Friday, August 10, 2018

Welcome Back 2018

Dear Walton Community,
I am very excited for 2018-2019 school year to begin. We had a wonderful summer at WMS. We hosted a wonderful summer school with over 40 students (over 10% of our student body), which included a project-based experience called “How to Be a Grown Up” and Algebra Bridge Camp that helped gear students up for Algebra in the fall. A big thanks to our summer school staff-Natalie Capps, Lolita Curry, Bill Doar and Debbi Skolnick

We also had a lot of learning for teachers as we had teachers working on P-Based (Project, Passion, Problem) Learning in ACPS’s annual Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Institute. This was the second year in a row that this was a focus of CAI, which means that we are continuing to build capacity around PBL and providing learner centered experiences for our students. Some teachers attended a couple national professional development institutes including the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Summer Institute in Philadelphia and the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) in Boston. Our big focus this summer for teachers has been on building our social-emotional curriculum. We are building this around the principles of Developmental Designs. All staff will have received training in DD and our system for supporting students daily will be in place by the first day of school. As Steve Koleszar, Scottsville School Board Representative for 20+ years, reminds us, “Relationships are the bedrock from which learning is built.” We are committed to this principle through our work with Developmental Designs and our advisory period.  

In addition, to learning we have had some maintenance work. What you won’t directly see, but will feel are the improvements to our HVAC system through the replacement of air handlers, ducts, and with duct cleaning. What you will see is a makeover of our kitchen and an upgrade to our lighting through the replacement of fluorescent fixtures with higher efficiency and brighter LED fixtures. This is part of a district-wide lighting upgrade.

This year we are also excited to welcome our first Spanish immersion students from Cale Elementary. This year we have a small cohort who will continue their Spanish immersion through social studies and science classes which will be studied in Spanish. We look forward to watching this program grow in the years to come.

I am honored to continue to serve the Walton community and its enthusiastic students and wonderful families. Our talented and dedicated staff look forward to continuing to put our students at the center of the learning process to prepare students for high school, college, and career success. I look forward to working with our whole community to support our youth on their journey towards owning their future.

Have a safe and joyful rest of summer,
Josh Walton
Sherica Jones-Lewis
Follow me on twitter for more updates @mrjwalt, @sjoneslewis, and @WMSWildcatNews


                                                   
                                                   

Monday, July 31, 2017

Gearing Up for Back to School!

Dear Walton Community,

Summer School Fun!
I am so excited for the 2017-2018 school year to begin. We have had a busy summer here at WMS. We hosted an awesome summer school with over 40 students (over 10% of our student body), which included rising 6th graders for the first time in many years and an Algebra Bridge Camp that helped gear students up for Algebra in the fall.

We also had a lot of learning for teachers as we had teachers working on P-Based (Project, Passion, Problem) Learning in ACPS’s annual Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Institute. Teachers also attended summer in-house professional development where they worked on strategies and methods to leverage digital technologies for learning. Finally, we had teachers attend some national professional development institutes including the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Summer Institute in Philadelphia and the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) in San Antonio.

Learning Labs in Progress. High celings and natural light.
In addition, to learning we have had lots of construction. Our transformation of the science classrooms into learning labs with collaborative and innovative spaces is underway. We are very excited to have these spaces to engage student in deep learning experiences. And we are thrilled that they have skylights and Solatubes incorporated to bring more natural light into the building.

I am honored to continue to serve the Walton community and its enthusiastic students and wonderful families. Our talented and dedicated staff look forward to continuing to put our students at the center of the learning process to prepare students for high school, college, and career success. I look forward to working with our whole community to protect and grow our most precious investment—the children we serve.

Have a safe and joyful rest of summer,
Josh Walton
Follow me on twitter for more updates @mrjwalt and @WMSWildcatNews

WMS Family Message 5-26-17

It is hard to believe that our school year is almost over. We only have 8 ½ days left, but I do like to remind students that this is nearly 5% of the year, so it is still a significant amount of learning time. We encourage students to stay engaged in their learning during this exciting and anxious time through learning activities where we get students outside whether that be through riding bikes in PE, playing simulation games in Language Arts, or observing in Science class. Of course, we are still in SOL season (last retake is June 8), so we also have plenty going on inside the building too.

