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Notes from Greg

  • Update - Thursday, January 16

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 1/16/2020

    Hope you’re having a great week and are looking forward to an amazing three-day weekend upcoming! Students are off to a wonderful start in our first weeks back, and I have seen joyful learning happening across our middle school. You can find some recent updates at our blog linked here.

    As you probably already know, a reminder that tomorrow is a half day with our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. assembly at 8:30 am to start the day. We look forward to this fantastic school event!


    While we have just returned back to school, it is already time to start thinking about the end of this trimester and conferences. Acelynn will be sending out an email tomorrow morning with a form for conference sign-ups for the afternoons and evenings of Thursday, February 20th and Friday, February 21st and for all day on Friday, February 28th. Please fill out the form as soon as possible, so I can begin to schedule conferences for your children. I hope to have conference scheduling completed by the end of January. We look forward to seeing your students shine in sharing their progress and learning with you and their teachers.


    In addition, thank you to those of you who came out to our talk with Asher Cutler about gender identity last week, and we have some other great parent education events in the coming weeks. Next week, your students will be working with a facilitator, Ian Groves, from the organization Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD), to talk about substance abuse prevention and making healthy choices. For parents of 7th and 8th graders, Ian worked with Stanley students last year as well, and we are excited to welcome him back to campus. In addition, Ian will be hosting a parent talk on Wednesday evening at 6:30. Hope to see you there!


    That same morning, Wednesday, January 22nd, I’ll be hosting a MS parent coffee for parents of children in all grades. I look forward to connecting with each of you, and it will be great to have an informal gathering to touch base about the wonderful work of our middle schoolers.


    If you haven’t already done so, please mark your calendars for the evening of Wednesday, February 5th. We will have facilitators from the International Dyslexia Association on hand to do a simulation with you at 6:30 pm in the ballroom. Faculty participated in this simulation as part of our professional development in October, and I highly recommend it.


    I also unfortunately am writing with some difficult faculty news. Susan Cleveland, 7th grade Learning Specialist, will be taking a leave of absence to be more available for her family during a challenging medical situation. We are working on a plan to provide coverage for Susan and will be in touch with 7th grade families as those plans come together. Please send good vibes to Susan and her family during this difficult time, and thank you for your support.


    In addition, I also am writing with a request for help. As some of you know, a Stanley tradition has been to have a Stanley Middle School ski day. In examining the day, the school has determined that the day can only occur if we are able to secure enough parent drivers. In years past, faculty were able to drive students in their personal vehicles, but due to liability, we are unable to further support this practice. If you are able to drive to and from the mountains on Thursday, March 26th, the Thursday before Spring Break, please let me know by next Friday, January 24th, so we can make a decision about whether we will be able to have the trip this year.


    Finally, I wanted to provide a brief curriculum update for you about the wonderful work happening in your child’s classes. In 6th grade, Jairo’s Visual Arts students have been focusing on texture and color patterns as they work on a project of designing heads of animals. In Humanities, Julie’s students are starting a research project on Supreme Court cases dealing with the First Amendment. They have talked about website credibility and how to spot fake news, and we encourage you to check out this this family tips sheet from Common Sense Media to continue the conversation at home. In Spanish, Molly’s students are digging into the book Capybaras Con Botas, studying animals of the Amazon. In math, Andrew’s students are deep into their work with decimals and percents and will have a quiz upcoming. In science, Kelly’s students are examining continental drift and layers of the earth. In Writing class, Acelynn’s students are working on expository writing to refine their research and writing skills for work in Humanities. Finally, in the Learning Center, Rebecca’s students have been working on SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals, in addition to getting support for work in Humanities and Math.


    In 7th grade, Laura’s Drama students are discussing objectives for actors, working on character to development and how to represent their characters in scenes. Kathy’s Language Arts students are working on a study guide for an upcoming Story Elements test and are preparing the first draft of their own creative short story. Mike’s Social Studies students are deep into study of Reconstruction, looking at post-Civil War America and how that influenced the Civil Rights movement. In math, you should ask your child about their investments! Art’s students are engaged with a fun Stock Market game, in addition to their work on multi-step algebraic equations. In science, Kelly and Grace’s students are working on energy conversions and are building a wave machine. In Spanish, Anna and Molly’s students are working on the future tense, describing what they will do through an interview exercise. Finally, Susan’s Learning Center students have been receiving academic support with a variety of core academic subjects.


