Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

April 2017

Nobles Parents' Newsletter April 2017

Upcoming Visual/Performing Arts Events



Be sure to mark your calendars now for a stunning variety of student work and performances this spring — come support the arts at Nobles!

Thursday, April 27, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. AP Student Art Show reception, Foster Gallery 

Thursday, May 4, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Jazz/Blues/Percussion Concert, Lawrence Auditorium

Wednesday, May 10, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Spring Dance Show & Student Directed Play, Dance Studio

Thursday, May 11, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Wind/String/Orchestra Concert, Lawrence Auditorium

Friday, May 12, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.  Spring Dance Show & Student Directed Play, Dance Studio

Wednesday, May 17 - Friday, May 19, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 20, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. NTC Spring Mainstage Production, "The Marriage of Bette and Boo", Vinik Theatre

Thursday, May 25, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  Choral Concert, Lawrence Auditorium

“In the Clutch of Circumstance” by Director of the Anderson/Cabot Center for EXCEL Ben Snyder



When Nelson Mandela was held in Robben Island Prison off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa (where 12 Nobles students visited over March break) for 27 years, he carried with him the poem, Invictus by William Ernest Henley. In the second stanza Henley writes,

      “In the fell clutch of circumstance
               I have not winced or cried aloud.
      Under the bludgeonings of chance,
               My head is bloodied but unbowed.”

This spring break 130 Nobles students – from Sixies to seniors with 27 faculty and staff  – witnessed how the “clutch of circumstance” impacts those whose lives are far different from our own. From the deep South learning about the civil rights movement to New Orleans where the grip of post-Katrina poverty and racism continue to hold tight to many; in Vietnam, Cambodia, South Africa and Rwanda where the legacies of war, apartheid and genocide still resonate; or in urban China or rural Guatemala where economic opportunity is severely limited — all over the world Nobles students grappled with the complexities and hard realities of lives held back by “the clutch of circumstance.”

During a late evening “circle time” in Rwanda, one of our students said “while I could read about what we have seen, there is nothing that can replace experiencing it – and really learning about the overwhelming challenges people face.” Such a realization can be disconcerting. “What did I do to deserve all that I have? What can I, just a high school kid, do to not just understand but also make a positive impact?”

With our partners all over the city, country and around the world, our students have the opportunity to meet those whose “clutch of circumstance” has not diminished their spirit and determination and whose personal and intellectual capabilities match or exceed our own. They meet leaders, young and old, who commit their lives to helping others and who see the unlimited nature of human potential in places most Americans will never witness. When we immerse ourselves in environments like these, we become more empathic, better critical thinkers, and understand that big changes in the world begin with smart, determined, creative and passionate individuals.

Invictus concludes with:

      “It matters not how straight the gate,
               How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate,
               I am the captain of my soul.”

The gift of a Nobles education (our circumstance) allows our students to truly be masters of their fates. For so many we encountered along the way, their circumstance will not give them the opportunities we have been afforded.

In the midst of a particularly thoughtful late conversation around a campfire and under a night sky filled with stars in a circle of students in Rwanda, I was reminded of a quotation attributed to Oprah Winfrey (yes, Oprah Winfrey) – “Now that you know, you can’t pretend that you don’t.” The challenge for all of us upon return is to find the places in our lives – when we are masters of our fate and captains of our souls – to remember what we’ve learned and to act upon what we have seen and assimilated to become our best selves. 

2017 Summer Specialty Programs at Nobles



Nobles is fortunate to have outstanding school-year programs and facilities. In addition to Nobles Day Camp (for children ages 3-14), we will offer several specialty programs run by highly qualified faculty from Nobles and beyond. These programs are geared toward older campers, with the goal of giving kids access to terrific teaching and coaching. While enrollment is open to campers from any school for some programs, many of the Nobles students attend the programs listed below.

