HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
February 3, 2012

Dear Members of the Harford Friends School Community,

Over the course of the past six weeks the Board of Trustees for Harford Friends School has had the challenging, yet entirely rewarding experience of contemplating school leadership change. Early on, Trustees made the decision to seek and appoint an Interim Head of School for the 2012-2013 school year which would allow the Board to conduct a full, national search for Jonathan’s replacement. That process will be challenging, but quite stimulating as well. It provides our entire community the opportunity to reflect on and consider what we want Harford Friends School to be, to espouse, and to become. The process relies on the involvement of all school constituencies – board, faculty, parents, students, alum, and parents of alum. The Board and I will be contacting these constituencies in upcoming months to ask many of questions that we recently asked our faculty when considering the appointment of an Interim Head.

1. In your role and from your perspective, what does Harford Friends School need in an interim Head of School?

2. What changes do you feel need to be made under the direction of an interim Head of School?

3. What qualities will you expect/seek in an interim Head of School?

4. What do you think would be the single-most important thing for an interim Head of School to know about the challenges of the school?

5. What do you think would be the single-most important thing for an interim Head to maintain/continue at Harford Friends School?

Faculty responses to these questions consistently revealed an HFS truism and a few critical needs. First and foremost, the survey revealed teacher understanding that “Harford Friends School is not a job, but a lifestyle.” That our approach to teaching, learning, and living are inextricably intertwined and united under the beliefs that there is “that of God” in each of us and that we must discipline ourselves to remaining open to new understanding. The following were also consistently identified as essential: 1.) The Quaker influence on the school’s program, policies, and operation must continue and ooze out of every pore of the school. 2.) Continuity of program must be maintained in the form of program and the teachers who implement it. 3.) Strength. An Interim Head must be strong, have experience in dealing with and living in the sometimes challenging world of independent schools, someone who knows how to nurture, comfort, cajole, challenge, as well as draw lines and uphold standards.

I am delighted and grateful to announce that the process of seeking and appointing an Interim Head of School has come to a successful and exciting conclusion. Clare Pitz, former Principal of Notre Dame Prep and Towson Catholic as well as a parent of an alum and spouse of a long-time HFS teacher, has accepted our offer to serve the school as its Interim Head. Clare will continue the proud tradition of excellence in Friends education that we have begun and will shepherd our community through the 2012-2013 school year as we seek to identify the next Head of School. Clare will be working with Jonathan through the spring to assure a smooth transition and to begin shaping the 2012-2013 school year. As Chair of the Board, I look forward to working with Clare and know that our entire Board is overjoyed with Clare’s acceptance of our offer. We are all now setting our sights on the new year with renewed energy and optimism for our school. Thank you all for your support, patience, and trust as we worked through this initial step in successful leadership transition.


Lois Kissinger Kelly

Board of Trustees, Chair


[Please Note: HFS welcomes general announcements from community members to be included in this section of the Weekly Collections, particularly if the announcements involve the extra-curricular activities of our students, families, faculty, and staff. Please be aware that not all requests can be accommodated each week and that the school reserves the right to publish information at its discretion.]

On-line School Reviews – PLEASE HELP!!!

Friends, we are learning of more and more people who are using independent, third-party sources on-line to comparison shop schools (public, private, parochial). In fact, just last week one prospective parent who spent two hours visiting HFS classes and speaking with students and teachers said that she had almost not scheduled a visit since our the HFS profile on “GreatSchools.com” did not have any reviews. Please help us establish our web presence by adding your brief reviews of HFS and all it has to offer. Click on the links below and take just one or two minutes to share your impressions. Your perspective is crucial!  Thanks.

Great Schools:  http://www.greatschools.org/school/parentReviews.page?id=4050&state=MD#revPagination
Private School Review: http://www.privateschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/30500

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

NOTE: Items new to this week’s Collections are identified with bold type.

Items changed after an earlier posting are identified in italicized and bold type.

Monday, Feb. 6 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:05-8:50AM in Room 1 of the Senior Center); Please RSVP to headosfschool@harfordfriends.org by Friday, Feb. 3.

Wednesday, Feb. 8Home & School Association Meeting will be held at the Little Falls Friends Meeting House on Old Fallston Road in Fallston. The meeting will begin at 6:00 with a homemade soup and bread dinner.  Please RSVP to Lisa Shue at lisacatshue@gmail.com if you will be attending.