    In 8th grade, the Musical team is seeing the show begin come together by working on specific songs in the show. David’s Language Arts students are halfway through Elie Wiesel’s Night, and students are completing in-depth reading responses with a focus on citations and developing the skill of supporting their opinions with examples from the text. They are also engaged in a creative writing project and grammar work. Mike’s Social Studies students are watching a documentary called Lesson Plan about “The Third Wave”, a classroom experiment at a high school that examines obedience and its effects. In math, Ted’s students have been engaged with car buying project, employing graphs about depreciation. Grace’s science students are wrapping up a mini-unit on bones and muscles before a unit on the respiratory system. In Spanish, Anna’s students are working on a unit about shopping, learning new vocabulary about clothes, money, numbers and language needed in a store. Brittany’s Learning Center students are working on a week at-a-glance for assignments that are due and thinking about the concepts of their classes and where pre-teaching and re-teaching might be needed. Finally, in Care, Emily has been talking with 8th graders about questions they have about their high school years ahead.


    Across all grades, P.E. students have been engaged in a unit on fencing. And on the court, Stanley’s basketball teams are heading into their final weeks of the season and continue to have great success! Go Bulldogs!


    Thank you for all your support of our students, and it is a pleasure and privilege to partner with you. We look forward to a continued great year!

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  • Happy New Year from Middle School

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 1/9/2020

    Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a fantastic break, and all is well. I have a short letter in today’s Weekly Bulldog coming out later today about middle school and the coming semester, but I just wanted to send a quick reminder of tonight’s speaker, Asher Cutler, who is coming to speak with us about gender identity at 6:30 pm in the ballroom. Please see the brief description below. Hope to see you there!


    Asher Cutler is a graduate of East High in Denver. At age 15, they came out as 
    genderfluid, and began to use the pronouns they/them/theirs. Asher has spoken to a variety of groups of all ages about gender identity and the differences between gender and sexuality. Their first speaking gig was at Stanley British Primary School several years ago. Asher spoke with the 8th grade class and also at an evening event to parents with their father and Stanley librarian, Allan Cutler. Asher has also presented several times to the Jefferson County Public Health Department as well as at the LGBTQ-Inclusive Educational Practices Institute in 2018 where they spoke with educators and CPR reporter Jenny Brundin.

    Latkes
    Additionally, I wanted to send a quick note on behalf of Molly Knutson and Rebecca Bouslog. As you may know, Molly and Rebecca have been doing fantastic work with our Student Council, and one of the ideas their students have initiated is the re-opening of Puppy Chow, our concession stand inside the gym, during basketball games. Parent volunteers are needed to help supervise the students who are running the concession stand, and if you are available, regardless of whether your child is in student council, please sign up at the link here. Thanks for your help!


    Hope you have a great day, and the best wishes to you and your families for a continued amazing start to 2020!


    All the best, Greg

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  • Monday, December 16

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 12/16/2019

    Happy Holidays! As the final days of 2019 conclude, I wanted to say thank you for all of your wonderful support over the course of this first half of the school year. On behalf of the faculty, it has been a true privilege for us to work with your children each day, and we are constantly amazed by the wonderful kindness and community they display.

    I look forward to seeing you all at our Holiday Program on Friday. After the program’s conclusion, your children are free to go; however, we will have coverage until 12:15 for any students who cannot be picked up after the Holiday Program’s conclusion at approximately 10 am.

    It was great to see so many of you at last week’s screening of “Like”, and later this week, MS Counselor Emily Goldberg will be sending out some talking points from the film. We’ll be hosting two more films, “Upstanders” and “Angst” on March 18th and April 22nd as well, and we hope you’ll join us then.  

    After Winter Break, we’ll hit the ground running quickly. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 7th, and later that week, we’d like to invite you to a speaker in Asher Cutler, child of Stanley librarian Allan Cutler. Asher will be speaking with parents about the topic of gender identity. Please see the description of Asher below.

    Asher Cutler is a graduate of East High in Denver. At age 15, they came out as genderfluid, and began to use the pronouns they/them/theirs. Asher has spoken to a variety of groups of all ages about gender identity and the differences between gender and sexuality. Their first speaking gig was at Stanley British Primary School several years ago. Asher spoke with the 8th grade class and also at an evening event to parents with their father and Stanley librarian, Allan Cutler. Asher has also presented several times to the Jefferson County Public Health Department as well as at the LGBTQ-Inclusive Educational Practices Institute in 2018 where they spoke with educators and CPR reporter Jenny Brundin.

