Color block logo of Deal Alice Deal Weekly Bulletin

September 15 , 2008
"Think globally. Listen compassionately. Act inclusively."
Thought for the Week

"The kind of thinking students learn to do will influence what they come to know and the kind of cognitive skills they acquire.  The curriculum is a mind-altering device.  We design educational programs to improve the ways in which students think."

-- Elliot Eisner

Bell Schedule
Monday - Bell I
Tuesday - Bell I
Wednesday -Bell I
Thursday -Bell I
Friday - Bell I
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Congrats to the 2008-09 Boys' Soccer Team!
Thanks to everyone who tried out for the team.  It was great to see so much enthusiasm!  The following students have been selected to be part of the Vikings soccer team.  All paperwork must be completed by Thursday.

Practice sessions will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go Vikings!

Abrego, Joseph
Albee, Grant
Bell, Noah
Bent, Edward
Bramble, Josh
Brown, Nick
Cannaan, Ethan
Fedeli, Max
Femia, Vincent
Gidey, Essay
Gigli, Jonah
Harris, Alexander
Kohman, Gabe
Lipshie, Noah
Munoz, Andres
Navidi-Kasmai, Sebastian
Osborne, Rio
Pham, Anh
Ramos, Diego
Shuldiner, Billy
Smith, Max
Steck, Anatol
Walker, Max

Waiting List:
Ferster, Eli
Murray, Rogea
Back to School Night!
September 25th @ 6:30PM!

Please get to school on time!  You don't want to be late for class!

Upcoming Activities!

PTA conference appointment sheets sent home
Facutly meeting

September 22nd
Spirit Week begins!

September 24th
Mid-Advisory Progress/ Deficiency Reports sent home
Student Council induction ceremony

September 25th
Back to School Night
6:30 - 9 pm
International Trip parent meeting 5:30 pm
Sally Foster Collection Day!

September 26th
Hispanic Heritage Assembly

October 2nd
Math Night 6:30 - 8 pm

October 3rd
LSRT mtg 7:30 am
Parent Teacher Conference Day
(students not in school)

October 7th
National History Day Workshop for parents and students 7 pm

October 13th
Columbus Day (Holiday)

October 16th
Faculty meeting
International Night 7-9 pm

October 17th
Jamestown/ Williamsburg Trip for 8th graders

October 21
IB Community Meeting for Deal families

October 23
Sally Foster Pick-up day
Student Portrait Day

October 24th
End of 1st advisory
Halloween Party
 3:30 - 6 pm

October 28th & 29th
DC BAS testing

October 30th
Wilson night 6:30 pm

October 31st
Record keeping day -  students dismissed @ 12:15pm

November 3rd
Student Council Non-perishable food drive begins

November 6th
Career Day
Deal Night 6:30 - 8 pm
November 7th
Report cards issued
LSRT meeting 7:30 am

November 8th & 9th
Politics & Prose Book Store sale!

November 11th
Veteran's Day (Holiday)
November 20th
Faculty meeting
PTA Parent Education Workshop 7 pm

November 27-28
Thanksgiving holiday

December 2nd
Mid-Advisory Progress Reports sent home
Picture make-up day

December 3rd
Deal Open House #1

December 5th
Geography Bee competition
LSRT meeting 7:30 am

December 8th
Parent Teacher Conference Day
(students not in school)
Message from Dean Spann
The Dean's quote of the week: 
"The largest room we all have is 'Room for Improvement.' " 

In School Suspension (ISS) will begin on Tuesday for 7th graders and Thursday for 8th graders.  Students failing to comply will receive a letter to take home requesting a parent conference. Teachers will receive a printout of students assigned to ISS.  Student work packets are to be placed in the ISS mailbox or delivered to room N103.
Message from Principal Kim
Principal Kim
I had the distinct pleasure of joining two of the three 7th grade teams at Hemlock last week.  During my time there, I observed students learning how to communicate with only their eyes while coordinating the toss/catch of multiple balls; I observed a group of students problem solving ways to reach across the peanut butter pit to get the rope that they needed to swing across with limited time; I saw a dozen kids sit with keen awareness of space, pressure, and sound as they balanced a giant scale with their total body weight; I saw kids coaching each other and trying out new strategies to get their entire team across several tightropes; I saw kids overcome their fear of heights and encourage each other on as they climbed the steep wooden ladder, walked across on a tightrope in the tree tops, then took a plunge down a zip line!

