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Nov. 8 2019

I know this is a long article, but I have found that I get great responses from parents when I share these good parenting articles.  I thought this one was worth the read.

Virginia Stewart

 

How to catch a falling son

He's gifted and once loved learning. Somewhere along the way, my boy slipped through the educational cracks and nearly out of school. Is it too late to save him?

by: Christina Tynan-Wood | November 6, 2017

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When he was young, my son Cole was an entertaining writer, voracious reader, and so curious he exhausted us with questions. In second grade, he was tested as gifted. Now, at 15, he’s as likely to be the teacher in our relationship as the student. But with rare exception, he gets terrible grades. Over the years, I’ve been told he’s learning challenged and so needs special education and medication. I’ve been to every kind of parent/teacher meeting. I’ve tried every kind of school: Montessori, charter, public, magnet, private, as well as homeschooling. I hoped as he got older, this bright boy would be more willing to speak up and demonstrate that his inattention is not incomprehension.

But three weeks ago, as his sophomore year drew to a close, I got a call from a teacher warning me he was unlikely to pass. I had known he was slipping behind. In fact, I’d removed all the distractions I could from our house — Xbox, cable TV — and even set “distraction controls” on his laptop to keep him from wandering to Facebook when he should be studying. Cole and I talked about homework daily. He assured me he was getting caught up and that his teachers were simply not updating the online grading system. His efforts, he insisted with disarming confidence, would be reflected in his report card. But the teacher informed me she had just updated the system. I sighed and took a look. His grades were so low he would have to work to bring them up to Fs. What did he imagine was going to happen when I got that report card?

We’d been here before, but he always managed to catch up at the last minute. This time was different. I sat him down to explain that these grades were scorching his dreams of studying engineering at a good university. He shrugged and looked hopeless. “What are the chances that I’ll get into college?” he asked.

Not ‘fit’ for college?

What happened? How did that brilliant, curious mind decide it wasn’t a fit for college?

I started troubleshooting. First I called the school guidance counselor to find out what Cole’s options were. Should I let him fail so he could learn from the consequences of his inaction? Was it mathematically possible for him to pass? “It’s possible,” the counselor told me. “But I doubt he can do it. He has dug himself into quite a hole.” These were not easy classes he was failing. No amount of general brilliance would get him through honors chemistry. “But he can retake the classes in the summer. If he does that, these grades won’t affect his GPA — though the incident will appear on his record. But try and get him to fix it. This is too harsh a lesson at his age.” The counselor agreed to talk to him man-to-man to explain the situation and Cole’s options.

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Next, I did what I always do when I feel lost: research. I discovered that what’s happening to my son is epidemic and has been happening for decades. Boys start falling behind girls in kindergarten and keep doing it right through college. The end result? Colleges that are only 40 percent male and an educated workforce that is increasingly female.

5 reasons boys fail

Dr. Leonard Sax puts forth five possible reasons our boys are failing: boys’ dependence on video games, teaching methods that don’t account for how boys learn, an increasing reliance on stimulants like Ritalin that are designed to help young boys focus but — according to his research — sap their motivation and drive when they are older, chemicals in the environment that disrupt hormones, and the devaluation of masculinity in schools that disenfranchise boys.

I inhaled his book Boys Adrift. It made complete sense. I’ve long been a believer in encouraging the “boy” aspect of boys. Despite the not-so-subtle suggestions starting in kindergarten that I put Cole on Ritalin, he and I refused. But the section on video games seemed to hold exactly the answer I was looking for. Cole loves video games – a love bordering on addiction.

According to Sax, the video game addiction is an indicator of the “will to power” personality. This term, coined by Friedrich Nietzsche, describes the desire to control one’s environment. Sax argues that the “will to power” is among the basic, immutable personality traits, trumping other basic impulses like the will to please. In video games, you experience control — often of a vast, complex world that requires lightning-fast reflexes, nuanced decisions, extensive memory, and ruthlessness. In fact, games are one of the few places Cole achieves what brain researchers call “flow” — where your mind is so engaged you lose track of time.

I had long been responding to this aspect of his nature without having a name for it.

In the fourth grade, for example, his language arts teacher warned me he was failing so I called a meeting. She handed me proof: a test where he’d been asked to write a response to a prompt. She had given it an F.

It was good — and not just the grammar and spelling: he could write a lead, build suspense, and tell a joke. “What’s wrong with this?” I asked. “This is good writing — even for an adult.”

