US Weekly News: Monday, November 20, 2017

A SHORT WEEK!
BEST WISHES FOR A JOYOUS HOLIDAY

happy Thanksgiving day leaves banner


THIS WEEK:

Monday 11/20
US Fall Athletic Award Ceremony for coaches, faculty, students, players and families of award recipients — 2:30-3:30pm

Monday 11/20 – Tuesday 11/21
Parent Conferences with Advisers continue

Wednesday 11/22 – Friday 11/24
School Closed – Thanksgiving Holiday


ON THE HORIZON

Instrumental Concert for Grades 5-12: Thursday, November 30, 6:30-8:00pm in Campbell Center.

ACE Parent Gathering: “Comprehension Strategies For All Ages” is Tuesday, December 5.

Exams Week begins Monday, December 11.

Winter Break: School will be closed beginning Monday, December 18 through Tuesday, January 2. Classes resume Wednesday, January 3.


WHAT WE’RE READING

Articles that teachers in the Upper School have been reading recently:

Spreading First Aid for Teens’ Mental Health by Training Adults. An organization called Mental Health First Aid referred to as “CPR for the mind,” teaches educators and parents how to recognize, understand and respond to signs of psychological challenges that adolescents face.


RHS STUDENT COMPETENCIES

Rocky Hill School is committed to developing bold learners, prepared to navigate a complex and changing world. The eight Student Competencies serve as fundamental learning goals we believe will prepare our students for success. A Rocky Hill Student is a NavigatorCritical ThinkerCitizen, and Communicator, who is InnovativeSelf-AwareEthical, and Globally-Minded.


Be sure to download Rocky Hill School’s new mobile app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. This free app is full of useful information and features.

Click here to learn more.

 

 


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US Weekly News: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

THIS WEEK:

Monday 11/13
No School — Professional Development Day for Teachers

Tuesday 11/14 – Friday 11/17
Parent Conferences with Advisers

Tuesday 11/14
US Basketball Practices begin
Trinity Rep is on campus to perform Twelfth Night (see below)
US Lifetime Fitness & Yoga will begin on Monday 11/27

Wednesday 11/15
College Visits: Lasell, RISD, St. Mary’s (MD)
Drama Musical Auditions begin

Friday 11/17
House of Hope special community talk sharing their experience of working with people experiencing homelessness.


ON THE HORIZON

Thanksgiving Holiday: School will be closed beginning Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday November 26. Classes resume Monday, November 27.

ACE Parent Gathering: “Comprehension Strategies For All Ages” is Tuesday, December 5.

Exams Week begins Monday, December 11.

Winter Break: School will be closed beginning Monday, December 18 through Tuesday, January 2. Classes resume Wednesday, January 3.


FROM MIKE GWALTNEY, HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL

On Thursday, I went with a group of teachers and administrators to hear a talk by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College (video available here.) Dr. Tatum is a native New Englander who has made it her life’s work to help people connect despite their differences. Her book on “conversations about race” has been recommended by the New York Times for private-independent school leaders working to create more inclusive school communities.

The talk affirmed the direction we are taking with our Student Competencies, namely to educate our students so they can navigate a diverse society. Focusing on cultural competence and global-mindedness is more important than ever before. These important abilities must not simply be add-ons, but have to be integrated through all the work we do at school.

Dr. Tatum’s talk also raised some questions for my colleagues and I to ponder. How do we develop kids’ skills to create their own diverse personal networks? How can we show students that they each have a “sphere of influence” and the power to improve their communities? How can students be empowered as citizens, by practicing active citizenship at school?

The “ABC” Model is a helpful way to think about responding to these questions. Moving forward, we can Affirm every student’s identity, Build community, and Cultivate leadership. Every student should recognize themselves somehow in our curriculum and know their value in our community. The feeling of belongingness and affirmation that follows will help students engage with others and build their essential competencies. In an inclusive, positive, and supportive school culture, every student can become a leader by developing the ability to interact effectively with others regardless of individual differences.


TRINITY REP VISITS TO PERFORM TWELFTH NIGHT

On Tuesday afternoon, November 14th, in the Campbell Auditorium, actors from the Brown / Trinity Rep MFA program will be coming to campus to perform Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for the RHS Community.

