Soccer players circle up on Far Field for instruction during the first week of fall sports practices and tryouts.
Here’s To A Quieter Year Filled With Sounds of Joy, Learning, and Discovery
Deborah Brissenden, Assistant Head of School and Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Post Date: September 17, 2021
This year, as we bring the strategic future of Belmont Day back into focus, I am reminded of the power of collaboration, communication, and the collective wisdom that my colleagues bring with them to their work each day. It is my great fortune to work at a school with a population of phenomenal leaders in the classrooms among our faculty, among our students, and in the administration. From time to time, the Opening Message of the Scoop will be a space where the voices of those leaders can be shared with the community.
This week, Deborah Brissenden, our Assistant Head of School, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and key architect of our COVID response as a school shares her wisdom with us all. – Brendan Largay, Head of School
This past summer felt luxurious. I had time to walk, read, spend time with friends, feel safe, and spend two weeks away from campus. I also spent a lot of time reflecting on what I had learned and rebuilding the stamina to start this fall. After 18 months of nonstop planning, tension, anxiety, and heavy lifting it was amazing to feel like I could breathe again, the long sustaining breathing that guides the body out of constant movement and reaction, into pausing and thinking. It was the opportunity to dwell on a challenge put forth by Elena Aguilar in her May Educational Leadership article, “Emerging Stronger” Her challenge to leaders was to reflect on four questions:
- What did you learn about yourself as a person? As a teacher, coach, leader?
- What did you learn about creating the conditions for learning?
- What did you learn about your students and colleagues?
- What did you learn about your emotions? Your resilience? What do you need in order to thrive?
I love her questions because they are easily transferred to any role in life–parent, spouse, doctor, artist, student, friend, or colleague. If you are a visual thinker or journal writer, find a clean page and begin your own reflection!
My reflection brought together much of my recent reading, leadership master’s work, strategic planning, and experience through the unexpected challenges and joys of an ever-changing career in education. This year, through Scoop articles, I will answer each of these questions and share a deeper look into the BDS community and the courageous professionals with which we learn and teach.
What did you learn about yourself as a person? As a teacher, coach, leader?
Jumping into this year, I look forward to the sights and sounds of children in the playground and classrooms. I imagine the chatter and laughter and a high-pitched excited, “Ms. Brissenden, look!” or the thoughtful comment of a teacher, “I wonder if ..” Even after 28 non-stop years of learning, building, innovating, and nurturing at BDS, I still love working in a school setting with the busy sounds of children and faculty working, creating, and sharing. As an educator, there are few things more joyful and invigorating than collaborating with a team of creative and dedicated professionals to provide a child with the opportunity and environment to make discoveries, stretch their developing physical and intellectual muscles, and join in marveling at a treasure or experience.
As I think about the coming year, I know there will also be furrowed brows of concentration, the broad smiles of accomplishment, and the wide eyes of wonder. I also picture seeing those honest moments of frustration, worry, and sadness that come with navigating childhood, teacher-hood, and parenthood. And I look forward to the individual connections with the children and adults I know well and the hesitations of those individuals I am about to understand better.
I envisage, and hope for, opportunities to move more slowly through the sounds and sights of the school with more time to listen to the student, teacher, or parent with information or concerns to share. I trust I will be able to occasionally answer their questions successfully, problem-solve, and gently push them to try on a new perspective or approach. My calm exterior frequently disguises my inner voices and the vulnerability of someone who is privileged to share my colleagues’ challenges, as well as their triumphs. This past year I learned to find more moments of color and joy in the smallest of experiences and through the lenses of others’ stories and accomplishments.
I am eager to embrace many more days that include time with both children and adults. The year will no doubt have curriculum meetings, strategic planning, question-posing, and goal-reaching. This is the hard work that provides opportunities to reflect, debate, celebrate, and most importantly, moves us closer to excellence. However, I hope this new year is not only full of meetings but includes time for quiet, to reflect, plan, and breathe deeply.