She handed me the rubric she had been teaching from. It stated a sentence had to be six words long. “He used a two-word sentence. I am not trying to teach good writing,” she informed me, the irony apparently lost on her. “I have to teach him to write to that rubric so he can pass the EOGs (end-of-grade tests).” I pulled him out of this school shortly after.

At home, Cole looked at the test and shrugged. “I don’t care what she thinks,” he said. “She calls adjectives ‘sparkle words.’”

“It’s not writing,” I agreed. “And she’s not half the writer you are. This is a word game. And these are the rules.” I handed him the rubric. “I thought you were good at word games. She thinks if you can’t play this game you won’t be good at the EOGs either.”

He glanced at the rubric and nodded. I left it at that. And he went back to his computer game. But he got A’s after that — and top marks on the EOGs.

He may not be interested in pleasing teachers, but he’s always up for winning a game.

School is for girls

“What should I do?” I asked Sax.

“There is only one solution,” he told me. “Enroll him in an all-boys school where the teachers know how to handle this personality.” Not only are the schools he endorses same-sex, but the teachers at the boys schools understand that boys respond to competition and sometimes need to lead. They get the concept of will to power and use it as a teaching tool.

Unfortunately, there is no such school where we live and I can’t afford boarding school. I pointed this out.

“You will have to move,” he answered without hesitation. I could hear him typing and looking up the school closest to us, which turned out to be three hours away — and full. I thought he was joking, so I laughed. There was an awkward silence.

“This is your son,” he said. “I moved so my daughter could go to the right school. You have no choice. If I thought there was another way, I would not have founded the National Association for Single Sex Education.”

I have changed Cole’s school a half-dozen times without success. Although the debate on the pros and cons of single-sex education continues, I’m willing to believe Sax might be right about my son. But Cole likes his school – in no small part because there are girls there – and none of us want to move. I made a note of this idea as a possible last resort. But I searched on for a solution that fit our lives.

Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, saw no easy solution either. “I hate to say this about your son,” he said. “But, at this point, he is not likely to achieve his dream of studying engineering at a good school.”

“I dropped out of high school,” I countered. “But I went on to a good college — after a semester at a community college — and have achieved most of my dreams.” I explained that I went to an experimental high school designed like a college. It lost funding in my junior year and closed but I couldn’t face the prison-like atmosphere of my only other alternative. So I got a GED at 16.

Whitmire listened with interest to my story. But he insisted, “You didn’t want to study engineering. And you didn’t have the experience your son is having. He is learning that he can’t do this. It sounds as if your journey had the opposite effect.”

Whitmire has spent years examining the appalling number of boys who don’t do well in elementary through high school and then go on to do poorly in college, if they go at all. This trend has been going on for decades. At this point, in some colleges, he told me, girls outnumber boys by two to one.

The problem, he says (along with Sax and many others) is that academics have been pushed into children’s lives earlier. Kindergarten is what first grade used to be. Girls are often ready to read at this age. Boys? Not so much. So from his very first school experience, a boy senses school isn’t for him, a feeling that worsens as the years drag on. Schools, which once left girls falling behind in math and science, have been revamped to be more verbal. This has helped girls. But boys aren’t as verbal and tend to tune out when there’s too much talking. Homework is another problem: in general, girls do it, boys don’t.

In fact, it was the failure to turn in homework that accounted, for the most part, for Cole’s current grades.

Don’t push the homework button

Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, a clinical psychologist, wrote The Homework Trap because it was the book he wished he’d had when his son was in school.

“Imagine Pavlov’s dog,” Goldberg told me. “Pavlov taught the dog to salivate to a bell by using positive stimulation. And they teach rats to push a button the same way. But you can also teach the rat not to push a button with negative stimulation. That’s what we are doing to these boys (and girls) with homework.”

Some students are fine with homework. But for others this nightly ritual is hell. Maybe they didn’t pay attention in class so they don’t know what the homework is or how to do it. Perhaps they have trouble sitting still again after a long day in school. Some have a low-level learning disability, which leaves them disadvantaged when it comes to processing information that’s spoken out loud. (Boys are much more likely than girls to have one of these.)

Whatever the reason for the student’s difficulty with homework, it’s a big part of school. So concerned parents spend hours on it every night. We lose family time, pleasant after-school activities, and the harmony of family life. It becomes a war between parent and child to get this essential work done.

“People work in containers,” Goldberg says. “We go to school for five hours. We go to work for eight. But a homework-trapped student has to do homework until it is done or everyone is too exhausted to care.”

