Dear Middle School Families,
Some of the best sounds of summer are from our new student and camp orientations held last week. As is to be expected, the pace around Parker shifts a bit during the summer and one of the things I miss the most is the sound of our students. On Thursday, the first laughs, high fives, fist bumps, and hugs of the 2014-15 school year echoed through the Middle School, and things began to sound as they should once again.
In this, our 102nd year, we welcome twenty-nine new sixth graders, twenty-four new seventh graders, and four new eighth graders. Please be sure to extend a warm Parker welcome to our newest Lancers as you meet them.
Along with new families, we also welcome Joline Nelson, Jennifer Dorsey, Carol Radchik, Catherine Barnes, Katie Dawson, and Keven Ford to our faculty. Joline, a native French speaker from Montreal, Canada is a graduate of McGill University and has taught French to students ranging from sixth grade to college freshmen, as well as adults in the corporate world wishing to learn a foreign language. Jennifer, a graduate of Occidental College, holds a degree in Biology and significant curriculum development experience in all areas of science education. Jennifer has previously held the post of Science Department Chair and served as a member of the K-12 Science Curriculum Standards Committee for the Long Beach Unified School District. Jennifer has served as a staff trainer and International Baccalaureate Middle Years trainer, and has presented on creating articulated and integrated science curriculum at the National Middle School Association annual conference. Carol is a native Spanish speaker who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Universidad de Monterrey. Carol has been teaching Spanish in San Diego since 2005 and has been a presenter at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and California Language Teacher’s Association. Catherine Barnes joins our Music Department and will teach our newly created Pure Percussion class. Catherine, who is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from Northwestern University. Catherine is a past recipient of the prestigious J. William Fulbright Scholarship and has both taught and studied internationally in Brazil, Haiti, and Ghana. Catherine “Katie” Dawson joins a talented group of performing arts teachers as our Production Design and Technical Theater Teacher. Katie graduated from The Colorado College with a degree in Theater and also holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree, the terminal degree in her field, in Scenography from Humbolt Sate University. Katie is a member of the Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Society and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. Born and raised in the San Diego area, and a graduate of The Bishop's School, Katie’s broad design experience in lighting, sound, sceneography, costumes, and makeup coupled with crew and stage managing experience for over twenty productions will serve our drama students well. Keven Ford is the director of Parker’s Upper School Pep Band and has joined the Middle School faculty as an assistant teacher to Mr. Gonzales for three sections of Middle School Guitar. An awarded guitarist, brass player, and percussionist, Keven will bring a broad set of skills to our Music Department.
In addition to our newest faculty, our students will meet our new Assistant Head of School, Laurynn Evans, and our new Athletic Director, Phil Hunt this year. Students will also find the 2014-15 school year filled with new course offerings in the area of Arts, Innovation and Design. All sixth grade students will benefit from a trimester course titled Digital Foundations, while seventh graders will be able to study Digital Animation. Increased offerings in seventh and eighth grade Robotics and Engineering will round out our new courses and provide an additional place for students to explore Design Thinking.
With our focus on Continuous Improvement yielding even more exciting work and innovation here at Parker, I am thrilled to welcome you to another great year filled with “Lancer Pride!”
Thank you for checking out all that we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.
9/2/14 - 7th Grade Camp Departs - Please arrive at the Toys ‘R Us Parking Lot by 5:15 a.m.
9/2/14 - First Day of Classes - Please note that this is a Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday
9/2/14 - 6th Grade Parent Coffee - No Program. Please park carefully off campus and walk your student in to the first day of Middle School. We will have coffee waiting the Lawrence Middle School Commons will be available to socialize.
9/5/14 - 7th Grade Camp Returns to Toys ‘R Us Parking Lot at approximately 4:00 p.m.
9/9/14 - New Family Dinner 6:00 p.m. Lower School
9/11/14 - Middle School Back to School Night 6:00 p.m. - Opening is in the Field House
9/12/14 - Middle and Upper School Picture Day
9/16/14 - 6th Grade Camp Departs
9/19/14 - 6th Grade Camp Returns
Seventh Grade Camp Departs Early on Tuesday Morning
On Tuesday, September 2, all Seventh Graders should arrive at the Toys ‘R Us parking lot on Morena Boulevard, no later than 5:15 a.m. Busses will depart at 5:30 a.m. for Long Beach and then the boat ride to Catalina Island.