I also know now that each day (even if it takes all day!), I need at least one item crossed off my to-do list, and, at least, half a mug of tea drunk, to feel a sense of accomplishment. It does not have to be easy, but it does need to feel like we are moving forward and improving our practice of teaching and leading. Our work should feel strongly connected to the values and mission of a school and have children at its center. I yearn for the problems and crises we face to stretch us but not divide us. They should instead help us grow, innovate, and be better at what we do.
I plan to be in classrooms more this year and to continue to develop my presence as a leader, embracing my quietness and voice. I hope to spend time as an educator and school leader refocusing our efforts on excellence through curriculum review work, scope and sequence development, and the implementation of our faculty feedback and evaluation plan, GOAL.
While last year was indeed a year of nimbleness, struggle, and hardship, it was also one of revelation, spotlighting, honing, and building. I saw in myself and my colleagues a steely resolve, the ability to give wholeheartedly, and the recognition of the power of community and connection. I hope you will spend the year reflecting on your own journey and partnering with a deeply committed, skillful, and passionate faculty this year.
Have a great school year, everyone!
September 20 to October 1
Online Flower Bulb Sale: September 10 to October 15
Pumpkin Patch Sale: September 27 to October 15
Monday, September 20
School Picture Day
Tuesday, September 21
School Picture Day
6–8 p.m., Middle School Curriculum Night, Zoom Gathering
Wednesday, September 22
10 a.m., Parent Book Club, Zoom Gathering
Thursday, September 23
8:15 a.m., Friendraiser Walk & 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
Monday, September 27
6–7:00 p.m., Grade 7 Parent Forum, Zoom Gathering
Tuesday, September 28
6–8:00 p.m., Grades 2 & 8 Parent Social, Belmont Day School
Wednesday, September 29
3:30 p.m., Cross Country at Fenn
6–8:00 p.m., Grade 3 Parent Social, Belmont Day School
Thursday, September 30
8:15 a.m., Friendraiser Walk & Talk, Belmont Day School
3:30 p.m., Field Hockey vs Park; Boys’ Varsity Soccer at Park; Varsity Flag Football at Park; Girls’ Varsity Soccer vs Park
6–8:00 p.m., Kindergarten & Grade 7 Parent Social, Belmont Day School
Friday, October 1
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, September 21
6 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, September 23
6 to 7:30 p.m.
The evenings will begin with a whole division Zoom meeting from 6 to 6:30 p.m. where Brendan Largay, Dr. Hoyt, and your division head will have a chance to share various aspects of the curriculum and program this year, and then we will break out into grade-level Zoom meetings for the rest of the evening, where you will get to hear directly from your child’s teachers.
All Zoom links for both nights (for the division meetings and grade level meetings) will be available on the Parent Portal.
Specialist Curriculum Presentations
Friday, October 8
8:50 to 9:35 a.m.
In-Person in the Barn Gym
Friday, October 22
8:50 to 9:35 a.m.
In-Person in the Barn Gym
Please join us as our specialist faculty will present by division highlights of their curriculum for the year ahead. For those unable to attend these in-person presentations, recordings will be made available on the Parent Portal.
ICYMI: Recording of Community Medical Update on Covid-19
On Monday, we held an online forum to update the community on the latest related to the Covid-19 pandemic and our continued planning and precautions for the 2021-22 school year. We thank everyone who attended and a big thank you to Dr. Ingrid Katz P’22 for sharing her wisdom and guidance. We strongly encourage all parents to view the recording available under Event Recordings on the Parent Portal.
