US Weekly News: Thursday, February 22, 2018

 

The Upper School gathered on Friday 2/16 to hear Storyteller Valerie Tutson as part of our Black History Month celebrations.


THIS VERY SHORT WEEK

Presidents Day + Head’s Holiday + Faculty PD Day = Mid-Winter Break!
No Classes Monday – Wednesday

Upper School Musical “Into the Woods”
Friday & Saturday, February 23 – 24

ON THE HORIZON

RHedTalks “Anxiety in Students” Mini-series
Tuesday, February 27 and Tuesday March 6
See below for more information

Spring Break
Monday, March 12 – Monday, March 26
Classes resume on Tuesday, March 27


RHedTalks PRESENTS “ANXIETY IN STUDENTS” MINI-SERIES

On Tuesday, February 27 and Tuesday, March 6, RHedTalks presents a two-part series exploring the effect of anxiety on students and their families.

Join Jessica Kaplan, LICSW on 2/27 for an interactive evening dedicated to answering questions about how anxiety affects our children’s minds, bodies and behaviors. Participants will learn to identify common triggers, and ways to help children cope, both in and outside of the home.

On 3/6 we present a special screening of the acclaimed documentary film Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture. Called one of the “10 Education Documentaries You Don’t Want to Miss,” RTN features stories of students across the country who have been pushed to the brink by over-scheduling, over-testing, and the relentless pressure to achieve. The film has been screened in more than 7,000 schools, universities, cinemas, hospitals, corporations, and community centers, and we are honored to be able to bring it to the RHS community.

Click here to RSVP for one or both of the “Anxiety in Students” evenings.


WHAT WE’RE READING

How to Teach Teens About Love, Consent and Emotional Intelligence (KQED) — The Making Caring Common project found that most teens want parents, teachers and caregivers to be more proactive in teaching them how to have healthy romantic relationships. They’re looking for more guidance from parents on emotional aspects of romantic relationships. “The first thing is that you want to really set up a space that is safe and that will be, at times, uncomfortable. Super uncomfortable,” said Matthew Lippman, a high school English teacher at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. A few years ago, he began teaching a course called MEMOIR: LOVE.

Why Grades Are Not Paramount to Achievement (Atlantic) — The intrinsic love of learning supplants the drive for high marks in the long run. Even for students who are highly motivated by grades and test scores, a teacher who experimented with no grades for six weeks saw students who were freed from the pressures of grades and instead focused on being learners. Engagement, enthusiasm, motivation, and determination drastically increased.

What The Screen Time Experts Do With Their Own Kids (KQED) — Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines. One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn’t have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new. But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. The author of the book The Art of Screen Time interviewed dozens of experts to ask them how they made screen time rules at home. None of them held themselves up as paragons, but it was interesting to see how the priorities they focused on in their own research corresponded with the priorities they set at home.


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, February 12, 2018

Upper School students perform during Chinese New Year celebration.


THIS WEEK

All-School PTL Meeting
Tuesday, February 13, 6:30pm

Senior Seminar Panel Presentations
Thursday, February 15, 8:25am – 2:00pm

International Students Chinese New Year NYC Trip
Friday & Saturday, February 16 – 17

Add / Drop Period for Semester Classes Ends
Friday, February 16

ON THE HORIZON

Presidents Day Weekend – No Classes:
Monday, February 19 – Presidents’ Day
Tuesday, February 20 – Head of School’s Holiday
Wednesday, February 21 – Faculty Professional Development Day (no school for students)

Upper School Musical “Into the Woods”
Friday & Saturday, February 23 – 24

RHedTalks “Anxiety in Students” Mini-series
Tuesday, February 27 and Tuesday March 6
See below for more information

Spring Break
Monday, March 12 – Monday, March 26
Classes resume on Tuesday, March 27


RHedTalks PRESENTS “ANXIETY IN STUDENTS” MINI-SERIES

On Tuesday, February 27 and Tuesday, March 6, RHedTalks presents a two-part series exploring the effect of anxiety on students and their families.

