News

Historical fiction author Elisa Carbone will visit our fourth and fifth grade students in the library on Friday, April 13. Carbone is the author of chapter books "Blood on the River" and "Stealing Freedom". She has also written the historical fiction picture books "Night Running : how James escaped with the help of his faithful dog" and "Heroes of the Surf : a rescue story based on true events".
Read More about Author Elisa Carbone to Visit the Lower Division

Tremendous physical, social and cognitive changes take place in three short years, and the teachers strive to maintain an awareness of these changes in the design and implementation of our middle school curriculum and program. We have had many visitors who have commented about the thoughtful and deliberate constructs of our program, and other schools have built their programs on our model.

 

We have a rigorous academic program; we recognize that much of the instruction in the middle school years centers on the development of emerging executive function skills. Students need skills in organizing, time management, note-taking, studying rather than just memorizing, problem solving, analyzing, working collaboratively, learning how to ask for help and self-advocacy. They need to take responsibility for their own learning. They need opportunities to make choices, to take safe risks, to make mistakes, and to accept the consequences of their decisions and actions. We actively incorporate all of these components into our school day.

 

Students in the Middle Division are well known by their advisors. Despite being a large middle school, scheduling, selection of advisors, and trimester elective choices in the arts, Science and English are personalized to support the social and educational needs of each individual. Students are known as individuals and supported in their unique paths through the middle school years.

 

Surrounding the academic program we have a well-developed program of the arts, trips, sports, clubs, service learning and grade level activities and assemblies. Each year the whole division emphasizes one of our five core values; this year we have celebrated “maintaining a secure and healthful environment” with a series of Wellness Wednesdays.

 

Why choose Horace Mann for the middle years? Because it is a terrific place to learn and grow!

 

Robin Ingram
Head of Middle Division
718-432-3929
robin_ingram@horacemann.org

Read More about Middle Division News, Admissions 2011

On Thursday, Feb. 3, the CCVA and the Upper Division Service-Learning Team are sponsoring a major day-long event: a visit by Louise W. Knight, author of Jane Addams: Spirit in Action, and Ira Harkavy, Founder and Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of Dewey’s Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform (see flyer for more information on the participants). The day is the official kickoff for our fourth annual All-School Service-Learning Day, to take place on Saturday, April 16; but it is an important and exciting event in itself. You are invited to come for all or part of the day (see flyer for schedule). One of the exciting aspects of the event is the wide list of co-sponsors, listed at the bottom of the flyer. We expect a lively discussion among our guests and our own students and faculty. This will be an event not to miss!

Happy New Year!

Before the break...

On the Friday evening before the holiday break, the Marble Hill Community Center after-school program put on a Holiday Spectacular in front of a full house of parents – and it was spectacular! The show was written by our Service-Learning Team drama group, led by Elliott Weinstein. The group, working with the Marble Hill staff, rehearsed weekly and created an unforgettable performance. Congratulations to all involved!

Now that we’re back…

We’ve filled our bus! The Upper Division Service-Learning Team will go to two buses beginning this week. Another milestone, and an ongoing commitment to community engagement and connecting education and action.

Thanks to Dr. Kelly for hosting a wonderful dinner for Team members and their families. This annual event has become a highlight of the year.

The Team continues to grow, not only in numbers, but in the depth of programming and learning. Two orientations, one for new members and one for Kingsbridge Heights Team participants and KHCC staff, underscored the commitment to combining service and learning. Team meetings have taken on new energy. It’s time to consider joining for the Third Trimester!

Save the Date: Fourth Annual All-School Service-Learning Day, Saturday, April 16, 2011. More information coming soon.

Read More about Center for Community Values and Action - Volume 4, Issue 4

Horace Mann Alumni Theater Outing - Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

We invite you to join fellow HM Alumni for a preview of one of the most ambitious productions ever undertaken on Broadway:

SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off The Dark
Sunday, February 27
3:00 pm
Foxwoods Theater
213 West 42nd Street

A limited number of orchestra tickets will be available for $99. To secure tickets for you and your family please contact Gregory Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations, at 718-432-3458 or greg_zuroski@horacemann.org.

 

Please support Annual Fund 2011

The Annual Fund helps to support all aspects of an HM education and enriches the life of every student every day. All contributions help to ensure the School’s ability to continue to fulfill its mission of providing each student with the finest educational experience possible. The caliber of programming greatly depends on the resources available to the School, and a robust Annual Fund ensures adequate and immediate financing to sustain the breadth and depth of the curriculum, compensate exceptional faculty and staff, enhance financial aid and maintain our four campuses. Please consider making a gift to Annual Fund 2011. Contact Kristen Pietraszek, Director of Annual Giving with any questions: (718) 432-3459. Gifts received by January 31 will be listed in the Interim Report of Donors. Thank you for your support.

Make a Gift to Annual Fund 2011


Award-Winning Horace Mann Magazine Looks Back on Events at the School and Ahead to Innovations in the Coming Year

As we settle into another calendar year the Alumni House and Development Office celebrates a host of activities that have connected Horace Mann School alumni to the School’s current community as never before. From Homecoming, to a Barnard School reunion, to honoring a Distinguished Alumna, you can read about these events and more in the Fall/Winter edition of Horace Mann Magazine. This issue features a visit with Dr. Tom Kelly as he looks back on his first five years as Horace Mann Head of School, and looks forward to new initiatives in the School’s future.

The interactive feature of our NXTBook edition enables readers to get behind the stories: When you read about Homecoming 2010, you can also click on interviews with alumni who were filmed at Homecoming by Lauren Ginsberg ’12 (see p. 40). Our story on the Horace Mann Alumni Council Award for Distinguished Achievement, presented to Dr. Margaret Galland Kivelson ’46, includes a power-point presentation by Dr. Galland that features images of Horace Mann back when students traveled to Horace Mann by trolley. It also outlines Dr. Kivelson’s groundbreaking work as a space physicist, who overcame barriers to women academics to achieve her prominence as a towering figure in this country’s scientific community (see p. 45). We hope you enjoy this issue, and look forward to continuing to connect with you in the coming year.

We are also thrilled to announce that for the second consecutive year Horace Mann Magazine, published by The Alumni House and Development Office, was recognized by the Council for Advancement in Education (CASE) ll Accolades Awards program. The magazine was honored with a silver award in the one-to- three-color category. In announcing the award to the Office CASE ll cited that the magazine's "accomplishments in creative planning, production, and promotion of programs merit the accolades and admiration of (your) peers." Congratulations to Director of Publications Ruth Seligman and The Alumni House and Development Office.

 

Horace Mann School Alumni at Cornell Welcome News (and treats) from Back Home

Just as the Cornell University community dug into the thick of finals week, 14 students at the university enjoyed a welcome reprieve from the intensity of studying and paper-writing in the form of greetings from Horace Mann School. The Cornell students, ranging from first-years to a doctoral candidate, were also alumni of Horace Mann, from the HM Classes of 2002 through 2010. On December 7, 2010 they received a visit and an invitation to dinner from Horace Mann School Director of Alumni Relations Greg Zuroski.

Zuroski traveled to Ithaca to meet with the HM alumni at Cornell as part of a new initiative by the Alumni House and Development Office to connect with young alumni in a variety of ways. In October Zuroski traveled to New Haven where he enjoyed dinner and conversation with HM alumni who are part of the Yale University community. Because of the busy schedules of these alums-turned-college-students, The Alumni House believes that reaching out to alumni on campus is an effective way to stay in touch.

“Horace Mann School is truly interested in staying in touch with all of our alumni,” said Zuroski, himself a Cornell alumnus, who hosted a dinner for the Cornell students at Stella’s restaurant in the Collegetown neighborhood of Ithaca, N.Y. “The School needs to hear from all of its constituencies. We usually hear from older alumni, but, by reaching out to alumni who are still in college, we open the channels for communication, now and in the future. We enjoyed a warm and open discussion, and I learned a lot from these young alumni about how their Horace Mann School education prepared them for college.

“It was not only wonderful to see them, but their insight is very helpful to Horace Mann. I discovered that what Horace Mann School is doing today really matters to them. They are truly invested in their School,” said Zuroski.

Vanessa Constant ’10 was among the guests at the dinner. She attended with her brother Max Constant ’07, and with friends from each one’s class. “Mr. Zuroski’s visit was great!” said Vanessa. “We had a delicious meal at a restaurant in Collegetown. Needless to say, a break from the dining hall was warmly welcomed. I suppose the perfect way to describe linking up with other alumni would be to say it was comforting. It was a comfort to know that there is such a large and friendly Horace Mann community right here at Cornell University. The fact that Greg Zuroski, alumni affairs, and Dr. Kelly made the gathering possible was very kind and much appreciated. Overall the ‘Horace Mann Alum at Cornell dinner’ was a nice way to see familiar faces – on a break from their final exam studying schedule that had begun that week.”

Justin Hauser ’07 was another HMer who enjoyed the gathering. “It was a very special treat and a great initiative on the part of Horace Mann Alumni Affairs,” he wrote, thanking Zuroski for taking him and his “fellow Horace Mann alumni out to dinner,” and promising to be in touch after the end of the final exam period.

Attending the dinner were Ph.D. candidate Emma Zuroski ’02, Cornell seniors Max Constant and Justin Hauser, both HM Class of 2007, Isaiah Einzig, Jacqueline Perkins and Robin Shapiro HM Class of 2008, Rebecca Bogatin, Lauren Glasky and Lindsay Rothfeld HM Class of 2009, and Vanessa Constant, Heather Delanty, Aylin Gucalp, Allison Hellman and Sherry Zhou, HM Class of 2010. Following the lively and thoughtful conversation over a dinner that fortified the students for finals week, the group went out into the cold Ithaca night, carrying gifts of Horace Mann School-logo pens Zuroski had brought them, along with copies of recent editions of Horace Mann Record newspapers. As a special treat Zuroski had asked the School’s Flick catering service to prepare a sampling of the chocolate chip, oatmeal and sugar cookies the students well remember from so many Horace Mann School events. With their individual bags of cookies, the students returned to their studies with a taste and thoughts of home.

 

Save the Date: Homecoming and Reunion Day is October 29, 2011

Mark your calendars to join us on Saturday, October 29th us for the largest annual gathering of alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends! Come cheer on our student athletes, enjoy our PA’s Family Carnival & Fair or spend time with our student ambassadors on a campus tour. Reunions are scheduled that evening for the classes of 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. For more information, please contact Greg Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations at: 718-432-3458.

 

Alumni Volunteer Opportunities

Horace Mann alumni have opportunities to become active with their School and its students in many ways. Last year alumni took part in life on campus as speakers and participants in such dynamic programs as HM's annual Book Day and Women's Issues Dinner, as volunteers at the School's Service Learning Day, as exhibitors in an alumni photography show, and in alumni athletic events and Theater Department productions.

For information about how to assist and support your School by volunteering to speak to students or to participate in planning events, please contact Greg Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations, at 718-432-3458 or greg_zuroski@horacemann.org

 

Join the Horace Mann School Alumni Page on Facebook

In an effort to stay connected with alumni we are broadening our horizons…You can now find the Horace Mann School Alumni page on Facebook. We invite you to visit us often to keep in touch with your School, alumni activities, events and classmates. You can even view photos from recent events and feel free to tag your friends! Spread the word and we hope to see you on Facebook.

Read More about News from the Alumni and Development Office - Volume 4, Issue 4

There is power in the “I perspective.” We heard it in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech when he shared his vision for a more just and equitable America. One of the community norms is to speak from the “I” perspective,” to tell the stories you, yourself, have experienced and witnessed. The integrity of the personal story or viewpoint is compelling and inspires others to think of and share their own stories.

We saw this in the effective delivery of performances by Melissa Waddy-Thiboudeaux and Michael Green that brought historic figures to life for our students. Our Lower Division students “met” Harriet Tubman in the fall and our kindergarten through 6th graders recently “met” Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. Soon, we will “meet” Benjamin Banneker, the self-taught surveyor and astronomer who designed the plan for the city of Washington, D.C., when Michael Green performs for the 5th grade in preparation for their school trip. By assuming these roles, the actors share life stories from the “I perspective” and help students to grasp the viewpoint of an individual who lived during a particular period of history.

The “I” perspective enthralled a recent gathering of kindergartners and their teachers at the ND when one child's grandmother talked to the children about what it was like, at the age of 17, to participate in the March on Washington in 1963. In talking to the children about Martin Luther King, Jr. she said, "He wanted people to settle problems peacefully. He talked about how the laws can separate people so that it's hard to unite the country. He always wanted to make things better for all people." Her heartfelt and personal conversation about the purpose of the March and how everyone there was committed to non-violent action communicated to the children the true spirit of the time and the enduring importance of the message today. At one point, she said, "Dr. King didn't like bullies." One child gave it some thought and then asked, "What's a bully?" She responded, "When someone snatches your toy from you or pushes you. It's people who are not respectful of other people."

