Tune in on Thursday, February 9 from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. on WSKB 89.5 FM, WCPC cable channel 15, or westfieldtv.org for a crossover episode of "Superintendent's Spotlight" and "Tiger Talk". This week, we will be broadcasting live from Westfield High School during our Annual High School Science Fair. We will be talking with staff, students, and judges about the incredible projects from students at WHS and WTA. Thanks for watching!
The 40th annual Sons of Erin Colleen Ball was held at Tekoa Country Club on Friday with 12 contestants. Ciara Catherine Morgan Johnson-Corwin, 17, a senior at Westfield High School, was chosen as the 2023 Westfield colleen. Her court will be Kelly Elizabeth Burns, 19, Shannon Marie Corbett, 17, Cailyn Grace Crean, 17, and Sarah Margaret Moriarty, 18. The colleen and her court will embrace a yearlong journey as they represent the city and the Sons of Erin. Congratulations! https://www.masslive.com/living/2023/02/westfield-sons-of-erin-chooses-colleen-honors-st-pats-award-recipients.html
A plan to have veterans serve as school safety attendants will start in the next couple of weeks, after the pilot program got the go-ahead from the School Committee in December. Veterans Services Director Julie Barnes, who said the assignment will be part of her tax write-off program for veterans, said seven veterans have already signed up and are going through background checks, required for anyone who volunteers in the schools. Westfield School Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski said the veterans will start in the elementary schools, which don’t have school resource officers, starting with Franklin Avenue, Abner GIbbs and Paper Mill. https://www.masslive.com/news/2023/02/several-westfield-veterans-volunteering-as-extra-eyes-for-school-safety.html
If you weren't able to catch the latest episode on "Superintendent's Spotlight" this morning, click on the link below. This week we talked with our Registration Team about our Countdown to Kindergarten Registration Event being held on Wednesday, February 8, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Westfield Middle School. We also looked into the history and tradition of Groundhog Day. Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? Find out midway through our show. Thanks for watching! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB1CiRe8rzM
As the hours tick down to their 25-hour fundraiser, organizers of the Western Massachusetts Charity Danceathon are running through a final dress rehearsal before welcoming several hundred people stepping out for charity. Middle and high school students in Westfield are putting on the danceathon — their first all-night event — to benefit local children and their families. Organizers aren’t sure how much money they’ll raise for three local charities, but 20 dancers raised $16,000 in four hours during a dry run in 2022. “These kids are mindful of all the effort they put into it, and all the money they raise is going to help children and their families in need in Western Massachusetts. The tagline is ‘We dance because we care.’ The kids came up with that,” said Andrea York, the danceathon’s marketing director. The Westfield Youth Recreation Center at Blessed Sacrament Church on Holyoke Road is hosting the event from 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 until 8 p.m. on Feb. 4. The call is going out far and wide for dancers and their families. “This is not a Westfield event. We want to include all kids in Western Mass., from middle school on up,” said Yorke. All the money raised will benefit Rachel’s Table (free food distribution), Rick’s Place (help for grieving children) and the KEVS Foundation (free youth heart screenings and CPR training). Planning is directed by a seven-member Youth Advisory Committee and a Junior Advisory Committee. Members of these two committees are in high school or middle school and have been calling the shots, from when the event will take place down to every last detail. “We want to help develop future leaders who will make big decisions. That part was really exiting to me. It’s all quite heartwarming,” said Yorke. More than 125 volunteers are helping to pull off the danceathon. The students are being given advice and direction from an adult Steering Committee and Board of Directors. Dominic Monti, 18, is the only student on the board. “I got involved with the danceathon to not only benefit the community but to connect other teens with organizations that work for those who need help such as those who are grieving or experiencing food insecurity,” said Monti. There will be no problem filling a dance card during the danceathon. Several DJs will be playing for the entire 25 hours. Students came up with the playlist that includes Latin, Polish and Irish music plus Zumba, ballroom dancing, hits from the ’80s and beach music. There will also be places to rest, play games and enjoy different activities. Security and medical personnel will be on hand for the entire event. Student organizers met monthly when they started planning the danceathon a year ago, and as often as four times a month as the event drew closer. They got together on Sunday nights, after homework, activities, sports and other responsibilities had been taken care of. “These kids are so inspiring. They blow me away every day. Their energy, enthusiasm and vision are palpable. There is no question in my mind that with these kids, our future is bright. I am so inspired by them. They are the reason the adults involved are helping them,” said Yorke. The students have endured the pressure