Middle School of Plainville
"A Great Place to Learn"

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Nutmeg Nominated Author Visits MSP
March, 2015 

Nutmeg nominated author of One For the Murphys and Fish in a Tree, Linda Mullaly Hunt, visited MSP on Wednesday, March 25th.  She spoke with 6th grade reading and LA classes and then provided an interactive writer's workshop for 40 teacher selected 6th grade students. 

Ms. Hunt discussed her inspiration for writing and reminded students that writing, like all worthwhile pursuits in life, requires lots of practice and continual revision. Her presentation mirrored MSP's commitment to a growth mindset. Her message to students is that hard work, effort, perseverance and being true to oneself are keys to success. Thanks to Mrs. Joyce Lynch, MSP’s Library Information Teacher for arranging this visit.

Iditarod Comes to MSP
March, 2015 

Ms. Joan Kaczmarczyk, a Plainville resident and dog sled runner, visited MSP on March 24th to speak with sixth graders about the care and training of sled dogs and the sport of racing.  Students recently completed a unit of study in Reading/LA classes where they investigated wolf behaviors and read Gary Paulsen’s Woodsong.  They also learned of  his experiences running dogs in the Iditarod.  Each student chose a musher to follow in this year's race and searched daily to see their musher's position.  They read daily blogs and viewed photos and videos which were sent from the race, and they were able to track their musher's progress by GPS through the Iditarod's website.  

Ms. Kaczmarczyk was a primary source for students to further their research.  Her presentation included an explanation of the features of the dog sled, a 'meet and greet' with her 6 Alaskan Huskies by the 6th graders, and runs in the snow with the dogs and sled by some of the sixth grade teachers. You can see Mr. Wachtelhausen in one of the photos below going for a run.   The day ended with a question and answer session in the auditorium with Joan in order to further students' understanding of the care and treatment of sled dogs. 



Connecticut Music Education Association's Northern Regional Festival
March, 2015

This year, eleven students earned spots in the Connecticut Music Education Association's Northern Regional Festival for Middle School.  Three students were selected for the mixed choir, seven were selected for the treble choir, and one was selected for the band.  These students competed with more than 1,000 other students from around the state in a highly competitive audition process including prepared solos, sight reading, and scales.  The festival ensembles recently performed at CCSU's Welte auditorium before an audience of approximately 1,500 spectators.  

MSP Excels at Vex IQ Robotics Championship
March, 2015

The Middle School of Plainville won five trophies at the first ever CT state VEX IQ robotics championship on March 1, 2015.  VEX IQ is a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics program.  MSP Technology Education teacher, Camille Westfall, received a $6,000.00 grant from The Petit Family Foundation to start a robotics program at MSP.  “I am very grateful to the Petit Family Foundation for providing MSP students with such a wonderful opportunity,” said Ms. Westfall.  Prior to the Championship in March, the MSP teams have had a very busy season, with competitions in Manchester, Mansfield, and Danbury.

At the State Championship, the MSP RoboDevils team won the “Robot Skills Award.”  the “Teamwork Champion Award,”  and placed first in the team driving category.  Team RoboMatics placed fifth in the team driving category and Team IceBreakers  placed seventh. 

The MSP Minionizers team took home three awards:  “Best STEM Research Award,”  the “Programming Skills Award,” and the “Excellence Award.”  The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Challenge. Receiving it means that Team Minionizers best exemplifies overall excellence in creating a well-rounded VEX IQ program and can advance to the World Championship.  This team deserves to be recognized for building a quality robot, delivering an effective STEM Research Project presentation, submitting a well-documented engineering notebook, and demonstrating that their team is committed to excellence in everything that they do. A Minionizers Team Member said,  “It’s unreal, I still find myself pinching myself as a reality check to all of this. The whole team has worked harder than you think for this chance of a lifetime and are more than proud to represent our school, district, and state at World Championships for VEX IQ this April in Kentucky.”

Earlier this year, the students involved in the MSP Robotics program along with Ms. Westfall and Mrs. Laurel Schwartz, a music teacher at MSP and parent of one of the team members, visited the Plainville GE facility to tour their 3D printing facilities and have a question and answer session with GE engineers.  The Minionizers team members shared their engineering notebook and research presentation with the GE engineers and received valuable feedback.  Their presentation had to do with 3D printing prosthetics and they actually made a working 3D prosthetic hand.  According to an MSP student, “This field trip was awesome! GE is a very interesting and fascinating place and it taught me a lot about how much 3D printing is being used to get to an end result faster and easier.”

