October 2015
Parent Newsletter
Homecoming Color Run!

Class of 2015 Bench Unveiling at HomecomingDear Bancroft Friends:

We are one month into the school year and Bancroft is in full swing. We had record attendance at Homecoming and the level of school spirit remains high. The fall sports schedule has already produced many victorious moments for our athletes and teams. New works of art are gracing our walls. Performers are finding their audiences in recitals, rehearsals, and speech tournaments. All around me I see excited students engaged in active learning, discovering the ways they affect, and are affected by, the world around them. Several recent examples come to mind, each described more fully in the newsletter below:

  • The second graders in Mrs. Tupper’s class posted clues all over campus to teach us about a celebrated Worcester figure they’d been studying in their Central Subject unit on Worcester history. They revealed his identity at Friday’s lunch, just in time to celebrate the 215th anniversary of his birth. read story...
  • Students in eighth grade World Geography taught by Mr. Urban, who is new this year, learned fascinating lessons from two Sri Lankan monks who now live in a monastery in Grafton. read story...
  • The juniors in Mrs. Fortier’s English classes also welcomed visitors who had much to share about their own journeys from their homelands — three refugees, now living in Worcester, shared the harrowing circumstances that brought them to our city. read story...
  • And the whole school celebrated World Smile Day on Friday, October 2nd. The brainchild of Worcester artist Harvey Ball, World Smile Day encourages us all to “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.” A simple request with powerful ramifications when it’s adopted worldwide. read story...

These are just a few instances among many. Every day, on campus and beyond, our students are actively engaged, owning their learning in ways that were unimaginable even 10 or 20 years ago. (Telepresence robots?!)

At Bancroft, we have embraced the opportunity to connect our students with the world and help strengthen their sense of responsibility for making the world a better place. As we welcome a rich diversity of people to our campus, and take the opportunity to visit other parts of the world, virtually and in person, we discover once again that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.


Trey Cassidy
Head of School


In This Issue:

2nd Grade History Mystery

Buddhist Monks Visit MS

Refugees Visit US

World Smile Day

Telepresence Robot Teaches US

Cardboard Boats Sink or Swim

France/Spain Art Trip

International Host Family Dinner

Bulldog Moments

Admission Open House 10/18

Bancroft Young Writers Conference


Angela Cheng-Cimini, PFA President

Q: What ever happened to the
gift wrap sale?

A: We dropped the annual gift wrap sale because it didn't feel right asking people to buy things they didn't necessarily need. This year the Parent-Faculty Association (PFA)  fundraisers don’t require any outright purchases beyond the products and services you’re buying anyway! You buy what you need, we get free money from the vendors, and everybody wins!

Box Tops for Education — Collect box tops from participating products and send them in to school with your student. Bancroft PFA gets 10 cents per box top!

AmazonSmile Program— Sign up and shop through AmazonSmile (same products & prices as Amazon.com), and they donate 0.5% of your purchase to Bancroft PFA!

Target REDcard — Shop with your Target REDcard and YOU get 5% off, plus Target donates 1% of your purchase to Bancroft PFA!

Scrip Gift Cards — Buy gift cards through Scrip for all the places you normally shop (for clothing, shoes, gas, groceries, restaurants, travel, etc.) and Scrip gives a percentage of the card value to the Bancroft PFA!

We hope you will participate in ALL of these programs. It’s a painless way to support the PFA, which provides so many enriching experiences for our children.

Submit a Question!
We invite you to email your PFA questions to Angela at pfapres@bancroftschool.org

Picture Day 10/19

Student Gallery


Important Dates

October 12
No School, Columbus Day
October 18
Admission Open House 1:30 pm
October 19
School Picture Day
October 30
Halloween Assembly 8 am



A History Mystery: 2nd Grade Posts Clues about a Famous Worcesterite  

George Bancroft's BirthdayThe 2nd graders in Mrs. Tupper’s class, after posting clues around campus ("I served as Secretary of the Navy," "I wrote the first complete history of the United States," "I established the US Naval Academy," etc.), revealed the identity of their mystery person: George Bancroft, namesake of our School! The students have been studying Worcester history, and George Bancroft was a very famous and accomplished Worcesterite in the 1800s. Mr Cassidy joined the students with a birthday cake to celebrate George Bancroft’s birthday (Oct. 3)! Fun fact: George Bancroft was born in 1800, and Bancroft School was founded in 1900, exactly 100 years later.

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Buddhist Monks Offer Lessons on Sri Lanka and Meditation

Buddhist MonksAs a part of our focus on global learning, Mr. Urban invited two Sri Lankan monks to visit his 8th grade World Geography classes. The monks, who reside at the New England Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center in Grafton, spoke to the students about their homeland of Sri Lanka, discussed Buddhism in the Theravada tradition, and engaged the students in a short meditation practice. It was a wonderful confluence of geography, history, philosophy, and spiritual mindfulness.

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Refugees Visit US English Classes

RefugeesThree Worcester-based refugees from Iraq (via Egypt), Bhutan (via Nepal), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (via Zimbabwe) visited two junior English classes taught by Mrs. Fortier on Friday. Bancroft parent Meg Gallo, who works at the Worcester office of the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center, introduced the speakers and was a part of the panel. The refugees shared their reasons for leaving their homelands, what their lives were like in refugee camps, and how they came to Worcester — some as recently as two months ago. These personal stories reinforced what the students had learned in their summer read, Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference, by Warren St. John. “We anticipate that this visit will be the inspiration for future rich connections between Bancroft and Worcester’s refugee community,” said Mrs. Fortier. (Photo by junior Michael B.)

