Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

January 2014

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter January 2014

The New Space by Head of School Bob Henderson



When I arrived at Nobles in the fall of 2000, one of the first institutional mantras I encountered was that “program drives development.” At that time in the school’s history the Morrison Athletic Center (the MAC) was almost complete, and it formally opened in the winter of that school year. Over the previous decade, Nobles, under Dick Baker’s inspired leadership, had provided new facilities for science, the middle school and visual arts. The Shattuck Schoolhouse also had been completely renovated. Every one of those projects was guided by the above mantra; excellence and burgeoning needs necessitated reconceiving and reconstructing facilities. In each instance, driven by the demands of program, appeal was made to the extended Nobles community and the outcome was a transformed campus, far better suited to the support of students and teachers and their educational objectives. I took this lesson to heart, and program has continued to drive development through the years of my headship.

The most recent manifestation of this is the addition to the Arts Center that has opened as we began the second semester of this school year. The centerpiece of that new facility is the 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art dance studio. Interest in dance has skyrocketed over the last several years, from a handful of participants to over 30 per season (and in some seasons, well more than that). This is a credit to dance teacher Jillian Grunnah, but more broadly it is due to the hunger for arts instruction and opportunities that characterizes the Nobles student body.

High quality arts education is a core commitment of this school. While all students will not be equally skilled in the arts (as is true with every area of student endeavor), all students do need exposure to the creative stimulation of both the visual and performing arts. This is, we believe, critical to their intellectual and personal development. And occasionally students develop a passion and commitment in an area (whether artistic, academic, athletic,or in fields like service or travel) that would not otherwise have emerged without such exposure. Dance is a natural and important area for growth in our performing arts program. Consequently, dance is the latest realm, inspired by a dynamic teacher, where interest in and commitment to the arts at Nobles has been fostered.

What is also important to note about the dance project, however, is that the trustees seized an opportunity to address several other needs within the scope of this undertaking. Upstairs, above the dance studio, we have constructed two new classrooms. In fact, I think the faculty will regard these classrooms as the best and most comfortable in the school.

We have included substantial increases in office space, relieving the crush in some existing faculty office areas. In particular, most of the modern language department will migrate up there, leaving room for the science department to spread out more appropriately in Baker.

The Achieve program office will move from the admissions area to new space, providing both Achieve and admission with what they need.

Perhaps most significantly, the emerging EXCEL program (Experiential and Community Engaged Learning) will have a home in the new building, and both the travel and community service programs will move there.

Finally, the music program has been able to reorganize itself a bit around the new square footage, more appropriately allocating space to large ensembles and technological instruction. It has been exciting over the last few weeks, watching the final phases ofthe project come together. It looks spectacular, and I hope you will take a moment when next on campus to walk through.

The space opened, as planned, on January 6. There will be details to address, with final punch list items lingering throughout the month. Moving in will continue through the first weeks of the semester, bringing with it a certain amount of disorder. And everyone will have to get used to new campus geography and frames of reference.

With all that said, however, this new chapter will bring great opportunities and I am thrilled to witness that evolution. The construction fences will shortly come down, we will get critical parking areas back for school use, and the campus aesthetic will be enhanced by the new architecture. All of this has been accomplished well within the budget parameters we established, with the assistance of generous friends of the school who understood and helped to address our critical needs. Program drives development, and the profound beneficiaries are the students and faculty of the school.

Family First from the Community Service Office



This year my family chose an incongruous kind of picture for the front of our
holiday card. My eight year old sits in a tiny plastic kayak, sun browned and grinning, looking for all the world as though he had just transmigrated the globe in it. It was not the whole family, and it was not a posed photo taken carefully one October day when the light was just right. But it was a memory of a perfect day, when our family was together and feeling pretty wonderful about that, so we decided on it. For us, it was the quintessential photo of our motto "family first.

            This January 20, we will again put our core family value at the forefront, and we will again do it "our way." Since it is a day off from school to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Nobles will again be hosting some service work as a tribute to him. Our family will use this day to be together, and we will do it by making blankets at the MAC for the victims of the recent hurricane in the Midwest, and by serving at some local food pantries that Nobles has been supporting all year.

