Parent FAQ

We've compiled the wisdom of veteran Wheeler parents, faculty and staff to provide answers to the most commonly-asked questions you have about school.  Think of something that would be helpful here?  Let our Parent Relations Office know.

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  • Back To School Message from Head Allison Gaines Pell

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Lower School N-5

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Welcome Back Letter by Dana Hahn, Head of Lower School

     
    August 2017
     
     
    Dear Lower School Parents:
     
    I am anxiously anticipating another great school year. Along with the excitement that I feel for every new beginning in Lower School, this year is especially compelling as we are welcoming our new Head of School, Allison Gaines Pell. I’ve had several meetings and conversations with Allison and I can tell you that you will be excited as I am to have her as our new leader. This is going to be an incredible year.
     
    I love the rhythm of the academic year and the new opportunities, promise and possibilities that are part of every September.  The first week of school always feels charged with the students’ enthusiasm, their boundless but restrained energy (for the first few days), their nervous anticipation of a new class and new friends, and their willingness to work together to create a positive school dynamic.  The faculty is preparing for the students’ return, and, in a couple of weeks, we will be ready to greet you and your children.
     
    Here are a couple of important things to remember:
     
    • Orientation evening for parents of students in Nursery through Grade One is Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Please go directly to your child’s homeroom.
    • All health and emergency forms were due by now.  If you haven’t sent them to us yet, please send them today!  We will use email rather than backpack mail whenever we can, so we must have your emergency forms back to add your current email addresses to our distribution lists.
    • School starts for all students promptly at 8:00 a.m.  Please arrive on time.
    • The classroom doors open in the Nursery through Kindergarten homerooms at 7:30 a.m. so that parents who need the early supervision can drop their children into their classrooms and then head off to work. Children in grades 1-5 who arrive early can go to the Library at 7:30 or hang in the Foyer or first floor hallway near the Foyer with me until the bell rings at 7:55 a.m. to alert the students that it’s time to go to their homerooms.
    • Walk your children into class the first day of school.  After that, children in grades two through five should walk themselves up the stairs to their homerooms.  It is an important transitional step for the students to be independent as they prepare for the school day.
    • Students in Nursery- 3rd grade do NOT have to purchase any books.
    • Students in Grades 4 and 5 do need to purchase all books for the year. Please visit the Wheeler website to see each grade's book list and to link to our online vendor, Follett Virtual Bookstore.  If you have questions about ordering the books, you can call Follett at 888-382-3383.
    • Check the Wheeler website every week since most of our communication with families will be paperless and the website will have all the important information for you. You will find general Lower School information as well as specific grade level information. A few specialists, like Joyce Ball, also post relevant research and/or workshop presentations for parents to review.
    • The Wheeler Weekly Word is emailed to families every Thursday.  Be sure we have your email addresses so you can receive that weekly email.
    • Please contact teachers through email.  We are committed to replying within 24 hours during the school week. On weekends and during vacations, the teachers often don’t check their email so expect a response during the school week.
    • Any last minute changes in dismissal should be reported to Pat Glendinning, our Lower School Assistant.  Pat can be reached directly at 401-528-2138. She will be sure to get the messages to the teachers or to me.  I always have my cell phone with me at dismissal so Pat can contact me and students can call their parents if necessary.
    • We will continue our goal of being a plastic bottle-free campus.  With that in mind, please send your children to school with reusable bottles that they can fill with water at the dispensers in Lower School and the Union.  At lunch in the Union, children can still purchase milk, chocolate milk or juice.  Water will be available at the water dispensers.
    • Please refer to the Wheeler Website and go to the homepagel to click on Parent FAQ to learn lots of important information before school starts.
     
    I look forward to seeing all of you in September. For now, I hope you enjoy the last weeks of summer.
     
     
    Best,
     
     
    Dana C. Hahn
    Head of Lower School
     
  • Basic Lower School Information

    LOWER SCHOOL
     
    SUMMARY OF BASIC INFORMATION
     
     
    1.  SCHOOL HOURS  Please help your children arrive at school promptly at 7:55 a.m.
     
    Nursery………………………..8:00 a.m. ‑ 11:45 a.m. daily
    Pre‑Kindergarten……………...8:00 a.m. ‑ 12:00 noon daily
    Kindergarten ‑ Grade 2………..8:00 a.m. ‑ 3:00 p.m. daily
    Grades 3‑5…………………….8:00 a.m. ‑ 3:00 p.m. daily
     
    2.  LUNCH BUNCH - please note times below
     
    NURSERY: 11:45 - 3:00
    PRE-KINDERGARTEN: 12:00 - 3:00
    Children in the Nursery and Pre‑Kindergarten are eligible to stay for Lunch Bunch.  There is an additional charge for this program.
     
    3.  WOW PROGRAM OFFERINGS  3:00 ‑ 5:30 P.M.
     
                Please see website for details.
     
    4.  LIBRARY AFTER SCHOOL
     
                4th and 5th Grade students are welcome to go to the library and do their homework Monday through        Thursday at no charge provided they are picked up by 4:00 p.m.  After 4:00 p.m. these students
                will be sent to WOW and there will be a fee.
     
    5.  DISMISSAL
     
    Our goal for dismissal is for each child to leave school safely at the designated time.  In order to achieve this goal, we need your help!  All Lower School students will be dismissed from the gazebo gate on Meeting Street.  Cars should only approach the Gazebo by turning right off Brook Street (traveling north).  Please be patient with us as we attempt to have dismissal run smoothly and safely.
     
