Fourth graders are testing their fitness tracker prototypes in
physical education class.
Message from Head of School
The Teacher Training Marathon
Guest writer: Heather Woodcock, Director of the Associate Teacher Program
Post Date: April 12, 2019
In a few days, Boston will welcome thousands of runners to participate and compete in the annual Boston Marathon. It’s hard for me to fathom the time, energy, and mental commitment it takes to train for those 26.2 miles much less what it feels like to run them and then recover. Even though most of our associate teachers aren’t participating in the marathon this year (one associate is*, miraculously!) I can’t help but see some similarities to their one-year residency program at Belmont Day. As part of their training, associates need to juggle a full course load and attend weekday and weekend classes both at BDS and at Lesley on subjects as far-reaching as technology integration, child development, equity and inclusion, and working effectively with English Language Learners. They work four days a week in our classrooms observing their mentor teachers and their students, designing lessons and units, teaching small groups and full classes, doing recess and lunch duties, running clubs, and meeting with mentor teachers as they reflect on what’s working and what needs adjusting in the curriculum and ways of engaging students. At the same time, they are preparing for and securing teaching jobs for the following year in independent and public schools both near and far. To say that their plates are full is an understatement.
The work of training for the Boston Marathon is done alone for the most part, and this is one way that our associate program is distinctly different. Associates have their mentors alongside them in the classroom to ask questions, problem-solve, provide perspective, offer feedback, and reflect on successes. By developing and learning under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher, associates grow exponentially faster than their peers who are doing most of their learning in more traditional graduate programs that more often remove student teachers from the day-to-day life of the school. When I meet with associates for our seminar sessions on Fridays, we aren’t discussing textbook scenarios of lesson planning and classroom management. We’re able to use actual classroom experience to tease apart strategies and approaches to particular situations.
Serving as a mentor teacher is an excellent leadership opportunity for faculty, and the associate teacher program also provides our faculty and staff the chance to teach graduate coursework. This year our faculty and visiting teachers from both Cambridge and Lexington public schools and the Brookwood School have led sessions and courses in multicultural practice, project-based social studies instruction, using inquiry to promote engagement, mindfulness, STEM, Reggio Emilia, assessment, technology, social/emotional learning, social justice curriculum, health and wellness, and literacy.
When I spoke with Mary Liston, who founded the associate teacher program 27 years ago, she said the desire to work with graduate students from Lesley University on-site at Belmont Day was born out of the intention to keep the curriculum evolving and teachers engaged in reflection about their practice and choices in the classroom. Associates offer us a tremendous opportunity to fine-tune our thinking about teaching as we respond to their fresh perspectives on
Perhaps the most significant difference between the training of our associates and the Boston Marathon runners is that runners are preparing for a single annual event, while our associates are building foundational skills for future careers in classrooms and schools. If all goes according to plan, the intensity of our program’s pace and expectations will yield teachers who will continue to train and improve their practice as educators. They will craft
*Associate teacher Melissa Grip is running this year’s Boston Marathon for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Her bib number is 25305, and you can track her using that number on the website here or by downloading the B.A.A. mobile app and signing up for alerts.
The chorus performs during last week’s Spring Concert.
This Coming Week at BDS
April 22 through April 26
April 19–27 – Passover
April 22–May 18 – Cradles to Crayons Donation Drive
Tuesday, April 23
8:15–9:15 a.m., Head of School Forum, Coolidge Hall
5:30–6:30 p.m., Head of School Forum, Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, April 24
3:30 p.m., Varsity Tennis vs Nashoba
Thursday, April 25
3:30 p.m., Boys’ Lacrosse at LCA; Girls’ Lacross at LCA; Track & Field vs Carroll; Varsity Ultimate Frisbee vs Carroll
6–8:30 p.m., Witnessing Whiteness Group, Kiva
Friday, April 26
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association, Coolidge Hall
8:50–9:35 a.m., Enrichment Assembly, Palandjian Arts Center
10–11:00 a.m., Drop-In Camp Tour
6:30–8:30 p.m., Bell and Laurel Society Dinner, Coolidge Hall
Saturday, April 27
Varsity Ultimate Frisbee, Tournament, Shady Hill School
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Volunteer Clean-Up Day, Lone Tree Hill, Belmont
Cradles to Crayons Donation Drive Starts April 22
When you return from April break, you will notice a Cradles to Crayons collection container on campus. You can drop off your donations 24/7 from April 22 to May 18. Toys and clothing are desperately needed for children, newborn to age 12, throughout Massachusetts. Please help spread the word beyond BDS among your friends who might have items to donate. As you gather items to donate, please review the list of most-needed and accepted items.
