A Successful Field Day and More About the Year-End

What a perfect weather today for Field Day! Our students greatly enjoyed themselves, worked hard at their events and exhibited the wonderful sportsmanship we place such a high value on at Derby. I would like to extend a special thanks to Heather Heuer and Nathan Chase for their energies and skills organizing such a multi-faceted activity and important school tradition.

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A quick glance at the below Looking Ahead calendar should confirm that the end of the year is near. We have a varied, exciting line-up of events and traditions for all grades, from Arts Night and the Grade 8 Athletic Appreciation Dessert to the Upper School Mystery Bus and the Grade 7-8 Semi Formal Dinner-Dance. These activities, however, do not overshadow the important academic work that must take place prior to Derby Day. The final few weeks of the school year often represent a time when students make important leaps in their academic growth, particularly in the areas of writing, critical thinking and study skills. On behalf of Middle and Upper School teachers, we would like to remind students to stay focused and on task in their courses (even as the weather gets warmer!), with a goal of ending the term on as strong a note as possible.

The Faculty also realizes that occasionally a student’s skills have not developed as well as we had hoped for over the past two semesters. In some instances, teachers will be making recommendations for summer work in order to have a student strengthen a particular skill area before September and the new school year. Please look to the upcoming progress reports (to be released on Monday) for any recommendations for summer tutoring. Should you like the names of tutors for a specific subject area (e.g. math or writing), please email Karen Malloy, our Director of Support Services, at kmalloy@derbyacademy.org.

Bits and Pieces for the Past Week

  • Our sixth graders traveled to Lexington and Concord on Wednesday to study, through a collection of primary source documents, the first “battle” of the Revolutionary War. Mr. Condrick, a reenactor and expert on this period in American history, personally narrated the tour of Lexington Green, Concord Bridge and Battle Road.

Gr. 6 Lexington and Concord Trip - May 13, 2015

  • Jack Buckley of the Cohasset Center for Students Coastal Research gave a presentation to our sixth and seventh graders, sharing a number of exciting summer opportunities in our local wetlands and estuaries – from mapping phragmites to monitoring Eel Grass beds. Click the links below to learn more.

CSCR Summer Institute 2015

Environmental Stewardship Program

 

Looking Ahead

Saturday, May 16: Upper School Student Council Car Wash Fundraiser, Roy Campus Center parking lot, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Friday, May 22: Instrumental Program Recital, 2:00 pm in Larson Hall
Monday, May 25: Memorial Day – No School
Tuesday, May 26: Grade 3 Invention Convention, Lewis Dining Hall
Thursday, May 28: Arts Night for Grades 4-8, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Lewis Dining Hall
Friday, May 29: Arts Morning for Grades 1-3, 8:15 -9:30 am, Lewis Dining Hall
Friday, May 29: Instrumental Program Recital, 2:00 pm, Larson Hall
Friday, May 29: Upper School Mystery Bus
Monday, June 1: Spring Athletic Assembly, 2:30-4:00 pm, Larson Hall
Wednesday, June 3: Grade 8 Athletic Appreciation Dessert, 7:00 pm, Roy Campus Center
Friday, June 5: Upper School Final Exams
Monday, June 8: Upper School Final Exams
Tuesday, June 9: Upper School Dinner-Dance, Lewis Dining Hall, 6:00-9:00 pm
Wednesday, June 10: Last Chapel, 10:30 am, Larson Hall
Thursday, June 11: Derby Day Concert (9:00 am. McKelvey Gym) and Commencement (11:00 am, New North Church)

 

End of Year Schedule Overview for Grades 4-8

Dismissal Times (beginning Tuesday, June 2)

During the first week of June we shift to a special schedule with different afternoon dismissal times. Here is a brief overview of this schedule:

  • Tuesday, June 2-Thursday, June 4: 3:15 pm dismissal*
  • Friday, June 5, Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9: 1:10 pm dismissal*
  • Wednesday, June 10: Last Chapel, 10:30 am. Special schedule forthcoming.
  • Thursday, June 11: Derby Day Concert (9:00 am) and Commencement (11:00 am). Special schedule forthcoming.

*Our Primary and Lower Schools will also be dismissed at this time on these days.

Upper School Final Exams: Friday, June 5: Grade 7 exam – Pre-Algebra; Grade 8 exam – Physical Science.   Monday, June 8: Grade 7 exam – Foreign Language; Grade 8 – Algebra, followed by Foreign Language. Note: All exams are 90 minutes long.

 

Last Chapel and Derby Day Dress Code

  • Dress code for girls and boys for Last Chapel and Upper School Dinner-Dance:
    • Girls wear dresses, or a dress skirt with an appropriate top, and proper footwear (no sneakers or flip-flops).
    • Boys must wear coats and ties, long dress pants, with appropriate footwear with socks (no sneakers or flip-flops)
  • Dress code for girls and boys for Derby Day:
    • Girls wear white dresses, (strapless dresses and spaghetti straps are not permitted), with appropriate shoes (see above).
    • Boys wear white shirts, white pants, dark blue jackets, ties and proper shoes (see above) with socks. Derby Academy neckties are not required but are available at the school store.
  • A special note to girls and their parents: Please be certain that the clothes worn at Last Chapel and Derby Day conform to our dress code. More specifically, skirts and dresses should be no higher than three inches from the middle of the knee, tops and necklines should be appropriate, and strapless dresses or dresses with spaghetti straps should not be worn for either event.

 

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Field Day and End-of-Year Details

(Note to Middle and Upper School Families: Below is a reprint from last year’s blog. It is a “primer” on one of Derby’s long-standing traditions, Field Day. If you are a family new to the School this year, I think you will enjoy knowing the background on this annual May event at Derby. JBH)

One of the highlights each year for our Middle and Upper Schoolers is Field Day. A popular Derby tradition that started about sixty years ago, this event brings together Grades 4-8 for about four hours of outdoor games every May – as students with face paint, colorful banners, brightly decorated team shirts and spiked hair have tremendous fun participating in a wide array of “track and field-type” events. The focus and emphasis of Field Day is on friendly competition and having fun. It is accurate to say that our oldest students pay somewhat close attention to records set years ago in events such as the hurdles or long jump; and that each spirit team hopes that they will garner the most points at the end of the events to be the winner. But when each we get to 1:00 pm, with an ice cream or popsicle in hand and a slight sunburn if one hasn’t applied enough sunscreen, all of us in the Derby community feel just a little bit closer.

