6th Grade Back-to-School - Thursday, September 22nd 6:45 - 8:30
7th & 8th Back-to-School - Thursday, September 29th  6:45 - 8:30
WMS / PTO Newsletter
September 12, 2016

Message from Principal Gavron 

I love beginnings.  Fresh wax on the floors, sharp pencils in the cases, and first day of school outfits made the New Year official and reminded us that all things were possible. Over the summer as we focused on beginning, I had the professional privilege of working with Dr. Stein and the entire Wayland administrative team to collectively shape Wayland’s 2016-2017 System-wide Goals.  With Assistant Principal George Benzie and our leadership teams we then charted the course for what these goals will lead us to focus upon at WMS this year.  While the acronym of HEART served us well over the past four years when it comes to goals, I believe the new mantra –“Wayland Schools UNITED” can help lift us to a new level.  Wayland Schools UNITED stands for
     
      Wayland Schools UNITED

      Using Data Wisely
      Nurturing Early Childhood Development (not applicable at WMS)
       Infusing Technology and Design
      Training Global Citizens
      Elevating Achievement
      Deepening Wellness Skills and Insights

Take a look at how we will prioritize our time in terms of these goals to better meet students’ learning needs.

Using Data Wisely - To strengthen the achievement of each learner through ongoing access to and use of data so that resources (funding, staffing, and time) are allocated efficiently, accurately and effectively

At WMS we will focus on
  • 1)PLC Collaboration -Continue work with Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), which are our same grade same subject area teams, to work together to look at students’ formative assessment results to shape and tailor instruction
  • 2)New SIS – Adopt, purchase and train staff in using a new district-wide Student Information System (SIS) that will replace iPass.  We are hopeful that the new program will offer us better functionality in storing data, tracking progress and communicating with families.

Infusing Technology and Design- To infuse technology and design throughout the curriculum with an emphasis on students building the skills they need to solve real world problems as they create, model and learn.

At WMS we will focus on
  • 1)Coding - Incorporate coding instruction into all three years of Applied Science classes at WMS.  Through the generous support of the Wayland Public Schools Foundation, Applied Science Teacher, Hip Rivera ,and Technology Integration Specialist, Bethann Monahan, were able to receive in depth coding training and collaborate with High school computer science teacher Mike Hopps to plan an exploratory unit using the program and language called Programming.
  • 2)STEAM Consultant - Thanks to a generous grant from the foundation we have been interviewing a number of potential STEAM consultants to find the fit to best support teachers professionally as they develop new opportunities for students to create using the iterative design process in order to solve real world problems.

Training Global Citizens - To train students to be productive global citizens of their country, nation and world able to demonstrate requisite skills, which include civility and cultural proficiency.

At WMS we will focus on
1) Electing a President – Our social studies teams will all be focused nurturing a culture of civility and citizenship in which students will learn about electing a president.
2) Cultural Proficiency PD - Staff will have three sessions of professional development sessions around our collective journeys towards cultural proficiency. We will engage in professional readings with hands on applications, have a guest speaker to stretch our thinking, and meet with a panel of former WMS students of color to share their middle school experiences, learning what went well and what would have made their time with us better.
3) Student Leadership - We are excited to be piloting a 7th grade Unity and Peacemakers group comprised of a diverse group of students, who are interested in learning about cultures and how to talk positively and productively about issues of race and diversity

Elevating Achievement - To utilize existing systems of structured support and engagement in combination with new initiatives to elevate the academic achievement of all students.

At WMS we will focus on
  • 1)Departmental Work - Each of our curricular departments will engage in professional development to improve teachers practice in order to lift student achievement
  • 2)Study Skills – Curriculum leaders met over the summer to study the research on study skills and tailor a plan to support the explicit teaching of study skills throughout the disciplines.  Collectively we will teach students the sub-skills involved in to “Setting their Table” for Independent learning.

Deepening Wellness Skills and Insights - To deepen and strengthen students’ wellness education by employing a systemic approach to curriculum, instruction, extra-curricular activities, school culture and safety.

