Lion's Share: Oct. 18

News from The School at Columbia University: October 18, 2013

October 21-25

Ally Week

Wednesday, Oct. 23
PA/Kaleidoscope Meeting, 8:30 am (North Dining Room)

Thursday, Oct. 24
PA/Neurodiversity Support Group, 8:30 am

Friday, Oct. 25
Grade 7 Bake Sale

Saturday, Oct. 26
Teach21 Fall Session: Leveraging Technology for Collaboration in the Classroom

Monday, Oct. 28
Grade 3 Field Trip to Inwood Hill Park

Tuesday, Oct. 29
New Families Orientation Group, 8:30 am (North Dining Room)
Financial Aid Workshop, 8:30-10 am

Wednesday, Oct. 30
Middle Division Trip to Black Rock

Thursday, Oct. 31
Admissions Online Inquiry Closes

Tuesday, Nov. 5
Parent Conferences

Wednesday, Nov. 6
Powerful Parenting Coffee, 5:45 pm

Tuesday, Nov. 12
Grade 2 Field Trip to Canstruction
New Families Orientation Group, 8:30 am (North Dining Room)

Thursday, Nov. 14
PA/Neurodiversity Support Group, 8:30 am

Saturday, Nov. 16
TEDxYouth@TheSchool, 10:30 am

Let's go Lions! Games Next Week
Monday, Oct. 21
Gr. 7/8 Boys Soccer v. Cathedral, 4 pm (Thomas Jefferson Park, 112th St. and First Ave.)
Gr. 7/8 Girls Soccer v. Marymount, 4 pm (away)
Gr. 7/8 Girls Volleyball v. Trevor, 4:15 pm (MPR)

Tuesday, Oct. 22
Gr. 5/6 Girls Soccer v. Trevor/Marymount/Lycée Français, 4 pm (CU, 218th St. and Broadway)
Cross Country Meet, 4 pm (Van Cortlandt)

Wednesday, Oct. 23
Gr. 7/8 Girls Soccer v. Grace Church, 4 pm (away)
Gr. 7/8 Girls Volleyball v. St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, 4:15 pm (MPR)

Thursday, Oct. 24
Gr. 5/6 Girls Soccer v. Chapin, 4:15 pm (away)
Gr. 7/8 Boys Soccer v. Fieldston, 4:15 pm (CU, 218th St. and Broadway)
Gr. 7/8 Girls Volleyball v. Hewitt, 4:15 pm (MPR)

Friday, Oct. 25
Cross Country Meet: Collegiate Invitational, 3:45 pm (Van Cortlandt)

2014-15 Admissions Inquiry Forms Available - Two More Weeks Only!
The School’s admissions inquiry form for the 2014-15 school year is available online until the end of this month, Oct. 31, 2013. Families residing in Public School Districts 3 and 5, and families from the University who would like to apply for 2014-15, may find and submit the form on The School’s website!

New on The Gallery and Tube
Grade 8 Day of Service
3C - LED Cards
Pottery Lesson (various)
Grade 4 Name Solo (various)

Social Media at The School
Over the past weeks, some important questions have been raised about The School’s use of social media in our curriculum. The focus of the conversation has been Twitter use at the classroom level. However, the topic is much more complex. How do we as a school both protect the privacy of our community and maintain a presence in the global education community? The School has been recognized as a leader in creating connections with other schools around the world. This month alone we will be working with schools in Turkey and India to develop educational partnerships.

The curricular value of social media is rooted in the mission of The School.

Our practice is guided by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Principles of Good Practice of Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age. Technology education at The School stems from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards (formerly the NETS) for Teachers (ISTE Standards-T). From a developmentally appropriate perspective, with an emphasis on social responsibility and problem-solving, students at The School use technology for research, communication and productivity.

The School takes the safety and security of our students and families very seriously. Tweets and posts are sent by teachers and staff with specific educational intentions in mind. We will continue to follow the practice of not identifying individual children.

