MONTHLY MAILING A MESSAGE FROM THE HEADMASTER Don’t Overdo It A while back, Nancy Gibbs wrote of a new and interesting phenomenon in Time magazine. The title of her article was “The Growing Backlash Against Over-Parenting.” The article began as follows: “The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year old’s ‘pencil-holding deficiency,’ hooked-up broadband connections in the tree-house but took down the swing after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school playground and practice field….we were so obsessed with our kids’ success that parenting turned into a form of product development….” Over-parenting, in our immediate environment, can take many forms. For younger students, examples can include: aggressive after-school and weekend schedules of music or foreign language lessons 6:00am or 9:00pm weekday ice skating practices for various town/select teams or even private “powerskating” lessons private tutoring in academic subjects even when the student is performing well without it For older students, all of the above as well as; parent-dictated schedules of community service “opportunities,” which might look good on a college application but which evoke little passion or interest from the student repeated rounds of PSAT or SAT tutoring parents showing up at team tryouts both at and away from school just to be certain that the process was “fair” Interestingly, however, in her article Gibbs goes on to share that since the onset of the “Great Recession,” many parents feel like they are awaking with a hangover derived from years of over-parenting, over-programming and over-worrying about their children only to discover that all their well-intentioned efforts have done little but raise both their as well as their childrens’ level of anxiety. “A backlash against over-parenting had been building for years, but now it reflects a new reality. Since the onset of the Great Recession, according to a CBS News poll, a third of parents have cut their kids’ extracurricular activities. They downsized, downshifted and simplified because they had to – and often found, much to their surprise, that they liked it.” Whether an outgrowth of an economic “re-set” or simply an evolution in collective wisdom, it seems that more parents are coming to understand what educators have known for years, that in most cases, over-parenting ultimately proves incredibly frustrating and disappointing for the parent and a source of lingering resentment and rebellion for the child. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming that overprotected children fail to find joy in many of the activities with which they are involved, often feel stressed and torn in multiple directions and, perhaps worst of all, prove unable to deal with life’s inevitable disappointments and setbacks when they ultimately come their way. Brunswick’s mission is to “prepare young men for life.” Please join us in making every effort to make sure that the life he is preparing for is more his own than that of his parents.
From The Deans’ Office: Mid-year exams are behind us and the second semester is in full swing. February serves as a fresh academic beginning for many and is an opportunity for all students to renew their commitment to their studies and to re-evaluate their progress to date. It is also an ideal time to consider the addition of new extra-curricular commitments (ones that might have seemed daunting in September may seem either more interesting or more manageable now). Things to consider include involvement in a club or publication, various community service opportunities or any other of the myriad of projects that are available throughout the school. Now on to the details of the month. With the mid-winter break, February is a somewhat disjointed month; however, important events occur on either side of the hiatus. Some important dates in the month include: EVENTS TO KEEP IN MIND: Dates to Remember in February: 2/14 2/15 2/16 2/21 2/23 2/24
Mother/Son Surprise Breakfast US Dining Room, Maher Avenue Regular Dismissal for Winter Break Professional Development Day NO classes for US Classes Resume Grade 8 Parent Orientation to US 10am Pre School Gym End of 3rd Interim
Brown and White Formal: You should have recently received a letter regarding the upcoming Brown and White dance, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich on the evening of January 28th from 8:00pm to 11:00pm. An annual event, we hope that your son will attend and, of course, encourage all parents to take the time to sit down with your son(s) to discuss appropriate behavior and overall expectations for such an event well in advance of the evening. Professional Development Day: Our Faculty Development Day this year will be held in lieu of classes on Thursday, February 16th. We have scheduled this day at the front end of the Winter Break in the hope that doing so will prove more convenient for our parents.
