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It is hard to believe that it is March and almost Spring Break! It has been a busy few weeks for the Wagner Team.
As many of you may have heard, it has recently been confirmed that our new building will not be ready for teaching and learning on the first day of school in August 2017...
It’s always exciting to start a new year and 2017 brings some additional excitement for me as I look forward to the opening of Wagner Middle School...
It is hard to believe that it is March and almost Spring Break!
It has been a busy few weeks for the Wagner Team. We had the opportunity to tour the campus with some members of our school board a couple of weeks ago and were really excited about the progress that we saw.
This is the view from standing at the foot of the Learning Stairs. In the foreground is the Commons (cafeteria). When you look past the Commons, the lower floor is the 7th & 8th grade STEM Den, where our math and science classes will be held. On the second floor above the STEM Den is the Humanities Den, where 7th & 8th graders will have their Language Arts and Social Studies classes.
This is at the foot of the Learning Stairs, which are wide, deep stairs that allow for people to be seated and can be used as learning space. The more traditional stairs are directly to the left of the Learning Stairs. The concrete you see to the right of the Learning Stairs is the elevator shaft!
This is a view of the back of the building. The tall stone walls you see to the left are the gyms, with the locker rooms and weight rooms directly in front of them. The blue walls on the right are the back of the kitchen and the Fine Arts wing. You can see the STEM and Humanities houses rising above the Fine Arts wing behind it.
Once a month our Campus Leadership Team meets to learn, make decisions and grow as a team together. This month, our area of focus was TEAMING -- the practice of having four teachers from different content areas teach the same group of students. We are going to implement Teaming at Wagner because of the support it offers students and parents and the opportunities it provides teachers to collaborate about what’s best for their shared students. At our February meeting we had a little fun at Escapology (an Escape Room in Round Rock) that allowed for us to put into practice what we want for ourselves and students -- a group of people with different talents and areas of expertise that come together for a common purpose. At WMS, our goal will be the success of our students but at Escapology the goal was to SAVE THE WORLD FROM THE EXTINCTION VIRUS! (Don’t worry, we succeeded! 😀)
While we had a lot of fun and learned a lot about each other, we walked away from that experience with a more clear understanding of the kind of learning experiences we want for our students, the skills we want to be sure we build in them and in ourselves and how we want learning to look at Wagner Middle School.
We have spent a lot of time since the last blog post interviewing GISD teachers that are interested in joining our Wagner team, visiting GISD classrooms, continuing to work on our plan for our time in the Williams building before we move into our beautiful building (be sure to check out our FAQ document on the website) next Fall, meeting with PTAs, representing Wagner in the community, planning our Parent Information Nights (Please join us MARCH 6 or 9 in the EVHS Cafeteria at 6:30pm!), visiting other campuses in the area that are implementing some of the things we are planning for WMS, making decisions about furniture and materials, and doing some learning in the areas that we know will make us better prepared for the work we have ahead of us. It has been a great few weeks!
Wagner shirts and treats … a sure sign that there is a parent event coming!
On a final note, I want to wish a very Happy 100th Birthday to Georgetown ISD! It is an honor to serve students in this community!
Until Next Time,
Principal, Wagner Middle School
As many of you may have heard, it has recently been confirmed that our new building will not be ready for teaching and learning on the first day of school in August 2017. In fact, delays due to weather during construction this past Spring and Summer have postponed “move-in” until sometime during the Fall of 2017. Our district has been working in recent weeks to develop the very best possible plan for Wagner students and staff as we wait for the building to be ready for us. We think we came up with the very best possible “Plan B” and here is the official statement about it:
We are excited about the beginning of Wagner Middle School and look forward to welcoming 6th and 7th grade students in the 2017-2018 school year. However, due to heavy rains in the early construction phases, the completion of the new Wagner building has been delayed and will not be ready for students until later in the Fall.
Until construction is complete, Wagner students and staff will be housed at the Williams Elementary campus on University Avenue. (Williams Elementary students and staff will be moving to their new home in the newly constructed Purl Elementary facility upon completion of this current school year.)
Wagner will host all of the same instructional and extracurricular opportunities available at GISD's other middle school campuses, including football, volleyball, band, orchestra, and cheerleading. In fact, Wagner’s athletic facilities will be completely available for use at the start of school -- the Wagner Wolves’ volleyball and football teams will be able to practice and compete in the Wagner gyms and on the Wagner football field in August of 2017.
Once construction of the Wagner Middle School building is complete, Wagner students and staff will transition into their new building with complete fanfare, including an official caravan and escort.
More detailed information, including a Frequently Asked Questions document and details about a Wagner Parent Information Event, will be released as details are finalized.
We are grateful that this plan allows for the Wagner Team to be together in a building of our own (no other students or departments will share the space) until our entire facility is ready! We are excited that Wagner athletics, fine arts and other extracurricular groups will be able to practice, compete and represent our campus from the first day of school in August 2017. We are also thrilled that we will be able to begin developing relationships and forming our campus culture by having Wagner students working with their own Wagner teachers … teachers that will remain their teachers once we move into our new building. Lastly, we appreciate that the district, without hesitation, postponed the Williams remodel to keep Wagner students and staff together because they believe in doing what's best for our kids.
We know that there are many details to plan and prepare for, but we are confident that our temporary time in the Williams building will be fruitful in learning, team building and preparing for our new innovative facility.
Please be looking for our FAQ document and dates for our Wagner Parent events -- both pieces of information are coming soon.
Please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call me at 512.943.1835 if you have any questions or concerns about our plan for the Fall of 2017! I’d love the chance to hear your thoughts or respond to your questions directly.
Until Next Time,
Principal, Wagner Middle School
It’s always exciting to start a new year and 2017 brings some additional excitement for me as I look forward to the opening of Wagner Middle School! My plan is to use this blog to share information about our school, our staff, and our students.
First thing is first... I’m thrilled to announce that Wagner is officially home of the Wagner Wolves! We gathered some nominations for mascots from the community this last Fall and took some of the favorites to panels of 5th grade students that will be attending Wagner Middle School. The students’ voice was loud and clear -- they selected the wolves! The students also gave us some of their thoughts about just exactly how they’d like that wolf to look, which was “not too scary but not like a cartoon, either.” The GISD Communications team worked hard to help me design some of our logos using our school colors of navy, white and orange. I love it and hope that Wagner students and parents do, too!
One other noteworthy accomplishment from the Fall’s work is the establishment of the Wagner Leadership Team. I plan to spend more time discussing this dynamic team, but want to begin just by sharing their names and roles with you:
Part of the establishment of the WMS Leadership Team was the opportunity to identify some lead teachers that will assist the Leadership Team in making decisions about our campus. (It’s extremely important to me that teachers are represented in the decision-making taking place this Spring and Summer!) These lead teachers are:
I feel confident in this team and am so fortunate to have the leadership and partnership of these fine educators! Wagner students are certainly blessed that these nine individuals have chosen to leave their current positions and join the Wagner team!
Many more exciting decisions are to come in these next few weeks: more hiring, selection of furniture, decision-making about technology … the list goes on and on! You’ll have to check back in to the blog for more in-depth information about our team, updates about our building and insight into the decisions that we are making.
View of the front of the building from the parking lot -- the gyms and 6th grade house are to the right, the 7th/8th grade STEM house is to left. Photo taken at Wagner site 01.01.17
The back of Wagner -- showing gyms and locker room areas. Photo taken 01.06.17
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about what’s happening at Wagner. I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or reached by phone at 512.943.1835.
Until Next Time,
Principal, Wagner Middle School