    6.  MONEY
     
    Please do not allow your child to bring more money to school than is absolutely necessary.  Money for school activities should arrive in a sealed envelope with both the teacher's and child's name printed on the outside.
     
    By limiting the amount of money around the School, several potential problems can be avoided.  We need and appreciate your cooperation.
     
     
     7. PARTIES
     
    Invitations to birthday parties should be mailed or distributed OUTSIDE of school.  Pick-up for birthday parties should not be done during dismissal time at the gazebo.                          
     
    8.  TO REACH A TEACHER
     
    All teachers have Wheeler email and they will respond to you within 24 hours Monday through Friday.  If you send an email during a vacation or weekend, you can expect to hear from the teacher during the school week.  You can also call Pat Glendinning, in the Lower School Office, to leave a phone message for your child’s teacher.
     
    9.  LUNCH
     
    Lunch Bunch and Kindergarten: bring lunch and eat in their classrooms every day.
    Grade One through Grade Five: eat in the Union daily.  Either bring lunch or buy lunch.
     
    10. SNACKS
     
    Each class has a morning snack, either in class for grades N-2 or at morning recess for grades 3-5.     Children in grades 1 and 2 bring their own small, nutritious snacks.   In Nursery through Kindergarten, snacks are provided or children can bring their own.
     
     11. ABSENCES
     
    If your child will be home sick, please call Pat Glendinning at 528-2138 before 8:30 a.m.  At that time, if you want the daily homework, please tell Pat so she can notify the teachers during the day.  At 3:00 p.m., homework can be picked up in the Lower School Office unless you specify a child who will carry it home to you.
     
    Wheeler has a policy stating that parents should not remove their children from school to take additional vacations.  We are aware, however, that on occasion a family has a wonderful opportunity to share an enriching experience that would necessitate removing the child from school.  If you choose to have your child miss school under these circumstances, it will be your responsibility to have your child make‑up the missed work after he/she returns.  Please do not ask teachers to prepare work prior to non-school vacations.
     
     
    12.  REPORT CARDS
     
    Report cards are issued 2 times per year (December and June) in Grades 1‑5 only.  School policy states that all outstanding debts must be paid before a report card is issued.
     
     
     
    13.  PARENT‑TEACHER CONFERENCES
     
    This year there will be three parent‑teacher conferences scheduled.   The dates are:
     
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    Friday, February 2, 2018
    Friday, April 20, 2018

    14.  EARLY DISMISSAL DATES
     
    All Lower School classes will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. on Grandparents’ and Special Friends  Day.   Teachers will spend this afternoon in professional development meetings.
     
    15.  PROFESSIONAL DAY FOR TEACHERS IN GRADES 1-5  - Monday, November 27th
     
    No school for students in grades 1-5.  Classes as usual from 8:00-3:00 for Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.  No after-school programs.
     

  • When does school start?

    The first day of school for ALL students is Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 8:00 am. 

    There is an orientation for ALL Nursery-Grade 1 parents on Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Parents will go to their child's homeroom to review all of the daily routines and ask questions so that when the children arrive we can focus on them!

    There is a brief orientation for ALL Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten families on Tuesday, September 5.  Parents and students will have the chance to visit classrooms and meet teachers on a schedule between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. In August Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten families will hear more from their child's teacher regarding their scheduled half-hour visit time. 

    All NEW Kindergarten-Grade 5 families should visit on Tuesday, September 5 at 10:00 a.m. for a 45-minute orientation to meet the teachers, find cubbies and coat hooks, and explore classroom spaces. Returning students are welcome to attend if they'd like, but it is not necessary.
  • Are there any summer assignments?

    Reading: There is required summer reading for students entering Grades 2-5. You can access the assignments by visiting the Prescott Library's LS Summer Reading page.

    Math: There is required summer math for students entering Grades 2-5.

    Students entering Grade 2 will complete a math workbook over the summer. Visit www.summerskills.com to purchase the First Grade Workbook so that students can review the math skills they learned in Grade 1 to prepare for entry into Grade 2.

    Students entering Grades 3-5 will practice their math skills using a website called IXL. While students entering are encouraged to do as many sections as they would like, there are specific required topics for each grade level. Visit this Live Binder website to get information about your log-in info and the details about what topics students should cover. 

  • How is technology incorporated into the Wheeler Lower School?

    Wheeler Lower School infuses technology into learning in several different ways, including:
    • Interactive whiteboards (often called "Smartboards") installed in various classrooms
    • iPads available for use in Nursery - Kindergarten 
    • Chromebooks available for use in the Prescott Library
    • 1:1 Chromebook or iPad Programs for Grades 1 - 5, which provides each student with a school-owned device to use in the classroom
  • Do I need any school supplies?

    The Lower School teachers will have all the school supplies needed for the first day of school. If there is anything else required for the year, teachers will share the list of materials on the first day of school. 
  • Do I need to purchase any books?

    Students in Grades Nursery-Grade 3 do NOT have to purchase any books.

    Students in Grades 4 and 5 DO need to purchase all books for the year, and you can link to our online vendor, Follett Virtual BookstoreTo find and purchase your child's books you should click the yellow "Start Here" button and then choose your child's school (Wheeler or Hamilton), grade level (4th-12th), and subject/course to see what books are necessary.
  • When will I find out who my homeroom teacher will be?

    Each child will receive a postcard from his or her homeroom teacher at the end of August.
  • Are there options for Nursery or Pre-Kindergarten students to stay until 3:00pm?

