The Wang Eagle
Week of March 21st, 2023
Building a Better Normal Together...
Unfortunately for us at school, this time of year means we are turning the corner into MCAS testing. Our goal will be to make it as smooth as possible for the students, but having them in school every day will be a huge help as we spend these last few weeks wrapping up loose ends and covering as much as we can.
On the other hand, the spring also means it's time for volleyball season as our kids will work hard to try to claim another championship and our 3rd rotation of after-school programs! We have some new ones this time around that you won't want to miss...but there will be limited seats available for many of the programs. Applications for those after-school programs will be going out next week...so be on the lookout via email and the weekly newsletters!
Let the spring begin...soon...hopefully so we can melt away some of this snow!!!!
And please don't forget...OUR MARCH CALENDAR RAFFLE HAS STARTED! Help us by selling tickets...all the information you need is in the blurb below...but literally EVERY DOLLAR we raise will support activities for your students...so sell, sell, sell!
a superfan from the billerica school that came to see us!
The unsung heroes of Seussical the Musical, Jr and all of the after-school programs in the district...THANK YOU CAROLYN & JEANNE!
Annual Dodgeball tournament...this Thursday!
The champions will not only have the pride of winning this year's dodgeball tournament...but they will be able to face an all-star squad of Wang Staff to see who TRULY are the DODGEBALL CHAMPIONS!
Get your team forms in before all the spots are gone!
Update on the flood damage...
We are happy that our classrooms are mostly all back to their original places and our cafeteria is open once again for our students. We still have one classroom temporarily displaced as they finish work on the library, but then we will have all the kids back where they belong after the flood back on February 5th.
There are still repairs to be done to the floors in the hallways and two other rooms, but we are slowly moving back towards being back on our feet.
So many spring activities coming up!
Students are challenged to read as many books as they can in the month of March to win great prizes for their class!
Order forms will be going home this week
STEMghetti sign-up forms have gone out via email and are available in the main office or through your child's teacher
Tips and guidance for talking with your kids...
We're all well aware of the increased mental health issues and anxiety within our young people since the pandemic, which means we still have a lot of work to do moving forward. As we have said for years (even before the pandemic), parents and schools will need to do this work together to help our children overcome any obstacles...and that is more true now than ever.
To that end, we are reminding parents to talk to your students regularly to try to help them navigate the complicated world of middle school effectively. Monitoring social media and helping students steer clear of vapes and know what to do when they are being peer pressured into bad decisions is so important, but you can't help them if you don't know what is going on with them.
Don't get us wrong, talking to our children about these things and monitoring their social media can sometimes be challenging...especially middle schoolers...but it is so important. Here are some simple tips to help your middle schooler with regard to healthy social/emotional growth;
- Monitor their social media: Social media serves a wonderful purpose of connecting people, but it can also be extremely unhealthy for our young people when used improperly and unsupervised. Monitoring your child's social media accounts or at least talking to them about how to use it in a healthy way will help them learn to use it effectively. One suggestion (and it may not be easy)...don't let them take their phones or computers to bed with them at night. Staying up all night on social media sites or texting is extremely unhealthy for our young people.
- Talk to them about vaping and other temptations: My wife and I were stunned when we found a vape in our daughter's room (twice actually) and we wished we had talked to her about them BEFORE we found them in her room. Open up conversations with your student about vaping, what to do if another kid offers or pressures them to vape or do something else that is unhealthy, and let them know that you know that they may make mistakes but you want them to always talk to you. (If you're wondering...yes...my daughter was grounded for QUITE awhile.)
- Don't wait for something to happen or a crisis: Be proactive and talk to your student before something happens. It is always much healthier to prepare your children than it is to help them put things back together.
- Let them know that making a mistake is not the end of the world: Acknowledge with your child that making mistakes is part of growing up and learning, and it's not the end of the world. This will help them open up to you more if/when they may make a mistake.
- Know your child's circle of friends...both in person and online: Parents sometimes feel "nosey" asking about their child's friends or who they are talking to online, but it is so important for parents to know who their children are communicating with and who may be influencing them.
- Find a trusted adult at school too: Encourage your child to find an adult at school they trust and want to talk to when needed. It can be a teacher, tutor, social worker, paraprofessional, custodian, clerk, administrator, or anyone that they trust and feel connected to at school...just so that they have someone to give them another adult voice of guidance in their lives.
Below are some articles that are quick and easy reads, but they also give some good insight and advice on how to navigate the VERY challenging task of talking to a middle schooler!
15 Challenges Middle School Kids Face and How to Help - Atlanta Parent
How to talk with middle school students | Talk it Over
3 Tried and True Ways to Get Your Middle Schooler to Open Up
Tips for Middle School Parents
2023 Calendar Raffle on sale now!
We are holding our annual calendar raffle again and (as always) 100% of the money raised goes DIRECTLY to supporting student activities and classrooms. So, the more we sell…the more activities we’ll be able to run (fund) this year!
