In truth, all of Belmont Day is a classroom. Every member of the community learns and grows from the activities and interactions that occur beyond traditional academic areas. Informal and formal in nature, these occurrences shape the development of each lower school student into the confident, capable middle schooler they will become.
Building a Strong Community
Ask any member of the faculty, parent, or student body about why they love Belmont Day and usually at the very top of their list will be the word community. It is the culture of deep respect that is built from the earliest days in the classroom that makes our school a safe haven for discussion, exploration, and learning. Based on the work of Responsive Classroom, and rooted in our six values, students build relationships that acknowledge each child’s individual strengths and their place within the classroom and school community. They share thoughts and experiences and appreciate what may be different as well as what is held in common between students. Belmont Day students are actively engaged in discussions and activities that develop their sense of belonging to the community such as welcoming songs, person of the week, milestone celebrations, social problem-solving, and creative building projects. They work side-by-side to puzzle through tough issues and prepare for joyful celebrations.
Our commitment to community service begins in our earliest grades. Students and faculty conceive of and carry out creative, and relevant service projects throughout the year. Our kindergarten students make felt banners with well wishes for patients at Shriners' Hospital for Children, while second graders engage in a year-long service learning project that links work in the BDS garden with fundraising, education, and community action, all to benefit Gaining Ground, an organization the grows organic produce for hunger relief. The projects are as varied as the causes they support and the children that envision them.
Our service efforts culminate in an all-school Community Service Day in May when each grade takes on projects that are developmentally appropriate, relevant to the group, and allow for collaboration and teamwork. Some of the activities and projects take place on school grounds, while others take our students into the broader community.
The arts are integral to Belmont Day, embedded in the academic program and valued by the community. Students are immersed in many artistic disciplines. In music, they learn skills to engage in vocal and instrumental performance, and study music appreciation. In addition to this classroom experience, students are offered the opportunity to participate in the ensembles program. The ensembles program provides the experience of learning, practicing, and performing in a small group. We offer guitar, orchestra, wind, and world drumming ensembles that meet once a week, either before or after school. Chorus meets during the school day.
Health and Wellness
Our health and wellness program starts with our earliest grades and extends all the way through our middle school where it evolves into our Choices program for grades seven and eighth. Developmentally appropriate conversations within each grade explore family life, personal behavior, interpersonal relationships, and human growth and development, always within a respectful, inclusive environment. Our goal is to empower self-care, model positive relationships, and promote responsibility for making good decisions throughout life. A team of male and female school personnel delivers the program, breaking grades into gender-specific groups as appropriate.