Watertown Community Bulletin 4-9-20


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Phase 2 Updates for School Closure April 6 - May 4

Dear WMS Families,

I hope this communication finds you and your families healthy and well. I had a faculty meeting today, and everybody, from teacher to instructional aide to admin. assistant to cafeteria staff, wants all students to know how much they are missed! It is nice to see the students on Zoom or Google, but we can't wait to have everyone together again at WMS! Next week we will have a Spirit Week (details coming tomorrow) and our hope is that it brings us all even closer together!

In my bulletin last Sunday, I shared with you a bit from Dr. Galdston's update, which outlined in general terms how Phase 2 differed from our original remote learning:

Shifts in the Extended Learning Plan

The two significant shifts in the Plan include:

1) increased interactive time with students and,

2) requiring students to participate in the learning provided to the extent that is possible.

On a weekly basis, teachers will track participation during Community Meetings; Google Classroom and other online resources; office hours; and class check-ins. If technology presents a barrier to accessing remote learning, please contact your child’s principal, as we can assist you with technology access.

In this update, I will provide you with additional information about feedback, grading and expectations.


The GOAL is: to reinforce skills already taught this school year, apply and deepen these skills to prevent regression, catch students up to have all students starting at a similar place upon their return, and to prioritize new key concepts throughout the end of the year, especially at the secondary level, to the extent possible in an extended learning environment.

Here are the details of the term dates and the codes which will be used to indicate the students' grades and progress:

Term 3

  • January 28 - April 12

  • Grading will be EE (exceeding expectations), ME (meeting expectations), NY (not yet)

  • Work that counts toward grade from January 28 - March 12

  • Teachers may ask students to finish and complete any work possible by 4/10 (or beyond for 2 weeks to change a grade from NY to ME)

  • Report cards will be mailed home

Term 4

  • April 13 - June 22

  • New Term 4 classes of General Music, Grade 8 Drama, Art, Health, Library, and Tech. Ed will begin on Monday, April 13.

  • Grading will be CR (credit) / NC (no credit) (until at least May 4)

  • The Term 4 Rubric (see below) will be used to determine the Term 4 grade.

Final Grades

  • Final Grade for Semester 1 Courses:

    • These were complete prior to the school closure and will not be changed

  • Final Grade for Semester 2 Courses:

    • Will either be CR (credit) or NC (no credit)

  • Final Grade for full-year courses:

    • Final Grade is either a letter grade (A, B, C, D), Pass (P), or Fail (F) as follows:

      • If Term 3 is ‘EE’ or ‘ME’, and Term 4 is ‘CR’, then the final grade is the letter grade resulting from a calculation of Term 1 and Term 2, or ‘P’ (Student choice by class)

      • If Term 3 is ‘NY’ and Term 4 is ‘No Credit’, and the calculation of Term 1 and Term 2 grades is passing, then the Final Grade is ‘Pass’ (no option for a letter grade).

      • If Term 3 is ‘NY’ and Term 4 is ‘No Credit’, and the student failed Term 1 or Term 2, then the Final Grade is F.

      • Only the Final Grade will show on transcripts.

I apologize if this grading system appears confusing at first glance. Teachers, guidance counselors, and administration will work with students and parents/guardians to navigate assessment in Term 4. We will focus on the academic GOAL of the WPS Remote Extended Learning Plan (stated above) as well as the social-emotional well-being of all students.

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Further Information Regarding the WMS Phase 2 Learning Plan

  • Middle school students should receive 2-3 hours of learning opportunities per day guided by the classroom teachers

  • All middle school students should participate in one Community/Advisory meeting per week with their HR/Advisory teacher.

  • We recommend that each student makes their own personalized calendar so that the student can easily keep track of class meeting days and times. Cluster and HR teachers will help students make the calendars if needed.

  • In keeping with our previously developed communication schedule, teachers will communicate with their classes on Friday about the learning objectives and assignments for the upcoming week.

  • Teachers will reach out to students who are not engaged in the learning opportunities to see if there is additional assistance that they can provide.

  • If students are struggling with the content, we can support you in a variety of ways:

    • Office hours and class meeting times are good opportunities to raise questions and get answers, support, and clarification

    • Students can reach out to teachers, guidance counselors, and other staff via email or Google Classroom

Please note: We recognize that there could be circumstances beyond a student’s control that prevent students from fully participating in the Term 4 Learning Opportunities. If this is the case, please reach out to the teacher, guidance counselor or school administrator (principal or assistant principal) to discuss the situation and advocate for your needs. We are here to support all of the students and families of Watertown Middle School!

We will continue to all work together during this unprecedented time in our lives. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I will say again that I feel so fortunate and proud to be part of this Watertown Middle School community. <3

Be well,

Donna Martin

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