A pre-k student listens intently to instructions during physical education class.
Message from Head of School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: January 18, 2019
You can find this week’s Blue Handprint Studios audio below:
The shift was likely unremarkable to those who pay attention to such matters, but the World Economic Forum recently adjusted their list of the most important and in-demand skills in the coming years. Most of the skills listed remained more or less unchanged, with one notable exception—creativity moved up the charts more dramatically than any other. In 2015, the Forum expected creativity to be the tenth most critical skill. In 2020, they expect it will be the third most important skill.
The list of all ten which can be found on several websites and in several publications (I found it here) is fascinating in its own right when one looks through the lens of pre-kindergarten to grade 8 education. How are we teaching these skills? How intentional are we about naming them and their importance in the future? And how do we know we are doing so successfully? These are the questions that teachers and programmatic administrators are consistently grappling with as they assess the purpose of their curriculum, whether by looking at it carefully through the review process or simply by welcoming colleagues into their teaching spaces and inviting conversations about their practice. With so much attention being paid to creativity’s ‘big move’ up the charts, I couldn’t help but consider all of the ways that we nurture it here at Belmont Day.
Consider the pre-k and kindergarten curriculum in the courtyard, for example. With a pedagogy rooted in discovery through play, in many ways, creativity is the curriculum. Through the authentic scope of early childhood, children’s imaginations help them make sense of the natural world. A visit to the Barn to see the first grade gyotaku prints—paintings made from the impression of fish and other sea creatures (yes, that was a real octopus they used), or a visit to any one of the classrooms in the school reveals the many ways that our curriculum nurtures creativity. Today was no different, except that middle school parents were visiting: middle school students showcased their learning with everything from original songs they had written, to plant cells they had built, to poetry they recited.
Creativity—the skill that LinkedIn just identified as the most in-demand of 2019—abounds at Belmont Day today as it has throughout our history. It’s nice to see the rest of the world catching up.
Enjoy the weekend, everyone. Please take a moment on Monday to consider your service to others and how your creativity might inspire a greater good in homage to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Students work on their model storefronts during the “Business Sharks” enrichment class.
This Coming Week at BDS
January 28 through February 2
Tuesday, January 29
1–3:00 p.m., Prospective Student Visits – Grade 2
Wednesday, January 30
3:30 p.m., Fencing at BB&N; Girls’ JV at Nashoba; Boys’ JV Basketball vs Fenn; Boys’ Varsity Basketball vs Fenn; Girls’ Varsity Basketball at Nashoba; Wrestling vs Fenn
Thursday, January 31
1–2:00 p.m., Prospective Student Visits – Grade 1
3:30 p.m., Girls’ Varsity Basketball vs DCD; Boys’ Varsity Basketball at DCD
6–8:00 p.m., Meeting for Belmont Residents
Friday, February 1
Student Reenrollment Contracts Mailed
8–10:00 a.m., Buildings and Grounds
8:30–11:30 a.m., Lower School Parents’ Visiting Day
8:50–9:35 a.m., Lower School Sharing Assembly, Palandjian Arts Center
6–8:00 p.m., Middle School Dance, Palandjian Arts Center
Saturday, February 2
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, The Barn
4:30–7:30 p.m., Family Fun Night, Palandjian Arts Center
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,BDS director of development.
Remember Those Sneakers for PE!
We’re very excited that our physical education classes are going full speed now in the Barn! As we continue to get accustomed to the wonderful new space, we wanted to offer a reminder about proper footwear. Because of the travel between the Schoolhouse and the Barn, we are requiring each student to carry over a pair of sneakers that is different from the shoes they wore to school. This will ensure students have proper athletic footwear (rather than boots) for PE class. This will help us keep the new gym floor dry and safe and help to preserve the condition of the wood flooring. Thank you!
Lunch & Snack Menu
January 28 to February 1
Snack: Tostitos; applesauce
Lunch: spaghetti and meat sauce; steamed seasoned broccoli; garlic bread; greens with balsamic
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: beef stew and veggie stew; roasted winter vegetables with baby spinach; warm biscuits; sweet and crunchy kale and apple salad with poppyseed dressing
Snack: granola bars; apples
Lunch: fish and chips; snappy seasoned green beans with carrots; potato chips; garden salad with honey mustard
Snack: Cheez-Its; carrots
Lunch: corn chowder; ham and cheese sub wth pickles; roasted Mediterranean blend; Greek salad with feta
Fifth Grade Play
Friday, February 15
Mark those calendars for the next must-see Belmont Day theater production! The fifth grade will present, “Princess Who?” on Friday, February 15 at 8:50 a.m.
“Princess Who?” is a fun-filled, fairy-tale mystery of a young girl who wakes up in the woods with no memory! Adventures and laughter follow as she makes her way through the Misty Forest, meeting many recognizable characters along the way, each providing a new clue to her true identity.
