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News for the Week of September 28, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

Amid the heat and humidity of the past few weeks, a gentle cooling has crept into the air. An uncomfortable day gives way to a refreshing snap, and a touch of dew on the handrail lets me know fall is here. Football games, serious discussions about halloween costumes, and of course the indulgence of a pumpkin spice latte all confirm what nature has begun to reveal.

Autumn also brings clarity to the academic work which is now our focus. With stories of summer shared and school friends now a regularity rather than a treat during the weeks of summer, coursework, quizzes, and due dates for projects have reentered the discussion at many family dinner tables. Managing the curricular and co-curricular expectations of Parker, as well as the unique needs of each family keep all of us here at Parker thinking about the best way to support students.

Because each child has unique strengths and struggles, there is no “one size” fits all solution; however, I do note that the concept of “triage” seems to benefit most students. In Middle School, we ask students to hold an increasing share of the responsibility for managing academic life. Haiku pages, planners, and meetings with teachers are all tools that help students develop the skill of prioritizing workflow and making choices about how to approach a life full of both opportunity and expectation.

While thinking about this concept I came upon a March 31, 1998 opinion piece by Dan Dunn, one of the section editors of the MIT Newspaper The Tech. I have selected the excerpt below for your consideration:

What is it that we learn at MIT? There are a lot of people who think that when we walk out of here, we are armed with an education that is second to none. But what is it that separates this education from the others?

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Woodie C. Flowers SM '73, who taught a manufacturing class that I took, gave the best explanation that I have heard yet. He didn't intend it to be a definition of MIT's teaching, but I think it is a great one: "MIT teaches students to perform triage. There is no way that students can meet all of the demands on their time. They must perform triage to decide what is the most important."

As we move toward the one month mark in the 2014-2015 school year, I encourage all of our students to take a good look at their planner, include the totality of the demands upon their limited time and use the concept of triage to prioritize and plan for success.

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

Smiles,

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Upcoming Dates...

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

Volunteer Opportunity...

As part of educating around our core value of Global Awareness, the Foreign Language department has selected the theme: hunger, for this year’s world language week events. In addition to the Middle School Olympics in the Spring, our Foreign Language department will be supporting other educational opportunities during the school year. On October 7, Middle School students will experience a hunger banquet hosted by our grade level advisors. Hunger banquets have been an educational experience at Parker and other schools for many years. If you are interested in learning more, the Oxfamamerica website, found here, has a good deal of information. Founded in 1942 by Oxford University Academics, Quakers and social activists the group’s original name was the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief and works toward ending poverty and hunger around the world.

We do need some helping hands to make the event a success. If you are interested in helping, please follow the link below and complete the form.

Hunger Banquet Volunteer Form

Notes from Nurse Maggie...

Enterovirus D68: Enterovirus D68 is a respiratory virus that has had a recent surge in activity among children. This virus causes a mild to severe respiratory illness. Most children recover fully from enterovirus however children who have other health problems such as asthma or impaired immunity are at higher risk. Rady Children’s Hospital has the following recommendations concerning Enterovirus D68:

  • If your student is ill, with symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and chest congestion, treat the symptoms. If your student has a fever and a productive cough please keep them home from school. If your student has difficulty breathing, wheezing, high fever for several days, or difficulty keeping down fluids consider seeing your primary care provider.

  • Remember Parker policy: Any student with a fever of 100 degrees F or above should stay home from school until they are fever free without fever reducing medications (such as Tylenol or Advil) for 24 hours.

  • Be aware that viruses are spread by coughing, sneezing and touching another person or surface with your hands and then touching your face. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

  • Viruses can live on surfaces for hours.

  • Keep a distance of six feet from someone who is coughing or sneezing

  • Wash your hands often or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, dispose of used tissue and wash your hands

  • Whether you are well or ill, drink plenty of fluids and get enough rest.

Please contact me with any questions: mwest@francisparker.org or 619-717-0235.

Reuseable “Grab and Go” Lunch Containers…

In an increasing effort to promote sustainable practices here at Parker, our cafe has reduced the amount of waste it generates by adopting reuseable “grab and go” lunch containers. Here is a link to an article about the containers: Going Green

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).  

