Lions Share

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This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Progress Reports This Week
This is the fourth week of the first quarter grading period.  At the end of the fourth week of each grading period, progress reports are sent home with every student.  Your child should have brought one home yesterday.  After you have reviewed it, please sign the progress report.  Students need to return their signed progress reports to their 4th period advisory teacher by this Friday (9/15).

Progress reports only reflect the current average in each class.  For more detail, please check on txConnect.  If you have questions, please email the teacher of the class you are wondering about.
 
Friday IB Continuum Celebration
In Spring 2017 we received word that Meridian School was officially authorized as an IB World School for the Middle Years Program. This means that Meridian is now one of the few "IB continuum" schools, that is, schools that offer the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma programs all in the same school. There are only four schools in Texas that currently do so!
 
On Friday, during the start of 4th period, we will have a brief celebration of our being an IB Continuum school.  Part of this will involve a photograph.  Please help us by making sure that the spirit attire that students wear Friday (9/15) is either red or grey(no old Wellness Day shirts that are non-Meridian colors).
Ten Texas Teacher Finalists Presidential Teaching Award
A September 11 press release from the Texas Education Agency declared "Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that 10 Texas teachers have been named finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The 2017 awards recognize seventh through twelfth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom."  

One of these ten teachers is Meridian's own "Mark Rogers - Grades 11 and 12 International Baccalaureate mathematics teacher at Meridian World School in Round Rock"

"To achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must apply or be nominated for the award. A state panel of master teachers, content specialists, and administrators review the applications and select the most outstanding mathematics and science teachers for the National Science Foundation to consider for national awardee status. After the initial selection process at the state or territorial level, a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators may select one mathematics and one science teacher from each state and U.S. jurisdiction for the national award."

Congratulations to Mr. Rogers for being among this distinguished group of Texas educators chosen as finalists for the national award!
Yard Spirit Signs ON SALE NOW
Show your team and school spirit by displaying your personalized spirit sign in your own yard. For more information, to see all the yard sign options, and to order yours, please see Yard Sign Options & Ordering.

Hurry, the deadline to order is September 21st.

For questions, please contact Nicci Bassett at nicci118@yahoo.com.
Extended Essay Meetings on Wednesday (9/20) for Class of 2018
All Class of 2018 students (both full diploma and co-seated students) should please make plans to stay after school on Weds, September 20th to meet with their Extended Essay (EE) supervisor. The purpose of this meeting is to get feedback on the rough draft so that students can make final revisions to their EE.  There is a light at the end of the Extended Essay tunnel! A detailed meeting schedule will be shared with students this week.
Fundraising Meeting for Parents of 10th (Class of 2020) and 11th (Class of 2019) Graders
If you would like for your student to start raising money the for the IB exams and/or for the Senior Class Trip, please join us for a brief meeting about RS3 Concession fundraising opportunities on Monday, September 25th @ 6:00pm in the Old Secondary Cafeteria (High School Building).Even if you are not sure if your student will participate in the senior trip, he/she can begin raising money for their IB exams which cost approximately $900 total.  We hope to see you there!

Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Trip
A parent meeting with information on the Heifer Ranch 8th grade trip was held on September 5. If you are the parent of an 8th grader, or a 7th grader (who won't attend until next year, but has the opportunity to fund raise this year), and were unable to attend the meeting, please see the Heifer Ranch Trip Slidedeck.
Further information and forms can be found on the mwschool.org website, under "Students"-->"Class Trips"-->Heifer Ranch 2017
Freshman Conferences with Counselor
Freshman parents: every 9th grade student will have a 1:1 conference with High School Counselor Carrie Proctor this fall to answer any questions they may have and review their high school courses and four year plan. Parents should attend this important planning meeting and should use the Sign Up Genius link to select a time slot that corresponds with their child's PE, Study Hall, Computer Science or Design class time. Please arrive on time for your appointment as each one is scheduled for 20 minutes. Fall conferences will begin on September 18th and run through October 27th.

Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • September 14 (Thursday): Meridian Parent Meeting
  • September 15 (Friday): Students should wear red or grey for all-school photo 
  • September 15 (Friday):  Middle School Dance; Blue Hawai'i - PLEASE NOTE: students should enter from the south side of the Mays Building
  • September 25 (Monday):  RS3 Parent/Student Meeting 6:00pm
  • September 27 (Wednesday): College shirt & jeans day (last Wednesday of month)
  • September 30 (Saturday): Meridian Chess Tournament for grades 6-12
  • October 9-13: No School--October Break
  • October 17 (Tuesday): Student School Pictures
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • October 25 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
  • October 26 (Thursday):  12th Grade Play 6:00pm
  • October 28 (Saturday):  High School Dance
  • November 4 (Saturday): First Annual Meridian International Festival
  • November 6 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • January 18 (Thursday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • March 5 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • April 16 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
Patriots Day 9/11
The anniversary of the September 11 attack is commonly known as "Patriots Day." Meridian has an annual tradition of recognizing the service of firefighters and policemen on this day by presenting cards and treats to our local fire and police departments.
 
Ethiopian New Year
September 11 was the start of the Ethiopian New Year. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian nation and follows an ancient Egyptian Coptic calendar which differs from the Gregorian calendar used in much of the West and elsewhere. Bill Petro (billpetro.com) has an interesting commentary on Ethiopian New Year: "Enkutatash is the name for the Ethiopian New Year, and means 'gift of jewels' in the Amharic language. The story goes back almost 3,000 years to the Queen of Shebaof ancient Ethiopia and Yemen who was returning from a trip to visit King Solomon of Israel in Jerusalem, as mentioned in the Bible in I Kings 10 and II Chronicles 9. She had gifted Solomon with 120 talents of gold (4.5 tons) as well as a large amount of unique spices and jewels. When the Queen returned to Ethiopia her chiefs welcomed her with enku or jewels to replenish her treasury..."
 
"...The celebration is both religious and secular. Typically this is the end of the long rainy season and the countryside is covered with yellow daisies. The day begins with church services followed by the family meal. Young children will receive small gifts of money or bread after the girls gather flowers and sing and boys paint pictures of saints. Families visit friends and adults drink Ethiopian beer."
 
National Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and is a time for recognizing the history and contributions of those of Hispanic (Spanish language) heritage. According to hispanicheritagemonth.org, the roots of Hispanic Heritage Month go back to 1968. September 15 is the national independence day for five Hispanic countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua). Three more countries (Mexico, Chile, and Belize) also celebrate independence day during the period of September 15 through October 15.
Constitution Day
The United States Constitution was signed by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. It then had to be ratified by at least nine of the thirteen states in the United States of America in order to go into effect. This was not easy to accomplish, as many criticized the Convention for creating a new, more powerful national government rather than simply amending the existing Articles of Confederation.

Writing under the pseudonym of "Publius," Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay published numerous essays urging ratification. Today these collected essays are known as "the Federalist Papers." Many remained unconvinced, and urged that the Constitution be amended to specifically guarantee that the national government would not use its new powers to abridge rights a wide range of natural rights. After promises that this "Bill of Rights" would be added to the Constitution, many of the more reluctant states ratified the document. In May of 1790 Rhode Island became the last state to ratify the Constitution. By this point George Washington was already a year into his first term as president, having been elected after the first ten states ratified the Constitution, and starting his term in April of 1789.

September 17 is recognized nationally as "Constitution Day," and is a day to recognize our constitutional form of government, rights, and duties.
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
September 14, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
STUDENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Click HERE to view the current announcement slides shown in advisory class.
 
 
 
 
Click HERE for more info!
 
 
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This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Service Learning Day (9/8)
As we work to further integrate service learning into our curriculum, we are excited that Friday will be the first of four days planned this year that will be devoted entirely to service learning and other IB tasks.

Instead of regular classes, our students in grades 6 through 9 will be learning about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim of developing a plan for how they will work with a particular goal on the subsequent service learning days later this year. 8th grade will also be working with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but with a particular focus upon the Heifer Ranch trip which is coming up in October.

10th grade students will be working on their MYP Personal Projects, 11th grade students on DP CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service), and 12th grade students on the DP Extended Essay.
Volunteer Fair Saturday (9/9)
Saturday (9/9) from 1:00-3:00pm Meridian will be holding our third annual Volunteer Fair in the M Building cafeteria.  Though this may be of particular interest to our juniors who are beginning work on CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) for the Diploma Program, students from all grades 6 through 12 might want to come by and see what kinds of opportunities there are to match personal interests with a way get involved in the community! Parent volunteers are needed. Please sign up HERE.
Meridian Class Trips
Bi-annual class trips are an important Meridian tradition. Starting in the Primary School, every even grade goes on a major class trip that increases in magnitude as students get older. In the secondary school, these trips allow students to extend classroom learning and provide opportunities outside of school for students to bond with one-another and with faculty.
  • 6th grade: the class trip goes out of town. Recently we have gone to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. More details on the 6th grade class trip will be sent out later this year.  
  • 8th grade: students take a two night trip to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, to extend classroom learning on sustainable development and world hunger.
  • 10th grade: students are preparing for college through the College Readiness class, and so take a college-themed class trip, visiting colleges with extremely different characters and the Texas IB Schools College Fair.
  • 12th grade: students engage in a summative international experience. For our first senior class the destination was Costa Rica, last year and this year it is Ecuador, and next year it will be Barcelona & Paris.

If at all possible, 100% of Meridian students should have the opportunity of experiencing the enrichment provided through Meridian Class Trips. In that vein, if you have an 8th grade student, see below!
Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Trip
A parent meeting with information on the Heifer Ranch 8th grade trip was held Monday night (9/5). If you are the parent of an 8th grader, or a 7th grader (who won't attend until next year, but has the opportunity to fund raise this year), and were unable to attend the meeting, please see the Heifer Ranch Trip Slidedeck.
Further information and forms can be found on the mwschool.org website, under "Students"-->"Class Trips"-->Heifer Ranch 2017
CAS & EE in the Diploma Program
In addition to taking challenging academic classes in six different subjects and the Theory of Knowledge class, Meridian juniors and seniors balance their learning with the IB Diploma Program requirements of CAS(Creativity, Activity, Service) and the EE (Extended Essay).

