The Last Day of School is Monday, June 20th. Dismissal at 1:10 PM
WMS / PTO Newsletter
May 13, 2016

Message from Principal Gavron 

As a middle school principal and mother of three, I often feel like my life is a little too  busy. Achieving the balance I seek can feel illusive at times. Scurrying to soccer games,  baseball practices, viola lessons and helping with homework can quickly fill the  afternoon and evening hours. While my family has stayed committed to finding  consistent times to do things like build jigsaw puzzles, read aloud, play Yahtzee and  watch an episode of Property Brothers together, fitting it all in isn’t always easy. I  regularly find myself working late nights and early mornings to complete my own  schoolwork. I have learned that I need to purposefully plan times to take some work- free, email-free Saturdays, so I can really relax and take the necessary mental break  from my demanding job. This allows me to come back to work feeling recharged and  ready to go.

I am not alone. Based on student and parent surveys we know academic stress for our
middle schoolers is an area of concern for parents and students alike. While our most
recent student HW survey affirmed that most students find assigned HW to be doable in
a reasonable amount of time and agree it furthers their learning, homework still creates
significant stress in students’ busy lives. And they are busy. Over half of our students
who filled out our survey reported that their extracurricular activities take up about 1.5 -
3.5 hours on a typical day. Our survey comments about homework ranged from “I love
to do homework,” to “It sucks so much I would rather eat a brick,” and everything in
between. References to stress were a common theme, “Homework is stressful, REALLY
STRESSFUL.” In discussing this dilemma with house leaders and curriculum leaders, we
have come together around a pilot proposal, which we have decided to roll out over the
first semester of next year.

We have created the concept of "Catch Up and Breathe" weekends, which are about  embracing wellness and balance. It is a recognition that weekends are different than  other days of the week. We all need time to reconnect, recharge, and regroup, and
these weekends will be a chance to do exactly that. During a "Catch Up and Breathe" 
weekend, which will be scheduled every other weekend of first semester, beginning
September 2nd, students will not receive homework that would be due the following
Monday. No assessments would be scheduled for the Monday after a  "Catch Up and Breathe" weekend. The initiative allows us to honor the fullness of our students’ lives
outside of school, and at the same time affords us a chance to mentor students in
striking a balance between work and play. "Catch Up and Breathe" is designed to allow
us to coach students about how to take healthy pauses in life. Friday conversations will
become about what folks have planned and could give teachers a chance to make
suggestions that go beyond academics. Since there is no assigned work, we might
suggest students think about doing any, all, or none of the following if they so choose:

 sleep in really late
 restock a pencil pouch
 go on a hike
 work on an art project
 meditate
 watch a movie with family
 curl up with a good book
 complete any overdue assignments (if they choose)
 clean up/update their Google Keep or planner
 play a board/card/video game with friends
 run wild in a field
 organize a binder
 do anything that they feel would allow them to come back Monday feeling ready
and refreshed.

In terms of independent reading, which we hope has become a relaxing life habit rather
than homework, ELA teachers would check in on Monday, but there would be no
penalty for someone who chooses not to read over a "Catch Up and Breathe" weekend.

In the spirit of Wellness and partnership, I encourage you to take a step back over the
summer and really examine the extra-curricular schedule you have created with your
child. Does it create a healthy balance and honor the down time kids and families need?
Does it allow students to get the sleep their growing bodies require? Interesting enough
healthy sleeping habits actually have a higher correlation with academic success than do
hours spent on homework. Ask yourself, “Do I help my child make choices and say ‘no’
at times in order to help my child learn how to create a healthy balance?” No one can
do it all (even when activities are beloved and fulfilling). Burnout will ensue. One of our
school mentor’s, Henry David Thoreau remarked, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the
ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” This pilot would allow us to say we
have thought about and answered this question by saying, “At WMS, sometimes we are
busy catching our breath.”

