WMS Community Bulletin 03-28-21

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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Если вы работаете на компьютере, откройте это на новой странице. Затем, чтобы перевести этот информационный бюллетень, щелкните ссылку справа. Если вы разговариваете по телефону, коснитесь человека в черном кружке, чтобы получить кнопку перевода. (Russian)

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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. Happy Sunday! And Happy Passover to those of you who celebrate.


This past week we have spent a great deal of time preparing for the return to full days with the majority of students on April 12th. We are looking forward to it! Classrooms are being set up, schedules finalized, and class rosters confirmed. As always, safety is our number one priority and will be our focus more than ever for Term 4. I am sure there will be some nervousness by all as we return back to a more typical school day and schedule, but it will be so terrific to see most back in person every day. Additionally, we are attempting to form as many remote-only sections as possible so that the "Zoomers" have a great experience as well. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday night on Zoom at 6:30 pm to talk about all of the details!


One schedule change to note is that we will be having Remote Learning for all on Thursday, April 8th and Friday, April 9th so that instruction will not be disrupted by the large amount of furniture that will need to be moved in and out of classrooms. Some of the furniture is not arriving before April 7th, and we want to be sure we have time to get all of the classrooms set up and ready with the proper physical distancing. All synchronous instruction will continue as scheduled remotely on Zoom.


A reminder about student COVID testing from the Superintendent's newsletter: The District continues to provide weekly pooled surveillance testing to all Watertown Public Schools students, and as of April 5, 2021, this testing will be mandated for all students who are learning in-person. The School Committee unanimously approved the recommendation contained within the updated COVID-19 Handbook Addendum. Dr. Galdston's most recent newsletter is attached in its entirety later in this communication.


Please be well and take good care of one another.


Respectfully yours,


Donna Martin

Principal

Here are some important upcoming dates:

Monday, March 29 - Anti-Bias Coalition Meeting 5:00-6:30 pm

Join Zoom Meeting
https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/96134982842


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

Join Zoom Meeting https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/93685457740


Tuesday, March 30 - Parent/Guardian Forum regarding Return to Full In-Person School 6:30 pm

Join Zoom Meeting https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/92000022874

(please see more information below)


Wednesday, March 31 - The Wellbeing of Watertown Youth Town Hall Meeting 6:30-8:00 pm

Direct zoom registration link https://bit.ly/WYCtownhallmeeting


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

(please see information about specialist schedule below)


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


Friday, April 2 - Early Release Day - no programming after 12:30

(please see information about specialist schedule below)


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

(please see information about specialist schedule below)


Thursday, April 8 - WHS Program of Studies Night 6:30 pm


Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9 - Remote learning for all. Instruction will continue as scheduled, but it will be all remote/on Zoom.


Friday, April 9 - Last Day of Term 3


Monday, April 12 - WMS Return to Full Days of In-Person School 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

First day of Term 4


Monday, April 12 - Spring Sports Information Meeting 7:00 pm LINK TO ZOOM MEETING

(see further information in attachment below)


Monday, April 12 - School Committee meeting 7:00 pm


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


Monday, April 19 - Friday, April 23 - NO SCHOOL - April Vacation


Friday, April 30 - Term 3 report cards sent home



MCAS

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


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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


SCHEDULE UPDATES


***For the Early Release Days*** - We have early release days coming up on April 1, 2, and 6. If your child has specialist classes on that day (off-cohort day), then they should be following the old schedule for times. Classes will be 30 minutes long, instead of 40, so that all classes will be able to meet before dismissal (see the left-hand column of the chart below). On the conference days of April 1 and 6, performance music and Advanced Art classes will still be meeting after 12:30 pm as usual.


Long-Term Schedule Change: On April 12, we will be returning to a full-day in-person schedule. Many of you filled out the survey sent out by Dr. Galdston and indicated if your child would return to school in person or be fully remote through the end of the year. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about this choice.


