Williamstown Middle School
News from the Middle
Welcome Back to School! - Many new and very exciting challenges await our students and community when WMS opens its doors in September 2018! This summer our PBSIS team met and refined the RISE program in response to the voices of the staff, students, and community and after reflecting on Years 1 and 2 at WMS. We will be using an online ticketing system which will provide for more consistency and the ability to easily track, use, and monitor ticketing. This and other updates will be turn-keyed to our entire staff and students in September. For those who are unfamiliar with PBSIS, Positive Behavior Supports in Schools (PBSIS) is a research-based program that has a proven record of success in many schools throughout New Jersey. The purpose of PBSIS is to implement a multi-tiered system of consistent behavior intervention based on positive supports for students and staff. WMS adopted the acronym RISE, which stands for Respect, Integrity, Self-Control, and Empathy, to represent the character traits we feel are critical to the consistent and positive culture we wish to establish here at Wiliamstown Middle School. We are excited about the revisions we have made for this year and hope that your students will share with you some of the positive things they will see and hear at WMS upon their return to the new school year.
Additionally, we will continue our 1-1 technology initiative throughout grades 5-8 this year. All WMS students will be issued a Chromebook that they will use throughout the school day. Students in grades 6-8 will also be able to take these Chromebooks home. We hope to have this technology back into the hands of every student by the end of the first week of school as we continue to prepare our students to be successful in school, college, careers, and a competitive global economy.
In 2018-2019, WMS will again be expanding our character education program by hosting two Challenge Days, a student- empowerment program sponsored by Herff Jones, on November 1 and 2.
Last year’s musical, “Shrek, Jr.,” showcased the tremendous amount of performing arts talent that we have in our student body, and this coming spring WMS will very proudly present “Beauty and the Beast!”
We continue to expand our middle school interscholastic sports schedule and are happy to offer our athletes the ability to participate in field hockey, cross country, basketball, wrestling, cheerleading, and track and field. In our third year, WMS anticipates a competitive and very rewarding season for our middle school student athletes.
Our building welcomes YOU as parents and guardians and encourages you to get involved in your child’s education. It is my personal goal as principal to meet each and every student, and I look forward to partnering with you as we work together to promote, recognize, and celebrate the accomplishments of our students!
Back to School Night - Our annual Back to School Night is scheduled for Thursday evening, September 13, from 6:45 – 8:45 PM. We ask that parents plan to arrive so that they can be in their child’s homeroom for the start of the evening at 6:45 PM. This year we will have one Back to School Night for the parents and guardians of all of our students at WMS (grades 5-8). We hope that this will allow for every teacher to be present and for our parents of more than one child in the district to have a more restful schedule in September!
Back to School Night is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet your child’s teachers and learn about the challenging educational programs at Williamstown Middle School. Please look for more detailed information that will be sent home with the students early in September.
We look forward to seeing you all at the middle school for our annual Back to School Night!
Important Information – Promotion/Retention Policies - All full-year courses, including physical education and exploratory arts (world language and related arts combined) count for promotion. A student who fails all FOUR academic classes (language arts, math, science, social studies) will be retained and is NOT eligible for summer school promotion. A student who fails the SAME academic class for two years MUST remediate and pass that class in summer school to be promoted.
Regular attendance at school is a critical component to academic success. Students who accrue more than 17 unexcused (truant) absences are not eligible for promotion. Absences may be considered excused (non-truant) with a doctor’s note, in the event of the death of a family member, or for a necessary court appearance. Religious holidays and Take Your Child to Work Day in April are always excused absences. In order for consideration, ALL documents supporting a request for an excused absence must be submitted to the WMS attendance office within TWO WEEKS of the student’s return to school.
SAVE THE DATES - SCHOOL PICTURES – October 1 and 2
NEW SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHER - LIFETOUCH
October 1 – ALL STUDENTS IN GRADES 6-8
October 2 – ALL GRADE 5 STUDENTS
PTO/PAB – Please Get Involved! - Parent involvement is a key factor to improving schools. WMS recognizes the importance of each student’s family and actively solicits your participation. The WMS Parent Advisory Board (PAB) is part of our site-based decision making process. All parents are invited to attend these meetings, which are held in our middle school auditorium from 7-8 P.M. quarterly during the school year. Parents who attend these meetings are the first to hear about new programs and have the opportunity to discuss suggestions for improving the middle school experience for our students. Our first meeting this year will be held on October 10. I urge you to get involved!
Our P.T.O. (Parent Teacher Organization) supports all of the students at WMS. Parents regularly gather to plan events and fundraising activities for the students of our school. This year, PTO meetings will be incorporated into our PAB meetings. The first PTO meeting is scheduled for October 10.
Participation in these parent groups sends a strong message to your child that you care about his/her education. Please make every effort to attend
Middle School Goals – 2018-2019 –
Our goals for the new academic year build upon student achievement, student recognition, building character, and fostering a positive school environment for all children.
- Preparing our students for academic success in school, college, and careers by providing a rigorous, challenging, consistent educational program that is driven by the common core standards
- Increased recognition of students and their accomplishments
- Modeling and teaching acceptance of others
- Encouraging parent involvemen
- Building positive relationships with parents and the community
Power School - This year, our district is again using Power School student information system. Parent Access, essential to regular parent/school communication, provides parents and students the ability to access current grades, attendance, and discipline at the click of a mouse. Report cards WILL still be printed and will be distributed to students in school with the exception of the final report card, which is mailed home in June. If you do not have Powe rSchool access and/or would like a copy of your child’s progress report printed and mailed home or given to your child in school, please contact our guidance office at 856-629-7444, ext. 3011.
Information about the changeover to Power School, including access user names and passwords, will be sent home to parents. Please contact the guidance office if you have any questions.
WMS Calendar of Events –
- August 29 – Fifth Grade Orientation – 9:00 – 10:30 AM – Followed by PTO Sponsored Ice Cream Social at 10:30 AM.
- September 4- 5 – Teacher In-Service
- September 6 – Students return – The First Day of School
- September 13 – Back to School Night – 6:45 – 8:45 PM
September 19 – Yom Kippur - Schools Closed