West Update August 8, 2021

West Update August 8, 2021
Posted on 08/10/2021
clip art back to school supplies

August 8, 2021


Hello West Families,

I hope you are well. Wow, what a summer... I hope it has been fun and relaxing for you after quite the school year last year. The summer has been surprisingly busy at the school with the regular cleaning, gathering supply orders, scheduling, etc. AND basically putting everything back together after this past year of years. Thankfully, I have been able to steal some R&R and family time (one seems to preclude the other at least in my house:). Between hockey skills sessions/tourneys and skate parks for my seventh grade son;  gymnastics practices for my sophomore daughter and volleyball and pole vault practices/competitions for my senior daughter and everything in between (beach runs, visit to Martha’s Vineyard, visit to Winnepesauki, etc., etc.) the Daddy summer Uber service is in full force notwithstanding my oldest now has her driver's license so watch out! 

I want to extend my warmest greetings to our NEW grade 4 students and families from the Shawsheen (and any new students). I did have a chance to visit most of the upcoming West fourth grade kids over at the Shawsheen this past spring where I visited each homeroom and showed a video on the ins and outs of the West. (Usually, we’d have the kids visit in the spring, but the health & safety policies prohibited it at that time.) From talking to them AND their teachers, we are going to have a fantastic year! I know going to a new school can make folks a little nervous, but know that I communicate regularly with Principal King and the kids are “ready” and  “good to go” as the kids continue on their educational journey. We do have some informal tours this summer scheduled (see below) for the new kids and parents to visit the school if you wish. Other than that, all you need to know coming in is “West is the Best!”

But alas, it is still summer and important for all to fully enjoy. That is the first priority especially after last year….. That said, as we gently “wade” ever so slightly toward the school opening, below are a couple of important items to keep in mind as you are lounging at the beach or swimming at the lake or watching the Olympics in the AC:)…..

  1. West Principal’s Weekly Newsletter. During the school year I’ll continue to email parents weekly (on Sundays) on the school happenings. This seemed to work out well last year to keep the school community up-to-date on the “ins and outs” at the West. That said, if I have time pressing items, I’ll email during the week as well as needed. 

  2. Class Assignments and Student Supplies. Class assignments will be accessible on Aspen sometime on Monday, August 9th.  Click the links to download Grade 4 Supply List and  Grade 5 Supply List.

  3. Emergency/Contact Information. You should have received the standard parent/guardian Aspen credential email this past week. As soon as possible, please log on and enter/update emergency contact information accordingly. This information needs to be accurate before the start of the school year. 

  4. Staff changes for 21-22: I don’t need need to remind everybody that last year was the oddest of years. There was a good amount of movement/change in the school and district to make it all work, Ms. Maiella and Ms Deschene left us for the year to teach at the North and the Shawsheen respectively. They both will be returning to the West. Ms. DiVacri joined us from the North along with Ms. Lund. Ms. DiVacri will be returning to the North and we wish Ms. Lund the happiest of retirements:) Ms. Kelly Joseph joined us from the Shawsheen and will be returning there. Finally, Ms. Rouleau, Ms. Gauvin, and Ms. Danastor joined us for the year and will be moving on…. All performed extraordinarily last year…..Thanks to all for their hard work and dedication to the kids of the West! In addition, Ms. Levesque, Ms. McKenna, Ms. Carter, Mr. Graboski, Ms. Bransfield, and Ms. Scolastico are moving on from the West to other opportunities (although some are still in the district thankfully:). We again thank them for their extraordinary service to the kids of the West and wish them the best of luck. Finally, we welcome the following NEW or returning staff to the West. They include:

  5. [NEW] Student School Tours. A school tour for NEW students (Grade 3 students or grade 5 students who are new to the school) to the West will take place on the following dates/times. Please do not feel obligated to attend. Again, we visited the Shawsheen and spoke with most of the upcoming grade 4 students in the spring and showed them a video presentation of the school. In addition, the teachers will provide a tour of the school to their class on the first day along with their review of classroom/school rules and expectations. That being said, any NEW student/family is (are) welcome to attend and ONE of the 30 minutes tours on the following days:

  6. Night Before School Opens “Walkthough”-Tuesday, 8/31, 5-6 PM. Be advised that we plan to continue to have the traditional Night Before School Opens “Walkthrough” for West students/families to walk through the school and visit their classrooms. This event takes the edge off a bit for the first day of school and allows the student to visit their classroom, find his/her desk and drop off school supplies if you wish. Please note that teachers are not required to be in attendance as they will have been working many days to get the classes ready and need a good night sleep before the big day:) This event will take place on Tuesday, 8/31 from 5-6 PM. There will be a formal open house during the evening of September 23rd where you can meet your child’s teacher and learn about the curriculum and class expectations. 

  7. Important Dates:

  8. Monday, August 9th   Classroom assignments released.   
    Wednesday August 11th  [NEW] Student/Parent Tour-Choose one 11:30-12 PM 
    Wednesday August 11th
     [NEW] Student/Parent Tour-Choose one 3-3:30 PM
    Wednesday August 18th   [NEW] Student/Parent Tour-Choose one 11:30-12PM  
    Wednesday August 18th   [NEW] Student/Parent Tour-Choose one 3-3:30 PM 
    Tuesday, August 31   West Night Before School Opens “Walkthrough” 5-6 PM / West 
    Wednesday, September 1   FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL….WOOO...WOOO! 8:50-2:55 PM / West 
    Thursday, September 23   West Open House (More information will be forthcoming.) 6:00 PM 

Finally, I know there has been some information in the news as of late related to guidance for safety/health protocol (i.e., masks) and the opening of schools from the Fed/State/CDC/DESE/ETC./ETC. Know that up until this writing, we are slated to start school as we would any normal school year. As we have all learned over the last year, things can change and change rather quickly at times. (As a side note, any changes to health & safety protocol would need to go though Wilmington School Committee before implementation.) Regardless, I will inform the West school community as soon as I am able of ANY changes related to the opening of school or otherwise. Until then, we are full steam ahead! 

I remain excited about continuing  my tenure as principal of West Intermediate School in a more “normal” year….. I continue to be impressed with the support, pride, sense of Community and willingness to “make it all work” for the kids of the West by all stakeholders at the West…..staff, parents and most importantly the kids. As we proceed from here, I’m confident we will work together to maintain a safe and engaging school experience for the kids of the West! 

Take care.

Ed Foster 

West Intermediate Principal