May/June News from the Big Apple

Dear Upper School Families,

Spring- well, the rainy, raw season is quickly sliding toward summer! My news this month is all about the upcoming end of year events! Read carefully and put this on the fridge or that key place in your home.

Students and teachers alike are working hard and beginning to prepare for the end of the year. As fast as we are speeding toward that end, there is much academic, artistic and athletic work to do before we rest for the summer.

-Seventh grade student and Parent Secondary School Orientation- 5:30, Tuesday, May 14 in the Laverack room following home games. Snacks provided for our hungry athletes. This is an important look ahead to the process of looking for next schools.

- Winter and spring Sports Banquet -Wednesday, May 22, immediately following the games on the Upper Fields. Breezy Surette will send details about that soon.

-Field Day: Field day is Friday, May 24. This is a blast of a day! We go over to Fitchburg State University and compete in track and field events as well as some other sillier events. This is the culminating event of our Green and White competitions for the year. There is a noon dismissal.

-Our Sixth Grade Shakespeare production is Thursday night, May 30 at 7:00. Sixth grade cast members and families,  we invite you for dinner beforehand at 5:45 PM in the Stone Family Dining Hall. Information about RSVP and what food you can contribute will be coming from Jen Caldwell.  Ms. Caldwell will be sending out details about added rehearsals. It will be important that all students are there for rehearsals! We are in for a delightful night of Shakespeare!

-Sixth Grade Art Show Opening at the Fitchburg Art Museum-The show opens Friday, May 31, at 1:00. This is a highlight of the sixth grade year as our students participate in a juried exhibit. Refreshments and awards accompany the opening! Sara Sanford will be sending details soon.

-Academic classes continue and content can be taught right up through May 31. Teachers will devote two or more days to review in these last academic classes.

We are reminding students to stay engaged and not check out yet. Please help by reinforcing that at home. It would be a shame if students allow their grades to drop after so much good achievement all year.

-Behavior: This is always a good time of year to remind your kids that our expectations about dress code, conduct, academic honesty and citizenship remain steady to the finish of school. We know this is a time of year when we must employ new shades of understanding, but our Core Values remain constant.

-Exams for grades 7 and 8 will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 5th, 6th and 7th. The daily schedule is very different on these days. You will soon receive a detailed schedule of which exams happen on which days. Please note that Thursday, June 6th is a noon dismissal for Upper School only. Buses do not run at noon that day and Extended Day is not available.

-Sixth grade does not take formal exams with the exception of math. The date for the math exam will be determined soon.  They do have a very full week of work and activities during exam week however during exam week.

Please don’t mistake the last weeks as time when kids could miss school. We have many rehearsals for our graduation ongoing- graduates and bands all need to prepare.

-Graduation Dance: This dance takes place on Monday, June 10 from 7:00-9:30 for grades 7 and 8. This is a no school day for all students. This is a dress up event. The kids have taken to calling it “The Semi.” Don’t let this alarm you. For boys, dress pants and a shirt and tie are just fine, and for girls anything from a sundress to a party dress will be lovely! Sometimes there is more talk at this time of year about “going to the dance with someone.” Again- this is not an expectation. This dance remains age appropriate- kids should plan to come and have fun with everyone, celebrating the school year and our graduates! The graduation dance will be in the Marshall Multi-Purpose room.

-Eighth grade graduation dinner happens this evening, June10, prior to the dance, with hors d'oeuvres in the bathtub and dinner in the Laverack room for our eighth grade students. These festivities begin at 5:45.

-Dress up days: Recognition Day, June 11, and Graduation, June 12, are dress up days for all.

-Graduate Dress: Attire for the graduates on their graduation day is a suit for boys and a white dress for girls.

As always, if you have questions, please make sure to ask them!  

Enjoy the finish of the year!
Erica R. Hager

8th Graders are finishing up HANDS ACROSS TIME!?
Todd Goodwin 

What is Hands Across Time?  Hands Across Time or HAT, as it is affectionately known by the eighth graders, is a unique opportunity to learn the timeline of US History from Pre-Columbian Times until today!  It contains one hundred and one hand and body motions combined with vocabulary and slogans from US History to give each student their own, interior timeline of US History. We meet once a week to learn each new “chapter” and take a page or two of key notes that connect with almost any US History textbook. You or your student can review HAT by visiting the Library page on the Applewild web site. Go to Project guides, Grade 8 and click on Hands Across Time.  We also occasionally sing certain songs from American History, some of which Ms. Schlesinger has been teaching in AME and our other Applewild choruses. 8th graders are preparing for their final exam to run the sequence for Mr. Goodwin. If you know an eighth grader ask him or her to run it for you so you can see their progress and help them prepare for their final. Students must take their HAT final by Friday May 31.

Remember: History is all around us and even within us!

Seventh grade Parents and Students
Kyle Gillis

Please join us on Tuesday, May 14th, at 5:30 in the Laverack Room. At this meeting we will be initiating the important secondary school counseling process for the Class of 2020. The students will be invited to stay after school, as many will be playing lacrosse that afternoon. The boys and girls both have home games that afternoon.

