Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

September 2012

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter September 2012

Web Tutorial: Accessing Your Child's Athletic Schedule

The school's website has a lot to offer and should be your one-stop-shop for all things Nobles. Throughout the year, this monthly E-Newsletter will highlight new or different features from

This quick video tutorial on how to access your child's athletic schedule is helpful, whether you're new to Nobles or just need a refresher.

The Growth of Online Education by Robert Henderson Jr. '76, Head of School

The president of the University of Virginia, Teresa Sullivan, was summarily dismissed and shortly thereafter summarily reinstated late last spring, by that university’s board. The driving issue behind that seesaw governance crisis was online education and whether the administration was moving quickly enough to expand the university’s Internet presence. My purpose here, however, is not to explore the specifics of that situation; rather, I want to highlight the escalating interest and debate about the future of online education that were underscored by the Virginia dispute. Here at Nobles we have taken a significant step in regard to online options, joining Global Online Academy (GOA) and making that program available for full credit to Nobles students. There are sound reasons why GOA appealed to us as an opportunity and experiment, even though we continue at Nobles to harbor significant skepticism about online teaching.

In the second line of the Nobles mission we assert, “Through mentoring relationships, we motivate students to achieve their highest potential.” The student-teacher relationship is at the heart of our educational philosophy. The critical “value-added” of the Nobles experience is that connection. In the case of my own course, AP European History, I am well aware that the specific content can be delivered quite clearly and efficiently by a number of means, with a textbook or through a wide variety of resources available on the internet. My job in the classroom, however, is to make the emotional and intellectual connection with my students that will push their learning much further than is possible with a static resource. In an op-ed in the New York Times on July 19, educator Mark Edmundson argued, “With every class we teach, we need to learn who the people in front of us are. We need to know where they are intellectually, who they are as people and what we can do to help them grow. Teaching…is a matter of dialogue…Every memorable class is a bit like a jazz composition. There is the basic melody that you work with … But there is also a considerable measure of improvisation against that disciplining background.” This cannot be reproduced by the online experience, and it is this commitment to the individual student that makes a Nobles education special and powerful.

Yet it is starkly true that online education is inexpensive and efficient. It does not require athletic centers or language labs, and one teacher can theoretically reach an unlimited number of students, virtually annihilating the greatest expense in traditional education, which is labor. If you have never done so, go to the website for Kahn Academy ( and explore what is available through that incredible resource at no cost. The options for online education are proliferating, and just about every university in the country is expanding their online offerings, while also advancing their technologies to deliver this material in engaging, varied ways. It is a threat to traditional schools at both the secondary and collegiate levels, with their ponderous overheads and escalating cost structures.

So the challenge for Nobles was finding a reasonable way to enter and explore this burgeoning field without undermining what we truly believe is essential to excellence in teaching and learning. The opportunity was provided by a collaborative enterprise among a number of outstanding independent day schools from within the United States and around the world: GOA ( This coalition of like-minded schools sought to create an online option that mirrors as closely as possible the relational model of classroom teaching. It also permits Nobles to expand our course catalog, making available a wide variety of subjects beyond the scope of our curriculum. Classes are small, and teachers provide individual attention to students on a regular basis. Moreover, students are required to engage in collaborative projects with students from a remarkable variety of backgrounds. We are required as well to offer at least one course and provide one teacher per semester, meaning that Nobles teachers will be trained in and develop sophistication with this media (this year it will be Ayako Anderson offering an introductory Japanese language and culture class). Nobles has the opportunity to learn and experiment with online education, in manner consistent with our own mission, developing our own perspective and relationship with this teaching method as the field grows. Several students took a GOA course during the second semester of last year, all of them providing favorable course evaluations, and several more will be enrolled in the year ahead.

