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Author Andrea Davis Pinkney Visits Walberta Park School Author Andrea Davis Pinkney Visits Walberta Park School:   Walberta Park School hosted award winning author, Andrea Davis Pinkney, for an engaging presentation about her books and the work of being an author. Mrs. Pinkney has written biographies for children about many significant African-American men and women. Students prepared for the visit by reading many of Mrs. Pinkney’s books. Librarian, Mrs. Linton, and music teacher, Mrs. Lutters, collaborated to introduce students to several important people from African-American history highlighted in Mrs. Pinkney’s books including Benjamin Baneker, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Ezra Jack Keats. Mrs. Lutters introduced students to jazz music and many students heard the music of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald ...
Eating Right! Eating Right!:   Fourth graders in Mrs. Lipke’s and Ms. Appel's classes engaged in a Project-Based Learning Unit on good nutrition. The unit began with keeping a food intake journal, which were then reviewed by Jenelle Donahoe, a Children's Dietician from St. Joseph's Hospital. After reading the journals and noting trends, she came up with a presentation to teach the children about good food choices. They learned what food does for your body and were surprised to learn that 58% of Americans skip the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Students got to see how much sugar is in some of their favorite drinks, were introduced to the food plate that helps balance foods from different groups and also discussed portion size. Perhaps the best part ...
OHMS Maker Club Showcase OHMS Maker Club Showcase:   Have you heard of the Maker Club at OHMS? The Maker Club is a student driven learning environment where students engage in inquiry-based learning that focuses on collaboration, risk-taking and critical thinking through a variety of STEAM related activities. This club is led through an innovative partnership between Onondaga Hill Middle School Librarian Penny Feeney and Onondaga Free Library Assistant Director Alyssa Newton. On May 7, the students had a Maker Club Showcase at the Onondaga Free Library where some of the students that participated in Maker Club this year demonstrated what they had learned over the past year and they let participants try their hand at making. It was an incredibly fun evening of learning! Check out this awesome event at https://goo.gl/9R7R8T ...
Honors Biology Students Prepare a Community Garden for Local Refugees Honors Biology Students Prepare a Community Garden for Local Refugees:   As part of a PBL experience, honors biology students were tasked with helping local refugees create a community garden. Students were asked to focus their attention on a specific garden pest (slugs, cats, cucumber beetles, etc.) and create a humane and environmentally safe way to keep these pests at bay. Students researched their pests, contacted local agencies for donations and then helped with the overall construction and deployment of these pest controlling methods.   As part of partnership between Rise (Empowerment) Refugee Resettlement and Cornell Cooperative Extension, refugees will learn how to properly garden, utilize the foods grown and sell them at local markets. For a small group of gardening enthusiasts, small plots of land will be provided (in the ...
Kindergarten Classes Learn About the Weather Kindergarten Classes Learn About the Weather:   Kindergartners have been learning about weather using science kits from the Smithsonian Institute. They have learned to measure temperature, rain and wind. The hands on activities have given the students a great opportunity to learn. Outside, they observed how their water paintings disappeared over time. Science journals are used to record their observations and scientific findings. Mrs. Merritt’s class also got a chance to see how news meteorologists use green screen technology to give their weather reports!
Games of Motion Games of Motion:   Third grade students had a blast learning about motion and how it applies to games. The students applied their knowledge of motion while playing the marble game of Ringer. They also used the character strength of creativity to design a model to demonstrate the language of motion, such as mechanical energy, force, inertia, and transfer of energy.
P.S. I Love You Day P.S. I Love You Day:   By Lily Young and Caitlyn Knohl, 6th Grade For the past three years, P.S. I Love You Day has been celebrated at OHMS and it is an interesting story of how it came to be. This day was created by Brooke DiPalma, who unexpectedly lost her father when she was in 8th grade. Taking the last three words her father said to her “I Love You”, she started a nonprofit organization and created an annual event to raise awareness about mental illness and the power of kindness. Introduced by Ms. Tooley, and now led by Mrs. Prince’s and Ms. Castracane’s ELA classes, students are taking initiatives through a PBL experience to end bullying, spread acceptance and improve our school community. This year on February 2, Brooke DiPalma came ...
Learning About Differences Learning About Differences:   Students in Mrs. Byrne's class studied Martin Luther King, Jr. They learned that even though we may be different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside. 
Erosion Projects Erosion Projects:   This year, for the first time, the whole second grade is being exposed to a new science unit all about erosion. The unit comes from the Smithsonian and is very hands on for all students. Our second graders became engineers faced with solving real life problems. The students learned the effects water and wind have on our earth. The first few days of the unit focused on finding the best models to use for our in school erosion projects. We then tested our models to find out which worked the best under the real life conditions. In teams of 3, our scientists had to choose their top 2 materials and build a design to stop the sand from eroding. We had a variety of designs and the students were able to test each. We then added a castle on their hill and tried to stop the erosion ...
Scholastic Art Award Winners Scholastic Art Award Winners:   Congratulations to OHMS artists who had their artwork selected to be in this year’s Scholastic Art Awards. Gracelyn O'Connell was awarded a silver key for her owl sculpture, Abby Miggiani received an honorable mention for her batik and Kate Heinrich also received an honorable mention for her ceramic piece. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the largest annual art competition in America, and the participating Central New York awards program has been honoring the creative work of junior/senior high school students for over 70 years. The program encompasses 13 Central New York regions, representing over 90 area schools. An exhibit of winning works is open through March 2, 2018 at OCC's Whitney Applied Technology Center.
