College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

A Note from the Middle School Office

August 2021

Dear Middle School Families,

As summer is slowly winding down, the Middle School office is gearing up for the start of the 2021-2022 school year! We are very excited to welcome all of our Middle School students for Convocation on Thursday, September 2, and when classes resume on Wednesday, September 8!

A few important notes in regards to the opening of school:

Thursday, Sept. 2

  • New to Middle School Orientation (8:-10:30 a.m.): The Middle School Orientation is for all students new to Holton’s Middle School. The orientation will begin in the Lewis Theater (please drop students off at the Front School Entrance circle).
  • Middle School Arrival for Convocation (10:30-10:45 a.m.): All Middle School students not attending orientation should be dropped off at the Front School entrance for Convocation. Convocation begins at 11 a.m. Parents/Guardians wishing to stay for Convocation must RSVP by Friday, August 27 in order to receive instructions on how to participate in Convocation. We will have space limitations, so attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. By August 30, we will reach out to all individuals to confirm attendance and instructions. One RSVP per person. Students new to Holton will remain with their teachers after orientation. We expect Convocation to end at noon. Parents should pick their child up at the main circle between noon-12:20 p.m.
  • Students do not need to wear their uniforms to Convocation.

Friday, Sept. 3

  • VIRTUAL Middle School Parent Orientation & Canvas Training (9 - 10a.m.): The Middle School Parent Orientation & Canvas Training is for ALL Middle School parents. The orientation and training will introduce parents to the Middle School Handbook, the students, parent, advisor, and teachers partnership system, and the new Learning Management System (LMS). This will be one in a series of parent coffees for sharing information, gathering feedback, and communicating about programmatic happenings in the school.
  • Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/92126116842?pwd=aTN0WG5nUzlwV3JDOTBZUEZJU0RoZz09
    Meeting ID: 921 2611 6842
    Passcode: 021756

Wednesday, Sept. 8

  • This Wednesday, as are all Wednesdays, is a late start. Students should plan to arrive at school between 9-9:20 a.m.
  • Information on signing your child up for Before Care on Late Start Wednesdays will be provided in the first Sunday Skim (August 29).
  • Dismissal will begin at 3:30 p.m.
  • Information on signing your child up for Extended Day Homework Haven will also be provided in the first Sunday Skim (August 29).

ONLINE BOOKSTORE OPEN 
The 2021-2022 course lists are now posted online. Please use this list when procuring books for the school year. If there is an error in this list (e.g. your child is enrolled in Chinese when they should be in French), simply delay purchasing materials for this course until August 23 when faculty will be available to make necessary adjustments. Holton uses BNC K-12 for online book ordering services. Please refer to the easy-to-follow directions below, and contact the US office or BNC K-12 (see below) should you have any questions. The online bookstore offers free shipping until August 30th. Students in Grades 7-12 must have their books for the first day of classes (September 8).

We have mailed you a copy of this letter and with it you will find your carpool placard. On the placard is your daughter’s name. Please display the placard on the passenger side dashboard of your car. To help us run carpool efficiently and safely, please keep in mind these important reminders:

