W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
November 7, 2018
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

November 8
9-12 Information Night (for parents of current third-graders)*
5-6 p.m.
Great Room

November 14
Coffee & Conversation
8:15-9 a.m.
Learning Commons
Enjoy coffee with other parents and staff - or grab a cup to go!

Information Night (for parents of rising kindergartners)*
5-6 p.m.
Great Room

November 16
6-7:30 p.m.

November 20
Grandfriends' Day
Start times:
-Toddler: 9 a.m.
-Primary: 8:45 a.m.
-Elementary: 8:30 a.m.
-Middle School: 8 a.m.

November 21
Thanksgiving break

November 22-23
Thanksgiving break - no classes or child care
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27
Giving Tuesday

November 28
Information Morning for Parents of Rising Primary (3-6) Students*
9:15 a.m.
Learning Commons

November 29
Information Morning for Parents of Rising 6-9 Students*
9 a.m.
Learning Commons

November 30
Information Morning for Parents of Rising 9-12 and Middle School Students*
8:30 a.m.
Learning Commons

*Parents may earn co-op hours for attending Information sessions.

GCAP collage
Sixth-grade students were all smiles on their long-awaited trip to New York City in October.

Rites of Passage
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
As a longstanding Montessori school, we recognize the tenets of an authentic Montessori education that others learn over time. For example, we know the developmental and practical benefits of a three-year age span in our classrooms. Maria Montessori observed children and their development, devising a program that would best meet children's needs at each age. She led the way for us in establishing a strong environment that allowed students to explore, experiment and learn.

Multi-year classrooms give children the opportunity to watch their peers, learning from their observations until they themselves are ready for that lesson. They also give the older children the chance to guide younger students, much as they have observed during their previous two years in the program. As students reach the end of their third year in the cycle of each program, they are developmentally, emotionally, socially and academically prepared for the next level, whether it is the Primary, Lower Elementary (6-9), Upper Elementary (9-12) or Middle School Program.

Each level at WMS has unique characteristics, all embodying the Montessori spirit. As toddlers move to the Primary Program, they look forward to field trips, riding on a school bus and participating in a concert in the gym with a bigger audience. Kindergartners await the opportunity to move to the elementary playground with the "big kid" equipment, performing in the winter concert and finally being one of the big kids in the school. Fourth-graders entering the 9-12 Program have eagerly watched the 9-12 Talent Show, imagining how they will participate and what their acts will look like. They look forward to sharing the WMS birthday cake, the overnight field trips and traveling to New York for the sixth-grade GCAP trip. And now our sixth-grade students have the rites of passage of the middle school to anticipate.

Capstone moments matter. They are rites of passage that we all look forward to - the first time you drive a car, or vote, or graduate. Or, at WMS, maybe it's the first time you are able to use the 3D printer in the Maker (STEAM) Studio or write and perform in a skit with your friends, or even walk to the nurse's office by yourself. At WMS, students gain independence and more and more ownership of their learning. They move through the cycles at each level well-prepared for the next. We'll be sharing these moments with you in future Wednesday Weekly articles and we invite to join us in celebrating with our students at each level.  

Linvilla Playground
Primary students enjoyed their trip to Linvilla Orchards last month. For some, it was their first field trip and first time riding a school bus.

News & Notes News
Annual Fund Drive Update: Creating Tomorrow's Leaders

Jasmine Annual Fund Like other nonprofits and independent schools, WMS relies on its annual fund to make our school an exceptional place for children to learn. This week we've kicked off the Annual Fund Drive - our biggest annual fundraising effort - with the theme "Creating Tomorrow's Leaders." Thanks to our parents, students, staff, grandparents, alumni parents and board members, we've already raised more than $23,000 toward our $85,000 goal for the fiscal year - and we've just begun!

As our volunteers greet you in the lobby before and after school this week, they will ask you and your children to share why they are grateful for WMS. Please stop by to make your #WMSthankyou sign or tag your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #WMSthankyou.