    Yes, we do offer an Afternoon Option, affectionately known as "Lunch Bunch," which extends the day from 11:30 am-3:00 pm for an additional fee.  Students may participate for one to five days per week.  To register online visit Afternoon Options section of the Lower School page or contact Pat Glendinning, the Lower School Assistant, if you have any questions about the program.
  • Are there After School options for Lower School students who cannot be picked up at 3:00pm?

    Yes, we have an after school program called the World of Wonder, or WOW, that provides supervised activities from 3:00-5:30 p.m. for Hamilton and Wheeler students in Nursery - Grade 5.  Students can participate for one to five days a week for an additional fee.  To register online visit the Lower School Division page and click on the After School program button there.
  • Will there be orientation and welcome events for LS students and parents?

    Yes, there are many events scheduled to welcome LS families and help them learn about the transitions to Nursery-5th Grade. Below is the current schedule of events through September 2017. Check Wheeler's Master Calendar for information about all events throughout the school year.

    New LS Family BBQ
    Monday, June 12 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

    Join the Wheeler School Parent Association (WSPA) in the Wheeer Courtyard for a festive summer barbeque to welcome families new to the Lower School. 

    Nursery-Grade 1 Parent Orientation
    Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
    All Nursery-Grade 1 parents will meet with faculty members to discuss life in Wheeler's Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade classrooms.

    New Parents' Brunch
    Tuesday, September 5 from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

    New parents are invited to get to know each other at a brunch in the Hope Building. 

    Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten Family Classroom Visits 
    Tuesday, September 5 at a designated time between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
    All Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten families will have the chance to visit classrooms and meet teachers on a schedule between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. In August Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten families will hear more from their child's teacher regarding their scheduled half-hour visit time. 

    New K-5 Family Classroom Visits 
    Tuesday, September 5 from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
    New families in Kindergarten-Grade 5 will have the chance to visit classrooms, find coat hooks & cubbies, and meet teachers.

    New Parents' Dinner
    Tuesday, September 12 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

    New parents are invited to get to know each other and the Wheeler community at a reception and dinner in the Madden Gym. 

    LS Parents' Night (Nursery-Grade 2)
    Tuesday, September 19 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    All Nursery-Grade 2 parents are invited to meet with homeroom, art, music, library, Spanish, Aerie, and science teachers to discuss the learning and fun that happen in Wheeler's Lower School.

    LS Parents' Night (Grades 3-5)
    Tuesday, September 26 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    All Grade 3-5 parents are invited to meet with homeroom, art, music, library, Spanish, Aerie, and science teachers to discuss the learning and fun that happen in Wheeler's Lower School.



  • What about lunch?

    Wheeler contracts its Food Services with SAGE Dining.  You can find lunch menus when you visit your RESOURCES Board after login or at this link. 

Upper School 9-12

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Welcome Back Letter from Neeltje Henneman

    August 2017
     
    Dear Families,
     
    While there are still summer days ahead of us, it is that time when our thoughts start to turn to September. While there’s a certain wistful feeling that comes with the end of summer, there’s also the excitement that comes with the start of the new year. This year there’s a lot to look forward to. We are excited to welcome Allison Gaines Pell, our new Head of School. We are excited about a newly renovated Upper School library space. We are excited to welcome a class of new 9th graders (and some new 10th and 11th graders as well). And we are excited to continue our work with your children. Depending on the age of your kids, you are probably looking ahead with emotions that range from excitement to anxiety to nostalgia.  For those of you for whom an oldest child is entering 9th grade, it’s probably feeling unimaginable that they are beginning high school. For those of you whose children are anticipating their senior year, you may be marveling at how quickly the time has gone.
     
    While there’s a lot of unknown associated with the beginning of the school (which may account for both some of the anxiety and some of the excitement that we feel), there is a certain amount we can predict with confidence. Your kids will become stronger writers, readers, and mathematicians. They will develop new interests. There will be great performances on the stage, in the classroom, on the playing fields. The kids will amaze and inspire you -- and us. While it’s fun to imagine the exciting things that lie ahead, it’s worth recognizing that there will be some less than perfect days and moments await as well. In recent months there has been quite a bit written about the importance of encountering some failure (in June The New York Times highlighted a Smith College initiative called “Failing Well”). The prevailing wisdom is that in our efforts to protect our children, we have created kids who aren’t resilient, who don’t have coping skills, who don’t know how to respond when things don’t go their way. Well, we can help with that. One of the things we can predict with certainty is that the kids are bound to make mistakes, they’re sure to bump up against moments of frustration. And by treating these disheartening moments as a necessary part of the learning process rather than as defining moments, we have the chance to help them recover from them.
     
    As a faculty we have tackled Carol Dweck’s book Mindset this summer.  Dweck defines and differentiates between a growth mindset (a mindset that recognizes that talents can be nurtured, and that through effort we can get better at things we aren’t naturally good at) and a fixed mindset (one in which we see our talents as locked in and impervious to change). Dweck writes about failure as well -- in a fixed mindset any failure has the potential to define us. She reminds us that ultimate success comes more regularly to those who understand setbacks (poor test grades, not winning a hoped for leadership position) as learning opportunities. While Dweck’s work doesn’t mean that everyone has the capacity to be great at everything, it can help us as we coach the kids who encounter setbacks.
     
    And so, I encourage all of us to look ahead to the school year with eyes wide open. We will have good days -- lots of them -- and bad days. The kids will have plenty of successes and make plenty of mistakes.  No one success or failure will define any of them.  We are excited to rejoin our work together! We are excited to welcome the students back to campus, and we are looking forward to our continued work with you all.
     
