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Dear Bancroft Friends:
With great pleasure and pride, I welcome you to the 2015-2016 school year at Bancroft School!
At our opening assembly Tuesday morning, students and faculty exuded energy and excitement for the year ahead. From the PreK students beginning their first year in school to the seniors beginning their final year before college, this annual all-school gathering serves as a springboard into the active learning adventure we are embarking on together.
Bancroft encourages innovation and risk-taking, and that was evident both on and off campus this summer:
- Summer Program Directors Jane Gerhardt and Carrie Whitney tried out a vibrant diversity of new options to enrich and elevate our summer camps and programs this year. Many of the new offerings proved extremely popular; others not so much. All helped teach us more about where our strengths lie.
- The Worcester Partnership, which began as a bold experiment, completed its 13th year of continuously evolving enrichment programs for students from Worcester’s Elm Park School. Director Charlie Aleksiewicz and the program faculty celebrated a proud milestone this year: the students who began the program as first graders in 2003 are now college freshmen!
- Many Bancroft faculty and students left home this summer and traveled to world destinations including Bermuda for the summer marine biology course with Amy Pearson; France and Spain with art teachers Mary Edwards and Connie Moore; and China with Mandarin teachers Jun Chen and Fanfei Kong.
- I also visited China, where I was privileged to connect with the families of many of our international students who traveled from all over China to attend our Bancroft gathering in Beijing. (International Program Director Robin Silverman writes more on that below.)
- Our faculty pursued professional development, including an advanced math workshop alongside college professors for Kim VanderSpek and a trip to Ecuador and The Galapagos for MaryAnn DeMaria to evaluate a potential summer course for our students. In addition, 11 teachers took part in EmPOWER training, and came back energized to show their students the proven systems for planning, organizing, and refining their writing. Students can use the EmPOWER method for any writing assignment, in any subject, at any grade level.
- And our fall athletes braved the heat and threw themselves into pre-season training, demonstrating the hard work and competitive spirit that will lead them to victory this season. Go Bulldogs!
I also offer thanks and kudos to Director of Operations Peter McKone and the facilities team. They did amazing work repairing and beautifying the campus and grounds, helped remove the unsightly smokestack and the boiler system that had served Bancroft since the 1950s, and helped workers install a new HVAC system that will ensure a much more hospitable learning and teaching environment in the years ahead.
Looking back on the past year — my first as head of school — I’m proud of the connections we made together. Students, families, faculty, staff, PFA, trustees, alumni, and the many philanthropists and foundations that generously support Bancroft each year have all welcomed me and supported the efforts to realize our shared vision for this remarkable school. As my wife Bonnie and I and our girls spent time in Maine and Michigan this summer, we had the opportunity to appreciate the depth of our new connections in Central Mass. For all of us, this School and this region have truly become home.
What a year it’s been. And so much is in store for 2015-16. Together, we’ll make remarkable moments.
Head of School
P.S. I hope to see you TONIGHT at the PFA Back-to-School Social and at Homecoming (Sat. 9/26).
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In This Issue:
First Days of School
PFA Social 9/11
Admission Open House 10/18
New Monthly Feature:
ASK THE PFA
Angela Cheng-Cimini, PFA President
Q: Who attends the PFA Social happening this Friday?
A: The PFA Social is a great event for ALL parents to come and mingle, whether you're brand new to our community, or have been here for several years. This is a relaxed evening that allows parents time to chat with each other and also with many faculty and administrative members who attend. It starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Stoddard Dining Hall and has an open house format, so whether you can only pop in or you can stay the whole evening, we hope to see you there!
Submit a Question!
We invite you to email your questions to Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gallery of Bancroft Summer Scenes
Beijing Gathering Strengthens Ties with Our Families in China
A letter from Robin Silverman, Director of the International Program and
Dean of Students, Grades 9 & 10:
Dear Bancroft Families,
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to China with EduBoston, our partner organization in the Upper School’s International Program, and several other school representatives hoping to recruit qualified Chinese students for their own American institutions. While my recruitment goal was fruitful and Bancroft will be the home to seven new international students this fall, my journey to China held a much greater significance for me.
For the past four years, I have worked with Roy Gillette, Christian Gal, and the Upper School faculty to build, strengthen, and refine our International Program. EduBoston considers Bancroft’s program to be one of the strongest and most successful among their many client schools. We have worked closely with our Chinese students to ensure their success, support them in their transition to life in our Upper School, and to integrate their American host families into our community. In turn, our community has gained immeasurably from the presence of these students, who generously share the culture, food, language, and traditions of their home country.
