Voyager KENT PLACE SCHOOL
Our Curriculum: Relevant, Dynamic, Intentional By Julie Gentile, Director of Studies
ent Place students benefit from a learning environment that fosters what the mission statement terms “an academically rigorous curriculum in a caring atmosphere.” But what does an “academically rigorous curriculum” look like when the workplace seeks candidates who have the ability to participate in and contribute to an information economy? How are our faculty thinking about what they teach – content and skills – in order to create a cohesive curriculum that prepares girls for college, their professional lives and thoughtful citizenship? There’s no doubt that how we provide education has changed, and that it’s changing still. Our students are not limited to the classrooms that most educators and parents experienced. Pedagogy is different: kinesthetic, specialized and collaborative learning strategies pervade instruction. Subject matter may be interdisciplinary and is presented not just within the classroom; our students also learn through online investigation and evaluation, from one another and through historical thinking and inquiry-based science. The tools we use are numerous and varied, largely a result of technology integration. Long gone is the heat of the overhead projector and the unique odor of the carbon-copy machine – remember those? Kent Place is particularly poised to offer the most relevant learning opportunities, inspired by a dynamic curriculum. As resources to build our own benchmarks and expectations for student progress, we draw on standards such as those set by the Common Core; various disciplinespecific organizations such as the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and English (NCTE); and even the College Board. We design our curriculum to exceed the standards usually determined by grade; in fact, all of our core academic courses in the Middle and Upper Schools are at the honors or AP level and require critical thinking, inquiry, skill application, innovation and creativity. Ask a dozen people what rigorous means to them and you may get a dozen responses. At Kent Place, it means that expert teachers challenge students to stretch their ways of thinking – to question, to experiment, to argue, to prove – in order to become confident and well prepared for what lies beyond our school. In 2014, more than 50 percent of our 11th- and 12th-grade students were named AP Scholars – perhaps that’s proof of rigor? Or maybe the information economy in which we all participate drives teaching and learning to a different kind of rigor that emphasizes essential learning outcomes. The chart below outlines a thought-provoking way to consider these outcomes.
Essential Learning Outcomes Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural Worlds
• Sciences • Mathematics • Social sciences • Humanities
• Histories • Languages • The arts
Intellectual and Practical Skills
• Inquiry and analysis • Critical and creative thinking • Written and oral communication
• Quantitative literacy • Information literacy • Teamwork and problem solving
Personal and Social Responsibility
• Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global • Intercultural knowledge and competence
• Ethical reasoning and action • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
• Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized areas
Source Association of American Colleges and Universities, College Learning for the New Global Century
How we devise our curriculum is dynamic, intentional and largely collaborative, and takes many forms. Faculty examine courses, assessments and individual units in their field and revise and update as needed. They collaborate over the summer; they participate in large-group work within their divisions and within their academic departments throughout the year. In each of these forums, our teaching staff consider learning both vertically (by grade and by student progress from year to year) and horizontally (focusing on skills and content emphasized at a particular grade level). An academic committee comprising administrators and faculty from each division and academic department then reviews and makes recommendations on all major curricular revisions. The proactive way in which we think about what we teach creates an environment most conducive to enhancing our intentional curricular strands, such as girls’ leadership, STEM, women’s studies, economic and financial literacy, cultural competency education and ethics. In this issue of Voyager, we honor the 2014–15 schoolwide focus on curriculum. Each academic department contributed information we hope you’ll find interesting and indeed impressive. In addition, each has presented a highlight or description of an aspect of its curriculum that exemplifies the kind of challenging and inspiring work our students take part in. We are united in our goal: that each student attain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century – and love learning in the process. Further Reading College Learning for the New Global Century. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2007. “The Rhetoric of Rigor.” In Ideas and Perspectives, September 22, 2014.
Portrait of a Graduate By Sue Bosland, Head of School
he collection of data has always been part of any educational environment, as academic institutions, communities and the media often assess a school’s value and/or “success” by its measurable statistics, such as SAT, ACT and AP scores, and by college acceptances and matriculations. These hard facts are important to track; they inform potential excellence in teaching and learning. They tell, however, only half the story. Testing organizations and educational communities are trying to figure out how best to collect data on several other important aspects of a superb education, characteristics that will contribute to a student’s competency, academic preparation and leadership in college and the world beyond. At Kent Place School, we hold ourselves accountable for a top educational experience. One way in which we consider the excellence of our program is through an exercise we call “Portrait of a Graduate.” Rachel Schmuckler ’14 receives her diploma.
As a community of educators, we talk about what we want our graduates to be accomplished in and prepared for on commencement day. The conversation itself is important as we determine what core competencies are steadfast and which skills have gained in relevance. We work with department chairs and teachers across the campus to analyze and map curricula, evaluate assessments and determine potential connections among disciplines. The Portrait of a Graduate becomes the outline that transcends individual disciplines and holds us accountable to the higher-level skills and practical applications necessary for success in each of our graduate’s future.
Natalie Kwan ’14 walks through Commencement's traditional Daisy Chain.
The Portrait of a Graduate becomes the outline that transcends individual disciplines and holds us accountable to the higher-level skills and practical applications necessary for success in each of our graduate’s future.
The portrait outlines 10 goals we strive for as we shape our students’ educational experiences at Kent Place, a list which we will continue to re-visit as graduates’ needs evolve in our rapidly changing world.
Curriculum Mapping Some girls attend Kent Place for 15 years. In that time, learning occurs within the classroom and through cocurricular activities. To ensure that the process is cohesive and relevant, faculty articulate their class/course curriculum (content, skills, assessments, standards and goals). When these components have documentation, they are then considered to be “mapped.” The most apparent benefit to mapping curriculum is that our students’ learning experience is intentionally comprehensive and rich. There are other benefits, however. For example, there’s a thorough analysis of content (an opportunity to identify interdisciplinary connections), of instructional goals and of skill progression through grade levels. In addition, learning strands such as ethics, cultural competency, STEM, leadership development, women’s studies and economic and financial literacy, which are woven throughout the curriculum, can be tracked and evaluated.
Portrait of a Graduate
She will have a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in all disciplines.
She will be able to express herself with confidence and with a sense of purpose in writing, oral and digital form.
She will be able to apply quantitative, scientific and technological methods to gather and evaluate data that will inform her opinions and decisions about historical and contemporary issues.
She will be proficient in more than one language.
She will have developed, practiced and showcased her own unique leadership style, advocacy skills and voice.
She will have developed cultural competency either in travel, service, communication or in another form that is impactful and has expanded her global perspective.
She will recognize the value of artistic expression as an essential part of contemporary life.
She will value involvement and action utilizing creativity, collaboration, problem solving, invention and innovation.
She will have established a plan for lifelong health, wellness and fitness.
She will have developed an ethical framework and learned how to navigate complex ethical dilemmas.
As an academic community, we must gather data to ensure that we are providing a top educational experience. We must also, however, continue to hold ourselves accountable for the right goals, which should involve both the traditional data, such as test scores, and the more qualitative data, those that track the acquisition of skills in, for example, critical thinking and innovation – skills that will equip our leaders and pioneers of tomorrow to have the best positive impact as they venture out into the world.
What learning experience stands out for you and why Isabella Racioppi ’19 There are many wonderful aspects about academic life at Kent Place. The education is truly immersive because it’s taught in a way that motivates us to learn and achieve more. Our inspiring teachers and their hands-on and interactive approach are a perfect combination for a successful learning experience. I look forward to exploring academics in the Upper School!
Miranda Lorsbach ’22 One of the things I like about Kent Place is that my classmates and I have such a great connection. Also, my teachers have been very understanding and do a good job making subjects fun and exciting. Outside of the classroom, I’ve enjoyed participating in group activities like Honor Choir and the math team, when we can compete and represent the school.
Karolina Shepanzyk ’16 In my time at KPS, my French course has always stood out. I love going to class each day and being immersed in the French language and culture. Through my teachers, I have a strong passion for traveling, languages and cultures of the world. My favorite field trip was to the MoMA and appreciating many pieces of art. This class has shaped what I’d like to do in the future and has provided me with a fantastic foundation. Taylor Sharperson ’22 One of my best experiences at KPS was the fifth-grade trip to Stokes, the first time I was without any of my family. I learned many new and exciting things during those three days. One of my favorite activities at Stokes was the Water Ecology project. The instructor was awesome. My classmates and I learned about Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 water. We can identify animals based what type of water they live in. Class 1 is the cleanest water for animals. Class 2 is not as clean as Class 1 but not as dirty as Class 3. Class 3 is the dirtiest for animals. None of these types of water is suitable for humans to drink. As a matter of fact, only 1 percent of the earth’s water is drinkable. This was a wonderful start to my last year in Primary School.
Morgan Strong ’16 One of my Kindergarten teachers, always had something set up during free time. Parents would bring in old computers, telephones, appliances and objects that were broken or out of date. We would spend hours taking apart a computer and learning about all the parts and how they worked. She always made us question why things are the way they are.
Joannah Otis ’16 Upon entering Kent Place as a junior, after 11 years in public school, the incredible sense of cohesiveness and focus in each classroom was a refreshing change.
Claudia Torres ’15 My academic journey at Kent Place has been above all unique and impactful. The school has provided me with the rare opportunity to experiment with a variety of subjects in order to discover what I’m truly passionate about. And the minute I realized that biology and scientific research were the fields I found most interesting, I received the unconditional support of not only my teachers but also the entire Kent Place community to go off and immerse myself in my own independent study.
Olivia Reiter ’16 In the 14 years that I’ve been at Kent Place, my second-grade class has always stood out. I’ve never, ever forgotten our unit on the continents. As a class, we hung thick vines, made from green construction paper, from the ceiling to represent the Amazon rain forest in South America. We stuck penguins on big fluffy white pillows to show the Arctic males sitting on their eggs while their wives go get food. We sang songs about toilets flushing the “wrong” way in Australia and drank tea like they do in England. It taught me so much about the cultures and traditions of each continent, and to this day I remember the “Continent” song! Trisha Bala ’22 Being on the math team last year was one of my many wonderful experiences. I also really liked being in an instrumental ensemble; the pieces we played were really fun. I’ve learned a lot since I joined Kent Place in Pre-K, like becoming a leader. My academic journey here has been really great!
