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News for the Week of October 19, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

As many of you have experienced first hand, Parker is a magical place. We have wonderful traditions that root us in a culture over 100 years old. In addition, we have new practices aimed at preserving and building upon existing excellence that will undoubtedly become tradition. One of the greatest privileges of the Division Head role is to witness and participate in a wide variety of both tradition and new practice. From themed spirit week days, to Middle School Flag football on the Homecoming Field, to all three Division Heads and our Assistant Head of School engaging in an Upper School Learning Walk, this past week was a fine example of the Parker tapestry. Abiding by the old adage a picture is worth a thousand words, below please find a collection of photos that illustrate our week. Enjoy!

Spirit Week Fun: Can you guess which faculty member the four young men below are twinning on Twin Day?

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MS Flag Football: Amazing play by all, and yes that one handed catch turned into a touchdown for the Lancers!

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Continuous Improvement of Professional Practice: Learning Walk through Ms. Taylor’s 2D Art Class and Dr. Pierce’s AP Physics 2 Class.

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

Smiles,

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Upcoming Dates...

10/23/14  - Middle and Upper School Town Hall Nicholas Commons

10/24/14  - Middle School Fall Sports Night: A fun night to see our MS Teams play right here at home. More information on our website: find it here

10/30/14  - Middle School Halloween Parade and Celebration

10/30/14  - Lancer Orchestra Presents a Halloween “Spooktacular”

Halloween Cake Contest at the Lower School…

Calling All Bakers!  We are having the Lower School Halloween Cake Contest again this year and would love to have your Middle School student participate!  The only rules are: (1) All cakes must be prepared and decorated by students only!  and, (2) EVERYTHING on the cake must be EDIBLE including ALL decorations and any structural support.  Please have your child print their cake tag at www.Lxt9.com/Cake , affix it to the cake, and have their cake dropped off at the Lower School gate between 7:15 and 8:45 on Oct. 31st.  So, please mention our Halloween Cake Contest to your Middle School student bakers, so we can make it the best Cake Contest ever!!  If you have any questions or concerns (including nut or allergy free), please contact Kristin Zeko at: kristinzeko@cox.net or Alexander Thomas at: Lxt9@Lxt9.com and visit our link: http://www.lxt9.com/2014HalloweenFlyer.pdf for all the details!

Mid-Trimester Reports...

This past week all student received a Mid-Trimester grade report in paper. This is one of the only times we send paper home. Please sign the report and have your child return it to her or his advisor.

Free DJ Demo and Yoga Classes for Middle School Students....

Thursday, October 23 student will have the opportunity to participate in a free demonstration class for DJing. More information is available in the flyer: find it here

On Monday, October 27, a free demonstration yoga class will be offered to Middle School students. More information is available in the flyer: find it here

Food Drive…

As part of a hunger theme in the Middle School this year, students are participating in a food drive to benefit Feeding America. Commonly requested items include peanut butter (no glass, please) and canned tuna or chicken. Seventh grade students will bring items collected during the food drive to Feeding America on their October 29 Community Service Day.

English Department Materials...

Middle School students have each been provided with a collection of short story study materials collected, bound and copyright cleared for us by University Readers. The copyright fees in particular bring some costs to this reader. Please complete the billing form emailed this past week and have your child return it to his or her English teacher.

Notary Service Available for Discovery Week Paperwork…

Notary service will be available for Discovery Week forms again this coming Friday, October 24, from 4pm-6pm in the Middle School Conference Room. All services are by appointment. Please contact Christi Cole at ccole@francisparker.org to make a reservation.

Notes from Nurse Maggie...

Importance of Handwashing: In celebration of Global National Handwashing Day last Wednesday, and in light of the recent prevalence of enterovirus, pertussis and Ebola in the news, here are a few reminders about handwashing. According to the Center for Disease Control, handwashing is the single most important act to help stop the spread of infection and to help people stay healthy. Due to proper handwashing with soap and water, there are an estimated one million deaths prevented globally each year. Additionally, up to 80% of all infections are spread by people’s hands. Doorknobs, animals and food also can spread harmful germs. The CDC recommends that you wash your hands before preparing food, before and after eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing/coughing, after playing with your pet, and after coming off the playground.  For more information about proper handwashing, please watch this video clip from the CDC: http://www.microbeworld.org/washup/handwashing-videos/488-put-your-hands-together. Please contact me with any questions at: 619-6=717-0235 or mwest@francisparker.org.

