8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

It has been wonderful to see some of you at ERB/high school conferences this week, and we look forward to more of these conversations next week as well. 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 21, from 7:15 to 9:00 pm in the gym. We are expecting 20 schools (independent, parochial, and Science Leadership Academy); this is an opportunity to ask questions, collect materials, and see alumni as well.

We will also have admission personnel from a variety of schools come to have lunch with students and parents 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 area in the Middle School:

  • Thursday, October 1 Friends’ Central
  • Friday, October 2 Germantown Friends
  • Monday, October 5 St. Joe’s Prep
  • Thursday, October 8 Penn Charter
  • Wednesday, October 14 Friends Select
  • Thursday, October 15 Springside/Chestnut Hill Academy
  • Friday, October 16 Abington Friends
  • Thursday, October 22 Roman Catholic High School

The School District will hold its annual High School Expo on October 16 and 17 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.

For the students who are participating in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts docent program, we will have our first day on Tuesday, September 22. Please make sure the permission slips are signed and returned by Monday. We will leave school promptly at 3:10 in order to be at the museum by 4pm and those who are returning to TPS with Emily will be here around 5:30.

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 with a workshop period most afternoons. This is when we offer a variety of activities, some with the other middle school grades as well. Chorus (twice a week) and the string ensemble (once a week) meet during this time, and students have access to Learning Resources. Mathematics enrichment, SSR, and homework opportunities round out the offerings.

Twice a week, in our Decisions periods, we work on eighth-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 soon receive packets of information about community service. Please discuss the options with your child and return the forms needed as soon as possible.

We’re looking forward to a lunch with our Kindergarten family group members on Monday and a visit from Josh Wolson, our first Monthly Constitutional speaker, on Tuesday. He will be speaking about the mystery surrounding Pennsylvania’s missing copy of the Bill of Rights.

We won’t be sending a note next week due to the closing for the Pope’s visit. Students will have work to continue completing during this time.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Emily, Wendy, Ethan, and Ashley