W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
October 10, 2018
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

October 10-12
Toddler Conferences
(all classes in session)

October 10
Screenings and Assessments Information Meeting
5 p.m.
Learning Commons

October 11
9:30 a.m. & 5 p.m.
Tell a friend!

October 16
10 a.m.

October 18
8:30 a.m.

October 21-24
Sixth-grade Global Citizenship Action Project (GCAP) Trip
New York City

October 23
Fire Drill
10 a.m.

October 25
Picture Make-up/Retake Day

October 26 & 29
Middle School Conferences - no classes for these groups only (Toddler classes ARE in session), child care available

Learning Ahead
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
As children return to WMS at the beginning of each school year it is fascinating to see how they have grown and changed. Last year's kindergartner is now a first-year student in the 6-9 Program, ready to take on the demands of the elementary program. The same is true for the students entering the 9-12 Program as fourth-graders, middle school as seventh-graders and everyone in between. The children who had some reservations about what to expect and the challenges ahead are now moving full steam ahead. What changed?

They did. The child who was relying more heavily on her teacher is now ready to be a bit more independent. The student who thought the work demands in the next program would be too difficult recognizes what he or she knows and learned and is now ready to meet those demands and then some. Students who were worried about the unfamiliar teacher they sometimes saw on the playground or at assemblies is ready to partner with the teacher just a few months later. Growth happens.

As WMS parents you know that our focus is on child development and the individuality of each student. Just as Dr. Montessori taught us, we have fully embraced the Montessori pedagogy, which was built on years of observing children and noting how they approached work, when they were ready for additional lessons and how to support them in this growth. WMS teachers are continually adding to the depth and breadth of their knowledge by attending professional development workshops and supporting each other as they learn more and more about the ever-evolving practice of teaching.

The teachers, educational practices and schools of our school years are quite different from the best models today. At WMS, we have the best of all worlds. We are able to take our strong Montessori foundation and build on it to provide the best opportunities for children to learn. We understand that to help children grow we must do the same. We are a community of lifelong learners.

News & Notes News
A Thank You From Our Annual Fund Co-Chairs

Kevin Kahn & family
David Kubacki & family

Dear WMS Families,

We would like to thank you for your contributions to the 2017-18 WMS Annual Fund. Our annual fund brought in $85,000 from more than 200 donors, and included donations from parents, students, grandparents, alumni, board members and many other  wonderful community members. Special thanks to our staff and board members for reaching 100% particip ation this year! 

Annual fund dollars were critical in making sure nearly 70 students had access to a WMS education by offering their families financial aid for the 2018-19 school year. Last year's annual fund dollars helped better the WMS community through:
  • Opening a Middle School Program - WMS expanded to include a middle school with renovated classrooms and a wealth of hands-on learning experiences in and outside the classroom.
  • State-of-the-Art Technology - WMS enhanced our STEAM and technology curricula to include three 3D printers, a laser cutter, Evo robots, Kano computer kits, Chromebooks and additional STEAM materials.
  • New Montessori Materials - WMS purchased additional materials for our youngest learners as recommended by the American Montessori Society, demonstrating our school's continuing commitment to authentic Montessori education.
We will be kicking off our 2018-19 annual fund in just a few weeks with our Annual Fund Drive (November 5-9). Stay tuned for information about this year's festivities!

Kevin Kahn (father of Haley, Rm. 9/10 & Bryce, Rm. 11/13)  &  David Kubacki (father of Olivia, Rm. 19)
Annual Fund Co-Chairs
WMS Student Art Selected for Traveling Peace Art Exhibit

Last week, 10 Delaware peace and art community leaders reviewed more than 500 pieces of Visionary Peace Youth artwork featured in last month's Pacem in Terris Peace Youth Art Exhibit. The group selected 100 inspiring visions of a peaceful world to be framed and become part of the Pacem in Terris Traveling Peace Youth Art Exhibition, including works by 9-12 students Jacob Bradley, Camille Moritz and Anand Simon, and middle-schoolers Addie Laster and Lydia Snyder. 

Multiple sets of this framed, original artwork will travel to locations including Nemours A. I. duPont Hospital for Children, Legislative Hall, Wilmington and Hockessin Libraries, The Music School of Delaware, The Grand, Beth Emeth, University of Delaware and numerous faith-based galleries. The exhibit be on display in various locations from November 2018 to April 2019. Congratulations to our featured artists!

WMS Students Qualify for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

Congratulations to the 19 WMS students who are eligible for the 2018-19 Johns Hopkins Talent Search program. WMS students who earned scores in the 95 th percentile and above on the quantitative reasoning, mathematics 1 & 2 and/or verbal reasoning sections of the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) tests administered in April 2018 were recently notified of their eligibility for the Johns Hopkins Talent Search. This continues a longstanding tradition of WMS students having the option of participation in this highly-regarded program.

