Dear Middle School Families,
I often share with parents that Middle School life is full of “knees and elbows” and that the social landscape can shift quickly in the 11-14 year old age group. Fortunately that tendency for the friendship landscape to shift also means that peers who have grown apart can just as easily be fast friends again, sometimes even within the same day. An important part of Middle School life is learning to adapt to these shifts and manage our responses to them. This week we create intentional time for the students in each of our grade levels to work on those social and emotional skills in a variety of settings.
In addition to the tradition of Language and Culture Week that I wrote to you about last week, this week also holds the beginning of Ikidarod Team Building. The Ikidarod is a Middle School tradition that celebrates the memory of Parker alumnus and parent Alex Szekely while providing sixth graders the opportunity to learn how to be good team members, how to communicate with one another even under the stress of wanting to win, and that being able to work together collaboratively is a significant life-long lesson.
While our sixth graders are working on Lifeskills through the Ikidarod Team Building, our seventh and eighth graders will also have Lifeskills programming during the afternoon Monday through Thursday. Our entire Middle School community will celebrate the with Middle School Olympics on Friday. Please note that there is a change to the Friday schedule sent last week. The updated schedule is listed below.
Finally, while we work on Lifeskills here at school, this is a good time to have similar discussions at home. Midyear is often a point where friendships fray. While we always want to guide our students to create their own solutions, adults sharing advice, experience, and understanding will support the conditions for our students to be successful in the effort to build our community up. Please be sure to see the information on the next Parker Cares speaker, Lori Getz, listed below. As you will read Lori’s expertise can support discussions around the impact of social media on the world of Middle School friendships.
Social and Emotional Learning opportunities fall under the Strategic Plan Areas: Enrich Student Experience: Leadership and Character Development and Reaffirm Commitment to Inclusive Community: Program and Curriculum. To review any part of the Strategic Plan, please follow this link: Parker Strategic Plan
Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.
February 10 - 14 MS World Language and Cultures Week
February 10 -14 MS Lifeskills Week
February 14 - MS Olympics
February Break - 17-23
February 24 - Room Parent Meeting
February 26 - Drama Class Production
February 27 - Grandparents and Special Friends Day
February 27 - Evening MS Dance “Spring Forward” Dance Concert
Discovery Week Trip Orientation Meetings: March 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Discovery Week! - April 4-12
Discovery Week Presentations and 9th Grade Registration - May 7
You Are Invited! The Middle School Dance program continues their journey dancing through the New York Times in "Spring Forward." The performances are: Thursday, February 27 at 5pm in Crivello Hall and on Friday, February 28 at 11:25am. Thanks for supporting Dance at Parker!
IKIDAROD VOLUNTEERS NEEDED…
6th Grade Ikidarod 2014 FRIDAY, MARCH 7th, 2014
Volunteers needed for 6th Grade Ikidarod, 2014 on Friday March 7th, 2014. We need volunteers in the morning until around 11:30am
On Friday, March 7th, the 6th graders will journey to the beach where our sled teams will race from Tourmaline Beach to the South Mission Beach Jetty. The kids will be working on projects in class for the next few weeks to prepare for the event.
Stops en route include Crystal Pier, Santa Clara and Belmont Park. We will refer to them as Skwentna, Iditarod and Unalakleet. The jetty is called Nome.
Students will be provided at no charge with specially designed t-shirts in various colors. They will be large enough to wear over sweatshirts or jackets.
You may view the race from anywhere along the beach, but please do not interfere with the teams. There will be designated volunteers at each station that will take care of the teams.
We will need LOTS of parent volunteers to make this event happen. Please click the link below to sign up as a volunteer: Ikidarod Volunteer Signup
Volunteers are encouraged to purchase t-shirts which will be in the official Royal Blue color. We need to order those now. Spectators may also purchase shirts to help support the event. Adult sizes will be available in SM, MED, LG and XL. All shirts are $15.00.
