SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: 8th Grade Field Trips Announced As Replacement To Cancelled Washington DC Trip

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington School Committee recently received an update on the Grade 8 Field Trips planned for Spring 2018, in lieu of the cancellation of the annual Washington, D.C. Field Trip.

“The Wilmington Middle School administration, in coordination with the Grade 8 students, staff and parents, have established a series of activities that will celebrate the 8th graders time at the Middle School,” wrote Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero in a memo to the School Committee.  “The activities planned reflect the students’ desire to participate in activities that will allow them to strengthen social bonds they have developed while at the Middle School, while also utilizing the resources at the events to enhance the Middle School curriculum.”

Wilmington Middle School Interim Principal Kevin Welch detailed the four planned activities, which include:

  • May 30, 2018: A full day of STEM activities at Fenway Park, followed by afternoon Red Sox game
  • June 1, 2018: A dinner and dancing cruise on the Spirit of Boston [NOTE: This would replace the annual 8th grade semi-formal.]
  • June 6, 2018: An afternoon performance of The Blue Man Group
  • June 7, 2018: A full-day visit to Six Flags New England with STEM activities provided

“I’m very much looking forward to the STEM activities at Fenway Park,” noted Welch. “I’ve heard great things. I’m looking forward to possibly being able to drop something off the Green Monster myself. Last year, students there were able to communicate with an astronaut on the Space Station.”

“I’m also excited about the Six Flags day. Some of science teachers have been doing make-your-own-roller-coaster activities. It’s going to be great to tie-in some real world [experiences] with some of the activities done in class,” added Welch.

Welch noted that for the Blue Man Group performance, the entire theatre may be exclusively filled with Wilmington kids and chaperones.

The total cost to attend all four activities is $350. Once deposits are in, Welch will be able to provide parents with a discounted price in the case that their child cannot attend all the events. No child will be “turned away” due to a funding issue. Welch will work with families to ensure children have the opportunity to attend.

Welch also noted that the goal is to have a 10:1 student-chaperone ratio, and the chaperones will be teachers. A proper amount of nurses will be present as well.

School Committee Reacts

“Thank you to the students, parents, and the staff members who stepped up to look into this. It’s hard to please everyone, and I think you came up with some good options here. Maybe something for everyone.” said School Committee member Julie Broussard.

“I have to say ‘thank you.’ I think there’s such a diversity of activities,” said School Committee member MJ Byrnes. “I commend you with coming up with Plan B and making it so diverse.”

School Committee member Peggy Kane encouraged Welch to be strict and to the view the activities as “a privilege for students” which must be earned with respectful behavior throughout the school year.

Welch will likely provide another update to the School Committee prior to the field trips.

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