Thank you to our awesome buildings and grounds team for keeping the campus safe and looking great while we’re away!
For this week’s Opening Message, we are making available the full recording of last evening’s Parents’ Association & Annual Meeting of the Corporation. The presentation celebrates faculty milestones and provides a valuable look back on the 2019-20 school year and a preview of the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead. Thank you to all who played a part in creating this informative view of our community’s past, present, and future at this very important time.
News & Updates
Tuition Billing Moves to FACTS Management
Fred Colson, director of finance, is pleased to announce that all tuition billing for the 2020-2021 year will be done through FACTS Management. In recent years, FACTS has handled the 10-month payment plans for families who have elected that payment method. The business office staff is working with FACTS to complete the conversion. The business office will provide more detail in the near future.
With the FACTS platform, parents will now have the ability to make electronic payments, or credit card payments. Additionally, parents will receive regular statements showing all billing activity. The FACTS system will be used for some incidental billing as well. When the conversion is complete, further instructions will be sent to parents to finalize the process.
For some families on the 10-pay plan, the conversion may have caused some delays in processing your May payments. Fred Colson will be in touch with those families directly following the conversion process.
Sixth Graders Prepare for Freedom Week
Our sixth graders are throwing themselves into their civil rights projects, which they will share with families during Freedom Week, May 26-29. Students have designed their own projects connected to the issues and situations they have been studying in their civil rights unit. Some students are digging deeply into events or people they have begun to learn about such as Birmingham, Selma, Little Rock, the Freedom Rides, Gandhi. Others are pursuing topics ranging from the Black Lives Matter and MeToo movements to access to medical education, Madame CJ Walker, race and Vietnam, the Equal Pay Act, and the legacy of Harvey Milk. The forms of the students’ projects include poetry anthologies, children’s books, models, paintings, research reports, quilting, and musical compositions.
Ordinarily, these projects would be shared with families as one part of Freedom Night, in an open gallery format. This spring, the projects will be available online beginning Tuesday, May 26, and during the rest of the week, the students’ families will be able to visit with the student experts in virtual small group sessions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
– Dean Spencer, middle school social studies teacher
Seventh Grade Studies the Science of Population
Since our return from April break, the seventh grade has been studying population dynamics. Some of the questions were tackling are: What are the factors that act to allow a population to be successful? What are the factors that keep a population in check and prevent it from growing out of control? What is the carrying capacity of a population? The students have been discussing these questions while looking at various populations including humans. Using lessons and material from populationeducation.org students learned about the advances that have allowed our planet to increase the number of inhabitants. At the same time, students discussed the challenges we have encountered along the way as well as the challenges we will face in the future as we continue to increase our population and determine the carrying capacity of humans on the planet. Ask a seventh grader what country is expected to surpass the United States to become one of the three most populous countries in the world by the year 2050.
– Sandra Trentowski, grade 7 & 8 science teacher
Fifth Grade Studies Home and Designing with Dignity
As they study migration to and through the United States, fifth graders have been asking themselves “What is home? Why do people leave theirs, and how do we create new ones?” These questions have taken on new significance as we shelter in place; there has never been a more salient moment to explore what “home” means to us, and to investigate the pre-existing inequalities exposed by COVID-19. For the past month, fifth graders have turned their attention to the issue of homelessness in the Boston area. Currently, they are researching temporary and permanent housing solutions in Boston and beyond, and designing their own models. This week, they presented their first prototype and received feedback from classmates. This weekend, they will compare their model to examples from San Francisco and refugee communities and make changes.
– Julia Juster, grade 5 teacher
Arts: Woodworking Takes on Basics of CAD
In the grades 7 and 8 arts elective, woodworking, the students have shifted from crafting tables and clocks to learning the online tool, SketchUp. The students are getting accustomed to using the various tools of a CAD (computer-assisted design) program. They started learning basic drawing tools to create lines, squares, and circles. They quickly progressed to more complicated designs and forms such as rotations, offsets, polygrams, and lettering. The student then used their growing skills to create designs for signs and houses.
– Bill Smith, woodworking and 21st century skills teacher
Kindergarten Gets to See Inside With a Radiologist
The kindergarteners are learning about helpers in our community and their impact on our lives. One of the professions that the kindergartner students chose to learn more about is the work of a radiologist. On Wednesday, the class welcomed BDS parent Dr. Michele Walters (mother of Henry and Jack Matheney) who is a pediatric radiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. Via Zoom, Dr. Walters explained her work and how she and her colleagues help people every day. She showed the students pictures of where she works, the equipment she uses, and a whole bunch of interesting x-ray images.
– Tatiana Cochis, associate teacher with kindergarten
Third Grade Celebrates ‘Person of the Week’
Third graders have continued our beloved Person of the Week celebrations during our class meetings. During this time, the student being honored shares photos of who and what they hold most dear. The rest of the class then has the opportunity to ask questions. At the end of the celebration, each member of the third grade community offers a comment, “You are special because…” Third graders and several members of the BDS community have participated over the years and have found the Person of the Week celebration to be an uplifting experience that acknowledges some of what makes us each a unique and important part of our community.
