Jon's Weekly Update 9-19-18

posted Sep 19, 2018, 10:43 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Please add the Ridgeline Middle School Calendar to your Google Calendars!

Dear Middle School Family,

It's been an amazing two weeks back to school. The students came back ready for action and game for anything. We spent the entire first week getting to know one another, and practicing and discussing the ways we want to work and live together as a learning community. 

It was fun time well spent.

We are quickly settling into our academic routines, and we're continuing to develop and strengthen our human relationships in this new academic community. Our 7th graders are coming from 3 different classrooms!

This year's Humanities curriculum will focus on US Government and History. In particular, we're going to focus on Civics and Civic responsibility. We're going to look at the US Government from the perspective of the Citizen: what are the privileges of US Citizenship? What are the responsibilities? How does a Citizen participate effectively and proactively in a government "for the People by the People?" What is is government, anyway? What does it do? What should it be doing?

From now until Winter Break (the first of three Trimesters), we'll be delving into our collective identity as a Nation: Who are we? We're starting with the middle school, spending a lot of intentional time getting to know one another better. Not just as individuals, but as members of different families with different cultural values and norms. 

This week, the students are creating "Personal Culture Posters," where they are exploring and sharing the traditions and practices that make them and their family unique. It's an opportunity acknowledge the commonalities we share, and to learn more about and honor the differences between us that make us truly valuable to each other's growth.

As we expand out in the coming weeks to explore the cultural and geographical landscape of the United States, as we seek to better understand who we are as a People, this groundwork is going to be especially valuable. When we can see and value the differences in our 'in group,' it will help support our ability to understand and respect the differences in communities and cultures that are outside our personal experience.

In the second term, up until Spring Break, we will start to look at the challenges our various regions and communities face around the United States, and examine the ways that Citizens and our government is responding to them. In the third, final term, we will explore ways that we, as Citizens, can take positive action in our local community to improve our quality of life. And we will take action with service projects out in our community.

Civic responsibility and action is only part of our learning adventure this year. Your student's days are going to be spent honing their communication skills in the English language and mathematics, as well as their ability to apply these tools to scientific reasoning and problem solving. We have a rich variety of Electives for the students to explore from term to term, as well, with options covering everything from Creative Writing, to Ukulele Performance, to Running and other physical expressions, to painting and crafting, to strategic and roleplaying games. 

In addition to PE twice a week, students will also be participating in a "Health and Real Life Skills" class where we'll be exploring topics like Mindfulness, Nutrition, Physical Fitness, and Emotionally Intelligent Communication.

It's going to be a fun-filled, deep-learning kind of year, filled with social action and self discovery. 

We're so grateful to be here. And we're so glad you're here.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions, or would like to participate more in the good work we're up to this year.

Jon and Maizzy