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THE

SEVEN

HILLS SCHOOL

2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR TO DATE Many Achievements To Celebrate

OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC RECOGNITION AND MORE Eleven members of the Class of 2011—16% of the class—and three members of the Class of 2012—have scored 800s on 21 SAT and SAT Subject Tests to date. One student scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT. In addition, eight students had perfect scores on sections of the ACT. On the PSAT, one junior had a perfect 240 (80 on each section; two juniors had perfect 80s on two sections; five juniors and one sophomore had 80s on one section. In 2009-10, 119 students took 228 Advanced Placement exams in 17 subjects, and 96% earned college creditgranting scores of 3 or higher. In fact, 90% earned 4’s or 5’s, and the average score was 4.3 out of 5! Over the last five years, two-thirds of our graduates have been named Advanced Placement Scholars, graduating with at least three AP scores of 3 or higher, the equivalent of one semester of college work. Eleven seniors—16% of the class—have qualified as semifinalists in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. This continues a tradition for Seven Hills of having top percentages of semifinalists in the senior class, including 2009 when Seven Hills had the highest percentage among area schools. In addition to the 11 semifinalists this year, four seniors were named National Merit Commended students, bringing the percentage of the class to receive recognition to 22%. In the National Hispanic Recognition Program, one senior was named a Scholar, and two seniors were named semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Seven Hills was named one of the Top Five Academic Schools in Ohio in a study published by Gerber Analytics, LLC. This is the third year in a row that Seven Hills has achieved this distinction. This annual study identifies the best schools in Ohio based on each school’s performance on the Ohio Graduation Test, which tests tenth graders in math, reading, social studies, science and writing. This year, just 63 schools, or 6.2% of all Ohio schools, had 91% of their tenth graders pass all five portions of the test. The proficiency rate for students at Seven Hills

COLLEGE COUNSELING REPORT Director of College Counseling Susan Marrs reports that college acceptances are going very well this year! “The Class of 2011 has, to date, filed 519 applications to 154 colleges. Of the students who applied Early Action or Early Decision and have already received replies (some won’t hear until late January or February), 80% were accepted. Early acceptances include Bard, Bowdoin, Carleton, Centre, U. Chicago, Elon, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Hamilton, Kenyon, MIT, U. Michigan, Middlebury, Northeastern, Oxford U (England), Rhodes, Tufts, Tulane, Vanderbilt, U. Vermont, Washington U, and Yale.” was 98%, the third highest in the state. Seven Hills was also listed among the top ten schools in the state in all five subject areas and was cited for excellence in nine of the ten performance categories. Seven Hills is the only co-ed school in the state to achieve this “Top Five” distinction. Among 22 Greater Cincinnati teams competing in the Academic WorldQuest Regional High School International Trivia Competition, one Seven Hills team won Third Place, two points behind the winning team, and another Seven Hills team finished fourth. The teams competed in Current Events, World Religion, International Organizations, Countries, Global Health and Foreign Policy. Three juniors created an environmental action website— MyActions.org—whose results are reaching as far as the Arctic. The site encourages people worldwide to track the environmental impact of their actions and train themselves to develop environmentally-sustainable habits. A senior is a semifinalist in the Cincinnati Arts Association’s City Overture Awards in two catgories—creative writing and instrumental music (piano)—an amazing accomplishment. A senior won five Best Speaker Awards at the fall Junior State of America convention. A senior won a spot in the May Festival Youth Chorus.


EXPANDING LEARNING THROUGH INQUIRY, HANDS-ON DISCOVERY

At Seven Hills, learning is discoverybased, participatory, and highly interactive.

Eighth grade science and math classes collaborated on a unit on measurement and the metric system. From creating a system of measurement using non-conventional tools to converting measurements from one system to another using dimensional analysis, students engaged in activities and discussions connecting the mathematics con-

weekly bird counts and submit the data to eBird, a website run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. The students continue to benefit greatly from their work with ornithologists Drs. Dave and Jill Russell. They banded birds at Seven Hills in November, and they regularly Skype with the students when they are in the field. U.S. History students in the eleventh grade completed a research project and presentation on modern-day slavery. They could either research a specific form of slavery, like bonded labor, human trafficking or sex slavery, or they could research a specific industry or country where slave labor is prevalent. This was the culminating experience for their unit on American slavery in historical context.