This definition of bullying, how bullying arises from lack of respect and a perceived imbalance of power, was explored by the Upper Division during a January assembly led by students who attended the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference in December. Through several examples and readings, the students engaged the community in examining the attitude, occurrence and response to bullying at Horace Mann School. This has led to continuing conversation about the concept of and experience with microaggressions especially those related to stereotypes based on cultural identifiers such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender.

Conference attendees also spoke to the Middle Division faculty in January about their experience at SDLC and the People of Color Conference. They joined the faculty for roundtable discussions to explore how microaggressions occur in middle school and what steps can be taken to address these issues. It was a nice opportunity for students who had attended the Middle Division to reflect on their own experience and share their ideas with former teachers. The middle school mentors, also UD students, facilitated discussions on microaggressions with Middle Division students in their meetings recently in recognition of No Name Calling Week, an initiative of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network).

Raising awareness by focusing on the “I” perspective gives everyone the potential to have a voice. Every story holds meaning, first for the individual and, through connections made to the listener’s own experience, then for the listener. The Office of Diversity is committed to building community by encouraging and supporting every voice to be heard.

Patricia Zuroski
Director of Diversity Initiatives
718-432-4109
patricia_zuroski@horacemann.org

Read More about Office of Diversity - Volume 4, Issue 4

5am: the phone rings at my house in New Rochelle. I stagger out of bed, and just before the phone goes to the recording, I pick it up. Adam Kenner is talking to me; school is closed today, because of "weather conditions." Grateful, I fall asleep until 7:30. It's a snow day, a glorious, luxurious snow day.

First I cook a large leisurely breakfast for me and my wife. She of course has to go to work and smiles at me rueful and accusing, trying but failing to induce guilt; then there's plenty of time for the crossword puzzle, the front page, even the sports section. Then I do my ablutions, put on jeans and a sweatshirt, and get to my reading, volume two of "A Dance to the Music of Time"; by the middle of the morning, the snow has long-since stopped, the snowplows have cleared the streets, and I can go to the gym. I ride the exercise bike, lift weights; get a Starbucks and go home. It's a snow day. Of course, if I can go to the gym, I might actually be able to go to work. I feel just a little of that guilt my wife had in mind for me as she left the house.

We all love snow days: why wouldn't we? The kids think about them long in advance, predict them, estimate the possibilities, even lay small bets on the results. There's a small culture of snow days. They badger us adults a little, hoping to influence a decision that is way beyond their control and lies in the hands of the gods. "What are the chances of a snow day tomorrow, Dr. Schiller?" To them and to us, snow days are especially delicious because they're unexpected and undeserved; you can't plan for them, they just happen, like sudden sunshine or a donut you didn't know you had. You should be at school or at work, you planned to go, you were ready, willing, and able, but you don't have to. That test is off, that paper doesn't have to be turned in; you can postpone that unpleasant conversation or that difficult decision. Without asking for it, you've got more time. Let's make the first hot chocolate of the season, and if the snow abates, let's go to the movies. One snow day when I was a kid, we sledded down hills for what seemed like miles.

But of course, that's not all of it. Parents with young children who have to get to work now need to mobilize their back-up system, if they have one; or they stay home with children who can get cabin fever. And for us Horace Mann administrators and teachers, even for our students, the work that has to be done doesn't just go away because we're drinking hot chocolate. We have to make it up when we get back to work. That postponed test will have to be taken eventually and that unpleasant conversation will have to occur. We try to make up the time.

So we need to have snow days when we need snow days. And when we don't, we ought to get to school. So Dr. Kelly has come up with a plan to delay the opening of school on days when the snow stops or is removed early enough for us to get to school. Talking to parents and faculty today, I found an overwhelmingly positive response. A plan for delayed opening is the right thing to do. But I'll miss the hot chocolate.

David Schiller, Ph.D.
Head of Upper Division
718-432-3912
david_schiller@horacemann.org

Read More about Upper Division News - Volume 4, Issue 4

I spent this past Friday at Dorr with one of the eighth grade groups. I try to go every year and visit at least one group, and I especially enjoy watching and encouraging the students as they attempt to climb the CAT. This year I arrived late on the evening before the climb, so I was able to be part of the circle in which the students publicly expressed their goals with respect to the tower. They talked about how far they wanted to climb and which approach they were likely to take.

It was a cold and sunny day, and it was wonderful to watch the students work to achieve their personal goals. Each of them was willing to take a risk and go beyond what was comfortable. Some stated that the climb was much harder than they expected, others felt like it was a bit easier than they had anticipated. I missed the evening conversation when they share as a group how they feel about their accomplishments that day, next year I want to be part of that as well.

The process that surrounds the goal setting and climbing is a very important skill for eighth grade students. For much of their middle school careers, goals are set for them or at least suggested to them by adults – parents, teachers and advisors. It is developmentally appropriate that they begin to test their own abilities to make goals that involve some risks by this point in their Horace Mann journeys if they are going to be ready for the challenges of the Upper Division and beyond. Glenn and the Dorr staff model a fine process for setting goals that allows each student to stretch, and the CAT is a perfect challenge for an eighth grader. And when each group of students returns from Dorr they most often talk about their CAT experience as a highlight of the trip.

For the last two years we have created the Dorr groups by a completely random process. We used to send the groups by subject classes, such as by Math classes, but in doing so we found that dynamics of the groups had already been established, and that was not to the advantage of some students. A totally random group means that the group norms and relationships are established at Dorr, and the students now talk about coming to know students they had previously discounted or ignored. Building the relationships within the Dorr group itself, as they share tasks such as the CAT, are yet another way that the students stretch themselves.

There is also plenty of time for relaxed conversation and play built into the eighth grade program. After climbing the CAT in the morning and the afternoon on Friday, I watched the students organize themselves for an outdoor game and head down to the hill beside Payne Lodge to play outside together – all of them – with no adult directing the activity – until the sun was setting. Just plain fun!

I continue to be so grateful that we are able to have the eighth grade Dorr program. It is indeed one of the best things about the Middle Division!

Robin Ingram
Head of Middle Division
718-432-3929
robin_ingram@horacemann.org

Read More about Middle Division News - Volume 4, Issue 4

Our new year began with exciting opportunities for children's explorations and observations. I will be highlighting one class for each age group every newsletter.

ND Explorations - 3D

The children in class 3D have been experimenting with snow and making so many interesting observations! After having lots of fun with the snow on the playground, the children asked if the snow could be brought into their clasroom. And so the experiment begins. Mrs. Friedman asked "What is an experiment?" The children responded. "An experiment is when you make something. You try it first. It's a surprise and then it happens and it works." Snowballs were chosen to bring inside and they were placed on a tray. There was a discussion about what we thought would happen with to the snowballs inside. All the children predicted that the snow would melt but didn't realize how quickly that would happen. By the end of the day, the children were splashing the water! The next question that arose was "Can we turn it back into snow by placing the tray outside?"The tray then was placed outside to find that the water turned into a sheet of ice. The snowballs became a sheet of ice and the children observed that now the ice was "no longer soft and white, but clear, sharp and shiny and looked like glass." The conclusion was we can take water and make ice but we could not make snow. Our little scientists in the making!

ND Explorations -3B/4B


The children in class 3B/4B have been recording in their science journals observations of the seeds they have planted. The children are also observing, measuring and graphing the growth of an Amaryllis bulb. In addition, a great deal of enthusiam was generated by placing white carnations and celery into food coloring.

Class KB is learning all about the ocean. It began with a visit to the Museum of Natural History to see the ocean exhibit. The class was transfixed by the whale and voted to turn their classroom into the ocean, complete with a whale hanging from the ceiling. The children measured the classroom using unifix cubes and discovered it is 27 feet long. Through research they found that a Humpback whale averages 45 feet and decided to create a "teenage" sized whale that is 27 feet long.

The children learned about the anatomy of the whale. Each body part was drawn and the fluke and flippers were stuffed with newspaper. To continue with the ocean theme, each child has chosen an ocean animal to research.

ND Explorations - KB

They are working on research books and will use recycled materials to create their animal. When all is said and done, we will have our very own ocean musuem at the Nursery Division, for all of our children to visit!

We had a very special visitor to our kindergarten classes. Mrs. Nielson, one child's grandmother, shared her moving experience at the March on Washington in 1963. She brought her personal photos and read Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mrs. Nielson's presence stimulated insightful discussions with the children. This was a meaningful prelude to the Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. dramatic presentation at the lower division.

Our full time threes will begin their weekly visits to the 92ndSt Y next week with Mrs. McKay.

Our first International Pot Luck Dinner will bring our ND community together for and evening of delicious food and fun.

Enjoy all of the photos

Marcia Levy
Head of Nursery Division
212-369-4600
marcia_levy@horacemann.org

Read More about Nursery Division News - Volume 4, Issue 4

Students entering grades 9-12 in the fall should think seriously about the opportunities afforded them by opting to take summer courses. Students may want to take a half credit course in Computers & Computing to fulfill their graduation requirement. Students may also want to think about taking a half credit art appreciation course to open up their schedules to higher levels in the arts or to give them a bit more freedom in their schedules during a particular academic year. Students at all grade levels may consider taking a science course over the summer as a way to advance them to higher levels in science courses during the academic year.

The weeks of planning academic schedules for the coming years, which will happen in March, can be an especially constructive time to think about ways to best use the opportunities provided by taking a summer course. Credit courses are offered in most disciplines. All course offerings are listed on the Horace Mann Homepage under Academic Life, Summer Programs – Summer School.

These academic courses will be offered for credit Summer 2011:

BiologyUS HistoryAlgebra I
Geometry
ChemistryDesktop PublishingAlgebra II
PhysicsArt HistoryPre-Calculus

A wide variety of mini-courses is also available for academic enrichment. These mini-courses, offered to students entering grades 6-12 in the fall, will be offered as half-day and full-day course June 20-24 & June 27-July 1. Please consult the Summer School webpage for complete information about each course, including cost and appropriate age of participants:

Mini-Courses Offered June 20-June 24 -- Half Day

  • Exploring Pen and Ink -- Mr. Ron Logan, HM Middle/Upper Division Visual Arts Dept.
  • SAT Math Review – Mike Seymour
  • SAT Verbal Review -- Dr. Dominique Padurano, HM History Dept.

Mini-Courses Offered June 20-24 -- Full Day

  • Advanced Placement French Language & Culture -- Mr. Micheal Dale, Upper Division Foreign Languages Dept.
  • Algebra I Review for Algebra II Students -- Ms. Linda Itani, HM Upper Division Mathematics Dept.
  • Almodóvar: The Mischievous Director of Spanish Cinema = (Almódovar: el Director Travieso del Cine Español) -- Mr. Carlos Aguilar & Ms. Pilar Valencia, HM Middle/Upper Division Foreign Languages Dept.
  • The Ceramics Experience -- Mr. Keith Renner, Middle/Upper Division Visual Arts Dept.
  • ‘Check the Rhyme’: How Rap Music Conquered the World -- Dr. Kalil Oldham, HM Upper Division History Dept.
  • From Farmer's Market to Feast: Cooking Healthfully with Local Ingredients -- Ms. Franca D'Amico
  • Mini-Immersion in Italian -- Ms. Letizia Alvisi Seirup, HM Upper Division Foreign Languages Dept.
  • Robotics -- Ms. Janet Smith, HM Upper Division Computing & Communications Dept.
  • Urban Studies: Understanding New York Landscapes – Dr. Elizabeth Pillsbury, Barnard College
  • Writing the College Application Essay -- Mr. Harry Bauld & Ms. Jen Little, HM Upper Division English Dept.

Mini-Courses Offered June 27-July 1 -- Full Day

  • The Ceramics Experience -- Mr. Keith Renner, Middle/Upper Division Visual Arts Dept.
  • Food and Literature in the Spanish-Speaking World -- Mr. Carlos Aguilar & Ms. Pilar Valencia, HM Middle/Upper Division Foreign Languages Dept.
  • Geo-Art: Picturing The Earth -- Mr. Ron Logan, HM Middle/Upper Division Visual Arts Dept.
  • Screenwriting 101 -- Mr. David Berenson, HM Upper Division History Dept.
  • Vietnam: The War, the Home Front, and the Legacy -- Dr. Barbara Tischler, HM Upper Division History Dept.
  • Writing the College Application Essay -- Mr. Harry Bauld & Ms. Jen Little, HM Upper Division English Dept.
Read More about Summer School 2011 - Volume 4, Issue 4

Langfan Competition Sparks Conversation About a Free Press

The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have [to] bare the secrets of government and inform the people. ---Mr. Justice Hugo Black

Horace Mann School’s William K. and Marion Langfan Constitutional Oratorical Competition is now a decade old. For the past nine years. Tenth grade students have had the opportunity to use their oratorical and analytical skills to enliven a community conversation about the United States Constitution. From free speech to Second Amendment rights to federal government involvement in health care and health insurance, constitutional issues have assumed an important role in our public discourse, and students who participate in the Langfan Oratorical competition exercise their right to think, analyze, communicate, and disagree.

