Students, faculty, and parents enjoyed browsing the selection at the annual parents’ association Book Fair.
Message from Head of School
Happy Birthday, Barn!
Brendan Largay, Head of School Post Date: December 13, 2019
You wouldn’t know it. Already, the Barn has become so ingrained in the everyday reality and culture of our school that to think it has only been open for a year is hard to believe. However, December 3—which, as it turned out, we celebrated with a snow day—marked the one year anniversary of Belmont Day’s receipt of the certificate of occupancy for our already beloved academic, athletics, and arts building.
Consider what the Barn has already seen! In no time at all, the Blue and Gold courts hosted a middle school basketball tournament, Early Birds, the Winter Concert, Friday Night Hoops, the MLK Assembly, and sharing assemblies. This summer, its garage doors opened wide and it hosted the joyful play of campers during our summer program, and by the time the school year began, I found myself regularly in conversations saying, “it feels as though the Barn has been here forever.”
So, what makes it feel that way? I imagine that such a sentiment stems from the fact that the Barn is and has always been an extension of that which Belmont Day has always been—an innovative school dedicated to excellence and the growth of the whole child. Consider the spaces themselves, designed to inspire and challenge every student, pre-kindergarten to eighth grade athletically, artistically, and academically. Consider how the spaces intentionally promote the connection between the more traditional experiential education of the woodshop with the equally hands-on yet more digital education of the IMPACT lab. Consider the way the building promotes community and gathering through Early Birds, assemblies, special events, and plenty of home games. In all ways, the Barn echoes what BDS has always been. Maybe that is why, as we blow out its singular birthday candle, it feels as familiar as the Schoolhouse itself.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Pre-kindergartners enjoy a variety of hands-on activities during workstation time.
Saturday, December 14 10–11 a.m., STEAM Saturdays 2
Tuesday, December 17 6–9:00 p.m., Parent SEED Group, Coolidge Hall 7–9:00 p.m., Board of Trustees, Barn Conference Room
Wednesday, December 18 8:15–9:30 a.m., Parent Book Club, Erskine Library 3:30 p.m., Fencing at Boston Fencing Club; Wrestling at Beaver Country Day; Boys’ Varsity Basketball vs Charles River; Girls’ Varsity vs Charles River
Thursday, December 19 6:30–8:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Downing Gym
Friday, December 20 Pajama Day 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Send-off Assembly and Share the Warmth 12:30 p.m., School closes for Winter Break
School Closed for Winter Break until Monday, January 6, 2020
Thursday, December 19, 6:30–8:00 p.m. Downing Gym
We hope you will join us for this annual celebration of the season, our community, and our students’ musical development. Please click here for the details and logistics for all students and their families. See you at the Winter Concert!
Share the Warmth Drive
The Share the Warmth clothing drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons is underway through Thursday, December 19. Fifth graders are collecting items including clothes, winter gear, and hygiene products.
They are accepting the following donations in sizes for infants to middle schoolers:
Send-off Assembly, Share the Warmth, and Pajama Day
Friday, December 20, 11:15 a.m.
Next Friday, we will gather in the PAC for the final assembly of 2019 to celebrate our first months of learning together and the start of a new year. We will also hear from fifth graders about Share the Warmth—their annual collection of warm winter clothing for Cradles to Crayons.
Remembering that joy is one of our core values, we plan to end the calendar year in style! School-appropriate pajamas that are modest and acceptable for our last day of learning together,slippers,and optional robes will be the order of the day. Dress-code applies for middle school students. Parental consent to proposed outfits is appreciated.
Clayton and DeStefano Lead Varsity Hoops Past Park
Team captains Julia Clayton and Camille DeStefano led the girls’ varsity basketball team to a strong nine-point win in their season opener against Park this week. Clayton had a team-best 10 points and 11 rebounds, and set the tone with physical play under the hoop. DeStefano’s five assists were a team-high, and her poise with the ball helped squash Park’s second half comeback. Collectively, it was a great team win for the Blue & Gold who will be back on the court next Wednesday against Charles River.
More Athletics News
Wrestling won nine of 12 matches against LCA in their season opener this week. Newcomers Thierrence Mathurin and Zephy Borisy both won by pinfall, while sixth grader Nikos Axiotis secured his first takedown and finished with a half nelson pin.
Fencing topped BB&N 16-11 this week. First-year fencers Angel Chavannes and Sophia Tang combined for a 4-0 record. Team veteran Brooks Largay also finished with a pair of wins and showed tremendous improvement from a year ago.
The boys’ varsity basketball team received inspired play from Cole Sparks and Alexander Colangelo who helped fuel the team’s second half comeback. Davin Roy (11) and Owen Khanna (10) led the way in the scoring column during the 47-42 loss to Park.
Classmates Juliana Li and Nadia Lomeli are off to a great start for the volleyball team. Both are working hard in practice and have already shown marked improvement on the court. Fellow newcomer Anni Taylor has also made an impact early.
The JV basketball teams will not tip off their interscholastic season until after the break. In the meantime, sixth grade newcomers Peter Kurtz, Calder Wilmot, Nora O’Brien, and Olive Kiraly have all been settling in and are looking more at home on the court.
