The Marie Murphy Update

13 December 2019 Edition

Girls & Guys Basketball Teams Shine at Winter Pep Assembly!

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New Morning Entry Supervision at MM

Each year, Marie Murphy engages in a dialogue with Wilmette first responders in an effort to learn more about and, when appropriate, implement best-practices in school safety. These conversations with local police and fire department members are informative and thought-provoking. This year, one of the topics of conversation focused on school security in the morning, which has led us to make some changes about how we enter the building each morning.


Obviously, when the 7:55 bell rings, the interior front entry doors to MM are locked, requiring visitors to check in at the main office, where we use our Raptor system to conduct a quick background check of adult visitors. But what about before school begins at 7:55? In the past, we have simply unlocked our front doors (both exterior and interior) at 6:45 to accommodate early arrivers, orchestra students, and morning athletics. Students who entered made their way to the MPR, gym, library, or a teacher's classroom. However, with growing concern that anyone could enter the building, unlocking the doors at 6:45 is not a practice that we cannot engage in anymore.


Instead, we began a new practice upon our return from Thanksgiving Break of not unlocking the interior entrance doors. Instead, a teacher volunteer and I have been manning those doors, beginning at 6:45 each morning, so we can let every student in individually. This allows us to still have our students enter the building when they wish, to engage in early morning activities that they are a part of, but also creates an adult presence to redirect, or turn away, anyone who should not be entering our building. This has been a minor change that we feel has a significant impact on the safety of the building. Additionally, it aligns with other middle schools in New Trier Township.

Avoca Band Returns with December 10 Performance!

Marie Murphy hosted a holiday band concert Tuesday, December 10 featuring young musicians from Marie Murphy, Avoca West, and the School of Saint Mary. Director of Bands, Mr. Kyle Anderson led his students through a performance highlighting holiday classics throughout the years. The 75 band members showed skill and growth in a variety of instruments as they celebrated the holiday season with music. Congratulations to the band members on their first performance of the year!

AATF Recognizes Marie Murphy 8th Grader!

This week, Marie Murphy 8th grader, Enie B., was recognized by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) in their annual French Week Poster Contest. The theme was "La vie est belle when you take French" (Life is beautiful when you take French). Enie won a certificate from the AATF as well as a gift card from Dunkin Donuts, presented to her by Mademoiselle Mishinger. Her beautiful artwork is displayed below.

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Do you wanna take a survey?

As we near the halfway point of the school year, Marie Murphy, Avoca West, and the District 37 are seeking parent feedback on a variety of topics to help us enact changes this year and/or plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Please help us by completing any or all of the surveys below.


If you sing the words, "Do you wanna take a survey?" to the music of "Do you wanna build a snowman?", the whole experience is much more enjoyable!

Need a Last Minute Gift Idea For the Kids? Try Boredom!

As we countdown the days to winter break, it's inevitable that during that time away from school, the vast majority of kids will experience some sense of boredom. And when they do, both adolescent and parent alike will engage in some sort of effort to alleviate that feeling. After all, who wants to be bored? Well, there's research out there that indicates chasing away boredom is not always a good thing and may be impacting our ability to be creative and think deeply.


College professor, author, and former middle school teacher, John Spencer (@spencerideas) authored an argumentative piece for Educational Leadership magazine last December. The article was titled, "The Gift of Boredom" and made compelling arguments for the value of being bored. Acknowledging that boredom has no set definition, Spencer did argue that regardless of whatever defines boredom for an individual, people who are bored either engage in creative thinking to alleviate that sense of boredom, or are more open to new' ideas.


However, we live in a world where we have a greater number, and easier access to distractions to keep us from being bored, specifically citing access to our "devices" (phones, tablets, etc). As Spencer stated, "The underlying assumption here is that our devices pull us from deep and profoundly creative tasks." In short, if creative thinking can be the result of our mind's efforts to alleviate boredom, then what happens if we never truly allow our minds to wander aimlessly? This question has obvious implications for children, both in school and out.


The goal of Spencer's article is not promote a state of boredom all the time. Rather, in authoring the article, Spencer makes an argument that the efforts we make to avoid boredom might not be as beneficial as we believe them to be.

Unbored by the idea of boredom? Watch the video below!

Why Boredom is Good For You
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