The magazine for families, alumni, and friends of
                                                    WINTER 2021

                     DURING THE PANDEMIC


435 Lydecker St.
Englewood, NJ 07631

Articles, images, and other contributions from
the extended Elisabeth Morrow community are
welcome. Contact Laura Adams Stiansen in the
Communications Office at LAdamsStiansen@ or (201) 568-5566, ext. 7186.
All submissions are subject to review and
submission does not guarantee publication.

Laura Adams Stiansen

Joram Mushinske

Laura Adams Stiansen
Gerard Allen
Vanessa Anderson-Zheng
Marissa Bholan
Ava Diamond
Tricia Eickelberg
Amalia Ferolie
Maureen Fonseca
Laura Heffron
Angelique Morelli
Zeke Rodgers
Phoebe Search
Angela Thomas
Joyce Venezia Suss
Jack Zirin-Hyman

And a special thanks to all our EMS families, faculty,
staff, and administrators for their involvement in
our winter 2021 articles and photography


Since the start of the new school year, EMS has
made it possible for students to learn in-person,
with full days, five days a week, in a safe educational

The Elisabeth Morrow School’s shared purpose is
to provide exemplary academics and character
development in a diverse and inclusive child-
centered community, inspiring students to become
curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens.

A second-grader explores the brook on our campus
with his class during a recent fall excursion.

                     WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 3
[ WELCOME FROM DR. FONSECA ]                                                                                                                                                                                                      [ NEWS ]

   W                                                                                          CONTENTS
                      ords that come to mind when I think of
                      the EMS community are courageous,
                      caring, and resilient. I am so grateful to                              NEWS p.5
                      our teachers and division heads who have                                Newsworthy items from
   worked hard to ensure that our curriculum is strong and                                    June through November
   robust – academically and socially-emotionally – for both                                  WELLNESS p.12
   our on-campus and remote students. We came together,                                       Fighting Pandemic Fatigue: Tips to
   researching and anticipating, and continually prioritizing                                 focus on self-care and restorative
   the health and safety needs of all members of the                                          practices
   community during this exceptional period in our history in
                                                                                              BACK TO SCHOOL p.14
   order to design the most solid, exciting, and – above all –
                                                                                              Moving Forward: A look at our
   safe program possible for students and faculty. It has been
                                                                                              progress during the pandemic
   a challenging time but, as many have noted, our faculty have been incredible.
       With all the changes and challenges this year at our school, we are still focusing     AROUND CAMPUS p.20
   on “the best of the old, and the best of the new.” This fall, we welcomed 2-year-old       A Day in the Life: How our students
   students to Chilton House, which is aligned with founder Elisabeth Morrow’s vision         are handling the start of the 2020-21                                                                                        MORROW
   when she opened the first Little School 90 years ago.                                      school year                                                                                                                  HOUSE SCIENCE
       As we celebrate our 90th year, I want to thank all our community members – new         EARLY CHILDHOOD p.24                                                                                                         TEACHER
   and old – for their contributions to making EMS what it is today. Our rich history,        Planting the Seed: Cultivating a love                                                                                        COMPLETES
   dating back to 1930, shines a light on the educational visionaries who helped build the    of learning starts with early childhood
   solid foundation that allows our school to continue to thrive. By focusing on our core     education
   values, we have continued our momentum even during a pandemic.                                                                                                                                                          LEADERSHIP
                                                                                              DEI p.26
       This issue highlights our focus on academic excellence, character development,         Empowering Global Citizens:                                                                                                  MASTER’S
   diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how we are instilling a passion for learning, even   Diversity, equity, and inclusion work                                                                                        PROGRAM
   in our youngest students. And we commemorate our 90th anniversary with a special           expands the student experience
   section devoted to our fascinating history and the legacy of EMS families, friends, and                                                                                                                                     Stephanie Nebel, a sixth- and
   former faculty who have made a lasting impact.                                              SPECIAL 90TH-                                                                                                               eighth-grade science teacher and
       In a year filled with uncertainties as we navigate the reality of this pandemic,        ANNIVERSARY SECTION                                                                                                         sixth-grade advisor, completed
   I remain incredibly grateful for the support and compassion of the entire EMS                                                                                                                                           the School Leadership Program
                                                                                               A STRONG
   community. We have weathered the ups and downs with grace, and we will only                 FOUNDATION p.29                          MEET OUR EAGLE MASCOT                                                              at the University of Pennsylvania
   grow stronger together.                                                                     The Elisabeth Morrow School                                                                                                 this year and earned her master’s
                                   Warm                                                        builds its legacy by focusing               Our school mascot has come to life! We now have an Eagle on campus. This        degree.
                                   regards,                                                    on the future                            feathery friend was featured in our instructional re-entry video for students,         Nebel was awarded the gcLi
                                                                                                                                        reminding them to wear masks and wash their hands, and greeted children during     Fellowship in Pedagogy of Leader-
                                                                                               A WALK DOWN MEMORY
                                                                                               LANE p.36                                the first week of school, as well as dropping in to say “hello” to students who    ship to attend the School Leader-
                                                                                               Reeve Lindbergh and her family           participated in our Fall Festival.                                                 ship Program in January of 2019.
                                               Head of School
                                                                                               recall special times on our campus                                                                                          As part of the program, she com-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           pleted a 430-hour internship at

     BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2020-2021                                                               A MULTI-GENERATIONAL
                                                                                               JOURNEY p.40
                                                                                                                                          CROSS-COUNTRY TEAM COMPETES                                                      The Elisabeth Morrow School and

     PRESIDENT                    TRUSTEES                      TRUSTEES EMERITI
                                                                                               Finding the right fit was                  VIRTUALLY WITH BOZEMAN TRACK                                                     conducted a practitioner research

     Hanita Walia                 Victor Alvarez ‘93            Sandra Borg                    paramount for the Borg Family              CLUB IN MONTANA                                                                  project on student and faculty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           perception of introversion and
                                  Robin Dillard                 Joan Van Alstyne               RENAISSANCE MAN p.42
     FIRST VICE PRESIDENT                                                                                                                     With COVID-19 impacting our school’s ability to travel to races together,    extraversion in Morrow House.
                                  Elizabeth Gabbay ‘93          Johnson ‘34 (deceased)         A George Penny education
     Greg Amerkanian                                                                                                                      cross-country coaches Karen Bronstein and Jose Padilla got creative. They            “The program brings together
                                  Candace Gonzalez ‘94          Graham Jones                   is worth every cent
                                                                                                                                          reached out to different middle schools – near and far – and were able to set    aspiring leaders in independent,
     SECOND VICE                  Neal Merker                   Emily Mann
     PRESIDENTS                                                                                                                           up a virtual competition in October against the Bozeman Track Club from          charter, and public schools,” says
                                  Jamil Myrie                   Rosemary Mills Russell        ADVANCEMENT p.45
     Joseph Agresta, Jr. ‘78      Kaan Onur                     Jayanne Tedesco
                                                                                                                                          Bozeman, Montana. Each team raced a 1.5-mile course and compared their           Nebel. “During our 11 months
                                                                                              Paving the way for the next
     Jennifer Ostfeld             Dana Ranawat                  William Van Ness              generation
                                                                                                                                          times. The EMS top three boys bested the Bozeman group, averaging a 6:22         together, we learned about lead-
     Frank Zhang                  Jeffrey Rowbottom                                                                                       pace. The EMS top three girls just missed it, but they showed incredible speed   ership, curriculum, and the inner
                                                                                              ALUMNI p.46                                 with a 6:51 pace. Overall, EMS lost out to the Bozeman team, but “it was defi-   workings of schools. Through in-
     TREASURER                    Clare Sheridan
                                                                                              Catching up with former students            nitely close,” says Bronstein. “We also shared information about our groups,     quiry projects, I was able to grap-
     Heide Ilgenfritz             George Staphos
                                  Wendi Hoeben                                                ADMISSIONS p.50                             from hobbies, interests, and weather. We even shared running tips for each       ple with and apply the concepts
     SECRETARY                    Thompson                                                    Setting your child up for                   other. It was a nice way to bring some excitement and fun to the competition!”   and theory I was learning.”
     Kathie Kamiel
                                                                                              academic success

