WINCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL
80 Skillings Road
Winchester, MA 01890-2853
PARENT-FACULTY ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER ~ DECEMBER 2014
Visit our website at http://www.whspfa.org
FROM THE OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL SEAN KILEY
Welcome to Quarter Two, Team WHS. It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the 2014 calendar year, and my observation is that WHS is not a school that slows down during this time of the year. The start of this new quarter presents an opportunity for us to refocus on reaching any goals set this year, personally and professionally. The staff and students are at this high school during all hours of the day for a variety of curricular and co-curricular programs, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all faculty/staff members, program advisors, coaches, and students for participating, performing, training, and competing with skill and passion throughout the fall; again, I thank this entire dedicated staff and student body for a great first quarter.
WHS is a fantastic school for many reasons, and recently I realized that the close partnership between the teachers/educators as colleagues is one of the exceptional strengths of this building. We model both a silent and spoken language daily, and there is no question about it, success at this school begins with each other. Here is an example: in an effort to allow the entire English Department to support their Director, Judy Hession, during a recent memorial service for her husband, Charles, 27 Sachem educators across all departments stepped up to cover any and all classes needed to make this possible. The unity of the staff that particular day was quite admirable and precisely what I think we should focus on as we embark upon Quarter Two.
A Couple of Winter Reminders
During the winter months at a typical high school, the volume of cars picking up and dropping off students always increases. With this anticipated and increased volume of cars on campus both before and after school, I wanted to take the time to remind parents, staff members, and students to always use caution when driving in our parking lot. All drivers need to continue their efforts of driving slowly and remaining polite to other drivers, students, and staff members. Thank you for making this a priority during the first quarter, and your continued efforts and attention to student safety is beyond appreciated.
Also, I wanted to share some tips for staying healthy during the winter months as provided by the Department of Public Health:
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: Students and staff should always practice basic health hygiene practices like the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain. Taking these precautions is vital to limiting the spread of illness.
Clean: Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs
Cover: Your cough or sneeze with your elbow or sleeve
Contain: Your student should stay home if they are sick
Routine cleaning: Routinely clean areas that are high traffic/high touch areas.
Stay home when sick: Students and staff with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
We stand ready to finish the 2014 year with confidence. My hope is that we all look forward to the challenges of 2015 as we build on our achievements and put away any past disappointments. Have a great December, everyone. Be the optimist.
The last month of the year is here, bringing with it the almost always surprising realization that another year is coming to a close. The four weeks remaining between Thanksgiving and the December holidays are an extra busy time for everyone, and we wish all students a safe and successful experience with their countless commitments during this time. Good luck to the senior class as they get busy with the all-consuming task of college applications and preparing for the next chapter in their lives.
The PFA is happily looking forward to its next event: the Staff and Faculty Appreciation Breakfast on Monday, December 8th. This is the first of three events the PFA organizes to specifically recognize the outstanding work of our exemplary faculty members. With partial sponsoring from the PFA budget as well as school wide donations, the breakfast is a fun and festive occasion greatly appreciated by the staff.
The PFA meeting held on November 3rd had two important components: (i) approval of Faculty Grant requests, and (ii) a thoughtful, informative session with Ms. Suzanne Ontso, Director of Guidance, and Ms. Amber Haines, School Adjustment Counselor. A complete list of the grants awarded this year, made possible by your Direct Appeal contributions, are available for viewing on the PFA website here.
Ms. Ontso provided valuable insights into the role of the Guidance Department in supporting students, especially through the college application process. She also introduced Ms. Amber Haines who started at the High School in September. Ms. Haines has a background in trauma-based therapy and is able to provide “wraparound” services to the students. Details of the discussion will be available on the PFA website after the minutes are approved at the next PFA meeting on December 8th.
