Sunday, February 24, 2008

Donate Rice to the Poor of the World

A Website Worth Checking Out
  • Click on the answer that best defines the word.
  • If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
  • For each word you get right, 20 grains of rice is donated to the United Nations World Food Program. WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance...

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From the newsletter of Seoul American Middle School, Korea (AVID)

This past week an on-campus evaluation was conducted by the DoDDS-Pacific Area Office for recertification of our AVID program. The evaluation heaped bright words of praise on our program and the learning opportunities afforded our students. In fact, SAMS has become the only school in DoDDS-Pacific to have a DoDEA Model/Demonstration program. This was earned by having all program essential elements institutionalized. Twelve specific commendations were recorded regarding our commitment to high student achievement. In particular, the addition of AVID to this school year’s 6th grade curriculum was applauded. This certification is an honor that has been achieved through the efforts of many stakeholders including our parents, students, faculty and staff.

Our stakeholders might ask, “What significance is this honor if my child is not enrolled in AVID?” At SAMS, AVID permeates the academic environment. One of the guiding principles of our school mission statement is “AVID centered teaching methods.” (You can review our mission statement and all of the guiding principles on our website, One of the most visible aspects of AVID is our school-wide common binder. All students use the same format of organizational skills, Cornell notes, and WICR (writing, inquiry, collaboration and reading) strategies regardless of their teacher, team or course. Since 83% of the faculty has received AVID implementation training, our stakeholders can be assured that these strategies are followed. Additionally, the 7th grade study skills course is based on AVID principles.

A secondary benefit to an outstanding AVID program is the increase in rigorous courses. Sections of high school credit courses have been added in algebra, French, German, geometry, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish in the past few years. Literally hundreds of 7th and 8th grade students have benefited from the increase in course offerings. In fact, over 350 high school credits will be earned by our students this year. Therefore, approximately 250 non-AVID students work and sit together with AVID students in these rigorous courses. No other middle school in the Pacific comes close to this level of accomplishment.

You can learn more about AVID on our website at

or the AVID website at

AVID is defined as:

a language arts based curriculum with emphasis on the writing process and writing as a tool of learning. In addition to inquiry and collaboration, AVID also provides students with academic survival skills, i.e., time management, note taking, textbook reading, library research, test taking skills, and study skills. The Cornell note-taking system is taught and students are expected to use this system in all classes.

Later this spring, our AVID site team will compile a list of students who would best benefit from this course. Should your student be invited to participate (whether at SAMS or SAHS), would you please consider enrolling them in this powerful course? Should your student not qualify, be assured that many of the skills offered in AVID will be present in other course curriculums and lessons. It truly is a great time to have your student enrolled at SAMS.


Darrell R. Mood


Friday, February 15, 2008

Giving Disorganized Boys the Tools for Success

This recent article in The New York Times reiterates what AVID already does--gives students the tools they need to be successful in school (and life).  One of the most important, of course, is organization.  Read the entire article to see what people are paying for the same things AVID does for you!


"With girls outperforming boys these days in high school and college, educators have been sparring over whether there is a crisis in the education of boys. Some suggest the need for more single-sex schools, more male role models or new teaching techniques. Others are experimenting with physical changes in classrooms that encourage boys to move around, rather than trying to anchor them to their seats.

"But as they debate, high-priced tutors and college counselors have jumped into the fray by charging as much as $100 an hour and up to bring boys to heel.

"The tutors say their main focus is organizational skills because boys seem generally to have more difficulty getting organized and multitasking than girls do.

And so private counselors in places as diverse as Chicago, New York City, Sarasota, Fla., and Bennington, Vt., who guide juniors and seniors in applying to college, have devised elaborate systems — from color-coded, four-month calendars that mark dozens of deadlines to file boxes that students must take to each session."

And from one of these high-priced tutors:

"She requires her clients to have a three-ring, loose-leaf binder for each academic subject, to divide each binder into five sections — notes, homework, handouts, tests and quizzes, and blank paper — and to use a hole puncher relentlessly, so that every sheet of school-related paper is put into its proper home.

"Students must maintain a daily planner; they are required to number the order in which they want to do each day’s homework and draw a box next to each assignment, so it can be checked off when completed.

"Homework must be done in a two-hour block in a quiet room, with absolutely no distractions: no instant messaging, no Internet, no music, no cellphone, no television.

"While some girls need help getting organized, at least three-quarters of her students are boys, Ms. Homayoun said. Girls usually adopt her methods more quickly."

Sounds like AVID? Read the entire article here:


Useful sites and information from

9th-11th Graders

Admissions Timeline I For Your 9th Grade Student

See what your student can do as a freshman to prepare.

Admissions Timeline II For Your 10th Grade Student

Learn how your student can prepare for college in the sophomore year.

Admissions Timeline III For Your 11th Grade Student

How your student can prepare for college in the junior year.

What's Important For Your 9th-11th Grade Student

What should your student be doing now to prepare for college admissions?

The Top 12 Tips and Tricks You Need to Get Into the College of Your Dreams Part I

Jump to the head of the line with these lesser-known admission strategies. Part I of II.

The Top 12 Tips and Tricks You Need to Get Into the College of Your Dreams Part II

Jump to the head of the line with these lesser-known admission strategies. Part II of II.