We have several ways to participate this year:
Sell individual Calendar Raffle Tickets
They are available in the main office…send your student in with the number you would like us to send home
Sell tickets and record them on the “Sales Sheet” on the other side of this document
We will put in a ticket for EVERYONE on your sales sheet...if you need another sales sheet, they are available in the main office
We also have several ways to pay this year:
We have the traditional cash or check
Checks should be made out to Wang School PTO
We have Venmo and PayPal available
ALL PAYMENTS SHOULD BE TURNED INTO THE CLASSROOM TEACHERS OR THE MAIN OFFICE IN ORDER TO BE ENTERED INTO THE RAFFLE
The Venmo and PayPal accounts can also be used for straight donations if people are interested
There will be a winner picked every day in March and they will either win a cash prize ($25) or a gift basket (valued at $50+) put together by the staff. People can win MULTIPLE TIMES over the course of the month…so don’t be afraid to enter a ton of times!
For every 5 tickets a student sells, we will enter THEIR NAME in the drawings each day for FREE!
Call the office or email Mr. Stahl if you have any questions!
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Family Portals are OPEN!!!!
We are SUPER excited to announce that our Aspen Family Portals are OPEN! You should have gotten an email with your username, password, and a link to directions for setting up your family portal.
There are a handful of people who do not have email accounts on file with us and a few where it looks like there may have already been a portal set-up somehow. In either of those cases or if you are not able to open your portal yet...contact us ASAP to help get you access to your Aspen Family Portal.
Our SHORT term goals for these are:
- Making sure that ALL of our families have access to their Family Portals
- Releasing all Report Cards and Progress Reports there (so you don't need to depend on your child to give them to you)
- Allow families to make sure their child's attendance and contact information is accurate
Our LONG term goals for these are:
- Allow parents to upload and simply update all Emergency Forms directly into their Aspen Portals each year
- Have not only all of the final grades in Aspen, but also have each and every assignment from every class in there so parents can see those individual grades AND they can see what work their child is missing
Families with siblings at Wang School may get the email twice (one for each student), but you only need to follow the directions ONE TIME and all of the siblings should be included on the same Family Portal.
The email looked like this:
Dr An Wang Middle School
To the parent or guardian of YOUR STUDENT'S NAME
The school is opening its Family Portal!
You will find below your login, your password, and a link to a set of directions on how to access and use the portal.
Login: YOUR LOGIN WILL BE HERE
Password: YOUR TEMPORARY PASSWORD WILL BE HERE
Please use this link in order to learn how to access the Family Portal.
How to Access the Family Portal.
Lowell Sped Pac
Emergency Forms are essential...
These forms and updated contact information are absolutely ESSENTIAL for us to have from EVERY student. In addition to contacting you about school events and/or updates on how your child is doing in school, having accurate contact information is essential in the event that there is some kind of emergency at the school that impacts your student.
If you have not done so already, please complete and return your child's Emergency Form to their teacher. Starting this week, we will be calling and emailing any and all families who have not completed the Emergency Forms until we have 100% of our forms completed.
Thank you for your help in making sure we have the most updated and accurate contact information on file for your child this year. If there are any changes as the year progresses, you can always contact the school to update your file.
Monitoring Social Media at home...
First of all, speak to your child about how mostly everything they see on social media is not truly a reflection or reality. In essence, people most often post the "highlight reels" of their lives in order to portray an image that essentially is not real. In some cases, people blatantly lie or manipulate the truth in their posts to seem "more important" or "better off" than they actually are in real life. Many of our students are comparing themselves and their lives to these "highlight reels" or even "blatant lies" being posted by other people. Talk to your child about how mostly everything they see or read on social media is absolutely NOT reality. Everyone has problems and struggles...so don't let them believe that social media posts that portray a perfect body or face through filters or ones that brag about amazing lives are reality. Everyone has problems and struggles, but they use exaggerated of fake social media posts to hide them.
Secondly, monitor your child's access and interactions on social media. There is absolutely value in honoring your child's privacy and letting them maintain their own identity in these social media platforms, but to be completely oblivious to what they are doing on their phones and/or computers is simply not a good idea as a parent. We cannot and will not "police" the social media interactions of all of our almost 700 students...it simply is not possible. We will try to mediate things as best we can and support our students when there are issues, but it needs to be the parents who are truly "policing" their child's interactions on social media and communication platforms. It isn't being "nosey" to ask your child about their social media life...it's parenting. Never be afraid to look into your child's online activity or their communication via chat rooms, texts, or messaging platforms because then you can help educate your child on how to truly navigate the world of social media in a safe and healthy way.
