Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

November 2015

Nobles Parents' Newsletter November 2015

The October Transition in 2015 by Head of School Bob Henderson

You can feel the change in the tone and mood of the school as we turn the corner from September into October. In the rhythms of this place, Grandparents Day marks the “end of the beginning” of the year, the final syncopation among the irregularities and interruptions in the calendar over the first several weeks. Thereafter we usually settle in, with more full five-day weeks and a more predictable cycle of expectations and commitments for students and faculty alike. There are other realities by October as well, as grades begin to appear, academic pressures escalate and all the other pressures of adolescent life, from athletics to performances to social relationships, are evinced as well. At the end of October the first quarter comes to an end and most of the members of Class I are completing early applications for college. As November begins, the days are shorter, the weather becomes more biting and the patterns of school life are familiar, regular and anticipated.

Except for this year. The passing of Casey Dunne changed the patterns beyond recognition. On the most basic level, the emotional life of the school was thrown completely off kilter. A scary and unfamiliar situation caused anxiety and loss of sleep, and students, many for the first time, felt the deep pangs of grief. Even for some students who did not know Casey, the reactions of peers and perhaps the connection of this event to experiences they have had in the past could be difficult to understand and navigate. Schedules were altered, class expectations were adjusted and time was given, both in the formal schedule and informally all around campus and beyond, to support and foster conversations about coping and loss.

Maria Trozzi, the family resilience expert who has worked with the school through this experience, emphasized two precepts that have guided my thinking and that of the adults in this community. First, she said, “We must grieve even as we live.” Although things had to stop or slow down for awhile, it has been important to restore the core sense of purpose to the school, and to get back to routine. That doesn’t mean that some people don’t remain sad or that we in any way forget. It does mean that we have to put one foot steadily in front of the other and there is no insensitivity to that necessity, which is in the fundamental best interest of both the students and the faculty. Second, she said that the best people to help the community to deal with the situation are not outside grief counselors with some imagined sort of expertise; rather, it is the faculty themselves who the kids need; their connection, compassion, empathy and wisdom. Maria boosted the faculty’s confidence that they were, even in their own grief, the best people (along with parents) to help our students both to grieve and to move forward. We have been at this conscientiously, and the effort will persist in the days ahead.

Commemoration of Casey Dunne will continue, and she will always be a beloved member of the Class of 2017. We will seek, however, ways to do that well and appropriately, and in the spirit of joy and living fully in the moment, that so characterized and motivated Casey. We will also work with students and help them to embrace this as an opportunity to celebrate life and not wallow in tragedy, and to do so at moments and in formats that most aptly honor Casey’s life and legacy. We will seek to help students to pull Casey’s finest qualities into their own consciousness and behavior, and to emphasize that this experience, despite its trauma, does provide them with the chance to embrace what most matters in their lives and relationships while diminishing the petty and venal. I want to thank parents for their steadfast and united support in this community endeavor, and for the love they have shown for Casey, the Dunne family, and their own children through this unusual and especially challenging October.

Honoring Casey Dunne '17 with a Gift to Achieve

Achieve is a tuition-free educational program serving Boston middle school children from low-income families. Achieve provides academic and personal enrichment through a rigorous and engaging six-week summer program and ongoing tutoring throughout the school year.

Casey, the epitome of compassion and dedication, made these sessions at Achieve a priority in her life. In remembrance of her joyous spirit, the partnership with Nobles student tutors has been named The Casey Dunne Achieve Tutoring Program. 

Contributions from hundreds of generous donors have already seeded an endowment fund in Casey's name to ensure the future of the Achieve program in perpetuity. 

To join in honoring Casey's memory by donating to Achieve and finding out more about the program at Nobles, please visit

Stone Soup: Some Food for Thought by Head of Upper School Michael Denning

My all-time favorite children’s story is Stone Soup. I first heard its powerful message when my second-grade teacher, the venerable and seemingly immortal Ms. Pierce, read the story to our class. We were embarking on the “Butter-making Project,” and I suspect Ms. Pierce was trying to find a way to engage our rambunctious group in a conversation about the value of collaboration and cooperation.

