Ms. Miller’s first graders enjoy a story on the first day of school.
After the marathon… Ready for another run!
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: September 10, 2021
Welcome back, Belmont Day. We missed you!
As we get the year started, I find myself thinking back to a bit of a personal milestone from what seems like a decade ago. It was, in fact, not two years ago in October of 2019, when my wife and I ran the Cape Cod Marathon. It was my first–and only–marathon, and I was grateful for the support from this community in the form of training and nutritional tips from parents to enthusiastic cheering from students and colleagues.
We trained well, which is to say that we dutifully and diligently followed the training regimen we were given and we happened to enjoy some fortunate and spectacular weather along the way. Our long runs were on Sundays–14, 16, 18 miles each–and somehow, it seemed, the weather was always sunny, in the low 60s, and just breezy enough to provide relief but never creating any kind of menacing headwinds. I am sure there were some less than perfect days, but I don’t remember it that way. So, for the last weekend in October, we were ready.
Or, so we thought.
On race day, with most of the course running along the coast of Falmouth, Mass., we knew the winds were going to be an issue, or, at least, not as pleasant as they had been through our training. In fact, we found ourselves running directly into a driving rain for the last three miles of the course. Our time was 4:47, much slower than our training pace, and, at first, it felt a little disappointing.
We had taken all the right steps, followed every preparation to the letter, and were training at a much faster clip than our race day times would suggest. But, sometimes, the rain falls and the wind blows and what you imagined looked different than what actually occurred.
Which brings me to last year and how I and many of my colleagues felt at the end of the 2020-21 school year. At 4:47, we collectively found the will to cross the finish line, even though the school year we had trained for did not exactly transpire the way we had hoped it would. The storm we faced was a strong one and it left us fighting those headwinds for much of the year, not just the last three miles.
This summer, as I reflected on last year, I found myself thinking again about that marathon. And I realized that most of the time I spent thinking about it all was when I was out on another training run. I may be logging more modest mileage these days, but I realized that all of that training builds on the time, energy, and dedication of the training that came before it. I feel ready for another run, and, if necessary, ready to run against the rain again.
So it is with our BDS community. We’re prepared to run again. We know we can face the headwinds and can keep running. We’re stronger in what we’ve learned about ourselves: our resiliency, our innovation, our commitment to the individual experience of each child and to their growth. That’s what we all get to take with us as we start another run together this fall.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the starting line. (I’m aiming for sub-4:00 this year!)
September 13 to September 24
Online Flower Bulb Sale: September 10 to October 15
Monday, September 13
6–7 p.m., Community Medical Forum: COVID-19 Update, Zoom Gathering
Tuesday, September 14
6:30–7:30 p.m., Grade 8 Parent Forum, Zoom Gathering
Wednesday, September 15
8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Grade 8 Project Adventure Trip
Monday, September 20
School Picture Day
Tuesday, September 21
School Picture Day
6–8 p.m., Middle School Curriculum Night, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, September 23
8:15 a.m., Friendraiser Walk and Talk, Belmont Day School
3:30 p.m., Boys’ Varsity Soccer vs DCD; Girls’ Varsity Soccer at DCD; Varsity Flag Football vs DCD; Field Hockey at DCD; Cross Country vs DCD
6–7:30 p.m., Lower School Curriculum Night, Zoom Gathering
Friday, September 24
8–10:30 a.m., Board of Trustees, Zoom Meeting
For all Zoom meetings, gatherings, and presentations, please refer to the Parent and Faculty Portals for links and passwords
Parents Invited to Upcoming Grade Socials
Weekly Walk & Talks Planned for Thursday Mornings
The parents’ association’s friendraiser committee will once again host Walk and Talks after morning drop-off on a series of upcoming Thursdays. Come to reconnect with friends and meet new ones! Meet in the grass circle in front of the Schoolhouse at 8:15 a.m. The group will walk along the trails in the beautiful adjacent woods. Duration is about 45 minutes but feel free to peel away earlier if needed. Walks start on Thursday, September 23, and will run weekly through the end of October.
Lunch & Snack Menu
September 13 to September 17
Snack: apples; white corn cheese puffs
Lunch: turkey subs; cheese subs; cucumber slices; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; condiments; chips; garden salad; fresh fruit cups; Italian ice or popsicles; milk and water
Snack: bananas; Nutri-Grain bars
Lunch: grilled chicken; roasted tofu; Caesar salad; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; garlic bread; Romano cheese; sliced peaches; milk and water
Snack: clementines; Baked Tostitos
Lunch: beef burgers; veggie burgers; buns; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; ketchup; kettle chips; pickles baby carrots; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: apple slices; Lay’s BBQ chips
Lunch: cheese pizza; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; Caesar Salad;
Snack: pretzel twists
How Do We Express Caring & Support?
