As I looked back at the newsletter that I wrote around this time last year, I was reminded of how different this winter has been. Last year, I was writing my newsletter on the eve of yet another snowstorm and another day off from school! Although the stretch from January until Spring Break of this year has been long, Class III students have been in remarkably good spirits. I know that the Class III special lunch in January was a big success and was a welcome surprise in one of our many five-day weeks. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of you who were involved in planning the day, decorating the Castle, creating the menu, and staffing the lunch—it was much appreciated by everyone.
Since January, all students have been very busy with their many academic commitments, including the U.S. History Research Project, and their involvement in sports, theatre, and other extracurricular activities. I am positive that everyone is looking forward to vacation in order to relax and recharge for the final quarter of the year. When the students return from Spring Break, they will begin the Novel Project in English III, which will bring forth another important milestone of the Class III year.
I would like to applaud the students who took the time to apply to study away from Nobles for either a semester of next year or for the entire academic year. All students who applied to different programs took a risk in doing so, and I commend them for wanting to explore opportunities away from our campus. If your child applied to study away, he/she should hear from the different programs by mid-April. If your child is accepted to one or more programs, he/she must make a decision and inform Nobles of this decision by May 1. Your child should inform his/her advisor, Jennifer Hines (Dean of Enrollment Management), and me. If you have any questions about this process or about the individual programs, please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you missed the Class III Parent Evening in January, it was an engaging and thought-provoking night run by Erika Guy and Michael Denning. The evening was entitled, “Navigating the Long Road to College,” and it included a comical role-play about the college process by current Class I and II Peer Help students and a thorough presentation on what is to come in the years ahead by Michael. This was not an evening about how to get your child into an Ivy League school; rather, it was a night to discuss how to preserve your relationship with your child as you enter this process in the upcoming months. As Erika pointed out in her newsletter piece last month, “the adolescent years are crucial moments for the requisite psychological tasks of identity development and independence, and the outcome-based expectation of college admittance sometimes creates tension, struggle, and bad results.” The college process can affect families in ways that they do not anticipate, and even the best-intentioned parents can wind up losing sight of the most important elements in the college process, namely the happiness of their child and what is best for him/her. Our hope with this evening was to reinforce this with parents before the process begins. If you are interested in seeing a copy of the materials that were used and distributed on that evening, please let me know.
As you may know, Class III has a special event approaching on Saturday, March 31. As is the tradition for Class III each year, Bob Henderson will host the Class III Head of School Dinner and Dance on that evening from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Unlike previous years, the dinner and dance will take place in the Arts Center at Nobles since the Castle is under construction. The Head of School Dinner and Dance is a mandatory event for all Class III students, as it marks the mid-way point of their Upper School career at Nobles. For that reason, if your child cannot attend, I must hear directly from you in order to excuse him/her. Since this is a special occasion, there is a specific dress code for the evening: boys should wear a jacket, tie and nice pants; girls should wear a skirt with a nice top or a dress. This is not the prom, and your child should not dress as if he/she were going to the prom! If your child is a boarder, the dorm will be open on that evening if your child would like to stay at Nobles. I have sent all boarders an email, asking whether they would like to stay that night, so please help your child plan ahead and have him/her respond to my email by Wednesday, March 7. A link to the invitation for the dinner and dance has been sent to the students via email, and although the event is mandatory, your child must RSVP. Please make sure that your child logs into the Nobles website and responds to the invitation by Friday, March 9. I would like to thank all of the parents who are working very hard to make this event memorable, and if you are not involved but would like to be, please contact Lyndsay Charron or Hillary von Schroeter.
I look forward to a strong finish to the year with the Class III students, and I hope to see you on the Nobles campus this spring. I wish you and your family a relaxing and fun-filled March vacation!
Tara Cocozza McDonald