10/17 - 10/24

October 17th - October 24th

Red Ribbon Week kicks off at Dogwood
It’s October and that brings about Red Ribbon Weeks across the district. Dogwood kicked off the dress day season with: Crazy Sock Day, Sports Day, Mismatched Day, Future Career Day, and Red Day. 
In addition to Red Ribbon Week, they also hosted the Fire Clowns.

Total Makeover Cafeteria Edition
Thanks to Kristina Garner, a wonderful community volunteer and Aaron Law, GMSD’s foreman, the cafeterias at both Farmington and Dogwood have been transformed into “Cool Cafs”.
HMS and HHS students returned from the break to some delicious, freshly prepared pizza, and HHS to find a taco stand. Students across the district anxiously anticipate the menu changeover that will occur on November 1st. Check out this article detailing more about the changes, here.  Or, visit Aramark’s GMSD website, here.
Houston High School Defeats Immaculate Conception in First Round of Knowledge Bowl
Each News Channel 3 Knowledge Bowl Season rings with excitement as highly-motivated high achievers face off in an academic quiz-fest which annually offers the biggest scholarships of any high school quiz contest in the nation.
The News Channel 3 Knowledge Bowl premieres each October. In a Jeopardy-like setting, Knowledge Bowl host Jim Jaggers moves between two teams of four players each. Jim tosses out a mixture of curriculum-based and everyday life trivia questions about science, literature, history, math, geography, music, art, and current events.
On Monday, October 19th, our very own HHS team faced off against IC and took home the prize. The victory will be aired this Saturday, October 31st on News Channel 3. Then, the team advances to the second round where they will compete against First Assembly Christian School on January 7th.
According to HHS Principal Kyle Cherry, the team this year is slated to be a phenom. “Our team is the defending champion from last year.” He believes, that there isn’t one standout member that carries the team, “It’s a total team effort,” he says.
Ben Leonard in the Public Eye as One of Germantown’s Future Leaders
Ben Leonard, an amazing senior at HHS, had a banner week. First, featured on ABC News 24’s Local Cool Kid, Leonard caught some media attention for his Honors Academy Capstone Project in which he worked with the middle school to organize and oversee a STEM camp. Leonard was subsequently also featured as one of the Commercial Appeal’s Academic All-Stars. Finally, Leonard was featured as the Student Spotlight on our monthly GMSD television show, Spotlight Excellence (which airs in early November). Leonard is an inspiration to his peers and GMSD is excited to see what he accomplishes in the future.
Random Acts of Cake Kindness Strikes Again
Pictured here, HMS Principal Liz Dias serves up a cake to a very deserving school volunteer. Mr. Allen is a dedicated parent who recently braved NYC with 17 of the HMS students. A special thanks to Alderman Mary Anne Gibson for baking the cake.
Girls Volleyball Competes For State Title
Houston High Girls Volleyball traveled to Murfreesboro to battle it out with the finest teams in the state last week. They fought hard, succumbing finally to Farragut in five sets at 15-13. An excellently executed game, the girls finished the state tournament in 4th place overall. GMSD could not be prouder of the work of their coach, Becky Pendleton, and all of the girls who have played a wonderful season.
Peyton Schutt of Riverdale takes 3rd Prize at MidSouth Fair
Peyton Schutt, 7th grade, placed 3rd in the Midsouth Fair Art Contest.
His piece was selected out of 400 pieces of art. His art teacher is
Melissa Cychowski. Congratulations Peyton!
3-D Walkthrough of Riverdale Expansion Revealed, Math Curriculum Explained at Board Work Session
It was an exciting evening as Stewart Smith of A2H Architecture released some glimpses of the Riverdale Expansion to the Board and the public in the HHS Circulation Library. After a 3-D walkthrough of the building, Superintendent Manuel distributed blueprints and renderings to the crowd who were invited to ask questions and talk with the architect. View pictures here. Click here for the CA’s coverage of the event.  Or, click here to watch Fox News 13’s coverage of the event.
Check back soon, as we are uploading video from the work session soon. We will be doing a follow up feature to accompany the updates on the math curriculum.
Germantown Residents Go to the Mat to Raise Money for Schools
The first ever, Yoga On The Field event went off without a hitch. Benefitting the Germantown Education Foundation, which gives back all of its proceeds to GMSD schools, the turf field saw 100+ participants. The Commercial Appeal provided excellent coverage of the event, seen here.
Antonio Scott Receives Keeper of the Dream Award
Meanwhile, in a giant assembly at the Temple of Deliverance in Memphis, Mid-southerners gathered for a Public Forum in association with the annual National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards. The public forum boasted quite a roster of attendees, including Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates and Ava DuVernay (barrier breaking writer/director of the award winning film “Selma”. The Public Forum is free to students and is heavily attended.
Twenty-nine Riverdale students attended the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards Public Forum. This year’s theme was “Come Too Far to Turn Back Now” and it honored individuals who have dedicated their lives to equality and truth. This exciting field trip was sponsored by Karri Larose,  Kathleen Fisher, Stacy Stevens, and Jackie McClinton.
The main purpose of the Forum is to provide a venue to announce and salute the year’s Keeper of the Dream Awards. Three students in the Mid-south are given this award each year. Students receiving the award are chosen for their leadership and philanthropy in their communities. This year, Houston High School student Antonio Scott was one of the recipients.
Antonio Scott is the class president, and in fact the president of many organizations. Scott believes, however, it was his work with the Mid South Food Bank that caught the attention of National Civil Rights Museum. His campaign, Houston vs. Hunger, is very successful and continues to inspire peers to fight against hunger in the greater Memphis area. Friday, tune in to watch Antonio Scott on ABC News 24 at noon or six o’clock. He will be featured as their “Local Cool Kid”. Antonio will also be featured as GMSD’s Student Spotlight in November.