We are extremely excited about the staff (many of them Nobles faculty) that will run the following programs:

Nobles Strength and Conditioning
Weekly options from June 12 – August 24 
Only open to Nobles students (all ages)
Kevin O’Neill, director of strength and training

Nobles Dance Immersion
June 19 – 23, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Co-ed for campers entering grades 7–12
Jillian Kinard, dance program director and Anna Loveys, dance instructor

The Handwork Studio at Nobles
June 19 – 23, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Co-ed for campers ages  5 – 15   
Partnership with Handwork Studio, a Kids’ Needle Arts and Machine-Sewing Camp
Laura@thehandworkstudio.com

Nobles Wrestling Camp
June 27 – 30,  9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
For campers entering grades 6 – 12
Charles Danhof, head coach for Nobles varsity wrestling

Dawg Hoop Camp
June 19 – 21,  4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
For talented and dedicated girls' basketball players entering grades 6 – 10
Alex Gallagher, head coach for Nobles' girls varsity basketball

Nobles Football Clinic
July 5 – 7, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
For campers entering grades 6 – 12
Jermetrius Troy, head coach for Nobles' varsity football

Nobles Summer Service
August 7 – 11, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Co-ed for campers entering grades 7 – 10
Linda Hurley, community service coordinator

Nobles Soccer Camp
August 21 – 25   9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Co-ed for campers entering grades 7 – 12
Mass Premier Soccer Coaches
Contact: Steve Ginsberg, head coach for Nobles' boys varsity soccer

Up Only! Nobles Volleyball Camp
August 21 – 24, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Only open to Nobles students (entering grades 8 – 12)
Olympic and college coach Shay Goulding Meurer

These programs provide tremendous opportunities to get superb instruction and leadership, as well as meet other Nobles students. Please review the website for more information about each program and feel free to contact any of the program directors directly if you have any questions.

Contact the Nobles Day Camp office at 781-320-1320 if you have any questions on how to register.

Register online by June 1!

"Did You Know?" by Dean of Faculty Maura Sullivan



If you have ever perused our school newspaper, The Nobleman, you may have found yourself on "The Back Page." This is easily one of the favorite pages of the newspaper. The features found here, ("Darts and Laurels,""Did You Know?" and "Quotables," to name a few), offer insights into some of the small change and inside jokes of the school. One finds some little known, often quirky facts about community members or the school culture. I would argue that these tidbits are a metaphor for what makes this community special. We praise often, criticize gently, and know how to laugh at ourselves when we’ve goofed. I never fail to learn something new when I read this page and I certainly never fail to laugh.  In that vein, I offer you some insights of my own that you may or may not know about our community:

Did you know that..?

• In addition to finishing up their curriculum and prepping for AP tests, the Science department has been up to their elbows in boxes and packing tape as they prepare the Baker building for the upcoming renovations that will occur this summer?
• No matter where you go in Eastern Massachusetts you run into someone who knows Community Service Coordinator Linda Hurley?
• French teacher Mark Sheeran has led so many Nobles trips that they know him by name at the U.S. Customs Office?
• There is no such thing at Nobles as an outside substitute teacher – that other teachers step up and fill in for each other when necessary? 
• Director of EXCEL Ben Snyder is filling in as athletic director while Alex Gallagher is on sabbatical, increasing his cumulative job titles over his years at Nobles to approximately 29?
• We’ve got enough faculty members (outside of the Performing Arts department) who are accomplished musicians that they could form their own band?
• Faculty members Bill Kehlenbeck, Deb Harrison and Steve Toubman have over 100 years of varsity coaching experience between them?
• The yearly gallery show by the members of the Visual Art department is as good as anything you would find in a gallery in Boston?
• If awards were given out to clubs and organizations at Nobles, science faculty member Chris Pasterczyk’s chess team would be in the running for a gold medal every year?
• There are more than a dozen Nobles graduates who are now Nobles employees, a testament to their loyalty and commitment to the school?

I would bet that most of the students and faculty know many of the facts listed above. We are a relational community. We do not just have transactional interactions with each other. Students enjoy getting to know the adults in the Nobles community as complete people, just as the adults get to know them. This type of knowledge allows for greater buy in from both students and teachers. The adults at Nobles model the dedication and hard work that we want the students to emulate. These final two months of the school are a perfect time to underscore how well-rounded the adults in the community are and to let them know that we appreciate all they bring of themselves to their day-to-day work with students.

"If Men Were Angels" by Head of the Middle School and Assistant Head of School John Gifford



Most Class V students understand that governments exist. Few have ever considered why they exist. That is the first question that we consider in my Civics class, at the start of each school year. We take them for granted now, but what is the need for governments? Part of the explanation is found in the words of our fourth president, James Madison. In Federalist No. 51, Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Madison’s point, of course, is that men are not angels and a structure is needed to control tendencies for selfish behavior that disrupt community. It is tempting (and typical) for adults to shake their heads and wag their fingers when children lie and cheat. Some voice outrage and wonder, what has gone wrong? But professor Dan Ariely from Duke University, who has made an academic career of studying honesty, feels that it is more amazing that dishonesty of all types doesn’t happen more.

