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News for the Week of March 29, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

One of the strengths of our program here at Parker is the articulation between each of our divisions. We are now in the second year of a scope and sequence project wherein we are closely examining each course offered at Parker, and how our courses provide a smooth progression for our students. Looking “under the hood,” so to speak, is a challenge, as it is an additional commitment during a busy school year. An apt metaphor might be performing maintenance on an airplane while it is flying.

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As we continue down the path of continuous improvement, we certainly find items worthy of revision; however, we also find items worthy of celebration. Robotics here at Parker is a fine example. Beginning in our Lower School in a program nurtured by second grade teacher Jennifer Hayman, then continuing through the Middle School in a program nurtured by Ceri Keith, our robotics students continue under the guidance of Ryan Griggs and Mike Maunu in the Upper School.

This upcoming weekend, the Francis Parker robotics team, Team 2485 W.A.R.Lords, will be competing against sixty other teams in competition for a slot at the World Championships. The team would love to have as many Parker family members present as possible to support them. It's always an exciting event. Bring closed toed shoes to get into the pits and see other team's and their robots up close, and get ready for a crazy competition! The event is from April 3rd-4th, from 9am-4pm at the Valley View Casino Center (Sports Arena).

Another well articulated and high achieving program, Science Olympiad, will have Middle and Upper School teams competing in Los Angeles this weekend as well. As a Parker fan, you have choices!

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle.”

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

4/1 - Strings Performance 5:00 p.m. - J.Crivello Hall

4/8 - 7th Grade Community Awareness Day

4/13 - 17 Spring Break.

7th Grade Community Awareness Day...

On April 8, the Class of 2020 will participate in their second Community Awareness Day field trips. Permission slips and waivers have been sent home with students, and we are asking families to sign all waivers and return them to each student's advisor. Please return these forms to school by Friday, April 3. A copy of the forms can be found at: Community Awareness Forms Here

Students have also received an email asking them to rank their Community Service choices. Please remind your child to check his/her email and complete the selection form.

We need 5-10 parent volunteers to accompany the students on their trips to Feeding America, Potiker Senior Center, McGill School, Beach Clean-up and Canyonlands.

Please contact Mary Ong-Dean (mong-dean@francisparker.orgwith any questions.

Renaissance Faire…

Thursday, April 30 (NEW DATE!)

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Renaissance Fair team is looking for seventh grade parents and friends to volunteer at the annual Renaissance Fair. On Thursday, April 30, 2015, the Middle School campus will be transformed into a Renaissance Fair, complete with Renaissance activities for students. In order to make this event a success, we need as many parent volunteers as possible. Please indicate your willingness to help out by filling out a short volunteer form at the link below. Thank you! Renaissance Faire Volunteer Form

Notes from Nurse Maggie…

Teaching Student’s About Strangers: According to the National Crime Prevention Council, one of the most important ways parents can protect their children of all ages is to teach them to be wary of potentially dangerous situations. This will help children when dealing with strangers as well as with known adults who may not have good intentions. Parents can teach their children to recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior, such as when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without permission, asks them to keep a secret, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way. Another recommendation is for parents to talk to their children about how they should handle dangerous situations. One suggestion is to teach children the, “No, Go, Yell, Tell” mantra. In dangerous situations, students should say, no, run away, yell as loudly as they can (even indoors), and tell a trusted adult what happened right away. Other suggestions from the NCPC include:

  • Parents should know where their children are. Make it a rule for children to check in with you before going anywhere. This is especially important with teens. Your children should have your work and cellular phone numbers available and/or memorized.

  • Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there is trouble.

  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell a trusted adult.

  • Teach children to be assertive. Make sure they know it is ok to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in a dangerous situation.

  • Encourage your child to paly with others…there is more safety in numbers.

No Homework Weekend Approaching in April...

Looking forward into April, our Spring Break falls after the beginning of Passover and the observance of both Good Friday and Easter Sunday, so Parker will be in session during these holidays.

Since many families will have celebrations during this time there, will be a no homework weekend on April 4 and April 5. Teachers will also be aware that some students may have family commitments on Friday, April 3 that might affect their regular attendance at school. Please just let us know in the office if your child will not be present, arriving late or departing early on that Friday.

In addition, although school will be in session during the week of of April 5, teachers are aware that Passover continues through April 11. Please be in contact with your teachers directly should your family have any questions or special events planned that require an accommodation.

Summer Program Registration update...

