Faculty worked with the team from the Tufts Center for Engineering, Education, and Outreach during this week’s professional development day.
Message from Head of School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: March 1, 2019
You can find this week’s Blue Handprint Studios audio below:
Welcome back! I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a delightful February break. Here on campus, Blair Fross, Joe Jean-Mary, and their team hosted a wildly popular Star Wars-themed vacation camp–complete with a visit from Princess Leia and Darth Vader to round out an intergalactic week here at BDS.
I spent the week recharging with my family and doing my best to catch up on some reading which had fallen by the wayside. Alas, all I could muster was half of Joyce Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership in Turbulent Times and all of Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 (a beach-read thriller in stark contrast to Goodwin’s study of Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson). But it would be a New York Times article that I read this week, between the moments of re-entry with faculty and students, that stopped me in my tracks. Frankly, I’m still reeling a bit in my effort to make sense of it.
The article, “Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays,” is about Dennis McCarthy, a Shakespearean scholar who has come across the manuscripts of George North. Before reading the article, this name meant nothing to me, yet it turns out that North may have informed not only the storylines but the very language of nearly a dozen of Shakespeare’s plays. As is often the case with Shakespeare, my glasses are rather rose-colored. I was a double major in English and theater as an undergrad. Shakespeare comfortably occupies the space where those two roads meet. As such, this news was quite disappointing, shocking even.
Then I got to thinking about my curriculum and the opportunity to teach authentically to the core value of honesty in my English classroom. (My curriculum includes The Tempest, and not one of the eleven plays mentioned in the article.)
I look forward to sharing this article and then asking my students a long list of questions:
- Does the possibility that Shakespeare borrowed ideas and language over four hundred years ago change the excellence of the text today? If so, why?
- What happens when honesty is compromised, and we are left to reconcile how our feelings change about a particular subject as a result? And how is this applicable beyond the language of Shakespeare?
- What about athletes who have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs? What about musicians who have borrowed music without acknowledgment or royalty? Does that change the way we think of these athletes or musicians?
Never–and I mean, never–did I imagine that my position on Shakespeare as the greatest writer in history might change. I have stood by that take with sincere and passionate conviction. So, what now?
I guess this is what I love about education and lifelong learning: it requires flexibility and adaptability, especially when a longstanding belief you have held is challenged when you aren’t expecting it. It’s not what any of Goodwin’s presidents were up against, but for me, these are certainly some turbulent times!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Eighth graders took on their coaches during the annual basketball game to close out the winter season.
This Coming Week at BDS
March 2 through March 8
Saturday, March 2
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Technology Class for Associate Teachers
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., English Teachers Collaborative, Barn Conference Room
Sunday, March 3
Trimester 3 Begins
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Technology Class for Associate Teachers
Mud Week: No Athletics, March 4-8
Monday, March 4
8:15–9:00 a.m., Grade 4 Parents Library Coffee, Erskine Library
4:30–7:30 p.m., Faculty SEED Group, World Language Room
Tuesday, March 5
7:00–9:00 p.m., Board of Trustees
Friday, March 8
8:50–9:35 a.m., All-school Sharing Assembly, Barn
No Idling Magnet Design Challenge
Students in all grades are invited to submit a black-and-white original design for our No Idling Magnet Design Challenge. Our goal is to encourage people on campus to keep car engines turned off unless they are moving through drop-off and dismissal lines. Students brought home a design template in Friday Folders. Design submissions are due by Friday, March 15. Extra templates will be available at Early Birds as well as black markers for outlining the designs.
Submissions can be dropped off at Early Birds or at the corner art studio, both in the Barn. Contact Kathy Jo Solomon with any questions. Look for an update in a future Scoop on the process for selecting the final design.
All-school Sharing Assembly
Friday, March 8
8:50–9:35 a.m., Barn Gym
Originally scheduled to be divided by lower and middle school divisions, next Friday’s sharing assembly will instead be an all-school event. Join us for an exciting glimpse of the projects and milestones happening throughout all grade levels.
