Nelson Middle School News

February 2016

From the Principal's Desk

Second semester is off and running! We have had a great start to the new semester despite dealing with a “little” snow. This comes on the heels of a strong finish to a really good first semester in December. For the second quarter, we again had very large numbers on both our All “A” Honor Roll and on our “A/B” Honor Roll. The students continue to excel in and out of the classroom.

In December, we were treated to two amazing concerts. First was the Winter Band Concert in which Mrs. Powell and our band students, in conjunction with the NCHS band, treated us to beautiful renditions of holiday classics. Later in December, Mr. Kershner and the NMS Chorus, again with the NCHS chorus, gave a truly magnificent performance for a large crowd of parents and students. We are fortunate to have such talented students and teachers dedicated to the Arts in Nelson County.

In January, both the Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball teams wrapped up wonderful seasons. The season was shortened some due to snow, but we could not be more proud of the effort our athletes gave and the way they represented NMS in their conduct and play. Coaches Parsley and Clark have a lot to be proud of as well.

Coming in February we have the completion of our School Wide Read. Started in late January, it involves the entire school stopping for 30 minutes each day to read The Absolute Value of Mike by Katherine Erskine. Students read along in each class as an audio version plays. The School WIde Read will come to a close in early February. Additionally, we have a Parent/Teacher conference set for February 17 from 3:45-6:00pm. This should be a good opportunity for parents to learn more about the many wonderful things their children are doing at school this semester. We hope to see you there.

In closing, I would like to thank all who supported a fundraising effort that took place on January 29 to raise money for an NMS student that has been diagnosed with cancer. The fundraiser was a “Hat Day” where students and faculty could pay $1 for the right to wear a hat all day. In total, we were able to raise over $600 that we were able to give to the family. The love and support that you showed for a fellow student was amazing and appreciated.


Roger Dunnick, Ed.D.

Principal: Nelson Middle School

From Winter to Spring: Sports Excitement


The Boys' and Girls' Basketball teams finished up their season on January 27th at home against LCA. Although both teams lost, both programs had a successful season. The NMS Girls' team was very competitive throughout the season. The Boys' team improved on their record from last year. When asked, Boys Coach Kallan Parsley said, "I think we made great strides this season as a program, and I think this group has a bright future ahead of them."

Our newly founded NMS Cheerleading team continued to impress at all the Boys' and Girls' home games and made a lasting impression at our pep rally during the fall.


With Spring on the horizon the smell of soccer is in the air. Tryout dates are set for March 7th-9th with the first contest March 24th. All participants must have a VHSL physical on the file in the nurse's office before participating.

This season NMS will have a coach who is new to our school but certainly not new to the game. Ms. Meghan Shortt will be taking over the program. Coach Shortt has previously coached at Amherst Middle is excited about the upcoming season. She said, "I cant wait to get started! I think we have a chance to be really competitive this season, and I think we have a great group of kids coming out."

Art Studio News


The art studio at Nelson Middle is excited to announce the opening of a student art exhibit at the Lovingston Library running from February 1st- 29th. It will feature over 50 works of art from students in grades 6, 7, and 8. Pieces included both 2-D and 3-D formats.


Calling all students! All students are invited to participate in the Art Reflections contest .

See Mrs. Davis in the Art Studio for an application. Five slots are available for Nelson students to be selected to attend the Governor's School for the Arts this summer.


Check out the cool new Deluxe Art Tree in the foyer window. It was free through donations from generous donors at

Team Costa Rica is leaving in 57 days!!! There are 15 on the team, and we are gearing up for this Tropical Eco Systems trip! Thanks to all who purchased concessions at all the basketball games. This has enabled the team to go ziplining and horseback riding in a cloud forest while we're in Costa Rica.

Upcoming Events

This month:

  • 2/1-2/16 School Wide Read...Book: The Absolute Value of Mike by Katherine Erskine
  • 2/4 7th and 8th grade TAG students to UVA
  • 2/17 Parent/Teacher Conferences 3:45-6pm

Next month:

  • 3/7-3/9 Soccer Tryouts--VHSL physical needed beforehand
  • 3/10 Will now be a FULL school day
  • 3/11 Will be a MAKE-UP day for January 21st
  • 3/28-4/1 Spring Break

Coming in April:

Join us for our 2nd Annual Scholastic BOGO Book Fair! All items are buy one, get one of a lesser value free! Don't miss out on your opportunity to stock up on books for the summer!

