GAYNOR GAZETTE Stephen Gaynor School
THE GAYNOR GAZETTE IS PUBLISHED TWICE A YEAR BY: STEPHEN GAYNOR SCHOOL 148 WEST 90TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10024 T 212.787.7070 F 212.797.3312 WWW.STEPHENGAYNOR.ORG
Table of Contents WINTER 2019
2018-2019 BOARD OF TRUSTEES BOARD OF TRUSTEES Grant Duers – Co-President Ericka Leslie Horan – Co-President Hamburg Tang – Vice President Jay Kramer – Treasurer Jillian Neubauer – Secretary Andrew Bast Kristine Baxter Hillary Blumberg Lorie Broser Patterson Chiweshe Keech Combe Shetty Carol Feinberg Dr. Mary Fitzpatrick *Dr. Scott Gaynor – Head of School Oscar Gil Vollmer *Adina Haller – President of Parents’ Association Benjamin Hamilton Henrietta Jones Steven Kobre Elizabeth Mily *Yvette Siegel-Herzog – Co-Founder and Director of Education Gordon Uehling *Ex officio member TRUSTEES EMERITUS Jo Ann Gaynor Gordon Gaynor GAYNOR ADVISORY COUNCIL Susan Wine Bender Chris Canavan Megan Hogan Seth Kramer '95 Traci Lester Darya Mastronardi Gail Ross, Ph.D. Josh Wiener Executive Editor: Deanna Ferrante Managing Editor: Kathryn Greene Design: Adriana J. Moreno Photography: Kathryn Greene and Deanna Ferrante Printing: Western Commercial Printing
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BOARD OF TRUSTEES
STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE
20 READING DEPARTMENT UPDATE
5 QUESTIONS WITH...
LET'S GET COOKING: EC FEATURE
SCIENCE IS EVERYWHERE
STUDENT SHOUT OUTS
PLACEMENT OFFICE TIPS
THEN & NOW
On the Cover: Students shone at this year's Winter Concerts, performed for the first time in Gaynor's new Performing Arts Center.
GAYNOR ON GAYNOR
understanding of the material. It
students were asked to fill in
is the flexibility and expertise of
the statement, “I am thankful for
our faculty that enables them to
_____ because they _______”
meet the needs of each student
about what they were thankful
and help the students access their
strengths and support developing
the answers ranged from hot
areas. You can read more about
chocolate to family. One particular
this unique approach on page 18.
student, as seen above, noted
they were thankful for Stephen
Performing Arts Center opened
Gaynor School — a surprising
for instruction and performances.
choice since we are responsible for giving homework and tests — but what is special about this answer is that the student is thankful for the school “helping me learn [about] how I learn.”
The beautiful new space allows our students to shine in new ways. At the Winter Concerts (cover photo) students found their voices onstage, performing in a brilliant way that moved everyone
At Gaynor, our mission is to unlock each child’s
in the audience. The night was a glimpse of the
potential. Teaching our students how they learn
many years and performances to come, the next of
is the cornerstone of our self-advocacy program.
which will be the spring musical, Mary Poppins Jr. I
On page 16, you will read how self-advocacy is
hope that you join us.
fostered throughout our divisions with the goal of students being able to internalize and articulate their individual learning styles. This is highlighted by our students’ preparation for applying to their next schools. We help our students work on finding their voices and improving their self-confidence by performing mock admissions interviews. To learn more about our individualized placement program, see page 15. Our
I am thankful for Stephen Gaynor School for helping me learn how I learn.
Both inside and outside of the classroom, I am always impressed by the maturity and fearlessness our
advocating for themselves. These are essential skills that will serve them well as they continue their wellrounded academic journeys. So, in completing my own Thanksgiving statement; I am thankful for the faculty and staff of Stephen
prescriptive teaching, is another key component of
Gaynor School because they make the world better by unlocking the potential of each of our students.
our program that guides students’ individualized learning and goes hand-in-hand with them finding their voices in the classroom. Our teachers and specialists have a unique, dynamic relationship with each of their students. Within a lesson, our teachers constantly adjust instruction based on the students’
DR. SCOTT GAYNOR Head of School
BOARD OF TRUTEES
Board Of Trustees News LORIE BROSER Lorie Broser brings skills in marketing (for organizations like
Disease Foundation, which supports research, education and
National Geographic), and parent engagement (she serves
the prevention of genetic diseases.
in many leadership roles at Village Community School), to her new role as a member of Gaynor’s Board of Trustees.
Broser has already made a significant impact at Gaynor, volunteering
Broser is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the
activities within the Purple Cluster, exploring best practices
National Gourmet Institute, and joined the Gaynor community
on how to engage new families, and assisting with the 2018
when her son, Marcus, enrolled in the Early Childhood
Gaynor Gala and other fundraising initiatives. Her focus on
Program in 2016. She and her husband David have an older
creative ideas to bring the community together in new and
daughter who is enrolled at Village Community School.
exciting ways brings a valuable perspective to the Board
She currently serves on the executive board of the Genetic
KEECH COMBE SHETTY Since 2014, Keech Combe Shetty and her husband, Akshay
Shetty’s daughter, Lokaya, joined Gaynor’s Early Childhood
Shetty, have served as Co-Chief Executive Officers of
Program in 2016, and Shetty wasted no time in helping
personal care company, Combe Incorporated. She is part of
create a strong community of Purple Cluster parents, often
the third generation to manage the operations of Combe,
organizing activities for families when the students had
Inc., and is the spokesperson for one of the company’s
days off from school. Her family was featured in a video
hallmark products, Vagisil.
highlighting the Early Childhood Program at Gaynor, helping
After earning her MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Shetty worked in marketing in Combe’s UK office, and then worked in India before moving to New York. She is passionate about women’s health issues and the importance of female empowerment.
to spread the word about early intervention to prospective families. She and her husband Akshay have a younger son who is starting Kindergarten next year. The Board of Trustees welcomes her willingness to speak and act on behalf of Gaynor, and looks forward to her continued service to the school.
STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE
STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE Gaynor unveiled its 2016-2021 strategic plan in September of 2017. Now sixteen months into the five-year plan, Head of School Dr. Scott Gaynor is confident about its advancement. “We feel really positive about the progression thus far and the goals of the strategic plan. Every piece leads, supports, and upholds our shared vision to provide each student an individualized education and unlock their potential.” Here are some of the biggest advances in the execution of the strategic plan thus far: FACULTY/STAFF RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION
Implemented this year, Gaynor’s Senior Educator Program
emotional program RULER
rewards faculty who are committed to Gaynor and its
continued for the second
students. Teachers may apply to the competitive program,
year. The program began
and once admitted, they agree to be enrolled in two classes
with a focus on the Mood
per year for three years. After successfully completing the
Meter and the faculty and
program, they are promoted to Senior Educator. The classes
staff charter (left). For the
are: Differentiated Instruction, Formative Assessment and
2018-2019 academic year,
Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching, Backwards Curriculum
Design, Universal Design for Learning, Role of the Mentor,
to parents at a Parents’
and Developmental Coaching. "The teachers in our Senior
Association meeting and
Educator Program are evolving their way of thinking and
the program delved into
developing as catalysts to differentiate curriculum and
more complex approaches
instruction and foster excellent teaching that targets diverse
including meta-moments, which were embedded into the
learning needs,” says Assistant Head of School Jill Thompson.
curriculum throughout the clusters. In 2017, Backward Design was applied to the social studies curriculum, and to science
in 2018. It will continue across all subjects including math, art,
“The resources category is ensuring that we have everything
reading, and technology.
in place for curriculum and community, and that we can support these initiatives,” says Dr. Gaynor. Building up
Gaynor’s endowment in order to ensure the school continues
This year’s community values theme is “Choose Courageous
to be affordable for all families is a top priority. Another
Conversations.” The goal has been to highlight the difficult
is optimizing the use of facilities. For example, reusable
conversations that need to be had as Gaynor works together
silverware was placed the cafeteria in order to streamline
as a community to support and celebrate each individual.
resources and be more environmentally friendly.
Director of Student Life Sue Sortino said, “The building blocks of a strong, diverse, and inclusive community include
a willingness to have Courageous Conversations and the
Meta-moment - A brief step back from a situation, the meta-
strength to become comfortable with having them.”
moment helps students and educators handle strong emotions so that they make better decisions for themselves and their community. Backward Design - Backward Design, also called Understanding
View the Strategic Plan in its entirety at bit.ly/GaynorStrategicPlan
by Design, is a process that educators use to design learning experiences and instructional techniques to achieve specific learning goals. Backward Design begins with the objectives of a unit or course and then proceeds “backward” to create lessons that achieve those desired goals.
In Living Color
A visual representation of Gaynorâ€™s educational organization YVETTE SIEGEL-HERZOG
DR. SCOTT GAYNOR
Co-Founder and Director of Education
Head of School
JILL THOMPSON Assistant Head of School
REBECCA JUROW Director of Early Childhood
RED CLUSTER DONNA LOGUE Director of Lower Division
LOWER SCHOOL ORANGE CLUSTER
SILVER CLUSTER MICHELLE FOX Director of Intermediate Division
CHRISTINE KARAMANOGLOU Director of Upper Division
MIDDLE SCHOOL BLUE CLUSTER
Gaynor Administration 2018-2019
Bottom row, L to R: Director of Technology Matthew LeWinter, Director of Placement Elizabeth Python, Assistant Head of School Jill Thompson, Co-Founder and Director of Education Yvette Siegel-Herzog, Head of School Dr. Scott Gaynor, Chief Financial Officer Ellen Lee, Director of Admissions Juliana May
Center row, L to R: Director of Early Childhood Rebecca Jurow, Director of Educational Evaluations for Admissions Mindy Stern, Director of HR and Talent Management Kaye Walls, Director of Student Life Sue Sortino, Director of Lower Division Donna Logue, Director of Intermediate Division Michelle Fox
Top row, L to R: Director of Communications Deanna Ferrante, Director of Advancement Sari Perrino, Director of Upper Division Christine Karamanoglou
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH...
Five Questions With...
Olivia Robinson Olivia Robinson is one of the friendly faces that Gaynor parents and students see every day at drop off and pick up, but not many people know the “real” Olivia. She has been the administrative assistant responsible for staffing the front desk of the North Building since 2015.
With your background in anthropology, what have you noticed that is special about the culture at Gaynor? I especially notice how the kids interact with their teachers. You can really tell that the teachers have helped unlock who they are. To see that transformation in front of your Have you always worked, or wanted to work in education?
experiences here; just seeing that the kids are now finally realizing that they are being seen and valued.
No! I went to American University in
They are comfortable enough to share themselves
Washington, DC because I wanted to be
a writer, that’s why I got into journalism. My teachers in high school saw I could write and pushed me in that direction. But when I got to college, I realized fairly quickly that writing was not the way I wanted to connect with people. I found anthropology fairly early on, and I was hooked. All it took was one class and I changed my major immediately. Before I came to Gaynor, I tried working as a paraprofessional in a public school classroom. I love working with kids, but I realized that the classroom was not the right place for me. The only people who should be in a classroom are those people for whom it is a calling. So I made the decision to transition, working with kids in a different capacity. That’s how I found Gaynor.
eyes is truly amazing. That has been one of my best
Gaynor really is like a family; this is not just kids coming to a school where they are here to learn and that is it. They are really connecting with us. I’ve never seen a place where the kids are excited and running up the steps at 8:00 in the morning to go to school. I’ve never seen that anywhere else. That’s the magic that this place creates.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH...
What keeps you coming back to work every day? I’m always excited to see our students come in to school each day, and to witness the transformation that they have from the beginning of the year. You can usually tell the kids new to Gaynor because they aren’t yet comfortable with who they are. By the middle of the year, you start to see them really open up and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. One student in particular stops at my desk before he goes upstairs every morning and says, “Good morning, Ms. Olivia. I hope you have a great day.” And we have an exchange and then he goes up to class. That’s what keeps me here. The students come out of their shells. They actually see us and we have that connection even if it’s only when they come in in the morning or head home at dismissal.
What do you do when you walk out the door at the end of the workday?
What is your passion?
Ms. Siegel would most likely say I do too much. And she’s right. But it is all stuff that I love. I’m training to be a certified Pilates instructor; it’s a challenge, but I’m always excited to go teach. I guess I did end up in the classroom after all, didn’t I? I’m teaching people about their bodies and how to use their bodies. That’s what I do to decompress. I also just love being with my family. They are my rock, and it’s wonderful. I love being around them and knowing they support all the other crazy stuff that I do! I’m very fortunate.
My passion is working in the non-profit sector, working with an organization called Community2Community. We’re doing our work in Haiti and working with two partner communities to help them get back on their feet and toward living a self-sufficient life. I started doing that right out of college, and we are a totally volunteer organization because we believe in the cause so much. I went to Haiti over the summer after having not been there for four years, and I regularly work on C2C events in our local community.
Community2Community, the nonprofit Olivia describes as her “passion”, was established as a non-profit service organization to give the Haitian Diaspora and those with a heart for Haiti a platform to come together and share their expertise in a variety of areas — from education to medicine and from carpentry to communications — toward C2C’s goal of establishing lasting change in Haiti, and ultimately, other communities by working with indigenous leadership on the ground. For more information, visit www.community2community.info
EC FEATURE: LET'S GET COOKING
LET’S GET COOKING The child-friendly EC kitchen is one of the highlights of the Early Childhood program's state-of-the-art facilities. Weekly, students in the EC gather in the kitchen to cook or bake. But why is cooking important and what benefits does it have to students?
ii Math – Cooking reinforces basic math skills like counting, measuring, timing, and number recognition.
ii Reading Comprehension – It’s important to correctly understand and follow a recipe. ii Science
– Specifically chemistry. What are wet or dry ingredients? How do
ingredients change in different temperatures or interact together?.
ii Executive Functioning – A step-by-step plan must be followed, which calls for impulse control, attention, and patience.
