A Closer Look

Posting Date: January 12, 2015
Expires 1/30/15

Creative Writing Students Pen Novels in Competition

Pizitz Creative Writing Students Pen Novels in Competition


The idea of writing a novel of at least ten thousand words in one month would be a daunting challenge for most anyone. But just before the holidays, students in Stratton Brock’s creative writing class at Louis Pizitz Middle School did just that.

When the word counts were tallied at the end of the month, three students had each written more than fifty thousand words. Two of those students wrote more than 125,000 words. By comparison, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit checks in at 95,000 words.

The challenge was all part of National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo,” a nationwide competition that challenges adults and children to write the great American novel during the month of November.

“The majority of students who compete in the competition are in high school, so it’s unique to see the participation of my middle school creative writing students,” Brock said. “Most adults can’t even do this.”

Brock said he encouraged his students to turn off their “internal editor,” a common obstacle that stops many writers from putting words on a page. “I tell them to give in to their writing, and for most of them, that’s a ‘zen’ moment where their output suddenly rises. As they write, quality stories emerge,” he said.

Those quality stories that students penned during NaNoWriMo can even be published through a special agreement with Amazon, Brock said. Some of his students are editing their stories right now to prepare them for submission.

“These students are fiercely motivated,” Brock said. “Now, when I give them a writing assignment, they’ll write twice as much as I ask of them. These kids are really good.” 



Posting Date: January 06, 2015
Expires 1/31/15

Flu Season Reminders

Attention parents!


It’s that time of year again- flu season!  We have had reports of numerous cases of flu and accompanying respiratory infections from many of our students and families.  In the interest of keeping all our students and staff healthy and in school, here are a few reminders:


  • If your student is sick, please keep them at home and away from social situations like school or church.
  • Students should stay home until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours.
  • Wash your hands regularly, even if there is no one in your household that is sick.  Good handwashing is still the very best way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • If you think you or someone in your family has the flu, call your healthcare provider for advise about a doctor’s visit, medication, etc.
  • Consider getting a flu shot; it’s not too late.  Although experts tell us that the vaccine is less effective this year, it remains the best preventative measure that we have.
  • If you would like more information about the flu and how to treat it, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu  or call your school nurse.