Back Pocket

April 2019


Apr 5 - School Closed for Students - Teacher Work Day

Apr 8 - Term IV Begins

Apr 10 - PBIS Spirit Day - PJ's

Apr 10 - PTSA Meeting (7:00pm)

Apr 10 - 'Building Positive Relationships in a Negative Cyber-World' Presentation (7:00pm)

Apr 17 - PBIS Spirit Day - Jersey Day

Apr 17 - 7th Grade Field Trip to Chesapeake Bay Foundation & Maryland Science Center

Apr 18 - School Closed for Spring Break

Apr 19 - School Closed for Spring Break

Apr 22 - School Closed for Spring Break

Apr 23, 24 & 25 - 7th and 8th Grade LA PARCC

Apr 26 - PTSA Dance (7:00pm - 9:00pm)

May 1, 2, & 3 - 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Math PARCC

May 7, 8 & 9 - 6th Grade LA PARCC

Principal's Message

The WKMS PTSA is hosting Julieann Ipsan, LCSW-C from the Frederick Psychology Center, at 7:15pm in the WKMS media center. Mrs. Ipsan will be having a conversation with us about 'Building Positive Relationships in a Negative Cyber-World'. This is a timely and meaningful discussion for our community. We are looking forward to having Mrs. Ipsan and look forward to learning from her.

- Brian Vasquenza

Redistricting Update

As shared earlier this year, increased enrollment has led FCPS to need more schools. A redistricting study is underway to help the BOE balance enrollment and determine attendance areas for two new schools* in the Linganore-Oakdale-Urbana (LOU) area. The study involves 18 schools, including ours. Family and community participation are essential in the redistricting process, particularly in helping the BOE determine which factors should weigh most heavily in drawing boundaries. A recent survey yielded 1,372 responses with 640 typed comments. Considering factors listed below (from BOE Policy 200), FCPS asked respondents to rank the three most important to them for establishing new attendance boundaries:

  • Students’ educational welfare
  • Frequency of redistricting, with every attempt made to limit individual student redistricting to not more than once every 5 years
  • Proximity to schools, in order to maximize walkers and minimize distance or time of bus runs
  • Student demographics
  • Student academic performance
  • Operating and capital costs
  • Established feeder patterns
  • Impact on neighborhoods and communities
  • Impact on specialized school programs or a change to school capacity
  • Instructional and operational capacity of involved schools

826 people selected Proximity to schools, in order to maximize walkers and minimize distance or time of bus runs. 757 selected Impact on neighborhoods and communities. 605 selected Educational welfare of students. Asked what high school attendance area respondents live in, 43% selected Oakdale, 38% Urbana, 17% Linganore, and 2% did not specify a high school attendance area. Asked what middle school attendance area respondents live in, 35% selected Oakdale, 24% Urbana, 19% Windsor Knolls, 12% New Market, 8% Gov. TJ, and 2% did not specify. See the Survey Results Report for details: The survey is not used alone as a decision-making tool; all forms of feedback are considered. Using all feedback, CropperGIS consultants and FCPS staff will develop a range of attendance-area options. They'll come back to the community for refinements to help create and identify a few of the best choices that the Superintendent will propose in September for BOE review. The Board will make a decision in November 2019 to enable bus routing and staffing for the 2020-2021 school year.

Counselor's Corner

The WKMS PTSA invites all interested adults to attend a conversation with Julieann Ipsan, LCSW-C from the Frederick Psychology Center, on 'Building Positive Relationships in a Negative Cyber-World' on Wednesday, April 10, from 7:15 - 8:15 p.m. in the WKMS Media Center

Health and Well-Being

Our students' health and wellness are important to us. Each month we will be spotlighting an article or resource that we hope provides parents with useful strategies and information to support your child’s health and well-being. Now that spring has finally arrived, it’s important to encourage students to remain engaged in school – especially since this school year will continue well into June! Please read this month’s article ‘How to Help Your Child Avoid Spring Fever’ to garner ideas to support learning even when the outdoors are calling.