At WMS we will focus on
  • 1)Catch Up and Breathe Weekends – Throughout first semester we will talk with students about finding balance between work and play.  To alleviate stress we planned for homework-free weekends every other weekend. We will assess this pilot at mid-year and decide how to proceed in 2nd semester. See below.
  • 2)Mindfulness & Meditation – Based on the success of teaching students meditation strategies for calming and centering last year, in October we are preparing to begin school-wide a 3-5 minute meditational practice at the start of 3rd block each day. 

As you can see we have many exciting projects/initiatives on tap for the coming year. All we do is in the hopes of improving upon our current program to make WMS an even better place for our students to grow and learn.  I hope to see you at the first Middle and More Coffee on Thursday, October 20th, where we will talk about our goals in more depth.  It is our partnership with families that makes us stronger.

Respectfully,

Betsy Gavron

Catch Up and Breathe Weekends
You may hear from your student they they do not have any homework on certain weekends. Hard to believe, but true! 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. See the schedule for Catch Up and Breathe below, and read Principal Gavron's "CUB" newsletter from last spring HERE

9/16 - 9/18                  
9/30 - 10/3                    
10/14 - 10/16                    
10/28 - 10/30
11/10 - 11/14              
11/23 - 11/27                  
12/9 - 12/11                      
12/23 - 1/2
Truancy and Attendance
One of the keys to academic achievement is good attendance. Below are two letters to familiarize you with attendance policy; the first is from the District Attorney and the second summarizes some of the Massachusetts General Laws pertaining to attendance. 


WMS Happenings
School Picture Day
THIS WEEK: Wednesday, September 14

Order forms were sent home last Friday. Your child will give his/her completed order form and payment directly to the photographer on Wednesday 9/14.
Recess in Need of Equipment
If you happen to have any extra Frisbees, kickballs, footballs, or soccer balls lying around, please consider donating them to WMS for our recess activities. You can drop off items at the front office. The kids would appreciate having a couple more items to toss and kick around. Thank you!
All Grades: Fitness Testing
WMS Wellness Classes
9/14/16 - 9/28/16

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

LIBRARY
Teen Library Advisory Club 
Tuesday, September 20th
At Wayland Public Library

Harry Potter-inspired costumes, thematic snacks, and trivia, oh my!

The WMS/WHS/WPL Teen Library Advisory Board will be kicking off our year with a Harry Potter Celebration at the WPL in honor of the summer's release of  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

All middle and high school aged students are welcome. The Teen Library Advisory Group has a variety of meetings throughout the year. Bring your ideas for activities for the rest of the year!

WHAT: Celebrate All Things Potter
HOW: Costumes, snacks, trivia, and MORE!
WHERE: Wayland Public Library
WHEN:  Tuesday, October 20th2:45-4:15
WHY: Fun with friends -- new and old!

Students can  RSVP online  and get a permission slip  to arrange bus transportation to the WPL in the WMS library. 
PTO NEWS
from Amy Simmons
PTO President

Like the WMS PTO Facebook page to stay up to date on events, news and volunteer opportunities!  

The PTO has exciting news to share!  This year marks the debut of the much requested, online Wayland Public Schools Directory!  Families MUST register for this directory to be included, only an email address is required for registration, and once accepted to the directory, access is free.  For more information, as well as how to register, please visit: http://waylandpto.org/myschoolanywhere-online-districtwide-family-directory/.  The traditional print directory will be available for purchase at Back to School Night or via www.waylandpto.org for two years as we transition to the new database. 

More exciting news – this year there will be no sales-based fundraisers at the middle school – no cookie dough, no wrapping paper, no collecting orders and money and delivering goods!  We will be joining the elementary and high schools in Gift Your Child – a direct donation fundraising campaign, where 100% of your donation is tax deductible and will directly benefit Wayland Middle School students.  You can donate at www.myschoolanywhere.com or www.waylandpto.org or at Back to School Nights.  Keep your eye out for more information later this month via USPS mail! 

