HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
May 15, 2009

HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

May 15, 2009

Dear HFS Families,

Our school experienced a true watershed moment this week – students taking full care of and responsibility for the school community they wish to have.

On Wednesday, students demonstrated the depth of insight and resolve they have when difficult community issues must be tackled and community consciousness raised. The concern at-hand emerged from our student-led Solutions Committee and was addressed in our weekly Meeting for Worship today. The issue has evolved over the course of the year from playful hallway banter, blind-sided hugs, and good-natured tickling among a few students to a reluctant toleration of annoying pokes and mishandling of personal belongings (items removed from cubbies and hidden as part of an informal scavenger hunt).

On the surface, the interactions appeared harmless and silly, evidence of lively and fun-loving middle school students. However, over time, several students felt the hallway and stairwell based infractions had gone over the top and the antagonists were not responding to requests to stop. Faculty, including me, had been made aware of concerns and were keeping a closer eye on unstructured moments in the day and were simultaneously working to support students who needed to voice opposition to unwanted hugs or playful, yet incredibly annoying pokes.

When the Solutions Committee brought the issue up in its committee meeting Tuesday, the committee decided it was time to act, not as individuals, but as a group and in unity to raise consciousness within the community about how unwelcome these nuisances and how annoying the whole hallway atmosphere had become. They requested a special Meeting for Worship be held Wednesday that would allow enough time for community consideration of their committee’s “Minute of Concern” and four subsequent queries upon which the school should reflect and respond as moved. Their minute read (as paraphrased by me), “We are concerned by a growing disregard for people’s personal belongings and space among the student-body of HFS. We want our school to be a community based on trust and respect and we feel that people are not honoring that.” The committee went on to list examples of activities that concerned it. The four queries the community discussed Wednesday were…

1. What is the current status of our school community? How are we treating one another?

2. What school atmosphere do we want to have?

3. What should we do to create the atmosphere we want?

4. What should we do when people do not care for and respect other people or their belongings?

Thoughtful responses to the queries varied from concerned, “Our school is based on trust and caring and we’ve not been doing such a good job of that recently,” to unconcerned. “If we can’t give people hugs anymore, we’ll be just like any other school,” or “If being poked or hugged bothers someone, they need to say so.” One child expressed concern that if the trust of each other and the teachers is lost, HFS would become like his old school in which student walked single-file and silently down the hall under the supervision of teachers stationed along the way. The more that was shared from personal experience as both recipients of unwelcome invasion of personal space and as huggers and pokers brought the fact to light that if it is the concern of one, in many ways it is a concern of all and that greater awareness of these concerns will begin to diminish or eliminate the behaviors in question.

What if it continues? The community has put itself on notice that it will no longer tolerate such behavior and that it is responsible for attending to the sense of safety, trust, respect, and responsibility that we work to develop among us. This is especially critical as we prepare to spend three days together on a camping trip during which we must be safe, respectful, responsible, and trustworthy.

While the issue did not diminish anyone’s appreciation for or enthusiasm for his or her school, it has served to remind us that one of the great privileges of this school is that each of us does have the responsibility and respect of our peers to be heard and to make a difference. I am immensely proud of the student community for its approach to this issue and its willingness and desire to seek a corporate solution. It models Quaker process and philosophy well. I am also grateful for the sense of partnership and shared responsibility we all now hold for the care of our school community.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

The sixth graders seem especially busy this week.  They have become immersed and involved with their roles in their Negotiations Activity with Mr. Huxtable.  I am delighted with their willingness to role play and really get into their characters.  When possible, we continue to work with Greek mythology, writing an original Greek myth, and investigating the world of interjections.  Have a great weekend!

