Morning light fills the woodshop during the carving arts elective for seventh and eighth graders.
State of the School 2021
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: November 19, 2021
Last evening in the Palandjian Arts Center, I had the honor and the pleasure to speak about my most favorite of subjects: Belmont Day School–our successes, joys, and challenges, both past and present, and our hopes and goals for the future. It was a thrill to again gather in the PAC with colleagues and parents and to know that many more were joining us via Zoom.
If you were unable to attend either in person or online, I encourage you to watch the recording below. And for those of you who were watching via Zoom last night, we apologize for the technical glitch that froze on a single slide for the last quarter of the presentation. If you are interested, we have edited the recording to include all the slides you missed (those slides start at 50:30 if you wish to skip ahead).
Thank you all for being an active part, every day, of the inspiring state of our school community.
After watching the State of the School, please send in any questions to [email protected]. I intend to answer them here in the Scoop next month.
November 20 to December 10
Saturday, November 20
10–11:30 a.m., Admissions Middle School Open House, Zoom Gathering
Monday, November 22
3:30–4:30 p.m., Open Gym for Middle School Athletes
Tuesday, November 23
After School & Extended Day Trimester 1 Ends
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Thanksgiving Assembly, Belmont Day School
12:30 p.m., School Closes for Thanksgiving Break
School Closed for Thanksgiving Break: Wednesday, November 24 to Friday, November 26
Monday, November 29
After School & Extended Day Trimester 2 Begins
Winter Athletics Season Begins
Tuesday, November 30
6:30–7:30 p.m., Parent Learning Forum: Singapore Math, Zoom Gathering
Wednesday, December 1
11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Admissions Lunch & Learn, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, December 2
6:30 p.m., Neighbor Reception, Belmont Day School
7–7:45 p.m., Admissions: All About Athletics, Zoom Gathering
Friday, December 3
8:50–9:35 a.m., Lower School Sharing Assembly, Belmont Day School
9:30–10:30 a.m., Author Visit: Ekua Holmes and Tricia Elam Walker, Zoom Gathering
1–6:00 p.m., Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic, Belmont Day School
Tuesday, December 7
9–11:00 a.m., Development Committee, Zoom Meeting
7–8:00 p.m., Admissions: Parent Perspectives with the Belmont Day Community, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, December 9
12:00 p.m., Enrichment Committee, Zoom Gathering
Friday, December 10
8:30–9:30 a.m., Parents’ Association Meeting, Zoom Gathering
8:50–9:35 a.m., Cross-graded Partners, Belmont Day School
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Tuesday, November 23
11:00 to 12:15 p.m.
Join us in the Barn gym for the annual Thanksgiving Assembly.
The assembly will include a Thanksgiving memory from a faculty member, the presentation of a gratitude chain inspired by visiting author Elaine Vicker’s book “Thankful”, and an acknowledgment of the Native land we are on as a school community.
School will dismiss for the Thanksgiving Break at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday—no extended day or after school program.
As a reminder, in order to attend an in-person event on campus, parents must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 72-hours.
Second Vaccination Clinic
Friday, December 3, from 1 to 6:00 p.m.
Thanks to all who participated in our COVID-19 Immunization Clinic on Thursday, November 11. That evening, you received an automated email from Osco/Albertsons asking you to sign up for a second appointment on Thursday, December 2. That email was in error.
Our second vaccination clinic will be held on Friday, December 3 from 1 to 6 p.m. to not interfere with the academic day. A second email from Osco/Albertsons will be coming out soon to register for that clinic.
If you participated in the first vaccination clinic here at BDS and need the link for the follow-up clinic on Friday, December 3, it is: www.mhealthsystem.com/
Parent Learning Forum: Singapore Math
Tuesday, November 30, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
All lower school parents are invited to learn more about Singapore Math, the basis of our lower school’s math curriculum, during a presentation by math consultant Kevin Mahoney.
This will be an online presentation via Zoom. Link will be available on the Parent Portal.
Lunch & Snack Menu
November 22 to November 26
Snack: apple slices: Smartfood
Lunch: bowtie pasta with meatballs and marinara; pasta with marinara on the side; cauliflower; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; crusty rolls; Romano cheese; butter; garden salad; diced peaches; milk and water
Snack: craisins; Nutri-Grain bars
Early Dismissal: No Lunch
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Testing Before Thanksgiving Break
During Thanksgiving week, testing will take place on Monday, November 22. If your child will be out that day for any reason, please contact [email protected] to arrange for alternate testing.
