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From Catholic Sentinel: profile of Middle School head Paul Andrichuk

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Catholic Sentinel article, November 09

Catlin Gabel News Fall 09

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From the fall 2009 Caller

AWARDS TO OUR TEACHERS
7th grade history teacher Paul Monheimer was awarded a Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching from the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to conduct research in Israel. He plans to spend the spring semester in Israel researching and creating meaningful virtual exchanges, using graphic software to overcome language barriers. . . . Upper School Spanish teacher Lauren Reggero-Toledano received a grant from the American Immigration Law Council to work with students on a project about the Hispanic presence in Oregon during the Great Depression and today. Students will create interactive, multimedia presentations for display at Teatro Milagro/Miracle Theater.

ANUAL FUND REACHES GOAL
The 2008–09 Annual Fund reached its goal of $892,500 by June 30. Thanks to everyone who participated and gave so generously, especially during this economically challenging year. Big thanks to Eric ’83 and Tiffany Rosenfeld for co-chairing the 2007–08 and 2008–09 Annual Fund.
 
AROUND HONEY HOLLOW
The campus was jumping during Summer Programs, with more than 20 instructors, 43 classes and programs, and 300 participants. . . . Catlin Gabel was selected by Oregon Business magazine as one of the 100 best nonprofits to work for in Oregon, based on staff responses to a survey about workplace satisfaction.
 
HONORS TO OUR STUDENTS
Poems by Conner Hansen ’15 and Annika Carfagno ’15 were published in A Celebration of Poets, a national anthology. . . . The Upper School chamber choir placed 4th at the OSSA state choir contest. . . Erica Berry ’10, Flora Field ’13, Guillem Manso García ’09, Fiona Noonan ’13, Sage Palmedo ’14, and Yu (Victor) Zheng ’12 placed in the top five in the nation for their level on the National French Contest exams. Rahul Borkar ’13, Brynmor Chapman ’10, Casey Currey-Wilson ’12, Rose Perrone ’10, and Leah Thompson ’11 came in first in the state for their level in the national Spanish exam.
 
ATHLETICS
The boys golf team won the state championship and set a team record.
 
The girls track and field team also won a state championship and set a new state record. Hayley Ney ’09 was state champion in the 3000m and 1500m. Leah Thompson ’11 was state champion in the 300m hurdles, set a new school record, and was second in state in the 1500m. Isabelle Miller ’09 was 3rd in state in the 400m. Calley Edwards ’09 was 4th in state at both the 800m and the 3000m. Cammy Edwards ’12 was 2nd in state in both the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles. Eloise Miller ’11 was state champion in the triple jump. Mariah Morton was 4th in state in the long jump. The 4x100m relay team was state champion: Mariah Morton ’12, Linnea Hurst ’11, Isabelle Miller ’09, and Eloise Miller ’11. The 4 x 400m relay team was state champion: Hayley Ney ’09, Isabelle Miller ’09, Eloise Miller ’11, and Leah Thompson ’11. . . . In boys track and field, Nauvin Ghorashian ’10 was 3rd in state in the 110m hurdles, and Ian Maier ’10 was 5th in state in the 300m hurdles.
 
The girls tennis team set a team record and was 2nd in state. Kate Rubinstein ’12 was state champion in singles, and Rivfka Shenoy ’09 and Ainhoa Maiz- Urtizberea ’09 were 2nd in state in doubles. . . . The boys tennis team also set a team record and were 2nd in state.
 
Andrew Salvador ’12 was state champion in singles.
 
Katy Wiita ’12 won numerous top places nationally for synchronized swimming, as did her sister Elli Wiita ’15, who was named to the 11–12 national team with the second highest score.
 
Devin Ellis ’12 won gold for his age group in scratch bowling at the State Games of Oregon and qualifies for the 2011 State Games of America.

 

The Child as Unit of Consideration: World Cultures--Many Paths to Learning

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From the Fall 2009 Caller

By Paul Monheimer

“I’d like to build a trebuchet,” emailed my student Will. This was after we talked about what project students might do for the medieval portion of 7th grade World Cultures class. A trebuchet—a type of catapult—was pretty ambitious. So I had to ask him: “How big will it be? What materials will you use? How should I assess your final product?” “I found some plans online. It will be around 7 ft. tall. Assessment will be on how authentic it is,” he replied. “How authentic? Are you sure? How about assessment on if it fires, how far it fires, and its accuracy?” I tried to help him refine his thinking.
 
