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As the country commemorates the 20th anniversary of September 11, one local teacher shared with us how she is educating students about the terror attacks in the hopes they never forget. How do educators approach such a delicate subject as September 11 with students? We spoke with Munger Hill Elementary School fourth grade teacher Stephanie Martell. She said that even though the subject is emotional, it is important to make sure that educators open up that discussion with students. Martell said exercises such as watching videos and holding discussions afterward or students working together to color a mural to commemorate that fateful day help them grasp what happened on September 11. “I like to cite Mr. Rogers here who always said, ‘Look for the helpers’ and we put a lot of focus on, look at how this country came together. We worked together and we put aside our differences,” Martell explained. Martell said she hopes students will think back on that day and remember how many people selflessly gave their lives to help others. She also hopes students know that it is ok to talk about difficult situations and to see others show emotion around them. Liliana Roselli and Hannah Polan are fourth grade students at Munger Hill Elementary School. They both said they learned how so many risked their lives on that day to help save others. “I've learned about 9/11 that people risked their lives to save people, strangers helped people, firefighters, policemen…It can get sad sometimes and sometimes people can cry about it. We are grateful that many people survived,” Roselli said. Polan added, “I think all of the firefighters and the policemen and all of the people who went in and tried to save people knowing their life would be in risk.” The students said it is important that September 11 be commemorated every year and they were especially pleased that there are memorials to remember those who gave their lives to help others. https://www.westernmassnews.com/news/westfield-teacher-discusses-how-she-teaches-9-11-to-students/article_4dbd1f30-1241-11ec-91f3-7bfb83ca74dd.html?block_id=994434&fbclid=IwAR0B2h2TutDYxvOiueNB1cPa_USyAl9X18udzhEjks8H-wgrzXYun7FRwns
Students of Munger HIll fourth grade teacher Stephanie Martell created this mural that hangs in the schools front office.
If you missed Superintendent's Spotlight" Thursday morning, click on the link below. This week we talked about the new Westfield Virtual School in the first half hour. In the second half hour, we caught up with the city's Director of Public Health, Joe Rouse. Thanks for watching! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb2KFkGkO10
On Friday, September 10th, Superintendent Czaporowski and Director Dargie visited classes at Munger Hill Elementary School and learned of how teachers and kids reflected on the events of 20 years ago. Pictured they join Principal Frieri, Mrs. Roselli, and some of her 3rd graders. They made commemorative American flag ribbons to help us remember how our nation came together after tragedy.
Sue and Ralph Figy and Eileen Jachym, volunteers helping with the Pfizer and Janssen J&J COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Aug. 26 at Westfield High School will be at the doors of the high school from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. greeting everyone who comes for a shot, and handing them a $10 gift card. The free clinic is open to students, staff and community members ages 12 and up. Sue Figy said the gift cards are thanks to the generosity of Westfield Gas & Electric and Firtion Adams Funeral Home, along with many, many people in the community that have sent in gift cards, the vast majority of which are from businesses in town, but some as far afield as McCray’s Farm in South Hadley. This will be the second clinic at Westfield High School. Seventy-five people received vaccinations at the first clinic, and this one has the capacity to serve 140 people. Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins will be taken as slots are available. Registration for the Aug. 26 vaccination clinic is simple to complete using a cell phone, tablet or computer, and going to https://curative.com/sites/28991 . The link is also available at www.schoolsofwestfield.org under COVID-19 Testing and Health Services. Parents/guardians are able to give fully-compliant consent for their minor to be vaccinated through the digital sign-up process. Although a health insurance card is requested at sign up, health insurance is not required to participate in the free clinic. The second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at Westfield High School from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16. https://curative.com/sites/28991?fbclid=IwAR3pSlS2UkFczbpM0EMR6ps5Xh7bV6eqfgw--zmTmmXJasUVUVW0cHRwuYo
Westfield Public Schools' fourth annual Curriculum Summit kicked off on August 3! The Summit is led by Linda Jordan from the International Center for Leadership in Education and the Westfield Curriculum Department with over 60 Westfield educators. The Summit will take place over five days and focuses on rigorous curriculum design.