Sixth grade negotiations are going along beautifully! There is a proper understanding of roles and a desire to achieve a workable peace, but without sacrificing each character’s core interests or values. Please come in to observe the negotiators at work during one of our negotiation sessions. We will negotiate on Monday from 12:30 to 1:45 PM and on Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00 AM.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: This week in sixth grade math we continued to work with decimals.  We worked on a reliable algorithm for dividing decimals, the difference between terminating and repeating decimals, and how percents and decimals are related.  We looked at how to calculate both sales tax and tip, and how this is a relatively straightforward multiplication of decimals.  Next week we will continue to work with decimals, and will be near completion of our work with decimals.

Science: This week in sixth grade science we began our short investigation of electromagnetism.  We are creating an electric motor in class while we begin to wrestle with solenoids and electromagnets.  Also, we prepared for our field trip to Broom’s Bloom by watching a History Channel production about milk production as requested by Broom’s Bloom.  While at the dairy farm, we investigated soil erosion, both causes and possible remedies.  Next week we will complete our electric motor, and complete our brief look at electromagnetism.

NOTES from Technology…

Computer Technology: The students continue to work on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0.

Physical Education: We have been working on our soccer skills. The students are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting.

Spanish: We had a great time this week in class exploring Chile and Mexico.  We also began our review of the year, starting with proper greetings and this will continue next week. We are also going to learn about Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Paraguay next week.

From the Business Office…

Just a few reminders…

  • Before/After care invoices will be emailed today.  Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.
  • Student statements will be mailed out this week for all outstanding charges that are past due.  The deadline for all current school year charges to be paid in full is May 29, 2009.  Thank you.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Stop in the Business Office and view our selection of sweatshirts, athletic t-shirts and tie-dye shirts (only a few tie-dye shirts left!).

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Monday, May 18: Information session on the Harford County Public Library Summer Reading Program, “Express Yourself at the Library.” (11:10AM-12:00PM)
  2. Monday, May 18: If you are available and would like to assist in the completion of Phase I of the HFS/Highland Senior Center Garden Project, please know that Project Leader and Piedmont Landscape owner Brooke Derr needs some assistance (3:00 to 4:00 PM)
  3. Tuesday, May 19: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  4. Tuesday, May 19: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM)
  5. Thursday, May 21: Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars at HFS (5:30-7:30PM): Please be a star and join us as a volunteer for Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars. We need friends to help us greet and guide guests to the appropriate age-level story-time rooms, staff the refreshments table, lead activities for older children in the gym, and staff the parking lot in case Parks and Rec events command many of the spaces (extra parking will be available across the street at the Highland Presbyterian Church). Please let event coordinator, Christine Huxtable (chuxtable@comcast.net) know if you are able to lend a hand. We’d love to see you there!
  6. Friday, May 22: 8th Grade with Blue Dog Art at HFS (12:30-3:00PM)
  7. Friday, May 22: Blueberry Festival Student Preparations with Leslie Connery. Please contact Leslie Connery at blueberry@harfordfriends.org to see what donations might be needed for this work sessions to (1:30-3:00)
  8. Friday, May 22: Backpack pick-up for those who reserved GVOLC-loaner packs (3:00 PM)
  9. Friday, May 22: End of Year Cookout at Eden Mill Nature Center. Please RSVP to Nina Cerasoli at nina_doug@verizon.net or (410) 692-0772

(http://www.geocities.com/edenmillcalendar/EDENMill_New_W/Main_Indexx.html)

