Hastings Hotline - February 2017
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

February/March 2017

Dear Hastings Families,

Welcome to the second half of the 2016-2017 school year. Your continued support of our learning community is appreciated and is one of the many reasons Hastings a special place to work and learn. When reflecting on the challenges we faced with staff illness during the 1st half of the school year your flexibility and understanding is especially notable. As we head into 2017 we have great programming and experiences planned to help student live our Hastings mantra of being “thoughtful, creative, collaborative, and caring citizens.”Look for continued announcements about student events in our weekly Friday Flier.

Additionally, with the turning of the calendar page, it is time again to look forward to next school year and the scheduling process. As part of this process, our counselors will be working in partnership with you and your child in the coming months to create his/her schedule. I have outlined in this newsletter the timetable to which we will adhere during the class scheduling process. Recommendation letters, which will explain our procedure and rationale for placement in particular classes to best meet the educational needs of your child, will be sent for your review in the areas of reading and global language. Please make note that our staff carefully considers the recommendations for placement. We would ask you to strongly consider these recommendations when making final decisions about course selection. Ultimately, your child’s long-term educational health is at the heart of these decisions, and we will be glad to discuss recommendations with you at any point in the process. An additional question that comes up each year is team placement. Teams will be assigned based on students’ individual needs, and then balanced to create the optimal learning environment. Please note that house teams and final schedules will be distributed during our School Supply Sale in August.

As our winter months pass, please don’t forget to attend a few of our great winter events including our production of the Lion King happening at the end of February. I am looking forward to an exciting 2017. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s education.


Robb Gonda


Follow me on Twitter: @robbgonda


Message from Assistant Principal Mike Robertson


Although it seems difficult to believe, we are ramping up the process for scheduling students for the 17-18 school year.  The Hastings staff is committed to providing advice and support for families as we walk through this important and many layered process.  Ultimately, we want to build a schedule that provides the maximum amount of flexibility for families as well as supplying information that helps everyone make informed choices.

The courses families request determine section placements within our master schedule, teaming partnerships, staffing considerations which is why the process begins now.  We are providing several opportunities for parents to get the information they need.  Information about these events will continue to be sent out in Friday fliers as well as special communications through blackboard.  Please pay careful attention to communications from Hastings during the scheduling season to keep up to date.

On February 9th, all families with students at Hastings for the 17-18 school year will receive a link to an online course request form.  This form will review the information about scheduling including what courses are assigned based upon your child’s current schedule as well as the courses where families need to make a choice.  Families should submit their response through this form by February 17th.  Should you have any questions or need help navigating the form, don’t hesitate to contact myself or your child’s counselor.

At the end of the course request form there is an opportunity for you to share some information about your child and their experience this year.  This section is optional and the only people who have access to the course requests results are myself, Mr. Gonda, and our school counselors.  You can share things like preferred learning style, how your child best takes corrective feedback, or just general information about their interests, goals, and personality.  If you have information you want to share but don’t feel comfortable sharing it in this form, please contact us directly.  While we cannot take specific requests for teams or teachers, we try to take into account all information available as we make scheduling decisions.

Thank you!

Notes and News

★ B.E.A.R.S.!  The eighth grade B.E.A.R.S. group (Bringing Empathy, Acceptance, and Respect Schoolwide) at Hastings Middle School was awarded the 2016 Youth Award from the City of Upper Arlington on January 23, 2017 at the State of the City. The students were recognized for their work on spreading kindness at their school and beyond through HIP (Hastings In-Reach Program) Day, OSU football player guest speakers, kindness challenges, bringing in Jim Bisenius from Bullyproofingyouth.org, creating monthly enrichment activities centered on teamwork and communication, visiting feeder elementary schools, and more. Congratulations to these 25 outstanding students!

The 2017 district spelling bee took place on January 11th at Hastings Middle School.  CONGRATULATIONS goes out to HMS 6th grader , Max Son, our district spelling bee champion, and also to the district runner-up, 7th grader Adham Elbarbari.  Max goes on to take a 55-word online spelling and vocabulary test to see if he qualifies for the next spelling bee level!  Best of luck to Max!

★Washington DC Trip Update: Activities for the Washington DC trip really start to pick up in February and March. In February, students will learn what bus they will be on and will begin meeting with their chaperone group to prepare for our May departure to the nation’s capital. Parents, mark your calendars for the final payment for the trip ($245), which is due Friday, March 10. Payments must be made directly to Discovery Tours - www.tourwithdiscovery.com. If you have any questions regarding the trip, please contact Alice Aichele.

Geographic Bee: Congratulations to the Hastings 2017 Geographic Bee Champion!

