Jon's Weekly Update 12-15-11

posted Dec 15, 2011, 10:53 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Dear Middle School Family,

I can't get over what a gift this school year has been. When I was in middle school, my family lived out in the boonies on Whidbey Island, Washington. I HATED staying home sick. Missing my friends was more miserable than whichever pains my body was racked with. I'm happy to report that I feel exactly the same way now as I did then. Your children are a delight to work and grow with. I'm sincerely going to miss them over Winter Break.

We're wrapping up another (short) grading Cycle this week in time for the Break. I will get all the grading done by this weekend. The students have their work routine pretty much dialed in at this point. Thanks for your support at home. Please keep it up! Our State Benchmark tests this week showed positive growth across the board. Especially in Math.

There's no Official Homework for Winter Break, but please encourage your student to read daily, and please encourage them to log onto the Khan Academy website to maintain and hone their math skills.


1. JANUARY 5 SLEEPOVER? The kids want a welcome back sleepover at school on Thursday, January 5. We need 2 parent volunteers to make it happen. It will cost $10 per student. We'll provide dinner and breakfast and movie snacks. I especially need a "Food Handler" volunteer to pull the meals together if we're going to make it happen. Please e-mail me ASAP! I'll be in touch over Break with the details.

2. Oregon Battle of the Books! We're enrolled! And we've got some amazing readers. We need a parent coach to organize our team of volunteer readers, and we need the books! This is a super fun, highly motivating program. We could make it an elective... Or after school... We're flexible. This is one of those volunteer opportunities that only comes up once in a lifetime. I'm not kidding. You'll love it!

Check out the website:

We also need help buying the books for our team. (This would also make a great reading list over the break!)

Here they are:
All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg
The Circuit: Stories From the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jiménez
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa
Football Genius by Tim Green
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley
Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
Scat by Carl Hiaasen
Stolen Children by Peg Kehret
Tiger by Jeff Stone
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John

Please enjoy your time together this Winter Break.

Jon and Carrie