Versions of Stone Soup can be found in the folklore of many countries and historic regions, including those of Ireland, France, England, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. In 1905, the famous Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, actually published his own take on the parable, A Pot of Broth. But here in the United States, this folktale was made famous by Marcia Brown in her award-winning rendition published in 1947, the one Ms. Pierce offered our class.

The setting for Ms. Brown’s Stone Soup is a French village at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Given the vast extent to which the agrarian villages of northern France suffered during the first and second world wars, Ms. Brown’s choice of location seems more than apt for her 1947 book. Ms. Brown tells the story of how three famished soldiers journeying home— as common an occurrence in 1947 as it was in 1815—coax and trick the village’s apprehensive residents into sharing what little they have to create a pot of soup. While initially unwelcoming and seemingly devoid of compassion for their exhausted, hungry visitors, the townspeople become curious about the soldiers’ plan to make soup from stones. One by one, the hamlet’s residents are convinced that if they contribute a bit of what they can, they will make an important contribution to something about which they can feel good and proud. In the end—and here is my spoiler alert—the villagers and soldiers create a meal and celebration that is, “Truly fit for a king.” As the story closes, one senses that the feelings of anxiety, fear, suffering and fatigue we observed in the villagers at the story’s outset have given way to laughter, revelry and moments of shared happiness— the kind of feelings one finds only while accomplishing something for and with others.

Frankly, I don’t recall if Ms. Pierce explained Ms. Brown’s motivation for writing the story or if we had much discussion about it at all. But there is something in Stone Soup’s message that provoked me, even at this early age, and during the more than four decades that have elapsed since I first heard the tale, I have returned to it many times, contemplating the wisdom of the soldiers and the villagers’ good fortunes.

At Nobles, we are justifiably proud of the rigorous academic preparation faculty offer and students receive at our School, the results our students earn perennially on standardized tests, and the outcomes our seniors realize at the end of each year’s highly-selective college-admissions season. So, too, do we take pride in the hours of service we perform, the beautiful works of visual and performing art our students create, and our teams’ many victories. Moreover, we know from surveys of—and conversations with—recent graduates that Nobles students are well prepared to succeed in our country’s most rigorous undergraduate programs. And there is no doubt that we will continue to keep our eyes on these prizes. However, hours of service, exceptional works of art, athletic championships, and successes in the college process have never been the only or most important prizes upon which we focus.

While mindful of the future and desirous of achieving measurable successes, we use our relationship-based pedagogy to challenge each other to live in the present, knowing that doing so is essential to creating a healthy, productive, nurturing environment. Throughout our history, a relationship-based pedagogy and commitment to community have been our bedrock, the foundation from which we have:

  • built the advisory and student-support systems that adolescents need to thrive;
  • remained committed to a model in which faculty are involved with—and get to know, teach and nurture—students in multi-faceted endeavors and activities;
  • maintained an unwavering commitment to morning assembly, a place where we gather to celebrate and build community through shared ideas, performances, applause, laughter, respect, and, sometimes, tears;
  • stayed true to the idea that if we focus on creating great learning processes and environments, and work together for and with each other, successes will follow. 

In her highly acclaimed novel My Antonia, Willa Cather entreats us to recognize the important role doing things in community plays in the creation of one’s happiness, suggesting that the latter is not possible without the former: “That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” As I watch our students and faculty commit themselves joyously and completely to each other and their shared endeavors, goals and dreams, I am reminded of the timelessness of Cather’s and Brown’s shared message. In a world in which students are too often encouraged to pursue their own individual needs, goals and desires—their own interests—at the expense of others’ happiness and their own, we stand against this by asking them to contribute to Nobles’ pots of stone soup each and every day. And in the sadness and grieving of these past few weeks, this has never been more important.

