AMHS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Doing something BIG in a special little place!
DESK OF OUR PRINCIPAL - MR. RITZERT
Welcome to the New Year, Comet Nation,
I would like to start with a couple of special shoutouts:
- Good Luck to the High School Honors Band as they travel to Blackhawk on Monday, 1/30/23 to practice for their 5:30 pm concert @ Blackhawk that evening.
- Congratulations to all of our student-athletes, we have had ZERO students ineligible athletes because of grades for this winter season!
- Congratulations to our Girls' Varsity Basketball team on their 18-0 start to the season, way to go, Lady Comets!
- Congratulations to the Parkview-Albany wrestling team on their successful run this season, they have not lost a dual since their first meet, and they have finished in the top 3 as a team in 4 tournaments this season!
- Shoutout to all of the middle school and high school students regularly using the weight room after school. Seeing our students take advantage of our incredible facility is inspiring!
As always when we reflect on the work that we do, we are constantly searching for the best structures and practices to serve our students in the most effective manner possible. That being said, we believe that having students working with the expert (teacher) as much as possible is in the best interest of our students and will maximize growth for every student. We are exploring a schedule change that would move us away from an 8-period, 43-minute schedule to a 6-period, 60-minute schedule.
Proposed 2023-24 Schedule
6 classes/day 60 minutes each
Students will have an additional 17 minutes in each class with the expert, here is what that means:
This equates to a guaranteed additional 102 minutes per day with the experts well over double what a student would get with 2 study halls.
Over a week's time, this would be guaranteed 502 additional minutes with the experts, over 8 hours of direct instruction-essentially like adding another teaching day to our weekly schedule.
In looking at just one class, a student would spend an additional 85 minutes throughout a 5-day week which equates to 2 of our current study halls, and this is dedicated time with the expert.
17 additional minutes per class for 171 days of school equates to 2,907 minutes, which would be over 48 hours of additional instructional time for each class
No designated “study hall” in the student schedule
No designated “WIN” in the student schedule
MS/HS students will have access to the library during their lunch as a quiet place to work
As with any change, we understand there may be conflicts, questions, or concerns. I encourage you to reach out and schedule a meeting with me and Ms. Schulz to discuss the questions you may have.
Our core value focus was Achievement for quarter 2. Staff selected 2 students at each grade who demonstrated outstanding Achievement. I would like to acknowledge and congratulate our students being recognized at this time:
4K: Stella Brugger & Colt Krupke
K: Mia Shunk & Elly Morrell
1: Landon Strehlow & Ayla Brugger
2: Callie Spahn & Ayla Vozka
3: Easton Krupke & Issac Lisser
4: Griffin Everson & Jena Jones
5: Tayla Shrader & Kilian Hill
6: Amirah Parker & Colee Liberatore
7: Kamden Broughton & Peyton Monasmith-Pickett
8: Alexandria Leszczynski & Cassi Sticklestad
9: Beckett Wachholz & Isabella Brewer
10: Anna Ellinger & Caleb Smith
11: Alana Durtschi & Owen Roth
12: Linsey Mueller & McKenzie Briggs
Each student received:
A certificate of acknowledgment at our quarter 2 PBIS assembly
A Comet CARE “Swag Bag”
A Comet CARE “Superstar” t-shirt
A postcard mailed home with the specific reason(s) for being recognized
We will continue with the same format and select 2 students from each grade level for:
Quarter 3: Respect
Quarter 4: Excellence
As always, any questions or concerns that you may have, please feel free to contact me.
DESK OF SCHOOL NURSE - MRS. ARNOLD
MS/HS SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT - MR. CAMPBELL
8th Grade U.S. History
The eighth grade students finished up discussion on the American Revolution right before winter break. Once we returned, we started discussing the Articles of Confederation. Specifically, we were discussing why the founding fathers wanted to keep power among the states while reducing the power of the federal government. We also discussed some of the weaknesses that eventually would create our current Constitution. We ended the month discussing the three branches of government, the checks and balances, the Bill of Rights, and the amendments to the Constitution.
9th Grade U.S. History
The ninth grade history class did a quick unit on American Imperialism. We discussed the Spanish-American War and how the United States obtained our current territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the states of Hawaii and Alaska. We also discussed our involvement in the Philippines and Cuba. This time period is extremely important as it moved the United States onto the world stage. This new role in the world would propel us into World War I. The second half of January was filled with discussion about World War I and the United States reluctance to get involved. We also discussed the causes of the war and what ultimately forced the United States to get involved.
The Civics students finished up our unit on the Legislative Branch right before winter break. When they returned we started to discuss the Executive Branch. Specifically, what is the role of the president, what is the line of succession, what is the process of impeachment and invoking the 25th amendment, the requirements to run for president, and what are the checks and balances on the other branches. We also found time to discuss the size of the federal bureaucracy and their role in people's everyday lives.