            Mrs. Hurley and I have planned some very easy ways to grab some family time for you too, if this kind of family togetherness sounds like something you would like to make part of your family's day. What better way to impart values of kindness and show some leadership for the public good than to carve out some great family memories helping the homeless be less cold  and hungry this winter?

If you would like to be part of this event, it is easy to register. Please fill out the registration form.

Email the form back to Sandra_MacQuinn@Nobles.edu. We will get you set up for your hours and assignment of choice, and as you look back on what days of the year you want to treasure as a great family day--(Hey! Maybe your next holiday card picture could be found here!?) this might be one of them.

            Hope to hear from you! And Happy New Year.....
                                    Sandra and Linda

Be a New Family Host!



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 and to follow up with a few phone calls and/or emails over the summer and fall. The Upper School welcome reception will be April 28, and the Middle School welcome reception will be May 12.  

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! 

Register online via the volunteer sign up form.

This form takes three minutes to complete and will facilitate the matching process. If you have any questions, contact either Deanna DiNovi at deanna@dinovi.net or Carolyn Perelmuter at miamipearl@mac.com.

Nobles Theatre Collective



Greetings from the Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC). We hope you had a relaxing winter break and wish you a very happy new year.

Please join us for the Jan.30 production. Featuring the work of five of the NTC’s most capable and accomplished students – our senior directors – this production of five short plays is sure to entertain and delight audiences.

Admission is free and no reservations or tickets are needed. More information on the five plays is below.

THE WAY OF ALL FISH By Elaine May and directed by Jack Radley

A ping pong power game played by a self-absorbed executive and her seemingly drab secretary.

BOBBY GOULD IN HELL By David Mamet and directed by Christopher Conway

A conniving movie mogul awakens in a strange room with a loquacious interrogator.

LEFT TO RIGHT By Steven Dietz and directed by Kirsten Mulrenan

Four people play a dangerous game with their hearts.

QUEENS OF FRANCE By Thornton Wilder and directed by Lucas O’Brien

In New Orleans in 1869, Monsieur Cahusac, a charlatan of a lawyer, preys on vulnerable women.

BLIND DATE By Samara Siskind and directed by Maddie Cella

Marcia is looking for love; Ted taps in.

We look forward to seeing you!

NTC reps
Ann McSheffrey
tmcgrail@verizon.net

John Devoy jhdevoy@gmail.com

A New Year’s Resolution by Head of Upper School Ben Snyder



When I was a boy, my parents were sticklers for thank-you notes.  I had to write a thank- you note for Jamie’s birthday party. I had to write a thank-you note for the ugly tie my Dutch uncle sent from Holland. I had to write a thank-you note to my Sunday school teacher each year.

It almost didn’t matter what the occasion was – the next day, my mother would sit me down, put pen and paper into my hands, and nothing else would happen that day until the note was written to her satisfaction.

I’ve come to believe that those habits of gratitude are critical to the healthy development of young people. In recent years, whether I’ve taught a good class or not, a few students extend their own “thank-yous” as they walk out the door. Recently, there has been an increasing body of research that shows how important it is for us to cultivate gratitude in our own lives.

In his article, "Why Gratitude is Good," Robert Emmons outlines a series of physical, psychological and social benefits of regular expressions of gratitude.

As someone who has spent most of his career in the world of high school students and teachers, I have noticed that those who don’t take the wonders of Nobles for granted – and who are actively grateful for the opportunities that Nobles provides – are those who ultimately make the most positive impact on the school and the school’s culture.

These shapers of positive Nobles community norms are those who notice the hard work done by our buildings and grounds crew to get the fields ready for game days or the parking lots cleared after a snow storm. They are the ones who always thank our friends in the Castle who provide us with incredible meals. It is often through the sometimes unnoticed daily hard work of others that our lives are made better.

There are times at Nobles when all of us, teachers, students, parents alike, can get so focused on ‘outcomes’ that we ignore the things that make the opportunities of Nobles so extraordinary. While achievement and outcome goals are important, the habits and patterns of life we establish in adolescence are important too. In fact, many could argue (and having done this for a long time I would concur) that those habits and patterns of life are actually more impactful.

