Second graders rehearse for their play, which will premiere on Friday, April 12.
Message from Head of School
What I Learned from Capstone 2019
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: March 22, 2019
What follows is what I learned from each of our Capstone presenters, but before I get to that, allow me to say that Capstone feels quite different when you are the parent of an eighth grader. You have lived the journey right alongside them, and know just what a pinnacle the community is reaching together, and there is tremendous power in the knowledge that your child is contributing to that moment. There is power, too, in the acknowledgment between parents of the hard work and dedication it has taken to arrive at this moment.
Come to think of it, the power of the Capstone moment lives in all sorts of unexpected places. You can feel it in the electricity in the air as everyone files into the Kiva. It can be seen in the eyes of a proud mentor and the raised hand of a curious first grader. You can hear it in each of Jen Friborg’s delightful metaphors about the triad of the Capstone journey and in the collective voice and agency of an
Sophie M: I learned that there are many lessons to be taken from the exceptional emotional intelligence of elephants; among the most critical is the importance of compassion. I also learned that Sophie sets a high standard for Capstone presentations—precisely what we needed from our first presenter of the year!
Eli B: I learned about the history of plastic and how its multipurpose functionality has made it ubiquitous. I also learned that the production of plastics is a primary cause of climate change. With students as passionate as Eli leading the way, the design of sustainable alternatives—biodegradable silk dental floss, anyone?—and the promise of solutions for a healthier planet will be realized.
Everett D: Through his study and understanding of Esperanto, the Language of Hope, I learned that Everett is well prepared for a world where global citizenship is a critical skill for success. I learned, too, that Esperanto is as relevant today to foster peace and international understanding as it was more than a century ago when it was created.
Alice M: I learned that successful performance on Broadway (or Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway) demands much more than meets the eye. I learned, too, that when her name goes up in lights one day we will all be able to say, “I knew Alice M back when she was a student at BDS!”
Elena D-C: I learned that there is a widening gap between media representations of obsessive-compulsive disorder and the actual and real challenges of OCD, and this gap is detrimental to treatment. I learned that Elena has a knack for teaching—her presentation could have been a college lecture. Teach on Professor Elena!
Jazmin C: I learned that the conflicted feelings parents have about their teenagers’ social media use is shared by many young people as well. I learned, too, that alongside the challenges of social media, we can find rich opportunities for expression there.
Sonia K: I learned that the science of treating conjoined twins is fascinating, burgeoning, and ethically complicated. Sonia’s masterful understanding of 3D printing and technical design made the experiences of conjoined twins visible. I also learned that our
Brennan T: I learned that vertical forests in major cities might play a crucial role to help save the planet by mitigating pollution. Brennan began his career at BDS just a year ago with a Capstone visit, and his presentation was a testament to the power of coming full circle!
Avery B: I learned that the International Space Station is the size of a football field, and visiting it requires a demanding and rigorous training process. I learned, too, that despite my curiosity and aspirations to be an astronaut someday, it probably makes sense for me to keep my day job and leave the adventure to Avery.
Paul L: I learned that there are 70,000 ACL injuries in skiing each year due, in part, to the antiquated design of the bindings on downhill skis. I also learned that Paul might have a career as an extreme skier/YouTuber sometime in the not so distant future!
Sophie D: I learned about the importance of explicitly teaching vulnerability to our teenaged students at a time of life when they feel it and need it most. I also learned that Sophie is an outstanding spokesperson for the power of vulnerability and the importance of courage.
Ellie K: I learned that the Capstone process could lead a student to discover new areas of interest. Ellie learned about sports injuries and shared her knowledge with us; through the process, she found a new passion for medical imaging. Her interview with a pre-k/kindergarten parent highlighted the power of connection within our community.
Dylan S: I learned that Mars colonization may not merely be the stuff of science fiction novels and that we may live to see its first inhabitants! I learned, also, that given the opportunity, Dylan would gladly be among those colonists and would have a leg up on finding the best sleeping pod once he gets there!
Vivian D: I learned that the U.S. is investing 1,106x as many resources in NASA as they are in NOAA, the National Oceanic
Eden L: I learned that few therapeutic resources rival the companionship and support provided by dogs. I learned that a dog’s pack mentality extends beyond the tundra and unbeknownst to most dog owners, they are a part of their pet’s pack.
