WMS Community Bulletin 10-12-20

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

Hello Watertown Middle School Community,


I hope you all had a wonderful three-day weekend and spent some relaxing time with family and friends!


Here are some important upcoming dates:


Wednesday, October 14 - WMS PTO Meeting 7:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/91312161001


Wednesday, October 14 - **Materials distribution for ALL Grade 6 students**

-- Please pick up ELA and other materials at WMS from 12:30-3:30 pm on Wednesday --


Thursday, October 15 - **Materials distribution for some Grade 7 students**

-- Please pick up all materials at WMS from 12:30-3:30 pm on Thursday --

(teachers will be in contact with those who need to pick up materials)


Friday, October 16 - **Materials distribution for ALL Grade 8 students**

-- Please pick up Science and other materials at WMS from 12:30-3:30 pm on Friday --


Friday, October 16 - Progress Reports released after 4:00 pm


Thursday, October 22 - WMS Open House 5:30-8:00 pm

Schedule and Zoom links will be sent out shortly.


Monday, October 19 - Friday, October 30 - i-Ready testing diagnostic (more info below)


Tuesday, October 20 - New schedule with longer cluster classes begins (see information below)


Saturday, October 31 - Halloween (please see information below)


Tuesday, November 3 - NO SCHOOL


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Attendance is just as important and mandatory for all Zoom classes as it is for typical in-person learning! Please see the information below for the WMS attendance policies and procedures.


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

WMS Schedule Changes on 10/20/20

Since the start of the school year, we have been analyzing the schedules we put into place for the 2020-2021 school year. All principals have been working with district administrators to look at the pros and cons of each schedule. As a result, and taking into account feedback from teachers, students, and parents/guardians, we have decided to alter the WMS schedule a bit beginning on Tuesday, October 20th.


Starting on the 20th, cluster classes will increase from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and Cluster Time will decrease from 60 minutes to 15 minutes. In this way, there will be more instructional time during each cluster class, and direct instructional time overall will increase by three hours per week. The updated remote schedule will reflect the exact hybrid schedule which is currently set to begin on November 30th. The schedule on specialist days will not change at all. Please see the picture below of the updated schedule for cluster days.


We will additionally be looking more closely at the Office Hours time between 2:30-3:00 pm, and additional information will be forthcoming regarding that daily time.


Thank you for your understanding as we adapt the WMS schedule. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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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!

i-Ready Updates

Update:


  • It was determined that running i-Ready and Zoom at the same time for students would cause several issues with technology, so they will be taking it during their Asynchronous/ Independent Time. This will begin on Tuesday, October 20th.
  • Teachers will share all necessary information regarding i-Ready with students during Cluster Time on Monday, October 19th. These will be similar to materials they have shared in the past during HR time, such as a slide show and videos to explain the process and prepare them to take the diagnostic.
  • While the students are taking the i-Ready diagnostics, there will be live support for them available on Zoom from Coordinators and others.
  • I will be sending home additional information for parents/guardians next weekend. Please let me know if you have any questions.


We will be administering the diagnostic during asynchronous/independent work time. The diagnostic window for secondary (grades 6-9) is between 10/20 - 10/30.


Our annual universal assessments in math and literacy will begin shortly. Students in grades 1-9 will take the i-Ready fall diagnostic in October. This will provide us with important data on how students are performing in both math and literacy. In grades 1 - 8, the fall diagnostic data will help teachers to create individualized lesson paths for students to work through in online instruction. In grade 9, it is used for beginning of year data and end of year growth. As in past years, Kindergarten will take their first diagnostic in December. i-Ready conducted studies of the reliability of the data when giving the diagnostic remotely in the spring across various districts. Their findings revealed that there was less score inflation in districts that were communicating directly with families and when families watched i-Ready family videos about the diagnostic. To that end, we encourage parents/families to view this video to refresh or learn about i-Ready to best support their children.


  • Introducing i-Ready Assessment at Home to Families Videos (English | Spanish)

  • Family Guidance for Administering the diagnostic At Home videos (English | Spanish)


The i-Ready experience better helps teachers:

  • Use insights from i-Ready to plan instruction

  • Set goals and help students take ownership of their learning

Remote Learning Expectations

** In addition to the expectations below which I shared last week, teachers have been noticing students are distracted by having their cell phones and/or video games on at the same time as class. Please remind your child(ren) that this should not be occurring.


I am confident that we will all continue to adjust to remote teaching and learning as the school year progresses. I am sharing the following information/suggestions based on different things that have come up so far. We will talk much more about this at Open House on 10/22, but these are some of the themes that have emerged:


Please work to ensure that your child(ren) is logging into their classes on time. We have seen a number of students arriving late to their remote sessions. This is making it difficult for our teachers to start on time and for accurate attendance to be recorded. Additionally, they need to stay on Zoom and engaged until dismissed by the teacher at the end of the class.


Please encourage your child to think of it as if they were walking into a classroom with their peers and remember the following:


  • Be on time and have materials with them.
  • Choose a location that is conducive to learning.
  • Participate! Get involved in the class and ask/answer questions and engage with the teacher and other students. The more they put in to the class, the more they will get back.


All students will perform better if we work together to limit distractions in the virtual environment and approach learning with the same attention as if they were in person.


Another suggestion is to have students use headphones while they are participating from home. This goes a long way in eliminating background noise and feedback, and also gives students more privacy from the other things occurring in the home while they are in class. They should have all received headphones in their materials bags.


Remote learning will continue to be a work in progress for all involved. Let's keep the communication open and make improvements as we move forward.

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.).

Student and Parent Handbooks - **Please read and complete the form**

Dear WMS Families,


Our handbooks are updated each school year to reflect our current policies and procedures. I have attached the Student and Parent handbooks to this communication. We ask that you read and submit the form verifying you have read and recieved the handbooks. Parents should fill out one form for each child.


Thank you very much for your attention to this.


Please complete the form attached here:


https://forms.gle/sMSrjBiedsoUgnUP8

DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) is Returning!

During Remote Learning (and then Hybrid Learning) we expect all students to be reading their Independent Reading Books (IRBs) at least an hour a week during their Independent Time. Please check in with your children to be sure they have an IRB. If they need any help picking out a book, please have them consult with our school librarian, Ms. Maroni-Wagner, or with their ELA or Reading teachers. Let's get reading! :)
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Technology Information for WPS Families

We look forward to supporting you with your educational technology questions.

Please visit the WPS Family Ed-Tech for ALL websites for weekly 10/09 Family Ed-Tech for All Newsletter, Live support sessions, Resources, Tutorials & tips that are curated and created, especially for YOU. Please complete the WPS Ed-Tech Support Request Form if you have any questions. We look forward to supporting you.


The following are links to the WPS Family Guide to SeeSaw and WPS Seesaw Resources Hub for additional tips & tutorials, along with Spanish & Portuguese family guides.


Thank you,

Rashmi Pimprikar (District Ed-Tech Coordinator) & George Skuse (District IT Manager)

From Assistant Superintendent Dr. McGuinness:

Here are the Teaching & Learning Updates, Fall 2020 for your enjoyment and planning purposes.

Important Watertown Recreation Information! See Flyers Below

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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.

Watertown Middle School

While we are out of school, please email with any questions, or text/call my work cell (617-631-6807)

Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.


Thank you,

Donna Martin, Principal