Middle school parents teamed up with their students for a series of math puzzles while visiting classes this past Friday.
Message from Head of School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: January 25, 2019
You can find this week’s Blue Handprint Studios audio below:
Since the opening of the Barn, the faculty room has returned to the Schoolhouse—moving from the trailer, affectionately known as Coolidge Cottage, that is in front of Coolidge Hall. As the crow flies, the gathering space for faculty only moved about 500 feet to what was formerly Ms. Solomon’s art classroom. However, the impact of the move has been substantial and grounding.
The buzz that serves as one of the qualitative indicators of a vibrant educational space is back inside the building, and its energy is contagious. The faculty room is much more than just a spot for a quick cup of coffee before the next lesson or a place to get student work laminated. It is a hub of collaboration at Belmont Day.
This week alone, I have made a point to pay particularly close attention to the use of the room as a collaborative learning and planning space. I have eaten lunch there with an open ear for dialogue about pedagogy, practice, teaching strategies, and classroom observations and trends that teachers are observing with a critical perspective and willing flexibility to respond to any shifts they may see.
When I extrapolate the week out over the course of a school year, and realize that there are countless conversations happening in places other than the faculty room and that there are some seventy faculty members engaging in these conversations in thousands of different combinations, I have the true privilege of seeing the magic of Belmont Day take shape before my eyes. Everything at Belmont Day starts and ends with the experience of the students, and they couldn’t be in better care.
Of course, there’s research that reinforces why collaboration is so important—the sharing, pressure-testing, and reinventing of ideas among professionals with the common purpose of education as their guide. Collaboration is not only one of the so-called 21st-century skills alongside creativity, communication, adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking, it is also what we are dedicated to doing and teaching.
In the faculty room, collaboration is where it all begins. Our teachers are great problem solvers on their own, but in collaboration they are truly masterful, offering critical insights, holding up that invaluable mirror to one another, and, with students at the center, gathering to improve the learning experience every day.
Funny what a small change—500 feet—can bring into focus for a community such as ours.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
First graders enjoy an activity during their physical education class in the Barn.
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., Gathering 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, Barn Gym
4:30–7:30 p.m., Family Fun Night, Palandjian Arts Center
*Reminder: School will be closed on Monday, February 25 for faculty professional development.
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.
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. Fifth grade will present “Princess Who?”, 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.
Boys’ JV Basketball Continues to Battle
John O’Neill, Director of Athletics
It’s been a unique season for the boys’ JV basketball team. With 16 players on the roster, the team is divided into three separate “squads,” with only two squads suiting up for each game. Despite the unusual format, the team has developed strong chemistry on the court and players have shown marked improvement in their individual skills. This past week, the team played hard against DCD and Rashi. On the road against DCD, Alexander Colangelo poured in a game-high 16 points while Quinn Foley’s aggressive defense spurred a Blue & Gold comeback. At home against Rashi, Isaac Frehywot was hustling on both ends of the floor and classmate Noah Brauner did a great job handling the ball. The team will look to get back to their winning ways next week at home against Fenn.
More Athletics News
- Bree LeGrand and Susanna Kelman were instrumental during girls’ JV basketball’s lopsided road win against Rashi this week. Every player scored for the team’s second win in a row.
- The boys’ varsity basketball team improved to 5-0 with a 47-31 win over SSDS this week. Miles Sandoski knocked down some big shots and showed great composure running the point.
- Scott Abbott (
sabre) and Jacob Stephenson (epee) fenced well for the home team, but it was Paul Lyons who stole the show with a dramatic 5-4 victory in the final bout to secure a 14-13 win.
- With two more wins against Park, Theo von Gottberg remains undefeated on the season for the Blue & Gold wrestling team. Philippe Pitts and Evan Seymour also wrestled well.
- The girls’ varsity basketball team received a solid performance from co-captain Sophie Dornstein but came up short (31-25) against a talented SSDS squad this week.
- Noah Kokinos continues to improve his strength and accuracy for the badminton team, while Ripley Bright’s strong racquet skills have led to longer rallies during her matches.
- Aaniya Riddick shined for the gold squad during this week’s volleyball match. On the other side of the net, Jazmin Cruz served her team to a win and a 2-1 victory overall.
Middle School Students Tackle Intricate Projects in Woodworking
Bill Smith, Woodworking and 21st Century Skills 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.
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
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, and will be held in Coolidge Hall. 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 the 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
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.
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. The Coalition is 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
LOST & FOUND
During February vacation week, all items left in the Lost & Found bins will be donated to Cradles to Crayons. We ask that you please take a look through the bins over the next few weeks. The bins are located above the cubbies in the hallway across from the new faculty room in the Schoolhouse. The bins are brimming over with unclaimed items so we strongly recommend taking a look even if your student has not reported that they’re missing something.
And remember, if you label it, we will leave it in your child’s cubby!
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
Solicitation Deadline Extended & Seeking Vacation Homes for Donation
Great News! The solicitation deadline for auction donations has been extended to Friday, February 1. Auction representatives will also be in Coolidge Hall that morning, during Lower School Parents’ Visiting Day, to help complete any last forms or answer any questions.
Seeking Vacation Homes for Donation: Do you or a friend own a vacation home? Would you be willing to donate a few nights or a week
- 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, 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!
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 Villandry Contracting and Ed Feijo and Gail Roberts Real Estate. 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.