December 2011 Volume 1

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Happy Holidays!

It’s hard to imagine planning for anything beyond right now as many of us are in the middle of the holiday frenzy, but the Parents Association is in the initial stages of planning our big April fundraiser “Clash of the Titans II”. We are holding an organizational meeting December 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Conference Room. We will be forming committees and discussing details for this amazing event. I encourage anyone interested in helping in any way to attend. The meeting should last no more than an hour and we are looking to include as many parents as we can to help make the event a huge success. If you have any questions or if you are unable to attend but would like to help, please feel free to contact me at 413.221.3969 or email

Lisa Jalbert, Parents Association President

From the Deans Office

WMA Season of Giving

During the holiday season, the WMA community comes together to help people in need, both locally and globally. Beginning just before the fall vacation and extending to the start of the winter vacation, each day is dedicated to a specific project or collection. Projects range from writing thank-you cards to buying holiday presents to staging bake sales to donating time at a soup kitchen. Students, faculty, and staff all participate in this effort.

Bins and collection buckets will be placed all around campus, with the main ones in the Campus Center. Please feel free to bring items before the days that they are listed on this schedule.

Class of 2012 Yearbook Ads

Parents of the Graduating Class:

"Parent Ads" for the 2012 yearbook will be on sale until January 16. As a gift for your senior, you can purchase and design a space in The Hill for him or her. As much as a whole page ($260) or as little as an eighth of a page ($60) can be purchased. Use this space to showcase cute baby photos, silly photos, sports photos, and/or extra senior photos as well as a message to your student that will be remembered for years to come. The money for the squares goes into The Hill yearbook fund as well as funds for Commencement. The order form can be downloaded here.

For any questions, please contact yearbook advisor Wendy Decker.

Making Travel Arrangements

For your convenience, an updated list of travel dates can be found here.

Parents, please remember, if your son or daughter is a boarding student, you must give him/her permission to leave school for fall and winter vacations, even if they are going home for the break. If they are not going home, please be specific about where they are going and with whom.

Please do one of the following by 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 14 for winter vacation:

New fax number
dedicated to boarding student permissions:

Call: 413.596.9122 • email:
Snow Days

With a significant boarding population, we do not cancel school unless conditions are severe. It makes sense for us to continue with the academic day. However, at no time do we expect day students or their families to take risks. Day-student absences accompanied by a parent phone call on inclement days are excused, and work missed can be completed without consequence. Day students should get to school and sign in at the Deans Office as soon as conditions and family comfort allow.

If students cannot drive from campus to home due to bad weather, they should notify the Deans Office or the AOD. Arrangements can be made for them to sleep on campus.

Since Blake Middle School is entirely a day population, weather that causes concern may result in the cancellation of middle-school classes when upper-school classes are held as scheduled.

For the most current information and updates, look on FirstClass email or the website.

Head of School Blog

The Relevance of Silas Lapham Today

During the Thanksgiving break I read The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells. This book, written in 1885, is in the genre of the early "realistic" novels. It presents the story of Maine-born, Boston-based Silas Lapham, the self-made man, and the problems he and his family face in getting themselves socially accepted into a supposedly superior class. Lapham makes a fortune in the paint business and then loses it all in stock speculation, building a house beyond his means, and lending to an unscrupulous partner. The moral dilemma is that he became rich initially by using the financial support of this unscrupulous partner and then knowingly cut him loose just when the business was rising meteorically. There is an intriguing subplot about his two daughters of marriageable age who are the object of the attention of a young, very rich, bon vivant who is now ready to settle down. The story ends with Lapham starting over in Maine, his wife happy that he has removed himself from striving to be something he was not, and the daughters happily in stable marriages. read more...

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.

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

College Counseling

PSAT Score Reports for Classes of 2013 and 2014

A letter to parents of current sophomores and juniors regarding the results of the PSAT that was taken in October will be mailed out soon.

“We recently received your child's PSAT score reports and gave back the results during the Sophomore and Junior class meetings this week. We encourage you to ask your child to share their results with you.” Read the entire letter here.


Open House

As parents, you have first-hand knowledge of the strength of a WMA education and can contribute to the continued growth of our school by sharing the WMA story with your friends and acquaintances. Please share your children's experiences and encourage all interested families to attend our winter Open House on Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 p.m. For more information, please contact the Admission Office at 413.596.9107.

The Arts

Concert & Fundraiser for Victims of 9/11

In response to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Fine & Performing Arts Department wanted to honor the legacy and victims of 9/11 through our students and community. (more…)

Join us for the Annual Holiday Concert

Featuring music to celebrate the season & original scenes by ARC!

Sunday, December 11, 2:00 p.m.

Alumni Memorial Chapel

Reception at Binney Gallery afterward

Holiday Gift Ideas at WMA

Give-A-Book Program

Donate a book to Gill Memorial Library in someone’s name through the WMA Give-A-Book Program. To make a gift visit our website or contact WMA Director of Library Services Deborah Levheim at 413.596.9161.


Two great gift options are the student-developed games Blocks Rock!  and Haiku Playing Cards.  Both are available at the newly released Online Campus Store.

Online Campus Store

Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, WMA has expanded its campus store to be available online. There are a handful of options available for online purchase such as apparel and games. Don't miss out on our featured item, the Holiday Ornament.

Gift Cards

Spa Cards, available in the Campus Store, make great stocking stuffers. Good for treats in the Campus Center.

International Travel Opportunities 2011-2012

WMA Students Share Travel Experience: click here to view video

We've had incredible response to our travel offerings. The Amazon & India are currently the only destinations that still has space. Sign up now!

Complete 2011-2012 Travel information is available on our website.


Meeting of the
Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Parents Association

Please join us!!

December 13
Clash of the Titans II
Organizational meeting
Campus Center Conference Room
7:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 12, 2012
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.

For 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

January 5
6:45-8:00 p.m.
Where: Athletic Center
Book: Jane Eyre

February Book (February 2)
Fahrenheit 451
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Geri French Robitaille at 413.575.5528.

Upcoming events

December 9-11
Closed Weekend

December 9-16
9/11 Art Show
Binney Art Gallery

December 9
9/11 Art Show Opening & Fundraiser
6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Binney Art Gallery
December 11
Holiday Concert
2:00 p.m.
Alumni Memorial Chapel
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Refreshments in Binney Art Gallery
9/11 Art Show & Fundraiser
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Binney Art Gallery
December 16
Winter vacation begins at noon
January 5
Classes Resume
January 10
Savory Suppers
10:00 a..m.
Atkins Farms
January 12
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location TBD

January 17
Grade 8 Moving Up
7:00 p.m.
Shenkman Trading Center

January 20
End of third marking period

Model UN in Boston

January 28
Parents Association
Lak Dining Hall
4:00-7:00 p.m.

January 22
Admission Open House
2:00 p.m.

Global Scholars Program

For students interested in applying to The Global Scholars Program, a merit-based program for students of outstanding academic achievement, please visit the Global Scholars page on the WMA website.

For more details, you may also contact Mrs. Hutcheson, Global Scholars Program Director.

The online application will be live soon. The due date is February 1, 2012.

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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