As we enter into the new calendar year, I hope we can all step away from the daily challenges of life at Nobles – the homework, the assessments, the practices and rehearsals – to appreciate what this place offers.

Nobles works because so many people – the trustees who take responsibility for what we do, the accountants in the Business Office who respond positively to any inquiry, the faculty preparing interesting lessons, the student who picks up a random piece of trash or takes a risk on stage in assembly, the parent who works a second job to help meet their Nobles obligations – all make up a community for which we should all be very grateful.

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Class I Deans' Report



Dear Class I Families,

Though they seem to be a long way off, I wanted to place Class I Projects on your radar. These projects will begin in earnest in the fourth quarter, and the deadline for Class IProject Proposals will be due quickly after winter break.

For those of you who are new to the concept of Class I Projects, here is a brief introduction to the concept and goals:

The Class I Project, an option open to members of Class I during fourth quarter, is designed to allow students to pursue areas of interest that fall outside the School's formal curriculum.

Such projects are an opportunity to explore educational or potential career interests. In addition, the School hopes that projects will further the students’ growth in areas articulated in the School's Mission Statement: intellectual growth, self-esteem, curiosity, self-reliance, and a commitment to others. We hope that students will choose projects that enlarge their understanding of a particular area, seriously engaging students in new experiences, and fundamentally deepening skills in previously declared areas of interest and expertise.

Project proposals must reflect detailed and well-considered planning. The Committee will post project guidelines in early January on the Nobles website. In the past, projects have included: internships in a variety of professions; creative undertakings; volunteer work; travel and language study; and practical work in technology, film, art, crafts, and music.

Students are not permitted to earn money— remuneration would, in the opinion of the Committee, compromise the spirit and intent of the educational objectives of the Project. In addition, students may not pursue an internship in a business or organization owned/operated by a family member, or have a family member as an off-campus supervisor.

Your senior will be receiving more information about the Class I Projects in January via email and Class meetings. When you think it is appropriate, please feel free to open the discussion as to what he or she might pursue or, of equal import, whether a Class I Project is an appropriate choice as a final, capstone experience. If you have any questions about Projects – or anything else Class I related – don’t hesitate to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Michael Herring

Chair of the Class I Project Committee and Class I Dean

 

Dear Members of Class I,

As you finish assessment week and culminate you senior fall semester, this letter is

intended to get you thinking and potentially planning over your winter break should you

decide to do a Class I Project. If you are interested in doing one, read on.

I spoke to you about the Class I Projects at our recent class meeting, but this letter will give you more information, so please read this letter carefully.

If you have an area of interest that falls outside the realm of the traditional Nobles curriculum, think about the possibility of turning it into a Class I Project. Project guidelines are carefully laid out in a document that is posted on the Nobles website as well as attached in this email. In fact, all project-related forms are available on the Nobles website.

You can access the forms by:

Logging into the login-protected internal “Students” section, under “Student

Forms,” and “Class I Project Forms.”

 

Remember that you must have a faculty mentor for your project. Faculty mentors may oversee two projects only, and should have some expertise in or prior knowledge of the particular project you choose, so be aware of this as you search for a mentor. Before submitting a project proposal, you must touch base with your faculty mentor and have them approve the project.

In past years, many students have chosen to pursue projects that take place mainlyon campus, and this is a great option for those who may have limited time, but who still want to do a project. In past years, on-campus projects included making a music CD, writing a short story, writing a business analysis for the Red Sox, doing advanced research in the sciences, designing a website, etc.

For students who wish to pursue off-campus internships, the process can be more complicated and you need to get started and have your plan clearly laid out in your preliminary proposal. In the past students have interned in a variety of fields including scientific research, law, business, journalism, education, medicine, and social services. If you plan to do an off-campus project, you must also work with an on-site supervisor (and he/she must submit a Supervisor Form to me).

If you feel that you might want to pursue an off-campus project option, but need help finding a place to intern, please let me know as soon as possible. We may be able to help point you in the direction of someone who could offer you a position, depending on your area of interest.

Here is a rough timeline to get you started:

January 20, 2014 - Preliminary Project Proposals due in Mr. Herring’s office (Shattuck 207). This includes a project description plus a blocked out schedule and course drop requests, submit a Preliminary Proposal Form from the website. Make sure you consulted with your faculty mentor before submitting this form.

January 22 - February 12, 2014 - Committee Review: The goal is to offer feedback to students for improvement. A member of the Senior Projects Committee will meet with you during this time to help solidify your written proposal.

February 17, 2014 - Final Proposal Form for revised proposals due (must include all signatures, completed description, final reading list--if required--and schedule). Projects are reviewed and passed on a rolling basis. Projects that do not meet the committee’s standards will not be passed.

March 24, 2014 - Start your Projects after Spring Break. Begin meeting with your Faculty Mentor.

Other tidbits to consider:

Don’t miss deadlines. There will be no extensions.

Group proposals

By the time we receive your Preliminary proposal, your contacts/plans have to already be in place. Each member must hand in his/her own project proposal. We want to hear from each one of you why you want to do the project. For group projects, group members can only be from Class I. There can be no more than four people in a group project.

D1 Athletes: if you are planning to play a D1 sport, you cannot drop English.

Community Service: if you have not finished your community service hours and do not have a plan for completion, you cannot do a Senior Project.

Classes:

You cannot drop a class if you have a C or below.

If you are planning to drop an AP level course, you must give the Committee a valid reason.

If your preliminary proposal does not pass, you cannot submit another one.

This is a lot to take in, so please let me know if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Michael Herring

Chair of the Class I Project Committee and Class I Dean

Class II Parent Reps: Nicole Zungoli Stimpson and Karen Conway



Dear Class II  Parents and Families,

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

We hope you enjoyed your time off and had a restful holiday season.

January 16 - The coffee is scheduled to meet in the castle study from 8-9am. Please join us to help plan the Class II surprise lunch and catch up with each other.

January 31 - The theme for the lunch is Chinese New Year, and Flik will be helping us with the food. We will need help from parents for decorations and serving the kids. It should be lots of fun!

Some dates to keep in mind include:
• January 8  – all school photo
• January 16 – class II coffee
• January 20 – Martin Luther King Holiday - check the website for details
• January 26 – Gap Year Fair
• January 31 – surprise Lunch
• January 30 and 31 – Student directed plays

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 months.

As usual please check the Nobles website and Friday newsletter for any updates.

Please contact us anytime for questions and we look forward to seeing you on January 16. 

 

All the best,
Karen S Conway - karensconway@gmail.com
Nicole Zungoli Stimpson - nzstimp@yahoo.com
 

Middle School Parents Reps (from left to right): Lori Giandomenico, Cindy Lawry, Julie Callaghan, and Toni Gordon



Welcome back from the holidays!

We hope everyone had a wonderful break, full of much needed sleep and downtime.  Though January is a short month at Nobles with the return to school on Jan. 6, it is filled with concerts, performances and an important day of service.

One of the annual highlights at Nobles is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, held this year on January 20. 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 in honor of Dr. King.

The day starts around 9a.m. and ends sometime in the early afternoon. There are a number of service opportunities to choose that offer anyone interested a way to contribute their time and effort. Friends and siblings are welcome, too! Sign up information will come via Maryanne MacDonald’s weekly email.  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. 6:  School reopens and winter Afternoon Program continues
• Jan. 8:  All School Photo in Rappaport Gym at 8am, please have your child at school a few minutes early
• Jan. 9: Jazz/Blues/Percussion Concert at 7 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium
• Jan. 10: Cotting School-Nobles Girls Basketball game, at Cotting School, Lincoln
• Jan. 13: Faculty Meeting in Morrison Forum at 3.15pm, NO AFTERNOON PROGRAM
  (except Varsity teams)
• Jan. 16: Wind & String Concert at 7 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium
• Jan. 20: MLK Day & Day of Service (no school)
• Jan. 21: March 2014 trip meeting, 7pm in Lawrence Auditorium
• Jan. 30 and Jan. 31: Student-directed plays in Towles Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

Please contact us if you have any questions.