Following is a communication from Ms. Haines about some of the programs she is overseeing:
“The New Student Lunches are a series of lunches provided to past and present new students to help them integrate into the community in a happy and healthy way. They are provided with a unique experience each time including a special lunch, introductions to Club advisers and members, introductions to student council members and others who they can connect with outside of the lunch experience. They are also re-introduced to administrators, guidance, and other support staff including nurses, ESL services (a lot of our new students are from out of the country), and Connect and Commit leaders. We provide them with a questionnaire at the end of the lunch to get their feedback. So far this year we have had 3 and each time we have had more students participate ranging from 15-40 students participating .
Our Emotional Regulation group is a weekly group called "Let's Make Peace" and focuses on building healthy coping skills and expressing a range of emotions. This is a drop-in group allowing for students to be flexible in their schedules, and provides a unique discussion each time. We have had students come repeatedly, and with the various stressful events we have had around death, that is where most of our focus has been. We also discuss the stress of school work and communicating with parents. We have serviced approximately 10 kids during these groups.
The after school club that focuses on peer support and building coping skills has changed its name to "Inner Peace" to build a safe community among peers where they can process every day stress and identify healthier coping skills. The group is primarily attracting and servicing some of our more vulnerable students and is allowing for students to open up in a healthy way. We are servicing about 15 students on a regular basis in this group. In December we are having an outside professional come in to teach the students meditation techniques.’’
The PFA is the sole source of funding for the groups and clubs mentioned above, and the new student lunches are covered by a combination of PFA and Guidance department budgets. We are grateful that as a result of your support with Direct Appeal, we are able to support some of our most vulnerable students by providing them with a healthy and nurturing environment.
At the time of writing, we have realized about 81% of our Direct Appeal goal. We are deeply appreciative of each family that has generously contributed, and if you have missed contributing due to your busy schedules, please consider making your donation now. We are so close to achieving the magic 100% number, and we are excited about highlighting a program/event funded by the PFA to bring to your attention every month.
Our next meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, December 8th, at 7:30 pm in the Science Lecture Room. The general theme for the meeting is safety at the high school. We expect to have representation by members of the EFPBC and/or WHS Renovation Project Team to update us on the progress of the construction and review the anticipated phases of construction.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting, and wish you and your families a season of joy and celebrations.
Malini Dutta and Lori Scully
WHS PFA Co-Presidents
The Winchester Special Education Parents Advisory Council will be meeting on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, at Parkhurst School, 40 Samoset Rd., Winchester.
WFEE News - Put #Giving Tuesday on the Calendar!
You’ve made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and are about to conquer Cyber
Monday (and maybe Midnight Madness in Winchester’s Center). Take a minute on
Tuesday, December 2nd, to give back. #Giving Tuesday is an international movement encouraging people to make charitable donations to non-profit organizations on
You can double the impact of your donation to WFEE on December 2nd thanks to a generous matching gift from Don Foote Contracting. Don Foote Contracting will match all gifts up to a total of $3,500 made on-line to WFEE during Giving Tuesday. Donate through www.wfee.org to make a difference for all Winchester teachers and students!
Class of 2015 – Masquerade Dance, Dec 5
Attention Seniors! Join us on Friday, December 5th,
at 7:30pm, at Town Hall for a night of dancing in Masquerade. Be sure to
wear your best masquerade masks - be creative! The best dressed will win
tickets to prom! Don't forget to print and sign a dance contract (found on
Edline). Tickets are $15 and can be purchased beginning Monday, December 1st.
Don't miss out on the last senior event of 2014!
CONNECT AND COMMIT SERVICE CLUB
Students can sign up for the opportunities listed below at the meetings or in the C&C Office in the library of the high school. If you have questions about Connect & Commit, visit Lauren Winterer, Program Director, in the C&C Office (in the back of the library) or contact Ms Winterer via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Service Opportunities
Dec. 2nd - Lantern
Walk Committee Meeting - 5:30p in the WHS Library
The Lantern Walk Committee was created to bring awareness to and reduce stress in our community. Though the Lantern Walk has come and gone the Committee is going to meet to try and plan more Stress-Free activities for our community. If you are interested in joining the Lantern Walk Committee please email ConnectandCommit@gmail.com and attend our meeting on Tues., Dec. 2nd.
