Middle School Newsletter - March 2, 2022
Message From Division Director
Part of our growth-focused approach with students involves providing feedback on their work and giving direction on areas for improvement. As a School and a Middle School division, we try to model a similar growth mindset and use of feedback. Here are a few formal ways we are gathering and using data from students and from you.
Lunch Survey: We can always count on this being a hot topic in school … and at home. We are thrilled to finally have the opportunity this year to offer buffet-style meals in middle school and we are grateful for our long-standing partnership with Fairfax Food Service, who matches our interest in being innovative and responsive. We recently surveyed our students to learn more about what options they like, don’t like, and want to see. Not surprisingly, we received quite a range of responses — as I expect we would if we had the courage to survey our children about meals at home! — and some very helpful feedback. In our follow-up with FFS, we have replaced two of the least popular menu items and are meeting this week to discuss other adjustments.
Course/Teacher Survey: Prior to Spring Break, students will fill out anonymous surveys for each of their classes. Through a combination of rating scales and open-ended questions, the survey focuses on the learning environment, instruction and assessment, things to keep and things to change. The results inform my responsibility to ensure quality and consistency throughout our program. I also share responses directly with each teacher and department chair as they consider ways to refine and improve the classroom experience.
Parent Satisfaction Survey: Each spring, we give parents the opportunity to give feedback on all aspects of our program and their experience. Stay tuned for more details after the break.
Director of the Middle School
Sign Up for March 11 Parent-Teacher Conferences
Per my email from last week, you may sign up to meet with each of your child’s teachers on Friday, March 11. Morning conferences will be in-person and afternoon conferences will be virtual. Please visit this link on the Resource Board for more information and links to sign up.
Course Selection for 2022-2023 (students in Grade 8)
The timeline for current students in Grade 8 will follow the Upper School process. The online course selection module will officially open on Monday, March 28. I encourage you to attend Friday’s Rising Grade 9 Virtual Division Coffee: Upper School Academic Planning, for more information. With the support of Assistant Director of the Upper School and Academic Dean Debbie Ayers, we will share information and discuss with students the week before Spring Break.
Course Selection for 2022-23 (students in Grades 6-7)
Shortly after Spring Break, we will begin the process of course selection — providing information about our Program Guide, options for students by grade level, guidance about selecting the appropriate courses and load, and Q&A sessions for students and parents.
Stay In the Know! Link the All-School Calendar to Your Calendar
Did you know that you can have the electronic All-School Calendar feed directly into your iCal or Google calendars? As we head into a busy time in the school year, with many events on both campuses, linking the All-School Calendar to your calendar can be a great way to stay in the know.
To get to the All-School Calendar, log in to Husky Hub and click on the Calendar icon in the top menu bar. Scroll down and on the bottom left, you can toggle on and off to select which calendars you’d like to display. We strongly recommend displaying the All-School Calendar.
And remember, the School’s IT department isn’t just for students; it’s a parent resource too! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask a question or set up a time for a private tutorial.
Kaleidoscope Book Club
The next meeting of the Kaleidoscope Book Club is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Peterson Middle School Conference Room. We will discuss “The Map of Salt and Stars'' by Zeyn Joukhdar. We look forward to building and deepening relationships through this shared learning opportunity. All parents are welcome to attend regardless of your familiarity with the book selection. Contact All-School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Miles Henderson if you have any questions.
Parent Toolkit Resource Board Tile
The Parent Toolkit tile on the Husky Hub Resource Board is available. It is a resource with valuable information to help Flint Hill parents throughout the rest of the school year.
Some of you may have seen last week’s webinar from The Social Institute — Empowering your Child(ren) to Navigate Social Media, Technology, and Well-being Positively. In case you missed it or want to watch it again, you can access the recording here. Additionally, these are the free resources that were shared during the webinar:
- Why Is 13 the Minimum Age for Most Social Media Apps?
- Family Social Standards Agreement
- 22 Insights Report
- How Parents & Educators Can Support Healthy Teen Use of Social Media
- Student Ambassador Program
- Worried About Your Teen on Social Media? Here's How To Help
- Apple Screen Time Feature
- Android Family Link Feature
- The Social Institute — Parent Toolkit
To help protect the integrity and privacy of virtual events, we have placed all the links to Google Meet virtual events in Husky Hub via the All-School Calendar.
Kaleidoscope Book Club
Tuesday, March 8, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Peterson Middle School Conference Room
End of Third Quarter
Wednesday, March 9
Grade reports will be available online on Thursday, March 10, at 4 p.m.
Lower and Middle School Parent Conferences — No Classes
Friday, March 11
Please note that the Upper School will still be in session. Conferences will be on-campus in the morning and virtual in the afternoon. We will send a signup link on February 25.
Monday, March 28
Masks Optional Starting March 28
Masks are currently optional outdoors on both campuses. Effective Monday, March 28, the day we return from Spring Break, masks will be optional for students and visitors, indoors and outdoors. Currently, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Permanent COVID-19 Standard requires employers to mandate masks for employees. It is anticipated this may change or may not become applicable to independent schools within the coming weeks. When it does, masks will also become optional for employees indoors.
NEW: The federal mandate for wearing a mask on school buses changed. Effective March 28, wearing a mask on buses for school-related activities will be optional.
All of these links can be found on the COVID-19 Health Information tile on the Resource Board.
Reminder: Keep Everyone Healthy by Staying Home if Sick
If your student has fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, you should keep them home to recover. They must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school.
The Flint Hill Golf Invitational and Skills Clinic Is Back!
The Flint Hill Golf Invitational and Skills Clinic is back! We can’t wait to spend a day on the course with fellow Huskies, parents and alumni — on May 26 at the Westfields Golf Club. This casual golf scramble brings together our community like no other, and all levels of golf ability are welcome. Registration and sponsorships are now open, so start creating your foursome or sign up on your own to make new connections! Not ready for a full 18? Play in the skills clinic or volunteer throughout the day. Visit flinthill.org/golf to register, sponsor, volunteer or learn more!
Volunteer at the Igloo Snack Bar!
In order to keep the Igloo open, parent volunteers are critical. Sign up for a morning or afternoon shift here.
I describe Flint Hill as an opportunity. An opportunity for us as parents and for our children as students. This week is full of opportunities for me. The opportunity for me to be present.