WMS Family Smore

October 10, 2022

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Dear WMS Families,

We hope you are finding some rest on this extended weekend.

Monday is Indigenous Peoples/Columbus Day and we have no school. Tuesday 11th is the next day in our cycle, which is F2 (drop blue block).

We had our first week of WIN with students participating in What I Need. Check out the brass band Young Fellaz who came all the way from New Orleans to play with our students on Friday, as well as Best Buddies below with some pictures of what happened in WIN this week.

Progress reports for the First Quarter were emailed home on October 6th. These are a snapshot in time, intended to communicate your child's progress so far this year. If there are concerns, please reach out to your child's teacher.

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 from WMS Teachers

Click on the link below to find updates from your child's teachers*

Cluster 1

Cluster 2

Cluster 3

Cluster 4

Cluster 5

Cluster 6

LB Math



*More to be updated this week as teachers share their smores with the WMS Leadership Team.

Clubs and Extracurricular Activities start October 11

We are excited for clubs and other after school activities to start tomorrow. Click the flyer below for more information.

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

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.

This week at WMS...

Student-led Parent/Caregiver Conferences are coming up: October 27, November 1

Our Student-led Parent/Caregiver Conferences are coming up with both virtual and in-person opportunities to meet with your child's teacher(s). As these are student-led conferences, students should attend the conference. There will be interpretation in a variety of languages available. More information about signing up for conferences will come soon from your child's teachers.

October 27th

1:00-3:00pm (virtual)

5:00-7:00pm (in-person)

November 1st

1:00-3:00pm (in-person)

6:00-8:00pm (virtual)

MCAS Reports 2022, Yardsticks guide coming soon in the mail

MCAS reports for families have arrived. We will be preparing the mailing of these reports home, and they are expected to be mailed out this coming Friday.

We are including in our MCAS mailing a Yardsticks guide from Responsive Classroom, our Advisory resource. This is a guide for families of what to expect and how to support your child as a developing teenager.

Our student growth percentile (SGP) at WMS was higher than in past years, on par with or above the state level in many subgroup categories. Due to your hard work in partnership with our teachers, our students have shown incredible growth, given remote learning and significant absenteeism, and the focus on safety and social emotional learning over the past few years. Our next steps will include:

  1. Looking at data by classes, subgroups, individual students, using data to inform teaching.

  2. Strengthening our MTSS tier I and tier II supports - to better support student access to learning.

  3. Focusing on English Learners, Former English Learners, Students with Disabilities subgroups, who have consistently had lower SGP than state.

Community Service Opportunities at WMS

Here are some upcoming Community Service Opportunities at WMS:

Community Service Opportunity with Mr. Allegro:

When: Saturday, October 22nd 12-2 pm

Where: The Watertown Food Pantry

Why: To help sort food and assist with drop off

Please sign up on the board in front of the WMS library

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.

Opportunities To Get Involved

PTO - October 12

The next meeting is this Wednesday, October 12, and the PTO meets virtually on the second Wednesday of each month. Reach out to the PTO President Erin Macomber at erin_macomber@neds.org with any questions or to express interest.

Diversity Council - October 20

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.

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.

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

Equity Hour, from Dr. Kimberlee Henry - October 25

Managing [mis]understandings (Mr. Jamele Adams, LIT League)

All of us have unique perspectives on how we see the world, and everything in it. These varying perspectives often lead to misunderstandings. This session will teach and practice a communication protocol that will help to manage both understanding and misunderstanding of perspectives.

· Parent & Caregiver Hour (10/25, 6-7p via ZOOM)

School Site Council (SSC) - November 8

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. Some topics we will be diving into this year as part of the School Improvement Plan are WIN and providing student supports, the master schedule, and parent communication.

The WMS SSC will meet once a month on the first Tuesdays at 7:00pm, virtually. We had our first meeting this past week. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 8th, since the first week of November will be during the Student-Led Conferences.

There are five WMS educators who will be regularly-attending members this year, and we will be electing five parent/community members to balance out the team. Any parent/community members who would like to be considered as a voting member of the SSC should attend the next meeting on November 8th. In particular, we are looking for members who represent different grades of students and reflect our student body including parents of English Learners. Any parent/community member may join any meeting as a listener, participant, and non-voting member.

Previously Shared News

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.

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



Watertown High School - Open House for 7th/8th Grade Students

Watertown High School will be offering an in-person Open House for 7th & 8th-grade students and families on Tuesday, October 25. Please be in touch with Adrienne Eaton, the WHS Lead School Counselor, at adrienne.eaton@watertown.k12.ma.us with any questions or concerns.

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Watertown SEPAC invites all caregivers to attend a virtual Disability-Centered Equity Listening Session on Monday, October 17 from 6-8pm. More details, including the Zoom meeting link, can be found here: https://www.smore.com/bmpeq

Winter Donation Drive & Free Store - November 6th

Watertown Mutual Aid Network’s is hosting a Winter Donation Drive & Free Store is on Sunday, November 6th at Ballroom in Boston at 100 Parker Street in Watertown, MA. They will be receiving donations of winter coats, winter clothes for kids, and personal care items from 10:30am-12:30pm and then indivduals/families can "shop" for free 1-2:30pm. This event is open to anyone.

Affordable Connectivity Program

October 3-7 was National Digital Inclusion Week, which highlights efforts to increase student access to technology. In Massachusetts, advocates and partners are sharing the message:

“Public school families may get $30 off your monthly internet bill and $100 off a laptop, tablet, or computer through a federal program called the Affordable Connectivity Program. Learn more & apply! Affordableconnectivity.gov

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 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 25: Family Equity Hour, (6:00-7:00pm via ZOOM)

  • October 25: WHS Open House for 7/8th Graders (6:30-8:00pm)

  • October 27: Early Release Day: Student-Led Conferences with Parents and Teachers, 12:30pm dismissal with grab n go lunch

  • November 1: Early Release Day: Student-Led Conferences with Parents and Teachers, 12:30pm dismissal with grab n go lunch

  • November 2: Picture Day Make Ups

  • November 8: Election Day/PD Day - No School for Students
  • November 8: School Site Council (7:00pm)
  • November 9: PTO Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)
  • November 10: First day of Second Quarter
  • November 11: Veteran's Day - No School
  • November 16: First Quarter Report Cards Issued
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