  1. Monday, May 25: School Closed – Memorial Day
  2. Tuesday, May 26: LAST DAY TO SUBMIT ALL PRESCRIPTION AND OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINES for use during the camping trip. ALL MEDICATION MUST BE IN ITS ORIGINAL CONTAINER – CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE CHILD’S NAME, TYPE OF MEDICATION AND DOSAGE INSTRUCTIONS. If possible, please include the attached Physician’s Medication Order Form, completed by your child’s physician, for each medication to be administered. Only medication that is taken on a daily basis, or those that are taken on an as-needed basis (i.e. inhalers/epi pens/Benadryl for allergic reactions) will be allowed on trips. No over-the counter medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, or pain relievers will be given on a field trip unless accompanied by a Physician’s Medication Order Form clearly outlining guidelines for use.
  3. Tuesday, May 26: ALL STUDENTS MUST COME TO SCHOOL WITH BAGS PACKED AND READY FOR THE CAMPING TRIP Wednesday through Friday. Packs will be inspected and retained overnight. This provides students with the opportunity to makes sure nothing is forgotten before leaving on the trip (due 8:00 AM)
  4. Tuesday, May 26: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  5. Wednesday, May 27: ALL students depart for 3-day Outdoor Adventure (8:30AM)
  6. Friday, May 29: Students return from 3-day Outdoor Adventure (5:30PM)
  7. Tuesday, June 2: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  8. Wednesday, June 3: Blueberry Festival Coordinators Meeting (6:30PM)
  9. Thursday, June 4: Parent Coffee with the Head (8:00-9:00AM) Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  10. Thursday, June 4: Commencement Rehearsal at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (3:30-5:00PM). Parent volunteers are needed to transport 7th & 8th grade students to DCFM at 3:00PM and return them to HFS at 5:30PM. Pickup may occur at DCFM at 5:00PM or at HFS at 5:30PM. Regular 3:00 dismissal will occur for all 6th grade students.
  11. Friday, June 5: Last day of School (Schedule to be announced)
  12. Friday, June 5: Monthly Movies in Broad Creek Classroom (3:00-5:00PM). Parent volunteer Leslie Kline will provide a movie and popcorn for students wishing to participate. Movie titles and ratings will be emailed the Tuesday prior to viewing.
  13. Saturday, June 6: Alumni/Graduate Breakfast (8:00-9:00AM at DCFM); Class of 2013 Commencement (10:00AM-12:00PM at DCFM)
  14. Friday, June 12: Year-End Reports mailed to students.
  15. Friday, June 19: Student Summer Work Mailing
  16. Friday, August 28: 2009-2010 Admissions Referral Enrollment deadline

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

May 15, 2009

Dear HFS Families,

Our school experienced a true watershed moment this week – students taking full care of and responsibility for the school community they wish to have.

On Wednesday, students demonstrated the depth of insight and resolve they have when difficult community issues must be tackled and community consciousness raised. The concern at-hand emerged from our student-led Solutions Committee and was addressed in our weekly Meeting for Worship today. The issue has evolved over the course of the year from playful hallway banter, blind-sided hugs, and good-natured tickling among a few students to a reluctant toleration of annoying pokes and mishandling of personal belongings (items removed from cubbies and hidden as part of an informal scavenger hunt).

On the surface, the interactions appeared harmless and silly, evidence of lively and fun-loving middle school students. However, over time, several students felt the hallway and stairwell based infractions had gone over the top and the antagonists were not responding to requests to stop. Faculty, including me, had been made aware of concerns and were keeping a closer eye on unstructured moments in the day and were simultaneously working to support students who needed to voice opposition to unwanted hugs or playful, yet incredibly annoying pokes.

When the Solutions Committee brought the issue up in its committee meeting Tuesday, the committee decided it was time to act, not as individuals, but as a group and in unity to raise consciousness within the community about how unwelcome these nuisances and how annoying the whole hallway atmosphere had become. They requested a special Meeting for Worship be held Wednesday that would allow enough time for community consideration of their committee’s “Minute of Concern” and four subsequent queries upon which the school should reflect and respond as moved. Their minute read (as paraphrased by me), “We are concerned by a growing disregard for people’s personal belongings and space among the student-body of HFS. We want our school to be a community based on trust and respect and we feel that people are not honoring that.” The committee went on to list examples of activities that concerned it. The four queries the community discussed Wednesday were…

