8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

It has been wonderful to see you at ERB/high school conferences this week. We encourage you to take advantage of open houses at schools of interest in the next few months to help narrow the field of possible choices. A reminder that High School Night here at The Philadelphia School is this coming Monday, September 19, from 7:15 to 9:00 pm in the gym. We are expecting 20 schools (independent, parochial, and public); this is an opportunity to ask questions, collect materials, and see alumni as well.

Another opportunity available to students and parents to learn more about high schools will be Monday, October 17, at 7:15 at the Alumni Panel. We’ve invited alumni from a variety of schools to answer more questions about the transition from TPS, what excites them about their curricular choices, and what is unique about their various schools.

We will also have admission personnel from a variety of schools come to have lunch with students and parents from the end of September throughout the month of October. Come with your lunch and learn more about each school’s program and admission process! The time is 12:05 to 1:05, and the setting is Emily’s and Ashley’s room in the Middle School:

Thursday, Sept. 22 Germantown Friends Friday, Sept. 23 Science Leadership Academy
Wednesday, Sept. 28 Shipley Thursday, Sept. 30 Roman Catholic High School Monday, October 3 Abington Friends Wednesday, October 5 Friends’ Central
Thursday, October 13 St. Joe’s Prep Friday, October 14 Springside/Chestnut Hill Academy Monday, October 17 Baldwin
More schools and dates to come!

The School District will hold its annual High School Expo on October 14 and 15 at the Convention Center. This is a two-day event at which public high schools are available to talk about their programs and answer questions. The School District website has additional information, as well as the 2016 High School Directory (the 2017 version should be out soon).

The Shipley School is holding a gathering at Tredici Enoteca ( 13th and Sansom) on Tuesday, October 18 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Join members of their community including Head of School Steve Pitch, the admissions team, and current parents for a casual evening of great food, drink, and conversation. RSVP to Lisa Hoag at lhoag@shipleyschool.org.

We hope you’ve had a chance see the eighth grade weekly schedule to get a sense of your child’s time at school. Science and cultural studies occur twice a week for a double period, which gives us the time needed for more lab work and hands-on activities in both disciplines. Language arts and mathematics classes meet four times a week in 40-minute periods.

Art and music have double periods once a week; this will be especially helpful as we prepare for our Shakespeare Festival in the spring and have the time to create the scenery, props, and music for the plays. You’ll notice that we end the school day on Wednesday and Thursday with a workshop period. This is when we offer a variety of activities in addition to quiet time to work on homework. Chorus (twice a week) and the string ensemble (once a week) meet during this time, and students have access to Learning Resources. mathematics enrichment, and SSR.

Intensives meet twice a week for 10 weeks to explore a student's area of interest that might not be available during the normal course of the school day. We trust that you reviewed your child’s Google form and encouraged your child to suggest other courses that might inform our winter and spring offerings.

Twice a week, in our Decisions periods, we work on  8th grade community activities. We are in the process of creating a social contract that will serve as the guideline for how we want to be as a community and reach the academic and social goals we have articulated for ourselves. We will use this time in October and November to prepare for high school interviews. As we continue to talk about how our students are assuming leadership at TPS, we’ll use this time for community service and yearbook activities.

Students will sign up for community service this weekend online. Please discuss the options with your child; the Google form is due Monday, September 19.

Students who are running for Student Council executive positions should have handed in their commitment forms by the end Friday, September 16; drafts of speeches are due on Monday.

We’re looking forward to a visit from attorney Josh Wolson, our first Monthly Constitutional speaker, on Tuesday, September 20. He will be speaking about the mystery surrounding Pennsylvania’s missing copy of the Bill of Rights. Each month we invite a guest who can speak to an issue of equity and justice rooted in the Constitution, as well as flesh out our understanding of the history of this foundational document. These meetings occur on Tuesday mornings at 8:30, and parents are welcome to attend.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Emily, Wendy, Ethan, and Ashley