WMS Community Bulletin 9-27-20

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! We all needed some rest and time outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather after our first four days of school! We love coming back, but it certainly takes a bit of time to get back into the routine of school days - I know my own son was exhausted after his first week! We are re-energized and ready for a full week now, especially after our awesome PTO dropped off these fun treats for us (see above)! Thank you very much to the PTO for making us feel appreciated and supported - you're the best!


As I emailed you about on Friday, we had a couple of disturbing Zoomtrusions last week. Here is the Smore Newsletter in case you missed it. We are tightening up Zoom security one notch further, and in order to do that, we need to be sure that students enter their Zoom meetings using their Watertown email address. Mr. Del Porto emailed your students with those directions, and here they are again for you: Getting students started with Watertown Zoom. Please work with your children on these slides so they are ready for tomorrow. All of their Zoom links can be found on their Google Classroom sites. If you have questions about these, please email the teacher, Mr. Del Porto, or me. Additionally, there is a link on the WMS website now if Technical Help is needed: FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE FORM.


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!

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 Upcoming Events!

Calling all WMS students!! Join one of our 1S1B Discussions to celebrate our summer reading work! This is a great chance to meet other students as well as our WMS Librarian, Ms. Maroni-Wagner and our WMS Literacy Coach, Kellie Spillane.


On Tuesday, September 29 and Wednesday, September 30, from 2:30-3:00 students are invited to join the book discussion on Zoom. This year, students from all three grades will be recognized as being part of our “1S1B Hall of Fame” for the jots writing and design challenges they submitted. All WMS students are invited to join one of the two scheduled book club discussions. The zoom link can be found on each student’s ELA Google Classroom page.


On Friday, October 2 from 1:30-2:00 join a live Q & A discussion with Mr. Cairns -- a WMS parent and also someone who worked in Malawi. Are you curious about life in Malawi? Please enter questions that you have about Malawi and how the setting and the culture described in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is similar or different from what Mr. Cairns experienced when he lived there. Curious questions are needed! Link to form to submit questions for Mr. Cairns is here.


The Zoom link for this discussion can be found on each student’s ELA Google Classroom page.


Jim Cairns is the father of Campbell (8th grade) and Callum (6th grade) Pelton-Cairns. He has spent much of his career doing international development work and is currently the Director of International Programs at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University where he leads partnerships to support programs and policies that improve the lives of young children and their families around the world.


From 1995-1997 Jim lived in Malawi where he worked with the Public Affairs Committee -- an interreligious organization that worked to promote democracy and human rights in the country. This was the period just before where William's story begins in the book. He continued to work with organizations in Malawi from 2000-2008 as part of a program responding to HIV/AIDS across Africa and visited the country periodically during that time.

Looking forward to “seeing” you!


Ms. Maroni-Wagner and Mrs. Spillane

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)

Calling All WMS Band Students and Families!

Hey Band Families!

First and foremost I'd like to introduce myself. I am Maxwell Thew, the new band/percussion instructor for the Watertown School District. I'm very excited to be here and work with all of you! I grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington. I have taught in Eastern Oregon as well as here in Massachusetts. I am a woodwind player by trade, but feel very comfortable in brass and percussion!

For this school year if you are financially unable to afford an instrument we do have a limited number of instruments. To use a school instrument, please fill out this attached form and bring it to WMS during our time to hand out Chromebooks and such. Music and Arts also has a scholarship fund for those people who need financial assistance as well!


I'm very excited to be working with all of you and hope to get to know you better as the year goes on. If you have any questions the quickest way is by email:


maxwell.thew@watertown.k12.ma.us

I respond within the day between normal school hours! I can wait to meet you virtually and in-person soon!


Thank you for being a part of my life,


Maxwell Thew


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ttyX0VBnSdo37Wn2dbi4abGLWTYSOgzGLrwG3Cs_rvE/edit?usp=sharing


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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