As we close out the year we have two significant events for 8th graders coming up-the 8th Grade Dance and the 8th Grade Celebration, both outlined below.

8th Grade Dance

8th grade Dance Tickets are on sale through Tuesday, May 29.  The cost of the ticket is $10. That cost includes everything - food, drink, and more! Tickets will be on sale during lunch. See Ms. Hoffman if you have any questions!

8th Grade Parents, the 8th Grade Dance goes from 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. on June 2, 2017. Parents who are interested in helping to setup can reach out to Ms. Hoffman at phoffman@k12albemarle.org One thing the committee needs is donations of Holiday lights for decoration, you may send those in with your child.

8th Grade Celebration Help
The 8th Grade Moving Up Celebration will be held on May 8 starting at 7 p.m. We are asking 8th grade families to contribute food and for 6th and 7th grade parents who can assist with setup and serving after the celebration (usually from 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.). Please visit the links below if you can assist.

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4baaaa2ba46-helping1    6th and 7th grade parents to help
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4baaaa2ba46-walton5   8th grade parents to donate food

Yearbooks
Yearbooks are here! Students who did not pre-order may purchase a yearbook NOW. Yearbooks are $25.00 and checks should be made payable to Walton Middle School. Students may bring their money to the front office to purchase a yearbook.

Summer Learning Opportunity
Albemarle County Public Schools is inviting roughly 40 students to participate in a unique learning experience centered around developing students’ creative ideas and building solutions to meaningful issues. This summer program will provide students with a two week opportunity to work towards producing an original product or social innovation that solves a current problem defined by the student. Students will work through a design process, utilizing tools necessary to build a prototype, plans, documentation, and a pitch or presentation of the purpose and solution of their idea and product in front of an authentic audience. This program will reach students in grades K-12 and provide a social and naturally collaborative environment for students to discover and learn through making, building, and inquiry. Students will be guided by teacher experts, mentors, and volunteers to help make their ideas come to life!
Dates:
Week 1: July 17-21
Week 2: July 24-28
Exhibition Day: July 29
Times:
K-5: 9 AM - 12 AM
6-12: 11 AM - 3 PM
(purposeful social overlap)
Location:
Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad
805 Irish Road
Scottsville, VA 24590
Food and Transportation:
Lunch is provided. We are working on transportation based on students and needs.
HS students have ability to earn CTE-Entreprenuership Credit
Sign Up Students Here:
Flyer:
Upcoming Dates:
May 31: SOL Testing: 6th Grade Math and 7th Grade Math
June 1: SOL Testing 8th Grade Science and Civics
June 2: 8th Grade Dance- 6:30 p.m-9:00 p.m.
June 6-8: SOL Expedited Retakes
June 8: 8th Grade Celebration @ 7 p.m.
June 9: Last day of school-Field day (Half-Day for Students-Dismissal at 1:05 p.m.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

WMS Family Message 3-19-17

Greetings, Walton Families:

This past week 7th grade students visited the annual Career Fair at UVA’s Newcomb Hall where they had the opportunity to explore a variety of career and educational options for their future.
There will be a PTO meeting this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.
ACPS Visual Arts Festival
The 23rd Annual ACPS Visual Arts Festival is going on now through March 26 at Fashion Square Mall. Come check out all the the great art from students around the county, but particularly the Walton students near J.C. Penny. There will be a closing gala at 5:00 on March 26 down in the common area near J.C. Penny. Check out the Newsplex story on the Festival http://www.newsplex.com/content/news/Student-art-on-display-at-Charlottesville-Fashion-Square-416169373.html
SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing
8th Graders will take the SOL Writing test this week. Students will complete the Direct Writing portion on Tuesday where they will respond in writing to a prompt. On Wednesday they will complete the Multiple Choice section.
Digital Sabbatical Day-March 24
On March 24 Walton Middle School will be taking a digital sabbatical. Students and teachers will take a break from digital technology in an effort to appreciate what this technology offers us for learning and to appreciate what “old school” learning feels like and the value therein. Student Ambassadors will be completing some service projects around the school on this day too. Students and teachers will not be using their laptops on this day and will be encouraged to put their smart and cell phones away for the day as well.
We Notice Nominations Open!
You are invited to celebrate the work of a teacher or other ACPS staff member by completing our online We Notice nomination form by Friday, March 24. In turn, nominees will be recognized at a reception in April.