  • The morning carline begins at 7:45 a.m. Students arriving between 7:45-8:05 a.m. should go directly to the Dining Room. Students will head to the Middle School area beginning at 8:05 a.m. The first ten minutes of the day (8:05-8:15 a.m.) is an important time for students to organize their day (go to their lockers for their first TWO classes, use the restroom, eat a snack, and put away their book bags). Although students are not marked late until after 8:15 a.m., we highly recommend students arrive at school no later than 8:10 a.m. Any student arriving after 8:15 should check in with the Middle School Administrative Assistant before heading to class.
  • We will once again be using SchoolPass this year. As families will remember, we use this for campus safety, wellness screenings, and drop-off/pick-up updates. ALL parents/guardians are required to register their license plate into the app. Wellness screening will be required for all grades and levels from August 23rd until the 3rd day of school September 10th. Thereafter the wellness screening function will only be used by Lower School families and visitors when they are on-campus. New families will receive more details and login information shortly.
  • The morning carline on Wednesday mornings runs from 9 - 9:20 a.m. (we recommend students arrive by 9:15 a.m.). Students arriving before 9 a.m. are expected to sign up for the Before Care program (please see information in the first Sunday Skim). The Dining Room is not open on Wednesday mornings and no breakfast will be served. Any student arriving after 9:25 should check in with the Middle School Administrative Assistant before heading to class.
  • Please make sure your child has their book bag, laptop, and other important items in their possession before leaving your vehicle.
  • The afternoon carline begins at 3:30 p.m. However, because Middle School PE/Sports ends at 3:30, arriving for carline 5 - 10 minutes later than dismissal time could minimize carline waiting times. Therefore, if you prefer to not wait in the carline, we recommend you arrive closer to 3:40 p.m.
  • Drive slowly on campus and be aware of stop signs and crosswalks. There are many students moving around campus during carpool.
  • Please do not use your phone while driving on campus.
  • If you have students in other divisions, they should go to the Lower School for dismissal. As it takes Middle School and Upper School students more time to pack up and travel to Lower School, we encourage you to come at the end of carpool (3:40 p.m.).
  • Please remain in your car when you are in the carpool line. When the weather permits, please turn off your engine while waiting in the carpool line.


There is much to remember for the start of the school year! All of this information is also available on our Back-to-School Webpage. However, one area that often causes our students a bit of worry is if they are unsure of their dismissal plans. Please make sure your child knows whether they will go to carpool, the bus, or Homework Haven. If your plans change during the day, contact the Middle School office by calling 301.365.6017 or emailing terry.gilliam@holton-arms.edu and we will make sure your child and your child’s teacher/coach know the dismissal change.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

All my best,

Nichole Foster-Hinds
Middle School Director

 

June 2021

Dear Middle School Families,

The 2020-21 school year is quickly approaching its end, and as I reflect on the year, I am grateful for our Middle School community. During a time in which so many around the world were struggling in various ways trying to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic, mass shootings, and racial injustices our students found community and a safe place to learn, grow, and feel semblances of normalcy. Whether Hybrid@Home or Hybrid@Holton, each student found some joy in school, important health & well-being moments to feel safe, be curious, and ask questions about current events, and be appropriately challenged academically. We found ways to inject these moments by reimagining some of Holton’s Middle School traditions like Beach day, OTB days, and mini-mester, with a Beach-themed day, special programming days such as Rainbow Day, the FPAs Celebration, reading of Stamped, advisory fun, and Middle School Virtual Journeys. We added several new cornerstones to the Middle School as well - the grade-level projects, Common Threads, and Virtual Global Journeys. Aside from their homes, the school for many students became a place where they could continue to explore, learn, thrive, and grow. As this year comes to an end, the faculty will be reflecting on this school year and thinking about what worked well, what we want to keep from our Hybrid experience, and what to sunset. I am excited by this opportunity because it is our practice of being life-long learners, teachers who learn from all experiences, and collaboratively work together to iterate, improve, and grow our practice of educating students who are prepared to be agents of change in the world. We will be looking forward to our middle schoolers returning in the fall, sharing what we’ve learned and even building stronger connections with each of them. But, for now, I hope you enjoy your summer because before we know it, summer will end and another school year will begin.   

Later in the summer, when you’ve had a restorative break, please know that all your back-to-school needs are ready for you to dive into. Please know that every member of the Holton-Arms community will be diligently working both to make for a smooth transition for your daughter from summer to the 2021-22 school year and to create an environment where she will continue to feel nurtured, connected, engaged, and successful in any learning structure. Part of making sure your daughter(s) has a smooth transition back to school is having all the necessary back-to-school information. To help in this regard, I have highlighted on the back-to-school page key information such as dates and times for new student orientation and school supply lists, and uniform and computer information. Over the summer, Terry Gilliam and I will be available to answer any questions you may have.

I wish you all a safe and restorative summer. Just like the school year, the summer goes by quickly, and before you know it, it will be time for another school year at the Holton-Arms school where our girls find a way or make one.

All my best,

Nichole Foster-Hinds
Middle School Director