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April 18, 2014

photo of Farnsworth Middle School signstudents reads aloud during a book fair eventstudents arriving at schoolstudents work on a computerstudents seated at their desks

Michael Laster, Principal

6072 State Farm Rd. Guilderland, NY 12084

Phone: 518/456-6010 ext. 3010

Fax: 518/456-3747

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Important immunization changes for students entering grades K-6

The NYS Department of Health and NYS Education Department recently issued immunization requirement changes starting with the 2014-2015 school year. A letter will be sent home to all parents of students in grades K-6 on April 22 explaining these changes. Parents can also read the letter here (PDF).

6th Grade Fun Night set for Friday, April 25 

The middle school Student Council is sponsoring a 6th Grade Fun Night on Friday, April 25 at FMS from 7 to 9 p.m. This is an event for 6th graders only ! There will be a DJ, music, games, food, and prizes. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets cost $5 each and will go on sale during homeroom Tuesday, April 22 -Friday April, 25. Tickets will not be sold at the door, so be sure to buy yours during the week! Flyers with information on the Fun Night will be going home with 6th grade students shortly. Please encourage your 6th grader to grab a friend or two and come have a good time! Also, be sure to SAVE THE DATE for the 6th Grade Dance on Friday May 30 from 7-9 p.m. More information to follow.

Spanish students learn about "la mona"Spanish 8 students celebrate "la mona"

Before the recess break, Mrs. Dugan's Spanish 8 students enjoyed learning about "la mona," a tradition celebrated in April in many regions of Spain. The students decorated their own "mona," which is a sweet, often donut-shaped dessert typically adorned with items such as chocolate eggs and feathers to symbolize Spring.

Order your FMS Class of 2014 today

Attention parents of 8th grade students at FMS: Student Council is selling red and white 2014 class tee shirts for $10. Money and order forms will be due by April 23. Order forms were sent home with students on April 8 and are also available online (PDF) or in the house offices.

Letter from Principal Michael Laster regarding teacher arrest

The following letter will be mailed home this afternoon to all parents of Farnsworth Middle School students. Read the letter

FMS Student Council Food Drive 2014FMS Student Council Food Drive is a success

The Farnsworth Middle School Student Council would like to thank everyone who donated food and hygiene items to benefit The Food Pantries of the Capital District. Nearly 500 items were collected throughout the week of March 24, filling twelve boxes and 4 grocery bags! Thank you as well to the parents who encouraged their children to participate. The Food Pantries will be happy next week when they come to collect the food!

FMS students advance to National History Day state competition

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FMS student takes home silver medal in Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair and Science Congress Learn more


FMS Student Council cancels third 7th and 8th grade dance of the year

Due to the lack of ticket sales, the Farnsworth Middle School Student Council has been forced to once again cancel a scheduled 7th and 8th grade dance for this Friday, March 28. Advisers and administrators have worked together to take steps to try and encourage attendance. Some of these changes include: increased advertisement of the dances such as commercials on the TV News starting a week prior to sales and the dance, posters all over the school, an SNN out to parents reminding them of the event, information on the FMS website, and adding a day of sales for ticket sales. Discussions have also taken place with the student body in which suggestions were added this time such as having a basketball tournament going on at the same time. In addition, the ticket price was also lowered. These changes did not help generate enough interest in attending.

We will be working together to brainstorm ideas for next year and continue the discussion of having 7th and 8th grade dances in the future. There will still be a 6th grade fun night/dance (pending ticket sales) which will be held on April 25 from 7 to 9 p.m and a 6th grade dance on Friday, May 30 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Updated: March 25, 2014
Repair work on middle school athletic fields to begin immediately

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Capital District Future City┬« Selects David Lasselle, former FMS student, as Alumni of the Year  Learn more

GCSD students featured in K-8 Empire State Plaza Art Collection Exhibition Learn more


FMS Spirit Week: 3/24-3/28

Student Council will be hosting their annual Spirit Week from Monday, March 24 through Friday, March 28, culminating with a 7th and 8th grade dance Friday night from 7-9:30 pm. Students and staff are encouraged to dress each day for the spirit activities.

Monday is Clone Day. Grab a friend or two and dress alike, dress like a teacher, or a celebrity!

Tuesday is Sports Jersey Day, so grab your favorite jersey hanging in your closet.

Thursday is House Color Day. Tawasentha is green, Hiawatha is red, and Seneca is yellow.

Lastly, Friday is Red and White Day. Show your Guilderland Spirit!!

Tickets for the 7th and 8th grade spirit dance on Friday March 28 will go on sale during homeroom starting Friday, March 21. The dance is from 7-9:30 pm and the cost is $5. In addition to our DJ, we will also be opening up the gym for basketball! Help Student Council raise money for FMS by purchasing a ticket and having a fun night with friends!

