Kindergartners had a great time in the snow this week!
Message from Head of School
Why a PD Day on a Friday in December?
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: December 6, 2019
During a week following a holiday break, and with a snow day thrown in for good measure, you may be wondering about the timing of today’s in-service day for faculty.
The answer has as much to do with the faculty that were not on campus today as it does with those who were. Today is day three of the four-day NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) taking place in Seattle. As we usually do, a contingent of BDS faculty of color is attending the conference which serves as equal parts professional development, affirmation, and restoration. POCC is the National Association of Independent School’s largest annual conference by attendance–over 6,000 attendees every year–and the majority of those in attendance are faculty of color from schools around the country.
I had the good fortune to attend the past two POCC conferences. It was at last year’s in Nashville, that I had a conversation with colleagues from other schools about our shared wish that the faculty back on our campuses could be engaging in similar work and dialogue. POCC is a truly immersive professional development experience that demands brave and authentic engagement from participants. Our faculty have reported that ‘re-entry’ to school on the Monday following the conference has been complicated and challenging for them. I believe this is because, at least in part, our colleagues of color were away exploring at great depth the relationship between their identity and their practice, and they returned to a community that had not been engaged in this work.
Which brings me back to today. Led exclusively by Director of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Carlos Hoyt, today’s experience was part of regular monthly PD that is built into our faculty meeting schedule. Our goals are fostering an equitable community and deepening our culture of inclusive practice. By scheduling this particular day to be engaged in a dialogue about one of the most challenging aspects of inclusivity—race—we make an important statement to our colleagues of color. We affirm that we are all part of the effort that moves Belmont Day along to be its most aspirational best—a vibrant, diverse, inclusive school that recognizes that equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive ideas, but mutually reliant ones. Upon their return, our faculty attending POCC can enter into a dialogue that has already begun with colleagues that have done their own intentional work.
Next year, our in-service professional development day will not take place on a Friday. In all likelihood, it will, as it has in years past, fall on the Monday following a vacation like winter break. This year, it fell today because of our commitment as a whole community to ensure that every student will benefit from a faculty deeply committed to the excellence that diversity brings to Belmont Day.
Have a great weekend.
Our middle school athletes are back this week for the start of the winter season. Go Blue & Gold!
This Coming Week at BDS
December 9 to December 14
Monday, December 9
8:15–8:45 a.m., Erskine Library Shelving Social
7–8:30 p.m., Parent Learning Forum: Singapore Math, Coolidge Hall
Tuesday, December 10
Faculty Appreciation Breakfast
Wednesday, December 11
Book Fair, Erskine Library
8:15–9:15 a.m., PA Executive Committee, Head’s Office
Thursday, December 12
Book Fair, Erskine Library
Friday, December 13
Book Fair, Erskine Library
8:15–9 a.m., Enrichment Committee, Green Room
8–10 a.m., Strategic Planning Committee, Coolidge Hall
8:50–9:35 a.m., Cross-Graded Partners
Saturday, December 14
10–11 a.m., STEAM Saturdays 2
Parent Learning Forum: Singapore Math
Please join us for our second Singapore Math parent learning forum on Monday, December 9, 7–8:30 p.m. in Coolidge Hall. Our math consultant, Kevin Mahoney, will give a brief overview of the program, its unique aspects, and how parents can support their children at home. Childcare will be provided and is limited to 12 children. To register for childcare, please contact Deborah Brissenden.
The parents’ association is excited to host the annual book fair—it is always a fun time and a great opportunity to browse new titles and pick out books for your home or for gifts. Students will visit the book fair with their classes and parents can stop in at their convenience. Click here for more detailed information on the fair.
- Wednesday, December 11: 7:30 am to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, December 12: 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.
- Friday, December 13: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The PA is also looking for volunteers to help with the book fair. Please see the PA News below for more information.
Lunch & Snack Menu
December 9 to December 13
Snack: granola bars; fruit cups
Lunch: cheese lasagna; broccoli; crusty rolls; Italian salad
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: ham and cheese croissant; peas and carrots; pretzels; baby spinach with goat cheese, cranberries, and sherry vinaigrette
Snack: Tostitos; apples
Lunch: crispy Italiano pollock fish sandwich; green beans; sweet potato fries; broccoli salad
Snack: Cheez-Its; raisins
Lunch: cheese pizza; pepperoni pizza; primavera vegetable; chef’s choice salad
Family Fun Night
Saturday, January 11, 4–7 p.m.
