The Tohickon Golden Eagle
Marching Into April!!!
Dear Tohickon Families,
We have just concluded one of the busiest months of the year at Tohickon. March began with our Sixth Grade Orientation Program, continued with our Spring Musical, and concluded with our NJHS Induction Ceremony. As we move into the month of April, we will usher in the final marking period of the 2015-2016 school year, which begins on Friday, April 8th. This is a very important marking period for all of our students. These final three months will include state testing, end of year final exams and closing activities for our ninth grade students. During the month of April, our seventh and eighth grade students will be taking the PSSA tests in the areas of Math, English and Science. Testing will take place intermittently between April 11th and April 29th. Detailed dates are listed in the calendar section of this newsletter.
The Sixth Grade Orientation Program took place at Tohickon on Tuesday, March 1st. Parents from Gayman, Groveland and Pine Run Elementary schools joined us at 7:00 PM to meet with our subject area coordinators, guidance counselors and administrators. During the presentation, Mr. Dudley, Mr. Pustay, Mrs. Schute and I provided parents with an overview of the school and its environment, along with key information about student activities, student schedules and general advice on helping their sons/daughters to become acclimated. This was a very important evening, as we welcomed our new parents to the Tohickon Family!
The Music Man Jr., our spring musical, ran on March 10th, 11th and 12th. The performances were absolutely fantastic! It is always a pleasure to see so many months of hard work on the part of our students and crew come together during these magical evenings in March. Special thanks go out to all of our students, as well as Mr. Dengler, Mrs. McGahey, Mrs. Welch, Mr. Good, Mr. Senavaitis, Mr. Bui, Mr. Striano, Mrs. Fox, Ms. Burgueno and Mr. Doll. We are already looking forward to next year!
The month of March concluded with the National Junior Honor Society Induction on the 31st. This was a special evening for so many students as they were honored for their scholarship, leadership, service, character and citizenship. State Representative Marguerite Quinn attended the ceremony serving as the Keynote Speaker. We thank all of our student inductees for recognizing and promoting these special qualities, and we congratulate them on their acceptance into this esteemed organization.
There are a few notable events scheduled during the month of April. The Tohickon Spring Choral Concert will take place on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 PM, and the Tohickon Jazz Band will be participating in off-site events during the evenings of April 1st and 8th. District wide, the Reading Olympics Competition is scheduled to take place on April 7th at Unami Middle School. As mentioned above, the PSSA testing period will commence during the week of April 11th. We ask for your assistance in making sure your child comes to school well rested and prepared for the extended testing period.
If you should have any questions or concerns about the information provided in this month’s newsletter, please contact the main office at 267-893-3300. On behalf of the staff at Tohickon Middle School, we wish all of our Tohickon families a fantastic April!
Kevin Marton, Principal
April Calendar of Events
There are several upcoming events that students and parents should be aware of in the month of April. They are as follows:
Tamanend Jazz Festival - 6:00 PM
End of 3rd Marking Period
Reading Olympics Competition at Unami - 5:00 PM
April 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th
PSSA English/Language Arts Testing - AM Hours
Final Parent Positive Presentation at CB West 7:00 PM
Anime Club - 2:30 PM
April 19th and 20th
PSSA Math Testing - AM Hours
Parent Council Meeting - 9:00 AM
April 26th and 27th
PSSA Science Testing - AM Hours
Tohickon Choral Concert - 7:00 PM
Tohickon Opens Its Central Patio Doors for the First Time!
Tohickon Students Compete at The National History Day Competition
On Saturday, March 19th, 18 eighth and ninth grade students from Tohickon participated in the regional National History Day competition at Ursinus College. Projects covered a range of topics and included historical research papers, historical documentaries, and websites. Tohickon students competed against schools throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties, earning places in three different categories in two different divisions. Overall, ten students placed in the top three, earning those students a spot in the National History Day state competition to be held at Millersville University, on May 10th and 11th. Best of luck to these eighth and ninth grade students who have worked very hard since this project began at the end of September.
Dr. Michael Fowlin presents for the Tohickon T5 Program
Tohickon Teachers Win Grants from CB Cares
Ms. McGahey obtained a grant in the amount of $250 from CB Cares. This grant will be used to invite a guest from the Philadelphia Orchestra to meet with our middle school band students. This will, most certainly, be a fantastic event!
Ms. Lewis will use her grant to get new books for her classroom library. The books will be chosen and selected by her ninth grade students.
We are so proud of our Tohickon teachers for taking the time to apply for and obtain these grants. We are also very thankful for having a community organization like CB Cares that offers our teachers these opportunities to provide more resources for our students.
TEAM DISCOVERY - GRADE 7
It’s hard to believe the fourth marking period is almost here and the seventh graders are almost through their first year of middle school! The Spring is a busy time of year and there are a lot of exciting and important things coming up. PSSA testing will be happening in April; in seventh grade, the students take both an English test and a Math test. Testing dates are April 12th-15th and April 19th-20th; students being on time and in attendance on those days is very important so that class time is not missed for make-up testing. Planning for the Philadelphia Zoo field trip is also underway. Team Discovery will be going on June 2nd; look out for a chaperone request email coming soon! In ELA B, students will soon be starting the Book It! Core Assessment. Students will be asked to select an independent book to read and present to their classes, with a focus on character and theme.
