O C TOBE R- NO V EM B ER 2 0 1 3
The Park Parent in this issue: COMPUTING // 4 OBSERVATIONS // 5 NEW FACES: 2013-14 INTERNS// 6 GRANDPARENTS’ & SPECIAL FRIENDS’ DAY // 7 BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // 10 13th ANNUAL CRAFT FAIR // 11
Making Time for Real-Life Problem Solving: Park Is Building Its Own Innovation Lab B y Laura Barkan, Park Parent Editorial Board
magine the impact on your child if he or she could be given a real-life challenge to tackle, followed by one week of
uninterrupted school time to collaborate
with an interdisciplinary group of experts, peers, and Park teachers to address that challenge. That’s precisely what the new Park School Institute for Transformative Education (PSite) will do, under the leadership of Kimberly Formisano (former Grade II teacher and Acting Director of Interns & Park21 Implementation) and Elaine Hamilton (Upper Division Math teacher). PSite is an exciting new program born from Park21, and specifically the Peter Amershadian Faculty Leadership Program*, which provides teachers with funding to research and implement innovative practices in teaching continued on page 8
Sabbatical Bliss By Olivia Moore head-Sla u g h ter, Psychologist
O vo l u me 46 number 2 a pub lication of the park s c h o o l parent s’ assoc iation
n October 20, 2012, I posted the very first entry into my sabbatical journal. “Day one and I awakened with gratitude.” I am truly grateful for the wondrous expanse of 146 days that I dubbed “sabbatical bliss.”
It would be fair to say that I’ve had a fabulously engrossing working life as a psychologist, no small part of which is due to my 16 years of working at Park. Mine has been a rich and diverse career, including many years of leadership and involvement in the American Psychological Association and the Massachusetts Board of Professional Licensure. I have worked across many settings in psychology and continue to teach, mentor and supervise pre-doctoral interns in psychology at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at the Boston University Medical School Campus. Additionally, a private consulting practice keeps me engaged in a diverse array of projects continued on page 2
Sabbatical Bliss, continued from page 1 even asked myself ), “what will you do while you are away?” My psychologist colleagues who are academicians asked if I planned to write anything or take on any new projects? Many asked about plans for travel and adventure. What was my plan because surely there must be one for such a time as this! Well, though it took a moment to regroup and to refocus amidst both the external and internal swirl of delight in my sabbatical gift, I knew that my sabbatical project would be moi. This was really going to happen! My 146 days of sabbatical bliss would be a time for me to step away from the professional so that I could attend to the personal. I knew that I wanted to rest, to read, and to recreate. For me, having the Zen-chilled creature, but I gleefully turned opportunity to live in the moment and to enjoy day after day after day of self-care was my considerable energy to relishing time in an unhurried and undemanding way. I got heavenly. Last year, with my sons away at college in touch with my inner two-year-old and practiced saying “no” (or “not now”) to any and my spouse traveling every week for project that I didn’t want to undertake, aimwork, I became the sole inhabitant of an ing for just the right combination of gentle otherwise empty nest. I was free to focus yet firm delivery. on me. Psychologists are often better at Since sabbatical bliss would slowly but prescribing self-care than practicing it, and surely come to an end, I knew that my chalto some degree, I’m no exception. Soon lenge would be in finding ways to retain the into my sabbatical, it became clear as mud lessons and the blessings of this time away. that I had lost the capacity to gauge what Unlike camels, people do not possess deep it felt like to be truly rested. I had become reservoirs of sustenance that allow us to go fairly expert at releasing just enough stress (reference sweating on the elliptical) to keep for long periods of time under strenuous life conditions (think hot desert terrain). Long the proverbial glass from overflowing, but periods of high stress take their toll on the not quite enough to tap into the layers of tension and the deep well of fatigue that so mind, body and spirit. We need to attend to that which keeps us alive and truly well on many years of going full throttle had created. I was in deep and not really aware of it an ongoing basis. Given that that size of the vessel will not change (24 hours = 1 day), until I paused long enough to notice. Turns perhaps the challenge is to make small and out 7-8 hours of sleep on a consistent basis sustainable adjustments to how the allotted really does feel differently than my more time is apportioned. While this was fairly typical allotment of 5-6 “alarmed” hours. The newly rested me didn’t become a totally easy to do during sabbatical, I anticipated that transitioning my balanced and rested Park School Sabbatical Program self back into the real world would be pretty darn difficult. Sabbatical leaves provide an opportunity to step away from one’s career for an So, this Park Parent update is perhaps extended period of reflection and rejuvenation. Park strives to make two to three my way of creating a community of witsabbaticals available each year to employees who have worked at the School for more than 10 years. Faculty and administrators may elect to take a full year at half nesses who will both support my ongoing pay or a half year at full pay, and staff are awarded four weeks’ leave at full pay. intention and maybe even join the struggle
