Ms. Twarog’s third graders are loving a trek in the woods on snowshoes!
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: February 5, 2021
Talk to any local sports fan, and they will quickly tell you that there is no middle ground on how one might view the departure of a beloved superstar athlete to another franchise. For those who remember the 2004 Red Sox, you are likely to remember the speedy and much-beloved center fielder for that team, Johnny Damon. Indeed, if you lived here then, you would be hard-pressed not to remember that team of self-described ‘idiots’ who brought a World Series championship to Fenway Park for the first time in a cursed 86 years.
One year later, following the 2005 season, Johnny Damon would leave the Red Sox to join its historic rival, the New York Yankees!
So many long-suffering Red Sox fans had fallen in love with the 2004 World Series champs that Damon’s departure felt more like a betrayal than an off-season, free-agency move. He was quickly vilified for having chosen the supposed ‘evil empire’ over our hometown rough-and-tumble, ‘Cowboy Up’ band of upstarts here in Boston. Now might be a good time for me to admit that I am speaking personally. I vilified him and still hold him in relative disregard compared with his teammates from that year. That said, I know I’m not alone. Many other people from the area share that opinion as well.
So—and all of you Steelers, Browns, Packers, and Jets fans are likely to know what is coming—what to make of the remarkable success of Tampa Bay’s new quarterback as the team prepares for this Sunday’s Super Bowl?
For those of you who don’t follow professional football, you may not be aware that Tom Brady, he of six Super Bowl victories with the New England Patriots, left Foxboro for the warmer climes of Tampa Bay just this past year. And now, at the age of 43—the oldest quarterback ever to do so—he has brought his new team, the Buccaneers, to the Super Bowl to play against the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend.
Even as I write, “you may not be aware that Tom Brady has left” I have a hard time believing it. I would bet that most Scoop readers know this and that those who know are likely to have a strong opinion about it. Again, there is no middle ground on a superstar’s departure. Johnny Damon, Kyrie Irving, Drew Bledsoe, Tyler Seguin, the list is long, and my feelings unequivocal. Except, it would seem, for Tom.
Tom Brady’s success this year has felt different than the departure of some of the previous superstars through Boston sports history. I attribute the difference to this: Brady’s successes over a twenty-year career gave his Boston fans a gift that neither we, nor any other sports fans across the country, are likely ever to see again.
All of which leads me to this question: as sports fans of local teams, who are we rooting for? Where do our loyalties lie? Are we merely rooting for laundry? Does the name on the back of the jersey matter less than the team name across the front? As for me, I am typically rooting for the team and not the player. I wonder about the opposite experience of Johnny Damon; when a star comes to Boston rather than leaving, I forgive them of their past sins and welcome them to town with open arms. When they go, I wonder how hard the door might hit them on the way out. But this weekend, for once, anyway, I will turn back to the past twenty years to justify rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I will likely be wearing my Patriots jersey to prove that my allegiance is evidence of my discerning loyalty, rather than an abandonment of my roots as a New England sports fan.
Enjoy the big game if you watch and have a great weekend, everyone. Also, I wanted to offer my sincerest thanks to all of our grandparents and special friends who made today such a special one for our students. Many thanks for joining us on our reimagined day!
February 6 to February 19
Saturday, February 6
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., AISNE Middle School Students of Color Conference, Zoom Gathering
Tuesday, February 9
5:30–7:00 p.m., Diversity Committee, Zoom Meeting
7:30 p.m., Pre-k Parent Wine and Cheese Night, Zoom Gathering
Wednesday, February 10
6:30–7:30 p.m., Ensembles Celebration, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, February 11
6:30 p.m., Grade 6 Parent Winter Check-in, Zoom Gathering
7:30 p.m., Grade 8 Parent Winter Social, Zoom Gathering
Friday, February 12
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association Meeting, Zoom Gathering
8:50–9:35 a.m., Cross-graded Partners, Zoom Gathering
School Closed for February Vacation Week: February 16 to February 19
For all Zoom meetings and gatherings, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Summer Camp: Future Leaders Program Info Session
Tuesday, February 16 from 5 to 6:00 p.m.
Join our summer camp team to learn more about applying for the Future Leaders program at Belmont Day. The program offers eighth and ninth graders the opportunity to gain leadership skills, train to work with children, and develop basic job skills all within the exciting and joyful environment that is Belmont Day Summer Camp. Adults and students can register to attend this info session by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual Ensembles Celebration
Wednesday, February 10 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Please join us for our annual celebration of the talented musicians and singers who participate in the ensembles program. We promise an evening of great music and highlights of our accomplished young musicians.
The link for this event will be available on the Parent Portal.
