Hastings Hotline - December 2015
The Hastings Hotline is a bi-monthly newsletter for Hastings students, families and staff.  Click on a category below to read more.

Message from Principal Robb Gonda

Dear Hastings Families,

This is an exciting time at Hastings Middle School as we embark on the journey to further personalize education for our students. Although one of the drivers for personalization will be in the integration of the many tools available through technology, this will not be the only way we work towards this goal. Our teachers will continue to build strong relationships with students to make sure we are tuned into their interests and incorporate it into learning activities. Our teachers will continue use the multiple layers of data to inform strong classroom instruction and monitor student growth throughout the school year. Clubs, both established and new, will cater to students passions and build new skills. All of this falls under the umbrella of district mission statement to Challenge and support every student, every step of the way.

With any change there will be process and procedures that will need to be refined and addressed to create the best environment. In our case, there will be an increase in the availability of technology in every course at Hastings Middle School. To ease our transition, below are a few points we will be emphasizing prior to and throughout our use of laptops at Hastings Middle School:

3 p's tech poster PDF (1).png

3 P’s: Power, Protect, and Prepare. Students are expected to power their device nightly in order to be prepared for their course work the next school day. Additionally, students need to protect their devices physically by closing and carrying them close to their body and digitally by keeping their password(s) secure.

Red, Yellow, Green: Technology use will vary throughout a class period. Sometime it will not be used at all (Red). Sometimes it will be led directly by the teacher (Yellow) and sometime it will be appropriate for students to use what they deem necessary to complete their work (Green). These colors will be used consistently throughout the district to help manage the use of technology in our learning environment.

stoplight poster PDF (1).png

AUP and School Rules: It will be important for students to understand that the

acceptable use policy and all school rules apply when using the laptops both in and out of school. Their laptop is a tool to assist in the learning process and should be used for that purpose.

As we enter the winter months, make sure to come out and support our Bears as they participate the winter sports season, continue their exploration of our many clubs, and showcase their talents in our various music ensembles. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s education.


Robb T. Gonda, Principal

614-487-5100 ext. 4001


Follow me on Twitter @robbgonda

Follow HMS on Twitter @HMSbears

Message from Assistant Principal Jim Buffer

The administration and faculty at Hastings Middle School are committed to maintaining a culture of caring and compassion. We also realize that it takes a combined effort of home and school to deliver a consistent message of respect for self and others.

I would like to share with you steps we have taken over the past several years to promote an atmosphere that discourages bullying and reinforces the positive behaviors we desire in the children of our community. It begins with our “Pillars of Ethical Behavior”. These principles are referred to often, and are visible throughout the building as a reminder of the ideals we share. Our “PAWS” program (Pillars Alive Within School) celebrates instances where students exemplify one of the pillars. Students are recognized at our monthly town meetings, and are invited, along with their families, to an annual breakfast in their honor. By recognizing students who demonstrate respect for self and others, and caring and compassion, we reinforce the expectations for a positive school environment.

Our excellent school counseling department takes the lead in promoting healthy social skills and the tools to deal with bullying, gossip, and rumors using the “Stand Up, Speak Out” curriculum. In addition, our counselors host lunch programs with students to address issues relevant to bullying, such as coping skills, social skills, and proactive steps for self-advocacy.

We have also promoted tolerance and understanding through a building-wide emphasis on service learning. The opportunity to work together for a common goal, despite individual differences, is a powerful lesson for our students.

Events like HOP Day promote understanding, tolerance, and compassion for others. We have had numerous speakers address our students on a variety of topics, including cyber-bullying, relational aggression, and the detrimental effects of peer pressure.

And you can be certain that there is a carryover to our curriculum. Our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade class recently had speakers from The Digital Innocence Project, authors of Digital Danger, who discussed the responsible use of technology, including the potential penalties for cyber-bullying. We conduct an annual on-line student survey that allows students, in the comfort of anonymity, to share voice their opinion on school culture, and to relate any concerns regarding life at HMS.We will also participate in “No Name Calling Week” this January.

Having said all of this, please do not think for one moment that we have our heads in the sand. We know bullying does occur, and that we must remain vigilant and address instances of bullying head on.