Lunch & Snack Menu
March 4 to March 8
Snack: BBQ Pop Chips; fruit cup
Lunch: spaghetti with meatballs and vegan meatballs; roasted Mediterranean vegetables; garlic bread; greens with balsamic
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: turkey chili and vegetable chili; salsa, sour cream, and guacamole; corn; taco salad
Snack: granola bars; raisins
Lunch: fish and chips; Mediterranean roasted Acadian redfish; broccoli; krinkle-cut fries; arugula and roasted tomato salad
Snack: muffins; apples
Lunch: cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza; seasoned green beans; garden salad
Snack: carrots; cheese and apples
Presentation Schedule Set for March 11 to 15
The 2019 Capstone presentations will be held during
We are excited to invite you to join us for the presentations. If you are planning to attend, we ask that you please keep the following key points in mind:
- Students in pre-k to grade five must be accompanied and supervised by an adult if they wish to attend an afternoon or evening session. Middle school students may attend on their own.
- When you attend an afternoon or evening session, we ask that you and your child(ren) plan to stay for the entire session to show support for all of our presenters.
- If your child is enrolled in after school or an after school enrichment class and would like to attend an afternoon Capstone presentation session with you, a DISMISSAL CHANGE SLIP MUST be given to Barbara Carey at the front desk NO LATER than 9 a.m. on the morning of the presentation. These students will be dismissed to the adult specified on the dismissal form at their dismissal door.
- After school program staff are not able to take students to the afternoon presentations.
- If your child is not enrolled in after school and he or she wishes to stay to attend an evening session on Wednesday or Thursday, you may sign up for emergency after school care (3:30 to 5:45 p.m.) for a fee of $55. To sign up, fill out a DISMISSAL CHANGE SLIP, attach a check, and give these to Barbara Carey at the front desk NO LATER than 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the presentation. Reminder: after
schooldismissal starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 5:45 p.m.
It’s been an exciting year for our Capstone students and their mentors, and we’re looking forward to an engaging and informative slate of presentations from this year’s class. We hope to see you there!
– Jennifer Friborg, Capstone Coordinator
Director of Equity and Inclusion Hired
We are happy to announce that Dr. Carlos Hoyt will be Belmont Day’s first director of equity and inclusion. Carlos will join us from his current role as director of community and inclusion at The Chestnut Hill School. In addition to his work at The Chestnut Hill School, Carlos has provided psychotherapy through his private practice and has consulted numerous schools and organizations on issues of equity, inclusion, social identity, social justice, and other relevant topics. We are thrilled to have Carlos join our community this summer.
Arrivals, Departures, and Leaves
We are also pleased to welcome Kali Joseph who joined the Belmont Day team just this week. Kali is a member of the middle school mathematics department through the end of the school year. She joins us after recent teaching positions at Ursuline Academy and the Montrose School. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Puget Sound and received her master’s degree from Simmons College.
It is with shared excitement, and a bit of sadness, that we announce that Kathy Gruzynski, grade eight mathematics teacher and middle school mathematics specialist, has accepted a position in South Korea. Kathy will leave at the end of the school year to become the STEAM program director and a member of the math faculty at St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju, on Jeju Island, South Korea.
Due to enrollment growth in
Job descriptions will be posted on our website—if you know of candidates who may be interested in joining our community please direct them there.
The Barn is a Game Changer
The addition of the Barn has been a game changer for the athletics program. With more athletes (103) and more teams (8) than ever before, athletic venues are at a premium here at Belmont Day, especially during the winter season. In years past, basketball players would bus off-campus for practice on a daily basis, while Coolidge Hall and the PAC were the permanent homes for fencing and badminton.
This year, all four basketball teams remained on campus and practiced in a state-of-the-art 12-basket facility that rivals any college gymnasium. By moving basketball to the Barn, the Downing Gym is now available for fencing and badminton. The impact of Barn doesn’t stop there, however. Of equal importance was the addition of two new programs, wrestling, and volleyball. Both sports could not have been offered without the new space and have already become staples within the program. Of course, space is just space. It’s the people, athletes, and coaches alike that fill the space, give it energy, and make it come alive. Congratulations to all of our athletes and coaches for a tremendous winter season.
Beautiful Bandsaw Boxes
Bill Smith, Woodworking and 21st Century Skills Teacher
Seventh and eighth graders in woodworking are making great progress in designing and creating bandsaw boxes. Each student starts their box from one solid block of wood that they cut a dozen times to make the components for the box. Student designs differ widely, from linear pieces to those featuring asymmetrical abstract curves. For more photos of students creating their boxes, visit our website.
