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News 3/11/17
Hi Everyone,

Although it certainly does not feel like it this morning, we are thinking spring at Blanchard! The Blanchard Sports Page has been updated with information pertaining to this season of athletics. Along with softball, baseball, track and field, we are excited to offer girls volleyball for the first time at the middle school level! The season begins on Monday, April 3 with track practice and tryouts for all other sports. Track is open to all students in all grades without tryouts. Other spring teams are open to grades seven and eight. All students interested in joining a team should attend the spring sports informational meeting on Monday, March 27 during advisory in the cafeteria. Athletes must register online via the link on the sports page before Monday, April 3 and have to have an up to date physical on file with our nurse.

Speaking of athletics, "witness the fitness" at Blanchard's newly redesigned Physical Education Page! Click on the Jump-starting Mindfulness link from the menu at the top to explore videos students recently created with Mr. Bogacz in Technology class. The collection of videos is intended to provide us with a variety of tools to help refocus, energize, and ready our minds for learning. We are excited to watch this webpage continue to grow!

Reminders for Eighth Grade Parents
  • Mark you calendar for a D.C. trip parent information meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 pm in the Katie Enos Performing Arts Center.
  • The Blanchard Yearbook Committee is looking for baby pictures of our eighth graders. Please send a copy in to Mrs. Scalia or Mr. Bogacz by Tuesday. Pictures should be ages 3 months to 3 years and no larger than 4x6. Be sure to make a copy, as photos will not be returned.
  • Yearbooks are available for all students to order online. To order a yearbook, use the following link: https://ybpay.lifetouch.com/Order/SelectStudent?isAdvertisementOnly=False. Enter the Blanchard code: 12276917. Hard copy forms can also be returned to homerooms or the main office.
Upcoming Events
  • District mathematics curriculum coordinators, Miss McHugh and Mrs. O'Gorman, will be holding informational meetings for parents in grades 4-7 to communicate the math placement process. These meetings are scheduled for Monday, March 13 at 6:30 at Stony Brook School and March 15 at 6:30 at Abbot School. Please read the notification here: Math Information Night Letter
  • Fitness Club is back! Join Mr. Morgan on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 2:00-3:00 pm in the fitness room during the month of March. If your child is looking for something physical that is less structured than a team sport, this is a great opportunity! Participants must see Mr. Morgan to sign up in advance for each day they would like to stay.
  • Our next early release day is Thursday, March 16. Students will be dismissed at 11:00. Staff will participate in professional development.
  • All Blanchard orchestra students are busy preparing for their concert on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Katie Enos Performing Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public. Students that are performing in the concert should arrive at 6:30 pm in concert dress for tuning and warm up.
Finally, a shout out to Blanchard's National History Day competitors and their advisor, Mrs. Ward. In the junior group website division, Vivian Tao and Taylor Shea placed third for Zapata: Taking a Stand in the Shadow of Dictatorship; in the junior historical paper division, Caelyn Jarrett placed second for Cleaning Up the World: The United States of America, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom Taking a Stand Against Hitler at the Yalta Conference. In the individual performance category, Gautham Anoop received honorable mention for Rachel Carson: Taking a Stand for the Environment and Jason Liang and Bharath Ramesh placed first for their work titled, Muhammad Ali: A Stand For The Age in the category of junior group documentary. All these students did an amazing job of illustrating independence, perseverance, intellectual curiosity and creativity in their efforts! We are proud of them and look forward to the districts in April!
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Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Tim

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



Making Caring Common: Raising Kind, Ethical, And Happy Children
Research in human development clearly shows that the seeds of empathy, caring, and compassion are present from early in life, but that to become caring, ethical people, children need adults to help them at every stage of childhood to nurture these seeds into full development.
 
We should work to cultivate children’s concern for others because it’s fundamentally the right thing to do, and also because when children can empathize with and take responsibility for others, they’re likely to be happier and more successful. They’ll have better relationships their entire lives, and strong relationships are a key ingredient of happiness. In today’s workplace, success often depends on collaborating effectively with others, and children who are empathetic and socially aware are also better collaborators.
 
Dr. Richard Weissbourd, a psychologist and lecturer at Harvard, is the faculty co-director of Making Caring Common (MCC). MCC is a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education that helps educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice. Dr. Weissbourd returns to Westford on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 to present Making Caring Common: Raising Kind, Ethical, And Happy Children. Dr. Weissbourd’s presentation – which is being hosted by the Westford Parent Connection – will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, Westford. The event is free and open to the public through the generosity of WPC’s sponsors. For more information about Dr. Weissbourd or MCC, check out http://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/. For other questions, go to http://www.westford.org/wpc/ or contact Mary Anne Seraphin at mary.anne.seraphin@gmail.com.




FAME’s 18th Annual Dinner Dance will feature new musical repertoire at a new location! Friends Advancing Music Education is happy to announce that it will host the 18th Annual Dinner Dance at the Fellowship Hall in The First Parish Church United (FCPU) on Friday, April 7 between 6-10 PM. Our fundraiser will feature Westford Academy’s Jazz Bands, String Troubadour Ensemble, Members of the Honors Choir and the Westford Chamber Music Ensemble. Tickets are $55/person and $440 for a table of eight, and will be available until April 3, 2017. The evening’s dinner will be catered by Coleman's Catering from Groton and will include a delicious 3-course menu, along with a cash bar with beer and wine. FAME is also sponsoring a Raffle for an Apple Watch Series 2 (a $300 value) and Apple TV ($100 value). Both, Dinner Dance and Raffle tickets may be purchased at http://westford.org/fame/dinner_dance_2017.html. There will be additional drawings for prizes generously donated by local restaurants and businesses. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the WPS music program, Senior Scholarships & Music Camp Scholarships for WPS students.

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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 or homelessness.