Upcoming Events

Back to School Nights

The PTO will be at both WMS Back to School Nights this month.  Stop by our table to Gift Your Child, purchase a directory, meet board members, or to learn more about what the PTO accomplished at Wayland Middle School last year.  We look forward to seeing you! 

Volunteer Needs

Teacher Appreciation

The PTO is looking for 2-3 parents to coordinate our Teacher Appreciation lunches in May & June.  This is a lot of fun for friends to work on together, and is a great way to show the WMS teachers and staff how much we appreciate them.  Please contact Amy Simmons (simmons221@comcast.net) to sign up!  

Calling All 7th & 8th Grade Parents

We are looking for 1-2 more parents from both 7th and 8th grades to be Parent Reps for the year.  This would include coordinating a potluck dinner for the teachers before Back to School Night on September 29th, as well as helping the House Leaders with Cape Cod Night (7th grade) and D.C. Night (8th grade) in the Spring.  Please contact Amy Simmons (simmons221@comcast.net) to sign up!

REMINDERS (from previous emails)
Wayland Public Schools News & Online Publishing
OPT- OUT Form - Due Friday, September 16

WPS occasionally posts photos, videos or student work in the news and on school websites and/or online applications such as blogs. We may post photos and videos from school events and field trips. We rarely use a student's name, and if used, it is first name only. Please fill out this form only if you want to DECLINE publishing permission for your student's photos, videos and student work. Fill out the form for each child you wish to DECLINE publishing for. OPT OUT HERE.

From the Library

Students, parents , guardians, and other family members are welcome as part of our  library   volunteer  team, and an important part of our learning community.  Please see the WMS library website for more information and a sign up form.  Students can also stop by our library or the Club Fair to sign up.  We're off to a great start and looking forward to a wonderful year!
From the Lark's Nest

All 7th and 8th grade students are invited to  apply  to the LARKers and support technology use within the school and our Acceptable Use Policy  of Legal, Appropriate, Responsible, and Kind.  Applications  from 7th graders will be reviewed after September 23rd . The 6th graders will have the opportunity to apply to join the group in October, once they have acclimated themselves to the school year.
WMS Drop-Off and Pick-Up Reminders

Safety is the number one priority in the drop-off/pick-up circle.

Please acquaint yourself, and others that pick-up your children, with our traffic instructions. 

MAP AND TRAFFIC CIRCLE INSTRUCTIONS HERE.

Additionally, we've noticed that parents/guardians are parking in the teacher parking lot and their students are crossing through the buses to get to their rides. THIS IS DANGEROUS. For safety sake, please follow the traffic circle instructions and do not park in the lot. 

And please – for safety, no cell phone use while moving through the Traffic Circle. Thank you!

Artist of the Week

Artist: Victor Abalaka
Grade: 7
Medium: Acrylic and ink on board
CALENDAR
ALL Grades
9/14:  School Picture Day
10/03: NO SCHOOL, Rosh Hashanah
10/10:  NO SCHOOL, Columbus Day
10/11: NO SCHOOL
10/12:  NO SCHOOL, Yom Kippur
10/13: Math Meet @ WMS - 3:00 PM
10/14:  Q1 Progress Reports

Grade 6
9/22: G6 Back-to-School Night, 6:45 PM
9/30:  Thoreau Cluster Walden Pond Trip
10/6:  Henry Cluster Walden Pond Trip
10/7:  David Cluster Walden Pond Trip

Grade 7
9/29:  G7 & 8 Back-to-School Night, 6:45 PM
10/20: RLC Days of Wonder Trip (1/2 Grade)
10/21: RLC Days of Wonder Trip (1/2 Grade)

Grade 8
9/29:  G7 & 8 Back-to-School Night, 6:45 PM
10/25:  NY Caves Field Trip (1/3 grade)
10/27:  NY Caves Field Trip (1/3 grade)
10/28:  NY Caves Field Trip (1/3 grade)
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