The Early Bird Registration Discount period ends this coming Tuesday, March 31.  Be sure to take advantage of this special pricing over the weekend or by Monday evening at the latest.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Monique or Tim in the Summer Program office on 858-569-7900. Monique can be reached on Ext 4109, and Tim on Ext 4236.

The online registration system is available at www.francisparker.org/summer.

Cinderella’s Attic...

Pitch in on Our Prom Dress Drive! Cinderella’s Attic is collecting formal dresses gowns and accessories for its upcoming Prom Boutique, an event providing free formal wear to high school girls that can’t afford to buy a prom dress. Check your closet for unwanted gowns, bride’s maid dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Those items will go a long way towards building the confidence and self esteem in a young girl trying to look and feel her best. We accept new and gently used formal dresses, shoes, purses, shawls and jewelry. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be dropped off at the Upper School office, Community Service Office or the Administration building. Contact Carol Jensen, Director of Community Programs 858  569-7900 x4112

Sports Photos Needed...

The Middle School is looking for sports photos. If you have some great shots of fall or winter sport, please send them to Mary Ong-Dean (mong-dean@francisparker.org). You may see some of your shots in our student portfolios, yearbook, or end-of-year class videos. Thank you in advance!

Surfboards Wanted...

The Parker Community Service Board is sponsoring a program that collects, refurbishes and distributes surfboards to children who would not otherwise have access to surfing. Founded by three surfing friends in New York, the program has spread across the world. 

RE Surf works with local artists to decorate the boards. Additionally, lessons are given to the children and surf clubs are set up and maintained.

There will be a meeting on Friday, March 27 at lunch for all students interested in the program. Please see the following 3 minute video -  http://youtu.be/R7dw5rZdbKs

Contact Daniel Du – ddu2015@francisparker.org Emily Potts – epotts2018@francisparker.org or Carol Jensen  --  cjensen@francisparker.org in the Community Service Office for more information.




Posted by dlang in 03. March on Saturday March 28 at 10:22PM
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News for the Week of March 22, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

Spring has sprung! Although we have been gifted with almost continual natural beauty in our wonderful San Diego, the change in season cues our attention to times of renewal and celebration.

During the past two weeks, I have been fortunate to attend two celebrations hosted by gracious Parker families. Last week, co-hosting families Peter Salvati and Robin Henley and James and Kim Burnett welcomed a group of Parker families for a lovely celebration. In addition to catching up with parents, I was able to visit with some of our graduates now off in college. To a person, our graduates shared how well Parker has prepared them for university life and the pursuit of making a meaningful difference in the world.

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Just last evening, co-hosting families Keith and Heidi Troutman and Steve and Gay Bonilla welcomed Parker families to another gathering in support of Parker. Again, not only was I able to visit with current Parker families, but also parents of recent graduates. One of the highlights of the evening was a performance by Steven Kramer, Parker Class of 2004, and his wife Julie Wagner. After Parker, Steven pursued his passion for music at Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and holds a Master’s degree from Yale University’s School of Music. Julie, who holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, and Steve now make a meaningful difference in the San Diego community through their involvement with a variety of San Diego musical outlets and by providing music education through the Muse Academy of Music. Celebrations of our graduates could fill my newsletter each week. We are so proud of our graduates, and thankful to the families that partner with us.

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Events like those described above are held in support of Parker, and in anticipation of our upcoming gala: Soaring into the Second Century. On April 25, I hope you will join us for a fun evening to support Parker. The gala will be held at the San Diego Air and Space Museum from 6 to 11p.m.; full information is available on the main Parker website. For your convenience, I have included the link to the registration site: find it here

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle.”

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

3/24 - 8th Grade Boys Football meeting - 6 p.m. in Lawrence Middle School Commons

3/27 - Special Schedule...Early Dismissal for Students: find schedule here

3/27 - MS Band Festival in Orange County - returning to Parker by 10:00 pm.

Early Release Day…

On Friday March 27, the Middle School will dismiss early. In order to accommodate an Upper School ASB event, we will have a special schedule with dismissal at 1:05: find the schedule here

Lunch will still be provided, and any student whose family can not make use of the early dismissal is welcome to remain on campus. Chorus and band students will still travel to festival competitions in the Los Angeles area on that Friday and will return to Parker by 10:00 p.m.

With Discovery Week trips leaving the following week, this early release is a good time for our eighth grade families to take care of those last minute necessaries.

