Academics

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Notes From Notestine     

"What Were You Thinking?"

This week I have found myself asking several WAMS students, "What were you thinking?"  Here are a few examples:  We had a student come to school without shoes.  She did have socks on, but said she just forgot her shoes.  Two other girls dyed their hair green and blue.  Several boys who were absent due to illness for almost a week came to school without coats. Two boys decided to skip a class to hang out in a bathroom.  And two seventh graders said hateful things to each other on Instagram.  What were they thinking? 

Neurologist Francis Jensen has done much research on the teenage brain, which may help us with the answer to that question.  She learned that it's not so much what teens are thinking – it's how.  Jensen says scientists used to think human brain development was pretty complete by age 10, or as she puts it, that "a teenage brain is just an adult brain with fewer miles on it."  But it's not.  To begin with, she says, a crucial part of the brain – the frontal lobes – are not fully connected.  

"It's the part of the brain that says: 'Is this a good idea?  What is the consequence of this action?'" Jensen says, "It's not that they don't have a frontal lobe, and they can use it. But they're going to access it more slowly."  That's because the nerve cells that connect teenagers' frontal lobes with the rest of their brains are sluggish.  Teenagers don't have as much of the fatty coating called myelin, or "white matter," that adults have in this area.  Think of it as insulation on an electrical wire.  Nerves need myelin for nerve signals to flow freely.  Spotty or thin myelin leads to inefficient communication between one part of the brain and another.  This also may explain why teenagers often seem so maddeningly self-centered. 

"You think of them are these surly, rude, selfish people" Jensen says.  "Well, actually, that's the developmental stage they're in.  They aren't yet at that place where they're thinking about – or capable – necessarily, of thinking about the effects of their behavior on other people.  That requires insight."

But that's not the only big difference in teenagers' brains.  Nature made the brains of children and adolescents excitable.  Their brain chemistry is tuned to be responsive to everything in their environment.  After all, that's what makes kids learn so easily. Jensen also discovered that sleep is important for brain development.  She suggests that students read an assignment and then go to sleep.  Their brain will take what they have read from short-term memory and consolidate it while they sleep.  Actually they will know the material better in the morning after sleep than just before going to sleep or after pulling an all-nighter.

So now you know what they were thinking – or at least how they are thinking.  I hope this helps you understand your adolescent, and in turn, helps you enjoy the ride!

Parents Corner 

Exams

Dear Middle School Parents,

In the MS, exams are taken on the mornings of Dec.17, 18, and 19. Exam days are half days of school. Only students who have accommodations will be allowed to stay on campus after the exam period ends at 11:30 a.m. All other students must leave on the bus, on MARTA, or be picked up by 11:45 a.m. on all three exam days. There will be no after school study hall on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Students who qualify for extra time may stay and finish their exams on Wednesday and Thursday. As soon as the exam period ends, these students will go to lunch and then return to room 322 at 12:15 p.m. to finish their exams. After completing exams, they will go to a study hall until they can be picked up or until the afternoon buses leave. On Friday, these students with accommodations can finish exams beginning at 10:15 a.m. The entire Woodward Academy campus closes at noon on Friday.
 
Review Days: Dec.15 and 16

Wednesday, Dec.17
8:40 - 9:50 a.m. Math Exam
10:20 - 11:30 a.m. Social Studies Exam
11:45 a.m. Students depart
**Students with accommodations may stay to finish exams.

Thursday, Dec. 18
8:40 - 9:50 a.m. Science Exam
10:20 - 11:30 a.m. English Exam
11:45 a.m. Students depart
**Students with accommodations may stay to finish exams.

Friday, Dec.19
8:40 - 9:50 a.m. Reading/Foreign Language Exam
10:00 - 11:15 a.m. Student/Faculty basketball game
11:45 a.m. Students depart
**Woodward Academy closes at noon.

Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Testing

As we gear up for our standardized testing in January, we are pleased to announce a new offering. The ERB company has begun to offer online testing in addition to pencil-paper testing. The Middle School was the first division at Woodward Academy to allow a small group of students the ability to do the online version last year.

With much research and consultation with other private schools who currently use the fully online testing program, we are now pleased to announce that all of our seventh grade students (and eighth graders with extended time accommodations) will take the ERB test online this year.

The benefits of this method of testing are:
1. The student will see one question at a time as a opposed to an entire page of questions.

2. All reading passages will stay on the screen for the entire duration of that particular sub-section so that the student will not have to turn back and forth between the question and the needed information in the passage.

3. The scores for the entire testing battery are available as soon as the test is completed instead of four to six weeks later.

4. Our ERB representative has informed us that the company has discussed moving to the online version almost exclusively in upcoming years, so this gives our students the opportunity to be ahead of the change and benefit from being familiar with online standardized testing.

