W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
May 25, 2016
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

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. 

June 6
Elementary Field Day

June 8
Primary Field Day

June 10
Last Day of School

Graduation Ceremony
9:30 a.m., Gym
All are welcome! 

June 13-17
Pre-Camp Child-Care Week
Pre-register for child-care and/or check out our pre-camp specialty programs.
Summer Time
Message from Head of School
Lisa A. Lalama
For more from Lisa, visit our Montessori Message blog.
There are a little more than two weeks of school left. The weather is finally changing. The sun is rising much earlier and the longer days allow for outdoor play after school and sometimes even after dinner. These are the days children long for; summer is just around the corner. Even the children who don't understand time and have no idea of what summer really means sense change in the air.

As we prepare to end another school year, we are also preparing for the next year. We are ordering supplies, organizing schedules, reviewing our materials and planning our summer professional development. You may not realize just how much goes on in schools from June through August. This summer, our teachers and administrative team are spending a great deal of time on their professional development. Thanks to such strong donor support for our Arts Integration campaign, we have several teachers attending the Kennedy Center's CETA conference (Changing Education Through the Arts) while others are participating in a STEAM online conference. During our inservice time together in June and August, all of us will come together to share our learning from this school year and explore other topics such as technology, making movies, writing instruction and integrating the arts.

Even though school is out for the summer, we are a community of learners who continue to learn, explore and share ideas. We work together to support each other's learning. No one of us knows everything, but collectively we have a great deal of knowledge that supports us as educators and also supports the learning that occurs in each and every classroom.

We look forward to the next two weeks of wrapping up our time together for the 2015-16 school year. It is a bittersweet time. For as we look forward and plan for the year to come, we are also  saying goodbye to all this year has offered. We hope you will enjoy the events over the next two weeks and that if you are able, you will join us for the WMS Class of 2016 graduation. It will be well worth your while.

Co-op Cornercoop
Year-End Co-op Opportunities

There are many Co-op tasks that are on the horizon. Please consider volunteering for one or both of the following:
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!
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. 
Please contact Lori Oberly or co-op@wmsde.org  if interested.

Zero Co-op Hours Reported = $900

As the end of the school year approaches, the Business Office begins the process of tallying Co-op hours. Parents who have volunteered for multiple events/projects but have not submitted hours are surprised when they receive a bill for $900. We want to avoid that upending moment. Now is the time to either submit or complete hours, so your family can avoid confusion/charges at the end of the year. What should your family do if its 30-hour commitment has not been completed? There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering in the coming weeks - Primary or Elementary Field Day, sixth-grade graduation and tasks related to closing up classrooms, for example. Please email co-op@wmsde.org to connect with a staff member about fulfilling your Co-op hours obligation.

Click here to submit your Co-op hours today.

Thank you!
News & NotesNews
Camp Montessori Registration Deadline: Tuesday, May 31

The deadline for camp registration is Tuesday, May 31.  Whether your child is interested in dance or drama, pine cones or pirate ships, water slides or "way cool" field trips, Camp Montessori is the place to be.
Some weeks are already full, and some under-enrolled Specialty Camps will be canceled on June 1.  Make sure you stand up and are counted before the summer fun begins!
Check out all the options on the camp website and contact Cass if you have any questions!

Got Shoes?

The WMS shoe recycling program donates shoes to people in need as well as raises money for our school.  Also, by reusing rather than making new, we lessen environmental impact.  Here are some cool numbers to check out!
Results from the 2015-16 WMS Shoe Recycling Program to date:
  • Number of Pairs of Shoes Donated: 507
  • Approximate CO2 Avoided: 5,550 pounds
  • Approximate Water Saved: 230,695 gallons
  • Money Raised for WMS: $475

 Thanks for your donations!
Parent Survey - Due Tuesday, May 31

All current families should have received an email from Noel Dietrich yesterday, inviting you to complete our annual parent survey. If you did not receive this message or need the link resent, please email noel_dietrich@wmsde.org. Your family can earn one co-op hour for completing this survey!

Thank you, and we look forward to receiving your feedback!
Today's LearnersLearner
Feeling (Horseshoe) Crabby in Room 11
by Lead Primary Teacher Cathy Simon-Cord

As the school year draws to a close, Room 11 students have become deeply fascinated by horseshoe crabs. These incredible sea creatures are sometimes referred to as living fossils because they have inhabited the earth for about 300 million years (about 100 million years before the dinosaurs). Studying them has not only deepened their understanding of these particular creatures; it has also helped the children appreciate their important role in sustaining a fragile ecosystem.

Many children initially don't like horseshoe crabs because of the way they look. They are often afraid that these odd sea creatures could somehow pinch them like a crab or sting with their tail. (Actually, horseshoe crabs are more closely related to spiders than crabs.) We teach the students that horseshoe crabs have no way to injure a human, nor do they have a stinger. In fact, the horseshoe crab's tail is extremely fragile and can break off or become injured easily. The children learned that when you pick a horseshoe crab up, you should always lift it from the sides of its shell - never by its tail. 

As the children became more appreciative of horseshoe crabs, they learned that in Delaware we have a front-row seat each year as horseshoe crabs come ashore along the beaches of the Delaware Bay to lay and fertilize their eggs. The children were sad to learn that horseshoe crabs' numbers have been dwindling since the 1990s, despite having no predators other than man. Crabs
 are used as bait for conch and eel fisherman and are bled for biomedical companies.

The decline in horseshoe crab population also impacts other animals. Their eggs are an essential part of shorebird migration, especially the Red Knot whose numbers have also been declining over the past 20 years. The Red Knot makes one of the longest migrations of any bird, flying from the tip of South America to the Canadian Arctic to lay its eggs. The Delaware Bay is the last stop on this journey, as the birds feed on horseshoe crab eggs to fatten them up for the final leg of their trip to  the Arctic. Learning about the Red Knot and how its survival is dependent on horseshoe crabs has helped the students appreciate the interconnectedness of all living creatures. I'm sure Room 11 students will be quick to remind you that if you see a horseshoe crab stranded upside down, you can help save its life by flipping it over so this delicate balance of nature can be sustained for a million more years.

Inspired by their older friends in Room 19, some of our students wanted to make a biome. We thought the Delaware Bay would be the perfect place, so a few of the kindergartners began to research creatures that live in the Delaware Bay. Then, the rest of the class got to work, drawing all of the creatures and designing their own bay. It was a true team effort, though there were a few sad faces when we told them we couldn't put crocodiles or alligators in a Delaware Bay biome! By recreating this natural environment, the children learned a great deal and became more connected to and invested in survival of this important ecosystem. 

Check out Delaware's "Just Flip 'Em" campaign to learn more.

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
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! 
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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