Renaissance Faire…

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Renaissance Fair team is looking for seventh grade parents and friends to volunteer at the annual Renaissance Fair. On April 24, 2015, the Middle School campus will be transformed into a Renaissance Fair, complete with Renaissance activities for students. In order to make this event a success, we need your help. Please indicate your willingness to help out by filling out a short volunteer form at the link below. Thank you! Renaissance Faire Sign Up Sheet

No Homework Weekend Approaching in April...

Looking forward into April, our Spring Break falls after the beginning of Passover and the observance of both Good Friday and Easter Sunday, so Parker will be in session during these holidays.

Since many families will have celebrations during this time there, will be a no homework weekend on April 4 and April 5. Teachers will also be aware that some students may have family commitments on Friday, April 3 that might affect their regular attendance at school. Please just let us know in the office if your child will not be present, arriving late or departing early on that Friday.

In addition, although school will be in session during the week of of April 5, teachers are aware that Passover continues through April 11. Please be in contact with your teachers directly should your family have any questions or special events planned that require an accommodation.

Upper School Football Meeting for 8th Grade Boys and Their Parents...

On Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00 pm in the Lawrence MS Commons there will be a meeting for any incoming freshman who plans on playing football in 2015. We would like at least one parent to attend as well. This meeting will be informational in nature regarding specifics of this summer and fall that will be important for all to know.

In addition to this in person time Coach Morrison has prepared the following letter for families to review: find it here

We will also have available a game schedule for the season and Coach Morrison, along with current football parents, will be available to answer any questions that you might have.

Please plan on joining us. If your son would like to play football this fall but you are unable to be at this meeting, please email Coach Morrison at jmorrison@francisparker.org so you can still receive this information.

SURFBOARDS WANTED...

The Parker Community Service Board is sponsoring a program that collects, refurbishes and distributes surfboards to children who would not otherwise have access to surfing. Founded by three surfing friends in New York, the program has spread across the world. 

RE Surf works with local artists to decorate the boards. Additionally, lessons are given to the children and surf clubs are set up and maintained.

There will be a meeting on Friday, March 27 at lunch for all students interested in the program. Please see the following 3 minute video -  http://youtu.be/R7dw5rZdbKs

Contact Daniel Du – ddu2015@francisparker.org  Emily Potts – epotts2018@francisparker.org  or Carol Jensen  --  cjensen@francisparker.org in the Community Service Office for more information.

Summer Program Registration Open...

Registration for all Summer Program classes, afternoon activities and sports camps opened this past Tuesday, March 10, at 9:00 am.

The online registration system is available at www.francisparker.org/summer. Early Bird Registration Discount is in effect from March 10 - March 31.

Questions?  Please call Tim Katzman on 858.569.7900, Ext 4236, or Monique Velde on 858.569.7900, Ext 4109 for assistance.

Cinderella’s Attic...

Pitch in on Our Prom Dress Drive! Cinderella’s Attic is collecting formal dresses gowns and accessories for its upcoming Prom Boutique, an event providing free formal wear to high school girls that can’t afford to buy a prom dress. Check your closet for unwanted gowns, bride’s maid dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Those items will go a long way towards building the confidence and self esteem in a young girl trying to look and feel her best. We accept new and gently used formal dresses, shoes, purses, shawls and jewelry. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be dropped off at the Upper School office, Community Service Office or the Administration building. Contact Carol Jensen, Director of Community Programs 858  569-7900 x4112

Sports Photos Needed!

The Middle School is looking for sports photos. If you have some great shots of fall or winter sport, please send them to Mary Ong-Dean (mong-dean@francisparker.org). You may see some of your shots in our student portfolios, yearbook, or end-of-year class videos. Thank you in advance!

Posted by dlang in 03. March on Sunday March 22 at 12:44PM
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News for the Week of March 15, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

On Thursday, March 12 our sixth grade celebrated the annual Ikidarod, a cherished Parker tradition that focuses on student teamwork while celebrating the memory of the late Alex Szekely, a Parker parent and local business person with a heart for supporting the community.IMG_0180.jpg

As is the case with many Parker special events, parent support makes for an excellent event. Many thanks to our parent coordinators Katy Philyaw and Megan Costa and the many, many parent volunteers who made the event a success. Many thanks to our Lower School teachers who annually serve as “coaches” and run along with our students. Yes...that is Dr. G in the photo running with his team!

