November 2015
Parent Newsletter
MS Prayer Flags

Dear Bancroft Friends:

Trey Cassidy as King Kamehameha

Fall is the season of change. Leaves are changing. The weather is changing. Fortunately, we’re in the business of education, so we embrace change. If things weren’t changing we’d have a problem. As educators, our task and responsibility is to manage change, to take charge of it, to live with the consequences, and to see change as an opportunity for positive growth.

How do you manage something as unpredictable as change? For us, it’s a matter of setting goals, having a strategy, and staying focused. That’s why the School worked so hard to develop Vision 2016. It gave us a shared framework for prioritizing and focusing our efforts. It helps everyone understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. And like a GPS, it helps us recalculate our route and get back on track after unforeseen detours.

We know for sure that today’s students learn best when they are actively engaged — doing, feeling, experiencing, reflecting, and then sharing their knowledge. This kind of learning can’t be contained within the traditional classroom. The campus, the city, the region — the whole world — becomes a learning laboratory. We are changing our programs, spaces, and teaching approach to support that kind of active, inquiry-based learning. We are fixing, renovating, and upgrading our programs and facilities to ensure that Bancroft School continues to be the standard-bearer for education in Central Massachusetts.

This is a hugely exciting time for our School. Our core values remain secure and our rituals ground us in tradition (the Halloween Costume Parade, US Mountain Day, and 6th Grade International Breakfast all described below, are a few fine examples). At the same time, we are advancing the tools, techniques, and infrastructure by which we deliver the Bancroft experience of excellence. These changes are good and necessary, and maybe just a little outside of our collective comfort zone.

It will be worth it.


Trey Cassidy
Head of School

P.S. A big shout-out of thanks to the US students in the technical theater costuming class, who designed and created the spectacular King Kamehameha costume I wore to the Halloween assembly.


In This Issue:

Meet The Artist

Halloween Assembly

Student-Athletes Play 4 The Cure

MS Day of Arts & Athletics

Math Olympiad Competition

US & MS Creative Writing

US Mountain Day

US Marine Science Field Trip

MS Multiband Concert Trip

PFA Cultural Series: 4 Hands Concert

Crew Club News

Ms. Telenson PreK Library Read

Gr. 6 International Breakfast

Upcoming Important Dates


Angela Cheng-Cimini, PFA President
Angela Cheng-Cimini, PFA President

Q: I just got a "Bancroft Fund" letter in the mail. Is that different from the PFA Fundraising?

A: Yes, they are different. The Bancroft Fund is an annual appeal that helps balance the School’s operating budget. As is true of most independent schools, tuition doesn’t fully cover the costs of educating a child in the Bancroft way; there’s a gap of approximately $5,000
per student. Our charitable gifts to The Bancroft Fund are one of the important ways they fill that gap.
(I like to think of it as tax-deductible tuition!)
PFA-sponsored fundraising (Boxtops, Amazon Smiles, Scrip,
the annual Yard Sale, etc.) supports enriching events and experiences such as Meet the Artist, A Cappella Night, and Playathon, and brings international storytellers, dancers, musicians, and historians to Bancroft through our PFA Cultural Series.

Submit a Question!
We invite you to email your
questsions to Angela at

Student Gallery






Meet the Artist Day Educates & Inspires

Meet the Artist VideoOctober 15th was the third annual Meet the Artist Day at Bancroft, a day in which local artists set up indoor and outdoor stations on campus to display and demonstrate their craft. This year’s guests included a ceramic artist, a wood turner, a quilter, a maker of handmade books, a painter, a lampwork glass beadmaker, and a photographer. In small groups, students made the rounds, meeting and learning from each artist by observing, asking questions, and trying out some of the techniques themselves. Part of the PFA Cultural Series, this inspiring event exposes students to the many mediums and methods by which adults actively engage in the arts, whether by vocation or avocation.

