MS/JH School News

May 19, 2016

Note from the Principal

Greetings MS/JH Parents,

It has been my pleasure serving you and your child this year. I look forward to continue serving as we look ahead into 2016-2017. We have worked very hard in making sure that your child is in the safest and most God-honoring environment in which to learn. Along with improving the culture and environment, we have worked at many academic initiatives for this year (see below). Please be looking for a survey that we will send out soon in order to receive input from you that will inform our data-driven decisions for the MS/JH area. Lastly, if you ever have any questions or concerns, please share those with me as soon as you can. I would love to talk with you.

Shane Schaffer

MS/JH Principal

Month at a Glance: May

May 18: Parents and TPCS Administrators Meet and Greet @ 8:30 a.m. ~ TPCC Coffee Shop
May 20 & 21: Shrek Spring Musical
May 24: 5th-7th Honors Ceremony @7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.~ TPCA
May 26: 8th Grade Graduation
May 26: Last Day of School

What's New in MS/JH?

Language Arts

5th Grade:

  • Implemented Reader's and Writer's Workshop which individualizes and differentiates the instruction and involves more mini lessons.

  • Added Wright Patterson Air Force Base Museum in May as a field trip.

  • Visit Twin Lakes Camp instead of Bradford Woods for the fall retreat.

6th Grade:

  • English/Language Arts & Social Studies groups have used the laptop cart almost daily for research and projects. We continue to stretch our use of these tools.

7th & 8th Grade

  • English/Language Arts & Social Studies classes are using a 4-level sentence analysis in grammar, writing monthly book reports and are journal writing every day.

  • Chromebooks are used on a regular basis to explore Google Classroom tools.

  • Next year, students will read 4-5 novels instead of 3.


All students in 5th - 8th have learned about and discussed Digital and Online Safety especially as it relates to social media (Digital Toolbox).

  • We want to increase the number of Chromebook and laptop carts in 5th and 6th grades so that more students can move from station access to individualized use.

5th Grade:

  • Students have been taught how to login to Google Chrome. They are learning to create and share Google Docs and will continue learning Google Apps during 4th quarter.

6th Grade:

  • Participated in the Global Read Aloud, connecting with five other 6th grade classes from other states and Canada using Edmodo and Padlet.

7th and 8th grades:

  • Covered searching strategies, online identity, copyright and plagiarism and have been exposed to blogging.

  • Next year, 8th graders will work more with blogging and creating a digital portfolio.


6th Grade Earth Science

  • Class telescope available for Astronomy Unit

7th Grade Life Science

  • Genetic Engineering Debate Unit

8th Grade Chemistry/Physical Science

  • Weekly labs every Wednesday

New Items for Next Year

  • More Outdoor Hands-on Labs

  • Greater Use of Technology for Test Preparation

  • Further developing Junior High unit alignment for preparation of High School courses

  • Consideration of Christian Science curriculum

Social Studies

  • 5th – 8th teachers have adopted and utilized Bob Jones University Social Studies Curriculum, which is a uniquely Christian. This Christian curriculum is completely integrated with a Biblical worldview and has numerous links embedded within the curriculum to enhance learning.


  • We are exploring how best to pilot a group of 8th graders to take high school Sevenstar classes. The parental cost would be $399-$699. Sevenstar is our partner with high school online classes. All of their courses hold the same accreditation as we do, but they differ from most online courses because they are fully integrated with a biblical worldview.

  • We are exploring different ways to more fully utilize learning lab for our MS/JH students.

In closing, we are always working to sharpen our sword (i.e. students learning how to learn and teachers learning how to phish).

May 24 Honors Ceremony for 5th-7th Grades

There will be a special Honors Ceremony for 5th, 6th and 7th grade students on May 24 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the JK Stevens Commons/Gym at TPCA. Parents of all students receiving an award at the ceremony will be notified on or before May 20. All 5th - 7th grade students are invited, but are not required to attend. (The 8th grade class will be recognized on May 26 at their graduation ceremony.)

Grade Level News

5th Grade: Chelsea Reed & Kristin Wilcoxen

In fifth grade, we have begun focusing on self-esteem and how we are image bearers of God the Father. We are beginning to read historical fiction novels set during the Holocaust for Language Arts, which ties in perfectly with our World War II unit in Social Studies. During math, we finished geometry and the study of 3-D shapes, and are moving on to graphing and data analysis. In science, students continue our final unit about volume after finishing up the JA BizTown curriculum. The 5th graders had a wonderful time at JA BizTown practicing their job skills and enjoyed our final field trip to the Wright-Patterson Airforce Base Museum. The trip was an excellent conclusion to our year in Social Studies, as we will be able to see many planes from both world wars.

6th Grade: Hannah Tuttle

In 6th Grade Language Arts, we are finishing the last few chapters of our novel, The Hiding Place. Wow, this novel has opened student's eyes to life during the Holocaust. It has inspired many to dive into other novels, to read on their own, about World War II. Our last "Hurrah" will be Argumentative Writing in which the students will be writing a mini Argumentative Essay. In Social Studies, we are finishing the Byzantine Empire and going to do a mini study on the culture of the Mayans and the Aztecs. All that will be left are Final Exams. I cannot believe we only have a few weeks left. I am so impressed and proud of the progress made academically and the personal growth of my 6th Graders.

