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John Witherspoon Middle School: Back to School Information 2019-2020

6th Grade Orientation: Tuesday, September 3 from 10:30 AM to 12 PM

New 7th & 8th Grade Orientation: Tuesday, September 3 from 10:30 AM to 12 PM

Class Schedules: Students receive their JW class schedule the first day of school in Home Room.

House Placement and Home Room: House placement and home room assignments are mailed to parents the last week of August. This mailing will go to families returning to JW or coming from an in-district elementary school. New students will receive their house and homeroom placements at orientation.

First Day of School: Wednesday, September 4th will be the first day of school. For district calendars, click here.  En Español.

JW Save the Date: Back to School Night at John Witherspoon Middle School will be held on September 19 at 7:30 pm.

Bus Information: PPS families will receive an email from the Transportation Department with details about bus passes.

Parent Portal: The Parent Portal  is used to check attendance, grades and to update forms. Families creating new accounts will receive an email from the district with login instructions. If you have a login click here.

Emergency Contact Forms: We ask that parents update emergency contact information along with their general demographic information, and Tylenol/Motrin/Advil form.These forms are distributed as paper copies in home room. To download printable forms click here. 

Summer Reading: All summer reading lists can be found on the website or click here.

Sports Information: For more information about sports at John Witherspoon click here.


​​​​​​​Letter From the Principal

John Witherspoon school logo

Dear JW Student, 

We are pleased to welcome you as a member of the John Witherspoon Middle School community. Many of our returning students and families know that we are very proud to call John Witherspoon Middle School our home. We are most excited when we see students working together, whether it is during the JW Regatta, the school musical, or in the middle of Readers Writers Workshop. When we take pride in our school work, activities, and our friendships, we begin to feel a sense of belonging. 

During the 2019-20 school year, we are going to continue to be focused on belonging and connection. We will continue to do this by elevating our school spirit and showing off our “JW PRIDE.” 

It brings me joy to see everyone proudly wearing the “JW Blue and Gold” and greeting one another kindly in the hallways. It is gratifying to see students learning new languages, attending sporting events, and preparing for concerts. Last year, we saw an unprecedented level of student participation and attendance in school clubs and activities. Students who feel a sense of belonging perform better in school. Throughout the school year, we will continue to make daily announcements, and we will continue to send communication home twice daily, so that students and families are both aware of the myriad of opportunities offered at JW. The connection between students, our families, and the school community is a vital aspect of academic and personal success. That sense of connection is also due in part to the success of our Community Period; I am delighted to announce that Community Period will continue for the 2019-20 school year. Placing an emphasis on activities that build relationships and focus on teamwork is a cornerstone middle school philosophy. 

Please remember: 

· Respect yourself, other students, teachers, administrators and all staff. 

· Take pride in your school. This is everyone’s home. Everyone is welcome here. 

· It is everyone’s responsibility and obligation to make sure this school is kept clean and neat – Students may not leave trash on tables or on the floor, and they are expected to help clean up the cafeteria before leaving the area. This includes engaging in the proper recycling practices. 

· Students are expected to be in their classrooms and prepared to learn at the proper times. 

· We are concerned about the health, safety, and well-being of all students. We must work together to continue to make JW a place where the focus is not only on teaching and learning, but also a place of friendship and caring. This includes adopting self-regulating practices while using technology, cell phones, and the way that you may choose to engage in social media. 

Finally, please know that you are always welcome to talk to your teachers, school counselors, or to Mr. Burr or Ms. Harkness with any questions or concerns. We are here to help. My challenge to each of you this year is to work a little harder, care a little more about others, and do whatever you can to help make JW the best place in the world to attend school. 


Mr. Burr and Ms. Harkness