WMS / PTO Newsletter
April 10, 2017  

Message from Principal Gavron

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr

King’s beautiful words capture the importance of embracing diversity in education. It is Wayland’s commitment to diversity, and in particular it’s unwavering support of and participation in the METCO program, that were key factors in helping me decide that Wayland Middle School was the place I wanted to build my professional home.  Our METCO program benefits all students at Wayland Middle School, creating a richer, more racially diverse learning environment.  Multicultural classrooms compel educators and students to confront biases and prejudices and incorporate varied perspectives as students explore curriculum and develop critical thinking skills together. Racially diverse learning environments enable us to begin to see “the broader concerns of all humanity.” It takes purposeful thought, effort, and commitment to effectively bridge two communities.  In order to realize the potential of METCO it helps to understand its history, recognize the unique challenges Boston resident families face, and develop comprehensive systems of ongoing support and connection to help mitigate these challenges.
METCO (Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity) is the voluntary busing program that transports children of color from Boston and Springfield to suburban school districts – one of the oldest most successful programs of its kind. The program was first conceptualized in Boston during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s when a concerned group of African American parents raised questions to the School Committee about the disparity between the quality of schools in Boston’s black neighborhoods relative to those in its white neighborhoods.  When their criticisms went unheeded, parents took matters into their own hands and organized a voluntary desegregation program called Operation Exodus, bussing 400 African American students to an under-enrolled white neighborhood school in the Back Bay.  The success of the experiment led to a meeting between the Massachusetts Federation for Fair Housing and Equal Rights group and leaders from twelve suburban districts who agreed to voluntarily enroll students of color from Boston in their schools, and thus METCO was born.  In 1968 the Racial Imbalance Act was passed and with it came state funding for METCO.  Wayland has been a proud member of METCO since 1968 and next spring we will celebrate our 50th Anniversary as a METCO district. We invite you to get involved by joining the 50th Anniversary METCO Planning Committee by sending your name, email address and contact number to either Mary Ann Borkowski at mabp48@aol.com or Michelle Mathis at chellet1962@verizon.net.
Participating in METCO is a huge commitment for Boston resident students and their families.  There are wonderful educational benefits and also a myriad of challenges that include lengthy days, geographic hurdles, cultural differences, and stereotypic assumptions that many Wayland resident students and their families don’t have to confront.  School days are very long for our students who live in Boston.  Students must wake at about 5:30 AM in order to arrive at the bus stop on time; then they ride 45-minutes to Wayland. Our Boston resident students know all too well that home is not right around the corner, when an issue arises during the school day such as getting a fever at 10 AM.  Students who remain beyond the 2:20 bell to work with a teacher or stay to participate in WMS’ extensive extra-curricular offerings including sports, music, drama, and clubs catch a late bus home at 5 PM often arriving home in Boston after 6 p.m. Geography provides an additional challenge for our Boston resident students given the wide area of neighborhoods in which students live including Dorchester, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and more.  A WMS student from Boston is often the only one in their neighborhood who travels to Wayland daily, making carpooling and get-togethers more difficult.  

In coming to Wayland, Boston resident students learn to accept and adhere to the norms needed to succeed in a predominantly white environment where they are the minority - all while trying to value, celebrate and be true to their own cultural norms.  It’s a very tall order.  “Where do I fit in?” is a relevant question that arises particularly during the middle school years, as students are entering puberty and wrestling with the many facets of their identity, including race.  I often try to put myself in my students’ shoes, imagining how it would feel to walk into a classroom day after day where few of my classmates looked like me and could relate to my experiences.  At times our Boston resident students are confronted with hurtful comments from Wayland resident peers that emerge from stereotypic assumptions.   For example, some think that living in Boston means a student must live in an apartment in a dangerous neighborhood. Even when there is no malicious intent, the impact of comments born from such assumptions can leave painful scars.  Maribel Valdes, our extraordinary middle school METCO coordinator, is an invaluable source of support, helping Boston resident students navigate the many hurdles of middle school life.*
As a way to purposely bridge the distance between our two communities our Leadership for Equity team plans three dinner meetings in Boston each year to strengthen partnerships between schools and families. Our fall gathering included a school committee meeting in Boston to review and discuss our district wide goals and discuss the idea of changing start times. In the winter we had a celebratory potluck dinner and family game night. Playing Pic Wits and Tenzi with families was a delightful way to spend an evening.  Coming up on May 3rd at 7 PM we will hold our final family meeting – a spring celebration of student work in Boston. Previous years have highlighted student writing and technology projects.  This year we are planning to focus on visual art projects. 

Additionally our visionary METCO Director Mabel Reid Wallace creates opportunities to build community and target support for Boston resident families.  She just brought in Alfred "Coach" Powell (acoachpowell.com), a motivational educator/speaker, to come meet with Boston resident students and parents. Coach Powell spoke passionately to families about the importance of developing strong family dynamics, communicating effectively, networking, and building relationships. Coach Powell addressed students directly encouraging them to always do their best in spite of the challenges. He compelled them to see the need to overcome those challenges in order to compete in a global economy.  Powell offered students affirmation tools to use on a daily basis to motivate themselves.
In one month’s time we all have an opportunity to bring our Boston and Wayland communities together at the annual Florence Adler Walk/Run to offer support for the METCO program.  

