Over the Thanksgiving Weekend, I attended UVI’s annual Paradise Jam on St. Thomas and was fortunate to watch the U Conn women’s basketball team twice. My friend and I sat directly behind the U Conn bench so we could observe greatness in action: Coach Geno Auriemma has the third most career wins (1,027) among college women’s basketball coaches and he has led U Conn to 11 NCAA Division I national championships, the most in women’s college basketball history.
With four minutes left on the clock and the Huskies up 80-35, we saw why. During a timeout, he spoke with his second and third string players with the same intensity as at the start of the game. In his mind, the game was 0 to 0 and he was already developing next year’s championship team. His first team huddled around intently, providing encouragement to the rookies. It was a wonderful reminder that to build a culture of excellence and continuous improvement—something we strive to do here at GHCDS—requires full commitment from everyone for every minute of “the game.”
Fast forward to this Friday morning when we watched nearly a dozen of our lower and middle school students compete in the Spelling Bee. It was awesome to see the poise our competitors demonstrated on stage under pressure with 400 eyeballs glued on them. What’s more, all but one of them (the eventual winner) would inevitably make a mistake in front of those same 400 eyes. Here’s to all our talented participants for developing the important life skill of having the courage and confidence to make mistakes in public… and learn and move on. Bravo!
Lastly, I wanted to provide a short update on and historical context for technology at GHCDS. One of the important tools in any teacher’s arsenal in 2018 is having effective A/V equipment in their classroom: either a projection screen or, especially in the lower grades, an interactive screen. Two years ago in November 2016 we mapped the status of our A/V equipment (A_V Equipment November 2016): 19 of 33 learning spaces had broken A/V equipment. Thanks to our next technology director, Steve Minten, and our asst. technology director, Mr. Locher, we addressed this critical shortfall by fixing nearly everything and even adding A/V equipment in more learning spaces (A_V Equipment 1.22.18). However, we had 12 different models, highly inefficient for learning and for maintenance. Thanks to our tech team including our new technology director, Ryan Franks, we are now trying to consolidate our A/V equipment to two models: one preferred interactive board and one preferred screen (A_V Equipment Proposed Summer 2018+).
Three perpetual challenges we face, however, are:
- Most of our funding for technology, including A/V, has historically come through federal Title V funding. Right now, however, we have more than $750k from three years of requests still pending dating back to 2016-17. We have made progress despite this because we have tapped funds from the rest of our limited operating budget to address these critical needs.
- Voltage fluctuations from our power source, WAPA, continue to damage equipment despite protections we have tried to put in place.
- High temperatures in classrooms—we have eight learning spaces which routinely hit 91 degrees—shorten the life of our A/V equipment in these rooms nearly in half.
If you are in a position to help us advance our technology program here at GHCDS, we welcome your involvement! In the meantime, please see below a brief update from our technology department about infrastructure changes this year.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Greetings from the Tech Department!
The Tech Department is working hard to make sure each classroom has what it needs to be an enriching learning space. Also, because we rely so heavily on our network, we continue taking the steps necessary to ensure our network is as robust and reliable as possible. Here are a few accomplishments so far:
- Resolved 140 Technology Related HelpDeskTickets.
- Replaced Weak Fiber Optic Cables and Splices.
- Initiated a Classroom Temperature Study.
- Completed the VOIP Network Telephone installation.
- Upgraded the Core Network Servers to better handle WiFi demands.
- Installed 4 new Classroom A/V Screens…more coming soon.
- Replaced the Network Battery Backup System.
First through third grade report cards are going home this Friday.
Trail Work Day, December 1 from 8:30 to 12:00
Welcome to the Good Hope Country Day School Nature Trail and “Fairysted!.” We are so excited that signs for the trail head, plant identification, “Fairysted,” as well as the wonderful science stations created by Ms. Coles and the Middle School, are ready to be installed. Thanks to Panther dads, Brian Daley and Aaron Hutchins, for their direction and enthusiasm. Now all we need is a little muscle! We invite outdoor enthusiasts to join us on the morning of December 1st to help with the installation of signs, planting of a few plants, and tidying of the trail. Let Denise Blanchette, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Aaron Hutchins (email@example.com), or Brian Daley (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you can help out! Bring gloves, clippers, and water!