Jillian Sher ’19 There are millions of reasons why I’m grateful for this school I’ve attended for nine years now. My teachers are masterful at sharing their knowledge, and they’re also genuinely caring. They grow to know us as students and especially as people. There’s a strong bond that connects us with the teachers, and that’s what makes up the Kent Place community. I’m grateful for the love of my friends, who are more like family. We learn and flourish together. I also appreciate the many opportunities that Kent Place has given me. I’m free to be who I am. I’m a quiet and shy girl, but at this school, even quiet girls are heard and can make a difference. As the years went on, I started to come out of my shell. I had many chances to be a leader, and I went for it. That’s how Kent Place School has shaped who I am right now. I’m a leader, a courageous young woman, and I’m myself.
Alaina Cohen ’16 In 10th grade, in Ms. Lear’s class, we wrote Blake-inspired poems, which taught me how I could use the structure of another work to inspire my own. Reeve Lanigan ’15 Being a lifer at Kent Place for the past 13 years, I’ve grown to embrace being part of a sisterhood. Having this strong support system of intelligent women teachers and friends, I believe that I’ve been able to develop immensely as an academic scholar. I’ve learned invaluable lessons that I’ll be able to use for the rest of my life. I’ve gained the courage to speak in front of people with poise and creative intelligence while pursuing my passion. I feel I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the ability to engage in thoughtful discussions in my classes. When I don’t understand something in a particular subject, I know I can always ask for help and that my teachers will be there to guide me to find a way to achieve my goals. Looking at my academic growth, I know that in my life after graduation, I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities and knowledge I obtained at Kent Place.
Faculty Curriculum Funds and Awards Kent Place faculty benefit from a range of Professional Development opportunities, among them attendance at national conferences, on-site speakers, webinars, online courses and awards that are gifts from KPS friends and families. Here are some examples. E. J. Grassmann Faculty Award
Curricular Innovation and Collaboration Grant (CICG)
This award, endowed with the assistance of the E. J. Grassmann Trust, was established to honor teaching excellence. The only stipulation for applying is that the recipient must have taught at Kent Place for a minimum of five years.
This endowed fund was established in 2011 with the idea that departments or clusters of classroom teachers would work vertically, horizontally and collaboratively on the integration of 21st-century teaching and learning practices into the educational experience of a Kent Place student. The goal of such work is to provide an opportunity for a selected department or group of teachers to research, think critically about and design teaching and learning practices that align with the educational research’s view of the 21st-century teacher and learner.
The MacDonald Halsey Fund
This endowed fund, which supports summer curricular work, was established in 1980 to honor retiring headmaster MacDonald Halsey. Each year, faculty apply by writing a proposal for specific curricular work. Requests that involve a collaboration have priority, as do those that speak to the school’s reaccreditation goals and schoolwide, cross-divisional or division-specific initiatives.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Schoolwide, 15% of students perform in dance groups.
We teach the following dance techniques: tap, Simonson jazz, Cecchetti ballet, Cunningham modern and Limón modern.
The year 2015 marks anniversaries for both our major dance concerts: An Afternoon of Dance (15 years) and An Evening of Dance (30 years).
Live music is frequently incorporated into dance concerts through collaboration with faculty and student musicians. In addition, student and professional art often enhances dance performances.
Former members of the Chamber Dancers have gone on to the Joffrey Ballet, in Chicago; Donald Byrd/The Group, in New York City; Dwight Rhoden and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, in New York City; the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, also in New York City; and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Each week, 40 dance classes are taught on campus. Every student from Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade takes a dance course as part of her academic schedule. Middle and Upper School dance students build leadership skills by mentoring Primary School dancers.
Final Destination: The Senior Project By LeAnn Yannelli, Chair of the Dance Department
aybe it begins in first grade, when a student adds a few movements to the story ballet the class is choreographing. Maybe it starts in sixth grade, when collaborating on a theme-and-variation study. Or perhaps it happens in ninth grade, when a class is creating a group Renaissance dance. Whenever it is, it’s that wonderful moment when a student experiences the joy of movement and realizes she can express herself through dance and a light sparks infinite possibilities for a young choreographer. As Kent Place dance students progress through the program, they engage in assignments on improvisation, movement exploration and basic dance composition. They study Pilates, ballet, jazz and modern dance techniques to strengthen their body – their instrument – and develop and expand their movement vocabulary. They also perform numerous times throughout the years, in the studio and on the stage. All this training, experimenting and performing experience leads to the final destination: the Senior Project.
Katrina Peterson ’16, “Early Music”
Emily Tevebaugh ’15, “One Minute Please”
Dance. If they take up that challenge, they must write a proposal that incorporates their overall vision; the style of movement; the compositional form; and ideas for costumes, props and lighting. In preparation, they read The Process of Creating a Dance, by Myron Howard Nadel; Introduction to Dance Composition, by Elizabeth Sherbon; and Joshua Legg’s Rehearsal Management 101. The dancers discuss music choices and look at excerpts from past Senior Projects. By this time, Kent Place dance students have already seen at least 16 dance companies at the Fall for Dance Festival on the annual field trip to New York City. They say the performances inspire them as both dancers and choreographers.
Seniors Hanaa Malik and Monika Paliwoda, “Episodes”
Many students mention early on that they look forward to choreographing their own work in their senior year, and later that they’ve been thinking about music choices and ideas since they were freshmen. A former student wrote this in her process evaluation following her work: “[T]his project was one of the most difficult endeavors I undertook at Kent Place. I knew as a freshman in Dance Ensemble that I wanted to choreograph . . . The possibility of this project was actually the deciding factor in my choice to take Chamber Dancers over Chamber Singers. I knew this was my one opportunity to perform something that was wholly self-generated, my one purely creative outlet in the performing arts. So I knew when the time came to actually begin the process . . . I was already too emotionally committed to the idea to chicken out.” After three and a half years of dancing in repertory pieces and student works and of choreographing dance studies, seniors have the opportunity to choreograph a piece for An Evening of
The choreographer begins her journey with a notebook, a pencil and iPod. She arrives at the studio, with them in hand, to generate movement that she will record and then teach to her dancers. She may draw on her other curricular interests for her inspiration: The Scarlet Letter (literature), for example; geometric patterns and metric divisions of rhythm (math); and, from the visual and other performing arts, using a painting (her own or one by a classmate), a poem or, for the score, her own music. The first draft is shown to her classmates for feedback and support; after several revisions, she is ready to costume and light the work. The performances come and go, and then it’s time to write a process evaluation. That same student I quoted earlier finished hers with this: “My overall retrospective feeling about this piece has been [that] although the project was not precisely what I had anticipated, the process and the product were both gratifying beyond my expectations.” Another student wrote, “For the first time in my life I was given the chance to create a piece that expresses what I feel and what dance really means to me.” And with that, they have arrived at their final destination.
Katrina Peterson ’16, Emily Tevebaugh ’15, Hanaa Malik ’15 and Monika Paliwoda ’15, “Episodes”
The Cumulative Humanities Project: Historical Thinking, Research and Criticism By Erin L. Hennessy, Chair of the English Department and Middle School English Teacher
unior year brings many new academic experiences to KPS’s college-bound students: SAT testing. Campus visits. AP exams. Equally important, junior year also bestows the gift of the Cumulative Humanities Project. The CHP, as it’s known, immerses students in independent, interdisciplinary academic research. Modeled after college- and postgraduate-level cumulative research assignments, the CHP requires students to select and read a novel, engage with historiography and literary criticism, write a research paper and literaryanalysis essay and give an oral presentation to a group of their peers. Although it elicits many emotions in the 11th-grade students about to embark on this sometimes intimidating academic adventure, the outcomes the long-term assignment generates are tenfold what they can imagine at the start of their journey. The Cumulative Humanities Project has been in existence for just five years but already it has evolved. Its purposes, however, remain steadfast and true. At its core, the CHP provides 11th-grade young women in English and history classes the opportunity to learn research skills that are unique to the study of both subjects: the selection, analysis and synthesis of both literary criticism and historians’ interpretations.
[W]hat happens during the CHP is that students gain a more sophisticated awareness of the world and its interconnectedness and begin to utilize their voices to contribute to the global conversation.
The CHP offers many rewards. Students hone their skills involving written arguments and practice oral presentations. They enhance their understanding of the interconnectedness of American literature and history, especially the influence of US history and culture on the literature of a time or region. They integrate our country’s literature and history and practice an interdisciplinary approach to learning. They enter college with confidence, ready to engage in academic research in the humanities. These results come about by design, but what happens during the CHP is that students gain a more sophisticated awareness of the world and its interconnectedness and begin to utilize their voices to contribute to the global conversation. When students reflect on both the processes and the outcomes of their endeavors, several common threads emerge. Students feel pride in their ability to conduct research and to communicate with authority and style. A new perspective on inquiry and the beauty of interdisciplinary study begins to shape their approach to the humanities. Today’s social issues and the history of their impact on people become a deep concern. Our students even start to craft their own roles in social and political meaning and movements.
Here is a sample of recent book titles and research topics, along with excerpts from student reflections: Angle of Repose , by Wallace Stegner, and Wild Women of the West
“Stegner comments on the changes in relationships during the 1970s and debunks myths about the American West. I learned that literature can serve as a powerful vehicle to communicate both social and political messages.” The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton, and The Value of Rights and Relationships as Seen in Edith Wharton and Same-Sex Couples “While reading The Age of Innocence, an important theme that jumped out was the idea of marriage and what morals and values are involved in it. Through my exploration of one of these topics, I was constantly making connections to the other, and I ended up with two ideas that I found intertwined more than I had anticipated.” East of Eden, by John Steinbeck, and The Powerful Rib: Insight into the Intrinsic Role of Women and the Emergence of the Modern Woman in the Progressive Era “In East of Eden, Steinbeck . . . uses both the commentary of his narrator and his archetypical characterizations of Cathy and Abra to further the idea that women, whether they fall into the category of evil or of good, play a crucial role in either destroying or sustaining mankind. That seemed to be the opposite of what the women of the Progressive Era were really like. I found it difficult to believe that the women of the Progressive Era or even of the conformist ’50s could perfectly fit into the category of femme fatale or ingénue. I decided to develop my own conclusion as to why Steinbeck chose to characterize Cathy and Abra in the ways he did.”
