Team Newsletter


  Greetings from the UMASS Team and Happy Spring! We look forward to a great fourth quarter! Our sixth grade students are in their final quarter, and they will soon be seventh graders!  As you can see listed below, there are many important events during quarter four, including the Math MCAS test, a field trip to Simon’s Rock College, and our end of the year field trip which is at Camp Becket.

  If you are interested in chaperoning the field trips, please contact me by e-mail.  According to our district’s policy, all chaperones must have a CORI check completed before attending field trips.  Chaperones need to come to Herberg Middle School to complete the forms and show a picture I.D.  This process takes at least one week, and must be completed prior to the trip.

Below is the list of the UMASS teachers’ emails and voicemail #’s:

Ms. Karen Losardo,Team Leader,/Science Teacher, ext. 4640

Mrs. Mary Loehr-Quirk, Social Studies Teacher,, ext. 4639

Ms. Carole Chuslo Castonguay, Math Teacher,, ext. 4638

Ms. Krysten St. John, ELA Teacher,, ext. 4632

Mrs. Nancy Tierney, ELA Teacher, ext. 4624

Mr. John Pavlick, Resource Room Teacher,  ext. 4655

Ms. Patricia Canale, Team Paraprofessional   

 *Also, any donations of kleenex or hand sanitizer would be greatly appreciated!

Students of the Month

 January                                February                         March

             Jacqueline Roccabruna             Cecelia Supranowicz              Paola Rosito

             Jake Salvie                                  Manuel Lewis                          Lina Chen

             Justin DiNicola                           Justin Underwood                  Anna DiNicola

             Lucy Garrison                            Aralyn Cross                           Irving Chevez


Important Dates and Information

4/14: No School                     5/4 & 5/5: Spring Theatre Production     6/5: Camp Becket

4/17-4/21: Spring Recess       5/3 & 5/4: Math MCAS     6/22: ½ day

                                               5/12: Progress Reports                            6/23: ½ day/ Last Day  

                                               5/29: Memorial Day                                                                                                                                                       

Ms. St. John ELA

Image result for the giver

Students have worked hard third quarter! We are discussing Lois Lowry’s The Giver and have had some great discussions about uniformity, utopias versus dystopias, and how we would feel living in a society of so so many rules. Students have some great ideas and are sharing some wonderful insights into the novel.

We will continue with the novel fourth quarter and continue our analysis of the protagonist’s society. As we finish the novel, students will have an end of book project of their choice for The Giver. Writing and close reading will continue as we read, and we look forward to hearing students’ ideas and theories! As we finish the novel, we will move back into the Collections book and read selected short stories, and poems as we finish out the year. Writing will continue with informational and critical writing. Grammar will move on with prepositions and prepositional phrases, prefixes, and suffixes.

Students continue to work hard and are already showing signs of being successful 7th graders! We look forward to completing the year with a bang!

Mrs. Tierney, ELA -

Literature classes will continue reading The Giver during Quarter 4. Themes being discussed include utopia vs. dystopia, the significance of memory and freedom of choice. The novel is being read in class but reading and chapter question homework will be assigned as well. Be sure your student is keeping up with the novel. After The Giver is completed, selected pieces from The Collections curriculum will be read.

Composition classes are writing a compare/contrast essay of our community versus The Giver at this time. Many writing pieces will focus on The Giver. Suffixes and prefixes will be studied as well.

Students in my classes will be able to participate in a Google Classroom project using Google Slides to create a graphic novel depicting their interpretation of The Giver. Students must apply for this project, which will also be mentioned in class. Students that participate in this project must have at least a B average and not owe any work. All student submissions must be positive and appropriate.

Ms. Chuslo Castonguay  MATH;

  After school: Tuesdays and most Thursdays

         And so we have a arrived at the fourth quarter. Welcome and well done to all of us! Thanks goodness the snow days have passed.

         And here is my quarterly reminder that the homework is posted on my webpage, address just next to my name above, every night. If you have access to the internet, students can always know what their homework is, and they have access to the textbook and helpful videos through my web page, and

         We completed the unit on ratios and proportions, including using percents, measurement conversions, and scale, and we’ve moved on to writing expressions. Students have already learned to substitute values into expressions, so we’re covering the area formulae, including quadrilaterals, triangles, surface area, and volume. We’ll progress back to expressions, and finish the unit with solving equations.

