WINCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL
80 Skillings Road
Winchester, MA 01890-2853
PARENT-FACULTY ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER ~ OCTOBER 2014
Visit our website at http://www.whspfa.org
FROM THE OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL SEAN KILEY
After a summer of engineering and construction, we proudly opened the doors of the Winchester High School to our students on September 3, 2014. The first month of school is always filled with nervousness and excitement as students get their schedules, see their friends, and meet their teachers. Our students did a great job of adjusting from summer hours to school hours, meeting with guidance counselors to fine-tune their schedules, and learning about courses they will take this year.
Our faculty and staff began the year with an emphasis on “quality instruction.” WHS is coming off an outstanding year with achievement standards and gains that will be a challenge to match, but with our philosophy solidly grounded in putting the students first, we are committed to making our already outstanding school an even better place for the students who walk through our hallways.
For our freshmen, the month marked the start of their journey into high school. As we mentioned to them at orientation, the first month is overwhelming. We know, however, that it will not be long before WHS feels like home. Our sophomores and juniors returned to school knowing the importance of the year ahead. Whether getting ready for the challenge of MCAS testing, PSATs, SATs, or setting their sights on post high school plans, they are preparing for a year that is sure to be as challenging as it is rewarding. Our seniors walked through the front doors of Winchester High School with a great deal of pride, and their leadership and compassion were heavily tested and relied upon as they experienced the tragic, untimely loss of one of their own, Patrick Gill.
In a recent blog entry, I wrote the following about my observations pertaining to the students and staff at Winchester High School:
“Each day I saw students and adults shaping each other in some way. I marveled at their personal resilience. It was a week where the high school and community seemed to be on a mission to reintroduce who they are and what Winchester is all about, and their biggest tradition after this week? Being kind to each other.”
I could not be more proud of this high school and community. Thank you for your incredible presence, commitment, and support. What we have all experienced this month, a feeling that we will share as a high school, has brought out the best in us and makes us realize that there are amazing people in this world – a million to one.
Our community has suffered deeply from the tragic and untimely loss of beloved senior Patrick Gill. The past two weeks have been witness to a community rising through shock and grief to come together as one, supporting each other through mourning, remembering, healing and moving forward one day at a time. Our love and prayers continue to go out to the Gill family to find strength and peace in the weeks and months ahead. Number 11 will always burn bright in our memories, and for our school and community a guiding life lesson never to be forgotten: ‘Be Kind To Each Other… Always.’
The Open House and Activities Fair held on Thursday, September 18th, was very successful. We thank all parents for their patience and understanding in negotiating the altered interior of the building, and all the students who smilingly volunteered to guide the rushing sea of adults towards the right staircases and correct classrooms. The third annual Activities Fair held in the gymnasium gave parents an opportunity to view up close the incredible richness of student life at the high school outside the classroom. Forty-eight teams and clubs representing a broad variety of interests from sports to music, from science to languages, from community service to other student interest groups, displayed arrays of fun booster merchandise while educating parents about the rich scope of extra-curricular activities at the high school. We are grateful to the many parents who visited the Fair and supported the students’ interests, and we want to give special thanks to the custodial staff for cleaning up and helping put away tables at the conclusion of the evening. If you did not have a chance to visit the Fair on Open House night, there will be another opportunity to purchase Sachem gear in November, with details coming soon. A very big Thank You goes to Audrey Loria for her hard work in organizing this very successful and fun event for the PFA.
Our schedule of PFA meetings is now up for your perusal at our website. We have changed the meeting days from Wednesdays to Monday evenings in the hope of avoiding time conflicts and making it easier for most parents to attend. We look forward to your presence and valuable input at our meetings as we discuss matters relevant to our children having a more meaningful high school experience. Please attend our meetings to get a firsthand feel for many different aspects of the high school experience highlighted by our knowledgeable speakers from across many different departments. For your convenience, the schedule of meetings and some speakers for the year is copied below.
November 3: Grant Review and Vote; Hot Topic – HS Safety with guests from Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community, Safety Officer Coss, H.E.A.T (Woburn).