If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, please return the form by this Friday, Feb.14th to your child's Advisory teacher or to the Middle School office. Ikidarod Shirt Order Form
We will be sending more information as the event gets closer.
Katy Philyaw (Ikidarod Coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn Tobin (Volunteer Coordinator) email@example.com
Seeking advanced US/MS musicians for the MS Drama Club production of the Broadway Hit Musical "Annie"!! Our goal is to have a full orchestra pit for this challenging and fun show! Here's a list of instruments needed:
Alto Saxophone (1)
Tenor Saxophone (1)
Bari Saxophone (1)
If you are interested in learning more about this unique opportunity please contact Mrs. Tamara Paige ASAP! The show dates are May 14th-17th. We will start rehearsals the first week of March. (Dates TBA)
Are your children using the Internet and social media responsibly?
Lori Getz, social media and technology expert will discuss:
• The impact of social media on children and adolescents
• Cyber-bullying and what to do about it
• How to bridge the digital gap facing parents with respect to their children’s “digital footprint”
• How parents can ensure that their children use the internet safely, ethically, and responsibly
Lori Getz has an M.A. in Educational Technology. In 2008, she founded Cyber Education Consultants, and has been certified by isafe.org as an Internet Safety Specialist. She has done workshops at hundreds of schools across the nation, advising parents, students and teachers about Internet safety, security and ethics. She has appeared on numerous television and news programs, including "The Dr. Phil Show," "Today," "HLN," and “Dr. Drew." Her work is featured in both online and print publications, including momlogic.com, Rachel Simmons’ latest edition of Odd Girl Out and Lucie Hemmen’s, Ph.D’s Parenting a Teen Girl.
Bridging the Digital Divide – How to ensure your child’s: internet safety.
Lecture and discussion are free and open to the public
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Lori will be present following the PA General Meeting. The PA Meeting is scheduled from 8:30 to 10am at the Mission Hills Campus.
Lori will also be meeting with our Middle School Advisors.
6:30 p.m. social / 7:00 p.m. speaker La Jolla Country Day School Community Hall (MPR)
9490 Genesee Avenue, La Jolla 92037
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
8:15 a.m. speaker, followed by social San Diego Jewish Academy
Ulam Meeting Room (Admin. Bldg.) 11860 Carmel Creek Rd, S.D. 92130
NOTES FROM NURSE MAGGIE…
Notes from Nurse Maggie: Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): There have been several cases of conjunctivitis on campus recently. Conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, is an inflammation of the membrane that that lines the eyelids and extends over the whites of the eyes. The most common causes of conjunctivitis are infections caused by viruses or bacteria, allergies, chemical exposure or irritants such as dirt or foreign bodies. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis may be transmitted by contact with eye discharge, touching contaminated items and then touching the eye or as a result of an upper respiratory infection. Bacterial conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes and there may be a yellow or green discharge from the eye. The eye is red and painful and may be crusted shut, especially upon wakening. There is generally no itching. This is a contagious condition that must be treated with three consecutive doses of antibiotic eye drops as directed by your health care provider prior to the student returning to school. Viral conjunctivitis usually starts in one eye (but may spread to both) and is characterized by pink, swollen, watery eyes with minimal itching. Students may experience sensitivity to light. The student is contagious before onset of symptoms and remains contagious until symptoms are gone. There is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis and the student needs to stay home until symptoms are gone, usually 3 to 5 days. Allergic conjunctivitis presents with itchy, burning, red and tearing eyes and is usually in both eyes. Usually, other allergy symptoms are present, such as runny nose, itchy ears and sneezing. This condition is not contagious and can be treated with antihistamines and allergy eye drops. Chemical conjunctivitis presents with red, watery eyes that occur after exposure to an irritant, often swimming. Chemical conjunctivitis can be soothed with cool or warm compresses or may need to be flushed with water for fifteen minutes. It is recommended that a healthcare provider should evaluate all cases of conjunctivitis, especially if the condition worsens. Please contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 619-717-0235.
