Dear WMA MS Families,
I have returned from a lovely trip to Italy! Julie and I had a wonderful time in Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Umbria! I returned to find all is well at our middle school and The Academy. Beech Tree camp has started and I was very pleased to see some of our students enjoying a cooking camp with Mr. Bicknell! I had to pass on the red velvet cupcakes with vanilla frosting they created now that I am in my "post pasta" regimen, but they looked lovely!
I have a few things to mention to keep you in the loop. I have contacted Gerry's Music to resolve any glitches experienced with returning the instruments rented by our students this year. Gerry's is coming to campus to pick up the instruments that were not collected at year's end. I have asked Gerry's to forward me any future communication they wish to provide families with respect to their rental policies and I will help to coordinate a more efficient process moving forward.
Prentice Hall is conducting their annual Pearson SuccessNet new year rollover this weekend (June 30-July 1). They use this process to clean out data from the previous year and prepare for students enrolling in the math courses they offer in the 2012-2013 academic year. That means we will create the accounts for our on-line summer math work beginning Monday and I will email each student the web site address, username and password information he or she will need to access the summer work. The Summer Math help Sessions begin on Monday, July 9 for incoming Grade 6 students - Tuesday, July 10 for incoming Grade 7 students - Wednesday, July 11 for Grade 8 Math students - and Thursday, July 12 for Grade 8 Algebra 1 students. Sessions are held in the middle school from 10:30-11:30 AM and students are invited to stay for lunch and then be picked up around 12:30 PM. The sessions are not compulsory, they are voluntary, but they are a good way for students to get together, receive some support with summer work, enjoy a great lunch, and make the concept of completing school work over summer break a little more palatable! The sessions continue to meet Monday to Thursday for each designated course through August 2nd.
I hope our students have started on their summer reading assignments; A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, and The Young Man and the Sea by Rodman Philbrick. These books are available in our bookstore. Each Grade also has at least one additional book assigned for their humanities course. In Grade 8 that book is Blood on the River: James Town, 1607 by Elisa Carbone. In Grade 7 two books are required, A Boy of Old Prague by Sulamith Ish-Kishor and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.
The Grade 6 Humanities book, The Kin, Suth's Story by Peter Dickinson can be purchased from Amazon. It was written in 1998 and I was not able to find it on Kindle, but I do find copies for as little as $.01 on Amazon (with a shipping charge of $3.99) and the Amherst Public Library has a copy. The book nicely ties into our Grade 6 Humanities theme, "Knowing One's Past", as it is about a young boy and girl, Suth and Noli, and four other children trying to survive when they are separated from their Moonhawk Kin 200,000 years ago. I investigated other options that might have been easier to acquire, but I believe this book is our best option even though it is less accessible than the other options.
A reminder that students new to our school are requested to choose a world language to study, French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish, and if you have not communicated your choice, you can email me and let me know which language you would like to study next year.
That's enough school work to consider for now. I hope you are all enjoying the start of summer!
Director, WMA Middle School
Friday June, 29, 2012 at 12:38PM