Learning Updates for January 8 to January 12

January 12, 2024

Eighth Grade Refocuses on Core Values To Start 2024

Returning from a long break always provides an opportunity to refresh and reset routines, mindsets, and relationships in school. The eighth grade class did this together with their advisors on our first day back from break. They gathered in Coolidge Hall and spent time in small groups reflecting on each of the core values: what they have looked like so far this year in eighth grade and what they will look like between now and graduation. Students also discussed and noted the actions they will take to live out these values and the ways in which BDS adults can support the students in these actions. The students gave a lot of thought to this activity and we look forward to supporting them in having a great second half of the school year!

– Kate Burns, eighth grade social studies teacher and grade 8 coordinator 

Arts Update: Rehearsals Underway for Grades 7 & 8 Play

Excitement is reaching a crescendo as our seventh and sighth grade students delve into the captivating world of their play, “Bringing Down The House!” With a talented cast of over 40 students, the rehearsal process is in full swing, currently immersed in the intricate “blocking” phase. These budding thespians are not only mastering their stage movements but are also weaving the rich tapestry of their characters’ backstories into the fabric of the play’s development. Set against the backdrop of a musical writing team racing against time to create a show before their rented theater faces demolition, our young actors navigate the chaos of unexpected interruptions, featuring pushy child actors, demanding Hollywood stars, confused protesters, and even the demolition crew itself. The challenges are mounting, but our resilient actors are poised to deliver a stellar performance that promises to be as dynamic and entertaining as the play’s intriguing premise. Mark your calendars for Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, and stay tuned for more details and ticket information. We promise an unforgettable night of theatrical magic!

– Christopher Parsons, theater arts teacher

PE Update: New Winter Biking Curriculum Launched in Pre-K & K

Biking has long been a part of the BDS culture. Whether it’s the beloved pre-kindergarten tricycles, the mountain biking unit in fifth grade physical education, the middle school mountain biking team, or just a method of commuting for many of our students and faculty, this community enjoys navigating on two wheels. Yet not all of our students know how to bike.

Our PE and camp programs wanted to change that and applied for a Lenesa Leana Grant last summer to purchase a fleet of balance bikes from All Kids Bike, a non-profit that helps schools weave biking into their PE curriculum. It is an eight-week curriculum, and the bikes come with pedal conversion kits so that students progress from balancing to pedaling.

We launched our first-ever pre-k and kindergarten biking unit this week and it was a blast! Students with varying skill levels had fun navigating around the Downing gym, either with small balanced steps or by lifting their feet and gliding if they felt more comfortable. When it was time to put the kickstands down and line up there was some disappointment, but Wednesdays are for biking this winter for these young students, so there will be plenty more opportunities to cruise.

– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher

Fourth Graders Dive Into Research on Egypt

Fourth graders will be spending the next month researching, writing, and presenting what they’ve learned about ancient Egypt. Students chose a topic of interest (such as magic and medicine, warrior kings, or the Great Sphinx) and are taking a deep dive as they work their way through the research process. They started their work in the Erskine Library learning about search terms, truncation, and book citations. Once books were identified and located on the shelves, the fourth graders spent time reading and using what they knew about the table of contents and index to assess their books and decide if they had the information they wanted. This week students are using the books they found to begin the note-taking process in the classroom. They are excited about their topics and look forward to learning from each other.

– Lana Holman, fourth grade teacher

Fourth Grade Hears (and Studies) the Birds Calling

Fourth graders have been learning about sound waves and practicing reading and drawing what different types of waves look like. We have used technology to recreate waveforms, playing with the pitches and volumes of our voices. We have also been introduced to the school’s Haikubox, which records the sounds of birds here on the Belmont Day campus and allows us to see spectrograms of those birds’ calls. This week, we practiced listening to recordings and annotating spectrograms for the calls of the red-bellied woodpecker, northern flicker, black-capped chickadee, downy woodpecker, and house sparrow. We look forward to seeing these birds–and many others–around campus!

– Emily Crawford, fourth grade teacher


June 7, 2024

PE Update: First Graders Explore Their Athletic Identities At Belmont Day we often say that every student is an athlete. But what does that actually mean? Our Athletic Identity Project is a chance for first graders to explore that idea…

By John O'Neill, Director of Athletics |

June 7, 2024

Recipients of the 2023 Coaches’ Awards returned to campus Thursday afternoon for the Athletics Banquet. Before recognizing this year’s award winners, Liam Brodeur, Avery Schneider, Nebiyou Elias, and Quincy Treisman shared some advice with this year’s graduating class and then…

By John O'Neill, Director of Athletics |

May 31, 2024

Belmont Day’s mountain biking team has grown exponentially in gnarliness since its inception four years ago. This year’s squad benefitted from extended Monday rides, leveling up throughout the season, and culminating in the first-ever MTB “away game” at Great Brook…

By Devan Fitzpatrick, middle school learning support specialist and club advisor |

May 28, 2024

Our middle school chess club hosted a tournament against Milton Academy on Saturday, May 18. The type of tournament that they played was the Swiss System, which enables all students to play every round. Students from both teams played with…
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