Quarter 4 Newsletter now available

This time of year brings a pace to teaching and learning that is exciting and full of anticipation. Nine months of hard work has been celebrated at our Spotlight on Character Assemblies and our award ceremonies. Our modified athletes are finishing up their seasons and our student musicians are ready to amaze us at their end of the year performances. We conclude the month of June recognizing growth our 8th graders have made in here at FMS at our Moving Up Day Dance and Moving Up Day Ceremony. While we will be sad to see our 8th graders leave, we know they are prepared for the excitement and challenges that await them in high school. This celebratory time, combined with the increased warmer weather, makes us eager to finish our school year with excellence.

It is important to review with your child our FMS dress code expectations outlined in our Student/Parent Handbook. Taken from Board of Education policy, these guidelines are designed to reduce distractions that impact learning. As we begin to get out summer clothes please be mindful of them. If you have questions regarding specific articles of clothing, please contact your child’s House Principal. They are able to provide families guidance on what is and what is not acceptable in school.  It is our role to coach our middle school students in what is appropriate dress. We are compassionate about the challenges parents and students face with wardrobe options but ultimately are charged with maintaining an environment conducive to learning. We thank you in advance for your assistance.

We appreciate all the community support evidenced by the successful passage of our school budget and capital construction bond. We can now start to work on enhancing our academic programs and updating our school facility.  This curricular focus and facility work will allow us to maintain the greatness of FMS for years to come. We thank you for your continued support as we work together to provide the best middle school experience for your child.

We encourage you to continue strengthening relationships with your child, our staff and our community. As we move towards the end of the year it’s important to stress to students the importance of a successful finish.  Discuss with your child their learning goals for the summer and for next school year. Helping them understand the connections between a strong finish now and the learning opportunities they will have during the summer months is important.

Many of our teams and departments will conclude their learning with various celebrations, field trips and fun activities. I look forward to joining them as we finish the month of June with these worthwhile experiences. I look forward to seeing many of you at our end of the year celebratory events. Remember to schedule time in July and August to come to FMS to tour and support our Butterfly Station and Organic Garden. Enjoy the remaining time we have left in the 2018-2019 school year. Then get ready to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the summer recess!


Michael Laster,

FMS Events

6/4: 6th Grade Concert

6/5: ENL Extravaganza 5:30-7:30 p.m.

6/7: Select Chorus Concert 4 pm

6/10: Board of Ed Academic Awards @ GHS 7 p.m.

6/14: MUD Celebration Dance 7-9 .p.m.  * this is a change from the district calendar

6/25: Early Release 12:20 p.m.

6/25:  8th Grade MUD Ceremony 7 pm @ Guilderland High School  

6/26: Early Release 12:20 p.m. – Last Day of School

2019 Moving Up Day Information

The annual Farnsworth Middle School Moving Up Day Ceremony will be held in the large gymnasium at Guilderland High School on Tuesday, June 25 at 7 p.m. (doors will open at 6:30 p.m.) The purpose of this event is to celebrate the completion of your child’s middle school experience and formalize their transition to our high school. This ceremony brings closure to the accomplishments your child has made while at FMS. It also allows for students of the class 2023 to reflect on their experience and bid fond farewells to FMS staff members. This has always proven to be a memorable and exciting experience for all students.

We ask that students dress appropriately for the MUD ceremony, keeping in mind the serious, but fun nature of the event. We do not encourage parents to treat this as a formal ceremony i.e. gowns, tuxedos and limousines are not necessary. Students should consider appropriate clothes for the occasion. If you have any questions about your child’s attire, please contact us at your convenience. We are looking forward to celebrating with you are your child at our Moving Up Day Ceremony.

Moving Up Dance

This year the Moving Up Party, sponsored by the FMS PTA and Student Council, will be held on Friday, June 14, at FMS from 7 to 9 p.m. We want to ensure that all parents and students are aware of this time frame. The dance includes a casual dress format with lots of fun activities. Students are reminded that all school rules apply at the dance. Parents should plan to pick their children up promptly at 9 p.m. in the front FMS parking lot. If you would like to help with the dance, please contact Ruth Anne Burby (ptaruthanne@gmail.com)

8th Grade Spanish

Ms. Dugan’s 8th grade Spanish Class students had the opportunity to experience an immersion experience by eating an authentic Colombian meal and speaking Spanish. Students went to Moliendo Café Columbian restaurant in Albany on May 10 and used the Spanish language with the restaurant staff while enjoying as assortment of national foods and drinks.

Seneca 8


The Seneca Living Environment Students recently hosted a Science Symposium to share the results of the original science research they conducted this year. Students used data from game cameras at FMS, the Albany Pine Bush and other local school districts to conduct the research. Students were excited to share the research projects with parents, teachers, administrators and guest from the Albany Pine Bush. Thank you for everyone that attended.

Spotlight on Character

The Character Education Committee recently held the final grade level Spotlight on Character recognition events for this year. Our 6th Graders enjoyed an assembly with guest speaker Officer Matt Hanzalik. The 7th grade nominees were invited to our first Spotlight on Character Ice Cream Social thanks to a donation from Stewart’s Shops. Lastly, our 8th grade nominees were honored with a surprise reception that included their families and a visit from GHS Assistant Principal Amy Hawrylchak. Congratulations to all of our nominees – we are so proud of you and the impact you have had on our community!

Summer Routines

Setting up a routine can add structure to your child’s summer on days when they are home. Try these tips.

Eating – Keep regular family meals to stay connected with your middle grader. Also, have them help you stock healthy snacks and lunches they can prepare on their own if you’re not home.

Sleeping – Getting enough sleep is important for good health year-round. Set a reasonable bedtime, and have your tween get up by a set time. This is especially important toward the end of summer so they will be ready to return to their school schedule.

Chores – Keep your child in the routine of having regular responsibilities. You might give them a list of jobs for the week (laundry, vacuuming) and let them decide which day they’ll do each task.

General Guidelines for Student Dress

A students grooming, dress, and appearance shall be safe and appropriate as to not disrupt, nor interfere with the educational process.

–          Foot wear that represents a safety hazard is not allowed.

–          Hats bandanas, do-rag and other head coverings cannot be worn during school hours. They can be left in lockers all day.

–          Clothing must be free of items that are vulgar, obscene, and libelous or denigrate others because of race, color, weight, national origin, gender or sex.

–          A student’s dress may not promote or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs. Or encourage other illegal, sexual, or violent behavior.

–          Recognize that extremely brief garments, revealed midriffs and see-though garments are not appropriate and are distracting to the educational setting and mission of the District and its students.

–          Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.

Students may be asked to change their clothing at the discretion of an administrator in the building if these guidelines are not followed.

Keep your brain in gear..

When the school year ends, the learning doesn’t have to. Keep your tween’s mind active all summer long. With ideas like these.

Take up a hobby – A hobby gives your child a meaningful way to spend time while they practice various skills. For example, knitting requires math and attention to detail and chess promotes strategic thinking and patience. They could take a community center class or watch how-to videos. Then, suggest they set a goal like knitting a scarf or beating you at chess before summer ends!

Explore the community – Visiting new places will build your tween’s general knowledge. You might tour a museum or hike in a state park, for instance. During your adventures, encourage them to ask a docent or ranger questions or to read signs to learn about the exhibits or wildlife.

Look ahead to fall – Your child can get a head start on a subject they will study in school next year. For example, if they take Spanish, they could download a free app to begin learning greetings and other phrases. Or if they signed up for engineering, they might look online for projects to try like designed a water bottle rocket or a solar panel.

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