The Final Countdown

I’m so proud of the students in 7th and 8th grade for doing a fabulous job on their final exam! Students were given the images of three figures we’ve studied this year, and they had to identify each of them. Additionally, they were given three short essay questions to answer. They did a beautiful job using evidence to justify their arguments in a short time frame. This week, we’re talking about the Civil War and why it’s such a significant moment in American history. My hope is to start the fall semester with a trip to Wilson’s Creek to support this learning.

Sixth grade students have been working hard on final projects and/or studying for their final exam. They will take the test tomorrow, and then on Wednesday we plan to have another “tea party” and celebrate the year. While we visit, students who elected to create final projects that show their learning will either perform their skits or show their videos.

Students in the geography class celebrated the school year with a feast last Thursday. One student brought in food from the Philippines, another from China, another from Japan, several brought “American food,” and I shared food from France. While we snacked, we watched the videos students created about Oceania.

High school students have been working hard on their final exam, which was presented as a take-home test on Thursday after a lesson on the 1960s and the Vietnam War. Students had choices in which essays to tackle, and I’m looking forward to seeing their arguments tomorrow when they’re due!

Across the Upper School, there has been so much growth this year. Students are more confident, more able, more ready to tackle what’s next, and more collaborative. We teachers are so proud of these fantastic human beings, and we’re so grateful to be part of The Summit community.

Photos from the past week. . .

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Grandparents’ Day was a huge success! Students were able to compete in teams with their grandparents in trivia.

Later that evening, students performed at their incredibly impressive spring concert.

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Culture Day, led by middle school Spanish students, was a beautiful all-school event!


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The end of year dance, planned and executed by Student Council (with help from the very gracious Mr. Keech!), went fabulously.

It was a wonderfully busy week!

It’s May!

Somehow, it’s already our last full week of school. Students spent the first hour of their morning doing a dress rehearsal for the concert, and we’re all so excited for tomorrow! Grandparents’ Day will be a blast, and this year’s Spring concert is going to be amazing. We’re also thankful that Wednesday is a late start to give students a chance for some rest after a busy Tuesday.

This weekend, eighth grade students were able to experience the joy of a job well done. They have worked hard with Mrs. Breckner in Advisory all year long to plan and fundraise for their class trip to Kansas City on May 3-4. Students raised money by planning bake sales, helping with a uniform buy-out day, and designing a t-shirt for the Winter Mixer. Eighth grade students left The Summit at noon on May 3rd and spent their Friday night at Dave and Busters, playing arcade games and eating dinner. They then headed back to the hotel for fun in the pool. Students were up early on Saturday morning for breakfast at the hotel before spending a full day at Worlds of Fun. Each student purchased the fast lane pass and enjoyed skipping lines to ride all sorts of thrilling and terrifying roller coasters.

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In Model United Nations, the final focus has been upon improving the local community. As such, students were given a creative prompt to design their own non-profit organization. Students could choose to work in a group or on their own, and their ideas have ranged from an animal shelter to a safe place for homeless LGBTQ+ teens. This final project was designed by Mrs. Maddox, who also arranged for a guest speaker to come in and share with students. Mrs. Shannon Porter, the CEO of Empower: Abilities (formerly known as Southwest Council for Independent Living) came in to share with students about her time spent working with and leading a non-profit organization in Springfield. Mrs. Porter was also able to bring in some of the exciting technology Empower: Abilities helps to distribute within the community.

Students in the seventh grade geography class have worked hard completing their Oceania projects. Their group videos are full of information about the region, and most of them are quite humorous, as well. Students in this class have been diligent all year, and in recognition of this, the class will celebrate with a feast with foods from around the world on Thursday, May 9th.

Sixth grade students have been working hard to finish the school year strong. The class is wrapping up by studying the Civil War. Students have spent time reading primary sources, listening to songs from the era, discussing Abraham Lincoln’s letters, and crafting a research-based essay on a topic from the war. These students have done such an impressive job this year, and it’s been exciting to look back at their growth. Their final task is to complete either a culminating project or take an essay test to show their mastery of the eras studied.

