January News from Big Apple
The best News from the Big Apple is that Erica Hager is home and expects to be back at school to greet students on Wednesday! She and Kyle Gillis worked on the Martin Luther King, Jr. presentation before she had to be out, and my thanks to Kyle for seeing that project through. The students are watching a series of film clips, beginning with one of Rev. King featured by the organization Not in Our Town. This group began in Billings Montana in response to anti-Semitic vandalism.. Two additional clips are from the University of Mississippi and Indiana University, emphasizing what can happen if people are "upstanding" rather than "bystanding." These choices were designed to prompt conversations among the students about the value of being an "upstander" and how to do so effectively. I encourage you to check with your student over the weekend about the discussion.
The link to our on-line sign up sheets for Parent Conferences will be sent out to you soon so you can schedule conferences with your student's advisor. The conferences begin at noon on Monday, February 4 (noon dismissal for students). You can expect to receive the mailing with grades by February first and an email from the advisor containing the teacher comments so that you can come prepared for a thorough conversation. These are an important continuation of our emphasis on partnership with our parents.
Next Thursday January 24 is our annual celebration of our public speaking curriculum. It culminates in eighth grade with each student presenting a "This I Believe" speech in the evening to parents, teachers, classmates, and a panel of judges. Amy Jolly, newly named as our next Head, will be one of the judges this year. For me, this is always the "first of the lasts" for our eighth graders, a reminder that they will be increasingly aware of their "last" basketball game, lacrosse game, play, concert, football game or swings at recess. This is equally true for parents, of course. The evening of speeches is a particularly poignant time for them. They gather as a group to support and celebrate all these students whom they have come to know so well -- and can marvel at how articulate and poised they are doing something that rivals fear of snakes as what scares the general public the most!
Secondary School Planning
As Mrs. May reminded parents, secondary school materials (school profile, counselor evaluation, transcript with standardized test scores, first semester grades, and confidential teacher recommendations) will be forwarded to secondary schools on Saturday, January 26.
Until then, the SSAT/SAO/Gateway portals will indicate that teacher recommendations and transcripts have not been received. That may result in an automatic email to you from the school. However, the schools are aware of our mailing and we have confirmed this approach with them. They know that we forward a complete packet to their schools once our first semester grades are complete.
This is in some ways the most difficult part of the process – waiting to hear. None of us likes to not be in control and to have to wait to learn about the future. Our students have done their best to present themselves well, and we have done the same. Now the students (and you!) have to wait to hear the decisions which usually occur by March 10. You may expect some anxiousness during the next couple of months, and that percolates in different ways for different students. Let us know if there is something that appears concerning. If there has been a change in priorities or “first choices,” please let me or Jeanne May know that, for sure.
We will begin our formal counseling program with seventh graders in April, will have a parent meeting in May, and will begin individual counseling meetings in that time frame. The most important thing students can do, always, is do their best work in the classroom and explore interests outside of the academic realm. That is what the Applewild program is geared to support.
Chris Williamson on behalf of Erica Hager
History Day Update
Mr. Goodwin, Mrs. Wong and Mr. Jones
Applewild 8th graders have been busy researching and preparing a History Day project with this year’s theme of Triumph and Tragedy in History.
It has been an interesting and challenging process. Students and parents can always check NHD.org or Mrs. Wong’s website for more details athttps://www.applewildlibrary.org/nhd-logistics.html. Students have various due dates and deadlines according to their project type. See the HD Road map for details. Here is a link to the HD Road Map. Students are always welcome at Extra Help periods for questions or consultation. More details regarding the NHD District competition, including times for the bus transportation, will be sent home soon via your student.
Over the next few weeks students will be wrapping up their research and completing their projects to be ready to compete at Central Massachusetts History Day on Saturday, March 2nd at Quabbin Middle/Senior High School in Barre, MA. We will be taking a bus from Applewild to and from the competition or students can ride there with their parents. We wish all our 8th grade historians good luck!
Eighth Grade Public Speaking
Jen Caldwell & Kyle Gillis
We have a long-standing tradition at Applewild where our oldest students write, memorize, and deliver an original speech as part of the English curriculum. The culmination of this project is the evening recitation for the Eleanor Crow Public Speaking Contest.
This year, all eighth graders will be performing their speeches on the evening of Thursday, January 24th in the Alumni Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m.
There will be outside judges (and the classroom English teachers) in the audience who will score students’ evening performances. The speakers who receive the top ten scores will perform again for the school community during Common Time on Friday. The winner of the Eleanor Crow Public Speaking Award will be shared the following week.
We would like to invite families and friends to join us for these original and engaging presentations. This will be your only opportunity to hear about the individual passions and beliefs from each member of the class of 2019.
We hope to see you there!
1/18 End of Semester
1/18 Ski Club
1/21 No School
1/22 No School
1/25 Ski Club
1/28 Jazz Band
2/1 Ski Club
2/2 SSAT Testing
2/4 Parent Conferences – Noon Dismissal for Upper School - No School for Lower School
2/8 Ski Club
2/11 Jazz Band
2/14 Family Math Night @3:45
2/15 Ski Club
2/18 No School
2/19 No School
2/21 SNOW DATE – Family Math Night
2/22 After School Social @3:45-5:45
2/25 Spirit Week!
2/27 Play Cast Dinner @6pm
2/27 7/8 Grade Play @7pm
3/2 Regional History Day
3/2 SSAT Testing
3/4 Marshall Fund Residence Week w/Adam Ezra
3/11 Spring Break
3/25 Classes Resume
3/25 Spring Sports Begin