Heather Stone
Message from Ms. Halsey

Friday, December 13, 2019

Dear Families,

Last year, I wrote to you about the new public schools report card from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The report card includes data about each school, as well as a rating from one to five stars as required by the Every School Succeeds Act (ESSA). The report cards are meant to show how schools are doing, allow schools to be compared, and help school communities identify areas of strength as well as places for improvement. The formula for calculating the star ratings has two main categories--65% for academics (for example, last year’s PARCC tests, grades earned in classes) and 35% for other areas (for example, attendance, and curriculum). You will be able to find the new report card at Our school rating for 2019 is a 3 out of 5 stars. This is an improvement from our 2018 rating which was a 2 out of 5 stars. We are working hard daily to get this rating even higher.

This week, our 6th graders and some of our 8th graders participated in special experiments through our partnership with Learning Undefeated and their Drop Anywhere Lab. Students completed a micropipette challenge and a DNA extraction lab. Below are some pictures as well as scholar comments about their experience. More pictures from the week can be found on our Facebook page. Special thanks to Coach Johnson for securing this amazing partnership.

“We learned how to use new tools and use them properly. We learned how to work together in groups. Overall it was a good experience.” Miyah B.

“We used micropipettes for a forensic experiment using shark DNA. It made me feel like I was on an actual case. If a criminal was hurt, you could use forensic science to figure out who the culprit is, and when you are in court you can use this DNA as evidence. When I grow up I want to be in the military, and I could use this experience for my job.” Savion P.

“I felt like it was fun and we learned a lot of stuff like how to use and read a micropipette. We also learned about how to separate and tell different DNA apart. I learned how to how to act in real lab and science vocabulary.” Kavona B.