    We invite you to join us in the ballroom at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 9th. Asher will also speak with our 8th grade students on Friday morning, January 10th during Grade Level from 8:30-9:25.

    Additionally, if you haven’t already, please mark your calendar for some other important upcoming events. During the week of January 20th, your children will be working with a facilitator from Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD), an organization that works with students and schools around the country on the topic of substance abuse prevention and making healthy choices.  On Wednesday, January 22nd at 6:30 pm, we invite you to join us for a Parent Night with an FCD facilitator to discuss these important topics.

    Finally, as mentioned in this space previously, we will be hosting a parent evening for a simulation from the International Dyslexia Association. That simulation will occur on Wednesday, February 5th at 6:30 pm. Faculty participated in this training in October, and I highly recommend it. Whether your child has diagnosed learning differences or not, we hope you will attend. The activities provided insight into the challenges students with dyslexia and other learning differences face, helping build empathy for the experience of our students. It is sure to be a powerful evening.

    Thank you for all of your wonderful support over the course of this school year. Happy holidays to you and your families, and best wishes for a Happy New Year and an even more amazing 2020!

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  • Update - Monday, December 9

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 12/9/2019

    Happy Holidays! I hope you and your families are well and are enjoying this exciting, busy time between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. We’re off to a wonderful start in the second trimester, and students are making the most of these remaining days before two weeks off for the holidays in a couple of weeks. As I told the students last Monday in assembly, I am incredibly excited about the progress they have made over the course of the year and also challenged them to think about how they can positively impact our community. What can they do to help a classmate? To contribute in their classes? To help our middle school be a kinder, more inclusive place? In this season of giving, random acts of kindness should rule the day, and I have seen countless from your students over the course of this year.

    The coming weeks will prove to be busy ones. Middle School homerooms met with their K12 buddy classes this morning to begin preparation for the Holiday Program on the morning of Friday, December 20th. Later this week, on Wednesday afternoon during homeroom, students will view the film “Like” and discuss with their classmates. We invite you to screen the film yourself on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm in the ballroom. Hope to see you there!

    Finally, I wanted to provide a quick update about the wonderful learning happening in your child’s classes. We began the trimester last Monday with a slideshow of snapshots from the first trimester, and you can find many of them on our blog here, including new  updates each week. 

    In 6th grade, students have started the new trimester with the second subject of their arts rotation, working with Jairo in Visual Arts. There, students are delving into a negative and positive space project where they make an outline of a human subject doing an active activity (sports, dance, etc.) and are creating an intricately colored pattern around the subject. In Humanities, students are diving into their study of Constitution with a focus on note taking and study skills. Spanish students are focusing on "Persona Especial" interviews, discussing and taking notes on their classmates' food preferences. They will also be looking at some wonderful holidays in Spain, including Els Enfarinats, Caga Tio, Día de Santos Inocentes, Las 12 Uvas, and Lotería de Navidad. In science, students have started their investigation of the solar system, working on stations about the inner and outer planets and understanding the difference between weight and mass through their study of gravity. In math, students took a quiz on integers on Fridays and will begin games and activities to consolidate their study of integers and begin their study of decimals and percentages. They will be playing a modified version of the “Game of Life” that will help them think about the practice of budgeting. Finally, in the Learning Center, students have been continuing to work on study strategies, including new ones like creating one’s own practice quizzes. Upcoming, they’ll be digging into time management further.

    In 7th grade, the second arts rotation has brought an opportunity to work with Laura in Drama, and students have dug into improv games to begin. In addition, students are working on writing or choosing skits and one-act plays to perform in the 7th grade Drama showcase on the evening of Wednesday, February 12th. Mark your calendars! In Language Arts, students are discussing the difference in storytelling between movies and books. They are watching The Giver and are prepping for an in-class essay about the book and film. In addition, students are incorporating ideas about story elements they have been studying through short stories and are brainstorming to begin to write their own short stories after Winter Break. Social Studies students have moved into their study of Civil Rights, examining a multitude of disenfranchised groups. Math students are beginning their equation solving unit, working on their own algebraic puzzles. Coming up, they will be transitioning into solving more traditional one-, two-, and multi-step equations. In science, students have been learning about energy and its different forms. Spanish students have been examining Mayan culture and related archaeological sites while also reading the Spanish story Brandon Brown versus Yucatan. Finally, in the Learning Center, students have been exploring the executive functioning skill of flexibility and how it influences task initiation and planning.

