Grizzly Middle - April 2019

  • Early Middle School
  • Middle School
Jenn McDonough, Early Middle School and Middle School Division Head

Dear Early Middle School and Middle School Parents,

Happy spring! I pray you have a wonderful Spring Break celebrating the saving grace of Jesus Christ. All that we do at The Bear Creek School is because Jesus was born and died to save us. We really get to celebrate Easter every day! Romans 8:17 says, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Please continue reading to find out what's ahead in for students in grades 5-8.

Used Uniform Flash Sale: This Wednesday, April 10 from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in the Main Commons, come purchase gently-used Bear Creek uniforms at great prices—perfect items to help fill the need of those students who’ve had end-of-year growth spurts! All proceeds go directly back to benefit our students and will fund PTF-sponsored school events.

Standardized Testing: During the week of April 29 – May 3, Early Middle School and Middle School students will participate in ERB's Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP). Be sure your child gets a good night's sleep and eats a healthy breakfast. Students should bring #2 pencils, a water bottle, and a book to read in case they finish any section early. 

Middle School

Field Trips: On April 12, grade 7 will participate in Marine Science Afloat (see more information) and grade 8 will visit Carnation Farms (see more information). Students may wear free dress.

Middle School Yearbook: For the first time, Bear Creek is publishing a dedicated Middle School yearbook, created by Mrs. Meyer’s Digital Storytelling class. Middle School yearbook orders must be placed no later than Tuesday, May 7. All yearbooks must be ordered online. There will not be any extras available for purchase later.

Order Yearbook

Upper School Parent Welcome and Orientation: Parents of grade 8 students are encouraged to attend the Upper School Parent Welcome and Orientation on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Andrea Lairson Library at the Upper School. At this kick-off event, the Upper School leadership team will share important information about helping your child transition from Middle School, including acclimating to Upper School culture, understanding our daily schedule, reviewing some new uniform changes, and highlighting our student life activities and traditions. Please RSVP for this event.

Upcoming Arts Events: Next month our Middle School thespians will perform Anne of Green Gables and The Jungle Book, both on the same night, May 14. On May 21, Middle School musical groups perform in their Spring Concert, and you won’t want to miss Authors & Artists on May 30, our annual showcase of visual, literary, and performing art.

Division Head Connection: Please join me and other Middle School parents on Thursday, May 23, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., in the Main Conference Room. I will lead a discussion on details related to the end of the school year and answer any questions you might have. Please send any questions to me ahead of time at

Spring Semester Final Exams: Middle School students will sit for final exams on Monday and Tuesday, June 10 and 11, with early dismissal at 11:45 a.m. both days. Students may wear casual uniform on exam days.

Grade 7 Time Capsule Project: This fun and memorable exercise takes place in Middle School classrooms on Wednesday, June 12. Your child will receive information about the project during office hours this month, but please feel free to share the following details with him or her as well. Please note school starts at 8:10 a.m. (no late start).

During the in-class time capsule project, each student will create two items for their individual time capsules (a large manila envelope). All the envelopes will be placed in a large and secured bin—this is the Class of 2024 time capsule. Each individual time capsule will contain:

  1. An autobiographical journal: This "worksheet" will be completed by students during the in-class project time and includes fun and interesting questions capturing what life is like during the 2018-2019 school year: at home, in the community, and in the world, as well as asking them to make some predictions about the future.
  2. A personal collage: Students will construct their collages on a large pieces of colored paper to capture their memories from school, family, sports, church, etc., including defining moments and highlights of the school year and things that they would like to remember in the future. Students will need to bring items from home (detailed in handout coming to students).
  3. A letter from you: Perhaps the most meaningful item in your child's individual time capsule is the letter written by you to your son or daughter. Please send this letter to school with your child on June 12 in a sealed envelope. It may be the item that your child will most treasure when the time capsule is opened in 2024.

We will record the time capsule preparations and "sealing" of materials in a time capsule bin—not to be opened again until their graduation in the year 2024! During graduation week, we will present each student with his or her sealed individual time capsule envelope and watch the video.

Middle School Honors Assembly: On the last day of school, Wednesday, June 12, classes begin at 8:10 a.m. (no late start), and parents are invited to join Middle School students and faculty at 10:00 a.m. in the Cornerstone Theater for our end of the year Honors Assembly. The assembly will conclude no later than 11:30 a.m., and students will be dismissed at that time. Students should wear dress uniform.

Early Middle School

Early Middle School Memory Books: Do you have photos to contribute? Please upload them to Vidigami by Friday, April 12 (see link on MyBC/Parents). Also, order your child's Early Middle School Memory Book by Wednesday, April 24 for delivery in May. Second chance orders will be accepted, April 25 – May 17; however, price will include a $10 late fee.

Order Memory Book

Division Head Connections: Everything we do at Bear Creek is intentional, including math placement and class placement. Grade 5 parents are invited to join Lower School Division Head Kristen Gephart and me for discussions on these two topics on the following days:

  • Math Placement meeting on Wednesday, April 24 at 2:00 p.m. in the C.E. "Ted" Kindel Library
    Attend this meeting for information about Bear Creek's math course progression through high school and math placement considerations. In May math teachers will send home a letter with each of their students listing his/her anticipated math placement for 2019-2020. Teachers continually assess students throughout the year and use various data points to make placement decisions. They look at student conceptual competency, procedural fluency, as well as other factors to make a “best fit” placement for each student.
  • Class Placement meeting on Friday, May 24 at 8:30 a.m. also in the Kindel Library
    If there is information about your child that you would like us to consider, please submit the Class Placement Information form by June 7; also attend this meeting for more details about the process.

Middle School Parent Welcome and Orientation: Parents of grade 6 students should plan to attend this special meeting about the transition to Middle School on Thursday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., in the C.E. "Ted" Kindel Library. The Middle School years are a thrilling time of growth and learning for your child, both academically and socially. The purpose of this meeting is to talk about the transition process (i.e. what to expect in the coming months) as well as to give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about Middle School. I hope you will join Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Blankenbeckler, Middle School faculty, and me as we look ahead to Middle School at The Bear Creek School. Please RSVP for this event.

Early Middle School Honors Assembly: Parents are invited to join Early Middle School students and faculty on Wednesday, June 12 at 8:30 a.m. in the Cornerstone Theater for our end of the year Honors Assembly. Students should wear dress uniform.

More Early Middle School Events: In addition to the events described above, there are many more wonderful events happening in Early Middle School this spring. Outdoor Education and the Mt. St. Helen's field trips are always highlights. Dads are invited to Dads ’n Donuts this Thursday, April 11; moms are invited to Mothers Tea on May 10. The Early Middle School Spring Concert is on May 16, and Authors & Artists, our annual showcase of visual, literary, and performing art, is on May 30.

Additional Upcoming Events: Please mark your calendar for all of these upcoming events; see the school calendar for times, locations, and even more events.

  • Apr 12: Free Dress Day
  • Apr 15 – 22: No School – Spring Break
  • Apr 30: Moms Spring Breakfast with the Headmaster (RSVP)
  • May 22: Dads (P-6) BBQ with the Headmaster (RSVP)
  • May 24: Free Dress Day
  • May 27: No School – Memorial Day
  • Jun 12: Last Day of School (dress uniform)
  • Jun 12: Early Dismissal, 11:30 a.m.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or Division Assistant Carol Willard ( It is a pleasure to partner with you and your unique, delightful children. I look forward to the exciting activities and learning ahead for your students this spring.

Take care,

Jenn McDonough
425-898-1720 ext. 229