Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

January 2013

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter January 2013

Mid-Year Reflections by Bob Henderson, Head of School

Every school year is shaped by a unique combination of salient external and internal influences. As I reflect at the end of the first semester, I am struck that these six months have been successful in most ways, and I always feel challenged to examine why and how—and to consider whether the formula might be reproduced. This year, many of the influences and factors were grand in scope and unlikely to be repeated. Throughout the many recent changes and challenges of last semester—on campus and around the world—the Nobles community responded by creating opportunities for positive action, intellectual engagement and personal growth.

Physical transformation
We will probably never again open a school year with the sort of physical transformation represented by the renovation of and addition to the Castle. It was exciting to get into that space after many months of inconvenience and curiosity about the construction outcome. Yet, for most of us at least, the new Castle significantly exceeded expectations. In my view, the most important impact was the effect of the Castle on the culture and morale of the school. The new facility, conceived and constructed to enhance dining, also served to bring a bright new collective experience to us, conveying openness, a welcoming spirit, and a sense of being part of something special every day. The Castle will serve permanently as a boost to the tone and morale of the school.

Learning with mentors, step-by-step
The routine functions of the school are easy to take for granted. Yet it is in classrooms and studios, and on playing fields and stages, that there are critical small triumphs every day. The school mission asserts that, “through mentoring relationships, we motivate students to achieve their highest potential and to lead lives characterized by service to others.” This is not generally accomplished in sweeping, dramatic gestures. Rather, it occurs step-by-step, through persistence and steady modeling of behavior, by upholding unrelenting high expectations and standards, and with the investment of caring and support. One measure of our success is when there are immense challenges from the outside world to that routine. Almost invariably at Nobles under such circumstances, there is a call to service, channeling emotion, concern, and sometimes even despair or horror, into deliberate, empathetic and inspirational action.

Political process and intellectual engagement
Despite the sometimes-apocalyptic rhetoric of divisive election campaigns this fall, the tone of debate in the school remained civil and productive. National issues were articulated in assemblies, various classrooms, hallway discussions, and the Nobleman with admirable directness, intellectual engagement, passionate concern for the future, and pragmatic, creative inventiveness in regard to solutions. This process served as a counterweight to the more toxic general political climate, and provided a model for how our students might enter the world with a commitment to finding paths to progress, while motivating others to join them in that endeavor.

Challenges, and the Nobles response
When Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of New Jersey and New York, our Community Service Board immediately conceived ways that student energy and concern could be channeled to help. Milton weekend this year, for instance, as always a wonderful celebration of athletic skill and competition, also provided the chance for over 70 volunteers from our extended community (including students, parents, faculty, graduates and even a few grandparents) to take a break from the sidelines to help package over 10,000 meals to send to the relief of folks facing hunger in the storm areas, as well as for people in need here in Greater Boston. Indeed, several varsity teams made service a priority this fall, undertaking projects to provide aid for a remarkable variety of local, national and global causes. And when unthinkable savagery was unleashed in Newtown, Connecticut, students and teachers from this school immediately sought ways to reach out, creating welcoming and comforting snowflake decorations for the new school the children will attend.

What’s ahead
The stretch in the school year from January to March is long one, yet I am heartened by the spirit and momentum generated to date. There are many challenges ahead, both for everyone as individuals trying to reach goals, and for the community as a whole. There will be tests and games to complete, paintings and essays to compose, and many performances in various forums. There will be seniors making college decisions and Sixies engaged in their “Round the World” project. The outside world will surely intrude on us often, making us evaluate and reconsider, yet always inspiring the remarkable students here to think of answers and ways to help. And I know, in the end, there is no formula for the success of a school year; rather, the key is the sustenance of this school culture, the continual brewing of what one parent described to me as our “special sauce,” as well as our determination to uphold our mission to inspire leadership for the public good. Indeed, it is that mission that enables adolescents here to develop their identities and ambitions in the context of causes and possibilities that are bigger than themselves.  