Dr. Maureen Brummett, Assistant Superintendent of Plainville Schools, attended the competition and was able to see the enthusiasm that this robotics program has generated at MSP.  Dr. Brummett said, “The students' excitement and passion about their work was infectious and the support that we have received from the Petit Family Foundation and GE has been incredible.”

MSP Jazz Band Plays at Black History Month Celebration
February, 2015

The MSP Jazz Band performed at The Albert J. Solnit Center in East Windsor on February 27th for the annual Black History Month Event and Positive Youth in Our Communities Event. It was an honor to be chosen to participate for the program.  The MSP Jazz Band is directed by Barbara Senatore, MSP's instrumental music teacher.

Read Across America Celebration
February, 2015

MSP's library had its annual Read Across America celebration on Friday, February 27th. NEA's Read Across America is a fun, celebratory way to promote the enjoyment of reading. It was a wonderful opportunity for students, teachers, administrators and parents to share the joys of reading aloud to each other.

Over 275 students in grades 6, 7, and 8 participated as readers or listeners. Teachers, administrators, school staff, and parents will join the celebration as readers and as they read aloud picture books, short stories and poetry. 

Ms. Osborn's FACS classes provided beautifully decorated cupcakes in this year's theme of diversity. 

Numerous thanks to Snyder's of Hanover and to Gnazzo's for their very generous donations of snack foods to enhance the celebration.

New Program At MSP - Positive Kids Influencing Kids, +KIK
January, 2015

Positive Kids Influencing Kids, or +KIK, a new Plainville Community Schools’ Peer Mentor Program matches juniors in the high school with eighth grade students at the Middle School. Our start date was January 13, 2015. A group of PHS juniors will be bussed from the High School to the Middle School for the last period of the MSP day, every other week to visit with their younger peer mentees. The goal is to pair an academically, socially and emotionally strong junior with an eighth grade student for their final year at the middle school and during their freshman year at the high school to provide them with a friend during this transition. The 8th graders were recommended for participation by MSP faculty. Our juniors will follow an informal plan during each visit which includes time for recreational sports or visiting with a new friend. We believe the confidence the student will have when starting school with a friend will potentially enhance their academic achievement as well. We hope this program inspires our eighth grade students to then pay it forward in their junior year and become a mentor in the +KIK program. We are very excited about this new program and the opportunity it affords our students.


8th Grade Chorus Joins PHS Chorus for Concert
December, 2014 

On December 18, students from grade 8 chorus at MSP performed the traditional carol "Masters in This Hall" with the combined PHS choirs.  This performance provided an opportunity for MSP students to learn about the PHS choral program and meet both the director and students in the program.  In addition to helping with the transition to 8th grade, this provided an extra performance opportunity for MSP students while challenging them to perform an extremely challenging piece at the high school level.  The students more than rose to the occasion and had an outstanding performance with many accolades from parents, teachers, and administrators!

Veterans Day at MSP
November, 2014 

The Middle School recognized Veterans Day throughout the day on November 11.  The day's events were organized by 7th grade science teachers, Christina Corvello and Christina Konovalov. Mrs. Corvello also runs the MSP Military Mailroom.  Lessons and activities related to Veterans Day occurred in all classes and each grade level had an assembly where family members and friends of our staff and students were honored with a wonderful performance by the 8th grade band and a slide show. 

Superintendent's Award
November, 2014 

Two Middle School students and their parents were among the recipients honored at the twenty-fourth Annual Superintendent's Award Luncheon on Thursday, November 6, 2014. The 8th graders were chosen by their teachers as the best representatives at MSP of the qualities embodied by the Superintendent's Award; Service to others; Academic prowess; and Leadership. In the picture on the left, Superintendent Jeffrey Kitching and Principal Matthew Guarino are shown with the students receiving their award at the luncheon.




