April 2016
Parent Newsletter
MS Students in Costa Rica

Dear Bancroft Friends:

Trey Cassidy speaking at the Cum Laude Ceremony

It is my pleasure to announce that we will be implementing our new daily schedule in the fall. Grounded in best practices for healthy child development and learning, the divisional schedules are a practical reflection of our student-centered educational philosophy, values, and mission. They are based in the now, fully supporting the kind of active, collaborative, project-based learning set forth in Vision 2016. 

This is something we have wanted to do for some time. While Bancroft’s curriculum has evolved continuously over the years, the daily schedule had not been significantly examined in an intense way since the 1980s. It was time that we went down this important road. Last year we launched an inclusive process that tapped into the expertise of our own faculty, students, and parents, and brought in Bryan Smyth of ISM as a consultant. ISM has worked with hundreds of independent schools, and Bryan’s extensive practical experience and knowledge was invaluable. He got to know Bancroft top to bottom, understood our strengths and priorities, and presented excellent options to bring our schedule into alignment with our core values. After review and evaluation of his recommendations, we developed a plan that fits Bancroft.

From the outside the changes will be minimal — drop-off, pick-up, and after-school activities remain largely unchanged. One possibility we are still exploring is an 8:45 a.m. start to the school day on Thursday mornings to provide meaningful faculty professional development time. Breakfast would be available in the dining hall, along with supervised care for students who arrive at the normal time.

Each division’s schedule has its own specifics, but all create a developmentally appropriate learning environment. The faculty are excited about the opportunities and are planning how they will implement their schedules next year. The division heads will share more details later. 

Common elements include:

  • A seven-day rotation;
  • Longer blocks of instructional time and fewer transitions each day;
  • Built-in time for play and socializing, including recess and snack times;
  • Flex-times that accommodate independent or group work, field trips, service learning, and community outreach;
  • Regular access to faculty for one-on-one or small group interactions; and
  • Ample opportunities for cross-divisional engagement — one of the most cherished aspects of our PreK–12 community. 

Our new schedule builds on our many strengths and promotes greater predictability and consistency in workload, class meetings, and homework. It is one part of our long-term plan to foster an environment where students are happy, healthy, and motivated to achieve academic, artistic, and athletic excellence. Best,

Trey Cassidy
Head of School





In This Issue:

Field House Renovations

Refugee Project Prompts Response from President Obama 

MS Students Experience Costa Rica

Cum Laude Society Convocation 

US Biology Class Visits
AbbVie Pharmaceuticals

Latin I Students Tend a Roman Garden

Gr. 7 Science Fair Delights All

Speech Team wins State

US Frame of Mind Club

Upcoming Important Dates


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

Q: How can I be more involved
at Bancroft?

A: The PFA (Parent Faculty Association) is a great way to be involved in our community! There are many ways to help, and we are looking for volunteers for next school year. If interested, email pfapres@bancroftschool.org.
As the name implies, the PFA is a collaborative of families, faculty, and staff whose aim is to foster a deep sense of community on campus by augmenting and complementing the school experience. It's a great way to meet other parents and stay in touch with all things Bancroft.

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

Student Gallery




Upcoming Important Dates:

Scleroderma Walk:
Sunday, May 1 —
10:00 am - 2:30 pm

5th Grade Play:
The Universe and Other Stuff, Thurs., May 5
& Fri., May 6

Reunion Events:
May 13 & 14

Visit the Calendar HERE

Bancroft Summer Programs

♦ K-8 Day Camps

♦ Specialty Programs

♦ Teen Enrichment




Field House Renovations

Field House Today and TomorrowThe Field House renovation has begun, with completion expected in February 2016. Learn more on our website, where will be posting photos periodically throughout the renovation process.

Refugee Project Prompts Response from President Obama 

President Obama's Letter to Bancroft StudentsClick here to enlarge photo above to read President Obama's letter.

“A goal this year was to help students engage with and become more aware of the issues that face refugees locally, domestically, and globally,” said Global Studies Committee Chair Mark Taylor, “and we found an invaluable ally in Bancroft parent Meg Gallo.” Meg, who works at Worcester’s Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC), helped facilitate a series of events that combined elements of global studies, community service, the learning laboratory method, and goodness. As part of this initiative, juniors in Mrs. Fortier’s English class read, wrote, talked, and blogged about all aspects of the refugee crisis, and hosted a panel discussion in the classroom with Meg and three refugees. Mrs. Fortier then asked her students to reflect on these experiences, and create an original project for a specific audience. Projects ran the gamut from pamphlets about Worcester for new refugees, to a supply drive for the RIAC, and letters to President Obama, who replied with an encouraging letter (click on the image above to read it)! “When I allow students to take the lead in expressing what they have learned, I get more authentic, more meaningful work from each one,” Mrs. Fortier noted.

MS Students Experience Costa Rica

MS Students in Costa RicaOver spring break, 17 MS students traveled to Costa Rica accompanied by Spanish teacher Jody Stephenson and MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll. The students spent a week living with local families in St. Elena, Monteverde, and attending CPI Spanish Immersion School for four hours a day. They enhanced their educational experience with an exploration of their natural surroundings as they hiked in a cloud forest, milled sugarcane, played with children at a humanitarian childcare center, took a Latin cooking lesson, and even painted houses in a camp for Nicaraguan refugees. Such spectacular, meaningful experiences are sure to create lasting memories for these young global citizens. Click on photo above to watch a slideshow.

