The afternoon sun warms the kindergarten classroom as Mrs. Pryor describes the students’ choice time activities.
For this week’s Opening Message, we are making available the full recording of the Parent Forum from earlier this week on the school’s COVID response. If you were unable to attend, we strongly encourage you to watch it in its entirety for valuable information, updates, and questions from the community. Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend.
November 14 to November 30
Saturday, November 14
1–3 p.m., Admissions Open House for Middle School Families; Online Event
Monday, November 16
8:30–10 a.m., Committee on Trustees, Zoom Meeting
5:30–7 p.m., Diversity Committee, Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, November 17
6:30–8 p.m., An Evening With Rosalind Wiseman; Online Event
7–9 p.m., Investment Committee; Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, November 18
9–11 a.m., Development Committee, Zoom Meeting
10 a.m., Parent Book Club, Zoom Gathering
7–8 p.m., Parent Perspectives: An Evening With the Belmont Day Community; Zoom Gathering
Thursday, November 19
Fall Athletics Season Ends
7–8:30 p.m., Board of Trustees
Friday, November 20
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association; Zoom Meeting
8:50–9:35 a.m., Sports Assembly: Zoom Gathering
Monday, November 23
Tuesday, November 24
School Closed for Students
Professional Development Day for Faculty
8:50–9:35 a.m., Thanksgiving Assembly; Zoom Gathering
School Closed for Thanksgiving Break
Monday, November 30
School Reopens for Offsite Learning
For all Zoom gatherings and meetings, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
An Evening with Rosalind Wiseman: Developing the Whole Child
Tuesday, November 17, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Wiseman will use her publication, “The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents,” to give parents concrete skills to support their children’s social, emotional, and educational needs. Topics to be covered will include: strategies to raise resilient children during uncertainty; knowing when and how to be involved in your child’s education; concrete skills to increase communication, especially in conflict or anxiety; and understanding the importance of social media in your child’s life while putting healthy boundaries around screen time
This live Zoom event is open to Belmont Day School parents, alumni, and friends. Advance registration is required. Click here for more information and to register.
This event is sponsored by the Ko Family and Wellesley Toyota.
State of the School 2020
NEW DATE: Thursday, December 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
With the changing and challenging schedule our community has faced this week, the State of the School 2020 presentation has been rescheduled to early next month. The presentation will include remarks from Head of School Brendan Largay and introductions to the various board committees by members of the board of trustees. Participants will be invited to join breakout rooms for further conversation with board committee chairs. Please stay tuned for any further updates and check the Parent Portal for the Zoom link to this event.
Lunch & Snack Menu
November 16 to November 20
Snack: clementines; pretzel twists
Lunch: beef chili; bean and squash chili; corn chips; salsa; seasoned corn; cheese; guacamole; mixed greens salad; cut fruit cups; milk and water
Snack: local apples; Nutri-Grain Bars
Lunch: Greek chicken salad bowl; Greek chickpea and feta salad bowl; hummus; pita; Greek dressing; cut fruit cups; milk and water
Snack: bananas; Cape Cod chips
Lunch: Thanksgiving at BDS – carved turkey with gravy; mashed potato; green beans; roasted tofu; cranberry sauce; spinach with goat cheese and sherry vinaigrette; cut fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: pears; Sun Chips
Lunch: beef hot dog with bun; veggie hot dog with bun; Lay’s chips; coleslaw; apple slices; chocolate milk, milk, and water
Snack: applesauce; Smartfood
Tech Tips for Students and Parents for Offsite Learning
In anticipation of the move to full offsite learning, the technology department has put together two Frequently Asked Question pages—one for each division—to help aid parents and students as they navigate devices and learning platforms. Please bookmark and review your relevant FAQ for tips, troubleshooting, and helpful how-to links. Please check in with your child’s teacher if you cannot resolve a problem first. It is important to know that teachers are the administrators and owners of their online accounts, so troubleshooting an issue oftentimes requires a coordinated effort between the teacher and a member of the tech office staff. That is why it is important that you let the teacher know of any issues first before contacting the tech office. If it is something your teacher cannot immediately resolve they will get in touch with the tech department or direct you to email us directly at [email protected]
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Dashboard Reflects New Positive Tests
There are two important notes for you to know while reviewing our most recent weekly testing dashboard. One is that there are fewer tests reported for this week. Given the Veterans Day holiday, Wednesday testing was moved to Thursday, and we do not yet have that data. The other is you may notice that our positive cases are listed as four. While we have reported five cases at Belmont Day, one of those came from outside testing, not our assurance testing, and is not included in the dashboard—although it is very much counted in our school reporting.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nurse Liz LaRocque: [email protected] or 617-932-3901.
