The second grade is starting a violin unit in music class!
Up to Cardigan Again
Liz Gray, Middle School Head
Post Date: October 15, 2021
Our seventh grade students and faculty are less than a week away from their trip to Cardigan Mountain in the White Mountain National Forest. Hiking Cardigan is a beloved annual BDS tradition that began with the creation of our middle school. We’ve missed only one year since then: 2020. After that year without them, the preparations, planning, and anticipation by students, families, and teachers have never felt sweeter.
Finding our way back to the milestones and traditions that were put on hold for health and safety reasons over the last year and a half has been an ongoing journey that requires more planning and tugs at the heart than one might initially expect. The playbooks are changing. Unfortunately, we can’t simply run back to the same experiences with the same preparations anymore. As we re-inaugurate our traditions, we do so with the renewed meaning of what we hold dear–the unforgettable collective experience of exploring together and figuring out how to rely on one another.
Much has been written by education and child development experts over the past year-plus about the gaps in traditional experiences which students face due to the pandemic. Even the most mundane moments of interaction–a student sneakily grabbing a classmate’s pencil, for instance–were lessened as students sat six feet apart and were often separated by plexiglass. Thus students lost the opportunity to practice how to “read the room,” decipher the social cues, decide whether to play, argue, to ask for adult intervention or negotiate on their own.
Think for a minute about what is lost or delayed when you add up hundreds, maybe even thousands, of those moments, and how we as humans, especially children, build our way back to understanding each other and working and playing together. What has been most joyous to me is the return of those moments of interdependence, human connection, and development, both happy and sometimes difficult, that students are thrown into again as they travel more freely and confidently around our school this academic year.
As we readied for the trip to Cardigan, a parent mentioned that her child had never hiked a mountain before. With some trepidation in her voice, she asked what the hiking groups would be like and whether her child might be left behind as classmates sped ahead on the trail to get to the top first. I reassured her that we hike in advisory groups, with one adult at the front of the pack and one acting as the caboose, keeping the group together all along the trail. I explained that this was one of the things I loved most about this trip–students are required to stick together to reach the top.
For some students, the measured pace set by the group can be frustrating, as they yearn to gallop far ahead. For others, however, it can be both comforting and a bit stressful. They know their group will not leave them, but they may feel that they’re holding their peers back. What our students don’t always see in the moment, but remember long afterward, are the stories and jokes they told, the advice and vulnerability they shared, and the songs they sang all together because they just happened to never be apart. In these groups, our students learn that nothing is greater than the shared experience and the bonds of human connection that outlast the hike up and down the mountain.
I’m struck by the new light in which I see this upcoming trip to the woods. It is not just the joy and challenges of an outdoor learning opportunity. It is also a cherished chance to stumble and have someone who’s not necessarily your closest friend help steady you, or to see your classmates glowing in campfire light and shared accomplishment before turning in for bed.
Most of all, I see that we’re all that group of seventh graders heading up the mountain. All of us, together, finding a pace that works for everyone. All of us are eager to bag this peak and enjoy a new view. And most importantly, all of us are learning with every step.
