Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

November 2017

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter November 2017

"How Do You Know?" by Head of School Catherine J. Hall, Ph.D.

This week in assembly, I shared a story with the students about the day last September when I told my children we were moving to Boston to join the Nobles community. My oldest son, Matthew, who was nine at the time, was not particularly excited at the prospect of our move. In fact, when I shared the news with him, there were a lot of tears. Matthew was understandably panicked about leaving what he knew to be his safe and happy place with his friends and his home. When I tried to reassure him by telling him he would be fine, he immediately asked me, “How do you know I will be fine? How do you know I will make new friends? How do you know I will like my new school? How do you know I will be ok?”

Amidst tremendous uncertainty, when we feel we have the least control over our lives, it can feel like our foundation is shifting on us. All of the assumptions we have about what allows us to be happy are suddenly thrown up in the air. This is certainly true for our students as they are facing what feels like very high stakes choices or events, with little life experience to reassure them that they will actually be fine. For our seniors choosing a college, or our students facing tough outcomes with grades or challenging social situations, it can feel like there is little control with everything riding on getting one particular outcome, and with indelible consequences from any major failure.

The truth is, of course, that the stakes are very rarely as high as our students believe them to be. Very few choices or mistakes are truly unfixable, just as very few great decisions are really as perfect as they may seem at first. At times, there may be consequences we don’t like from a misstep, but we can still almost always find our way to a happy place, even if things seem dire in the moment.

I knew my son would be ok, not because I knew he would be immediately ecstatic at his new school, but because I knew he ultimately controls his happiness. He is very loved, he has a safe home, and he is surrounded by tons of people eager to support him. That foundation gives him the gift to make decisions along the way to take charge of his happiness. If the first choice does not seem right, there is always the next few dozen choices that follow to toggle in the right direction. Sometimes, our bigger missteps in life actually provide the best opportunity to make a great next decision, pushing us to reflect and regroup to right the ship, often gaining great insights along the way.

I shared with our students that millennials are, on average, changing jobs four times in the decade after graduating college. That statistic does not suggest there were three prior mistakes! Rather, it means our students should take it in stride that they will throw their hopes in one direction, and may then unexpectedly shift sights somewhere else. Rather than seeing that change as a sign of failure, it should be embraced as part of their smart, informed way of navigating life, their willingness to be responsive and adaptive to their emerging experiences, interests and skills. This more flexible, less high-stakes lens takes the pressure off the worry that any one success or failure will issue a verdict of some kind in their lives.

It is a given that the big moments in our students’ lives are filled with at least some degree of worry and stress. Ultimately, though, I hope our students embrace rather than fear these decisions, recognizing the tremendous possibility that lies within them, and the large group of family, teachers and friends who surround them with unending support as they navigate their journey.

Upcoming Music and Dance Events

November 8 & 10: Fall Dance Concert, Vinik Theatre

November 30: Choral Concert, Lawrence Auditorium

December 7: Jazz/Blues Concert, Lawrence Auditorium

All events are free with no tickets or reservations needed. More details & info to follow.
We hope you can join us!

Foster Gallery: Visual Arts Chair John Hirsch

Visual Arts Chair John Hirsch has published his first monograph, And Again: Photographs from the Harvard Forest. The book chronicles the research, scientists and ephemera of a 3,750-acre research forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. Essays by David Foster, Clarisse Hart and Margot Anne Kelley expand the scope of this photographic exploration at the nexus of science and art.

Published by Harvard University Press, this 136-page book has 70 photographs that explore both the quixotic and the beautiful. Hirsch says, "The body of work addresses a desire to understand, describe and predict the evolution of our surroundings, while showing reverence for the possibility of sublime moments in a place. The forest is here a microcosm for the world in which we live, and this work helps us to envision the future we may inhabit, making the book a useful and engaging vantage from which to consider pressing issues of climate change, ecosystem resilience, and land and water use."

A solo exhibition of works from And Again opened October 26 in Foster Gallery and will be on view until December 8.

Visit John Hirsch's website.

