Hello parents, and greetings once again from the UAS Middle School!!
Unbelievable as it may seem, the first half of the 2017-2018 school year is coming to a close, with the 1st semester ending on Thursday, February 1. My how time flies when you’re having fun!
The UAS MS will be enjoying our yearly sports day on February 1, followed by our annual Week Without Walls (WWW) adventures from February 4 – 10. Because of the scheduled professional development day on Sunday, February 11 – students need not attend school on this day – we will return to our normal operating procedures on Monday, February 12, as the 2nd semester begins.
Speaking of WWW, I wanted to take time today to share my thoughts about this yearly endeavor. So, the question you should be asking is this: Why Week Without Walls?
Through the WWW program, or experiential learning, we aspire to provide our students with experiences that will change their outlook on the world, their attention to the needs of others, and truly change their lives for the better. By extending the curricular knowledge beyond the classroom, it is our hope to guide each student toward being a more caring/responsible global citizen who learns to be a better person in the world, so he/she can be a better person for the world.
The WWW program subscribes to five main objectives and/or learning goals: life skills, service, personal growth, cultural understanding, and curriculum enrichment.
Life Skills: By participating in the WWW program, we hope our students will build the skills necessary for personal growth and maturity. By living, communicating and cooperating with a diverse group, students are encouraged to be open-minded, caring and compassionate towards others. Students have the golden opportunity to learn key skills such as reading maps, photography, time management, communicating in a foreign country, safety awareness, and compassion.
Service: We believe that service learning helps students discover the significance of caring about others, and we endeavor to have our young people develop skills and attitudes that can enable them to better contribute as principled global citizens. Our WWW program has a component of service imbedded within it to help achieve our mission of creating responsible global citizens who understand their impact and influence on our world.
Personal Growth: Each trip strives to reinforce self-esteem and provide opportunities for self-awareness. During the week, the students will be responsible for their choices and actions as well as learn the importance and relevance of taking responsibility. Trip activities are designed to help students develop a sense of camaraderie and social skills. In addition, the activities encourage students to take healthy risks, and step outside of their comfort zone.
Cultural Understanding: WWW promotes an appreciation and understanding of cultural differences, as students who travel internationally participate in activities that allow them to interact with local residents. MS students traveling to Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Kenya, will learn how life in other countries differ from their own. Students may have opportunities to learn traditional dances, songs or cuisines, as well as visit historical sites that help develop an appreciation for cultural diversity and tolerance.
Curriculum Enrichment: Finally, and very importantly, our WWW trips allow students the opportunity to forge stronger links between the classroom and the wider world. Each itinerary is tied to learning objectives found within our curriculum, as the type of knowledge or skill will vary from destination to destination, and from excursion to excursion.
In short, our WWW/experiential learning opportunities empower our students to take meaningful action, serve others, and become responsible global citizens. The opportunities for our young people are truly extraordinary. As for me, I will have the privilege of accompanying a group of grade 8 students to Kenya on Friday, February 2. This will mark my first WWW trip @ UAS, and I am more than a little excited about spending a week of my life with our amazing young people! Here’s hoping your child’s school year is enriched by the WWW experience, whatever that adventure may be.
Thank you for listening. I do hope this message finds you and your family happy and healthy. Until our paths cross in person, please take good care and peace be upon you.
*******************************************************************Upcoming dates and activities:
- January 15: MS/HS choir concert @ 6:30 in the MPH
- January 17: MS/HS band concert @ 6:30 in the MPH
- February 1: Last day of semester 1
- February 1: MS Sports Day
- February 4-8: Week Without Walls
- February 11: PD for MS staff – NO SCHOOL for students
- February 12-19: MAP testing
- February 12: first MS day of semester 2
- February 21: semester 1 report cards available to parents/students
- February 28: MS Fringe Festival