Skills – Students learn the importance of following directions, concept
development, communication, teamwork, and turn taking.
ii Nutritional Understanding – Learning how meals are made fosters an understanding of food systems, the use of healthful ingredients, and encourages palate expansion.
“Cooking is a hands-on, truly multi-sensory experiential learning opportunity,” says Rebecca Jurow, Director of Early Childhood. “Cooking is everything: by design, it covers so many academic and social areas.” Often, cooking in the EC ties into the curriculum. In the fall, students explore pumpkins inside and out, learning about the life cycle and needs of living things, eating and even planting their own pumpkin seeds. During weekly sessions in the kitchen, students make pumpkin soup, muffins, pudding, and even bread. At the start of each cooking session, an illustrated, laminated recipe card is placed on the wall in the kitchen for students to easily follow along during instruction. Before starting, ingredients are laid out and discussed. Even if students are sure they’re not going to like something, they’re encouraged to take at least one bite. Once they try it, they of course don’t have to continue, but reluctant students are often pleasantly surprised. Ms. Baumgart and Ms. Homlish shared four of the EC’s most popular recipes so that you and your students can recreate them at home.
KALE CHIPS PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
EC FEATURE: LET'S GET COOKING
COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES
ii 3 bunches of kale
1. Preheat oven to 300º F
ii 6 tbsp olive oil
2. Remove center stems and tear into bite-size pieces
3. Toss kale in olive oil and spread on baking sheets
4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder
ii Garlic powder
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp
PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 25-30 MINUTES FOR FULLSIZE MUFFINS, 15-17 FOR MINI MUFFINS
ii 3 cups flour ii 1½ tsp salt ii 1 can pumpkin puree ii ½ cup vegetable oil ii 2 tsp baking soda
ii 1 tbsp + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1. Preheat oven to 350º F 2. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking
ii 3 cups sugar
soda in a large bowl
ii 1 cup applesauce
3. Combine sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, oil, and juice in
ii ½ cup orange juice ii Chocolate chips
a large bowl and beat until blended 4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. 5. Put mixture into tins and bake for 25-30 minutes (15-17 for mini muffins) WINTER 2019
EC FEATURE: LET'S GET COOKING
10 GAYNOR GAZETTE
EC FEATURE: LET'S GET COOKING
ZUCCHINI PIZZA BITES
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 7 MINUTES
ii 3 large zucchini
1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Cut zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds
ii Olive oil
2. Arrange cut zucchini on a prepared baking
ii 1½ cups marinara sauce
sheet. Bake for 4 minutes
ii Shredded mozzarella cheese
3. Spread a teaspoon of sauce on each round, then sprinkle with mozzarella 4. Bake rounds for 3 more minutes
BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC & CHEESE PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES
ii Cooking spray
ii 2 tbsp half & half
ii 2 cups butternut
ii 1 tsp thyme
squash, cut into small cubes
ii 1 cup broth
1. Preheat the oven to 450º F. Coat small rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray 2. Toss squash with oil and salt; spread on baking sheet. Roast. Stir halfway through, until squash is tender and
ii ½ tsp olive oil
ii ⅛ tsp black pepper
lightly browned (20-25 min)
ii ⅛ tsp salt
ii ⅓ cup grated
3. Melt butter in saucepan; add noodles. Stir constantly
ii ½ cup butter ii 1 cup macaroni noodles
until noodles begin to smell toasty (3 min) 4. Add water, broth, thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes 5. Drain excess liquid; add half-and-half, cheese and roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper WINTER 2019
Science is Everywhere By Jacqueline Smith, Science Teacher If I had to describe science in the Lower Division in three words, they would be: experiential, individualized, and incredibly fun. Okay, thatâ€™s four words. But itâ€™s true! In our brand-new fifth-floor lab, we explore a wonderfully wide range of scientific topics and have a lot of fun doing it. From inclined planes to the intestines, Lindsey Rappaport and I make our class hands-on and accessible to each student. One of our ultimate goals is to imbue students with certain transferable scientific skills to promote critical thinking. We also provide students with different opportunities that shape their idea of who a scientist is and what a scientist can do. Each week, I select two students from each cluster to be the "Super Scientist." I post their names along with a photo of them engaging in a scientific activity. Everyone who enters the lab will be able to see and celebrate their hard work. As we are learning in class, science is involved in everything we do such as playing sports, eating, or walking your dog. Students are encouraged to bring in a picture of them as a scientist, which is then posted when they are selected to become Super Scientist of the week. In class, students are learning that anyone can be a scientist. However, most people have a narrow idea of what a scientist can look like. "Scientist Spotlight" is geared towards expanding the idea that scientists are not limited to one particular gender or race. Each Monday, I post a picture and a name of an important scientist. Students have the opportunity to independently research this scientist and submit three salient facts about this person's contributions to the scientific community. They can redeem their facts for an extra 10 checks each week. All and all, Ms. Rappaport and I could not be more excited to teach science this year! We are looking forward to the wonderful discoveries our scientists will make!
ON THE AIR: GAYNOR PODCAST
THE GAYNOR STUDENT PODCAST The Blue Cluster elective, Multimedia Club, provides students opportunities to learn about the technical side of movies, television shows, and podcasts. Last year, the club created the Gaynor Student Podcast, which is supervised by technology teacher Brian Russ, but is almost entirely student-run. The student hosts of the first season, Zia Uehling and Avery Meer, and Mr. Russ reflected on the experience. Why a podcast? Zia: It showcases our talents and other students’ and keeps everyone updated about life and school. It also helps everyone learn more about what’s going on in the community at Gaynor. Obviously Gaynor students are very visual so it is hard to listen without something to look at. So we made sure to add a lot of sound effects and music throughout. I wrote and sang the theme song in the opening of the podcast. What goes into each episode? Mr. Russ: Kids do the technical part: editing, recording, researching topics, writing questions. They’re not winging it; they write approximately 20 questions for each interview and make sure it’s comfortable and that they’re letting the guest talk a lot. They aim for a ten-minute episode each time. What was your favorite part about working on the podcast? Avery: I liked to be able to learn things about people; there are so many people with great talents at Gaynor. Zia: My favorite part is getting to know new kids in different classes and clusters and it’s good experience to practice interviewing skills. It made me like feel like I was a part of something bigger. The fact that it’s run by kids gives us a sense of independence, and gives us an opportunity to have a say in something.
