Students in the winter season intramural games group enjoyed an afternoon of sledding after the last storm.
Message from Head of School
Winter Break Reflection
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: December 20, 2019
As Jim Walker, our intrepid associate director of marketing and communications noted in his weekly appeal for me to write this week, this is the last Scoop article of the decade. While my reflections on the decade itself will come in the new year, I cannot imagine a better voice to carry us into the holidays and another decade than the lyrical voice of Robert Frost. Today, at our Share the Warmth assembly, I shared this winter poem that captures both the beauty and the hope of the season. I share it with you in the same spirit and wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season.
Birches, by Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
Happy holidays, everyone! See you in the next decade.
Exploring the fun of shadows in the World of Mad Science enrichment class.
This Coming Week at BDS
January 6 to January 11
School Closed for Winter Break until Monday, January 6, 2020
Monday, January 6
Camp Registration Opens
Tuesday, January 7
8–9 a.m., Grade 8 Parent Coffee, Coolidge Hall
6–9 p.m., Parent SEED Group, Erskine Library
Wednesday, January 8
3:30 p.m., Boys’ Varsity Basketball at Rashi; Girls’ Varsity Basketball vs Meadowbrook; Girls’ JV Basketball at Meadowbrook; Boys’ JV Basketball vs Meadowbrook; Wrestling vs Roxbury Latin
Thursday, January 9
3:30 p.m., Fencing at Beaver Country Day
Friday, January 10
8:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association, Coolidge Hall
8:50–9:35 a.m., Sharing Assembly, Barn Gym
10–11 a.m., Drop-In Camp Tour
4–5 p.m., Future Leaders Info Session, Erskine Library
Saturday, January 11
8 a.m.–12 p.m., Prospective Student Visits – Pre-kindergarten
4–7 p.m., Family Fun Night, Palandjian Arts Center
Family Fun Night
Saturday, January 11, 4–7 p.m.
Palandjian Arts Center
Plan ahead to join the parents’ association for the annual Family Fun Night! 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!
Summer Camp Registration Opens January 6
While the weather outside might be frightful, here’s something delightful: registration for summer 2020 programs opens on Monday, January 6, at 12 p.m.! To review all the great summer options, including the Swim and Tennis Association, and for registration, please visit our camp website. If you have any questions, please get in touch at [email protected] or (617) 932-3893.
Lunch & Snack Menu
January 6 to January 10
Snack: granola bars; fruit cups
Lunch: cheese ravioli; chef’s choice vegetable; warm French rolls; mixed greens with balsamic
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: chicken vegetable fried rice, vegetable fried rice; chef’s choice vegetable; bok choi and Mandarin orange with soy-sesame dressing
Snack: Cheez-Its; apples
Lunch: herb-roasted salmon; chef’s choice vegetable; garlicky Israeli couscous; spinach salad with pomegranate and cider vinaigrette
Snack: Cape Cod chips; clementines
Lunch: butternut squash soup; chef’s choice vegetable; Caesar salad
Parent Learning Forum: Connected Math
Monday, January 13, 8–8:50 a.m.
Middle school math teachers will present an overview of the scope and sequence covered this fall, an example of a typical math lesson, and ways to support your child at home. Keep an eye out for a brief survey that will be sent out before the forum. Your responses will help us design an event that is tailored to your needs.
Team Effort Lifts Varsity Hoops Over Charles River
The boys’ varsity basketball team improved to 1-1 on the season with a hard-fought win over Charles River this week. After taking a six-point lead into the half, the Blue & Gold withstood the visitors’ second-half run and held on for a three-point win. As time ticked down, the home team put the ball in Owen Finnerty’s hands and the eighth grade co-captain didn’t disappoint. He netted 4 points within the final minute to seal the deal. Fellow co-captain Owen Khanna also finished strong with nine second-half points of his own. Also providing a spark for Belmont Day was Miles Sandoski who was active on both ends of the floor throughout the entire game.
More Athletics News
- Kiki Friedbauer’s late bucket proved the be the game-winner as girls’ varsity basketball hung on for a dramatic 30-29 win over Charles River this week. Elizabeth Amaratunga worked hard under the basket all game long.
- Belmont Day wrestling won 6 of 15 matches against Beaver and Park this week. Ben Rowe won by first period pinfall, while the team’s tri-captains, Xander Lightbody, Evan Seymour, and Theo von Gottberg, all won with first period pins.
- Sixth grade newcomers Nicky Mattox, Lucy Targum, and Lucy Zhang have been working hard on the volleyball court this winter. The talented trio is excited to begin intramural competition following the winter break.
- The fencing team selected captains this week with each weapon group being recognized. Ashley Luo will lead the epee crew and will be joined by Scott Abbott for saber, and Aviva Pearlmutter-Bearson for foil.
New Mobile Installed in Coolidge Hall
If you’ve looked up from your lunch this week, you may have noticed something new suspended from the ceiling of Coolidge Hall. A playful new mobile was recently installed by woodworking teacher Mr. Smith. The colorful piece was created by students in his Mobiles class. In this arts elective, middle school students first made a mobile of their own and then decided to team up and make one together. Each student created an element of their own interest to contribute to the finished piece.
Wondering which student created which piece for the mobile? Read the dropdown below!