Got A Minute?

Earlier this year, Noble and Greenough School launched a video series called the "Nobles Minute." The 60-second multimedia pieces showcase campus life, classes, special events and more. You can find these fun videos on, as well as the school's Youtube channel, under the Nobles Minute Playlist.

The latest video (which was too interesting to cap at 60 seconds, so we extended it this one time!) features the modern language department discussing oral proficiency and assessments.

From the Nobles Green Team

Happy New Year! School is back in session, and the Nobles Green Team has a few tips and reminders on how to keep our campus happy, healthy and environmentally friendly.

The school-wide ban on single-use plastic bottles is a full-time commitment and policy, and remains in effect during the winter athletic season. Quite simply, the school requests that no single-use plastic water bottles be brought on to campus.

Also, despite the cold temperatures, there should be no idling on campus. This means that cars should be cycled on and off if you can't sit in the car without having it on. So when you pull up to a static carpool line or when you park along the curb waiting at the MAC, please turn your car off. When you need warmth, turn the car back on only to get warm and then turn it off again. An alternative is to go into the building and wait. This way you can leave your car off the entire time.

Thank you in advance for working with us to create a healthier campus and to build a more sustainable planet. Change is happening. Join us on campus and at home!

Jill Dalby Ellison
Kirsten M. Dawson
Parent Representatives to the Nobles Green Team: Go Blue! Go Green! 

Why the Afternoon Program? by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

When the academic day ended at my independent school outside of Detroit, we all played sports. Yes, there were choices—but they were only from among interscholastic teams. No matter where your interests or talents lay, we all ended up pulling on jerseys that said “Cranbrook” across the front. Our teachers were also our coaches—some of whom were experts in their sports and others who were clearly there just to be supportive and to get to know us.

Times have surely changed since then—and Nobles has evolved right along with those changing times (and in some ways has been a national leader in recognizing those changes). We now offer an incredible range of opportunities in the Afternoon Program during every season—from service to sports to wellness activities to independent projects.

At the core of this evolution, however, has been our commitment to the Afternoon Program as a critical part of the teaching and learning experience and as vital to developing the relationships and sense of community that make Nobles distinctive. I can say—without equivocation—that the most enduring relationships I’ve developed with Nobles students have happened in the context of our Afternoon Program.

Nobles’ Afternoon Program requirements are more significant than those of most day schools nationwide. Over many years of review and renewal of the Afternoon Program, we remain committed to the benefits that students derive from getting to know their classmates and their Nobles adult mentors (coaches, directors, etc). Students are more connected to a broader range of peers within the school when they participate in those activities and find respect for those who have talent in those activities. Those students also develop connections to faculty members whom they would not otherwise have known (and the same is true for Nobles teachers).

In all of our Afternoon Programs, we value the critical problem-solving skills that come from working closely together (with Nobles adult support) to achieve common goals. Resilience, flexibility, commitment and accountability to the "team" (or cast or outdoor adventure group, etc.) are learned in that broad range of activities. We take great pride in committing to more than 95 percent of our Afternoon Program offerings supervision by at least one Nobles faculty member (we are the leader among ISL peer schools in this important category).

Year after year, however, we find more frequent requests for students to be "exempted" from our Afternoon Program requirements so they can pursue a very specialized course of training away from Nobles. We believe quite strongly that such early specialization—to the exclusion of these collaborative experiences at Nobles—is detrimental to the healthy development of adolescents and undermines the extraordinary benefits of collaborative experiences that happen here. Especially in a student’s first years at Nobles (through the ninth and 10th grades), it is critical to form the connections with classmates and teachers that ultimately build the skills and values that individuals and the community benefit from. As students mature and their interests become more focused, there is greater flexibility within the Afternoon Program to accommodate those more specialized needs.