New information: The time for our return trip from Catalina has been shortened and we expect our students to return an hour earlier on Friday September 5. As Mr. Ngo described in camp orientation, we will communicate through email regarding the progress of our students as they return home. At this point families should plan on a return time to the Toys ‘R Us parking lot on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. As always traffic will provide a variable.
Sixth Grade Camp Information
Sixth grade students also had camp orientation this past week. Below please find links to all of the information that was discussed.
Camp Orientation Cover Letter
Camp Schedule & Activities
Camp Packet: Health & Safety Information, Student Information, Student Behavior Contract, Pathfinder Ranch Medication Form & Equipment Packing List
Lunch & T-shirt Order Form
Links to Orientation Slide Decks
6th Grade Orientation Slides
New 7th and 8th Grade Orientation Slides
Tech Talk during New Student Orientation (slides)
Set up Haiku Learning App before Tuesday (Job Aid)
Links to New Schedules
As we communicated during the course of last year, the Middle School has aligned its schedule with the Upper School. School will still begin at 8:00 a.m. for Middle Schoolers. Dismissal will be at 2:50 p.m., with advisors available to check-in until 3:15 and all teachers available for support until 3:30 or later by appointment.
Please note that the Linda Vista campus will have a weekly late start Wednesday and classes will not begin for grades 6 -12 until 8:55.
Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday - Please note that this first week of school will follow this schedule.
Regular Week - 6th Grade Schedule
Regular Week - 7th Grade Schedule
Regular Week - 8th Grade Schedule
Short Week Schedule - Friday Holiday
Please note that all students who remain on campus after 3:30 must sign in to the after school program in the Middle School office.
The Lancer Enrichment After-School Program - L.E.A.P.! will begin providing afterschool programming in the first week of October. Please contact our after school program director Katie Colvin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Seventh Grade Life Science Book
While families do not need to do anything at this time, our seventh grade Life Science teachers would like to inform you that they have decided to add an iBook to their classes: Core Ideas in Life Science. The iBook is $14.99 and is available in the iTunes store. Seventh grade Science Teachers will discuss acquiring the book with students when they return from camp.
On Sept. 9th, 11th, 16th, and 18th from 3:05 to 4:30 the officers of the Drama Club will hold meetings to team build, and explain the auditions for "Godspell" and "The Diary of Anne Frank" in more detail. Auditions will be held the week of Sept. 22nd.
Notes on Dress Code, Digital Life and Locker Use
Students are expected to be in their Lands' End uniforms every day unless a “dress-down” day has been granted. Please note that all major clothing pieces, including outerwear must be from Land’s End and bear the Parker Logo. Socks, shoes, hair accessories and the like are not included in the Middle School uniform guidelines.
Students should wear shoes appropriate for all school activities including physical education and athletics or plan on maintaining appropriate footwear in their athletic locker.
iPads should only be used for academic purposes during the school day. Gaming should not occur at school and we strongly encourage families to eliminate game apps from your child’s iPad. Personal electronics should not be used at all during school hours. We encourage students to leave personal electronics at home, or locked in a locker during the day. If parents need to contact a student, please call the office, as all of our classrooms have phones and we are able to contact your child for you.
Students should bring a sturdy backpack big enough to carry school work and books back and forth from home. Rolling backpacks are strongly discouraged, as students have a difficult time managing them and they do not fit into student lockers.
Please note that the focus of our school day is learning; distracting/disruptive styles (i.e., dyed or unusually-cut hair, inappropriate make-up or jewelry, etc.) take away from our teaching and learning, and if observed, students will be asked to change and/or call home for assistance
If your child has any special needs that we need to be aware of (e.g., medication, dietary needs, etc.) please do not hesitate to let us know as soon as possible. Please turn in any applicable medical forms by the first day of school.