This year’s topic poses an essential question, “To what extent in the press in the United States free?” Drawing on historical and contemporary sources presented on the Langfan Competition Moodle, students will be able to consider the issue and the ways in which a free press has been defined (and sometimes confined) over time.

Benjamin Franklin and his printing press

On Thursday, January 20, the tenth grade gathered to learn about the Langfan Competition and to gain insights into the art and craft of public speaking. Grade Dean Dr. Jessica Levenstein convened the grade meeting and facilitated the presentation. Dr. Barbara L. Tischler, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, introduced the Competition, spoke about its history, and showed the students the specific content of this year’s topic on the Langfan Competition Moodle.

Ms. Gerri Woods of the English Department spoke about the elements of a good speech, a strong topic and a thesis that articulates what the speaker wants to communicate, good organization, repetition of key concepts for emphasis, and an organizing idea that the speaker returns to. Using an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington on August 23, 1963, she illustrated how Dr. King drew his audience together with familiar references, and how he used familiar concepts, such as the concept of paying a debt with a check marked “insufficient funds” to discuss the federal government’s slow response to demands for civil rights and equality. She also introduced the concepts of Logos (the logic of an argument), Ethos (the ethical dimension of an argument) and Pathos (the emotional appeal of a speaker’s points) to help students understand various rhetorical devices that they can employ to deliver a good speech.

Ms. Woods’s presentation was followed by a vivid demonstration by Mr. Woody Howard of the Theatre Department on the importance of speaking clearly and directly to the audience. From microphone technique to body language, Mr. Howard showed the students how pitch, volume, stage presence, eye contact, and the distractions of busy hands and feet all contribute to the success or failure of an oration. His illustrations gave the students food for thought as they contemplate presenting a formal oration or making an announcement at an assembly or a point of argument in a classroom debate.

Woody Howard and Gerri Woods

Students will learn more about the Langfan Competition from their individual United States History teachers. Dr. Tischler is also available to help any student who wishes to enter the competition. The semi-final round, which will be judged by faculty members, will be held on Thursday, March 3 during I period. Students who enter the semi-final round must sign up on the Langfan Competition Moodle. The finalists will compete at a dinner for family and friends in April that will be judged by Mr. Pasquale De-Vito and the 2010 finalists.

Dr. Barbara L. Tischler
Director of Curriculum & Professional Development
718-432-3989
barbara_tischler@horacemann.org

Read More about Office of Curriculum and Professional Development - Volume 4, Issue 4

Looking back to the holiday season, the Lower Division ended the year with an assembly that brought smiles to the faces of all. We began our assembly joining together and singing Free To Be You And Me. This song celebrates both the uniqueness of each individual, along with the things that tie us together. We were also treated to song and dance, compliments of Middle Division students. Seeing them on stage is always an inspiration to those a bit younger, showing the possibilities that are ahead. Teachers from all divisions including, Marielle Coadic, Jean Eifert, Luana Ferreira, and Yuna Yo from the Lower Division, brought the house down with a rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, renamed Chiller. To top things off, Lower Division Faculty members performed Bear’s New Friend, a skit about friendship that resonated with the children. We ended with all of us singing Jingle Bells, lead by our kindergarten children, standing on stage, ringing their bells. And so the year came to a close.

And now . . . It was a beautiful morning, peaceful and calm, after one of the many recent snowstorms of this 2011 winter season. As they arrived, the children took an extra minute to look at the untouched snow all over our campus. They were already dreaming of recess and a chance to play and slide in the freshly fallen snow. Can we go outside? The refrain heard everywhere. First out were the luckiest. Clean snow! Actually, there was plenty of snow for everyone. Creative snow angels, snowmen, forts, walls, and footprints of all sorts could be seen everywhere. With gloves, hats, snow pants, boots, and jackets, the children remained toasty on the inside, taking full advantage of what Mother Nature had to offer.

While we’re on the subject, since there’s no indication that the snow will be stopping any time soon, and it’s hard to tell all of the black snow pants apart, please make sure to put your child’s name on everything. Waterproof gloves or mittens are a really good idea. Send them with your child if you can. We’re sorry for whatever comes home wet. Just keep in mind how much fun was had getting there!

The end of January is host to our 2011 Community Day. We have set aside January 28, as a day to come together and focus on different aspects of community building. Although an ongoing and essential theme throughout the year, pausing to take stock with further emphasis, is important as well. This year we are introducing Community Spirit Week. Every day during the week leading up to Community Day celebrates a particular value that is meaningful to us. Please click the following for additional information.

Community Day Letter

Community Spirit Week Poster

Our fifth grade students are looking forward to their trip to Washington DC, coming up in February. One of the highlights of their last year at the Lower Division, it is a time both to cement concepts drawn from the curriculum as well as a time to continue to come together as a class. Monuments, museums, and our United States system of government, come alive for the children in a meaningful way. From start to finish, an exciting adventure lies ahead.

Wendy Steinthal
Head of Lower Division
718-432-3312
wendy_steinthal@horacemann.org

Read More about Lower Division News - Volume 4, Issue 4
It has been an eventful month for the CCVA and the Service-Learning Team. The Team reached a milestone on December 6: we filled the bus! Well, alright, there was one empty seat, but who’s counting?!

It has been a fantastic first half of the year for the Service-Learning Team, in the quality of the work, the development of the learning, and the commitment and engagement shown by the Team members. More detail on the Team’s progress will be featured in the upcoming CCVA Newsletter (see below).

The calendar year will end with two special events. On Friday, Dec. 17, the Marble Hill Community Center participants will stage a performance written and directed by the Team’s Drama group, in collaboration with the MHCC staff. This promises to be a wonderful event, the culmination of an amazing amount of work and creativity contributed by all involved.

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the HM Music Outreach Club will travel with the Team to Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to do a performance for the after-school program.

More on these events in the next Across the Divisions.

CCVA Speakers and Events

Craig Levine

Steven Lukes Visits Ethics Class

On Monday, Dec. 13, the Ethics in School and Society class hosted Steven Lukes,, Professor of Sociology at New York University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat,: A novel of ideas, which has been a required text for the Ethics class for the past two years. Last year, Professor Lukes was in Europe, so the class Skyped with him; this year, we were excited to be able to meet him in person. Professor Lukes led a lively discussion with the class and several guests on ethics, philosophy and the possibility of a better world.

More information on Steven Lukes can be found at http://stevenlukes.com

SAVE THE DATE: THURSDAY, FEB. 3: A MAJOR CCVA PRESENTATION

On Thursday, Feb. 3, Louise Knight, author of Jane Addams: Spirit in Action, and Ira Harkavy, Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of Dewey’s Dream, will come to HM. The major event of the day will be a discussion and dialogue on connecting social action and education in the time of Addams and Dewey, and today. It will take place at 4 pm in the Cafeteria, hosted by the Service-Learning Team. Other schools, agencies, institutions and individuals will be invited.

This will be a kickoff for Service-Learning Day (April 16), and an important event in its own right. Watch this space and other School notices for more information on the day. To get involved in planning, contact Jeremy Leeds.

In other news…

Jeremy Leeds presented a paper on the CCVA model for connecting education, ethics and action at the Association for Moral Education conference in St. Louis, Nov. 4-6.

Coming Soon: CCVA Newsletter! Please contact Jeremy Leeds if you are interested in contributing or helping with production.

Happy Holidays, everyone!
Read More about Center for Community Values and Action, December 2010

 

Horace Mann Magazine Looks Back on Events at the School and Ahead to Innovations in the Coming Year

As we come to the end of another calendar year the Alumni House and Development Office celebrates a host of activities that have connected and reconnected Horace Mann School alumni to the School’s current community as never before. From Homecoming, to a Barnard School reunion, to honoring a Distinguished Alumna, you can read about all of these events in the Fall/Winter edition of Horace Mann Magazine, which is available online, and in the mail to all of our readers now. This issue also features a visit with Dr. Tom Kelly as he looks back on his first five years as Horace Mann Head of School, and looks forward to new initiatives in curriculum in the School’s future. The interactive feature of our NXTBook edition of the magazine enables readers to get behind the stories, as well. When you read about Homecoming 2010, you can also click on to an interview with alumni who participated in the event filmed at Homecoming by Lauren Ginsberg ’12 (see p. 40). Our story on the Horace Mann Alumni Council Award for Distinguished Achievement, presented to Dr. Margaret Galland Kivelson ’46, includes a delightful power-point presentation the awardee prepared, that features images of Horace Mann back in the days when students traveled to the School by trolley, while also outlining Dr. Kivelson’s groundbreaking work as a space physicist (see p. 45). We hope you enjoy this issue, and look forward to continuing to connect with HM’s alumni and school community in the coming year.

View the Fall/Winter Horace Mann Magazine

Horace Mann School is Honored by Achilles International

Among the graduates of the Horace Mann School Class of 1958 was an athlete known as a star in wrestling and track, and as a leader of his team. That graduate went on to compete in college, and continue to pursue athletics until an accident in 1965 left him without a leg. A little over a decade later he was back in competition, as the first amputee to run in the New York Marathon.

View the complete story on our Web site.

Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award Nominations
Requested by December 15th

Do you remember an outstanding teacher? One who helped you learn to read? Or write with style and brilliance? Or master higher math? Then honor him or her with a nomination for the 2011 Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award!

Eligibility: Any current faculty member who has taught full-time at Horace Mann for the past five years may be nominated for this award. Division Heads and Holders of Endowed Chairs are ineligible, as are last year's candidates. Candidates from prior years are eligible. Nominators may be current faculty, department chairs, alumni or parents whose youngest child has graduated from the division in which the nominated teacher works. Parents may not nominate a teacher with whom their child has a current educational relationship, including coaches, club advisors and tutors.

For a Nomination Form or to nominate a teacher directly, please contact Barbara Tischler at Barbara_Tischler@horacemann.org by December 15, 2010.

FAD Magazine looking to connect with Alumni

Horace Mann's FAD Magazine invites you to SAVE THE DATE of Friday, February 4 for a Fundraiser Gala in the HM cafeteria from 7:00 to 9:15 pm. The event will feature a panel discussion, a raffle/silent auction, and a student-produced fashion show. Proceeds will help offset the costly printing of FAD magazine and a portion will be donated to support the art program of the Northside Center for Child Development (http://www.northsidecenter.org/)

We also want you to GET INVOLVED! To maximize profits, we are looking for those in the HM community from the fashion/art/design fields to donate items for the silent auction. In addition, we would appreciate donations of desserts and soft beverage elements for the evening. Finally, the topic of the panel will be "Is Fashion Art?" and we would love to have an HM alum from the industry (either the creative or business side) participate as a speaker! Everyone is welcome. Please contact fad@horacemann.org if you would like to attend or are interested in participating.

Save the Date: Alumni Council Winter Celebration is January 27th

The Horace Mann School Alumni Council is hosting their annual Winter Celebration on Thursday, January 27th. More details and a formal invitation to follow, but mark your calendars now for a evening of friends, fun and HM camaraderie!

Alumni Volunteer Opportunities

Horace Mann alumni have opportunities to become active with their School and its students in many ways. Last year alumni took part in life on campus as speakers and participants in such dynamic programs as HM's annual Book Day and Women's Issues Dinner, as volunteers at the School's Service Learning Day, as exhibitors in an alumni photography show, and in alumni athletic events and Theater Department productions.

For information about how to assist and support your School by volunteering to speak to students or to participate in planning events, please contact Greg Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations, at 718-432-3458 or greg_zuroski@horacemann.org 

SUPPORT HORACE MANN SCHOOL

Strong support of the Annual Fund ensures that we are able to fulfill our mission of providing each student the finest academic experience possible. The Annual Fund is HM’s most imperative philanthropic need as we rely on these contributions to meet our daily operating needs not covered by tuition.

Please consider making a gift now. Now more than ever, every gift is appreciated and makes a difference! Thank you for your support.

Make a Gift to Annual Fund 2011

Horace Mann School Alumni Page on Facebook

In an effort to stay connected with alumni we are broadening our horizons…You can now find the Horace Mann School Alumni page on Facebook. We invite you to visit us often to keep in touch with your School, alumni activities, events and classmates. You can even view photos from recent events and feel free to tag your friends! Spread the word and we hope to see you on Facebook.

Read More about News from the Alumni and Development Office, December 2010
Summer Science courses begin Thursday, June 16th. All other academic courses begin June 27. Summer school courses end Friday, July 29. Mini-courses will be offered the weeks of June 20-24 and June 27-July 1. For a full list of academic courses and mini-courses being offered Summer 2011 please visit the Summer School web page after January 3, 2011 at: http://www.horacemann.org/page.cfm?p=200. All information, plus the application, will be available online. If you have any questions please feel free to email Summer School at summer@horacemann.org.
Read More about Summer School 2011

Remember that Great Teacher?
Nominate Him or Her for the Bellet Award

When asked to recall a special memory from school, very few people recall the content of their classes or a particular activity. Instead, memories come from relationships—with school friends and, of course, with teachers. Our teachers make the school experience really special. For the eleventh year, Horace Mann School will pay tribute to outstanding teaching with the awarding of the Tina and David Bellet Award for Teaching Excellence. Each year, members of the faculty and alumni nominate outstanding colleagues. From the pool of nominees, each of whom prepares a portfolio that demonstrates the characteristics of his or her teaching practice, two awardees are selected. All of the nominees are celebrated in a dinner each spring.

