WMS Family Smore

September 18, 2022

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Dear WMS Families,

We have now "lived the schedule" at WMS for two weeks, and are settling into the routine of the new school year. I encourage you to ask your child - how are you feeling about the schedule and the new school year so far? A few 6th grade students I polled on Friday said they 99% understand the schedule and where their rooms are, and that they're feeling excited about middle school. As I get to know the Watertown community, I am also feeling excited about being at WMS with all of you wonderful people.


Here is an update on our WIN block (What I Need), which is one way we are building school community. This week we spent time sharing about our summer One School One Book reading experiences. We will continue that next week, as well as celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, and move into some Digital Literacy lessons that will take us through the end of September. We encourage parents to ask their child about what they learned about Digital Literacy these next few weeks, as we partner to keep students safe and informed online. Resource teachers and other service providers have also begun providing services, and performance music teachers have begun to teach small sectional groups during WIN. As students finish their i-ready diagnostics, educators are working hard to place students in a WIN group that will best fit their academic needs. These WIN groups will begin in early October.


We also wanted to inform families that we have had our first fire drill and our first shelter in place protocol already this year. Students and staff impressed me by exited the building quickly, quietly during the fire drill. A Shelter-in-Place is usually a non-threatening emergency situation. For example, it can be called to ensure easy access to a medical emergency and to create privacy for the injured party as they are transported throughout the building. During a shelter-in-place, teachers should have all students inside a classroom with the door shut, and should continue regular instruction. As we move into this new school year, we will be teaching students what to do during different emergency situations.


Finally, we look forward to seeing many of you at our Back to School Night event this Thursday, September 22, from 6:00-8:00pm. More information for that is shared below.


Be well and take care of one another. Reach out with any questions or concerns.


Respectfully yours,

Ms. Jennifer Chen Fein, Principal

Ms. Jennifer Sarmiento, Assistant Principal (Clusters 2, 4, 6)

Mr. Patrick Dayton, Interim Assistant Principal (Clusters 1, 3, 5)

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INFORMATION FROM WMS

Picture Day - September 19

Picture day will be on Monday, September 19, 2022.


Flyers with information for ordering pictures were sent home with students last Thursday. Students should bring those order forms back tomorrow if they intend to order pictures. Students can pick up extra order forms in the main office.


Make-up picture day will be on November 2, 2022.

Late Bus and After School Activities

The late bus will begin their schedule tomorrow, September 19th. It will leave school at 4:15pm, M-Th. Students need to find their own ride if staying after 4:15pm or if they are staying late on a Friday.

We will be sharing club descriptions with students and families soon. These clubs will start in early October.

Back to School Night - Thursday, September 22

Thursday evening, September 22nd, is Back to School Night when you can visit your child’s classrooms and meet their teachers. This event is from 6:00-8:00pm. Students do not need to attend.


Linked here is the Back to School Night schedule.


Your student will make you a list of their teachers for the evening. 8th grade families and caregivers - we will provide you with a Washington D.C. Trip handout that will include the information night on October 11th at 7pm in the WMS auditorium.


The goals for Open House are for you to be able to :

  • Meet your child's teacher(s)
  • See your child(ren)s classroom(s)
  • Learn about the grade level curriculum

Please note that Parent Conferences are scheduled for later in the month of October.

Open House is not the time for individual conversations about students.


We are very excited that we will finally be able to host this event in person again and we hope to see many of you here at school!

Introducing Officer Anna Margaryan, School Resource Officer, Watertown Police Department

I am pleased to introduce our new School Resource Officer who will be working at WPS and spending a majority of her time at WMS. Please see her letter of introduction below:



Hi everyone,


I am so excited to meet you all and get a chance to be a resource to our students this year. As a Watertown Public Schools Alumni, I owe a lot to the school faculty and Watertown community for the person I am today…


I know it takes a community village to raise a child, and as our school year progresses I aim be a part of our Watertown village here at the Middle School. My goal is to be that friendly face for students to come to if they ever need help.


I have been a Watertown Police Officer for 3 years, and will be taking on this new role as the Watertown Middle School Resource Officer. Prior to becoming a Police Officer, I worked for Watertown Public Schools at the Lowell Elementary School for 9 years. During that time, I attained my Bachelors in Sociology & Masters in Criminal Justice at Suffolk University. When I’m not working you can find me coloring, reading or playing basketball and participating in the numerous Watertown Recreation or Athletic events here in town!