Here a brief history on Field Day, as well as some details that might interest you on this school tradition, particularly if you are a Grade 4 family or one new to Derby this year:

  • The first Field Day was held over sixty years ago in 1953, when the boys competed and the Darks spirit team won. Two years later, in 1955, the girls participated in Field Day, with the Toppers coming out “on top.” Of note, the winning spirit team and the name of their captain is recorded on a large, engraved wooden plaque located in the Lewis Dining Hall.
  • Derby had four spirit teams. The two teams for the boys are the Lights and Darks – named after the light and dark shades of blue represented in the Academy’s school colors. The girls also have two teams: the Derbies and Toppers. The name “Derbies” is derived, of course, from the School’s name. The name “Topper” was most likely chosen to cleverly match up with the term “Derbie”, as both are types of traditional hats.
  • Spirit teams are “all in the family,” so to speak. A third grader rising to Grade 4 with older siblings at Derby, past or present, will automatically be assigned to the same team. In addition, the Lights are paired with the Toppers and the Darks with the Derbies – in terms of affiliation. This means, for example, that if an older sister is a Topper and her younger brother is entering fourth grade, he will be a Light.
  • Captains, along with Assistant Captains, for each spirit team are chosen each fall by our eighth graders. These are some of the prized leadership positions our oldest students look forward to run for when they reach Grade 8 (along with being elected an officer of our Upper School Student Council, for example).
  • These are this year’s Spirit Team leaders: Lights – Thomas Marshman (Captain) and Isaiah Gomes (Assistant Captain); Darks – David Ragone (Captain) and Ryan Grace (Assistant Captain); Derbies – Morley Pace (Captain) and Lizzie Jacobson (Assistant Captain); Toppers – Tilly McLean(Captain) and Thalia Anastos (Assistant Captain).
  • There is a wide variety of events for Field Day, most which our girls and boys both do, but there also some events that only one each gender competes in. Both girls and boys participate in the following: hurdles, 50 and 100 yard dash, cross country run, obstacle course, running or standing broad jump, softball throw, sack race, and group shuttle runs with baton. In addition, the girls compete in the lacrosse run (Grades 4 and 5) or run and shoot (Grades 6-8), and the three-legged spoon-ball carry. The boys have additional longer races of 250 and 400 yards.
  • Ribbons are awarded to students taking first, second or third place in their events.
  • The culminating event at the end of Field Day (this occurs around 12:45 pm) is the tug-of-war. Spirit teams match up against each other on the lower athletic field for this exciting, often nail-biting finale, with student and parent spectators, seated or standing on the hill, cheering on both sides.
  • Parents are very welcome to join us as spectators at Field Day! It is wonderful way to be part of the community and watch your son or daughter participate in this fun Derby tradition. The first events begin around 9:00 am.

 

Looking Ahead….

Friday, May 8: Parents Association Family Hoe-Down, 5:00-8:00 pm, Hersey Gym
Monday, May 11- Friday, May 15: Scholastic Summer Reading Book Fair,
7:30 am – 4:30 pm, Sadler Conference Room
Wednesday, May 13: Grade 6 field trip to Lexington and Concord
Friday, May 15: Field Day
Friday, May 15: Late Spring Progress Reports available on website
Saturday, May 16: Upper School Student Council Car Wash Fundraiser, Roy Campus Center parking lot, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Friday, May 22: Instrumental Program Recital, 2:00 pm in Larson Hall
Monday, May 25: Memorial Day – No School
Tuesday, May 26: Grade 3 Invention Convention, Lewis Dining Hall
Thursday, May 28: Arts Night for Grades 4-8, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Lewis Dining Hall
Friday, May 29: Arts Morning for Grades 1-3, 8:15 -9:30 am, Lewis Dining Hall
Friday, May 29: Instrumental Program Recital, 2:00 pm, Larson Hall
Friday, May 29: Upper School Mystery Bus
Wednesday, June 3: Grade 8 Athletic Appreciation Dessert, 7:00 pm, Roy Campus Center
Friday, June 5: Upper School Final Exams
Monday, June 8: Upper School Final Exams
Tuesday, June 9: Upper School Dinner-Dance, Lewis Dining Hall, 6:00-9:00 pm
Wednesday, June 10: Last Chapel, 10:30 am, Larson Hall
Thursday, June 11: Derby Day Concert (9:00 am. McKelvey Gym) and Commencement (11:00 am, New North Church)

 

End of Year Schedule Overview for Grades 4-8

During the first week of June we shift to a special schedule with different afternoon dismissal times. Here is a brief overview of this schedule:

  • Monday, June 2-Thursday, June 4: 3:15 pm dismissal*
  • Friday, June 5, Monday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 9: 1:10 pm dismissal*
  • Wednesday, June 10: Last Chapel, 10:30 am. Special schedule forthcoming.
  • Thursday, June 11: Derby Day Concert (9:00 am) and Commencement (11:00 am). Special schedule forthcoming.

*Our Primary and Lower Schools will also be dismissed at this time on these days.

Upper School Final Exams: Friday, June 5: Grade 7 exam – Pre-Algebra; Grade 8 exam – Physical Science.   Monday, June 8: Grade 7 exam – Foreign Language; Grade 8 – Algebra, followed by Foreign Language. Note: All exams are 90 minutes long.