"I Just Want You to Be Happy" by Head of Upper School Michael Denning

During a recent visit, one of my friends told me about a “swear jar” he had placed in his kitchen and into which he and his family make monetary contributions when they use inappropriate language. The father of four adolescents, my friend tries to be a good role model and he uses this symbolic, public consequence as a means to set expectations concerning behavior, maintain norms of civility and acknowledge mistakes. Indeed, for his family members, this receptacle serves as an important reminder that they need to think about the impact of their words before they say them. Emily and I are considering installing a similar type of jar in our kitchen, but instead of serving as a repository for fines for foul language, this collection device would be for every time we suggest to our son that we “just want him to be happy.

This phrase—“I just want you to be happy”—rolls off the tongues of many of us with an ease, naturalness, and certainty that would suggest that it is one of the most profound of truths. Of course we want our children to smile often and to experience the euphoria that comes with feeling happy. I suspect that we would also all agree that we don’t want our children to be chronically unhappy. But who among us has gone through life in a perpetual state of happiness? Moreover, can we even experience moments of happiness without having moments of challenge, difficulty, and failure—unhappiness—to which we can compare these? Perhaps most importantly, do we know what we are communicating when we use the term happiness with our children?

  • Do we ever define what we mean by happiness?
  • Do we discuss what elements make up a “happy” life?
  • Do we consider what our students may actually hear and internalize when we say, “I just want you to be happy”?
  • Do we think through the expectations we may be placing upon our children when we tell them, “I just want you to be happy”?

Considered in these contexts, when we say “I just want you to be happy” could we be telling our children that they are disappointing us when they are not happy?

The end of the first quarter and fall afternoon-program seasons are upon us, and if we educators are caring for, nurturing, and teaching our students well, we will be providing thorough feedback on their progress across our programs. Much of this feedback will be encouraging and should speak to the respect and affection we have for our students as well as our appreciation for what they have given of themselves and persevered through during this demanding first quarter. But some of the feedback should be challenging and difficult to hear and cause our students moments of frustration, disappointment, and, indeed, unhappiness.

While not enjoyable, these periods of temporary unhappiness are extremely important to the development of not only analytical and problem solving skills, but also resilience, self-advocacy, and perseverance, and it is here that we parents have to step up and do our part. While it may be tempting for us to try to problem solve for our children, we need to try to do so with them. As we talk with our children, we need to consider:

  • Giving their teachers, advisors, coaches, and directors the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.
  • Urging our students not to dismiss criticism or blame others for their results; blaming others can become a habit that, in the long run, could greatly impede intellectual and emotional growth.
  • Insisting that our children engage with their teachers’ feedback until they understand as well as possible what is being communicated.
  • Encouraging our children to take full advantage of all the supports available at Nobles—from their teachers, advisors and deans as well as the Academic Support Office, the Counseling Office, and the Peer Help Program.
  • Engaging our children in a discussion about the importance of steady improvement; one’s education is a marathon and not a sprint.
  • Discussing with our children what they can and cannot control today, and helping them to learn to tell the difference between the two. (Niebuhr, 1926)
  • Being clear and honest about our expectations, with ourselves and our children, and focusing more on the inputs and processes and less on the outcomes.
  • Emphasizing the primacy of effort, curiosity, determination, self-advocacy, and enthusiasm.

While most of us endeavor to offer our children unconditional love, our kids don’t always experience us in this way. For worse (and often for better), our relationship with our kids is inextricably linked to our hopes and expectations, and they feel this regularly. So for our kids’ health and wellness, let’s make sure that our hopes are fair and reasonable, and that our expectations are, too.

"Your Brain on Failure" by Director of Academic Support Michael Hoe

I was recently reading a book to my daughter before bed entitled Rosie Revere, Engineer, which is about an imaginative girl who wants to build things. However, a failed invention coupled with laughter from her uncle makes her vow to herself that “she would never invent things again.” Later in the book, a Great Great Aunt teaches her the importance of focusing on the successes in her failure and to embrace the process, rather than on the failure itself.

At Nobles, we all hold ourselves to incredibly high standards, and time and time again, I hear that failure is simply “not an option.” But it should be. For years, psychologists and neuroscientists have been researching how both success and failure affect the brain and how that might manifest in various aspects of life.

