WMS is a source of support and education for parents, as well as students. We believe that educating children requires partnership and trust among teachers, administrators and parents. With that in mind, we offer a variety of parent education opportunities throughout the year, including WMS’s program offerings, as well as discussion and education about other relevant and timely parenting topics. All parent education opportunities are open to the public, so you are welcome to bring a friend or spread the word.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 AT 7 PM IN CLASSROOMS & MS COMMONS
Back to School Night is an opportunity to meet your children’s teachers and to hear specific plans for their upcoming year. This year we are changing the format for LS, LE and UE Back-to-School Night. If you are new to WMS or your child is in a new class this year, we invite you to arrive at 6:45. You’ll have a few minutes to look around the classroom and then your child’s teacher will discuss logistics: dismissal, snack, specials, etc. At 7:10 we invite returning families to arrive (please enter the room quietly) and join the group. At 7:15 the discussion will cover curriculum and anything specific to this school year. Middle School will begin for everyone at 6:45 and YCC will begin for everyone at 7:15. As usual, at 7:45 we will join all together in the MS Commons for refreshments and to hear from Bill Dunbar, Board of Trustees Chair, and Carney O’Brien. This year’s Back to School Night will also be a social kick-off to the year when we officially welcome Carney to the WMS community.
THURSDAYS, BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 20 FROM 8:45 TO 9:45 AM IN THE WMS LIBRARY
Parenting can be as stressful as it is joyful, as demanding as it is rewarding.Whether our children are in YCC or Middle School, we parents need all the help we can get. It truly does take a village. Fortunately for us, at WMS, we have one!
Parenting, Unplugged is a safe place to gather, unwind and talk. Whether you come weekly or just once in a while, whether you speak up, or just listen, there is always much to gain. We also laugh a lot! Last year, topics covered included everything from device time to discipline, from instilling values in our children to taking better care of ourselves. And much, much more!
Parenting, Unplugged will be facilitated by WMS mom and Martha Beck certified life coach Tal Fagin. As a coach, Tal works with clients one-on-one and in group settings, helping others to pin-point and solve problems, and to devise and implement simple, time-tested strategies that help people live fuller, freer, more balanced and joyful lives.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 AT 8:45 AM IN THE WMS LIBRARY
On September 25, WMS parent and author Amy Julia Becker will lead a parent book discussion on “Boys Adrift” by Leonard Sax. Whether you are the parent of a boy or not, it’s a great read!
FREE 30-MIN. TRIAL CLASS ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
WEDNESDAYS, OCTOBER 10 THROUGH 31 & NOVEMBER 14 FROM 9:15 TO 11:45 AM
(Please sign up at the Front Desk. $199 per parent)
This is an invaluable class for parents. Positive Discipline of Connecticut introduces a program that will provide you with the tools and skills necessary to create a home environment built on encouragement, cooperation, communication and mutual respect. Join us in learning the Positive Discipline way. Seriously, parents RAVE ABOUT THIS CLASS!
Positive Discipline classes will be led by Carol Dores, co-founder and President of Positive Discipline of Connecticut. She has served as Co-Chair of the International Board of Directors of the Positive Discipline Association. Carol is a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3 AT 8:45 AM IN THE WMS LIBRARY
Lower School Head Teacher, Beth Erdrich, will present our approach to teaching at the Lower School level. She will touch on the importance of choice and the different areas of the classroom. As well, Beth will give an overview of a few key Lower School lessons, as well explain what a typical day looks like. Whether you’re new to WMS, new to Lower School, or just interested in understanding more about what goes on in the classroom, we hope you will join us.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 AT 8:45 AM
Join us for a fascinating discussion with someone who has spent decades obsessing over research on what fosters critical thinking, engaged learning, and character development in students. Director of Interdisciplinary Writing and Reasoning at the University of Saint Joseph and the founder of The Critical Thinking Initiative, Dr. Steve Pearlman addresses the disheartening trend of declining critical thinking skills in secondary and higher education. His insights on how we can help students can become better thinkers aligns with what Maria Montessori observed and implemented a century ago.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 AT 6:30 PM IN THE CLASSROOMS
Lower School and Elementary School parents and children are invited to visit the classrooms together. This night offers a chance to see what your children are doing in their classrooms, as they will have the opportunity to show you a few of their favorite activities.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23 AT 8:30 AM (GRADES 7/8) 9:30 A.M. (PARENT DISCUSSION)
10:15 A.M. (GRADES 5/6) IN THE WMS THEATER
Scott Driscoll of “Internet Safety Concepts” will join WMS to talk to our 5th Year and Middle School students about the importance of maintaining healthy online habits. At 9:30 a.m., Scott will be joined by WMS parent, Tal Fagin, to facilitate a parent discussion addressing the impact media has on our families and offer some strategies on how to best navigate those challenges. Parents are welcome to attend either or both student talks, but it is our recommendation that you attend the 8:30 talk if you have a 7th or 8th Grader and/or the 10:15 talk if you have a 5th Year or a 6th Grader.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 FROM 8:30 AM TO NOON
(Please sign up at the Front Desk. Childcare available.)
The Voyage is a great way to learn more about the WMS curriculum – it is an opportunity to get your hands on our educational materials. For a half-day, you will play the role of a student, beginning at the YCC level and sequentially proceeding through Lower School, Lower and Upper Elementary and concluding as a Middle Schooler. All areas of the curriculum will be available. This experience is a very effective way to get a strong sense for our academic program. We encourage parents to attend The Voyage at least once during their children’s WMS careers.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 AT 8:45AM IN THE WMS LIBRARY
Watching our children sing, or perform in a play is always special, but are you interested in understanding more about the philosophy behind WMS’s performing arts program and the continuity as children move through the program? Please join Matilda Giampietro, Kate Zimmerman and Laura Hutchins to learn more about all aspects of our music and theater curriculum, and the opportunities at each level.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 AT 8:45AM IN THE WMS LIBRARY
With all the discussions out in the world about the importance of STEM, we know there must be many questions about how WMS teaches science to our older students. Please join Jennifer Averill (UE) and Tom Fahsbender (MS) to learn more about the science curriculum in Upper Elementary and Middle School. Jennifer and Tom will give you an overview of what the students study at each level. They will also discuss our approach and the reasons behind what we do and how we do it.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 8: MIDDLE SCHOOL AT 7 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9: LOWER ELEMENTARY AT 7 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10: UPPER ELEMENTARY AT 7 PM
The purpose of these meetings is to present our approach to teaching at each level and to help you, as parents, feel comfortable as you preview materials and learn about you child’s next step at WMS. The presentations are made by the teachers. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend the meeting if they have a child moving up, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to come to any and all of the sessions. These are a great way to see what lies ahead for your child, and to understand more about the continuity of a WMS education.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 AND FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1 FROM 9 AM TO 2 PM IN THE MAP ROOM
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training is an evidence-based program designed to help adults and teen leaders recognize and address mental health problems among youth. YMHFA Training is for those interacting with youth ages 12-18. YMHFA Trainings are made possible through federal grant funding provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and are offered at no cost. The certification training is 8-hours long and teaches participants how to recognize the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses and substance use disorders, de-escalate crisis situations safely and initiate referrals to resources available in the community. YMHFA Training is designed for those who do not have advanced education or training in the mental health profession. Youth Mental Health Training will be taught by Valerie English Cooper, a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, and by Amanda DelVicario, Project Coordinator of Project AWARE NW CT.