Official WGMS News

  • Please participate in Peoria Public Library's Summer Reading Program and the school district Remarkable Readers Raffle also!
    Have a great summer break!  We can't wait to see you bright-eyed and ready to learn in August!
    Please schedule Doctor and Dentist appointments during the summer, so as not to disrupt the school year. Make sure to get your Sports Physical when you get the School Physical, so that students are ready for anything. 
    Check out the Riverfront Farmers Market every Saturday morning for fresh foods, music, crafts, and other vendors.
    Make sure to visit your local branch of the Library to keep those brains in shape. Summer Reading participation can help! Read a new series or catch up on one you already started. Listen to an audiobook if you are driving somewhere for vacation. 
    June 24-25 is also the Olde English Faire at Wildlife Prairie Park.
    ICC and Bradley have some great summer classes and camps for kids.
    Peoria Park District has summer camps and classes to keep you active all break long! 
    Peoria Players, Community Children's Theatre and Corn Stock for Kids will be showcasing some of Washington's current and former students. Check them out! 
    Have you been to Illinois' desert? Check out Sandy Ridge State Park for cacti and sandy desert areas. How about the super-secret Rocky Glen, right nearby? They take monthly tour groups to see a local mini-"starved rock" area.
    Our school supply list was given to all students and is also available under the Students & Parents tab. 
    Before buying school clothes, please revisit our dress code under the "About Us", "Our Policies", "Student Uniform Policy"
    Reading is a skill, and the more you use it, the better you get at it!
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Headlines & Features

  • 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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  • Online Enrollment Verification Begins July 24th and Ends August 16th

    In May: Schedule any dentist or doctor appointments for the summer. K, 6, 9, 12, and transfer students may need dental, physical, or eye exams. Any student interested in Sports needs to get a Sports Physical as well. Before June 1st: Confirm that you have your Family Access username and password or get it from Mrs Pantages. In July: Make sure to complete online registration through Family Access. You will need to have your username and password in order to log in. Fees may also be paid online through Family Access. You can register from any computer with internet access, or at one of our registration hubs. Registration Hubs: July 25 & 27, August 2, 8am-6pm at Manual, Peoria High, Richwoods and Glen Oak. August 5th, 9am-2pm at Manual, Peoria High, Richwoods and Glen Oak. Online student registration can be completed through the online enrollment verification process starting July 24th by logging on to Skyward Family Access and clicking on the Enrollment Verification link. Instructions are available in the "Virtual Backpack" or by clicking here. Enrollment Verification allows us to confirm or change the info we currently have about your student(s) and also allows us to contact parents when necessary.

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  • 1st Day Compliance Requirements for 2017-2018

    Students not in health documentation compliance by the first day of school, will not be allowed to start the school year until all requirements are met. Families are strongly encouraged to schedule health appointments now, so that documentation can be prepared and turned in to your school, avoiding first day compliance issues.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • OSF Field Trip Introduces Students to Careers in the Medical Field

    Seventh grade students from Washington Middle School, seen here in front of an ambulance, enjoyed a field trip to the OSF Jump Trading Center. They went through a simulated emergency, learned the basics of CPR and examined a pig heart and lungs

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  • Washington Gifted Takes Part in Spurlock Special Event

    Washington 7th graders visited Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On their visit they were exposed to many cultural exhibitions including artifacts from many geographic areas and times. For example, Babylonian clay tablets, coins from the Ottoman Empire, and various articles from the Philippines were enjoyed by students on their extended day trip to Champaign.

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  • Washington Students Win EconIL Poster Contest

    Two Washington Gifted Middle School 8th graders won top honors in the Country Financial Econ IL Poster Contest, demonstrating a solid understanding of economic principles including scarcity, productive resources and specialization. Vaishnavi Vanamala was named a State Winner and Austin Lin was named Honorable Mention. Vanamala and Lin were among more than 3,800 students from nearly 70 schools statewide who illustrated their understanding of economic concepts. The students were presented with a certificate, a medal and a cash award at a ceremony attended by Econ IL program director Debbie Kerman, Country Financial Peoria Agency Manager Michael Weber and Tom Saddler, Director of the Center for Economic Education at Western Illinois University. The students are in Mrs. Tracey Prescott's class. Winning posters from students throughout Illinois will be featured in a 2015-2016 calendar. For information on the Econ IL poster contest visit:

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