So what is a parent to do when that club coach or musical director insists that your 13-year-old will not possibly be able to pursue her or his dream of continuing a passion post-high school without exclusive focus in one area? My suggestion is to reflect on the lessons we want our children to learn for a lifetime and to postpone for as long as possible that decision to over-specialize. Our experience over many years suggests that too much early specialization often leads to regrets later on and that a more balanced (and some would say sane) approach reaps many benefits over time. If you have concerns about your child, I’d recommend enlisting your child’s advisor, class dean or any trusted Nobles adult to talk this through and create a workable plan.

We are proud of how the Afternoon Program has evolved at Nobles and are so grateful for the support that so many Nobles families bring to all aspects of what we do when classes end as those experiences are critical components of a Nobles education.  

From the Foster Gallery

Join us on Thurs., Jan. 10, for the biennial faculty show opening reception. This year, the show is entitled Have Patience With Everything That Remains Unsolved In Your Heart. This quote from Ranier Maria Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet speaks to the frustration that can occur during the art making process. Art can be a process of uncovering and discovering what lies within. No one knows this better than a teacher of art, who must approach art-making from many points of view: creator, mentor, instructor, community member.

In this exhibition, the tables are turned on the normal school dynamic. Instead of contemplating and giving feedback to other’s work, the visual arts faculty display their own hearts, whether resolved or not, inviting dialogue with their students and the rest of the community.

More Than Catch Phrase by Gia Batty, Learning Specialist

Studies show…

Unfortunately, whenever I say it, my own children (and husband) seem to automatically tune out. Lately, I’ve been telling them about studies that show we need to drink more water in the morning in order to hydrate our brains, and ones that prove music really should be turned off when we are reading. “Studies show…” is how I begin lots of advice to my own family, but it’s also a phrase I use while working with students, families and faculty at Nobles. The truth is that it’s really much more than a catch phrase for me, because staying on top of current research is a major component of my job as the learning specialist at Nobles. What the studies show informs my work at school and my parenting at home and, in this era of groundbreaking brain research, studies show us a lot!

I’m always looking for new ways to share this information with the Nobles community and, this summer, while I was listening the Radiolab podcast series, the idea for our monthly podcast was born. Sara Masucci, my longtime friend, office mate and fellow learning specialist here at Nobles, offered to team up with me to do it. It didn’t take long to come up with the title and tag line; we call it, “The Studies Show…because studies show.”

Each month, we choose a topic related to the work we’re doing at Nobles or some new research that we think the community will be interested in. Our first podcast focused on the benefits of drinking water—not just to hydrate your body, but also for our brains to function properly. Drinking water before taking a test has actually been shown to improve test scores. We did another podcast about the weekend and how to make the most of your time between Friday afternoon and Sunday night. We talked about the, “Sunday night shuffle,” which is the idea of trying to get all your work done before 7 p.m. on Sunday night. It’s a big shift for some kids, but it makes all the difference. Our November podcast looked at debunking one of our steadfast study strategies—that kids should study in the same place each night. The current studies show that changing your location while you study improves your ability to remember. We tell kids to start at their desk and then review material in a variety of locations—from the back porch to the bathroom! Our brains like to remember information in context, so when it’s time to recall what you studied, your brain may remember the sunlight on the window in your living room or the smell of the orange in the kitchen. Our December podcast attempted to help students prepare for assessments by highlighting our top five study tips. One of our best tips for students is to make sure their studying mirrors the test. That is, if it’s a straight vocabulary test, then just study those definitions, but if it’s more than that, they really need to tailor their studying to the format of the test.

We’ll continue with monthly installments of “The Studies Show” in 2013 with plans for a podcast featuring some of our students, one about writing (or what studies show is more like “thinking on paper”) and many more, so stay tuned!

Since studies show that we learn a lot from listening and even more from listening and reading, here’s a link to our podcasts! Visit to hear them all!