Parker Theater presents The 39 Steps... 

The 39 Steps (dun dun duuunnn!) is a stage adaptation of the Alfred Hitchcock classic spy thriller of the same name. The twist? All 39+ characters are played by only five actors. With thrilling intrigue, raucous comedy, and trope-twisting good times, The 39 Steps is a hilarious romp through the thrilling, dangerous, and melodramatic world of the 1930s spy game.

Join the hero, Richard Hannay (and his really quite attractive pencil mustache) as he races to uncover the secret behind The 39 Steps, save the fair maiden, and defeat the villain. This is your last chance: are you sure you want to be… involved?

Shows are in the Amelita Galli-Curci Performing Arts Center (PAC):

September 28th at 2:00PM

September 29th at 3:30PM

September 30th at 7:00PM

Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10.00 for adults.

Posted by dlang in 09. September on Saturday September 27
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News for the Week of September 21, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

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They’re back! This past week our sixth graders traveled to Pathfinder ranch in Mountain Center, California, just south of Palm Springs. This idyllic setting provided our students a time of learning, fun, and group cohesion. Be sure to see all of the photos at our SmugMug site: 2014 Sixth Grade Camp Photos.

At the Linda Vista campus this week, seventh grade students spent some time out in nature too. Through their ecology unit in science, our students made use of one of our best science resources, the chaparral surrounding our campus. Students observed, shared samples of the plant life around us, and then analyzed and documented their findings. The work of our seventh grade scientists literally in our own back yard!

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

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

9/22 - Middle School ASB Information Available

9/27 - 6th Grade Parent Dinner...full information will be forthcoming from our Parent Association.

Notes from Nurse Maggie...

Pertussis: There are almost 1,400 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in San Diego county so far this year. Pertussis is a very contagious, vaccine preventable respiratory illness caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. Pertussis is spread via respiratory droplets when another breathes in the pertussis bacteria when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, low-grade fever, and a mild cough. After one to two weeks, severe coughing can begin that then can become a series of coughing fits that continue for weeks. Pertussis is generally treated with antibiotics however the best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. The recommended pertussis vaccine for infants and children is called DTaP. This is a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. All junior kindergarten students must have four doses of DTap and all kindergarten students must have five doses of DTaP to attend school. Additionally, due to the increase in pertussis cases, all 7th must have one dose of Tdap vaccine to attend school. Please make sure your student, regardless of grade level, is current with immunizations and those updated shot records have been sent to school. Questions? Call 619-717-0235 or contact mwest@francisparker.org.

Parker Theater presents The 39 Steps...

The 39 Steps (dun dun duuunnn!) is a stage adaptation of the Alfred Hitchcock classic spy thriller of the same name. The twist? All 39+ characters are played by only five actors. With thrilling intrigue, raucous comedy, and trope-twisting good times, The 39 Steps is a hilarious romp through the thrilling, dangerous, and melodramatic world of the 1930s spy game. 

Join the hero, Richard Hannay (and his really quite attractive pencil mustache) as he races to uncover the secret behind The 39 Steps, save the fair maiden, and defeat the villain. This is your last chance: are you sure you want to be… involved?

Shows are in the Amelita Galli-Curci Performing Art Center (PAC):

September 28th at 2:00PM

September 29th at 3:30PM

September 30th at 7:00PM

Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10.00 for adults.

Attention Robotics Enthusiasts…

Our Middle School robotics team is forming now for the First Lego League fall season.  For more information about our team, check out our Team 7775 Haiku page.  

Posted by dlang in 09. September on Sunday September 21
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News for the Week of Sept. 15, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

Thank you for joining us for Back to School Night this past week. As I mentioned in my opening comments on Thursday evening, it is one of my favorite nights of the year and the school year now feels officially underway.

This coming week sixth grade takes it’s turn at camp while the seventh and eighth settle into the rhythm of the school year. Speaking of students, I had the opportunity to visit classrooms this week and caught some of our mathematicians breaking all the rules my grandmother taught me about not writing on the table.

