WMS Community Bulletin 03-14-21

EXCELLENCE*EQUITY*COMMUNITY

If you are on a computer, open this in a new page. Then to translate this newsletter, click on the link to the right.


If you are on a phone, touch the person in the black circle to get the translate button.

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Se você estiver em um computador, abra uma nova página. Em seguida, para traduzir esta newsletter, clique no link à direita. Se você estiver em um telefone, toque na pessoa no círculo preto para obter o botão de tradução.

(Portuguese)

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Si está en una computadora, abra esto en una nueva página. Luego, para traducir este boletín, haga clic en el enlace a la derecha. Si está en un teléfono, toque a la persona en el círculo negro para obtener el botón de traducción.

(Spanish)

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إذا كنت تستخدم جهاز كمبيوتر ، فافتح هذا في صفحة جديدة. بعد ذلك ، لترجمة هذه النشرة الإخبارية ، انقر فوق الارتباط الموجود على اليمين.

إذا كنت تستخدم الهاتف ، فالمس الشخص الموجود في الدائرة السوداء للحصول على زر الترجمة. (Arabic)

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Եթե համակարգիչ եք, բացեք սա նոր էջում: Ապա, այս տեղեկագիրը թարգմանելու համար կտտացրեք աջ հղմանը: Եթե հեռախոսով եք, դիպչեք սև շրջանի անձին ՝ թարգմանության կոճակը ստանալու համար: (Armenian)

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Bilgisayar kullanıyorsanız, bunu yeni bir sayfada açın. Ardından, bu bülteni çevirmek için sağdaki bağlantıya tıklayın. Telefonda iseniz, çevir düğmesini almak için siyah daire içindeki kişiye dokunun. (Turkish)

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Watertown Middle School 2020-2021

Dear Watertown Middle School Community,


I hope this newsletter finds you all well. "Springing forward" can leave everyone feeling a bit tired, but it is a sure sign that spring is around the corner and the daylight hours will be getting longer every day! It is hard to believe that it has been a full year that we've been out of full-time school, and I am very happy we are making plans to return!


Short-Term Schedule Change: As we head into spring, WMS will be having both short-term and long-term schedule changes which I described in my Smore newsletter on March 10. The short-term changes begin tomorrow, Monday, March 15th. Please see the visual below of the time changes to specialist classes. Your students may need some help and reminders to attend classes at these new times, but the teachers are excited to be seeing them for longer times each day! Additionally, ALL students will be attending a class from 2:30-3:00 pm each day. Teachers will be giving out those Zoom links tomorrow in Community Meeting.


Long-Term Schedule Change: On Tuesday, Dr. Galdston sent out an email through SurveyMonkey with the survey asking for your preference for your child(ren)'s learning model once we return to school five days a week. As it came from SurveyMonkey, many people didn't receive it, primarily due to email settings. If you didn't get the survey, here is the link that you can use. You only have to use one survey for all of your children in school.


As we will be discussing the return to full in-person learning at the School Committee meeting on Monday, March 15 at 5:00 pm, we are extending the survey deadline from Friday, March 12 to Tuesday, March 16 at midnight. This survey is very important for our planning purposes. If you already know your preference, please fill out the survey as soon as possible. If we don't hear back from you by March 16, we will assume that if your child(ren)'s current model is hybrid, they will move to five days in-person, and if they are remote, they will stay remote.


If you have individual concerns, please reach out to me in the coming days to help in your decision-making. If you were not able to attend Wednesday's parent forum, you can find the recording here.


There will be a panel discussion on Tuesday night, March 16 at 7:30 with Alan Geller, an epidemiologist from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Benjamin Weintraub, the Watertown Public Schools' pediatrician. During this event, we will discuss several important safety considerations for the return to school as well and the benefits of the return to more in-person learning. Dr. Galdston will be there as well to answer additional questions and all members of the WPS Community are welcome. This will be a Zoom webinar. If you are unsure of your preference for your child(ren), I recommend attending this event.


MYKEE FOWLIN: On Monday, March 15, many of our middle school (grades 7 and 8) and high school students will attend a presentation by Mykee Fowlin: You Don't Know Me Until You Know Me. We will be offering a similar presentation to families Monday evening at 6:30 via Zoom, and everyone in the WPS community is invited to attend. Please see the flyer for more information about the event.


"To varying degrees, we all wear masks. We are conditioned to hide our true selves, out of fear of being rejected and/or judged. We are taught to devalue or ignore our pain, as if its utility is better served hidden than exposed. But what if this approach is ultimately to our detriment, not our survival? What if our authentic self is all we have, and our pain is the gift we use to change this world? And imagine… we are raised and trained to celebrate differences, as an inclusive process, not just a tolerable one.” -Mykee Fowlin


This event is sponsored by the Watertown Youth Coalition, the Watertown Community Foundation, and the Watertown Public Schools. We are very appreciative of the support for this important event, and I am looking forward to viewing it with the 7th and 8th graders.


