Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Thursday, July 14, 2016
This summer, 80 boys are enrolled spanning Grades 1 through 5. Due to the construction work underway at Saint David's, for this summer and the next the program is being held at Nightingale-Bamford School; we are appreciative to have this support from our friends at NBS.
The six-week Horizons program includes interactive, project-based activities that help the boys develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They participate in academic, art, music, and hands-on STEAM classes; take swimming lessons; and enjoy sports. It's a fun-filled educational day for the boys and teachers alike.
Horizons at Saint David's is an affiliate of Horizons National. It was established by Saint David's School in conjunction with our sixtieth anniversary, as I sought a means for our school to contribute to the greater good in our neighboring communities. Trustee Julie Sykes served as its founding executive director.
More information on the program can be found at http://www.saintdavids.org/horizons.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
With hard demolition set to start this week, I'd like to share some highlights of recent work:
This converted air shaft area separating Buildings 18 and 20 also runs up all the floors of the school and was built in at the end of the Jubilee Campaign.
During our current project it will be filled in, providing a few thousand more square feet of program space.
Work on this floor also will entail the addition of three nearby music rooms, enabling the boys to practice next to the performance center.
It's certainly an exciting summer at Saint David's! Look for more updates as we realize a long-term dream to enable program needs to fully drive the allocation and design of space for our boys and faculty.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Last week, Saint David's offered a summer program for rising sixth and seventh graders conducted through the school's ongoing collaboration with the DNA Learning Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the world's first science center devoted to genetics education.
On Friday, the boys shared their findings with parents and family members. It is clear that they learned a lot, including how to properly use sophisticated laboratory equipment for their experiments, and were able to put their natural curiosity to work in the DNA field.
Friday, June 17, 2016
This week the arches in the Hume Library are being carefully removed and reinstalled in the small gym, which will become a swing classroom and meeting space.
The last shot is of the sixth floor of the Graham House Wing with a new metal floor. This will ultimately be a 7th grade classroom suite with a commons.
It is very exciting to see the work on this transformative project moving along and the plans starting to take shape!
Monday, June 13, 2016
Their arrival coincided with the Feast of the city's patron saint, San Juan de Sagahun, so the boys enjoyed a dramatic fireworks display last night.
Today, they are enjoying a tour of the city, a visit to the bullfighting ring, and a tour of the bullfighting museum before a welcome dinner out at a restaurant.
It is a powerful way for the boys to augment and deepen what they have learned in their Spanish immersion classes at Saint David's over several years.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
I and their teachers congratulate and wish them a relaxing, well-deserved summer and all our best wishes as they set off in September to secondary schools near and far.
As I mentioned in my Commencement Remarks on Friday, I have seen them grow from their Pre-K days, developing into well mannered, confident young men who are ready for their next step. Like the David of our school's name, I am confident that they will step forward and lead with conviction and character whenever called upon.
Return to Saint David's often, boys! Exciting things are happening at your alma mater, and you will always have a home here.
Friday, June 3, 2016
In his opening remarks, our Board President Dan Connolly '77 observed that the purchase of that building by Saint David's in 1972 was an "act of extraordinary courage and wisdom and vision that set us on a course 44 years long to this very moment...we stand on the precipice of the future of Saint David's, a wonderful moment."
We now officially begin this project, which will maximize the potential of our program in alignment with our mission, fulfilling a dream of our Founders.
The Founders would be proud.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The boys performed Oliver! and they were fantastic, providing impressive performances and demonstrating great vocal ability.
Congratulations to the cast on a job well done, and to their Producers/Teachers James Hubbard and Jamie MacNeille, Director Phyllis Clark, Musical Conductor Jeff Moore, and the Parent Committee of Cynthia Chapman, Susan Kissane, Tara Neumann, Joyce Restituto, and Ann Roberts.
Musical theater is alive and well at Saint David's!
Friday, May 27, 2016
Our fifth graders have participated in an interdisciplinary Math/Sports Week related to how statistics are used in baseball.
The boys learned how to calculate some statistics such as ERA and AVG, gained experience using a scorecard during their sports periods, and received an introduction on how to use an application called Game Changer to collect and analyze data. The unit is team taught, led by math teacher Bridget Gallagher and coach Craig Learn.
In their initial sessions, boys completed a visual about statistics and were introduced to three main baseball stats (AVG, OBS, and ERA). They then used data from last year's 7th and 8th grade baseball team to calculate these stats.
By the end of the week, they assumed the role of baseball team manager of either the Yankees or Oakland A's looking at and analyzing player stats, and using their analysis to determine who should be in the starting lineup.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
The spirits of Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, William Wegman and Jeanne Claud and Christo, among others, were present in the Hume Library this Monday for the annual ARCO exhibit competition.
ARCO is the final project of the Eighth Grade Humanities Class, in which each boy is challenged to create a piece of work in the style of a famous modern artist, but with his own interpretation and analysis so that the pieces are homages, not imitations.
The boys also write a biography of their selected artist and reflect on the process they used to create the work, including what they found most challenging.
They presented their artwork and rationale to judges during the day on Monday, and in the evening their families attended a reception, the Salon de diplomes, in which the boys commented on their work.
This is such a grand finale in an interdisciplinary course that has become one of the cornerstones of Saint David's program of studies.
The humanities class deepens our boys' history and art history knowledge and understanding, while honing their research and public speaking skills.
I am always so impressed by the boys' maturation in these areas, as reflected by their ARCO projects.
Often, as I listen to a boy speak so expertly of his artwork--the approach he took, the problems he encountered along the way, the lessons he learned--I no longer see him as an eighth grade student, but rather, as a soon-to-be graduate.
As reported by our Music Chair Jeff Moore, "It was a spectacular show by these two very talented bands, and sadly, a farewell performance as the boys will all be attending new schools next year."