The Athletics Banquet celebrated the accomplishments of our eighth grade athletes.
Finding A Point on the Horizon: Sailing as a Metaphor for Fall 2020
By Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: June 5, 2020
My uncles were great sailors. My dad is one of eight siblings, and two of his brothers were born of the sea and at greatest peace on the water. In particular, my uncles loved sailboat racing, were fiercely competitive, and often they would recruit their own children or their nieces and nephews to serve as crew or, in my case, as ballast. Summer brings me back to them and the lessons they taught me on the water.
This summer, of course, will be different; the way everything is different these days. But as I find myself answering an appropriately increasing number of questions from families curious about how we are thinking about fall and the safe return to classes, I turn back to one of my earliest memories on my uncle’s boat. I was green, and he saw it before things took an ugly gastronomic turn.
“Find a point on the horizon,” my uncle said; “Keep your focus on that, and only that, until your head stops spinning.” Little did I know, my journey on the leeward side of my uncle’s boat at the age of eight would come back around all these years later as we all get a bit green trying to wrap our collective heads around what life might look like in September. But the advice remains sound: find a point on the horizon and keep your focus clear.
That notion has been at the heart of the work happening under the leadership of Deborah Brissenden, in concert with a handful of administrators, faculty, and parents from a variety of different walks of life: infectious disease doctors, contact tracing technologists working with the state, biotechnologists, and campus planners. As everyone has learned by now, there are very few certainties to plan for. However, what guides us now is not a single plan or scenario. In fact, we are doing away with the language of scenario planning altogether because that, in itself, suggests that we know what at least one scenario might look like when, in truth, even that remains unclear. What guides us now is a point on the horizon. We aspire to return our students and teachers safely to campus in the fall with a plan that honors our commitment to inspiring and challenging every child while honoring their health, safety, and security as we do so.
That’s the thing about a point on the horizon—it stabilizes and is not itself a singular destination. The point is a goal and to get there—wherever ‘there’ may actually be—requires different courses. The work we are doing now is mapping those courses and establishing the proper coordinates to guide us and embracing the comfort that comes from such an exercise. The first set of these coordinates will be published early next week as we finalize our working groups, and begin to raise the sail.
I always envied my uncles’ ability to celebrate the journey of it all; that somehow the point on the horizon was enough to bring him back to center. As we plan for a future that can, at times, make us feel a bit green, there is great comfort in knowing that the destination is in view, our goal is true, the paths, while multiple, do move us in the right direction, and the wind is starting to blow our way.
Get excited for Field Day 2020! Check out this fun video explainer.
News & Updates
Last Week of the 2019-2020 School Year: Events & Celebrations
With classes completed for the year, the week ahead leading to graduation is filled with opportunities for service, fun, and connection. Below is the daily schedule of activities.
For detailed descriptions and schedules of each event, please click here. Invitations for online gatherings were sent directly to each family’s email.
Monday and Tuesday, June 8 & 9
Put on your Blue & Gold and take a series of fun challenges to show that school spirit and get your heart pumping!
Monday and Tuesday, June 8 & 9
We may be apart but nothing brings us together in spirit like helping our community. Click here to check out all the fun service activities you can do at home or in your neighborhood.
Last Day With Your Class or Homeroom
Wednesday, June 10
Gather online with your class or homeroom to wish your classmates and teachers a wonderful summer break! Teachers will reach out to their students directly with the details.
Moving Up Day
Thursday, June 11
One of Belmont Day’s most treasured traditions is when our school community gathers to witness every student and class move from their current grade to the next. The ceremony honors the journey that every child has taken in a shared celebration that is joyful and powerful. Although this important milestone will take place in a new way this year as we are not able to be together in one physical space, we hope it will evoke the same feelings of transition and connection for our community.
Class of 2020 Graduation
Friday, June 12 at 10 a.m.
The graduation ceremony is for the Class of 2020, their families, and our seventh grade students. Seventh grade families, please use the RSVP link to reply for your child.
Arts: Learning to Work With Digital Animation and Music
In the Soundscapes grades 7 & 8 arts elective class, co-taught by Ms. Kitamura and Mr. Robinson, students have been working on incorporating digital animation and music. Students have been learning how to animate objects, and texts on Adobe After Effects, as well as create musical loops using various instruments and automation. Check out this video that merges music composed by Emi Biotti and a car video animated by Scott Abbott.
– Yui Kitamura, music teacher
First Graders Start Sevice Project Crafting Cards for New Parents
The first grade got a jump start on Community Service Days and have been hard at work making ‘welcome baby’ cards for the Family Nurturing Center. The Family Nurturing Center is an organization that provides a safe, nurturing environment for young children to learn and grow and educates parents about life and parenting skills. The cards that the first graders made will be put in ‘welcome baby’ bags containing newborn essentials, including books for the newborn and older siblings. The cards were made with care and love, and they are sure to bring joy to the families who receive them!