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
All of our students have the opportunity to see their work in print in the following publications: Oopsie Daisy (Primary School); The Log and Soundings (Middle School) and Windward (Upper School).
99% of all KPS students graduate with the skill to write at an advanced AP English level and score a 3 or higher on at least one AP English exam. They may also choose among 13 senior electives.
Each spring, the Upper School presents the Bebe Lord Gow Award to the student most dedicated to the practice of creative writing as demonstrated through her prolific publication (oral or print), how she inspires others or the high quality of her work.
The Upper School hosts Lit Loose book club meetings, poetry coffeehouses and Baggywrinkle writers readings and workshops modeled after the Breadloaf Blue Parlor Series.
Upper School students can utilize the faculty-staffed Writing Center, which provides writing growth through tutoring and conferencing across disciplines.
We foster the habit of reading beyond what assignments require. Our Middle School girls consume, on average, 800 pages of elective pleasure reading every month and 14 books each summer.
Developing Life Skills: A Journey through the KPS Health and Wellness Curriculum By Sara E. Every, LCSW, Middle/Upper School Counselor and Chair of the Health and Wellness for Young Women Department
oundations in Health and Wellness is an innovative, collaborative program that emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of health- and wellness-related issues that affect the physical and psychosocial development of young women throughout their lives. It encourages and supports students on their journey to develop critical-thinking skills and self-reflection in a manner that fosters self-advocacy and informed decision making. Through creative teaching approaches, students participate in class discussions, small-group activities and role-playing. The curriculum is dynamic and fully engages all types of learners in the classroom. By participating in this type of instruction and learning, students strengthen their neuronal connections and prime their brains for synthesized learning.
make this a most memorable experience. Every aspect of the preparation reinforced communication techniques and healthy self-esteem. Before they went, students discussed health communication in their Health and Wellness class. They were asked to reflect on their roles in teamwork and role-played using “I” messages and their ability to listen actively. Students worked on Project Adventure skills during physical education and assertive-behavior skills in Health and Wellness.
In the Middle School, students discuss the challenges of developing and maintaining positive self-esteem, making healthy choices and using one’s resources. Working collaboratively with the Technology Department, our girls created a Healthy Relationships magazine cover. They were first asked to assess the components of a healthy relationship and to create themes and storylines that would reflect their ideas. They then learned how to use Photoshop, At each level of development, the art of graphic design and ways to manipulate images to scale. Armed the Health and Wellness curriculum with these skills, they went on to offers all students a broad range of produce an eye-catching and thoughtprovoking cover. opportunities for interdisciplinary
DID YOU KNOW . . .
At each level of development, the Health and Wellness curriculum offers all students a broad range of opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. By way of classroom culture, content, pedagogy and projects, students get experience in critical inquiry and problem solving. Our team teaching means that students interact with faculty, and this At the Upper School level, students learning. By way of classroom approach also fosters connections in enjoy the benefits of a variety of culture, content, pedagogy and the areas of ethics, STEM (science, learning methods that nurture technology, engineering and matheinterdisciplinary growth and inquiry. projects, students get experience matics), the liberal arts, physical Through role-play, journal reflections, education and women’s studies. The research papers and discussions, in critical inquiry and problem solving. emphasis on project-based learning students examine the intersections invites students to delve more deeply between health and wellness and into the topics under review. These other subjects. Recently, students experiences also broaden students’ ability to interact with and learn from a generated an impromptu discussion regarding the Ebola virus. They talked diverse teaching team. about human rights, social justice, the healthcare industry, patient and provider rights and the role of government in addressing the global issue, In the Primary School, Health and Wellness – in grades three, four and five – among other topics. addresses themes related to personal health and safety. The girls learn from a collaboration among a lead teacher, the school nurse, the school psycholoStudents were then invited to explore the crisis from a number of perspecgist, a science teacher and a physical education teacher. Students use their tives and to gather more information on the subjects of infectious diseases time in science and technology to explore ecology in group work; together and public-health policy. A member of the Ethics Institute conducted a they look at global problems and come up with solutions, then demonstrate follow-up class; during that session, students were equipped with the not only what they learned but also evidence of their newfound skills. ethical-decision-making model and challenged to address dilemmas from Women’s history, social studies, diversity and media literacy are other areas this framework. of collaboration, making for a rich curriculum that winds from the third grade Interdisciplinary learning is a hallmark of the Health and Wellness curriculum. through the fifth in an age-appropriate and developmentally positive manner. Teachers work in partnership to create innovative lessons and projects When our fifth-graders were getting ready for their three-day trip to the that capture students’ attention and enhance their understanding of crossNew Jersey School of Conservation, teachers put their heads together to curricular links.
Every member of the Health and Wellness faculty holds a master’s degree in social work and/or women’s history.
The Health and Wellness Department offers meetings for all parents on a variety of topics, such as social-emotional development, how to recognize concerns/risks and what resources are available.
Since 2011, the Peer Mediation Program selects and trains seventh- and eighth-grade students to mediate issues around peer conflict and to assist students in the problem-solving process.
One-third of the senior class participates in the Peer Education Leader Program, an opportunity for specially trained senior leaders to facilitate small-group discussions with our ninth-graders about their transition to the Upper School.
Our Anti-bullying Task Force has provided a unified faculty/staff training component designed to foster a proactive, preventive, responsive and respectful school environment in which teasing, taunting, bullying and cyber-bullying, and micro-aggression in any form will not be tolerated but will be capably addressed through a Four-Step Response protocol.
Learning to lead requires that one is organized and goal-focused, ethical and effective, and inclusive and responsive to oneself and others. Our Leadership, Diversity and Study Skills (LeaDs) components are integrated over the entire fifth-grade curriculum and during both semesters.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
With funds provided by a Stanton Foundation grant, Upper School history teacher Rick Morey wrote a citizenship curriculum designed specifically for Kent Place students in all divisions.
More than 90% of KPS students elect to take four years of history, even though only three years fulfills our graduation requirement.
A passion for history, citizenship and government is satisfied in the following on-campus clubs: Kent Place Republicans, Kent Place Democrats, Model United Nations, Mock Trial (earned second place in 2013 and fourth in 2014 in the Union County competition) and Junior State of America.
Every eighth-grader takes part in the Leadership Portrait project, which requires each student to interview a variety of local, national and global leaders. Recent interviews were with Martha MacCallum (Fox News), Anna Maria Chavez (CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA), Steve Mills (manager and president of the New York Knicks), General Thomas Kolditz (head of Yale School of Management), Robert Greifeld (CEO of NASDAQ), Tory Burch (fashion designer) and Rosie Rios (treasurer of the United States).
In 2013–2014, 76% of students in AP US History earned a score of 4 or higher on their AP exam. In AP European History, 73% earned at least a 4.
For the past seven years, Upper School students have participated in our student-run global economics website, www.econlife.com. This year, viewers can subscribe to a daily e-mail blast to receive the popular “Ask Alexa” blog post, which connects everyday life and economics.
All Aboard: In Social Studies, Second-Graders Travel around the World By Gina Ferraioli, Second-Grade Teacher
ow many seven- and eight-year-old girls can say that they’ve seen the world?
Kent Place second-graders embark on a journey of a lifetime as they travel around the globe in less than nine months. They “visit” different countries and cultures through our social studies curriculum as well as during their studies in science, art, music and world languages. During their trip, our girls learn how to research a topic, synthesize information from nonfiction texts and present their new knowledge in a variety of ways. Students begin their experience by learning skills that will serve them as they go: how to use a compass rose to determine cardinal directions and how to read various types of maps. Once they’re experts, they’re ready to set off. As we land on all seven continents, our focus is on answering these essential questions: Where do people live? What is life like for the people there? How do the lives of children there compare to my life? Our first stop is here in North America, where we learn about the Amish culture in Pennsylvania. Europe is next, when we study French culture in Provence. Then it’s off to Asia as we land in Tibet and climb to the top of Mount Everest. After the girls hang their prayer flags in the traditional Tibetan style, we head for much warmer climates in the Australian Outback as we meet the Aborigines and a plethora of new animals. Our next stop is Africa, to meet the Maasai tribe in Tanzania and Kenya. The final two stops span temperatures and climates: In cool Antarctica, we become acquainted with various species of penguins; in tropical South America, we visit the Amazonian rain forest and learn about Peru’s small Machiguenga tribe.
To coincide with the unit on Europe, Ria Govil and Alex Grinis begin their Fauve-style paintings in art class.
Our girls hear firsthand experiences via classroom presentations from guest speakers – among them Kent Place students and faculty – and take part in projects such as Flat Stanley, a pen pal–like activity in which they learn how to write a friendly letter and then interact with children their own age. The goal is for our students to gain an understanding of and an appreciation for the society they live in and that of different cultures around the world. So if you find yourself in the Primary School, stop by the second grade to see and hear about our travels. If we’re not in, listen carefully for the sounds of airplane engines: we’re probably taking off for our next destination!
Second-graders create their own displays to demonstrate the knowledge they gained in their study of the Amish culture.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
25% of Primary School students opt to wake up early to participate in the Math Lab enrichment course before official school hours.
One quarter of our sixth- through tenth-graders participate in the American Mathematics Competition, an examination to spur interest in math and to develop talent through the excitement of solving challenging problems in a timed multiple-choice format.
90% of our students take at least one AP Mathematics course.
13% of our seniors, after completing BC Calculus, are undertaking independent math research projects.
Middle School students have the option to expand their math interests beyond the traditional class offerings with courses such as Thinking Outside the Box and Mathematical Expeditions, and may work with faculty in the Math Studio.
The Upper School student organization GEMS (Girls Eliminating Math Stereotypes) is dedicated to advancing the presence of women in mathematics, and members have been invited speakers at numerous national conferences.
More Than Numbers: Math Means Being W.I.S.E. By Ralph Pantozzi, Chair of the Mathematics Department
t Kent Place School, “With Wisdom She Lights the Way” means being W.I.S.E.: Wondering, Investigating, Studying and Extending. In our mathematics classrooms, students from Pre-K through 12th grade pose questions, pursue inquiries, conduct research and welcome challenges.
In Math 7, students are collaborating on algebraic expressions.
Senior Jocelyn Rego studies a question in graph theory in the math research course.
