Dear Bancroft Community,
With a few snowflakes falling this past weekend, the winter season is officially upon us. Along with that comes the season of thankfulness and gratitude. I am grateful for this community, where we are consistently building relationships and supporting both one another and our extended community. Our teachers are helping students become the best versions of themselves by supporting their growth and encouraging their inquiry and active learning. By giving them opportunities to improve what happens here on campus, our students are getting the preparation they need to go out and make a difference in the world beyond Bancroft.
The stories you'll read below are a wonderful example of how our students are making a difference both on campus and in the greater Worcester community. I am proud that our students are getting back into action with activities that had been limited in the last 18 months; the Robodogs and Speech team are back to their winning ways with in-person competition, Winter Sports have kicked off, and the Upper School theater production is set to premiere in-person in just a few days. The action is starting to pick up on Shore Drive.
Everything I've mentioned wouldn't be possible without your support, including the generosity the school received on Giving Day this past Tuesday and the many people who have already contributed to our Bancroft Fund. Donations to this effort help make these activities possible and provide all of our students access to the robust and engaging extracurriculars that are a hallmark of our great school. So for that, I want to say thank you. Bancroft will continue to thrive because of the collective strength of the whole community.
Our community is not COVID-19 free, but we have done an incredible job limiting the spread, reducing risk to all of our community members, and ensuring that we can stay open for everyone each day. This week's testing revealed no new cases of COVID-19 and helps provide additional assurance as we head into the weeks ahead. We ask that you maintain COVID-19 best practices when off campus and we will do our part on campus to adhere to the protocols that help limit the spread.
I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season with your loved ones.
Head of School
A FRIENDSGIVING TO REMEMBER
Homemade corn muffins. Cranberry sauce. Popcorn bags made to look like turkey legs. PreK students didn't hold back for their "Friendsgiving" celebration.
"The goal was just to appreciate each other," says PreK Teacher Lisa Brown. "We had a conversation about what they do at home for this time of the year — what they're eating and so on. So, we baked cornbread muffins in class the day before, which was fun."
When it came time for the actual meal, students set the table themselves, paying close attention to little details. Before digging in, each student said something nice about one of their classmates.
"We had talked about things we're thankful for," Brown says. "We put together a nice WordWeb of things, including family and friends. We encouraged the students to really reach and think beyond themselves, which is hard at this age. So it was really nice to see some of them being able to express that," Brown says. "And of course, we feasted!"
What do baking with your grandmother, a semi-professional sports career, and a love of historical novels have in common? They're all topics faculty and staff members talked about in the Share Your Influence "Empower Hour" in Middle School. Started a few years ago to help grow student leaders, Empower Hour offers opportunities to explore and develop interests, and enrich Middle School learning in meaningful ways. Classes range from mindfulness to social justice to learning all about chickens.
Led by Middle School English Teacher Abby Church and Middle School History Teacher Michael Urban, Share Your Influence gives students the opportunity to share their experiences, influences, and interests with the group. Students do in-class activities like artist-inspired projects, and every session, different members from the community visit class to share what has influenced their lives.
"Share Your Influence came about in inviting students to think about people, events or ideas that have impacted them in their lives," says Church. "Bringing in people from the community as speakers allows students to get to know different people at our school and begin to recognize that there are lots of ways we are shaped as people — and it starts as early as middle school."
The Upper School Roman Gardens class, taught by Upper School Latin Teacher Karen Fuller and Upper School Latin Teacher and Dean of Students Robin Silverman, visited local organization Turn Back Time at the end of November. The organization, which has hosted many Bancroft students before in the Senior Co-Op program, is a non-profit nature-based education center aimed to help people heal and learn from nature. The class trekked to the facility to help plan the creation of its very own Roman garden.
"Students will work in partnership with the teachers at Turn Back Time to ensure that their ideas are in sync with the mission of the organization, while still maintaining a focus on Roman garden features and the specific ways that the Romans used each of the plants they will include," says Silverman. "This project will be a true collaboration between our students and the teachers at Turn Back Time and we expect that through a system of communication and feedback, plans will evolve throughout the winter as ideas are honed and teaching activities are crafted."
Students were eager and fully engaged throughout the visit to Turn Back Time. "While they were quite taken by the horses, the donkey, and the chickens, they were even more attentive to learning about the current ways that Turn Back Time teaches students through outside play," says Silverman. "Our students came back to Bancroft energized and inspired to use their knowledge of Roman Gardens and culture to enhance the opportunities for future Turn Back Time visitors."
The Shorelines Art Corner highlights student-produced artwork completed on campus. Enjoy!
Third Grade Topographical Maps
"Our 3rd grade students have been learning about maps with Mrs. Allen and in the art room as well," says Lower School Art Teacher Cory Shepherd. "Students began by creating imaginary islands with construction paper and used various shades of blues and greens to suggest different elevations. Then, students made compass roses, insets and borders, and soon they will add titles, legends and scales. These works help students understand how maps and other symbolic images can help communicate and understand the complexities of our physical surroundings. When finished, all 16 of the maps can be viewed individually, or arranged into one large, continuous map like a giant collaborative puzzle."
"These are two colored pencil and mixed media pieces from Intermediate Studio students Elsa Z. and Kaya W.," says Upper School Art Teacher and Visual Art Department Chair William Chambers. "They were asked to create a dynamic composition that involved repetition of form and blending colored pencil shading."
Shorelines is produced by the Marketing and Communications Office at Bancroft. If you have questions or story ideas please contact email@example.com.
110 Shore Drive • Worcester, MA 01605 • (508) 853-2640