Izzy K: I learned that the modern world is experiencing a Cartoon Renaissance, not unlike the cultural dawning of the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries! I also learned that Izzy might be destined for a career as a cartoon scriptwriter, helping to carry the art form forward.
Philippe P: I learned that the same frontiersmanship that leads us to explore the possibility of colonizing Mars once led four prominent explorers to discover and map Antarctica. I also learned that Philippe might have a career as an Iditarod driver… mush, mush!
Sebastian: I learned that while the prospect of the sixth extinction may be upon us—spoiler alert: humans will be the ones going extinct this time—so long as we have advocates like Sebastian among us, there is still cause for hope! I also learned that the presentation space where a Capstone is delivered has significance. The Barn brought a different and new perspective to the amazing work that Sebastian, Kelyn, Sonya, and Sadie presented.
Sonya L: I learned that the beautiful art form of ballet has a challenging and unpleasant history of physical and emotional health-related issues that have long plagued dancers. I learned, too, that community support helps dancers navigate the challenges, and that fewer health issues are likely to manifest in more inclusive dance companies.
Kelyn K: I learned that nanotechnology is “all around us, but we don’t even know it,” from car collision safety systems to medicine to clothing. I also learned that if you play with ratios of size relative to nanotech, as Kelyn did to start his presentation, the moon can be the size of a gumball.
Sadie L: I learned (or was reminded) that girls rock and that the music industry (to name one) has a long way to go to make room for female artists, producers, and engineers. 98% of music producers and sound engineers in the industry today are male. Sadie’s presentation left us proudly cheering for more.
Mina C: I learned about the Thalidomide scandal, the reason why phrases like “wonder drug” are misleading, and why FDA approval has become a much more rigorous process since the days of Thalidomide. I also learned that YouTube is an excellent resource for Capstone
Jacob G: I have always known about the impact of steroids on the perception of athletes, but I learned so much from Jacob about their effect on the human body. I learned that on a level playing surface, operating with the same technology and advancements, Jesse Owens (four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 Games) would finish only one stride (!?) behind Usain Bolt if they were to race today.
Henry B: I learned that the synthesis of Henry’s passion for architecture, history, and engineering integrated on the streets of Rome that are filled with some of the world’s greatest architectural achievements. I learned, also, that Henry may make a great architect and that his grandparents were among the first to appreciate his vision and nuance as a thoughtful and talented designer.
Nico R: I witnessed courage and risk-taking and learned that a supportive community makes all the difference. I also learned that Nico’s natural athleticism makes downhill mountain biking a snap. Additional learning note: Ms. Rochford is an excellent downhill mountain biker as well!
Max S: I learned that virtual reality is exponentially expanding our experience of the world. I also learned that Max has an inside edge on becoming a member of our admissions team—he has already created a 360-degree virtual reality walk-through of several middle school classrooms!
Lena C: I learned about the continual media assault that pressures young women to strive for unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty. I learned that Lena is a powerful, positive agent for change with a strong voice and an empathic understanding of what young women need. We were able to witness the peer-to-peer affirmation among our
Ronan M: First, I learned what exactly machine learning is. Then, I learned that machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that is paving the way for a second Industrial Revolution where machines are both the product of and creators of
Stella B: I learned that nothing will stop a great Capstone presentation, not even the flu. I also learned that while many know about the tragic sinking of the Titanic, we don’t have an accurate understanding of why it sank. The iceberg was a piece of a much larger puzzle that included shoddy framework, inferior materials, competitive timing from another cruise liner company, and much more!
Colton L: I learned that the Capstone experience inspires a parent’s pride in their child more than might have seemed possible! I also learned that strategically speaking, I am much more drawn to the emotional relationship that an advertiser may be trying to achieve than the rational one. At least, Colton’s Capstone felt pretty emotional to me.
Cole: I learned that Siri and Alexa are no match for the wit of Cole’s self-produced voice-commanded creation. I also learned that the creators of artificial intelligence machines are trying to incorporate the EI (emotional intelligence) of humans. Perhaps someday the capacities of connection, empathy, and understanding will no longer be what distinguishes humans from machines.
