SO U N D I N GS F R I E N D S
A C A D E M Y
1088 t ucker r oad, n o r t h d ar t mo ut h , ma 02747 www.fr ien d sacad emy1810.o r g fal l 2011
Dear Friends, This inaugural edition of Soundings captures the essence and the excellence of Friends Academy. In so many ways the mission of Friends Academy comes to life in the pages that follow, and I hope you will enjoy these examples of the very best in education. As we settle into the routines and rhythms of the school year, I have been thinking about what FA has taught me since my arrival in July. I have learned, without question, that there are many strengths to build upon as we enter our third century. A few examples will give you the flavor of that experience. ■
Friends Academy is not afraid of thinking boldly and taking on big challenges. Who else would attempt six months of construction in ninety days? Resources were marshaled, details embraced, and targets met. The fact that there was no margin for error kept everyone successfully focused. Teamwork matters. Service Learning is important here. Steve Walach’s gardeners are not only conversant about soil types, compost, and natural pesticides, they also harvest thousands of pounds of vegetables to distribute to local food banks. Charley Pelissier’s bees shape a similar tale through the honey they produce. Students and faculty who spend time at “Gifts To Give” play a significant part as well. The dignity of work is a powerful teacher. Students at Friends Academy are not afraid of big ideas. Peace Day activities had them wrestling with challenging concepts and complex realities. Personal reflections about the power of “their own two hands” to effect change peacefully brought forth suggestions both local and global. Friends Academy values a supportive community. Weekly all-school meetings model the behaviors that everyone must invest in that process. Even the youngest students will brave public speaking and share their ideas at the microphone before their peers. Such risk taking does not just happen. Balance is a word that is alive and well at Friends Academy. Old-fashioned academic rigor can exist alongside creative uses of technology, a successful athlete can also proudly have an eye-catching piece of pottery on display, the necessity to embrace twenty-first century skills occurs in a context of personal responsibility and a genuine focus on the individual learner. Starting in pre-school at the Farmhouse and progressing through eighth grade, there is a clear sense that questions are just as important as answers.
Graduates of Friends Academy will come away with many gifts because a community of talented and dedicated educators truly cares about them. Thousands of encounters and “teachable moments” will shape individual journeys infused with the ethos of the school. As the pages of Soundings clearly chronicle, the mission of Friends Academy is alive and well, accessible and vibrant, infectious and purposeful. Happy reading! Sincerely yours,
Stephen K. Barker, Head of School
T H E C O N ST ELLAT I O N S P RO G RAM AT F RI EN D S AC AD EM Y
by Kristi Ralton
At Friends Academy, we use a unique social curriculum (SC) that is integrated into everything that children do, see, and hear at school. It helps them to become caring, responsible, and respectful individuals. Through several SC initiatives, students are given consistent opportunities to acquire skills that will help them show more concern for others, have better conflict resolution skills, and develop stronger academic motivation and a deeper commitment to democratic values. Second grade t eacher Krist i Ralt on popped her head out of her classroom door and w it nessed some gest uring bet w een a second grader and a f ourt h grader passing each ot her in t he hall. Nika and Emilia are members of t he same Const ellat ion group. The gest uring w as clearly of t he w arm and f riendly variet y. Nika and Emilia meet once a mont h w it h f acult y advisors Put nam M urdock and Kat herine Gaudet , along w it h t en ot her st udent s in grades k-5 w it h t he purpose of get t ing t o know one anot her. This relat ively new program at Friends Academy is dedicat ed t o helping st udent s build caring and support ive relat ionships, across grade levels. Put nam, Kat herine, and t heir st udent s have
Our social curriculum focuses on purposeful school connectedness to help children establish respectful and supportive relationships. It also provides opportunities for collaboration and builds children’s confidence to use their own voice. Finally, students are given many opportunities to share and practice common standards of good character. They learn from each other in a variety of supportive, mixedage settings. In small class meetings, students develop a sense of community. Teachers, students, staff, and specialists come to know one another through school-wide activities like All-School Meeting, on the playground, and through our Buddy Programs. In addition, Friends Academy has established a more formal program called Constellations, to connect students across grade levels.
developed t heir ow n “ Hi” sign, a f riendly greet ing t hat t hey share w it h one anot her w hen t hey pass in t he halls or anyw here around campus. “ We share a sign f or Pegasus, t he name of our Const ellat ion,” says Nika. By linking t humbs and w aving t heir f ingers, st udent s make a quiet connect ion in t he hall w it h t he ot her people in t heir Const ellat ion.