Open-ended questions at every grade level inspire girls to wonder. Daily in the Math Studio, you’ll find Middle and Upper School students working on assignments, preparing for contests, conducting investigations and exercising their imagination. The girls fill two 10-by-20-foot whiteboard walls with mathematical Miranda Lorsbach and Stella Gilbert explore the area of rectangles and triangles on geoboards with Primary School questions, answers and Math Coordinator Maureen Kroeger. messages to one another, pursuing their inquiries over a period of days and often weeks. Last spring, our sixth-graders got W.I.S.E. through collaborative study. Our 52 girls, working individually and in teams, had two hours to decipher a code created for them by Girls’ Angle, a math club in Boston. The girls argued, made themselves into a human clock, cheered success and groaned when their answers unlocked new questions. The girls persevered, however, to accomplish their goal – which each did, and with time to spare!
Seventh-graders Jessie Zietsman, Grace Morris and Sofia Handzy contemplate how to construct an algebraic equation from a visual pattern.
These sixth-graders found themselves enjoying the difficulties they faced and recognizing new skills inside themselves. One of the girls summed up the investigative process nicely: “You can’t always think of the obvious; you should also think of the things that aren’t clearly stated, that are between the lines.” Our girls know that the difficult tasks are the ones that build wisdom. Extending math means involvement in a wide variety of learning activities. Whether they’re in Pre-K or 12th grade, the girls and young women write math stories, build models, perform experiments and debate theorems. On any given day, Sixth-graders celebrate unlocking their math puzzle during a Math students may be Collaboration exercise. predicting their own height when they grow up or measuring the height of a launched projectile from afar. The third-grade word problem and the senior research paper are both part of a desire to know what happens next. In our program, students sharpen their innate ability to “do the math,” reaching great academic heights because they don’t stop when they find an answer. Being W.I.S.E. means leading the way by asking questions and pursuing their ideas – putting students on the path to a lifetime of eureka! moments.
Seniors Jocelyn Rego, Claire Hagerstrom and Astha Puri build a model to test one of their theories in the Math Studio.
Fine Tuning: The Art of Music Making By Edel Thomas, Chair of the Music Department
ur music program offers sophisticated learning experiences that cultivate inspiring performances and showcase each student at her very best. This performance-based philosophy integrates music literacy, theory, history, singing and instrumental learning at every level.
As a consequence of this caliber of music learning and music making, our students discover and develop their emergent skills and talents. young singers for the Eastern Division Honor Choir in Baltimore – and all were accepted. Not surprisingly, such outstanding opportunities have inspired a surge in student enrollment in extracurricular music activities. In the past two years, we’ve seen a marked growth in the number of students who elect to learn an instrument, play in an ensemble and/or sing in one of the choirs. In addition, although when our girls enter the Upper School all music classes and performance groups are elective, participation from the ninth grade through the 12th remains remarkably high.
Freshmen Blythe Dewling and Rose Chrin
At Kent Place School, students enjoy a dedicated faculty of passionate artist-teachers who also perform on Broadway, in opera houses and in concert halls throughout the United States and abroad. Because they’re professional musicians, they have the experience to design curricula and establish rehearsal procedures that are conducive to attaining a high level of artistic expression. These gifted educators say that nurturing skills, sharing expertise and inspiring young musicians provide enormous satisfaction.
Our overall music program is accessible to all students, and is thriving. From the Pre-Kindergarten bell ringers, who welcome the holiday season at our All School Grandparents and Friends Day Assembly, to singing and playing in the Primary School Winter and Spring Concerts, and from performing in the Middle and Upper School musicals to participating in the greatly anticipated STAR holiday presentation, our girls revel in the making of music. Watching them blossom is magical.
As a consequence of this caliber of music learning and music making, our students discover and develop their emergent skills and talents. And their hard work pays off: For example, last year we released a CD commissioned for the Kent Place Chamber Singers and the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra of Morris County. The composer, Nancy Galbraith, professor of composition at Carnegie Mellon University, was so impressed that she remarked: “[T]he performance is exquisite . . . I like when I’m listening to a good performance of music I’ve written!” Later the singers toured Vienna and Salzburg to more rave reviews. Clearly the 45 students involved were challenged at the highest level, but their reward was immeasurable. Like the KPS Chamber Singers, many of our other gifted students perform with acclaimed orchestras and choral groups in the metropolitan area. Sponsored by Kent Place faculty, they have the opportunity to train for auditioned honor choirs and regional orchestras, at both the state level and the national. Last year, the Primary School Chorus prepared seven
The Upper School Orchestra rehearses for The STAR.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Our Chamber Singers were invited to perform a commissioned work with the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra. The event was recorded and released on CD in 2014.
Auditioned singers have biannual opportunities for international travel and performances. Our most recent trips were to London and to Vienna.
All orchestral music is custom arranged for both the diversity of instruments and the ability of each individual performer.
In February 2014, all seven of our students who auditioned for the Eastern Division Children’s Choir, in Baltimore, were accepted.
In addition to music classes in the Primary School, supplemental instrumental class instruction is available to any third-, fourth- or fifthgrader. Private study with teaching artists on campus may take place during the academic day.
A third of all Middle and Upper School students participate in the orchestral program and many of them perform in multiple high-level performance chamber groups as well.
Defining Physical Education in 2015 By Michelle Stevenson, Chair of the Physical Education Department
Physical education is an integral part of our total academic program. Its goal is to develop individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Our department adheres to the national and state standards and guidelines as described by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).
PE: Two Components Physical Activity
Physical activity incorporates any movement that substantially increases energy expenditure and produces contraction of skeletal muscles. Athletics, recess and intramural sports involve physical activity, but they serve a different purpose and are not likely to constitute a highquality, standards-based phys-ed program. Sports teams and outside physical activities focus on specific skill development and may not provide essential concepts for lifelong health and wellness. Upper School physical education now has a new look. The “New PE” emphasizes lifetime fitness and personal choice, and embracing a healthy lifestyle is key. Students use pedometer step counters, Polar heart-rate monitors and Polar Loop Activity Trackers to enhance their experience. Following every session, each of our girls has access to an individualized report that contains:
• A student-specific lesson summary • Explanations of training benefits
• Results of heart-rate production • Breakdown of time “in the zone”
Physical education provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to establish and sustain physical activity as a key component of their lifestyle well into maturity. Our phys-ed curriculum, broad and thorough, provides students with essential skills and knowledge that are sequential, innovative and age appropriate. The new approach has a lab-workshop component designed to provide additional exposure to topics that will help support the development of a physically educated person. Workshops are held five times each trimester and address a variety of topics during a four-year cycle. Following are some of the themes:
• Kinetic chain assessments • Injury prevention • Anatomy tune-up • Core stability and strength • Mechanics alignment
• Heart-rate training zones • Weight training for life • Flexibility • Stress management and relaxation • Nutrition
This fall, students started a research project to learn about stress management. Work began with the review of research designs. Students received an overview of four research design models:
• Action research • Case study
• Causal • Observational
Students in the AM PE Zumba Fitness class lead routines for fellow participants.
The introduction of early-morning PE classes, known as AM PE, has contributed to increased student participation; approximately 54 percent of all PE students attend. They have the option of Zumba Fitness, AP-PE, a class that follows a high-intensity interval-training model resulting in metabolic conditioning, and restorative-style classes comprising yoga, meditation and breathing and flexibility exercises. Classes begin at 7:30, before the official start of the school day. A recent CDC research study shows that “[i]ncreased time in PE classes can help children’s attention and concentration and achievement test scores.” A recent poll* of students found that the feelings of well-being and alertness increased significantly (98%) following the completion of the AM PE classes. Said senior Katie Moore-Gillon: “I feel really good.” Fellow senior Annaliese Fernandez agreed: “I feel pumped up and into it,” she said. *On October 7, 2014, following AP-PE, we conducted an exit poll to determine students’ reactions.
During a fall fitness unit, Primary School students learn the routine to “Thriller.”
As part of the review process, students explored what the different research designs could and could not accomplish. Based on this knowledge, teams decided on a design style and put together a research plan. Groups presented their findings in the form of PE EDtalks, skits, oral presentations and research papers.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
A quarter of Upper School students participate in Zero Period, a voluntary morning exercise class held at 7:30 that focuses on preparing the body to learn in the academic classroom.
This year, some 70% of Primary School students in Grades 1–5 participate in the Feelin’ Good Mileage Club; last year, they walked a total of 761 miles.
The Middle School program offers three distinct components: (1) Grade 6 PE consists of traditional sports units followed by an international sports series including cricket, badminton and rugby. Students also participate in the President’s Fitness Challenge; (2) Grades 7 and 8 athletics comprise three or four sports each season; and (3) Grades 7 and 8 physical education consists of a variety of units including football, tennis, yoga, rock climbing, roller blading, volleyball and badminton.
Using pedometer technology, the sixth-grade PE group took 17,626,000 steps – the equivalent of walking 8,813 miles – as part of the Steps Across America unit.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Students conduct biodiversity analysis at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, test water quality in the Passaic River and Skype with soil scientists through our AP Environmental Science field experiences.
There are more than 30 animals in our Primary School science classroom, among them snakes, rats, fish, chicks and a bearded dragon. Students learn to respect and take care of the animals as well as the ethical issues surrounding owning a pet.
In a Halsey grant–inspired survey of Grades 6 through 12, over 93% of our students reported liking science. More than half said they would like to pursue science after KPS.
Every Middle School student participates in Science Expo, a collaborative five-week research project that involves conducting an investigation and presenting results to an audience of peers and parents. Recent student research topics include: Ethology and Music, Ocean Acidification and Its Effects on Shelled Animals, Cholesterol’s Connection to Alzheimer’s Disease and Magnetic Levitation.
In 2014, 73% of KPS students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses that prepare them for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
We have one of the 300 high school seniors who was named a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search 2015.
The Sciences: The Marvels of Discovery By Wendy Hall, Chair of the Science Department
e want students to recognize science outside the four walls of the classroom, to be fascinated and thrilled by the wonders of what they know and what they hunger to learn. That’s our goal, and to achieve it, we engage our students in doing science rather than just learning it. We want our girls to be challenged, and we want them to love science. The Middle School science program was designed with all this in mind. The curriculum is an integrated program that calls for each grade level to experience connections among the sciences. Instead of teaching, say, life science in the sixth grade, earth science to seventh-graders and the physical sciences in the eighth grade, in all grades we explore these distinct sciences as they relate to one another within specific themes. In sixth grade, the theme unites the three sciences around structure and function. In seventh grade, students delve into them as they relate to energy; in eighth grade, they study how whole systems function according to the interactions of many working parts. As they advance through the Middle School program, students tackle more-complex concepts and acquire moresophisticated skills.
