Middle School Students Enhance Learning Through Creative Technology Use

See how Hamlin Middle School Students are using technology to show how they are creating art, making ebooks on different biomes, speaking in Spanish to students in other countries and coding to create new apps:

Always reflecting and revising our work we are preparing students who use technology not solely to consume information but also to create.  These girls will have the skills to meet the challenges of their increasingly digital times!
We are thankful to integrator Ms. Davis for the creativity she brings to work every day.

Hamlin Tech Program Featured in The Huffington Post

Article excerpt:

“We are never in one place with technology,” says Mark Picketts, director of program innovation and professional development for Hamlin. “We model design thinking by constantly evolving and taking tech to the next level.”

You can read the whole piece here:



Hamlin Thespians Thrive in California Competition

On February 18th our Hamlin thespians demonstrated their impressive skills at the Middle School Theater Festival in Pleasant Hill. Competing with almost 300 students (Grades 6-8) from 19 different Middle Schools from all over California, our girls earned 22 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals from the adjudicators for their monologues, scenes, original pieces, and musical solos.

Special thanks to the dedicated and talented Heidi Abbott for helping to make this success possible.

Hamlin Welcomes Syrian Speakers

In February we welcomed three guest speakers from Syria. Shahed, a 20-year old woman born and raised in Aleppo, Syria. Amer, a 23-year old man born and raised in Damascus, the capital of Syria. Khawlah, a 30-year old woman also from Damascus and a former teacher.

Here is some of what they shared:


-She showed photos of her former students and spoke about their hopes and dreams.

-She has a sister in Sacramento, but is separated from the rest of her family.

-She currently works at Wells Fargo.

I’m so grateful that the United States offered me a safe place to stay. I had to leave everything because I was afraid for my life. I can sleep at night here, I feel safe.

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Project-Based Professional Development

This year we are experimenting with a modified faculty evaluation model; it is “project-based PD*” or a year of in-depth inquiry for experienced faculty.  During the Inquiry Project Year, Hamlin teachers will be able to dig deeply into an area of their own practice that they have identified. As action researchers, teachers will use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice.

One teacher’s project sought to give her students more freedom to explore during their visit to SF MOMA.  Our wonderful middle school art teacher, Ms. Feldman worked with technology integrator Ms. Davis to design a digital docent for her collaborative work with the museum:

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Hamlin Learns about India and Oneprosper

On February 16th Hamlin’s 6th grade welcomed Arezoo Riahi from the nonprofit OneProsper and her friend, Madhavi Bhasin.

OneProsper is empowering women in India to break the cycle of poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy.

6th grade social studies is working with OneProsper as part of their comprehensive study of India.

Some key points from their talk were:

-Fetching water is viewed as women’s work in many parts of the world. Women in the Thar desert of Rajasthan have to walk extremely far to fetch water, and because of the amount of time it takes, it can prevent girls from having the opportunity to attend school.

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Common Sense Media Tip of the Week – 02/13/17

The glitz and glam of awards season is upon us. The 2017 Oscar nominations are full of family-friendly films, and celebrities who usually become popular for how they look. But some might say stars have an extra responsibility to show their fans how to change the world. This diverse group of role models is great for kids and teens who want their celebs to stand for something. Kids can visit the websites of their favorite stars to see how they’re giving back to the community and follow in their footsteps, or they may simply get inspired to explore local volunteer options.

And, remember, kids aren’t just passively consuming celebrity culture. Check out these kid YouTube stars who are creating their own media and fanbase.

Interview with former Hamlin Trustee , Barry Lipman

Today we had the opportunity to catch up with former Hamlin Trustee, Barry Lipman. Mr. Lipman is the father of Hamlin alumnae Amelie Marie Lipman ’00, Elyse Danielle Lipman ’01, and Monique Susanne Lipman ’05.

Mr. Lipman was the co-founder of the Law Firm Goldfarb and Lipman LLP, but he is no longer practicing law. He now dedicates his time to improving the lives of others through profound philanthropic engagement by supporting work that has innovative, sustainable social impact. His central vehicle for achieving this is the Barry and Marie Lipman Family Prize at the University of Pennsylvania. The award recognizes and amplifies the work of organizations devoted to positive social impact and creating sustainable solutions to significant social and economic challenges. The prize is a tremendous success and is the realization of Mr. Lipman’s visionary altruistic thinking.

Around the globe, trailblazing organizations are implementing cutting-edge solutions to the problems facing our world, however, they lack the access to resources and relationships that could extend the power of their ideas. The ultimate goal of the Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize is to spread those global lessons found in local success. The more we can shed light on solutions that work, the more effective we will be at creating a better world.

Interview with Barry Lipman:

What advice can you give to a young person who wants to be philanthropic?

Get involved, volunteer, find something you are interested in and get out there and do it. These days, philanthropy seems to be in the DNA of young parents; it is great when they convey the importance of giving back to the community. Where you choose to volunteer is a personal thing. How do you want to make society a little bit better? It is easy to write a check, but go out and get your hands dirty, get close to the work of improving lives.

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Hamlin Shows the Film SCREENAGERS

On Wednesday evening over 100 people gathered to watch the thought-provoking film, Screenagers. The audience was an eclectic mix of students, faculty, parents, and members of the San Francisco community.

The film was put on by PLAID, a Hamlin parent group whose mission “is to support a vibrant and inclusive environment in which all members of the Hamlin community can celebrate their authentic selves.” PLAID “fosters open dialogue through family programs, parent education, and community outreach.”

Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists, solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

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Hamlin Students Learn About Human Trafficking

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 21 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking around the world. Human trafficking and forced labor generate $150 billion dollars annually.

Today, Hamlin 6th graders listened to a panel discussion with the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. The information they gained served to further their understanding of a topic that they are studying in social studies classes.

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