Dover-Sherborn Middle School NEWSLETTER OCTOBER, 2009 GREETINGS FROM THE HEADMASTER Another great month has passed us by as we move forward in the middle school. We have settled into our routines nicely and while there is still a sense of “newness” to the school year, the early, and in some ways most challenging, part of our transition back to school is behind us. Invitations have been sent out for the annual DSEF gala event. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, November 14 at the beautiful Wellesley Country Club. Please keep the date in mind; we have a flyer with details on our website page for your reference. We are in full swing in our battle with germs. There always seems to be an abundance of bugs and germs challenging our health in schools. This year is no exception. One of the ways we are trying to tackle the problem is to encourage good hand cleansing practices. We have antibacterial dispensers in the classrooms and also newly installed in the cafeteria for students to use regularly. Staff is providing students with frequent reminders about hand washing; please reinforce this practice when speaking to your children at home. As the weather becomes colder, don’t forget to make sure your children are wearing warmer clothing to school. I know the temperature has been highly unpredictable over the past month, but we can safely assume that it will continue to cool from this point forward. Please encourage your children to dress appropriately, perhaps in layers, until the real frigid weather sets in. The end of this month has culminated in our first school dance and school party. Last Friday, we had our first dance for 7th and 8th graders; it was a Halloween themed dance. It was very well attended and a whole lot of fun! Tomorrow night, our 6th graders have their annual SADD sponsored Halloween party. It is a costume party so make sure to come in your spooky or “cooky” best. Parent conferences have been undergoing for grade 6 parents and I know that the other grade levels are in the process of planning their conferences. Make sure you contact your child’s team leader if you are interested and have not already communicated that interest. As always, I hope your children are enjoying their experience at the middle school. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Respectfully, Frederick A. Randall October Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 1 2 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 14 15 16 NO SCHOOL Columbus Day 19 20 21 22 23 Early release day (1,2,3,4) 26 27 28 29 30 November Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 2 3 4 5 6 9 10 11 12 13 16 17 18 19 20 23 24 25 26 27 30 The 15th annual 6th grade Halloween Party is coming soon! 6th graders are invited to attend the annual 6th grade Halloween Party to be held on Friday evening, October 30th, from 7 - 9 PM in Lindquist Commons cafeteria. This party will include a costume contest (along with great prizes), as well as other Halloween games, contests, and dancing. This party is sponsored by DSHS SADD, Reach Out, Inc., P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E., and the Sherborn D.A.R.E. program. Admission is $5.00 at the door. This party is chaperoned by both parents and S.A.D.D. members. Questions, please call Jane Biagi at Reach Out - 508-785-1065. See you there, and don't forget your costume! HELP CLUB HELP Club volunteers have met twice already this year. We are excited about the group of students coming in--they are energized and motivated to help others and have fantastic ideas for how to get students involved and the types of projects that they would like to support. We are working on 3 projects right now: Students are collecting old cellphones. These do NOT have to be in working order and do not need to have chargers, batteries etc. These are rehabbed and given to seniors and others for emergency 9-1-1 use. If you have an old cellphone you would consider donating, please send it into school or place in our collection jar on the HELP Club table in front of the office. Students are collecting pasta and rice for A Place to Turn in Natick. With the economy still in the doldrums, these are pantry staples that many families desperately need. Food pantry requests are way up this year and any donations you can send in are welcome. We will be having an intergrade competition to see which grade can bring in the most pasta and rice. Donations are being collected in the colored bins in front of the office. Please check to put your donation in your grade's bin! Finally, we are working to support an organization this year that rehabs housing for wounded and disabled soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This group reconfigures housing so that soldiers who have lost limbs can have wheelchair access etc. to their own homes. This is a huge need for these people who have served our country. Students are hosting a bake sale THIS FRIDAY, October 23 to raise money for this group. We have bake sales about once each month at the top of the stairs before advisory. Baked goods are sold for .50-$1 and all proceeds go to the organization we have chosen to receive benefits. We always are looking for both student bakers and helpers to sell the food, and also for buyers. Small bills really help--it is difficult for us to make change for bills larger than $5! As always, no food may be brought in or sold that contains any peanut butter or other nut products. Our best sellers are brownies, chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes. This year, we are alternating meeting on Mondays and Thursdays to enable more students to attend our meetings which are right after school. Students will have snacks and can take the late bus home. Our next meeting will be Monday the 26th in room 234. If a student can't attend, they can always check out the website and send ideas and e-mails to us as well. We hope to have our blog up and running soon. We also always need bakers for HELP Club bake sales. Thank you for your generosity! HELP Club News from the Physical Education Department Why assess Fitness? The Fitnessgram assessment is based not on athletic ability, but on good health. No matter what your children grow up to become, they will live happier, more productive lives if they are healthy— and physical fitness is vital to overall health. Fitnessgram provides accurate and reliable information about your child’s level of physical fitness. Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health crises facing the nation. Obesity puts children at risk for diabetes and other chronic illnesses and can lead to lifelong health problems, including reduced life expectancy. Over the last 40 years childhood obesity has more than quadrupled. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services And….How did we Do? Our students practice each component of the Fitnessgram each class for one month. We then administer the test. Students can retake the test again at 7 weeks and then 9 weeks into the school year. We then retest in the spring and continue our efforts in class throughout the winter. This is the percentage of DSMS students whose scores fell in the Healthy Fitness Zone on their first attempt. curl trunk push sit& Mile ups lift ups reach BMI 8th 92% 83% 89% 82% 82% 88% 7th 97% 95% 87% 84% 78% 94% 6th 92% 85% 83% 82% 85% 92% Texas completed a first of its kind study of more than 2.4 million students who completed the Fitnessgram. 55% of 6th graders, 52% of 7th and 49% of 8th graders mile scores were in the Healthy Fitness Zone. 68% of 6-8th graders had healthy BMI’s. We are pleased with how well our students at DSMS fair on this assessment☺ ENGLISH NEWS th This month, the 7 graders were fortunate to have Erin Dionne, author of Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies, visit and talk to them about the writing process. Several students chose her book as one of their summer reading books. Her presentation emphasized the perseverance, dedication, and hard work necessary to get a book published. When asked to guess how many drafts of the book were necessary, students were shocked to learn that it took thirteen! Her experience goes to show that writing at all levels require re-working. In class discussions the following day, students made connections with their own writing process and wrote thank you cards. We are very fortunate at DSMS to have this opportunity. AFTER SCHOOL MATH TEAMS STARTING SOON Do you enjoy challenging yourself mathematically? If so, the math teachers encourage you to join your grade level math team. The 6th grade Math Club and the 7th & 8th grade Math Counts Team will be starting on Wednesday, November 4th. Both will meet after school on Wednesdays from 2:20- 3:15 pm. Ms. Heath and Mrs. Raymond are advising the 6th grade Math Club on Wednesdays after school. According to Mrs. Raymond, “Believe it or not, many students have a great time trying challenging math problems and eating snacks after school!” The Math Club meets from November through the beginning of March. Mrs. Kee is the Math Counts Team advisor for 7th and 8th grade students. She will be working with the team to prepare them for the 2010 regional meet in Framingham this February. The team looks forward to having new members join the group. Both the 7th-8th grade Math Counts Team and the 6th grade Math Club use a variety of stimulating math challenges that are guaranteed to excite math enthusiasts of all ages. If you are interested in joining or need more information, please contact your math teacher.