Middle schoolers enjoy a variety of clubs including the embroidery and friendship bracelet club.
A Season of Sharing
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: December 17, 2021
As it always does, winter break arrives just in time.
In the absence of a Share the Warmth Assembly to share our traditional winter poem, I have decided, instead, to share it with you here as we all wait for the long silence of a well-deserved break to rest, be with loved ones, and find peace as we welcome winter and the new year. Have a great break, BDS. See you in 2022!
The Snow Arrives After Long Silence
By Nancy Willard
The snow arrives after long silence
from its high home where nothing leaves
tracks or strains or keeps time.
The sky it fell from, pale as oatmeal,
bears up like sheep before shearing.
The cat at my window watches
amazed. So many feathers and no bird!
All day the snow sets its table
with clean linen, putting its house
in order. The hungry deer walk
on the risen loaves of snow.
You can follow the broken hearts
their hooves punch in its crust.
Night after night the big plows rumble
and bale it like dirty laundry
and haul it to the Hudson.
Now I scan the sky for snow,
and the cool cheek it offers me,
and its body, thinned into petals,
and the still caves where it sleeps.
I also wanted to share a story that I rejoice in reading each year. It’s the story of Lenny and Lino’s tree and their friendship. You may have noticed the tree recently, lit up beautifully with red and white lights, standing proudly by the building and grounds garage and welcoming all visitors to BDS. Upon its deep roots in our community, this strong tree grows higher and higher with each school year.
A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP: THE L & L TREE
by Jill Becker P ’14, reprinted annually since the February 16, 2008, Friday Notice
I first noticed the sweet, colorfully decorated Christmas tree near the Belmont Day School garage last winter. I asked some of the other moms in the pick-up line if they knew anything about it. None of them knew for sure, but one offered, “I think it has something to do with (former Maintenance Director) Lenny Corso.” And then, after the holiday break, the decorations were gone.
This year, again, the decorations returned! Still, I had no explanation—and I wondered. One day last week, I was in the pick-up line earlier than usual. Mr. Medeiros came over to my car, and we started chatting. I asked him if he knew about that tree and he told me the story:
It had been Lino Medeiros who had discovered the little tree, somewhere amongst the trails behind Belmont Day School. Later, he told Lenny Corso about the “beautiful little tree” that he had found, and he asked Lenny to help him move it. Lenny agreed.
Lino described the location of the tree to Lenny. He then rode one of the pieces of the school’s heavy machinery out to the location of the tree, where he waited for his colleague and friend. He heard Lenny, on the Gator, driving around in the woods—close to, but not at, the location of the little tree. Lino waited as Lenny made his way through the woods and, eventually, to him. The two men dug up the tree together. They brought it to a place near the spot where it now grows. Lino told Lenny, “This will be the L & L tree, for Lino and Lenny.” He then asked Lenny where they should plant the tree. Lenny said, “You’re the boss now. You decide.” This was to be Lenny’s last day at Belmont Day. Mr. Corso passed away in May 2006 after a five-year battle with multiple myeloma.
Every year now Lino and other faculty and staff decorate the tree in Lenny’s honor. I thought each of you would like to know this beautiful story. Thank you, Lino, for sharing it with us. Middle school students planted another tree in Mr. Corso’s honor that flourishes in the front circle to this day.
January 3 to January 17
Monday, January 3
COVID-19 Testing Day: No School
Tuesday, January 4
Professional Development Day: No School
6:30–7:30 p.m., Grade 8 Parent Forum, Zoom Gathering
Wednesday, January 5
3:30 p.m., Boys’ JV Basketball at Meadowbrook; Girls’ JV Basketball vs Meadowbrook; Boys’ Varsity at Rashi; Girls’ Varsity Basketball vs Rashi; Wrestling vs Roxbury Latin
7 p.m., DEI Book Club, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, December 6
3:30 p.m., Fencing at Beaver
7 p.m., Finance Committee, Zoom Meeting
Friday, January 7
8:50–9:35 a.m., Middle School Sharing Assembly, Barn Gym
Monday, January 10
Admissions Application Deadline
Wednesday, January 12
12–1:30 p.m., Parents Independent Schools Network (PIN) Meeting, Zoom Gathering
3:30 p.m., Wrestling at Fay
Thursday, January 13
3:30 p.m., Girls’ Varsity Basketball at Shady Hill; Boys’ JV Basketball vs Shady Hill; Girls’ JV Basketball at Shady Hill; Fencing vs ISB; Boys’ Varsity Basketball vs Shady Hill
7:30–9:30 p.m., Board of Trustees, Belmont day School
Friday, January 14
8:50–9:35 a.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly, Barn Gym
1:15–3:15 p.m., Prospective Students Visits – Grades 6-8, Belmont Day School
Monday, January 17
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: School Closed
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Return from Winter Break
School Reopens Wednesday, January 5
No school or auxiliary programming for students on Monday, January 3, and Tuesday, January 4.
