Finishing strong during the last week of spring athletics.
A Stack of Summer Reading Awaits
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: June 4, 2021
Carrying on a post-Memorial Day weekend tradition, you will find the start of my summer reading in this issue of the Scoop. As many of you may recall, I set a goal of reading 13 books in 13 weeks—a book-a-week from Memorial Day weekend and through Labor Day. I am still striving to hit my goal—perhaps 2021 will be the year! For those of us who stayed local, this past rainy and chilly weekend provided the opportunity to read; perhaps you were able to get started on some of your own summer reading.
Before I share my list, though, I will take a moment to honor Eric Carle, a Massachusetts native, writer, and artist who inspired young readers throughout the world and whose Very Hungry Caterpillar has long been a part of the Belmont Day curriculum. Carle passed away at the age of 91 on May 23, 2021. His 70 books always made room for childhood interpretation and joy. Whether reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or counting the number of plums the caterpillar has eaten, Carle’s work captures the innocence of youth and nature all at once.
So, as you embark on what I hope will be a summer filled with great books or, at least, a collection of great stories, I hope you take a moment to appreciate the work of Carle, a true master of early childhood literacy and art.
Here is my early summer list:
The Electric Kingdom, David Arnold
Case Histories, Kate Atkinson
Class Act, Jerry Craft
Shape, Jordan Ellenberg
The Searcher, Tana French
The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
Noise, Daniel Kahneman
The Premonition, Michael Lewis
The Maidens, Alex Michaelides
Just Work, Kim Scott
Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir
Caste, Isabel Wilkerson
The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester
Once summer gets started, I know I can count on my usual book recommenders—Blair Fross, Heather Woodcock, Amy Sprung, my mother, my summer book club, and others—to track me down, and my list, which already feels daunting, will be more than full.
Perhaps to make some early headway, I might pick up Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It will undoubtedly be a quicker read than Kahneman’s latest, and I have little doubt that it will be as lasting in its memory. Many thanks to the great Eric Carle.
Have a great weekend.
“I wrote the book that had meaning to me. I made the pictures that brought me joy.” – Eric Carle
June 5 to June 16
Saturday, June 5
5–6:30 p.m., Family Fun Event
Spirit Week, June 7–11
Monday, June 7
7–8:30 p.m., Board of Trustees, Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, June 9
9–11:30 a.m., Grade 3 State Celebration, Zoom Presentation
10 a.m., Parent Book Club, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, June 10
10 a.m.–12 p.m., Grade 4 Greek Festival, Zoom Gathering
3–4:30 p.m., Athletics Banquet, Zoom Gathering
Friday, June 11
Spirit Week Culminating Event
Extended Day Semester 2 Ends
5:00 p.m., Class of 2017 Senior Send-off
Monday, June 14
Trimester 3 Ends
Tuesday, June 15
Last Day of School; School Closes at 12:30 p.m.
8:50–11:00 a.m., Moving Up Assembly
Wednesday, June 16
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Class of 2021 Graduation, The Barn
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Reminder: Please Return All Library Book
Thank you to everyone who has been searching homes and backpacks for BDS library books. We’re down to 938 books still checked out. All books are now due back so please keep looking and return any you find as soon as possible. If you would like books to borrow for the summer, please get in touch with Amy Sprung.
ICYMI: Recording Available of Planning for Fall 2021 Forum
If you were unable to attend Tuesday evening’s parent forum on planning for Fall 2021, we encourage you to watch the recording that is now available on the Event Recordings page of the Parent Portal. The presentation by Brendan Largay, head of school, provided details on the school’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and preparations for the 2021-22 school year.
2020-21 Athletics Banquet
All are invited to join us on Thursday, June 10 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. for the annual Athletics Banquet. The banquet will focus on celebrating the athletic careers of our eighth graders. In addition, the event will include a year-in-pictures slideshow, alumni reflections, and the presentation of the 2021 Coaches’ Awards. Please mark your calendars and spread the word about this exciting event. A Zoom link to the event is available on the Parent Portal.
