W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
December 12, 2018
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

December 19
9:30 a.m.

December 20
Lead Teacher Professional Day - no classes, pre-registered child care available 

December 21
Winter Break - no classes, pre-registered child care available

December 24-January 1
Winter Break - building closed
(no access through January 1)

January 2
Classes resume

January 7

January 11

Thank You
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
Over the past month many of you have participated in the WMS Annual Fund, from sending coins spiraling into the meerkat bank and dropping off an envelope at the table during the Annual Fund Drive, to being a part of Giving Tuesday. Your commitment to WMS is notable and allows us to continue to provide the best education for children from 12 months through middle school. Thank you.

This week, as we have been planning the next few months of staff and teacher professional development, I was reminded of how important the Annual Fund is to our staff and therefore, our students. It allows us to take advantage of the best professional development in areas from arts integration, reading and math instruction, brain science, technology integration, STEAM education and so much more.

In the new year we are also sending over 30 staff members to the AMS conference in Washington, D.C. It is rare that we can send even a few people to the AMS conference due to rising costs and often distant locations. This year the WMS Board of Directors made a commitment to send as many staff members as possible since it is within driving distance. As you probably know from attending professional conferences yourself, there is nothing like being around others who are learning more about their profession. It is a true inspiration that stays with attendees long after they return to their jobs.

As our staff members are inspired to try new things, refine their practice or strengthen an area of instruction, they also walk away from these experiences doing just what we ask your children to do - reflecting on their learning. They gain new skills and ideas, refine current thinking and maybe even put a current practice away for a while to explore new approaches to learning. They grow. They add to their toolbox, better serving your children and all of the children they will teach throughout their years at WMS. Professional development is one of the many ways the Annual Fund supports our school. On behalf of all of the staff, thank you! This would not be possible without your tremendous support.

News & Notes News
Register for December School's Out Days

If you are planning to register your child for next week's School's Out days, December 20 and 21, please do so by Monday, December 17, to help us plan our staffing accordingly. Thank you!

Sign Up for Winter/Spring After-School Enrichment Programs
Registration for winter/spring after-school enrichment programs is now open! Take advantage of WMS's 2019 winter and spring enrichment lineup: upcoming classes include baking, basketball, creative movement, knitting, running club, steel drums, yoga and more . Specials are geared toward specific ages - check the WMS website for more information and to  register online.

The Morris siblings: Jackie, Adam and Katie
siblingsMeet the Morris Family - Our First Family to Enroll Siblings for 2019-20!

Now in his second year in Room 4, Adam Morris welcomed twin sisters Katie and Jackie in February. His sisters were the first WMS siblings to be enrolled for the 2019-20 school year. As a reminder, the admissions application is now open for 2019-20

Please submit applications for WMS siblings by January 11 to ensure they are given priority. Spaces are especially limited in the Toddler and Primary Programs, so families planning to enroll siblings are encouraged to do so soon. The financial aid application is also open, and families are encouraged to submit their application by January 7 for first-round award consideration. Contact Tiffany Harrison if you have any questions about enrolling a WMS sibling.

Holiday Shopping? Use WMS's Amazon Link and Earn Money for Our School

Did you know your Amazon.com purchases can help raise money for WMS? When you shop at Amazon through the   wmsde.org/amazon  link,  at least 6% of your purchase will go to WMS. If you shop through this link, you will also have the option to designate WMS as your beneficiary for the AmazonSmile program (which provides the school with an additional 0.5% per purchase)! Thank you in advance for taking the time to use WMS's special URL to access Amazon.com! 

6-9 students rehearse for next week's production of "Paint the Town December"
concertJoin the 6-9 Students As They "Paint the Town December"

On Tuesday, December 19 at 9:30 a.m., the 6-9 students will showcase their acting, dancing and singing talents at the annual winter concert. This year's show, called "Paint the Town December," follows a group of children who live in the fictional town of Graysville, which is a very gray, dreary place 11 months of the year. But every December, the residents of Graysville paint the storefront windows different colors to represent the various holidays they celebrate in December. Learn how the children of Graysville celebrate Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Ramadan and Las Posadas at next week's Lower Elementary concert. All are welcome! We hope to see you there.

Addie Laster and Arynn Shweiki singing during the Annual Fund Drive
Middle School Milestones 

Our middle-schoolers have been busy this month:
  • Congratulations to middle-schoolers Addie Laster and Arynn Shweiki, who were both selected to be part of the Delaware Junior All-State Chorus. 
  • Congratulations also to the seventh-grade Math League team, who won first place in the regional meet on December 4. Members include Jack Allen, Sammy Bargren, Angelica Martin, Logan Ranji, Arynn Shweiki and William Snyder.
leaders Today's Learners
Dissecting Owl Pellets and Exploring Biology in the 6-9 Classroom
"Owl pellets! Owl pellets! Owl pellets! A ball of bones and fur and other things." That's what 6-9 students were singing in preparation for their owl pellet dissection a couple Fridays ago. In the Lower Elementary Program's three-year cycle of cultural studies, dissecting owl pellets - the indigestible material such as bones, claws and feathers that owls regurgitate - was a natural extension of students' recent focus on life cycles and biology.

For the last few months, the 6-9 students have been learning about vertebrates and invertebrates, insects, spiders, and classifying different animals. They've explored various animals' roles in the food web as producers, consumers and decomposers, predators and prey, and omnivores, herbivores and carnivores. In addition to examining what animals eat, they explored how they eat them. For example, animals like owls that don't have teeth may eat their prey whole. 

When the students began pulling apart owl pellets,  they discovered evidence of how owls consume their food - "bones and fur and other things," just as the song suggests. Using a chart, they matched various parts of animal skeletons - bones from mice, small birds, moles and shrews - to their respective shapes to identify them. Several students identified whole skulls!  "Dissection - cutting it open - is a great way to learn more about something," said 6-9 lead teacher Melissa Connelly.

Last week, some 6-9 students made an amazing discovery: they found an owl pellet on the playground. The next day they found two more, leading them to conclude that owls inhabit the WMS campus. Life cycles are unfolding right in our own backyard.

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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