Pianist Needed….

Advanced pianist needed for Fall Musical Godspell! Must be flexible about afternoon rehearsal times in November and December. Please contact Mrs. Paige (tpaige@francisparker.org).

Change in 7th Grade Parent Dinner Date…

Please note that the upcoming seventh grade parent dinner scheduled for October 25 will be rescheduled.

San Diego Science Alliance...

The San Diego Science Alliance’s High Tech Fair Student Parent Night is coming up this Tuesday, Oct 21st at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Bing Crosby Hall. The High Tech Fair invites San Diego STEM industries and educators to showcase discoveries and technologies to middle and high school students and their families.

At the High Tech Fair you can learn how medicines are made at Genentech or find out how to stop a plane like an engineer does at UTC Aerospace Systems. Over 50 exhibitors are expected from San Diego’s innovative industries in aerospace/engineering, biotech, clean energy, conservation, healthcare, robotics, and information/communication technology.

More information is available in the flyer: find it here

Video Games…

Students please note that videogames are not allowed from 7:45 to 3:15 p.m. In the morning, we need your brain warming up for a busy day of “feasting at the banquet of learning” (quote credit to Mr. McGrath). Video games are definitely not allowed at any time during class time, advisory or even if you have a substitute who is unaware of our rule. After school, we encourage you to run around, check out a ball from the Middle School office, get extra help from a teacher, and finish up your homework. After fair warning, students who continue to play games will have their iPads “locked” from game play by our technology department.



Posted by dlang in 10. October on Sunday October 19 at 10:12AM
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News for the Week of October 12, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

Along with the excitement of homecoming approaching on Saturday, October 18, this week we have the opportunity to congratulate our newly elected Associated Student Body (ASB) executive officers.

President: Julia Bernicker
Vice President: Delaney Gustafson
Treasurer: Luke Kim

With just three elected officers, one can tell that our ASB model has evolved a bit from years past.  Students who would like to participate in ASB, yet not "run" for an office, have already submitted applications to become ASB Board members. The executive officers and and the adult ASB facilitators will be reviewing and welcoming Board Members in the next two weeks. In this way, leadership opportunities for each ASB event will be spread among a broader pool of students.

Just in time for Spirit Week and Homecoming, our ASB officers reviewed our homecoming theme: Cirque Magnifique and approved the following theme dress days for Spirit Week:

Tuesday- PJ day
Wednesday- Parker Power...represent with Brown/Gold and Parker Spirit Wear!
Thursday- Crazy Day/Circus Day
Friday- Twin Day

Students, please do celebrate Lancer Pride this week while letting our student handbook guidlines, good sense and modesty guide your themed attire.

If you would like to know more about all the fun to be had at homecoming, check out the Homecoming Web Site here.

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

Smiles,

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UPCOMING DATES...

10/13 - Fall Break - with no school on Monday, the week of October 12 will follow the Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday

10/14 - 10/18 - Spirit Week and Homecoming

10/18 - Homecoming - Middle School Football starts the day at 9:15

LINKS TO SCHEDULES...

MS Schedule - Regular Week 

Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday 

Short Week Schedule - Friday Holiday

Lost and Found…

Parents, our collection of lost and found items is growing. Please encourage your students kids walk through the Middle School office hallway to claim their belongings. Anything left on October 17th will be given to charity.

English Department Materials...

Middle School students have each been provided with a collection of short story study materials collected, bound and copyright cleared for us by University Readers. The copyright fees in particular bring some costs to this reader and we will be sending out an e-Notify with a notice about the billing this week.

Discovery Week Information…

Our Discovery Week 2015 mailing went out this week with information concerning trip placement, meeting dates, various forms, and requirements. If you have questions concerning a particular trip, please contact the trip leader. If you have general questions concerning Discovery Week, please contact Christi Cole. All forms are due no later than November 3.

Please be sure to examine due dates carefully and return forms promptly as we need adequate lead time to secure visas and complete travel arrangements. Do note that some forms must be notarized. We will have a notary on campus, available at no charge, on October 17 from 4-6 and on October 24 from 4-6. Our Notary is only available by appointment. Please contact Christi Cole to reserve a spot.