1. What is the current status of our school community? How are we treating one another?

2. What school atmosphere do we want to have?

3. What should we do to create the atmosphere we want?

4. What should we do when people do not care for and respect other people or their belongings?

Thoughtful responses to the queries varied from concerned, “Our school is based on trust and caring and we’ve not been doing such a good job of that recently,” to unconcerned. “If we can’t give people hugs anymore, we’ll be just like any other school,” or “If being poked or hugged bothers someone, they need to say so.” One child expressed concern that if the trust of each other and the teachers is lost, HFS would become like his old school in which student walked single-file and silently down the hall under the supervision of teachers stationed along the way. The more that was shared from personal experience as both recipients of unwelcome invasion of personal space and as huggers and pokers brought the fact to light that if it is the concern of one, in many ways it is a concern of all and that greater awareness of these concerns will begin to diminish or eliminate the behaviors in question.

What if it continues? The community has put itself on notice that it will no longer tolerate such behavior and that it is responsible for attending to the sense of safety, trust, respect, and responsibility that we work to develop among us. This is especially critical as we prepare to spend three days together on a camping trip during which we must be safe, respectful, responsible, and trustworthy.

While the issue did not diminish anyone’s appreciation for or enthusiasm for his or her school, it has served to remind us that one of the great privileges of this school is that each of us does have the responsibility and respect of our peers to be heard and to make a difference. I am immensely proud of the student community for its approach to this issue and its willingness and desire to seek a corporate solution. It models Quaker process and philosophy well. I am also grateful for the sense of partnership and shared responsibility we all now hold for the care of our school community.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

The seventh graders are finishing their study of India. We will wrap up India on May 18th.  In English, we are working on writing our myths. The students have prepared the eight steps of the hero’s journey using the myth storyboard chart and the students are excitedly writing their rough drafts. In vocabulary, we are discussing root words and vocabulary with the theme being “All or Nothing”.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Seventh grade math is moving briskly through our unit on three dimensional geometry.  We have already defined volume and surface area of a rectangular prism.  We have determined a general trend in how to minimize and maximize surface area, given a fixed volume.  We have already become familiar with the idea of nets, a two dimensional representation of the surface of a three dimensional office.  I have been impressed by the speed with which the class has grasped geometry.

Science: Science in the seventh grade continues to tackle the multitude of interwoven concepts from the biotic to the abiotic factors that affect the ocean.  We have already taken a mapped the many regions of the ocean, looked at the many characteristics of water, and have begun to look at how weather and ocean are inextricably linked.  On a light note, this week we first created an imaginary animal that fit into an existing ecosystem and food web, hot vents at the bottom of the ocean, and then watched a video from the BBC, and realized how remarkable the real creatures of the deep truly are.  Next week, we will continue to look at both the biotic and abiotic factors affecting the ocean including the Coriolis Effect.

NOTES from Technology…

Computer Technology: The students continue to work on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0.

Physical Education: We have been working on our soccer skills. The students are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting.

Spanish A: We had our final quiz of the year.  Everyone did really well.  We also started to review the year.  We had conversations and role plays. Final Test on the 26th.

Spanish B: We had a change of plans.  The last 2 concepts (present progressive and imperative) will be addressed after the final.  We do not have enough time to master this two concepts and therefore will not be in the final exam but I wanted to give the information and do some in class practice of them to benefit the 8th graders that will this for next year.  7th graders will start the year with these 2 concepts next year as well.

Final is on the 26th.  We started to practice for it and will have a review next week as well.

Note on the 7th grade class …

As we did role plays yesterday, I realized how far the students have come. For the last role pay my instruction was to get in groups of 4 and to develop a conversation about whatever they wanted and that it had to contain a few questions and a few responses.  They used items from unit 1 to the present unit and they were able to conjugate verbs and change tenses on their own.  I am very proud of each one of them!

From the Business Office…

Just a few reminders…

  • Before/After care invoices will be emailed today.  Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.
  • Student statements will be mailed out this week for all outstanding charges that are past due.  The deadline for all current school year charges to be paid in full is May 29, 2009.  Thank you.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Stop in the Business Office and view our selection of sweatshirts, athletic t-shirts and tie-dye shirts (only a few tie-dye shirts left!).