Bullying is defined as: • Any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act • Exhibited toward another particular student more than once • Causing mental or physical harm to the other student; and • Sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.

Please take the time to discuss this issue with your children, and notify us immediately if you have any inclination that they feel as though they have been the victim of bullying. My direct number is 487-5103. You can also find the link for the “Speak Up! Bullying Hotline” on the District webpage in the “students and parents” section under “safety and security” if you prefer to submit an anonymous report.



Notes and News

★ Washington DC Trip Update: Planning for the annual 8th grade trip to Washington DC continues and the new year will bring exciting steps in the planning process. In January, during a town meeting, the roommate selection process will be discussed. An important upcoming date is January 15, which is when the second payment, in the amount of $235, is due. Remember that payments must be submitted to Discovery Tours via their website at tourwithdiscovery.com

Please contact Mrs. Lloyd (llloyd@uaschools.org) or Mrs. Aichele (aaichele@uaschools.org) with any questions concerning the trip.

★ The National Geographic Bee at Hastings will begin in the middle of November.  Students should confirm their plans to participate in the Bee with their social studies teacher. Additionally, students who want to have fun and prepare for the Bee may attend the Geography Bee Club meetings each Wednesday after school in room 230 (Mr. Wylie's room).  The Hastings Geography Bee final competition is Thursday, December 10 at 3:30 pm in the media center.

Math Counts continues to meet on Tuesday mornings, 7:30 a.m., in room 226. This club is open to all 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The advisors are Mrs. Leinbaugh and Miss Litts.  We often have some kind of treat/breakfast item. There is a pattern to when the treats are brought. Come and help us calculate the possibilities and maybe you can discover the pattern. 

El Club de Español (Spanish Club): Students have the opportunity to join the Club de Español to meet with fellow students to speak Spanish and experience Hispanic holidays, traditions, games, and events. Meeting monthly, meetings are a great place to learn more about the language and culture and to have fun; all 6th grade students interested in Spanish, and any 7th and 8th grade Spanish students are welcome to join. Our next meeting will be in December.  Listen to announcements for more information.  See Señora Wiest with any questions.

★ The Hastings French classes and French Club have been busy celebrating National French Week from Wednesday, November 4 through Tuesday, November 10! We have "Frenchified" the school with fun French facts and examples of all of our favorite French words, played French games, visited La Châtelaine, an authentic French café and bistrot right here in UA, and delved into French cuisine by cooking French crêpes! It has been a fun-filled week and we look forward to learning more about French language and culture throughout the year.

Cercle français (French Club) - Students have the opportunity to join the Cercle français to meet with fellow students to speak French and experience French holidays, traditions, games, and events. Meeting monthly, meetings are a great place to learn more about the language and culture and to have fun. The club is open to all 6th grade students, and any 7th and 8th grade French students and students can drop in or join as they are able throughout the year. Our next meeting is Monday, December 14, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. We will be having "bûche de Noël" and learning about the holidays in France! January’s meeting is Wednesday, January 13th, from 3:30-4:30 p.m in Mme Smith's room (214). 

★ National History Day/ History Club meets the first Tuesday of each month with Mrs. Carmichael in room 117, from 3:20 to 4:00.  We're preparing to compete at our Central Ohio District planned for March!  

★ The Hastings Ping Pong Club, hosted by Señor McAlpine, will start up on Friday, December 11th. The Club is open to students in grades 6-8 and will meet from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoons in the Commons through the month of February. No prior experience playing ping pong is required! Come join the fun! Please Note: Students who participate in Ski Club are not eligible to join Ping Pong Club since both activities take place on Friday afternoons. Participants must be sure to make arrangements for transportation home at 4:30 p.m.

★ The Hastings Spelling Bee qualifier will be held on Tuesday, December 15th in the media center from 3:30-4:00 p.m. Top scorers will qualify for the annual District Spelling Bee to be held on Wednesday, January 13th from 9-11:30 at Jones Middle School. Students who are interested should see Mrs. Riley, 8th grade counselor for more information.

★Hastings Rocket Club hosted by Mr. Cash meets every other Tuesday at 3:30 in room 227. We will continue to build and launch rockets onTuesday, December 1 and every other "school" Tuesday. The club is still open to new members.