Winter Break: Beginning at the end of a FULL school day (including sports) on Wednesday, February 15th, the entire School will be on Winter Break from Thursday, February 16th through Monday, February 20th. Classes will resume as usual on Tuesday, February 21st and, as always, we expect all parents and students to ensure that their vacation plans are kept within the limits of the dates noted above. Third Interim: The mid-point of the Third Quarter is Friday, February 24th. At this point, as with all Interims, teachers will be asked to write comments on all students about whom they have concerns. In the Upper School, all faculty members are required to write Interim comments for any student currently performing below the C- level. Interims will be emailed home during the week of the 27th. Upper School Musical, March 1st – 3rd: Guys & Dolls is this year's Upper School Musical. An old favorite, all performances will be presented at Brunswick’s Baker Theater on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00pm with a matinee performance Saturday at 2:00pm. At this writing, the cast has been hard at work for weeks perfecting their lines, voices and steps. We hope to see you there! Snow Bulletin: If there is a delayed opening or a school cancellation due to bad weather, we will make every attempt to use the Brunswick automated messaging system. Parents may also check the Brunswick School website (www.brunswickschool.org), tune into your local radio stations (WGCH or WSTC), or call the school after 6:00am on the main number (203-625-5800) for cancellation or delay information. New Community Service Newsletter page: Please be sure to read the new Upper School Community Service bulletin on the flip side of this month’s February calendar. Johnny Montanez, Brunswick US Director of Community Service, will update everyone each month on people and projects under way in Upper School.
From Sarah Burdett: As you can see from the notes below, February is a busy month in the Middle School. In particular, as you make plans for the February break, we ask that you do not take off extra time for vacation. February is a month when 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are preparing for their next round of exams and all of our class time is critical. In addition, as you help your sons navigate their winter workload, please know that at school we have been working in advisory groups on time management skills. Middle Schoolers are constantly developing their abilities to balance short-term work with long term projects. Do not hesitate to call your son’s advisor if you have questions or need hints about how to help him manage his time for exam prep. As always, thanks for all of your support! Winter Break. The mid-winter break will begin for students on Thursday, February 16th. Classes will resume at the usual time on Tuesday, February 21st. As with all vacations, the school discourages any early departure or late return from school breaks (especially in February because exams are so close). Please do your best to Dates to Remember in February: maintain the integrity of this important class time for your sons. 2/16 Faculty Development Day – NO SCHOOL NOTE: Thurs., 2/16-Faculty Development Day-NO SCHOOL. 2/16-20 Mid-Winter Break 2/23 8th Grade Parent Orientation to US – Pre School Gym 8th Grade Course Sign-Ups: Tom Philip will brief you on the 2/24 2nd Trimester Ends details of our orientation plans at the Upper School Orientation for 8th 2/27-29 5th Trip to Greenkill grade parents on Thursday, February 23rd at 10:00am in the Pre School 2/29 -3/1 2nd Trimester Exams 3/1 Early Dismissal 1:00pm (no bus service until 3:45pm) Gym on the Upper School Campus. The first step in their orientation 3/2 MS Grading Day or Exam Make-Ups -NO SCHOOL process will take place after the Mid-Winter Break, when Tom, the 8th Grade Advisors and I will meet with the boys to begin the course sign-up process. 5th Grade Greenkill Trip: On Monday, February 27th the Fifth Graders and their teachers will be traveling to Greenkill Outdoor Education Center in Huguenot, NY for a much anticipated three days of fun and learning in a winter environment. The boys will come to school at the regular time on Monday, February 27th and return on Wednesday, February 29th at approximately 2:30pm. Please refer to the letter from the 5th grade teachers outlining the details of the trip. The boys come in for regular classes Thursday, March 1st and will be dismissed with the rest of the Middle School at 1:00pm (see below). End of 2nd Trimester: The current marking period officially closes on Friday, February 24th and the 2nd Trimester will end after 6th 8th exams on Thursday, March 1st. The end of the trimester, unlike the earlier mid-point, is our next formal grading period for students in all grades. At this point, 5th grade parents will receive an emailed report card, a full set of comments, and a call from your son’s Head Teacher shortly thereafter. When you speak to your son’s Head Teacher, you will be invited to make an appointment for an optional parent conference if you feel the need to discuss your son’s progress further. 6th, 7th and 8th grade parents will also receive an emailed report card, as well as comments from teachers of courses in which your son’s effort is unsatisfactory (“1”) or his grade is a “C-“ or below. After all report cards are sent, your son’s advisor will call to discuss his progress.
