Page 1

August 2012




Save the Date! September 20, 2012

Berwick Academy Athletics Boosters invite you to mark your calendars for the 22nd Annual Bulldog Golf Classic at The Ledges in York, Maine.

- Excellent day of golf! - Sponsorship packages available! - Great raffle prizes! Visit for more information and to download the registration and sponsorship forms. Contact Rob Quinn with questions at or 207.384.2800

w w w. b e r w i c k a c a d e m y. o r g / b o o s t e r s

1791 Letter ~ August 2012



A Call to Action

The call to action inspired by an August 1791 deadline can bring on crazy thoughts for a Head of School basking in the glorious last days of summer. While there is no one who works in education whose inner soul does not start moving differently once the calendar flips to August, the overwhelming sense is that it is time to see the kids again. My hope is that all of our Berwick families have enjoyed some wonderful family time away from the pace of school life. I suspect, however, that we also have a few kids and parents who are starting to look at the calendar feeling ready to get things rolling once again. For my part, this summer has obviously been punctuated by the arrival of the newest Schneider lady – baby Colby. Somehow between June 1 and June 19 I was lucky enough to go from a state of panic regarding a due date that conflicted with commencement to now emerging as a wizard of a family planner. Let’s just say that Colby got off to a great start with Dad by waiting until Fogg’s bell had tolled for the last time during the 2011-2012 academic year. Amidst a new flurry of diapers and swaddles, I have found time to read two engaging books written by Tony Wagner this summer. Tony is a professor at Harvard who has become arguably the leading national voice on our need to move schools forward in delivering 21st century skills. He rails against the standardization inherent in the Advanced Placement program 2

Greg Schneider

Head of School

and a national school culture that is anchored by teaching to tests through No Child Left Behind. In both The Global Achievement Gap and Creating Innovators, Tony forces us to take a hard look at the assumptions of schooling. In particular, his book on innovation suggests that there is a somewhat magical recipe for creating students who will eventually become Innovators: passion, purpose, and play. His study of successful innovators suggests that these three essential ingredients can only come together with an essential catalyst: an inspiring teacher. More often than not, the critical teacher harbors a personality that is just a bit out of the box or outside of the norm of the institution in which they work. There are a number of things that I am proud of accomplishing during my five years at the helm of Berwick Academy, but perhaps the most important one is unseen by the parents and students. It also has nothing to do with me personally and everything to do with our teachers. I feel strongly that our teachers have moved their thinking forward on Tony Wagner’s ideals, as there are real conversations and examples of change underway to suggest that this is true at Berwick Academy. Some examples that come to mind are a thriving Innovation Center, new connections between coursework and travel, a Middle School connection to international communities through iEarn, and a pilot iPad program in the Lower School. All of these ageappropriate initiatives address the goals that Wagner espouses. As a school, Berwick does rather well in the areas of passion and purpose. I do believe that our students 1791 Letter ~ August 2012

are able to gravitate towards areas of strength and interest during our PK-12 program, and I hope they feel recognized for these diverse talents culturally. Perhaps it is in our Upper School where we begin to see a notion of personal purpose truly coalesce based on the passions that students have been exploring. That said, I know that we are, at times, a prime example of what Wagner questions in his book. The pressures of the college process place an incredibly stagnating pressure on the programs of our Upper School as well as strong high schools across the country. In particular, I worry that we lose the ability to offer these students a sense of play. We do to some degree with athletics, arts, and other areas, but do we really offer unstructured space and time in which they can play with ideas without consequence? This is an area that we need to consider more deeply as a community. The Innovation Center is a start, but it sadly can also add yet another time pressure on the lives of our kids. I believe that exciting questions lie ahead for us about the appropriate interface between traditional academic rigor (writing skills, communication, work ethic) and the innovative skills that will be the difference makers for our children (creativity, imagination, collaboration, etc.). While the dialogue about innovation is a national conversation with consistent themes everywhere, as Head of School at Berwick I am keenly aware that it must be customized and tailored to the particular culture and aspirations of our community, our families, and our region. That, of course, is the fun part.

What will be even more fun will

BERWICK A C A D E M Y be that first handshake I receive from a Lower Schooler in September. Or the high five I get from a sixth grader. Or the first “Did you hear the new album by…” from an Upper Schooler. The beginning of the school year gives us a timeless moment as educators – when all the slates are clean, the curiosity is high, and the possibilities are endless. Such is the cycle of my work, and I would not trade it for anything. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Notes Dress Code Please note that there has been language added to the dress code prohibiting “body con” skirts as acceptable clothing. In general, skin tight clothing is not appropriate for the school day. On a happier note for the students, we will be announcing that shorts will be acceptable for boys in October and April as well as September and May. This will be announced to the students upon their arrival. Cell Phones Given the experiment in the Upper School last year, the Administration has decided to make the no cell phone policy permanent on campus in all divisions. Ultimately, we were so impressed with the increase in human interaction on campus that we feel cell phone use should only be acceptable on campus for emergency communication during school hours. Students can always ask an adult if and when use is appropriate. See page 27 in the handbook.