Preparing for High School Placement
Thursday, February 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mark those calendars! Seventh grade parents are invited to join Director of High School Placement, Sarah Merrill, Middle School Head Liz Gray, and Head of School Brendan Largay for an introduction to the high school placement process.
The link for this event is available on the Parent Portal.
Lunch & Snack Menu
February 8 to February 12
Snack: apples; white corn cheese puffs
Lunch: creamy pesto bowtie pasta; bowtie pasta with marinara on the side; diced chicken; broccoli; crusty rolls; Romano cheese; butter; Italian salad; diced peaches; milk and water
Snack: clementines; assorted granola bars
Lunch: beef stew; vegetarian stew; diced carrots and peas; naan bread; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: bananas; pretzel twists
Lunch: chicken dumplings; vegetable dumplings; Asian vegetable blend; sesame dipping sauce; Asian spinach with peppers; Mandarin oranges; milk and water
Snack: fruit; whole-grain Rice Krispie Treats
Lunch: chicken fingers; vegetable nuggets; French Fries; green beans; ketchup; barbeque sauce; sweet and sour sauce; fresh fruit cup; chocolate milk, milk, and water
Snack: dried cranberries; Baked Lays chips
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly Covid Testing Update
Two clear testing cycles! As the charts show, we had far fewer individual tests this week. We did have one invalid pool test; our two invalid tests to date account for the discrepancy in numbers in our pool testing chart.
Always, if you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.
More masks will be distributed to all students, faculty, and staff at return-to-school testing following February break!
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
BDS Remote Sign Up Is Now Open
Registration is currently open for the next period of optional remote learning, February 22 to April 16, 2021. To opt-in for this period of offsite learning, please fill out the form to let us know by next Friday, February 12 at the latest. Only families whose child(ren) will be learning remotely need to fill in the form. Thank you!
All 2021 Programs Now Open for Registration
We have opened all remaining summer program options for registration including the Swim & Tennis Association, Specialty Camps, and the Future Leaders programs. Also, we still have spots available in our general camp sessions! Join us for a fun and safe summer 2021 whether you are a camper, or a family that needs a place to swim and play. If you have any questions on how COVID protocols will operate this summer, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Donating Dash To The Finish! Thank You!
Once again, our community’s generosity and caring for those in need has truly been astounding. Today, we ended the campaign for the Pine Street Inn that we launched during our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly, three weeks ago on January 15. A steady flow of donated items ended with a joyful flood these past few days. We have collected thousands of individual items that will be distributed in outreach kits to help Pine Street’s clients who are experiencing homelessness.
The next steps will be to finish sorting the donations, pack them up, and deliver the items to the Pine Street Inn. Stay tuned for a final tally on the donations and more information to share next week. Thank you all for the tremendous support of the work of our friends at the Pine Street Inn!
BDS Quest Corner: Get Lost in the Search
Dates to Remember!
Scavenger Hunts: March 20, April 10, May 1
Community Event and Auction: May 15
Cost: Quest and Fest: $100 per family | Virtual Fest only: $25 per family
Looking to sponsor or donate to the event? Contact Pati Fernández for more information.
We are excited our registration and full website are up and running. Register today and join in on the fun! Please expect a mailing this weekend, full of goodies and information! Last week we encouraged families to submit a landmark in their city or town for a chance to win our second raffle item. The winner of the challenge is The Kadnars! Congratulations! You have won a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.
This week’s challenge is to email us your favorite BDS landmark and why! Those who participate will be entered to win our next surprise raffle! We will announce the winner on Friday, February 12 in The Scoop.
Email your submissions to email@example.com
Reminder: Get Involved
Black- and Brown-Identified Parents Group Meeting
Diversity, equity, and inclusion or DEI parent groups at Belmont Day are dedicated to creating a forum for parents to engage on topics related to social identity and social bias with others who share social identity commonalities. The next meeting of the Black- and Brown-Identified Parent Affinity Group is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Please RSVP for this meeting to Dr. Carlos Hoyt, director of equity and inclusion. The link for this meeting will be available on the Parent Portal.
Keeping Kids Safe on YouTube
It’s difficult for many of us to keep up with all the changes in digital technology and new apps aimed for use by children. One of the latest is YouTube Kids. You may wonder is it really safe for kids? How does it work, and how do you set filters and parental controls? I recommend that you check out Caroline Knorr’s Parents’ Ultimate Guide to YouTube Kids on CommonSense Media about this kid-targeted YouTube-lite app.
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology
Third Graders Tackle Design Project For Book Character
Third graders have been reading “A Boy Called Bat” by Elana K. Arnold about a third grader named Bat who has autism. The students have been learning about the autism spectrum disorder as we read the story so that we can better understand the strengths and challenges of a child with autism.
