A quiet moment in eighth grade English class.
Message from Head of School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: February 1, 2019
You can find this week’s Blue Handprint Studios audio below:
Happy February, and, for those invested in the local sports scene…go Patriots!
A quiet, but significant, moment for Belmont Day will occur this Monday, February 4. We will welcome members of the AISNE Membership Committee for the five-year check-in on the recommendations the school received in 2013 through the re-accreditation process. The AISNE accreditation process for member schools is a thorough and robust one. A full year self-study, co-led by Betty Chu Pryor in the 2012-2013 school year, preceded the accreditation visit. The three-day onsite visit resulted in a series of thoughtful recommendations to help ensure that the school is delivering on the educational promise it makes to each family enrolled.
One unique element of the 2013 recommendations is that I was a part of the visiting team that made them. I had the pleasure of re-accrediting the school I would later have the great pleasure to begin leading in 2016. There are very few, if any, heads of school who have had the privilege of responding to the recommendations that they, themselves, wrote. In retrospect, there are a few times I have wanted to have a frank conversation with my 2013 self, but by and large, I am grateful to him and the entire AISNE team for helping to guide our community forward as these recommendations have.
The written responses to each of the recommendations are available on the BDSG Parent Site (to access password protected content, you must log in using the guest email address firstname.lastname@example.org; the password can be found inside your school directory) or in hard copy in the Gallery for those who are interested. The document details some of our work over the past five years at BDS.
Have a great weekend, everyone. And Beat LA!!
2013 AISNE Recommendations
- The Visiting Team recommends that the Board and Head of School utilize the results of the master planning process to determine specific facilities priorities and initiate a capital campaign to raise the necessary resources to achieve them.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the Board and Head outline and implement action to increase the representation of people of color on the Board and in the administration, faculty, and staff at Belmont Day. As part of the strategies, consideration should be given to the resources necessary to initiate and sustain this effort, the time frame required for achieving the outlined goals, and clarity about who holds accountability for making progress.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the academic administration finalize and communicate the process for curriculum documentation, strand review, and assessment and define the administrative and faculty leadership that will sustain an ongoing effort in this area.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the administration establish clear and consistent communication procedures that ensure that the faculty and staff understand the processes for decision making with regard to school-wide initiatives that require their participation. Specific attention should be given to articulating the faculty and staff’s roles in guiding and concluding such work.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the Board and Head initiate a review of the Statement of Purpose with an eye toward achieving more succinct phrasing and incorporating language connected to the significant change when grades seven and eight were added to the school and a Middle School division was established.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the Head of School and administrative team closely monitor the implementation of new and emerging evaluation systems for all constituent groups in the professional community to ensure that these practices are understood, become fully operational and are sustainable.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the administration and faculty address the areas in which the school’s schedule compromises the cohesion of both the academic program and the consistency of the students’ school day with particular attention to schedule challenges in the Middle School.
- The Visiting Team recommends that the Head of School, Assistant Head and the Division Directors, in consultation with the faculty, assess the allocation and use of faculty meeting time to maximize the capacity to address expressed needs for division meeting time and opportunities to consider the and pre-k through
8th gradevertical curriculum. Once this assessment is completed, the administration should consider altering time allocation to ensure that the expressed needs are addressed.
Third grade students are learning about the effects of oil spills.
This Coming Week at BDS
February 2 through February 8
Saturday, Febuary 2
8:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Prospective Student Visits – Kindergarten
8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., AISNE Middle School Students of Color Conference, Buckingham Browne and Nichols School
8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Middle School Classic Basketball Tournament
4:30–7:30 p.m., Family Fun Night, Palandjian Arts Center
Monday, Febuary 4
8:15–9:00 a.m., Grade 2 Parents’ Library Coffee, Erskine Library
4:30–7:30 p.m., Faculty SEED Group, World Language Room
7–8:30 p.m., Intro to High School Placement, Kiva (Postponed to February 28)
Tuesday, February 6
6–9:00 p.m., Parent SEED Group, Coolidge Hall
7–9:00 p.m., Investment Committee, Head’s Office
Wednesday, February 6
12:15–1:45 p.m., Urban Heads Lunch
3:30 p.m., Boys’ JV Baseketball at ISB
Thursday, February 7
3:30 p.m., Boys’ JV Basketball at Carroll; Boys’ Varsity Basketball at Shady Hill; Fencing vs Shady Hill; Girls’ JV Basketball vs Carroll; Girls’ Varsity Basketball vs Shady Hill; Wrestling vs LCA
6–8:00 p.m., Board-Faculty Dinner, Coolidge Hall
Friday, February 8
Spirit Day 2019
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association, Coolidge Hall
8:50–9:35 a.m., Assembly TBD
6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday Night Hoops vs Meadowbrook, The Barn
*Reminder: School will be closed on Monday, February 25 for faculty professional development.