6th, 7th & 8th Grade Exams. Second Trimester exams will take place the week of February 27th. On Friday, March 2nd, we will have NO SCHOOL for the boys to enable the faculty to correct exams and calculate grades. MAKE-UP EXAMS will be given on that Friday, March 2nd for any boy who is absent on an exam day earlier that week. Please find the exam schedule included in this newsletter. Note: Dismissal is at the regular time Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday, March 1st we will dismiss at 1:00pm for all grades. Bus service will not be available until 3:45pm, but the boys will be supervised at school if they need to wait for the busses.
8th Grade National Spanish and Latin Exams: On March 6th and 7th all eighth grade Spanish students will take the National Spanish Exam on-line with the laptop cart computers over two consecutive days (40 minutes for each section). Latin students will also take national exams on March 8th. REMINDER- Mark your calendars: 7th /8th Grade Father/Son Dinner – Thursday, March 8th 5th/6th Grade Science Fair/Father/Son Breakfast – Friday, March 9th 8th Grade Spring Washington Tour – Monday, April 16th, 9:00am - Thursday, April 19th, 5:30pm.
From Katie Signer and Gina Hurd: 2012 is off to a great start in our Pre and Lower Schools. Our boys have been putting forth their best effort and have been approaching their studies with renewed enthusiasm and a seriousness of purpose. Having settled back into their routines, we are asking parents to encourage your son to read as a part of his regular nightly homework and whenever possible, take time to read with him. With shorter days and colder weather outside, there is nothing better than cuddling up with a good book. Take time to indulge. It’s good for you! Report Cards: Shortly after receiving this newsletter, you should receive your son’s midyear report card. Should you have any questions at all regarding the report or your son’s performance, please do not hesitate to call his teacher(s). B-I-N-G-O! Don’t miss out! Come to our annual Pre and Lower School Family Bingo Night Party on Friday, February 10th from 6:00-8:00pm. Please note that the event will be held on the Edwards Campus in the Burke Field House. Special thanks go to our coordinators, Christine Fouts and Jill Raker, for coordinating this night of family fun. Dates to Remember in February: 2/2 2nd Gr Art Field Trip to Neuberger Art Museum 12:30-2:15pm 2/7 3rd Grade Trip to American Indian Museum 8:15-2:30pm 2/10 Family Bingo Night, Burke Field House 6-8pm 2/14 Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Party 1:30pm 2/14 Pre Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Snack 1:45pm 2/15 BPA Assembly- The Human Calculator 2pm 2/16 No School- Professional Development Day 2/17-20 No School - Winter Break 2/21 Classes resume 2/24 Wrestling Tournament, Burke Field House 10:30am 2/24 Civies Day
International Celebrations at the Pre School: A big thank you goes out to Martine Vuursteen, Marianne Barnum, and the Pre School parents who presented during our International Celebrations on January 19th. What a wonderful multicultural experience for our youngest Brunswick Bruins.
