Avalon Middle School
Home of the Huskies!
Issue 2 December 2020 13914 Mailer Blvd Orlando, FL 32828 Phone: 407-207-7839 Administration
Karen Furno, Principal Assistant Principals Michelle Anderson Suzanna Pacheco Administrative Deans Leann King German Santos Facebook Information www.facebook.com/ avalonmiddleschool/ Website Information avalonms.ocps.net/home
Dear Parents / Guardians: As you read this, your child will be starting the winter break. Although unusual, I feel that our first semester has been successful given all of the challenges that we have faced. I continue to be impressed with our faculty and staff for adapting their lessons for the hybrid model and maintaining a high quality educational experience for your children. I am also impressed with our students for following our safety guidelines and embracing digital learning. While the majority of our students are doing well, we are aware that some of our students are struggling. As parents, it is often tempting for us to try to solve problems for our children; however, middle school is the time when we want to begin empowering our students to be their own problem solvers. Please continue encouraging your child to communicate with their teachers and their guidance counselors. Also, talk to them and make certain that your child is checking their Canvas email and announcements frequently as our teachers use these features. The second semester starts a new calendar year. Hopefully 2021 is kinder to us than 2020 has been. No matter what happens, remember that we are in this together and that together we will persevere. Have a wonderful holiday break, and happy New Year. Sincerely, Karen Furno
Middle School Promotion Requirements
Dec. 21-Jan. 3..... Winter Break Jan. 4.................... Teacher Workday / Student Holiday
This year has been like no other. Students are struggling academically. It is important for parents and students to understand that in order for a student to be promoted to high school from the middle grades, they must successfully complete the following courses:
Jan. 5.................... Students return after Winter Break Begin 3rd Marking Period Jan. 13.................. Quarter 2 Report Cards Distributed Jan. 18.................. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Jan. 21.................. School-wide Mental Health lessons – modified bell schedule Jan. 25.................. SAC / PTSO Meetings – 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. AMS Book Fair / Literacy Week begins Jan. 27.................. Picture Day – Make ups for Face-to-Face; by appointment for LaunchED@Home Feb. 3................... Hearing Screening – 6th grade Feb. 10................. Hearing Screening Make Ups – 6th grade Feb. 11................. Quarter 3 Progress Reports Available via Skyward Feb. 15................. Presidents’ Day holiday Feb. 18................. School-wide Mental Health lessons – modified bell schedule Feb. 22................. SAC / PTSO Meetings – 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Mar. 3.................. Regular Wednesday Schedule – No early release Mar. 9.................. School-wide Mental Health lessons – modified bell schedule Mar. 11................ End of 3rd Marking Period
Three middle grades or higher* courses in English language arts.
Three middle grades or higher* courses in mathematics.
Three middle grades or higher* courses in science.
Three middle grades or higher* courses in social studies. »»
One of these social studies courses must be Civics. There is a statewide, standardized end-of-course exam for Civics that must be taken and factored in as 30% of a student’s course grade.
The statutory requirements for middle grades promotion are found in section 1003.4156, Florida Statutes. If a student does not meet these requirements, they may be retained in the current grade level. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your grade level counselor to discuss your child’s academic progress and middle school progression. 6th grade
Mar. 12................ Teacher Workday / Student Holiday Mar. 13-21........... Spring Break Mar. 30................ Quarter 3 Report Cards Distributed
Battle of the Books
We have been having a wonderful time writing questions and having practice battles on our fifteen Sunshine State books during our meetings. In December, our meeting times changed to Wednesdays from 8:00-8:55 a.m. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Wax at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LaunchEd@Home students can request a book by going to the Library Checkout link on the Student Body Course page. There you can also find virtual Makerspace Challenges, information about AR tests, and more. Additionally, we are starting our Curbside Book Delivery service for Faceto-Face students. Students will simply go to the Student Body Course page and click on The Curb Service Checkout. Each Wednesday, we will deliver the requested books to the students’ ELA classrooms at the start of each period in order to limit disruptions to classes. We hope this makes it easier to bring our books to our students and to encourage the love of reading! We have ordered new incentives as well, and students who check out books and take at least one AR test will be eligible to receive one of the prizes!