Information/Organizational meetings for parents AND students will be held on January 22 and March 19 at 6 p.m.  These meetings will be combined with a brief ninth grade prep meeting preceding the Discovery Week meeting. We will send more information concerning both meetings as we near the date.

Pianist Needed….

Advanced pianist needed for Fall Musical Godspell! Must be flexible about afternoon rehearsal times in November and December. Please contact Mrs. Paige (tpaige@francisparker.org).

Change in 7th Grade Parent Dinner Date…

Please note that the upcoming seventh grade parent dinner scheduled for October 25 will be rescheduled. The Parents' Association is currently reviewing the calendar for possible dates.

Video Games…

Students please note that videogames are not allowed from 7:45 to 3:15 p.m. In the morning, we need your brain warming up for a busy day of “feasting at the banquet of learning” (quote credit to Mr. McGrath). Video games are definitely not allowed at any time during class time, advisory or even if you have a substitute who is unaware of our rule. After school, we encourage you to run around, check out a ball from the Middle School office, get extra help from a teacher, and finish up your homework. After fair warning, students who continue to play games will have their iPads “locked” from game play by our technology department.

Homecoming Parking….

Please note that the County Ed. parking lot is not available for Parker to use as overflow parking on October 18th.  

Parker will have parking available at the University of San Diego. Please enter at the intersection of Linda Vista Road and Marian Way and park in the West Parking Structure. Located north of Alcala Park West, the structure is entered off of lower Marian Way. The structure provides inside parking for 775 cars. Immediately outside the structure is surface parking for an additional 335 vehicles.

Parker will provide shuttle service to and from USD from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (or later, if people are still on campus).


Posted by dlang in 10. October on Sunday October 12 at 10:32AM
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News for the Week of October 5, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

Each week I ask our faculty to send me any announcements or invitations that they would like included in my weekly blog, In the Middle. This week I received a quick update from our computer programming teacher, Jim Partridge, who asked that I share an invitation to Girls Who Code.

Upper School Student, Anoushka Bose, and Computer Programming teacher, Jim Partridge held the first Girls Who Code meeting earlier this week. Girls Who Code is a national organization that encourages girls in 6th through 12th grade to learn how to program and use these skills to create projects that have significant impact on their communities.

The note from Mr. Partridge reminded me of a discussion with our Head of School, Kevin Yaley, just over a year ago. At that time we were discussing the success of our 8th grade programming class taught by Mr. Partridge. During a wide ranging conversation, the concept of our Digital Foundations class was born, and this year we are proud that every sixth grade student at Parker will have, at the very least, an introduction to the skills involved in programming and the opportunity to study it formally in the Middle School and on into the Upper School.

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In addition to Mr. Partridge’s note, an interesting article landed in my email inbox this week: Got Code? The article holds many opinions and while I do not agree with all of them, they caused me to think, and at least one jumped out as very significant to our work at Parker: Computational Thinking. Below is an excerpt:

SO WHAT IS COMPUTATIONAL THINKING? If you've ever improvised dinner, pat yourself on the back: You've engaged in some light CT.

There are those who open the pantry to find a dusty bag of legumes and some sad-looking onions and think, "Lentil soup!" and those who think, "Chinese takeout." A practiced home cook can mentally sketch the path from raw ingredients to a hot meal, imagining how to substitute, divide, merge, apply external processes (heat, stirring), and so on until she achieves her end. Where the rest of us see a dead end, she sees the potential for something new.

If seeing the culinary potential in raw ingredients is like computational thinking, you might think of a software algorithm as a kind of recipe: a step-by-step guide on how to take a bunch of random ingredients and start layering them together in certain quantities, for certain amounts of time, until they produce the outcome you had in mind.

...

Much like cooking, computational thinking begins with a feat of imagination, the ability to envision how digitized information—ticket sales, customer addresses, the temperature in your fridge, the sequence of events to start a car engine, anything that can be sorted, counted, or tracked—could be combined and changed into something new by applying various computational techniques. From there, it's all about "decomposing" big tasks into a logical series of smaller steps, just like a recipe.

Fun facts regarding the origin of the term “bug” and “programmer” can be found in the full article found here.

2014-2015  is inaugural year for Girls that Code here at Parker. Grade 6 through 12 meetings are Tuesdays, from 3:15 - 5:00 in Upper School Room 206. Members are encouraged to stay the whole time; however the last half of the meeting is dedicated to lab project time so there is some built in flexibility.