Let’s Communicate! As we continue to promote our Communication theme, we thank you for your help in completing our Postcard Project. Inspired by the efforts made in our Pre School, our Lower School boys are attempting to collect postcards from all fifty states and from countries around the world. Reach out yourselves and help us show the boys that we can shrink our world and connect with others through the simple gesture of the written word. Winter Break and Professional Development Day: After regular dismissal on Wednesday, February 15th, the boys will officially begin their mid-winter break. Classes will resume as usual on Tuesday, February 21st. All early departures or late returns are strongly discouraged. Anyone who absolutely needs to deviate from this schedule should notify the school in writing well in advance of the anticipated departure. Thank you for your cooperation. Wrestling Tournament: As usual, during the month of February, our Lower School physical education program will center around teaching your boys how to wrestle both safely and skillfully. Typically known as a sport that builds stamina, endurance and determination, the boys will learn how to use their bodies and manage their strength. Another important focus of this unit is to offer all boys an individual competitive experience, while encouraging sportsmanship and fostering fun. The culminating event will be a wrestling tournament that will be held in the Burke Field House Wrestling Room on Friday, February 24th. Due to time restrictions and large numbers, only the top two boys from each weight class will be represented at this event. Lost and Found: Student Council members will be sorting and delivering all labeled lost clothing to classrooms. Please come check the lost and found bins behind the LS Art Room door for unmarked items by Winter Break. At that point, all unclaimed clothes will be added to our Bearly Used Closet or sent to families in need. The Pre School lost and found is located in the Pre School lobby. Stop by to see if you can track down that missing mitten or favorite hat. Pre School Happenings: February is a fun time for our youngest boys to focus on their special friendships as they practice their handwriting and share Valentines with their classmates and teachers. In addition, our Pre School boys are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our 100th Day. The actual date will be determined dependent on snow days. Pre Kindergarten will mark the event with many counting activities. Kindergarten boys will create collections of “100” that will be brought in to school to be shared. The countdown is on!
BRUNSWICK PARENTS ASSOCIATION NEWS
President’s Letter While the winter weather is off to a slow start, the BPA is working at hurricane speed organizing events for the second half of the school year. Many thanks to Heather Anderson and Martine Vuursteen for coordinating Skate Night 2012. The Pre & Lower School boys had a fantastic time skating and drinking hot chocolate with their friends. Thank you, Julie Johnson, for organizing the BPA nominating process for the 2012-13 school year. Given Julie's stewardship, we are off to a very strong start placing next year's Board! There are so many events still to come so mark your calendars.... Bingo Night February 10th, Wick Walk Run (new spring date) April 21st, and our bi-annual Benefit, “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll,” on May12th. Finally, thank you to all the Benefit volunteers working behind the scenes to create a night that will be remembered for quite some time. Christina Kazazes, President, Brunswick Parent Association Upper School Performing Arts: 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Madeleine L’Engle’s award-winning novel, A Wrinkle in Time. To commemorate this event, Seth Potter has arranged for students from Brunswick’s Honors Acting class and GA’s Introduction to Acting to perform a stage adaptation of the story at Brunswick on March 29th, 30th, and 31st. The performance will be attended by members of Ms. L’Engle’s family and is open to the school community. The students will also present certain scenes in NYC on February 11th where they will perform between other monologues and presentations in celebration of the anniversary. Tickets for the NYC event are $15 and may be purchased at www.symphonyspace.org/event/7056-thalia-kids-book-club-a-wrinkle-in-time50th-anniversary-. Guys and Dolls is also underway at Brunswick. The cast of over 50 singers and dancers will bring this classic tale of sin and salvation to Baker Theater on March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. A slew of theater technicians are hard at work to make this beloved musical come to life. Tickets will be available on the school website soon. Save the Dates: Pre/Lower School Family Bingo Night Bingo Night is Friday, February 10 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Burke Field House. Family and friends welcome! Four great prizes have been pre-selected for Bingo winners to choose from. Each child can win one prize -- additional Bingo wins count towards a potential grade wide prize that each grade votes on in advance. Registration and volunteer forms are available on the website: http://www.brunswickschool.org/parents/programs-events/bingo-night-2012/ Event Volunteers needed! We need volunteers to help