Fifth graders are improving their programming skills.
Empowering Meaningful Contribution
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: May 21, 2021
Each time I consider the school’s mission statement and its third critical phrase—“empowering meaningful contribution with our six core values”—I immediately think of Community Service Day.
Today was dedicated to serving others under the watchful eye and thoughtful organization of Koreen McQuilton and a team of faculty. While the activities were varied—making blankets, dog toys, paracord bracelets, and greeting cards; gardening and farm work to help address food insecurity; trail maintenance and cleanup; plant kit fundraisers; and furniture painting—their purpose was singular. They were all intended to improve the lives of others, or more to the point, to contribute meaningfully with excellence, respect, honesty, responsibility, caring, and joy. This notion of service—not to be served, but to serve—takes center stage on Community Service Day, and it runs through our curriculum and our promise every day.
During the pandemic, many of us have had a sense that the world has gotten much smaller. Many have found the biggest challenge to be isolation due to seemingly endless limitations and restrictions that have hindered our ability to connect with one another. Zoom experiences for everything from meetings to exercise to family celebrations and maintaining physical distance when we can be together have limited our sense of being part of a broader community. Perhaps that is why today’s service felt especially meaningful and emotionally powerful. Today was about connection, among students, among colleagues, and with all of us to a wide, complex, and beautiful world that is coming back into view.
Click here to see a photo gallery of Community Service Day.
May 24 to June 5
Monday, May 24
6–7:00 p.m., Grade 7 Parent Forum on SSATs, Zoom Gathering
Friday, May 28
8:50–9:35 a.m., Sharing Assembly, Zoom Gathering
Monday, May 31
School Closed for Memorial Day
Grade 6 Freedom Week
Tuesday, June 1 to Friday, June 4
Tuesday, June 1
8:15 .am., PA Enrichment Committee, Zoom Gathering
6–7:00 p.m., Parent Forum on Fall Planning, Zoom Gathering
Friday, June 4
8:50–9:35 a.m., Sports Assembly, Zoom Gathering
Saturday, June 5
5–6:30 p.m., Family Fun Event
For all Zoom meetings and gatherings, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Parent Forum: Planning for Fall 2021
Please join us for a presentation by Brendan Largay, head of school, about the school’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and planning for the fall.
Zoom link for the presentation is available on the Parent Portal.
Please Return Those Library Books
Thank you for searching and bringing back your library books! All books are now due back. We currently still have 1299 books checked out. Whatever you can do to help decrease that number would be greatly appreciated! If you would like books to borrow for the summer, please get in touch with Amy Sprung.
Time To Place Your Order!
The 2020-2021 yearbook includes photos and candids of each grade, as well as pictures of athletics programs, teachers, activities, and, of course, pages celebrating this year’s eighth grade. Please use this form to order your yearbook. Copies are $10 each and will be available for pick up at the end of the school year (details for pick-up will be forthcoming). Parents will be billed for their order by the school.
A couple of things to note:
1) Each eighth grade student receives a copy of the yearbook free-of-charge. Some eighth grade families may choose to order additional copies.
2) If your family wants a yearbook this year you must place an order using this online form. Unlike previous years when we were able to have copies available for purchase at school, we do not anticipate selling copies at any other time.
Lunch & Snack Menu
May 24 to May 28
Snack: apples; white corn cheese puffs
Lunch: pasta and beef meatballs with marinara; pasta with sauce on the side; steamed broccoli; Romano cheese; crusty rolls; butter; garden salad with dressing; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: pears; NutriGrain bars
Lunch: turkey and cheese wrap; hummus and romaine wrap; cucumber slices; Lay’s Chips; Caprese salad; apple slices; milk and water
Snack: bananas; baked tortilla scoops
Lunch: all-beef hot dog with bun; vegan burger with bun; carrots and celery; ranch dressing; potato salad; popsicles; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: apple slices; whole grain rice Krispies
Lunch: bagel muensters; grape tomatoes; sweet potato chips; salsa; cookies; Caesar salad; Romano cheese; sliced peaches; chocolate milk, milk, and water
Snack: fruit cup; Cape Cod Chips
Covid Vaccine Clinics for Students Set for May 27 & June 17
We are excited to announce that BDS is partnering with Star Market/Osco Drugs to hold a vaccine clinic on campus for all students ages 12 and up. Students will be receiving the Pfizer vaccine which is approved for children 12 and up. A team from Osco will be on campus on Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will then return again on Thursday, June 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We are excited to provide this as a service to our families and strongly encourage those students who have not yet been vaccinated to take advantage of this opportunity.