of working with the adult board, doing media interviews planning and publicizing the event, and everything else that comes with putting on a dance party for hundreds of people. The next step is seeing who can keep up the pace for as long as 25 hours. “These kids are driven. I don’t think many of them are going to go home. They’re going to be on the dance floor a good amount of time. It’s definitely a dance party,” said Yorke. Anyone that wants to register to dance, sponsor a dancer make a donation or volunteer at the event can visit www.wmcd.org for more information. Advance registration and parent permission is required to participate in the dance. Dancers must be middle or high schoolers, and only registered dancers will be allowed on the floor. High schoolers (grades 9-12) are welcome to participate any time from 6 p.m. on Feb. 3 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 4; middle schoolers (grades 6-8) will dance 3-8 p.m. on Feb. 4. https://www.thereminder.com/localnews/westfield/danceathon-in-westfield-to-raise-money-for-charity/
As the governor proposes funding to keep school meals free until the summer, Rachel Kania said the free school meals program Westfield EATS has been good for students, families, and for the schools. “It’s going swimmingly. The participation is extremely healthy, with more kids participating than expected,” said Kania, the School Department’s food services director. https://www.masslive.com/news/2023/02/free-meals-good-for-students-families-says-westfield-food-services-director.html
Something new is coming to Westfield Public Schools – volunteer patrols to add an extra level of security during the school day. Westfield Public Schools will implement a new program to keep kids safe by recruiting voluntary veterans to patrol the inside and outside of schools, using their military expertise to identify any potential threats. The pilot program will start in Franklin Avenue, Paper Mill, and Abner Gibbs Elementary Schools. The volunteer vets will be unarmed and carry walkie-talkies to communicate with the school’s office staff if they identify suspicious activity on school grounds. Superintendent of Westfield Public Schools Stefan Czaporowski told Western Mass News that the volunteers’ military experience will help with recognizing potential threats. “Due to their circumstances, they’re able to identify a potentially dangerous situation; they just have experience in those kinds of atmospheres,” he said. “Not that our schools have that, but I think they could also serve as a possible deterrent.” Veterans will also receive an added benefit for their volunteer work. The city of Westfield is prepared to dish out a $1,500 property tax break if they hit 100 hours of patrols. The Director of Veterans Services for the city of Westfield Julie Barnes told Western Mass News that even before they added the tax incentive, veterans were eager to volunteer their time. “We had a lot of veterans come into our office before the program even released,” Barnes said. “They kind of heard it through the grapevine, so when it released on January 1st, we’ve had quite a few veterans come in.” Superintendent Czaporowski told us that this program is another small but necessary step in continuing to protect against potentially dangerous situations at school. “It takes a village, and I think that student safety is a top priority, not just for the school department, but for everyone,” he said. https://www.westernmassnews.com/2023/02/01/westfield-public-schools-pay-veterans-patrol-schools-increase-security/
The First Veteran Appreciation Luncheon hosted by Westfield Veterans Services took place Wednesday at Westfield Technical Academy. The goal is to show our military vets some much needed admiration for their service. Moving forward, lunch will take place on the first Wednesday of every month until May and will have dining space for up to 60 vets. On behalf of the Veterans Council, we want to thank Elm Electrical for sponsoring the lunch, Westfield Technical Academy Tigers Pride Restaurant for making a great meal, and Westfield High School Band providing some spectacular entertainment! Veterans that would like to sign up for the March luncheon, please call 413-572-6247.
The registration portal for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year is now open. Click here for more information: https://5il.co/1o62i
The Westfield Education to Business Alliance (WE2BA) is currently seeking area businesses and employers to sign up for the Career Expo and Job Fair sponsored by Westfield Public Schools, the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, MassHire and Westfield State University. The fair will be attended by more than 500 juniors and seniors from Westfield High School, Westfield Technical Academy and St. Mary’s High School, 8-11:30 a.m. on March 16 at the university’s Woodward Center. Westfield Gas & Electric is providing transportation for the students, who will have lunch in the university dining commons. https://www.masslive.com/news/2023/02/westfield-high-schools-chamber-seeking-businesses-to-sign-up-for-march-career-fair.html
Tune in on Thursday, February 2 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. on WSKB 89.5 FM, WCPC cable channel 15, or westfieldtv.org for the next episode of "Superintendent's Spotlight". This week we will be talking with our Central Registration Team all about our Countdown to Kindergarten Event being held on February 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Westfield Middle School. We will also be following Punxsutawney Phil for Groundhog Day. Thanks for watching!