Performing Arts Events: Save the Date

Nobles Fall Dance Concert
Wednesday, November 11, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Friday, November 13, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Jazz/Blues/Guitar/Drum Concert
Thursday, December 3, 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Choral Concert
Thursday, December 10
Pre-Concert Parents Social 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Choral Concert 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Save the Date: Nobles Night

Nobles Night*

A festive evening to celebrate Nobles
Beer, wine and hearty hors d’oeuvres
Thursday, November 12, 2015
6:30 p.m.

*Please note: This is NOT a student event.

For further information, contact:

Katherine Minevitz

The Long Weekend by Dean of Students Marcela Maldonado

By any measure, these have been very difficult yet remarkable days around here. Nothing can prepare you for the death of a student, and Casey Dunne’s sudden and tragic passing galvanized this community as we faced uncharted waters together. As was true in the wake of September 11, 2001 and after the loss of adult members of this community, students look around them for direction for how to process powerful events in their lives. In light of Casey’s death, the adults in this community had to work quickly, effectively, and certainly delicately to marshal the school through its most difficult moment. Simply put, kids take their cues from us and meeting their needs is our primary role and purpose.  While we were not without the help of outside professionals, nonetheless faculty and staff had to come together in common purpose, as we shouldered the responsibility of assuaging the confusion and vulnerability felt by so many.

But the very timing of this tragedy, on a Friday evening, over a long holiday weekend, also forced our student body to lean on each other in ways they never have before. Though we spent brief yet concentrated time together on Saturday afternoon to begin to process, and even as the faculty and staff met later that weekend to prepare for the arrival of students on Tuesday morning, kids took very good care of each other along the way. I have heard countless tales from students about how they communicated and gathered together that weekend, in groups big and small, and how they spent very intentional time with their own families, baking cookies, going for long walks, or just slowing down. My advisees reminded me of the power of social media in moments like this - how students were reaching out to make sure others were ok, sharing their love and support with each other, posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram, and sharing their stories of Casey. As one sophomore advisee wrote to me that weekend “We are all in shock and emotionally drained, but a lot of love is spreading for Casey, her family, and for one another.”

Whether they knew her personally or not, some of the best conversations I’ve had in the last couple of weeks with students has been about what Casey’s life represented for them.  By all accounts, she was pure joy, a wonderful and caring young woman, whose net was cast widely in the world of kids. The degree to which her influence was felt transcended so many cliques and tight circles, considered regular domain in the life of teenagers. She was open and giving in her relationships, and her life was not owned by any one person or particular group. Indeed the very measure of who Casey was and what she represented is found in the number of places she touched and the various groups of people who were touched by her. And in wonderful fashion, students took the time in those first few days to honor her and to honor their relationships with each other as they began their grieving process together.

This moment shook people, young people especially, because it was so sudden and unpredictable. But the time apart that long weekend from the collective response that would have derived from a regular school day allowed for students to tap into their own resiliency, manage a bit of their own sense of immortality and invincibility, and have many families talk about things they never have before. As we came in that Tuesday morning, you could still see the shock on people’s faces, but instead of this being a place of sadness, the Nobles campus was precisely where our kids wanted to be, surrounded by the safe and the familiar. Our students leaned on each other and on family, and ultimately on this school and its faculty and staff, for a sense of purpose and understanding for what had just taken place. As adults we can’t take away their pain, but we can hold them and model for them what it means to be a community of strength and solidarity. That long weekend was merely the beginning of a process that will continue for some time to come, but it told us a lot about our students, what they have learned along the way from all of us, and how very proud they continue to make us.

EXCEL: Building a Culture of Service by Director of the Anderson/Cabot Center for EXCEL Ben Snyder

“I don’t understand,” said the Nobles senior.
“What don’t you understand?” I replied.
“Here we are in India,” she said, “in the midst of seemingly endless poverty, and the students at the local private school (that was simply housing us) don’t seem to be involved in any kind of service activity. That attitude just wouldn’t be acceptable at Nobles - the culture of service just wouldn’t allow it.”