Contribute any amount to the annual fund before the end of the week and win a prize in our punch cup game. For every $100 you donate, you will also be entered to win one of our raffle prizes - a WMS swag bag OR your very own VIP parking space for the rest of the school year.

If you'd like to donate online, you can do so today at www.wmsde.org/annualfund or via Facebook. You are also welcome to stop by the lobby this week to make your gift with cash, a check or a credit card. Thank you for your donations. 

danceDust Off Your Dancing Shoes for Next Week's Dance Party!
Please join the fifth-grade class next Friday, November 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the gym for dinner, dancing, dessert, raffle prizes and more. Tickets are $10 per person (with a $5 discount for parties of four or more) and may be purchased in the lobby before and after school the week of November 12. Tickets will also be available at the door before the dance. All ages are welcome.

The dance party is a fundraiser for next year's sixth-grade trip to New York City and the Global Citizenship Action Project (GCAP) conference.

leaders Tomorrow's Leaders
Alum Gabe MacKinney is Taking Aerospace to the Next Plane

WMS alumnus Gabe MacKinney
For years, WMS alum Gabe MacKinney told himself he didn't like math. After all, he spent six years at Cab Calloway School of the Arts studying theater and music - he thought he was destined to be a writer or find his niche in the arts.

But when he reflects on his WMS days, he realizes he was gravitating toward math even as a young 9-12 student.

"I remember the first conversation about math that I actually enjoyed: whether zero was an even number or not," he said. "That should have been more of a hint that math wasn't so bad."

Now a junior at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Gabe is thriving as an aerospace engineering major.

"I have always been interested in planes and rockets," he said. "Then I found out in high school I actually liked math - I was just telling myself I didn't like math."

While Gabe had a chance to explore various arts programs - including theater, stage combat and strings - throughout his middle and high school years at Cab Calloway, he was already feeling a strong draw toward math and science by the start of high school. He was midway through his eighth-grade year when a member of his younger brother's Odyssey of the Mind team (also at Cab) dropped out, and he was recruited to handle the engineering portions of their exercises. He stuck with the team through high school, and began concocting increasingly elaborate plans involving duct tape and PVC pipe to tackle various Odyssey of the Mind challenges.

"All of a sudden, I was looking up math to figure out how to do stuff and build stuff," Gabe said. "I was really excited by this stuff. I thought I'd give this engineering thing a shot, and here I am now."

By his junior year in high school, Gabe knew he wanted to pursue engineering. Two years later, he started as a freshman in Purdue's aerospace engineering program, and quickly decided to pursue a co-op position with Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Ga.

After passing his initial classes - Gabe said Purdue's aerospace program is notoriously rigorous and many new aerospace engineering students switch to other majors after their first semester or year - he decided to attend a career fair in search of a summer internship. He met with Gulfstream, which offered him an interview and subsequently invited him to take a co-op position.

While he hadn't been seeking a co-op position, after careful counsel from both his parents and his adviser at Purdue, he decided to give a try. Now in his second of four rotations at Gulfstream,  Gabe is focused on fluid dynamics (often referred to as aerodynamics).  "It's how fluid moves under various conditions," Gabe explained. "Air flowing over a wing and why that generates lift, when you're talking about aerospace - what shape wing is best for planes and conditions."

As he looks back, in addition to recognizing the early signs he liked math, he also recalls his love of science as a WMS student.

"My engagement in science classes was nurtured at WMS," he said. "The five Great Lessons - I really loved those. I have a strong memory of sitting down and watching demonstrations as they told the story."

From his introduction to theater to writing science fiction stories to sketching in the woods, Gabe said much of what has shaped his years since elementary school is rooted in his WMS experience.

"I liked the exploratory style of learning - I liked when I could go figure stuff out by myself," he said. "A lot things that I do, interests and hobbies can be traced back to WMS."

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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