Dear Middle School Families,
Welcome to the last week of school for the calendar year 2014. Although 2014 is winding down, this next week will hold some activities of note including the annual Middle and Upper School Holiday Concert on Thursday in the Field House, our Middle School Holiday Party featuring a performance by our 6th grade band, and the last three days of our Candygram and Hot Chocolate sales.
During our Community Meeting and International Bake Sale this past week, ASB president Julia Bernicker and treasurer Luke Kim presented to the Middle School student body regarding the use of proceeds from candygrams, hot chocolate and international bake sales. While Luke explained the notion of gross profits, net profits and cost of goods sold to our student body, Julia reiterated that our ASB sales are part of a service project to benefit Heifer International. ASB member Elle Hanson shared the levels of support available to us through the project. If you would like to know more about Heifer, please visit their website: find it here
Please note that Trimester 1 Report Cards were posted to NetClassroom last Tuesday. Students who need their NetClassroom username or password can stop into the Middle School Office and Mrs. Peterson will be able to help.
Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle.” We wish you the very best for the Holiday Season, and a promising 2015!
12/15 - 17 Candy Grams and Hot Chocolate Sales
12/16 Hanukkah Begins
12/18 MS/US Holiday Concert
12/18 MS Student Holiday Party
1/5 Classes Resume
1/9 MS Sports Night
1/22 Discovery Week Meeting and 9th Grade Transition Meeting #1
Discovery Week Information/Ninth Grade Transition Meeting...
In an attempt to make things easier for families, we are combining all Discovery Week Meetings with an information session on transitioning to 9th grade. The first session will be held on Thursday, January 22. This 9th grade session will include information about the four-year plan and summer school choices, and is scheduled for 5:30-6:00. The Discovery Week information session will follow this and will begin at 6:15 and end at approximately 7:15.
All eighth grade students and their parents should plan to attend this event. If you have any questions please contact Christi Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because students will be on campus later than usual, we will be offering dinner from O’s American Kitchen. If your child would like dinner, please fill out the form below and sign it acknowledging that your student billing account will be charged. Your payment will guarantee your child 2 slices of pizza, salad, breadsticks and a drink. We cannot guarantee there will be food available for those that do not preorder. Please return no later than January 20: find the form here
If You Have a Fifth Grader Joining the Middle School Next Year....
Based on the success of the Lower and Middle School iPad program, and in response to changing needs, the technology department at Francis Parker School will be providing an iPad Air for every incoming sixth grader as part of the 1:1 iPad program in the Middle School. Please note that the cost for this iPad has been incorporated into the overall school budget; therefore, families will not be billed separately for an iPad.
If you are planning on purchasing an iPad for your child over the holidays, please know they will not be able to use this for school next year. The school issued iPad will be allowed to go home, but it will limited by our technology department to serve as an academic device only.
In addition to this academic focus, other advantages of a school procured device include AppleCare+ is for 3 years instead of 2 years and wireless supervision of the device by our technology team. If your child’s school issued iPad is damaged, you will need to set up an appointment with Apple’s Genius Bar (http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/) to bring the device in for a replacement. During this time, your child will be able to borrow an iPad from the technology department.
Although Francis Parker School will purchase the iPad and case, you will be charged a nominal fee for the apps and electronic books being used for academic work.
After School Program Questionnaire…
Hello Middle School Parents!
My name is Katie Colvin and I am Director of the Lancer Enrichment After-School Program! - LEAP. We would like your input regarding after-school classes and activities, and are currently in the process of adding several classes this coming January. Below find a link to a brief questionnaire regarding our program: find it here
Thank you for your time, I look forward to your responses!
The Yule Ball is Coming…
Our Middle School ASB is planning for the annual Semi-formal Dance and would like to enlist a bit of parent help. Please read the letter available through the link below.
Letter to Parents from our Middle School ASB
Share Your Culture....
In February, the week before mid-winter break, the Middle School celebrates World Culture Week. The purpose of the week is to build cultural knowledge of the world and to celebrate our own community's diversity.
We would love for our parent body to share any cultural experience they have with our students. It may be a language (other than Spanish, French or Mandarin), a skill, a dance, a story, a recipe or a tradition that you have. Your expertise will certainly enrich our students' experience! If you are interested, please fill out the questionnaire below to indicate what you would be willing to teach and when you are available.