    As always, enjoy these remaining days of August, and please be in touch with any questions or concerns.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Neeltje Henneman
    Head of Upper School
  • Upper School Opening Instructions from Page Stites, Dean of Students

    August 2017

    Dear Upper School Parents,
    As I write this, we’re eagerly gearing up for another school year here on Hope Street. We’re excited to be joined in the Upper School by a dynamic, talented, and diverse new group of 9th graders, and of course we’re thrilled to welcome our new Head of School, Allison Gaines Pell, to campus.  Although there’s still plenty of summer left, I’m looking forward to the start of the year and the opportunity it brings to reconnect with all of the wonderful students, parents, and colleagues who make up this amazing community.
     
    I’ve spent a good deal of time this summer on a fun personal project – restoring (or maybe “fixing” is a better term for it!) my new 1969 Volkswagen bus, “Buttercup.”  I’ve had a fast education in valve clearances, ignition timing, and carburetors, and my family and I have had quite a few adventures and misadventures along the way. I’ve also gained a deeper appreciation for the value of patience and persistence, and the project prompted me to re-read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s now-classic book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” In this book, the psychologist introduces what he calls a state of “flow,” in which “people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter” and experience enjoyment and creativity. Csikszentmihalyi examines the conditions that lead to flow and explores the implications of the idea for our minds, our bodies, our work, and our relationships, and ultimately probes the concept of “making meaning” of our lives. 
     
    Beyond the happy enjoyment of my own state of flow while lying on my back under the bus, I’ve thought a lot about what it means for our students and children. What if the work of helping our students and children learn to create the conditions for their own happiness, however they ultimately define it, is our most important job? Perhaps finding a state of flow could supplement or even supplant our more traditional definitions of success: if fixing an engine, playing lacrosse, or solving a challenging problem leads to a state of flow, then doesn’t that activity or pursuit have inherent value, whether or not it leads to college admissions, financial rewards, or some other goal?
     
    Enough philosophy - now for some logistics: all 9th and 10th grade students will learn who their new advisors are in personal notes written by advisors and sent home during the week of August 14th.  All students will meet with their advisors during Orientation on Tuesday, September 5th in preparation for the start of classes on September 6th.  Below are some important dates to mark on your calendars.
     
    August 10
    Football practices start at Providence Country Day School
     
    August 21
    Soccer, Field Hockey, Tennis, practices begin at the Wheeler Farm and Cross Country practices begin in Providence

    August 31
    Community Council Leadership Retreat for new and experienced leaders (1-3PM).  Students are notified by letter if their attendance is expected, and should RSVP to Ms. Berthiaume Leduc. 
    Peer Supporters will attend the Leadership Retreat and then the overnight Peer Support Retreat will begin at the Wheeler Farm at 6:30.

    September 5
    Upper School Orientation and Picture Day
    • All 9th Graders meet in Isenberg Auditorium at 9:00 AM
    • New 10th and 11th Graders report to school at 10:30 AM for a meeting in Ms. Henneman’s office
    • All 10th, 11th, and 12th Graders meet with their advisors at 11:00 AM
    • All students (9th-12th) gather in Isenberg Auditorium for an assembly at 11:30 AM
    • Lunch is provided
    • Orientation ends at 2:30 PM – students are welcome to stay on campus until buses leave for The Farm shortly after 3:00

    September 6
    Classes begin

     
    September 14
    Jamboree (new students are assigned to Purple/Gold teams during the school day)
    September Fest and Community Council BBQ @ the Farm following sports (5:30).
    Senior Retreat begins at 7:30.

    September 15
    Upper School Retreats 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
     
     
     
    An important component of our opening week of school is the review of the Student Parent Handbook.  Electronic copies will be available for you online on the Upper School webpage under “Handbook Downloads” (http://www.wheelerschool.org/UpperSchool) as of the opening of school.  I ask that you be sure to review the handbook with your child after the first week of school.  Simple questions to your child about the school’s standards of conduct, major rules, community expectations, and co-curricular opportunities will help prompt important discussions.  I also urge you to review the policies for lateness and absences and to return to the handbook as a resource for answering questions throughout the year. 
     
    I look forward to working with all of you and your children over the coming year. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!
     
    Sincerely,

    Page Stites
    Dean of Students
  • When does school start?

    The first day of classes is Wednesday, September 6, 2017.  However, there is a mandatory orientation on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 that all Upper Schoolers are asked to attend.  Lunch will be provided. Also, pictures for photo IDs will be taken, so be sure to bring your best smile!

  • Are there any summer assignments?

    Yes, all Upper School students are required to do summer reading. You can access the assignments by visiting the Prescott Library's US Summer Reading page.
  • What books do I need and how do I order them?

    To purchase books you can link to our online vendor, Follett Virtual Bookstore.  To find and purchase your child's books you should click the yellow "Start Here" button and then choose your child's school, grade level, and subject/course to see what books are necessary.
  • What is the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program?

    What is BYOD?

    Bring Your Own Device refers to a school-based technology model where students bring a personally owned device to school to add a new dimension to their educational experience. All Upper School students are required to bring a laptop to school. The devices will allow teachers and students to uniformly access online materials and texts, learn about digital note-taking, and participate in interactive lessons. 
     
    Why personally owned devices?
    • The desire by faculty and students to access the extraordinary range and quality of online resources and collaborative applications during class time.
    • Use of one’s own technology makes learning interactive and personal and helps to meet the different learning needs and styles of each student.
    • Use of personal technology creates a seamless bridge between formal and informal learning.
    • More and more learning materials and applications are “cloud-based,” making them accessible from any device with internet access..
     
