Wednesday Weekly
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April 9, 2014

Message from Head of School Lisa Lalama 


Testing... 1, 2, 3. This week, all third- through sixth-grade students take part in Education Record Bureau (ERB) testing. The hallways are quiet. Children have extra recess time to run and play after taking the test. ERB week brings with it lots of questions, perhaps a few concerns and days that are quite different from a typical day at WMS.


Standardized Testing ERBs measure children's verbal and mathematical skills. These two areas are assessed in various ways to determine a child's ability to reason, as well as his or her achievement in the areas of reading and math. While the test gives us some information, there are many important skills it does not measure - a student's initiative, motivation, ability to persevere, study skills, organizational skills, or the ability to collaborate, cooperate or communicate. These are the skills that Maria Montessori and current educators know yield success in school and beyond. Reviewing a child's test scores does not predict his or her future success as many areas this test measures are not measures of school and life success.


Why then do we administer these tests at WMS? One of the reasons is that test-taking skills are a necessity of school life in future educational settings. Our students will all move on to other schools where they will be expected to take a standardized assessment of some sort and, therefore, they need experience. They also need to know how to manage their time when taking such a test. Learning to manage a given amount of time to best increase your chances of completing a task/test is an important skill and a huge component of daily learning at WMS.


In addition, ERBs provide us with part of the picture of what we do well at WMS and where we might improve. If the data demonstrate that many students perform well in one area and not so well in another, that gives us helpful information about our methods of addressing various curricular areas. Finally, although the information is limited, it lets parents know how successful their children are at taking standardized tests and it gives you a snapshot of where your child was on this particular day taking this particular test. As you look at your child's test results over time, you will gain a more thorough understanding of what they have achieved in school.        

Just as a microphone being tested will not always perform as it did during the testing phase, neither will children. Some will not complete the test phase as well as hoped. Others will soar during the testing and perhaps falter as they strive to incorporate those other necessary skills of collaboration and communication. Your children are unique individuals. They deserve multiple pathways to success and multiple experiences in life. Testing is one small experience in the life of your child.  



Mark Your Calendar
7-11 ERB Testing 
10Childfind Testing (for preschoolers who will be turning 5 years of age by August 31, 2014) Questions? Contact Theresa Conaty.  
WMS Night at the Blue Rocks - 6:35 p.m. - Congratulations to all preschool through sixth-grade students who completed Rocky's Reading Challenge this year! 
WMS Spirit Week - Read More 
Spirit Wear Sale - before and after school in the front lobby (the 16th will be school spirit day!)
17 "Informance" (Toddler & family sing-along) - 11 a.m. - Great Room 
18 No school or child-care. 
No school. Pre-registered child-care available.
Classroom News
7-9 students STEM creek project

7-9 Program News: A STEM Water Study 

by Melissa Connelly & Carol Wiswall


The 7-9 students have embarked on a STEM water study, exploring the connection between meeting our human needs and the choices that humans make that impact the local water system and food web. We visited the WMS stream, using all of our senses to discover the life on the water system that exists right in our school's backyard, and we hiked back onto our property until we found several branches of water converging into our stream.

The children participated in hands-on demonstrations of pollutants in runoff and have begun the process of designing an effective water filter after testing many possible materials. They will also do the work of environmental engineers, researching and exploring strategies for containing and cleaning up an oil spill, before trying out different methods to see what works best in their models. After learning about where the WMS stream comes from and where it leads within the Brandywine Watershed, we will conduct a study of the stream's water quality by conducting physical and chemical tests, and then we will search for macroinvertebrates that are able to live in our water which provides another measure of the water quality.

The children will begin to discover where the water that comes out of their faucets comes from and where it goes once it drains, and they will begin considering how our choices connect to the water cycle and the local water system.


Co-op Corner
Parent Workroom Grand Opening


On Thursday, April 3, parents and staff gathered for the official opening of the new Parent Work Room in Room 17. This dedicated space is for parents to use for activities such as meetings, tackling co-op jobs or relaxing while waiting for a student in an after-school program. 


Creating the Parent Work Room was definitely a group effort; parents donated furniture, toys, books, carpet, art work, upholstering expertise, refreshments for the opening and most of all, their time. Our thanks go to Mary Robertson, Sue Kenney, Sharon Miller, Hunter Clarke-Fields, Lance Robertson, Susan Thomas, the Shweiki Family and the Amado family for making the Room 17 Parent Work Room such a welcoming and comfortable place for everyone.   

News & Notes

spiritweekSpirit Week 2014

by Ariel and Annika (WMS Class of 2014)


Spirit week is back! This year, the sixth-graders are supporting a new organization called Vision for and from Children. This organization supports children with serious vision problems whose families are unable to pay for eye surgery. Spirit week is a fun way to help this organization and will take place on April 14 through 17. The suggested donation is $5 to support Vision for and from Children.     


On Monday the 14th, Spirit week begins with Crazy Hat and Clash Day. Kids will come to school wearing clothes that do not match,and the funniest hat they can find. On Tuesday the 15th, children come to school with a twin, dressed the same as them. On Wednesday the 16th, come to school wearing clothes that represent WMS. Lastly, on Thursday the 17th, kids come to school in pajamas and bring one stuffed animal with them. We hope you join us in sharing and spreading our spirit!

Spirit Week Twins


2014 Auction InvitationAuction News


What's synonymous with a hoedown? A party, a bash, a jamboree, a celebration... and that is exactly what you'll find at this year's WMS auction, An Evening Under the Stars Hoedown, on Saturday, May 3. Along with many of the traditional favorite WMS auction items, we've added some new and unique gifts and experiences, so there is sure to be something for everyone! Stay tuned for more information and gift previews.

Buy your tickets today! They can be purchased online by credit card or at the front desk. If you purchase your tickets by April 18, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free limo ride from your home to the auction and back. 


The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Communications.
 Our Mission
Wilmington Montessori School is a collaborative learning community rooted in Montessori principles, inspiring the joyful discovery of self and a passion for learning and independent thinking. We empower children to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to the global community.