Hastings Hotline - October 2015
The Hastings Hotline is a bi-monthly newsletter for Hastings students, families and staff.  Click on a category below to read more.

Message from Principal Robb Gonda


Hastings Families,

During the summer I had the pleasure of reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough which outlines the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright and their journey to master the art of flying. At our recent town hall meetings, I shared this story with the students of Hastings, outlining their innovative approach and how death defying the feat of flying was at the turn of the last century. Although the story of learning to fly in itself is compelling, it was the process of learning I wanted to stress. The Wright Brothers did not magically build a machine and then fly across the country; it took many failures and frustrating moments to learn and change to create the successful ability for flight. Just like the Wright brothers learning to fly, learning at Hastings can also be frustrating and sometimes filled with failure, because it is within our walls that students are meeting up against these the building blocks of learning and resiliency. Our students reacted in various ways to this message, but the ending of this message was the most important.  You see at Hastings we want all students to “fly” and reach their full potential and if they do have those moments where not everything is going their way, we are here to help and provide support.

This has been a great start to the school year, and I am looking forward to many moments of success of our student in the social, academic, extra-curricular, and athletic arenas. Be looking for detailed information about our laptop roll out as well digital citizenship programming over the next few months. Additionally, I wanted to mention the new layout of our bi-monthly Hastings Hotline. Over the course of the past few years we noticed a decline in those reading our full fifteen-page newsletter, therefore we are changing the format to this new web-friendly version.  Links for our new newsletter will be sent out through twitter and linked to weekly publication the “Friday Flier.” Toward the end of the school year we will again ask your opinion of this publication and how we can continue to improve how communicate with our learning community.

As we enter the fall months, make sure to come out and support our Bears as they wrap up the fall sports season, showcase their talents in our fall drama production, and perform in our various music ensembles. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s education.


Robb T. Gonda, Principal

614-487-5100 ext. 4001


Follow me on Twitter @robbgonda

Follow HMS on Twitter @HMSbears

Message from Assistant Principal Jim Buffer

Dear Hastings Community;

We continuously review the safety of our daily practices, including drop-off and pick-up procedures.  We recently identified an area of concern with our morning traffic flow and have been working on a plan to both increase safety and provide a more efficient drop off.

We are in the process of implementing a new system that allows up to 5 vehicles at a time to safely drop off their passengers in our lot.  Mr. Keyes and I will be on hand to coordinate traffic flow. 

Drivers will be asked to pull to the far (north) end of our parking lot where they will see five tall traffic cones with signs numbering them 1-5.  Drivers will proceed to the northernmost available cone so that the cars behind them can pull forward, allowing as many as 5 vehicles to safely dispatch their passengers at one time.  All other vehicles MUST remain in line and their passengers must remain in their cars until they have safely reached one of the five designated drop off spots.

After dropping off your passenger(s) we ask that you proceed around the traffic island at the far end of the lot and turn RIGHT out of the parking lot (this exit is right turn only during peak traffic hours of 7:30 - 8:00 am and 3:20 - 4:00 pm).

We appreciate your patience as we implement this new procedure.  We believe it will increase both the safety and efficiency of our drop off.   Thank you in advance for your support!


Jim Buffer

Assistant Principal





Notes and News

 Congratulations to the HMS German Department!  

German teacher Marlis Fischer was recently selected as one of twelve German teachers nationally to receive a $1200 grant to attend the National Convention for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in San Diego in November. The generous grant was provided by the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad in collaboration with Netzwerk Deutsch. Believing that language and communication are at the heart of the human experience, The American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. ACTFL is an organization of more than 12,500 language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry.


★ Eighth-grade Washington D.C. Trip

Required Meeting for 8th Graders and Parents October 14, 7:30 p.m

Planning has begun for this year’s 8th grade trip to Washington DC, scheduled for May 17-20, 2016. In order to ensure that we meet all deadlines and that our expectations are clear, we are asking all students who are interested in going on the trip and at least one of their parents to attend a meeting in the Hastings auditorium on Wednesday, October 14, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.  In addition to our school-based coordinators and administrators, a representative from Discovery Tours will be in attendance to discuss the registration process and answer questions regarding the trip. 

Students will not be permitted to go on the trip unless a parent attends both the October 14 meeting and the spring meeting (Monday, May 2, 2016, 7:30 p.m.). If unable to attend the October 14 meeting at Hastings, parents and students must attend the Jones meeting on October 13, 7:30 p.m., in the Jones auditorium. 