October 17 to October 29
Sunday, October 17
10–11:30 a.m., Admissions: Lower School Open House, Zoom Gathering
Monday, October 18
10:45–11:45 a.m., Author Visit: John Patrick Green, Zoom Gathering
6–7 p.m., Parent Learning Forum: Middle School Math, Zoom Gathering
Tuesday, October 19
3:30 p.m., JV Soccer vs Cambridge Friends; JV Flag Football vs Shady Hill
6–7:15 p.m., Choices Curriculum Open House, Zoom Gathering
Wednesday, October 20
Grade 7 Cardigan Mountain Trip
6:30–8:30 p.m., Development Committee, Zoom Meeting
Thursday, October 21
Grade 7 Cardigan Mountain Trip
8:15 a.m., Friendraiser Walk & Talk, Belmont Day School
9:30–10:30 a.m., Author Visit: Paula Chase, Zoom Gathering
10 a.m., Parent Book Club, Zoom Gathering
Friday, October 22
Grade 7 Cardigan Mountain Trip
8:50–9:35 a.m., Lower School Specialists Curriculum Sharing, Belmont Day School
10–11 a.m., Author Visit: Laura Vacarro Seeger, Zoom Gathering
Monday, October 25
7:30–8:30 a.m., Parents’ Association Executive Committee, Zoom Meeting
2:25–3:35 p.m., Author Visit: Nathan Hale, Zoom Gathering
3:30 p.m., Boys’ Varsity Soccer at Shady Hill; Girls’ Varsity Soccer vs Shady Hill; Varsity Flag Football at Shady Hill; Field Hockey vs Shady Hill
Tuesday, October 26
School Closed for Parent Conferences
6–7:30 p.m., Parent Social Identity Discussion Groups, Zoom Gatherings
Wednesday, October 27
School Closed for Parent Conferences
Thursday, October 28
8:15 a.m., Friendraiser Walk & Talk, Belmont Day School
9–10 a.m., Author & Illustrator Visit: Stephanic Lucianovic and Vashti Harris, Zoom Gathering
3:30 p.m., Cross Country vs Shady Hill; Boys’ Varsity Soccer vs Fenn; Girls’ Varsity Soccer at Nashoba; JV Soccer at DCD; Varsity Flag Football vs Rashi; JV Flag Football at DCD; Field Hockey at Fay
6:30–8:30 p.m., Board-Faculty Dinner, Belmont Day School
Friday, October 29
Admissions: Deadline for Sibling Applications to Pre-k
8:50–9:35 a.m., Halloween Parade, Claflin Field
6–9 p.m., Friday Night Lights, Babson College
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Choices Curriculum Open House
Parents are invited to learn about our new Choices curriculum on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Choices synthesizes health and wellness, social-emotional learning, and diversity, equity, inclusion education for pre-kindergarten to grade 8 into a scope and sequence of content designed to prepare our students to be good decision-makers.
Liz LaRocque, Leesa Mercedes, and Carlos Hoyt will share information about the course and answer your questions. If you’d like to share a question ahead of the event, please use this form.
Zoom links are available on the Parent Portal.
A reminder that throughout the month of October, the PA friendraiser committee is hosting a walk every Thursday morning after drop-off. Come discover the trails around BDS, reconnect with friends, and meet new faces. We look forward to seeing you there! Meet in the grass circle in front of the Schoolhouse at 8:15 a.m.
ICYMI: Middle School Specialist Faculty Presentations
This past Friday morning, our middle school specialist faculty—visual art, theater, music, athletics, woodworking, and innovation and technology—described their curriculum and answered parents’ questions. For those unable to attend, we recorded the presentations. Click here to view.
The lower school specialist faculty will share next Friday, October 22 from 8:50 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. under the tent on Archery Field.
Grades Available for Seventh & Eighth Graders
The mid-semester grades have been released and are now available on the Parent Portal. Please log in to review.
Lunch & Snack Menu
October 18 to October 22
Snack: apples; Smartfood
Lunch: turkey sub; cheese sub; cucumber slices; chips; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; condiments; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: bananas; Rice Krispie Treats
Lunch: grilled chicken; roasted tofu; mashed potato; sunshine bean blend; Caesar salad; Romano cheese; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; Mandarin oranges; milk and water
Snack: clementines; granola bars
Lunch: beef burger; veggie burger; buns; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; ketchup; pickles; baby carrots; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: apple slices; Cape Cod Chips
Lunch: tomato alphabet soup; grilled cheese sandwiches; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; chocolate chip cookies; Caesar salad; apple slices; milk and water
Snack: fresh fruit cup; corn chips
Friday Night Lights Returns
Friday, October 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.
MacDowell Field, Babson College, Wellesley
After a year on pause, a cherished athletic and community tradition will return at the end of the month. Our girls’ and boys’ varsity soccer teams will once again play under the lights at Friday Night Lights. In exactly two weeks, on October 29, students will play against our friendly rival, The Meadowbrook School. The boys’ team will match up first at 6 p.m. followed by the girls’ game at 7:30 p.m. at Babson College’s MacDowell Field.
