Message from the Principal - Mayra Barahona-Arroyo
This year has been off to a good start! Students came to us excited about beginning their high school experience and motivated to do well. The counselors have visited every supervisory period to inform students of their availability for support and resource if needed. They have also talked to students about our lunch/supervisory intervention, which is a school-wide systematic intervention which provides student with optimal time for academic task.
This year, we added a parent liaison, Maria Salazar, to our staff. Her main goal is to help parents connect with the school to ensure a partnership in the educational experience of your child. She is available to assist you with any questions, help you log onto Skyward to view your child’s current grades and attendance, and/or to facilitate meetings with teachers. Please stop by to meet her in room B123 or give her a call at 708-863-7900 ext. 1117.
FC Literacy/Technology Committee – Mary Burke
Time 2 Read, the Freshman Center daily sustained silent reading program, if off to a strong start. Students read for the first fifteen minutes in a designated content area each day: Monday-Science; Tuesday-English; Wednesday-Social Science; Thursday-Math, and Friday-PE/Health.
- Now in its third year, the popular One-to-One Book Club, an FC student/staff book club, will meet again this year. Approximately 80 staff members and students will gather during lunch periods on October 4 to enjoy a pizza lunch and discuss What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez, an Indiana author. Perez will visit the Freshman Center on October 4 to discuss the novel with students and also participate in the group book discussions. Each student selected to participate in the upcoming club meeting will receive an autographed copy of the book to keep.
English- Robert Murphy
As we near the end of our first month of school, the Freshman Center English Department is deeply focused on helping students learn the art of composing narrative essays. Guided by our newly revised Freshman Handbook for Writing Narrative and Argumentative Essays, students are learning the nuances of fine narrative writing. This includes developing conflicts, using figurative language, creating dialogue, characterization, and most importantly, writing a meaningful reflection. As the year progresses, our students will become more adept at self-reflection and better equipped at articulate to readers why their story has value.
Math- Benjamin Dobes
The FC Mathematics Department is excited to begin a new year with fresh faces in every classroom. This year District 201 has begun to implement an Integrated Mathematics Curriculum, which combines Algebraic and Geometric topics allowing students to learn the connections between math concepts. The students in Integrated Math 1 have recently finished studying the similarities and differences between expressions and equations and are moving into examining the basics of functions. The Honors Geometry students began the year with an introduction to Geometric Construction and basic proof. They will continue their study of Geometry by investigating transformation of shapes that preserve segment length and angle measure.
Social Studies - James Conley
We begin the year industrious and excited. Industrious, because our summer as a department was full of curriculum design and writing which we are now in the process of implementing. Excited, because we've begun several initiatives including the offering of our first ever Advanced Placement class at the Morton Freshman Center: Advanced Placement World History. It's been a good year thus far, and students are very engaged in learning about Ancient/Classical Greece, writing skills, and using the Achieve3000 reading program to further improve our student's literacy skills.
ELL/Bilingual- Angela Barerra
The ELL/Bilingual Program at the FC this year has speakers of three languages so far (English, Spanish and Arabic), and has student representatives from Jordan, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and of course, Mexico. We welcome our fabulous new math teacher, Ms. Mercedes Ortiz, who came to us from Puerto Rico. We are gearing up for another Dia de los muertos celebration at the end of October. All manner of exciting things are happening in the 8 different courses we offer in the program. Next month the Lead Teacher will join our new Parent Liaison, Ms. Maria Salazar, at a conference on Latino Family Literacy, in an effort to enhance the school to home connection and promote literacy in both realms of students' lives, and in both languages.
¡Es bueno ser bilingüe! أنه من الجيد أن يكون ثنائي اللغة!
Physical Education/ Health- Joe Hovanes
Students just finished the soccer unit and with perfect timing because the weather has changed and we are now mostly indoors. Our next unit is volleyball. All students are at a 3:30 daily run. We are also starting our weight unit in the loft upstairs.
FC Library – Mary Burke
Many classes have visited the library for orientation and book talks. The library has a large collection of contemporary young adult literature and nonfiction selections. Students may check out up to three books at a time, and may keep the books for two weeks. Students may renew books on or before the due date. The FC Library is open Monday through Friday, from 7:20am – 3:30pm. Students are welcome to visit the library before school, during lunch periods, and after school. Students may use the Internet if a signed permission form is on file with the school.
- The FC Library provides materials to support the curriculum and enhance student learning. Students have the opportunity to utilize a wide range of print and electronic library resources, as well as a variety of computer applications. Recent library class research projects include ancient civilizations, body systems, and contemporary literature webquests utilizing a variety of web-based collaborative creative tools.
- Students are able to access quality research databases in and out of school via the FC Library Edline page at: http://www.edline.net/pages/Morton_Freshman_Center/Library_Media_Center
- The FC Book Club is an active group of more than 50 avid readers who meet twice a month to discuss the group reading selection. All students are welcome to join and enjoy spirited and lively discussions! Many of this year’s book club titles will be selected from the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award Nominees and the Illinois Read for a Lifetime program.
- The FC Anime Club, with more than 100 members, supports our enthusiastic graphic novel fans. Students meet weekly to explore graphic novels, Japanese Manga and Anime films. Several small interest groups have developed within the club: Magic trading card game, video production and moviemaking, and digital drawing. Representatives from the Morton College Anime Club will attend some meetings to provide instruction in various areas. All FC students now have the opportunity to reserve a Bamboo digital drawing tablet and MacBook from the library to create original art in a digital format.
- FC Book Club members and specially-selected students will attend a theatrical performance of the classic novel Lord of the Flies at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre on Wednesday, October 30. Students will participate in a lively post-performance discussion with cast members and students from other schools. In addition, many of the students will have the opportunity to participate in two Steppenwolf arts education outreach workshops: a pre-production seminar to explore the themes of the play, and a post-production seminar to reflect and apply the theatrical experience.
- The FC Library will sponsor its annual Fall Scholastic Book Fair November 7-13, 2013. The fair will be held in the FC Great Room and will feature a wide selection of books to appeal to all readers: teens, adults, new readers, etc. The fair will be open during parent-teacher conferences on Thursday, November 7, 2013.
Counseling- Val Zeilmann
The Freshman Center Counseling Department is available to help you and your student with academic issues, career exploration and personal and emotional issues. If you would like to visit with a counselor, please call to make an appointment or contact them by e-mail. If your student needs to see their counselor, just stop by the office.
The Counseling Office has been busy this year with many different outreach projects. The beginning of the year had the counselors meeting with their students for orientation. The counselors helped the students navigate through a variety of topics: graduation requirements, who’s who within the building, confidentiality, importance of being involved and many other things. The counselors have also begun the career exploration portion of the Counseling curriculum. Students will take a learning styles survey, as well as a career interest inventory. Career Cruising is an internet program that we use as a district to aid students and families with the career/college exploration process. Anyone can access the website, just talk with your student or their counselor to find out how.
The Counseling Office also organized an all school assembly entitled “Rachel’s Challenge”. The assembly dealt with bullying and the effects of bullying. There were parent nights also offered. This is one of many presentations to come. The Counseling office will develop programs quarterly that deal with social issues that affect today’s teens.