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This Week in Upper School 9/25/2020

Friday, September 25, 2020
Masked Instruments Still Make Sweet Music
With so many new students joining the Upper School, our Adelson Band classes are growing and making more beautiful music than ever.  For our string players and percussionists, band class is mostly business as usual: they simply put on their masks and play their instruments. But for some of our students -- our woodwind and brass players -- maintaining COVID-19 safety means placing masks on their instruments! That’s because we must prevent the exhaled breaths blown into the instruments from moving into the surrounding airspace. Because masks are made for people, not instruments, our intrepid band director and Performing Arts Chair, David Philippus, crafted a variety of custom masks, with each mask fitted to its own instrument. Instrument masks include draped cloths and elastic food storage covers! As you can see from the photos, the school year continues shaping up to be a year like no other.
Geometry Constructions
This week, Honors Geometry students have been working with Ms. Merrill on classic constructions. Using a pencil, compass, and straightedge, our bright freshmen mathematicians have been bisecting angles, dividing line segments into equal parts, and more! Students will ultimately use skills developed through these constructions to create elegant artistic designs based on intersecting equilateral triangles -- including a cube and Penrose’s Impossible Triangle -- for their culminating first quarter projects. We can’t wait to see their forthcoming creations!
Amplify Sharpens Scientific Thinking
Scientific thinking requires a sharp, analytical mind honed through disciplined behaviors, and practice, practice, practice!  As part of our new Amplify Science curriculum being implemented this year in the Middle School, Ms. Britney Davis is training our tween and teen learners to think critically -- like scientists -- through practice with authentic, ongoing research.  One recent project engaged students in making claims regarding the nature of landforms imaged by a Mars rover on the surface of the Red Planet. Working with real images, students examined evidence to determine which claim was best supported by the data -- then defended their work via peer argumentation. Ms. Davis followed up the activity with supplemental reading, coaching the students to read critically and annotate in their digital notebooks. With Amplify showing demonstrable improvement in reading comprehension and critical reasoning scores at schools using their science curriculum, we look forward to seeing our Adelson Lions make similar, measurable progress this year on these important learning indicators.


Upper School Notes

Mark your calendars - Thursday, October 29 will be an asynchronous, remote learning day for all Upper School students.  Don’t drive to school on this day -- students will engage in short, fun, meaningful assignments from home.
Due to the need for ongoing vigilance regarding our COVID-19 safety protocols, the Upper School will continue with the current S1/S2 schedule during Quarter 2. Students will also be engaging in some new activities during Q2 Pride Period -- more information on this coming soon!
Middle School students, please note that our two-week session of Life and Study Skills with Student Services ended today. Physical Education classes will resume on Monday, September 28. Thank you to our Student Services team for these informative sessions! We’ll be conducting more of these meetings, including several addressing the important topic of Digital Citizenship, in future weeks.