SAC and PTSO
We always appreciate parent participation and input. Please consider becoming involved by attending our School Advisory Council meetings. Information about these meetings is posted on Facebook. You can find it by searching for “Avalon Middle School Advisory Council.” We also encourage you to join the AMS PTSO if you haven’t already done so. The PTSO supports us by providing materials for student and faculty recognition and by sponsoring various student activities. You can find more information on their Facebook page by searching for “PTSO-@ AMSHuskiesPTSO” or “Avalon Middle School Huskies PTSO, Inc.” You can also find the PTSO membership form on the AMS webpage.
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“Husky Herald” December 2020 • Issue #2 Published Four Times Per Year Orange County Public Schools Avalon Middle School P.O. Box 271 Orlando, FL 32806
AMS Honor Roll Criteria (Per Grading Period) 1.
Academic Excellence- (4.0 GPA) Students who get straight A’s on their Report Card (All high school honors classes in which a B/C was earned will receive grade higher (weighted) FOR THAT CLASS ONLY. Example – a B in Algebra I Honors is counted as an A but an A in Algebra I Honors WILL NOT override a B in 7th/8th grade Advanced Language Arts class.) D/F’s will not be counted as C/D’s.
Academic Achievement- Students who score an overall GPA of 3.5-3.99 for the grading period.
Evening of Excellence – Eligibility 1.
All students who have earned a 3.5 (no rounding) or higher cumulative GPA for the school year.
Quarter 4 is not used in the current year as the ceremony is BEFORE final grades are in.
All high school honors classes in which a B/C was earned will receive a grade higher (weighted) FOR THAT CLASS ONLY – (Example – B in Algebra I Honors is counted as an A but an A in Algebra I Honors WILL NOT override a B in 8th grade advanced language arts class). D/F’s will not be counted as C/D’s.
High school classes that are not honors level (i.e. Spanish) are not weighted (i.e. a B in Spanish is still only a B).
For 8th grade 4.0 GPA for 3 years, a student must earn: a) A for the FINAL GRADE in EACH 6th and 7th grade class (since we often get only final grades for student who transfer in, we do not penalize students who have been at Avalon MS all 3 years for getting, for example, a B for Q3 in 6th grade math as long as the final grade in that class is an A). A B as a final grade in a high school honors class will be calculated as an A. AND b) A’s for EVERY (counting weights for honors classes) quarter during their 8th grade year
NOTES: • Any core/required academic class (including reading, if it was required) taken through any virtual school WILL be taken into account for EOE purposes. • Classes taken at any high school will NOT be taken into account UNLESS it is a core academic class. (Example: Algebra II DOES count; Italian DOES NOT) • Any additional elective classes (Example: student takes 7 classes at Avalon but chooses to take computers through FLVS) will NOT be counted. • Student must be enrolled as a full time student at AMS. • Student MUST have grades for ALL quarters to be considered; i.e. student moves here in December but we never receive Q1 grades – student is ineligible since we cannot verify GPA for Q1.
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Attention 7th grade parents! If your child received information about the ORANGE TIPS program, please read the following frequent Q & A’s.
1. How was my child determined to be eligible for these program (s)?
Students were identified by the district as the top 10% of OCPS 7th grade students. Their criteria was those students who scored a 4 or 5 on Math or English FSA OR who enrolled in an advanced Math or English class.
2. What is the benefit of participating in this program?
This program provides academically talented students with the resources, enrichment opportunities and intellectual experiences they need to reach their full potential: above grade level testing, recognition for exceptional academic achievement, specialized publications and other engaging enrichment activities, college planning resources designed for gifted students, research-based advice from gifted education experts for parents, and accelerated online and face to face educational programs (additional fees apply).
3. Do students get a choice of taking the SAT or PSAT?
ORANGE TIPS students do not get a choice of test; they will be taking the SAT with all other middle school students taking it as part of the program. While students are taking the test, parents will attend an informational session about different opportunities, college & career readiness and awareness.
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4. In order for my student to participate in ORANGE TIPS, does he/she have to take the test on that date (March 13)?
No. They can choose another date but it would be at a regular high school. They can take the test on their own at an earlier date and still be part of the program (ORANGE TIPS).
5. When is the deadline to submit the application for the March 13th test for ORANGE TIPS?
Deadline is January 22, 2021. Applications and payment will be due back to each school by January 22, 2021, giving the schools time to mail them directly along with payment to College Board. Applications will be given to the students during the tutoring sessions to be scheduled in early January.