Congratulations to the Hastings Drama Club on outstanding performances of our annual fall "Night of One Acts"! 

Auditions for "The Music Man" are Monday, Dec. 14th and Tuesday, Dec. 15th!  Audition information is available on the Hastings webpage and also on the Drama Club bulletin board in the music hallway. Contact Mr. Monseur if you have questions (dmonseur@uaschools.org

The Hastings 6th Grade Choir Concert Open House will present its first performance on Wednesday, December 2nd at 7:30pm.
The Hastings 7th and 8th Grade Choirs and Honors Choir will present their annual winter concert on Monday, December 7 at 7:00pm. 

The Hastings Honors Choir is excited to announce the following performances: 
Friday, Dec. 4 - UA Winter Festival & Tree Lighting Ceremony (7:00pm
Saturday, Dec. 5 - UA Main Library Winter Celebration (11:00am
Monday, Dec. 7- Winter Choir Concert (7:00pm


All 6th grade students are welcome to volunteer for the annual Hastings KinderKey Caroling event on Thursday, December 3 at 6:45pm! This marks our 15th year of singing to benefit the wonderful work at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Information will be sent electronically to all 6th grade families. Information and permission forms also are available in the Main Office.


Student ski passes will be distributed to students on December 7th. If your child does not have his/her pass, tell them to see Ms. Litts or Mr. Piunno.  We will also be having town meetings on Dec. 4th for students involved with ski club. We will be reviewing information on the guidelines for conduct, safety, where to find help if you need it, and more. We will also be walking the students through what to expect on Dec. 11th. (See information below.)

On December 11th, students should bring equipment to the designated areas at the back of the auditorium between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. There is no supervision before 7:30, so please wait until that time. At 3:20, students are responsible for getting their equipment out of the auditorium, changing into ski gear, and getting on the bus by 3:40. We will be back at 10:40 p.m.  We will make every effort to make an announcement to students by 1:00 p.m. the day before a scheduled ski club as to whether or not it is canceled for the following day. For the most up-to-date information, you may check our Ski Club schoology page.  The access code is:  V3BWM-SQC43. Think Snow, so HOPEFULLY we will be able to ski and board on Dec. 11th!

Helpful Parent Tips The following is a list of helpful tips for parents to assist your child in getting ready for ski season:

  1. 1.     Label all personal items and talk with your child about where he/she will keep his/her ski pass (zippered pocket, etc.).
  2. 2.     Read over the Mad River website (skimadriver.com). Sections that will be especially helpful are: • Safety First located at the bottom of the home page under "New to Mad River."--Your child must abide by the Responsibility Code. • The List of Trail Levels - under "Mountain Info" located at the top of the home page and then the Snow Report (This section specifically identifies, by color, which trails are beginning, intermediate, and advanced.) • The Trail Map - under the "Mountain Info" link (This is an actual map showing the trails. Students can then match the names up to the trail levels.)
  3. 3.     Discuss your behavioral expectations of your child while at ski club. Each child is responsible for making the decision about which trails he/she will use.
  4. 4.     If you have rented your own equipment from a local store, make sure your child knows the number on the pieces. You may also want your child to practice getting the equipment on and off.
  5. 5.     If you have a question or problem with your food order, please contact Subway directly.
  6. 6.     If your child leaves his/her equipment or clothing out in public spaces we cannot guarantee its safety. Remember to send quarters for the personal equipment lockers.
  7. 7.     We are almost always back to Hastings by 10:40 p.m. Please be prompt in picking your child up; they are tired by that time. The Schoology Page is updated each week, so please check to see our return times. 
  8. 8.     Please make sure your child has his/her helmet ready on Fridays. Students must show their helmets in order to get on the bus.
  9. 9.     Please stress the importance of keeping the ski pass in a safe place. Mad River charges the students a replacement fee if they lose the pass. Students must bring the pass to Mad River each week in order to get on the ski lifts.

If you have questions about ski club please contact Lauren Litts llitts@uaschools.org or Brad Piunno at bpiunno@uaschools.org.

