Middle School Weekly

Good Afternoon, Community Middle!

There was a lot of traffic in our hallway this week!  Students investigated force and work while building cars that are powered by a mousetrap.  All week, cars were rolling up and down the hallway, improving with each round of troubleshooting.  Ask your children what they need to do in order to be ready for next Thursday’s grade level mousetrap car tests.  What can they do it make theirs travel farther? If you are available, please join us on Friday, March 22 for our Mousetrap Car Competition and Exhibition, 9:25 – 9:50 in the school gym.

It was no mistake that Pi Day perfectly coincided with our study of geometry!  The students baked homemade (schoomade?) pizza, and applied knowledge of the area and circumference of circles to solve complex problems.  Perhaps your family can make pizza at home and continue the circle measurement fun! We even read one of my all-time favorite math books, Sir Cumference and the First Round Table.  Ask your children about all of the punny character names!

The students from one of our Tuesday morning electives also have a message for you:

The elective CMS Gives Back is holding a food drive March 18 – April 18.  The grade level with the most food wins an ice cream and pizza party! We ask that you do not bring in glass or any perishable products.  Examples of food to bring in are canned foods, pasta, and mac and cheese. Thank you!

On Thursday night, Chad, Stephanie, and Josh Flaherty presented the Charter School Update to the Albemarle County School Board.  The Board is very excited about the work going on at Community Middle, and is eager for us to continue sharing with the other ACPS middle schools.  You can find the agenda item and presentation here.  Through our work as a lab school, we also hosted school leaders from Fairfax and Rockingham counties this week.

Next week, our eighth graders will take the Writing SOL tests, so please help them get to bed early, eat breakfast, and arrive to school on time.  The multiple choice test is Tuesday, March 26 and the writing prompt portion is Wednesday, March 27. We know that they will rock it!

Go Hoos!

Stephanie and the Community Middle Team

An archive of all weekly newsletters can be found on the leadership blog: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/middle-school-weekly/

Middle School Weekly

Happy Snowy Friday, Community Middle,

Should schools be able to limit students’ online speech?  We all have our own opinions, but what sources do you have to support your case?  Ask your children! This week, students answered this question by analyzing a variety of documents, including political cartoons, graphs, and decisions from court cases.  We even had a special visit from Mr. Ross Holton, the Albemarle County School Board Attorney! Through this civics-based project, our students read and analyzed primary and secondary sources, wrote a persuasive essay, and learned about the judicial branch of our national government.  Students are also in the midst of a sports friction project: what sport is your child investigating and how is friction involved? The Community Middle mathematicians are all focusing on geometry, so ask your child for more specifics!

Next week our engineers will continue their study of physics by designing and building mousetrap cars.  This weekend, look around your home for recycled materials and unused items that might be used for wheels and the car body.  Bring them in!

Thank you to everyone who organized and attended Thursday night’s PTO event.  It was such a pleasure to mingle with current and future parents, to learn from Dr. Nancy Deutsch, and to explore our ideal educational experiences.  We are so lucky to be a part of Community Middle.

Good luck to our seven young ladies who are competing in the Girls Excelling in Math (GEM) Competition this Saturday!  They will be completing individual and team math challenges, as well as a building challenge. Go, Girls!

Enjoy your weekend!

Stephanie and the Community Middle Team

An archive of all weekly newsletters can be found on the leadership blog: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/middle-school-weekly/

What’s Next for Murray?

Here is the slide deck used in the presentation to families of rising 9th grade applicants highlighting the three key strategic initiatives underway in our efforts to deepen our long-held commitment to the liberal arts and reimagining high school through inquiry, creativity, and student-centered learning:

  • Emphasis on Creative Arts and Design Elective Pathways
  • A New Arts-Infused, Interdisciplinary Freshman Experience
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

 

Updated Information for Parent Night

Hi, Community Middle Families.

I’m writing to let you know the special event planned for you on Thursday has gotten even better!

