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Middle School Blog

News for the Week of August 30, 2015...

Dear Middle School Families,

The preparation for a new school year never loses its excitement. This week teachers will return to Parker and prepare their classrooms for your children. Buildings and learning spaces are getting their last bits of polish and shine. Upper School athletic teams are already on the field, in the gym, and on the trail - all working hard toward excellence. The last few pages of summer reading are being pursued by some, while others are already peeking inside of the paperbacks planned for later in the academic year. This week is a time of anticipation, goal setting, and hope.

This week is also the last week before the start of a new grade. It could be a first step into Middle School as a sixth grader. A seventh grader feeling confident in the new year after completing a year “in the Middle.” Or an eighth grader ready to lead and set an example as a member of the most experienced Middle School grade. Whichever grade it is, some things will be the same, and some will be new. All of it will be good!

As parents, we step another year forward in our changing relationship with our children. Sometimes the step is so small we do not notice their incremental move toward independence. This weekend my wife, Heather, and I are taking another step too as we send our son off to college. Reflecting on this moment as a parent, I realize that each year of a new grade my hopes have been similar. I hope my children are confident, self-reliant, will work hard, and that their teachers will care about them and be invested in their formation as citizens of our great country. As the parent of a Parker graduate as well as a current Parker student, I am happy to assure you that the hopes I have held for my children's teachers were wonderfully fulfilled. Thankfully, my children have fulfilled the hopes I held for them as well. One challenge remains though, and that is a hope for myself, that I will support my children appropriately, push them when they need it, understand and encourage when they fail, and most importantly to love them enough that I might respect their growing independence. As I noted earlier, it happens slowly, almost imperceptibly, but it does happen. It may start as simply as managing the organization of their locker in sixth grade, and then they are managing the organization of their dorm room with their room mates and simply need us as parents to stay out of the way. Wherever you are on your parenting journey, I wish you the very best as we begin a new year together.

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

Smiles,

Reminder: Our Communications Department is compiling information from all three divisions in a Back to School location on our web page, please find the link here. Back to School 2015-2016

Reminder: Orientation Schedules: Sixth Grade Orientation will be held on Friday, September 4, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for all sixth grade students and parents. New seventh and eighth grade students and their parents will have orientation on September 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Returning seventh graders should bring their fully charged iPad and join our new students for an all seventh grade luncheon on the Middle School Courtyard at 11:30 on September 3 followed by camp and technology orientation. New eighth graders and their families are welcome to stay for lunch or may leave at this time. Please note that there is not an orientation for returning eighth graders.

All medications should be brought to 7th grade camp orientation.

 

Posted by dlang in 08. August on Sunday August 30 at 05:10PM
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Summer Update #3

August 17, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

In a fun coincidence, eighth grade U.S. History teacher Jeremy Howard emailed last week to point out that President Obama has included one of our eighth grade summer reading book options on his own list: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. For those students who selected this text for one of their summer reading choices, you may feel confident that you are in good company.

For this third summer update, we have some reminders, a few pieces of new information and a few clarifications for you.

  • Reminder: Our Communications Department is compiling information from all three divisions in a Back to School location on our web page, please find the link here. Back to School 2015-2016

  • Parker News and Notes (PNN) will return on August 31.

  • CrossFit Teens: CrossFit 1912 is excited to announce that after a very successful free trial at the end of the Spring Semester, we will now be adding CrossFit Teens for Middle School students starting this FALL! At this time our plan is to offer courses as follows:

    • A Trimester Based Program:

      • Fall: September 15-November 12, 2015

        • (18 classes: 9/15, 9/17, 9/22, 9/24, 9/29, 10/1, 10/6, 10/8, 10/13, 10/15, 10/20, 10/22, 10/27, 10/29, 11/3, 11/5, 11/10, 11/12)

      • Tuesday/Thursday

      • Due to space and effective coaching ratios, we will be capping the total number of students in a class and offering two time slots

      • 4:00pm-5:00pm Linda Vista Weight Room, AND

      • 5:00pm-6:00pm Linda Vista Weight Room

    • Cost: $175/Trimester. If cost is a limiting factor for your family, please email Vianney Yamada at vyamada@francisparker.org.

    • All registrations MUST be complete prior to the first day of class. No late adds will be accepted.

    • Our CrossFit department is looking to create the most beneficial and accessible program for our Middle School students so we are asking families to answer a few questions regarding their interest in the CrossFit Teens program. Please complete the following survey available through this link: CrossFit Teens Survey

  • Summer Reading: Information for all summer reading requirements is posted on the Parker Website: find it here. Eighth grade students, be sure to review the Coming to America Project information: find it here

  • Reminder: Orientation Schedules: Sixth Grade Orientation will be held on Friday, September 4, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for all sixth grade students and parents. New seventh and eighth grade students and their parents will have orientation on September 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Returning seventh graders should bring their fully charged iPad and join our new students for an all seventh grade luncheon on the Middle School Courtyard at 11:30 on September 3 followed by camp and technology orientation. New eighth graders and their families are welcome to stay for lunch or may leave at this time.