Class V Reps
Lori Giandomenico
lgiando@verizon.net

Cindy Lawry
cindy@lawryfamily.net

Class VI Reps
Julie Callaghan
juliecallaghan1@gmail.com

Toni Gordon
tonisgordon@yahoo.com

Class I Parent Reps (from left to right): Hillary Von Schroeter, Addie Swartz, and Beth Schlager



Dear Class I Families,

Happy New Year and welcome back from what we hope was a joyous and relaxing winter break!

January marks the beginning of the "home stretch" for our seniors, and spring 2014 will be here before we know it. Until then, we have some terrific Class I activities in the pipeline.

Please mark your calendar for our Class I Parent Winter MorningSocial on Friday, January 17, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m., location TBD.

On Feb. 14, we will be hosting the annual Class I Valentine's Day Surprise Dessert Bar for our seniors. Volunteers will be needed to provide and serve sweet treats and beverages. Signups will begin in early 2014.

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

From the PA Co-Chairs



Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a relaxing break. Fri. evening, Jan. 10, is the annual Nobles/Cotting School basketball game, being held this year at the Cotting School. It is the sixth 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 the players!

Our next PA meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 8:00-9:30 a.m., in the Castle Library. 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 will
be a very interesting and informative meeting for all.

Please join us for the next PA outing event. On Thurs. Jan. 23 from 8-10:00 a.m.
in the Castle Library we will have 3 guests: a nutritionist, dermatologist, and a
home organizer who will inform and entertain us. This is sure to be a fun morning,
and great reinforcement for those New Year’s resolutions!

The second parent book club meeting is on Tues, Jan. 28 in the Castle Dining Room. Continuing the theme of adolescent wellness, we will read Top Dog: the Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Dinner is offered between 6-7pm. The kitchen closes at 7pm, and the book discussion will follow from 7-8:30pm. Please R.s.v.p. by Fri., Jan. 24, if you would like to join us for dinner ($5.00 chit -- there is no charge for attending the book discussion only). We hope to see you there! Please R.s.v.p. via email to Rikki Conley (rikkiconley@comcast.net) or Dana DeAngelis(dgdeangelis@comcast.net).

Come watch the student-directed plays on Jan. 30 and 31—they are a terrific display of Nobles talent.

There is an exciting offering for parents in the new year - ceramics classes, taught
by the Nobles Ceramics faculty! Come discover your inner artist, or develop long-
lost skills. The first three-week session will meet on Mondays: Jan. 13, Jan. 27, and
Feb. 3, from 7-9pm, and is limited to 14 participants. For a three-week session, the
fee is $75 (and includes materials). The class will be a hand building class which will focus on learning to make slab cups and bowls. Please email Rikki Conley (rikkiconley@comcast.net) to sign up.


All the best,

Rikki Conley and Dana DeAngelis

Parents’ Association Co-Chairs
 

Class IV Parent Reps - Polly Maroni and Heidi Raffone



Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians,

We hope everyone had a wonderful and restful winter break!   Below are a few dates/reminders to jot down on your calendars:

January 6:  School Reopens
January 7:  8:00 am,  Planning meeting for Class IV Surprise Lunch in the Castle Library
January 8:  All School Photo
January 14:  8:00 am, Parents Association Meeting, Castle Library, guest speaker Michael Denning, Director of College Counseling
January 20:  no school – MLK Jr. Day
January 30 and 31, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Winter Student Directed Play, Towles Auditoriium. 

We look forward to seeing  you all in the new year!

Polly Maroni
Heidi Raffone

Dear Google Apps: A Love Letter from the Learning Specialist



Dear Google Apps,

I love you.

I am writing you a love letter and it is automatically saving as I type it. I know this because, as my fingers glide across my keyboard, the word “Saving” gently flashes at the top of my screen, and then, when I stop typing, I see the comforting reminder, “All changes saved in Drive.” This is just one of the reasons why I love you.

We are now a school that uses Google Apps for Education. We use your Gmail, your Gcal, your Google Drive with your Google Docs, and your Haiku sites. Together, your apps help me to solve one of the learning specialist’s greatest challenges--making the unmade bed.

