March 2015
Wayland Middle School/PTO Newsletter
Principal's Message

Dear WMS Families: 


When I was in middle school (ok it was "junior high" in the '80s) my English class looked nothing like the classes I see at Wayland Middle School today. I can clearly recall my 7th grade English teacher sitting at his desk in the front of the room and assigning us bookwork from Warner's English textbook. We would obediently copy sentences, underlining the subject once and the predicate twice as we silently worked to identify direct and indirect objects. It was dreary. While I learned to sniff out a split infinitive, these practices did not to teach me how to find my voice as a writer, select impactful evidence to support my arguments, or learn from my classmates' wisdom by debating ideas. Fortunately, the National Council of Teacher's of English weighed in, and as early as 1985 declaring that, "'repetitive grammar drills and exercises' - like diagramming sentences - are "a deterrent to the improvement of students' speaking and writing.'" The good news is that since then, there has been an enormous body of research about how children grow as readers and writers, and members of our English department regularly implement best practices. I thought I would let you hear our ELA educational priorities directly from our local expert, ELA curriculum leader, Carrie Dirmeikis, and try to give you a feel for what these priorities look like in the classroom. READ MORE 

GREASE is the word!

Come celebrate the official arrival of Spring at the Spring Musical! The Wayland Middle School Fine Arts Department and nearly 100 of our talented middle school actors, musicians, and stage technicians will be offering performances of Grease: School Edition this week. What better way to urge on the warm weather than with a rousing rendition of "Summer Nights" and other Broadway catalog favorites? The performance schedule follows:


Thursday, March 19 at 7:30 pm  

Friday, March 20 at 7:30 pm  

Saturday, March 21 at 12:30  


Adult admission is $12.00.  Student tickets for all three performances are only $5.00, so we hope that many of our middle schoolers will come to support their friends, socialize, and treat themselves to a taste of the Broadway experience. Tickets may be purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to curtain time. Tickets may also be purchased by completing the advance sale ticket order and submitting it to the school office with a check made out to "WMS."  


Come help our talented and spirited cast heat up the theater and melt away a few more inches of snow!


WMS Traffic Rules - Police Take Notice
Our SINCERE THANKS to the majority of WMS families who follow our school traffic rules each and every day. You put student safety first, and we appreciate it!  Thank you as well to those who carpool in order to reduce traffic volume at our school.

DO: Pick up/drop off children at the sidewalk abutting the gym-side of the school building.

  Pick up/drop off children in the parking lot! Not safe!
DO NOT:  Pick up/drop off children along the driveway abutting the DPW building, and then make a U-turn. Not safe!

WMS Rocks Science Olympiad!

The WMS Science Olympiad team had an impressive and respectable showing at this year's state meet. We earned 6th place out of 31 participating middle schools! The team members included:  8th graders Eileen Chau, Rachel Chau, Martin Ma, Christina Matta, Chris Maietta, Daniel Nee, Mae Zhang, Sarah Zhang, Nathan Zhao; 7th graders Angela Chi, Brendan Ho, Michael Liu, Manasa Rajeev, Anthony Xue; and 6th graders Kristen Bestavaros, Oliver Cerne, Eugene Jiang, Jack McCahan, Ryan Murdock, Will Obar, Jasmin Wong, Jiming Xu, Allen Zou, and Aiden Zhang.


Notable awards given, Regular Team


1st place (gold medal)

Nathan Zhao, Daniel Nee in Road Scholar

Chris Maietta, Martin Ma in Elastic Launched Glider


2nd place (silver medal)

Nathan Zhao, Michael Lui in Simple Machines


3rd place (bronze medal)

Aiden Zhang, Jiming Xu in Fossils

Chis Maietta, Martin Ma in Green Generation


4th place ribbon

Eileen Chau, Rachel Chau in Solar System


5th place ribbon

Daniel Nee, Nathan Zhao in Anatomy

Aiden Zhang, Daniel Nee in Bio-Process Lab


6th place ribbon

Eileen Chau, Rachel Chau in Entomology


Notable Awards given, Alternate Team


2nd place ribbon

Jack McCahan, Jasmin Wong in Solar System


3rd place ribbon

Ryan Murdock, Jack McCahan in Meteorology

Artist of the Week ~ Ben Clifford

Title:  Snowy Drive
Medium: Charcoal

"My project was about taking long drives when it's snowing with my dad." ~ Ben Clifford

No Students After 2:20 P.M. on March 30th
Wayland Middle School will be closed to all students and to the public at 2:20 p.m. on Monday, March 30, while our staff and the Wayland Police conduct a live intruder simulation (with a weapon prop) using our ALICE protocols.  All after school programs will be cancelled, and our BASE students will be transported to Loker School.  All students must leave the building at 2:20 p.m.  Please plan accordingly.  Thank you!