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World Smile Day Spreads Goodness Near & Far

5th Graders on World Smile DayOn Friday, October 2nd, World Smile Day, Mr. Cassidy made his way around campus with a roll of bright yellow smiley stickers to remind everyone to be a smile ambassador. In 1999 Worcester artist Harvey Ball, who felt his iconic “smiley face” symbol had become too commercialized, declared that the first Friday in October each year should be a day of kindness for people around the world. In addition to being extra nice that day, many Bancroft students paid $1 each for the privilege of dressing down, with proceeds going to Operation Smile, a charity that benefits children in need of facial surgeries. Advancing goodness is part of our mission at Bancroft, not just one day a year, but always in all ways! (The photo shows fifth grade students and faculty getting their smiles on!)

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How Do Remote Teachers Roll? Via Telepresence Robot

Telepresence RobotThanks to a gift from a kind donor, Bancroft acquired an iPad telepresence robot this summer and recently welcomed the first robo-teaching assistant into the classroom: Alumna Adrienne Chodnowsky ’13, who’s now a math major with a theater minor at Lehigh University. Projecting her image onto the iPad, Adrienne controlled the robot as she interacted with students in three different classes taught by Mrs. VanderSpek — Advanced Mathematical Inquiry (AMI), Tech Theater Costuming, and AP Calculus BC. The idea came about this summer, when Mrs. V. met with alumnus Alekos Robotis '13, a math major at UC Berkeley. They started talking about TA'ing via robot. “Then I expanded it to all of my other 'minions' who are off at college majoring in math,” said Mrs. V. — Zohaib Moonis '15 [who also robo-TA'd last month], as well as Courtney Cochrane '12, Sam Fujimori '12, Mike Ferguson '13, and Sheel Stueber '15. They all thought the idea was cool and wanted to be involved if their schedules allowed.

WATCH THIS VIDEO of Adrienne’s robo-teaching session in the AMI class. Note: It was Wacky Wednesday at Bancroft, which is why everyone, including the robot, looks a little wacky!

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Sink or Swim? US Physics Students Build Boats

Cardboard BoatsUS students enrolled in the Physics of Engineering class taught by Ms. Kang were assigned a project using Archimedes’ Principle (the physical law of buoyancy) to build a seaworthy cardboard boat. They climbed in and put their crafts to the test on Indian Lake on one of the last warm days of the season. Having experienced for themselves how various designs fared on the water, the students returned to the classroom to compare and discuss their results, and vote on the most efficient design. Nothing like a dunk in the lake to make a physics lesson memorable!

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Summer Art Trip to France & Spain

ParisSpainEleven US students joined art teachers Mary Edwards and Connie Moore in June for an art trip to Paris, Provence, and Barcelona. They toured the Louvre and Musée de l’Orangerie and took in the many iconic Paris sights, including Montmartre, where many artists including Dalí, Modigliani, Monet, and van Gogh once had studios. After traveling by rail to Provence, the group visited Avignon, the Nimes Roman amphitheater, and the Pont du Gard aqueducts, among other places. “We walked the streets of Aix en Provence like Cezanne, where he painted the Mont Sainte Victoire over 60 times. We saw the beautiful wheat fields, and enjoyed the markets where lavender and sunflowers were everywhere,” recalled Mrs. Edwards. Barcelona added rich experiences at the Picasso Museum, La Sagrada Familia cathedral, and Poble Espanyol. The students took a bike tour of city and beach in Barcelona, and used Fitbit to determine that they walked about 60 miles in cities, tours, metro, and stairs! Throughout this special trip, Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Edwards helped the students glean the artistic and historic significance of each location, and made sure they experienced the full richness of French and Spanish traditions, food, and language. "We wanted the trip to provide experiences that will encourage and entice kids to continue studying and experiencing many forms of art and culture," added Mrs. Edwards.

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Dinner Honors Our International Host Families

International Host FamiliesBancroft is so very grateful to all of the wonderful host families who have opened their hearts and homes to our students from China! Last week, we held a dinner in the dining hall for host families, international students, teachers, and administrators. It was a great opportunity for everyone to get acquainted with one another and discuss their shared experiences. We hope you and your family will consider hosting an international student in the future. It is such an enriching experience for both sides!

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Bulldog Moments

A few recent Bulldog moments captured in digital format for your enjoyment…

Varsity Volleyball TeamVarsity VolleyballBancroft CrewVarsity Golf

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Please Tell Your Friends about Fall Open House

Your positive word of mouth is far more compelling than anything we can say to families who are considering Bancroft! Bancroft's annual PreK–12 Fall Admission Open House is taking place on Sunday, October 18th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. It's a great chance for interested families to tour our campus, meet students, parents, and faculty, and learn more about this very special community. And if you'd like to volunteer as a Bancroft parent-ambassador, please contact the Admission Office, 508-854-9227.

Open House Oct. 18, 2015

  Bancroft Young Writers Conference

110 Shore Drive Worcester, MA 01605 | 508.853.2640


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