Just two weeks after vaccinations were approved for 5-11 year olds, our vaccination rates are outstanding! Of course, this assumes that everyone who received their first dose will receive their second dose. And, in fact, the numbers are likely higher, as I have not heard from all families who received doses outside of our school-based vaccination clinic. Reason to celebrate! See the included chart for the grade-by-grade vaccination rates as of Thursday, November 18. If your child has been vaccinated outside of school, please send me that information!
Test and Stay Approved for BDS
We’re pleased to announce that Test and Stay has been approved and will be used from now on for unvaccinated, asymptomatic close contacts so that they may remain in school. Exposed unvaccinated students or faculty will continue to quarantine for seven days. During this time, they will test daily at school for those seven days in order to remain in school during that quarantine period. Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic close contacts do not need to test or quarantine. Exposed vaccinated students or faculty exhibiting symptoms need to be evaluated by their health care provider and have a negative test to return to campus.
Weekly COVID Testing Update
This week, 47 of our 48 pools returned negative results. One pool was not tested due to lab issues; members of that pool self-administered rapid tests and all tests were negative. Please see the chart for our testing results to date.
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Early Sunsets Create Opportunity to Study Night Sky
Cooler weather and earlier sunsets brought on by the end of daylight saving time have given our after school students the opportunity to savor the seasonal transition. Our youngest after school learners have been enjoying more indoor activities, like playing with our oversized foam blocks in the Downing gym, building with Legos, and creating works of art. Older after school students have taken advantage of outdoor, cross-graded learning and play as the sun sets over Claflin Field. With glow sticks and flashlights in hand, we have mapped stars, planets, and constellations in the night sky, discussed chemiluminescence, and played together on Big Blue.
Trimester 2 Enrollment Is Open
Enrollment for the after school program’s winter trimester is open now through next Friday, November 26. You can find after school registration on the Parent Portal. Once on the Parent Portal, click the red button (labeled “Trimester 2 After School Enrollment”) on the right side of the homepage.
As a reminder, there is no after school on Tuesday, November 23.
If you have any questions, please contact Blair Fross, director of after school and enrichment programs.
Thank You to a Great Crew of Volunteers!
We had a wonderful group of faculty, parents, and students to help put the BDS garden to bed for the winter this past Sunday. “Many hands make short work,” and lots of useful chores were accomplished: raking, weeding, mulching, planting, repairing the gate, and adding new cedar beams to the perennial herb garden. A big thank you to all our volunteers! Look for more opportunities in the early spring when we “wake up” the garden to get ready for 2022 planting.
– Kathy Jo Solomon, visual arts teacher and sustainability coordinator
Order Some Fun BDS Gear Today!
Looking for some Belmont Day gear and gifts for yourself or to give to a friend or family member? Click here to visit the school store and check out the wide selection of jackets, hoodies, vests, hats, bags, and so much more. There’s something for all ages! We think you’ll look sharp in blue and gold!
Summer Camp 2022 Calendar Is Set
While next summer may seem far away at the moment, we’re happy to announce that dates for camp sessions have been set for 2022! And mark your calendars: registration will open on Thursday, January 6.
Summer Camp General Sessions 2022:
- Pre-camp: June 20-24
- A1: June 27-July 1
- A2: July 5-8 (no camp on July 4)
- B: July 11-22
- C: July 25-August 5
- D: August 8-19
- Post-camp: August 22-26
Our Swim & Tennis Association will run from June 20 to September 5.
We are still formalizing our specialty camp offerings and will send out a full preview of camp in a December Scoop. If you have any questions about summer camp, the registration process, or anything else about summer at BDS, please email the summer team—me and Denali Kikuchi—at [email protected].
– Zach d’Arbeloff, director of summer programs
Seventh Graders Tackle Info Gaps in Math
Students in seventh grade math engaged in their first “Info Gap” activity of the year. The Info Gap structure requires students to make sense of problems by determining what information is necessary, and then to ask for the information they need to solve it. Students partner up and one student has the responsibility of solving the problem and the other student has the responsibility of releasing the data needed to solve the problem. This routine strengthens verbal communication skills, giving students a chance to practice explaining their mathematical reasoning with immediate peer response.