Ahh…the unmade bed. It’s a ubiquitous phrase used by teachers and parents to describe the child who is constantly losing things, the one who, on a regular basis, can’t locate the North Face fleece, iPad charger (or iPad for that matter), the water bottle from practice, or Spanish homework due this morning. The one whose school supplies trail behind him in a little Hansel and Gretel path.  The unmade bed is the student who forgot to print it, forgot which laptop she saved it on, the one who lost the handout, the study guide, the assignment sheet…  You know the unmade bed, don’t you Google Apps?  I think you do because you are helping me to help them, and I love you for it.

In my office, we not only specialize in the unmade bed, we love the unmade bed. These are our people. We spend our day in the backpacks of unmade beds—rife with crinkly papers and extra hockey socks and granola bar wrappers—and with their binders that that have the same multi-layered effect of a Blooming Onion appetizer at the Outback Steakhouse.  “Is this important?” we ask, holding up what looks not like the practice problems for a physics quiz, but like a little, handmade fan for sweltering summer nights on the veranda. We help these students to make and keep appointments with teachers, to figure out what’s on the test, to locate and turn in homework assignments--wherever they may be. While all of this gives us great satisfaction, there is a catch. Too often, when they come back to see us the next week, we have start all over again. We make the bed and then it gets unmade, sometimes in a matter of a few hours.

This, Google Apps, is where you step in. This is where I know you were already thinking of me in my office in the Shattuck Schoolhouse--filing handouts in three-ring binders, printing copies of student schedules and handwriting teacher meetings on them, powering on each laptop in the laptop cart to find the one where the paper got saved during study hall… You know me, right?

How do I love thee Google?  Let me count the apps:

1. I love your Google Drive: We now teach students how to create and save documents and projects using their Google Drive. Once they’re saved in Drive, these documents can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. That means that, regardless of where they created the document--at home, on their iPad, on their phone even, students can share, print, or collaborate using Google Drive. Students use Drive to turn in assignments, they use Drive because they don’t have a working printer at home, they use it so that they can collaborate on a project even when the group members are in different locations.  No more flash drives or memory sticks, no more printing from home and then losing it or not printing from home and then not being able to access it because it’s saved on the desktop of the home computer.  In Drive, we help students to create folders to organize their work. Google Drive means that backpacks have less paper in them, that more assignments are turned in on time and that we spend less time looking for lost stuff and more time working on the big stuff. This is mostly because, now, almost everything important lives in Google Drive.

2. I love your Google Documents: A Google doc automatically saves as it is being created. I cannot express how important this is or how much I love that you figured out how to do this. Gone are the days of reminding students to click save after each sentence or the horror of realizing that they didn’t do it and then the battery on their laptop died. Students can create a Google doc on a laptop in the Alcoves and then continue working on it from their home computer. Google docs are easily shared with teachers who can give instant feedback or with classmates who can collaborate in real time. No more attaching files that won’t open or saving files to a memory stick that won’t work. Teachers are using Google docs to share handouts and assignments and study guides, and guess where they all live? Not in the binders (or scrunched way down in the bottom of backpacks) anymore. That’s right, Google Apps, they live in Drive! I hear beds making themselves all over campus as I write this!

3.  Gmail:  Our whole school uses Gmail now. Gmail is awesome. Everyone knows that.  In fact, I did a Google search for “Why Gmail is awesome” and I got 99,700,000 results.  For my students, I love your labels and folders (very helpful), I love all the different ways we can search for emails that they know they wrote or received (even if they are not currently visible), how they can open and save attachments into their Drive right from an email, and especially how Gmail figured out how to remind them to attach something to an email before they send it.  This last thing, in itself, is amazing.

4.  I love Google Calendar: When we can convince students to use Gcal, they become instantly more organized. They can set up meetings with teachers and then set an alert to remind them to go. As they think of things to ask their teacher at that meeting, we show them how to add that information to the event in their Calendar. That way, when they show up to the meeting, they have all of their questions ready to go and they can access it from any computer.  Students can also input meetings or events into their Calendar directly from emails.  We even show them how to use Gcal to schedule time on the weekend to complete specific assignments.  Truth be told, the reason why I am getting this article completed on time is that I set an alert in Gcal to remind me to start writing it! 