Join students, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends to fill the stands and show Meadowbrook how much spirit we have!
Due to Babson College’s COVID protocols, no concessions will be available. Families should plan to bring their own food and beverages.
Guidelines, Directions & Parking
Please remember that 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. And please remember the following important guidelines for student conduct:
- Students are not to be unsupervised in any areas around the field or campus. These areas are dark and potentially unsafe. A parent must accompany a student to these areas. Volunteers will be posted to reinforce this rule, and we ask for your partnership in keeping this event safe for everyone.
- Parent volunteers will be assisting at the venue. Please support the efforts of these volunteers during the evening by monitoring your children.
- No food or drink is allowed on the field.
Directions and Parking Information: Babson College’s main address is 231 Forest Street, Babson Park, Massachusetts 02457. MacDowell Field is located near the Webster Center in the northwest corner of the Babson campus. From the main entrance, follow College Drive to the second stop sign. Turn left at the stop sign and bear left toward the Webster Center when the road splits. Visitor and student parking is available on the garage roof on your right. More visitor parking is available beyond the Webster Center on your left. From there, follow the paved walkway to the right of the Webster Center toward the Upper Field area. MacDowell Field is located next to Hartwell-Rogers Field. (Directions courtesy of Babson College’s website)
New Echo Magazine Is Full of Incredible Art, Writing, Poetry, and More!
Belmont Day’s student literary and arts magazine, Echo, is always a delight to see and read. The Spring 2021 issue is now available in digital form and it features an impressive range of works by our middle school artists and writers from the end of last school year. Each issue has a theme decided on by the magazine club. The Spring 2021 edition is focused on “Movement and Stillness: Roots and Routes,” as a reflection of a year that balanced “safety and risk, connection and separation, growth and preservation.” Click the button below to see the newest issue.
Join the Digital Outreach Team and Tell the World about BDS!
We’re looking for a handful of parents to add to our small but mighty band of digital outreach ambassadors. Powered by a shared mission, we’ll spread the word about our upcoming admission events. Share what you love about BDS and invite future BDS parents to learn about our inspiring community of learners and leaders!
As a parent of school-age children, you know best where and how to connect with your peers via local list-servs, parent groups, NextDoor neighborhoods, community newsletters, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
If you want to learn more and join the team, please contact Judy Bright P ’21 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
We had another completely clear run with all 48 pools testing negative. Great team effort, everyone! Our students are doing a great job adapting to our double swab routine—they are expert swabbers now!
If your child will be out on a Wednesday for any reason, there are very limited windows available for drive-up testing—please let Nurse Liz LaRocque know with as much advance notice as possible if your child will need to test at another time.
Cold & Flu Season Is Here
Cold and flu season is well underway. Please remember to complete the Daily Health Checklist (below) each day. Students should stay home with any symptoms until they have a negative COVID test, are fever-free for 24 hours without medication, AND have an improvement of their symptoms. A good question to ask yourself before sending your child to school: “Would I want my child sitting next to someone who looks and sounds ill like this?” If the answer is no, please allow your child more time to recover at home before returning to school, even if their COVID test is negative. If in doubt on any given day, please call Nurse Liz LaRocque, at 617-932-3901. Thank you.
Fall Fun In After School
Our after school students have been participating in a variety of autumnal activities, taking advantage of the perfect fall weather, nature’s colorful transition, and outdoor fun. Our youngest learners painted fall apples, choosing their favorite apple colors, and practiced fine motor skills. Third, fourth, and fifth grade students are learning teamwork and sportsmanship in games of whiffle ball, frisbee, and flag football. Nature walks, scavenger hunts, board games, and bead crafts are just a few of the other ways students are learning, building relationships, enjoying the fall season, and most of all having fun after school!