    In 8th grade, the Class of 2020 has started fully into their work with “Grease”, the Winter musical. Parts have been assigned, and students are digging into choreography, singing, and much more. In Language Arts, students have concluded their study of The Power of One and are pre-reading for Elie Wiesel’s Night to begin after Winter Break. In addition, students are engaging with “high interest” articles from Scholastic Scope magazine, and you should be receiving access at home from David shortly. In addition, students are moving into their study of dependent and independent clauses in their grammar study and are reading an independent book to begin class each day. Social Studies students are reading as well, delving into the book Parallel Journeys. They are also establishing background knowledge for their study of the Holocaust to occur after break. Math students are applying rates and slopes to lines and examining parallel and perpendicular lines on a coordinate plane. They will be wrapping up 2019 with some work with statistical analysis. In science, students are learning about photosynthesis and cellular respiration, investigating how organisms obtain energy and how the two processes are related. In Spanish, students are building on their work with vocabulary about the city and are practicing reading maps and asking for and reading directions in Denver. In the Learning Center, students are previewing concepts and vocabulary they will see in their classes, including science, social studies and math and seeing how that impacts their in-class comprehension. Finally, 8th graders have also had the chance to begin their work with Emily, our School Counselor, in their Care class, beginning to discuss their transition to high school. This coming week, they’ll be digging further into discussion of our film “Like.”

    Across all grades, P.E. students are hitting the hardwood with a basketball unit. Stanley’s basketball teams are having an amazing season as well with a couple of dramatic last-second victories last week! Go Bulldogs!

    We’re looking forward to a wonderful end to the semester. Thank you for all of your support and for the opportunity to work with your children each and every day. Best wishes to you and your families for a fantastic finish to 2019 and happy holiday season!

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  • Middle School Update - Thursday, November 21

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 11/21/2019

    Happy Thanksgiving! As we wrap up the first trimester, I just wanted to pass along from the Stanley middle school faculty our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to work with your children each day. It’s been a fantastic opening stretch to the year, and we’re so excited by the immense growth your children have made. Watching the 6th graders perform Shakespeare's The Tempest yesterday, I was struck by what wonderful strides our newest members to the middle school community have made. Conferences highlighted the tremendous progress of all of our students here in the middle school, and we look forward to their continued success in the coming months. You can see some snapshots of some of the great things happening in the middle school at our blog linked here.

    Tomorrow, we look forward to welcoming you for Grand People’s Day. Guests will be in the ballroom from 8:15-9:15. After that, students who have grandparents on campus will pick them up from the ballroom to bring them to homeroom from 9:30-10:30. At that point, students are dismissed for the Thanksgiving holiday. If your child can’t be picked up, we will have coverage until 12:15 pm.

    After Thanksgiving, it will be a fast and furious dash to Winter Break with just three weeks separating Thanksgiving and Winter Break. In that time, there are a number of wonderful opportunities to be involved. Right after break, on Monday, December 2nd, the Learning Resource team will be hosting a parent coffee from 8:30-9:30 in our middle school faculty lounge on the main level of Building 2. We look forward to having you join us!

    The following week, on Wednesday, December 11th, your children will be viewing the film “Like”, and we invite to join us that evening at 6:30 pm to screen and discuss the film. It should be a great opportunity to talk about the pressures of social media on our students’ lives.

    Finally, be sure to join us for the annual Holiday Program on Friday, December 20th. More details to come soon, but for those of you new to Stanley, each middle school homeroom will pair up with their K12 buddy class to sing. It’s a wonderful tradition and a great way to wrap up the opening half of the year.

    We wish you and your families a wonderful week away, and look forward to seeing you in December! Thanks for all your support, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Middle School Update - Friday, November 8

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 11/8/2019

    Hope you’re having a great week, and you’re enjoying our beautiful Fall weather. It looks like it should be an amazing weekend, and hope you and your families get a chance to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures. As we head toward the final two weeks of the trimester, I wanted to let you know about a few upcoming events and give you an update about the wonderful learning happening in your child’s classes.

    First, please see the attached invitation to come join Stanley’s Learning Resource Parent Affinity Group on Tuesday, November 12th from 6-7:30 in the Ballroom. The group will be viewing and discussing the film “The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind.” Additionally, the following week, please join us for our 6th grade Shakespeare performances during the day and in the evening on Wednesday, November 20th. We look forward to a wonderful performance of The Tempest.

