WMS Community Bulletin 10-04-20

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

Hello Watertown Middle School Community,


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I know we need more rain, but the sunny autumn days are very enjoyable!


Here are some important upcoming dates:


Monday, October 5 - School Committee Meeting 7:00 pm


Wednesday, October 7 - WMS School Site Council 6:30-8:00 pm (more info below)


Monday, October 12 - NO SCHOOL


Wednesday, October 14 - WMS PTO Meeting 7:00 pm


Thursday, October 22 - WMS Open House 5:30-8:00 pm

Schedule and Zoom links will be sent out shortly.


Monday, October 19 - Friday, October 30 - i-Ready testing diagnostic (more info below)


Tuesday, November 3 - NO SCHOOL


Remote Learning Expectations:

I am confident that we will all continue to adjust to remote teaching and learning as the school year progresses. I am sharing the following information/suggestions based on different things that have come up so far. We will talk much more about this at Open House on 10/22, but these are some of the themes that have emerged:


Please work to ensure that your child(ren) is logging into their classes on time. We have seen a number of students arriving late to their remote sessions. This is making it difficult for our teachers to start on time and for accurate attendance to be recorded. Additionally, they need to stay on Zoom and engaged until dismissed by the teacher at the end of the class.


Please encourage your child to think of it as if they were walking into a classroom with their peers and remember the following:


  • Be on time and have materials with them.
  • Choose a location that is conducive to learning.
  • Participate! Get involved in the class and ask/answer questions and engage with the teacher and other students. The more they put in to the class, the more they will get back.


All students will perform better if we work together to limit distractions in the virtual environment and approach learning with the same attention as if they were in person.


Another suggestion is to have students use headphones while they are participating from home. This goes a long way in eliminating background noise and feedback, and also gives students more privacy from the other things occurring in the home while they are in class. They should have all received headphones in their materials bags.


Remote learning will continue to be a work in progress for all involved. Let's keep the communication open and make improvements as we move forward.


Attendance is just as important and mandatory for all Zoom classes as it is for typical in-person learning! Please see the information below for the WMS attendance policies and procedures.


Have a terrific Sunday night, and we'll see your child(ren) in the morning!


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

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.).

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!

WMS School Site Council Meeting

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Join Zoom Meeting

https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/93470544898


The first meeting will be on Wednesday, October 7th. The Watertown Middle School Site Council, composed of the principal, teachers, parents, and community members, is charged under DESE guidelines to develop and monitor the annual School Improvement Plan. The School Site Council meets monthly from October through June to oversee the school’s goals and action strategies, examine data that pertains to school improvement and create the school improvement plan for the following year. The oversight process happens in the fall (October – January) and plan development happens in the spring (February – June).


***Please email me if you are considering joining the School Site Council. I would like to gauge the interest of parents. Thank you.

Student and Parent Handbooks - **Please read and complete the form**

Dear WMS Families,


Our handbooks are updated each school year to reflect our current policies and procedures. I have attached the Student and Parent handbooks to this communication. We ask that you read and submit the form verifying you have read and recieved the handbooks. Parents should fill out one form for each child.


Thank you very much for your attention to this.


Please complete the form attached here:


https://forms.gle/sMSrjBiedsoUgnUP8

One School, One Book

Thank you to the students and faculty that joined the 1S1B Discussions and Q & A this week. A special thank you to Mr. Jim Cairns, father of Callum and Campbell Pelton-Cairns, who generously gave an hour of his time to meet with students and teachers to answer questions about his experiences in Malawi. He also shared wonderful insights regarding the author's writing relating to his own time in Africa. Such a treat to be able to hear his personal stories of Malawi - thank you, Mr. Cairns!


Several students in grades 6, 7, and 8 received special recognition at the book discussions for their impressive 1S1B Jots assignment. Students were selected for 1S1B Hall of Fame for a variety of reasons, including well-written jots; impressive organization; jots that captured the beginning, middle, and end; and for some, they went above and beyond with the details of their jots and the innovation and engineering portion of the assignment. Excellent work!


Thank you also to the 1S1B Committee! Ms. Spillane, Ms. Maroni-Wagner, Ms. McDonagh, and Ms. Conceison - we can't wait to see what you and the students choose for us for next summer!

DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) is Returning!

During Remote Learning (and then Hybrid Learning) we expect all students to be reading their Independent Reading Books (IRBs) at least an hour a week during their Independent Time. Very soon there will also be a form for them to fill out to help their teachers know how the reading is going for each student. Please check in with your children to be sure they have an IRB. If they need any help picking out a book, please have them consult with our school librarian, Ms. Maroni-Wagner, or with their ELA or Reading teachers. Let's get reading! :)

From Assistant Superintendent Dr. McGuinness:

Here are the Teaching & Learning Updates, Fall 2020 for your enjoyment and planning purposes.

i-Ready Updates

Our annual universal assessments in math and literacy will begin shortly. Students in grades 1-9 will take the i-Ready fall diagnostic in October. This will provide us with important data on how students are performing in both math and literacy. In grades 1 - 8, the fall diagnostic data will help teachers to create individualized lesson paths for students to work through in online instruction. In grade 9, it is used for beginning of year data and end of year growth. As in past years, Kindergarten will take their first diagnostic in December. i-Ready conducted studies of the reliability of the data when giving the diagnostic remotely in the spring across various districts. Their findings revealed that there was less score inflation in districts that were communicating directly with families and when families watched i-Ready family videos about the diagnostic. To that end, we encourage parents/families to view this video to refresh or learn about i-Ready to best support their children.


  • Introducing i-Ready Assessment at Home to Families Videos (English | Spanish)

  • Family Guidance for Administering the diagnostic At Home videos (English | Spanish)


We will be administering the diagnostic during live Zoom meetings. The diagnostic window for elementary (grades 1-5) is scheduled 10/8 - 10/16 and for secondary (grades 6-9) between 10/19 - 10/30. Classroom teachers will provide more information in the Weekly Learning Plans. The i-Ready experience better helps teachers:

  • Use insights from i-Ready to plan instruction

  • Set goals and help students take ownership of their learning


Additional information will be coming soon. We appreciate your partnership in this endeavor!

Technology Information for WPS Families

Message from Rashmi Pimprikar (District Ed-Tech Coordinator) & George Skuse (District IT Manager)


Welcome WPS Families to your Family EdTech for ALL Resources Website that hosts all resources that are being created and curated for WPS Families.


Please click on the 09/25 Weekly WPS Family Ed Tech for ALL Newsletter for information and resources. We look forward to meeting you at the School-based Family Ed Tech Support Session.


Thank you,

Rashmi

Important Watertown Recreation Information! See Flyers Below

Does Your 6th Grader Play Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass?

On Tuesday, October 6th, and Wednesday, October 7th, we will be hosting a string instrument swap and tune at Watertown High School (outdoors, in one of the tents) for our 4th - 6th-grade students. These drive-thrus (or walk-ups!) will be hosted from 5 - 6:30 PM. They are not required if you feel comfortable with your current setup and you do not need an appointment.


You will need to fill out this form if you would like for us to swap your instrument size or if you need a scholarship/school instrument. Instructions linked on the form and below. Please fill this out by next Thursday, October 1st, so that I can get the instrument sizes and student names to the company for swapping.


What we'll be doing:

  • Quick tuning tutorials/tuning
  • Swapping out instrument sizes if needed
  • Putting fingering tapes on the instruments (beforehand, if swapping out instruments)

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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.

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