Letter from Levin – week of March 27th

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

Great to see so many of you at Parent Conferences. Particularly heartening was the pilot work in student-led conferences. The grade teams asked students to reflect on their work in courses before the conferences, and then to talk through that work with a parent/guardian and teacher. Many adults told me that they found it rewarding to hear more than general comments about a student’s performance, and to hear more about the student’s struggles, successes and hopes for the semester.  

Generally, students looked forward to these meetings, as a means of giving insight into how things were going. Occasionally, the student was not as enthusiastic, and in a few rare cases, skipped the meeting. One parent coined these ‘student fled conferences,’ which I found extremely amusing. 

The idea that we must teach students to learn to explain, to advocate, and to be thoughtful about their own learning is essential to our work as a 6-12th school. When our first class graduates, they need not just the academic skills, but the ability to speak up and speak out. Some of our 10th graders got practice doing that today at the college fair with Ms. Schaffzin as they negotiated the room, speaking with a wide variety of reps. 

It’s a big week this week of activities. Monday is the induction for National Junior Honor Society for middle grades. Our Honor Society will elect its first members soon from the qualifying pool of 10th graders. 

Tues-Thursday is the NYS ELA Exam for grades 6-8th grade. These middle school exams in ELA and Math are followed in high school by the Regents, content exams. At Clinton, students are expected to complete the 5 Regents courses by the end of the 10th grade, clearing room for the IB in 11th and 12th. 42 of our middle schoolers are currently taking Algebra, getting a jump on their requirements. 

I’m not a huge believer in test prep, but your child is well-prepared for ELA and for the Math Exam that will come later in the year. Teachers have reviewed the structure of the exam, and we do some work on constructed response (short answer), essay, vocabulary and voice, that have paid-off well every year for the past 6.  

Tuesday night is Clinton’s night at the Whitney. Between the Biennial and some student docents, it should be a great time. The Whitney evening is part of our partnership, and fully funded by your donations. 

Lastly, the first upper grades dance is Friday. Students voted on the theme, and since Under the Sea and Masquerade tied, it is a combo event. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

Warmly, 

Jon

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Important dates- (always see theclintonschool.net for latest dates/times)
 

March 27th- B Day- NJHS Induction

March 28th- C Day- Whitney Night, ELA Exam Grades 6th-8th 

March 29th- D Day. ELA Exam Grades 6th-8th 

March 30th- E Day- ELA Exam Grades 6th-8th 

March 31st- A Day- Upper Grades Dance

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