I thought about all the fights Cole and I have had over the years about homework. It seemed pointless — and cruel.

The solution? “Set a fixed amount of time for homework — ten minutes per class is a good amount,” says Goldberg. When the time is up, he’s done. The idea is that over time you’re changing how your child approaches and feels about homework. Eventually, says Goldberg, Cole will be able to complete all his homework without the usual strife. (Ideally, you work with the teacher to devise a homework solution that works while you’re retraining your child to approach homework differently.)

Would this solution work? And would we get cooperation from the school? We’d have to see.

Let’s make a deal

I would like to give up on this system that’s teaching my son that he can’t succeed and enroll him in a virtual school at K12.com or Connections Academy — or move so he can go to an all-boys school. But Cole wants to stay in this school. So we settled on a plan to get him caught up: if he fails, I get to choose.

I printed out a list of all the missing assignments and tests. He grabbed at it, gratefully. He hadn’t been paying attention and had no idea what was missing.

Then I asked my mother to stop by every afternoon after school. She has never been part of the homework battle, so I thought she might be a more effective person to help him get through it all. She read while Cole plugged away online at the Khan Academy, quickly getting up to speed on chemistry and algebra. In Salman Khan (at the Khan Academy), Cole discovered a math and chemistry teacher he could relate to, as I thought he might.

He also did his best to impress his grandmother with his dutiful attention to work. Though she didn’t do much but sit observing, occasionally she’d gently redirect him back to his studies if he strayed. She stayed for one hour. Once she left, homework time was over. He could do more work if he liked, and sometimes he would. But that was up to him.

One thing was clear: this new method was working. Suddenly, homework wasn’t something Cole put every ounce of his intelligence and effort into avoiding. With a hard stop at the end of an hour — and a lot of work to do — it was easier just to do it.

Cole started turning in piles of homework. He started to look less hopeless. One Sunday when my mother was visiting, he came out of his room, hugged her, and said, “Thanks to you, I got the highest grade in class on my chemistry test yesterday.” His familiar look of failure was starting to wash off. Three weeks later, we got Cole’s report card: Three C’s (math, chemistry, and civics) and a B+ (creative writing, previously his lowest grade.)

He passed. But his GPA will never recover — unless he goes to summer school, retakes those classes, or switches to a virtual school.

We sat down together to look at his bittersweet victory. I made it clear that we were all impressed by what he had accomplished. “Learning honors chemistry in three weeks is no small feat,” I told him. “Not many people could do that. If you had started sooner, you might have made the honor roll.”

He nodded. “I lacked initiative,” he told me. “But I learned my lesson.”

Did he? “He’ll be fine,” Tisha Green Rinker, Connections Academy’s senior manager of school counseling told me. “I’ve seen pregnant kids who dropped out at 15 come to us, get a high school diploma, and go on to college. Cole has something none of those kids — or many of the ‘numbers’ your experts are looking at — have: you. You care. You believe in him. And you are willing to do what it takes to help him figure it out.”

She’s right. When I dropped out of high school, I could easily have become a statistic used to support a theory. Many of the experts I spoke to would probably have predicted an unhappy outcome for me. Still, my mother encouraged me to follow the path that was right for me. Finding my way to college by going outside the box may have been one of the most important lessons I learned as a student.

As the parent of a struggling boy, though, it’s not always easy to feel so sanguine. Faced with so many disheartening statistics about failing boys, no parent can afford to sit back and have faith that their care will be enough to pull the kid through. I still don’t know if Cole will achieve his dreams — or anything at all — but I choose to believe in him. It’s not even really a choice. I refuse, am unable, to see him as one of these dire statistics. Not today. Probably not ever, however things turn out.

I’ve learned a few things in all these years of helping this boy survive school: even when he seems not to be, he is listening. Even when he says he’s got it, he needs help finding a solution he can’t see or a way to reach a goal he’s given up on.

But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that people who tell me what this boy can’t do are usually wrong.

I’ve been told he can’t take tests. (He aces them.) That he can’t pay attention without medication. (He’s fine. Pick up the pace!) That he will bring down the class EOG average. (He often gets the highest score.) And that he can’t handle the workload. (Honors Chemistry and Honors Algebra 2 in three weeks! You try that.)

So here’s what I say to ‘He won’t achieve his dreams’: how about we wager some money on that?

