Seventh Grade Weekly Note

Good afternoon, families!

This week we resumed our trips to the Schuylkill Center, where we started various projects. The first, our Diplomacy project, divides the class into seven teams. Modeled on the eponymous classic strategy game, teams must negotiate, strategize, compromise, and coordinate in order to achieve their goals. The project will be ongoing over several week, so be sure to check back with your child about how their team is doing and what the state of the game is! Alongside Diplomacy, we also started a search for macroinvertebrates in a stream on the property in order to assess its overall health, as well as a math project that tasks the class with surveying and mapping Windance Pond.

This week we also started drafting our final Lord of the Flies literary analysis papers. This is an important project, as it is each student’s chance to demonstrate how they have grown as a writer and interpreter of literature over the course of the year. Going into the weekend, students have drafted a thesis paragraph and three supporting topic sentences. By the end of the weekend the goal is to have all three supporting paragraphs drafted. Monday and Tuesday of next week, we will be requesting your help to review your child’s paper so far in order to ensure that they’ve received lots of constructive feedback from multiple sources about their composition. Please try to ensure that you have some time either Monday or Tuesday night to read and annotate a copy of your child’s writing so far.

Coming up in cultural studies, we will be doing an activity that will involve examining the contents of some gossip and tabloid-type magazines. So, if you subscribe to any magazines such as People, Us, Ok!, Star, or others, and are willing to donate old issues to our class, we’d love to have these in by May 13. Thank you!

That same day, May 13, is the Middle School Spring Fling. Students received permission slips in the past week that must be signed by parents and returned by this coming Monday, May 9 if your child would like to attend.

Finally, an important announcement about our cellphone policy. We recognize the conveniences of communicating via cell phone. However, improper use of cell phones by Middle School students during and after the school day has been disruptive and disrespectful. Thank you in advance for supporting the school's work to make responsible use of technology part of our culture here.

~ During the School Day. Students may not use cell phones during the school day without both teacher permission and supervision. Phones must be turned off and kept in a backpack, preferably stowed away in a cubby. If a student uses a cell phone during the school day without permission and supervision, any staff person can and should confiscate the phone. The phone will be given to Matt Eskin or Justine Hoffman and will only be returned to a parent or guardian, who will have to come to school to pick it up. Should that student choose to continue to bring a cell phone to school, he/she will be required to leave it at the front desk each day until the end of the school year.

~ After School. Students may not use their phones in the building after school without both permission and supervision. We understand that some parents text their children regarding pick-up times and after school plans. If you plan to communicate with your child that way, please let your child's advisor and whoever supervises your child after school know this.f a student improperly uses a cell phone after school, the above consequences will hold.

Thank you for your time and attention. If you have any questions or concerns about it, please contact Matt Eskin.

Until next week,

Virginia, Steve, and David