Hastings Hotline - February 2016
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

February/March 2016

Dear Hastings Families,

Welcome to the second half of the 2015-2016 school year. It is an exciting time to be a Hastings Bear as we further personalize the learning experience for our students. This will be accomplished continuing to provide quality programs both during and after school as well as leveraging our new technology learning tools. The success of our programs at HMS would not be possible without your continued support, and I appreciate your help in making HMS a great place to work and learn.

Additionally, with the turning of the calendar page, it is time again to look forward to next school year and the scheduling process. As part of this process, our counselors will be working in partnership with you and your child in the coming months to create his/her schedule. I have outlined in this newsletter the timetable to which we will adhere during the class scheduling process. Recommendation letters, which will explain our procedure and rationale for placement in particular classes to best meet the educational needs of your child, will be sent for your review in the areas of reading and global language. Please make note that our staff carefully considers the recommendations for placement. We would ask you to strongly consider these recommendations when making final decisions about course selection. Ultimately, your child’s long-term educational health is at the heart of these decisions, and we will be glad to discuss recommendations with you at any point in the process. An additional question that comes up each year is team placement. Teams will be assigned based on students’ individual needs, and then balanced to create the optimal learning environment. Please note that house teams and final schedules will be distributed during our School Supply Sale in August.

As our winter months pass, please don’t forget to attend a few of our great winter events. From the drama production of The Music Man to our end-of-the season winter sporting events, there are many opportunities to support the students at Hastings as they showcase their various talents. I am looking forward to an exciting 2016. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s education.


Robb Gonda


Follow me on Twitter: @robbgonda

Message from Assistant Principal Jim Buffer

Winter Musical - The Music Man!

I hope that you have the opportunity to catch the winter musical, The Music Man. Over 100 students are in the cast and crew! We anticipate that this will be a popular choice and have scheduled four shows, March 5, 6, 12 and 13. Ticket information is in this newsletter.

Attendance Reminder

Students who participate in school sponsored after school activities must be in attendance a half day (11:45AM-3:20PM) in order to stay after school for a practice, contest, or event. This includes ski club, athletics, dramatics, and all other functions.

School Delays and Closings 

In the event of a two hour delay, all bus routes will still run with the following adjustments:

• AM pick up times will be 2 hours later than on regular days.

• PM drop off times will be the same as on regular days.

These procedures will allow us to preserve calamity days for all classes.

We appreciate your patience on those days in which a 2-hour delay is necessary.

In the event of a school closing, all school activities are cancelled. This includes school sponsored activities like athletics and drama, and outside activities like dance club.

Questions or Concerns? 

Please contact me if I can ever be of assistance. My direct phone number is 487-5103, and my e-mail address is: jbuffer@uaschools.org

Notes and News

★Washington DC Trip Update: Activities for the Washington DC trip really start to pick up in February and March. In February, students will learn what bus they will be on and will begin meeting with their chaperone group to prepare for our May departure to the nation’s capital. Parents, mark your calendars for the final payment for the trip ($235), which is due Tuesday, March 15. Payments must be made directly to Discovery Tours - www.tourwithdiscovery.coml. If you have any questions regarding the trip, please contact Lisa Lloyd or Alice Aichele.

★ The 2016 district spelling bee took place on January 13th at Jones Middle School.  CONGRATULATIONS goes out to HMS 7th grader Will Holsinger, our district spelling bee champion!  Will goes on to take a 50-word online spelling test to see if he qualifies for the next spelling bee level!  Best of luck to Will!!!

 Orchestra: Many of our 7th and 8th grade Hastings Orchestra students are working hard this winter in preparation for the Upper Arlington Solo and Ensemble Festival, which will be held at Hastings on Saturday, February 27th . Those students who have chosen to prepare a solo will give a short performance for parents, friends, and an adjudicator.  The 7/8 grade Honors Strings and the 7th grade first violins will be performing as ensembles. Each soloist or ensemble will receive a rating and comments leading to improvement from one of our adjudicators, who are active or retired middle school orchestra teachers from Ohio.  Everyone is invited to attend to support our orchestra students as they improve their performance skills at this special event!