         The last part of this school year we will be learning about statistics and probability. We’ll do some more graphing, I’ll show them how to create certain types of graphs on Google Sheets, we’ll do some outside activities.

         All year long I’ve been repeating, as often as I can make it fit in, that students need to use their support materials to help them complete assignments. Often students take notes, then store them away in the binder. Often students take home only the page they need to do the homework, and not the whole binder that contains pages of helpful explanation of concepts. Often, even when students take home the notes and the whole binder, they don’t USE them. I will not give up on this. These are excellent students I have. When I can get them to think on their own, and check out examples on their own, they excel and find confidence. It just hasn’t been happening for the vast majority of students when I’m not there to direct it.

         If your student says s/he does not understand how to do the work assigned, please ask him or her to show you the notes we took in class. If they say we didn’t take notes (yet), ask the student to check out the pages with the examples on them. Ask the student which ones are like the ones we did in class. As young people, it can take many different voices telling them the information is within their grasp, for them to believe it.

Thanks :)

Mrs. Loehr Quirk  Social Studies

   This quarter students continued to sharpen their geography

   map skills, working on finding locations of capitals in Latin    

   America countries, learning about the Climactic Zones, climate,     

   vegetation and physical features of the  27 Latin America

   Countries. A Big Map game introduced the location of each country for South America, Mexico/Central America and the Caribbean. Each class period competed with the other classes to decrease their time to name the 27 countries. Students were given clues “who am I” using the compass rose directions and surrounding countries to determine the next country in the sequence of the game. One class reduced their time from 4:20 minutes to under 1minute with .41 seconds.  Two in class projects will be assigned. One for the elevation of 5 South America mountains, labeling the 13 countries and location of the mountains and creating a bar graph to show the difference in elevations. The second project will be to put their learned geography skills to work completing a South America map with physical features, country names and capitals, important lines of latitude and bodies of water. At the conclusion of our travels to Latin America we will move  across the Atlantic Ocean to discover the countries of western Europe. Students will learn to identify the names of the western European countries and capitals using flash cards they made, and learn about the climate, land and natural resources of these countries. They will identify key physical features, trace the impact of physical geography on population density, and explain how physical geography has affected how people live in Europe and Russia. Assignments will consist of small in class projects, videos, readings, and group activities.

⧫ After school help is available Tuesday until 3:30. This time must  be scheduled in


⧫ Please visit my Social Studies website to keep up to date with current assignments,   

  homework and tests/quizzes! Happy Spring!

Ms. Losardo SCIENCE

   During quarter three, students studied the metric system and learned how to use basic laboratory equipment. Students began the unit with measuring liquid volume using a graduated cylinder, and volume of an irregular shape object using a graduated cylinder and water displacement.  We then measured mass using a triple-beam balance and a digital scale. For the culminating activity, students found the mass, volume, length, and width of 5 dry beans then repeated the same measurements after the beans were soaked in water overnight. Students discovered how volume and mass along with length and width changed after the beans were in water.

Students also studied the steps in the engineering design process.  Our projects included designing a boat out of aluminum foil that could hold as many pennies as possible. Students created a prototype with a partner and then tested their results. Students then practiced redesign, the eighth step in the design process, in which they tried to increase the number of pennies their boat could float.

During quarter four, we will move into scientific method. For our culminating activity, students will follow the steps in the scientific method process, conduct an investigation, and complete our first lab report! We will  also study ecosystems and the roles of organisms as well as the interactions among organisms in ecosystems.

Finally, we will return to the six kingdoms and study protists.  We will explore the protists that live in our lakes and ponds by creating a microscope slide and observing organisms under a microscope.  


Expectations of Academic Support class are that students arrive prepared to work on their assignments and projects, as well as make use of the time for organization of their materials.  

Students are also encouraged to come to my room (201) during Extended Homeroom on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for help with their assignments and organizational issues.

I am also available for after-school support by appointment.