There is a lot going on in the Middle School! Read about all the exciting developments below:
- Ms. Ciccone’s and Ms. Alonso’s 7th grades recently had their plays: Pinocchio and Her Three Kings, respectively. Both were a great success, with students taking on and succeeding in challenging roles while providing both entertainment and moments of reflection for the community. At the end of March, Mr. Williams’ 8th grade class performed a very entertaining Christopher Columbus to an appreciative audience. It was wonderful to see the eighth graders push themselves individually in their acting and also in how they worked together as a team.
- Ms. Hawk’s and Mr. Ebert’s 6th grade classes went to International Towne as a part of their study of economics. According to International Towne, it is “a one-of-a-kind educational program offered to 6th, 7th and 8th grade teachers to help teach students about global economics through fun, hands-on, experiential learning.” The class was so engaged and enthusiastically participated in their roles as Peace Keepers, Presidents, Customs Agents, etc.
- Our Youth Empowered Leadership Program for 8th graders, led by MPCS parent Heather Kennedy, is working on a social media campaign to support middle school mental health awareness. We hope you will notice their work in the month of May, which is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Heather Kennedy and Leslie Hillen took members of the group to Speak Up for Kids Health Advocacy Day last month at the Capitol where they spoke to their elected representatives about the importance of mental health for middle school students.
- A group of 8th graders has been creating a “Code of Compassion” through their role in our Student Social Action Committee, led by Jamie Pittock. They interviewed classes in grades one through eight and identified core principles and actions that make Mountain Phoenix a supportive and caring school for each child. The group will introduce the “Code of Compassion” to the student body at large this spring.
- Our middle school library is almost finished! It has taken the better part of this year, but through the hard work of Lynn Pollitt, Eric Ebert, and many students, we will soon be able to call it done. If anyone would like to donate a new or very gently used bean bag, or other small comfortable chair, or a folding table, we could use one or two of each.
- Middle School classes have each added two periods a week for increased math and science experiences. Teachers are working to bring more time for focused scientific inquiry and mathematical skill building into their class’s weekly rhythms. Topics from geology, physics, botany, and statistics have all found a place.
- On the subject of math, the middle school now has increased math support available to students throughout the afternoon. Groupings are flexible and allow small groups to develop their math confidence, capacities, and skills with a math specialist for one or more periods a week.
- A new electives cycle has begun that include a very interesting new class: Marimba Making with Karen Smith. Karen’s students are working to make wooden marimbas that they will use in Mountain Phoenix’s very own Marimba Band! We hope to be able to offer this class again next fall as it appears to be very popular so far.
- A group of industrious seventh graders has taken the first steps in forming a Student Council. They are meeting weekly with Ms. Chace to create the form for this new leadership group so that the Student Council can start off in August ready to go. The group plans to bring topics of student interest to the faculty and also bring topics of faculty interest to the students; in this way we hope the Student Council will provide a necessary conduit between students and faculty and help us all work together more seamlessly for the betterment of Mountain Phoenix. We also hear that a school newspaper may also be in the works, so perhaps later this spring or next fall you will be able to read about the work of the Student Council in a student-run newspaper!
– Written by Jen Chace