4 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                        WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 5
[ NEWS ]
                                               EXPLORING PROJECT-BASED
                                               LEARNING IN LITTLE SCHOOL
                                                   Project-based learning (PBL) is an experience for students to become
                                               stewards of their own learning in trying to solve a real-world problem,
                                               challenge, or complex question. Students are given time to explore,
                                               understand, and apply their knowledge
                                               for a given topic and showcase their
                                               learning to an appropriate audience. The
                                               essence of PBL is for students to learn by
                                               doing, where teachers are the guides and
                                               the students become the teachers.
   EXPLORATIONS                                    “PBL provides students an authentic
   2020: SUMMER                                learning environment where they are able
   CAMP SUCCESS                                to take a question and truly understand
        Summer 2020 brought many               it when given the time to truly explore
   changes to our summer programs.             a topic or question,” says Lower School
   Explorations Online, our virtual            STEAM Chair and Science Teacher
   camp program, allowed students the          Kara Makohon-Moore. “It gives them
   opportunity to stay connected and           an opportunity to investigate topics                                             STUDENTS ENJOY A SPOOKTACULAR                                                             OUR AMAZING
   engaged through different course            while looking at it through various
                                               STEAM subject lenses and the ability to
                                                                                                                                HALLOWEEN                                                                                 TEACHERS
   offerings, including Radio Drama, Art
                                                                                                                                    On Friday, Oct. 30, students
   School for the Masters, Sticky Science,     apply 21st-century skills (collaboration,                                                                                                                                      Even though we
                                                                                                                                from each school celebrated
   as well as digital photography, and         communication, critical thinking, creativity). These skills will help students                                                                                             celebrate our wonderful
                                                                                                                                this frighteningly fun holiday
   web development. With daily fitness         succeed in the future, both in school following them up to Morrow House,                                                                                                   teachers each and every day,
                                                                                                                                each in their own way. In Chilton
   options and afternoon choices in art,       and in today’s workforce. Our goal is to provide a project that motivates                                                                                                  World Teachers’ Day was
                                                                                                                                House, our youngest students
   science, trivia, and even Dungeons and      students to take ownership of their own learning.”                                                                                                                         the perfect time to shine a
                                                                                                                                enjoyed a Halloween-themed
   Dragons, students stayed active, both           During PBL units, students gain key knowledge and understanding of a                                                                                                   light more brightly on these
                                                                                                                                singalong with music teacher
   physically and mentally. At the same        challenging problem or question. At EMS, PBL units are incorporated into                                                                                                   caring individuals who are
                                                                                                                                Emily Spaeth. Then, they
   time, we had more than 70 campers           the first-grade through the fourth-grade curriculum.                                                                                                                       the heart of our community.
                                                                                                                                began their Hall-Hall (Hallway
   over two, two-week sessions during              Our first-graders have studied the monarch butterfly and asked the                                                                                                     This year’s theme was
                                                                                                                                Halloween) and got a chance to
   Explorations On-Site on our beautiful       question: Why should we save the monarch butterfly? They presented                                                                                                         “Teachers: Leading in Crisis,
                                                                                                                                parade down the hallway in their
   14-acre campus. Campers engaged in          their findings to our gardening teachers and maintenance staff. Second-                                                                                                    Reimagining the Future.” Our
                                                                                                                                costumes as other classrooms
   different choices from filmmaking, art,     graders asked themselves: What would you need to do to survive in                                                                                                          teachers have shown that
                                                                                                                                clapped and cheered. Little
   nature explorations, fitness, and STEAM,    the wilderness?, and presented to Morrow House teachers who had                                                                                                            even though our learning
                                                                                                                                School students celebrated
