WINCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL
80 Skillings Road
Winchester, MA 01890-2853
PARENT-FACULTY ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER ~ DECEMBER 2015
Visit our website at http://www.whspfa.org
FROM THE OFFICE OF INTERIM PRINCIPAL CHRIS KELLEY
As we head into Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it causes most of us to stop and pause. I like to set my mind during these short moments of pause to think about all that I am truly thankful. I feel blessed to have a great family and many close friends of which I get to spend my days and weeks. In addition, I am lucky to work in our Winchester community. We have caring families who value education and students who are truly outstanding. I enjoy my moments with all of them.
I am also thankful for the special teachers in my life who have inspired me to work hard and persevere well into my adult world. I look at our talented crew at Winchester High School and see similar teachers. These are teachers who make a difference in the lives of our students. I read an article this weekend that made me think of our crew here at WHS. The article entitled "Eleven Habits of Effective Teachers" was written by Carrie Lam and published on one of my favorite websites, Edutopia (The George Lucas Foundation).
The article says that effective teachers enjoy teaching, make a difference and spread positivity. In my visits to our classrooms, I have visited almost three-quarters of our rooms to date, I see teachers who love their content and connect with our students. I see them smiling through our campus while talking and sharing with students. Our teachers also get personal and share their families, their stories and their lives with our students. They also give 100% and stay organized which are both traits mentioned by the article. Our teachers are open-minded, they have standards and they find inspiration. Team WHS has teachers that are artists, writers, college professors and advise many. They are truly talented and many are experts in our field across Massachusetts. Our teachers are reflective and embrace change (well, as much as any of us). I have certainly asked a lot of questions and offered my "5000 foot view" along the way, and our team at WHS has been thoughtful and considerate. They ask questions and offer help and support to me in my work. I see our Team at Winchester High School as one who works hard and enjoys their work. I see one thousand great things in every week. Although we can always improve and strive to be the place where each and every child finds their own personal best experiences, we are on our way. I would say that our staff more than hits the targets outlined in this article and they are definitely way better than "effective." I am honored to work alongside this hardworking and caring crew!
It's hard to believe that the holiday season is right around the corner. We hope that you and your family were able to relax and enjoy the Thanksgiving break before the upcoming hustle and bustle that this time of year seems to bring.
The PFA would like to thank our guest speaker, Athletic Director Marc Arria, from last months well-attended meeting. He provided an overview of the upcoming sports teams tournament games, as well as answered various parent questions. The other key component to the November meeting was the review and approval of PFA grant requests received from teachers and student groups. These grants, which fund a wide range of worthwhile endeavors, are made possible by your generous donations. If you haven't made a donation there is still time. Donating is easy, just click here to do so. To see a complete list of grants awarded please see the PFA website here. We would like to extend a special thank you to Mary Pace and her Advanced Culinary Arts Class students who provided coffee, apple cider and a delicious assortment of cookies at the November meeting. It was great to have this student involvement!
Our next meeting is scheduled for December 7th at 7:30pm in the WHS dining commons. The main topic for this meeting is an update of the WHS building project. Superintendent Judy Evans will be in attendance to provide everyone with the progress of this project. So please bring your questions. We have also invited the WHS Student Council to speak at this meeting to give informs us of their current projects and activities. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting, and wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.
WHS PFA Co-Presidents
PFA GRANTS NEWS
PFA Grants Awarded
We have just completed our first round of PFA teacher grants at the high school. Each year, a large part of the PFA budget goes directly to teachers and clubs in the form of grants. This year, we received over $22,000 in requests, showing how vibrant and engaged our community is. Thanks to the generous donations of many WHS families this year, we have been able to fund over $12,000 of grants for 23 teacher projects, clubs, and activities.