All students will take the ERB on Jan. 13, 14, 15, 2015. The ERB is a rigorously designed series of assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics to serve the needs of high-achieving students and schools that aspire to higher standards.

This test is designed as a "low-stakes" exam, and the purpose is to test what a student knows at a given point in time in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. It is intended to help teachers and administrators make decisions about classroom instruction. In addition to current grades and teacher recommendations, the scores from the ERB will be used to make decisions about placement for the next school year.

Testing will occur each morning and extended time accommodations will occur each afternoon. We will have an amended class schedule for each of those days during which some periods will not meet. School will dismiss at the regular time each day. Scores will be mailed to parents and questions about the results can be answered by any of the counselors or Mrs. Jackson, our Assistant Principal.

Students with official accommodations will have an opportunity to use them during this standardized testing period and the week after (if needed). Counselors will proctor any absent and extended time students after classes each day from Jan. 13 - 16. The best preparation is a good breakfast, plenty of rest, and prompt arrival to school. If you have questions about ERB testing, please contact either Mrs. Dedeaux, seventh grade counselor (tonya.dedeaux@woodard.edu; 404-765-4437) or Mrs. Nguyen, eighth grade counselor (lexi.nguyen@woodward.edu; 404-765-4436).

ERB Schedule 2015:

Thursday, Jan. 8: ERB online practice day for entire seventh grade and eighth graders with extended time accommodations
Tuesday, Jan. 15: Writing Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning
Wednesday, Jan. 16: Reading Comprehension, Writing Mechanics, and Verbal Reasoning
Thursday, Jan. 17: Vocabulary, Math I and Math II

       

The Woodward Fund

As this year’s Woodward Fund Chairs, we encourage you to join us in supporting our children by making a gift to the 2014-2015 Woodward Fund. Your gift supports the culture of philanthropy that has provided generations of Woodward students with wise guidance at every step and prolific opportunities to try and triumph and reach their fullest potential. In fact, several of our Woodward parents are so grateful for how the Woodward Fund shapes students’ lives that they are banding together to offer an opportunity for you to double your gift between now and December 31. When you give more than you did last school year, your entire contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $60,000.

Make your gift here: https://apps.woodward.edu/giving/. If you are uncertain of the amount you gave last year, please contact Dale Welch, Associate Director of Advancement, at dale.welch@woodward.edu or 404.765.4034 to verify your last gift.

Thank you for making Woodward a priority in your giving. Our students, teachers, and coaches appreciate it!

Donna and Andrew Sullivan
The 2014-2015 Woodward Fund Chairs
Parents of Drew Sullivan ’15 and Katie Sullivan ’17 

Advancement Office Holiday Hours

During the holidays, the Advancement Office will close at 11:30 a.m. on Dec.19. It will re-open Dec. 30 and 31 with office hours from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Please note, in order to be counted for tax year 2014, gifts must be received or postmarked by Dec. 31.

To make a gift on Dec. 30 or 31, please call Dale Welch at 404.765.4034 or Naylene Felt at 404.765.4036. You can give online at www.woodward.edu/go/giving and find instructions for making gifts of securities at www.woodward.edu/go/securities.

Please remember there is an opportunity to double your gift in the month of December. When you give more than you did last school year, your entire contribution will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $60,000. Thank you for your support! 

Yearbooks!​

The Phoenix staff is currently looking for photos from summer trips/educational experiences and outside of school club activities (like Girl Scout trips, Habitat builds or chorus competitions). If you'd like to submit photos to be considered for the yearbook, please go to woodwardyearbook.com and click on "Upload Your Photos For the Yearbook Here." 

Yearbooks are now on sale. They are available for purchase at woodwardyearbook.com and cost $70 until Feb. 1. But don't let that deadline sneak up on you. Order your yearbook today and support your student publications!

Welcome Back Hot Cocoa: January 8

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As a special way to welcome back our MS students from the winter break, we serve them hot cocoa and cookies after school. This fun event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 8. We need your help to make this exciting event successful. Please contact Julie Couch with questions at couch6553@comcast.net or click the link below to either volunteer to help at the event or to send in cookies. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c044aa9af28aa8-welcome 

SUMMER OPPORTUNITY IN ENGLAND: Space Still Available

Woodward and the Independent Schools Cultural Alliance (ISCA) still has room for students interested in traveling to England this summer. The first firm deadline, which will lock in the lowest possible airfare, is quickly approaching. If you are interested, please contact Katherine Bandrowski right away (katherine.bandrowski@woodward.edu).

The dates of the trip are from July 12-Aug. 2. Students may sign up anytime during the year but risk paying a higher fee if deadlines are missed.

We are looking forward to having your child join us this summer!

WA Middle School Attendance Policy

If your child is sick or is going to miss school, we request that you email the school at absms@woodward.edu or call the MS office (404.765.4430) between 7:15 and 8:15 a.m. to inform us.

