Headlines & Features

  • Summit Learning Meeting

    All incoming Washington 5th grade parents and current 5th(soon to be 6th!) grade parents are invited to a Summit Learning informational meeting on Monday evening 4/29/2019 at 6:30 PM in the Washington gym. An overview of Summit Learning will be presented and an opportunity for questions will be available. The current proposal is for the Summit program to involve 5th and 6th grade students at Washington beginning with the 2019-20 school year. Summit Learning is a program centered on 3 student outcomes: Cognitive Skills, Content Knowledge, and Habits of Success. There are three components to this program: Mentoring, Projects, and Self-Direction. The program is standards based and involves technology to allow students to achieve these goals. Hope to see you on April 29th!

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  • The Book Fair is back!

    Enjoy your Spring Break and finish up all of your books, because the Spring Book Fair begins Wednesday, April 24th and runs through end of day Monday, April 29th. It will even be available on Saturday during the play! We will have tons of books, series, graphic novels, and even grown-up books for the family members that come. Thanks for supporting READING and your Washington PTO!

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  • Asbestos Abatement

    Please be advised that an asbestos abatement project will be conducted April 12 - April 22nd. It will involve removal of accessible asbestos in the school by licensed workers. Please contact Buildings & Grounds with any additional questions.

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  • National Society of Black Engineers Conference Winner

    Last week, Kenneth McConnell-Lewis, a Washington GMS student, attended the National NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) conference in Detroit, Michigan. At the conference he participated in the innovation explorer competition. He wrote a paper, created a poster and presented his project. Kenneth earned 1st place in best abstract, best poster AND best overall for the middle school division. We are so proud of you, Kenneth! Way to go!

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  • Methodist Summer Camp

    Methodist College's Learn and Serve Camp combines fun, hands-on learning experiences in science and healthcare with real life community service projects. The camp features upper level Methodist College Nursing students as the camp leaders who help design and deliver the curriculum. This is a unique opportunity for your child to spend a week learning while lending a hand in the community! Cost: $125. July 8-12: Incoming 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th graders; July 15-19: Incoming 7th, 8th & 9th graders. For more information or to register, visit: www.methodistcol.edu/learn-and-serve-camp

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  • Richwoods Fall Sports Info

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  • Learning Anywhere and Anytime Process

    In the event of inclement weather or emergency situation, Peoria Public Schools has put into effect "Learning Anywhere and Anytime". Students were sent home with letters explaining the process in January 2019. Please emphasize with your student the need to complete assigned work from teachers, whether through teacher websites, learning log, assignment notes, packets, or tasks that every teacher gives to students. These assignments are required to be turned in to each teacher in advance or upon return to school in order to count towards attendance. If work is not turned in, the dates will count as an absence. If you do not have internet access these days, written work is sufficient. Teachers are available on-line between 9:00-2:30 for any clarification or assistance needed. Students who do not check in electronically or do not return their learning logs will be counted as absent. Please click for detailed information.

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  • New Student Orientation May 7th at 6:30pm

    A meeting for all new students and their parents/guardians will take place May 7th. Informational packets will be handed out in the foyer before the program. Parents and students see a presentation about Washington, meet 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 head up the student groups in order to answer questions. Parents remain in the gym to learn more about gifted students and the gifted program here at Washington. 

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  • Bradley University’s WOW Summer Camp (Grades 1-8)

    Registration opens March 1 for Bradley University’s World of Wonder (WOW) summer camp for gifted and talented students entering grades 1 – 8. Two one-week camps will be held at Bradley this summer: June 17 – 21 and July 29 – August 2. Taught by high-caliber licensed and certified teachers, WOW classes will provide a variety of challenging, hands-on courses in language arts, social sciences, literature, art, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Classes are designed to promote collaboration, higher-order thinking, and creativity. This is a challenging, hands-on – and fun summer program for gifted kids! For more information and to register, visit the World of Wonder website at https://www.bradley.edu/wow.

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  • Hult Health Education Schedule

    Parents, please click here to see the Health Education schedule. Note as well when students will be visiting Hult versus students viewing a presentation at Washington. If parents choose to opt their student(s) out of a particular lesson, or out of all lessons, please let the Nurse know as soon as possible, so that we can make arrangements for that student.