Student and their creation:
- Kiki Friedbauer – Tetrahedral Globe
- Henry Monroe – Gears
- Ripley Bright – Unicorn
- Milly Noble – Soccer Ball
- Aviva Pearlmutter-Bearson – Paint Spill
- Sarah McPeek – Fish
- Julia Clayton – Pumpkin
- Audrey Wu – Infinity Loop
- Lauren Kopperl – Wings
- Miranda Harlow – Globe
- Lucy Myers – Flowers
PHYSICAL EDUCATION NEWS
Great Energy Heading Into Winter Break
If there is one thing we are sure of in physical education, it’s that heading into a break, our students definitely won’t take a break from being physically active. The action has been intense, and they’ve been preparing for it all year, working on skills as individuals, then in pairs, and finally, as teams. And we’ve been thrilled to award extra points for displays of sportsmanship, recognizing our students who are leading by example, and listening to the communication of our students complimenting each other’s achievements, as ultimately we are all one team at BDS.
In Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grade 1, our students used pool noodles and foam balls to learn and develop the foundational skills of striking while also tapping into the winter theme and “ice skating” in the gym space and working in pairs to knock down and build up snow forts and snow sculptures.
Grades 3 and 4 honed in on their Pillo Polo skills of dribbling, passing, and moving with and without the ball. After developing individual skills, the focus was on teamwork and how to use the skills during group games. Students seized the opportunity to give each other shoutouts for displaying acts of good sportsmanship and kindness during the game. Grade 5 entered into winter sport-specific introductory units of volleyball and wrestling while wrapping up a grade favorite, intramural badminton competition just before the break.
Every class is beginning grade-appropriate exercise circuits, and all of our students have risen to the challenge. Activities include running laps, jumping hurdles, moving through agility ladders, perfecting planks, navigating the hula hoop walls, completing box jumps, shaking out battle ropes, pushing the sleds, and slamming medicine balls. If you get snowed in this winter break, fear not—your children will have plenty of options for staying active. Just don’t blame us when the broom becomes a Pillo Polo stick!
As many of you already know, librarian Amy Sprung is expecting her second child in late December. Amy will start her maternity leave after winter break and will return in September.
Please join us in wishing Amy, her husband, Marc, and son, Harry, many congratulations and warm wishes as they anticipate welcoming the new addition to their family!
Julie Saidenberg, Interim Librarian
We enthusiastically welcome Julie Saidenberg to Belmont Day as our interim librarian. Julie is completing her master’s degree in library and information science at Simmons University. Her past experiences in publishing and book marketing add to her knowledge of diverse children’s books and resources. Julie brings with her a great enthusiasm for literature and is eager to start working with our students, faculty, and families. She will be with us in the Erskine Library until June.
One Year of Solar Savings
This past week, we marked the first year anniversary of the Barn opening. The Barn allowed the school to adopt a number of energy efficiencies including adding a large solar array on its roof. We are pleased to report that after one year of operation, the solar array has produced 69.98 MWh (Megawatts), which equals approximately 15% of the Barn’s total energy usage. This is important as all of the building’s systems are driven by electricity. Because the school receives power from Belmont Light, a municipal power company, the school is not eligible for state or federal rebates. The installation of the solar array is both a commitment to stewardship of our environment and a cost-conscience investment saving operational funds.
Overall this past year, the use of the solar array has saved us from creating an additional 108,427.16 lbs of CO2 emissions. That is the equivalent of:
- driving 120,250 miles by a mid-size car.
- consuming 5,534 gallons of gasoline or 4,831 gallons of diesel fuel.
- burning 53,767 pounds of coal.
- 2,146 trash bags of waste being recycled instead of being sent to a landfill.
- replacing 1868 incandescent light bulbs with LED lights.
Finally, the energy we saved is equivalent to planting 2,731 trees, with all the associated benefits they bring in our lives. We look forward to continued efficiencies in 2020 and beyond!
Check out our Solar Kiosk for a live glimpse at the daily energy production and the collateral environmental savings and benefits produced by this installation.
– Corrado Paramithiotti, Director of Operations
Student Featured on Globe’s Front Page
It was a delight to see Belmont Day kindergartner Isaac Holbert featured in a front-page photo in the Boston Globe earlier this week. The photo of Isaac sharing a wonderful moment with Santa helped tell an important story of parents seeking to find more diverse representations during the holiday season. Click here to read the story.
A Perfect Time to Unplug
Winter break and the holidays are here and it’s time to relax and enjoy family and friends. It’s also a good time to give your eyes and mind a break by gifting yourself less screen time. If you find yourself distracted by your digital life check out this Step-by-Step Guide to a Digital Detox Holiday.
Enjoy, and happy holidays from the Tech Office!
– Dolly Ryan, Director of Technology
Parents’ Association News
Do you have a winning spirit? If so, 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!
Save the Date!
Save the date for January 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Paint Night hosted by the Friendraiser Committee. An artist will come to lead participants and everyone will take home their own painted canvas. It will surely be a fun-filled evening shared with friends. More details will follow after winter break. Stay tuned! Please note that this will be an adult-only event.
Classical Music Concert
Once Upon a Time: Piano Rectal
Sunday, December 29 at 2:30 p.m.
Brookline Village Library, 361 Washington Street, Brookline
Celebrate the end of the year with a solo recital through a fairytale narrative with selected works by Boulanger, Prokofiev, 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.
FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL
See Films from Around the World!
January 17 to 20
Belmont World Film 2020 Annual Family Festival is coming soon! Belmont Day is an annual sponsor of this wonderful array of animated and live-action films from all over the world. Screenings are in Belmont, Arlington, and Cambridge. Stay tuned as we’ll have complimentary tickets to raffle.