Modeled after similar programs that are sometimes referred to as family groups, these mixed-age groupings are made up of two or three faculty members and ten to twelve kindergarten through fifth graders. Students remain with the same Constellation for the duration of their time at FA. Each year, existing Constellation groups absorb the new class of kindergarteners.
Constellations meet once a month to engage grades K-5 in working together as a learning community. This is done through a class meeting style approach. A greeting and fun activity or game is followed by a discussion that focuses on a community or Service Learning activity. It is our goal for this year’s Constellations to fully integrate a Service Learning component. The Constellation program relies on the caring and support, active participation, and positive expectations of all its members. Our goal is to facilitate a sense of belonging and community for students, and to enable children to develop deeper friendships across grade levels. Constellations also provide students with more adult connections with whom they may regularly interact and learn from. Friends Academy is committed to investing in the future of our children by offering them opportunities and experiences to learn caring behaviors. By giving children time and support, these behaviors will become habits, instilled into their daily lives, and will continue with them for a lifetime. A b o ve: Pet er Veal e an d M r. M u r d o ck exch an g e t h ei r Co n st el l at i o n “ Hi ” si g n i n t h e h al l w ay.
Wat ch f or Charley P. and st udent helpers in t he days and w eeks ahead.
BEE K EEPI N G A T FRI EN D S BECO M I N G SU STA I N A BLE
by Kyle Riseley
What most people don’t realize is that it is nearly impossible to keep bees organically in this part of the world because fertilizers and pesticides are commonly used in some local farm production and on many private lawns and gardens. In order to keep their honey as pure as possible, area bee keepers employ what are known as natural practices; they use organic methods, knowing full well that their bees will be healthiest, and their honey as close to pure as possible, though not truly organic. Friends Academy teacher and beekeeper, Charley Pelissier, thinks he may have found a way to make beekeeping on campus, if not totally organic, at least sustainable.
But what no amount of scientific training could possibly prepare them for was the amazingly aromatic scent of warm, newly extracted honey. If you’ve never experienced the sensation, reread A.A. Milne and that wonderful passage in Winnie the Pooh:
One-pound jars of the honey will make great holiday gifts, though the vast majority of honey produced by the program will continue to be donated to local food pantries as part of Friends’ Service Learning initiative. When Charley Pelissier first took an organic beekeeping course at BCC a few years ago, he set up wooden beehives in his backyard hoping to produce his own honey. Since then, his interest has blossomed, you might say, into a fully realized and hands-on science unit at Friends Academy.
Earlier this fall, Charley and Peter Zine co-taught a couple of sixth grade science Watch for Charley and student helpers in labs that enabled students to extract honey the days and weeks ahead. They will be from wooden honey supers. Students first selling jars of “School Bell Honey” in the studied honeybee culture as a science unit car line. For the first time since the beeand then were immersed in the procedure keeping program was established, he has of harvesting honey in the lab. They reserved a quantity of school-produced progressed from distinguishing swarm honey to sell back to our own commucells from supercedure cells, examining nity. “We hope to sell enough jars to pay bee culture, developmental cycles, and for supplies and run a truly sustainable the unique caste system of the bee colony program,” says Charley, whose aims are to handling wooden brood chamber modest. Each year the program purchases frames and honey supers, scraping honey honeybees as needed, sugar for springtime into a stainless steel honey extractor, and feeding, new pressed wax foundations for hand cranking the honey into the base the bees to build honey and brood cells of the giant steel drum. on, and jars for distribution.
“’Well’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you begin to eat it, which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” Call it what you will, students in honeybee science lab were clearly engaged in the experience and yes, they had the opportunity to taste freshly made honey too. Thanks to a grant from the Baldwin Foundation that helped get this program off the ground, and now, to a hopefully sustainable beekeeping program, even more students will be able to witness the full cycle of bee propagation and participate in the production of “School Bell Honey” every summer and fall.
