Students Surprise with Music Choices for “Soundtrack of My Life”

A few years ago we started playing music over the speakers in the hallways and Commons before school and between classes as a way to energize and lighten the mood for everyone, particularly in the darker months of winter. With the help of Google Forms and Spotify, and some legwork from the Middle School Office, we have been able to

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People at the Heart of Technology and Innovation

No one knew quite what to expect as we gathered on Saturday morning in the plaza outside the Children’s Museum to start our volunteer shift at Maker Faire Pittsburgh. I had been to previous Maker Faires, and seen the 3D printers and frisbee-throwing robots, but this was leaps and bounds larger than previous years. There were life-sized R2D2 robots, baseball

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A New Year’s Resolution: Reduce Stress with Family Meetings

As the dust begins to settle from first few days of school, we can now turn to looking ahead and deciding on routines for the school year. After living many years in Middle School, I’ve learned to never let a motivational opportunity pass us by, and so this weekend I think it is fitting to set some new year’s resolutions.

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From Morning Advisory to Lady Gaga, Everyone is Talking about Emotional Intelligence

As the first full year of our CPR advisory program comes to a close, the faculty, students, and I are reflecting on what worked well and how we can improve the program for the future. Reflecting on our actions and setting the next round of goals are crucial steps to being progressively better every year. This is why we make

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Top Five Moments from Last UFO

A group of brave students and faculty came out last Friday night for another UFO (Unidentified Friday Opportunity). While they did not know where we were going when they signed up, they brought with them a healthy sense of adventure and a growing confidence to be themselves. Here are my top five moments from seeing our students on the trip.

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Terra Incognita: Day One in Virtual School

Kudos to everyone – students, teachers, and parents – for our day spent in virtual school yesterday! We are collecting feedback directly from students in school today, but here’s a quick wrap up of what I have already heard from a variety of parents, students, and teachers about our first adventure in virtual school. A lot of initial reactions, particularly

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CATCH This: Who Will We Help?

Earlier in the week students began this year’s CATCH program. CATCH, which stands for Children’s Actions That Create Hope, is a large part of our philanthropy and service program in the Middle School. Each grade of students is in charge of making a donation  from an endowed fund at Sewickley Academy to a charitable organization of their choice. Students choose

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Students Examine their Academic Character to Make Self-Portraits

Students worked with their advisors this week to make a self-portrait of themselves as learners. To do this, they used the self-reflections they wrote last month to questions posed by their faculty members. The faculty teams at each grade level developed a grade-specific highlight to focus the questions they posed to the students. Reflecting the growing complexity of being a Middle

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Making Meaning of Feedback, Grades, and Self-Reflections

We tell students they need to pay attention to results besides just their grades and that there are other, even more important goals to keep track of as a student. They have heard this enough that it does not always sink in. It’s also true that, especially to an early teenager’s ear, all those “other important goals” are too abstract

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Making and Doing are Alive and Well

Students and teachers have been engaged in some new maker spaces and project courses on campus this fall. The 7th and 8th graders have joined these mini-classes, which do not have a grade or homework and engage students in building, making, producing, and otherwise doing: Service Learning Up-Cycling School Store Trip Planning Making Airplanes Here are a few pictures from

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