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News for the Week of May 17, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

Congratulations to the cast of Seussical! Last night my wife, Heather, and I had the opportunity to be whisked away into the world of Seuss. The singing, dancing and acting were superb, and our production crew completed the illusion with lights, sound, costuming, and makeup that transformed students into Horton, Cat in the Hat, Mazie, Gertrude, Sour Kangaroo, Roo, the Wickersham Monkeys, the Bird Girls, and a whole host of Whos.IMG_0790.JPG

Beyond the pure entertainment value of a production well done, the cast of Seussical captured the optimistic, encouraging, yet rascally tone of some of the best loved Dr. Seuss creations. From the opening lines of the show, our host for evening, Cat in the Hat of course, encouraged the audience in much the same way those of us in the Middle encourage students each day:


I can see that you've got quite a mind for your age!
Why, one Think and you dragged me right onto the stage!
Now, I'm here, there is no telling what may ensue
With a Cat such as me, and a Thinker like you!

Oh, the thinks you can think!
Oh, the thinks you can thinkSuessuical logo_edited-5.jpg 
If you're willing to try...

Following the show it struck me that Seussical, filled with imagination, struggle, success, happiness, and sadness, is an apt metaphor for this moment in our students’ lives. Just as Horton’s journey had challenges and successes, so too our eighth graders have spent their Middle School years navigating a path that has ups, downs, and plenty of sideways, yet here they are one month and a summer away from Upper School life.

For many of our actors, Seussical showcased an evolution of their talent and skill set. Under the steady guidance of Mrs. M, these young actors have continued to grow and develop to the point where their continued success depends only their imagination and confidence. I could not be more proud!

For all of us here in the Middle, I will finish with some advice from a Cat we all know:

When your thinks have run dry,
In the blink of an eye
There's another think there!
If you open your mind,
Oh, the thinks you will find
Lining up to get loose!
Oh, the thinks you can think 

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

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

5/18-22 - MS Life Skills Week

5/19 - Spring Arts Night

5/21 - MS Talent Show 10:45 in the PAC

5/21 - 8th Grade Drama Presentations 3:00 in the PAC

5/25 - Memorial Day - No School

5/26 - Sixth (4:00 p.m.) and Seventh (5:30 p.m.) Grade Rock Projects - in J.Crivello Hall

5/27 - Eighth Grade Rock Projects - 4:00 p.m. in J.Crivello Hall

Summer Program…

Tim Katzman and the Summer Program office wish to remind Parker families that the start of our Summer Program is only five weeks distant. Session I begins on June 22 and Session II begins on July 13.  There are still places available in most courses, afternoon activities and in many sports camps.  This coming summer's program features 23 new academic courses and sports camps,sprinkled across the three divisions.  For course descriptions, pricing and registration information, families should go to www.francisparker.org/summer.  

Assistance can also be provided by calling the Summer Program office on 858.569.7900, Extension 4109(Monique Velde) or Extension 4236 (Tim Katzman).

Life Skills Week…

We will have our last Middle School Life Skills Week of the year Monday through Thursday this week. For detailed information about programming for the week, please see the following descriptions prepared by our Assistant Head of Middle School, Christi Cole: find it here

Drama…

The 8th grade Drama Class will present their work on Thursday, May 21 at 4:00 pm in the PAC

Rock Projects...

Rock Projects 2015 is right around the corner. We will be performing in Crivello Hall. Because of the large number of performances, we are doing two dates this year. Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, May 26
6th Grade Rock Projects, 4:00 to 5:30
7th Grade Rock Projects, 6:00 to 7:30

Wednesday, May 27
8th Grade Rock Projects 4:00 to 6:00

We're also doing something new this year. We've collaborated with the MS Percussion classes and their students will be doing all the drums and various percussion for our guitar students!!!

Students must be in dress code during the regular class day of the performances. They can change into jeans, shorts and rock & roll t-shirts after school.