Certainly those comments by a member of the Class of 2014 made me feel good about the values we hope to instill at Nobles - but it also got me thinking about how that culture is developed and how those values are instilled.

Putting our money (or requirements and time) where our mouth is:
Amidst some controversy (or at least some consternation) in the late 1980s, Nobles was one of the first schools in the country to implement a community service graduation requirement.  The faculty at the time made a clear statement - which has since been reiterated in myriad ways - that engaging in meaningful service work is critical to developing character, empathy, humility, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to civic engagement. We want Nobles students to learn about the organizations they are working with, to understand the problems their work is trying to address, and to reflect on their experiences. Most schools “encourage” or “support” service, but few ask as much of their students. If we truly believe in the importance of service as a critical component of living a meaningful life and hope to live up to our mission of developing “leaders for the public good” we must insure all  students are involved in meaningful service.

Inch-deep, mile-wide philosophy:
At times over the years we have been criticized for giving students too many options to complete their service requirement. “Cause X is clearly the most pressing issue of our time!” or “Organization Y does the best work on issue Z - let’s focus our efforts there,” or “Why support nonprofits in New Orleans or (pick your country) when we have so many problems here in Boston?”

While it may be true that if we focused all of our efforts on a single issue or organization we could potentially make a “bigger” impact, our educational mission demands that we help students find the cause, organization, or place that is most meaningful to them (and who are we to say what that single cause might be?). For some students their cause may be right around the corner - for others it could be on the other side of the world. But the goal is for every student to use some of their time in high school to find a place where they can make a positive difference.

Capitalizing on the “age of opportunity:”
In his recent book The Age of Opportunity, noted psychologist Lawrence Steinberg asserted that adolescence is the period of maximum brain plasticity - which makes for incredible opportunities for growth, especially when students are engaged in new environments and experiences. As they go about their many service projects, Nobles students are invariably exposed to new people, new places, new concepts, and often complexity and ambiguity. In turn, these opportunities build in them a sense of satisfaction in helping others which, in turn, develops a sense of duty or obligation to build service (in some form) into the remainder of their lives. Middle and high school students are old enough to make important contributions yet young enough to be positively transformed by the experience.

Bringing talent to the table:
When Bob Henderson speaks of character education at Nobles he often turns to the importance of the Nobles adults with whom your children interact every day. As we hire faculty and staff, we look for talented people who can not only be strong classroom teachers and mentors outside of the classroom, but also search for those who have incorporated meaningful service into their lives prior to their arrival at Nobles.  In addition, our service program leaders go to extraordinary lengths to support students in the full range of their interests. This combined role modeling is powerful. Putting this team of adults together is no small task but an essential one in creating a learning community where the culture of service is embedded.

Caring about the data:
Measuring our work - in any area of the school - is vital to determining our impact and our effectiveness. We know that in a “typical” year, 80% of the senior class will have exceeded the 80 hour requirement, that Nobles students will have given over 20,000 hours of service and raise roughly $100,000 to distribute to over 75 organizations (many of which are in Greater Boston) and created 50 or more service-related “events” (not to mention countless “in kind” gifts of various sorts - from hats and gloves to food and medicine).

Surveys of our graduates show us that well over 80% of young alumni are participating in service activities in college and beyond. This information carefully holds our proverbial community feet to the fire and also allows us different forms of measuring impact.

Finding the right partners:
Finally, all our service programs - from Boston to New Orleans to around the globe - are established by forming long term partnerships with like minded organizations. Whether it is 20+ years of working with Community Servings in Boston or St. Brendan’s School in South Africa or the decade of work in Post-Katrina New Orleans or with Dedham’s Riverdale School, forming productive partnerships creates relationships that enhance not only our impact on the ground but also the nature of the experience for Nobles students.

These principles upon which the service program has been built have created a “culture of service” at Nobles that supports the mission and has established the foundation for Experiential and Community Engaged Learning at Nobles.

