J.M.S. News...

By Donald F. Gately, Ed. D - February 2016

Two Hearts of Gold

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

Two warm-hearted students, Jordan Sieden and Jordyn Rosenblatt made a difference this past holiday season. They had a vision to brighten the lives of children in a hospital and with perseverance and determination, they made it happen. Most impressive was the fact that all elements of a strong community service project were in place-Research, Meaningful Action, and Reflection.

Jordan and Jordyn held a fundraiser in and out of school in order to buy gifts for Cohen Children’s Hospital to support young patients and families when they need it most. Part of their actions included setting up organized charts to keep track of donations, making flyers, preparing collection jars, and contacting the hospital’s administrators. Lastly, they went to the toy store, carefully choosing a variety of gifts for children of all ages. When they reached the hospital, they set up a display of the gifts. The Child Life Specialist was very thankful and explained that most of the gifts would be given to children on the floor; some would be kept for their playroom, while others would be used to entertain children while they are undergoing certain procedures.

The two young ladies have plans to continue this endeavor in high school. I would love to see what amazing community service events they will carry out in the future as I expect nothing short of AMAZING! Feeling their positive energy throughout the days made me so proud of them.

Thank you to the two of you and also to your parents, on behalf of Jericho for providing a lasting memory here at the Middle School!


Ms. Theotokas and the Community Service Department.

Winner of the Geography Bee, Matthew Lecher!

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Quote for the week of February 1:

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

Quotes for the Month of February:

Week of February 8-12: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." - Maya Angelou

Week of February 15-19: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

Week February 22-26: "The mind is everything. What you think, you become." - Buddha

Week of February 29-March 4: "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

Monthly SEL Theme for the Month of February: Love

Learning to appreciate is one of the most important attitudes and habits that lead to success, fulfillment and a love for life. H. Stanley Judd said, "Don't complain because you don't have... enjoy what you've got." Being thankful needs to become a way of life that demonstrates the highest expression of love, respect, and appreciation... "a man's works will always express what has been treasured in his heart." - Luke 6:45.

"...what lies beneath us and what lies ahead of us are insignificant compared to what lies within us." For it is what lies within us that, ultimately, defines the course of direction awaiting our walk through life.

When picking up your children...

Please be mindful that there are handicap spots by the main entrance to the Middle School. Please do not block these spots!

Classroom News!


Team 6A enjoyed their class trip to Avery Fisher Hall to listen to the music of the New York Philharmonic. We listened to the music of Jean Sibelius who embodied the Finnish epic Kalevala as to inspire Finnish independence. After the concert we headed to midtown to dine at Planet Hollywood. On the bus trip home, teachers overheard a student ask, "where are we going next?" Which leads us to ask the same question . . .stay tuned!


Team 6B found the perfect example of sublimation... Right in their lockers! Students saw firsthand that certain air fresheners change directly from solids to gases.


Students from Team 6C enjoyed a hearty lunch at Planet Hollywood in NYC after a 6th grade trip to the Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

Kudos to Mr. Verderber for orchestrating an enriching interdisciplinary musical experience for the students.


When it comes to bullying, we can make it better!! Team 6D worked with Mrs. Verdino on perfecting upstanding skills!!


This month students on team 6E are studying allusions to Greek mythology in the novel The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Students will then create a Greek hero and write a myth of their own!


We would like to thank the parents for their tremendous support throughout the duration of this project. The National History Day project allowed students to delve into a topic of their choice and conduct in-depth research. Students learned how to locate credible and trustworthy sources, determine whether those sources were primary or secondary, and cite them in MLA format through Noodlebib. Students then took the information and used it to support their theses. The kids worked really hard and they have some great projects to show for it!


Not so long ago, in a middle school library not so far away…. STAR WARS! Team 7B enjoyed an interdisciplinary Star Wars team day before winter break. Students watched the original Star Wars and completed an activity based on the film that focused on Integrating Visual Information, Map Reading, Measuring, Proportions, Scale, and Astronomy. Students baked a variety of Star Wars themed treats ranging from pretzel light sabers to Princess Leia cupcakes. The Force was strong on Team 7B!


Students on 7/8C put the finishing touches on their Jericho History Day projects. Hard at work, these young historians have been using their research skills to create these pieces of history!


Team 8A students role playing characters from Shakespeare's famous "Taming of the Shrew" play. Fun is had by all!


Students on team 8B are using Nearpod to share and discuss ideas from their mobile devices. The Nearpod application engages students and allows everyone to share their ideas with the teacher simultaneously. Students can collaborate with their peers from anywhere in the classroom right from their device.

Dates to Remember...

