WMS Community Bulletin 9-13-20

EXCELLENCE*EQUITY*COMMUNITY

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Watertown Middle School 2020-2021

Hello Watertown Middle School Community,


Welcome Back to School! We are so EXCITED to be seeing and meeting all of your children in about a week! Thank you very much for your patience with us as we get ready to start the year and get everything in place for your students and their learning. This is my 29th year starting school as an educator and I can sincerely say it is one like no other before it! We have an amazing team of educators here at WMS, however, and they have been working diligently since September 1 (and earlier!) to prepare for all of the activities and classes this year. We are all so looking forward to welcoming your students at WMS!


Remote Learning will begin very soon on Tuesday, September 22nd. You should have received an email from your child's homeroom teachers on Friday about which cluster and cohort he/she is in. If you did not receive that information, please send me an email. Much more information about classes and schedules will be coming soon. We want to be sure that everyone's contact information is correct in PowerSchool so you receive all notifications, so please let us know if you seem to be missing communication from us.


On September 22nd, the first day of school, students will begin their day in a Homeroom/Community Meeting with their teachers. The teachers will be sending them a Zoom link for this meeting, if they haven't already. During the first days of school, students will receive their schedules, learn about the routines of school this fall, including the Weekly Learning Plan and Google Classroom, and meet and get to know all of their teachers. We know that everyone will need some training to get adapted to remote school this fall, and the teachers have been preparing for the opening of school and working collaboratively to be ready to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all of their students. They can't wait to meet everyone! :)


We will be hosting a Parent Forum this Wednesday at 6:00 pm on Zoom to share information and answer questions. Please see Zoom information below. There will be a brief PTO meeting before the Parent Forum at 5:30 pm to meet the officers and talk about potential plans for the year. Please also see Zoom information below. (The Zoom information is the same for both PTO and Parent Forum, so any interested in PTO may just stay for the Parent Forum).


Chromebooks and other materials and supplies will be distributed on the 17th (Grade 6), 18th (Grade 7), and 21st (Grade 8). Please see below for specific details.


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

Watertown Middle School Parent Forum

Wednesday, Sep. 16th, 6pm

This is an online event.

WMS PTO Meeting

Wednesday, Sep. 16th, 5:30pm

This is an online event.

Chromebook and Supplies/Materials Pickup Information

Hello!


On the following days and times, teachers and other staff members will be handing out Chromebooks and other supplies and materials to students, as well as saying HI! :) More information will be coming out in the next couple of days regarding specific time periods and where students (with no more than one parent/guardian, please) should go at WMS. All students and parents/guardians should be wearing masks at all times.


Thursday, September 17th


Cluster 1, Cohort A: 8:00 am - 9:20 am

Cluster 1, Cohort B: 9:30 am - 10:50 am


Cluster 2, Cohort A: 11:00 am - 12:20 pm

Cluster 2, Cohort B: 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm


Friday, September 18th


Cluster 3, Cohort A: 8:00 am - 9:20 am

Cluster 3, Cohort B: 9:30 am - 10:50 am


Cluster 4, Cohort A: 11:00 am - 12:20 pm

Cluster 4, Cohort B: 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm


Monday, September 21st


Cluster 5, Cohort A: 8:00 am - 9:20 am

Cluster 5, Cohort B: 9:30 am - 10:50 am


Cluster 6, Cohort A: 11:00 am - 12:20 pm

Cluster 6, Cohort B: 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm


If you are unable to make these times, there will be follow up information about other pickup times. Please see below information about required forms for Chromebook pickup.

Chromebook Use Information

Dear WMS Families,


All students grades six through nine will be issued a Chromebook this year. Both

parents and students will need to sign the student contract acknowledging the

responsible use of rules and the financial obligations of having this device.

We plan to offer two online orientations in the coming months for Families to

explain the educational rationale and expected use of these devices.


Below is a link to our Educational Technology 1:1 Initiative Website with the WPS

Device Usage contract, our acceptable use policy, general care of computer

recommendations, and the program overview. Each year students and parents

must sign the contract in order to be issued a WPS device/Chromebook so please

turn these in before the start of school. For additional questions please feel free to

reach out to the Library Media Specialist, Principal, AP, or Rashmi Pimprikar

(rashmi.pimprikar@watertown.k12.ma.us)


Here is the site with additional information and resources

https://sites.google.com/watertown.k12.ma.us/wps-dl-lm/wps-11-initiative


Thank you and please contact me via email with any questions.


Rashmi Pimprikar

District Coordinator for Digital Learning, Library and Computer Science

Watertown Public Schools


Here is the link to the WPS Tech Device Agreement 2020-21 that all families to sign.


A PDF version of this is linked on the 1:1 Initiative section of our WPS Ed Tech website.

REOPENING INFORMATION

2020 - 2021 WPS School Calendar here


Reopening Goals and Guiding Principles

Overarching Goal

Protecting every child and staff member’s health and well-being-- along with the need to reimagine, renew, and reopen our schools to support equitable outcomes for every student-- is critical and central to our work. This summer’s specific challenge calls for us to use an equity-focused, scenario-based framework of planning for an uncertain future (in-person, hybrid, virtual) as we welcome students safely back to school. It is an iterative process.


Guiding Principles


These Guiding Principles will serve as the foundation for all three plans that we are currently developing.

Equity

  • Ensure equal access to the curriculum (internet/food/materials, etc.) and customization of teaching and learning (e.g., intervention/assessment) to personalize and continuously reduce achievement and opportunity gaps

  • Ensure culturally responsive teaching and tiered specific interventions


Excellence

Ensure rigor and continuity of curriculum by:

  • Identifying where curriculum begins by each grade focused on moving forward rather than reviewing

  • Prioritizing essential grade-level standards and themes for all students

  • Curating curriculum resources for on-line and in-school learning,

  • Utilizing assessment data and creating a schedule for administration, either online or in-person

  • Determining expectations for in school and virtual learning

  • Prioritizing common planning amongst departments and grade levels to ensure staff has adequate time to plan as a team and feels the support of their colleagues

  • Designing a cohesive system that provides all students with a core curriculum that can be delivered either virtually or in-person, or in a combination hybrid system


Community

  • In a physically and emotionally safe environment, we will support students, staff members, and families through the use of social/emotional learning strategies, effective two-way communication, and a positive home-school partnership by prioritizing the building of relationships through building upon what we already have in place.

  • As a district, we will determine a clear and cohesive structure for home/school communication to promote and build students’ and families’ knowledge and understanding of expectations and support students’ executive functioning and self-advocacy skills.


Essentials for Opening

The most important factor when considering reopening in the fall is the safety of students and staff. To that end, there are certain tenets that we consider essential for returning to our school buildings.


  • Universal Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all Staff

  • Masks required for all students 2-12, masks and face shields required in PreK-1

  • 5-6 feet of social distance in classrooms

  • Additional support for special populations

  • Outdoor learning opportunities when possible (Lowell School has four tents set up on the ballfield across from the school.)

  • ‘Weekly Learning Plans’ for all classes or grade levels

    • This will allow for concurrent learning plans for students in virtual learning and in-person learning, which will enable easy transitions into the virtual learning environment, if necessary

  • Time for teachers to plan and meet in collaborative groups either every day (PreK-8) or one full day (9-12)

  • 3 days of PD September 1-3 and 10 additional days granted by DESE

  • **More than likely, voluntary COVID testing for all weekly staff Reflection on Values

  • Working on funding and logistics in collaboration with the Broad Institute


Guidance Documents from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Big picture

**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