2010 was the tenth anniversary of the award, which was presented to Isaac Brooks, Middle Division History and English teachers and Pat Vander Werff, Lower Division Librarian.

Isaac Brooks and Pat Vanderwerff with Tina and David Bellet in May of 2010
Photo by Ruth Seligman

Nominations for the 2011 Bellet Award will be accepted until December 15. Anyone wishing to nominate a faculty member may send the completed Nomination Form from the Horace Mann web site (and copied below) or write a letter of nomination to Dr. Barbara Tischler, at Barbara_Tischler@horacemann.org.

Eligibility: Any current faculty member who has taught full-time at Horace Mann for the past five years may be nominated for this award. Division Heads and Holders of Endowed Chairs are ineligible, as are last year's candidates. Candidates from prior years are eligible. Nominators may be current faculty, department chairs, alumni/ae, or parents whose youngest child has graduated from the division in which the nominated teacher works. Parents may not nominate a teacher with whom their child has a current educational relationship, including coaches, club advisors and tutors. In addition, each family may nominate only one teacher per year.
Please send nominations to the office of Barbara Tischler or e-mail to Barbara_Tischler@horacemann.org by the deadline of December 15, 2010.

Please use this form if it is helpful. You may choose, as an alternative, to submit a letter that addresses the qualities and skills described below as they pertain to teachers in each division. Please provide specific examples.

Name of teacher you wish to nominate: ____________________________________

1. Describe the nominee's special skills in communicating subject matter to students of varying background and skill levels.

2. By what means does the nominee encourage high standards and excellence by all students?

3. What level of interest does the nominee show in advising and mentoring students and expanding their development outside the classroom?

4. What has been the particular influence of the nominee on students, colleagues, or departmental or divisional instruction?

Your name:__________________________________

Your signature:_______________________________

Dr. Barbara L. Tischler
Director of Curriculum & Professional Development
718-432-3989
barbara_tischler@horacemann.org

Read More about Office of Curriculum and Professional Development, December 2010

Horace Mann School Hosts 19th-annual Sanctuary for Families Dinner in a tradition that fosters lasting contributions

Christmas 2010 began on December 8th for over 125 women and children who shared a festive meal with about 40 Horace Mann School students at the School’s annual Sanctuary for Families Holiday dinner. Horace Mann School has been connected with Sanctuary for Families, an organization that assists victims of domestic violence and their children, for over 20 years.

The children arrived with their mothers or guardians on buses donated by Horace Mann, by SuperTrans, and the Sanctuary organization itself. They came from shelters or apartments throughout the city, and piled into a Cohen Dining Commons decorated with a forest of balloons, and tables appointed with red, green and white dinner-ware. The children were greeted by Horace Mann School students who handed each one a package with a picture frame and an ornament to decorate. Other students helped the children paint and sprinkle glitter on their frames and ornaments. Some of the children moved over to the faculty dining room where a face-painter expertly transformed them into Spiderman, butterfly princesses and more, before they lined up to climb into Santa’s lap for an instant picture to place inside the frame.

An all-school experience

While Upper Division students who organized the dinner with Horace Mann School Director of Community Service Dr. John McIvor, the event was an all-Horace Mann School experience, for “Santa” was none other than Security Officer Louis Maldonado, with Security Officer Rafael (Raffi) Maman as his assisting “elf.” The Upper Division’s jazz band kept the atmosphere lively with its swinging jazz beat and traditional holiday tunes. Next came a sumptuous dinner of turkey stuffing and all the fixings prepared by Horace Mann’s Flik chefs, and served by the student volunteers, as faculty members Janet Kraus, and Glenn Sherratt, and the technology department’s Vishnu Beepat helped out, along with his daughter Anna making sure everyone found a seat to enjoy the meal. The mother of a Summer-on-the-Hill student donated her talents as a clown and magician, bringing smiles to the children as the adults finished their meal, and all awaited the cookies and ice-cream sundae dessert spread.

Rachel Scheinfeld ’11 and Sara Fels ’11, who had worked on plans for the dinner with Dr. McIvor for weeks in advance, thanked their guests for coming to Horace Mann, and presented Sanctuary for Families Executive Director Laurel Eisner with a $250 gift certificate to Target to enable the organization to buy something for one of its shelters. The students had raised money for the gift through a bake sale. As the guests finished their desserts the children were escorted to tables piled with bright red stockings stuffed with candy, toys, games and activity books, as well as useful toiletries that had been packed and decorated with drawings and holiday greetings by Lower Division students and their parents at the Division’s Caring in Action Day the previous Saturday, December 6. Sanctuary moms and guardians received gift bags prepared for them and filled with fragrant hair care products that had been donated for the event.

Frances Ikwuazom ’11 has been volunteering for the Sanctuary dinner throughout her years in Horace Mann’s Upper Division, and was among those who recruited other students to volunteer as well. “It’s one of my favorite events of the year,” said the senior, who participated along with her sister Vivien ’13. “It’s a wonderful night for the children and for all of us. After coming for a few years you see children you recognize from the year before. They look forward to this night and we do too.”

For Dr. McIvor, the Sanctuary Dinner represents so much of what the Community Service curriculum at Horace Mann School is all about. “Sanctuary is a wonderful organization that does so much for a population that might otherwise be neglected,” Dr. McIvor said. “Our students have learned about Sanctuary’s mission, and they are eager to be part of helping them. They get the chance to establish a direct connection with the clients, especially the children. What’s more, this event has inspired several of our alumni to continue to work with Sanctuary or other organizations like it. This is one special night that has a lasting impact.”

Horace Mann Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly was among those enjoying the evening. Walking through the festive scene holding in his arms a youngster whose face was painted with an elaborate Spiderman design Dr. Kelly greeted guests and made sure all the children were involved in the activities. “This is one of our favorite events at Horace Mann School,” said Dr. Kelly. “We all look forward to this dinner, both our students and Sanctuary’s clients. To know that this tradition is now part of Horace Mann School’s tradition, and that it engages students while they are here, and that it has inspired our alumni to continue to work for Sanctuary or organizations like it is what we mean when we speak of providing our students with an education that prepares them for great and giving lives.”

A significant Horace Mann School tradition

While the event marked the first, second, third or fourth year of involvement with Sanctuary for Families for the volunteers from various Upper Division grades, Horace Mann School has a relationship with the organization that dates back nearly 20 years, to the time when alumni Stephanie Schwartz Ferdman ’90 and Dr. Meredith Shur ’90 were students here.

In the summer of 1989, between her junior and senior years at Horace Mann, Ferdman worked as a camp counselor at a transitional shelter for homeless families. “Those children had never been outside of a ten-block radius, so, to go with them to a museum for the first time, to see things we took for granted, was wonderful,” Ferdman recalled.

During the fall of her senior year Stephanie and her friends organized a Thanksgiving dinner drive, cooked food, and brought it to the same shelter to share with the families she had come to know. “Horace Mann started its community service program right after we graduated. Wendy Reiter, the coordinator at the time, made sure the dinner continued,” Ferdman said of Horace Mann School’s current Middle Division Director of Guidance and Counseling. Reiter did so by connecting with Meredith Shur’s mother Harriet Shur, who was a former Sanctuary board member and with former Sanctuary board president Mary Ann Mailman.

The modest dinner has since evolved into a highlight of the year for Sanctuary clients. “We start notifying people at our various shelters about three weeks ahead of time about the dinner, and everyone gets excited. The kids have either been here before or they’ve heard about it, and they all want to come,” said Sanctuary for Families Director of Operations Shelly Rose, who works with Dr. McIvor in organizing the event. Several mothers at the dinner echoed Rose’s enthusiasm. “I could not miss this. All the kids were talking about it and my son said we had to come,” said one. The talk continued throughout the day following the dinner, as Sanctuary clients reflected on what a good time they had at Horace Mann, Rose said.

A compelling cause for Horace Mann alumni

Sanctuary for Families (www.sanctuaryforfamilies.org) was founded in 1984 to provide victims of domestic violence and their children with a range of comprehensive services. Sex trafficking is also a growing concern for the organization, which is planning a conference on the issue in March 2011. Annually, Sanctuary reaches 10,000 domestic violence survivors and their children through direct services alone, and connects with over 20,000 additional concerned community members through education and awareness-building initiatives. The organization has over 150 full-time staff members working out of nine office and shelter locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and offers services to clients in 33 languages. Sanctuary focuses on clinical and shelter services that serve approximately 200 people each night, crisis intervention through a domestic abuse hotline, children’s services programs, education, outreach and economic empowerment programs. A cadre of over 2,000 volunteers assists in other areas, including legal services. Through its Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services Sanctuary provides legal advice, assistance and representation and has done groundbreaking work in the area of domestic violence – a situation that annually results in nearly two million injuries and 1,300 deaths, and that 10 million children experience annually nationwide. New York City experienced 89 intimate-partner homicides in 2009, 76 percent of whom were women, and 17 domestic homicides of minor child victims. Both figures dropped significantly since 2008.

Those statistics, coupled with the personal experiences Stephanie Ferdman had with Sanctuary’s clients continue to compel this alumna’s dedication to the organization and its work. From her days as a volunteer at Horace Mann School Stephanie Ferdman went on to become an attorney who worked with Sanctuary’s legal services department, and eventually became the organization’s Board Chair. Today, Ferdman is a Horace Mann School parent who continues to devote considerable energy to Sanctuary as Chair of the organization’s President’s Council, a resource development body comprised of former board members and close friends for whom Sanctuary is a philanthropic priority. “Sanctuary remains a central focus for me and I am delighted that its partnership with Horace Mann has continued to grow through the years,” she said. She described the dinner at Horace Mann as “an important activity. It gives children who might not be able to have much of a Christmas a really good time. It gives the mothers a chance to take a deep breath. It’s a time when they know they can sit back and relax, and let their children enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”

Caroline Geiger ’99 is another Horace Mann School alumnus who first became involved with Sanctuary through her community service efforts at HM and who reconnected with the organization upon returning to New York City after college and law school. Dr. McIvor remembers Caroline as a student dedicated to community service who helped familiarize him with Sanctuary and the dinner when he first came to Horace Mann School to direct its community service initiatives. Today Geiger is an associate in the Technology and Intellectual Property Transactions practice group in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. She is also a member of the Sanctuary for Families Legal Advisory Council and the Sanctuary for Families Associates Committee. Recalling her experience with the organization when she was in high school, Geiger said she always kept Sanctuary in mind, and became involved with the organization doing pro bono work not long after establishing herself in her professional career as an attorney in New York.

“I was involved with the Sanctuary for Families dinners for three or four years when I was at Horace Mann. I loved those dinners,” Geiger recalled. “The events are planned to be a very positive experience for the people from Sanctuary. The Horace Mann students provide a quality evening. But the event gives the students a lot as well. When I was working on the dinners, I know the experience gave us a glimpse of what is going on in other peoples’ lives.

“I always kept an eye out for news of those dinners when I read any publications from Horace Mann,” said Geiger, who also volunteers on behalf of Horace Mann as a Class Agent for the School’s Annual Fund. “It was gripping to be at those dinners. Of course it was wonderful to see the smiles on the children’s faces, but my favorite part was just walking around, making sure everyone was having a good time, and talking to the adult clients. They were all very grateful, and they expressed that to us, but what I remember most was that they also wanted to have a normal conversation with us. It wasn’t just about them. They were really interested in us. They asked about our experiences in high school, and our plans for the future.

“When I came back to New York I started working with Sanctuary as soon as I could. My law firm encourages pro bono work, and Sanctuary makes it very easy to work with them,” said Geiger.

For Stephanie Ferdman ’90 and Caroline Geiger ’99 what began as a holiday-time evening of enjoyment at Horace Mann for a relatively small group of people has turned into an ongoing commitment to a cause that has played a significant role in improving the lives of thousands in need. Ferdman contributed extensive volunteer efforts to the organization, because “Sanctuary continues to deeply inspire and fulfill me. I feel so fortunate to be able to devote so much time to an organization I feel so passionate about!” Sanctuary, for its part, deeply values Ferdman’s contributions, and honored her in 2005 with its Zero Tolerance Award, given to an individual who has made a profound difference in its work.

In 2008 Sanctuary honored Geiger and her colleagues with the organization’s Above and Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy for their successful work on a precedent-setting appellate decision establishing that the family court has broad power and discretion to protect all victims of domestic violence, in a landmark case that expanded the protective reach of the family court.