 

 

 

Next School Holiday

Monday, Nov. 11, 2019

Nov. 25 – Nov. 29 Holiday Week – Thanksgiving

Personal Days for Next School Year 2019/2020

VERY IMPORTANT CHANGE for our upcoming 2019/2020 school year Beginning August 5, 2019, we are reducing personal/family days for students from 10 days down to 7 days. Allowing 7 days is still much higher than what the district schools allow and we feel 7 days is more beneficial for the school and for each students’ education.

Lunch Menu Week of Nov. 11, 2019 – Nov. 15, 2019

Mon – Holiday

Tues – Pizza (this is a change)

Wed – No Meat Spaghetti

Thurs – Chicken Corn Dog

Fri – Beef or Veggie Burger

Sick Students

Just a reminder: Please keep your child home if he or she is sick or has a fever. We had many sick children last week and several were given tylenol prior to coming to school in the morning. These illnesses/viruses are very contagious and we are trying to stop them from spreading. Children must be 24 hours free of symptoms and fevers before returning to school.

Good news! There is now a “Give Credit” function within the app. If you are not seeing this function, make sure you have the most updated version of the app installed.

The “credit” button (star icon) shows after you take first image. A blank field appears that allows up to 50 characters to be typed. Type in your student’s classroom number to give credit.  This field may auto-fill after the first entry; make sure to update it if necessary (such as if someone is supporting more than 1 child at same school, etc.).

NOW HIRING:  Spring 2020 Head Athletic Coaches-

Boys Volleyball:  https://www.edjoin.org/Home/DistrictJobPosting/1228598

Softball:  https://www.edjoin.org/Home/DistrictJobPosting/1228598

Preschool: 1st Annual Trunk or Treat

We are so impressed with out TLC families and students!  Our first ever Trunk or Treat surpassed all of our expectations!  Thank you for all of your hard work and CREATIVE decor!  We truly have the best parents!  

Just in time for the holidays!  Be sure to join us on our Facebook page for our online book fair here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2529309570492069/ 

The book fair will be open for 24 hours, so if you cannot be present on Monday night at 8pm you can still view everything the following day and place an order. If you would like to just order directly from the website, you can do so starting today here: https://b8031.myubam.com/1424453 

 Initial Phase

  • Don’t forget there will not be school this Monday, November 11th for Veterans Day. Enjoy your extra day off!
  • REMINDER: We are doing our best to keep everyone healthy but we need your help. If your child is sick please do not send them to school. Students MUST be fever free AND symptom free WITHOUT medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school. Please do not send them to school on medication to mask their fever. If we all work together we can help the spreading of germs.
  • Parents: please be sure that your student has a clean change of clothes in a ziplock bag in their backpack. Additionally, the office is in need of donations of boys clothes and underwear..
  • If you would like to volunteer in the second trimester (after Thanksgiving break) please return the slip with your availability. Applicants who are not already cleared in the office with Mrs. Kay will not be put into the lottery.

 Phase One:

Thank you for returning the conference sign-up sheets. We will do our very best to accommodate everyone. You will receive your assigned day/time in Red folders on Tuesday. If for any reason we assign you a time that does not work, please let us know so that we can find another time that does. It is really important that you meet with either your child’s LA or Math teacher as they will have more in depth information about how your student is doing academically.

Congratulations to all the students who met their AR goal! We will have our AR party next week. Our students will also take their Star test next week so we can give them their new reading level and next AR goal.

Phase Two:

This week our phase 2 students showed their spirit with our Red Ribbon week dress up days!  We talked about making good choices in life and how to prepare for success.  Thank you to all the parents who came out for the Halloween parade and spooky dance performance!  Aren’t our PE teachers amazing?  They did such a great job of teaching all our students the Thriller dance in PE.

Phase 2 AR goals were due on November 1st and new goals will be assigned next week.  We will also send home parent teacher conference sign up sheets.  Please return these ASAP to ensure you get your preferred time slot.  Thank you!

       

Discovery Middle School 5-6

Upcoming ⅚ Dates:

November 11th: Veteran’s Day – No School!!!

November 12-15th: Teacher/Parent Conferences (you should have already received something from your child’s homeroom teacher with your date and time.)

November 12-22nd: DCS Read-A-Thon Science Camp Fundraiser – Flyers and accounts will be set up on 11/12 (ALL grades will be participating!)

⅚ Discovery Top 5 Nest Point Earners:

Falcon Pride!!!

Peregrine:

Kestrel:

Saker:

Amur:

Mr. Dougherty’s DCS Trimester 1 Music Concert was a HUGE success!!! Congratulations to everyone on a job very well done!