Last Chapel and Derby Day Dress Code

  • Dress code for girls and boys for Last Chapel and Upper School Dinner-Dance:
    • Girls wear dresses, or a dress skirt with an appropriate top, and proper footwear (no sneakers or flip-flops).
    • Boys must wear coats and ties, long dress pants, with appropriate footwear with socks (no sneakers or flip-flops)
  • Dress code for girls and boys for Derby Day:
    • Girls wear white dresses, (strapless dresses and spaghetti straps are not permitted), with appropriate shoes (see above).
    • Boys wear white shirts, white pants, dark blue jackets, ties and proper shoes (see above) with socks. Derby Academy neckties are not required but are available at the school store.
  • A special note to girls and their parents: Please be certain that the clothes worn at Last Chapel and Derby Day conform to our dress code. More specifically, skirts and dresses should be no higher than three inches from the middle of the knee, tops and necklines should be appropriate, and strapless dresses or dresses with spaghetti straps should not be worn for either event.
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International Acclaim

Our fifth graders were outstanding last night, as they each stood up in front of their families, teachers and other guests and confidently delivered articulate, thoughtful and extremely interesting speeches about their individual countries. As someone who was fortunate enough to hear all 48 presentations, I was so impressed with each student’s poise and presence, as well as the information and intelligent solutions each posed to solve a problem specific to the country they have been studying since the fall.

The work the fifth graders displayed in the Healey Innovation Center was excellent as well! Detailed, colorful and creative country maps and posters, accompanied by well-written essays, were displayed in every corner of the Center.

Lastly, I want to express a special “thank you” to Ms. Kurlowecz, Mrs. Browning and Mrs. Nalen, along with the six Upper Schoolers – Zander, Ella, Lizzie, Ramez, Tilly and Emma – who moderated the presentations. In particular, the teachers’ tireless efforts and meticulous planning of this valuable learning project were instrumental in making this Derby hallmark event and “rite of passage” such a huge success last evening!

 

Bits and Pieces for the Past Week…

  • photo1Congratulations to our seventh graders who traveled into the recently opened Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate in Dorchester this past Tuesday to participate in an immigration project for their history classes. They explored the Senate Chamber replica where they had the opportunity to debate and vote.IMG_0817

Important Reminders…

  • Final Notice – ERB Scores Available: Scores from the February testing are available for Grade 4–8 families. For parents who have NOT received or reviewed their child’s scores in the past (i.e., Fourth Grade families and those new to Derby this year), we request that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Yocum, our consulting psychologist, to review the testing results. Times are available on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning April 7. Please contact Eileen McGee at 781-749-0746, ext. 47, or emcgee@derbyacademy.org to schedule your meeting. If you are a Grade 5 -7 parent and have met with Dr. Yocum in a previous year regarding ERBs, please notify Ms. McGee of this, and she will mail you the most recent scores.
  • The World Awareness Group (WAG), led by seventh graders Casandra Douglass and Lily Garvey is still hosting an animal shelter collection drive for the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts (APCSM) in Brockton. The following items can be brought to the Science Center and placed in the large decorated box in the Science Gallery.
  • Here is the list of items they are looking for…
    • Old Newspapers
    • Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes
    • Old Blankets
    • Empty Tissue Boxes
    • Empty Shoe Boxes
    • Old Sheets
    • Old Quilts
    • Old Dog Beds
    • Cat Food
    • Dog Food
    • Rabbit Food(can not contain seeds)
    • Small Animal Food(can not contain seeds)
    • Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) (In powder form)
    • Bleach
    • Contractor Garbage Bags
    • Laundry detergent
    • Kitten Food(canned or dry)
    • Clay Based Litter

 

LOOKING AHEAD…

Saturday, May 2: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser, Hersey Gym, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Monday, May 4: Grade 8 Skype Global Nomads call with Pakistani school, 7:00-8:15 am

Monday, May 4: Secondary School Preview for Grade 7 Students and Parents, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, Larson Hall

Tuesday, May 5: Shakespeare Now! Theater Company presentation for Grade 8

Thursday, May 7: Skype with Author Raina Telgmeier, 2:05 – 2:35, Terry Library

Friday, May 8: Parents Association Family Hoedown, 5:00-8:00 pm, Hersey Gym

Monday, May 11- Friday, May 15: Scholastic Summer Reading Book Fair,
7:30 am – 4:30 pm, Sadler Conference Room

Wednesday, May 13: Grade 6 field trip to Lexington and Concord

Friday, May 15: Field Day

Friday, May 15: Late Spring Progress Reports available on website

Saturday, May 16: Upper School Student Council Car Wash Fundraiser, Roy Campus Center parking lot, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Friday, May 22: Instrumental Program Recital, 2:00 pm in Larson Hall

Monday, May 25: Memorial Day – No School

Tuesday, May 26: Grade 3 Invention Convention, Lewis Dining Hall

Thursday, May 28: Arts Night for Grades 4-8, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Lewis Dining Hall

Friday, May 29: Arts Morning for Grades 1-3, 8:15 -9:30 am, Lewis Dining Hall

Friday, May29: Instrumental Program Recital, 2:00 pm, Larson Hall

Friday, May 29: Upper School Mystery Bus

 

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Sage Advice from an Expert

Connection, recognition and a sense of mastery. When Dr. Michael Thompson spoke Tuesday evening to a gathering of current parents, guests and Derby Faculty in Larson Hall, he emphasized these three areas in his talk – as “markers” that provide us with an indication that a child is having a healthy school experience. Although his overall presentation focused primarily on the “pressured child” (raising our awareness, as adults, about the importance of knowing child development well and embracing the “journey-like” quality of childhood, with its twists and turns), he also provided good words of wisdom about how we can have a clear sense that our sons and daughters are being successful as they go though school.

When I reflect upon Dr. Thompson’s advice, and then examine how we support our Grade 4-8 students in achieving a sense of connection, recognition and mastery, I see excellent alignment. I know that our small classes, advisory program and regular focus on being responsible, active members of a “community” provide an environment where connection is valued and fostered daily. I know that our broad offerings in academic, arts, athletics, co-curriculars (e.g., clubs) and service learning (e.g., Father Bill’s, Cradle to Crayons) offer many arenas for Derby students to be recognized for their hard work, accomplishments and sense of commitment. Lastly, I know that the strong underpinning of skills we equip our Middle and Upper Schoolers with – both academically and in the area of character development – enable them to achieve a sustained sense of mastery in their daily school lives, at Derby Academy and beyond.

