WESTFIELD – Westfield Middle School administrators reached out to families of students entering seventh grade, asking them to select their elective courses for the 2020-2021 school year.
According to Assistant Principal Jessica Kennedy, who officially becomes the new WMS principal on July 1, “Next year all 7th grade students will take a core academic program with five teachers teaching Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. All 7th grade students will take Physical Education (2 quarters), Health (1 quarter), and Engineering, Design & Modeling (1 quarter). This leaves one block for students and parents to select one additional course.”
To complete their schedules, students may choose one of the following options from the following: Band for a full year, Chorus for a full year, or Spanish 1A for a full year.
Electives as assigned two semesters (art, music, tech); Spanish 1A with ½ year band (in place of ¼ PE and ¼ Health or Technology); or Spanish 1A with ½ year chorus (in place of ¼ PE and ¼ Health or Technology)..
Under Principal Paul Newton, Westfield Middle School began to offer Spanish 1A for all grade 7 students. Students who pass (with a grade of 60 or higher) Spanish 1A in grade 7 and Spanish 1B in grade 8 will have the opportunity to earn one high school credit and take Spanish 2 when they get to high school, Kennedy said.
According to Kennedy, they are all good choices. She said there are three Spanish teachers at WMS, instrumental music teacher, Ryan Emken, and choir teacher David Gomes, who are all phenomenal.
The seventh grade schedule is due on May 1.
“If parents have any concerns or questions, they may reach out directly to the administration by email,” Kennedy said. Email addresses are [email protected], [email protected], Assistant Principal Peter Lurgio [email protected] and Assistant Principal Karoline Kells, [email protected]
Asked how remote learning at going at WMS, Kennedy said while not ideal, it is strong. She said the staff is reaching out to kids and connecting, making phone calls and sending emails. Some teams are holding zoom meetings. She said one had 70 participants that broke off into groups.
“We’re lucky. We have a strong team of teachers, a strong administration and staff, and we love our kids,” Kennedy said.
“The district and schools are working so hard to connect with families,” Kennedy added, saying for teachers the difficulty is that you don’t stop working, because there is no set schedule. “You get up in the morning and go until you go to bed. That’s probably one of the hardest transitions. What does a work day look like.”