It is hard to believe that it is already November and that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away! It does not feel like two full months have passed since your children, our colleagues, Amy 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 first quarter always passes by very quickly, and this year certainly was no different. Although we only have been in school for eight weeks, we get many things accomplished in this short period 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 our opinion, the teachers’ comments are more important than the grades themselves, and we 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 Class III year is challenging in new and different ways as students transition from concrete to abstract thinking in several courses. Additionally, it takes time for students to adjust to the curriculum and to 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 expectations of their teachers, and they will have discovered what they need to do in order to meet their personal goals.
At the beginning of the year and throughout the fall, we 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 two people who oversee Nobles trips, we were very pleased to see many sophomores apply to travel this year. Although not all students have been selected for their first choice, we are encouraged by how interested Class III students are in the travel opportunities offered. We hope to see many students traveling this year and in the future because we know what a lasting impact these journeys can have on those who experience them.
A change from previous years, Class III meetings this fall have not been full of presentations from representatives of study away programs. In order to give Class III students more time to bond and to do class activities during their class meeting time, we have changed how we schedule these presentations. On Wed., Nov. 7, during our morning X-Block, all Class III students will remain in Lawrence Auditorium to hear presentations from the following programs: School Year Abroad (SYA), the Mountain School of Vermont, the High Mountain Institute of Colorado, CITYTerm of NYC, and NuVu of Cambridge, MA. Likewise, representatives from each of these study away programs will set up a table in Gleason Hall from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., so that students may speak to them, gather more detailed information, and have their specific questions answered.
In addition to these X-Block presentations, a representative from the School for Ethics and Global Leadership of Washington, D.C. will be visiting our class meeting on Tues., Nov. 20, since she is unable to attend on Nov. 7. 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 Amy or me if this may be a possibility.
We hope to see you at a game or performance in the near future. Enjoy the month of November and have a happy Thanksgiving with your family.
Tara McDonald & Amy Joyce