BONUS CONTENT bit.ly/GaynorPodcast
RAISE YOUR VOICE By Erica Kasindorf, Blue Cluster Head Teacher & Student Advocacy Coordinator
As Gaynor teachers, our everyday goal dovetails with our school’s mission to help “students gain the skills and confidence necessary to learn, grow, and reach their full potential.” In order to do this, we believe students must be active participants in their
Gaynor, the students learn and experience these ideas, so they can fully and appropriately understand how they learn. Students learn about learning differences, reflect on their own profile, and then practice using all of that knowledge to self-advocate.
own learning process and be able to advocate for
It is our goal that when students graduate from
themselves. We have learned that a student’s self-
Stephen Gaynor School they feel comfortable and
awareness of their particular learning style or learning difference is integral to their current and future endeavors. With these goals in mind, Student Advocacy was designed to
confident talking about their learning profile and are effective self-advocates. This process is not always easy for students but each Gaynor teacher cultivates
help students learn about
a safe and encouraging
themselves, their different
learning styles and differences, their strengths, developing skills, and how to self-advocate. To foster self-advocacy, students need to move through stages of discovery, self-awareness, and acceptance. Since this process takes time and can look very different for each child, the students in the Intermediate and Upper Divisions have Student Advocacy class several times a month. With an age-appropriate progression, the students learn and practice having a growth mindset, multiple intelligences, and metacognitive thinking. Students are able to reflect on their learning and identify what learning tools are most helpful for them. When students enter the Blue Cluster, they begin to dive a little deeper into the concept of learning differences. With the differentiated, scaffolded, and caring teaching methods used at
everyone is comfortable having these courageous and metacognitive conversations about themselves. Perhaps the best and most unique part about Student Advocacy is the learning environment. The students have the opportunity to talk to and hear from one another. Even though each of our Gaynor students is unique in their own way, they have many similarities and can relate to each other’s triumphs and challenges. Even if a child does not feel ready to share their own experiences, they have the opportunity to hear from others, which is meaningful for all. Once students learn the skills taught in Student Advocacy class, the goal is that they will apply them to ensure success while at Gaynor, during extra curricular activities, and later in high school.
PLACEMENT OFFICE TIPS
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT: Navigating Placement Post-Gaynor By Elizabeth Python, Director of Placement You might be thinking, “It’s my student’s last year at Gaynor – OH NO!” No need to panic! Once the final year at Gaynor begins, families are guided through every aspect of the placement process. The cycle of placement is well established and time tested, with a timeline keeping all team members on schedule; the process is unique to each student. The individualized approach Gaynor provides each student in the classroom is the same approach we use in placement. What “fits” for one student may not “fit” for another, even if they have followed similar trajectories through Gaynor’s clusters and groups. So what goes into finding the right fit? Let’s break it down: Some “fit” characteristics are on the surface: •
Brooklyn, New Jersey, Massachusetts,
Type of academic environment — continuing
Connecticut, or California.
special education, mainstream schools with established support programs, mainstream
schools, private schools, public schools, and boarding schools. •
Location — Manhattan, Queens, Westchester,
Commuting distance — a walk down the street, 30 minutes in an Uber, or an hour on the 2 train.
Teaching style — traditional or progressive.
Cost — Is tuition reimbursable? Is financial aid available?
The finer details behind “fit” are fine-tuned as families attend open houses, tours, information sessions, and interviews. Any opportunity to get the inside story of the world of a school is one to take advantage of.
How does the Placement Office help? Following many layers of collaboration with teachers and specialists, Dr. Gaynor, Ms. Thompson, Division Directors, and the Director of Placement establish a list of recommended schools for each graduating student. A year and a half before graduation, parents/guardians are presented with this list, an overview of the schools, the placement timeline, and how to best prepare for this process. At the same time, students begin a year-long transition curriculum that helps them prepare their application essays and excel on their interviews. As the team navigates the application process, the Placement Office, teachers, specialists, and administrators provide guidance and support to families so our graduates feel comfortable and confident as they receive their admissions decisions, weigh their options, and complete their individualized journey to a final decision.
The Placement Office looks forward to working with all students and their families. Please contact us with any questions at 212-787-7070 ext. 1509 or firstname.lastname@example.org. WINTER 2019
INFINITELY EXCEPTIONAL: A STRENGTH BASED APPROACH By Michelle Fox, Director of Intermediate Division
in·fi·nite·ly ex·cep·tion·al /'infənətlē/ /ik'sepSH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective (of a child) who exhibits talents and strengths in certain areas, coupled with learning challenges in other areas What does it mean for students to be infinitely exceptional? How do we, as Gaynor educators, employ a strength-based approach in order to best teach our students,
who demonstrate exceptionally unique and beautiful learning differences? In answering these questions, teachers, specialists, therapists, and administrators stand on the shoulders of our mission, providing a “highly individualized educational program in a rich, rigorous and nurturing environment in which students gain the
skills and confidence necessary to learn, grow and reach their full potential.” This is my sixth year at Stephen Gaynor School. Through my work here as a Head Teacher and now, in the role of Director of Intermediate Division, I have witnessed the remarkable work that takes place in our classrooms: the incredible act of students unwrapping their gifts by illuminating their strengths and challenges. Our students have nuanced journeys of educational success and failure, which has been acknowledged as a true model for resilience. Capitalizing on a student’s strengths is a lens worn by teachers, specialists, and therapists as we use student strengths as a catalyst to accelerate their acquisition of concepts. The world of letters, sounds, words, numbers and new concepts can be deeply perplexing to students, for whom foundational skills are not solidified. However, a child who is educated that he or she is talented may just believe their talents are all that is needed to do extraordinary things. In Brandon Stackhouse's literature class, you won’t find students simply reading their assignments aloud, you will see actors and actresses performing a scene from the book, Tuck Everlasting. In the art room with Ruth Rachlin, students bring their history classes to life by skillfully crafting and sewing costumes of Ancient Greek gods and goddesses. You may even witness filmmakers writing a script and creating a video called “The Magic E Wizard” inspired by learning the magic e-syllable type in reading class. Coupling bursts of creativity and positivity with recognition for effort gives children the hope for growth, in addition to the tools to attain it. Our students are infinitely exceptional; their gifts and talents must be nourished and honored alongside working to remediate difficulties. For us, as Gaynor teachers, specialists, therapists, and directors, this is not just work. There is inventiveness and delight in abundance, as well. The hallmark of our school is the emphasis on individualization. We strive to build relationships with each individual student, inviting them to reflect on how they might formulate new strategies or retrieve previously learned resources to aid them in the journey of revealing their strengths. Gaynor students are infinitely exceptional. 16
Classroom Projects Veterans Day For Veterans Day, students across all clusters wrote and sent letters to alumnus Murphy Bright '01. After receiving everything, Bright said, "The letters were awesome! Thank you for all that. I can't wait to come visit the students and answer all of their questions."