Sunday, September 9, 2012 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Commons. This is a great chance to meet our trustees and Administrators, and enjoy the company of all new families on campus this year. NEASC Accreditation I wanted to remind our community that our ten-year NEASC accreditation will be taking place from October 21-24. You will see about a dozen educators from across New England on campus for at least two days. We are very lucky to have Todd Bland, Head of Milton Academy, as the Chair of this committee. Please feel free to ask Cindy Briggs if you have any questions about the process or the visit itself.

1791 Letter

School Health Record Update. Please return forms to: Berwick Academy c/o Sondra Farrell 31 Academy Street South Berwick, ME 03908 Alternatively, you may scan and email your forms to sfarrell@, fax forms to 207.384.3332, or drop off your forms in the main office with Sondra.

Health Forms You should have already received your 2012-2013 Health Forms in the mail. If you have not already submitted your 2012-2013 School forms, please fill them out and return ASAP. Students whose Emergency Permission form has not been submitted will have their schedules withheld. Additionally, Upper School athletes will not be allowed to participate in pre-season sports until the Emergency Permission form is received. Applied music forms should also be returned ASAP for lesson scheduling purposes. If you have misplaced your forms, they can be found on the parent portal.

New Parents Dinner

For returning students the due date for the School Health Record Form varies depending on your child’s last physical exam and is indicated on each individual’s forms.

We encourage all new families to join us for a wonderful meal on campus on

New students should return both the Emergency Permission form AND 1791 Letter ~ August 2012


Shiela Esten - Upper School Director

Upper School News on the journey? It is with a great sense of honor and enthusiasm that I join the Berwick community and begin serving in the Upper School Director role. When I first visited the School in January, I experienced what I can only describe as an incredibly positive vibe. The students seemed happy and invested in what they were doing, the faculty seemed deeply committed to their roles as guides and mentors, the administration seemed to take seriously its stewardship role, and the parents with whom I met demonstrated tremendous thoughtfulness in their search efforts. I came away from that visit with a very clear sense of the vibrancy of this community, and I knew it was a place I wanted to be. In my early days here this summer, my initial impressions have been reinforced and expanded through a range of interactions with students, parents, colleagues, and even the greater South Berwick community. As we prepare for this new school year, I am struck by the camaraderie, engagement, loyalty, and seriousness of purpose that exist at this school. Even without the bustle of regular daily activity, I can see why Berwick has maintained such a long tradition of excellence, and I can also see how the genuine embrace and living of its core values are attracting more and more families. When senior leader Blake Downey talked about “growing up� at Berwick for a recent video clip, I knew that he meant this in the fullest sense of the expression. What more could we want as we prepare our young people to leave here and take those next steps 4

As we rapidly approach the start of school, there are many efforts underway to contribute to a successful launch. With our new Grade Dean structure there has been movement between and creation of new offices in Fogg and in Jeppesen as we forge those exciting roles; we are happy to welcome Meg Bonney Martinson to the faculty and Brian Sweeney to the College Counseling office; the senior class has been collaborating on making their first metaphorical mark through the painting of the senior pit; orientations are planned; the ninth and tenth grade trips are ready to go; and the beautiful grounds are coming alive as athletic teams begin to gear up. The excitement and anticipation are building. It has been my experience that any time you join a new community it is critical to learn what really makes it tick if you hope to serve it well. One of my goals in these early weeks and months will be to discover more about this impressive culture to see where the opportunities are for celebration, support, and enhancement. Central to that effort will be to do all I can to reach out and be a very visible and available presence on campus so that I can get to know all of you. I am so looking forward to the opportunity to forge these important connections on behalf of our efforts with students. See you soon! 1791 Letter ~ August 2012

Coming 2013!