Julian: I learned that public transportation is more about the people and their city—its politics, demographics, and infrastructure—than it is about the trains themselves. In the involved and lengthy journey that is Capstone, Julian delivered a strong finish, and right on time. (Which is more than we might say about the T!)
So, another year, and another Capstone in the books. I am so grateful to the eighth grade for their leadership, insight, wisdom, and presence. Learn. Do. Share. They have completed each leg of the eighth grade triad, and we are all enriched by their efforts. Thank you to the Class of 2019! Class of 2020 here we go!!
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Members of the cello ensemble practice with strings teacher Ms. Carye ’91.
This Coming Week at BDS
March 25 through March 29
Monday, March 25
6:30–7:30 p.m., Mission Focus Group 2, Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, March 27
8–10 a.m., Finance Committee, Barn Conference Room
8:15–9:15 a.m., Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety with Katie Greer, Coolidge Hall
4-5 p,m., Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety with Katie Greer, Coolidge Hall
6:30–8 p.m., Parent Workshop on Executive Functioning, Erskine Library
Thursday, March 28
8:45–10:15 a.m., Third Grade State Fair, Coolidge Hall
Friday, March 29
8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Grade 7 Field Lab, Harvard Museum of Natural History
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association, Coolidge Hall
8:50–9:35 a.m., Cross-Graded Partners
Saturday, March 30
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Garden Workday
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.
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 4–5 p.m., Coolidge Hall
We are offering two sessions–one in the morning and one in the afternoon–with our guest speaker, Katie Greer. 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.
If you need childcare during the afternoon session, you may enroll your child in after school (for a fee). 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.
Lunch & Snack Menu
March 25 to March 29
Snack: potato chips; fruit cup
Lunch: vegetable Asian noodles; chef’s choice vegetables; fortune cookies; greens with balsamic
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: grilled chicken; Caesar salad; garlic bread; kale salad with cranberry and pumpkin seeds
Snack: chocolate chip granola bars; raisins
Lunch: beef taco; veggie taco; cheese; diced tomato salsa; sour cream; guacamole; corn; flour tortilla and corn taco shell; romaine, corn, black bean, and cilantro salad
Snack: Tostitos; apples
Lunch: cheese pizza; pepperoni pizza; lemonade; chef’s choice vegetable; green salad with bacon and avocado
Friday, April 5
8:50 to 9:35 a.m., Palandjian Arts Center
Mark those calendars for the musical event of the season! Join us at our Friday assembly time in two weeks to hear some beautiful sounds of spring from our ensembles, orchestra, and chorus. Hope to see you there!
Order One Today!
Yearbook order forms are going home with students today. We are very excited to announce that for the first time, Belmont Day’s yearbook is expanding to feature the entire school community.
Yearbooks will cost $10 each. Each graduating
High Expectations for Track and Field
Belmont Day’s track and field team is loaded with talent this spring. Despite having only 13 athletes, the team is geared up for a record-breaking season and is expected to give much larger programs a run for their money. Leading the way for the Blue & Gold is a contingent of seventh graders who are all returning for their second year. On the boys’ side, Miles Sandoski and Cole Sparks will look to build upon successful cross country seasons from this fall. For the girls, Piper Morris and Kiki Friedbauer will look to lower already impressive times from a year ago. The Blue & Gold is slated to kick off their interscholastic schedule on the road on Thursday, April 4.
More Athletics News
- Classmates Ashley Luo and Anni Taylor will be counted on to provide leadership to the JV ultimate team this spring. The duo is beginning their second straight season together as teammates.
Sixth graderNoah Brauner and seventh grader Jack Abruzzi used their experience with Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance to their advantage during ultimate tryouts and each earned spots on the varsity team.
- With tryouts still in process,
eighth gradetennis players Colton Largay and Philippe Pitts are tightening up their technique in preparation of the varsity season.
- Elizabeth Amaratunga and Julia Clayton will be counted on to provide a physical presence on the lacrosse field this spring. The duo played a similar role this winter on the basketball court.
- Owen Finnerty and Xander Lightbody are settling into defensive roles for the boys’ lacrosse team and both players will give long poles a try next week at practice.
