W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
January 16, 2019
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

January 17
8:30 a.m.
(earn 5 co-op hours!)

January 21
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - no classes

January 23
Information Night for Parents of Rising Primary (3-6) Students 
5-6 p.m.
Great Room

January 25 & 28
Middle School Conferences - no classes for these groups only, pre-registered child care available

January 29-30
Toddler Conferences
(all classes still in session)

January 31
Bring Your Parent to Work Day
Class start time to 10 a.m.

WMS Birthday Celebration
10:15 a.m.
Parents welcome!

February 6
8:30 a.m.
(earn 5 co-op hours!)

Planning Ahead
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
I am a planner - always have been and imagine I always will be. I think ahead and put the steps in place to try to accomplish the things that are important to me. Schools, by their very nature, are planners as well. They do their best to plan for the future, whether that future is next week, next month, or a year or two from now. In order to best serve our families, it is our responsibility to have things in order for the students, classrooms, staff, building, and activities that occur each and every day.

This is the time of year when WMS sends out re-enrollment contracts. We're planning for the 2019-20 school year. In order to ensure your child's spot in his or her classroom for next year, we need to know of your commitment to return to WMS. As current families, you know firsthand the advantages of a WMS education. You've experienced your children's delight at learning something new, making new friends, building connections with teachers and discovering more about themselves as they explore all the academic and social aspects of being part of a WMS classroom community.

As you know, WMS is a Montessori school with a strong foundation, founded by parents much like yourselves. It is a school dedicated to the Montessori principles of exploration, self-discovery, independence and peace education. It is a school that never settles. We don't do things simply because others do them or because of a state mandate or new approach that may not be proven. We rely on our foundation to guide us as we explore data driven curriculum to provide lessons that engage students in their learning. We consider the children individually and collectively and strive to build practices that will serve each of them in the ways needed. Students are individuals and learn differently. We make it our business to help them learn no matter the ways they approach their learning. We are constantly planning, growing and learning.

When you return your re-enrollment contract, letting us know of your intentions for the next school year allows us to plan and make sure that everything is ready when you return in September. Though it is only January, we sincerely hope that your plan is to continue to be a part of the WMS community for the 2019-20 school year.

2019-20 Re-enrollment
Please fill out your child's re-enrollment forms through our online re-enrollment system by Friday, February 15, in order to secure his or her spot for the 2019-20 school year. After February 15, classroom spaces will be made available to new families.

Please contact Tiffany Harrison  if you have questions. If you prefer to use paper forms for your child's re-enrollment, you may stop by Tiffany's office or the front desk for a re-enrollment packet.

News & Notes News
Mid-Year Co-op Check-In

We're midway through the school year already, so please submit your co-op hours online if you haven't already. Lori Oberly from the co-op office will be in contact with you if you have no hours on record to date. Please contact Lori if you have co-op questions. 

Auction & Gala 2019: Save the Date!

Mark your calendars: the annual Auction & Gala - WMS's biggest fundraising event of the year - is Saturday, April 13. This year's theme is Music Through the Ages.  Enjoy music, dancing, food, drinks and more while bidding on fantastic items and supporting our students!

The Auction & Gala is also a great way to earn co-op hours for parents looking to get more involved. Whether you need one co-op hour or 25, there is always plenty to do to make our auction a success. Consider joining the auction planning committee! Contact Lori Oberly to learn more about auction co-op opportunities. 

Join our Facebook event for the latest updates on auction plans, gifts and volunteer opportunities.

Bring Your Parent to Work Day - January 31 and May 7

When: January 31* and May 7, class start time - 10 a.m.
Where: Your child's classroom, Great Room

This year, we are trying something new. We have scheduled two "Bring Your Parent to Work Days" to replace what we formerly called Moms' Day and Dads' Day.
One parent/representative per family is invited on either January 31* or May 7 to visit and participate in work time with the students. Due to the high volume of visitors, we're offering two visitation days so we can better manage the number of people in the classrooms, as well as in the parking lot.
We hope you will mark your calendars and join us for the chance to see your student at work, following the daily routines, participating in lessons and activities and being a part of the classroom community.  
Just as it was when these special days were called Moms' Day and Dads' Day, you can expect a photo op with your child and a presentation by WMS students. 

Want to help? Contact co-op@wmsde.org for volunteer opportunities. 

*Those attending on January 31 are invited to join us in the gym at 10:15 a.m. to enjoy an array of refreshments for our annual WMS birthday celebration.

A Fond Farewell to Senior Accountant Nancy Oddo

After serving WMS for more than 12 years, Senior Accountant Nancy Oddo will be leaving our school next Tuesday, January 22, to pursue new opportunities. As many of you know, she has been a tremendous resource to WMS families regarding tuition and financial aid matters over the years. Please stop by the business office to wish her farewell if you have a chance this week. She will be missed!

New tuition and financial aid contact
For families needing assistance with financial aid and for general questions regarding tuition, please contact Barb Trotto.

leaders Today's Learners
Using Design-Thinking, Middle-Schoolers Plan a Craft Room Renovation

At the start of the school year,  the   middle-schoolers learned the children's craft room at the Sunday Breakfast Mission (SBM) - a Wilmington-based organization that serves people who are homeless, struggling with addiction or living in poverty - needed an update. It's a service project opportunity ripe for middle-school minds.

The current Sunday Breakfast Mission craft room

The challenge: it's a 10' x 10' windowless room that doesn't offer kids much space to move around, it isn't a particularly inviting space in its current configuration, and craft supplies are limited. Working with STEAM Coach Paula Sharpe in the Maker (STEAM) Studio, the middle-schoolers have been examining options for more seating, refurbishing some of the SBM craft room's existing shelving and furniture, and coming up with a design plan that maximizes use of the space. 

Some ideas they're exploring include creating a chalkboard wall with chalkboard paint, posting magnet boards (like those used at WMS in the Maker Studios), adding STEAM activity bins and building a counter with stools to create more work space. 
Middle-schoolers hope to incorporate craft room features such as STEAM bins (left) and magnet boards (right) at SBM.

Having students work through the creative process - designing a project from start to finish - follows principles of design thinking, a problem-solving method developed at Stanford University. 

"Kids get the most out of it when they see the work get put into action and make a difference," said Middle School Lead Teacher Mandy Balanetsky. 

It's a method Mandy has tested with students in the past at PRIED Middle School (the middle school with which WMS merged in 2018 to create the WMS Middle School Program), when her  class redesigned a child's bedroom through Special Spaces and planned a menu and cooked for Ronald McDonald House

Once the SBM craft room redesign plan is set, the middle-schoolers will secure help from parent volunteers and devote a Saturday to transforming the SBM space. In the meantime, they could use broader support from the WMS community to help them reach their goal. 

sbmSpecial Message From WMS Middle-Schoolers: WMS Community Support Needed

In order to complete our SBM craft room endeavor, we need the help of the WMS community! We are looking for donations of craft supplies as well as monetary donations to help with the costs of supplies needed to complete these renovations. We have created an Amazon Wish List* for our supply needs. You can ship your donations directly to the school or add items to your own orders and place them in the donation bin that can be found in the lobby. We will be collecting donations until Friday, February 15. Monetary donations can be placed in the box located on Tina's desk. We thank you in advance for your support! 

The WMS Middle School Students

*Remember, when you're shopping on Amazon, select WMS as your Amazon Smile beneficiary and the school will receive a percentage of your purchase.

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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