Yee-haw! The annual Third Grade State Fair was a red, white, and blue good time.
To Everyone in the BDS Village, Thank You
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: June 11, 2021
Here it is—my last Scoop message of the year. As I consider all that has transpired over these last fifteen months, I am overwhelmed with immense gratitude for this entire community and all it has taken to get us to the close of this school year.
There are many idioms one might choose to describe the power of our mighty community, but around here, the notion that it takes a village to raise a child is one that our school has long embraced. In this case, of course, it is not one child but 311. The village—large, far-reaching, and full of caring, loving villagers—has been on overdrive to guide, support, and educate these children through this demanding year. Belmont Day parents, faculty, and students make one heck of a village, providing a critical resource of care for each other, and we simply couldn’t have made it to the end of this year without you.
More than 100 parents and faculty, with areas of expertise in everything from infectious disease to mRNA to ventilation to reimagining best practices for learning, made this year happen. All told, 311 students from 225 families, under the watchful eyes of 106 faculty members, made this year happen. Quite a village indeed.
I hope my thanks here are an echo of gratitude that you have heard repeatedly throughout the year. Our success this year hung on trust and your willingness to believe in BDS—that we would do all that we could to keep students safe, that onsite instruction would be worth its challenges, and that working together, our school would meet its mission of inspiring and challenging each and every student.
May each of you and your families enjoy a well-deserved summer of rest, recharging, and joy. Congratulations to members of the Class of 2021, who are soon to be graduates! And we look forward to seeing the rest of you in September.
June 14 to July 2
Monday, June 14
Trimester 3 Ends
Tuesday, June 15
Last Day of School; School Closes at 12:30 p.m.
8:50–11 a.m., Moving Up Assembly
Wednesday, June 16
10 a.m.–12 p.m., Class of 2021 Graduation, The Barn
Friday, June 18
5:30–7 p.m., Celebration for the Class of 2020, Belmont Day School
Pre-camp Specialty Programs Week
Monday, June 21 to Friday, June 25
Tuesday, June 22
Lower School Reports Released
Middle School Reports Released
5:30–7 p.m., Board Diversity Committee, Zoom Meeting
Summer Discoveries Session A1
Monday, June 28 to Friday, July 2
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Moving Up Assembly
Our annual Moving Up Assembly will be held on the last day of school, Tuesday, June 15, starting at 8:50 a.m. We are delighted that students will have an in-person moving-up experience this year with their sending teachers and their receiving teachers present.
Families are invited to participate remotely via Zoom. The link for the assembly is available on the Parent Portal and was emailed to all families earlier in the week. Click the dropdown below for the full schedule.
The agenda for the morning:
Prior to the assembly: BDS Values video organized by Ms. Kitamura
8:50 a.m.: Welcome and introduction by Head of School Brendan Largay, followed by the acknowledgment of this year’s associate teachers and our departing faculty
9:00 a.m.: Lower School Moving Up begins with comments by Lower School Head Minna Ham
9:10 a.m.: Pre-recorded video of the pre-kindergarten and grade 8 flower exchange
9:15 a.m.: Pre-kindergarten moves up to kindergarten
9:25 a.m.: Kindergarten moves up to grade 1
9:35 a.m.: Grade 1 moves up to grade 2
9:45 a.m.: Grade 2 moves up to grade 3
9:55 a.m.: Grade 3 moves up to grade 4
10:05 a.m.: Grade 4 moves up to grade 5
10:15 a.m.: Middle School Moving Up begins with comments by Middle School Head Liz Gray; grade 5 moves up to grade 6
10:25 a.m.: Grade 6 moves up to grade 7
10:35 a.m.: Grade 7 moves up to grade 8
10:45 a.m.: Grade 8 moves up! Celebration of the Class of 2021
11:00 a.m.: 2021 Yearbook Dedication Announcement by video
11:02 a.m.: Closing by Brendan Largay
11:04 a.m.: Orchestra – Rock Riffs recorded by Meghan Carye ’91
11:10 a.m.: Grade 8 Video (a shortened version of the graduation video)
After School Progam Ends on Monday
Just a quick reminder that the last day of After School is Monday, June 14. There will be no programming on Tuesday, June 15 as school ends at 12:30 p.m. Thank you for a great year!
