Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

The weather has been wildly misleading; it doesn't feel like winter and it most assuredly doesn't seem possible we're already into second trimester of our 2015-16 learning year! However, our students' work demonstrates progress. Check out the links and information below for marvelous examples of some of our students' learning:

STEM Sisters - 8th grade students advised by Mr. DeLeon
Cool Tool created collaboratively students advised by Ms. Goebel
Science Olympiad - advised by Mr. Anderson and Mr. Vanden Heuvel:
Our Hudson Middle School Science Olympiad Team competed in their first ever competition Saturday, December 5th in Boyceville, WI with 39 Middle school teams from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
The team competed valiantly in 16 different events, achieving FIVE top 10 finishes:
-“Crave the Wave” (Charlie Iverson and Evgenia Roth) achieved a 10thplace finish.
-“Invasive Species” (Isabel Brown and Julia Ginsback) achieved an 8thplace finish.
-“Reach for the Stars” (Julia Ginsback and Emma Akenson) achieved an 8th Place finish.
-“Anatomy and Physiology”(Avery Richardson and MacKenzie Korent) achieved a 7th place finish.
-“Write it do it” (Abby Olson and Lauren Chukel) brought home the 4th place medal.

This week's Green Tip:
Turn off the water while showering and brushing teeth.
Esme and Ella, Sustainability Club, advised by Mrs. Conklin

Beginning in January, we hope to provide our middle families with a quick link to House Communication - a collaborative endeavor between student leaders and teachers! (See the second tab at the top of this blog.) We're looking forward to your feedback when we launch this effort!

We're celebrating the Habits of Mind illustrated by characters in Star Wars and we're looking forward to students finding their own clips and illustrations of these important Habits of Mind! 

A break filled with family, peace, and joy may you have...(in Yoda speak),
Mrs. Ann Mitchell

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

What a lovely time of year! Did you see the beautiful sunrise Tuesday morning? Temperatures in the 40's?! It's the little (and big) things that add joy to our lives...warm and dry feet, the smell of coffee, a visit with a friend, and oncoming traffic on Carmichael stopping to let you make a left turn into the middle school at 7:16 AM.

Our first trimester Progress Reports are available for your review through Family Access. Please DO call us with questions - whether it's about accessing your child's Progress Report OR what the information means. For questions about accessing and navigating Family Access or to request a printed copy, please contact Cheryl in our office:; 715-377-3820, ext. 4022. For questions about your child's learning and grades, please contact your child's Advisor and/or individual teachers.

It's Computer Science Education Week! What better way to celebrate than to announce the addition of Introduction to Computer Science, a new 8th grade elective at Hudson Middle School, beginning with the 2016-17 school year? From a national perspective, the imperative to increase the U.S. talent pool in computer science and software engineering is clear. The projected number of job openings in 2018 for STEM fields will reach 2.8 million, with half of them being for computer specialists. Like many other STEM fields, the current demand and supply are mismatched, as computer science career openings outpace students’ skills and interest. Also, like many other fields, interest starts long before a student decides on a major or even applies to college. Introduction to Computer Science is a PLTW (Project Lead The Way) course designed to be the first computer science course for students interested in learning to write code. Students create apps for mobile devices, explore the impact of computing in society, and learn how computing applies in various career fields.

Our Student News Club just finished their first show! We're aiming for at least one news show monthly, thanks to the able advising of Ms. Liz Stolte! Here's a youtube link to our first news show!

