Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sign up for France by midnight tonight before rates increase!!

Hello middle school parents –

Just one more reminder that rates for our 2012 trip to France are only locked in through today. If you haven’t yet signed up for our middle school European vacation this coming March, and are still planning to, make sure you get your student enrolled tonight. We’re also hoping to avoid paying the “underenrollment fee” which we could be charged with if we don’t have all 20 participants signed up before tomorrow.

Thank you for helping us prepare the absolute best trip for your children!

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Sept. 15, 2011 email to parents:

Hello parents!

If you’re receiving this email it’s because you have either not signed your student up for our 2012 France trip, or because you have indicated to us that you may be signing up an additional person (adult chaperone).

We are so excited to take your students to France this year – our trip is going to be amazing and we are working closely with the tour company to make sure that we have the best experience that we can have.

While there is no official sign-up deadline looming for the trip (I believe you are able to sign up up until February, though I will double-check), I have been working to ensure that as much of our group is enrolled by Oct. 1 as possible. In fact, the ideal scenario has everyone who will be traveling us signed up online by Oct. 1.

This will help us in a few ways – we will be able to work more specifically in terms of planning our trip itinerary, securing tickets and etc., so the earlier we know our final numbers the better.

Second, when we signed on with this travel company we committed to a private tour – typically these educational travel groups have size cut-offs, in which groups smaller than 20 are paired with other small groups for the trip. We absolutely did not want this, so we agreed that if we were unable to travel with a full 20 we would pay an extra fee to enable us to travel individually. Technically, we are past that deadline, but I have been working with our consultant and she has agreed to extend the deadline to Oct. 1. We are very, very close to 20 participants, and we know from conversations we’ve had with each of you that we will have more than 20 travelers on the trip – so if you are able to do so, please enroll your student or yourself online by Oct. 1!!

Also – we’ve had a few parents volunteer for fundraiser organizing duty. More information about that and how to get involved will be coming out very soon. We believe the way we will work it is have everyone get enrolled for the trip, fundraise, then “pay families back” once the fundraisers have wrapped up. Let me know if you’re interested in helping out!

I’ve attached my original email at the end of this one with detailed information about how to create and account and sign up for the trip. Thank you!!

Halley

Language Arts and Social Studies Update

Upcoming Events:

Picture Day- Friday, September 30, 2011 (order forms in Friday Folders)

Thursday, September 29, 12:00 –students participate in Foss Waterway Master Redevelopment Meeting

Friday, October 14- Teacher in-service- no school for students

Language Arts and Social Studies Update

Language Arts:

Students have begun the process of Writer’s Workshop, learning to trust their own writing by diving head first into a creative story of their own invention. Teacher guidance is purposefully minimal at this stage as students build confidence in their own unique writing styles.

Vocabulary practice has begun in the text “1100 Words You Need to Know” with student performing very well on their first quiz. Each week, students will learn 20 new words and 5 new idioms and will be quizzed each Friday. It is best if students review the 5 new words they learn per-day every night.

Students have begun reading our first novel in the science fiction genre, H.G. Wells classic, The Time Machine. Enthusiastic discussions about time travel have exploded! Ask your student about the grandfather cause paradox. Students have been given a study guide that has vocabulary and questions. Each group has deadlines to meet in order to keep up with the pace of class.

Social Studies: We began our journey into our Destinations theme by staring at home and thinking about stuff. Lots of stuff. We watched the extremely interesting (if a bit preachy) video The Story of Stuff. http://www.storyofstuff.com/Which lead to a discussion of toxic chemicals in our environment, which lead to a scavenger hunt though the school to see what kinds of cleaning products we’re using and other ways to make small changes in our school to help “Green up Seabury.” Students have formed committees to investigate  ways we can responsibly make changes. Students will then put together a proposal to present to our administrative team suggesting changes that the school can make. So far we have committees for; copy paper, paper towels, cleaners, batteries, water usage and waste- free lunch.

Math and Science Update

In Math, students have been split into ability groups. Each chapter will be pretested so I can see what the students already know in order to compact the instruction. Additionally, students have started work on a curriculum that exercises problem solving skills along with several specific Math skills. The Science project students have been working on also involves several Math skills.

In Science, students have been working on an exercise related to the ASARCO smelter that we’ve been studying. Students were asked to start with the dimensions of the site we’ve adopted through Citizens For A Healthy Bay. Then, they were asked to do research on what it would take to replace contaminated soil at the site, much like what Dirt Alert does. In order to do this, students had to research many issues: how deep to dig, how to remove the soil, disposal fees, what soil would be best, how much soil would be needed, delivery fees, etc. Students have learned a lot about the realities of dirt removal and exercised many Math skills along the way.

Monday transportation

Dear parents –

You should have all received the below email several weeks ago. For now, we are considering Monday transportation to the Morgan Family YMCA beginning in two weeks – students would need a YMCA membership and the extra Seabury school bus run would have a small fee attached. We have had a few students express interest but would need at least two more before this is feasible. Please let Sandi or Halley know ASAP if you are interested in this after school option.

Thanks!

Halley

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Dear Parents,

We have been working on expanding after school options open to Seabury’s middle school students. As you know, we currently only offer after school care to students at our lower school campus, which typically isn’t convenient for families in Tacoma or UP. While some middle school students are ready to take public transportation home after school and to stay home alone if parents are not at work, not all are ready for that, so we have been looking for other options that we can offer on a regular basis.

We have found two possible options for you to consider, and are writing to see how much interest there is in having us set up transportation for them. Please read the following carefully, and let us know as soon as possible whether or not you are interested.

1. Morgan Family YMCA on Pearl Street: The Morgan Y has two options for our students. They can either check in with their membership card when they arrive and participate in open gym, do homework, get a snack at Subway, etc. Or students can check in to the Ys teen drop in program and participate in directly supervised activities there. If we had enough students interested in going there one or more days a week after school, we could provide bus transportation for a small fee. We would have them leave the MS at 2:55 and arrive at the Morgan Y at 3:10 in order for the bus to return and take the remaining students to the lower school campus.
2. Downtown Tacoma Public Library Story Lab: Our tech teacher, Adam Brock, runs the Story Lab at the Tacoma Public Library (http://storylabtacoma.org/?page_id=321). The lab is a great resource for our community and something our middle school students use from time to time during the school day. After school, it is open for any teen in the community who wants to drop in and use their top end technology to make a video, record a song, draw a comic book, etc. If there was enough interest, we could have the bus drop kids off at the library on the way to the lower school as part of the regular run. Our recommendation is that you talk with Adam about Story Lab and about the library if you are not familiar with it. As a downtown library, there are a wide variety of people who use their facilities. The bathrooms are monitored by a security guard at all times, and if our students were to stay in the Story Lab, they would be under Adam’s supervision. He has said that students use the Story Lab to do everything from record songs (including some with lyrics that are quite coarse), make videos, etc. We do not recommend our students spend their afterschool hours at the downtown library unless they stay in the teen area or in the Story Lab (adjacent to the teen area). *** It is important to note that Adam is not on Seabury time while he is at Story Lab. While some parents choose to send their children to Story Lab after school because Adam is there, he is not on the Seabury clock and cannot be held responsible for more than are his duties through the library during that time.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are:
1. Interested in having us transport your child one or more days a week to the Y or Story Lab.
2. Not sure and would like more information
3. Not anticipating using either option.

Thanks so much!

Sandi