WMS Newsletter
June 18, 2018
  • Upcoming Events
  • Message from Principal Gavron
  • Room to Read
  • Summer Reading
  • Summer Math
  • Drama Programs for Next Year
  • Notices & Deadlines - End of this Year/Start of Next
  • PTO News
  • Artist of the Week
  • Reminders from Previous Emails

TODAY! Retirement Reception for Donna Sumner and Rob Reddington, 2:30 - 3:30 pm
WMS Cafeteria Courtyard

Last day of School - Friday 6/22 (Wednesday Schedule, 1:10 pm release)

Chromebook Collection - Wednesday 6/20

Chromebook Collection - Wednesday 6/20

Chromebook AND Charger Collection - Tuesday 6/19
Step Over Day to High School - Thursday 6/21
Kimball Farm - Thursday 6/21 (after school event)

Endings are bittersweet. They bring a satisfying sense of accomplishment, tinged with a sadness that comes with saying goodbye. As the 2017-2018 school year comes to a close I am thrilled for our 8th graders who are completing their WMS journey and marvel at all they have accomplished. Yet, I feel the loss of their pending departure. I will miss them as they move on to the next phase of their educational journey. We say farewell knowing they are ready for any challenge they will face in the coming years. This year, in addition to sending off our 8th graders, we have two beloved 8th grade teachers retiring from Wayland Middle School. With a combined 38 years of service to WMS, words fail to capture the impact they have had throughout their tenure and how much their presence will be missed. Please enjoy excerpts of the retirement tributes I offered them as we say farewell.
Ms. Donna Sumner
“If I had a nickel for every parent who has told me that Donna Sumner was the best math teacher his or her child has ever had, I would have both the makings of a fabulous real world math problem and I would be a very rich woman. Enriched is certainly something students become when they spend a year learning with Donna. Though, during that first week of 8th grade, not every student yet realizes the treasure they have unearthed in Ms. Sumner. To many, Ms. Sumner’s classroom has a stricter feel than they are accustomed to at Wayland Middle School. There are tell-tale signs that Ms. Sumner taught in Catholic schools for 29 years before coming to WMS and that she experienced a predominantly parochial education herself. For instance, Donna writes the daily agenda and objectives on the board with a meter stick beneath each word to ensure crisp, perfect alignment of her words. There is also a palpable and predictable feeling of order to her classroom. Students quickly realize that there is no room for off-task, side conversations, for every mathematical minute is precious. All students are expected to be focused and participate actively throughout every lesson. One student explains coming to see Donna’s class as a refuge from middle school social drama. ‘Your classroom is a learning place only. No gossip, no rumors, just math.’

As students learn, they find the hidden gems in Donna’s teaching, and come to realize how valuable their growth is to their teacher. Ms. Sumner will tenaciously stick with a student who is confused until he or she can arrive at a correct answer or integrate a challenging mathematical concept. Her clarity is unparalleled. So quickly she is able to identify the heart of a student’s misunderstanding and skillfully scaffold her questions, enabling the student to discover the right path. Countless students come to treasure the depth of her skills and dedication to their success. Many send her letters at the end of the year, and even well into high school, thanking her for her tenacity and for helping them find confidence. For example one student writes, ‘You are special to me because you taught me how everybody can be good at something as long as you try hard enough. Before I came to 8th grade I was never good at math, and because of this, math was never my favorite subject. When I came into your class you taught me how to work hard and to never give up. You also taught me to ask questions when I felt behind or lost. One quote I remember from your room is ‘It’s better to ask twice than to lose your way once.’…I feel I can’t say thank you enough for changing the course of my life….’”

Mr. Rob Reddington
“...If you have never really struggled to learn or if you have never been a parent to a special needs student, you might not realize how hard a day can be for an 8th grader at Wayland Middle School. Rob Reddington gets how some students can feel adrift, and unanchored. With 26 years spent working to support middle schoolers on IEPs Rob has stood watch from the crow’s nest observing the awkwardness of the teenage years. He’s detected the social emotional and academic turbulence our students encounter as they navigate the rough waters of early adolescence. Rob deeply understands how difficult a struggle it can be for some of our more challenged learners to stay afloat in the sea of high academic expectations. As an educational community we unapologetically value rigor and aspire to have kids thinking and creating at the tippy top of Bloom’s taxonomy, so that they might maximize their potential. Rob is attuned to the fact that our most struggling learners can float from class to class lacking an even keel as they encounter ideas and concepts that seem a bit ethereal and just out of reach. Dissecting the Declaration of Independence, factoring polynomials, understanding the science behind moon phases, and unpacking the symbols in our house mentor’s “I Have a Dream” speech can be overwhelming to some. While we scaffold and support students to meet high expectations, many can still feel that they are in over their heads. For those students, Rob has served as a lifeboat, guiding them to calmer waters.

