Opening Minds, Bridging Differences, Living Jewish Values.

Middle School Moments

In order to fully understand the development of a civilization, 7th grade students have been studying maps of Eurasia. The students created and labeled paper maps to familiarize themselves with the geography, and are now immersing themselves in the region by developing 3D maps in groups, sculpting mountains, rivers, deserts, plateaus, and plains. Throughout the process, each group has been researching facts about the significant features and available resources. Ultimately, this project will allow the students to "feel" the topography of the continents, so that they can fully comprehend its geography.


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It was a pleasure to see so many of you last night for Back to School Night. We hope that the evening was a good opportunity to meet your child's teachers face-to-face, and to hear about the highlights of our curriculum.

Today, our short week ended with Rosh HaShanah programming in advisory groups. In addition to snacking on apples and honey, we spent time discussing "Lashon Hatova" (using language for good--say it fast a few times and you'll hear the linguistic connection between this initiative and Rosh HaShanah!). Through this initiative, students are being asked to focus on their words over the next few weeks, and to proactively use words kindly with others in the community.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy and sweet new year. For your children/our students we hope this is a year of tremendous intellectual growth, creative and immersive experiences, and skills development. We also hope that this is a year of health, happiness, and peace in our homes, communities, country, and the world at large.

Please note the following calendar items:

Wednesday, September 20 - Friday, September 22 - School closed for Rosh HaShanah

Tuesday, September 26 - 8th grade parent coffee, 8:00 a.m. in the MS Dining Hall; soccer, cross-country, volleyball practice, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 27 - 7th grade parent coffee, 8:00 a.m. in the MS Dining Hall

Thursday, September 28 - soccer, volleyball practice, 3:50-6:00 p.m., cross-country practice, 3:50-5:30 p.m.

Friday, September 29 - Erev Yom Kippur - school closed

L'shana tova u'metukah!

Lori Skopp
Middle School Head

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ANNOUNCEMENT: We are excited to continue Banana Splits, a peer support group for children with separated or divorced parents. Banana Splits sessions provide an opportunity for children to connect with others who are experiencing similar family situations, and to develop new friendships. The program will be facilitated by Dr. Emily Arnstein, our Middle School Psychologist. Sessions are held every other week, typically during lunch or recess, with some exceptions. If you would like more information, or if you are interested in having your child(ren) continue or join the program, please email Emily at emilyar@heschel.org. Parental consent will be required for participation.

Dear Parents,

Our second week of school featured the seventh grade community overnight (also known as the "Staycation"). This two-day trip was an opportunity for the seventh graders to come together for educational and enjoyable local sightseeing and community-building. On Thursday we traveled by rail and ferry to Governor's Island for a scavenger hunt and picnic. In the late afternoon we returned to midtown to explore Gulliver's Gate--a fantastic miniature exhibit featuring locations and cultures from around the world, and including models of two of our favorite cities, Jerusalem and New York. Our walking-mileage count for the day approached nine miles! One would think that the students would be tired after this, but the evening was spent playing games, watching "Star Wars" and camping out on the school roof--awake until the wee hours of the night. Friday morning included Tefillah at our roof campsite, challah-baking with kindergarten buddies, and a math trail in Central Park. Photos from the Staycation can be found here.

The sixth and eighth graders also had a full week of school. Sixth graders spent time writing "showing" paragraphs in humanities class. These are paragraphs that "show," via descriptive language, rather than "telling" a story more literally. Eighth graders learned about the United States Constitution, the ideological underpinnings of the document, as well as the compromises that the authors made in order to craft a document that would be broadly supported.

This week we celebrated the in-school Bnai Mitzvah of Sammy Miller and Sami Steinberg. Mazel tov to Sammy, Sami, and their families!

Please note the following calendar items:

Monday, September 18 - Back to School Night--please arrive by 6:15 p.m. to pick up your schedule and to get to your first class before the 6:30 p.m. bell

Tuesday, September 19 - Soccer, cross-country, and volleyball practice, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 20 - Erev Rosh HaShanah - school closed

Thursday, September 21 and Friday, September 22 - Rosh HaShanah - school closed

Shabbat Shalom!

Lori Skopp
Middle School Head

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Students in grade 7 finished off their Staycation with a visit to the Kindergarten. The students made challah, built blocks, read books, and played games with each other.


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Welcome back to school! Our first week back offered us a chance to re-immerse ourselves in the routines of the school year, meet new friends and teachers, practice fire drills, set up lockers and binders, and join sports teams. It was wonderful to see the faculty connecting with our students, and we were all happy to begin the school year in good spirits.

This week sixth graders began their study of the skeletal system in science class, and also began to explore the differences among literal, inferential, and analytical thinking in humanities class. Seventh graders, in their Torah she'b'al class, studied the mishnayot relating to how the rabbis established a democratic system that enabled anyone to witness the first sliver of the moon and thereby establish the beginning of a new month. Eighth grade students began to read the Book of Jonah in Tanach class; they will be analyzing the book in preparation for the upcoming holiday of Yom Kippur. On Friday during advisory, we took a pause from the regular curriculum to focus our attention on the world at large. During this time, the entire Middle School learned about and discussed the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will continue to discuss this and other important news issues throughout the year.

This week we celebrated the in-school Bar Mitzvah of William Rose. Mazel tov to William and his family!

Please note the following calendar items:

Tuesday, September 12 - Sixth grade parent coffee, 8:00 a.m., MS Dining Hall; Cross-country, soccer, and girls volleyball practice 4:30-6:00

Thursday, September 14 - Soccer and girls volleyball practice 3:50-6:00; Cross-country practice 3:50-5:30

Thursday, September 14 - Friday, September 15 - Seventh grade "Staycation"

Monday, September 18 - Middle School Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.

Click here to view next week's student schedule.

Shabbat Shalom!

Lori Skopp
Middle School Head

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