Volunteers are needed for the
Head of School Forum
Two Sessions: Tuesday, April 23, Coolidge Hall
8:15 to 9:15 a.m.
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Join Brendan Largay, Head of School, Liz Gray, Middle School Head, Sarah Merrill, Director of High School Placement, and others, for an exploration into the future of middle school excellence. What will the final chapters of the Belmont Day School journey look like in the years to come?
Lunch & Snack Menu
April 22 to April 26
Snack: salt and vinegar chips; fruit cups
Lunch: spaghetti with marinara; spaghetti squash with marinara; chef’s choice vegetables; garlic bread; garden salad
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: Greek chicken; chef’s choice vegetables; herb roasted potatoes; Greek salad
Snack: Cheez-Its; apples
Lunch: citrus herb roasted salmon; chef’s choice vegetables; greens with goat cheese and sherry vinaigrette
Snack: chocolate chip cookies; raisins
Lunch: beef chili; veggie chili; sour cream, cheese, guacamole, salsa; cut corn; corn chips; taco salad
Spring Camp Community Event
Saturday, May 4, 2 to 4:00 p.m.
Join us for an afternoon of fun—face painting, crafts, an obstacle course and animal experience, and refreshments. The ever-popular Jeff Jam will perform at 3 p.m. Reconnect with summer friends or meet new ones and enter a raffle for $400 off camp tuition (open to those in attendance.) This event is free and open to the public so invite your friends and neighbors!
Pay It Forward Club Fundraiser
Thursday, May 9 at 3:30–4:45 p.m.
Third, fourth, and fifth graders from the Pay it Forward Club will be offering refreshments at the boys’ varsity home lacrosse game versus Dedham Country Day on Thursday, May 9. All proceeds will benefit the Playspace Program run by Horizons for Homeless children. So mark that date, come cheer on the Blue and Gold, and enjoy some snacks for a great cause.
Volunteer Clean-Up Day
Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
In the spirit of fostering conservation and supporting our neighbors, Belmont Day will be taking part in the Lone Tree Hill Volunteer Day. Organized by the Belmont Citizens Forum and the Judy Record Conservation Fund, this seventh annual event will include cleanup along the Coal Road area, trail maintenance, and tree planting along Pine Allee.
Lone Tree Hill spans 119 acres of permanently protected conservation land—bounded by Concord Avenue, Pleasant Street, and Mill Street—and is open to everyone. It is stewarded by a public/private partnership with the town of Belmont and McLean Hospital and is managed by the Land Management Committee. Click here to see a detailed map of the area.
TUITION PAYMENT NEWS
New System for 10-Month Payment Plan
Belmont Day has completed the transition to a new tuition payment system–FACTS Management–for the administration of our 10-month payment plan for the 2019-2020 school year. If you elected the 10-month payment plan on your enrollment agreement, please take a moment to review the details in the READ MORE box below. Please contact Dale McGhee in the business office with any questions.