Families of students who are age-eligible for the vaccine have received an email with detailed instructions for completing the online registration process and submitting a consent form to Nurse Liz LaRocque. Both steps must be completed by Wednesday, May 26.
Please contact Nurse LaRocque if you have any questions about the vaccine.
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
It was another successful testing week, with three more weeks to go! See our weekly data in the accompanying charts. Please remember: we require a negative PCR test for everyone every week in order to be on campus. If your child is ill on a Wednesday testing day, we can arrange a drive-up test if nurse Liz LaRocque is aware of the absence before 8:00 a.m. If your child is planning to be absent for another reason, please arrange with Liz for an alternate, independent PCR test.
Many of our cohorts have been working outside in the beautiful weather this week. And all of our students are outside at some point each school day. We love being outside for so many reasons! As the weather just keeps getting better, our daily tick checks from scalp to toes become even more important. It’s an excellent habit to get into. Remember that ticks love moist, dark spaces to attach!
Registration Open for Online Math Course for Parents
We are pleased to collaborate with Kevin Mahoney, our Singapore Math consultant, to provide an opportunity for Lower School parents to learn the philosophy of modern math approaches and ways to create a nurturing math environment at home.
This self-paced virtual course will engage parents in supporting their child’s mathematical development, build background knowledge, and provide effective teaching and learning strategies to help them to develop:
- the ability to solve problems logically
- mental flexibility, independence of thought, and self-esteem
- the ability to persevere
Please reach out to Deborah Brissenden to participate in this complimentary course.
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
Baby and Toddler Toy and Book Drive Continues Through June 10
Watch this video about our toy and book drive for Room to Grow, written and directed by sixth grader Elise Goodman, with talent provided by fifth grade students!
Please consider donating a new or like-new infant, baby, or toddler ✼ board book ✼ picture book ✼ or toy.
Donations may be dropped off at the collection bins outside the Barn or at the front entrance of the Schoolhouse. The collection will continue until Thursday, June 10. Thank you!
Fourth Grade Offers Planting Kits Sale Extended!
The fourth grade is extending its planting kits sale past today’s community service day! The class will fill as many orders as they can next week. The sale is a fundraiser for Trees for the Future. The planting kits will contain everything needed to grow beautiful plants right at home. You can choose from an herb planting kit or a flower planting kit. Each kit costs $5.00. You can also purchase a beautiful terracotta plant pot painted by a third grade student for $3.00. Please send your orders as soon as possible to Ms. DeVecchi at [email protected].
Let us know how many kits you would like to buy, and which kind. You will get info on your payment process by email. Thank you!
BDSRemote: Arranging for Return of All BDS Devices
As the school year draws to a close, families of BDSRemote students must arrange to return all school-owned technology by Friday, June 17. This technology includes iPads, headphones, chargers, stylus, etc. that were issued for students to use at home.
Still Time To Order School Photos!
There is still time to order your child(ren)’s photos from the school’s picture days last fall. If you want to see them again and make a purchase, please follow these directions:
To sign in to see and purchase photos, please go to Porter Gifford Photography. Enter your email address and the case-sensitive password: bds2020.
- Your email address will only be used for identification and ordering purposes.
- Photos are organized by grade. Scroll down to just beneath the all-school collage for the menu bar where you can select your child’s grade. Students are not identified by name.
- Click on a photo’s shopping basket to see the sizes available and their prices.
- You can purchase just one or an assortment of your child(ren)’s photos; there are no photo packages.
- Purchased photos will be mailed directly to the address you provide during ordering.
- If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]
PE Update: Get Excited for Spirit Week!
Spirit Week is coming in June! Not only will our students be participating in classic Field Day challenges during their physical education classes, but each day will also feature a different dress-up challenge. In this video, Ms. Nyland demonstrates each day’s theme with a little help from her friends. Enjoy!
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Second Grade Is Up for the Lego Challenge
This week we kicked off a new program in second grade, the Lego Challenge! Fresh off the success of introducing this program in the first grade, our second grade students have now put their problem-solving and inventing skills into practice. We begin each class with a quick warm-up challenge, such as creating a letter or designing an animal with Legos, and then move on to a more extended engineering project. On Wednesday, students built bridges wide enough to span a river and tall enough to allow for a person on a boat to float underneath. Each designer solved this challenge with a unique design and was ready on Thursday to meet a new challenge—spinner toys! Second graders are eager builders, very comfortable supporting each other, and are developing an impressive iterative spirit as they work with constraints and the materials available. In the coming weeks, we will add engines to our designs and coding to our repertoire!