Bits and Pieces for the Past Week…

  • Congratulations to sixth graders for earning their DARE diplomas this past Wednesday at a special ceremony in the Healey Family Center for Innovation. Several students received recognition for their outstanding DARE posters: Joe Bianchi, Graham Butterfield, Ava Clancy, Maya Metri and Grace Taylor.PosterWinners
  • Thank you to the eighth grade parents who came in to school early today to participate in a Skype call with two schools in Pakistan – as part of Mr. Bowler’s Global Nomads program.

Grade 8 Parent Skype Call

  • Best wishes to Chief Michael Peraino of the Hingham Police Department, who is retiring after 37 years of service to the Town of Hingham. Derby presented a special plaque to Chief Peraino to thank him for his 23 years connected to our school, 13 of which he served as our annual DARE teacher for our 6th graders.Peraino&Houghton

Important Reminders…

  • Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser Ryan and Nick Bern are holding their yard sale next weekend to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Cancer Center. The date for the sale is Friday, May 1 and Saturday, 2. Please click here for information about how to drop off items for the sale. Click here to see the flyer for the two-day event!
  • ERB Scores Available Scores from the February testing are available for Grade 4–8 families. For parents who have NOT received or reviewed their child’s scores in the past (i.e., Fourth Grade families and those new to Derby this year), we request that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Yocum, our consulting psychologist, to review the testing results. Times are available on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning April 7. Please contact Eileen McGee at 781-749-0746, ext. 47, or emcgee@derbyacademy.org to schedule your meeting. If you are a Grade 5 -7 parent and have met with Dr. Yocum in a previous year regarding ERBs, please notify Ms. McGee of this, and she will mail you the most recent scores.
  • The World Awareness Group (WAG), led by seventh graders Casandra Douglass and Lily Garvey, is hosting an animal shelter collection drive for the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts (APCSM) in Brockton.
    Here is the list of items they are looking for…
    • Old Newspapers
    • Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes
    • Old Blankets
    • Empty Tissue Boxes
    • Empty Shoe Boxes
    • Old Sheets
    • Old Quilts
    • Old Dog Beds
    • Cat Food
    • Dog Food
    • Rabbit Food(can not contain seeds)
    • Small Animal Food(can not contain seeds)
    • Kitten Milk Replacer(KMR)(In powder for)
    • Bleach
    • Contractor Garbage Bags
    • Laundry detergent
    • Kitten Food(canned or dry)
    • Clay Based Litter

LOOKING AHEAD…

Saturday, April 25: Talent Show, 3:00 and 6:30 pm performances, Larson Hall

Tuesday, April 28: Grade 7 visits the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, 8:15 am -1:45 pm

Tuesday, April 28: Grade 4 Preview, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Wakeman (Grade 4) Building. (Note: 6:30 pm tours of the Middle School campus available with RSVP to Nicole Carnes @ncarnes@derbyacademy.org).

Thursday, April 30: Grade 5 International Night, 6:00-8:00 pm

Friday, May 1: Grades 7 and 8 to Father Bill’s Place, 3:00 pm

Friday, May 1: Grade 6 Game Night, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, McKelvey Gym

Friday, May 1: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser, Hersey Gym, 1:15-3:15 pm

Saturday, May 2: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser, Hersey Gym, 9 am – 2pm

Monday, May 4: Grade 8 Skype Global Nomads call with Pakistani school, 7:00-8:15 am

Monday, May 4: Secondary School Preview for Grade 7 Students and Parents, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, Larson Hall

Tuesday, May 5: Shakespeare Now theater Company presentation for Grade 8

Friday, May 8: Parents Association Family Hoe-Down, 5:00-8:00 pm, Hersey Gym

Wednesday, May 13: Grade 6 field trip to Lexington and Concord

Friday, May 15: Field Day

 

 

 

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Celebrating Madam Sarah Derby, Welcoming Dr. Thompson and Receiving Quarter 3 Reports

Mrs. Rizzotto and I have made it a point this week to make sure our students and teachers, across the four divisions, have been recognizing and celebrating our founder’s birthday – which is officially tomorrow, April 18. At Middle and Upper School Morning Meeting today, our Upper School Student Council read a piece written by Mrs. Rizzotto and former parent Mrs. Martha Parker several years ago that included a biography of her life and highlighted her qualities as a “visionary” and “forward-thinker.” We then played a short video by Mrs. McWilliams created for our website a number of years ago. Here is the link to both the video and the biography – ​http://www.derbyacademy.org/aboutsarahderby​. These resources help us all appreciate the rich history of our School and the wonderful qualities and achievements of Madam Sarah Derby.

Dr. Michael Thompson will be on campus most of the day next Tuesday, with two opportunities for you as parents to either meet with him (10:30:11:30 am, Healey Center) or to hear him speak (7:00-9:00 pm, Larson Hall). I first heard Dr. Thompson about 25 years ago at a division heads conference in Upstate New York. Since then, I have made every effort to hear him talk on a number of topics related to parenting and educating children, particularly adolescents. His insights, experience and conventional wisdom are consistently impressive and always resonate with independent school parents. Please join us for one or both programs on Tuesday! Click here to see the full schedule of Dr. Thompson’s day. 

Lastly, our Quarter 3 reports cards (including advisor updates and winter sport comments for Grades 6-8) will be posted this afternoon. Please do not hesitate to contact us – an individual teacher, the advisor or me personally – should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s academic progress or social development.

Bits and Pieces for the Past Week…

  • Congratulations to sixth grader Maya Metri, who was recognized recently as a state semi-finalist for the Letters About Literature competition. This is a national contest in which students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year, and over 3000 students in Massachusetts alone participated this year.
  • Kudos to Kendall Hayes, Grade 6, who competed last weekend in the Massachusetts USA Gymnastics State Championship. She came in 3rd place All Around in her 12 year old age group division. She also qualified to compete at Regionals in May along with 21 other gymnasts representing Massachusetts.
  • Our eighth graders spent a very busy day last Tuesday with Carl Hobert from Boston University’s School of Education and the founder of Axis of Hope program. Our oldest Upper Schoolers participated in a “Global Conflict Resolution” workshop and simulation based upon the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide, with an emphasis on teaching global literacy and conflict resolution skills. Thank you to Mr. Bowler, our History Department Chair, for organizing this.

