Open Houses: We need your assistance with recruitment! Parents are the best spokes people for the school – you can describe the school and its programs most intimately.

We are holding a middle school open house for prospective families on January 21 from 9:30-11 a.m. and another from 5-8 p.m. during Artwalk.

We are asking parents to reach out and invite families who you think might be interested in having their child involved in a dynamic and academically rigorous middle school program.

The evening open house will feature watercolorist Scott Mulholland, and we hope to attract a crowd of Artwalkers!

Please take a moment to consider families you can invite to this open house.

THANK YOU for your support on this initiative!

Math: Math instruction has continued this week with work in graphing algebraic equations, square roots with positive and negative numbers as well as fractions, negative exponents and scientific notation, and writing decimals in expanded form.

English: We have worked through Week 7 with a test today.

Students are expected to finish their IRB (Independent Reading Book) by Monday.

This week, students have written a short essay describing the thrill of receiving a most favorite gift, focusing on the description of that moment.

Social Studies: Students have been reading selected passages from the book, South on Puget Sound chronicling the early history of southern Puget Sound. The students will be learning about the early settlement of this region, from the late 1700’s through the late 1800’s. Towards the end of January, students will start on a major research project on a historical topic of their choosing. We will be working closely with the Tacoma Library Pacific Northwest Room librarians.

Science: Lots going on in Science right now! First, students have been finishing up work on their acceleration experiments. As an extension of the gutterball activity, the students have been investigating how a marble moves through the gutter. The students first came up with a way to measure the rate of acceleration (quite a challenge!) and then began to ask questions about how that rate might change in different circumstances. At this point, most students have finished collecting data and are interpreting that data and writing up their findings.

We’ve also begun to work on a new challenge from NASA called “Kids In Micro-g.” The students are asked to come up with a creative experiment comparing and measuring the effects of regular earth gravity (1-gravity or 1-g) and micro-gravity (one millionth of a g) using ONLY materials found on the International Space Station. These experiments will be submitted to NASA, along with data from the 1-g side of the experiment, and twelve will be selected to be performed on the ISS, filmed in HD, and sent back to the students. The list of materials is pretty interesting, and students are working on coming up with the most creative, interesting experiments they can. For more information on this challenge, please visit the NASA Kids in Micro-g page.

Finally, next Friday we’ll be heading back up to Mt. Rainier to go snowshoeing and visit the same spot at the foot of the Nisqually glacier that we saw in September. Dr. Todd will be leading us, and a huge thank you to the parents who have volunteered to drive!! Students will need some very specific supplies for this trip, as it will undoubtedly be very cold and wet, and students who aren’t prepared will not be happy. Supplies:

-Non-cotton clothes, including non-cotton socks and very, very warm boots. Students will inevitably have wet feet!

-Waterproof pants (either snow plants or rain pants will work) with long underwear. Avoid wearing jeans under the waterproof pants, if possible.

-SUNSCREEN – even if it is cloudy


-Hats, mittens, scarves

-Warm jacket and layers!

-Waterproof/resistant outer shell; also good for sitting for lunch

-Water bottle

-Sack lunch and snack

We’ll be leaving from the MS campus right when the bus arrives at 8:15 (15 minutes earlier than school normally starts) and returning around 4pm. Please let me know if you have any questions about this field experience!

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About Halley (Griffin) Knigge

Storyteller and adventurer with a focus on new and social media. Ten years of award-winning writing and editing experience, eight years working professionally to share compelling stories through brand journalism, three years as an airline spokesperson, two years as a Tacoma Arts Commissioner and 30+ years of learning something new every day.

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