On May 13th I invite you to join me from 9:30 - 2:00 at Wayland Middle School to participate in a 5K to support METCO (registration begins at 9:30; race time is at 11:00).  This event helps close the fiscal gap that comes with budget cuts to state funding for this important program.  While METCO is actively lobbying to get an increase in the state’s transportation budget, funds have been frozen since 2008 in spite of increases in transportation costs that rise significantly every three years. If you are unable to run or walk, consider sponsoring a student or neighbor to do so or offer a donation at the  Wayland METCO Donation Center.  Together we can ensure the viability of METCO and our collective commitment to diversity, knowing the program will remain strong for the next 50 years.
Betsy Gavron

* To better understand the experience of Boston resident students, you might check out  Far from Home, which is an eye-opening documentary about METCO that provides a window into the world of one African American high school girl in Wellesley, highlighting both the opportunities she finds in her suburban school district and the isolation she can feel as a black young woman living in another community.  Here is a brief excerpt to give you a flavor.
  Join us for the Florence Adler 5K Walk/Run
May 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Starts at Wayland Middle School!
More info HERE.
WMS News
44th Annual Latin Banquet!
Wednesday, April 12th 1:15 - 3:30 PM
WMS Cafeteria

Wayland Middle School will be hosting its 44th Annual Latin Banquet, the Middle School’s longest running tradition, for which our cafeteria will be reconstructed into ancient Rome.  Our Operatives get a chance to live what they have been learning by dressing, acting and feasting like a Roman. They will present skits; play in the Banquet Band (known as the Musici Apollonis), participate in the Triumphal march; compete in the Costume Contest, and dine as the Romans did “ab ovo ad mala.” Lastly, a ceremony honoring 8th grade Operatives for their achievement on the National Latin Exam 2017 and a Pompeian dance-off will conclude the festivities.  We also look forward to honoring Magistra Lowe, the teacher who started this tradition long ago!

Morning Drop-Off Reminder
Please use the parent overflow lot, especially on the rainy days. Traffic has been backing up on Main Street (Rte 27), causing students to be late. For safety, everyone should use the overflow lot. Find the map HERE.
Thank you. 
Afternoon Pick-up Reminder
Students are dismissed at 2:20 PM. Students who participate in a club or activity are dismissed at 3:30 PM. Students are not allowed to remain after school unsupervised, so we ask that students are picked up in a timely manner. Thank you.
For Parents / Guardians of of 8th graders   
CPR with AED with Ms. Riddle
by April 13th!

Dear Students & Families of 8th graders,

I have finished teaching the CPR with AED (Automated External Defibrillator) unit to the 8th grade wellness classes. This unit is taught using the most current curriculum guidelines through the American Heart Association (AHA).  As a certified instructor with the American Heart Association, I am offering to certify any student who would like a certification card after school. Certification is voluntary and will require passing the following skills:
·         Chest compressions
·         Breaths
·         Unconscious choking
·         Conscious choking
·         Differences between care for an adult and care for a child age 1-8
·         AED set up and use
Any interested student can make an appointment with me on an individual basis to take the skills test.  The final day for getting certified will be Thursday April 13th.

This certification card will be valid for 2 years from the issue date and does not include infant (age 0-12 months).

Certification cards will be $6. Please make checks payable to Wayland Middle School and put “CPR cert.” in the memo.  Please have your child deliver the checks to Pam Riddle. Thank you!
After vacation it's... Wellness Week!   
April 24 - 28!

The goal of Wellness week is to promote active & healthy living for all students. We want to expose our students to new ideas, concepts, and styles of teaching.  We are fortunate to get some great local presenters to come and volunteer their time to make Wellness Week a success. Check out who we have coming by looking at our Wellness  BLOG!
EMPOWER | Leadership, Communication & Collaboration
Dates: June 26th-June 30th
Time: Monday-Friday 10AM-3PM

Join Us to Give Back to Your Community and be a Youth Leader!  
Work with a group of your peers from Wayland on a mix of games, presentations, activities, brainstorming and community service. This program will provide you the tools to create healthy messaging to the community, learn new leadership skills and create a campaign message to encourage healthy decisions in Wayland and beyond.

Program Details:  
Age: Students Entering Grades 7-10.
Location: Wayland High School  
Staff: Elsie Cerrone, Dossie Kahn, Jane Purser and Jason Verhoosky
Lunch will be provided daily
There is no fee for this program.

To register for this program, please email Jason_Verhoosky@wayland.k12.ma.us, J ane_Purser@wayland.k12.ma.us or call 508.358.6825. 
WWRA Middle School Rowing Camp 
April 17th to April 21st

Looking for something to do during the April Break? Come row with us! 