Friday, Feb. 10 – Field trips for all grades. Contact your Parent Grade Rep. for details and to volunteer. Please be aware that grade 5/6 will have a later return time.

Friday, Feb. 10 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

Monday, Feb. 13-Thursday, Feb. 16 – Lower School Scholastic Book Fair (Details to be announced)

Monday, Feb. 13 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Financial Aid Applications due for families new to HFS

Thursday, Feb. 16 – 4th Annual Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars (5:30-7:30PM at HFS) to honor the memory of founding HFS Board Member Judy Harlan.

Friday, Feb. 17 – School Closed for Mid-Winter Break

Monday, Feb. 20 – School Closed in observance of Presidents Day

Friday, Feb. 24 – Grade 3/4 field trip to Blue Dog Arts (12:30-2:30PM)

Friday, Feb. 24 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

Saturday, Feb. 25 – 2nd Annual Family Fun Winter Walk to benefit Mason Dixon Community Services

Monday, Feb. 27 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities-8…

English: The eighth grade continues to read and analyze The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, to culminate in an expository essay about one of the themes in the novel.  Grammar study has progressed from a review of the eight parts of speech to more complicated structures like appositives, participles, gerunds and infinitives.

Social Studies: Eighth graders have begun to prepare for the field trip on February 10 to the Maryland General Assembly.  The class researched the proposals to be presented to the assembly and prepared questions to ask the Harford County delegates in conjunction with our visit to the assembly session.  Of particular interest to our class is the Bay Restoration Project, since the students learned about maintaining the health of the bay in Science 7.  We look forward to our experience of government in action.

NOTES from Technology-8…

Algebra I: As we launch into the second semester, Algebra I students are finishing up with our unit on functions, not that we will ever finish working with functions.  This past week has been spent working with rates of increase and decrease of functions (for those Calculus buffs in the audience; no, we are not computing derivatives, only informally analyzing “slope” and concavity of curves geometrically).  Understanding of this concept has been assessed through a quiz on Wednesday, as well as through problems completed in class and homework problems.  In addition to our work on rates of increase and decrease, we have defined the absolute value function as a piecewise function, which has two linear “pieces”, and introduced absolute value through the statistical concepts of absolute and average deviation from the “mean” of a set of data.

Next week, we will use the functions with which we are already familiar to introduce transformations of functions (translations, reflections, and dilations).  These transformations will be presented through the forms of graphs, tables, and equations, and will be applied to both continuous and discrete functions.  After finishing with transformations of functions, we will be ready for a unit test on functions on Wednesday, February 15.

Our next unit of study is entitled  ”GrowingGrowingGrowing”, in which we will be studying exponential functions, through the concepts of exponential growth and decay.  This unit of study is one of my personal favorites, and culminates with students writing a science fiction short story on exponential growth (or decay) that is “out of control”.

Science: The 8th graders have been exploring pitch and loudness this week.  We’ve played with tuning forks, ukulele, recorders, harmonicas and pianos to learn how manipulating the sound waves create different pitches.  We’ve also explored the relationship among nodes on standing waves, overtones and octaves. They should be working on the corrected versions of their literature review this weekend.  It needs to be typed.  They can also begin their science fair experiment at any time.

NOTES from Explorations-8…

Computer Technology: Class time was dedicated to creating a newsletter with the information from their Technology Pioneer presentations. The newsletter will allow students to 1) review their topic for the most relevant information, 2) incorporate glossary terms , 3) improve word processor skills, 4) showcase their content and application skills.

Music: This week the composition students continued to study the major scale pattern and discovered two different types of scales: scales that contain sharps and scales that contain flats.  After visually recognizing the scales on piano keys, they notated them on the treble clef by using the correct key signature.  After students completed the circle of fifths exercise in class, they discovered that there are 12 major scales.

Spanish:  We have been conjugating all types of regular verbs and took a quiz on this Thursday.  Next week we’ll start on a unit related to food and I will give the details for a fun menu project that we will be doing.

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities-7…

English: Following the completion of Rwanda Negotiations, the class will resume a study of short stories as a preparation for our detective symposium.  We will read The Adventures of the Speckled Band and explore information about several fictional detectives to research for the symposium.  We will also select classic novels for the third quarter book report, deadline to be announced.

