November 2011

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The Parents Association is looking forward to its “One Pearl Party” on November 11. The event is being hosted by the PA and Shirley LaBrecque at Morrorw House. Everyone is encouraged to attend, and you are more than welcome to bring friends from outside the WMA community. We ask that you please just RSVP the number of attendees to Andrea Robbins at It's never too early to start your holiday shopping!

Our next regular PA meeting is November 10 at 8 a.m. in the Athletic Center Board Room. I hope you can make the meeting, but if you can't and have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Lisa Jalbert, Parents Association President

The Old Beech Tree

Recently the gigantic old copper beech outside of Lak Dining Hall had to be cut down and removed. Over the last ten years we had amputated her dead branches, one by one, until the great tree became half a great tree. Something, something insidious, had attacked her gnarled trunk causing it to peel away. Her xylem system, now compromised, meant her upper branches were deprived of life giving water. Her canopy became thin, as only an old woman's hair can be without actually being bald. Her weakened phloem system became non-functioning, which meant her roots were deprived of the sugars needed to survive. No longer could her head communicate with her feet. (more...)

Health Services

Health Services has a limited number of flu shots available for students. If you would like your child to receive a flu shot, please contact Rose Power, RN.

From the Deans Office

There seems to be a little confusion in the community about the status of the fall (Thanksgiving) vacation. I thought I'd try to clear it up.

Fall vacation is, in fact, a normal school vacation. This means that the Academy and its dorms and dining hall will be closed, and that students will not be allowed to remain on campus. This is a great opportunity to travel home, participate in a home-stay with a friend's family, or engage in some other local travel opportunity as approved by parents. Students may leave at the conclusion of their last obligation after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22. Boarding students must be off campus by noon on November 23, and may not return to the dorms until Sunday, November 27. They must be back on Sunday no later than 7 p.m.

The vacation was shortened from previous years to allow more class meeting time for AP classes before the exams in the spring and to allow us to end the school year a week earlier. You will notice on the school calendar that the year ends a week earlier than last year for non-graduates.

We realize that the shorter vacation makes travel home to some countries problematic and perhaps even impossible. We cannot, however, keep the campus open. Thanksgiving is an important holiday for Americans to spend with family. If we kept the school open, many of our faculty and staff would not have that opportunity.

College Counseling

SAT Prep Course

Beginning Sunday, December 4, the College Counseling Office will offer an SAT prep program through Summit Education SAT Prep. The course includes four practice tests and twenty hours of class instruction. For registration information and instructions visit the College Counseling page of the website.

WMA Give-a-Book Program

Library resources are important to learning, research, and enrichment for all students.

Parents, students, alumni, and friends can help build Gill Memorial Library and leave a legacy on campus by donating to the Give-a-Book Program.

You can select a book to donate or let the librarians pick one for you.

To make a gift contact WMA Director of Library Services Deborah Levheim at 413.596.9161.

Springfield Public Forum

Wilbraham & Monson Academy is proud to sponsor Robin Wright’s lecture, part of the 2011 Springfield Public Forum series.  

On Wednesday, November 9, the entire upper school will be transported to Symphony Hall to hear Ms. Wright's remarks. While middle school students are not required to attend, certainly families who wish to hear Ms. Wright's lecture are welcome to attend on their own. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Students will depart from the Academy at 6:45 p.m. and will be back on campus between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m.

The Arts

The Academy Players and Tech Theatre are hard at work on their fall production, “9/11: Reflections and Accounts”, a series of monologues and readings culled from interviews, essays, poetry, and family remembrances. The actors have spent their afternoons reading from various sources and compiling them into what should prove to be a truly moving and unique theatrical memorial on Saturday & Sunday, November 12 & 13.

McCallum Fund Performances

This year, WMA students will be treated to a series of master classes and performances made possible through the support of The Robert W. McCallum ’47 Visiting Lectureship Fund.   On October 13, students were entertained by a performance of traditional Chinese theatre and a master class by actor Jamie Guan from Dragon King Productions. Two more great performances are scheduled for this fall.