Hope you can make it!

Mr. G, Mr. Ford and Ms. Barnes

History Day - Full Results…

Below please find the full results for Middle School History Day. Many, many thanks to our Coaches and Parent helpers.. Student success is directly related to your support.

Neusha Kharrati
Benazhir Bhutto
Junior Individual Website State Champion (advancing to Nationals)

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

Gabriel Jinich and Nicolas Del Rio
Cesar Chavez: Labor Leader, Civil Rights Activist and National Hero
Junior Group Website Runner Up

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

Cleo Chaplin, Eleanor Hansen, Anika Heidt, Amanda Wasserman
Dual Visions of a Revolution: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and the Leadership of the Cuban Revolution
Junior Group Documentary Honorable Mention

Maya Chu, Vicky Comunale, and Emily Park
Whimsical Art, Revolutionary Children’s Literature, and Political Satire: The Leadership and Legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel
Junior Group Exhibit
Herbert Nikirk Visual Art in HIstory Award

8th Grade Promotion Party…

Dear 8th Grade Families,

Your room parents are making preparations for an all 8th grade end of year party. Here are the basics:

Date: Wednesday June 10th
Location: San Diego Yacht Club - Pool area
Time: 6:00-9:00pm
There will be a suggested donation of $20 each
8th Grade Students only...more information will be coming as details are firmed up.
Fun things planned...

Upper School Course List Correction…

There is a corrected version of the Upper School Course List available on-line: find it here. On the original list AP Physics 1 did not have a value listed for credits. It was also not designated as a weighted grade. AP Physics 1 is a 6-credit course and its grade is a weighted grade (W). Please contact Carrie Dilmore, 9th Grade Dean, with any questions you have concerning courses in the Upper School.

Dance…

Turning, Jumping, Leaping into "FINAL LEAP!" You are invited to attend the
final Middle School Dance Performance of the year, "FINAL LEAP!" on Thursday, May 28 at
4pm in Crivello Hall. The dance students have worked hard to choreograph original
dance compositions and are excited to perform for you! The performance is approximately 45 minutes in length and admission is Free! Thanks for supporting Parker's Dance Program.

Homework and Upcoming Short Weeks…

During the next few weeks we will have a professional development day and a holiday weekend that will result in a long weekend for our students. With limited school days remaining, teachers will have normal expectations for studying and coursework over these long weekends. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teachers.

It’s This Week!  Mark your calendar for the 2015 Spring Arts Night....

arts night poster as JPEG.jpg

Come and join us for a celebration of Parker Arts at Spring Arts Night 2015. Student work in a variety of mediums will be on display.

In addition to a variety of Visual Art, the Beginning and Advanced Classical Guitar Ensemble will be performing in the 4pm to 5pm time slot. Dance, MS Strings and the Upper School Chamber Orchestra will also be performing.

New Book Ordering Procedure…

Parker will no longer be using MBS Direct as its book source. Instead, we will post a list of required books and other reading materials by class (“Required Materials”) on our website.This site will provide families with detailed information about each publication for the 2015-2016 school year, along with recommended sources for purchasing these publications (e.g., Amazon).

Our Business Office will apply a prorated billing credit in October to families who receive financial assistance for the Required Materials based on an estimated cost.

Peace Passers – Soccer Equipment Drive...

Sarah Mehrberg, Parker Class of 2017, and Malia Starita, a student at La Costa Canyon High School are working with the Peace Passers organization to collect and donate used soccer equipment to communities in need. They will be holding a collection drive Wednesday, May 20th, in the Middle/Upper School parking lot before school starts.  Here is the list of equipment they are looking to collect:

-soccer balls  -shin guards
-shorts -goalie jerseys
-socks  -goalie gloves
-sport duffle bags                                -cleats or turf shoes
-cones  -ball pumps
-practice jerseys

Questions?  Email: smehrberg2017@francisparker.org

Posted by dlang in 05. May on Sunday May 17 at 07:48AM
0 comments get link

News for the Week of May 10, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

As I noted in this newsletter previously, the Spring is Music Festival season at Parker. On Friday, May 1, the 8th Grade Classical Guitar Ensemble received a Gold Rating for their performance at the Forum Music Festival. Most impressive is the the fact that they scored a perfect 100 on the national standard that the students are graded on during their performance. Congratulations to the 22 students who performed this year!