Seventh and eighth students have developed some wonderful critical thinking and communication skills throughout American History I this year. Students have conducted research (primary, secondary, and tertiary), completed projects to show their mastery, presented to classmates as experts on their subject matter, and have proven to have a good grasp of the foundations of American history and government. They will have the opportunity to show their learning and make connections from across the course during a final essay exam set for May 10th.

High school students have turned in their third and final project of the year and are in the midst of preparing for their final exam, which will be a take-home essay test. While there is always more to learn in history, these students have worked diligently and have a solid foundation of knowledge in American history. This class has been able to take field trips, hear from guest speakers, choose their own research projects, use databases to do research using peer-reviewed journals, present their work to fellow students, craft projects that show their learning, and discuss various points of America’s past.

Upcoming events!

As mentioned in the last post, there are multiple events coming up soon as we wrap up the year. Here is some information about several of them:

  • Tomorrow (5/2) is a $2 Uniform Buy Out Day. Students may pay $2 cash to dress out of uniform! All proceeds go towards the 2019 Study Abroad Trip to Espana!! This Buy Out Day is in honor of Madrid Day. This day is a fiesta for the people of Madrid who celebrate the fact that they defeated Napoleon’s invasion in the 1800s.
  • Tuesday (5/7) is Grandparents Day. Festivities begin for grandparents/grandfriends at 9:15am (students should still arrive at regular time). If you have not yet filled out the dismissal form, please do so using the following link This will enable students to get their Golden Ticket to leave campus with their grandparent/grandfriend after classroom activities are completed between 11:00-11:30am. *This is also an early release day at 11:30am. There is no Fun Zone on this day.*
  • Tuesday (5/7) is also our Spring Concert day. See you at the Gillioz Theatre at 6:30pm-or earlier to secure parking and seats! (Mr. Keech will be informing students by which time they should arrive.)
  • Wednesday (5/8) is a Late Start Day. Students should arrive by 9:30am.
  • If you would like to schedule an optional End of Year conference, please be on the lookout for an email coming soon from class advisors. These conferences will be scheduled for before or after school over the next few weeks.

April 29, 2019

It’s almost May, and with Grandparents’ Day, the concert, and Culture Day fast approaching, there are a lot of exciting things going on at The Summit!

In 6th grade, students have been studying the Civil War. Last week, they studied six letters Lincoln wrote throughout about a 10 year span: one to a young girl, one to a general, one to a friend, one to a previous law partner. Students took turns writing on the board the interesting things they picked up on in the letters, showing their comprehension of the sources. We then had a discussion about Lincoln’s life, his views and how they changed, and the significant moments the letters represented. This morning, we took a short break from the Civil War to discuss current events, how to find a good source for news, and how to read a news article, checking for corroborating evidence in other sources.

Seventh and eighth grade students are studying reforms and westward expansion of the 19th century. Last week, we took time to discuss thesis statements for history papers, as students are working on writing a research paper highlighting the significance of westward expansion. Seventh and eighth graders had wonderful feedback for each other throughout this process, and I think we all walked away having a greater understanding of a strong thesis and how to support it with evidence throughout the paper. Students also spent time last week wrapping up their presentations over abolitionists and the various ways they fought against slavery.

In geography, seventh grade students are creating their news stories on Oceania in classes, wrapping up their major research project of this semester. Students teamed up, wrote scripts based on their research, and are now in the process of filming and editing their videos. I’m so excited to view the final products! It has been fascinating to watch this project and to see the collaboration, leadership, and communication unfold.

High school students finished their study of World War II and moved on to the Cold War. This week, the class will cover major moments of the 1950s and 1960s. Students’ final projects are due on April 30th, marking the fifth research project they’ve completed this year. 

Two Summit juniors presented their capstone projects for GO CAPS last week. Evan and Faith have been so diligent throughout this program, and it was wonderful to see their excellent research and professionalism in presenting their culminating work.

Social Studies

A few weeks ago, on a Friday evening, Student Council hosted a social event at Jordan Valley Ice Park. Twenty upper school students met to skate together for a few hours. It was great exercise, and  Mrs. Cook helped to chaperone, and Dr. Heet showed up as a surprise guest! Several students were brand new to ice skating, and they learned so much in a short time. Many mentioned that roller skating would be a fun event in the future. It was a really wonderful evening, and I think we’re all looking forward to continuing social events throughout the summer!