December 1: Hot Topic – WHS Guidance Director and District Special Education Director
February 2: Hot Topic – Athletics and Fundraising with guest Marc Arria
March 2: Hot Topic – WHS Department Head Q & A with guests from STEM, Media, English, Social Studies
May 4: TBD (or snow date, in event of a cancellation from winter)
June 1: Hot Topic – WHS Alumni Q & A
School Improvement Council elections will soon be underway for two positions to serve a two year term. The school council is a state requirement with detailed information at the state site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/advisory/schoolcouncils/
At Winchester High School, the Council is made up of four parents (in staggered two year terms), two teachers, one to three students (varied by year) and a community member, all working together with the Principal. The Council is responsible for reviewing changes to published school policies and discussing issues such as the homework policy and honor code. They also help/review the surveys and receive updates on the construction plans. In the past, the Council was instrumental in starting SURF, a WHS student club whose participants work to build a greater sense of community spirit within the school. It is one place where teachers, parents, and students - along with the principal and a community member – work together to consider the impact of policy on the students. We thank Kathy Czeck and Roger Hain who are at the end of their two year term, and Sam Kunes and Laura Krotky, who were elected last year, for their time and dedication in fulfilling this very important role on behalf of our community.
As we continue to work at maintaining regular PFA programs, your support remains very instrumental to us in meeting our goals. The teachers are currently working on submitting grant applications designed to bring enrichment programs into the classroom that reinforce our children’s learning and spark a little more interest into the routine of classroom life. Your Direct Appeal contribution is the sole resource available to the PFA to fund these worthwhile projects, and if you have not been able to make your donation earlier, we request that you please visit our webpage for the convenient modes of donation available to you. Thank you for your support!!!
We wish you and your children a safe, happy and healthy continuation of the school year.
From the Co-Presidents,
Malini Dutta and Lori Scully
Pre-Season Winter Sports Meeting - Wed, Nov 12, at 6:30 pm – WHS gym
All students wishing to participate in a winter sport and a parent/guardian should attend.
Parent Conversations – Tue, Oct 14, 9:00 - 10:00 am – Guidance Conference Room
Parent Conversations invites Winchester parents and guardians of high school students to join us for coffee and informal conversation about our kids, WHS and our community. This month’s topic is: Introductions and Getting to Know the WHS Community. The meeting will include discussion, information and sharing of ideas to address parents' questions and concerns.
SPED-PAC Meeting – Wed, Oct 22, 7:30 pm - Parkhurst School
Parents interested in joining the Winchester Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Sped -PAC) are cordially invited to meet on October 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm in the School Committee Meeting room at the Parkhurst School at 40 Samoset Rd., Winchester MA. All Winchester parents and caregivers are invited.
Did you know…….
Š WFEE’s powerED UP! initiative aimed at integrating technology into all Winchester classrooms will make a difference at WHS? One goal of the $850,000 campaign is the purchase of management software to allow Winchester High School to become a “bring your own device” school. The plan also includes money for piloting online textbooks – no more 50 pound backpacks! Watch this video on http://vimeo.com/lmpgeneral/review/100538079/b09c1da974
Š Chemistry students at all levels will be working with updated lab equipment thanks to a WFEE Grant. The nearly $4500 grant provides sensors, probes, interfaces and more to allow for more advanced lab work.
Visit www.wfee.org to read about powerED UP! and other WFEE projects
Class of 2015 – Ordering Parent Ads for the Yearbook
There are many ways you can be a part of
your child's yearbook experience! Follow this link for information
about ordering your parent ad. Don't miss out on this Winchester senior
are due October 10,
2014. Please help us meet our deadlines by making yours! We
will always do the best we can to include your tribute ad, but we can't
guarantee anything beyond this date! Thanks in advance for your help!
CONNECT AND COMMIT SERVICE CLUB
Meeting Tuesday, October 21st, 6:30-7:30pm in the Library
Connect & Commit would like to welcome everyone to come to our first group meeting and banquet this coming Tuesday at 6:30 pm in the library! As always there will be FREE FOOD. Stop by for a fun-filled, informative night and bring your friends! We hope to see you then.
ALL ARE WELCOME!!
