January 2016
Parent Newsletter
Scene from Our Town, US Drama, Dec. 2015

Dear Bancroft Friends:

Trey Cassidy at January All-School Assembly

What a spectacular December we had here at Bancroft. In those final weeks before the break we witnessed an incredible array of student performances on stage, in classrooms, and on the courts, once again highlighting our students’ many talents and reminding us of the value of having an audience as part of the learning process.

Each night of the US Drama Our Town was different from the last, as the actors developed a different rapport with each audience, allowing them to connect with the story more fully and inhabit their roles more completely. Similarly, our US math, robotics, and speech teams have developed a familiarity with the format of their competitions that helps them continue to perfect their approaches and reap the rewards. It was the same for our LS and MS robotics teams, many of whom competed in their first tournament last month. They observed, learned from, and picked up new ideas from their audience of peers, coaches, and competitors that will inform their performance at the next tournament.

Teachers have also been taking advantage of performance opportunities, engaging students in unique activities and thinking differently about their curricular expectations. They have partnered with their colleagues in professional learning groups, and invite conversation, observation, and investigation into their own practices to improve their teaching. For all of us, it can feel uncomfortable, even risky, to question the methods and strategies that have worked in the past — Why mess with success? — but we all must stay ahead of the curve.

Bancroft’s Board of Trustees faces the same challenge as they work on the three parallel tracks of FINANCIAL stability, PROGRAM development, and FACILITY upgrades. There is always much work that demands our attention in the here and now. At the same time, we must use the lessons from past initiatives as we look beyond 2016 and consider the long-term future of the school.

With that in mind, I would like to invite you — and strongly encourage you — to attend the State of the
School Address on January 26th. This is an important opportunity for you to hear and be heard as we
discuss the many initiatives, projects, and deliberations that are planned or underway for Bancroft School. We have big news to reveal, several irons in the fire that we think you’ll be excited about, and many
successes to celebrate together. So please make an effort to come, and bring your questions.

We are one community, with a shared responsibility to shepherd this fine School into the future, ensuring that it continues to shine as the beacon of active and innovative education in Central Massachusetts for years to come.


Trey Cassidy
Head of School





In This Issue:

Emmy-Nominated Marco Polo Historian Visits Bancroft

MS Students Join Peers Worldwide for Hour of Code

Varsity Math Team Sweeps Top Spots
at Meet

Tournament Yields Five Awards for Speech Team

US Drama–Our Town

Renowned Journalist Visits US Creative NonFiction Class

US Robotics Teams Win Big at Tournament

Recent Bulldog Highlights

Worcester Journal Publishes Two US Student Pieces

LS & MS Robotics Teams Shine
at Tournament

Upcoming Important Dates


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

Q: Will the PFA be having a yard sale again this year?

A: YES! Be sure not to miss it as the yard sale will happen earlier this year–on Saturday, February 20th. We could really use more donations, so please take a moment to clean out the attic and the closets and help out the PFA at the same time. Our next two donation drop-off dates are Friday, January 22nd and Friday, January 29th from 2:30 to 3:30. Follow us on Facebook to stay connected. Click HERE for more details and acceptable items. Spread the word!

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

Student Gallery






Emmy-Nominated Marco Polo
Historian Visits Bancroft

Marco Polo Explorer“I loved his program. It was the most interesting thing I have ever done at school.” How’s that for a testimonial? The student was referring to Denis Belliveau, the Emmy-nominated writer and director of the PBS documentary and book In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, who spent December 3rd and 4th on campus working with the 8th and 9th grade students in Mrs. Buckley, Ms. Bearse, and Mr. Urban’s history classes. The students had been learning about cultural diffusion in the ancient world and the Middle Ages, and were excited to hear all about Denis’s adventures retracing the steps of 13th-century explorer Marco Polo from Venice to China and back. He worked with the students throughout the day, held a Q&A in the theatre, and attended a Lunch with an Explorer, which allowed others in the community to meet him and hear his message, as well. Mrs. Buckley summed up the real value of Denis’s visit: “The more we can educate our students about other cultures, the closer we are to being better citizens of the globe. Denis’s appeal is that he is just an ordinary guy with a passion for history, travel, culture, and photography. I loved his message: travel is the enemy of bigotry.” Visit Global Studies in Action, a new blog on the Bancroft website, for more details.