Spring Pictures-March 28
Spring pictures will be taken on March 28 for any families interested. We are distributing picture forms and will only take pictures of students who bring their forms on the 28th. Additionally, you may prepay for pictures at  https://my.lifetouch.com/mylifetouch/ Use the picture day ID: SH186215Q0

Green Work Day Reinstituted for March 31
At their meeting on February 23, the School Board voted to restore Friday, March 31, as a Green Work Day (non-student day). Previously, March 31 was scheduled as an inclement weather make-up day. March 31 is now a non-student day.

Upcoming Dates:
March 20: Tornado Drill
March 21: SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing (Direct Writing)
March 22: SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing (Multiple Choice)
March 23: MoHS Counselors Visit 8th Grade
PTO Meeting at 6 p.m.
March 24: Activity Period
March 28: Spring Pictures
    8th Graders visit MoHS
March 30: End of the Third 9 Weeks
    Talent Show
    Student Faculty Volleyball Game
March 31: Green Work Day (Student Holiday)
April 2-April 9: Spring Break
April 14: Rising 6th Graders Visit WMS-9:30-11:30 a.m.
April 20: MoHS Band, Orchestra, Choir Concert
    6th Grade Orientation
April 21: Activity Period
April 28: Bash-4-7 p.m.

Have a great week!
Josh Walton, Principal
Sherica Jones-Lewis, Assistant Principal

Sunday, February 19, 2017

WMS Family Message 2-19-17

This week the Albemarle County Spelling Bee was held and our very own Grace Caramanis came in second place. Congrats to Grace! She will compete in the regional spelling bee on March 4 at Albemarle High School.

8th Grade High School Registration
Counselors are scheduling meetings with 8th graders and their families to complete course selection for high school registration in addition to developing a multi-year career and education plan. HIgh school registration must be completed by February 28. Please contact Karen Collier, Counseling Office Associate and Registrar, at (434) 977-6533 or kcollier@k12albemarle.org to schedule an appointment.

Hidden Figures Field Trip
We have organized a field trip for our entire school to see the Academy Award nominated film Hidden Figures on March 1st (6th Grade) and March 2nd (7th and 8th Grade) and the Violet Crown Cinema. The film portrays “The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.” Students will enjoy the film and then have the opportunity to eat on the downtown mall. The cost of the trip is $7, which covers the film. Transportation is being covered. Permission slips have been sent home.

Bike Club
This Spring we will offer a Bike Club, which will provide the opportunity to ride as a group, learn basic bike maintenance, trail maintenance, and have fun on two wheels. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun after school activity for those who enjoy mountain biking. The club is free, bikes and helmets are provided, and we will meet once a week beginning in late April. Please email Tommy McElroy (tmcelroy@k12albemarle.org) with any questions. Students may sign up to receive further information about the club using the following link:https://goo.gl/forms/lwUiWs8hQqj03vJK2  

Interested students will meet with Mr. McElroy during 5th block soon to learn more and receive the appropriate paperwork for permission to participate. We are also asking if there are parents who want to help with the Bike Club to please email Mr. McElroy.

BOLT Program at MoHS
Monticello High School is partnering with Region 10 and the Virginia ABC to host a community meeting for middle schools students and their parents called BOLT (Being Outstanding Leaders Togethers Against Drugs and Alcohol). BOLT will be held on March 14 from 6-8 p.m. with dinner served from 6-6:30 p.m. The program features community and motivational speakers.

