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Upper School Update + Samson Strolls- Jan. 13

Dear Upper School Parents and Guardians,

I hope you are all doing well and settled back into a routine after winter break. Below you will find the end of semester information, pictures from this winter, Samson Strolls, the ask me abouts, and what students can do on Martin Luther King day.

End of the Semester: Today marks the end of semester one. Next Friday, parents with children in Grades 5 - 7 are receiving reports on how their child has progressed over the first semester.

  • Grade 5 families will find a narrative section written by the homeroom teacher that outlines your child as a citizen within the class community, as well as your child’s approach to learning. In addition, specific benchmarks within each academic area are detailed within the checklists. Specialist teachers also wrote a semester comment. Some of these subjects include an individual comment about your child, some include information about the specific course, and some combine the two.

  • Grade 6 and 7 families will find an end-of-the-semester grade, and if your student received a C or below, they would also receive a comment with more in-depth feedback from the teacher. Students will also receive a comment from a skills specialist and a comment from their technology, wellness, and changemaking classes. We encourage you to share grades and comments with your Upper Schoolers, and please contact teachers and advisors directly if you have any questions. The narrative comments and checklists for 6th - 8th graders will be distributed in April when we send out mid-term grades and comments. Please contact me or your child’s classroom teacher/advisor if you have questions or concerns.

Slideshow - Please click here to see an assortment of pictures taken this winter.

Samson Strolls: I visited 6th Grade Geography and World Cultures with Mr. Abramson. Please click here to learn more about the class. If there is something you would like to see this semester, please email me!

Please ask your students about:

5th Grade:

Social Studies - Ask me about the beginning of our wealth distribution (poverty) unit. Come upstairs and see the BrainFrame we created!

Literacy: Ask me about our new novel Sophia’s War and our protagonist Sophia, who is our age, and has had to navigate difficult things!

Math: Ask me about wrapping up our first unit on fractions!

Music - Ask me what tamboo bamboo is and what theme my class has chosen.

French: Pulling together time, days, months, and the date and adding this information to sentences.

Science: How do scientists define an ecosystem? We traveled to the salt marsh adjacent to campus to explore this theme. We also began a new unit called Ecosystem Restoration.

Spanish: the activities I enjoy doing and how I can express what days of the week and months I do them in.

Art: Ask me about our ink paintings, sumi brushes, and honoring the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Rabbit


  • 5A enjoyed Yoga Day and learned a cool new partner pose, Double Downward Dog

6th Grade:

Math: Ask me about working with positive and negative integers and mastering all the operations with them.

French: The very useful verb “être” and how its forms change depending on the subject pronouns. Also, ask me what the subject pronouns are.

Geo/World Cultures: What product am I following around the world?

Music: Learning the songs their class selected.

Science: My science in the news article!

Spanish: Ask me about the verb “estar” and how I can use it to talk about my feelings as well as the places my family and I frequent.

Art: Ask me about figure drawing (aka: gesture drawing) and being a class model


  • Intro to Wellness and Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness + Art: using the tracing and sketching of their hand as an “anchor” for the mind

  • Yoga Day!

  • Mindfulness, Emotions, and Bodily Sensations: how being aware of our emotions can aid us in responding versus reacting

7th Grade:

Math ( Carbo): Ask me about proportions, scales, and solving percent as proportions

Math (Carver): … writing the equation for a line given 2 of 3 needed pieces of information

Music: Ask me about my experiences starting the 7th-grade play.

English: Starting The Pearl by John Steinbeck

History: Why the Electoral College doesn’t always seem to work

Science: What is the difference between diffusion, osmosis, and passive/active transport?

Art: Ask me about our outdoor entryway drawings with a surprise behind the door

Internet Literacy (Sect. 3): Ask me how many times my parents login information or personal details have been stolen and posted on the dark web, for sale, or made public. Then ask me how to make a set of strong passwords!

French: ask me about the clothes I am wearing and how I am starting to integrate verbs that end in -IR to talk about choosing clothes.


  • Intro to Wellness and Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness + Art: using the tracing and sketching of their hand as an “anchor” for the mind

  • Yoga Day!

  • Mindfulness, Emotions, and Bodily Sensations: how being aware of our emotions can aid us in responding versus reacting

8th Grade:

French: The themes that we are discussing and writing about in La Nouvelle Fille.

Math (section 1):... writing a function rule from a verbal description

Math (section 2):... city planning and Washington DC specifically

History: What were the underlying causes of the start of the Holocaust.

English: The Anne Frank vocabulary study

Science: What is the difference between covalent and ionic bonding?

Music: Working on solos and additional choreography

Art: Ask me about the still life paintings that we are working on, and what I chose to depict for my own piece


  • Yoga Day for Section A: sun salutation A, lunges, and warrior I and II

  • Option Movement + Relaxation practice: lunges with twists, warrior II to half moon and a long savasana

The 7th and 8th Grade Winter Dance is January 27 from 5:30 - 8:30. We have raised the price of the dance to $15 in order to cover the cost of the DJ, decorations and food. More details will be coming out soon.

MLK Day - Last year, lower school students reminded our community at School Meeting that Martin Luther King Day is a day on and not a day off, and here is what they said followed by their suggestions.

We encourage everyone in the school to be great in the way that Dr. King defines greatness by helping out, trying to make things better, and making a difference. Here are some ideas we thought of. You can also think of your own, too.

  • We will donate money to Wellspring House.

  • We will donate toys or clothes.

  • I will not use as much plastic.

  • I will bring people’s spirits up by being kinder.

  • I will be cooperative to my parents.

  • I will help take care of my brother.

  • We will help out around our homes.

  • I will pray for people.

  • I will help my grandfather get around.

  • I will make food for my grandparents.

  • We will read about Dr. King and educate ourselves.

  • Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve!

Enjoy the weekend!

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