– Denali Kikuchi, auxiliary programs coordinator
Piano Lessons Available Again at BDS
Parents interested in their child learning to play the piano can now book lessons with Yu Ya Huang. Ms. Huang has taught students one-on-one for years and we’re excited to be able to welcome her to campus. Ms. Huang has a master’s degree in piano performance and music education from The Boston Conservatory. As a performer, she has given recitals in Boston, California, and Taiwan. As an accompanist, she has performed with instrumentalists, choral groups, theater productions, and dance companies. She is also a very experienced early childhood educator and teaches piano at schools throughout the Boston area. For information regarding after school piano lessons, please contact Ms. Huang directly.
Beware Online Offers to View New Bond Film
The latest James Bond film is out and many filmgoers may be tempted by offers to watch it online. Our partners at KnowBe4 are warning people to stay away from those offers as they are just the latest bait from cybercriminals.
“When users visit a website in the hope of watching the long-awaited No Time to Die movie, they will be asked to register their details after seeing the first few minutes of the latest film. During the registration, victims would be required to enter their credit card information. However, after registration is complete, the user might not be able to continue watching. Money is debited from their card and the payment data ends up in the fraudster’s hands.”
Please be very careful with any online offers related to new movies or any new media releases.
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology
Launching Parent Social Identity Discussion Groups
Parents are invited to the kick-off gathering for this year’s Social Identity Discussion Groups (SIDGs) via Zoom on Tuesday, October 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
“Social Identity Discussion Group” is the term we’re using for groups that center on shared experiences related to social identity. If you are interested in learning more about or resuming your participation in any of the groups being offered, we hope you’ll be able to join the gathering on October 26.
We’ll devote the first twenty to thirty minutes of the gathering to providing introductions of facilitators and a sense of the purposes and approaches the SIDGs will take. Following the introduction, each SIDG will use the remaining time to meet in its own breakout space to focus on plans for the year (goals, meeting dates, etc.). After this kick-off event, each group will proceed for the rest of the school year based on the goals and logistics that are best for its members.
GROUPS & FACILITATORS
We’re very pleased to be able to offer facilitated gatherings for folks who identify as members of the following groups and for folks interested in an interfaith-worldview discussion group:
- Asian- and Asian-American-identified parents – facilitated by Minna Ham, lower school head
- Black/African American-identified and Hispanic/Latino/Latinx-identified parents – facilitated by Dr. Carlos Hoyt, director of Equity and Inclusion and Sharra Owens-Schwartz P ’25, chair of the board diversity committee
- White-identified parents raising Black/African American-identified or Hispanic/Latino/Latinx-identified children – facilitated by Dr. Leesa Mercedes
- Anti-racist allyship group for White-identified parents – facilitated by Suzanne Caruso, former Belmont Day middle school teacher
- Interfaith and Worldview group – facilitated by Matt Segil, sixth grade math teacher
- Parents of students with transgender or non-binary identities – facilitated by Jen James, assistant to the head of school and registrar
Please use this form to indicate which group or groups you are interested in. If there is a social identity group or groups you’d be interested in that are not listed here, please let us know that, and we’ll do our best to explore ways to create those groups.
In Search of Old Button-down Shirts
Paint is splattering as our students create colorful new creations in our woodworking studio and we’re in need of some new smocks. Woodworking teacher Bill Smith is sending out the call for old adult button-down shirts you may have at your home. They certainly don’t need to be in perfect shape or in any specific size.
If you have an old shirt or two to donate, please send it to school with your student(s). A box will be placed at the Barn labeled “Wood Smocks” where they can leave them. Thank you!
Los diseñadores de modas de séptimo grado
Seventh grade Spanish students are learning about clothing in the context of Guatemalan culture and traditions. Inspired by the Mayan attire, students designed a style they believe would be a perfect mix of Guatemalan-style clothing and their favorite clothing. Students engaged in audiovisual activities and watched videos for inspiration. This week, they displayed their designs in the classroom and engaged in a picture-talk activity. In the accompanying image, you can appreciate some of the traditional patterns, the descriptions of the colors they chose, and the natural resources used in Guatemala to tint the textiles.
