Fifth grade students are building clay brains while learning about the nervous system.
Message from Head of School
We’ll Save You a Seat for the State of the School
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: November 1, 2019
Happy November everyone! It is hard to believe it is already here. And yet, as I look back on a very busy start-of-the-year calendar, I shouldn’t be too surprised to have turned the page to November. We’ve been doing quite a bit around here as the year has really hit its groove.
In the midst of that shared busyness–whether you’re cheering at a home game, attending your grade level social, coming to hear from our partners at McLean Hospital, or showing up for a sharing assembly–it may be easy to lose track of all that is happening on and about campus on a given weeknight. Allow me, then, to help you prioritize a bit:
State of the School is this Thursday night. If you’re available, please join us in Coolidge Hall that evening. If not, no worries, we’ll be streaming it live on Facebook. But, if possible, you really should be there in person.
‘Why’ you say? (I thought you’d never ask!)
State of the School serves a number of critical purposes:
- It allows us to share back to you the information we glean from the annual parent survey we give in the spring. Your insight, suggestions, and informed opinions on what makes BDS so special and how we might improve it are invaluable. The State of the School provides the perfect forum to let you know how we are responding to all that we have learned.
- State of the School also will allow us to help parents understand how to make sense–we hope–of a rather crowded year-long BDS calendar. What if we could distill a year’s worth of events into categories like ‘parent education,’ ‘curricular insights,’ and ‘community building?’ Thus folks wouldn’t feel like they had to guess at the purpose of a given event, but rather they would understand precisely why we were hosting it.
- The State of the School ultimately aims to provide a clearer sense of what the macro-influences on education are right now and how we at Belmont Day are thinking about preparing for them. So, if you’re curious to know how we might think about what the greatest challenges and opportunities for our children may be over the course of the next quarter century and how we aim to prepare them, we’ll speak to that as well.
State of the School also works in concert with our Corporation meeting in the spring. Where that gathering serves as an important look back at the school’s year through the lens of the Parents’ Association and the Board of Trustees, State of the School casts its vision forward. A reminder, perhaps, that for as quickly as September and October have come and gone, there still remains a full year of inspiration and challenge ahead of us.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Fun for all ages at the annual Halloween Parade!
This Coming Week at BDS
November 2 to November 11
Saturday, November 2
AISNE Middle School Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference at BDS
Tuesday, November 5
8–10:00 a.m., Investment Committee, Barn Conference Room
Wednesday, November 6
8-8:45 a.m., PA Executive Committee, Head’s Office
3:30 p.m., Cross Country vs LCA; Boys’ Soccer vs LCA; Girls’ JV Soccer vs Southfield; Girls’ Varsity Soccer at LCA
7–8:30 p.m., Finance Committee, Coolidge Hall
Thursday, November 7
3:30 p.m., Field Hockey at LCA; JV Flag Football at Tenacre; Varsity Flag Football vs Shady Hill
6–7:30 p.m., State of the School, Coolidge Hall
Friday, November 8
8:50–9:35 a.m., Grade 4 Play
5:15–8:15 p.m., Friday Night Lights, Jordan Field, Harvard University
Saturday, November 9
Cross Country State Invitational
Monday, November 11
Veterans Day: School Closed
STATE OF THE SCHOOL
Thursday, November 7, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Coolidge Hall
Please join us for remarks from Brendan Largay, head of school, about what lies ahead for this community of inspiring, bold, and remarkable learners and leaders.
Complimentary childcare will be provided for Belmont Day students from 5:50 to 7:30 p.m. Children MUST be pre-registered for childcare as space is limited. Contact Catherine David to register your child(ren). We will serve pizza and beverages, and show a movie. Please bring an alternative (nut-free) meal for your child if they do not eat pizza.
Can’t make it in person? Join us on Facebook for a live video of the event.
LIGHTS OUT DAY
Wednesday, November 6
A group of middle school students has been meeting during lunch ever since the international climate strike on Friday, September 20. We are working toward various goals, and one of our first school-wide initiatives will take place next week, on Wednesday, November 6. We’re calling it Lights Out Day.
