WMS Family Smore

February 12, 2023

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Dear WMS Families,

One way WMS is recognizing Black History Month is through a daily quote on the morning announcements. Here is one we want to share from this week:

Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.” —Audre Lorde, American writer, womanist, radical feminist, professor, and civil rights activist

Here are some other quick announcements:

  • Earthquake in Syria and Turkey: We want to acknowledge that we have many families from this area of the world and we know that many people are suffering loss of family and friends. If you and your children are struggling during this time, please feel free to reach out to us so that we can support your children here in school. Contact information for our guidance counselor's Ms. Gladstein, Ms. Skypeck, and Mr. Cloherty can be found at the bottom of this smore.
  • What is Valentine's Day?: Tuesday, February 14th is Valentine's Day. For those of you who are new to the United States, Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love and friendship. People often wear red or pink.
  • Shelter in Place: WMS has had a few instances where we have used the Shelter in Place safety protocol, which can be summarized as "Stay inside, stay safe" - This response is used when there is an external security threat, severe weather, or other environmental threats. It is also used when there is a medical or other emergency. Students and staff stay inside classrooms with little or no use of hallways or common areas until they hear the "all clear." External doors may be locked based upon the specific situation. Instruction will typically continue. This is in contrast to a Lock Down, which is used in a safety situation where a threat might be inside the building or otherwise more serious. WMS has practiced a Lock Down drill this year, and has fortunately not had to use the protocol.
  • WMS Schedule Survey: It is your final chance to take this brief survey about the WMS daily schedule. We are working with students in a WHS statistics class to analyze the results for our school this week. We have 22 respondents so far, and are hoping to have several more by Tuesday. We are gathering data from staff, students, and families, and your input is instrumental. Caregiver Schedule Survey

  • WMS PTO Fundraiser Updates: This past Friday's fundraiser was a huge success. There was a great turnout and $1500 was raised! You can still help our PTO fundraise by ordering cookies (see information below) or by making donations to the WMS PTO at our venmo account here. Thank you for your generosity, as these fundraisers support student celebrations and field trips, as well as materials and gifts of gratitude to our hard working teachers.

Here are some dates to be aware of this week:
  • February 13: Quarter 2 Report Cards and i-Ready Math/Reading Diagnostics mailed home (thank you for your patience - our timeline is a few days late so that we can additionally include i-Ready diagnostic information for families).
  • February 14: 8th grade students have first high school transition meeting during WIN
  • February 15: Black History Month assembly during WIN
  • February 20-24: February Recess - NO SCHOOL

As we do not have school next week, our next smores update will be shared on February 26th, before we return from February break. Be well and take care of one another.

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)

News at WMS

Lost and Found - Claim by the end of this week

Lost and found items are folded in the WMS foyer - students/caregivers should claim your lost clothing by the end of this week. All remaining items will be donated over February Break. Thank you to Mr. McDermott’s advisory for organizing this for our school!

7th Grade Caregivers - Mandated Health Screening Notification from the Nurse

Dear Watertown Middle School 7th Grade Parent(s)/Caregiver(s):

This letter is to notify you about the required Massachusetts school health screenings. Massachusetts regulations 105 CMR 200.500, (2009) for the Physical Examination of Children requires that Watertown Public Schools perform:

Physicals exams for students in Grade 7 are to be on file in the nurse’s office, and the following mandated school health screenings are to be done:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Postural screening
  • SBIRT screening

SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) is part of Watertown Public schools mandated screenings in grades 7 and 9. SBIRT screening was part of the Opioid Bill signed into law by Governor Baker on March 14, 2016 and is focused on discussing substance use/abuse and the importance of making healthy decisions. Your child’s screening will be conducted by staff trained in SBIRT screening.

Your student’s privacy will be respected at all times. The results of your child’s screenings are strictly confidential.

You should have received a formal letter at the beginning of the year regarding the SBIRT screening and the process in which the testing is done. This form also allows you to Opt-Out of the screening for your child if desired. If you have this form, please send it back with your student and it can be passed into the nurse.

If you wish to exclude your child from any of these school health screenings, please notify the nurse in writing specifying which screenings or if all of them.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Lisa Gallagher MSN, RN
Watertown Middle School Nurse
P: (617) 926-7787
Department of Public Health: Physical Examination of School Children

Bandarama - March 15

The FAPA Department is excited to announce the return of BANDARAMA, the district band student showcase. Band instrument students (percussion, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, horn, tuba) in grades 4th through 12th will perform for their community on Wednesday, March 15th at 7pm in the WHS Gymnasium.

WMS is Hiring

We are hiring for a few positions:

Please share with your networks.

Previously Shared News from WMS Teachers

Click on the links below to find updates from your child's teachers. These cluster/class smores are a helpful tool to know what your child is learning. These s'mores are shared and updated every other week in the WMS Family Smore.

Cluster 1

Cluster 2

Cluster 3

Cluster 4

Cluster 5

Cluster 6

The Specialists



LB Math


Wilson Reading

Opportunities for Parents/Caregivers To Get Involved

ELPAC - March 15

We're cancelling ELPAC for February to get more feedback from parents around the topic of Bullying.

We will be meeting on March 15th from 7-8 pm at the Hosmer Learning Commons to learn more about bullying and supporting students around this topic. Any parent whose student who has been in the English Learner Program is welcome to attend. Please let Kate Phillipson (kathryn.phillipson@watertown.k12.ma.us or text 617-581-8200) if you will attend and need an interpreter.