The teachers who accompanied the children were a great help, and the skillful staff at Hemlock used these physical activities to prompt reflective conversations about how these skills and experiences evidence themselves in the every day life of middle school students.  One member of Hemlock said to me that Deal students really stood out from other school groups in that our students come willing and open to any activity.  What a compliment! Good job kids!  Thanks teachers!  Thanks also to the generous Deal PTA for making such events possible!

In this week's edition of the bulletin, you will notice many new extracurricular offerings.  Last week, I watched more than 70 kids come to school early in the morning for band practice; I saw kids on the field after school learning to play rugby with Mr. Koplowitz; I saw a gym full of jumping girls trying out for cheerleading, and students getting ready to debate.  If you have not yet joined some extracurricular activity, make a commitment and get involved!  More activities to come!

Principal Kim
Alice Deal Middle School

Weekly News

Thank You
  • Team Olympian would like to thank Mr. Dacoba, Ms. Kim, Ms. Neal, Ms. Edwards, Ms. McFarland, Ms. Hernandez, Ms. Overby, Mr. Turner, and Ms. Spann for helping to make the 8th grade trip to the Newseum and M.L.K. library a success. Without you, the day would not have run so smoothly!
Deal Spirit Week
  • Deal Spirit Week is fast approaching (September 22-26).  Let's show our Deal Spirit!
    > Monday, September 22 - Top Hat/Crazy Hair Day
    > Tuesday, September 23 - Shadow Day
    > Wednesday, September 24 - Twin Day
    > Thursday, September 25 - Sports Day
    > Friday, September 26 - Deal Spirit/Viking Day
Bell 2 to begin next week!
  • Students will select their Bell 2 activities during art, music, PE classes on Wednesday.  Bell 2 groups will begin next Wednesday.  Students, please remember that the major purpose of this activity is to get to know other students and teachers in our community in a different setting without the pressure of grades.  This is also your chance to help shape part of the school curriculum!
Hispanic Heritage Month!
  • Today is the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month.  These dates were selected in commemoration of the anniversaries of national independence of Costa Rica,  El Salvador,  Guatemala,  Honduras, and Nicaragua, all of which won independence on September 15.  Mexico became independent on September 16 and Cuba on September 18.  The term Hispanic refers to Spanish- speaking people of any race. More than 35 million people identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino in the 2000 US Census, and many more of us benefit from the architecture, culture, language, art, and music rooted in Latin American traditions. 
    Throughout the month, teachers will lead lessons to help bring to light the rich diversity of our Hispanic history.  We will have an all-school assembly at Deal to celebrate on September 26, 2008.  Please mark your calendars!

"Who is your School Counselor?"

  • Mr. Santiago will be meeting with 7th grade students during their English classes for a short presentation on "Who is your school counselor?"  The presentations will take place according to the following schedule:
    > Monday -- Mrs. Spann-Goode
    > Tuesday -- Mr. McDowell
    > Wednesday -- Mr. Hughes

Student Council

  • Student Council officers will meet on Monday in Room 207 from 3:20 - 4:00. Congratulations to all the new Student Council Representatives from each homeroom.  The full Student Council will hold its first meeting on Tuesday in the Cafeteria from 3:20-4:00.  If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kirschenbaum (Room 207).

Wednesday is Constitution Day!

  • Deal students will learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the nation's chief executives on Wednesday, as we honor the U.S. Constitution on the anniversary of its adoption in 1789.  All Social Studies classes will review the electoral process in selecting the president and vice president, and students will look more closely at the powers granted and denied to the executive branch.  Students are asked to look for pertinent articles and news stories about this year's presidential election in preparation for Wednesday's lesson.


  • Do you like math?  Or do you like solving math and logic puzzles or exploring math problems? Do you enjoy using math manipulatives, calculators, geometry software, and the like?  Or would you be interested in exploring math more deeply than you can in class?  Or would you like to compete against other students and other schools to try to win trophies, fame, and other prizes? Or do you think you are just plain good at math?

    If you answered "YES" to any of those questions, then we might have the club for you: MATHCOUNTS!