A b o ve: Dan n y Gr u b b s-Do n o van an d Ch ar l ey Pel i ssi er at w o r k . Ri g h t : Pet er Zi n e, sci en ce t each er.
I T S T AR T S W I T H YO U AN D M E
by Kyle Riseley
T EA CH I N G PEA CE A T FRI EN D S
Friends began the 2011-12 academic year with an all-day program devoted to teaching and exploring the concept of peace. In large, all-school assemblies and small classroom settings, students and teachers from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade spent the day reading, thinking, and talking about how peace starts with the individual, and that each and every one of us can make a difference for peace.
This year, the entire school read the book Peace Begins with You, by Katherine Scholes. Both Katherine Gaudet, Head of the Sally Borden School, and Melinda Foley-Marsello, Head of the Lower Division, chose this book as a catalyst for conversations about what students can do to promote peace in their homes, in their school, in their communities, and in the world.
“This is the school’s second annual Peace Day,” said Katherine Gaudet. “We feel it is important to dedicate an entire day to peace. We want our children to understand that they each have an individual responsibility to make a difference in the world and that they truly can and indeed do make choices every day that affect others, as well as themselves.”
In grades k-5, students talked about the ways they could make a difference and contribute to peace “with their own two hands.” They made pledges for peace and their ideas have helped determine the course of the school’s Service Learning component for the 2011-12 school year. Because Service Learning is a core component of the educational program at Friends Academy, all students participate at some level, in a variety of service-
A b o ve: El i zab et h Lo n er g an at t h e p o d i u m — A l l -Sch o o l M eet i n g o n Peace Day.
Th e en t i r e st u d en t b o d y an d f acu l t y g at h er ed o n t h e h i l l ab o ve t h e f i el d h o ck ey f i el d t o d i sp l ay t h e sch o o l ’ s p eace b an n er. Th e w o r d “ Peace” w as f o r m ed w i t h h an d p r i n t s t hat cont ained t he personal peace pledges of each st u d en t i n t h e sch o o l . Bel o w , st u d en t s f o r m ed a h u g e ci r cl e an d t r avel ed ar o u n d i t , g r ap evi n e st yl e, sh ak i n g t h e h an d o f ever y o t h er st u d en t an d t each er i n t h e sch o o l .
oriented projects like volunteering at the Schwartz Center, contributing to organizations like “Gifts to Give,” and helping to grow and harvest vegetables and honey from the school’s gardens for the Food Pantry at Grace Episcopal Church. An early morning all-school assembly launched Peace Day midway through September. Two students from each grade shared their pledges for peace. The first pledge “Being kind and loving to all people in the world,” came from a preschooler. Other students offered pledges that ranged from “helping in my grandma’s garden” and “cleaning my brother’s room,” to “cleaning up the earth,” and “donating to people in need.” Throughout the day, classes visited a 24-foot peace banner where students and faculty affixed their individual pledges for peace.
AU T U M N F E S T
SU CCESS! Th i s year ’ s A u t u m n Fest an d ear l y
At a culminating celebration in the afternoon, students gathered on the field hockey field, formed a very large circle, and traveled around the circle, grapevine style, shaking the hand and saying hello to every other student and teacher in the school. “It was a powerful and personal way to share a greeting of peace with each other and to end the day,” said Katherine Gaudet.
m o r n i n g Fu n Ru n an d 5K w er e a h u g e su ccess. So m u ch so , t h at w i t h o ver 400 p eo p l e at t en d i n g , t h e Par en t Co u n ci l so l d o u t o f en t r an ce w r i st b r acel et s. Th i s h ad l i t t l e o r n o ef f ect o n t h e m an y f am i l i es, n ew an d o l d , w h o t u r n ed o u t t o en j o y t h e co m p an y o f each o t h er, an d t h e b eau t i f u l au t u m n w eat h er. The Facult y Band, made up of Jim
So m e cam e t o r u n i n t h e ear l y m o r n i n g
Bean, Put nam M urdock, Bill Perrine,
r aces. M an y st ayed o n t o en j o y l u n ch
Jonat han Felix, and Angela M art in led
an d an af t er n o o n o f g am es, scar ecr o w s,
t he school in song, one in part icular, learned f or t he celebrat ion and ent it led, “ Wit h Our Ow n Tw o Hands.” Top phot o: Second grade st udent s in Krist i Ralt on’s class played “ Pass t he Peace” sharing t heir hopes f or peace around t he w orld and in t heir ow n communit ies.