In a week for celebrations, this past Friday, the Middle School celebrated Pi Day, and yes there was pie! In addition the Middle School sidewalk was adorned with Pi written in chalk to as many decimal points as our students could fit.B_0ARpdUsAEn4IE.jpg

Our History Day Teams provide a reason to continue our celebration. On Saturday, March 7, Francis Parker School was represented by 24 Middle School and 28 Upper School scholars at the National History Day in San Diego competition.

Representatives from the Middle School included Elsa Baumgartner, Tully Cook, Erin Keith, Isabella Polsfuss, and John LeMasters.

We would like to congratulate our representatives and the following individuals and groups for the awards they received at the competition:IMG_0241.JPG

Ashley Scott, Katelyn Fitzgerald, Carolyn Kravets, Adelyn Phillips – Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield – Women of Character Award

Cate Hasler and Anne McGrath – Anne Frank: A Diary’s Legacy – Junior Group Exhibit Honorable Mention and Bringing History Alive Award

Vicky Comunale, Maya Chu, Emily Park – Whimsical Art, Revolutionary Children’s Literature, Political Satire: The Leadership and Legacy of Theodore Seuss Geisel – Junior Group Exhibit WinnerIMG_0435.JPG

Axel Youngdale – The Leadership and Legacy of George Orwell – Judges’ Choice Award

Neusha Kharrati – Benazir Bhutto – Junior Individual Website Winner

Sahana Kumar – Marie Curie: The Founder of Radioactivity – Junior Individual Website Winner

Nicolas del Rio, Gabriel Jinich – César Chávez: Labor Leader, Civil Rights Activist, and National Hero – Junior Group Website Winner

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Adam Nussbaum – Living in Truth: The Leadership and Legacy of Vaclav Havel – Junior Individual Documentary Winner

Eleanor Hansen, Amanda Wasserman, Annika Heidt, Cleo Chaplin – Dual Visions of a Revolution: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and the Leadership of the Cuban Revolution – Junior Group Documentary Winner and Economics Award

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Category winners will represent Parker and San Diego at the California State Competition on May 8 and 9. Full results can be viewed at nhdsd.org. KUSI was present at the event and prepared the following story:  KUSI News Story

Carrying on the success of the History Day team, and providing a another reason to celebrate, this week, our two robotics teams spent the day on Saturday competing in the First Lego League Spring Showdown at Legoland. The future of Parker robotics looks bright!

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The 7th/8th grade Astrobots team won the Judges Award for impressing the judges in all areas of the competition. Congratulations to Drew Beamer, Aidan Bell, Henry Gray, Nico Khoury, Graham Ong-Dean, Suraj Srinivasan and Charles Tobin.2015-03-14 09.13.38.jpg

The 6th grade Electrons team scored the most points of any rookie team in Parker MS Robotics team history. Congratulations to Kai Asakawa, Max Chapman, Erin Keith, Ian Lillie, Jorge Luna, Larry Mei, Ollie Pai and Jonathon Whitten.

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle.”

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

3/16 - Professional Development Day - No Classes for Students

Short Week Monday Holiday Schedule: find it here

3/17 - 7th Grade Houses of Worship Field Trip: all 7th Grade Students will be off Campus

3/17 - Lancer Orchestra SCSBOA Festival

3/19 - Discovery Week Meeting/US Transition Meetings for 8th Graders and Parents - 5:30 p.m. J. Crivello Hall.

3/27 - Special Schedule...Early Dismissal for Students: find schedule here

3/27 - MS Band Festival in Orange County - returning to Parker by 10:00 pm.

Discovery Week/US Transition Parent Meeting No. 2 - March 19, 2015...

This Thursday, Parents and students will begin in J. Crivello Hall where Carrie Dilmore will speak and take questions regarding students transitioning to the Upper School from 5:30-6:00 p.m.

Discovery Week meetings are set to begin at 6:15 p.m. in a variety of locations by trip group.

Early Release Day….

On Friday March 27, the Middle School will dismiss early. In order to accommodate an Upper School ASB event, we will have a special schedule with dismissal at 1:05: find the schedule here

Lunch will still be provided, and any student whose family can not make use of the early dismissal is welcome to remain on campus. Chorus and band students will still travel to festival competitions in the Los Angeles area on that Friday and will return to Parker by 10:00 p.m.

With Discovery Week trips leaving the following week, this early release is a good time for our eighth grade families to take care of those last minute necessaries.

