Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter Break Update

Though the school is quiet right now, there are some people working hard on campus. In fact, this is the perfect time to catch on reading, return emails and to think about next year. Mrs. Stone is here handling the phones and organizing materials for furture months and I am in the office working on the US search and thinking about curriculum and scheduling for 2008/2009. One aspect of the this weeks focus has been our curriculum map on Atlas. Important for the articulation of our academic program, this tool is a great way to see clearly and closely what we do in ever class, in every grade, in every division. It's not quite a day at the beach or on the slopes, but it's not a bad way to spend the day in the office. If you are not familiar here is a link:

Monday, February 18, 2008

What does it mean to "play" for kids today?

There has been so much discussion on play of late. I even picked up my daughter at daycare and found in her cubby a newsletter on the importance of play. It seems kids are getting less time to be creative, to imagine and to simply be themselves, unstructured, and in the moment. Here is a thorough piece from the Sunday NY Times Magazine well worth the read.

Children and Youth - Play - Development - Science - New York Times

NAIS - Search - Baylor School Community Service Program

NAIS - Search - Baylor School Community Service Program

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Empire State Building Run Up on Channel 9

Recently, I was askd to do a story for Channel 9 in Syracuse on a race up to the top of the Empire State Building I was invited to do in NYC. Humbled and excited, I went down to the State Tower Building for the shoot and a little workout. You can check it out here:


Middle School
A Letter from the Head of Middle School
Greetings and welcome to the MPH Middle School!
Although the Middle School years may be described as the time between the ages of 11 and 14, the range of development for these students is far more expansive. The period of early adolescence is filled with change, both physical and emotional, which can be quite erratic and varied in rate and process. Middle School students are, therefore, in continuous transition as they move from the carefully guided classes in the Lower School to the independence of the Upper School.

Because change is inevitable for Middle School students not only in the long-term, but also as frequently as class-to-class or even minute-by-minute, each student has an advisor with whom to meet daily for a tutorial period. This advisor assists the student with academic and social challenges and brings the student's experiences and perspective to grade level team meetings held on a weekly basis. It is in these forums that patterns of learning and behavior are monitored and techniques to support the student are developed. Parents are also an important part of the "Team" and are contacted by individual teachers, the advisor, or the grade level team leader as often as is necessary. Communication is crucial to provide appropriate academic and social/emotional guidance for Middle School students.

Having students who are eager to learn and challenge themselves creates a dynamic learning environment. In order to stretch our students a full complement of core classes including English, history, math, science, world language, and performing arts is offered. In addition, various electives or "encore" classes may include health and wellness, computer, fine art, study skills, and Model United Nations.
To fully engage students in the life of the School, special activities amplify, supplement, and enrich students' interests or studies. Athletic opportunities such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, track, tennis, lacrosse, and golf are available. Activities ranging from chess, drama, and P-S-T (Puttin'-Stuff-Together) clubs to Leadership Team and International Club provide another facet of development within a social context. Dances, socials and events such as Winter Carnival and Red and White Day are held throughout the school year.

Although Middle School students are very social, they are also very invested in social responsibility within their immediate and global communities. Interdisciplinary study, field trips, visiting speakers, and community service opportunities help keep students informed and active allowing them to take charge and make a difference. Our students fully embrace the responsibility of caring and sharing with their younger "buddies" in Lower School. You might see the Sixth Graders with the Prekindergarten children picking up litter; the Seventh Grade class visiting the zoo with Kindergarten to offer their guidance in learning about the animals; or the Eighth Graders assisting the First Graders when they prepare their "booth" for the First Grade World's Fair. Some classes take up a global cause such as the current Eighth Grade offering continuous financial and communicative support for a child from Mali for three years!

From the beginning of Middle School in Sixth Grade to the closing exercises at the end of Eighth Grade, parents, teachers, and students themselves recognize the tremendous growth and change that has occurred in the students over three short years-a metamorphosis from childhood to young adulthood that should bring pride to everyone.

If you would like to contact me, I am available through email at or you may phone 315/446-2452, ext. 162.