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  • Former Washington Student Opening for lovelytheband!

    On March 26, 2019, Peoria's own Blank Stairs will open for lovelytheband at the Monarch Music Hall 8102 N University St, Peoria. This is part of lovelytheband's finding it hard to smile tour. The Blank Stairs are a rock band consisting of 5 high school students from Central Illinois playing an awesome mix of pop and rock tunes. Cami Proctor is a singer/preformer in the Blank Stairs and went to Washington for all four middle school years, participating in Speech, Drama, and more. She is now in high school at Richwoods. The Blank Stairs performed at Washington this year and we were all really impressed!

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  • Read Across America Washington Winners!

    The 4th annual contest for Read Across America week was Feb. 25 - March 8. To acknowledge Read across America Day, March 2, and to encourage reading, schools devoted time to independent reading and students took Accelerated Reader (AR) tests. Washington had a 82.2% Participation Rate. Every building ended the week with at 70% participation of higher! The top three point earners for their entire building were recognized. This is the final list of Washington students who hold the top places in our building for points earned during our Read Across America contest: Abby R, Michael V, Melissa C, Yordai C, Charles P, Daniel J, and Brianna J. These top point earners were recognized on Monday, March 11 at the BOE meeting. Congratulations to all buildings and students - there was great participation in the contest this year!

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  • Congratulations Former Students!

    A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the Richwoods Swim and Dive Team, former Washington students, and your 2019 IHSA Sectional Champions. After their victory on Saturday 2/16, the Knights will also send 6 Swim and Divers to the IHSA State Finals: Blake Torrey, Jared Aviles(WGMS), Jacob Greenan, Zack Dollman, Yohan Bopearatchy(WGMS) and Daniel Matlock(WGMS). This is the first Swim Sectional Championship since 2001 and the first Conference Championship since 2003. Congratulations to the entire Swim Family. Congratulations once again to Lily Mura(WGMS) who represented the Knights at the IHSA State Speech Finals this past weekend!

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  • Betina Fleming Wins PNC Classroom Grant

    Washington Gifted School 5th/6th grade teacher Betina Fleming won $1,000 for Curious? Research and Write On!! The grant money will be used to upgrade classroom technology so students can conduct research and process materials for written assignments.

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  • Former Washington Student Headed to State

    Former Washington student and current RHS Senior, Lily Mura not only is heading to the 2019 IHSA STATE SPEECH FINALS, but in 2 events: Extemp and Impromptu. Congratulations RHS Speech Team, Lily and Coach Emanuelson!!! We are proud of you!

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  • Washington Finalist in the District Future Chef Competition

    Our own 5th grade student Wendye Roman is a finalist in the District Future Chef competition this Saturday at Lincoln School at 8:30AM. She is preparing Fiesta Fit Mexican food, a dish she designed to compete against other 5th graders . Good Luck, Wendye...we are hungry already!!

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  • 8th Grade Lorado Taft Info

    Check here for new Lorado information and permission slips

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  • Special Guests at the Honor Roll Banquet

    We were honored to have many amazing visitors to our Honor Roll Banquet on Friday, January 18th. Superintendent Dr. Desmoulin-Kherat listened as former Washington students Natasha Abercrombie, Aiden Williams, Jacob Behm, Nadia Davis, Caden Reinhart, and Damiana Zaborowski played, along with former WGMS superstars Cami Proctor, Anna Glavin, and Claire Morrical. They are current members of the Richwoods Choir, Band and Jazz Ensemble that serenaded students with pieces from Les Miserables and Dear Evan Hansen. Caden even performed a piece that he composed based on the Legend of Zelda video games. Several other RHS students sang and played to entertain the students that made it on the Washington Honor Roll. We honored our First Semester Academic Excellence students with catered breakfast. Following breakfast, the students were entertained by members of the Richwoods High School fine arts programs. Thanks so much to the Washington PTO for their help, assistance, and sponsorship of this event.

