8th Grade Friday Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! We are particularly thankful for your help with the lasagna preparation and baking! Special thanks to Lavonia Waddington, who enlisted helpers and stayed with us all day.

Wendy has begun her maternity leave this week. We are still awaiting the arrival of this baby and will keep you posted.

Eighth-grade teachers are now focusing on material for the independent schools. Progress reports are being written; letters of recommendation are being finalized. A reminder that schools requiring a “graded” assignment need to be sent that document by you. We are happy to work with students to select that piece of writing, but it must come from you. Terri O’Connor will be sending out our parts of the application the week of December 12. We can’t thank you enough for getting those forms to us over the last month; it made our work so much more manageable.

We enjoyed a presentation by Melissa Jensen, TPS parent and best selling-author, as part of events related to the TPS Book Fair. She shared portions of her new young adult novel and answered questions from students about the art and craft of writing books.

The fall Intensives ended this week, and on Monday, December 5, we will publish electronically the catalog of offerings for the winter term. Please review it with your child and help fill out the choices form, also electronically. The form is due on Wednesday, December 7.

Quite soon we will be breaking for the holidays, and we want to advise you of ongoing project work. There is a book project (so everyone should have a good book to read over the holidays), and students should also be thinking about possible topics for 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 vacation to work with their resources, so students with cards will be able to take books out. In addition, right before the holiday, students will know what parts they will interpret for the Shakespeare plays. Those with a large number of lines may want to use the winter break to get a head start on learning their parts.

In the interest of providing each of our students with the most meaningful service experience possible, we are making some mid-year changes to the TPS Service requirements. If your child completed a fall service job, he/she does not need to complete another term of service. Students who did not complete a fall job must sign up for only one of the two remaining terms. Students who completed a fall job and want to sign up for another term may do so, but students who have not yet completed their service requirement will be given priority. We also encourage families who already participate in service outside of school -- for neighborhood parks, with faith organizations, etc. -- to use that service toward completion of the TPS service requirement. There are also a number of events coming up that could be used to fulfill the service requirement, such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Members of Mixed Choir and the Sandra Dean String Ensemble will perform at the Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 14 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.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ethan, Ashley, and Wendy