Middle School Newsletter - January 27, 2021
Update from John Thomas: Planning for 2021-22
Dear Flint Hill Families,
While we are focused on having a strong second semester, we are also turning our attention to planning for the 2021-22 school year. I want to share some of our thinking with you while our plans continue to take shape.
First, I want to thank the many parent volunteers who have referred prospective Huskies to us for next year and have connected virtually with these families in the admission process. We have experienced consistent year-over-year growth in inquiries and applications during the past three years and are again seeing record interest for next year. Still, as we have in 2020-21, for the upcoming school year, we are planning to operate at a “COVID capacity” until the Virginia Department of Health permits otherwise. This means that our planning will continue to be informed by the need to maintain a distance of six feet between students in classroom spaces.
Our Lower and Middle School facilities and the sizes of those divisions continue to provide the greatest flexibility with capacity restrictions. To support the best learning environment for those young learners, we are currently planning to offer only on-campus learning for students in grades JK-8 in 2021-22. We understand that our Upper School students are eager to be on campus together five days a week and are continuing to monitor guidance from the Virginia Department of Health to make that possible, with our students’ health being the highest priority.
In the meantime, we are still planning to schedule fine arts and athletics activities according to a normal schedule for next year. Expanding the range of opportunities for our student artists and athletes to do what they love is one of our highest priorities for next year, and leadership in both of those departments is working hard to make that possible.
While the timing for a full return to pre-pandemic normalcy is uncertain, we continue to be hopeful and optimistic.
Best wishes to you!
First Semester Grade Reports and Narrative Comments — now available online
Our first semester Grade Reports are now available online. This is always an opportunity to practice how to keep quarter grades in perspective — focusing on the journey, recognizing what this current performance feedback can provide and avoiding the type of disproportionate fixation on grades that can limit growth. In addition to the performance feedback for each course, our teachers have provided narrative comments about your child’s progress. Like our conferences, these comments should convey the depth of our understanding of your child while providing feedback to him or her about progress and providing suggestions for future growth that can be used in goal setting for the next semester.
Middle School Virtual Division Coffee — tomorrow morning
As a reminder, please join us tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. for a discussion with Director of Counseling Ilana Reyes and Middle School Counselor John Magner about adolescent wellness. Google Meet code — meet.google.com/xfh-updd-zvr. If you cannot join us live, we will make a recording available on our Resource Board.
Virtual Fine Arts Coffee
Tuesday, February 9, 9-10 a.m.
Parents are invited to join us for an informative session about our fine arts program. James Venhaus, our new director of fine arts, will share news about our fine arts classes in all three divisions and our spring performances, including Arts Jam. We will demonstrate how the fine arts faculty and students are providing creative solutions to the challenges that we face due to the pandemic, and we will share some exciting plans for the future. Parents and guardians can access the coffee here.
UPDATES AND REMINDERS FROM LAST WEEK
Athletics — Conditioning Option During the School Day
As previously noted, we recognize how important our athletics program is for students at this level — in terms of physical activity, sport-specific training, being part of a team, and social connections. While we are not able to replicate our regular program, we will begin offering more formal conditioning workouts during the school day. Considering the parameters dictated by schedule, space and staff, our initial plan will be as follows:
- Participation will be optional, and students will sign up in advance; the first session will be three weeks (January 26-February 11).
- Seventh graders will have conditioning workouts on Tuesdays during the flex period (January 26, February 2, and February 9 from 2:15 to 3 p.m.) and eighth graders will have workouts on Thursdays (January 28, February 4, and February 11 from 2:15 to 3 p.m.)
- The sessions will consist of:
- Warmup and stretching on the turf field.
- Rotate stations between the track (running/walking) and turf field (fitness and agility drills).
- Adjustments will be made based on numbers.
- Students and adults will keep masks on and be at least 10 feet apart at all times.
- In the event of inclement weather or temperatures below 30 degrees, conditioning will be canceled.
- We expect to run a second four-week session prior to spring break and then reassess the plan for the spring.
Please contact Middle School Athletic Director Adam Rice or me with questions.
Speakers Needed for Upper School Discovery of Engineering Class
Our Upper School Discovery of Engineering elective would like to include members of the Flint Hill community in its roster of guest speakers. If you have a background in engineering (or know someone who does), please reach out to Gary Smilowitz.
Uniform Exchange Reimagined: Let us do the shopping for you!
Read below for the timeline and helpful hints as we prepare for the spring 2021 Uniform Exchange.
Step 1: Uniform Donations
Uniform clothing donations will only be accepted January 25-January 29.
While additional donation opportunities may be available later in the year, at this time, donations should be dropped off on the Miller House front porch between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., and must adhere to the following guidelines.
- We are only collecting and redistributing the following uniform items:
- Flint Hill polo shirts
- Skirts, shorts, skorts, pants, jumpers
- Spirit wear
- All items should be washed and sorted to minimize contact when they arrive. For example: pants in one bag, shirts in one bag
- In accordance with CDC clothing donation guidelines, all donations will be quarantined for at least five days.
Step 2: Uniform Shopping
A Google shopping form will be published in the February 10 newsletter and will expire on February 12. Please note, all parents and guardians are welcome to fill out the form; you do not have to donate in order to participate.
Step 3: Uniform Distribution
- Selections are based on the online form and are first come first served.
- Orders will be filled based on availability from items donated. We will try our best to fulfill all orders.
- Adrienne Robinson will send an email confirming the date your shopping order is complete and ready for pick up from the Miller House porch.
- We anticipate orders will be ready for pick up on February 23-February 25.
School Store Update
- Outerwear, sweatshirts and beanies are now available!
- Check out the new Last Chance Spirit Wear section of the School Store Website. With extremely limited quantities left these sale items won’t last long. Shop now before they are gone!
How do I make an exchange or return?
- Please contact Adrienne Robinson within 30 days of your original purchase.
- Exchanges may be made for the same item in a different size or for an item of equal value.
- We are happy to issue a refund for items that did not work for you.
Parents Council of Washington Event: Speaker Series — Ron Lieber, The Price You Pay for College
The Parents Council of Washington (PCW) invites you to attend its upcoming virtual speaker series event on Wednesday, February 10, at 7 p.m. Ron Lieber, author, journalist, and New York Times’ Your Money columnist will discuss his new book, “The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make.”
All PCW member school parents, administrators, faculty, and staff are invited. Please use this link to register.
The third meeting of the virtual Kaleidoscope Book Club is scheduled for Monday, February 1, 9-9:45 a.m. We will discuss “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. 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. Please submit your name and email address, in this form, to RSVP for the meeting and/or be added to our email list. Please contact All-School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Miles Henderson if you have any questions.
First Semester Grade Reports and Narrative Comments — available online
Wednesday, January 27, 4:00 p.m.
Middle School Virtual Division Coffee
Thursday, January 28, 9-10 a.m., Google Meet code — meet.google.com/xfh-updd-zvr
Join Director of Counseling Ilana Reyes and Middle School Counselor John Magner for a discussion on adolescent wellness.
Add to Calendar
Enrollment Contracts Issued — Current Students
Financial Aid Notification — Current Students
Thursday, January 28
Please note that current students do not need to formally apply for enrollment next year.
Virtual Event for Eighth Grade Parents — Upper School at Flint Hill
Tuesday, February 2, 4:30 p.m.
This event will include a wide range of topics of interest for eighth grade parents. We will have panels of Upper School parents, students, deans, college counselors, advisors and administrators eager to tell you all about life and learning at the Upper School. If you have questions, we will answer them! Register for the event here!
Grades JK-12 No Classes
Administrative Offices Closed
Monday, February 15