Lunch & Snack Menu
September 20 to September 24
Snack: apples; pita chips; Goldfish pretzels
Lunch: macaroni and cheese; pasta with marinara on the side; green beans; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; crusty rolls; butter; Romano cheese; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: bananas; granola bars
Lunch: teriyaki chicken; teriyaki tofu; veggie fried rice; broccoli; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; fortune cookies; Caesar salad; sliced mandarin oranges; milk and water
Snack: clementines; Cheez-Its
Lunch: beef hot dogs; vegetarian sweet sausage; buns; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; ketchup; mustard; kettle chips; pickles baby carrots; garden salad; fresh fruit cup; milk and water
Snack: apple slices; Teddy Grahams; animal crackers
Lunch: chicken and cheese quesadillas; cheese quesadillas; corn; Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches; salsa; guacamole; sour cream; Caesar salad; apple slices; milk and water
Snack: fruit cup; Lay’s potato chips
Student Picture Days
Student pictures will be taken this coming Monday and Tuesday, September 20 and 21. Students in every grade will have their pictures taken on one of these two days. Click the dropdown below for a list of which lower school homerooms and middle school advisories are scheduled for which days.
All photography will take place outdoors and photographer Porter Gifford will be following all of our school’s safety protocols while on campus and will be distanced from students, who will have their masks off while their photo is taken.
If you have any questions, please contact Jen James, assistant to the head of school and registrar, at email@example.com.
Picture Days Schedule
Monday, September 20
Grade 5 (Skinner)
Grade 1 (Fox)
Grade 3 (entire grade, both homerooms)
Grade 4 (entire grade, both homerooms)
Grade 8 (entire grade, all advisories)
Grade 6 (entire grade, all advisories)
Faculty and Associate Teachers
Tuesday, September 21
Grade 7 (entire grade, all advisories)
Grade 1 (Campailla-Miller)
Pre-kindergarten (entire grade, both homerooms)
Grade 2 (entire grade, both homerooms)
Grade 5 (Nairn)
Faculty and Associate Teachers
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Weekly COVID Testing Update
Our testing dashboard will look slightly different moving forward! It reflects pooled tests and individual tests combined.
This week, deconstructed: we had 48 pool tests; 46 of those pools tested negative. One pool came back inconclusive; the eight individual swabs associated with that pool were then tested, for a total of 56 tests.
One pool’s sample was not able to be tested. We are working with CIC/Broad to determine why those individual swabs were not then tested. For now, it means we had 56 tests run, with 54 negative results.
Please know that if there is ever a reason for concern, you will receive a call directly from the school. That call will come from me, or a member of our trained Contact Tracing Team (Blair Fross, Jen James, Koreen McQuilton, and Bea Rooney). As we get used to this new double-swab system, you can expect an email with testing results anytime Thursday or Friday; until that email comes out, no news is good news!
AND PLEASE REMEMBER: if your child misses the school-provided testing on Wednesday morning, you will be required to get outside PCR testing and submit the negative results in order for them to be in school the following week. Testing hours are 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; if possible, please do not schedule appointments on Wednesday mornings. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
Welcome to Our Newest Team Members
With the new school year, we welcomed a number of new colleagues to BDS. You may remember that we introduced many of these folks in the spring here in the Scoop. We’re running (or re-running) the announcements on each new hire for our new families and to remind all of us of the new friends we’ll see around campus or via Zoom this fall.
Charlie Baird, grade 7 social studies teacher
Charlie is jumping into the role of grade 7 social studies teacher this fall. Charlie is a familiar face at BDS as he is a proud alum of the associate teaching program and has worked specifically in the middle school with Elisabeth Klock and Dean Spencer. Charlie earned his teaching license in middle school humanities and a master’s of education degree at Lesley University. Originally from Connecticut, Charlie graduated in 2016 from St. Olaf College, where he majored in music. After graduation, he stayed an additional year in Minnesota, where he worked as a substitute teacher for grades K-12 in the Twin Cities. Previously, Charlie worked as an educational artist at Kidstock! Creative Theater, a children’s education center located in Winchester. Charlie identified early on in life that education was a passion of his. He first gained experience working with children at Camp Killooleet, a co-ed residential summer camp in Hancock, Vermont. In his free time, Charlie enjoys running, playing music, watching sports, and spending time with family and friends.
Adele Clements-Wilson, interim grade 7 English teacher
Adele Clements-Wilson rejoins the Belmont Day School faculty as our interim grade 7 English teacher, filling Jonathan Drummey’s role while Jonathan is out on leave. Last year, Adele was our interim grade 8 English teacher. Adele will be with us through the beginning of October, and then again for the month of January and for a week in March. Before BDS, Adele served in several roles concurrently—as an English skills instructor at the Waldorf School of Lexington, a creative writing instructor at the Chenery Middle School’s BASEC program, and a professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College. Prior to that, Adele was a middle school language arts teacher for five years at the Davis Leadership Academy Public Charter School in Dorchester and a grade 7 language arts teacher at Orchard Gardens Pilot School in Boston. Adele received a bachelor’s degree in English and sociology from Emmanuel College and holds a master’s in education degree from UMass-Boston.
Tyler Cotner, music teacher for grades 2-8
We are thrilled to welcome Tyler Cotner to BDS as the new general music teacher for grades 2-8. Tyler comes to us by way of Milton Academy where he taught middle school music, and before that Sharon Middle School and Boston Academy of the Arts. Tyler studied classical piano before branching out into a diverse selection of styles and instruments, including drums, vocals, bass, ukelele, and many others. Throughout his teaching career, Tyler has sought to keep music education both relevant to his students’ lives and accessible to those who don’t otherwise have access to it. When not playing music, he can be found fighting food and housing injustice with groups Food Not Bombs Waltham and local Community Fridges. Tyler earned a bachelor’s of music degree in music education and music composition from Boston University.
Geoffrey Fox, grade 1 teacher
We are excited to welcome Geoffrey Fox to the first grade teaching team. Geoffrey and Nicole Miller will be the two lead teachers in the fall until Cicely Gibson returns from her maternity leave in November. After winter break, Nicole will transition to a lower school in-house substitute teacher. Geoffrey comes to us from working in a first grade classroom in the Cambridge Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in elementary education. The hiring committee was impressed by Geoffrey’s kind nature and rapport with our first grade students during his Zoom demo lesson. Geoffrey is excited to bring his passion for biking, nature, and teaching poetry to BDS.
Sharon Gillespy, pre-kindergarten teacher
Sharon brings with her a wealth of experience working with young learners. She has taught in various states working in both public and private educational settings. The hiring team loved her enthusiasm over Zoom and it was wonderful to see kindergarteners so engaged with a remote teacher. Sharon received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in special education and early childhood education and a master’s degree in reading and literacy. Sharon’s deep understanding of early childhood education and the importance of social-emotional learning and a play-based approach to teaching foundational literacy, math and science skills make her a wonderful match for our pre-k program. Sharon was also able to visit the campus one evening and was impressed by both our indoor learning spaces and our bountiful outdoor spaces. We are excited to see how she continues to weave the outdoors into our pre-k program.
Jen James, assistant to the head of school and registrar
We are thrilled to welcome Jen as our new assistant to the head of school and registrar. Over the past three years, Jen has served as the managing director for The Food Project in Lincoln, and before that was the executive assistant to the administrative leadership team at Year Up in Boston. Prior to those experiences, Jen worked for four years as the assistant to the head of school at the Walnut Hill School. She has an energy, temperament, and spirit that matches Belmont Day’s in every way. Jen holds a bachelor of arts degree from Brown University.
Katie O’Brien, grade 2 teacher
Katie O’Brien joins Nancy Fell as a second grade teacher. Katie comes to Belmont Day after finishing her master’s degree in elementary education from Lesley University and completing the Shady Hill Teacher Training Center program. Since graduating from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Katie has substituted in Belmont Public Schools and has served as the development associate and student advisor at Beacon Academy. Katie has a passion for outdoor activities and spent a summer co-leading a group of high school students on a month-long self-supported bike trip from Seattle to San Francisco with the Overland Summers Program. The hiring committee was impressed with Katie’s ability to connect with students over Zoom during her demo lesson. Her thoughtful and intentional lesson was beautifully crafted to incorporate student voice and social-emotional, as well as DEI themes. Katie is excited to be teaching in her hometown of Belmont.