Balanced Attack Leads Girls’ JV Hoops to Win over Meadowbrook
John O’Neill, Director of Athletics
After a trio of hard-fought losses to begin the season, the girls’ JV basketball team finally got into the win column this week with a commanding 36-11 win over Meadowbrook at home. Coach Andy Rentschler was proud of his team’s performance, noting that it was a “breakout game for the team as a whole.” Belmont Day excelled in all aspects of the game and received contributions up and down their talented line-up.
More Athletics News
First-year player Cody Casanave has shined on the badminton court this winter thanks to his quick feet and strong hand-eye. Dana Chang has also impressed with her solid doubles play.
Volleyball’s gold squad took two of three matches this week. Elena Ferrari had a strong afternoon at the net, while Lena Cantor made some productive plays offensively for the team.
The fencing team improved to 3-1 on the season with a 16-11 win over ISB. Ronan Mullan and Anni Taylor each had impressive wins. Henry Buckley-Jones won all three of his bouts.
Miles Sandoski and Owen Khanna had their best games of the season during boys’ varsity’s lopsided 61-33 win over LCA. The victory improved the team’s record to 4-0 this winter.
The girls’ varsity team outlasted LCA 22-15 at home this week. Margot Klug was terrific defensively and Camille DeStefano led all scorers with a game-high 10 points.
Boys’ JV beat Meadowbrook 34-9 and lost to CFS 45-33. Yareh Constant (seven rebounds) and Aaron Radke (eight points) shined in the win, while Zephy Borisy (six steals) helped the team stay close in the loss.
Belmont Day wrestled well at Fenn this week, winning 4 of 13 matches. Evan Seymour was very strong against a skilled opponent. Theo von Gottberg claimed two wins for the second meet in a row.
Middle School Students Tackle Intricate Projects in Woodworking
Bill Smith, Woodworking and 21st Century Skills Teacher
Middle School arts students in woodshop are taking their skills to new levels and creating more detailed and intricate pieces. Seventh and eighth grade students in the wood carving class are now working with carving chisels to create wooden shells. And the sixth grade students are learning about and fashioning nesting joints in order to join two pieces of wood. Visit our website to see more photos of the students working on their projects.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Tuesday, February 12
Wear your favorite cardigan and join us for popcorn, snacks, and a screening of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
The documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas and his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood.
Please bring a non-perishable food item for our food drive to benefit the Belmont Food Pantry.
This screening is a family event and appropriate for students grades 3 and above. All students must be accompanied by a parent or other adult to attend. Childcare will be provided for students in pre-k to grade 2. Please contact Liz LaRocque to register for childcare. Optional discussion to follow screening.
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 middle grade books Counting By 7s and Short, both New York Times bestsellers, as well as I’ll Be There, Keeper (Dream Series), Just Call My Name, and Appleblossom the Possum.
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.
Hashtags May Be Attracting Unwanted Attention
The Child Rescue Coalition is an organization that works to protect children from exploitation. The coalition’s research shows that by the age of two, 90 percent of children already have a presence on social media and that over-exposing children on social media can make them vulnerable. They are currently working on establishing a list of hashtags that contribute to risks for children. They advise that what we may think is an innocent hashtag may be attracting unwanted attention to our child and pictures we post of them.
Dolly Ryan, Director of Technology
FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Mark your calendar for Family Fun Night, sponsored by the parents’ association. This event is a great way to connect with fellow BDS families! Families will enjoy watching Incredibles 2 in the PAC followed by a meal of cheese pizza ($10 per pizza), crudité, and lemonade with bingo games and prizes in Coolidge Hall. Children are encouraged to bring sleeping bags to snuggle in during the movie. Feel free to contact Cathy Fullerton with any questions.
FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL
Two Films Rescheduled to This Sunday
West Newton Cinema
Due to snowy weather during Belmont World Film’s Family Festival, two programs were rescheduled to Sunday, January 27, at the West Newton Cinema, 1296 Washington Street in West Newton. Ballad From Tibet, based on a true story about four students at a school for the blind in the Tibetan Himalayas of China who walk to Shenzhen to perform in a reality TV talent show, is rescheduled to 12:00 p.m.. And The Witch Hunters, about a 10 year-old boy with cerebral palsy who imagines himself to be a superhero, screens at 2:00 p.m.. Both films are also co-presented by the ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival. For more info, visit www.belmontworldfilm.org.
Parents’ Association News
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.
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
Final Call for Donations!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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!
Do you own or know a business who may be interested in sponsorship opportunities?
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.
Associate Teacher To Run 2019 Boston Marathon
Our very own Melissa Grip, currently working in fifth grade, is in the midst of training for the Boston Marathon. She’s completed the 26.2 miles before at the Chicago Marathon and has even run a grueling 55K race in Utah. But this will be her first time up and over Heartbreak Hill. She’ll be running on behalf of Dana Farber Cancer Center; just this year the Center helped her father in his battle against throat cancer. To read more about Melissa’s inspiration and to support her in her fundraising efforts, visit her profile page. Go, Melissa, go!
You can share a link to the entire newsletter here—or share individual articles using the icons to the right of each article.