As a school we carefully develop our curriculum. Withdrawing a student from any portion of the classroom experience negatively affects the whole of that student’s experience. Regular, unrestricted participation is essential to an active learning environment.

For communications intended exclusively for families, we will continue to use private communication methods; restricted settings are appropriate for school newsletters and specific class updates. As we work to rebuild and revamp The School’s website, we are looking into family portals and restricted password-protected portions of the site. We hope to use these sections not only to provide a more private area for information we are currently sharing, but also to create spaces to complete and submit essential school forms.

For communications about themes in class, or topics intended for larger educational conversations, a private or limited access eliminates The School’s ability to make global connections. For the sharing of how we teach a concept--an action that can transform relationships between teachers and learners, and allow students to develop greater thinking and collaboration skills--an unrestricted communication tool is essential.

The School regularly evaluates its use of technology to support our mission and goals. We are taking this opportunity to review our acceptable use policies, and our processes for selecting which tools we use in classrooms. Additionally, I encourage families to review their own digital footprints. Family photos and information can often be in visible, searchable places online, sometimes without a family’s knowledge.

Thank you for participating in The School’s mission with us. If you have specific questions about social media in your child’s classroom, I encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher. If questions or concerns still remain, please contact the division director. As always, I am happy to answer any further questions.

-- Amani Reed, Head of School

Ally Week, Oct. 21-25 and Beyond
As part of the social-emotional learning curriculum at TSC, next week Middle Division students will have conversations in Advisory about what it means to be an Ally. In particular, we will develop the understanding that an Ally can be someone who works as an advocate for an oppressed group to which one may or may not belong. We relate our conversations to the national recognition of GLSEN’s Ally Week, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s initiative to encourage students to stand up as Allies against bullying and harassment. Many of our students will continue to be Allies by speaking out and standing up for a community of inclusion within our school.

During Ally Week, Middle Division students will staff a table in the cafe where families, faculty and students can sign individual pledges promising to try to help stop hurtful language or behavior, and may select to wear free ribbons or stickers as visible signs of support as an Ally.

We invite all of our community to wear purple clothing or ribbons on Friday, Oct. 25 to celebrate our commitment to inclusivity and anti-bias.

Join our students in their good work! Here are my top ten ways you can be an Ally:
1. Recognize where you have privilege   
2. Deepen your awareness of the levels and types of oppression: individual, cultural, and institutional
3. Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
5. Learn your own history
6. Challenge assumptions, myths and misperceptions
7. Operate with integrity
8. Ask about things you don’t understand
9. Step out of your comfort zone
10. Read The School’s mission about inclusivity and diversity, and pledge to live it every day
(Adapted from NYU’s Ally Week: “Ways To Be An Ally Checklist”)

Thanks for being an Ally!

-- Belinda Nicholson, Middle Division Head

Kaleidoscope Next Week
In recognition of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and Ally Week 2013 (Oct. 21-25), Kaleidoscope will host a conversation on inclusion and anti-bias at their next meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 8:30 am in the North Dining Room on the second floor. Please come share in a discussion on this very relevant topic. Learn about additional resources and programs at The School that support anti-bullying at an upcoming Powerful Parenting Coffee on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 5:45 pm focusing on positive, inclusive friendships.

Grade 8 Writing Retreat
We learned that some families may not have received last week’s Lion’s Share (Oct. 11). The School apologizes, if you didn't! You can find it on the TSC website. And republished here, from last week’s Lion’s Share, is the Grade 8 report of their Oct. 7-9 Writing Retreat:

Grade 8 students participated in a three-day writing retreat last week, with day one held here at The School, and days two and three at Black Rock Forest. See
photos of the retreat on The Gallery.