The event promotes exactly what it sounds like: keeping the lights off as much as possible throughout the course of the school day. An average light bulb uses about 480 watts per school day, and many classrooms may have enough natural light to make lights unnecessary at many times of the day. Our goal for the day is to draw attention to how much energy we may be wasting on lighting. We hope the day will show how easy it is to make a difference.
Why not join us and try this at home, too? Maybe thinking about this can help us all cut down on other energy use. Thank you!
– Sue Kelman, seventh grade student, on behalf of the climate lunch participants
Lunch & Snack Menu
November 4 to November 8
Snack: Tostitos; fruit cup
Lunch: Gemelli with creamy tomato sauce; chef’s choice vegetable; crusty French bread; greens with balsamic
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: oven-roasted lemon herb chicken; chef’s choice vegetable; seasoned potatoes with parsley; creamy coleslaw
Snack: 88 Acres Cinnamon & Oats bars; pears
Lunch: beef stew; fall vegetable stew; chef’s choice vegetable; buttermilk biscuits; mixed greens with sherry vinaigrette, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds
Snack: Bunny Friends Grahams; clementines
Lunch: cheese pizza; pepperoni pizza; special pizza of the day; chef’s choice vegetable; Caesar salad; chocolate milk
Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Belmont Day parents, students, alumni, and staff are invited to help put the garden to rest for the winter. Students with a parent will be mulching, clearing, organizing, and having fun. Bring a pair of gloves and a shovel if you have one (we have them too!) and enjoy being outdoors and working together to maintain our outdoor classroom and community gardens. To RSVP and for any questions, please contact Kathy Jo Solomon.
Field Hockey Blanks NCDS for Second Straight Win
With their second shutout in as many weeks, the Belmont Day field hockey team improved to 2-4 on the season. Following up their 4-0 win at Charles River last week, the team blanked Newton Country Day 5-0 on Wednesday in the team’s final home game of the fall. First year players Bridget Peters and Finnoula Wheeler demonstrated confidence on the field, while team veterans Charlotte McIntosh (strong defensive play) and Ellora Roy (aggressive midfield presence) helped control the pace of play. Collectively, it was the team’s best effort of the season, especially in terms of their spacing and field awareness. Goals were scored by Lynn Lewis, Elizabeth Amaratunga, Michelle Mejia-Levy, Erika Tinmouth, and Maya Gregor. The team will look to finish their season on a high note next week on the road against Lexington Christian Academy.
More Athletics News
- The cross country team improved to 6-0 with a commanding 16-42 win at home over Acera. Sixth graders Lucy Targum (19:53), Alice Guo (23:23), and Alexander Dainora Cohen (23:42) all recorded PR’s.
- Tomas Wright-Katz and Noah Kokinos played solid defense during JV football’s hard-fought loss to Fessenden this week. Lav Grmusa shined at quarterback for the Blue & Gold.
- Juliana Li and Ana McEleney controlled play during the girls’ JV soccer team’s two games this week. Ella Blecher chipped in with some offensive pressure. Audrey Wu was great on defense.
- Theo Wallach’s three-touchdown performance wasn’t enough to lift varsity football over Park (52-40). Xander Lightbody had a pair of TDs and Davin Roy was solid under center.
- The girls’ varsity soccer team welcomed Sarah McPeek back to the line up this week during their 6-1 win over SSDS. Rosie Schrag and Anni Taylor shined for the Blue & Gold.
- Boys’ soccer lost 5-1 to SSDS. Cody Casanave demonstrated great vision and strong passing from his midfield position. Elijah Allen and Orion Schrag both earned extra minutes and played well.
Class of 2026 makes Oliver K. Woodpeople
Each year, the second grade class creates three unique wooden people after reading the book Oliver K. Woodman, the story about a wooden person who travels across the country. Each student is responsible for making two or three wooden parts used to create these wooden people. This team project reinforces the theme that each second grade student is an individual, but when added together all 26 students plus two teachers makes the whole second grade. These Woodpeople will remain in the second grade classroom for the year, then they will join many others from past years in Coolidge Hall.