Rosemary Zurawel - Middle School Director

Middle School News The “Back-to-School” advertisements have begun to take second place on television only to the political sound bites. August does that, and the dreaming of the upcoming school year is accompanied by the remembrances of all that adults hold dear; the scent of newly sharpened pencils, the crisp unmarked pages in a notebook, new clothes that haven’t been washed yet. The nostalgia that many of us still have for the start of the school year no longer holds those memories of the dread with which our adolescent selves saw the shortening of daylight or the unknown list of classmates, teachers, and schedules. What is perfectly normal is that children who are readying their minds for middle school will experience some anxiety about what the future academic year holds. The myth to which each subscribes reads something like this, “I am the only person on this big stage and everyone is watching me.” The ego-centrism is quite real, and is the accompanying self-consciousness. As parents, sometimes the best we can hope to do for our children is to acknowledge their reality, even when it does not match our own. For teachers, the start of school offers its own theme of re-arranging furniture, updating curriculum, planning new lessons, and wondering which shoes will be the most comfortable on the first day after a summer in flip-flops. My annual nightmare is that I find my schedule has me teaching a subject I have never taught before and I have no lesson plans

whatever. Another one that I actually lived was being scheduled to teach an undergraduate class in the morning on a day when traffic was held up for several hours. That was in the days before cell phones and email. I think that painful experience has influenced me to be the first person in the building ever since. What will this new year hold for Middle Schoolers at Berwick Academy? First of all, each grade will take a field trip in September. The eighth grade students will depart from campus on Tuesday, September 4 for their leadership retreat, returning at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Seventh grade students will provide a community service along the trails of Mount Major doing some early fall cleaning while getting to know one another better as a team. Sixth graders will spend Friday, September 14 with Project Adventure staff at the ropes courses at Sweetser in Saco, ME. Fifth graders will kick off their year on September 24 with a trip to the Tsongas National Park in Lowell, MA. This trip has an academic as well as a social component. Encouraging all students to join together towards one colossal goal is the purpose behind the annual Middle School Musical. This year, “The Pirates of Penzance” promises great costumes, interesting roles for as many students as the stage can hold. Swashbucklers of both genders are urged to audition, and roles will be found for each auditioner. For the shy, but still eager students, there will be many opportunities to work with props, lighting, stage crew, tickets,

and front of the house positions. The Middle School Musical (which I fondly call “The eight-week miracle”) is a chance for students to be interaged in one large team with the goal of entertaining the community. I hope you will urge your children to participate. During the month of October, there will be a significant change from prior years when the ERB Comprehensive Testing Program will be administered to all students. The seventh and eighth graders will be tested electronically, while the fifth and six grade students will take the more traditional paper and pencil version of the test. More information about this test will be mailed home in September to all families, including information about what parents can expect to learn from their child’s testing report. The ERB is statistically an excellent predictor of future SAT scores. By the time you read this 1791 Letter, your child’s schedule will have been mailed. A very important step to take is to make sure that you have ordered your child’s textbooks for the year. A link to Follett Virtual Bookstore is on our website, and is easy to use. Many parents prefer to rent books for the year, and that is both more cost effective and ecologically sound than is purchasing a book for the year. However, it is important to make sure that rented books are returned directly to Follett by June 14, 2013. The return of those textbooks is the family’s responsibility.

Back-to-School shopping is continued on pg 10...

1791 Letter ~ August 2012


Joel Hawes - Lower School Director

Lower School News that might personalize one’s journey. Welcome to all Lower School families reading August’s 1791 in preparation for this school year and to our friends across campus reading this entry in order to remain connected with our division! I eagerly anticipate our varied communication during the new year: in-person, by phone and, of course, written forms such as this monthly publication and the Friday Hilltop Weekly newsletter. As its name implies, the Friday Weekly usually contains logistical information pertinent to the ebb and flow of the school year. Conversely, this column typically provides a broader perspective on educational issues relevant to the Lower School. Allow me, then, to jump in with the robust topic of student assessment—an essential focus with which to start the year. In our division, we begin with the end in mind when assessing student’s academic and socialemotional growth. This essentially means focusing on Berwick’s mission of imparting useful knowledge (content and skills) and virtue (social-emotional awareness) to our students. These lofty goals become fine-tuned within our Lower School and School-wide curriculum map—both the vertical progression of learning objectives and skills from pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade and the horizontal blend of learning experiences across a grade. You might think of a curriculum map as being similar to a travel itinerary—a plan that includes the directions to reach one’s destination, the predicted timetable of one’s travel plan, and the ever-important stops along the way