Student Submissions


This nine weeks has been a blast so far! We have learned so much since we started. We have learned how to shade and shadow for our three dimensional shapes. We start out with just a regular square, but with a little bit of work we can make it pop out of the picture.

We have a lot of fun activities such as the friendly loom and making our own wearable buttons.You can make any artistic design that you can imagine.

We are currently working on a card product. We get to make our own playing cards. Which I think is pretty cool and really neat. I can't wait to see what our next fun project will be.

--by 7th grader C. P.

Amazing Art!

When we first enter the art studio, we have to do 5 minute warm-up drawings. So far in Art, we have worked on two projects. We learned about complementary colors. The complementary colors are purple and yellow, green and red, and orange and blue. We did a project where you had to draw three-dimensional figures with shading and shadowing. We had to choose for different types of backgrounds called zentangles that you had to draw behind the shape before you shadowed and shaded. When we were done with the zentangles Mrs. Davis taught us how to shade and shadow for the shapes.

Mrs. Davis then had us sketch a card out of the deck of playing cards. You could use a symbol that is already on one of the fifty-two cards or you could create your own and tie the symbol into your artwork. When we drew the playing cards, we had to draw an outline or a border around the card so we could put the symbols around the border and the drawing inside of it. When we were done drawing the pictures on the inside, we had to trace over top of the pencil with a sharpie so we could paint it with water color.

--by 7th graders T. W., T. W., and J. W.

Home Ec

Ms Kitts’ 7th grade class is currently learning to sew. She will teach you how to use a washing and drying machine. In Home Ec., you will learn a lot of things. First you will go over the rules of the classroom. Before we started sewing we had to look at safety. Then you will learn parts of the sewing machine and take a test on them. After that you will start to practice sewing with a sewing machine.

On the sewing machine, you will first start stitching papers without the thread. After we finished practicing on the paper we started using scrap fabric. We learned to thread the machine and the bobbin. We started to try and sew straight lines on our scrap fabric with the threaded machine. We have copied down steps for making our first project. The project we are doing is making a pillow. First you get fabric and pin 3 sides of it. After then you will start sewing. When our group isn't sewing you get on is a website that you have to build your own house from scratch. There is a variety of things to do on this.

--by 7th graders M. D. and X. L.

Cooking up Some Fun with Ms. Kitts!

In Home Economics we are learning how to sew with a sewing machine. We practiced on paper, learned how to thread the machine, and now we are sewing scraps. Our first project is a pillow. We are looking forward to cooking more than sewing, I do believe. Ms. Kitts told us we would be making a cake, decorating it, and then our cakes would be judged. I’m very excited and looking forward to doing so.

--by 7th grader A. M.

Wood Shop

This nine weeks I have Wood Shop with Ms. Goff. We are learning about plant and animal science. We have done worksheets on both to prepare us for our upcoming test. The test includes everything we’ve learned in the past weeks.

After we complete our test we will begin to learn about woodworking. We will take three to five tests on woodworking. ***For the tests you need to have an 80 or better on them or sometimes an 100. If you fail to get those grades or higher you will have to redo the tests.

--by 7th graders J. Z. and E. H.

Fun in Keyboarding Class

In Mrs. Apperson’s Keyboarding Class, we have been practicing our typing skills. In the beginning, we went over the keys we learned last year. We practiced basic typing for the first week, then we started practicing on personal business letters and making envelopes. Mrs. Apperson taught us the correct amount of times we needed to strike enter and space while we were typing our letters. We have been using the example book as a guide to go by while typing.

Throughout the weeks we have been in keyboarding class, we have played typing games and done timed typing tests. We do these activities so we can find out how many words we type a minute. Recently, we learned how to properly set up the printer so we could print out our letters and envelopes. Most of the time on Friday, we have a small quiz going over the skills we learned that week.

--by 7th graders G. L. and J. H.

Health and P.E.

In Health, currently we are learning about non-communicable diseases. Some of the causes of non-communicable diseases are hereditary, behavioral choices, environmental factors, and unknown causes. Environmental factors are caused by the things around you; behavioral choices are unhealthy choices that are made; unknown causes are not known; and hereditary diseases are present at birth. Some of the diseases are heart disease, asthma, and allergies. The same things can cause an asthma attack as well as an allergy attack.