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Snack at Belmont Day
There have been a number of questions this year about snack at Belmont Day. Snack is provided to all grades in the morning, and again during our after school programs. In addition, students who have long bus rides are welcome to grab a snack before they depart.
All of these snacks are ordered by our kitchen team, are the same across the grades, and are provided with students’ nutritional needs in mind. We always offer a “crunchy” snack and a “fresh” snack. The “crunchy” snacks are baked, low fat and high fiber whenever possible. Options include low-fat popcorn, saltines, graham crackers, baked chips, baked Cheez-its, animal crackers, and pretzels. We do not serve items such as Doritos, Cheetos or similar high-fat, low-nutrition chips.
The “fresh” snack is always either fresh fruit or fruit cups packed in water or fruit juice; cheese sticks and Go-Gurt are always available for protein. Students need all of these food groups to fuel their learning and their many activities throughout the day.
Launching “STEAM Saturdays” to Showcase BDS
STEAM Saturdays is a new outreach program that will launch in November. Each month through April, children in grades 3 to 6 will be on campus for an hour-long workshop exploring the STEAM disciplines—science, technology, engineering, art, and math. STEAM Saturdays is designed to introduce prospective students and families to Belmont Day and showcase the remarkable learning and innovation that takes place here. Workshops will be taught by our own inspiring faculty.
The program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. STEAM Saturdays is an outreach program and not open to current Belmont Day students. However, we are calling on our community of parents and faculty to help spread word about the program to neighbors and friends!
Workshop dates are November 16 and December 14, 2019, and January 18, February 15, March 21, and April 18, 2020.
Questions about the program? Contact Andy Rentschler, Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Alumni.
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
Thank You, Volunteers!
Thank you to the students, parents, and staff who participated in the community service cooking activity this past Friday. With the help of fourteen students from grades 3-7, four parents, and three BDS staff members, a wonderful meal was created for On the Rise in Cambridge. As a group, the volunteers created a butternut squash shepherd’s pie, a salad with a homemade dressing, and an apple crisp dessert using local apples.
The volunteer cooks also prepared a special all-school dessert that will be served at an upcoming lunch. The meal was delivered to the shelter this week accompanied by bread and local apple cider and was enjoyed by all the residents at On the Rise.
Ridesharing & BDS
As you know, Belmont Day does not allow the use of ridesharing companies to transport students to or from school. At the same time, we are aware that many people, including members of the BDS community, use their vehicles to provide ridesharing services. As a result, it is quite possible that a family vehicle might have a ridesharing insignia on it when it arrives at school.
To help us avoid concern about any car bearing a commercial insignia at pick-up or drop-off, we ask families who use their vehicles in ridesharing capacities to let the school know.
Therefore, if your child is transported in a vehicle that also contracts with companies such as Uber or Lyft and bears their company insignia, please fill in this form and return it to Barbara Carey at the front desk.
Please contact Carlos Hoyt if you have any questions.
Seeking Your Expertise
Would you like to be involved in the Capstone Program? Take a moment to check out the research topics of our eighth grade students. You’ll be amazed by the variety! Do you or someone you know have expertise or experience in one of these areas? If so, we’d love to hear from you!
Eighth grade students are hard at work on their Capstone papers. The papers represent the first part of the “triathlon” that is the Capstone experience. They have crafted research questions about topics that are of personal interest to them, and they are showing lots of determination and pride as they refine their research into thoughtful papers.
Starting just after winter break, students will embark on the second leg of the triathlon. They will design a project that grows out of the knowledge they have gained during the research and writing phase, as well as what they still want to learn. In this phase, students take charge of their own active learning. One aspect of the project phase is an interview, and this is where YOU come in! If you have contacts who could prove useful to students during the project phase, please be in touch with the Capstone Coordinator, Jennifer Friborg. The eighth grade thanks you in advance for your interest and support.
Shop AmazonSmile to Benefit Belmont Day
If you enjoy shopping at Amazon, enjoy it even more by knowing that your purchases can support Belmont Day. Shop AmazonSmile during the holiday season—or anytime!—and 0.5% of eligible purchases will go to BDS.