6. If my child wants to participate in ORANGE TIPS but does not want to take the tutoring sessions, when will they get the application? The students do not have to participate in the tutoring sessions. If they choose not to attend, then parents must request an application from the counselor and they can fill it out at home with a step by step guide that will be sent home with the registration packet explaining how to complete the application correctly.
7. Is this program mandatory?
No. You can choose not to do the programs.
8. When will the tutoring sessions be offered?
We will be sending more information on this later this semester. There will be two Saturday sessions, most likely in early January.
The AMS FFA Chapter has been busy so far this year. We have five competitive teams that are studying hard for their respective contests: Tool ID, Horse Evaluation, Poultry Evaluation, Rabbit Evaluation, and Parliamentary Procedure. We meet as a virtual club on the 1st Friday of each month in the mornings before school when we have our official ceremonies for members, hold monthly contests, and recognize our birthdays. Our chapter sold Candy Canes in the courtyard the week before winter break to help pay for supplies and awards for our members!
National Junior Honor Society is off to a great start! We raised over $130 dollars during Red Ribbon Week for our Relay for Life event, collected over 400 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank, and sent thankful videos to our teachers! During the weeks of December 7th-December 18th, we collected gently used jackets and sweaters to donate to the Orlando Harbor House. We appreciate all of your support! If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Wax at email@example.com or Honorine Baxter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology Tips •
Remember, whether you are on campus or at home, you should fill out a Student Tech Request using the icon on your Launchpad dashboard. After filling out the request, someone will contact you to make an appointment.
If you need a hotspot, hotspot requests are also located on your Dashboard. Type “hotspot” in the search bar to find it.
Do not download ANY extensions or themes onto your device. This goes against the Acceptable Use Policy and will cause issues with your battery, microphone, mousepad and more.
BEST PRACTICES Do • • • • • •
Shut down your laptop when you are not using it. Use your laptop only on a hard, flat surface such as a desk or table. Carry your laptop in a bag or backpack. Unplug your device when it is fully charged. Keep your charger out of reach of young children and pets. Carry your device with both hands if moving around during classroom instruction.
Don’t • • • • •
Drop your device, even when in a bag or backpack. Cover or block your device’s air vents when in use. Use your devices near food or drink. Pick the device up by the screen. Use a liquid cleaner to clean the screen of the device.
Yearbook sales are in full swing! If you purchase prior to January 1st, the cost is $30. After that the cost will be $35. Attention 8th grade parents: 8th grade ads are selling fast. This year 8th grade parents are able to purchase either an ⅛ page ad for $10, a ¼ page ad for $15, a ½ page ad for $25, or a full page ad for $40. The link to purchase is https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/productBrowse/1614352/AvalonMiddle-School/2021-Yearbook/2020092404240102354/CATALOG_SHOP/. This cost is in addition to the cost of the yearbook. LaunchEd@Home parents, if you have any pictures of your student learning or participating in school activities virtually that you would like considered for the yearbook, please email them to email@example.com. Don’t miss out on this year’s memories!
AMS will be offering middle school athletics during the second semester; however, OCPS had to make modifications due to the pandemic. We will be implementing an intramural model in which students will be able to participate against other AMS students in the four traditional middle school sports (volleyball, track, soccer, and basketball) throughout second semester. There will be no competitions against other middle school teams this school year. The intramural format will allow any student (LaunchED@Home, Face-to-Face or FLVS/OCVS) to come to campus to participate in a sport. Dates are listed below for when each sport will take place.
January 11th thru February 5th
February 15th thru March 11th
March 29th thru April 23rd
April 26th thru May 21st
***All students planning to participate will need to submit a Sports Physical Packet to the front office or to Coach Tran in room 709 prior to the sports’ start date and have a current GPA of 2.0 or higher. Sports Physical Packets can be picked up in the front office or found on the AMS Website. If you have any questions at all please contact the Athletic Director, Coach Tran. (Michaela.firstname.lastname@example.org) **Also, if your child is interested in participating please fill out the following Google Form: https://forms.gle/ mabPshn4LYaMirWt5 as soon as possible. Thank you.
