Dear Middle School Families,
Welcome back! While all of our students will return for classes on Monday, April 21, our 8th graders may be the most filled with tales of adventure from Discovery Week. By all accounts our 8th graders used this opportunity to fully embrace our Mission Statement:
To create and inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective, and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.
Kudos to our Middle School Global Travelers, and many thanks to our chaperones and supportive parents.
Capstone programs like Discovery Week are born from Parker’s commitment to continual improvement. In fact Discovery Week grew to its current form less than ten years ago. Built on a tradition of our Spanish language students visiting a school in Mexico, an interdisciplinary and multi-divisional team researched and visited peer schools to explore the concept of creating a “capstone experience” in the 2007-08 school year. Part of those discussions also recognized that “capstone experiences” require significant attention to JK-12 integration and coordination. Revisions to our schedule to allow that integration began then and continue.
As many of you already know, the Middle School went through an extensive schedule revision process last year and our new schedule has provided us with increased sixth grade capacity while lowering class size, expanded elective offerings and an improved rhythm and flow to the day. This last piece has reduced the stress of our day and allowed an improvement in student wellness. However, appropriate integration between the Middle School and Upper School remained beyond reach due to the incompatibility of our two divisions' schedules. While we have 6-12 departments in English, history, and are moving to that model in our other departments, our divisional schedules interfere with the ability to have 6-12 department meetings and effective cross over where appropriate.
Led by our Assistant Head of Upper School, Marc Thiebac, a team of teachers from both the Upper and Middle Schools created guiding principles for a new, more unified schedule. Paul Roudebush and Christi Cole, who are responsible for scheduling in the Upper and Middle Schools respectively, created several model schedules. Three prevailing models that fulfill all of the ten guiding principles were circulated to faculty, Upper School students, Upper School ASB, and the Parent Association Executive Committee. Having received input from faculty and students, the models have been adjusted slightly and will be submitted to faculty once again. Following further discussion, we should have one schedule to present to our families for consideration.
Following recent adjustments to the schedule model, Middle School families can expect a start and end time for the school day that is almost identical to this year. As the final model is selected, we will circulate it to all of our families with some narrative explanation. While the Upper School and Middle School work on schedule alignment, the Lower School has been hard at work revising their schedule as well. All of our efforts are in fulfillment of the Strategic Plan initiative: Enrich Student Experience: Daily Schedule and Academic Calendar.
Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.
April 23 - E-Waste Recycling Event
May 7 - Discovery Week Presentations
May 7 - 9th Grade Registration
“Calling all Lords and Ladies – we need YOU to make the 7th grade Renaissance Fair a success! This annual event wouldn’t be possible without help from our parent volunteers. From set-up and decorations to archery and calligraphy, candle-making and lawn games to fortune telling and hair-braiding, we have countless volunteer opportunities to meet everyone’s availability. Please mark your calendars for May 2 and click on the link below to sign up and help make this a fun and memorable event! Questions? Please contact Renee Linton (email@example.com) or Caroline Wohl (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2014 Renaissance Fair Volunteer Coordinators”
Renaissance Faire Sign Ups
Parker Cares …
Keeping the JOY in parenting: Come hear Speaker Mary Tamborski speak on Positive Discipline and Creative Connections at the Final Parent Ed event of the year!!
Monday May 5th immediately following the PA meeting at the lower school...
Are you are looking to have a summer with filled with fun memories, cooperation, mutual respect, responsibility, less sibling rivalry, and overall a sense of peace and connection in the home?
Mary Nelsen Tamborski will teach several valuable Positive Discipline Tools for you to have your summer Tool Belts fully loaded: " As a Mother of three young boys, I know that summer break is not actually a "break" at all."
Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen is based on the theories of psychiatrist and humanitarian Alfred Adler and Rudolf Driekers. Positive Discipline is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and encouraging for both children and adults.
Questions? Please contact Temple Zander email@example.com
Notes from Nurse Maggie…
Driver Safety: According to the American Automobile Association, driver inattention a factor in more than one million motor vehicle accidents in North America annually. In fact, it is estimated that drivers are doing something potentially distracting more than 15 percent of the time their vehicles are in motion. To help keep yourself, your family members, your teen driver and others on the road safe, follow these simple tips:
*Plan ahead and make vehicle adjustments, including the radio, prior to putting the car in gear
*Read maps or program your trip into you GPS or mobile device before you get on the road
*Avoid using a cell phone when driving. Instead pull over to a safe place to talk on the phone, text, or email
*Pull over to take care of children
*Do not drive with pets unsecured in your vehicle; pets can be a major distraction to drivers in the vehicle
*Pay attention and stay focused on the task at hand
Any questions, please contact me at : firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-717-0235.
E-Waste Recycling Event…
Parker, in partnership with the University of San Diego, will host an e-waste (electronic waste) recycling event on both the Mission Hills and Linda Vista campuses. The event will be held on Wednesday April 23rd during morning drop off; 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. on the Linda Vista campus and 7:30 to 8:30 on the Mission Hills campus. While we can not take items like tires, paint, light bulbs, and alkaline batteries (lead batteries, car batteries or cell phone batteries are great though) anything that plugs in is allowable. Below are some examples:
- All Appliances including dish washers, ovens, stoves, microwaves, etc
- TV's: Big boxy ones and flat screens
- All Computer related parts
- Vacuums, garden tools, and other old exercise equipment
- Cell phones and any type of PDA or tablet.
- DVD/VHS players and any type of audio/visual equipment
- Printers, fax machines, copy machines, scanners
- Gaming consoles (and all games and CD's and floppy disks, etc -- any type of media)
- Any type of wireless equipment or networking equipment