One aspect of the IB Diploma Program is the "CAS Experience." All Meridian juniors and seniors are involved in extracurricular activities that are creative (such as band or Model United Nations), active (such as playing on the Meridian basketball team or going on Boy Scout backpacking trips), and service oriented (such as working for Habitat for Humanity or organizing the Meridian "Dodgeball for Life" tournament). CAS really helps students to involve themselves in and reflect upon experiences outside of the classroom, and develop into well-rounded, balanced individuals.

The Extended Essay (EE) is meant to be a culmination of student experiences in the Diploma Program, just as Exhibition is a culmination of PYP and the Personal Project is a culmination of MYP. For the EE, juniors choose a subject in which they are taking a Diploma Program class (English, French, or Spanish Language & Literature; History; Science; Mathematics; Theater or Visual Arts). They then develop a question which they research and write a 4,000 word research paper, which is due in the fall of the senior year.  This is an excellent preparation for the challenging research and writing assignments they will encounter in college.
Progress Reports Next Week
This is the fourth week of the first quarter grading period. At the end of the fourth week of each grading period, progress reports are sent home with every student. Progress reports will go home next week, so be sure to be looking for them!

Progress reports only reflect the current average in each class.  For more detail, please check on txConnect. If you have questions, please email the teacher of the class you are wondering about.
Use of Reserved Handicapped Spaces
Please do not park in spaces reserved for the handicapped unless you not only have a permit for such a spot but also have a disabled person who will be loading or unloading from the vehicle. There have been instances when a driver with a valid permit has used a handicapped space, but the individual exiting the car was not mobility impaired. Due to this, a student who was mobility impaired was not able to use the spot.  Please be considerate of this situation and only use handicapped spaces when required by the person loading or unloading.

Deadline to Reserve a Chromebook is Monday, Sept 11th (High School Only)
High school students are expected to have their own device (a laptop/Chromebook, etc.) for daily use. We have a number of students who are taking advantage of our "Lease Your Own Device" program--so many that we are currently out of devices! Action Requested: If you would like to lease a Chromebook for your student, please email Mrs. Holcombe at s.holcombe@mwschool.org by Monday, Sept 11th to reserve a device. We plan to order additional Chromebook devices on Tuesday. The cost to lease a device is $160 for the full year or $90 per semester. Financial aid is available. Please contact Mrs. Holcombe for more information.
7th Grade Duke Tip Identification Program
In early September, the Duke Tip identification letters are being sent home to 7th grade students who qualify. Any 7th grade student who scored at or above the 95% on a their most recent STAAR standardized test is automatically qualified to register for the SAT or ACT. This is how Meridian identifies our potential Duke Tip students. However, there are some qualifying factors that Meridian would not be aware of such as your child  scoring 125 or above on an accepted IQ test that is no more than two years old. If you feel your child would do well and you are interested in them being part of the Duke Tip program, please do not hesitate to call or email Nancy Spence, MS Counselor for an application form.  Students who make high scores on either the SAT or ACT may choose to be enrolled in the Duke Tip program that offers e-studies and summer enrichment programs. The test results cannot be used for college applications.
Planners
All 6th and 7th grade students were issued Meridian School planners at the beginning of the year. These are a wonderful resource, allowing students to develop the skill of keeping track of assignments and due dates in a planner, and the planners are also chock-full of helpful MYP information on Approaches to Learning, the Global Concepts, etc.

Students in grades 8 and up have the option of purchasing a Meridian School planner for themselves! If you are interested, please see Kristi Anderlohr in the M Building office. The cost is $11. Please bring exact change or a check made out to Meridian School.
Heifer Fundraiser: $2 T-Shirt Tuesday (9/12)
Students in grades K through 12 will have the opportunity to help us lower the per student cost of the 8th grade Heifer Ranch trip by participating in $2 T-Shirt Tuesday(9/12). Students who donate $2 before Tuesday may wear jeans and a t-shirt, either of their favorite non-profit charity, or a Meridian spirit shirt.
Financial Aid Information Night for Senior Parents (9/12)
Tuesday, September 12, 6:30 pm
Senior parents are invited to attend this information night to learn about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as the overall financial aid process in colleges. The presenter, Stacy Flood, is currently a college financial aid officer and has many years of experience helping students and parents with this process at both public and private university settings.
Financial Aid Workshop for Senior Parents (10/18)
Wednesday, October 18, 6:00
This is not an information session, but rather an opportunity for parents and students to work on their individual FAFSA with the assistance of Stacy Flood.  Parents may sign up for a specific time on Sign-up Genius:
Senior Conferences with Counselor
Senior parents: as a follow-up to the Junior Student-Parent Conferences held last spring, High School College Counselor Kathy Gregg will meet with each senior this fall to review graduation requirements, post-secondary planning, financial aid and the college application process.  Conferences will take place August 30 - September 29. Please consult with your student to select a time that is convenient for their class schedule and then sign up online at: Senior Conference Signup
If you are unable to attend, Mrs. Gregg will schedule a time to meet with each student before October 1 to be sure they have a plan in place for graduation and fall 2018.
 
Freshman Conferences with Counselor
Freshman parents: every 9th grade student will have a 1:1 conference with High School Counselor Carrie Proctor this fall to answer any questions they may have and review their high school courses and four year plan. Parents should attend this important planning meeting and should use the Sign Up Genius link to select a time slot that corresponds with their child's PE, Study Hall, Computer Science or Design class time. Please arrive on time for your appointment as each one is scheduled for 20 minutes. Fall conferences will begin on September 18th and run through October 27th.

Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • September 8 (Friday):  Student Service Learning Day
  • September 9 (Saturday): Volunteer Fair 1:00-3:00pm, M Cafeteria
  • September 12 (Tuesday): $2 T-shirt Tuesday (Heifer fundraiser)
  • September 14 (Thursday): Meridian Parent Meeting
  • September 15 (Friday):  Middle School Dance; Blue Hawai'i
  • September 25 (Monday):  RS3 Parent/Student Meeting 6:00pm
  • September 27 (Wednesday): College shirt & jeans day (last Wednesday of month)
  • September 30 (Saturday): Meridian Chess Tournament for grades 6-12
  • October 9-13: No School--October Break
  • October 17 (Tuesday): Student School Pictures
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • October 25 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
  • October 26 (Thursday):  12th Grade Play 6:00pm
  • October 28 (Saturday):  High School Dance
  • November 4 (Saturday): First Annual Meridian International Festival
  • November 6 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • January 18 (Thursday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • March 5 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • April 16 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
Teachers Day Celebrated in India
September 5 (yesterday) is celebrated in India as Teachers Day. According to The Indian Express, the recognition of this day began in 1962.  "Internationally acclaimed teacher, philosopher par excellence" Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President of India (1952-62) and second President of India (1962-1967). When he became president, his students wished to honor him by celebrating his September 5 birthday as "Radhakrishnan Day." President Radhakrishnan declined, suggesting instead that all teachers be honored on September 5.  Now "every year, on September 5, classrooms across India fill up with greeting cards, chocolates, flowers and performances as student showcase what their teachers mean to them."
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
September 6, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
STUDENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Click HERE to view the current announcement slides shown in advisory class.
 
 
 
 
Click HERE for more info!
 
 
Want to bypass the carline?
Purchase raffle tickets HERE and you could win your very own parking spot!
 
 
Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Pinterest
Top Lion
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Emergency Notifications
Anytime there is a need for school to be postponed or cancelled, we will send an emergency text as we did Sunday night. You can also check  the website and Facebook accounts for updates.  

If you did not receive a text from Meridian on Sunday evening, please email admin@mwschool.org to get added to the text list.
Clubs & Extracurricular Activities
Is your Meridian Secondary School child interested in extracurricular before and after school activities? These are announced to students through Announcements during Advisory period (before 4th and 8th period, every day except Wednesday). Would you like to see Announcements? It's on the mwschool.org website. From the home page, look at the bottom and select "Lions Share" newsletter. This will have the most recent Lions Share, and at the top there is a link to the current Announcements slide deck.
 
For a more comprehensive list of clubs and extracurricular activities, including when they meet and their faculty advisor, go to the "Students" menu on mwschool.org, and select "Secondary Extracurricular Clubs and Activities".
 
If you are interested in Meridian competitive athletics, go to the "Athletics-Arts-After School" menu and select "Athletics"
 
A couple of new competitive academic extracurricular opportunities for Middle School are listed below.
National Geographic Bee for 4th-8th Grades
National Geographic Bee informational meeting, Thursday, August 31st, Primary Cafeteria at 6:00pm. This activity is open to students in the 4th through 8th grade. Questions can be emailed to geographybee@mwschool.org.

Lego Robotics for 1st-8th Grades
Lego Robotics (FLL and FL Jr) informational meeting, Thursday, August 31st, Primary Cafeteria at 7:00pm. This activity is open to students in  1st through 8th grade. Questions can be emailed to legorobotics@mwschool.org
 
Coding Program - LAST CHANCE - Registration Ends 9/1 (Thursday)
This is your last chance to enroll in the after-school coding program. Registration ends on 9/1. Meridian World School and CodeWizardsHQ are partnering to offer a comprehensive coding program for grades 6th-10th. Students who register for the program will attend classes once/week, after school from Meridian. Students will be learning real-world programming languages including HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Python and more. This is a hands-on, interactive class using a fun, project based curriculum. 
For more information and to enroll, please visit

Registration ends next week!
Heifer Ranch Parent Meeting Tuesday (9/5)
7th and 8th grade parents, please come to a parent meeting the evening of this Tuesday, September 5. The meeting will be from 6:00-7:00 in the M (Mays / Middle) building cafeteria.  8th grade parents will learn details of this exciting trip, and 7th grade parents will learn about fundraising opportunities this year to prepare for next year's trip when their children are in 8th grade.

We tend to have close to a 100% attendance rate on this fantastic 8th grade service learning experience, which is integrated with our work in school on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to seeing you the evening of Tuesday, September 5!
 
 
Administrative Responsibilities 
We are excited to have Toby Bermudez join us this year as a second Assistant Principal in Middle School. This further increases our capacity to serve student needs.
 