– Ana Maria Restrepo, middle school Spanish teacher
Sixth Grade Mathematics Takes Shape(s)
In sixth grade mathematics, students start the year by exploring the area of closed, two-dimensional shapes with straight lines (polygons). As the unit progresses, students begin to explore surface area in three-dimensional shapes and work to determine rules for finding surface area. The study of 3D shapes involves “unfolding” a 3D shape into a net–a 2D representation of a 3D shape. Later, students take nets and fold them back up to make 3D shapes once more.
– Matthew Segil, middle school math teacher
Sixth Grade Studies Major Religious Traditions
How was the universe created? How will it end? What happens after we die? What are we supposed to be doing while we are here? What do the major religious traditions of the world teach about these questions? How do their followers worship? How should we understand not only the differences of practice or belief between different traditions but also within the same tradition? Teams of sixth graders are tackling these tough questions and more in social studies this year with great openness, respect, curiosity, and excitement. They are seeking answers as they prepare to teach their classmates about what they have learned about Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
– Dean Spencer, middle school social studies teacher
Athletics Update: Boys’ Soccer Topples Carroll 3-1
The boys’ soccer team traveled to Carroll this week and returned with their first win of the season. After opening their campaign with a close loss to DCD, the team was on the wrong end of some lopsided scores to Park and Pike before turning things around this week. Team captain Alex Foley credited the win to a more aggressive approach on the offensive side of the field. “We just put more shots on net,” Foley said. “We weren’t waiting for the perfect chance, we were just firing whenever we could and we have some strong legs on this team.” One of those strong legs is Foley himself who blasted a goal from just outside the box. Joining Foley in the scoring were seventh grade classmates Marco Frazzoli-Cassi and Caleb Frehywot. With a win under their belts, the boys’ soccer team will now set their sights on a showdown with Shady Hill.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
More Athletics News
- Liam Brodeur connected with four different receivers on TD passes including the go-ahead score to Braiden Dargon with 2:20 to play during varsity football’s 28-22 win over Fenn. Kaden Flummerfelct secured the victory with an interception in the end zone as time expired.
- The cross country team came up short against Nobles but had great runs from Brynn Franklin, Roudi Youssef, Peter Kurtz, and Alexander Dainora-Cohen. All four have been incredibly consistent so far this season and have been really pushing it on the trails.
- The field hockey team took a 0-0 game into the fourth quarter against Nashoba, but eventually fell 3-0 to the visitors. Aria Goodpaster shined offensively for the Blue & Gold, creating almost every scoring chance and moving to space well. Mimi Cradick was solid on D.
- The JV football team stayed undefeated with a 12-12 tie at Carroll this week. Charlie Rossi and Ayres Planck combined for some timely flag pulls to secure the win, while classmates August Wilmot and Jaden Park made some big plays offensively.
- Kalkidan Shiferaw recorded 13 saves between the pipes during JV soccer’s loss to Carroll this week. Team captain Evan Griffith-Ebrahimi was excellent defensively with some great clears and timely passing through the midfield.
- The girls’ soccer team lost a tough one to Carroll (2-1) at home this week. Colby Morris tallied the lone goal for the Blue & Gold on a nifty finish into the corner in the first half. Quincy Treisman played fast and challenged the ball all over the field.
PE Update: Soccer Scope and Sequence
All across campus our students have been busy kicking, dribbling, passing, and working on their soccer skills in their physical education classes. The scope and sequence of our program allows soccer to be a unit that everyone enjoys, from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. For the lower grades, this can mean developing skills at stations such as soccer bowling and obstacle course dribbling. As our students progress through the ranks they begin to engage in more gameplay out on Claflin and Far fields, combining the fundamentals with strategy and teamwork to achieve a common goal. By fifth grade, students are mirroring a similar model to our middle school athletics teams by warming up, playing, and competing at a high level. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world … and despite our love of all things active, that might just be true at BDS as well.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Arts Update: Team Effort to Paint New Library Murals
Students in the middle school painting elective class this term have been working together in teams for their first major assignment: to design and create a series of murals for the Erskine Library. After touring the revamped space—complete with the new layout and furniture—and interviewing Librarian Amy Sprung to understand her goals for the paintings, each student created an individual mural proposal. From the initial 14 proposals, several proposals were combined to create a final project consisting of six mural designs.