Recent studies have shown that, contrary to popular belief, failure does not necessarily rewire the brain. Unlike success, the actual effects of failure on the brain have yet to be seen. However, ample research shows that failure triggers the stress response in the brain, which increases levels of cortisol released in the brain. This definitely activates memory pathways, stimulates fear-based responses, and ultimately results in physiological responses such as: the sweaty palms, the increase in breathing rate, the knots in the stomach, and all of the other undesirable stressful responses that we’ve experienced. And, not only are the physical symptoms unpleasant, but heightened levels of cortisol actually also cause us to miss the objective components of that failed experience that could have actually taught us something. Also...SPOILER ALERT: Internalizing failure induces the aforementioned stress response and anxiety which are actually counterproductive to learning. In extreme cases, high levels of stress can actually kill neurons and damage existing neural networks, causing people to actually forget previously learned knowledge. 

So how can we better frame failure? In an article in Forbes (and later published on HuffPost), Caroline Beaton suggests these three ways to reimagine failure which I’ve summarized into: Set clear, attainable goals that propel you forward and prepare for “setbacks or emergencies.” If and when you do fail, don’t dwell on it or use it to threaten yourself. Reframe it and learn from it.

Sure, “dreaming big,” is always good, but research shows that, when people fail to meet a large, lofty goals, the resulting disappointment can be heightened. Instead, dream big, but set some smaller, more attainable goals along the way to use as “springboards” for continuing work toward the larger end goal. Not only will this increase net overall productivity, but it will also help with planning, organizing, executing, and pivoting when necessary (and all of those other lovely executive functions that we all love).

When we try to find positives in failures, it helps us take something that does not naturally affect the brain (failure) and turn it into something that actually does use an internal mechanism in the brain (success). Furthermore, countless studies have shown that, by focusing on small successes, performance and motivation levels of the individual noticeably increase through the completion of the goal. In more and more companies, there are now “Failure Departments” where failed protocols, designs, experiments, business plans, etc. are all documented and then published during the company's annual reviews.  According to one of the “Heads of Failure” at Engineers without Borders Canada, they don’t necessary celebrate or glamorize failure, but they try to maximize what they can learn from those failures. In many ways, these companies have realized that many of the successes that they end up celebrating would not have even been discovered had it not been for one, two, or a hundred failures along the way.

At Nobles, we shouldn’t be scared of failure or try and “forget” failures. Instead, as adults in the Nobles community, we should aim to be more like Rosie’s Great Great Aunt and help students identify, acknowledge, and learn from their failures. This could ultimately help them achieve hundreds of successes that they might not have been able to identify had they found success right off the bat. 

To end, here is a quote from Rosie Revere, Engineer.  (This happens after Rosie has failed to build a successful “Heli-o-cheese-copter” to help her Great Great Aunt achieve her lifelong desire to fly.)

‘Your brilliant first flop was a raging success! Come on, let’s get busy and on to the next!’ She handed a notebook to Rosie Revere, who smiled at her aunt as it all became clear.  Life might have its failures, but this was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit.

Save the Date: Nobles Night

Save the Date!

Nobles Night—a special evening to celebrate Nobles
Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:30 p.m. in the Morrison Athletic Center

***Please note: this is NOT a student event

For further information, contact:

Special Events Coordinator Katherine Minevitz or 781-320-7009

"A Good Fit" by Dean of Enrollment Management Jennifer Hines

After 15 years at Nobles, I was given the gift of a year long sabbatical. I entered into it with a great deal of anticipation and plenty of plans about how I wanted to spend the time, and I’ll be honest, most of the plans involved doing things that working full time doesn’t easily lend itself to. Traveling was at the top of the list. My wife and I agreed on one guiding principle; we only wanted to see snow from distant mountaintops (the winter of 2014-15 weighed heavily on our decision making...). We rented out our house for the year and hit the road! Given that I literally removed myself from my daily life, I thought that I would be able to put my professional life aside until I returned to Nobles. Little did I know that the time away would lead me to an epiphany of sorts about the ways in which we seek to enroll mission-appropriate students at Nobles.

