W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
October 24, 2018
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

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

October 31
Halloween Parades
Primary - 9:15 a.m.
Elementary - 11:15 a.m.

November 1

Middle School Information Night for Parents of 9-12 Students*
5-6 p.m.
Great Room

November 3
10 a.m.
Tell a friend!

November 5-9
Annual Fund Drive

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

November 14
Information Night (for parents of current second-year Primary students)*
5-6 p.m.
Great Room

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

Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
Parent-teacher conferences. I can remember my parents going to my school to learn more about my school performance while I anxiously awaited the news. What will they say? How have I done? Am I doing my job? Little did I realize then that students, parents and teachers alike have the same questions of each other.

This coming Friday and Monday will mark WMS's first conferences of the school year for students in our Primary, Elementary and Middle School Programs. The purpose of these initial meetings is to set goals for the months ahead. It is a chance for teachers to share observations and assessments. Conversations may range from student friendships to teachers' approaches to classwork and learning to students' ability to move independently throughout the classroom. 

In the Upper Elementary and Middle School Programs, students take part in the conference, sharing their work and personal goals. Students, parents and teachers come together to set new goals and develop strategies to reach those goals in the coming months.

Mostly, conferences offer a chance to take a breath, review the past weeks and look forward to the months ahead. As you prepare for conferences, with or without your children's presence, I hope you will take the time to carefully consider your children's different approaches to learning. They want you, the people they value the most, to have a closer look at how they spend their days and to share the pride they feel in their accomplishments, great and small. Setting goals for the months ahead allows for a bit of dreaming about the possibilities, and balancing that with the reality of the work ahead. Thank you for the time and effort you put into partnering in your child's education.

News & Notes News
picturePicture Make-Up/Retake Day Information

If your child will be participating in tomorrow's picture day make-up or retake session, please be sure to fill out the backdrop selection form and hand it in to your child's teacher at drop-off. Your child will be photographed against the "Pumpkin Spice" theme backdrop and one additional background of your choice (blue, gray, cream or green). If you do not select the additional background color, your selection will default to blue.

Backdrop forms will be available at the front desk and from your child's teacher, or download the background form to print.

Please contact Lori Oberly if you have any questions.

Halloween Costume Guidelines

Halloween parades will take place next Wednesday, October 31, at  9:15 a.m. for Primary classes and 11:15 a.m. for Elementary students. In order to make the day fun for all of our students, we ask that children's costumes meet the following guidelines:
  • No weapons of any kind are allowed as part of a costume. 
  • Costumes should not depict blood, guts or gore. 
  • Hair color and makeup should be applied at home and not brought to school.   
  • Since we have very young children at our school, please make sure that costumes are not frightening to small children.
If you have questions, please contact your child's teacher. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday!

WMS to Offer After-School Supplemental Instruction

WMS is pleased to introduce a new after-school supplemental instruction program, designed to build on the work your children are doing in their classrooms. For students who may need additional academic support or practice in math, reading and writing, WMS can provide Montessori-based one-on-one supplemental instruction after school hours with Instructional Support Specialist Trish Harkins (reading and writing) and Middle School Lead Teacher Mandy Balanetsky (math). 

WMS students who stay for this program may attend after-care for free while they wait for their supplemental instruction session. Please contact Tracey Gable for information about hours and pricing. 

leaders Today's Learners
Middle School: Students Follow Movement(s) Through Social Studies

Middle school students visited the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia earlier this month.
One way WMS teachers help empower students to learn and foster their love of learning is to allow them freedom of choice. For our middle schoolers, this freedom of choice also extends to shaping parts of their curriculum. This year, they have chosen movement as the theme for their social studies curriculum.

They began the school year by brainstorming possible social studies themes in small groups, which produced a "hodge podge of ideas," said lead teacher Mandy Balanetsky. However, one student suggested many of the ideas the students proposed could be captured under the umbrella of "movement," representing both physical movement (like immigration) and political or social movements (like civil rights).

"We pulled ideas from the list that fit into the movement theme, and the students ordered them from what they were most interested in to what they were least interested in," Mandy explained.

Mandy guided the students as they structured their curriculum to ensure they could support their studies through expeditionary learning trips.  

To kick off their movement studies, the middle school students are studying the first two waves of U.S. immigration. They recently visited the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to look at primary sources from these first waves of immigration, and will return later in the school year to examine documents from the third and fourth waves. In March, the middle-schoolers will continue their studies on immigration in New York City, where they will visit the Tenement Museum, Ellis Island and the Museum at Eldridge Street.

In addition to immigration, they plan to study various political and social movements, including the women's rights movement and the California gold rush. They will visit the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia for a program about the farm workers' movement and the Freedom Riders civil rights activists. They will also visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Delaware Historical Society for a program about citizen activism. At the end of the school year, each middle-schooler will do an independent project on a movement of his or her choice.
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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