Dear WMS Stakeholders,
Here's some info YOU need to know:
Attendance Challenge Information ...
... As we all know, the road to graduation is different for every student. Each diploma represents a different story. We want to hear from you how Sumner County Schools has helped / or helping you achieve your dreams! Students, did a teacher inspire you to perform an act of kindness? Did a teacher help boost your confidence? Did a school employee help you overcome a fear, like public speaking? We want to hear how teachers have helped you and you can express this is any form you’d like. Send us a selfie, draw a picture, submit a poem, painting, song or any method to show us what your Road to Graduation looks like.
An autographed hockey stick from the Nashville Predators
An autographed puck from the Nashville Predators
$25 gift certificate
WMS FaceBook Page (01/04/20) ...
The WMS FaceBook Page has been up for several weeks now. Please click on here to see our FaceBook Page. Please "like", "follow", and "share" us.
Benchmark Testing (02/03/20) ...
Sumner County Middle Schools will have benchmark testing in preparation for the state assessment in April. WMS has scheduled our benchmark testing to begin Wednesday 02/05. Students will test on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. The purpose of this assessment is to help our students prepare for the state assessment.
Parents: Please make every effort for your child to be at school and on time these dates. Also, please encourage your child to do his/her best on this assessment.
State Assessment Window (01/27/20) ...
The Tennessee Department of Education has released the window for assessment. WMS plans to have assessment during the two week window beginning on Monday 04/20 and ending on Friday 05/01. Actual testing will require approximately 5-7 days. As we near the assessment window, details regarding testing will be shared.
Parents: Please do not make appointments for your children during this assessment window. Also, just like the benchmark, please make every effort for your child to be at school and on time these dates. As always, please encourage your child to do his/her best on the state assessment.
Intervention Classes Update (01/04/20) …
During December, staffulty members reviewed multiple sources of data to determine where our students needed specific, targeted help (intervention) in continuing preparation for our State Assessment in April. Beginning with our 2nd semester, students will attend various classes during intervention time in order to receive support in their identified areas of need. RTI, EXP, and Support Labs will also continue to provide support to our students where needed.
"Safety Patrol" (01/06/20) ...
WMS will begin a "Saftey Patrol" 2nd semester. The name is a little misleading and will probably change to another name in time. In the meantime, students have applied and received recommendations from their teachers in order to be a member of the "Safety Patrol". Students on the "Safety Patrol" will begin by greeting fellow students and staffulty each morning at the beginning of the day. These students will also assist when needed in helping students move from one part of the building to another. The reason we will have a "Safety Patrol" is to give students an opportunity to have greater ownership in WMS. As WMS Staffulty met at the beginning of the school year, this need was expressed as one way to improve school climate/school culture.
Edgenuity & Google Classroom
Update (10/31/19) ...
In addition to using our technology to progress monitor student performance in intervention classes, assess the needs of students in math and reading through Easy CBM, research projects in various classes/grades such as the 8th grade career project, etc., Edgenuity and Google Classroom are two somewhat new areas where we are using our technology this school year.
One area that google classroom is being used for is in Exploratory class for science and social studies enrichment and remediation. This has been an ongoing initiative that began this school year which we are still refining. At this point, we have only scratched the surface on what google classroom can do. Our focus has been on Exploratory use. However, this holds endless possibilities in all subject areas at school and at home.
Edgenuity is an online program that we have just learned about and we are really exploring. It has three parts: Courseware, MyPath, and UpStart. Courseware has whole online courses in math, ELA, science, and social studies for all grade levels. This is what was used in summer program and is used at E.B. Wilson night school. MyPath is like RTI instruction that can provide personalized instruction in math and ELA (reading) based on what the student needs. UpSmart is also for both math and ELA and allows teachers to assign students content and then the program will drill down on a specific standard.
Update (01/04/20) ...
Edgenuity is available for staffulty to use in all Intervention Classes as appropriate and as needed.
STEM School Accreditation (01/04/20) ...
WMS continues to move forward with plans to become a STEM (or STEAM) school. Thus far, the STEM committee has been gathering information necessary in order to know what needs to be done to become a STEM school. The committee has also planned some PBL (Project Based Learning) projects, visited Jack Anderson Elementary School to see a STEM school in operation, and planning to visit a middle school STEM school and/or visit Portland East or Portland West to see what they are doing in their efforts to become STEM schools. At our opening meeting on Monday 01/06, staffulty heard updates from the STEM committee and also participated in a survey to assess our progress thus far. In addition, Ben Bruce, STEM Coordinator for SCS, has been working closely with our STEM committee in preparation for WMS to become a STEM school.