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
Anyone looking for Leadership Opportunities should stop by the office and pick up an application. Applications are DUE October 21st at 7:30pm.
Saturday Oct 4th - Cradles to Crayons - TWO SHIFTS 9am or 10:30am
Collect, inspect, sort and package donations. 9am to 12pm (two shifts 9a-10:30a or 10:30a-12p) St Eulalia's Parish, 50 Ridge St, Winchester.
NO MEETING TUESDAY OCT 14th -- Moved to Oct 21st!
(Ms Winterer is getting married and will be away!)
Oct 20th-24th -- Feeding Frenzy
Raise money for hungry children in Lawrence, MA, by voting for which teacher will dress up for Halloween. By placing $$ in jars located in teachers classrooms, students have the ability to vote for who will dress up while donating to a good cause.
Fri Oct 24th – Ambrose Halloween Party – Ambrose School
Volunteers are needed to help the annual Halloween party at Ambrose Elementary School.
Sat Oct 25th - Walk to Defeat ALS - 10a-2p – South Boston
Join a team from WHS as they raise money and walk in support of treatments and a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Oct 31st-Nov 7th - Treats for Troops - C&C Office
Donate Halloween candy that will be sent to the troops to lift their spirits during the holidays. There will be a bright orange bin in the main office and one in the C&C office for donations!
Nov 11th – Lantern Walk
Looking for volunteers to help organize this year’s Lantern Walk
Run by the Winchester Soccer Club, this program provides children with disabilities the opportunity to play soccer through rule and equipment adaptation. Athletes between the ages of 6 and 16 are invited to participate in a modified game of soccer once a week. A volunteer group of “Junior Coaches” is needed to serve as one-on-one buddies with TOPS athletes. TOPS meets every Sunday afternoon from 12:30-1:30pm at Lynch Front Field. This fall session runs Sept 8th -Nov 3rd. If you are interested in Winchester’s TOPS Soccer program as either an athlete or junior coach, please contact Jeff Calnan, TOPS Soccer Director, at email@example.com. New Junior Coaches should be in high school; however, no prior soccer experience is necessary.
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.
Winchester Community Lantern Walk Committees
We are currently in the process of planning the 3rd annual Winchester Community Lantern Walk and ongoing programs to raise awareness about the negative impacts of stress in our community. Our adult committee meets at noon on Tuesdays and is open to anyone who has meaningful insight into the stress and related issues affecting our community. Please email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join us. Our student committee will meet at 7:00 on Monday evenings and is open to any student is interested in creating a support system for those who are feeling stressed, as well as advocating for their peers. If you or someone you know is under a lot of stress and resorting to negative ways of dealing with it, then please come to our meetings! This committee is open to all WHS students who want to make a real difference. Please stop by the WYC or email us for more info.
Relay For Life of Winchester Planning Committee
The first committee meeting will be on October 29th.
The 2nd Annual Video Scavenger Hunt will take place on Tuesday October 7th from 5:30-7:30! Get a group of friends together and meet us at WinCAM (located at 32 Swanton St.). We'll give each team a list of fun things to film around downtown Winchester and afterwards we'll meet at the WYC to watch everyone's videos and eat yummy treats!
WYC HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARTY COFFEE HOUSE - Fri, Oct 17, 8:00-10:30pm
On Friday, October 17th the Peer Leaders will transform the WYC into a spooky Halloween-themed Coffee House. All attendees are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and get into the Halloween spirit! As always, the Coffee House will feature live music and delicious homemade treats, frappes, and coffee drinks.
The Coffee House is open to high school students only. Admission is $5. All proceeds will benefit the Peer Leaders' Habitat for Humanity trip.
NORTH SHORE WALK TO DEFEAT ALS - Sat, Oct 18, 10:00am
Bradley Palmer State Park, Hamilton
Please join our team “Haley’s Comets” and support our efforts to defeat ALS a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease. Our goal is to raise money to support people in our community with ALS and to spread awareness of the urgency to find treatment and a cure for this disease.
Contact us at the WYC to learn more about how you can get involved.
