November 2015

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Dear Winchester High School Families,


I hope that this newsletter finds you well and able to enjoy our beautiful fall displays that are so evident in our seasonal splendor. The view from my office overlooking the Griffin Museum is truly spectacular on any day, but this time of year, it is really stellar. I hope that you have time to get outside and enjoy the crisp fall weather that we have been enjoying for we all know that we may have a long winter of fireside and blanket nesting in store.


I can hardly believe that next week will mark the two month mark with my days at WHS. It is already starting to feel like my home away from home and the newness has definitely worn away for me. Though I am still struggling with the earlier wake up call as a night owl, much of my new role has not been such a change as I originally thought. Students have been the easiest part of my swap from Lynch to WHS. Our WHS students are really something. They are friendly, kind, respectful and truly fun to be around! I am enjoying every minute with them.


In my work that now spans over twenty-seven years with students, I have become interested in resiliency and wrote about the grit factor in last month's newsletter. I also briefly highlighted the notion of Growth Mindset last month. This month, I want to offer more detail about my new passion - looking at student (and adult) motivation to learn. Last month, I introduced or perhaps re-introduced the concept of Growth Mindset and its 'creator'  Carol Dweck. Carol, who is a professor Stanford, has spent her career researching and writing about the topic. Her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is a international best seller. In it she offers the theory that individuals can be put on a continuum based on their mindset. Some believe that talent, skill or indeed success is based on innate ability while others believe that hard work, perseverance and growth can achieve comparable results. In a 2012 interview, Dweck defined both mindsets with the following:


"In a fixed mindset, students believe that their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all of the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it."


I am a firm believer of hard work and growth. However the growth mindset isn't just about effort. It is also about self-advocacy and seeking new strategies to utilize when one gets stuck. Effort is not enough on its own, students need to make a commitment to learn and improve.  


So this month I challenge all of us to adopt a growth mindset in both ourselves and with others. If we encourage continuous growth and an 'always learning' mentality in ourselves then we can certainly model it for others. Productive struggle is good for me.


Works cited:





Thank you to everyone who attended our October PFA meeting where parents were engaged in informative discussions with our guest speaker Superintendent Dr. Judy Evans. Other presenters included the Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community, Parent to Parent and the WHS School Council. Key highlights from the meeting include: approval of the new PFA Board and budget, summary of the grant process, a recap of the Activities Fair and results of direct appeal to date.


Our next meeting will be held on Monday, November 2nd, when we will be welcoming Dot Butler and Sargent Daniel Perenick from the Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community and Athletic Director Marc Arria. Another key piece of business will be the review and approval of grant requests received from teachers and student groups. It is always very interesting to hear about the amazing projects that teachers and students wish to undertake with assistance from the PFA through our direct appeal fundraising. The evening will end with a "social" where those who attend can mingle and munch on baked goods prepared specifically for our meeting by WHS cooking students. Please plan to join us!


We are over half way to reaching our Direct Appeal goal of $30,000 for the year. If you have already made a donation thank you so much, but if you have not had a chance please take a moment to do so. Our teachers and students count on the PFA to help fund their worthwhile endeavors, which we can only do with your generosity. Please donate here today.


The PFA would like to welcome the 2019 Parent Class Representatives. They are Cici Gordon, Maria O'Connor and Margaret Mack.  We wish them the best with this important volunteer position and thank them for their willingness to support the students.


School Council Elections were held, and we want to welcome Laura Krotky and Janice Jens.  The School Council plays an important role in assisting Interim Principal Kelley in reviewing the school building budget and developing the school improvement plan. We want to thank Laura and Janice for volunteering their time and talents to help accomplish this goal.


With so much going on we hope that you and your children enjoy your Thanksgiving break!



Lori Scully

Mikie Ulwick

WHS PFA Co-Presidents





Parent Conversations

What's going on in Winchester over the Weekends?

Meet Sergeant Dan Perenick and Hear How We Can Help

Tuesday, November 10th

Library Conference Room

9:00-10:00 AM


Parent conversations is a parent/guardian support group facilitated by Amber Haines and Kristen Woollam, WHS Adjustment Counselors, that provide a platform to discuss how your high school child is faring in this oftentimes complex environment. We welcome and encourage all caregivers to come and discuss what they have been experiencing. Our goal is to offer a collaborative environment to build a stronger sense of our students social-emotional needs and give tips and tricks for how to deal with your families concerns.


Please contact with any questions:

Amber Haines LICSW, School Adjustment Counselor

Kristen Woollam LMHC, School Adjustment Counselor



Signs of Teen Depression Discussion - Tue, Nov 17, 7 - 8:30PM


Have You Noticed Your Teen...