Continuing on the celebratory front, this week is faculty appreciation week in the Middle School. Many thanks to our Parents Association first for sharing this special time in your child’s life with us and of course for planning this week. From Flower Day on Tuesday, May 12 to a wonderful lunch, we thank you for your kindness: we feel appreciated!

ERB week is here. Monday through Thursday this week, our students will complete the Comprehensive Testing Program 4 (CTP4) published by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Advisors and our technology team have been preparing students through iPad checks and a sample test this week. Some important notes for the week include the following:

  • Please make sure that your iPad is updated to iOS 8.3.

  • Please make sure your iPad is fully charged daily.

  • Please bring a calculator for Tuesday’s math section. You may not use your phone or iPad as a calculator. Calculators will not be supplied.

  • Please bring a physical book or paper based coursework with you should you finish early. Your iPad will not be available for anything other than testing during the allotted time.

Here are some specifics about the testing schedule for the week.


Subtest

Date of Subtest

Test Time Allowed

Verbal Reasoning

Monday, 5/11

35 minutes

Mathematics Part 1 (no calculator)

Tuesday, 5/12

35 minutes (6th)
39 minutes (7 & 8)

Mathematics Part 2 (calculator)

Tuesday, 5/12

35 minutes (6th)
39 minutes (7 & 8)

Reading Comprehension

Wednesday, 5/13

40 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

Thursday, 5/14

45 minutes


Following ERB week, we will have our last Middle School Life Skills Week of the year. For detailed information about programming for the week, please see the following descriptions prepared by our Assistant Head of Middle School, Christi Cole: find it here

Finally, as we reach the finalist stage in our hiring process, your student may have a guest teacher in his or her class. It is a routine part of our hiring process to have all finalists come to campus for a full day of interviews and a conduct at least one demonstration lesson. Should you have any questions, please feel free to email, call, or stop on by the office.

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

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

5/11-15 - ERB Testing

5/13-16 - Seussical

5/18-22 - MS Life Skills Week

5/19 - Spring Arts Night

History Day…

IMG_1180.JPG

We are happy to report that all 12 Middle Schoolers who traveled to Sacramento for 

NHD-CA have made it into the finals heat of the competition. That means that they are in the top 8-10 projects from the state in their category.

Congratulations to:

Adam Nussbaum - Junior Individual Documentary

Cleo Chaplin, Elle Hansen, Anika Heidt, and Amanda Wasserman - Junior Group Documentary

Neusha Kharrati - Junior Individual Website

Sahana Kumar - Junior Individual Website

Nicolas Del Rio and Gabriel Jinich - Junior Group Website

Maya Chu, Vicky Communale, and Emily Park - Junior Group Exhibit

Flower Day Help....

To help with flowers for faculty, Middle School Parent’s Association Vice President, Fatin Mayberry has asked that families send their child to school with cut flowers from their garden or purchased bouquets that will be used for Middle School faculty appreciation.

Nepal Earthquake Relief…

The mother of Ria (Grade 2) and Shaan (JK) Soni is from Nepal. Ranju Soni and her husband, Dr. Sandeep Soni,  are supporting the American Nepal Medical Foundation which is providing trauma care, medical supplies and other services to victims. They wanted to let the Parker community know that donations are welcomed at http://americanepalmedicalfoundation.  

8th Grade Promotion Party…

Dear 8th Grade Families,

Your room parents are making preparations for an all 8th grade end of year party. Here are the basics:

Date: Wednesday June 10th

Location: San Diego Yacht Club - Pool area

Time: 6:00-9:00pm

There will be a suggested donation of $20 each

8th Grade Students only...more information will be coming as details are firmed up.

