Official WGMS News

  • Parents of 8th grade students, the second Lorado Payment is due January 17th.
    Star Lab is up on the Gym stage Jan 17th-20th.
    Wildcat Gazette will meet on Tuesday, Jan 17th.
    The Art Fair is 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 original art sitting around that you wish to donate, it would be much appreciated!
    Report Cards and Library Fine Notices/Overdue Book Notices notices were sent home with students on Friday, Jan 13th. 
    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!
    165 AR tests were taken last week at Washington. Keep up the great work! Our top ten in AR points so far in the 3rd Quarter are Lauren E(110), Isabelle M(101), Marissa M(87), Mahir(77), Levi(66), Jack(66), Katrina(51), Aiden D(47), Rachel Z(42), and Joshua P(41).
    The 2016-17 Yearbooks are on sale! 
    NWEA Testing has begun. Make sure to be well-rested and eat a good breakfast.
    The Newsletter is up on the website.
    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? They are due to the District by Feb 10th.
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Headlines & Features

  • Washington AR Contest Winners

    When students were encouraged to read over winter break and then take AR tests over the books read, Washington students really stepped up! We took 165 AR tests during our first week back to school. Isabelle Martinez, Lauren Eldarazi, Mahir Siddiqui, Jack Griswold, Marissa Moser, Katrina Moser, Aiden DellaValle, Levi Swisher, Rachel Zevnik, and Joshua Phothesene were the top in AR points for the district's "Snow Is Falling, Books Are Calling" contest. Winners will receive a certificate from the district celebrating their accomplishment. Super job everyone, and keep up the great work!

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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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  • January 17th Newsletter is 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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  • Math Competition Stars

    The Washington students did an amazing job this past Saturday at the Math competition! 6th grade won 1st team place, 8th grade won 1st place, 5th grade on 2nd , 7th won 2nd Savannah Maughn was the top 6th grader and Beth Kleimenhagen was the top 8th grader. Thanks to Mrs. Klungseth who guided the students all day!! Great job, Wildcats!!!

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  • Honor Roll GP2

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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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  • 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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  • WGMS Grads Taking Off in Speech

    Richwoods won the 2017 Galesburg Speech Meet with 135.5 points. In Dramatic Duet Acting, Adarius Blake(2013) and his partner took 1st place and the team of Darwin Brown(2015) and Amberly Doll (2015) won 5th place in Varsity. Dramatic Interp 2nd place went to Marshall Ores(2015) and 3rd place to Lizzie Shearer(2014). Varsity Extemp 1st, 2nd and 6th places went to Mary Sherman(2014), Elizabeth Lindqwister(2013), and Parker Johnson(2015). The team of Adarius Blake(2013) and John Marsh won Varsity Humorous Duet Acting while the team of Grace Blume and Cami Proctor(2016) placed 3rd. Beckett Kenny(2013) and Lizzie Shearer(2014) recieved 1stand 3rd places, respectively in Varsity Humorous Interp. Mary Sherman(2014) won Varsity Impromptu. Elizabeth Lindqwister(2013) won 1st place in Varsity Informative Speaking and Lily Mura(2015) placed 3rd. Beckett Kenny(2013) and Cami Proctor(2016) placed 1st and 3rd in Varsity Original Comedy, and 1st and 2nd in Special Occasion Speaking. Elizabeth Lindqwister(2013) won 1st place Varsity Original Oratory while Parker Johnson(2015) took 3rd place and Lily Mura(2015) took 5th. Peoria high school students won 3 of 6 places in Poetry, occupying the 1st, 2nd and 4th spots in that category. Ginger Batton(2014) won 3rd place in Radio Speaking. Way to go!

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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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  • 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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  • 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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