Thomas Osborn of Amherst has been selected as the first principal of the Westfield K-8 Virtual School, to begin on Aug. 2. “Dr. Osborn’s enthusiasm and energy for this new school will set the students and staff up for success,” said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski in making the announcement. “I am honored to be joining the Westfield School District as the principal of the Westfield Virtual School. I am looking forward to providing students and families with the highest quality education at Westfield Virtual School and supporting children for whom virtual instruction is the best fit,” Osborn said. Osborn is entering his ninth year in administration and educational leadership. Originally from Queens, N.Y., he has leadership experience in both general and special education, as well as teaching experience in brick-and-mortar schools in New York and Massachusetts, and in virtual schools. “Virtual education has been around for a long time – we’re finally seeing the technology we need to fully embrace it,” he said, adding, “It’s my goal to provide students in Westfield the highest possible excellence in education. I’m really excited to join the team and become part of the community.” Osborn’s educational background includes a bachelor of arts in English literature, a master’s in teaching, a certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership, and a doctorate degree in education. He resides in Amherst with his two children and wife, where he has a small hobby farm with chickens, ducks, geese, and three goats, and is working to grow his own vegetables. He hopes to harvest many cloves of garlic this year. “It is my privilege to lead the new Westfield Virtual Academy and the many talented teachers and students here. My goal is to begin strong with a well-researched and planned program to open the 2021-2022 school year,” Osborn said.
Mary Cieplik of Longmeadow has accepted the position as the Southampton Road Elementary School principal beginning on August 2. “Ms. Cieplik comes across as a positive and hard-working person who truly cares about the students and staff that she will serve,” said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski in his announcement. “I was impressed that Ms. Cieplik transitioned from a central administration position to a classroom position during the COVID crisis. Her experience is unique and invaluable,” he added. For her part, Cieplik said she is thrilled to return to the district where she began her education, having attended Abner Gibbs in kindergarten through second grade before her family moved to West Springfield. “I am beyond excited to join such a dedicated group of educators. I look forward to enhancing the important work already being done at Southampton Road Elementary School,” she said. In 2005, Cieplik began her 16-year public education career as a middle school math teacher in the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. She held that position for six years before being selected as the assistant principal at the Thornton Burgess Middle School in Hampden for three years, during which she also had a dual role as the math coordinator for grades K-8. Cieplik then served five years as principal of the Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, before becoming director of curriculum and instruction, a position she held for one year. When that position was eliminated due to COVID-19 budget cuts, she returned to the classroom as a grade 3 teacher in Longmeadow Public Schools for a portion of the 2020-2021 school year. Both her undergraduate and graduate degrees were earned at Western New England College. Prior to starting her career in education, Cieplik worked in the life insurance industry for 12 years, holding positions as a senior lifetime consultant, client advocate consultant and corporate trainer. Cieplik is looking forward to meeting members of the Southampton Road community. On Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 3 to 4 p.m., and on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 1 to 2 p.m., she welcomes people to stop by the school to have a “popsicle with the principal.” “I’m here to serve the students, families and the community. I love being a principal – it really is a gift to work in education,” Cieplik said.
Jonathan Scagel of Hatfield has accepted the position of principal of the Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center beginning on Aug. 16. “Mr. Scagel’s commitment to a ‘students first’ philosophy in all decisions was prevalent in his meeting with me and is evident in his work at Pioneer Valley Regional School District,” said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski. He added, “I believe that with over twenty years of special education experience as a teacher, Mr. Scagel truly understands the inclusive practices at Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center.” “I’m very excited. I’ve worked with all ages, and I really enjoy working with the younger students. It’s important to build those foundational skills at an early age,” Scagel said. Scagel has been superintendent for the four-town Pioneer Valley Regional School District in Franklin County for the past three years, after serving as special education teacher and transition skills program supervisor in the district for one year. Altogether, Scagel has been an educator for 27 years, 24 as a special education teacher working in the Hadley, Springfield and Northampton public schools, LPVEC Career and Technical Education Center, and Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. “I look forward to cultivating and maintaining unified relationships with all stakeholders to achieve common goals. I am a dedicated student advocate; continuously fostering, nurturing and maintaining a safe, positive and respectful learning environment conducive to academic success,” Scagel said. Scagel received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UMass Amherst. He is currently enrolled in a School and Leadership Management Certificate Program at Harvard University. He lives in Hatfield with his wife and two sets of twins ages 15 and 13. “I was very excited that the superintendent is giving me this opportunity,” Scagel said, adding that Czaporowski has a strong reputation in the state as a superintendent for “thinking outside the box. I’m excited to be working for him.”
Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski announced this week the hiring of several key administrators in the district. Thomas Osborn of Amherst will be the new principal of the new Westfield K-8 Virtual School, Mary Cieplik of Longmeadow has been hired as the new principal of Southampton Road Elementary School, and Jonathan Scagel of Hatfield will be the new principal for the Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center. All three are new to the district. Czaporowski also announced that Abner Gibbs Elementary School Principal Stacy Burgess has been appointed as the new principal of Paper Mill Elementary School. Southampton Road Principal Kathleen O’Donnell, who will be retiring on Oct. 12, will serve as the interim principal at Abner Gibbs while a search committee for that position is formed. “My five years at Abner Gibbs have been wonderful. I am grateful for the time I spent there. I am very excited to be joining the Paper Mill community. I look forward to building relationships with students, staff, and families,” Burgess said. Rena Piper has also been selected as a new elementary assistant principal for the district. She will be serving four days a week at Southampton Road and one day at Abner Gibbs. Piper has taught in Westfield Public Schools since 1993, most recently as district math coach for three years. “I am happy that we filled these positions. I think we have some quality candidates. There are a lot of openings all across the state, and we have been fortunate to find high quality candidates,” Czaporowski said. The superintendent said the district is still needs to hire for several key positions, including a health and safety coordinator, and a supervisor of counseling and social emotional learning. Both positions, as well as staffing and supplies for the Virtual K-8 School and eight new school adjustment counselors will be paid for out of the three-year Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funding, of which Westfield has $4,808,471 over the next three years. Czaporowski said funding for new counseling positions is available through ESSER grants to districts across the state. “Counselors are in high demand; they can work for any district they want,” he said. Other positions that the district is having difficulty filling include paraprofessionals for all the schools, and a Spanish language and two biology and life science teachers at Westfield High School. Available jobs are listed on the Westfield, MA Public Schools Facebook page and at schoolsofwestfield.org. https://thewestfieldnews.com/new-principals-hired-for-westfield-schools/
Westfield Public Schools is accepting applications on a rolling basis for Westfield Virtual School. Westfield Virtual School is a K-8 school serving up to 210 students who reside in Westfield. There is one virtual classroom at each grade level, with up to 20 students per classroom in grades K-2 and up to 25 students per classroom in grades 3-8. The student day will be 8:00 am - 2:30 pm. Lunch and Exploration time will be scheduled from 11:30 - 12:30 daily at all grade levels. WVS is our newest district school, and we are pleased to offer this remote learning opportunity for our students and families. If you are interested in this school and would like to learn more, please contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at 562-2298. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSczruZf57IEVWEmxYqQazy5PbrA2AshOwEoZaaufLkH8HJz_Q/viewform?fbzx=3712542770176237598&fbclid=IwAR2vJ9VY7zI2la2_pW1Io_Ojy5jqXOEWhxa7p5S1paATdJG6NsX9izk1cIw
Last night was a great night of Westfield Starfires baseball for staff and students at Franklin Avenue Elementary School. Ms. Baker sang the national anthem and Principal Tolpa threw out the first pitch. Staff and students cheered for our hometown team. Special thanks to Ms. Annalise Eak for organizing this fun filled event for Franklin Ave School.
Due to the continued heat advisory, Westfield Schools will dismiss early tomorrow (6/8/21). High schools @ 11am, Grades 5 - 8 @ 11:30am , Elementary @ 12:15pm. There will be no preschool.
Due to the heat advisory tomorrow, Westfield Public Schools will have an Early Release Day, Monday, June 7, 2021 for all students. High school students will be dismissed at 11:00 a.m., Middle and Intermediate students at 11:30 a.m., and Elementary students at 12:15 p.m. There will be no school for students at Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center.
KEEPING KIDS SAFE AND SECURE ONLINE: A PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD PRESENTATION FOR PARENTS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, THE HAMPDEN DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, AND THE WESTFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT. Scan the QR Code to register JOIN US FOR THIS VIRTUAL PRESENTATION: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2021 6:30PM-8:00PM (Login begins at 6:15PM) This presentation is for ADULTS ONLY. Content is inappropriate for children.
Westfield Public Schools is pleased to offer a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinic to our students (age 12 and up) and community this Thursday, May 27th. The clinics will be at Westfield High School (WHS) from 9:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m., and Westfield Middle School (WMS) from 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. There is no cost for this service or the vaccine.
The last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year is June 16. It will also be an early release day. Thank you!
Earlier this week, Kindergarten staff and students at Southampton Road Elementary School suited up (scrubs and all!) and performed vowel surgery.
Congratulations to Colton Rowe, the grand prize winner of the first Highland Husky Buck raffle. Colton has perfect attendance for the school year so far. Students have been earning Husky Bucks throughout term 2 for having PAW-some attendance. Congratulations to all our raffle winners!