More information about the March BOLT program at MoHS can be found here: http://www.newsplex.com/content/news/Community-Counts-Region-Ten-BOLT-411344165.html

Upcoming Dates:
February 20: Inclement Weather Make-up Day: School in Session
February 23: Black History Month Celebration
March 1: Hidden Figures-6th Grade Field Trip
March 2: Hidden Figures-7th and 8th Grade Field Trip
March 4: Orchestra Retreat at MoHS
March 13: Career Fair for 7th Grade at UVA
March 14: BOLT Community Event at MoHS-6:00-8:00 p.m.
March 20: Tornado Drill
March 21: SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing (Direct Writing)
March 22: SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing (Multiple Choice)
March 24: Activity Period
March 31: Inclement Weather Make-up Day-School in Session
    End of the Third 9 Weeks
    Talent Show at 3:00 p.m.
April 2-April 9: Spring Break

Friday, February 10, 2017

WMS Family Message 2-10-17

This week we held our Science Fair with twelve different teams competing in either a demonstration or experiment category. We recognized five eighth graders with the Science Stamina Award for competing all three years of middle school. Those students were:
Caitlyn Banh
Caroline Landis
Serena Loomba
Mary Quick
Allison Shuren

Congratulations to our Science Fair Winners:
Honorable Mention-Bella Becerra and Ginny Hamner: Telemeres and Cancer (Demo)
Demonstration-Caroline Landis: Effects of Smoking on the Respiratory System
Experiment-Serena Loomba and Allison Shuren: Organic vs. Non-Organic Food
Best in Show-Kate Green: Effects of Palm Oil Production

Rising 7th and 8th Grade Course Registration:
Students in 6th and 7th grade will be working with their school counselors next Wednesday and Thursday to choose courses for the 2017-2018 school year. An email and letter will be sent home on Monday, February 13 with more information. After students complete registration a confirmation letter will be sent home outlining their selections. Students have until the end of February to finalize their selections.  

8th Grade High School Registration
Counselors are scheduling meetings with 8th graders and their families to complete course selection for high school registration in addition to developing a multi-year career and education plan. HIgh school registration must be completed by February 28. Please contact Karen Collier, Counseling Office Associate and Registrar, at (434) 977-6533 or kcollier@k12albemarle.org to schedule an appointment.

Hidden Figures Field Trip
We have organized a field trip for our entire school to see the Academy Award nominated film Hidden Figures on March 1st (6th Grade) and March 2nd (7th and 8th Grade) and the Violet Crown Cinema. The film portrays “The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.” Students will enjoy the film and then have the opportunity to eat on the downtown mall. The cost of the trip is $7, which covers the film. Transportation is being covered. Permission slips have been sent home.

Bike Club
This Spring we will offer a Bike Club, which will provide the opportunity to ride as a group, learn basic bike maintenance, trail maintenance, and have fun on two wheels. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun after school activity for those who enjoy mountain biking. The club is free, bikes and helmets are provided, and we will meet once a week beginning in late April. Please email Tommy McElroy (tmcelroy@k12albemarle.org) with any questions. Students may sign up to receive further information about the club using the following link:https://goo.gl/forms/lwUiWs8hQqj03vJK2  

Interested students will meet with Mr. McElroy during 5th block soon to learn more and receive the appropriate paperwork for permission to participate. We are also asking if there are parents who want to help with the Bike Club to please email Mr. McElroy.

BOLT Program at MoHS
Monticello High School is partnering with Region 10 and the Virginia ABC to host a community meeting for middle schools students and their parents called BOLT (Being Outstanding Leaders Togethers Against Drugs and Alcohol). BOLT will be held on March 14 from 6-8 p.m. with dinner served from 6-6:30 p.m. The program features community and motivational speakers.

More information about the March BOLT program at MoHS can be found here: http://www.newsplex.com/content/news/Community-Counts-Region-Ten-BOLT-411344165.html

Upcoming Dates:
February 16: Division-level Spelling Bee-Wish Grace Caramanis Good Luck!
February 20: Inclement Weather Make-up Day: School in Session
February 23: Black History Month Celebration
March 1: Hidden Figures-6th Grade Field Trip
March 2: Hidden Figures-7th and 8th Grade Field Trip
March 4: Orchestra Retreat at MoHS
March 13: Career Fair for 7th Grade at UVA
March 14: BOLT Community Event at MoHS-6:00-8:00 p.m.
March 20: Tornado Drill
March 21: SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing (Direct Writing)
March 22: SOL Testing-8th Grade Writing (Multiple Choice)
March 24: Activity Period
March 31: Inclement Weather Make-up Day-School in Session
    End of the Third 9 Weeks
    Talent Show at 3:00 p.m.
April 2-April 9: Spring Break