Fun things planned...

The Middle School Drama Club Presents Seussical...  Suessuical logo_edited-5.jpg

The Middle School Drama Club proudly announces Seussical. Please find the order form here: Seussical Tickets

Homework and Upcoming Short Weeks…

During the next few weeks we will have a professional development day and a holiday weekend that will result in a long weekend for our students. With limited school days remaining, teachers will have normal expectations for studying and coursework over these long weekends. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teachers.

We are only 2 weeks away!  Mark your calendar for the 2015 Spring Arts Night....

arts night poster as JPEG.jpg

Come and join us for a celebration of Parker Arts at Spring Arts Night 2015. Student work in a variety of mediums will be on display.

New Book Ordering Procedure…

Parker will no longer be using MBS Direct as its book source. Instead, we will post a list of required books and other reading materials by class (“Required Materials”) on our website.This site will provide families with detailed information about each publication for the 2015-2016 school year, along with recommended sources for purchasing these publications (e.g., Amazon).

Our Business Office will apply a prorated billing credit in October to families who receive financial assistance for the Required Materials based on an estimated cost.

Summer Program Registration Open...

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.

Posted by dlang in 05. May on Saturday May 9 at 11:41AM
0 comments get link

News for the Week of May 3, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

Now in the second year of our strategic plan work, you might occasionally hear faculty discussing “knowing and doing” goals for students. As we continue to validate, align and improve our curriculum, being intentional about those goals sharpens our practice and supports faculty as they collaborate to produce the best curriculum in the world. Especially in the Middle School division, we pay attention to the skill of “learning to learn.” As a member of the Middle School Leadership Team, Parker’s Learning Center Director, Rona Dosick, is an expert in student learning and frequently guides our discussions around improving learning for all students. A key area of understanding in our professional practice is the role of Executive Function in student learning. Executive Function generally refers to a set of skills that students need to regulate the learning process, including, but not limited to: working memory, reasoning, planning, execution, and cognitive flexibility.

While the language around Executive Function can be a bit daunting at times, the practice needed to develop those skills can be simple. For example, in the Middle School we place a high level of importance on the student planner. As students develop the skill to view not only the coursework for the day, but the two week window we ask them to maintain in their planner, they develop the capacity to plan their coursework, study time, and perhaps most importantly their play time. In our students increasingly scheduled world, defining the space where work will not happen is just as important as defining the time that they will do work. By defining those temporal spaces, students develop flexibility in their planning and execution, and also learn the difference between coursework due for turn-in and studying for long term learning.

If this is an area that interests you, the Dart NeuroScience Center in Scripps Ranch will be hosting the Extreme Memory Tournament this weekend. http://www.extremememorytournament.com. During this tournament, competitors will use a variety of strategies including the memory palace technique that dates to ancient times. Using this technique competitors (and for our concerns, students) visualize a “palace” in their mind and place content within “rooms.” Then by “walking” through the palace contestants and students can access the knowledge stored in a structured way inside their minds. An interesting and encouraging aspect of this technique is that is has nothing to do with what we might normally associate with “being smart.” Many books touch on executive function techniques like the “memory palace.” After listening to a podcast review, I have added Moonwalking with Einstein” by Joshua Foer to my own summer reading list.

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

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

5/4 - Professional Development Day - No School

5/7-8 - State History Day

5/11-15 - ERB Testing

5/13-16 - Seussical

5/19 - Spring Arts Night

5/18 -5/21 - MS Lifeskills Week

Nepal Earthquake Relief…

The mother of Ria (Grade 2) and Shaan (JK) Soni is from Nepal. Ranju Soni and her husband, Dr. Sandeep Soni,  are supporting the American Nepal Medical Foundation which is providing trauma care, medical supplies and other services to victims. They wanted to let the Parker community know that donations are welcomed at http://americanepalmedicalfoundation.

