Category Archives: Middle school life

Editorial: What is GFS missing?

We often think of GFS as having it all. Good teachers, historic buildings, fields, and good values. But what aren’t we getting? What does GFS need, and what standards should we be meeting that we aren’t already? Should we be satisfied with the current state of GFS? There are many things that GFS needs to improve upon in a variety of areas.

Our Campus is beautiful, but some of the facilities have not been improved upon for a long time. Many of the buildings have been around since the turn of the twentieth century, and have not been renovated in decades. There are some obvious things needed, such as air conditioning in the Cary Building, but there are other things that GFS, with all of its resources could do. Though we have the extremely energy efficient Wade Building, sadly we do not have any solar panels on campus. This could be an easy way for GFS to save money, and be more environmentally friendly.

Our athletic programs are excellent, but there is a glaring lack in two areas. Most schools have an indoor swimming pool, but GFS doesn’t have one, despite giving exemptions to students who swim. The pool could be a multipurpose facility, with anything from lifeguard training to kayaking happening there. We would be able to have a GFS swimming team as well. GFS is not only missing a swimming pool, but it also does not have any school squash courts. The lack of squash courts leads to an overly competitive atmosphere in the middle school teams, which can lead to people becoming discouraged from the sport. 

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Is it really a rivalry?

What does a Tiger and a Quaker have in common? Well, they’re not that far away from each other. The two schools are separated by 2,000 feet, and from the surface, it may seem that they have a fierce hatred and rivalry towards one another, but this may not be the opinion from the students of Germantown Friends School. I asked some of my friends and middle school A-team athletes who they enjoyed beating the most

Firstly, I decided to ask a couple of Soccer players what they thought:

“Penn Charter, because I know a bunch of kids that go there, and they’re a block away from the fields”

-Ezra Stern, A team striker

Continue reading Is it really a rivalry?

Camping trips: Which one is the best?

Ask any teacher what you’ll remember when you look back on middle school, they’ll say the camping trip. Each camping trip is meant to bond you with your classmates, and maybe help you understand the wilderness more. Each camping trip gets shorter the older you are, with the sixth grade trip being much longer than MOSAIC.

The sixth grade camping trip (my personal favorite) takes place at Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania. It has many hikes with your homeroom, including the stream hike and the boulder field. It was an amazing bonding experience, and definitely brought our homeroom together.  We had to prepare our own food, which was a major trust building event. Sam Spear, an eighth grader, said it was his favorite trip because, “There were more hikes, there was more woods experience.”

Continue reading Camping trips: Which one is the best?

Should The 8th Grade Musical Be Directed Mostly By The Students?

Every year, 8th graders participate in a musical, the 8th Grade Musical. Of course, that isn’t the title to every musical the 8th grade has, its different every time. Everybody has to play a part in the musical ranging from leading parts to singing in the chorus and lighting the stage. For the musical, students get to make the costumes under teacher supervision, and they work with the teachers to plan the lighting and some dance moves while the teachers make larger decisions and actions like making the script, choosing most of the dance moves, picking times to rehearse, and establishing order. It seems to most 8th graders that there isn’t much freedom for the 8th graders, nor any variation in the type of play the teachers are making. So, this brings up the question, should there be change, or should it stay the same?

Continue reading Should The 8th Grade Musical Be Directed Mostly By The Students?

Being a new student

Every year new students start at GFS. They come from larger schools, smaller schools, or schools the same size. I interviewed some new students from sixth, seventh, and eighth grades to see their perspective on being new.

I asked Jayden from eighth grade, “How is GFS different from your old school?” Jayden said, “The classes are bigger and the teachers are more enthusiastic. I’m not afraid to ask questions, there is more time to do homework, and I don’t have the same classes every day.” 

I asked Alayah, a seventh-grader, if she feels included and has friends. She answered, “Yes, the kids here are open and accepting.”

Jerry from sixth grade said, “I have friends.” 

Continue reading Being a new student

David Kern: The New Director

David Kern: the new Interim Director of the Middle School. What are his goals? What are his view on areas for improvement?

“I am not going to be staying as the principal, I am officially the ‘Interim Middle School Director’ but my goals for this year are to have a great year, to keep all of the good things in the middle school going well, and to keep working on areas for improvement such as the Schedule and the Short lunch ( he later refers to the short lunch as a ‘critical area to change’)”

David is not going to remain part of GFS faculty or staff next year, but he does plan to “remain part of the GFS community” as he puts it.

David wishes the 6th Graders to feel welcomed into the middle school, the 7th graders to understand that they have an increased responsibility within the community, and the 8th graders to feel confident (8th graders are getting grades for the first time).

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The Open Door Café INCIDENT | What Happened?

In early 2019, students in the Middle School were barred from the Open Door Café and the Main Building front hall. Many middle schoolers were mad at the decision by Germantown Friends School faculty, although the decision did help solve the problems that were happening in the café and front hall. Many Middle Schoolers started asking the question, “What happened? What caused the ban?” Continue reading The Open Door Café INCIDENT | What Happened?

Phones Kept in Locker Purgatory!

One of the newest peeves of eighth graders is the cell phone policies. It’s against the rules for an eighth grader to have a phone in their pocket or their bag during school hours. It wasn’t announced until after the farm show, well after the beginning of the year. Gossip across grades informed students airdropping inappropriate videos to teachers on the bus on the way back from the farm show. Continue reading Phones Kept in Locker Purgatory!

Is Your Teacher a Robot?

Imagine one day you come to school and the teachers are gone. Instead of teachers and smart boards, there are only computers. You are told that instead of teachers teaching individual classes, a computer system is the new “teacher.” You are told it is customized to your own learning abilities and learning style. It also helps you accomplish assignments at your own pace. Continue reading Is Your Teacher a Robot?