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Wilbraham & Monson Academy: 2011_Parent eNews

February 2012 Volume 1


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Thank you very much to everyone who participated in Soup-A-Palooza! A wonderful time was had by all, and the money raised from the evening will go toward the capital fundraising campaign to renovate Lak Dining Hall. I would like to thank everyone who attended as well as all the volunteers, from the parents to the members of Student Government, who helped create such an enjoyable evening. I would also like to congratulate the evening’s big winners as well. The best adult entry winner was WMA's own Erika Whipple with her delicious raspberry soup. And the best student entry winner was Gwyneth Osborne with her chicken tortilla soup, which also took home the prize for overall favorite soup. Congratulations once again.

Our next Parents Association event will be this month – the first of our three-part College Counseling 101 series. Look for a postcard to be sent home with all the details. Also our regular monthly meeting will be held on February 9 at 8:00 a.m. in the Athletic Center conference room. I hope you can join us, but if you are unable to and have any questions please feel free to contact me.

 Lisa Jalbert, Parents Association President

Text Alerts

WMA is pleased to announce that we now have text messaging alerts. We will be sending weekly messages to students in an effort to update them of upcoming deadlines, student activities, and other pertinent information they need to know. We ask that students do not "opt out" of messages as important information will be disseminated this way including weather/emergency alerts.

From the Deans Office

Winter trimester (T2) grades & comments

Please review the grades and comments with your child. Direct questions about your child's grade or progress in a particular course to the teacher directly or contact your child's advisor. The advisor is a good resource to assist you and your child with any academic difficulties that may have arisen.

March 2 - Winter Trimester ends (T2)

March 6 at noon - grades and comments for T2 finalized on PowerSchool

To access your child’s grades and comments, go to our PowerSchool website and log in using your username and password.

On PowerSchool you will see the following:

  • T1 column: Fall trimester grades for yearlong and fall trimester courses.
  • M2 column: mid-winter trimester grade for yearlong and winter trimester courses.
  • T2 column: winter trimester grade for yearlong and winter trimester courses.
  • T2 Teacher Comment: Click on the T2 grade to find the comment for that specific class.
  • Teacher recommendation symbols are located below the percentage grade in the T2 column: H = Honor Night, E = Extra Help, D = Directed Study

Relay For Life

Join us Saturday, May 19 for our annual Greater Wilbraham Relay For Life.

Currently, we are looking for survivors to participate in our survivor lap and team members to help organize and fundraise for the event. Please contact Brianna Goncalves for more information or to get involved.

HOMESTAY for March

Students are in the process of making plans for spring vacation (March 2 - 20). A few of our International students are looking to stay in Wilbraham for the duration of the break. Perhaps you would like to consider opening your home to one of our students by becoming a HOMESTAY host family.

Please contact International Student Program Director Gayle Hsiao if you would like to consider this program.

Learn more...

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.

Making Travel Arrangements

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

Parents, please remember, if your son or daughter is a boarding student, you must give him/her permission to leave school for 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, February 29 for spring vacation:

New fax number
dedicated to boarding student permissions:

Call: 413.596.9122 • email:

Head of School Message

Global schooling parallels global business

In the recent Sunday New York Times (Made in the World, NYT Jan 29, 2012), Tom Friedman wrote that when President Obama met with Steve Jobs shortly before his death, the President asked him why he couldn't have various Apple products manufactured in the US instead of in China. Jobs replied that those jobs were never coming back. That same sentiment was voiced by Bruce Springsteen in the early 1980s in Hometown, "They're closing down the textile mills across the railroad tracks. Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back." More...

Center for Entrepreneurial & Global Studies

Yunnan Ethnic Minority School Project (YEMS)

The idea of ‘social entrepreneurship’ is evolving on the WMA campus. Mengdie Melody Liu '12 submitted a proposal as her final project in the fall Entrepreneurship class that has earned her a nod of approval from our administrators and an endorsement from Andreas Widmer, author of The Pope & The CEO and co-founder of SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization run by entrepreneurs who support enterprises that further solutions to poverty.

The Yunnan Ethnic Minority School Project (YEMS) is a cross-cultural volunteer program that will span the month of June 2012. During ten days’ volunteering, Melody and her group of five volunteers will be teaching English, making friends with and donating books, supplies, and needed resources to the ethnic-minority students in an under-privileged village in Yunnan Province, China. The volunteers will have the opportunity to teach and inspire these students through games, stories, and cross-cultural exchanges. The underlying purpose is to give the children of Yunnan Province hope.

If you cannot take a month-long trip to China to participate first hand, you might be interested in hearing how you can help support a child’s continuing high school education for a year or purchasing some textbooks for the group to donate to the school. Melody has designed a fair-trade organic tee shirt that can be purchased with proceeds going to fund the project. Living out the message “do more than exist” is something that Melody wants to share with the WMA global community.

Parent-Connect: A Valuable Resource

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

Summer Programs

Wilbraham & Monson Academy is an exciting and inviting place to be this summer with numerous camp activities and enticing options available for children aged 5-18. We encourage you to consider Beech Tree, a summer camp for your children ages 5-12 as well as our new specialty camps. We have something for everyone – from the emerging entrepreneur to the budding poet. Our camps are open to the public, so feel free to recommend them to your friends! Visit to get detailed information on all the great camps being offered this summer.


Meeting of the
Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Parents Association

Please join us!!

Thursday, February 9, 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

March 1
6:45-8:00 p.m.
Where: Athletic Center
Book: Ethan Frome

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

Upcoming Events
February 10-12
Academy Players perform
West Side Story
7:00 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.)
2:00 p.m. (Sun.)
Founders Theatre

February 17-19
Academy Players perform
West Side Story
7:00 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.)
2:00 p.m. (Sun.)
Founders Theatre

February 21
College Counseling 101 Session
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Athletic Center Board Room
Food & beverages served

February 28
Savory Suppers
6:00 p..m.
Atkins Farms in Amherst
Contact: Robin Cook

February 28
Varsity Athletic Awards Banquet
6:15 p.m.
Lak Dining Hall


Important Links

Student Newspaper

Media Gallery

Updated 2011-2012 School Calendar

Risley Sports Photography

WMA is Social!


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