The Middle School science curriculum prepares students to thrive in Upper School science classes. As they begin to explore these higher-level courses, they already look for connections. Let’s take the cell. In this example, sixth-graders learn about the cell from the standpoint of its composition and its purpose; in seventh grade, students begin to understand how – and why – the cell uses and produces energy; during the following year, they look at the interactions within a cell to learn about DNA, the blueprint for all life. Interweaving the study of various sciences within each unit is what truly makes our program unique. In eighth grade we integrate astronomy (an earth science) with Newton’s laws of motion (a component of the physical sciences) to teach astrophysics. Our students learn about the laws of motion and other physics concepts as they relate specifically to space.
Seventh-graders present their multimedia Plate Tectonics project on Krakatau.
Eighth-graders Alexandra Hobbs and Sarah Johnson explore the properties of matter.
The next step is for our girls to apply their knowledge to a challenge. We ask them to use their understanding of Newton’s laws of motion and other physics concepts and build an amusement park ride that demonstrates what they’ve learned. They must see the parallel between a planet orbiting the sun and a roller coaster going through a loop, and use what they’ve learned for the design. This is quite an intellectual leap, but our students are up to the challenge, and as their teachers, we monitor their progress to make sure they’ve synthesized the material. This same type of learning occurs in sixth grade in the unit on body mechanics and in seventh grade in the sustainability unit. The Middle School science curriculum prepares students to thrive in Upper School science classes. As they begin to explore these higher-level courses, they already look for connections. Scientists worldwide are on the brink of important breakthroughs, in health, in medicine, in neuroscience, in genetics, Sixth-graders share their ideas about atoms. in understanding climate effects in the depths of the oceans and high above the clouds. Whether or not our young women go on to careers in the sciences, what they learn at Kent Place – how to ask questions, how to find answers and how to think creatively in all fields — will serve them well for whatever exciting developments the 21st century has in store. Page 11
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Our third-graders design a piece of their inventions using our portable Makerbot 3D printer.
Kent Place owns a VGo, a robotic telepresence that enables off-campus interaction remotely.
All students in Grades 3 through 12 and our faculty use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to manage digital files and collaborate on assignments.
Robotics is taught in the fifth grade and offered as a course to seventh- and eighth-grade students.
For 15 years, Kent Place Upper School students have benefited from a 1:1 laptop program, which makes us one of the most experienced schools in classroom laptop integration in New Jersey. In 2010, we expanded our 1:1 program to incorporate the Middle School. Today, our Primary School enjoys a ratio of 2:1 (two students per Macbook/iPad).
Each summer, KPS fills paid technology-intern positions. The interns are responsible for assisting the Technology Department with summer projects (such as imaging and evaluating equipment) that prepare machines for the start of the school year.
Unraveling the Mysteries: Inspiring the Next Generation of Computer Innovators By Kimberly Pearson, Director of Technology
omputers, computers, computers: They’re everywhere and we all use them, for homework, for our jobs, for research, for the latest news, for e-mail. But how do they work and who makes it happen? According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NWIT), in just a few years there will be almost a million and a half computing-related job openings, and it’s estimated that less than a third of them will be filled. Girls represent a valuable, mostly untapped talent pool.
Kindergartners use Scratch Jr. to code their program involving directional awareness, estimation, logical thinking and creative design.
During the week of activities, we expose all K–12 students to careers in programming and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as they explore real-world, problem-based learning. In addition, we have the opportunity to showcase the many projects we’ve incorporated into our curriculum. Seventh-graders Martha Lohuis and Jessica Kim code in Scratch.
The week starts with an all-school morning meeting during which we outline the special programs our girls will enjoy. There’s a lot going on for each grade level; here’s a sampling.
• Kindergartners and girls in Grades 1 and 2 utilize Scratch Jr. • Third- and fourth-graders create Scratch animations. • Girls in the fifth grade build and program Lego WeDo Robotics utilizing Scratch.
• Sixth-graders use Scratch to create advanced animations. • Girls in the seventh and eighth grades create an app using Snap! and App Inventor.
• Robotics elective students in the seventh and eighth grades build and Freshmen Isabelle Perry and Yvie Millien participated in the Hour of Code by learning Python programming language with Artificial Intelligence.
This startling statistic – and its conclusion – served as a source of inspiration for our Technology Department to pay more attention to programming: that is, to writing codes that tell a computer what to do when we click and type and tap. The goals of our coding initiative are to promote students’ interest and confidence in the field of computer science and to help them form an identity as a programmer. One of the ways we’re reaching them is to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, held annually in December. It’s observed in recognition of the birthday of the computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, who in the 1940s was one of the first programmers of the Mark I computer and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. It’s even said that after finding a moth in the computer she was working on, Admiral Hopper coined the term “debugging,” to mean fixing computer glitches.
program a Lego Mindstorms NXT Rembot and investigate careers in the field of robotics.
• Ninth-graders code in Python and Blockly (programming languages) during seminars.
• Programming students in Grades 9 through 12 present a Software Showcase.
All of these activities support our yearlong programming courses, from coding to robotics engineering and AP Computer Science. As students advance, they deepen their understanding of the programming process: to identify the problem, to brainstorm, to design/code/build, to test and evaluate, to redesign/ code/build and so on – always refining until there’s a working prototype. A problem-based approach engenders enthusiasm about learning STEM concepts, challenges our girls’ resilience when faced with a problem and sparks interest in programming careers. Women are severely underrepresented in the field, and Kent Place is dedicated to changing that.
Finding Her Voice By Robert Pridham, Chair of the Theater Department
or students, the value of creative expression through theater is undeniable – but the unique approach that distinguishes our program is our clear focus on finding and nurturing the individual voice. Over the past 30 years, we’ve welcomed the development of countless new scripts, original performances, cabaret presentations and exceptional student initiatives. Through our independent-study program in playwriting, our students have had their written work presented in fully staged productions at the school. Kent Place actors have participated in the world-premiere productions of Victoria Shudders, The Witchcraft at Salem Village, Bad Teacher, Down at the Bottom of a Deep, Dark Pit, Animal, Vanishing Marion and the musical Mother Jones. Four scripts developed for students – Coaster, How I Got That Part, What Andy Warhol Never Told Me and Maggie – are now published and produced both nationally and internationally. And more are on the way.
Katie Moore-Gillon ’15 performs in her original independent project.
Theater cultivates curiosity and forces us to become thinkers.
Dozens of student performers and directors have developed original performance projects, and some have gone on to prestigious work in theater, film, education and television. Maria Dizzia ’93, for example, is now part of the ensemble of Orange Is the New Black and a Tony nominee for her performance in In the Next Room. Alumnae Chisa Hutchinson ’98 (playwright; winner of the Helen Merrill and Paul Green awards) and Jeanmarie Williams ’85 (playwright; associate professor of theater at the University of North Carolina) have both returned to our campus for full productions of their plays.
2014 Spring Cabaret
This commitment to the original voice begins early, with storytelling projects in our Primary School theater classes and the development of original plays in our Middle School program. Our Upper School Performance Company gives advanced student actors the opportunity to create, perform and tour their own original work, founded on themes as varied as the truths we often wish we could speak but never do and impressions of women in light of race and gender discrimination. This year, there are two productions in development by Performance Company and an independent study in which a senior will be developing a full-length collection of original monologue performances.
DID YOU KNOW . . .
Disconnected, by Denae Wilkins ’14
In 2014–15, approximately 300 Kent Place students are participating in the theater program, whether in classrooms or on the stage.
In fifth grade, students study Shakespeare and create an original performance of one of his plays.
The first all-women’s high school production of the classic American musical 1776 was performed in November on our stage at the Hyde Watson Theatre.
Senior Katie Moore-Gillon launched the world premiere of her independent study exploring comedy and comediennes. In the last 15 years, there have been 12 independent-study projects in theater or film.
Four plays developed for Kent Place Theater by Chair Bob Pridham have been published and are performed both nationally and internationally.
The newly expanded Middle School Playmakers, which mounts two full productions, one in January and the other in May, provides seventh- and eighth-grade actors more time to pursue the work they love.
The challenges are extraordinary. Says Keri Lesnik, a teacher of Primary and Middle School Theater: “Yes, performing on a stage can be scary, but there’s great value in taking risks, and the results can often be increased confidence and a willingness to take on leadership roles. Moreover, theater cultivates curiosity and forces us to become thinkers. I’ve seen it over and over,” she says: “Theater in education makes for smarter, bolder and braver young people.”
Maggie, by Bob Pridham, is now published by Playscripts, Inc.
The Gallery: A Space for Artists and Education By Carey Gates, Chair of the Visual Arts Department
ou’re invited to the Kent Place Gallery for an intriguing look at what’s happening in our visual arts classrooms! Here our students learn and investigate visual communication, develop love for and confidence in the creative process and begin to understand the making of art as a vital and satisfying process. The gallery, which showcases the work of our students and of professional artists as well, is an important conduit by which the school and the community experience the visual arts. All of our girls utilize the gallery in a variety of ways: as artists exhibiting their work, as spectators looking at artwork, as students learning to talk about art and as thinkers who come to realize how art informs all areas of their lives. Students from the elective filmmaking course find connections with the work of the AP Portfolio class.
The gallery is a special space that gives accessibility and a platform for what’s happening in all of the visual arts classrooms. Throughout the year, three professional artists exhibit their work and meet with classes to talk about it. These shows present exciting opportunities for instruction and discussion in a range of disciplines beyond the visual arts, from language to science and everything in between. It’s not unusual to see English classes in the gallery as they use the works on display as inspiration for their writing.
oil, wood and stone, for example; and composition. This information enhances their natural creativity as they return to the art classroom. Annually, there are four student exhibitions, and all of our girls and young women have an opportunity to display their work. A highlight of the academic year is the thematic all-school show, which provides insight into the impressive talent we nurture. The year ends with two shows that call attention to the scope of the arts program. One exhibition displays the artwork of our Kindergartners, who have begun their art education with us, and the other features the works of our AP Portfolio students and showcases what they will submit to the College Board as the culmination of their KPS art education. The gallery is a special space that gives accessibility and a platform for what’s happening in all of the visual arts classrooms. Whether the work is exhibited by our students or by professional artists, the creative process is always on display.