Community Dioramas In Joyce Macedo and Yosefa Sebrow's social studies unit, the class studied different types of communities including urban, suburban, and rural. Students were tasked with creating dioramas to display the various features of their
Passport to china The Orange Cluster traveled to China and back in one hour! The classes went through a
assigned communities, and worked in groups to represent each type. Some students even reflected on their own experience visiting certain communities to generate ideas. Different materials were used to create dynamic artwork, even inspiring their classmates to use the supplies in new ways. Once the dioramas were complete, students presented them along with a brief explanation.
customs simulation to build interest in their study of China. Students experienced what it would be like to board a flight to China, go through customs including getting fingerprinted and having their photo taken, before finally arriving at their “hotel.”
Igloo Challenge In Jane Moskowitz's class, students were given a STEM challenge to build an igloo using toothpicks and marshmallows. The catch? The igloos also needed to have doors and be able to fit Stan, a holiday-themed stuffed dog inside. The goal of the activity was multifaceted, with a strong emphasis on teamwork including accepting others’ ideas, listening kindly, brainstorming together, and encouraging creativity. Ms. Moskowitz said, “It was great fun to watch students being collaborative and thoughtful, and to see their satisfaction when Stan did, indeed, fit inside.” WINTER 2019
A clinical term for a nurturing, child-focused approach to education By Donna Logue, Director of Lower Division
f you are like me, you were surprised when you
formal tests, including neuropsychological evaluations,
first heard someone describe Gaynor’s approach
we take a very broad approach to creating a portrait
to curriculum design as “diagnostic-prescriptive.”
of each individual student as a learner. Most important
It seems like an unusually clinical term for a school that
at Gaynor is frequent observation of students in their
prides itself on providing a nurturing, child-focused ed-
daily school lives and analysis of regular student work
ucational environment. Yet, I soon discovered when
by all members of the educational team — teachers,
I began working at Gaynor in 1999 that the term very
therapists, specialists and administrators.
accurately conveys how we
“That’s the assessment I valued
create individualized programs
and I do to this day,” maintains
for each of our students. In
fact, when I asked Co-Founder
is constantly using authentic
the origins of Gaynor’s diag-
assessments to begin to answer
critical questions, in both a
in preparation for writing this
global sense — When is this
article, she said just that. She
child invested in learning? When
explained that when the term
are they most successful? What
first began to appear in the
is challenging for this child
literature in the 1970s, she
now? Where is the child making
quickly adopted it because it
progress? — and with respect to
so aptly captured her under-
specific aspects of curriculum
lying philosophy of education. Using
testing.” Each educational team
Yvette Siegel-Herzog, about nostic-prescriptive
—Why is this student struggling the
with subtraction? What aspects of essay writing are
name connotes, entails analysis on two levels. The
challenging for this student? Is this student more successful
first, the diagnostic, involves the development of
if there is less information on the page? Does modifying
the language demands of an activity make it easier for the
strengths and abilities, affinities, areas of struggle and vulnerabilities. While we do use information from 18
student to show what they know?
DIAGNOSTIC-PRESCRIPTIVE TEACHING The second part, the prescriptive, uses the profile
Singapore Math, or Multi-Paragraph Outlines) or create
developed in the diagnostic phase to create a plan
something new (such as LEGO Batman math fact
for remediating areas of struggle and ensuring that
flashcards or a custom color-coded editing checklist),
students are appropriately challenged. It, too, works on
but each time we try an intervention, we step back and
the macro and micro levels. As a divisional director, my
evaluate whether it is truly moving the student forward.
first task each school year is to use each student’s learning profile
placement. To build classes, I ask questions, such as: Who would be the best teacher for this child at this developmental stage?
motivate this child to be their best self? On the daily level, the teaching team and I use trial and error to find materials
If it is, we continue to build on
"On the daily level, the teaching team and I use trial and error to find materials to which the student responds and strategies that work for them".
that success. If it is not, we go back, reassess, and then try something else. If we are dedicated to teaching individual we
they are. Using a diagnosticprescriptive approach enables the educators at Gaynor to remain focused on unwrapping each student’s full self and
to which the student responds and strategies that work for them. We may use a wellestablished methodology (such as Orton-Gillingham,
providing them with curriculum tailored to truly unlock their potential by making learning meaningful for them.
The Parents’ Association Diversity & Inclusion Committee Presents
Talking About Race with Our Kids with Alexis McGill Johnson and Rachel Godsil of the Perception Institute January 31, 2019 6:00 - 7:30 pm South Building Cafeteria As parents, we strive to prepare our children for their future. Yet, research suggests that identity differences, such as race and ethnicity, can present challenges for us and our children, even when we hold strong egalitarian values. Using research from the mind sciences, Perception Institute Co-Founders Alexis McGill Johnson and Rachel Godsil will describe why talking about issues of identity with our children can be hard, and will offer evidence-based strategies to engage in these conversations more effectively. Alexis and Rachel will lead us through exercises to practices these strategies and, ultimately, better prepare our children for an increasingly diverse world. Alexis McGill Johnson, Partner – Co-Founder and Executive Director of Perception Institute Alexis is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Perception Institute, a consortium of social science researchers, law professors, and culture makers focused on the role of the mind sciences in developing interventions to address issues of bias and discrimination in workplaces and other key domains. Rachel D. Godsil, Partner – Co-Founder and Research Director of Perception Institute Rachel collaborates with social scientists on empirical research to identify the efficacy of interventions to address implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat.
n A q
Follow the Signposts
This fall, Gaynor faculty are implementing the ideas found in
difficulty reading, it can be challenging to find texts that are
Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters, by Kylene
engaging and connect to their own experiences. “By pulling
Beers and Robert E. Probst. According to the authors,
out vocabulary words in texts like ‘Of Mice and Men’ or
“We need to recognize that reading ought to change us.
Shakespeare, we can create multi-level lessons for students
Reading ought to lead us to thinking that is disrupting, that
of all abilities,” says Ms. Glazer.
shakes us up, that makes us wonder, that challenges us. Such thinking sets us on a path to change, if not the world, then at least ourselves.”
One hallmark of the Disrupting Thinking approach is the use of signposts for readers. Ms. Glazer says, “There are six signposts. Teachers read the books beforehand and choose which signposts go with which book and which chapter.
and a companion text by the same authors, Notice
We don’t focus on all six at one time. Some books lend
Over the summer, teachers read Disrupting Thinking and
Reading. The teachers then came to Gaynor’s Summer Training Institute
with questions, and spent time strategizing how these ideas could be implemented.
According to Writing Chair and Middle School Literacy Chair Jackie Glazer, “Our goal in adopting the Disrupting Thinking strategy for the Middle School is to create responsive readers who want to make connections to
what they are reading.” Teachers want their students to ask “Why,” and
Jl “I wonder…” as they read.
