8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

We were happy to have an almost full week of school and the special opportunity to attend La Traviata at the Academy of Music Wednesday afternoon. Our students were well prepared for what they saw and heard; they were also a well-behaved and enthusiastic audience. It was clear that the performers were overwhelmed by the thunderous applause.

We were delighted to have admission representatives from Friends’ Central and Germantown Friends School meet with interested students and parents this week at lunch time. We learned a great deal about each school’s academic and extra curricular programs; our students asked incisive questions and seemed to enjoy thinking about next steps. Next week we’ll meet with St. Joseph’s Prep on Monday and Penn Charter on Thursday. These lunch gatherings take place in Emily’s area in the Middle School from 12:05 to 1:00 pm. Please add Baldwin School to the list for October 23; they are also offering a visiting day for TPS women on Monday, November 2. If interested, please contact the school directly.

This morning we had our first meeting of family groups and family circles. Seeing the care with which our students mentor their young charges is such a pleasure. Each Middle School student (grades 6 - 8) is matched with one or two Junior Unit students and one or two Primary Unit students, as well as a kindergartner; four or five of these family groups meet with two teachers in a family circle to enjoy activities and work on school-wide projects and events. This morning’s focus was meeting each other, getting to know names, and playing a few favorite games. In November the Middle Schoolers will lead activities based on our all-school mystery theme at the next Family Circle meeting.

We were delighted to see so many of you at High School Night! In your packet of information about high schools, attached to the the sheet with the names and contact information for high schools, is information about the application process for both public and private schools. The online application process for PUBLIC schools is now open on the School District website. Please make sure to have your schools chosen before accessing the application as you can only do this process once. Please remember to send us a copy of your application so we know to which schools to send the student data forms required on our end. Those applying to Central, Palumbo, Bodine, and Carver need to also submit an essay (one page written or typed) answering the questions who am I? What do I hope to accomplish in high school? and What can I contribute to my high school? Ashley and Emily will be happy to review these essays; we will ultimately submit them with the data transcript. Those applying to Science Leadership Academy must sign up for an interview by calling the school; a presentation of a project is required. Again we will work with those students to refine and practice their presentations. Those applying to Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) or the Girard Academic Music Program will have to audition in the late fall.

For those applying to PRIVATE schools, now is the time to sign up for either the SSAT or the ISEE. We recommend taking them in either October or November so there is time to retake the test in December, if necessary. The scores can be sent directly to the schools to which you apply OR you can just have them sent to you and released to schools later (at an additional charge). The links to online registration for the these standardized tests are as follows: www.ssat.org and erblearn.org/parents/admission/isee. For those students who need special accommodations, please note what documentation is required and which sites and dates are appropriate.

As you settle on private school applications, please send us the following pieces of the application: the transcript release form and recommendation forms with your signature but without specific teachers’ names written in. These forms should be given directly to Terri O’Connor, the school registrar.

We look forward to seeing you at Back-to-School Night on Tuesday, October 6. You will hear from your child’s classroom teachers about plans for the year, as well as the art, music, physical education, and Spanish programs. Online schedules for conferences on November 2 and 3 will be sent to you early next week.

In preparation for Back-to-School Night, please check in with your child to see what winter and/or spring sports he/she wants to play. You will be asked to fill out a form at Back-to-School Night. The choices are as follows: Winter – Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball; Spring –Track & Field, Tennis.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ashley, Ethan, and Wendy