Mrs. Zuniga/Mrs. Bengson's Math:

*Note for all classes: I will begin to give students the outline of each unit at the beginning of when we begin. I believe it will help students to prepare themselves for what is coming up next.

Varsity: We have moved into our division portion of unit 2. Students are beginning to remember the steps of division and have used manipulatives to gain a conceptual understanding of the concept.

Scholastic: Students are moving into solving equations after finals.

Honors: Students took their final and then ended the week with their quiz on operations of scientific notation.Polynomials are the next concept they will be learning and is very similar to our work with monomials.

Mrs. Nijjar’s Math:

Varsity: We started this week by exploring strategies to divide multi-digit numbers by a two-digit divisor. In addition, students reviewed the concepts learned in this trimester and took the Finals on 11/5.  In the coming weeks, students will be working on Properties of multiplication.

Scholastic: This week students reviewed the concepts learned in Unit-1 and 2and took the finals on 11/5. In the coming weeks, students will be learning about repeating decimals and prepare for the Unit-2 test.

Honors: In this week, students learned to solve Absolute Value inequalities and took the Unit-2 test. In the coming weeks, students will be learning about graphing linear equations and inequalities.

Ms. Rodieck's Language Arts and Humanities

Trimester 2 has started.  One of the first big assignments is a carry over from Trimester One.  Their second book club book report is due Tuesday 11/12.  Each trimester, students are to read two books independently and do a project on that book.  They will be getting their first Trimester-2 books in a week (in time to read during Thanksgiving Break).  

We are continuing to read, discuss, and write about Fever 1793.  This week we added Direct Objects to our sentence diagrams.  Next will be conjunctions, then imperatives and interrogatives.  Weekly Power Words (Vocabulary) will continue until Winter Break.

During Trimester 2, as we turn to more Editing and Revising, rough drafts will be started in class and finished as homework – this could even include Varsity (if they are not finishing their work in class).  This is so we can spend class time editing and revising not only our own work, but each other's work.  Cooperative Collaboration is the next SWO and helping each other with our writing is a cooperative collaborative skills.  

Language Arts with Mr. Harding

We have completed Trimester number one! We have refocused for Trimester two, and have not missed a step. Our novel unit is progressing, and we are learning about how people maintain their wellness in adverse environments. We are learning about life in the late 18th century, which means we get to learn new archaic words.

We will be writing more, reading more, and will have more projects to complete this Trimester. I will grade Ebola essays by the end of the weekend so that we can begin revisions. I look forward to seeing a tremendous improvement from the Love That Dog essays.

Social Studies with Mr. Bird and Mr. McCarthy

This week in social studies, our Falcon scholars are continuing to learn about ancient Egypt. They are focusing on the daily life in ancient Egypt and understanding how Egyptian's social classes affected their daily lives.

On Halloween, we started the day with a fun minute-to-win-it game! Students were randomly selected to come up and select other students to be wrapped up like a mummy using toilet paper. The class voted on the best looking mummy after having one quick minute to finish. Take a look at the pictures below of a few classes having fun with this short activity!

All classes finished preparing for their act-it-out presentations and the Government Officials groups presented first. Below is a picture of the Government Officials group from Honors 1 presenting their banquet to the class and sharing facts about their social class:

After the presentation, students read more about that social class and answered a few questions to check for their understanding. Students will continue to present throughout next week before learning about the kingdom of Kush.

Science with Ms. Diaz:

Greetings scientists! This week the kids went from being science students to science professionals as within groups, they created their own lab/research company and conducted their own, minimally guided investigation. The research topic was to determine which solutes make solutions and which merely remain as mixtures. The group lab report that they will submit will be in the format of a “research” report, including their company name and logo. Reports will be judged Shark Tank style and one group from each class will be “granted funding” to continue their research. Check out the pictures below to see great minds at work! To conclude their Mixtures and Solutions topic, they did a mini-experiment to determine methods in which to separate a sugar solute from a water solvent. Friday was the last day of Trimester 1, so one down and two to go! *High Five!*

Next week we will work on and submit the research reports and will also be starting studies on our solar system.

Last but not least, come one and come all to check out the DCS science blog site at: www.tlcdiscoverychannel.weebly.com. No new articles to show off but there are still many available to be read. Prepare to be SCIENCED!

