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Back to School 2021-2022!

We are so ready to start planning for the fall of 2021 and welcome our returning and new families! On this page, you will find links to information for the coming school year. If you have any questions, please contact Terri White in the Grammar School or Robin Reed in the Upper School at 901-380-9192.

FOR ALL JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN, KINDERGARTEN, 7TH GRADE, AND NEW STUDENTS:
We are required by the state of Tennessee to collect immunization records that show all of the required immunizations for every child. The form needs to be the official Certificate of Immunization form issued by the TN Department of Health. Additionally, please bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate to the office. If you have not given the Main Office the copy of this form for each enrolled child, please do so on or before Meet the Teacher Day on August 16.

All Parents:
If there are any changes to your contact information, medical information, emergency pick up information, etc., please log in to your ParentsWeb account and click on “Web forms.” Choose the “WA Family Demographic Form” and update your information! So easy!

Logowear Discount Code: PE Shirts, House gear, stadium seats, and more. SHOP ONLINE HERE. Use code WMBTS15 - good for 15% off through 8/31.

Grammar School Information

Dear Grammar School Parents,

Summer is again passing too quickly!  But what a blessing it has been to have Covid restrictions relaxed and to look forward to a more normal year!  Carpets have been cleaned, floors have been waxed, and new carpet installed in the 2ndgrade rooms. We have moved our fun furniture back into the Grammar School classrooms and are looking forward to seeing and hugging everyone.  We are excited to welcome our new students and families.  We are so thankful that all of our GS faculty and staff are returning to Westminster next year.  However, we do have two teachers moving out of the Grammar School to teach in the Upper School - Ms. Mary Hollidge and Mrs. Tirzah Rhodes.  We will miss them!  Mrs. Lindsey Ozier did a fantastic job teaching JK-3rd art last year and this year she will be teaching all GS art, JK- 6th.  We have only one new teacher – Mr. Matt Bell, who will be teaching GS Latin and 6th grade grammar.  Mr. Bell is a gifted and seasoned teacher, having taught Spanish, Latin, etymology, and Bible over the last ten years.  He graduated from the University of Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in music and recording technology and Masters in Teaching in Foreign Language Instruction. He is married to his wife, Priscilla, and dad to Lucy who is 5 months old.  Mr. Bell has been a fan and student of classical Christian education for several years and is delighted to join our Westminster family. 

Meet the Teacher Day:

We are also looking forward to our traditional Meet the Teacher Day.  Details regarding Meet the Teacher Day will be posted on the Back to School page soon.  You will receive welcome letter from your child’s teacher after we send out class lists on July 30.    

Supplies:

Unless you opted out, all your child’s supplies on the list have been purchased through 1st Day School Supplies.  These supplies will be in your student’s classroom on the first day of school. If you opted out of 1st Day supplies, you may bring your supplies to the classroom on Meet the Teacher Day.   Please have them clearly labeled with your child’s name.  Seat sacks have been purchased for all 2nd graders and all new students.  

Staggered Start the week of August 16-20:

Parents and students in JK, K, and 1st grade will have a staggered start to the year beginning on Tuesday, August 17.  Teachers in those grades will be contacting you with the schedule for your child that week.             

I so look forward to meeting this year’s new students and continuing to partner with returning parents and students.  It is a joy to be in community with you and to watch your children grow and mature in wisdom and stature and in their relationships with God and each other.  Having seen God’s faithfulness last year, we go into this new year rejoicing and confident that we will again see God’s gracious hand leading and providing for us in future challenges.  I am so grateful for our faithful parents who generously and enthusiastically support our school.  New parents, we are eager to make you feel a part of this special community.  We welcome you and we need you! Our Westminster Parents Association (WPA) works diligently and faithfully behind the scenes to support and encourage our faculty, staff, students, and community.  You are automatically a part of that group, no joining necessary! You will soon receive an introduction and welcome letter from the WPA.  It is a privilege and a joy to partner with you all. May God continue to give us grace, wisdom, energy, and joy for the journey, even more so in these unusual times!

In Christ alone,

Debbie Frazier

Head of Grammar School

We hope you will find the Summer Reading Plan a useful tool for cultivating a love of good literature and for encouraging your child to read. 

1. Enjoy a book as a family! Reading aloud not only stimulates an interest in good books, but also models expressive, fluent reading. Using appropriate intonation, expression, phrasing, and pausing demonstrates that meaning is embedded in the interpretation of words and fosters comprehension.

2. Set up a daily reading time and provide age-appropriate books. You will find wonderful, graded selections on the attached recommended reading list.

3. Make frequent trips to the library!

4. Periodically have your child read aloud to you as you follow along in the text. This will help you assess your child's reading progress. Encourage your child by helping him sound out words if he begins to struggle.

5. Encourage your child in his required summer reading. Students entering grades 3-6 are required to read two books, but we hope students will read many more. See the list below for the specifics of your child's grade. 

Rising 3rd grade:

  • Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder (parents are encouraged to read this book aloud to students as it bridges the 2nd grade reading selection of little House in the Big Woods and the 3rd grade reading of On the Banks of Plum Creek)
  • One chapter book of your choice. See suggested reading list here. Students should bring this book to the first day of school, ready to tell briefly the story and what they enjoyed about it.