First, the wonderful Nancy Deutsch will be our guest speaker!  Nancy is heading up the Remaking Middle School Initiative, which is part of her work as director of Youth-Nex–the UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education.  She will be discussing the need to reframe early adolescence and why remaking middle school education is of critical importance.  Interesting stuff, and I guarantee you’ll walk away knowing something about your child’s development age that you didn’t when you came in!

Also, you may know the admissions lottery was held Friday.  I’m so excited to report we will be welcoming the largest class of 6th graders ever at CPCS!  Parents of newly admitted students have also been invited so please come on out and meet some new members of our CPCS community.

And don’t forget about all the cool teacher experiences you can bid on for your child.  I can’t wait to see who will be my Assistant Principal for a Day!

The details

  • When: Thursday, March 7, 2019. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Where: Community Public Charter School

Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP here: http://evite.me/uHqt88fwjB.

Contact Maryfrances Porter at maryfrancesporter@gmail.com or 434-825-4841 with ideas or questions.

See you Thursday!

Chad

An archive of all PTO Newsletters and communications can be found here: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/pto-newsletters/

Middle School Weekly

Happy Friday, Community Middle,

This was a joyfully busy (5-day!) week of designing, creating, and applying learning.  Our artists connected their knowledge of the energy of motion and Newton’s three laws to build 3-dimensional art in the form of kinetic sculptures.  Ask your children what they created, and how they made it move! Students also finished their historical walking tours and you can check them out here.  As you explore the website, note how science, history, and math were all combined to complete the project.  Students will have an opportunity to actually lead their tours in the coming weeks. Other highlights from our very full week include a debate about potatoes and sweet potatoes that led to cooking french fries, a visit from the JMRL Bookmobile, and a deep-dive into using imagery in our writing.

We are so excited to come together with our parent community next Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 pm at CMS!  The PTO invites you to an evening for Community Middle parents to build community, learn more about how middle school is being reimagined, and to have an opportunity to contribute to the experiences our children are having.  Hear from UVA Curry School faculty about “Remaking Middle School,” followed by a brief workshop on meaningful learning. There will also be a silent auction with teacher-led experiences and excursions! RSVP here.  On the topic of our amazing PTO – thank you so much to all who have been contributing to the staff breakfasts.  We feel so loved!

Enjoy your weekend!

Stephanie and the Community Middle Team

An archive of all weekly newsletters can be found on the leadership blog: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/middle-school-weekly/

Middle School Weekly

Happy Friday, Community Middle,

Well, this newsletter is going to be as short as our week was!  Students completed their podcasts, and they will be available for you to listen to in the coming weeks.  While writing scripts and analyzing writing, we focused on metaphor and hyperbole. Challenge your students to use hyperbole to describe an experience this weekend.

There is a cool camp opportunity at UVa this summer for girls interested in astronomy – check it out!  The camp runs July 8 – 12 from 9 am – 5 pm daily, and applications are due on April 30.  We saw lots of student interest come from our Mars colonization project earlier this year and this is a great opportunity to dive deeper.

We eagerly anticipate having five full days of school next week, when we will dive into a kinetic sculpture art and science project!

Have a great weekend,

Stephanie and the Community Middle Team

An archive of all weekly newsletters can be found on the leadership blog: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/middle-school-weekly/

Reminder: Save the Date – March 7

A message from the CPCS PTO:

Community, Learning, Experience – Please join us!

The PTO invites you to an evening for Community Middle parents to build community, learn more about how middle school is being reimagined, and have an opportunity to contribute to the experiences our children are having.

When: Thursday, March 7, 2019. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: CPCS Commons

Hear from UVA Curry School faculty about “Remaking Middle School,” followed by a brief workshop on meaningful learning. Also explore the teacher-led experiences and excursions at the silent auction–and meet some new families joining our learning community in SY2019-20!

Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP here: http://evite.me/uHqt88fwjB by March 1.

Contact Maryfrancis Porter at maryfrancesporter@gmail.com or 434-825-4841 with ideas or questions.