Spotlight on Excellence: The Math Files
The District’s monthly television show, filmed and produced in the state-of-the-art HHS television studio, is undergoing a format overhaul. The show will now feature one exemplary student in the “Student Spotlight, one above par teacher in the “Teacher Feature”, and highlight one program in the district.
The next installment will air in early November and will feature HHS student Ben Leonard in a discussion of STEM programming, Farmington Elementary third grade teacher Ashley Rotenberry on the merits of the Eureka Math series, and an examination of the changes in the mathematics curriculum with GMSD Director of Academics, Teresa Price. If you have any suggestions for future Student Spotlights, Teacher Features, or Programs, please email Kate Crowder.  Check out previous shows here.

Timely for the Season, Riverdale is treated to Dark Storyteller
A best-selling author who specializes in the retelling of fairy tales has published several works on the topic: A Tale Dark and Grimm, In a Glass Grimmly, and The Grimm Conclusion. Based out of Brooklyn, NY, the engaging author stopped by Riverdale Elementary to perform, sign books, eat lunch with top readers, and conduct a writing workshop with 5th-8th graders.  Read the full story here.
Houston Middle ushers in a new class of Jr. Beta Inductees
Fourth annual Haunted Houston scares, delights
An ominous camping scene led visitors into a zombie mill, a terrifying hospital full of wounded students, and several other gruesome locales. For the students who preferred things on the lighter side, carnival style games and inflatables provided hours of amusement. Concessions and dinner coupled with entertainment from Wayne Luellen’s rock band, Monster Shindig rounded off the perfect evening for families. The PTA also organized a silent auction complete with Disney World tickets.
Into the Woods Jr. closes and demonstrates the demand for future fall productions at Riverdale
Traditionally, Riverdale has offered a spring musical, but this year due to the addition of new, dedicated teacher sponsor, Melanie Moss and a yearlong commitment from local director and actress Lynden Lewis the school plans to offer both a spring and a fall musical. It’s yet to be announced or official, but the rumor is that they will tackle the musical Oklahoma! in the spring. Stay tuned for audition and ticket information! Our staff recently sat down for a Q and A with the director, Lynden Lewis about their hit fall musical, Into the Woods Jr.   Click here to read the interview.

Houston High School sends STEM students to citywide competition
With titles of the events like “MLGW’s A-Blazing Race, and “Transportation Challenge” our students were excited to attend last week’s STEM Career Accelerator Day. Otherwise known as #STEMCAD2015, the competition is part of a national campaign and series of concurrent events hosted annually in October that aims to address the significant shortfall of qualified talent in the fields of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States and globally by connecting students to opportunities for career-focused experiential learning and access to STEM professionals. See more by clicking here
GMSD Elementary and Middle School Students Storm the State Cross Country Championships
Over the weekend, Germantown was well represented in the State Cross Country Race in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Houston Middle School Girls Cross Country team and both the Girls and Boys Falcon 5K running teams from Farmington Elementary School qualified for the competition in the regionals and made the road trip. The Houston Middle School Girls took first place—a huge victory for the school and the team. The Girls Falcon 5K team took 6th place and the Boys Falcon 5K team took 4th place. Congratulations to our super speedy students and their dedicated coaches and teacher sponsors.
On the Radar
Do you have a rock star colleague/teacher in the field of Math or Science? Nominate them to win $10,000.
Nominate Outstanding Math or Science Teacher Audience: All Stakeholders The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teacher program is now accepting nominations and applications for the 2015-16 cycle. National winners receive recognition from the President and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Talented elementary teachers (K-6) may be nominated at www.paemst.org by the April 1, 2016 deadline.  For questions or additional information, contact Charlotte Woehler.

Weigh in on the NEW K-12 Tennessee Reading and Math Standards—limited time only!
The Tennessee State Board of Education has released their newly revised standards for math and English language arts for grades K-12, and is requesting public opinion on the matter. The state is asking that you take time to review these standards and give your feedback. They would like to receive input from parents, educators, and other community members, so please share this information. Read more by clicking here.
Get involved with Books and Bites about the Big Read
Join the Germantown Municipal PTA Council for a "Family Dinner Table" book discussion of A Wizard of Earthsea at Germantown area restaurants. Volunteers from the Germantown Municipal Council PTA will provide discussion questions from The Big Read. And keep an eye out for Germantown's own traveling wizard and town crier. To view dates and locations or the discussion questions, click here.

School Start Times are beginning to take shape
Next week, the delegates from each school level meeting will meet to discuss a myriad of school start time scenarios. At the conclusion of the meeting, their recommendations will help to determine realistic, reasonable scenarios, which will be presented to the public in the form of a third-party survey completed by the Department of Educational Policy Research at the University of Memphis. Parents, staff, and high school students will be given a chance to weigh in on the options. Watch your email inbox mid-November for your unique login codes to participate in the survey. The District administration is very interested to hear your opinions before making the final determination.
Senior Citizens invade the schools on December 8th
We encourage our schools to begin brainstorming ways to engage with Germantown’s growing senior citizen population: Guest lecturers in a history class about events they lived through? Preparing art materials for an art lesson? Manning the copy machine? Reading to younger students? Helping out in the garden? The sky’s the limit. In an effort to better connect them with our schools, the GMSD School Board is hosting a Senior Citizen Back To School Day Bus Tour—which departs on December 8th. Each of our five schools can expect a visit from some very special Germantown seniors. If you have any ideas about how to involve our seniors, please email Kate Crowder.

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