What Do You Wish You Knew About Nobles Before You Got Here? by Dean of Enrollment Management Jennifer Hines

Last spring, the admission office reached out to both students and parents that had joined Nobles in the previous September and asked them to share with us the things they wish they had known about being a part of the Nobles community before they arrived. Our goal was to try to better address the details raised as we communicated with families that had been newly admitted to Nobles. Upon further reflection, I realized that there might be some value in sharing these thoughts more broadly both for families that are new to Nobles this year and for those of you that might be in conversation with families that are currently considering Nobles as an option. All of these comments were shared multiple times by multiple members of the Nobles community.

First, Nobles embraces all types of students.
It will hopefully come as no surprise to all of you that Nobles has many successful programs both academically and within our extra-curricular offerings. As a result, our successes can at times be viewed as prerequisites for admission. The truth is that the depth and breadth of our programs ensure that there is something for every student no matter what their passions happen to be. No matter the activity or academic discipline, Nobles will empower students to push themselves outside of their comfort zone, nurture their curiosity and build their self-confidence.

Second, the faculty at Nobles is available and wants to help students learn.
Everyone arrives at Nobles with their own previous school experience.  You may have been in a situation where teachers had many students in each class which may have prevented them from making a more personal connection with students or parents. At some schools, it just may not be a part of the culture of the school to approach teachers.  At Nobles, teachers want to connect with the students in their classes. If a student faces bumps in the road, teachers want to be approached by their students to help smooth the way.  As a parent, encourage your child to reach out to teachers, in both good times and bad.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get involved right from the start.
As you transition into a new community both as parents and students, it can be intimidating to think about how to involve yourself in the life of the school. That said, participating can be the best way to get to know others. As a parent, get involved with the Nobles Parent Association which can be an entry into all of the different ways that parents are involved with school life.  Encourage your child to participate in clubs and organizations as a way to connect with others who have similar passions.  Involvement is the best way to find connection.

From the PA Co-Chairs

The Nobles community is a remarkable one; in the last few weeks, teachers, students and parents alike have demonstrated an unprecedented outpouring of support and unity. Speaking on behalf of all parents, we would like to thank every member of the Nobles community who participated in, donated to, or attended one of the many collective gatherings that have taken place in the recent past.

The PA would like to thank the class reps and event co-chairs who have done a wonderful job with all the socials and class events so far this fall. We would also like to give a special thank you to the Yard Sale Co-Chairs Gretchen Filoon and Sarah Keating for their tireless work to make this year’s sale incredibly successful, raising money for Achieve and uniting the community. We would like to thank everyone who donated items, spent countless hours sorting and pricing, baked delicious treats and made many deliveries of unsold items to local charities on behalf of the Yard Sale. And we hope that everyone made new friends and had a lot of fun while working on such a worthwhile event.

Please join us for our next PA Meeting on Thursday, November 19 at 8:00 a.m. in the Castle Library.  Ben Snyder will be our guest speaker and will have lots to share with us about the Excel program at Nobles. 

Upcoming November Dates:

Mondays - Please continue to join us every Monday morning after drop-off for a walk around the cross-country trails….the weather has been beautiful for this nice start to the week.

Friday, November 6, 3-6:00 p.m. PA Fall Cookout

Tuesday, November 10, 7-9:00 p.m.  PIN Meeting at Nobles, Lawrence Auditorium

Wednesday, November 11, 6:30-8:00 p.m.  Fall Dance Concert

Did you know idling vehicles in the U.S. consume more than 2 billion gallons of diesel and gasoline—without even moving? Roughly 50% of that fuel is wasted by passenger vehicles, the millions of individual drivers waiting “just a few minutes” to pick up friends or family.

Thank you,
Barbara Ito and Polly Maroni


Class IV Notes

Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians:

It has certainly been a whirlwind of a fall!  We hope that you and your ninth graders are settled in and are feeling connected to the Nobles community. We also hope you have been able to attend a PA Meeting; a class get together; a play; or simply cheer for your child at some of his/her games.

