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Upper School Updates from Dave Samson

Dear Upper School Parents and Guardians,

What a beautiful day to end week one of the 2021-2022 school year! After the new student orientation on Tuesday, we jumped right into school on Wednesday with team-building exercises. Each day following, we got closer and closer to our normal school schedule. We now have a long weekend (with no homework) before we jump into our second week of school. Please see below for information about Upper School communication moving forward.

Upper School Communication

When students enter the Upper School, the communication between home and school changes to fit the needs of the developmental stages of students ages 10 - 14; in fifth grade, homeroom teachers send weekly newsletters to give you greater insight into what’s happening inside the classroom. To encourage students in grades 6 - 8 to become more independent and communicate directly with their teachers, I will send Upper School Updates through Heron Hub. These updates contain announcements, pictures, scheduling logistics, and resources / suggested articles. (Please feel free to share with me articles as well!) Every other week the updates contain a section called “Ask Me About” (see below) which gives you topics to ask your child(ren) about what is happening in their classes. Please know you can always reach out to your child’s teacher and/or advisor with questions or concerns.

Ask Me About (not all subjects made it into the newsletter)

6th Grade

Math: How I organized my binder and what I shall expect in math classes this year. I also need to bring back my summer math packet to school.

Spanish: Ask me about what I will call myself in Spanish class.

Science: ask me about Globe Toss science topics and Albert Einstein.

Art: 6-1 Illustrating my summer ... plus adding a DOT. Using our drawing skills to tell a visual story

English: How traveling from class to class is going? Also, remind me that I need to bring Masterminds to school on Tuesday :)

7th Grade

Math DEF: How I organized my binder and my first lesson - Expressions and Variables. I also need to bring back my summer math packet.

Math ABC: How do I incorporate algebra in my approach to taking on problems in math.

History: How do we learn about what happened in the past?

English: ask me about what project I’m choosing for my summer reading response.

Spanish: How to appropriately use sources like dictionaries and translators.

Science: ask me about Globe toss science topics and our areas of exploration for the upcoming year.

Art: 7-2 Depicting summer or autumn .. a mixed-media piece with a focus on color to convey the season

8th Grade

Math: How do I approach math through the lens of problem-solving?

Science: What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative data?

Spanish: How to appropriately use sources like dictionaries and translators.

ART: 8-1 Graphically a word or phrase based on a topic of importance/ something that we care deeply about AND Depictions of objects (plus a pattern) which hold significance-- working with drawing and design skills.

Suggested Articles:

  • Jonathan Haidt and Jean M. Twenge wrote an article in August in the NY times around mitigating smartphones and social media on adolescence.

  • I appreciated the 50 very short rules for a good life here.

For those families celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Happy New Year!

Enjoy the long weekend!



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