Discounted Testing Available for BDS Families
Our testing partner, CIC Health, is open for testing by appointment and offering Belmont Day families and friends a $10 discount per test. Their testing site is located in Kendall Square at 245 Main Street, Cambridge. Individuals seeking testing simply schedule and pay for their test online, and show up at their appointed time to be tested. The testing process takes about three minutes, costs $80, and results will be returned within 24 hours, on average. Use the code BDSfamily when scheduling an appointment to receive the discount.
DEI Parent Interest Groups Launched for School Year
On Tuesday, November 10, we launched this year’s DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) parent groups. We began as a whole group to acknowledge our common dedication to engaging with one another on topics related to social identity and social bias. Following that heartwarming start, folks spent time in groups focused on social identity commonalities.
We are very grateful to those who facilitated the small groups. Each interest group will determine its schedule of meetings going forward. If you were unable to attend the first gathering, please contact the facilitator below to learn when the group you’d like to join will hold its next meeting.
Please note that the interfaith group is a new parent group offering and we are super excited to be able to offer this opportunity for parents to connect in this context.
- Asian- & Asian-American-identified Parents – Please contact Minna Ham at [email protected]
- Black- & Brown-identified Parents –Please contact Dr. Hoyt at [email protected]
- White-identified Parents raising Black- and Brown-identified children – Please contact Dr. Mercedes at [email protected]
- Allyship Group for White-identified Parents – Please contact Suzanne Caruso at [email protected]
- Interfaith Group – Please contact Matt Segil at [email protected]
Garden Yields A Bumper Crop
This past weekend with a small group of staff and parents, we had a physically distanced workday to put the BDS garden to rest for the winter. This included our final harvest of beets, chard, lettuce, parsley, and radishes. Participants added mulch to the pollinator garden, weeded, removed the annuals, and covered the garden beds and paths with salt marsh hay and cardboard. We had a stellar year for winter squash this year and harvested over 100 pounds of squash and pumpkins. The harvest from the garden also included peppers, tomatoes, beans, garlic, greens, potatoes, edible flowers, and a variety of herbs. Food from the garden harvests was donated to the Foodlink in Arlington and has also shown up in our school lunches this fall!
– Kathy Jo Solomon, visual arts teacher and sustainability coordinator
Reminder: Date Change for Thanksgiving Assembly & Start of Break
Online Assembly Will Be Held Tuesday, November 24, from 8:50 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.
Join us to celebrate our community and express gratitude for one another at our annual Thanksgiving Assembly. The assembly will be held virtually via Zoom and children should not be brought to school on that day. The link for the event will be available on the Parent Portal.
Thanksgiving break will begin immediately after the assembly. There will be no academic programming for students for the remainder of the day. Faculty will dedicate that time to preparing for offsite learning.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Meet Mr. Ridoré!
Today, our after school program teacher spotlight shines on Mr. Eric Ridoré. Mr. Ridoré is an athletics coach, physical education teacher, and he helps out with after school on Fridays with sixth graders. Did you know that Mr. Ridoré was born in February and is an Aquarius? Hmmm … Isn’t there another after school teacher we learned about recently who is also an Aquarius? Mr. Ridoré proudly proclaims that he can eat an entire tub of ice cream in one sitting! What flavor do you think is his favorite? If you see him during the day, try and guess! Mr. Ridoré went to high school in nearby Malden, and one of his hobbies is recording music. Did you know that out of all the BDS values, honesty is the most important to him? If he could invite anyone to have dinner with him, dead or alive, it would be the late reggae artist, Bob Marley. Finally, if you see Mr. Ridore on the field, ask him to do a one-handed cartwheel. Be prepared to be amazed! Give him an air hug while you are at it!
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
Help Local Campaign to Donate 100,000 Masks for Kids
Our longstanding community service partner organization, Cradles to Crayons, has launched an ambitious campaign to donate 100,000 masks to children. ThreadTech, Inc., a Boston-based company, has joined the effort and set up multiple opportunities to support Cradles to Crayons. On the ThreadTech website, individuals can purchase masks directly for donation or they can click on the ‘donate today’ button which links directly to the Cradles to Crayons donation site. And for every two masks purchased for donation during November, ThreadTech will donate one children’s mask to the campaign.
Seeking Expertise from the BDS Community
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.
