Fourth graders showed their skills on the climbing wall this week.
DEI Stands for Common Ground
Dr. Carlos Hoyt, Director of Equity and Inclusion
Post Date: October 22, 2021
They drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle and took them in¹
– Edwin Markham, Outwitted
The “D” in DEI, standing for diversity, leaves some people with the impression that DEI focuses on differences, which only increases divisions between people. The “E” in DEI, standing for equity, leaves some people wondering why equality – treating everyone identically – is not what we should aim for. The “I” in DEI, standing for inclusion, leaves some people worried that their particular views and wishes might be pushed aside to make room for differences.
Some parents reading this have a child who is left-handed in a world built for people who are right-handed. These parents have every right to expect that their child will not be forced to learn to write or throw or eat with the hand that feels “right” for everyone else.
Some parents reading this have a child whose learning style diverges from the majority of students at their school. These parents have every right to expect that their child will not be teased or ostracized or labeled and treated as lazy or incompetent, and to expect that instead, their child will receive what they need to learn and thrive.
Some parents reading this have children who observe religious and/or cultural customs that are central to their sense of family and heritage but not recognized as a federal holiday or observance. These parents have every right to expect that their child will be released from homework and/or attending school while observing times of the year that are every bit as important as those observed by other students at school that happen to coincide with officially sanctioned time away from school.
Some parents reading this have a child whose appearance leads others to perceive them as a boy or a girl when in fact they identify differently from the assumptions made about them. These parents have every right to expect that their child’s gender identity will be honored no less than the gender identities of cisgendered² children.
Some parents reading this have a child who is seen and treated as a member of a social identity group that has historically been and continues to be disadvantaged and confronted with discrimination and even violence. These parents have every right to expect that their child will be provided with equitable protection, regard, encouragement, support, and love through policies, pedagogy, programs, people, and environments that reflect their worth and worthiness.
Every parent reading this has every right to expect that their child’s school understands the well-documented, empirically indisputable synergy between effectively fostering a sense of belonging and the skills of empathy and inclusion (DEI, Health & Wellness, and Social Emotional Learning pedagogy) and fostering intellectual curiosity, a love of learning, and mastery of academic subjects (academic excellence).
DEI at BDS is in the service of creating a common ground on which the differences that invigorate a community (diversity) can be recognized and honored (equity), and brought together in coalescence and coalition (inclusion).
¹ The gender binary terminology in Markum’s original construction of their wonderful poem has been revised to be inclusive of all possible readers.
² Descriptive of a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.
October 25 to November 6
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
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
Monday, November 1
6–7 p.m., Parents’ Association, Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, November 2
7–9 p.m., Investment Committee, Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, November 3
8 a.m.–1:15 p.m., SSAT for Grade 8, Belmont Day School
8:15 a.m., Friendraiser Walk & Talk, Belmont Day School
11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Admissions Lunch & Learn, Zoom Gathering
12–1 p.m., Parents Independent School Network (PIN), Zoom Gathering
3:30 p.m., JV Soccer at Rashi; JV Flag Football at Fessenden
Thursday, November 4
10:30–11:30 a.m., Author Visit: Sara Levine, Zoom Gathering
3:30 p.m., Boys’ Varsity Soccer vs Charles River; Girls’ Varsity Soccer at Charles River; Varsity Flag Football vs Fay; Field Hockey at Charles River
Friday, November 5
8:50–9:35 a.m., Middle School Author Visit: Misako Rocks!, Zoom Gathering
Saturday, November 6
Cross Country at State Invitational
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Friday Night Lights
Friday, October 29, 6 to 9 p.m.
MacDowell Field, Babson College
Our girls’ and boys’ varsity soccer teams will once again play under the lights at Friday Night Lights. On October 29, our athletes 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)
Family Fall Festival at BDS!
Sunday, November 7
12 to 4 p.m.
Join in for a fun-filled day with fellow BDS families to enjoy many fall activities, food, music, and more. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, celebrate our community, and meet new faces! In order for us to plan, we’d like to gauge the attendance. If you’re interested in attending the event, please click here to RSVP.
We also need a few volunteers to help with the event. There are many ways to volunteer from doing a 30-minute shift during the event to lending BDS your lawn game sets (cornhole, KanJam, etc.). If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Pati Fernandez.
Cooking Class – Learn How to Make Pâte à Choux
Thursday, November 11, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Come release your inner pastry chef and learn the art of pâte à choux. This versatile dough is a superhero in the pastry lineup! We will pull the dough together using simple ingredients and create both savory gougeres and sweet cream puffs. There will be plenty to sample and take home to your family. This in-person event and space is limited. Click here to RSVP.