When contacting the school about your child's academic or behavioral needs, your first contact should be
 
If you have questions or concerns about a particular class, your first point of contact should be the teacher of that class. Their contact information is available on the mwschool.org staff directory. Most questions and concerns will be productively addressed through working with the teacher. If that is not fully effective, however, please contact the appropriate grade-level assistant principal, or the principal of the secondary school, Charles Ryder (principalsecondary@mwschool.org).
Library Volunteers Needed
We need one or two parents every day from 7:30 am - 8: 20 am to help with checking books in and out and working with the students  that are in the library prior to the start of school. The secondary school librarian, Jan MacWatters,  also needs help throughout the day with shelving, labeling, cataloging, organization, inventory etc.. Parents should attend an orientation if they would like to volunteer.  If they cannot make it to either of the scheduled orientations, please  contact Ms. MacWatters by email at j.macwatters@mwschool.org.
  • Orientation 2:   Wednesday 6 Sept 12:45 - 1:15 pm
Senior Conferences with Counselor
Senior parents: as a follow-up to the Junior Student-Parent Conferences held last spring, High School College Counselor Kathy Gregg will meet with each senior this fall to review graduation requirements, post-secondary planning, financial aid and the college application process.  Conferences will take place August 30 - September 29. Please consult with your student to select a time that is convenient for their class schedule and then sign up online at: Senior Conference Signup
If you are unable to attend, Mrs. Gregg will schedule a time to meet with each student before October 1 to be sure they have a plan in place for graduation and fall 2018.
 
Freshman Conferences
Freshman parents: every 9th grade student will have a 1:1 conference with High School Counselor Carrie Proctor this fall to answer any questions they may have and review their high school courses and four year plan. Parents should attend this important planning meeting and should use the Sign Up Genius link to select a time slot that corresponds with their child's PE, Study Hall, Computer Science or Design class time. Please arrive on time for your appointment as each one is scheduled for 20 minutes. Fall conferences will begin on September 18th and run through October 27th.

Grade and Class Assignment Access (txConnect and ManageBac)
If you have not yet set up access to txConnect (access to your child's current course and assignment grades) and ManageBac (access to the assignment calendar and resources), please so so!

Click Online Grade and Assignment Access for a link to the mwschool.org web page with instructions on signing up!
Secondary Principal's Coffee
On Tuesday, September 5, Secondary Principals Coffee will be held from 9-10am. This is an opportunity for us to sit and have coffee and tea while discussing any questions that you would like for me and other members of the Meridian Secondary School team to address. Parents may arrive at the high school building as early as 8:30am, and may socialize in the Old Secondary Cafeteria until the Secondary Principals Coffee begins at 9:00. This will be the first of five coffees scheduled this year. Dates on the others can be found in Upcoming Dates below.

Class of 2018 (Seniors) IB Exam Payment due September 1
This is a reminder to the Class of 2018 (seniors) that the 4th installment of IB Exam Fees is due on September 1st. Please send cash or check payable to Meridian School to the attention of DP Coordinator, Stela Holcombe. The payment schedule is as follows:

November 15, 2016:   $185
February 1, 2017         $185
May 1, 2017:               $185
September 1, 2017:     $180
November 1, 2017:     $180

Note that all exam fees must be paid (or transferred over from RS3 earnings) before students will be registered for IB exams in November 2017. Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org.
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • September 4 (Monday): No School--Labor Day
  • September 5 (Tuesday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • September 5 (Tuesday): Heifer Ranch Meeting for 7th & 8th grade Parents 6:00pm
  • September 8 (Friday):  Student Service Learning Day
  • September 9 (Saturday): Volunteer Fair
  • September 22 (Friday):  Middle School Dance 
  • September 27 (Wednesday): College shirt & jeans day (last Wednesday of month)
  • October 9-13: No School--October Break
  • October 17 (Tuesday): Student School Pictures
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • November 6 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • January 18 (Thursday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • March 5 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • April 16 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
Hajj and Eid al Adha
Islam has five "pillars," or central commandments from God. These pillars have to do with the Muslim belief in oneness of God and the importance of the messenger of God, Mohammed, daily prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage. This fifth pillar, pilgrimage or "Hajj" to Mecca, is an obligation for all Muslims who are able to complete it in their lifetime. This year, the annual Hajj period begins on August 30. On the third day Hajj period, from September 1 through September 3, Eid al Adha occurs. According to BBC.com, Eid al Adha, the "Festival of the Sacrifice", is the second most important festival in Islam (while Al-Jazeera.com credits it as "Islam's holiest festival"). It celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim (known as "Abraham" in English) to sacrifice his son to God, a story also recounted in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament. In many countries around the world, Muslims will often slaughter a sheep or goat to commemorate the obedience of Ibrahim to God's will, and share the meat with friends. It is a time to visit family and friends, and also of charity to the poor.
 
Labor Day
Monday, September 4, is Labor Day, and a Meridian School holiday.  The History.com section on "Labor Day" maintains that at the height of the industrial revolution in the late 19th century the average American worker toiled for 12 hour days, seven days a week.  Though not all historians would likely agree on this as an average figure, the average length of the work week and number of hours worked, and working conditions in general, tended to be much worse than for the industrial worker today.

Workers organized into labor unions in an attempt to improve conditions, and also strove for the recognition of a "workingman's holiday" celebrated the first Monday in September.  According to the Library of Congress website, the first of these days was on September 5, 1882, when 10,000 workers in New York City organized the first Labor Day parade.  In 1887 Oregon became the first state to recognize the holiday, and in 1894 Congress recognized the first Monday in September as a national holiday.
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
August 30, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
STUDENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Click HERE to view the current announcement slides shown in advisory class.
 
 
 
 
Click HERE for more info!
 
 
Want to bypass the carline?
Purchase raffle tickets HERE and you could win your very own parking spot!
 
 
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This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Open House Curriculum Night (8/28 & 8/29)
Middle School parents, please come to our Middle School Curriculum Night this coming Monday, and High School parents, please come to our High School Curriculum Night on Tuesday!  We will start promptly at 6:00 with the first period class, and will continue through the 8th period class, ending around 8:15.  Please be on time, arriving about 5:45pm!
 
See the appropriate document below for more details.
 
Administrative Responsibilities 
We are excited to have Toby Bermudez join us this year as a second Assistant Principal in Middle School. This further increases our capacity to serve student needs.
 
When contacting the school about your child's academic or behavioral needs, your first contact should be
 
If you have questions or concerns about a particular class, your first point of contact should be the teacher of that class. Their contact information is available on the mwschool.org staff directory. Most questions and concerns will be productively addressed through working with the teacher. If that is not fully effective, however, please contact the appropriate grade-level assistant principal, or the principal of the secondary school, Charles Ryder (principalsecondary@mwschool.org).
Library Volunteers Needed
We need one or two parents every day from 7:30 am - 8: 20 am to help with checking books in and out and working with the students  that are in the library prior to the start of school. The secondary school librarian, Jan MacWatters,  also needs help throughout the day with shelving, labeling, cataloging, organization, inventory etc.. Parents should attend an orientation if they would like to volunteer.  If they cannot make it to either of the scheduled orientations, please  contact Ms. MacWatters by email at j.macwatters@mwschool.org.
  • Orientation 1:   Wednesday 30 Aug   9:00 - 9:30 am
  • Orientation 2:   Wednesday 6 Sept 12:45 - 1:15 pm
Counselors Section of Mwschool.org
Please visit the Secondary Counselors section of the mwschool.org website for a variety of information. You can find it under "Academics"--> "Counselor"--> "Secondary Counseling."

Resources in this location include:
  • PSAT, SAT, ACT Aspire, and ACT Testing
  • Graduation Requirements
  • Recommended College Admission Testing Timeline
  • College Fairs and Visit Opportunities
  • Scholarship Information
  • Freshman Notes
  • Cyberbullying Resources
Upcoming College Fairs and Visit Opportunities
Go to College Fairs and Visit Opportunities on mwschool.org for information on upcoming college visits, including SMU Preview Information Session (8/27), Central Texas US Service Academy Day (9/23), CIS & IB Americas International College Fair (9/23), Texas A&M (11/3), Austin Performing & Visual Arts College Fair (11/6), Texas IB Schools College Fair (4/5).

As a side-note, we at Meridian take our entire 10th grade to the Texas IB Schools College Fair in April, as part as our 10th grade College Class Trip.
Senior Conferences with Counselor
Senior parents: as a follow-up to the Junior Student-Parent Conferences held last spring, High School College Counselor Kathy Gregg will meet with each senior this fall to review graduation requirements, post-secondary planning, financial aid and the college application process.  Conferences will take place August 30 - September 29. Please consult with your student to select a time that is convenient for their class schedule and then sign up online at: Senior Conference Signup
If you are unable to attend, Mrs. Gregg will schedule a time to meet with each student before October 1 to be sure they have a plan in place for graduation and fall 2018.
 
Freshman Conferences
Freshman parents: every 9th grade student will have a 1:1 conference with High School Counselor Carrie Proctor this fall to answer any questions they may have and review their high school courses and four year plan. Parents should attend this important planning meeting and should use the Sign Up Genius link to select a time slot that corresponds with their child's PE, Study Hall, Computer Science or Design class time. Please arrive on time for your appointment as each one is scheduled for 20 minutes. Fall conferences will begin on September 18th and run through October 27th.

After School Pickup
During after school pickup, please use the carline. Space in the high school parking lot is very limited and should only be used by those who need to come in to the high school office (for instance, if you need to pick up your child before the end of school, or have other business with the office). Cars exiting the high school lot also slow down the north carline. For these reasons, we will not allow students to be picked up in the high school lot if their parents are not coming in to pick them up. We very much appreciate your consideration on this matter.
 
Want to bypass the carline?
Purchase raffle tickets HERE and you could win your very own parking spot!
 
Coding Program (Registration ENDS next week)
Coding has transformed from a specialized field of study to a subject applicable to every other field.  As such, it benefits everyone to have some knowledge of coding! Those who are able to learn a programming language starting in middle/ high school will have a lifetime skill that grants them a significant edge in our increasingly complex world.

Meridian World School and CodeWizardsHQ partner to offer a comprehensive coding program. Students will be learning real-world programming languages including HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Python and more.

