Middle School Announcements
Additional Times for Parent-Teacher Conferences
The middle school faculty has added an additional Parent Night on Thursday, October 13th from 4-6pm. Margot Angstrom, Kate Schelbe, Sarah Kate Gessford, and Tom Marshall will be available during this two hour window. Bart Liles and Cate Roscoe will be available from 4-5pm. As a reminder, these meetings last approximately ten minutes and can serve as an opportunity to ask questions of a specific teacher or just get a general synopsis of how your student is doing in his/her classes. You may meet with any number of teachers. Thank you to everyone for your enthusiasm to meet with teachers and for your flexibility!
Congratulations to our New Student Leadership Council Members!
The Student Leadership Council is a group of 14 elected middle and high school students and four faculty members that serves many functions in the Journeys School community. First, the Student Leadership educates and informs the school community about the Honor Code, including academic honesty and personal integrity in conjunction with students' rights and responsibilities. Second, the Student Leadership Council functions as a group of students that takes on challenges within the Journeys School community and works together to formulate creative solutions; last year the SLC addressed issues on the bus by creating bus rules and bus ambassadors. Third, the Student Leadership Council initiates all-school projects, such as last year's Pennies-for-Patients service project which raised almost $3,000 for cancer research. Finally, the Student Leadership Council serves as an advisory board to the Head of School, and also reports to the Teton Science Schools Board of Directors. Students are chosen annually through a peer election process.
Middle School Service Learning Explained
Many of you are familiar with the service learning component of the middle school curriculum; students are required to complete a certain number of service hours during the academic year as part of their middle school experience. Your student will soon receive a service hours log from his/her advisor. One copy will be kept at school and the other will go home with your student. If you have any questions about service requirements and opportunities, or about anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact your student’s advisor. The grade level/hour requirements are as follows:
6th Grade- 10 hours
7th Grade- 12 hours
8th Grade- 15 hours + Capstone service project
If your student is excited and involved in community service, by no means does he/she need to stop when the number of hours is reached. We encourage going beyond the requirement!
A few commonly asked questions include:
-If my student completed hours over the previous summer do they count toward the year’s requirement? YES
-Do I, or an adult in charge of a given project, need to sign off or email the advisor to confirm the service is complete? YES
-Does helping with household chores count towards service hours? NO. While we do encourage helping out around the house, the service learning requirement is aimed at students aiding their local community.
On Your Child’s Mind
This week, announcements will provide an overview of what your child is learning in science, Spanish, social studies, music, and technology. Next week look forward to reading about language arts, math, and physical education.
Science: Students explored the periodic table of elements: its history, its organization, the stories it tells about the elements, and the remarkable iPad app “Elements: A Visual Exploration.” Students then launched a search for elements listed in consumer products to ultimately realize that ALL matter is made of elements, whether or not they are listed in the ingredients. This week, students have been investigating the important concepts of solutes, solvents, saturation, and concentration. Ask your child why water is considered the solvent of life. Next week, students will begin using chemical formulas to represent reactants and products in balanced chemical equations.
Spanish: The culmination of the first unit requires students to describe themselves and their assigned partner. Descriptions will include personal and physical characteristics as well as pastimes. Students will follow the writing process on their classmate biographies and autobiographies in Spanish, focusing on adjective agreement and the verb gustar. Upon completing their written report, each student will complete an oral presentation. Support your student by making sure he/she completes each part of the writing process on time and that his/her oral presentation is well rehearsed.
Social Studies: Students are in the midst of their first social studies essay, the Pyramid Writing Project (PWP). After gaining a foundational understanding of kingship, funeral rites, and polytheism in ancient Egypt, students have chosen a particular pyramid to write about in an architectural essay. Using model pieces from Architectural Digest, students are engaged in a full writing process as they explore how one particular building can shed light on the practices and beliefs of an entire culture.
Music: Last week the middle school music class studied the artist Bobby McFerrin and how he uses his body and vocal abilities to improvise and make amazing tones with his voice. Students watched a great video in which Mr. McFerrin explains the pentatonic scale and how it is universally recognized. Next they set a xylophone to a pentatonic scale and each student tried their hand at improvising while others strummed on autoharps and a banjo in the same key.
Technology: The class is in the middle of their first project, which requires students to rethink school expectations for computer and internet usage, then present those new expectations to the middle school community. On the first day, students were introduced to International Baccalaureate’s Design Cycle, which guides students through the design process with distinct steps of investigating, planning, creating, and evaluating their work (often returning to planning after the initial evaluation). Students then conduct a brainstorm of potential challenges that arise when using technology. This list runs a wide spectrum from cyber safety to taking care of one’s equipment. Their continued investigating and categorization of these ideas ultimately lead to a “Technology Use/Safety Contract” that they ceremonially sign and post in the middle school.
Thanks, Steve Whisenand!
Steve Whisenand from the Teton County Public Library joined the middle school technology class this week to discuss internet safety, in particular how to keep ourselves safe from spyware, malware, keyloggers, drive-by downloading, etc. We appreciate Steve’s expertise and help in keeping our computers as well as personal and private information safe.
Thanks, Teton Raptor Center!
As part of the capstone program, 8th grade students are responsible for designing and implementing a service learning project in collaboration with another organization. Students’ curiosity drives this program, allowing the group to focus on causes that interest them. This years’ capstone class is choosing between Teton Raptor Center and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. Thank you to Teton Raptor Center for hosting the capstone group and for providing us with an informative tour.
Thanks for a Terrific Parent Night!
This past Thursday, parents and faculty met for a mid-quarter check in. The short check-ins sparked wonderful conversations about classes and permitted parents to get an overview of how their student is doing in classes. Thank you to Daniela Botur for providing delicious refreshments for the evening. Furthermore, thanks to all who attended Parent Night. Due to a large number of sign up’s for one on one teacher meetings, the middle school faculty has added an additional meeting on Thursday, October 13th from 4-6pm. Please contact Sam at email@example.com if you did not receive an email invitation from VolunteerSpot.com.
Middle School PE
As we move into fall with the world series just around the corner, it is time for our softball unit! All middle school students, please bring your softball/baseball glove to class next week if you have one. This will help ensure all students have a glove to practice with during PE class for the next 3 weeks. You can leave them at school; just make sure your name is somewhere on the glove. Thanks!
Middle School Athletics
As fall sports come to an end, other sports will be just beginning. 7th and 8th grade boys' basketball practice starts on October 17, as does 7th and 8th grade swimming. Please make sure you have a sports physical before practice begins and remember to fill out an early release form and hand in to Khale. Thanks!
Friday, October 7: No School, Columbus Day Break
Monday, October 10: No School, Columbus Day Break, Faculty Professional Development
Thursday, October 13: Middle School Parent Night, 4-6pm (Sign up online for one-on-one parent-teacher conferences)
Friday, October 28: End of First Quarter, Grades 6-12
Thursday, November 3: Parent Council Coffee
Friday, November 4: No School, Faculty Professional Development
Saturday, November 5: 5th Annual Bunnery Benefit
Wednesday, November 9: State of the School Dinner
Friday, November 18: Early Dismissal, 12:30 (PreK-12)
Monday - Friday, November 21-25: No School, Thanksgiving Break