Read More about Community Service News, December 2010

We started December in San Diego, California at the annual NAIS Student Diversity Leadership and People of Color Conference. This year the conference was entitled, Catching the tides of change, Riding the waves of opportunity. Eight students and ten adults attended from Horace Mann School. While students spent two days in conference workshops and facilitated discussion groups, the adults kept a similar schedule of workshops, discussion groups and speakers. Time together for meals, travel and sightseeing all contributed to a rich and full four days. We look forward to sharing our new insights and inspirations with the school community.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Phoebe Eng, author of Warrior Lessons, a memoir-based examination of race, empowerment and leadership in a rapidly changing world. She talked about relationships, the common thread that holds us together, as central to the concept of fluency, the ability to understand and be understood across all borders. She referred to guanxi, a Chinese term, and ohana, a Hawaiian term, that describe family and business relationships in those cultures. She said, “These relationships take years to build and minutes to erode.”

Developing relationships within a family, a community of parents, at school among peers, as colleagues on a faculty or within business networks requires time, sensitivity, and thoughtful interaction. It builds respect, trust and dependability within a community.

As we reach the end of this calendar year and look forward to the work ahead of us, we want to share the community norms created by a student group this year to help to make Horace Mann School a safe space for discussion. The norms have supported and encouraged open dialogue on difficult issues and the sharing of personal stories. We believe they are an effective and important framework for all conversations, big and small.

Be an active listener
Build a conversation
Speak from the “I” perspective
Be engaging – be engaged
One mic
Be approachable
Step up, step down
Lean into discomfort

Our best wishes for a happy holiday season and all good things for the New Year,

Patricia Zuroski
Director of Diversity Initiatives
718-432-4109
patricia_zuroski@horacemann.org

Read More about Office of Diversity, December 2010

The Parents Association would like to thank all the parents who contributed to the Holiday Gift Fund this year. It is heart warming that so many of you wished to be a part of this joint gift to the faculty and staff that so professionally and ably teach and nurture our children.

We have had a very busy month. In November, we hosted Dr. Edward Hallowell, the noted psychiatrist, who spoke to the faculty and parent body about managing stress in our busy lives. His book, CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! was discussed at length and Dr. Hallowell provided practical advice on how to lower the level of stress in our lives and answered questions from the audience.

Last Saturday, the Lower Division students and their families came together for the annual Book Fair and Caring in Action Day. This year's theme, "HM Loves Books", celebrated the love of books and this was evident in the excited faces of the children as they shopped for new books and met noted authors David Adler, HM grandmother Sarabeth Levine and HM mother Maureen Sherry. The Caring in Action day, held in the Lower Division cafeteria, is an annual event where participants work on on-site projects to assist local charities such as New York Cares and Soles4Souls, a charity that donates shoes to people all over the world. Community drives were set up throughout the week so that students could donate new or gently used clothing, toys and shoes. In addition, students brought in coins which were sorted that day and a contribution will be made to a local charity.

We have many upcoming events so please check your weekly Sunday eblasts as well as the HM website for the most recent information. We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday!

Warm regards,

Ellen Hefter

Read More about Parents Association: Information, News & Events, December 2010

It's the season for reporting and summing up; it's the season of beginning and moving on. The season's in the shadow of the last trimester; the season foreshadows the new trimester. We're getting close - how quickly it does happen! - to the absolute middle of our year together.

The advisor-parents conferences that occurred just yesterday are occasions of mutual admiration, of the exchange of information; of evaluation, of taking stock, and of planning. Our conversations meet in what concerns both the School and the families of the students who go to the School: that is, at the progress and well-being of the young people in our charge. We try to find the place where the individual and the institution converge and unite; in doing so we assess student progress and address parental concerns. We try to treat each of our students as the unique and irreplaceable people they are, each worthy of individual consideration; we also try, as we must, to treat everyone the same. We are always negotiating this contradiction between individual attention and common values. Trying to reconcile the difference between uniqueness and sameness, our systems of care are individualized and governed by best practices. Advisors come away from these sessions with parents tired from a long day, energized with new knowledge about the students in our care, and possessed of helpful knowledge. It's a season of delight and instruction.

I was struck, thinking about yesterday's conversations, with how similar they always are, year after year, and how different. The love and involvement of the parents of our students remains both broad and deep; the students' reluctance to tell all remains unchanged, as does the parents' will to know more than they do; the importance of advisors' and parents' listening to the kids and to each other is as vital as ever. There is a poignancy to these moments, for me. I emerge with a new awareness of the world in which the students I teach actually live. After one session, I found myself thinking about the way my mother, may she rest in peace, described her life with her immigrant father: he was stricter than she wanted him to be; he knew less than she knew about America; she strained, he restrained. It was the same pattern as occurs in all families, but exacerbated by the father's immigrant history. And so, with several of the parents I talked to yesterday, it remains. I hope the School will understand these dynamics and be of use.

David Schiller, Ph.D.
Head of Upper Division
718-432-3912
david_schiller@horacemann.org

Read More about Upper Division News, December 2010

Last week I had the privilege of attending the People of Color Conference in San Diego with eight Upper Division students who had all been students in the Middle Division and eight colleagues across the divisions. As the Middle Division Head I have limited opportunities for sustained conversation with former students of my division, so I savor each and every opportunity to slow down and talk with them. I am always surprised by what they share as either memorable or transforming about their Middle Division experiences. And they are always surprised when I remember details about their experiences.

When the student attendees gathered several weeks ago to talk about the upcoming conference I asked them to watch for ideas at the conference that they might share with me to make the Middle Division better. A lively conversation ensued. Many told me about all the things we should be saying to new students upon their arrival to prepare them for the “culture” and “social context” of the division. One student shared a story about attending his first bar mitzvah and wondering whether he had to pay for the food that was served at the buffet tables. Others talked about the pivotal moments that brought new and now best friends into their lives – especially through our eighth grade Dorr program. And all chattered about how difficult it can be to navigate the social scene in the middle school years while trying to avoid social disasters. I listened and listened and wanted to hear more.

As I attended the conference I tried my very best to see the program through the eyes of our students. They were quick to assess the attendees from other schools and to analyze their commitment to many of the principles of diversity and multiculturalism that are celebrated at the conference. They were quick to realize that there would be many challenges they would face as they tried to bring home their experiences to Horace Mann. And they were excited to share the transformative moments that they experienced as individuals.

I’ve just begun to reflect upon what I’m brought back from the conference. I know I want to re-examine our orientation programs for new students in April and August to figure out what we are saying about the Middle Division by what we are choosing to include in those programs. Everything we already do is thoughtfully planned and done pretty well, but I am thinking that we should strive to create a balance between building community, preparing for academic life, and answering the many practical questions that students and parents have about life at Horace Mann. Last year we added a brief evening activity in which we asked students to share something unique about them, and it was a big hit. We also carefully collected the pronunciation of student names to be passed along to the Middle Division teachers, and I hope that made our first days of classes more welcoming.

I hope that more former students will take time to reflect with me on their Middle Division years, and I hope they’ll share any suggestions for building a better caring community each new year.

Robin Ingram
Head of Middle Division
718-432-3929
robin_ingram@horacemann.org

Read More about Middle Division News, December 2010

In the blink of an eye, it is December. Who would have thought it would be here already. We’ve taken advantage of every day, start to finish. We will continue the journey in the days, weeks, and months ahead, with community at our center.

As has been our tradition over the last number of years, the Lower Division comes together on the evening before parent conference day, for a family community event. This year the event took place on the evening of, Tuesday, November 16. We had an exciting family fun night, filled with games, music, and food. A good time was had by all. Smiles and laughter all around.

Our first conference day of the year gave parents and teachers the opportunity to meet and discuss the transition process that has occurred as the children made the move from one grade to the next. The transition that takes place includes realizing how the expectations in the new grade are different from what came before. There is also focus on the growth and development of the children academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Wednesday, December 1, brought with it our family style community meal. Complete with tablecloths, “fancy” napkins, and plates made of “china,” we successfully changed our cafeteria into a dining room. With children helping to set the tables and food served family style, everyone quickly picked up on the community atmosphere that we were creating. Children sit older and younger together, helping each other pour, serve, and cut. Quiet conversation permeates the air, with backs up a bit straighter and napkins in the laps. A wonderful meal of roast turkey with all the trimmings, served compliments of our FLIK staff, kept the children coming back for more, especially the corn bread!

This past Friday brought the beginning of two of our favorite events of the year, Book Fair and Caring-In-Action Day. We launched our Book Fair with a visit from David Adler, author of works of both fiction and non-fiction. Perhaps best known for his Cam Jansen, mystery series, our students were excited to hear from him. At two separate assemblies, one for kindergarten, first, and second grade and the other for third, fourth and fifth grade, David Adler spoke about how everyone has a story they can tell. He was both funny and informative at the same time.

Our Book Fair took place on both Friday, December 3, after school and during the day on Saturday, December 4. With an endless selection of genres represented, there was something for everyone. Horace Mann gear was plentiful and the raffles were exciting.

Saturday, December 4, was also our Caring-In-Action Day. Our community came together and participated in many different service oriented activities. We sorted and boxed 1090 pairs of shoes that were put in 56 boxes. The shoes came from our effort to support Soles4Souls. Over the last couple of weeks, families donated their gently worn shoes, to be sent to those in need. We donated and wrapped 295 assorted gifts for children. There were 155 stockings that were filled with goodies and 200 “feel well” cards including stickers and cute band-aids, put in bags to be given to children who are hospitalized. We brought in 80 coats and collected and sorted $1,220 in coins as well. We made 60 brightly colored, beaded bracelets.

Being together, working together, and supporting worthwhile causes: this brings meaning to our community. With deep thanks to all who participated in both our Book Fair and Caring-In-Action Day. Special thanks to our parent committees and faculty members who made these events purposeful for all.

Looking ahead, we are very excited about an opportunity that has come our way. We will be taking the entire Lower Division, along with the kindergarten children from Nursery Division, to see the recently opened production of, Freckleface Strawberry, based on the book by Julianne Moore.

This story fits in perfectly with our ongoing work regarding civility, our similarities, and our differences. Not to mention, the show has gotten wonderful reviews. There will be great singing and dancing. How lucky can we be! Kindergarten, second, and fifth grade will be attending a performance on Wednesday, January 12. First, third, and fourth grade will be attending a performance on Wednesday, February 2. Please see the website below for additional information.

http://www.frecklefacethemusical.com

Wendy Steinthal
Head of Lower Division
718-432-3312
wendy_steinthal@horacemann.org

Read More about Lower Division News, December 2010

Our Thanksgiving feasts were a huge success and our classrooms have been filled with wonderful aromas from all of the delicious food. It is wonderful to see our school community so active and involved!

December promises to be filled with lots of excitement and our special events will all take place in the ND studio.

The studio is celebrating its fifth year. Co-teachers Sara Hardin and Julie Pughkem have developed a schedule that provides weekly visits for each child. The studio provides space, time and materials for open-ended exploration, play and self expression. It supports and extends the work of the classrooms and nurtures a sense of community and sharing in the ND.

Though art experiences with a variety of media are offered, these are just one of the studio choices offered to the children. Other choices include dramatic play, free play with musical instruments, water and sand play, experimenting with the overhead projector, exploring science materials and working independently with an assortment of materials for drawing and paper constructions.

Many of the children returned this year looking for the fish that lived in the studio's tank last year. In early November, children and teachers from each of the Fours groups as well as Ms. McKay, Ms. Ortiz and myself participated in a studio-sponsored field trip to pick up the fish at the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. This is their third winter in the studio.

The Community Service Committee's food drive will take place in the studio. Ms. Hardin and Ms. Pughkem look forward to working with Ms. Levin and the parent's committee to make this a meaningful event for the ND community.

Micheal Dale, from the Upper Division,will be playing his dulcimer for the children this week. We are thrilled to have him with us as the children are exposed to a live performance in our studio.

Finally, our holiday sing will be held in the studio. Ms. Marin will be leading the children in song and Ms. McKay the dancing! I am looking forward to participating in this ND tradition.

Wishing all of you a happy holiday season.

Marcia Levy
Head of Nursery Division
212-369-4600
marcia_levy@horacemann.org

Read More about Nursery Division News, December 2010
The Parents Association would like to invite you to join us in Gross Theatre on Wednesday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. as we welcome Dr. Edward Hallowell, noted child and adult psychiatrist and author of over 18 bestselling books. The topic of his lecture will be “Crazybusy: Overbooked, Overworked and About to Snap! Strategies for Managing Modern Life.”  This presentation will give practical advice on how to take charge of today's super-busy world so that it does not take control of you or your children.  Parents, faculty, staff and students are welcome.
 
Three of Dr. Hallowell's books will be sold at the event: Crazybusy, Delivered from Distraction, and Married to Distraction. Only checks or cash will be accepted. Dr. Hallowell will be available to sign his books.