No Homework Weekend Approaching in April...

Looking forward into April, our Spring Break falls after the beginning of Passover and the observance of both Good Friday and Easter Sunday, so Parker will be in session during these holidays.

Since many families will have celebrations during this time there, will be a no homework weekend on April 4 and April 5. Teachers will also be aware that some students may have family commitments on Friday, April 3 that might affect their regular attendance at school. Please just let us know in the office if your child will not be present, arriving late or departing early on that Friday.

In addition, although school will be in session during the week of of April 5, teachers are aware that Passover continues through April 11. Please be in contact with your teachers directly should your family have any questions or special events planned that require an accommodation.

Renaissance Faire…

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Renaissance Fair team is looking for seventh grade parents and friends to volunteer at the annual Renaissance Fair. On April 24, 2015, the Middle School campus will be transformed into a Renaissance Fair, complete with Renaissance activities for students. In order to make this event a success, we need your help. Please indicate your willingness to help out by filling out a short volunteer form at the link below. Thank you! Renaissance Faire Sign Up Sheet

Upper School Football Meeting for 8th Grade Boys and Their Parents...

 On Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00 pm in the Lawrence MS Commons there will be a meeting for any incoming freshman who plans on playing football in 2015. We would like at least one parent to attend as well. This meeting will be informational in nature regarding specifics of this summer and fall that will be important for all to know. We will also have available a game schedule for the season and Coach Morrison, along with current football parents, will be available to answer any questions that you might have.

Please plan on joining us. If your son would like to play football this fall, but you are unable to be at this meeting, please email Coach Morrison at jmorrison@francisparker.orgso you can still receive this information.

Notes from Nurse Maggie…

March is National Nutrition Month! While our Parker community supports healthy student nutrition as evidenced by the Nutrition Guidelines found on our website, parents continue to be the most important influence on their children for developing healthy eating habits. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. Additionally, children are more likely to try new foods and to like more foods if offered a variety of choices. When children develop a taste for many types of foods, it is easier to plan family meals. Cook with your children, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time! Other suggestions from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition:

  1. Be a good example: eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks

  2. Go food shopping with your children and help your children make healthy choices

  3. Be creative in the kitchen by, for example, making your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit

  4. Offer the same food for everyone instead of being a “short-order” cook

  5. Reward positive behavior with attention not food, especially not sweets or dessert foods

  6. Limit screen time to no more than two hours a day

  7. Encourage physical activity and make being active a whole family event

Summer Program Registration Open...

Registration for all Summer Program classes, afternoon activities and sports camps opened this past Tuesday, March 10, at 9:00 am.

The online registration system is available at www.francisparker.org/summer. Early Bird Registration Discount is in effect from March 10 - March 31.

Questions?  Please call Tim Katzman on 858.569.7900, Ext 4236, or Monique Velde on 858.569.7900, Ext 4109 for assistance.

Cinderella’s Attic...

Pitch in on Our Prom Dress Drive! Cinderella’s Attic is collecting formal dresses gowns and accessories for its upcoming Prom Boutique, an event providing free formal wear to high school girls that can’t afford to buy a prom dress. Check your closet for unwanted gowns, bride’s maid dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Those items will go a long way towards building the confidence and self esteem in a young girl trying to look and feel her best. We accept new and gently used formal dresses, shoes, purses, shawls and jewelry. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be dropped off at the Upper School office, Community Service Office or the Administration building. Contact Carol Jensen, Director of Community Programs 858  569-7900 x4112

Parker Pays It Forward…

Parker is hosting a community service event, Parker Pays It Forward, on March 21 from 8-12pm. Alumni, parents and students are invited to participate in a site clean up at the Serra Museum. Students who are 17 years and younger will need to complete a waiver available through the link below.

Parker Pays It Forward Website

Please contact Lizzy Bendrick '07 at lbendrick@francisparker.org if you have questions.

Sports Photos Needed!

The Middle School is looking for sports photos. If you have some great shots of fall or winter sport, please send them to Mary Ong-Dean (mong-dean@francisparker.org). You may see some of your shots in our student portfolios, yearbook, or end-of-year class videos. Thank you in advance!


Posted by dlang in 03. March on Sunday March 15 at 02:27PM
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Dan Lang was appointed Head of Middle School on July 1, 2012. Prior to this appointment, Dan served as Middle School Dean of students. Dan joined the Francis Parker Middle School in 2006 as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher. Read more...


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