Lunch & Snack Menu
June 7 to June 11
Snack: apples; white corn cheese puffs
Lunch: chicken dumplings; edamame dumplings; dipping sauce; broccoli; fortune cookies; spinach salad with shredded carrots; applesauce; milk and water
Snack: bananas; Nutri-Grain Bars
Lunch: (Student Choice Menu) teriyaki chicken; teriyaki tofu; fried rice; edamame; Hoodsie ice cream or popsicles; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: apple slices; baked tortilla scoops
Lunch: (State Fair Meal) beef burgers with bun; vegan burgers with bun; sliced cucumbers; blue corn chips; pickles; potato salad; fresh watermelon cups; milk and water
Snack: pears; whole-grain Rice Krispies
Lunch: (Greek Festival Meal) grilled Greek chicken; hummus; Greek salad; pita bread; stuffed grape leaves; Spanakopita; feta; apple slices; chocolate milk, milk, and water
Snack: fruit cup; Cape Cod chips
Progress Pride Flag Proudly Flies High Above BDS
On arrival at BDS, you may notice we have a new flag flying just below the Stars and Stripes. In celebration and support of Pride Month, we are proudly flying the Progress Pride Flag above our campus. The flag outside our buildings, and the many rainbow masks worn by students and faculty inside them, are visual reminders of our commitment to allyship to and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning, intersex, and asexual or allied) communities. Our school has a long history of participation in the Boston Pride March and our middle school has an established GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance). We fly this flag with joy and are committed to the responsibilities that it announces to all who visit, attend, and work for Belmont Day School.
Seventh Graders Educate Community on ‘Imperfect Food’
This spring, seventh graders in Ms. Fogelstrom’s Food Justice class have been participating in a Design Thinking Action Challenge that asks students to find an audience within the Food Justice realm and seek to support it with a solution. This is a multi-step process that entails time focused on empathy, ideating, researching, prototyping, reflecting and tweaking, and presenting. Two students, Emma Kass and Colby Morris, have created a website on the subject of imperfect food and hope to educate the BDS community on how we might cut down on food waste in our lives and community:
“There are so many people in this world who barely make enough money to afford food. When you compare the number of people who cannot afford healthy food to the amount of perfectly edible food that is wasted, they do not match up. One of the big issues in our country is that there is so much food wasted while people are starving. We decided to create a website to educate people about this problem so as a community we can help start solving the issue. Please click the button below to visit the website and learn more on the topic of imperfect food. Thank you!” – Emma Kass and Colby Morris
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
One week of testing to go! We had another successful week with one small lab glitch that we handled with retesting on Thursday. Our testing data, as of Thursday, June 3, is available in the accompanying charts.
Magnus Paperwork Coming Soon
As school ends and summer approaches, you will be getting notifications from Magnus about paperwork that is due. Please complete this as soon as you can. If you feel you receive these notifications in error, please let me know!
Middle School Covid Vaccinations
If you did not have a chance to complete the survey, but your child received the COVID vaccine, please send me an email with their vaccination dates. We are trying to get as accurate a picture as possible of our middle school vaccination status. Thank you!
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
FROM THE KITCHEN
Special Meals On the Way Next Week!
It is hard to believe that next week is the last full week of lunches for the school year! We are ending strong with some power menus influenced by some of the big milestone events happening for our students:
For Tuesday’s menu, I got together with four-second graders who were the proud recipients of the “plan the menu for a day with chef Lightbody” auction item. Emily, Coco, Remy and Bianca, all from Ms. Fell’s cohort met with me just outside the kitchen under the tent to discuss a meal that they would all like to enjoy one more time this year. They came up with Vegetarian Fried Rice, Chicken, and Hoodsie Ice Cream cups.
On Wednesday, in honor of the Third Grade State Fair, we will be having burgers, potato salad (white), blue corn chips (blue) and watermelon (red) chunks.
Then on Thursday, while the fourth graders celebrate the Greek Gods, we will enjoy a true Greek feast! We will have Greek chicken and pita, with a side of greek salad, Spanakopita, and much more! I hope everyone will enjoy these special meals.
– Tara Lightbody, chef and kitchen manager
BDSRemote: Arranging for Return of All BDS Devices
As the school year draws to a close, families of BDSRemote students must arrange to return all school-owned technology by Friday, June 17. This technology includes iPads, headphones, chargers, stylus, etc. that were issued for students to use at home.
BDSRemote students in Lower School should contact Minna Ham to schedule a time to drop off items. BDSRemote students in Middle School should contact Liz Gray to make arrangements. Thank you!
