Manan Shukla Earns Bronze at iSWEEP 2017!

In March, Sophomore Manan Shukla was selected as a Finalist for the 2017 International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, Environment) Project Olympiad (iSWEEEP).

Last weekend, Manan traveled to Houston, Texas where he presented his project, The Utilization of Cellular Technology and Medication Dispensers as Effective and Inexpensive Solutions to Medical Nonadherence in Healthcare. Manan was accompanied by Wheatley’s Science Research Coordinator, Alexis Blondrage.

Over 1,000 students from around the globe gathered at the competition to present their projects related to renewable energy, sustainable developments, and medical breakthroughs.

Manan came away with a Bronze Medal for his project!

Congratulations to Manan! Thank you to Ms. Blondrage for accompanying him to the competition and providing the write-up and photos!

Wheatley’s Budget Presentation for 2017-18

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of presenting Wheatley’s proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year. We are fortunate to be able to continue to provide a broad offering of courses and programs for our students. This happens because of the ongoing support of our community, our Board of Education and our Superintendent of Schools.

Next year, we are excited about the opportunity to continue to expand our new  AP Capstone program. With the AP Research Course, students will have the opportunity to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan and implement a yearlong investigation to address the research questions, preparing an academic paper and presentation along the way. Additionally, our Project Lead the Way program is growing into its fourth year with the addition of the Principles of Engineering course. We will have four grades of students using Chromebooks, and we will continue to support our students in all grades. We will also be expanind our Computer Science offerings through the addition of an AP Computer Science Principles course. Additionally, we will expand our co-teaching offerings for students, and — through an ongoing commitment to field trips and student clubs — we will also expand opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom.

You can view the budget presentation through the following link: Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar17

Wheatley Budget Presentation_Mar17

Ali and Hannah Speak to Faculty About Allergies!

Last week, junior siblings Alexandra and Hannah Ostad spoke to the faculty about life at Wheatley with a severe food allergy. Ali, who has lived with life-threatening food allergies since the age of three, described how she has to think about every single piece of food she places into her mouth every day. Hannah, Ali’s twin, described how she has developed anxiety worrying about her sister’s allergies!

Ali and Hannah gave a wonderful presentation to the faculty, with the aim of encouraging greater awareness of and sensitivity to the issue of students with allergies. As a result of their advocacy, we will be placing allergy alert signs in every classroom, reminding students and staff when a room is used by a student with a food allergy.

You can view Ali and Hannah’s presentation here: food-allergy-faculty-presentation

Wheatley and National Rankings

Over the past several years, there has been a proliferation of organizations promoting lists of the top high schools in the country. Readers of this blog may recall some of my posts outlining some of the serious errors in these ranking lists (see and, for example).

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, I presented an overview of the state and national ranking of high schools. As part of the presentation, I described the steps Wheatley could take if it wanted to focus on its national rankings.

You can view the presentation through the link below:



Wheatley and National Rankings Feb17

Curriculum and Activities Fair Showcases Student Opportunities and Offerings!

As parents of our incoming 8th Graders (the Class of 2022) were learning more about their child’s first year at Wheatley, parents of current Wheatley students were learning more about the many offerings, programs and opportunities in grades 9-12 through our Curriculum and Activities Fair.

Over the course of the evening, parents were able to attend sessions on the following specific topics:

  • SWS/English/Social Studies options (for parents of 9th graders)
  • STEM Overview, including PLTW, Computer Science, Mathematics and Science offerings
  • World Language Exchange programs
  • AP course options, Dual Enrollment courses, AP Capstone, alternative diploma pathways

Parents also had an opportunity to learn about our co-curricular offerings, including our many clubs and activities. It was an evening of information and activity! A huge “Thank You” to the department supervisors, club advisors, and classroom teachers who helped make this night both informative and exciting!

You can download some of the information distributed through the following links:

The Robot was in the house!

Orientation for Parents of Incoming 8th Graders!

On Thursday evening, we welcomed parents of incoming 8th Graders (the Class of 2022) to Wheatley so they could learn about Wheatley, our many offerings and our ongoing support of all of our students. After providing parents with a varied overview of Wheatley, we turned the program over to a panel of wonderful students who answered questions from parents.

The 8th grade student panelists were:

Thank you to our Director of Guidance, Mr. Greg Wasserman, for moderating the student panel! Thank you as well to our wonderful Wheatley PTO for providing the refreshments for the evening!

Handouts from the evening include:

Federalist/Anti-Federalist Debate Continues to these Days!

Earlier this week, students in our 11th grade courses presented speeches based on their study of historical documents and of rhetorical strategies in their social studies and English classes.

This “speech-off” is the culminating activity of a collaborative, interdisciplinary project developed by Natalia McMillan, Jen Fatone, Pat Clarke, Matthew Haig and Cindy Schwartz. Students studied the Constitution, analyzed the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, and then developed speeches arguing for or against the Federalist position using information from their close reading of these texts. Students were required to reference these texts and used rhetorical techniques such as appeals to pathos, ethos, logos and metaphor.

Students in Jen Fatone’s and Natalia McMillan’s English 11R classes selected the “top 6 orators.” These top students presented their speeches, in a “Speech-Off” to their peers.  Using a prepared rubric, they were evaluated on their presentation, argument, counter-argument and rhetorical technique by the audience.

The following students presented speeches:

  • Matt Baltzer
  • William Farrar
  • Christopher Kosel
  • Aamir Muneer
  • Billy Richman
  • Jesse Romano

Based on the feedback from the audience, Matt Baltzer earned the highest marks, followed by Billy Richman and Christopher Kosel!

Thank you to Wheatley English teachers Ms. Fatone and Ms. McMillan and Wheatley social studies teachers Patrick Clarke, Matthew Haig and Cynthia Schwartz for their work on this interdisciplinary project.