We spent an extended period in Australia and New Zealand and had arranged that a good deal of our time in those countries would be spent traveling by car. We wanted to have the experience of traveling at our own pace while also having the flexibility to change plans on the go. I will say in making these plans that we underestimated two things. One, driving long distances on the opposite side of the road than you are used to is not always as simple as it seems (rotaries, I’m thinking of you!). Two, the terrain of New Zealand, while stunning, means that a lot of your drives can be on what feels like the edge of cliffs where any mistake could mean your car plummets to an unfortunate end.

It was at the end of one of these drives that I pulled into a service station, completely white-knuckled on the steering wheel, heart rate elevated. I had to enter the small store to pay for gas, (sorry, petrol!), before pumping and by the time I returned to the car, there was an attendant pumping the petrol for me. I thanked her for her help and she said, “You don’t sound like you’re from around here. Oh wait!  Are you American? I’ve never met an American before and I’ve always wanted to!” I immediately felt the pressure of how to somehow represent a country of 350 million people to a New Zealander who had never left the North Island. She asked me what I did for a living. I explained my job and the very next thing she said to me was, “Huh. You decide who you want to admit, but do you know that everyone you admit will be happy at your school?”

I actually can’t remember the response that I gave her (hopefully something that doesn’t have her thinking disparagingly about Americans). She got me thinking about how successful we are or are not in admitting “mission-appropriate” students. It’s one thing to consider a student’s academic credentials and the activities they involve themselves with, but when you overlay who we are and what we stand for, it’s inevitable that some students will fit Nobles best. We are currently undergoing a review of our admission application and one of the things we are considering is how well the questions we ask ascertain “fit” of the student to our program. At the end of the day, I want to be sure that, while we want to know what students will bring to Nobles, it is as important to know how Nobles can shape them and hopefully bring them happiness. I think my friend in New Zealand would be pleased.

Save the Date: Grandparents Day

Save the Date!
Grandparents Day
Friday, May 4, 2018

For further information, contact:
Special Events Coordinator Katherine Minevitz or 781-320-7009

"It's Good to Both Give and Receive" by Director of the Anderson/Cabot Center for EXCEL Ben Snyder

It happened so unexpectedly.

And was such a revelation.

My Modern America at War class was having a really interesting discussion about how easy it is for the 99% of Americans who don’t serve in the military not to feel threatened by the prospect of war—and how that shapes the attention we pay (or don’t pay) to potential military confrontations. Sitting next to me at the round table in the Memorial Room—during her first day of visiting classes at Nobles from our Japanese partner school in Sapporo— was Kahori, a young woman who had graciously introduced herself a few minutes before.

As the conversation progressed, the topic of North Korea emerged, and I could tell Kahori had edged a bit forward in her seat.

Not fully confident of her English facility, I took a risk in asking, “Kahori, might you have some perspective on this given Sapporo’s proximity to North Korea?”

After a pause to gather her thoughts she said, “Yes. Just two weeks ago the sirens went off with a warning because of a North Korean test. We were told that if or when an attack happens, we are to go to the subway as quickly as possible or get into our basements.”

My students nodded attentively, the implications of her words unfolding.

“Unfortunately, my family doesn’t live near the subway—and we don’t have a basement.”

And there was an almost audible silence around the table. Suddenly and unexpectedly, through the voice of a teenager we barely knew, the reality of the very human cost of war and our vulnerability became apparent.

Over the last twelve months Nobles students and families have welcomed student visitors from Japan, China, Spain, France and Turkey, and moments like these have created not just potential lifelong friendships but a new awareness in our students of the world around them.

Because of our visitors, the independence movement for Catalonia in Spain has new resonance. The prospect of war with North Korea and the potential impact on our Chinese and Japanese friends becomes real. Turkish classmates describe the recent political turmoil in personal terms.

We often talk of the importance of getting out into the world, but bringing the world to us is valuable and important. Because of the generosity of many Nobles families to receive our visitors, these opportunities to learn, share, grow and perhaps most importantly develop new friendships are available. If you have not yet had the privilege of hosting a visiting student, I strongly encourage you to do so. Please talk to a family who has taken advantage of the opportunity, and they will surely convince you.