Excerpts from Portrait of a Seven Hills Graduate, crafted by Seven Hills faculty as “a statement that defines the skills and habits of mind we seek to produce in our young people.”

cepts with the applications of science. One activity was to determine the accuracy and precision of measurement tools and the actual measurements themselves. Students were introduced to the concept of significant figures or digits as they relate to measurements and calculations based on those measurements. As part of their study of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, seventh graders conducted experiments which tested the effectiveness of various sorbent materials. After researching cost and environmental impact, each team of students recommended the sorbent it believes would be most suitable for use in cleaning up future oil spills. As part of Social Studies Activity Day, fifth graders were part of an “archeological dig.” As items were unearthed, they determined what the items were and how they were used in colonial times. Environmental Science students placed arthropod traps in locations on campus. They harvested the traps and cataloged the species in order to evaluate the biodiversity of the location. This information was shared with sixth grade math classes, who graphed the data for Insect Day. Sixth grade science classes are becoming experts on the birds that visit the feeders in the Middle School bird garden. Classes conduct bi-

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Seventh graders in English have been exploring the question, “How do we balance an individual’s needs with the needs of society?” The unit began with a study of the written and unwritten rules that govern us. They read and discussed literature to support this study, while the students’ history class covered the formation of the American Constitution and government; this was an important reinforcement of these basic principles and gave the seventh graders much material for spirited debate. This study led the English class into its first inquiry-based project, which asked students to create and conduct surveys that might determine what some of these written and unwritten rules are, why they exist and why we follow them, and what happens when we choose not to comply. Students reported these findings with charts and essays. This introductory idea was the basic premise for the students’ first specific cultural study of American Indians, who were faced with the challenge of surviving, as individuals and as tribal cultures, and their needs melded with the needs of the country over generations. Students first read contemporary excerpts about the duality of existence for present-day American Indians by authentic authors like Joseph Bruchac and Sherman Alexie. Using the photo collections of Edward Curtis, a photographer of the American West and Native American peoples during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, each seventh grader was assigned a tribe and charged with researching self-selected cultural aspects for


Teachers expect more than individual mastery of information. Seven Hills students work a great deal in teams, collaborating on experiments, investigations, and problem solving.

One highlight of the sixth grade’s Insect Day was students and parents working together on experiments with termites.

the tribe, determining the group’s current status and ultimately forming a hypothesis about what might happen to the tribe in the future. Students planned and carried out research using the extensive digital collections from the Library of Congress website as well as carefully selected information from additional web resources and collected print materials. With this work, students created extensive photo essays of their tribes for display in the Middle School. Seventh grade science students are studying the carbon cycle as part of their study of climate change. The students set up experiments in biochambers in which they monitored the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels as plants germinated, grew, died, and decayed. Before the experiment began, the students used their understanding of the carbon cycle, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration to predict in the form of graphs what the changes in the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels would be over time in the biochambers. Fifth graders did a hands-on inquiry into “how many kids fit into a one million centimeter cube?” They discovered the answer when they explored “how large is one million,” starting with a centimeter cube that represented one unit. As part of Unit I ’s study of Scientific Inquiry, students experimented to see what happens when a popcorn kernel is heated. The students created an hypothesis and recorded the results. Unit I students were also challenged to build a solid, sturdy, tall structure out of toothpicks and gumdrops that could withstand a “shake.” The Unit worked in teams and collaborated with each other to come up with the best design.

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Eighth grade science Team Survivor Challenges are creative ways to engage students in the exploration of different principles in chemistry and physics. Students work in pre-assigned teams to meet specific challenges, like using simple machines to keep a marble in motion for exactly 20 seconds. The purpose of each event is to challenge the students to be creative, apply scientific knowledge, and work as a group to solve problems. Team Survivor Challenges include Metric Mysteries, Forensic Fibers, White Powders, Egg Drop, Marble Motion Machines, and What Floats Your Boat. Fifth graders studied a new unit in math on Financial Literacy, simulating the stock market process. The 8-10 week unit included learning and applying decimal computation, group work researching stocks, investing in the stock market, calculating investor fees in transactions, and tracking investments. Physics students experimented with different vehicle designs, materials and weights in the annual Running of the Gravity Cars.


Our students know how to problem solve: how to approach problems critically and creatively, and how to ask probing questions.

Second graders completed a social studies unit on life as a pioneer child. As one of the activities, students worked together as a “pioneer family” to pack a covered wagon for their journey westward. Lively discussion took place about how to prioritize items and what would have needed to be left behind. The average size of a covered wagon was mapped out in the second grade classrooms to help students visualize what little space pioneers had available. Upper School students’ Personal Challenge Projects this year included recreation of Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation gown from the student’s pattern, based on photographs; learning American Sign Language; writing a novel; converting a vintage Nintendo Entertainment System™ into a portable gaming device; and teaching and tutoring underserved seventh graders through Breakthrough Cincinnati. As part of their study of Lord of the Flies, eighth grade English students got a taste of the challenges of jungle living. Small teams of students completed these survival skills in a limited amount of time: building a hut (or reasonable facsimile) to sleep two; peeling and equally dividing a kiwi, using just their fingers; and building two weapons, one for protection and one for life-promoting purposes.