Thursday November 10, 2011, The Gohk Bi System: Childhood friends from Dakar, Senegal, reunite rap with its ancient West African ancestors in a style dubbed “ancient meets urban”. Through the American – Senegal project, they have exposed youth across the United States to African music, dance and culture. In 2000 they were selected by CNN to represent the sound of the African hip-hop scene in a documentary about music throughout the world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011, The New Blue of Yale University: The New Blue is the oldest undergraduate female a cappella group in the Ivy League. Founded in 1969 as Yale's first women's organization of any kind, The New Blue has almost four decades of professional entertainment and inspiring musicality. Notable for its uniquely rich, deep sound and eclectic repertoire, the group will be performing at School Meeting and working with our music students during the day.

Parent-Connect: A Valuable Resource

Again this year, we are excited to offer a series of informative online seminars exploring topics of vital interest to all parents.

The WMA Parents’ Association is hosting monthly gatherings to provide parents an opportunity to participate in the webinars. They are held in the Campus Center Conference Room at 6:00 p.m. Light refreshments are served. Be sure to check the Parent page of our website for exact dates and topics.

2011-2012 Schedule of webinars (pdf format)
Registration instructions (pdf format)

International Travel Opportunities 2011-2012

WMA Students Share Travel Experience: click here to view video

Complete 2011-2012 Travel information is available online at:

  • Where: Italy
  • Leaders: Ms. Feldheim, Ms. Burke
  • When: March Break
  • Notes: Art credit given for trip upon successful completion of work
  • Where: England
  • Leader: TBD
  • When: March Break
  • Notes: Four students to be selected and fully funded for this trip
  • Where: Vietnam
  • Leader: Mr. Dziura
  • When: June
  • Notes: College credit available through Westfield State

All trip deadlines have been extended to November 15 but space is limited.

If you want to confirm your space, please print out and have your parents sign the Intent to Participate Form.

Completed forms need to be returned to Mr. Swanson (Mattern 418).


Meeting of the
Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Parents Association

Please join us!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011
8:00 a.m.

WMA Athletic Center Board Room
Coffee, tea, juice, fruit, & breakfast pastries

These informal morning meetings are held the second Thursday of each month and are designed for us to get to know each other better and to provide an opportunity for parents to share their thoughts, ideas, and questions about all things WMA. We know your valuable input will help make the Academy experience the best it can be for our children and for us as parents. We will supplement these meetings with selected educational programs

throughout the year.

Questions, or to get involved, contact:
Lisa Jalbert President 413.221.3969
Kris Kirwan, Vice-President 413.244.7159
Melissa Reeves, Treasurer 413.530.4704
Robin Cook
Secretary 413.599.6609

Andrea Robbins, Associate Director of Alumni Relations & Parents Association Liaison 413.596.9118

 WMA Parents Association Book Club
December 1
6:45-8:00 p.m.
Where: Athletic Center
Book: Great Expectations

January Book (January 5)
Jane Eyre

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Geri French Robitaille at 413.575.5528.

Upcoming events

November 9
Springfield Public Forum series
7:30 p.m.

November 10
Fall Dance Recital
Founders Theatre
6:30 p.m.

November 11

Parents Association One Pearl Party
Morrow House
6:00 p.m.

November 12 & 13

Academy Players 9/11 Reflections & Accounts
Founders Theatre
7:00 p.m.

November 15
Varsity Athletic Awards
Lak Dining Hall
6:15 p.m.

November 22
Fall vacation begins
3:00 p.m.

November 28
Winter trimester classes begin

December 3

December 9-11
Closed Weekend

December 11
Holiday Program
Alumni Memorial Chapel
2:00 p.m. - Please note time change
Reception to follow

Important Links on 

Student Newspaper

Media Gallery

Updated 2011-2012 School Calendar

Risley Sports Photography

WMA is on Facebook and Twitter!


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