At Gaynor, reading specialists and teachers use the Orton-Gillingham
approach, morphology, and grammar
themselves to different signposts
"These methods help students to read independently and critically, and allow them to make important connections both in fiction writing and in nonfiction texts as well."
to teach students the mechanics
students from the mechanical to a more holistic engagement with what they read.
Ms. Glazer emphasizes that using the Disrupting Thinking does not supersede the other approaches, but rather
works in tandem with them. “In the Middle School, we try to merge OG, morphology, and grammar into the study of the book the students are reading. We are teaching both OG concepts and reading comprehension at the same time.” As students get older, especially students who may have
20 GAYNOR GAZETTE
Disrupting Thinking is the concept of Book, Head, Heart (BHH). Ms. Glazer emphasizes how important
this concept can be. “If we get our students to take anything away from this entire initiative it would be this strategy,” says Glazer. “Just learning to notice what the text says, what the author was trying to tell us, and then asking yourself, ‘What touched my heart about this?’ How can I connect to this piece of literature? How can I connect this to my life experience or to something else I’ve read or seen that resonates?’ Getting students to notice and note their connection to the text helps facilitate a love for
of reading. The Disrupting Thinking approach is another layer that moves
reading. Students need to find that passion for themselves, but we can help to promote it
through these techniques.”
These methods help students to read independently and critically, and allow them to make important connections
both in fiction writing and in nonfiction texts as well.
Gaynor’s Middle School history teachers are using the Book, Head, Heart method in their teaching of history texts. “The
method helps foster empathy and allows students to better understand what people in our past have experienced,” says Ms. Glazer.
READING UPDATE These skills are more important than ever, since sources of
to test, to confirm, to question, to challenge, to discard
information are so varied and veracity is not guaranteed.
– and that’s in addition to just reading the content. …
According to Beers and Probst, these critical reading
If fake news writers are counting on people to be
methods will help students weed out “fake news” from
dumb, then we must be smart. We must muster
more unbiased reporting.
the stamina to be responsible.”
“Responsible reading of the news is more critical now
By using the techniques and strategies
than ever before because so much of the news we all read
from Disrupting Thinking, Gaynor students
comes to us from social media,” say the authors. Readers
will be prepared to take the reading skills
should not just assume that what they are reading is true.
they are learning and apply them throughout
“… We must come to news ready to sort, to cull, to mull,
their academic careers and daily lives.
Creating A Community of Readers by Following the Signposts By Sloan Shapiro, Reading Chair
With the introduction of the Six Signposts and their corresponding Anchor Questions, students in Early Childhood through Blue Cluster are reminded that every interaction with a book is an opportunity for a transaction between the author and the reader. Signposts creators Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst encourage students to do more than just read the words on the page but instead “ . . . get inside the text, notice everything, weighing everything they are reading against their lives, the lives of others, and the world around them.” Ultimately, with the signposts and their corresponding anchor questions, we are empowering students to become empathetic readers striving for meaningful interactions with text to create a deeper understanding
Signposts are being
introduced throughout the school through a variety of mediums including picture
books, short stories and animated films, and even with songs. Read on
for a glimpse into what
you can notice and note throughout the school.
Signposts in Orange and Yellow Clusters
n A q
By Sloan Shapiro, Reading Chair
Teachers in the Orange and Yellow Clusters are rolling out signposts in a variety of engaging and creative ways. In Jackie Kolbert’s Orange Cluster class, the Again and Again signpost was introduced with the Pixar short, Octopus in Love. According to Ms. Kolbert, students immediately noticed the repetition and how they were able to overcome it each time to
find their way back to one other. They also noticed that a change in music tempo indicated the introduction of a new obstacle “again and again.” Answering the anchor question, “Why might the author bring this up again and again?” students decided the filmmakers wanted to show that each time an octopus was in
of the obstacles placed in the path of the two octopuses
trouble the other came to their rescue and that was
“true friendship.” In another Orange Cluster class,
students listened to Jackie Dobish read My Mouth is a
Volcano holding up their signpost each time they heard
an “Again and Again”.
Answering the Anchor Question,
students felt the author was reminding them of the importance of waiting your turn and that they could try
to stop their own “ . . . volcano from erupting all over
the classroom.” Students in both these classrooms are also enjoying finding signposts during their read aloud with Dionne De Lancy in the library as well as in their smaller reading groups.
In the Yellow Cluster, Kelsey Farrell’s class also used
video clips to illustrate signposts. This time “Words of
the Wiser” signpost was introduced with clips from the
Lion King, Pursuit of Happyness, and Wonder before
reading Nightsong by Ari Berk. With these previous
the Wiser” signpost in Nightsong when a mother helped her child overcome his fear of the dark. During parent-teacher conferences, parents shared that their children were finding signposts in the literature that they shared at home. According to Ms. Farrell, with the introduction
of the signposts and their anchor questions, “Parents
loved being equipped with the language to support
comprehension at home. Specifically, being able to ask
exposures, students immediately recognized the “Words of
their child which signposts just occurred and what that tells
us about the story."
22 GAYNOR GAZETTE
By Kristi Evans, Reading Specialist
Signposts: Text Features for Deeper Understanding
Teachers in the Pink and Red Clusters are introducing Notice and Note signposts during
shared read-aloud activities. Signposts help students dig deeper into fiction reading. Using
the book, The Bag I’m Taking to Grandma’s by Shirley Neitzel, Jamie Kruger, head teacher in
the Pink Cluster, introduced the “Again and Again” signpost to her students. During this teacher-
led activity, students were invited to hold up their own “Again and Again” signpost when they noticed a word, phrase or situation mentioned over and over in the book. Then, Ms. Kruger
modeled how the readers must ask themself the anchor question, “Why does the author bring this up again and again?” Through these close readings and hands-on experiences, young readers are beginning to independently identify signposts in the books they are reading in their reading groups, in Library with Ms. De Lancy, and across other subject matters!
L O pQ K A X b
C t K
q n BS
n G O H Q p
Yellow Cluster Head Teacher Lindsay Blank modeling the use of signposts.
WINTER 2019 23
tD C K
S V h
h G d N H d U
MICHAEL HELLER ’99 After Gaynor, Michael attended Trinity-Pawling High School and graduated with honors in 2005. He then attended Guilford College and graduated in 2011 with degrees in exercise science and sports medicine with minors in education and psychology. Michael and his wife moved to Florida in 2013 and haven’t looked back since! Since moving to Florida, Michael changed his profession from personal training and management to become a real estate agent. He and his wife have two adorable daughters.
PILAR ADAMS ’10 Pilar is a senior at Quinnipiac University and will graduate in December. She is majoring in criminal justice, and hopes to concentrate in probation, federal divisions, or law. This spring, she was honored to give the commencement address at her elementary school, The Parkside School in Brooklyn.
