The Winch Word

News and Notes from Oliver W. Winch MS - May 2016

It's May already?!

Seriously, where has the school year gone? We are heading into the home stretch and need to make sure that we make the days count instead of counting the days until we're done. We still have lots of learning to do, lots of books to read, lots of writing to do, lots of problems to solve. You get the idea. Please find a moment to talk to your child about what's happening in school. If they say nothing, check out our Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook accounts for pictures of the great things going on in school. Quite frankly, the answer to what did you do in school today is never going to be nothing. Here are five ways to spark conversation with your middle schooler that might get you a bit more information:

1) Tell me something interesting that you learned today.

2) What still confuses you?

3) Tell me three facts, two opinions, and one idea you heard today.

4) When did you surprise yourself today?

5) What is the most important thing you learned today? The least?

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me at 792-5891 or email me at

8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony - Save The Date

I am happy to announce that this year we are beginning a new tradition for our 8th graders as they say goodbye to Oliver Winch MS and move to the high school. Transitions this big are certainly worth celebrating, and we will celebrate at our first 8th grade Moving-Up Ceremony on Wednesday, June 22nd, at 7:00 PM in the High School New Gym. I am thankful and lucky to work with a building full of staff that believes in recognizing our students' accomplishments. A moving -up ceremony was a natural progression as we discussed how to honor the growth we have seen since your children joined us in 6th grade. I'm very excited to be a part of this new ceremony, and a special thank you to Mrs. Tammy Keith, Mrs. Janeen Gannon, and Mrs. Melissa Rivers for their direct involvement in the planning and implementation. Parents of 8th grade students should keep their eyes on their mailboxes, as more detailed information will be coming very soon.

Annual Senior Citizens Dinner

Every year in mid-April a group of our students gathers together with faculty to serve a dinner to our senior community members. This was my first time seeing this dinner in action, and I just had to share some pictures with you. In addition to the delicious chicken dinner, musical entertainment was provided by the Warrensburg Ramblers. It was a nice evening that was enjoyed by all. There was even a letter to the editor of the Post Star following the dinner. Kudos to all of the adults and students involved who work hard to make sure this gathering goes off without a hitch each year. This is just another example of Bulldog Pride in action! Check out some photos below.

After-School Academic Support

A quick thank you for your support at home as we implemented this new program during the third marking period. Creating a system of mandatory after-school accountability for students who are academically struggling in two or more classes has been a great addition to our intervention strategies here at OWWMS. Students are seeing the benefit of working with their teachers after the 2:01 dismissal bell, and our teachers are seeing positive growth through the middle of the fourth quarter. We definitely plan on continuing to tweak our approach to this as we wrap up the school year and plan for 2016-17.

Home-School Association

At the beginning of the school year I heard from a number of parents who talked about wanting to remain as connected to their child's middle school experience as they were at the elementary level. While certainly transitioning your children to the middle school involves helping them work toward self advocacy and independence, we always welcome parent involvement. Unfortunately, this year, attendance at our monthly HSA meetings has been low, and we're looking to change that. The role of the HSA in all of our K - 8 buildings is an essential one. It is our direct link to the community outside the walls of school and a place for parents and guardians to share thoughts and opinions. Please consider attending our May Meeting, scheduled for 5/16 at 6:30 PM in the library, to share ideas about growing the OWWMS HSA. I hope to see you there!

Stay in Touch: OWWMS Text Messaging Information Service is a convenient service that allows individuals or organizations the opportunity to send out to the community cell phone text message updates containing important communication and information about events. Please consider signing up for text updates from OWWMS. We have approximately 240 members right now, and the hope is that it will continue to grow. Follow this link to learn how to sign up for this free service using your cell phone or email. It is one more easy, quick way for us to stay in touch over the course of a school year.

Congrats to May's Artist of the Month:

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Important Dates:

Annual Talent Show

Friday, May 13th, 7pm

99 Hudson Street

South Glens Falls, NY

Come and see our students shine on stage as they share their talents with us!

Monthly HSA Meeting

Monday, May 16th, 6:30pm

99 Hudson Street

South Glens Falls, NY

5th to 6th Grade Parent Information Night

Tuesday, May 24th, 6:30pm

99 Hudson Street

South Glens Falls, NY

Superintendent's Conference Day - No School For Students!

Friday, May 27th, 7:30am

99 Hudson Street

South Glens Falls, NY

No School - Memorial Day

Monday, May 30th, 7:30am

99 Hudson Street

South Glens Falls, NY