The Learning Center’s “Homework Habitat” is now open for Middle School students. This program provides a quiet, structured environment where students are supervised and work independently on their homework from 3:30-4:30 PM Monday through Thursday. Mr. Chesed Reyes, who has been an aide for the MS and is currently a substitute teacher at Parker, will be in charge. He will guide students to consult their planners and set a goal for the hour. Although students may certainly ask questions, this is not designed as a “tutoring” time. There will be additional support from high school peer tutors who will be assisting Mr. Reyes. By starting at 3:30, students will have the opportunity to see classroom teachers and/or relax for a few minutes before starting the homework session. Snacks will be available at 3:15. Students will be dismissed at 4:30 to the regular pick-up area.
Each session is limited to 15 students. Therefore, students must reserve a place for the day(s) they would like to attend by accessing the Homework Habitat page the night before. https://homeworkhabitat.youcanbook.me.
Students may come to the Homework Habitat on a drop in basis, but will be able to stay only if there are available places. The fee for this program is $5.00/session and will be billed to student accounts. Attendance will be taken for our records and for student billing.
The Middle School Homework Habitat will be in the classroom on the lower floor of the Administration Building facing the faculty parking lot.
For more information call:
Rona Dosick, Director, Parker Learning Center
858-569-7900 ext. 4154
Dress Code Reminder Please….
At this point in the year it is not uncommon for us to have to remind our students to make sure they are in dress code. The complete student dress code may be found on our webpage here: Parker Dress Code Guidelines. Please note that this is also the time of year when many of our young ladies discover that through growing taller a skort which met the “fingertip length rule” at the beginning of the year is no longer the correct length. Thank you for your support with dress code.
World Language and Culture Week, February 10th-14th...
Advisory groups will be awarded spirit and participation points throughout the week, concluding with the parade of Nations on Friday the 14th. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place advisory winners will be announced at the Olympic Closing Ceremony
The * below indicates which activities will earn advisory points.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10th
*Dress in red for Valentine’s Day
11:25 Assembly to introduce the week and enjoy French plays
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11th
*International Bake Sale during Extended Break (9:40-10:05)
Points will be awarded for advisories with the highest percentage of participation
Proceeds will go to the Steve Wampler Foundation
WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12th and 13th
*Advisory Lawn Bowling Tournament
FRIDAY, February 14th
MS OLYMPIC DAY
8:15-10:00 Movie “Wampler’s Ascent” and Steve Wampler Q&A
10:15-11:30 Walkathon to benefit the Wampler Foundation
(bring water bottles and sunscreen)
11:30-12:15 Lunch on the courtyard
12:15-12:45 - Advisory Prep
*12:45-1:15 Opening Ceremonies
2:30-3:00 Closing Ceremonies
Athletes Saving Athletes…
Athletes Saving Athletes (ASA) is a nonprofit organization that teaches athletes (and anyone else who is interested) how to perform CPR and other life saving techniques. Athletes Saving Athletes was created after a local high school student fractured his neck during lacrosse practice. Fortunately, a certified athletic trainer was present and knew that something was wrong and called an ambulance. In order to support the work of our trainers and bridge the gap when a trainer may not be immediately present, ASA teaches students how to not only treat injuries, but also how to spot and prevent further injuries from happening. Students CAN save lives.
A fundraiser to benefit ASA is coming up on March 2nd. There will be a classic walk/jogathon at Cathedral Catholic High School on their track field and Parker students of all ages are invited to attend and participate. ASA organizers hope for twenty-five Parker students to attend, but more is certainly better! The event, will have free CPR teaching sessions, media coverage, and food trucks. Tickets range from $20-30, depending on when you register.
To learn more about learn more about ASA and its mission please see their website: http://www.injuredathletes.org
To register for the event, follow the link below.