If you and your 8th grader are unable to attend either meeting, you must contact Robb Gonda, rgonda@uaschools.org, Lisa Lloyd, llloyd@uaschools.org, or Alice Aichele, aaichele@uaschools.org, by October 16, in order to secure a spot for your student and to arrange an alternate meeting time.

★ Seventh-grade Pittsburgh Trip

Required Parent Meeting on Monday, October 19th from 7 to 8pmWe are getting excited for our first-ever class trip to Pittsburgh on November 12 & 13!  At least one parent is required to attend the upcoming October 19th meeting in order for their child to attend.  You will learn all of the logistics for the trip at this meeting along with a chance to meet your child's chaperone for the trip.  See you there! 

★ Sixth-grade Camp

Sixth-grade camp has been an Upper Arlington tradition for over thirty years!

The Black & White Houses will attend camp October 5-7, while the Gold House will attend camp October 7-9. Buses return from camp by 2:15 p.m. 

Geography Bee

The Hastings Geographic Bee will begin in mid-November. Students will have the opportunity to take part in the beginning phases of the Bee in their Social Studies classes or Enrichment.  Mr. Wylie will have review sessions after school in October/November to review and prepare for the Bee. There will be morning announcements regarding these review sessions. Each grade level will have 3 finalists competing in the Hastings Geographic Bee on Thursday, December 10, at 3:30 p.m. in the Media Center.

★ Robotics Club

Students that belong to the Hastings Robotics Club design and build a robot to compete in the National Robotics Challenge held in Marion Ohio on April 8th & 9th. The Robotics Club will meet Wednesdays after school starting in November from 3:30 to 4:30 in room 119. The club will also meet during lunch on days to be announced and potentially a few weekends. Contact: Brian Niekamp at bniekamp@uaschools.org


Mrs. Leinbaugh and Miss Litts report that MathCounts is up and running. All 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who love challenging math problems are invited to attend. We challenge you to come and calculate with the other math gurus every Tuesday, 7:30 a.m., in room 226. 

★ Guitar Club

Guitar Club is a chance to learn to play some basic guitar songs and meet some new friends. We meet once a week starting in December from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the Music Room. Students are welcome to bring a guitar if they own one, or borrow one of the school's instruments. All students are welcome to join. Please contact Jeff Elliott at jelliott@uaschools.org with any questions!

Archery Club

Archery Club meets after school until 4:30 p.m. for a month in the fall and a month in the spring, weather permitting. Along with the basics of archery, history, Olympic competition and safety are reviewed. All students are welcome. A permission slip must be on file with Mr. Lloyd before being able to participate. No experience necessary. 

★ Cercle Français (French Club)

At Cercle Français, students experience French language and culture first hand.  We try French games and sports, make crafts, cook, celebrate French/Francophone holidays, traditions, and special events. Cercle Français meets once a month after school from 3:30-4:30 in Madame Smith's classroom (RM 214), and will have events all week for National French Week this November!  All 7th and 8th graders taking French and all 6th graders are welcome to join. Our first meeting is Thursday, September 17 and our second meeting will be Monday, October 12. Email Madame Smith at kbecksmith@uaschools.org with any questions!

Ping Pong Club

Hastings Ping Pong Club meets on Friday afternoons in January and February from 3:30-4:30pm. No prior experience is necessary and the club is open to students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Please note: because we meet on the same day as Ski Club, students in Ski Club are not eligible to participate in the Hastings Ping Pong Club. Please email John McAlpine at jmcalpine@uaschools.org with questions.

★ Deutschklub (German Club)

Students have the opportunity during Deutschklub to meet with fellow students to speak German and experience German holidays, traditions, games, and events. Meeting monthly, Deutschklub meetings are a great place to learn more about the language and culture and to have fun; all 7th and 8th grade German students and all 6th graders are welcome to join.

Vielen Dank an die ZfA!Many thanks to our partners at the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad for their generous grant for classroom materials! The German department was able to buy lots of exciting things from children’s books to educational games, and even new maps. Thanks to their generosity, our German teachers are able to bring lots of realia and even a little piece of Germany into the classroom!

National History Day Club

NHD History Club will have their first organizational meeting on Tuesday, October 6th from 3:25 to 3:45.  The History Club is for all Hastings students wishing to participate in the annual Ohio History Day competition usually planned in late March.  More information is available atnhd.org.  Please see Mrs. Carmichael in room 117 or at lcarmichael@uaschools.org if you have questions.