Here are several ongoing reminders of importance:

  • ERB Scores Now Available Scores from the February testing are available for Grade 4–8 families. For parents who have NOT received or reviewed their child’s scores in the past (i.e., Fourth Grade families and those new to Derby this year), we request that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Yocum, our consulting psychologist, to review the testing results. Times are available on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning April 7. Please contact Eileen McGee at 781-749-0746, ext. 47, or emcgee@derbyacademy.org to schedule your meeting. If you are a Grade 5 -7 parent and have met with Dr. Yocum in a previous year regarding ERBs, please notify Ms. McGee of this, and she will mail you the most recent scores.
  • Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser Ryan and Nick Bern are gearing up for their next major project, a yard sale, continuing their efforts to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Cancer Center. The date for the sale will be Friday, May 1 and Saturday, 2. Please click here for information about how to drop off items for the sale in the next two weeks.

 

LOOKING AHEAD…

Tuesday, April 21: Dr. Michael Thompson at visits Derby: Parent drop-in with Dr. Thompson, 10:30-11:30 am. Evening presentation on his book, The Pressured Child, 7:00-9:00 pm, Larson Hall

Wednesday April 22: DARE Graduation for Grade 6 students

Friday, April 24: Grade 8 Parent Skype Global Nomads call with Pakistani school, 7:00-8:00 am

Saturday, April 25: Talent Show, 4:00 and 6:30 pm performances, Larson Hall

Tuesday, April 28: Grade 7 visits the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, 8:15 am -1:45 pm

Tuesday, April 28: Grade 4 Preview, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Wakeman (Grade 4) Building. (Note: 6:30 pm tours of the Middle School campus available with RSVP to Nicole Carnes @ncarnes@derbyacademy.org).

Thursday, April 30: Grade 5 International Night, 6:00-8:00 pm

Friday, May 1: Grades 7 and 8 to Father Bill’s Place, 3:00 pm

Friday, May 1: Grade 6 Game Night, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, McKelvey Gym

Friday, May 1: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser, Hersey Gym, times TBA

Saturday, May 2: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser, Hersey Gym, times TBA

Monday, May 4: Grade 8 Skype Global Nomads call with Pakistani school, 7:00-8:15 am

Monday, May 4: Secondary School Preview for Grade 7 Students and Parents, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, Larson Hall

Tuesday, May 5: Shakespeare Now theater Company presentation for Grade 8

Friday, May 8: Parents Association Family Hoe-Down, 5:00-8:00 pm, Hersey Gym

 

 

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Enjoying our Grandparents and Grandfriends

Arguably one of my favorite events of the school year, we very much enjoyed having our “grand guests” on campus today, as they spent time in our classrooms for Periods 4-6 and braved less than ideal weather traveling around our campus. In my sixth grade history class, I always take advantage of the individual and collective wisdom of my visitors and view it as an opportunity to enrich my students’ learning. Today, for example, we had an in-depth discussion about the most important inventions over the past 100 years. Grandparents and sixth graders often have different views on this question. While students will quite easily come up with ideas such as the cell phone and Internet, they often miss other possibilities that our guests offer such as antibiotics and nuclear energy. Overall, the conversation was lively today as we discussed the topic; it then took on a more serious tone as we evaluated, as a multigenerational group, whether or not all of these inventions have improved or detracted from the quality of our lives. As a classroom teacher and educator, I genuinely wish Grandparents/Grandfriends Day could occur several times a year…what a valuable learning experience for our students and your children!

Bits and Pieces for the Past Week…

  • We officially kicked off our Eighth Grade Public Speaking program this week. Rebecca Eneyni was our first speaker and gave a beautifully crafted, confidently presented talk to the entire Middle and Upper School student body and faculty in Larson Hall on Wednesday morning. Well done, Rebecca!

Here are several ongoing reminders of importance:

  • ERB Scores Now Available Scores from the February testing are available for Grade 4–8 families. For parents who have NOT received or reviewed their child’s scores in the past (i.e., Fourth Grade families and those new to Derby this year), we request that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Yocum, our consulting psychologist, to review the testing results. Times are available on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning April 7. Please contact Eileen McGee at 781-749-0746, ext. 47, or emcgee@derbyacademy.org to schedule your meeting. If you are a Grade 5 -7 parent and have met with Dr. Yocum in a previous year regarding ERB’s, please notify Ms. McGee of this, and she will mail you the most recent scores.
  • Our D-Team Needs your Help! SPRING CLEANING???   From April 6-17 the D-Team will be conducting a CLOTHING DONATION DRIVE for Cradles to Crayons. Please consider donating gently used children’s clothes (age 0-12), toys and books. On Friday, April 17, the 5th Grade class will be participating in an ON CAMPUS donation sort.  he success of this drive is dependent on our community DONATING, DONATING, DONATING!!   Your donations will be accepted now through the morning of April 17th.  The Cradles to Crayon bins are located in the lobby of the Lower School as well as  in the Roy Campus Center. For more information on donation guidelines, please see attached link: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/boston/donate-goods/items-we-accept  Please contact Aloka Wolford at aloka@me.com with any questions.  Thank you for your consideration.
  • Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser Ryan and Nick Bern are gearing up for their next major project, a yard sale, continuing their efforts to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Cancer Center. The date for the sale will be Friday, May 1 and Saturday, 2. Please click here for information about how to drop off items for the sale.
  • Important Traffic Reminders
    • Morning Drop-off in the Parking Loop by the Day (Grade 7) Building This is for Grade 7 students and their siblings only. Otherwise, please drive into campus by way of the east entrance (closest to Rte. 3A and Hingham Harbor) and through the regular drop-off line on our “Main Street.”
    • 4:00 pm Pick-up – To help with our traffic flow, we are asking that all Grade 4-6 students be picked up on the east side (“Main Street” side) of campus, and that Grade 7 and 8 students be collected at the Roy Campus Center. Families with children in both divisions may choose either location.
    • Please do not take a left turn off Burditt Avenue into the Day Building Parking Loop in the afternoons between 12:30 – 4:15 pm.
    • For safety reasons, and so Derby can continue to be a good neighbor in our neighborhood, please do not discharge and pick-up students on Burditt Avenue at any time!