Dear Belmont Day Students, Parents, and Faculty,
If you could offer one statement that expresses BDS’s caring for any person or group that faces unfair or unjust treatment, what would it be?
Messages of support for marginalized and oppressed groups were prevalent in society last year, as hashtags on social media sites, in slogans worn on shirts, as gestures made by athletes, on flags, and on yard signs. Whether online or on TV or in your community or here at BDS, powerful slogans meant to express support for social identity groups facing mistreatment have been and remain highly visible.
In conversation with many students, faculty, and parents last spring I was struck by two themes of thoughts about social justice and solidarity signs–ones out in the world, and those we displayed on our campus. One strong theme was that as a school devoted to honoring differences and our core values, we have to make visible that commitment in messages that bear witness to the suffering of others and uphold the right of everyone to safety, dignity, and support. The other equally strong theme was that the slogans that emerge in times of high tension, conflict, and crisis, while simple in terms of the number of words employed, can yet be extremely complicated in terms of source and affiliated perspectives and possibly partisanship.
As we begin the new school year, no one can predict how social bias might manifest itself. We hope for a level of peace and harmony in society that mirrors what we work so hard to maintain in our BDS community but we must be realistic and expect that there will be instances of mistreatment of one social identity group or another.
With your help, we hope this year to avoid the tension between speaking for those who need support and having to do so using words that come from sources beyond our community and, as such, beyond our input and influence. We are inviting every community member to share their recommendations for visible ways to express the right of every human being and human group to be seen, safe, respected, supported, included, and loved.
From the start of school until the November break, we’ll collect your recommendations, be they in the form of an original expression or a favorite expression by someone else, in prose, poetry, lyrics, or images. After the contribution period, we’ll review what will undoubtedly be a wealth of wisdom and warmth, and determine how to translate it into BDS expressions of support for marginalized and mistreated people that we will display prominently on our campus.
Given the abundant generosity, creativity, and caring in our community, we know we’ll receive lots of recommendations. We can’t promise that everything submitted will be displayed but we’ll do our best to create a coordinated, cohesive, and clear collection of expressions that reflect our mission and values and intention to honor differences.
– Dr. Carlos Hoyt, director of equity and inclusion
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
The first testing dashboard of the new school year! Over Labor Day Weekend, 391 students and faculty were tested at BDS–several others tested on their own to prolong their summer vacations. There were no positive tests! Each week, we will publish our testing results here in the Scoop.
Dropping Off Student Medications
If your student needs medication at school for any reason (Epipens, inhalers, daily medications) and you have not yet dropped that off to Nurse LaRocque, please email [email protected] to make arrangements for that drop-off as soon as possible. Medication must be transported by parents/guardians; students should not be bringing medication to school.
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
Welcome Associate Teachers
Join us in welcoming our 2021-2022 Associate Teacher Program (ATP) cohort! All eight associates have been on campus since last week participating in orientation, faculty meetings, and classroom set-up and planning with their mentor teachers. This fall associates will be working and learning in our early childhood, elementary, and middle school classrooms while earning a masters in education degree and teaching license through our school’s partnership with Lesley University. We’re thrilled they’re here and they look forward to their work with our students.
The associate teachers and their placements for the fall are (from left to right in the photo):
- Elizabeth Ho (Betty Pryor’s kindergarten classroom)
- Heather Oliver (Missy Hartvigsen’s kindergarten classroom)
- Steven Murray (Elisabeth Klock’s grade 8 classroom)
- Jordan Hill (Julia Juster’s grade 6 classroom)
- Caroline Glass (Kate Burns’ grade 8 classroom)
- Danielle Kelly (Dean Spencer’s grade 6 classroom)
- Beckie Kmiec-Price ’08 (Nancy Fell’s grade 2 classroom)
- Carlyn Simons (Vaniecia Skinner’s grade 5 classroom)
Arrival & Dismissal: Map of Pick-up and Drop-off Locations Now Available
We have added a map to the arrival and dismissal locations document that you can find on the Parent Portal that we hope will help you identify your child’s daily arrival door.
Click the button below to download a larger version of the map.
A Very Productive Summer in the BDS Garden
The summer was a busy time in the school garden. At Belmont Day School, we have a large vegetable garden and a hillside pollinator garden that includes native plants as well as fruit trees. In addition, there are two honeybee hives—the bees are enjoying the many flowering plants in both gardens, along with a variety of butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinating insects and birds.