- Monday: Back-to-school testing for students and faculty
- Tuesday: As test results take at least 24-hours to be received by the school this will be a remote faculty professional development day
- Wednesday: School reopens with the normal schedule
Parents Launch DEI Book Club
Join us for an informal, parent-led DEI book club! All Belmont Day parents, guardians, and faculty are welcome. We will read books written from the perspective of BIPOC and/or marginalized communities and meet to discuss via Zoom on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning on January 5, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Our first book is Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott Haims, which we will discuss for at least two meetings. Please come having read the first few chapters and select a quote that speaks to you. Subsequent titles will be chosen by the group. The Zoom link will be posted to the Parent Portal, and please contact Danielle England (email@example.com) or Christina Cosman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!
Lunch & Snack Menu
January 3 to January 7
COVID-19 Testing Day: School Closed
Professional Development Day: School Closed
Snack: apples; tortilla chips
Lunch: cheese ravioli with marinara on the side; pasta with marinara on the side; steamed broccoli; crusty rolls; butter; Romano cheese; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: clementines; Nutri-Grain bars
Lunch: butternut squash soup; turkey and cheese panini; cheese panini; sliced cucumbers; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; potato chips; cookies; apple slices; milk and water
Snack: craisins; pretzel twists
Registration Set to Open in Early January
Get ready! New registration for Belmont Day Summer Programs opens on January 6, 2022; registration is currently open for returning camp families. Our programs run for 10 weeks, including eight weeks of general day camp, a pre-camp and post- camp week of nature, art, and sports, and specialty camp offerings throughout the summer. Click here to learn more about all the programs and registration.
Here is our 2022 Camp Calendar:
- Pre-camp: June 20-24
- A1: June 27-July 1
- A2: July 5-8 (no camp July 4)
- B: July 11-22
- C: July 25-August 5
- D: August 8-19
- Post-camp: August 22-26
– Zach d’Arbeloff, director of summer programs
Giving Day 2021 Was a Great Success!
You made it possible, thank you!
BECAUSE OF YOU, we not only met our goal, we surpassed it! More than 200 gifts and pledges were made on Giving Day that will allow Belmont Day to continue to inspire and challenge our students. Thank you for choosing to move the BDS mission forward.
BECAUSE OF YOU a generous gift to the annual fund of $50,000 was unlocked. This was not an easy challenge to meet in just one day, but you did it! The Belmont Day values we live every day are so present through each gift received. Our full community of current families, alumni, past parents, grandparents, faculty, trustees, and friends participated today and we feel the love! Thank you for continuing to prioritize the future of BDS by raising over $150,000!
We would also like to thank the generous community members who went above and beyond to challenge and inspire others to give. BECAUSE OF YOU, we were able to raise an additional $60,000 for the annual fund! We are so grateful for your support and dedication.
In 24 hours current parent participation increased to 76%. Participation by class:
Grade 1: 73%
Grade 2: 82%
Grade 3: 89%
Grade 4: 86%
Grade 5: 82%
Grade 6: 78%
Grade 7: 58%
Grade 8: 55%
Any grade that surpasses 75% class participation will win a class party prize basket with fun gifts for all upon our return in January.
– Pati Fernández, director of development
BUSINESS OFFICE NEWS
Tuition Payment Reminders
- For January, the Ten Month Payment Plan autopay system will collect payments on January 3, 2022.
- The Two Payment Plan payments are due on January 15, 2022. Since January 15 is a Saturday, the autopay system will run on Friday, January 14. Please plan accordingly.
- The January tuition invoices are now available on the Parent Portal.
The business office will be closed during the school’s winter break. Any payments sent via mail during the break will be processed after the school reopens on January 5.