LOOKING AHEAD…

Tuesday, April 14: Carl Hobert, Global Conflict Resolution workshop with Grade 8

Wednesday, April 15: Poet/Illustrator Douglas Florian visits Pre-K – Grade 5

Friday, April 17: Talent Show Rehearsal, 1:30-3:30 pm, Larson Hall

Friday, April 17: Grade 5 Cradles to Crayons Donations Sort (after school)

Tuesday, April 21: Dr. Michael Thompson visits Derby: Parent drop-in with Dr. Thompson, 10:30-11:30 am. Evening presentation on his book, The Pressured Child, 7:00-9:00 pm, Larson Hall

Wednesday April 22: DARE Graduation for Grade 6 students

Saturday, April 25: Talent Show, 4:00 and 6:30 pm performances, Larson Hall

Monday, April 28: Grade 7 visits the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, 8:15 am -1:45 pm

Monday, April 28: Grade 4 Preview, 7:00 pm, Wakeman (Grade 4) Building

Thursday, April 30: Grade 5 International Night, 6:00-8:00 pm

Friday, May 1: Grades 7 & 8 to Father Bills, 3:00pm

Friday, May 1: Grade 6 Game Night, 7:00 – 9:00 pm McKelvey Gym

Friday, May 1: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser

Saturday, May 2: Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser

 

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Entering the Homestretch

I will freely admit that I am prone to making a few baseball analogies and quips at this time of year, particularly as we approach opening day for the Red Sox on April 13. For me, it is one of the best parts of spring. Another uplifting sign that winter is finally over is returning after March Break to see scores of Derby Middle and Upper Schoolers – some braving the chilly morning temperatures in shorts and sandals – carrying lacrosse sticks, baseball and softball gloves and lots of athletic apparel for afternoon practices (with very little fleece or down in sight). It was a great sight to behold this past Monday, especially after the brutal winter we had.

I have a number of informational items to highlight this week, from the arrival of standardized testing results to requests asking you to support several important service initiatives at Derby. Thank you for reading through these and giving them your attention.

      • ERB Scores Now Available Scores from the February testing are available for Grade 4–8 families. For parents who have NOT received or reviewed their child’s scores in the past (i.e., Fourth Grade families and those new to Derby this year), we request that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Yocum, our consulting psychologist, to review the testing results. Times are available on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning April 7. Please contact Eileen McGee at 781-749-0746, ext. 47, or emcgee@derbyacademy.org to schedule your meeting. If you are a Grade 5 -7 parent and have met with Dr. Yocum in a previous year regarding ERBs, please notify Ms. McGee of this, and she will mail you the most recent scores.
      • Alcohol and Drug Education Parent meeting this Monday Evening Will Slotnik, our Wellness Collaborative instructor for Grades 7 and 8, and Rob Ramsey, our Grade 6 DARE teacher, will present an overview of our drug and alcohol education programs at Derby, as well as current trends in alcohol and drug use among adolescents. Please join us at 7:00 pm in the Healey Center for this presentation and question/answer session. The program will run about an hour.
      • Important Traffic Reminders
          • Morning Drop-off in the Parking Loop by the Day (Grade 7) Building– This is for Grade 7 students and their siblings only. Otherwise, please drive into campus by way of the east entrance (closet to Rte. 3A and Hingham Harbor) and through the regular drop-off line on our “Main Street.”
          • 4:00 pm Pick-up – To help with our traffic flow, we are asking that all Grade 4-6 students be picked up on the east side (“Main Street” side) of campus, and that Grade 7 and 8 students be collected at the Roy Campus Center. Families with children in both divisions may choose either location.
          • Please do not take a left turn off Burditt Avenue into the Day Building Parking Loop in the afternoons between 12:30 – 4:15 pm.
          • For safety reasons, and so Derby can continue to be a good neighbor in our neighborhood, please do not discharge and pick-up students on Burditt Avenue at any time!
      • Our D-Team Need your Help! SPRING CLEANING???  From April 6-17 the D-Team will be conducting a CLOTHING DONATION DRIVE for Cradles to Crayons. Please consider donating gently used children’s clothes (age 0-12), toys and books. On Friday, April 17, the 5th Grade class will be participating in an ON CAMPUS donation sort.  The success of this drive is dependent on our community DONATING,DONATING, DONATING!!   Your donations will be accepted now through the morning of April 17.  The Cradles to Crayon bins are located in the lobby of the Lower School and the Roy Campus Center.   For more information on donation guidelines, please click here. Please contact Aloka Wolford at aloka@me.com with any questions.  Thank you for your consideration.
      • Foley Prize Yard Sale Fundraiser Ryan and Nick Bern are gearing up for their next major project, a yard sale, in order to continue their efforts to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Cancer Center. The date for the sale will be Friday, May 1 and Saturday, 2. Please click here for information about how to drop off items for the sale, begging next week.

Bits and Pieces from the Past Few School Weeks…

      • The Middle and Upper Schools enjoyed a wonderful concert this past week by the Boston College High School Chorus – under the direction of former Derby chorale teacher and arts department faculty member, Dr. Marina Rozenberg.
      • We have a number of Upper Schoolers who had exceptional accomplishments in different areas over the past few months.
        • Rebecca Eneyni, Grade 8, was honored this winter for her outstanding instrumental talents (flute), when she placed second in the district and earned second chair in the junior high school honor band for SEMMEA (Southeastern Massachusetts Music Educators Association).
        • Tim Smith, Grade 8, is ranked first in New Hampshire and fifth in the country in for half-pipe skiing. He is competing this weekend in Colorado at the Nationals.
        • Casandra Douglass, Grade 7, earned her black belt, first level, in Taekwondo earlier in the winter.
        • Margot Osterman, Grade 7,  just won two silver medals in snowboarding at the Nationals in Colorado.
        • Congratulations to all four students on these exceptional achievements!

