Hampton Bays Middle School

PEX Express Bulletin and Monday Memo #36

2-Minute Conversations

Dear HBMS Families and HBMS Faculty,


I hope this week's combined PEX Bulletin and Monday Memo finds you relaxing this Memorial Day weekend. It's such a busy time of year, both in and out of school. And there's no better time than now, to CELEBRATE the success of our students and our middle school community. It's even better when we CELEBRATE TOGETHER.


Below, you will find a series of resources, all intended on supporting our collaborative efforts for our students. If you haven't done so recently, please take a few minutes to scroll down and visit the links.


Immediately below this communication is our monthly "Storify" slide show, which we've used now for several years, to bring what's being learned in middle school into conversations in your homes. You will also find links that are also found on our school website, including our Experience Guide, as well as several short videos that will give you information that can start some important conversations at home, at school, and between school and home.


Please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly at dschug@hbschools.us or at (631) 723-4700 ext. 2400. I am always appreciative of feedback that helps us deliver a quality product that our middle school families deserve. I look forward to connecting with you!

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So lately, I've been thinking lots about the value of two-minute conversations. This past week, when our seventh graders took part in the Long Walk to Water event (thank you PTO and facilitating teachers!) I took a ride to the Ponquogue Bridge to meet up with our students and chaperones. While I stood on the bridge, waiting for their arrival, I found myself engaged in numerous unexpected discussions with bridge walkers from all "walks of life", asking about what we were doing that day.


This got me thinking. At face-value, it probably looked like we were walking to the beach.


What might we say if we had 2 minutes to share the meaning of the Long Walk to Water?


We could start by appreciating that the best parts of this kind of experience play to the strengths of adolescents. Middle school kids are energetic, social, outgoing, compassionate, empathetic, wonderful people. When our teachers invest time in designing and planning for a day like the Long Walk to Water, they are doing what great middle school teachers do: they are blending a focus on the needs of adolescents, combining academic achievement and developmentally responsiveness.


An experience like the Long Walk to Water takes learning from being a "school thing" to being a "life thing". It connects what kids are reading, learning, and discussing to their own lives. It gets them moving, sharing, and socializing around topics they find meaningful. It encourages empathy, so they can see an experience "through someone else's eyes" and "walk in someone else's shoes". It provides teachers an opportunity to do what they do well -- collaborate -- and to model that for our impressionable middle school students. This kind of experience gets people thinking and keeps them thinking, about helping others and about seeing learning in different ways. And it creates links for future learning opportunities. It gives people a shared purpose. It grows future leaders. And it shows us of what's possible.


Where did these ideas come from?


Well, they were shared when I asked our students what was important about the Long Walk to Water. And I asked our teachers. And I asked our parents. And these are just some of the ideas that were shared with me, in lots of really powerful 2-minute conversations.


The best part is, these conversations don't have to end this month, or any time soon. And anyone can be part of a 2-minute conversation. These types of experiences are happening every day for our students, in classrooms, in clubs, in activities, both in and out of school. And the potential exists for us to keep this going and to build on the momentum.


We can all agree that we all play an important role in fostering a meaningful home-school partnerships. Thanks for making the time, even if it's 2 minutes, to be part of it.


Sincerely,


Dennis

A CLASSIC production from "the Experts"!

Your Grade 5 Questions Answered

How does it feel to be an adolescent? The PARENT of an adolescent? Watch this!

A Year in the Life: We Are HBMS!

Why Is Summer Learning Important?

3 Steps to Summer Success

Want to learn more about what's happening at HBMS?

  1. Subscribe to the weekly PTO PEX.
  2. Visit our school website: www.hbschools.us .
  3. Keep in touch! (Email, call, or visit us here at school.)
  4. Follow @HamptonBays_MS on Twitter.
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