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WMS to hold sixth grade orientation on April 23

In just 16 weeks, current fifth grade students will begin the new school year as sixth graders. To ease this transition, Waimea Middle School will host its annual Incoming Sixth Grade Family Orientation, from 5-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 23, in the school cafeteria. It’s free and families are encouraged to bring their incoming sixth grader.

The orientation will include an overview of why WMS opted to become the state’s first public conversion charter school in 2003 and a discussion of the school’s current commitment to become accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. These efforts are aligned with the school’s mission of “empowering all students with the skills, values and cultural understanding to successfully navigate high school and beyond.”

Also included in the Family Orientation will be a review of sixth grade curriculum, school policies on safety, uniforms, attendance, busing, health and wellness, and student supports including counseling, technology and before- and after-school homework help, student leadership, athletics, robotics and K(Arts). Families will learn about three model programs at WMS including its ‘Ike Hawaii cultural and place-based lessons integrated into common core curriculum, relevant hands-on learning in the Mala’ai School Garden connected to academics, nutrition and environmental education, and the importance of family involvement.

Families also will meet WMS faculty and staff and learn about Hawaii’s new longer school day mandated by the 2011 Legislature in response to furloughs. Beginning next year, WMS classes will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Wednesdays, when students will be released at 2 p.m. Busing will be adjusted to accommodate the changes.

The orientation also will provide families with details on WMS’ 14-day Summer School, June 9-27, for all Waimea students entering fourth through eighth grades. Cost is $50 per child and includes morning and afternoon bus transportation and breakfast and lunch daily. The program will combine strong academic focus and skill building plus exciting place-based experiences including a weekly excursion. The fee will be waived for all children eligible for free/reduced lunch and migrant education. There are additional scholarships available on request.

To RSVP for the orientation, call the school office at 887-6090, ext. 222. All families who RSVP will receive two ready-to-bake pizzas to go. For information about registering for WMS, call WMS registrar Betty Healy at 887-6090, ext. 228. For information or to RSVP for the Incoming Sixth Grade Family Orientation, call Patti Cook at 937-2833. For information including scholarships for Summer School, call the school office at ext. 222.