Cum Laude Society Convocation

Cum Laude 2016 Inductees

On April 19, 2016, Bancroft School annual Cum Laude Society Convocation brought together families, faculty, and administrators to celebrate 14 students—including nine inductees—for their academic excellence. Donald M. Rodriguez ’11, a recent graduate of Yale University, was the featured guest speaker. He encouraged the students to take this time to “explore what you’re passionate about…choose something that drives you and allows you to channel your excellence and share your time and talents with others around you, wherever you go.” Donald was inducted into the Society when he was a junior at Bancroft, and is preparing to continue his education at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society honors superior scholastic achievement at secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence (Areté), justice (Diké) and honor (Timé). We congratulate these newest members as they join the current members, inducted as juniors in 2015 (indicated by an asterisk*).

Class of 2016                           Class of 2017
Katherine B. *                           Lydia C.
Nicole B.                                   Jacob F.
John K.                                     Alessandra V.
Noah K.*                                   Yehan "Sally" Y.
Sarah K.
Kristina K.
Jiaying “Iris” L. *
Jordan P.*
Kieran S.*
Anqi “Angela” S.

US Biology Class Visits AbbVie Pharmaceuticals

Students at AbbvieBancroft may be a small school, but we have some world-class connections in our community, and our students are the lucky beneficiaries. On April 6th, 38 US students from Amy Pearson's Biology classes visited AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company in Worcester, to learn about the process of drug discovery and production. Their host at AbbVie was Dr. Jochen Salfeld (Bancroft parent), who enlisted other Bancroft folks who work at AbbVie: Dr. Carolyn Cuff (parent), Dr. Taro Fujimor (former parent and husband of longtime math teacher Maureen Fujimori); Phil Tongue (a Bancroft crew coach); and alumna Samantha (Welch) Zappia ’00.  These photos show some of the students’ activities on the trip. CLICK HERE for more details!

Latin I Students Tend A Roman Garden

Roman GardenStudents in Ms. Silverman's Latin I class got a jump start on spring when they planted and tended to a hydroponic garden throughout the winter months. In their study of first century Roman Britain, these students learn about King Cogidubnus and his palace and gardens in Fishbourne, England. Having researched and planted some of the species that were grown in that garden, and others that were native to Roman Britain, the Latin I class has since been engaged in a series of experiments to test the ways that the Romans used these plants. For their first test, students brewed and tasted tea made from sage leaves, which the Romans believed to provide clarity of thought. Student C.J. Z. reported, "The smell of the tea was pungent, but the taste was more mellow – like mint". Jack B. felt that he was even more alert in his afternoon classes after drinking the sage tea in the morning! More recently, students tried their hands at making perfume from lavender and hyssop plants. As the Romans did, students crushed the leaves and flowers of the hyssop and lavender and let them steep in olive oil for three days. 
Several days later they shared the perfumes with students in Ms. Telenson's Spanish II class. The reviews of the perfumes were mixed, with most students agreeing that the scents smelled more like food than perfume. Nonetheless, everyone is learning quite a bit about the importance of Roman gardens and the wide variety of uses the Romans had for plants in the ancient world. Up next: dying fabric with marigolds and creating Roman-style bandages with the roots of a marshmallow plant. We'll keep you posted! Click on photo above to watch a video.

Gr. 7 Science Fair Delights All

Since January, the entire 7th grade class had been conducting research, developing experimental procedures, and collecting and analyzing data. All their hard work recently culminated in a phenomenal science fair attended by a large audience of students, faculty, and parents. The students all received an academic grade from Ms. Roach and the science fair judges selected ten students to represent Bancroft at the Regional Science Fair. The judges were comprised of US and MS science teachers along with two external judges. The Regional Science Fair takes place at WPI on May 2, 2016.

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Speech Team Wins State Championship

We're so proud of Bancroft’s Speech Team who recently won the State Championship in Multiple Reading with their performance of Jurassic Park! The winning team of Lydia C., Claudio F., Abby M., Kieran S., Colton C., Chelsea S. and Tiana B. earned ranks of "1" from every judge that saw them — a rare feat in the speech world, especially at the State Tournament! Also winning awards were: Colton C., 3rd Place in Poetry; Lydia C., 5th Place in Children's Literature, and Chelsea S., 6th Place in Original Oratory. Chelsea also won a "double entry award" for students who excel in different types of speech categories. And Tiana and Cameron got Honorable Mention in Duo Interpretation! Overall, the Team placed 10th out of 28 teams in the sweepstakes competition. What an accomplishment! Congratulations to all the Speechies, and to Coaches Chris Sheldon and Pam Sheldon. Watch a video here of the Speech Team's performance of Jurassic Park held in the Harrington Theatre at Bancroft.

US Frame of Mind Club Wins Award

We’re so proud of the US student group, Frame of Mind, who received a Parents’ Independent School Network (PIN) Special Recognition Award for their work to bring student voices to mental health issues. Working with school counselor Carol Botty, and led by juniors Ali V. and Alyssa J., Frame of Mind has raised over $1000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, held a lunch talk about mental health, and organized stress-reducing activities on campus.

5th Grade Play–The Universe and Other Stuff

Word of mouth is our very best resource for bringing new families
to Bancroft! Please encourage your friends and to attend our
Spring Open House — we're still enrolling for Fall 2016-17.

Spring Admission Open House

 Bancroft Fund Parent Participation by Grade 

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110 Shore Drive Worcester, MA 01605 | 508.853.2640


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