WMS Newsletter
Monday, May 14, 2018
In this Issue:
  • Message from Principal Gavron - Reflections on D.C. Trip
  • Current 8th Grade Parents & Students - High School Athletics Meeting
  • Cape Cod Trip Update
  • Jazz Band - Gold Rating at Junior District Festival
  • Wayland Alliance Panel
  • China Exchange Program
  • PTO News
  • Artist of the Week
  • Reminders from Previous Emails
  • Important Dates
Message from Principal Gavron

All aboard!! Hahaha! Yes, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” was the soundtrack running through my mind Monday morning April 9th, as I accompanied 207 8th graders and 32 fellow staff members in boarding the 6:20 AM AMTRAK train headed for Washington, D.C. I wondered if Mr. Osbourne was envisioning a group like us when he first performed his classic rock tribute. Our D.C. field experience was a culmination of a year grounded in Dr. Martin Luther King’s ideals and a critical look at justice and activism in our country. We traveled as scholars to think deeply about our nation’s history and to come together as a class.  As “crazy” as friends and family thought I was when I described this annual pilgrimage to our nation’s capital, I continued to stand by our commitment to the journey. There was something incredibly special about the way the class came together, bringing out the best in our students academically and socially. This transformation in our students compelled our teachers to continue the tradition year after year. The three years we spent at Wayland Middle School working with students to develop Belonging, Empathy Respect and Trust - BERT created the foundation for a successful trip. 
Belonging was a cornerstone of our Washington D.C. trip preparations. We needed all students traveling to feel enough comfort with their TAG (Teacher Advisory Group) members, busmates, roommates and trip leaders to spend four days away from home. We could not consider a trip of this magnitude without it, which was why we worked to develop and nurture relationships all year. Team building activities and games we’ve played since September helped us build the base. Even with all of our deliberate preparation in place, there was nothing like an eight hour train ride to bring groups together in new ways and unearth unexpected connections. 
Students shared snacks and stories. Groups of kids sitting at the ends of the train cars played cards and laughed heartily. Previously unidentified shared interests were discovered, be it a love of airplanes -- DC is a mecca for aviation enthusiasts -- or a passion for Double Stuffed Oreos. These connections grew as the trip progressed. Students discussed their interpretations of symbols at memorials; we saw smiling group selfies at the baseball game; and the dinner dance allowed students to hit the dance floor together. One student explained to me that he just discovered his ability to dance and proceeded to do so for an hour, sporting the widest grin I had seen on his face all year. In addition to enhanced student-to-student connections, our teens came to see adults in a new light as well.  For example, Officer Bowles was the master of the microphone on Bus #3. We laughed often as he emceed, and every time the Washington Monument was in view, Officer Bowles implored students to recite its height (555 ⅛ feet) in unison. Yes, belonging was both a necessary precursor and wonderful outcome of the trip.
It would be hard to imagine a trek to our nation’s capital without seeing a growth in our students’ empathy. Hours spent appreciating and studying the monuments, memorials and museums that comprise our Nation’s Capital evoked both deep thinking and feeling for our students. Our scholars were well-poised to reflect purposefully in this setting. Prior to coming they worked in social studies classes to analyze the characteristics of effective memorials, considering the types of people and events that decision makers in our country chose to memorialize. They were practiced at asking the questions such as, “What do we notice? What did the artist want us to think and feel?” They knew how to linger with a powerful quote, a symbolic representation, or an historical artifact. While at the Korean Memorial I watched students as they carefully examined the emotion carved into the faces of soldier statues positioned in formation through the brush that represented the rugged terrain of Korea. And how could we begin to make sense of the Holocaust museum without imagining what it must have been like to walk in someone else’s shoes. The horror of those events left students thinking deeply about observations like those made by Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller engraved on the wall of the museum:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Finally, we had the opportunity to engage our empathic sides as we heard directly from parents of Massachusetts native Matthew Puccino, a Special Forces Green Beret soldier killed in the war in Afghanistan in November 2009, who was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Mr. Pucino told stories about Matthew’s well-lived life. We learned about Matthew’s love of family, his infectious laughter, and his teenage antics such as “borrowing” his father’s police vehicle.  Matthew’s family described his sense of duty, which compelled him to enlist following the attacks on our country during 9/11. Through hearing the lovingly told stories of the Pucinos, students understood Arlington National Cemetery in a new way. Evidence of students empathy will be on display Thursday evening May 17 at 7PM, when we come together to celebrate students DC portfolios.
As I told students in our pre-trip pep-talk, when we travel together in DC they represent their community, their school, and their families. Parents should feel proud of the respect students demonstrated consistently throughout our journey. For example, at at Arlington National Cemetery, as four of our students laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, while 200 of their peers and other DC visitors looked on, one could have heard a pin drop. Students’ decorum was impeccable as the bugle sounded the solemn notes of taps. By the looks on students’ faces, one could see that they were fully experiencing the importance of such a ceremony. On the Washington Mall students honored a group of wheelchair-bound veterans they encountered alongside memorials. They listened attentively and asked thoughtful questions as veterans, who were impressed by our students’ intellectual engagement with the memorials, shared vignettes and recollections from their days of fighting for freedom overseas. Finally, students trotted out their well-practiced manners, thanking bus drivers at each stop and ensured that they left no trash behind. In fact, AMTRAK train officials took time to pull one of our trip leaders aside to complement our students. The manager explained that extra AMTRAK staff were eager to sign on when they learned WMS students were coming, which, they indicated, was not the case when planning for other school groups. Respectfully speaking, our students did us proud.
Last but not least comes the T in BERT - Trust. We trusted students to be their best selves and worked to support them in doing so as we ventured so far from home. As chaperones, we expected our students to stay connected with their buddies at all times, never finding themselves alone as we dined in food courts and explored museums. We relied on them to return to our meeting spots at designated times and count off quickly, so that we might move on to our next destination. We appreciated how they listened to security guards and followed their directives, which were not always delivered graciously, as not every guard was thrilled to see a group of 45 - 14 year olds disembark a bus and patiently help them move through security. I appreciated the trust students put in one another and how they had one another’s backs. For example, when a wardrobe challenge arose, classmates rallied to put together an ensemble for a peer so that she might enjoy the dinner dance as if she were wearing her own favorite outfit. Finally, I can’t tell you how much our trip leaders valued the trust families placed in us to care for their children as if they were our own. Illness didn’t pause for our trip calendar. Teachers and our nurse rallied to put sick students at ease and provided loving comfort when kids were at their lowest. I know that trust is something we work hard to earn every day and I thank all families for trusting us to support your 8th graders.

