News from Nate is a weekly newsletter written by Associate Head of School Nate Snow to keep you up-to-date on campus news and weekend activities.
Happy Friday! I will be sending an update each Friday from my office on the happenings around school and highlighting any noteworthy events that may be coming up. I do very much try to have this communication be a “door opening” endeavor with regard to parent communication — if you ever have questions or concerns about anything, please feel free to email me directly or reach out in any other way.
I know your students won’t always include you on all the goings-on here on campus (shocking, I know!), so I will do my best to close that gap a bit. If you have any thoughts on other things you’d like to see or hear more about, please let me know. I look forward to getting to know many more of you as the year unfolds!
As we wind down the first full week of new classes, dorm meetings, new sports, advisor meetings and other school-specific orientation tasks, people seem to be settling in well to the new routine and adjusting to life at the start of a new school year. It is certainly a busy schedule that many of us are adapting to following a slower pace in the summer. As many of you know, however, we are working in an entirely new class schedule this year. Thus far, the feedback from both faculty and students has been overwhelmingly positive on the more compassionate pace of the new weekly schedule. (A later start time to Morning Meeting most certainly helps!) This feedback is certainly something we will continue to gather.
Speaking of Morning Meeting, we have heard a few amazing Morning Readings from faculty this week, featuring their personal stories or reading the thought-provoking work of others. Noteworthy in this was Hiapo memorializing the 9/11 attacks by reading the Billy Collins poem “The Names.” This was a powerful reminder of the individual effects of that tragic day. A number of students and faculty also had the chance last weekend to go and see Billy Collins speak and read some of his poetry.
In the “upcoming events” category, our Fall Family Weekend (October 14-15) will soon be upon us, and we are looking forward to seeing many of you here on campus. You will have an opportunity to visit classes, meet with teachers, advisors and administrators, see some theater and musical performances and soccer games, as well as simply connect with what your WMS student has been doing in the first few months of school. There will also be parent presentations from our College Counselor, our famous Harvest Dinner featuring some great produce from our organic garden and a “grand opening” of our new Chapel and academic spaces. (Spoiler alert: We’re already using them!) We do ask that you register in advance for Family Weekend to help us in our planning (particularly those who desire to meet with teachers). This link will take you to our website with additional schedule information and a form to submit for your registration. If you have any questions about Family Weekend, please let Jessica or me know.
Our Communications team has been busy with the start of the school year as well. We would love for those of you on social media to connect with WMS on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to “friend,” “like,” “follow,” etc., and feel free to leave a comment or two as well! Eliot also has been furiously compiling all of the photos and video from Orientation Trips, Community Weekend and the first week of school into photo albums on the School’s SmugMug site, so be sure to check that out as well.
Here are a few quick activities of note: Our girls soccer team plays their first home game on Saturday at 3 p.m. on Edge Field against Holderness. The boys soccer team travels to KUA for its second game of the year on Saturday afternoon. Shane is leading a trip for students to get some local North Country culture and watch some short track racing at White Mountain Speedway on Saturday night. A couple of student clubs are meeting this weekend as well —with the DIY Club making homemade kale chips with kale from our garden and our student-led Creative Game Club planning our very own #AmazingRace on campus.
Today marks the end of the add/drop period for courses, so student’s schedules should be set at this point. In addition, gradebooks are now accessible on MyWMS. We invite you to log in and monitor your student’s progress as the semester unfolds. Students will confirm with their teachers next week about their plans to take any year-long courses as honors courses.
Our first Project Block (A) of the year is Saturday morning. Of particular note this weekend, students in Studio Art will be experimenting with the medium of Paper Marbling. Our Western Religions class will be learning about two of the three Abrahamic religions by visiting All Saint’s Church, the Episcopal Church in Littleton, and the local synagogue in Bethlehem. In English 3, students will engage in a “writing marathon” based on a prompt of their choice. Consistent with last year’s schedule, we do have sports as well on Saturday afternoon when we have Project Block.
Hopefully, at this point of the year, everyone has had a chance to read and review their WMS Community Handbook. We do ask that both parents and students sign an acknowledgement of that fact. Students will be doing this with their advisor next week. If you have not yet read the handbook, here is a link to it on our website. If you have any questions about this (or anything in the handbook), please don’t hesitate to let me know. Thanks in advance.
Finally, if you have any feedback on Welcome Day or the beginning of school, we’d love to hear it. We’ve worked hard over the last few years fine-tuning Welcome Day, and our goal remains to make this process as easy and welcoming for students and families as possible. Your feedback has been, and will continue to be, essential to that process. So good or bad, if you have any thoughts to share from your experience (school forms, health forms, sign-ups, summer communication, Welcome Day itself, etc.), please let me know so we can include it in our planning process next year.
Thanks so much for sharing your children with us! It has been a great start, and we are super excited about this coming year. Have a great weekend!