    After Thanksgiving, we’ve got some other opportunities for parents as well. On Monday, December 2nd, the Learning Resource team of Brittany McKenna, Susan Cleveland, and Rebecca Bouslog will be hosting a parent coffee from 8:30-9:30 in our middle school faculty lounge on the main level of Building 2. We look forward to having you join us!

    The following week, on Wednesday, December 11th, your children will be viewing the film “Like”, and we invite to join us that evening to screen the film and discuss it as well. It should be a great opportunity to talk about the pressures of social media on our students’ lives. As mentioned in this space before, the film is the first in a series of three that we will be hosting during the 2019-2020 school year. The others are “Upstanders” on March 18 and “Angst” on April 22. We look forward to the conversation and discussion.  

    Finally, I wanted to provide you a quick curriculum update about the wonderful learning happening in your child’s classes. In 6th grade, students are gearing up for their Shakespeare performances during the final week and are winding down the trimester in their first stretch of middle school. In science, students are wrapping up a final assessment on Thursday about the earth, moon and sun. In Humanities, students are engaging in a Patriot and Loyalist simulation about the American Revolution. Spanish students are finishing up Bart Quiere un Gato and then will be working on their “Persona Especial”. They will also be examining the song Qué Asco. In math, students are deep into their study of operations with integers. Learning Center students are working on Study Skills for a Humanities assessment and on long term planning. Finally, Care students have been investigating questions around honesty and integrity.

    In 7th grade, Language Arts students just received a final book club essay packet and will be working on the writing process for an essay around the theme of choice. They are also working on finishing an independent reading book as well. Social Studies students concluded their “refugee roundtables” discussions and are starting a capstone project about immigration. In math, students are wrapping up the trimester with a culmination of their music lyric investigation and will be finishing with the final touches of an integer unit of study. Science students are working with the study of chemical reactions, and music students are wrapping up the complex rhythms they’ve been mastering all trimester. Next trimester, 7th graders will move into Drama class with Laura. In Spanish, students have been using a silly song called “Flores” to practice writing and will work with prompts upcoming to write their own stories. Finally, in the Learning Center, students are wrapping up work with planning and executive functioning and are also working on time management, choosing skills they feel they would benefit most from.

    In 8th grade, Social Studies students rolled out speeches to run for president in Weimar Germany in 1932. In math, students have started to examine linear functions and components such as intercept and slope. Language Arts students are building on their grammar study, moving into understanding different clause structures. They are also wrapping up the Power of One and will be concluding with a poster and writing project. In Science, students have started to learn about cell organelles and how they all work together. Spanish students have finished creating an altar for their study of Day of the Dead and have started to talk about cities and communities. Learning Center students have focused their efforts toward review in math and science, naming strategies needed and reviewing guidelines and rubrics to proofread lab reports. Finally, in the arts, 8th graders have moved into beginning their work on Grease and are excited for a wonderful winter experience.

    Across all grades, Donna’s P.E. students have been playing team building games and will be starting a basketball unit in conjunction with the Winter Sports season that begins next week. We look forward to a great season on the hoops court and in multi-sport. Go Bulldogs!

    Thank you for all your support over these opening months of the year. We are grateful to work in partnership with you and look forward to a wonderful conclusion to the Fall trimester before Thanksgiving Break. Have a great weekend!

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  • Update - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - Winter trimester Skills Classes

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 10/29/2019

    Hope you’re having a great week and are staying warm! We look forward to seeing you at conferences later this week and early next week and hope you enjoy and make the most of this important school event.

    As the second trimester approaches to begin right after Thanksgiving break, I wanted to share with you the wonderful Skills class offerings that your children will have the opportunity to select next week in homeroom. Please go over these offerings with your children and plan to have them make their top three choices for both Tuesday and Thursday offerings during homeroom next week. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to working with your children in these wonderful offerings! Stay warm today, and see you soon!

    Tuesday offerings

    Creative Writing (all grades) - Use your imagination and expand your writing skills in this class. We will use interesting prompts, photos and topics, and will develop our creative approach to writing.

    Clean Comedy Improv (all grades) - Discuss and share ideas and techniques on how to make any situation fun, but most importantly appropriately funny on the spot! Time to improvise! :)

    Rhythm and Resistance (all grades) - This class uses poetry to build community among and across diversity. Additionally, the poems read and created will (a) help students understand the relationship between history and poetry and (b) how poetry can be used as a mode for talking back to injustice.