Social Studies: The 7th grade class has concluded the Rwanda Negotiations. They will need to remember what they were discussing before the negotiations began: European Imperialism during the 19th and 20th centuries. Next week, they will start to examine some of the lasting effects that imperialism had on the countries of Africa.

NOTES from Technology-7…

Math-B: We have begun our unit called Accentuate the Negative.  To start this unit, we will be learning how to properly notate positive and negative numbers, compare and order rational numbers, use a number line, and understand the relationship between negative and positive numbers.  This week we have been adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers in order to figure out game show scores and differences in temperatures.  We also talked about golf scores and being in “the red” or “the black” when it comes to expenses and profits in business.  Expect a quiz next week on Investigation 1.  Next week we will also get into more detail with adding and subtracting integers and how the + and – can affect the answers.

Science: The 7th graders have been exploring physical and chemical changes this week.  We’ve explored burning paper, mixing chalk with vinegar and curdling milk.  We also stepped back a lesson and had fun creating 2 colloids:  Glurch and Oobleck.  Along the way, we’ve begun memorizing the 40+ elements and symbols and had our first quiz.  Students have received an edited version of their literature review.  They need to make changes and return it to me on Monday, typed!  They may begin doing the experimentation of their science fair project.

NOTES from Explorations-7…

Computer Technology: We continued the Assateague Island word processing project.

Music: This week the music history students continued to put the final touches on their oral reports.   They’ll be presenting their reports to their classmates on Monday.  I’m looking forward to seeing the final project after all the hard work they’ve done.  Reminder to students: you need to bring all your finished note cards to class on Monday.

Spanish: This week we started learning how to conjugate -ar verbs.  We will be using this knowledge along with new vocabulary related to school  supplies and clothing to read, speak and write new Spanish sentences.  Expect a quiz on -ar verbs next Thursday.

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities-5/6…

After writing their own books and presenting them to the intermediate class, the 5th and 6th graders have become preposition experts. We will continue in grammar next week by learning about conjunctions. This week in reading, we have been examining the literary concept of conflict. The students practiced identifying the four main types of literary conflict by reading short passages. Then, they brainstormed ideas in order to create their own “Wordle” about conflict. They read the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” and they are working on identifying the many types of conflict that appear in this selection. In Social Studies, the students learned all about Roman roads and aqueducts. Next week, we will begin the third section in the textbook as we take a look at the daily lives of the ancient Romans.

NOTES from Technology-5/6…

Math A: Math A students have successfully completed Investigation 3. They were challenged to identify angle measurements in many different designs. They can now use math operations, rather than protractors, to fine the correct measurement of angles by using parallel lines, transversals, opposite angles, alternate interior angles, and properties of common polygons. We began building triangles with polystrips in order to answer the question “Why are so many constructions made with triangles?” Next week we will continue using polystrips as we build quadrilaterals. We will finish up the unit with a quadrilateral game. Students should begin working on their project in class. More information about this will be coming,

Science: Breathe . . . . breathe again . . . this week we have explored the respiratory system.  We’ve learned the body parts, explored how our diaphragm helps us breathe, calculated the amount of air we exchange each minute and used an indicator to prove that carbon dioxide is indeed exhaled.  This Friday we had the pleasure of having Stephanie Johnson come and teach the kids about the cardiovascular system. Thank you so much, Stephanie!  Students should have completed their literature review by Friday.  They should be starting their science fair research at any time now.  Please let us know if you can volunteer for the field trip on Feb. 10th to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

NOTES from Explorations-5/6…

Computer Technology: With our last week of offline internet literacy (yeah!), we analyzed and translated URLs and evaluated a few student databases.

Music: The 5th and 6th grade band students are mastering seven different notes on their instruments.  They are doing an excellent job rehearsing the notes and rhythms each day in class, along with dynamic markings, fermatas, and repeat signs.

Spanish: We finished up our clothing unit. Next week we’ll learn about cognates and add 20,000 words to our Spanish vocabulary.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

Lower School Announcements

Reminders:  The Lower School students should bring in an empty box that’s the size of a tissue box by Monday, February 6th, so we can decorate them on Thursday, February 9th during Lower School creative art.

