Fourth graders ran a wonderfully successful plant sale again this year with all proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Message from Head of School
Celebrating a Year of Growth
Guest writer: Deborah Brissenden, Assistant Head of School and Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Post Date: May 24, 2019
The end of the year is almost upon us, and there is excitement in the air as we, as faculty, look forward to completing reports, tackling the books by the nightstand, and lingering over coffee, conversations, and ideas. The children are already chattering about camps, sleeping in, and wriggling out of the routines of classrooms. Thoughts of summer can be joyful ones as we think about the days stretching luxuriously before us with infinite possibilities for fun and relaxation. It is enticing to rush forward into summer and embrace the new. As educators, we also know how important it is to reflect, look steadily at the accomplishments of our students, and to take the time to wonder at how much they have learned and grown since the fall.
Strategically we have achieved a great deal as a school, with a new building, new spaces, new curriculum, and new traditions. It is easy to be wowed by the new and forget the careful planning, deep growth, and intentional transitions that helped us arrive here. These changes didn’t happen over one year but took many years of careful planning, with each step and decision building upon the previous one. Equally so, the growth of a child is the careful work of one teacher after another, one milestone flowing into the next.
As a faculty, we often celebrate the work we do together: receiving, developing, and sending off, knowing that we have contributed to and witnessed the collective work of our colleagues. In a community of respectful educators, we celebrate each child as a culmination of the partnership over many years among our teachers. As a collective, we bring our strengths together to create a program, solve problems, and support students and parents. The changes that we deliver can only happen by building on the work of those that come before us. Successful growth happens with cumulative knowledge, missteps, feedback, reflection, change, and deep and thoughtful conversation. As a school, we have created transitions and traditions for children to prepare for and think about the coming changes. We are proactive with parents as we share what will come and communicate the decisions that have been made. We listen, and we learn.
Each year our students experience opportunities to be creative, imaginative, curious, optimistic, and passionate. They are active listeners, issue-definers, caregivers, mobilizers, organizers, implementers, and problem-solvers. Every teacher has worked to provide a year of growth and prepare each child for the joys, challenges, surprises, and accomplishments of the year to come. On June 3, we will invite the students to visit their next year’s classroom, explore a new space, and ask questions. The new will be coupled with the familiar. The sadness of goodbye will be coupled with the reassurance of knowing that care and attention will continue.
I hope as you share in the Moving Up Assembly, the last days of school, and the goodbyes in the classrooms, you recognize the wonder and beauty in our many-years-long journey. Take a moment to marvel at the community that has come together to build such a strong foundation for growth. Take a breath, snap a photograph, remember the beginning, experience the joy and the sadness of transitions, and celebrate the journey through another year. Our students, with the careful nurture of excellent teachers, grow with extraordinary speed and continue to astonish and delight us at every turn!
We had some beautiful weather for physical education classes out on Far Field this week.
This Coming Week at BDS
May 27 through June 2
Enrichment Expo Week
Monday, May 27
School Closed for Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 28
3:30–4:30 pm., Alumni in Action Speaker Series: Josh Troop ’09, Kiva
3:45–4:45 p.m., Enrichment Share: Monet & Me, the Barn
4:30 p.m., Tech Afternoon for Grades 7 & 8 Play, Palandjian Arts Center
6–9:00 p.m., Parent SEED, Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, May 29
8:15–9:15 p.m., Parent Book Club, Erskine Library
8:30 a.m.–2:45 p.m., Grade 4 Field Lab, Northeastern University Marine Science Center
3:15 p.m., Tech Afternoon for Grades 7 & 8 Play, Palandjian Arts Center
3:45–4:45 p.m., Enrichment Share: Robotics, Sixth Grade Math Classroom, Room 270
3:45–4:30 p.m., Enrichment Share: Flag Football, Downing Gym
Thursday, May 30
Spring Athletics Season Ends
3:15 p.m., Dress Rehearsal for Grades 7 & 8 Play
Friday, May 31
Enrichment Session 3 Ends
Faculty Luncheon, Kiva
8:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Pre-k and Grade 8 Field Lab, Drumlin Farm
8:50–9:30 a.m., Cross-graded Partners
11:15 a.m.–12:15 a.m., PA Executive Committee, Head’s Office
7–8:15 p.m., Grades 7 & 8 Play, Palandjian Arts Center
Saturday, June 1
Track & Field – Massachusetts Championships
7–8:15 p.m., Grades 7 & 8 Play, Palandjian Arts Center
Sunday, June 2
3–4:00 p.m., Entering Pre-k and Rising Kindergarten Popsicle Party, Big Blue
GRADES 7 & 8 PLAY
Performances: Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m.