Hudson Middle School is gearing up for Green & Healthy Schools recognition! Thanks to Mrs. Conklin and our Sustainability Group, an application has been initiated. Recognition is provided for schools taking action to reduce environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, increase environmental and sustainability literacy, and empower students. To complete the process, we will be assessing our practices in NINE focus areas: community involvement, energy, environmental and sustainability education, environmental health, health and wellness, recycling and waste management, school site, transportation, and water. We welcome parent and community support in this initiative! Please contact Ann: or Gwen: to offer assistance!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

We hope you've enjoyed time with family, good food, and several moments of gratitude over the past week! One of the many opportunities for which I am grateful includes working with our middle level parent group. Last Monday evening's meeting included a terrific report of fundraising efforts (over $14,000) and positive planning ahead for practical alternatives to raise funds, make healthy choices, and support families in need. So thankful for the optimism, engagement, and compassion of our parents! Our Hudson Middle School Parent Group (HMSPG) Mission:

"The Hudson Middle School Parent Group (HMSPG) provides support and resources to the school and parents for the benefit and educational growth of our children. Through volunteer coordination, organized events, and effective fundraising, we seek to enhance learning, strengthen communication between home and school, and encourage and celebrate and every student’s experience."
Our HMSPG generates funds to enrich the learning experience for students in several ways: supporting Raider Pride events, field trips, and HMS Angel Fund. If you would like to contribute to the HMSPG please consider a monetary donation through Just by clicking here Donate Now.  Thank you so much!
Associate Principal, Mr. Hagerman suggested we initiate a Middle Level Ambassadors group of student leaders. What a terrific idea! Student Ambassadors would be responsible for welcoming guests and visitors to our learning community, helping substitutes find classrooms and resources, and assuring anyone new to our school is welcomed and supported. We're seeking positive, kind, and helpful students to serve in this role. Students interested in applying to serve as an HMS Ambassador can print and complete this application by Friday, December 11.

Each week, I'd like to feature a student whose communication and collaboration inspires me. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to observe a group of 8th grade students in Mrs. Conklin's Science class. They had completed an assessment and were preparing to teach each other concepts. When I asked a student about the value in this approach, I was impressed by his response.
"I have learned a lot more than I thought I would. While I am doing the questions, I don't really think about it, I just answer them. But, when I was told to teach other students, I ended up having to slow down and think a lot more about the problems. Because of this, I feel that I learned more from teaching. I think that it is also very helpful for the students that are being taught. I think that it's sometimes easier for students to learn from somebody the same age as them."
                                                                                                       -Eliot Hester; 8th Grade Nobles

Another impressive moment from Eliot was after the bell rang and students began heading to their next class. Eliot paused, turned to Mrs. Conklin and said, "Thank you, Mrs. Conklin." Thank YOU, Eliot, for your leadership and positive attitude!

Mrs. Ann Mitchell

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

Several of you have responded (in person, through e-mail or by a comment) to the post two weeks ago with a focus on family meals. One of our Family & Consumer Science teachers brought to my attention
National FCS "Dining In" Day is December 3rd. Mrs. Gangnon asked, "Wouldn't it be great if we could sign up Hudson Middle School in making the commitment to "Dine In" with our families Thursday, December 3rd?" We could ask for family photos (kind of like the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving photo) to share on our Facebook link and Twitter account!

My calendar shows a 7-12 Orchestra concert at 7 that evening and  Packer game at 7:30. Whether your child is in orchestra, you are an avid Packer fan, or you prefer to follow a different football team, let's give this idea a try!
Here are a couple of links for support and ideas:
#fcsday #healthyfamilyselfie
Dine In With Us!

A few more ideas for supporting our students in cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude:
* Think and talk about what others DO - why did they do it? what did it "cost" (in terms of time and energy)? and how did it benefit the recipient (and others)?
* Use a gratitude journal - I've seen several versions online. A study of middle school students (2008) noted those who regularly wrote about what they were thankful for reported greater optimism and a more positive outlook on their school experience!
* Write thank you notes - to a teacher, a coach, a bus driver, a neighbor, a grandparent, a friend to let them know you appreciate their support and guidance, advice and encouragement
* Model all of the above - my mother was insistent that we write thank you's to any person who gave a gift, spent time with us, shared a meal, or invited us to a special event. Her example lives on; I receive the most delightful thank you notes from my grandchildren!

