January 21

Dear Middle School Parents:

Despite several delays and snow days, the middle school has been as busy as ever this January. There’s a lot to report, so we’ll get to it.

In Social Studies, students have been studying the movement of goods, people and ideas during the Industrial Era.  Most recently, students selected a topic to research and report to the rest of the class about through PowerPoint presentations.  These topics included important trends, concepts, events or people during this time period.  Today, students visited the Burden Iron Works museum in Troy to learn more about the rich industrial heritage of the Hudson-Mohawk valley. 

In ELA we have also been embracing the Movement theme in our literature study. Students chose from a list of over twelve books by contemporary authors that focus primarily on refugees and their experiences. Book locations and topics range from Vietnam to Afghanistan to Sudanese refugee resettlement in the US to Haiti. Each book’s young narrator shares his or her story, exploring not only what it is like to be a refugee, but also the time and place of their lives. Students will be doing research with maps and historical sources to complete this immersion into modern-day movement around the globe. Many of these novels were purchased for the classroom with your generous holiday gift card. Thank you for helping build our classroom library and resources.

In science students are currently studying volcanoes and the movements in the Earth’s crust and mantle that lead to these amazing formations. Students continue to work on gathering and interpreting scientific data through labs and activities, as well as accessing information from text. Science fair investigations are getting in full swing.  Students are currently fine-tuning their questions and will next be beginning to write procedures. The final project due date is March 22, with the display and presentation to parents happening on the evening of March 25.

Information about the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Summer Camps, which will be forwarded in a separate email, is now available. This reasonably priced outdoor education camp (that Lucas and Patrick attended last summer) is accepting registrations now.  If anyone has questions or wants to coordinate a camp week for the kids to go together, please contact Paula McBath.

The middle school class will be holding a dance on Friday, March 4th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the WHMS gym.  Student volunteers will be forming a dance committee to coordinate snacks and decorations.  We have already hired a DJ and plan to invite the 6th-8th grade students from the Taylor, Parker and Brown Schools.  Please let Meg in the office know if you are interested in chaperoning this event.

We hosted our January coffee house yesterday to continue our trip fundraising efforts. Thank you all for your continued support and efforts for this event and others. Our next Roots and Shoots service opportunity will take place in February.

Be safe and stay warm!

The Middle School Team