MS Students Join Peers Worldwide
for Hour of Code

Hour of CodeOn December 7th and 9th, Bancroft’s MS students joined more than 100 million students in 180 countries who participated in “Hour of Code.” Begun in 2012, Hour of Code is a worldwide event designed to introduce students to computer science and computing careers in a non-threatening, fun, and engaging way. On so many levels, the event fits right in with Bancroft’s core values — global connections, hands-on learning, use of technology — and it definitely tapped into students’ curiosity to try new things and expand their skills! Elisa Heinricher, who teaches the US computer programming class, was thrilled to see so many students being introduced to this important skill in positive, exciting setting.

Varsity Math Team Sweeps Top Spots at Meet

Math TeamHow'd the Varsity Math Team do at their 2nd WOCOMAL Meet, held at Wachusett Regional HS in December?  They NAILED it! Bancroft’s team is #1 in their Division and our students swept 1st Place (Angie S.), 2nd Place (Adelaide Z.), and 3rd Place (Nicholas C.)! According to proud Coach Blaise De Souza, our team of 22 students was the largest team that participated in a varsity meet.  Bancroft mathletes get it done!

Tournament Yields Five Awards for Speech Team

Speech Team The Speechies brought home five awards from the Hollyfest Tournament in Natick on December 19th, including two for students who had never won a trophy before! “There was lots of jumping and hugging and screaming," said Coach Chris Sheldon. Claudio F. took 3rd Place in Programmed Poetry; Eve P. was 4th in Extemporaneous Children's Literature; Monica C. grabbed 5th in Drama Audition; Lydia C. earned Honorable Mention in Children's Literature; and a seven-person team won a Multiple Reading award for their version of Jurassic Park. The team placed 11th out of 30 teams in the sweepstakes competition. And five college-age Speech Team alumni came back as judges (and to lend moral support).

US Drama–Our Town

US Drama, Our Town – Slide Show “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” That was one of the central questions of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Our Town, performed December 10-12 by our talented student actors. Following Bancroft tradition, the Upper Schoolers wore black and white in support of the cast and crew on the day of the premiere. Audiences were thrilled with the sets, costumes, lighting, and acting as they enjoyed a theatrical experience set in the fictional, yet quintessential New England town of Grover’s Corners. Watch this slideshow to see just how special it was.

 Renowned Journalist Visits US Creative NonFiction Class

Written by Bancroft senior Katie B.
Creative NonFiction ClassOn December 18th, journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc made a virtual visit to Mrs. Fortier’s Creative NonFiction class. Through Skype, LeBlanc shared her thoughts on the craft, describing her experience as a successful narrative journalist. The small class of young writers, joined by James Dempsey of The Worcester Journal, sat poised with LeBlanc’s soon-to-be-published New York Times article in hand. LeBlanc attached the piece’s first drafts along with her editor’s commentary, providing Bancroft students with an exclusive glimpse into what journalism truly looks like behind the scenes. After discussing her NYT article with the class, LeBlanc spoke of her first and most highly acclaimed book, Random Family, which earned her a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. The class of six inquired about LeBlanc’s process as a writer, receiving intuitive and honest responses. Led by LeBlanc, the class considered the challenges of journalism and shared the joy of researching and writing about what one finds interesting.

US Robotics Teams Win Big at Tournament

Robotics Bancroft Robodogs rocked the Nothing But Net Tournament in December! Three of our four teams placed in the finals. Team A (Ryan B., Max S., Aodhagan L. Alex D., Aidan C.) and Team E (Thomas C., Max S., Milo C., Hamilton H.) took home the Tournament Championship. Team E also won the Programming Skills Challenge. Team C (Cory L., Muhammud Y., P.J. M., Andrew T., Watts H-W.) made it to the semifinals. 

