WMS Community Bulletin 01-03-21

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

Dear Watertown Middle School Community,


We are looking forward to welcoming our students and staff back to both in-school and remote learning after a long and hopefully, renewing winter break. While our faculty are working tirelessly to continue to provide excellent teaching for our students’ learning in this reimagined school year, I wanted to provide you an update on our improvement process and progress to address racism, bullying, and harassment at WMS.


As you read in Dr. Galdston's newsletter, "The Watertown Public Schools is committed to confronting racism and inequities in our school community...The journey to becoming an anti-bias, anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive school community is challenging, and we are firmly committed to taking this on." At Watertown Middle School, I want to be clear that we are committed to confronting and eradicating any and all forms of bullying and harassment within our school community.


Over the past several weeks, we have investigated reports of bullying and harassment in our school. Some recent reports have included instances of students engaging in the following: using racial slurs; making disparaging remarks based on race; making homophobic comments; using sexually explicit commentary; sharing inappropriate pictures of peers; using language that is disparaging to persons with disabilities; and making derogatory remarks based on appearance and social status. The majority of this behavior is reported as occurring on social media outlets.


While your child may not be directly impacted as a victim of instances of bullying and harassment, it is important for all of us to be aware of these issues in order for us to work together to create a school culture where everyone feels safe and supported at WMS and into the online community while at home.


As a school community, we are committed to the following actions to provide a safe environment for our children and to support our students as they navigate growing up in a turbulent world.

  • The WMS Community is dedicated to being proactive and consistent in our response to reported incidents moving forward.

  • One immediate step we are taking as a school community is securing a partnership with Dr. Carlos Hoyt as we continue to address anti-bias to protect our students’ civil rights. Dr. Hoyt has a great deal of successful experience working with schools around antiracism, anti-bias training, and ensuring consistent and effective discipline procedures to promote a safe and caring learning environment.

  • Increased communication is essential. Thus, as the work moves forward, I will be communicating each step with you in my weekly newsletter, as we all work together as a WMS community of staff, students, and families throughout the process.


The WPS mission is "to prepare all students for life by engaging them in a challenging and meaningful education within an inclusive, diverse community". We take the word all very seriously and will keep it at the center of our goal to address and eradicate bullying and harassment at WMS.


I appreciate and thank the members of the strong WMS Community for your partnership in this mission and ask each family to engage in a conversation with your child(ren) about their experiences in school and online. You may find it helpful to review these student handbook sections on bullying and harassment with them. If your child is experiencing bullying or harassment, please make sure to inform us immediately by reaching out at any time to to your child's guidance counselor: Atiera Horne, grade 6 (atiera.horne@watertown.k12.ma.us), Tom Cloherty, grade 7 (thomas.cloherty@watertown.k12.ma.us), Amanda Skypeck, grade 8 (amanda.skypeck@watertown.k12.ma.us), Mr. Del Porto (jason.delporto@watertown.k12.ma.us) or me (donna.martin@watertown.k12.ma.us).


Respectfully yours,


Donna Martin

Principal

Here are some important upcoming dates:

Monday, January 4 - Return from Winter Break


Monday, January 4 - Wednesday, January 6 - Remote Learning for ALL


Monday, January 4 and Tuesday, January 5 - Student COVID testing at Watertown High School (see more information below)


Monday, January 4 - School Committee meeting 7:00 pm


Wednesday, January 6 - School Site Council meeting 6:30-8:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/96781118971


Wednesday, January 13 - PTO meeting 7:00 pm

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


Monday, January 18 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL


Tuesday, January 26 - Anti-Bias Coalition meeting 6:00-7:30 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/96683897149


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Flu Shots Needed! As per state mandates, in-person students will need proof of the influenza vaccine by December 31, 2020. Please email (michelle.laracy@watertown.k12.ma.us) or fax (617 924-4125) paperwork to Nurse Michelle at WMS.


Please see links below to read the Teaching and Learning Newsletter from Dr. McGuinness and the AMAZING Art and Band Winter Showcase put together by Mr. Thew and Ms. Stern.


Happy New Year 2021! I hope you all are well. I am sure we were all ready for the winter break, and I hope you all had some time to relax and rejuvenate. 2020 certainly brought challenges and sadness, but also the opportunity for us to reflect on the things in our lives which we can appreciate that much more now. I look forward to continuing to reflect and appreciate in 2021, and am optimistic that we will find joy and peace in our community in the new year.


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

Student COVID testing Monday, January 4 and Tuesday, January 5


From the Superintendent:

We will be offering free COVID testing for all students Monday, January 4, and Tuesday, January 5 at Watertown High School, using the schedule below. If you have already signed up your child for testing, just show up at the times listed below. If not, please visit this link to fill out the consent form for testing. It is vitally important for as many families as possible sign up for ongoing testing, especially as we head into the winter months. Please do your part to keep our students and staff safe by signing up for testing. It’s quite easy and isn’t the long nasal swab, but rather the anterior short nasal swab.