PFA grants support new programs, such as Sachems Lead, a leadership program for students from many sports and clubs. We are also excited to help provide supplies and programming for the new Creative Technology Center in the library. The PFA continues to fund popular recurring programs as well. Every year, Living History Day brings in speakers to share their personal stories with 10th and 11th grade history classes. In the fall, we fund lunches to welcome new students to our community.
Each year the art department is able to enhance their offerings through PFA grants. This year's art supplies include solar printing plates and paper, along with supplies for senior honors art classes. We look forward to seeing what our talented students produce, including an exhibition of social justice t-shirt and poster designs using screen printing equipment and supplies funded by the PFA.
Money from grants is used for supplies throughout the school. A small sampling includes books, plants, knife holders, and robots. Clubs supported include Connect & Commit, Inner Peace, Competitive Robotics, Art and Foreign Languages.
We received many grants this year that the PFA was unable to fund completely. If the funds become available, we hope to support another round of grants in the spring. These grants are funded completely by your Direct Appeal donations. A complete list of the grants approved at the November meeting can be found on the WHSPFA website. Thank you for your support!
PFA Grants Co-Chairs
Thank You to Advanced Culinary Arts Students:
At the November PFA meeting parents and faculty were greeted with warm coffee, apple cider and a variety of delicious cookies made by the Frugal Foods students in the Advanced Culinary Arts class of Family and Consumer Science classes with Mary Pace at WHS. The cookies were lovely, and included a wonderful assortment of Italian Anise Cookies, Snicker Doodles, Old Fashion Sugar Cookies, Maple Walnut Cookies, Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies!
The students shopped for the ingredients, baked the cookies and presented them in lovely trays for the PFA meeting. As per the request of several parents at the meeting, recipes are attached!
We hope to have Frugal Foods prepare some tasty snacks again for us!
WHS Alpine Team Selling Christmas Trees Dec 3-6:
Get your XMAS tree at WHS this season. WHS Alpine Ski Team is selling beautiful, top quality Christmas Trees from Canada! ALL Sizes – WHS parking lot! Also available…
Beautiful 12” holiday wreaths - $15
Delivery of tree to your home $10 (Winchester only)
Topic: Regular Education Support Programs at WHS
Hear about our Excel and Transition Programs and the meet the people who support them
When: Tuesday December 8th
Where: Winchester High School Library Conference Room
Time: 9:00-10:00 AM
MUSIC DEPT NEWS
Please join us in congratulating 70 high school musicians who participated in auditions for the annual Northeast Senior District Festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA)chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) this past Saturday. This festival is the first in a series of festivals throughout the year that give students the opportunity to participate in select ensembles from the Northeast region of the state, the entire state and even the eastern seaboard of the US.
The Senior Festival is comprised of 9-12th graders. If students are accepted to the Senior Festival and have some of the top scores, they are recommended for an All-State Audition. If accepted to participate in All-State, especially in 9th and 10th grades, students can be chosen for the All-East Festival (every other year) and even the National Honors Ensembles.
Each festival begins with the preparation of a required audition piece, performed in front of a judge. Scores are tabulated and successful candidates are assigned to concert band, orchestra, choral or jazz band. These groups come together for 3 days; 2 days of rehearsals and a third day of dress rehearsals/performance.
The following students' auditions earned them a place in the festival. Students names marked with an asterisk scored high enough to qualify for an All-State Audition in January.
Thank you to the WHS Sinfonietta for performing its annual Mission of Deeds Concert at St. Mary's Church on November 15th. The aim of this concert is to fundraise for families in transition.
The WHS Orchestras have just returned from touring NYC to visit museums and see musical performances.
Congratulations to the WHS Marching Band as its Fall Marching Season draws to a close. The Marching Band performed at our local football games, participated along with 3000 other musicians at the UMASS sponsored "Band Day" at Gillette Stadium, performed for Winchester's Veteran's Day Services, performed at the Rotary Club's pre-Thanksgiving Luncheon and their season culminated with an enthusiastic performance at our traditional Thanksgiving Winchester-Woburn game.