    To learn more details about our BYOD program, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit the information page on the Wheeler Website at www.wheelerschool.org/BYOD
  • When will I find out my class schedule?

    In July you will receive your course list and information about ordering books for those courses.  You will receive your class schedule on Orientation Day, which is the day before the first day of school.
  • When do I receive my class syllabi and supply lists?

    Teachers will provide a course syllabus and go over expectations for course supplies on the first day of class, but for those of you eager to spend some time doing back to school shopping, here are some general requirements:

    • Students will find a thin three-ring binder (1/2” or 1”) and lined paper useful in most classes.  Teachers also expect students to arrive in class every day with their laptop, writing utensils and the appropriate text.
    • For math, students will need a three-ring binder with unlined 3-holed punched paper, graph paper (1/4 inch squares) and tabbed dividers. It’s useful to have a three-ring class supplies pouch for pencils and erasers. Students should come to class with several sharpened pencils. 
  • What is an advisor?  When will I find out who my advisor will be?

    Your advisor connects you, your parents, and your teachers as you set your academic goals, pursue your intellectual and creative passions, and engage in the Wheeler community.  Your advisor will be both coach and cheerleader, supporting and guiding you through your Wheeler experience.  All students in Grades 9 and 10 and all new students will receive postcards from their advisor in August.

  • What is the Get Sharp Program?

    The Get Sharp Program is for 9th Graders BY INVITATION ONLY to help orient and organize students to the Upper School.  It is a great time to get to know your fellow classmates in a low-stress, highly productive space before the school year begins.  

    Students will be contacted in late June or early July if they have been invited to participate in the Get Sharp program.
  • Will there be orientation and welcome events for US students and parents?

    Yes, there are many events scheduled to welcome US families and help them learn about the transitions to 9th-12th Grade. Below is the current schedule of events through September 2017. Check Wheeler's Master Calendar for information about all events throughout the school year.

    New US Family BBQ
    Wednesday, June 14 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

    Join the Wheeler School Parent Association (WSPA) for a festive summer barbeque to welcome families new to the Upper School. 

    9th Grade Parent Orientation
    Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-7:00 pm
    All 9th Grade parents will meet with the Head of Upper School, Dean of Students, and 9th Grade Dean to address practical questions about the school year.

    Technology Orientation for 9th-Graders New to Wheeler
    Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-7:00 pm

    All 9th Grade students who are joining Wheeler from other schools will attend a technology orientation at the same time as the Parent Orientation.

    New Parents' Brunch
    Tuesday, September 5 from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

    New parents are invited to get to know each other at a brunch in the Nulman Lewis Student Center. 

    Senior Parents' College Night
    Thursday, September 7
    6pm (Optional): Dinner for Senior Parents in the Union.
    7pm (Mandatory): Senior Parents' College Night and Financial Aid presentation in the Isenberg Auditorium.

    New Parents' Dinner
    Tuesday, September 12 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

    New parents are invited to get to know each other and the Wheeler community at a reception and dinner in the Madden Gym. 

    Senior Parent Dessert Party
    Thursday, September 14 from 7:00-8:30 pm

    Senior parents are invited to spend time together and celebrate the beginning of the senior year with a buffet of delicious desserts.


    US Back to School Night
    Thursday, September 28 
    5:30 pm 
    All US parents are invited to a light dinner in the Union.
    6:00 pm Parents of 9th and 10th Grade students will meet with advisors.
    6:30 pm All US parents will meet in the Isenberg Auditorium for remarks by the Head of the Upper School. Parents will then visit classrooms as they follow a modified version of their US student's schedule.

Middle School 6-8

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Welcome Back Letter from Young Un

    August 2017

    Dear Middle School Families,
     
    I have been touring colleges with my son, a rising senior. While all the rules of engagement — 1. Don’t ask any questions. 2. Stay in the back of the tour group. 3. Don’t ask me right away for my thoughts on school x. — for tours and info sessions are meant to keep distance between my son and me, Thomas and I have spent a lot of time in the car together, a guaranteed way of getting beyond “yup” and “good.”  On one trip, I heard an interview with a doctor discussing her findings on adolescent brain development. For every one of her insights, I had a matching anecdote to endorse her findings. My son, who I thought was sleeping because I had the gall to wake him up before noon, was listening and had a different reaction to the doctor. Later, as we avoided talk about college, he offered that he disagreed with some of the findings. Now fully awake and animated, he said something to the effect of, “Society doesn’t respect adolescents and lets us know it in lots of ways,” a typical adolescent reaction one could argue. I decided, however, to be open-minded since we had lots of found time on the Expressway turned parking lot. He said that all the commentary about impulsiveness, short-term thinking, screen obsession and the like, were, in part, true but the countless counterexamples blurred the line between exception and rule. In a detailed analysis, he offered how his friends are different from one another and vastly different from the popular view of adolescents. He also snarkily added the findings were not unique to his age group, as we have seen well-chronicled in the news.
     
    So what’s wrong with having a monolithic view of adolescents? Without a doubt, you and I can share dozens of anecdotes supporting the doctor’s findings. We could further elaborate (and elevate our blood pressure) with a word association test with words like, “group chat” and “deodorant.” There are, however, daily and numerous examples of hard work, resilience, impressive insight, acts of caring, and awesome cognitive plasticity; the Middle School faculty, Lisa Mello, and I are blessed to witness these and other positive qualities every day. One of the most important elements of diversity at Wheeler is our diversity of adolescents, a diversity that dulls the fragile sharpness of simple insights. By having a more nuanced view of middle school aged students, we set a high bar for them; conversely, when we believe and act on sound bites about adolescents, we shouldn’t be surprised when they live down to our low expectations.
     
