Family Newsletter 9/20/13

This week’s Family Newsletter from Assistant Head of School Nate Snow!
Hi WMS Families,

I hope this weekend’s update finds you all well.  Attached you will find a copy of this coming weekend’s schedule.  As always, there is much to do . . .

It has been a busy week in the academic office.  This past Wednesday marked the end of the Add/Drop period so course schedules should now be solid for all students. Students have also been deciding this week if they are interested in taking any of their full-year (non-AP) courses as an Honors course. The Honors course is designed for students who are ready or interested in doing more in-depth study of the course material and generally requires more sophisticated and challenging work. Students have made a ‘soft’ commitment to their teacher this week and will make a final decision on Nov 1. Last year was our first with this model and it worked very well. It is a great discussion to have with your student (and perhaps his/her advisor) if they may be interested in this option for one or more courses.

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to spend a little time this week making sure you are all up to speed on using the My WMS portal to access important information.  Once at the portal, if you haven’t yet bookmarked it, that would be a great idea. It is also easy to access simply by clicking on the My WMS tab on the school website. On the left column, you will be prompted for your log-in. If you do not have your password or it is your first time logging in, you can click the link beneath the log-in to get this sent to you. Sheena Sullivan and Ben Moss are also able to assist with this process if needed. 

Once you are logged in, you will see your child’s profile page. There is specific information on here that includes a class schedule for the day and his/her daily homework assignments. In the upper left, you will find links to more detailed information regarding attendance (late to classes?) and grade information.  The ‘assignment grade’ tab will take you directly to a teacher’s gradebook in real time. As it is very early in the year, much is still being input into these gradebooks and live grades and averages may still fluctuate significantly as more assignments are added. The ‘report card’ tab will take you to a listing of formal report cards organized by year. The first of those for the 13-14 year will be available at Fall mid-term in mid November. 

There are also some other general links on this page, including a school calendar and announcements. We hope that you are using this link regularly and you find the information beneficial to knowing what is going on. Please let me know if you have any feedback on the information available or if you experience any issues with the system.

The Fall Field Course lists are out and students had their first meetings yesterday. There is always a really great energy around this as students begin to explore some very cool experiential learning opportunities. Hopefully, your student has communicated what course they are on (if not, let me know and I’ll tell you). We will provide to families an outline, a general itinerary, and emergency contact information for all the courses. In the meantime, if you have any questions about field course, you can reach out to Ted Teegarden, our Director of Outdoor Education.

I have again attached the information for our upcoming Family Weekend as well. We are looking forward to seeing many of you on the weekend of October 11th. If you plan on attending, please let Sheena know soon. Conferences with teachers can fill up quickly and we want to make sure you can meet with everyone you want to. Also, on that Saturday morning we will be hosting a dedication ceremony for the Catherine Houghton Arts Center. While the work won’t yet be completed (they are trucking right along, however!), we hope that many of you will be able to join us for this exciting celebration.

Next Friday night is our first Cultural Event of the year. This entertaining series of performances has been a wonderful addition to our community for many years. We are proud to kick off the 13-14 season with two a capella groups from Plymouth State University: Mixed Emotions and Vocal Order. This will be preceded by our first Community Dinner of the year as well (first formal dress event for students!). Families are most certainly invited to join us for the dinner and/or the performance that follows (7pm).  If you are interested, please RSVP to Betsie Peter. These groups will also be spending some time working with the WMS A Capella group in the afternoon prior to the performance.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.  Have a wonderful weekend!

-Nate

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