Bible: Steve Zimmer

During this last month in 6th and 7th grade we will be finishing up the period of the Kings of Israel up until the exile. In 8th grade we will be looking into the essential doctrines of our faith.

JH English/Language Arts: Jill Propst

7th Grade:

“Life with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms is like a sonnet. You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet.” (A Wrinkle in Time). As the seventh graders come to the end of their school year and begin to read the novel from which this quote is taken, my hope is that they will understand the depth of the meaning of this statement. They have had rules, obligations, and freedoms as they have walked through this first year in junior high; and with those, they have been given the academic and spiritual tools they need to begin to write their paths. This class is an extremely talented group and have done excellently with beginning to master tedious grammar, difficult literature, and complicated vocabulary. Going into the last month of school, we will be finishing the year with the novel A Wrinkle in Time in which we will be utilizing vocabulary and themes from the novel to enhance writing. These students have been given a wide variety of tools this year. . .encourage them to begin writing their sonnets and to use those sonnets to represent Jesus Christ excellently to the world in which they live!

8th Grade:

As the eighth grade students come to the end of their elementary and junior high days, they would probably agree with a quote from our current novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “The longest way must have its close.” I am sure that there have been days this year at school in which they felt that English was a loooonnnnngggg class with all of the grammar, vocabulary, literature, etc.! But, they have risen to the challenge and have not complained. . .much! I appreciate and admire their willingness to stay in the work even though I know that grammar, writing, vocabulary, and reading are not always the easiest nor the most fun things to do during the day. Going into the last month of school, we will be finishing our last novel and working on a project for that novel. We will also end the year with a short two-week unit on drama in which the students will be working in groups on the vocabulary, elements, and writing of dramas. “The longest way must have its close,” so as it comes to all of us for this year, I pray your students have found something that they can apply and use to reflect and represent Jesus Christ with excellence to the world in which they live!

JH Social Studies: Amelia Echemann

7th Grade:

During the month of April, the 7th Grade World Studies class learned about the five main types of government systems (monarchy, oligarchy, republic, dictatorship, and democracy). Students were put into groups and worked through different stations with multiple learning tools to learn about the governments. Towards the end of April/ beginning of May, the class will participate in a project called "Citizenship Around the World". Students will research different countries and compare how other cultures define "citizenship". We will then close the month of May with a class debate about foreign policy in Africa, Asia and the Southwest Pacific.

8th Grade:

During the month of April, the 8th Grade U.S. History class studied the War of 1812 and the Civil War. They also participated in their American Heritage Dance! Each student dressed up as a specific historical character (Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams, Betsy Ross, Martha Washington, etc.) and acted like their person for the night. Students learned the style of dance for the colonial period and danced with each other. It was an unforgettable experience! For May, students will learn about presidents and late 19th and early 20th century America.


6th, 7th, 8th grade: Julie Fisher

6th grade - In April, we studied statistics. We learned about measures of center and variation, including mean, median, mode, range and interquartile range. In May, we will learn how to display this data in different displays.

7th grade - In April, we discussed probability and statistics, independent and dependent events, compound events, and samples and populations. In May, we will study angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, and scale drawings.

8th grade - In April we learned about exponents and scientific notation. In May, we will study statistics.

7th grade accelerated: Mendy Morrison

Students have learned about linear functions which will be extremely important for Algebra 1 and other future math courses. We are now beginning to learn about systems of equations. We will be solving them by graphing and using substitution. This is also an extremely important algebraic concept. They will take the test over systems the day before their field trip. When they return, we will end the year talking about probability and statistics (Ch. 10).

8th grade Algebra: Elaine Leonard

For the month of May, we are learning about operations with radicals/square roots. We will be simplifying, solving and graphing radical equations and functions to complete the year. This year we have covered various concepts that will be built upon in the following years, so I encourage the students to strengthen these skills over the summer. Two wonderful websites to keep students practicing and reinforcing these Algebra topics are and

Also Rose-Hulman college students are available to help Middle School and High School students with math by calling 1-877-ASK-ROSE or by going to to email or chat online. Tutoring for summer reinforcement is also available by myself and other math teachers at TPCA.

Science: Scott Jackson

6th Grade Earth Science

In April we have continued to study rocks and minerals and were able to experience them up close and personal at Marengo Cave. Students participated in two hiking tours as well as the underground adventure where they crawled and waded through a cavern creek. The next day they paired up and canoed down a 7-mile stretch of the Blue River. Both days allowed them the opportunity to see God’s creation in a new light.

In May we will finish the year of earth science, learning about plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes.

7th Grade Life Science

In April, the seventh graders finished a unit on Genetic Engineering by conducting a debate. Both classes researched whether congress should allow genes of other organisms to be inserted into humans to “improve” the human race. Both classes did a great job of presenting both viewpoints and a different side won in each class.

