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.
Eighth-Graders Move Around Before Moving Up to Westwood High School
Article published in the Patch, June 28, 2022
Moving up to high school is a momentous occasion and eighth-graders from Westwood’s Thurston Middle School marked this milestone with a series of team building activities and celebratory events which culminated in their Promotion Day ceremony on Wednesday, June 22.
Thurston Middle Schoolers Learn How to Be 'Community Builders'
Article published in the Patch, June 24, 2022
Tenacity. Leadership. Inclusion. Unity. Those are the four pillars behind a newly formed group at Westwood’s Thurston Middle School called “Community Builders.” According to school administrators, there is a real need to build a sense of community among middle school students
Sailing Into Summer: Westwood High Students Learn the Ropes at Yacht Club
WBZ NewsRadio, June 22, 2022
With the summer solstice officially marking the beginning of the season on Tuesday, Westwood High School students took advantage of the longest day by hitting the water and dropping the sails in lieu of sitting in a classroom.
Westwood Close to Naming Contractor for New Elementary School
Article published in the Patch, June 14, 2022
It’s been seven years since the Westwood School Committee first started talking about replacing the aging Hanlon and Deerfield Schools. Later this month, the School Building Committee (SBC) and the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) will take an important step forward and announce the general contractor for the project.
Westwood Public Schools Consider Later School Start Times
Article published in the Patch, June 3, 2022
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you likely know the drill. They stay up late and then they’re out of bed early in the morning for school. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report outlining the medical reasons driving their decision to recommend later start times for secondary school students – going so far as to call it a “public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety of our nation’s middle and high school students.”
Fourth-Graders Prepare to be Leaders at Deerfield Elementary School
Article published in the Patch, May 11, 2022
It’s a tradition at Westwood’s Deerfield Elementary School for the fifth grade, which is the oldest class, to be considered school leaders. Fifth graders are expected to set an example for their younger peers, to organize community service projects, or even to escort younger students around school in the morning. This year, principal Josh Baumer and his team decided to put a concerted effort into training fourth-graders to be ready to take on this role next year. The result was the fourth-grade leadership summit.
Holocaust Survivor Shares His Story with Westwood Eighth-Graders
Article published in the Patch, April 14, 2022
Before 95-year-old Holocaust survivor Aron Greenfield spoke a word to eighth-graders from Westwood’s Thurston Middle School, Rabbi Karen Citrin of Temple Beth David gave them a suggestion.
“I challenge you to listen and to imagine what it would be like to be in his shoes,” said Citrin, who started her introduction with the story of her Uncle Harry and the number 141421. That number was tattooed on her uncle’s arm, and decades later she says that number is imprinted in her memory.
Westwood High School Students Perform at Symphony Hall
Article published in the Patch, April 2, 2022
Westwood High School senior Kate Park has played the flute in musical groups around Boston since she was a little girl, so she had heard of “all-states” many times. It refers to the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Festival & Concert which brings together some of the most accomplished high school musicians from every corner of the state to perform at Symphony Hall in Boston. Park was one of three students from Westwood High School selected for this prestigious program this year and played the piccolo in the concert band division.
Westwood High School opens its doors to art lovers on Thursday, March 24 as the Visual Art and Performing Arts Departments presents the 26th annual “Encounters with the Arts” program. The program showcases high school students as they present both live performances as well as artwork in various mediums.
Westwood High School Hosts African American Read-In Event
Article published in the Patch, March 16, 2022
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic upended public education in 2020, students at Westwood High School were able to commemorate Black History Month in person. One of the most popular and well attended events was the African American Read-In, which is a national event held at libraries, schools, colleges, and bookstores across the United States.
Planning Continues for New Westwood Elementary School
Article published in the Patch, March 11, 2022
It’s been several months since Westwood residents voted in favor of funding a new school to replace the aging Deerfield and Hanlon elementary schools. In that time, much work has been going on behind the scenes setting the stage for groundbreaking later this year.