As we head into summer – the ultimate "Catch Up and Breathe" opportunity – I want to
thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your children once again this year. I so
appreciate your partnership and support as we collectively support students through
early adolescence. Both Mr. Benzie and I feel fortunate to work in a caring community
that so values education. I offer a special shout out for the amazing support of the PTO,
WPSF, and the Wayland Boosters, who have enriched the lives and learning of students
and staff alike. Take some much needed down time for family fun and relaxation. Enjoy
the time to “Catch Up and Breathe."


Betsy Gavron

Note: I am incredibly grateful to Carrie Dirmeikis for authoring the original “Catch Up
and Breathe” proposal and allowing me to incorporate much of its wording into this newsletter. 

WMS This Week
WMS Literary Magazine Opus
In print and online

Our 2015-2016 Literary Magazine is here! Opus is available in print or online, with poems, stories, recollections, and artwork from our very talented 6th, 7th, and 8th grade writers.
Our digital version is available at
Wayland Athletics Webpage Logo
8th Grade Parents:  Fall Athletics Meeting
Wayland High School Auditorium
Tuesday, June 14th, from 6:00 - 7:30 PM

WHS Athletic Director Heath Rollins will host a meeting for 8th grade parents and students interested in playing sports at the High School next year.  He will give an overview of the athletic program, followed by a breakout sessions with fall sports 
Wayland Booster Store Open
Wayland High School Commons
Tuesday, June 14th, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM

The Wayland Boosters offer you a chance to stock up on your Wayland gear! V isit us in the High School Commons to see old favorites, such as our pride pants, socks and comfortable hoodies, or find something new for coaches or Father’s Day gifts!
8th Grade Parents: 8th Grade Welcomes Rena Finder
WMS Auditorium
Thursday, June 16th, 9:00 AM

On Thursday, June 16th, the eighth grade is honored to be hosting Rena Finder.  Ms. Finder was born in Krakow, Poland in 1929. She survived the Krakow ghetto, the Plaszow concentration camp and four weeks at Auschwitz.   She was saved through the actions of Oscar Schindler.  For over twenty-five years, Ms. Finder has been speaking to our eighth graders about her childhood, her journey through the Holocaust and the importance of being upstanders.  In 2011, she became our school's first honorary alumna. 

Eighth grade parents are welcome to attend this event, from 9:00 - 10:00 in the theater.  Please contact Jake Montwieler [] or Matt McCormack [] for more information. 

All Grades: Fitness Testing
WMS Wellness Classes
June 13th - 17th

If your child has a history of exercise-induced asthma and has an inhaler in the nurse's office, please remind him/her to see the nurse 20 - 30 minutes before pacer testing to pick up the inhaler and bring to Wellness class.  If your child does not have an inhaler at school, then please provide the nurse with a WPS medication order form so that your child may use his or her inhaler while at school. The Wellness Staff would also like to ask all families to be sure their children eat breakfast and stay hydrated especially on fitness testing days.  This testing is vigorous and failure to eat or drink adequate amounts of fluids can result in headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting. Thank you!  

We utilize the FitnessGram protocol found HERE.

~The Wellness and Health Room Staff

Lost & Found - The Last One of the Year!
WMS Front Lobby
June 14th - 20th

Have your child check for missing items in our Lost & Found, or come and take a look for yourself!  Unclaimed items will be donated to charity at 2:30 PM, Tuesday, June 21st, as is our custom prior to each of the school vacations  (December, February, April and June).
End of Year Checklist for Parents
Return books to school and bring items home!
Last Day of School - Monday, June 20th 1:10 PM

- Return Books

  • overdue school library books
  • overdue classroom library books (marked on spine with either "ELA" or the teacher's name). 
  • Academic textbooks so they can be turned in when the school year ends.
  • Lost Book Replacement Costs. Please make your check payable to Wayland Middle School.

- Start bringing home unneeded locker items like winter coats, boots, old papers, etc.

Check our lost & found for missing items.

- Pay any outstanding Food Services balances.

- If applicable, register for the school bus before fees increase on June 30.  

From Our Librarian/Media Specialist
Sara Ravid

Thank you for a wonderful year of supporting our students in experiencing the world -- near and far -- through independent and curricular reading! 