For parents who pay tuition via wire payments, please note: for several years the school did its banking with East Boston Savings Bank. Recently the bank merged with and is now operating under the name of Rockland Trust. For parents who wire tuition payments to the school, either through personal accounts or third-party accounts, please contact Fred Colson, director of finance, by email (email@example.com) for updated wire instructions.
Do You Love Talking About BDS?
Admissions is looking for parents who would be interested in speaking with prospective families about their experience at our beloved school. We are looking for parents who can spend 10-20 minutes of their time talking with folks on the phone in 2022. You can schedule your call at your convenience.
Personal connections with current families go such a long way to helping prospective families get to know and love our school. If you would like to help or learn more, please email Judy Bright P ’21 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing
Our weekly testing on Wednesday, December 15 returned negative results for 47 of 48 pools. A presumed positive COVID-19 case was reported in an eighth grade pool.
The presumptive positive case was identified, isolated, and sent home; thankfully, the student is asymptomatic and feeling well.
All other individuals in that pool tested negative with a rapid test this morning and are symptom-free. Close contacts of the positive case have been identified and notified.
Vaccinated close contacts will be closely monitoring for symptoms and may attend school if symptom-free. Unvaccinated close contacts will also be closely monitoring for symptoms, may attend school if symptom-free, AND will be participating in the Test and Stay protocols.
Please see the accompanying chart of our ongoing testing results.
Email email@example.com if you have any questions.
ICYMI: Recording of Winter Concert Available
Last night’s Winter Concert was a wonderful celebration of the season, our community, and all the talented young musicians at Belmont Day. If you were unable to attend or would simply like to enjoy the show again, click the video here to watch!
Travel Restrictions on Student Devices
We remind parents that devices issued to students belong to the school and are meant to be used for school-related work, not personal recreational use. We understand Capstone students may need to travel with their devices to work on their project, so please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to travel out of Massachusetts with your student device.
Foreign travel with school-issued devices is not advised for security and recovery reasons. All data and access to the machine will be wiped if it shows up as being outside of the United States. We have no way of telling whether a device was stolen, left on a plane, or lost and that can require us to take swift action, wipe, and lock a machine in order to protect the school’s data and related student information.
Parents will be responsible for the cost of a replacement if the device is lost, stolen, or damaged during personal travel.
Most importantly, enjoy less screen time and more family time over the break!
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Yummy Fun Building Gingerbread Houses
This past week has been a celebration of all things winter in after school! Last Friday, students took part in the seasonal tradition of building and decorating gingerbread houses, complete with marshmallow snow, edible glitter, and gummy bear inhabitants. Our youngest learners have also been learning about the shapes of snowflakes by cutting out and coloring their own designs. Additionally, with the pleasantly above-average temperatures, after school students have been enjoying the opportunity for cross-graded play together on Big Blue and Claflin field.
Kindergartners Embrace Technology Lessons
In our first unit of technology class, kindergarten students have been introduced to early programming concepts. They have explored using individual commands, both with other learners and as part of a computer program. Using beebots, they have learned to identify what each command does and have used that knowledge to start predicting the outcome of programs. They have also been introduced to the early stages of program design through the introduction of algorithms.
– Kurt Robinson, innovation & technology teacher
Third Graders Show Appreciation for Cross-graded Partners, Teachers
Altruism abounds in third grade as students thoughtfully create affirmation posters for their seventh grade partners and “crowns of character” for the lower school classroom teachers. In addition to the benefits of increasing your mood, empathy, and compassion, extending kindness to others is said to decrease the stress hormone, cortisol. In short, it just feels good to be kind! The third graders know how hard their seventh grade partners work each day, and they wish to honor that and let their partners know they are cheering them on (from afar). They also know that there is a unique mix of commitment, excellence, and magic that happens in lower school classrooms every single day thanks to the teachers who care deeply for their students emotionally and socially, as well as academically. The third graders wish to extend their gratitude and acknowledgment of awesomeness to each of these amazingly talented teachers who give their all each day.
– Leigh Twarog & Larissa Rochford ’93, third grade teachers
Eighth Graders Further Understanding of US Constitution
The eighth graders wrapped up their US Constitution Then & Now unit in social studies last week with their first unit response project. Unit response projects give students the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic we’ve covered in class: they learn more about the topic and create an artifact to share some of their learning with their peers. Eighth graders chose a wide variety of topics for these projects including vaccine mandates, current abortion legislation, and a painting depicting Shays’ Rebellion. Students viewed the work of their peers in a gallery walk activity and shared written feedback including what they learned from their peers’ work and what they appreciate about it. Great work, eighth graders!