Being irritable or cranky

Making critical comments about themselves

Losing interest in sports or activities

Performing poorly at school

Having trouble waking in the morning

Writing about death


Taking a long time to complete tasks

Complaining of boredom

Complaining frequently about physical pain

Withdrawing socially

Saying youŐd be better off without them


These can be signs of teen depression. Depression is not normal teen moodiness; it is a medical condition that interferes with a childŐs life and may have long-lasting symptoms. Depression is treatable, but many teens do not receive appropriate help. Untreated depression has serious consequences.


Join us for a free event to learn about what depression looks like in teens and how to respond.


Who: Parents & Caregivers of Teens

When: Tuesday, November 17, 7-8:30 PM

Where: Winchester High School Dining Commons


            Sponsored by Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community


Questions? Ask Amber Haines, WHS Adjustment Counselor




Third Annual Sachem Spirit Holiday Fair - Sat, Nov 21, 11AM-2PM


To All WHS Teams, Clubs & Organizations

Please sign your group up to participate in the 3rd Annual Sachem Spirit Holiday Fair 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

11-2 PM

WHS Cafeteria


Contact  Gael Robinson or Heidi Driscoll to sign up for a table:


Student Reps: Ellery Robinson, Jamie & Emma Driscoll




Winchester HS Questions - Construction Update


Did You Know ~


Last month, hundreds of residents of Winchester toured those portions of Winchester High School that were completed as part of Phase 1?  To see a video produced by WinCAM, CLICKHERE or HERE.


Consigli sends out a weekly update on the construction activities for the week?  CLICK HERE to read past updates.  To subscribe to receive this update, reply to this email with a request to be added to the weekly update list.


The project team is already organizing the logistics for Phase 3 (June 2016 - September 2017), including ordering an additional 14 modular classrooms and planning the Move Management?


The landscaping for all portions of the WHS facility will primarily occur during Phase 3, near the end of the project?  To read why, and about the concepts for the landscape design, CLICK HERE.




Please visit our new website for information about the Winchester Public Schools Music Department including events, information and resources.


The website is sponsored by the Winchester Friends of Music, WFOM.


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 the website, please email





November Service Announcement


Guatemala Disaster Relief Fund -  Nov 2nd- 13th

On October 1, 2015, heavy rains triggered a major landslide in the village of El Cambray Dos, Guatemala, killing 280 people and leaving dozens unaccounted for. The search has been called off, so for the first two weeks of November Connect & Commit will be collecting School Supplies and non-perishable foods to help those villagers who have lost everything. We will have collection boxes by the main entrance and will be collecting money for the American Red Cross during lunches. If you are interested in volunteering to collect money during lunches please click the link and choose a lunch block that works for you.


Connect & Commit Open Meeting -Thu, Nov  12th - 6:30-7:30p

Connect & Commit would like to invite anyone who is interested in service-learning to come to our meeting in the WHS Library. We will have snacks and learn about upcoming events. Everyone is welcome. We hope to see you there!


WSC Veteran's Day Tournament- Sat/Sun, Nov 21st-22nd - Two Hour Shifts

Volunteers are needed to answer questions about field locations & game times, to keep games on time, and to support the referees. If you are interested in volunteering please email Mrs. Winterer at


Happy Thanksgiving - No Meeting!


2nd Annual 3v3 Soccer Tournament - Sat,  Nov 28th - Two Shifts

The 2nd Annual Tournament to being awareness to Suicide Prevention will take place on the Medford HS Turf the Sat, Nov 28th. If you are interested in volunteering your time to help with day of logistics, field marshaling and registration/ concessions please click the link below and choose which shift (8:30a-12:30p or 12:30-5:30p) you would like.


Check out our website to get the latest on Connect & Commit!






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 or just stop by the WYC anytime to learn about all the awesome opportunities to get involved!



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

Meetings take place on Mondays at 5:30pm.



Friday, November 6th


Town Hall Auditorium

$10 Admission

Do you like to listen to live music? Are you looking for something fun to do on a Friday night? Then join us for the first round of the Battle of the Bands!

The bands are: Amish Electricians, Imma Computa, Insight, Serendipity, Siegel's with Seagulls, Soulstice, Spellchecked, Swagmaster Flave & The Shaolin Funks, and The Matrix.


Each audience member receives one ballot to vote for their favorite bands. Come to help select the bands that will move on to Round 2. This is a substance-free event, open drinks are not allowed and there is no re-entry for students. All WYC events are designed to give students positive alternatives and opportunities to make good decisions! Proceeds from Rock for Youth help to fund WYC events and service-learning projects.





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.