    Rubik’s Cube Mosaics (all grades) - Come learn how to create larger mosaic images with Rubik’s cubes! We will practice solving and manipulating the cubes in different ways in order to create a picture, collectively. 

    Turbo Oral Presentations (all grades) - Prepare to receive a topic and to create a short, yet very effective and entertaining 2-minute presentation to the group. This is designed to be a fun, entertaining way to boost social confidence and to generate better public speaking skills. Presentations will be both individual and partner/team based

    Let’s Learn American Sign Language! (all grades) - In this Skills class, we will all learn American Sign Language together. You can look forward to learning this new language and about the community that utilizes it.

    Spelling Bee competition (all grades) – Come participate in word games toward preparation to compete in Stanley’s middle school spelling bee.

    Yes, Chef! (all grades) - Plan no-bake recipes that we will make during Skills.

    Student Council (all grades)- This is a year-long Skills class and will require additional work outside of your normal skills class hour. If you enjoy planning, organizing and executing school wide events, while strengthening your leadership style, this is the place for you! Student Council is in charge or organizing Cave Shows, Arts Fests, Bake Sales, dances, various fundraisers, etc. This is a year-long course. If you did not sign up in the Fall, you may not sign up for the Winter or Spring trimester.

    6th grade math support (6th graders) - Receive supplemental math support that will help with 6th grade content.

    7th grade math support (7th graders) - Receive supplemental math support that will help with the 7th grade content.

    7th grade Geometry (7th graders) - This Skills class is only for 7th graders and those students who completed the 6th grade Geometry Skills class last year. Come continue your Geometry Skills!

    8th grade Geometry (8th graders) - This Skills class is only for 8th graders and those students who have completed the 7th grade Geometry Skills class last year. Come continue your Geometry Skills! 

    Thursday offerings

    Speech and Debate (all grades) - Do you like presenting on interesting and hilarious topics? Do you enjoy debating about important issues? Are you wanting the improve your public speaking skills? Join this class!

    The Secret Files of Professor L. Otto Funn (all grades) – Do you love science? Students will choose fun science activities they want to complete from the book, The Secret Files of Professor L. Otto Funn and will do a different one each week.

    Strings and Things: Ukulele and Guitar for beginners (all grades) - Come and learn basic chords and a few songs on either the uke or the guitar! A more advanced class will be offered in the spring.

    The Editor’s Workshop (all grades): Come and build your editing and proofreading skills. This will be a relaxed, yet productive editor’s workshop in which we will be able to proofread and revise our current written work, (through both individual and peer revision). You will also have the opportunity to expand upon content, depth and description in current writing assignments. We will also conduct mini-lessons on common convention errors and how to avoid them in the future!

    Introductory French Class (all grades) - This course will cover some basic French conversation skills and build in some grammar and vocabulary as well. 

    Animal Planet (all grades) - Love animals? Want to watch animal documentaries?  Interested in learning more about endangered animals and how to save them?  Join this Skills class to talk all things animals.

    Learning Center Support (all grades) - Students will learn executive functioning strategies and how to apply them to their work, learn about themselves as a learner, and receive extra support on assignments as needed in a small group environment.

    Current Events Club (all grades) - Curious about what’s going on in the world? Looking for a place to discuss big issues in the news? Come on down!

    Journalism (all grades) - Come learn the craft of interviewing and reporting as we learn how to report the news and move toward publishing our stories in Stanley’s middle school newspaper.

    Book Club (6th graders) - Read the sequel to Chains, called Forge. It’s told from the perspective of Curzon and picks up where Chains leaves off.

    7th Grade Constitutional Law (7th graders) - Students who are interested in participating in the Constitutional Law program will learn the essential elements of the content and the program through lecture style lessons. 

    Constitutional Law (8th graders) - Con Law Students who participated in the 7th grade skills class last year will begin an intensive study building of that knowledge in preparation for the National Competition in Washington, DC.

    8th grade math support (8th graders) - Receive supplemental math support that will help with the 8th grade content.

    Thanks for all your support! Stay safe, and have a great day!

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  • Update - Thursday, October 24th

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 10/24/2019

    Hope you’re having a great week, and we look forward to seeing you for conferences next week! As your students will share with you about their growth over the course of this year, I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful professional learning that has been happening within our faculty community over the course of this fall.

    As you know, your children are blessed to be working with such an expert faculty who approach their work thoughtfully and intentionally each day to positively impact your students. I shared with some parents earlier this week that September and October are among my favorite months of the school year because it means I get to spend lots of time in the classrooms of our amazing faculty, observing their classes and providing them resources and ideas to build on the amazing work that they are already doing.