The first half of January, these students wrapped up their action research projects. These self-chosen topics ranged from light pollution, homelessness, animal abandonment, and the effects of depression on the global community. Students showcased their research and knowledge in a variety of ways, educating their peers about the information they had learned.
The Psychology students spent the first week back from winter break discussing how we think and also learning about language acquisition. The second week of January we took a break to focus on the final exam. This course counts as a Blackhawk Tech credit, so this was a very important exam for us. Once completed, we again focused our attention on thinking and language. We finished out the month discussing intelligence and even taking some fun I.Q. tests.
Our Law class fired up again this semester starting in mid-January. To start, we discussed what is a law and what is the purpose of laws. To finish off the month we went through the steps in a trial, the different levels of the courts, and when someone should contact a lawyer. Some of the class discussions were quite interesting!
MS HISTORY DEPARTMENT - MRS. BROWN
6th Grade Geography: Students are currently studying the physical and cultural geography of South America. We will look into the biodiversity and importance of the Amazon rainforest along with how Native American culture was affected by colonialism.
7th Grade Ancient History: Students are currently focusing on Ancient China. Students will examine the continuity and change brought with the transition of dynasty to dynasty along with how different philosophies developed in an attempt to establish order. The unit will end with an analytical paper.
World History: Students recently began their unit on China. We began with the study of Chinese philosophies and how they developed to spread peace throughout the chaotic empire. Next, students will examine how the development of technology contributed to the growth and defense of the Chinese empires. The unit will conclude with a collaborative video project in which students will use the content in class to create a newscast as an in-depth study of a single Chinese dynasty.
Albany will be hosting the Six Rivers Math Meet on March 1? Students from over 10 schools across the Six Rivers Conference will be competing in both individual and team events in order to test their mettle.
HS MATH DEPARTMENT - MR.SCHWAB
Geometry - Students will be working on similar figures and using the Pythagorean Theorem.
Algebra 2 - Our class will be analyzing exponential growth and decay models using logarithms.
Senior Math - The students will be solidifying their knowledge of systems of equations while applying their knowledge to matrices.
Foundations of Algebra - This class will be introduced to analysis of functions. They will explore the various representations of functions, as well as, how we adjust the domain and range to model various situations.
Statistics - Students will begin hypothesis testing! This process is the core of quantitative data analysis and used across nearly every career field.
Pre-Calculus - Our class will be learning about specific trigonometric identities and how those identities can be used in conjunction with our current knowledge to solve trigonometric equations.
MS MATH DEPARTMENT - MR. KOPLIN
We just finished up our unit on place value and decimals where we did a lot of multiplication, addition, and subtraction. We also did some work with converting measurements in the metric system and dividing 3-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers. We are starting Unit 4 now on multiplying and dividing whole numbers and decimals.
We are finishing up our unit on dividing by unit and non-unit fractions and doing a lot of application problems to show the value of the skill in real life. Next week we will be starting Unit 5 on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals.
In 7th grade, we just finished up our unit on proportions where students learned how to find unit rates, decide if two ratios formed a proportion, and write and solve proportions. Now we are starting our unit on percentages. We will start by converting percentages to decimals and learning how to put decimals, percents, and fractions in order. Toward the end of the unit we will look at how percentages are used with simple interest.
We just finished up our unit on systems of linear equations where we looked at four different methods to find where lines intersected. This helped students find the break even point for businesses and determine which would be a better deal in certain situations. Next up we will be looking at linear functions and comparing them to non-linear functions. We will also do some work on interpreting graphs.
In Algebra we are finishing up our unit on exponential functions and properties of exponents. We looked at compound interest as well as exponential growth and decay. Next up we will be studying polynomials and factoring. This will lead nicely into the next couple units where we start studying quadratics.
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT - MS. MCDONALD
English 9- Students finished up their Odyssey Unit by turning in their completed Odyssey Books that contained a compilation of activities we completed throughout the unit. Students recently have been working on creating presentations to help them get a better understanding of Elizabethan England for our Romeo and Juliet Unit.
English 10- Students have been working on analyzing the play Macbeth. Through group work and close reading, students have been focusing on language and how it is used in a Shakespearean play.
American Literature- Students have been reading the novella Of Mice and Men. Using an evidence tracker, they have been keeping track of what each character’s dream is and what obstacles stand in their way.Speech- Students have been learning about nonverbal communication. In order to practice their skills, students will be performing a silent play or pantomime where they will have to tell their story all through the use of nonverbals.