Friday Night Hoops
Friday, February 8
6:30–9:00 p.m., The Barn
Come cheer on the Blue & Gold as the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams take on visiting Meadowbrook School in the sixth annual winter match-up. The girls’ game will tip off at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ game at 8 p.m. Our athletes invite the entire Belmont Day community, including alumni, faculty, students, and families to attend.
And be sure to check out the Roots & Shoots bake sale and take part in their 50/50 raffle and hot shot contest!
Please note that this is not a drop-off event and children must be supervised by parents at all times.
Family Fun Night
Saturday, February 2
4:30–7:30 p.m., Palandjian Arts Center
Wear your pajamas and bring your sleeping bags to the PAC for a showing of The Incredibles 2, starting promptly at 4:30 p.m.! Immediately following the movie, join everyone for pizza and bingo in Coolidge Hall. Pizzas are $10 each and can be ordered at the door when you arrive for the evening. If you have any questions, please contact event co-chairs Catherine Fullerton, Elliot Targum, or Mary Merrill, director of development.
Lunch & Snack Menu
February 4 to February 8
Snack: Teddy Grahams; fruit cup
Lunch: bowtie pasta with chicken, broccoli, and Alfredo sauce; primavera vegetables; warm rolls; Italian-style salad
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: beef meatball submarine sandwiches; green beans; pretzels; broccoli salad
Snack: apple muffins; carrots
Lunch: turkey tacos and veggie tacos with cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa
Snack: chocolate chip cookies; oranges
Lunch: cheese pizza; pepperoni pizza; summer blend vegetables; Caesar salad
Best-selling Authors to Visit BDS
On Thursday, February 14, Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer will present to students in grades four and up.
Holly Goldberg Sloan is a film director, producer, screenwriter, and author of the
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar.
Ms. Sloan (pictured left) and Ms. Wolitzer (pictured right) have collaborated on a soon-to-be-released new book for young readers: To Night Owl From Dogfish.
The authors are joining us courtesy of Belmont Books. The store will be handling the sale of books. If you are interested in getting a signed copy of To Night Owl From Dogfish, please order online from the Belmont Books website, and follow these instructions so that your order will be delivered to BDS for the day of the event. If you have questions, please contact librarian Amy Sprung.
All orders are due by Thursday, February 7. We cannot guarantee any orders made after that date will arrive in time for the visit.
STUDENT RE-ENROLLMENT CONTRACTS
The school has launched a new digital system for the student re-enrollment process. We will use DocuSign, a secure cloud-based platform.
This new system allows the contract process to be conducted online. Over the weekend you will receive an email from Fred Colson, director of finance, with more information about the new process. On Monday, February 4 you will receive an email with a link to access your student’s electronic reservation and enrollment package.
Badminton Program Strong As Ever
John O’Neill, Director of Athletics
After spearheading an interscholastic middle school badminton league six years ago, Belmont Day found itself as the only school left standing this winter. Despite the lack of opponents, the program is as strong as ever and welcomed a record 18 athletes to the team this year. Thanks in large part to its core group of eighth graders, including team captains Colton Largay and Sophie Myers, the team’s spirit never wavered and athletes embraced the unique intramural structure employed by head coach Abbey Nyland.
The team is divided into three squads that compete against each other to earn points (think Harry Potter houses here). Through healthy competition, every athlete has improved his or her skills. Coach Nyland has been particularly impressed with newcomers Charlotte McIntosh (positive attitude and improved serving), Audrey Wu (great teammate and focused approach), Lucy Myers (quick reflexes and well-placed shots), and Ben Rowe (passion for the game and dedicated approach).
More Athletics News
- After beating Fenn by nine on Wednesday, the boys’ varsity basketball team lost its first game of the season (34-33) to a feisty DCD team on Thursday. Jacob Gregor carried the load in both games.
- The girls’ varsity basketball team also split a pair of games this week, beating Nashoba (22-16) and losing to DCD (30-20). Elizabeth Amaratunga was strong offensively, while Margot Klug controlled the D.
- Thierrence Mathurin and Zephy Borisy excelled defensively during the boys’ JV basketball team’s hard-fought loss at home against Fenn this week.
- The girls’ JV basketball team won its third straight game (22-18 over Nashoba) this week, improving to 3-3 on the season. Lynn Lewis led the team with eight points.
- The fencing team toppled BB&N 20-7 this week, improving to 5-1 on the season. Anni Taylor had an impressive win, while Scott Abbott and Devon Holman each won twice.
- Wrestling won 6 of 14 matches against Fenn this week. Julian Tinmouth’s nearfall points with a half nelson earned him a win, while Xander Lightbody’s takedown and pin was the most impressive win of the day.