Student Receives Scholastic Art & Writing Award Gold Key
Congratulations to seventh grader Kiki Friedbauer who received a Scholastic Art & Writing Award Gold Key for her painting, “A Solemn Countenance.” Sponsored by The Boston Globe and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, the program recognizes the talent of our nation’s youth and provides opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers, along with the educators who support and encourage the creative process are recognized for excellence annually. Kiki’s remarkable painting was also published in our own Echo Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1.
Conference Day Sign-Up
Our conference day program is now open for registration. Children will be going off-site for an exciting day at APEX in Marlborough. Activities will include laser tag, bowling, arcade, plus a pizza lunch. We will be traveling by bus.
Spring Enrichment Programs
Registration for our spring trimester is now open. Please note that we enroll on a first-come, first served basis. Registration closes on Friday, March 15, which is the last day of the current trimester. Enrollment, if available after March 15, will incur an additional fee. The third trimester begins on Monday, March 18.
Looking Ahead to April Vacation
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our February vacation camps. Nearly 60 students participated in the Jedi-in-Training and ski camps. We had teachers, specialists, alumni, and many of our camp staff return for this themed week full of fun. If you had a great time at these two camps, keep in mind that we will be offering two camps during the April vacation week: Hogwarts Camp and Babysitting & Leadership. For more information and to register, visit our website.
Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety with Katie Greer
Two Adult Sessions:
Wednesday, March 27 at 8:15–9:15 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, March 27 at 4:00–5:00 p.m., Coolidge Hall
To accommodate parent and faculty schedules, we will offer two sessions–one in the morning and one in the afternoon–with our guest speaker, Katie Greer. You may enroll your child in after school (for a fee) if you would like to attend the afternoon session and need childcare. Please be in touch with Blair Fross to reserve a space and be sure to complete a dismissal change form. Space in after school is limited.
Greer’s programs, designed to educate students spanning kindergarten to college, are thoughtfully tailored to accommodate the developmental and emotional differences in each age group. She instructs parents, teachers, administrators, and law enforcement officials on internet safety and other issues pertaining to technology safety and responsibility. A former intelligence analyst and director of internet safety for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, Katie has been widely featured in the media.
New Tech Tool Arrives!
It’s here! The innovation studio has a new addition to its set of educational tools thanks to a generous donation made through the Barn registry. The FormLab2 3D printer delivers high-resolution parts at a fraction of the cost of industrial printers. This high-end printer can create prototypes of student work through Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing. This printer uses a laser to cure solid isotropic parts of a liquid photopolymer, and it will allow students to take 3D printing to the next level.
We can’t wait to see our students’ ideas go from inception to prototype! Tech department members Kurt Robinson and Dolly Ryan will be attending the FormLabs User Summit in Boston this May. The summit brings together people who use this technology to change the way things are made and solve global problems. Our hope is to broaden our network of experts in the field and bring new ideas back to BDS.
Planning Ahead for Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Visiting Day
We are looking forward to opening our classrooms to grandparents and special friends on the morning of Friday, May 10!
If you have already provided us with grandparent address information in prior years, they are already on our invitation list. Please let us know if for any reason you do not wish for a grandparent to receive an invitation this year by emailing Beth Sousa.
Special Friend Information
We do not hold on to addresses for special friends, as these tend to change from year to year. If you would like to invite someone who is not a grandparent, please submit a form even if it is the same person you invited last year.
Please submit your student’s grandparent or special friend address information using this online form.
Thank You for Supporting Roots and Shoots!
On February 8, Belmont Day hosted Friday Night Hoops, the annual varsity basketball teams’ matchups against our friendly rivals at Meadowbrook. During the event, middle school service club Roots and Shoots sponsored a bake sale with lots of delicious homemade goodies. We’re excited to report that the bake sale raised $368.25!
Also during this fun-filled night, Roots and Shoots hosted a half-time shoot-a-
Thanks to the generosity of the community the Roots and Shoots bake sale, 50/50 raffle and shoot-a-
Get On the Bus Admissions Event
Thursday, March 21, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
This new admissions event will serve families with young children who want to get a head start on a future admissions process and provide an introduction to the school for families that may be interested in submitting a late application for fall admission. With middle school enrollment growth and the coming addition of two new bus service lines, now is the time to spread the word and get your friends and neighbors on board!
Those who are interested in learning more about Belmont Day can email [email protected] to register or call 617-932-3884.
Parents’ Association News
Thank you to trustee Desirée Ivey who supplied the beautiful Coolidge Hall centerpieces that will provide spring cheer to our children for the coming weeks. We still have three open opportunities for others to support this effort. If you’re interested, please sign up here.
