Second and fifth grade students enjoy an activity during cross-graded partners last Friday.
Message from Head of School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: December 7, 2018
For those of you who are new to the BDS community, I want to share with you the story of the beautiful fir tree that stands beside our new driveway and overlooks Far Field. That special tree will soon be bedecked with lights and ornaments and has flourished on our campus for over a decade to honor the memory of a beloved member of our community.
The story of this tree is captured wonderfully in this article, written by Jill Becker P ’14. Enjoy, and have a great weekend.
A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP: THE L & L TREE
by Jill Becker P ’14, reprinted annually since the February 16,
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.
Middle school students participated in the second annual Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival this week.
This Coming Week at BDS
December 10 through 14
Monday, December 10
Hannukah ends at sundown
8:15–9:15 a.m., Head of School Forum, Coolidge Hall
Tuesday, December 11
6:00 p.m., Parent SEED Group, Erskine Library
Thursday, December 13
5:00 p.m., Future Leaders Info Session, Erskine Library
6–8:00 p.m., Barn Opening Celebration, the Barn
Friday, December 14
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association, Coolidge Hall
8:50–9:35 a.m., Barn Sharing Assembly, the Barn
9:30–11:00 a.m., Admissions Casual Friday
Head of School Forum
Monday, December 10, 8:15 to 9:15 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Join Brendan Largay for a discussion on the impact of our new program design. Q&A will follow the presentation. Refreshments will be served.
Let’s Celebrate the Barn Opening!
Thursday, December 13, 6 to 8:00 p.m.
Come tour the new classrooms, hear remarks from school leaders, and enjoy food and drink.
Please email [email protected] to RSVP.
This event is for adults only. Students will have their own celebration on Friday morning at the first Sharing Assembly in the Barn.
Book Fair Orders Arrive Soon
Book orders are being processed by Porter Square Books and should be ready early next week and delivered to your child’s cubby or alternative requested destination by mid-week. For any questions or concerns, contact book fair co-chair Nareeluck Stephenson.
Important Information About Parking and Idling
Now through January 7, 2019
As we prepare to open the Barn (next week!), we are finalizing details for traffic flow and parking on campus.
We ask parents to park in the parking area behind the Palandjian Arts Center and in the upper lot closest to the Barn if you need to come
Thank you for your cooperation!
Belmont Day Campus Is an Idle-free Zone
Thanks to an initiative organized by
Not only is idling bad for the environment, but it also creates emissions that are unhealthy for our children. Idling unnecessarily for more than five minutes is also illegal. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, section 16A).
Please shut off your vehicle’s engine while waiting in line during dismissal.
Lunch & Snack Menu
Snack: chocolate chip cookies; fruit cup
Lunch: Asian-style chicken and noodles; stir fry blend; Italian salad
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: cider and herb roasted pork; broccoli; herb roasted potatoes; baby spinach with goat cheese, cranberries and sherry vinaigrette
Snack: Tostitos; apples
Lunch: fish ‘n chips; citrus roasted Acadian redfish; sweet potato fries; broccoli salad
Snack: Cheez-Its; raisins
Lunch: roasted pumpkin soup; turkey and cheese panini; ocean blend vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower); chef’s choice salad
WINTER CONCERT: Logistics & Directions
Thursday, December 20
6:30 p.m. in the Barn
- Ensemble/chorus members: black on bottom, white on top
- All other students: dressy, festive attire
Parking at Belmont Day
Please coordinate your plans so that the fewest possible cars arrive on campus. Parking is limited, especially if there is snow. The processional of students into the concert space will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
Meeting Times and Places for Students
- Chorus: 5:45 p.m. (Music Room)
- Orchestra: 5:30 p.m. (far side of Barn gym)
- Guitar ensemble, wind ensemble, and drumming ensemble: 5:45 p.m. (far side of Barn gym)
- Grades 6 to 8: 6:00 p.m. (PAC)
- All other students arrive at 6:00 p.m. and go directly to assigned spaces in the Barn:
- Pre-k and kindergarten: innovation studio (1st floor)
- Grade 1: Armstrong art studio (2nd floor)
- Grade 2: Solomon art studio (2nd floor)
- Grade 3: conference room (2nd floor)
- Grade 4: woodworking studio (1st floor)
- Grade 5: science classroom (2nd floor)
Families and visitors who are dropping off ensemble students BEFORE 6:00 p.m. are invited to meet in the Barn lobby and gallery. At 6:00 p.m. we welcome all parents into the Barn gym. At 6:20 p.m. we ask families/visitors to find their seats, so the students may line up for the processional.
- Pre-k and kindergarten families are seated in the first few rows.
- Grade one to eight families may sit anywhere in the gym, except the first few rows, and in seats reserved for classes. Seating is first come, first served.
Following the concert, students may be picked up from their assigned spaces (see above.) Note that chorus members and six, seventh, and eighth graders will meet families either in the lobby or the concert area of the Barn.