Students who register for the program will attend classes once/week, after school from Meridian. Due to space/laptop restrictions, enrollment into the program is limited to 24 students on a first come, first serve basis. There is a monthly fee for this program.
For more information and to enroll, please visit

Registration ends next week!
Grade and Class Assignment Access (txConnect and ManageBac)
If you have not yet set up access to txConnect (access to your child's current course and assignment grades) and ManageBac (access to the assignment calendar and resources), please so so!

Click Online Grade and Assignment Access for a link to the mwschool.org web page with instructions on signing up!
Eclipse
On Monday (8/21), Meridian students had the opportunity to view a livestream of the total eclipse during lunch and classes. We are already looking forward to the total eclipse that will be viewed from Austin in April of 2024. Coincidentally, this will be the spring that our first Meridian kindergarteners (way back in 2011) graduate from Meridian School. I am looking forward to providing all Meridian students a much broader, but still safe opportunity to view this unique opportunity of viewing a total eclipse in person.  

Native Spanish Speakers
Our juniors in 1st year IB Diploma Program Spanish are beginning their year exploring different career paths and potential areas of study for the future. A summative activity for this unit will be mock job interviews, conducted entirely in Spanish.  

Sra. Orzech is looking for Meridian parent volunteers who are native Spanish speakers to conduct these interviews. We are specifically interested in recruiting Hispanic working professionals who might be willing and able to take one morning off from their jobs in order to conduct these interviews with our Meridian juniors.  The interviews will be conducted on Monday, September 11th, between the hours of 10:05 am and 11:30 am, and Tuesday, September 12th, between the hours of 11:45 am and 1:10 pm.  The interviewers will most likely finish up before the end of each class period.  

Sra. Orzech will provide all of the guidance needed.   Volunteers will simply converse with our juniors in Spanish about their future educational and employment plans and interests, and will then informally assess the students' overall ability to communicate their ideas in Spanish.  

If you are interested in helping conduct these mock job interviews in Spanish or know someone who might be, please have them e-mail Sra. Orzech at s.orzech@mwschool.org
Secondary Principal's Coffee
On Tuesday, September 5, Secondary Principals Coffee will be held from 9-10am. This is an opportunity for us to sit and have coffee and tea while discussing any questions that you would like for me and other members of the Meridian Secondary School team to address. Parents may arrive at the high school building as early as 8:30am, and may socialize in the Old Secondary Cafeteria until the Secondary Principals Coffee begins at 9:00. This will be the first of five coffees scheduled this year. Dates on the others can be found in Upcoming Dates below.

Class of 2018 (Seniors) IB Exam Payment due September 1
This is a reminder to the Class of 2018 (seniors) that the 4th installment of IB Exam Fees is due on September 1st. Please send cash or check payable to Meridian School to the attention of DP Coordinator, Stela Holcombe. The payment schedule is as follows:

November 15, 2016:   $185
February 1, 2017         $185
May 1, 2017:               $185
September 1, 2017:     $180
November 1, 2017:     $180

Note that all exam fees must be paid (or transferred over from RS3 earnings) before students will be registered for IB exams in November 2017. Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org.
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • August 24 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • August 28 (Monday): Middle School Open House
  • August 29 (Tuesday): High School Open House
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • August 30 (Wednesday): College Shirt & Jeans Day (last Wednesday of every month)
  • September 5 (Tuesday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • September 5 (Tuesday): Heifer Info Meeting for Current 7th & 8th Grade Parents 6:00pm
  • September 5 (Tuesday): Volunteers in Partnership Meeting for ALL Parents 7:00pm
  • September 14 (Thursday): Parent Meeting & Raffle Drawing
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • November 6 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • January 18 (Thursday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • March 5 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • April 16 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
Paryushan (Jainism)
EncyclopediaBritannica.com states that Jainism is one of the most ancient Indian religions.  Jains seek spiritual purity and enlightenment through the tradition of ahimsa, non-violence to all living creatures.
 
Jainworld.com cites the festival of Paryushan as being the most important festival observed by Jains. This year Paryushan began last Friday, August 18, and ends on Friday, August 25 (or August 26, depending on the calendar followed). Observant Jains fast over these eight days, contemplate scripture, and perform an annual atonement, seeking forgiveness from those against one holds ill-will and forgetting all hatred and spite.
 
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
August 23 is the anniversary of the slave uprising in Haiti in 1791 which led to the first country in America (after the United States) to become independent of its colonial ruler. INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE SLAVE TRADE AND ITS ABOLITION Memorializes the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade, coinciding with the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated its abolition.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Social Council (UNESCO) has chosen this date to remember the impact of the slave trade and celebrate its abolition.
Ganesh Chaturthi
Beginning on August 25 is the 10 day Hindu Festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrating the birthday of Ganesha.  Ganesha, the patron of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune, is the elephant-headed god in the Hindu pantheon, son of Shiva and Parvati.  According to Metro News (metro.co.uk), Ganesh Chaturthi is "heavily celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Orissa, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh."  In other words, it is celebrated throughout much of India.  

The festival is celebrated in part by installing idols of Ganesha in homes and public places, and at the end of the festival the idols are inundated in a river. A food associated with Ganesh Chaturthi is "Modak...a sweet dish prepared using rice or flour stuffed with grated jaggery, coconut and dry fruits."

Although Ganesh Chaturthi is widely celebrated, it is not a public holiday.  Due to the variety of religions and religious observances in India, the government does not recognize their holy days as public holidays.  There are three national public holidays in India: Independence Day (15 August), Republic Day (26 January) and Gandhi's birthday (2 October).
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
August 24, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
STUDENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Click HERE to view the current announcement slides shown in advisory class.
 
 
 
 
Click HERE for more info!
 
 
Want to bypass the carline?
Purchase raffle tickets HERE and you could win your very own parking spot!
 
 
Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Pinterest
Top Lion
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Tools for Accessing Class Calendars, Learning Activities, and Grades
We recommend that all parents and students create accounts for ManageBac and TxConnect. Through these tools you can stay up to date with assignment dates, resources, and grades. ManageBac is our platform for course calendars, assignments and class activities, and TxConnect provides access to grades, including the ability to receive email notifications of low grades or missing assignments.

ManageBac
ManageBac is the digital planning and calendar platform for our secondary students. All students are enrolled in ManageBac and access each classroom there. If you create a parental account, you will be able to see your student's schedule and assignments.

The address for ManageBac is https://mwschool.managebac.com/login

To submit the necessary information for a ManageBac account, please follow this link to ManageBac Signup.  Accounts will be created during the upcoming week. You will need to look for an email from ManageBac with a link to set up your own password.

TxConnect
If you already have a TxConnect account from last school year, you may use the same username and password to access grades and attendance.  This is the link to: TxConnect Gradebook Access

To set up a parent account to access student grades, please send an email to txconnect@mwschool.org to request access.  You will need to include your child's name and grade level.  Students may also request their own access by emailing this address, and will access through their meridianstudents.org email address.

Thank You to Parents
Our teachers appreciate the outpouring of support with classroom wishlist items! Thank you parents for bringing in extra supplies this past week-each glue stick and marker set really does impact our teachers, classrooms and our students positively! 
 
Plans for Monday's Eclipse
Monday (8/21) North America will experience a solar eclipse. We wish to take advantage of this educational opportunity, while ensuring student safety. Looking directly at an eclipse without specially designed eclipse lenses can permanently damage one's vision. We have not ordered such special lenses. The solar eclipse viewed from our area will not be total, but there is still a risk.

Middle School students will stay in the building throughout the day. High School students need to pass between the high school and M Buildings for classes and lunch. We are advising them not to look at the sun and will monitor the exterior passing periods.

The height of the eclipse will occur during lunch. We will project a live stream in the cafeteria. The height of the eclipse (here) will be at 1:10, but the livestream will show the total eclipse in various locations across North America, from around 12:20 to around 1:45.  Many classes will also view the live stream. Viewing the live stream not only ensures student safety, but will enable us to see the total eclipse seen elsewhere in North America.
Orientation Presentations
Our juniors in 1st year IB Diploma Program Spanish are beginning their year exploring different career paths and potential areas of study for the future. A summative activity for this unit will be mock job interviews, conducted entirely in Spanish.  

Sra. Orzech is looking for Meridian parent volunteers who are native Spanish speakers to conduct these interviews. We are specifically interested in recruiting Hispanic working professionals who might be willing and able to take one morning off from their jobs in order to conduct these interviews with our Meridian juniors. The interviews will be conducted on Monday, September 11th, between the hours of 10:05 am and 11:30 am, and Tuesday, September 12th, between the hours of 11:45 am and 1:10 pm.  The interviewers will most likely finish up before the end of each class period.  

Sra. Orzech will provide all of the guidance needed. Volunteers will simply converse with our juniors in Spanish about their future educational and employment plans and interests, and will then informally assess the students' overall ability to communicate their ideas in Spanish.  

If you are interested in helping conduct these mock job interviews in Spanish or know someone who might be, please have them e-mail Sra. Orzech at s.orzech@mwschool.org.
After-School Coding Program (Learn HTML/CSS, JavaScript & Python)
Meridian World School and CodeWizardsHQ are partnering to offer a comprehensive coding program. Students will be learning real-world programming languages including HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Python and more. It is an opportunity to experience coding at a higher level.

Students who register for the program will attend classes once/week, after school at Meridian. Due to space/laptop restrictions, enrollment into the program is limited to 24 students on a first come, first serve basis. Please sign-up soon, as seats are filling up.
For more information and to enroll, please visit
Carline
SECONDARY DISMISSAL

We ask that you please try not to arrive before 3:55pm. Secondary students don't come out until 4:00. Arriving earlier means you are likely to get mixed up in primary's dismissal. If this happens we will kindly ask you to loop back around until primary dismissal is over.

Please note that NO U-TURNS should be made on Mays. City ordinance also states that no left turn should be made from Mays between noon and 5pm. While it's easy to miss, there are signs posted and RRPD has been known to ticket accordingly. 

Click here for the carline maps and FAQs.
 
The 2017-2018 school year is off to a great start and we appreciate your patience!

If you have any concerns, comments, or suggestions, please email Jessica at j.boese@mwschool.org.
Forgotten Lunch
If students forget their lunch, parents may feel free to come to school and drop off a lunch at the appropriate office (Middle School or High School).  If dropped off prior to the start of lunch period (11:48 or 12:21 for MS, 1:24 for HS, and an hour earlier on Wednesdays), the lunch will be delivered to the student to be eaten during the lunch period. If a meal is dropped off after lunch, it will not be given to the student until after school.

