Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

Have you been reading Boys in the Boat with your middle-level learner? We hope you've enjoyed hearing about the story. You might want to catch a broadcast THIS Thursday evening, February 23, on American Experience - KTCA-DT (2.1) The Boys of '36 - "A group of working-class boys from the University of Washington, in the United States, surprise a nation when they capture the gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. The true story emphasizes the value of perseverance and hard work to accomplish goals.

Speaking of goals and hard work...we're anticipating some movement during and after spring break resulting from construction progress! Kraus-Anderson will be cutting through our existing building to the new addition from our Student Services offices downstairs and from our Art Rooms upstairs. After spring break, we will have the beginnings of a hallway to the addition on both levels!

This work will make it necessary for our Student Support Services Team to re-locate for 4-6 weeks. When you need to visit with one of our Counselors, our School Psychologist, our Dean of Students or our Social Worker, please rely on the Administrative Assistants in our main office to locate these individuals and help you connect as their phone extensions will not be working during this phase of the construction. Our Counselors, Dean, Psychologist and Social Worker will be rather mobile from March 13 - April 17, temporarily sharing office spaces with administrators and others, as needed.

More good news about goals and hard work at HMS...TEN groups of sixth grade students (38 in all) were selected by a panel at the MN Zoo to present their grizzly bear and snow monkey enrichment projects at the MN Zoo. We are proud of the students for their collaborative work on a real-world problem! You can see many of their ideas during conferences this evening in each house area! Kudos to our students AND sixth grade team for facilitating this experience for our students!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

“There has never been a more important time to teach young people to suspend judgment, weigh evidence, consider multiple perspectives, and speak up with wisdom and grace on behalf of themselves and others.”         -Mary Ehrenworth

What a pleasure to see so many parents and students together during conferences last evening. We look forward to seeing many of you during next Thursday evening's conferences as well! Thank you to the many parents who contributed to a wonderful supper buffet for our teachers! Your kindness and generosity adds joy to a rather long day, provides a few moments of conversation among our dedicated team, and is deeply appreciated!

I've had several "goosebump" moments this week...observing a teacher facilitate a lesson including students categorizing their "thick questions"...visiting with an 8th grader about her creativity...watching sixth grade learners create a video to demonstrate their learning...celebrating the quick reports we can see as a result of online registration with seventh graders...laughing and crying with a parent as we marvel at how quickly these years pass...listening to a staff member share the way they care for their aging parent...noting feedback from students regarding the furniture samples we're trying out for the new learning space addition (and eventually other house areas)...hearing two teachers share what they've learned to help another colleague save time and enjoy the process of much to be thankful many people collaborating to support each other as we learn together!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

Thank you for your immediate and responsive messages in support of reporting unsafe situations to our HMS Team. Together, we can surround our students with care, support, and strategies to help them respond to difficult situations effectively - whether that be teasing, unkindness, disrespectful social media, or illegal substances. We so appreciate your partnership!

Thanks to your voices, our Hudson Police Department is more aware of community areas needing added surveillance and our administrative team continues to investigate reports from students and parents. Together, we can further develop a safer, more positive and inspiring learning community.

Please note our Spring HMS Parent Seminar March 20 with a focus on bullying and social media.
For more information, click on this link.

Our HMS Mission states:
Hudson Middle School learners understand, support and challenge each other to be caring, capable and creative contributors.

Having enjoyed the sixth grade band concert Tuesday evening, an 8th grade basketball game last night, lunch with a group of 8th graders and seventh graders and several classes this week, I am compelled to remind and assure you the vast majority of our middle school students understand, support and challenge each other and contribute in caring, capable and creative ways! We look forward to sharing that with you during conferences.

Our local YMCA is offering an opportunity for 7th - 12th graders to participate in a Model United Nations conference in downtown Minneapolis March 30 - April 1. Please check out the link and contact Christine Reynebeau ( for more information.



Friday, February 3, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

February is I Love to Read Month! Our Hudson Middle School students have been asked to partner with Hudson Prairie to promote reading. Having raised six readers and now enjoying seven "grand-readers," I most certainly have favorite books I've kept for years. However, I've also discovered multiple copies, books in-between developmental levels, and simply too many books piling up on our shelves at home. Let's clean our bookshelves and consider bringing a book to school to give to a Prairie student.  Our cast-aways may be the delight for an elementary reader. We will have a "book collection box" in each House area of the middle school January 30 - February 7. Students in the House collecting the most books will have the opportunity of reading to Hudson Prairie elementary students during the month of February! Happy reading to all this month!

Each House is also collecting box-tops for Education for the next two weeks. Thanks to our HMS Parent Group, this fundraiser generated $453.80 during the most recent collection. It's time to clean out those kitchen drawers where you've been stashing those box-top labels and send them in. The House collecting the most box-top labels wins an ice cream sandwich party!

Once again, we enjoyed an immensely popular Women in STEM event at Hudson Middle School. One of my favorite learning stations was the UWRF Physics Department's electrons demonstrations. The power of magnetic energy and the movement of electrons is fascinating! If you drop a magnet down a PVC pipe and a copper tube, will the magnet move at the same speed? Why or why not?

Please consider helping us find experts! 
Throughout the middle school experience, we ask students to consider particular areas of interest as they learn content, develop skills and consider career possibilities. It is especially beneficial if we can assist students in identifying individuals in our community or through an online communication to offer an expert perspective to their learning as they explore topics and issues.  

Mrs. Conklin's 8th grade science students are working on a year long Passion Project. One of the requirements to be completed during 2nd trimester is to find an expert in their field of study. Please consider helping us identify individuals in our community or beyond who may have an interest or know of someone who has an interest. Please use and share the following link to help us gather potential experts for students to contact. Expert Sign-up

Students have prepared and presented information on a specific topic once. Their next step is to meet with an "expert," share what they've learned so far, seek feedback and collaborate to enhance their learning and presentation during third trimester. Though not a requirement, supportive experts are more than welcome to co-present with the student - whether in person or via live streaming. 

We're seeking experts in the following 8th grade science topics: chemistry, weather, plate tectonics, metric system, human body, disease, earthquakes & volcanoes, oceanography, physical therapy, medicine, robotics, safari animals, nuclear power, black holes, ecosystems and space. Thank you for considering and sharing this opportunity to learn with our 8th grade scientists! 

May this fast and furious month of February be filled with family and fun!