Official WGMS News

  • We will have Conferences March 23rd, 4-7pm and March 24th 8-10am. Please come to visit with teachers and see what your student has accomplished!
    Fines and Overdue Notices will be included in Conference packets. Please make sure your child returns all of their books on time and pays any fines. 
    Turn off the lights for Earth Hour March 25th at 8:30pm! Display your commitment to protecting our planet and our resources.
    8th grade students must be ON TIME Monday, March 27th, to go to Lorado Taft. Parents must pick up students promptly at 4pm on Friday, March 31st.
    The DI Teams will sell cinnamon rolls after school on March 31st.
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Headlines & Features

  • District seeks feedback on school day schedule change

    Peoria Public Schools is proposing the following starting/dismissal times as a way to align school starting times with research that indicates older students fare better with later start times -- and also to balance the transportation budget without minimizing services to students and families.

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  • March 16th 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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  • Letter to Parents from the State Board of Education

    We appreciate your investment in your child’s education and want to share with you some information about state and federally required assessments. Federal law requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to administer certain assessments to all students who attend public schools in the state. Assessments help improve standards, curriculum, and instruction at the classroom, school, district, and state levels. Assessments play a role in helping ISBE and school districts identify areas where schools need targeted support. The average amount of time spent on accountability assessments represents less than 1 percent of the school year. Individual districts and schools may have local policies for students who refuse to take assessments on testing days, but federal and state law does not authorize districts or schools to excuse students from testing. ISBE does not provide guidance on “opting out” because such an option would violate the law. School districts must administer assessments to at least 95 percent of students and at least 95 percent of each student demographic group or face lower public school recognition status, which leads to increased state oversight and puts districts’ state and federal funds at risk.

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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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  • Healthy Minds, Healthy Neighborhoods Events

    Family support to help children manage their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, including... 􀁸 March 27: Help children learn how to express their feelings and deal with stress and stressful situations. 􀁸 April 3: Help children learn how to stay in control when they have strong feelings, maintain a consistent routine, and stay in the moment.

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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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  • Greg Siegman February 6

    A big thanks to Jefferson Award for Public Service honoree Greg Forbes Siegman for hosting a Writing Workshop for our 7th and 8th graders on February 6. He talked with our students about his dual interests (service and writing) and engaged them in some service-related writing activities. The event was sponsored by our PTO. Greg is co-author of The Silhouette Man. The condensed edition for students - The First Thirty - was NSDLC Multicultural Relations Book of the Year. He has written for magazines and newspapers as well. As a surprise, every student received one of the posters based on his books. The posters were sponsored by: McDonald’s, Mark Twain Hotel, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bradley Dining Services, Buehler Home, Peoria YMCA, Peoria Macaroni Kid, and Look. It’s My Book! This event marked Greg's first visit to Peoria, but he already had a personal connection to Washington. This past semester, Erin Leary (a Peoria native and Washington graduate) served as his intern. Limited copies of The First Thirty are available at I Know You Like a Book. Limited copies of The Silhouette Man are at Bradley University Bookstore. Online, both books are available through the STORE link at If you order online through that link, you can have the books signed to your children (provide their names in response to the confirmation email you will receive after placing your order). Thanks to everyone.

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  • Former Washington Student Honored at Lincoln Award Banquet

    Richwoods Senior and former Washington student, Elizabeth Lindqwister will be honored this Thursday, February 16th with the Lincoln Award at the Annual banquet for her leadership, community service and academic success. Great job Elizabeth, we are all so proud of you!

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  • WGMS Grad Wins at IHSA Speech State Tournament

    2017 Speech State Champion: Congratulations Beckett Kenny for State Championship in Original Comedy! The Richwoods High School Speech Team are the IHSA 2017 Sectional Champions and competed at State. The Speech team has its highest state ranking in 30 years and sent 8 team members and 12 events to State! The Richwoods Speech Team took 1st place as a team at the Geneseo Sectionals on February 11th. The 2016-2017 Team consists of Adarius Blake(WGMS 2013), Beckett Kenney(2013), Maddy Morrow, John Marsh , Mary Sherman(2014), Lizzie Shearer(2014), Elizabeth Lindqwister(2013), Ginger Batton(2014), Darwin Brown(2015), Amberly Doll (2015), Marshall Ores(2015), Lily Mura(2015), Parker Johnson(2015), Ginger Batton(2014), Grace Blume, Cami Proctor(2016), Hannah Toniny(2014), Marc Fauntleroy(2015), Alex O'Shaughnessy(2015), Ariej Mohammed, Katie Henderson, Ellie Henderson, Raven Moore, Emily Antonacci, Darien Bachman, Becca Miller, Alaa Muhamed, Kiairi Mack, and others Great Job and Good Luck next year!

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  • Former Washington Students Compete in State Chess Tournament

    The Richwoods Chess Team, many of whom are former Washington students, advanced to the 7th and final round at State Chess Tournament at the Peoria Civic Center just coming up short of a top 5 finish. Great job everyone: Gus Jennetten(2013), Lawrence Liu(2013), Arpit Sahoo(2013), Hamanth Vanamala, Evan Robertson-Brown, Janindu Bopearatchy, Craig Barch(2013), Sid Saxena(2015), Andrew VanBuskirk(2015), Ben VanBuskirk(2015), Abe Saxena(2015), and Spencer Alphonso(2015)!

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  • Math Competition Stars

    The Washington students did an amazing job at the Math competition on Jan 14th! 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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  • 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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