The performance will begin at 3:30pm and will last about 90 minutes with a Q&A after the show. There is no cost and all members of Rocky Hill Community are welcome. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP below so that we can get a sense of how many chairs to set up.

http://www.rockyhill.org/deckhands-theater-company-rsvp/


WHAT WE’RE READING

Articles that teachers in the Upper School have been reading recently:

4 Tools to Help Kids Develop Empathy and Cultural Humility. Cultural humility is the recognition that we have biases and limitations to our knowledge regarding another’s culture. Whether they are seeking to relate to someone of a different race, age, or gender, kids who can better keep themselves in perspective and practice cultural humility are more likely to value the contributions of others to their lives — a necessity when fostering truly collaborative, forward-thinking societies.

A Classroom Full of Risk Takers. No one learns without making mistakes. Quite the opposite—we learn when we make mistakes. State teachers of the year explain how they make students feel safe enough to take risks—and then push them to do so.

Without Changes in Education, the Future of Work Will Leave More People Behind. The unfolding economic shift requires a combination of soft skills — the ability to solve problems, communicate effectively and work with others — along with technical capacities. Careers now depend on social capital and networking skills. Schools must pay attention or kids will be left behind.


PHOTOS FROM LAST WEEK

Narragansett Sounds performs “In Flanders Field” at the annual Veterans assembly on Friday, November 10.

Veterans at the annual assembly on Friday, November 10.

Some of next year’s 9th graders (and their hosts) on their visit to the US last week.

Next year’s 9th graders join US students in a goofy photo on their visit to the US last week.


RHS STUDENT COMPETENCIES

Rocky Hill School is committed to developing bold learners, prepared to navigate a complex and changing world. The eight Student Competencies serve as fundamental learning goals we believe will prepare our students for success. A Rocky Hill Student is a NavigatorCritical ThinkerCitizen, and Communicator, who is InnovativeSelf-AwareEthical, and Globally-Minded.


Be sure to download Rocky Hill School’s new mobile app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. This free app is full of useful information and features.

Click here to learn more.

 

 


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US Weekly News: Monday, November 6, 2017

PHOTOS FROM LAST WEEK

Last week began with the annual US Halloween Costume Contest, which brought out the creativity from students and teachers alike. The week ended with a visit from a Boston-based a capella group.

Senior Prefect Olivia is Serenaded by visiting A Capella Group “The Beelzebubs” of Tufts University.


FROM MIKE GWALTNEY, HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL

Our school motto, Know Thyself, comes to us from one of history’s great teachers, Socrates. According to Plato, Socrates admonished his fellow Athenians that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” urging them to bring awareness to their lives. At Rocky Hill, we invite students to examine life in many ways, including through the disciplines of study, community service, and extra-curricular activities.

Mindfulness has emerged over the last decade as a research-proven tool to help students improve their self-awareness. Studies show that students who regularly practice mindfulness improve their academic performance, social-emotional skills, and overall sense of well being.

In this month’s National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Magazine, Juan-Diego Estrada, a high school counselor at The John Cooper School in Texas, wrote [link] that after he introduced Mindfulness to his class:

Students welcomed the opportunity to be given the time and space to just be, and reported that they gained insight into how their minds work. They noticed how easily their attention could be pulled away by random thoughts [without mindfulness]. The societal automatic pilot seems to be busyness and hyper-stimulation, and if we want to regain control over our lives to steer them into a chosen direction, we need to create opportunities for mindfulness.

This week, the Upper School will open a “Mindfulness Corner” on the first floor of the Flynn building where students can go to find solitude and bring awareness to the present moment, in a quiet, comfortable, technology-free space. We will also begin offering 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation a couple of times each week in the morning before Advisory.

As Estrada suggested in his NAIS magazine piece, for our students to develop their Student Competencies, we need them to deepen their understanding of their minds, and to be fully awake individuals. We believe mindfulness, and a safe and supportive school culture will help us achieve this important goal.


THIS WEEK: VETERANS DAY TO BE OBSERVED

At the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month… Rocky Hill School will celebrate Veterans Day with our annual Veteran’s Assembly on Thursday the 9th. School will be closed on Friday in observance of this national holiday.

