WMS / PTO Newsletter
May 8, 2017  

Message from Principal Gavron

When Wayland graduates reunite and reminisce about their glory days, the topic of the Wayland Middle School trips is a consistent refrain.  There is something special about an entire class biking to Walden Pond, exploring ecosystems on Cape Cod, and considering justice in our nation’s capital.  These whole-grade treks are transformative, allowing for experiential learning to take place out in the field, new bonds to form among students and their teachers, and students’ comfort zones to be stretched in surprising ways.  As we roll into May and we prepare for our culminating spring trips, I thought I’d share a bit about each and the value they serve.

Grade 6 - A Thoreau Inspired “Sense of Place” Trip

Henry David Thoreau was a keen observer of the natural world and fully appreciated the chance to immerse himself in the changing New England seasons, having lived at Walden for two years, two months and two days. Our recently developed “Sense of Place” spring trip brings full-circle a Henry David Thoreau motivated wellness sequence that takes 6th graders out into the field. In the fall our sixth grade TAG groups revel in the beauty of a New England landscape as we bike eighteen miles to and from Walden amid the glorious changing leaves. In the winter, we cross-country ski to take in the winter wonderland that Weston Ski Track offers. Now that spring is upon us, clusters will either hike in Walden woods or trek up Mount Wachusett (inspired by D. B Johnson’s picture book that captures Thoreau’s life and philosophical priorities, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg). 

In either venue, our “Sense of Place” trip allows students to soak in the glories of the changing spring panorama. We take deliberate pauses to sit in silence and listen to the natural music created by birds communicating, squirrels scampering, and the wind rustling through newly emerging leaves. My favorite moment last year was painting on the beach at Walden with students. I enjoyed discussing their Walden inspired watercolors created as a backdrop to illustrate their favorite Thoreau quote. As we walked, students explained to their classmates why they chose the particular quote they did and what Thoreau’s words meant to them. A day in the woods brings TAG groups closer together as they connect in new ways, finding unexpected commonalities in the casual conversation of the day. There is always a sense of accomplishment in conquering the physical challenge as some summit a mountain for the first time or complete an entire day of hiking. Hopefully at least a few discover a passion for hiking that will last a lifetime.

Grade 7 - A Carson Inspired Cape Cod Trip

Our 7th grade scientists will travel to the Cape in May where Rachel Carson herself studied. Students will ponder two essential questions – “What is environment,” and “What is our relationship to it?” For three days our students are immersed in a myriad of ecosystems that comprise our natural world.  Out on the water we travel by boat to explore the ocean’s treasures with naturalists.  We cast for plankton and then observe the catch under microscopes. A highlight on board is the touch tank that holds an aquarium of snails, clams and an assortment of different crabs.  Many students are eager to get their hands wet and explore creatures’ features.  I am sure at least one marine biologist is born each year aboard the Naviator or one of Captain John’s boats. A favorite walk takes us down a magical lush green Cedar Swamp boardwalk. It is a serene stop for journaling as we take pause to admire these ancient, unique trees and their surroundings. Even the mosquitoes can’t undermine the splendor of such a vista. Finally, the social evenings are filled with fun as students make memories playing mini-golf, eating ice cream and perfecting their golf swing on the driving range.

Grade 8 - A King Inspired Washington D.C. Trip

Our 8th graders have spent the year considering Dr. Martin Luther King’s work for civil rights and looked closely at the tenets of justice through a number of case studies in our history. When we go to DC they are able to stand on the steps where King gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”  

Throughout the year they have carefully considered the conditions when justice prevailed, when justice was delayed, and when justice was denied. Leading up to our Washington DC trip students also have examined what it means to memorialize, paying careful attention to the emotional effect an artist aims to create. Having constructed their own memorial project, they are highly attuned to the design elements they encounter in DC. While DC tour groups from other schools laugh and play as they pass by historic monuments, our students study the sites as scholars, pay respect, and carefully consider what the artist wants to make them think and feel.  At Arlington Cemetery we visit the gravesite of Matthew Puccino, a Massachusetts-born Green Beret who was killed recently in the line of duty. There we pay our respect and talk with Puccino’s friends and family after having learned about his life. Through this journey students see that behind every gravestone is a story, and a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend our freedoms. Like the Cape trip, the evenings are social grade-wide events that involve bonding at the ballpark and dancing the night away to the latest DJ-spun tunes.