ICYMI: 2020-21 Athletics Banquet Recording
On Thursday, June 10, we looked back on the year in athletics and celebrated the athletic careers of our eighth graders. The event included a year-in-pictures slideshow, alumni reflections, and the presentation of the 2021 Coaches’ Awards. If you were unable to attend, a recording of the event is now available on the Parent Portal in the Event Recordings section. Congratulations to all of our middle school athletes and coaches on making this a great year!
Lunch & Snack Menu
sJune 14 to June 18
Snack: peach fruit cups; Lay’s BBQ Chips
Lunch: turkey BLT sub; cheese subs; carrot sticks; kettle chips; hummus; mayo; milk and water
Last Day of School
Moving Up Day Assembly
Snack: banana muffins
Next Schools for the Class of 2021
We’d like to congratulate our eighth grade class on their recent decisions on which high schools they will be attending in the fall. We’re proud of every student for the journey they’ve taken to reach this milestone in their educations. While the decision may be that of the individual students, getting successfully to this moment is always an achievement for all involved—parents, families, friends, faculty members, mentors, and coaches. We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021 and all who guided them in the days ahead. Congratulations! Use the button to see the full list of high schools.
Students’ G Suite Applications to Be Turned Off June 16
On Wednesday, June 16, all G Suite applications will be turned off for the summer for rising students in grades 4 to 7. However, students will still be able to use their school G Suite account to sign in to certain apps/sites that use Google single sign-on, such as Typing Pal and BrainPOP. Other applications may be turned on/off at the discretion of the technology department.
If your child does not already have a personal (non-BDS) email account and you would like to provide them with one, we recommend that you consider a Google account or Apple ID and decide which is best for your child and family.
Rising eighth graders will have access to their BDS G Suite account over the summer so they may complete work related to Capstone. Applications not required for Capstone work will be turned off.
The Class of 2021 will also continue to have access to their accounts for the time being. Graduates will receive an email later this summer notifying them of when their account will be disabled and how to transfer content if they wish to do so.
If you have any questions about G Suite and/or student accounts, please email the Technology Department.
After three dynamic years at BDS, Yui Kitamura will begin a new life adventure in Japan. Yui recently let us know of her engagement and wedding to Yohei Narita. Yohei has recently learned of a new job which begins on July 1 just outside of Tokyo, Japan, and both he and Yui will be leaving at the end of this month to begin the next chapter of their lives together. We offer our sincerest congratulations to Yui and Yohei!
Of course, such news is bittersweet. Yui has dedicated herself to her students, bringing a joyful and collaborative approach to her work with them and with her colleagues. A strong advocate for students, she infused the classroom with a variety of perspectives and experiences. She leaves the Belmont Day music program in an excellent place—the general music program is a clearly defined and rigorous one, and Yui’s commitment to community assemblies and the Ensembles program has been profound. We are deeply grateful for her hard work and commitment to the students.
Our early childhood students will see a new face next year. We are excited to welcome Geoffrey Fox to the first grade teaching team. Geoffrey and Nicole Miller will be the two lead teachers in the fall until Cicely Gibson returns from her maternity leave in November. After winter break, Nicole will transition to a lower school in-house substitute teacher.
Geoffrey comes to us from working in a first grade classroom in the Cambridge Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in elementary education. The hiring committee was impressed by Geoffrey’s kind nature and rapport with our first grade students during his Zoom demo lesson. Geoffrey is excited to bring his passion for biking, nature, and teaching poetry to BDS.
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
OUR LAST TESTING DASHBOARDS! All-school assurance testing ended on Wednesday, June 9, with all negative tests! Thanks to everyone in the community for your cooperation, patience, and participation in keeping our community safe. See the charts for our data since January.
Returning Student Medications
Student medications will be returned to cohort teachers and then to student backpacks on Monday, June 14. Please check your student’s backpack to retrieve their Epipens and inhalers.
Have a safe, happy, and healthy summer!