Yearbook Club

Yearbook Club will meet again on Wednesday, September 30th from 3:30-4:30 in Ms. Egbert's classroom (Room 113). All sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are welcome to help create the annual HMS Yearbook. Students will plan the yearbook theme and appearance, take pictures at school and community events, and then organize the yearbook pages. Please contact Elizabeth Egbert at eegbert@uaschools.org or Katie Fussner at kfussner@uaschools.org with questions.

Hastings Spelling Bee

For all students interested in the spelling bee, the qualifier will take place on Tuesday, December 15th at 3:30pm.  The Hastings/Jones spelling bee will be held on Wednesday, January 13th at Jones Middle School beginning at 9:00am.  Students can practice their spelling skills by going to www.myspellit.com 

Please see Mrs. Riley with any questions.

Rocket Club

Rocket Club will meet on Tuesday, Oct 13 in room 227

Spanish Club 

Spanish Club will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, September 29 in room 216. 

At "Club Español", students get the opportunity to speak Spanish with others and to experience Hispanic holidays, traditions, games and events! Club Español meets monthly on Tuesdays after school from 3:30-4:15; all 7th and 8th graders taking Spanish and all 6th graders are welcome to join! 


Athletic Department News

For the first time in history, UA Middle Schools 8th grade teams competed at UAHS in the Hastings vs Jones rivalry games. The teams and student-athletes enjoyed competing on the courts and fields of UAHS.Thank you to all the Families that helped with this years Athletic Drive. The Drive raised over $15,000.00 for the Hastings Athletic DepartmentHastings Boys Basketball Open Gym Starts Tuesday 9/22/15, 6:00-7:30 at Hastings MS and will run every Tuesday (except 9/29) until tryouts begin 10/23/15.2015 Fall Sports Recognition Night will be held on Thursday, October 15th at 7pm in the HMS Auditorium.

Winter start dates:
  • Boys Basketball Start Date- 10/23/2015
  • Girls Basketball Start Date- 10/23/2015
  • Wrestling Start Date- 11/2/2015

Winter contests begin the first week of December.

All student-athletes must have an updated (within a year) Physical Examination on file with our Athletic trainer, to participate in tryouts or practice. Emergency Medical Forms must be completed and given to the respective Head Coach.


News from the PTO President

A warm welcome to all Hastings Families from PTO! Many thanks to the multitude of volunteers who have pitched in to make the school year start off so well! The PTO events that kicked off the year include....

• The School Supply and Spirit Wear sale

• HOP Day was supported with PTO funds, volunteers, & the ever popular end-of-day ice cream!

• Back to School Night with refreshments & Spirit Wear 

• Middle School Tailgate night with Jones at the UA game

• Budget approval for this 2015-2016 school year is complete

• Support is given to all new teaching staff with classroom supply reimbursement

• Website updates and improvements-www.hastingspto.org

Membership is our biggest fundraiser. It allows us to fund programs, scholarships & Teacher Mini- Grants. If you have NOT joined please go to www.hastingspto.org and do so. A directory comes with the membership!

Coming Soon from PTO

Fall Mini-Grant applications for all teaching staff

No-fundraising Fundraiser campaign (you donate, you don't sell a thing)

Veteran's Day Celebration

Adopt-a-Chair program supporting the auditorium chair remodeling... we are half way there!!!

Teacher spread for end of 1st qt. conference day/night

Technology Roll-out is coming in December.  We will need volunteers to help.

We sincerely welcome you in any area of PTO, so don't hesitate to email me with questions, comments, specific questions, or volunteer interests. Look for Friday Flier Weekly updates and PTO emails... thank you!

Cathy Pultz

PTO President


News from the Media Center

All 6th grade language arts classes recently spent an orientation period in the media center. The students were given a colored lei to designate their group for a scavenger hunt.  They explored the media center using an iPad to read QR codes stationed throughout and then collaboratively answered a question about the media center at each station. 

Service Learning at Hastings


Hastings Outreach Program

On September 4, approximately 715 students, 40 parent volunteers, and 65 faculty members had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the seventh Hastings HOP day. The Hastings Outreach Program (HOP) sponsored a day of service learning for all of our students and faculty. In keeping with our district's strategic plan, we wanted to provide all students and faculty with opportunities to be engaged in at least one service learning experience this year. Service to others is a crucial part in helping our students understand what it means to be citizens of a global community. Our goal was for students to understand how skills they learn in the classroom can be used for opportunities outside of the classroom.