Club Welcomes New Students and Families to Westwood
Article published in the Patch, March 11, 2022
Children who start a new school often feel anxiety. Will they fit in? Will they make friends? For METCO students, who typically travel two hours round-trip from Boston to attend classes, the anxiety can be compounded because they don’t live in Westwood. In 2020, Lateefah Franck, director of both Westwood’s METCO program and the District’s Director of Equity, Integration and Community Partnerships, started the Welcome Club to help all students that move to town feel like a part of the community.
Westwood High School Club Promotes Tree Planting Event
Article published in the Patch, March 11, 2022
Every year, the Westwood Public Schools uses millions of sheets of paper. This year, a new campaign sponsored by the high school’s Youth Climate Action Coalition (YCAC) aims to offset the environmental impact of all that paper.
Westwood High School Group Holds Forum on Race, Culture, and Ethnicity
Article published in the Patch, February 25, 2022
Race, culture and ethnicity aren’t easy topics for most people to tackle, but a group at Westwood High School is working to make these subjects a normalized part of the conversation in their school district—for both students and adults. Students who belong to the group LTARace ((Let’s Talk About Race, Culture and Ethnicity) recently invited classmates and their families to a forum aimed at facilitating this conversation.
Westwood Eighth-Grader Wins Storytellers Contest
Article published in the Patch, February 21, 2022
What happens when a 14-year-old from Westwood enters a regional writing contest sponsored by two renowned Boston-based authors and is judged against seasoned and published writers? Well, when your name is Charlie Goodman, you win the contest, and receive accolades like this one from best-selling author Dave Wedge: “[Charlie’s writing is] off the charts for his age, for any age for that matter. His work is very dramatic and very descriptive.”
Westwood Fifth-Graders Win Big in Stock Market Game
Article published in the Patch, January 27, 2022
Once again, fifth-graders at Westwood’s Paul Hanlon School have shown their expertise as Wall Street investors, capturing first and second place at a statewide competition where students track publicly traded companies and create mock portfolios.
New Food Science Course at Westwood High
Article published in the Patch, January 21, 2022
Many people like to eat sausage, but, as the old saying goes, no one wants to know how it’s made. For those who do, a new course at Westwood High School takes a scientific look at what people eat.
Safety Program for Westwood Third-Graders Seeks High School Volunteers
Article published in the Patch, January 12, 2022
Parents often talk to their children about “stranger danger,” but tackling more sensitive safety topics like sexual abuse can be daunting. For over 30 years, Westwood’s Department of Youth & Family Services has presented a program known as “Body Safety Theater,” which is designed to open lines of communication between children and their families while educating them about how to stay safe.
There's Nothing "Vanilla" About this Fundraiser
Article published in the Patch, December 9, 2021
Ask any teenager you know, and they’ll tell you the word vanilla has come to mean something basic and boring. But basic and boring are far from words you’d use to describe the imaginative way a brother/sister duo from Westwood is raising money for the town’s food pantry.
The Best Kind of Food Fight
Article published in the Patch, December 2, 2021
Westwood elementary school students from the Hanlon and Deerfield Schools battled it out recently as they took part in a challenge to see which group could donate the most non-perishable food items for the town’s food pantry.
Preschoolers Collect Gifts for Westwood Senior Citizens
Article published in the Patch, November 29, 2021
Students at the Westwood Integrated Preschool are once again organizing a holiday drive for senior citizens in the community. The annual event kicked off a few weeks ago with the appearance of gift mittens hung in the school foyer.
WHS Performing Arts To Present "Sense & Sensibility"
Patch, October 19, 2021
The Westwood High School Performing Arts department will perform its fall play, "Sense & Sensibility," on November 3, 4, & 6 at 7:30pm. The play was adapted by Kate Hammil from the book by Jane Austen.
Band Class and Chorus Are Back -- They Just Look A Bit Different
GBH News, October 13, 2021
For many students last year, band and choir classes were a far cry from normal, with musicians practicing outside or over Zoom. But with students back in school this fall, many are overjoyed to take part in almost-normal music classes.
Learning Beyond the Classroom in Westwood's SIPP Program
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, September 24, 2021
Twelve members of Westwood High School’s senior class spent their summer in full learning mode by participating in SIPP, the Senior Independent Project Program. Typically, SIPP runs during the school year, but like countless other programs, it went on hiatus at the beginning of the pandemic. It returned this year as a 2-and-a-half credit summer elective led by Katherine Stewart, who is also the head of the Humanities Department at Westwood’s Thurston Middle School.
