January 2010 20 Wolf Pit Road
(860) 677-2683 Farmington, CT 06032
PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE For parents of eighth graders, you will soon begin the
Kelly M. Lyman, Principal process of preparing for high school. Included in this
. newsletter is information about the details of that process.
Happy New Year. Each year I am surprised by the Your child will be bringing home information about the
changes in your children that come after the December course selection process in the next week. Be sure to
vacation. It is as if Mother Nature speeds things up. We save the evening of February 4th at 7:00 for the orienta-
see both physical changes and a maturity in the behav- tion program at Farmington High School.
iors of our students. It can be amazing to watch the
physical changes take place. Not only do these young For our seventh graders, we wait until the early spring to
people physically shoot up, their whole look often begin the transition process. At that time we share course
changes. Gone are the little kid faces and in their place selection information and provide students with some fun
we see emerging mid-stage adolescents. As their bodies activities which support the change process they are un-
change, so too do their emotions. These changes may dergoing. For example, in early June we provide a day
take a different form for each child. They can be unpre- devoted to making good decisions and promoting well-
dictable and confusing for both us and the child, but this ness – physical, emotional, and social.
stage is also a sign that growth is happening.
In the coming weeks and months we will together marvel
The transition to a new grade and expectations for learn- at the changes brought by Mother Nature and continue
ing are complete. Now our students enter a time of great preparing our students for the next new year – the start of
development. Academic assignments require them to the next new school year that is.
assume more responsibility for their learning. We focus
less on acquiring factual information that can be memo-
rized and more on developing one’s own understanding
and applying information learned to new settings.
The parents’ role also changes during this time. Our
Kelly M. Lyman
children are sending us the message that they don’t want
us around as much but they do still want us involved.
Be patient, be there when your child does reach out, and
continue to check-in. Ask questions about what is hap-
pening in school, with friends, and in extra-curricular
activities. Questions that are open ended and non-
threatening are best (ex. What are you studying right
now that is really interesting? Is anything in school hard
right now? Gee, I haven’t seen your friend X recently.
Are you two still friendly?). Be prepared for non-
specific responses and probe only when you think it is
important that you know more at that time. Just asking
the question lets your child know you are interested and
want to remain involved. It also lets your child know
that he or she can come to you to talk about this further
For School Coffee and Conversation…
Check out WTIC 1080, Chan-
nel 3, 8 or 30 or check our A Breakfast Series for Parents of Stu-
website at www.fpsct.org dents in grades 5-8
Join us for a brief presentation and infor-
mal conversation with counselors and
other parents. Coffee and light breakfast
Friday, November 13, 8:30-9:30,
Rm. 27A at IAR.
“Building On Strengths”
2009-2010 SCHOOL CALENDAR Facilitated by Sara Runkle, MS, and Denise Sanady,
11 Board of Education Meeting—FHS
18 No School (Martin Luther King Day) Friday, January 8, 9:00-10:00,
25 Board of Education Meeting—FHS
Rm. 27A at IAR.
February “Internet Safety”
15-19 Winter Recess Facilitated by Officer Sue DiVenere, Farmington
26 Grade 8 Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Police Dept.
March Friday, February 26, 9:00-10:00,
1-12 CMT Testing Rm. 27A at IAR.
Teacher Professional Dev. Day—No School
“Stress, Anxiety and Time Management”
Facilitated by IAR Counseling and Social Work staff
2 Good Friday—Office and School Closed Friday, April 9, 9:00-10:00,
8 6th Grade Orientation Rm. 27A at IAR.
19-23 Spring Recess
“Young Adolescents and Social Conflict:
When do Parents Get Involved?”
Facilitated by IAR Counseling and Social Work
Friday, May 14, 9:00-10:00,
Rm. 27A at IAR.
“Developmental Stages: What to Expect at
Facilitated by Jeffrey A. Asmar, LLC, LCSW
RSVP is appreciated but not
Mrs. Laura Ramirez, School Counselor — Realistic: Goals need to be realistic. It's important to
Teams A and D honestly evaluate yourself. Do you have the ability and
Mrs. Brooke Stanziale, School Counselor — commitment to make your dream come true? Or does it
Teams B and E need a little adjustment? For example, you may love to
Mrs. Mary Wendell (substitute for Ms. Runkle), play soccer, but do you have the time, talent and com-
School Counselor— Teams C and G mitment to become a pro? Be honest.
Mrs. Denise Sanady, School Social Worker
Miss Connie Mayette, Counseling secretary Time Framed: Goals need to have a time frame. Hav-
860-677-4363 ing a set amount of time will give your goals structure.
