News & Updates 1/19/24

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From Danielle:

iReady Assessments
Our mid-year iReady assessments are close to complete. These diagnostic assessments are used in grades 1-8 as one element of a whole picture of a student’s strengths, challenges, and growth. We already have a wealth of information on each of our students. Ask any teacher about the learning style of one of their students, and you better get comfortable- you’ll be there for a while! Like any valid research, we need to add quantitative data to this qualitative information. Each iReady data point, including growth, achievement across many facets of reading and math, and percentile compared with other students in their grade across the United States, is studied by our teachers. This data is considered together with their observations to provide a whole picture to inform approaches in supporting or challenging students.

Nantucket New School is not a school that teaches to this test and the only preparation we ever ask for is a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. Our mission states that we encourage academic excellence and iReady is an important tool of checks and balances to ensure that we are doing that. It's important to emphasize that the rest of our mission focuses on the pace of childhood, curiosity, creativity, kindness, and a lifelong love of learning. Through all of these elements of a New School education, our graduates regularly report being well-prepared for the next step in their social, emotional, and academic development.

Morning Meeting
This week, the third grade shared their recent unit on bar graphs and data collection. I was shocked to see that the Crunch Bar was the most popular candy of Upper School students they surveyed. That’s the chocolate bar with rice crispies, right? As our preschool teachers say, I shouldn’t yuck someone’s yum, but that’s not my favorite by a long shot. Almond Joy forever!

Third graders also surveyed students on their favorite sports and animals. The most popular sport was soccer, which is evident in the high traffic on our soccer field (and the need for constant maintenance!). The most popular animal is a cat, which was surprising. I was under the impression that Nantucket was firmly on the dog side of the cat/dog debate. We all learned something.

Comfy Cozy Pizza Fried Rice Snow Day
Many students stopped me today to tell me that this was their favorite school day of the whole year, apart from field day. Students wore fleece onesies, fluffy blanket ponchos, and slippers, and watched in wonder as the snow started to fall. Students in the lower school had extra recess time built into the day to be able to play in the snow, after eating a hearty lunch of pizza and fried rice. A huge thank you to Siam to Go for donating the fried rice, and Boya for spearheading this initiative. We have a few other student-led initiatives that have been proposed lately, and Boya is serving as an excellent example of persuasive success.

Faculty and staff had a bonus treat of sandwiches and salads from the Brotherhood, generously donated by “The Dad’s Association,” who have sponsored several delicious lunches for us. Thank you to Dalton, Pepper, Doug, Sully, and Jay. One teacher said she woke up happy knowing that a delicious lunch was waiting for her. She’s not alone!

Have a great weekend.
Danielle Henry Beale
Interim Head of School
  • Friday, January 26: End of Semester 1
Due to popular demand, this throwback event is BACK!

Nantucket New School