Dec. 2nd - Connect and Commit Open Meeting - 6:30p in WHS Library
We will be working on the #givingTuesday initiative and writing letters to our troops who will not be home for the holidays. We will also be working on WHS Gives Back. ALL are welcome.
MORE SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES TO FOLLOW!
WHS Gives Back
WHS will be collecting $$, so underprivileged children can receive presents during the holidays.
Bone Marrow Registry Drive
Connect & Commit is looking to continue to add seniors from all over Massachusetts to the Bone Marrow Registry list. This potentially life saving registry only takes a few minutes and a swab to the cheek. If you are interested in helping to organize the Bone Marrow Drive please let Mrs. Winterer know.
Community Servings Dates -- 1-4pm:
(All are half days)
WINCHESTER YOUTH CENTER
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You may not know this but… the Winchester Youth Center is home to a wide range of leadership, service-learning, and good-decision-making activities specifically for high school students. The WYC provides tons of opportunities for WHS students to have fun with friends, do great things for the community, and learn how much they are capable of accomplishing!
We encourage everyone to check out our website at www.winyc.com and sign-up to join our mailing list and receive our weekly newsletters or just stop by the WYC anytime to learn about all the awesome opportunities to get involved!
Peer Leader Youth Group
Do you have what it takes to be a peer leader?
If you have natural leadership skills, want to have a positive impact on the community, like to have fun and make good decisions; then the answer is yes! The WYC peer leadership program is a youth group for WHS students who are committed to their community and serving as role models for their peers. The Peer Leaders have weekly youth group meetings to work on further developing their leadership, communication, interpersonal, and decision-making skills, plan for upcoming projects, and have a lot of fun. They serve as Project Leaders for all of the WYC's service-learning projects including all of our special events and community service projects. This group is open to any WHS student who has natural leadership skills and the desire to further develop them. Anyone interested in joining this awesome group is welcome to stop by the WYC for more information.
TEEN CLOTHING NEEDED
Clean out your closets over vacation!
Items needed: Coats, Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Pants, Skirts, Sweatshirts, T-shirts, Sweaters, Hoodies
Collection bins at WHS and the WYC
The WYC is partnering with Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless & the Teen Closet Initiative! The Teen Closet is located in Jeremiah Burke High School in Boston. It is a place for students to stop by during school hours to receive free clothing and hygiene products.
Today 1 in 7 children are growing up in poverty which often means they have to do with less simply because their parents can’t afford it. A teenager growing up in poverty often has to do without the most basic of items such as clothing. Please help us make a difference!
WINCHESTER GOT LUNCH – MUNCH CARDS ON SALE
During this month of Gratitude
We celebrate with family & food~
As a hostess gift, or to say 'Thanks a bunch'
There's no greater gift than giving a Munch!
Munch Cards are the perfect way to thank someone for absolutely anything. Buying one card for $20 provides lunches for a child for a week in the summer...or buy 6 for $100.
Feeding Kids... it's that simple!
Available online at www.winchestergotlunch.org or at Book Ends!
MIDNIGHT MADNESS IN WINCHESTER CENTER
Winchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Winchester Center shops will open special hours from 6pm to Midnight on Monday, Dec 1. Holiday shoppers will find music groups, refreshments, and special sales. Winchester Community Music School students will perform at several shops.
Each store, restaurant, or service business does its own promotion, entertainment, or refreshments. This one day is often the single biggest shopping day of the year and every Winchester Center shop is packed full and looks forward to welcoming hundreds of “shop local” supporters. This popular event showcases Winchester shops like no other time. Be part of the vibrant and exciting town center and shop, support, and save.
NEXTDOOR THEATER HOLIDAY EVENTS
The Gift of Art returns to the NextDoor Theater December 1-7 promising a wide variety of unique handcrafted items and seasonal decorations for sale this holiday season to benefit the nonprofit organization. The Gift of Art opens with a festive reception Monday, Dec 1 from 5-8 pm, and then is open Tues., Dec 2 through Sun, Dec 7 from 10 am - 6 pm each day.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, an original musical version of Barbara Robinson's children's book, will be presented at The NextDoor Theater at 7:30 pm on Friday Dec 12 & 19 and at 2:00 pm on Saturday Dec 13 & 20 and Sunday Dec 14 & 20. This hilarious and heartwarming comedy, performed by a troupe of young actors ages 7-14, follows a mother who's struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant because her cast features the Herdman kids - six of the most inventively awful kids in history! Tickets for all ages are $10 and available online atwww.nextdoortheater.org.
