Theme of the Month



Parent/Teacher Conferences are being held January 23 and 27. Elementary families: Please remember to sign up for a time spot with your child’s teacher. Information regarding sign-ups will be sent home with students this week.

WMAES Elementary students are participating in a Box Top Contest. Please remember to bring your box tops with you to class!

Amanda Kinnucan is the new face to our office, serving as Office Manager. If you have an opportunity to speak with her, feel free to welcome her to the WMAES family. 


Read more about the 2013-2014 Winter Adventure camps here >


WMAES First Ever Book Fair!

Join the WMAES team Saturday, January 25, at Barnes & Noble – located inside the Rivertown Crossings Mall. 

We have a full day planned including exciting adventures, story time, and lots more! Have a few minutes to spare? With every purchase made at the Book Fair during our time, a portion will be donated to WMAES to spend on books and other learning tools for students. Don’t need a book? Stop by and purchase a latte or cookie from the café – those purchases count too!

Want to support WMAES during the Book Fair? WMAES will be at Barnes & Noble from 10am – 3pm. Use the code 1138310 or show our coupon.

Toys for Eagles

WMAES’ first ever Toys for Eagles drive was a huge success! Over 200 toys and gifts were donated to our very own WMAES families this holiday season.  

A student created project, Toys for Eagles, brought all the holiday cheer for the month of December. Parents of nearly 50 WMAES students were able to select gifts for their children, due to the generosity of our very own staff, students, and families.

How did these toys come about? The staff at WMAES have heard numerous stories of students using their own money to purchase toys for the drive, as well as staff members adopting entire families and providing gifts for the children. The support and commitment from all families involved truly explains just how dedicated and caring the WMAES students, staff, and families are.

Thank you all for your generous donations this holiday season!

Winter Weather – Safety

During these cold months, it’s important to keep in mind that children come first. Therefore, below you will find information on school closings, outdoor recess, and the essentials to keeping your children protected against the elements.

Closing information for WMAES can be found on:
Facebook, wma-es.com, WZZM13, and WOODTV

When does outdoor recess become indoor recess:
State law requires us to use our best judgment on the weather – however, if the temperature is 15 degrees or lower, students will be indoors for recess.

Please be sure to send your child with:
Hats, gloves/mittens, boots and snowpants. Children who are not dressed properly are still required to go outdoors, so please remember to send your child with the appropriate attire.

IF you have any winter accessories you’d like to donate to WMAES for students, please feel free to bring them to the
front office.

School starts at 8:00am:
With the roads becoming hazardous during the winter weather, please remember to leave your house earlier than normal. Classes start at 8:00am regardless of road conditions (unless notified, e.g. 2-hour delay, no school, or other warnings). Safety always comes first for the WMAES families, so please use your best judgment.

Young 5's

Student of the Month – Kamryn Antoine
Writer of the Month – Violet DeLany

All About Winter Ecology

For the month of December, students had a great time learning about Winter Ecology, the science theme for the month.

The students learned how various animals hibernate, migrate, and adapt. The Young 5’s kiddos were very interested in how the animals studied were able to survive in the cold. While snowshoeing, they even saw some animal tracks! With all the snow, it was a wonderful month for learning about changing seasons and Winter Ecology.

In January, the Young 5’s are looking forward to learning about outer space, planets and stars. The students will also learn the basics of force, and how pushes and pulls are types of forces. Hands on experiments and activities will be used to further explore the concepts explained.

Preschoolers will be learning all about space and continuing their work on Zoophonics. What caring citizens we have in the Young 5’s class!

Elementary News

First Grade Goes International

During the month of December, first graders explored the cultures from around the world.

Several parents and grandparents shared their family traditions and heritages with students. First graders were fortunate enough to have a special guest who taught them about Nigeria and the Netherlands.

In January, students will be very busy telling time and learning about the solar system. They will also be writing a persuasive paragraph, recommending their favorite books to others. Let the debating begin.

What’s the “MATTER”?

Fourth graders are beginning to learn the in depth understanding of all things ‘matter’. They will also be measuring the properties of matter in science, and calculating area and perimeter in math. Throughout this month, they will also be reading the book James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl. Students will be analyzing the characters and themes, as well as mapping out the story.

Six Divided by Two is Three!

Third graders will be starting a unit on division. A great way to help your student at home is to continue to practice their multiplication facts and skills with them each week, as well as assisting with math homework.

In Social Studies, students will be learning about economics. Third graders will be starting business projects where they will become entrepreneurs, and producing and “selling” their products on Entrepreneur Day. Be on the lookout for paperwork regarding this project.

The ELA Update

Elementary students will be reading, learning, and writing about penguins. Penguins will be the theme for January’s writing prompt, which will be a perfect pairing for this arctic weather we have been experiencing. Each teacher will select the top three writing pieces, and Ms. Baxter and Mrs. Willinger will select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place writers from each grade. The writers will be announced during the Character Ed assembly in February.

Middle School News

Scantron Testing

Students in grades 2-8 will begin Scantron testing again shortly. Here are a few hints to help your children prepare:

Remind them to try their best – it’s not about “who’s the smartest” or “who’s the fastest”, it’s about who tries their best. Children who are asked to try their best naturally perform better on tests because there isn’t added pressure. As long as they’ve done their best, they’ve done all they can.

