WMS Family Smore

December 4, 2022

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Dear WMS Families,

Well, the temperature certainly feels like December now. I hope you are staying warm this weekend!

Check out this week's photo to the right: It comes from one of the Responsive Classroom lessons that students had during Advisory this week. We encourage you to ask your child about it, and talk about how "trust is like a house" with your family at home.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to walk through several classrooms with Dr. Galdston. We were impressed with all of the learning that is happening at WMS! We saw...

  • Students working in small groups in every classroom
  • Clear objectives and anchor charts with frequently-used information
  • Vocabulary walls, sentence starters, and other language-based tools visibly being used by students in every room, which is supporting ELs as well as all learners
  • Evidence of equitable grading practices being used, and how that is shifting how students think about and take ownership for their own learning
  • Students excited to learn and clearly engaged in the lesson across many different class structures

It's hard to say who is working harder this year - teachers or students, but either way, there is a lot of learning happening at WMS!

We also want to send a heartfelt thank you from the leadership and community service crew for your help with Thanksgiving baskets. We were able to give out 29 baskets to families in need, and it's all because of you! Even with all the covid related disruption, Thanksgiving baskets at WMS still run like a well oiled machine, and for that, our community service crew is thankful.

Click on the cluster/class smores below to see an update about what is happening in your child's classes this week. We also encourage all parents/caregivers to complete the the 2023 Watertown Parent Survey. More information about all of this and more is below.

Be well and take care of one another.

Respectfully yours,

Ms. Jennifer Chen Fein, Principal

Ms. Jennifer Sarmiento, Assistant Principal (Clusters 2, 4, 6)

Mr. Patrick Dayton, Interim Assistant Principal (Clusters 1, 3, 5)

News at WMS

News from WMS Teachers

Click on the link below to find updates from your child's teachers. These cluster/class smores are a helpful tool to know what your child is learning. These s'mores are shared and updated every other week in the WMS Family Smore.

Cluster 1

Cluster 2

Cluster 3

Cluster 4

Cluster 5

Cluster 6



LB Math

Wilson Reading

The Specialists


5 Essentials Survey

We need your feedback! Watertown Public Schools is , and we need at least 30% of parents/caregivers to complete the 2023 Watertown Parent Survey.

Here is a short quote from Dr. Galdston's message to all families:

Research has shown that schools that are strong on three or more of the 5Essentials were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains than schools weak on three or more of the Essentials.

The 5Essentials are:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

As last year was our first year administering the survey, results were not widely shared as we were learning about how best to utilize the data and interpret the results. With two years of data after this year's administration is complete, we look forward to sharing the data with staff and with the larger community.

Please let us know how you and your family are experiencing school here:

2023 Watertown Parent Survey

Opens Dec. 1, 2022 and closes Dec. 23, 2022.

Attendance Reminders - call the main office before 8:30AM to report a student's absence

In the event that a student is absent, a parent or caregiver must call the absence hotline at 617-926-7783 before 8:30 a.m. Please state the name, grade, homeroom of the student and the reason for their absence. In the event that the absence is not reported, a Robocall will automatically go out to the student’s home or the place of employment of the parent or caregiver to inform them that the student is absent. Students are responsible for working with their teachers to make up work they missed while absent.

Check out page 26 of the WMS Family Handbook to see all of our attendance procedures in more detail.

Text to 911 Information

Please see the information below from the Massachusetts Next Generation 911 system.

In addition to the right are instructions for calling 911 using the Silent Call Procedure.

We are sharing these safety updates with our community because staying informed is the first step to staying safe.

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WMS is Hiring

Here is the link to all available positions in WPS. At WMS, we are looking to hire Connections IAs and another Building Based Sub. Please share these opportunities with your networks!

Opportunities for Parents/Caregivers To Get Involved

School Site Council (SSC) - December 6

The WMS SSC meets once a month on the first Tuesdays at 7:00pm, virtually. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 6th. Here is the agenda.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) - December 14

The PTO meets virtually on the second Wednesday of each month, and the next meeting is on Wednesday, December 14th. Reach out to the PTO President Erin Macomber at erin_macomber@neds.org with any questions or to express interest.

Diversity Council - December 15

The WMS Diversity Council will meet once a month on the third Thursdays at 7:00pm virtually, with the next meeting on December 15, 2022. We will be focusing on actionable steps outlined in the district equity audit taken last school year.

Reach out to Jen Sarmiento at jennifer.sarmeinto@watertown.k12.ma.us to express interest in joining or with any questions.


News from Watertown Recreation

Watertown Recreation winter sports are live! There are several indoor and outdoor options.

Please see here for the entire Watertown Rec brochure- pages 8-11 focus on middle-school aged activities. The Ski Program is completely full but if there is enough interest from more students, they will add an additional bus! In the meantime, students can still get a discounted ticket to the mountain and provide their own transportation.

The Watertown Snow Removal Program is still accepting applications for the winter season! This program helps the elderly and disabled residents of Watertown by shoveling snow for them. Through the Rec department program, students will earn community service hours, and a $50 gift card for their work. The application can be found here. Students can also get paper forms from their advisory teacher or the main office. Please return these forms to Mr. McDermott's mailbox in the main office by next Friday, December 9th!

Lastly, the City of Watertown has Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics tickets for any resident or employee of Watertown. See here for Bruins and here for Celtics. Tickets are first come first serve.

Watertown High School Artists exhibit at the Watertown Public Library

Come to the beautiful Watertown Public Library and enjoy the amazing work of our Watertown High School Artists! The exhibit will be there for the month of December!

WMS School Spirit Shop

WMS apparel is available in a variety of styles for women, men and youth with a variety of color and logo combinations. A portion of the proceeds go to the WMS PTO to help fund activities and enrichment opportunities for students throughout the year.

Upcoming Dates

  • December 1-23: Parents and Caregivers can complete the 5 Essentials Survey
  • December 6: School Site Council (7:00pm, virtual)
  • December 14: Early Release PD Day: Day 12:30pm dismissal with grab n go lunch (Day F1, will see every class for a shortened period of time)
  • December 14: PTO Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)
  • December 15: Diversity Council (7:00pm, virtual)
  • December 26-January 2: Winter Recess - No School
  • January 3: School Site Council (7:00pm, virtual)

  • January 11: PTO Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • January 13: PD Day - No School

  • January 16: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School

  • Watertown Public Schools Calendar 2022-2023

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