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
Arts Update: Sixth Graders Improvise Family Portraits
Sixth graders have been learning all about the art of improv in their theater arts intensive. In an activity entitled “Family Portrait,” each group came up one at a time and was given a title for a picture that revolves around a type of family. The groups had 10 seconds to form a portrait based on the title. Students were instructed to think about the characters involved in the picture and to talk to each other so that the tableau was cohesive and coherent. They had to tell a story, even though they were frozen in place.
– Christopher Parsons, theater arts teacher
Third Graders Complete, Share Their State Projects
The third grade team reimagined their beloved state project again this year! With research and other materials created by their teachers, students studied changemakers from their state, national parks, state animals, and Native American tribes who once inhabited the land. They transformed their work into pieces of writing, posters, and visual models to reflect what they learned and wanted to share. Students created poster-sized landform maps as well as state maps on grid paper to determine the actual area and perimeter of each state using their data and map scales. The state project concluded with a virtual State Celebration, during which guests saw highlights of student work and heard every student speak and reflect on what they learned about their states and themselves throughout the entire process.
– Leigh Twarog and Larissa Rochford ’93, grade 3 teachers
Fourth Graders Present the Greek Storytelling Festival
On Thursday, our fourth graders had a hybrid Greek Storytelling Festival with students on campus and parents joining via Zoom. The day began with a slideshow of our Greek Olympics and a message from Zeus at Mt. Olympus. Then families broke up into cohort Zooms and enjoyed hearing some ancient myths rewritten and performed live by students. Part two of the celebration happens at home where fourth graders will share their ancient Greek digital magazine which offers advice from the gods, an interview with a mortal, highlights from the journal of Odysseus, and more! Thanks so much to the kitchen team for providing yummy Greek food, such as spanakopita, for us to try.
– Lana Holman and Angela DeVecchi ’75, grade 4 teachers
Seventh Graders Help Local Citizen Science Projects
In seventh grade science, students have been collecting data for a local citizen science project of their choosing. Citizen science projects allow the general public to participate in meaningful scientific research. The focus of our projects has been collecting observational data on local indicator species, which are species whose presence, absence, or abundance gives scientists useful information about the health of an ecosystem. The data that students collected will allow scientists to study how environmental impacts may be affecting a particular ecosystem. Students had the opportunity to choose which project they were most excited to work on. Some of the most popular projects involved monitoring bumblebees, identifying the number of particular bird species on campus, and identifying bugs. We have had a blast learning more about our local ecosystem and how to identify species that we see every day! In addition, students created blogs to document their journey through each project. Click the dropdown below for links to a few of the students’ blogs.
– Leal Carter, grades 7 & 8 science teacher
Citizen Science Blogs
Eighth Grade Spanish Students Create Touching Musical Slideshow
In Spanish, our soon-to-be graduates worked diligently over the past few weeks to produce this fun retrospective video clip to the song “Un Amigo Es Una Luz” by Enanitos Verdes. During that time, the classroom became a very creative space, full of music, discussions, and groups; you could hear tuba and guitars, piano, and violin while everyone worked on translating the lyrics. It was a daunting task but very enjoyable to see how they assigned all the work and collaborated in groups to make this project a success. Thank you so much to Ms. Kitamura for helping us with the musical notes.
¡Felicitaciones para los estudiantes y feliz verano para todos!
– Ana Maria Restrepo, middle school Spanish teacher
Seventh Graders up for the Challenge to Support Sustainability
Seventh Grade Challenge Week is underway! In their cohorts, students were tasked with finding a viable solution to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals focused on climate change. They have been working through the design thinking process, learning to empathize, ideate, prototype, collaborate and present their concepts for reducing our human footprint. On Monday, June 14 the teams will be presenting to the whole seventh grade and a panel of judges in the Palandjian Arts Center.
Here are the projects each cohort is concentrating on for the challenge:
Buck cohort: “The Raccoon Project” – focused on upcycling wasted products – UNSD goal #12: Responsible Production and Consumption
Carter cohort: “Aqua Innergy” – focused on capturing water energy to create cheap and clean electricity – UNSD goal #7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Bennhoff cohort: “Clean Tomorrow” – focused on cleaning rivers and the ocean with small, towable water garbage collectors – UNDS goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Drummey cohort: “Lights Out” – focused on electrical use – they are doing a “lights out” campaign – UNSD goal #13: Climate Action
– Gretchen Fogelstrom, middle school social studies teacher
PE Update: Over-the-Top Spirit Week Success!