You won’t want to miss Babka Without Borders! The East Coast premiere of this hilarious production is sure to excite and delight audiences! Tickets are free and are still available but are running low, especially for Friday’s performance. Reserve yours by visiting our ticket website. Please note that tickets will be provided on a first-come, first served basis only.
THANK YOU, PARENTS!
Annual Survey Provides Valuable Feedback
Thank you to all the parents who filled out the recent survey we shared. More than 150 parents participated, providing enormously valuable information. This information is the basis for our analysis of students’ future needs at Belmont Day. Thank you!
Alumni in Action Speaker Series
Tuesday, May 28 at 3:30 p.m., Kiva
Join us for this year’s Alumni in Action Speaker Series event. Josh Troop ’09 returns to talk about what led him to pursue a career in politics. Josh has held a wide variety of positions in campaigns at both the local and national levels. His talk will focus on the many ways for people, including students, to get involved in public affairs. He will highlight the importance of having a core set of values or beliefs to guide you in whatever line of work you chose.
Please RSVP to Andy Rentschler if you are interested in attending.
Lunch & Snack Menu
May 27 to May 31
School Closed for Memorial Day
Snack: saltines; fruit cup
Lunch: tortellini with marinara; chef’s choice vegetables; breadsticks; greens with balsamic
Snack: kids snack mix; bananas
Lunch: beef burgers and veggie burgers; chef’s choice vegetables; potato chips; potato salad
Snack: chocolate chip granola; apples
Lunch: ham and Swiss cheese panini; watermelon; chef’s choice vegetables; Caesar salad
Snack: cheese and carrots
EIGHTH GRADE NEWS
Class of 2019 to Host Car Wash Fundraiser
Monday, June 3, 2:30 to 4 p.m.
The eighth grade class gift is an annual tradition in which our soon-to-be graduates organize and host a fundraiser, and then donate the proceeds back to Belmont Day as their first official gift to the school. Come support this wonderful group of students, and leave with your car looking as good as new!
Please note that 3:25 p.m. dismissal may be slightly affected by the car wash. Stay tuned for more information in next week’s Scoop.
Gritty Boys’ Lacrosse Team Fights Hard Until the End
Despite being undermanned and overmatched for the majority of their games this spring, the boys’ lacrosse team competed hard, stuck together, and finished the season with their heads high. Captains Jacob Gregor and Cole Lemack-Bremen set the tone for the young team and led by example through their play on the field and their approach off of it. First-year goaltender Paul Lyons was terrific in net and kept games competitive with timely saves and aggressive play. Sixth grade newcomers, Henry Buckley-Jones, Alexander Colangelo, Chris McEvoy, and Aaron Radke, were forced into roles usually reserved for older, more experienced players, and all improved significantly over the course of the season. Finally, a four-pack of seventh graders, Owen Finnerty, Quinn Foley, Xander Lightbody, and Theo von Gottberg, fortified the defensive unit and will be counted on to be the team leaders a year from now. Congratulations to the boys’ lacrosse team on a tremendous season.
More Athletics News
- The girls’ lacrosse team put the finishing touches on a season of growth with a strong performance against Pike this week. Jazmin Cruz found the net for the first time this season, while classmates Vivian Danahy, Ellie Kadnar, and Alice Morton all shined in their Blue & Gold finale.
- The track & field team out ran Shore this week behind standout performances from team captains Miles Sandoski and Piper Morris. Cole Sparks’ dramatic win in the 400m stole the show, however, as he came from behind in the final 25m to inch past Shore at the finish line.
- The tennis program wrapped up the season with matches against Pike and Beaver this week. Davin Roy’s 6-2 win at first singles highlighted the varsity match, while Erika Tinmouth and Zephy Borisy teamed up for an impressive 6-3 win at first doubles for the JV team.