The day of service ended with a celebration sponsored by the PTO and a whole-school assembly to recap some of the service activities that students participated in throughout the day. We would like to thank the following people/organizations for their support:

• Hastings staff and students

• Hastings parents

• Hastings PTO

• City of Upper Arlington & Steve Cotherel

• The staff at LifeCare Alliance

• The staff at Mid Ohio Food Pantry

•The staff at Neighborhood Services

•The staff at Dublin Food Pantry

• The staff at Whetstone Park of Roses

• The staff at Highbanks Metro Park

•The staff at Indian Village

•The staff at Battelle Darby Metro Park

•The staff at Franklin Park Conservatory

Sixth grade students, staff and parents took part in various activities that helped give back to the local community of Upper Arlington. Students got the community involved by organizing a community food drive. Food collected was donated to Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

We partnered up with Griggs Reservoir, Burbank Early Childhood Center, Mountview Preschool, Covenant Preschool and Habitat for Humanity on HOP day. In the afternoon, our students helped beautify the community at Thompson Park,Reed Road Park, the municipal building and the grounds of Hastings.

Seventh grade students and staff visited Highbanks Metro Park, Whetstone Park, Indian Village, Franklin Park Conservatory and Battelle Darby Metro Park. Students put elements from their science, math, health, life skills, and PE curriculums into practice. Students learned about various jobs within their service site and worked in conjunction with the staffs.

Students volunteered their time participating in activities such as:  weeding flower beds, mulching, pruning trails, building tables, repairing fences, tearing out invasive species and picking up litter.

LifeCare Alliance, sponsor of the Franklin County Meals on Wheels program, and its dining centers were one of the recipients of the service performed by the 8th grade students and staff. Students cleaned the food transportation vans, prepared food, organized meals, delivered meal for the Meals on Wheels program, played Bingo and enjoyed lunch with some of the dining center patrons. A second recipient of 8th grade service was Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Students and staff worked in the food reclamation area at Mid-Ohio Foodbank and were able to learn about how the organization uses the donations they receive from the community. A third location this year was the Dublin Food Pantry. Our students learned about their food bank and how they use resources donated to them to give back to the local community.  Neighborhood Services was a new location this year; students were able to learn about this organization and the programs it sponsors (food pantry, tax services, school supply drive, etc.) and provide service cleaning, painting and stocking shelves.

Service Hours for the Year!

Students are encouraged to engage in both in-school and out-of-school service opportunities. Students are expected to record a minimum of ten (10) hours of service each school year. Service hours are earned by volunteering for the community; activities that help the family are not counted for service credit. Hours volunteered during the summer may be reported in the upcoming school year. Service hours must be recorded by Friday, April 29, 2016.

Reporting of service hours is done online. All students have completed service since HOP day does count towards 4 hours of service. To record this service activity, students should use the online service hour database. The web address is https://webapp.uaschools.org/community/. To log-in, students should use the same information as when they log-in to computers at school (first name initial with last name, password is their 6-digit student id number).

When students log on to report their service hours, they will need the following information: supervisor’s information, date of service, explanation of service, etc. Students need to be detailed in their short answer responses when describing their service activity. It is also very important that students register an email address when they first log-in to the database; students will be contacted through their email address if there are any questions about the service hours reported.

Questions about service hours and the database should be directed to Catherine Shapiro (cshapiro@uaschools.org) or the student's grade-level counselor.

Nurse's Notes

Is your child is showing signs of illness? It can be a difficult decision deciding whether your child is too ill to go to school. Often it is best to keep them home. Not only will they heal quicker it will also help to control the spread of germs at school. 

Some guidelines for deciding to keep your child home include:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or above—they should remain at home until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-controlling medicine). 
  • Taking an antibiotic— it is best to remain home until they have completed the first 24 hours of the antibiotic. 
  • Vomiting more than 1 time, or has vomiting plus other signs of illness.
  • Diarrhea - 3 or more times (not caused by a change in diet or medication).
  • Cough that is persistent, productive , accompanied by a fever and / or would disrupt classroom.

Please inform the school nurse if your child has a communicable disease such as strep throat or chicken pox. 

We have students who can have serious consequences if exposed to strep and other illnesses.

Remember: hand-washing is the best way to prevent disease. 

And don’t forget to cover your cough. These measures will help to control the spread of illness throughout our  school.

Let’s try to make it a healthy school year!

Gini Barber, 487-5100 ext. 4003 vbarber@uaschools.org

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Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
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