Thankful for the opportunity to work with your middle-level learner with this marvelous team!
Mrs. Ann Mitchell

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dear Families in-the-Middle,

No longer just a "soft skill," gratitude can lead to higher grades and life satisfaction among students. According to The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Fullerton, emerging research points to gratitude as a potential bridge between students' academic and social well-being. Studies show grateful youth have higher GPAs, experience more positive emotions, and ultimately, go on to live more meaningful lives. In addition, gratitude among middle school students can foster an increased sense of hope and trust in others and fuel a desire to give back to their community. According to one of the researchers, the middle level years (ages 10-14) are critical in terms of moving from egocentric thinking to developing empathy for others (Education Update, ASCD, November 2013).

Gratitude has been defined as:
Affirming there are good things in the world--gifts and benefits we've received - and recognizing these sources of goodness come from outside ourselves. 
Having shared the benefits of a strong sense of gratitude in this week's post, next week's Middle Musings blog post will provide tips for cultivating gratitude.

During our Veteran's Day ceremony, we were reminded of the service, sacrifice and courage many generously give in an effort to bring about world peace. John F. Kennedy posited, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." To give the highest honor to our veterans and to re-dedicate the day to world peace, I challenged each of us to (students and staff) to take three actions:

  • respectfully regard each other; we don’t know each person’s story - the struggles they’ve experienced in their lives, and the burdens they carry; make eye contact, address the person with their name, and take time to listen to each other
  • pledge yourselves to a courageous quest for justice. (reference 7th grade LA projects) What does justice look like here in our Middle Learning Community? What do you do to assure every student is invited to speak during class? How often do you reach out and sit near someone different during lunch? What support have you offered another student to help them learn?
  • DO SOMETHING to show appreciation to and for others - write a note to a teacher who has taught you to speak up on behalf of others; talk to your parents about the example of care they’ve set for you as you watch them help others; thank someone for something you often take for granted - a meal, a bus ride, a ride home from practice.

With gratitude for our veterans and all who contributed to honoring them today, 
Mrs. Ann Mitchell

P.S. There were a couple of requests for the YouTube videos shared during an 8th grade health class.
The Time You Have (in Jelly Beans)
The Dash
Thank you, Mrs. Dahl, for sharing these with our Middle Families. The messages remind us of the importance of the choices we make each DAY and the value of each day.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

November seems to have arrived early this year - given the days upon days of beautiful weather we've enjoyed through the summer and early autumn! For our family, November is a time to rekindle an attitude of gratitude in our hearts. Now nearly empty-nesters, our conversations with our children are less frequent, opportunities to play games together are a treat, and family meals are a treasured and anticipated event. If my children were to read this post, they might ask themselves...what's different?

Like many families, our lives are intensely scheduled and "down time" practically non-existent. One of the healthy habits I tried to renew every autumn was family meals. We didn't always succeed, and I was usually better about breakfast than supper. If you're struggling like we did, here's a few suggestions:
* Schedule family meals ahead of time and post those dates on a shared family calendar
* Turn off the gadgets and devices - make the dinner table an internet "cold spot"
* Think of mealtime as the Family News Hour and take turns sharing your news, the best part of the day, or something for which you are grateful
* Include everyone in meal planning and preparation; it's a family meal - not a family restaurant.
* Practice listening to each other, asking questions, and not interrupting.

Reflecting on fostering my own attitude of gratitude, I am thankful for...
Kindness from others - kind words, supportive actions, and encouragement
Hard-working, dedicated, and caring co-workers in-the-middle of challenges and changes
Family - those who love us despite our flaws, foibles, and limitations

Happy November!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dear Families in-the-middle,

Our Fall Parent Seminar Tuesday evening, October 27, provided several tips for parents. A few participants suggested we consider sharing information for all of our families. We offered three sessions - the three most requested in the survey sent out to all families earlier this month.

Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying - How do we tell the difference?
Anxiety - Strategies to help your child cope
Social Media & Electronic Devices - What is a parent's role?

A question raised during one of the sessions was, "How can we help our child respond effectively to rudeness and meanness?" We're so glad you asked! These are a few questions, statements, and actions your son or daughter might use when faced with unkind words and actions:

* Do you really believe that?
* Why would you say/ask that?
* That sounds like an opinion and I don't think I agree.
* That's not my view.
* Make eye-contact, use an I-statement, and be sincere: "I'm not sure why you're saying those things. They're hurtful."
* Walk away.
* Tell an adult.

Students taking a stand in the face of unkind words and actions serve as role models for the rest of us. In most cases, the negative words and actions diminish when these responses are used in a sincere and direct manner. Most importantly, students taking a sincere and courageous approach speak volumes about the most effective and dignified way to respond to others. Thank you for the example you are for your son or daughter.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Ann Mitchell


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

We are seeking feedback from our families about communication here in the middle.
Please take 3 minutes to complete the Google Survey to let us know your preferences and to offer specific suggestions for improving our communication. Your feedback will help our team determine next steps to improve our communication. Thank you!

The drive to my daughter's campus this past Sunday was breath-taking! No matter how many autumns I experience, I am still in awe of the beautiful colors and aromas of this season. Second only to spring in my preferred seasons of change, I marvel at the changes that occur as a result of less daylight, cooler temperatures, and changing soil conditions. Similarly, serving as principal in-the-middle, I marvel at the changes that occur over three a result of innovative teachers, kind and collaborative peers, and supportive and challenging teams (students and adults). The result is a bit like driving down I94 near Knapp...SPECTACULAR!

A few red maples, golden oaks, and bright yellow birch trees...
The Lego League - 15 students initiating a cell phone recycling program, advised by Ms. Bray
Mrs. Bee's 8th grade students - learning in a "personalized" approach
Ms. Mueller's Health students - teaching HER how to use Google Classroom
Mr. Chukel's Math students - tracking their progress and self-assessing in math
Mrs. Root's Band students - clarifying what it means to be prepared for collaboration in band

Our first Student Council planned Dance of the year is scheduled for Friday, October 30, 6 - 8 PM. Please plan to come in to the multi-purpose room / gymnasium / cafeteria if you pick your child up before 8 PM.  $5 admission - $4 for students bringing a Food Shelf item for the Stuff-a-Truck Kickoff! Items will be credited to grade-levels and houses; Stuff-a-Truck runs through the 13th.Snacks/Refreshments will be sold in the cafeteria during the dance. Please assure your student follows our school dress code (no hats, face-paint, or masks); however, dressing up in their favorite Halloween costume is encouraged! 

Stay tuned for more highlights and bright spots in this colorful array of learning here in the middle!

In awe,
Mrs. Ann Mitchell

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dear Middle Musing Mom's and Dad's,

We eagerly anticipate conversations with you about your son's / daughter's learning. Please take time to schedule a visit with your child's Advisor. House teams have worked closely to share information, strengths, struggles, and specifics to support each student's learning progress. If you can, please take time to also visit with "traveling teachers" your student may have throughout the day. These teachers are available in our Media Center both evenings - October 15 and 22. Exploratories and Electives (World Language, Family & Consumer Science, Tech. Ed., Art, Music, Computer / Business) will be located in their respective classrooms. Your student can guide you to those locations.

Special message from our Student Lego Robotic League (Advisor - Ms. Jodie Bray):
Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s),

As you know, we have Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences Thursdays, October 15 and 22. There will be a box that you can recycle your cell phones. If you have unwanted cell phones, you can bring them to conferences and put them in our recycle box. These recycling boxes will also be available throughout the year. The cell phones will be donated to the Robotic Raiders. We will then donate the cell phones to the Minnesota Zoo Recycle For Rain Forests program where they will safely extract the minerals and metals instead of people in third world countries having to unsafely collect the precious minerals. If you want to learn more, please click this link.

