MS/JH School News

February 3, 2016

Note from the Principal

Dear MS/JH Parents,

The stretch of time between December and April can be somewhat difficult to navigate as we try to maintain our joy. Some people forget that there is a difference between being happy and being joyful. Happiness is a feeling that is guided by our situations. Joy is guided by our faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus teaches us that we will be filled with His joy as we follow His commandments (John‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬) and to be joyful in ALL circumstances including the toughest of times in our trials (James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬). I believe that Christians find this joy knowing that Jesus gives us a hope of eternal life.

Shane Schaffer
MS/JH Principal

Month at a Glance: February

Feb 9: Next Step K-12 Information Night; 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Feb 9: Reuse Heart and Sole Shoe Collection begins
Feb 10: 6th Grade Bump Day
Feb 12: Bump Day (Mrs. Reed's class)
Feb 13: King's Ball @ Palomino Ballroom; 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Feb 15: President's Day (no school)
Feb 16: Faculty Professional Development Day (no school)
Feb 22: Future of the School Address @ JK Stevens Commons; 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Feb 23: American Heritage Trip Parent Meeting; 6:30 p.m. (8th Grade)
Feb 24: 6th Grade Bump Day
Feb 26: Bump Day (Mrs. Wilcoxen's class)
Feb 29: ISTEP+ Testing begins (3rd-8th)
Mar 11: 7th Grade Bump Day

8th Grade American Heritage Trip

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in 8th grade and get the opportunity to explore the roots of our country, along with taking in many of the most fascinating monuments and historical landmarks in our nation? Well look no further! Your Traders Point 8th grade student is about to experience it! It brings me GREAT pleasure to announce that we are 5 weeks away from your child experiencing a life changing opportunity, the 2016 American Heritage Trip. The time is quickly approaching, where your 8th grade student will be spending 7 days on the road with his/her class, while taking in some of the wonderful pieces of American history and we are preparing to tell you all about it.

Mark your calendars now. The FINAL Parent Trip Information Meeting will be on Tuesday, February 23rd @ 6:30 PM in the JK Stevens Commons (Cafeteria).

ALL 8TH GRADE PARENTS are asked to attend this meeting, so that families all are prepared and equipped for this fabulous opportunity provided by Traders Point Christian Schools. We will use this time to go over the final itinerary, packing list and field any questions or concerns that you may have. Remember that your balance for the trip MUST be paid in FULL on or before March 1st.

Any questions regarding your balance can be directed to Mrs. Bracken at extension 169 or myself at extension 114.

Yours in Christ,

Kraig Cox

Trip Coordinator

Awards Ceremony

Instead of having an honors chapel once each quarter, we have decided to have one awards banquet toward the end of the school year. We will let you know what the awards entail as it becomes more written in stone. Please mark May 24th on your calendar for this special award ceremony.

Quick Survey: After School Care for Junior High Students

We would like to have a unique area for our 7th and 8th grade students to hang out after school from 4 – 6 p.m. Currently, the 7th and 8th graders hang out alongside the K-6 students in the JK Stevens Commons. While this is a safe and supervised place, the students have requested a more age-appropriate area. We need your help to determine the feasibility of such an option. Please answer the following questions via email and send them to Thank you!

1. What is your child's name and grade?

2. Would you use after care for your 7th and 8th grade child if we had it in a different location (JH building or 5th grade classroom)? If yes, would you use after care on a regular basis or on specific days (i.e. M-F)?

3. What time would you use after care? Until 5 p.m., 6 p.m. or other?

4. Due to staff meetings, professional development, etc. we have determined that Tuesday is the only day where a TPCA staff person could supervise JH students. Do you know of anyone who would be interested in supervising on the remaining days? All 5 days? Time served could count as volunteer hours or could be a paid position ($9/hour).

5. Do you have any other thoughts or suggestions to share about this idea?

Grade Level News

5th Grade: Chelsea Reed & Kristin Wilcoxen

We have been studying the calling of Christ's disciples and Jesus's teaching through parables. We are finishing Unit 3 of our reading and writing curriculum, which focuses on expository, or non-fiction, texts. In math, we are in a unit on fractions. We will soon start the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions. We are studying the fifty states this month in social studies. Students are completing state reports in addition to learning all the state's locations and capitals. In science, students are learning about the different fields of technology.

6th Grade: Hannah Tuttle

We just finished studying Ancient Persia and now we are moving on to their rival, Ancient Greece. In Language Arts, we will continue to add more pages to our Capitalization and Punctuation Survival Guide, dive deeper into our individual books, enrich our vocabulary and start a new novel, The Hiding Place. We had such fun and success with The Outsiders novel that I am excited to begin another one together. We have shared great memories and ideas so far this nine weeks. I can only imagine what the rest has in store.