For years Rob’s safe harbor for students has been the resource room. Away from the stormy seas he shines a beacon of light on community and the unique gifts that each of his troops bring to the table. He embraces their quirks and individual traits. Rob’s white board is covered with photo-shopped images he has created of his smiling students that reflect their interests, talents, and inside class jokes. In room 129 students are able to collectively let the wind out of their sails a bit, catch their breath ask the more basic questions they might find embarrassing in a larger, whole-class setting. Rob patiently untangles knotty concepts and shows them the ropes they need to persevere in the face of challenge, so that they might successfully ride the academic wave. 

Rob relishes in teaching reading to kids who hate to read. Through specialized instruction he helps them navigate text with a bit more confidence. He is part commander, part teacher, part counselor, and part dad. Rob knows when a student needs a hard message and when one needs an ego boost. For Mr. Reddington, there is nothing better than putting a smile on the face of a student after a tough day. In turn Rob finds inspiration in his students.  For example, each year Rob invites Andrew Pilkington, a former student who has produced multiple full-length films to return to WMS to address our 8th graders. Andrew has cerebral palsy, travels in a power chair, and uses adaptive technology such as a keyboard which enables him to type with his nose and a joystick he can manipulate with his feet to edit film. Andrew has refused to allow overwhelming physical and communication challenges to cause him to capsize as he sails towards his dreams. I’d like to think Andrew was equally motivated by his teacher Mr. Reddington and found room 129 to be a place from which every student could see their true north. Rob is and always will be a champion of the underdog.…”

Thank you to Ellen Jacobs, who spearheaded this program, and to all the students who volunteered to make this happen. Also a big thank you to all who invested both funding and time for this remarkable endeavor. Your efforts have made a big impact on not only the students at the Gia Hanh Primary School in Ha Tinh, Vietnam, but their families and community as well.

Please click here for the full details about this project!

Reading 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 read anywhere! -- in the back of your car, on your porch, on your bunk at camp, and especially on a sunny day at the beach. 

Please plan on reading at least two to three books of your choice this summer, and complete a Book Buzz for your one favorite summer reading book ( link here). For summer reading suggestions, see links below. Summer Reading information is also on the website.

The WMS ELA Department & Sara Ravid, Library/Media Specialist

Through the years many parents have asked what can be done over the summer to maintain skills and develop mathematical thinking. The Middle School math teachers have created a practice 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. Click here to link to the WMS website Summer Math page for details.

A few things to note:
  • There may be a few problems on your problem set 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.
  • Teachers hope that everyone attempts the problems.
  • Summer Math will not be graded.
  • There is no penalty for not doing the problems.
  • 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

The Wayland Middle School Math Department

Exciting news from the performing arts! There will be two afternoon plays offered next year. They are open to anyone who wants to act, sing, dance, or learn about some of the technical elements of theater. We welcome all students who want to create and collaborate with others!

The fall play will be  THE REMEMBERER
Auditions: 9/5 - 7
Rehearsals 9/11 - 10/30
Performances 10/31 - 11/3

The Winter Musical will be  SEUSSICAL .
Learn the Play: 11/7 & 8
Auditions: 11/13 - 16
Rehearsals: 11/19 - 2/5
Performances: 2/6 - 9

Play scripts and information sheets can be found on a table outside the drama office.
Please contact Ms. Lopez you have questions ( katherine_lopez@wayland.k12.ma.us )
End of this School Year / Start of Next

8th Grade: Tuesday, June 19th
Students will drop off Chromebooks at the Tech Office during study hall or org. skills classes.
  • Chromebooks AND chargers will be collected
  • Personal stickers need to be removed, devices need to be wiped down with clean, dry cloth and please dust out any crumbs etc. from keyboards.

6th & 7th Grade: Wednesday, June 20th
Devices will be collected in Homeroom
  • Chromebooks only, chargers will remain with students for the summer
  • Personal stickers need to be removed, devices need to be wiped down with clean, dry cloth and please dust out any crumbs etc. from keyboards.

If you need to buy a replacement charger, you can do so through Amazon. Follow this link to purchase.

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

A special thank you to 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. 

Help your student return classroom and school library books:

As we reach the end of the school year, 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 should make sure to return all books to classroom libraries -- both their own and those of other ELA teachers -- and to our school library.