An archive of all PTO Newsletters and communications can be found here: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/pto-newsletters/

Middle School Weekly

Dear Community Middle Families,

Podcasts for the NPR Student Podcast Challenge are in production; ask your children if their recording and editing is complete!  Our mathematicians continued solving algebraic equations, and can still log into IXL for extra practice at home:  6th grade IXL sections Y, Z, and AA; 7th grade R, S, and T; 8th grade V, W, and X. Scientists have been applying math to calculate speed and acceleration, and next week will incorporate social studies as they create virtual tours of historic African American neighborhoods and points of interest within Charlottesville.  The science and math understandings will allow students to create routes that are as feasible as they are informative!

As we continue serving in our role as a lab school, Chad Mike, and I had the honor of representing Community Middle at the Remaking Middle School Summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.  The Summit was organized the U.Va. Curry School of Education to convene a select group of practitioners, researchers, youth, policymakers, funders, and others from across the country committed to dramatically improving the learning experiences and outcomes of all young adolescents.  Much of what we discussed is already occurring at Community Middle! We’re excited to be part of the design teams that emerged from the Summit to advance our work and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as things develop. In the meantime, here are two great articles covering the event

A few upcoming events to add to your calendar:

  1. The next PTO meeting is this Tuesday, February 19 at 8:30 am in the Board Room.  Contact Mary Hawley with questions at hawley.mary@gmail.com.
  2. Saturday, March 2 will be the first Charlottesville Debate League competition of the season.  Email Stephanie by Thursday, February 21.

As a reminder, Monday is a teacher workday and students do not have school.  Enjoy the day off!

Happy Presidents’ Day Weekend,

Stephanie and the Community Middle Team

An archive of all weekly newsletters can be found on the leadership blog: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/middle-school-weekly/

Middle School Weekly

Dear Community Middle Families,

Podcast projects are underway!  We launched on Monday by watching Darren Ralston conduct a live interview of Lorenzo Dickerson for his podcast The Ed Narrative.  Ask your kids what they learned about Black classrooms in Albemarle, including the origin of our very own school building.  Now, our learners are collaborating in groups to conduct research, write a script, and put together their own podcast for the NPR Student Podcast Challenge.  Our mathematicians dove into algebra, and are practicing solving for variables in increasingly complex problems.  Your child can log into IXL and walk you through some example problems. 6th grade IXL sections Y, Z, and AA; 7th grade R, S, and T; 8th grade V, W, and X.    

As a reminder, winter conferences are tomorrow afternoon.  Sign up if you would like to talk about your student’s second quarter report.  If these times don’t work for you, let us know and we will gladly make other arrangements.

Join our community of parents at the next PTO meeting on Tuesday, February 19 at 8:30 am in the Board Room.  Contact Mary Hawley with questions at hawley.mary@gmail.com.

Another event to add to your calendar – Saturday, March 2 will be the first Charlottesville Debate League competition of the season.  Check in with your children to find out if they would like to participate!

Joyfully,

Stephanie and the Community Middle Team

An archive of all weekly newsletters can be found on the leadership blog: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/middle-school-weekly/

Message from the PTO: Save the Date!

A message from the CPCS PTO:

Community, Learning, Experience – Please join us!

The PTO invites you to an evening for Community Middle parents to build community, learn more about how middle school is being reimagined, and have an opportunity to contribute to the experiences our children are having.

When: Thursday, March 7, 2019. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: CPCS Commons

Hear from UVA Curry School faculty about “Remaking Middle School,” followed by a brief workshop on meaningful learning. Also explore the teacher-led experiences and excursions at the silent auction–and meet some new families joining our learning community in SY2019-20!

Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP here: http://evite.me/uHqt88fwjB by March 1.

Contact Maryfrancis Porter at maryfrancesporter@gmail.com or 434-825-4841 with ideas or questions.

An archive of all PTO Newsletters and communications can be found here: https://admins.k12albemarle.org/labschools/category/pto-newsletters/