6th grade language arts has been working on academic writing including strong paragraphs and evidencebased essays. Ms. Calabrese's students in double block Language Arts also finished their novel study on "The Watsons Go to Birmingham" which incorporated several ELA standards. To finish the second nine weeks, students will continue comparing poetry to multimedia versions and will move into argumentative writing during the 3rd nine weeks. In 7th grade language arts, throughout the second quarter students have been working hard on text structure and writing. Students have shown that they can analyze how word choice and structure contribute to a text’s meaning as well as evaluate an argument’s claims for sound reasoning and relevant evidence. Our next quarter will concentrate on comparing texts across a variety of media and author’s point of view. You should continue to see your student reading for homework on a regular basis. We encourage you to read along with your child and discuss the book together. 8th grade language students have been reading poetry and short stories and focusing on point of view and word impact. They will be moving into reading informational texts with a focus on point of view and multimedia elements. During the third quarter, they will work on argumentative writing and comparing author’s presentation of arguments.
During the third quarter, world history students will study the powerful ancient empires of India and China! The students will not only learn about the diverse populations of these civilization, but also about their geography. Two of the world’s major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, will be taught and examined along with their societal impacts. The students will get to explore the Great Wall of China, the invention of indoor plumbing, and elephant warfare. The students will conclude the quarter by examining the Chinese teachings of Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism. In 7th grade Civics, the second quarter focused on the 2020 Presidential election as we worked through our Elections and Campaigns unit. Students learned about political parties, evaluation of candidates, propaganda, the influence of the media, and more! Students even got to participate in a Mock Election. After the holiday break, students learned about citizenship including the duties and responsibilities that people have. In the 3rd quarter we will focus on the three levels of government – federal, state and local. We will be learning about the powers that each level of government has along with the roles of the branches of government. Students will also be learning about the Bill of Rights and other important amendments to the U.S. Constitution that have been added over the years. In October, 8th grade U.S. history students experienced the trials and tribulations of the American Revolution, with the states ultimately prevailing at Yorktown. November had students facing the task of forming independent governments at both the state and national levels after the failure of our first constitution and studying the development of the U.S. Constitution. Hail to the power of compromise! In December, we examined how the federal government developed under the leadership of George Washington and studied the precedents he established.
6th grade math students at AMS will begin the 3rd quarter curriculum with a ratios and proportional relationships unit. Then students will move into the topics of geometry and statistics. In order to practice and master the 6th grade standards, students should consistently be reviewing by using the resources located in Canvas and their math notebooks. Fluency with multiplication facts will contribute to mastery of many math concepts being taught this year - please continue to practice these skills at home. In addition, students should also review previous content by using their resources on Canvas such as the Review Modules, iReady, floridastudents. org, and khanacademy.org at home. In 7th Grade Math, we spent most of the quarter working on ratios and proportional relationships. This category has the most weight on the 7th Grade Math FSA representing 25% of the questions asked. We will continue scaffolding content from this area, as well as from number sense from 1st quarter, throughout our content to help students review and retain their new knowledge. As we finish up the semester, we will begin working with expressions and equations teaching students the foundations to make them successful in Algebra. In 7th Advanced Math, we wrapped up angle relationships and are continuing with our geometry standards as we begin discovering circumference and area of circles along with area of other polygon shapes. We will then dive into three dimensional shapes and volume. Once we wrap up geometry, we will begin to understand, measure, and make generalizations using statistics. This will be followed by understanding, comparing, developing and approximating probability. All students taking 7th grade math took their iReady Midpoint Diagnostic in December. Results from the diagnostic will adjust their digital path providing them with the remediation needed to close their learning gaps. In Pre-Algebra, we began this quarter by learning to write and compare functions. We finished the quarter working on identifying and ordering rational and irrational numbers as well as using and evaluating square and cube roots. Upon returning in January, your students will be evaluating and solving systems of equations using three different methods. Students are working hard in class developing strategic thinking skills and applying math concepts. In the second quarter, Algebra students continued to review the skills we have already learned through bell work, Math XL, and Khan Academy. We have been focusing mainly on modeling functions where students have been exposed to a multitude of forms (interpreting them from word problems, graphs, tables, and equations) that can represent a function. Students should be prepared for the curriculum to take a harder turn as we move into more essential concepts that will appear on the End of Course Exam. The course will definitely increase in difficulty. We will be jumping into systems of equations and inequalities, rational exponents and radical expressions, as well as solving and modeling quadratic relationships. Please make sure your student continues to review what has already been taught. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time. Thank you for all you do!! In Geometry, we will finish the 2nd nine weeks covering right triangles. During the 3rd nine weeks, we will learn about quadrilaterals, polygons and circles. The students have been completing homework through MathXL. Encourage your student to use all available resources when working on MathXL. Please feel free to reach out anytime for questions or concerns. Thank you for all of your support.
