Middle School Newsletter - august 10, 2022
Message From Division Director
I hope that you are enjoying time with your families during these final weeks of the summer. If your children are anything like me, they are feeling excited and ready for the start of the year at some moments and nervous about it at others. We appreciate that middle school is a wonderfully unique and emotional period of time and that half of our students will be new to our building — some from our Lower School and some brand new to Flint Hill. This informs our communications and programming in the next few weeks as well as the structure and activities of the first few days of school. As we get excited for the 2022-2023 school year, please review the information below. I look forward to seeing your children soon and partnering with you for another outstanding year.
Director of the Middle School
Back to School
Preparing for the 2022-2023 School Year
How often is Lower School Husky Pride Day? What’s the traffic pattern for dropping off Middle School students? What’s the earliest I can drive onto campus to pick up an Upper School student? The answers to these questions and many more can be found in the content on the Preparing for the 2022-2023 School Year tile on the Resource Board of Husky Hub.
To access the Resource Board, visit www.flinthill.org/app, and log in with your username and password. Once logged in, click Resources on the top navigation bar, and then click on the Preparing for the 2022-2023 School Year tile. The tile will remain accessible through the start of the new school year. We recommend bookmarking it!
Student Schedules Online
Specific teacher and class assignments will be available tomorrow morning, August 11. To access your child’s class placement, log in to Husky Hub, click “Children” and select your child’s name. From the “Progress” page, scroll down to view your child’s classes and teachers.
Please review the Dress Guidelines on the Resource Board to ensure that your child is prepared for the start of the year. For those returning eighth graders, the options are slightly different from last year. Please contact me with any questions. As a summary:
- Tops — students may wear any FH logo top.
- Bottoms — khaki or navy blue chino pants, skirts or shorts (note that students may not wear athletic shorts or sweatpants during the school day).
- Athletics — students may still wear any FH logo top and may now wear any navy blue shorts.
Updated Health Information Tile
Please review the new Health Information tile on the Resource Board. This is where you’ll find information about protocols for general illness, flu, seasonal allergies and COVID, as well as contact information for all three health clinics.
For students who will need to keep medication on campus during the school year, we will have a medication drop-off day on Thursday, August 25, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Upper School circle.
Families will pull into the circle, and a nurse will come to your car to collect the medication and the appropriate forms. As a reminder, all prescription medication must be accompanied by the physician's order on the Medication Authorization Form, which must be completed and signed by the prescribing physician.
All medication must have the pharmacy label on it. You can access the forms from your Magnus account /Husky Hub resource board under the Preparing for the School Year tile. All over-the-counter medication must be accompanied by the Medication Authorization Form and must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian. The medication must be in the original packaging and must be administered according to the package instructions, including the time and route to be administered.
If you are unable to come to the School on the medication drop-off day, please call to schedule an appointment with your division’s nurse prior to the start of school.
Upper School 703.584.2396
Middle School 703.584.2397
Lower School 703.584.2399
To drop off medication refills throughout the school year, please call and schedule an appointment with your division’s nurse.
Uploading Your Child’s Health Forms — New and Returning Students
Completed health forms must be uploaded to the Magnus Health system and approved by the first day of classes, or your child may not attend school. If you have any questions regarding the health forms, please contact Director of Health Services Mary Hart at 571.926.2818.
Parent-Advisor In-Person Conferences
To facilitate the important partnership for the school year ahead, advisors will be hosting parent conferences on Monday, August 29, and Tuesday, August 30. These 15-minute in-person conferences will allow you to connect with your child’s advisor and share any helpful information. The link for scheduling your conferences will be available on the Resource Board on Monday, August 15. If you have any difficulties or questions about the online scheduling system, please contact me and Marina Matthes (long-term substitute for Michelle Keatley).
Middle School Back-to-School Social
Join us on Wednesday, August 17, for an opportunity to socialize with other incoming Middle School families! We’ll have a back-to-school party on the John M. Thomas Terrace at Peterson Middle School. The event is casual, with a wide variety of activities for students and mingling for parents. RSVP by Monday, August 15.
Middle School Athletics
Middle School sports officially begin on Wednesday, September 7. If you signed up to participate in a fall sport, please visit Husky Hub to gather the latest information on tryouts, preseason practices, and seasonal logistics. You can find all Upper School and Middle School fall game schedules by visiting the athletics page of our website.
Read more details about our fall sports from Director of Athletics Dewayne Robinson.
New Phone Policy
Our policy of “please ask permission if you need to use your phone (to contact a parent) at school and keep them put away otherwise” has reached the point that we need an update. Like young adolescents everywhere, our wonderful middle school students are increasingly distracted by their phones in class, engaged in inappropriate behavior (such as group TikTok videos and looking up answers during assessments), and occupied by digital social media rather than in-person peers. Over the years, this behavior is becoming less willful and more habit, and they are showing us that different boundaries are necessary.