During the summer months, we had campers harvesting, weeding, tasting, and learning about honeybees. There were also three volunteer work sessions where staff helped maintain both the pollinator and the vegetable gardens including adding compost, weeding, harvesting, clearing, and planting. All our summer produce (over 150 pounds), including greens, beans, peppers, squash, chives, tomatoes, peas, carrots, parsley, basil, oregano, and more, was donated to the FoodLink in Arlington to help people experiencing food insecurity.
During the school year, students of all ages will have opportunities to visit and connect with the garden in their classes and during middle school club time. This fall all our produce will be used for school lunches for all to enjoy. Look for more information about a fall work morning in November when the whole school community is invited to help put the garden to rest for the winter.
Community Gatherings Guideline Reminder
- Board of Trustees and Committee Meetings will take place on Zoom.
- Parents’ Association Meetings will take place on Zoom. Check the Scoop or the school calendar for more information.
- Sharing Assemblies will be held in the Barn by division. Check the Scoop or the school calendar for an indication of whether an assembly is for lower or middle school. Parents may attend sharing assemblies by invitation and with proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours. Parents must be masked and seated separately from students and faculty. The school will share more details about the process for providing proof of vaccination.
- Curriculum Nights will be held on Zoom.
- Family and Parent Events Back-to-school socials for parents will be held after school hours—either outdoors or in the Barn gym with the garage doors open. Masks are required indoors and optional outdoors. Other parent/family gatherings will be held outdoors.
Deadline for Sibling Pre-kindergarten Applications
Does your child have a sibling entering pre-kindergarten next year? We welcome parents of current Belmont Day School students who have a child who will turn four by September 1, 2022, to participate in our early admission to pre-kindergarten process. The preliminary application and parent questionnaire must be submitted by Friday, October 29, 2021, for your child to receive this priority consideration. If you submit by our early deadline you will also receive early notification of admission.
Families with pre-k sibling applicants should visit www.ravenna-hub.com, create an account (or add an additional student to their existing account) and then add Belmont Day School. When you select the Pre-k Sibling/Faculty Child Application option, you will see detailed information about the necessary steps, required video recordings to be done at home, and other submitted paperwork deadlines. If you have any questions, please reach out to Liz Parfit, director of admissions, at [email protected].
Let Us Know If a Sibling Wants to Learn about BDS
If you have a child in your family who is not yet a BDS student who is interested in coming to BDS, please let us know. Siblings create great bonds at BDS and we’re always excited to learn more about the families that make up the BDS community. If a student’s sibling would like to be introduced to Belmont Day, please reach out to [email protected] as soon as possible as it helps in our planning process.
Help Get the Word Out About Admissions Events
Are you a (virtual) social butterfly? Can you help spread the word about the school’s upcoming admission events? If you are connected to your local list-servs, parent groups, NextDoor neighborhoods, etc., Belmont Day Admissions would love your help in getting the word. Please email Judy Bright, admissions and outreach manager, at [email protected] if you’d like to be a part of our admissions outreach team.
Tip for Easily Finding Past School Emails
Did you know that you can look back at all of the emails sent to you through Veracross, the school’s student information system? After logging into the Parent Portal, click the Messages button at the very top right of the home page. This is an easy and very useful way to find past emails from the school quickly.
Reminder To Complete COPPA/RUP Form
To remain compliant with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) laws and our Responsible Use Policy (RUP), please be sure to download a COPPA/RUP form, review it with your child, sign it, and email it back to [email protected]. All students must have this form on file in order to use school-issued devices, networks, and applications. Thank you for your cooperation.
Versatility Is the Name of the Game In PE
Last year our physical education department adapted to our circumstances by creating a truly indoor/outdoor program. PE has always been a natural fit for the great outdoors, and given the wealth of space on our campus, we were delighted to discover new ways to take advantage of our spaces. This year we are looking forward to building on this increased versatility by continuing to offer programming both indoors and out. That means we will ask our students to be adventurous, bringing appropriate layers and footwear depending on the weather, always having water bottles handy, and learning to welcome a bit of discomfort from time to time in the hopes of expanding comfort zones. We’ll be active in both natural environments and our amazing gym spaces. It promises to be an earthy and engaging year, and we can’t wait to get moving.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
Middle School Latin Students Dive Right In
Salvete omnes! In Latin this week, we welcomed a new class of sixth graders, and welcomed back our seventh and eighth grade Latinists. We spent some time reviewing class expectations, getting accustomed to our new space, and getting to know each other or refreshing old friendships! Sixth grade Latin students will begin their introductory unit on Roman life, ancient names, and our orientation to the ancient city of Pompeii. Seventh and eighth graders will kick off the year with a quick review of prior material and get ready to dive right into new material soon! Bona fortuna!