Check out this student newspaper made by members of Mrs. Carmichael's newspaper club!  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sTIvzn2CYg0kZxaljJiuvdVf8FcwVO_Svf590X_I0kM/edit?usp=sharing

Athletic Department News

The 2015-16 Winter Sports Season is underway with basketball games being played on Tuesdays and Thursdays and wrestling matches on Wednesdays, with a few Saturday Invitationals.

 A general guide for basketball start times is:

Games that we host against any Southwestern City school (Finland, Jackson, Norton, Pleasant View) will start with the 7th grade team playing at 5:30, followed by the 8th grade team, around 6:45. When we travel to Southwestern City Schools, the 7th grade start times are:

Norton 5pm

Finland 5:15

Jackson 5:15

Pleasant View 5:30

When we host or travel to Dublin schools (Davis, Karrer, Sells), Hilliard Schools (Heritage, Memorial, Weaver) and Worthington Schools (Kilbourne, McCord, Worthingway)  7th grade games begin at 5pm, followed by the 8th grade game, around 6:15pm

Wrestling Matches are 5pm start times on Wednesdays (Home or Away), as we only Wrestle against Dublin, Hilliard and Worthington Schools. The Saturday Invitational start times vary and can be found in the Friday Flier.

All of our Winter Sport Schedules can be found on the HMS Web Page and on the schedule star link below


RESPECT THE GAME: Proper Sportsmanship is an important attribute of all HMS Athletes. HMS spectators please remember to, " Let the Players Play." Let the Coaches Coach. Let the Officials Officiate. Let the Spectators Be Positive". 

Hastings Winter Coaches Contact Info:

Girls Basketball 8th Grade- Mr. Brian Shipley
Girls Basketball 7th Grade- Mr. Tom Sappington
Wrestling 7/8- Mr Kevin Lloyd
Boys Basketball 8th Grade- Mr. Wesley Richter
Boys Basketball 7th Grade- Mr. Cam Walton
Cheerleading 7/8- Ms. Molly McClenathan
Athletic Director- Mr. Michael Elfers

 "To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift."


Go Bears !

News from the PTO President

Dear Hastings Families,  

PTO is so thankful for the endless supply of ideas, help and organization from our parents. 

We are happy to say there have been almost a dozen PTO events already completed this year with great success! Fall Mini Grants have been approved and the staff has access to all their wishes as we speak. Without your support, PTO could not facilitate the needs of the Hastings Teaching Community and its students.  With that being said, our annual NO FUNDRAISING FUNDRAISER will kick off December 1st. This is the final PTO fundraiser for the 2015-2016 school year. In the past, families have really appreciated the option to donate to the PTO without being asked to sell anything or attend a special fundraising event. We simply ask for a $30 donation from each family. We will have an online campaign, so keep an eye out for the email. Please help us continue to fund scholarships, grants, and the needs of our Hastings Staff and Students. If you have any questions, contact me any time. Sincerely, Cathy Pultz PTO President 2015-2016 hastingspto@gmail.com


News from the Media Center


More than 80 students attended the Hastings Media Center's Halloween Read-in last month.  Students ate their lunch in the media center and received a popcorn snack.  Mrs.Hirsch then read aloud a spooky story and showed its ending online on the big screen.


Looking for gift suggestions for the holiday season?  Here are some new non-fiction titles that might be of interest to your middle school student.  All of these books are also available for checkout from the Hastings Media Center.

Gabe & Izzy: standing up for America’s bullied—G. Ford

The moving, true story of the young woman dubbed "The Voice of America's Bullied"; how her bond with her dog, Izzy, changed her life; and their mission to help break the cycle of bullying.

I will always write back: how one letter changed two lives—C. Alifirenka & M. Ganda

The true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.

The boys in the boat: the true story of an American team's epic journey to win gold at the 1936 Olympics—D. Brown

Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant.

Terrible typhoid Mary: a true story of the deadliest cook in America—S. Bartlett

This riveting biography of Mary Mallon looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary's controversial life.

Bugged: how insects changed history—S. Albee

There are about ten quintillion insects in the world--and some of them have affected human history in tremendous ways!