Thank you,
Elina, Eleanor and the Lego Robotic Club

Our first Parent Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27 (6:30 - 8 PM). Parents can choose TWO of three topics to learn more:
Anxiety: Strategies to help your child cope
Bullying vs. Rude vs. Mean: Helping your child understand the difference
Social Media & Electronic Devices: What is a parent's role?

Please share your questions and suggestions with us!

Happy autumn!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dear Middle Musers,

This beautiful weekend, my mother and I had the opportunity to join my youngest daughter for a Friends and Family event this past weekend on campus at St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, Minnesota. During one of the learning experiences, information was shared from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. According to the survey data collected (2014) these are the top four Skills and Qualities Employers Want:
1, Ability to work in a team structure
2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
4. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
We heard from a few alum who are beginning their careers and they echoed the priorities as they described their journey and what they've found MOST helpful in work and in life.

Some of you may be hearing about different teaching and learning experiences from your middle-level student.  You might read or hear about inquiry, project-based learning, and/or personalized learning. Each of these approaches honors what the student brings to the learning experience. In an age of quick access to information, teachers are no longer the holder and deliverer of information. Rather, they are provokers of thinking, guides for exploring new territory, and coaches while we practice with others. We are fortunate to have a strong and positive team of educators stretching themselves, thinking outside the box, and applying their learning to help students develop skills in collaboration, planning, problem-solving, and communicating. When we make changes, this sometimes frustrates students (and us!) as we struggle to get our footing, sometimes make mistakes, and invest more time and energy in learning new skills instead of doing what we've always done.

Please share your concerns and questions with us. More importantly, encourage your student to do the same. No voice is more critical in this educational journey and learning community than that of our students'. Recently, two students shared with me and with their teacher three suggestions for improving the learning experience. Another four students shared thoughts about our focus on school-wide collaboration skills with our administrative team during our twice-monthly Student Advisors to the Administrator meetings. Those suggestions mean an improved experience for each of those students, their classmates, and every student for years to come.

Thank you for your encouragement, for your positive attitude, and for your patience as we work together to help your child become a confident communicator, problem-solver and team player.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dear Middle Level Families,

It was a treat to meet at least twenty of you during Monday evening's first Parent Group meeting of the school year. Though High School soccer and Packer games are not an ideal evening for a meeting, we so appreciate many taking time to network, share ideas, and ask questions to help us continue to improve our communication and focus our efforts to support your child's learning!
Please use this LINK to review highlights / information shared with the group Monday evening.

In anticipation of a Parent Seminar scheduled for late October, we would appreciate knowing the topics of interest to our parents. Please take a few minutes to share your preferences using this Google Survey. Thanks to Chelsea Bellville, our School Social Worker, for pulling this tool together for us to gather family input and plan for a meaningful evening of learning.

Enjoy these sunny and crisp cool evenings!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dear Hudson Middle Families,

Today your middle school student will be thinking, learning and setting goals - a personal goal, an academic goal, and a collaboration goal. Please take time to share your personal experiences in setting goals, steps you took to reach those goals, setbacks, failures, and successes. Ask your student about the goals they've set and help them identify people who can help them reach those goals. For inspiration, enjoy this clip: (Thanks, Ms. Elliott!)   Pursuit of Happiness Video Clip 

Our entire Middle School Learning Community is focusing on developing and strengthening our collaboration skills this year. Here's a link to the Collaboration Rubric we will be using in EVERY curricular area to support students reflecting on their current habits and focusing on next steps as they become strong and positive collaborators. We encourage you to use the language of collaboration at home as you remind your son or daughter to listen for understanding, consider another point of view, and respectfully offer their perspective.

