For the weeks of 6/13 - 6/21
A message from Dr. Clapp
Dear Helen Keller Middle School Families,
This is the celebration and gratitude edition of the 2022-23 HKMS Family Newsletter. The look back at our last 7 school days is inspirational, heartwarming, and exciting. I am inspired by our eighth-graders who, from a middle school perspective, have been the hardest hit of our current students. All three of their years here were disrupted in major ways, from full remote and hybrid instruction to masks and mass quarantines, they have had anything but a normal middle school experience. Yet this group moves on, as ready and prepared for high school as our pre-pandemic rising-high-schoolers were. It is a sign of remarkable resilience and perseverance in how far this class has come despite the adversity they have faced. As I said to them on Friday night, they give me great HOPE for a positive and successful future and that is their legacy, which warms my heart. The future is exciting indeed as we saw end-of-year projects exploring the body's various "systems" that sustain humans in 6th-grade science and beautiful poetry from 6th and 7th-graders. I am excited to witness and foster the legacy of these classes as well as our rising middle-schoolers as they transition from SSES.
I owe much gratitude for this year and all the success HKMS has experienced. First, to all of the parents, grandparents, and guardians for all the incredibly supportive input, feedback, and effort put into this year. I truly believe it takes a village to raise our children and all of the villagers have stepped up in a thousand different ways. A special shoutout to Beth Andrews and Daniele Fanzo for their leadership and efforts to lead the PTO through this tumultuous year. I also want to thank and congratulate the faculty and staff. They had to adjust yet again to new conditions and new leadership, and they held true to our values and belief that all students can succeed at high levels despite the conditions. Mrs. Cahalan and Mrs. Neff in the main office are uncompromisingly amazing at their jobs and invaluable to day-to-day operations. Our team leaders, Mr. Walsh, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Maggi, Mr. Breyer, Mr. Sather, Mrs. Aponte, and Mrs. Dunkerton were incredibly patient in working through and implementing many new processes and learning. They are an amazing team and we are lucky to have them in their roles as both teachers, counselors, specialists, and leaders. I would be remiss if I did not also mention the incredible leadership, tenacity, patience, and care Mrs. Mohr brings to her role as our Assistant Principal. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a talented administrator to lead the school alongside.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank the students. I want to thank them for trusting us and believing in our overall mission and vision. They accepted me, an unknown, leading their school. They did so with care, grace, and a bit of healthy skepticism. I will forever be grateful for their acceptance of this "first-time" principal as I look forward to many years of being the "known" principal of the school.
I could easily thank a hundred other people who made this year successful and I would still leave off many who lent a hand, offered a kind compliment, or were willing to do what needed to be done. Really, thank you all, every one of you!
I hope you enjoy this final installment of the newsletter. We packed in tons of pictures, videos and thoughts that concluded the year. From the 8th-grade BBQ bash and our closing ceremony to final projects and reflections on the year. We look forward to returning to the family newsletter on September 2nd!
By the way, the first day of the 2022-23 school year is August 31st, which is only 71 days from today!! Good luck to all our Freshmen, and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of you in the fall!
Grade 6 Peeks
The Sixth Grade Health Fair!
POETRY! Sixth and seventh grade ILA classes end with poetry units, above is the 6th-grade, which seems to include lots of food, hmm.
Grade 7 Peeks
Seventh Grade ILA students have created blackout poetry and haikus.
A lucky student in Profe's homeroom (thanks to his mom) won a full outdoor ELT recess for his class.
We are not sure who had more fun, the kids or Profe!
The perfect weather to get lost in a good book!
Should plastics be banned?
Grade 8 Peeks
Grade 8 Field Trip to Brownstone Adventure Park!
A well-deserved day of adventure climbing, ziplines, cliff diving, and swimming for all!
Pictures from the Grade 8 BBQ Bash!
Pictures from the Grade 8 Closing Ceremony!
JBHS Student Device Expectations 2022-23
8th-Grade parents/guardians and students should carefully read the expectations for freshman devices next year. Student can bring their own device (check specifications) or be provided a loaner from the district, just complete the correct forms linked in the letter.
Awesome matball competitions this week!
The 7th Grade PLTW T3 students testing their egg drop vessels
Many of the wonderful activities, events, and learning going on around HKMS this week (and beyond!).
The Fifth Grade Visit to HKMS
June 15, 2022
Janet Wallace and Mary Burke are unsung heroes at HKMS whose praises should be shouted from the rooftops. They work tirelessly to oversee every single lunch wave!! This is a herculean task in middle school!!
The HKMS Musical Extravaganza of Awesomeness!
Monday we returned to one more fantastic tradition that has been on hiatus for the last two years, the annual HKMS Musical Extravaganza of Awesomeness! This music festival features every instrumental and choral group, including the general music classes showing off their guitar skills. I hope you enjoy these pics and videos as much as we did listening! Congratulations to all musicians and music teachers!
7th Grade General Music students performing "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King.
8th Grade General Music Performing "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Celebrating a legend!
While you might not know Tom Steil, he is a key member of the team. Tom has been a vital member of the ER9 Technology team for 7 years. He has seen us through Smartboard installations, network upgrades, the pandemic, remote teaching, and the 1:1 Chromebook rollout. Mr. Steil is retiring and we had a chance to show him our love and appreciation. Thanks for all you did so well for us, Tom!
The Grade 8 Student mural is finished and amazing! What a great gift back to our school! Thank you Maansi, Arianna, Cici, Olivia, and Natalie!
Welcome to Easton Signs!
In coordination with P&Z, students in Art classes at both SSES and HKMS submitted artwork for the signs that were combined to make two Welcome to Easton signs. The Big unveil was this past weekend at Mead Park!
Field Day 2022!
Another beloved tradition returned to HKMS this year with our last day of school field day at the ECC. It was amazing!!!
Gratitude is the key to happiness. Never was that more obvious than at HKMS on the morning of our last day! We gathered all together as a full community to SURPRISE Dr. Clapp! We can't believe we pulled it off without him knowing. You could hear the students screaming with joy all the way from his office! Students and staff wanted to thank Dr. Clapp for an amazing first year as our principal. Our celebration was complete with hundreds of signs, musical performances by students and our staff band Raisin' Helen and even a full school wave!!!
A Full School Wave!
The Easton, Redding, and Region 9 School Districts acknowledge the uniqueness and varied experiences of all students, staff, families, and community members, as well as the uniqueness and experiences of people in our state, country, and the world. The HKMS "Diversity Discussion" is intended to open up conversations with your middle schooler about issues of diversity!
Assimilation vs. Pluralism
Here is a great topic to explore with your children, friends, and family over the summer. It is not an easy topic, but a very worthy one. At one time in our history, sociologists prescribed that an "American Culture" would evolve out of some great melting pot. This idea, known as assimilation, prescribes that the cultures and ethnicities of the world would come to America and blend into one new culture, with the same religion, language, and race. While that seemed evident in some of the second and third-wave European immigration, it has not been true with more recent waves of immigration. Instead a salad bowl, or pluralistic set of cultures, is more evident. What this means is ethnic, cultural, religious, and language enclaves are persisting and not necessarily blending but maintaining their identities. Think of Chinatown in NYC, Little Havana in Miami, or Koreatown in Los Angeles as prevalent examples. If this is the cultural future of American society, what are the political, educational, economic, and philosophical implications of America's historical shift to pluralism?
August 31st: First Day of School! (only 71 days away!!!)
We will be posting quick updates over the summer!