 

LOOKING AHEAD…

Monday April 6: Wellness Collaborative classes for Grade 8

Monday, April 6: Overview of Derby’s Drug and Alcohol program with Officer Rob Ramsey and Will Slotnick, 7:00-8:00 pm, Healey Family Center for Innovation

Tuesday, April 7: Wellness Collaborative classes for Grade 8

Friday, April 10: End of Quarter 3

Friday, April 10: Grandfriends and Grandparents Visiting Day, 10:25 am-1:10 pm. (Gr. 4-8)

Friday, April 10: Upper School Spring Fling, 7:00-9:30 pm, Lewis Dining Hall

Friday, April 10: Talent Show Rehearsal, 1:30-3:30 pm, Larson Hall

Tuesday, April 14: Carl Hobert, Global Conflict Resolution workshop with Grade 8

Wednesday, April 15: Poet/Illustrator Douglas Florian visits Pre-K – Grade 5

Friday, April 17: Talent Show Rehearsal, 1:30-3:30 pm, Larson Hall

Friday, April 17: Grade 5 Cradles to Crayons Donations Sort (after school)

Tuesday, April 21: Dr. Michael Thompson visits Derby: Parent drop-in with Dr. Thompson, 10:30-11:30 am. Evening presentation on his book, The Pressured Child, 7:00-9:00 pm, Larson Hall

Wednesday April 22: DARE Graduation for Grade 6 students

Saturday, April 25: Talent Show, 4:00 and 6:30 pm performances, Larson Hall

Monday, April 27: Grade 4 Preview, 7:00 pm, Wakeman (Grade 4) Building

Tuesday, April 28: Grade 7 visits the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, 8:15 am -1:45 pm

Thursday, April 30: Grade 5 International Night, 6:00-8:00 pm

 

 

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Congratulations, Upcoming Foley Prize Project

Yesterday marked the end of a tremendous amount of hard work and “learning” – outside of our regular academic classrooms – for a large number of Middle and Upper School students. Our sixth graders wrapped up their eighth and final session of their DARE course with Officer Rob Ramsey – hopefully now equipped with essential knowledge and some new decision-making skills as they move into adolescence and face the challenging, unpredictable world of alcohol and drugs. Last evening, our Upper Schoolers put on arguably their best performance of Bye, Bye Birdie (their third show in less than 36 hours!), demonstrating tremendous energy, resiliency and determination as they pulled off a high quality production (even after missing so much rehearsal time due to six snow days). We all extend a special thank you to Mrs. Beniers, Mrs. Kahler and the entire Arts Department for their tireless efforts and wonderful expertise making the musical such a wonderful success.

Click the image above to view a short slideshow from the Upper School production of Bye, Bye, Birdie.

Ryan and Nick Bern, our two eighth grade Foley Prize recipients, are continuing their efforts to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Cancer Center by organizing their next major project of the year, a yard sale. The date for the sale will be Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. Please click here to read Nick and Ryan’s letter with more information about their project.

Best wishes for an enjoyable March Break!

John Houghton

 

LOOKING AHEAD…

Monday, March 30: Classes resume
Wednesday, April 1: Boston College High School Chorus performs, 11:00-11:45 am, Larson Hall
Wednesday, April 1: Reception for Newly Accepted Families, 6:30-8:30 pm, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Friday, April 3: Grades 7 & 8 to Father Bills, 3:00 pm, Quincy
Monday April 6: Wellness Collaborative classes for Grade 8
Monday, April 6: Overview of Derby’s Drug and Alcohol program with Officer Rob Ramsey and Will Slotnick, 7:00-8:00 pm, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Tuesday, April 7: Wellness Collaborative classes for Grade 8
Friday, April 10: End of Quarter 3
Friday, April 10: Grandfriends and Grandparents Visiting Day, 10:25 am-1:10 pm. (Gr. 4-8)
Friday, April 10: Upper School Spring Fling, 7:00-9:30 pm, Lewis Dining Hall
Friday, April 10: Talent Show Rehearsal, 1:30-3:30 pm, Larson Hall
Tuesday, April 14: Carl Hobert, Global Conflict Resolution workshop with Grade 8
Wednesday, April 15: Poet/Illustrator Douglas Florian visits Pre-K – Grade 5
Friday, April 17: Talent Show Rehearsal, 1:30-3:30 pm, Larson Hall
Tuesday, April 21: Dr. Michael Thompson at Derby (Parent drop-in with Dr. Thompson, 10:30-11:30 am. Evening presentation on his book, The Pressured Child, 7:00-9:00 pm, Larson Hall)
Wednesday April 22: DARE Graduation for Grade 6 students, 8:20-9:15 am, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Saturday, April 25: Talent Show (performance times to be announced later)

 

 

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Early March Update

It felt a bit strange this week having a complete, five-day school week, and a number of us – faculty and students alike – had difficulty remembering which day of the week it was! As teachers, it was very gratifying for us to regain some momentum in our classrooms and the learning process. Also, it is a powerful reminder to all of us of the importance of routines, especially for middle school age students who thrive and grow with consistency, and with developing regular daily habits.

When we return from our upcoming vacation, we will be entering a very busy time of year in the Middle and Upper Schools. We have scheduled a number of important programs in different areas: culminating academic projects (e.g., Grade 5 International Night); parent education (e.g., overview of Derby’s drug and alcohol program; Dr. Michael Thompson), and programs designed to help families with transitions to the next stage of their child’s schooling (e.g., Grade 4 Preview for Grade 3 parents, Secondary School Preview for Grade 7 students and parents). Please be sure to regularly check our Friday’s DEN newsletters and our online calendar – so you do not miss any of these important events.

Finally, this is my annual reminder (and plea) to ask that you are respectful of the fact that next week is a full school week, and that important, meaningful academic work is going on through Friday, March 13.

 

Bits and Pieces from this Past Week….

