Fourth graders were flying high this week during a unit in physical education using jump ropes for exercise, fitness, and fun.
Message from Head of School
Happy New Year, BDS!
Brendan Largay, Head of School Post Date: January 10, 2020
I hope that my first column of the decade finds each of you eagerly embracing the promise of a new year. And, however you rang in 2020, I hope that the idea of a new year inspired equal doses of reflection and aspiration for you. Faced with the state of our world–tensions flaring in the Middle East, wildfires raging across Australia, an impeachment process boiling on Capitol Hill, and other complicated news igniting nearly everywhere we look–I found myself wrestling with the notion of a New Year’s resolution that would be meaningful and substantive enough to make, yet grounded enough to keep. I sought a resolution that I would commit to keeping longer than the typical six weeks that most resolutions last, and most critically, one that might help me navigate the challenges facing us as we charge into this new decade.
As such, I quickly dispensed with resolutions that I have abandoned in the past–the next great diet or exercise plan will simply have to wait for 2021–and gave thought instead to our students, and the lens through which they see the world. I reflected that as adults, we can sometimes assume that children apply the same lens–an adult one–to their view of the world.
Of course, each family will approach the ways of the world differently, and some of our students are processing global events in real-time right alongside us. But there are others, particularly our youngest learners, for whom the world remains a simple and joyful place. They have adults they trust, friends they can play with, and words that need sounding out. They arrive to BDS, not just in this new year, but every day, with the lens of an optimist, ready to make the most of each moment, untroubled by the challenges that influence our grown-up world. Their worldview is shaped by care, respect, and an enviable abundance of joy.
Indeed, it is enviable enough that I am going to give it a try in 2020. My resolution: to see the world as a child might. Find in it the moments worthy of simple joy. Take time to appreciate the folks in my life who help to make it better. Hold a door. Say please, and thank you. Enjoy a swing. Play. Enjoy a snack from time to time.
By “going small,” I hope to broaden my view, and in the process, be better prepared to meet the challenges of those big moments when the world weighs on all of us–young and not-so-young. And we need to meet those challenges. See, I told you the diet thing wouldn’t have worked.
Have a wonderful 2020, everyone. Happy New Year, and welcome back!
In a tradition started by Ms. Moriarty and Mr. Spencer over a decade ago, sixth graders greeted the new year by writing down something they wished to leave behind them and then burned them in a small fire.
Saturday, January 11 8 a.m.–12 p.m., Prospective Student Visits – Pre-kindergarten 4–7 p.m., Family Fun Night, Palandjian Arts Center
Monday, January 13 8–8:50 a.m., Parent Learning Forum: Connected Math, Coolidge Hall 7–9 p.m., Board of Trustees, the Barn
Wednesday, January 15 8:15–9:30 a.m., Parent Book Club, Erskine Library 8:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m., Grade 4 Field Lab, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 3:30 p.m., Wrestling at Fay
Thursday, January 16 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Grade 5 Field Lab, Cradles to Crayons, Brighton 3:30 p.m., Boys’ Varsity Basketball vs Shady Hill; Boys’ JV Basketball vs Shady Hill; Fencing vs IS of Boston; Girls’ Varsity Basketball at Shady Hill; Girls’ JV Basketball at Shady Hill 5–6 p.m., Drop-inSummer Camp Tour 6–7 p.m., Parent Learning Forum with McLean Hospital, Coolidge Hall
Friday, January 17 8:15 a.m.–9 a.m., Enrichment Committee, Coolidge Hall 8:50–9:35 a.m., Cross-Graded Partners 1–4 p.m., Prospective Student Visits, Grades 4 and 5
Saturday, January 18 10–11 a.m., STEAM Saturdays 3
Family Fun Night
TOMORROW! Saturday, January 11, 4–7 p.m. Palandjian Arts Center
Looking for some fun for the whole family this weekend? Join the parents’ association for the annual Family Fun Night! Bring the kids’ sleeping bags and snuggle up to watch a movie, “A Secret Life of Pets 2,” in the Palandjian Arts Center followed by pizza and bingo in Coolidge Hall. A $10 donation per family is asked to help cover costs. It’ll be a fun-filled evening for the Belmont Day community!
Parent Learning Forum: Supporting Students Dealing with Anxiety Thursday, January 16, from 6 to 7 p.m., Coolidge Hall
Join us for the third forum in a series of three on the topic of children and anxiety.
We will welcome Dr. Julia Martin Burch and Dr. Michelle Silverman from McLean Hospital to continue the conversation about how to build resilience and use anxious moments as learning/growth opportunities.
Childcare will be available during the forum. Children will enjoy activities and a pizza dinner in the Erskine Library. If your child cannot eat pizza, please provide an alternate meal for them. To register for childcare, contact Catherine David by Wednesday, January 15 at 5 p.m.
In its second year of existence, the Belmont Day volleyball program has 23 players on its roster. Given the large number, the team divided into Blue & Gold squads this week and are preparing for their first intramural competition, which is scheduled for next Thursday, January 16. The team’s four captains (Elena Ferrari, Maya Gregor, Lauren Kopperl, and Aaniya Riddick) are divided between the two squads and will be counted on to lead their teammates through the winter season, many of whom are new to the sport. As the program continues to grow, the possibility of transitioning to an interscholastic model becomes more of a reality. In the meantime, this year’s team will continue to develop their skills and learn the sport.