Some people thought it was a crazy idea: turn Field Day into an entire Spirit Week!? Yet when the dust settled, the Popsicle sticks dried, and the last of the water balloon shards was cleaned up, we knew it was a resounding success. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that the challenges we faced could become opportunities, and our students made the most of this one, delighting in every activity and showing their individual, cohort, and school spirit. What a truly incredible week. Be sure to check out our final Around the Horn recap, and thanks to all for making it happen. Go BDS!
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher and coach
Eighth Graders Dive Deeper Into Research on WWII
Eighth graders recently completed their final unit response project of the year in social studies. After studying the United States’ role in World War II for five weeks, students had the opportunity to spend a full week researching any topic they were interested in connected to the war. Some students chose to study parts of the world that we did not go into in class like the Soviet Union and Northern Africa; some chose to dive deeper into things we did cover together like the social impact of so many women on the homefront working outside of their home, and some students even interviewed family members to learn more about their ancestors’ involvement in and experience during the war. Every student worked hard to find reliable sources and take relevant notes on the sources. All eighth graders presented some of what they learned to their peers. Congratulations to the eighth graders on the successful completion of their social studies course this year!
–Kate Burns, grades 7 & 8 social studies teacher
Athletics Update: Thank You, Eighth Grade!
On Thursday, we celebrated our eighth graders at the Athletics Banquet. Every student was individually recognized for their athletic accomplishments and athletes even returned the favor with a “Thank You” tribute of their own. As with most everything this year, the event was modified from its original format and only included our eighth graders in attendance with families and other community members joining via Zoom. Despite only competing inter-scholastically for five of their nine middle school seasons, this group of athletes left their mark on the program and have cemented their legacy in its history. Thank you for everything you gave to the program, Class of 2021, and best of luck with all of your future athletic endeavors.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
Parents’ Association News
Thank You, Parents!
Thank you all for supporting the BDS community throughout this unique school year. Whether you chaired one of our many committees, worked tirelessly as a grade parent, volunteered your time and energy, or participated in a PA event, we thank you for your support. Your collective engagement has helped make our community stronger.
With much appreciation and gratitude,
The PA Executive Committee
The parent book club will continue meeting this summer via Zoom! The next book club selection is Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell. Please join us for our next online gathering on Wednesday, July 7 at 10 a.m. to discuss this book. The Zoom link is posted to the PA Fun & Fundraising section on the Parent Portal. Please contact Karla Bays with any questions.
2021-22 Grade Parents
We’re excited to welcome our new grade parents for the 2021-22 school year. Thank you all for volunteering for this important role in our parent community. Feel free to reach out to your grade parents with questions, ideas, or just to say hi!
- Pre-kindergarten: Carolyn Atinizian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Kindergarten: Libby Nelson (email@example.com) and Claire Kinzler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- First grade: Xiaolu Xu (email@example.com) and Yiling Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Second grade: Jamie Meredith (email@example.com), Wendy Liszt (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Elise Bayard Franklin (email@example.com)
- Third grade: Shanying Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org), Shannon Conry (email@example.com), and Morgen Bergman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Fourth grade: Heather Daley (email@example.com) and Caroline McCabe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Fifth grade: Caroline Gray (email@example.com) and Gigi Saltonstall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sixth grade: Angela Robinson (email@example.com), Shannon Planck (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Wesley Kelman (email@example.com)
- Seventh grade: Marjorie Decker (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nelly Reyes-Colberg (email@example.com)
- Eighth grade: Kim Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Deborah Kokinos (email@example.com)
Become a Future Infrastructure Star
Know a student who enjoys drawing bridges, buildings, and windmills? They may be a future star designer of our world’s infrastructure. Bentley Systems is introducing a new contest for students to stimulate and encourage those engineering skills and the power to think BIG. Students can create new concepts for a project in one of four categories: road and rail; buildings and facilities; water and wastewater; cities and mapping; and power generation. For more details on the contest rules and prizes, and how to submit an entry, click here.