Mrs. Showaker brought her classes outside to the new patio area do a fun activity that explored kinetic and potential energy.
Team Summit students in Dr. Mackensen’s classes are studying energy conversions and gravitational potential and kinetic energy. Recently, Mr. Marton challenged seventh grader, Nico K. to a Hotwheels car race using the big ramp in Dr. Mack’s classroom. When they calculated the energies of the cars they chose for the competition, Nico’s car had 20% more gravitational potential energy, making him the pre-race favorite. However, Mr. Marton, a Hotwheels veteran from way back, converted less of the potential energy to thermal energy by defeating friction, and also used his years of driving experience to power down the ramp for the win. Both competitors showed outstanding sportsmanship, and shook hands like complete gentlemen. The third period class enjoyed the race, and the other classes enjoyed the many stories about the show down. The event, and Mr. Marton’s flowery post-race speech, will go down in Tohickon folklore.
TEAM TRAILBLAZER AND EXPEDITION - GRADE 8
It’s time for eighth graders to take a seventh inning stretch! We are getting close to the end of the school year and the weather is starting to warm up but this time of year can often be the most difficult for students. Here are some tips from the teachers to keep your eighth grader focused and motivated until June.
1. Restock supplies. Folders that are falling apart make it difficult to keep important papers organized. It’s time for a fresh pack of pencils.
2. Get enough sleep. With daylight savings, students may be staying up later and not getting the rest they need for an early start.
3. Check Parent Portal and ask your child about his or her grades. Although course recommendations for ninth grade have been made, it is important for students to maintain good grades so they are prepared for next year.
4. School rules still apply. Remind your eighth grader that even though summer is right around the corner, school expectations remain the same. Have a conversation with your child about school policy for cell phone use and dress code.
5. Have fun!! Tohickon is an amazing place and we want students to enjoy the experience.
NINTH GRADE TEAM
On Thursday, March 3rd, the Tohickon ninth grade class attended a very special assembly on the Holocaust. For the second consecutive year, presenters from the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. shared their experiences with the freshman class. Students have been learning about the atrocities that occurred in Europe during World War II in both English and United States History classes, so the presentation served as a powerful culminating activity. Mr. Allan Silverberg, the committee chairman of the Jewish War Veterans, served as the facilitator of the event and introduced a number of special guests, most notably Mr. Danny Goldsmith and Mr. Bernard (Bernie) Lens. Mr. Goldsmith retold the harrowing story of his mother’s efforts to keep him and his sister out of the concentration camps and how his family was aided by many strangers throughout the war. Mr. Lens, a Jewish World War II veteran, recounted his experience of liberating a concentration camp and how the memories still affect him to this day. At the conclusion of their presentation, the panel eagerly answered any remaining questions from the audience. A special luncheon was held, following the presentation, that included the day’s presenters, teachers, and six ninth grade students who had won a very competitive essay contest to have lunch with the panel. Our appreciation goes out to the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. for helping the ninth grade class continue a very important Tohickon tradition!
In science class, ninth graders have been studying human origins. A large part of this unit is devoted to a detailed analysis of many hominin skull replicas. Students take several measurements of the extinct hominin skulls. Students then analyze how the skulls of different hominin species have changed over time. Comparisons are made to modern Homo sapiens (humans) and other living primates. This activity requires students to utilize many of the scientific practices they have learned over the three years they have spent here at Tohickon.
Tohickon After School Club and Activity Update
Each year, the Tohickon Musical provides students with the opportunity to act, sing, dance, connect with friends, and be part of a something special. Mr. Dengler, Tohickon’s Musical Director, has always felt that many people don’t show their full personalities until they step onto the stage – ironically, pretending to be somebody else. The musical is a unique experience that allows students to step out of their shells and have a great time. It involves kids of all talents, not just actors and singers. From stage crew, to lights, to managers, there is a place for every student to contribute. This March, our Tohickon Players staged five incredible performances of The Music Man Jr. When it was all over, the number one comment Mr. Dengler heard from students was that they would miss seeing their theater family at the end of each day. That word “family” speaks a lot about the bond that students make as they learn and perform together.
Although students of the Tohickon Musical don't consider it to be a traditional ‘club’, the work they do together to create a finished product is, in spirit, a club. It’s camaraderie, mutual interest, and melding of talents into an on-stage production creates life-long memories and interests that benefit young people beyond their Tohickon days.
Bravo to the musical cast for taking us away from reality for a few hours to enjoy your talents, creativity, and hard work!