7/8 ELA DEPARTMENT - MRS. NIENHAUS
8th Grade: Students have been wrapping up the unit with independent learning along with great small group discussions on the story they read independently. The students have started the third quarter signing up for presenting weekly root words (each student will teach the class a new root word three times throughout the quarter) and we started writing weekly SSR journals.
Yearbook: The yearbook club is working hard on completing pages in the yearbook. There is still time to purchase a yearbook! As a reminder, once we are sold out we are not able to order more... so it is important to order by 1/26/2023 to guarantee a yearbook! If you miss the deadline, please email Mrs. Nienhaus ASAP to see if the extra copies have been sold out (again, last year we SOLD OUT).--
Sarah K. Nienhaus
7/8 Reading & Language Arts Teacher
Albany School District
5/6 ELA DEPARTMENT - MR. DOESCHER
5th Grade ~ Students studied specific forms of text written in the genre of EXPOSITORY TEXT & REALISTIC FICTION. While practicing writing, students focused on VERBS & the different tenses in which verbs are used. (Past, present, future) Fifth graders will start a very comprehensive POETRY UNIT in the upcoming months of February/March.
6th Grade ~ Students have been studying PERSONAL NARRATIVE TEXT. Students were exposed to many different examples of personal narrative stories, with the expectation of using what they learned to write their own personal narrative. Sixth graders continue to have a strong emphasis on spelling words, vocabulary words, & improving their writing by evaluating sentence structure. Sixth graders will spend February/March preparing for an ADVENTURE WRITING project.
MS/HS FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCE - MRS.RUSSELL
CULINARY SKILLS class has been learning about the benefits and health risks of sodium and sugar consumption. Our next unit of study is Fruit.
INTERNATIONAL FOODS is starting the semester with a student presentation on Mexico followed by the preparation of authentic Mexican recipes in lab. Our next country and cuisine is Canada.
CONFECTIONARY ARTS is off to a “sweet” start learning to achieve the perfect consistency of melting chocolate to mold breakable candy hearts and cocoa bombs.
CHILD DEVELOPMENT starts the semester learning about career opportunities in the early childhood field. Next they will explore types of Early Childhood programs.
EIGHTH GRADE FACS have been exploring the differences among the terms job, work and career.
HS SPANISH DEPARTMENT - MS NOONAN
All Spanish classes ended the semester with a grade or final on interpersonal speaking. 6th grade Spanish and Spanish 1 classes needed to respond to questions from me in complete Spanish sentences. Spanish 2, 3, and 4 needed to navigate a group conversation with the main focus being to ask questions and elaborate to show their expanded vocabulary.
- 6th Grade Spanish came together as a team over the semester to earn enough class points for a movie party! It was great to see them encourage each other to be on task and give their best effort at all times so that they could achieve this.
- 7th Grade Spanish just started! They have begun learning the Spanish alphabet.
- 8th Grade Spanish also just started! They are picking up with a review of what we learned last year before we get into our first new unit.
- Spanish 1 wrapped up a unit that centered around a bunch of action verbs, such as "sits", "stands up", and "yells". These built upon our earlier units where "run", "walks", and "look" were learned.
- Spanish 2 has had a verb heavy month. They have put a lot of effort towards mastering regular and stem-change conjugations and differentiating between when to use "conocer" and when to use "saber" since they both mean "to know".
- Spanish 3 covered 2 short units that had a lot of reflexive verbs in them. Soon, this will be used in a presentation where students share their daily routine!
- Spanish 4 has now learned all of the verb endings for both past tenses. They are learning to differentiate between when to use which one.
ES/MS PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - MRS. SCHOTT
5th & 6th Grade Physical EducationPhysical Education students started the year with a volleyball unit. Volleyball teaches teamwork and communication and is an excellent social activity that students can participate in for a lifetime. The activities required when playing volleyball strengthen the upper body, arms, shoulders, thighs, abdominals, and lower legs. January finished up with a student favorite…roller skating! Students will roller skate into February.
MS/HS PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - MR. OLSEN
The MS/HS Physical education classes have been off to a great start during the month of January. The spring semester marked the beginning of physical education for many different students this year. The classes began with going over expectations and classroom procedures followed by fitness assessments. The assessments are used to help students visualize their fitness levels and see if they can improve them by the end of the school year. Lastly, the classes started an invasion game unit that helps them work on invasion skills and work together as teammates.
MS/HS CHOIR DEPARTMENT - MRS. RITCHIE
Welcome to the Choir Room! Now that December has passed, middle and high school students have been working on music for the Solo/Ensemble Festival which takes place on Saturday, February 18th, in Monticello. Parents are, of course, welcome to attend their child’s performances. Transportation will be available to the students; parents can determine whether they want to drive their child to Monticello and home or take school transportation. More information will be coming out regarding details shortly.