And perhaps if you’re fortunate, you’ll have a moment like my class had with Kahori around your dinner table. 

Class III Notes

Dear Fellow Class III Parents and Guardians,

What a beautiful fall we are having! We hope you were able to enjoy all the different activities taking place at Nobles during the month of October. The PA Cookout, the Yard Sale, the student-directed plays, the class social and coffee just to name a few.
On the academic side, we hope the kids finished well in the first quarter and we would like to remind you that your kids’ advisors have set aside Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 14, 15 and 16 to meet with you should you want to. Do not hesitate to contact them to schedule.

Although November is a short month, there are still some dates to add to your calendar:

Thursday, November 9, 6:30-10 p.m. Nobles Night!

Saturday, November 11: Milton/Nobles day. Bring your school spirit and come cheer!

Monday, November 13: Nobles Veterans Day Holiday. School is closed.

Wednesday, November 22 to Friday, November 24: Thanksgiving break.

Future Class III happenings include the Surprise Lunch on February 8 (shhhhhh!) and the Head of School Dance on Saturday, March 3. Stay tuned for volunteer signups as we get closer!

We hope to see you on campus in November and we wish you and your families a happy Thanksgiving! As always, do not hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way.

Warm regards,

Nathalie Ducrest (Paloma Ducrest’s mom)
Sylvia Kuzman Crawford (Finn Crawford’s mom)

Class II Notes

Dear Class II Parents and Guardians,

Thanks to all those who attended the Class II Parent Social. We had a terrific turnout, which is a great way to start out the year by reconnecting with old friends and meeting new acquaintances in the class.

We appreciate all that the college counseling office is doing to help our children begin their journey towards selecting a college to attend after Nobles. This past month, the college counseling staff hosted a workshop introducing Class II parents and guardians to the college counseling program at Nobles. To learn more about the college process, you can go to the “Parent” section of the Nobles website under the “Upper School” tab and click on “College Counseling” for information about the college counseling team, timelines, testing information and other related information.

Some dates to keep in mind during the busy fall season:

  • Saturday, November 4: SAT
  • Thursday, November 9: Nobles Night
  • Wednesday, November 8 and Friday, November 10, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Fall Dance Concert
  • Saturday, November 11: Nobles vs Milton Day
  • Monday, November 13: Nobles Veterans Day Holiday—SCHOOL CLOSED
  • Wednesday, November 15, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Parents’ Association Book Discussion Group
  • Wednesday, November 22-Sunday, November 26: Thanksgiving Holiday, SCHOOL CLOSED
  • Thursday, November 30, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Choral Concert

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Mimi Eldridge (
Joan Weinsten (

Class I Notes

Thanks to all the parents who volunteered and helped to run a spooktacular Halloween Surprise Lunch for our Class I students. We appreciate your donations of goodies, decorations and time for an enjoyable event. We would like to remind you of our Class I Fall Parent Social coming up on Friday, November 17. We hope to see many of you, so please join us.

Please mark your calendars: there will be no PA meeting in December, so our next meeting will be November 28.

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

Tuesday, November 14: Mandatory Senior Transition Event 5-7:30 p.m in Vinik Theatre.  Dinner will be served.

Monday, November 13: Veterans’ Day observance. School closed.

Friday, November 17: Class I Fall Parent Social 6:30-9:30 p.m. Upper Castle Dining Room.

Wednesday, November 22-Friday, November 24: Thanksgiving break.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. 

Juls Dixon,, (C) 781-710-3861
AE Rueppel,, (C) 617-851-3491
Karen Volo,, (C) 978-8705489

Class IV Notes

Dear Class IV Parents,

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, or simply cheer for your child at some of his/her games. There are still plenty of volunteer opportunities to get involved with in the school, which are great ways to meet other parents. Please check the Nobles website for these opportunities.

