The Grapevine, May 20, 2020

Sixth-grader plays sweet tunes in bitter times

If you were watching KING5's “Evening” two weeks ago, you saw one of our Cedar class sixth-graders cheering up whole neighborhoods with his bagpipe.

You can watch the video and read the story here.
(And in this very short video to the right, he demonstrates the instrument he made from a carrot!

Thank you for making the Gala a great success!

By WMS Director of Development Laureen Ng

Thank you again to our incredible community of parents, faculty, staff, alumni, parents of alumni and friends! The WMS Online Auction and Gala was a great success because of you, raising over $110,000! Of that total, over $7,000 was raised for items benefiting both individual classrooms and all school programs; and over $65,000 in Raise-the-Paddle donations for financial aid.

Throughout the week of videos from our community, online bidding wars and the live stream closing event, we truly felt that we were all able to grow together while staying apart at WMS. We are so grateful for your unwavering support for our school and for raising your paddles for financial aid to keep our community together.

If you have yet to submit payment for your auction total, please send a check to WMS, or make payment online using the link provided in your auction checkout email. If your employer participates in a matching gifts program, please be sure to submit your auction receipt soon. All raise-the-paddle donations and fund-a-wish donations are available for an employer match. Contact for any questions.

Lastly, please join me in thanking our incredible 2020 Gala Leadership team along with many others in our community who stepped in with no hesitation during this effort to pivot from our original plans and make the best of it. Countless hours, both day and night, were contributed in order to make this event possible: Gena Schirer, Julie Adams, Jenifer Alyazdi, Maria Arroyave, Traci Fischer, Darcy Hardy, Jamie Holland, Pooja Kohli, Lindy Liles, Cristina Podlusky and Nicolette Stocker.

In addition, Paige Armentrout, Karen Drapers, Olof Hellman, Humberto Castaneda, Christina Bernal, Bob Renz, Beatrice Bock, Morgen Bock-Renz, Meera Kohli, Skylar Burkhart, Amalia Harb, Valentina Morello, Lucia Sutter, Madison Maher, Liam Boss, Zachary Lundgren, Molly Keller, Shay Chapman, Kaitlyn McElrath, Melanie Hassler, Claire Tuohy-Morgan, Emily Irwin, Dillon Bernal, Anna Boss, Elena Castaneda, Susana Castaneda, Annabelle Eastman, Molly Felt, Crystal George, Sameen Khan, Inaya Khan, Tanvi Kohli, Carter Liles, Matthew Ng, Brooks Schirer, Lauren Schirer, Shriya Shaji, Wyatt Stocker, Willow Tsalapatanis, Andy Weygandt, Leah Zhang, Taylor Sibthorp. Thank you all!

Cedar and Cypress classes

By Cedar teacher Amanda Freerksen

For Upper El, springtime means more than just warmer, sunnier days, spring leaves and budding flowers. It usually also means the students get to spend time out in the woods for an overnight outdoor-education experience, but with the current stay-at-home orders, we had to cancel this year's Upper El overnight trip. While we can't recreate the overnight experience at home, one gift we wanted to give our Upper El students was a couple of days away from their screens. This week our remote-learning took us off computers: no Zoom lessons, no uploading photos to OneNote and no emails!

In addition to working in their math workbooks, writing journals and speeches and completing the next unit of vocabulary, we are encouraging students to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Some students are practicing their fishing and archery skills, while others are making shelters out of fallen branches or musical instruments out of vegetables. Our students are camping in their yards, building campfires, taking nature walks, biking, crafting, creating art, meditating in nature and more!

In the gallery this week, a student made a sweet treat for herself; another practiced following directions using various Lego sets that he has at home; and another student created a wishing tree. In a peace activity she learned about the Japanese festival Tanabata, which features wishing trees.

Not pictured is Simon, who has been sewing masks for those in need, for a practical life and peace activity. And in the video below, a Cypress student performs a science experiment (a href="">Watch on YouTube, with transcript available.

Oak and Maple students display their works

Woodinville EC students have been completing lots of learning activities, ranging from sharing items that begin with "d", displaying the colors of the rainbow through collections of items and drawings and sorting words by the number of syllables.

WMHS Spanish & Humanities team up for richer learning

By Humanities teacher Sharon Dunn

Even in remote learning, the WMHS commitment to interdisciplinary, holistic education in the Humanities can flourish. Spanish teacher Alexa Boss and Humanities teacher Sharon Dunn have collaborated to enrich the experience ninth and 10th-grade students are having in their studies of Latin America. On one occasion, Alexa visited the World Literature class to share insights into a side-by-side Spanish/English story by Isabel Allende, “Walimai,” that students had previously read. Alexa focused attention on specific parts of the translation and discussed how she understood the original Spanish and her view of the way it was translated. That created a basis for appreciating the nuances of language and also raised questions about the complexity of transforming ideas of one culture for an audience less versed in its subtleties and complexities.