There is no question that Nobles will remain deeply committed to what we consider to be the best practices in secondary education. The experience of being a part of a community like this is not possible online, nor are the depth and quality of relationships that develop in our classrooms, and on our playing fields, stages, trips and service commitments. In my view, the art of teaching developed some essential guiding principles in the time of Socrates that still guide the profession and which are, at best, very difficult to replicate outside of a dynamic environment created by a skilled teacher working in person with capable and engaged students. Yet online education is here to stay, and it is now incumbent upon this school to develop a relationship with it, and best practices to supplement our program. It is likely that all of our students in the future will experience some form of online education, either here, or in colleges and universities, or in some manner of professional training, or just as a matter of personal exploration and growth. You can read more about the specifics of our involvement in GOA, as well as the way in which we will credit courses for high school students, in the Nobles Guide and on the Nobles website (

Follow the Nobles Blogs

Nobles has entered the blogosphere! This April, the school unveiled a series of blogs, ranging in topics and featuring posts from community members. Each day, several are featured on the Nobles homepage; you can also find the complete blog roll at

Check them out:

Preparing for the New School Year by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

There is excitement and anxiety for a new school year—for students, faculty and parents.

In 25 years of working with high school kids, I have never slept on the night before the first day of school.

I know this makes no sense—yet I have come to understand why this is so. Most importantly I am excited to get going; to meet and get to know a new group of students and to immerse myself in the daily action of Nobles. But I’m also nervous about teaching an engaging first class, developing connections with new advisees, planning a challenging yet fun practice.

When our own kids were at Nobles, my insomnia around school opening was magnified. How was the year going to go for them? Would they like their teachers? Could they make good decisions? How were their grades going to be? Were they going to make the team they desperately wanted to make? Would I achieve the right parental balance?

One of the most emailed New York Times articles of the summer—“Raising Successful Children” (Click here for the full article)—addressed the challenges we all face as parents heading in to a new school year, and I’d strongly encourage Nobles parents to click the link and read it (even more than I’d encourage you to finish this newsletter piece!).

There has been significant research done of late around “optimal parenting”—being a parent who is “involved and responsive, who sets high expectations but respects her/his child’s autonomy.” Achieving this balance is easier said than done but clearly revolves around the need to give children (especially as they mature into mid- to late-adolescence) the autonomy they need to make mistakes and to learn from them.

At Nobles we work hard to create a supportive environment where the challenges of school life provide a modicum of regular discomfort. The new math theorem, the complex passage of a novel, the service outreach to a new neighborhood and myriad other experiences provide opportunities where the greatest growth can take place (as Madeline Levine says, “In this gray area of just beyond the comfortable is where resilience is born”). But we have to remember that part and parcel of such growth can be moments of confusion, unhappiness and frustration.

A true adage to me is that we are only as happy as our unhappiest child. It is normal for us to be anxious about our children and what is in store for them. Yet, as Levine asserts, “…the child’s job is to grow, and our job is to control our anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of his or her reasonable moves towards autonomy.”

I know the coming school year will provide many opportunities for our students (your children) to continue their move towards autonomy. There will be exciting and anxiety-provoking moments along the way for all of us. Yet when our kids work their way through them, it will mean important growth for them—and some deep satisfaction and pride for the adults who care about them.

Welcome back to another school year!

From the Foster Gallery

A Process of De-Capsulation:
Joe Joe Orangias: Repurposing Architecture

Sept. 5–Oct. 13

Foster Gallery opens the 2012-13 season with an exciting installation. Boston-based artist JoeJoe Orangias has created a portable, mobile hotel based on his experiences travelling the public spaces of Boston and Japan. Orangias has created a work, The Capsule Hotel, that is interactive, provocative, and ever changing. After being shown in Boston and Provincetown, the latest iteration of The Capsule Hotel will be shown in Foster Gallery. It will be modified by Orangias and Nobles’ visual and performing art students over the run of the exhibition. The piece offers a dialogue for viewers about post-consumer waste, domesticity and public space, queer culture and class systems.

For more information about the Foster Gallery, visit

Nobles Theatre Collective

Welcome back! We hope you had a great summer. The Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC) would like to extend a warm welcome to our new families.

During the 2012-13 school year, the NTC will produce three mainstage shows as well as two student-directed shows and a Middle School production.

