WMS Family Smore

October 2, 2022

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Dear WMS Families,

I had so much fun cheering on the Watertown Cross Country runners this week, and am sharing some pictures of that with you all this week.

Students will be starting their new WIN classes on Monday. For this round of WIN, we considered i-ready diagnostic information, teacher input, and student requests for performance music groups. Students have two WIN placements each, and the opportunity to take two WIN placements in the next round of WIN, which will begin in late January/February.

This is also a reminder that there is no school on Monday, October 10 for Indigenous People Day/Columbus Day.

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)

Clubs and Extracurricular Activities start October 11

We are excited for clubs and other after school activities to start on October 11th. Click the flyer below for more information. Students will bring home a paper copy of the form early next week.

Students will pay $50 one time to participate in any sports or clubs all year; if it is a hardship for a family they should reach out to the guidance counselor to inquire about a scholarship. Students may participate in the following clubs for free: GSA, Learning Lab/After the Bell.

The late bus runs Monday-Thursday, @4:15

WMS Clubs: October 11-December 16, 2022

Community Service Opportunities at WMS

Here are some upcoming Community Service Opportunities at WMS:

Coats for Kids:

  • We are collecting lightly used coats for families in the area who need them
  • We only collect COATS - No jackets, sweatshirts, vests, gloves, or hats
  • We need coats for people of all ages
  • Drop off in the bin in the front lobby now through December

Trex Plastic Recycling

  • We collect and recycle plastic that you can’t put in a normal recycling bin
  • Mostly thin plastic film from things like packages, grocery bags, bread bags, bubble wrap. Drop off in the Library or Main Office.

Operation American Soldier

  • Operation American Soldier, a Massachusetts-based organization that supports military members that have been deployed overseas, is looking for donations to send to soldiers
  • We need Canned fruit with pop-tops, Tuna lunch-to-go boxes, or packets, and on the go powdered drink mixes like Crystal Light or Gatorade. - Drive ends November 4th

Please direct any questions about community service opportunities to Mr. McDermott at christopher.mcdermott@watertown.k12.ma.us or Mr. Allegro at andrew.allegro@watertown.k12.ma.us.

A Message from the Digital Learning & Libraries Department

The Digital Learning & Libraries Department has exciting news!

Caregivers will now be able to find information related to digital learning and libraries at the new WPS Digital Learning & Libraries for Families website. Here you will find:

  • Affordable internet options
  • WPS Chromebook contract
  • Tutorials
  • Student data privacy information

The link is: WPS Digital Learning & Libraries For Families.

No spicy chips at lunch please!

Parents and families, we are asking for your support in packing school lunches. The chips in this picture are a trend on tik-tok that can cause multiple students to be out of their seats in search of milk and water. While we support trying new foods, trying the spiciest chip you've ever had during the school day at lunch is a choice we would like students to minimize.

WMS is Hiring

Here are the links to the WMS Literacy Coach, Instructional Assistant (Connections), and Lunch Aide applications, please share with your networks. Continuing to have our building fully staffed will make a big difference in our day-to-day ability to provide an excellent education for our students, as well as teachers continuing not to have duties this year.

8th Grade Washington D.C. Information Night - October 11th

The WMS 8TH Grade D.C. Trip is a week-long annual trip that the students of WMS have been participating in for over 50 years! The trip is educational, both academically and socially, and lots of fun! Please see below for general info about the trip.

Registration will open in mid-October and the link to register will be sent to all 8th Grade caregivers. There will also be a D.C. Info Night on October 11th at 7:00 PM in the auditorium.

  • This year, students going on the trip will leave Monday, June 5th, and come home Friday, June 9th.

  • The overall cost of the trip is $650. This year, payment will be made electronically via credit or debit card. We offer financial assistance for families who need it.

  • Students and the teachers that chaperone the trip travel by coach bus to and from Washington D.C. Once in D.C the bus is also our primary mode of transportation.

Please email Mr. Chris McDermott or Principal Chen Fein with any questions.

Opportunities for parents/caregivers to get involved

There are many ways to get involved as a parent/caregiver at WMS. We are looking for a diverse representation of parents on all of our structures.

School Site Council (SSC):

A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, community members. Site-based decision making places the school at the center of planning, goal setting, and budgeting for school improvement. Councils exist to assist principals by reviewing the school building budget and developing the school improvement plan. Councils may also take on other responsibilities, including policymaking, as granted by the local school committee. Councils' school improvement plans are submitted to the local school committee for review and approval.The WMS SSC will meet once a month on the first Tuesdays at 7:00pm, virtually. The first meeting will be on October 4, 2022. Any interested members should email me at jennifer.chenfein@watertown.k12.ma.us to express interest in joining School Site Council.

