Middle School Newsletter - March 31, 2021
New Guidelines on Shared Equipment
As previously mentioned, we recently updated our guidelines to allow students to share equipment — with hands and equipment sanitized every 15 minutes. Here is a short video of our break time from early March; kids have obviously missed being able to pass/kick a ball around!
Safety Reminder During Afternoon Carpool
As Upper School athletic practices take place in the afternoons, we will have students crossing the street at the bottom of the hill by the tennis courts. Please drive slowly and alertly after picking up your middle schooler in the afternoon.
The Kaleidoscope Book Club is a welcoming, inclusive space that utilizes literary choices as a springboard for equity and inclusion discussions. Reading is not required to attend. There are two opportunities to connect next week — at our book club session on Monday, April 5, at 9 a.m., and during an additional discussion session on Friday, April 9, at 9 a.m. This month’s read is "The Water Dancer" by TaNehisi Coates. Please contact All-School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Miles Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link to the virtual meetings. Our last sessions of the year are scheduled for May 3 and 7. John Thomas will lead our discussion of "Refugee" by Alan Gratz.
Now Online! Fall Upper School Play, “Almost, Maine”
This year’s virtual Upper School play is now online. “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani is a hilarious and heartwarming collection of nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. The play, directed by Middle School Drama Teacher and Director of Upper School Drama Productions Kate Davis, was filmed remotely in student homes and edited together to create a beautiful theatrical experience.
School Store Update
- Have questions about items in the store? Click here to schedule a 15-minute consultation. Don’t have time to make an appointment? Feel free to email me with any questions, and I will be happy to make suggestions for your next purchase.
- Check out the Last Chance Spirit Wear section of the School Store website. With extremely limited quantities left, these sale items won’t last long.
- We are working with our vendors to restock girls’ and boys’ shorts and the Youth Gildan Husky logo tee. More inventory should arrive in the next few weeks. Check out the Restock Alert tab for items that have been recently restocked.
- See the links below for updated inventory in youth medium, large and x-large hoodies.
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.
UPDATES AND REMINDERS FROM BEFORE SPRING BREAK
Grade 8 Alcohol and Drug Awareness Week
During the week of April 5-9, Drug and Alcohol Educator Brenda Conlan will be meeting virtually with our eighth grade students, during their history classes, to discuss topics related to drug and alcohol awareness. These lessons will be delivered in a developmentally appropriate manner.
On Tuesday, April 6, at 9 a.m., eighth grade parents are invited to join Brenda using this Google Meet Link for a virtual presentation on the adolescent brain, vaping, and the importance of delaying drug and alcohol usage. Brenda’s parent presentation will be recorded for parents who are unable to attend live. For more information on Brenda Conlan, please go to her website at https://www.brendaconlan.com. Please contact John Magner if you have questions.
As previously noted, the new guidelines for shared equipment opens up additional options for Middle School. We also have limitations of our class schedule (which is now even more tied to our Upper School schedule), the availability of coaches who are also teachers and advisors, and space. We will follow the plan below for the first three weeks after spring break, then re-evaluate:
- We will use two of our four afternoon flex blocks (the other two are for capstones/wellness and clubs); there will be 40 minutes of athletic time.
- We will follow the same safety protocols for shared equipment as the Upper School — wearing masks at all times; sanitizing hands before and after; sanitizing the ball/equipment every 15 minutes.
- Students will fill out a survey tomorrow to select one of the following options for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:20-3 p.m.:
- Remain in advisory rooms for study hall and extra help.
- Participate in conditioning and agility drills on the lower field and track — combining the two options they have had this winter.
- Play “ultimate handball” on the turf field — this is a team sport that many of our students may remember from Lower School P.E. class; It is a fast-paced game that combines elements of basketball, hockey, football and soccer.
During our morning and afternoon break times, students may also share equipment (play catch, kick a ball, etc.) using the same safety protocols. Clubs will continue to meet on Fridays; students will have the opportunity to propose sport-specific clubs (e.g. tennis).
Course Selection for 2020-2021 (students in sixth and seventh grades)
Course selection will take place the week of April 19. I will be sharing complete details that week and will have Q&A sessions with students and with parents. You are welcome to review the Middle School Program Guide in advance.
Grades JK-12 Virtual Parent Education Series: Kaleidoscope Book Club, 9-10 a.m.
Monday, April 5
Grade 8 Alcohol and Drug Awareness Week
Monday-Friday April 5-9
Virtual Middle School Division Coffee: Grade 8 Alcohol and Drug Awareness
Tuesday, April 6, 9 a.m.
Google Meet Link
Eighth grade parents are invited to join drug and alcohol educator Brenda Conlan for a virtual presentation on the adolescent brain, vaping, and the importance of delaying drug and alcohol usage. This presentation will be recorded.