.  We will also be "publishing" it to Aspen as well.  This will be a trial run.  Starting with the first quarter Report Card, we will no longer be printing them unless it is requested by a parent.
Walkathon
Don't forget about our Walkathon coming up on October 21st.  The student that brings in the most donations will receive a $200 gift card for the Warwick Mall!
Tim Vesey, Principal


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10/7/16
Hello Western Hills Community,
On Friday, our Student Council Executive Board was elected.  Congratulations to the following students that will play a role in leading our school this year-
President - Ian Fisher
Vice President - Emma Hanley
Treasurer - Helena Medici

Secretary - Isabella Fernandes
I really enjoyed listening to the speeches of all the candidates.  We are so proud of them for their effort and courage to get up and speak in front of the entire student body.
Sports
This week our boys’ soccer team went 2-0 with wins over Hope Highlands and Warwick Vets.  The girls’ soccer team went 1-1 recently with a win over Hope Highlands and a loss to Vets.  The loss was another close one, 3-2.
The cross country boys and girls travelled to Coventry this week to take on Feinstein Middle School.  The Cobras of Western Hills ran a great race but Feinstein came out on top in both the boys’ and girls’ races.  
Any students interested in playing a winter sport (boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, and wrestling) should go to cpsed.net and sign up under the Student tab in the Athletics section.  Both of the basketball teams will have to make cuts but wrestling generally does not cut and it is open to both boys and girls.
Memory Book Club
The first meeting of the Memory Book (yearbook) Club will be on October 19th until 3:00 pm with Ms. Lefebvre.  Please keep in mind that there is some limit to the number of students that can take part in this club.  Ms. Lefebvre will explain at the meeting.
Progress Reports
Progress Reports will be available on Friday October 14.  However, it looks we are going to make them available on Aspen and not distribute paper copies, unless it is requested.  We will be sending out more information regarding this in the next few days.
School Lunch
Please see the attachment regarding school lunches and loading money into your child’s account.  
Flu Clinic
There is also an attachment for the upcoming flu clinic.  
Finally, don’t forget, there is no school Monday and Wednesday this week.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  I am heading off to watch the Pats and the return of Tom Brady!

10/2/2016

Hello Western Hills Community,
Thank you to all of you that attended Open House this past week.  All reports to me by both parents and teachers were very positive.  It was a very enjoyable two nights and I had the opportunity to meet many parents.  Thank you to everyone that bought an Emoji from the Media Club.
Believe it or not, we are nearly through to the halfway point of the 1st quarter.  Progress Reports will be distributed on October 14th.
Remember to check us out on Social Media - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  There have been lots of pictures of the great things that are already happening at Western Hills!
Walkathon
Our annual Walkathon will be taking place on Friday October 21st at the Cranston West track.  Please visit our school website (http://westernhillsmiddleschoolcranston.blogspot.com/) to download more information and the permission slip.  This is our major PTO fundraiser so please do all you can to help us raise money for our school.  One of our major goals is to improve the Western Hills auditorium and make it a better presentation space for both students and teachers.  Prizes will be awarded for the top fundraisers, including a $200 gift certificate to the Warwick Mall to the student bringing in the most donations.
While you are visiting our website, don’t forget to vote for your favorite t-shirt design.
In addition to the Walkathon, we also fundraise for our school at “5 Guys Burgers” in the Cowesett Plaza.  This is a very easy fundraiser.  We get 10% of all proceeds during the times and dates listed on the attached information sheet.  You do not need to bring the flyer.  We get 10% from everyone that shows up!

Student Council Elections
This week candidates for Student Council Office will be presenting their speeches to the student body and the election will be taking place on Friday.  Good luck to all of the candidates!

Sports
The girls’ soccer team went 2-1 this week with a 2-1 loss to Winman and wins over Hope Highlands and Bain.  The boys were 1-1 this week with a big win over Winman and a tough loss to Bain.  The cross country teams continue their season next week with a big race on Wednesday against division rival Feinstein Middle School of Coventry.  The race will take place at Feinstein Middle School.

Clubs
Our school newspaper, The Cobra, will have its first meeting on Wednesday after school in room 217.
The Science Olympiad team will be starting up with an information meeting on Thursday October 6th until 3:00 in room 108 with Mr. Gamba.
All interested students are encouraged to attend these meetings to find out more about these excellent and award-winning clubs.
That’s it for now...  Have a great weekend everyone!  Don’t forget, there is no school on Monday, so students, get outside and get some exercise!  If it rains, read a book!  Go Pats!
Tim Vesey, Principal

Five Guys Flyer
COOK’S NIGHT OFF!
File:Five Guys logo.svg
To Benefit Western Hills Middle School PTO
When: Thursday, October 6, 2016 Thursday, November 3, 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017


5:00 - 8:00 pm (all dates)


Where: Five Guys in Warwick, RI
300 Quaker Lane, 02886
(In the Christmas Tree Shop Plaza)

No Need to present a flier or to mention the fundraiser!  Five Guys will donate 10% of ALL sales during this time period to our school’s PTO!



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9/22/16

Hello Western Hills Community,
It’s been a busy week at Western Hills and we all made it through or first five day week!
Arrival and Dismissal
Arrival and dismissal has been getting better every day.  For those of you that drop off your children in the morning, please remember to pull your car down as far as you can before letting them out.  The vast majority of you are doing a great job with this.  Please be careful as you pull up to the school.  The sun is in the driver’s eyes and there are sometimes students crossing from the other side of the parking lot.
After school there are ten buses and many cars lined up waiting for students to get out of school.  We also have a number of kids that walk home.  It is very congested after school, so please watch your speed, especially as you go around the back of the building to head out by Ambrose Street.  There are quite a few walkers that go home that way.  Please drive slowly for the safety of our students that are walking home or going to their ride.  
Sports Update
Sports started this week and things are going very well.  The boys’ soccer team is 1-1 with a victory over Ferri and a loss to cross city rival, Park View.  The girls soccer team is now 2-0 with wins over Ferri and Park View.  The cross country did well this week with the boys getting a victory against Warwick Vets Junior High.  
This coming week the boys’ and girls’ soccer team play Bain and Winman.  The girls are home on Monday and the boys are home on Tuesday.  The cross country team takes on Winman on Tuesday.
Open House Schedule
Sixth and seventh grade Open House is on Tuesday, 9/27 and eighth grade Open House is on Wednesday, 9/28.  I will sending out a generic schedule on Monday and your child should be coming home with a completed schedule before the Open House.
School Pictures
Don’t forget that school pictures are on Monday, 9/26.
Social Media
Please follow us on social media for updates, important information, and fun things happening at Western Hills.
Facebook - @westernhillsmiddleschool
Instagram - whms_ms
Twitter - @westernhillsms

Clubs
Various clubs are starting to get together…
STEM is underway.  This is the last call for anyone still interested.  Fill out an application by going to tinyurl.com/stem91416.  
The Media Club is now accepting applications, which can be picked up in the main office. The Media Club will work on our webpage and our social media sites under the direction of Mrs. Blackburn.  
Project Respect is meeting on Tuesday in room 228 after school until 3:15.  This club is concerned with the overall climate of the school and working on getting the message out about anti-bullying.  
Student Council recently had a meeting for all those interested in running for a position on the Student Council Executive Board.  If you have any questions, please see Mr. Willette in the Guidance Office.

This past Tuesday, the entire school had the opportunity to watch the production called “Worth It”.  This powerful video was about the decisions that our middle school students are facing as they are getting older.  They can choose to not make bad choices and to put their best effort into the positive aspects of their lives.
That’s all for now.  See you at Open House!
Tim Vesey, Principal

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