Awesomely, interesting announcements:

  • The next SWO (timeline) is due Nov. 11th
  • Please don't forget to check Google classroom and/or the science class website regularly with your student
    Google Classroom Hon/Scholastic code→ jp9wlua
    Google Classroom Varsity code→ 8d4s9b
    Science class website:
     https://diazdoesscience.weebly.com 

Mission to Mars:

  • Next payment is due Dec. 4th. Your balance needs to be $600 or less to stay on time with the payment schedule.
  • Next parent meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 19th, 6pm, D9 DCS building

Rube Goldberg:

  • Practice/Workshops are Mondays/Tuesdays/Thursdays (4-5pm, picked up by 5:15)
  • Competition Friday, Dec. 13th

Stay curious & keep exploring!!!

Discovery Middle School 7-8

  • No School November 11th in Observance of Veterans Day
  • Parent Teacher Conferences begin November 12th in the DCS Hallway
  • Menu Change- Tuesday Nov.12 will be pizza, not chicken taquitos.
  • Thanksgiving Breaks begins Nov. 25th and students return to school Dec. 2nd

Week 13 Top 5 Nest Earners!

 

Leadership:

Congratulations to team TYSL who won our Discovery intramural sports!! They beat out Team Barcelona during penalty kicks after both teams had scored one point each during the game. Their trophy will be placed proudly in our soon-to-come Discovery trophy case upstairs! Congratulations to these boys and all our students that participated! Stay tuned for next month when we begin basketball!!

October/November Wall Decorations:

DISCOVERY ATHLETICS

The 6th Grade Girls basketball team defeated North with the score 29-12. The girls improve to 4-0 on the season. They will play Monte Vista @ The Boys and Girls Club gym on Wednesday, November 13th at 3:30pm.

 

The 7th/8th Grade Girls basketball team lost to Monte Vista’s 8th grade team with the score 30-48. The girls fall to 2-2 on the season. They will play Williams @ Williams on Wednesday, November 13th at 5pm.  

 

Technology with Ms. Ferguson:

Over the last several weeks the Technology 5-8 students have been busy!  

There are two main projects that the students have been working on over the last 3-4 weeks.  The first project is the Create Your Own App project.  For this project, the students were paired up and asked to create an app within Google Slides.  The purpose and topic of this app were of their choosing!

During the course of this project, the students utilized their skills in Google Slides that they have learned throughout their trimester with me this year or in the previous years that they may have had my class! They also learned a new skill inside Google Slides where you can link a website or another slide within the slideshow to a picture so that when they are presenting their projects they can click on a picture to open up a website they would like to display or change to a slide that is not in sequential order.

Check out this picture of one of our 7/8th-grade pairs working on their project and a snapshot of their completed app about how to survive natural disasters!

The second major project that the students have been working on is their final project for this class.  This project is related to the TV show Shark Tank!  The students were to pick from a list of inventions from the TV show or create their own invention and do specific research on this product to create a slideshow.

The 7/8 honors class was also challenged to create a commercial for the product of their choosing and present a pitch to a panel of “Sharks”.

This week is currently the last week of the first trimester, so these classes will be moving on to Art with Ms. Losen and my next group of students will be those that are currently in Choir with Mr. Dougherty. It has been a great first trimester with the kids and I look forward to the new group of students that I will start with on Tuesday, Nov. 12th.

Spanish with Ms. Polo

This month Trimester 2 we will be working on C, Ch, D, E, F, G lectura (readings)

C and Ch start off the trimester with 2 oral quizzes; one on C or Ch and the other on worksheet el alfabeto

There will be one test on 4 worksheets before Thanksgiving break: it will be on el alfabeto, C & Ch, and Un Cuento in Spanglish

Your child should know their Spanish alphabet by now, all 30 of them!

We will be doing classroom objects, dates, months, vocabulary, greetings, and Number 0-31

Art with Ms. Losen:

This week in art students completed and presented a final capstone project of their choice. Some students edited and polished short films, some created intricate acrylic paintings, some explored multi-media, some created hypperrealistic drawings, and still others baked unique food.

Physical Education:

Students are having a Blast “Finishing Up” of their “First Trimester” & The Contiuation of the playing different types of “Lead Up Games & Overall Skills” to Soft Tennis in Coach Williams Class, Speedball in Coach P.’s Class and Olympic Handball in Coach Levand’s Class!  Here are some picture from this week for you Parents/Guardians to Enjoy!!!! 🙂

Also, as a friendly reminder, please remind students that they should be bringing extra socks & warm clothing to PE as the weather is changing & also applying

"Deodorants/Antiperspirants/Baby Powder or Sanitary Wipes" in the morning before they are coming to school and showering daily; as their bodies have already begun puberty even though there may be no signs of it showing physically!!!!