The Yard Sale, the Multicultural Fair, and the Class IV functions were all very successful, and we hope you were able to attend some of these wonderful community-building events. Our October Class IV coffee was a great icebreaker and a lot of fun. Our Class IV Fall Social in the Castle was fantastic! Thanks to all who came and we’re hoping that everyone (especially those who couldn’t attend the Fall Social) will put the Class IV Spring Social on Friday, April 8 on their calendars.

Please note two important events:
1) The Marking Period has ended and it is time for Parent Conferences. You may want to email your child’s advisor to arrange a time to talk, either by phone or in person, on Nov. 17, 18 or 19
2) As the fall sports season draws to a close, please be mindful of changes in the afternoon sports schedule. The Winter Afternoon Program will begin on Mon. Nov. 30.

Below are some important upcoming dates and events you’ll want to mark on your calendars:

Tues. November 3, 7-8:30 p.m. Seminar on Athletic Recruiting and the College Process, for Upper school parents and guardians, Towles Auditorium.
Fri. Nov. 6, 2-5 p.m. Athletics Early Release Day and PA Sponsored Cookout at Nobles
Tues. Nov. 10, 7 p.m. PIN Meeting on “Navigating the College Process”, Lawrence Auditorium.
Wed. Nov. 11 and Fri. Nov. 13, 6:30-8 p.m. both nights: Fall Dance Concert
Thurs. Nov. 12: Nobles Night
Sat. Nov. 14: Nobles/Milton Day at Milton; Come cheer on the DAWGS!
Mon. Nov. 16: Veterans Day (observed), No school.
Tues. Nov 17, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Ping Pong and Badminton Team Tournament in the MAC
Tues. Nov. 17-Thurs. Nov 19: Parent Advisor Meetings, email or call your child’s advisor to schedule.
Thurs. Nov. 19, 8-9:30 a.m. PA Meeting in the Castle
Thurs., Nov. 19, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Parent Book Club meeting, in the Castle Dining Room. The book discussion is about A Walk in the Woods.
Wed. Nov 25: Thanksgiving break begins.
Mon. Nov. 30: School resumes, Winter Afternoon Program begins.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.

Lauren Kinghorn 
Cindy Trull

MS News

It is hard to believe that the first academic quarter is behind us and we are heading into the final month of the fall afternoon program.

A special thanks to Colette Finley for speaking at the first middle school coffee. Ms. Finley informed us about software you can install on your devices that allows your screen to adapt to the time of day. If interested, you can download it or find more information on the website…..

We would also like to thank the parents who attended the coffee and signed up to volunteer. We encourage those of you who have not had the opportunity to volunteer to do so online. There are still many ways to help out and get involved in the Nobles community.

When we are able to re-schedule the Middle School Parents Social, we will let you know. For now, you will find a list of important dates below. 

Middle School November 2015 Events

Friday, November 6 - This is a modified academic day-more info to follow in the Wednesday Notices.

November 11 & 13- Fall Dance Concert.  The dancers will hold two performances- Wednesday, Nov. 11 and Friday, Nov. 13, both at 6:30 p.m. in the Vinik Theatre.

Thursday, November 12 - Nobles Night in the Morrison Athletic Center from 6:30-10 p.m. Please contact Katherine Minevitz to RSVP at

Friday, November 13 - The Middle School Nobles/Milton Games @ Nobles. Please refer to for times and field locations. This event will mark the end of the Fall After School Program for MS.

Friday, November 14 - Milton Games for Varsity & Junior Varsity teams @ Milton Academy. 

Monday, November 16 - Nobles observes Veteran’s Day- school closed.

November 17-19 - Parent/advisor meetings. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child’s advisor on these days.  Please contact your child’s advisor to schedule a time to meet.  Meetings are optional.

November 19 - One of the highlights of the Middle School experience at Nobles is the annual Pie Drive. It is an important community builder where every Middle School child participates and it is also a great way for parents to volunteer and get involved at Nobles. The Pie Drive is a community service event that brings students, parents and teachers together to assemble hundreds of apple pies for Thanksgiving. Approximately 160 pies will be donated to the Single Parent Outreach Center in Boston and the Dedham Food Pantry. Approximately 200 more pies will be sold to the Nobles community.