Ariely recently stated in an interview, "One of the frightening conclusions we have is that what separates honest people from not-honest people is not necessarily character, it's opportunity." In other words, we all are susceptible. We have all, in small ways or large, done it before.

This doesn’t mean that we should accept it or condone it in any way. Dishonesty can undermine a community, leading to resentment and distrust. It can slow the development of the individual if they cut corners. But excessive shock, dismay and condemnation about an act that is a part of normal development can also do damage to a community. Thus, when dealing with these teachable moments, I hope to find balance.

On the first day of school I start talking about personal and academic honesty. I do so because I want it to be clear that Nobles will always aspire to be a environment where people strive to act honestly. Our school mission and community principles hammer the importance of honesty and describe our efforts to be honest in our dealings and honest with ourselves. We do this because it helps. By reminding the community of our high expectations, we support individuals to remain honest. Ariely performs countless experiments, and has shown that simply having individuals say they are going to be honest before completing a task (like their taxes) has a significant statistical impact of their likelihood of doing so.

But we also must be looking at Ariely’s “opportunity.” We need to constantly reevaluate our systems and tweak the ones that make dishonesty too easy. Government is always adjusting the dance. The current administration is looking to roll back regulations on big financial corporations that were created after the “cheating” that took place in 2007 with the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

One of the reasons I care most about minimizing opportunity comes from another of Ariely’s studies. It seems that cheating can become easier. This is probably intuitive to most; the more one cheats, the easier it becomes to do so. Ariely has hooked up study participants to a polygraph.The first lie shows an area of the brain thought to regulate honesty to light up like a proverbial Christmas tree. Subsequent lies show diminished brain activity. The brain is always adjusting to its environment. When we first walk into the bright sun after being indoors, our brain struggles to see easily, but we adjust. The same, unfortunately, can be said for becoming comfortable with dishonesty. If we can minimize the likelihood of dishonest acts, we can make such acts out of the ordinary and thus more “uncomfortable” for our brains. At Nobles, we will always be looking for the areas that need to be tightened up.

Acts of dishonesty will continue to happen. When they do, they will be dealt with in a stern but compassionate fashion. I’m not sure that public shaming contributes to improved behavior (I’ll need Ariely to study that). We do know that individuals are constantly running a “cost / benefit” analysis in their heads, either consciously or unconsciously, and it is appropriate to raise the stakes if the dishonest behaviors persist.

In the end, however, we are dealing with young people who are only just formulating their character, developing their habits of mind and body and evaluating how they should conduct themselves. Errors in judgement are very much part of that process and students should certainly be held accountable when they make mistakes. Middle school students are not angels, but they are also not devils. Like all individuals, they struggle to remain honest, and will receive our expectations, our guidance and our support as they fight the good fight.

"Make Dirt Not Waste" from the Green Team



Did you know that food waste and yard waste make up as much as 1/3 of what we discard? Diverting those items into compost reduces what goes into landfills and also decreases greenhouse gas emissions, among other significant benefits. (https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home)


Compost is organic material from naturally decomposed yard and food waste that can be added to soil to help plants grow. When food and yard waste end up in landfills, their breakdown releases greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.

Benefits of composting: Saving the environment one garbage can at a time

  • Soil conditioner: With compost, you are creating nutrient-rich soil which not only reduces waste but helps your garden, flowers etc. grow.
  • Recycles kitchen and yard waste and therefore lowers your carbon footprint: Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can.
  • Landfills are the single largest direct human source of methane. A whopping one-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials. When these materials break down in a landfill, they become powerful contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Good for the environment: Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Introduces beneficial organisms to the soil: Microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil, break down organic material for plant use and ward off plant disease.

http://makedirtnotwaste.org/sites/default/files/composting_factsheet_0.pdf
http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html

Composting at home is generally done in two ways including:

  • Open yard space for layering yard and food waste (outdoor)
  • Plastic or other composting container (can be homemade or store-bought, either tumbler or basic bin, but tumblers are easier as they contain churning capability which adds oxygen to the process and is important to speeding up the composting process.)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Composting:

Do compost:

  • Fruit scraps
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grass and plant clippings
  • Dry leaves
  • Finely chopped wood and bark chips
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Straw
  • Cut flowers
  • Dryer lint
  • Sawdust from untreated wood

Don’t compost:

  • Anything containing meat, oil, fat, or grease
  • Diseased plant materials
  • Sawdust or chips from pressure-treated wood
  • Dog or cat feces
  • Weeds that go to seed
  • Dairy products

For tips on composting at home, comparison of compost types, and lists of what to and not to compost see:
https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home#benefits
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/compost/how-to-compost/
 

"Prom Reminders" by Head of School Bob Henderson



Dear Nobles upper school parents,

I feel like a senior; in three months I will have my last day at Nobles. I intend to enjoy every remaining minute, and for that reason I particularly hope that we have a smooth and joyous end to the school year. This year has already had its share of immense challenges, yet it also has been wonderful in many ways, demonstrating the strength of our bonds and compassion. The final weeks of the year will fly by, as they always seems to, as we race to graduation and final exams. It is my urgent intention to press parents to do all they can to ensure we have a safe and happy spring.

Annually, I enter this season with deep concern for the welfare of our students. This is not because I do not trust and admire them — I do. Rather, after nearly four decades of working in schools, I have developed well founded worries about student behavior and decisions as we advance toward the finish line. I am compelled annually to implore parents to take these words seriously; exuberance, combined with an adolescent’s sense of immortality, and enhanced by the pressures of peer relationships, can interact with unintended sad or tragic consequences, especially as the year draws to a close. Too many of the wonderful young people whom we love and support sometimes take frightening chances or make poor choices that imperil their physical and psychological health.

I also strongly encourage all parents to establish clear and appropriate boundaries for their children in regard to behavior. I understand that for many of you this battle can become more difficult with every passing month, but I hope to reinforce with you how important it is that you continue to uphold very high expectations for your kids. Please do not wait until something unfortunate happens to have these discussions. This time of year, with the Prom and so many “closure” events, demands particular vigilance.

The arrival of the Prom each April galvanizes these conversations in the homes of our families, and this letter is intended in part to stimulate that process. Let me be clear about some of the details regarding our Prom. All members of Classes I and II are invited, but sometimes they invite members of Class III as dates to attend as well. Moreover, there may be other social events associated with prom night, so all upper school parents should be aware if their children have any plans to be out that evening. 

The Prom is on Saturday, April 22 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight at the Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston. The Prom is chaperoned by members of the Nobles faculty, and students have been exceptionally well behaved in recent years. In its current traditional format, it has been a notably successful event, well supported by students.

All Class I students, their dates and parents will be offered the opportunity to take group photos on the balcony of the Castle beginning at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m. All Class II students will be offered the same optional opportunity in the Arts Center and, weather permitting, in the area known as “The Beach.” The school is also sponsoring and chaperoning the dinner for Classes I and II and their dates prior to the Prom at Maggiano’s Little Italy at 4 Columbus Drive in Boston, from 7:15 to 9:00 p.m. While students going to the Prom are not required to attend this event, the vast majority of them will choose to; it is a fun, inclusive and uncomplicated gathering that sets up the evening well.

Parents should be aware that the School has not adopted the all-night party approach to the Prom because the Nobles faculty has no interest in taking on this responsibility. From the School’s point of view this event is over at midnight. The responsibility for the rest of the night lies with parents, and we believe that parents who want to require their children home at a certain hour should not be confronted by a different message from the school.

The Prom and the dinner before it are school events and all school rules apply, particularly the rule against the use of alcohol and other drugs. It would be a great tragedy if a member of Classes I or II faced dismissal from school at this point in her or his career, and I would appreciate it if you would review the rules and possible penalties with your child. I caution particularly against the consumption of alcohol or other drugs before arrival at the Prom because such an activity is equivalent, under the school rules, to consumption on the premises.

As mentioned above, we believe strongly that parents must take firm responsibility for the evening after the Prom. Indeed, I hope that parents will be especially vigilant in this regard. It is not the case that all or even most students will have after-prom plans, nor should parents concede that this is appropriate or necessary. But in case students do have such intentions, parents should communicate directly with each other. If your child’s plans seem unclear to you, or if they make you at all uncomfortable, ask more questions and follow your instincts. I also strongly discourage you from allowing your children to go to homes that evening where you know that appropriate behavior from students has not been expected in the past. To have your child upset with you because you say “no” is certainly far preferable to compromising health or safety. As you also are aware, the school has asserted a clear and strong disciplinary position in regard to students hosting or organizing large, unsupervised parties, and it would be wise to review that policy, and the associated disciplinary penalties, with your sons and daughters as well. 

