The Grapevine, Feb. 12, 2020

Sixth-years learn cooking skills for Island Night capstone

Students enjoy Greek pancakes made from an ancient recipe

By Upper Elementary teacher Laila Kabani

Sixth-graders have been working hard on their capstone Island projects. This culminating project requires them to synthesize and apply their knowledge about geography, cultures, zoology, botany, economics and politics. During February and March, they will be diving into the fundamental needs of their imaginary islands, digging deep into their studies to describe their islands’ shelter, food, clothing, defense and transportation.

To start us off, we had our veteran parent Merrill Lundgren come in and talk to the students about cultural foods, and brainstorm some food ideas that students might make for their final presentations during Island Night. They also made Ancient Greek Pancakes (Tiganites) that were topped off with a drizzle of honey, sesame seeds and pistachio. Students were really inspired by this lesson and are excited to research some authentic recipes, food techniques and food items by using the knowledge of the flora and fauna found on their islands. They will be celebrating the culmination of this project and hard work on May 28.

Next Kids’ Night Out is Feb. 28

A student paints a tiger face on another student
Face-painting is a favorite activity at KNO.

Hello Parents! The next WMS Kids’ Night Out (KNO) is just weeks away, on Feb. 28. Registration will be closing at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26, so make sure to sign up ASAP! We cannot accept drop-ins. Remember that KNO is only open to WMS students, and those who are in kindergarten or higher. We also need two parent volunteers for this KNO. It is a great way to get your volunteer hours in!
Kids’ Night Out is usually held once a month, on a Friday night. Secondary students created KNO in order to raise money for our end-of-year trip. When your child attends KNO, they get to participate in activities and games, like face-paint and a movie, while you also get the night off. The upcoming KNO will be space-themed and will run from 5-9 p.m. We will be watching “A New Hope,” which is rated PG, and “Wall-e,” a G-rated movie for younger children. You can sign up here, on Camp Brain. The price for KNO is $22 for the first child, $15 for the second, and $9 for any additional children. For dinner, pizza will be offered at $3 a slice. We look forward to seeing you on the 28th!—Violet Raker and the KNO Team

Third-year students are virtue ambassadors

From the February Juniper class newsletter, Laura Ascolese and Robin Held

Each of our third-year students is an ambassador of a virtue—empathy, conscience, self-control, respect, kindness, acceptance, fairness, peace and friendship—and has the responsibility of running a class meeting to help teach their classmates about their virtue. This is a valuable opportunity that not only helps build leadership skills, but also fosters their investment, and that of their younger classmates, in making kind and respectful choices throughout their school day. It has been delightful to observe our third-year students lead our weekly class meetings, and our younger students respectfully and enthusiastically participating. We are fortunate that our students learn so much from each other about how to practice peace in their lives.

The LE students can also provide leadership to EC students. This third-year Juniper student visited the Douglas Fir class on Monday to teach the kindergarten leaders how to finger knit and make pompoms. This visit was extra special, because she had formerly been in the Douglas Fir class with several of the kindergartners.

On independence, self-reliance, perseverance and more

Montessori Thoughts, from the February Pine class newsletter, Carol Harshaw

“The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.”—Robert Tew

I enjoyed the “Truths About the Brain” talk with Sean Kramar and found his presentation to be in line with our school’s philosophy regarding independence, self-reliance and perseverance, and allowing room for boredom and struggle.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways as a teacher and a parent:

Boredom is okay and it helps your child develop decision making skills.

Struggle is good because it allows your child to develop perseverance and problem-solving skills.

Sean spoke about these common myths and enlightened us with the facts we need to understand this complex organ. Five Common Myths about the Brain:

  1. We only use 10% of our brain.
  2. “Left brain” “right brain” people differ.
  3. You must speak one language before learning another.
  4. Brains of male and females differ in ways that dictate learning styles.
  5. Each child has a particular learning style.

You can read the article from Scientific American here.

In the gallery, see how a few of our EC students are using their brains.


Wednesday, Feb. 12
•  BOT mtg., 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13
•  Registration for Midwinter Break camp closes
WMS basketball practice, 4 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14
•  WMS Spelling Bee, 9 a.m., EL Club House, Building 2, North Creek campus
Monday, Feb. 17
•  Presidents’ Day holiday, NO SCHOOL, NO CAMP, offices closed
Tuesday-Friday, Feb. 18-21
•  Midwinter Break, NO SCHOOL. CAMP OFFERED with reservation prepaid by Feb. 13.
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.
Healthy Eating Ideas speaker, in an orchard displaying an apple.

Don’t miss out—Learn healthy eating at Feb. 27 Community Workshop

There are only a few spots left to RSVP and reserve child care for Feb. 27, 5-6 p.m., for “Healthy Eating Ideas.” Presented by WMS parent Merril Lundgren, fan of healthy cooking and a nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital, the workshop is limited to 25 participants. Complimentary child care is available only for currently enrolled WMS students, aged 3 years or older.

Order a 2019-2020 yearbook

The front and back of the school yearbook Online sales for the 2019-2020 yearbook continue through Saturday, Feb. 29. As the yearbook is not posted online, and only our families may order them, you will find the ordering instructions and links posted in Family Portal. The link to the PDF is posted in Announcements and in Resource Documents.

Thank you, Parent Ambassadors

The Admissions office is having a busy and exciting season, and would like to thank Charisse Campos, Iris Zemach and Kristina Green for their support as Parent Ambassadors for the month of January. Prospective families always appreciate hearing from our WMS community!

Tuition deposit due on March 1

Current families’ tuition deposits are due by March 1, in order to secure your student’s space for next year. In a few weeks, we will begin sending notices of admission to new applicants. If you are making an enrollment change for your student for the 2020-2021 school year, please fill out the enrollment change notification form.

Join the party at WMS Family Movie Night, March 7

WMS Family Alliance Come for WMS Family Movie Night on Saturday, March 7! Join the Family Alliance Social Committee for a night in with popcorn and a movie, featuring “Frozen 2”! Bring a pillow and come in PJs for a fun night with fellow families and friends at the North Creek Campus, Ginkgo classroom. Capacity is limited so RSVP here soon! If you are able to help with light setup before, or to clean up after the movie, please contact Social Committee Chair, Cheryl Tsalapatanis.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by teaching humanity

“One of the gifts of human beings is our ability to love.”—Maren Schmidt

With St. Valentine’s Day this Friday, read about helping our children be intentionally kind in this piece from Maren Schmidt.

Students perform in ballet

Aisha (a former Douglas Fir student) and Sareen (a Pine student) will be in the Friday night and Saturday matinee performances of “The Wizard of Oz” IBT For Children ballet for the first time this year. There are several performances at Meydenbauer Theatre the week of March 13-15.

About the Grapevine

Welcome to the Grapevine newsletter. The Grapevine is published every Wednesday afternoon during regular school weeks. We welcome your submissions of photos and articles that are about or directly relevant to WMS students, subject to approval by the Director of Communications and Marketing. All submissions are due by 4:30 p.m., Mondays. We do not accept advertising.