This year’s proceeds will support the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP) located in Kliptown, South Africa. The organization's mission is to provide opportunities that will enable young people to rise out of poverty. Every other year, including this spring, Nobles travels with a group of middle school students to visit and work with our friends at KYP.

Please consider getting involved in this important event at Nobles by volunteering your time on Nov. 19. 

Donated ingredients must be dropped off to the Middle School Forum no later than Tuesday, November 17.You can also contact one of the Pie Drive 2015 Coordinators directly to volunteer or donate ingredients:

Emily Denning

Carla Higgins 

Isabelle Roy 

Dave Camacho 

Thank you in advance for all of your support with this worthwhile endeavor.

On Monday, November 23, there is a Faculty Meeting in Morrison Forum starting at 3:15 p.m.. All middle school students will be dismissed at 2:40 p.m. A parent-proctored study hall will be held in the Library Loft until 5:15 p.m.

November 25-29 is Thanksgiving Break. School will be closed and will reopen on Monday, November 30.

November 30 - Winter Afternoon Program begins.

Class III Deans Report

Hello Class III Parents!

It has been a whirlwind of a first quarter to say the least! We have enjoyed getting to know this class and are excited to see them grow and come together as the year progresses. 

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 grades are an indication of how your child is doing, comments are filled with insight into strengths, areas of growth, and most importantly, guidance for improvement. Please do not be alarmed if your child’s grades have declined in certain subjects. As you may know, the sophomore year curriculum is challenging in new and different ways as students transition from concrete to abstract thinking and are asked to synthesize. Additionally, it takes time for students to adjust to the curriculum and to the new expectations in each class. By the time the December comments are written, most students will have grown more familiar with the demanding curriculum and with the 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 the importance of community involvement to Class III. During sophomore year, it is important for students to pursue their interests and to participate in clubs and other extracurricular activities at Nobles. There are so many clubs and organizations, and if students join and are active this year, they may have the opportunity to take on leadership roles in upcoming years. Additionally, we were thrilled to learn about the sophomores interest in travel this year. Students were provided with an array of service- trip opportunities to choose from. The opportunities are as follows: New Orleans, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, India, Romania and Bulgaria, France, Guatemala, and Rwanda.These trips make a lasting impact on those who experience them; we hope that students will continue to explore Nobles trips in the future.

On Wednesday, November 11 during an assembly, all sophomores will stay to hear presentations from the following programs: School Year Abroad (SYA), the Mountain School of Vermont, the Alzar School of Idaho, the School for Ethics and Global Leadership of Washington, D.C., Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki, the High Mountain Institute of Colorado, CITYTerm of NYC, the Island School of the Bahamas, the African Leadership Academy of South Africa 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.

If your child is interested in studying away from Nobles during junior year, he/she should begin planning - visit and speak with the Study Away Coordinator Laura Yamartino ( for more information!
It goes without saying the last weeks of the quarter has been trying but we have been heartened to see the strength of our community reaffirmed.

Enjoy the rest of the fleeting fall and have a happy Thanksgiving with your family.

Kind Regards,
Amy McBrien & Edgar De Leon

Class II Notes

Dear Class II Parents,

All of Class II sends its deepest condolences to the Dunne and Higgins families. Casey is forever in our hearts and forever a part of this class.

The first quarter has come to a close; don’t forget to sign-up to see your child’s advisor on November 17, 18 or 19. 

Undoubtedly many of our children have felt a bit overwhelmed with the end of quarter exams and papers.  Hopefully the surprise treat planned for them following the PSAT was a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the fall.  Thank you to all who helped in organizing the event.