Students are sent automated notices of their school library checkouts to their school email addresses on a regular 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 they are still using the materials and would like to extend the loan (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 them
  • 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 May 18th must be accounted for in order for students to participate in end of year activities or receive yearbooks, if purchased. 

All materials checked out AFTER May 18th must be accounted for by the end of the day on Thursday, June 21nd. Starting June 25th 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
Deadline: Friday, June 22, 1:00 PM

All prescription and over-the-counter medications kept with the nurse must be picked up by 1:00 pm, Friday, June 22. Your child may pick up their Epipen and/or Albuterol inhaler on your behalf, but they cannot pick up any other medication . Please be sure to instruct your child to stop by the School Nurse's office before the end of the school day on Friday if they are picking up these two items.  Otherwise, all other medications must be picked up by a parent or designated adult by 1:00 pm on June 22.

We are required to destroy all medications/devices not picked up by the deadline.
Questions? Contact Nurse Nims at 508-655-6670 (press option 3).
Deadline: Friday, June 29

School bus registration is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. All families who choose school bus transportation, whether town-paid or fee-based, must register by June 29 , 2018.  Click here for more information.
Parents of Current 8th Graders - High School eNews

Remember to subscribe to the High School listserve to make certain you receive all newsletters and announcements for High School families. Click here to subscribe or to update your preferences.
WMS Yearbooks - LAST CALL!!

To purchase a yearbook, order online OR bring this form to the front office with a check for $17.00 made payable to Wayland Middle School. Yearbooks will be delivered on the last day of school.
PTO News
Retirement Reception for Donna Sumner and Rob Reddington
TODAY! Monday, June 18, 2:30 - 3:30 PM
WMS Cafeteria Courtyard

Please join the Middle School PTO as we celebrate the retirements of Ms. Donna Sumner and Mr. Rob Reddington.  After a combined 38 years in the Wayland Public Schools (12 for Ms. Sumner and 26 for Mr. Reddington), we hope that students (both past and present) and members of the community will join us in wishing them well.  There will be light refreshments, and we will be celebrating in the courtyard adjacent to the WMS cafeteria (or in the cafeteria if the weather doesn’t cooperate).  Please contact Amy Simmons ( simmons221@comcast.net ) with any questions.

The 7th grade Cape Cod trip and Cape Cod Night were great and we wanted to thank the volunteers that helped us thank our dedicated teachers and staff that made it all happen! Thanks to Cathy Davies and Johanna Gammon  for organizing dinner and these great thank you gifts (potted herbs and DD gift cards) for chaperones. 

Thanks to all the volunteers that helped with Cape Cod Night Dinner: Tracy Roberge,Nancy Shridhar, Margo Grossman, Lana Murphy, Brenda & Abel, Kelly Lappin, Mary Magnuson, Tonya Peck, Peng Huang, Tania Leichliter, Jing Xu, Elisa Scola, Jinglei Whitehouse, Kamala Grasso,  Trystan O'Leary, Jean Prince, Amy O'Donnell,    Xinrong Liu,   Elizabeth Kugler and Jeff Yemin.

We still have one role to fill, a Website Manager. The work can be done remotely at flexible hours.  Please email waylandmiddleschoolpto@gmail.com if interested in these or other opportunities.

The PTO would like some feedback as we plan for next school year. Click here to take this  one minute  survey on Gift Your Child.

Through our coffee chats, we aim to bring you insight into hard-hitting parenting topics to raise awareness and hopefully open the door for discussion. We would love to hear your suggestions for topics for next year! Please email   waylandmiddleschoolpto@gmail.com
Artist of the Week
Artist: Halley Markarian
Grade: 8
Medium: Watercolor
Reminders from Previous Emails
Open House Celebration for Brad Crozier
Wednesday, June 20, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Happy Hollow School

After 17 years of service to the Wayland Public Schools, Brad Crozier is moving on. Please join us as we wish Brad well in his new role as the Superintendent of Sudbury Public Schools.
Summer Rowing Program for Middle School Students

If you have prior rowing experience, or would just like to learn a new sport, we have just the thing for you! The Wayland-Weston Rowing Association has summer programs for all ages. For information and to register, follow this link for Middle School programs. 
Summer Journalism Camp at Wayland High School
For Students Entering 8th and 9th Grade
July 2 - 6

This free four-day journalism and public speaking course is being taught by Wayland High School junior Nathan Zhao and sophomore Kevin Wang. For more information  click here.
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