The Grapevine, March 19, 2020

Learning continues thanks to family-school partnership

Parents and guardians, students, teachers and program directors are working together to accomplish WMS’s first week of remote/continual learning. Thank you to all the families and teachers who shared your experiences with us through email and social media this week.

Upper Elementary students create mandalas from nature

For their Upper Elementary Peace lesson this week, students took walks and gathered items from nature to create their own nature-inspired mandalas.

“This is how we continue our Montessori education during the coronavirus!” said UE Program Director Liz Hoyer. “I love them!”


Four high school girls stand together on a college campus
Senior Taylor reunites with Nancy Wang '19, and former WMHS students Jasmine and Catherine during a college visit earlier this year.

By College Counselor Jill O’Keefe

Who among us could have foreseen a time when high schools and colleges across the country were closed, standardized tests cancelled, and prospective college students denied the ability to visit campuses prior to enrolling at a school?

Unfortunately, we are living in that time now. Seniors, who a few weeks ago were eagerly planning trips to attend admitted student events in order to make an informed enrollment decision are now riddled with anxiety about how they will be able to make a good decision prior to the May 1 enrollment deadline. Juniors who have spent months preparing to take the SAT or ACT are now unable to take those tests. Students who planned to travel over spring break to visit colleges are now tethered to their laptops taking virtual tours and attending virtual student panel discussions.

It is at times like this that the value of our college counseling program becomes very clear. Our students have the advantage of spending dedicated time working through the complex college admissions process with expert guidance. Our seniors know their college list is carefully curated to meet their goals, which gives them the confidence to make their enrollment decision during this time of uncertainty. Juniors know they will have help navigating the application process from someone who understands how colleges are responding to this unique application cycle. Having an experienced resource to rely on during turbulent times is a reassuring confidence boost to students and parents.

If you have concerns about how the coronavirus will impact your student’s college admissions process, please email me to set up a time to talk. I am happy to set up a call or virtual meeting now while school is closed, or an in-person meeting later in the year when this is just a memory.

We are in this together!

Lower Elementary Photo gallery

Lower Elementary students at home took nature walks, gathering rocks to paint. They studied the continents and they participated in lessons via Zoom. A Magnolia student who is studying multiplication used a checkerboard app to replicate the checkerboard work at school. A Willow student baked clay hoary bats, and built a diorama showing the bats in their habitat.

Toddler photo gallery

Toddlers played, colored, took nature walks, picked up rocks and made Merril Lundgren’s delicious green smoothie this week.

Early Childhood photo gallery

EC children participated in a wide variety of activities, too, holding circle time with their stuffed animals, continuing their continent studies, using dominoes to learn numbers, finding everyday items to represent the letter “g”, finding and painting rocks, “meeting” with their teachers digitally and practicing practical life. Apple teacher Jody Sagawa asked her students to conduct science experiments by making terraria to learn about the water cycle (rain in a bottle) and sink/float experiments at home.

Middle School and Upper Elementary Science “Fair” goes on

The MS and UE Science Fair went on, despite social distancing and school-at-home. On Thursday, as scheduled, the Middle School held a virtual science fair through Zoom, attended by between 60-99 virtual participants at any one time! The students showcased seven projects, ranging from an analysis of golf balls and a study of a quartet of infant heart problems to an examination of memes. Meanwhile, Upper EL students are individually presenting their projects to their teachers through videos. The photos below show one MS project and an UE student working on his project earlier this week. We’ll have more project photos to show you next week.


Through April 24
•  Remote learning continues
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.

Pizza, KNO, canceled through April

Thursday pizza lunches and Kids’ Night Out are canceled for April.

Spring sports canceled

Keep tabs on COVID-19

Keep up with the latest coronavirus news and with what we are planning, on our dedicated COVID-19 web page. We hope you find this useful.

Help welcome new families & earn volunteer hours from home

Want to earn volunteer hours by working on an activity that is tailored to your schedule and can be done from home?

The Admissions office is seeking current WMS families to serve as Parent Amabassadors/mentors for new families coming in for the 2020-2021 school year! Mentor families welcome new families to WMS by reaching out to them via email or phone, and serving as a resource as they enter their first year as part of the WMS community. The time commitment to be a mentor family is tailored to fit your schedule! If you would like to be a part of this warm and integral part of the welcoming process to WMS, or would like to learn more before making the commitment, please email the the Admissions office.—Thank you! Labiba Khan

Continuous learning links to last the duration

Wondering about some of the virtual tours or educational links online? Here is a Head-of-School-approved list of links to visit now and throughout the duration of school-at-home!

Virtual Field trips!

Let’s Keep Reading!

Hermitage Saint-Petersburg

5 hours Hermitage trip

Metropolitan Opera Live

Vienna Opera Live

Bolshoi Theatre Moscow

Google Arts and Culture

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Tretyakov Gallery Moscow

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Uffizi Archives

Musée du Louvre


Russian Museum Saint-Petersburg

British Museum

British Museum virtual trip

Prado Museum

Vatican Museum

Metropolitan Museum New York

MoMa New York

Guggenheim Museum New York

Salvador Dali Museum

NASA video gallery

Smithsonian Museum

National Museum of Krakow

Museum of Fine Arts Budapest

Seattle Symphony live

Amazing Educational Resources (formerly a list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings)

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 & Marketing. All submissions are due by 4:30 p.m., Mondays. We do not accept advertising.