– Leigh Twarog and Larissa Rochford, grade 3 teachers
French, Fruit, and Fun for Pre-K and K
Pre-Kindergarten and kindergarten students have recently been working on learning French words fruits and facial features. To combine these vocabulary lessons, the students were challenged to describe “fruit faces” after the 16th-century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The photo is the work of kindergartner Alexis Franklyn, and mom shares that, “the activity turned into a fun snack time.”
– Nathalie Pellenq, lower school French teacher
ASSOCIATE TEACHER PROGRAM
Lauren Catalano Wins Honor From Lesley University
Lauren Catalano, a member of this year’s associate teacher cohort, is the recipient of the 2020 June T. Fox Scholarship Award given on behalf of the June Fox Lecture Series Committee and the Lesley University Graduate School of Education. The committee recognizes only one member of the Collaborative Residency Programs at Lesley each year for that individual’s outstanding work with children, academic scholarship, effective collaboration with peers and colleagues, and their potential for educational leadership. This is the second year in a row that a Belmont Day School Associate has won this distinguished award!
Alice Henry, Lauren’s teaching mentor in the pre-kindergarten classroom this fall, wrote about the qualities that Lauren brings to the classroom in her nomination letter to the committee: “Lauren has great regard for children which supports their learning, nurtures a sense of independence, and shows a keen appreciation for who they are. In every interaction with students, Lauren uses a calm and warm voice that invites their words and lets them know that she wants to hear what they have to say … She doesn’t give up or give in. Lauren deftly re-engages the child who is distracted or grown tired of listening by asking a question that draws their attention back … Lauren has always sought constructive feedback, and her growth mindset has helped her develop skills and strategies characteristic of more experienced teachers.”
Congratulations to Lauren for this great honor, and congratulations to all of the associates and associate mentors this year who have shown such dedication to their students and their teaching craft.
BDS Giving Day on Monday, May 18
Join us to celebrate our first annual BDS Giving Day! Our Goal: 100 gifts in one day!
Giving Day is an opportunity for our community to come together and show its appreciation to our faculty through supporting the annual fund. Your participation on giving day will directly impact every student and faculty member–providing an excellent BDS education and faculty excellence. Particularly during this unprecedented time, we’ve recognized how important it is to provide the resources and support for our faculty to continue delivering a BDS education based on our school’s mission and values!
This day is solely focused on participation. With every gift, of any amount–$25, $50 or more–your participation is key. As we strive toward 100% parent participation, we hope that we can count on your support. Your participation will immediately impact our students and faculty.
If you haven’t yet made a gift to this year’s annual fund, we will be reaching out to you personally to encourage your participation.
Thank you for all you do to support our community, and to help sustain the BDS education for students today and tomorrow. As always, please contact any member of the development team with your questions and thoughts.
Can’t wait till giving day? Make your gift to the Annual Fund on our website today!
SUMMER CAMP NEWS
Update on Early Session Cancelations and Further Planning
As of today, we have canceled on-site camp programming through Friday, July 10, that includes the entirety of our pre-camp programming and session A. Registrations for those canceled sessions have closed and tuition is being refunded in full to families impacted by the cancellation. As more guidance is shared about if and how we are able to safely reopen programs this summer, we will make decisions about the remaining summer sessions. We are in frequent contact with local and state health officials as well as organizations offering guidance to schools, camps, businesses, and the general public. We are simultaneously planning how to create a virtual camp environment and how to implement new processes, procedures, medical and safety protocols, and more to ensure a safe in-person program should that become an option. We will update on the camp’s website, directly to the camp community via email, and here in the Scoop as we have more information. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.
– Bea Rooney, director of summer programs
MITdesignX: Pitch Day 2020
Tuesday, May 26 from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
All are invited to drop in on this unique online experience and vote on your favorite project idea! Ten startups from MITdesignX will pitch their ventures–from tools and infrastructure for new learning environments to a public art management platform and scalable business solutions for flood zone mitigation to urban heat islands. There will be Q&A and voting for best team project. For more information and to register, click here.
Recycle Used Textiles to Benefit Arlington Schools
Through the months of May and June, please consider donating your old, worn and torn textiles (including clothing, shoes, towels, bedding, and stuffed animals) to the Arlington Schools. Each school location in the town has a Bay State Textiles recycling bin and the schools are awarded money for each ton collected. All collections will be tracked and the school that collects the most will be announced as the winner on June 30. Please follow all social distancing guidelines when dropping off and click here for a full list of accepted items.
Capstone Week Starts Monday
The presentations are ready to go and we are excited to celebrate and learn from the hard work of our eighth grade class. Capstone Week launches on Monday, May 18 and will go through Friday, May 22. As we have done in previous years, we will have groups of 3-4 students present in blocks. This year, all presentations are being pre-recorded and presented via Zoom. Each presentation will be followed by a live Q&A with the students. See the dropdown below for a full list of Capstone projects and the presentation schedule. Please join us!
Please check your email for a message with the Zoom invitations to the Capstone sessions.