Will did think all this through—and he built a terrific trebuchet that fired its shot clear across the Paddock and into the Fir Grove, surprising everyone. In this class we use long-term projects like the trebuchet to help students become individual learners. They gain the ability to plan and creatively complete their work, and demonstrate what they have learned, no matter what their other classmates are doing or what their own learning style might be.
 
My approach has been to allow kids absolute freedom to create and explore, respect their choices, and help them achieve their goals. Brain and learning research has shown that students learn more when we allow and encourage them to explore topics of interest. Over the years, World Cultures students have been treated to juggling lessons, medieval banquets, Japanese tea ceremonies, and art history lessons. They have learned to sing Gregorian chants, fight with swords, and do a medieval dance or two.
 
My mentor Ron Cummings taught me that “Middle school students will learn anything, as long as it includes both play and drama.” That is the driving philosophy behind ERIC (or RICE, as it is known in some years).
 
I developed ERIC—Egypt, Rome, India, and China— just for Catlin Gabel. Many middle schools teach ancient cultures, but few do four cultures at the same time. The presentations the students develop and lead are far more creative and compelling than anything I could ever dream up on my own. The bonds created during ERIC last a long time—all Upper School students can tell you which of the four civilizations they worked on. Audience responses are always encouraging, and, although everybody is exhausted at the end, their smiles usually convince me that it has been a productive and worthwhile learning experience.
 
Do all of these creative attempts turn out perfectly? Of course not! One student attempting to antique his Latin papers used too much lemon juice and burned a huge hole in his project. He still received full credit even though I could only see about 20 percent of the result. He had completed his research, he was passionate about learning about ancient texts, and he was being as creative as possible. What more could I have asked?
 
World Cultures is all about helping students learn about today’s world by examining past events and civilizations. Each project allows students independence in choosing what they will study during a particular unit. The tapestry of learning created by the entire 7th grade studying areas of their choosing mirrors the tapestry of modern global culture. Giving students room to choose their area of study helps them find a comfortable place in that tapestry and keeps learning fun and exciting as they go through thousands of years together.
 
Paul Monheimer has been at Catlin Gabel since 1995.  

 

Empty the Lot Day video

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How did people get to school on October 15, 2009? Video by Rose Perrone '10

Music Rotation Rocks!

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I Don't Want to be in Love

First 8th grade Music rotation rocked out to I Don't Want to be in Love by the Good Charlottes.  Enjoy their performance.

Audio: 

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Gambol Auction Needs Your Help

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Dear Parents, Alumni, and Friends,
 
We are proud members of the Catlin Gabel community. The school is inspiring to children, parents, teachers, and alumni. Being involved in Gambol committees during the last two years, and seeing the good that this event does for the entire Catlin Gabel community, we are honored to co-chair this year’s Gambol Auction.
 
Dear Parents, Alumni, and Friends,
 
We are proud members of the Catlin Gabel community. The school is inspiring to children, parents, teachers, and alumni. Being involved in Gambol committees during the last two years, and seeing the good that this event does for the entire Catlin Gabel community, we are honored to co-chair this year’s Gambol Auction.
 
As you may be aware, it has become increasingly more difficult for schools to meet all of their budgetary needs. Although Catlin Gabel is more fortunate than most schools, the Gambol supplies essential funds needed to achieve several goals. It helps our incredible teachers hone their skills and further their educational goals through professional development, enabling them to create fresh and current curricula for our children. The event’s special appeal goes directly to the school’s financial aid program — more than 25% of our students receive financial assistance.
 
This year’s “There’s No Place Like Home” theme is inspired by what is important: family and community. Not only would we love for you to join us for what will be a fun and exciting evening, but also we would be especially grateful if you would participate by donating an item or experience to the auction. We need many items to make this year's auction a success and have complied a wish list to help generate ideas. The list is just a sampling of suggestions; any other ideas you have for donations are welcome. If you prefer to be an event sponsor or buy an advertisement in the auction catalog, please download the necessary forms by clicking this link.
 
This year we start an exciting new tradition with a Gambol Online Auction available November 9–23. The online auction will expand our participation to alumni, family, and friends. The Gambol Party & Live Auction is on Saturday, March 13, at the Nines hotel. Please join us as we celebrate our children, honor Catlin Gabel's outstanding teachers, and make this a successful year for the Gambol to give back to our amazing community. 
 
