Kindergartners, family, and faculty shared some favorite poetry during the 8th annual Poem in Your Pocket.
Message from Head of School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: June 7, 2019
Happy summer everyone! It has arrived as it usually does, just in time.
As we drift into these lazy days, I find myself reflecting on a remarkable year here at Belmont Day. In many ways, I look on it as almost two years in one—pre-Barn and post-Barn—with a seismic shift in our school’s physical plant, and daily experience right in the middle of things. In every way, this year has been transformative for our school, and I am confident that it has been transformative for your child as well. This faculty has been extraordinary, as they are every year, in delivering the program and the heart that our students need to thrive. This year, navigating the addition of the Barn they have gone above and beyond. We adopted a mission statement, the school’s first in its proud history. And at every turn, we see children flourishing as they gleefully anticipate summer break.
This year, we witnessed the loss of one of our nation’s greatest poets, Mary Oliver, who wrote one of my favorite poems which I will leave here for you to read, consider, and celebrate along with the arrival of summer. The poem asks a question that has been hanging prominently in the third grade classroom all year long, and it is one that means a great deal to me as the head of a school that seeks to inspire and challenge students and faculty alike each and every year:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
May your summer be wild and precious, and may you take the time you need in answering Ms. Oliver’s question. Thank you for another wonderful year.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
When the sun cooperated, sixth graders went head to head racing their solar car creations this week.
This Coming Week at BDS
June 10 through June 16
Monday, June 10
After School Extended Day Session 3 Ends
Tuesday, June 11
Last Day of School: School Closes at 12:30 p.m.
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Moving Up Assembly, Barn Gym
Wednesday, June 12
1–4:00 p.m., Class of 2019 Graduation, the Barn
Thursday, June 13
5–6:30 p.m., Class of 2015 Senior Send-off
Friday, June 14
1–4:00 p.m., Faculty End-of-Year Celebration
Sunday, June 16
11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Swim and Tennis Association Opening Day
Boston Pride Parade
TOMORROW, Saturday, June 8, meet at 10:45 a.m.
Join the middle school Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) community to march in Boston’s Pride Parade. Boston Pride is a fun, affirming event—hundreds of community groups, faith groups, non-profits, schools, and businesses gather to celebrate LGBTQIA+ communities. Participating in Pride is another way to celebrate our diversity, encourage diversity in the wider community, and enjoy each other’s company—all are welcome!
- LINEUP TIME and LOCATION: 10:45 a.m., Section A Position 15, Copley Square, across from 535 Boylston Street
- This is a family-friendly, multi-generational event—all are welcome!
- Wear your BDS gear or anything festive and fun!
- Scooters, wagons, and strollers are encouraged. The parade route is 2.27 miles and ends at City Hall Plaza, where we will get a group photo before dispersing for the day.
- The parade happens, rain or shine! Bring water, dress for the weather, wear sunscreen—and be aware that police and security staff may search bags and backpacks.
- Our marshals this year are Liz LaRocque and Koreen McQuilton.
Lost and Found
Next Tuesday, June 11, during the Moving Up Assembly, all items from Lost and Found will be on display in the Barn. Immediately after school closes that day, the remaining items will be donated to Cradles to Crayons. Currently, there are unclaimed items in athletics, in the Barn and in the Lost and Found area in the hallway across from the teachers’ lounge. Please have your students check these areas or stop by yourself if you are missing anything.
Lunch & Snack Menu
June 10 to June 14
Snack: snack mix
Lunch: spaghetti and meatballs; broccoli; warm baguette; chef’s choice salad
Moving Up Day
Snack: fresh snack
School Closed for Summer Break
Breakfast for Faculty
Breakfast for Faculty
Still Time to Register!
Summer break is just days away and the Belmont Day Camp crew is ready to welcome campers and start up the fun in the sun. Sessions run throughout the summer with specialty and sports programs offered as well. There are still some great options to add Belmont Day Camp to your child(ren)’s summer experiences. Check out the BDS summer camp website to learn more.
Thank You, Eighth Grade!
On Monday, athletes, coaches, team parents, and alums were recognized at the annual athletics banquet. This culminating event serves as a celebration of all the individuals responsible for Belmont Day’s thriving athletics program. The highlight of the evening is the individual recognition of every eighth grade athlete. Members of this year’s graduating class have given so much to the program over the course of their middle school careers and are directly responsible for the current climate of Belmont Day athletics. Thank you, eighth grade!
Groove to the Beat: Bucket Drumming Elective
This week, students in the grades 7 and 8 bucket drumming elective class performed their final drumming routine for the Belmont Day community. In the seventh and eighth grades, students learn more complex drumming technique and choreography that build on techniques used in sixth grade. Students work on drag ruffs, paradiddles, as well as choreography that allows for line and circle formations. They came up with a routine that consists of four one-minute sections, comprised of at least two types of drumming strokes, and one type of choreography.