  • Drama Notes:

    • Our Drama Department will be holding their summer retreat and audition workshop shortly. Please find all of the information in the following flyer: Drama Flyer Do note that some times have shifted.

    • Drama summer dates to be aware of include:

      • August 20th from 10AM-1PM: Drama Club Officers Retreat

      • August 24th-25th from 10AM-3PM: Drama Club Retreat (all current members and new members welcome)

      • August 26th from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.: Optional Audition Workshop for The Drama Department's production of Shrek

      • August 27th-28th: Auditions for Shrek (students will sign up for an audition time) More information will be posted soon

      • August 31st & September 1st: Callbacks for Shrek from 3:00 to 5:00 pm

    • Drama Club Parent Meeting: Mrs. Marinkovich will be holding a parent meeting for all new drama club parents on meeting on Tuesday, August 25 at 5:00 pm in the Galli-Curci Performing Arts Center. This is only for new drama club parents, and is intended to give an overview of the after school drama program, explain the season and answer any questions the parents may have.

    • If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Marinkovich at emarinkovich@francisparker.org.

  • School Photos:  Middle Schoolers will have their photos taken on Friday, September 18. The order form may be found here:  2015-2016 School Photo Form

  • ASB: The Associated Student Body or “ASB” is our student government group in the Middle School. Mrs. Dorsey and Ms. Irving will be co-advising the ASB this year and would like to invite all student to consider participating. Available below please find links to relevant information.

  • PE Uniforms: Our athletic department has adopted Under Armour products for for PE and Athletics. All other regular school day uniform requirements are still available through Land's End. Please see the athletics back to school information page on the Parker Website for full information. Athletic Back to School Info.

    • Sixth grade students should purchase an Under Armour PE uniform.

    • All seventh and eighth grade students who will participate on a team must purchase the Under Armour uniform. However, seventh and eighth graders who will elect PE only and have PE uniforms from Lands End may use them.

  • Class Schedules for 2015-16: NetClassroom is our information system for communicating student schedules, grades and report cards. The login screen may be found by selecting the “Academics” tab on the Parker main page, and then clicking on the “NetClassroom Login” option. For your convenience the link is also here: Parker NetClassroom Login. Our technology department emailed families with NetClassroom usernames and passwords on Monday, August 3. If you are experiencing any technical difficulties, please contact our technology department at support@francisparker.org or by telephone at (858) 569-7900 ext 4444.

  • Schedule Change Requests: Every attempt has been made to honor art, innovation, design and music requests, and academic classes have been built to balance gender, and special requests when possible. While Miss Cole has worked very hard to ensure a good schedule for all students, we do understand that very rarely a change is in the best learning interest of the student. If a change needs to be made, please contact Miss Cole at ccole@francisparker.org. Any course change requests including athletics must be made by September 4.

  • Supply Lists: Please note that the Middle School does not have a required supply list. Students should have general school supplies, paper, binder, pencils, and the like on the first day of school. Individual teachers will advise if any special supplies are needed for a class. Generally Suggested Supplies: find it here

  • A Note About Book Orders: For those families new to Parker or new to the Middle and Upper School, families purchase their own texts starting in sixth grade. This is a change from our Lower School and may be a change from the school you attended previously. Many courses in the Middle School do not require a text; however, for those that do, please use the book list application built by our technology department: find it here

    • Details for 8th Grade History E-Text: Please see the note from your history teachers regarding the digital subscription for your textbook: find it here

Please feel free to email, call or make an appointment should you have any questions. We would be happy to help!

Smiles,

Dan Lang
Head of Middle School

Posted by dlang in 08. August on Monday August 17 at 07:23PM
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Summer Update #2

July  31, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

With July coming to a close, my hope is that your family has had the opportunity enjoy some special time together and may yet have a few summer days reserved for fun, relaxation, and adventure. While the new school year is still a bit in the distance, I did want to update you with the Back to School items below:

  • Our Communications Department is compiling information from all three divisions in a Back to School location on our web page, please find the link here. Back to School 2015-2016

  • Summer Reading: Information for all summer reading requirements is posted on the Parker Website: find it here

  • Orientation Schedule: Below please find information regarding orientation for all sixth grade students, new seventh and eighth grade students and tech and camp orientation for returning sixth and seventh grade students. Please have at least one parent accompany your student to orientation.