We are working hard to make the Gambol a success, and we need your help. Please use the donation form to pledge your support today.
 
Thank You,
Heather Blackburn ’90                                    
Gina Wand                                         
Gambol Co-chairs

 

Technology Professional Development Day

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Ten teachers attended our professional development day today. Seven also presented! Interestingly, all but two were from the Upper School. We followed a model in which teachers did all the presenting and led the group discussion, which led to an energizing day that focused squarely on teacher interests. Here is a summary of content covered.

Tony presents at the tech training

Ginia King shared the sophomore English Moodle site, which is organized by type of assignment (tests, recitations, essays, etc.) instead of unit or week. Forum is more useful than chat for "decentered discussion." Encourages different voices to speak in the class. Art Leo reported that education research in modern language acquisition has found that success in written, online discourse has transferred to oral participation in class. Teachers differed on how firmly they held students to proper writing form, though people agreed on the desire to do so. The best tools allow one to print a single document from the discussion of the day. English teachers use the forum tool to set up a space where students may post essay drafts and other students may post replies and response papers. It can be difficult to compare three drafts of an essay posted to Moodle. Ginia reflected that students don't automatically think to check the website for course information. They appear to be more mindful of paper. Lisa and Daisy speculated that upcoming students will be more automatic about this due to online experiences in the younger grades.

Tony Stocks built on Ginia's presentation by showing the junior English Moodle site. He used one discussion forum for students to write and improve their questions in preparation for the upcoming Tracy Kidder assembly next week. The site uses the Moodle groups feature to keep section discussions separate. The site is most valuable to keep all of the drafts of the writing process in one place for the teacher and student to access. Can be a challenge for the kid who has a hard time staying on task, but teachers can help by monitoring computer use in the room.

Paul Dickinson commented that the English program may have led to students' higher comfort level with typing lab reports in science. While this has improved the quality of presentation, students are struggling to produce good diagrams in this format. This has led to a trend in which many students prefer to find an existing diagram and copy it into their document instead of drawing an original illustration. It's interesting that the use of Photoshop here is widespread, yet use of Illustrator is rare.

Lauren Reggero-Toledano shared a community service learning project with which her students are currently engaged. She won a small grant to fund this project, working with our development and communications departments to refine her proposal. Her class is creating an online presentation of the Hispanic presence in Oregon to complement a production at Portland's Miracle Theatre. Their project compares the Hispanic presence during the depression to the present day. The curriculum has evolved as opportunities have appeared to interview good subjects around town. They have found no interview subjects from the Depression era, but an author helped them understand that the lack of found information is useful information in itself. Contextualize this finding and move forward.

Lauren presents at the tech training

The theater director challenged the kids to make the site truly interactive. So far, they have decided to add a comment box to their website, in order to gather more stories. Also, students will be present at each performance in order to explain the project and potentially collect interviews on the spot! Students are collecting footage with Flip cameras, notwithstanding the lack of proper video lighting. The historical archives has commented that a serious deficit of raw material exists on this topic. The students' footage has the potential to become an important research source, especially if the site persists and continues to collect footage after the theater performances are over.

Students are using the course Moodle site to manage the project, including notes, interview forms, and links to web-based resources. The teacher has stepped back and left room for the students to plan and execute.

The class built and distributed a survey using our internal survey tool. They received 79 responses to a survey about Hispanic Heritage Month, including a giant collection of narrative comments, which were really useful in guiding their work.

Lisa Ellenberg shared new work she is doing with students to post book reviews into our Follett Destiny library catalog -- really exciting work. This has potential to change student perception of the library catalog from an external authority to a community resource. Already, fourth grade students are excited about adding items to this resource. They also rate the books on a five star system. We'd like to post audio reviews as well, and while Destiny may not support audio file playback, we may post them elsewhere and then post links to the catalog. Lisa also demonstrated how a teacher may create a public resource list of library items for students or other teachers to view.

Roberto Villa shared a long-distance correspondence between a Catlin Gabel alum in Quito, Ecuador, and Catlin Gabel students. Topics include poverty, energy consumption, and women's rights, among others. Spanish V students are using an online bulletin board for this purpose.

Roberto also underscored the value of his document camera, which he uses every day. It helps him save time and paper. Roberto uses it for flashcards, homework correction, and editing. Lauren has used it for coins and maps.

For two years, Roberto's Spanish V class has not used books. All of the resources are posted online. The Spanish I, II, and III textbooks have an online site that includes online activities and audio components. This has been especially valuable for students with learning differences or who want to slow down the audio to listen to it more slowly.