All ingredients are included and there is no cost to participate. This fun activity is a collaboration by the parents’ association, the friendraising committee, and the development department. The class will be led by Elise Franklin Bayard (mom of Brynn, grade 6, and Alexis, grade 2).
Lunch & Snack Menu
October 25 to October 29
Snack: apples; pita chips; pretzels
Lunch: macaroni and cheese; pasta with marinara on the side; broccoli;; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; crusty rolls; Romano cheese; butter; garden salad; apple slices; milk and water
School Closed: Parent Conference Day
School Closed: Parent Conference Day
Snack: bananas; Teddy Grahams; animal crackers
Lunch: cheese pizza; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; carrots; ranch dressing; Caesar salad; applesauce; milk and water
Snack: dried cranberries; Lay’s Chips
The annual Halloween parade will be held on Friday, October 29 during the assembly period—8:50 to 9:35 a.m.
We are aware that taking part in activities related to Halloween is not consistent with the beliefs or practices of some families. If you would prefer not to have your student take part in the Halloween parade, please let their homeroom teacher or advisor and Dr. Hoyt know by Monday, October 25.
We will communicate with families of students who will not be participating with information about how they can spend the parade activity time.
If you have any questions related to the Halloween parade please feel free to reach out to a member of the heads team:
Deborah Brissenden, Assistant Head of School and Director of Curriculum
Carlos Hoyt, Director of Equity & Inclusion
Liz Gray, Middle School Head
Minna Ham, Lower School Head
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Heather Woodcock, Director, Associate Teacher Program
We will be communicating to all families early next week with specific information on parade guidelines and logistics.
On behalf of the faculty,
Brendan & Carlos
Great Authors and Illustrators Are Stopping By BDS (Virtually)
This year we’ve been welcoming several authors and illustrators to meet virtually with students to discuss their craft. The online format has enabled us to invite people who write and illustrate in a variety of genres and target the visits to specific grades who might connect what they’re learning in the classroom with the author’s discussion of their process and the story. Books from these visits have been flying off the shelves in the library and copies are also available in the classroom.
One highlight coming up next week is a visit from Nathan Hale, who writes and illustrates the history series Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales. The latest book in the series, Cold War Correspondent, is being released on Tuesday. If your family is interested in owning this or any of the other books from our past or upcoming visiting authors, please consider purchasing a copy from Belmont Books, as they are coordinating all of the visits this year.
Recent & Upcoming Author Visits
Nathan Hale for Cold War Correspondent
Stephanie Lucianovic and Vashti Harrison for Hello, Star
Rajani La Rocca for Where Three Oceans Meet (see this great article in the Boston Globe about her work!)
Elaine Vickers for Thankful
Misako Rocks! for Bounce Back
Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes for Dream Street (visit this exhibit at the MFA to see featured work from Dream Street)
Visits So Far This School Year:
Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld, picture book author and illustrator
Alan Gratz, historical fiction novelist
Mo O’Hara, mystery/humor graphic novel author
John Rocco, picture book author-illustrator
John Patrick Green, mystery/humor graphic novel author-illustrator
Phaea Crede, picture book author
Adam Jay Epstein and Ruth Chan, picture book author and illustrator
Paula Chase, realistic fiction novelist
Laura Vaccaro Seeger, picture book author-illustrator
Families Can Find & Reserve That Next Great Book!
Families are welcome to browse our library catalog from home in order to request any books for delivery to your child’s cubby in addition to the choices they make when they visit the library. Click here to browse the catalog. We piloted this program last year to great success, and we’re happy to continue offering it to anyone interested throughout the year. Requests are typically processed and delivered twice a week.
For students in pre-kindergarten to grade 3, your child’s username for the catalog is their first initial, last name, and year of graduation (e.g., asprung28). Their password is the year the school was founded. Here is a brief tutorial from last year that shows how to search for and place a hold on books (the catalog looks a little different now but it works the same way). For students in grades 4-8, they may log in to the catalog with their BDS Google account to request books.
Please reach out to Librarian Amy Sprung with any questions, and thank you for being patrons of our library.
Share Your Expertise to Help Eighth Grade Researchers
Would you like to be involved in the Capstone Program? Take a moment to check out our eighth graders’ research topics listed in the dropdown below. 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 research. The research and resulting papers represent the first part of the “triathlon” that is the Capstone experience. They are crafting 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, a friend, a family member, or a colleague 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!