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Recent Bulldog Highlights

Charlie A. Pep RallyBancroft’s swim team bested Eagle Hill 47-36 on December 16th. Dima Z., Tyler P., Christy M., and Noah K. won the 200 Individual Medley; Tyler won the 200 freestyle; and Noah won the 100 freestyle.

The Boston Globe published Bancroft’s EIL Fall All-Star student-athletes: Page C. (Girls Cross Country), Riley B. (Field Hockey), PJ M. (Boys Soccer), Emily B. (Girls Soccer), Jack B. and Jordan P. (Boys Golf), and Anwyn G.-D. (Girls Volleyball). Read the full article here.

Boys' Varsity Basketball regained the title at the Charlie A. Tournament championship game with a 75-51 victory over Watkinson — avenging last year’s crushing 1-point loss at the buzzer. The annual tournament is named after Charlie Aleksiewicz (pictured above), our longtime teacher and administrator who started the athletic programs 43 years ago.

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Worcester Journal Publishes 2 US Student Pieces

Worcester Journal Publishes Student Pieces“We’re happy to announce that the Winter 2015-16 issue is now live. It is filled with our usual mix of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from new writers,” says Bancroft’s writer-in-residence James Dempsey, editor of The Worcester Journal. Two of the featured writers in this issue are Bancroft seniors Josh L. and Noah K. Josh authored a very moving memoir piece titled “Dad’s Haircut,” and Noah wrote “Political Animals,” comparing today’s political rhetoric with that of ancient Rome. Noah also recently joined the staff of the Journal as a Contributing Editor. We’re very proud of these published student-authors, whose writing skills are already placing them in the top tier of young writers. Read their pieces in The Worcester Journal here.

LS & MS Robotics Teams Shine at Tournament

MS Robotics TeamA total of 20 third through eighth graders took part this year in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge, and attended the robotics tournament at Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury on December 5th. For this year’s FLL Challenge theme, "Trash Trek," students had to come up with an innovative solution to a trash-related problem in their community, and program a robot to score points on a playing field. Their projects ranged from a fashion show for used clothes, to a cell-phone charger exchange program and a trash sensor that gave positive feedback for recycling bottles. At the tournament — the first for many of the students — our two LS and two MS teams finished 14th, 23rd, 25th and 26th out of 48! LS technology teacher Kevin Briggs leads the LS/MS Robotics Clubs along with teachers Lisa Brown (LS) and Lance Stewart (MS). All three were very proud of the progress the students made this year, and how self-directed they were at the tournament. “This was an exceptional learning experience that combined technology, project-based learning, engineering, programming, and group work skills, and emphasized being a socially conscious member of the community,” said Kevin, adding “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the future!”

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State of the School Address–Jan. 26

Winter Admission Open House


Bancroft Fund Goal

Order A Yearbook

Yearbook Questions–Contact John Beauregard

Upcoming Important Dates:

Winter Admission Open House
Tuesday, Jan. 12 – 7–8:30 p.m.

No Classes–Faculty Professional Development DayFriday, Jan. 15

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day–Campus Closed Monday, Jan. 18

State of the School AddressTuesday, Jan. 26 – 5:30 p.m.
Harrington Theatre

PlayathonThursday, Jan. 28 – 3:30–6:00 p.m.
Harrington Theatre

French Immersion Day – Saturday, Feb. 6 – 9:00–3:00 p.m.

Bancroft School Clothing & Yard Sale – Saturday, Feb. 20
Donation Drop-Off Dates:
Fri., Jan. 22, 2:30–3:30 p.m. • Fri., Jan 29, 2:30–3:30 p.m.
More Details Here

Visit the Calendar HERE for more events in February


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110 Shore Drive Worcester, MA 01605 | 508.853.2640


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