Join Jessica Kaplan, LICSW on 2/27 for an interactive evening dedicated to answering questions about how anxiety affects our children’s minds, bodies and behaviors. Participants will learn to identify common triggers, and ways to help children cope, both in and outside of the home.

On 3/6 we present a special screening of the acclaimed documentary film Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture. Called one of the “10 Education Documentaries You Don’t Want to Miss,” RTN features stories of students across the country who have been pushed to the brink by over-scheduling, over-testing, and the relentless pressure to achieve. The film has been screened in more than 7,000 schools, universities, cinemas, hospitals, corporations, and community centers, and we are honored to be able to bring it to the RHS community.

Click here to RSVP for one or both of the “Anxiety in Students” evenings.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Rocky Hill School is On The Move: Where are We Going? Assistant Head of School for External Affairs Beth DeGerlia says that over the next five years Rocky Hill School will become more uniquely distinguished among peer schools. How? What mark will we leave on our students? Our faculty? Our community? In case you missed it, click here to read Beth’s special message.


WHAT WE’RE READING

10 Questions to Improve Critical Thinking Skills (Big Think) — A short video plus the 10 questions astrophysicist Carl Sagan called the ‘baloney detection kit’. Skeptic and science writer Michael Shermer explains key lessons from Sagan, and from his own college freshman course ‘Skepticism 101’, which teaches students ten basic questions that helps them debunk untruths, and call out baloney when they see it.

Mindfulness in High School (Edutopia) — A teacher shares how she implements daily mindful moments and their positive impact on classroom culture. When students enter, there’s a sense of peace, community, clarity, and active presence. Students report that mindfulness helps with stress, confidence, relationships, communication, metacognition, health, and focus. And it creates the kind of classroom where they all want to be.

What’s So Different About High Tech High Anyway? (KQED) — What is it like to walk the halls of what many people consider the nation’s model high school? A group of education journalists visiting as part of the Education Writers Association’s Rethinking the American High School seminar find out.


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, February 5, 2018

As Heyuan ’20 demonstrates, we’re focused on Upper School…

THIS WEEK

College Night / Panel for Juniors and Parents
Wednesday, February 7, 6:15-8:15

ON THE HORIZON

All-School PTL Meeting
Tuesday, February 13, 6:30pm.

5-Day Weekend in February
Monday, February 19 – Presidents’ Day
Tuesday, February 20 – Head of School’s Holiday
Wednesday, February 21 – Faculty Professional Development Day (no school for students)


COLLEGE COUNSELING

This Wednesday night is College night for 11th Graders and their Parents. Don’t miss this important evening when Director of College Counseling Tara Dowling will go over important information to know.

Tara frequently shares articles of interest for students and parents via email, and she recommends these two to read before the meeting Wednesday:

This Will Look Great on my Application… Right?,” from Jeff Schiffmann, Director of Admissions at Tufts University. Colleges expect students to engage in activities outside the classroom, but they don’t want students believing they need to do specific things to impress admissions directors. They want students to experience high school as it comes, and to take advantage of the experiences and opportunities for growth that happen during high school. Schiffmann offers 10 things to remember, including to “do things that make you happy” and to “be a good person.”

College Has Evolved and So Should Your Search,” from Angel B. Pérez, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success at Trinity College. While college majors are currently still a traditional part of higher education’s culture, colleges are strategically emphasizing skills that will put students at an advantage upon graduation. Writing, critical thinking, quantitative and data analysis, problem solving, teamwork building, diversity training, and global mindedness are just a few of the areas of focus. These are lifetime transferrable skills that employers will continue to seek in graduates.


GIFTS OF LOVE

For a Valentine’s Day service project, the Upper School and Middle School are collecting toiletry items for local homeless citizens who are serviced through the House of Hope. The goal is to put together bags of these items, along with encouraging notes and of course, a little chocolate for the staff at House of Hope to distribute on Valentine’s Day.

Please HELP us collect these small items that make a LARGE difference in a homeless person’s life!

Click here to view the flyer posted around school about this great project.


WEAR PATRIOTS JERSEYS ON MONDAY IF THEY WIN!

Cole L. ’20 and George K. ’20 model
their Pats gear before the big game!