Second Grade Actors Create Tableaus
In second grade theater arts, students are learning to use their bodies to communicate with an audience. In this activity, each group chose one fairytale to illustrate in three scenes as tableaus. A tableau is a theatrical technique in which actors freeze in poses that create a picture of one important moment in the play. Can you tell which fairytale each group is acting out? To see more photos of the students on stage, click here.
Welcoming Visiting Educators
It is always an honor and a pleasure to open our doors to fellow educators from around the world. On Thursday, we welcomed Kabita Regmi, director of curriculum at the New Millenium School in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Carmel Valenti, director of Education Now 2.0, based here in Massachusetts. With our technology department team of Dolly Ryan and Erik Smith as their guides, our guests had a full day sitting in a wide range of classes and talking with our faculty to share approaches to curriculum and practice.
FIFTH GRADE NEWS
Studying Immigration Through Picture Books
Fifth grade students continue to explore migration to and through the United States. This month they are investigating immigration across the southern border of the United States by conducting a cross-text comparison of four picture books published recently about the topic. With rotating roles, varying perspectives, and creative read-aloud techniques, they’re finding picture books aren’t just for little kids!
– Julia Juster, Grade 5 English and social studies teacher
SUMMER CAMP NEWS
Future Leaders Program
Attention rising eighth and ninth grade students, have you heard about Belmont Day Camp’s Future Leader Program? Future Leaders learn the many different aspects of working with children and get real experience working with groups of campers. Future Leaders will also learn resume writing, the interview process, as well as other professional skills. This four-week program runs during camp sessions B and C (July 13 to August 7, 2020).
Students interested in becoming a Future Leader in summer 2020 must attend an information session at Belmont Day School. There is one remaining after we return from winter break:
Friday, January 10 at 4 p.m.
Please contact Joe Jean-Mary, summer programs administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Call Out for Childcare Help
Belmont Day is looking for reliable and responsible high school students and adults interested in providing childcare during our parent education events. This is a paid role and there will be various evening opportunities throughout the school year, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Please contact Catherine David if you would like to learn more.
The friendraiser committee would like to invite you to join us for a free hot yoga class led by parent Judy Bright on Tuesday, December 17 from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at Core Power Yoga in Fresh Pond. Enjoy the gorgeous sitting area to enjoy coffee and snacks after class. If you have any questions contact Judy Bright.
Family Fun Night
Plan ahead to join the parents’ association for the annual Family Fun Night on Saturday, January 11 from 4 to 7:00 p.m.! What could be better on a cold winter night than watching a movie wrapped up in your pajamas and sleeping bags in the Palandjian Arts Center followed by pizza and bingo in Coolidge Hall? Come enjoy the film A Secret Life of Pets 2, pizza, and bingo with your fellow BDS families. We ask for a $10 donation per family to help cover costs. It‘ll be a fun-filled evening for the Belmont Day community, so don’t miss out!
This is also a great chance to volunteer!
Volunteering is as simple as showing up for the evening. If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions about the event, please contact Cathy Fullerton or Morgen Bergman or sign up here.
Holiday Class Gifts
As the holiday season approaches grade parents are welcome to organize a holiday class gift for the teachers and associates. If you choose to do so, please make sure it is something homemade. As was mentioned during the most recent PA meeting, instead of donating to class gifts this season, the school will be inviting families to make a donation to professional development. This will benefit the entire community.
If you wish to contribute, you may click here to make a gift online or donate by check, payable to Belmont Day School; please write your child’s grade in the memo section of your check or in the gift notes on the online giving form. If you choose to make your gift by check, please put it in a sealed envelope and drop it off at the front desk PA mailbox. The deadline for contributions is Thursday, December 19.
Baby Book Collection
The PA is now collecting baby books for a baby who will soon join the community! Please consider dropping off a new book (unwrapped is ok!) for librarian Amy Sprung. Books are being collected in Pati Fernández’s office, located opposite the PAC. Please join us in this wonderful tradition of welcoming faculty babies!
Do you have a winning spirit? If so, come join us at our next PA meeting on Friday, January 10 at 8:30 a.m. in Coolidge Hall. As always, we will provide important updates about the school but this time every attendee will have a chance to win one of three fun prizes! Don’t miss out!
Once Upon a Time: Piano Rectal Sunday, December 29 at 2:30 p.m. Brookline Village Library, 361 Washington Street, Brookline
Come celebrate the end of the year with a solo recital through a fairytale narrative with selected works by Boulanger, Prkofiev, Listz, Ravel, and Kapustin. This free concert features Belmont Day music teacher Yui Kitamura. A short reception will follow the program.
Watertown’s 20th Anniversary Unity Breakfast
January 20, 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of Watertown’s Unity Breakfast, an event honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through music, dance, essay readings by local students and a keynote address by Senior Kingian Nonviolence Trainer Jonathan Lewis, participants will honor Dr. King’s life and learn about the Kingian Nonviolence Initiative in the Watertown community. Breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. and the program runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 each, children 12 and under free. Complimentary child care is available and families are encouraged to attend. Please contact parent Angela Robinson at with any questions.
Supporting Local Agriculture
Winter Meat Share Offered
The Farm School in Athol, a longtime program partner of Belmont Day, is currently accepting registrations for its winter meat share. Enjoy five or six monthly deliveries of pastured pork, grass-fed beef and lamb and fresh eggs. Shares can be picked up at your convenience at athenahealth in Watertown starting Thursday, December 12. Click here for more information and registration.