Intersections: Getting Smart About My Smartphone

September 19, 2019 by Bill Ivey

Having polished off a delicious blue plate special at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, I set off back toward Harvard Square. While I was admittedly clutching my phone in my right hand as my arm swung back and forth, as I watched person after person coming toward me staring down at their phones or talking to an unseen interlocuteur, I realized I no longer felt I was missing out on something by focusing on my actual environment instead of my own phone, quickly and frequently opening it up to unlock it and see what was going on in social media world. I wasn’t particularly surprised. But it did make me think about my journey to this point.

Filed Under: Technology, Rachel Simmons, social media, Intersections, Rosalind Wiseman, Ana Homayoun, responsible use

Faculty Professional Development - 2019-2020

September 18, 2019 by Maeve Ryan

(Updated May 5, 2020)

In her role as Educational Ambassador with WGBH, Karen Pleasant, SBS' History Department Chair and Co-Coordinator of the IB Program, was a guest educator on a national webinar called "Teaching about Women in World War II". She highlighted resources on PBS LearningMedia as well as tips on how to adapt them to distance learning. Through regular virtual meetings, Karen is working with the local Educator Ambassadors on the creation of a webinar specifically geared towards the Social Studies Standards in Massachusetts. She also recently attended a virtual conference with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and history teachers from all over the U.S. Additionally, Karen was part of an exciting project where she did a Teacher Spot recording of a promotional video for WORLD Channel and related social media. 

On Thursday, April 16, Language Department Chair Miriam Przybyla-Baum facilitated a video conference call on Teaching World Languages Virtually hosted by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools. The call brought together educators from across the US and Canada as well as the UK. Post conference, educators were encouraged to visit NCGS’s COVID-19 webpage, which serves as an evolving collection of helpful information and resources for educators at girls’ schools. During the conference call, Miriam covered the following 10 questions:

1. Has your use of L2 in lower level classes changed due to realities of videoconferencing? If so, in what ways?
2. How can we gauge comprehension of a new concept/verbal input in L2 if we can't depend on nonverbal cues such as facial expression and body language?
3. Where will our students be skills-wise at the end of this “year”, and what does that mean for the fall?How are you engaging students?
4. How are you altering your lesson plans?
5. What technology platforms are you finding to be the most effective?
6. What can you do to encourage off-screen activities as part of a healthy blended learning strategy?
7. What lessons have you learned from the first few days/weeks of distance learning? What changes are you incorporating?
8. What modes of assessment work best online?
9. How are you encouraging students to continue creating, sharing their work, and providing/receiving critiques?
10. What additional resources are you offering parents as they support their daughters’ learning?

Karen Pleasant, SBS's History Department Chair and Co-Coordinator of the IB Program, was selected as a WGBH/WGBY 2020 Educator Ambassador. She was chosen as one of 17 educators across 11 districts in Massachusetts who have 150+ years of combined experience in the field of education. The role is a two-year commitment and involves monthly meetings, webinars, assignments, and conferences. "I was really excited to be chosen for this role and have been looking for this kind of professional development," said Karen. "I have also loved PBS—and have have used it as a classroom resource—for years. Now I have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador and teach my fellow colleagues about all that PBS Learning Media has to offer. We are a diverse group of teachers and I am inspired to learn more about what it's like to teach underserved populations." To learn more, visit www.wgbhedambassadors.org.

Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year, new athletic trainer Emily Dylewski and Associate Director of Admissions Brittany Weiss attended a Junior Boarding School Association faculty conference at Eaglebrook School in August that included sessions on coaching philosophies, professional boundaries, how to care for international students, and more. Emily reports, "I enjoyed attending the conference at the Eaglebrook School. Being a new employee at an institution such as this can be daunting at first glance. How will I maintain a balance between work life and home life? It was helpful to learn from experienced professionals about how they keep boundaries while having meaningful interactions with their students. The session called 'Words Matter: How the words we choose and the way we say them affects students' was great; I have applied this awareness to not only my work-place, but my personal life as well."

Filed Under: faculty

Intersections: Improving Kids’ Middle School Experience

September 17, 2019 by Bill Ivey

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) recently shared the article “Seven ways parents and educators can improve kids’ middle school experience” by Phyllis Fagell, the author of Middle School Matters. I immediately clicked on it, and found a series of thoughtful suggestions and examples, each of which in fact does relate well to our own middle school program. Her seven suggestions (in boldface), and a few examples of how they have been playing out in our school:

Filed Under: Middle School, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Middle Level Education, Intersections

Campaign Speech given by Gracie Spencer '25

September 13, 2019 by Guest Student Author

Every spring, we elect not only the OEKS (student heads of eight different areas of school) and the Vice President of Student Council but also the Presidents of the 9th grade, sophomore, junior, and senior classes. Each fall, the upper school classes elect a Vice President, the eighth graders elect Co-Presidents, and the seventh graders elect a Class Representative.

This year, we invited the newest members of Student Council to share their campaign speeches. This speech, by Gracie Spencer, Seventh Grade Class Representative, is our second submission.

Filed Under: student voice, student government, Class of 2025

Campaign Speech given by Sarah Amzil '21

September 12, 2019 by Guest Student Author

Every spring, we elect not only the OEKS (student heads of eight different areas of school) and the Vice President of Student Council but also the Presidents of the 9th grade, sophomore, junior, and senior classes. Each fall, the upper school classes elect a Vice President, the eighth graders elect Co-Presidents, and the seventh graders elect a Class Representative.

This year, we invited the newest members of Student Council to share their campaign speeches. This speech, by Sarah Amzil, Junior Class Vice President, is our first submission.

Filed Under: student voice, student government, Class of 2021

Convocation 2019: Lauren's words

September 05, 2019 by Lauren Cunniffe

Welcome, everyone, to the first day of the Stoneleigh-Burnham academic year.

Filed Under: Convocation

Convocation 2019: Katie's words

September 04, 2019 by Guest Student Author

Convocation speech delivered by Katie Kowalyshyn '20, student Co-Head of School.

Filed Under: student voice, Convocation, Honor Code

Convocation 2019: Melissa's words

September 03, 2019 by Guest Student Author

Convocation speech delivered by Melissa Ndabarasa '20, student Co-Head of School.

Convocation 2019: Stephanie's words

September 02, 2019 by Stephanie Luebbers

Faculty, staff, and students, I have loved the energy you have brought back to campus! But, at Convocation, we slow things down and celebrate what we have just begun. We mark the start of school – a year we know will bring new opportunities for each of us and for our school.

Filed Under: Thoughts from the Head of School, Convocation

Address to Reunion

June 17, 2019 by Guest Graduate Bloggers

given by Kate Strousse '13, the President of the Alumnae Board

Filed Under: Reunion, Awards