JOSHUA BLANEY ’08 Joshua graduated from Manhattan College with a B.S. degree in Finance; he is currently taking over his family business as a head trader for exotic currencies. He oversees all of the company’s administration and banking relationships.
LILY HORAN ’14 Lily is pictured here (#272) running for the University of Puget Sound! After Gaynor, Lily attended Mary McDowell and is enjoying the start of her college career in Washington.
24 GAYNOR GAZETTE
BRAD TUCKER ’01 Brad Tucker married current Gaynor teacher Alyssa (Cowit) Tucker! Brad is a Project Manager at Dayglo Ventures, which owns and operates live music venues including Brooklyn Bowl, The Capitol Theatre, music festival Lockn’, Relix Live Music Conference, and a variety of cultural events including Fare Thee Well and Jazz & Colors. Brad has been with the company since graduating from Ithaca College in 2010.
MILES LIU ’10
SOPHIA MICHAELSON ’13
Miles is a senior at Cornell University studying government. He hopes to work in law or public service in the future. He is a tutor with the Cornell Prison Education Program, which provides college classes to incarcerated students in a number of prisons in Upstate NY. He says, “I attribute a great deal of my success to the mission and faculty at Stephen Gaynor for helping me to nurture a confidence in my academic abilities.”
Sophia graduated from The Hewitt School, and is a freshman at Syracuse University where she is considering majoring in communications. She was a spirit team captain at Hewitt and the school diversity representative. Community service has been a big part of Sophia's life — she spent summers working on projects in Costa Rica and Thailand. It was that experience that led her back to volunteering at Gaynor as a reading instructor at the Community Learning Center.
KATIE PEPI ’14 & RILEY LENANE ’14 After graduating from Gaynor in the same year, both went on to Marymount, where they are now seniors. They are still deciding where they want to go for college next year, but Katie knows she wants to study Art History and Riley hopes to study Environmental Science. In their spare time, Katie is a horseback rider and Riley is a swimmer.
MURPHY BRIGHT ’01 Murphy attended Indian Mountain School and then Salisbury School. After graduation, he attended Gettysburg College. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, he joined the Marines where he is currently a Captain. Murphy is currently serving in a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan, an experience which has given him the chance to travel all over the world. In 2017, he also received his MBA from Syracuse University. He was married in the summer of 2017.
MAYA SINGER ’14 After Gaynor, Maya attended The Summit School and graduated in the top of her class with the presidential award. She is currently attending Lynn University and is studying to become a special education teacher. She also recently became a member of Theta Phi Alpha. She says, "Lynn University reminds me of Gaynor because it’s a small campus and they also want you to be as successful as possible."
JUSTIN KERN ’18 Justin took an exciting and courageous leap this summer, moving to Arizona to pursue his love of soccer. He is attending ASU Preparatory Academy, a charter school which also houses Barca Academy, one of only three soccer residency programs in America.
DEVIN O'NEILL ’86 After Gaynor, Devin attended Dwight School and The Putney School, where he studied sculpture. He continued to study sculpture at Bennington College, which turned into a love of architecture. He studied at Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and received a BA and MA in Architecture from Yale. Now partner at O’Neill Rose Architects, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.
WINTER 2019 25
The Power of Self-Advocacy Victoria Browning Wyeth ‘91 has always had to work ten times harder than her peers to rise above her learning differences. Her time at Stephen Gaynor School allowed her to meet some lifelong friends, and although school was challenging, she is grateful for the aid of outside tutors who helped her succeed. After Gaynor, she attended The Nightingale-Bamford School and graduated in 1997. She then attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, a state close to her family, as Wyeth is the only grandchild of Andrew Wyeth, one of the greatest American painters of the 20th century, and the state of Maine is close to her heart. Since the age of sixteen, she has travelled and given lectures about her grandfather's work, which she continues to do and is passionate about.
Victoria Browning Wyeth ’91
In addition to lecturing about her grandfather’s work, Ms. Wyeth has had
a robust career studying psychology. Wyeth attended Harvard University as a visiting graduate student, studying the history of psychology before earning her MA in psychology from Wesleyan University. After Wesleyan, she worked at a variety of mental health institutions, for the police, and in prisons studying criminal psychology. She currently lives in Philadelphia and works as a Research Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania’s Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Wyeth says that she continues advocate for herself every day and to seek accommodations for her learning differences when she needs them. She has never let her learning differences get in the way of her goals.
Artist Andrew Wyeth
Alumni Get-Together The Office of Alumni Relations, Placement Office,
their own clubs. Most importantly, the alumni shared
Student Advocacy Coordinator and teachers in the Blue
how they have been advocating for themselves to
Cluster hosted a Grad Get-Together for the class of 2018.
get the accommodations they need for their learning
Alumni returned to Gaynor from schools throughout
differences in their new school environments. An
the city including places from York Prep to Brooklyn
alumna talked about asking for extra time when taking
Friends. The alumni enjoyed pizza, said hello to their
exams and another pointed out that she switched her
former classmates, and caught up with their former
language class to sign language because it worked
teachers. After getting up to speed on each other’s
more to her strengths. They also gave advice to current
lives, the group discussed their positive experiences at
students including, “Always remember to try your best
school so far, including joining Model UN and starting
and ask for help when you need it.”
For more advice from Gaynor alumni to current students, go to bit.ly/GatortoGator 26 GAYNOR GAZETTE
BOARD OF TRUSTEES UPDATE
Green Cluster student Jolie Landau submitted an entry to the Springfield Museum’s Annual Gingerbread exhibit. This year the theme was Pop Culture. Her house came in second place.
The Duers siblings have much to be proud of. PJ in the Blue Cluster took a stand up class at The Gotham Comedy Club. At the end of the course, family and friends were invited to a showcase performance. PJ did a five-minute routine with all original material and some of his Gaynor classmates came to cheer him on! Anna in the Red Cluster made the JCC swim team this fall. She has competed in two meets so far and has two more scheduled before year-end. The team swims competitively throughout the year through the spring. Anna’s specialties so far are the breaststroke and freestyle.
Chace Roebling, a student
Silver Cluster student Hailey Lester
in the Silver Cluster, ran an
has been a dancer in the pre-professional
8:54 minute mile in a 4-mile
dance program at Ballet Hispanico for
turkey trot, coming in 9th out
three years. She takes ballet, pointe,
of 35 kids aged 8-12. Freezing
modern and flamenco. She has been
and windy conditions did not
dancing since she was four and has
deter Chace on race day. He
danced with the National Dance Institute
trained for about a month
as well as the Harlem School for the Arts.
to be in shape for this race,
Last year she was awarded a special
going on several big runs with
recognition of honor by Ballet Hispanico
his mom and brother, and the
for her dedication and perseverance!
work paid off! Determination and hard work can get you over the finish line.