Feb. 7, 2013: Upper School No Homework Night by Bill Bussey, Provost

It was a little after 1 p.m., on a Saturday afternoon. I had just finished running an errand with my oldest daughter, when she, against all odds, agreed to go to Legal's for lunch. I didn't take her initial reluctance personally; she's just not a fish-eater. It was great to sit back with her and do nothing for an hour or so. Soon after being seated, I began thinking about the winter break and all the things that needed to get done: family stuff, school stuff, and things that I needed to follow up on sooner than later. And then my daughter pulled me back into the here and now:

"Hey, you going to talk to me?"

I appreciated the chance to have a casual conversation with my daughter. Sometimes family time is hard to come by, which is why you might welcome this plug for an upcoming event:

On Thurs., Feb. 7, the Nobles Upper School is having a no homework night. That also means no tests, quizzes, papers due on Friday. A legit break from the action. We did this last year. The Student Life Council and the Multicultural Student Association, along with 25 faculty members, put on a well-attended night of moonwalks, karaoke and blackjack. This year we hope to get the Afternoon Program completed a bit early that day and send everyone home, except boarders (for whom we will do something special), to sit back and hopefully relax or plan something fun.

Parents frequently lament that casual conversation with their children, especially during the weekdays, is tough to come by. Despite everyone's best laid plans, the traditional family dinner with everyone present is also an increasingly rare event. By the time many parents arrive home from work, their children have scarfed their dinner and retreated to their rooms for the evening. A few students may have a late practice or rehearsal and arrive home past dinner time. Other parents may hold a couple of jobs and simply don't have the opportunity to be at home in the early evening. On the weekends, many kids (understandably) opt to go off with friends, play video games, or (maddeningly) chat online endlessly into the night—that is, when they are not doing homework.

Sometimes golden situations unexpectedly present themselves, and often for understandable reasons, parents fail to recognize those opportunities or are too busy or wiped out to rally.

So maybe knowing a month in advance might increase the odds of having the night of Feb. 7, resonate in a way that works for those in your home who can take advantage of it. Maybe dinner together. Tell stories. Play the game "Apples to Apples" or even watch a great movie together. Invite a relative or neighbor over. Go skate on the Frog Pond. If you are feeling ambitious, you could read "The Other Wes Moore" and talk about that—the author will be visiting Nobles the day before on Feb. 6. Whatever might work. Ask your son or daughter what he or she would like to do. They'll say "sleep" or "nothing"—not the end of the world, but do your best to up the ante.

That said, the spirit of this evening ultimately means down time, ideally with family if possible. We strongly discourage using this evening for sleepovers or parties.

We hope this evening can help bring a little warmth to an often cold stretch of the year.

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

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

Welcome back from the holidays! We hope you had a relaxing and fun-filled break with your family. January is a short month at Nobles with the return to school on Jan. 7, but it is filled with concerts, performances and an important day of service.

One of the highlights at Nobles during the month of January is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, which this year is on Jan. 21. This is a wonderful opportunity for students, their families, faculty and staff in both the Middle School and Upper School to work together on a service project to honor Dr. King. The day starts around 8:30 a.m. and ends sometime in the early afternoon. There is a variety of service opportunities to chose from for you and your family to contribute your time and effort. Friends and siblings are welcome, too! Please consider joining the Nobles community in this important day of service.

Other important dates on the Nobles calendar for January are listed below.

Important Dates in January:

  • Jan. 7:  School reopens and winter Afternoon Program continue
  • Jan. 10: Jazz/Blues/Percussion Concert at  7 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium
  • Jan. 16: Parents’ Association Meeting at 8 a.m. in MAC Parent Lobby
  • Jan. 17:  Wind & String Concert at 7 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium
  • Jan. 21: MLK Day & Day of Service (no classes)
  • Jan. 28: Faculty Meeting at 3:15 p.m. in Morrison Forum. No MS Afternoon Program.
  • Jan. 31 and Feb. 1: Student-directed plays in Towles Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Class V Reps
Sarah Paglione,
Rhonda Kaplan,

Class VI Reps
Janet Nahirny,
Michele Abrecht,

Middle School Dean's Report

It has been an exciting first semester as dean of the Middle School. The overwhelming support from students and faculty has made for a smooth transition into this role. Because this position is new to the Middle School community, I am using this forum to explain the title and how my work affects your children directly. The job can be summarized into three areas of responsibility: organizing and planning programs in the Middle School; working with Head of Middle School John Gifford and other faculty members on administrative tasks; and, most importantly, providing student support.