We are particularly grateful for the work of a collaborative team of adults here at the middle school who have put together what we hope will be an inspiring day for students and staff. Ms. Elliott, our Instructional Coach, our SMART Goal Team (Mr. Deleon, Ms. Benjamin, Ms. Hackbarth, Mrs. Ellstrom, Mr. Wickstrom, Mr. Yell, Mrs. Bendlin, Ms. Watters, Mrs. Heier, Mrs. Luedtke, Ms. Halstad, Ms. Cummings, Mr. Hagerman, Mrs. Rehmus), our Tech Integration Coach, Mrs. Dressel have combined efforts and the result is uplifting and encouraging! Another team- Mrs. Gagnon, Ms. Johnson (Nutrition Services), and several Fuel Up To Play 60 student leaders have added a healthy component to the process and we're excited to be part of the results at the end of the school day!

As you review the Collaboration Rubric, you'll note how transferable and applicable these skills are to ALL of life. In fact, I am reminded of the importance of these skills in problem-solving. For example, when your child shares a frustration with you about an experience (an unkind student, an impatient teacher, a sarcastic bus driver, or a disrespectful encounter), these are the steps we want to encourage our children to take in solving the problem and strengthening the community:
1) Presume Positive Intention - oftentimes the person may be hurting about something else or may be frustrated by something in their own lives.
2) Talk to another supportive adult about the situation; work with the supportive adult to develop a message to share with the other person (student, teacher, bus driver, etc.)
3) Deliver the message with respectful courage (ask the supportive adult to accompany you and / or share your message in a written letter)

Taking these three very important steps conveys to the other person you care about them, you expect more from them, and you trust things will change. These steps also strengthen your child's ability to resolve difficulties in the future to develop strong and positive relationships, and gives the other person the opportunity to ask forgiveness and make changes. I have a very small sign in my office that reads: Prepare the child for the path--not the path for the child. Collaboration takes courage, patience, and compassion for the other. When we empower our children to be thoughtful and courageous in the face of difficulty, our entire learning community becomes stronger and more positive.

Most sincerely,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dear Middle School Families,

We were thrilled (and somewhat unprepared for) 97 participants in our Chromebook Orientation evening. Many thanks to Nancy Dressel, Nancy Toll, Jenna Eckholm and our student helpers for the interactive learning experience in our classroom learning lab. Thanks to your feedback, we will be providing future opportunities for questions about technology, Chromebooks, Google Apps and other learning tools our students often understand more fully than we (parents and teachers) do. Please consider joining your Parent Group Monday evening, September 28 at 6:30 in our Media Center. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more!

Spectacular weather has meant more time outdoors for our students, whether measuring for a school garden improvement, playing soccer during physical education or enjoying a recess break after lunch. Unfortunately, the heavy rains today (Thursday) resulted in a few leaks in our gymnasium, art rooms, office, and tech ed classroom. If you happened to be in our learning community, you may have observed the flexibility and optimism, sharing of space, and patience of this amazing community of learners. I continue to be impressed by the spirit and enthusiasm of this team.

Speaking of enthusiasm, one of our students e-mailed me about a terrific idea, demonstrating applying her learning to a real-life problem-solving venture. Stay tuned for more information about electronics and repairs. And KUDOS to so many families for responding to the invitation to share photos of your son or daughter spreading hope through good deeds this past week. Check out Facebook for photos and ideas for our next challenge!

It's so good to be in-the-middle!
Mrs. Ann Mitchell

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dear Hudson Middle Families,

Fabulous spirit has returned to the building with the arrival of our students this morning! I am enjoying meeting several sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students and getting re-acquainted with several Houlton alum who are now in 7th and 8th grade!

One of my goals was to visit every classroom before Friday. It's mid-day Tuesday and I'm half-way to my goal! Along the way I've met some wonderful people and I'm learning so many interesting things about our students! I just left a classroom where the teacher was practicing saying each student's name accurately. In the midst of her attempts, a student responded, "You did it! Good job!" That's the kind of response we need to hear OFTEN as we take risks, make mistakes, and learn from each other.