Blue Cluster won a photo competition for Ranger Rick
Shout out to Pink
student Jackson Hogan for a fantastic first season playing
magazine! His winning photo will appear in the magazine’s December/January issue.
on the Stars Premier travel team! Jackson has not only improved his passing, dribbling, and shooting skills but has also shown tons of growth when it comes to teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership. Jackson enjoys playing for fun and meeting new friends.
Cluster student Aiden
Cohen passed the test to receive his yellow belt in tae kwon do. Little person, big achievement! WINTER 2019 27
PSYCHOLOGISTS’ CORNER: Balancing Technology Use at Home and at School By Clare Cosentino, PhD, Shayna Nash, PsyD, Leore Faber, PsyD, Lauren Levenson, PhD Since 2014, Gaynor’s Psychology Department has partnered with the Technology Department to facilitate learning and dialogue around the responsible and thoughtful use of technology. Each year, we have adapted our curriculum to the dynamic and ever-changing tech landscape. Beginning with the Red Cluster, all the way through Blue Cluster, students take part in lessons and conversations around how to be responsible digital citizens. Topics covered include the basics from “What is the Internet?” to more complex issues related to the sharing of personal information, navigating social media, cyber bullying and understanding the commoditization of the consumer on digital platforms. Using technology in the classroom can exponentially increase student interest, accommodate student learning needs, and open avenues for creativity to be expressed. Fortunately, we have encountered opportunities to engage in thoughtful discussions
around student use of technology at school. As such, we have updated the Technology Acceptable Use Policy and have led student discussions around its terms and
agreement, we hope that students and families better understand their responsibilities as technology users and as members of the Gaynor community, digital and analog.
Guidelines for Parents Part of our partnership with the technology
providing a parent workshop about working together to create responsible digital citizens. As always, we cannot stress
continuing these discussions with your families at home. Below are some strategies for helping to determine your family’s culture, philosophy, and implementation of technology boundaries. Please consider enacting your own contract with your family around how and when technology is used.
28 GAYNOR GAZETTE
PSYCHOLOGISTS' CORNER AIM FOR BALANCE: »»
Set limits to achieve a balance between online and offline activities
There is a time for screens, but not at the expense
of physical activity and connecting with people in real time »»
The particular balance for your family will be revisited again and again, depending on your child’s age and social, educational, and emotional needs
Screen-Smart Parenting, Jodi Gold MD (2015), Guilford Press
BE A ROLE MODEL: »»
Determine your own family culture around technology
Create a family technology plan with media rules;
Media Moms & Digital Dads:
consider limiting technology for all family members at:
A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to
Pick up/drop off
Other times that are important to your family
Parenting in the Digital Age, by Yalda Uhls, Ph.D. (2015), Bibliomotion
ADOPT A DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH: »»
The use of technology changes with age
Stay positively engaged by paying attention,
seeking knowledge about the latest apps and media tools, and capitalize on teachable moments »»
Establish trust: understand the difference
between spying on versus monitoring your children
Key Resources COMMON SENSE MEDIA: commonsenesemedia.org ONGUARD.GOV: onguardonline.gov FAMILY TECHNOLOGY CONTRACT: bit.ly/GaynorTechContract
WINTER 2019 29
Students Sparkle at Winter Concerts
Gaynor’s annual Winter Concerts are always filled with smiles and beautiful singing but this year, something was a little different; students took to the stage in the new Performing Arts Center rather than the gym where the performances were historically held. On December 5—the first of the two shows—the Yellow and Silver clusters performed skits and various songs including “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, “Let it Be” by The Beatles, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, before ending with “You Will Be Found” from Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. After “You Will Be Found,” the audience was clearly moved. Head of School Dr. Scott Gaynor, visibly sentimental, reflected on the concert. “This is about celebrating what is deep in our hearts. Our kids are amazing. I thank Ms. Siegel for dreaming big and our parents for trusting us with your amazing children. Our students knocked it out of the park tonight. I can’t think of a better way to kick off our new Performing Arts Center.” On the second night of performances, the Pink, Red, and Orange Clusters performed “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown, and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, before their final song of the night, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. The Winter Concerts go deeper than just giving students the ability to perform. They also provide a platform for students to be more self-confident. Lower Division Director Donna Logue noticed it in the performances. “Every child did something special. There was one student who struggled with audibility at every rehearsal and was shaking like a leaf in the Green Room, but kicked off the concert loud and proud. None of this would have been possible without all [the faculty’s] dedication to making our students shine. The students were able to perform so well tonight because of all their collective experiences at Gaynor through the years. That progression has been carefully nurtured by Ms. Shuppy, Ms. Patti, and Ms. Akins and we were all so blessed to reap the rewards of their talent, hard work, and commitment to finding the performer in each child.”
To view the Winter Concerts, visit the Parent Portal
30 GAYNOR GAZETTE
PA BLUE CLUSTER PARTY
PA SKATE NIGHT
PA FALL FEST
Get the picture? By Jessica Ressler, Photography Teacher
later popularized to create copies of technical and
published in 1843 by Anna Atkins. According to the
architectural plans, and these copies were called
Library of Congress, “photographically illustrated books
blueprints. This fall, both Green and Blue Cluster
feature actual photographic prints to make a textual
students have had the opportunity to both collaborate
narrative more vivid or to tell an entire story. These
and dig deeper into this age-old processes. Utilizing a
books emerged in the mid-nineteenth century alongside
5 x 7 foot iron salt-coated fabric, students planned and
the new photographic printing process — namely the
organized a collaborative cluster-wide mural. Waiting
cyanotype and the calotype, soon followed by salted
for a day with enough sunshine to complete the process
paper prints, albumen prints, and other image types.”
helped students understand how significant light is, in
Atkins’ book, “Photographs of British Algae” was published utilizing the cyanotype printing process. Compared to other photographic printing processes of the time, cyanotype was inexpensive and required no darkroom. Instead, it used the power of the sun and an iron salt solution. The cyanotype process was
32 GAYNOR GAZETTE
both early and present-day photography processing techniques. Additionally, some students exposed black and white negative images (printed on acetate paper) on paper coated with cyanotype solution. Many of the students’ pieces are presently hanging in the Gaynor sky bridge cultivating deeper curiosity and questions among all.
THEN & NOW
Then & Now
Over the past 57 years, Stephen Gaynor School has grown from a handful of students and teachers in a West Side brownstone to nearly 400 students and 130 teachers and specialists learning together in two buildings totaling 80,000 square feet. See what’s changed in these photos but know what hasn’t — Gaynor’s commitment to unlocking each child’s potential.
ART CLASS NOW BAKE SALE NOW
BAKE SALE THEN
ART CLASS THEN
BOARD GAME NOW
BOARD GAME THEN
GYM NOW WINTER 2019 33
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