Via Skype, fifth graders ask questions of a researcher in British Columbia.
Message from Head of School
Health and Wellness Team Inspires at NAIS
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: March 15, 2019
Last month, four members of Belmont Day’s health and wellness team traveled to Long Beach, California to present at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference. They joined more than five thousand independent school educators and leaders engaged in creative, strategic, and collaborative dialogue on this year’s theme: Reimagining Independent Schools: Tearing Down Walls, Building Capacity, and Designing Our Future.
From beginning to end, the NAIS annual conference offered inspiration, and vital opportunities to connect and collaborate with our peers from across the country. We heard the powerful stories of speakers like Viola Davis, Shiza Shahid, and Simon Sinek, and engaged with colleagues to build capacity and share experiences, and find dedicated spaces to innovate and reflect on our health and wellness program at Belmont Day.
The opening speaker, Viola Davis, could have come from Belmont Day. She spoke eloquently about the power of story–and that our own stories are the elixir of our lives. Her story has guided her life in ways that sound just like our core values and our mission: that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are; that we are called to live lives bigger than ourselves, and stand up for what is right; that our job as educators is to guide children to recognize the inequalities they observe around them and take action. Her keynote was an inspiring start to an amazing conference.
We attended interesting and thought-provoking workshops that offered a wide range of topics on sexuality education, creating gender inclusivity, LGBTQIA+ issues, mindfulness (including using mindfulness with differentiated instruction), courageous authenticity, fostering a positive school culture, and mental health. While we were all able to take away new information and ideas, it was affirming to attend workshops and reflect on our program at BDS. We found again and again that we are following best practices at BDS and are at the forefront when it comes to mindfulness and gender and identity inclusivity. We are a national leader in pre-k to
The most rewarding experience for us was working together as a team to develop our own presentation and the affirming response from the almost forty attendees who came from all over the country. Consistent with the message of the conference’s keynote speakers, Viola Davis
We found great power in this experience. Educators and school leaders who attended our workshop were struck by how purposeful and intentional the foundation was laid at BDS for creating a sustainable program and our mindfulness around establishing and maintaining best practices through self-evaluation and reflection. Attendees also remarked on how unique our program is in that we are able to adapt and grow, instead of sticking to a static, packaged curriculum. Further, they were particularly grateful for the expansive resource list we provided
Simon Sinek, who closed the conference, left us with an impressive message. He spoke about creating an environment where people feel safe, the power of being trusted to do your job, and the love of work that comes from being trusted to be a professional. BDS has trusted our health and wellness team and we have a nationally-recognized program which we can all continue to celebrate!
First graders concentrate on some math-based activities.
This Coming Week at BDS
March 18 through March 22
Monday, March 18
After School, Enrichment, and Extended Day Session 3 Begins
3:30–4:30 p.m.,Enrichment Share: Busniess Sharks, Palandjian Arts Center
3:30–4:30 p.m., Spring Athletics Tryouts
Tuesday, March 19
8:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m., Mission Focus Group 1, Coolidge Hall
3:30–4:30 p.m., Spring Athletics Tryouts
6–9:00 p.m., Parent SEED Group, Coolidge Hall
6:30–8:30 p.m., Film Screening: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, March 20
Grade 7 SSAT
School Closed: Parent Conferences
8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Conference Day Program, APEX Entertainment
6–8 p.m., Mission Focus Group Cambirdge, Parent Home
Thursday, March 21
Faculty Appreciation Breakfast
6:30–8:00 p.m., Get on the Bus Admissions Event
Friday, March 22
Parent Conferences: School in Session
8:50–9:35 a.m., Enrichment Assembly, Palandjian Arts Center
10–11:00 a.m., Drop-in Camp Tour
Drop-in Care on Conference Afternoon and Conference Day
During parent conferences, complimentary drop-in coverage will be available in the Barn for Belmont Day students only. On the next Friday conference afternoon (March 22), complimentary drop-in is open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. (students must be picked up by 4:30 p.m.) and from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (students must be picked up by 5 p.m.) on conference day, Wednesday, March 20.
Students can play in the gymnasium or come prepared with a quiet activity (no electronics, please). No food will be provided, and children will stay in the Barn during the time of their parent’s conference(s) only, with a maximum of 60 minutes.
Conference Day Program Sign-Up
There is still room in our conference day program. 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. For registration, please complete this form.
Please feel free to contact Blair Fross or Joe Jean-Mary at (617) 932-3894 with any questions.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 6:30 p.m. in Coolidge Hall
Join us for the award-winning documentary honoring the kind and wonderful Mr. Rogers. There will be snacks and a raffle of Mr. Rogers memorabilia!
Lunch & Snack Menu
March 18 to March 22
Snack: Cheez-Its; fruit cup
Lunch: BDS macaroni and cheese; maple baked ham; bean and carrot stick blend; greens with balsamic
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: teriyaki salmon; roasted cauliflower and spinach; basmati rice; chef’s choice salad
Parent Conference Day: School Closed
Snack: chocolate chip cookies; grapes
Lunch: clam chowder; carrot ginger soup; ham and cheese croissant; seasoned corn; Caesar salad
Part 2: Executive Functioning and Our Children: Building Strategies for Success
Wednesday, March 27
6:30 to 8 p.m., Erskine Library
Dr. Karen Lindem of Cambridge Center for Neuropsychology and Learning will return to BDS for her second and final workshop on executive functioning.
During the second workshop, Dr. Lindem will discuss behavioral/emotional regulation—how children learn to regulate their behaviors, emotions, and even motivation across different environments.
Participation is limited to 20 and pre-registration is required. Childcare will be available. Please email Mary Ellen Coyne-Gordon to register.
CAPSTONE WEEK 2019
What a wonderful week of Capstone presentations!
