WMS Community Bulletin 04-11-21

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,


I hope this newsletter finds you all well. We are very excited to begin our full days (8:30-3:00) of in-person learning tomorrow, April 12th! There is a lot of information in this newsletter regarding our back-to-school procedures.


As always, safety is our number one priority and will be our focus more than ever for Term 4. During Community Meetings this past week and as we return this week, we will be reviewing COVID safety protocols with the students and reinforcing some new procedures as we transition to in-person specialists and lunch. Grade 6 teachers gave tours of the building to their students as they have never really traveled around the school! As we start the week, we will be practicing the new lunch procedures. Here is our updated Watertown Middle School COVID Family Guide.


Before School Breakfast Program (7:45-8:15 am): We are happy to be able to offer breakfast to students who would like to eat at WMS before school starts. Students who would like to eat breakfast or work quietly in the building will be admitted into the building starting at 7:45 through the Waverley Avenue door ONLY. Students should not be in any other part of the building before 7:45. There will be monitors for the Before School Program in the Cafeteria and Auditorium.

When students come in the Waverley Ave door:

  • Cafeteria ONLY if they are eating - they get their food and sit at an individual desk - no sitting all together.
  • Auditorium for sitting and working with 2 seats between them - no eating in the auditorium
  • Lobby - no students should be waiting in the lobby - they need to wait outside until the bell rings at 8:15
  • There is no going from one space to another - they pick one and stay there until the 8:15 am bell.


LUNCH: All students are eligible to receive a bagged lunch from the cafeteria each day for free. There will always be a vegetarian option and the menu can be found here: Watertown School Nutrition Update. Of course, students are welcome to bring their own lunches as well. Students will eat lunch by cluster, and we will be eating outside unless there is dangerous weather. We have stadium cushions for all students to sit on, and they will be at least 6 feet from each other on the grass by Bemis Street, currently nicknamed the "Bemis Street Beach". Should we need to eat inside, all students will be at individual chairs and tables 6 feet apart in the cafeteria or in the auditorium, facing one direction.

**Although this past week had excellent weather, it looks to be a bit chillier this upcoming week. Please be sure your child has warm clothes for mask break, lunch, and Phys. Ed. outside!


Schedules: Students will be receiving schedules in Homeroom on Monday morning, although many of them started to learn their new schedules last week. As is often the case in September, some will need some small tweaks, but we will have them all set quickly.

***REMINDER*** All students who have opted for in-person learning must attend school each day unless directed to quarantine by Nurse Michelle, and then they are allowed to Zoom into their classes. If a student is feeling unwell, please call them in absent, and they can make up the work as with a typical sick day. Zooming in for in-person students is ONLY an option when directed to quarantine due to Covid.


With regards to international travel, a quarantine of 14 days upon return is necessary, with a negative PCR test on day 15. This is in accordance with the directive of the Watertown Health Department. Students quarantining after travel may not Zoom into classroom lessons.


Specialist Classes: Here is a Slideshow that describes what students need for these classes. This has been shared with students in Community Meeting as well.


Thank you to those of you who joined me at the Parent/Guardian Forum. A recording of that meeting is posted on the website. Here is the slideshow I used during the meeting: WMS Full Days in-Person April 12, 2021.


We are very much looking forward to seeing the students for full days in-person and on Zoom, and although it will not be back to 100% typical school, it will certainly feel closer to that! We anticipate that students will be very tired after the full days; please help them get to bed on the early side so they get some good sleep. Also, please keep in touch with your child's teachers and guidance counselors if they are having a hard time at all with anything: schoolwork, homework, stress, friends, etc. Communication is always the key to helping the children be as successful as possible! :)


Please also feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. Thank you!


Please be well and take good care of one another.


Respectfully yours,


Donna Martin

Principal

Here are some important upcoming dates:

Friday, April 9 - Last Day of Term 3


Monday, April 12 - WMS Return to Full Days of In-Person School 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

First day of Term 4


Monday, April 12 - Spring Sports Information Meeting 7:00 pm LINK TO ZOOM MEETING

(see further information in attachment below)


Monday, April 12 - School Committee meeting 7:00 pm


Wednesday, April 14 - PTO Meeting 7:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting


Thursday, April 15 - School Site Council meeting 6:30-8:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting


Monday, April 19 - Friday, April 23 - NO SCHOOL - April Vacation


Monday, April 26 - Anti-Bias Coalition Meeting 5:00-6:30

Join Zoom Meeting


Friday, April 30 - YRBS Survey given during Community Meeting (see information below)


Friday, April 30 - Term 3 report cards sent home



MCAS - Testing Window May 17 - June 11


ELA - Thursday, May 20 (all grades)


MATH - Thursday, May 27 (all grades)


SCIENCE - Thursday, June 3 (grade 8 only)


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FOR ALL STUDENTS - Please return ELA novels to your cluster's book collection box!

Grade 6 - Inside Out and Back Again

Grade 7 - The Giver

Grade 8 - Warcross


OTHER UPDATES


Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) - The YRBS will be administered on Friday, April 30 in Community Meeting. In order to better understand and address the health-related challenges affecting children and youth, Watertown High School is working with a coalition of cities and towns in Middlesex County to administer the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The survey is part of a larger effort to help increase the resiliency of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors. Given the observed impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the welfare of students, it is essential to know how students are currently doing, so that we can best support them.