Programs in the MS
The Nobles Middle School puts an emphasis on project-based learning, e.g. the "Who Am I" project, the solar car races, and the infamous ‘Round the World presentation. These examples happen inside the classroom, but we also offer similar efforts outside of the classroom. I, along with the advisory team, have put a special emphasis on the advisory program this year by pushing these groups to be more than just a place for announcements. For instance, our first long advisory was spent off campus at various Dedham locations where the groups had a chance to be together in a fun and relaxed environment. More recently, we had our first ever winter carnival-themed decorating contest. It was a big hit with the kids. We wanted the groups to be doing an activity together while throwing in a little fun (that seems to be the secret to engaging Middle School students). In addition to advisory, I am working to make Middle School Assemblies a time for students to get up and sing, dance, share a story, read a poem, etc. Encourage your children to think about sharing something special with the Middle School community. And lastly, clubs and organizations are a special time for students to try something new, whether its baking cookies in cooking club, building a bridge in engineering club, or performing a skit in improv club. I have broken down the organizations into three seasons so that students can try a variety of clubs!

Administrative Tasks
I will not bore you with the various administrative tasks that I am involved with, but I would like to mention that a large part of my role is keeping track of all the rules and regulations that we find appropriate for Middle Schoolers. As a faculty, we make it a priority to maximize learning and productivity while students are at school, which is why we have rules. As you probably know, we have our SCRAP (Small Change Reminder and Punishment) system to keep the students in check. The most frequent SCRAPS are often in violation of dress code, technology and food. Because we make the rules well known at the beginning of the year, kids often know that they are in the wrong when they receive a SCRAP. However, if a rule or a SCRAP they received ever confuses them, I ask that they speak to me directly.

Student Support
The student support aspect of being the dean is what I value most on a daily basis. As the Nobles Guide states, “The Class Deans…are the teams charged with the well being of an entire class. They oversee the social, academic and developmental needs of the class and serve as resources for both parents and students.” I made it a goal to have conversations with every Middle School student before the end of first semester whether it was formal or informal. Building personal relationships allows me to keep a close eye on the students’ level of happiness.

I ask (with your help) that our Middle School students do two things in preparation for second semester. First, I want them to take the time to reflect on the first semester. What were the common trends in their comments? What did they do well? What can they focus on moving forward? A fresh start can be a beautiful thing, but starting up again after a long break is challenging. Second, they should keep in mind the “big three”: be honest, be good to each other, and work hard. The long winter months can be a time for students to lose focus and make poor decisions. If they keep the “big three” in the back of their heads, they should be less tempted to do something they would later regret.

Please know that you can contact me at any time. I can’t believe we are already starting second semester! 
—Colette Finley

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

Dear Class I Families,

Happy New Year and welcome back from what we hope was a festive and relaxing winter break! January marks the beginning of the "home stretch" for our seniors, and spring will be here before we know it. Until then, we have some terrific "nesting" Class I activities to keep everyone warm and cozy this winter. And, speaking of nesting....

Please join us for our Class I Parent Winter Morning Social on Fri., Jan. 18, 8-10 a.m., at NEST in Dedham Village. Enjoy coffee, breakfast treats, and private(!) shopping at one of the area's most fabulously fun gift stores. NEST is located at 622 High Street, right across the street from the Dedham Post Office. We hope you can join us for this exciting new venue for a social!

On Feb. 14, we will be hosting our annual Class I Valentine's Day Surprise Dessert Bar for our seniors. Last year, volunteers gathered at a Class I parent’s home to create festive desserts and organize offerings for the candy buffet. The surprise dessert bar on Valentine’s Day was a huge hit, and we are excited to continue this great new Class I tradition. If you would like to be part of this fun event, please contact Elaine Sobell at

This has been a terrific year to date for our seniors and their families, and we look forward to an equally fun and rewarding New Year!

