The Westwood Public Schools has a student population of approximately 3,000. The system includes an integrated preschool, five K-5 elementary schools, one middle school for grades 6-8, and one high school for grades 9-12. In addition to a comprehensive academic program, there is an extensive extracurricular program which includes inter and intra-scholastic athletic teams, clubs and student publications. All staff is encouraged to participate in the life of the school outside of the classroom.

Archived stories are available in the Newsroom Archive.


Westwood High Finds Unique Way to Honor Seniors
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, June 3, 2020

Like countless high school seniors across the country, the Westwood High School senior class has had to figure out new ways to celebrate their high school careers during the COVID–19 pandemic. Graduation was rescheduled for early August, but a newly created Senior Class Committee – consisting of 22 students and five high school staff members – has been at work this spring organizing end-of-year events that are special and uniquely their own.


Boston Globe logoWith Drive-Throughs, Yard Signs, and Photo Ops, Seniors Forge Ahead with Nontraditional Graduations
The Boston Globe, May 29, 2020

Forced to pivot quickly when it became clear that no normal rituals would take place, many high schools formed an advisory committee of administrators, students, and parents to forge a path ahead. At Westwood High School, Principal Sean Bevan and a committee of more than 20 students analyzed their options and made the decision to hold off until early August in hopes that circumstances by then will allow some kind of in-person outdoor event for the graduates, according to Bevan. Should that not be possible, they’ll hold a virtual graduation then instead, as many schools have already done this month.


Parade Celebrates Westwood High School's Senior Class
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, May 19, 2020

It may have been the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week, but more than 50 teachers and staff from Westwood High School spent part of the afternoon of Friday, May 8, celebrating the 237 students who make up the Class of 2020.


Westwood School Building Project Moves Ahead
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, April 29, 2020

The Westwood School District has taken the next step toward a school construction project to either repair or replace the town’s older elementary schools. The Westwood School Committee will hold a virtual public meeting on April 30 at 7 p.m. to discuss potential consolidations and to give residents a chance to ask questions and provide feedback on these consolidations.


Teacher Parade is a Hit for Westwood Students and Families
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, April 28, 2020
 

“A parade with five cars is not really a parade,” said Debra Gallagher, principal of the Downey Elementary School in Westwood. When Gallagher put out a rally call to her staff a few weeks ago, she wasn’t sure who would answer, but the response she got was nothing short of heartwarming. Within an hour over 50 staffers had signed up to take part in a rolling parade to boost the spirits of the school’s students on April 9th.


WCVB NewsCenter 5 logoWestwood Teachers Put Adorable Spin on Dr. Seuss Classic
WCVB-Ch. 5, April 17, 2020

Teachers at Martha Jones Elementary School in Westwood shared a video with their students Friday that shows the ways they are embracing their virtual classrooms.

Westwood High Social Media Campaign Keeps Students Together
The Boston Globe, April 13, 2020

 

Students found themselves alone, separated from their classmates, after schools shut their campuses down in an effort to flatten the curve amid the coronavirus pandemic. While some students may appreciate the lack of early-rising and screeching bells, many long for their community.

Zoom classes support remote learning. Westwood High School’s student council fosters social engagement.


Local Students Share Music with Westwood Seniors Online
The Transcript & Bulletin, April 10, 2020
 

With the senior center closed until June 1 and town events cancelled, local students and teachers are looking for new ways to share music with Westwood’s seniors. 

“Music Matters,” a music appreciation program that was scheduled to take place at the Senior Center, has moved online to a YouTube channel for the remainder of the spring in lieu of the lecture and concert that had originally been planned for April and May.

 

Remote Learning Moves to Next Phase for Westwood Public Schools Students
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, April 9, 2020
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, April 3, 2020

Massachusetts students recently learned the process of remote learning will continue until at least May 4, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the U.S.

Westwood’s initial two-week closing called for teachers to only reinforce skills already taught during the 2019-20 school year. With the extension of the mandatory school closures, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said school districts may move forward with new content and instruction. In addition, special education services would be implanted to the extent that it is safe for students and staff to do so.


Talking to Your Kids About COVID-19
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, April 2, 2020
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, March 24, 2020
 

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t easy – but it can be especially difficult for children and teens who rely on structure and friends for a sense of normalcy and security.

Erin Kuehn is a licensed social worker and the coordinator of Social and Emotional Learning for children in grades K through 8 in the Westwood Public Schools. She has advice for how to best talk to your kids about the coronavirus outbreak.


Westwood Schools Establish Remote Learning Plans
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, April 15, 2020
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, March 26, 2020

Students everywhere have been finding themselves in unusual “classrooms.” Learning at home means using kitchens, bedrooms and basements to study math, science and English. With schools closed until at least April 7, teachers and administrators from the Westwood Public Schools have developed a plan to ensure students continue learning and stay connected to their school community. But learning from home brings unique challenges to teachers, students and parents.


