News & Updates 10/21/22

From Todd:

On Thursday Morning I was headed over to the business office when I saw the 5th graders starting their ropes course unit. It was a beautiful fall morning, and I rushed over to watch the next two students head up the course. This time of year I am easily distracted by student activities.

The first student who got to the top of the ropes course couldn’t reach the first guide rope. She stretched to get there and still couldn’t get far enough. She widened her stance and strained to get the guide but still nothing. She was frustrated and clearly a bit nervous about reaching out further. When the wind slowed a bit, the rope dropped toward her, and as her hand wrapped around it, she immediately beamed at the quick challenge she had overcome. That smile did not leave her as she navigated quickly to the next rope and the next. She had an occasional bobble that caused a quick grimace, but as soon as she recovered from being off balance that wide smile returned. Each rope she grabbed was a new achievement, and it was clear her confidence improved with each release of a rope that fell behind her.

But now that she had moved through the first half of the course, she met her partner in the middle of the course, and they needed to cooperate carefully in order to move past each other. Their first strategy resulted in a tangled rope and some nervous moments, so they reset. 40 feet off the ground, they spoke about the next steps and looked at the best way to get the belet lines to the far side of the course. Their second attempt was executed perfectly by both students and again the smiles erupted as they worked together to successfully cross paths on the high ropes course.

The last group of the day involved two boys who were in very different places. One student struggled to even climb the ladder while the other boy moved up and down the 60 foot telephone pole with ease. The hesitant climber finally moved slowly off the ladder and wrapped his arms around the pole, refusing to reach for the first dangling rope. His classmates encouraged him from below, but there was not a great deal of interest on his part to move forward. The student on the other side of the course saw what was going on and made his way across the tightrope course. As he got to the last guide rope, the student grabbed an additional rope for the student holding onto the pole. As he neared the nervous climber, he carried the rope, gave up that safe support, and handed it to the climber clinging to the pole. The hesitant climber released his arms and took the rope from his classmate. Together they slowly walked on the cable to the other side of the course with classmates below erupting with applause and encouragement.

I had watched the ropes course action for a total of 20 minutes and saw tangible moments of fear overcome, success achieved, courage displayed, and team-building strengthened. And I can tell you with certainty that as brief as the moment seemed, the students were filled with pride and confidence on all accounts.

Being comfortable with that moment of release is one of our primary hopes for all our students. It takes courage to face failure or disappointment whether it is in a math class or while climbing a mountain. However, the next time that hesitant climber scales the course, perhaps he will be the one who grabs the extra guide rope and carries it across the tightrope to his own nervous friend. 
Ever Grateful,
Todd Eveleth
Head of School
Monday, October 31: Halloween!
  • Costumes can be worn to school (please put on before arrival): Please, no make-up/face paint, no scary masks, no weapons.
  • Classes will celebrate Halloween in the afternoon with a Magic Mark show and Big Friend Little Friend activities.
Friday, November 4: Pizza Day, Semester 1 Midterm
Saturday, November 5: Harvest Bash!
Friday, November 11: No School, Midterm Conferences & Veterans’ Day
Friday, November 18: Grandparents/Special Friends Day - noon dismissal
November 21-25: Thanksgiving holiday break


Nantucket New School