Our new policy involves collecting student phones in classrooms each period to ensure they are not a distraction to learning or social interaction. Our Upper School is implementing a similar policy.
We continue to believe it is important for students to learn self-control and practice responsible use of technology. MacBook Airs, which — unlike phones — are used at school for academic purposes, provide plenty of opportunities for us to work on classroom management and avoid distractions.
While it is generally helpful to the process of separation and individuation for young adolescents to not be in touch with parents during the school day, we recognize that needs arise and that communication with you is a big reason they have phones. If you need to contact or get a message to your child, you can either email them (checking email is something we make time for and practice during the day) or email/call me or the Middle School Office — 703.584.2370. If you have any questions or concerns about our new phone policy, please reach out to me directly.
New Roles and New Hires
Congratulations to the following returning faculty and staff who have taken on new roles this year.
Andrew Basti — Technology Systems Analyst
Jean Marí Hernández López — Lower School, Middle School and Upper School Modern Language Department Chair and Middle School and Upper School French and Spanish Teacher
Jody Patrick — Lower School P.E. Department Chair and P.E. Teacher
Melissa Riley — Advancement Officer and Advancement Data Specialist
Emily Sanderson — Upper School History and Social Sciences Teacher
Melissa Turner — Director of Systems Operations and Systems Training
Ana Yarbrough — Executive Administrative Assistant to the Head of School
Julie Young — Human Resources Coordinator
We are delighted to welcome new Middle School faculty/staff and members of the Senior Leadership Team to the Flint Hill family.
Patrick McHonett — Head of School — Patrick joins us from St. John’s Episcopal School in Orange County, California. He previously served as associate head of school at Phoenix Country Day School in Phoenix, Arizona, and has an expansive independent school background that includes admission, marketing and communications, and college counseling. We welcome Patrick along with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Charlotte (fourth grade) and Jack (Kindergarten), as well as their dog, Archie, to the Flint Hill community.
Carmen Scott — Director of Marketing and Communications — Carmen comes to us with 15 years of experience working in independent schools, including at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City, The Berkeley School in Berkeley, California, and The Field School in Washington, D.C. She earned her B. A. in journalism and mass communication from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kaleena Buckwalter — School Store Manager — Kaleena subbed at Flint Hill for a year and a half and was also a dental assistant for eight and a half years. She has an A.S. in science from Northern Virginia Community College. One fun fact about Kaleena is that she is dog and water obsessed!
Theri Andino — Middle School Classics Teacher — Theri taught Latin for six years in Florida at Leon High School and Florida Virtual School and last year at Yorktown High School in Arlington. She has a B.A. in Classics from the University of Florida, an M.A. in Classics from the University of Florida, and an M.Arch in Architecture from Florida A&M University. One fun fact about Theri is that she has been a professional Bridge player and teacher for over 12 years.
Lisa Brown — Middle School Nurse — Lisa has worked as an RN for 30 years, specializing in school health for 21 years, as well as public health, pediatrics, camp nursing and family-centered care. She has an AAS in nursing from CUNY- LaGuardia. Lisa has three grown children and three grandchildren. She loves cats and has two fur babies. She is also trained in classical ballet from age three and danced at both Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall as a young ballerina.
Joelle Henry — Middle and Upper School Computer Science and Robotics Teacher — Joelle has 26 years of experience in education from preschool to high school. She has a B.S. in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an M.Ed. in educational studies from the University of New Hampshire. One fun fact about Joelle is that she worked for General Electric in the Aerospace Division before entering the field of education. She also just moved to Virginia from New Hampshire this summer!
Dwight Jesmer — Middle School Math Teacher — Dwight has worked in education for almost 20 years in both San Francisco and Northern Virginia. He worked six years at Loudoun Country Day School as a middle school teacher and basketball coach. He has a B.A. in communications with an English minor from Loyola Marymount University and an M.A. in writing from the University of San Francisco. One fun fact about Dwight is that he lost five toenails walking the Camino de Santiago, 500 miles across Spain.
Marina Matthes — Assistant to the Director of the Middle School — Marina worked for Marriott International for over 10 years in various capacities. She left Marriott to be a stay-at-home mom and is now returning to the workforce. She has a B.S in business management from Seton Hall University and an M.B.A in international business from Hofstra University. Marina loves sports and has been bowling in leagues for many years.