– Sarah Pikcilingis, middle school math teacher
PE Update: Tag Week Tradition Is Born
After a fall full of adventure, sport-specific skill-building, cooperative challenges, and fitness, the lower school physical education team deemed the final full week before Thanksgiving break to be “Tag Week.” A new tradition may have been born.
All around campus this week students were fleeing their classmates in sheer delight. The “Its” took the form of evil monkey lifeguards, dinosaurs, and regular humans, and escape routes involved boats, bridges, and fast feet. It was a lovely reminder that fitness and fun are mutually inclusive and that our students are always up for a game of tag.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Fifth Grade Studies, Creates Language Tree
Fifth grade students in the Language, Culture, and Community class have been learning about how humans learn language and how languages evolve over time. We are exploring various language trees to appreciate how some languages are related and to try to grasp the incredible diversity of world languages and cultures. In the accompanying photo are a few fifth graders by our class language tree, which represents the Indo-European language group. Ask a fifth grader how many languages there are in the world!
– Jen Friborg and Ana Maria Restrepo, grade 5 foundations for language learning teachers
Athletics Update: Captains Put Finishing Touches on Fall Season
This morning, the middle school community gathered to celebrate the successes of Belmont Day Athletic’s fall season. Captains from all eight teams provided details from their seasons, highlighting the growth and learning that occurred on the fields and trails this fall. A common thread among the speeches was a sense of TEAM and what that meant to each sport. At Belmont Day, success is not measured by wins and losses (although there were plenty of wins this fall), instead, it is this idea of TEAM, this sense of belonging, of working together towards a common goal, of building relationships with schoolmates, and of striving for excellence each and every time you lace up your sneakers/cleats. Congratulations to all of our middle school athletes on a remarkable fall. We’re back!
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
Parents’ Association News
Thank you to everyone who has already submitted notes and artwork expressing appreciation to the faculty. There’s still time to get in on this wonderful new tradition at BDS. Parents will be assembling the board of notes and art after the Thanksgiving break. This collection of notes of gratitude can be from your family, a student, or a parent. The note is for faculty as a whole and will be posted on a bulletin board in the main entrance of the Schoolhouse for all to appreciate. You may also upload a drawing from your child to the faculty and it will be posted. Please use this form to submit your responses.
Keep in mind that this is an opportunity to share your heartfelt thank you to those faculty that you’ve connected with. We are grateful for your participation. If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Baker, PA president, [email protected].
There’s one slot left for a volunteer to donate centerpieces for the middle school classrooms before the winter break. Please consider contributing small plants or seasonal centerpieces that can be placed in the rooms to brighten the day for students and faculty. Follow this link to volunteer.
Mark the date and start reading! The parent book club will meet on Monday, December 13 at 7:30 pm to discuss The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. All are welcome to attend, whether you’ve read the book or just want to meet up with some fellow parents in the community. Please reach out to Karla Bays with any questions or just to say hi and express interest.
Mark your calendar for the next PA meeting on Friday, December 10 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom. Link for the meeting will be on the Parent Portal.
Town of Belmont to Host Covid Vaccination Clinic
Monday, November 22, from 3 to 7 p.m.
The Belmont Health Department is hosting a pediatric COVID vaccination clinic at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Avenue, Belmont. The clinic is for 5-11-year-old children who are Belmont residents or students in school in Belmont. Registration is required. Click here for more information and registration.
Natural Wreath-making at Waltham Fields
Saturday, December 4, from 1 to 3:00 p.m.
The Waltham Fields Community Farm at 240 Beaver Street in Waltham will host an afternoon on the farm to learn wreath-making. Come sip hot chocolate and warm herb teas, while learning to weave, twist and tie natural farm items like pinecones, holly, and branches of evergreen into a festive delight for your home celebrations this holiday season.
Using natural wreath forms, participants will design and create their own unique wreath to display at home. Guest Instructor, Jessica S. Herwick, an interdisciplinary artist and WFCF Director of Education, will share the vast history of wreaths across cultures, share cool facts about the natural materials collected from the farm, and assist participants in making a unique design incorporating the gifts nature provides to bring joy during the dark months of winter. Click here for information and registration.