   led by experienced faculty. Following       backpacking experience. Third-graders studied geology and asked: What                                                                                                      landscape has changed
                                                                                                                                by showing off their costumes
   our safety protocols, students were         would the world be like without rock and minerals? A Morrow House                                                                                                          during this pandemic, they
                                                                                                                                at morning meetings, and for
   able to interact with one another, get      science teacher with a doctorate in geology acted as their audience                                                                                                        have kept their focus on
                                                                                                                                those students on campus, they
   outside, and delight in new activities      during their presentation. Fourth-graders asked themselves: How can                                                                                                        the needs of the children
                                                                                                                                gathered by cohort in the Cohen
   and adventures. Campers spent time          you visit Morristown National Park safely?, and virtually presented poster                                                                                                 and understanding how to
                                                                                                                                Center to admire one another’s
   exploring the brook, hiking the campus,     presentations to the staff at the Morristown National Park.                                                                                                                instill a love of learning in
                                                                                                                                creativity and dance skills. “It
   and playing on our playgrounds.                 “Interdisciplinary teaching is a powerful tool to spark creative thinking,                                                                                             each child. When teachers
                                                                                                                                appeared that everyone had
   Teachers reviewed safety protocols          improve critical thinking, and prepare students to deal with future                                                                                                        arrived on campus on Oct.
                                                                                                                                fun, and all truly felt the spirit
   daily, and campers practiced social         problems using skills and knowledge from various learning experiences                                                                                                      6 and 7, they were greeted
                                                                                                                                of childhood and silliness that
   distancing within their group cohorts.      and disciplines,” says Lower School Head Beth Brennan, noting that the                                                                                                     with signs honoring them. It
                                                                                                                                Halloween inspires,” says Beth
   “It was reassuring to see the children on   PBL team, consisting of Kara Makohon-Moore, Lower School Math Chair                                                                                                        was a way to thank them for
                                                                                                                                Brennan, Lower School Head.
   campus working and playing together         and Math Teacher Mary Ann Rota, Little School Librarian Cindy Cohrs-                                                                                                       their dedication, hard work,
                                                                                                                                Morrow House students dressed
   each day. It was a learning curve for       Brandt, and Lower School Art Teacher Samantha Smithline, met during a                                                                                                      and unwavering support
                                                                                                                                up and fifth- and sixth-graders
   all of us – as teachers and students –      recent Professional Development day to begin planning their overview of                                                                                                    for the academic growth
                                                                                                                                participated in a small art competition organized by art teacher Sarah Smith. Students
   but we learned to navigate within this      upcoming PBL units. “They spent time coming up with a driving question                                                                                                     of every student and their
                                                                                                                                voted on student work that included six first-place winners: Aarav Patel, Kaiden Woo,
   new normal,” says Liza Hards, Director      for each grade level and outlining our learning plan on how to have                                                                                                        social and emotional health
                                                                                                                                Mia Golemis, Krithi Mitta, John De Los Santos, and Larsen Winterheimer. Faculty chose
   of Auxiliary Programs. “Our success         students achieve and be successful when answering this question, using                                                                                                     and well-being, whether it be
                                                                                                                                the best Halloween-inspired art piece out of the six finalists with sixth-grader Krithi
   is in the laughter and smiles, even         the Understanding by Design (UbD) mindset when thinking with the end                                                                                                       on campus or with remote
                                                                                                                                Mitta winning the competition.
   underneath the masks!”                      in mind.”                                                                                                                                                                  learning.

