Official WGMS News

  • The 8th Grade Honors Ceremony begins at 7pm May 23rd. Students must arrive by 6:30pm. Dress nicely and don't be late! No formal class picture will be taken at this event.
    All students' Library BOOKS must be RETURNED. 88 books are still out! 8th Graders MUST pay their fines this month and all others are encouraged to do the same!
    If your student is missing anything, please check the Lost & Found, located in front of the fireplace. We have an amazing number of lunchboxes, papers, clothes, shoes, and other assorted items.
    Parents are welcome to attend the All-School Awards assembly beginning at 8am May 24th.  
    Pizza, chips, and water will be available at the Carnival on Thursday. Advance orders will be sold during lunch Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during lunch periods. The cost is $5.00 on the day of the carnival.
    May 25th, the Last Day of School is Yearbook signing and School Carnival day! Students will be let out at 1:30pm, one hour early. 
    All medication should be picked up by a parent before the last day of school. No medication will be kept over the summer.
    Washington wants to win AGAIN! Please help us to have the most students participate in Peoria Public Library's Summer Reading Program by joining and reading all summer long.
    Have a lovely summer! 
    If a student was absent, report cards and other items will be held in the office until June 1st for pickup.
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Headlines & Features

  • May 19th Newsletter is UPDATED Online!

    In order to save paper, we are putting all newsletters here on the website instead of giving paper copies to students. (Also because we know some students can take quite a while to finally give it to a parent.) Click here for the newest issue of the Washington Newsletter. If you would like to submit an article, email it to by 11am on Tuesday before the next newsletter.

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  • Turn in Library Books Today!

    All Library books must be turned in for Inventory. Please try to return any books to the librarian as soon as possible, so that she can check them in for the district-wide Library Inventory. This is especially important for our 8th graders, since they will all be at other schools next year.

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    Parent(s)/guardian(s) please pick up from the school any unused medication which was prescribed for your child. If you do not pick up the medication by the end of the school year, the school will discard the medication.

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  • Remarkable Readers Raffle for K-8

    Research shows that…summer can set kids on the right or wrong course. The research is clear that children who don't read during the summer can lose up to 3 months of progress and it has a cumulative, long-term effect. Peoria Public Schools wants to encourage all our students to stay on the right course this summer. So Dr. Kherat and her team have developed the Remarkable Readers Raffle, an initiative to get all students reading this summer. How Does It Work? Every K-8 student reads. They then track their reading during the summer weeks. Students must read a minimum of 30 minutes, 4 times each week, all 11 weeks and successfully complete the document to be submitted into the raffle. Students then turn the tracking document their teacher by the first week of the 2017-2018 school year. Winners will be drawn at the district office and awarded their prizes at a September Board of Education Meeting. A winner will be drawn from each grade level. Click for Tracking Document

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  • New Student Orientation Presentation

    A meeting for all new students and their parents/guardians took place on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 6:30pm. Informational packets were handed out in the foyer before the program. Parents and students saw a presentation about Washington, met the principal, Dave Poehls, and staff members. New students split into small groups for a tour of the school and get-to-know-each-other time. Current Washington students headed up the student groups in order to answer questions. Parents remained in the gym to learn more about gifted students and the gifted program here at Washington. If you were unable to attend, the packets are available for pick up in the Washington office. The presentation is available here.

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  • We Thank Our Exploratory Partners!

    Thank you to the parents, community members, & teachers who led the students in exploratories once a month. The students had fantastic experiences! Thank you to the presenters for sparking new interests: High Altitude Balloon: Fritz Bock, Photography: Mike Boatman, Social Media: Andrea Tortora, Mindfulness: Donna Brown, Chess: Murrel Rhodes, Oil Painting: Anita Tuccillo, Finding Fame: Claire Zell, Historical Events in Song: Jeffrey Allen, Running & Body Weight Workouts: Peggy Shadid, Yoga Flow: Molly Waller, Knitting: Mary Gretton, Kiran Bhindari, Anu Sureka, Table Top Role Playing- D&D: Dan Dugal, Survival Skills: Forest Park Nature Center, Breadmaking: Charity Jeffs, Isaac Raabe, Science: Dean Kennedy, Bradley Chemistry Club, Karl Kleimenhagen, Tumbling & Cheer: Jennifer McDonald & Miss Johnson, Archery: Miss Nelson, Backgammon: Mrs. Hahn, All Things Automotive: Mr. Weinrich, Money 101: Mr. Carpenter, Early Education: Mrs. Zacovic, 3D Art: Mr. Toraason, Toraason Glass Studio, Sewing: Mrs. Klungseth