Statements and documents are essential guidelines, but the Berwick faculty ultimately turns goals into the reality of student growth by implementing varied instructional systems and approaches over the course of a school day, a school year, and a school career. Regular forms of evaluation support and inform the learning process; in the Lower School our primary forms of assessment and record keeping include parentteacher conferences, report cards, and standardized tests. Fall Lower School parentteacher conferences will be held on Thursday, October 4 and Wednesday, October 10 (from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both days). Homeroom teachers will meet with scheduled families for half-hour blocks during those two days (as opposed to a random grouping of teacher-chosen days as done in the past). The change will allow us to concentrate the teacher’s conference focus on these two dates and it will allow parents to be aware of the conference dates well in advance. School will still be in session on these conference dates, with students supervised by unified arts teachers and substitute teachers. Lower School faculty write homeroom and unified arts comments at the end of each trimester, with parents receiving report cards on their child’s well-rounded academic growth in late-November, mid-March, and mid-June. Primarily narrative in format at all six grade levels, the report cards at the Kindergarten through fourth

grade levels also include a work habits and group dynamics skills checklist. The process of implementing standardized testing and reporting around student progress is an important component of our yearly Lower School endeavor. We will administer the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) skills-based test to our third and fourth graders in October, and we will administer a “junior version” of the ERB—the Children’s Progress Academic Achievement (CPAA)—to our Kindergarten, first and second graders in the middle of each trimester. The third and fourth grade ERB-CTP focuses on auditory comprehension, reading comprehension, word analysis, writing mechanics, and mathematics. While we will be using a paper and pencil version of the exam this year, our goal is to administer the exam electronically next year and beyond. The turnaround for results with the paper and pencil exam is approximately one month, so our goal is to report individual scores to parents by mid- to late-November. The ERB-CPAA for grades Kindergarten through two offers formative and on-going assessment in math, literacy, and language arts and will essentially become a quantitative progress report on our students’ academic growth in the fall, winter, and spring of each year. This assessment will be administered electronically with faculty supervision. continued on pg 10...


1791 Letter ~ August 2012

Rob Quinn - Athletic Director

Summer on the Hilltop We had another active summer on the Hilltop with multiple camps and professional meetings. Our dance camps and multi-sport camps were a great success. Boys lacrosse, field hockey, and girls lacrosse camps were well attended. The Seacoast United Soccer Club had its Training Academy on campus for the fourth consecutive year. Among those campers were many BA students from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. This camp has been a highlight for us during the summer and the partnership between SUSC and Berwick Academy is going very well. We have also enjoyed our second summer with Integrity Hoops, which is basketball clinic that offers specialized training. We are excited about these continued partnerships. We enjoy having new faces on campus in the summer and look forward to attracting students from these organizations to Berwick Academy. Bulldog Golf Classic The Athletics Boosters are hosting their Annual Bulldog Golf Classic at The Ledges Golf Club in York, ME, on Thursday, September 20, 2012. It is an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Save the date and plan to join in the fun with the many members of our Berwick community. We are currently coordinating sponsors and prizes, if interested please contact Rob Quinn Athletic Booster Resource




Athletics News

will have an Upper School parent representative at the MS/US Parent Coffee on BD porch on September 5 at 8:30 a.m. and at the New Parents Dinner in the Commons on September 9 at 5:30 p.m. to provide new parents with information about the Boosters and athletic teams. We also will have an Athletic Booster representative at “Your MS Athlete� on September 13 at 6 p.m. in the Athletic Center and at the US Parent Reception on September 18 at 6:30 p.m. in Fogg. Fall Sports for Junior Varsity Upper School and Middle School Middle School and Junior Varsity sports begin on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 4. Varsity sports begin on Monday, August 27, for most teams. (See preseason update below.) Athletes trying out for varsity teams should make every effort to attend these practices. This is an important conditioning and learning period. Those athletes who cannot attend should contact the coach. Regular season practice for all teams will begin on the first day of classes. Preseason Fall Sports Update Boys Soccer Head Coach: Patrick Connolly Team Prep Camp departed at noon from the Athletic Center on August 20 and is returning on August 24 at noon. Mandatory preseason evening sessions (varsity candidates only): Monday, August 27 5:30-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, August 28 scrimmage vs. Thornton at BA 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 29, 1791 Letter ~ August 2012

5:30-7:15 p.m., and Thursday, August 30, 5:30-7:15 p.m. These sessions are for anyone looking to try out for the varsity team. Tryouts will continue during the first week of school. Girls Soccer Head Coach: Travis Derr Varsity candidates are expected to attend preseason August 27-31 from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 8-10:30 a.m. on Friday. Field Hockey Interim Head Coach: Tammy Myers Preseason will be here on campus from August 27 - 31 from 9-11 a.m. It will be a good opportunity to get acquainted with your teammates, learn basic and intermediate skills, work on conditioning, and show a commitment to the team. Please let me know if you will be unable to attend preseason. Boys Cross Country Coach: Jon Davie Practices begin on Monday, August 27 and run through Wednesday, August 29 from 5-6:30 p.m. Girls Cross Country Coach: Raegan Russell Practices begin on Monday, August 27 and run through Wednesday, August 29 from 5-6:30 p.m. continued on page 10... 7

you gotta have Arts

Deloris White - Fine Arts Director

The Arts Are For a Lifetime Dance Dance Classes — Berwick’s dance classes will begin on Monday, September 17. You may register for dance classes any time prior to September 17. Please refer to the dance section on the Berwick Academy website for detailed descriptions of the various dance classes or contact Sasha Randall Malone at srandall@ for more information. Music