The Yard Sale and Saturday Night Lights were very successful, and we hope you were able to attend some of these wonderful community-building events. Our Class IV Fall Social in the Castle was fantastic and we had a great turnout! Thank you to all who were able to attend.

Please note the following:

  • The marking period is ending and conferences with your child’s advisor will be held in November. More information on this will follow from your child’s advisor.
  • As the fall afternoon program season draws to a close, please be mindful of changes in the afternoon schedule. Check the Nobles online calendar for your child’s specific afternoon activity.


Some important dates to keep in mind:

November 9: Nobles Night in the MAC.

November 11:  Nobles/Milton day. Come cheer on the Dawgs at Milton.

November 13:  No school in honor of Veterans Day.

November 14, 15, 16: Parent/Guardian Advisor Meetings.

November 22: Thanksgiving break begins.

November 27: School resumes and winter afternoon program begins.

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


Lori Shaer –
Heather Steele -

From the Parents' Association

In this month of thanksgiving, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parent volunteers who help our PA run so efficiently. October saw a flurry of PA activity, and we are grateful to the many parents who donated their time and energy to PA events this fall. A special thank you to our Class Reps who have done a superb job organizing class coffees and socials. It has been wonderful to see so many parents and guardians enthusiastically gather over the past few weeks. We also want to extend an enormous thank you to Anne Kelley and Barb Emery for their extraordinary planning and execution of the Nobles Yard Sale. We are so grateful to them, as well as all of the parents who gave their time, their physical labor, and their donated treasures to make this Yard Sale such a tremendous accomplishment and triumph. The event raised nearly $25,000 for Achieve and immeasurably raised the spirit of our community. Bravo!

As we head into November, we wish to draw your attention to a few of our upcoming events. Be sure to join us for our November PA Meeting on Tuesday, November 28 at 8:00 in the Castle Library. We are thrilled to welcome Michael Hoe, Director of Academic Support, as our featured speaker. Michael will speak with parents about academic support resources available to our children, and he will provide some strategies that parents can use to help their children at home. Join us to learn some new techniques, and put this newfound knowledge into practice just in time for exams. 

Other Notable PA Events:

Thursday, November 2   PA Outing to Chinatown

Monday, November 6   Faculty and Staff Appreciation Lunch

Wednesday, November 15  PA Drop-In Book Group

Friday, November 17   Community Service Outing to Cradles to Crayons

Thursday, November 30   Pre-Choral Concert Reception

Please refer to the Wednesday and Friday weekly emails for more detailed information regarding these events.  We hope you will plan to join us!

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are so grateful to be a part of the Nobles community, and extend our gratitude to the faculty, staff and administrators who make our school so special.

Warmest Regards,

Gina Doyle and Isabelle Loring
PA Co-Chairs 

Middle School Notes

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, middle school dean and Jen Hamilton, director of counseling, for speaking at the first middle school coffee. We appreciate their insight and are grateful they could spend some time with us. It was also a great morning of connecting with new and old friends. 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.

Middle School November 2017 Events

Thursday, November 2 - Flu Clinic in Morrison Forum from 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
There will be a flu clinic held in Morrison Forum (Middle School) for students, parents and Nobles’ employees. It is being provided by Maxim Health Systems. Only vaccinations will be offered, no flu mist.

You may pay with cash or check payable to Maxim Health Systems ($30) or choose to use your insurance. If your insurance is not listed below, you will have to pay with cash/check.  Please note: United Health Plan is not accepted.

Maxim accepts Tufts Health Plans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MA (including HMO Blue New England), Aetna, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Fallon Community Health Plan, Mass Health, Medicare Part B, PFFS type Medicare Advantage, Neighborhood Health Plan, Humana Gold Choice, Premara Blue Cross, SummaCare, Unicare, Anthem, Sierra Health and Life and Connecticare.

A copy of the health insurance card will need to be provided at the time of the vaccination if insurance is to be used.