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  • Young Authors' Winners Announced

    Nearly 2,000 Peoria Public School kindergarten through 4th grade students from 20 schools participated in the 2016-2017 Young Authors’ program. 120 manuscripts were submitted for District judging. Here at Washington, Isabelle M won in her grade range. We are all so proud! The student-authors who won top four Overall District Winning Manuscripts will be honored at the Illinois Young Authors’ conference on Saturday, May 20 at Illinois State University. Overall winners, honorable mentions winners and winners in the most meaningfully illustrated categories will also be honored at the April 24 Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to this year’s Young Authors!

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  • WGMS 8th graders present Supply Chain capstone project, modeled on Shark Tank

    Washington Gifted Middle School 8th grade students presented their Supply Chain capstone project this week, the culmination of a six-lesson program presented by CGN consultants to teach students about how businesses coordinate the materials, manufacturing and distribution of a product. The project is modeled on the critically acclaimed reality show Shark Tank.

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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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  • 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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  • 8th Graders Visit Springdale Cemetery

    On Thursday, Oct. 29th the 8th grade class of Washington Gifted Middle School went to Springdale Cemetery for an outdoor field class. As a cross-curricular trip, students completed learning projects with several subject areas. Assisted by Mike Rucker from Peoria Wilds, 8th graders helped maintain the savannah restoration lands there. Students also made their own cemetery tour of prominent Peorians and used math to make a graph of average life expectancies. Though cold, the students enjoyed learning more about Peoria history and lands in the beautiful historic cemetery.

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  • Washington Help-a-Thon

    Dozens of Washington students and parents gathered again for breakfast before spreading out around Peoria to complete community service. The Help-a-Thon encourages students to collect donations in return for a pledge to volunteer in the community. Last year participants completed the following projects: visited residents at Grand View Memory Care Center, prepared and served meals for Loaves & Fishes, cleaned classrooms at Crittenton Centers, readied holiday and birthday cards for Meals on Wheels, handed out packets for Run River City, set up activities for an event at Wildlife Prairie Park, completed several projects for the Center for Prevention of Abuse. That fundraiser was a great success, and not only raised valuable funds for the school, but also allowed students to have fun while helping their community.

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  • “Bigs & Littles Game Night” Makes for an Exciting Evening at Washington

    Despite the heat Friday night, approximately one hundred students gathered in the hot, sweaty gym to get to know their new classmates at Washington. After introducing all of the new students, mostly 5th graders with a few 6th, 7th and 8th graders, students rotated to multiple game stations, which included Crazy Bat, Balloon Burst, A-Z Freeze Tag, Steal the Bacon and more. "Bigs and Littles" is a mentoring program designed to help new students ease into the rigors of middle school life and help all feel welcome here at Washington. What a great chance to make new and lasting friendships!

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  • Grandparents Day at Washington

    Grandparents’ Day was held at Washington Middle School on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 9am-10:30am. It is always a wonderful experience to meet grandparents and special people in the children’s lives, so we always enjoy this special day in our school! Tuesday, 9:00-10:30 a.m. breakfast will be served, Band and Orchestra play, the Book Fair is open, and grandparents are able to purchase photos taken by Builder's Club to commemorate the day. We feel that the time factor is a good one for our guests as they spent personal time with their grandchildren and enjoy entertainment offered by our talented students as opposed to only visiting classrooms. It would also be greatly appreciated if parent volunteers could also make sure the students are putting trash in the correct place, as our janitors are great people and we want to make sure they don’t have any extra work!

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  • WGMS Monthly Exploratory Fridays!

    Students learn fun skills in our monthly Exploratory Classes at Washington Gifted Middle School. In the High Altitude Balloon Launch Project, students learn what near space is and how it impacts a high altitude balloon. Students build and launch a near space payload that includes student designed and constructed experiments. The students 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 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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