    What I love about Wheeler is that our new Head of School, Allison Gaines Pell, and the faculty and staff will focus our talent, skills, and energy on knowing, respecting, and challenging each student and fostering a community that works toward these ends. This is a more subtle approach than building a strong academic program irrespective of the nuances presented by our students, but I feel it is the right educational philosophy.
     
    I also feel it's right to introduce Nick Toscano, the Middle School’s new music teacher and 7th grade team member. While Nick will be new to a lot of you, some will know him from his private music instruction and involvement in the School’s performances and productions. Nick is an experienced teacher and advisor having taught middle school music, high school biology, and advised 7th graders.
     
    So welcome to all of you, especially those of you who are new to the community, Allison, her family, and Nick. Hope the remaining weeks are everything you want them to be and don’t feel like one long Sunday night during the school year.
     
    Sincerely,
    Young Un
    Head of Middle School 
  • Middle School Opening Instructions

    2017-2018 ACADEMIC YEAR

    COMMUNICATION WITH LISA MELLO, Middle School Office, extension 126:
    1.        Absences should be reported before 9:00 AM.
    2.        Planned late arrivals (e.g. an early morning doctor’s appointment) should be called in the day before.  Numbers 1 and 2 speak to our need to know exactly where your child is in the unlikely event of an emergency and to conduct proper fire drills.
    3.        While Mrs. Mello is happy to post important messages on the bulletin board for your children, they need to be called in as early as possible.  We cannot guarantee that messages phoned in after 2:15 will get to your child[ren].  Students usually do not check the board after last period classes and Mrs. Mello cannot interrupt classes to hand-deliver any messages.
     
    HEALTH FORMS
    Without these forms, your child cannot begin school in September or participate in after school athletics.

    AFTER-SCHOOL ATHLETICS
    After-school athletics will start the first day of school.  All athletes should wear athletic shorts and t-shirts.  Additionally soccer players will need cleats and shin guards; field hockey players cleats, shin guards, goggles and a stick; and, cross-country runners running shoes.

    HOMEWORK LOAD
    Academic success in Middle School rests largely on doing homework well.  Please remind your children that on a daily (during study halls and at night) basis 6th graders have 80 minutes, 7th graders have 2 hours and 8th graders have 2.5 hours of homework.  Remember, these are averages; some students spend less time, others more.

    DRESS CODE (The full code is in the Student Handbook.)
    Our basic philosophy with the Dress Code is that we want our kids to learn to be professional students.  While we don’t support a school uniform, we do believe children’s clothing should not get in the way of learning.  For example, if a child has to rearrange his/her clothing to sit on the classroom floor during a project, those clothes are not appropriate.   If a t-shirt logo or words cause undue attention distracting the wearer and classmates, then the t-shirt shouldn’t be worn.  For specifics of the code, see the Middle School Handbook.

    CELL PHONES/iPODS
    Students with cell phones, iPods or similar devices must keep them in their lockers, unless given permission by a school adult to have the technology out, from the time they enter the School at the beginning of the day until 3:00.  Phones seen or heard during the school day will be confiscated by the Division Head and he may keep the device overnight or over a weekend.  He may also decide to forbid their future use in school.

    LOCKS
    Locks are required on all Hope Building lockers and gym lockers.  Students are not allowed to choose to lock or not lock their lockers.  Locked lockers discourage theft or unauthorized borrowing.

    CHRONIC LATENESS TO SCHOOL
    Chronic lateness to school will result in detention and clean-up duties.  As is the case with any repeated disciplinary violation, numerous after-school detentions may result in disciplinary probation.
     
    CHRONIC ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
    If a student approaches sixteen excused and unexcused absences from school (approximately 10% of the academic year) for any reason, the Division Head, the school nurse and/or counselor will call a meeting with his/her parents to discuss the impact of these absences on the current academic year and whether or not these absences impact placement at Wheeler the following academic year.
     
    PLANNED ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
    We fully understand when students must take days off from school for important family matters (e.g. family reunions) and crises.  Teachers will do their best to forward missed work and help students plan ahead.  We strongly discourage days off for family vacations and teachers cannot be expected to do advanced planning with students to work around these events.  Dates of planned absences must be forwarded to Lisa Mello and the Head of Middle School.
  • When does school start?

    The first day of school for all students is Wednesday, September 6.

    There is a brief orientation for NEW 7th and 8th graders on Tuesday, September 5 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.  

    ALL 6th graders will have one week of orientation beginning on the first day of school, Wednesday, September 6. The first day of orientation will be on Wheeler's Main Campus in Providence. On Day 2 and Day 3 students will start in Providence and then travel by bus to The Wheeler Farm in Seekonk, MA. On these days all students should pack a lunch, bring a water bottle, and wear comfortable clothes. Below is a reminder of the 6th Grade Orientation schedule:
    • Wednesday, September 6: Main Campus
    • Thursday, September 7: Farm (Bring lunch & water, and wear comfortable clothes.)
    • Friday, September 8: Farm (Bring lunch & water, and wear comfortable clothes.
  • Are there any summer assignments?

    Yes, all Middle School students are required to do summer reading. You can access the assignments by visiting the Prescott Library's Middle School Summer Reading page.
  • How is technology incorporated into the Wheeler Middle School?

    The Middle School years are prime time for teaching students how to effectively use collaborative technology tools. 
    • Students in Grade 6 and Grade 7 will be assigned a school-owned Chromebook for their learning. 
    • Students in Grade 8 will be required to bring their own laptop or Chromebook to school.  For information on laptops that meet our requirements, go to the device guideline page here.  Middle School will be using the same device guidelines as Upper School.