The infographic history of the world—V. D’Efilippo & J. Ball

It is history done in a new way, a beautifully designed collection of insightful and revealing infographics that tell us where we've been and where we're heading.

Courage has no color: the true story of the Triple Nickles—T. Stone

Examines the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought during World War II.

We’ve got your number—M. Patel

Numbers are all around us.. Arranged in thematic chapters that are easy for the non-mathematical mind to navigate and understand, 

(Book summaries borrowed from books’ online publishers’ descriptions)















Service Learning at Hastings

Turkey Trot to Fight Autism

Thanksgiving morning was not a day to sleep in for many Hastings students, family and staff members. Many people from the Hastings community participated in the 2015 Columbus Turkey Trot, which began and ended at Whole Foods on Lane Ave. This annual event raises money for the Central Ohio Easter Seals Chapter and their efforts to educate and provide services to families of autistic children. Students learned about the Easter Seals organization and autism when Kristy Emch-Roby from Easter Seals, attended November grade-level Town Meetings. Mrs. Tomlin has been organizing Hastings participation in this event and brings the Physical Education & Health curriculum to life in this worthwhile school-wide service-learning event.

Enrichment's groups from Greg Oyster, Dana Flowers and Bryn Rohlck's classes made and donated items to Habitat for Humanity on HOPday. The items were so well made that they were sent to their Craft Fair at the ReStore, and many of the items were sold with profits going to Habitat for Humanity. 

Hastings Veterans' Day Program: Freedom, Patriotism, Duty, Honor, Sacrifice, and Service were the focus of this year’s Veterans Day Celebration. On November 11, the entire Hastings community came together to honor over 150 veterans with a moving program featuring student speakers, the National Anthem performed by an ensemble of 8th graders, a performance from the 8th grade orchestra, Bill Richards as our veteran guest speaker, and a veteran guest musical performer who led the audience. Following the program, students and veterans enjoyed some time to converse and exchange ideas about the meaning of the six focus words. One of the highlights of the day was the small group discussion that took place between the students and the veterans. Stories were shared, and the students heard what history was like from those who lived it. To share what they have learned from the experience, each student created a star that centers on one of the six focus words. They have explored the various meanings of the word, including what it means according to the dictionary, according to their personal understanding, according to history, and even according to their veteran! Students also created original images to represent the word. These stars are a tribute to the "stars" of the day--the Veterans. The program could not have taken place without the incredible support of Hastings parent volunteers who helped with decorations and the registration and greeting of veterans, and provided a sumptuous feast for the guests of honor. The entire staff of Hastings deserves accolades as well for adjusting schedules and supporting this wonderful day. Thank you to all those who helped make this year’s Veterans Day a success!

Nurse's Notes


Gini Barber, 487-5100 ext. 4003 vbarber@uaschools.org

Cold and flu season is upon us – let’s stay healthy and in school!

Parents—share with your children that the number one way to protect ourselves from colds, flu and a host of other

illnesses is through hand washing. Washing your hands correctly greatly reduces the chances of spreading germs.

Disease-causing germs enter your body when your unwashed hands touch your nose, mouth, and open wounds. Some of these germs can cause illnesses like diarrhea and colds, as well as more serious and life-threatening diseases.

During the month of December, vision screening will be conducted on all 7th graders (as mandated by the Ohio Department of Health). Students are tested for myopia (near-sightedness) using the lighted Snellens chart. Myopia, an inherited trait, often becomes evident in children between the ages of 8 and 12. Children who have myopia should have annual vision exams, especially during their growth years. Studies show that even a mild to moderate visual loss can have a significant effect on learning. A referral letter will be mailed home to students needing further evaluation.

If you cannot afford to get a vision exam and glasses/contacts for your child, does he/she qualify to get a medical card? If so call Franklin County Human Services at 462-4000 to apply. If you do not qualify for a medical card please let me know and I can fill out an application for the Lion’s Club to contact you and they can pay for the exam and glasses. They usually refer to Lens Crafters. Please call me if I can assist you with this. Thank you, Gini Barber, RN, School Nurse 487-5100 X 4003

Gini Barber, RN, School Nurse

HMS Calendar

1950 North Mallway Drive
Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
(614) 487-5000

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