6 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                 WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 7
[ NEWS ]
                                                                                                                                           BUILDING A LEGACY
                                                                                                                                           Students who attend EMS have fond memories of their
                         EMS WELCOMES NEW FACULTY AND STAFF                                                                                time at the school. So it’s no surprise that they return –   COMMUNITY MEMBERS
                             FOR THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR                                                                                   as parents – with their children. These legacy students      SHARE THEIR LOVE OF
            We have been very lucky to attract and hire strong team members who are enthusiastic to join our school and
              whose experience, educational philosophies, and goals align beautifully with those of our school’s mission
                                                                                                                                           experience the same traditions and sense of community
                                                                                                                                           that create a lifelong love of learning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            When Grandparents and
            and strategic plan. Their individual expertise, experience, and collaborative strengths will advance our work in
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Special Friends Day was postponed
                  critical strategic areas while seamlessly connecting with and strengthening community initiatives.                       Mr. Joseph Agresta, Jr. ‘78 - Joseph ‘18, Abigale ‘24
                                                                                                                                                                                                        until spring 2021, we decided to
                                Below are the new faces that we welcomed to EMS this new school year.
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Victor Alvarez ‘93 and Mrs. Gia Alvarez                  strengthen the connection between
                                                                                                                                           - Gemma ‘25, Greyson ‘25                                     these groups and our students with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                        special online book reading program
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Gregory J. Amerkanian and
                                                                                                                                                                                                        that supported social distancing.
                                                                                                                                           Dr. Natalie Capan Amerkanian ‘84 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                        To kick off the program, Fran Pildes,
                                                                                                                                           Shant ‘15, Garo ‘17, Saro ‘27
                                                                                                                                                                                                        grandmother to Ben ‘30 and Matthew
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Cyrus Amirsaleh ‘96 and                                  ‘27 Gabbay, read the New York Times
                                                                                                                                           Mrs. Deena Amirsaleh - Casper ‘32                            bestselling picture book How to
      PATRICIA            JAMES               CLARA            JOHN                 SETH             CHRISTOPHER            MOLLY          Mr. Nicholas Argerakis ‘93 and                               Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan.
       BARRY             BLUMER              BOUDROT         CONTRERAS           ODEI DANSO             DUFF                FINCH
      ASSOCIATE            ARTS             ASSOCIATE         MAINTENANCE         LITTLE SCHOOL        ASSOCIATE         HEAD TEACHER,     Mrs. Joy Argerakis - George ‘29                              Throughout the spring and summer, various members of
     ADMISSIONS            CHAIR           SCHOOL (FIRST                         AND ADMISSIONS      SCHOOL (THIRD            (2S)                                                                      our community volunteered to read short stories to our
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Stephen Borg ‘80 and Mrs. Monica Borg - William ‘21
                       ADMINISTRATOR          GRADE)                                  LIAISON         AND FOURTH                                                                                        younger students. Other books read included How to
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Michael Camarinos and Mrs. Lauren Camarinos ‘96          Babysit a Grandpa, read by John Mavroudis, grandfather
                                                                                                                                           - Nicholas ‘27, Anastasia ‘29                                to Nicholas ‘27 and Ana ‘29 Camarinos; Strega Nona,
                                                                                                                                           Dr. Joseph Chikvashvili and Dr. Fara White ‘94               read by Peter Rustin, grandfather to Conor ‘27 and Isaac
                                                                                                                                           - Samuel ‘21, Arthur ‘27                                     ‘25 Rustin, and John Jensen Feels Different, read by
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Charles and Mimi Elin, grandparents to Maya Tarplin ‘28.
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Alexander Choi ‘94 and Mrs. Erica Choi - Tyler ‘31
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Brian M. Cohen and Mrs. Beth Thomas Cohen ‘88
       DEVON              PAUL               JOANNA             ANDREA                YEEUN             PUJA              CHRISTINA        - Aiden ‘21, Lila ‘24                                        TOP RECOGNITION ON
                       FACILITIES STAFF
                                                                                                                           ASSOCIATE       Mr. Daniel Gabbay and Mrs. Elizabeth Gabbay ‘93              NATIONAL LANGUAGE
                                           CHILTON HOUSE
                                                                                 TEACHER, LITTLE
                                                                                                     TEACHER, LITTLE
                                                                                                                         TEACHER, LITTLE