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! If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions about the event, please contact Cathy Fullerton or Morgen Bergman or si
Wrestling Prepares for Sophomore Season
After breaking onto the wrestling scene a year ago, Belmont Day is prepared to take its program to the next level this winter. Under the tutelage of head coach Brian Laskowski, five wrestlers return from last year’s squad including eighth grade standouts Xander Lightbody, Evan Seymour, and Theo von Gottberg. Joining the veterans is a group of eight newcomers who will add some depth to the experience that already exists. The team kicks off its interscholastic season next week at home versus Lexington Christian.
More Athletics News
- Alexander Colangelo and Aaron Radke were the lone underclassmen to earn spots on the boys’ varsity basketball team this winter. The team squares off against Park next week.
- After successful seasons on the JV team last year, Kiki Friedbauer and Lynn Lewis earned spots on the girls’ varsity basketball team this winter thanks to their energy on the court.
- Scott Abbott, Ashley Luo, and Orion Schrag are the only eighth graders on the 17-player fencing roster. The trio will be counted on to provide leadership to the program this winter.
- Aaniya Riddick and Michelle Mejia-Levy return for their second year of volleyball and are looking forward to competing in a full schedule of intrasquad matches his winter.
- Sue Kelman, Milly Noble, and Amanie Yusef return for their second year of JV basketball and are hoping to lead the team to some victories on the hardwood this season.
- Elijah Allen, Henry Monroe, and Toby Gauld brought great energy to basketball tryouts and will be counted on to play significant minutes for the JV team this winter.
Creative Quilting in Fourth Grade
Students in fourth grade are making their own hand-sewn quilts in art class. They looked at a variety of examples including Gee Bends quilts from Georgia, Harriet Powers’ story quilts, and other American quilting traditions based on geometric patterns. Students first made a paper design using rulers, pencils, and templates. Next, they cut shapes in fabric for their quilt top. Each quilt will be made with three layers: a top, the center, or the batting layer, and the back. The students will sew these layers together and then add quilting stitches with sewing machines to complete these projects.
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
New Toy Drive for Bridget Brigade
We hope you will consider donating a toy for the Bridget Brigade Foundation, a charity that supports local families with a critically ill child.
New, unwrapped toys in the $10 to $15 range for children of all ages are welcome in the collection box located in the gallery, now through Friday, December 13. As these gifts are for children in the hospital please be mindful of the size of the toys. No batteries, please.
Share the Warmth Drive
The Share the Warmth clothing drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons is underway now through Thursday, December 19. Since 1992, the drive has been a community service commitment and leadership opportunity for our fifth grade students. Cradles to Crayons delivers necessities to underprivileged families in Massachusetts. This includes clothes, hygiene products, and winter gear.
We will be accepting the following donations in sizes for infants to middle schoolers:
- Socks, pajamas, and underwear (must be new)
- Sweaters, sweatshirts, pants, gloves, hats, coats, boots, and shirts (gently used)
- Hygiene products (must be new)
You can bring your donations to the boxes in the lobby or the fifth grade classroom, room 247. Thank you!
Middle School Model UN Conference
In late November, 17 Belmont Day students took part in the Middle School Model UN Conference, sponsored by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston. The event drew nearly 600 area middle schoolers and was held at Northeastern University. Students had prepared during clubs time, doing research, writing position papers, and practicing opening statements. At the conference itself, students engaged in deep discussions on several world issues. Our club showed courage, good humor, collaboration, and a dedication to excellence, in addition to care for the larger world.
The participating students and their topics were: Davin Roy, Ruby Kokinos, and Vivian Chuang: air pollution; Ella Blecher, Bonnie Wang, Lucy Zhang, and Ella Thompson: access to education for women and girls; Cameron Colbert, Aaron Radke, Bree LeGrand, and Ana McEleney: food security; Miranda Harlow, Kenna Schneider, Margot Klug, and Tomás Wright-Katz: asylum for refugees; Zephy Borisy and Dana Chang: South Sudan.