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  • Student Pick-up and Drop-off Guidelines

    7:05-7:30am and 2:00-2:40pm, CARS ARE NOT 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. Thank you for your cooperation in helping keep our students safe. After these times, students must enter or exit the building from the foyer near the Office. Students may not wait for rides at the Crossroads or outside, but instead need to stay in the foyer until they see their pick-up person or the Activity bus.

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  • Dress Code Update

    All special "College Colors, spiritwear, or uniform-free" day information will come from the principal. We have reviewed our code, investigated other equivalent schools, received feedback, and assembled a panel of students, parents, staff, and teachers to update the Dress Code. Parents and students, please review the updated Dress Code from the handbook. The updated Dress Code will be effective beginning November 2017. Any violation of the code results in a referral to the principal. Repeated violations will warrant parent contact and loss of privilege/referrals. We have had a lot of confusion and questions about the jean policy at Washington and want to make the policy straightforward. Policy on jeans is as follow: - Jeans are not allowed to be worn at school with the following exceptions: individual picture days in fall and spring, spirit week and designated-free dress days. If in doubt, always clear with home room teacher or principal before jeans are worn. - On the days jeans are acceptable, absolutely no ripped jeans are to be worn. - If jeans are worn on a day that is not listed in exceptions above, students’ parents will be called to bring uniform pants, shorts, or skirt to school for student to change into. - If ripped jeans are worn any school day, parents will be called to bring uniform pants, shorts, or skirts to school for student to change into.

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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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  • Jump Trading Simulation and Education STEAM Program Application

    The Jump Trading Simulation and Education STEAM program is for students from grades six through twelve. PNC Bank is sponsoring scholarships for a variety of courses that are led by Jump Mission Partners which take place on Saturdays at Jump. The PNC Bank scholarships are specifically for the Jump STEAM Saturday courses during the fall, winter, and spring sessions. For the 2018-2019 school year, we are accepting applications from students within Peoria Schools. Transportation will not be provided. The course location: Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center 1306 N. Berkeley Ave. Peoria, IL 61603 The courses are one day for four or eight hours. The courses are healthcare focused and entail a variety of topics including: Medicine, Technology, Engineering, Art and medical visualization.

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  • Winners: Snow is Falling, Books are Calling

    Washington will be recognized at the next BOE meeting in the following categories:  % of students that have taken and passed at 85% or higher, Average Points Per Student Reader, and Building Participation.  We also want to congratulate the following students that will be recognized at the January 28, 2019 BOE meeting. These students were the top point earners for their entire grade level during the winter reading contest. In 5th Grade,  1st Place Kevin Liao 102.5 points, 2nd Place Delainey Dunnan 73.1, 3rd Place Traian Matsumoto 53.1. In 6th Grade, 1st Place Ilana Jacoby 139.2, and 3rd Place Ayannah Garcia 66.5. In 7th Grade, 1st Place Kirsten Polk 62.7, 2nd Place Alexis Arreguin 55.2, and 3rd Place Aida Uhler 55.0. Thank you so much, students and parents, for helping us win. Reading makes us all winners!

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  • 4th Annual Holiday Event Contest

    Our 4th annual Holiday event contest was this Friday December 21st. Students dressed up in these categories: creative holiday outfit, Ugliest sweater/holiday outfit, World Holiday Tradition. Click for a list of classroom winners!

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  • Veterans and Active Duty Military

    I would like to thank everyone who helped plan, donate, pick up, serve, smile, clean up, and otherwise make Grandparents day 2018 at WGMS such a huge success! Days like yesterday remind me how thankful and fortunate we are to have such a wonderful group of parents who step up and do whatever is needed to help the school. The grandparents truly enjoyed yesterday! I thank Rob Reneau, Eric Reneau, and Jenny McDonald for their Chair duties and all of you in so many numbers who helped make the day a success. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! --Mr. Poehls

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  • ISBE School Report Card Results

    Students at Washington Gifted Middle School once again performed better than the district and state average on the Illinois PARCC tests. While our results are lower than the previous year, Washington is still proud of our scores, and very excited that many of the other district schools had great gains on their PARCC scores! At Washington, 77% of students are considered Ready for the Next Level according to PARCC scores. Almost 90% of 8th grade students leaving WGMS are considered proficient in Algebra I skills. Let's make sure we are all learning and trying our best all year long!