I would be remiss to close without thanking the many adults who worked incredibly hard to make this trip happen for our student scholars. The level of detail required to plan such an excursion is extraordinary. The sudoku puzzle of hotel rooms, bus groups, and train car rosters alone could fill a full time job. It is so encompassing that our house leaders are already working to prepare for next year’s journey. The Washington DC trip is a labor of love, born out of a desire to have a culminating middle school field experience that grows students’ hearts and minds and puts BERT into practice. I am grateful to the Wayland police officers, central office administrators, Loker school nurse, district teachers and WMS teaching assistants who were willing to join me on Ozbourne’s “Crazy Train” with this magnificent group of students.

Betsy Gavron

PS - Thank you to the PTO volunteers who welcomed our 8th graders back with a celebratory 8th grade breakfast - Yum!
Current 8th Grade Parents and Students - High School Athletics Meeting
Monday, June 11, 6:00 - 7:30
Wayland High School Auditorium

Athletic Director Heath Rollins will give an overview of all athletics at the High School (approximately 6:00 - 7:00 PM), followed by a meet and greet with coaches of Fall sports programs.
7th Grade Cape Cod Trip Update

Medications :
Medication drop off will be Tuesday, May 22nd , 7:15 am to 2:30 pm. Please bring your child's medication (OTC and prescription) as specified on the completed medication form in a ziplock bag labeled with your child's first and last name. Prescription medication should be in a container with the prescription label on it.   We can only accept the amount/quantity of medication your child will be taking while on this trip, no more . Medication containers will be returned at the end of the trip. If there has been a change to your child's medication, you will have the opportunity to update the medication form on May 22nd.  

Pick Ups on the Cape :
If your family plans to be spending the long weekend on the Cape and you would like to pick your child up before we head back to WMS,  please let your child's homeroom, or bus leader, know via email.

Meet Up Location is: Town Neck Beach, Wood Ave., Sandwich
Meet Up Time: 1:00 pm prompt
Congratulations to our Jazz Band!

Our Middle School Jazz Band received a GOLD Rating in the Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators' Junior District Festival. The band members worked hard preparing and truly knocked it out of the park!

