Service and Advocacy Bake Sale

Thanks to all MS students, staff, and families who participated in the Service and Advocacy class bake sale on Friday, October 26, to benefit children in the Foster Children’s Resource Center. Your generous baked good donations and purchases helped us to raise over $200! And, congratulations to the creative bakers who won our friendly bake sale competition: Ry D., Avery G., and Avalon G.!


Creativity, team-building and fun at the Middle School Halloween celebration!

8th grade students participate in the grade-level Mummy Wrap competition.

Middle School students had a spooktacular time on Tuesday, October 30, as we celebrated Halloween with a costume parade, a grade-level mummy wrap competition, and an advisory team Pumpkin Decorating Contest! We’ve shared some photos of the festivities:

Students vote during I Block for the “Scariest,” “Funniest” and “Most Creative” advisory pumpkins–and collect a sweet treat!

Our librarians get into the Halloween spirit.

Students get into the Halloween spirit with a gathering in the PFAC!

For a special Halloween treat, we hope you’ll enjoy this gallery of spoooooky and witty advisory pumpkin designs!

History and community: Spanish students visit Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles

On Sunday, October 28, Middle School Spanish students, teachers, families and friends participated in our annual historic scavenger hunt on Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Our students made connections between Los Angeles’ present-day culture and its Spanish colonial and Mexican heritage as they visited some of the oldest buildings in Los Angeles, including the Casa Avila Adobe, viewed the Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros’ mural America Tropical, and enjoyed the artistic altars, musical and dance performances on display as the Mexican-American and Hispanic community celebrates el Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). The tour was capped off with a sweet treat from Mr. Churro, a modern-day Olvera Street landmark!


The MS Daily Bulletin goes to YouTube in our first student newscast!

This week the Middle School launched its first Daily Bulletin newscast on YouTube! All interested students were invited to sign up for a chance to be part of this pilot and, for our first newscast, 7th grader Mia N., 8th grader Josh D. and 6th grader Emy M. each presented sections on Middle School I Block activities, Viewpoint community events, and special reminders and upcoming due dates.

The response from our student, faculty and staff viewers this morning was positive, and we look forward to seeing this newscast evolve with more viewer feedback and ideas! Stay tuned for next week’s newscast!

Middle School substance abuse prevention workshops with Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD)

Thank you for joining us on Monday evening at our parent information session with educators from Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD). FCD prevention specialists are highly trained professionals who have achieved healthy recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. This unique perspective enhances the credibility of their message and provides students with role models for happy, healthy, drug-free living. From Monday through Thursday of this week, Middle School students have been engaged in workshops with FCD to gain the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices.

For those who were unable to join us on Monday, we would like to share with you the resources for parents provided to us by FCD. Questions? Please contact Melissa Strong at

Please CLICK to open link to FCD Prevention Works presentation slides.


Mornings With Mr. Chan, Oct. 9, 2018

Thank you for joining us at the first of our Middle School coffees, Mornings With Mr. Chan, on Tuesday, Oct. 9! We look forward to sharing a great new year with our Middle School students and families.

At these informal gatherings, we will discuss Middle School programs, resources for students and families, and tips for navigating developmental milestones in your adolescent’s life in a smaller setting. Our first coffee was an opportunity to get to know better the roles and support provided by each of our Middle School Administrative Team members, to discuss Middle School events and themes for the month of October, and to build new friendships and connections with the Middle School parent community.

For those who were unable to join us, please click the link below to view our presentation slides. In this presentation you will find linked resources for Freedom from Chemical Dependency (which will be on our campus from Oct. 15-18 to lead student workshops),, sponsors of Unity Day (a national event to promote inclusion and kindness and prevent bullying), and Lori Getz, Cyber Education consultant (who will offer presentations for parents and students on Oct. 25).

Please CLICK to view full slideshow from Mornings With Mr. Chan, Oct. 9, 2018!

Hands-on culture as Ms. Zhang’s Introduction to Chinese class celebrates Moon Cake Day!

On September 20, Jane Zhang and her 6th grade students prepared for the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival, perhaps better known as Moon Cake Day, by making these traditional sweets together in class. Brayden C. observed, “It tastes like sweet Play-Doh.” (We’ll pretend that neither we nor Brayden have any idea what real Play-Doh tastes like.) Maryn Y. commented, “It was really good. It was sweet, but not over sweet.” According to Amelia N., “(Ours are) better than the store’s!”

Though we can’t offer our readers a taste, we can all feast our eyes on our students’ beautiful finished products!

Reinventing the flashlight: A day in Mr. Martin’s Practical Electronics class

As you travel through your daily routine, consider for a moment all of the electronic tools and gadgets you depend upon. Perhaps you used a hair dryer or an electric toothbrush while getting ready this morning? Or a toaster to prepare your bagel and cream cheese? Did you use a garage door opener before departing for work or school in your electric vehicle? Or turn on the radio on your commute?

We use so many gadgets on a daily basis that it’s easy to take them for granted–so much so that we might not give any thought to how these inventions came to be, both in terms of form and function. However, even the simplest device may reflect a great deal of careful thought and elegant design in order to produce something that is practical and effective.

Students in Mr. Martin’s Practical Electronics class this week were faced with a challenge: Make a flashlight. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? After all, flashlights already exist! Ah, but here’s the catch: you must design one from scratch, with no instructions. (Oh, and it must also work.) It’s not so simple anymore, is it?

This project was an entry point for students to gain an understanding of the design process, as well as the tools and basic materials required for creating electronic devices, learned on a “just in time” basis as they progress through the steps of designing and building their own flashlights. On the day of my visit, students had already drafted prototypes for their flashlights on paper. After a brief demonstration of the tools at their disposal and a primer in their safe use, students were ready to cut wires, drill holes and use soldering guns to bring their simple flashlight designs to life.

We can’t wait to see the finished products! For the moment, here are some images from Day 1 of the building process…

Mr. Martin introduces the construction process to the class with a student assistant.

I get to view a (top secret!) example of a finished product, as students attempt to sneak a glimpse.


Students are required to wear safety goggles while using the mounted drill.

Mr. Martin joins students at work, coaching as needed.

Students work together to solder a flashlight piece.

A student uses pliers to cut electrical wire.