Unit II second graders explored volume as part of their Matter and Metrics unit of study. First graders are doing a yearlong study of Nutrition focusing on the Five Food Groups. During November (Vegetable Month), they learned that vegetables come from many parts of a plant, and they had the opportunity to taste a wide range of vegetables. During Explorers Day, fifth graders practiced navigating like Columbus, as they learned to use compasses for direction, used a chip log to determine their speed, and wrote a rutter for

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another group to follow. Students also learned how the quest for spices fueled the Age of European Exploration. Working in teams, they became spice experts by researching the origins and uses, drawing and tasting individual spices. In their study of flight and aerodynamics, fourth graders discovered that changing variables on the surface of an airplane, like the elevators and ailerons, alters the way the plane flies. The students took into consideration the principles of flight, Newton’s Third Law of Motion, and air pressure when they altered their planes. The final project, after many trial flights, with many plane designs, was to design their own plane with the “controls” they felt would best allow the plane to fly in the manner that they proposed. Eighth grade science students are exploring Newton’s Three Laws of Motion with their Video Clip Project. Each team selects one of two methods for this project: One—Find short video clips from the Internet and use iMovie to add a voice-over to explain how each clip shows one of Newton’s Law of Motion. Two—Use a camcorder to record a short video clip that illustrates each of Newton’s Laws of Motion and explain how the law applies to the action in the clip. Sixth grade science classes are studying the process of cell division. They will create animations of this process as part of a claymation project to help them better understand this challenging concept. The movies will be posted on the life science wiki. As part of the Inventions unit in science, Unit III students used their creativity to design a new eating utensil for eating spaghetti. A table fork could only be used to place the spaghetti on the new device or if it were modified in some way. As part of their ecology unit of study, third graders participated in a unique field trip to Happen Inc. in Northside. The program included the opportunity to build their own one-of-a-kind “thingamajig” out of recycled toy parts.


Our students are courteous to and respectful of others. They enjoy interacting with people of different backgrounds.

Sample of our guest speakers from the parent & wider communities the Middle Ages for their annual Medieval Feast. The event is the culmination of their study of the novel Door in the Wall by Marguerite deAngeli. Noted children’s book author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand and children’s author Josh Lewis delighted our youngest readers/writers during the first semester. Doherty and Lotspeich students are looking forward to the second semester visit of Floyd Cooper, an author and illustrator of children’s and YA books.

Seven Hills hosted renowned arctic scientist George Divoky for his community presentation, “The Polar Bear at My Front Door: Realities of Climate Change in a Melting Arctic,” on January 26. During this visit, he worked with Seven Hills students and teachers on ways to engage in meaningful connection with his research and conservation work in the Arctic. His long-term goal is to open these opportunities to students across the U.S. and worldwide. Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours, is the guest author for Seven Hills’ 25th annual Books for Lunch school and community event. The author will address an assembly of Upper School students and meet with classes in the Young Family Library to discuss his work and his creative process. Dr. Kejian Zhang shared her knowledge of Lanzhou, China, and son Kevin’s summer in China with a Unit II class who is corresponding with a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Lanzhou. Ornithologists and professors Drs. Dave and Jill Russell regularly share their expertise on birds and more with science students at Middle on visits to the school and via Skype. Seven Hills is greatly enriched by the international parents who share their cultures with students in all divisions. NKU professor and medieval interpreter Margo Jang gave fourth graders an inside look at life in

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Drs. Richard Lang and Rashmi Hegde came to Unit I to explore the area of Microbiology. The students watched videos showing closeups of bacteria and viruses in action. They created an hypothesis concerning the germs on their hands and then used petri dishes of agar to grow cultures from their hands when dirty and after they were cleaned. Dr. Yash Patil, an ENT doctor, visited Unit I to show students videos of a working voice box. They studied healthy vocal cords as they were speaking, as well as some showing the results of smoking. Christienne Wilson, Organ Donation Coordinator from Life Center, spoke about organ and tissue donation with Anatomy and Physiology students. Artist Tony Becker created origami houses with third grade art students. Their creations are part of Becker’s community art exhibit. Middle School artists had the opportunity to work with two remarkable Visionaries and Voices artists—Courttney Cooper and Rob Macke— during two three-day artist residencies. Youth Frontiers, Inc., a national educational leader in character development, conducted a Courage Retreat for seventh graders. Youth Frontiers seeks to teach students how to incorporate the values of kindness, courage, respect and integrity into their personal and school lives. The Courage Retreat at Seven Hills included community-building activities and presentations on “Fear—Following the Crowd” and “Courage— Following Your Heart.”