Seventh grade student Donald Speas is the Hastings Geographic Bee champion for 2017.  Nathan Varda finished in second place and did a great job in the competition.  The Social Studies Department would like to thank all 400 students who participated in the Geographic Bee this year.  Donald will now try to qualify for the Ohio Geographic Bee Finals to be held in early spring. Good luck, Donald!

News from the PTO President

The next PTO Meeting is on Wednesday February 8th at 8:30 am.The Annual PTO Fundraiser "NFF" (no-fundraiser fundraiser) is so close to meeting our goal of $5000!  If you haven't done your part to support our annual school efforts please go to the pto website and donate! We have 90 families who have graciously done so thus far! We know everyone's funds are pulled in many directions. We are always careful to spend funds on things that directly improve our students’ or staffs’ experience at HMS. Thank you for your consideration in this effort- which takes no effort! http://hastingspto.org/no-fundraising-fundraiser/

Each year PTO sponsors Cultural Arts experiences for our Hastings students for several Fridays during the height of winter! They have decorated the "Bears" that will be for sale next fall! Check out the website for details about other fun Fridays happening!

The Teacher Conference Day Dinner is Thursday, February 16th during their conference evening here at HMS. Look for the Sign Up Genius coming soon.

News from the Media Center

Exciting author visit

Neal Shusterman, a national book award winner, is coming to Hastings on March 8th!  Thank you to the Upper Arlington Education Foundation for their help in sponsoring this special event.

To prepare for his upcoming visit, all Hastings students are reading at least one of his many books. The afternoon will go as follows--Shusterman will be eating a box lunch in the media center with a select group of students who have either read the most pages or written a letter explaining why they’d like to eat lunch with him. Shusterman will then be speaking during an entire school assembly.  Next, a small group of students who have been chosen by their language arts teachers will participate in a writing workshop.  Finally, Shusterman will be available in the media center for autographs.

More News from the Media Center

Sixth and seventh graders participated in an Escape from the Media Center lock-in program.  Students worked together searching for mysterious clues, solving cryptic puzzles and discovering the hidden location of the keys to escape.

Hastings Athletics

Athletic Department News

From Hastings Middle School Athletic Director Mr. Spencer Smith 

As the winter sport seasons wind down and we gear up for the Spring seasons, we are very proud of the efforts of all of our winter athletes and coaches. Our students have shown great sportsmanship, given great effort and shown improvement week over week. They have represented Hastings Middle School well. 

The Jones vs Hastings matches will take place this coming week. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, January 25th (Location: Upper Arlington High School)

8th Grade Boys Basketball- 5:00pm

8th Grade Girls Basketball- Immediately following Boys Game (approx. 6:15)

Thursday, January 26th (Location: Hastings Middle School)

7th Grade Boys Basketball- 5:00pm

7th Grade Girls Basketball- Immediately following Boys Game (approx. 6:15)

Saturday, January 28th (Location: Upper Arlington High School)

7th/8th Grade Wrestling- 7:00pm

Save the date:

Thursday, February 9th  (Location: Hastings Auditorium)

HMS Winter Athletic Recognition Night

Spring Tryout/Start Dates (tentative):

Lacrosse: February 21st

Baseball and Softball: February 21st

Track and Field: March 6th (conditioning and coaching begins)

Tennis: March 6th

 *More info to come in the near future!*

Go Bears!

Nurse's Notes

Febuary – March Hotline

Take Two Laughs and Call Me in the Morning After a Good Breakfast!

Laughter—Did you know that laughing is an aerobic exercise?  According to medical researchers, a good, hard laugh for 20 seconds has the same benefit as 5 minutes of hard rowing.  Laughter leads to relaxation and stress reduction by first raising your blood pressure and heart rate and then lowering it.  By doing so, sensory perceptiveness is increased, allowing you to perform tasks better.  If you are having difficulty solving work or personal problems, psychologist Alice M. Isen, Ph.D., of Cornell University prescribes a good comedy to get the creative juices flowing.

Parents Remember to Eat a Good Breakfast—Your children will learn from your example.  Providing a child with a good breakfast before going to school is one of the most important things a parent can do to prepare a child for optimal learning and interaction at school.  Teachers report that a students who have not eaten since the night before become tired and unable to concentrate by late morning, especially after physical education class.  The fast pace of our households in the morning should not interfere with having a good breakfast.  The traditional breakfast of eggs and toast or cereal can be replaced with whatever nutritional foods that your child likes, such as a peanut butter or cheese sandwich, leftover pizza, cottage cheese, yogurt, muffins, fruit, etc.  Discuss with your child which foods he/she would like to have for breakfast and have these on hand!

The Health Office is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:00 PM.   Call Gini Barber, RN @ 487-5100 X 4003 if you have any questions.









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1950 North Mallway Drive
Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
(614) 487-5000

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