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.
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
“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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Caroline Wohl (email@example.com), 2014 Renaissance Fair Volunteer Coordinators”
Renaissance Faire Sign Ups
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com
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!