MSP 8th Grade Pep Band Joins the Plainville Parks and Recreation Annual Halloween Parade!
October, 2014

On October 31, the MSP 8th grade Pep Band joined in the festivities at the annual Parks and Recreation Department Halloween parade in downtown Plainville.  Thanks to MSP band director, Barbara Senatore, and the 8th grade students for volunteering to help liven up the parade!


October is “Connecticut. Dream It. Do It.” Manufacturing Month!
October, 2014

34 MSP students, along with Ms. Camille Westfall and Mr. Adam Murphy, celebrated National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014 by attending Manufacturing Mania! held at the Aqua Turf in Southington. Students had the opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of career pathways in today's advanced manufacturing and engineering fields. There were exhibits, speakers, activities, and demonstrations.  Connecticut’s industrial genius has given the world such varied inventions as the first hamburger (served at Louie’s Lunch in New Haven), the Frisbee, discovered by Yale students tossing pie plates on the New Haven Green, friction matches, sewing machines, steamboats, safety fuses, lollipops, corkscrews, mechanical calculators, cylindrical locks and the submarine.

Today, diverse advanced manufacturing industries across Connecticut range from jet aircraft engines and helicopters to hydrogen fuel cells to signal processing and navigational tools to power systems, medical devices, and biotechnology.

Read, Right, Run Kick-Off!
October, 2014

MSP had its Read Right Run kick-off on Monday, October 6th. The weather was perfect as 64 students and 14 faculty and staff completed their first of 26 miles together under the watchful eye of Michelle, a running coach from West Hartford's Fleet Feet. From now through April 1, 2015, Participants will read 26 books, do 26 right deeds, and run 26 miles in 26 weeks. Thanks to Mrs. Joyce Lynch, MSP’s Library Information Teacher, for organizing this wonderful program.

Anti-bullying/Positive School Climate Programs at MSP
September, 2014

On September 30, 6th graders at MSP participated in our annual Step-Up assembly sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Step-Up is a program for middle schools students designed to give a voice to 
the targets of bullying and prejudice, build empathy in the aggressors and inspire bystanders to become allies. Our 7th and 8th graders have participated in this program in previous years.  That evening, the ADL also sponsored a program for parents on what they can do to support the schools' mission to build a healthy and positive climate for students and combat bullying.  A panel of trained student "Allies" from MSP's Bystander to Ally group, answered questions from parents and relatives in the audience on how they can best combat bullying and support their children.  Special thanks to Mr. Tom Laudadio, Dean of Students at MSP, for arranging this program and for supervising MSP's Bystander to Ally training program. 

Opening Day at MSP
September, 2014

Students and Staff are ready for another great year at MSP - A Great Place to Learn!  Everyone seemed happy and excited to be back at school.  We hope to make this a great year for everyone.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should any concerns or problems arise!

Connecticut Association of Schools Honors Middle Level Scholar-Leaders
June, 2014
The Connecticut Association of Schools established the Scholar-Leader Banquet in 1985 to give public recognition to one boy and one girl from each middle level school in Connecticut who have distinguished themselves in scholarship and leadership in school and the community. The two Scholar-Leaders chosen by the faculty at the Middle School this year are pictured here on the left with Mr. Guarino, Mr. Warnat and Mrs. Georgini. The students and their parents attended a statewide awards banquet Sunday, June 8 at the Aqua-Turf in Southington. Each Scholar-Leader received an award signifying the honor, as well as an individual photograph commemorating the event.

MSP Music Department News
June, 2014

Chorus students from the Middle School of Plainville recently learned about a new concept called a virtual choir.  World renowned composer and conductor Eric Whitacre has created 4 such choirs using YouTube, webcams, and technology to involve over 5,000 singers from more than 100 countries.  Mr. Whitacre is now creating a virtual youth choir that will perform at the Commonwealth Games this summer and raise funds for UNICEF.  More than a dozen students from the Middle School of Plainville are taking part in this special event.  These students learned a piece of music composed by Mr. Whitacre, created an online account with their parents, and then recorded themselves performing their part of the piece.  On June 8th, submissions will close and Mr. Whitacre will be combining the audio and video to create the world's first virtual youth choir.  So far over 5,000 students ages 3-18 from over 50 countries have signed up to participate and MSP is playing an active role in connecting students with this once in a lifetime opportunity!