Bible: Steve Zimmer

In 6th and 7th Grade we will be moving from the Pentateuch into the historical books of the Old Testament. We will see God’s amazing grace and love as He shepherds His people into the Promised Land. We will also see the tragedy that results from disobeying God and going against His will.

In 8th Grade the students will be finishing the last stage of Hermeneutics, Application and learning how to apply God’s word to their own lives. They also will be doing their own bible studies and leading the class.

JH English/Language Arts: Jill Propst

7th Grade:

As we begin the second semester of English, we begin with a short unit on poetry. Terminology is a big part of this unit as the students understand the elements that authors use to make a great poem. We will spend only two weeks on this unit but will cover a lot of ground using the terms learned to analyze the poems read. As this unit comes to a close this week with a test, we will begin our second novel of the year; The Prince and the Pauper. We are also continuing our spelling and vocabulary as well as our second level in grammar analysis. I enjoy the seventh graders immensely! They are hard workers and are a joy to teach. . .you should be proud of your children!

8th Grade:

January has brought the eighth grade into their fourth unit of study: Poetry. During the past two weeks we have been working on using the poetry terms to analyze poetry by some famous authors. As the unit closes this week with a test, we will move on to our second novel of the school year; Uncle Tom's Cabin. The students will continue their work in spelling and vocabulary as well as grammar analysis. They have risen to the challenge of spelling, vocabulary, grammar and poetry during these past two weeks, and I am very proud of them. Poetry is often not a popular unit and they have not complained but have completed the work required and have even written their own poetry! They are a very creative group!

JH Social Studies: Amelia Echemann

7th Grade:

We will continue the unit on economics. We will cover the main types of economic systems, supply and demand, GDP and producers and consumers. We will also start a research project over economies in countries in Africa, Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Later in February, the class will start learning about government.

8th Grade:

The U.S. History class will learn about the start of the Constitution. We will discuss our founding fathers and how America was founded on Christian principles. We will talk about and come up with ways to keep our nation on the path of honoring God as we see big changes and challenges happening in modern times. The class will also understand the power of the three branches of government and look at the role of the U.S. President.


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

6th grade - In January, we learned about absolute value, comparing and ordering integers and the coordinate plane. We also added, subtracted, multiplied and divided positive and negative numbers. In February, we are learning to write, solve and graph equations and inequalities in one variable. Showing ALL steps to solve equations and inequalities is essential to building a strong foundation for Algebra.

7th grade - In January, we learned about percents and decimals, comparing and ordering fractions, decimals and percents, percent proportions and equations, percents of increase and decrease, discount, markup, and simple interest. In February, we will move onto some Geometry topics, including angles, circles, and area.

8th grade - In January, we learned about relations and functions, representations of functions, linear functions, comparing linear and nonlinear functions and analyzing and sketching graphs. In February, we will study square roots, cube roots and apply the Pythagorean Theorem. We will also begin studying some Geometry topics, including volume of cylinders, cones, spheres and similar solids.

7th grade accelerated: Mendy Morrison

The past few weeks, students have learned about lateral area, surface area and volume of solid figures. The students took their test on Jan. 21. We will then begin learning about angles - complementary, supplementary, vertical and adjacent. Students will also learn about scale drawings which they will then use this knowledge to aid them in making a scale model of an object of their choosing. They will be given the details of this project at a later date in class, but so you can plan ahead, it will be due on Friday, Feb. 19. Students will also learn about rigid transformations (translations, reflections, rotations), as well as dilations during the month of February.

8th grade Algebra: Elaine Leonard

The 8th graders have been learning to solve systems of equations (a single solution for more than one equation) using various methods and then applying the same concepts to linear inequalities.

In February, we will begin learning about exponents, including scientific notation and multiplication and division properties of exponents.

The students have been challenged at the beginning of the new semester to demonstrate a higher level of performance on homework in preparation for tests, but are rising up to it realizing they are getting closer to their transition to high school.

Science: Scott Jackson

6th Grade Earth Science

We are continuing to study the solar system and in January have focused on the sun and the planets. We are learning how each planet differs relative to each other. By understanding how the other planets differ from earth, we quickly see how God’s design for the earth’s ability to sustain life is nothing short of incredible. One of the activities they performed (see picture below) was to have a group of students represent each planet and move away from the sun as a relative distance from each other. Then they orbited the sun according to their revolutions. In the picture the inner planet groups are orbiting the sun quickly compared to Neptune’s orbit…note that those students are in the far off parking lot! We will conclude the astronomy unit in February by learning about stars, nearby galaxies and other objects found in our universe. As we understand the vastness of the universe we again reminded of the immenseness of God’s creation.

