January 2017 Newsletter

Dear Bancroft Friends:
You recently received an invitation to a special event happening at Bancroft on January 28. That evening we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Worcester City Scholars program. Far more than just a party, this event is a moment for us to come together in support of a program that changes lives.
In 1996, Bancroft made a commitment to provide merit-based scholarships to two new ninth grade students from the City of Worcester each year whose financial circumstances would have otherwise precluded a Bancroft education. The award covers the Scholars' tuition and fees for all four years of Upper School. Being named a Worcester City Scholar is a distinct honor that signifies exceptional academic promise, dedication to learning, and strength of character. Our remarkable Scholars and their families have come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Each has brought unique talents and gifts that continue to enrich our School and community immeasurably.


My goal is to ensure that Bancroft can keep this important program running for years to come.


January 28th promises to be a spectacular party, with Upper School teachers Chris and Pam Sheldon serving as emcees, an array of delicious food and drink, a silent auction, and more. Guests will include other Bancroft parents, grandparents, alumni, trustees, friends, and past and present faculty and staff, as well as other community members who share our love for Worcester and its people.           


You'll hear from Worcester City Scholars alumni Monique Goring '07 and Quanuquanei "Q" Karmue '01, who will talk about how their experience at Bancroft has impacted their lives. The Alumni Council will honor Allen Fletcher '65 with a prestigious award, and pianist Mackenzie Melemed '13 will play for us. All of these alumni embody the core values they learned at Bancroft — they are passionate and active contributors to the community who have ventured forth to do good work in the world. 


If you haven't yet done so, I hope you'll join me by purchasing a ticket to the event. Let's celebrate our City, our School, and our Worcester City Scholars. Together we can ensure that the program begins its second 20 years on solid financial footing.



Trey Cassidy

Head of School


P.S. I encourage you to also participate in our 50/50 Tuition Jackpot Raffle. Learn more.


Tromping through the woods with a really cool teacher, catching snowflakes on your tongue, burying a rotting pumpkin, analyzing animal poop… those are a few of the exciting experiences our second graders enjoyed on a recent morning in the forest with Lower School science teacher Mason Hendershott, who explained the day's goals: "We had been studying soil and decomposition, and we had two pumpkins — one is in the classroom in an aquarium, and the other we buried in the forest — to make observations on how they decomposed. In the spring we will be studying the plant life cycle, and will use the seeds from the decomposing pumpkin to grow another specimen for next year's second grade!"

"In the tree canopy, now visible because the leaves had fallen, we observed several nests belonging to squirrels and larger birds (probably the hawks we see around campus)," said Mr. H. "And because the snow was freshly fallen, we were also able to look for animal tracks and signs. There were a few surprises that we found along the way!" Spotting some animal scat (droppings) on the ground, the students formed a group circle to observe and discuss the specimen. 



Using a method called Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) they determined what type of animal may have produced it. Their conclusion? Almost certainly a squirrel.


"It was wonderful morning!" said Mr. H. Fortunately for us, Bancroft photographer Karla Cinquanta accompanied the group that morning, and captured this outdoor learning laboratory adventure for us to share! Enjoy the slideshow!



With American flags waving all around them, members of Bancroft's US Chorus & Orchestra had a very special opportunity to sing and play for a global audience at the Worcester Art Museum on January 11th. Strings Teacher Marilyn Butler conducted our talented students as they performed the national anthem and "America, The Beautiful." Their audience included 50 people from 23 different countries who were awaiting the ceremony that would make them American citizens. It was the first time that a naturalization ceremony had been held at WAM, and the grandeur of the Renaissance Courtyard created a special atmosphere that left few dry eyes.


On display now at the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) is "Open Doors," a photo & video exhibit featuring the work of student Michael B. '17 and alumna Alyssa Shear '16.  The exhibit is the final product of Mike and Alyssa's Independent Study photojournalism course from Fall 2015. With guidance from Mr. Dec, Mr. Taylor, and the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center of Worcester, the two went into the city to capture the daily lives and stories of members Worcester's refugee population. (Read about their project on our Global Studies Blog HERE.) Their photos are on exhibit at FAM until January 30th.


In related news, Michael, along with students Aidan C. '19 and Anthony M. '18, had their photographs chosen for publication in the Davis Publications textbook, Focus on Photography, 2nd Edition, which was released earlier this year in digital and print versions!




Inspired by Not a Box, a book about a rabbit whose imagination transforms a simple box into a vehicle for wild adventures, the third grade began a project in which their assignment was to use cardboard boxes to create "a useful space that would fit two third graders and be portable." Teachers Megan Jackel, Halley Allen, Laura Hamel, and Librarian Lisa Leach had the students split into three groups and brainstorm what their "useful space" would be. The groups decided on a Book Nook, a Stress-Free Zone, and a Publishing Center! They spent several sessions in the library — building, collaborating, experimenting, and revising their designs. "Some of the students used their time in [technology teacher] Kevin Briggs's class to create 3D hinges for their box creation," said Mrs. Jackel. Throughout the project, she added, "the students had to listen to each other, defend their ideas, and compromise." Or, to put it another way, they had to think OUTSIDE the box in order to fit IN the box!


Be sure to click the link at the bottom that says "[Message Clipped] View entire message"  to see the rest of the stories and photographs in this issue of Shorelines. You don't want to miss a thing!



Just before break, the MS loaded the old Bancroft team bus with 600+ donated items to help the Be Like Brit Foundation, a Worcester-based charity dedicated to the orphans of Haiti. Mr. Urban and Ms. McCuine's eighth grade World Geography classes had learned about the Be Like Brit Foundation in the fall, after reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, about the creation of a hospital in Haiti. The Foundation was formed to fulfill the last wish of local teen Britney (Brit) Gengel of Holden, who was killed in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Finding inspiration in the lesson, the students led a bake sale that raised $200 for Be Like Brit, and welcomed two guests from the foundation to speak about their work building an orphanage. After the guests' presentation, 8th graders Clara M. and Lucy B. presented them with a check for $200, while Bancroft presented the keys to our two former team buses. Now loaded with the donated goods, the buses are headed to Florida, then on to Haiti to provide much needed transportation for the 66 children who are living, learning, and thriving at the safe, nurturing, earthquake-proof orphanage (shaped like a B for Brit) in Grand Goâve, Haiti. What a wonderful reminder that each of us is a global citizen who can make a difference in the lives of others!




Shorelines is produced by Bancroft's Marketing and Communications team. If you have questions or story ideas please contact

Bancroft School

110 Shore Drive • Worcester, MA 01605 • (508) 853-2640

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