Technology Update (01/04/20) ...
The following is an update regarding technology devices (computers--desktops and laptops):
- North Wing Room 11*--30 or more
- North Wing Room 4*--30 or more
- South Wing Room 12*--30 or more
- South Wing Room 9*--30 or more
- WIDA Lab (EL students) Guidance Conference Room--4
- STEM Lab--30 (with a cart for charging)
- Mobile Lab #1--30 (cart ordered--will be designated for the North Wing)
- Mobile Lab #2--10 ("stationary" cart for North Wing Room 16 (Lowery))
- Mobile Lab #3--10 (cart to be placed in South Wing Room 8 (Willoughby))
- Mobile Lab #4--10 (cart or wall charger or a "make do" method placed in South Wing Room 12 (Smith & Werbowsky))
- Mobile Lab #5--10 (will be available for South Wing Room 3 (Fulkerson/Cox))
- North Wing Room 17**--10
- North Wing Room 15**--5
- South Wing Room 19**--5
*Open labs available for all.
**Science teachers use these as stations with the online textbooks adopted.
Additional updates will be shared as more technology becomes available.
Unity.Com (01/04/20) ...
WMS Repeater (01/04/20) …
During December, WMS had a “repeater” installed for the purpose of improving our radio communication throughout the building and around the campus. Now staffulty members are able to communicate via radio with total clarity. In addition to improving daily communication, it has also improved our security in the event of an emergency.
Social Health (01/04/20) ...
We still need to have a social health teacher position added ... without losing any other positions. Currently, we are using Coach Sonya Shrum when she is with us two days a week to provide some social health interventions as a part of her P.E. classes. However, our students need to have the opportunity to have social health as a regular related arts class five days a week in all three grades. This class is very important in providing students with information about what to do regarding anti-bullying, suicide prevention, conflict resolution, etc.
This addition along with our advocacy classes would make a great difference in our school climate. This position has been requested in our budget meetings previously, but unfortunately funding was not available. I am hoping and praying that this will change for the 20-21 school year.
In addition, if WMS had a social health teacher/class, then Library related arts classes could be handled through our ELA classes and all classes would have more opportunities to visit the Library. At the present time, our Library is used on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays during 1st, 3rd, and 6th periods for Library related arts. This prevents ELA classes and others from being able to use the Library as often as needed. The addition of this one position ... without losing any current positions ... could really have a positive impact on our students.
Advocacy Classes (01/04/20) ...
Beginning 2nd semester, we will attempt to have advocacy class meetings one time every two weeks. So we have enough staffulty to keep our student/teacher ratio as low as possible, we must use related arts time and intervention time. In a four (4) week period, the plan is to use one (1) related arts class time and one (1) intervention class time. An example of our schedule might look like the following:
- Friday 01/17--Related Arts Class Time
- Friday 01/31--Intervention Class Time
- Thursday 02/13--Related Arts Class Time
- Friday 02/28--Intervention Class Time
- Friday 03/13--Related Arts Class Time
- Friday 03/27--Intervention Class Time
- Friday 04/17--Related Arts Class Time
- More To Come!!!
The purpose of these classes ...
- for students to have a "go-to person",
- to build relationships between students and teachers, and
- to address needs that our students have
Community Outreach (01/08/20) ...
Here's a "rough" draft of our Community Outreach plan ...
Create a Westmoreland Schools day in the spring in the walking park in town. This would be held on a Saturday. Invite each subject in each grade to create items to display whether with games or a display. I would also like to see any clubs or extracurricular groups to have a set-up also. This would allow a large audience of current and future WMS families to see all the great things we have going on. The sports teams could announce and introduce the new teams etc.
STEM could have a big display, the bands would perform and other music groups from the various schools.
This would allow the teachers and students to enhance what they are doing to show others as well invite our board members to see what amazing things we are doing.
The date has been tentatively set for 05/09 beginning at 10 AM and ending at 2 PM. More details will be shared later.
Math Club (01/04/20) ...
The creation of a WMS Math Club is underway! This is a GREAT opportunity for our students.
Attendance Information (07/11/19) …
Revised Board Policy Regarding Attendance ...
The following is Board Policy JB revised. Please note the sections highlighted in GREEN.
The Board recognizes that good attendance at school is basic to student learning. Attendance is a key factor in student achievement: therefore, students are expected to be present each day that school is in session. Parents have both a legal obligation and a moral responsibility to see that children are present every day that school is in session.