WHS Academic Decathlon WHS Academic Decathlon:   On January 20, 2018, Westhill High School hosted the United States Academic Decathlon regional competition with four teams in attendance. All four teams, Westhill, Tully, West Genesee and Cazenovia, took a series of seven tests in seven different subject areas: math, science, literature, music, art, economics and social science, along with SuperQuiz, very similar to Final Jeopardy but in many rounds. This year's overall theme for the Decathlon was Africa, and the novel every student had to read was Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Westhill had several team members win individual awards. Medalists include: John Clancy (12) with a gold medal in social science and literature; Victoria Smolen (10) with a gold medal in literature, art and science along with a silver ...
WPS Teamwork WPS Teamwork:   Mrs. McShane’s kindergarten class had fun with a hoola hoop activity that incorporated the Positivity Project trait of teamwork. Students passed the hoola hoop around a circle while holding hands. They worked together and said encouraging words along the way!
CRS Gratitude CRS Gratitude:   Ted and Amy from 93Q visited Mrs. Kisselburgh’s second grade class to celebrate and spread #CuseKindness. In November, Ted and Amy visited a few area classrooms that were collecting food items for the Food Bank of CNY. Mrs. Kisselburgh’s class collected almost 100 non-perishable food items that will go right to people in our community that need it most. This was a great way to tie in one of our Positivity Project character strengths, Gratitude, being aware of and thankful for good things that happen. Thank you to all that participated in this food drive and all the other food drives and charities that you and your family help throughout the year. Actions like these really helps support #OtherPeopleMatter.
OHMS Canned Food Drive OHMS Canned Food Drive:   From November 13-77, students at OHMS participated in their annual canned food drive to benefit the Rescue Mission. Each day, students bring items to the guidance office where it is counted and boxed in preparation for pick up. Homerooms compete to see which class brings in the most food items. Totals for each homeroom are counted and announced daily. The competition and excitement heats up as the week goes on with the winner being announced at the end of the week. The winning homeroom enjoys pizza and a movie before Thanksgiving break. This year’s winner was Mrs. Derrenbacher’s homeroom with 481 food items. OHMS students donated an astounding 2,704 food items to the Rescue Mission in just one week. We are so proud of the display of generosity by our students! ...
WHS Students Accept Rachel's Challenge WHS Students Accept Rachel's Challenge:   On October 18, students at WHS participated in the Rachel’s Challenge assembly.  Rachel Scott was the first victim of the tragic 1999 Columbine High School shootings. Her death, along with her inspirational writings, motivated her family to share Rachel’s insights with students across the country. At the end of the assembly, students were asked to accept five challenges; Look for the Best in Others, Continue to Dream, Be a Positive Influence, Speak and Act with Kindness and Start your own Chain Reaction. Pictured are students signing the banner accepting Rachel’s Challenge.
WPS Music Room Activities WPS Music Room Activities:   First grade music students started the school year by reading the book Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London. They used classroom instruments like wood blocks, maracas, bells and stir drums to represent the sound effects written in the story. Students also had the opportunity to be actors, reciting lines and singing songs. Their project culminated with a final performance for their classroom teachers and their principal. Way to go, first graders!
Positivity Project Launch Positivity Project Launch:   Cherry Road School is very exited about the launch of the Positivity Project. The project was co-founded by one of our very own Cherry Road graduates, Mike Erwin. Based on the research on positive psychology, students learn about 24 character strengths as they begin to discover these in themselves and in others. The motto for the project is “Other People Matter!” We recite our new Cherry Road Promise everyday, which ends with our motto. Monthly, we have “P2 Team Time”, which is a chance for us to get together as a whole school and review and reinforce our strengths while we build community. For regular updates, please like and follow us on Facebook – Cherry Road Positivity Project. Pictured are third graders using their refection journals to ...
Welcome New Students Welcome New Students:   OHMS welcomed 27 new to district students during our first assembly of the year. Thanks to Mrs. Pisegna and the generosity of the Westhill Foundation, we were able to supply each of them with a “Westhill Pride Package”. This package included a Westhill bag, t-shirt, water bottle and some school supplies to start the year. We are eager to make our new students comfortable at OHMS and part of the Westhill family!
Macroinvertebrate Mayhem Macroinvertebrate Mayhem:   Westhill High School honors and regents biology students spent time in Harbor Brook (the stream adjacent to the school) collecting macroinvertebrates (small insects, worms and crustaceans) to determine stream quality. Students are currently learning about freshwater systems, how they’re connected, and how humans impact the ecological balance of these systems. Visitors from Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection [WEP] met with students to discuss how they monitor stream and lake quality through their collection of macroinvertebrates and electrofishing. Electrofishing is a procedure used to shock a specified area of the water, temporarily paralyzing the fish, which allows scientists to take careful inventory of the species of fish present, record ...
WPS Field Days WPS Field Days:   The students at Walberta Park enjoyed a day of playing water relay races, hula-hoop games and running around on the playground during their field days hosted by Mr. Dennis. Pictured is Ms. Balla’s class cheering on Will Tyszka and Charlie Glover as they race to the finish line while trying to keep the water in their cup.



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