PTO News

Save the Date - Special Evening Middle & More Event on "Tweens and Technology" -  March 17th, 7 p.m. This month's "Middle & More" will be a special evening event on parenting 'tweens and teens through the world of technology, in the WMS Library, from 7:00-8:00 pm, this Tuesday, March 17th.  The Middle School and the PTO will be hosting Lynette Owens, the Global Director of Trend Micro's Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) program.  Lynette will offer advice for parents faced with the challenge of talking with children about access to technology. How can parents guide children through what to do, as well as what not to do?  Some of you may remember Lynette from when she spoke at the Loker School last year.  With older kids come older issues!  Please join us for this special evening coffee!  Contact Cathy Scholz at if you have any questions.   


If you can't come this month, mark your calendar for the next Middle and More coffee - Thursday April 2nd, 9:00-10:00 am, when we will be joined by Officer Shane Bowles to talk about the Role of the Safety Officer at WMS and our new school safety protocol ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate).

Library News

WMS-WHS-WPL Teen Library Advisory 

All Wayland students in grades 6-12 are invited to the next Teen Library Advisory Meeting. Join us to take stuff apart! Materials will be on hand, and, with your permission, students are welcome to bring broken technology of their own to dismantle and reinvent. Build things that work.... or just look cool.

  • WHAT:  Take Things Apart (Provided, or bring things with parent permission)
  • HOW:  Safely, with tools. RSVP and complete a permission slip (also available in the library) by the end of the day on Monday, March 16.
  • WHERE:  Wayland Public Library; Use RSVP link to reserve a bus spot from WMS to the WPL! 
  • WHEN:  Wednesday, March 18th, 1:45-3:45 
  • WHY:  Have fun with friends and learn how things work!

More information on the Library Website, or ask Pam McCuen (WPL), Ms. Ravid (WMS), or Ms. Schmidt (WHS). The WMS-WHS-WPL Teen Library Advisory group meets mostly monthly and is sponsored by the Friends of the Wayland Public Library. This event is supported by LSTA grant awarded by the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners. 


From the Wayland Public Library
Middle School Writing Workshop with Angela Corbet
Thursday March 19, 2015, 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Marina Keegan, who wrote this year's Wayland Reads selection, was always a curious and passionate writer and from an early age kept journals.  As a middle schooler (she attended Wayland Middle School) and high schooler, she explored her ideas, hopes, and questions in words and sketches. Please join a workshop with Angela Corbet to explore your ideas, hopes, and questions. Angela Corbet recently retired from the Wayland Middle School where she taught English for many years. Registration is recommended. Please on the WPL website


Super Smash Bros. Tournament
Wednesday March 25, 2015, 1:45 PM - 3:45 PM

This Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tournament is open to all teens! Other video and board games will also be available. Tournament will be run by Robert Lorino, gamer, and Simmons library student. No link to pre-register.


The Characters Within: An Improv Theatre Lab

Wednesday, April 1, 1:45-3:15, Wayland Public Library

Led by Rona Leventhal. Using improvisational theatre and movement, teens will explore different characters and make them come alive! Focus is not on improv games, but on exploring characters.  No theatre experience necessary -- open to all who want to have fun and learn! Questions? Call Pam McCuen at 508-358-2308. 


Important Dates
3/17:  Middle & More Parent Coffee, 7:30 p.m.
3/18:  8th Grade Parent Night at WHS, 7:00 p.m.
3/19:  Grease, WMS Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
3/20:  Grease, WMS Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
3/21:  Grease, WMS Auditorium, 12:30 p.m.
3/23:  9th Grade Course Registration Help Session, WMS, 2:30 p.m.
3/24:  9th Grade Course Registration Help Session, WMS, 7:00 p.m.
3/31, 4/01, 4/02:  Postural Screening, All Grades
4/02:  Q3 Ends
4/03:  NO SCHOOL, Good Friday

Reminders (from previous emails)                                     
Postural Screening
3/31, 4/1, 4/2
In all grades. Please send a note to Nurse Nims by 3/26 if you wish to have your child excused from this screening.
Charge Your Chromebooks!
The complete PARCC schedule is available HERE. Please help your child get a good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive to school on time. It's a good idea to leave the cell phones at home on PARCC testing days. Thank you for your continued support!
7th & 8th Grade
Sports Clearance
Deadline March 29
Register now on FAMILYID
Questions, contact the Athletic Office at 508-358-7488 or s