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  • Student Technology Information

    Click this article to learn more about laptops, iPads, Streams, and student email accounts.

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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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  • Jumpstart Washington: What it means to be a Wildcat

    Advocate for yourself! Organization will save your life! Social Skills for Success are Important! Remember you are awesome! Have fun, dream big and make good choices!

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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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  • Former Washington Students Receive National Merit Recognition

    Congratulations to the following Richwoods seniors and former Washington students for receiving Commended recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Foundation: Claire Morrical and Razan Naffakh. They have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success. Even more congratulations to Daniel Matlock for being named a National Merit semifinalist, as he continues to pursue this award. We anticipate great things from all of them!

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  • Washington Middle School School Culture Policy

    At Washington our culture is driven by the philosophy of “Address, Intervene, Communicate.” Address- identify that the behavior is inconsistent with our core values. Intervene – have a conversation about behavior/expectation/correction plan. Communicate – via referral or parent contact, any other necessary means. Detention hall will be held on Tuesdays from 2:30-4:15PM. Major discipline infractions, as outlined on page 3 and 4 of the Washington student handbook, will result in an instant referral to the principal and will be subject to school and district consequences. This policy does not replace 7:190 Peoria Public School student discipline protocol.

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  • Washington Student Lauren Burn a Fencing Finalist

    Over the weekend, Lauren Burn fenced in Northwestern University's Remenyik tournament held in the nearly constructed Ryan Fieldhouse. She placed 7th in the U19 and 3rd in the U16 women's epee events. The Remenyik is unique because instead of awarding medals, the finalists receive daggers, battle axes and swords. Congratulations Lauren!

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  • Former Washington Student Plays in Peoria

    Former Washington/current Richwoods student Cami Proctor plays and sings as a member of the Blank Stairs. The band is gaining in popularity, playing at the Riverfront, Cyd's at Donovan Park, the HOI Fair, and in front of Kelleher's(pictured). While many Washington students come out to support the Blank Stairs, others from Peoria and the surrounding areas enjoy their funk and rock sounds.

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  • Congratulations from Peoria Public Library

    We won again!!! The numbers have been totaled up and we have our school winners for the 2018 Peoria Public Library Summer Reading Program! Washington Gifted had 61 students. Representatives from the Peoria Public Library took a picture of our participating students and are making a summer reading poster for our school! They will also bring some neat coupons for the kids who helped us win the middle school division of the Summer Reading Program. Great job Monica, Tra, Yordai, Owen, Makenzie, Moises, Aidan, Jasmine, Lena, Mia, Michael, Chase, Lilyhan, Savannah, Matt, Georgia, Kirsten, Adler, Brady, Flynn, Claudia, Destiny, Ryan, Theo, Landon, Jackson, Melissa, Layla, Hiruni, Nethmi, Greg, Lauren, Lilia, Javen, William, Maleah, Brianna, Kiara, Kenneth, Alexi, Savannah, Ja'yre, Nylah, Declan, Bella, Hania, Nabeeha, Joshua, Lauren, Harry, David, Walter, Kara, Kevin, David, Ben, Adam, Rashad, Huda, Staten, Noelle, and David.

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  • Washington HELP-A-THON

    Saturday featured the Washington Help a thon! What a great day as we kicked off here at Washington and then went out into the community to partner with several organizations. A HUGE Wildcat thank you to Andrea Tortorra and Amanda Campbell, this year’s co –chairs, for their organization, as well as the numerous parents who helped and supervised. It was truly an inspiration seeing our Wildcats out at various sites making a difference in our community!

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  • 8th Graders Visit Springdale Cemetery

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

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  • Mathcounts Gold Level Status

    Washington is the first school in Illinois, and the 9th school in the U.S. to achieve Gold Level this school year! After our school signed up our Mathcounts team for the competition season, we were able to start working for our Silver and Gold Level due mainly to the high level of participation this year. Our Mathcounts team has had an average attendance of 20-25 students during most of the weekly practices. After 5 weeks of high attendance, Mrs Klungseth sent her attendance stats into the National Math Club and we were awarded Silver Level. To achieve Gold level this year, the project was creating math games. Students created 2 games and sent them in to Mathcounts with our club information. Washington has officially been awarded Gold Level! This is all because of the kids' dedication in coming and practicing their skills each week. WE ARE SO PROUD OF WHAT THEY ACCOMPLISHED!

