W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
May 11, 2016
In this Issue


Upcoming Events

May 17
Parent Education Webinar: Digital Presence
7:30 p.m.

May 30
Memorial Day
School Closed
No Child-Care

May 31
Camp Registration Deadline

June 2
9-12 Spring Concert: School House Rock Live Jr.
Dress rehearsal at 9:30 a.m.;
Performance at 7 p.m. 

Arts Integration Campaign Recap
by WMS Parent & Arts Integration Classroom Campaign Chair
Christine Moritz

 
At every level, the arts have long played an important role in the WMS curriculum.

Our toddlers feel warm, squishy water turning into paper; students in the 3-6 program use their imaginations to create elaborate props that enhance their spring concert; and a 6-9 classroom learns about the environment of the Sagarmatha National Park by creating a biome for the entire school community to explore. As recent studies have emphasized, there is mounting evidence that Arts Integration helps our children learn through hands-on experiences, fosters creativity and promotes self-confidence - all critical tools for success as adults in the 21st century. 
 
Last week, WMS took an important step to further enhance its arts programming with a parent appeal to raise funds for its Arts Integration Initiative, as the Marie M. Dugan Fund for the Future campaign draws to a close. Thank you to everyone who made the appeal a success - from classroom captains who gave their time and energy to the parents and friends who generously donated. The response was overwhelming - we raised more than $8,000 and achieved over 70% participation among our families. The parent appeal far exceeded its goals while also building a stronger community and awareness that programs like these enhance the school's innovative curriculum. Thanks to your commitment, WMS can send teachers to arts training, support artist-in-residence programs and purchase materials to further the Arts Integration Initiative.
 
Be on the lookout for new approaches to Arts Integration in WMS classrooms next year!

Thank you, once again, for your support!

 
Co-op Cornercoop
Upcoming Co-op Opportunities
 
There are many Co-op tasks that are on the horizon. Please consider volunteering for one, two or all three of the following:
 
1) Field Day - Volunteers are needed to help with the Elementary Field Day on Monday, June 6 and Primary (3-6) Field Day on Wednesday, June 8. Parents are needed to assist the PE teacher Jill Hallissey with this annual day of light-hearted competition and play. The adults have as much fun as the children!
 
2) Graduation - One of WMS's most cherished traditions is the annual sixth-grade graduation breakfast. Help is needed with providing refreshments, setting up, hosting and cleaning up. The decorating and preparations will begin on Thursday, June 9 and the breakfast will be held on June 10. 
 
3) Pet CareA caretaker is needed for the Toddler Wing fish tank. Prior experience is not needed. WMS parent and current caretaker Knut Meyer will provide an in-depth tutorial, fish tank basics and guidelines for the monthly maintenance checks. (The toddlers LOVE the fish; your work would be greatly appreciated!)
 
Please contact Lori Oberly or  co-op@wmsde.org if interested.
News & NotesNews
Webinar: Digital Presence in the Home 
Hosted by IT Coach Rose Feehan & STEAM Coach Paula Sharpe
Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. 

Each year more and more mobile devices and digital technologies are brought into our lives. Many families find themselves unsure of how to address the ever-increasing importance of these devices in the lives of children. Parents of older children are often caught off-guard by the need to set boundaries and help their children balance personal, social and school uses of these devices.

Join us for a webinar in which you will gain new knowledge and ideas regarding how to address new devices, monitor technology usage, set boundaries and address safe usage with your children.  

Register Now Button 
Summer Skills Workbooks

Each year, as a service to WMS parents, we pass along an offer from Tri-C Publications to purchase workbooks for practicing and maintaining school skills during the summer. This offer is completely optional. Interested WMS families have used these workbooks with their children as a simple way to introduce and maintain skills over the summer months.
 
The workbooks cost $19 and can be ordered online
 
If you have any questions, please speak with your child's teacher or contact Laurie Orsic at laurie_orsic@wmsde.org. She also has sample workbooks if you would like to preview the materials.
Today's LearnersLearner
What does it mean to be human?
by Lead 9-12 Teachers Joanna Breger and Shelley Robyn

In the Upper Elementary (9-12) Program, this year's essential question looked at "being human" from a variety of perspectives. One of the approaches to this question was to investigate the human brain. From learning about the parts of the brain and their functions to dissecting a sheep's brain, students gained a better understanding of how they learn, how the brain works in conjunction with the other systems of the body, and how to take care of it. This brought us to the conclusion that the brain needs not only food, but also exercise and mindfulness practice to cultivate well-being and enhance functionality. Students conducted independent research on a system of the body and collaborated with their peers to create a visual representation of their system.

Another way to discover "what makes us human" is through our DNA. Students have been exploring genetics by identifying their own traits - the traits that they share with the community and with their families. Through a variety of activities and experiments, we are looking at prevalence of traits within the general population, the concept of dominant and recessive traits, and how these traits are passed down through generations.

A highlight of this study was a visit from an alumni parent, Dr. Anita Foeman. Dr. Foeman is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University who is  doing research on the link between our DNA and an individual or family's personal story. She shared her research with the students, helping then understand that we are all part of the same genome and that we cannot identify our origins by our appearance. Students had numerous questions for Dr. Foeman. They left wondering about their ancestry, their connection to others, and what it means to be human.

(Learn more about this visit in Lisa's latest blog post.)
 

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Aussprung 
Lauren Aussprung, who attended WMS from 2004 to 2014, is now a seventh-grader in P.S. duPont Middle School's Gifted Program and an active member of the school's  chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. She attributes much of  her academic success  to the skills she developed at WMS. "WMS prepared me for the gifted program by making me organized and giving me confidence in my abilities," Lauren says.

Lauren, who joined WMS's Odyssey of the Mind (OoTM) team as a third-grader, continues to participate in the program at P.S. duPont. One of the highlights of Lauren's time at WMS was traveling with her team to the OoTM World Finals at Michigan State University.

Recently,  Lauren finished preparing for her bat mitzvah, which was held earlier this spring, and in her free time, she takes karate lessons - she is now an advanced red belt! This summer, she looks forward to traveling to Paris and London.

Some of Lauren's fondest memories of her time at WMS are of performing in the 9-12 musicals led by Kelly Rhodunda and going to art recess with her friends, where art teacher Laurie Muhlbauer painted whiskers on their faces.

Would you be willing to participate in an interview or write about your family's WMS experience? Please email alumni@wmsde.org and we will be in touch! Thank you!
The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to wednesday-weekly@wmsde.org 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.

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