                                                                                                                         SCHOOL (THIRD     - Matthew ‘27, Benjamin ‘30                                  EXAMS ACHIEVED
        GRADE)                                  (3S)                                                                      AND FOURTH
                                                                                                                            GRADES)        Mr. David Gettenberg ‘81 and Dr. Erica Gettenberg                Once again, our foreign language students have
                                                                                                                                           - Drew ‘31                                                   received awards and recognition for their participation in
                                                                                                                                                                                                        the National Latin Exam and the National Spanish Exam.
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Adriel Gonzalez ‘94 and Mrs. Candace Gonzalez ‘94
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The exams, which are designed to measure proficiency
                                                                                                                                           - Camelia ‘27, Theo ‘30
                                                                                                                                                                                                        and achievement in a particular language, are highly
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Eli Hackel ‘97 and Mrs. Alyssa Hackel - Caleb ‘28        competitive and national or international in scope. More
                                                                                                                                                                                                        than 113,000 Latin students from all 50 states and
                                                                                                                                           Ms. Eugenia Kim ‘99 - Noah ‘28
                                                                                                                                                                                                        20 foreign countries participated in the National Latin
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Gerard Mekjian and Ms. Nadine Yavru-Sakuk ‘89            Exam. Our Latin scholars earned many distinctions,
                       ALEXANDRA             JAIME            ANGELIQUE             XENIA                  KATE          ALEXANDRA
     MANNAN              MEYERS              MEZON             MORELLI             MURILLO                NAGLE           PORTILLO         - Nairee ‘23, Armen ‘26                                      including two Purple Ribbon Certificates of Outstanding
      MEHTA              ASSOCIATE         FIRST-GRADE          DIRECTOR              LEARNING          ASSOCIATE         CLASSROOM
      TECHNICAL          TEACHER,         TEACHER, LITTLE       OF ALUMNI             SPECIALIST      TEACHER, LITTLE     CO-TEACHER,      Dr. Anil S. Ranawat ‘86 and Dr. Dana Ranawat                 Achievement and nine Certificate of Achievement in
       SUPPORT         CHILTON HOUSE         SCHOOL             RELATIONS                            SCHOOL (SECOND      CHILTON HOUSE
      SPECIALIST            (2S)                                                                         GRADE)               (4S)         - Cooper ‘22, Viviana ‘24, Selia ‘29                         seventh grade, along with one summa cum laude, four
                                                                                                                                                                                                        maxima cum laude, six magna cum laude, and five cum
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Conrad Roncati and Ms. Alexandra Thayer Don ‘97
                                                                                                                                                                                                        laude in eighth grade. Similarly, EMS students attained
                                                                                                                                           - Portia ‘26, Bond ‘28
                                                                                                                                                                                                        national recognition in this year’s National Spanish
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Daniel Rosenberg and Mrs. Tiffany Chong ‘00              Exam, which had a subscription of more than 140,000
                                                                                                                                           - Jacob ‘32                                                  participants nationwide. Seventh- and eighth-grade
                                                                                                                                           Mr. Jon Rustin ‘93 and Mrs. Ivana Rustin                     students earned a total of three gold, six silver, and
                                                                                                                                           - Isaac ‘25, Conor ‘27                                       nine bronze medals along with 12 honorable mentions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Proficiency exams are a great way to highlight student
                 JULIE               SARAH             BRIANA                 LIZA             CRISTINA           DEYANA                   Mr. Yoshimasa Tada and Mrs. Nancy Fujita ‘86
              SILVERMAN              SMITH              THEN                TONETTI            VARRIALE           WALKER                                                                                achievement,” says Phil Cox, Middle School Head. “I
                                                                                                                                           - Olivia ‘22
              CHILTON HOUSE       MIDDLE SCHOOL       ASSOCIATE        MIDDLE SCHOOL         MIDDLE SCHOOL     FOURTH-GRADE                                                                             love providing students with opportunities to test their
                                    SPECIALIST     SCHOOL (SECOND                                                 SCHOOL                   Mr. Matthew Wadell ‘96 and Mrs. Alisa Wadell                 mettle. Steel tempers in the fire! What these results also
                                    & AUXILIARY        GRADE)                                                                              - Isla ‘24, Sienna ‘26
                                     PROGRAM                                                                                                                                                            do is underscore the quality of teaching our students are
                                    ASSOCIATE                                                                                                                                                           receiving here at EMS.”

