Official WGMS News

  • Parents, please take a moment to give us your feedback with the 5Essentials Survey. We are only at 32% participation, but we want 50% at least!
    The Art Fair is next Friday, January 20, and we are still in need of art for the silent auction. The funds raised will go towards WMS art supplies. If you have any art sitting around that you wish to donate, it would be much appreciated!
    165 AR tests have been taken so far this week at Washington. Keep up the great work!
    The 2016-17 Yearbooks are on sale! 
    NWEA Testing has begun. Make sure to be well-rested and eat a good breakfast.
    Don't forget to bring your Wildcat Tickets to lunch on Friday, Jan 13th for the Wildcat Store!
    The Newsletter is up on the website.
    Report Cards and Library notices were sent home with students on Friday, Jan 13th. 
    Fine Notices and Overdue Book Notices will go home with Report cards. With 86 books overdue, see if your student received one.
    We need your original art pieces to display and sell at the Art Fair!
    MISSING: 18 copies of 'Where the Red Fern Grows' that we borrowed from other schools. We need them back as soon as possible!
    Chess Club resumes Jan 23rd.
    Attendance Counts! Every student, every class, every day! WGMS is striving for 100% attendance every day!
    Parents of 8th grade students, the second Lorado Payment is due January 17th.
    Star Lab will be up on the Gym stage Jan 17th-20th.
    Wildcat Gazette will meet on Tuesday, Jan 17th.
    Parents, come bid on some fantastic student art at the Student Council Art Fair, Jan 20th, 6-7:30pm.
    The DI Teams will sell cinnamon rolls after school on Jan 20th.
    Come to the DI Pancake Breakfast to be held Saturday, Jan 21st at the East Peoria Applebees, 8-10 AM. The cost is $5 per person. 
    Peoria High Counselors will register 8th graders on January 23rd.
    Chess Club is scheduled to meet on Jan 23rd after school.
    702 & 703 will head to the Challenger Learning Center Jan 25th, 8am-3pm. 701 will go on Jan 26th.
    Come to the Curriculum Fairs at Peoria High Jan 24th, Manual Jan 25th, and Richwoods Jan 26th, 4:30-6:30pm so you can see what is available as you register for high school classes.
    Manual Counselors will be at Washington to register 8th graders on January 26th.
    At 8am on Jan 27th, Richwoods Counselors will be at Washington to register 8th graders in the Computer Lab.
    Don't forget to bring your Wildcat Tickets to lunch on Friday, Jan 27th for the Wildcat Store!
    Get ready for the Student Council 7th/8th Grades Winter Dance on January 27th, 6:30-8:30pm.
    Archer has a Archery Jaguar Schweighart Shootout in Champaign on Jan 27th.
    The All-school Spelling Bee is January 31st at 9:30am
    Make sure you sign up in the foyer to audition for the spring musical. 
    How is your Young Authors writing going? 
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Headlines & Features

  • 5Essentials Survey

    Please take a moment to help us out! We really want to see parents take the survey, because our school needs over 50.0% of our parents to respond in order to learn how parents feel about Washington. Parents, students and teachers: Peoria Public Schools will join the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in the fifth statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for teachers, students, and parents to have a voice in improving their schools. From November 16 through January 16, teachers, students, and parents will be asked to take a 20-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s learning environment. This survey will serve as an opportunity for schools to reflect on progress since the last statewide implementation. School-level reports will be generated if at least 50 percent of parents respond to the survey. These reports will display summary information, such as the percent of parents agreeing that they feel comfortable raising concerns to their child’s teacher. It is important that our parents, students and staff from each of our 27 schools participate in this annual survey to make their voices heard and impact change.

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  • Parent University at ICC North on January 19th

    Our first Parent University of the second semester is January 19th! The New Year kicks off another series of monthly Parent University workshops. The January Parent University, hosted by Richwoods High School and Mark Bills Middle School, will be held on Thursday, January 19 at Illinois Central College North Campus, 5407 N. University Ave. in Peoria, starting at 5:00 p.m. If your student is in grades 7 or above, you especially do not want to miss the January Parent University. The upcoming Parent University program will introduce various pathways offered through Peoria Public School’s 16 Career Clusters and the outstanding choices offered to students in grades 9 – 12, including Early College Credit opportunities. We will have limited activities for students in grades six and under, including Kagan Strategies and Mental Math. However, our focus for the event is on our middle and high school students as they prepare for next year’s course registration. Don’t forget your passport and don’t forget to RSVP by visiting We will have shuttles available from both Mark Bills and Richwoods, as well as our traditional locations:Woodruff, Peoria High and Manual. Shuttles will leave each location at 4:45 p.m. We hope to see you at the January Parent University at ICC North to learn more about the opportunities that exist for our high school students! Parking will be limited. A light dinner will be served. 