We had a harder time, however, connecting with their families in China. My journey this summer finally helped to bridge this gap.
At a Bancroft “neighborhood” gathering in Beijing in June, Trey Cassidy and I met with 16 of our Chinese families who had traveled from all over the country to attend. Speaking face-to-face with these parents, who have entrusted us from the other side the globe with their beloved children, gave me a much deeper insight into the incredible bravery and sacrifice they have undertaken to give these students the gift of a Bancroft education. These dedicated parents explained that, while they felt the warmth of our community through their children, they longed to be more integrated into our Bancroft family.
I’m delighted to say that the Beijing gathering provided that opportunity. They were able to meet not only Trey and me in person, but also their children’s friends and families. Perhaps as importantly, they were able to use social media to create an electronic network of communication and guidance among each other and the School that has maintained the connections we forged in Beijing.
Since then, this powerful network has been abuzz with questions, answers, pictures, and messages of support from both new and returning Chinese families. It has been my pleasure and privilege to be a part of this developing online community, which has brought our distant worlds much closer together. I look forward to sharing even more of the Bancroft experience with our Chinese families throughout the year.
CPR Classes Make Campus a “Bubble of Safety”
Thanks to the School’s annual CPR certification and recertification classes, the entire Bancroft faculty, staff, and administration team, and all Bancroft sophomores and seniors are certified in CPR. “This campus is a bubble of safety,” says retired Worcester Fire Captain Hampton Perkins, who teaches the CPR classes with Bancroft’s Director of Health Services, Janice Morello, R.N. The training includes adult, child, and infant CPR, use of an automated external defibrillator or AED (we have three on campus), and several variations on the Heimlich Maneuver. Captain Perkins has taught CPR for 36 years, and says Bancroft is unique in Central Mass., and possibly in all of Massachusetts, in its commitment to keeping so many students and employees certified in these life-saving procedures!
Campus Upgrades Support Safe, Comfortable Learning
One of our major projects this summer — the installation of air conditioning and more efficient heating in the Upper School — is probably the most welcome change, but it is just one of the many upgrades you'll notice around campus. “Summer is one of the busiest times for our crew,” says Peter McKone, Bancroft’s director of operations. “It’s one of the few times we can set up ladders, close off hallways, and operate loud machinery without disturbing students or faculty.” The team's punch list was long and varied: Tile floors stripped and waxed? Check. Walls prepped and painted? Check. Overgrown shrubs removed and new trees planted? Check. Sod lain and watered? Check. Even the unsightly smoke stack outside the MPR is now history (watch the demo video)! Take a look around when you're on campus, and think of all the unsung heroes who worked hard to renovate, repair, and upgrade the buildings, systems, landscape, and more while you were away. Thanks to their efforts all year round, we have a safe, attractive, and comfortable environment in which to learn and work.
First Days of School
We're proud to say that Bancroft opened the year with a healthy enrollment of 464 students, 82 of whom are new to our community — welcome one and all! This school year will provide so many opportunities for growth and learning as we challenge ourselves and each other to reach new heights in our academic, artistic, and athletic pursuits. By the end of the school year, we'll all be amazed at the new skills, knowledge, confidence, and relationships we've built. That's what Bancroft is all about! Meanwhile, enjoy this glimpse into the activities on campus over the first few days of school!
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Bancroft's Homecoming Celebration is an all-day, spirit-filled extravaganza of athletics and fall fun with alumni, students, faculty, family, and friends of all ages. Here's a sampling of the activities:
5K Run/Walk/Stroll around Indian Lake
Family Fun Festival & Carnival Games
Sports! Sports! Sports!
Come cheer on our MS and Varsity Bulldogs in
lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, and volleyball!
Parent Volunteers Needed
PFA Back-to-School Social TONIGHT!
Admission Open House Oct. 18:
Please Spread the Word!
Bancroft's annual PreK–12 Fall Admission Open House for prospective families is taking place on Sunday, October 18th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and we would love your help in making it a success! If you know any families who might like to tour our campus, meet some of our students, parents, and faculty, and learn more about Bancroft's unique PreK-12 learning community, please share this information about our Open House!
And if you'd like to volunteer as a Bancroft parent-ambassador, please contact the Admission Office, 508-854-9227.