Applied Lessons

Berwick’s lesson program will begin on Monday, September 17. You may register for music lessons with one of Berwick’s many professional musicians any time prior to September 17. Please contact Chip Harding the Applied Lesson Program Coordinator for more information at charding@ After School Ensembles Music teacher Stephanie Sanders will offer Musicianship after school on three days TBD to Upper School students. This performance based offering will give students the opportunity to develop both technical and musical skills through individual or group practice and occasional performance. Musicianship is an ideal opportunity for students to hone their audition skills for music festival auditions that will


Arts News

take place in the fall or musical theater auditions. It also provides a place for students who would like to form their own band. Participation in this activity fulfills a one season afternoon activity requirement. Please contact Stephanie Sanders at ssanders@berwickacademy. org for more information regarding possible themes or concentrations for Musicianship during this school year. Also, please contact Ms. Sanders for more information regarding the Middle School Jazz Band. Festivals Any Upper School student interested in auditioning for the Maine District I High School Honors Festival for the Maine All-state festivals should check with Sally Wituszynski at swituszy@ regarding music preparation for these auditions. Students must be enrolled in a Berwick music course in order to audition. Theater “Charley’s Aunt”, the comedy classic by Brandon Thomas, will open Berwick Academy’s 2012-2013 Upper School performing arts season. Auditions will take place on Thursday and Friday, September 6 and 7, beginning at 3 p.m. both days, on the third floor of Fogg Memorial. Actors may prepare a comedic monologue for auditions, but are not required to do so. The production will be staged Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, with curtain at 7 p.m. both evenings. Auditions for the US Winter Musical, “Les Misérables,” the School Edition, will take place November 12-13 and November 19. 1791 Letter ~ August 2012

Performances will run March 1-2, 2013. Musical audition information will be available on the US portal. The student-directed One Acts are scheduled for May 29, 2013. For more information about these productions, please be in touch with Liz-Anne Platt at or Seth Hurd ’90 at shurd@berwickacademy. org.

BPC Notes - from the BPC Board Members

Welcome Welcome new and returning parents! By virtue of having a student here at BA, you are a member of the Berwick Parent Community (BPC). Our mission is to enhance and heighten the experience of our students, teachers, and families. While we always have the students and teachers in mind, at the beginning of the school year we really focus on the parents. You will find that during the first few weeks while the students are becoming acclimated to their new classes there will be a multitude of events for you to attend. Getting Started The BPC board has been working over the summer to help you get a jump start on the year. For parents new to the Upper School, be sure to drop by the BD porch for coffee after you drop your teen off at orientation at 9:00 a.m. on August 23. This is an excellent opportunity for you to network with other new parents. The pre-K and K grades have a Family Pot Luck to look forward to on August 27. While this event is organized by Joel Hawes and the BPC cannot take any credit for it, we note it here so that you know not to miss it! Parents of first through eighth graders should watch their email for an invitation to a back-to-school gathering for your specific grade. Typically hosted by a family in your grade, but sometimes at a park or other

Parent Community News

location, these gatherings are a great way to reconnect with old friends and meet incoming students and their families before the first day of school. The School hosts a coffee for all MS and US parents on the first day of school (September, 4), again on the BD porch. The BPC Board will be there to greet you as well. Parents of new Lower School students will meet in the Lower School Rioux Room at 8:20 a.m. that day as your children go off to orientation. As we wind down the second week of the school year, do try to fit in the BPC Social being held on Friday, September 14. Our guest of honor is incoming Upper School Director Shiela Esten. Please plan to come say hello to Shiela, and enjoy the company of other parents, faculty, and administration. The location of this event will be announced shortly. Also not to be missed is the Athletic Booster’s Bulldog Golf Classic on September 20. From avid golfers to duffers like me, it is a really fun day. And if you really don’t golf – come join us for lunch and the incredible raffle! Positions Available

Middle School Coordinator (1 opening) Lower School Coordinator (2 openings) In both of these positions you will organize events for your respective division. Parents new to BA as well as veteran parents are most welcome to join us in these positions. We are also looking for one volunteer to take on the non-board position of New Family Coordinator. Sorry new folks, this position goes to a parent who has been with BA for at least one school year since their objective is to help new parents navigate their first year at the School. If you are interested in any of these positions please contact me at or 603969-0577 for more information. It is a marvelous time to join the BPC board as we move forward into a new year. I look forward to seeing you on the Hilltop in September! Diane Walker BPC President