One of the purposes of the ERB testing process is to familiarize WMS students with the practical life skills of standardized test-taking. In addition, these nationally-normed assessment results guide teachers in their instructional planning and academic-goal setting for the fourth- to sixth-grade students. The ERB tests are one of the standardized tests commonly administered by independent schools in our area.

lockdownLockdown Drill - Tuesday, October 16 Safety

WMS will hold a school-wide lockdown drill on Tuesday, October 16. The lockdown procedure is used in the unlikely event that there is a dangerous situation inside our building.
You do not need to prepare your child for this drill. Classroom teachers have practiced the procedures with the children using age-appropriate language. For security purposes, we cannot publicize the full procedure of the drill, but we wanted to share the language we have used with the children in case it should come up at home:
Toddlers: At this age, children are unable to process the purpose of the drill, so information is kept to a minimum. Teachers play a silent game that the children already know so they can be engaged while silently waiting.

All other students: Teachers explain to the children that we have lockdown drills just as we have fire drills. We practice different drills so we are prepared in case of any emergency. A lockdown is used in case someone comes into the school who is not allowed to be here and we need to be safe. It is unlikely that this will happen, but it is the teacher's job to keep everyone together, safe, out of view and quiet.

Children ages 7 and up are able to process this more than the younger students. For the older kids, we do our best to minimize any fear that may be attached to this drill. Teachers answer questions in a simple, clear-cut manner, sticking to the process of the drill itself, not the "what if" possibilities. This drill is about being prepared for anything - not about a specific threat.
Important note for visitors:
For the short time the school is in lockdown mode, outside doors will be locked and not accessible with keycards. Thank you in advance for your understanding of this minor inconvenience. If you happen to be in the school during the drill, please take shelter in the nearest office, classroom or other room immediately. It is important that you participate in the drill fully and serve as a positive role model to the children.
If you have any questions, please contact  Noel Dietrich or your classroom teacher. 

journeyJoin Us on The Journey - October 18, 8:30 a.m.

Whether you're a long-time WMS parent or just beginning to learn about Montessori education, The Journey is your chance to step out of the observation room and into the classroom.

Even if you've attended The Journey in the past, there are new things to discover (like our new middle school program!).

During this event, you will: 
  • Experience the Montessori educational process and better understand the teaching methods by getting hands-on with Montessori materials.
  • See first-hand how WMS prepares children for success in their educational journey.
  • Learn how each program level builds and supports your child's development from toddler through middle school.
  • Learn more about WMS's technology, arts integration and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiatives.
  • Open conversations with your child about classroom activities.
  • Realize the positive aspects of learning and succeeding at WMS.
  • Be more prepared to describe the distinction of a Montessori education to friends and family.

leaders Today's Learners
Teaching Toddler Science and Technology With Apple Seeds, Pumpkin Pulp and Chickens

Take a walk down WMS's Aspen Wing corridor, and you may be surprised to find toddlers engaged in science and technology lessons. They're not exactly using Bunsen burners or learning Python programming, but they are getting their earliest exposure to science and technology through dissecting foods, learning about life cycles in nature and coding using the Bee-Bot robot.

Room 6, led by teachers Kirsti Forrest and Hillary McDonald, is one Toddler classroom embracing seasonal food and nature science. The toddlers began the school year learning about apples. They made observations about the apples' different colors and predicted what color the apples would be on the inside based on their outside color, which introduced toddlers to some basic steps of the scientific method. Students then helped cut open the apples with apple corer/slicers and studied their various parts. To reinforce their understanding of the apple parts, they put together an apple puzzle, and later learned how they could turn their apples into applesauce.

This month, Room 6 will repeat this lesson with a pumpkin. They will discuss the parts of the pumpkin - the stem, pulp, skin and seeds - and the children will have a chance to scoop out the seeds and later eat the roasted seeds. 

Room 6 students have also been busy learning about farm animals and the life cycle of a chicken. Using music, videos and story stones, the children are becoming familiar with the names of various animals and their sounds. They have also been discussing how chickens grow, from egg to hatchling to chick to chicken, and peeled hard-boiled eggs (while honing their fine motor skills) earlier this week. Kirsti and Hillary plan to use Bee-Bot, a robot that advances to points on a mat based on directional coding, to reinforce students' understanding of how things grow and move through life cycles once the children become familiar with Bee-Bot through the  Maker (STEAM) Studio

In the spring, Room 6 students will revisit life cycles when they watch caterpillars form chrysalises and turn into butterflies, and learn how honey is made by honeybees.

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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