The NextDoor Theater is at 40 Cross Street in Winchester
PARENT TO PARENT
Joani Geltman, MSW
Author of A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens
"Talking to Your Kids about Sexting, Drinking, Drugs and Other Things That
Freak You Out"
Wednesday, Dec 3, 7-9PM
McCall Middle School Auditorium
Joani is a clinician, parenting coach, college professor and public speaker with over 30 years of experience working with parents, children, schools, and community groups. With her unique brand of "infotainment", Joani uses humor and storytelling while providing the most up-to-date commentary on teen behavior and helpful parenting strategies.
WINTON CLUB SHOPPING DAY AT MAHONEY’S
Celebrate the Holidays at Mahoney's Garden Center Wednesday, December 3rd from 9AM-6PM and support the Winton Club of Winchester! 10% of your total purchases will go directly to the Winton Club, which will support this year Winton Club Cabaret; Spotlight on the Red Carpet.
All purchases, including Gift Card purchases- either on site or phoned in to 781-729-5900, will be applied to the Winton Club shopping day profit. The Winton Club is a non-profit women's organization exclusively supporting Winchester Hospital in service and fundraising activities. www.wintonclub.org
HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING
Sponsored by the Winchester Chamber of Commerce, the Holiday Lighting Ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 4, at 7:00 PM on the Winchester Common.
The music for the tree lighting will be provided by Winchester All Town Honors Boys and Girls Chorus under the direction of the Winchester Music Department. It is a group of about 60 3rd, 4th and 5th graders representing all of the Winchester Elementary Schools.
Santa will be making his arrival by fire truck, and children will be able to greet him and share their wish lists.
WINCHESTER COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL
Piano Master Class - Saturday, December 6, 4 - 5 PM Calling all piano players and other music lovers! The public is
invited to observe this piano Master Class presented by WCMS faculty. Several
intermediate piano students will participate in the demonstration and
instruction. Free admission; open to all.
Fat Tuesday Blues Jam - Tuesday, December 9, 7 - 9 PM A Blues Jam session for
all levels of player, from beginner to advanced - all instruments &
vocalists welcome. Amps, pianos, drums, and PA system provided. $10
for participants; free for audience.
Broadway On Highland - Friday, December 19, 7:30-9:00 PM An Open Mic for Broadway songs! If you love Broadway musicals, come sing your favorite Broadway tune with our fabulous accompanist, or just sit in the audience and enjoy the sing-a-long numbers. Just bring your sheet music (no lead sheets please) and a copy for the pianist. Run-throughs available 6:30-7:30pm. Free and open to the public.
For more info on the above events, call 781-721-2950 or visit www.winchestermusic.org
WINCHESTER BALLET CONSERVATORY PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER
Winchester Ballet Conservatory's
Saturday, December 6th
at 2 pm McCall Middle School
Enjoy this treasured holiday tradition, where students spanning ages 3 to 18 dance to the beloved score with choreography by Director Isil Avci. This year, McCall seventh-grader Megan Yorz will dance the role of Clara and WHS Senior Kate Cashion will dance the role of the Sugarplum Fairy. Catch some Holiday spirit to the sounds of Tchaikovsky's timeless music and applaud the efforts our students as they recreate a magical Victorian-era story.
General admission tickets are $22 at the door or in advance from the studio at 9Mt. Vernon St. Winchester, MA. Call 617-645-7145 for more info.
