WMS Family Newsletter

September 17, 2023

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Dear WMS Families,

Teachers and staff at WMS have been impressed with our students in these first two weeks of school. Students are doing a great job learning how to quickly open their lockers to get their things, and get to their next class in 3 minutes or less! We are digging into learning, including exploring Alone by Megan Freeman, our One School One Book, this past Friday.

Quick announcements:

  • PHONES - As our district upgrades its phone system, we apologize that it has been more challenging to reach us by phone so far this year! If you need to reach the Watertown Middle School main office this week, please call this phone number: 617-659-5821. If you are calling for absence or dismissal reasons, no need to call, just fill out the WMS Student Absence Form at the bottom of this newsletter.

  • Due to district bussing schedules, we will be opening our doors for students to get breakfast in the cafeteria at 7:20am this week, instead of 7:30am. It is likely that bussing schedules will change in October when the Lowell moves into their new building, and we will re-assess our building opening time then.

  • Speaking of busses, we are adding a late bus on Fridays starting this week, so we will have late busses running M-F at 3:45pm. Learning Lab, a place to work on homework with support from WMS educators, is open in the library every day after school. We will be starting up our fall clubs in a few weeks, so look out for information about that soon!

  • Picture day is this Wednesday. Here is all of the information for WMS Picture Day.

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 20: School Picture Day
  • September 21: WMS Open House (6-8pm)
  • September 27: Early Release Day (11:45 dismissal, students will attend all classes for shorter periods)

Respectfully yours,

Ms. Jennifer Chen Fein, Principal

Ms. Susan Carle, Assistant Principal (Clusters 1, 3, 5)

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

New News at WMS

WMS Open House - September 21

We are excited to welcome caregivers to our open house this Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm.

Caregivers should plan to enter through the main entrance on 68 Waverly. Please know that parking around our campus is more limited this year, so plan accordingly.

This evening is an opportunity to learn about your child's overall experience this year, and is not a time to have individual conferences with teachers about your child, thank you in advance.

Here is an outline of the timing and location for caregivers on Wednesday night:

WMS Open House 2023

7th Grade Caregivers - SBIRT

Please see this letter informing you of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) interview that is conducted each year with 7th grade students.

SY 23-24 Grade 7 Letter

Opportunities for Parents/Caregivers To Get Involved

WMS Site Council

The WMS Site Council is a body of students, faculty, parents, and caregivers that plays a strong role in the vision and direction of our school. For example, the WMS School Improvement Plan 2023-2024 was written in collaboration with the Site Council, teacher, and district leaders last year, and will be informing our work as a staff and school this year. We are looking for caregivers, especially those who can be with us for two or more years, to join!

This year, the WMS Site Council will be meeting on the following Wednesdays from 4-5pm, virtually, unless otherwise listed.

  • September 27 (in person at WMS with zoom link for those joining virtually)
  • October 25
  • November 29
  • January 3
  • January 31
  • March 27
  • May 1
  • May 29 (in person at WMS)

Here is the agenda for our September 27th meeting, we hope to see you then.

Reach out to Principal Chen Fein at jennifer.chenfein@watertown.k12.ma.us with any questions or to express interest in joining next year.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

Thank you PTO for helping us start the year off strong with popsicles for students and breakfast for our staff.

Are you interested in being on the WMS PTO? Reach out to our new co-PTO Presidents Elena Poillucci <elenapoillucci@gmail.com> and Melissa Parker <melissapisces@yahoo.com> with any questions or to express interest in joining next year.

Diversity Council

The WMS Diversity & Belonging Council is a forum for caregivers and other community members to work toward more equitable practices at the middle school by encouraging accountability, raising awareness, and fostering community engagement.

You can reach out to Sarah Seldomridge at sarah.seldomridge@watertown.k12.ma.us with any questions. Thank you!

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Previously Shared News at WMS

Wayside Wellness - Opportunity for 8th grade students

Dear 8th Grade Families,

For those interested, WMS is offering a program for our 8th-grade students called “Wayside Wellness”. This program will be run by Wayside Counselors with the support of School Counselors and School Mental Health Clinicians. “Wayside Wellness” is focused on helping students make positive choices as they navigate adolescence. Specific topics will include self-identity, self-esteem, substance use, and managing stress and peer pressure.

Please look at the attached permission form if interested.

Please email Amanda Skypeck, 8th Grade Guidance Counselor, a signed permission form or fill out the Wayside Wellness Google Permission form by Monday, September 25th if you would like your student to participate in this group.

Upcoming Dates

  • September 20: School Picture Day
  • September 21: WMS Open House (6-8pm)
  • September 27: Early Release Day (11:45 dismissal, students will see all classes for shorter periods)
  • October 1: monthly update from teachers in WMS S'more
  • October 2-5: i-ready diagnostic tests for math, reading (Special Schedule)
  • October 9: No School - Indigenous Peoples' Day/Columbus Day
  • October 18: Trimester 1 Progress Reports sent to families
  • October 19: Early Release Day (11:45 dismissal, students will attend all classes for shorter periods), Teacher-Caregiver Conferences
  • October 24: Early Release Day (11:45 dismissal, students will attend all classes for shorter periods), Teacher-Caregiver Conferences
  • October 30: monthly update from teachers in WMS S'more
  • WMS Bell Schedule and Trimester Dates 2023-2024
  • Watertown Public Schools Calendar 2023-2024

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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.

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