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Monday, May 18: Information session on the Harford County Public Library Summer Reading Program, “Express Yourself at the Library.” (11:10AM-12:00PM)
  2. Monday, May 18: If you are available and would like to assist in the completion of Phase I of the HFS/Highland Senior Center Garden Project, please know that Project Leader and Piedmont Landscape owner Brooke Derr needs some assistance (3:00 to 4:00 PM)
  3. Tuesday, May 19: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  4. Tuesday, May 19: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM)
  5. Thursday, May 21: Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars at HFS (5:30-7:30PM): Please be a star and join us as a volunteer for Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars. We need friends to help us greet and guide guests to the appropriate age-level story-time rooms, staff the refreshments table, lead activities for older children in the gym, and staff the parking lot in case Parks and Rec events command many of the spaces (extra parking will be available across the street at the Highland Presbyterian Church). Please let event coordinator, Christine Huxtable (chuxtable@comcast.net) know if you are able to lend a hand. We’d love to see you there!
  6. Friday, May 22: 8th Grade with Blue Dog Art at HFS (12:30-3:00PM)
  7. Friday, May 22: Blueberry Festival Student Preparations with Leslie Connery. Please contact Leslie Connery at blueberry@harfordfriends.org to see what donations might be needed for this work sessions to (1:30-3:00)
  8. Friday, May 22: Backpack pick-up for those who reserved GVOLC-loaner packs (3:00 PM)
  9. Friday, May 22: End of Year Cookout at Eden Mill Nature Center. Please RSVP to Nina Cerasoli at nina_doug@verizon.net or (410) 692-0772

(http://www.geocities.com/edenmillcalendar/EDENMill_New_W/Main_Indexx.html)

  1. Monday, May 25: School Closed – Memorial Day
  2. Tuesday, May 26: LAST DAY TO SUBMIT ALL PRESCRIPTION AND OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINES for use during the camping trip. ALL MEDICATION MUST BE IN ITS ORIGINAL CONTAINER – CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE CHILD’S NAME, TYPE OF MEDICATION AND DOSAGE INSTRUCTIONS. If possible, please include the attached Physician’s Medication Order Form, completed by your child’s physician, for each medication to be administered. Only medication that is taken on a daily basis, or those that are taken on an as-needed basis (i.e. inhalers/epi pens/Benadryl for allergic reactions) will be allowed on trips. No over-the counter medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, or pain relievers will be given on a field trip unless accompanied by a Physician’s Medication Order Form clearly outlining guidelines for use.
  3. Tuesday, May 26: ALL STUDENTS MUST COME TO SCHOOL WITH BAGS PACKED AND READY FOR THE CAMPING TRIP Wednesday through Friday. Packs will be inspected and retained overnight. This provides students with the opportunity to makes sure nothing is forgotten before leaving on the trip (due 8:00 AM)
  4. Tuesday, May 26: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  5. Wednesday, May 27: ALL students depart for 3-day Outdoor Adventure (8:30AM)
  6. Friday, May 29: Students return from 3-day Outdoor Adventure (5:30PM)
  7. Tuesday, June 2: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  8. Wednesday, June 3: Blueberry Festival Coordinators Meeting (6:30PM)
  9. Thursday, June 4: Parent Coffee with the Head (8:00-9:00AM) Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  10. Thursday, June 4: Commencement Rehearsal at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (3:30-5:00PM). Parent volunteers are needed to transport 7th & 8th grade students to DCFM at 3:00PM and return them to HFS at 5:30PM. Pickup may occur at DCFM at 5:00PM or at HFS at 5:30PM. Regular 3:00 dismissal will occur for all 6th grade students.
  11. Friday, June 5: Last day of School (Schedule to be announced)
  12. Friday, June 5: Monthly Movies in Broad Creek Classroom (3:00-5:00PM). Parent volunteer Leslie Kline will provide a movie and popcorn for students wishing to participate. Movie titles and ratings will be emailed the Tuesday prior to viewing.
  13. Saturday, June 6: Alumni/Graduate Breakfast (8:00-9:00AM at DCFM); Class of 2013 Commencement (10:00AM-12:00PM at DCFM)
  14. Friday, June 12: Year-End Reports mailed to students.
  15. Friday, June 19: Student Summer Work Mailing
  16. Friday, August 28: 2009-2010 Admissions Referral Enrollment deadline