I would like to especially thank the many students, parents, community members, faculty, and staff who have helped out in the library throughout the year. Volunteering in the library not only benefits the entire WMS school community, but also promotes our values of BERT, expanding the sense of belonging and pride in our library program. 

We would like to extend a special thank you to our "graduating" volunteer, Cathy Scholz. Cathy joined the WMS library volunteer team when her older child entered 6th grade, while still serving as the Library Volunteer Coordinator at her children's elementary school for the next two years. Over the course of the past five years, she has contributed to our program in innumerable ways. Our students and faculty have benefitted greatly from her experience, sensitivity, and keen eye. Thank you, Cathy! 

Returning Books: 
As the end of the year quickly approaches, we would like to enlist your assistance in helping your student locate library materials or resolve their accounts so materials can be ready for the fall. 

Students are sent automated notices of their checkouts to their school email addresses on a weekly basis throughout the year. Those with books due before 4th quarter mid-term have also received printed lists in homeroom. We are following up with students both in school and via e-mail to parents/guardians. WPS libraries do not charge late fees, but do bill for materials that are lost or badly damaged.

We appreciate your support in helping your student:
*  locate and return materials no longer being used as soon as possible
*  speak with me in person if s/he is still using the materials (no summer cliffhangers! :-))
*  speak with me in person if there is a database/clerical mistake and your student does not have something listed as checked out to him/her
*  work together to provide a replacement copy in new or excellent condition OR a check made out to "Wayland Middle School" for the amount listed in the e-mail message that you will receive

All materials due BEFORE June 1st must be accounted for in order for students to participate in end of year activities or receive yearbooks. 

All materials checked out AFTER June 1st must be accounted for by the end of the day on  Friday, June 17th. Starting  June 20th invoices will be issued for all materials not already reconciled.

Thank you for your help in keeping track of our library materials so that everyone can enjoy them next year.

We wish you great summer full of fantastic books!

Sara Ravid, WMS Library/Media Specialist

WMS Summer Reading:
Middle & More Coffee
Tuesday, June 14th, 9:00-10:00 AM
Our last “ Middle  &  More ” of the year is on  Tuesday, June 14th , from  9:00 -10:00 am  in the WMS Library. Can you believe the school year is almost over?! Come join us for a conversation with  Betsy   Gavron . We’ll take a quick look back at the year, get a sneak peak into next year, and then discuss whatever you’d like. Were there questions you didn’t get to ask at “ Middle  More ” earlier in the year? Topics you wish we had covered? Bring your inquiries and ideas and share a cup of coffee or tea with us!  Please contact Cathy Scholz ( ) if you have any questions.
From WHSPO to Parents of 8th Graders
Wayland High School Parent Organization

Are you interested in getting involved at the High School?  It‘s not too late to get involved with WHSPO for next year!   We are still looking for a Vice President to finish filling our Board for 2016-2017.  This position can also be shared if you know of someone who would like to share the position with you as we had two co-Vice Presidents this past year.  It’s a great way to stay informed about the hot topics and general workings at the High School.  If you are interested, we would love to have you.  If you have questions about the position or would like the opportunity to help without becoming an officer, please contact Sarah Orlov at , Elisa Scola at  
or Susan Steneri at Thank you, and welcome to WHS!
Summer Stuff
All Grades

Reading good books during the summer is one of the best ways to keep you engaged in new ideas.  Not only will it enlist your imagination, but also it will help you continue to gain understanding of yourself, other people, other places, and other times. You can do it just about anywhere-- in the back of your car, on your porch or in your backyard, on your bunk at camp, and especially on a sunny day at the beach. 

Please plan on reading at least two to three books this summer.  Please consult the Wayland Middle School Summer Reading List and visit the Wayland Public Library for book recommendations.

    Please complete one Book Buzz on your favorite summer reading book. 

    Summer Math Packets
    All Grades

    Dear Parents: 

    Through the years many parents have asked what can be done over the summer to maintain skills and develop mathematical thinking. There are a couple of options for families. 