SUMMER CAMP NEWS
Future Leaders Program Information Sessions
Attention all 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 one of the following information sessions at Belmont Day School:
- Tuesday, December 10 at 5 p.m.
- Friday, January 10 at 4 p.m.
Please contact Joe Jean-Mary, summer programs administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Potluck & Performances Planned for February
Save the date! Our ensembles team is planning a fun potluck dinner and concert for Wednesday, February 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Palandjian Arts Center. Details are currently being worked out and will be shared in the Scoop after the start of the new year. Stay tuned and if you have any questions, please contact Susan Dempsey.
Tips for Safe Online Shopping
Online shopping can be fun and convenient especially as we head into the holiday season. However, we advise that you exercise a bit of caution before you click on those alluring pop-up offers and be aware of gift card scams. This recent article offers a list of online shopping safety tips that are helpful in protecting you throughout the year.
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.
Thursday, December 19
6:30 p.m. in the Downing Gym
We hope you will join us for this annual celebration of the season, our community, and our students’ musical development. Below are the details and logistics for all students and their families.
Ensemble/Middle School Chorus Members: black on bottom, white on top
Lower School Chorus Members and all other students: dressy, festive attire
Arrival at BDS:
Parking: Please coordinate your plans so that the fewest possible cars arrive on campus that evening as parking is limited, especially if there is snow. The processional of students into the Downing Gym will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
Meeting Times and Places for Students
Ensemble Students: Please meet in the following places at 5:45 p.m.
- Chorus: Music Room
- Orchestra: Downing Gym
- Wind Ensemble: Downing Gym
- Guitar Ensemble: Polygon
- Drumming Ensemble: Green Room
All other students: Please meet in the following places at 6 p.m.
- Pre-k through Grade 5: Homerooms/Classrooms
- Grade 6: Room 269 (Mr. Spencer’s Room)
- Grades 7 and 8: Kiva
Families and visitors who are dropping off ensemble students before 6 p.m. are invited to meet in the front lobby and Gallery of the Schoolhouse. At 6 p.m. we welcome all parents into the Downing. At 6:20 p.m. we ask families/visitors to find their seats, so students may line up for the processional.
Pre-k and kindergarten families will sit with their families after their performance.
Grades 1-8 families may sit anywhere in the gym, except the rows reserved for pre-k and kindergarten families, and for classes. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Following the concert, students may be picked up from their assigned meeting spaces (see above.)
After School Students
Students who are usually enrolled in after school on Thursdays and who will not be going home before the concert will be supervised by the after school staff until their usual pick-up time at 5:30 p.m. A pizza dinner will be provided. If your child cannot eat this meal, please pack a bag dinner. Families should plan to bring their child’s concert dress so that they can change before going to their assigned meeting spaces. Families are responsible for supervising their children from 5:30 until either 5:45 or 6 p.m. (see scheduled arrival times above.)
Please make sure you inform the after school team if your child is staying until 5:30 p.m. and will be eating pizza.
A Note About Weather
If there is significant snow on the evening of the event, we may have to postpone the concert. We will use our ConnectEd communications platform to inform you should we need to reschedule.
Parents’ Association News
Book Fair: Call for Volunteers
We are getting ready for the annual book fair and would love your help. The fair will be held in the Erskine Library from Wednesday, December 11 to Friday, December 13.
Any time you can offer is appreciated. Volunteer shifts are available in one- or two-hour time slots. Partial shift requests can be accommodated.
Book Fair volunteer hours:
- Tuesday, December 10: Set-up from 1 to 3:20 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 11: 7:30 am to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, December 12: 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.
- Friday, December 13: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by clean-up from 1 to 4 p.m.
Please see our sign-up on SignUp.com to review and choose the spot(s) you would like. You do not need to register an account or keep a password to sign up. The website does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Nareeluck Stephenson who can sign up on your behalf.
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. More information on supporting professional development will be sent out directly to all families in a separate email.
We would like to thank Katherine Sayn-Wittgenstein for the lovely winter-themed centerpieces the students and faculty have been enjoying in Coolidge Hall.
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!
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.