Concert Raises Funds for Performing Arts
Hometown Weekly, September 13, 2021
Sunday evening, September 6, outside of the gazebo off Harding Street, just ahead of the rain showers, Sophia Zhao held the Young Musician’s Benefit Concert to raise money for both Westwood Performing Arts and The Prodigy Program. Featuring nineteen musicians performing for around two hours, the diverse array of songs ranged from Bach’s "Cello Suite No.1 in G Major" and Leo Delibes’ "Flower Duet From Lakme" to "All Star" by Smash Mouth and "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Westwood Students Excel at Stock Market Investing Contest
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, June 22, 2021
If you’re trying to figure out what stocks to invest in, perhaps you should look to elementary school students at Westwood’s Martha Jones and Paul Hanlon schools. The students have once again been ranked first and second place in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™. Westwood students most recently won this contest in 2019 and have won and placed numerous times over the last decade.
WHS Ceramics Students Craft Bowls for Greater Boston Food Bank
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, May 25, 2021
For the last 20 years, students in Westwood High School’s ceramics class have taken a break from their regular projects and returned to the wheel to take part in a global fundraiser called “Empty Bowls.” Ceramics instructor Kate Jellinghaus says this year’s students are excited about the project which involves creating 80 different bowls of their own design which are being sold online to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Westwood School Project Enters Design Development Phase
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, May 13, 2021
After Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved $1.46 million in bridge funding for Westwood’s new elementary school, the School Building Committee formally voted at its May 7 meeting to move the project into the design development phase.
Westwood School Project Gets Thumbs Up from State
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, April 19, 2021
Westwood has gotten the green light – and a commitment of up to $18.2 million in reimbursement funding – from the Massachusetts School Building Authority for a new elementary school. The MSBA, which accepted Westwood into its program in 2018, approved the town’s project on April 14, subject to the town approving the project at Fall 2021 Town Meeting.
Westwood High Science Students Get Creative During COVID
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, March 30, 2021
Westwood High School science teacher Andrew Miller delivered raw chicken legs to his students’ homes for a dissection project that, in pre-COVID days, would have been done in school.
A "School for the Community" - Residents Learn About Proposed Elementary School
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, March 22, 2021
Nearly 200 Westwood residents tuned in Thursday evening to hear an in-depth review of the town’s plans for a new elementary school to replace the Hanlon and Deerfield schools and discuss the advantages the project will bring to the town.
Westwood High School Academic Decathlon Team Brings Home Silver, Bronze Metals
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, March 18, 2021
A team of dedicated and enthusiastic Westwood High School students competed in the Massachusetts Academic Decathlon on March 6, placing 10th in the state and bringing home medals.
"Noteworthy" Westwood Art Club Project
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, March 17, 2021
Members of Westwood High School’s Art Club began forging relationships with senior citizens living at Fox Hill Village during the 2019-2020 school year as “visual pen pals.” Students and residents worked in pairs learning about each other’s lives through artwork they produced in journals and conversations. Those sessions came to a halt a year ago because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Westwood's "School in the Woods" Moves One Step Closer
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, February 16, 2021
The new Westwood elementary school project is one step closer to reality, now that the town’s School Building Committee has approved a schematic design and budget for submission to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in connection with Westwood’s participation in the MSBA reimbursement program for school construction projects.
Using Puppetry and Zoom to Keep Students Inspired, Engaged Middle School Drama Teacher Gets Creative
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, February 10, 2021
Westwood sixth-grader Cora Hertz loves to act, sing and dance, but the pandemic put a stop to most of her favorite activities - until now.
“I thought this year we wouldn’t be doing any singing or annunciating because it would spread the disease,” said Hertz, a student at Thurston Middle School.
But Hertz’s drama teacher, Gina Cosimini, is finding creative ways to inspire and connect her students, even during COVID-19.