both locally and throughout the country. Both at Park School and beyond, I’m privileged to do work that is my calling. I quite simply love my chosen profession and have had the privilege of working in myriad ways that have brought me both intellectual satisfaction and challenge. My work as a psychologist engages both my heart and my mind. I look forward to the many hours of engagement during my typical workday that include the range of young children through adolescents. I am also excited to partner with parents, faculty, and administrators, all working to discern what might be in the best interests of a child. My work simultaneously invigorates and depletes me. That said, I have not held back in my engagement in this professed labor of love. I’ve learned that I do my best work if I attend to my own mental and physical health. So, rising at the “crack of dawn” for a standing appointment with my elliptical machine has been no small part of the picture. I quite literally let the stress and sweat pour from my pores. Much like the energizer bunny, I’ve kept “going and going and going………” and in my case, “giving and giving and giving.” When Jerry Katz, former Head of School, approached me this time about taking my sabbatical, I knew that the time was right. Twenty-six years into my career as a psychologist, I was finally ready to say, “yes!” to this Park School gift of time. For me, it was eerily scary and exhilarating to think of what it would mean to disentangle myself from the day-to-day work that I so dearly love. I felt confident that Park would be just fine with my friend and colleague (and former Park parent), Mira Levitt, ably covering my role. Almost immediately, I was asked (and
Park employees agree to resume their positions and responsibilities at the School upon completing their sabbatical leaves.
The Park Parent // PAGE 2
continued on next page
to live a more balanced life. While having young or even older children at home adds a layer of complexity, it does not make this an impossible task. With or without children under your roof, making taking care of yourself part of your daily equation is possible if you commit to it. While admittedly some days will be better than others, it’s important to keep trying to fit yourself into your own day. Self-care is not an indulgence to be enjoyed only during a sabbatical,
but rather the fulfillment of a personal promise to the one and only you that you’ll ever have the opportunity to love and to be. Just in case you’re wondering, I was ready to resume my life with children, parents, and colleagues when I returned after spring break last year. I ended my sabbatical as I began: in gratitude. Indeed, the last entry in my sabbatical journal ends simply and aptly, “Yet and still, I am humbled and grateful.”
Ten Tips To Incorporate Balance
Here are some ways for parents and kids to create space and balance in their everyday, non-sabbatical lives. Make an appointment with yourself: Schedule an hour for yourself and take care not to double-book or skip this appointment. Though you may not be able to do this often, doing this once a month can be a treat. One hour of uninterrupted “me time” can feel luxurious.
when you’re not falling asleep to enjoy this treat. Modeling this for children is good for them and good for you.
greatly impacts our health and well-being in myriad ways. For adults, 7-8 hours seems recommended. For children, 9-11
Read: Savor some time with a good book, either reading or listening to an audiobook. Try to find a half-hour each day
Sleep: Yes, really! More and more, research is showing that getting enough sleep is essential for children and adults and hours is optimal. Equally important is a regular sleep schedule, with routine bedtimes and waking (or as close as you can manage).
Streamline the screen time: Reduce your screen time and you’ll gain some space for other pursuits. This is particularly important in the hour or two before bedtime as research findings have shown that looking at television or computer screens during this time can interfere with your brain’s ability to settle into sleep.
Routines: Having routines in place for daily occurrences like getting ready for bed, doing homework, and preparing the backpack for the next day will save you and your child time and hassle. Allowing your child to participate in planning and executing these routines both teaches independence and allows you to hand over the reins for some of life’s daily details. A nightly backpack at the door maketh for a more blissful morning!
Let’s make a deal: Break difficult or less enjoyable tasks into smaller pieces, and reward yourself or your child for successful completion of each part. Keep the rewards simple and right-sized. This skill can be applied to completing a heavy load of homework, daily practicing of an instrument, or any other school or work-related task.
Plan to play: In making a schedule of “must do’s” for you and your child, consider play an essential part of the plan. Think simple and fun. No technology required. Check the schedule: An overscheduled life will almost certainly be unbalanced and stressful. Making a family calendar will assist you and your child(ren) to view the number of events scheduled each day/week and the amount of time needed. Combining every family member’s schedule and presenting it visually may help you and your family to better gauge when you’ve moved from enough to too much.
The power of “No”: Sanity is often one “no” away. When feeling over-scheduled and stressed, omitting one event or activity from your plate can greatly reduce your stress. Zen-chilled lite: Find healthy ways to ease your stress and indulge regularly. Listening to music; taking a bubble bath; walking or bicycling; practicing yoga; working on a jigsaw puzzle; petting a dog or cat; singing in the shower; doing origami; drawing and journaling; sipping a cup of tea; taking a power nap. Bite-sized bliss!
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2013 // PAGE 3
Ubiquitous Computing Surfaces at Park School B y C hris Hartmann , Park Parent Editorial Board
t is the spring of 2017. Two Park students from the Class of
2017 (current Grade VI students) are getting ready for their Grade IX Work Study internship. One will work in a local hospital, the other for a non-profit organization. During the interview process, each student learned that their Work Study site is BYOD (bring your own device). Employees work off the Cloud using Google Docs. A social media site is used for daily communication and asynchronous collaboration. Most meetings are virtual. Internet and social media skills are a must. No problem! These two Park students are BYOD-ready and able. Building on the success of the Middle Division iPad initiative, Park’s Upper Division will begin its transition to 1:1 computing where each Grade VI student will receive his/ her own Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PC. Funding for this important initiative was made possible by Park21.
Why the Surface Pro?
One of the big surprises for many parents will be the choice of a Windows 8 device for the 1:1 initiative. Last year, Ray Stewart, Park’s Director of Technology, led an extensive hands-on workshop during which faculty brainstormed use cases, tested hardware and software, and came to a consensus on a technology to support Park’s Upper Division curriculum. In talking with Ray and faculty members Elaine Hamilton, Adam Young, and Dan Eberle, it was obvious that Park did its homework in choosing a device for its 1:1 initiative. iPads, Chromebooks, and Android Tablets were all put to the test. Each lacked one or more essentials. Important criteria that were considered in choosing a device were: portability, strength with the Google Docs platform, ability to run multiple apps simultaneously, and the availability of touch, stylus, and keyboard interfaces. “The Surface Pro offered us the total package,” Ray recalled, “which is why the faculty rallied around it.” Elaine, Adam, and Dan each agreed that Park’s faculty truly came to consensus around the Surface Pro before moving forward. Ray expressed great pleasure that the faculty took the time to
The Park Parent // PAGE 4
consider many alternatives, and that they were willing to avoid the easy choice of sticking with an Apple product. At the same time, he highlighted the fact that Park remains committed to its iPad initiative in Grades III-V. “What an opportunity for Park students,” said Ray, “to be fluent with computing devices in multiple operating systems.” Preparing for 1:1 Computing
Grade VI faculty received their new devices in the summer and are undergoing immersive, on-the-job training in using the Surface Pro as a teaching and communications tool. Since the Surface Pro is a fully functional Windows 8 PC with a detachable keyboard, faculty can continue to use their favorite desktop applications. At the same time, many common desktop applications are full of tablet computing functionalities that were inaccessible using an Apple laptop. Ray and his tech team will be working with faculty to fully leverage these new capabilities. Ubiquitous Computing
Current Upper Division parents will have noticed a progressive increase in the use of technology. Park has approached, and now reached, a tipping point. Beginning with Park’s Class of 2017, the computing paradigm in the Upper Division will change from “always available” to “ubiquitous computing.” The first step in computing is no longer to consider whether or not a computer is available. Instead, students can begin their work by considering whether or not a computer is the right tool for the task at hand. With applications like Edmodo (www.edmodo.com/about) serving as a platform for teacher-student and student-student interaction and Google Docs serving as an infrastructure for content management, faculty have been gradually increasing the role of computational devices in the curriculum for several years. When asked to describe his use of technology, Dan recalled a point last fall, “I recognized that in one way or another I was asking my students to touch the internet on a daily basis.” Elaine spoke positively about the impact that Edmodo has had on learning at Park, “it is available to them anywhere, anytime, so it helps students to overcome the organizational challenges that they face in the Upper Division.” For many years Park students have enjoyed frequent and regular access to desktop and laptop computers. When computers were needed, they were available, as long as the need was anticipated in advance. By making the commitment to be a 1:1 school in the Upper Division, Park is enabling learners and teachers.
Aerial Migration: An Afternoon with Brian Cassie B y L orraine and Todd Idson, Park Parent Editorial Board
ach year Lower Division Science teacher Brian Cassie takes full advantage of the Park building and
grounds to engage third grade students in a study of aerial migration. Why migration? Brian notes that students in Grades I-III learn to make observations when searching for answers to questions and the study of migration provides a great opportunity for students to use their senses to observe and make inferences about our world. “The important thing,” said Brian, “is not so much the conclusions but observing and recording the data. We have the chance here at Park to not only talk about migration, but also stand outside on the roof and watch migrants (birds and insects) go by, and hence make predictions about migration, for example, what might kids conclude from their observations about the association between weather conditions
and migratory patterns. It’s an interesting and important phenomenon, and worldwide in nature. I love it, and I think it’s a great thing to study.” What follows is an accounting by Brian of a particular class day, and may give the best sense of the experiential nature of these studies. “September 25 was a beautiful day at Park School, with clear skies and a lovely west wind. We played a great baseball game at lunchtime recess and all of us noticed that a good number of dragonflies were milling around the playing fields. Big, migratory dragonflies are often a feature here in September, with the relatively immense Common Green Darner usually dominating numerically, followed by the Black Saddlebags, the Wandering Glider, and occasionally other migratory species. The dragonflies discover the Park fields in their southward flights and often spend minutes to hours patrolling the sunny fields in search of insect prey. Then they move on, hop-scotching along on their southward journey until they finally get south of the snowline to spend the winter. We study animal migration in Grade III and, as a component of our studies, we go outside when the weather is favorable and watch for aerial migration here. Sometimes we see Monarchs and other migrating butterflies, sometimes we watch American Robins and Common Grackles, and hawks of various kinds pass overhead. Especially early in the fall, these are often accompanied by dragonflies. One thing we learn early on in our outdoor studies is that the insects mainly stay below the tops of the trees, while the birds almost invariably fly higher than the treetops, sometimes way high above us. Winds from the north and northwest produce the best bird migrations. The
birds love the winds at their back and they can fly by in considerable numbers over the Park campus on crisp, fall days. If the winds are more southerly or southwesterly, bird migration really tapers off but insect migration, closer to the ground and away from most of the headwinds, can still occur in earnest. When Mr. Bown’s class arrived for science after recess, I thought we should take advantage of the day and go out at ground level to see just how many dragonflies were passing through campus. We attended to homework and some other class business and got outside with thirty minutes of observation time at our disposal. We visited all but one of the playing fields and counted up a few dozen Common Green Darners and six Black Saddlebags and were generally pleased with what we had seen and with our recording efforts. And then we emerged on to the North Field, the big field at the northcontinued on page 9
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2013 // PAGE 5
New Interns for 2013-2014 B Y KATE La PINE, Director of Communications
Each year, between 6 and 8 teaching interns become respected and valued members of Park’s dedicated and talented faculty. Our intern program attracts college graduates who wish to explore a teaching career, often while they are pursuing a master’s degree. These placements allow interns to gain experience in the classroom, thanks to the veteran teachers who host them, and engage in the extracurricular life of the School, such as coaching teams or working in the After-School Program. Here’s a look at this year’s crop: Chris Beeson
conversant in Mandarin and is looking
With an AB in History and American
forward to sharing her passion for
Studies from Princeton University and an
Chinese Studies with both students and
MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of
Park faculty. Elizabeth also works at the
Education, Chris Beeson is working as an
After-School Program with students in
intern with David Perry in Upper Division
Pre-K through Grade III. Outside the
Social Studies classes this fall. Before
classroom, you can find Elizabeth jogging
returning to school at Harvard, he spent
around Boston or hiking mountains
the first decade of his career working for
the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), based in Lander, Wyoming. At NOLS, he led leadership education programs for middle school,
high school, and college students in wilderness areas throughout
Ellen Thomas graduated from the
the American West. This year, he is eager to experience Park’s rich
University of Rochester in 2010 with
curriculum that engages students with challenging historical issues
majors in History and Political Science. For the past three years, Ellen worked
at AFC Mentoring, a Boston-based
nonprofit serving youth in foster care.
Ellen Desmond graduated from Saint
Prior to joining the Park community,
Michael’s College in 2012 with a BA in
Ellen developed an interest in teaching
English, minor in Religious Studies, and significant coursework in Education. She
at an independent school while spending several summers working at The Wilson School Summer Camp. Ellen
hails from Concord, New Hampshire,
is currently working with Peter Bown in Grade III and is excited to
where she previously worked in the
put her energy into teaching and coaching at Park.
public schools. Ellen is thrilled to begin this year working with Kyra Fries both in
the classroom and in the drama program,
Holly Mawn is a recent graduate of
and is grateful to witness such dedicated
Colby College, where she majored in
teachers in action. She hopes to bring a creative and engaging
Psychology and minored in Education.
teaching approach to her internship year. In her spare time, Ellen
She has loved working with children
enjoys re-reading favorite books and spending time exploring the
for as long as she can remember and
spent many hours in local classrooms in Central Maine during her college career.
She is looking forward to joining the
Elizabeth Jansen graduated from University of Richmond in
Park community as an intern in Sarah
2013, where she received a BA in Chinese Studies, and a minor in
Bourque’s Grade II classroom. She is also
Elementary Education. She is currently interning in Grade I with
very excited to be assistant coaching Girls’
Sarah Rose, and is very excited to become an elementary school
Varsity Field Hockey this fall with fellow Colby alum Taylor Horan.
teacher. Having studied abroad in Shanghai, China, Elizabeth is continued on next page
The Park Parent // PAGE 6
“My dad (Ralph Wales) is head of The
Corbett Wicks graduated from the
Gordon School in Providence,” Susannah
College of William and Mary in 2012
explains, “so I am thrilled to be starting
with a double major in Biology and
a career in education! After only a few
Environmental Science. After graduation,
weeks here at Park, I am extremely
she spent several months doing
impressed with the school and the
fieldwork and modeling wintering bird
students, and can’t wait to see what this
migrations for the Conservation Ecology
year has to bring!” After graduating
Laboratory. This fall, Corbett is working
from Hamilton College in 2013, where
with Karen Manning’s Grade VI and
she majored in Philosophy and Archaeology, Susannah is working
Grade VII science classes and spending her afternoons in the After-
with Nancy Barre in Upper Division Social Studies. In the afternoons,
School Program. She is thrilled at the opportunity to learn from the
she coaches Grades IV & V Field Hockey with Karen Manning and
talented teachers and students here at Park.
works in the After-School Program.
n n n Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day n n n Wednesday, November 27, 2013 All grandparents or special family friends are invited to this memorable morning at Park. Invitations will be mailed directly to special guests from the School. Questions about the day? Contact Rena LaRusso ’04 at 617-274-6022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? We would love your help! Parent volunteers are very helpful on this busy day. If you would like to volunteer or have questions about the Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day, contact Rena LaRusso at email@example.com or 617-274-6022. PARKING REMINDER Parking spaces are precious! Please help us reserve the school parking lots for our guests. Parents are asked to park along Avon and Rockwood Streets. Thank you!
All-School 8 a.m.
Pre-K – Grade III 8:15 – 9:20 a.m. Classes with Grandchildren
9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
Reception with Head of School Dining Room
10 – 10:50 a.m.
Grades IV – V 8:15 – 8:30 a.m.
Morning Meeting Theater Performance by Grades IV and V
8:35 – 9:20 a.m.
Classes with Grandchildren
9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
Reception with Head of School Dining Room
10 – 10:50 a.m.
Classes with Grandchildren
Grades VI – IX 8:15 – 9:20 a.m.
Classes with Grandchildren
9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
Reception with Head of School Dining Room
10 – 10:50 a.m.
Classes with Grandchildren
All-School 11 a.m.
Dismissal for Grades Pre-K – IX
Park Apparel For Sale! Grandparents’ Day 11/27 and Yule Festival 12/20 Come see new merchandise and do some early holiday shopping while showing your school spirit! Credit cards accepted
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2013 // PAGE 7
PSite, continued from page 1 and programming. Last year, Kimberly and Elaine conducted extensive research by exploring other top schools and attending educational leadership conferences before developing the concept for PSite. A source of inspiration came from Project Zero (projectzero. gse.harvard.edu) at Harvard, an educational research group started by a number of education experts including Howard Gardner (known for his theory of multiple intelligences) and is dedicated to instilling creativity and the idea of “thinking through making.” Another insight came when Kimberly and Elaine immersed themselves in an experiential learning program at Constructing Modern Knowledge (constructingmodernknowledge.com), a “minds-on” institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration, and computing, where Kimberly’s group was given the challenge to develop, from scratch, a box that people could interact with. Kimberly said, “We had to construct a box that would actually respond to us if we interacted with it. I have to admit I was a doubter… but we worked together for days, with experts, and in the end, we created an amazing, interactive box. It had sensors that responded to blowing on it, made music when touched, and played different sounds as your hand moved farther away from the sensor. The experience of building this together was life-changing!” Think about how our children’s days
are spent now—they move from subject to subject and classroom to classroom, while the world around us continues to change rapidly. Elaine said, “PSite will provide students an opportunity to dive into a problem in a sustained way and really connect with it. Students will be challenged in a completely different way, in a technology rich environment. They will have more time to work with a problem… and in the process challenge their preconceptions and surprise themselves.” Kimberly and Elaine want Park students to strengthen their aptitudes for critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, creative expression, and to feel the excitement and sense of accomplishment when a team pulls together to create something amazing. This year, PSite launches with pilot programs for Grades II and V with each grade participating a week-long session.
*Peter Amershadian was a beloved foreign language teacher at Park from 1988 – 2011, and the Faculty Leadership Program named in his honor is intended to motivate Park faculty to take on a major leadership initiative for the School. This program is funded by Park21 as part of its focus on investing in Park’s teachers giving them opportunities and resources to embrace the best practices and innovations of the 21st century learning environment. Kimberly and Elaine successfully applied for and won one of the two 2013-2014 Peter Amershadian Faculty Leadership Awards, providing $10,000 to enable them to bring their vision for PSite to Park.
The Park Parent // PAGE 8
Second graders will build upon their existing partnership with the Sophia Snow House (a residential senior living facility in West Roxbury) to engage with the residents in new and different ways. Fifth graders will delve deeper into their immigration unit as they learn what it is like to be an immigrant, and will be challenged with questions such as “how can we help majority cultures avoid stereotyping minority cultures with a single story?” Elaine said, “We will be experimenting with this pilot model and adapting it for subsequent grades and classes. It’s a brand new idea that hasn’t been done in any other elementary school. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to have such an impact at Park.” In addition to providing students with an opportunity to learn in a completely new way, PSite provides Park teachers their own unprecedented opportunity to innovate. Teachers will establish goals when their classes part of PSite, such as receiving coaching, planning with colleagues, or attending a workshop to further enhance their teaching skills and innovate their programs. Although PSite is in its earliest stages, Kimberly, Elaine, and others already envision multiple ways for it to expand and evolve. Considering the broad and deep talents of Park faculty, students, and families, the opportunity for involvement and accomplishment are nearly limitless.
