Weekend Events — First Weekend in 2016

Dear WMS Families,
Welcome to the first update for the new year!  I trust that you all had a restful and enjoyable holiday – and hope that many of you had time to connect and engage with your WMS student over that time.  It is great to have your students back on campus as we embark on our winter season here at WMS.  While December proved to be quite warm, January does feel more winter-like on campus, though we could still use a bit more snow.
This weekend is our annual Winter Festival weekend, complete with a great bonfire as well as skiing and ice climbing trips.  Students have a chance to check out the new Warren Miller ski movie “Chasing Shadows” in Littleton.  This event is also a fundraiser for the town’s efforts to re-open our local ski hill, Mt. Eustis, for skiing and snowboarding. Saturday is our final Project Block (G) of the 1st semester, and both of our basketball teams host home games (at Profile school) that afternoon.
On the horizon, planning is underway for our celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Jim and Rachel Norton have been working hard on putting a great program together for the whole community.  Our morning session this year will be focused on political discussions, in deference to NH’s important role in the upcoming presidential primaries, with topics ranging from Economics to Homeland Security.  The afternoon will be focused on “world changers”: people who have had a significant and lasting impact in their communities and the world.   We will also have some whole group speeches and presentations, singing and a community art project as well.  So much of this content and discussion is driven by our students and this is sure to be another powerful day for all of us.
It is amazing to believe we are just shy of turning the halfway point of the year.  To that end, in some areas, many of us are already looking forward to next year!  I have attached to this email an initial calendar of important dates for the next school year that includes start and end dates, vacations and Field Course timing among other things.  This document is also available on the parent resource board on our website.  Hopefully, this will be helpful to the advanced planners among us for making next year’s arrangements.  Parents of seniors – you are on your own!  Our full 2016-2017 calendar will be available on the resource board in mid-February.
As I mentioned before break, we are also undertaking a review and revision of our current weekly schedule for next year.  Synthesizing a recent faculty survey as well as schedule-focused data and discussions from the past two years, our schedule group has identified a number of priorities that will influence the development of our new schedule.  This week, our faculty and some student leaders were asked to rank and provide feedback on these priorities for the schedule group to use in developing some sample schedules.  This next step will take place over the next few weeks.  I have attached these priorities and framing foci to this email as well.  If you have any feedback on any of these priorities as it may relate to our weekly schedule, please let me know and I will make sure this gets passed on to the schedule group.
With just over a week left in the first semester, there is much academic work going on.  Semester long courses are preparing to wrap up and a number of courses are working on unique inquiry based projects.  Shane is finalizing student schedules for the second semester – if you have any questions about this, please touch base with him or your child’s advisor.  Report cards and teacher comments will be available for parents on Wednesday, January 20 with advisor comments being posted the following week (and emailed out to you as well).  Let me know if you have any trouble accessing grade reports through the MyWMS system.
We have a lot of really exciting things coming up this winter, including Cultural Events, International Night and Field Courses.  I’ll share more about each of these events as we get closer.  Next week in this space, I will share the Field Course descriptions with all of you in advance of students signing up for these courses.  Faculty have been working hard to put a great selection of opportunities together for March and I know students are really looking forward to this second round of Field Courses.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions about anything that is happening on or around campus.  Have a great weekend!

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