8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents, 

Happy New Year from all of us! We’ve had opportunities this week to hear about all sorts of holiday adventures. For the most part, students have dug into their studies with new energy, which is wonderful to see. We enjoyed hearing about their vacation reading and look forward to lively SSR journals about new authors and genres chosen for the new year.

Rehearsals have begun in earnest for the Shakespeare Festival’s presentations of Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We are expecting students to be busy learning lines; we’ll send a sheet home soon asking you to sign off that you have heard your child reciting his or her lines by heart! We will be using language arts class time for rehearsals; students will continue to have weekly Latin homework, as well as personal journals and SSR reading and letter writing. In addition, we will have a weekend run-through on Sunday, February 12 (Midsummer from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and Caesar from noon to 3:00 p.m.). The performances for parents will be on Thursday, February 23, at 7:00 p.m. for Julius Caesar and Friday, February 24, at 7:00 p.m. for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If this date does not work with your schedule, we have daytime performances which you are welcome to attend: Wednesday, February 22, at 9:15 a.m. for Midsummer and 1:05 p.m. for Julius Caesar; Thursday, February 23, at 9:15 a.m. for Julius Caesar; Friday, February 24, at 9:15 a.m. for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

In cultural studies we have begun research reports rooted in our study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Tuesday’s field trip to the National Constitution Center launched our research project and allowed us to participate in a quiz game on the Bill of Rights and a workshop on First Amendment issues. We had productive trips to the Central Library on Thursday and Friday and gathered texts appropriate to our topics. Having valid library cards gives students access to myriad databases from home and school, as well as the ability to check out important books. 

Emily and Ashley would like to know what you hear from high schools. Schools will be rolling out their acceptances over the next two months, and this makes it hard for all our students as they wait to hear any news. We’ve asked everyone to be mindful of others’ feelings and to take care of each other. If your family has a clear first choice at this time, please let us know so we can advocate on your child’s behalf.

As we look forward to the spring, a note about field trips. On Tuesday, February 28, we will head to New York to the American Museum of Natural History to see an exhibit on Cuba. Many thanks to Susan Mac Low and her father, Mordecai Mac Low, for bringing this opportunity to our attention and arranging for us to meet with museum curators. We will be heading to Washington on Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14, for a visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Newseum, Congress, and a meeting with Jake Tapper, TPS alumnus and news journalist.

Have a restful weekend!

Emily, Ashley, Ethan, and Wendy