Extracurricular activities are a great way for kids to meet new friends, learn new things or give something back to their community. Best of all, studies show that students who are involved in after-school activities earn higher grades and are more successful – both academically and socially. Details about meeting dates and times are generally provided over the morning announcements and via notices posted around the school. Parents and students should also feel free to contact their guidance counselor or club advisor for more information.
An “out of this world” opportunity for students (and their parents!) to observe and better understanding the universe we live in by making use of Draper’s in-house observatory and telescope. This club will meet one to three evenings each month (weather permitting) and will feature a short lesson on a particular subject in astronomy, followed by hands-on use of the telescope. The club will focus on giving students the chance to learn and practice science as it is really practiced. Topics will include telescope basics, lunar observing, stellar evolution and the planets of our solar system. Students are required to be chaperoned by an adult at each meeting. Meeting dates and times will be announced in advance.
All students at the middle school (grades six through eight) are encouraged to take part in intramural athletics that are offered throughout the school year. They are designed to appeal to students of all abilities and diverse interests. There are also “friendship league” teams in swimming (USA Swimming Team Club), cross country and volleyball that are open to students in grades 6-8.
Students in grades 7 and 8 may also compete at the interscholastic level on modified teams in football, wrestling, baseball, soccer, basketball and swimming. Exceptional athletes in grades seven and eight may try out for a high school interscholastic team, but they need to pass a fairly rigorous test of ability in order to qualify to play at the high school level. Questions? Contact the Athletic Director at 356-8270 or visit the Athletics Webpage.
Eighth-grade students are eligible to TRY OUT for the cheerleading squad for the fall and/or winter seasons. Students who make the squad attend practices and cheer for the modified football team (fall) and the boys’ freshman basketball team (winter). Tryouts are in late August. Skills learned include jumping, building, tumbling and dancing.
Advisor: Dan Jones
Mohonasen’s Color Guard is open to students in grades 8-12. The Guard accompanies the Marching Band at competitive field shows and parades. Guard members add a lot of pizzazz to the band by flashing and twirling batons, flags and rifles and dancing while the band performs. Members also compete against other color guards in New York State and beyond.
Students have the option of participating in the Indoor Guard during the winter months. It is also possible for instrumental students to participate in Color Guard. Students are usually asked to attend meetings before the school year is over and are expected to attend practices beginning in July and participate in Band Camp, held the last two weeks of August.
Draper Theater Workshop
Advisor: Nicole Gabriel
Get involved in a school play – center stage or behind the scenes. Mohon Masque’s big spring musical involves students in elementary grades through high school. Tryouts and rehearsals are announced at least a week in advance to give students time to prepare. Even if acting, singing and dancing aren’t for you, there are many other ways to get involved in the plays. Stage crew, set building, costumes, fund-raising and lighting are just a few of the behind-the-scenes opportunities for students.
Advisor: Melissa Gregg
Come learn to dance!
Advisor: Dale Wade-Keszey
Take exciting field trips (like recent visits to Gettysburgh, PA and Baltimore, MD) while expanding your understanding of history. Students watch historical movies, visit local museums, host guest lecturers and have lots of fun. Open to middle school students in grades 7-8.
Library Book Club
Advisor: Mary Frances Manno
The Draper Library Book Club is devoted to connecting students to books in an ongoing effort to create lifelong readers. Members meet on a weekly basis to discuss various books that are selected as a group. In addition to weekly book discussions and other activities that promote reading, members also attend field trips, as well as participate in community and school events. All students are welcome to attend. All that is required is an appetite for reading. Meetings take place every Friday after school in the Library Media Center.
Musical Performing Groups
• Band: Jason Varga
• Choir: Nicole Gabriel
• Orchestra: Kim Kondenar
Band, choir and orchestra members practice regularly with their group during advisory periods. Each group performs at the winter and spring concerts, two school assemblies, annual school budget vote, Strawberry Festival and other special events that may vary from one year to the next. Serious students are also encouraged to prepare music and play for the New York State School Music Association Music Festival held each spring.
National Junior Honor Society
For 7th and 8th graders who meet requirements: i.e. academic average, prior community service, etc.
Odyssey of the Mind
Program Coordinator: Lori Ranze
Creative problem solving comes from teamwork, cooperation and risk-taking. That’s the principle behind Odyssey of the Mind, an international problem-solving competition that is both fun and challenging. Students team up to work on one of several open-ended problems that the international OM organization poses each year. For example, one problem may require students to build a structure that meets specific guidelines. Another problem may require a theatrical solution that is written and performed by students. There is a regional competition each spring and, depending on how students score, they may proceed to the state level or beyond. Each team has its own volunteer coaches. (Parents are always needed to fill this important role!)
Peers for Peace
Advisor: Maria Pacheco
Peers for Peace is offered at both the middle school and high school. The goal of this student group is to raise awareness about human rights and increase tolerance and respect for diversity within the school and community.
Advisor: Mark Lajeunesse & John Winters
Students build and launch rockets from a kit.
Advisor: Mary Manno
Students in grades six through eight are encouraged to contribute to the many aspects of creating a lasting record of their middle school years. Yearbook staffers structure layouts, take pictures, write captions, and document special events that take place throughout the school year. If you’re responsible, good at managing your time, hard-working and dedicated to producing a yearbook that reflects middle school life – then this is the club for you!
Advisor: Carolyn Lundy
Students in science club participate in a variety of activities: making slime, doing weird science experiments, watching science-themed movies, collecting pond water, performing water studies, and other fun crafts and activities. This club will allow students to explore different aspects of science while having lots of fun. This club is open to students in grades 6-8. Meeting dates will be announced in advance.
Ski and Snowboard Club
Advisor: Fred Saccocio & Rob Buehler
Take to the slopes at various mountains in the northeast from January to March. Lessons and rentals available. Round-trip transportation is included. Open to students in grades 6-12 on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a fee of approximately $225 to cover the cost of lift tickets and transportation.
Advisor: Erin Degnan
Student Council membership provides an avenue for students to discuss ways to improve their school and have a voice in school operations. Two student representatives from each homeroom (grades 6-8) are chosen annually; these students must maintain a grade average of at least 80. Each September the eighth-grade class elects a slate of officers. Student Council Officers are required to maintain a minimum grade average of 85. Meetings are held approximately twice a month.
The Student Council sponsors several dances each year and helps organize the eighth-grade farewell dance. Other activities include an annual flower sale, various service projects and fund-raisers that help support student field trips at all grade levels. This is a great way for students to get leadership experience while having a positive impact on their school.
Advisor: John Winters
This club takes what students are learning in technology class to the next level. Projects include robotics demonstrations, hydroponic gardens and mouse-trap powered vehicles.
The Warrior Way School Newspaper
Advisor: Josh Whipple
Draper Middle School’s student newspaper, The Warrior Way, is published three to four times each year. Students in grades six through eight are encouraged to get involved in one or more of the various aspects of producing a newspaper. These include reporting, editing, layout, artwork and photography.