with the event: (1) set up Friday, February 10th from 8:30am – 10:30am, (2) event prep from 4:30pm – 6:00pm and (3) at the event (one hour at 5:30pm or 6:30pm). Contact Jill Raker at email@example.com or Christine Fouts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Baked goods volunteers needed! We need volunteers to each bake 24 “nut free” goodies. Deliver your baked goods on February 10th at the PS or LS entry at morning drop off or at the Burke Field House right after drop off. Contact Beth Cahilly at email@example.com or Lisa Lejdstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org. Assemblies The days may be cold and gray but the boys can look forward to a varied and inspiring series of assemblies in January and February! A longtime favorite, Animal Embassy, visited both the Pre School and Lower School boys in January, bringing live animals with their program, Amazing Adaptations. In February, the Human Calculator will perform at the Lower School and the boys are almost certain to see math in a whole new light! Frederick Douglas will perform at the Middle School in February with his historybased show, Two for Freedom. Shakesperience also will return in February for the Romeo and Juliet workshop with the 8th grade. We hope your boys will tell you all about the Winter Assemblies series! Lovely Manners We had a lot of fun at the Everyday Manners session - there's still more to learn! Fifth and Sixth graders please remember to come to the last two sessions of lovelymanners on January 27th and February 3rd. And any parents who would like to stay are welcome - we are eager for some parent volunteers to help supervise! Fifth Grade: 4-5pm. Sixth Grade: 5:30-6:30pm. Please call Tracy Grossman if you would like to volunteer. Hospitality Committee Hospitality committee will be confirming volunteers for Father/Son dinner held on Thursday, March 8. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Shelby Saer at email@example.com by February 20th.
BRUNSWICK PARENTS ASSOCIATION NEWS
Upper School Athletics Many thanks to all the team parent volunteers this year. Please look at the athletic schedules on the Brunswick website and come cheer on the Bruins! If you would like to volunteer as a non-varsity team parent for spring sports, please email Patty Dudzik at Dudz5@aol.com. Please indicate the sport your son will be playing. Go â€˜Wick! SAVE the DATES: 1) Tuesday, Feb. 21st, 6-8pm in the Upper School Dining Hall: "A Global Brunswick," an all-school event gathering parents, students and faculty in engaging activities and student-led small group discussions of issues relevant to daily school life. Syndicated Guest Cartoonist will be presenting his work in the gallery. 2) MAP Network Multicultural Potluck Dinner, Friday, March 30th, 6:30pm in the Upper School Dining Hall. Enjoy Chinese Dumplings, Cuban Guava Pie and many mouth watering delicacies under one roof! All are welcome! Come and bring one of your cultural delicacies. More information will follow. Teacher Appreciation We are continuing with our monthly raffle drawings for our fabulous teachers. Gift cards, sporting events, concerts, or theater tickets are all things a deserving teacher would love. Last month, we had some generous donations of vacation homes and gift cards. We still have about 40 faculty members who have not yet received a raffle prize this year, so we are still in need of donations. January winners: Kristen Ingarra, Toni Raissis, Lawrence Urbon, Ryan McGrath, Doug Burdett, Paul Raaen, Nicholas Salazar, Jing Wang and Timothy Fowler. Please send donations to Rene Chronert, 10 Marlow Court, Riverside, CT 06878 or email Rene at RChronert@aol.com with ticket donations. Parents Program Mark your calendars for May 1st at 8:30am for our next speaker in the Parents Program featuring Jeffrey Kluger, New York Times-bestselling author of The Sibling Effect. You may recall Mr. Kluger's recent cover story for Time Magazine that caught national attention. New research demonstrates that sibling bonds are, in many ways, the most significant relationships in our lives. Our siblings are with us for the entire ride through life. They teach us how to fight and how to resolve conflicts, how to communicate needs and feelings and how to decode the mysteries of the opposite sex. Siblings defend one another, challenge one another, look after one another - and often exasperate one another. Among the topics that will be explored are birth order, effects of divorce on sibling relationships, parental favoritism, the effect of sibs on risky behavior, twins and only children. Mr. Kluger's narrative is candid, moving and instructive. You will walk away with arresting new insights into our children's personalities and ways to manage and improve sibling relationships as well as a better understanding of the dynamics at work among our children. You won't want to miss it - May 1st at Brunswick, King Street. Bearly Used Closet Come visit the Bearly Used Closet in February. We welcome your donations of boys' clothing and sports equipment, and are proud to have a great selection to offer you now for winter and spring. Come stock up on all your uniform and sporting needs. The closet is located on the lower level of the Lower School. Please pick up the key from the binder beneath the whiteboard in the Lower School lobby. All proceeds benefit BPA projects.