October The fall student-directed production will be performed on Oct. 25 and 26
November The fall mainstage production, The Importance of Being Earnest, will be performed Nov. 6-10
February The winter student-directed production will be performed on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1
  The Middle School production will be performed on Feb. 13-14
  The winter mainstage production, Pink Floyd's THE WALL Reimagined, will be performed Feb. 21-23
May The spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, will be performed May 14-18

There are many ways to get involved and to meet members of the Nobles theatre community, including organizing family potlucks, providing snacks for participants, helping to sell refreshments at intermission and/or ushering and, of course, attending the shows. If you would like to volunteer or have any questions please contact the 2012-13 NTC reps, John DeVoy at, or Maureen Shiels Norment at You can also log on and complete the NTC Volunteer Form on the parents’ password-protected page on the Nobles website.

Here’s to a great start to the school year. We are very excited to be a part of the NTC team and look forward to a terrific season of shows.

Thank you,

John DeVoy and Maureen Shiels Norment

Grandparents Day

The PA Special Events Committee is busy planning for Grandparents Day on Friday, September 28, 2012. The daylong event gives grandparents (or in lieu of grandparents, a significant adult figure other than the child's parents) an “inside view” of a typical day at Nobles. Grandparents received an invitation/schedule of events by mail during the week of August 20. If your parents did not receive an invitation, please call Kathy Johnson at 781-320-7001 and she will send one out promptly.

Many parent volunteers are needed. If you would like to help out on Grandparents' Day, log on and click here to complete the Grandparents Day Volunteer Form.

If you have questions regarding Grandparents' Day schedule & activities, please contact Katherine Minevitz at

Class I Deans' Report

Welcome back! We hope you had a wonderful summer and that you are ready to start a new school year. Having both taught this class in HHC, we find it hard to believe that they are now about to start their final year at Nobles.

As Class I Deans, we are excited for the upcoming school year and all that awaits.  We both had fulfilling summers. Meghan spent much of June and July meeting with students and their families regarding the college  process. She and her husband also spent a quality time with their 9-month-old son, who is busy exploring everything he can these days. In addition, Michael spent most of June and July coaching lacrosse at various tournaments and recruiting combines. We both feel refreshed to start the new school year and to help Class I students set the tone as the new leaders of the Nobles community.

We will help students kick-off their senior year at the annual retreat held at Camp Bournedale.  Every year the goal of the retreat is to give students time to reconnect with their classmates after the summer, enjoy time with one another, and help them think about goals for the upcoming school year. Students will engage in a successful program which focuses around the theme “Telling Our Stories.”  By sharing stories, we believe that students will learn more about one another and as a result have stronger relationships and become even better leaders. In addition to the stories, we will provide time for students to set personal goals for the school year and the college office will give a presentation of the “Nuts and Bolts of the College Application Process.”  We will even add the first ever Class I bocce tournament to the day’s itinerary. It sounds like a packed schedule, but there will be plenty of time for them to hang out, relax and have fun before the busy fall begins. 

Your Class I students have many new things about which to be excited. In just a few short days, they will have a fresh schedule, a line up of different teachers with higher expectations, an altered Assembly seat, and new leadership roles to assume. With everything new comes some anxiety. We can all agree that this fall will be quite stressful at times for our seniors as they balance their academic, extracurricular and social commitments with the foreign terrain of the college application process.  Because everything that comes with senior year can be daunting, we want to remind you that your children will be well supported. Throughout the fall, a good portion of Class I Meetings will be dedicated to helping them stay on task, however, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call one of us, the college  counseling office or the student life team.

We would also like to give a big thank you to the Class I parent representatives, Marion Mussafer, Linda Rheingold and Elaine Sobell, who have already been busy planning for the year ahead.  We are sure they will be in touch with you soon about upcoming senior events.  

Finally, we look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night on Thurs., Sept. 20, if not before then. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this dynamic, creative and very talented class.


Meghan Hamilton and Michael Herring

Nobles Yard Sale for Scholarships

Save the Dates: Oct. 12 and 13

All proceeds from the Nobles Yard Sale benefit Nobles scholarships with leftover items donated to local charities.

How can you help?