WAMS Global Connection Opportunity

Woodward Academy is really excited to welcome a group of 24 Middle School students from our partner school in China. These students from Puxing Middle School in Shanghai will be coming to Atlanta Feb. 2-8. During that time, they will be attending classes in the Middle School and also participating in cultural events in the Atlanta area. In the past when we have welcomed Middle School groups, they have been staying at the Country Suites Inn near  the Woodward Academy campus. This time, in an effort to strengthen our relationship and our friendship between the two schools, we would like to offer these students the opportunity to stay with our Woodward families. Our students will have the possibility to have the same experience as we are preparing a trip to Puxing Middle School at the beginning of June 2015. In order to make this experience possible, we need to find families for 24 students12 boys and 12 girls. This would be only a two-night stay – Thursday and Friday, Feb. 5 and 6. If you are interested, please contact Mr. Stéphane Allagnon, Director of International and Global Connections (stephane.allagnon@woodward.edu or 404-765-1467). We will have a meeting regarding the homestay program on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Gresham Chapel activity room.  

   

Club Updates


Eagle Club Homeroom Balances:

Bandrowksi- $215.00
Crawford- $115.00
Davis- $8.31
Hildebrand- $30.00
Hutchison- $25.75
Jefferson- $87.50
Khoury- $20.00
McNeill- $100.00
Owens  - $7.00
Ragan- $5.00
Seigler- $149.87
Stratton- $10.00
Tarraso- $5.00
Tatum - $26.00 
Wade- $25.00  

Student Spotlight 

Good Spellers Needed

The Middle School is looking for a few good spellers! If you're interested in participating in the Middle School spelling bee, seventh graders should contact Mrs. Kramlich in room 116, and eighth graders should contact Mrs. Anderson in room 120.

Students need to register before Dec. 19. The bee will be held Jan. 8.

Geography Bee Results 

The Middle School Geography Bee was held Thursday, Dec. 4. The bee is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and requires knowledge on a wide range of geographic topics. The questions were difficult, and the competition was very tough. Third place went to seventh grader Aidan Heinz, and second place went to eighth grader Greer Hardesty. The winner of the bee was William Gore. Congratulations William! William will now take a test prepared by the National Geographic Society to see if he qualifies for the State Bee. If he were to win the State Bee, he would advance to the National Bee in Washington, D.C., where he would have a chance to win a $50,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Good luck, William!

Other finalists were: Zoravur Gill, Jack Jewell, Wyatt Johnson, Arun Ramakrishnan, and Nikhil Vishwanath. A special thanks to Mrs. Scott for timing and scoring!

WAMS Brag Box

After rushing for over 150 yards and 4 TD's Kimani Vidal was awarded MVP of the 2014 11th annual Frank Ski Bowl, the "Super Bowl" of recreation football in Georgia, featuring the top 4 12U youth teams in the state. Kimani helped lead his team, the Atlanta Vikings, to a 47-0 win and the championship title. Please see the link: http://instagram.com/p/wSW928QVZE/

Justin King's soccer team, Inter Atlanta U13 Premier, won the Norcross Generation Adidas Cup soccer tournament this weekend in Hampton, Georgia. The tournament took place Dec. 6 and 7. Inter Atlanta won the final game on Sunday in penalty kicks, with Justin scoring the fifth and winning PK.

Click here to tell us more and to help us brag on your child. 

Jock Journal

Basketball: The eighth grade boys Basketball Team improved to 4-0 on the season with a 52-32 home win over Pace Academy. This was the second win against Pace, along with two wins against Marist and a 31-12 scrimmage victory over Chestnut Log Middle School. Myles Todd is the leading scorer (17 ppg) of a team on which all 15 players contribute. With a combination of aggressive defense and patient offense, all 15 took part in a first half that saw the Eagles take a commanding 29-6 lead into halftime, and continue to play strong to ensure that they would continue their streak of double digit victories. The Eagles are back in action Friday night against Landmark Christian Academy. 

Wrestling: Last weekend the Middle School Wrestling Team competed in the toughest tournament in the state. Placing in the A team tournament were Michael Berkey, fourth; Casey Levy, fourth; and Carter Welch, second. Placing in the B team tournament were: Harry Putt, fourth; Quiten Remirez, third; Nick Benson, third; Zander Page, third; Turner Kerzweg, third; Zach Kimes, second; Michael Dubose, first; and Seth Lewis, first. 

Swimming and Diving: Results from the Dec. 4 quad meet against Pace, Landmark Christian and Paideia. Both the girls and boys teams finished in first place.