Seventh Graders Research and Educate on Climate Change
In seven grade science, students have been learning about climate change and the greenhouse effect through a variety of different lenses, including evaluating climate data, conducting research, performing simulations, and doing interviews. Students were tasked with using what they learned about climate change in order to educate an audience of their choice about the science behind the greenhouse effect. They were also asked to educate their audience on what they can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Students came up with an array of creative methods to share their learning: from posters to put up around the school and short Zoom lessons to blogs and websites. Students have chosen a variety of different groups to share their messages with, such as the fifth grade science class, the larger school community at BDS, and neighbors in their hometown, to name just a few. The project has been an engaging way for students to use their creativity to synthesize their learning from the unit! In the dropdown below are some of the projects of students who wanted to send out their message to the larger BDS community. Be sure to check them out!
– Leal Carter, grades 7 & 8 science teacher
Climate Change Projects
A Video Message on Climate Change in New England – Calder Wilmot
Climate Change in the Northeast of the USA – Matthieu Small
Climate Change in Agriculture – Lucy Targum
Climate Change in the Northeast: How Will It Effect Us? – Finnoula Wheeler
Climate Change and Why We Need to Stop It Now – Nikos Axiotis
Climate Change: The Risk to Humans – Marlon Kasse
Climate Change and Its Impact on Our Lives: Infrastructure – Kaitlyn Tan
Climate Change Risks/Effects to People – Sophie Tong
Be Mindful of the Amout You Drive … – Bernie Mattox
Health Effects of Climate Change – Tomas Wright-Katz
PE Update: Get Pumped for Spirit Week!
Spirit weeeeeeeeek! We are stretching out our annual Field Day events over the course of next week, with challenges occurring every day during physical education and athletics. In addition, each day will have a dress-up theme. Today, we’re offering two videos! The first, accompanying this text, is a little something to get you excited for next week. And the second (maybe you watched it a few weeks back?) is a reminder about what the theme for each day will be. Click here to check that one out.
See you at Spirit Week! Go BDS!
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education and athletics teacher
Fifth Graders Design and Create Assistive Devices
To conclude their study of the human body in science class, fifth graders are working in teams to design and 3D-print an assistive device. Students started by brainstorming different disabilities and then selected a “user” for whom they would create a device. Students identified possible challenges that their user might experience in their day-to-day lives, and then brainstormed ideas for devices to help lessen those challenges. Students made concept sketches of several device designs before deciding on two designs to create in Tinkercad, a 3D-modeling software. Students are now printing some of their devices and critiquing them. Students will make changes based on feedback before arriving at a final design solution for their user.
– Emma Nairn, grade 5 teacher, and Kurt Robinson, innovation and art teacher
Athletics Update: Spring Athletes Shine
As highlighted during the final athletics sharing assembly of the year this morning, middle school athletes got after it this spring. From the fields to the courts to the trails, middle school athletes spread their talents over nine different offerings and competed in three separate athletic sessions. Without exception, every middle school athlete put their best foot forward and made the most of the modified athletic programming. Coinciding with Spirit Week, the athletics department will wrap up the 2020-21 year by recognizing our 8th Grade athletes at the Athletics Banquet on Thursday, June 10 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. The entire community will be invited to Zoom into this event.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
Parents’ Association News
Please join us for the last Friendraiser walk of the school year! We are grateful that so many people have joined in throughout the spring. It has been wonderful for our community to make new connections and reconnect with friends. We will meet Thursday, June 10 in front of the schoolhouse at 8:15 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there!
The next book club selection is Less by Andrew Sean Greer. Please join us for our online gathering on Wednesday, June 9 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 Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
Lost & Found
Last chance to locate that beloved item possibly lost at school! Next Wednesday, June 9, right after morning drop-off, we will host a lost and found “grab and go” under the tent outside the Palandjian Arts Center. If you have a moment and think your student may have misplaced something here at school, please stop by to take a quick look through the collection of found items. Thank you!
Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance Celebrates 20 Years
Join the Belmont’s LBGTQ+ Alliance in celebration of 20 years of activism with a panel discussion from LGBTQ+ Leaders from the Boston area on Thursday, June 10 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The panelists will be Janson Wu, LGBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Grace Sterling Stowell, Boston Alliance of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Youth (BAGLY), Debra Fowler, executive director, History Unerased, putting LGBTQ History in its rightful place-the classroom. All are invited to attend this free online event. Click here to register.
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.