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 after school staff and provided with a pizza dinner. If your child cannot eat this meal, please provide a bagged dinner. Families should plan to bring a change of clothes for their children who will change in the Schoolhouse before going to their assigned rooms in the Barn.
Please make sure you inform the after school staff if your child will be staying through until the concert.
A Note About The Weather
If there is significant snow on the day of the event, we may have to postpone the concert. We will communicate with you as soon as possible if rescheduling is necessary.
Volleyball Takes Flight
John O’Neill, Director of Athletics
After being taught in lower school physical education classes for years, volleyball was introduced as a middle school athletics offering for the first time this winter.
More Athletics News
- The badminton team introduced a Harry Potter-style system this week, dividing their 18-player team into three separate six-player houses. Classmates Eden Lewis and Sophie Myers have bought in to the new structure and are both off to a great start.
- The wrestling team held joint practices with Belmont Hill this week. The
sixth gradetrio of Cameron Colbert, Chris McEvoy, and Harry Reitshamer all held their own against some experienced competition on the mat. The team heads to Fessenden next week.
- Siblings Rosie (sixth grade) and Orion (seventh grade) Schrag have been great additions to the fencing team, which prepares to embark on its most ambitious interscholastic schedule in program history. Currently, the 15-person team is scheduled for nine matches.
- With no eighth graders on the squad, this year’s boys’ JV basketball team will be counting on
seventh gradeclassmates Jack Abruzzi, Noah Burd, Quinn Foley, Cole Sparks, and Theo Wallach to provide leadership both on and off the court for the 16-player roster.
- Ellie Kadnar and Alice Morton have set a strong example early on for the girls’ JV basketball team. Second-year head coach Andy Rentschler is excited about the season as a whole, and in particular about the focused play of Kadnar and Morton.
Fiber Arts Students Create Colorful and Unique Projects
Kathy Jo Solomon, Visual Arts Teacher
Middle school students in quilting and knitting arts electives have been making great progress on their individual projects over the past few weeks. In quilting, the students have been working through the process of first deciding on a figurative or geometric quilt style, then planning and designing the layout. Next, they have been carefully measuring and cutting fabric pieces to ensure that they will fit accurately in the finished quilt.
The students in knitting have been working on either a hat, scarf, or pair of mittens. Their great color choices and slow-and-steady approach are yielding great results! Each student can also knit a square for a community blanket that will be donated to Project Linus.
AFTER SCHOOL & ENRICHMENT
Updates for Winter Session
- The winter trimester began Monday, December 3 and runs through Friday, March 15.
- There will be no after school or enrichment classes on Friday, December 21. Please plan accordingly.
- Kindly be aware that after school and enrichment classes will relocate to accommodate gym-level construction during the week of December 17. If you need to pick up outside of our regular dismissal times please check in at the front desk to find out where to meet your child.
- When we return to school after winter break, some classes will be moving to the Barn. Please check in with the front desk to locate your child if you need to pick up outside of dismissal times.
Trimester 1 Reports Have Been Sent
Reports were sent this past Monday afternoon. If you haven’t already seen your child’s report, please check your email.
The reports are password protected: use the password on the inside front cover of this year’s directory to access the report or contact Catherine David for help. You can also download the report directly to your desktop from the email.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s report, please reach out to your child’s teachers or division head.
Lower School Students Learn and Develop New Skills
It was a wonderful November in our physical education classes. We are so thankful to our students for giving their best effort as they learn foundational skills and the benefits of physical activity.
Pre-k students learned how to catch an object. They focused on three skills: following an object with the eyes; grabbing an object with the hands; and bringing an object to their body for control. Students practiced using scarfs, beach balls, and balloons.
In pre-k and kindergarten classes, students reviewed jumping, hopping, and leaping locomotor skills, catching, as well as non-locomotor core and stability skills with balancing. Using a rocket launcher for catching and balance board for stability, students continued to develop their skills. By students revisiting these skills, they will build confidence and strengthen their abilities. Students continued to develop their body control and locomotor skills (gallop and side slide) with musical songs, “Act Like You Are In A Zoo” and “We are Moving Around”. In addition, kindergarten students engaged in exciting and fun group games using the parachute.
In first grade, students continued to develop their ability to move in space, running, and dodging and chasing skills with Line Tag and Turkey Tag. They practiced kicking and dribbling footwork skills. Students also engaged in station activities of kick bowling, dribble obstacle course, and kicking with a soccer net, and a group activity of Stuck In the Mud. In second grade, students focused on catching and striking skills. They used objects of different sizes and shapes to work on individual and partner catching. Catching skills were further developed through group games of Ocean Rescue and station activities involving rings, gator skin balls, and bean bags. Students practiced striking with hands and rackets as well as striking in different ways such as off a tee or with a partner.