Wayland Weston Rowing Association will be running a Middle School Rowing Camp from April 17th to April 21st.  The program is specifically designed for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. No prior rowing experience is required. Lessons will take place on Lake Cochituate. Please meet at 8:00 am in the WWRA boathouse on 25 Parkland Drive in Wayland. 

Students have the choice of enrolling in a half session (8:00 am to 10:00 am) or a full session (8:00 am to 12:00 pm). The cost of the half session is $150, while the full session is offered at $250. 

For additional information, please go the the WWRA website

Or click on the following link to our registration page on FamilyID 

Camp begins in just one week.  We hope you can join us! Mike Baker, Program Director, Wayland Weston Rowing Association  508 367 1380  / email: rowingmike@gmail.com


Middle & More:  Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey 

Save the date for our April Middle & More parent coffee – Tuesday, April 25th, 9:00-10:00 am in the Middle School Library.  Jason Verhoosky of Wayland Cares will join us to present and discuss the WMS results from this year’s Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey. 

Wayland's 50th Anniversary as a METCO Community
Be on the Planning Committee!
Wayland will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary as a METCO town next year.  We are creating a 50th Anniversary Planning Committee and are looking for people willing to participate on the Committee.  Wayland METCO holds 3 annual events: the September Social Cook Out, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Dinner (Next year is also the 30th anniversary of this event!) and the Florence Adler 5K Walk/Run.  We hope to tie the 50th Anniversary Celebration into these three events.  If you have suggestions and creativity in making Wayland’s 50th year the best ever, we look forward to working with you.  If you are interested in volunteering, please send your name, email address and contact number to either Mary Ann Borkowski at  mabp48@aol.com or Michelle Mathis at  chellet1962@verizon.net.

Teacher Appreciation Needs Your Help!

The PTO is getting ready for our annual Teacher Appreciation luncheon being held on Wednesday, May 31, from 1:15-2:00.  We need parent volunteers to help plan the day, to make sure the event runs smoothly, and to coordinate a GUSH for the teachers (a website helps us collect comments, thanks and praise from families, which we turn into a slideshow to project during the event).  Let’s show our teachers and staff how much we appreciate them!  Please contact Amy Simmons (simmons221@comcast.net) to help out with this event. 

Reminders from Last Week

        Yearbooks are on sale NOW        until April 13th

This year, there are 2 ways you can order a yearbook - choose the method that’s easiest for you!  Yearbooks will be delivered on the last day of school.  Questions?  

  1. Bring to the office an envelope containing this form and a check made out to Wayland Middle School for $20.00

  2. Order online at jostensyearbooks.com

Questions?  Contact Ms. Galvani 

Join PM Wellness Volleyball!
Starts Tuesday, April 25
WMS Gym at 2:30 PM

Learn the basic skills from a Wayland High School coach and have fun!  Boys and girls, 6th-8th, all levels of experience welcome.Wear sneakers. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30-3:30 pm 

April 25 & 27 / May 2,4,9,11,16,18,23 & 25 

If you have any questions let Ms. Riddle know. Feel free to come to as many sessions as you want. No minimum amount of participation is required.

2017-2018 Bus Registration and Financial Assistance
Now posted on the WPS Website
Register on or before June 30, 2017

Please find all the information you need HERE.
Postural Screening Update
4/10, 4/11 & 4/12  

Dear Parents, 

As I will be in the gym all day today,  Tuesday  and  Wednesday  performing postural screenings and will not have access to a computer/printer or fax, all letters excusing your child from postural screening must be delivered in person by your child(ren) to me or to the other Nurse screener on the day of their screening.  


Marcia Nims, RN, BSN 

All students in grades 6, 7, & 8 will be having their annual  postural   screening  duri ng Wellness classes on 4/10, 4/11 and 4/12. For the  screening  boys will need to be shirtless and wear a pair of shorts and girls will need to wear a pair of shorts with either a bikini top, an open back bathing suit or a halter-top with hair in a high ponytail or bun.   Screenings  will be held in a private area for each student. Those determined to require further medical evaluation will receive notification by mail.   

Every year, we are asked by both students and parents why this  screening  is necessary since most pediatricians routinely perform the same  screening  during annual physical exams for children in this age group.  This is a state mandated screening required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for grades 5-9 . 

However, if your child has had a recent physical exam including a  postural   screening , you may excuse your child from this year's postural screening at school.  Please send a note with your child addressed to Nurse Nims with the following included:  

"Please excuse ___first and last name and grade________from this year's postural screening.  He/she has this screening exam performed annually by his/her pediatrician Dr._______________ which was last performed on _____date_____, with your signature and date."

This note will be kept in your child's permanent paper medical record and is only valid for this year's screening.
Artist: Matias Salama
Grade: 8
Medium: Charcoal and Pencil
All Grades
4/12: Latin Banquet 2:00 - 4:00 PM
4/13: Q3 Report Cards Distributed
4/13: Spring Vacation begins 2:20 PM
4/24: Classes Resume / Wellness Week!
5/2:   5th Grade Parent Night 7:00 PM

7th Grade
5/24 - 5/26: Cape Cod Trip 

8th Grade
5/15 - 5/18: Washington D.C. Trip
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