A student who forgets his or her lunch can always go to the cafeteria and request a hot lunch. In such cases we simply bill the family's lunch account.
Secondary Principal's Coffee
On Tuesday, September 5, Secondary Principals Coffee will be held from 9-10am. This is an opportunity for us to sit and have coffee and tea while discussing any questions that you would like for me and other members of the Meridian Secondary School team to address. Parents may arrive at the high school building as early as 8:30am, and may socialize in the Old Secondary Cafeteria until the Secondary Principals Coffee begins at 9:00. This will be the first of five coffees scheduled this year. Dates on the others can be found in Upcoming Dates below.

Middle School Parent Book Group
All are welcome to participate in our monthly parent book group. The book group discussions tend to center on developmentally older children and teens. However, the selections we read are not all specific to that age group. At parent request, we are slowing down the number of books read to delve deeper into the topics.  So, bring your discussion points and thoughts to the group. Our first meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept 13 in the Middle School Teacher's Lounge on the 2nd floor beginning at 9:00 a.m. Please sign in at the MS front desk. The book selection for this month is "Brainstorm-the power and purpose of the Teenage Brain" by Dan J. Siegel. If you have questions or want to be added to the book group email list, please contact our Middle School Counselor, Nancy Spence.  
Wednesday Morning Chess
Primary and Secondary students have the opportunity to sign up for a chess class that takes place every Wednesday morning from 7:00 to 8:00am in the primary cafeteria. Students should be dropped off at the courtyard gate (green line) between 6:55 and 7:10am. Usually, students play each other about forty minutes, and then spend about twenty minutes receiving chess problem and strategy group instruction. Expert level play and certified chess director Gairy Gaiffe teaches the class.

The first meeting of the class was Wednesday (8/16), but new members are welcome. The fee is $120 for the fall semester and $125 for the spring.

To register and for payment instructions, contact Gary Gaiffe at ggaiffe@att.net.  Fees may be paid directly to Mr. Gaiffe via check or paypal. If using paypal, use Mr. Gaiffe's email and note your child's name and "Meridian Chess Club" in the comment field.

Students have the opportunity to play in US Chess Federation rated tournaments, the first of which will be held at Meridian School on Saturday, September 30.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Gaiffe directly at ggaiffe@att.net.
Class of 2018 (Seniors) IB Exam Payment due September 1
This is a reminder to the Class of 2018 (seniors) that the 4th installment of IB Exam Fees is due on September 1st. Please send cash or check payable to Meridian School to the attention of DP Coordinator, Stela Holcombe. The payment schedule is as follows:

November 15, 2016:   $185
February 1, 2017         $185
May 1, 2017:               $185
September 1, 2017:     $180
November 1, 2017:     $180

Note that all exam fees must be paid (or transferred over from RS3 earnings) before students will be registered for IB exams in November 2017. Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org.
International College Fair in Houston, TX
Is your student interested in attending college abroad (specifically, Canada, UK, and Europe)?  The Council of International Schools, in collaboration with IB Americas, is hosting in international college and university fair in Houston, TX in September 2017. See: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3716
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • August 24 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • August 28 (Monday): Middle School Open House
  • August 29 (Tuesday): High School Open House
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • August 30 (Wednesday): College Shirt & Jeans Day (last Wednesday of every month)
  • September 5 (Tuesday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
  • November 6 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • January 18 (Thursday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • March 5 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
  • April 16 (Monday): Principal's Coffee (Secondary School) 9:00am
Ghost Festival (Buddhist & Taoist)
Many East Asian countries celebrate a "Ghost Festival" in mid-August, founded on the belief that the spirits of dead ancestors can be calmed and ushered into the next life through chanting and offerings. This several-day festival is celebrated in countries such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and VietNam.
Birthday of Marcus Garvey
August 17 is the birthday of Marcus Garvey. According to BBC.com, Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887, later moved to the United States, and became a founder of the black nationalist movement. He believed that blacks should "return to their rightful homeland in Africa," and was an inspiration to millions, though due to his separatist views many others saw him as a divisive figure.

Marcus Garvey is seen as a prophet by adherents of the Rastafarian religion of Jamaica. His teachings are foundational to Rastafarianism, and he predicted the crowning of a black king in Africa. Rastafarians see the crowning of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Emperor Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia in 1930 as a fulfillment of this prophecy. Rastas celebrate the birthday of Marcus Garvey as a religious holiday.
 
World Humanitarian Day
August 19 is World Humanitarian Day. According to the United Nations website, "for WHD 2017, humanitarian partners are coming together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget. Through a global online campaign featuring an innovative partnership with Facebook Live, together with events held around the world, we will raise our voices to advocate for those most vulnerable in war zones, and demand that world leaders do everything their power to protect civilians in conflict.
 
"This campaign follows on the UN Secretary-General's report on protection of civilians, which was launched earlier this year. Laying out his 'path to protection', the Secretary-General [António Guterres of Portugal] calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers as well as civilian infrastructure.
 
This Friday Meridian will be recognizing World Humanitarian Day with various activities in the secondary school.
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
August 17, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
STUDENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Click HERE to view the current announcement slides shown in advisory class.
 
 
 
 
Click HERE for more info!
 
 
Want to bypass the carline?
Purchase raffle tickets HERE and you could win your very own parking spot!
 



 
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Top Lion
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Carline
Please expect the first few days of carline to take longer than other days.  

In the morning, kindergarten parents will be walking their children into the building, which tends to complicate carline. If you are only dropping off secondary students, if possible the first week, please arrive after 8:00 am.  Student drivers are being asked to arrive after 8:15 am, as we will be very short on parking until after kindergarten parents have left.

In the afternoon, coming 15 minutes after the end of school (4:15 MTThF and 1:45Wed) will invariably lead to shorter wait times than coming right at the end of school.

As drivers learn the carline procedures, and as we troubleshoot and tweak, in the past we have been successful in decreasing wait times by the second week of school.
 
New Attendance Email addresses
We have new email addresses for when your child is absent:
For Middle School (6th-8th grades) Attendance-MS@mwschool.org
For High School (9th-12th grades) Attendance-HS@mwschool.org

Please use the attendance email address whenever your child is ill and cannot attend school, and also in advance of pre-planned absences.
 
Orientation Presentations
For your reference, here is a copy of the slide deck from the August 7  6th Grade Orientation. and here is the slide deck from the August 7 New 7th-12th Grade Orientation.
After-School Coding Program - Registration Open
As we surround ourselves with technology, learning to code is coming to be recognized as an increasingly fundamental skill to enable our children to successfully navigate our complex world.
 
Meridian World School has partnered with CodeWizardsHQ to offer a comprehensive coding program. Students who register for the program will attend classes once a week, after school at Meridian.

Due to space/laptop restrictions, enrollment into the program is limited to 24 students on a first come, first serve basis. Please sign-up soon as seats fill up quickly.

For more information and to enroll, please visit
Empty 2 Liter Plastic Bottles Needed
Ms. Van Buren needs donations of empty two-liter plastic bottles for a 7th grade science experiment. She would appreciate any students who bring rinsed, empty two-liter bottles to her in the M Building over the next few weeks!  

Free Heart Screenings from Championship Hearts Foundation
From the School Nurse:  Parents who are interested in free heart screenings for their teen should visit: http://www.champhearts.org/ 
 
Class of 2018 (Seniors) IB Exam Payment due September 1
This is a reminder to the Class of 2018 (seniors) that the 4th installment of IB Exam Fees is due on September 1st. Please send cash or check payable to Meridian School to the attention of DP Coordinator, Stela Holcombe. The payment schedule is as follows:

November 15, 2016:   $185
February 1, 2017         $185
May 1, 2017:               $185
September 1, 2017:     $180
November 1, 2017:     $180

Note that all exam fees must be paid (or transferred over from RS3 earnings) before students will be registered for IB exams in November 2017. Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org.
2017-2018 School Calendar - AB Days

In addition to important dates and holidays, it states which days are A Days (periods 1-4 meet), B Days (periods 5-8 meet), and AB Days (periods 1-8 meet, or special instruction is planned).
International College Fair in Houston, TX
Is your student interested in attending college abroad (specifically, Canada, UK, and Europe)?  The Council of International Schools, in collaboration with IB Americas, is hosting in international college and university fair in Houston, TX in September 2017.  See: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3716
Upcoming Dates Summary 
  • August 24 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • August 28 (Monday): Middle School Open House
  • August 29 (Tuesday): High School Open House
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
In 1994 the United Nations General Assembly designated August 9 as the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. This date was chosen because it commemorates the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations. This day is intended to celebrate the richness of indigenous cultures while recognizing the challenges they face.  According to the United Nations website, "There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 per cent of the world's population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world's estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures."
Krishna Janmashtami (Krishna Jayanti)
Of the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, Vishnu is seen as the preserver and protector of creation. Vishnu is believed by Hindus to have many avatars (or incarnations). One of these avatars, Krishna, is one of the most popular Hindu gods, and his birthday, August 14, is a significant Hindu religious festival. According to Krishna.com, it is celebrated by almost 1 billion people worldwide, and over 2 million people in the United States. The festival is celebrated with song and prayer, "Some devotees cook a feast of over one hundred dishes, while others perform drama and dance. Some clothe and decorate the deity of Krishna while others string enormous flower garlands and other decorations for the temple. Incense burns, scriptures are read, and all but the young and the infirm fast all day. The deities are also bathed with a variety of auspicious liquids in a kind of ablution ceremony called abhisheka.
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
August 9, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
 
 
 
 
Stay Connected

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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Teachers are in the final push getting reading for the start of the school year for students. High School schedule pickup is tonight, Middle School Schedule pickup and 6th grade orientation are Monday (with an orientation for 7th-12th grade families new to Meridian that evening), and school starts Wednesday. We hope you are as excited about the coming 2017-18 school year as we are!
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Details: Back to School Events - Middle and High School
Friday, August 4
Event: High School Schedule Pick Up & Locker Distribution (including 9th-12th grade students who are NEW to Meridian)
Location: High School Building (enter via the high school lobby please)
Time:
  • 9th grade - 4:00-5:00pm
  • 10th grade - 5:00-6:00pm
  • 11th & 12th grades - 6:00-7:00pm
Notes:
  • This is a come and go event. We have staggered times to facilitate parking availability, but if the appointed time above does not work for your family, please come anytime between 4:00-7:00 pm.  
  • Copy paper and tissues can be dropped off at this time.
  • Students who owe money for textbooks/library books/literature novels must clear these obligations in order to receive their class schedule and locker on Friday, Aug 4th.  The librarian and/or Mrs. Holcombe will send an email to the student's email address this week if the student has outstanding obligations. Please bring cash or check (or found books/textbooks) with you on Aug 4th; you need not come to the school in advance.
  • Those who do not have primary siblings and therefore did not attend a primary Meet the Teacher Night, will need to pick up their cartags at this time.
  • Feel free to walk the building and find your classes.