In fifth grade, students competed in tournament games in flag football, field hockey, and soccer. They were able to experience athletic competition in small groups with a focus on developing their understanding of the rules and work on their skills in a game situation. In addition, they went for a hike on the trails, learned basic yoga, and did fitness training. They continued to develop and build up their fitness with spin bike workouts, agility ladder training, and planks.
Physical Education Article of the Month:
Check out this great article on how a young female basketball player is helping to change the world and inspire:
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” – Nelson Mandela
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & HONORS
Faculty Attend NAIS People of Color Conference
The largest contingent of faculty and staff in Belmont Day history represented the school at the 2018 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference, entitled “Equitable Schools and Inclusive Communities: Harmony, Discord, and the Notes in Between,” held recently in Nashville, Tennessee. The team from BDS joined a record number of attendees for this important conference.
Director of Admissions Audra McFarland was a panel presenter on the experiences of multiracial female leaders in independent schools.
To coincide with the conference,
Debbie Grossman Honored by ADL New England
From Debbie’s award bio: “Debbie is a proud supporter of ADL and is passionate about the organization’s mission of fighting anti-Semitism, advocating for civil rights and securing equity and fair treatment for all.”
Countdown to Getting ALL IN: Two Weeks to Go!
Trustees are 100% in and our faculty and staff are 100% in. Parents are currently 55% in. Parents, it’s your turn to get 100%
We have committed ourselves to get every member of our parent community to make a pledge or gift to the annual fund. If you prefer to make your gift in the spring, no worries! Just make a pledge today by either emailing Beth Sousa or mailing in your pledge card. Your pledge will be counted as your participation toward getting us 100% ALL IN for BDS and you will receive a pledge reminder in spring 2019.
You should have already received a letter and a pledge card in your mailbox. If you prefer to make your gift by credit card, you can make your gift online today.
As always, please reach out to Beth Sousa, associate director of development and annual giving, with any questions. Thank you!
Latin Students Create Signet Rings
Students in sixth grade Latin class recently took on a project of making individual signet rings. After reading about a trade deal gone wrong between merchants in Pompeii, we learned about the importance of a Roman signum and
These rings and wax tablets were used in Ancient Rome just as a signature is used today. Each ring would be unique to its owner, just as our signatures are! Each of us planned out designs and then carved those designs into
The clay was baked in an oven and hot glued to a ring blank. We then got to take home our masterpieces! We tried pressing them into putty and were so impressed with the end result. This was an extremely fun project and it was a great way to learn about signatures and trade in Ancient Rome.
– Erika Tinmouth ’21 & Ms. Buck, Latin Teacher
Share the Warmth Donation Drive
Through Wednesday, December 19
The fifth grade Share the Warmth collection for Cradles to Crayons continues.
Items needed 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
Through Friday, January 11
Our book drive kicked off last week during the parents’ association book fair. The book drive will be part of this year’s activities to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and donations will be distributed to several non-profit organizations. Gently used children’s books in all genres and for all ages will be accepted.
Parents’ Association News
PA Meeting in the Barn
Friday, December 14 from 8:30 to 8:50 a.m.
Please join us for the next PA Meeting which will be held in advance of the first sharing assembly that will take place the Barn. We will meet in the mezzanine to discuss traffic and logistics upon our return from winter break in January.
Thank you to all who have already sent in their PA dues! Dues will continue to be collected throughout the year with funds going to support our high-quality enrichment programs, provide appreciation gifts to the teachers, and help support memorable activities like the Halloween Parade and Family Fun Night.
Parent Book Club
Schedule for December and January
Thanks to everyone who joined us in November! We hope to see you next time:
Tuesday, December 18 – Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Tuesday, January 15 – A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
All meetings will be held in the Erskine Library from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. Refreshments will be provided. Please contact Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
Book Fair Orders on the Way!
Book orders are being processed by Porter Square Books and should be ready early next week and delivered to your child’s cubby or
Donations Accepted Through January 25
There is still time to solicit a donation or donate an item or service to the auction. Donations will be accepted through January 25.
- Do you have an item you would like to donate or a special talent that you are willing to share with some students and or parents, such as sports tickets, vacation home, leading a baking class, knitting class, a private yoga session, etc.? Contact [email protected]
- Reach out to a potential donor and share with them how they can help support Belmont Day School. And be sure to highlight the benefits for their business by being seen by our vibrant community of over 300 attendees at the auction!
- Do you own a business, or have a friend that owns their own business and are looking to get some exposure to the BDS community? Visit our website for more information and to download a solicitation form!
Massachusetts Youth Symphony Project at Powers Music School Winter Concert
Sunday, December 16, 3:00 p.m., Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington
If you love classical music, you won’t want to miss the MYSP annual winter concert. BDS eighth grader Vivian Danahy will be playing cello as a member of this fine youth orchestra. Admission is free and all are welcome!
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