    Last year, we launched a professional development initiative entitled Critical Friends Groups from the National School Reform Faculty. In small groups, faculty share a dilemma they are working on in their practice with a group of educators that they wouldn’t normally bring their problem to. For example, as an English teacher, I would often bring dilemmas from my classroom to other English faculty; however, I learned over time that often the perspectives most impactful and novel for my growth came from teachers outside my discipline or division. After piloting the program with middle school faculty last year, teachers are now in groups comprised of K-8 teachers and other staff, bringing our community together to learn and support each other’s practice.

    Moreover, middle school faculty have been active in professional development work this fall around a variety of different topics. From visiting other ACIS schools and collaborating with faculty there to attending professional conferences like CIRCLE to hearing speakers like Dr. Lisa Damour and Dr. Craig Knippenberg to learning at workshops from national organizations like Teaching Tolerance, Stanley has been well represented in the professional community of the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS). Faculty have been sharing their takeaways at middle school meetings, helping us consider how our practice can continue to evolve to support our students, and I have been so grateful and impressed by the culture of professional growth among our teachers.

    To that end, the past two months has also seen middle school faculty visiting each other’s classrooms, learning from those who they would not ordinarily go see teach outside their discipline (e.g: a math teacher observing a Spanish teacher’s lesson). The conversations have been fruitful, and there’s great professional learning happening internally from each other here as well.

    Finally, I wanted to share with you a recent professional development experience the faculty participated in last Friday. Facilitators from the International Dyslexia Association came and did a simulation with our K-8 teaching faculty. The activities provided insight into the challenges students with dyslexia and other learning differences face, helping build empathy for the experience of our students. It was a powerful, impactful afternoon for faculty, and I encourage you to ask teachers about the experience. To that end, we are working on an opportunity for you to experience the simulation for yourself. Whether you have a child with diagnosed dyslexia or not, I highly recommend the experience. Details are being finalized, and I will be in touch with a specific evening date soon. Please be on the lookout.

    Thank you for your continued support and partnership! Happy Halloween, and look forward to seeing you all soon!

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  • Update - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 10/16/2019

    Hope you all had a wonderful Fall Break last week and are enjoying our beautiful weather! Lots is happening here in the middle school, and as I’ve had the chance to observe classes and see our teachers in action with your students, I am struck by the amazing relationships that have been built during this first trimester. We look forward to welcoming you for conferences in a couple of weeks to see your child showcase and reflect on this great learning. You should be receiving an email from Acelynn soon with your conference time on either Halloween, November 1st or November 4th.

    As a reminder, on Halloween, conferences will begin directly after the Halloween Parade, and you are welcome to take your children directly after the parade. For students who cannot be picked up early, we will have coverage for students until Noon before all students are dismissed.

    In addition, a couple of quick logistical and miscellaneous notes for you: A reminder that this Friday is our next halfday schedule with a 12:15 pm dismissal. Please remind your students to take their belongings with them at 12:15 if they are going to the Town Center to get some lunch with friends. On a separate note, for 8th grade families who are interested, please see the attached high school information regarding the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS).

    Students continue to proceed nicely in their classes, and below, you’ll find curriculum updates about the wonderful work happening in your child’s classes. Before delving into those descriptions, however, I wanted to share with you a wonderful film series upcoming we will be hosting here at Stanley that will be offered to both students and parents. In continuing to emphasize the holistic care for children through an emphasis on social-emotional learning, Stanley’s middle school is excited to be hosting three films from IndieFlix. The first is called “Like” and will be shown to students on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11th and then again that evening for parents. Later this school year, on March 18th, we will be showing a newly released film “Upstanders” and then on April 22nd, we will be screening the film “Angst”, exploring social-emotional health through the lens of anxiety. The trailers are linked above, and we look forward to hosting you for these films.

    Finally, as mentioned, there is amazing learning happening in your child’s classrooms. In the 6th grade, Humanities students are continuing to read Chains, examining inferences and character traits, in addition to looking at vocabulary and grammar. Math students have a quiz upcoming and are finishing up work with equations and solutions, soon moving into integers. Spanish students are wrapping up their work with Hispanic heritage month and will be doing some special people interviews shortly. Science students are engaging with work in creating three-dimensional models of moon phases, seasons, and eclipses. The Class of 2022 Care class has been preparing for last Friday’s middle school dance and will be moving into conflict resolution. In the Learning Center, mini lessons on executive functioning have continued, specifically on the topic of planning. They are also receiving support with annotations in Chains and study skills and support for math. Finally, Drama students have made great strides with their scene work and will have their lines memorized by next week. We look forward to the show next month!