Lots of volunteers are needed in order to make this event a success. This is a fantastic way to meet other Nobles parents and become involved in the community. On Tues., Sept. 11, there will be a Nobles Yard Sale meeting immediately following the PA meeting, in the Castle. Please join us to help plan this event.

Donations are also needed. Books, clothing, small electronics, furniture, housewares, luggage, sports equipment and toys, that are clean and in good condition, are gratefully accepted. We will begin collecting items at the Omni Rink on Mon., Oct. 1, through Wed., Oct. 10.

Please contact Nicola DiFelice at or Camellia Bloch at cbloch@kendallsquareassociates, Yard Sale co-chairs, with any questions or to volunteer!

Class II Reps: Suzie Montgomery (left) and Eileen Orscheln

Dear Class II Parents:

We hope everyone has enjoyed a refreshing, relaxing summer break!  Class II year can be quite stressful for both students and parents, so cherish these last few peaceful weeks!  As you plan your fall schedule, be sure to put these dates on your calendar:

  • Tues., Sept. 18, 8:15 a.m.— Class II Parent Coffee, tentatively scheduled for the Castle.  Please join us to reconnect with fellow parents and hear about our plans for the year.  We’ll have sign-up sheets for some Class II volunteer opportunities. You can also log on to the Nobles website and sign up using the Class II Volunteer Form.
  • Fri., Nov. 2, 7-10 p.m.—Class II Parent Social. Join fellow Class II parents for an evening of cocktails and conversation.  Location TBA, but save the date!

If you have any ideas or requests for coffees, gatherings, etc. we’d love to hear from you.  We look forward to a great year!

Suzie Montgomery,; cell: (781) 789-2668
Eileen Orscheln,; cell: (781) 467-8050

Class II Parent Reps

Class IV Reps: Isabelle Loring (left) and Cindy Trull

Welcome Class IV Parents,

Let us be the first to welcome you to Class IV (freshman year/ninth grade) at Nobles! We would like to extend a special warm welcome to all of the new families joining this wonderful community. This year, the move to the Upper School and the start of high school represents a new experience for all of our children. As if that weren’t enough, a renovated Castle (no more 10:40 a.m. lunch!) awaits everyone.

We are very excited about our role as Class IV Representatives, and are looking forward to getting to know you and to working with you throughout the year. Here is a snapshot of the class:

Class IV—110 students

  • 52 boys, 58 girls
  • Class comes from 46 cities and towns
  • 7 boarders

Part of our job is to ensure that parents get to know one another.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways:  attending Parents' Association (PA) meetings, parent coffees and socials, volunteering in any way that suits you, or attending any of the many school events (art openings, theatrical performances, musical concerts, sports games, etc.).   We highly recommend attending the first (and biggest) all-school Parent Social, Sept 8. It is a wonderful party and a terrific way to meet other parents.  During the first month of school, sign-up sheets for volunteering will be available at the first PA meeting, Back-To-School Night and first Class IV coffee on Fri., Sept. 14, in the Arts Center.  Please feel free to contact us any time during the year with ideas, suggestions and questions—or just to chat.

Below is a schedule of the first few important school and Class IV events.  We encourage you to check regularly the Nobles website for additional happenings at school throughout the year.  Log in to ensure you get the most relevant information—  (To log in, click on the words “Log In” at the top right of the home page and enter your username and password in the pop-up box.  Then click on “Calendar” at the top right to see the full Calendar, or navigate where you need to go.)

  • Tues., Sept. 4—School starts, Class IV Retreat
  • Sat., Sept. 8—Fall Parent Social, 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Tues., Sept. 11—First Parents' Association (PA) meeting (on campus, 8-9:30 a.m.)
  • Fri., Sept. 14—Class IV Parent Coffee (on campus, Castle Library, 8-10 a.m.)
  • Thurs., Sept. 20—Back to School Night, 6-9:30 p.m.
  • Wed., Sept. 26—Yom Kippur, no school
  • Fri., Sept. 28—Grandparents Day
  • Fri., Oct. 5—Multicultural Fair and Friday Night Lights
  • Fri., Oct 12.—Nobles Yard Sale
  • Fri., Oct. 19—Class IV Dinner (off campus, 7-10 p.m.)