Please RSVP by October 22 to schoolevents.hm@gmail.com.
Read More about Parents Association: Information, News & Events, October 2010
ND Pajama Day
ND Movement and Outdoor Exploration

Our first annual pajama party was a huge success. It was a special time for all of our children to be with their classmates in their pajamas, listening to bedtime stories. The teachers also dressed in their pjs for the event and a few parents did as well.

Phase in is complete and all of the children have adjusted to their routine. Our children are all spending time in the studio, participating in music and enjoying movement lessons with Mrs. McKay.

Our children in the 3s have explored new equipment and the climbers and have enjoyed moving their bodies while listening to stories like: Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge. Children in the 4s and Ks love the walk to the 92nd St Y. They have explored locomotor skills, chasing, fleeing and dodging skills and the parachute(Ks), shapes(4s) and scooter activities with partners and small groups.

Our library has been reorganized and opened this week. Our library parents and the children are enjoying their time together.

We have a pumpkin patch on our roof filled with gourds, pumpkins and corn for the children to explore. It is certainly feeling like fall!

Please enjoy the photos and videos.

Marcia Levy
Head of Nursery Division
212-369-4600
marcia_levy@horacemann.org

Read More about Nursery Division News, October 2010
Harvest Day at KHCC!
Harvest Day at KHCC

On Tuesday, October 19, the Upper Division Service-Learning Team and KHCC after-school programs participated in a Harvest Day in the KHCC Garden. The program included music, magic, education, and vegetables to take home for everyone. We served vegetarian chili and apple crisp to represent the vegetables, herbs and fruits we were harvesting (food prepared by Brenda Cohn and FLIK).

The Harvest Day was a project of Kids Care Week 2010, a program of Kids Care Club. The Team was awarded a mini-grant through this program for the Day. Team members Phoebe Keegan, Gurbani Suri and Dorin Azerad worked on the grant, along with Ethan Haymovitz of KHCC. We thank generationOn and its premier partner Hasbro Children’s Fund for their generous support.

This was the Team’s first successful grant! Congratulations to all.

The Team was amazing, participating in the program, harvesting, serving food, and working with the after-school children. This was another milestone event for all of us.

In addition to special events like Harvest Day, the Team has begun the year with energy and thoughtfulness. Our new Drama program at Marble Hill Community Center is working on a Holiday show, which promises to live up to the “Spectacular” appellation. The Lego Robotics program is working on new ideas for the future, as it continues to provide an exciting educational experience each week at Marble Hill. The Share the Music group at KHCC will begin lessons Tuesday, including guitar, bass, percussion and violin. Athletics and recreation has new energy. A photography project is beginning; a newspaper will start second Trimester. And these specifics represent only part of our activity each week. Equally – if not more – important, we are continuing to build on the service and the learning in which we are all active and engaged participants. Team members, faculty, KHCC and MHCC participants and staff, are working and learning together with energy and commitment. Together, we are all thinking about new ways for the Team and our partners to work together and make a difference.

Creative Connections holds first meeting

  • The Office of Curriculum and Professional Development, Office of Diversity and CCVA kicked off their collaboration this year with a very successful and meaningful first faculty discussion: Professional Day was nice, but now what? Thoughts on Gratitude and Appreciation (bringing Tal Ben-Shahar's lessons into our classes and our lives). I look forward to continuing to work with Barbara Tischler and Patricia Zuroski on this ongoing collaboration we are calling “Creative Connections.”

Watch This Space!

The CCVA will be announcing some new initiatives, including speakers, meetings, and preparation for Service-Learning Day (Saturday, April 16, 2011). For more information, and to be a part of planning, please contact Jeremy Leeds.

Dr. Jeremy Leeds
Director, Center for Community Values & Action
718-432-4121
jeremy_leeds@horacemann.org

Read More about Center for Community Values and Action, October 2010

Horace Mann School to Celebrate Veterans

As our nation prepares to celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th, Horace Mann School would like to recognize its alumni, faculty and staff who have served in the armed forces. If you are a Horace Mann School alumnus or alumna who has served, or if you know of someone in your family who has, please tell the Alumni House and Development Office. We want to know who you are and to hear your stories.

This year, Dr. Tom Kelly, Head of School, will honor Horace Mann School alumni, faculty, and staff veterans at a reception at the Columbia University Club, 15 West 43rd Street, on Thursday evening, November 11th. The reception will run from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. If you would like to attend, please contact Greg Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations, by email or by phone: greg_zuroski@horacemann.org (718-432-3458).

 

Calling All Alumni - The Phonathon is November 4th!

Please join us for an evening of "Cocktails and Calling" at the Annual Fund 2011 Class Agent Phonathon. Come enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cocktail on us while you call or email your classmates. You bring your cell phone and we’ll provide the contact information --as well as prizes! To RSVP or for more information, please contact Libby Barge, Assistant Director of Annual Giving at: libby_barge@horacemann.org or 718-432-4106

Thursday, November 4
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Papillon Restaurant
22 E 54th St
New York City
Private Room upstairs

 

Homecoming & Reunion Day Welcomes Record Numbers Back to HM

Horace Mann School's Homecoming on October 2, 2010 was a day made for memories. Dressed in calendar-cover autumn beauty, HM's Bronx campus offered students, families, faculty, and especially alumni the chance to celebrate their School in a day crammed with athletic games, a community barbecue, faculty lectures and a country fair that drew around 1,300 people.

Close to 500 alumni from classes spanning six decades – from 1945 through 2005 – continued the festivities into the night at reunion dinners and parties in New York City. For the many who relished the day, it was a joyful Homecoming and reunion-event, and one they promised to celebrate again in years to come.

To view the complete Homecoming story on our Web site, click here:

Alumni News: Homecoming 2010

 

Visiting Day: HM on Campus hosts inaugural event in New Haven

At the suggestion of alumna Apoorva Tiwari ’07, a group of Horace Mann alumni who are students at Yale University and residents in the New Haven area convened for a mini-reunion on Friday evening, October 15th. Ten people gathered for dinner at the Thali Too Indian restaurant conveniently located adjacent to the Yale campus. The group included alumni from recent Horace Mann graduating classes now studying at Yale and one alumnus from Horace Mann ’78 who lives in New Haven. Other alumni in the region, including alumni from the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s who were unable to join this year’s event have asked to be included in future get-togethers. Greg Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations, joined the group in New Haven and conveyed greetings from Dr. Tom Kelly, Head of School. He brought fresh copies of the Horace Mann Record, fresh off the presses, to share with everyone.

The success of the evening has encouraged the Alumni and Development Office to launch a new initiative called Visiting Day: HM on Campus. Our plan is to connect college-aged alumni with older alums who have settled in the area either for lively conversation and meaningful connections. We look forward to announcing our next visit soon!

 

Finn Vigeland ’10 Keeps us Guessing!

If you are tempted to try your skills at solving The New York Times crossword puzzle then we encourage you to go to the one printed on October 20, 2010. Your reward, upon completing the puzzle, will be finding a nod to our School at (hint) 58-Across. Even more exciting, the puzzle-maker is none other than recent HM graduate Finn Vigeland '10.

 To view the complete story on our Web site, click here:

Finn Vigeland '10 Keeps us Guessing!

 

Five Decades of Horace Manners Gather at CitiField to Cheer on Pedro Alvarez ’05,
Pittsburgh Pirates Third Baseman, in NY Major League Debut

In the immortal words of Casey Stengel, “There’s three things that can happen in a ball game: you can win, you can lose, or it can rain.” Each of those “things” happened at the NY Mets/Pittsburgh Pirates game at CitiField in New York on September 16, 2010. It rained – hard. The team lost – the visiting Pirates team that is. But the win was a big one for over 150 Horace Manners who braved the storm and gathered at the stadium to cheer on one of their own: Pedro Alvarez ’05.

 To view the complete story on our Web site, click here:

Five Decades of Horace Manners Gather at Citifield to Cheer on Pedro Alvaraz '05


SUPPORT HORACE MANN SCHOOL

Strong support of the Annual Fund ensures that we are able to fulfill our mission of providing each student the finest academic experience possible. The Annual Fund is HM’s most imperative philanthropic need as we rely on these contributions to meet our daily operating needs not covered by tuition.

Please consider making a gift now. Now more than ever, every gift is appreciated and makes a difference! Thank you for your support.

Make a Gift to Annual Fund 2011  


Horace Mann School Alumni Page on Facebook

In an effort to stay connected with alumni we are broadening our horizons…You can now find the Horace Mann School Alumni page on Facebook. We invite you to visit us often to keep in touch with your School, alumni activities, events and classmates. You can even view photos from recent events and feel free to tag your friends! Spread the word and we hope to see you on Facebook.

Read More about News from the Alumni and Development Office, October 2010
It is a real challenge to have effective Middle Division clubs at Horace Mann School, and the Middle Division faculty has wrestled with this issue for several years. We previously had a system in which we dedicated first one class period every two weeks and then one class period every week to a clubs program. Teachers created the clubs, sometimes developing from student requests. Clubs were selected each trimester. Students valued being in clubs with their friends more than the club topic, so a substantial number of students changed clubs. And older Middle Division students preferred to be in study hall rather than in any of the thirty or more choices offered.

Last year we dropped the clubs period, and by mid-year students started missing clubs. A few clubs, including a Science Club and Readers Forum flourished. We talked at a faculty meeting about when and how to create clubs that matched student interest. Our students are too busy during the middle years with outside sports, interests and religious schools to stay after school for clubs. And though we brainstormed, we didn’t have a new structure for a clubs period. So we formed a faculty committee on clubs that has met twice, has added students to the committee, and is exploring possible creative solutions to this issue.

At this time there are seventeen clubs, most of which are meeting during lunch periods. Some of these are essential to the fabric of Middle School life, such as the Governing Council, Yearbook and Service Learning Interns. Students have proposed the rest, and some are growing more quickly than others. Students suggest an idea for a club to the deans or to me, and we scramble to find a faculty advisor. The Rubik’s Cube club has just started, the Science Club and Reader’s Forum continue; we’ve got Gleek (dedicated to the television show, Glee) and a Cooking Club in our beautifully designed new classroom in Pforzheimer. More Middle Division students than ever are writing for The Record, and it seems as though students are becoming quite comfortable with generating club ideas. I remain a bit uncomfortable with the dilemma that clubs now compete with lunch, so many clubs allow students to bring lunch to their meetings.

Our Clubs Committee will continue to meet, and I remain optimistic that we will better define why we have clubs in the Middle Division and how we will structure them.

Robin Ingram
Head of Middle Division
718-432-3929
robin_ingram@horacemann.org

Read More about Middle Division News, October 2010
The Upper Division was lucky to have two visiting artists share their work with us this month. Denise Kester, a monoprint artist, presented her artwork and described her creative process to the community at an assembly and then worked with smaller groups throughout the remainder of the week. Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Natasha Trethewey, also shared her creative process with the community at an assembly and in smaller groups later the same day, offering us insights into forgotten histories. Along those same lines of unearthing forgotten histories, the tenth grade heard a special lecture from Harvard historical archeologist, Dr. Christina Hodge, who linked their study of colonial America with recent excavations on the Harvard campus.

We are looking forward to the first theater production of the year, The Apple Tree, on October 21-23 and the next theater production, Breaking the Code, on November 11-13.

We are in full swing both in spirit and intellect.

Susan Delanty
Dean of Student Life
718-432-3843
susan_delanty@horacemann.org

Read More about News from the Dean of Student Life, October 2010
Homecoming 2010

It's a fine fall day, bright and crisp. Due no doubt to the tender care of our maintenence staff, the campus looks great. We're sporting new benches, one group of which has been jealously appropriated by the seniors; multi-colored beds of mums; and, next to the doors of our buildings, small evergreens in boxes. The lawns are lush and carefully manicured. Horace Mann has never looked better

In this charming setting, with the year now well begun, a lot is going on.

We're thinking about curriculum and what changes we might make to improve the experience of the students. Groups of Upper Division faculty are beginning to visit other (and we hope similar) schools to see how they work, what they teach, and what we can learn from them. In the past, such visits have been fruitful; we will always need to apply what we are learning to our own situation. We'll also be inviting visitors from other schools to Horace Mann to tell us what they see. At the same time, we need to be thoughtful about our border with the Middle Division and with the colleges, in the context of this all-School N-12 process of curriculum review and renovation. We want a School environment that will stimulate and nurture our students, one which represents our values.

We're also taking up some of the other important questions confronting us: how do we help our students balance their academic and extra-curricular responsibilities? What can we do to encourage wellness and mindfullness in our community? How can we improve the senior year, especially toward the end of the third trimester, when the students might wlecome increased independence and chances for collaboration? How can we unite with our students in creating an honest School, one without plagiarism and cheating? And finally - as we read of the terrible results of harrassment and bullying on young people across the country - how can we do our best to ensure that harassment and bullying are eliminated from our School culture?

It's a big agenda with big questions on it. It will take time, patience and thoughful communal commitment to get answers that are right for us. But, like our students, we're ambitious and determined: why should we settle for less than the best School we can have?