    In 7th grade, Language Arts students have been editing their character pieces, working on making inferences from sensory detail. Students are also working on creating meaningful questions for book club discussions and are practicing annotations. Social Studies students have wrapped up their study of legal immigration and will be investigating integration myths and undocumented immigrants in the news. Math students have an upcoming quiz and working through all operations with integers. In the near future, they will be investigating the rate of lyrics in songs as a final project. Science students are learning about atoms, subatomic particles, and the periodic table, and Spanish students are finishing Tumba and will be moving into a new free voluntary reading unit. Music students are continuing to master idjombi and are working on a new song called “bobobo.” Shortly, they will be composing short songs themselves. Finally, Learning Center students are working on their executive functioning planning skills toward task initiation. Lots of great learning happening across the board!

    Lastly, in 8th grade, Language Arts students have finished Chapter 9 and are progressing to the conclusion of The Power of One, focusing on the theme of prejudice this week in building toward writing an essay. Moreover, the 8th graders have been demonstrating some fantastic creative writing skills and are applying new expansional phrases in their grammar study. In Social Studies, students are looking at Weimar Germany and how it was setup to fail as a democracy. Math students have just completed a business project and are starting to analyze and graph functions. In science class, osmosis and diffusion have been the topics of the day through labs, and a longer lab and final project is upcoming. In Spanish, students are starting a new unit about El Día de Los Muertos and are working on how to speak in the past tense. They will soon be creating an altar! In the arts, music students have finished recording their song “Partners” and working on choreographing a dance toward producing a music video. Visual Arts students have been working on their artist mission statements toward designing their skateboards. Finally, Learning Center students have been working on executive functioning surveys to support their learning and are applying their findings to task initiation.

    Finally, across all grades, P.E. students have been honing their archery skills and are moving into a golf unit. Bulldogs athletics teams continue to have a wonderful fall season, wrapping up with final games over the next couple weeks. Fall sports end right before conferences on Wednesday, October 30th. Thanks for your support of an awesome season, and go Bulldogs!

    I hope you and your families continue to have a wonderful fall, and thanks for your tremendous partnership in supporting our students. Have a great rest of the week, and looking forward to seeing you all soon! 

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  • Conferences, High School Nights, 6th Spring Trip

    Posted by Greg Chalfin on 10/1/2019

    Happy October! I hope you’re well and are having a great week and are looking forward to a relaxing, enjoyable Fall Break next week!

    I wanted to provide just a couple of quick updates for you as we head into the long weekend. Thank you again for all your support, and I look forward to crossing paths with all of you soon!

    High School Fair at International School of Denver on Thursday night
    As a reminder to 8th grade families, there is a high school fair for Stanley students and families at International School of Denver (ISD) this Thursday from 6-7:30 pm. If you are the parent of a 6th or 7th grader and would like to attend, you are welcome to do so as well, but please don't feel any obligation or that you would be missing something.

    All-girls HS Night The HS fair a great opportunity to learn about the plethora of different options for your child's high school experience. A flyer put together by ISD is attached to this email, and there are additional schools not listed on this flyer that will be in attendance as well. Additionally, for 8th grade families interested in St. Mary’s Academy, please see the attached flyer for an event for parents to find out more information.

    6th grade parent drivers for Spring Trip
    For 6th grade families, please mark your calendars for the 6th grade trip to Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado near Winter Park from May 13th to May 15th. The 6th grade team is looking forward to a wonderful two-night outdoor education excursion with your students. For this trip, we are hoping to have parent drivers to help drive students either to or from Snow Mountain Ranch. If you are able to drive students to Snow Mountain Ranch on the morning of Wednesday, May 13th or from Snow Mountain Ranch in the early afternoon (approximately 1 pm) on Friday, May 15th, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration and for your support.

    Conference Sign-Ups
    Thank you to those of you who have signed up for your Fall Conference times. If you have yet to do so, please do so by filling out this link by next Monday, October 7th. Conference times will be communicated to you by mid-October in preparation for conferences at the end of the month.

    Thanks again, and best wishes for a great rest of the week and wonderful Fall Break! See you soon!

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