High school students wrapped up their presentations on the 1920s and 1930s in class a few weeks ago, and so they have moved on to learning about World War II and the Cold War. Students in high school are working diligently to complete their research for their final project of the semester, which offer all kinds of interesting insight into modern America.

High school students continue to meet with their Beginner Buddies during their lunch break on Thursdays, which has proven to be a favorite time each week.

After wrapping up their ERB testing, middle school students are working hard in history class. Sixth grade has studied the roots of the Civil War. This group has moved on to learning about different battles and leaders,  with students compiling research and writing a one page paper to show their learning. Students in sixth grade will continue learning about the Civil War in depth, and this week we will examine the character of Abraham Lincoln through some of his writings.

Seventh and eighth grade have moved into the reform movements of the mid-19th century, which highlight some sectional differences in the United States. They were each responsible for choosing an abolitionist and explaining the significance of that individual to the fight against slavery in the United States. These students have also begun research on Westward Expansion in the United States, and they will write a research paper to explain their argument regarding manifest destiny.

Probability Carnival

On Wednesday the 7th Graders hosted a Probability Carnival in order to demonstrate their knowledge of simple probability. Each group had to design a game and then calculate the probability of a win. During the carnival students recorded the results of their classmates plays. The 6th grade, High School, and Upper School teachers had a great time playing the various games and winning prizes. It was a great chance to observe the difference between calculated probability and observed probability (as well as reflect on working together in groups, advertising, and quality construction of projects).


National World War One Museum and Memorial

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Yesterday the high school American history class traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to visit the National World War One Museum and Memorial. It was a long day of travel, but it was such a special opportunity to visit this site and see the many artifacts from this important conflict.

Beware the Ides of March!

The 6th grade class has been acting out and working through The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The students are utilizing their understanding of plot and conflict to analyze the development of Shakespeare’s telling of the events surrounding Julius Caesar’s death, as well as breaking down metaphors that Shakespeare uses to describe characters, their actions and motivation.

On Monday afternoon, the students worked in small groups to act out the scene where the conspirators advance on and kill Julius Caesar. The students took the original scene and changed the dialogue in fun and interesting ways, spoofing the original. One group used the framework of Scooby Doo, another made it a western. Each group used their understanding of the scene to craft the new scene. In the play, Brutus states, “How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,” and the reader almost has to chuckle at Shakespeare’s own thoughts of this play being acted out over and over. The students enjoyed this little line tucked into such a serious scene, and they remarked how he had bled “in sport” at least four times on Monday.

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Social Studies

Student Council worked to provide an excellent service learning opportunity for eighth grade and high school students on Friday, April 5th. These students, along with Mr. Powers and Mrs. Smith, took the afternoon to go to the Fairbanks Community Center and volunteer in their garden and flower beds. Before we began working, Emilee from Fairbanks took time to explain to our group the importance of the community center in its neighborhood, providing services to those in need. Our group worked on pulling weeds, beautifying a playground, and spreading mulch. During this time, students in 6th and 7th grades helped out around school, volunteering to help teachers and Mr. Mike with tasks.

Sixth grade students are making wonderful progress in learning about the sectional crisis leading up the Civil War. Over the past week we have studied the ways in which westward expansion caused a rift in the United States. These sixth graders are doing a wonderful job making connections between these lessons and things we have studied over the past several months, showing great recall. They are growing in their note-taking skills and in their abilities to make arguments based in evidence, and I’m so proud of them!


This week students in seventh and eighth grade are learning about Jacksonian America and the many reform movements that took place during that time. This era is rich in reform, but it also introduces the ideas of manifest destiny and westward expansion, all building up to a crisis in the United States.

Seventh grade students who are studying geography were able to spend some time exploring the Google Cardboard virtual reality app last Thursday.

High school students are presenting on the New Era and the Great Depression in class on Tuesday. Students each chose a topic and will take 2-3 minutes presenting to their classmates the background and significance of their chosen topic. On Thursday, our class will continue learning about the Great War, with a more global focus than last week when we heard from a guest speaker at the Springfield-Greene County Library about Springfield’s Impact on the Great War.