Category Archives: Middle School

MidTerm Schedules

By Mary Madelyn Broom

Mid-terms for Middle and Upper School students is right around the corner, as students prepare to close the semester. From Dec. 16 to the 20, there is one exam per day beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at noon. The Upper School has dedicated three days to exam prep, Dec. 11 to 13, with regular schedules, and not block scheduling.

For the Upper School, the order for exams is as follows:

Monday 12/16: History
Tuesday 12/17: World Language
Wednesday 12/18: Science
Thursday 12/19: English
Friday 12/20: Math

Upper School has different rules and regulations for the midterms than the Middle School. The Upper School rules on exam days are:

  • On exam days, students should report to their test room by 8:50 a.m. with all materials needed and leave cell phones, smart watches, and other electronics outside of the testing room 
  • No students may leave the testing rooms before 10:30 a.m. 
  • While exiting the testing room and Upper School building, please be sure to stay quiet for other students still testing. 
  • Conflicts will occur each testing day from 1 – 4pm in the Upper School Media Center and need to be scheduled with Upper School Head, John Perlette as soon as possible 
  • As in previous years, dress down will be allowed during exam week. 

In preparation for exams, Perlette suggests organization as the best thing to do. He recommends students use old tests as study guides and spend most study time on the topics they struggled with most. “I encourage all students to speak directly with their teachers to get the best advice possible,” Perlette said.

Middle School exams follow the same hours and dates as the Upper School, but the schedule is as follows:

Middle School rules for exam days:

  • Middle School students are required to wear uniforms during exam week 
  • Extended Day will be provided Monday 12/16 – Thursday 12/19 but students will need to bring their own lunches 
  • If parents wish to pick up their child at 11 a.m., they need to fill out the Sign-Up Genius:
  • There is no Extended Day on Friday, all students must be picked up by noon

Exam Week Daily Schedule
8:30-9:00: Study Hall in exam classroom
9:00-11:00: Exam
11:00-11:15: Early Dismissal or Break
11:15-12:00: Extra time accommodations and/or Study Hall
12:00: Dismissal
12:00-6:00: Monday through Thursday Extended Day

Good luck students!

Childhood Obesity On The Rise

Over the next few weeks, “The Talon” will be releasing a series of stories regarding depression, anxiety, obesity, nutrition, sleeping habits, and time management. Sources were given the option to remain anonymous, as the topics are incredibly personal. Please be advised, some of the published stories may be disturbing to some readers.

By Jasmine Chen

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five children and adolescents are affected from obesity. Childhood obesity, referring to a medical condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height, has increased throughout the past few years in the United States. Unlike many other medical conditions, it is self-diagnosable and self-treatable. However, it can lead to serious consequences if continued into adulthood. Therefore, it is very important to know how to prevent childhood obesity from occurring, and how to implement solutions if it has already happened.

Over the past few years, childhood obesity has increased throughout the United States. To reduce childhood obesity rates, education comes first. The causes of childhood obesity include “poor nutrition, inactivity, video games” among other things, according to Eric Ringdahl, Oak Hall physical education teacher and varsity girls basketball coach. “[A] lot of kids that are obese from the time when they are small, run a greater risk of getting diabetes…Self-esteem drops because they do get excluded from certain activities, certain running activities, certain games at school. They can get made fun of, even bullied,” Ringdahl said.

Besides having effects on a child’s mental health, childhood obesity also leads to a high risk of various diseases. “[If] it continues into adulthood…health factors are high blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of cardiovascular disease, and we are also seeing an increase in child onset diabetes, also gastric reflux…usually from being overweight because your stomach’s bigger than normal, and some kids have breathing problems, then there’s excess weight on your joints,” Oak Hall Lower School Nurse, Mary O’Meara, explained. 

To prevent childhood obesity, it is important that we “limit the screen time that goes into children’s days, increase more PE time in schools, and introduce more healthy behaviors in the home,” O’Meara suggested. On the other hand, “controlling portion size” is also a significant factor. Eating too much is one of the main causes of gaining too much weight. In addition, what children eat every day plays a major role as well. Having healthy meals reduces the risk of being overweight. To help children who are already dealing with obesity to get rid of this medical condition, it is important to let them know that exercising is the key to staying in shape. “Kids at that point don’t want to exercise because they are heavy,” O’Meara said. However, if they continue to avoid exercising, obesity can get worse over time.

Oak HALLoween Photo Gallery

From the youngest pre-kindergartner to the oldest senior, along with faculty, and staff dressed up yesterday for Halloween. The Lower School, keeping the tradition alive, paraded around the Upper School circle, showing off costumes such as velociraptors, butterflies, and ghosts. Kindergartners partnered with their senior buddy, some in matching costumes.

In the afternoon, Lower School classrooms transformed from a learning environment to a spooky party atmosphere. While students snacked on fruit, cupcakes, and popcorn, they also played games like wrapping a classmate in toilet paper!

Photos courtesy of Audrey Clark, Michael Moreschi, Frannie Perez, Jenna Poppell, and Hannah Streeter

Students Work Hard, Play Hard

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, eighth through 11th graders sat for the PSAT exam. The exam, which took around three hours to complete, serves a few purposes. According to College Board, the organization that helps prepare students transition from high school to college, the eighth and ninth grade PSAT, “sets a readiness baseline, allowing students and teachers to pinpoint areas for focused practice as students progress through high school”. As for the tenth and eleventh graders, the PSAT/NMSQT measures a student’s readiness for college, access scholarships, and it helps the student practice for the SAT.

Meanwhile, the senior class enjoyed a morning of breakfast and bowling. Having taken the PSAT since eighth grade, the seniors deserved this much needed break.

When the students finished the PSAT, the seniors arrived at Oak Hall to have lunch and participate in Field Day. Oak Hall’s Student Government Association (SGA) prepared and ran the event. Teams were comprised of students mixed from the five grades, with two teachers/staff members as “coaches”. Students participated in events such as tug-of-war, kickball, dodgeball, and capture the flag.

Photos courtesy of Kate Krauser, Emily Youngblood, and Sarah Youngblood

New MS Club Brings the Fun

During FLEX period on Thursdays, 10:03 a.m. until 11:33 a.m., Oak Hall’s Middle School students first meet in their advisory groups, then head off to participate in a club. Unlike the Upper School, Middle School students are required to join one of the numerous clubs that are offered. Game Board Club is one club students get to choose for FLEX.

Students from 6th through 8th grade enjoy Board Game Club

Melissa Armstrong, Middle School English teacher and Game Board Club sponsor, polled her students to get an idea as to what type of club Middle School students would be interested in. “Board Game club is a group of diverse students coming together to decompress, make new friends, and have fun together,” Armstrong said. “They also try out critical thinking strategies, compete, and laugh A LOT,” she continued.

With 25 students involved in the club, there are a lot of games to choose from

With 25 students in the club, from all three Middle School grade levels, students play games such as Bananagrams, Apples to Apples, Dos, and BUNCO!

Photos courtesy of Melissa Armstrong