Pat Walsh demonstrated his use of the social format in Moodle courses, which transforms the course home page into a student discussion center. He also demonstrated the use of embedded images, YouTube videos, and RSS feeds within his course Moodle sites.

Dale Rawls showed how he uses the school website and email system to engage parents in narrative discussion about student artwork well before the semester reporting period. He posts photos of student illustration to the website and then sends an email message to parents with suggestions for what to discuss about the artwork with their children.

6th Grade Farm Visit

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On one of the last sunny weekends of the Summer, a group of 14 Middle School students, accompanied by 6 Upper School student chaperones visited Bumblebee Organic Farms.

It was two days of fun, two days of laughing, a campfire beneath a harvest moon, a grape eating contest, amazing food, a pair of sheep (or were they goats?), tractors, barns, sleeping through an incredibly loud rainstorm, amazing farm-fresh pancakes, and learning about life on a small, organic farm.

We met at Catlin after Saturday morning's storms had passed and loaded into an activity bus.  A drive toward the mouth of the Sandy river took us into Troutdale, home of Bumblebee Organic Farm.  We played a couple of challenge and team-building games before we broke off into three teams (Wolf Pack, Inner Power, and Firebirds) to be farmers for the rest of the weekend.

We performed farm chores such as harvesting grapes and tomatoes, working rows of beans, and shucking corn before it was time for dinner: an amazing pasta and salad night from produce straight off the vine.

Some exciting campfire skits were a highlight of the evening before we tucked ourselves into cozy (and dry!) tents before a midnight rainstorm took us through the night.  We woke up to clear skies and huge pancakes on Sunday and worked our way through a pumpkin patch before heading home in time to spend the rest of the weekend with our families.  It was sad to see the trip come to an end, but we walked away as friends, having learned so much more about farming, and more connected to the food we eat.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning ahead for swine flu

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Catlin Gabel's plans and recommendations in anticipation of the coming flu season
Lark, division heads, and other staff members are constantly monitoring information from local county health departments. Administrative assistant Chris Balag attended a statewide conference on swine flu in late August, where she met with Governor Kulongoski and local health authorities. Since the start of the school year we have been in regular contact with Kathleen O'Leary, Washington County public health administator, and Dr. Paul Lewis, deputy tri-county health officer and associate professor of infectious diseases at OHSU, to ensure that our information is current and our plans are appropriate.
 
Here are some of Catlin Gabel’s plans and recommendations in anticipation of the coming flu season:
 
Anyone with flu-like symptoms should STAY HOME and remain at home until he or she is fever free without medication for at least 24 hours. This is a public health issue; everyone’s cooperation is vitally important.
 
When calling in to report your child’s absence, we would appreciate knowing if he or she has flu-like symptoms. We will do our best to track trends.
 
Students missing classes will have ample opportunity to make up work. Teachers will take special care to help.
 
Students missing practices or games because of illness will not be penalized for their absence.
 
When one-third or more of the students in any one grade level are out sick for any reason, be it swine flu, pink eye, or any other communicable illness, we may close appropriate portions of the school.
 
We are reserving “sick rooms” on campus where we can isolate adults and children who become ill with flu-like symptoms at school until they are taken home.
 
The cleaning crew will take extra measures to disinfect tables, doorknobs, faucets, and other surfaces.
 
We will step up efforts to remind students and teachers of the following precautions to prevent the spread of viruses. We urge you to reinforce these good hygiene practices at home.
 
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way. 
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you develop flu-like symptoms of fever, aches and pains, sore throat, coughing, trouble breathing, runny nose, or nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, you should contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing and treatment is needed.
 
For more information about the H1N1 virus, please visit www.flu.oregon.gov
 
If you have any questions about Catlin Gabel’s plans, please get in touch with Chris Balag at 503-297-1894 ext. 274.

Empty the Lot Day

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Thursday, October 14

Choose how you cruise

On this symbolic day, the Catlin Gabel community will join in an effort to empty the parking lot!

We urge you to try using a different form of transportation if you usually travel by car. Help reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to keep the air clean for everyone. You may even find that you prefer riding the bus with your friends or biking in the crisp morning air!

Choose how you cruise

How will YOU get to school?
  • Bike
  • Walk
  • Carpool (link to carpool map)
  • MAX or TriMet
  • Ride the Catlin Gabel bus for free – one day only special
 
Sign-up is required even for regular riders.