Thank you in advance for your support and participation; we look forward to meeting you within the next few weeks and, again, welcome to all the Class IV families!

Isabelle Loring (mother of George),

Cindy Trull (mother of Lizzie),

Class I Reps: (from left): Linda Courtiss Rheingold, Marion Mussafer, Elaine Sobell

Dear Fellow Class I Parents,

Wow—can you believe summer is over and our students are beginning their last year at Nobles?  We are planning many terrific events and activities for this year and can’t wait to get things started—we even have something planned for the very first day the students return. 

Our goal for the year is to include all the Class I students and every parent who wishes to participate.  We hope all of you will join us in making this an exciting and memorable year for the Class of 2013.  Here are the events we have planned so far:

  • Tues., Sept. 4—Grab 'n Go Breakfast before boarding retreat bus
  • Fri., Sept. 14—Surprise Breakfast
  • Fri., Sept. 21—Parent Dinner at the Mussafer's home
  • Thurs., Oct.4—Parent Coffee
  • Fri., Oct. 26 or Wed., October 31—Halloween Surprise Lunch
  • Sat., Nov. 10—Powder Puff Football Game
  • Thurs., Dec. 13, Mon., Dec. 17, Tues., Dec. 18—Treats for Last Nobles Exams
  • Fri., Jan. 18—Parent Winter Breakfast
  • Thurs., Feb.14—Valentine’s Surprise Dessert
  • Fri., March 29—Class I Surprise Lunch
  • Fri., April 5—Parent Coffee
  • Wed., May 1 or May 8—Surprise Breakfast
  • Fri., May 17 or Sat., May 18—Parent Dinner
  • Tues., May 28—The Way We Were

We will be working closely with Class I Deans Meg Hamilton and Mike Herring to keep you informed of upcoming activities and ways to be involved. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact any of us by email or by logging in and  filling out the volunteer form online.  While you should feel free to contact any of us, we have divided up our responsibilities, as noted next to our contact information. We very much look forward to a busy and fulfilling year as your Parent Representatives, and hope to see you soon.


Marion Mussafer,
Linda Courtiss Rheingold,
Elaine Sobell,

Or contact any of us at

Save the Date: Parent Outing

The first Parents' Association outing will be to Cradle to Crayons on Thurs., Nov. 8, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Help Massachusetts children in need get the everyday essentials for learning and life.  Reserve a spot by emailing Jill Dalby Ellison at

From Community Service: Sages and Seekers

What is it a young writer needs? No matter what his age, a writer needs to set his words and ideas, his way of seeing the world, “out there” for reading and comment. A writer’s world can be insular, which leads to depth and focus. But over time, if no one ever sees the work and responds to it, the words themselves can become stale or trite. Shakespeare wrote for the theatre; Dickens was published in serial form in newspapers; Elizabeth Barrett collaborated with Robert Browning. Students of writing have the same issues, often feeling as though they are writing for an audience of only one—their teacher. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share one’s writing across generations with the sensibilities of other people who have lived very different lives from ours and could give us responses we cannot supply for ourselves?

The best kind of service partnerships emerge from genuine needs like this. On one side of town, young people at Nobles are working on becoming authentic voices in their prose. On another side of town, elders wish to discuss their experiences, and tell their stories. When two constituencies join forces to satisfy the needs of both, a mutual alliance of shared benefit emerges.

Jonathan Sands, Class of 2013, embraces his elder friend and writing partner during his service program last year.

“Sages and Seekers” ( is a nonprofit program for elder and young people with similar interests. Nobles has been involved with this endeavor; Afternoon Program community service students have enjoyed their time interacting and writing with their elder friends in past years. This year, the program will be expanded by Tim Carey’s Expository Writing Class as the service program seeks to meld academic and experiential learning. His class will spend part of each week working with elder stories by crafting prose after one-on-one interactions with senior citizens.