Marion Mussafer,
Linda Courtiss Rheingold,
Elaine Sobell,

From the PA Co-Chairs

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a relaxing break. Fri. evening, Jan. 11, is the annual Nobles/Cotting School basketball game at Nobles. It is the fifth annual contest between Nobles girls’ varsity basketball and Cotting School players. It is a great event with food, fun and lots of action on the court. We hope you will come and cheer on all the players!

Our next PA meeting will be on Wed., Jan. 16. Our guest will be Michael Denning, director of college counseling. Please come and hear Michael speak about the college process and answer any questions you might have. It is always a very interesting and informative meeting for all. Come watch the student-directed plays on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1—they are a terrific display of Nobles talent.

?Looking ahead to February, please join the PA as we help at Cradles to Crayons, the giving factory, on Feb. 8. Also, please mark your calendars for our monthly PA meeting on Feb. 14. Bill Bussey, provost, English teacher and ombudsman, will talk about tone and culture at Nobles. It's always a great meeting when Bill shares his insight and humor!

All the best, 

Kris Ganong,
Lisa Soule,

From the Nobles Theatre Collective

Greetings from the Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC). We hope you had a wonderful holiday and relaxing winter break and wish you a very happy new year. The winter months are a very busy time for the NTC, so please mark the following dates on your calendars.

The student-directed plays will be presented Thurs., Jan. 31, and Fri., Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m.. There will be two plays presented, one directed by Shanti Gonzales and one by Greg Swartz, both Class I.

Feb. 13-14 brings the Middle School production of The Yellow Boat.

The winter mainstage play, Pink Floyd’s THE WALL Reimagined, directed by Todd Morton, will be performed Wed., Feb. 20 through Fri., Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m., and Sat., Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. More information regarding these productions will be included in the February newsletter.

We hope to see you at these winter events!
NTC parent reps:

Maureen Norment,
John DeVoy,

Be a New Family Host!

We are looking for Nobles families currently in grades 7-11.

The Admissions Office, in partnership with the Parents' Association, is looking for host families for incoming fall 2013 families new to Nobles.

The Host Family Program serves as a way to welcome new families into the community. New families appreciate the advice and support that their host families provide and the school administration values the role that the current Nobles families play in the transition process for new families. The role of the host family is to provide a connection between the new family and Nobles and to create an accessible and welcoming source of information and support.

While the impact is great, the commitment is small. Once a match with a new family has been made, your role as a host will be to attend a welcome reception (Mon., April 22 for the Upper School; Tues., May 7 for the Middle School) and, after that, to follow up with a few phone calls and/or emails over the summer and fall. The program is a parent-to-parent program (students are only involved if they want to be). It requires only a small time commitment, energy and enthusiasm!

We encourage ALL families (grades 7-11) to consider volunteering! With 50 new Middle Schoolers admitted, we are shooting for 100% participation amongst our current Class VI class in order to graciously welcome each new family. In the Upper School, we need similar numbers of volunteers to make the best matches possible.

Click here to be directed to our volunteer sign up form. This form takes three minutes to complete and will facilitate the matching process. If you have any questions, contact Carolyn Perelmuter at or 781-449-7235.

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

Happy 2013 and welcome back! We hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable break, and the students are recharged after some family time. We are looking forward to a busy month of winter sports, concerts and performances, a PA meeting, the MLK Day of Service, and next month’s highly anticipated Class IV Parent/Guardian Coffee and the Class IV Surprise Lunch. Please consider participating as a family in the MLK Day of Service working at Nobles with Cradles to Crayons on Jan. 21. Also, please drop off any used clothing or toys to be sorted during the MLK Day of Service. You can drop your donations any time in the large bin outside the MAC.