Each year the WYC sponsors a Battle of the Bands for local high school rock stars. If you are interested in registering your band, stop by the WYC or email us at email@example.com. The band registration deadline is Friday, October 24th. If you have friends in a band or just like to listen to great, live music be there to select the bands that will move on to Round 2. Admission is $10 and each audience member receives one ballot to vote for their favorite bands. This is a substance-free event and, as with all WYC events, no outside drinks are allowed and students are not allowed to re-enter. Proceeds from Rock for Youth help to fund WYC events and service-learning projects.
WINCHESTER COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL
Free Introductory Music Lessons, Extended through October 11
Now includes Guitar!
Have you or your child been wanting to try something new? Perhaps a different instrument for school orchestra or band? Do you know someone who loves to sing, but needs to build self-confidence and skill? For a limited time, WCMS is offering complimentary 30-minute trial lessons in guitar, cello, voice, French horn, bassoon, tuba, euphonium, or trombone for children or adults. An easy online sign-up lets you choose a time slot. Go to www.winchestermusic.org for information and to sign up, or call 781-721-2950.
Broadway On Highland - Friday, October 24, 7:30-9:00 PM
An open performance event for singers. Come sing a selection from a Broadway musical with our accompanist, or sit in the audience and enjoy the sing-along numbers. All ages and ability levels are welcome, from beginners to seasoned professionals. 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 information, call 781-721-2950 or visit www.winchestermusic.org.
WINCHESTER ABC FALL FUNDRAISER
Join us on Saturday, October 18, for the ABC Fall Event to support the Winchester A Better Chance Program. Dinner, dessert, dancing, auction and lots of fun from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. at the Sons of Italy Hall located at 117 Swanton Street. Parking lot is at rear of building. Grab a friend and join us!
ABC brings eight young men from as far away as Atlanta, Georgia, to a house on Dix Street in Winchester to live in our community and gain access to a top-quality education at Winchester High School. These young men go on to graduate from top colleges and achieve great things. The ABC Program is entirely community funded and needs your support. Tickets are $75.00. They are available at BookEnds, An Elegant Affair or online at winchesterabc.org. If you need more information, please call Katie Ragosa at 781.729.2517. Thank you for your continued support of ABC!
SETTING THE TABLE: FIELD TO PLATE
Setting the Table, a service-learning program with a focus on food production and distribution, agriculture and urban poverty will run for four sessions starting October 19 and is open to all WHS students. The program will meet every Sunday from 10 to 1, and will cost $120. This year we will visit Moody Street, Red's Best Fishery, the East End food pantry and Ecco Pizzeria. For questions or to sign up, email Susan Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
MCCALL MIDDLE SCHOOL JUBILATION SINGERS ANNUAL FALL BAKEWASH
Have you ever been to a singing carwash? Would you like to eat a delicious treat while a band of energetic 7th and 8th graders scrubs your car until it shines in the October sun, while singing your favorite songs? Please come on Saturday, October 18th, to McCall Middle School Jubilation Singers annual Fall BakeWash, from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the McCall bus circle behind the school on Mystic Valley Parkway. Donations of $5 for a wash are gratefully accepted.
There will be a variety of tasty baked goods for purchase as well (cash/check only). All funds raised will support the Jubilation Singers program, including the group's Spring Pops Concert (May 17) and an out-of-state music festival trip.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS CANDIDATE FORUM
The Winchester League of Women Voters is soliciting questions to be asked of the candidates for State Senator, 2nd Middlesex District, in the state election November 4, 2014. The candidates are Patricia Jehlen, incumbent, Democrat, and Robert Cappucci, Jr, Republican. Please submit issues-centered questions to email@example.com by 5:00 pm October 20, 2014. A League panel will screen questions to eliminate duplicates and to ensure civility and fairness.
The Public is also invited to attend the Day at the Races Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 23, 7:00-8:00 pm at the Jenks Center's Pond Room, 109 Skillings Road, Winchester. WinCAM will broadcast the forum from October 27 to November 3 on Comcast 9, Verizon 37 and On Demand. Check www.wincam.org for airtimes. Please vote in the election Tuesday November 4, 7:00 am-8:00 pm.
WINCHESTER MULTICULTURAL NETWORK
How Does Autism Affect Me? - a panel discussion Thur, Oct 2, at 7:30 p.m.