Want to become more involved in your child’s school? Or perhaps know more about what’s going on? Come join the BPC Board. We are an energetic group of moms and dads who would love to have you join us. We currently have three openings on the BPC Board:

1791 Letter ~ August 2012


Middle School News...cont. from pg 5

great fun, but please make use of the dress code summary that was enclosed with your child’s schedule. Skin-tight clothing such as “jeggings,” leggings without a skirt or dress worn over them, or tight “body con” skirts are not appropriate dress for school. Shorts and skirts must be no shorter than four inches above the knee. Cargo pants and graphic t-shirts may not be worn, except on Dress-Down days. DressUp Days for the year are listed on the calendar and require dress shirts and ties for boys and tasteful dressier-thanusual attire for girls. A substantial change to our dress code this year was made following the printing of the Dress Code summary that you received. The Administrative Team has extended the season when dress shorts may be worn. Beginning this year, shorts may be worn during the months of September and October, as well as during April and May.


Lower School News...cont. from pg 6

Daily documentation of school work and regular interactions between school and home bind these varied assessment forms in support of student growth. We look forward to getting the school year underway with our opening morning for students new to our division (including all Kindergarten students) on Tuesday, September 4 and our first full day of school (for all Lower School students) on Wednesday, September 5. Our students have an exciting year to look forward to, supported, in part, by ageappropriate focus on their academic and social-emotional development.

1791 Letter ~ August 2012

Athletics News...cont. from pg 7

Golf Coach: John Downey Golf tryouts will be the first and second days of school. Any student interested in a tryout opportunity, please contact Coach Downey before mid-August. If you are serious about playing golf, you should be playing a lot this summer. Our home course is The Ledges in York and you may want to play there a few times to familiarize yourself with the course. The tryouts will be played on the front nine. If you have any questions or concerns contact John Downey at 207-478-3444.

Fan, Follow, Connect!

Berwick Academy is on Facebook! Become a fan to see daily updates, photos, videos, and more.

Berwick Academy is using Twitter! Create a profile and choose to “follow� Berwick Academy. Opt to receive updates via phone and you will receive a text message every time we post something new! New this year, Head of School Greg Schneider is on Twitter. Follow Greg for updates on his weekly activities and school news and information.

Connect, reconnect, and engage with Berwick Academy alumni, parents, and friends. Search for Berwick Academy under Groups

1791 Letter ~ August 2012


Cindy Briggs - Assistant Head of School

Easing the Transition Back to School Believe it or not, in a few weeks we will all be making our way back up Academy Street to that beautiful school on the hill. Where has the summertime gone? It just seems like yesterday that we were saying goodbye, and wishing each other a restful vacation. Even for the best of us, returning to school can be a challenge. This challenge can be especially difficult for younger students who are entering Kindergarten, new fifth graders (those who are transitioning from the Lower School as well as from other schools), or just the student who gets “the first day jitters.” I thought it might be helpful to offer some hints on how to make this summer-to-school transition smoother. Transitions can be difficult, particularly for those who are going into a new situation. The “fear of the unknown” is very common for the young and (sometimes) not so young student. Like most adults, kids like to know what to expect in a new situation. One of the most helpful things a parent can do for their Kindergartener, fifth grader, or a child who has a tendency to get nervous about transitions, is schedule a visit prior to the start of the school year. Take your son or daughter into their new classroom or their new building. Help them become familiar with their new surroundings. Show them where their locker or cubby is located, point out where the restrooms are located, and show them where they will come in and out of the building each day. Just getting a visual sense of their new 12

We l l n e s s N e w s

surroundings can reduce your child’s anxiety tenfold. New and returning students sometimes worry about seeing their peers after a long summer break. “Will the other kids like me?” “Will my best friend from fourth grade still be my best friend in fifth grade, even though new kids are coming this year?” Berwick does a great job of addressing these fears by scheduling ice cream socials and pool or beach parties before the school year begins. These events give the new students an opportunity to meet each other before the start of school, and returning students an opportunity to get reacquainted before their first day back. It is also helpful for parents of new students to schedule play dates prior to the start of school. This will enable your child to make individual connections with classmates and see some familiar faces on the first day of school. My suggestion is to keep these play dates “short and sweet” and structured, particularly for the younger student. Consistency and routine are two of the key ingredients for a smooth return to school. I try not to alter my sleeping schedule over the summer months. For many students this is not the case -- my kids included! Unfortunately, many Lower, Middle, and Upper School students begin the new school year exhausted. Over the past three months many have gotten into the routine of staying up late and sleeping in the next morning. One of the best things a parent can do TWO WEEKS before the start of school is institute a regular bed time. This 1791 Letter ~ August 2012