b o u n cy h o u ses, w r eck i n g b al l s, an d cak e d eco r at i n g co n t est s. Th an k s t o Tam m y Gr een sp an , M i ch el l e Li m a, an d al l t h e p ar en t vo l u n t eer s an d Up p er Di vi si o n st u d en t h el p er s w h o m ad e t h i s d ay p o ssi b l e. NEXT PARENT ASSOCIATION M EETING DATE: Friday, December 2, 2011 in the Conference Room: refreshments 2:30; meeting 3:00 pm. A b o ve: A n t h o n y an d Raym o n d Br u n o w i t h b al l o o n h at s. St u d en t p ar t i ci p an t s i n t h e 5K cr o ssi n g t h e f i n i sh l i n e.
CO LLA BO RA T I V E A RT PRO JECT FRI EN D S ST U D EN T S PA RT I CI PAT E IN
W I T H “ REV EA LED ” PRO JECT PH O T O G RA PH ER, SCO T T I N D ERM A U R
by Kyle Riseley Photographer Scott Indermaur creates one-of-a-kind portraits of individuals who have been given the unique challenge of symbolically capturing their beliefs, essence, and individuality in a small box. His REVEALED project has gained national attention and is the subject of a documentary and an upcoming book. In a spinoff project designed for younger people, the artist/photographer has been working with children in grades four and five, modifying the age of his subjects, but capturing, he hopes, the same type of uncontemplated truths that have made his one-of-a-kind portraits resonate in the art world.
really are. “I asked students to dive deep and try and use this as an exercise to reveal important things about themselves,” said the artist in a telephone interview. Art teacher Susan Cogliano became acquainted with Scott Indermaur over the past summer through a current parent, Jeff Michaud (Mira, gr.4 & Joel, gr.3). Jeff is a friend of the artist and participated in the original REVEALED project by designing a box that reflected the theme, “What I Believe.”
When Mr. Indermaur first presented REVEALED to Friends students in October, he asked them to think about what they believe in. He shared some At Friends Academy, fourth grade art photos of others who had also participated students met the artist and were given a small box to decorate in whatever way they in the project. “The students were captichose. They were also asked to spend some vated by the images and eager to share what was most important to them,” said thoughtful time over a two-week period Susan Cogliano. “They began to collect choosing and filling the box with items and create objects that held personal that would provide insight into who they
significance, and their plain, white boxes were transformed into amazing works of art that reflect their heart, soul and spirit.” When the artist returned to school in November, he photographed each student individually with their box. His experiment in sharing one’s identity through the contents of a plain white box, has led to all kinds of self-exploration and quiet contemplation. “What I find to be most interesting is the profound affect this project has had on so many of my subjects,” he said. “Given the opportunity to look within, many have experienced a journey that took them much deeper than their initial inner self-examination and revealed undiscovered truths about themselves.” Cl o ck w i se f r o m u p p er r i g h t : Em i l i a DeReg o an d So p h i e Ro b i n so n w o r k o n essays t o acco m p an y t h ei r d eco r at ed b o xes, M i r a M i ch au d an d Tr ey Su l l i van as p h o t o g r ap h ed b y Sco t t In d er m au r f o r t h e REVEA LED p r o j ect , an d Sco t t In d er m au r, i n set .
