It’s hard to believe that it’s already November—it does not feel like two full months have passed since your children, my colleagues and I were volunteering at the Greater Boston Food Bank, Cradles to Crayons and the Franklin Park Zoo on the first day of school. The fall always passes by quickly and it amazes me how much we get accomplished in such a short amount of time.
Teachers just finished writing comments for the first quarter and, by the time you read this newsletter, your children will have reviewed their comments and grades with their advisors. In my opinion, the teachers’ comments are more important than the grades themselves and I hope that you will take the time to review the comments at home with your son or daughter. While the grade is only an indication as to how your child is doing, each comment is filled with genuine observations of strengths and areas of growth, and incredibly useful feedback for how to improve. Please do not be alarmed if your child’s grades have declined in certain subjects. As you may know, the curriculum of sophomore year is challenging in new and different ways as students transition from concrete to abstract thinking in several courses. Additionally, it takes time for the students to adjust to the curriculum and to the new expectations in each class. By the time the December comments are written, most students will have grown accustomed to the demanding curriculum and to the expectations of their teachers, and they will have discovered what they need to do in order to meet their goals.
At the beginning of the year and throughout the fall, I have emphasized to Class III the importance of community involvement. During sophomore year, it is important for students to pursue their interests and to participate in clubs and other extracurricular activities at Nobles. Now that students have more free time in their schedule, they should view X-Block as a time to get involved. There are a wide variety of clubs and if students join and are active this year, they may be able to take on leadership roles in upcoming years. As the person who oversees Nobles trips, I was very pleased to see many sophomores apply to travel this year. Although not all students were selected for their first choice, I am encouraged by how interested Class III students are in the travel opportunities offered. I hope to see many students traveling this year and in the future because I know what a lasting impact these journeys have on those who experience them.
Class III meetings this fall have been and will continue to be full of visits from representatives of study away programs. By December, students will have had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Island School, School Year Abroad (SYA), the Mountain School of Vermont, the High Mountain Institute of Colorado, the Chewonki Semester School of Maine and the School for Ethics and Global Leadership of Washington, D.C. In addition, a representative from CITYTerm of NYC will be visiting early in the second semester. If your child is interested in studying away from Nobles during junior year, he/she should begin thinking about that now and planning for the future. It would be a good idea for your child to touch base with his/her advisor and with me if this may be a possibility.
As you may know, the Class III parent evening, which was originally scheduled for November 3, has been postponed until January. Our intent with this parent evening was to work with and inform the parent body about the cognitive and social challenges that sophomores often face. Although we feel that the content of this evening is relevant, we have seen a decline in attendance in the past few years. For that reason, we have decided to pursue another topic of interest for the evening of January 26. We hope that you will be able to join us on that night to discuss how to navigate the long path to college. We will provide more information on this night as we get closer to the date.
I hope to see you at a game or at a performance in the near future. Enjoy the month of November, and have a happy Thanksgiving with your family.