But the art of writing is not the only focus. When younger and senior people get together over time, life stories, wisdom, and youthful energy combine to create community—the type extended family and small-town life used to create. The Sages and Seekers founder, Elly Katz, remarks that, “Today, our elderly are all but forgotten. In tribal cultures, the elderly have a vital role in their communities: they are the keepers of the memories and the wisdom. They are the honorable, the respected, the revered.  However, in many modern western cultures this is no longer the case. Today, seniors say they feel ignored, left out, and even disrespected.  What once used to be an honor, taking care of the seniors, is now considered a nuisance, a burden. This is a sad commentary on society today and where we place our values.” It is obvious that visiting, talking and writing with high schoolers can enhance the lives of the elderly. But this is a two way street, as well.

“This exchange provides the young person with an understanding that senior citizens have an amazing gift to share, their wisdom.  It is this wisdom that makes the Sages such a valuable part of our society and reminds us they are not community members who should be overlooked or ignored. From an educational perspective, the student also learns a great deal about interviewing skills, organizing facts, and writing a historical account with accuracy and sensitivity. Reading their story at the final meeting allows them to experience speaking in public. Ideally a sense of community is formed, as the connections between the Sage and the Seeker will hopefully extend beyond the classroom, and a true friendship can be forged.”

As the Nobles service program moves forward with its desire to incorporate authentic and experiential learning challenges in the academic arena, the addition of this real world writing exchange should be a meaningful partnership. Carey says, “My excitement for working with Sages and Seekers is that students, the seekers, will have an opportunity to get acquainted with and eventually get to know at a deeper level a person whose life has been long and vastly different from their own.  In working with the Sages, students will learn to interview, to speak about their partners publicly and to write a lengthy biograpical piece.  My hope is that the Sages will gain from being around a group of young adults and establish a relationship that will grow well after the course ends.”

Sandra MacQuinn and Linda Hurley

Welcome from the PA Co-Chairs

Welcome to the 2012-13 school year! We hope you’ll join us as we kick off the school year on Sat., Sept. 8, with a Parents’ Back-to-School Social. The social is a casual and relaxing way for new and returning parents to meet one another and a great way to reacquaint with old friends. It is sure to be a spirited evening.

All Nobles parents and guardians are automatically members of the Nobles Parents’ Association (PA). The PA plays many roles at Nobles but most importantly it is our goal to help Nobles’ families feel welcomed and integral to the everyday workings of our school. We encourage you to take advantage of the myriad opportunities for parental involvement at Nobles—they are a great way to carve out your own relationship with the place that very quickly becomes a second home to your children.

There are volunteer opportunities at Nobles for all, whether you have lots of time or just a little. To find your niche, log in to the Nobles website ( by clicking "Log In" in the dark blue header or by clicking “Nobles Community” (top right hand corner) and then “Parents”. You will see many opportunities in the "Volunteer at Nobles" section and you will be able to download or submit forms. To accomplish this, you will need your username and password that all families received in an email from Julie Guptill. For returning families your usernames and passwords remain the same. (If you have any problems logging in, please contact

The fall at Nobles is bustling with activity. To find out more, please read your respective Parent Class Representatives’ letters in the Class Notes section of this monthly E-Newsletter. Also, each week, Upper School parents receive a Friday e-mail from Judith Merritt and Middle School parents receive a Wednesday e-mail from Maryanne MacDonald with news and reminders for the week. Finally, get in the habit of checking the Nobles website daily for Afternoon Program news, athletic schedules, updates to the school calendar, etc.

Please join us for our first Parents’ Association meeting of the year on Tues., Sept. 11, at 8 a.m., in the newly renovated Castle study. You will learn about the PA’s parent outings, ask questions about the upcoming year, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with old and new friends. We hope you can come!

Another exciting event is happening in October. An online silent auction benefiting Achieve will coincide with the 2012 Nobles Yard Sale. Achieve is a tuition-free, self -funded educational program serving low-income middle school children happening right here on the Nobles campus. We need your help in the form of donations to make the event a success. Donate your talents, sports tickets, a round of golf or a gift certificate. Any donations are welcome and very appreciated. Please contact Pam Notman at or Carolyn Harthun at to make a donation or to get involved.

