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News for Week of April 20...

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.

 Smiles,

UPCOMING DATES… 

  • April 23 - E-Waste Recycling Event

  • May 7 - Discovery Week Presentations

  • May 7 - 9th Grade Registration

Renaissance Faire…

“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 (lintonlaw@cox.net) or Caroline Wohl (crmedia@cox.net), 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 pa-parented@francisparker.org

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 : mwest@francisparker.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



Posted by dlang in 04. April on Sunday April 20 at 11:57AM
0 comments get link

News for the Week of April 6...

Dear Middle School Families,

With our eighth graders travelling the globe the seventh and sixth graders are enjoying a chance to take center stage on the Middle School campus. This past Friday evening our sixth graders enjoyed dancing in Nicholas Commons and spending time with friends on the Upper School lawn. While Badminton and Hula-Hoops were popular, all it took to pack Nicholas was the sound of The Cha Cha Slide.

 4/6/14 - 84/6/14 - 5

A few things to highlight in the coming week include the CulinArt forum. Please join teachers, parents, and students to learn more about our food service program on April 9 at 2:45pm in the Mission Hills campus cafeteria. There will be opportunities for questions and comments as CulinArt discusses how they manage their daily menu within Parker's adopted nutritional guidelines.

All of Parker will head to Spring Break from April 14-18, and classes will resume on Monday, April 21. Following Spring Break, 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

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.

Smiles,

UPCOMING DATES…

  • April 4-12 - Discovery Week!
  • April 8 - Parker at Petco: An All School Event!
  • April 8 - Eighth Grade Parent Meeting “An Hour About Upper School” will be rescheduled due to Parker Evening at Petco Park.
  • April 9 - CulinArt forum: 2:45p.m. in the Mission Hills Cafe
  • April 14-18 - Spring Break
  • April 23 -  E-Waste Recycling Event
  • May 7 - Discovery Week Presentations
  • May 7 - 9th Grade Registration

RENAISSANCE FAIRE…

“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 (lintonlaw@cox.net) or Caroline Wohl (crmedia@cox.net), 2014 Renaissance Fair Volunteer Coordinators”

Renaissance Faire Sign Ups

PARKER CARES…

Come hear great lecturer (and very experienced parent) Susie Walton Monday April 7th- immediately following the PA meeting ( which starts approx. 8:30) at the Lower School-

She will be discussing-

Self Management:  How parents can "let go" and start their kids on a path to interdependence"   

Susie will focus on natural and logical consequences, modeling and connecting with "mistakes" as learning opportunities.

She will address the differences in girls vs boys on this topic.  Many Parker Parents have appreciated her discussions over the years.

Any questions?  please email Temple Zander at pa-parented@francisparker.org

PARKER CARES EVEN MORE…

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 pa-parented@francisparker.org

 
Posted by dlang in 04. April on Sunday April 6 at 07:09AM
0 comments get link

News for the Week of March 30...

Dear Middle School Families,

An exciting week stands before us as our eighth graders make final preparations and then depart for Discovery Week. As the capstone event of the Middle School experience, our eighth graders will take their developing language skills and global perspective beyond the Parker classroom...far beyond.

Here at home, our community will begin the ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States) survey on April 1. Parker has participated in the ISACS survey for many years now and in addition to our own data, we can norm the responses from our community to the large database of responses collected annually by ISACS. In addition to our regular internal surveys, your thoughtful participation in this survey provides externally validated data for our administrative teams to keep Parker at the peak of excellence.

While survey data can provide the feedback necessary for course corrections along the way, our strategic plan is the North Star for our efforts. This past week we took a major step forward in the Strategic Plan Item - Enrich Student Experience: Daily Schedule and Academic Calendar. Building on the new schedule in the Middle School this year and the move to 6-12 Departments in English and Social Science, a team of Middle and Upper School teachers led by the Assistant Head of Upper School, Marc Thiebach, spent the last year researching schedules, and identifying Guiding Principles. Assistant Head of Middle School, Christi Cole, and our Upper School Academic Dean, Paul Roudebush, then took the Guiding Principles and developed several schedule models. After significant review the models were reduced to three and presented to a combined Middle and Upper School faculty this past week. The three models are just a starting point in our discussion and we expect faculty input to evolve the models. Once faculty input is complete we will circulate the schedules to our families.