Parents and guardians who wish to have their children vaccinated should print out and complete the consent form that is available online and either fax it to the Health Office (fax# 781-459-0204) or send it with your child on the day of the clinic. Consent forms can be found on the Nobles' password protected parent site (  On the left side, click on the "Parent Resources and Forms" link and then scroll to the bottom where you will find the flu vaccination forms.  If you will be paying cash/check for the vaccination, use the "flu vaccine: immunization consent."  If you will be using your insurance, please use the "flu vaccine: insurance consent." If you have any questions, please contact the Health Office at (781) 320-7070. Thank you.

Friday, November 3: Middle School Students will be dismissed at 3:30 p.m. (No MS Afternoon Program)

Wednesday, November 8 & Friday, November 10: Fall Dance Concerts. The dancers will hold two performances, Wednesday, November 8 and Friday, November 10, both at 6:30 p.m. in the Vinik Theatre.

Thursday, November 9: Nobles Night in the Morrison Athletic Center from 6:30-10 p.m. To register online, please go to

Friday, November 10: 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.

Saturday, November 11: Milton Games for Varsity & Junior Varsity teams @ Milton Academy.

Monday, November 13: Nobles observes Veterans Day—school closed.

Tuesday, November 14-Thursday, November 16: 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.

Thursday, November 16: The 15th Annual Middle School Pie Drive.
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. All MS students will work on this project until 4:30 p.m. The Pie Drive is a community service event that brings students, parents and teachers together to assemble hundreds of apple pies for Thanksgiving. Over 150 pies will be donated to the Single Parent Outreach Center in Boston, Cor Unum in Lawrence and the Dedham Food Pantry. Approximately 200 more pies will be sold to the Nobles community.

This year’s proceeds will support two urban agriculture locations in Boston: Oasis on Ballou and Urban Farming Institute.

Please consider getting involved in this important event at Nobles by volunteering your time on November 16. To volunteer please go to this link: Pie Drive Volunteer Sign up
Donated ingredients must be dropped off to the Middle School Forum no later than Friday, November 10.

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

On Monday, November 20, 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.

Tuesday, November 21-Sunday, November 26: Thanksgiving Break begins at the end of the academic day. School will be closed Wednesday, November 22 and will reopen on Monday, November 27.

Monday, November 27: Winter Afternoon Program begins.

Thursday, November 30: Class Vl "Who Am I?" Event at 5:30 p.m. in Morrison Forum and Pratt classrooms. Winter Choral Concert to follow starting at 7:00 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium. This will be a no homework night for Class Vl (only).

Class III Deans Letter

Hello Class III Parents and Guardians,

We hope this letter finds you well, and taking advantage of this unusually warm fall. It is always a difficult transition to go from the freedoms offered by the summer months, back to the rigor of the school year. As Class Deans, our goal is to make sure this transition, especially sophomore year, is met with the needed support both academically and emotionally.

We hope our students enjoyed their retreat at Blue Hills. While challenging, we view this as a good opportunity for our students to both interact with classmates they might not normally spend time with and to navigate new situations and reflect on their roles in groups as a way to start to think about who they want to be in the bigger community. 

In order to create a more open and inclusive community, the Diversity & Inclusion department has encouraged all students and faculty members to explore their identity through storytelling. The hope is that community members can find points of relatability with other’s experiences. The department also hopes that exposure to different stories will grow our student’s cultural lense. We are excited to hear from our students.

If students are looking for opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom, there are many clubs and organizations that meet weekly. Additionally, students are encouraged to think about traveling with Nobles. The spring and summer opportunities are as follows: New Orleans, India, Romania/Bulgaria, Guatemala, Rwanda, France and Japan. These trips make a lasting impact on those who experience them; we hope that students will continue to explore Nobles trips in the future.

In addition, every year 10-15 students study away from Nobles during their Class II year. If your student is interested in studying away next year, he or she needs to begin planning soon! On Wednesday, November 15th, all Class III students will hear presentations from the following programs during X-block: 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, and King’s Academy in Jordan. Additionally, representatives from each of these study away programs will set up a table in Gleason Hall from 9 am - 12 pm so that students may speak to them, gather more detailed information, and have their specific questions answered. Visit this page or speak with Study Away Coordinator Laura Yamartino ( for more information.

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.

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

Kind Regards,
Amy Joyce & Edgar De Leon
Class III Deans

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at