Ms. Tracy’s Seventh Grade Math Classes BECAME algebraic equations!
In the first photo seventh graders identified whether an expression is a ratio, rate, or unit rate through a ‘4 corners and debate’ activity. This group convinced the entire class and everyone was in the same corner.
In the second photo a group of students formed a human line. They were given an equation in y = mx + b form. They used the information to form the line on a coordinate plane.
In the third photo all four teams of one class formed lines at the same time. They discovered that when ‘m’ is the same, the lines are parallel!
Community Service Super Stars!
The Middle School continues its commitment to regular community service. Emma Craft and Fleur Zarzezcny walk dogs at the Animal Shelter.
After School Activities
- Thanks to the Upper School student groups who participated in the Lower School After School Activity Program.
- Thanks to David Conhoff, Nayan Bansal, and Isaiah Stevens for offering Chess as an after school activity.
- Thanks to Ms. Banwaree for offering Fairy House Making to fourth through sixth graders.
Activities that ended this week:
- Maker Space, Lower School Theater, Basketball, Fairy House Making Grades 3 to 6, Destination Imagination, MathCounts
Activities that will continue:
- One more week (week of Dec 3): Running, Stock Market, No Body to Murder, Fairy House Making
- Two more weeks (week of Dec 10) Steel Pan, Chess, Christmas Craft, Kickball, Lego Club
Parents: Please consider offering an activity next Semester. Or, if you know someone who can contribute, email Ms. Blanchette (email@example.com)
Fourth Grade Writers
Congratulations, writers! Busy 4th graders gathered for a Publishing Party this week. After a popcorn and juice treat, they entertained their friends with original stories read on the front lawn.
Good afternoon GHCDS Families!
As you may know, our Panther PowerUP! Fun Run was more successful than we ever imagined. Students, parents, teachers and businesses all pitched in to help out Good Hope Country Day School. We have raised approximately $40,000 to use towards Campus Improvements. It is very important that we find a meaningful way to spend these donations that benefits all of the students who helped to raise it.
Below is a link to a survey for you to evaluate the fundraiser and give your feedback on where you would like to see the money spent. We will be collecting responses from the community and working with the Buildings and Grounds committee to formulate a plan. Please complete your survey by Sunday, December 2nd.
Thank you for your time, effort, commitment and donations to our school.
Our next Parents’ Association meeting will be held on Friday, December 14th at 6:00 pm in the Library, just before the Middle and Upper School Concert. We will be discussing our survey results and sharing plans for the remainder of the year. Please join us!
This Week in Sports:
Hi Panther Families!
It’s been a quiet week, with training only, no games on campus. Track and field resumed workouts this week, and all our basketball teams hit the courts for preseason practices, too.
Athletes should be returning fall sport uniforms, washed and labeled with names, please. These can be dropped off in the main office before school, after, or at snack or lunch time.
Please scroll down (just below my sports news) for information about a really great softball camp for students in grades 3-12. Our Varsity pitcher has trained with the instructor, and we’re fortunate to have her on island!
Practices Next Week:
- Track and Field-Monday and Wednesday 3:15-4:30, Friday before school (optional run 6:00 a.m.-7:00)
- Elementary Boys Basketball-Monday (slab) and Thursday (slab) 3:15-4:30
- Elementary Girls Basketball-Monday (slab) and Thursday (slab) 3:15-4:30
*Special note for Elementary basketball: Athletes in the play No Body to Murder are excused from Monday’s practice.
- Middle School Boys Basketball-Tuesday and Thursday 3:15-4:30 gym
- JV Girls Basketball-Tuesday and Thursday 3:15-4:30 gym
- JV and Varsity Boys Basketball-Monday & Wednesday 4:15-5:30, and Friday 3:15-4:30 gym
*Special note for all: The JV and Varsity boys are temporarily getting extra gym time because they have tryouts (unlike all our other teams), and the Varsity team has a possible tournament on December 13th. Thanks for understanding
Have a great weekend, and Go Panthers!