Patriots jerseys will be allowed in the Upper School on Monday 2/5 with a Patriots victory in the Super Bowl. So if the team wins, wear your Pats gear from the waist up — sweatpants are not allowed even if they’re Patriots-themed.

Students who decide not to wear Patriots gear must come to school in dress code.

Click here to view Student Council’s slideshow explaining the dress code.

Click here to read the text of the clarified and updated dress code.


WHAT WE’RE READING

Perfectionism Is Increasing, and That’s Not Good News (HBR) — According to the World Health Organization, a record number of young people worldwide are suffering from serious depression or anxiety disorders. There is growing evidence that the increase in psychological ill-health of young people may stem from the excessive standards that they hold for themselves and the harsh self-punishment they routinely engage in. Increasingly, young people hold irrational ideals for themselves, ideals that manifest in unrealistic expectations for academic and professional achievement, how they should look, and what they should own. Help your kids by emphasizing that failure is not weakness, finishing tasks is more important than perfecting them, and that there are healthier goals than perfection.


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, January 29, 2018

THIS WEEK

Executive Committee PTL Meeting
Wednesday, January 31, 8:15am, Campbell Conference Room.

LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference
On Thursday and Friday, February 1-2, select students and faculty will attend this premier education industry event at the Hynes Center in Boston to learn how entrepreneurs are partnering with educators to drive innovation and transform digital-era learning.


ON THE HORIZON

College Night: Panel for Juniors & Parents
Wednesday, February 7, at 6:15pm.

All-School PTL Meeting
Tuesday, February 13, 6:30pm.

5-Day Weekend in February
Monday, February 19 – Presidents’ Day
Tuesday, February 20 – Head of School’s Holiday
Wednesday, February 21 – Faculty Professional Development Day (no school for students)


DRESS CODE UPDATED

Last week, Student Council gave a presentation in the Upper School, clarifying some lingering questions about dress code, and updating the “hoodie” question.

Click here to view Student Council’s slideshow explaining the dress code.

Click here to read the text of the clarified and updated dress code.


CVS PHARMACISTS TEACH PROGRAM

Pharmacists from CVS gave a presentation to parents last Friday morning, and a special presentation to Upper School students on Friday afternoon. The CVS Pharmacists Teach program provides teens with facts about prescription drug abuse through the “One Choice Changes Everything” program. The powerful presentation on Friday included stories of real youths whose lives were forever changed by their choice to misuse or abuse prescription painkillers. Dispelling the widely held belief that prescription drugs are safe to experiment with and abuse is crucial for educators and parents.

Click here to watch the video shown to parents in the CVS “Prescription for Parents” presentation.

Click here to watch the video shown to students in the “Once Choice Changes Everything” presentation (from partner organization RiseAboveCO).

Rocky Hill School strongly encourages parents and students to discuss together the important subject of drug use and safety.


WHAT WE’RE READING

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

What Teens Wish Their Parents Knew About Social Media (Wash Post) — An interview with middle school and high school students about secrets they wish parents knew about their online use, but don’t necessarily want to tell them. “Promoting social media wellness is all about developing awareness and encouraging open communication, because teens who perceive their parents are unaware are less likely to seek their parents’ guidance and support in times of need — and that’s not a secret we want them to keep.”

How Learning Happens: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (The Aspen Institute) — Decades of research in human development, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, and educational practice and policy have illuminated that major domains of human development—social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, academic—are deeply intertwined in the brain and in behavior. All are central to learning and success. Just as we have intentional academic programming for learning concepts when teaching subject matter, we need to provide intentional, scaffolded programming to help students develop social and emotional competence.


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, January 22, 2018

THIS WEEK

Quarter 3 and Semester 2 begin on Monday, January 22nd.

“Prescriptions for Parents,” a Health & Wellness Parent Event is on Friday, January 26 at 8:30am. This presentation from the CVS Pharmacists Teach program will help parents talk with their teenagers by arming them with knowledge about commonly abused drugs, and how to identify the signs of drug misuse and abuse. It will provide helpful tips and tools parents need to effectively communicate the risks of prescription drugs, and prepares them to answer any difficult questions their kids may have.