This informational meeting helps ensure clear, proactive support for families who are interested in, or who may be considering, independent school options. We will explain how Applewild supports candidates for secondary school and outline the responsibilities of both the students and the parents through this process.

You should have received both the parent and student questionnaires, along with the authorization/consent form. Please return these at the May 14 meeting. If you would like an electronic copy of the form, feel free to email me and I will send one.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you next week. 

Picks for Parent Summer Reads
By Norma Harrington
Learning Specialist

Summer is on its way, despite the gloomy days and cool temperatures of our New England spring this year. With this is mind, I have two recommendations for interesting books you might enjoy reading over the summer.  They are not exactly beach reads, but are delightful in their own ways, as they both offer parents new ways of thinking about what they most want for their children: success, happiness, fulfillment and joy.

The first book is called How Children Succeed (2012) by Paul Tough. In this well researched book, Tough makes the case that the qualities children need to be successful have more to do with character than with intellectual power. Skills such as perseverance, curiosity, optimism and self-control are what really matter if a child is to be truly successful in our rapidly changing world. We know that we are preparing children now for jobs that may not yet exist and these are the skills, Tough explains, that will really matter no matter what path a child takes. A review in People magazine praised Tough’s book: “Tough makes the convincing case that it’s not test scores or even raw intelligence that predict who will triumph: It’s grit, curiosity and persistence, all life skills that can be taught. An eye-opener.”

The second recommended title is Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids ( 2016) by Mary Cay Ricci and Margaret Lee. This book is based on the work of Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006). Research tells us that with every increase in grade, more and more students believe that academic traits such as intelligence are fixed. Ricci conducted research with students in Washington, D.C. and found that 90% of students in grade 1 believed that being smart was a malleable trait and that they could become smarter with the right combination of  attitudes and skills. That number dropped to 58% of the students believing this was true in third grade. By sixth grade 60% of the students believed in a fixed mindset and felt they could not change the trajectory of their futures. Ricci and Lee explain why mindsets matter at home, how parents can support the growth mindset of their children and how to help them develop perseverance and resilience.  This book offers parents methods to help themselves and their children embrace a growth mindset and develop strategies to increase effort and success in school, personal interests and sports.

Both books offer clear roadmaps for encouraging children to be successful. I particularly like the fact that both reads emphasize that parents (and teachers) need to be mindful, metacognitive and thoughtful about what we are doing, saying and modeling for children. Only then can we assist children in learning to monitor their own actions and efforts and to be reflective about what is helping them move forward during their childhood years.  By demonstrating a positive, growth mindset, we will keep our children believing in themselves and in their dreams. Happy summer reading!

How Children Succeed. Paul Tough. Houghton Mifflin. 2012.

Mindsets for Parents. Mary C. Ricci and Margaret Lee. Prufrock Press. 2016. 

Applewild Spring Track Season Two
Emily Chamas 

For the second year in a row, Applewild athletes are practicing and competing as members of our spring track and field team. We have a young and enthusiastic team made up of twenty one athletes, with a few returning veterans from last year.  The lack of a running track hasn’t stopped our athletes from working hard each day. They have practiced on sports fields, pathways, and multiple hills (everyone’s favorite) on and around campus. The attitude on the team is one of positivity and hard work and each of the athletes have been willing to push themselves at practice. They have been rewarded in turn with improving fitness and speed!

The team has competed in four meets this season, and will compete at their final “regular season” meet at the Carroll School next Wednesday, May 15th. We also have several athletes who have met qualifying standards that will give them the opportunity to compete at the Middle School State Championship Meet at Clinton High School on June 1st. Eighth grader Rowan Santos has qualified in the 800 meters with a time of 2:39. The dynamic distance duo of seventh graders Taylor Brooks and Cora Knoell have met qualifying times in three events- the 400 m (Taylor- 1:13, Cora- 1:14), 800 m (Taylor- 2:42, Cora 2:56), and mile run (Taylor- 6:16.3, Cora- 6:16.5). Kudos to these state qualifiers and to all our track athletes for their hard work and efforts!

Upcoming Events

5/6     Jazz Band
5/9     Spring Concert @7:00pm
5/9     Art Mentor Show @6:45
5/13    Jazz Band
5/20    Jazz Band
5/22    Spring Sports Banquet @5:30pm
5/24    Field Day – Noon Dismissal
5/27    Memorial Day – No School
5/30    6th Grade Play @7:00pm
5/31    6th Grade Art Show at Fitchburg Art Museum @1:00pm
6/5-7   US Exams
6/6     Noon Dismissal - Upper School Only, no busses and no extended day
6/7     Noon Dismissal All
6/10    No School – Professional Day
6/10    8th Grade Graduation Dinner 5:30pm
6/10    8th Grade Graduation Dance 7:00pm – 9:30pm
6/11    Recognition Day @10:00am – Noon Dismissal
6/12    Graduation Day @9:00am – 11:00am Dismissal

Jennifer Raterman