February 2 - MS/HS POPS Concert - Sam Springer Gymnasium - 7:30PM

February 4 - MS PTSA Meeting & Coffee Hour - MS Library - 9:00AM

February 5 - MS/HS Report Cards Posted Online

February 9 - Middle School Diversity Day Performance - 7:00PM

February 12 - Personal Best Day

February 15-19 - SCHOOLS CLOSED

February 23 - SEPTA Meeting - MS Library - 7:00PM

February 23 - 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Guidance Evening Hours - 7:00PM–9:00PM

Recognizing that other commitments often make it impossible for parents to find time to meet with counselors during the regular school day, we will continue a program of evening meetings this year. If you would like to meet with your child's counselor but are unable to do so during the school day, please call the counselor in order to schedule an evening appointment.

Jericho Middle School invites you to Diversity Day February 9, 2016

Everyone Has a Story

Diversity Day is 2 weeks away! During the day students and staff will enjoy the show, and we will have a Diversity Day Evening Show on the same day at 7pm for families and friends.

The theme of this year’s Diversity Day is “Everybody Has a Story”. This grew out of conversation as a club after watching the TED talk titled “Dangers of a Single Story”. I don’t wait to tell you what it’s about, but if you have 19 minutes to spare, or even three minutes for the abbreviated version, it is a great eye opener. (19 min version) (3 minute version)

The Diversity Day Poster Contest is under way and it is always fun to see the creations students come up with.

It’s become tradition to link our celebration of diversity with community service. The proceeds from our Diversity Day T-shirt Driver will benefit the Ali Forney Center in NYC whose mission is to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. We are also partnering up with The Book Fairies, an organization that collects books for people in need throughout metropolitan New York. ELA classes are deep into competition to see which class can collect the most books. The ELA class per grade that collects the greatest number of new and gently used books will win a party for their class.

I am so proud of the students who have chosen to share their talents and stories with our community.

Notes from the World Language Department

The Spanish 6 students “Rock the Capitals” of the Spanish-speaking world. Students are studying the geography of Central America, South America and Spain, along with the surrounding bodies of water. Students are learning how to ask each other where they are from ¿De dónde eres? and discuss the weather, ¿Qué tiempo hace? in the different countries.

The Spanish 7 students completed the unit on emotions and expressing what they feel like doing and what they have to do. The students just begun a unit on familia. Students are discussing that there are many different kinds of families. They are learning how to describe their family and their friends' families. ¡Nos encantan nuestras familias!

The Spanish 8 students can now talk in the past tense! Students are talking about what they did over the weekend and during their vacation. They were even able to participate in a mystery game where they had to figure out who committed a crime in school. Students are starting the Health Unit. Body parts, aches, pains and trips to the doctor are the tasks for this unit. Be sure to ask your child ¿Cómo te encuentras hoy? Ask your child to sing the “Me duele la cabeza” song

The Italian 6 students are working on weather presentations pretending to be meteorologists. Their reports are complete with information and images of popular Italian tourist destinations.

The Italian 7 students are immersed in the Italian shopping scene. They are learning how to shop for shoes and are learning about Italian brands and how to convert dollars to Euros. They will culminate this unit with shopping skits.

The Italian 8 students are working learning about places in the community and the important stuff like the best p;laces to go to for gelato, where and how to rent a Vespa to take for a ride, and where people go everyday. As they say, “When in Rome…”

French 6 students just finished learning about weather and presented a weather forecast with a partner! We have some future T.V. stars. We are now learning colors and classroom items. Quelle est ta couleur favorite?

French 7 students are learning to describe themselves and others. They are working on a choice board project where they will get to present themselves through video, song or poster! C'est moi...

French 8 students are learning about French fashion and are going on a virtual shopping trip. La mode c'est fantastique!

The Chinese 6 students are learning about family members. We are also going to look at the one child policy that has been practiced for over 35 years in China and was officially phrased out in 2015. Why? What is behind that? A class party will be organized in the week before 02/08. We welcome your donation for food for the party. 新年快乐!XIN NIAN KUAI LE! (02/08 is Chinese New Year!)

The Chinese 7 students are learning about different types of clothes. What would be a fashionable outfit for a special occasion? How would you seek a suggestion or opinion from others? A class party will be organized in the week before 02/08. We welcome your donation for food for the party. 新年快乐!XIN NIAN KUAI LE! (02/08 is Chinese New Year!)

The Chinese 8 students are learning all about leisure. What does everyone do outside of school? What do young people do in China? What are the similarities and differences between how free time is spent in China and in the USA? We are also going to start our ART TILE project that will be co-taught by Guo laoshi and Mr. Porinchak. Students’ art tiles will be displayed in our hallway. A class party will be organized in the week before 02/08. We welcome your donation for food for the party. 新年快乐!XIN NIAN KUAI LE! (02/08 is Chinese New Year!)