The class trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquarium and the Creation Museum was a fun learning experience for the students. In May, we will finish the year by studying populations and communities. That unit will end with a shark dissection.

8th Grade Introduction to Chemistry

In April, we began the physics unit that includes forces and energy. Our first topic covered motion and we studied the parameters of speed, distance, time, acceleration and velocity. We conducted a hands-on lab outside where the motion of a toy car was calculated and recorded. Students also calculated the speed of each other by performing certain tasks like walking, hopping and speed-walking. We now move on to forces, where we will cover Newton’s Laws of Motion and apply them to Friction, Gravity, and Momentum.

In May, we will finish the year with covering work, machines and energy.

Co-Curricular News

5th & 6th: Cindy Schramm

Fifth graders will be using one-point-perspective as they draw landscapes. Once they have their landscapes drawn out, they will add paint. Once the paint is dry, they will add fine details with either colored pencils, or a smaller brush and paint. We will be talking about God’s creation as we focus on landscapes.

Sixth grade students will take what they learned from the value scale, to shade in half of their face with pencil. They will be given a photocopy of their face (greyscale). They will then cut their face with a jagged or curvy line of their choice. Once they glue the photocopy of their face down, then they will begin to draw and shade in the other side. They will learn how they are each “fearfully and wonderfully made,” by our loving Heavenly Father.

Again, if you ever have any questions or just need prayer, feel free to contact me.

In His Love,

Cindy Schramm

7th & 8th: Darin Grice

The 8th graders are working on a weave project and sketchbooks. The 7th graders are learning about calligraphy.

Media/Technology: Beth Herr

Grades 5-8 completed I-Step testing in the Media Center during the first week of May. During that time, 5th grade had their co-curricular Library/Tech time in their classrooms. We will focus on National Poetry Month and also work on Google Docs as time permits. Grades 6-8, will tested during their normal Digital Citizenship/Technology class periods.

All grades will now need to complete the spring NWEA testing. We will complete those tests during their Technology/Digital Citizenship time as well. For the remainder of the school year, we will finish up some Digital Citizenship lessons.

Please remember to encourage your student to read over the summer! TPCA will participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading program again, so look for more information on that to come. In order to avoid “summer slide,” your students should be reading at least 30 minutes a day, or 4 books over the summer. I will be giving the students reading suggestions for the summer, and I also plan to include dates that anyone who is interested can join me at the TPCC coffee shop to talk about the books we are reading. I hope many of them will be able to come!!

For book suggestions, information and encouragement, feel free to follow me (TPCA Library) on any of these social media sites:

Instagram: @tpcalibrary

Facebook: TPCA Reading

Twitter: @Read_W_Herr

Website: – remember there are many book reviews on this site in addition to helpful posts and information.


Carol Evans

The fifth and sixth grade choirs performed Monday, May 2 for their spring program. They did a wonderful job! Congratulations to them on a wonderful program.

The rest of the year the fifth and sixth grade choir students will be focusing on learning music theory through games and music activities. Of course, we will also sing. There is also a surprise lesson in store for them once testing is finished. Stay tuned to find out.

Grace Na

7th and 8th grade choir students sang several songs beautifully for the Grandparents' Day and Mrs. Na is very thankful for their hard work getting ready for the event. The choir will be very busy until the first week of May preparing for our spring concert program. The 7th grade choir started to polish their choreography for the scene in the musical "Annie" and is focusing on combining drama, dance and music. 8th grade choir is working on improving vocal tone and musical expression and Mrs. Na is very proud of the progress they are making on their harmony, which they are doing with joy. 8th grade will also prepare for a talent show portion of the spring concert for whoever wants to perform. This will be the last performance for the 8th grade choir before their graduation and Mrs. Na hopes that this will be good memory for them and that God will be praised through the work and the performance.

Nathan Perry

For our Grandparent’s Day Chapel, the 5th grade band played the prelude. The 6th grade band as well as an ensemble of 7th and 8th grade students played during the program. The strings ensemble is now preparing to play for the National Day of Prayer Chapel. All of our ensembles are in high gear preparing for the spring concert. We have some exciting music to share that demonstrates our achievements this year!

Physical Education

Vern Clayton

The 5th and 6th grade PE classes will continue our small doses of health information. The hope is that they learn a little more about the wonderful “temple” God has given them and how to care for it. On nice days we will be outside doing a lot of cardiovascular exercise (RUNNING :-))! With spring here, that means baseball and track seasons, Whiffle Ball and different relays will be on the docket for these classes during their PE times in the gym.

Kyle Johnson

Spanish: Rachel Bush
This month students in the 4th-6th grades will be working on writing and illustrating their Spanish picture books. The 7th grade students will continue building on their Spanish vocabulary to help them understand the story of the ratoncito (little mouse). The 8th grade students will be finishing their novel, Piratas, which is a tale about a young man who is hunting for a secret island, a map and the Fountain of Youth. He is racing against time and the vile, Captain Henry Morgan. Ask your student who wins!