Spirited Halloween Traditions 

Halloween AssemblyThe Halloween all-school costume parade and assembly  is a beloved tradition
at Bancroft, where the community comes together for good, old-fashioned, spirited fun. This year, as always, the LS, MS, and US faculty come up with clever group costumes: Harold & The Purple Crayon (LS), Harry Potter (MS), and Where’s Waldo (US), while the students channeled their favorite characters, from superheroes to royalty to zombies. As they do each year after the ceremony, the LS students headed over to 100 Shore Drive, where the seniors had created a cardboard box maze and set up games they could all play together. Tradition also dictates that the head of school dresses as a king, and Trey Cassidy's King Kamehameha costume was a big departure from last year’s King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis. Wonder which king will show up next year!  Click the photo above to enjoy the Halloween 2015 video.

Play 4 The Cure Athletes Set New Record

Play 4 The Cure Field HockeyOur student-athletes this year they achieved a new record, raising a whopping $1,559.73 for cancer research! Each year in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the teams participate in the Play 4 the Cure fundraiser. They raise money through t-shirt sales, bake sales, and a dressdown pink day, and then the teams get out and play … for the cure!  We're so proud of their team spirit and compassion!

MS Day of Arts & Athletics

MS Day of Arts & AthleticsFor the Middle School, October 15th wasn't just Meet the Artist Day, it was the second annual MS Day of Arts & Athletics. While the MS faculty held parent conferences, the MS students had opportunities to participate in a rich variety of engaging workshops and sports clinics. One of the highlights was the creation of an art installation with visiting artist Sarah Haskell. Inspired by traditional Tibetan prayer flags, the MS students designed and wrote messages of peace and kindness on flags in Connie Moore’s studio art classes. Their beautiful creations are now proudly displayed in the stairway outside the McDonough building — and pictured at the top of this newsletter!

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Math Olympiad Competition

Math TeamThe freshman and varsity math teams were busy and successful in October! Bancroft hosted the First Level Math Olympiad Competition on the 22nd, and on Oct. 28, 8th grader Kaya D. and 9th grader Adelaide Z. had perfect scores in the first WOCOMAL Math Meet at Assabet Valley Regional High School on October 28th. The varsity team placed second in their division in their first meet and Jack Z. had a perfect score. What a brilliant bunch!

US & MS Creative Writers Collaborate

US & MS Creative Writing Slide ShowThe students in Mrs. Fortier's US elective, Creative Nonfiction, and in Ms. Sigismondi's MS Creative Writing Club combined forces to try out some fun writing exercises. They created poems exclusively using book titles, wrote rejection letters to inanimate objects, started poems with the seventh sentence of the seventh page of the seventh book they found, and wrote rich, lengthy sentences using nouns and verbs they brainstormed. At the end each of them — including the teachers — shared their favorite product. What synergy!

US Mountain Day

US Mountain Day

This annual tradition in the Upper School is a highly guarded secret until the day before, when Mr. Gillette and the deans reveal that, instead of heading to the classrooms and labs the next day, the US students will be spending the day on Mt. Wachusett enjoying food, fun, and outdoor activities. Here's a shot taken at this year's Mountain Day and texted down from the mountain!

US Marine Science Cape Cod Field Trip

US Marine Science Cape Cod Field Trip Slide ShowMany would-be marine scientists don’t get the chance to conduct field and laboratory research until college; not so for the Bancroft US students enrolled in the Marine Science course taught by Amy Pearson. During their recent overnight field trip to Cape Cod, the group visited three different coastal habitats to compare the physical and biological components among them: a high-energy oceanside beach (Coast Guard Beach, Eastham); mud flats on the low-energy bay side (Rock Harbor, Orleans); and a salt marsh (Fort Hill Salt Marsh, Eastham). They also visited the Cape's largest glacial erratic, Doane Rock in Eastham, learned to press algae, and viewed the day’s collected samples under a microscope. At the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute they toured dock labs and saw Alvin the deep-ocean submersible being worked on (“Very thrilling,” reports Mrs. Pearson). They visited Marine Biological Labs and worked with Zenith Marine Education, where the students enjoyed using an Augmented Reality Sandbox to simulate how Boston Harbor's coastal environment would behave in a severe storm. These students are no doubt excited for the Advanced Marine Science course next semester!