High School Spanish students spend a day teaching their younger counterparts at FMS Learn more

FMS students shine at Capital Region Spelling Bee competition

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Change in contact information for this year's Butterfly Station

Read a letter (PDF) from Beverly Bisnett-Jenks, instructional administrator for math, science and technology at Farnsworth Middle School

Camp Invention is returning to GCSD this summer

In partnership with the national nonprofit Invent Now, Guilderland Central School District is pleased to once again offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades one through six this summer. The program runs from July 21-25, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Farnsworth Middle School. Learn more

FMS students at the recent STOP conferenceFMS students attend STOP conference at Siena College

On Friday, January 17, 2014, twenty two schools from the greater capital district of Albany attended the 9th annual Students Together Opposing Prejudice (STOP) conference at Siena College, an extension of the college’s Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King Lecture series on non-violence. The conference was an opportunity for middle and high school students to work together to oppose prejudice and bigotry. Among the attendees was a group of nine students from Farnsworth Middle School's Student Council leadership team: Dalton Futia, William Guo, Colin Ingraham, Michael Neal, Margot Nezaj, Lauren O'Connor, Riley O'Lena, Joey Palatsky, and Angelo Sbardella. The Anti-Defamation League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE┬« Institute facilitators lead over 235 students and 40 adults in an examination of identity and how bias affects them and their schools. One of the strengths of the program is the mixing of students from different schools; this provides a platform for participants to build relationships with students from different communities with varying perspectives. The final part of the program brought the students back into their school groups to discuss actions to fight the various injustices they see on a daily basis.

Want to help FMS earn free educational equipment?
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International Dinner set for March 13 at FMS
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Communicating in a Digital World

Earlier this week, Guilderland Central School District hosted a very important event for all district students, families, and community members aimed at starting a conversation about using today’s technology in a safe and responsible way. "Communicating in a Digital World: A conversation about civility and respect" was held on Jan. 14 and featured a panel discussion about the importance of personal responsibility when interacting with websites, social media, and other electronic communication tools. Learn more about the event, see a video replay, and download event handouts

Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transition Night

On Wednesday, January 15, the Farnsworth Middle School and Guilderland High School counseling departments hosted their annual Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transition Night for students. Unable to attend the event? You can view the presentation and watch a full replay of the program online by visiting the FMS Counseling Home Page.

Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transition Night set for Jan. 15

Our Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transition Night for students will be held Wednesday, January 15 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Guilderland High School Large Group Instruction (LGI) room. Attached is our 2013-2014 Parent Handbook (PDF) which provides detailed information to assist students and families as they begin the transition to high school. Our FMS Counselors begin meeting with students and communicating with families at this point in the school year. This continues for the next few weeks as preliminary course selections for the 2014-2015 school year are discussed. Please feel free at any time to contact your child's respective School Counselor with any questions or for more information.

Important testing information for parents of students currently enrolled in the accelerated math program

New this year: Students will have the option of taking both the Integrated Algebra Regents exam and the Common Core aligned Algebra 1 Regents exam in June. Learn more and view a link to review materials

Sixth grade students of Italian celebrate La Befana

FMS World Languages and Cultures Teacher Piera Camposeo and her 6th grade Italian students celebrated La Bbefana last week. In popular Italian folklore, Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their socks with presents and candy (CARAMELLE) if they are good or a lump of coal (CARBONE), onions or garlic if they are bad. Learn more about La Befana (PDF)

Sixth grade Italian students celebrate La Befana

Attention parents of 7th graders:
Learn more about 8th grade accelerated math and science programs

Want to learn more about accelerated math and science opportunities for students heading into 8th grade next year? Please take a moment to read the letter (PDF) sent home to all parents of seventh graders outlining the programs.

Albany County Bullying Prevention Task Force at FMS

On Monday, September 30, 2013, members of the Albany County Bullying Prevention Task Force came to Farnsworth Middle School to launch a new county-wide campaign aimed at creating a safer and more positive environment for all children. Led by Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy, the Task Force will provide free programs and services for all students, faculty and caregivers on bullying awareness and prevention. Learn more about the kick-off event and view photos

District to begin releasing APPR scores by request

Beginning Oct. 11, all GCSD parents or legal guardians will have the right to request Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child's current year's teacher(s) and principal(s).
Learn more and download a request form

Student Contact and Medical Information Verification/Update Form

Each year, the Guilderland Central School District requests of all parents their most current and accurate contact information, as well as critical medical information pertaining to their child(ren). In past years, the district sent home hard copies of student health cards for verification and completion by parents. For the 2013-14 school year and beyond, we are now asking parents to make full use of our online systems for this verification process. Learn more This information is extremely important, as our ability to appropriately respond to student medical concerns and to maintain timely communications with parents is dependent on this verification process. Please take a few moments to verify and/or update your child's information as soon as possible.

2013-14 Student/Parent Handbook now available

The 2013-14 FMS Student/Parent Handbook is now available on our website. View the handbook (PDF) Printed copies of the publication will also be distributed to all students at the beginning of the school year. Please take some time to read through the handbook, which contains important information about our school and the policies and procedures you and your child will need to be familiar with for a successful school year.

Updated clubs and activities handbook now available

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Breakfast with the Principal dates set for 2013-14

Throughout the school year, FMS Principal Michael Laster will host several "Breakfast with the Principal" events to meet with and talk to parents of middle school students. Please join us on either:

Tawasentha - Thursday, November 14, 2013

Seneca - Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hiawatha - Thursday, May 8, 2014

All "Breakfast with the Principal" events will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. at the middle school. To reserve your spot,  please call the middle school main office at 456-6010, ext. 3010.

Middle School students work with Nature Preserve to create a children's book to help save an endangered species

Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission to hold a book signing party for the release of Mister Karner Blue on Saturday, March 9. Learn more

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