MUS Soccer Camp is now allowing
CURRENT 8th and 9th graders to attend this year’s camp and the Varsity and JV
coaching staff would like to see as many of the boys who plan on playing soccer
next year to attend if at all possible.
The camp will divide the groups
based on their skill level and each camper should expect to be challenged all
week. Camp date June 2 through 6 from 9:00
am -12:00 pm.
The coaching staff will be made up
of Varsity and JV coaches and some former players.
Please fill out the soccer camp
section on the Summer Stuff brochure and turn in to the Upper School
office with payment.
The MUS Lower School lacrosse team won the city championship for the 10th year in a row this past week with a
season record of 15-1. They scored 206 goals, allowing only 32 goals against
eighth grade class went 29-2 over the past 2 years, a remarkable record.
to Coach Gearhardt and the squad for their perseverance and continued outstanding effort.
When we gaze upon the cornucopia that is the teacher's festive food bonanza spread about the Lower School conference room table, we have to pause and say, "Thank you" for attending to our more base needs. As the instructors are dropping in, one by one, I see the year-end gaze, the far away eyes, that often accompany all of us around here in late May. Your thoughtful boost is a welcome opportunity to recharge and enjoy. We really appreciate it.
Well, who knew? As of the last 24 hours, the Lower School Blog reached 100,000 page views in just three years of operation. I get a little nerdy with statistics from time to time, so here it goes: 118 visits a day looking /reading for 1 minute 45 seconds viewing 181 pages. That's 60,000 log-ins since inception. For an annual audience of parents that numbers around 425 people...the blog proves to be a pretty efficient customer service tool.
What's more, we pull this off at a cost of less than $180 dollars a year, including the ability to have a commercial-free poll. No mailing costs. No fuel consumption outside of MLGW electrical allotment, no additional staff...heck, we're green!
Thank you for your continued support, your comments, suggestions, corrections...it helps us understand what our families are thinking and anticipating as we strive to provide some helpful points of contact with the school.
I would be remiss to say anything without acknowledging the vision of the blog's brain-child Bruce Ryan ('80), a former Lower School math instructor who saw the opportunity at the beginning of my assignment as Lower School principal in the fall of 2005. He created the whole deal, maintaining the site and adding the features as he went. The purpose was to help me understand the expectations of our customer base as much as it was to serve that base. I am indebted to his support. Since his departure, I've had to function as the BlogMeister, doing so at a fraction of his ability and experience with web-based tools. From time to time, he thankfully offers advice which I stumble through, but I'm learning. Thanks, Mr. Ryan.
From the Library staff: We are going to close the library today from 12:30 until 2:00 pm for a luncheon to honor our volunteers. We open back at 2:00 until about 3:30 pm. Feel free to call them to verify closing hours, 260.1390.
You'll have to scroll down a good bit to view this entire post. Last Friday we celebrated the annual Lower School Awards Day with the installation of the 2008 edition of the Springfield Scholars and the Order of the Owl. Thanks to Catherine Schuhmacher for filming and Laura Bontrager for editing. Download OrderoftheOwlweb.mov
The Order of the Owl recipients, eighth grade (see seventh grade following):
Colcolough* (second year guys*)
David Christman Alex
Hoffsommer Nick James Ashish
The Order of the Owl recipients, seventh grade:
Philip Aiken Jared Ashkenaz Derrick Baber Daniel Britton Seth Carson Forrest Field Cole Flemmons Kyle Gossett William Hoehn Farhan Kathawala Peyton Klawinski Andrew Miller Zachary Olsen Andrew Raves Remy Rea Hurston Reed Andrew Renshaw Brian Ringel Scott Sanders Ekim Sarinoglu Amit Shah Marshall Sharp Sylvester Tate Mac Trammell Nathan
A dinner the previous night celebrated the Springfield Scholars specifically. The boys invited a faculty member of their choosing to join along with each Scholar and his parents. They received commemorative ties as an enduring sartorial symbol of their accomplishments at achieving the top ten percent of their class.