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a percentage of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice—and we hope you will choose Belmont Day!
When To Give Your Child a Cell Phone
The decision to give a child a cell phone is an event, a milestone, in a child’s independence. For parents, it can a very difficult decision and one that does come with inherent risks for the child’s social and emotional well-being and development. We recommend this article is an excellent resource for helpful tips and good questions to ask yourself as a parent during the process of making this decision and knowing when the right time is.
Show Your BDS Spirit at Friday Night Lights!
Friday, November 8, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Jordan Field, Harvard University
We are now ONE WEEK away from Friday Night Lights! This year will kick off with the girls’ soccer game at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ game at 6:45 p.m. There will be pizza, snacks, and drinks provided by the parents’ association and the alumni relations office, as well as a bake sale hosted by Roots and Shoots! As you prepare for the event, here are a few quick reminders:
- If you have any food restrictions or would like to request a gluten-free or dairy-free pizza option, please contact Andy Rentschler at your earliest convenience.
- This is not a drop-off event. Parents are expected to keep an eye on their child(ren) to ensure that proper behavior is exhibited and that trash is thrown away in the trash receptacles.
- No food or drink is allowed on the turf field.
Friday Night Lights would not be possible without our incredible parent volunteers, and we are currently looking for a few additional parents to help out this year. If you are interested in helping for part of the event, please contact Jeana Colangelo.
Address and Parking Information
There may be a $10 per car charge for parking at the stadium, so please come prepared with cash just in case. The game will be played on the turf field behind Harvard Stadium (from North Harvard Street, enter and go past the Stadium towards Soldier’s Field Road). The stadium complex is at 65 North Harvard Street, Boston, MA 02163. Please see the map of the complex and driving directions. We will be playing on the field marked Jordan Field.
Parents’ Association News
Pumpkin Patch “Candy Corn Guess” Winners
We are excited to announce the winners from the Pumpkin Patch’s “Candy Corn Guessing” game. There were 375 pieces of candy corn in the jar, and here are the winners:
- Grades 6-8: Juliana Li (grade 6) at 420
- Grades 3-5: Alex Kadnar (grade 5) at 375
- Grades 1-2: Violet Hancock (grade 2) at 355
- Pre-K-Kindergarten: Matilda O’Sullivan (K) at 401
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Parent Book Club
Wednesday, November 13 at 8:15 a.m., Erskine Library
Join us to discuss Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. If you have questions, please contact Nareeluck Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 22, 8:30–9:30 a.m., Coolidge Hall
Mark your calendars for the next PA meeting. All parents are welcome to join us to learn about the latest updates and happenings at our school while enjoying snacks and refreshments.
BELMONT AGAINST RACISM
Annual LBGTQ Fall Potluck Planned
The Belmont LBGTQ Alliance will host its annual fall potluck on Sunday, November 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the home of Fran Yuan and Rich Vogel, 182 Orchard Street in Belmont. This community gathering is open to all. Please RSVP to Fran at email@example.com and indicate if you’d like to bring a dish for the potluck.
Tips & Tactics for Raising Digital Natives
On Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m., Dedham Country Day School will host internet safety expert Katie Greer as part of the Connects Speaker Series. The event is open to the public and free. For more information, please click here.
OrigaMIT Convention 2019
Saturday, November 9
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
If you love origami or just want to learn more about this wonderful creative activity, then you have to check out this year’s OrigaMIT Convention 2019. It will be a day filled with classes, guest speakers, vendors, and exhibits. For more information and to pre-register, visit the convention website.
A Nubian Nativity
Saturday, November 23
Strand Theatre, Dorchester
Under the artistic direction of Andrea Herbert Major, The Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts and the “A” Major Dance Company present a soul-stirring performance — “A Nubian Nativity.” Catch BDS third grade student Kali Owens-Schwartz performing in this inspirational recounting of the birth of Christ through dance, music, and song. For more information and tickets, visit rcpaboston.org