8 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                             WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 9
[ NEWS ]                                                                                                                                                                        [ PARENTS ASSOCIATION ]

                                                                                                                                 VIRTUAL FALL FESTIVAL                                                         PARENTS
                                                                                                                                 WAS A SUCCESS                                                                 ASSOCIATION
                                                                                                                                     The Parents Association, through the efforts of event co-chairs           COMMITTEES ARE
                                                                                                                                 Candace Gonzalez and Tara Erol, held our annual Fall Festival online          STILL ACTIVE
                                                                                                                                 on Oct. 17. Everyone met on Zoom for a kick-off celebration, and then             Although they can’t meet in person, the
                                                                SUMMER ARTS ACADEMY                                              students attended various online workshops. Popular choices included a        four PA standing committees have been
     LATIN TEACHER JOINS                                        DRAWS STUDENTS FROM
                                                                                                                                 magic show, a scary make-up tutorial, a puppet show, and a Tae Kwon Do        meeting regularly this fall. The Community
     COMMITTEE FOR                                              ALL OVER THE WORLD
                                                                                                                                 workshop taught by EMS parent James Kim.
                                                                                                                                     The week before the event, all students received a pumpkin to take
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Service and Green committees have held
                                                                                                                                                                                                               two successful collection drives: the first
     EXCELLENCE THROUGH                                             In August 2020, our school introduced the Summer             home to decorate. Following the individual workshops, everyone met up         collecting non-perishable food items for
     CLASSICS                                                   Arts Academy, a virtual full-scale arts program for              again for the announcement of the winners of the pumpkin decorating           the Center for Food Action, as well as
         Latin teacher and                                      students ages 4-14. The curriculum provided online               contest. More than 115 students participated in the festival, demonstrating   upcycling paper towel rolls, Legos, and
     Associate Director                                         instrumental lessons on all string, brass, wind, and             a great show of community spirit! We’re happy to share the winners of the     reusable bags. The second collection
     of Secondary School                                        percussion instruments. In addition, students participated       pumpkin decorating-contest below:                                             continued the tradition of gathering gently
     Placement Megan DeGraff-                                   in dynamic arts electives ranging from dance, visual arts                                                                                      used Halloween costumes for distribution
     McMenamy was recently                                      and photography, creative writing, athletics and fitness,        2020 FALL FESTIVAL PUMPKIN-DECORATING                                         next October by Jersey Cares, as well as
     asked to be on the PRIMA                                   film, theater and design, and maker projects. Full-day           CONTEST WINNERS                                                               collecting art supplies, puzzles, and puzzle
     Committee for Excellence                                   students even had the opportunity to interface with                                                                                            books to benefit Spectrum for Living, a
     Through Classics of the                                    some of the nation’s most outstanding artists through                                                                                          New Jersey not-for-profit organization
     American Classical League.                                 guest presentations in all areas of the performing arts                                                                                        that helps adults with developmental
         In this role, DeGraff-                                 world. Guest artists and presenters included Freestyle                                                                                         disabilities attain their maximum
     McMenamy will develop                                      Love Supreme; Mike Block, a member of the Silk Road                                                                                            potential by providing quality housing and
     a writing schedule and                                     Ensemble and founding director of Silkroad’s Global                                                                                            clinical services. Our Health & Wellness
     create test-related resources and/or articles for PRIMA,   Musician Workshop; and Broadway legend Ashley Park.                                                                                            Committee will be offering a free class
     Excellence Through Classics publication. The themes        ““[The academy] was a tremendous, wonderful, light in the                                                                                      for parents and caregivers on “Managing
     for 2020-2021 will include National Mythology Exam:        summer. Our focus was on the kids having exciting things                                                                                       the Unknown: Learning Skills to Stay
     Transformation, Exploratory Latin Exam: Daily Life, and    to look forward to and being with their friends,” says Amelia                                                                                  Resilient.” Taught by Stefanie Dunnigan, a
                                                                                                                                  Chilton House -         Chilton House -          Little School -
     Scribo Latin Writing Contest: Famous Romans.               Gold, artistic director and founder. “It culminated in a play-    Most Creative             Spookiest                Spookiest                 motivational speaker who teaches classes
         In addition, DeGraff-McMenamy will attend virtual      along concert with the entire faculty. We did a masked,           Zelda Kim - 4s            Sebastian               Olivia Zhu -               about mindfulness and meditation as part
     meetings to learn more about Excellence Through            socially-distanced concert with the kids from home. It was                                 Graciolet - 4s            first grade
                                                                                                                                                                                                               of the Rodgers Family Meditation Program
     Classics Resources and PRIMA publications, brainstorm      the first time anyone did this.” Gold credits the hard work                                                                                    at the Graf Center for Integrative Medicine
                                                                                                                                 Chilton House - EMS Themed         Morrow House - Most Creative
     resource/article topics, and share their progress          of her team for allowing this program to come to fruition                                                                                      in Englewood Hospital, participants will
                                                                                                                                      The Spaeth Family                 Lulu Kim - fifth grade
     throughout the writing process.                            two weeks after she came up with the idea. “Next summer,                                                                                       have the opportunity to evaluate the
         “This role is a unique opportunity,” says DeGraff-     we will officially celebrate our 25th anniversary of the          Little School - Most Creative       Morrow House - Spookiest                 effectiveness of their current coping skills,
     McMenamy, “and it will provide exposure to the             Summer String Festival at EMS,” she says. “I am so excited        Adela Chung - second grade           Eli Granger - sixth grade
                                                                                                                                                                                                               identify the methods that work for them,
     wonderful Latin program at EMS.”                           to bring the Arts Academy into the Summer String Festival                                                                                      and add new strategies that resonate with
                                                                                                                                  Little School - EMS Themed         Morrow House - EMS Themed
                                                                family to really make this summer program flourish.”              Marcus Cho - second grade          Rebecca Benson - fifth grade              them.