Tuition Payment Plans
Belmont Day School offers two payment plan options through FACTS Management, one for school tuition and one for tuition for the extended day and
Features of the School Tuition Plan
- Ten monthly payments beginning in May
- Low cost–a $50.00 enrollment fee
- One account per family
- Payment by direct debit from checking or savings accounts or by credit card
- Online and mobile account access
- Enroll online at FACTS Management
- If you have an existing FACTS account from another school, please log in and choose Belmont Day School
- If you are a new FACTS user please select “Create a username & password” to begin
- Then click on the Set Up a Payment Plan link
- Select the appropriate school year
- Complete the steps as prompted
During the set-up quick process, you will be asked to enter the following information:
- Name(s) and contact information of the financially responsible parents/guardians. You may also add other third-party payers for access to the site to make payments
- Name(s) and grade(s) of your child(ren)
- Payment method: checking account, savings account, credit card
- Payment schedule: choose the 1st or 15th of the month
- Choose whether to elect the optional “Peace of Mind” benefit ($20 fee) as explained on the FACTS website
- After authorization, FACTS Management and BDS will finalize the payment plan with the correct tuition amount due, less your deposit and any other adjustments to determine your net tuition due
- The net tuition amount will be divided by 10 to determine your monthly payment
If you have questions about the tuition amounts, please call Dale McGhee in the Belmont Day business office at 617-932-3888.
The 10-month payment plan for 2019-2020 begins in May 2019. Enrollment must be completed by the deadlines below for the payments to begin on time:
Payments to begin May 1 – Deadline to enroll: April 18
Payments to begin May 15 – Deadline to enroll: May 2
If you elected the 10-month payment plan on the enrollment agreement, you must complete the FACTS enrollment no later than May 2 or your account will be considered past due.
FACTS Customer Service
- If you need assistance in completing enrollment in FACTS, click on “Customer Service” in the upper right edge of the screen—please consult the Frequently Asked Questions list first
- If you are not able to resolve your question please call FACTS at 866-441-4637
Extended Day and After School Payment Plan
The five-month payment plan for
Boys’ Lacrosse Evens Record with Win
After opening their season with a home loss against Shady Hill (8-3), the boys’ lacrosse team flipped the script on the road against Beaver this week. Jacob Gregor’s goal on the opening face-off gave Belmont Day a lead for the first time this season and the Blue & Gold didn’t look back. With steady offensive pressure throughout the game, Belmont Day was able to maintain a 2-3 goal lead for all four quarters and finished with an impressive 11-8 win. Cole Lemack-Bremen and Theo von Gottberg joined Gregor with multiple goals on the afternoon, and
More Athletics News
- Co-captains Rosie Schrag and Cameron Colbert had strong games for their respective teams during JV ultimate’s third intrasquad match this week, which was decided by one point!
- The track team improved to 2-0 following a decisive win against CRS. Toby Gauld ran a strong 1600m (7:19) and 800m (3:22) for the Blue & Gold, while classmate Dana Chang shined in the 50m.
- The girls’ lacrosse team scored 4 goals in the final 7:00 before falling to Beaver 9-7. Classmates Ellie Kadnar (goal) and Alice Morton (assist) were both heavily involved in the offensive surge.
- Noah Brauner had a breakout performance handling the disc during varsity ultimate’s 11-6 road win over Needham this week. Dylan Skenderian was a scoring threat all game for Belmont Day.
- The varsity tennis team evened their record at 1-1 with a 5-2 win over Fenn this week. Julian Tinmouth and Ellora Roy showed great chemistry during their convincing 6-1 victory at #3 doubles.
ZephyBorisy and Erika Tinmouth have been strong leaders for the JV tennis team this spring and are looking forward to their first interscholastic match of the season after the break.
Camp Kindness a Rousing Success!
First and second graders performed the musical, Camp Kindness, to a packed audience today in the PAC. This heartwarming story explains that life isn’t easy, especially for kids growing up. Sometimes our fears, circumstances, and limitations can make friendships, learning, expressing, and creating difficult. But as this camp shows, kindness can be the cure to many of life’s challenges. All it takes is some effort, compassion, teamwork, creative thinking, and a whole lot of love and care to make a difference in others’ lives, and hopefully, in the whole world.
Students spent the last month rehearsing and perfecting their lines and actions for the performance. In keeping with theater arts program objectives, the following skills were learned and reinforced during the process:
- Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
Tina Fox, Second Grade Teacher
Beloved and long-time faculty member, Tina Fox, will be moving on to the next phase of her career at the end of the school year. Tina has accepted a position in administrative leadership and will be the assistant lower school head at the Park School in Brookline.