Mr. Terry Shelton offers his moving annual salute to the man that was John Murry Springfield.
Scott Freeburg ties one on.
Steve Hergenrader ('77) assists son Wil ('12) with his new Springfield Scholars bow tie. Mr. Springfield's portrait in the MUS dining hall immortalizes him donning a bow tie.
Here they are: (front, left to right) George Ormseth, Carson House, Mark Sorensen, (middle left) Scott Freeburg, (back) Eli Goldstein, Danny Galvin Daniel Cunningham, Wil Hergenrader, Daniel McLeod, and Andrew Wilensky
Is this wise parenting? Not only do we think not, but also we are of the opinion that it would be bad school policy for us at MUS for a number of reasons. We're talking about parents having instant online access to their son's daily grades. While this blog does not speak for the official school position (I guess ours would be "not in favor" in that we don't offer the service!), the discussion is something of which we are well aware.
Big picture: There are different seasons in a school-aged student's life; the macro-divisions of elementary, middle, and high school being the broad definitions for this discussion. As a middle school principal who teaches high school classes and who has elementary school children of his own, I find myself at a unique, practical crossroads of this popular discussion. While admittedly I am no expert on the subject (is anyone?), I defer to our wise instructors who have spent years in the field producing able students who prove themselves capable at various levels.
These teachers, in large number, will tell you that their grade book is not akin to daily stock numbers from the market. For that matter, even your broker will tell you not to watch the market numbers every day. General trends over reasonable periods are a better indication of real performance. Short term volatility is going to happen. A major drop in a stock, say 10%, should be immediately addressed. Grades are similar. Our teachers are going to talk with a student who performs out of the norm in order to see what may be going on.
Often assembled with objective data from daily work, the simple grade book may not tell the best, complete story of everything in a student's performance. Students are individual works in progress not to be treated as up-to-the-minute data point producers. We think you will agree.
While I can see elementary school as more of the proper place for the most aggressive monitoring of grades, what my wife and I experience through the weekly results brought to the home via the student (the tests, papers, assignments to be signed and returned) is a wonderfully effective system. Yes, it takes time to sift through the packet, but this should be a serious parental priority on a weekly basis. We get a good glimpse of progress or lack thereof. The online option of checking grades weekly is available to us, and quite frankly, we don't use it. We prefer touching the paper, seeing penmanship...or attempts at such...
In an effort to meet rising demand from parents who want more frequent access to their son's grades, we're responding and meeting them in the middle. At MUS effective the next school year, we will require all Lower School students to record their grades in their assignment books. It will be Lower School policy. If a student chooses not to write down his grades, he will be in violation of fair and reasonable school rules. If he does not represent his actual scores faithfully to his parents (deliberately omits a bad grade, for example) such an action would be an issue of the student's character. That will be a family issue to be settled between the student and his parents.
Here's the rationale of insisting that the boys record their own grades as they come in during their individual classes versus teachers entering grades for parents to stalk: to produce well-rounded young men of strong moral character (our mission) we think that the boy having some skin in the game is much better policy for our middle school-age students in opposition to teachers loading grades and parents tempted to discuss the results with a teacher before discussing the issue with their son. For our students to write down their own grades helps make them grow up and learn accountability, honesty, and responsibility. We want students to learn to bear the weight of their own actions, therefore when they have to record their marks, good and bad, and know that they are the delivery agent of truth, they tend to pay more attention. More, boys remaining in elementary school patterns are boys denied the unique human dynamic associated with maturing adolescent boys learning to face the consequences of their actions, good and bad. Look, we already subject them to a rigorous Honor Code. Boys faithfully recording their own grades is an extension of our existing culture of accountability.
Of course parent involvement helps students as the article states. However, this assumes wise involvement, allowing for proper, gradual distance afforded to the boy associated with healthy accountability and appropriate confrontation as is necessary for young persons. "Trust and verify" as we like to say. Allowing our growing young men the opportunity to report their grades personally is a start. Let's see if it satisfies the demand for more grade access while helping the boys mature.