Family Newsletter 5/24/13

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

Whew! It sure has been a busy few days around here with Prom, Community Service Day, Spring Sports Awards and exam review. Yes, that is my way of setting up my apology for this weekend’s schedule being a wee bit late in arriving in your in box. Sorry! 
Well, Mother Nature is frowning on our Spring Fest activities (as much as I love going in the dunk tank, 40 degrees and rainy isn’t going to do it for me), but on the plus side, at least today is not Graduation. The Social Committee has quickly changed gears (pun most definitely intended) from mountain bike race to hula-hoop contest. There is a still a lot going on this weekend in and around students’ preparations for the coming week’s exams and final projects.
Yesterday was a fantastic Community Service day (despite the less than ideal weather). Many students commented on the quality of work and engagement they had with the community. Kate and I left early in the morning with our group to travel down to David’s House in Lebanon, NH. Students were given a tour and a history of David’s House and then set to work on creating colorful doorstops and lightswitch plates for all 19 of their themed guest rooms. As my own family spent two weeks at David’s House last spring while Tyler was at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, this amazing home away from home for families remains a place close to my heart. There is already an album of photos from CS Day on the school’s Picasa page and I’ll upload the rest of the photos from our group later today. In the meantime, you can check out Emily Weed’s amazing painting for the Bunny Room (where Amy, Owen and I stayed when we were there). Our whole group did some amazing work and we are already making plans for additional work at David’s House in the future.
As I mentioned last week, I want to give a brief rundown of the schedule for the coming week. There is a full schedule of events posted on the parent portal of the website for your edification. We are holding our first round of review classes this morning and students will begin their exam week on Monday morning. Our schedule shifts a bit later and we begin each day with Morning Meeting at 8:35 and there is a morning and afternoon exam block each day through Thursday (Tuesday afternoon is another round of exam review classes). Also, this weekend and through the coming week, students will be cleaning and packing up their stuff.  Kate has broken this process down into very manageable steps so students (and parents!) are not overwhelmed trying to do everything in just a few short hours next weekend.
Friday morning, the school holds “Pass the Book”, a Quaker-inspired meeting for all faculty and students, where people have a chance to reflect on their time here and thank those who have helped them succeed. This is a wonderful way for us to wind up the year with the entire community before we turn our attention to the seniors.  
Baccalaureate is held Friday afternoon at 3:00pm at the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation (directions on the portal), followed by a buffet dinner in the dining hall. Students are able to sign out for dinner with their parents, but all students (including seniors) must spend the night on campus. It is also worth mentioning that we do not allow visitors (including siblings) to spend the night on campus before Graduation.
Saturday is Graduation Day! All WMS students are required to attend Graduation. Seniors gather at 8:15 for pictures in the garden and underclassmen line up for their procession at 9:45. The ceremony begins at 10am and is followed by a luncheon in the dining hall. Students are free to leave following Graduation provided their rooms have been signed off by the dorm faculty. Dorms close and vacation officially begins at 3:00pm
If you have any questions about the schedule for the week or about Graduation, please let Sheena know as she is the guru of all things Graduation. We do have completed travel plans for almost every student, but if you have anything to update in that vein, you can communicate these to Betsie.  
For those families with students returning to WMS next year, the 2013-14 calendar is posted on the portal. Registration Day is Sunday, September 1st and we head out on Orientation Trips on Monday the 2nd. If you have any questions or issues with your students’ return travel, please let us know. The matriculation packet is up and available for you to complete and the link to the on-line health forms is available as well. We thank you all for completing these before everyone vanishes into their busy summers!
In closing, I just want to say thank you for your partnership this year. We speak often of the engagement we work to establish with our students, but the engagement we have with parents is equally important. We are excited to wrap up the year on a high note and see our seniors off to their exciting next steps. After that, we will begin again the work of preparing for a new school year.  And we very much look forward to another fruitful, positive and engaging year with you and your WMS student.
Thanks so much,

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