Elementary School + WMS (testing at Watertown High School)

Monday COHORT A

A-D 12-1 pm

E-G. 1-2

H-K 2-3

L-Q. 3-4

R-Z 4-5


Tuesday- COHORT B

A-D 12-1 pm

E-G 1-2

H-K. 2-3

L-Q. 3-4

R-Z 4-5


WHS

Monday

A-B 12-1pm

C-D 1-2 pm

E-F 2-3 pm

G-H 3-4 pm

I-Ke. 4-5 pm


Tuesday

Kh-L 12-1pm

M-O 1-2 pm

P-R 2-3 pm

S-U 3-4 pm

V-Z 4-5 pm


*Families with children at the high school level and the middle school or elementary school levels can bring all children in at the same time.


Please note that according to the Massachusetts Travel Order, in order to return to school in person, your family must quarantine for 10 days if you travel outside of the state to high-risk states (all states with the exception of Hawaii are considered high risk) unless your child(ren) has a negative PCR test. Participating in our pooled PCR testing meets that requirement. More guidance about the travel restrictions can be found here. This order applies to day trips out of state as well.

ACCESS testing for ESL students - coming soon!

The yearly English test will start this month. Your school and ESL teachers will let you know the schedule.


There are 4 tests: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Your school will be testing your student on the days they are in-person.


If your student is a virtual student they will be invited in on a day or time other students are not in-person.


Most testing will be complete before February vacation.


Please contact Kate Phillipson, ESL Coordinator, if you have any questions about the testing.

You can email Kate at kathryn.phillipson@watertown.k12.ma.us or call her at 617-581-8200.

Emergency Rental Assistance Application - Deadline Extended!

Dear Applicant,


Please read the following information before you begin your Emergency

Rental Assistance Application!


You will need to have the following documents for every household member/s

over the age of 18 ready to upload at the time of submission.


1. The most recent pay stub for all current wage earners in the household.

2. Document supporting evidence of reduced income (Unemployment

Monetary Determination Letter, furlough or letter from employer or 1

“before” 3/23/2020 and 1 most recent paystub).

To print your UI Monetary Determination Letter: Sign onto UI, go to the UI

Inbox, Look for Monetary Determination letter-Page 1 ONLY)

3. Supporting documents for any other income source (child support, alimony,

pension/retirement etc.)

4. Copy of current year’s lease or a letter from your landlord with his name,

address, email address & phone number evidencing your monthly rent

amount.

5. Most recent checking and/or savings account bank statement/s (EVERY

PAGE) for each bank account for every household members over the age

of 18.


Go to this link: https://metrowestcd.org/rent-a-home/information-for-

renters/emergency-ra-app/


Case sensitive Password is: HEREtohelp2020

COMMUNITY SERVICE!

***DUE TO COVID, THEY WILL NOT BE COLLECTING ANY MORE PLASTIC AT THIS TIME.***


Community service is up and running at WMS! Please see the attached document to view information on safety, tracking hours, and opportunities. Just as a reminder, it is recommended that 6th-grade students complete 10 hours of community service, 7th-grade students 15, and 8th-grade students 20.


Community Service Information


One main Community Service opportunity which is currently taking place is our annual Coats for Kids collection!


  • Coats For Kids

    • When you drop off coats for our annual Coats for Kids drive, you will earn 20 minutes for each coat (3 coats = 1 hour) The coat donation box will be placed right outside the Waverly Ave entrance Monday through Friday 8:30 - 12:30.

    • Collection has been extended to February 28, 2021!!

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!

PTO Update!

Please help us as we embark on new ways of fundraising for the WMS PTO for what will definitely be a new and challenging year! Click the campaign below to see our fundraising goals this year and what we are hoping to support.


https://go.rallyup.com/wmspto


Stop and Shop Program:

Our school, Watertown Middle School, ID#: 10628 has the opportunity to participate in and earn CASH from A+ School Rewards, a great fundraising program run through your local Stop & Shop! See the letter attached below for more information. It's an easy way to earn money for the students of the school!

LUNCH/MEALS PROGRAM UPDATES


  • School meals are free for ALL students for the entire school year.

  • Students can order a lunch in Community Meeting each morning and will be given out at the end of the day.

  • Lunches should be eaten after you leave school at 12:30

  • The meals will be packaged in easy to carry bags and will contain multiple breakfasts and lunches.

  • If a student requests meals on both of their in-person days they will receive breakfast and lunch for 7 days.


SEE SCHOOL NUTRITION WEBSITE FOR MENU.


GRAB & GO MEAL SITE WILL BE OPEN:

EVERY MONDAY

12 - 1:30PM

&

4:30 - 6PM

Watertown Recreation - Winter Session I information

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Technology Information for WPS Families

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


Here is a link to our WPS Family Ed-Tech for ALL Website for updated resources.


Here is a link to the weekly Family Ed-Tech for All Newsletter, LIVE Ed-Tech Support Sessions, Resources, Tutorials & tips that are curated and created, just for you. Do you need help with Ed-Tech? Please complete the WPS Ed-Tech Support Request Form. A member of the WPS Ed-Tech team will reach out to you within 1 school day.


Thank you and have a terrific day,

Rashmi Pimprikar (District Ed-Tech Coordinator), Digital Learning Team and IT Team

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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.).

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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.