    However, you DON'T have to believe you are a math superstar to participate in MATHCOUNTS. All you need is a willingness to explore math in a different way than is generally done in math class.
    MATHCOUNTS meets twice a week after school, on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, in Mr. Brandenburg's classroom - currently room 105. We also meet during Bell 2 activity periods, in the same location.
Please stop by room 105 to pick up a permission slip. Our first practice will be Monday, September 22.
 After School Art Club 
  • The Art Club begins this Wednesday after school!
    Do you like to draw?  Paint?  Create beautiful things?  Then you should join the Deal After School Art Club!  Pick up your permission slip from Ms. Washington in room C224.  The meeting begins promptly at 3:25 p.m. 

After School Life Science and Science Fair Tutoring

  • Are you having trouble understanding Life Science or need some support for your science project?  Ms. Mason is holding after-school tutoring sessions every Monday from 3:30 - 4:30 pm in room 211.  If interested, please speak to Ms. Mason, drop a note in her mailbox, or simply stop by room 211 on Mondays.  Internet and Microsoft Word are available for those who need extra support.  All students are welcome.
    Ms. Mason, Room 211.

Spanish Club

  • Are you interested in learning Spanish?  Do you think the stories that your friends tell you about their Spanish classes are interesting, but you already have a full schedule and can't take Spanish?  If so, come join the Spanish club!  Starting after school next Wednesday you can come to room G-5 with Ms. Sonick to learn more about Hispanic culture. You will have the chance to learn interesting facts, see excellent movies, and eat some good food!  Hope to see you there!

Deal Film Society

  • Do you like watching movies?  Do you like talking to your peers?  Then the Deal Film Society may be for you!  The Deal Film Society will meet during Bell II and on Wednesdays after school from 3:20-5.  Our first film will be Akeelah and the Bee.  Other films may include Newsies, Remember the Titans, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, and Lean on Me.  See Ms. Norelli in room 303 for a permission slip.  The first viewing will be September 24th!

The Beat of the Drum

  • The Drumline will meet for the first time this Tuesday from 3:30 - 4:30 pm.  Any student who auditioned or came past the band room to express interest must be in attendance, no exceptions.  Details will be sorted out at this time.  

Cleveland, Ohio, Here We Come!!!

  • The Department of Music will be competing in a national competition in Cleveland during the month of May.  The exact dates are May 14 -17.  The department will be traveling with the Concert Choir, Concert Band, and Jazz Band.  Students, please remember that the first deposit of $40 and the Official DCPS permission slip forms are due on or before September 26.

Department of Music Listserv

  • The Music Department uses a listserv in order to communicate information to its students and parents.  All students involved with the Department of Music should sign up to be a member of this listserv.  To become a member send an email mail to
Office Staff Meeting 
  • There will be an office staff meeting on Thursday at 10:00 am in the main office. 

Substitute Folders Due

  • Substitute folders are due to Ms.Edwards by close of business on Monday, September 22nd.  All substitute folders must contain:  lesson plans for 2 days (with directions), class lists by section, seating chart, classroom procedures, bell schedule, evacuation plan, and any other relevant information.

Reminder:  All teachers in all content areas must integrate ELA & math content standards!

All teachers are expected to integrate the following strands:
Language Development - Students demonstrate understanding of word structure and vocabulary encountered while reading.

Informational Text - Students read and comprehend materials (articles, interviews, functional text, biographies, etc.).

Literary Text - Students read and comprehend literary texts (poems, essays, and stories). 

Numbers Sense and Operations - Students interpret multiple uses and forms of numbers and how they relate to each other, fluently use computational tools and strategies, estimate when appropriate, and solve real-life and career-related problems.

Additionally, each department is responsible for integrating/highlighting an additional math strand:

Patterns, Relations, and Algebra - Students generalize patterns and functional relationships, use symbols to represent mathematical situations, analyze change in real and abstract situations, and solve real-life and career-related problems.

Geometry - Students analyze characteristics of two- and three-dimensional geometric objects, use visual and spatial reasoning to analyze mathematical situations, and solve real-life and career-related problems.

Measurement - Students select and use appropriate tools and units for systems of measurement, apply a variety of techniques to determine measurements, and solve real-life and career-related problems.