- gene editing
- space exploration
- board games
- social media & small business
- soft robotics
- hacking and cybersecurity
- cancer immunotherapy
- hip hop
- Title IX
- video games
- life on other planets
- dogs’ sense of smell
- alternative energy
- reading & processing speed
- wolves ~ lacrosse
- hearing loss
- science of baking
- girls and sports
- ancient medicine
- decision making
- Cold War espionage
- Formula 1
- mental illness and the media
- abortion rights
- ballet & body image
- climate change in New England
- Frances Glessner Lee
- life in the deep sea
- celebrity politicians
- Black feminists
- fast fashion
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
Our weekly testing on Wednesday, October 20 identified a positive case of COVID-19 in the fourth grade.
45 of our 48 pools came back negative. Two pools were not tested due to lab issues. Those individuals were tested with self-administered rapid tests and all results were negative. You can see the results of all of our testing for the year in the dashboard.
Due to parent conferences on Wednesday, October 27, our weekly Covid testing will be held on Thursday, October 28. If you need to be out next Thursday for any reason, please arrange alternate testing with Liz LaRocque. As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
Student Billing Update From The Business Office
The business office has now fully completed the conversion of student billing from FACTS Management to our new billing program using Veracross and VC Pay. In addition to viewing and paying tuition bills online through the parent portal, parents can now view and pay bills for incidental charges as well. When the school issues invoices for field trips, after school programs, and other school offerings, parents can view their invoices by logging into the parent portal and clicking on the “Invoices and Payments” button under View My Invoices.
Invoices for after school programs and the seventh grade field trip were posted to the portal this week and are now available for parents to review and make payments.
Parents will see invoices listed under type as “tuition” or “incidentals.” Click on the “View” button next to the invoice to review charges. Click on the green “Make A Payment” button to initiate an online payment. For parents who elected to pay incidental bills via the autopay option, the autopay draft of bank accounts for incidentals will occur on the 15th of every month (or the first business day thereafter) and no further action should be necessary. Autopay enrolled families also have the option of clicking the “Unlock Autopay” button to make a payment sooner.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to the business office team at firstname.lastname@example.org and the appropriate person will respond to your question.
A Harvest of Wonderful Experiences
Fall has been a busy time in the BDS Garden. Our second graders have been making weekly visits to the garden this fall. They are using all their senses to experience the garden, whether it’s looking for bumblebees, honey bees, and butterflies, smelling the various herbs including basil, thyme, and oregano, listening to birds, hawks, and even the winds, or feeling the rough edges of butternut squash plants, or tasting freshly picked Sungold tomatoes and beans. Students are also helping to maintain these spaces by harvesting, weeding, and mulching.
This week we also had our pre-kindergarten students visit the garden to harvest the potatoes that last year’s pre-k class planted in the spring. What a surprise as the children dug up a robust harvest of red, purple, and white potatoes of all sizes. A plethora of earthworms reminded us that the soil is rich and nutritious in our organic school garden.
Fall Garden Volunteer Workday
Next month as we wind down our outdoor efforts for the winter season, please consider coming to the garden workday on Sunday, November 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parents with their lower school children are invited and middle school students are invited to come with a parent or on their own. Please contact Kathy Jo Solomon with questions or if you plan to attend.
Meet The After School Team: Mia Thompson
Mia Thompson, our second grade after school teacher, joined the BDS community this fall after graduating from Bridgewater State University with a degree in English. For the past several years, Mia has taught summer camp and out-of-school time programs at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, sharing respect, knowledge, and enjoyment of our natural world with children of all ages. Mia is also a former field hockey player and brings both her love of sports and nature to the after school program. Her second grade students have enjoyed going on hikes, making flower crowns, and practicing field hockey, soccer, and football.
Online Resource for Parents
With today’s ever-increasing use of technology, parents are faced with the challenge of helping their children navigate the internet in safe and productive ways. One excellent resource the tech department recommends is Common Sense Education. This organization does a great job of providing well-researched recommendations, lesson plans for teachers, as well as tips for parents and students by age and by topic. Check out the Parents Need to Know section for book, movie, and gaming insights, free weekly seminars, or check out their “What’s New” section on topics such as how to set up parental controls.
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology
Adele Clements Wins Scholarship to Writers Retreat
Congratulations to English teacher Adele Clements who next month will be flying off to beautiful Hawaii. Adele won a coveted scholarship to the Maui Writers Retreat after submitting ten of her best writing examples. This year, Adele is serving as interim seventh grade English teacher when Jonathan Drummey is on parental leave and last year served as an interim English teacher in the eighth grade.
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 email@example.com. Thank you!
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.