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  • Former Washington Students Do Amazing Things!

    Washington students go on to do great things in high school, college, and beyond. A few current examples are the students at Richwoods that won IHSA Sectionals and went to the State Finals, the RHS Robotics teams that made it to the playoffs of their divisions, Jennings Rule, who scored very high on the PSAT and ACT. Click the headline for more information.

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  • 7th Grade Students at Washington Learn from Community Mentors

    Recently Washington hosted a variety of community mentors who helped 7th grade students with their research papers on Peoria issues. These generous individuals met with students and explained the ins and outs of various local problems and projects including school safety, transportation and roads, environmental concerns, business development, Peoria Park District initiatives, and funding both for the city and for the school district. After meeting with their experts, students used the information they learned in their papers and listed their interviewees as one of their information sources. Thank you to our community mentors: Mr. Gregory Wilson, Peoria School Board; Mr. Cesar Suarez, City of Peoria; Mr. Steve Montez and Mr. Tom Miller, Peoria Park District; Ms. Anna Ghidina IDOT; Mr. Patrick Kirchhofer, Peoria County Farm Bureau; Mr. Sid Ruckriegel, Peoria City Council; and Mr. Chris Waible, PS-Dewberry. They illustrate how by working together we can make our home of Peoria even better!

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  • Law Day Essay

    Law day essay winners Katie first place $100.00 winner & Evie 2 nd place $50.00 winner in grade 5/6 category. Essay topic: Framework for Freedom: Separation of power

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  • We Give Thanks to Our Adopt-A-School Partners!

    Washington is grateful for all of our Adopt-a-School partners! Dewberry does a great job helping with our Architecture project for 8th graders. CGN Global helps our students to learn about the Supply Chain. Illinois American Water works with our 7th grade to learn more about conservation. David Vaughn Investments sponsors our Newspapers in Education used in our Peoria Issues project. We would also like to welcome our newest Adopt-a-School Partner, the Washington Alumni Group. All of our partners help Washington Gifted Middle School students in different and amazing ways! Thanks so much, everyone!

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  • Washington Gifted Middle School immersed in eclipse education

    In Peoria, the partial solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 was set to begin at 11:50 a.m. and lasted until approximately 2:40 p.m. At Washington Gifted Middle School, 3706 N. Grand Blvd. in Peoria, students focused on the eclipse during the entire school day, across all curriculum. English/Language Arts classes researched and wrote about solar eclipses, art classes created art related to NASA sites, math classes used the eclipse for measurement exercises, history and geography classes studied the impact of solar and lunar events on mankind, and science classes studied the actual event. Washington students watched as the eclipse was live-streamed by NASA online. In addition, the school had 140 pairs of ISO 12312-2 filtered glasses for outdoor viewing. With parent’s permission students were allowed to watch the eclipse with the glasses, in addition to the indirect methods. To maximize the educational impact of the event, students went outside in small groups accompanied by the science teachers throughout the event. At least four Washington Gifted students visited Southern Illinois with their families to see the full solar eclipse in person. The NASA streaming sites were available to all schools in the district.

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

    On a Friday night in September, approximately one hundred students gathered in the 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 Catch the Bacon, Who Am I, popsicles, 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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  • Washington Competes in State Speech Tournament

    Washington Gifted Middle School students competed in the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Speech Tournament in November. Two WGMS student teams and two individual students earned Judges Choice Awards. Riley Millard and Sarah Allen both won for their solo performances. Samantha Campbell and Vaisnavi Malipeddi won for their duet, Anybody Want My Sister…Again. Kelsey Hayes, Neve Kelly, Riley Millard, Liz Setti and Grace Therkildsen won the Team Improv Judges Choice Award. WGMS speech coach Kelly Nelson explains that the improvisation speech event is particularly challenging because students are not given a title or subject in advance. The team must improvise three different speeches from judges’ prompts. “Students must really think on the spot,” says Nelson. About two dozen WGMS students participated in the speech tournament.

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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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