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

May 15, 2009

Dear HFS Families,

Our school experienced a true watershed moment this week – students taking full care of and responsibility for the school community they wish to have.

On Wednesday, students demonstrated the depth of insight and resolve they have when difficult community issues must be tackled and community consciousness raised. The concern at-hand emerged from our student-led Solutions Committee and was addressed in our weekly Meeting for Worship today. The issue has evolved over the course of the year from playful hallway banter, blind-sided hugs, and good-natured tickling among a few students to a reluctant toleration of annoying pokes and mishandling of personal belongings (items removed from cubbies and hidden as part of an informal scavenger hunt).

On the surface, the interactions appeared harmless and silly, evidence of lively and fun-loving middle school students. However, over time, several students felt the hallway and stairwell based infractions had gone over the top and the antagonists were not responding to requests to stop. Faculty, including me, had been made aware of concerns and were keeping a closer eye on unstructured moments in the day and were simultaneously working to support students who needed to voice opposition to unwanted hugs or playful, yet incredibly annoying pokes.

When the Solutions Committee brought the issue up in its committee meeting Tuesday, the committee decided it was time to act, not as individuals, but as a group and in unity to raise consciousness within the community about how unwelcome these nuisances and how annoying the whole hallway atmosphere had become. They requested a special Meeting for Worship be held Wednesday that would allow enough time for community consideration of their committee’s “Minute of Concern” and four subsequent queries upon which the school should reflect and respond as moved. Their minute read (as paraphrased by me), “We are concerned by a growing disregard for people’s personal belongings and space among the student-body of HFS. We want our school to be a community based on trust and respect and we feel that people are not honoring that.” The committee went on to list examples of activities that concerned it. The four queries the community discussed Wednesday were…

1. What is the current status of our school community? How are we treating one another?

2. What school atmosphere do we want to have?

3. What should we do to create the atmosphere we want?

4. What should we do when people do not care for and respect other people or their belongings?

Thoughtful responses to the queries varied from concerned, “Our school is based on trust and caring and we’ve not been doing such a good job of that recently,” to unconcerned. “If we can’t give people hugs anymore, we’ll be just like any other school,” or “If being poked or hugged bothers someone, they need to say so.” One child expressed concern that if the trust of each other and the teachers is lost, HFS would become like his old school in which student walked single-file and silently down the hall under the supervision of teachers stationed along the way. The more that was shared from personal experience as both recipients of unwelcome invasion of personal space and as huggers and pokers brought the fact to light that if it is the concern of one, in many ways it is a concern of all and that greater awareness of these concerns will begin to diminish or eliminate the behaviors in question.

What if it continues? The community has put itself on notice that it will no longer tolerate such behavior and that it is responsible for attending to the sense of safety, trust, respect, and responsibility that we work to develop among us. This is especially critical as we prepare to spend three days together on a camping trip during which we must be safe, respectful, responsible, and trustworthy.

