Dear 8th Grade Families,

I would like to begin by congratulating our 8th graders who placed in the Science Olympiad on February 3: Nicole Keim and Sarah Kim placed 2nd in Duct Tape Challenge; Oscar Schacht placed 5th in Road Scholar and 8th in Ping Pong Parachute; and Tariq Firozvi and Max Idler placed 6th in Thermodynamics. I would also like to congratulate our 8th graders who won awards at the Junior Women’s Club of Raleigh 2018 Student Arts Festival: Rachel Mason placed 1st for Pen and Ink and 3rd for Graphics; Eric Belcea placed 1st for Graphics and 2nd for Pen and Ink; Olivia Barefoot placed 2nd for Graphics, 2nd for Watercolor Design, and 3rd for Watercolor Design; and Brandon Sisson placed 3rd for Watercolor Design. I think it is safe to say we have a talented group of students this year. Well done, Ravens!

While I know everyone is ready for a restful winter break, we have several opportunities to look forward to when we return.

Eric Belcea’s Scratchboard Design

On Thursday, March 1, Scott Reintgen, author of Nyxia and a local English/creative writing teacher, will visit with Ravenscroft Middle School students. Nyxia is the first book in a planned YA trilogy, about nine teens who must compete in a high-stakes game to win a fortune while fulfilling an interstellar space contract. “Fans of Hunger Games and the Maze Runner series will enjoy this series opener.” – School Library Journal. We read the first chapter of Nyxia in language arts. Some copies of the book will be available for purchase the day of Scott’s visit. Pre-order forms are due today, so please call or email me if your child wanted a copy and forgot the form!

The next 8th grade pizza lunch and dress down day will take place on Friday, March 2. Parents are invited to participate by supplying fruit, veggies and dessert, and/or by helping to set up, serve and clean up. Please see the Sign Up Genius for volunteer options. The school supplies the following types of pizza: cheese, pepperoni, gluten free and non-dairy/vegan. If your child has an allergy or dietary restriction that requires a different accommodation, please notify Michelle O’Donnell or Julie McGinnis.

Our next 8th grade service opportunity is on Tuesday, March 13 from 12:05 – 3:30. We will be taking students to various locations around Raleigh including the Food Bank, InterFaith Food Shuttle, and Elmcroft.

All middle school families are invited to a Community Conversation on Tuesday, March 13 from 4:30 – 5:30 in the Dining Hall. The topic is “Let’s Talk About Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Prevention.” RSVP and let us know if you are able to attend!

On Wednesday, March 14 (Pi Day), the Middle School Math Department will host our annual Ravens Math Competition. Teams of four will stretch their brains and muscles as they ponder the answers to mathematical questions while racing around the gym. It is an energetic, fun-filled, educational activity, and we need about 50 (or more!) parent volunteers to help set up, organize, score and clean up the event. If you are available to help from 11:45 – 1:45, please send an email to Erin Altshuler by Friday, March 2.

CTP IV testing will take place Wednesday, March 14 through Tuesday, March 20. If at all possible, try to avoid planning appointments for your child during the mornings of this week. Also, it is important for students to get an adequate amount of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. More specific information related to these tests will be shared after break.

Finally, our Ravens in Action Forum will take place on Friday, March 30. At this point in the project, students should be completing service related to their topics. The Forum presentation requires students to tweak their research presentation (from December) in order to include information on how they served the community and what they learned from their service. Students are also expected to have a visual for the Forum, and that visual should include pictures/artifacts/etc. from their service. Mr. Phillips has several tri-fold posters that students can recycle and use for their presentations; we’d like as little amount of paper waste as possible. Please contact Tim Phillips if you have additional questions.



Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, February 19 – Friday, February 23: Winter Break
  • Monday, February 26: Spring Sports Tryouts
  • Thursday, March 1: Visiting Author Scott Reintgen
  • Friday, March 2: 8th Grade Dress Down & Pizza Lunch
  • Monday, March 5: Battle of the Books District Competition
  • Wednesday, March 7: Middle School Ensembles Concert, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Tuesday, March 13: 8th Grade Service Learning
  • Tuesday, March 13: Middle School Community Conversation, 4:30-5:30 pm  
  • Wednesday, March 14 – Tuesday, March 20: CTP IV Testing
  • Wednesday, March 14: Middle School Pi Day Celebration (students should wear sneakers; dress down day)
  • Friday, March 30: Ravens in Action Forum

Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful break!

Sarah Baker

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