Starting in the Primary School and continuing through the Upper School, our girls learn about drawing, painting and sculpture; different media – charcoal and pen-and-ink, watercolor and
Kent Place students learn firsthand about the the exhibit from the artist herself, Heather Garland.
Primary School students draw inspiration from an exhibition by Upper School students.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Annually we organize many field trips to area museums and art galleries, such as the MET, the Guggenheim, MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum.
Primary School students experience an in-depth investigation of art history as well as the work of indigenous peoples.
In the seventh and eighth grades, 25% of our girls choose arts electives, such as 3D Design/Sculpture and Let’s Face It, a class that focuses on observing and creating portraits based on a variety of ideas from art history and contemporary culture.
Almost 60% of Upper School students participate in the visual arts; we offer four full-year courses and a dozen electives.
15% of KPS seniors take AP Portfolio. Their work, which includes ink drawings, representational and abstract painting, printmaking, sculpture, architecture and digital creations, reflects the wide range of artistic approaches our student’s experience as underclasswomen.
The Art Department this year began an initiative to put together individual digital portfolios to catalog much of the work each of our students has created starting in Primary School through Grade 12.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Our inaugural class of Mandarin Chinese, who began the program in their sixth-grade year, will complete AP Chinese this June.
During the last eight years, the World Language Department has sponsored and led global learning trips to China, Italy, France, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru.
KPS girls and boys begin to learn French and Spanish in Junior Pre-Kindergarten.
90% of our students earn a 3 or higher on the AP French Language and Culture exam and 100% earn a 3 or higher on the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. Courses beyond the AP level are Spanish VI: Women’s Voices in Hispanic Literature and French VI: Women’s Voices in Francophone Literature.
All sixth-graders study Latin for one trimester. Last year, in the seventh through twelfth grades, 95 students continued their Latin classes.
In recent years, eight Spanish students earned travel or college scholarships awarded by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
The Language of Innovation By Nathan Lutz, Primary School French Teacher and Global Learning Coordinator “¡Mira! La mariposa vuela, pero la hormiga camina” “Regarde! La coccinelle vole, mais la fourmi marche.”
hen you’re a kindergartner at Kent Place, that’s what you might say in your world language class. It’s an excellent scientific observation, whether in Spanish or in French: “Look! The butterfly flies, but the ant walks.”
The study of modern and classical languages is the cornerstone of a liberal arts education. Indeed, Kent Place girls have been learning Latin and French since the school’s founding. Today, as we’re concerned with educating our young women to be leaders in the challenging 21st century, the study of a world language is more relevant than ever.
In Spanish class, second-graders study animals and their habitats.
STEM education introduces students to real-life applications, and as such it fosters critical thinking, science literacy and innovation. At Kent Place, that begins in early childhood classes. For example, while our kindergartners are learning about oceans and sea life in their science curriculum, they discuss the same topics in their world language classes. The new curriculum has units on plants and growing, insects and spiders, farm life and food production. Students participate in a fifth-grade interdisciplinary French lesson that focuses on sensory organs.
Our girls benefit from the World Language program’s long sequences of study, which begin in Junior Pre-Kindergarten – when children’s brains are most receptive to language learning. All students must take a world language through Upper School. These years of study mean we can offer classes at levels 5, 6 and AP; and as a result, our young women exhibit great proficiency in whatever language they study. Some of our girls even opt to learn a second.
The exposure of these topics in the world-language classes helps students to master the concepts. As they practice speaking about these topics, they’re developing proficiency in a second language. It’s a win-win situation. As you pass Señora Gragg’s classroom and hear a familiar tune, you might think the children are singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in Spanish. In fact, they’re singing “Cabeza, tórax, abdomen,” which are the parts of an insect’s body.
At KPS, students learn more than just how to chat and read: through interdisciplinary units, they also explore the culture’s art, history, literature, geography, economy, politics, environment and current events. This mode of teaching is called “content-based world language instruction.” It’s powerful because of the richness of the holistic approach and the impact all the connections have. As our country’s workforce becomes more and more globally linked, communication in languages other than English is increasingly important. Our graduates’ competitive edge depends on the preparation of a skill set steeped in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM subjects) and proficiency in a world language. For this reason, the Primary School worldlanguage teachers developed a curriculum to forge a relationship that pairs linguistic competency with STEM content and innovations. The earlier our students start thinking about these topics in their language classes, the more poised they will be to handle the rigors of the AP program and beyond.
Kindergartner Nana Somuah identifies an insect by matching it with the correct Spanish word.
News & Views Mathematics Chair Wins Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching
athematics is a light that illuminates hidden truths around us; it enables us to understand and make decisions about our complex modern world. In our Kent Place math program, our students wonder about their world, propose questions, investigate and do research to shine the light of math across disciplines. Our teachers construct lessons in which students lead the way to knowledge and insight. Our Mathematics Department Chair, Ralph Pantozzi, has been recognized for one such lesson by the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath). MoMath’s mission is to “enhance public understanding and perception of mathematics” and “stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity and reveal the wonders” of math. Since 2012, the museum has sponsored a national competition to identify lessons that encourage students to experience math as an evolving and creative endeavor. For his seventh-grade lesson, “Random Walk,” Dr. Pantozzi was selected as the winner of the 2014 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching. Dr. Pantozzi was honored in early December in a ceremony at the museum and received a monetary award.
MoMath’s trustee and sponsor Saul Rosenthal with Ralph Pantozzi (right) (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Mathematics)
The New SAT
The Rosenthal Prize was created to “demonstrate to the education profession and the general public that innovative math teaching exists and can successfully reach the middle grades.” The national search for lessons is designed to “encourage innovation and incorporation of hands-on methods” in mathematics teaching. The museum will replicate Dr. Pantozzi’s lesson in classrooms throughout the country.
By Elizabeth Woodall, Director of the Upper School
he SAT is changing, again, for spring 2016. With a major overhaul far behind the point structure, the new SAT aims to react more to the actual skills and content of high school learning. Students won’t have to spend time worrying about scoring strategies or reading random passages; they won’t have to guess possible essay topics; they won’t have to spend time thinking about which math problem needs a calculator. As a school, we look forward to having our curricular program complement this standardized test as well as it does the content-based ACT.
founding documents, in history classes in Grades 10 and 11. Thus, for the new essay, which will ask the same question in relationship to different texts, our students will not need preparation. They will continue to do style analysis for 11th-grade English, so addressing how an author builds an argument will be something they’ve practiced all year. (Note: The new SAT and the AP English Language and Composition Exam dovetail excellently in Grade 11 at KPS!)
When the Class of 2017 begins the formal testing process, Kent Place will The new SAT is an affirmation of what Kent Place has known for many, many expect that students take the SAT with the essay component, just as we years: thinking matters, writing matters, being fluent in many subject areas expect them to take the ACT with Writing. We will still work individually matters. Whether you wrote the “Independent Paper” or the “Cumulative with each scholar-leader and her family to designate the appropriate Humanities Paper,” you were expected to make a thesis and defend it with timing of standardized tests; our typical recommendation remains that no clear evidence. Regardless of grade level, discipline or course, at Kent Place student take the ACT or SAT prior to March of 11th grade as a way to you have always been – and always will be – asked to synthesize multiple ensure that enough content has been covered. Now, that recommendasources of information and generate a cogent analysis. The new SAT directly tion will mean more than it has in the past, as the SAT reflects standard acknowledges the need for high school curricula with content synthesis, especially because from English, science, history, matheaccessing factual information is matics and global issues. “The new SAT is an affirmation of what just a “Google” away. There is more to think about with Kent Place has known for many, many years: Students will need to be able the new SAT, and some of the thinking matters, writing matters, to extrapolate themes; identify concerns will be addressed only over rhetorical devices; recognize time and with qualitative and quantibeing fluent in many subject areas matters. ” tative data. Things we’re thinking historical references; understand a strong, common language vocababout: How will the new SAT format, ulary; and draw connections being similar to that of the ACT, among disciplines. Starting in ninth grade, we scaffold each course to impact the number of standardized tests students take? How will the demand the transition from concrete to abstract thinking and from reacting change in the SAT change the aura around the test in terms of student to generating independent topics. Scaffolding also means learning to deterperception of being able to be successful? With some colleges accepting mine the saliency of information whether in fiction or nonfiction, in a the ACT with Writing in lieu of SAT subject tests, how or will the new textbook or a primary document. SAT and its cross test scores (in science and history/social studies) be used in the college-admission process? With the math component of the new SAT, our students, who all surpass the Advanced Algebra level, will be rewarded with how we already test their understanding in computation, analytical thinking, data analysis, graphing and application to novel problems: with calculator sections and those without. As Want to learn more? For a College Board comparison well, our highest math level students (calculus and beyond) will be able to of the current SAT with the redesigned version, click use their knowledge for problem solving and their deep algebra foundation on the QR code or visit: to excel – a far cry from what the past test required: that they “dumb down” https://www.collegeboard.org/ their math knowledge to get through it. delivering-opportunity/ Remember the DBQ essays (document-based questions), those history sat/redesign/compare-tests essays based on primary-source material that you had to read in order to react to a statement? We still do them because they matter. Kent Place students will continue to read primary-source documents, especially the
Ethics in Action: Traditional Philosophy Meets Modern Methodology By Dr. Eva Lazar, Program Coordinator, Ethics Institute at Kent Place School
hat are some of the ethical issues related to food? What challenges does our society face regarding what we eat? What are the socioeconomics of healthy eating? What are some of the cultural barriers to eating well? What role do GMOs play in tackling world hunger? Just what is our relationship with food? This summer, six diverse teams of students and teachers participating in our first-ever Ethics in Action Program will have the opportunity to explore the following overarching question: What are the ethical issues involving food that are relevant to your school community?