7th Grade Life Science

In January we have been learning some of the key processes that happen at the cellular level. These processes include: osmosis, diffusion, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and mitosis. It is incredible to understand all that goes on in each of our 60 trillion cells that God designed in his creation of us. Two of the many labs we have been able to conduct in this unit are shown above. On the left is a diffusion lab, where they determined if starch and iodine could both permeate through a membrane. On the right is a cellular respiration lab, where they determined the impact of a 60-second exercise on the amount of CO2 respired. In February we will study genetics and learn how God has designed DNA to determine our traits and how those traits are then passed on to the next generation.

8th Grade Introduction to Chemistry

After finishing the Introduction to Chemistry Unit last semester, we have moved on to the Introduction to Physical Science this semester. In January we started by understanding the principles of waves. We discussed the different parts of a wave as well as what impacts how waves travel. In January we will also learn how these waves apply to sound. We will continue to have labs every Wednesday. The photo above shows students with a hands-on lab over reflection & refraction lab. In February we will also study how waves apply to both the electromagnetic and light spectrums as well as the nature of color.

Co-Curricular News

5th & 6th: Cindy Schramm

Happy Valentine’s Day from the art room! We have been very busy relating the “Fruit of the Spirit” to Valentine’s Day. Fifth grade has been working on knitting sock hats for the homeless, as a service project. These will be given to the homeless as a Valentine’s Day gift from the Lord. The sixth graders have made 3D Hearts that are hanging from the ceiling. Each panel of their hearts illustrate a different “Fruit of the Spirit.” The sixth graders are now working on “shining their lights” brightly for Christ. Our discussion has involved different ways we can shine our lights for Christ. To illustrate this symbolically, they are drawing with oil pastels as they learn about adding tint and shade to make objects (like candles) appear to have form. I hope you all have a wonderful day in the Lord. If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. God bless you!

7th & 8th: Darin Grice

The seventh grade is learning about two point perspective. The eighth grade has done research on impressionist artists and are creating impressionist paintings.

Media/Technology: Beth Herr

Junior High Digital Citizenship will finish our unit on Creator’s Rights by taking a test over the vocabulary we have learned as well as writing a new Happy Birthday song with students’ deciding on their own copyright preferences. We will then move on to units covering Creator’s Responsibilities and Identifying High Quality Sites for research. Students are learning about their Digital Footprint with Dr. Ho as well. Middle School (5/6) will be delving deeper into Google Apps for Education, gaining more knowledge of Google Docs, Slides and their Google Drive. They will also begin Strategic Searching skills in February. As always, all grades will work on keyboarding skills to make sure we maintain the habit of using the correct fingers as they type, with the goal being the ability to touch type. If they ever want to practice at home, they can use the website And don’t forget… we still check out books every week! All students are continually being encouraged to finish independent novels at their own level. When a student finishes a book, they can write it on an eagle, get a treat and the eagle is put on the library wall. Our walls are quickly filling with eagles! This year, for the first time, 7th and 8th grades are included in the I Love To Read Challenge sponsored by Wish-TV. Please encourage your student to read at least 10-20 minutes each night. Prizes and incentives have been offered, so hopefully they are working toward reaching their goals. Happy reading!

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6th grade band and HS choir sharing Christmas music at Brownsburg Meadows on December 8th


Mrs. Na, Mr. Perry and Mrs. Evans traveled to Fort Wayne this month to attend the Indiana Music Educator Association’s annual conference. They attended workshops on a wide variety of topics for elementary, choral and instrumental music. The All-State ensembles performed at this conference, which are made of some of the best student performers in the state. We look forward to the day when Traders Point students are playing there!

All of the music classes 5th grade and up are currently focused on preparing for Solo & Ensemble contests on January 30th and February 6th. Traders Point again has a large number of students participating. We are planning for excellent results, as always!

Physical Education

Vern Clayton

5th and 6th grade PE will be learning more about their bodies. We will learn basic details about the body. We will talk about the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, nutrition and basically how God has the body and how it works. We will continue to work on core strength with planks and leg raises. We will also do some upper and lower body strength work (pushups, burpees, dips, mountain climbers). We will continue to play indoor team games, focusing on individual dexterity and body control but also stress sportsmanship as these grades tend to be very competitive.

Kyle Johnson

Spanish: Rachel Bush

In Spanish fifth and sixth grade, we will be learning to conjugate ar verbs. To this point, we have only learned how to say I am doing something and you are doing something. We will be extending that to he and she.

In seventh grade, we will be continuing to read Pobre Ana. It is a story about a young girl who has many problems with her life and then has the opportunity to go to Mexico to study. There, she finds out that all people have problems and her life isn't so bad living with her family in California.

In eighth grade, we will continue to read Casi Se Muere. It is a story about Ana who is an exchange student to Chile. In a roundabout way, she saves two lives as well as coming to love the country and people of Chile.