"The Addams Famly" Comes to the Westwood High School Stage
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, February 28, 2020

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky – and now “The Addams Family” will be skulking across the stage at Westwood High School during Spring Musical starting March 12.


Encounters with the Arts: Westwood High School Celebrates National Youth Art Month, Music in Our Schools Month, and Theatre in Our Schools Month on Thursday, March 19, 2020
Press Release, February 25, 2020

We invite you to enjoy our 26th annual Encounters with the Arts, an open house of art, theatre, and music which will take place on Thursday, March 19 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, celebrating arts achievement at Westwood High School.


Westwood Students Make Unique Donation to Troops
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, February 19, 2020

U.S. troops serving overseas are likely accustomed to getting care packages filled with nonperishable food and toiletries from friends and family back home. A recent donation from students at Westwood High School and Thurston Middle School was definitely a bit “out of the box.”


Students Attend Festival of Historically Black Colleges
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, February 18, 2020

Last month, five Westwood High School students journeyed to Washington, D.C., to join more than 10,000 African-American students from along the East Coast at a giant college festival. This was the 18th year of the Historically Black College and University Festival, which was held at the Gaylord Hotel in Maryland.


NECN logoWestwood Student Is Finalist in Contest to Name Mars Rover
NECN (New England Cable News), January 25, 2020
 

A fourth grader from Westwood, Massachusetts, needs your help.

She’s a finalist in a nationwide contest to name NASA’s Mars Rover. The space agency plans to send the rover to Mars this summer so it can explore the red planet.


High School and Preschool Students Learn From Each Other in Westwood
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, January 24, 2020

Westwood Schools are bridging their age gap by bringing their oldest and youngest students together on a daily basis in a program designed to benefit both age groups. A group of 16 juniors and seniors in Westwood High School’s early childhood education program are spending time every week in the preschool and elementary classrooms. The program aims to provide the older students with practical experience working with their much younger counterparts.


Westwood Student A Finalist in NASA Contest
Press Release, January 22, 2020

Westwood student Amira Shanshiry, a 4th grader at the Hanlon Elementary School, has been selected as a finalist in NASA’s nationwide contest to name the space rover which will head to Mars this year.  Shanshiry is the only finalist from Massachusetts. NASA received over 28,000 submissions from across the United States for the “Name the Rover” contest. Those were narrowed to 155 semifinalists and then to 9 finalists after an online poll. Shanshiry suggested the rover be named Promise.  In addition to conceiving a name, students were also required to submit an accompanying essay explaining why they feel the name they chose is worthy.


Westwood Girl Selected as Finalist in NASA's Mars Naming Contest
WBZ News (WBZ-Ch. 4), January 22, 2020

An elementary school student from Westwood could end up naming the next Mars rover. Amira Shanshiry was picked as a finalist in an essay contest run by NASA.


Westwood Student Named Finalist in NASA Mars Rover Naming Contest
Westwood Patch, January 22, 2020

One Westwood girl is on her way to making her mark, from here to space. Amira Shanshiry, a Westwood fourth grader, was selected as a finalist for NASA's essay contest to name the next Mars rover.


Westwood Girl's Pick for Name of New Mars Rover is a Finalist in NASA Contest
Boston 25 News (WFXT-Ch. 25), January 22, 2020
 

NASA is holding a contest to name its next Mars Rover, and one of the suggestions that’s made it to the final round is from a student in Massachusetts.


High-Schoolers Deliver Holiday String Serenade
Hometown Weekly, December 27, 2019

As Christmas draws ever closer, the frequency of holiday events becomes almost constant. There seems to be a constant echo of holiday songs playing in the background on the car radio, TV commercials, and in shopping malls. But for seniors present at the Westwood Council on Aging on December 20, there was a bit of a twist. For the third year in a row, local high-schoolers took a break from their busy exam schedules to present “All Strings Considered,” and play some holiday tunes.


Westwood Teacher Honored by American Heart Association
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, December 24, 2019

Physical education teacher Jennifer Cook of Westwood’s Sheehan Elementary School was recently awarded an Outstanding Service Award by the American Heart Association.

Last April marked the 11th year students at the school participated in the AHA’s Kids Heart Challenge.


Westwood Teacher Wins State Science Award
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, December 24, 2019

Westwood Elementary science specialist Catherine Starsiak was named the 2019 recipient of the Joann Blum Inspiration in Environmental Education Award on Dec. 6 for helping create a lunch composting program in the Westwood Elementary Schools.


Westwood Girl’s Simple Plan Aims to Ensure No One Is Alone

The Boston Globe, December 19, 2019

When then first-grader Pragna Lal attended the Boston March for our Lives rally against gun violence with her family in 2018, it left her with a simple question: Why do people inflict violence on others?