David Schiller, Ph.D.
Head of Upper Division
718-432-3912
david_schiller@horacemann.org

Read More about Upper Division News, October 2010
When we started the year we made a concerted effort to move from an event-driven approach to diversity to something that would engage the community in discussion and conversation. One of our goals is to help everyone find a meaningful connection to the Horace Mann School community. Slowly, we are discovering that one does not displace the other and so our first two months of the school year have been filled with both, events and discussion groups. 
Harriet Tubman reenactment at the LD

We had a wonderful visit at HM with “Harriet Tubman,” performed by the actress Melissa Waddy Thiboudeaux. She spent the morning of October 8th with our 4th graders giving a performance and joining the group in a simulation of the Underground Railroad across the Upper and Middle Division campus. Each of the four classes stopped at two “safe havens” led by conductors. The second stop was the Black Box Theater where all the classes participated in a Q&A with Harriet Tubman. The children had many questions about the person and the actress. "My favorite part was when you sang and when you saw the hill in the distance with people on it - it's freedom!" one child wrote in her reflection.

On October 14th the Office of Diversity hosted a dinner for school heads and diversity practitioners from nine schools in the tri-state area. We completed a sociogram with the group looking at relationships within a school community. Dinner, discussion and meeting new people who share a common mission made it an evening that inspired and informed our work.

Fall Family Gathering 2010

Saturday, December 16th, was a beautiful fall day and for the first time we had a “center stage” at the Fall Family Gathering. The food service estimated that over 500 people came to eat, play and enjoy the afternoon that started with a performance by Teatroiati, a Hispanic Heritage theater company. The Brave Calf told a story of friendship, teamwork, inclusion and environmental awareness through four entertaining and sincere characters, Bull, Calf, Falcon and Rabbit. Alan Bates, HM music teacher, wowed the crowd with Latino steel drum music with the help of some Friends including three HM students, Donavon Bryan, Stephen Cacouris, and Ben Shelley. Our expert balloon man, Steve Q, captured the children’s attention with his magic show and Jazzana turned even the mildest mannered children into beasts and beauties with her face painting.

The Student Ambassadors gave tours to prospective families and though they resisted the urge to jump in, the adults grabbed lots of time to chat while the children bounced around in the amazing inflatable rides provided by FunTime, Inc. All-in-all, a memorable community day at Horace Mann School.

Patricia Zuroski
Director of Diversity Initiaties
718-432-4109

Markell Parker
Diversity Associate
718-432-4116

Ian Rios
Diversity Assistant
718-432-4114

Read More about Office of Diversity, October 2010
SOH raises its own funds to run the program, and is pleased to announce recent grants: 
  • $10,000 from the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund and
  • $5,000 from the Colgate-Palmolive Inner City Education Fund
  • Two NYC Councilmen are making discretionary awards of $3,500 each to SOH for FY 2011. These are Councilman G. Oliver Koppell of the Bronx and Robert Jackson of Manhattan.

SOH’s 2010 college graduates include a young man who is working for a reinsurance company in Greenwich while studying for his actuarial exams, and a first-year student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

SOH students, faculty, staff and families are very grateful to the Horace Mann School for providing the setting for a program that is having a very positive influence on the lives of hundreds of promising, low-income students from the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem.

Read More about Summer on the Hill, October 2010
Dorr, October 2010
Fall programs at Dorr commenced with the four fifth grade classes visiting Dorr for two night and three days. The fifth graders participated in team building activities, stargazing, myth writing, rock climbing, apple cider making, and rocket building and launching at Cape Dorr.

Seventh grade programs began the first week of October. The seventh graders come to Dorr for one night and participate in a field stream geology lab at the Shepaug River in Washington, Connecticut.
Read More about Dorr News, October 2010
Applefest 2010
What's Happening in the LD October 2010

From the beginning of September to the middle of October, the school year is well under way. The children are engaged in every aspect of the program and our parents had the opportunity to hear about the program when they attended our Meet The Faculty Evenings. 

Our kindergarten children from both 90th Street and the uptown cottages celebrated Applefest together. Dr. Kelly’s patio served as an apple tasting station where children sampled a large variety of apples. In first grade, the children had the opportunity to visit SoundWaters, on the Connecticut shore. They explored the shore, learned about plankton, and touched a live sea horse. Our second graders are studying pond life. They enjoyed a walk to Indian Pond, located in our neighborhood, where they observed the foliage, watched the ducks, and generally enjoyed the beauty of nature. In third grade the children are using a new computer-drawing program called Pixie. They have learned how to export drawings and import them into word documents. Fourth grade students accompanied Harriet Tubman along the Underground Railroad, set up from the Lower Division to the Upper Division. Through her one-woman show, Harriet talked about courage, a theme that the children are learning about while reading, Number The Stars. Our fifth graders are settling in to being the seniors of the division. Their class trips to Dorr have brought them closer together as they continue to focus on building community.

With the crisp days of autumn upon us, Halloween is rapidly approaching. As part of our Halloween celebration, this year we will be supporting Heifer International. Heifer International provides livestock around the world as a way of combating hunger. Please see the letter that has recently been sent home.

For more information about Heifer International, please click on the following link. www.heifer.org.

Costume conversations can be heard across campus. As we prepare for our Halloween costume parade, we focus on making the event a safe and enjoyable one for all of the children. Please bear in mind, as you help plan your child’s costume, that high-heeled shoes, masks, and weapons are not permitted. We also ask that the children bring their costume to school. We have set aside time for them to change, before the parade begins. As the weather can be chilly, please make sure that your child has a sweater, sweatshirt, or long sleeved shirt in case it is needed.

The parade will take place on Friday, October 29. The children in grades one through five will be participating. Our kindergarten children will have their own celebration on our Grasshopper field, and then they will watch as the rest of the children parade down the driveway.

The parade will begin at 11:00 AM. The children will walk along Tibbett Avenue and into the area that will be set up for them on Clark Field on the Middle/Upper division campus. Once everyone has arrived, we will parade around twice before returning to the Lower Division for a special outdoor lunch, weather permitting, along with other activities.

Although we know this event is a favorite of many, the parking is limited and the timing is relatively short. If you decide to join us, for safety reasons, we ask that you please go directly to Clark Field where there will be an area for parents. Please do not follow the parade from the Lower Division driveway. We also ask that you not take your child home after the parade, but rather have him/her remain for regular dismissal. Thanks so much for your help. We look forward to a wonderful time for all.

Our Halloween costume drive has been a great success. We are grateful for all of your donations. The costumes will be greatly appreciated by many children.

Thanks so much for your support so far, as we continue to work to make our afternoon dismissal as safe and smooth as possible. Please take note of the Lower Division Dismissal Guidelines.

Wendy Steinthal
Head of Lower Division
718-432-3312
wendy_steinthal@horacemann.org

Read More about Lower Division News, October 2010

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the start of the 2010-2011 school year.  From the hearth of our fireplace at Dorr, I had the privilege of welcoming many of our sixth graders back to campus as they began their journey by greeting old friends, making new ones and learning about life in the middle. With 234 new students, N-12, joining those returning for another year, we are indeed fortunate to have such intellectual strength and creativity in our classrooms, performing on our stages, playing on our playgrounds and excelling on our athletic fields.

Horace Mann is an adventure. A family journey of discovery, questioning, and surprises. It is rallying our spirits when loss had dampened them. It is holding each other up in tough times, and celebrating our successes. It is knowing, somewhere deep down inside, that we are in this together. As we start this school year and every day that follows, we celebrate the gifts of achievement, camaraderie, and overall sense of goodwill that Horace Mann School gives us and our kids. This fine School, our School, belongs to us. We provide for her, and protect her. We keep her grounded in excellence, in providing a well-rounded, well thought out educational experience for all involved. And in turn, she is shelter for our dreams.

One of the ways we care for our School is to to ensure that our increasingly diverse community enriches the instructional experience for all involved. To this end, please take a moment to read the remarks shared by our Director of Diversity Initiatives, Mrs. Patricia Zuroski, and complete the associated form so that we are able to better solicit your input and improve upon on student and parent offerings.

Please spend a few minutes celebrating with us as you view this month's issue of Across the Divisions.  I hope to see many of you at either the Dorr Family picnic this Saturday or Homecoming on October 2nd, and please make sure to keep abreast of school events by visiting our news page and School calendar.

With best wishes always,

Tom

Thomas M. Kelly, Ph.D.
Head of School
718-432-3880
tom_kelly@horacemann.org

Read More about A Message From Dr. Kelly, September 2010
Summer on the Hill (SOH) will begin its 17th Saturday academic year at Horace Mann on October 16. A year-round enrichment program for promising students from the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem, SOH’s 2010-2011 Grade 3-8 and the High School Programs will be held on 18 Saturdays across the school year. SOH will hold accelerated classes in language arts, math, and science for 200 public school students in Grades 3-8, and SAT and other college prep classes and college readiness activities for 50 high school students who are alumni of the Grade 3-8 program. 

As a result of a very successful placement season, 65 Summer on the Hill (SOH) students began attending new schools this fall:

  • At the elementary and middle school level, 18 SOH students are now at Manhattan and Bronx independent schools: Cathedral, De La Salle, George Jackson, and Horace Mann.
  • At the high school level, 29 SOH students are enrolled at NYC public and parochial schools, including Bronx Science, HS for Math, Science, and Engineering at City College, Fordham Prep, the HS for American Studies at Lehman College, Eleanor Roosevelt HS, and many others.
  • At the college level, 21 SOH high school graduates are freshmen at such colleges as Allegheny, Cornell, Davidson, Fordham, Hunter, MIT, SUNY, Syracuse, University of Rochester, and the US Air Force Academy.

SOH extends its deepest appreciation to the Horace Mann School for providing the setting for an educational program that has changed the lives of 800 students and families since 1994!

Read More about Summer on the Hill, September 2010

A Time to Gather…The Dorr Family Picnic is Saturday, September 25th!

Dr. Tom Kelly and the Faculty of the John Dorr Nature Lab invite you and your family to join us, rain or shine, and celebrate the beauty of the fall. Come enjoy hay rides, pony rides, the climbing wall, a raptor demonstration, hiking, family entertainment and much more!

Saturday, September 25th

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

(Lunch will be served under the tent from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm)

For more information, please contact the Alumni Office: 718-432-3450

Save the Date: Homecoming & Reunion Day is October 2, 2010

Mark your calendars to join us on Saturday, October 2nd for the largest annual gathering of alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends! Come cheer on our student athletes, enjoy the games and festivities at our PA's Homecoming Carnival or spend time back in the classroom at our Alumni 101 Faculty Lecture Series. Click here for a copy of our detailed Homecoming Brochure.

Reunions are scheduled that evening for the classes of 1940, 1945, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact the Alumni House: 718-432-3450.

Read More about News from the Alumni and Development Office, September 2010
We have come back from summer vacation with renewed energy and hope for a productive and successful year.  Student experiences ranged from summer jobs, summer school, and community service projects to camp, going to the beach and world travel. 

The Dorrientation Program over Labor Day Weekend was filled with fun and good cheer as over eighty of our returning students welcomed new students to our community.  The High School welcomed 184 students into the ninth grade and our seniors ushered in their last year as Horace Mann students at a festive barbeque with the faculty.

Our athletic teams have already started their seasons and the cast for the first theater production of the year, The Apple Tree, is set.

Everyone is excited and looking forward to the Clubs and Publications Fair on September 23rd when more than 50 clubs and more than 20 publications will present themselves to the community and recruit new members.  Our students have the opportunity to “shop around” and choose new venues in which to become involved in our community.

We look forward to Homecoming on October 2nd to celebrate our fall Varsity sports and welcome back our alumni.

We’re off to a great start.

Susan Delanty
Dean of Student Life
718-432-3843
susan_delanty@horacemann.org

Read More about News from the Dean of Student Life, September 2010


Click on the picture to view the gallery

The students hustle into Gross Auditorium for the First Day Assembly. filling the room with their characteristic energy and noise. Standing at the podium and watching them fill the seats, I love the moment. Here they are, poised for action, delighted to be in each other's company, ready to begin our year. I pause and let the moment sink in. Getting them quiet, I say good morning to them and htey shout back, "Good morning, Doctor Schiller!" I ask for a round of applause for the students, faculty, and staff of Horace Mann School, and the response is deafening: we're off!

Off on our journey to June, off for the one hundred twenty-fourth year in the eventful and illustrious history of the beloved School. Having been down this road a few times before, I know that the time will pass both quickly and slowly, that the days will rush by, and that before long this beginning moment will seem far far away, as if it happened in another Horace Mann decades ago.

I was reminded of that other School in other decades when I went to the reception for donors to the Annual Fund only last night. This evening is always a great pleasure: I get to re-visit old friends, former students, and current parents new to Horace Mann but excited and happy to be part of this community. One father of an incoming sixth-grader, his eyes sparking, said how amazing the School already is, and his daughter has just started. My former students give me hugs and remind me how long I've been at the place and how deeply my own life is implicated in it. So, of course, are theirs; indeed, as many of them as can do so are sending their kids here! So much love in that room, so much positive feeling, so much good energy!