WMS Band Performances: In other exciting news, our bands have been working very hard on their Spring Music!

From Mr. Maxwell Thew, WMS Band Director:

"I wanted to share with you what our lovely WMS Bands have been working on. Here are our lovely performances:


6th Grade Band-Invader by Rob Grice

7th/8th Grade Band-Infinity Concert March by James Curnow


If you see any band members make sure to congratulate them for all their hard work!"


So tremendous!!


Respectfully yours,


Donna Martin

Principal

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Here are some important upcoming dates:

Monday, March 15 - Grade 7/8 Assembly with Mykee Fowlin 10:45 am

http://mykeefowlin.com/

“Mykee's programs combine both his professional acting talents and his psychological training. His mission is to create an atmosphere of worldwide inclusion, not just tolerance, towards all people. He has worked extensively with all age groups in the United States and in other countries. His work has included peer mediation, diversity trainings, gender equity workshops, and violence prevention seminars.”

“You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me” is the show he will be sharing with us:

“To varying degrees, we all wear masks. We are conditioned to hide our true selves, out of fear of being rejected and/or judged. We are taught to devalue or ignore our pain, as if its utility is better served hidden than exposed.”


Monday, March 15 - School Committee Meeting 5:00 - 6:30 pm (Zoom link below)


Tuesday, March 16 - Panel Discussion: Safely Returning Students to More In-Person Learning

7:30 pm (Zoom link below)


Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24 - Picture Makeup Days


Monday, March 29 - School Site Council meeting 6:45-8:15 pm


Thursday, April 1 - Parent Conferences 1:00-3:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm

(Information from cluster teachers will be coming soon)


**Thursday, April 1 - Garden Club with Mr. Duffy begins


Tuesday, April 6 - Parent Conferences 1:00-3:00 pm and 5:00-7:00 pm


Thursday, April 15 - School Site Council meeting 6:30-8:00 pm



ELA MCAS

Dates TBD - The state has decided to postpone MCAS testing, and the dates for grades 6-8 are currently TBD - stay tuned!


Math MCAS

Dates TBD


Science MCAS (grade 8 only)

Dates TBD

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FOR ALL STUDENTS - Please return ELA novels to your cluster's book collection box!

Grade 6 - Inside Out and Back Again

Grade 7 - The Giver

Grade 8 - Warcross


Yearbooks: The deadline to order yearbooks is April 23rd, and flyers will be coming home soon with additional information. We are excited that school pictures will be included in this year's yearbook as usual!


Please email me with any questions, concerns, or input you may have. As always, we will work together as a community! #wmsstrong


Take good care of each other,

All my best,


Donna

Watertown School Committee Meeting

Monday, March 15th, 5-6:30pm

This is an online event.

The next Watertown School Committee meeting will be held Monday night, March 15, at 5:00 via Zoom. The agenda will focus on school reopening.

An evening with Mykee Fowlin: You Don't Know Me Until You Know Me

Monday, March 15th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Join us on Monday, March 15 for a presentation by Mykee Fowlin: You Don't Know Me Until You Know Me on Monday evening at 6:30 via Zoom. Everyone in the WPS community is invited to attend. Please see the flyer for more information about the event.

Panel Discussion: Safely Returning Students to More In-Person Learning

Tuesday, March 16th, 7:30pm

This is an online event.

Join us for a panel discussion on Tuesday night, March 16 at 7:30 with Alan Geller, an epidemiologist from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Benjamin Weintraub, the Watertown Public Schools' pediatrician. This will be a Zoom webinar.
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Watertown Recreation Updates and Programs Below!

For 8th graders - Please fill out this important google form for your Yearbook Quotation and other fun!

Student COVID testing (for students attending in-person) continues!

Student COVID testing will continue this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Update on the testing: New Massachusetts mandates are allowing students of any age to self swab under supervision. Nurse Michelle will still be helping all of our students and making sure samples are collected correctly, but the process will be much quicker with even less interference to learning time. She said it's going very smoothly!


**A note from the nurses:

Thank you to all who have signed up for pool testing thus far. It is not too late to enroll your children in weekly pool testing, if you are interested please fill out the google form below. Moving forward, only positive pools and close contacts will be alerted with the weekly testing results. If you do not receive an update 24-48 hours after your child participates in pool testing, it means their pool tested negative. Positive pools will be contacted as soon as possible and given further information and instructions at that time.