Rising 4th grade:

Rising 5th grade:

  • The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare.
  • One book from the 5th grade summer reading list.
  • For both books, students should use the summary worksheet to record their reading. This will be turned in on the first day of school.

Rising 6th grade:

  • The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster. Students should bring this book to the first day of school, as it will be the first literature selection that the class discusses.
  • One book from either the history or the historical fiction section under the 6th grade recommended reading list.
  • For both books, students should use the summary worksheet to record their reading. This will be turned in on the first day of school.

Upper School Information

Dear Upper School Families, 

I hope all of you have had an enjoyable summer so far! Over the past six weeks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you at grade parties, at churches, and around Westminster’s campus, but there are many of you I haven’t met yet. I’m looking forward to meeting each of you at the Back to School events in August and September. While I’m sure your students are enjoying (and holding tightly to) the remaining weeks of summer, I’m anticipating the start of the school year. I’m eager to get to know your Upper School students and all the Westminster families who make this school a strong community. 

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jonathan Callis, Westminster’s new Head of Upper School. My wife Amy is a 2003 graduate of Westminster, so I know just how transformative its education can be. Over the last fourteen years I’ve taught middle schoolers through seniors in college. At every level I’ve attempted to show students the reality of God’s presence in the world and in our lives. I’m grateful to God for bringing me back to my hometown of Memphis and especially for bringing me to Westminster, a school I’ve known of and respected since its founding. 

As you might expect after the Covid year, Westminster has been a busy place this summer! After a year of itinerant teachers and students anchored to their desks, I’m pleased to announce that teachers will have their rooms back, and students will be able to travel to different classrooms. This summer I’ve marveled as Holt Hall, Mark Clear, and Upper School students have put rooms back into their normal order. The Columba Room has been completely renovated, and we will continue to use the three main CLC rooms for middle school classes. In terms of curricular change, the 7th graders will now have a full year of Civics instead of taking TN History for a semester. In addition, 7th graders will have one day of both art and music each week all year long (rather than two days for a semester). Both 7th and 8th graders will have P.E. one day a week all year long. Most significantly, there will be more opportunities for community-building in the Upper School. The House System will go back to its normal schedule, and 7th through 12th graders will be able to share spaces and mingle in common areas far more regularly. 7th graders will have homerooms and lockers in the CLC, but they will now have classes over in the main building as well. Mr. Janikowsky has made it clear to me that this is a year to get back to our classical Christian foundations: Socratic discussion, Christian universals, and the strong Christian fellowship that marks Westminster’s education. 

As the school year approaches, please carefully read through all the Back to School information on the website. Please return any requested forms or fill out online forms. Included on the website are lists for consumables (Amazon list), student supplies, the major dates calendar, uniform policies, house information, and forms for the school year. Later this summer I’ll send out another update with information about the Upper School Meet the Teacher Day (8/16). I’ll send out class lists with academic advisors and talk through the Upper School schedule. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or the administrative team if you have any questions.

I’ve already gotten to know many of the remarkable teachers at Westminster, and I know we’re all ready to get back to practicing our vocation: training and educating your children in faith and knowledge. I look forward to serving as your Head of Upper School. 

Soli deo Gloria!

Grace and peace,
Jonathan Callis, Ph.D.
Head of Upper School 

Below you will find the list of books by grade for required summer reading. If an ISBN is listed, please purchase that edition.  Books may be purchased anywhere. Amazon “Idea lists” have been set up at HERE with the required books. If you choose to purchase a used book, there should be NO written notes from previous users.

Upper School Summer Reading Lists

7th Grade Summer Reading Assignment

8th Grade Summer Reading Assignment

9th Grade Summer Reading Assignment

Below is a list of school supplies that Upper School students will need to have on the first day of school. Items will be broken down by class only if specifics are required. If you have questions, please contact Robin Reed.

Upper School Supply Lists

Parents are to purchase the consumable books below for the appropriate grade. Books need to be the correct ISBN since they will be used in class. Books may be purchased anywhere. Amazon “Idea lists” have been set up at HERE with the required books. If you choose to purchase a used book, there should be NO written notes from previous users.

Upper School Consumables Lists

Upper & Grammar School Information

See carpool guidelines for JK-12th, before and after school care here.

Any athlete that participates in a Westminster sport must have the appropriate forms filled out, signed by a parent/medical professional, and returned to the athletic office before the applicable season begins.  Forms are valid for one school year and physicals are valid for one year from the date of the visit. 

1st-5th grade athletes

6th-12th grade athletes

Choir
Choir auditions have been held and the list will be emailed on Monday, July 19.  

The choir fee for the year is $150, which is divided into $75 per semester. This fee covers music, folders, and uniforms.  Returning singers may trade their old or outgrown uniforms in to Mrs. Smith for a different size.  

Strings
The advanced string ensemble and intermediate ensemble members are selected by audition by Mrs. Sarah Nowlin.  Please contact Mrs. Nowlin at snowlin@wamemphis.com to set up an audition day/time in August.  The fee for the string ensembles is $150 per semester.