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability - Students organize, represent, evaluate, and interpret data; make predictions based on data; apply basic understandings of chance and probability; and solve real-life and career-related problems.
  Please be sure to integrate these standards into your weekly planning!


Before & After School Activities This Week ...
Monday AM
  • Concert Band, 7:45 am
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 7 - 8:30 am

Monday PM

  • Cross Country Practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Debate Team, 3:20 - 4:30 am
  • Cheerleading Practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Rugby, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Girls' soccer practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 3:30 - 4:15 pm
  • Volleyball Practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Student Council Officers,  3:20 - 4 pm, RM 207
  • Life Science and Science Fair Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, RM 211

Tuesday AM

  • Jazz Band, 7:45 am
  • Concert Choir, 7:45 am
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 7 - 8:30 am

Tuesday PM

  • Student Government Meeting, 3:20 pm, Cafeteria
  • Human Rights Club Meeting, 3:15 pm, RM N101
  • Volleyball Practice, 3:30 -5 pm
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 3:30 - 4:15 pm
  • Drumline, 3:30-4:30 pm

Wednesday AM

  • Concert Band, 7:45 am
  • Concert Choir, 7:45 am
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 7 - 8:30 am

Wednesday PM

  • Cross Country practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Show Choir, 3:30-415 pm 
  • Fencing Club, 3:20 - 5:00 pm, RM 215
  • Girls' Soccer Practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Volleyball Practice, 3:30 -5 pm
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 3:30 - 4:15 pm
  • Art Club, 3:25 - 4:30 pm, RM C224

Thursday AM

  • Jazz Band, 7:45 am
  • Concert Choir, 7:45 am
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 7 - 8:30 am

Thursday PM

  • Fencing Club, 3:20 - 5 pm, RM 215
  • Rugby, 3:30 - 5 pm
  • Volleyball Practice, 3:30 -5 pm
  • Ms. Stanley's Reading Group, 3:30 - 4:15 pm

Friday AM

Friday PM
  • Cross Country practice, 3:30-5 pm
  • Girls' soccer practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
As always, students should only be at school with parent permission!
Food for thought...

Girl Talk Has Its Limits
New York Times
September 11, 2008


Most teenage girls love to talk to their friends. And talk. And talk.

As Debra Lee, the Brooklyn mother of a 13-year-old, observes about her daughter Tessa and Tessa's teenage friends: "They just keep talking. All day. On the phone all night. Sometimes I think they just like to hear each other breathe."

Virginia Woolf said, "Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends."

Female friendship, in all its lovely layers and potentially dark complexities, is inexhaustible grist for film, television and literature - from "Heathers" and "Mean Girls" to "Thelma and Louise," "Sex and the City," "Gossip Girl" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

And who has time to keep up with all the falling ins and falling outs of celebrity BFF's and Frenemies?

But recently female friendship and girl talk, particularly among adolescents, has drawn growing interest from psychologists and researchers examining the question of how much talking is too much talking. Some studies have found that excessive talking about problems can contribute to emotional difficulties, including anxiety and depression.

The term researchers use is "co-rumination" to describe frequently or obsessively discussing the same problem. The behavior is typical among teens - Why didn't he call? Should I break up with him? And, psychologists say, it has intensified significantly with e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging and Facebook. And in certain cases it can spin into a potentially contagious and unhealthy emotional angst, experts say.

The research distinguishes between sharing or "self-disclosure," which is associated with positive friendships and positive feelings, and dwelling on problems, concerns and frustrations. Dwelling and rehashing issues can keep girls, who are more prone to depression and anxiety than boys, stuck in negative thinking patterns, psychologists say. But they also say it is a mixed picture: Friends who co-ruminate tend to be close, and those intimate relationships can build self-esteem.

For boys, such intense emotional conversations, which tend to occur less often, did not contribute to heightened anxiety or depressive moods, according to research by Amanda J. Rose, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

"When girls are talking about these problems, it probably feels good to get that level of support and validation," said Dr. Rose, whose latest study on co-rumination was published in the journal Developmental Psychology last year. "But they are not putting two and two together, that actually this excessive talking can make them feel worse."