Diversity Council - February 27

The WMS Diversity Council meets once a month. Our next meeting will be after school in person on February 27 from 3-4pm, with the meeting after being on Thursday, March 16 virtually, at 7pm. We will be focusing on planning and hosting an in-person event that celebrates the diversity of our school, as well as actionable steps outlined in the district equity audit taken last school year. Any and all are welcome to join.

School Site Council (SSC) - March 7

The WMS SSC meets once a month on the first Tuesdays at 7:00pm, virtually. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, with our K-7 and 8-12 Science Coordinators coming as special guests.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) - March 8

The PTO meets virtually on the second Wednesday of each month, and the next meeting is on Wednesday, March 8 at 7pm. Reach out to the PTO President Erin Macomber at erin_macomber@neds.org with any questions or to express interest.

WMS PTO Fundraiser for 8th Graders - Geoff & Drew's

Geoff & Drew’s - ( Gourmet Cookie & Brownie Gifts ) is excited to support the Watertown Middle School 8th Graders! They will be donating 20% of any cookie and brownie gift for Valentine’s day and throughout the school year.

Geoff & Drew’s offers a wide selection of delicious gift boxes with award-wining bakery treats. Perfect for any and every giving occasion including Valentines Day, Mothers Day & Fathers Day! Cookies are baked fresh and individually wrapped within each gift.

Simply use code WMS20 in the promotion code field when you checkout online.

20% will be donated to any gift purchased not on sale.

You can order your Valentines Gifts Here or see additional gifts at: www.gdcookies.com

Place your order by February 9th. Gifts can be shipped anywhere in the US or picked up on Sunday/Monday Feb 12th or 13th.

IMPORTANT: If you would like to pick up gifts in Watertown you will need to reach out directly to Carol (carol@geoffanddrews.com) to place your order (and you will not need to pay shipping).


Watertown Race Reels - February 13

Please join us for Watertown Race Reels this February! We will be screening the film The Color of Care on February 13th (see attached flyer).

We will be serving pizza starting at 5:45 and starting the film at 6pm. After the film (~75 minutes), we will have a post film discussion/activity. Hope to see you there!

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MassHealth - renew health coverage

In March 2020, the federal government declared a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, in response federal requirements, MassHealth put protections in place that prevented members’ MassHealth coverage from ending. These protections are ending and MassHealth will soon return to standard annual eligibility renewal processes. In the coming year, all current MassHealth members will need to renew their health coverage to ensure they still qualify for their current benefit.
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Watertown Recreation News

Our Winter II Recreation Registration begins on Thursday, February 9th at 6:00pm. You can register at https://watertown.activityreg.com.

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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.

The WMS Learning Lab - extra help available at school

Is your child looking for ways to get extra help with school? The Learning Lab is available in the WMS library M-F from 7:45-8:15am and 3:00-4:15pm. Late buses run M-Th.

Attendance Reminders - call the main office before 8:30AM to report a student's absence

In the event that a student is absent, a parent or caregiver must call the absence hotline at 617-926-7783 before 8:30 a.m. Please state the name, grade, homeroom of the student and the reason for their absence. In the event that the absence is not reported, a Robocall will automatically go out to the student’s home or the place of employment of the parent or caregiver to inform them that the student is absent. Students are responsible for working with their teachers to make up work they missed while absent.

Check out page 26 of the WMS Family Handbook to see all of our attendance procedures in more detail.


We live in New England, and whether we love them or hate them, snow days may be just around the corner. As such, please review the information contained in this section regarding school closure protocols. State law requires 180 days of instruction and also requires that any school closures (“snow days”) be made up before June 30. In the case of inclement weather or school closure for emergency reasons, information about school closures can be found at this link.

Upcoming Dates

  • February 13: Quarter 2 Report Cards and i-Ready Math/Reading Diagnostics mailed home
  • February 14: 8th grade students have first high school transition meeting during WIN
  • February 15: Black History Month assembly during WIN
  • February 20-24: February Recess - NO SCHOOL
  • February 27: Diversity Council (3-4pm in person)
  • March 2: WFPL Bookmobile parked on Bemis Street (3:15-4:30pm)
  • March 7: School Site Council meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • March 8: PTO Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • March 8: Quarter 3 Progress Reports reminder emailed home
  • March 10: MCAS Infrastructure Trial, special schedule

  • March 15: Early Release PD Day, 12:30pm dismissal with grab n go lunch (Day D2, will see every class for a shortened period of time)

  • March 15: Bandarama 4th-12th grade (7:00pm, WHS Gymnasium)

  • March 23: Early Release Day, 12:30pm dismissal with grab n go lunch (Day D1, will see every class for a shortened period of time) - Student-led Parent Teacher conferences (Virtual 1:00-3:00pm, In-Person 5:00-7:00pm)
  • March 28: Early Release Day, 12:30pm dismissal with grab n go lunch (Day A2, will see every class for a shortened period of time) - Student-led Parent Teacher conferences (In Person 1:00-3:00pm, Virtual 6:00-8:00pm)
  • April 12-13: ELA MCAS, special schedule
  • April 28: Music Fest (5:30-9:00pm, WMS)
  • May 15-16: Math MCAS, special schedule
  • May 23-24: STE MCAS (8th grade only), special schedule

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