More Athletics News
Michael Timmins’ 11 points and seven rebounds led a balanced attack during boys’ varsity basketball’s 68-33 win over Rashi this week. Noah Burd and Jack Abruzzi chipped in with strong play down low.
Piper Morris and Margot Klug have been providing good energy in the front court for the girls’ varsity basketball team this season. The team takes their undefeated record to Shady Hill next week.
Sam Amaratunga’s team-high 12 points highlighted the boys’ JV basketball team’s 34-19 loss to Meadowbrook. Jake Walsh added 4 points and eight boards, and Bernie Mattox was strong defensively.
Eliza Kuechle and Colby Morris accounted for nearly all of Belmont Day’s scoring during girls’ JV basketball’s 6-point loss to Meadowbrook in what was a very evenly matched contest.
Newcomers Anisah Jordan, Ella Blecher, and Finnoula Wheeler have all been working hard to improve their fencing skills this winter. The trio will get back on the strip next Thursday against ISB at home.
The wrestling team won 12 of 19 matches against Roxbury Latin this week behind a pair of dominant wins from Isaac Frehywot, and strong wrestling from Quinn Foley and Zephy Borisy.
Fifth Grade Rehearses for Class Play
Fifth grade got right back to work after the break and are rehearsing for their class play, The Reluctant Dragon. This week, in addition to learning their lines and perfecting their characters, students began learning the blocking of the play’s scenes. The Reluctant Dragon will be performed on Friday, January 31 at 8:50 a.m. in the Palandjian Arts Center. We hope to see you then!
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
First Annual Oatmeal Challenge for Pine Street Inn Thursday, January 9 through Friday, January 17
To honor and recognize the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr., Belmont Day has kicked off a service project to benefit Pine Street Inn where there is a virtually bottomless need for breakfast items, with oatmeal being in high demand. We can help!
We are collecting instant oatmeal to help fill the shelves at the Inn. Any healthy collection of oatmeal packets are welcome, including gluten-free. For storage purposes, Pine Street Inn requests boxes that contain 10-12 packets.
This service project will take the form of a friendly competition between students/families and faculty/staff. Whichever group collects the most boxes of oatmeal wins!
On January 17, students will meet in cross-graded partner groups to decorate the donated boxes. On January 24, we hope you will join us at our MLK Jr. Day Assembly to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy as a community, and to hear from a representative from Pine Street Inn.
Can’t make a donation by January 17? We will accept oatmeal right up to the assembly.
Drop off your boxes of oatmeal in the Barn lobby or in the Schoolhouse Gallery where you will find a progress thermometer that will track how the challenge is going!
The parent book club will host its next meeting on Wednesday, January 15 at 8:15 a.m. in the Erskine Library. Join them to discuss Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
A warm thank you to Deborah Kully, mother of Ethan and Ross in pre-k, for the cheery daffodil plants on the Coolidge Hall lunch tables.
Kick-off Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend with an amazing volunteer opportunity at Cradles to Crayons on Friday, January 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. This event is for middle school students and families. Participants will sort clothing at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory in Brighton. For more information please contact: Rachel Garber and please RSVP on the online sign-up here.
For anyone who can take extra students with them, please indicate this on the sign-up form. This event is limited to 16 people.
Our Friendraiser Committee has organized a Paint Night! Join us in Coolidge Hall on Wednesday, January 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants will receive step-by-step instructions from a local artist. No prior experience with painting is necessary. Light apps and wine will be served and laughter will definitely abound. $20 per person. Please RSVP to email@example.com by January 20. The first 10 guests to RSVP are free! Hope to see you there!
Undocumented and Unafraid: Lessons from a Dreamer Thursday, January 16, 6 to 8:00 p.m. Watertown Middle School
Join the Watertown Anti-Bias Coalition for an evening with Gaby Pacheco and the Watertown Middle School Chorus. Gaby Pacheco marched 1500 miles from Florida to D.C. as an undocumented student activist in the 2010 Trail of Dreams. Her courage and perseverance led to the passage of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). She was also the first undocumented Latina to testify to Congress and her story reminds us that Dr. King’s legacy of nonviolence is still being used effectively today.
Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the presentation is at 6:30 p.m. To register for dinner, childcare, and interpretation click here.
Belmont’s 26th Annual MLK Community Breakfast Monday, January 20 from 8:45 to 11 a.m.
Join Belmont Against Racism for the 26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast at the Belmont High School cafeteria, 221 Concord Avenue. The guest speaker, Ragini Shah, clinical professor of law at Suffolk Law and founder of Suffolk’s Immigration Clinic, will discuss “Uplifting the Human Personality: Martin Luther King and Immigrants’ Rights Today.” Admission is $5 person or $10 per family and tickets are available at the door or online.
20/20 The Photography Show Three Stones Gallery, West Concord January 9 to February 22
This collaborative show features the photography of thirteen fine art photographers including former Belmont Day sixth grade teacher and middle school head Rob Houghton. An opening reception will be held this Saturday, January 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more information and gallery address, visit the Three Stones Gallery website.