THE MASTER SINGERS OF LEXINGTON CHRISTMAS CONCERT
A Master Singers Christmas: Sun, December 7, at 4:00 pm
The Master Singers of Lexington proudly presents the second concert in Music Director Adam Grossman's 20th season. The chorus will be joined by special guest The Majestic Brass for joyful music of the season. On the program are Daniel Pinkham's popular 'Christmas Cantata' and 'Nun danket alle Gott' by Johann Pachelbel, as well as several selections by Herbert Howells. The concert features the first performance of 'Christmas Fanfare', a new work by local composer Rodney Lister commissioned by The Master Singers. The concert will close with a selection of familiar Christmas carols, and a reception with seasonal refreshments follows.
Join us at First Parish Church in Lexington on the Battle Green at 7 Harrington Road, which is fully accessible with ample free parking. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Discounts are available to subscribers and Greater Boston Choral Consortium members. For information and directions please visit their website at www.themastersingers.org or call 781-729-7975.
WINTON CLUB CABARET AUDITIONS
The Winton Club presents its 2015 Annual Cabaret Fundraiser: Spotlight on the Red Carpet, January 27 - 31, 2015, in the Winchester Town Hall Auditorium, 71 Mount Vernon St.
Cabaret Chairwoman/Producer Pam Donaldson and the Winton Club invite you to join the fun and support Winchester Hospital at the same time. If you are interested in joining the cast, auditions are in Winchester Town Hall on December 8 & 9,2014 from 7PM to 10 PM and rehearsals run the entire month of January. You need to only come one of the two nights, wear comfortable clothes, dance shoes if you can, and be prepared to sing 16-32 bars of a song of your choice. Please bring the accompanying sheet music.
Whether you want to watch the show or perform in it, Winton Cabaret is a great tradition and enormous fun. PLEASE JOIN US! For more information, go to: www.wintonclub.org
JOYEUX NOEL AT THE JENKS
Jenks Center Silver Screen Presents
Friday, December 12th, 6:30 PM
Come share holiday cheer with those in your community by joining us at the Jenks Center to watch the movie Joyeux Noel to mark the 100th year anniversary of World War I. The story focuses on one particular true event that took place on Christmas Eve that took people who were foreign to each other and taught them to understand and respect each other's differences. Following the movie we will have a brief conversation about how we can incorporate some of that unity and mutual understanding they developed that night into our lives today. So come celebrate our likenesses as well as our differences, the season and reflect on the centennial anniversary of World War I. It takes a village...Joyeux Noel. A moment in time brought to the silver screen at the Jenks Center.
The festivities will start 6:30 for some holiday treats and socializing. The showing of Joyeux Noel will begin at 7:00. There is no admission for this event and all are welcome. We just ask that you call the Jenks Center at 781.721.7136 or visit www.joyeuxnoelmovie.eventbrite.com to add yourself to our list of guests attending and to reserve a seat. This event is cosponsored by the Jenks as well as Winchester Interfaith Council and the Multicultural Network.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR
The Winchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to sponsor a Holiday House Tour on Sunday December 14, 2014 from Noon to 4:00 P.M. Help us light up our town! Tickets are $25 in advance $30 on the day of the tour, available only at Bookends. It is a self-guided tour, and the addresses of this year's homes will be on the ticket. This annual fundraiser supports the Chamber's seasonal beautification projects.
Come enjoy an afternoon in this Holiday season touring seven magnificent homes of Winchester. Each home will be uniquely decorated by home owner. Please come to help support Winchester's beautification fund.
Any questions? Give us a call! 781-729-8870
WINCHESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (snow date Jan. 8th) at 7:00 pm: "The Joy of Getting Things Done" by Linda L. King of Reading. If you missed this program the last three New Year's Resolutions ago, it's a must for people who want to make their 2015 resolutions become a reality. Attendees receive hand-outs for developing their own action plan and note taking.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 (snow date February 4th) 7:00 pm: "Murder and Mayhem: The Dark Side of Boston" Enter the dark side of Boston's history in this narrated slideshow presented by Boston By Foot, a nonprofit organization that provides walking tours of Boston. Hear about the scourges of smallpox and influenza, Boston's history of mob violence, the Molasses Flood, the infamous Brink's robbery and more as we explore Boston's dark and dangerous underbelly!