Dear Crefeld Community,
The first quarter started with a hurricane and ended with a snow storm, however, despite all the outside chaos, everything has been running smoothly inside our walls. Hopefully, we will still have a few more weeks of beautiful, sunny fall days so everyone can enjoy the foliage. In preparation for the cold weather, my suggestion is layering! Crefeld is a great old building, but that comes with some drawbacks, one being a heating system that does a fantastic job on one side of the building at the expense of the other. No matter what the weather outside, our building always has hot spots and cold spots, so dress accordingly.
The first seven weeks of the 2011-2012 school year provided many exciting events both in the classrooms and on field trips. There was a Middle School field trip to Bartram's Garden; the 11/12 Team’s expedition to the Chemical Heritage Foundation; interested art students’ journey to the Wharton Eschrick Museum; and the 9/10 Team is planning a trip to Washington DC. For more complete descriptions of these trips, see below in the highlights section. Field trips are just one of the ways that we offer students the hands-on and experiential education that is the hallmark of progressive education. While these trips are special and exciting experiences, we are always engaged in hands-on learning in the classrooms, as well.
Our Community Service Learning Program is also off to a positive start. As you know, every Crefeld student is required to give back to the larger community for two hours every week. This supports our efforts to develop critically engaged citizens. We want every Crefeld student to be working to make the world a better place for more people. During our community service program your children are doing just that-- they are tutoring younger children, entertaining and connecting with the elder generation, removing invasive species and otherwise caring for our watershed, and many other projects, as well.
We held our first Town Hall Meeting where the community discussed how we could adopt a more progressive approach to discipline. Dan Cunitz is leading this initiative and found it very helpful to have everyone’s perspective. As you may know, we still issue detentions at Crefeld when a student’s actions fall outside our community guidelines. While they are helpful in letting students know where the boundaries are, we are looking for a more progressive way to deliver that message and partner with students as they work to engage with our community.
As we look forward to the second quarter, we have Thanksgiving right around the corner and Winter Break just three short weeks after that. Make sure that you utilize the home work site (www.edline.net) and discuss any questions with your child’s advisor. If you are having any trouble with the homework site, you can contact Rod Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be happy to walk you through the set-up.
Highlights and upcoming events:
● Join us for The Crefeld School’s Community Yard Sale this Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 8:30am - 12:00pm. Space rental is inexpensive - only $15. The event will be held on our upper parking lot (rain location: gym). Please contact Joan at email@example.com or 215-242-5545 ext. 42 to register.
● Family Conferences (formally known as Parent Conferences) will be held on Friday, November 11. There is no school for your children and each family will have an opportunity to meet with your child’s advisor. This is an opportunity to discuss the first quarter report card and establish goals for the second quarter. I encourage all students to attend their family conference.
● Thanksgiving Break will begin at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, November 23. Classes will resume on Monday, November 28.
● Field Trip Highlights...
○ Middle School students spent Friday, October 21, at Bartram's Garden, America’s oldest living botanical garden, a bucolic 18th century homestead surrounded by the urban bustle of Philadelphia. This trip was part of the cross-curriculum planning and teaching the Middle School is doing around the theme of Adaptation, as well as content specific to history and science classes. Students participated in a workshop, looking at how animals camouflage themselves and the reasons why their lives can depend on these clever disguises. Students also designed their own species to camouflage in the natural environment, then tried to find each other's species hidden in the landscape. After the workshop, the group toured the Bartram homestead and learned about colonial life.
○ The Chemical Heritage Foundation field trip provided Crefeld students in the 11/12 Team with a history of discoveries that were made in the Chemistry from the 17th Century onward, and the ways in which these discoveries affected people's lifestyles and standards of living. The museum was divided into sections which included artistic expressions of Chemistry, machines and instruments use by Chemists throughout history, and exhibits that provided information about how advances in Chemistry have fueled industry, lifestyle, and our perspective of the Universe.
○ On Friday October 21, 11 students and 3 faculty members participated in a very personal guided tour of the Wharton Eschrick Museum, outside of Valley Forge. The museum, situated on a wooded hillside, consists of Eshrick's hand-built home, studio (built with Louis Kahn), and garage. A pioneer and visionary artist, Wharton Eshrick (1887-1970) exerted a profound influence on subsequent generations of artists and artisans. He developed a vision for the role of art in life that he expressed not only in commissioned work, but in the creation of every aspect of his home and studio. Students and faculty alike were awed and inspired by Eshrick's unique aesthetic sensibility, sense of humor, irreverence, and creativity.
○ On November 29th the 9/10 Team will be traveling to Washington, DC, to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a culminating activity for the Holocaust unit. Students will also be sightseeing around the capital, viewing many monuments, memorials and government buildings. This field trip will be an opportunity for the 9/10 students to experience our nation's capital as well as expand their understandings about anti-Semitism and genocide. Additional information will be given to the students, along with permission slips in the near future.
● Timely communication is a top priority at The Crefeld School. To help with this task, Crefeld uses the ALERTNOW notification service, which allows us to send a telephone or e-mail message to you providing important information about school closings, events and emergencies. The system dials and emails everyone simultaneously using contact information that you provide to the school, eliminating the need for individual phone calls and emails.
● Enclosed is a save the date card for our Annual Auction. Please note that we have moved the Auction from the fall to the spring. The Annual Auction is our largest fundraiser of the year and I encourage everyone to get involved. For me personally, the Auction is an opportunity to relax, talk with Crefeld families, and support Crefeld too.
Don’t forget, the yard sale is this Saturday!
Head of School