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News 6/17/17
Hi Everyone,

With just two and a half days of school to go, we know everyone is starting to think about summer and beyond. It's a busy time of year in the front office as we prepare to close out, gear up for the end of year events, and finalize student placements for the fall. The scheduling process is multifaceted and highly individualized and to that end, it takes our incredible team of counselors months to complete. We want to be sure schedules are thoroughly reviewed before we release next year's schedules to students in order to prevent any unexpected changes. This year, we are aiming for an early summer release– hopefully, by July! Schedules will be released electronically in iparent. We will keep you posted. If you have any questions about schedules or the start of the year over the summer, I will be in the office and checking email, so please don't hesitate to contact me. Guidance staff is out of the office until we return to school in late August.

Keep an eye out for summer newsletters and updates on the Blanchard website. We will be posting recommended supply lists and other important reminders to help you prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.

Summer Reading
Mrs. Brandt and staff from J.V. Fletcher Library provided sixth and seventh grade students with a presentation on summer reading options yesterday. I am including links to the district's lists of titles by grade level below. The books on this list have been selected and reviewed by the staff of the English department, the school librarians and the Curriculum Coordinator. They follow the guidelines of recommended books set forth by the American Library Association. Students should select one title to read over the summer in preparation for the start of the school year. In the fall, English Language Arts teacher will have a follow up assignment for students to complete in class.
Please help us track down missing library books!
We are looking for a number of Blanchard library books that are missing, but have not checked out. We have no way to track them down except by asking everyone to search their home, cars, backpacks, and lockers. Library books are easy to spot because they have a spine label and barcode. Please keep your eyes out and return books to Mrs. Brandt. Thanks in advance for your help!

Congratulations Mrs. Bailey!
Last week, Mrs. Bailey, our ELL teacher, was presented with a WEF grant! She will receive funding for her proposal, Listenwise: Harnessing the Power of Podcasts to Enhance Learning.

High School Math Information
Now that high school schedules have been released, Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator, Ms. McHugh, has asked that we share important course information with current eighth grade families. Please see the update below.

Eight Grade Completion Ceremony and End of Year
We are excited to extend extend an invitation to ALL eighth grade parents to join us in celebrating the completion of middle school at our second annual Eighth Grade Completion and Achievement Ceremony. On Tuesday, June 20th at 9:00-10:30 am, we will gather in the Blanchard gymnasium to recognize all of our students for achieving this milestone in their educational journey and also honor individual students for outstanding academic performance and effort.
Siblings and extended family are welcome to attend!
Other important dates for eighth grade families:
June 19 – Grade 8 Class Trip to Canobie Lake Park
June 20Eighth Grade Completion and Achievement Ceremony 9:00 am
June 20MSPTO Grade 8 Celebration Dance

Important Dance Reminder From the PTO: Students cannot attend the end of year event on Tuesday evening without a permission slip. It is very important that parents submit this notice to the school office (along with your event donation - thank you!) ASAP. Students may also bring the slip with them to the event.

Eighth Grade Breakfast – Monday!
A tradition was started years ago by a group of parents who came and hosted a "Breakfast for the 8th Graders" on the morning of the Canobie Lake field trip, Monday, June 19.  Please help us to carry on this tradition by signing up below to donate food, drinks, paper goods or help with set-up/clean up.  Some of the items will be grab and go and are for the kids to take with them on the field trip. Here is the link to sign up: 

Spring & Fall Athletics
Our 2017 spring sports program has come to an end. We had record participation this season! We also started a brand new girls volleyball team.  A big thanks to Jonathan Morgan for coaching and WA seniors, Sam Walter and Julia Libby, for helping establish our new team. The feedback has been very positive! Baseball, softball and track had great seasons. Our students learned about teamwork, sportsmanship, made new friends and learned or perfected new skills. A reminder to parents for next fall, if your child is interested in a fall sport we have tryouts for seventh and eighth grade boys or girls soccer and field hockey. Our cross country team is open to any student with no tryout required. Please make sure your child’s physical is up to date before the start of the next school year. All information for our fall season can be found on the Blanchard sports page. Our fall season is scheduled to begin after Labor Day.

Below is a list of other year-end happenings and important reminders. Each grade has a special trip planned, and if you are in need of any financial assistance, please don't hesitate to call or email me directly.
  • Sixth grade heads to Kimball's for a field trip on June 20.
  • The last day of school is Tuesday, June 21, and it is an early release day. Dismissal is at 11:00 a.m.
  • Report cards will be released in iparent after school on June 21.
As always, please call us with any questions!
Happy Father's Day to the Blanchard dads!

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

Math Department Updates and Reminders
  • Algebra 1/Algebra 2 Transition- Please remember that a student's grade in Accelerated Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 Part B is used to determine eligibility for Geometry as well as for Algebra 2. Their performance in Geometry will also be used in the recommendation process, assessing readiness based on the Characteristics of an Honors Student on the Westford Academy Math Department website.
  • Outside Courses and Opt-Out Testing - Courses taken outside of Westford Public Schools do not replace the courses offered at Westford Academy. Grades from outside courses will not be used to determine placement or eligibility for courses offered at WA. Additionally, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, students will no longer have the option of testing out of courses at WA, including Geometry Honors, Intro to Programming, and Java Honors.
  • Geometry Honors - Starting in the 2018-2019 school year,all students must take a Geometry course at WA either their Freshmen or Sophomore year. Students must earn a 95 in Geometry CP1 or an 83 in Geometry Honors at Westford Academy to be recommended for Trig & Pre-Calc Honors.
  • Doubling Up - Students have the option to double up their math courses in either Algebra 1B with Geometry their Freshmen year or Geometry with Algebra 2 their Sophomore year. Doubling up is not recommended by the Math Department, particularly in a student's Freshmen year, as students are encouraged to explore their passions and interests by taking electives. When possible, students are encouraged to wait to double up their Sophomore year instead. Students are expected to take a math course each year, even if they choose to take two math classes in one year.
  • Algebra 2 Enrollment - Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, Algebra 2 enrollment will be limited to students in grades 10-12. We believe the material presented in this course is more developmentally appropriate for students in these levels. Freshmen who are particularly interested in furthering their Math education are encouraged to enroll in Exploring Computer Science. The collaboration and problem solving opportunities in this course are designed to help prepare students for success in both college and career in the STEM field and beyond. The application of mathematical logical reasoning in this course will be extremely beneficial in the growth and development of all students.

Please complete our short  (5 minutes) FAME Survey by 6/30/2017.  We value your feedback and look forward to your suggestions and ideas!
Click on the link: FAME SURVEY 2017

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

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