8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents, 

We were so happy to learn about the arrival of Thomas Sebastian Hurd, Wendy’s baby, on Monday evening. Wendy and family are doing well, and we can’t wait to meet Thomas in person after winter break.

Registration deadlines for the Cuba trip are fast approaching (January 6). Expect an email early next week with all the necessary reminders and forms.

Private school materials will go out next week with the progress reports. We wish those taking the SSATs this weekend our best wishes and those who presented at Science Leadership Academy and CAPA this past week good results. We miss having a full complement of students here and are looking forward to uninterrupted academics in January!

Tuesday’s trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art focused on 19th- and 20th-century American art.  Discussions and activities centered on both Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer as exemplars of a new psychological and narrative style. It is impressive how well students are able to pull from their experiences in language arts, in cultural studies, and in art to appreciate the museum experience.

We thank Lynn Marks for being our December Monthly Constitutional presenter. Lynn, parent of alumnus Zach Marks, is the former executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC), the statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advocates for improvements to the state court system. Lynn helped us make sense of the differences between federal and state judges and what qualities of character one looks for in a judge.

In language arts classes students continued their first read-throughs of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with opportunities during class to show us their speaking and acting prowess. Students will complete a survey that will help Ashley and Emily cast both plays and organize production groups to meet during art and music times on Mondays and Thursdays (props and scenery, costumes and makeup, lighting technology and program, and music and dance). Students will be informed of their roles right before they leave for winter break.

Wednesday morning, December 14, is our Winter Concert at 9:00 a.m. If your child is performing that day, he or she will need to come to school with his or her instrument. Concert dress is red on the top and black on the bottom. Solids are preferred, and red dresses are fine for girls (no black dresses). TPS t-shirts are ideal.

We are hopeful that books have been selected and the book project begun; also folks should be thinking about the cultural studies research project, which will begin when we get back. The topic needs to be about some aspect of the Bill of Rights (issues, people, institutions). If your child needs to get or to renew his or her library card, the winter break is a great time to get that done. We will be going to the Central Library when we get back from the vacation to work with their resources, so students with cards will be able to take books out. The card also allows access to the variety of databases for research the library system affords. Students will also need a three-ringed binder in which to keep their research materials (dividers (at least eight), note cards, and plenty of pencils).

If we don’t see you before winter break, have a wonderful vacation!  

Emily, Ethan, Ashley, and Wendy