firmly established sleep schedule will assist your child in adjusting to the school year and its new challenges. Moving up from kindergarten to first grade or from eighth to ninth grade creates anxiety for kids, and sometimes for parents too. “Will my child be able to keep up with the increased academic demands?” “How is he/she going to do all of the required homework?” One of the best things a parent can do is to refrain from sharing their concerns with their child about the increased academic demands. Direct your concerns to the appropriate people such as the classroom teacher or the division director. Calm any “fear of failure” by assuring your child that you know they are ready for the next grade level, and if they need academic support, it will be made available to them. There is no doubt that Berwick Academy has a rigorous academic environment. For some students this reality creates a “double-edged sword,” one side being a healthy motivator and the other an unhealthy set of academic expectations. Assist your child in setting realistic goals for the school year. It may be a “set up” for your child to begin the school year with the attitude that anything less than high honors will not be good enough. The old cliché “All that I expect from you is to try your best” may be very calming, particularly for children who put a lot of pressure on themselves. Cherish the final week of summer vacation! Schedule some time to just be with your child. Eat a continued on pg 14...

Alice Lynch ‘88 - School Archivist

Archives News

Twombly Bell Still Resonating Today As I sit in my new office and watch the brilliant sunrays sparkle on Fogg Memorial’s golden dome, I wonder what it was like for a student in the Academy’s early years. For many of us, the golden dome perched atop the tower is an iconic symbol of Berwick Academy, but it has not always been so. The bell that rings across the Hilltop has been gracing the Academy with music since its dedication on June 30, 1894. In that year, Horatio Twombly, President of the Board of Trustees, presented the bell to Berwick Academy. This melodious bell originally sat within a stone tower, but around 1910 a wooden bell tower was built to replace the heavy stone one. In 1997 the wooden tower and the Twombly bell were removed from Fogg Memorial and restoration began. By August of 1998 they were returned to their rightful place below a re-gilded dome. The Twombly bell and the shimmer of the golden dome have greeted many generations of students. One of Berwick Academy’s most well known graduates, Gladys Hasty Carroll (class of 1921) has fond memories of the bell. In 1992 she wrote Wings of Berwick Academy. This book chronicles Gladys’ relationship with the Academy starting in 1910 when she was six years old. During this year her brother, Harold, entered the Academy and Gladys witnessed from afar her first Berwick Academy graduation. Harold walked five miles to school each day before ascending the hill pathway leading to the Academy. At eight o’clock each morning he would hear the Twombly bell ringing across the hilltop announcing the start of classes. At the end of that year, Gladys and her father heard the same bell as they crested the top of Powderhouse Hill on a beautiful May graduation day. Gladys wrote, “As we neared the top, a bell began to ring ahead of us. It seemed to come out of the sky.” Once in a clearing, her father hoisted her upon his shoulders and she caught a glimpse of Fogg Memorial, the first stone building she had ever seen. In 1914, Gladys traveled to the Academy for Harold’s graduation and heard the bell for a second time. “Before we could see it, the bell began to ring out. I would have recognized it anywhere. I had heard it once before and never forgotten it. (As I have never forgotten any school bell that rang in the open air, calling me. No sound turns back time as that of a familiar school bell.)” Several years later Gladys would enter “her castle in the sky” as a student through the “Library Door.” Gladys did not walk the five miles to school like her brother had, but, instead, climbed aboard a neighbor’s two-seated wagon as it passed her home. During the winter months her family was divided, as she and her mother moved to the village and rented a house so that she could continue her studies at the Academy. Families during Gladys’ time were as dedicated to helping their children receive a quality education as our parents are today. In 1993 Gladys Hasty Carroll returned to speak at Berwick Academy’s convocation. In this address she urged the students, “look into yourself for the best that is in you and how you can best develop it. The wonderful thing is that almost always what we can do best is what we enjoy doing most.” To the adults in attendance she requested, “Do whatever you can to provide them with the freedom and the inspiration to think for themselves, feel for themselves, study themselves and those around them. For this, there must be a healthy amount of non-interference and non-interruption by continued on pg 14... 1791 Letter ~ August 2012


Wellness News...cont. from pg 12

Archives News...cont. from pg 13

continued leisurely breakfast together, let your child take all the time he/ she wants to get dressed for the day, take a car ride (preferably down Route 236) with no time constraints, fix an incredibly delicious dinner for the whole family to eat together, and develop a transition ritual such as a special day trip that you can repeat year after year to mark the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Most importantly, enjoy the final days of the summer because, before you know it, we will all be making our way up Academy Street for the first day of school.

people who think that children profit only by being entertained, practicing skills and following adult directions.” She then went on to ask if “our dear old school still builds self-confidence in those it graduates; does it cultivate individualism; does it respect idiosyncrocies?” As a Berwick alumna, parent of two Berwick students, and a member of the lower school faculty for the past eight years, I can proudly say that Berwick Academy guides and fosters independent and creative thinkers. As our teachers, students and parents prepare for another year in the ‘castle on the hill’ let us remember Gladys Hasty Carroll’s words of wisdom, for they still ring true. Gladys Hasty Carroll would be immensely pleased to know that future generations will continue to study and learn about themselves and others within the solid walls of Fogg Memorial and that the bell still rings clear on graduation.