Second quarter flew by for 6th grade Science. We have had fun studying energy transfer and how heat is transferred from one thing to another. We even made ice cream! Yummy!!!! We studied the different landforms our earth is made of and the layers of the atmosphere. We discussed the ozone layer and things we all can do to prevent any damage to the ozone layer and continue to protect our Earth. Next we will be looking at the interactions of Earth’s systems- the water cycle and the carbon cycle. It has been a lot of fun, and we have really learned a lot. For the 2nd 9 weeks, the PBL Comprehensive Science classes have been working on classification, landforms, energy transfer and interactions of Earth’s systems. PBL Life Science has been studying mitosis and meiosis, biotechnology, heredity and reproduction. Currently both classes will be mapping their carbon footprint and making building decisions as they create a community that is carbon neutral. While studying climate change, students will also create a digital game. The objective of the game will be for our players to make life choices that will sustain our planet and ultimately affect the social, environmental and financial impact of greenhouse gas emissions. In 7th grade Honors Earth/Space Science, students continued their study of astronomy by focusing on objects in our solar system and how they move. They learned how our solar system formed, and how this process leads to the differences between the characteristics of these objects. Students studied the “life and death” of stars and how their properties change throughout this evolution. We finished the 2nd quarter learning about our sun, including how it benefits life on Earth and the potential dangers it poses to Earth. Upcoming in the 3rd quarter, we change our focus from space to our very own Earth. Third quarter finds students studying how Earth’s surface changes. We study weathering and erosion and talk about how these processes affect Florida’s coastlines and our tourism industry. We dive into plate tectonics to learn about volcanoes and earthquakes, where they are located and how they form. We talk about how Earth’s surface is continually changing as the plates move, including discussion points such as how and why the Atlantic Ocean is getting bigger each year! This understanding of the geosphere is the first step to viewing Earth as a system with a set of connected parts forming a complex whole. This is the foundation for understanding the impacts of each of these parts on the others, as well as the positive and negative impacts that humans have on our planet. 7th grade Comprehensive 2 Science students studied our very own Earth during the second quarter. Students learned about rocks and minerals, their characteristics and how they form. Students continued their study of Earth by focusing on how Earth’s surface changes. We studied weathering and erosion, and talked about how these processes affect Florida’s coastlines and our tourism industry. We finished the 2nd quarter by diving into plate tectonics. In the 3rd quarter, Comprehensive students change their focus to life science. Students will have the opportunity to study DNA and cell reproduction, genetics and ecological relationships. This leads into lots of interesting discussions about traits, including traits they share with relatives and how personal health can be influenced by their genetic code. 8th grade science students can’t believe the first semester is done! They completed units on the properties of stars and just wrapped up a unit on the properties of objects in the Solar System. The students learned our place in the Universe as well as the vastness of our Universe. Students will finish the unit on stars at the start of the 3rd nine weeks and then begin the Sun-Earth-Moon unit. Students will dig deeper into the concepts of relationships between our Earth, Sun, and Moon. After that, they will dive into matter. Also, students will explore physical and chemical properties and learn more about the periodic table. Honors 8th grade science students finished their motion and force units before the winter break. In the 3rd nine weeks, students will learn about electricity and thermodynamics before they dive in the exciting units of chemistry. The 3rd nine weeks will also bring about SSA Review Projects for all 8th grade science students. We have developed mini units for each of the disciplines for the students in Regular, Advanced, and Honors classes to complete at home to help them refresh their memory on the last two years of science!
In Agriculture, students have been focused on various parts of plant science, plant production, and careers in the industry. 6th and 8th grade students have been learning about plant parts, plant reproduction, and plant nutrients. The 8th grade students are also learning more in-depth details about plant metabolic processes, soil science, and biotechnology! Our 6th graders are learning responsibility as they germinate seeds and care for their seedlings. Our 7th graders have been hard at work learning how to be foresters, including how to identify different species of trees and how to use a topographical map.