    For several years we have incorporated a variety of Google Apps into teaching and learning.  Our technology program includes:
    • Direct instruction in the use of technological tools through a digital citizenship curriculum. 
    • A technology core class for all students in Grades 6-8.
    • Chromebooks and Kindles which are available to students through the Middle School Learning Commons.
  • What school supplies do I need?

    Please see the supply lists below for your respective grade level.
  • What books do I need and how do I order them?


    To purchase books you can link to our online vendor, Follett Virtual Bookstore.  To find and purchase your child's books you should click the yellow "Start Here" button and then choose your child's school (Wheeler or Hamilton), grade level (4th-12th), and subject/course to see what books are necessary.
  • When will I know who my homeroom teacher/advisor will be?

    Never fear!  You will find out your homeroom teacher/advisor in August, just before school begins.
  • Will there be welcome and orientation events for MS students and parents?

    Yes, there are many events scheduled to welcome MS families and help them learn about the transitions to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Below is the current schedule of events through September 2017. Check Wheeler's Master Calendar for information about all events throughout the school year.

    New MS Family BBQ
    Tuesday, June 13 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

    Join the Wheeler School Parent Association (WSPA) for a festive summer barbeque to welcome families new to the Middle School. 

    New Parents' Brunch
    Tuesday, September 5 from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

    New parents are invited to get to know each other at a brunch in the Nulman Lewis Student Center. 


    New Parents' Dinner
    Tuesday, September 12 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

    New parents are invited to get to know each other and the Wheeler community at a reception and dinner in the Madden Gym. 

    Q & A for Middle School Parents New To Wheeler
    Monday, October 2 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
    A When, How and Why Guide for middle school parents new to Wheeler! Everything you need to know that may not be in the handbook.

    7th and 8th Grade Parent Orientation
    Monday, October 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (BBQ at 6:30)

    All Wheeler 7th and 8th Grade parents will meet with MS faculty and staff to discuss life at Wheeler for 7th and 8th graders. 

    6th Grade Parent Orientation 
    Friday, September 15 By Appointment**

    All 6th Grade parents will have individual meetings with the 6th grade team to discuss expectations, goals, and progress thus far for 6th graders. Starting September 5 you can schedule your appointment by calling Lisa Mello, Middle School Division Assistant, at (401) 421-8100 ext. 126.
    **NB: There is NO SCHOOL for 6th Grade students on this day.



Hamilton School 1-8

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Welcome Back letter from Jon Green with opening instructions.

    August 2017
     
    Dear Hamilton Parents:
     
    Welcome to Hamilton's 30th year!  Who could have imagined how successful Hamilton would become in the summer of 1988? 
     
    I do hope you and your family found time to recharge, reconnect, and even re-invent this summer.  Among other things, I continued to follow my cycling passion and raced up Mt. Evans (27 miles, 14,130') in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Don't ask me why (unless you want to talk for twenty minutes).
     
    I am pleased and proud to report that the state of Hamilton is strong and vibrant.  Currently, we have 70 students enrolled in grades two through eight (no first graders, yet).  We have twelve new students, thirty-nine Lower School students and thirty-one Middle School students.   All of them smart and creative kids with learning differences, most notably dyslexia, language processing, and/or attention regulation issues.  I expect that we will add a few more students over the course of the year.
     
    The Hamilton faculty continues to be very strong.  We have two exciting additions:
     
    1. Former Brown MAT Katie Belida has been hired to teach Hamilton/Wheeler Lower School science.  Katie comes to Hamilton from Blackstone Valley Prep Charter School where she taught elementary school. She is someone, known to our community,  who is a natural teacher and very excited to be joining the Hamilton faculty. 

    2. In order to accommodate a twelfth student in grade five, Brown MAT graduate, Meaghan Landry is returning to co-teach grade five with Anne Stevenson.  You may recall that Meaghan replaced Robin Allen when Robin was hired to teach third grade during Maura Healey's sabbatical.
     
    Each year we honor an adult with learning differences who has been successful in his or her professional field.  Over the years, we have honored some exceptional individuals.  Last year, we honored Boston artist Annie Weatherwax.  This year we will honor our 24th annual Life Achievement recipient on Friday, March 2, 2018.  I hope that all of you can attend the "Mind Your p's and q's" event that evening as it is a wonderful celebration of learning differences.  This year's recipient has not been selected yet,  so feel free to contact me if you have suggestions.
     
    At the end of this letter is the short list of Hamilton ONLY events that occur before the start of classes on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.  Do not forget to check the comprehensive Wheeler calendar at www.wheelerschool.org for all events happening during the course of the year.
     
    In our relatively brief history, we have learned much about how to educate and how to instill confidence and positive self esteem in children with learning differences.  Thank you for entrusting us with your children.
     
    I look forward to another great year!  If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me at my office, 528-2167 or via e-mail, jongreen@wheelerschool.org.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Jonathan Green, Hamilton Director
     
     
     
    Wednesday, August 30 (new Hamilton parents)
     
    6-7:00 pm  New parent orientation in the Hale Assembly Space in the Whitaker Building (Hamilton Lower School) for all parents that are new to Hamilton
     
    Tuesday morning, September 5
     
    11-11:30     Informal orientation for all students new to Hamilton and ALL Hamilton sixth grade students. Lower school students meet in Whitaker Building, 6th grade students go to Hope 311, and 7th grade new students go to Hope 300.
     
