OMSI Night: WPS hosted a science evening with OMSI for all community members on May 3rd. Attendance was strong for this event and families enjoyed the interactive exhibits. Many staff members attended the event and retiring teacher Amy Rich was the leader in making this happen. Community members voiced their appreciation for a fun and free way to spend time learning as a family. More evenings of family fun at school are planned for next year.
Dual Language Program: Families of incoming kindergarten students are extremely excited for our first year offering a dual language program at WPS. We are at capacity for enrollment but will not have to deny anyone acceptance this year. Our bilingual teachers are hard at work planning the instructional program and are collaborating closely with the principal and instructional coach. The instructional team will be attending a conference at the end of July to refine teaching approaches and make any final adjustments. The work is coming together nicely and is ahead of schedule.
Attendance: This has been a season of significant illness for students and staff at WPS. Many people have experienced multiple episodes of illness over this year. We are still sending home many children each day due to acute symptoms. Attendance is a key focus at WPS but we certainly do not wish to have ill students or staff at the school.
It is expected that kindergarten students will have more absences than older children. This pattern is typical as our youngest learners experience more illness for a number of reasons. Letters go home to families after children miss more than nine days of school. There are approximately a third more kindergarten households that receive these letters compared to first-grade families. The vast majority of these children have repeated episodes of illness and need to be excused from school attendance. WPS staff works closely to support the families of any children with excessive absenteeism that is not related to verified illness.
First to Second Grade Transition: The transition to a new building is challenging for first graders. The staff at WPS and WIS are partnering closely to minimize any anxiety and lack of instructional continuity for children making this transition next year. It is our hope that this careful planning will help mitigate the obvious difficulties students face.