We will be putting together some workshops for parents on the different social media and messaging platforms that students are using and also on how parents can stay on top of what their child is doing on these platforms; what they are saying, who they are communicating with, if they are being bullied, or if they are the ones doing the bullying. Remember, staying involved with and aware of your child's social media identity and what they are doing online is NOT being nosey...it's parenting.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming Social Media Parenting workshops...we hope to have them put together some time in October.
SSC & PTO...
Below are the dates for the SSC/PTO meetings this year and they will be hybrid, meaning you can attend in person or via Zoom. Please feel free to drop in, listen to what is happening at the school, ask any questions you may have, and find out how we can work together more effectively to keep our school moving forward during these crazy times! We hope to see you at our meetings this year.
- Monday, April 3rd @ 5:30PM
- Monday, May 1st @ 5:30PM
- Monday, June 5th @ 5:30PM
Wang School SSC/PTO Google Meets Meetings
- To join the meeting by video, click this link: Wang School SSC/PTO Meetings
- Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 570-415-1140 and enter this PIN: 347 973 276#
All LPS & Wang School Policies...
- LPS Student Handbook
- Wang School Dress Code 2022-23
- Wang School Technology Policy 2022-23
Wang School Dress Code for 2022-2023...
We appreciate your support in enforcing our dress code moving forward...we have put the rationale for each element of the dress code below.
No obscene/inappropriate images or words on clothing
No hats or hoods in school
This does NOT include religious items and the only other exception is hoods INSIDE a teacher's classroom if allowed by that teacher (some rooms are chilly sometimes)
The reason for this rule is it is a safety issue in the hallways for identification purposes in the case of emergencies
No pajama pants
Helping students learn how to dress for a professional environment
Helping instill proper morning routine and hygiene practices (not just rolling out of bed and coming to school in the same clothes they slept in the night before)
Ripped jeans are allowed...AS LONG AS...no underwear or pockets are exposed
Shorts fall into the same category as rips...AS LONG AS...no underwear or pockets are exposed
No sagging pants
Underwear or undershorts cannot be exposed
Must have straps...doesn’t matter how thick
No underwear or inappropriate body parts exposed above or below shirt line
Wang School Technology Policy for 2022-2023
Prohibited Items based on LPS policy: The following items are considered disruptive to the educational process in Lowell Public Schools and are not allowed in school:
Cell Phones and communication devices such as Apple watch
Radios, iPods and other Walkman Type Devices
Hand Held Laser Pointers
Tobacco Products (including hookahs)
Lighter/Matches (possession will lead to immediate suspension)
Other Items or Devices deemed inappropriate by the Principal or his designee
Wang School Policy has made some "flexible" accommodations for our students, but we must remind families that based on current LPS Policy:
Students displaying and/or using any of these prohibited items will have the item confiscated and may receive disciplinary action including suspension. Though the school will secure the device, the ultimate responsibility for any loss or damage remains with the student who brought the prohibited item to school. A parent or guardian must come into school to pick up the item.
Earbuds/Headphones: Students must be able to hear the intercom and directives from staff at all times to ensure safety. For this reason students are not allowed to wear earbuds in school. Ear buds will be confiscated and not returned until the end of the school year or until a parent/guardian comes in to collect the article. The only exception to this prohibition applies to teachers who allow the use of earbuds in the classroom for educational purposes, but the earbuds must be put away before exiting the classroom.
While we will be allowing students to bring phones to and from school, the Wang School Policy is that they must be turned in to the HR teacher or the main office each morning. Devices like cell phones or Smart Watches should not be in the school hallways or used during the school day UNLESS there is an academic reason. Phones are always available to students in the main office, there is no need in school for a student to have a cell phone or Smart Watch.
On the other hand, wireless earbuds, bluetooth connected headphones or AirPods ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED at Wang School for any reason. We have wired earphones the students can borrow if needed or they can bring their own wired earbuds for use at school when allowed/appropriate. Wireless earbuds, bluetooth connected headphones, and/or AirPods are not allowed for any reason.
In the event a student does not follow these policies, the image below diagrams how the school will respond and if confiscated too many times the student's phone or device may be locked in the school's safe and returned to the parents at the end of the school year.
Parents & students MUST review all of the provided policies and sign the form above or let us know if you have any questions.
want to send some good vibes?
Dates to Remember
- All March Long: March Book Madness Reading Challenge (your class could win a PIZZA PARTY!)
- All March Long: 30-Day MCAS Challenge (you could win an AMAZON GIFT CARD!)
- Wednesday, March 22nd @ 5PM: STEMghetti
- Thursday, March 23rd @ 3PM: Wang School Dodgeball Tournament
- Thursday, May 25th: Wang & P'ville Carnival Concert...details coming soon!