MS Multiband Concert Trip to UMass

MS Students at Multiband Concert Trip

On their recent "day off" (because of MS conferences), a group of MS students traveled with teacher Rachel Wagner to UMass–Amherst to hear the annual multi-band concert in a theater full of students from schools around the area. They were treated to performances by the dance, strings, jazz, percussion, orchestra, Latin, vocal, and band ensembles at UMass. The concert culminated with a spectacular performance by the marching band. "During a portion of that part," says Ms. Wagner, "the director was in the audience (in our row!!), and we were surrounded by instruments. The sound was amazing!"  Even as they left the theater, the marching band performed in the common area outside the building.

PFA Cultural Series: Four Hands Piano Concert

Sima Kustanovich & Pavel Nersessian–Four Hands ConcertThe PFA Cultural Series presented “Four Hands Piano Concert” on October 21st. Pianists Sima Kustanovich & Pavel Nersessian gave an amazing performance in the Harrington Theatre for the MS and US students. Sima Kustanovich is one of the Northeast’s most sought after pianists and Pavel Nersessian is one of the most remarkable Russian pianists of his generation. Click here to watch a video from this wonderful concert.

Crew News: Boys Jr. Quad Takes 1st Place at Mass. HS Championships

Crew Club

On Sat 10/24, Bancroft's Fall Crew Club competed in the Fall MA High School Championships with 12 clubs from the area. Our Boys Junior Quad placed FIRST (Connor S., George D, Eli Z., and Ben S., pictured), and our women's Varsity 4 placed 4th with a team of Madison G., Bethany G., Mikalea L., Alice K., and Alferdita B. was the cox. Congrats to all rowers!

"Telly" Reads to PreK Students

Ms. Telenson Reads to PreK StudentsLS librarian Lisa Leach and US Spanish teacher Nadine "Telly" Telenson have collaborated on a new monthly special event in which Telly visits the LS library to read to the PreK students. Anyone who knows Telly knows that she is a delightfully animated and expressive person — ideal traits when reading books aloud! "I've been wanting to read to the Bancroft little ones for 20 years and now it's time to seize the day," she says. As you'll see in the slide show, the children are pretty happy about it, too.

 Pre-K, K, Gr. 1 Open House

Gr. 6 International Breakfast

Gr. 6 International BreakfastFor the International Breakfast on Oct. 23rd, the 6th grade prepared delicious dishes from the languages they study in the Phenomenon of Language (POL) course (French, Spanish, Latin, and Mandarin) and from their own cultures. They invited their parents, along with the 5th grade, and 5th grade parents to sample their creations. This annual event not only showcases the diversity and richness of the Bancroft community in a most delicious way, it is a great opportunity for 5th grade families to learn more about our amazing Middle School. Perfecto!

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8th Grade Play—Coming Soon!
8th Grade Play


A Cappella Night! Nov. 19, 2015

Young Writers Conference

Peking Dreams Ad

Le Mariage de M. Collet

Flavien Collet Wedding

We’re thrilled to share this photo of US French teacher Flavien Collet and his wife Natalie, who were married in Boston on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Vive l’amour ♥

Upcoming Important Dates:

Veterans Day (Campus Closed) – Wed., Nov. 11, 2015

PreK–Grade 1 Open House – Thurs., Nov. 12, 4:00–5:00 p.m.

8th Grade Play: 29 Reasons NOT To Be in a Play
Thursday, Nov. 12, 11:45 a.m. Performance for US Students
Thursday, Nov. 12, 7:00 p.m. Public Performance
Friday, Nov. 13, 1:15 Performance for LS & MS Students
Friday, Nov. 13, 7:00 p.m. Public Performance

MFA Gathering of Alumni & Friends, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6:30 p.m.

A Cappella Night! – Thursday, Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m.

Networking Breakfast (Ethan Becker, Speaker), Friday, Nov. 20, 7:30 a.m.

Bancroft Young Writers Conference – Sat., Nov. 21 & Sun., Nov. 22

MS Sports Award Assembly – Mon., Nov. 23, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

US Sports Award Night – Mon., Nov. 23, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast – Tues., Nov. 24, 9:00–10:30 a.m.

Thanksgiving Break (Campus Closed) – Wed., Nov. 25–27
Note: 2:45 p.m. Dismissal on Nov. 24; Aftercare open until 6:00 p.m. 

Classes Resume – Monday, Nov. 30

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