It is hard to believe that only 12 months ago, nearly 60 of the current Class IV students were revisiting Nobles (and likely other fine institutions) and deciding where they wanted to spend their high school years. They all surely remember their revisit days at each school—both the highlights and the lowlights—and how the experiences they had influenced their decision about where to ultimately enroll. Those who went through Nobles’ middle school may not have had a big decision to make, but they no doubt were beginning to consider how life at Nobles would change beyond the comfortable walls of Pratt in just a few short months. Nervousness and uncertainty likely marked the spring and summer of 2016 for each member of this class, but in the intervening year, we have observed that those notions have given way to eagerness, excitement, challenge, fun, connection, learning, and growth. It has been exciting to see these qualities on display academically, artistically, athletically, and socially. Further, the class now has had the opportunity to serve as hosts for the newly-admitted students. We as deans look forward to more opportunities to see the Class of 2020 shine in the coming months.
At this point in the year, students are well within an academic rhythm, and should be sure to utilize the resources at their disposal to maintain their performance or to make a bid for upward trajectory in these final months. Students recently met with their advisors to review grades and comments, and should work hard to internalize and incorporate the feedback they received. A common mantra at Nobles is to “finish strong,” so students should continue to employ the practices and habits they developed so far this year: using study halls productively, meeting with teachers when necessary, and using the Academic Achievement Center and the Peer Help tutoring program. This may be challenging at times as the weather gets nicer and the lure of Class I students on the “beach” fully enjoying their senior springs becomes harder to resist. They should rest assured: their time will come, but this year, their main objective is to remain committed to their academic and extracurricular endeavors.
As always, there will be a number of great events on campus and students should make an effort to take advantage of them. Bored during x-block? It’s never too late to try a new club. Didn’t make it to the fall mainstage or the winter musical? There will be another opportunity to see a theatre performance this spring. Looking for some community service hours? Consider heading down to the Stamp Out Hunger event in support of the Dedham Food Pantry in May. In other words, take an active approach to this quarter; the year might nearly be over, but there is still time for a new experience or two.
Even as we buckle down for the remainder of this year, we also have our sights set on the 2017-2018 school year. Just before the break, students met with their advisors to register for classes. In the next few weeks, students will receive email communications about afternoon program sign-ups and the advisor selection process. Also, those students keen on serving their class next year should seriously consider running for School Life Council. A call for nominations will go out in early May and elections will be held shortly thereafter. This year’s representatives have done a great job building cohesion and morale in the class, and we know that there are many others who have great ideas to contribute. Those curious about the role should not hesitate to reach out to the current class representatives, Provost Bill Bussey, or us.
Many student and families likely are beginning to think about summer plans, and we know how quickly the calendar can fill up. While there certainly should be time for rest, relaxation, and family fun, summer is also a great time to consider jobs, community service or enrichment. Do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s advisor, the EXCEL office or to a college counselor if you need some help coming up with ideas.
With spring break in the rearview mirror and longer, warmer, brighter days on the horizon, the fourth quarter is upon us. Hopefully everyone returned from break rejuvenated and ready to tackle the demands and responsibilities of the remaining two-and-a-half months of the school year. Be forewarned, though: the spring is notorious for flying by. Before we know it, Class IV students will be heading down to the big tent to watch graduation and then to the MAC for final exams before the welcome respite of summer break. However, we encourage students to pace themselves and to take full advantage of every facet of their Nobles experience in this fourth quarter.
All the best for a successful finish to the year!
Kimya Charles & E.B. Bartels
Class IV Deans