The Winch Word

News and Notes from Oliver W. Winch MS - 9.26.14

Safety Drills Completed

Last Thursday marked the completion of our required fall safety drills. Throughout the beginning of school your children have participated in eight fire drills, 2 of which were announced to teachers and six which were unannounced, a lockout drill, and a lockdown drill. We will also be participating in similar drills in the spring as a way to ensure that we are prepared for every possible emergency situation.

A lockout at school means that nobody is allowed to enter or leave the building or classrooms, but instruction continues as normal. An example of when a lockout may occur is if there is a bear on the loose in the area (yes - this REALLY happened at my previous school district), and we don't want students or staff outside until the threat is neutralized. However, with a lockout there is not a risk INSIDE the building.

A lockdown is different from a lockout in that this would be used if a threat, typically a human one, is seen trying to gain access to the building or is already inside looking to cause harm. When a building goes into lockdown, all interior doors are locked, and students and staff shelter out of sight where they are in a classroom, library, cafeteria, etc. Only law enforcement can release people from a true lockdown situation.

As always, if you have any questions about our safety procedues at OWWMS, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Scenes From Our Week

Open House

Our annual Open House at OWWMS happened on Wednesday this week. I was glad to have the opportunity to meet many of you as you walked the halls. I only had to give directions to a couple of folks, so good work on finding your way around this labyrinthine building! I always welcome feedback, both positive and constructive, on events that are held at the middle school. Please let me know if you have anything that you would like to share by calling me at 792-5891 or via email at We are already looking at some things to address for next year.

The OWWMS Remind Text Message Information List

We are always looking to improve communication here at Oliver Winch, and the Internet offers a myriad of options for communicating between home and school. Recently I have set up a cell phone text message based information list that I would like to invite all of you to join. It takes about 10 seconds to sign up, and once you are on the list you will receive important notices and information about the happenings at OWWMS. These texts will come directly from me via the Remind app on my phone right to your pocket or purse. You do not need to download anything to participate. Additionally, you do not need a cell phone to sign up, as you can also receive the updates via email. Click here for easy to follow sign up instructions.

Home School Association

The Home-School Association plays an integral role in providing various opportunities for our students throughout the school year. They pay for all of the student agendas, transportation for field trips, goodies for our Effort Roll celebration at the end of each quarter, and that's just a small sampling. I have heard over and over as I have gotten settled here that parents are looking for ways to get involved at this building. Our next HSA meeting is on Monday, October 27th at 6:30 PM in the library. Please come and find out how you can be involved at OWWMS!

Entertainment Book Fundraiser

Monday, Sep. 29th, 7:30am to Monday, Oct. 6th, 2pm

99 Hudson St

S Glens Falls, NY

Our annual Entertainment Book fundraiser to benefit the OWWMS Home-School Association moves into week two. Your students should have brought home a bag with books this week, and the goal is for all students to make some sales so that our HSA can continue to provide much needed funds for various school events, activities, recognitions, and trips. If you have not seen the book or you need more, please contact our main office at 792-5891.