According to a 2013 study, group drumming improves the social and mental wellbeing of at-risk students. The implication of the study is that group drumming improves self-esteem as well as nonverbal communication of students. Furthermore, small drumming groups can improve group cohesiveness and mood. It has been absolutely phenomenal and a privilege to witness the musical and social growth of our students in music class. They not only work on nonverbal cues and rhythmic accuracy but on social bonding and interaction. Check out this performance video to see the students in action!
–Yui Kitamura, music teacher
More Arts News
Fourth grade students have been working on graphic notation through the study of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Arvo Part for our final unit of the year. For their project, students walked around to observe the sounds of BDS, and create a composition using layering, shapes, and abstract art.
EIGHTH GRADE NEWS
Class Car Wash a Great Success!
ANNUAL FUND NEWS
Just Do It in June!
My sincere thanks to the 96% of you who have already made a gift to the 2019 BDS Annual Fund, especially pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade for all reaching 100% participation. Way to go!
If you are one of the families that has not yet made a gift, I strongly encourage you to Just Do It in June! Your gift to the annual fund has an immediate and immense impact on the experience of each and every Belmont Day student. Not only is your gift a tax-deductible donation, but it also allows us to provide many things as a part of our tuition that other schools charge extra for, such as our delicious and nutritious lunches and snacks. Please join me in supporting our students by making your gift today. Give easily and securely online: Just Do It in June!
– Beth Sousa, associate director of development and annual giving
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
Hands Helping Haiti
This year four sixth graders took the initiative to support our partner school, Matènwa, in Haiti. They set a goal of raising $400 in order to supply the sixth graders in Haiti with one month of substantial meals. Thanks to your generosity, they are happy to announce that they exceeded their goal and raised $683.65! Many thanks to the whole community.
We are delighted to announce that Pati Fernández will join the Belmont Day community this summer in the role of director of development. Pati has 11 years of successful experience in development and communications in independent schools and non-profit organizations. She currently serves as interim director of development and communications at Wediko Children’s Services and Camp Wediko in Boston. She has worked at The Pike School in Andover as the assistant director of advancement and annual fund and prior to that at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley in Lawrence. Pati received both a bachelor’s degree in business management and communications and a master’s degree in communications management from Simmons College. We can’t wait to welcome Pati to campus!
Thank You, Parents’ Association!
Thank you to all of our wonderful parents’ association volunteers this year and a special thank you to this year’s PA Executive Committee: Katherine Sayn-Wittgenstein, Crissy Straub, Tyl Pattisall, and Elyse Bayard. We greatly appreciate your tireless efforts and support of our community of students, teachers, and families!
Protecting Children After a Major Data Breach
The American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), a payment processor that Quest Diagnostics uses to collect and process bill payments, confirmed a major data breach on May 31, 2019. News is coming out daily about other lab companies whose data was also affected by this breach. Whether you think your records have been compromised or not, the Belmont Day tech office recommends that you monitor the three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) for attempts to open up a credit line in your name. Social security numbers are a hot commodity on the black market. The most vulnerable targets for SSN theft are children because they don’t generally use social security numbers until they turn 18. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University estimated U.S. children are 51 times more likely to have their numbers stolen than adults.
Student Kicks Way to Great Success
Congratulations to sixth grader, Christopher McEvoy, who received his black belt last week in martial arts. He is the third student to receive a black belt through the enrichment program. Sensei Bobby recognized Christopher’s achievement in a ceremony attended by the whole martial arts class. He has been a dedicated member of the enrichment program for most of his career at BDS and his leadership, commitment, and enthusiasm have set the standard for the class.
Parents’ Association News
School Bench Donations
As we end the school year, we are very happy to announce that the PA raised enough funds throughout the year to give back to Belmont Day. The school will be adding three new benches around the property courtesy of the PA!
Thanks to everyone for your support during a very active and successful year. Have a safe and wonderful summer.
Girls Who Code 2-Week Summer Courses
Girls Who Code’s newest summer program is Girls Who Code Campus. Each campus course, for girls ranging 10- to 18-years old, is two weeks long and explores topics like iPhone App Development (ages 13-18) or Wearable Tech (ages 11-15).
Campus courses in the Boston area are at Winsor School in Boston and Meadowbrook School in Weston. For more information on the courses and schedules, schedule, visit the Girls Who Code website. Registration is open now. Full scholarships are available for families that qualify. Email [email protected] with questions.
You can share a link to the entire newsletter here—or share individual articles using the icons to the right of each article.