W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
April 3, 2019
In this Issue
Today's Learners:
Upper Elementary students understand the danger of a single story

Upcoming Events

April 1-5
Thursday: Twin Day
Friday: Spirit Day (Spirit wear is on sale in the lobby!)

April 4
ERB Testing Information Session and Coffee Morning
8:40 a.m.
Learning Commons

Toddler Sing-Along
11-11:30 a.m.
Great Room

April 5
Don't miss out on your chance to bid!

April 11
Primary Maker Faire
8-8:45 a.m.
Primary Maker Studio

April 8-12
ERB Testing*
Grades 3-8

*Please be mindful of students taking ERB tests next week - move quietly through the hallways near elementary classrooms.

April 13
Tickets on sale now!

April 17
Admissions Open House
9:30 a.m. & 5 p.m.

April 18
Elementary Maker Morning
7:45-8:30 a.m.
Elementary Maker Studio

Primary Spring Concert
9:30 a.m.

ERB Testing
Message from
Assistant Head of School Laurie Orsic

Assistant Head of School Laurie Orsic
When you hear the words "standardized testing," what comes to mind? Do you recall having an easy time of it or did the process evoke apprehension and anxiety? Or, was your reaction somewhere in between? What is the proper place for standardized testing in the bigger educational puzzle?

From April 8-12, the third- through eighth-graders will be taking the Educational Records Bureau's (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) standardized test. At WMS, we administer the CTP testing for a wide range of reasons. The most important reason is that students benefit from the practical life experience of taking these sorts of tests. Standardized testing will be an important part of their high school and college years. They benefit from learning how to take multiple choice tests, practicing the skills of reading and re-reading questions, choosing the best possible answers and pacing themselves for the allotted time. And, this year, for the first time, the fourth- to eighth-graders will learn how to take the online version of the CTP-5.

Accountability is built into this annual process. The teaching staff reviews the individual and aggregated results in order to identify patterns and adjust instruction accordingly. Along with the ERB-CTP standardized testing, WMS uses a variety of reading, math and writing assessments to evaluate the students' progress and target instruction in a way that addresses their needs. These assessments help teachers and parents know when a student is reaching grade level benchmarks, working beyond them or in need of additional instructional support.

While the benefits are clear, we must also acknowledge the limitations of any testing instrument. A standardized test measures certain skills, but not all skills. For example, the ERB-CTP testing does not evaluate a student's creativity, growth mindset or social skills, all of which are crucial for future success. While WMS students consistently demonstrate success in their CTP results, no single test fully captures a student's complete list of strengths. The results of a single assessment provide only a snapshot. Each assessment contributes to "the big picture" of who the student is as a learner, a thinker and a social being.

Would you like to learn more about the ERB-CTP testing? Please join Lisa Lalama and Rose Feehan for coffee and conversation on Thursday, April 4 at 8:40 a.m. in the Learning Commons.   

Laurie Orsic

News & Notes News
auctionOnline Bidding Ends Friday!

There are just  two days left to bid on our online auction items. Don't miss out - these items will NOT be available next Saturday, April 13, when we host the 2019 WMS Auction & Gala . And remember, you don't need to be affiliated with WMS to shop, so tell a friend!

Online auction items include:
Tickets are on sale for the auction and gala, Music Through the Ages. You may purchase tickets online through April 11 or in the school lobby next week. 
Have a question?  Email auction@wmsde.org .

spiritTwo More Days of Spirit Week to Go!

Everyone at WMS has been feeling the spirit this week, as Spirit Week kicked off with Clash Day/Crazy Hair Day on Monday, and found students donning costumes for Favorite Character Day yesterday. Today, kids got cozy for PJ/Stuffed Animal Day. 

There are two days left to celebrate our school and  help support our sixth-graders' nonprofit choice, Save the Rain. Tomorrow is Twin Day, and Friday is Spirit Day, when everyone is encouraged to wear their WMS gear and colors.

Please consider donating money for Save the Rain. There are containers near each classroom and in the lobby to deposit funds. It only takes $15 dollars to supply one child with clean water for the rest of his or her life, and future generations!

Wanted: Running Club Volunteer

We are still in need of a volunteer to help (and earn co-op hours) with our kindergartners during Running Club. Kindergartners run every Monday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. If you can help, please  contact Tracey Gable.
Middle School Odyssey of the Mind Team Qualifies for World Finals

Congratulations to our middle school Odyssey of the Mind team members, who put their creative minds together and tied for first place in the  Delaware Odyssey of the Mind  State Finals last weekend. 

The team now qualifies for the  Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Lansing, Michigan, in May.

Help Us Prevent Water Pollution (and Win Cash Prizes!): Take the Great Schools, Clean Streams Pledge

This year, WMS is participating in New Castle County's annual Great Schools, Clean Streams pledge drive to help prevent water pollution. S chools throughout the county are competing to collect online pledges to dispose of used cooking oil and grease in the trash rather than pouring them down the sink. The schools that collect the most pledges in their category will win up to $1,250 for school supplies and educational projects. The pledge drive runs through April 12. 

Your pledge will help prevent water pollution and could help WMS win a cash prize! Tell friends and family to pledge as well!

leaders Today's Learners
Upper Elementary Students Tell Their Complete Stories Through Documentaries 

"So that is how to create a single story. Show people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become." - Chimamanada Ngori Adichie

9-12 student Jacob Politis edits his documentary footage using iMovie

In January, the 9-12 students watched a TED Talk from Nigerian author Chimamanada Ngori Adichie called "The Danger of a Single Story," in which she discusses the idea that no one has only a single story to tell. She challenges her audience to explore beyond the incomplete stories that lead to stereotypes and generalizations.

Taking a lead from Adichie's message, 9-12 students embarked on their own journeys of self-discovery by creating short documentaries about themselves.

They began by taking a strengths assessment through Thrively.com, and STEAM Coach Paula Sharpe helped them identify their multiple intelligences based on psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.

Lead 9-12 teacher Shelley Robyn challenged students to take what they'd learned about themselves through these assessments and identify things to share about themselves through their documentaries that not everyone knows.

"What is the story of you that we don't know here - who are you besides who we see at school?" Shelley asked the students.

They honed their writing skills as they tackled their initial scripts, with guidance from Shelley and fellow lead 9-12 teacher Allie Colflesh, as well as from WMS parent Cass Lewis Slattery, who came in one morning to share her writing expertise.

Once they had outlined their scripts, they worked with Instructional Technology Coach Rose Feehan to create storyboards, which map out their documentaries frame by frame and identify the different types of film shots they planned to use. They also worked with Paula to use iMovie to create and edit their film footage, which they captured using iPads.

Filming wraps up this week, and then students will focus on editing their film footage. Stay tuned for the finished documentaries later this spring.

The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to wednesday-weekly@wmsde.org by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior  to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Advancement & Communications.

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