Westwood School Building Committee Update
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, February 3, 2021
The Westwood School Building Committee (SBC) met on Friday, January 22 to discuss and vote on several major issues pertaining to the plan to build a new elementary school. The proposed school would consolidate students from the aging Hanlon and Deerfield schools into one new building which could accommodate as many as 560 students at peak enrollment.
NAACP National Board Member Helps Westwood Commemorate MLK Day
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, February 3, 2021
About 200 members of the Westwood community, including teachers, parents and residents, tuned in to a virtual tribute to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 18th. The forum, hosted by Westwood Public Schools’ Metco Program, featured Michael Curry as keynote speaker. Curry is the President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers as well as a Board Member of the National NAACP.
Residents Updated on Proposed New Westwood Elementary School
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, December 25, 2020
The Westwood School Building Committee (SBC), tasked with planning a new elementary school to replace the aging Hanlon and Deerfield schools, held two meetings last week to present updates on the project. The School Committee presentation was held on December 14 and was followed by a community forum on December 15
The Show Must Go On: Students Put a Spin on "Romeo & Juliet"
Associated Press, November 24, 2020
“Parting is such sweet sorrow” — especially for a theater troupe hoping to stage a live performance of “Romeo & Juliet” in the middle of a pandemic that has closed schools and required social distancing.
The solution, at least for high school students in the Boston suburb of Westwood? Make a movie version instead.
More Windows, UV Filters Added to Plans for New Westwood School
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, November 14, 2020
The Westwood School Building Committee met via Zoom on Friday, Nov. 6, to hear an update on the process of designing and building a new elementary school, which will replace the aging Hanlon and Deerfield schools. The 90-minute session focused on several topics, including design changes to the new school’s exterior.
WHS Drama Department Takes New Approach to Fall Play
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, October 29, 2020
Oh, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? This fall, Romeo, Juliet and the entire cast of the Shakespearean classic are coming to film instead of the stage at Westwood High School.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the way the school’s drama department had to look at putting on its fall production, but director Jim Howard says not putting on a production was never an option.
Community Forum on New Westwood Elementary School Held Virtually
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, October 21, 2020
Westwood town residents tuned in Wednesday night via Zoom for an update on the town’s plans to build a new elementary school, which is expected to house 560 students at peak enrollment. The new school will replace and combine the aging Hanlon and Deerfield schools and sit on 18 acres behind the existing Hanlon site on Gay Street
Westwood High School Honors the Class of 2020
Transcript and Bulletin, August 11, 2020
For the members of Westwood High’s Class of 2020, the long, strange trip of senior year is over.
Starting with a EEE threat in the fall, the class saw its traditional senior year activities curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In spite of those obstacles, the seniors stayed flexible, coming up with new ways to celebrate their final days in high school, such as senior rides.
And on the very warm morning of Sunday, Aug. 9, the Class of 2020 wrapped it up with an “in-person” graduation ceremony, complete with caps, gowns, diplomas and, yes, face masks.
Davenport Becomes New Principal at Westwood High
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, July 29, 2020
She may not be a hometown girl, but Amy Davenport will be the first to tell you the town of Westwood feels very much like home. The Pittsburgh native has spent her entire teaching career here, and this summer she officially took over as principal of Westwood High School, replacing Sean Bevin, who left the district for a principal’s position at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough
Westwood Selects Final Design for New Elementary School
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, July 22, 2020
Westwood has taken a major step forward in the process to replace the aging Hanlon Elementary School. After evaluating seven options, the town’s volunteer school building committee selected a final design option known as “The Tree.” It means a new school will be built on the existing Hanlon site and can accommodate up to 560 students.
According to School Building Committee Chairperson Maya Plotkin, this option scored highest in 14 different categories reviewed by an evaluation subcommittee. Westwood submitted a Preferred Schematic Report to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in early July.
Westwood-China Student Exchange Goes Virtual
Article published in the Transcript and Bulletin, July 9, 2020
For the past several years, Westwood High School has conducted an exchange program with students from China. Typically, Westwood students travel abroad during April vacation and, over Chinese New Year, students from China would travel to Westwood. These trips help create cultural awareness among students in both countries, but this year in-person exchanges have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
With 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.
Westwood 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.
Westwood High School