Sunday, January 27, 2013

Updates 1/28/13

Updates 1/28/13

Congrats, Ms. Verhoeven!!
Ms. Verhoeven has been nominated by the NC Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German for the national AATG Outstanding German Educator Award!! This award recognizes excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to the German teaching profession. This is a wonderful honor and we are so proud of your work at Wiley.

Safety Drill Information
All WCPSS schools are required to complete two safety drills a year. One of which is our annual tornado drill and one will be a lockdown drill. Next week, teachers will receive training updates from our WCPSS security administrator. We will follow that training with a practice lockdown drill Friday, February 8. The drill will be calm, quiet, and for practice. With recent incidents in our nation, I understand as adults we have concerns and apprehensions. These drills are to ensure that the adults and students know what to do and where to go in an emergency situation. We will discuss this only as a practice with the students and will not go into detail about examples of real lockdowns. Emergency information from our district is posted HERE. Understand that we cannot explain security procedures in detail with the public because it reduces the ability for us to maintain safety.

Volunteers Needed to Check Eye Sight
Did you know? Wiley parents support the school nurse by providing the initial vision screening for the mandatory grade levels. Parents who had done it for several years "aged up" to middle school, therefore we need new volunteers. The commitment is a three hour class on Friday, Feb 15 from 9:30-12:30;  then together, the parent volunteers schedule 3-4 half days in one week to administer the vision screening to three grade levels. It's a great way to get to know students in different grades and makes a big difference for the school nurse. The nurse  follows up with any child demonstrating a need for further evaluation. This project is a 12-15 hour commitment in a short period of time. If this is a project you are interested in, please contact Pamela Lietz so she can sign you up with NC Prevent Blindness. The half days doing the vision screenings will be scheduled between February 19 - March 15. 

Continuing Band Performs at Royal Bean Coffeehouse
Join us this Saturday, February 2nd at 7pm for a fun show featuring soloists and small ensembles from the Wiley Continuing Band.  The performance is free, and will be held at Royal Bean Coffeehouse (3801 Hillsborough Street).  Come on out and support our excellent young musicians!

Upcoming Dates
January 28: Report Cards go home
January 29: Third Quarter Electives begin
January 31: Talent Show practice
Week of February 4: Wiley Spirit Week
February 8: Lockdown Drill
February 11: Books Are Magic Book Drive Begins
February 15: Early Release Day, 1:15 dismissal
February 18: Teacher Workday, No School for Students


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Updates 1/23/13

Updates 1/23/13

Celebrating Great Americans
*Our staff and students are celebrating the accomplishments of great African-Americans! For Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and February's Black History Month, Wiley students are participating in the following awesome experiences (just to name a few):
-4th graders are participating in an interdisciplinary study of the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina
-3rd graders are studying the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
-All students will participate in author Don Tate's visit this Friday
-All students will participate in a presentation and workshop with the African American Dance Ensemble in February
-Kindergarten has had whole class read alouds of biographical books
-A team of 4th and 5th grade students has been created to compete in the annual Black History Month Quiz Bowl

There will be more to come in the weeks ahead. Discuss with your child their experiences!

Proactive Support for Safety from You
Ensuring safety of all students and staff at Wiley is an obvious, but critical task. We cannot do that without your help. While we have clear expectations and procedures for staff and students, we also have them for campus visitors-including you as a parent. Please note the following expectations with which we need your help:
-Always sign in at the office and wear your Visitor Sticker while you are on campus. This includes when you come for lunch. Please understand that staff will remind you of this procedure and they are following expectations of them.
-If you walk your student in at arrival and plan to stay to volunteer, sign in in the office.
-Always enter the building at the main (back) office door or ring the bell at the front door. Do not encourage students to open a locked door for you.
-Follow staff direction and procedures at dismissal, even when you are in a hurry. We know you may be inconvenienced, but we are responsible for accurate dismissal of all students. Your need may interfere with another child's dismissal and that could impede safety. Staff have a variety of custodial-parent guidelines to remember, student needs, changes to routine, etc. to think about during dismissal. It is extremely helpful and safe when you follow procedure. This includes: do not pick up students by walking up to the carpool hallway and use the only designated dismissal types/locations (carpool, walkers, YMCA).
-Alert staff if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
-Do not knock on doors that are locked for entry.