While the issue did not diminish anyone’s appreciation for or enthusiasm for his or her school, it has served to remind us that one of the great privileges of this school is that each of us does have the responsibility and respect of our peers to be heard and to make a difference. I am immensely proud of the student community for its approach to this issue and its willingness and desire to seek a corporate solution. It models Quaker process and philosophy well. I am also grateful for the sense of partnership and shared responsibility we all now hold for the care of our school community.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

The eighth graders seem very busy every minute.  The heat is on with the writing of their research reports.  Their first drafts are due very soon, so they should be very busy in the next few days!  We also are enjoying some of the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the imitation of Poe’s style, and the world of adjective phrases.  Have a great weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Last week’s unit test has gone into overtime because, after perusing the work that students did, I felt as if they needed to place more time and effort  placed on this test.  Upon evaluating my initial comments, each student has been asked to resubmit their test with corrections on Monday morning. No other homework has been assigned for this weekend, so I am expecting that a concerted effort will be placed on this revision. I hope that our eighth graders are not settling into “senioritis”, but we will forge on until the final gong on June 5.

In the meantime, we have begun our final unit “Samples and Populations”, which is an introduction to applying sampling techniques and using statistics to draw inferences about certain attributes of populations.  We are currently reviewing the measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode), range, and shapes of data distributions (histograms) to be used as a tool for studying inferential statistics.

The eighth graders will be taking an algebra assessment next Friday to demonstrate the algebra skills that they have learned.  The results of this test will also serve as concrete data which the students may carry with them to their new schools next year.

Science: With a chapter on carbon chemistry (biochemistry in disguise), students continued to improve in both their study habits and demonstrations of knowledge.  However, homework also continued to reveal small confusions in some areas, providing opportunity for “meeting for learning” centered around challenging examples such as balancing the reaction for the incomplete combustion of methane:

CH4 + O2 –>  CO + H2O

Complete and incomplete combustion provide natural entrée for side discussions about CO2 and global warming, CO and the hazards of its interaction with hemoglobin, and soot.  Digression too can impart education, or so the teacher’s epistemological theory asserts.

Students’ focus and endurance with sit-read-discuss chemistry were rewarded with cheesemaking activity.  While last year it was chevre, this year it was feta we made from fresh (pasteurized) goat milk.  While mesophilic bacteria grew, rennet did its work, curds set in their dance of protein polymerization, and groans arose from the query “who wants to cut the cheese,” students were tasked with an artistic and imaginative project of synthesizing the relationship between cheesemaking and their other learnings.  Ask about “the Cheese Connection.”

We begin to wrap things up with a short reading on soap and detergents, then some exercises (likely to include essay) in synthesizing our science knowledge and skills.  Solar car races may emerge, if the sun ever appears.

NOTES from Technology…

Physical Education: We have been working on our soccer skills. The students are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting.

Spanish A: We had our final quiz of the year.  Everyone did really well.  We also started to review the year.  We had conversations and role plays. Final Test on the 26th.

Spanish B: We had a change of plans.  The last 2 concepts (present progressive and imperative) will be addressed after the final.  We do not have enough time to master this two concepts and therefore will not be in the final exam but I wanted to give the information and do some in class practice of them to benefit the 8th graders that will this for next year.  7th graders will start the year with these 2 concepts next year as well.

Final is on the 26th.  We started to practice for it and will have a review next week as well.

From the Business Office…

Just a few reminders…

  • Before/After care invoices will be emailed today.  Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.
  • Student statements will be mailed out this week for all outstanding charges that are past due.  The deadline for all current school year charges to be paid in full is May 29, 2009.  Thank you.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Stop in the Business Office and view our selection of sweatshirts, athletic t-shirts and tie-dye shirts (only a few tie-dye shirts left!).

