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News 2/18/17
Good Morning and Happy Vacation!

A big thank you to parents and our wonderful MSPTO on behalf of all of the teachers for the delicious valentine treats and coffee this week! I hope February Break offers everyone plenty of time for family, fun, and relaxation.

Spring Athletics Preview
We just wrapped a very successful winter sports season Blanchard. The basketball teams had a great season of teamwork and enjoyed some exciting wins. Our girls team dominated going undefeated in the league! Way to go! Looking ahead to spring, we have some exciting news from the sports desk. This year, we will introduce a school volleyball team for seventh and eighth grade girls! The sport has become very popular at the high school level in recent years, and we are thrilled that the vision for a program at the middle school level is becoming a reality. With continued interest, we hope to established a boys team in the coming years. This spring, we will also hold tryouts for the Blanchard baseball and softball teams. Both are open to grades seven and eight. Track is one of our sports open to all grades without tryouts. Look for a spring sports informational meeting to take place at the end of March. The official start date for spring sports is Monday, April 3 for tryouts and a first practice for track. More information will be available closer to the start date.

Updated Information for Eighth Grade Parents
Yesterday, eighth grade students enjoyed an informative and entertaining assembly featuring Westford Academy staff and students. They provided an overview of the program of studies, extracurricular offerings, and opportunities available at our high school. It was great to see some former students return to the Blanchard stage for the instrumental performance! Earlier this week, Westford Academy hosted a parent evening to provide a comprehensive overview of the entire process. In case you missed it, here is the presentation: WA Parent Night Slides. Timelines, links, and FAQs are included. Over the break, take time to carefully review all of the information and discuss recommendations with your student. Mrs. Leone will be available for questions and assistance when we return from break.

Staffing Update
After break, 8White will welcome Mrs. Laurel Walker as long-term substitute filling in for Mrs. Manning. Please read Mrs. Manning's Letter to 8White Parents. You may have also noticed a new face in the Blanchard front office. Ms. Chelsea Hatcher has joined us as a substitute administrative assistant. With a big smile and boundless energy, Chelsea has jumped right in to help run the office in Mrs. Byrne's absence. Congratulations to Mrs. Byrne on the arrival of her baby girl!

Shout Outs!
  • Blanchard Peer Leaders collected a grand total of $580 in this year's Paws for a Cause fundraiser! Thank you for your generous support! Congratulations to sixth grade on winning the grade level competition. They'll enjoy ice cream soon after break!
  • Earlier this week, Blanchard and Stony Brook eighth grade bands joined with the Westford Academy band for the inaugural "Winter Wonderband Festival". The students performed a selection of fun and entertaining music following an afternoon of rehearsal. Thank you to WA for hosting all of our very talented musicians and dedicated directors, Mrs. Garino and Mr. Arsenault. We hope this becomes a new tradition!
  • Congratulations to middle school orchestra and WA Honors Orchestra students on the success of last Friday's annual Strings Festival! Everyone enjoyed seeing our well-prepared middle school musicians integrating with high school students. Thank you, Mrs. Ottesen for coordinating another wonderful event!
Blanchard Book Fair – Shop Online!
The fair has raised $800 to put towards new books for the learning commons! If you missed it, you can still shop online through Wednesday. Books will be shipped to Blanchard and can be picked up after vacation. Use this link: Blanchard Book Fair

Reminders from Dee Bus
Please note, all requests for students to take an alternate bus home from school must be approved through Dee Bus. Many of the buses are at capacity, and requests cannot always be accommodated. Bus changes are not permitted on early release days. Also, please note eating on the buses is prohibited. Many of our students have severe allergies, and it is important to keep food off of the buses. Thank you for your cooperation.

The seventh grade German students who brought the water refill station to Blanchard are supporting the town-wide upcycling initiative. They are collecting chip bags, foil juice pouches, and wrappers from snack and protein bars. Here is a full list with more information: Upcycle. The Blanchard Environmental Club will be meeting after school on Tuesday, March 7th in Room 11 with Frau Greaves and a guest speaker! All are welcome! Future dates are listed on the Blanchard website.

Timothy Hislop
Lloyd G. Blanchard Middle School
Westford, MA
(978) 692-5582 ext. 171

Westford Summer Music Program -  The Westford Summer Music program is now accepting registrations for instrumental and choral music students entering grades 5 through 9. Band, chorus, and orchestra ensembles will rehearse daily from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Stony Brook School on July 10th through July 14th .  During the week, the students will prepare new music and give a free performance on Friday, July 14th at 11 a.m.

  • Summer Band directed by Ms. Vicki Garino, Blanchard and Stony Brook band director
  • Summer Chorus directed by Mrs. Karen St. George, WA vocal director
  • Summer Orchestra directed by Mr. Todd Hamelin, Abbot and Day Schools string director
For more information and registration please visit:

For questions, please contact:
Julie Ottesen -

Hi Eighth Grade Parents!

With your eighth grader going into Westford Academy next year, we wanted to tell you about a great volunteer opportunity that involves just one evening of your time. ~You do not need a child at WA to participate.  This is one of the few times that parents get the chance to be involved at WA in what has become a Westford tradition!

It's “Last Night - the all-night substance free celebration for WA graduating seniors.  Almost 400 kids will celebrate their accomplishments one last time together.

It takes almost 300 volunteers as the community comes together to celebrate this important milestone. ~Westford Academy is transformed! ~The decorating committee does an amazing job of disguising the place :) Youíll have to see it to believe it!  Graduates arrive at 10pm on graduation night and are entertained with games, live entertainment and plenty of food to eat before they depart early the next morning. ~They leave with lifelong memories of hanging out together one last time with their classmates!

We, Kristen McGrath and Anna Ward, chair the HALL GAMES committee. ~Here students play carnival games with the chance to win gift cards to “high school friendly” places such places as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Kimballs and more. We are looking for volunteers to work the 9:30pm to 2am shift on Friday, June 2nd.  Yay - you don't have to stay up all night! ~Time flies and before you know it, it is time to go home. ~You leave knowing that you helped keep 400 kids safe (and happy!) on graduation night. ~You also have the insider scoop on what your child will experience when they graduate. ~Yes, the time flies by!!

We're looking for moms and dads to help. ~Volunteer with a friend if you like - that's how we started years ago! ~Call or write if any questions. ~Just say YES and we will sign you up!!

If you want to volunteer you must be CORId thru Last Night.  We cannot accept CORIs from schools or Teen Center.

CORI Options:
*Panera Bread in Cornerstone:
Cindy McKeen, our volunteer coordinator will be at Panera on:
        March 1st from 7pm-8pm
        Other times to be scheduled

*Email Cindy McKeen to set up time to meet

*Email Anna & Kristen and we will send you upcoming CORI dates as they are added to the calendar by Cindy

WMSPTO: Sweets for Teachers - THANK YOU! 
Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who helped with our "Sweets for Teachers" event this week. We are so grateful for all that our teachers and school administrators do for our children. They all appreciated the sweets and treats - we will post pictures on the PTO website soon! 
Coming soon: Basketball, Dance, Programming and more!

Blanchard Middle School  |  14 West Street, Westford, MA 01886  |  ph: (978) 692-5582  |  fx: (978) 692-5598

Westford Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or homelessness.