The full-day public preschool pilot program in Westfield is expanding in 2023-24, with classrooms in Highland and Munger Hill elementary schools. Parents can start applying now for the enrollment lottery. Applications are due Feb. 17. The program consists of mixed-age classrooms, each with 15 three- and four-year-olds. A total of 45 seats are available across Highland, Munger Hill and Southampton Road elementary schools. The two classrooms currently at Southampton Road will remain, but because the three-year-olds already enrolled this year will automatically re-enroll for next year, only 15 three-year-old seats are available. https://www.masslive.com/news/2023/01/westfield-preschool-lottery-open-including-new-seats-at-highland-munger-hill.html
ATTENTION ALL AREA EMPLOYERS Sign up for our annual Westfield Education to Business Alliance (WE2BA) Career Expo and Job Fair sponsored by Westfield Public Schools, the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, Mass Hire, and Westfield State University. Engage in conversations with our students about careers and industries and recruit local students for internships and job opportunities. This is a FREE event that will be attended by over 500 local high school students. Scan the QR code or click on the link below to be a part of this yearly event and meet employees of the future. The deadline to sign up is Friday, March 10. Thank you for your support! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd82tz-vb-5UK9rRUPvmmz3fTMkEPWZAYABB0JtEea0d55Vew/viewform
Educators and businesspeople gathered virtually on Wednesday for a Westfield Education to Business Alliance meeting. The alliance, also known as WE2BA, focuses on creative ways schools and businesses can interact to the benefit of both, with many events underway and planned, and many opportunities for businesses and organizations to get involved. Westfield public school Math Supervisor Kate Perez, English Supervisor Mary Keane and K-4 STEM Coach Lindsey Ayers shared some of the mutually beneficial interactions in recent months through Adopt a Classroom programs. Keane said Peerless Precision CEO Kristen Carlson met in December with Westfield math interventionist Matt Wroth, who gathered together a small group of young women interested in STEM careers. https://www.masslive.com/news/2023/01/alliance-continues-to-partner-westfield-students-with-business-visits-internships.html
If you missed "Superintendent's Spotlight" this morning, click on the link below. This week we talked with New Westfield Middle School Principal Jesse McMillan and Lauren Paret, the new Dean of Students., all about the middle school. In our last segment, we were joined by Westfield Technical Academy Culinary Arts students who helped us celebrate National Peanut Brittle Day. Thanks for watching! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHjGueTSCck
Westfield Public Schools will have an early release day on Wednesday, January 25, due to the predicted snowfall in the afternoon. High Schools will dismiss at 11:00 a.m., Middle, Intermediate, and Virtual Schools at 11:30 a.m., Elementary Schools and Southampton Road Preschool Program at 12:15 p.m. Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center will be closed. The Westfield YMCA after school care program is also cancelled. Please drive safely.
The city granted $500,000 it received from the federal government in the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, to fuel assistance and food security programs. The Greater Westfield Food Pantry will get $200,000 over four years, the city said Monday in a news release. The Food Pantry provides groceries to approximately 1,200 people per month, with 51% of those clients being children and 14% being elderly. The city also gave Valley Opportunity Council $300,000 to expand home heating assistance programs. Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program — LIHEAP — funded by the state and federal governments provides up to $1,319 per household to assist with heating costs incurred from November through April. The Westfield Food Pantry is at 101 Meadow St. For additional information on receiving food assistance, please call 413-572-0802 or visit its website at www.westfieldfoodpantry.org. For questions related to the Westfield Fuel Assistance Program, residents should call the Valley Opportunity Council Welcome Center at 413-534-2466 or email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.masslive.com/business/2023/01/westfield-gives-500000-in-arpa-money-to-food-heating-programs.html
Join us on Thursday, January 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. on WSKB 89.5 FM, WCPC cable channel 15, or westfieldtv.org for the next episode of "Superintendent's Spotlight". This week we will be talking with new Principal Jesse McMillan all about Westfield Middle School. Thanks for watching!
A student from Munger Hill Elementary School has been chosen as a winner of the 2022-23 Name a Snowplow Contest! Luke Snowalker, submitted by Mrs. Adams’ 3rd grade class at Munger Hill School, will be assigned to a snowplow in our highway district. MASS DOT is planning to have site visits with the snowplows in the following few weeks. The $100 gift card for school supplies will be given to the classroom during the visit. The plan is to have the named snowplow and individuals from MASS DOT involved in the project come to the schools to reveal the snowplow to the students. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/winners-of-the-name-a-snowplow-contest-2022-23
If you missed "Superintendent's Spotlight" this morning, click on the link below. This week we spoke with Principal Stacy Burgess all about Paper Mill Elementary School. We also had some fun with National Popcorn Day. Thanks for watching! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTY9jW_AYwY