Dear HM Families,
I hope that you all had an enjoyable weekend, with the added day in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and work. Classroom teachers spent time prior to today talking about his life and his approach to creating an equitable society of all. We've also talked about Dr. King's belief in and commitment to service. If you'd like to check out some resources to extend your conversations at home, check out Teaching Tolerance...they've got some great resources for all ages: https://www.tolerance.org/
Culturally Responsive Teaching - I’ve spent the past couple of years talking about our responsibility as a school to address gaps amongst traditionally marginalized populations. Despite all of the focus on the facilities this year, we have made a daily effort to continue this work. I wanted to remind the community of our efforts and provide an update about what we’ve been doing recently.
The first component of our equity work is one I have mentioned frequently. It involves making the school a welcoming place for all. Teachers contribute to this effort by building relationships with students and creating a safe space for them to learn. The goal is to get children to an emotional space where they can accept risk, be given critical feedback, and persist through challenges. Only then can we truly focus on improving learning outcomes.
The second aspect of our equity work is focused on instruction. Using Zaretta Hammond’s book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, we have turned our attention to expanding our instructional practices. While there are many complex components of this instructional piece, the overarching goal is to create learning experiences that make the most of what we know about the brain and how it learns. This means designing lessons that address differing learning styles, are engaging, and that allow students to build neural pathways through repetition, critical thinking, and collaboration. Over the next two months, our staff will concentrate their new learning on student engagement. Teachers will learn more about the science of engagement, gather additional activities, modify existing lessons and/or units, and share their learning with one another.
FORJ update - JOIN US FOR FORJ BOOK CLUB!
Looking for a super-easy way to build your awareness of race and social justice as a Horace Mann parent or caregiver?
Join us on Feb 2 at the Newton Public Library for just ONE hour-from 3:30-4:30, to discuss the amazing YA novel “Love, Hate, and Other Filters.” YES, this means you should read the book first – but it’s worth it.
For more information, email Cedar Pruitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Carpenter at email@example.com
Facilities Update -
- Acoustic Tiles have been installed in all of the classrooms and small spaces that we had requested. It is worth mentioning again that this has made a huge improvement to the sound quality in the classrooms and a profoundly positive impact on the learning experiences for our students.
- Modular Classrooms - Both modular classrooms now have power, heat, entrance hardware, and decking. Network infrastructure installation is underway. New technology has arrived, and we have placed orders for other furniture and equipment that will be needed. Inspections should happen next week. We hope to move in the week prior to February break.
- Design Selection Update - We learned this week that two of the three design companies slated to present on Thursday night have decided not to pursue the Horace Mann Project. They both recently acquired other work and could not commit to taking this one on as well. We will, however, proceed with the presentation from the remaining company (RDA associates). They are well respected in the construction community and they have experience working with school districts. It will be well worth hearing their ideas about how they will envision both the design and management of this project. I will update families on the status of the design search shortly after.
- 5th Graders: Jhosh Bhatt, Noah Gebreysus, Max Felipe Lopez, Eiden Margalit, Nicolle Meneses Viana, and Pearl Neafsey
- 4th Graders: Isabela Cuervo Paez, Augustin Delacroix, Ryan Li
For those new to Science and Engineering Night, here's what it's all about:
- Science and Engineering Night is an interactive, kid-propelled, noncompetitive evening of science fun, driven by the notion that every child who has ever asked "why?" is an innate scientist.
- Kids (working alone or with siblings or friends - just have at least one adult) can do an experiment (e.g. how does temperature affect how well popcorn pops?) or build a gadget (e.g. a periscope or balloon rocket). The only requirement is that it fit on half a tabletop, and that there be some kind of written explanation of the science behind it - a poster, a drawing, etc. Do not get hung up on complexity or sophistication! We want kid-quality work!
- On the evening of January 24, participants will set up at tables in the gym. Mr. Nardelli and several teachers will emcee. In past years there has been a wonderful 'buzz' as people milled around each table, asking questions and trying out the hands-on demonstrations.
- This is also EASY ON PARENTS! You can design your own project, or choose from our “cookbook” of pre-selected projects, each with step-by-step instructions and an explanation of the science involved.
Geography Bee - This past Friday, a group of 9 finalists competed for a chance to represent Horace Mann in the National Geographic Geography Bee, a competition that is held annually across the country. Below is a list of this year’s finalists. Congratulations to all.
In the final round, Ryan Li competed against Nicolle Menese Viana, with Nicolle emerging as the Horace Mann champion. Congratulations to Nicolle! She will now go on to take a written test to see if she qualifies for the national competition.
Peek Week - Thanks to Mr. Tynes and to all of the students for their efforts over the past several weeks to learn and practice a wide range of skills. The children could be seen doing core exercises, climbing ropes, scaling the new rock wall, tumbling, walking the balance beam, and more. Thanks to all of the parents, grandparents, friends, and more who came out to support the children and the program.
To register for Science Night, go to https://forms.gle/78zzSE36M2J2Jght8
NEED IDEAS FOR A PROJECT? Look for project ideas on these websites:
Registration for The 12th Annual Horace Mann Science and Engineering Night is now OPEN!!
To pre-order a pizza for dinner at Science Night, Click Here and order from our on-line store. The pizza will be ordered from Pini's Pizza in Waltham (https://www.pinis-pizza.com/).
ANY QUESTIONS? Contact Kari Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are cordially invited to the Horace Mann Mystery Dinner
Saturday, February 1, 2020
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
We all begin the evening at the Appetizer Party where we receive our dining assignments
We split up and head to our new hosts’ houses for dinner
After dinner, we all reconvene at a surprise location for dessert and coffee
The Appetizer Party will be hosted by
Kate and Greg Ploussios
11 Eden Avenue
Select your three favorite dinner menu themes from the following:
French Country Homey Italian Spanish Dinner
Winter Cozy Comfort
Indian Vegetarian Cabin Fever
Hearth and Home
Stew and Vermont Brew
A Night in Peru
Thai Dinner (with Seafood)
Choose your dinner themes then sign up and pay below.
Deadline is Friday, January 24th
Suggested Donation is $30/person or $60/couple
Please join us for this important showing of "Screenagers" followed by a discussion on technology and our children.
Moderated by Principal Nardelli
Tuesday, February 11, 7 p.m.,
Newton North Auditorium