Jenks Center, 109 Skillings Rd., Winchester
Come and expand your understanding of this increasingly common neurodevelopmental disorder. Speakers include Dr. Margaret Bauman, a pioneer in the study of autism; Jennifer Flaherty, a Special Education teacher at Lynch Elementary School and the leader in establishing Winchester's "Light it up Blue" event during Autism Awareness Month; Captain Bill Cannata, educator of first responders in rescuing individuals with autism, and Anne Kostos, ADA Coordinator for the Town of Winchester. The panel will be facilitated by Sahar Ahmed Awerbuch, founder of Brio Integrated Theatre and a Multicultural Network Board member. We hope that Cathy Boyle, who was called out of town unexpectedly, will be able to attend. Cathy is President of Autism Housing Pathways.
An Evening With Lisa Genova - Tues, Oct 14 at 7:30 pm
McCall Middle School, 458 Main St., Winchester
Don't miss this opportunity to hear Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony. According to the publisher's website, she graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about Alzheimer's Disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and is featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary film To Not Fade Away. Copies of Love Anthony are available at Book Ends as well as at the Winchester Public Library.
Film Screening: Autism: The Musical - Sun, Oct 26 at 2:30 pm
This documentary follows five autistic children who are brought together to create and perform a musical production. If you google the title, you will see several other films listed. There is a wealth of reading and watching that can help expand our knowledge and understanding of autism.
Meeting Room, Winchester Public Library, 80 Washington St.
Winchester Reads is sponsored by the John and Mary Murphy Educational Foundation with additional support from BookEnds, the Friends of the Winchester Public Library, the Winchester Multicultural Network, Winchester Public Schools, and many enthusiastic volunteers.
WINCHESTER COALITION FOR A SAFER COMMUNITY
What's Happening in Winchester? Understanding the Issues of Alcohol, Drugs, Mental Health, and Self Harm - Nov 5, 7:00-8:30PM, McCall Auditorium
• battling the influx of heroin, marijuana and other drugs into our community;
• dealing with alcohol and substance abuses amongst both teens and adults;
• understanding the correlation between mental health issues and self-harming behaviors; and
• finding the resources available to inform and guide us all
Sponsored by the Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community and moderated by PETER HALEY. Guest speakers will include representatives from the Winchester Police and Fire Departments, Winchester Hospital Emergency Department, Winchester Public Schools, Woburn District Court and behavioral health specialist Dr. Robert Kean of Walden Behavioral Health Center. The panel will share current statistical information about drug-related crime and surrounding issues, community programs in place, and innovations in treatment and therapy programs. There will be an open Q&A session. This is a program that you do not want to miss...
WINCHESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY
Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm: "John Simmons, The Measure of a Man" by Winchester's own Denise Pappas. The story of a man who became wealthy producing ready-to-wear clothing before the invention of the sewing machine, later invested in Boston real estate and left his fortune to Simmons College. The author is a former Trustee of the Winchester Library and a graduate of Simmons College. The book is hot off the presses October 30th!
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!
WINCHESTER SPORTS FOUNDATION HALL OF FAME
Hall of Fame Candidate Nominations Deadline - Dec 1, 2015
Nominations for the 2015 Winchester Sports Hall of Fame are underway. This inductee class will be honored at the Annual Winchester Sports Hall of Fame Dinner on Thursday evening May 7, 2015, at the Burlington Marriott, Burlington Ma. Mark your calendars now, as the evening promises to be even more special, as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Winchester Sports Foundation Hall of Fame!
The Hall of Fame Committee invites your nomination of potential candidates whom you feel exemplified outstanding athletic achievement, leadership and integrity while attending Winchester High School. To nominate a candidate, a minimum of five present (or past) Winchester residents can submit a letter of support along with evidence of the candidate's or team's athletic accomplishments. Please note, this information must be included with the nomination. Nominees must meet the requirements established in the Bylaws found on the website: winchestersportsfoundation.com/halloffame. Please note that the deadline for nominations is December 1, 2015. Questions or for more information please contact: Dot Butler at Butlermail@aol.com