Join the WHS Concert Band and Jazz Band for their first concert
December 1 at McCall Middle School with special guests: Fifth Grade Band. 7PM.
Caroling on the Commons
December 3rd 7-9 pm
WHS Brass Band and All-Town Chorus
December 11 at 6pm at the Woburn Mall followed by fundraiser at Pizzeria Uno. 20% of all proceeds go directly to the Jubilation Singers. Please present this coupon
WHS Choruses will be performing their first concert of the year on December 16th at 7pm. Stay tuned for the location.
If interested in further information about the music department, check out the Friends of Music new website: www.sachemsmusic.com
For further information about Music education, www.nafme.org is a good jumping off point; in particular www.broaderminded.com discusses the role of music in a child's overall education and includes some fascinating research. Its motto "Think Beyond the Bubbles" is a theme throughout the site and speaks of the academic benefits and beyond, to involvement in music.
As always, we appreciate everyone's help and support for music in our schools.
Have a joyful and music-filled holiday season!
Director of Music
Winchester Public Schools
WFOM is a volunteer organization that has been supporting choral and instrumental programs in the Winchester K-12 public schools since 1985. Their primary goals are to raise funds, provide volunteer support for the entire music department and to help inform parents of upcoming music events.
If you are interesting in helping in any way, learning more about our group or submitting something to our website, please email email@example.com.
CONNECT AND COMMIT SERVICE CLUB
Connect & Commit
December Service Announcement
Connect & Commit Open Meeting -Thursday Dec. 3rd - 6:30-7:30pm
Connect & Commit would like to invite anyone who is interested in service-learning to come to our meeting in the WHS Library. We will be discussing how we can help the Homeless Population of the Greater Boston Area. Everyone is welcome. We hope to see you there!
Drop Everything And Read! (DEAR) - 5 Sessions - 2:45-4:00pm
Help instill the love of learning by reading to Lynch Elementary students after school on Wednesdays. The dates below are when volunteers are needed:
December 2nd and 16th. If you are interested in being a reader please get a Commitment Letter from Mrs. Winterer in room B217 in the Library. If you are interested please click the link:
Food Drive for Senior Citizens - Mon. Dec. 7th - Fri. Dec. 11th
For the 2nd week in December C&C will be collecting canned & dry foods for Senior Citizens in Winchester. Many seniors, right here in Winchester, are on fixed incomes and not receiving the correct amount of nourishment to support a healthy diet. Please help us make a difference.
A box you will be provided outside of the Main Office.
Warm Clothing Drive for the Homeless - Mon. Dec. 14th- Fri. Dec. 18th
For the 3rd week of December C& C will be collecting warm clothing (mittens, hats, scarves & gloves) for the homeless population of the Greater Boston Area. Please consider donating your gently used warm clothing gear to help those in need stay warm this winter.
A box will be provided outside of the Main Office.
Connect & Commit Open Meeting -Thursday Dec. 17th - 6:30-7:30pm
Connect & Commit would like to invite anyone who is interested in service-learning to come to our meeting in the WHS Library. There will be food, fun &, service-learning opportunities. Everyone is welcome. We hope to see you there!
Wrapping Party Fundraiser - Dec. 21st & Dec. 22nd - 3-7pm
C&C is teaming up with the Studio on the Commons and wrapping presents to raise money for the Relay for Life of Winchester. Residents are welcome to drop their gifts off from 3-7pm and have them wrapped in time for Christmas. Wrapping will be free, but donations are permitted. If you are interested in volunteering at the Wrapping Event please click below:
Check out our website to get the latest on Connect & Commit!
WINCHESTER YOUTH CENTER
458R Main Street
Winchester MA 01890
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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!
WYC 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 or contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every week the WHSPFA sends out a weekly email with upcoming community news. If you are not currently receiving this email, please visit the WHSPFA website and enter your email address at the bottom of the main page. Instructions on how to update your profile will be emailed.