Mark your calendar with these other key dates:

  • Back to School Night, Thurs., Sept. 20, 6:20-9:20 p.m.—You will have the opportunity to experience your child’s school day in an abbreviated form.
  • Grandparents Day, Fri., Sept. 28—A wonderful day that spans the ages. Volunteer and you will be able to experience the true joys of the sandwich generation; just fill out the Grandparents' Day volunteer form in the Parents section of the website.

With warmest regards,

Kris Ganong,
Lisa Soule,

Parents’ Association Co-Chairs

Middle School Reps: (from left) Rhonda Kaplan, Sarah Paglione, Janet Nahirny, Michelle Abrecht

Welcome to the 2012-13 school year!  The beginning of the school year is an exciting and busy time for the entire Nobles community and there are many events you won’t want to miss.  At a glance, the highlights for September are listed below.  Keeping track of all these events throughout the year is greatly helped by the emails you will receive each Wednesday from Maryanne MacDonald.  These emails are great reminders of what is ahead in the next week or two for both parents and students alike.  In addition, there is a monthly E-Newsletter for the entire school, which you will receive via email at the start of each month. You also access it here:

Another resource are the four Middle School parent represenatives.  The Class VI Reps are Michelle Abrecht and Rachel Nahirney and the Class V Reps are Sarah Paglione and Rhonda Kaplan.  We will be organizing Middle School parent social events as well as coordinating volunteer opportunities.

A great way for parents to get to know Nobles is to get involved.  Volunteering at Nobles not only helps the school, but is also a great way to meet other parents, teachers and classmates of your child.  There are opportunities to do so throughout the year and in a variety of ways and activities.  To volunteer at Nobles, log on to the school website with your password, click on “Nobles Community” and then “Parents.”  On the left hand side of the parents page, click on “Volunteer at Nobles” for the Middle School Volunteer Form and the General Volunteer Form for school-wide events.


Middle School Events in September

  • Sept. 4—Class V and VI Retreat Day (details on web calendar)
  • Sept. 5—Class V and VI Retreat Day (details on web calendar); All-School Ice Cream Social; MS dismissal at 3:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 6—First Day of Classes in the Middle School and Fall Afternoon Program
  • Sept. 8—Parents Fall Social, 6:30-9 p.m., Arts Center
  • Sept. 11—Parents Association Meeting, 8-9:30 a.m., Castle Library
  • Sept. 20—Back to School Night, 6:20-9:20 p.m.
  • Sept. 26—Yom Kippur, School Closed
  • Sept. 28—Grandparents Day

We look forward to seeing returning parents and meeting new parents in September at some of the events above.  Please let us know if we can provide any additional information or help to answer questions.

Class V Reps

Sarah Paglione (
Rhonda Kaplan (

Class VI Reps

Michelle Abrecht (
Janet Nahirny (

Write to Us!

The E-Newsletter is a monthly resource for parents. If you have comments, submissions or suggestions, please contact E-Newsletter Editor Julie Guptill at

You can find the current issue, along with back issues in the archive at

Parental Command Performance by Bill Bussey, Provost

October 17, 7 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Please put this date and time in your calendar now and keep it sacred. This is the one evening you must not miss. You’ll have something to talk about afterwards with your children, that’s for sure. Trust me, this evening will deliver the goods.

So what’s the big deal?

Dr. JoAnn Deak, one of the world’s foremost experts on adolescent development, will be speaking on "Combining Character Development and Intellectual Development: A Startling Conclusion of the Recent Brain Research."

Dr. Deak believes that “every interaction a child has over the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.” Over the last three years in particular, our nation has been engaged in a necessary discussion as to how best to address and combat bullying and harassment, how best to understand the ways young boys and girls differ socially and intellectually, and how parents and educational institutions can effectively address these concerns. Dr. Deak, a psychologist and educator, has spent the last half of her illustrious career making it her mission in life to be on the cutting edge of brain research and to guide parents and educators to be “neurosculptors” of children. Additionally, she will take questions from the audience and will be more than happy to share the hardcore evidence regarding the importance of sleep, discuss how the brain is formed over the years, and lay on the table the long-term impact of alcohol and drugs on teenage brains.