NOTES from the Intermediate Grades (3/4) Classroom…

The intermediate students had a great Spirit Week!  I enjoyed seeing them express their creativity through some very unusual fashion choices.  In Reading, we focused on a short story, “What ISIT?”, while in Writing Workshop, the students continued with their own short (and not-so short) realistic fiction stories.  In Social Studies, the students began researching their countries for their culture exhibit projects.  We will examine the influence of government and religion on culture next week.  The next state posters will be due on Thursday, Feb. 16.  In Science, the class explored first-, second-, and third-class levers.  They were amazed at how many simple machines they use every day.  Next week, the focus will be on wheels and axles and pulleys.  The students should decide which simple machine they will experiment with for the science fair by Thursday, Feb. 9.  The intermediate Math group completed the unit on measurement with an assessment.  Revisions and signed tests are due back on Monday, Feb. 6.  Please send in an empty box for collecting Valentines by Monday, Feb. 6.  Please look for the information that was sent home today about the Scholastic Book Fair, to be held next week, and the 100th day of school, on Friday, Feb. 10. We will take our field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art and Chopstix Restaurant on Wednesday, Feb. 8.  Have a great week!

3/4 Computer Technology: The class keeps impressing me with their improvements in speed and accuracy. Every member of the class is typing 15 words per minute with over 92% accuracy–in the third and fourth grades! They continue to challenge themselves to keep their eyes on the screen, practicing numbers and capital letters.

3/4 Music: This week the third and fourth graders continued to practice their first five notes.  They are doing a great job remembering the fingerings for their different notes and have successfully played the first 20 songs in their music book! Great job 3rd and 4th graders!

3/4 Spanish: We learned the names of family members this week and learned a few more cognates, so I hope they are calling their parents madre and padre.  We will continue  doing a bit more with family words and take a small quiz next Thursday before we get started on the around the house vocabulary.

NOTES from the Primary Grades (1/2) Classroom…

This week in language arts the primary class started a new book called The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick.  They discussed different features of a book like the cover, summary on the back, authors bio., and prelude; then made predictions about what time book might be about.  The students also discussed what is in a zoo and looked at different zoo maps from different areas and created their own.  The primary class discussed genres after reading the first chapter of The Secret Zoo and discussed what type of genre this book is.  The primary class also discussed irregular verbs and had a rotation of games that relate.  In theme, the class finished up their adobe homes and worked on a home for an animal, which they created.  Next week, we will begin our new theme on Survival: Clothing, which relates to our field trip to Joann’s Fabrics.  In science, the class continued to discuss their egg drop experiments, recorded their procedure, results, and what they can do to make their experiment better.  Please remember next Friday, February 10th is the 100th Day of school along with our field trip and we will be celebrating when we return to school.  The student’s 100th Day poster and snack are due Monday, February 6th.

1/2 Computer Technology: This week we continued building animal slide show presentations. They can’t wait to share their new animal knowledge as well as their new software skills.

1/2 Music: This week the first and second grade students enjoyed a presentation from sixth grade guitar student, Riley.  He explained frets, chords, strumming patterns and the different parts of the guitar: body, neck and head.  They enjoyed the presentation and were excited to have Riley autograph their instrument family books that they’ve been creating in class.  We are looking forward to our clarinet musicians coming to class next week!

1/2 Spanish: We learned a lot of animal this week.  We listened to songs, did some activities and watched a video.  Next week we will learn the animals of the sea.

NOTES from the Kindergarten Classroom…

In Kindergarten, we continue to work hard to build our sight word vocabulary.  We are exploring how to add details to our pictures, write sentences using sounds to write the words.  We are building our fluency reading BOB books. Kindergarteners also enjoyed sequencing the events from two stories, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Somebody and the Three Blairs.

During Math we have diligently been working on counting by fives.  We have used many different ways to accomplish this, counting with nickels, learning tally marks, skipping and jumping, and building planks and rafts of fives.

The warm weather offered us the opportunity to go outside and look for insects and worms under logs.  We were amazed by how many things live under logs and rocks, and collected some pill bugs (roly poly), worms, slugs, and a spider to add to our terrarium in class.  We were also sure to collect some dead leaves and bark to add to their habitat.

We have been learning about Groundhog’s Day and making predictions about what we would like to happen.

Kindergarten Spanish: This week we made a “flower pot”  that shows Spanish words for colors and a days of the week “cloud”.  Next week we’ll make a months of the year “box” and a school supplies “back pack”.  All of these activities will go in our new Activity Books.