Jackie McLoughlin — Middle and Upper School Theatre Arts Teacher and Director of Theatre Arts Productions — Jackie worked at Commonwealth Academy as a Theater teacher for five years. She has an M.A. in text and performance studies and directing from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and King's College London. Jackie loves traveling, ice hockey and family time.
Joe Predebon — Middle School History Teacher — Joe has worked in education for the past decade in both the private and public sectors. He started his career with Teach for America and then transitioned to working at the collegiate level with Marquette University, teaching entry-level courses. He recently worked at BASIS Independent McLean as a Middle and High School History teacher, basketball coach, model UN instructor and track coach. Joe has a B.A. in history from the Virginia Military Institute and an M.A. in Modern American and European History from Marquette University. Some fun facts about Joe are that he worked as a rock climbing instructor in college and enjoys gardening in his free time!
Brad Savage — Middle and Upper School Classics Department Chair and Upper School Classics Teacher — Brad has taught Latin, English and Math for eight years at the Einstein Academy near Chicago, Illinois, and for one year at Tempe Preparatory Academy. He has a B.A. in Classics and political science from The Ohio State University and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Washington. A few fun facts about Brad are that he appeared on Jeopardy (came in second!), is an avid square dancer, and loves to play softball.
Husky Hub Opens
Thursday, August 11
Wednesday, August 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Peterson Middle School
Thursday, August 25
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Upper School circle
Middle School New Parent Virtual Orientation
Monday, August 29, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
New and returning parents are welcome to join me for a virtual orientation with questions and answers. Q&A session to ease your transition to the school year.
Middle School Parent-Advisor In-Person Conferences
Monday, August 29 and Tuesday, August 30
Link to register will be available on August 15 on the Resource Board
Middle School Student-Parent Visitation
Tuesday, August 30, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Parents and students who wish to visit the building before our orientation activities begin tomorrow are welcome to come in for a self-guided tour.
Lower and Middle School First Day of School
Wednesday, August 31
We will have full school days (8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.) Wednesday-Friday of this first week and run a modified class schedule combined with orientation and community-building activities. Students should be in regular school dress and bring MacBooks and supplies.
Labor Day — Grades JK-12, No Classes
Monday, September 5
Middle School Picture Day
Thursday, September 8
Middle School Back-to-School Night
Thursday, September 15, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Peterson Middle School
Welcome from KayAnn Schoeneman, Parents' Association President
Dear Flint Hill Families,
Welcome to the Flint Hill 2022-2023 school year! Whether this is your first year as a Husky parent, or your 13th or 14th year as the parent of a “lifer,” we are glad you are a part of our community. I am looking forward to a fantastic year ahead, especially partnering with our new Head of School, Patrick McHonett, and connecting with parents on campus and in our community.
- A little about me. I’m the parent of a seventh grader, Nicholas, who has attended Flint Hill since junior kindergarten. My husband, Brian, and I have been active in the Flint Hill community since 2014 and enjoy being involved in various School activities. Over the years, our family has experienced many instances of the Flint Hill community — living the Lower School Husky Promise, especially showing “compassion to all” in the most profound and practical ways. I am excited to engage with and make a difference in our community this year.
- A little about the Parents’ Association. Every Flint Hill parent and/or guardian is automatically a member of the Parents’ Association, and there are no membership fees. The Parents’ Association works to strengthen the partnership between the School and Flint Hill families by encouraging parental involvement and engagement within our community. Read more about the Parents’ Association.
- A little about what’s next. A full range of Parents’ Association events is planned for this year in addition to volunteer opportunities. Starting in next week’s newsletter, we’ll run a list of events for the year so you can mark your calendar and get involved. This section of the newsletter will also have information and links to sign up for volunteer opportunities too.
I’ll be sharing ways we can connect as a community throughout the year. I am eager to connect with parents this year while pulling the sled through the school year, having fun along the way, and crossing the finish line together.
Take meaningful risks. Be yourself. Make a difference.
Flint Hill School Store — Tuesday August 16-17
The School Store will be hosting a pop-up shop from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, and Wednesday, August 17, in Room 112 in Hazel Lower School. Parent volunteers are needed. This is a great opportunity to connect with other parents while making a difference. Sign up to volunteer.
Parent Volunteers Needed
These are great opportunities to connect with other parents while making a difference.
Sign up to volunteer.
16-17—Lower School Uniform Exchange
12—Parent Morning Mixer
15—Parents’ Association Fall Tennis Social
16—Parents’ Association Tennis Social - Rain Date
3— Parent Morning Mixer
7—Parent Morning Mixer
10—Lower School Spring Uniform Exchange
3—Parent Morning Mixer
15—Parents’ Association Spring Tennis Social
1—Parent Morning Mixer
25—Flint Hill Golf Invitational
1—Volunteer Appreciation Reception