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  • Exploratories Are Back!

    Students are learning fun skills in our monthly Exploratory Classes at Washington Gifted Middle School. In the High Altitude Balloon Launch Project, students will learn what near space is and how it impacts a high altitude balloon. Students will build and launch a near space payload that includes student designed and constructed experiments. The students will also learn the basic steps in preparing for, launching and tracking a high altitude balloon using amateur (ham) radio and the internet. Science offers a wide-ranging science track where topics include Forensics, Real-World Chemistry, Planes, Pop Bottle Rockets, Science Communication, and more! Students in Writing & Reporting for Social Media will learn about the different social media platforms used to report the news and how to write for each one. Students will learn how to write in ways that: get to the point quickly, keep it brief, use images, and how to use tone. We'll discuss the role of ethics in deciding what to write, and when it is OK to give your opinion and when it is not. In Awesome Archery, students learn about the history and rules of archery. We learn all about the parts of the equipment, types of archery, and learn to shoot a bow! Photography and the Art of seeing - This class not only teaches you how to see artistically but also how to capture what you see photographically. Early Education- Do you love children and have an interest in helping them learn? Create lessons and interact with early education students at Valeska Hinton School. 3-D Art – Students learn about different types of 3-D Art, including Glass Blowing, Koons Balloon Animals & paper mache, clay, and more. Students will also explore other artists’ creativity with a field trip to Sculpture Walk Peoria. We also have: Yoga, Breadmaking, Money 101, Historical Events Captured in Song, All Things Automotive, Table-Top Role Playing, Chess, Survival Skills, Tumbling, Oil Painting, Running/BodyWeight Workouts, Knitting...

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  • Student Pick-up and Drop-off Guidelines

    7:05-7:30am and 2:00-2:38pm, NO CARS ARE ALLOWED IN THE FRONT PARKING LOT and students may only be picked up and dropped off in the North Parking Lot located near the ball fields. For student safety, only buses may drive in the Main Parking Lot during these times.

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  • Information About Policies and WGMS News

    From Mr. Poehls: Welcome to the Washington website, everyone! This is the official front door, so to speak, for all news and policies related to our school and programs! Please know that we all want the best, most relevant, most secure and safe environment for all of our students. We are always reviewing and updating policy and delivery to ensure the best opportunities! All information in regards to policies and news related to the school and its programs will go out in a weekly email and call through Family Access/ Blackboard Messenger, and then post to the website by the next morning. If you ever have questions or concerns, Please email me at , call me at 672-6563 , or simply come on in and visit with me!!

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  • Thank You Veterans and Active Duty Military!

    On Thursday, November 10th, Washington Gifted was honored to listen to several veteran and active duty military members speak to students in small groups. They spoke about what is was like to serve and why they chose to do so, as well as when and where they traveled in the military service. Please ask your student(s) what they heard about today and celebrate the veterans in your life!

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  • The role of productive struggle-from the Remarkable Times

    Preparing students for their future isn’t about helping them to earn A’s or getting high GPAs. It is really about making sure that students are prepared for the workforce. The phrase “productive struggle” is used to describe the process of learning and the work that goes into it. To give an example that most people relate to is when one is learning to ride a bike. This is hard work and takes practice. There is often a little bit of help initially and support along the way but at some point, the bike rider needs to do all of the pumping of the pedals and maintaining of balance.

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  • Washington Speech Team

    Congratulations to the members of the Speech team who represented Washington so well at the tournament this past Saturday at Peoria Academy. Many of our students took top honors in their events, and we are very proud of you! Thank you to Ms. Nelson for getting the students prepared! Washington had the most entries of all participating schools: 10 for Solo Acting, 20 for Duet Acting, 4 for Improv Duet, 3 Original Script Duet, 10 Small Group Acting, and 1 Team Improv. Great job, Wildcats!! Peoria's Bradley University is known across the US as the BEST Speech Team there is! It is great to see our students participating in this Peoria tradition of excellence!