See you in September!

Cindy Briggs

ATTENTION NEW PARENTS The Athletic Boosters will have an Upper School parent representative at the MS/US Parent Coffee on BD porch on September 5 at 8:30 a.m. and at the New Parents Dinner in the Commons on September 9 at 5:30 p.m. to assist new parents with information about the Boosters and Athletic Teams. We also will have a Athletic Booster representative at “Your MS Athlete” on September 13 at 6 p.m. in the Athletic Center and at the US Parent Reception on September 18 at 6:30 p.m. in Fogg. 14

1791 Letter ~ August 2012

Website and Portal Information for Parents Whether you’re a new parent or have been at BA for years, it’s always good to be reminded of the following information regarding the website and Parent Portal:

Log in information: If you have never logged into the online community, visit our homepage and click on the Log In button on the bottom right portion of the page. You will be brought to our School Portal where you will see login boxes on the left side menu bar. Username - FirstnameLastname Password - home address zipcode Once you log in for the first time, you will be prompted to change your password to something else. Usernames and passwords are case sensitive. You will be brought to the Parent Portal after changing your password.

Parent Portal The Parent Portal is where you can find important information regarding your children. Once school begins, your children will be enrolled in courses in our online database. This will allow you to see announcements, links, homework assignments, and more from their online course pages. Take some time to look around and if you have questions about where you will find certain information, click on the Help/Portal 101 button.

Contact Information To update your contact information, click on My Profile from the left side menu bar. Please take a moment to edit your email address, mailing address, phone number, and other information. Please do not enter the same email address in more than one profile (for example, in your own profile as well as your spouse or child.) If your email address is used in more than one profile, you will receive all email communications more than once. Please contact Kellie Varano ‘89 with any questions regarding our website or the portal or if you’d like a training session -

w w w. b e r w i c k a c a d e m y. o r g 1791 Letter ~ August 2012


Jedd Whitlock - Director of Advancement

Alumni and Development News Dear Berwick Community, As we head into the 2012-2013 academic year, I want to once again extend a heartfelt thank you for all your support to last year’s Annual Fund effort. We broke all sorts of records including total dollars raised ($658,180) and parent participation reached 83% (up from 80% the year before!). In addition, it noteworthy to mention that both alumni and grandparent participation reached new heights as well. This certainly does not happen by accident, and we know that the success of the Annual Fund is in large part due to our incredible volunteers comprised of current parents and trustees. Their enthusiasm, time, effort, and, of course, support, enables us to reach our goals. If you are interested in becoming a parent volunteer on the Annual Fund team, please contact Jenni Franco ‘03, Assistant Director of Annual Giving at All volunteers receive comprehensive training and support at our annual kick-off breakfast. Volunteer responsibilities are defined below, Division Leader The Division Leader reports to the Annual Fund chairperson and is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the progress of their entire team. Responsibilities include: • Recruit a Grade Leader for each grade in your division (Lower, Middle, or Upper). • Invite all Grade Leaders to attend the Annual Fund kick-off breakfast. • Work with the Grade Leaders as they assemble their callers. • Manage progress of calls to parents during the designated week. • Keep the Development Office updated on call progress and results. Grade Leader The Grade Leader serves as the link between the Grade Callers and the Annual Fund Division Chair to insure that the Grade Callers receive the necessary information and support. Responsibilities include: • Recruit Grade Callers for your grade. • Meet with the Grade Callers to assign parents to callers. • Attend the Annual Fund kick-off breakfast. • Maintain regular communication with the Grade Callers for encouragement and to answer any questions. Grade Caller The work of the Grade Caller is vital to ensuring we reach our annual parent participation goal. Responsibilities include: • Call between three and seven parents in your grade to ask for their support and participation in the Annual Fund. • Report the results of each call to the Grade Leader and the Development Office. • Attend the Annual Fund kick-off breakfast. See you soon! Jedd U. Whitlock Director of Advancement 16

1791 Letter ~ August 2012

August 2012 1791 Letter