6th grade art students followed along with the world history curriculum to create prehistoric chalk art pieces. They continued to review the elements of art while working on space in particular with a focus on still-life. They learned about abstract art to create an abstract piece based on their realistic still-life of personal objects after learning the oil pastels techniques. 7th grade art students created reptile eye drawings with colored pencils if possible. They also created Zentangle pumpkins with a focus on repetition and line. The students learned about right brain versus left brain and are working on drawings to depict their own brain. 8th grade art students began a sculpture unit with an introduction to sculpture. Next they created a sculpture of their name that could be abstract or more representational. Then we moved on to learn about Louise Nevelson followed by the students creating an assemblage with found objects. Currently the students are working on creating African masks- either a drawing of their own or using paper mache if they choose to do so. All art students worked on a fourth of a circle that will be combined to create a large piece of collaborative work. This was displayed in the front hallway after Thanksgiving break.
Drama 1 and 3 both finished monologue performances this quarter while Drama 2 finished pantomime performances. In all drama classes we continue to learn about a new Broadway musical every week, and now we are adding “Broadway Dance Days” on Fridays in which the students learn choreography to a Broadway musical. In December the students all created their very own holiday performances. While we will not be having a spring musical this year, the students will continue to do amazing performances all year in class to get ready for next year!
Home of the Huskies! Avalon Middle School 13914 Mailer Blvd Orlando, FL 32828
AMS Chorus is so proud to announce that even in the midst of a pandemic, three of our amazing students were accepted into the Florida All-State Chorus! Congratulations to Ethan Craiker, Gabriel Nair, and Pedro Garcia-Monroig. We are so proud of all of our students who independently prepared and recorded their auditions. Way to go! AMS Band and Orchestra are happy to announce that the following students have been accepted into All-State this year: Jocelyn Bew (Bassoon, Middle School All-State Band), Hannah Empeynado (Violin, Middle School Honors Orchestra), and Ryan Lugo (Trumpet, Middle School All-State Jazz Band)! These students will represent AMS this January for the first ever virtual All-State experience with students from all over the state of Florida. We are so proud of you!
Latinos in Action
Latinos in Actions held a toy drive for One Heart Women and Children during the month of December. The students want to thank everyone who participated for helping make a difference.
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In Fitness we focused on spreading our wings and going outside to enjoy our beautiful Florida weather. Students also successfully completed their semester CFE exam for Fitness.
PBL â€“ Project-Based Learning
Students in our 6th grade PBL elective have been working to create a collaborative childrenâ€™s story. Students had to photograph real objects representing various geometric shapes and then choose an object to turn into a story character. After creating their characters, students paired up to write their stories and share them with younger children. In the 7th grade PBL Elective, students have been working hard on our COVID-19 Museum. This project has spanned the first two quarters of the school year. In the two weeks before Thanksgiving break, students took a break from the museum project to complete a project about the solar system in which each student was assigned a celestial object that they researched from a scientific and artistic perspective. Students really enjoyed learning more about science! After the break, students spent the last few weeks putting together their museum exhibits.
In Spanish class, students are learning the basic elements of Spanish grammar and vocabulary, as well as some of the many manifestations of Hispanic culture. Our classroom activities are varied and include activities from the online book Senderos, and other online platforms, in which all students are expected to participate actively. Classroom time is spent studying and practicing the grammatical structures and the reproduction of the sounds of the language.
Our outstanding PLTW tech students are raising the bar in this challenging year. Sixth grade students have completed their first course, Science Tech, by designing and building giant paper roller coasters. In January, they are changing courses and moving into the field of medicine with their new course, Medical Detectives. In this class, students will be taking vital signs, trying to survive outbreaks, and diagnosing mystery illnesses. They then move on to the fantastic voyage of the human senses and the dissection of the brain. Seventh grade has completed Flight and Space with a flight competition with hand constructed balsa wood gliders. They move into Design and Modeling for the second semester. In eighth grade, Exploration of Electronics has wrapped up and students are starting a new course, Automation and Robotics. This course will cover automation, mechanical systems, and robotics. In our high school honors tech class IED, our students are working with VPNs toward their industrial CAD certification with cloud based software Onshape and Autodesk Inventor Professional.