Sleep! Getting a good night’s sleep is great for our brains – especially children’s. Children need at least nine hours of sleep per night. So on testing nights, be sure to tuck those little ones in on time.

Relax the brain and let it rest. Watching television, or playing video games, stimulates our brains to be in “action mode”. This makes it more difficult for our brains to relax and rest. Make sure the kiddos are turning off the electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Swap out a handheld device for a deck of cards or a board game. The images of playing a board game aren’t as “exciting” for our brains when resting – therefore, it’s easier to sleep.

Prepare your child a good and healthy breakfast. Try switching the sugary cereal for an orange and yogurt. Or, if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, cook up some scrambled eggs. Sugary breakfasts cause a “crash” in our children’s energy once the sugar has been broken down. Fruit, which has naturally occurring sugar, tends to keep children more alert during the morning hours without the sugar crash.

WATER, WATER, and more WATER! Send your testers to school with water. Our bodies need it and our minds crave it. Water replenishes our body’s cells, keeping us focused.

The WMAES Spelling Bee

WMAES will be hosting a spelling bee for students in grades 4 – 8, Thursday, January 16. There are approximately 30 students competing this year. The Bee will take place in the gym at 1:30pm. The winner and runner-up will advance to the Regional Spelling Bee in February, with a chance to eventually advance to the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

2014 WMAES National Geographic Bee

Twenty-five students, grades 4 – 8, participated in the fifth WMAES GeoBee. This year’s GeoBee was held January 9, 2014. Eight students earned a place in the Championship Round – being held January 21, 2014. Along with other prizes, the final Champion competes with students from other schools to earn a spot in the Michigan National Geographic Bee, held in Lansing on April 4. From there, the national competition is located in Washington, D.C., during the month of May.

Below is a list of the Championship Round students:

High School News

Students Expand their Environmental Science Knowledge to Others

Students in Mr. Barrett’s Advanced Environmental Science class have been working diligently on expanding their scientific knowledge to others interested.

Seventeen students, from both fall and winter semesters, dedicate their time to putting together a student-led website for other students interested in communicating science. “The students did all the work, I just assisted with editing and provided constructive feedback,” said Mr. Barrett.

“This project started when I went to Switzerland to present research on arctic plants. Students were asked to communicate with the scientists at the research conference, and their website arose as a way to continue those lines of communication about authentic science. It has evolved into a site to tell others about science at our school, and to keep scientific communication open,” concludes Mr. Barrett.

Students have recently received feedback from a GVSU Professor interviewed by a student – exclusively for the website. Interested in seeing the Advanced Environmental Science website? Don’t wait – view today!


Blood Drive
WMAES will be hosting a blood drive on January 27 from 10am – 1pm. Participants must be 16 years or older to donate. Community is welcome. Please contact Mr. Snyder to sign-up for an appointment.

Girls on the Run
The registration deadline for Girls on the Run has ended. There are 22 girls participating this year, and activities will begin in March. If you missed the deadline, a “late registration” may be opened up. In that case, we will be sure to inform you of any registration dates.

All Things Spanish

Wondering what is happening in Spanish class this month? Check out the fun lessons below:

Pre-K and Young 5’s: Students are beginning a unit on animals. Listen to your child as they share the names of different animals with you.

Kindergarten:Little ones will be wrapping up their lesson on numbers 1 – 10. They will then be creating number books that count by 2’s to practice at home.

1st grade: After finishing up the colors unit, students will be learning about things they see in their classroom.

2nd grade: Second graders are learning the names of classroom objects. Students will be creating flashcards and playing games like BINGO with their cards.

3rd grade: Speak with your child about their community. They are currently learning about community, and vocabulary that relates to our community.

4th grade: Students are studying the nation of Cuba, and how Spain influenced their culture and history.

5th grade: Classes are learning of the ancient civilizations of the Americas. One class is studying the Aztecs, as the other learns of the Incas.

The GREEN Scene

Our Winter Adventure Camps are back!

The first winter camp, Howl at the Moon Hike, had a wonderful turn out. Families enjoyed learning about the different phases of the moon, and warming up next to the campfire in the woods.

Looking for a fun activity? Animal Adaptations in the Winter will be taking place this Thursday, January 16, from 5:30-7:00pm. This is free for all WMAES families. Wanting to bring a friend? It’s only $3 for non-WMAES students. Share our amazing school adventures with those you know.

Space is limited to 30 people/session. Register online today to reserve your spot - CLICK HERE!

Entrepreneurial News!

Thank you to everyone who shopped at the Eagle Shack Holiday Workshop!

The workshop was a huge success this year with over 200 students participating. In December, the Entrepreneurial student’s also opened shop during the WMAES Craft Show – proving to be eventful. Record high sales were set with the “I Love My Lips” lip balm and Junk Drawer’s stuffed animals.

In January, students will be traveling to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to learn about the innovative technology and marketing strategies being released in 2014.

Student Council

In December, Student Council members visited Remembrance Church with the Walker Police Department, and students from Kenowa Hills. Volunteers spent their time sorting and packing food for the needy.