Present generations and past generations of Horace Mann students have this common, this amazing exuberance and affection for the School, this sense of belonging to it and having it belong to you. Here we go again! There's nowhere I'd rather be.

David Schiller
Head of Upper Division
718-432-3912
david_schiller@horacemann.org

Read More about Upper Division News, September 2010


Click on the picture to view the gallery

The three years of Middle School are filled with executive function tasks and skills. Students must learn how to study for quizzes, tests, and by seventh grade, for final exams based on a year of content. They learn how to comply with the requirements of multiple teachers, multi-step long-term projects and evaluating information collected from a variety of sources. They move from concrete to abstract thinking; they must offer proof to support their points of view, and they must learn to view ideas and events from multiple points of view. All of these can be daunting tasks, and it is exciting and fascinating to watch our students move through these processes every year.

While they are acquiring these skills our students must also establish routines and study habits that work for them. In Life Skills classes and in academic subjects we talk frequently about how to break down the tasks of studying and preparation into discrete components. We talk about making flash cards, rough drafts and study guides. We talk about how memorizing vocabulary and facts are an excellent task immediately before bedtime. We talk about studying for a test over multiple nights so that there is time to touch base with the teacher if questions remain. We talk about the benefits of adequate, regular sleep and good nutrition. And we try to stay current on the latest research about learning, and study habits.

Last week the New York Times ran an article entitled “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits.” From it we learned about some further research into effective habits. So this year we will encourage students to vary their studying environments and mix up the content. We will continue to suggest that they frequently test themselves and space out study sessions over several days. And we will help every student to discover the combination of techniques that work best for him or her. When the Upper Division mentors work with the new Middle Division students during our Dorr orientation, they offer an outstanding variety of tips and tricks that they have learned. It does indeed happen in Middle School.

Robin Ingram
Head of Middle Division
718-432-3929
robin_ingram@horacemann.org

Read More about Middle Division News, September 2010
The Admissions Office is delighted to welcome 234 new students to Horace Mann this year (and to welcome four students back from a year away!) Our 1,782 students in Nursery through 12th Grade come to us from 149 different zip codes in three states, include 31% students of color, and another 1% international students. We have already hosted many activities to welcome those new students and parents, and extend a special thank you to the Parents' Association for all of their hard work with the Parents for New Parents program. (Check out the Dorr link to see some photos from the August Middle and Upper Division Orientation Programs!)

If you haven't already done so, please check your listing in the printed School directory you should have received in the mail in late August, and log in to your parent website account to provide any changes or updates. A directory supplement reflecting changes will be emailed to all families in late September; this is the only supplement you will receive during the year. (At other times, changes will be reflected only in the online directory accessible through the Parent Portal.)

We're already hard at work processing applications for September 2011 entry, and we're delighted to be accepting applications online for the first time this year. (In our first week online, more than 500 applications were submitted, so if you have submitted an application, we appreciate your patience as we process all of those forms.) If you would like to apply online, visit the Admissions portion of the HM website here.

Financial Aid applications for 2011-2012 will be emailed to all current recipients in mid-November. Please contact Ms. Erriah in our office at chrissalee_erriah@horacemann.org if you would like to receive the materials, or check the November issue of the Across the Divisions for a link.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the Admissions or Financial Aid process. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Admissions & Financial Aid Office Staff
Read More about Admissions Office, September 2010

Dear Parents,

The Parents Association welcomes you to the 2010-2011 school year. As in the past, our goal will be to continue our role in facilitating strong relations between the School and parent body and within the overall HM community. We hope you will join us at the many events we have planned for the upcoming year. In particular, we hope you will attend the Dorr Family Picnic on Saturday, September 25 at the Dorr Nature Laboratory and Homecoming on Saturday, October 2 at Horace Mann. These are great opportunities to support our school with spirit as well as a great chance to meet new families and see old friends. Please look out for your invitation to the October 19 All School PA Meeting, at which Dr. Tom Kelly and Mr. Steven Friedman will deliver the annual “State of the School” address. This will be preceded by an All School Cocktail Reception in Olshan Lobby. All are invited to attend. Please visit the HM website for further details on these and other future events.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone on the PA board with questions or suggestions.

Executive Board

President – Ellen Hefter, heftere@yahoo.com

1st Vice-President – Farrah Kleiner, farrah7f@aol.com

2nd Vice-President – Shari Turner, sharisturner@aol.com

Secretary – Patty Manoff, phmanoff@aol.com

Upper Division
Co-Chair - Allison Essner, alliessner@aol.com
Co-Chair - Tijana Perl, tperl@nj.rr.com
Vice-Chair – Mini Suri, mini.suri@citi.com
Secretary – Linda Filardi, linda.filardi@ge.com

Middle Division
Chair - Shari Adler, smga201@aol.com
Vice-Chair – Marla Stein, marla.stein@alumni.northwestern.edu
Secretary – Susan Chung, scdcchung@hotmail.com

Lower Division
Co-Chair – Susan Kane Bloom, skane275@hotmail.com
Co-Chair – Robin Kaplan, robin@nykaplan.com
Vice-Chair – Lauren Manning, lauren@manningnyc.com
Secretary – Page Bondor, pbondor@nyc.rr.com

Nursery Division
Chair – Melissa Neumann, melissafneumann@gmail.com
Vice-Chair - Susan Katzke, srkatzke@gmail.com
Secretary - Natasha Cornstein, natashacornstein@yahoo.com

I wish you and your family a productive, fulfilling and healthy year.

Warmly,

Ellen Hefter
President, Horace Mann Parents Association

Read More about Parents Association: Information, News & Events, September 2010
Horace Mann Welcomes New Community Members

New Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Enjoy a Day at Dorr

            An Equestrian, a former puppeteer, a writer of hip hop lyrics, and a math teacher in India are among the new faculty, staff, and administrators who have joined our community this year. The diversity of experience of our newest Horace Manners will contribute to the continuing vitality of our classrooms, offices, and activities throughout the year. Throughout two days in late August, Horace Mann School offered a multi-faceted orientation, a collaborative effort of many school offices and departments. Through these images, we introduce you to the newest adult members of our community.

 

“If you feed them. . .” New Employee Orientation

began with breakfast on Monday, August 30.


FLIK Director Brenda Cohn and Executive

Chef Jason Conner explain how food gets to our table.

 

Everyone wants to know more about technology.

Sheryl Rivera began the Technology Orientation, one of many events

that comprised the New Employee Orientation.


 A picnic lunch on Clark Field allowed for conversations with

Division Heads. New Nursery Division head Marcia Levy

meets with new faculty members.

“Creativity Maven” and Physics teacher Jeff Weitz

talks to the group. At the center of every creative endeavor,

we should place the question, “Why?”

 

Steve Friedman, chair of the Board of Trustees, hosts a

reception for new employees at the Nursery Division.

 

The August 31 sessions at Dorr included conversations

about Admissions, Alumni and Development, Diversity,

Professional Development, and the Dorr curriculum.

 Dr. Jeremy Leeds talks about the Service Learning Team.

 

No day at Dorr is complete without a walk on the grounds

and a visit to the high ropes course.

 

Welcome to all our new employees!

 

Dr. Barbara L. Tischler
Director of Curriculum & Professional Development
718-432-3989
barbara_tischler@horacemann.org
Read More about Office of Curriculum and Professional Development, September 2010


Click on the picture to view the gallery

With the calendar being as it was, our first through fifth graders began their first week of school with two days. But what a great two days they were. From the very first moment, as we greeted the children, faces were filled with smiles and the excitement could be felt. There were stories to be told of summer adventures along with thoughts about what is to come. A new school year lies ahead. 2010-2011 has begun.

On Monday, our kindergarten students joined us on campus for their first day of school. After two days of parent conferences and a day of open houses our youngest are here, completing our Lower Division family, 466 strong.

A very warm welcome to friends old and new. With our Rules We Live By as our guide, we will continue building our school community into one filled with caring and concern for all. It takes all of us and each of us to support this process.

As our daily schedule continues to evolve, we will once again be working with a rotating schedule for the 2010-2011 school year. Our days are A through D with Friday remaining constant. Each classroom has a set of color-coded days for clarity. In addition, the color-coded day will be posted in various locations throughout the school and will also be announced each morning. Please find a copy of the rotating schedule attached for your convenience. It would be a good idea to print and post it so you can look at it with your child each day.

If last year was the year of the new playground, and mind you, the excitement of that equipment continues, then this year must be the year of the new water fountain. What a gem it is! Definitely state of the art. With two levels, one for the smaller and one for the taller, what a difference it makes. This fountain is located right in front of the playground. A second one will be installed shortly on our Grasshopper field.
 
This past Wednesday afternoon we came together for our first assembly. It was our way of setting the tone for the year ahead. We welcomed everyone back to school and said a special welcome to those students and teachers who are joining us for the first time. We talked about our community and our Rules We Live By. The children were introduced to those who help and support our school in many different ways. Dr. Kelly joined us and spoke to the children about the year ahead.  

There have been no bus changes during the first two weeks of school. It has been important that each one of the children travel on his/her own bus so we can establish comfortable routines for both the children and the bus drivers. Play date bus changes can begin on Monday, September 20. Please remember that you must send a note whenever there is a change to your child’s regular established dismissal. Thank you for your support.

Our fifth graders will soon begin their visits to Dorr. Please see the dates for the individual homerooms listed below.

Fifth Grade Dorr Schedule
5K  September 20-22
5E  September 22-24
5G  September 27-29
5R  September 29-October 1

With each school year there are new beginnings and endless possibilities. Our journey at the Lower Division continues. We look forward to sharing it with you throughout the year.

Wendy Steinthal
Head of Lower Division
718-432-3312
wendy_steinthal@horacemann.org

Read More about Lower Division News, September 2010
Welcome from the Office of Diversity: Patricia Zuroski, Director of Diversity Initiatives, Markell Parker, Diversity Associate, and Ian Rios, Diversity Assistant. Our school year is off to a busy start and we have had the chance to participate in Dorr Orientations, faculty meetings and any number of informal hallway and lunch time conversations. Students in all divisions, administrators, teachers, parents and alumni have all reached out both to share our excitement for things to come and to share ideas for new and continuing initiatives. 

Already on our calendar is the Fall Family Gathering, an annual gathering to celebrate the opening of school. Saturday, October 16, 1-4pm, we will be on the patio at the Head of School’s house with rides for the children on the Lower Division Grasshopper. We hope you and your family will join us for food, fun and good company.

Among the first things we have added to the calendar is an event on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 7pm in Gross Theatre. Horace Mann School will host a one-woman performance by “Harriet Tubman and developed by JWD Enterprises, Inc.” The HM community is welcome to attend. We have also scheduled a bi-weekly Roundtable Wiki, a diversity discussion group, for faculty. These discussions will rotate through each of the four divisions and a Wiki available to the faculty will introduce the planned focus of each discussion group and extend the discussions beyond the Roundtable.

The work of the Office of Diversity is guided by the Mission Statement and Core Values of our School. In addition, the Diversity Continuum developed by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) that defines the path a school follows toward equity and justice has helped to frame and define our initiatives. The four steps on the path are diversity, (building and valuing diversity), multiculturalism, (recognizing and celebrating cultures) inclusivity, (looking at policies and practices), and equity and justice (establishing co-ownership in the community and strategically sustaining diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusivity).

An institution is rarely in one place on the continuum, but is likely to be at many different points depending on the situation. For example, we may be at one point on the continuum when we are looking at hiring practices and at a different point when responding to concerns from an individual family about their child’s school experience. As we consider the many ways the Office of Diversity will work within existing systems and structures to support individuals, encourage conversation among groups, increase knowledge and awareness through curriculum, and respond to systemic issues, we are mindful that every effort must help us to move forward toward equity and justice.

Horace Mann School is a diverse community with a rich history and strong academic tradition. The Office of Diversity was created in 1998, but long before that many individuals were committed to diversity work. Our team picks up that commitment and takes on the responsibility with this new school year. We have much to learn from the members of this community and from the history that preceded us. We have vision for a school that is engaged in conversation about difficult issues in a challenging and complex world and able to take action to affect positive change both within and outside of the school community.

Parents at HM have many opportunities to meet new friends, make social connections within the parent body and to find support as they navigate the HM experience with their children. We currently have three affinity groups within our Parents Association to bring together families of shared race or ethnicity. They are South Asian Families Group, Korean Parents League, and Black Parents Union.

These groups often hold meetings or events and welcome your participation. Please take this opportunity to provide your email address for their mailing lists by responding to this survey. It is completely voluntary and participation in any of these groups is not intended to substitute for, but to enrich, your participation in the larger PA.

https://www.horacemann.org/cf_forms/view.cfm?formID=9

Patricia Zuroski
Director of Diversity Initiatives
718-432-4109
patricia_zuroski@horacemann.org

Read More about Office of Diversity, September 2010