Monday, August 7
Event:  Orientation for all 6th Grade Students & Parents
Time:  4:00-6:00pm
Location:  Mays Building
Note:  This is not a come and go event.  We have a schedule of presentations, so please be at Meridian promptly at 4:00.
 
Notes:
  • Copy paper and tissues can be dropped off at this time.
 

Monday, August 7
Event:  7th-8th Grade Schedule Pick Up (for returning students only)
Time:  
  • 7th Grade 4:45
  • 8th grade 5:30
(Times have been staggered to avoid long lines and cope with limited parking)
Location:  Mays Building
Notes:
  • We have staggered times to facilitate parking availability and avoid long lines. If, however, but if the appointed time above does not work for your family, please come anytime between 4:30-6:30 pm.  
  • Copy paper and tissues can be dropped off at this time.

  • Students who owe money for textbooks/library books/literature novels must clear these obligations in order to receive their class schedule and locker on Monday, Aug 7th.  The librarian will send an email to the student's email address this week if the student has outstanding obligations. Please bring cash or check (or found books/textbooks) with you on Aug 7th; you need not come to the school in advance.  
  • Those who do not have primary siblings and therefore did not attend a primary Meet the Teacher Night, will need to pick up their cartags at this time.
  • Feel free to walk the building and find your classes.
     

Monday, August 7
Event:  Orientation for 7th-12th Grade Students and Parents who are NEW to Meridian!
Description: This orientation will include all you need to know to get started at Meridian!  We look forward to meeting you!
Location:  Mays Cafeteria
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
  • May arrive at 6:00 to pick up a schedule and walk the building
  • This is not a come and go event. The orientation presentation will begin promptly at 6:30pm.
RSVP please:  RSVP Form
 
Road Closure Monday 8/7 - 8:30pm
TXDOT had plans to close down the 3406 bridge at 8pm on Monday night but has graciously agreed to hold off until 8:30pm to accommodate our families attending the new student orientation that evening.  Thank you TXDOT!

Changes for the New Year:  Meridian Faculty
Due to a combination of reasons such as moving, professional changes, and personal matters, several valued colleagues will not be with us at Meridian in 2017-18. These include Wendi Sisneros, Christina Martinez, Samantha Homer, Allison Desjardins, Laura Lee Stroud, Sheila Mehta, Gina Farres, and Monique Boecking. Samantha Homer has signed up to be on the substitute list and Gina Farres will remain active with Meridian's Model United Nations club, so we'll still see them around campus; Sheila Mehta has made a career change and can now be found at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco; and Monique Boecking has been giving the exciting opportunity to transition into a reading specialist position with RRISD. We will miss them, and wish them well for the future!

As the Meridian Secondary School continues to grow, we are excited to welcome many more colleagues to our faculty and staff.  Toby Bermudez is joining Shannon Haulotte as a second Assistant Principal for Middle School. Other important new members of the Meridian faculty include:

First
Last
Assignment
Tera
Bradham
Spanish 7th & 8th grade
Nick
Chambley
Special Education 7th grade
Jane
Cosson
Special Education 7th grade
Victoria
Cox
English Lang & Lit 6th grade
Rob
Crowl
English Lang & Lit 9th & 10th grade
Dottie
Elliot
Special Education 6th grade
Lisa
Gustavson
French 6th-8th grade
Aaron
Henderson
Design 6th grade
Mike
McConnell
World History 10th grade; DP History 12th grade
Chuck
Miske
DP History 11th grade; English 9th grade
Michael
Musser
Algebra 2 10th grade; Computer Science
April
Rodriguez
Special Education 6th grade
Kay
Scott
Mathematics 6th grade
Cory
Spencer
Special Education Middle & High School
Edward
Timmons
Physical Education 9th grade; Athletic Coordinator
Beatriz
Tobin
Spanish 9th & 10th grade
Shaimaa
Zayan
Geometry 9th grade
Christine
Zukotynski
Special Education High School


Supply List
Here is the 2017-18 Secondary School Supply List.
 
Please note that you do not need to bring all supplies on the first day of school. Bring copy paper and tissues, a binder, writing paper, and writing utensils. Other than this, teachers will tell students what supplies need to be brought to class every day, and what supplies can be kept in lockers.
 
Copy paper and tissues may be brought when picking up schedules.
Dress Code - Uniform Guide
Here is the 2017-18 Secondary Uniform Guide.
Carline
Please expect the first day of carline to take far longer than other days.  

In the morning, kindergarten parents will be walking their children into the building, which tends to complicate carline.  If you are only dropping off secondary students, if possible the first week, please arrive after 8:00 am.  Student drivers are being asked to arrive after 8:15 am, as we will be very short on parking until after kindergarten parents have left.

In the afternoon on Wednesday, please wait until 2:00 to pickup, if possible.  This will save you a long wait in line, although if this year is anything like the first day last year, carline will still continue until well after 2:00.

As drivers learn the carline procedures, and as we troubleshoot and tweak, in the past we have been successful in decreasing wait times substantially by the second week of school.  But the first day is always a challenge!

Click HERE for arrival and dismissal procedures. Click HERE for secondary carline maps.
Art Recognition
Meridian High School students are continuing to be recognized for their artistic achievements!

Rising 10th grader Jocelyn (Lili) Xu was entered into the 2017 "Sparkling Imagination" International Picasso Art competition and was one of 4 students from the US to win the coveted Star Artist Award with a ranking of 9.2 out of 10. Like Michal Michart last year, Lili competed against thousands of students from 69+ different countries.   She will receive a certificate and will also be featured on the website in the Winner's Gallery.

Rising 11th grader Laurel Grimes created a mixed media artwork for consideration as part of the "Artists Interpret Blue" Exhibition to be held at the ArtSpace Gallery in downtown Round Rock. Her work was selected and she will be exhibiting her work alongside Meridian Visual Arts teacher Cynthia Castillo and several other professional artists for the month of August. Opening night for the show was yesterday. Laurel is now the 2nd Meridian student to have work selected for a gallery show- last year Emiliano Gonzalez was the first.

Congratulations to these talented artists!
Class of 2018 (Seniors) IB Exam Payment due September 1
Fees is due on September 1st. Please send cash or check payable to Meridian School to the attention of DP Coordinator, Stela Holcombe. The payment schedule is as follows:

November 15, 2016:   $185
February 1, 2017         $185
May 1, 2017:               $185
September 1, 2017:     $180
November 1, 2017:     $180

Note that all exam fees must be paid (or transferred over from RS3 earnings) before students will be registered for IB exams in November 2017. Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org.
2017-2018 School Calendar - AB Days

In addition to important dates and holidays, it states which days are A Days (periods 1-4 meet), B Days (periods 5-8 meet), and AB Days (periods 1-8 meet, or special instruction is planned).
International College Fair in Houston, TX
Is your student interested in attending college abroad (specifically, Canada, UK, and Europe)?  The Council of International Schools, in collaboration with IB Americas, is hosting in international college and university fair in Houston, TX in September 2017.  See: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3716
Upcoming Dates Summary 

 

  • August 4 (Friday): 9th-12th grade schedule pickup
  • August 7 (Monday): 6th grade orientation & schedule pickup 4:00-6:00pm
  • August 7 (Monday): 7th-8th grade schedule pickup 4:00-6:00pm
  • August 7 (Monday): New to Meridian 7th-12th orientation 6:30-8:00pm
  • August 9 (Wednesday): First Day of School
  • August 24 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • August 28 (Monday): Middle School Open House
  • August 29 (Tuesday): High School Open House
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
August 4, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
 
 
 
 
Stay Connected

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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
The start of the 2017-18 school year is right around the bend! Many teachers have already begun the new year with IB training this week, held at Round Rock High School. In one weekJuly 31, 6th grade teachers will be back at Meridian, welcoming 6th grade students in our Lions Camp. Then all teachers K-12 come back on August 1 for a week of Meridian School training. High School schedule pickup is Friday, August 4, 6th grade orientation and Middle School schedule pickup is Monday, August 7 (with an orientation for new to Meridian 7th-12th families that evening), and then school starts August 9. I hope everyone has had a refreshing summer, and is excited as I am about the start of a fresh new school year!
 
A bit of information about this newsletter for those who are new to the secondary school at Meridian. The "Lions Share" is a newsletter to secondary school parents and students that goes out weekly. Right below this message you will see a list of the topics covered in this week's newsletter. Below that list are the write-ups on the topics themselves, and below that is a list of important upcoming dates. Make sure you note these dates on your calendar! Every so often new events or information will be added to the list of dates. In these cases, the new information will be shown in bold.  
 
The last section of the Lions Share will note some significant holidays, holy days, and observances that are coming up in the next week. We have a diverse school community, and live in a diverse world, and I think it is important as IB learners that we cultivate our International Mindedness. One way to do this is to inquire about customs and beliefs with which we might be unfamiliar, as well as looking more deeply into our own traditions. I have to be judicious about what gets highlighted--if I were to note every tradition around the world, every day of the year, I would be writing an encyclopedia, not a newsletter! But I do try to provide an even-handed representation of some of the more important observances of our diverse school and world.
 
I hope you enjoy this, the first Lions Share Meridian Secondary School newsletter of the 2017-18 school year!

 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
 
Supply List
Here is the 2017-18 Secondary School Supply List.
Dress Code - Uniform Guide
Here is the 2017-18 Secondary Uniform Guide.