The Brunswick Parents’ Associations’ 23rd biennial event will feature music by the legendary Rolling Stones. Proceeds from the evening will support Brunswick’s goal of providing affordable housing for our faculty in Greenwich. Stay tuned for more news at www.brunswickschool.org/benefit . If you would like to donate a special experience or auction item, contact Christine Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie Boehly at email@example.com. For underwriting opportunities, please contact Katie Boehly at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tracy Miller at email@example.com or Beth Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your support and consideration!
From Johnny Montanez: A Message of Thanks: This year’s community service projects have been nothing short of amazing. Over a four-month span, your sons have been able to touch the lives of thousands of people in need. Upper School students have spent over 500 hours of service with children at local schools, they have worked with the homeless, shopped for the needy, built Thanksgiving baskets, delivered gifts over Christmas, have sponsored three children to attend private school, made significant financial donations to children with life-threatening issues, sent care packages to our troops, and they continue to help local organizations. The most pressing focus for our boys in the coming months will be on the organizations that the grade-level advisories support: Waterside School, Thomas Edison School, St. Luke’s Life Works, and The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich. This time of year is when the organizations need the boys the most. People of all ages, especially children, are not outside as much and the lack of sunshine and fresh air means that the boys are needed more than ever. This presents a challenge for the boys as it is the time of year when it is gets dark early, it is cold and sometimes wet; it is the time of year when it is very easy to find a reason not to attend community service but this is just the time when our boys are needed most. I ask that all families continue to support the advisory program whether it is with driving or with just encouraging your son to “buckle down” and keep putting the needs of others first. It is during these months that our boys will learn a valuable lesson in commitment. Our boys have done exceptional work over these last few months, yet there is so much more that needs to be done. We will continue to ask for your support and expose real-life needs to the young men at Brunswick. Thank you so much for your family’s continued enthusiastic support. * Join us for our second Midnight Run of the school year. Who: Any high school boy When: On Wednesday, February 15. Where: Meet at the Brunswick School Cafeteria at 3:30pm Students will be asked to collect clothing, buy toiletries, and distribute clothing to the homeless in New York City. Sign-ups are on the Community Service office door. The Brunswick School Blood Drive is set for Wednesday, March 7. The Blood Drive will take place in the Brunswick School Pre School Gym from 11:30am – 5:15pm. Please visit the Community Service website for more information. www.community.brunswickschool.org Ongoing Programs: Neighbor to Neighbor: Brunswick’s Upper School will make monthly donations to Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry during the 2011-12 academic year. On the last Thursday of each month, donations will be collected and delivered by Mrs. Beattie’s grade 11 advisory to the pantry in the Christ Church annex in Greenwich. The following items are suggested: canned vegetables, canned fruit, juices, soups, beans, tuna, pasta, rice, cereal, “extras” such as baking mixes, olives, sauces, condiments and of course, any other non-perishables. Thanks so much for your continued support! Community Service trip to India (Summer 2012): Brunswick is proud, and pleased to offer the opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference in this world. Next June, we are planning a trip to Kolkata (Calcutta) in India with the help of Promise Worldwide, a non-profit organization serving 200 children from impoverished conditions. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of West Bengal and one of the largest cities in India. Students will spend ten days working with young people, teaching English, sports, and helping to build an addition on their schoolhouse. There will be a presentation to the boys in February where they will learn more about the India trip. Please contact Mr. Montanez with any questions.