– Deborah Brissenden, assistant head of school and director of curriculum and instruction
Butterflies Take Flight In Kindergarten
It’s a … butterfly! The kindergarteners welcomed new class pets in the form of Painted Lady caterpillars about three weeks ago. When we arrived back at school on Monday of this week, we were delighted to find that our chrysalises hatched into butterflies! Throughout their time in the kindergarten classrooms, these caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies have enjoyed listening to books read out loud by the students, being the star of many observational sketches, and even snacking on sweet sugar water. We will be releasing the butterflies early next week, so be on the lookout for Painted Lady butterflies fluttering around Big Blue–they might be our BDS buddies!
– Missy Hartvigsen, kindergarten teacher
Sixth Graders Plug Into Lesson On Electricity
Sixth grade students have been studying electricity for the past several weeks. After learning about parallel and series circuits as well as various electrical components, they were tasked with putting their knowledge to use to build something that used lights and a switch. They had cardboard, lightbulbs, LEDs, batteries, wires, copper tape, and whatever else they needed to build their creations. Some examples of projects were: flashlights, stoplight replicas, lightsabers, lamps, illuminated designs, a fortune teller, a guitar that lit up when you “plucked” the switch and a mini-piano where each key was a switch. There was also a mini version of a staircase to show how to connect the circuit so the lights could go on or off at the top or bottom and many other innovative ideas. There was a lot of problem-solving, innovation, and fun as students extended their knowledge of circuits.
– Kaleen Moriarty, grade 6 science teacher
Athletics Update: Belmont Day Lacrosse – No Experience Needed
Whether you’re an avid lacrosse player with years of experience or are picking up a stick for the first time, there is a home for you in the Belmont Day lacrosse program. By focusing on foundational skills during the three-week mini-seasons this spring, athletes of all lacrosse abilities were able to hone their skills and develop their games. Next time you approach campus up the driveway, take a look at Far Field, which has been kitted out with a pair of new rebounders, a new shooting tutor, and a perfectly manicured playing surface. The only thing that’s missing is interscholastic competition … but whenever it returns, our athletes are ready.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
Parents’ Association News
Family Fun Event
Save the date! Saturday, June 5, 5 to 6:30 p.m., will be our at-home edition of Family Fun Night: Pizza and Origami.
Families who register will be provided a Family Fun Night In bag of goodies including pizza dough, cheese and sauce, activities, and paper for origami folding while the pizzas cook. We are pleased to offer this as a Parents’ Association sponsored event so there is no fee. However, families will need to purchase any additional toppings for their pizza.
Registration required. Please respond by clicking here by Thursday, May 27.
The Friendraiser committee is hosting a walk every Thursday morning after drop-off. Come discover the trails around BDS, reconnect with friends, and meet new ones. We look forward to seeing you there! Meet in the grass circle in front of the schoolhouse at 8:15 a.m.
Over the course of the past year, the Belmont Day School community has rallied together even though we have been physically distanced. While we are not yet through the pandemic, there is hope as our students are beginning to be vaccinated. The PA executive team is leading an initiative to commemorate this time, but we do not yet know what form this will take! We invite all community members to submit suggestions as to what form this commemoration on campus should look like; some suggestions have been a patio, benches, and plaques at six-foot spacing. Email all suggestions to [email protected].
Help bring spring into the classrooms! We are looking for volunteers to donate “centerpieces” for the cohort rooms for June. This is an easy, low-stress way to contribute to BDS and a nice way to brighten the day for students and faculty. Simply bring in 12-14 small plants or seasonal centerpieces that can be placed in the rooms and will last for two to three weeks. Simple is best. Color is nice, but herbs and green plants also work well. All ideas are welcome. Your children may enjoy participating too! Plants can be brought to the main Schoolhouse entrance at drop-off. Click here to sign up for an available slot.
If you have questions, please contact the chairs of the Classroom Flowers committee by email, phone, or text: Tracy Leng, 781-526-8657; Grace Wang, 857-313-8696.
Enrichment Assemblies 2021-22
Join the Enrichment Committee Tuesday, June 1 at 8:15 a.m. to share your ideas and brainstorm for the 2021-22 school year assembly activities. Please email Lia Meisinger ([email protected]) if you are interested in being a part of this discussion and planning for next school year.
Pen Pal Program Returns at Belmont Public Library
Do you love writing letters? Like actually writing them out with a pen or a pencil? Want to make a new friend in the community? Well, the Belmont Public Library and the Beech Street Center/Council on Aging are excited to share a new (old) way to connect: writing to a pen pal! Sign up to be matched with a pen pal to write about favorite books, discuss hobbies, and create a friendship even if you can’t see each other in person. This program is open to anyone age 7 and up, including teens and adults of all ages. (Younger children may participate as part of a family.) For more information, click here.