For example, many students want to earn better
grades. Some people spend a lot of time talking about
what they want to do, someday. But, without an end
date there is no sense of urgency, no reason to take
any action today. Having a specific time frame, for ex-
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ample, improve grades by the end of quarter three,
gives you the impetus to get started. It also helps you
SMART Goals monitor your progress.
The New Year is a great time to take a look at the Making it Yours
habits of your 7th or 8th grader and make some reso- Now you know the fundamentals of goal setting. Keep
lutions together. Set a goal or two for the upcoming the SMART acronym in mind to help you.
year. Setting goals is more than making vague state-
ments like, "I will improve my grades" or "I will get The first step to success is knowing where you want to
involved in school." It means creating a written plan go. The second step is having a plan to get there. Your
that includes reasonable and measurable long-term goals are your road map. Follow them and you'll be well
and short-term objectives. It means setting SMART on your way.
Adapted from an article by Annette Richmond on Ca-
Lots of educators, including teachers at IAR, and reer-Intelligence.com
business consultants use the SMART acronym to
explain goal setting. Each one uses a slightly differ- Students have used SMART goals in classes at IAR.
ent set of criteria. In this case, S.M.A.R.T. refers to This language should already be familiar to them.
goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Re-
alistic and Time Framed.
Specific: Goals need to be something specific. Often
we set goals that are so loose, it's nearly impossible high school scheduling process…
to judge whether we hit them or not. For example, a
statement like "I will do better in school" is too vague. Attention 8th grade parents:
How will you know if and when you've reached your •Presentation to 8th graders--School Counselors (IAR
goal? Saying, “I will complete all of my homework in and FHS) will meet with 8th graders on January 12th,
math class so that I can get credit for it" is more spe- 13th and 14th to present an overview of the FHS Course
cific. At the end of the month it will be a simple matter Selection Process (course level recommendations, tran-
of asking the math teacher if all homework was scripts, credits, electives) and to allow for questions
passed in. about the transition to high school.
•Information to share with parents--Following this
Measurable: Goals need to be measurable. For ex- presentation, students will take home their FHS Pro-
ample, many of us want to improve class participa- gram of Studies booklet and share it with their parents.
tion. A clear objective is "I will raise my hand at least •Parent orientation--Parents are encouraged to attend
once in each class to ask or answer a question.” It's a high school orientation at FHS on February 4th at
a simple, concrete goal. This makes it easy to see if 7pm.
you hit your target. •High school course recommendations--Course rec-
ommendation sheets will be filled out by the teachers
Achievable: Goals need to be reasonable and and mailed home in early February. Students and par-
achievable. Nearly everyone has tried to drop a few ents should review the recommendations and choose
pounds at one time or another. Often their success or electives for 9th grade. Both parents and students must
failure depends on setting practical goals. Losing 15 sign the sheet and return it to homeroom teachers by
pounds in 30 days is unrealistic (unless you're plan- Thursday February 9th.
ning a medical procedure). Losing six to eight pounds Yellow FHS course recommendation forms must be
in 30 days is reasonable. Don't set yourself up for returned to the homeroom teacher by Tuesday Feb-
failure by setting goals that are out of reach. ruary 9th. Thank you for your support with this
American Cancer Society
Relay For Life of Farmington
Celebrating 10 Years
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost will never be
forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be elimi-
At Relay we host ceremonies that:
Celebrate survivors and their caregivers
Remember those who have passed away
Fight Back commitments are made to live healthier and to help fight cancer
In our nine years of celebrating Relay For Life we have had excellent commitment and support from the students at
Irving A Robbins School and Farmington High School. With the idea that if we educate children about cancer pre-
vention and healthy living and involve them in the American Cancer Society mission their lives and the lives of all of
us will be better. We are working to organize Irving A. Robbins School students, parents and teachers to join us.
The I.A.R students will be at the Relay at Farmington High School on May 22 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. During
that time members of their team will be walking the track while others will participate in the ceremonies and fun-
filled activities designed for their age level.
You can help by:
--- Leading a team of students, parents or both that will honor or memorialize someone
with cancer or that supports the American Cancer Society’s efforts.
--- Chaperone a team while they are at the Relay.
JOIN US at our celebratory kickoff to the 2010 Relay season
Thursday January 28th at The Farmington Club from 5:30 – 7:30 pm (RSVP required)
If you are interested in joining us or
getting more information please contact
Ms. Rebecca Roy, Health Teacher at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Harvey Dutil at email@example.com
or David Hirx at firstname.lastname@example.org