Through the process of continually reviewing our program, we find many reasons to celebrate. For example, our Middle School Bands and Chorus performed at Forum Music Festivals on Friday, March 21st. The Chorus, led by Mr. Lean, had a very successful performance and was awarded a Silver Rating (the second highest rating) for their efforts. The 6th Grade Band, led by Mr. Witt, was also awarded a Silver Rating and an Outstanding Musicianship Award was given to the trumpet section for their fine performance. The 7th & 8th Grade Band, also led by Mr. Witt, received a Gold Rating (the highest rating) for their performance. Olivia Carey received the Outstanding Musicianship Award for her flute solo. Way to go Parker Musicians!

Finally, our new food service vendor, Culinart, will be holding a forum on Mission Hills campus on April 9 at 2:45 for students, parents, faculty, and staff to come together to chat about our new food service program. In addition to the folks we see in the Cafe daily, Culinart will have their Nutritionist available. Please join us to add your thoughts to the discussion.

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.

Smiles,

UPCOMING DATES…

  • April 2 - Middle School Coffee with information about Upper School.

  • April 4 - 6th Grade Dance

  • April 4-12 - Discovery Week!

  • April 8 - Parker at Petco: An All School Event!

  • April 8 - Eighth Grade Parent Meeting “An Hour About Upper School” will be rescheduled due to Parker Evening at Petco Park.

  • April 9 - Culinart forum on the Mission Hills campus on April 9 at 2:45 for students, parents, faculty, and staff to come together to chat about our new food service program.

  • May 7 - Discovery Week Presentations

  • May 7 - 9th Grade Registration

Renaissance Faire…

“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 (lintonlaw@cox.net) or Caroline Wohl (crmedia@cox.net), 2014 Renaissance Fair Volunteer Coordinators”

Renaissance Faire Sign Ups

Parker Cares…

Come hear great lecturer (and very experienced parent) Susie Walton Monday April 7th- immediately following the PA meeting ( which starts approx. 8:30) at the Lower School-

She will be discussing-

Self Management:  How parents can "let go" and start their kids on a path to interdependence"   

Susie will focus on natural and logical consequences, modeling and connecting with "mistakes" as learning opportunities.

She will address the differences in girls vs boys on this topic.  Many Parker Parents have appreciated her discussions over the years.

Any questions?  please email Temple Zander at pa-parented@francisparker.org

Parker Cares Even More…

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 pa-parented@francisparker.org

Notes from Nurse Maggie…

Notes from Nurse Maggie: Mindful Eating: Exploring mindful eating ties in with National Nutrition Month, and promotes eating slowly, thinking about the foods eaten and evaluates where foods are eaten. To start practicing mindful eating:

1. Keep a food journal: Writing down everything you eat and drink can help you become more aware of your eating habits, how much you're eating, and help identify any emotional or mindless eating triggers.

2. Avoid eating when standing up or in front of a screen: All meals and snacks should be eaten sitting down, where you can focus on what you're eating. Studies show that people who eat at a table make more mindful choices than people who just grab and eat. So sit down to eat, whether eating alone or with family or friends, and delay your screen time (including smartphones) until after you finish your meal.

3. Think about what you’re eating: Take a moment to really look at what's on your plate before you eat and decide if it is a healthy food choice. If you need to rethink your choices, go ahead and change your selection!

4. Savor each bite: Mindful eating means really tasting what you put into your mouth.

Research shows that routinely rushing through meals can lead to overeating and obesity. Putting too much food into your stomach too quickly can interfere with your body's feedback mechanisms, thus allowing you to continue to take in more calories because your stomach hasn't yet gotten the signal from your brain that you're full.

5. Be kind to yourself: If you have had a poor eating choices day, simply return to your healthy eating plan of three well-balanced meals and two healthy snacks daily as soon as possible. And spend a little time reflecting on how you got off track!

 

Posted by dlang in 03. March on Saturday March 29 at 10:58PM
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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