Beginning and Lower School parents: Ginny Malm has access to the online registration information so you don't need to call her if you sign up online by Thursday, October 7.

Happy travels!

 

Welcome back to school

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Letter from Lark Palma

Welcome! I hope you are looking forward to the 2009-10 school year as much as I am. Some fabulous new students are joining us in all four divisions. I know that returning families will join me in welcoming our new community members.

We are proud to open with full enrollment. We were able to increase this year’s financial aid budget by 41 percent, which allowed us to keep our community together despite the recession. This is a real testament to our board members and their commitment to making financial aid a school priority. While we have never been frivolous spenders, faculty and staff worked hard to trim budgets without negatively affecting the academic and co-curricular programs. The school’s long-term financial health is in great shape.

To our parents: sending your child to Catlin Gabel is a big commitment, and we deeply appreciate the trust you have placed in us. Your child will have a great year in school. Your daughter or son will be enthusiastic about learning and will grow in ways you do not expect. Our extraordinary teachers, librarians, counselors, and support staff members will work side by side with students to make learning engaging and challenging. 

Teachers and staff members were busy throughout the summer preparing for students to return. The much-needed new coat of paint on the Barn symbolizes our approach to education: honor our traditions while making things fresh and new. We launch the year fully invested in all our students’ success at school.

 Catlin Gabel teachers are extraordinary, as exemplified this spring and summer by four faculty members who received honors of note. The United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board honored two teachers with awards: Paul Monheimer, 7th grade world cultures teacher, was awarded a Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching to conduct research in Israel spring semester, and Cindy Beals, Upper School math teacher, received a Fulbright Teacher Exchange grant to teach in Turkey for the 2009-10 academic year. I am pleased to welcome 6th grade math teacher Nagame (pronounced Nah may) Karamustafaoglu from Turkey, who came as part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange. Upper School English teacher Nichole Tassoni attended a seminar on Dante in Italy this summer sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The American Immigration Council awarded Upper School Spanish teacher Lauren Reggero-Toledano a grant for her project, “The Hispanic Presence in Oregon During the Great Depression and Today.” Read more about the awards that speak to the excellence of our faculty in the “Congrats!” article.

As the 2009-10 school year begins, I invite you to join Upper School students and teachers in reading Mountains Beyond Mountains. We are fortunate and thrilled to welcome the author, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder, to campus for this year’s Karl Jonske ’99 memorial lecture on Tuesday, October 13, at 11:30 a.m. in the Cabell Center Theater. You are all welcome to attend this special Upper School assembly.

I look forward to seeing everyone on campus again and finding out about your summer and your hopes for this new year. It’s going to be a great one!

Yours truly,
Lark Palma
Head of School

 

 

Bus schedules posted, daily service begins September 3

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Tired of traffic hassles?

Send your kids to school on the Catlin Gabel bus! Riding the bus is good for the environment, reduces parking lot overcrowding, and saves you time and money.

The 2009-10 bus schedules are posted on the school web site on the Bus Service page in the Parents section.

Parents must print out, complete, and sign two 2009-10 required documents (Department of Education Regulations and Parent Guidelines) authorizing bus ridership for this year. The documents are posted as PDF files on the Bus Service page. Please return the completed documents to the administrative assistant in your child’s division.

 

 

Teacher Paul Monheimer awarded Fulbright for research in Israel

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He'll study virtual international classroom exchanges

The United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently that Paul Monheimer, 7th grade history teacher at Catlin Gabel, has been awarded a Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching to conduct research in Israel.

Monheimer will spend the spring semester researching how to create meaningful virtual exchanges that use graphic software to overcome language barriers. He will work with Israeli teachers, teacher colleges, and students.

Monheimer is currently attending orientation for the program in Washington, DC. "In the past 24 hours, I have spent time with some amazing teachers from Singapore, South Africa, Israel, and Argentina," he reports. "How can we enable teachers and students to communicate regularly with one another across the globe? There is no substitute for actually travelling in a country, but today's technology ought to allow folks to come pretty close."

The new Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching will send 13 U.S. teachers abroad and bring 13 international teachers to the U.S. for a semester to pursue capstone projects, conduct research, take courses for professional development, and lead master classes or seminars for teachers and students. The program is open to teachers from Argentina, India, Israel, Finland, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people – 111,000 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 183,000 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States – with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational, and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.