News & Updates 3/24/23

From Todd:

New Ideas from the 3rd Grade

This week the 3rd graders learned about one of the most important types of writing they will ever use, the persuasive essay. In all likelihood, this type of communication will be a part of their academic and professional lives forever. And their first assignment was to convince Todd to change something at the New School. I was presented with the full collection of essays on Wednesday and I have not been able to put them down.

The topics were as diverse as you could imagine, but of course, eliminating homework from the program was a very popular stance. There were some great quotes from the student essays trying to convince me to eliminate homework. One student was very worried about homework impacting his ability to think clearly, “First, we already cram too much stuff into our brains and homework makes it worse.” I was very impressed with the sources the 3rd graders pulled from their research, “According to the BBC homework can be stressful.” I actually had to check one of the sources used by a student, and it passed the test. I had never heard of the University of the People, but it is in fact a tuition free online school in Pasadena.

There are definitely a few students who are interested in expanding their recess time- shocking!! But an equal number of students support the breakthrough concept of bringing their animals, either stuffed or alive, to school. “Teachers saw a 92 percent increase in self esteem. I got this from” One student made an emotional argument, “School would be better if you had a snuggle buddy and I would want to come to school more and says pets make kids feel more secure.”

Dress code changes were also a popular topic. Two students were pro-pajamas and one student is actually an anti-coater. “The New England Journal of Medicine says kids will not perish or get sick from lack of warming if it is 37 degrees or warmer.” Impressive argument, but I am not quite ready to ditch coats altogether.

One student believes that video games should be part of the curriculum and one impressive essay made an argument to allow technology from home at school. “According to Harvard University, collaborative tools such as google docs or google jamboard allow students to jointly contribute ideas.” Yes, that was a quote from a 3rd grader’s paper.

I have to admit that the concept of all-day recess is a non-starter, but there will be some discussions at an upcoming faculty meeting about some of these 3rd grade ideas. They did an amazing job on their first persuasive essay, and as I told them directly, some of their papers sincerely got me thinking.

First in the Nation

The mental health of your children is an absolutely key priority for us during their time at the New School and beyond. We live in complicated times, and being a child in 2023 is a very different experience than it was for me in 1983. One of our priorities during the last two years of professional development has been on learning more about issues relating to a child’s mental health and developing appropriate responses for each type of situation.

This week the Nantucket New School became the first school in the nation to partner with Launch2Life and AIM Youth Mental Health to provide training to all our staff members. The goal of the training is to understand the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and develop the skills and language to guide a child to feel supported and understand where to get help. As I watched the training take place, I was incredibly proud of this community for the commitment and thoughtfulness they were showing for our students. In a world where mental health access is a serious issue, we improved the environment a little bit, but if it makes a difference in just one Nantucket child’s life, then there is no question the time is well spent. Thanks to everyone who contributed at Harvest Bash and made this work possible and to everyone at Launch2Life for providing a grant for much of this training.
Ever Grateful,
Todd Eveleth
Head of School
  • Thurs., March 30 - “Throwback Thursday” - Student Council designated this day for students to dress from any past era
  • Fri., April 7 - Semester 2 Midterm
  • Wed., April 12 - Midterm Conferences - No School
  • Fri., April 14 - Pizza Day
  • Mon. & Tues., April 17 & 18 - Spring Weekend - No School 
Free Teen Yoga: Offered by The Community School
Maria Mitchel Afterschool Series: Offering transportation from Nantucket New School!
  • Every Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday
    2:20pm - 4:45pm
    Grades K -5
  • April 4, 5, &6
    April 11, 12 &13
    Spring Break Program- April 17 - 21
    April 25, 26, &27
  • Sign up per week or contact Camden Palm at for specific dates.
  • Click here for more information.
  • As part of our Xblock program, a group of students interviewed residents of the island and learned about their stories, what brought them to Nantucket, and what they value about the island. Forest Bell led the student group of Annabelle Burton, Roan LaScola, Edward Holland, Luke Champoux, Albina Tepsur, and Tomas Young. We are so proud of their creative efforts!

Nantucket New School