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Showing posts from January, 2019

An Evening With Lidia Bastianich

On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.

Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.

The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She expressed her everlasting gratitude to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness of the people who helped us," she said. "I am where I am because of them."

As a highly successful person with…

Lower School Art Show

Our new STEAM Commons has been transformed into a colorful art gallery, showcasing the boys' creations this fall and winter.

Their work is beautiful and varied, featuring paintings, drawings, three-dimensional sculptures, pottery, and woodwork.  Saint David's art program is an integrated study of theory, skill development, and critical analysis of the works of masters, such as Klee, Kandinsky and Matisse.

As one of the four pillars of a Saint David's education, the arts play a prominent role in our boys' education. Boys graduate with confidence in their observational drawing skills, the ability to critically analyze artwork, and an appreciation for the aesthetic.

Thanks to Art Chair Jenna Boccella and teachers Melanie Fidler, Gary Kessler, Rachel da Silva, Bernard Adnet, and Emily Melander for bringing out the artist in each of our boys. The show will be up until March. Be sure to visit!

Commitment to the Arts

For two weeks each year, during January's deep freeze, Saint David's Winter Festival of Art and Music arrives to warm us with a celebration of the arts--an essential pillar of our school's balanced program.

Yesterday was the first Winter Concert in our Otto-Bernstein Performing Arts Theatre. What a joy to see our musicians play on a beautiful, spacious stage and to hear them benefit from the professional acoustics the new theatre affords!

This concert showcased the Percussion Ensemble, Philharmonic Ensemble, and Chamber Singers delivering a richly diverse program of the classical and contemporary, with pieces ranging from Bach and Haydn to Freddy Mercury and Crowded House. Preparation for the performances entailed hours and hours of practice (and more practice) by the boys along with serious commitment. The devotion of Saint David's boys and music faculty to their art is outstanding. We are so fortunate.

Kudos to our young musicians and their directors: John Franci…

Drawing Inspiration

During a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, second graders viewed and sketched masks from a variety of world cultures.

Their experience will provide inspiration for an upcoming art unit, in which they will use recycled materials to create their own tribal masks.

The second graders' art learning is underpinned by first-hand interaction with artworks at the Guggenheim, The Met, and MoMA. Throughout the year, our exceptional Saint David's art teachers join with museum educators in order to maximize our boys' fluency in and critical appreciation of aesthetics.

At Saint David's, we leverage our access to world-class collections throughout our program, fortunate as we are to be located so close to several iconic cultural institutions.

Learning From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday and today we held special Chapels in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At each one, a Saint David's boy delivered the full text of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech to fellow classmates, who were riveted by the words.

America's motto, In pluribus unum (Out of Many, One) rings particularly relevant these days and Dr. King's words resonate now more than ever, as so many people in society struggle with the effects of inequality, fear, and prejudice. Dr. King's wise, compelling words inspire us to reflect on our own potential blind spots in embracing justice and equality for all peoples.

Below, is a clip of Mr. Will Best leading the boys at the conclusion of Chapel in Dr. King's favorite hymn.

Saint David's School Boys Study DNA in Partnership with the DNALC

Fifth graders participated in the first session of their study of DNA, which is conducted through our school's partnership with the Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center. Over the next six weeks, the boys will delve into the structure and function of DNA and learn how random mutation and natural selection lead to species' evolution.

Co-taught by their teachers and DNALC educators, the unit includes sessions in our new STEAM labs as well as a full day's visit to the Cold Spring Harbor facility where the boys will interact with geneticists and learn about the latest strides in DNA research.

Today, the boys practiced extracting DNA from wheat germ, using the tools and techniques that actual DNA scientists use. They did a great job and were able to take their samples home. Next week they will choose their own variable to test its impact on the experiment.

Our school's partnership with DNALC provides one of the signature experiences of a Saint David's education, off…

Ultima Thule

Imagine being 11 or 12 years old at the controls in the Hayden Planetarium and taking your spacecraft on a flight to the far reaches of the Universe, maybe even as far as Ultima Thule, in search of answers to cosmic mysteries.

Our sixth graders are doing just that through our partnership with the American Museum of Natural History. Charged with researching a topic in astronomy and then scripting and narrating a show that explores their selection, our space navigators are utilizing the proprietary UniView software that AMNH astrophysicists use, which captures real-time astronomical data.

To prepare for their shows, the boys recently visited AMNH's new exhibit, Unseen Oceans, where in addition to learning more about ocean life, they focused on the art of scientific storytelling.

Analyzing the exhibit, the boys discovered the ways in which its creators employed facts and visuals to tell an arresting story about how scientists are exploring remote parts of the ocean. The boys will b…

Follow-Up Workshop with Dr. Derrick Gay

Today's professional development day for Faculty and Staff featured a follow-up workshop with Dr. Derrick Gay, internationally recognized consultant on issues of global citizenship, diversity, and inclusion. The school is in our third year of its partnership with Dr. Gay, as we seek to cultivate cultural competency and build an ever increasing inclusive school community.

The session we had with Dr. Gay in the fall focused on the problematic nature of stereotyping. Today's dealt with microaggressions, on gaining awareness of the blind spots that perpetuate stereotypical thinking, and result in words and behaviors that have the potential for negative impact.

As a school community, we are all responsible for establishing an environment that builds bridges and respects and understands difference in its myriad manifestations. These are values very much in sync with Saint David's mission; to be good men and women requires an ability to see from perspectives other than our own.…