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

Smiles,

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Upcoming Dates...

10/9 - ASB Elections

10/10 - NetClassroom closed while Arts, Innovation and Design comments are written.

10/10 - Fall Break - with no school on Friday, the week of October 5 will follow the Short Week Schedule - Friday Holiday

10/13 - Fall Break - with no school on Monday, the week of October 12 will follow the Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday

10/14 - 10/18 - Spirit Week and Homecoming

10/18 - Homecoming - Middle School Football starts the day at 9:15

Links to Schedules...

MS Schedule - Regular Week 

Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday 

Short Week Schedule - Friday Holiday

Video Games…

Students please note that videogames are not allowed from 7:45a.m. to 3:15 p.m. In the morning, we need your brain warming up for a busy day of “feasting at the banquet of learning” (quote credit to Mr. McGrath). Video games are definitely not allowed at any time during class, advisory or even if you have a substitute who is unaware of our rule. After school, we encourage you to run around, check out a ball from the Middle School office, get extra help from a teacher, and finish up your homework. After fair warning, students who continue to play games will have their iPads “locked” from game play by our technology department.

Drama Class…

The sixth grade drama class will be performing their monologues during class on Thursday at 8:05 am (D block).

Notes from Nurse Maggie...

Just a reminder about Parker’s medication policy which states, “California Education Code Section 49423 allows a Registered Nurse or other designated (by administration) staff member to assist students who are required to take medication during the school day. This service is provided to enable the student to remain in school, or to maintain or improve his/her potential for education and learning.” Please note that:

  • Medication, including over the counter medication, must be kept in the health center or in the division-specified school office.

  • If a student requires prescription medication that will be taken at school, the medication must be provided by the parent in the original prescription bottle with the child’s name, medication name, dosage, directions for administering the medication and the route.

  • There are specific forms that must be completed by parents and student’s primary health care provider allowing school staff to administer prescription medications while on campus. Please contact Nurse Maggie or staff in your division office for a copy of these forms.

  • Students who have life-threatening health conditions, such as asthma, anaphylaxis and diabetes, are allowed to carry medication for those conditions on their person with parent/guardian approval. Please let the nurse know if your student is carrying medication for these conditions. We also ask that “back-up” medication be kept in the designated school office in case of emergency.

  • All other medications, including over the counter medications, must be administered in your student’s designated health center.

  • If you send in over the counter medication for your student to receive during the school day, please send it in the original container with a signed note stating your student’s name, the medication needed, the dose and the time you’d like that medication administered to your student. Please also let us know if you’d like us to keep the medication or send it home with your student.

  • Under no condition is a student to self-administer medications, have medication with them without the school’s knowledge or share any kind of medication with other students.

Questions? Please email me at mwest@francisparker.org or call 619-717-0235.

Drama Club…

There is Drama Club Parent Information Meeting on Thursday, Oct.9 at 4:45 pm in the PAC. 

7th Grade Parent Volunteer Opportunity...

As part of the Seventh Grade focus on Community Awareness, the seventh grade class will be participating in community service field trips on Wednesday, October 29. In order to make these meaningful experiences successful, we would like to solicit some parent volunteers. Volunteers will be needed from 9:30am to 12pm on October 29th. Volunteers will be assisting the 7th grade faculty at one of the following Community service organizations:

  • San Diego Cooperative Charter School

  • Chancellor Mcgill School

  • Balboa Park Clean-up

  • Senior Center

  • Mission Bay Clean-up

  • Food Bank  

  • Feeding America

  • Canyon restoration

If you are available to help chaperone one of these events please email Binh Ngo (bngo@francisparker.org)

Homecoming Parking….

Please note that the County Ed. parking lot is not available for Parker to use as overflow parking on October 18th.  

Parker will have parking available at the University of San Diego. Please enter at the intersection of Linda Vista Road and Marian Way and park in the West Parking Structure. Located north of Alcala Park West, the structure is entered off of lower Marian Way. The structure provides inside parking for 775 cars. Immediately outside the structure is surface parking for an additional 335 vehicles.

Parker will provide shuttle service to and from USD from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (or later, if people are still on campus).

Posted by dlang in 09. September on Sunday October 5
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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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San Diego, CA 92103
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