***Please see the below attached informational letter and Opt-Out form.***


Yearbook Ordering Information:

Below is the website and job # to purchase the Watertown Middle School Yearbook:

Website: Ybpay.lifetouch.com

Job: #7822621


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

Specialist Classes - What to Bring to School

Please see this SLIDE SHOW from the Specialist Teachers to be prepared for the return to school on April 12th!

The Watertown Splash!!

From Mr. Vitti~


I thought you all would like to see the latest online story in the Watertown Splash in which we polled WMS students about the best and worst parts of the last year, as well as what they are looking forward to most in the return to full-time school.


Check out the story here -- and please tell your friends, family, and social media followers to check it out, too!


https://watertownsplash.com/3179/classes-and-clubs/before-they-to-school-full-time-watertown-middle-school-students-look-back-and-ahead/

TRAVEL

The governor of Massachusetts issued a Travel Advisory effective March 22, 2021. Below is information from the advisory. Please click on the link to get more information and check the link periodically as it is subject to change.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.

  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.


Every WPS employee should follow this advisory.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must quarantine for 14 days, per the Watertown Health Department. Staff should consult with the school nurse and building administrator regarding international travel as guidelines change rapidly.

i-Ready Diagnostic

The i-Ready mid-year Winter diagnostic was administered to students in grades 1 - 8 beginning the weeks of March 1st and March 8th. Results were analyzed by the assistant superintendent, curriculum coordinators, principals, and shared further in data meetings with teachers, service providers, and Title 1 tutors.


i-Ready has added a new percentile feature to their reports. In many cases, students increased in their achievement but went down in their percentile ranking. After contacting i-Ready Support about this they explained the following:


  • The percentiles we see in the reports are based on i-Ready norming windows. If students were assessed between Nov 15, 2020 - March 1, 2021, the percentiles will be from the Winter norming window. If they were assessed after March 1, the percentiles will be from the Spring norming window, thus not accurate percentiles. We assessed after March 1st thus, the Spring norming window. Also, the percentiles are normed from the 2018-2019 school year, a “normal” school year, so we're comparing apples to oranges. WPS and many other districts did not assess after the pandemic hit in Spring 2020 as students were learning from home, so there is no comparative data for the 2019-2020 end of year.

  • i-Ready Support suggested not using these percentiles with parents as they are not accurately reflecting our data against that norm. After the spring, during our June testing window we will examine the Parent Reports again for the accuracy of the percentiles. We may send home the end of year Parent Report, which will be slightly more accurate although still normed against 18-19 school year, only if we collectively determine that the end of year comparison data is accurate this unique year.


Our rationale for likely sharing the end of year Parent Report (with explicit explanation) is that they will provide individual student growth from the school year's beginning to the end, and a comparison to more accurate percentiles (since comparison will be all students at the end of year timeframe versus the March 2021 varying dates), even though they are still normed against 18-19SY.

Student Dress Code Reminder

With students coming back to school full time on April 12, we wanted to remind all students and families about the WMS Dress Code as published in the WMS Handbook. Please review this with your child(ren). Thank you!


Student Dress Code

Students’ clothing/dress should reflect their readiness to focus on learning, education and hard work. We recognize that students express themselves in many ways as young adults, but at the same time, school attire should support the scholarly culture that leads to academic success.

Student clothing should be neat, clean, and worn in the manner for which it was designed. If a student is out of dress code, he/she will first get a verbal warning and be asked to change. If the student can’t find appropriate clothing, he/she can use our stock of Watertown athletic clothing as an alternative. If it is a second or repeat offense, the student will be referred to administration for disciplinary action.

Students are expected to adhere to the following guidelines while in school, or while attending a school-sponsored event or field trip:

  1. No clothing or accessories with inappropriate or offensive symbols or statements shall be worn. Some examples include but are not limited to:

    1. References to drugs, tobacco or alcohol

    2. References to discriminatory slurs

    3. References to violence

    4. Sexual connotations

  2. Head coverings shall be worn in the case of religious or health reasons.

  3. Chests, stomachs, buttocks, and all undergarments should be covered at all times. Undergarments should not be visible at any time.

  4. All clothing, including shirts, tops, dresses, pants, shorts, and leggings, must be completely opaque (not see-through).

  5. Clothing must be free of holes, rips, and tears that are inappropriately located.

  6. Night clothing, including but not limited to pajamas, slippers, etc. may not be worn.


Administration reserves the right to evaluate the appropriateness of student dress when needed.

We will evaluate the dress code on an annual basis to adjust for cultural trends


For 8th graders - Please fill out this important google form for your Yearbook Quotation and other fun!

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!

Technology Information for WPS Families

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


Here is a link to the Weekly 03/19 Family Ed-Tech for All Newsletter, LIVE Ed-Tech Support Sessions & WPS Family Ed-Tech Website with resources, 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 a school day.


Few additional resources for Celebrating WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH


Free GoogleSlide Templates to enhance student engagement:
Who wants to be a Millionaire | Funny Jeopardy | Create your own Character



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.