Westwood's Thankful Turkey Turns 25
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, December 3, 2019

He’s been a staple of the Thanksgiving season at Westwood’s Martha Jones Elementary School for the past 25 years. Thankful Turkey is a special tradition that students and staff look forward to every fall.  


Westwood Elementary Schools Launch Lunchroom Composting
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, December 4, 2019

This fall, elementary schools in Westwood instituted a new lunchroom composting program with a plan to eventually expand districtwide. It was not the brainchild of any administrator, teacher, or parent. The idea came from a group of second-graders in Catherine Starsiak’s second-grade class at the Sheehan School.


Westwood's Hanlon School Celebrates "Friendship Week"
Transcript and Bulletin, November 20, 2019

Hanlon Elementary School students proved the power of community and lending a helping hand during Friendship Week from Nov. 12-15. It was celebrated with a variety of activities geared towards encouraging kids to “step out of their comfort zones and make new friends.” This included friendship tips, classroom activities and a “friendship wall” where students left notes of encouragement and friendship.


It Is a Busy Fall for WHS Student Council
Westwood Patch, October 25, 2019

Westwood High School's Student Council is preparing for a very busy couple of months. Preschool Trick or Treating, a Halloween Candy Drive for the troops, a coat drive with the Norfolk County Sheriff's office, Spirit Week, and Homecoming are all in the next two months.



2008 Westwood Grad Talks to Westwood High Students
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, November 14, 2019
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, October 21, 2019

Since graduating from Westwood High School in 2008, Alex Frank has built an illustrious athletic and academic career. First, she played NCAA Division 1 lacrosse at Northwestern University, where she helped her team win three national titles. Then she moved into coaching, with stints at stints at Boston College and the University of Colorado. Now she is coaching in the Ivy League at Dartmouth College. So, it was fitting that she would return to Westwood as keynote speaker for the high school’s annual “Call to Excellence” celebration.

 


SIPP Kicks Off 6th Year in Westwood
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, October 21, 2019
 

High school students often ask if they’ll ever use what they’re learning in class once they’re out in the real world.  Westwood High School’s Senior Independent Project Program (SIPP) is designed to ensure they do. Since its inception in 2013, SIPP has been offered to students who are looking for relevant experiences during their senior year.


Westwood Unveils New Parent Dashboard for Student Computers
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, October 21, 2019
 

Parents in Westwood now have a new tool to make sure children are using their school-issued computers appropriately. The new program uses artificial intelligence to create new safeguards for students.


Ambition is in the Spotlight for WHS Fall Play
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, October 17, 2019

Westwood High School is presenting the play “Argonautika, written by Mary Zimmerman and adapted from the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts. It tells the story of Jason who is sent by his uncle to find the “golden fleece” taken from a winged ram. He does this based on promise that, if successful, he’ll get to be king.


Boston Globe logoChampionship Culture: Westwood Continues to Build Toward Long-Term Success
The Boston Globe, October 10, 2019

In a town well known for its vaunted girls’ lacrosse program, it would be easy for field hockey to serve a simple purpose: offseason conditioning for those student-athletes at Westwood High who anxiously await the upcoming spring.

That is what Heather Joyce discovered when she took over the Westwood field hockey program in 2016. The Wolverines had not qualified for the MIAA tournament since 2013 — when the ninth-seeded field hockey squad exited in the first round.


Westwood logoWestwood Elementary School Receives National Honor: Downey Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School
News Release, September 26, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education today named Westwood’s Downey Elementary School a National Blue Ribbon Schoolfor 2019, joining 361 other schools from around the nation. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the announcement this afternoon. Schools are awarded a National Blue Ribbon based on overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.



Digital Citizenship Helps Students Navigate Our Interconnected World
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, September 16, 2019
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, October 4, 2019

Give children a computer and the world is at their fingertips, but with that access comes a host of potential pitfalls.  How do they learn to manage their time? How do they identify fact from fiction when searching Google for information? When Westwood Public Schools gave each of their high school students a computer five years ago, the district also gave them something invaluable – a seminar called Digital Citizenship.  



District Announces New Preschool Director
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, September 16, 2019
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, September 22, 2019

Lisa Freedman started her career at the Westwood Public Schools 20 years ago. This fall, she takes over as Director of the Integrated Preschool, replacing longtime director Aprile Albertelli who retired at the end of the last school year. Freedman came to Westwood High School in 1999, and for the past two years, has been in charge of Special Education at both the Downey and Sheehan elementary schools.



Westwood Adopts New Social Studies Curriculum
Article published in the Transcript & Bulletin, September 16, 2019
Article published in the Hometown Weekly, September 27, 2019

They say you can’t rewrite history, but in Westwood the school department is reworking its entire social studies curriculum to comply with new state education standards. Teachers at every grade level worked over the summer to ensure the material they present this school year meets the new requirements.

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