For many, the trips involve challenges that fall right in a student’s wheelhouse. Several have already hiked, explored the Cape or traveled to D.C. with their families. Others are veterans of sleep away camp, and have no problem slumbering in bunks with relative strangers. But for some of our students, the trips are journeys into the unknown that tax them emotionally.  The physical challenges of a strenuous hike can be intimidating. Speaking on a microphone at the front of the bus as a tour guide expert can create panic. Sleeping in cabins with classmates and the occasional arachnid can elicit angst. Being halfway down the eastern seaboard away from family can be anxiety-provoking.  Some students must overcome significant worry to take this risk to learn and develop incredible resilience in the process. Countless personal victories are won on the trips as students overcome their fears. In the magic of the trips, undoubtedly kids who don’t run in the same circles find themselves spending lots of time together and delight in making unexpected connections.  Each year a new sense of belonging emerges as each grade gels.  It is a beautiful sight.

Our grade-level trips are a big part of what makes Wayland Middle School such a special learning community.  I know all too well that these trips do not happen without the dedication of house leaders, who spend countless hours attending to the myriad of details necessary to pull off such outings. I am grateful to the teachers, teaching assistants, counselors and other support staff who leave their own families to spend 24-hours a day in the same challenging conditions as our students.  There they work behind the scenes to coach students through anxieties, help them negotiate social angst and grow their risk-taking skills.    I thank our staff, who believe in the educational value of such experiences and are committed to the resulting academic and social growth.  


Betsy Gavron

WMS News
  Join us for the Florence Adler 5K Walk/Run
May 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Starts at Wayland Middle School!
Come and join in the fun!
The Florence Adler 5k is almost here!

Come and cheer teachers/administrators participating!  All teachers and administrators will be recognized and the top two fastest male and female participants will get special 'medals'. 

Come cheer our racing Moms. In honor of Mother's Day, we will be recognizing the top three fastest times with special 'medals'. If you are a mom, join our race. If your Mom is running, run with her or cheer her on! 

On-line registration HEREThe race route is found HERE. The race is sponsored by the Boston Parent Council and the proceeds are used to support Wayland METCO.
Toy Drive!   May 8 - 12
The 6th Grade Community service club is holding a toy drive for the Boston Children's Hospital. The hospital really appreciates all donations. Bring your unopened, or new toys the the WMS Lobby.  Thank you!
  Offered for Fourth Year...
Wayland Summer Strings Now Registering

Wayland Summer Strings is an opportunity for entering Grades 6 -9 strings players to enjoy a one-week chamber music program under the leadership of Ms. Whitney Tandon.  Musicians enjoy daily rehearsals leading to a Friday ensemble performance. Each year the program is fully enrolled with up to 20 musicians.
Dates are July 24 - 28 from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Wayland High School.

Each day there are fun music activities, games, and rehearsals.        

To reserve a spot, complete registration form now and send to: WSCP, Loker School, 47 Loker Street, Wayland MA 01778

In June, you will receive a payment notice via email with instructions to send a $150 check payable to WSCP with "summer strings" in the memo. It should be sent to WSCP at Loker School, 47 Loker Street, Wayland, MA 01778.  Checks must be dated July 1, 2017, or later.

Programming Questions?  Contact ​ Whitney_Tandon@wayland.k12.ma.us.
Registration Information: Form available HERE 
or email:   Rosemarie_Teti@wayland.k12.ma.us
PTO News
PTO Annual Meeting
Thursday, May 18th, 8:45-9:10 am; WMS Library

Please join the PTO for our Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 18th.  We will introduce next year’s nominated board, review the proposed budget for 2017-2018, and then vote to approve both items.  The Annual Meeting will be immediately followed by May’s Middle & More Coffee.  We hope you can join us!

Middle & More – STEAM Initiatives, Chromebooks & Technology Use at WMS                                     Thursday, May 18th, 9:10-10:00 am; WMS Library

The PTO invites you to join us for this month’s Middle & More parent coffee on Thursday, May 18th, immediately following our Annual Meeting.  This month we will enjoy a STEAM presentation from WMS Staff including information on STEAM initiatives, Chromebooks and technology use at WMS.

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Sign-Ups

We have had five amazing volunteers come forward to coordinate this year’s Teacher Appreciation luncheon on Wednesday, May 31, and now they need your help to donate food, supplies and/or your time helping at the actual event.  We have used SignUp.com (formerly VolunteerSpot.com) to organize the event.  You do not need to have an account, and you only need an email address to sign up.  Please visit:   http://signup.com/go/CBBjBQC to sign up now, and many thanks to Lani Camacho, Gina Dallin, Cathy Davies, Cheryl Leider and Meredith Tobe for organizing the luncheon for our teachers this year!
Reminders from previous emails
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.
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. 
Artist: Sam Kaye
Grade: 7
Medium: Mixed
5/13: Florence Adler 5K Walk/Run at 11:00 AM (Registration 9:30)
6/5:   WMS Orchestra Concert 7:30 PM
6/6:   WMS Band Concert 7:30 PM
6/8:   WMS Chorus Concert 7:30 PM
6/21: Last Day of School
8th Grade
5/15 - 18: 8th Grade DC Trip
7th Grade
5/24 - 26: 7th Grade Cape Cod Trip
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