  • Congratulations to Joshua Bergers, Grade 5, who qualified for the New Hampshire State Championships this weekend for downhill ski racing!
  • Progress Reports were posted yesterday afternoon from some students. Please check the Derby website to see if your child received any teacher updates.

 

Looking Ahead…

Monday, March 9 to Thursday March 12: DARE classes for Grade 6 students (2:40-4:00 pm), Foreign Language Classrooms
Monday, March 9: Global Nomads Skype call to school in Pakistan, Grade 8, 7:00-8:30 am, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Monday, March 9: US Musical Rehearsal 2:40-5:00 pm, Larson Hall
Tuesday, March 10: US Musical Rehearsal 2:05-5:00, Larson Hall
Wednesday, March 11: US Musical Performance 7:00 pm, Larson Hall
Thursday, March 12: US Musical Performance 7:00 pm, Larson Hall
Friday, March 13: Winter Athletic Assembly, 11:45 am-1:00 pm, Larson Hall
Friday, March 13: Spring Break begins at 1:10 pm
Monday, March 30: Classes resume
Wednesday, April 1: Boston College High School Chorus performs, 11:00-11:45 am, Larson Hall
Wednesday, April 1: Reception for Newly Accepted Parents, 6:30-8:30 pm, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Friday, April 3: Grades 7 & 8 to Father Bills, 3:00 pm, Quincy
Monday, April 6: Global Nomads Skype call to school in Pakistan, Grade 8, 7:00-8:30 am, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Monday April 6: Wellness Collaborative classes for Grade 8
Monday, April 6: Overview of Derby’s Drug and Alcohol program with Rob Ramsey and Will Slotnick, 7:00-8:00 pm, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Tuesday, April 7: Wellness Collaborative classes for Grade 8
Friday, April 10: End of Quarter 3
Friday, April 10: Grandfriends and Grandparents Visiting Day, 10:25 am-1:10 pm. (Gr. 4-8)
Friday, April 10: Upper School Spring Fling, 7:00-9:30 pm, Sage Dining Hall
Tuesday, April 21: Dr. Michael Thompson at Derby for the day (schedule to follow)

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Creating Safe Classrooms for Quiet Students

Independent schools, with our small classroom sizes and low student-teacher ratios, have always offered an environment where students who are on the quieter side can blossom and thrive. The fact that a girl or boy is just one of about 13-15 students (versus 24 or 25 in a typical public or parochial school) means that there are more opportunities to ask questions and be called upon during a class (what former Derby Headmaster Ed Foley regularly referred to as “air time” for students during a typical class period). Being a “big fish in a small pond” can offer an important sense of presence and confidence to quieter students – which, in turn, is critical to helping them both take more intellectual risks on a daily basis, and also develop into independent, self-reliant learners in the long run. There is, however, one other important ingredient in making this work: a well-skilled, approachable and tuned-in teacher.

In her recent Education Week article, Cassandra George discusses the ways that teachers can help students who are on the quieter side “find their voices in class.” She suggests there are three types of personalities when it comes to participating in class: “There’s the chatty conversationalists, happy to contribute on any topic; more reserved students who can be coaxed into the conversation with some effort; and the quiet ones who shudder at the thought of speaking to (or in) a large group.” Very importantly, she stresses that students who are participating the most “…are most often the ones doing the most learning-so teachers need to find thoughtful ways to encourage reluctant talkers to take part in classroom conservations.”

George goes on to suggest that teachers can use a variety of practices to help quiet students participate regularly in class. The techniques range from cueing quieter students in advance that they will be called upon, to creating smaller learning groups in the class that are not dominated by loquacious students, as well as having quieter students make presentations to these smaller cadres of peers versus the entire class. One method that George does not include in her article is the successful practice of giving sufficient “wait time” to quieter students – to allow them to gather their thoughts and formulate their responses before sharing with their peers. Teachers who do this, along with the practices noted by George, are highly successful at creating safe classrooms that greatly benefit the quieter students (and, in fact, all students) and which can be found throughout Derby’s Middle and Upper School programs.

(George, Cassandra. “7 Ways to Help Quiet Students Find Their Voices in Class.” Education Week. January 6, 2015)

 

Bits and Pieces from the Last Week….

  • Congratulations to the sixth graders for their highly creative and innovative Future City projects which were on display for visitors Tuesday during “gallery walk.”
  • Thanks to Mrs. Zinkovich for bringing the visiting author, Carolyn DeCristofano, to Derby this past Wednesday
  • Kudos to the four winners of the eighth grade Algebra Systems of Equations Business Project product sale, Alex Heffernan and Lucy Nedeau for their Cinnabun business, and Calli Bianchi and Thalia Anastos for their mini-donuts enterprise. Calli and Thalia sold homemade donuts to the Grade 8 advisory groups yesterday, with the profits going to a charity of the girls’ choice.
  • Best of luck to Mrs. Robbins (Grade 7 and 8 English teacher and Co-Chair of our English Department) whose last day was yesterday, as she heads off on her spring maternity leave. Of note, former faculty member Mr. Michael Connelly will be teaching her classes until Derby Day.

 

Looking Ahead…

 Monday, March 2nd to Thursday March 12: DARE classes for Grade 6 students (2:40-4:00 pm), Foreign Language Classrooms
Wednesday, March 4: National Latin Exam for Grade 7, Room 7B
Thursday, March 5: National Latin Exam for Grade 8, Room 7B
Friday, March 6: US Musical Rehearsal 1:10–5:00 pm, Larson Hall
Monday, March 9: Global Nomads Skype call to school in Pakistan, Grade 8, 7:00-8:30 am, Healey Family Center for Innovation
Monday, March 9: US Musical Rehearsal 2:40-5:00 pm, Larson Hall
Tuesday, March 10: US Musical Rehearsal 2:05-5:00, Larson Hall
Wednesday, March 11: US Musical Performance 7:00 pm, Larson Hall
Thursday, March 12: US Musical Performance 7:00 pm, Larson Hall
Friday, March 13: Winter Athletic Assembly, 11:45 am-1:00 pm, Larson Hall
Friday, March 13: Spring Break begins at 1:10 pm

 

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