8th Grade Promotion Party…

Dear 8th Grade Families,

Your room parents are making preparations for an all 8th grade end of year party. Here are the basics:

Date: Wednesday June 10th

Location: San Diego Yacht Club - Pool area

Time: 6:00-9:00pm

There will be a suggested donation of $20 each

8th Grade Students only...more information will be coming as details are firmed up.

Fun things planned...

MS - US Transition Meeting…

Middle School Families,

Thank you for attending the Upper School's presentation on April 29. During the presentation I mentioned that I meet individually with each family. Those meetings take place during 9th grade after the end of the first trimester. Generally students have an easier time choosing future courses once they have experienced the Upper School.

As you are considering the choices for next year, feel free to call me if questions arise. With a number of exciting offerings in the Upper School making a decision can be difficult. Please be sure to register for 9th grade by the end of the day on May 8th. I look forward to working with you next year!

Carrie Dilmore

9th Grade Dean

The Middle School Drama Club Presents Seussical...  Suessuical logo_edited-5.jpg

The Middle School Drama Club proudly announces Seussical. Please find the order form here: Seussical Tickets

Life Skills Week...

During the Week of May 19 the Middle School will hold our Spring Lifeskills Sessions. Topics for this week include age appropriate Human Development with Nurse Maggie and Dr. Besinger,

Personal Safety, age appropriate Drug Awareness, and Healthy Eating.

Homework and Upcoming Short Weeks…

During the next few weeks we will have a professional development day and a holiday weekend that will result in a long weekend for our students. With limited school days remaining, teachers will have normal expectations for studying and coursework over these long weekends. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teachers.

We are only 2 weeks away! Mark your calendar for the 2015 Spring Arts Night....

Come and join us for a celebration of Parker Arts at Spring Arts Night 2015. Student work in a variety of mediums will be on display.

Update to iOS 8.3…

If you haven't done so already, please update your iPad to iOS 8.3. We will be taking our ERB tests on the iPad again this year and need all student machines on the same operating system.

ERBs and iPad...

All Middle Schoolers will take the Comprehensive Testing Program 4 (CTP4) published by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) during the week of May 11-15. Last year we moved our standardized testing to the iPad with good success. However, we do need to know if you have set any restrictions on your child’s iPad. Please complete the following Google Form to let us know the status of your child’s iPad. Thank you:find the form here

If you have any questions please email our Middle School Technology Coordinator Stephanie Oberle at: soberle@francisparker.org.

Some important reminders and information for ERB week...

  • Please make sure your iPad is charged

  • Please bring a calculator for Tuesday’s math section. You may not use your phone or iPad as a calculator. Calculators will not be supplied.

  • Please bring a physical book or paper based coursework with you should you finish early. Your iPad will not be available for anything other than testing during the allotted time.

Subtest

Date of Subtest

Test Time Allowed

Verbal Reasoning

Monday, 5/11

35 minutes

Mathematics Part 1
(no calculator)

Tuesday, 5/12

35 minutes (6th)
39 minutes (7 & 8)

Mathematics Part 2 (calculator allowed)

Tuesday, 5/12

35 minutes (6th)

39 minutes (7 & 8)

Reading Comprehension

Wednesday, 5/13

40 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

Thursday, 5/14

45 minutes


New Book Ordering Procedure…

Parker will no longer be using MBS Direct as its book source. Instead, we will post a list of required books and other reading materials by class (“Required Materials”) on our website.This site will provide families with detailed information about each publication for the 2015-2016 school year, along with recommended sources for purchasing these publications (e.g., Amazon).

Our Business Office will apply a prorated billing credit in October to families who receive financial assistance for the Required Materials based on an estimated cost.

Summer Program Registration Open...

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

Posted by dlang in 05. May on Sunday May 3 at 11:41AM
0 comments get link

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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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