General Information about After School Clubs
In order for clubs to run, a teacher must be willing to sponsor the club after school and there must be a reasonable level of student interest. For these reasons, Tohickon clubs may be different from year to year. Currently, Tohickon is running the following clubs:
Debate Club - Sponsored by Mr. Forney
Diversity Club - Sponsored by Mrs. Fox
Anime Club - Sponsored by Mrs. Bongiorno
Math Club - Sponsored by Mrs. Bellavance and Mrs. Rissing
Science Olympiad - Sponsored by Mr. Weir and Mr. Collins
Garden Club (Seasonal) - Sponsored by Mr. Neely and Mrs. Fox
If you are interested in joining one of the clubs at Tohickon or have any questions, please see the club's sponsor in order to sign up.
My Payments Plus is now being used at Central Bucks' Middle Schools
CB Middle Schools are now using My Payments Plus for parents to use to pay for field trips, PE uniforms, student activities and other fees. Once a field trip is scheduled, you will receive an email blast to inform you that the field trip has been set up for your child. After you receive this email, you can log onto My Payments Plus and make a payment.
Share Good News About Tohickon Students!
Tohickon will be hosting an American Red Cross blood drive on Friday, April 29th from 3:00 to 8:00 PM. Parents and adult family members may register at www.redcrossblood.org enter “tohickon” as the sponsor code. On Wednesday, April 6th during Resource, a representative from the Red Cross will meet with members of the National Junior Honor Society in the auditorium. She will discuss the importance of the blood drive and encourage the NJHS members to help publicize the event.
Message from the Athletic Department
The month of March was a very successful one for Tohickon’s eighth grade boy's basketball team. The team won the Bucks County Northern League tournament with a hard fought victory over a tough Lenape squad. The boys finished their season undefeated!
Spring sports have begun at Tohickon. As the season progresses, participants are reminded that schedule updates are available on the Tohickon Athletics website. Daily cancellations will also be posted here in the event of inclement weather.
Tohickon Garden Update
Spring is a time for new life! The 25 + students in the Tohickon Garden Club are busy helping make Spring happen in our organic garden. Whether wheelbarrowing new soil to top off our raised beds, weeding, or sowing seeds, the students have a great time working collaboratively and learning. Onions, lettuces, radishes, peas, and beans are among the plants growing and hopefully harvested before the end of this school year. Planted last year, our strawberry plants are showing promise! Tomatoes, kale, and root vegetables will be planted early Summer for a Fall harvest during the beginning of next school year.
The Tohickon Garden creates and experiential learning opportunity throughout the school year. The concept of “farm to table” is demonstrated as the students grow the vegetables and have a chance to use them as ingredients in Family Consumer Science class. Non-gardening students see the crops growing outside their classrooms, see their classmates tending the garden, or hear about the garden in a botany class. Mrs. Furfari, Family Consumer Science Teacher, shared that students in her class marveled at the taste of the vegetables freshly picked from our organic, pesticide and herbicide free garden during first semester. Besides, classroom use, vegetables from the garden were donated to a local food pantry and used for community service. Recently, the Tohickon Soup Kitchen used the last of our bountiful 2015 autumn harvest of (frozen) tomatoes and beans as part of a community service project.
During Mrs. Larkin’s Science class, some of our gardeners gave tours of the garden to fellow students, highlighting seeds that could now be “directly sown into the soil” in contrast to the seed types the students recently planted under grow lights in class. If history repeats itself, more classes will be visiting the garden as part of their specific curriculum throughout the growing season.
The garden club meets every Wednesday (weather permitting) in the Spring and Fall. Members of the club include seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students. For more information please contact Mr. Jim Neely, email@example.com. or Mrs. Colleen Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Nurse's Office
Because head injuries and concussions may impact your child’s ability to learn, please contact the school nurse and your child’s guidance counselor if your child is injured. Physician documentation to guide the transition back to school post head injury is necessary. Please contact school staff so we can review the CBSD concussion protocol with you and your child prior to him/her returning to school.
Parents should provide a physician note if students require crutches, wheelchairs, elevator keys, physical education excuses, or other accommodations while in school. Students should stop by the nurse’s office upon return to school. Please know that we want to support your child as he/she recuperates.
Your child is measured for height and weight yearly as mandated by the Pennsylvania School Health program. Height, weight, age, and gender were used to determine the students' Body Mass Index (BMI) and percentile. This screening process started in November and will continue into the Spring Semester. Each student is given a pass to come to the nurse and is screened privately. Your child’s height, weight and BMI results will be available on the Parent Portal. If you do not have access to a computer and would like a paper copy sent home, please call your school nurse with this request. In addition, during this visit your child will have their vision assessed. If your child does not pass the vision screening, a referral will be mailed home.
MAY 1 Immunization Deadline
Those students/parents who were notified during this school year that immunizations were incomplete have until May 1, 2016 to meet the PA immunization requirements. You can check your child’s immunization compliance on Parent Portal. Students without the appropriate documentation of immunizations or exemption status will be excluded per state law. Please contact your primary care physician for clarification regarding your child’s vaccinations.
Qualifying children may also receive the immunizations at the Bucks County Department of Health during their Immunization Clinics on April 4 and April 18. Please call for and appointment 215-345-3318. Bring a copy of immunizations to the Department of Health the day of your appointment.
Please contact the school nurse, Mrs. Colleen Fox email@example.com. with the immunization updates so you child’s health record is up to date.