View this link to see one of our student's uploaded videos: https://virtualyouthchoir.com/gallery/82e3abe7

Virtual choir website for more info: https://virtualyouthchoir.com/

Eric Whitacre website for more information: http://ericwhitacre.com/

Previous Virtual Choir: http://ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir

MSP Band Marches in Memorial Day Parade
May, 2014

The MSP band, under the direction of Ms. Barbara Senatore, continued to impress the community with its great performance at this year's Memorial Day Parade.

Annual MSP Spirit Rally
May, 2014

MSP students and their teachers gathered in the MSP gymnasium for the annual Spirit Rally.  Students dressed in red, blue, and black/pink to represent their grade and competed with each other in activities like limbo, name that tune, and balloon races, among many other fun events.  The students were fantastic and quite spirited   Special thanks to the Unified Arts faculty for organizing the event.  It was an unprecedented upset victory for the 6th grade this year!

MSP Students in Technology Competition
April, 2014

Recently, MSP students competed in the Technology Student Association (TSA) State Competition held this year in Hamden.  Events ranged from Dragster racing and Problem Solving to System Control Technology.  According to Ms. Camille Westfall, TSA advisor, "This is the 17th year that students from MSP have participated in this competition and every year they do an outstanding job!”

In the Dragster event, students had to design and build a dragster, keeping the principles of friction and aerodynamics in mind while also trying to keep the vehicle lightweight.  MSP students placed first and third in this event.   AN 8th grade MSP student commented that, "I've been involved in TSA since 6th grade and being a member of this club has taught me so much - my dragster in 6th grade came in first place also!  I've really enjoyed going to the state competition each year."  MSP students also placed 4th, 5th, and 6th in this event as well.  In a field of 32 dragsters, Plainville's five entries all placed in the top ten

For System Control Technology, the students have to analyze the problem, build a computer-controlled mechanical model, program the model, explain the program and mechanical features of the model-solution, and leave instructions for evaluators to operate the device. MSP teams of two placed first and second in this event.  A 6th grade MSP student noted that, "Being a member of Lego
League helped me because I already had some experience with building and programming robots.  This TSA competition was great!"  Ms. Laurel Schwartz, a parent and teacher who attended the event, said "It was lovely to see students so engaged and focused on problem solving. Yes, it was a competition, but the Plainville students were willing to help each other and other schools, showing a high level of respect and cooperation."

7th Annual Students vs. Staff Charity Basketball Event
April, 2014

On Friday, April 11, The Middle School of Plainville held its 7th Annual Students vs. Staff Charity Basketball Event.  This year the Middle School of Plainville's selected charity was the StandUp for Kids charity.  StandUp For Kids is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 to help rescue homeless and at-risk youth.  This year alone, students and staff contributed a whopping $4,700 in  a two week period.  This event is wonderful for student and staff morale and gives them all an opportunity to make a contribution to the greater community.  

Once again the students outplayed the faculty and staff .  Special thanks to Mr. Greg Warnat, 8th grade math teacher, for once again organizing and promoting the event.

Technology Education and Art Department Work Together
April, 2014

When the Art Department at the Middle School of Plainville needed new display stands for the town-wide art show, students in Ms. Westfall's classes at the Middle School of Plainville decided to step in and help out.  Students built sixteen new plywood display stands.  Pictured are several MSP students hard at work sanding and painting the new display stands.

Women in Science Day at CCSU
March, 2014

MSP girls and Mrs Aimee Roberts, MSP Assistant Principal, spent a recent Saturday filled with hands-on fun with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) at CCSU.  Girls participated in hands-on workshops including forensics, robotics, airplane design, medical sciences and physics.  Students also attended workshops aimed toward college and career readiness.

It is the policy of the Plainville Board of Education that no persons shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise discriminated against under any program including employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or veteran status. The Plainville Board of Education also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Any inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies should be brought to the attention of the building principal or district Title IX Coordinator – Dr. Maureen Brummett, Assistant Superintendent 793-3206. Section 504 concerns should also be brought to the attention of Dr. Brummett.

(Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)

The U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights
Office for Civil Rights - Boston Office US Department of Education
8th Floor 5 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109-3921
Telephone: 617-289-0111 FAX: 617-289-0150; TDD: 877-521-2172
Email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov