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Cover Art: “Evan’s City” by kindergartener Evan Goldschmidt. See p. 3 “Our Richmond”

Board Members



Executive Committee President: Tom Shields, Ph.D. Director, Center for Leadership in Education, University of Richmond Vice President: Kathryn Gammino Freelance Art Director Secretary: Katherine Brakman Senior Producer, The Martin Agency

Treasurer: Brenda Daglish Community Volunteer

Jon Becker, J.D., Ph.D. Director of Online Academic Programs; Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University Pam S. Belleman Partner, Troutman Sanders Jason Forsyth Vice President, Moseley Architects

Mark Householder Regional Vice President, Life Brokerage at Principal Financial Group

Advancement Facilities & Operations Planning Finance Governance Strategic Planning Sustainability Technology

Hunter H. McGuire, III Principal, Prologue Systems, LLC

Ex-Officio Members

Caroline Hoover Community Volunteer

R. Gaillard Owen Vice President, Investments, Davenport & Company Mac Purrington Owner, Apple Spice Junction Adam Rose Director, US Consulting, Global Investments, Deloitte Vineeta Shah Community Volunteer



Executive Director Irene Carney, Ph.D. Director of Finance & Operations Christine Webb Director of Development Erin O’Regan President, Parents Association Corey Delaney



1 Our newlyadopted dragon mascot 2+3 Our new winter tradition — Night Tree




4 Our 2nd biennial Sabot Institute 5 Our community outreach 5




In the fall, most educators’ heads are filled with the academic year that is just beginning. We are consumed with new names and faces; orientations and startups; schedules; supplies; and logistics galore. It is a dynamic and demanding time. It is lovely, therefore, to take a moment, for quiet reflection. The thoughts at the heart of this issue of Reflecting have, we think, a particular richness. They are rich with a sense of connection — to each other, to our shared history, our shared learning, and


6 Our Our Richmond umbrella project 7&8 Another successful year at VJAS & Minds in Motion

our shared belief in and optimism about the future — both the future of our school and the promise of our community. We hope that this annual report will provide you, too, with a moment to savor the experiences, accomplishments, and highlights of the 20142015 school year. We send it with our deep and heartfelt appreciation for your connection to and support of Sabot at Stony Point. And with sincere gratitude and wishes for a good year ahead.





EDUCATION must focus not on the child considered in isolation from others, but instead on the child seen as interconnected with particular others in nested communities: home, classroom, school, neighborhood, city, region, nation, and eventually extending out to include the whole world. — Carolyn Pope Edwards “Democratic Participation in a Community of Learners: Loris Malaguzzi’s Philosophy of Education as Relationship”


“OUR RICHMOND” Building Connections Between Sabot and Our City

BY S U S A N B A R S T O W, L owe r S ch o o l D i r e c to r & A N N A G O L D E N , Ate l i e r is t a


ach year our faculty chooses an umbrella project, a question or a topic that the whole school community investigates together. Work for this investigation takes place across the entire school, and includes research done by the children, from two-year-olds to eighth graders, as well as teachers, administrators, parents, and even grandparents. Past umbrella projects have focused on “Music and Sound,” “Tinkering,” “Shakespeare,” “Place,” and “Time.” This year, in a project entitled “Our Richmond,” we investigated our city.

Sabot is located within the city limits of Richmond, in a beautiful green space adjacent to a hundred-acre city park known to the children as “The Forest.” This location makes possible a myriad of experiences in the natural world, but it also means that we are far from downtown, and thus, disconnected from much of the city and its inhabitants. Teachers had long wanted to reach out beyond the generous confines of our campus and invite children to experience and learn more about the urban spaces — and urban dwellers — of the city; this project, generously supported by a Partners in the Arts grant, allowed us to do just that. Children across the school engaged with the city on a physical, historical, and social level. They learned about buildings, neighborhoods, roads, parks, the James and its tributaries, bus routes, bike routes, and mapping. And perhaps even more importantly, they learned — through very immediate experiences — about Richmond’s rich and checkered history: the Civil War, segregation, the Civil Rights movement, environmental concerns, and ongoing social justice issues around access to education, recreation, nutritious food, green space, transportation, and employment. Although the work of the umbrella project is an ongoing — sometimes daily — part of children’s experience, this article focuses on three days — our Umbrella Days — when the children went en masse into the city.

Special thanks to Partners in the Arts of University of Richmond for its generous support of the “Our Richmond” work. (4)

Second graders pitch in at the Evergreen Cemetery Clean-Up. A kindergartener pays bus fare.

Umbrella Day 1

Umbrella Day 2

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.

The photos and the memories of that day are wildly different from those of the first Umbrella Day. They are full of people, not just ourselves (Sabot students, parents, and teachers) but also dozens and dozens of other people — once strangers, now at least acquaintances — with whom we share the city of Richmond, and with whom (or at least with some of whom) we connected.

On our first Umbrella Day, in September, lower- and middle-school students made a trip into the city to explore “Our Richmond.” They investigated the James River, Brown’s Island, the Kanawha Canal, Oregon Hill, Belle Isle, Floyd Avenue, and Church Hill. They travelled into the city by bike, car, and GRTC buses, and they came back with their heads full of streets, buildings, cell phone towers, waterways, houses, buses, and bridges. Almost all the photographs from that day, and almost all the children’s representations of what they remembered ­— representations done in paint, words, 3-D sculpture, and clay — depict the cityscape, landscape, and waterscape of Richmond.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


On our second Umbrella Day, which took place on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, students from across the school again went into the city. Some middle-school students went to the Historical Society and learned about the history of segregation, others followed the Richmond Slave Trail. Lower-school children visited a fire station, walked down Franklin Street telling jokes to passers-by, cleaned up Abner Clay Park, and cleared brush in Evergreen Cemetery. At noon, lower-school children and preschool families gathered in Monroe Park. There, the children gave the gifts they brought for the people and animals in the park: paper crowns and paper airplanes, hot cider, origami hearts, garlands of food and decorated bird houses for the birds, and, of course, lots more jokes.

By making those human connections, Sabot students will come to more fully inhabit and participate in their community, to become — we hope — a real part of “Our Richmond.” Of course, it isn’t always easy to connect with people. Sometimes our intentions are misunderstood, mistimed, or misplaced; sometimes, we put a foot wrong. But in the effort to connect, both in the successes and in learning to understand the failures, bonds are tentatively formed and empathy is slowly developed.

A third grader tries out a joke. And flops.

A middle-school student photographs dancers in the cityscape.

It really isn’t easy to make connections, perhaps especially not in a city as economically, socially, and racially diverse as Richmond. But we must reach out — and we must encourage our children to reach out — to one another. As Dr. King recognized, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” On the anniversary of Dr. King’s birth, our students took a step toward recognizing and celebrating that mutuality, and in so doing, they honored his memory.

from the Richmond Peace Education Center.

Umbrella Day 3

Students continued to make forays into the city throughout the spring. Preschoolers explored the idea of the city and their connections to it. Middle-school students became engaged with drawing, painting, photographing, filming, and studying Richmond.

However, the end of the school year was marked by people from the city of Richmond coming to our campus, as we discovered that the bridges we’d built could support two-way traffic. Community leaders visited the third and fourth grades. Third graders learned more about the city’s buses, their drivers, riders, and passengers from Laura Browder, American Studies Professor at the University of Richmond; Muriel Azria Evans, Fan Free Clinic; Christina Mastrioanni, from the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building; and Ebony Walden of RVA Rapid Transit. And in connection with their interest in activism, the fourth graders hosted Patience Salgado, kindness worker, and Paul Fleisher

The second graders hosted their friends from St. Andrew’s School, a classroom of children they had visited in October and corresponded with throughout the year. The second graders exchanged small gifts and spent the morning exploring the forest together. We were visited several times by students from the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School in Church Hill, where Mike Maruca, father of fifth-grader Ellie Maruca, is the head. AJCES and Sabot fifth graders joined for lunch and a rousing game of Capture the Flag in the forest. And Sabot’s middle-school students welcomed AJCES soccer players for two scrimmages. It is our hope that these newly-formed connections to the city of Richmond will deepen with time. The faculty has chosen — for the first time ever — to continue an umbrella project inquiry into a second year. As we embark this fall on our second year of this investigation, we do so in the hope that our children will come to understand themselves more fully, not as isolated beings, but as members of what education scholar Carolyn Pope Edwards calls, “nested communities: home, classroom, school, neighborhood, city, region, nation, and eventually extending out to include the whole world.” For more about this past school year at Sabot at Stony Point, you can find teachers’ classroom blogs linked from our website at




Ten years ago, a small group of Sabot preschool parents resurThe 15 graduates rected a question that had been hold their posed several times over the diplomas. course of the preschool’s history — could Sabot’s philosophy and pedagogy translate into a model Post-graduation for kindergarten and elementary sentiments, education? That question temporarily imprinted, launched the decade-long process forever felt. of building our lower school and middle school programs. Constructing our program has involved both articulating the constants — the essence of what we believe about children, • Children can and do support teaching, and learning regardless and strengthen one another’s learning through respectful of age — and responding to debate and discourse and changing abilities and needs as through warmth and empathy. students “aged up” through our school. • Effort rivals talent in acquiring knowledge, understanding, and The kindergarten class that pioneered our program in 2006, skill. Talent without effort is a joined along the way by an equal squandered treasure. number of students who entered • Giving students many tools later, were our eighth grade and options for representing graduates this year. These their learning strengthens their students have left us with a research, deepens their undernarrative of “the Sabot difference” standing, and generates new — ways in which our students questions and ideas. Over the develop, learn, and change course of their years here, the through the experience they Class of 2015 demonstrated have at Sabot. their understanding through They demonstrated individually dance, music, drama, painting, clay, craft sticks, cardboard, and collectively that: Google SketchUp, animation, • Curiosity and passion are pow- poetry, rap, wire, photography, videography, fabric, speeches, erful fuel for motivation; hard, essays, research papers, Powerfocused work; persistence; and Points, Prezis, models, fabric, the drive for mastery. and found materials — to name (7)

a few! • There are many faces and forms of leadership. • A quiet and gentle temperament can go hand in hand with tenacity and strength. • Having ownership and agency in one’s learning makes that learning come alive. • Being in the practice of reflecting on one’s learning builds and underscores that agency and ownership. On Friday, June 5th, each member of the Class of 2015 gifted the school with a speech; our graduates reflected, entertained, touched our hearts, offered thanks, and said goodbye. Their graduation was an important and beautiful moment in the life and history of our school.


Goodbye, My Friends, Goodbye.


he 2015-2016 school year ushers in two noteworthy thresholds. This year, our preschool celebrates 20 years of applying the lessons of the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education. We also take note this year of second landmark, the 10th anniversary of the launch of our kindergarten and lower school program. This moment in our school’s history provides a place from which we can look back — in a spirit of celebration and appreciation — and consolidate the learning of the last 20 years to help us look with confidence to our next decade(s).

Over the last two years, we have said goodbye, in a sense, to a number of individuals who anchored our most recent era. These teachers and volunteer leaders have invested themselves in taking Sabot’s preschool to a new level and in giving our lower school program and Sabot at Stony Point a solid start. Because of their unwavering belief in our mission, they worked through seasons of uncertainty and challenge to deliver our school and program to a sure and stable place. We have a tradition, in our preschool, of marking the end of a child’s preschool years with a gold pencil… a symbol of their accomplishment and transition. Over the last two years, these individuals have earned their gold pencils:


Preschool Teacher 1989 - 2014


Preschool Teacher 2005 – 2015

And Board Members: Pam Belleman, 2009 – 2015 Kathryn Gammino, 2005 – 2015 Hunter McGuire, 2004 – 2015 Jane Myers, 2006 – 2014 Mark Stevens, 2005 – 2014 We thank them — from the bottom of our hearts — for giving so generously of their time, energy, and creativity and and for their unwavering commitment to Sabot at Stony Point. (8)

Why do you need money? Don’t I pay enough with tuition?

Everything else! • Capital Improvements • Technology Enhancements • Strategic Priorities • And More

g in is ra nd Fu

Each Sabot constituent is vital to the success of the school and each plays a critical role in furthering its mission. We are all equally-critical parts of the whole.


The ecology of Sabot: Who are the Stakeholders?


Fundraising allows the school to grow. Our fundraising vehicles are the Annual Fund, the Auction, Small Fundraisers and Capital/Directed Funds.

on iti Tu

Tuition and earned income cover our operating budget. This is something we are very proud of, as most schools operate with a gap between the cost of operating the school and tuition revenue. Not only is Sabot at Stony Point a “no-gap” model, we are also forward-funded. This means that the money we raise this fiscal year will be spent next fiscal year.

Operating Budget: • PS, LS, MS • Beyond the Classroom • Management • Athletics • Building & Grounds

Administration Advances the mission through responding to the needs of families, scaffolding the work of the faculty & the Board of Directors, and promoting the school to the larger community. Faculty Advances the mission through the work of the classroom, providing an engaging & collaborative learning environment & experience.

Board of Directors Advances the mission through strategic planning & investment, governance, and fundraising & fiduciary responsibility. Parents Association & Parents Advance the mission through community building.


OUR TRUE NORTH Strategic Plan

We have recently completed the final year of Our True North — Sabot at Stony Point’s 3-year strategic plan. We celebrate successes in the plan’s three objectives: People, Program, and Place.

2014–2015 Financial Report* Total Income:

$2,674,911.97 Tuition & Fees: 79% Student Activities: 8% Contributions: 7%

Some of the most noteworthy achievements include:

PA & Special Events 3% Other Sources: 2%


Outreach: 1%

Sustainable and competitive compensation and benefits for our faculty and staff.

Program: Establishment of health & sexuality curriculum in lower and middle school, and a school-wide science curriculum.

Place: Steady and marked progress in upgrading and beautifying our grounds with an eye towards safety. As we celebrate these major milestones, we also plan for our future. Our True North 2.0 is well under way. We look forward to sharing it this fall.

Total Expense:

2,518,047.43 Academic Programs: 53% Management & Support: 38% Student Activities: 6% Fundraising: 2% Outreach: 1%

*Sabot at Stony Point performs an annual audit. Due to publication timing, these numbers are unaudited. If you would like more information about our financials, please contact us at (804) 272-1341. ( 10 )

THE FINAL SAY As they do each spring, our 7th and 8th graders participated in the Virginia Junior Academy of Science Annual Symposium. Below is an excerpt from an email sent to Irene Carney by one of the judges. I had the privilege to serve as a volunteer judge at the 75th annual Virginia Junior Academy of Science Symposium at James Madison University on May 21, 2015. I saw a wide range of performance across the 22 entries. Of those entries, I was most impressed with the work demonstrated by the . . . students from your school. Not only were the topics scientifically and socially relevant, the method used in planning and execution of the experiments was detailed, sound, and well-constructed. Perhaps what impressed me most from your students was the poise and familiarity with their subject matter in their oral presentations. All three students were polished and spoke with a smooth confidence that was obviously not the result of repetitive practice. These students showed true understanding of their subject matter, and handled questions from the judges and the floor with polite and thoughtful responses. Although I only witnessed a small sampling of the student body at Sabot at Stony Point, I was very much impressed with the work that you are doing there. Please keep up the good work with the education of these young minds.

Learn more : (804) 272-1341 sabotrva @SabotRVA

2014-2015 Annual Report  
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