K ENNEDY I NSTI TUTE of E THICS
Our program begins with a four-day, three-night summer immersion internship. Days 1 and 2 feature scholars from the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School who will teach participants about ethics and a valuesbased ethical decision-making model and give them the opportunity to examine complex ethical issues from multiple perspectives and disciplines. Days 3 and 4 will feature scholars from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and the EthicsLab who will immerse participants in the design-thinking model. An important aspect of the program will be speakers – experts in all areas of the food industry – among them farmers, corporate CEOs, chefs and writers. Participants will learn about ethics, design thinking and the complex issue of “food.”
The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School partnered with Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics to launch the innovative program, a unique and remarkable educational opportunity available to elite high school students and their teachers. Ethics in Action combines the study of ethics and the practice of ethical decision making with what’s called “design thinking.” The result: selected schools will be invited to send teams of students and teachers who will learn, work and become Design Fellows, ready to engage in finding solutions to challenges faced in their respective academic communities.
At the end of this intense weekend, the teams will identify the most pressing challenge in their school, for which they will formulate a plan or solution. There will be two subsequent weekends, one in fall 2015 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the other during winter 2016, at which time the teams will return to Kent Place to continue their work with the scholars of design thinking.
The Ethics in Action Program has been influenced by Georgetown’s EthicsLab, a design lab that experiments with a new way of making progress in practical ethics. It’s a design-driven, team-based approach that unites ethicists, designers and thoughtful partners on the front lines of moral complexity to tackle real-world problems.
At a summit in April 2016, teams will present their work and members will earn the title “Design Fellow.” Note: Ethics in Action is grateful for the generosity of the Edward E. Ford Foundation.
Our Vision: To Empower the World to Live Ethically The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School is a first-of-its-kind program at the primary and secondary school levels. We believe that the promotion of the practice of ethical thinking and ethical decision making in young children prepares them to be the most effective leaders and compassionate citizens of tomorrow. The chart below provides an overview of the wide range of programs we offer to both KPS and the community at large.
Parent Programs In the form of workshops and discussion groups, Ethics Institute scholars have provided multiple learning opportunities to the Kent Place School parent community.
Educator Professional Development Parent Programs
Ethics Institute scholars have provided workshops to more than 200 educators in the United States and Canada, offer workshops annually to Kent Place personnel and have presented at multiple conferences.
Educator Professional Development
Student Learning We provide faculty leadership and program support for the Junior Ethics seminar and ethical decision-making workshops. We support a team that participates in the National High School Ethics Bowl. We offer summer programs such as Ethical Leadership in Business, which develops skills for achieving positive business practices and outcomes through ethical leadership.
Bioethics Project Ethics in Action
Bioethics Project A student-driven research program, the Bioethics Project involves pairs of student researchers and professional scholars. The student researchers generate a public website, as well as a community symposium.
Ethics in Action This innovative program, in partnership with Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, combines ethical decisionmaking with design thinking. EIA brings teams of educators and students from various schools to the Kent Place campus to develop ethical decision-making and leadership skills, which they will apply to ethical challenges within their own school communities.
Kent Place School Academic Achievements 2014–2015 Advanced Placement Scholars
2015 National Merit Scholarship Program
National AP Scholars Jessica Li ’15 Allison Berger ’14 Natalie Kwan ’14 Ashley Shields ’14
Caroline Rosen ’14 Ashley Shields ’14 Emily Taylor ’14 Meredith Tulloch ’14 Mia Wright ’14
AP Scholars with Distinction Elizabeth Fountain ’15 Alessandra Leong ’15 Jessica Li ’15 Isabel August ’14 Allison Berger ’14 Margaret Bonnet ’14 Veronica Child ’14 Sophie DeBode ’14, Victoria Gilberti ’14, Kathryn Hammond ’14, Alexandra Huff ’14 Ivana Kohut ’14 Natalie Kwan ’14 Olivia Mastrangelo ’14 Amanda Moskowitz ’14 Grace O’Connor ’14 Bela Parekh ’14
AP Scholars with Honor Ivanka Bhambhani ’15 Zoe Denenberg ’15 Abigail Espiritu ’15 Elizabeth Fournier ’15 Molly Gilbert ’15 Madhuri Kannambadi ’15 Monika Paliwoda ’15 Astha Puri ’15 Kara Schachter ’15 Claire Crispo ’14 Denver Hinton ’14 Brianna Pastro ’14 Melina Santoro ’14 Victoria Sanzo ’14
Semifinalist Jessica Li ’15
Commended Students Alexa Corey ’15 Elizabeth Fountain ’15 Elizabeth Fournier ’15
AP Scholars Sarah Chin ’15 Alexa Corey ’15 Isabelle Donatelli ’15 Abigail Fournier ’15 Kathryn Giroux ’15 Claire Hagerstrom ’15 Kayla Jackson ’15 Alexis Kim ’15 Orna Madigan ’15 Carly Mantay ’15 Madison Mastrangelo ’15 Sarah Pavlak ’15 Kristen Plate ’15 Sara Ramaswamy ’15 Erica Rego ’15 Marshea Robinson ’15 Alexandra Rogers ’15 Caroline Samuelson ’15 Zoe Schiffer ’15 Elizabeth Sciales ’15 Mary Spellman ’15 Isabelle Vicens ’15 Adrienne Wolff ’15 Brianna Barrett ’14
Frances Coy ’14 Emily Deombeleg ’14 Asha Fradkin ’14 Megan Ganning ’14 Ashley Gapusan ’14 Sydney Giordano ’14 Sophia Haas ’14 Shayla Harris ’14 Elana Horowitz ’14 Emily Jeffries ’14 Megan Landriau ’14 Caroline Lewis ’14 Claire Lynch ’14 Margaret MacCowatt ’14 Caroline McCumber ’14 Mackenzie Mooney ’14 Katharine Mulderry ’14 Katherine Naylor ’14 Alison Nestle ’14 Emily Obaditch ’14 Claire Ober ’14 Bridget Reilly ’14 Melissa Schaaf ’14 Annie Sher ’14 Megan Storms ’14
Madhuri Kannambadi ’15 Alexis Kim ’15 Astha Puri ’15, Sara Ramaswamy ’15
Erica Rego ’15 Noelle Rosa ’15 Mary Spellman ’15
Over half of our junior and senior classes combined were recognized as AP Scholars.
Upcoming Events at KPS The Admission Office is coming to your neighborhood this spring! Visit our events page at, www.kentplace.org/admission/dates, to see what towns will be hosting Neighborhood Receptions during the month of April. We invite you to spread the word to all prospective families, and to join us as
JOIN US FOR SPRING FLING 2015
a current parent or alumna to share your KPS experiences. Feel free to contact the Admission Office, at (908) 273-0900, ext. 254, for more information, to volunteer to host a future event in your area or to register to attend.
SPREAD THE WORD! KENT PLACE SCHOOL’S DIVERSITY RECRUITMENT EVENT Wednesday, April 15 • 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Kent Place School 42 Norwood Ave., Summit, NJ 07901
Featuring Our Silent and Live Auctions! Saturday, April 25 6:30–11:00 p.m. • KPS Field House
Get your ticket to ride for the BEST party of the year! To follow Spring Fling, please snap the QR code with your smartphone or visit https:// www.501auctions.com/kps
Kent Place School invites new and seasoned educators and staff of color and other diverse backgrounds to come learn about what it’s like to work at an independent school, openings for next year, the school’s diversity initiatives, and the people and programs that make this an exciting place to work. Please register at www.kentplace.org/diversityevents by Monday, April 13, to guarantee your space. Light refreshments will be served.
Kent Place School aspires to create a school community that reflects the diversity and multicultural composition of the increasingly global community in which we live. Kent Place School is an equal opportunity employer.
HAVE A VISION. TAKE RISKS. MAKE DECISIONS. GET ORGANIZED. RESOLVE CONFLICTS. SET GOALS. In the 1990s, an idea for developing young girls’ leadership skills began to form in the minds of former Head of School Arlene Gibson and current Head of School Sue Bosland. That idea has evolved into a vibrant program called the Girls’ Leadership Institute (GLI), which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
From Sue Bosland Head of School and one of the founders of GLI The Girls’ Leadership Institute was founded to inspire girls and young women to find their unique voices; learn, practice and apply leadership skills to multiple situations; and ultimately evolve into the pioneers and leaders of tomorrow by having a positive impact on our global community. In our 20th year, we’re thrilled to hear the stories from our GLI alumnae who speak of how transformative their experiences were.
what they decide to pursue. They can expect to be challenged; to be pushed out of their comfort zones; and to have tons of fun playing games, going on trips and socializing. Being a counselor, I could see the girls become more courageous as they changed their ideas about their place in the world. I can attest to the value of these life lessons; as an undergraduate at Williams College, I’m as vocal as the men in my classes, I hold a leadership position in my a cappella group and I’ve taken classes in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. GLI’s mission greatly inspired me and I hope to continue it in the future, perhaps working at the United Nations to improve women’s rights and health on a global scale.
Reflections, from Katie Woodall ’08 I can hardly believe it, but I went to GLI more than 10 years ago. GLI encouraged me out of my shell, pushing me beyond the limits of what I had known about pretty much everything. From making diagrams of life goals to the ropes course, I learned how to stand up for myself in a way I’d never done before – literally! We had to perform a speech of song lyrics in front of everyone, and I shook like a leaf but I did it.
An annual highlight for GLI participants is completing the ropes course at Camp Nyoda. This group was from 2010.
Reflections, from Juliette Norrmen-Smith ’13 I attended the Girls’ Leadership Institute when I was 12 years old, and in high school returned as a counselor. This program is important and I strongly encourage every eligible girl to enroll. The messages it instills and the skills it builds are essential. To be a girl does not mean to be lesser. To be a girl does not mean to be silent, docile and without common sense. To be a girl means that confidence and leadership are welcomed and encouraged. This is a crucial age to internalize that message, for when girls reach their teenage years, they tend to back away from the things that make them special and powerful for fear that they’re “uncool” or “unattractive” in the eyes of their male and female peers. In a world full of popular media that reinforce the idea that the most important thing about a girl is her appearance, it’s easy to feel ashamed of one’s body and become discouraged from pursuing one’s goals. I have one message girls out there: Don’t let your gender hold you back.
2014 participant presents her Action Plan at GLI’s culminating event.