Migration, continued from page 5
west corner of Park’s campus, and there seemed to be dragonflies everywhere, zipping left and right, circling, buzzing past us. It was a very cool scene and my students and I just had to sit down and take in the spectacle. I said we should count the dragonflies that actually passed by us, north to south, and then we would attempt a count of the others still swarming around when it was time to leave. We counted…..ten, twenty, thirty, forty, eighty, one hundred thirty. More and more dragonflies, all Common Green Darners, arrived and it was a challenge to count accurately. Then, over the trees and tearing across the back of the field came a Peregrine Falcon. In a few seconds, it traversed the field
and disappeared from sight above the trees surrounding Faulkner House. I barely had time to call, ‘Peregrine Falcon,’ before the bird was gone from sight. But not to worry. The falcon came right back and whipped around the back of the field again, once more right at the treetops. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal in the world and this bird was putting on a show of speed for us. It flew by again and again, progressively lower, and we could see that it was actively hunting dragonflies. The dragonflies stopped here to hunt for insects and the falcon to hunt dragonflies. Both were on their southward migrations. Pass number five of the Peregrine was fifty feet directly overhead our gawking, disbelieving class. Pass number eight, the final pass we witnessed, was three feet off the ground at a hundred miles per hour, and the magnificent Peregrine flew so close to us that one student heard the swoosh of its wings and another swore he felt the air around him move! We were all awestruck.” Utilization of the Park campus to experience the natural world, to collect data through observation and then to use this as a basis for prediction, is central to an early introduction to the process of research and discovery. Being able to engage in studies of this character under the guidance of such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructor as Brian Cassie represents the epitome of what anyone might hope for the education for our children.
In November, in collaboration with the P.A. Diversity & Inclusion Committee and The Foundation for Children’s
Books, we welcome Nigerian children’s book author, Ifeoma Onyefulu.
On the first day
Please join us
Ms. Onyefulu will share her
of fall, the Library
vibrant photography and
began a year-long
the year as we
award-winning books on
exploration of Nikki
Africa with students at Park
work with an
and our partner Boston
public school, Mather Elementary.
on seasonal change,
Collect Raindrops: The
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2013 // PAGE 9
beyond the classroom
Extracurricular Activities at Park B Y A NNE HARVEY KILBURN, Park Parent Editorial Board
While our children are generally well aware of the wide range of enrichment activities available to them at Park, parents are often the last to know! Here’s a listing of all the offerings available. Some qualifications: Unless noted, no fees are required. The clubs listed are for the current year; clubs vary year to year depend-
ing on student interest, faculty, and Grade IX leadership. For details on any activity, please contact: Lower Division: Andrew Segar firstname.lastname@example.org Middle Division: Cynthia Harmon email@example.com Upper Division: Alice Lucey firstname.lastname@example.org
Lower & Middle Divisions (Pre-K – Grade V)
Upper Division (Grades VI – IX)
After-School Care/Study Hall
After-School Program, daily until 4:30 or 6 p.m. Fee required.
Study Hall, M/W/Th/F until 4:30 p.m.
After-School Athletics: Fall
Grades IV & V: Boys’ & Girls’ Soccer, 2 afternoons/week
Boys’ & Girls’ Soccer, 4 afternoons/week
Co-ed Field Hockey, 2 afternoons/week After-School Athletics: Winter Grades IV & V: Boys’ & Girls’ Basketball, 2 afternoons/week
Co-ed Wrestling, Tuesday afternoons
Girls’ Field Hockey, 4 afternoons/week Co-ed Cross Country, 4 afternoons/week Boys’ & Girls’ Basketball (some AM practices), 4 days/week Co-ed Ice Hockey (AM practices), 4 days/week Boys’ Wrestling, 4 days/week
After-School Athletics: Spring
Grades IV & V: Boys’ & Girls’ Lacrosse, 2 afternoons/week
Boys’ & Girls’ Lacrosse, 4 afternoons/week Girls’ Softball, 4 afternoons/week Co-ed Track and Field, 4 afternoons/week
Grades I – III: Storybook Theatre by Freelance Players: Three 8-week sessions, 2 afternoons/week $200/session
Fall: Musical for Grades VII – IX Winter: Musical for Grade VI Winter: Play for Grade VIII – IX Spring: Play for Grades VI – IX
Ms. Allen’s Inspirational Freedom Choir: Grades K – III: Junior Choir V – VII: Performance Choir/On Point (by audition) Saturday rehearsals; $175/semester
Members of the Music Department are available for private instruction in cello, guitar, and piano.
Grade III – V: Pangaea, 2 times/month
Grade VI Math Team, 2 days/week
Grade IV – V: Math Club, 2 afternoons/week (2 fall sessions)
Grades VI – IX: Gay-Straight Alliance, 1 day/week Green Club, 1 day/week Improv Club, 1 day/week Math Counts Team, 1 day/week Pangaea/One World Club, 1 day/week Service Council, 1 day/week Student Council, 1 day/week
Grade IV – V: TIDBITS Club (engineering), 2 afternoons/week (2 winter sessions) Grade V: Math Team, last period, 2 days/week
Other Park Clubs
Mr. Cassie’s Birdwalks, selected mornings Chess Club, winter, Fri. afternoons, winter Garden Club, seasonal Friday mornings Grade V: Horizons for Homeless community service, (by lottery), spring, 1 afternoon/week
Grade VII – IX: Park/Epiphany School tutoring program, spring, 3 afternoons/week 3-6 p.m. Literacy project, creating books for Horizons for Homeless children, winter, 1 afternoon/wk Model UN, weekends FIRST Lego League (FLL) Team, Tuesdays and Saturdays, fall
The Park Parent // PAGE 10
CALLING ALL BAKERS! Our bake sale is a highlight of the Craft Fair! Please deliver your (nut-free) baked goods to the West Gym Lobby on Friday, November 8, after morning drop off. Stay for a bit and help wrap! All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any questions, please contact: Beth Holzman email@example.com Natalie Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
We need help with admissio ns, our bake raffle. Two-ho sale, and ur shifts begi n at 9:30 a.m. Th terrific way to is a become invo lved, meet ot and enjoy a w he r parents, onderful fam ily day at Park contact Volu . To help, nteer Outreac h Coordinato Sarah Keatin rs: g sarahcampbel lkeating@gm Alkia Powell ail.com alkia.powell@ um b.edu Suzanne Sam uels suzann e.samuels@gm ail.com
air! th Annual Craft F 3 1 rk’s Join us for Pa iation or Parents’ Assoc is a maj tplace Craft Fair across New d crafters from Brookline Marke an ts tis ar d rie e ures 90 ju sale. This year w fundraiser. It feat d sell-out bake an e, ffl is ra Th r ! la er cu ta kids’ corn England, a spec and introduce a rs to bi e hi th ex to w en ne welcome over 40 tire family and op en e th r fo n fu is e event community-wid ing your friends! br mac.com public. Please Lynnbradbury@ bury ad Br nn Ly t: email@example.com ac fournier_falin Questions? Cont Michele Fournier .net jckraft1@verizon t af Kr n ly ro Ca
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2013 // PAGE 11
Upcoming Dates of Note October 22 Tuesday Pre-K – V Parent Conferences Pre-K – V NO SCHOOL; ASP available 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. VI-IX regular schedule November 3
Sunday Admission Open House, 12-3 p.m.
Craft Fair, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Veterans’ Day – NO SCHOOL
November 27 Wednesday Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day (Pre-K – IX Dress Day) 11 a.m. dismissal – No ASP November 28 Thursday Thanksgiving Day – NO SCHOOL November 29 Friday
Thanksgiving break – NO SCHOOL
December 20 Friday
Yule Festival (Pre-K – IX Dress Day), 9:30 a.m. 12 p.m. dismissal – No ASP Winter Vacation begins
Visit the calendar on the Park School website for more dates!
The Players in the Park presents:
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Friday, November 22 7 p.m. Saturday, November 23 2 p.m.
The Park Parent Editor: Editorial Board Chair: TC Haldi Stanley Shaw Director of Communcations: Kate LaPine Editorial Board: laura barkan, Carol batchelder, Laura Carroll, Chris Hartmann, Paula Ivey Henry, Todd idson, Anne Harvey Kilburn, Kate Olmsted, Padmaja Raman, dorothy richardson, darshak sanghavi, john strand President, Parents’ Association: katie mc weeny Parents’ Association Communications Network: Emilie Kendall AlISON HONG (photographer) Chair, Board of Trustees: Suzie Tapson Head of School: michael Robinson
We want to hear from you! If you have a story idea or issue you’d like to see covered or thoughts about something you’ve read, please let us know.
Read The Park Parent online at www.parkschool.org The Park Parent is a newsletter that highlights academic, extracurricular, social, and fundraising activities at The Park School. It is currently published six times a year, and its readership includes parents, grandparents, faculty, alumni, and other friends.
The Park School 171 Goddard Avenue Brookline, MA 02445 617-277-2456 October–november 2013
The Park Parent In honor of the School’s 125th Anniversary, all 557 students and 150 members of the faculty and staff gathered for a historic photo on Tuesday, September 10.