St u d en t s i n St eve Ro b at ai l l e’ s si xt h g r ad e cl ass at t h e Sal l y Bo r d en Sch o o l , w r o t e, st ag ed , an d p er f o r m ed t h ei r ver y o w n p l ay t o co m m em o r at e t h e 150t h A n n i ver sar y o f t h e Ci vi l War. Th e act i o n w as st ag ed o u t si d e, i n , an d ar o u n d an au t h en t i c r ep l i ca o f a Ci vi l War t en t , d o n at ed f o r t h e o ccasi o n b y t h e f am i l y o f No ah Sw eet . Th e p l ay,
Li g h t s! C a m e r a ! A c t i o n ! by Jonathan Felix, Technology Integrationist Friends Academy has partnered with the Dartmouth Community TV Station to provide internships for Upper Division students as part of this year’s Service Learning. Service Learning is an integral part of a Friends Academy education.
w r i t t en b y M eg an Tr acey, t o l d a st o r y o f Ci vi l War b at t l ef i el d l i f e an d f eat u r ed so m e w el l k n o w n f i g u r es l i k e Clara Bart on and General Ulysses Grant .
Pict ured above f rom t op lef t t o right : M egan Tracey, Grace LeValley, M ichael Poulin, and Nat han Erickson, and f rom bot t om lef t t o right : Raymond Bruno, Noah Sw eet , Jenna Hughes, and Sammy M ogaw er.
Top phot o: Raymond Bruno and Sammy M ogaw er played General Grant and a Union soldier encamped on t he bat t lef ield.
This year, as part of our Speaker Series, experts on topics that matter to parents and educators will come to speak on campus. Self-regulation is the theme of this year’s series. Student interns will edit these talks, which will be available on our school’s website. They will create the graphics, photos, audio, introductions, and clips for the videos. They’ll be using professional grade hardware and software and learning real world skills. They will be planning and collaborating and working with deadlines.
A b o ve: El i zab et h Tar r an t an d Isaac Bl i n n at t h e co n t r o l p an el . Ben Bai l ey o n cam er a.
community. Students are covering such topics as: a neuropsychiatrist speaking on executive function; an expert on internet safety speaking on cyber-bullying; and a psychologist speaking on sleep deprivation.
This project offers a valuable opportunity for students to learn all aspects of video production: audio engineering, camera operation, post editing, scripting, creating This project is one example of technology vector graphics, and working with green screens. The DCTV project is an extension integration. Students blend writing and technology with graphic art, photography, of the kind of learning that has already begun at Friends. Many of our youngest music, and video. They’ll learn research skills, Photoshop, storytelling and editing students know how to use technology to create their own videos, shoot and edit with Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, their own photos, create their own music, and directing and operating robotic and design their own artwork. They’re cameras. learning to collaborate and cooperate on From a producer’s point of view, the final projects that make a difference in their product will be a series of video that are of community and in the world. interest to parents and teachers at Friends Academy and to the greater Dartmouth
M AY W E C O U N T O N YO U ? A N N U A L GI V I N G I S TH E SI N GLE M O ST I M PO RTA N T SO U RCE O F N O N - TU I TI O N I N CO M E FO R FRI EN D S A CA D EM Y.
Donations to the Annual Fund are applied across the budget to: • • • •
Purchase new technology Fund our athletics, and visual and performing arts programs Fund outdoor education and field trips Increase professional development opportunities
S OUNDINGS F R I E N D S A C A D E M Y 1088 t ucker r oad, n o r t h d ar t mo ut h , ma 02747 www.fr ien d sacad emy1810.o r g fal l 2011
You may donate online at www.friendsacademy1810.org. Contributions are tax-deductible. Please remember that it is not the size of the gift that matters, but the fact that you give.
Did you know ? • In the three years since Friends established its organic garden, Steve Walach reports that the school has harvested five (5!) tons of vegetables and herbs for the Food Pantry at Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford. • In this season’s harvest, Friends Academy has produced a total of six (6) gallons of honey. • This year’s Open House was the most well-attended admissions event since 2005 with thirty-six potential students and their families visiting our school for tours and information. • Over 175 individuals responded to our recent communication survey sharing information about how Friends families read and use information sent home in backpacks, by email, and on the website. • Over 400 people participated in Autumn Fest and/or the 5K Race and Fun Run this year.
w w w . f r i e n d sa ca d e m y 1 8 1 0 . o r g