– Beth Krebs, grade 1 teacher
Seventh Grade Math Tackles the Pythagorean Theorem
Seventh grade students finish their math this year by exploring the Pythagorean Theorem. Several proofs were viewed and explored, then students applied this to derive the distance formula. Engaging conversations on how to best approach some of these problems helped deepen students’ understanding of this and how to apply it to new situations. Students also dove into a lesson on the wheel of Theodorus and its spiral to prove that all non-square integers from 3-17 are irrational. Students will continue to use this knowledge as the approach more function work in their eighth grade curriculum.
– Brian Laskowski, middle school math teacher
Guest Speaker Takes Seventh Grade Science Around the Globe
Students in seventh grade science have been learning about ecosystems, biodiversity, and sustainability. This week, we had a special guest speaker, Sally Eagle, who is an international award-winning wildlife photographer who has been traveling the globe and photographing wildlife for 35+ years. Her work has been featured in places such as the Smithsonian Museum, the Natural History Museum of London. On Monday, she visited our class and took us on a virtual trip around the globe. We visited Antarctica, South America, Africa, and the Arctic, looking at photographs she has taken of wildlife in each of these regions. Each photograph told a story of different ecosystems and the ways in which they have been impacted by population growth and climate change. Some of her photographs told uplifting stories about how communities have worked to save endangered species. At the end of the presentation, students got a chance to ask her more questions about her career, the things she has learned, and sustainability.
– Leal Carter, Grades 7 & 8 science teacher
Finding the Right Devices for Home Use
- iPad (Grades Pre-K to 3) – If you want your student to practice typing you can buy an optional keyboard. Just be sure you buy the right size that will fit the screen.
- Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN Convertible Laptop (Grades 4-8)
- MacBook Air (Grades 4-8 used in our Innovation lab). If your student is interested in photography and video and uses programs like Adobe Illustrator you will want to get a machine with at least 16 gigs of Ram.
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology
Sesame Street and CNN to Host Town Hall for Kids on Racism
CNN and Sesame Street will host a town hall addressing racism tomorrow, Saturday, June 6 at 10 a.m. The 60-minute special “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism,” will be geared for children and adults. Parents are invited to submit questions beforehand by clicking here.
From the Kitchen
Discussing Food Security and Service
BDS Chef Tara Lightbody visited the second grade recently by way of video to discuss food security. She described how the students’ recent Read for Seeds fundraising campaign along with the kitchen’s donations to Food Link and her recent volunteering at the Greater Boston Food Bank are vital community service to address the increased need for food assistance at this time. Great job second graders!
Book Club Meeting
Wednesday, June 24 at 3 p.m.
Please join us as we discuss The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. In The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature. Even if you haven’t read the book or only read a portion of it, you are encouraged to attend. If interested, please email Nareeluck Stephenson to receive the Zoom invitation.
Annual Fund Update: Approaching 100% Parent Participation!
Belmont Day’s Annual Fund is so close to reaching 100% parent participation. We are almost there and we hope as we reach the end of the school year, we can achieve this goal. Join our faculty, staff, and trustees in hitting 100% participation! Your gift to the annual fund directly impacts every student and faculty member. The annual fund is vital to having a strong and sustainable school today and tomorrow.
Haven’t made your gift yet? Click here to make your gift online. Have a question or need assistance? Contact Pati Fernandez or Beth Sousa. Thank you!
Order Student Photos Before End of the School Year
There is still time to order your child(ren)’s photos from the school’s picture days last fall. If you want to see them again and make a purchase, please follow these directions:
To sign in to see and purchase photos, please go to Porter Gifford Photography. Enter your email address and the case-sensitive password: bds2019.
- Your email address will only be used for identification and ordering purposes.
- Photos are organized by grade. Scroll down to just beneath the all-school collage for the menu bar where you can select your child’s grade. Students are not identified by name.
- Click on a photo’s shopping basket to see the sizes available and their prices.
- You may purchase just one or an assortment of your child(ren)’s photos; there are no photo packages.
- Purchased photos will be mailed directly to the address you provide during ordering.
- If you have any questions, please contact porter@portergifford. com.
In addition to links to your student’s academic activities and lessons, the Offsite Learning Site offers activity and enrichment resources, including After School at Home.
The COVID-19 News and Resources Page offers links to important resources including Talking With Your Child About COVID-19 and an archive of school communications.
A Big, Fun BDS Week Ahead!
This week ahead will be loaded with laughs and full of fun and memorable moments. Whether it’s taking on a challenge during Field Days, helping the community through service-learning activities, or honoring our eighth graders as they graduate, we hope you’ll share a few of those moments for all to cherish. Be sure to tag us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or send an image or short video to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Show Your Pride in June!
We love seeing your Pride Month photos! Keep sending them our way! 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Boston Pride and while we won’t be able to march as a school group this year, we can still join together to celebrate. Take a picture of you or your family celebrating Pride and email it to email@example.com to be featured in the Scoop and BDS social media. #BDSPride #GSyAy! #wickedproud
Fun at Home
After School at Home
Our after school team has put together a website chock full of wonderful activities for students when school time has ended for the day. These activities continue our program’s mission of fun with the intention of enhancing skills, spurring creativity, and building community. Each week the team will update the site with new options. Click here to visit the site.