This first year I hope to take the time to grow into this new role through the many trainings and certifications I am scheduled to attend. I hope to see you all at the Watertown Middle School Open House on September 22nd at 6PM.


Respectfully,

Officer Anna Margaryan

Nurse Update

We want to thank Romina Marchio for helping us start off our new year healthy. Her last day at WMS was today.


We have hired Romina’s replacement and we will formally introduce her soon. In the meantime, Justine Boyd, justine.boyd@watertown.k12.ma.us, will be our go-to person for any medical needs from now through 9/26/22.


Student PowerSchool Portals - Students receiving login credentials on Monday

Student PowerSchool portals are now open, and they can check their schedules there. An email from SchoolMessenger will be sent to all student email addresses on Monday to notify them of the portal URL and their individual credentials.


This week at WMS...

INFORMATION FROM THE WMS COMMUNITY

SEPAC - Invitation to the first September Meeting

Please see the invitation below to SEPAC's first meeting, on Wednesday, September 21 from 6:30-8:00pm.


https://www.smore.com/emx23

ESL Family Welcome

We are welcoming English Learner families new to the district and asking returning families to join us if you would like to support other families who speak a language other than English at home. We would like to create language affinity groups for parents who speak the same language to support each other.


Please join us at Filippello Park in Watertown on Saturday, 9/17 from 2-5 pm.

Opportunities for parents/caregivers to get involved

There are many ways to get involved as a parent/caregiver at WMS. We are looking for a diverse representation of parents on all of our structures.


School Site Council (SSC):

A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, community members. Site-based decision making places the school at the center of planning, goal setting, and budgeting for school improvement. Councils exist to assist principals by reviewing the school building budget and developing the school improvement plan. Councils may also take on other responsibilities, including policymaking, as granted by the local school committee. Councils' school improvement plans are submitted to the local school committee for review and approval.The WMS SSC will meet once a month on the first Tuesdays at 7:00pm, virtually. The first meeting will be on October 4, 2022. Any interested members should email me at jennifer.chenfein@watertown.k12.ma.us to express interest in joining School Site Council.



Diversity Council:

The mission of the WMS Diversity Council (DC) is to build and promote opportunities for WMS community members to create a courageous culture of anti-racist education and action, and support inclusion, diversity and belonging for all students and families.

DC members partner with WPS to:

  1. Outreach to families of color
  2. Plan social justice activities
  3. Facilitate dialogue within the WMS community
  4. Promote inclusivity
  5. Provide equity-lens input into administrator decisions / serve as a sounding board
  6. Diversify staffing

The WMS Diversity Council embraces our core values of anti-racism, inclusivity, equity, community, social justice, action, dialogue, courage, and anti-bias.


The WMS Diversity Council will meet once a month on the third Thursdays at 6:00pm, virtually, with the first meeting on October 20, 2022. This year, we will be focusing on actionable steps outlined in the district equity audit taken last school year.


Any interested members should email me at jennifer.chenfein@watertown.k12.ma.us to express interest in joining the Diversity Council.



Parent Teacher Organization (PTO): The WMS PTO is seeking parents and caregivers to join this year. Meetings are held virtually on the second Wednesday of each month.


The first meeting was on September 14. Reach out to the PTO President Erin Macomber at erin_macomber@neds.org with any questions or to express interest.

Watertown Race Reels in October

Please join us for Watertown Race Reels in October! To honor Indigenous People's Day we will be screening We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân on 10/17 at the Watertown Boys & Girls Club (see attached flyer).


We will be serving pizza starting at 5:45 and starting the film at 6pm. After the film (~60 minutes), we will have a discussion/activity. Hope to see you there!

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Upcoming Dates

  • September 19: Picture day (Make-up: November 2)
  • September 21: SEPAC Meeting (6:30-8:00pm, virtual)

  • September 22: Back to School Night (6:00-8:00pm)

  • September 28: Early Release Day: PD for teachers

  • October 4: School Site Council Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • October 6: Progress Reports Distributed

  • October 10: Indigenous Peoples' Day/Columbus Day - No School

  • October 12: PTO Meeting (7:00pm, virtual)

  • October 20: Diversity Council Meeting (7:00pm, , virtual)

  • Watertown Public Schools Calendar 2022-2023