This Saturday, July 29 is the Annual Uniform Exchange from 10am-12pm.
Gently-used polos & pants/skirts are just $2 each, plus a large selection of winter coats & jackets are just $5 each. New families welcome; you do not need to donate to participate! Select items will also be available for sale during all primary Meet The Teacher nights, August 1-3. If you wish to donate, uniform donations are accepted *year-round* in the blue bin next to the Primary Lost & Found.

VOLUNTEER PERK - Parents who logged their 20 hours of volunteer service in 2016-2017 are welcome to arrive at 9:30 for the pre-sale!
Spirit Wear Ordering
Every Friday students have the opportunity to wear jeans with a Meridian spirit t-shirt. Be sure to order your spirit wear now! Click HERE for more information.

Back to School Events - Middle and High School
Monday, July 31
Event: Lions' Camp for all 6th Graders
Time:  Drop Off @ 8:40am / Pick Up @ 12:15pm
Location:  Mays Building
Note: This event is for students only; there is a separate orientation that will include 6th grade parents (see below).
 

Friday, August 4
Event: High School Schedule Pick Up & Locker Distribution (including 9th-12th grade students who are NEW to Meridian)
Location: High School Building (enter via the high school lobby please)
Time:
  • 9th grade - 4:00-5:00pm
  • 10th grade - 5:00-6:00pm
  • 11th & 12th grades - 6:00-7:00pm
Notes:
  • This is a come and go event. We have staggered times to facilitate parking availability, but if the appointed time above does not work for your family, please come anytime between 4:00-7:00 pm.  
  • Students who owe money for textbooks/library books/literature novels must clear these obligations in order to receive their class schedule and locker on Friday, Aug 4th.  The librarian and/or Mrs. Holcombe will send an email to the student's email address this week if the student has outstanding obligations. Please bring cash or check (or found books/textbooks) with you on Aug 4th; you need not come to the school in advance.
  • Those who do not have primary siblings and therefore did not attend a primary Meet the Teacher Night, will need to pick up their cartags at this time.
  • Feel free to walk the building and find your classes.

Monday, August 7
Event:  Orientation for all 6th Grade Students & Parents
Time:  4:00-6:00pm
Location:  Mays Building
Note:  This is not a come and go event.  We have a schedule of presentations, so please be at Meridian promptly at 4:00.
 

Monday, August 7
Event:  7th-8th Grade Schedule Pick Up (for returning students only)
Time:  
  • 7th Grade 4:45
  • 8th grade 5:30
(Times have been staggered to avoid long lines and cope with limited parking)
Location:  Mays Building
Notes:
  • We have staggered times to facilitate parking availability and avoid long lines. If, however, but if the appointed time above does not work for your family, please come anytime between 4:30-6:30 pm.  
  • Students who owe money for textbooks/library books/literature novels must clear these obligations in order to receive their class schedule and locker on Monday, Aug 7th.  The librarian will send an email to the student's email address this week if the student has outstanding obligations. Please bring cash or check (or found books/textbooks) with you on Aug 7th; you need not come to the school in advance.  
  • Those who do not have primary siblings and therefore did not attend a primary Meet the Teacher Night, will need to pick up their cartags at this time.
  • Feel free to walk the building and find your classes.
     

Monday, August 7
Event:  Orientation for 7th-12th Grade Students and Parents who are NEW to Meridian!
Description: This orientation will include all you need to know to get started at Meridian!  We look forward to meeting you!
Location:  Mays Cafeteria
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
  • May arrive at 6:00 to pick up a schedule and walk the building
  • This is not a come and go event. The orientation presentation will begin promptly at 6:30pm.
RSVP please:  RSVP Form
Information below is repeated from the Lions Share newsletters earlier this summer
STAAR Results Reports
Individual student reports for STAAR EOC (Algebra 1, Biology, English 1, English 2, and US History) were received mid-July, and now reports for grade 6-8 STAAR tests have been received as well.  We will send them home with students at the beginning of the school year.  If, however, you would like to pick them up now, they are being held in the Middle School office. Summer office hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

You may also access your child's scores online using the link below:

If you are unable to access your student's scores using his or her social security number, your child may have been assigned a state ID number and the information will not be accessible online.  In this case, you would need to pick up the paper report to get your child's score, or simply wait until reports are sent home at the beginning of the school year.
2017-2018 School Calendar - AB Days

In addition to important dates and holidays, it states which days are A Days (periods 1-4 meet), B Days (periods 5-8 meet), and AB Days (periods 1-8 meet, or special instruction is planned).
Summer Math Support - e-camps
At Meridian we strive to provide your student with the best possible support in mathematics. To this end, we have put together resources that students can work on over the summer to ensure that they are ready for next year's math classes at Meridian.
 
Below are the links to our summer e-camps. Each link contains a list of prerequisite topics as well as videos, notes, and practice. Please encourage your student to work through these topics so that they are prepared and comfortable in math next year!








Parent Book Group: Summer Reading
As the school year concludes, our parent book group met for one last time. They decided to choose a book over the summer. Dan Siegel's BrainStorm: the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain draws from research on brain development and the importance of the parent/child relationship. All are invited to join the club in the new school season to discuss Dr. Siegel's research in order to increase understanding of the teen(s) in our lives. Book group has been meeting the second Wednesday of the month and this may change for the next year. If you are interested on being put on an update list, please notify Nancy Spence at n.spence@mwschool.org

International College Fair in Houston, TX
Is your student interested in attending college abroad (specifically, Canada, UK, and Europe)?  The Council of International Schools, in collaboration with IB Americas, is hosting in international college and university fair in Houston, TX in September 2017.  See: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3716
Upcoming Dates Summary 
  •  

    July 31 (Monday): 6th grade Meridian Lions Camp 8:30am-12:15pm

     

  • August 4 (Friday): 9th-12th grade schedule pickup
  • August 7 (Monday): 6th grade orientation & schedule pickup 4:00-6:00pm
  • August 7 (Monday): 7th-8th grade schedule pickup 4:00-6:00pm
  • August 7 (Monday): New to Meridian 7th-12th orientation 6:30-8:00pm
  • August 9 (Wednesday): First Day of School
  • August 24 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • August 28 (Monday): Middle School Open House
  • August 29 (Tuesday): High School Open House
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
Note on Holidays, Holy Days, and Observances
The last section of the Lions Share usually notes some significant holidays, holy days, and observances that are coming up in the next week. We have a diverse school community, and live in an even more diverse world. I think it is important as IB learners that we cultivate our International Mindedness. One way to do this is to inquire about customs and beliefs with which we might be unfamiliar, as well as looking more deeply into our own traditions.  I have to be judicious about what gets highlighted--if I were to note every tradition or commemoration around the world, every day of the year, I would be writing an vast encyclopedia, not a newsletter! But I do try to provide an even-handed representation of some of the more important observances of our diverse school and world.
Birthday of Haile Selassie
Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974, was born on July 23, 1892. According to the Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, his name at birth was Tafari Makonnen, and in 1919 he received the title of Ras (prince) Tafari.

The Jamaican Rastafarian religious movement views Emperor Haile Selaisse as the Messiah. The Rastafarian site Readthespirit.com states that "Selassie remained a lifelong Christian, but never reproached the Rastafari for their beliefs in him as the returned messiah. To this day, Rastafari rejoice on July 23, the anniversary of his birth."
Americans with Disabilities Act Day
July 26 commemorates the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. This law, along with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and the Education of the Handicapped Act of 1975 (later re-authorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA), protects people in the United States with a wide range of physical and learning disabilities, guaranteeing equal access to services and education.
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
 
July 24, 2017
 
Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
 
 
 
 
Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Pinterest
Top Lion
Summer is here! Here is a Lions Share with some of the information you need to know heading into summer. Another Lions Share will come out later this summer with more information, such as 2017-18 supply lists, and other details.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
 
Report Cards & STAAR Results Reports
Secondary report cards will be mailed home at the end of next week. Student reports for March STAAR tests (7th grade pre-Algebra & 8th grade Reading) will be sent home with report cards.

Student reports on STAAR tests taken in May have not yet been received from the state--we expect them in another week or two. We will not mail them home over the summer. If you would like to see the report, please come to the high school office to pick it up. All reports not picked up over the summer will be sent home at the beginning of the school year.
Correspondence Course Test Dates
Students taking correspondence courses (such as for acceleration in math) over the summer through Texas Tech University ISD (TTUISD) may arrange to have their semester exams proctored at Meridian , for no fee, on the following dates:
June 12, June 19, July 10, July 17, July 24

Please notify us in advance through principalsecondary@mwschool.org to arrange to come in on one of these dates.

If you wish another date, this can be arranged through the UT Testing Center for a fee of approximately $30.
Summer Math Support - e-camps
At Meridian we strive to provide your student with the best possible support in mathematics. To this end, we have put together resources that students can work on over the summer to ensure that they are ready for next year's math classes at Meridian.
 
Below are the links to our summer e-camps. Each link contains a list of prerequisite topics as well as videos, notes, and practice. Please encourage your student to work through these topics so that they are prepared and comfortable in math next year!








6th Grade Camp & Orientation
All incoming 6th grade students are invited to a half day camp to get prepared for life in the Meridian Middle School. This camp will be the morning of July 31.

There will be an orientation for incoming 6th grade students and parents that goes over more specifics on 6th grade policies and procedures on August 7. This will be a half day in the afternoon.

Mark your calendars, and we look forward to seeing you there!
Student Driving Permit: Verification of Enrollment (VOE) Form
Students applying for driver's permits and driver's licenses are required to obtain a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) form from their school. 