    1. The Middle School math teachers have created a practice packet calendar to help your child retain his/her skills and to provide valuable practice over the summer. You should feel free to discuss the work with your child. Math discussions are an important way for students to remember and retain concepts. Students may enjoy working with peers or parents as they practice. Again, this calendar is simply an opportunity for your child to maintain skills. The calendar and answer key are on the Wayland Middle School website and can be downloaded and printed at your convenience.  Students may also do the work on online. See the Summer Math page for details. 

    A few things to note: 

    Packets are not being handed out in math classes this year.  Students interested in trying the summer math calendar should download the packet or enroll in the Summer Math class on ASSISTments (see directions on the WMS Summer Math page.

    The summer math calendars have not been updated since our adoption of the Common Core State Standards.  This means that there may be a few problems on your grade-level packet that you actually haven't seen before.  These are great extension questions for you to try and talk about with your family.

    Our goal is to provide a manageable way for students seeking to keep their math skills sharp over the summer by providing one problem per day.

    Packets will not be graded.

    There is no penalty for not doing the packet

    Students may get help from sibling, parent, etc.

    If a student doesn’t know how to do a certain problem, it’s OK to try it and move on to another problem.

    It is OK to use extra paper if more space is needed to work the problems

    2. There are many options for summer math skills review workbooks that can be purchased by families. Here are two.  Both are intended to be used only 3 days per week for ten weeks.

    wayland  cares
    EMPOWER | Leadership, Communication & Collaboration
    June 27th - July 1st, Monday - Friday 10 AM - 3 PM

    Join Us to Give Back to Your Community and be a Youth Leader!  

    Work with a group of your peers from Wayland and surrounding communities 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:  

    • Who: Students Entering Grades 7-10.
    • Where: Wayland High School  
    • Staff: Elsie Cerrone, Dossie Kahn and Jason Verhoosky

    Lunch will be provided daily. There is no fee for this program. To register for this program, please email or call 508.358.6825.

    ARTIST of the WEEK
    Artist: Shae Hanlon
    Grade 8
    Media: plastic, acrylic, found image
    REMINDERS (from previous emails)
    Pick Up Meds from Nurse
    Deadline: 2:00 PM on Monday, June 20th

    Just a reminder that all prescription and over-the-counter medications must be picked up by 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 20.  Your child may pick up his or her epipen and/or albuterol inhaler on your behalf. Be sure to instruct your child to stop by the school nurse before the end of the school day on Monday.  All other medications must be picked up by a parent or designated adult.

    We are required to destroy all medications/devices not picked up by the deadline.Questions? Contact Nurse Marcia Nims at 508-655-6670 x1104.
    6th Grade Parents
    Health Physicals Due

    Dear Rising 7th Grade Parent or Guardian:
    As you and your child anticipate entering the seventh grade at Wayland Middle School next year, please note that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations require a current physical exam with immunizations (dated within the last 12 months), be submitted to the Nurse’s office prior to the start of 7th grade.
    Please send your child’s most recent physical exam to me as soon as possible so that I may have time to enter your child’s information into their medical record before the start of 7th grade. If your child has an upcoming appointment for his/her physical after May 15th, please forward the documentation to me as soon as you receive it.
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.
    Marcia R. Nims, RN, BSN
    From the Office:
    Moving? Private School? 
    If your family is moving from Wayland, or if you've decided to send your child to private school next year, please be sure to submit a student  withdrawal form  to your child's guidance counselor so that we may begin the process of preparing your child's records for transfer.  Many thanks!
    Upcoming Events
    June 20 -  Last Day of School - dismissal at 1:10 PM

    6TH GRADE:
    June 17 - Social at WMS, 1:20 - 2:20 PM

    7TH GRADE:
    June 15 -  Cape Cod Family Night,  7:00 PM  

    8TH GRADE:
    June 14 - Athletics Meeting at WHS, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
    June 16 - Kimball' s Trip,  2:30 - 8:00 PM

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