For each location—two walls in the Story Room and two walls in the middle school research room—the artists needed to address a variety of factors in their designs, including the age of the students who primarily use the space, the location of bookshelves, and furniture, and the sightlines in the room. Throughout the design and painting process, Ms. Sprung has provided feedback and suggestions; the iterations and daily progress can be seen in the Barn’s mezzanine hallways, as three of the murals are ‘stored’ on the walls between class painting sessions. The completed murals will be hung in the Erskine Library after Thanksgiving!
– Anne Armstrong, visual arts teacher and arts coordinator
Parents’ Association News
The Pumpkin Patch was a big success! Thank you to the many families who participated, and to all who purchased appreciation pumpkins and mums for our wonderful faculty and staff! If you still need to pay for your items, please follow this link to the payment portal.
Friday Night Lights returns this fall! We are very excited that this wonderful community and athletic tradition is coming back after a year off. Friday Night Lights will be held on Friday, October 29 at Babson College, starting with the girls’ varsity soccer game at 6 p.m. and followed by the boys’ varsity soccer game at 7:30 p.m.
The parents’ association always plays a role in making this a special night and we’ll need your help. If you are interested in volunteering for the evening, please contact Jeana Colangelo.
Thanks to the generous support of our families, mini pumpkins and mums were purchased for the classrooms through the Pumpkin Patch Sale and have been brightening the classroom spaces. We need volunteers to donate centerpieces for the cohort rooms throughout the school year. This is an easy, creative way to contribute to BDS faculty and impact our children. Please follow this link to volunteer as early as next week, or later in the school year.
This fall, for the first time, the parents’ association is excited to partner with Belmont Books for our annual Book Fair. The Book Fair will be held virtually from November 12 through November 19, with the added possibility of shopping in-person at Belmont Books on the last Friday of the sale, November 19. Reading lists will be available by grade level, and wish lists will be available for contributions to the library and individual classrooms. Please stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!
Parent Book Club
We hope you will join us for a Zoom gathering on Thursday, October 21 at 10 a.m. to discuss Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. Whether you’ve finished the book, barely begun it, or just want to meet the club members and see what we’re about, we encourage you to come! The book club is a wonderful way to connect with BDS parents across grade levels, who you might not otherwise meet. And if you’d prefer to start on November’s selection to give yourself a little extra reading time, our next book will be Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, winner of The Booker Prize in 2019. Please reach out to Karla Bays with any questions or just to say hi and express interest.
Library Shelving Volunteers
The library committee could use your help! Beginning in November, we’ll be able to have one volunteer in the Erskine Library one day a week after school from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. to help with shelving books. If you can spare the time—or have a middle school student to pick up at 4:30—Librarian Amy Sprung would really appreciate the help. Please feel free to email Amy Sprung directly to volunteer.
Flower Bulb Fundraiser
Today is the last day to order bulbs through our annual fundraiser! Click here to order bulbs and plant some spring cheer! Bulbs will be shipped directly to your house in time to plant them this fall, and the parents’ association will receive 50% of the cost of your total purchase. The proceeds will support teachers and grade parents and will help secure great guests for enrichment assemblies and more. If you have any questions, please contact Lia Meisinger or Mamie Cantor.
Celebrating Hispanic and Latinx Art
Tuesday, October 26, from 7 to 8:00 p.m.
Lexington’s Cary Library will host Layla Bermeo, Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of Paintings in the Art of the Americas department at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), for a conversation about Latin American and Latinx art in the MFA’s collection. Learn about the development of the Spanish Colonial collections in the Art of the Americas Wing, the recent exhibition on iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and Contemporary Latina artists such as Luchita Hurtado and Carmen Herrera. This will be a virtual event and pre-registration is required. For more information, please click here.