In P.E. we play a lot of fun games. We also have to do a lot of exercises. We have to do things like jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, toe touches, running, stretching, jump ropes, and some other things. We play basketball during free time. Currently, we are playing hockey. This game can be fun, but it can also be harmful, too. We usually play mat ball or 2 base. In 2 base, you throw the ball and run to either of the two bases, and after that you go to home and score 1 point. In mat ball, you have to kick the ball and run around the bases 2 times in order to score 1 point. We usually play mat ball on Fridays.

--by 7th graders N. S., D. C., and J. W.


In Mr. Parsley’s 4th period class, we are learning about Germany and Japan just before World War II. Mr. Parsley has been giving us readings about the events that led that up to WWII including Germany becoming a fascist country and Japan starting to take territory from other countries in Asia. We are also working on a whole-class presentation that will be 40 slides long.

In the 1930’s, the German people were suffering and looking for someone to lead them out of their Great Depression, and they chose Adolf Hitler. In Japan, their new Prime Minister Admiral Hideki Tojo led them to take parts of China and the South Seas over to gather more natural resources that Japan did not have a lot of.

--by 7th graders J. Z. and E. H.

Amazing Algebra!!!

Currently in Algebra with Mrs. Price, we just took our benchmark test and are now starting Chapter 7. This includes working with exponents (Ex: 10^-4 = 1/10^4 = 1/10000), and we are reviewing Scientific Notation (1.673 x 10^7 = 16730000). We are all continuing to work hard. Most of us are going to The Darwin School of Business at UVA on February 4th. Those who do go will be touring the school, having two workshops, and two small classes created for us, and having a discussion about the Stock Market and Investing at their library.

--by 7th grader I. M.

Advanced Pre-Algebra

We are currently learning about proportions. Proportions are a way to find a missing number in a word problems. We are also learning about similar figures. Similar figures are just like how you set up a proportion with an unknown x value. We have also been learning about domain and range. The domain is the x value and the range is the y value. In addition have been learning about inequalities on a graph.

Recently in math, we have been playing math games, such as IXL, and Kahoot. On IXL, you can do anything! We work on proportions and word problems that talk about what we are learning in class. On Kahoot, we do simple math equations, and you have to answer them quickly to get a lot of points. If you answer slowly, you get less points. Also, if you get it wrong you lose up to 50 points.
--by 7th graders N.S. and D. C.


In Mrs. McCray’s science class, we have been building wall roller coasters. Wall coasters were invented by Jake Hoffman when he was 12 years old. The wall coaster kit consisted of 10 -10 inch slides, 10 -4 inch slides, and 3 -6 inch tubes. During 6th period, our class decided to have a contest of who could make the best rollercoaster. Student’s wall coasters were judged on design and speed.

Before we began to build the rollercoaster we had to learn the the basics about motion, acceleration, and speed. Our classes learned Newton’s Laws of Motion. When we got our coaster kits, we knew good ways to set them up using what we learned.

First we partnered up and planned our rollercoaster. We had to draw out our coaster first, so we could have something to look at while building it. We were then assigned a place on the wall to build our rollercoaster. We then built our coaster. After, we had to redraw our final design of the roller coaster. Mrs. McCray and student judges had to vote on which roller coaster went the fastest and which one was best designed. Below is a picture of the first place roller coaster.

--by 7th graders J. H. and G. L.


During the past few weeks in science we have learned about force, acceleration, speed, work, power, and Newton’s Laws of Energy. When we were learning about force, we had to use an equation to help us figure out the force which was F=Mass times acceleration. The equation for speed is S=Distance divided by time. When we calculated acceleration,which was A= Final speed - initial speed divided by time. The equation for work is W=Force times distance. Power also has an equation which is P= Force multiplied by Distance divided by time.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by a nonzero net force. Newton’s Second Law of Motion states that an object’s acceleration depends on its mass and on the net force acting on it. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that if one object exerts a force on another object, then the second objects exert a force of equal strength in the opposite direction on the first object. We have been very active in science and have learned a lot of interesting things.

--by 7th graders T. W. and T. W.

About us.

Nelson Middle School is located one mile south of Lovingston in the center of Nelson County, Virginia. The only middle school in the county, NMS is home to approximately 450 students, 40 teachers, and 15 support staff.