CONNECTING TO THE WORLD THROUGH GLOBAL EDUCATION, TECHNOLOGY, COLLABORATION

Our students embrace cultures other than their own. They have the courage to explore other points of view and the willingness to build bridges that connect them to others.

world (population growth, energy consumption/ pollution, health, and poverty). The class decided which proposals would be accepted. Seventh grade science students are using a new simulation software to probe the impact of the tilt of the earth’s axis on seasonal temperatures.

The Environmental Science class and a class of students in northern India have collaborated in their study of the world’s worst industrial catastrophe in modern times in the town of Bhopal, India. The Seven Hills students and the Indian students are also sharing information in the area of biodiversity, using established protocols to measure and monitor biodiversity. Third graders have been studying cave paintings from around the world. The children went on “virtual field trips” to Lascaux, France; Drakensberg, South Africa; the Kimberly region, Australia; and the canyons of the Southwest in the United States. The styles found in the different regions were compared and contrasted, then the children created their own “cave paintings,” each from the region they most enjoyed. An exciting project in sixth grade Global Explorations class began with a simulation of different regions around the globe and some characteristics that apply to each region (population, energy consumption, pollution, GNI, access to clean water, and percentage of agricultural land). After the simulation, each group (based on region) analyzed data about its particular region, answering questions about pollution rates per capita and population growth, among others. Each representative from each region was appointed to a “United Nations Committee” charged with researching and proposing solutions to some of the major problems facing the

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Seventh graders are using the Boinx TV software in their Social Studies class to create television newscasts reporting on modern day legal issues in regard to technology and the law. Objectives of the unit include students’ ability to gain a broader understanding of the applications of the U.S. Constitution in our lives today and to recognize and define constitutionality in our legal system. Students develop their organizational, technical, creative, and critical thinking skills, as they collaborate with their team members. The Boinx TV software is also being used to teach Roman history in the Latin 6 classes. Each Unit II classroom communicates with a Peace Corps volunteer through the Peace Corps’ World Wise Schools program. The students’ participation is a component of the new interdisciplinary unit, Window to the World, a collection of mini units that address global issues like poverty, shelter, climate change, and clean water. Different classes address different worldwide issues, depending on what comes up with respective Peace Corps people and countries.One class’s Peace Corps volunteer teaches English to women and children in Morocco, and the students decided that they could be useful to her by creating a class blog with their writing and photographs. The Unit III study of literature includes Google Lit Trips—multidimensional learning activities that use literature to plot character travels using Google Earth digital mapping tools. Each Google Lit Trip involves mapping the movements of characters over a plot’s timeline and provides excerpts, pictures, and links at each location. Unit III geography students participated in the One Day in the Life project of iEARN (International Education and Resource Network). Students described a day in their life and videotaped a


Students use technology for meaningful purposes: for research, data gathering and analysis, presentation, communication, and collaboration.

2-4 minute clip of their day. These videos will be incorporated with other videos throughout the world to create a documentary. Digital exchanges are planned between the Unit III students and school children from other countries. One second grade Japan and China unit has added the component of a WebQuest which enables students to direct their own learning and pursue specific interests with respect to various cultural and educational topics. Prior to engaging in this unit, the students will communicate with elementary students in Taiwan through a wiki, allowing students from both countries to learn about each other’s traditions and school lives over a prolonged period of time. Kindergarteners are participating in an exchange with a kindergarten class in Taiwan of greeting cards, photos, videos, and books, as well as sharing of their classroom activities via e-mail and snail mail. A new unit for Unit II students will give them the opportunity to create their own country, inspired by the book How To Build Your Own Country. Using information they have learned about different countries, the children will create a new country complete with location on the globe, name, flag, government, housing, and economy. Small group discussions will center around the effect of geographic location on citizens’ lives, how will this new country attract and keep citizens, and the country’s role as a global citizen. Unit II students and their parents are invited to explore different American cultures in the afterschool library program, Bridges. The Chinese American and Korean American cultures have been explored to date this year, with the Indian American and African American cultures to come. Third grade students have partnered with schools in Costa Rica and Bolivia as part of a penpal program to enhance their Spanish language learning and to increase their cultural awareness of and appreciation for a Spanish-speaking country. Unit III students Skyped with an alumna who is doing independent study for college credit in Bolivia. First graders Skype with an alumnus who is the Avian Ecologist and Banding Program Coordina-

