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This Week in Upper School 9/4/2020

Friday, September 4, 2020
Mandarin Opens Up Worlds
Learning a world language -- other than our own -- opens our minds and hearts to other cultures, facilitates communication with a larger segment of humanity, and provides insight to ourselves. Adelson offers students three world language options -- Hebrew, Spanish, and Mandarin -- and will provide additional choices, including American Sign Language, in the coming years.
Our Mandarin teacher, Yuping Sun, uses a variety of techniques to teach her students, noting, “There are many ways to learn languages; it's not just about learning knowledge from books. Putting yourself in different social situations, singing songs, listening to the news... all are opportunities to learn Chinese.” She also draws on pop culture and uses student interest in this area as an instructional opportunity: “Some of my students saw the Chinese song ‘Yi jian mei’ which is a popular online meme song. It is very distinctive - the meme originated from people staying at home, working or in isolation during the pandemic, and seeing a funny gentleman with a distinctive bald head singing in the ice and snow. People were curious: ‘what is he singing?’”
Ms. Sun provided her students the lyrics, turned on the music, and invited the group to sing in solidarity (behind their masks, of course). With lyrics including,"There is always a cloud at sunrise, and sun is shining on you and me," Ms. Sun reflects on her hope that, “my students and everyone can face everything with optimism even in the most difficult times.” A good aspiration for us all, and for people everywhere around the world.


Observing Shabbat Project in Jewish Studies
Seventh grade students in Mr. Jackie Edery’s Jewish Studies course have been engaged in project based learning for several days and have just conducted their culminating presentations!  Working in pairs to explore how Shabbat is observed in different ways, students conducted research, developed slide decks and videos, scripted notes, and then presented their work to classmates -- both schoolers and Zoomers. Students exhibited a high degree of learning and professionalism in their work. Dr. McCue especially enjoyed sitting in the project presented by Lenox and Alden -- way to go, boys!
Labor Day Vigilance
Don’t forget -- Labor Day is Monday, September 7 and there is no school that day.  Please take the time to rest and reflect with your families.  We also ask that families maintain vigilance with regard to social distancing and masking in your celebratory events outside of school. Our COVID protection protocols are working effectively at school -- and we need your help to ensure that outside behaviors don’t impact our ability to continue face-to-face instruction in our classrooms. Please help us to help our school community retain continuity in teaching and learning throughout the fall semester!
Custom Mask Mania
Mask wearing is a critical component of our ability to conduct face-to-face classes. We are so proud of our students for taking this responsibility seriously!  What’s more, we’re starting to see some very creative -- and very “school spirited” -- masks on campus. Many students have let us know that their family members have been designing and sewing these creative, custom masks -- check out what we saw this week!
Senior Tie Ceremony
High School students witnessed an AEC tradition this week as we celebrated our seniors with the annual Senior Tie Ceremony. The class of 2021 received their customized school branded neck ties to complement their Shabbat uniforms. Traditionally, AEC alumni would present the ties, however, principal Dr. McCue and assistant principal Mr. Koch did the honors.
Dropping Off and Picking Up Items
We occasionally receive requests from parents to drop off or pick up items for their students at the gate. As there is limited room at the guardhouse, we have revised our procedures to address these needs:
  • Parents picking up items from school -- Upon arrival, the main gate security guard will direct the parent to the dome. Items that need to be transferred out will be given to the dome entrance guard.  That guard will then take the item(s) outside to the waiting parent.
  • Parents dropping off items to school -- The parent should bring the item(s) to school. Upon arrival, the main gate security guard will direct the parent to the dome. The dome entrance guard will meet the parent, receive the item(s), and take them to the front desk.  The front desk receptionist will contact the US Office Manager who will deliver the item(s) to the student.
Due to carline, the hours for picking up and dropping off items are 8am to 3pm. Finally, please try to help your children develop checklists for important items they’ll need at school in order to minimize the need for additional trips to school -- it will save you time as well as help them develop important, lifelong habits!