The Compulsory School Attendance Law in Tennessee requires children to attend school each day. A student who has been absent five days (this means a total of five days during the school year and not necessarily five consecutive days) without adequate excuse is considered truant and may be summoned to court. Whenever possible, attendance issues should be resolved at the school level. Prior to referral to a truancy officer, a meeting shall be held at the school to assist the family and improve student attendance via an attendance contract. If unexcused absences continue to accumulate, the Director of Schools or his/her designee will report the parent and student to the Juvenile Court for further action.
The following are official/adequate excuses that should be turned in to the attendance secretary in the school office"
- Medical note for the student (doctor, dentist, hospital, etc.)
- Student illness not requiring a doctor visit ( five parent notes per semester)
- Court note for the student
- Funeral notice
- Recognized religious holiday
- College Visits
- Military deployment paperwork for parent
Appeal Procedure for Unexcused Absences
The initial appeal shall be to the building principal or designee. If not resolved at the building level, the parent can request in writing an appeal to the Attendance Office at the Sumner County Board of Education. The appeal will be heard by the Appeals Committee consisting of Director of Schools Designee, an Attendance personnel representative and a principal/assistant principal representative. The burden of proof rests on the student or guardian. The appeal process for determining unexcused absences is ancillary to a truancy decision rendered by a juvenile court judge as described in T.C.A. 49-6-3010.
A principal may verify absences for the following:
- Approved school activity that is school sponsored and school supervised
- Extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis
Tardies: Any student not in the classroom when the class begins is tardy. Students who accumulate excessive unexcused tardies are considered truant and will be reported to Juvenile Court. A tardy is only excused by a doctor's note.
Unexcused Early Dismissals: For any student that is dismissed from school without a valid reason, the absence will be considered an unexcused early dismissal. A doctor's note excuses the early dismissal. A parent note may only be used to excuse a full day of absence.
Make-up work: Upon the first day of returning to school, it is the student’s responsibility in middle and high school and the parent’s responsibility in elementary school to make contact with the teacher(s) regarding make-up work. During the school year, make-up work must be completed within a number of days equal to the number of consecutive days of the absence.
Additional Attendance Information …
Attendance at school every day is very important to student success on state assessments and for the next grade. Please encourage your child to be present every day.
If your child does need to miss school, then please be sure to send a note to school with your child when he/she returns. Notes may include, but are not limited to, parent notes and notes from a doctor, dentist, court, funeral, etc. Students may have 5 parent notes to excuse absences. Students may have an unlimited number of notes from a doctor, dentist, court, funeral, etc.
Students who do not have a note for an absence are considered unexcused. Students with unexcused absences will have their participation in non-graded extracurricular activities limited. In addition, if students do not have a note when they return, then we do not have proof that the absence was legitimate. Therefore, it is very important for students to bring a note to school and turn it in after being absent.
Progressive Truancy Plan Information for 19-20 ...
NOTICE TO PARENTS- NEW LAW- PLEASE READ
School attendance is extremely important to student success and is a popular topic with local law makers. This letter is to inform you of a few changes that will affect you and your family regarding school attendance for the 2018/19 SY. T.C.A. 49-6-3007 states the following:
(A) If the student is absent from school for an aggregate of five (5) days during the school year without adequate excuse, then the student is subject to referral to juvenile court; and
(B) It is a parental duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to attend school.
The law also states that each district shall implement progressive truancy interventions for students who violate the Compulsory Attendance Law. Below you will find Sumner County Schools tiered approach in reducing the amount of unexcused absences in effort to produce successful students.
Sumner County Schools Progressive Truancy Intervention Tiers
Tier 1-School level interventions and reward programs
Tier 2-initiated at 3 unexcused absences
*Parents must conference with administration
*Attendance contract signed at conference
Tier 3-initiated with additional unexcused absences
* Individualized Assessment completed and one of the following:
Individualized Action Plan or Improvement Plan
Referral to school counselor
Referral to community-based services
Referral to school nurse-Health plan created
Referral to Attendance Student Support counselor
Tier 4-initiated with continued unexcused absence
*Referral to School Attendance Review Team consisting of administration, counselor, student, parent, teachers, nurse, attendance clerk, psychologist, and /or truancy officer.
Tier 5-Referral to Truancy Officer
*Truancy officer intervention
*Parent could be required to attend Pre-Court Diversion Program
Tier 6-Juvenile Petition filed
These efforts of collaboration are to support your student to become a confident, productive and successful student.
***For calendar information, please see the “Calendar” section of the school website.***
Danny Kay Robinson, Principal