Diversity Council:

The mission of the WMS Diversity Council (DC) is to build and promote opportunities for WMS community members to create a courageous culture of anti-racist education and action, and support inclusion, diversity and belonging for all students and families.

DC members partner with WPS to:

  1. Outreach to families of color
  2. Plan social justice activities
  3. Facilitate dialogue within the WMS community
  4. Promote inclusivity
  5. Provide equity-lens input into administrator decisions / serve as a sounding board
  6. Diversify staffing

The WMS Diversity Council embraces our core values of anti-racism, inclusivity, equity, community, social justice, action, dialogue, courage, and anti-bias.

The WMS Diversity Council will meet once a month on the third Thursdays at 6:00pm, virtually, with the first meeting on October 20, 2022. This year, we will be focusing on actionable steps outlined in the district equity audit taken last school year.

Any interested members should email me at jennifer.chenfein@watertown.k12.ma.us to express interest in joining the Diversity Council.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO): The WMS PTO is seeking parents and caregivers to join this year. Meetings are held virtually on the second Wednesday of each month.

The first meeting was on September 14. Reach out to the PTO President Erin Macomber at erin_macomber@neds.org with any questions or to express interest.

WMS Peter Clough Memorial

Mr. Peter Clough was a former Global Studies Teacher and Assistant Principal of WMS who died from Lymphoma in 1995 at the age of 32. Mr. Clough made a significant impact on WMS students, encouraging them the value of character, service, allyship, selflessness, and sacrifice. A picture of a contract that Mr. Clough asked his students to sign is still in his classroom at WMS, and is shown at the right.

There is also a memorial art installation for Mr. Clough in the main lobby of WMS, which portrayed the gifts he gave to the world, and continents hanging in the center. More than twenty years later, the WMS school community is beginning the process of reimagining the images portrayed on the hanging mobile to reflect the culture and the people that walk through our doors every morning at WMS. With students attending from across the globe, we seek to portray our diverse community in a way that respects Mr. Clough’s memory and contributions to WMS while creating a sense of belonging for all members of our WMS of our community.

The images portrayed on the hanging continents represented a more limited view of the contributions of people from around the world that currently attend our schools. Twenty years ago, students worked with the artist Mr. Joshua Winer to research those images using resources such as National Geographic; who has since addressed and apologized for its racist past. Much has happened in the world over the past twenty years, and what may have seemed acceptable then no longer does, nor was it ever.

Over the course of my interview process last spring, it was shared that students who currently attend WMS in 2022 did not feel the sense of belonging and community with the mural hanging as it was, so the WMS Leadership Teammade the decision over the summer to temporarily remove just the continents before the school year started, while leaving the ring with all of his gifts, and the center ring with his initials and words that describe him are still there. The auditorium that is used day and night also remains named in honor of Mr. Clough's contributions.

In the past few weeks, I have been in conversation with Ms. Kerri Clough, the widow of Peter, as well as Mr. Josh Winer, the artist who helped students create the original mural. They are both in support of this process. There are teachers at WMS, including those who knew and loved Mr. Clough, who are excited to work with students this year, perhaps in conjunction with Mr. Winer as an artist in residence. It is our hope to also include the WMS community in our process to reinstall the continents when they better capture the sense of belonging that Mr. Clough would have wanted.

There will be a zoom meeting on October 19th at 7:00pm for members of the WMS community, including those who considered Mr. Clough a mentor, who have further questions or comments, or would otherwise like to share their ideas of how to honor Mr. Clough while ensuring all people feel welcome when entering the middle school.

WMS Lunch Menu - October


This week at WMS...


Watertown Race Reels in October

Please join us for Watertown Race Reels in October! To honor Indigenous People's Day we will be screening We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân on 10/17 at the Watertown Boys & Girls Club (see attached flyer).

We will be serving pizza starting at 5:45 and starting the film at 6pm. After the film (~60 minutes), we will have a discussion/activity. Hope to see you there!

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Upcoming Dates

  • October 4: School Site Council Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)
  • October 6: Progress Reports Distributed

  • October 10: Indigenous Peoples' Day/Columbus Day - No School

  • October 11: 8th Grade Washington D.C. Information Night (7:00pm, WMS Auditorium)

  • October 12: PTO Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • October 19: WMS Peter Clough Memorial zoom meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • October 20: Diversity Council Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • October 27: Early Release Day: Student-Led Conferences with Parents and Teachers

  • November 2: Picture Day Make Ups

  • Watertown Public Schools Calendar 2022-2023

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