In addition to Tina’s excellent classroom teaching, she has spearheaded and furthered equity and inclusion initiatives here at BDS. Her leadership and collaboration in SEED, Braiding Different Strands, and faculty, parent, and student affinity groups are valuable contributions that will be part of her legacy. Her work in co-creating and teaching our health and wellness curriculum helped to bring identity, safety, and social-emotional issues into our classrooms in an intentional and developmentally-appropriate manner.
As an active member of the lower school community, Tina has participated in curriculum development, review committees, and mentored new and developing teachers. We will dearly miss Tina and her family and wish them much luck in their new school.
Mary Ellen Coyne-Gordon, Middle School Focus Teacher and Middle School Learning Support Specialist
It is also with a heavy heart, that we will be saying goodbye to Mary Ellen Coyne-Gordon in June. Mary Ellen has decided not to return to BDS in order to enjoy a more flexible schedule and spend more time with her family. As our middle school learning specialist for the past four years, Mary Ellen has stewarded our middle school learning support program through comprehensive curriculum review and renewal.
In addition, Mary Ellen has guided and supported countless students, families, and faculty with her expertise in everything from best practices for effectively teaching all learners to successfully meeting the needs of individual students’ unique learning profiles. She has also served as a beloved Roots and Shoots faculty advisor and chaperone for multiple diversity conferences, service trips, and fall orientation trips for students. We will miss Mary Ellen deeply next year and wish her great happiness in all that lies ahead.
Thursday, April 26, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Kiva
Please join the Witnessing Whiteness group for our final meeting of the year. We’ll continue to have thoughtful discussions about race, as well as think about how race impacts our children, our families, and our school. New participants are always welcome! Dinner will be served, though unlike previous events, we will not be able to offer childcare this time. If you have any questions, please email Elliot Targum.
What is Tik Tok?
After the recent presentations at Belmont Day by digital citizenship expert Katie Greer, many parents asked for more information on the app, Tik Tok. Tik Tok is a singing and lip-syncing social media app that is currently quite popular among very young children. CommonSense Media offers a helpful video explainer on Tik Tok. And if you’re headed out to the movies with the kids over April vacation, be sure to check out the latest movie reviews, also from CommonSense Media.
Parents’ Association News
Parent Book Club
Please join us to discuss The Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace by Jennifer Chiaverini on Wednesday, April 24 from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. We are finalizing a location for this event and will update parents when it is determined. Refreshments will be provided. Please contact Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
PA Meeting, Friday, April 26, 8:30–9:30 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Thank you to our wonderful community for your support of the Wonder auction. What an amazing night!
Whether you donated, volunteered, bid, or attended the event, you had an incredible impact on this very successful community event. The grand total raised will be shared in a few weeks.
It must be said again—it takes all of the stars in the sky to create the galaxy. Thank you for being one of those shining stars!
A few housekeeping notes:
- If you won an item, but haven’t picked it up yet, please stop by Mary Merrill’s office as soon as possible. Your item is waiting for you.
- If you would like a set of Class Art notecards, we still have a few available for purchase! Contact Mary Merrill if you would like to purchase a set for $25 each. You don’t want to miss out on these unique keepsakes of your child’s class art.
And be sure to check out the photos from the auction on the website!
Cambridge Friends School, Gym, 5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge
Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Join Cambridge Friends School for a contemporary dance event with Beheard.world, a dance troupe that focuses on movement and poetry to explore racism in America that was founded by professional dancer and CFS alumna Anna Myer. For more information and to register to attend, please visit the CFS website.
MIT Media Lab Seeks Study Participants
The Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab is looking children between the ages of 8 and 12 to participate in a study about the effectiveness of a wearable device—a “sorting hat”—on improving self-esteem, motivation, and task performance. Participants will receive a $15 Amazon gift card. To learn more about this study, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Farm Shares
The Farm School in Athol is offering two summer farm shares. A weekly vegetable share can be picked up at Iggy’s Bread of the World in Cambridge, and a meat share will be available monthly at the
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