Students have the option of participating in Solo/Ensemble in front of a judge who will listen to their performance and give them feedback on positive elements of their performance as well as aspects that could be improved upon and how to do so. This is a great opportunity for students to perform for another and have an experience in which they can learn and grow as musicians and as individuals. Quite a number of students are participating, so that’s great. For those choosing not to participate, they’re still working on pieces from the Solo/Ensemble list and will perform them, just not in front of a judge.
For those in 6th grade, we’re currently working on a couple pieces of new music as well as listening to outstanding choirs and discussing them and reviewing musical terminology they have in their current music.
MS/HS Band Department - MRS.COHEN-WICHNER
Here's the link for our band department newsletter for January/February, please add to MS/HS and district newsletter. I will update and add photos for the honor band section after that takes place on the 30th.
Events to add to staff newsletter and announcements coming up:
February 2nd- Music booster fundraiser
February 4th- Pep band @ 4:30
February 17th- Music booster fundraiser
February 18th- District solo/ensemble at Monticello
February 23rd- Music booster fundraiser & Pep band @ 6:30
Albany School District
5-12 Band Director
MS/HS TECHOLOGY EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - MR. BROUGHTON
608-862-3135 ext 2134
MS SCIENCE DEPARTMENT - MR.BAKKEN
5th and 6th grade Science- The students did a great job with their Biome projects in December. To continue with that topic, we are now exploring the different layers of ecology. We are discussing terms like: Community, Population, Habitat, and Niche. The students are also exploring predator and prey relationships. As the students explore these relationships, we can try to understand their impacts within their ecosystem and how humans can manage those.
7th and 8th grade Science- The students have just completed their work on electrical circuits. As a way to apply their knowledge of circuits, the students have been busy creating styrofoam boats powered by an electrical motor. The students had to come up their design and then create a series circuit to power the boat. The creativity and engineering demonstrated by the students was amazing. They made some really awesome boats. I would like to thank Kris Eastwood for donating the rain gutters. We used the gutters to race our boats against each other. The students had a great time and really had fun. We are now starting our unit on Magnetism and the use of electromagnets.
Albany MS/HS Science
(608) 862-3135 Ext. 2203
HS SCIENCE - MRS. RYAN
Biology - Students are working on how photosynthesis affects all living things
Chemistry - Students are learning all of the periodic table trends such as atomic radii, electronegativity, electron affinity, ionic radii, and more.
A&P - Students are learning about the femur, lower leg, and the foot bones
Physical Science - We have started a new lesson on chemical reactions. Students watched as I burned a mixture of sugar and baking soda (Sugar Snake).
MS/HS AGRICULTURE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - MS. RYAN
YEARBOOK - MRS.NIENHAUS
SENIOR PORTRAITS: SENIOR PHOTOS ARE DUE BY DECEMBER 15th. Any Senior that does not have a photo will still be included in the yearbook and their most recent school photo will be used.
Your Senior Portrait submission(s) should include the following:
✓ Digital format
✓ 300 resolution minimum
✓ JPEG file
✓ Color photograph
✓ School appropriate clothing
✓ ONE PHOTO MUST BE A Vertical pose of a head and shoulder shot
(see examples above)
You may submit up to THREE photos, but one must be a vertical, head and shoulder shot for the newspaper, and then up to two additional photos of your choice for the yearbook. If you do not submit more than one photo the Yearbook Club will use the same photo for both the yearbook as well as the newspaper. The Yearbook Club may have to adjust the photo for the newspaper (such as cropping). While we try to avoid making any alterations to the photos, if changes are needed this may alter the quality of the photo.
Senior Photos can be sent to the yearbook adviser in one of the following ways:
*Drop off printed pictures, a CD/Flash drive, etc. to the Albany District Office in an envelope addressed to: Sarah Nienhaus/Yearbook Adviser. Please also include instructions regarding what should be done with the printed pictures/CD/Flashdrive etc. when finished.
BUSINESS ADS AND SENIOR TRIBUTES: Space is available for businesses and parents to give a personal message. Details will be sent out regarding the pricing of these business ad and Senior Tribute spaces.
PHOTOS: If you have any photos from any school games, matches, activities/events, please feel free to share them with us. We would love to have your pictures in the yearbook! You can send photos to Sarah Nienhaus via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can drop off printed pictures, a CD/Flash drive, etc. to the District Office in an envelope addressed to: Sarah Nienhaus/Yearbook Adviser.
LIBRARY - MS. GRANT
WE ARE COMETS!
In partnership with parents and the community, the Albany School District
provides an innovative learning environment that supports a foundation that
prepares students to achieve their individual potential.