Thank You!!! 🙂

Your Dedicated DCS Falcon PE Staff


Millennium High School

Congratulations to our top nest point earners this week!

We celebrated these students Wednesday morning at Unity.  Their reward was their choice of t-shirt, bucket hat, water bottle, or fanny pack from the student store!  Two of our lucky winners are pictured below.

Scott Malsack, Saker (9th), 575 points; and Natalia Chavez, Kestrel (12th), 360 points; Not pictured: Vivian Luera, Amur (10th), 445 points; and Xitlali Reynoso, Peregrine (11th), 330 points. Vivi and Xitlali were not in attendance due to taking their PSAT — great hustle, ladies!

ACTIVITIES

Band and Guard

Saturday was an exciting competition day for our marching band.

Overall, the band took an outstanding 1st place for our show!

Colorguard took 2nd place.

Percussion took 2nd place.

Woodwinds took 1st place. (we compete in division 2A but the woodwinds are scoring so much higher than everyone that they are scoring in the 6A division range!)

Brass took 1st place.


Ximena Garcia, our drum major, had an especially great personal night as well. Drum majors are scored across all divisions. Out of ALL the bands that attended (divisions 1A-6A) Ximena was awarded 1st place drum major!

We are so proud of Ximena and all the members of band and guard. Congratulations to Mr. Zepeda and the amazing Falcon marching band and colorguard!

Speech and Debate 

Back row: Christian Silva, A’Ni Clepper, Grace Bhatia, Scott Malsack, Danica Knowlden, Arianna Billings, Lucy Lamanna; Front row: Anton Souza, Anahi Rodriguez, Shika Acolatse, Logan Malsack, Lilliana Zapien

12 members of our Speech and Debate team competed at a prestigious collegiate invitational at University of the Pacific last weekend. There were over 1,000 competitors from three states on the UOP campus, and the tournament was both Saturday and Sunday. Congratulations to the following students on their top 20 placements in their events:

  • Arianna Billings, 20th, Novice Oratory
  • Lilliana Zapien, 14th, Novice Oratory
  • Lucy Lamanna, 13th, Novice Oratory
  • Danica Knowlden, 8th, Novice Dramatic Interpretation
  • Anton Souza, 13th overall, and 5th in his semi-finals round!, Novice Impromptu

THIS WEEK IN MHS Physical Education…

This week Coach KV’s classes have started our Speedball unit and Coach Easterday’s classes have started Lacrosse. We are learning about the history, developing skills and how to play the game.

YEARBOOK ORDERS and SENIOR DEDICATION AD ORDERS NOW OPEN!

Yearbooks are on sale now! Yearbooks are $75. Now is the perfect time to order a 2019-20 yearbook for your student. We look forward to yearbook delivery day, May 15th. Orders are open through April 11th. Click HERE to go to our convenient online order center! Or you may go to yearbookordercenter.com and enter code 21362. You may also pay by cash, check, or card in the front office or by contacting Miss Lamanna, blamanna@tracylc.net

Senior Dedication ads in the yearbook are available and can include photos alongside a personal message to your son, daughter, or teammate. There are a limited number of pages available, so act quickly. The deadline to place an ad is 3/15/20. Credit cards accepted! If you have any questions, please direct them to blamanna@tracylc.net.

NEW FEATURE: FALCON CULTURE SPOTLIGHT

Left to right: Taylor Gonser, Emma Sales, and Alondra Camarena

Emma

Hi, my name is Emma Sales, and I am a senior here at Millennium. Taylor, Alondra, and I have created this feature for parents and students to be able to meet other students and learn about their culture and history. We will soon be adding a tab on the Falcon website as well. Every 1-2 weeks we will interview a student and share their story in the Charter Chatter and our Twitter Page, @falconculture.

A little about me: I am Filipino American and my family immigrated from the Philippines to California and Hawai’i. I wasn’t always proud of my heritage because I had never seen my culture in movies or media, but I am going into the film industry hoping to change that. One of my favorite things to do is make Lumpia with my family because although it is a lot of work, we have fun bonding over dinner table. I am incredibly grateful for the challenges and sacrifices my family has overcome because I wouldn’t have any of the opportunities I have today without them.

