Archive for December, 2016

Power Hour!

December 12, 2016


Did you know that computing is the #1 source of wages in the U.S.? There are more than 500,000 computing jobs open nationwide, but last year only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce. Computer science is foundational for every industry today. Yet most schools don’t teach it. Teachers at Middlesex Elementary School are trying to change that.

On Friday, December 9th,MES students joined in on the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code. The hour of code encourages schools to teach the foundational 21st century skills of computer programming to students of all ages. 

Among the classes that participated in the Hour of Code were Ms. Spain’s fourth grade class, Ms. Wright’s fourth grade class and Ms. Reiley’s fifth grade class with Ms. Segall (Media Specialist).  Even Principal Sanders joined in the fun!  Katie Brockel, Coordinator of Gifted Education, facilitated the event and helped teachers learn how to incorporate computer programming in their classrooms.reiley-5th-grade-5

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” remarked Superintendent Pete Gretz. “Ms. Brockel’s work with our teachers to integrate hands-on computer science experiences is an invaluable part of our mission. We are incredibly blessed to have her in Middlesex.”

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook  when asked about programming education stated “In fifteen years we will be teaching programming like  we teach reading and writing, and  wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.”

You can learn more about the Hour of Code by going to 



All the World’s a Stage

December 8, 2016

selfieMost modern teenagers would recoil at the thought of performing live in front of a audience.

Bright lights, everyone staring at you, no redo, raw emotion…ah, the joy of the theatre!

Next Monday, December 12th at 6pm in the MHS auditorium, students from the MHS Drama Department are poised to amaze and delight us with a dramatic performance of “Selfie” by Bradley Hayward.

Selfie is a “dramedy,” which combines elements of drama and comedy, as it portrays real struggles of high-schoolers everywhere. A teen-age boy, labeled as a delinquent by his peers, goes to extreme trouble trying to prove to people around him they are right. The stage lights shine on a scene, where he is in the hospital recovering from a fight. He feels as if he’s done the right thing but he’s lucky to make it out with his life. A harrowing, heartfelt, genuine story unfolds.

It is exciting to see the MHS Drama Department flourishing under the watchful eye of Mrs. Adrienne Barker. In many schools across the nation, extracurricular activities including drama and art are being phased out due to budget cuts or in some cases perceived lack of interest.

One must not forget that a healthy dose of theatre may be just what the doctor ordered for both the performers as well as the audience. The performance of theatre is a universal cultural phenomenon that exists in every society around the world. It teaches us how to express ourselves more effectively. It develops our ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings to others, improving our relationships and improving the world around us. Theatre teaches us about ourselves. It helps us understand how the human mind works. It helps us to see how the environments in which we live affect who we are and who we will become.

Performance permeates every aspect of our everyday lives. Power relationships are constructed through performances. Understanding how performances unfold around us can help us to recognize and take control of the power dynamics that affect us.

Theatre helps us to develop our creativity. As our education system increasingly puts an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math, we cannot forget the importance of the arts!

Selfie is in its final days of rehearsal, and the students in the drama department are eager to share it with the community. There is no admission charge to attend the December 12th performance, but patrons are encouraged to donate to the MHS Drama Department. There will be refreshments available for purchase in the main lobby, complete with programs and ushers to lead patrons to their seats, another effort toward making this experience an authentic one.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts ~ As You Like It, William Shakespeare

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