ACTIVITIES AND SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS

John Witherspoon Middle School offers many programs, clubs, sports, and learning experiences to help students get the most out of their middle school experience, and to help avoid committing any infractions which detract from the middle school experience.

  • The JW PTO sponsors many assemblies and programs in conjunction with school administrators and teachers that are not only aligned with the curriculum but are also helpful in building social and emotional intelligence. Additionally, the PTO puts out a weekly newsletter in addition to daily announcements sent twice daily by John Witherspoon Middle School staff
  • John Witherspoon Middle School has committed to service learning and building relationships and developing new programs designed not only to learn but to build citizenship…this is evidenced in part by the work of our Do Something Club (see description below).
  • Beginning of the year orientation assemblies, field trips such as the 6th grade trip to the Watershed, 8th grade trip to Washington DC, SUPER SATURDAY, author visits, school dances, Unity Day, Battle of the Blue and Gold, picnics, park days, and promotion are ways we celebrate our achievements and accomplishments in middle school. 

Yearbook Club

The yearbook staff is comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade volunteers who work tirelessly to capture the year at JWMS. Students can volunteer for a host of activities including, photographing sports, plays, concerts, and school wide events. They design grade level surveys, tally them, highlighting the "pop culture" of the year. They design the "Who's Who" surveys and tally results. In addition, students design the yearbook layout. All three grade levels work together to create an exciting yearbook that will be cherished for years to come. The yearbook can be purchased by both students and faculty.

Art Club

The Art Club at John Witherspoon Middle School is open to all grade levels and explores all facets of the visual arts. It usually meets every week after school, from September to June, for at least one hour. Depending upon the interests of the group, the focus of the projects may vary. Sometimes specific projects are planned, and sometimes students work on their own individual projects. Students are provided with opportunities to utilize tools and materials that are not always available for use in the day-to-day visual arts curriculums.

Many of the students in Art Club also lend their time and talents to assisting with the design and painting of the school plays’ set pieces and props. They also serve as graphic artists, designing and making posters for school functions and events. Students also contribute their artistic talents to the Princeton Community when they participate as visual artists with Communiversity. The Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Listen Up! Program provides a unique collaborative opportunity for our students. Each year, a select number of student writers and visual artists are invited to attend a special performance of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and to create an interpretive literary or visual work of art based upon what they experienced.

Occasionally we are fortunate enough to have a visiting artist demonstrate and share his/her talents. Field trips are a fun and educational bonus, including the annual spring trip to the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival, which can culminate in our students placing as finalists and being asked to participate or exhibit at the New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival. Additional field trip opportunities can include forays to the Princeton Arts Council or to the Princeton University Art Museum.

Science Bowl

The National Science Bowl (NSB) is a highly competitive science education and academic event among teams of high school and middle school students who compete in a fast-paced verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math. Each team is composed of four students, one alternate student, and a coach. Regional and national events encourage student involvement in math and science activities of importance to the Department of Energy and the Nation.

Mathletes

A weekly club that meets from November through April of each school year. Activities include playing math games, getting extra help or participating in MathCounts practices. MathCounts is a national foundation sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers, CAN, and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Students engage in warm-ups and work-outs in preparation for the annual regional competition which can lead to state and national competitions. Sixth through eighth grade students are encouraged to join the club. MathCounts regional competition is open to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.

Stage & Lighting Crew

Students who choose to participate in Stage and Lighting Crew (SLC) learn to coordinate stage setups and lighting for rehearsals and concerts of JW performing arts ensembles, as well as providing similar services for many community organizations, with their colleagues. 

They learn in detail what is required in “setting” a stage for both vocal and instrumental 
performing organizations. The SLC members learn how to read and implement stage floor plans and develop the skill for changing the stage from one setting to another in a matter of minutes.

In addition, experienced SLC members learn how use the computerized lighting board and become responsible to ensure correct lighting for concerts, drama productions, etc. 

One important outcome for SLC members is, through the guidance of the advisor, to be able to 
function, collaborate and coordinate all which is necessary for successful stage and lighting responsibilities as a team.

Drama Club

The John Witherspoon Drama Club for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade meets throughout the school year. Students participate in theatre games, workshops with professionals in theatre, theatre competitions with other schools, and the production of a Fall Drama and Spring Musical.

Little Tiger School Store

Students who are early birds and arrive to school a little before 8:00 AM are encouraged to volunteer at the school store. Volunteers help fellow students in selecting school supplies, demonstrate how to use various items, add up sales, learn to make change and assist in the selection of reordering and purchasing new inventory.