Alondra

Hello! My name is Alondra Camarena and I am a senior at Millennium High School.  I have been a part of Tracy Learning Center since kindergarten and can truly say it is my home away from home.  A little bit about my background, I am a proud Mexican-American womxn; while I was born and raised in the United States, my parents immigrated from Mexico to America to strive for a better life.  I grew up speaking Spanish and eventually learned English by the time kindergarten came around.  Being raised in a Mexican household has taught me valuable life lessons about the importance of family and appreciating what you have.  One of my favorite activities to do with my family is barbequing or “carne asadas” (as we like to call it) and enjoy each others company by sharing stories and having good laughs.  My parents sacrificed so much to make sure I am where I am today, and I will always be thankful for the love they have given me and I hope to share that love throughout our school.

Taylor

Hello, my name is Taylor Gonser and I am also a senior at Millennium! I am mostly European and I have close family that lives in Denmark. Even though it is rare, I love visiting with these family members because I get to learn more about my family history and Danish culture. I also have Mexican family whom I visit quite often. My favorite thing to do with my family is to celebrate the holidays with everyone and make traditional food dishes. In everything I do, I strive to represent my culture well.

Athletics

Interested in donating to the Athletics program?  Here are 2 great opportunities!  If you would like to help us purchase the padded flooring for the weight room we hope to have open by winter, you may donate here (We are just about $10,000 shy of FULL completion!!):  https://www.gofundme.com/f/falcons-weight-room

Weekly Schedule (Girls & Boys Soccer, Girls & Boys Basketball): 

STAY TUNED for winter sports!  THIS WEEKEND, 11/9, Cross Country will head out to Frogtown for Subsections!!  Let’s go Falcons!!

Sports Scores to be continued:

NOW HIRING:  Spring 2020 Head Athletic Coaches-

Boys Volleyball:  https://www.edjoin.org/Home/DistrictJobPosting/1228598

Softball:  https://www.edjoin.org/Home/DistrictJobPosting/1228598

Meet The Coaches!

  Coach Reyes is entering his 7th season as Head Coach of the Millennium Lady Falcons Varsity Basketball team.  In the previous 6 seasons, under Coach Reyes the Lady Falcons have reached the CIF Playoffs 3 times, each time advancing to the second round, including the first ever CIF playoff win for Millennium High girls’ basketball program.  Coach Reyes has coached high school varsity girls, and junior college basketball for 30+ years.   “Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise” -Michael Jordan

For donations towards Millennium Athletics in general, you can go here:  https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=JV4bGcCRYeBxsAoeIm9378Hq0cPdQ5v5cVuYxrIDCxod5qM0FM8eQcBKQ-YhqrA_hGj2tG&fromUL=true&country.x=US&locale.x=en_US

Follow Millennium Athletics on Social Media:  

-Instagram- @Millennium_Athletics

-Twitter- @MHS_Falcons

-Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/BalsamoPE

We appreciate your continued support!  FALCON PRIDE!!

Upcoming Fundraisers for Athletics:

-Daddy Daughter Dance: December 14th, 2019

-Mother Son Dance: February 8th, 2020

COUNSELING NEWS!

MHS Counselors, Mrs. Schaffran and Ms. Moore had the pleasure of visiting Discovery 7th and 8th grade students this week to discuss high school life, graduation requirements, and the enrollment process for incoming 9th grade students. We brought several of our Falcons with us to conduct an information panel to help answer student questions about being a high school student, specifically at Millennium. Discovery students asked excellent questions and were quite a captive audience!

 

Interact Club celebrated World Interact Week on campus with a birthday party AND a donation drive to help Interfaith Ministries. It’s not too late to send some items with your students to donate. We are collecting reusable grocery bags (plastic, paper, or fabric), New socks of all sizes, and empty egg cartons. Each year, Interfaith reaches out to hundreds of families. Donations are still being accepted through Tues Nov 12th. Send the items with your child and they can drop off in the counseling office.

Our 2nd field trip of the year was great and we couldn’t have asked for better weather in Santa Cruz! The trip to UC Santa Cruz was an informative walking tour of college campus life, academic departments, and student services available. There will be another college field trip scheduled in the Spring (Colleges to be determined) and also an annual College Fair in early May. Tours are highly recommended for any student considering applying to a college campus.

Thank you to all future college early start students who met the deadline this past Monday and submitted their registration forms. After the forms are approved, they will be given back to the student the week of November 18th with instructions on how to proceed. Online registration will take place during the Thanksgiving break, therefore it is important that the students receive step by step instruction on how to complete the registration process.