On Wed., Oct. 17, Dr. Deak will be speaking to your children in long Assembly, meeting privately with the Student Life Team, meeting with various departments of the school, and meeting with the entire faculty at the end of the day. And that evening, she will be meeting with each and every one of you.

Like most folks, I approach lectures with some level of reluctance, praying that there will be at least one piece for information you can be put to practical use. Two years ago I attended one of Dr. Deak’s seminars, and I was on the edge my seat for six hours. In my mind, she is as good as it gets.  She looks at the facts and gives it to you straight. She carries nobody’s water. Agree or disagree with her, she is a breath of fresh air and important conversations will come out of her visit. I’m sure of that.

See you on Oct. 17.

Join us for the Nobles Parents' Association Annual Fall Social

Meet new parents and catch up with old friends over cocktails and hors d‘oeuvres at the Nobles Parents’ Association Fall Social on Sat., Sept. 8, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Arts Center Lobby. Please respond online by Wed., Sept. 5, by visiting Smart casual attire suggested—we look forward to seeing you there!” 

Volunteer at Nobles

We encourage you to check out the many wonderful opportunities that exist to volunteer at Nobles.  Any and all help is much appreciated!  Whether you can spare an hour or a day, whether you are interested in helping with admissions or working by the sports fields, there is something for you!  And, there’s no better way to get to know other Nobles parents!

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to log onto the Nobles website and look under the “Volunteer at Nobles” tab in the lefthand column (reached via the “Parent” option under “Nobles Community”).  You will see opportunities to volunteer for school-wide events, class-specific functions, Nobles Theatre Collective events, and Grandparents Day. 

Please note especially the events where you can help right away in September: sign up to help at the Ice Cream Social (Sept. 5), Parent Fall Social (Sept. 8), Back-to-School Night (Sept. 20 or prep on Sept. 19), first home game cookout (Sept. 22), Grandparents Day (Sept. 28), and several class-specific events.

Sign up sheets will also be available at the first Parents' Association meeting (Sept. 11) and Back to School Night.

Sign up for as many or as few options that interest you, and committee chairs will be in touch with further details.  Any questions about volunteer opportunities?  Please contact Brooke Sandford at or 978 793-0122.

Class III Reps: Ruth Gilleran (left) and Jennifer Potter

Dear Class III Parents,

We hope that you have enjoyed a wonderful summer, and that you are refreshed and ready for what will hopefully be an exciting year for our sophomores.  We are your Class III Parent Representatives, and we look forward to working with you this year.  Ten new students are joining this grade, so please join us in welcoming them and their families to Nobles.

Listed below are some important school and Class III dates for this year.  Several of these events need parent volunteers and we encourage you to get involved.  We will have sign up sheets at our Sept. 25 Class III parent coffee in the Castle.  You may also sign up on the Nobles website, by logging in at and accessing the volunteer forms, which can be found under the Parent Section after clicking on Nobles Community.   

If you haven’t already done so, we also encourage you to bookmark the Nobles website and check the calendar often.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the weekly email updates from Judith Merritt, which are a great way to keep current on school happenings, updates or schedule changes.

We look forward to seeing you around school soon, and please let either one of us know if you have any questions.

Ruth Gilleran,   
Jennifer Potter,

Class III Retreat—Sept. 4, 9 a.m.  Pick up at 4 p.m.    

All School Ice Cream Social—Sept. 5, 2–3:30 p.m.

Parents' Association Fall Social—Sept. 8, 6:30–9 p.m.

Class III Parent Coffee—Sept. 25, 8 – 9:30 a.m., the Castle

Grandparents Day—Sept. 28

Parent Education Night with JoAnn Deak—Oct.17, 7–8:30 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Class III Parent Social—Oct. 26, 7–9:30 p.m. At Karen and Brian Conway’s home; invitation to follow.  This is the same night as the Nobles Halloween Dance.

Class III Parent Coffee—March 28, 8– 9:30 a.m., the Castle

Head of School Dinner—April 6, 6–10 p.m., the Castle. This evening is hosted by Head of School Bob Henderson, and is specifically for Class III students.

Class III Parent Spring Social—May 4, 6:30 p.m., the Castle

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Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at