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Monday, May 18: Information session on the Harford County Public Library Summer Reading Program, “Express Yourself at the Library.” (11:10AM-12:00PM)
  2. Monday, May 18: If you are available and would like to assist in the completion of Phase I of the HFS/Highland Senior Center Garden Project, please know that Project Leader and Piedmont Landscape owner Brooke Derr needs some assistance (3:00 to 4:00 PM)
  3. Tuesday, May 19: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  4. Tuesday, May 19: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM)
  5. Thursday, May 21: Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars at HFS (5:30-7:30PM): Please be a star and join us as a volunteer for Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars. We need friends to help us greet and guide guests to the appropriate age-level story-time rooms, staff the refreshments table, lead activities for older children in the gym, and staff the parking lot in case Parks and Rec events command many of the spaces (extra parking will be available across the street at the Highland Presbyterian Church). Please let event coordinator, Christine Huxtable (chuxtable@comcast.net) know if you are able to lend a hand. We’d love to see you there!
  6. Friday, May 22: 8th Grade with Blue Dog Art at HFS (12:30-3:00PM)
  7. Friday, May 22: Blueberry Festival Student Preparations with Leslie Connery. Please contact Leslie Connery at blueberry@harfordfriends.org to see what donations might be needed for this work sessions to (1:30-3:00)
  8. Friday, May 22: Backpack pick-up for those who reserved GVOLC-loaner packs (3:00 PM)
  9. Friday, May 22: End of Year Cookout at Eden Mill Nature Center. Please RSVP to Nina Cerasoli at nina_doug@verizon.net or (410) 692-0772

(http://www.geocities.com/edenmillcalendar/EDENMill_New_W/Main_Indexx.html)

  1. Monday, May 25: School Closed – Memorial Day
  2. Tuesday, May 26: LAST DAY TO SUBMIT ALL PRESCRIPTION AND OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINES for use during the camping trip. ALL MEDICATION MUST BE IN ITS ORIGINAL CONTAINER – CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE CHILD’S NAME, TYPE OF MEDICATION AND DOSAGE INSTRUCTIONS. If possible, please include the attached Physician’s Medication Order Form, completed by your child’s physician, for each medication to be administered. Only medication that is taken on a daily basis, or those that are taken on an as-needed basis (i.e. inhalers/epi pens/Benadryl for allergic reactions) will be allowed on trips. No over-the counter medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, or pain relievers will be given on a field trip unless accompanied by a Physician’s Medication Order Form clearly outlining guidelines for use.
  3. Tuesday, May 26: ALL STUDENTS MUST COME TO SCHOOL WITH BAGS PACKED AND READY FOR THE CAMPING TRIP Wednesday through Friday. Packs will be inspected and retained overnight. This provides students with the opportunity to makes sure nothing is forgotten before leaving on the trip (due 8:00 AM)
  4. Tuesday, May 26: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  5. Wednesday, May 27: ALL students depart for 3-day Outdoor Adventure (8:30AM)
  6. Friday, May 29: Students return from 3-day Outdoor Adventure (5:30PM)
  7. Tuesday, June 2: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill Classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  8. Wednesday, June 3: Blueberry Festival Coordinators Meeting (6:30PM)
  9. Thursday, June 4: Parent Coffee with the Head (8:00-9:00AM) Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  10. Thursday, June 4: Commencement Rehearsal at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (3:30-5:00PM). Parent volunteers are needed to transport 7th & 8th grade students to DCFM at 3:00PM and return them to HFS at 5:30PM. Pickup may occur at DCFM at 5:00PM or at HFS at 5:30PM. Regular 3:00 dismissal will occur for all 6th grade students.
  11. Friday, June 5: Last day of School (Schedule to be announced)
  12. Friday, June 5: Monthly Movies in Broad Creek Classroom (3:00-5:00PM). Parent volunteer Leslie Kline will provide a movie and popcorn for students wishing to participate. Movie titles and ratings will be emailed the Tuesday prior to viewing.
  13. Saturday, June 6: Alumni/Graduate Breakfast (8:00-9:00AM at DCFM); Class of 2013 Commencement (10:00AM-12:00PM at DCFM)
  14. Friday, June 12: Year-End Reports mailed to students.
  15. Friday, June 19: Student Summer Work Mailing
  16. Friday, August 28: 2009-2010 Admissions Referral Enrollment deadline