Again, if you wish for your student to be testing, please fill out the google form below. Please note that pool testing is only offered to hybrid students who participate in IN PERSON learning, we are not currently able to test remote students.


If you have signed your child(ren) up to be tested, please remind them that they will be tested every week, and that it is not a one-time occurrence. Student testing will occur during grade level mask breaks.


From Dr. Galdston:


WMS COVID-19 testing will continue into the new year. If you have already signed up your child, there is no need to fill out the form again. If you would like to sign up your child, please read the message below and fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/9gqu867ae6TB2ULf6. You only need to sign up once for the ongoing weekly testing.

Please consider being part of the testing! Testing prevents the spread of COVID-19 and it's free for families at this time as we using grant funding to cover the costs.

Best,

Dede Galdston

***Here is the SMORE Newsletter which was sent out originally with all of the details of the testing.***

Thank you!

Technology Information for WPS Families

We look forward to supporting you with your educational technology questions.


Here is a link to the Weekly 03/14 Family Ed-Tech for All Newsletter, LIVE Ed-Tech Support Sessions & WPS Family Ed-Tech Website with resources, just for you.

Do you need help with Ed-Tech?
Please complete the WPS Ed-Tech Support Request Form. A member of the WPS Ed-Tech team will reach out to you within a school day.


Few additional resources for WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

1. Link to TeachingHistory.org's Women's History Resources

2. Link to Online Exhibits From the National Women’s History Museum

3. Link to Science NetLinks Women’s History Collection

4. Link to ReadWriteThink’s Women’s History


Free GoogleSlide Templates: Who wants to be a Millionaire | Funny Jeopardy



Thank you and have a terrific day,

Rashmi Pimprikar (District Ed-Tech Coordinator), Digital Learning Team and IT Team

LUNCH/MEALS PROGRAM UPDATES


  • School meals are free for ALL students for the entire school year.

  • Students can order a lunch in Community Meeting each morning and will be given out at the end of the day.

  • Lunches should be eaten after you leave school at 12:30

  • The meals will be packaged in easy to carry bags and will contain multiple breakfasts and lunches.

  • If a student requests meals on both of their in-person days they will receive breakfast and lunch for 7 days.


SEE SCHOOL NUTRITION WEBSITE FOR MENU.


GRAB & GO MEAL SITE WILL BE OPEN:

EVERY MONDAY

12 - 1:30PM

&

4:30 - 6PM

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WMS Attendance Policy and Procedures

From the Handbook (with some Remote Learning updates):


Attendance is the most important aspect of educating our students. When students are not here, they do not have access to instruction.


At Watertown Middle School, we pride ourselves in maintaining a very high attendance rate throughout the year. Understandably, there will be times when our students will need to take time away from school for a variety of excused reasons. The following procedure is in place to ensure good attendance, support our families, and follow state and federal laws.


Students are expected to be present and punctual for all classes. All students must be in Homeroom/Community Meeting (in-person or Zoom) by 8:30 a.m.


If you are having trouble with your Chromebook or have any Tech Difficulties (computer, camera, charging cord, hot spot)...


Call 617-926-7783 and let Ms. Cardillo or Ms. Brackett know.


“My name is (your name) and I have (teacher name) right now and I am having Tech Trouble. Can you please let my teacher know?”


Tardiness

A student is considered tardy if he or she is not in homeroom by 8:30 a.m. Teachers will mark students tardy when they are late to homeroom and/or late to class.


Absences

In the event that a student is tardy or absent, a parent or guardian must call the absence hotline at 617-926-7783 before 8:30 a.m. Please state the name, grade, and homeroom of the student. In the event that the absence is not reported, the school will call the student’s home or the place of employment of the parent or guardian to verify the absence.


Please see the Handbook for further details describing Excused Absences versus Unexcused Absences.


Resulting Actions:

● After 3 days of unexcused absences with no contact to the school from the parent, the Assistant Principal will be notified.

● After 5 days of absences (both excused & unexcused) per quarter, a letter of concern will be sent to parents/guardians. At ten absences, a support meeting will be scheduled with parents/guardians, guidance, and administration to create an Attendance Plan, which clearly outlines the school, parent, and student obligations to improve the problem. If absenteeism continues, further action will be taken, up to and including petitioning the Juvenile Courts with a Child Requiring Assistance, (C.R.A.).

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**EMERGENCY ALERTS**

To get Emergency Alerts from the Town of Watertown text WATERTOWNMA to 888-777. Your cell phone number will be into the system without having to establish an Everbridge account. You also have the opportunity to add your email address into the system at this time. You would then receive all emails and/or texts from the system. If you already have an Everbridge account, this is not necessary, as you will continue to receive the notifications sent by the town.