It is important in this regard to remember that Massachusetts law explicitly prohibits adult hosts from permitting alcohol to be consumed by minors (other than their own children) in their homes or under their supervision. This statute has been construed to include some circumstances where adults are not immediately or physically present. Needless to say, such choices, however well meaning, expose you to civil and criminal liability, and you may unintentionally place some young people at great risk. Choosing to do this is, frankly, both irresponsible and unsupportive of the school because such social events compromise the culture and health of this community and our students.

Prom night has historically been one of the safest of the year for our students because parents and the school pay such extraordinarily close attention to student plans and behavior. I am grateful for this investment of diligent care and concern by parents. To be honest, however, I worry much more about every other weekend as the spring advances. On these occasions, vigilance tends to be lower and the potential for unfortunate decisions is consequently higher. Please be aware of this as the year draws toward its close.

It is difficult to navigate all this as a parent; I well understand this from personal experience as a parent of teenagers. I share these worries directly with you because they will provide you with a good opportunity to open conversation once again with your children on these matters. We need our students to take care of each other, and we in turn must always play the role of the adults; we can be effective friends and mentors, but never peers. They count on us to do that, no matter how much they may resist and complain.

Please do your best to encourage safe and appropriate behavior from students at all times, but especially as the exuberance of spring builds. Anything you do in this regard will be greatly appreciated not only by me and by the entire faculty of the school, but also by other parents.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Henderson, Jr.
Head of School

"The Prom: Basic Facts & Other Musings" by Provost Bill Bussey



Here we go!

The Prom: April 22

If your child is attending the prom, I would urge you to read and re-read Mr. Henderson’s message regarding the prom in this month’s newsletter. And then spend twenty minutes going over some of its key messages with your child. This is a terrific evening and we’d like your help to keep it that way.

The Real Date to Remember: While the prom is held on Saturday night, the most important date, the line-in-the sand date, is Monday, April 17. Why? That is the last day for Class I & II students to reserve a spot for the Prom Dinner. That’s our deadline and it cannot be changed. Your child will receive a formal invitation and be reminded ad nauseum of this responsibility between now and then.

Cost: Prom: $ 85.00 / Dinner: $50.00

Awkward: If your child has asked or been asked by someone to go with them as a date, please make sure that when they RSVP that there is a clear agreement as to whom is paying for what.

No Class IV students will be allowed to attend the Prom. Some Class III students do get invited.

The Dinner: Class I & Class II will be dining together and with faculty at Maggiano’s in Boston at 7:15 p.m. I will be present at the Prom (roughly my 27th) with Class Deans (Battery Wharf Hotel, 9:00 p.m. - Midnight). As always, we also have plain-clothed security covering the event and exits. In the last three decades of Nobles proms, we have experienced only one very minor misstep that occurred during the prom itself.

EpiPen: If your child has been prescribed one, they MUST bring it.

Pre-Prom Photo Opportunity: Class I students and their parents may shoot prom photos on campus at the Castle from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Class II students and their parents may take prom photos from inside the Performing Arts Building or on the Beach, weather and lawn conditions permitting. No surprise, but it can get a bit crowded; last year parking was a bit difficult but people enjoyed it and all went smoothly. We have a parking plan for this portion of the evening that we will send out later.

Please don’t feel that the photo session is something that you have to do. Here’s why: At the prom, Nobles grad, Randy Smith, who makes his living as a professional photographer in New York City will be at our event. He has been our prom photographer for over a decade. He takes a zillion photos of every grouping imaginable for those who ask. In the past we have sent the entire batch to your children. They do not pass them on to you. This year we will send them to you via email as well.

Know that every year some students choose to attend with a group of friends rather than go with a date. We do everything on our end to encourage that approach. For a variety of reasons the prom generally means more to Class I students than to Class II students; more than a few Class II students sit this one out. And that’s okay, too. Since this is the first go-round for many Class II students, it’s little surprise that many juniors grow anxious as the event nears. We ask that all parents help us in keeping a realistic perspective regarding this evening. 