On Tuesday, March 30 at 6:30 pm, I will be hosting a Parent/Guardian Forum on Zoom to discuss new schedules and procedures for the April 12th re-opening. We are busy preparing the building to have the majority of students and teachers return full-time in a safe manner! I look forward to seeing you there and answering any questions you may have. Please feel free to send me any questions in advance as well.


Progress Reports: Progress Reports were posted on Friday 3/19 in PowerSchool, and you may access them using the previously shared username/password. Some teachers are piloting the use of sharing grades through the PowerSchool portal, and some have continued the practice of posting comments regarding your child's progress. Please reach out to your child's teacher, school counselor, or me if you have any questions.


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

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Updated Bus Information

We have very small number of bus seats available for the remainder of the school year. The bus fee will be pro-rated to $75 for the remainder of the school year (no charge if Free or Reduced lunch status). Please visit our bus registration page found here on our website. The link to the MS online registration is towards the top of the page. On April 2nd we will fill the seats based on furthest walking distance (per School Committee Policy) from the residence to the school as measured by the Business Office. If registrations dated April 1st or prior exceed available capacity seats will be assigned by furthest distance and those not assigned a seat will be waitlisted. Those registering after April 1st will likely be waitlisted regardless of distance as we anticipate that there will no longer be available seats.


The State lifted all distance requirements on school buses in February - there will be two riders per bench seat.


These practices are required by the State and WPS: students will have assigned seats, all windows must be open at least 2" at all times, 6' distancing should be maintained at bus stops, 6' distancing required when boarding and de-boarding the bus, masks must be worn at all times. Violation of mask policy will result in loss of bus privilege.


We will contact families on 4/2 to let them know the status of their registration.

Student Dress Code Reminder

With students coming back to school full time on April 12, we wanted to remind all students and families about the WMS Dress Code as published in the WMS Handbook. Please review this with your child(ren). Thank you!


Student Dress Code

Students’ clothing/dress should reflect their readiness to focus on learning, education and hard work. We recognize that students express themselves in many ways as young adults, but at the same time, school attire should support the scholarly culture that leads to academic success.

Student clothing should be neat, clean, and worn in the manner for which it was designed. If a student is out of dress code, he/she will first get a verbal warning and be asked to change. If the student can’t find appropriate clothing, he/she can use our stock of Watertown athletic clothing as an alternative. If it is a second or repeat offense, the student will be referred to administration for disciplinary action.

Students are expected to adhere to the following guidelines while in school, or while attending a school-sponsored event or field trip:

  1. No clothing or accessories with inappropriate or offensive symbols or statements shall be worn. Some examples include but are not limited to:

    1. References to drugs, tobacco or alcohol

    2. References to discriminatory slurs

    3. References to violence

    4. Sexual connotations

  2. Head coverings shall be worn in the case of religious or health reasons.

  3. Chests, stomachs, buttocks, and all undergarments should be covered at all times. Undergarments should not be visible at any time.

  4. All clothing, including shirts, tops, dresses, pants, shorts, and leggings, must be completely opaque (not see-through).

  5. Clothing must be free of holes, rips, and tears that are inappropriately located.

  6. Night clothing, including but not limited to pajamas, slippers, etc. may not be worn.


Administration reserves the right to evaluate the appropriateness of student dress when needed.

We will evaluate the dress code on an annual basis to adjust for cultural trends


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

Weekly Learning Plans

All teachers will be updating their Weekly Learning Plans by Friday afternoons, and they are available on the Grade Level / Cluster websites for you and your students to view and be able to plan out activities, expectations, and assignments for the upcoming week. They are linked to the WMS website, and also here:


Grade 6 Website and e-Learning Plans - click here

Grade 7 Website and e-Learning Plans - click here

Grade 8 Website and e-Learning Plans - click here


If you have any questions, please email (or have your student email) the teacher.

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 03/19 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 Celebrating WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH


Free GoogleSlide Templates to enhance student engagement:
Who wants to be a Millionaire | Funny Jeopardy | Create your own Character



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.