Capstone Projects & Schedule
Please note presentation order is subject to change.
Monday, May 18, 9 to 11 a.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Miles Sandoski: How the Brain Affects Endurance | Mentor: John O’Neill
- Ashley Luo: Consumerism: Are You Sure You Want to Buy That? | Mentor: Tara Lightbody
- Scott Abbott: Hydroponics: Food Without Soil | Mentor: Heather Woodcock
- Anni Taylor: Get Up, Stand Up: A History of Protest Music | Mentor: Nathalie Pellenq
Monday, May 18, 3 to 4:30 p.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Xander Lightbody: Technology and Food Security: A Step Into the Future | Mentor: Jim Walker
- Kiki Friedbauer: Influential Artists Through the Ages | Mentor: Catherine David
- Cole Sparks: How Title IX Has Affected Women’s Sports | Mentor: Fred Colson
Tuesday, May 19, 9 to 11 a.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Michelle Meija-Levy: Latin American Immigration: The Hard Truth | Mentor: Anne Armstrong
- Piper Morris: Gene Therapy: An Ethical Dilemma | Mentor: Julia Juster
- Orion Schrag: Nuclear Energy: Is It a Potential Energy Alternative? | Mentor: Corrado Paramithiotti
- Theo Wallach: Hip-Hop Culture | Mentor: Brian Laskowski
Tuesday, May 19, 3 to 4:30 p.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Elizabeth Amaratunga: Am I Normal? Understanding Teenage Anxiety | Mentor: Lana Holman
- Owen Khanna: The Business of Football | Mentor: John O’Neill
- Aaniya Riddick: Perspectives on Abortion | Mentor: Abbey Nyland
Wednesday, May 20, 9 to 10:30 a.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Noah Burd: Behavioral Economics | Mentor: Erik Smith
- Theo von Gottberg: The Impact of Climate Change on Skiing | Mentor: Beth Sousa
- Miranda Harlow: Ballroom Culture and Community | Mentor: Elisabeth Klock
Wednesday, May 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Julia Clayton: The Modern Educational System: What Could Change? | Mentor: Julia Juster
- Camille DeStefano: Sugar: The Sweet and Salty Truth | Mentor: Anne Armstrong
- Lauren Kopperl: Truly American? Japanese American Internment | Mentor: Ellie Brennan
Thursday, May 21, 9 to 10:30 a.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Owen Finnerty: What Is Sneaker Culture? | Mentor: Andy Rentschler
- Lynn Lewis: Bananas: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Fruit | Mentor: Alice Henry
- Michael Timmins: Comedy’s Benefit to Our Health | Mentor: Liz Gray
Thursday, May 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Jack Abruzzi: Synesthesia: What Is It? and Why Does It Matter? | Mentor: Kathy Jo Solomon
- Quinn Foley: Getting Hooked on Fishing | Mentor: Nicole Buck
- Davin Roy: Reparations: What Are They and How Can They Impact Society? | Mentor: Dean Spencer
Friday, May 22, 9 to 10:30 a.m. – Zoom Presentation
- Elena Ferrari: Stem Cells: The Miracle of Regeneration | Mentor: Nancy Fell
- Evan Seymour: The History and Evolution of Video Games | Mentor: Jonathan Drummey
- Maya Gregor: In and Out of Black Holes | Mentor: Brendan Largay
Congratulations to Class of 2020
The Ensemble teachers would like to congratulate and recognize the members of the class of 2020 who have worked very hard for the past years during the rehearsals, practice, and performances. The eighth graders involved in Orchestra and Wind Ensemble have been contributing to the program by performing their instruments in community events such as the Winter Concert, Ensembles Concert, Spring Concerts, as well as Friday morning assemblies. Congratulations to Camille (clarinet), Davin (violin), Elizabeth (cello), Elena (cello), Michael (violin), and Theo (clarinet)! This video features Elena Ferrari, one of our eighth graders performing an excerpt.
Next PA Executive Team Announced
We are excited to announce the new PA executive team for the 2020-2021 school year. Judy Bright will serve as president; Kelly Baker will serve as vice president; Alex Min will serve as treasurer; Michele Walters will serve as clerk. We extend a warm welcome to this dynamic team and thank them in advance for devoting their time and energy to Belmont Day School.
Book Club Meeting
Wednesday, May 27 at 3:00 p.m.
Please join us as we discuss The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. According to a recent review on Amazon: “[The Dutch House] is an astute psychological study of what it means to be a family and how those relationships—no matter how damaged they may be—ultimately determine who we are as adults. This a 10-star book in a five-star world. Read it. Savor it. It’s a very special book.”
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 be put on the ZOOM invite.
Getting Pumped Up on Fitness & Fun Friday!
Hopefully, you’ve seen some of the photos today of our faculty working out, getting some fresh air, and feeling great! And hopefully, they’ve inspired you and your family to get moving today as well. It’s never too late to help us inspire the community. Send us a photo of your activity and we’ll be sure to share via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter in the days ahead. Email to [email protected]. Thank you!
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.