In Spanish, students have read a novel about the MS 13 gang; in World History, senior Taylor Sibthorp shared a PowerPoint she had done as a sophomore on MS 13. On May 19, students provided both the Spanish and their English translations of a slideshow on La Bestia, or “the beast,” the train that many migrants ride from central America into Mexico. That tied directly into a pivot Sharon made from individual country reports—a project that did not turn out to be readily translatable to online learning—to a more direct focus on El Salvador.

One resource students used to learn about the difficult history of politics, dictatorship, violence and change in that country was a PowerPoint prepared by a former ninth-grader (now a college junior, Trevor—Admissions Director Julie Schwarz’s son). This is possible because each year, students are asked to tackle meaningful subjects and share their learning, thus in many cases, the work of a prior student can be a launchpad for new learning. In the final stretch of the year, further collaboration may be possible, as students learn something about Operation Condor, a significant shared operation of oppression and repression in multiple Latin American countries in the 1970s that included direct involvement by the American CIA. Alexa and Sharon share an interest in the history and development of politics in Central and South America.

Exposure to this history helps people better understand the challenges with poverty, violence and political turmoil that impact people’s lives. A chance to read about, see and hear some contemporary music videos by artists in their 20s provides a further window into cultural understanding.

WMS Task Force spreads gratitude far and wide

King County Metro employees were very appreciative of the cards and items they received from the WMS Task Force, which also sewed and donated hundreds of face masks for Children’s Hospital. Read more here.


Now through June 17
•  School continues remote learning through end of school year
Wednesday, May 20
•  BOT meeting, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 22
•  NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS, faculty in-service day
Saturday, May 23
•  WMS Task Force Food Drive, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., NC campus contact-less drive through
Monday, May 25
•  SCHOOL CLOSED, Memorial Day holiday
Tuesday, May 26
•  Final week for Elementary specialists (Music Together and Spanish for Toddlers and EC ends the week of June 1)
Wednesday, May 27
•  Virtual Coffee With Sunita, please email Sunita for Zoom link
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.

Figlets explore the outdoors

EC & Toddler fall 2020 planning

As we begin preliminary planning for the next school year, if your child will be in either the Toddler or Early Childhood program at WMS this fall, we are interested in your feedback on a few questions. Please follow this link to a survey on some possible options.

WMS Task Force spreads gratitude

Don't miss out—Help Northwest Harvest and the WMS Task Force Food Drive scheduled this Saturday, May 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., NC campus contact-less drive through.

Please support the WMS Task Force contact-less food drive that will benefit Northwest Harvest, and will be delivered to their Seattle distribution center on Monday, May 25. They are most interested in receiving:

  • cans— beans, meats, veggies, fruits, tuna, chili, stew, etc.
  • packs—pasta, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, rice, oatmeal packets, etc.
  • jars—Sunbutter, nut butters, jams, jellies, etc.

650 greetings of gratitude delivered to King Co. Metro—On Friday, May 15, I delivered 650 greetings of gratitude to the King County Metro Bellevue and East base station to be delivered to all operators and staff of these two locations.

The gratitude greetings project has reached and brightened the day of over 950 people.

200 Masks delivered to Seattle Children’s Hospital—Our own community has benefited from the hard work of the phenomenal sewing team. Two hundred cloth face masks were delivered to Seattle Children’s Hospital at the request of Debra Ridling, Ph.D., a WMS parent.

The cloth masks produced by our task force have now reached and helped more than 700 individuals.

Task Force office hours—Not everyone is able to make it to the Wednesday 1 p.m., Zoom meeting for the task force, so I”m opening up regular Zoom office hours in the hopes that more of you will stop by and chat about what matters to you. Stop by the Task Force “office” every Monday-Friday, from 10 a.m.-noon, or join us for our weekly planning sessions on Wednesday at 1. No office hours this Monday, May 25, Memorial Day. Contact for the recurring invite link.

Projects in process—Food Drive on May 23, Staff Appreciation Season, cloth face masks, 3D-printed ear savers, Gratitude Greetings, headband ear savers, lending library and social committee(!).

Support needed—Donations needed of durable goods, time, money. Help by contacting and earn valuable volunteer hours while helping our community.

Please add your voice and hands to the projects currently in progress as we launch the next round of actions and tasks to support our WMS community and the larger community.

Many hands make light work.

Shay Chapman
WMS Task Force 2020 Coordinator

See photos from this week’s efforts.

Yearbook update

Did you miss the online yearbook sale? We will have a limited number of extra yearbooks available for purchase, first come, first served. As the yearbooks are only sold to WMS families and staff, please refer to the information in your Grapevine email to place an order. If you have already ordered a yearbook, either online, or through direct payment to the school, don’t worry—we expect to have the yearbooks ready for distribution before the last day of school, and we will figure out a contact-less way to distribute them. It’s a slower process this year than normal, but if they are delayed, we will notify all of the purchasers.

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.