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  • Renaissance Home Connect for Parents

    Parents- We are hoping that you will soon begin using Renaissance Home Connect as a way of monitoring and encouraging your child’s reading practice. It can be a valuable tool for monitoring your child’s progress. Research confirms that parental involvement in a child’s education is a strong predictor of student achievement. Thank you for your involvement in your child’s education. What is Renaissance Home Connect? Renaissance Home Connect is a tool that connects the school and home to keep parents informed of their child’s progress in Accelerated Reader, and encourages the child to practice reading at home. How does Renaissance Home Connect help me improve my child’s reading progress? • You can view your child’s progress toward reading goals and view all books that your child has read and quizzes your child has taken. • You can access an online search tool, AR BookFinder, to search for books using various criteria, including author, subject, or reading level. • You can receive emails that reveal results for Reading Practice Quizzes and provide links to the website where you can check progress. The same login and password that your child uses at school will work at home with Renaissance Home Connect.

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  • Principal's Recognition Luncheon

    On Friday October 28, at 1:00PM, Washington held our 1st grading period Principals Recognition Luncheon. It was an all school 'dress for success' day. Students who achieved in any one of 4 categories: All A’s and only 1 B, Academic improvement in TWO core academic subjects from PR1 to end of GP1, Perfect attendance, and the selection of one student at each grade level of the Washington 'Dignity, Respect, Achievement..for All' citizenship award …were guests at a catered luncheon in the school gym at 1:00PM, and heard comments from Supt. Kherat, Dr. Bell, members of the PPS foundation, and principal comments. In addition, the rest of the school student body went through a reflection and goal setting process with the Washington staff, and were celebrated as well for their accomplishments and goals.

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  • Study Skills

    Knowing how to study is an important skill to have. Students who use strategies to understand and remember what they read, such as underlining important parts of the texts or discussing what they read with other people, perform better in class and on tests. One of the biggest differences between top students and everyone else was that when they study, they take practice tests. Only 11 percent of students do this, but they perform better because they are studying in a way that goes beyond memorizing material. Also helpful is to create a study timetable & stick to it-- first include things you like/need to do on your schedule and then work study time in after. This method naturally ensures that you are doing things you like to do every day in addition to studying, so you don’t burn out and give up. These kind of balanced schedules are easier follow. Here are some ideas and strategies to help students learn more:

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  • Washington Gifted Among Schools Recognized for 5Essentials Results

    Congratulations to several 5Essential leading schools for receiving ratings of Well-Organized from the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. For 2015-2016, Kellar Primary School, Mark Bills Middle School, Rolling Acres Middle School, and Washington Gifted Middle School each received 5 stars meaning they are a well-organized school. Research shows that schools strong on the five essentials are ten times more likely to improve student learning than schools weak on the five essentials. The five essentials are: effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment, and ambitious instruction. Results of the survey will be part of the Illinois State Report Card when it is released by the State later this fall.

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  • Former Washington students named semifinalists, commended students by National Merit

    Three Richwoods High School students, Joshua Boyle, Gustav Jennetten and Julianna Rees, have been named Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are among the 16,000 students nationally who have the opportunity to qualify as finalists in the National Merit scholarship awards. In addition, Elizabeth Lindqwister, Landen Sale and Lori Workman have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship program. Commended students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the competition by taking the PSAT/NMSQT in 2015. All of these students were Washington Gifted students in middle school!

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  • Reading Daily Creates a Habit!

    EVERY DAY from 7:30a.m. to 8:01a.m. all students and teachers will participate in Sustained Silent Reading in their Homeroom. This time will give students a chance to read for pleasure, as well as increasing their reading abilities. We believe that having daily time set aside for reading will set the tone for all that we do at Washington. This is not a study hall and not an advisory time. No classwork will be done by students. No grading will be done by teachers. Remember that this is SILENT reading. Students and Teachers will not talk or disturb others for the entire reading time! Everyone should bring a book to read every day, however, each Homeroom will have reading materials available.

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  • Peoria Symphony Guild Young Artists Competition

    We are excited that former Washington student and current Richwoods student Elizabeth Lindqwister was the first place winner in the recent Peoria Symphony Guild Young Artists Competition. Mr Jirousek caught up with his former student at the Annual Student Concert at the Peoria Civic Center. Congrats Elizabeth!

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