Culture to Share Questionnaire
MS Foreign Language Department Chair
The BE WiSE Program (Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering), a STEM program of the San Diego Science Alliance, is now accepting applications for the Spring 2015 Overnights. Girls currently in 7th and 8th grade, who are not already in the BE WiSE Program, are welcome to apply. More information is on the BE WiSE website: find it here
Notes from Nurse Maggie…
Flu Season is beginning. According to Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Center for Disease Control, there is a predominant flu strain circulating that is not included in this year’s flu vaccine. Every flu season is different with different flu viruses spreading and causing illness. This strain, the H3N2, was detected in September, after this year’s vaccine was already being dispersed. Flu always has a potential to be serious, but H3N2 viruses tend to be associated with more severe seasons. The rate of hospitalization with serious illness can be twice as high in flu seasons with the H3 strain. People with certain health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and pregnancy are also at higher risk. Dr. Frieden recommends the following:
Get a flu shot. This still offers the best chance of preventing flu. The flu vaccine is designed to protect from three or four, depending what vaccine you get, different influenza viruses. Any of these could circulate at any time in the season, and if we have a severe season, getting a vaccine that provides partial protection may be more important than ever.
If you develop flu symptoms (fever of 100 degrees or higher, feeling feverish as sometimes there is no fever with flu, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) promptly seek medical attention. There are antiviral drugs that work to reduce the severity of influenza and they work best when they are begun within 48 hours of onset of flu symptoms.
Take everyday preventative actions to avoid contracting the flu. These include:
Washing your hands, especially when out in public places with hot water and soap.
Avoiding contact with people who have respiratory illnesses. Airborne droplets from sneezes and coughs are what spread the influenza virus from person to person.
Minimizing the spread of germs by avoiding touching your hands to your face or your eyes.
Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throwing the tissues in the trash after using it and washing your hands. Or, better yet, coughing and sneezing into the crux of your elbow.
Questions? Please email email@example.com or call 619-717-0235.
REMINDER: Upper School RYOD Program...
As previously mentioned, we continue to examine students' technological needs for now and in the future, the Tech Committees meet on a regular basis to discuss how we can coordinate and build upon our vision and use of technology. One of the issues that came to the foreground was the use of iPads in the upper school. The thinking has evolved regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of an iPad program for each grade level in the upper school. Recognizing the commitment that families and the School have made, we decided to continue the implementation of iPads in this year's 9th and 10th grades but not introduce them formally into the 11th and 12th grades. Instead, for this year we have welcomed students to bring their own laptop to class in grades 11 and 12 as they are free to do so now. Moving forward (2015-16), we will implement a “structured RYOD” program- students are required to bring a device (laptop computer) from a defined and limited selection of options in the upper school. This development will complement and deepen our use of Google Apps and Haiku (Learning Management System) in the months and years to come.
Our laptop choices for families are informed by these questions: What do US faculty want students to be able to do with a device? What are the outcomes, tasks and activities that we want students to produce or work on during the day? Which are the most cost effective choices? Which choices offer the greatest flexibility while guaranteeing a consistent and reliable learning environment?
While asking the above questions, we also sought a choice of models that all students will bring to school daily that met the below specifications:
Long battery life (5-6 hours minimum, 8 recommended)
Lightweight and rugged
Able to run full (desktop) versions of the Chrome browser
Camera for conferencing and recording
Any laptop that meets these requirements would suffice. These three models are representative examples that would meet these criteria:
Apple Macbook Air
Inspiron 13 7000
Dell Chromebook 11
With their own personal laptop, students daily will be able to:
Access academic resources, online and installed textbooks in class and off campus
Work full Google Apps Suite (including all collaborative, editing and formatting features) and Haiku LMS
Organize their work and schedule
Perform scholarly research using multiple sources, online and traditional
Create learning artifacts that demonstrate mastery of essential subject area understandings
Record and analyze data, photograph, record audio and video
Combine, edit and modify existing works in a variety of media
Present and demonstrate in classrooms and online
Model systems, write programs
Curate and organize learning artifacts, demonstrate mastery through examples of self generated content
Exchange learning artifacts and work with Parker community and worldwide