Additionally, Outstanding Musicianship Awards were earned by Lucas Pralle, Isabelle Wong and Josh Zhang.
Wayland Alliance Club LGBTQ Panel
June 7, 7:00 pm
Wayland High School Lecture Hall

The Wayland Alliance club would like to invite the Wayland community to an LGBTQ+ panel event that will be taking place on June 7th at 7:00 pm in the Lecture Hall. The panel of speakers will be composed of current students, our advisors, and a few alum. For the past two years, the Alliance club has hosted an ‘Out and Proud’ panel at school for students to ask questions about the LGBTQ+ community in a safe space. This year, we, at Alliance, wanted to extend this opportunity to Wayland families to learn about the LGBTQ+ experience from present students and Wayland alums. We would love to see you there! An formal invitation will follow to give a google form to allow anonymous questions to be submitted.
China Exchange Program - Apply now!
For more information about this amazing opportunity contact china_exchange@wayland.k12.ma.us .

The China exchange program is open to students taking ANY language. Rising 8th grade students apply to participate during 9th grade. To see the website of the 2016 program, click here .
PTO News

We are organizing an End of Year Teacher Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday May 16th, 2018 to express our gratitude to the Wayland Middle School Teachers and staff for all they do for our children and community. Please help us in donating a few items to make this a great event!

1) Click this link to see our Sign Up
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like
3) Sign up! It's easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com. Your information will not be shared

Please address any questions to:
Dina Murad-Antun  dinamurad@hotmail.com
Jamie Janoff  jamie.janoff@yahoo.com
Heidi Renneker  hrenneker@gmail.com

The PTO needs volunteers for next year:

  • Grade Level Parent Reps to organize events. Being a parent representative is a great way to be involved and connect with other parents and teachers without having to attend meetings. 
  • 6th grade events are Back to School Night, Math Night and Walden Pond trip
  • 7th grade events are Back to School Night and Cape Cod Night
  • 8th grade events are Back to School Night, DC Night, DC Breakfast, and Graduation Breakfast. 
  • Middle and More Coffees to bring topics on student well-being and school curriculum to parents. 
  • Teacher Appreciation Team to show our love for our teachers and staff. This is a very fun role to help show them how much we appreciate them.

We also have a couple of  Board positions open; we need a Vice President and Secretary. Board meetings are once a month.  

Please email  waylandmiddleschoolpto@gmail.com to learn more!
All Coffees Held in the WMS Library

Parenting Your Teen: An Interactive Workshop on Communications
Mark Altman of MindsetGo
May 22, 9:00 - 10:30 am

Connect, relate and engage with your kids. Empathetic listening and face-to-face communication are integral to building stronger relationships with your kids. Learn from an engaging instructor while collaborating with parents through role playing, modeling and stimulating group discussion. You will walk away with tangible tools, tips and strategies to improve relationships with your kids. 

Building Resilience in Children
Dr. Ben-Levi of Human Relations Services
June 4, 9:00 - 10:15 am

All parents want their children to become resilient and confident. But increasingly they find it hard to let their children learn the vital life lessons that come from facing challenge and disappointment. How can parents strike a good balance between helping and protecting their children and letting them grapple with real-life issues? This program will offer concrete suggestions for managing this key dilemma.
Artist of the Week
Artist: Nathaniel Maali-Pohl
Grade: 6
Medium: Ink and Acrylic

Reminders from Previous Emails
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
Coordinated Program Review

The DESE is conducting a review of specific Wayland Public School programs and will visit the district during the week of May 21st. Any member of the public may request to be interviewed by a member of the Department's visiting team. Please  click here  to read the full press release for more detailed information.
WMS YEARBOOKS are on Sale Now!
This year, there are two ways to order a yearbook. Choose the method that’s easiest for you! Yearbooks will be delivered on the last day of school.

  • Bring this form to the front office with a check for $17.00 made payable to Wayland Middle School.

Questions? Contact Ms. Galvani .
Dates to Remember
Q4 Progress Reports: 5/18
Band Concert: 5/31
Chorus Concert: 6/6
Orchestra Concert: 6/14
Last day of School: 6/22

MFA Field Trip: David 5/25
Walden Hike 6/7 (All Clusters)

Cape Cod Trip: 5/23 - 5/25
Cape Cod Night: 6/12, 7:00 pm

DC Night: 5/17, 7:00 pm
High School Athletics Meeting: 6/11, 6:00 pm (High School Auditorium)
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