Listed below are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • Wed., Jan. 16: Parents’ Association Meeting, 8-9:30 a.m., Castle Library
  • Mon., Jan. 21: MLK Jr. Day of Service (school closed)
  • Fri., Jan. 25: Class IV Surprise Lunch Planning Meeting 8-9 a.m., Castle Study. If you cannot make this meeting, we would still welcome your help to make this day fun for our kids! Please contact Cindy or Isabelle to let us know that you are interested.

And, a look ahead:

  • Fri., Feb. 1: Class IV Parent/Guardian Coffee 8-10 a.m., Castle Library
  • Thurs., Feb. 14: Parents’ Association Meeting 8-9 a.m., Castle Library

Finally...Shhh! Thurs., Feb. 28: Class IV Surprise Lunch.
Every year, each class has a special treat lunch, usually with a fun theme, which is hosted by the parents/guardians in the Castle Library. This lunch is always appreciated by the students, who enjoy a break in the middle of the semester to do something a little different and fun. Our first planning meeting is Fri., Jan. 25. This is a great way to get to know and connect with parents in the class, so we encourage you to volunteer, either in the planning stages or the day of set up and coordination, or both! We would love to have your help. We thank all those who have already volunteered.

Back in September, our hope was two-fold: (1) that new and returning students would join together to form a cohesive, supportive, serious yet fun class; and (2) that parents would be involved and engaged, share information, get acquainted, and participate as fully as their schedules allow. The ultimate goal was for our kids to transition into high school as seamlessly and successfully as possible.

From our vantage point, it appears that this hope has largely become a reality. Our kids have adapted to their new status as high school students with surprising ease and old students have welcomed new ones into the fold to form a cohesive group. New friendships have been formed by both students and parents and we have been gratified by your support for all of the activities we’ve had thus far. We hope you know that your help is highly valued. One of the great benefits of involvement is the wonderful opportunity it presents to share in the lives of our children at Nobles. We hope that you have been pleased by what you’ve seen and that you have been taking advantage of all that the school offers. We thank you for all your support and for your participation.

Isabelle Loring (
Cindy Trull (

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

Welcome back, everyone! Hope you all had a relaxing and fun holiday.

Mon., Jan. 21, MLK Day, is a No School day. It is also an optional service day for those who would like to volunteer. Visit the Nobles website for myriad community service opportunities.

Thurs., Jan. 24, is the Class II Coffee at 8:15 a.m. in the Castle Study. This will be a combined coffee and planning meeting for the Class II Surprise Lunch on Feb. 7. If you would like to volunteer for the Surprise Lunch but cannot attend this planning meeting, feel free to contact Suzie or Eileen.

As you all know, January also starts the season of SATs, ACTs and other college-oriented events for Class II students. The College Counseling Office will keep you apprised of all deadlines for tests that your child may be considering and anything else you need to be aware of. Your child’s advisor can also help you navigate your way through these early waypoints.??

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Suzie Montgomery,
Eileen Orscheln, 

From Community Service: Please Consider This for the New Year

Ah, the new year! Every magazine is full of advice about keeping resolutions, cleaning out the clutter or getting more organized and efficient. Linda and I have something to add to that list—just keep doing what you have always done, guided by your solid family principles.

You send your children to Nobles for many reasons. We often hear from parents that one reason is the school's clear and demonstrated commitment to the idea of leadership for the public good, the practical arm of which is its service program. 

This month, on Jan. 21, Nobles families are gathering to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by serving at many sites both on and off campus. We extend to you a convenient and family oriented way to begin the new year by working alongside your own child to benefit others. What might you learn about your son or daughter at an event like this? You are welcome to bring younger siblings as well. Come and join us.

Dr. King said, "The arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Yes, it does, if WE commit to being part of that positive trajectory. Please see the link below to register for the day, and then expect us to contact you personally by email to confirm.

Thank you so much for considering this invitation. Happy New Year to all.

Sandi MacQuinn and Linda Hurley

Click here to register for a day of service with your family on
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day,
Mon., Jan. 21.

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