The Class II parent coffee has been rescheduled.  Please join us Thursday, November 5 in the Castle at 8 a.m., it will be great to catch up with friends.  Some other important Class II dates for November:

Tuesday, November 3, 7-8:30 p.m. – Seminar on Athletic Recruiting and the College Process, Towles
Thursday, November 5, 8-9:30 a.m.- Class II Parent Coffee, Castle
Thursday, November 5, Registration Deadline for December 5 SAT and SAT Subject Tests
Friday, November 6, Registration Deadline for December 12 ACT Test
Saturday, November 7, SAT and SAT Subject Test Date
Thursday, November 12, 6:30-10 p.m.- Nobles Night, MAC
Saturday, November 14, Nobles vs. Milton Day
Monday, November 16, Veteran’s Day, No School
Tuesday, November 17, 7-8:30 p.m.- Workshop on the College Process, Towles
November 25-27, Thanksgiving Break

Wishing you all a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving break.

Your Class II Parent Reps,

Anna Abate

Nicola DiFelice


Class III Notes

Class III Parents,

What a spectacular fall we have had! The year is truly in full swing with the first quarter behind us and fall sports as well as the fall play wrapping up. The Multicultural Fair, Friday Night Lights, PA cookouts, the Nobles Yard Sale, as well as our Class III Coffee and Social, have been some highlights. And, of course, lots more to come in November.

Bring your school spirit and come cheer on Nobles at Milton-Nobles Day on Saturday, November 14! It promises to be a terrific family day, this year held AWAY, at Milton. We also hope to see you at Nobles Night on Thursday, November 12 in the MAC Parent Lobby. This is a nice opportunity to connect with parents of all grades in both the Middle and Upper School.

A few other dates to remember:

Tuesday, November 3rd, 7-8:30 p.m. Seminar on Athletic Recruiting and the College Process, Towles Auditorium

Tuesday, November 10, 7-9:00 p.m. PIN Meeting hosted at Nobles. Topic: College Admissions Panel, Lawrence Auditorium

Thursday, November 12, 6:30-10 p.m. Nobles Night! MAC Parent Lobby

Friday, November 13, 6:30-8 p.m. Fall Dance Concert, Vinik Theatre

Saturday, November 14 - Milton-Nobles Day – AWAY

Monday, November 16 - Nobles Veterans Day Holiday – School Closed

Tuesday and Wednesday, November 17 and 18 - Parent Advisor Meetings

Thursday, November 19, 8:00 a.m. PA Meeting, Castle Library

Wednesday-Friday, November 25-27 - Thanksgiving Break

Monday November 30 - Winter Afternoon Program begins

Future Class III happenings include the Surprise Lunch on February 4th (shhhhh!), the Head of School Dance on March 5th, the Spring Parent Coffee on April 11 and the Spring Parent Social on April 7th. As we get closer to these and other upcoming events, we will post links to where you can sign up to help.

Enjoy the rest of the fall season and we wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Class III Reps,

Isabelle Loring 
Allison Horne

Class I Notes

Hello Senior Parents,

Each month feels like an important milestone in our seniors’ last year at Nobles and November is no exception! Good luck to everyone in their preparations for next year.

We only have ONE Class I event this month:

Friday, November 20 – Class I Parent Social, 6:30-9:30 in the Castle. We hope everyone will be able to make it—this is our second-to-last parent social together!  We’ve got a tasty menu of fall-themed hors d’oeuvres and drinks. It should be a great night out before the winter holiday season gets truly hectic.

Other PA events (volunteer sign-ups can be found on the Friday e-mails):

Tuesday, November 3 - PA Staff Appreciation Lunch
Friday, November 6 - PA Cookout, 3-6p.m.
Monday, November 16 - Veterans Day, no classes
Wednesday, November 18 - Climate Change discussion, 7 p.m., Towles
Thursday, November 19 - PA Meeting, 8 a.m., Castle Library
Thursday, November 19 - PA Book Discussion (A Walk in the Woods) 6:30p.m., Castle

Thanks also to everyone who donated goodies and showed up to help at the Class I Surprise Halloween lunch.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Please get in touch with any of us if there is any way we can be helpful.

Your Class I PA reps,
Sylvia Crawford 
Anne London 
Pam Notman

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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