Such a small world we live in...I also just learned Ms. Engstrom Yde (our Gifted & Talented Resource Coach) is the daughter of someone who used to babysit me! Sarah's Grandmother was one of our family's FAVORITE people in the world. She had an amazing garden and worked as a nurse in the Somerset School District. Discovering connections like these brings added joy to our work, doesn't it?

At the end of the day, these are the messages I plan to share with students and staff. Please consider sharing your thoughts with your middle-level learner as they anticipate their second day of the year tomorrow:
1) Walk with you head held high and make eye contact with others in the hallways (advice from one of my older children to a younger sibling)
2) Ask at least three questions every day (it shows you care about learning and people)
3) Thank your teachers for the time and energy and care they give to their work

We've started a terrific year today! Here's a question to ponder (and please post a response!):

What do people do to help you feel at ease?

Mrs. Ann Mitchell

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dear Families in the Middle,

Between summer and fall, elementary school and high school, childhood and adulthood...that's where we are and that's exactly where we want to be! I have had the tremendous pleasure of chatting with nearly EVERY staff member at Hudson Middle School. As I reflect on those conversations, I find myself quite grateful for the opportunity to serve in this learning community.

Our Middle Level Staff share at least these characteristics:
* We care deeply about our students.
* We enjoy what we do and want to keep doing it better.
* We yearn for more connections with each other.
What a marvelous network of support we have here in the middle!

Registration Days and visits with students and families are feeding our spirits as we anticipate the beginning of another year of learning. These three years pass so quickly and yet hold such potential for developing thoughtfulness and leadership with our students.

Please consider taking some time to provide input regarding our After School Program (click on the link to complete a survey).

With eager anticipation,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dear Hudson Middle Musers,

Welcome to our Middle Musings blog - a place to ponder ideas and possibilities and thoughtfully pose questions and reflections on living and learning "in the middle." In my experience, life is full of "middles" - that place between first and last, early and late, right and left, and black and white. We become more aware of how very important "the middle" is in life when we take time to consider opposing viewpoints. We also discover a variety of ways to describe a situation, frame a dilemma, and solve a problem by "living in the middle."

An ardent believer in the potential of middle level learners to be marvelous musers (deep thinkers), I eagerly await their arrival at Hudson Middle School! I've already had the pleasure of meeting several during our summer school programs and look forward to getting to know many more as families come to the middle school for swimming lessons, community events and activities. We're counting on seeing everyone some time between 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM during our Registration Days:

Monday, August 10 - 8th grade
Tuesday, August 11 - 7th grade
Wednesday, August 12 - 6th grade

Our Hudson Administrative Retreat is scheduled for August 10-11, limiting some of our (Mrs. Franklin, Mr. Hagerman, Mrs. Schofield and Mrs. Mitchell) availability on those days to 4 - 6:00 PM.  However, we're joyfully anticipating the entire sixth grade registration day August 12! Ms. Goebel, our sixth graders' counselor, and Mr. Hagerman, Mrs. Franklin and I have a couple of student leadership opportunities we're eager to initiate with our incoming sixth grade students!

Special note for our sixth grade families:  your student is welcome to bring school supplies to Registration Day. Lockers will be assigned and they will be able to practice using their lock. Though our teaching staff will not be present, students and parents are encouraged to walk around to become more familiar with the school! If your student is in band and/or orchestra, schedules will not show a specific time; those details are worked out during the first few days of school. Our sixth grade teaching team has also planned a special orientation schedule the first couple of days of school to support students’ transition. The day includes assistance with lockers, reading schedules, lunch and bus procedures, meeting staff, and finding classroom locations.  

Hoping you’re making magnificent memories this summer...

Our first Middle Musing question:

What helps you (students and parents) pause and think deeply about something?

Please respond with a comment to our blog!

Mrs. Ann Mitchell