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tor at Powdermill Nature Preserve of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pennsylvania. Throughout the divisions, focuses on other countries and cultures this year include China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, the indigenous peoples in North America, Europe, Australia, South America, and more. A new curricular unit in first grade—Focus on India—gives students the opportunity to compare and contrast their lives with the lives of children in India. This isn’t the traditional teacher-directed study. The unit employs the “I see, I think, I wonder” routine, designed by Project Zero, an educational research group at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. A routine “for exploring works of art and other interesting things, it encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations, stimulating curiosity and setting the stage for inquiry.” The class’s focus and ensuing research starts with the children’s “I wonder...” questions. The first graders’ questions led to a multidisciplinary study of the Taj Mahal, including a virtual tour with a 360-degree panoramic view of the building’s interior. Seventh grade students will be collaborating with the conservation efforts of a noted scientist in Alaska this year. George Divoky began work with the students when he came to Seven Hills for his community presentation, “The Polar Bear at My Front Door: Realities of Climate Change in a Melting Arctic.” A Unit III classroom will participate in the collaborative, environmental Challenge 20/20 program, which connects classrooms throughout the world in an effort to identify and think of solutions to worldwide problems, such as deforestation, water deficit, global warming, etc.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM AN OUTSTANDING FALL SPORTS SEASON

Our students believe in working hard and working together. They are courteous to and respectful of others. They are good sports on and off the playing field.

In the fall sports season, some 497 student athletes (237 in grades 1–6 and 260 in grades 7–12) committed themselves to at least one competitive team. This is more than half of all Seven Hills students. It was an outstanding varsity fall sports season, with the boys soccer team and the golf team each winning league and sectional titles, one male soccer player named to the All-State First Team, SW Ohio District Player of the Year (Division III), All-City Player of the Year (Division III), and Miami Valley Conference Player of the Year, and one female soccer player named MVC Player of the Year. Other SW District (Division III) honors included five First Team selections and one Honorable Mention. Other All-City honors included five First Team selections, three Second Team, one Third Team, and ten Honorable Mention. In the league, 14 varsity athletes were named All-League First Team, 11 were named Second Team, nine received Honorable Mention, and 46 were recognized as Scholar Athletes. The boys varsity soccer team was league and sectional champ and district finalist. The Stingers were undefeated in the league for the third straight year with an overall record of 12-3-3. The girls varsity soccer team was unbeaten in the league and was the only team to shut out Blanchester. The varsity golf team was league and sectional champion! The team won the league in a

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two-day tournament by one stroke over CCDS and won the sectionals with the second lowest sectional score in Seven Hills history. The team placed fourth at the districts. The girls varsity tennis team was ranked # 1 in the city and had a season record of 12-3, playing half of the season against Div. I teams, and placed second in the league. The team won the CTC invitational, and at sectionals, players won in singles and doubles. All seven players advanced to the districts. The girls varsity volleyball team had a winning season against ranked teams and advanced to the

semifinals of the sectionals. The varsity girls cross country team won the Seven Hills Invitational, and the varsity boys cross country team finished second with one runner taking First Place. This runner finished 23rd at regionals. In Middle School, the seventh and eighth grade boys soccer team won the MVC championship with a perfect record, won the CHCA Invitational Tournament, and scored 76 goals while allowing only 4! Both the Middle School girls and boys cross country teams won league championships (the girls, for the second consecutive year), and the girls team placed first in the CHCA Invitational. One of the boys fifth/sixth grade soccer teams qualified for the SAY state soccer tournament!


SAMPLE OF DAZZLING WORK IN THE FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Our students affirm their individuality and celebrate the unique gifts of others.

Upper School Chorus on Fountain Square

Fifth graders on recorders, xylophones, and more. Middle School production of Antigone.

Third grade painting inspired by Aboriginal “dreaming” paintings (or painted stories).

Mermaid sculpture, Materials & Design class.

Upper School’s Contemporary Ensemble.

Fifth grade crochet unit.

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Upper School production of Alice in Wonderland

Some of the Upper School artwork displayed in a local gallery’s exhibit.

Above, second grade production of Once on a Housetop. At right, a few of the performers in the pre-K– Grade 5 Winter Program.

Eighth grade self portrait.

Middle School Instrumental Ensemble

Third graders drew owls using four drawing techniques: hatching, cross-hatching, stipple, and parallel lines.

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Middle School Chorus

Eighth grade watercolor


Seven Hills School Year to Date