We are enjoying the springtime here in math. Students are working through benchmarks and preparing PARCC. We appreciate your support in these important thrice yearly and yearly assessments that share how well students are doing across each grade level and across our district. It is important for students to demonstrate their best effort and we want to make sure they feel prepared.

In preparation for PARCC, you can visit the practice site for specific grade level PARCC practice. We want all of our students to feel well prepared to do their best on PARCC this spring. On this page you will find online practice tests you can take with your student. A very important part of PARCC is understanding the tools that are available for use online. At the top of the screen, if you click on Test Preparation, the drop down menu allows you to select Tutorials. Here there is a tutorial for how to take a PARCC test, how to use the Equation Editor, and specific practice for each grade level in math. Working through these problems with your student can help alleviate any unknowns about the upcoming test. Thanks for all your assistance and support at home!

Looking for a fun math event upcoming in our area? The Robotics Week 2019 in Washington D.C. on April 6th, the STEM Showcase with TLOD on April 27th, and the Rockville Science Day on April 28th, are both coming up soon.

Remember to practice math. Students should be able to demonstrate all of the following as an Independent Learner in middle school:

· Take good notes during class. Sounds simple but if you cannot read them back later & understand what you wrote they won’t help you

· Do all your homework & classwork as assigned

· Check your homework & classwork (be an active classroom participate, mark the correct solution for each problem)

· Rework any missed work problems at home to understand why you made the mistake the first time and so you do not make the mistake again!

· Review assessments at the end of each unit and again at the end of the term to not lose that knowledge and help transfer the information to long term memory

English/Language Arts

Hello and happy springtime from the English Language Arts Department! Students have been busy wrapping up the third quarter ELA standards in preparation for the end of term 3 on Thursday, April 4th. In the upcoming weeks, all students will be taking their third and final FCPS LA Benchmark, the Research Simulation Task, as the assessment window closes on 4/27. Students in Mrs. Kennedy's System44 and Read180 intervention classes are continuing their work in small group, independent reading, and software rotations. All intervention students will take the Performance Series and the Reading and/or Phonics Inventory one final time before the end of the school year. Please reach out to your student's ELA teacher, intervention teacher, or to the WKMS Literacy Specialist, Ginny Hines, with any questions or concerns.


Notification letters are being sent to all students who will be participating in the highly able program next school year. They were mailed on April 1st. This mailing will include an updated description of the highly able program (HAL) for middle school as well as information about advanced math placements.

Parents looking for summer academic workshops for their student can visit the link below for more information these programs in the state.

Media Center

New books are constantly arriving! Our community has access to over 10,000 books in our library. In addition to new books, we have some comfy new furniture for reading them (thanks to student suggestions)! Continue to encourage your child to read on a daily basis. Students are working on research in many classes as I collaborate with their teachers. They also received notices for overdue books. Tech. Tuesday is going strong with students signing up to play with droids and drones during ELT or lunch. Stay in the know, by keeping up with what is posted on the Instagram site WKMSlibrary. As always, it is a pleasure to work with your children.


The PTSA invites everyone to come out and say goodbye to Winter by participating in its Skate Frederick Fundraiser on April 7th from 2:00 to 5:00. Tickets are just $10 for the session and includes skate rentals. No need to worry about dinner after - head on over to Roy Rogers from 4:00 to 7:00 and 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the PTSA. Dine in, carry out and drive thru are all eligible.

Please join the WKMS PTSA on Wednesday, April 10 at 7:15 pm in the Media Center where speaker Julieann Ipsan, LCSW-C from the Frederick Psychology Center, will be discussing 'Building Positive Relationships in a Negative Cyber-World.' There will be a short Special General Meeting immediately before the presentation to vote on the PTSA bylaws. No changes were made, and a copy for review can be found in the WKMS front office or on the WKMS website under the PTSA tab.

Finally, to make up for Mother Nature cancelling the Ground Hog Day Winter Dance, the PTSA will be having a Spring Fling Dance on April 26, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00, and it will be FREE to attend. That's right, free. Simply return your permission slip on or before the day of the dance to attend. Further information will be following shortly. Take that Mother Nature!!