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News for the Week of December 14, 2014...

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!

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates:

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 ccole@francisparker.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

Thank you,

Monica Gallardo
MS Foreign Language Department Chair

Be Wise…

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 mwest@francisparker.org 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:

Device

OS

Retail Cost

Link

Apple Macbook Air

MacOS

$900-$1200

Apple Store

Inspiron 13 7000

Win 8.1

$600-$800

Dell Store

Dell Chromebook 11

ChromeOS

$300

Dell Store

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

Posted by dlang in 12. December on Sunday December 14 at 07:56AM
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News for the Week of December 7, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

MS Robotics Dec 2014.jpg

As I write to you this morning, members of our Middle School Robotics team are making final preparations to compete in the First Lego League SoCal Championship at LEGOLAND. Our young roboticists will be competing against forty seven other teams that also advanced from Qualifying Tournaments in Southern California. Teams will be evaluated in four areas: robot design, programming, team project presentation, and teamwork. Good Luck!!

Thank you to our communications department for posting photos from our Ellis Island simulation on Smug Mug: find the photos here.

Moving from one tradition to the next, this week students in the 8th grade will be presenting Coming to America projects in their history and English classes. The presentations are a culmination of months of work. The project forms an interdisciplinary bridge between work on narrative writing in English and studies of immigration and citizenship in history. These projects have been a part of the Parker curriculum for over twenty years. As part of the project students create scrapbooks, photo books, and Google Sites that will be on display in the Lawrence Commons between Monday, December 15 and Thursday, December 18. Members of the Parker community are invited to view the project display. Students also have the choice to invite family members to view their class presentations during the week of December 9-12.

In addition to academic projects, our students are also involved in service projects. The Middle School ASB will host a Bake Sale this Thursday, December 11th. This year our ASB has coordinated with our Foreign Language Department and Advisory Program as both examine the topic of Hunger around the world. Proceeds from the bake sale in conjunction with additional events throughout the year, will be focused on raising funds to sponsor a gift through Heifer International. Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. To learn more about Heifer International visit them on the web: find them here

Here are the guidelines for the bake sale:

  • Students must bake an international recipe (Maybe from their heritage).

  • The items must be individually wrapped in portions that will be sold for $1.00.

  • The students will need to fill out the name of the baked good, the country of origin and color the flag (They will get a handout).

  • They should bring their contribution to school on Thursday December 11 before 8:00 a.m.

  • The advisory with the highest percentage of participation will be awarded a Bagel Breakfast or Jamba Juice!

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

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

12/8-12 8th Grade Coming to America Presentations

12/9 Report Cards Posted to NetClassroom at the end of the day.

12/9 Candy Grams and Hot Chocolate Sales Begin

12/11 International Bake Sale to Benefit Heifer International

12/9-12 Middle School Drama Club Presents Godspell and The Diary of Anne Frank

Production Poster: find it here

Ticket Order Form: find it here

Gala Committee….

Calling ALL PARENTS! Join us at our next Gala Committee Meeting on Wednesday, December 10 @ 8am in the Parker Café Board Room on the Linda Vista Campus! Come join the fun Gala team of volunteers!  We will be assigning Chairs, tasks, etc.  We’d so appreciate the help!  New to the school?  Come learn about the Gala, timing, and volunteer opportunities - a great way to meet Parker parents. The Gala this year is April 25 at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, in beautiful and historic Balboa Park.  The countdown begins!  Questions?  Contact Gala Chairs Gayle Nuffer and Randie Lettington at pa-galachair@francisparker.org.

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

Thank you,

Monica Gallardo
MS Foreign Language Department Chair

Be Wise…

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



Posted by dlang in 12. December on Sunday December 7 at 07:22AM
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News for the Week of November 30, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

Welcome back from what I trust was a restful time with family and friends. As we look into into December and the Coming To America presentations that will begin shortly in our eighth grade classrooms, I would like to extend a special word of thanks to the parent volunteers who helped bring another of our Parker traditions to life on the Friday before our break. As part of our U.S. History curriculum, our eighth graders experience a simulated trip to and then through Ellis Island, complete with a brief journey in the “steerage” section of Mr. Howard’s classroom. From too tight quarters, to an environment devoid of communication in English, students experienced an environment that many immigrants remember as both a frustration and a joy. As our students wound their way through the circuitous path, parent volunteers served as medical examiners, security personnel, advocates, and eventually kind faces to welcome our “immigrants” to the United States.

Always the most poignant portion of the experience, we were fortunate to hear the first hand immigration stories of three of our Parker parents. Beyond the learning gained in this day, our entire community is reminded what a privilege we enjoy as citizens of the United States and how far many of our current parents have travelled, both in miles and challenging events, to become citizens.

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

Smiles,

Digital Signature copy.jpg

Upcoming Dates...

12/3 Sixth Grade Field Trip to King Tut Exhibit and San Diego Museum of Art

12/8-12 8th Grade Coming to America Presentations

12/9-12 Middle School Drama Club Presents Godspell and The Diary of Anne Frank

Production Poster: find it here

Ticket Order Form: find it here

Gala Committee….

Calling ALL PARENTS! Join us at our next Gala Committee Meeting on Wednesday, December 10 @ 8am in the Parker Café Board Room on the Linda Vista Campus!

Come join the fun Gala team of volunteers!  We will be assigning Chairs, tasks, etc.  We’d so appreciate the help!  New to the school?  Come learn about the Gala, timing, and volunteer opportunities - a great way to meet Parker parents. The Gala this year is April 25 at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, in beautiful and historical Balboa Park.  The countdown begins!  Questions?  Contact Gala Chairs Gayle Nuffer and Randie Lettington at pa-galachair@francisparker.org.

Notes from Nurse Maggie...

Holiday Food Safety Tips—food is such a big part of the holidays however it can potentially cause illness if not properly handled. The USDA recommends the following for safe food handling:

CLEAN:

  1. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food

  2. Wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops) with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item

  3. Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt

  4. Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking in order to avoid spreading bacteria to areas around the sink and countertops

SEPARATE:

  1. When shopping in the grocery, storing food in the refrigerator at home, or preparing meals, be sure to keep foods that won’t be cooked separate from raw eggs, meat, poultry or seafood—and from kitchen utensils used for those products

  2. Consider using one cutting board only for foods that will be cooked (such as raw meat, poultry and seafood) and another one for those that will not (such as raw fruits and vegetables)

  3. Do not put cooked meat or other food that is ready to eat on an unwashed plate that has held any raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices

COOK:

  1. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature

  2. To check a turkey for safety, inset a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. The turkey is safe when the temperature reaches 165 degrees F. If the turkey is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should be 165 degrees F.

  3. Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating

  4. Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm

  5. When making your own eggnog or other recipe calling for raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites

  6. Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough, which may contain raw eggs

CHILL:

Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods---and any type of food that should be refrigerated including pie—within two hours

Set your refrigerator at or below 40 degrees F and the freezer at 0 degrees F. Check both periodically with an appliance thermometer

Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave—never at room temperature.

Cook food thawed in cold water or in the microwave immediately

Leftovers should be used within three to four days, unless frozen. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.FoodSafety.gov



Posted by dlang in 11. November, 12. December on Sunday November 30 at 10:57AM
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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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