The Field School

SELF-DISCOVERYSKILLS OF MINDGENEROSITY OF HEART

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THE FIELD COMMUNITY JOINS TOGETHER

We started off the school year with lots of chances for our community to meet together. We met as a school for the Welcome Assembly and Convocation. We brought new parents in for informative breakfasts where Dale welcomed them to the school and shared some great Field history (yes, Field's first home really was above a dry cleaner!). And this past week has given us two perennial favorite events: Back-to-School Night and Homecoming.
 
Back-to-School Night features a role reversal: parents come 
to school and get to attend their student's classes. Filomena plays a French song for them; Jack has them swirling paint, oil, and water on paper (pictured, below); Adam makes them do hand gestures while they learn yo, tú, and ustedAllie has them dying theatrical fake deaths (pictured, left); and Carolyn asks them to analyze a passage from Purple Hibiscus. Parents even get lost sometimes trying to find their way around! 
They learn about the topics classes will be covering and how to be most helpful to their student(s)—even when that means stepping back sometimes to let students grapple with a new challenge on their own. Back-to-School Night is always a wonderful chance for parents to see through their students' eyes. The only thing missing was a delicious school lunch!
 
Homecoming was also a huge success, with wins for every 
team! We had visits from alumni, alumni parents, cute babies (aka future Field students), puppies, prospective families, Field staff and their families, and more. There was great weather, an ice cream truck, and some truly impressive chalk art, not to mention the volleyball and soccer teams playing hard and with heart!
 
There was also a strong showing from the Field Hype Team, a new student-led activity founded to cheer on Field's sports teams. For a sneak peek of one of the team's favorite cheers, check out our Facebook page! You'll want to know how to do this special Field cheer the next time you're at a game. Be true, fly high, go Field!


One of the best things about being
part of the Field community is knowing that no matter your age, your interests, or your connection to us—you'll always belong here. We love seeing our community at events big and small throughout the year, and we thank all of you for coming out and making the beginning of school truly spectacular!
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CONVOCATION

Last Friday, we started the school day with a formal all-school assembly. Students and teachers gathered together for a Convocation to set a community intention for this final year for the Class of 2017. Dale gave a presentation highlighting how much the world has changed since this year's seniors were born, and how much potential they have to shape and change it. He challenged the senior class to begin envisioning their future and to begin building—and living—that future now.  

There was, in true Field style, some great musical moments, including a Stevie Wonder song, performed beautifully by a 7th grader. We were also treated to a rousing Hamilton number performed by Chris Lorrain with the lyrics re-written for this year's seniors.
 
Sixth graders shared what they think it means to be a senior, which included "Being a 12th grader is about being a good example," "Being a 12th grader is about welcoming new students to Field. (Four of you did this for me!)," and "Being a senior is about yelling 'Seniors!' at the top of your lungs every time time someone says 'Seniors.'" (They're getting pretty good at it, too.)
 
At the end of the assembly, senior Olivia was asked to come unfurl a banner that featured artwork which illustrated what Field means to her. The banner, depicting colorful silhouettes of the people who bring Field to life, will hang in the Wonder Walkway throughout the year, reminding students to find their unique voice, dream big, and live their futures starting from this very moment.
 
Go forth and build your legacies, Class of 2017. As Dale so aptly stated, "our world needs your ideas, your creativity, your voice, your work, and your care."
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HONORS & ACTIVITIES!

What in the world is SHAM? It stands for Study halls, Honors,Activities, and Meetings. Already this year we've had some great all-school meetings and grade-level meetings, but now it's time to kick off the H and the A—Honors and Activities! (You'll hear more about study halls from your grade heads.)
 
Honors classes are offered weekly during SHAM. "Honors is a program of challenging and innovative short courses," says Director of Student Activities Aaron Bachmann. "This is a 
chance where students of all ages get to see the real passions of their teachers. They get to experience a really intense and innovative approach to a more specialized topic." Teachers get to dream up whatever subject matter they want—and with few curricular restrictions, they come up with unique and fascinating choices every year. This year's offerings include courses that focus on hip-hop analysis, iconic film scenes, the Bible, photojournalism, and starting your own business. They all promise to be interesting, engaging courses. Students who want to be involved MUST attend a meeting on Monday, September 19th at 12:15pm in the Theater. CLICK HERE to check out the options for the year!
 
On the flip side, activities are dreamed up and run by our student population.
They are, Aaron says, "one of the best chances for student leadership at Field." Students of any age are welcome to propose an activity or club which will run once a week during SHAM throughout the year. We've had everything from House Hunters Club (yes, they watched House Hunters!) to sabermetrics (that's baseball statistics) to Ukulele Club. "They also have the opportunity to have really involved, deep discussions in groups like A.W.A.R.E. [a social justice-focused group], the GSA, and Model U.N.," says Aaron. "It’s a broad group of activities that’s very reflective of the diverse interests of our student population." Students: don't miss the Activities Fair next Wednesday!
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GETTING TO KNOW YOU...