During the summer, email admin@mwschool.org to request a VOE form.
Parent Book Group: Summer Reading
As the school year concludes, our parent book group met for one last time. They decided to choose a book over the summer. Dan Siegel's BrainStorm: the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain draws from research on brain development and the importance of the parent/child relationship. All are invited to join the club in the new school season to discuss Dr. Siegel's research in order to increase understanding of the teen(s) in our lives. Book group has been meeting the second Wednesday of the month and this may change for the next year. If you are interested on being put on an update list, please notify Nancy Spence at n.spence@mwschool.org

International College Fair in Houston, TX
Is your student interested in attending college abroad (specifically, Canada, UK, and Europe)?  The Council of International Schools, in collaboration with IB Americas, is hosting in international college and university fair in Houston, TX in September 2017.  See: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3716
Upcoming Dates Summary 
  • June 29 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • July 31 (Monday): 6th grade Meridian Lions Camp
  • August 4 (Friday): 9th-12th grade schedule pickup
  • August 7 (Monday): 6th grade orientation & schedule pickup
  • August 7 (Monday): 7th-8th grade schedule pickup
  • August 9 (Wednesday): First Day of School
  • August 24 (Thursday): Board Meeting
  • August 28 (Monday): Middle School Open House
  • August 29 (Tuesday): High School Open House
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
Spring Bank Holiday and Memorial Day
In the United Kingdom, eight official Bank Holidays are sprinkled throughout the year, generally on Monday. These Bank Holidays are parliament-approved national holidays, but their roots tend to be found in traditional Christian or agricultural holidays and festivals. This past Monday, May 29 was Spring Bank Holiday in the UK. This holiday used to be the first Monday after the Christian celebration of Pentacost, and a day known as Whit Monday (last year, Whit Monday was June 9, but this year it coincides with the May 25 bank holiday).  In 1971, however, parliament moved this Bank Holiday to the last Monday in May.

In the United States, Monday will be Memorial Day.  According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, after the US Civil War it became common in many localities to set aside a day in May to commemorate those who died in the war. This day was frequently called "Decoration Day," as the graves of war dead were decorated with flowers and other memorials. After World War I, the day was expanded to commemorate those who had died in all US wars, and in 1971 the US Congress designated the last Monday in May as Memorial Day, an official national holiday.
Ramadan
The most holy month of the year for Muslims is that of Ramadan, which on our Gregorian calendar began the evening of May 26 and will end the evening of June 24 (2017). One of the five central tenets, or "pillars" of Islam is the observance of Ramadan. According to BBC.com, Ramadan is often known as "the month of the Qur'an", because of the believe that the central holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad at the beginning of this month.

Muslims spend the days of Ramadan fasting, and the month is also devoted to prayer and introspection, recitations of the Qur'an, and performing good acts for others.

Ramadan ends with the "feast of fast-breaking", or Eid-al-Fitr. This day, occurring on July 18 this year, is spent feasting and celebrating. Timeanddate.com notes that in celebration of Eid-al-Fitr Muslims often wear their finest clothes, decorate their houses, forgive old wrongs, donate to the poor, and generally dedicate the day to God.
Shavuot
Shavuot, the Jewish "feast of weeks," began yesterday evening and continues today, June 1.  This feast is held seven weeks after the second seder (or meal) of Passover. Its beginnings are rooted in an ancient harvest festival, but its main religious association is with God's delivery of the Ten Commandments to the ancient people of Israel.
Pentecost
This year, Pentecost takes place on Sunday, June 4 (2017).  Also known as Whitsunday, the 7th Sunday after Easter is known as Pentecost, and commemorates an event described in the Christian Bible when the holy spirit descended upon the followers of Jesus.  It is seen as the birth of the Christian church. The Greek word "Pentekostos" means "50," representing the fact that Pentecost takes place 50 days after Easter. Easter was originally tied to the Jewish commemorations of Passover, and Shavuot occurs 50 days after the second seder of Passover. Thus many scholars believe that the holy spirit descended upon the followers of Jesus as they were gathered in celebration of Shavuot.  
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
June 1, 2017

Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
 
 
 
 
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NO EARLY RELEASE ON WEDNESDAY (5/24)
Due to semester exam week, school will not be released until 4:00pm on Wednesday, May 24.
Semester Exam Schedule
Students in grades 7 through 12 have semester exams next week.  Here is the  Spring 2017 Semester Exam Schedule.

Students in 6th grade do not have semester exams, but they will be following the same schedule.  Though they do not have semester exams, they do have work that they are completing in class.
College Shirt Wednesday and Spirit Shirt Thursday
Wednesday (5/24) will be a college shirt and jeans day.  Thursday (5/25) will be a Meridian spirit shirt and jeans day.  And it's the last day of school for students!

Meridian Wows at GEMUN 2017
Last weekend, 22 Meridian middle school students travelled to Dallas to compete in the Global Elementary Model United Nations (GEMUN) conference.  Four Meridian high school students attended as well, with the honor of serving as committee chairs.  

Model United Nations is an activity in which students research world issues, in preparation for conferences in which they role play delegates to the United Nations, debating the issues from the perspective of the country they represent.

At GEMUN 2017, Meridian students represented the delegations of Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.  They made a huge impression at the conference, winning about half of the awards presented.

Award winners were Ireland Griffin, Srivi Balaji , Elyssa Gall, Tanner Tyndall, Zakaria Amor, Mustafa Hess, Pranav Pillai, Aidan Weatherford, and Liam Patel.

Thanks to faculty sponsors Gina Farres and Chris Fancher.  Congratulations to the award winners, and to the entire Meridian Model UN GEMUN team.  You make Meridian Shine!
 
Option of Taking Both French and Spanish
We want to inform our current 8th graders that it is possible to double up in IB Group 2 (language acquisition) and take both French and Spanish in high school. This is recommended for student who have a sincere interest in developing fluency in more than one foreign language and who are strong language learners. Students who take both French and Spanish do so instead of having a study hall or taking Design or other elective courses.  Students can continue to take both French and Spanish all the way through the IB Diploma Program.  If your 8th grade  student is interested in taking both French and Spanish next school year in 9th grade, please email our high school counselor, Carrie Proctor at c.proctor@mwschool.org.
Student Driving Permit: Verification of Enrollment (VOE) Form
Students applying for driver's permits and driver's licenses are required to obtain a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) form from their school. To receive a VOE form, you must pick up a request form from Ms. Seaman in the High School office.

If a VOE is needed over the summer, please turn in the request form to the high school office prior to May 25. It will be available for pickup from the primary office on June 8.

During the summer, email admin@mwschool.org to request a VOE form.
Parent Book Group: Summer Reading
As the school year concludes, our parent book group met for one last time. They decided to choose a book over the summer. Dan Siegel's BrainStorm: the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain draws from research on brain development and the importance of the parent/child relationship. All are invited to join the club in the new school season to discuss Dr. Siegel's research in order to increase understanding of the teen(s) in our lives. Book group has been meeting the second Wednesday of the month and this may change for the next year. If you are interested on being put on an update list, please notify Nancy Spence at n.spence@mwschool.org

International College Fair in Houston, TX
Is your student interested in attending college abroad (specifically, Canada, UK, and Europe)?  The Council of International Schools, in collaboration with IB Americas, is hosting in international college and university fair in Houston, TX in September 2017.  See: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3716
Upcoming Dates Summary 
  • May 19: Last day to turn in missing work for 4th Quarter
  • May 22, Monday:  Senior Parade and Graduation Practice
  • May 22-25: Semester Exams
  • May 25, Thursday: Last Day of School
  • May 27, Saturday: Graduation
2017-2018 School Year
  • October 23-25 / October 25-27, 2017: Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Class Trip
Declaration of the Báb
Beginning the evening of Monday, May 22, through the day of Tuesday, May 23 (2016), is when followers of the Bahá'í faith celebrate the "Declaration of the Báb." According to Bahá'í Topics, in 1844 a Persian merchant foretold the coming of a divine messenger.  Because of his role in foretelling the divine messenger, the merchant took the Arabic title of "Báb", meaning "gate" or "door."  This messenger of whom he spoke would be the Bahá'u'lláh, the central prophet of the Bahá'í faith.
 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email principalsecondary@mwschool.org.

Sincerely,
May 18, 2017

Charles Ryder
Secondary Principal
 
 
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
STUDENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
Click HERE to view the current announcement slides shown in advisory class.
 
 
 
SPRING RAFFLE
1 for $1
25 for $20
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
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This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
 
Meridian Middle Years Program Authorization
It's official! As of an International Baccalaureate letter dated 08 May 2017, Meridian is becoming an authorized IB World School in for the Middle Years Program!  There are many districts around the state that offer the IB continuum, but very few that have the advantage of offering the continuum in the same school.  Meridian will be the fourth IB continuum school in Texas, and the first that is not in north Texas (the other three are Westlake Academy, Imagine International Academy, and North Hills Preparatory)!

There are lots of advantages to having all three programs at one school, not the least of which are the opportunities for interaction between students and faculty. For example, the PYP 5th graders are finishing up Exhibition right now.  As they were starting, they were visited by MYP 10th graders who had just finished their Personal Project, who added to the 5th graders excitement about Exhibition by showing them some of the cool things it can lead to in 10th grade Personal Project.

We as a school are excited to have finally achieved our goal of becoming an IB continuum school!

Roar, Lions, Roar!!!
Additional Assistant Principal in Middle School
Another thing that we are excited about is the decision to add an additional Assistant Principal in Middle School for the 2017-2018 school year.  This will strengthen our ability to support Meridian students and faculty as the Middle School grows next year to its full capacity of 450 students.
 
Transition to Middle School
Over 100 5th grade parents, and a few students, attended Monday night's Transition to Middle School presentation.  See here for a copy of the presentation:

There will be a more in-depth presentation for students and parents in August, through both a half-day Meridian MYP culture camp and a half-day orientation. Dates will be announced soon--but it will most likely be in the days right before the start of school.

Much sooner, current Meridian 5th graders will get a chance to experience a little part of 6th grade during Meridian Primary Switch Day, the morning of May 22.
Commentary Upon University Top 10 Percent Admissions Policies
A recent article in Community Impact Newspaper took a look at the top 10 percent automatic admission to Texas public universities, and the impact of this policy depending upon which high school a student attended. The article highlights a question that I have heard asked before: Is my child better off attending a challenging school where it would be more difficult to be in the top 10 percent, or attending a less challenging school where they have a better chance being in the top 10 percent and gaining automatic admission into Texas public universities?  When asking this question, many parents are thinking about UT Austin, for which the automatic admission cut-off is top 7 percent. Another question that I am asked frequently is: how much does being an IB Diploma candidate help a student gain admission to UT Austin?

Interested in more commentary and analysis in reference to these questions?   Click here for my elaboration.
Note From Nurses: Pick Up Medication