With instructions to include a beginning and ending pose, unison and other movement patterns, students eagerly began sharing and testing out their ideas. Observations and discussions ensued as they worked to revise and refine their dances. Groups proudly performed their finished pieces for their peers. After enthusiastic applause, students shared positive comments about the creative choices of each group.
MISSION FOCUS GROUP SESSION
Monday, March 25, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Coolidge Hall
Please join Head of School Brendan Largay and trustees Sasha Ebrahimi and Tom Hancock for a presentation on school mission statement prototypes. This is the final scheduled public opportunity to provide feedback on these draft statements.
Spring Garden Workday
Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., BDS Garden
Let’s get ready for spring planting! Parents, students, and faculty are invited to help wake up the garden for the new growing season. Middle school students may come without an adult. We will be mulching, raking, clearing, planting and having fun! Bring a pair of gloves and enjoy being outdoors and working together to maintain our outdoor classroom and community garden. If you have any questions or would like to RSVP, please contact Kathy Jo Solomon.
Conference Day Fun
On conference day 30 students had a fun-filled day at Apex Entertainment in Marlborough. Led by Blair Fross, director of
Parents’ Association News
Please join us for the next PA Meeting on Friday, March 29 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., in Coolidge Hall. Librarian Amy Sprung will share details on the plans for the upcoming renovation of the Erskine Library.
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.
Auction Invitations – Deadline is Here!
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!
Auction Online Bidding Opens March 30
In just over a week, on Saturday, March 30 at 5 p.m., mobile bidding will open. You will have the opportunity to peruse the catalog of items, aligning the stars for the items you would like to bid on, as well as purchase Head for a Day and Video Star for a Day raffle tickets. Keep an eye out for an update in the Scoop and for an email coming next weekend with additional details!
Early Bird Raffle for Auction Attendees
On Saturday, April 6, the auction will open its doors at 5 p.m. Guests who arrive between 5–5:30 p.m. will be eligible to register for the Early Bird Raffle at check-in for a chance to win reserved parking and premium seating at the Moving Up Assembly on June 12. The winner will be announced later in the evening.
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!
Wear your “wonder best,” which can range from date night/business to cocktail attire and everything in between. Whatever inspires you!
Featured Auction Item of the Week
Siena Farms Kids’ Share
Treat your children to their very own farm share from Siena Farms. For each of the share’s 12 weeks, they will receive their very own “kids’ sized” box of veggies (about half the size and volume of the regular weekly farm share box).
Each week’s share is themed around a vegetable or cooking technique—for example, one week the theme might be broccoli and cauliflower, and another week might be cooking vegetables for breakfast. Along with the veggies comes several recipes with fun tips and activities, a checklist of the week’s vegetables, and a surprise gift such as a cooking utensil or a notebook or stickers. And, of course, there are the tasty vegetables, enough to make two or three of the week’s recipes.
In addition, they will receive a year’s subscription to ChopChop Magazine.
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
Peak Event Service
Villandry Contracting, Inc
Arlington Heights Nursery School
Marquis Tree Service
Watertown Savings Bank
Avalon Consulting Group
Belmont Dental Group
Coppe & Sears Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Dental Restorative Group
First Republic Bank
Judy Weinberg, Realtor, Leading Edge Real Estate
One2One Bodyscapes Personal Training
OTA The Koomar Center
Pediatric Dental Arts
Pleasant St. Dental
Red Apple Farm
Third Annual Voices of Freedom Concert
Sunday, March 24, 2 p.m.
Museum of African American History, 46 Joy Street, Boston
This extraordinary multicultural event features three choirs: the Zamir Chorale of Boston, America’s foremost Jewish choral ensemble; VOICES 21C, a diverse choir dedicated to positive interactions, social justice, and global understanding; and the Boston Community Gospel Choir that often performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Each group will separately perform songs from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures, respectively, and then join together to perform music that transcends the collective cultures. For more information, including ticket prices, visit the Vilna Shul 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 countries around the world. For details on the films, shows dates and times, and ticket information, please visit Worldwide Cinema Frames.
Race & Gender in America
Discussion with Darnell Moore and Jack Hill
Tuesday, April 4, 4–5:15 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.
Student Debate Summer Program
Acton Debate Institute
July 1-5 and 8-12
Acton Debate Institute is an elementary and middle school speech and debate education initiative serving 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, 9 a.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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