    11:30-1:00  Hamilton cookout for the entire Hamilton Community outside Nulman Lewis Center in the center of campus (aka the new Miller Quad).  This is a great way for returning families to reconnect and for new families to be introduced to our community.  As always, this is a casual affair.  Please come as you are, and bring your family.  The cookout will be held in the courtyard outside the Student Union.  No R.S.V.P. necessary.
     
    Wednesday, September 6
     
    8:00 am.    Classes Begin
     
     
    Please check the master calendar  on the website for additional orientation dates for all Wheeler families
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • When does school start?

    The first day of school is Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 8:00 am.  We ask that NEW Hamilton students and ALL Hamilton 6th graders attend an orientation on Tuesday, September 5 from 11:00-11:30am. Following orientation there will be a Hamilton Family Barbecue in the Wheeler courtyard.
  • Are there any summer assignments?

    Students entering Grade 1 do NOT have any summer assignments.

    Students entering Grades 2-8 do required summer assignments in both reading and math. Please visit the Lower School and Middle School sections of this FAQ to learn about the specific assignments for each grade level.
  • How is technology incoporated into the Hamilton School?

    The Hamilton School infuses technology into learning in several different ways, including:

    • Interactive white boards (often called "Smartboards") installed in all classrooms
    • 1:1 iPads or Chromebooks in all classrooms
    • Kindles available for use in the Prescott Library
    • Guidance on how to use various technology tools to assist in the acquisition of language skills, including assistive software programs such as Learning Ally, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Read Live, Core 5 (an Orton-Gillingham-based program), and IXL for math
  • Do I need any school supplies?

    The Hamilton School teachers will have all the school supplies needed for the first day of school. If there is anything else required for the year, teachers will share the list of materials on the first day of school.
  • Do I need to purchase any books?

    Students in Grades 1-3 do NOT have to purchase any books.

    Students in Grades 4-8 DO need to purchase all books for the year. To purchase books you can link to our online vendor, Follett Virtual Bookstore.  To find and purchase your child's books you should click the yellow "Start Here" button and then choose your child's school, grade level, and subject/course to see what books are necessary.



  • Are there options for Hamilton School students who cannot be picked up at 3:00 pm?

    Yes, for an additional fee Wheeler offers afterschool programs that provide supervised activities from 3:00-4:30 p.m. for Hamilton and Wheeler students in Nursery - Grade 5.  Students can participate for one to five days a week.  To register online visit the Auxiliary Programs After School page.

    In addition, ALL Hamilton students can participate in Hamilton Homework Club from 3-4 p.m. every Monday when school is in session.  The "club" is held in Hale Family Assembly Space at Hamilton, and is free and includes a snack.  At 4 pm, Hamilton students must leave and report to the Reception Room in Hope Building to be picked up by a parent.

    Middle School students have access to interscholastic sports, or they may remain in certain areas of campus, such as the Library or the Union.
  • Will there be orientation and welcome events for HS students and parents?

    Yes, there are many events scheduled to welcome HS families and help them learn about the transitions to Wheeler as a whole and the Hamilton community in particular. Please visit the LS and MS sections of this FAQ to learn about events that are for all LS (including HS Grade 1-5) and MS (including HS Grade 6-8) parents and students. Below is the current schedule of events that are for Hamilton School students and parents only through September 2017. Check Wheeler's Master Calendar for information about all events throughout the school year.

    New HS Parent Orientation
    Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

    All new Hamilton parents will meet in the Smith Conference Room with Jon Green to discuss life in the Hamilton School. 

    HS New Student AND HS 6th Grade Orientation
    Tuesday, September 5 from11:00-11:30 a.m.

    All students new to Hamilton and all students entering Hamilton 6th Grade will meet in their classrooms for a brief orientation.  

    HS  Family BBQ
    Tuesday, September 5 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    All Hamilton families are invited to get to know each other at a barbeque in the Wheeler Court Yard. 

Book Orders & Bookstore

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • What books do I need for the school year?

    To see which books are required for each grade level and subject/course, visit the Follett Virtual Bookstore. To find and purchase your child's books you should click the yellow "Start Here" button and then choose your child's school (Wheeler or Hamilton), grade level (4th-12th), and subject/course to see which books are necessary.
  • Do I need to order my own books?

    Yes, students in grades 4-12 are responsible for ordering their own books.
  • How do I order the books I need?

    You may use our online book vendor, Follet Virtual Bookstore, which offers new and used books, digital textbooks, and a book rental program. Starting July 10, visit Wheeler's Virtual Campus to order your books.
  • When should I order my books?

    Wheeler's Virtual Bookstore will be active beginning July 10, and books will be sent directly to your home. It is recommended to order early for the best selection of books whether new or used.
  • Is there a buy back program for textbooks?

    Yes, Follett will come to campus at the end of each school year to buy back textbooks or to collect your rented books. Families will receive information about the buy back schedule in May of each year.

    BUY BACK 2017: Thursday, June 1, 8 am - 5 pm on campus

  • Is there a School Store on campus?

    Yes!  The Wheeler School Store is located on the ground floor of Clark Alumni House.  There is an entrance from the playground.  See hours and more information at this School Store webpage.

Book Loan Options

Some RI school districts offer a book loan program if Wheeler uses the same textbook as your local school district. Check below to see if your city offers a program.

People You Should Know

We very much look forward to the days ahead as you come to know the dedicated faculty and staff who call Wheeler home. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, big or small, via email or phone (401.421.8100).

Here are a few people who may be especially helpful to you:

List of 16 members.