Kindergarten Students Explore Meaning of Community
In my kindergarten cohort, we kicked off our unit on communities. We had an introductory discussion on the features of a community and listed some of the small and large communities we belong to, such as our cohort, a grade level, sports teams, our school community, our neighborhoods, places of worship, and much more. We settled on a definition of community as “a place where people live, work, or play together.” The kindergarteners spent some time on Thursday going around the school campus with our iPads, indoors and outdoors, searching for examples of communities. When a child spotted an example, they gave a silent cheer and the whole cohort paused as they took a photo. Some communities we observed were two administrative heads having a brainstorming conversation, the kitchen crew preparing lunches for the school, and different classes learning in the classroom or playing together on Big Blue or the fields. When the children returned to the classroom, they made an audio recording explaining why the subject of their photo exemplified the notion of a community.
– Betty Pryor, kindergarten teacher
Seventh Grade Looks At Food Industry in America
This fall in seventh grade social studies, students are learning about the food system. Using Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma as our guide, we are taking a closer look at the inner workings of the American food industry. Our focus started with corn and how it has risen to prominence as the dominant food crop in the United States. Students discovered that corn is so versatile that it can be found in many unexpected, even non-food, products, such as shampoo, matches, hand sanitizer, and bioengineered bone tissue! Our conversation then evolved into evaluating both the benefits and drawbacks of corn agribusiness. Students took time to look at the corn industry through the lens of our class’s “Sustainability Compass” and its four components: Nature, Economy, Wellbeing, and Society.
– Charlie Baird, grade 7 social studies teacher
Athletics Update: JV Soccer Finds Bright Spots in Defeat
The junior varsity soccer team squared off against Cambridge Friends this week, and despite walking away on the wrong side of the score, head coach Vaniecia Skinner saw signs of improvement from her squad. Performances of note included co-captain Evan Griffith-Ebrahimi’s tremendous hustle all game and their great clears from the defensive side of the field. Eleanor Stine also shined for the Blue & Gold with strong positioning, some aggressive challenges, and lots of support for her teammates. With their overall play trending in the right direction, the JV soccer team will look to get their first win of the season on the road at DCD next week.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
More Athletics News
- The JV football team remained undefeated by doubling up Shady Hill, 24-12, this week. Highlights included Ellis Anderson’s TD pass to Andrew Green and Kavi Kumar-Warikoo’s toe-tap catch on a two-point try. Zach Cash also played some solid D for the victors.
- Classmates Quinn Clark, Rhys Kaplan, and Luke Brenneman had a great week of practice for boys’ soccer. The team has been busy preparing for three games next week, including a showdown against Meadowbrook at Friday Night Lights on October 29.
- A trio of sixth grade athletes ran well on a challenging and hilly course during cross country’s away meet at Meadowbrook. For Ariel Duan, Simon Wright, and Jovana Zivanovic it wasn’t just about their times, but also they’re gritty approach and positive attitude.
PE Update: Some Pain, A Lot of Gain
When your workplace involves dynamic action, flying projectiles, and blistering speed, there are bound to be some bumps and bruises. Though we never like to see one of our students get hurt, learning to deal with injuries is part of physical education and an opportunity for growth and insight. There can be a moment of shock after falling or being struck with an object, and so becoming grounded with a few deep breaths and assessing ourselves can be a great first step. Pain is a useful sensation (unfortunately), and we can learn a lot by identifying where it hurts, what kind of pain it is (blunt or sharp?), and how much it hurts on a scale of one to ten. Usually, by the end of this assessment process, our students are ready to leap back into action and mostly annoyed about the delay. Sometimes getting a drink of water and returning to action when one is ready is the right move. And we are lucky to have Nurse Larocque nearby for any injury that needs extra attention.
Another strategy involves commending our students for their epic wipeouts. We could probably start a Youtube channel with all the pratfalls we see on a daily basis, and recognizing them for the exciting and occasionally humorous incidents they are can go a long way towards heading off a negative reaction. And sometimes, simply explaining that the feelings someone has are totally normal can help. After a quarter-mile run last year a second grader asked to go to the nurse, explaining, “My heart feels so old and I’m only eight.” The solution? Water, rest, and then more running.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Parents’ Association News
Mark your calendar for the next PA meeting on Monday, November 1 from 6 to 7:00 pm via Zoom. Link for the meeting will be on the Parent Portal.
Parents’ Independent School Network (PIN) Meeting
All BDS parents are invited to the next meeting of the Parents’ Independent School Network (PIN) on Wednesday, November 3 at 12:00 p.m. on Zoom. This combined Lower/Middle and Upper School meeting will feature Amy Jin Johnson, Executive Director of Project Implicit, Inc. Amy will discuss “Understanding Implicit Bias.” Pre-registration is required and the link can be found here.
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!
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.