Strings, Anyone?
Mr. Julius Prescott, a professional cellist, will begin offering strings lessons at Wiley in February. This will be open to Wiley students with 1 year or more of strings experience, requires weekly participation, will be before school, and a fee will be charged. I will share more information in the coming week!

Potential Winter Weather This Friday
Mother Nature has given us a roller coaster winter, so far. For this Friday, forecasters are predicting a wintry mix after lunch. IF school is released early, we will notify you through a phone call home, Twitter, this blog, and an email. We will dismiss all students to their normal dismissal procedure at the early dismissal time. Bus departure (from campus) times will be posted on our website through our Twitter feed. If you plan to come to the office prior to the dismissal time, please expect a wait time as we accommodate parent requests. If you need to contact the school for a dismissal change, it will be extremely helpful for you to do so at least 30 minutes prior to the early dismissal time.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Updates 1/14/13

Updates 1/14/13

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
The holiday celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is coming up next Monday, January 21st. It is recognized by many through a Day of Service. At Wiley, one of our global competencies is to Take Action where "students translate their ideas and findings into appropriate actions to improve local and/or global conditions". Please consider providing an opportunity for your child and your family to take part in doing something for others during the national Day of Service. Ideas nationally and locally can be found at the MLK Day of Service website. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" - Martin Luther King Jr.

African American History Competition
Wiley students will participate for the first time this year in the 11th Annual Omega Psi Phi African American History Competition! The competition is in a quiz bowl format and will take studying, practice (during school hours), and competition participation on Saturday, February 23rd. This opportunity is open to all students in the fourth and fifth grades. Please email Ms. McMahon at if you would like to sign up your student. (We are allowed a maximum of 4 students, so please make sure you can commit to the program and do so as soon as possible.)

Magnet Application Begins TODAY
Are you a fifth grade parent and want a magnet middle school for your student? Are you a current magnet parent that has a rising Kindergartener? You must apply for these students through the magnet application process between January 14 and 25. Please check the following WCPSS site for school application information.

New Books
We are thrilled that many new books have hit our library shelves! Thanks to our PTA's Phantom Fundraiser we were able to order $10,000 new books for student and teacher use. The first half of the order recently arrived and with volunteers' help Mrs. Molloy has them ready for check out. She even added an entire new nonfiction section for early readers. Thank you for supporting this purchase, now let's get reading!

WCPSS Parent Academies
The Winter/Spring Parent Academies begin January 15, 2013. We are very excited to offer a variety of workshops presented by the WCPSS subject matter experts (see attachments). The objective is to provide parents with the tools needed to support their children’s academic and social success. These workshops are free to WCPSS parents, and free child care for children ages 4-13 years old will be provided.  Topics, presented in English and Spanish include:
  • Understanding Common Core and Essential Standards
  • Technology Tips for Academic Success
  • Planning your Pathway to College and Beyond
  • Supporting Health and Nutrition at Home
  • K-12 Assessments
  • Transitioning from Elementary to Middle and from Middle to High School
  • Keeping Children Safe in School
  • Is Life in the Digital World Useful or Dangerous
  • Preparing your Child for the EOG
  • Identify and Protect Your Child Against Bullying
Register for Parent Academy sessions HERE.