– Kate Burns, middle school social studies teacher
PE Update: Nothin’ But Net
With winter break on the horizon, our lower school physical education program wanted to bust out some electric equipment for our final week. So we put together our badminton nets and began to introduce net games for pre-kindergarten to grade four.
We used station work to allow our students to practice hitting or throwing a variety of implements over the nets, from badminton racquets and birdies, to beachballs, to fingerlight balls, to our mondo nyalite ball. Classes were introduced to gameplay, positioning, and communication with games like Newcomb, and worked on their hand-eye coordination with scarf tosses. It was a delightful way to end PE in 2021 and we look forward to being back in action in the new year.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Athletics Update: Axiotis’ Dramatic Reversal Highlights Wrestling’s Big Win
Eighth grader Nikos Axiotis, a veteran on the wrestling team, was on his back, down by one point, with under 10 seconds left in his match. With his hopes of a win ticking away, Nikos executed a perfect two-point reversal as time expired and emerged with a huge win over one of Milton’s best wrestlers. The win highlighted Belmont Day’s big day as they traveled to Milton and took 6 of 8 matches from the Mustangs. Kaden Flummerfelt, Quinn Clark, Quinn McCaffrey, Ellis Anderson, and Peter Kurtz all recorded wins in the first interscholastic wrestling competitions of their careers. With such a resounding victory for the inexperienced Belmont Day squad, the team has reset their expectations for the new year and will head into break riding high.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
More Athletics News
- Olivia Dawson and Kalkidan Shiferaw are both off to a great start and will provide a physical presence down low for the girls’ JV basketball team this winter.
- The boys’ JV basketball team has been receiving spirited play from newcomers Luke Brenneman, Louis Cantor, and Rhys Kaplan on both ends of the floor.
- Seventh grade classmates Sebastian Colberg, Daniel Peregudov, and Angel Geng have all shown promise on the fencing strip this winter.
- Ana McEleney, Juliana Li, and Nicky Mattox were elected to serve as captains of the volleyball team. It is each athlete’s second captaincy of the year.
Science in Seventh Studies Cellular Structure
After completing a survey of the different domains and kingdoms of life, students began investigating different characteristics of living things and how cellular structure gives rise to these traits. This week, seventh graders completed a lab to answer the question, “How do plants get water from the soil?” In order to do this, we compared the size of potatoes soaked in salt water versus regular water. This helped us better understand diffusion, and how the structure of the plant cell membrane facilitates osmosis.
– Leal Carter, grades 7 & 8 science teacher
Parents’ Association News
Mark your calendar for the next PA meeting on Friday, January 21 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom. Link for the meeting is available on the Parent Portal.
Thank You from the BDS Faculty
We would like to thank the parent community for their support and generosity. Through the faculty holiday gift fund, every faculty member (teaching and non-teaching) received a $100 gift card of their choice the Belmont Books, Cuveé Fine Wines, Quebrada, or Element Massage. We are forever grateful for the care and love the community has for our faculty.
Virtual Mad Science – Marvels of Motion
Wednesday, December 29, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Belmont Public Library will host this virtual and interactive event all about the fundamentals of moving science with Newton’s Laws of Motion. Discover the science of gravity and balance, kinetic beads, and watch us remove a tablecloth without clearing the table! All of these experiments are done with household objects. This event is free and open to all. Click here to register.
Donate Dream Street to Boston Public Schools
Still time to donate a book! Related to the recent virtual visit by Dream Street author, Tricia Elam Walker, and illustrator, Ekua Holmes, (see Library News above) Belmont Books and the Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury, are teaming up for a donation program to get copies of the book to students in the Boston Public Schools. Between now and December 31, all donations to Read It Forward will go towards the purchase of copies of Dream Street for Boston public schools that participated in today’s multi-school virtual event with Ekua Holmes and Tricia Elam Walker.
How does it work? Make a donation of $20, and the stores will deliver two copies of Dream Street to a participating school. Make a donation of $40 and they will deliver four copies to these schools. Or make a donation of any size you want, and they’ll deliver as many books as they can for that amount. The more donations made, the more books will be delivered!