How To Save For College - Quick

It's never too late to save for college.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Credit Union Essay Contest

The PTSO, Navy Marine Corp Relief Society and Navy Federal Credit Union are teaming up to offer the essay contest again this year.  The title of the essay is "What Financial Responsibility Means to Me."  The essay must be double spaced, not more than 300 words and must have a cover page that includes the students name and the advisory/seminar teacher's name.  The students name cannot appear on the essay page and they can make no references to family members by name.  There will be three $100.00 savings bonds given to the winners.  One winner from seventh/eighth grades, one from ninth/tenth, and one from eleventh/twelfth grades will be chosen.  The deadline for the contest is Wednesday, April 30th .   E ssays received after that date will not be considered.  Essays can be turned in to the front office for placement in the PTSO box.  A reminder will be sent out in February and March.  Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

AVID Student Chess Champ!

Congratulations to AVID 7th grader Steve Kennedy, the 2008 Chess Champion of Sigonella Middle School! 

Friday, February 08, 2008

AVID Middle School Honor Roll Students

Congratulations to the following middle school AVID students who were honored at the assembly on February 7 for their attainment of the honor roll (3.0 and higher) for the 2nd quarter of the school year:

8th grade: Yoshie B., Justine C., Heidy I., Gabriella M., and Nikia S.

7th grade: Harriet H., Kassandra G., Sara J., and Zachary B.


50% of the AVID middle school students made the honor roll.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

State Specific Scholarships: A Resource List

This is a GREAT site! I've put it on the sidebar under LINKS at the right.

Find Your Home State or the State Where You Will Attend College

If you have not checked the scholarships offered by your own home state then you are without a doubt missing out on some very well-funded scholarship programs. Let us show you how to quickly and easily identify the state funds most targeted to your educational needs.

Remember, most scholarship programs are merit-based. They originate with a variety of sources: federal and state government scholarships, professional organizations, and colleges and universities. Scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit or a combination of financial need andmerit are common from most state governments.

Let the Acceptances Begin!

Congratulations to AVID seniors on their first college acceptances! Carlo A (left) has been accepted at the University of California - Riverside, and Kevin R (right) at Old Dominion University in Virginia. Yay!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Get Involved in Community Theater

Interested in getting involved with the Sigonella community production of The Music Man? Want to know more?

What is The Music Man?

This family-oriented fun-loving musical opened on Broadway in 1957 and was awarded a Tony for best musical beating West Side Story. Two movie versions of The Music Man were released – in 1962 starring Robert Preston and in 2003 starring Matthew Broderick.

"Professor" Harold Hill is a conman whose scam is to convince parents he can teach their children to play musical instruments. Taking pre-paid orders for instruments and uniforms with the promise he will form a band, he skips town and moves on to the next one before he's exposed.

The show includes a cast of 50 – 60 characters from all ages. We plan to cast approximately 20 adults, 20 teenagers (12-16) and 20 younger children (6 - 11) . Adult and teenage auditions are open to whoever shows up. The 6 - 11 year olds are being pre-auditioned in music class.

For more information about the musical, visit

How can I be a part of this?


Polish up your singing, dancing and acting talents and audition for the more than 50 roles in the show. We need all ages and abilities. See attached MUSIC MAN ROLES and AUDITION INFORMATION pages.

A little rusty? Come to the Audition Workshops and get to know the music by singing and dancing in a non-threatening atmosphere. See attached AUDITION WORKSHOP page.

Behind the Scenes

Build and create sets, scenery and props.

Design, sew and organize costumes for the cast.

Do make-up and hair for the production.

Play in the orchestra.

Be a rehearsal accompanist.

Work during the shows on the backstage crew.

Be a techie: run sound or lights.

How much time is involved? A little or a lot!

Audition Workshops: February 19/21 - Knights Hall

Auditions: February 25/26 - Knights Hall

Production Dates: May 9/10 - Knights Hall

For more info:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

High School Students Honor Rolled!

Congratulations to all of these AVID high school students who achieved honor roll status for the THIRD QUARTER:

SENIORS: Patrick F., Carlo A., Kevin R., and Mia S.

JUNIORS: Tim F., Jennifer P., and Brittany B.

SOPHOMORES: Aica D., Camron S., Chynnah T., Torey D., Denice P., and Niko R.

FRESHMEN: Leah J., Lakara S., Catalina L., Kris R., Marco M., and Michael M.

Two-thirds of all the AVID high school students achieved this honor this quarter! Salute!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Middle School and College Preparation

Good article, worth your time!  Eye-opening stats on some Florida schools!
  • Competitive college admissions drive middle-school preparation
    Having scored a 35 out of 36 on the ACT, earned a near-perfect GPA in college-level classes, and founded an organization dedicated to peace, Arianna Pattek at one time would have had her pick of Ivy League schools -- but no more: Increasingly intense competition means that getting into one's school of choice is no longer a sure thing, even for students with stellar qualifications, which has the parents of some middle-school children already mapping out college plans. The Palm Beach Post
Four state schools:

2007's freshman class, on average 

 University of Florida

4.1 grade point average*

1276 SAT

27.7 ACT

Florida State University

3.8 grade point average*

1218 SAT

27 ACT

University of Central Florida

3.73 grade point average*

1217 SAT

26 ACT

Florida Atlantic University

3.2 grade point average*

1041 SAT

22 ACT

* Grade point averages are difficult to compare because methodology used to compute them varies from university to university. Some include only core academic courses. Colleges give varying weight for honors or college-level courses taken in high school.

SAT scores are composite of verbal and math results.

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