Navigating Transportation: If there is one area you should keep your eye on, other than what happens after the prom, especially if you are a Class II parent, it is this one. For many students, navigating prom transportation, not just the mode but especially with whom, inevitably can grow unnecessarily complicated. Feelings get hurt. Cars and limousines only hold a finite number of people. Too often students leave the transportation details to the last minute. Guide, suggest and support. And then step back a bit and let your child work it out.

And to All a Goodnight: Our responsibility with regards to this evening ends at midnight or when your child leaves the Battery Wharf Hotel. The chaperones stay until midnight, but students generally leave much earlier to avoid higher limousine costs, adhere to license restrictions, and to get a jump as to where they are heading afterwards.  When they depart, they are then your responsibility. Know where your child is going, know what they are doing, and have a clear plan as to when your child returns home and how. 

Civil & Criminal Liability: It is our experience that there will in all likelihood be a few parents who will disregard our concerns and feelings about what happens under their roof following the prom. Asking parents not to break the law, especially on this night, seems like a reasonable request. Most after-prom parties at the very best simply get weird and uncomfortable as the clock ticks — at their worst, humiliating, life threatening and tragic. If your child is spending a few hours or the entire evening night at someone’s, I see no reason as to why you shouldn’t contact the host(s) directly.

Each year I end this note with a quote from a mom and dad who thought they and a few other adults could serve alcohol to a small group of students (“Really nice kids who we knew for years”) without any incidents:

“We must have been out of our minds. What were we thinking?”

As always, thank you for your help and understanding.
 

MS Parent Reps



Welcome back from spring break! We hope everyone had a restful two weeks. April is a fun month in the middle school for students and parents alike. New prospective students will be touring the campus as they begin the process of making their final decision for next year.  To help with this process your child may be asked to guide a future student around campus. Additionally there is a middle school dance and middle school Arts Night with a concert.  There are also some entertaining parent-only activities planned this month including the Middle School Spring Parent Social that you may RSVP to below. 

Key Events and Dates for Middle School in April 2017:

Monday, April 3 and Thursday, April 6:  Visit days for accepted students

Thursday, April 6:  Art in Bloom, a PA-sponsored flower arranging class, hosted by Cindy Jaczko will be held for parents on campus.  Information regarding time, location and signup will be available in the weekly emails.

Friday, April 7:  Middle School Multi-School Dance in Richardson Gym 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to attend and have some fun.

Wednesday, April 12:  PA Spring Book Group Discussion. The book this semester is "Girls and Sex" by Peggy Orenstein. Details on time, location and signup will be available in the weekly emails.

Friday, April 14:  Middle School No Homework Weekend #3

Monday, April 17:  No School — Patriot's Day/Marathon Monday

Thursday, April 20:  Middle School Parent Social. To view invitation and RSVP please click here and log in to the Nobles website.

Tuesday, April 25:  Summer Trips Information Meeting for Parents & Students, Lawrence Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 27:  Middle School Arts Night/Concert

We hope you had an enjoyable break, and we look forward to seeing you in April. Please let us know if we can provide any additional information or answer any parent-related questions.

Thank you,
Class V Reps
Kate Saunders, ksaunders79@gmail.com
Kristin Welo, kcwelo@comcast.net

Class VI Reps
Melissa Janfaza, Melissa@janfaza.com
Sarina Katz, sarina@rkcenters.com

From the PA Co-Chairs



Welcome back!  We hope you and your families had a restful break. Spring is always a busy time at Nobles and this is year is no exception. We hope you will join us for some fun and enriching parent activities coming up as well as the class-specific dinners and coffees. Please see the separate class notes for details. Here are some of the key PA events for the month:

April PA Meeting
Our monthly PA meeting is on Wednesday, April 12, at 8:00 a.m. in the Castle Library. Head of the Upper School Michael Denning will lead a panel of faculty members to give us a glimpse of the academic talent that our children are fortunate to experience every day.

Parent Book Group Discussion
Also on Wednesday, April 12, please join us for an all-encompassing discussion of best-selling book by New York Times author Peggy Orenstein, "Girls & Sex, Navigating the Complicated New Landscape." There will be an optional dinner in the Castle, $5 chit, followed by our discussion at 7:00 p.m. Kindly RSVP to Lee Collins, (lee4@mac.com).