Teenage girls are particularly vulnerable to co-ruminating - and depression and anxiety - because "there are so many stressors in adolescence and a lot are ambiguous," Dr. Rose added. "So things like starting dating or starting serious relationships with boys, concerns about cliques, being popular - these very social stressors, they can be really hard to control and they really lend themselves to rumination."

Dr. Rose first published a paper on co-rumination in 2002, in the journal Child Development, and has, along with other psychologists, continued to study it. In her study published last year, she followed 813 third-, fifth-, seventh- and ninth-grade girls and boys over six months. Researchers at the State University at Stony Brook will soon publish another paper on co-rumination. Both studies confirm Dr. Rose's earlier findings.

The relationships the experts looked at will certainly be familiar to many teenagers and parents.

Ms. Lee's daughter Tessa Lee-Thomas said she sometimes felt worse after talking to friends about problems. "Sometimes we get into disagreements," said Tessa, who lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. "And we have to settle them. My friends think that my other friend did something wrong, but she didn't do something wrong. Sometimes it makes the situation worse than where we were when we began. It spiraled into something bigger than it was."

Patricia Letayf, a sophomore at Tufts University, said she tended to overanalyze situations and ask many different friends for advice about the same problem, which at times made her feel more anxious.

"It's like you want to solve a problem whatever it may be, but the advice of one person never satisfies you and you're constantly on the hunt for more advice," she said. "I think a lot of times you are looking for empathy and you want someone to feel the way you do. You want your feelings to be justified. In the end, I hope to feel better. You want them to say, 'It's O.K. he dumped you, you failed the test.' You're seeking reassurance."

Ms. Letayf, 19, spent the summer as a camp counselor and said she noticed that the nine-year-old girls at the camp were already starting to obsess about their problems - talking about the boys at the camp and about conflicts between two groups of girls.

"I could see it starting already," she said, adding that she has made a concerted effort recently not to dwell on her own problems with friends and to try to stop negative thoughts. "From sixth grade, it's boys are stupid, boys have cooties," she said. "And then it progresses to boys have cooties, but 20-year-old cooties. So you might as well change it when you can."

Trish Gilbert, a Brooklyn mother of 11-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a 16-year-old daughter, said she worried sometimes about "kids giving kids advice."

But she said she was pleased when her younger daughter, after feeling mistreated by a fifth-grade classmate last year, decided with some other friends to do something about it, rather than just ruminating. They consulted the American Girl series book "Friends: Making Them and Keeping Them," which offers suggestions, for example, on how many chances to give a friend. The girls talked about forgiveness and even did some role-playing.

The research into co-rumination has looked only at symptoms of depression and anxiety over short periods and has not established a basis for predicting long-term negative effects.

But a related mental hazard is what psychologists call "emotion contagion" or "contagious anxiety," in which one person's negative thoughts or anxiety can affect another's mood, sometimes over a long period. Research has shown that people who live with others suffering from depression tend to become depressed themselves. Teenage girls who intentionally cut themselves are said to draw friends into the behavior.

A great deal of research, including the work on co-rumination, has shown the emotional benefits of friendship, particularly in instances of physical bullying among boys or "relational aggression," which is more common among girls and typically characterized by teasing, rejection or even emotional torture. 

With co-rumination, psychologists studying it say, one way for parents, and friends, to avoid the negative consequences is to focus on problem-solving, rather than on problem-dwelling, much as Ms. Gilbert's daughter and her friends did in consulting the American Girl book.

"It's a fine line," said Joanne Davila, associate professor of psychology at the State University at Stony Brook, whose paper on co-rumination is being published by the Journal of Adolescence. "We want to encourage young girls to have friends and to use their friends for support, but we may want to help them learn how to use more active techniques. So if there is a problem, how do you solve it?"

Toby Sitnick, a Brooklyn psychologist who works with adolescent girls, said therapists had also tried to move away from focusing on problems to focusing on good experiences and solutions.

"There are quite a few adolescent girls who have high levels of obsessive thinking to begin with," Dr. Sitnick said. "They often do this with their mothers as well. It certainly does seem to be a female behavior, and grown women do it, too, ruminating about certain issues and experiences. It can become a mutual complaint society." 


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Alice Deal Middle School | 3815 Fort Drive, NW | Washington | DC | 20016