8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! We are looking forward to the next three weeks and all the events that happen before winter break.

Eighth grade teachers are now focusing on material for the independent schools. Progress reports are being written; letters of recommendation 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. Registrar Terri O’Connor will be sending out our parts of the application the week of December 14; we send them certified mail so we have a receipt that the schools have indeed received this material. We can’t thank you enough for getting those forms to us over the last month; it made our work so much more manageable.

Our visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Tuesday was a wonderful exploration of themes met in cultural studies; through the study of paintings, furniture, and other decorative arts we were able to see the influence of ancient Greece and Egypt on design in the post Revolutionary period and to understand how art helps tell the story of life at the time of the Constitution’s creation. You might like to read Amory P.'s blog entry about our museum visit. Over the next two Tuesdays we look forward to exploring modern and contemporary American art.

On Wednesday we were privileged to have a visit from Theresa Timlin, TPS parent and federal judge, at our Monthly Constitutional. She helped us understand how she, as a member of the Department of Labor, works to resolve issues of wage equity related to employers and employees. Many were surprised to learn that minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour, clearly not enough money to cover food, housing, clothing, and transportation! Or sports shoes!

We enjoyed enjoyed a visit from Jennifer Weiner, 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 (expected to be published in November 2016) and answered questions from students about the art and craft of writing books.

Quite soon we will be breaking for the holidays, and we want to advise you of project work ongoing. There is a book project (so everyone should have a good book to read over the holidays) and 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 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.

For Middle School students who are looking for a winter Community Service job, there is a fun, hands-on opportunity coming up that involves crafts, hikes, and s'mores. (This event will take place before the winter term officially begins, so this sign-up is happening now. All students must do two community service jobs over the course of the fall, winter, and spring seasons.) We are looking for students to help run stations at Winterfest at the Schuylkill Center on Saturday, December 12, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Parents are welcome to attend the event with their kids for free. If your child can help, please email Virginia by Monday, December 7, at [email protected].

Members of Mixed Choir and the Sandra Dean String Ensemble will perform at the Winter concert on Wednesday, December 16 at 9 AM. 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