ON THE HORIZON

Upper School Winter Dance on Saturday, January 27, 7-10pm.

College Night: Panel for Juniors & Parents, on Wednesday, February 7, at 6:15pm.

5-Day Weekend in February:
Monday, February 19 – Presidents’ Day
Tuesday, February 20 – Head of School’s Holiday
Wednesday, February 21 – Faculty Professional Development Day (no school for students)


FROM MIKE GWALTNEY, HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL

Many parents attended last Wednesday’s Upper School PTL meeting to hear news from our Director of Innovation Meg Stowe, and to discuss our new Upper School Daily Schedule taking effect in September 2018. I know not everyone is able to attend these morning meetings, so here are some highlights from the meeting about which you should be aware:

The Center for Innovation is alive with activity! At PTL, Meg Stowe shared various updates on some of the exciting work being done. Click here to view her slides and read the updates.

Under Meg’s leadership, we recently welcomed our Spring 2018 Artist-In-Residence, the design team from Rhode Island-based jewelry design and manufacturer ALEX AND ANI. Last Friday, designers were on campus to launch our very first design challenge, in which students across all divisions will be given the opportunity to design and render a 2D charm that represents one of the eight Rocky Hill School student competencies. The Alex and Ani design team will serve as design mentors and judges, and ultimately select the top three designs for each competency. Any student can participate! Click here to read more about the ALEX AND ANI Design Challenge info for Upper School.

I am thrilled to announce that the RHS Upper School is one of a group of select schools to be invited to join the Making Caring Common Project’s High School Campaign. By joining the MCC, we will be an early leader in a new national campaign to prepare young people to be constructive community members and citizens who create a better world. Making Caring Common has recently completed a project with universities and colleges through which 80 agreed that ethical engagement — especially concern for others and the common good — and intellectual achievement are BOTH regarded as highly important in the college admissions process. The new High School Campaign aims to: 1) deepen students’ care for others and their communities; 2) increase equity and access for all students in the college admissions process; and 3) reduce excessive achievement pressure. These goals align with our vision for the Upper School and I am excited we have partnered with the MCC. In addition to access to the MCC’s network of schools and abundance of valuable resources, the RHS Upper School will be included in Making Caring Common’s press materials.

The new Daily Schedule launching in September ’18 will support these new initiatives as well as improve our overall program. The schedule was carefully designed by a team of teachers and administrators, and was informed by research and success stories in independent schools, as well as through feedback from students and parents. Design features like an 8:30am start time, fewer-but-longer class periods each day, increased Advisory time, and flexible time for clubs, activities, and social-emotional / health & wellness programming will better support the innovative work we are doing in the RHS Upper School. Click here to view an updated version of the New Upper School Daily Schedule for 2018-2019.


WHAT WE’RE READING

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

Helping Teens Find Their Purpose (Hechinger Report) — A growing number of schools have adopted curricula on social and emotional learning, including an emphasis on growth mindsets (see Carol Dweck’s work at Stanford) and developing a stick-to-it quality called grit (Angela Duckworth at U.Penn). This article explores various projects that focus on an important part of student development while in school: finding a sense of purpose.

Teaching Introverted Students: How a ‘Quiet Revolution’ Is Changing Classroom Practice (Education Week) — Educators are changing their conception of class participation, and its role in grading. “It’s important to open up lots of different avenues to participation, from body language to short written check-ins to electronic communication, to quietize the thinking process”—or, in other words, create an introvert-friendly learning environment.

How Reading Increases Your Emotional Intelligence & Brain Function: The Findings of Recent Scientific Studies (Open Culture) — Much recent research strongly suggests that reading improves emotional and cognitive intelligence. Reading can lead to a refined “theory of mind,” a term used by cognitive scientists to describe how “we ascribe mental states to other persons and “how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of those other persons.” Improved “intuitive psychology,” can result in greater levels of empathy and perhaps even expanded executive function, allowing us to better “hold multiple perspectives in mind at once.” Reading, in other words, can effectively simulate reality in the brain and produce authentic emotional responses.


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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