Personal Records by:
200 Free- Avinash Chugani, Julia Phillips, and Brooklyn Carr
200 IM- Jacob Willis and Brandon Veale
50 Free- Mercer Roberts, Reagan Watson, Stuart James, Jack Fike, Ella Bennett, Brooklyn Carr, Safia Tejani, Mahala Broad, Nitya Rajeev, Alexis Robinson
1 meter diving- Sarah Brummett
100 Fly- Emanuel Abdul-Salaam and Passy Mason
100 Free- Foster Barnard, Will Reese, Parker Mitchell, Jack Fike, Cate Jones, Carolyn Koch, Caroline Marinac, Josie Pickett, Safia Tejani, Angelica Mugg, Alexis Robinson
500 Free- Jacob Willis
100 Back- Foster Barnard, Avinash Chugani, Emma Gallagher
100 Breast- Reagan Watson, Brandon Veale

On Wednesday night, the team lost to a great GAC team, but many strong performances were turned in by our swimmers:

First place finishers:
200 M Relay team of Foster Barnard, Emmanuel Abdul-Salaam, Jacob Willis and Mercer Roberts
200 IM: Foster Barnard (PR)
50 Free: Emmanuel Abdul-Salaam
100 Fly: Jacob Willis (PR)
100 Fly: Passy Mason (PR)
100 Free: Emmanuel Abdul-Salaam
500 Free: Jacob Willis (PR; missed the school record by.35 seconds)
500 Free: Katie Berkowitz
100 Backstroke: Foster Barnard (PR)
100 Breaststroke: Passy Mason (PR)
400 Free Relay team of Jacob Willis, Foster Barnard and Emmanuel Abdul-Salaam
400 Free Relay team of Katie Berkowitz, Caroline Garvey, Emma Gallagher, and Passy Mason

More personal record information to come!

MS Service News

  • WA Takes the ALS Challenge

    Vice President and Dean for Student Life, Upper School Principal Chris Freer, and Middle School Assistant Principal George Dietz took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Friday and challenged the entire WA community to do the same. Instead of the normal size bucket, Dr. Freer and Mr. Dietz were doused by a tractor scoop full of ice and water. Click here to watch the video. Dr. Freer accepted the challenge in honor of a friend and challenged President Gulley to take the challenge at next Friday's football game.

    The Woodward community is banding together to raise funds to support this cause. Click here to donate.

  • Woodward Students in Community Service

    Students volunteer at Special Olympics tennis event Lacrosse team members at the Walk for Wishes

    Students from Woodward Academy's Lower and Middle Schools volunteered recently at a Special Olympics tennis event. In addition, members of the girls varsity lacrosse team participated in the Georgia Make A Wish Foundation's annual Walk for Wishes on a recent Saturday. Freshman Emily Citarella organized the lacrosse team members and collected donations for the Walk for Wishes.

Middle School Calendar & Events

Dec 17 Wed

MS Exam Biscuits

Thru: 12/19/2014

MS Math Exam

8:40 AM - 9:50 AM

MS Social Studies/History Exam

10:20 AM - 11:30 AM
Dec 18 Thu

MS Science Exam

8:40 AM - 9:50 AM

MS English Exam

10:20 AM - 11:30 AM
Dec 19 Fri

Main Campus Dismisses at 11:30AM

WN Dismisses at 12:00PM

MS Reading/Foreign Language Exam

8:40 AM - 9:50 AM

MS Student vs. Faculty Basketball Game

10:20 AM - 11:20 AM
Dec 22 Mon

Winter Break - School Closed

Dec 23 Tue

Winter Break - School Closed

Dec 24 Wed

Christmas Eve

Winter Break - School Closed

Dec 25 Thu

Christmas Day

Winter Break - School Closed

News from Woodward 360

Newsletter last updated:  

December 11, 2014

 

Upcoming MS Events

Dec 17 Wed

MS Exam Biscuits

Thru: 12/19/2014
Dec 18 Thu

MS Science Exam

8:40 AM - 9:50 AM

MS English Exam

10:20 AM - 11:30 AM
Dec 19 Fri

Main Campus Dismisses at 11:30AM

WN Dismisses at 12:00PM

MS Holiday Decoration Removal

Location: Middle School

MS Reading/Foreign Language Exam

8:40 AM - 9:50 AM

MS Student vs. Faculty Basketball Game

10:20 AM - 11:20 AM
Dec 22 Mon

Winter Break - School Closed

Dec 23 Tue

Winter Break - School Closed

Dec 24 Wed

Christmas Eve

Winter Break - School Closed

Dec 25 Thu

Christmas Day

Winter Break - School Closed

Hanukkah Ends


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Upcoming MS Volunteer Opportunities

Dec 17 Wed

MS Exam Biscuits

Dec 19 Fri

MS Holiday Decoration Removal

Location: Middle School
Jan 8 Thu

MS Welcome Back Hot Cocoa

More Information...
Jan 13 Tue

Parent Community Board Meeting

Location: R. L. Brand Boardroom, Carlos Hall
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM