Welcome to the first day of school!
Message from Head of School
And Off We Go!
Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: September 6, 2019
Welcome back, everyone.
Summer still hangs in the air during the first week of school. The joy that marked the cautious excitement of summer experiences and sleepaway camps has been replaced with a similar joy of reconnection, discovery, and exploration in the hallways here at school. Wide-eyed third grade students arriving to the Labyrinth for the first time. PreKindergarteners equally clinging to parents and curiously searching around corners to find new opportunities for play. Sixth grade students rediscovering the hallway they knew as third and fourth grade students as something brand new. Eighth grade students trying on the mantle of school leadership for real. All of it rings new and familiar at once, and the school hums with the excitement of another year begun.
The students are not alone in this rediscovery, either. Teachers, new and veteran, are returning with that same cautious enthusiasm: a cohort of new students with whom to work; a collection of new colleagues to welcome; new parents to get to know, a pair of new spaces to enjoy, the comfort of curriculum they’ve taught before mixed with that innovative notion they’re eager to try.
But the real joy of the school year is the common thread that binds us all: the community and the values we collectively aspire to hold together throughout the year. This is a year to delight in those around us. A year to celebrate community. To cherish the knowledge that at Belmont Day School, we keep students at the center of all that we do. We seek to inspire one another and challenge one another. We have another year to reach for the lofty values we seek to uphold: excellence, honesty, respect, caring, responsibility, and joy. Perhaps most critically, we will do all of this work together with a singular and common purpose: the children.
If I haven’t had the chance to see you yet, please drop by. If I have, but I was too under the weather to welcome you with a handshake or hug, forgive me! I am hopeful to greet each and every one of you as our new school year begins. Welcome back to school, everyone. It is going to be a great year.
New students and faculty added their handprints to the walls in our main office.
This Coming Week at BDS
September 9 to September 13
Monday, September 9
Fall Athletics Season Begins
Session 1 Enrichment Classes Begin
Tuesday, September 10
8–9:00 a.m., Middle School Welcome Coffee, Coolidge Hall
Wednesday, September 11
8–10:00 a.m., Audit Committee, Head’s Office
Thursday, September 12
8–9:00 a.m., Grade 8 Parent Coffee, Coolidge Hall
6–8:45 p.m., Middle School Curriculum Night
Friday, September 13
8:50–9:45 a.m., Sharing Assembly, Barn Gym
Campus Traffic Flow
As we start the new school year, we want to gently remind all families, returning and new, of the traffic pattern around campus. The traffic flow was established with the completion of the Barn during the 2018-2019 school year so it is still a matter of becoming habitual for all visitors.
Please enter campus only via the driveway from Concord Avenue and exit by way of Day School Lane. Day School Lane is now one-way for everyone except residents. This new-ish one-way loop into and out of campus helps to create a safer pedestrian environment on campus and mitigates traffic impact on our neighbors.
We further ask that all visitors be mindful of observing minimal speeds on campus and speed limits when exiting, and to please avoid using Old Concord Road as a cut-through to the school. Thank you!
All parents are invited to join us for the curriculum nights over the next two weeks. These events are a great way to engage with your student’s classroom teachers and specialists and look ahead at the academic year.
Middle School Curriculum Night will be held Thursday, September 12 from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Lower School Curriculum Night will be held on the following Thursday, September 19 from 6 to 8:15 p.m. On both evenings, you are invited to arrive at 5:30 p.m. for optional tours of the new spaces in the Schoolhouse.
Lunch & Snack Menu
September 9 to September 13
Snack: granola bars; fruit cup
Lunch: spaghetti and meat sauce; chef’s choice vegetables; garlic bread; greens with red wine vinaigrette
Snack: saltines; bananas
Lunch: fish ‘n chips (citrus roasted Acadian redfish and potato chips); chef’s choice vegetables; baby spinach with Asian vinaigrette
Snack: Cape Cod chips and apples
Lunch: turkey tacos; veggie tacos; taco fixings; hard-shell tacos and soft flour tortillas; chef’s choice vegetables; taco salad
Snack: Smartfood; carrots
Lunch: chocolate milk; pepperoni pizza; cheese pizza; chef’s choice vegetables; Caesar salad
Snack: fruit and cheese
All Classes Start Next Week
We hope you and your child are excited for the start of the school year and the beginning of enrichment classes. Session 1 of enrichment classes will begin on Monday, September 9. Barbara Carey and the after school team will reach out to families if a student has been waitlisted, or if a class needs to be canceled due to low enrollment. Please assume your child has been enrolled in the classes you registered them for if you have not heard from us. For any questions, please reach out to Blair Fross.
Veteran Coaching Staff Excited for Season
The success of Belmont Day’s athletics program is a direct result of its talented and dedicated coaching staff. This fall, twelve faculty members and one alum will lead the largest group of athletes in program history onto our fields and trails. From Division 1 college standouts to three-sport high school athletes, this season’s coaches bring a unique balance of sport-specific knowledge and educational philosophy. Top all of that with years of coaching experience and it’s clear that this is shaping up to be a special season for Belmont Day athletics. Be sure to check out our athletes (and coaches) in action this fall with the first games/meets scheduled for Wednesday, September 18.
More Athletics News
- Jack Abruzzi, Owen Khanna, and Theo von Gottberg will lead a boys’ soccer squad that will be looking to rebuild after graduating nine players from last year’s team.
- Anni Taylor and Lauren Kopperl will look to build on their successful campaigns from a year ago when they take the soccer field next week alongside twenty-four other middle school girls.
- The football program will rely heavily on its eighth graders this fall including Noah Burd and Quinn Foley who were teammates on the JV team last year.
- Elizabeth Amaratunga and Erika Tinmouth highlight a handful of middle school athletes who switched their fall sport to field hockey after playing on a different team last year.
- The cross country team has a program record twenty-two runners this fall, and will look to build on a memorable 2018 season. Team veterans Brooks Largay and Aaron Radke will be counted on to help the newcomers.
Making Music on the Ukelele
Our fourth grade students are kicking off the year learning the basics of songwriting through the popular genres. To understand more about rock and pop, students listened to a variety of songs from The Beatles. Students then learned A minor 7, C major, and F major chords and jammed together as a class on the ukelele. The class is ready to rock on to a great year in music!
Introducing the School Directory App
Belmont Day School is excited to announce the implementation of an app for our school directory hosted by DirectorySpot. You will now be able to access the Belmont Day directory right from your smartphone or desktop and it will always be updated with the latest information. This app will replace the printed directory. Stay tuned for an email generated by the app with instructions on how to download DirectorySpot, set your password, and get access to the directory.
GRANDPARENTS’ & SPECIAL FRIENDS’ VISITING DAY
Please RSVP for All Guests
We are excited to celebrate our annual Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Visiting Day on Friday, October 18.
This year, we are asking parents to complete the registration on behalf of their child’s grandparents or special friends. Kindly reply for your child’s guests no later than Friday, October 11.
Guests will have the opportunity to attend an assembly, spend time in the classrooms, and enjoy connecting with BDS faculty. We understand that not all children can have their grandparents in attendance. We encourage these children to invite another special adult—a family friend, another relative, or a neighbor.
Click here to RSVP!
Discounted MBTA Fares for Students
The MBTA offers Student Charlie Cards (S-Card) for middle and high school students that allow them to benefit from reduced fares. The cards are issued without any value on them, so students or parents must add value at fare vending machines or on board. The cards are good for the current academic year. We have ordered 25 cards and can order more if there is sufficient interest.
If your middle school student would like an S-Card, please have them see Catherine David, assistant to the head of school and registrar. Her office is just inside the hallway across from Ms. Carey’s desk. The card will be registered in the student’s name when picked up.
Renovations Continue & Visiting Authors Planned
We are excited that the renovation of the Erskine Library is heading toward its final stages and are extremely thankful for the support of the Belmont Day community to make this important project a reality. It’s been a busy summer and we’re pleased to update everyone on the project.
Over the summer …
- a new middle school Research and Collaboration Room was built with shelving for our middle school fiction collection to be added soon
- two colorful nooks were created for students to curl up with a book
- the Google Jamboard arrived and students and faculty are already being trained on how to use it
- new carpeting designed with line-up areas was placed
- slatwall was installed on the walls for more book displays
- new lighting fixtures were added
Still to come are …
- brand-new shelving
- comfy, soft seating
- tables and chairs for research and collaboration work
- new cushions in the window seats
- books and more books!
Stay tuned for updates around our official opening!
More Library News - Author Visits
Two Authors Scheduled to Visit BDS
On Tuesday, September 10 Newbery award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly will be coming to speak with grades 3 to 5 in the Palandjian Arts Center at 10 a.m. Since this visit is so close to the start of the school year, the deadline to order books from Belmont Books to be signed the day of Kelly’s visit has passed. However, the author will be making an appearance at Belmont Books that same evening at 6 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and to get signed at that time.
On Tuesday, October 1 Jennifer Nielsen, winner of last year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (as well as the top vote-getter among BDS students) for A Night Divided. She’ll be talking with grades 4 to 6 as well as any interested seventh and eighth grade students, about her new book, Words on Fire, as well as the writing process.
Updates & Implementations
Welcome back, everyone! While you were away, the technology department was busy from mid-June to opening day. Summer is a time when we have more bandwidth to implement much of our strategic plan in terms of program and equipment. Some of the improvements made over these past few months include:
- Preparing an extensive audit of the school’s information systems, with recommendations for review by the board of trustees this fall
- Updating our digital citizenship curriculum in collaboration with health and wellness work—thanks to Amy Sprung and Liz LaRocque!
- Completing the installation of a new, school-wide digital signage solution—thanks to Jim Walker and Koreen McQuilton!
- Running a three-day Maker Mindset Workshop for Belmont Day and Milton Academy faculty, utilizing a collaborative approach between BDS summer staff, school-year faculty, and the Tufts CEEO
- Improving our Google Suite environment by implementing single-sign-on for more apps, enhancing security policies, and much more
- Furthering utilization of our mobile device management system to better monitor, manage, and secure school devices
- Updating our student information system to be hosted by Amazon Web Services
- Adding a Google Jamboard to the Erskine Library
- Introducing new Chromebooks and charging stations in grades 4, 7, and 8
- Installing A/V and charging stations to the two new lower school breakout spaces
- Updating A/V systems in grades 1 to 8 to include better sound systems
Great New Items and Classic Favorites Available
Looking to show off that BDS pride wherever you go? Well, check out the school store today! From hats and hoodies to tote bags and tie-dyed t-shirts, there are items for the whole family. Visit the school store at amerasport.com/belmont-day
Parents’ Association News
Back to School!
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year from the executive team of the parents’ association. Together, all parents make up this wonderful association. We look forward to a great year ahead with many activities planned. If you are interested in seeing what is in store, please stop by the PA table at the upcoming curriculum nights, on Thursday, September 12 (middle school) and Thursday, September 19 (lower school).
We are always looking for volunteers, and we would love to have you. Please reach out to the PA if you have any questions and would like to become involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, September 20, 8:50 a.m. to 9:35 a.m., Palandjian Arts Center
Join us for an interactive beat-box performance by Gene Shinozaki!
Two Exhibits Explore Climate Change
The Belmont Gallery of Art will present two shows in the coming weeks on the environmental crisis. “Impact: Climate Change,” features a collaboration of work by members of the Tapestry Weavers West and the Tapestry Weavers in New England. “Plastic Sea/Changing Earth,” presents the textile works of Melrose-based artist Agusta Augustsson.
“Impact: Climate Change” will be on view at the BGA from September 8 through October 13 in the Homer Building, third floor, at 13 Moore St., Belmont. “Plastic Sea/Changing Earth” will be on display at the Belmont Library, 336 Concord Avenue, from September 7 to October 23. For more information, visit the Belmont Gallery of Art website.
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