Madrid Trip dates now finalized

The finalized dates for the Madrid, Spain trip are:
Thursday June 19th , 2014- Monday July 7th, 2014.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the mandatory meeting on Tuesday, October 1st, 6:30pm, WS Library.  Please bring one parent and one student from your family.

And…. if you can’t make the mandatory meeting, please email Jesse at:

thanks all!


Cinderella, Prince Charming is waiting for you at Grand and Benedict’s…

and this time he has BOTH of your slippers!

Some wonderful lady (Cinderella?) must have had some cold (but comfortable?) feet upon arriving home on Saturday night!  At any rate, your shoes, pictured here, await you….please feel free to stop by Grand and Benedict’s to pick them at during normal business hours.


Jill & Conrad and the rest of the Sunday morning clean up crew want you to have them for your next Salsa event!

Students are a part of the process!

Hi All:

Just a friendly reminder that your student should also attend the meeting on 10/1/13.  If an adult can’t make the meeting, consider sending your student  with another family.

Also, please share the web address for this blog with your student and invite your child to “follow” the blog.  The more the merrier and of course, it is their trip!

Simply have them head to the blog at:

and click the “follow” tab…..

Mandatory meeting now 10/1; 6:30pm, WS Library

Mandatory Meeting

The meeting date has been changed to Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:30 pm in the West Sylvan Library. Rebecca Gundle from ANDEO will be there to answer any and all questions along with members of the Apoyemos Board and John Feraro the West Sylvan Principle.

If you are un-able to attend, please let us know at the following email address:

Behavior Contract

There is a behavior contract that has been finalized and approved by ANDEO and Apoyemos.  It needs to be submitted with the initial application on October 15.  Please download the form from the link below.

Behavior agreement 2014

Info Handout Spain 2014 Students_Parents

Scholarships Update

All parents will complete their student’s initial application and pay their deposit by October 15th.  The deadline for requesting financial assistance is November 1st and parents will be notified not later than November 15th.   Due to this delay, parents applying for assistance will have until Nov. 15th to cancel and still receive a full refund of their deposit if unable to afford the trip due to financial hardship.

Download and print the application from the Apoyemos Web site, located under the “forms” tab.

Trip ScholarshipApplication process

Here are the steps for the application process.

  • Download and print applications from the Apoyemos Web site, located under the “forms” tab.
  •  Applications for financial assistance for up to 50% of the trip costs are to be dropped off or mailed to John Ferraro, Principal West Sylvan Middle School in a sealed envelope marked confidential.
  • The deadline is November 1st.  
  • Applications must be complete and include required forms.   Incomplete applications will be declined.  
  • Requests will be reviewed by a third-party financial advisor who will make recommendations to the board.  
  • Upon approval, the decisions will be communicated to the families and Andeo prior to the date of the Initial Application and deposit payment.  
  • The approved amount will be paid by Apoyemos to Andeo as a part of the last deposit(s) and/or final payment.  

We realize that parents are anxious to find out if their request has been approved, but we also need to give families the time to submit the requests and our advisor the time to review and make their recommendations to the board.  

Questions about the scholarship application should be directed to John Ferraro (, the West Sylvan principal or Jennifer Briglia, Apoyeomos board chairperson,  (



2014 Capstone Trip Madrid Spain

Hi everyone I am Jesse Rader and I am the trip liaison for our class. Here is some information: regarding the trip details

People to Know:

Apoyemos Trip Liasion:  Marla McCleod-Ali (Chaperones and Scholarships)

8th grade Trip Liaison Parent: Jesse Rader

Blog Mistress: Celeste Lewis

Capstone Steering Committee Chair: Jill Goldsmith

ANDEO Representative: Rebecca Gundle

Tentative Dates for the Trip: June 24th– July 12th, 2014 (Finalized Oct 15th)

Payment Schedule:           

  • October 15, 2013:  $500 with Initial Application (Attached)
  • November 15, 2013: $1,200 with completed application packet
  • February 1, 2014: $1,200 due
  • April 1, 2014: Final Balance Due

Parent and Child Mandatory Information Meeting:

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2013 6:00-7:30 pm in the West Sylvan Library.  Rebecca from ANDEO will be there to field any and all questions regarding the trip.

Other Pertinent Information:

  • Please post all questions to the blog.  Questions are great and I am sure that others have similar questions and want to know the answers.
  • Sr. Otero has volunteered to work with ANDEO and Gredos on the language instruction so they are on the same page regarding our language instruction needs.
  • If you know someone who is on not on the blog please tell them to “follow”  the blog, given all the information will be there.
  • There will be a paper copy of the update information and initial application at the school office and in the block classes.  There is also a copy here:  Info Handout Spain 2014 Students_Parents

And the winner is…Spain!

Dear families:

The class has chosen to go to Spain for the capstone trip.  More information will follow regarding deadlines for deposits, etc. soon.  The vote tally and statistics are are here:

capstone trip voting final

The Apoyemos board will be announcing scholarship application deadlines and chaperone application guidelines soon.  The likely deadline for both is Nov. 1st.  So be looking for those too…

And really, please spend the time to finish those call lists and invite a few friends to Salsa in the City.

Spain question answered by Jesse Rader

At the meeting there was a question regarding the Spain option that was addressed, particularly if the kids will have interaction with other children during the excursions and classes.
According to ANDEO, the classes are for the West Sylvan kids because the counterparts will be having their examinations during this time.  Some of the trips are made to incorporate host families and children however a bulk of them will not be. Most of the interaction will occur afterhours during the homestays.  While this could be brought up and considered, logistically this will elevate the cost even further unless the Spain parents wanted to contribute to their child’s inclusion on the excursions. I hope this answers your question.

One last important thing about voting…..from Jill

If you know that your child is not going on the trip for sure, please let Jill know.  Out of fairness to those children/parents who do plan to participate, we want to be careful not to have the destination materially impacted by the votes of those who do not plan to participate.  Thank you for your understanding

Any questions?  Please contact Jill Goldsmith at

Voting by email continues through 9/15/13.  Please send them to Jill!


Trip Meeting follow up

For those of you who couldn’t get to West Sylvan, here are the important documents to review:

Jill Goldsmith’s notes of the meeting: notes from Panama meeting 9-5-13

Additional ANDEO Madrid and Costa Rica information: WSylvan ANDEO info 2014

Sample itinerary for the Madrid trip: Madrid GSD-WEST SYLVAN sample itinerary

Updated costs for all (3) trips:  Estimated Costs for 2014 Trip 9-5-13

Student video from the 2013 Panama trip: watch it HERE

Jane Greenhalgh’s notes: Panama-Jane final reflection 2

Have a great weekend!

and be sure to vote for a destination by sending an email to Jill Goldsmith at…deadline to vote:  9/15/13