8th Grade Friday Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

We were as surprised as you were by news from the Philadelphia School District on Friday! This is the earliest they have ever posted their acceptances, and we hope this is a trend for the future, coming at a time when we are hearing from private schools as well. We also hope that everyone noticed that a reply was required within five days to ensure a spot for next year.

We are looking forward to the boys basketball tournament at TPS on Saturday, as well as the MathCounts competition at Temple University! On Sunday, we want to begin our play rehearsals promptly; Shrew is scheduled at 9:00 am at the Garage (they will be done at noon) while Twelfth Night will gather at noon and finish at 3 pm. Please ask your child if he or she has promised to bring in a prop or costume item; we’d love to have everything in hand for Sunday’s rehearsal.

There are two Operation Red Panda events coming up this month. First, the Red Panda Ice Skating Party at Penn Rink,(brought to you by Ian, Lyla, Amory, Derek, and Cayden) will be on Thursday, February 11th from 3:30-5:00pm; admission with skates is $4 a person, and those who de-list should expect some VIP discounts. Then, the Red Panda Art Show (brought to you by Josh, Kane, Jillian, Dominique and Corrine, and dozens of generous local artists) will take place at the Garage on Tuesday, February 16th from 3:30-6:00pm. The whole project wraps up February 29th, and we hope to have made a real impact!

We had an opportunity to reconnect with family group members at Monday’s Family Circle lunch. It was wonderful to hear about what is going on in the various classrooms and how we all spent the long snowy weekend. The next meeting of Family Circles will be in the first week of March.

Tuesday’s Monthly Constitutional speaker was Paige Pratter, Assistant United States Attorney and TPS parent, who spoke to our students about the kinds of cases she sees at the federal level and answered questions relevant to a number of the research projects ongoing. We were also happy to have a visit from Superintendent William Hite, who stopped into our meeting and heard all about the Operation Red Panda project. We are hopeful that a public school partnership around civic engagement might be in our future.

Rehearsals for the Shakespeare Festival continue to delight! We thank Brooke Behmke for his theatrical expertise in helping with movement and working with individual students. Alas, there are still some players who need more practice with lines. PLEASE run lines with your child this weekend; learning cues is an important part of the process!

The cultural studies research project has reached the first draft stage. Students will be working on drafts next week; two (2) copies of the draft, detailed outline, and bibliography are due on Tuesday, February 16. We will then take a break during the Shakespeare Festival and resume work on the research project on February 29, moving the essay towards a final draft and working on the presentation to classmates. In math class, students collaborated in small groups to develop stories of which an aspect could be modeled with a quadratic equation. It was interesting to see students connect their math knowledge to a dramatic event of their own creation, demonstrating the connection between their stories and their algebraic calculations with illustrated graphs."

Please continue to let Ashley and Emily know about news from high schools and about any decisions you make. If you are certain about your choice, please let the other schools know of that decision as soon as possible so that they can release that space to another student. It continues to be important that we be sensitive to those students who have not heard from schools. We have instructed students to refrain from asking individuals about school news and choices and that those who choose to share their news to do so in a low-key manner. We have also made it clear that no disparaging remarks be made about schools that students have turned down. We would hope you will join us in talking to your children about how emotional this time of year can be.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ashley, Ethan, and Wendy