– Jennifer Friborg, Capstone coordinator
Theater Arts: Learning To Walk In Someone Else’s Shoes
To kick off the seventh and eighth grade theater arts intensives, we explored, experienced, and applied what it means to “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” We first designed a shoe representing our personality, interests, birthplace, and the origin of our names. In sharing these designs, we noted things we had in common and wondered about things we did not, “She likes spring just like me.” “I wonder why she likes owls?” This was followed by viewing and responding to sections of the TEDx talk “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” by the actor, Okieriete Onaodowan (of Hamilton fame) as he discussed acting, empathy, and what it takes to walk in someone else’s shoes.
Students were then presented with four photos of people and wrote descriptions of what they thought their shoes would be. They explored their assumptions and how it is necessary to go beyond them in order to understand and know a person. As actors, we delved into a character’s “I want” or objective and wrote monologues from a shoe’s point of view. Everyone had a chance to perform a dramatic reading of a section of their monologue, then got to read their classmates’ kudos in the Zoom Chat: “I liked how it conveyed the shoes want.” “I really felt bad for the grey shoe.” “I could really see the emotion that the shoe was feeling.” “It makes me want to know more.” Classwork was interspersed with theater games and learning basic dance moves to keep everyone on their toes!
– Susan Dempsey, theater arts teacher
Examples of the students’ monologues:
Now from a first-person perspective, I can tell you that being a rich person shoe is NOT as appealing as it may seem. Sure they might have a softer touch and be lighter on you because they are fancier and all. But none of that is important because if you’re rich, the odds of your owner picking YOU out of all of their pairs owned?! Next to none. They are rich right, so they gotta have hundreds of pairs of shoes to use. So just be warned, they ain’t picking you out anytime soon. All I want as a shoe is to be used more than three times a year. – Henry Monroe
What’s this? What’s that? There’s a new child in the store … I hope they buy me … They’re coming closer … They’re looking … (slumps) Oh, they took somebody else. Some kind of new-fangled, fancy shoe. Nobody wants me, an old worn-out pair. My laces are frayed, the soles are worn out, and no person has touched me in years. Here I sit, alone on this shelf. I’m covered in a layer of dust, and I haven’t been polished in years. My only wish is to be worn again, but I am beginning to think that it’s a lost cause. – Aviva Pearlmutter Bearson
Virtual Bookshelf Display Grows Around the Kiva
Middle school students engage in silent sustained reading (SSR) at least once a week. Studies have shown that making time for reading free choice books is one of the greatest predictors of overall academic success. In an effort to celebrate and share the many wonderful books students have been choosing this year, we have created a display of the book covers. Seventh and eighth grade students and faculty have enjoyed looking over the huge variety of choices–if you see a book repeat, that means it’s pretty popular among middle school readers! Our virtual bookshelf begins outside the eighth grade English classroom in the Kiva and is steadily making its way toward the sixth grade hallway. We will continue to add book covers throughout the year; we can’t wait to see how far the book covers will stretch!
– Elisabeth Klock, grade 8 English instructor
Parents’ Association News
Friday, November 20
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
All are invited to please join us for our next meeting. We will meet via Zoom. The link and password are available in the Veracross Parent Portal.
The next book club selection is A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier. Please join us for our Zoom gathering on Wednesday, November 18 at 10 a.m. to discuss this book. A Zoom link will be posted to the PA Fun & Fundraising section on Veracross. Please contact Nareeluck Stephenson with any questions.
Lost & Found
New Procedure For Locating Lost Items
As the weather cools, our students are bringing more clothing to school. Please remember to label their belongings! If you are missing an item, please complete this form. We will search the Lost & Found bins for the item and it will either be returned to your student or we will be in touch to let you know that we haven’t found it. If it isn’t found at this time, it will stay on the list in case it reappears at a later date.
As the weather is changing make sure you have your child’s cold weather clothes labeled so the items can be returned if left behind! Check out Mabel’s Labels, it’s an easy solution to belongings that are easily misplaced and one that benefits the PA. Through a simple online ordering platform, they provide customized labels that you can put onto clothing, water bottles, lunch bags, ski gear, gloves, hats, etc. Mabel’s Labels offers a variety of iron-on, stick-on, and stamp label options. And for each order you place, the PA earns 20% of the sale total. Click here to visit the Mabel’s Labels’ site and enter “Belmont Day School” before ordering.
MUSIC PRODUCTION CLASSES
Want to Learn How to Write and Produce Your Own Music?
Is your seventh or eight grader interested in learning about music production or DJing? If so, you may wish to check out a new class called Music Production being offered by Geoffrey Carter, a Boston resident, and friend of BDS music teacher Yui Kitamura. Carter is a graduate of Berklee School of Music who has been involved in the world of electronic music for the last decade. This class is a great way for students to learn about sound engineering, DJing, and mixing. The class will be $30 per half-hour private session and will meet once a week via Zoom. Please see this flyer for more details and contact information.