Sarah Pikcilingis, middle school math teacher
Sarah Pikcilingis joins the Belmont Day School faculty as our new middle school math teacher. Sarah comes to BDS after teaching grade 8 math for the past three years at the Diamond Middle School in Lexington, and for nine years at Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago. Prior to that, Sarah worked for four years as a grade 8 math teacher in the Chelsea and Watertown public school systems, and in various math teaching roles at the Duke School in Durham, NC, and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Sarah has extensive knowledge of and a passion for inquiry-based learning and differentiation in the math classroom, social-emotional learning among young adolescents, and dance. Sarah received an undergraduate degree from Connecticut College, attended the Massachusetts DOE Institute for New Teachers, and received her master’s degree in mathematics for teaching from Boston University.
Nicole Siverls, pre-kindergarten teacher
Nicole has over 20 years of teaching experience working in schools around the world as well as in New York and Massachusetts, and she has spent the majority of her career teaching in both kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classrooms. She received her first master’s degree from the Bank Street School of Education in early childhood and elementary education and last year completed her second master’s degree from Lesley University in teaching with children with moderate disabilities pre-k to grade 8. While working at the Carroll School last year she also pursued her certification in Orton-Gillingham. The hiring team enjoyed watching Nicole connect with our kindergarteners over Zoom and reading her learning experience plans that incorporated outdoor education, DEI, social-emotional learning, and foundational academic skills. Nicole’s knowledge of and experience with DEI concepts/skills was impressive, and we look forward to seeing it impact our students’ learning.
Michelle Weisman, development associate
We are excited to have Michelle on board at BDS. She joined the development team in June. She recently completed her master’s degree in museum education at Tufts University, and as part of her program had an opportunity to work in nonprofit development at Indian Hill Music in Groton. Her passion for fundraising blossomed and she is excited to launch her career at Belmont Day. Prior to fundraising, Michelle had the opportunity to travel abroad to explore New Zealand, Australia, and Europe supporting a variety of customer relation positions in vineyards and hotels. We are delighted to have Michelle bringing her joy, creativity, and expertise in database management and donor engagement to the school.
How Do We Express Caring and 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.
To provide your recommendations, please use this form. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
– Dr. Carlos Hoyt, director of equity and inclusion
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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@example.com. All students must have this form on file in order to use school-issued devices, networks, and applications. Thank you for your cooperation.
Athletics Update: Season Openers for the Blue & Gold Next Week
Interscholastic competition returns to Belmont Day next Thursday, September 23! While the girls’ varsity soccer and field hockey teams will be on the road to Dedham Country Day, boys’ soccer, varsity football, and cross country will all open up their seasons here at home. Cross country had a great first week of practice and has been receiving strong leadership from veterans Nicky Mattox and Lucy Targum. Coach Armstrong also highlighted the performance of newcomer Sam Leviton who has taken to the trails with purpose and determination. As a whole, the cross country team is off to a great start and will send 20 athletes to the starting line next week. Our athletes and coaches look forward to seeing (and hearing!) you here on the sidelines next week.
– John O’Neill, director of athletics
More Athletics News
- Anisah Jordan donned the goaltender pads at practice this week and may have found a home between the pipes for the field hockey team while sixth graders Simone Pattisall and Olivia Garrity have impressed early on the pitch.
- August Wilmot and Jaden Park are off to a great start for the junior varsity flag football team. The sixth grade duo has brought energy and effort to every practice and will be counted on for their speed on both sides of the ball.
- A pair of sixth graders, Annika Vittal and Grace Sullivan, earned spots on the girls’ varsity soccer team as a result of impressive play during tryouts. With 13 players on the roster, the team will have a short bench this fall.
- Liam Brodeur is getting the nod as QB for the varsity flag football team as they prepare for their game against DCD. Classmates Zach Kromah and Quinn McCaffrey have already established themselves as two-way players for the Blue & Gold.
- Natalie Jean and Kamila Ruiz each had a great week of practice for junior varsity girls’ soccer. With a mix of new and experienced players on the roster, the squad will look to develop their skills and grow together as a team this fall.
- Newcomers Giddy Borisy and Louis Cantor brought a spirited effort to boys’ soccer this week. With only one eighth grader on the squad, 17 of the team’s 18 players will play their first interscholastic game next week.
- The outdoor adventures crew took to the trails this week and kicked off their season with some fitness testing, trail orientation, and group tag games. Tomas Wright-Katz came out on top during the first group game.
Community Is at the Center of Lesson for Fifth Grade
This week in humanities, the fifth graders have been focused on community. We’ve been discussing what community means to us and how we can be positive community members. Fifth grade has also been working on building community, and to build community we have been learning about our classmates’ interests, fun facts, and hobbies. In one fun activity this week, students worked in teams learning about our responsibility in a community, specifically how what we put out into the world is often very difficult to take back. To demonstrate that difficulty, the teams tried putting toothpaste back in a tube!
– Vaniecia Skinner, grade 5 teacher
Arts Update: Woodworking Saws into the New Year
Students (and this teacher) are very excited about our return to the woodworking studio. The smell of sawdust and the sounds of hammers are again filling our corner of the Barn. We are quickly getting up to speed in the space and beginning to learn new skills, refresh others, and get a start on projects that will guide our learning through the first part of the year. The grade-level projects are: first grade – sawing, second grade – sawing designs, third grade – “Oliver K. Woodman”, fourth grade – magic marble cubes, fifth grade – Sketchup, sixth grade – infinity blocks, and grades 7 and 8 – carving and clockmaking. If you want to learn more about any of these projects, please ask a student or reach out to me any time!
– Bill Smith, woodworking and 21st century skills teacher
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.
Pumpkin Patch Sale
Getting excited for the crisp, colorful days of fall? Looking for some pumpkins and mums? Looking forward to cooking hardy fall recipes with real pumpkins instead of canned? The parents’ association is pleased to announce that the Pumpkin Patch Sale will soon begin!
This year, families can order field pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, mini pumpkins, gourds, and mums. All items will be available to take home during the first week of October. As with last year, families may also choose to donate a mini pumpkin to help show appreciation to the faculty and staff for all of their hard work. Stay tuned for more details on the sale!
Weekly Walk & Talks
The parents’ association’s friendraiser committee invites you to its Walk & Talks after morning drop-off on Thursdays. 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. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash at all times.
The parent book club will meet next Wednesday, September 22 at 10 a.m. via Zoom to discuss The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Please feel free to join us, even if you read the book so long ago you barely remember the plot–or even if you have yet to crack the book at all! We would love to see some new faces this year. The Zoom link to attend the book club is available on the Parent Portal.
If you would like to get a head start on next month’s book, we plan to read Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead in October. If you have any questions about the book club, please contact Karla Bays.
Mending Belmont: A Community Conversation
Tuesday, September 21
The Belmont Select Board, with assistance from the Belmont Human Rights Commission and Belmont Against Racism, will hold a facilitated virtual conversation on the evening of September 21. Called Mending Belmont, the primary goal of the evening is to provide a listening session where community members will have an opportunity to have their voices heard and to find common ground in an effort to have respectful conversations across differences. This is a continuation of the forum held earlier this year following the death of Henry Tapia. We encourage the Belmont community to attend with an open mind and heart as we listen to our neighbors speak about their concerns in Belmont. The Zoom link with the time for Mending Belmont on September 21 will be posted on the Belmont Select Board web page.