5.  Finally, Google Apps, I love your Haiku: The LMS (Learning Management System), has not only enriched the lives of our students, but it helps keep them organized. With Haiku, students can easily access assignments, grades, study guides, videos, handouts, practice tests and more.  Haiku allows teachers to keep everything in one place--from weekly assignments to their gradebook--and, even more than that, students can communicate and collaborate with their classmates and teacher on the Haiku site. It’s a whole learning environment. Homework and papers can be turned in here, feedback on writing happens here, online discussions occur here. Can’t find the handout from class today? Check the Haiku site.  Want to see some of the slides from the presentation on cell respiration?  The whole thing is probably there. Some teachers even allow students to see their current grade by logging in to the site. All of this helps me, Google Apps.  Haiku allows me to not only to know what happened in class this week, but what’s coming up next week and what’s going to be on the test and when the paper is due. This helps me to help my students in so many ways.

And so, that’s why I love you, Google Apps.  Thank you for coming to Nobles!


Love,
Gia Batty
Learning Specialist

Provost Bill Bussey, To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl



Back in 2011, I had the pleasure of sitting next to poet Billy Collins at the Harvard Bookstore for a reading from what was then his latest publication Horoscopes from the Dead. A decade earlier, Collins had spoken at Nobles two weeks after 9/11. We spoke for a couple minutes prior to him taking the lectern. When I mentioned Nobles, he perked up politely. I am sure that his many appearances blur together, but his presence and poetry at Nobles during that time brought needed comfort to this community. I will always have a soft spot for Billy Collins, the person and poet.

During his reading that evening, he trotted out a poem that was so recent that it had not made it into his latest collection. It made me laugh out loud. Afterwards, I tried in vain to get a copy. Last October, nearly two years later, Collins released the terrific  Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems (Random House) and there it was.

So, as I head off on sabbatical, I leave this for you. Thank you for your continued faith, loyalty and support for our wonderful school.

See you next September.


To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl 

By Billy Collins

Do you realize that if you had started

building the Parthenon on the day you were born

you would be all done in only one more year?

Of course, you couldn't have done it alone,

so never mind, you're fine just as you are.

You are loved for simply being yourself.


But did you know that at your age Judy Garland

was pulling down $150,000 a picture,

Joan of Arc was leading the French army to victory,

and Blaise Pascal had cleaned up his room?

No wait. He had invented the calculator.


Of course there will be time for that later in your life

after you come out of your room

and begin to blossom, or at least pick up all your socks.


For some reason, I keep remembering that Lady Jane Grey,

was Queen of England when she was only fifteen,

but then she was beheaded, so never mind her as a role model.


A few centuries later, when he was your age,

Franz Schubert was doing the dishes for his family

but that did not keep him from composing two symphonies,

four operas, and two complete Masses as a youngster.

But of course that was in Austria at the height

of romantic lyricism, not here in the suburbs of Cleveland.


Frankly, who cares if Annie Oakley was a crack shot at 15

or if Maria Callas debuted at Tosca at 17?


We think you are special by just being you,

playing with your food and staring into space.

By the way, I lied about Schubert doing the dishes,

but that doesn't mean he never helped out around the house.

Class III Parent Reps - Elizabeth Orgel and Betsy Edie



Dear Class III Parents,

Welcome back! We hope you had a fun and restful vacation with lots of good family time. Here are some class specific events to get on your calendar:

SHHHHHHH...On Friday, January 24 at 8:00 am in the Castle library, we are having a planning meeting for all those interested in helping out with the Class III Surprise Lunch. Our theme is "Surf's Up" so please come with any ideas to make it a fantastic event for our kids. The top secret date for the lunch is Thursday, February 27.

A reminder that the Head of School Dance, a formal dinner for Class III with a DJ, will be held on Saturday, April 5 in the New Castle Dining Room. Stay tuned for a volunteer meeting to help us out, particularly with decorating! Then our own Spring Parent Social will be Friday, April 11.

Sincerely,

Betsy Edie and Elizabeth Orgel 

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
02026
tel: 781.326.3700
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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at kim_neal@nobles.edu.