The Black Rock writing retreat was loads of fun. There are many places to curl up and zone out to your favorite book. If not that, there were many opportunities to play cards with friends or play ultimate frisbee out in the field. Of course, we also got to write humorous, touching, and scary stories. I had loads of fun doing this, especially because I could write on the rocks outdoors and not only in the lounge. On the first day there were opportunities for hikes, and at night we got to have a moth pit. In the moth pit we all got to listen to stories from our friends in the grade. After that, some went on a night hike, and others snuggled on the floor of the main lounge and watched “Happy Feet.” We all managed to get a good night’s sleep and not stay up and chat with our bunkmates. In the morning, there was Aikido, relaxing, and an early bird run. Time went by too quickly. As Ms. Becker says, there is never enough time for English class, or in this case, the Black Rock writing retreat.
-- Oliver Chonoles, Grade 8 Student

Grade 8 English teacher Eve Becker also wrote about the retreat and her experiences teaching with Google Glass during it.

The School will host the fourth annual TEDxYouth@TheSchool on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10:30 am to 3 pm. The event is open to TSC students in Grades 5-8, all TSC alumni, parents, faculty, and guests. It will be held in the MPR at The School, and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The theme this year is "The Spark!" and a terrific lineup of speakers has been gathered to inspire and empower our community to make a difference in the world. Among the (growing) list of presenters are current Grade 4 student Hope Dworkin and co-hosts from our Middle Division Student Government.

If you plan to attend, please register for TEDxYouth@TheSchool here:

Contact Karen Blumberg, Middle Division Educational Technologist, with any questions. We hope to see many members of our community there!

Book-a-Palooza Has Arrived!
There are still many ways to help and be involved!

* BUY your raffle tickets!
More than $5,000 worth of prizes including an iPad Mini, “Cinderella” tickets, cameras and more! More than 50 prizes total! Special prize for the family that sells the most tickets! Raffle tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20.

If you can't make it to the event on Saturday, you can still win raffle prizes. Please buy raffle tickets to support the Parents Association!

Please bring in your baked goods (with ingredient lists attached - no nuts/nut oils).

* DONATE gently used books and rummage!
Donate gently used children’s and young adult books, clothing, outerwear, toys and costumes. Please no adult clothing, large toys or board books. Books in languages other than English are welcome!

We need your help! There are still spots to fill! Grandparents and other family adults are welcome to volunteer as well! Sign up here!

Remember, these exciting events will be happening Saturday as part of the Book-a-Palooza Carnival!

* Pokemon Trading: Remember to bring your cards to trade!
* Karaoke: Belt out your fave tune!
* Author table: Come meet TSC family authors!
* Costume Corner: Donate and buy a new one!
* Multi-lingual Read Aloud: Hear more than a dozen TSC family authors read their favorite books in many languages!

We hope to see you tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11 am to 4 pm!

Family Conferences: Tuesday, Nov. 5
A reminder that family conferences are coming up. Please note, there will be no school on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to accommodate them. Please return your child’s MAP Questionnaire to classroom teachers/advisors, if you have not done so already, so they can review responses and be prepared to discuss. Students in Grades 1-8 participate in conferences, which in the fall are focused on goal-setting.

Student Health Office Hours
A reminder that the Student Health Office is open and a school nurse (Hilde Darre and/or Crystal Buckner) is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5:30 pm. Please, only the nurses should handle any medical paperwork or issues. Thank you for your help and cooperation!

While we do not celebrate Halloween or permit costumes at The School, there will be a special autumnal snack next week Thursday, Oct. 31, at The School.

Mystery Composer Challenge #2!
Music faculty launched a Mystery Composer Challenge earlier this month on their bulletin board on the sixth floor, and in The Lion’s Share. Visit the board to see, or play along in the Lion’s Share! Know the answer? Children may tell their music teacher. We’ll trumpet the answer in next week’s Lion’s Share!

Who am I?
- German-born composer
- Born 1819, died 1896
- Compositions include “Mazurka, Op.6, No. 5,” “Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 16,” and “Four Polonaises, Op. 1”
- Proclaimed a child prodigy throughout Europe
- Husband, Robert, was also a composer
- Gave concerts, toured, and continued to compose while raising eight children
- Performed for just over six decades