Ingraining this message is what GLI does so successfully. It lets girls know at this critical age that they can do anything they want to do. Then it provides girls with the skills they need to achieve their goals. Each day is filled with well-planned, well-structured activities aimed to help the OWLs (outstanding women leaders) build confidence, improve their teamwork and public-speaking skills and foster lasting friendships. These skills will assist them in all facets of life, no matter
I learned to work with others to accomplish a goal, how to communicate and how to solve problems. My experience at GLI gave me the tools I needed to work up the courage to run for eighth-grade president. And it was at GLI that I met Cassidy Bommer ’09, whose friendship I still value. I wish I could bottle up everything I learned, felt and experienced at GLI and put it into words. Though some of the details may have slipped away, the effects of that week remain all these years later.
From Erin Hennessy Co-Director of GLI Being a part of GLI has given me the privilege of empowering girls to use their own voices to make a difference in this world. I love when past participants come back to visit and tell us stories of their successes beyond our program. They come to us, learn how strong they really are, then go out and shine in their own communities. For more information about GLI, please visit our website, www.kentplace.org/gli.
DID YOU KNOW . . . •
Chris Clemens, Middle School history teacher, and Liz Woodall, Director of the Upper School, were the original leaders of the institute.
During the first summer of GLI, there were 12 girls in attendance for the five-day residential program. Today, the roster hovers between 30 and the maximum of 35, and GLI is now a two-week, full-day program.
Alumnae from GLI are invited to participate as mentors and counselors for the younger girls.
1776: Upper School Fall Play
n mid-November, the Kent Place School Theater Department mounted
our version featured all Upper School young women. Bob Pridham, chair of
“When I found out, I was really excited, mostly because I was part of something so cutting edge, something new and different that would make an
the Theater Department and director of the musical, said this was one of
impact and just surprise the community overall.”
the acclaimed musical 1776, by Sherman Edwards (music and lyrics) and
Peter Stone (book). Traditionally performed by a predominantly male cast,
the first, if not the first, all-female high school production of the play.
—Ashley Villarreal ’16 (Benjamin Franklin)
The musical tells the story of the Declaration of Independence and portrays John Adams’s efforts to convince his colleagues to vote for American independence and to sign the document. The play premiered on Broadway in 1969 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Music Department Chair Edel Thomas served as musical director and Dance Department Chair LeAnn Yannelli created the choreography.
“It’s not something that has really been done before. When we first started, Mr. Pridham told us about a few professional companies that had done an all-girls staging. But in terms of a high school doing an all-girls cast? That’s pretty unheard of. I think it’s really special.” —Abby Espiritu ’15 (John Adams)
“1776 for Kent Place School? Never in a million years – or so I thought. Then, when we caught news of the unexpected success of the first all-women professional productions of this musical, I asked myself: Why not? Our students [had] a terrific time exploring a largely all-male world I doubt any of them imagined they’d be inhabiting on our stage.” Corinne Russell ’16 (Thomas Jefferson), Ashley Villarreal ’16 (Benjamin Franklin), Jacqueline Pothier ’18 (Roger Sherman)
—Bob Pridham, chair of the Theater Department
Abby Espiritu ’15 (John Adams)
Full company of 1776
KPS Takes Flight Two trips are planned for Middle and Upper School students during the months of March and June. Please follow their adventures via our school blog, at blogs.kentplace.org/global.
Young Women in Leadership Students will travel to our nation’s capital to meet with KPS alumnae and other young women who are working in government and locally in the private sector. Among the highlights will be visits to the Capitol, the State Department and other significant sites. Washington, D.C. • March 6–10
Splash into Science This excursion will be far beyond a typical science field trip. The girls will hike the Everglades at night and the mangrove swamps by day, encounter and study dolphins, snorkel among vibrant tropical fish along Florida’s barrier reef and visit the world’s only state-certified veterinary hospital dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles. South Florida • June 15–19
Our multi-pronged Global Learning Program emphasizing multicultural competency, language proficiency and global service truly sets Kent Place apart from our peers. A rigorous Global Learning curriculum – including world geography and cultures and multiple world languages – is joined by travel, global partnerships and service learning to give our students hands-on, real-time experience living, learning and leading in an increasingly interconnected world.
For more information about our Global Trips, please snap this QR code or visit blogs.kentplace.org/global.
CICG Grant: STEM Curriculum Analysis and Development By STEM Coordinators Suzanne Carreno, Upper School Mathematics Teacher; and Maura Crowe, Middle School Science and Mathematics Teacher
TEM, or the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is much more than an acronym. It’s an innovative approach to education designed to incorporate technology and engineering within the subject areas of science and mathematics, with a focus on skill development and student-centered learning. This approach has recently been expanded to include the arts, and that acronym is known as STEAM.
STEM skills. Recent changes in science expectations, namely the unveiling of the Next Generation Science Standards (2013), focus on the idea that science education should reflect the interconnected nature of the sciences as they are experienced in the real world, which aligns with the interdisciplinary philosophy of STEM and promotion of its skills.1 Specific to Kent Place, we have developed research classes in science, mathematics and ethics that require such skills. Ninth-grader Evelyn Mukherjee
In addition, Phase III of the facility renovation of Kent Place is imminent. This is relevant as it inspires and informs – and should be informed by – innovative curriculum. Space for the 21st-century learning environment should be flexible and adaptable to a curriculum that is dynamic and encourages kinesthetic learning. Thus, this STEM curriculum work will help faculty anticipate facility needs and communicate about them.
Fifth-graders Nicole Kintiroglou and Fiona Tillyer
It’s been an ongoing goal for Kent Place to identify, promote, develop and articulate the curriculum associated with STEM skills within each academic discipline. Among these skills are problem solving, analytical thinking, exploratory learning and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively. This continuing conversation led to a Curricular Innovation and Collaboration Grant (CICG) proposal (see page 3 for grant description), entitled “STEM Curriculum Analysis and Development.” Now the awarding of this grant enables us to identify and articulate STEM skills within our current curriculum, collaborate for further intentional STEM curriculum development, research and partner with entities beyond our campus and consider how and when our girls learn about these fields.
Given the statistics regarding the strong gender divide within STEM fields, specifically that women make up only 28 percent of all workers in science and engineering, one of the desired outcomes of this grant work is to offer Kent Place students an opportunity to identify and experience these fields traditionally associated with STEM and to realize that they are valid academic and career options for these young women.2 We at Kent Place are committed to empowering our students, encouraging a lifelong interest in STEM and ensuring that our graduates enjoy success within these fields.
There has never been a better time for Kent Place to launch this initiative. Many of the Science AP courses and exams have been revised to emphasize
NGSS Lead States. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2013. http://www.nextgenscience.org/
National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2014. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation (NSB 14-01). 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/
2015 kentplacesummercamp •••• June 8–August 21 For boys and girls ages 3–15
take risks make decisions get organized resolve conflicts
“The Girls’ Leadership Institute was a great opportunity to make friends, take risks and learn how to make good decisions and possibly shape the future of others.”
have a vision
Girls’ Leadership Institute
JULY 20–JULY 31, 2015
The Girls’ Leadership Institute (GLI) is a unique summer program for girls entering seventh or eighth grade to explore their leadership potential and strengthen their personal confidence and self-esteem. Each girl will discover and develop her own unique leadership style though a broad range of hands-on activities. The institute, a two-week summer enrichment program, takes place Monday through Friday on the centrally located campus of Kent Place School in Summit, NJ. Each day begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m. Please visit www.kentplace.org/gli for more information or call (908) 273-0900, ext. 303. Join the conversation using the hashtag #GLI14.
Saturday, April 18, 2015 1:00–3:00 p.m. Dining Hall
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Please visit www.kentplace.org/summercamp for more information or call (908) 273-0900, ext. 297. Like us on Facebook
Grandparents & Special Friends Day & Primary Book Fair
Junior Pre-Kindergartner Caden Wu with his grandparents Xiaoxuan Wu and Shaoqin Xu
Head of School Sue Bosland with student speakers (from l to r) fifth-grader Leah Cohn, eighth-graders Avery Didden and Lily Roberts and senior Orna Madigan
Primary, Middle and Upper School Chorus
First-grader Reilly Dangler with her grandmother Roey Dangler
Third-grader Riya Soni with her grandmother Hansa Soni
Freshman Chloe Gonyea with her grandparents, Gerry Gonyea, Sue Gonyea, Russ Gibson and Janet Gibson
Seventh-grader Grace McGinley with her grandfather Joseph Lavelle and seventhgrader Tyler Newman with her grandmother Diane Oliver
Fourth-grader Olivia Adamczyk with her grandfather Tim Trainor
Eighth-grader Jillian Sher with her special friend and sister Annie Sher â€™14
Upper School Chamber Dancers and Dance Ensemble
Kindergartner Sydney Counihan with her grandmother Theresa Ferrara at the Primary School Book Fair
Freshman Natalie Ramseur with her grandparents Rosalind Martin and Mal Martin
The Star 2014
Kathleen Brody ’15
Elizabeth Fountain ’15
The STAR 2014
Zoe Pappas ’15
Alexis Kim ’15, Samantha Silverstein ’17 and Hana Charnley ’17
Riley Kaufman ’18 and Ayana Leelasena ’18
Abigail Jonathan ’18
Alumnae at the STAR cocktail reception: (l–r): Nina Tiger ’86, Carolina Benegas-Lynch Canavosio ’90, Judy Shear Tribucher ’91, Suzanne Alley Franzino ’90, Maren Eisenstat Vitali ’90 and Amie Quivey ’90
Chamber Singers, Chorus and Orchestra members
Primary & Middle School Winter Concerts
Lily Roberts ’19 and Grace Morris ’20
Elynn Chang ’19 and Gabrielle Vicens ’19
Grace Hoverman ’23
Anne Bugliari ’26 and Maya Hardy ’26
Kent Place School 42 Norwood Avenue Summit, NJ 07901 www.kentplace.org
Voyager Editor Rachel Naggar
Professional Photography Vinny Carchietta Will Hauser Flynn Larsen Gene Parciascepe, Jr. Mark Wyville
Contributors Julie Gentile Sara Sultanik Doris Troy
Design Abbie Moore Design Printing Printed with 100% Renewable Energy and Vegetable/Soy based Inks
Direct comments about Voyager to the editor at (908) 273-0900, ext. 217, or email@example.com.
Continue the conversation using the hashtag #kpsvoyager!
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