    • Sixth Grade Students: Orientation will be held on Friday, September 4, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for all sixth grade students and will include time with your advisor, camp orientation, iPad distribution and a technology overview session. At least one parent should plan on attending along with the student.

    • NEW Seventh Grade Students: Orientation will be held on Thursday, September 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will include camp orientation, iPad distribution and a technology overview session. At least one parent should plan on attending along with the student.

    • RETURNING Seventh Grade Students: On Thursday, September 3, returning seventh grade students should join our new students for an all seventh grade luncheon on the Middle School Courtyard at 11:30 and then remain for camp and technology orientation. Please bring your iPad for the technology portion and any required medication for camp with you.

    • NEW Eighth Grade Students: New eighth grade families will have orientation with our new seventh grade families on on Thursday, September 3 from 9:00 to 11:30.

      Following orientation, our new eighth grade families are welcome to join the seventh grade for lunch on the Middle School courtyard from 11:30 to 12:00 noon.

    • Please note that there is no orientation for returning eighth graders.

  • Drama Retreat: Our Drama Department will be holding retreats and auditions as follows. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Marinkovich at emarinkovich@francisparker.org.

    • August 20th from 10AM-1PM: Drama Club Officers Retreat

    • August 24th-25th from 10AM-3PM: Drama Club Retreat (all current members and new members welcome)

    • August 26th from 9AM-12:30PM: Optional Audition Workshop for The Drama Department's production of Shrek

    • August 27th-28th: Auditions for Shrek (students will sign up for an audition time) More information will be posted soon

    • August 31st & September 1st: Callbacks for Shrek from 3:00 to 5:00 pm

  • PE Uniforms: Our athletic department is in the process of changing vendors for our PE and Athletics uniforms. This change is being phased in on a “go forward” basis. Therefore, families are not required to buy new uniforms from Under Armour if they still have uniforms from Lands End. More information will be available as Under Armour puts together the online store for Parker equipment.

  • Class Schedules for 2015-16: Miss Cole has completed scheduling for the 2015-16 school year and is proof reading before making them available through NetClassroom. NetClassroom is our information system for communicating student schedules, grades and report cards. The login screen may be found by selecting the “Academics” tab on the Parker main page, and then clicking on the “NetClassroom Login” option. For your convenience the link is also here: Parker NetClassroom Login. Our technology department will be emailing all families with NetClassroom usernames and passwords on Monday, August 3 and schedules will be made available. Should you have any technical difficulties, please contact our technology department at support@francisparker.org or by telephone at (858) 569-7900 ext 4444.

  • Schedule Change Requests: Every attempt has been made to honor art, innovation, design and music requests, and academic classes have been built to balance gender, and special requests when possible. While Miss Cole has worked very hard to ensure a good schedule for all students, we do understand that very rarely a change is in the best learning interest of the student. If a change needs to be made, please contact Miss Cole at ccole@francisparker.org after Wednesday, August 5.  Any course change requests including athletics must be made by September 4.

  • Supply Lists: Please note that the Middle School does not have a required supply list. Students should have general school supplies, paper, binder, pencils, and the like on the first day of school. Individual teachers will advise if any special supplies are needed for a class.

  • iPads: There are no summer iPad sessions this year. Sixth graders and new seventh and eighth graders will receive their iPads at orientation. Returning seventh and eighth graders should be prepared with their fully charged iPad from last year on the first day of school.

  • Parent Portal: The Francis Parker Parent Portal is a place where news, information, forms, and our parent directory is posted. New Families will receive a username and password from our communications office in mid-August. Returning families login information remains the same. If you have forgotten your information, please use the “forgot my username/password” tool on the Parent Portal page: find it here

  • A Note About Book Orders: For those families new to Parker or new to the Middle and Upper School, families purchase their own texts starting in sixth grade. This is a change from our Lower School and may be a change from the school you attended previously. Many courses in the Middle School do not require a text; however, for those that do, please use the book list application built by our technology department: find it here

  • Information: Useful information is located in a variety of places here in the Middle School. We make extensive use of electronic notifications and the Parker website, and very rarely use paper.  A noticeable difference from our Lower School or perhaps your previous school is the absence of a weekly envelope home. In lieu of a weekly email from classroom teachers, Middle School teachers use our Haiku Learning Management System to communicate important classroom information. Nonetheless, please feel welcome to contact your child’s teachers directly, or any of us here in the office should you need any information.

Our next summer update will be sent to you electronically in the third week of August. In the mean time, please feel free to email, call or make an appointment should you have any questions. We would be happy to help!

Smiles,

Dan Lang
Head of Middle School




Posted by dlang in 07. July on Friday July 31 at 03:55PM
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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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