Little Tiger School Store hours: 8:00 am – 8:20am in the Commons
September and October – five days per week
November through June – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

Do Something Club

Princeton Public Schools, as part of the New Jersey Character Education Initiative, has integrated the Do Something Character Education program and service learning into our school. Do Something is a national school based program committed to building community leaders through service learning and civic engagement.

John Witherspoon Middle School students plan and carry out a wide variety of community service projects. Students develop, plan and execute school wide initiatives such as an annual statewide food drive for the "Students Change Hunger" campaign of New Jersey, a school talent show that raises funds for charitable organizations, a service day that includes dozens of service projects for school wide participation as well as a variety of other projects including, but not limited to Toys for Tots drives, clothing collections, letters for military men and women, toiletry and craft kits and many other service projects. Do Something develops school leaders who are responsible and engaged citizens. The service projects are documented by students through media production. This club is made up of all interested students in grades 6, 7, and 8 and meets two to three times a week in the mornings.

Board Game Club

Game On! 

“I sunk your battleship!”

“Uno!”

“King me!”

These are some of the things you might hear if you walk down D-wing on Wednesday afternoons. The Board Game Club meets in room D202 from 3 to 4 pm on most Wednesdays. All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are welcome at the club.

Scribbles

The JW Newsmagazine, a literary magazine and school newspaper in one. Students and staff members are encouraged to submit original works, including articles, editorials, photographs, artwork, photographs, poetry, essays and short stories. The Scribbles staff members meet weekly to create original news articles, and to review, select, edit and publish Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer issues of SCRIBBLES!

PPS Girls’ Club (Powerful, Positive, Strong)

The PPS Girls’ Club is a club for all 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls. The club encourages girls to work together to develop supportive friendships between grades while helping to develop strategies to assist girls in developing assertiveness, positive self-image and confidence. The club meets twice a month after school, using interactive hands on activities to empower girls to deal with the challenges of adolescence in a positive, constructive manner. Topics discussed are self-esteem, health and wellness, anti-bullying, media technology, peer pressure, strength in friendships and self-confidence.

Engineering Club

February to April; Each week students work together in groups to complete a variety of engineering design challenges such as building bridges, cars, and more. 

Robotics Club

Robotics club is a great way to design and build machines with Legos. Students program their machine to complete a certain task, using the easy Lego Mindstorm NXT software. Students work individually or in groups to think critically, collaborate and problem-solve to successfully answer design challenges.

If students enjoy working with Legos, building creatively, or if they want to learn how to program a robot, then they should come out and join us.

JW/ Cooks and Garden Club

The JW Cooks and Garden Club meets for six weeks in the Fall and six in the Spring. The club is open to JW students. Students work with a master gardener to learn proper techniques for seeding, separating and replanting seedlings and management of the school gardens. Students take their crops and use them while working with a professional chef to learn knife skills, baking and cooking techniques and design healthy snacks and meals.

Chess Club

The JW Chess Club is a fun place to come and play chess for any leveled player. Chess Club meets once a week in the B-wing. We have players at all levels. So, if you want to learn how to play, be challenged by another skilled player like yourself or anything in between, it's the place to be. All are welcomed, at any time. Please come and play, it's an awesome time!

Geography Bee

This club runs from November to early January. Students work on identifying geographical wonders, locating places through the world, and use logic to help make educated guesses about country’s food and natural resources. Students work independently and on the computer to answer questions. Culminates in the National Geographical School Geography Bee. Winner of the School Bee takes a written test in an attempt to qualify for the State Geography Bee at Rowan University. Winner of the state bee competes in Washington DC for the National Championship.

IDEAS CENTER

The IDEAS Center is an after-school homework program held in the John Witherspoon Learning Commons. It is open to all students in the Middle School who want a quiet place to do homework and receive academic assistance. Students have use of computers for research and word processing, as well as most of the school’s textbooks. The Center is open from 3:00 – 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday. There are two certified teachers in the Center at all times. To attend, students are required to fill out a registration form that can be downloaded from this site, or found in the JWMS main office, guidance counselors, homeroom teachers, or in the IDEAS Center in the Learning Commons. Daily attendance is taken by staff. Students may select the days they attend the Center.

Building Bridges

The Building Bridges program is a Princeton High School student tutoring program. High school students wishing to fulfill their community service requirement by helping their middle school peers can sign up at PHS. They are paired with a JW student requesting an individual tutor. Building Bridges leaders manage and coordinate the tutor-tutee relationship. They meet during the IDEAS Center in the same location. Most days there are “floating” tutors who are available to help any student attending the IDEAS Center. Anyone interested in setting up an individual tutoring session should fill out a Building Bridges form and hand it in to the main office at JWMS. The Building Bridges form can be downloaded from this site or found in the JWMS main office, with school counselors, homeroom teachers, and in the IDEAS Center in the Learning Commons.