- The ultimate program finished their season with strong games against CCA and Shady Hill this week. Varsity received a strong game from Stella Balter and Max Simon, while Harry Reitshamer and Yareh Constant shined for the JV squad. Congratulations to both teams on great seasons.
Students Create “Plastic Ocean,” An Art Installation with a Message
Seventh and eighth grade students in the fall arts elective, Public Art, worked together on Community Service Day to assemble their collaborative class sculpture and prepare it for installation in the Barn. When the class concluded at the end of October, the Barn was still under construction!
The Public Art class was designed and taught by a multi-disciplinary team of Anne Armstrong, art teacher; middle school science teacher Sandra Trentowsky; and a trio of researchers from Education Development Center (EDC), an organization focused on curriculum development and program design in Waltham. We were fortunate to also have Brianna Shaughnessey, a doctoral candidate in environmental biology at UMass-Boston, visit and share her research about the effects of plastics in oceans. The work of the class was focused on designing and creating a sculpture to be installed in the Barn. The design brief outlined the parameters of sculpture, including the theme (impact of plastic pollution in the oceans), overall structure (the piece must be made primarily from plastic, and must hang from the ceiling), and necessary elements (the piece must include an artists’ statement about the meaning and intended message of the piece).
Students worked in design teams to create three different proposals, and feedback from the jury committee (consisting of several adults in the BDS community and the EDC researchers) challenged the class to include elements from each design team’s proposal into the final sculpture. The class then revised their ideas to create a unified sculpture and divided into three build teams focusing on the different sculptural elements for the piece: jellyfish, birds, and a leatherback turtle. Their final sculpture has now been installed so make sure to stop by the Barn to check it out!
A big thank you to Bill Smith and the buildings and grounds crew for their help to install the piece.
AFTER SCHOOL & ENRICHMENT NEWS
Schedule for End of the School Year
Please be aware that next week is the final week of enrichment classes for this school year. The after school program will run until Monday, June 10 and children will be covered in after school on days their enrichment classes normally ran. If you would like to pick up your child earlier due to this scheduling change, please coordinate with Barbara Carey at the front desk. We will assume all students are staying unless we hear otherwise from a parent. Thank you!
Carl Geneus, Physical Education Teacher
Carl Geneus has brought positive energy to the school since he joined in 2012. His enthusiasm has extended out from his physical education classes and into all aspects of the Belmont Day community. Carl oversaw and taught the physical education program for the lower school, coached middle school intramural and interscholastic athletics, served as a faculty advisor for students of color Friday lunches, taught health and wellness classes, served as a Capstone mentor, co-chaired the faculty mentoring program, and served as a diversity committee member and faculty board representative. He has also been a welcoming face to our summer campers as camp director. While we will be seeing Carl this summer at camp, he will be sharing his joyful and intentional instruction with the Noble and Greenough School community as the middle school athletic director starting in the fall. We will all miss Carl’s warmth and deep commitment to thoughtful pedagogy, students, families, and colleagues.
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
From the Nurse’s Office
In recent days, two illnesses have been making their way through the school: strep, and a stomach virus with students experiencing symptoms for over 24 hours.
In children, strep can present as headache, body aches, and nausea/stomach aches with or without sore throat and fever. If your child complains of any of these symptoms and they persist, it would be worth getting them tested for strep. Typically, students need to be out of school until they have been on antibiotics for 24 hours and feel well enough to participate in the school day.
With the stomach bug, if your child is experiencing ongoing stomach pain, lack of appetite, or certainly vomiting or diarrhea, please be very cautious and keep them home. Some students have had a fever with this, while others have not. Students who become ill must remain out of school for at least 24 hours past the last episode of vomiting, diarrhea, or fever without the help of medication. If that point comes midday, parents should keep them home for the entire day. They also should feel well enough to participate fully in the school day.
Please feel free to call Liz LaRocque, school nurse, at 617-932-3901 if you have any questions or concerns.
Model UN Hosts Harvard Scholar
On May 16, the Model UN club hosted Josh Burek, who is on the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Burek spoke with the club about one dimension of the important work of the Kennedy School—its faculty helps inform and educate freshman lawmakers in Washington. It also hosts conferences for world leaders to discuss and learn from each other about many important issues, including climate change and disruptors to the United States and world economies. Mr. Burek led lively discussions around the issue of democracy versus control in China and the U.S. Further, the club discussed freedom versus control in the context of social media and had a lively conversation around the idea of the minimum and maximum wages. Mr. Burek emphasized the importance of asking many questions in order to fully understand the issues that grab our attention. The Model UN students were very engaged, asked excellent questions, and were eager to participate.