If you have a family member who is a veteran, we would be honored to have them join us at our Veteran’s Assembly. Please contact Head of Middle School Mike Jedrey for more information: mjedrey@rockyhill.org


ON THE HORIZON

Parent Conferences: Advisers will schedule conferences Tuesday, November 14 – Tuesday November 21.

Thanksgiving Holiday: School will be closed from Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday November 26.

Choral Concert is Thursday, December 7.


RHS STUDENT COMPETENCIES

Rocky Hill School is committed to developing bold learners, prepared to navigate a complex and changing world. The eight Student Competencies serve as fundamental learning goals we believe will prepare our students for success. A Rocky Hill Student is a NavigatorCritical ThinkerCitizen, and Communicator, who is InnovativeSelf-AwareEthical, and Globally-Minded.


Be sure to download Rocky Hill School’s new mobile app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. This free app is full of useful information and features.

Click here to learn more.

 

 


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US Weekly News: Monday, October 30, 2017

9th Graders at Work in the RHS Garden

Gardening

Parents became math students on 8th Grade Preview Night

10th Grade English students present to the US about their “Narragansett Return” Project-based Learning work


FROM MIKE GWALTNEY, HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL

Educators know that caring, supportive school environments make every student’s academic success more likely. A substantial body of research shows that the quality of students’ relationships with each other, and with their teachers has a profound influence on performance in school.

As I spend my first year at Rocky Hill School discovering all the ways our school community nurtures and supports our students, I have been impressed with how caring our students are for each other, and the relationships our teachers create with every student. RHS faculty really care about the social, emotional, and ethical development of each student, and work to fulfill our mission to educate the whole child — mind, body, and spirit.

As we move forward in the Upper School in the coming years, there will be some things that change, but the supportive community that has developed over the years will stay the same, and deepen. In this time when teenagers often feel pressure to pursue perfection in everything they do, in order to get into the most elite colleges, Rocky Hill School students are fortunate to have an environment that allows them to express their emotions among friends. To paraphrase one of the student-panelists at 8th Grade Preview Night, “this is a school where everyone knows and helps each other.”


MINDFULNESS CORNER

Studies regularly conclude that students benefit from learning mindfulness, the practice of bringing awareness to the present moment. Students who practice regularly have improved academic performance, and improve their social-emotional skills, and sense of well being.

The Upper School is committed to fostering self-awareness in our students, and the practice of Mindfulness is one of the approaches we use. Read more about Mindfulness here from the New York Times.


WHAT WE’RE READING

Articles that teachers in the Upper School have been reading recently:

How We’re Smart: We’re All Intelligent In Multiple And Varying Ways, And We Can Grow Those Intelligences, Too.
What if, instead of asking, “How smart am I?” we encouraged kids to ask, “How am I smart?” People have a wide range of capacities, and there are many ways to be smart. Kids can be quick to label themselves and their peers as “smart” or “not smart,” but intelligence is far more sophisticated than these two categories, and far less fixed.

The Importance of Sleep and Strategies for Sleeping Better
The brain has no capacity to get back sleep lost days before. Teenagers’ biology requires that they sleep 8-10 hours nightly, but many are chronically “underslept,” despite sleeping in on weekends.
See also:
The Science of Adolescent Sleep and,
Why School Should Start Later for Teens.


ATTENDANCE

When your student will be absent from school, please use the Attendance Email Address: attendance@rockyhill.org. Our Attendance Hotline phone number 401-884-6200 is also available and checked daily.


US PTL NEWS

BTFE.com

The US PTL is joining forces with the Lower and Middle School Divisions to increase the collection of Box Tops 4 Education this year. Those little pink things on lots of packages that earn the school 10 cents each are now being collected for the Upper School as well.

It is very easy to participate: if you buy the products (there are many — click here for a list of participating products), simply clip the Box Top and bring them to the collection box by the Flynn office.

We appreciate your support! If you have questions, email Nici Lanowy, US Box Tops Coordinator: nicilanowy@gmail.com.


ON THE HORIZON

Veteran’s Day 4-day Weekend: School will be closed November 10-13 for the holiday on Friday, and faculty professional development on Monday.