Upcoming Important Dates
*Kindergarten Registration for 2013-2014: Happening NOW
*Student Assignment Base Declaration Period: January 7-14
*Magnet Application Period: TODAY (January 14)
*Martin Luther King Day, No School: January 21
*Teacher Workday, No School: January 22
*Magnet Application Period Ends: January 25

Monday, January 7, 2013

Updates 1/7/13

Updates 1/7/13

Hundreds of BOOKS!
Good morning! We are THRILLED that the first half of the library book shipment has arrived!! Hundreds of books are ready to be stamped and labeled. Ms. Molloy would like to get the books into the hands of our students ASAP, but she needs help with the processing work. If you can help during one of these times Tues, Jan 8, 2-4 pm or Wed, Jan. 9, 2-4 pm this week, please contact her at Thank you!

These books were all purchased through the PTA's Phantom Fundraiser and would have not been possible without those donations. Thank you for giving the gift of the world through books!!

Student Assignment
In your child's Monday Folder will be a sealed envelope from the Student Assignment office. This letter will contain their school assignment for the 2013-2014 year. If your child is NOT assigned to their base school and you want them to change to their base for the 2013-2014 year, you will need to "declare your base" online HERE. This must be done January 7-14, 2013.

All rising Kindergarteners of magnet siblings must be registered at a WCPSS school AND participate in the magnet application period January 14-25. You can find more information about magnet application HERE.
Upcoming Important Dates*Kindergarten Registration for 2013-2014 Begins: January 7
*Student Assignment Base Declaration Period Begins: January 7-14
*Magnet Application Period Begins: January 14
*Martin Luther King Day, No School: January 21
*Teacher Workday, No School: January 22
*Magnet Application Period Ends: January 25

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Updates 1/2/13

Updates 1/2/13

Welcome Back Wiley Family!

We had Wiley families travel all over the world this year! Wiley kids and teachers were in Germany, France, Australia, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and Sweden during the break. Wherever you were, I hope it was just what you wished.

Prior to the break, I hosted a parent information session to share current curriculum and assessment updates. In case you missed it, here is a brief recap.
*The state of our state's schools are in forward motion! All subjects in all grades have a new curriculum and new expectations for how students are taught. Training was provided for teachers prior to, however, we are really "living" the changes this year! Expectations for classrooms include: high level thinking, explanations of thinking, and a deep understanding of concepts. Check out this VIDEO for a brief overview of the Common Core curriculum. This spring the Wiley teachers will host a family night for you to have hands on experiences with the curriculum in your child's classes. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.  
*Assessments have always been an integral part of school. We use assessments to learn about student learning, to learn how to push students further, and to learn how to fill "gaps" in understanding. This has not changed, however, assessments are becoming more formal in measuring student performance, school performance, and teacher performance. This year students will take district and state assessments in all grades and most subject areas with the state's intention to assess in most subject areas and all grades.
*Our global magnet curriculum continues to evolve from the forward-thinking educators in 1982 that designed it to our current forward-thinking teachers implementing it! The expectation across North Carolina is that all classrooms include global awareness. At Wiley, we must take it to the next level and be leaders in globally focused curriculum design and implementation. We are doing this through integrated units of study, second language instruction for all students, globally focused arts and movement electives, and alignment to the Asia Society's global competencies (Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate Understanding, and Take Action) in all courses.

Points of contact for more information regarding Wiley are:
*General Curriculum and Assessments: Bethany Fleener, Instructional Resource Teacher 919-856-7723 or
*International Magnet Program: Kitty Yarbrough, Magnet Coordinator, 919-856-7723 or 
*Curriculum, Assessment, and International Program: Katie Ware, Assistant Principal, 919-856-7725 or
*Curriculum, Assessment, and International Program: Katie McMahon, Principal, 919-856-7726 or

Upcoming Important Dates:
*Kindergarten Registration for 2013-2014 Begins: January 7
*Magnet Application Period Begins: January 14
*Martin Luther King Day, No School: January 21
*Teacher Workday, No School: January 22
*Magnet Application Period Ends: January 25
Have you seen the new Wiley PTA Website? It is being updated frequently, so check it out often. There's even a picture of me doing the hokey pokey on skates?!

Have a great week!
-Katie McMahon, principal