– Nicole Buck, Latin teacher
New Face and Old Spaces for the Arts Team
The new school year is off to a tremendous start for the arts department. First, we are thrilled to welcome music teacher Tyler Cotner to the team. Mr. Cotner’s energy and expertise are inspiring us all to become musicians!
Many of our amazing studio and performance spaces are now back in business this year! In the Barn, the woodworking studio on the first floor, and the art studios on the second floor will welcome students for woodworking and visual art classes this fall. In the Schoolhouse, the Palandjian Arts Center will once again be the hub for theater classes, and the music room across from Coolidge Hall will ring with the sounds from Mr. Cotner’s music classes.
– Anne Armstrong, visual arts teacher and arts coordinator
Athletics Update: Back in Business!
After four seasons and nearly two years away, Belmont Day’s interscholastic athletics program is back in business this fall. Next Monday, over 130 athletes will take to the fields and the trails as members of the boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, flag football, cross country, and outdoor adventure programs. Needless to say, the excitement is palpable among the athletes and coaches as they get ready to don the Blue & Gold again.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
Kindergartners Color in a Great Start to the New Year
The first few days of kindergarten are devoted to orienting students with classroom procedures such as snack and rest time, and getting to know one another, our surroundings, and our materials. We also start on day one focusing on the goal of fostering independence. For instance, the kindergarteners spent the first day sorting their crayons. Instead of the teachers filling the bins with crayons, each child received two boxes of new crayons to organize in whatever manner they wanted. This extra step allows each kindergartener to feel ownership of their belongings. The children also labeled these bins with their own handwriting to add to that sense of ownership. These crayon bins are then placed in a particular area of the classroom and the children can retrieve them at any time independently.
– Betty Chu Pryor and Missy Hartvigsen, kindergarten teachers
Parents’ Association News
Friday, October 8
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
All members of the BDS community are part of the parents’ association. Mark your calendar to join us for our first meeting of the new school year! The Zoom link for these meetings is available on the Parent’s Association page on the Parent Portal.
Flower Bulb Fundraiser
Like to garden? Or maybe you don’t know a thing about gardening but you love flowers? Planting bulbs is fun and easy to do with the kids! Click here to buy your bulbs and get started. You get great bulbs to plant now for surprise flowers in the spring (isn’t it almost like magic when they first come up?) or buy bulbs to bloom inside during the winter. 50% of each order goes to the PA to help teachers, grade parents, bring interesting assemblies, and more. The sale runs through Friday, October 15. If you have any questions, contact Lia Meisinger or Mamie Cantor.
Back-to-school means missing items! Check out Mabel’s Labels to help keep track of all your child’s belongings at school. It’s an easy solution 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.
2021-22 Grade Parents
We’re excited to welcome our new grade parents for the 2021-22 school year. Feel free to reach out to your grade parents with questions, ideas, or just to say hi!
- Pre-kindergarten: Carolyn Atinizian ([email protected]) and Kara Bern ([email protected])
- Kindergarten: Libby Nelson ([email protected]) and Claire Kinzler ([email protected])
- First grade: Xiaolu Xu ([email protected]) and Yiling Chen ([email protected])
- Second grade: Jamie Meredith ([email protected]), Wendy Liszt ([email protected]), and Elise Bayard Franklin ([email protected])
- Third grade: Shanying Zhang ([email protected]), Shannon Conry ([email protected]), and Morgen Bergman ([email protected])
- Fourth grade: Heather Daley ([email protected]) and Caroline McCabe ([email protected])
- Fifth grade: Caroline Gray ([email protected]) and Gigi Saltonstall ([email protected])
- Sixth grade: Angela Robinson ([email protected]) and Shannon Planck ([email protected])
- Seventh grade: Marjorie Decker ([email protected]) and Nelly Reyes-Colberg ([email protected])
- Eighth grade: Kim Morris ([email protected]), Deborah Kokinos ([email protected]), and Lauren Kiraly ([email protected])
Program Looks At Lesser-Known Boston Historical Landmarks
The Belmont Public Library will present an inside look at some of Boston’s hidden tales & treasures from popular Boston tour guide Jay Bazzinotti on Thursday, September 16 at 7 p.m. A corporal in the First New Hampshire Regiment of Revolutionary War re-enactors, Bazzinotti brings part 2 of his multi-part series about some of the little-known landmarks and monuments in the Boston area. Much of the city’s rich and fascinating history is invisible not just to the casual visitor, but also to those who have lived here all their lives. Click here to register for this online event.