Making use of some of our new instructional surfaces in the Design Lab classroom, Geometry Honors students are encouraged to draw, learn, erase, and repeat on the table. Engagement is high, mistakes are seen as part of the learning process, and the next iteration of a geometric concept is just a quick swipe away. Changing the rules and learning...what fun!

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Smiles,

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Upcoming Dates:

9/16/14 - 6th-Grade Camp Departs

9/16/14 - Parent coffee on Tuesday morning for parents who want to see their students off to camp.

9/19/14 - 6th-Grade Camp Returns - approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Toys ‘R Us parking lot on Morena

9/22 - Middle School ASB Information Available

9/27 - 6th-Grade Parent Dinner

Photos from seventh-grade camp...

Available through the following link please find Seventh Grade Camp photos uploaded to Smug Mug: 2014 Seventh Grade Camp Photos

High Temperature Warning For Next Week…

With temperatures expected to be very high next week, we would like you to know that our physical education department has already discussed adaptations. Nonetheless, we do encourage you to send your children to school with refillable water bottles in order to stay hydrated. We have several areas on the campus for students to refill their bottles.

Attention, Robotics Enthusiasts…

Our Middle School robotics team is forming now for the First Lego League fall season.  For more information about our team, check out our Team 7775 Haiku page.  

A Note From Our Middle School Technology Coordinator...

At Back-to-School Night your child's advisor mentioned that Francis Parker Middle School utilizes the Haiku Learning Management System (LMS) as a parent portal to provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding your child’s classes and assignments. Your child’s grades will be available through NetClassroom.

Your child's advisor also handed out directions for how to sign into your existing Haiku LMS parent account or create your own parent account for Haiku LMS (Job Aid) as well as how to access Haiku from the computer (Job Aid).

If you did not receive this information or need assistance with setting up your account, please email support@francisparker.org.

We CAre...

WeCare is a nonprofit consortium of San Diego independent schools formed to present renowned speakers for our parent and student communities and faculty. Current member schools include: The Bishop’s School; La Jolla Country Day School; Francis Parker School; Halstrom Academy; Pacific Ridge School; San Diego Jewish Academy, Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School; and the Warren-Walker School. 

The next WeCare speaker will be Ashley Merryman, co-author of NYT’s bestselling books - Nurtureshock and Top Dog. Ms. Meeryman will present her thoughts on:

• Why much of what we think we know about parenting is misguided

• How children – and adults – can learn strategies to become Top Dog at school, at work, etc.

Find the the flier at this week: WeCare November 4 and 5 Flier 

Discovery Week...

At this time we only have about 70% of our student documentation complete for Discovery Week. Please make sure to submit your completed paperwork and a copy of your child’s passport as soon as possible. Here is a link to the Parent Choice Form should you need it again: Discovery Week 2015 Parent Choice Form

Please make sure that your child’s passport is valid through October 2015. If you have any questions please contact our Discovery Week Coordinator and Assistant Head of Middle School, Christi Cole at ccole@francisparker.org

Sixth Grade Camp Information...

Sixth grade students head off to camp this  week. Below please find links to all of the information that has been previously shared.

Camp Orientation Cover Letter

Camp Schedule & Activities

Camp Packet: Health & Safety Information, Student Information, Student Behavior Contract, Pathfinder Ranch Medication Form & Equipment Packing List

Lunch & T-shirt Order Form

Mr. Benjamin’s Information for Sixth Grade Families...

Once again, Mr. Benjamin’s Cotillion will be offered in the San Diego area.  Three generations of Francis Parker families have participated in this program.

Your child would be part of a 61-year tradition of 6th-graders attending this class throughout the county.  The program is taught by Mr. Peter G. Benjamin.

The classes will start this fall, and go on an every other week schedule, ending in the spring.  Classes are held in a number of locations, however most Parker children attend in Point Loma. The class will be 1 hour, 7:30-8:30 pm.

Each class, the children are involved in topics pertaining to manners, thoughtfulness, and self-confidence.  They also dance, in order for them to become more comfortable and self-assured in talking with others.

The cost for the 6-month program is $250. (A one-time payment or a 3-payment option).

For more information, and to receive an invitation in late August, please visit  www.mrbenjamins.com 

Posted by dlang in 09. September on Saturday September 13 at 09:06PM
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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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