Señor Yepes Shares and Inspires in D.C.
Earlier this month, William Yepes visited Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. The high school’s Gay Straight Alliance invited him to be the guest speaker to kick off their “Love Week” event. He shared the story of his journey to become an open member of the LGBTQ+ community and the intersectionality of his identities as Latino, immigrant, cis-gender male, and educator. He also had the opportunity to talk to Latin American history and gender studies classes. He explored with the high school students the idea of the “pursuit of happiness”, nation, citizenship, patriotism, gender roles, race, and privilege. The center of his message was how the historic event of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage changed his life and allowed him to fully and publicly contribute as an educator and citizen of this country.
BDS Singers Perform in Boston
Recently, Belmont Day students were featured in the Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) concert, Lift Every Voice: Her Song at the Wang Theatre. This concert was part of a collaboration and workshop, “Social Justice Conversations Through a Musical Lens,” led by Mr. Jason Holmes, one of the conductors from BCC. Students sang the protest songs, “Rise Up,” and “Nina Cried Power” joined by several hundred other singers from Boston Children’s Chorus, and participating workshop schools Winchester High School and Boston Arts Academy, for this powerful performance. Our students also had the privilege of listening to Ms. Melinda Doolittle, the American Idol finalist. We hope to continue this interdisciplinary collaboration with Boston Children’s Chorus in the future!
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
Students Raise Money to Help Peers in Haiti
Imagine trying to learn when you’re haven’t eaten a proper meal, possibly in days. At the Matènwa School in Haiti, many students cannot afford to get the food they need each day. A group of sixth graders—Bree, Christopher, Cameron, and Margot—with the guidance of Madame Friborg, have created Hands Helping Haiti (HHH), and have started a fundraising drive to help feed students at Matènwa. HHH has set a goal of raising $400 and is asking for the community’s help in this effort. A donation box is located in the lobby. Checks can be made out to Belmont Day School with “Haiti” in the note section. The fundraising drive will run until Friday, May 31. Please contact the HHH student organizers or Madame Friborg with any questions. Thank you!
Parents’ Association News
Faculty Luncheon Sign-up
Show your gratitude to the hard-working faculty and staff by contributing a purchased or homemade dish to the faculty appreciation luncheon on May 31. Beverages, food, tablecloths, and more are all needed and appreciated to make this event a success. We still have lots of items on the list, so please consider helping. Instructions for where and when to drop-off are available here.
Call Out For Receipts
If you have incurred any PA-related expenses this school year and have not yet been reimbursed, we ask that you please submit your receipts as soon as possible. The deadline for submitting all receipts is June 17. Receipts can be given to Tyl Pattisall, outgoing PA treasurer or they can be left in the PA mailbox near Barbara Carey’s desk. Thank you!
Parent Book Club
Wednesday, May 29, 8:15 to 9:30 a.m., Erskine Library
Book Selection: Naamah by Sarah Blake
Parent Publishes Debut Novel
Wellesley Booksmith will host a book release event for Belmont Day parent Jennifer Blecher’s first novel, Out of Place, on Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. Blecher’s debut novel is for middle-grade readers and is the story of 12-year-old Cove Bernstein. Cove’s best friend, Nina, moved from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City, and Cove is now the target of a bullying campaign at school. Escape seems impossible. This accessible and beautifully written novel explores actions and consequences, loneliness, bullying, and finding your voice. For more information on the book release, visit the bookstore’s website.
Girls Who Code 2-Week Summer Courses
Girls Who Code’s newest summer program is Girls Who Code Campus. Each campus course, for girls ranging 10- to 18-years old, is two weeks long and explores topics like iPhone App Development (ages 13-18) or Wearable Tech (ages 11-15).
Campus courses in the Boston area are at Winsor School in Boston and Meadowbrook School in Weston. For more information on the courses and schedules, schedule, visit the Girls Who Code website. Registration is open now. Full scholarships are available for families that qualify. Email [email protected] with questions.
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