Parent Circuit Training Classes
Get ready for spring and summer by getting in shape with Dan Warren, one of the Nobles trainers.  Meet at the MAC fitness room on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8:15. All fitness levels are welcome! Payment is made directly to Dan Warren, cash or check; $80 for a session of four or $25 drop in. Please email Anne Gatnik with any questions or to add your name to the list in case of cancellations or changes to the schedule (agatnik@comcast.net).

Floral Workshop
Back by popular demand, on Thursday, April 6, at 9:00 a.m., we will be holding a floral workshop, Nobles Art in Bloom, led by Nobles parent Cindy Jaczko. There will be a small fee to cover materials. Please RSVP to Anne Gatnik (agatnik@comcast.net)

Happy Spring!

Anne Kelley and Kennie Grogan
PA Co-Chairs

Class II Reps



Dear Class II Parents,

We hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Spring Break! Junior spring is officially upon us and although it can be a trying time, it helps to alleviate stress to talk with others going through the same thing. With that in mind, we are looking forward to seeing everyone at our next Class II event, the Parent Social on Friday, April 21 at the Castle.  

Kindly RSVP using this link if you haven’t already done so. Thanks so much and hope to see everyone April 21!


Sincerely,

Your Class II Reps

Gretchen Filoon: gjfiloon@gmail.com
Jessica Patterson: jpatt10@comcast.net 

Class III Parent Reps



Class III Parents,

Happy spring and welcome back! We hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable spring break.  It’s hard to believe that we are in the last quarter of sophomore year. With wonderful weather on the horizon and a spring full of activities, our children have lots to look forward to.

We hope to see you as well on the sidelines of athletic events, at performances or elsewhere on campus and we hope you will save the following dates for as they are great opportunities to get together with fellow class parents.

Friday, April 21 from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.  Parent Coffee in the Castle

Friday, May 19 from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.  Parent Spring Social in the Castle (email invitation to follow)

As usual please check the Nobles website and Friday Notes for updates and announcements. Please contact us anytime for questions.

Cheers to warmer weather and the arrival of spring!

Susie Winstanley, susie.win@comcast.net
Heather Markey, hsmarkey@icloud.com

Class IV Parent Reps



Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back from spring break. We hope you had an enjoyable vacation. Class IV has a busy spring schedule! Here are a few events you may want to mark on your calendars.

Wednesday, April 12, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. PA Meeting in the Castle Dining Hall

Thursday, April 13, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.  Class IV Parent Spring Coffee in the Castle Library

Monday, April 17, Patriots Day – School Closed

Monday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Class IV Surprise Lunch. If you would like to volunteer please click here.  It is a fun lunch for our children and a great way to meet other parents. We would appreciate the help!   

Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Summer Trips Parent and Student Informational
Meeting in Lawrence Auditorium

Thursday, April 27, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. Class IV Spring Parent Social in the Castle Dining Hall.  Kindly RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you.  

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Warmly,

Deanna DiNovi (deanna@dinovi.net)
Catherine Walkey (catherinewalkey@comcast.net)

Class IV Deans' Letter



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!

Fondly,
Kimya Charles & E.B. Bartels 
Class IV Deans

Class I Parent Reps



Welcome back from spring break!  “Senior Spring” has now officially begun – it’s time for spring projects, Class I dinner, Prom night and anticipation for June graduation!  April is a relatively quiet month as far at the PA is concerned. Below please find scheduled events for this month and for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, April 4, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Class I Dinners (off-campus)
Monday April 17, Patriots Day - School closed
Saturday, April 22, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Prom Photos/ 9:00 p.m. – 11:58 p.m. Nobles Prom

Friday, May 5, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. – Class I Parent Social (parent event)
Tuesday, May 30, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. – “The Way We Were” (Class I student celebration)
Tuesday, May 30, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Class I Projects Night (Class I, faculty, staff)
Wednesday, May 31, 5:30 - 9 p.m. — Class I Night  (Class I, faculty, staff)
Thursday, June 1, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.  — Awards Night (parents, faculty and staff)

Friday, June 2, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. – Graduation (details to follow)
Friday, June 2, Graduation Party (student event)

Hope to see you all around campus this spring!
Sherri Anthansia, sathanasia@me.com
Rikki Conely, RikkiConley@comcast.net
Sarah Keating, sarahcampbellkeating@gmail.com

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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at kim_neal@nobles.edu.