Thank you to the eighth graders for such an enriching menu of learning opportunities. We were pushed to think about new topics, revisit familiar topics in a new way, and consider deeply the need to be actively engaged in making the world a better place
Thank you to the many community members who attended: alumni, faculty, middle school students, lower school students, parents of eighth graders, parents of younger students. The spirit of inquiry is alive and well at BDS!
Gregor and Lemack-Bremen Headline Boys’ Lacrosse
More Athletics News
- Emi Biotti, Susanna Kelman, Margot Klug, and Kenna Schneider will bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to this year’s girls’ lacrosse team.
- Lena Cantor and Kaeleen Chen are the lone eighth graders on an extremely talented track & field team. This will be the duo’s third year together on the team.
- Owen Khanna, Lauren Kopperl, and Davin Roy are the only seventh graders going out for tennis this spring. The trio is competing with 21 other athletes to earn a spot on the varsity team.
- Out of the 9 returning eighth graders on the ultimate team, Dylan Skenderian and Max Simon are the only three-year players and will help lead the squad this spring.
Seventh and eighth graders in the pottery wheel arts elective class finished their work this week by glazing their thrown ceramic works. The transition from a raw, amorphous lump of clay into a functional piece of pottery is a journey including many different steps. In the beginning days of the course, students experimented with strategies to succeed at the first, crucial step: centering clay on the wheel. Ask a student from the class about all four steps they focused on while creating their pottery, and be on the lookout for their final creations!
MISSION FOCUS GROUP SESSIONS
Tuesday, March 19, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, March 20, 6-8 p.m., hosted by a Cambridge family*
Monday, March 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Coolidge Hall
Please join Head of School Brendan Largay and trustees Sasha Ebrahimi and Tom Hancock for a presentation on four school mission statement prototypes. This is an opportunity to provide feedback on what resonates and what may be missing in these iterations.
*For Cambridge families or others who cannot attend either the March 19 or 25 sessions. Contact Catherine David for location information.
Third Trimester Starts Monday
Please note that our winter enrichment session ends today, Friday, March 15. Our final trimester of the school year begins on Monday, March 18. If you have any questions on programs or schedules, please contact Blair Fross.
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.
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 late applications for fall admission. With middle school enrollment growth and the coming addition of two new bus service lines—one for Concord-Lincoln-Lexington and the other for Winchester-West Medford-Arlington—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 firstname.lastname@example.org to register or call 617-932-3884.
No Idling Magnet Design Update
Parents’ Association News
Seeking Auction Volunteers
We’re very excited to present the best auction yet! To make this fun and important evening happen, we’ll need volunteers for jobs both big and small. To find a job that is just right for you, please check out the Signup Genius located at: Wonder Auction Volunteer Sign Up. Thanks in advance for your help!
Thank you to the Mullan Family who supplied the beautiful Coolidge Hall centerpieces that will brighten our days for the coming weeks. We still have two open opportunities for others to support this effort. If you’re interested, please sign up here.
Parent Book Club
Please join us to discuss Washington Black by Esi Edugyan on Thursday, March 28 from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. We are finalizing a location for this event and will update parents when it is determined. Refreshments will be provided. Please contact Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
Invitations have been emailed. Please purchase your tickets and submit your RSVP by Saturday, March 23. 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
Featured Auction Item of the Week
Custom Neon Sign
Turn a graphic, icon, or initials into a custom-made neon sign. Work with neon bender, graphic designer, and BDS parent Tony Dowers to make your idea come to life. Neon sign will be designed and made within one year of auction date and sized up to 12 inches by 18 inches. Make your design glow with this amazing auction item!
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
Avalon Consulting Group
Belmont Dental Group
Judy Weinberg Realtor, Leading Edge Real Estate
One2One Bodyscapes Personal Training
OTA The Koomar Center
Red Apple Farm
Race & Gender in America
Discussion with Darnell Moore and Jack Hill
Tuesday, April 4, 4:00–5:15 p.m.
Cambridge Friends School, 5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge
Author Darnell L. Moore will discuss race and racial experiences, and important tools and techniques for anti-racism with Jack Hill, anti-racist educator and CFS head of Middle School and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Darnell will be available for book signings after the discussion. Books are available to purchase during the registration process, with limited quantities available at the door. For more information and to register, visit the Cambridge Friends website.
International Film Festival
Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont
Belmont Against Racism is proud to sponsor the fourth annual Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston at Studio Cinema in Belmont. Over three days, the festival will screen 18 important films from 18 different countries around the world. For details on the films, shows dates and times, and ticket information, please visit Worldwide Cinema Frames.
Parenting Speaker Series
Encouraging Self-Esteem and Managing Anxiety in Students
Tuesday, March 26, 6:30 p.m.
Cambridge Friends School, 5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge
Let’s talk about self-esteem: what true self-esteem is, why it matters, how our culture got it wrong, and what you can do about it. Learn a life tool to help your child develop healthy self-esteem; bounce back from negativity and the hard knocks of life; find their center in the face of conflict and chaos; seek challenge, live their dreams, and have healthy, fulfilling relationships. This presentation and discussion will be led by Patricia Lotterman, a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Cambridge. For more information and to register, please visit the Cambridge Friends website.
Student Debate Summer Program
Acton Debate Institute
July 1-5 and 8-12
Acton Debate Institute is a elementary and middle school speech and debate education initiative serving the Acton-Boxborough, Concord, and surrounding communities. Campers at the summer program will learn from national and state champions, participate in engaging activities, hone their critical thinking and research skills, and build a strong debate foundation for competitive success. The camp runs July 1-5 and 8-12, 9a.m.–3 p.m. in Acton, and is open to current fifth through eighth graders. Learn more at ActonDebateInstitute.com or contact us at ActonDebateInstitute@gmail. com.
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