- Sarah McPeek and Lauren Kopperl had strong defensive games for the volleyball team this week. Aaniya Riddick was fierce at the net, recording her second consecutive strong game.
Sixth Grade Coders Get Things Moving
Kurt Robinson, Innovation and Art Teacher
Executive Functioning and Our Children: Building Strategies for Success
Wednesdays, February 13 and March 27
6:30 to 8 p.m., Erskine Library
Dr. Karen Lindem of Cambridge Center for Neuropsychology and Learning will join us for a 2-part workshop on executive functioning.
Part 1 will take place on Wednesday, February 13. Dr. Lindem will cover cognitive regulation—how children learn to regulate their attention and thought across different environments such as home, school, and playing with friends that may have different demands.
Part 2 will take place on Wednesday, March 27. Dr. Lindem will discuss behavioral/emotional regulation—how children learn to regulate their behaviors, emotions, and even motivation across different environments.
Please join us for one or both of these workshops. Participation is limited to 20 and pre-registration is required. Childcare will be available. Please email Mary Ellen Coyne-Gordon to register.
Second Grade News
Visiting Fifth Grader Teaches the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Second grade has begun its change makers unit, learning about people who have worked toward improving our world. On Monday, Bernie Mattox, second grade alumnus, and one of our fifth grade partners visited our classroom to teach students about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With the support of Ms. Fell, Bernie prepared notes and a PowerPoint presentation on the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. It was a special gift to have our own BDS change maker share Dr. King’s message of helping others and a call-to-action to serve with our younger students.
Echo Magazine Receives Award
Echo, Belmont Day’s middle school literary magazine has received a Merit Award from the National Council of Teachers of English
(NCTE) Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines Program (REALM). The mission of NCTE’s REALM Program is to publicly recognize excellent literary magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers. REALM is designed to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines that celebrate the art and craft of writing. Echo Volume IV, Issue 2 received the award and congratulations go out to the issue’s editorial staff: Elizabeth Amaratunga ’20, Charlotte Brandt ’18, Elena Ferrari ’20, Eden Lewis ’19, Lucy Myers ’21, and Sophie Myers ’19.
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Recognizes Seventh Grader
Elena Ferrari ’20 has received a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key for her poem “You Are Good Enough”. The program recognizes the talent of our nation’s youth and provides opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers, along with the educators who support and encourage the creative process are recognized for excellence annually.
Save The Date: Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety with Katie Greer
Wednesday, March 27 at 7:30 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Greer’s programs, designed to educate students spanning kindergarten to college, are thoughtfully tailored to accommodate the developmental and emotional differences in each age group. She instructs parents, teachers, administrators, and law enforcement officials on internet safety and other issues pertaining to technology safety and responsibility. A former intelligence analyst and director of internet safety for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, Katie has been widely featured in the media.
Dolly Ryan, Director of Technology
Parents’ Association News
Thank you to the O’Sullivan-Cosman family who supplied the lovely floral centerpieces in Coolidge Hall. We still have four open opportunities for others to support this effort. You can sign up here.
Parent Book Club
Please join us to discuss Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover on Wednesday, February 27 from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. in the Erskine Library. Refreshments will be provided. Please contact Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
Family Fun Night, Saturday, February 2, 4:30–7:30 p.m., Palandjian Arts Center
PA Meeting, Friday, February 8, 8:30–9:30 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Shop at Wilson Farm Day, Thursday, February 28, Wilson Farm in Lexington
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.
Please Submit Donation Forms Today!
Today is the deadline for submitting donation forms. If you have any outstanding forms, please contact email@example.com as soon as possible.
Invitations to the auction will be going out very soon! Keep an eye out in your email in the coming weeks for your invitation to the wondrous auction event on April 6.
Do you own or know a business who may be interested in sponsorship opportunities?
We would like to acknowledge and thank our current Wonder sponsors, which include:
Carolyn Atinizian & John Yardemian P’27
One2One Bodyscapes Personal Training
Gail Roberts, Ed Feijo & Team
MANDARINA Interior Design Studio
Keller Williams – Boston and Cambridge Homes, LLC
OTA The Koomar Center
Red Apple Farm
As a sponsor of Wonder, we will put your business in front of the Belmont Day community of families, faculty, and staff of more than 300 people who will learn of your commitment to support our school. Learn more about the support levels that are available.
BDS Student to Perform in Dance Production Celebrating Black History Month
Sankofa: Past | Present | Future
Saturday, February 16, 5 p.m.
Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road,
The Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts and A. Major Dance Company will present a Black History Month tribute, “Sankofa: Past | Present | Future,” a celebration of African-American history from past to present day. BDS second grader Kali Owens-Schwartz will perform a part in this stunning production. Tickets are $30 each and are available online.
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