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Wilderness Skills

Students who participated in the WIlderness Skills elective met twice per week this trimester to learn and practice the art of survival. Students were introduced to various methods of fire-building and were able to safely practice ways to construct and maintain a fire in the woods. The class also learned to make cordage and shelter from natural materials, methods of water purification and lashing techniques that can be used in camp to make simple furnishings. Most importantly, students learned to prepare for any wilderness emergency. Students also assembled small survival tins that contained some items that may come in handy on future adventures in the wilderness.


In the anime elective students were introduced to and practiced art of basic anime drawing with the help of their favorite anime characters! Students learned how to draw their own anime characters by referencing popular anime shows and practicing techniques to draw the structure of the human body. Students drew from characters like Todoroki from My Hero Academia, Killua from Hunter X Hunter, Nezuko from Demon Slayer. The class split into two parts. The first half of the trimester students learned to draw the face, and the second half they learned to draw the body. Each week students practiced drawing a different part of the anime body (eyes, face, torso, hands, clothes, etc.) and by the end of the year, they worked on creating their own anime character!

Book Buzz

In Book Buzz, students split their time between reading independently, visiting the local public library, and recommending books to each other and the school at large.  Students used a hallway bulletin board to post recommendations for their most loved books.  Additionally, they reviewed how to use the library hold system and how to check out library books digitally on the Libby app. Students also dipped into the world of bookish podcasts. (including the podcast, Hey YA.) The class discussed how to manage distractions while reading and how to find a reading environment that worked for each student. There was a diverse group of readers this trimester, with interests including informational nonfiction, classics, fantasy, graphic novels, dystopian fiction, thrillers and contemporary realistic fiction. Additionally, a variety of books were recommended with an emphasis on Young Adult and Middle Grades, written by authors of diverse backgrounds. When traveling to the public library, students were pleasant and worked as a cohesive group. 

Stagecraft and Lighting

In the Stagecraft elective seventh and eighth grade artists made beautiful sets, props and costume elements for this years’ dramatic productions. The scale of the puppets they drew and painted for the kindergarten production of The ABC Book ranged from two feet to twelve feet high! Students also lovingly crafted crowns for the first grade actors in the Fight for Flukenest; and the truffula trees they constructed and painted as scenery for second grade production of The Lorax were beautiful replicas. The group also supported the seventh graders in painting the 1set for their play, the who dunnit, Clue. Finally, students collaborated to create small dragon shadow puppets that were lit from behind a beautiful window, which they also designed and constructed.

Geometric Art

In this class students learned how to construct shapes to create the foundation for many unique designs.  Students copied traditional constructions and developed original designs rooted in the techniques and ideas the class studied.   Guided by their innate curiosity, these geometric artists explored the possibilities of the simple tools they used including a compass and protractor. Their works were impressive.  Each student finished an inked design as a summary project, and expressed interest in continuing to learn more about geometric art.

School Store

Students learned all the elements of running a business as we operate a real-life micro-business serving breakfast three days a week here at school.  Students were did the following: Made a business plan, Determined funding needs ,Obtained a “loan,” Created the space, Ordered inventory, Marketed to the community, Secured and scheduled workers, Met as a management team, Took inventory and ordered new supplies, Created new menus, Reconciled cash and payments received, Reviewed profit and loss, Analyzing market trends & adjusting practices to bring in new business.

Experimental Band

After the Experimental Band’s debut performance at the Upper School Concert, the group was feeling very accomplished and pleased with the risks and rewards of performance.  After the performance students reported how nervous they were about performing, but how pleased they felt afterwards, and that they wanted to perform more in the future.  All of the students expressed a desire to continue playing and took advantage of the weeks following the Concert to rehearse a skit for the Variety Show, the famous “More Cowbell.”  They also learned the main riff from Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult to add a musical element to their skit.  With a little guidance, these students were able to: Explore their musicality of a variety of instruments. Learn and rehearse a piece for performance. Demonstrate craftsmanship, connection, and expressive intent. Focus social awareness and attend to the musical contributions of their peers. Through rehearsal, refine musical ideas and techniques. Perform for their school community.

Advanced Band

The Advanced Band did an incredible job at the Upper School Concert.  They prepared three pieces; A Certain Romance by Arctic Monkeys, In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel, and Love Story by Taylor Swift.  The weeks leading up to the performance, the group had excellent rehearsals and every member made noted growth and improvement. After the concert the band pursued two new songs, Head Over Heels, and Everybody Wants To Rule The World, both by Tears For Fears.  They prepared the pieces in only three rehearsals and performed them at the Variety Show.  It was a pleasure seeing these young musicians: Explore their musicality of a variety of instruments. Learn and rehearse a piece for performance. Demonstrate craftsmanship, connection, and expressive intent. Focus social awareness and attend to the musical contributions of their peers. Through rehearsal, refine musical ideas and techniques. Perform for their school community.  

7th Grade Drama

The seventh grade students were a remarkable group with enormous wit and talent. Their will to develop a script based on the board game Clue was awesome. Collaborating on a script can be problematic, but this class surmounted the challenges to complete a very inspired and funny play. They committed to constructing a very ambitious set and creating characters that were absolutely hilarious. Students used their voices, costumes and make-up to embody the characters. Their ability to improvise and overcome obstacles by working together was impressive! 

8th Grade Drama

The eighth graders showed great determination and talent in their presentation of Scenes from Romeo and Juliet.  This production showcased their ability to interpret and perform some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful and funny scenes. The students were thoughtful and quick witted. They found their way into this experimental interpretation by taking risks. They demonstrated courage and openly tested how their interpretations of “formal”  Shakespeare would be received by the audience. The ensemble supported one another and played brilliantly together. All the students were articulate, and developed a great appreciation for Shakespeare. This production was such fun!

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