In the story, Bat’s mother, who is a veterinarian, brings home a skunk kit that Bat is learning to care for. For a STEM-based project, students had the challenge of creating either a sling to carry the young skunk, a safe way to transport it in the car, an enclosure, or a feeding device. They have been going through the typical steps of identifying the problem, coming up with ideas, making a design and gathering materials, and finally creating a prototype. Next, they will test their creations and make any changes to improve them.
– Larissa Rochford ’93, grade 3 teacher
French Students Sweep Up a Great Lesson
In eighth grade French students recently completed a unit focused on responsibilities and chores. Some of our learning activities included watching French commercials for various household products. Among the commercials was a ground-breaking ad from Morocco in which a detergent company took the opportunity to combat stereotypes of women as bearing sole responsibility for the housework. Students then worked independently or in pairs to create their own ads. They made use of a variety of vocabulary, lots of tech-savvy, music, dance moves, and endless good humor. We saw ads for all types of household goods and services, including fancy dog food, magic brooms, all-powerful robots, and “supreme” vacuum cleaners.
– Jennifer Friborg, middle school French teacher
Athletics Update: The Joy of Winter
Of the many opportunities the pandemic has provided, the lack of interscholastic competition has allowed for more flexible programming in athletics this year. For example, this week Coach Ridoré pivoted away from his scheduled plan of a timed mile-run and offered sledding instead. On the same sleds and the same hill as their lower school classmates, middle schoolers reveled in the opportunity to play in the snow. The laughs, smiles, and wipeouts that filled Claflin Field this week were a reminder to all who witnessed them of the power of joy … unplanned, unstructured, pure joy.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
Fifth Grade: Learning the Keys To Understanding Others
In fifth grade, students worked on their “Key to Understand the Beauty of Others” project. In this activity, students constructed a physical symbol of the “key” to understanding. In chapter two of The Arrival by Shaun Tan, we see the main character insert a key to unlock his new home, and attached to this key is a symbol. Students constructed a similar key and attached a symbol to it. The symbol represents an idea, concept, or behavior which they felt is the “key” to understanding the unique beauty of others. Here are two students’ keys and explanations.
1. My key to understanding others is being open to others. My key has the symbol of an open door, which is supposed to represent that people should and do open their doors to others. The first type of open door is people opening the physical door to others, like giving someone a meal or a place to stay. The second kind of open door is not physical but listening to someone’s ideas even if they are different than yours. The reason I chose these symbols is that they show how people can literally and figuratively open their doors to others.
2. My key to understanding the beauty of others is being kind. Being kind is caring for someone. Being kind is putting others’ thoughts and feelings before yours. It is also being gentle with them and not shoving them. An example of being kind is when you see someone who is upset and you go over to talk to them and try to help them. You could also just sit with them so they feel like they are not alone. I chose the infinity sign for my keychain symbol because there is no end to kindness.
– Vaniecia Skinner, grade 5 teacher
Physical Education Update: Ballin’ and Sleddin’
Our first and second graders got their dribble on this week, continuing our basketball unit and displaying considerable skill. They worked on controlled dribbling, passing, and shooting, supporting the ball with the hands and powering the shot with the legs. Our remote students even got in on the action, completing a basketball tabata that was not only a great workout but a good way to build fundamentals. And thanks to the fresh powder that arrived earlier this week, the students got to go sledding as well, flying down the hill behind the tennis courts and working up a sweat climbing back up. It was great cross-training, and a blast to boot.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Parents’ Association News
The February book club selection is Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Dalton P ’08 ’12 ’15 ’19. Julie was featured in the 2020-21 issue of the Belmont Day Magazine. Read about her writing journey here. We will meet on Wednesday, February 10 at 10 a.m. A Zoom link is posted to the PA Fun & Fundraising section on the Parent Portal. Please contact Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
Friday, February 12
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
All are invited to join us for our next meeting. The Zoom link is available on the PA page in Veracross.
Thank you to families that have contributed to the book basket for Elisabeth Klock’s baby. We are continuing to collect donations. Books may be dropped off in collection bins at the front circle or by the Barn during drop-off or pick-up. Thank you!
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Belmont Against Racism Offers Schedule of Programs
It’s Black History Month and there are so many excellent events around the Boston area during the days ahead. Belmont Against Racism offers a thorough list of great options for different ages and interests. From movies and music to virtual museum tours and author discussions. Click here to see the list of great events!
Cary Library Hosts Nature Photography Sharing Event
Many nature lovers and amateur photographers alike have been spending more and more time in the great outdoors over these past months. Maybe you’re one of them and have a bunch of photos you would like to share and get some helpful feedback on? Join Lexington’s Cary Library on Wednesday, February 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. for “Nature Photography with Dave Ewing.” This online session allows participants to share their images and hear critiques and praise from a pro. Click here to register and learn more about this event.