Parent Conferences: Advisers will schedule conferences Tuesday, November 14 – Tuesday November 21.

Thanksgiving Holiday: School will be closed from Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday November 26.

Choral Concert is Thursday, December 7.


RHS STUDENT COMPETENCIES

Rocky Hill School is committed to developing bold learners, prepared to navigate a complex and changing world. The eight Student Competencies serve as fundamental learning goals we believe will prepare our students for success. A Rocky Hill Student is a NavigatorCritical ThinkerCitizen, and Communicator, who is InnovativeSelf-AwareEthical, and Globally-Minded.


Be sure to download Rocky Hill School’s new mobile app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. This free app is full of useful information and features.

Click here to learn more.

 

 


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US Weekly News: Monday, October 23, 2017

Forensics students in action analyzing finger prints.

World History students on the river, visualizing elements of historical naval battles.

Here’s what is coming up this week, beginning Monday, October 23:


THIS WEEK’S EVENTS

WEDNESDAY, 10/25
10th & 11th graders: PSAT. Testing starts at 8:25am sharp.
9th graders
have a regular day of school.
12th graders are dismissed for a “college admissions work day,” and are encouraged to visit schools and/or work on applications.

THURSDAY 10/26
8th grade Preview Night in the Upper School.
5:30-8:00pm.

FRIDAY 10/27
Quarter 1 Ends.


LOOKING AHEAD

Veteran’s Day 4-day Weekend: School closed November 10-13 for the holiday on Friday, and faculty professional development on Monday.

Parent Conferences: Tuesday, November 14 – Tuesday November 21.

Thanksgiving Holiday: School closed from Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday November 26.

Choral Concert is Thursday, December 7.


ATTENDANCE

When your student will be absent from school, please use the Attendance Email Address: attendance@rockyhill.org. Our Attendance Hotline phone number 401-884-6200 is also available and checked daily.


US PTL NEWS

BTFE.com

The US PTL is joining forces with the Lower and Middle School Divisions to increase the collection of Box Tops 4 Education this year. Those little pink things on lots of packages that earn the school 10 cents each are now being collected for the Upper School as well.

It is very easy to participate: if you buy the products (there are many — click here for a list of participating products), simply clip the Box Top and bring them to the collection box by the Flynn office.

We appreciate your support! If you have questions, email Nici Lanowy, US Box Tops Coordinator: nicilanowy@gmail.com.


WHAT WE’RE READING

Articles that teachers in the Upper School have been reading recently:

Evidence for How We Learn: Social, Emotional, and Academic Development [Study]. — “Classroom instruction and academic activities that connect rigorous cognitive challenges with social interaction or that spark students’ emotions result in deeper, longer-term learning.” A broad alliance of leading scientists and scholars came together to speak with a unified voice about the urgency of integrating social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning.

How Making an Impact on the World Motivates Students. — Several Project-based Learning experiences are featured, all that help develop competencies like citizenship and global mindedness.

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety? — An important article for anyone who parents or teaches. Many teenagers raised in more affluent communities never get to the point where they can say, ‘I’ve done enough, and now I can stop.” Kids feel pressured to do more and more in pursuit of perfection or to get into the most elite colleges. How can educators and parents help kids understand there’s more than one “right” path and multiple ways of being successful in the world?

Why Advisory Matters (Martin Moran, HOUS, Bennett Day School). — A robust, systemic, and sacred Advisory program is more important to school than ever before. Adolescents have to manage challenges and pressures that most adults never had to consider: social media and digital life, the college process run amok, and workloads sometimes up to six or seven hours in addition to their school schedule.


RHS STUDENT COMPETENCIES

Rocky Hill School is committed to developing bold learners, prepared to navigate a complex and changing world. The eight Student Competencies serve as fundamental learning goals we believe will prepare our students for success. A Rocky Hill Student is a NavigatorCritical ThinkerCitizen, and Communicator, who is InnovativeSelf-AwareEthical, and Globally-Minded.


Be sure to download Rocky Hill School’s new mobile app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. This free app is full of useful information and features.

Click here to learn more.

 

 


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