All of the Hastings Orchestra members will again take part in the All City Orchestra Festival Concert, which will be held Tuesday March 15th  at 7:00 P.M. in the UAHS auditorium.  During the school day on March 15th, each grade level orchestra will travel to the high school for a combined rehearsal with the Jones Orchestras.  The day culminates in an exciting performance featuring Upper Arlington Orchestra students, grades 5 – 12.

Optional high school orchestra auditions for 8th graders will take place right after spring break in class.  Students in 8th grade have been learning about the various high school orchestras and the skill level needed for each orchestra.  Students who have chosen to audition for Concert Orchestra are preparing specific materials for their evaluations.

Congratulations to the Hastings 2016 Geographic Bee champion!

Sixth grade student Austin Henley won the 2016 National Geographic Bee competition at Hastings Middle School.  Hastings second place finalist was another sixth grade student, Donald Speas.  Austen will now attempt to qualify for the Ohio Geographic Bee finals that will take place in late March.  Great work, Austen!  The Social Studies Department would like to thank all 420 students who participated in the Geographic Bee this year.   

Athletic Department News

 Athletic Department News

From Hastings Middle School Athletic Director Mr. Michael Elfers melfers@uaschools.org 487-5100, ext. 4016

As the winter sport seasons wind down and we gear up for the Spring seasons, we are very proud of the efforts of all of our winter athletes and coaches. Once again, our teams played hard consistently, displayed great sportsmanship nightly and showed a genuine care for one another and the team overall. Congratulations to our winter athletes and coaches, for representing Hastings Middle School in a great and positive manner. 

For the first time in a long time the 8th grade Jones vs Hastings Basketball games and Wrestling match will be held at UAHS:

The 8th grade basketball games will take place at UAHS on January 28th, starting with the girls game at 5:30, followed by the boys game at 6:45.

The Wrestling Match will take place on Saturday, January 30th beginning at 7:30pm.

The 7th grade Jones vs Hastings basketball games will be played at Hastings MS on Wednesday, January 27th, starting with the girls at 5pm, followed by the boys game at 6:15.

HMS Winter Athletic Recognition Night is Thursday February 11, 2016 at 7:00-8pm in the Auditorium. 

Spring Start Dates:

Lacrosse 2/22/16 (equipment; no team drills); 2/29/16 (no restrictions)

Baseball and Softball 2/22/16 (no restrictions)

Track and Field 3/7/16 (no restrictions)

Tennis 3/7/16 (no restrictions)


Go Bears !

News from the PTO President

The next PTO Meeting is on Wednesday February 10th at 8:30 am.

We would love anyone interested in a chair or board position in 2016-2017 to attend. The Annual PTO Fundraiser "the NFF" (no-fundraiser fundraiser) is LIVE now. If you haven't done your part tosupport our annual school efforts please log on and donate! We have 90 families who have graciously done so thus far! We know everyone's funds are pulled in many directions. We are always careful to spend funds on things that directly improve our students’ or staffs’ experience at HMS. Thank you for your consideration in this effort- which takes no effort! http://hastingspto.org/no-fundraising-fundraiser/

Each year PTO sponsors Cultural Arts experiences for our Hastings students for several Fridays during the height of winter! Check out the website for details.

The Teacher Conference Day Dinner is Thursday Feb 18th during their conference evening here at HMS. Look for the Sign Up Genius coming soon. Teacher Mini-Grants: just as in the fall, PTO will again offer the HMS staff the chance to submit ideas and needs to PTO this spring. If you like seeing what it's all about come to a PTO meeting any time, all are welcome. If you have any Hastings PTO questions, please don't hesitate to contact me, Cathy Pultz, at Hastingspto@gmail.com, or visit us at http://hastingspto.org

News from the Media Center

Mrs. Hirsch's Book Suggestions

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)


Nurse's Notes

A new immunization requirement for incoming 7th graders will begin in the 2016-17 school year.  Along with the Tdap vaccine requirement, the Meningococcal vaccine will also be required.  

Although the rates of this disease have decreased in recent years it remains a very important vaccine for our adolescents.  About 1000 cases are reported yearly in the country with incidence increasing in adolescence and early adulthood.  About 10-15% of adolescents who contract the disease will die and abut 20% will suffer from a long-term disability.  Please see the links below for more information and make sure your 6th grader gets these important vaccines prior to next school year.


Gini Barber RN, LSN

School Nurse

HMS Calendar

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Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
(614) 487-5000

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