Wilson Farms Thanks!
Thank you to Catalina Guillermety and Gigi Saltonstall for organizing the successful PA fundraiser at Wilson Farm yesterday. Wilson Farm donated 20% of all BDS purchases back to the school!
PA Nominations Open
The parents’ association is seeking individuals who would like to serve a two-year term on the PA executive committee from June 2020 to June 2022.
The vice president serves for one year and then becomes president of the PA the following year. The vice president is the coordinator for all grade parents serving on behalf of the school and also assists the president in carrying out his or her duties. The vice president also attends monthly PA and PA executive committee meetings.
The treasurer serves for two years. Duties include attending monthly PA and PA executive committee meetings, preparing an annual financial statement and PA budget, collecting annual dues, retaining custody of and disbursing funds.
Both of these positions offer wonderful opportunities for involvement and influence in our school community. We encourage you to nominate individuals who you believe will represent the voices of our parent body. Self-nominations are strongly welcomed and encouraged!
Nominations may be sent to [email protected] or may be placed in the PA Box in the school foyer until Thursday, March 7, 2019. The nominating committee will review all nominations, and the final slate will be announced on April 12, 2019. Elections will be held at the corporation meeting on May 16, 2019.
If you have any questions, please contact any member of the nominating committee: Crissy Straub (PA president 2019-20), Katherine Sayn-Wittgenstein (outgoing PA president), Elise Bayard (clerk 2018-20), Tyl Pattisall (outgoing treasurer), Catalina Guillermety (current board member), Elliot Targum (former PA president) and Augusta Sparks (former PA president).
Invitations in Your Inbox
Wondering when to RSVP for the auction? There are no paper invitations this year. Please check your email and your spam folder to ensure receipt. If you have not received your invitation, please email [email protected]. Please purchase your tickets and submit your RSVP by Friday, March 22. You won’t want to miss this exciting community event!
Calling for Wine Donations
Did you miss the auction donation deadline and are still thinking about how you could contribute? Consider donating a bottle of wine for a new game to be featured at the auction: the BDS Wonder Wine Pull! Donated bottles should have a minimum value of $20 and should be dropped off by Monday, March 18, in the development office. If you would like to donate a higher
Still Accepting Business Sponsors
Do you own or know a business who may be interested in sponsorship opportunities?
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.
We would like to acknowledge and thank our current Wonder sponsors, which include:
Carolyn Atinizian & John Yardemian P’27
Gail Roberts, Ed Feijo & Team
Keller Williams – Boston and Cambridge Homes, LLC
MANDARINA Interior Design Studio
Orthodontics of Cambridge
Villandry Contracting, Inc
Marquis Tree Service
Belmont Dental Group
One2One Bodyscapes Personal Training
OTA The Koomar Center
Red Apple Farm
Science on Saturday
Teaching Computers to See, Play, and Think
Saturday, March 2, 10–11:00 a.m.
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Explore how computers see the world using cameras and other sensors, and how deep learning helps computers and robots know what’s going on around them. There will be exciting demos of computer vision, augmented reality, and video games used in current machine learning and artificial intelligence research to build self-driving cars, smarter voice assistants, and even basketball-playing robots! Recommended for ages 5-17. For more information and registration, please visit Science on Saturday.
Presentation: A Digital Coming of Age
Wednesday, March 6, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Cambridge Friends School
Dr. Jill Walsh, a professor, and researcher at Boston University will present information about the current digital media landscape, with a particular focus on the apps and platforms most popular with children and tweens. She will share the experiences of young people she has worked with and situate their stories in the context of broader research in the field of adolescent development. For more information and to register, please click here.
Contemporary Art Show
March 16–April 6
Belmont Gallery of Art
Belmont native and now notable Cleveland-based artist/musician Matt Gallagher returns to Belmont with a solo show at the Belmont Gallery of Art. Gallagher’s Research and Development exhibit will feature over thirty unique paintings and sculptural pieces. For more information and gallery hours, please visit www.belmontgallery.org.
Parent Lecture Series
The Belmont After School Enrichment Collaborative and the Belmont Public Schools will present the 5th Annual Parent Lecture Series with three speakers in March, April, and May. The topic this year is “Thriving in a Diverse World: Raising Racially Aware Children.” The lectures are free and open to all. For more information, visit the
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