The Field School is back in session!
 
One goal of the week has been to get to know the new members of our community (welcome, new students!) and bond together as teams so we can dig into our work together this year. Middle schoolers had an in-school retreat, ninth graders adventured on ropes courses in Calleva, 10th and 11th graders rowed together at Fletcher's Boathouse in Georgetown, and seniors spent a day hiking together in Harper's Ferry.

One highlight: middle schoolers spent the morning doing some hands-on activities, including trying to fix broken bikes, building part of an electric slide guitar from scratch, and even working on Wes's car. These were tough challenges, as you can probably imagine! When things got frustrating, our middle schoolers persevered and worked together to come up with creative solutions, showing resilience and teamwork. 

Whether students were out in the wilderness or here at school, all had the chance to build trust, make some fun memories, and form lasting bonds that will serve them well over the course of the school year. 
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Message from Dale re: Recent Events

To The Field School Community,

The tragic series of events last week that occurred in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas underscores the continuing and painful challenges our society faces when it comes to race and highlights the great importance of our schools to teach and engage students in dialogue about race, difference, and privilege. It feels important to me that our community be reminded of Field’s commitment to addressing these issues and to share our renewed commitment—in response to these recent events, but also because we are always seeking to improve our practice—to do even better this coming school year.

Some of you may not know that in 2010 Field’s Board, administrative leadership, faculty, and staff adopted a commitment to multicultural competence and recognized the conviction as deeply embedded and central to Field’s mission and core values. Our community has made significant and important steps towards multicultural competence in the years before and since the commitment was made public. Our latest edition of our annual magazine, Field Notes, rightly and proudly details the advances our community has made in this area over the last 10 years.

This past week, Field’s leadership team was on a retreat when the tragic news reports were becoming known to us. We decided to suspend our scheduled work and took time to process and discuss the events and to reflect on Field’s commitment to multicultural competence, to seeing every student as an individual, and to our mission of Self Discovery, Skills of Mind, and Generosity of Heart.

Coming out of our leadership retreat, it is our overall assessment that as leaders and as a community, we can still do better in addressing issues of race, difference, and privilege. And we can do better in supporting our students, faculty, and staff who belong to minority populations in a school that is predominantly white, heterosexual, and affluent. We reaffirm our conviction that as we do better on these issues, it serves all in our community and better prepares all students to live a life with greater positive impact on our world.

So in the aftermath of last week’s events, which we recognize are not isolated but representative of a painful part of our ongoing national history, we are moved to respond with heart, wisdom, and strength. We commit to work with the faculty, staff, and our board this fall to further improve and hasten our work towards multicultural competence, and we commit to better communicate about these issues to our students and to the broader Field community.

We are reminded that to be silent in the face of injustice is to be complicit. I feel it is important to share our voice, to share with you our grief and frustration, to remind you of Field’s values and commitments, and to ask for your support as we plan for a new school year and the opportunities that await to build an even stronger community.

May we all find healing, compassion, conviction, and peace in the summer weeks that remain.
 
Aude Sapere—Dare to Be Wise.

Sincerely,
 
 
Dale
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Hands-On Science, In and Out of the Classroom

One of Field's greatest strengths is our teachers' creativity and dedication to keeping their classes active and experiential, often in unexpected ways in traditionally theoretical subjects. Students design their own cities to learn about angles in geometry and make recipes together to practice the imperative in Spanish. Applied learning is a benchmark of the Field education, not an exception to the rule. This week, science classes featured all kinds of hands-on excitement!
 
On Monday, 6th graders were treated to an in-school science field trip with special guest Dr. Strouse, who guided them through dissections of pig hearts ("You can put your finger through the ventricle!," demonstrated one student) and had them put electrodes on to have an EKG taken. They got to keep a printout of their own heartbeat!
 
Meanwhile, at the Natural History Museum, Advanced Biology students went looking for skeletons as part of their exam on natural selection and genetics. Among other finds, each was tasked with identifying which vertebrate skeleton at the museum most resembled Tiktaalik, the "fishapod" who left the ocean to climb on land—and likely the ancestor of all modern land-dwelling vertebrates.  
 
Physics 1 students are embarking on an engineering unit. They're taking the lessons they learned from making catapults last week to build bridges out of popsicle sticks and put them to the test! Using a bridge measuring tool, they found out how strong their bridges were by applying—and increasing—pressure on the middle of the bridge. After they evaluate their bridges, they'll work to figure out how to make them even stronger!
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Be Yourself at The Field School

Self-Discovery.  It's the first word in our mission statement, and its pursuit is innate to everyday life at Field.  Students are encouraged to think and learn about themselves, and to grow as individuals over the course of their time here.  They can be studious, athletic, shy, boisterous, latino, focused, whimsical, black, white or anytihng else they want—so long as they are who they truly are.

Field is a place where you can be yourself.
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