10 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                    WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 11

          FIGHTING                                                                                                                                                             times? Be thankful that you are this
                                                                                                                                                                               person and know this about yourself.        FUN IN THE FRESH AIR

                                                                                                                                                                                   Another strategy for helping
                                                                                                                                                                               ourselves and our children with              EMS students enjoying our beautiful
                                                                                                                                                                               managing pandemic fatigue is to                   14-acre campus this fall
                                                                                                                                                                               continue creating a routine at home that
                                                                                                                                                                               feels reliable, with both expectations of
                                                                                                                                                                               family involvement and self-care.
                        Tips to focus on self-care and restorative practices                                                                                                       Restorative practices are those that
                                                                                                                                                                               reduce our stress levels and increase
                              Written by AVA DIAMOND, LCSW, Director of Wellness and Counseling
                                                                                                                                                                               our healthy energy. They include things
                                                                                                                                                                               like meditation, napping, and flow state

                                                                                                                                                                               activities. In CORE classes, children at
                    e’ve been dealing with   rejuvenate the kind of personal energy     self-reflection to help stay attuned                                                   EMS learn about the benefits of flow
                    COVID for a while, and   that comes from full social contact. Of    to their stress-level and feelings.                                                    state, which is created by engaging in
                    the end doesn’t seem     course, every time we put on a mask        Students are developing critical                                                       an activity that you love so much that
                    so near. The issues of   and want to hug a friend but can’t, it’s   language skills to communicate                                                         you lose track of time and sometimes
   a pandemic life remain a concern          a reminder to our brain of the strain of   both who they are and what they                                                        even space. Listening to or playing
   at both a high level and a deeply         pandemic life.                             need. EMS students of all ages are                                                     music (for fun, not practice), reading,
   personal one for all of us. The impact        Children and adults                    understanding the importance of                                                        running, creating art, or anything that
   of this stress over time is the same as   have had to sharpen their                    mindset and managing it for                                                          fully engages the mind can create a flow
   when people are at war: mental fatigue    ability to shift gears and                    pivoting successfully.                                                              state. Video games that include conflict
   caused by needing to be on alert          pivot several times.                                                                                                              do not help with restorative practices
   consistently. No one is immune.           In classes at EMS,                             REDUCING PANDEMIC                                                                  because the impact on our brain is that
       We must consider how to manage        children are learning                          FATIGUE                                                                            we are in a competitive situation and
   pandemic fatigue, an old condition in a   about adaptability and                             One of the first strategies to                                                 need to fight or flight.
   new context. At EMS, we are teaching      resilience strategies.                             reduce or ward-off pandemic                                                        For example, if your children are
   and caring for our children in ways       They practice                                          fatigue comes from how                                                     going to school on campus, use a
   to support their understanding,             regularly the                                          you choose to look at this                                               weekend routine of self-care with
   communication skills, and                         skill of                                          situation. Mindset is in our                                            movement and restorative practices for
   self-care practices because                                                                            control. We can choose                                               the whole family. Stretching, walking,
   pandemic fatigue could                                                                                   to look at a problem                                               hiking, yoga, exercise, and dancing are
   otherwise have long-term effects                                                                         from a position                                                    fun examples of movement activities
   on their psyche.                                                                                        of impossibility or                                                 that can be done as an entire family
                                                                                                      opportunity, for example. It                                             for at least 15 minutes on Saturday and
   PIVOTING PLUS                                                                              is our responsibility as educators                                               Sunday. For families whose children are
   PANDEMIC                                                                                    and parents to model for our                                                    learning remotely, creating this routine
   PROTOCOLS EQUALS                                                                             children a way to use the                                                      daily is essential to ward off pandemic
   CHRONIC STRESS                                                                               attitude of gratitude and the                                                  fatigue simply because of the screen
        We may be able to                                                                       power of possibility to focus                                                  factor. If you aren’t commuting to school
   adapt to new demands                                                                         on how we can grow through                                                     or work right now, dedicate that time to
   reasonably well, but we are                                                                  difficult times. We don’t need                                                 your daily self-care routine.
   still human. From the time                                                                  to pretend to be grateful for                                                       More than ever, our children need
   we are born, our brains                                                                    having restrictions in our lives.                                                us to model self-care beyond the masks
   crave consistency and                                                                     But we can show gratitude for                                                     we wear and sanitizer we use for health
   connection to keep us                                                                     those things about ourselves and                                                  safety. Develop a self-care routine
   feeling safe. Pandemic                                                                   the people around us that allow                                                    with your children that will outlast this
   protocols of social                                                                      us to handle hard things and find                                                  pandemic.
                                                                                                                                                         PAPER: LIFEFORSTOCK

   distancing are a direct                                                                 comfort in new ways. This kind
                                                                                                                                      YOGA: PCH.VECTOR

   affront to our human                                                                    of conscious appreciation builds
                                                                                                                                                                                      Please reach out to me at
   needs. Pandemic fatigue is the result                                                   both confidence and resilience.
   of the need to adjust repeatedly                                                       Ask yourself: What is it about me
                                                                                                                                                                                        with any questions.
   while being limited in how we can                                                      that helps me get through difficult

12 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                        WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 13

        MOVING FORWARD       A look at our progress during the pandemic
                                             Written by LAURA ADAMS STIANSEN

          t’s been an exceptional year.
          We have grown stronger as a
          community while dealing with
          the unforeseen challenges of a
   pandemic. We knew that coming back
                                                                                                                                   (Left) Hanita Walia, Board President at The Elisabeth Morrow School, and (right) Head of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca, with (center) parent
   to campus wouldn’t be easy, but we                                                                                              and donor Mr. Frank Zhang, as he cuts the ribbon on the renovations made at the historic Morrow House.
   were able to forge ahead and create a
   re-entry plan that was built around our
   commitment to deliver a full academic                                                                                           Beth Brennan, Lower School Head.
   schedule to our students, as well as                                                                                            “We are still moving forward because              BEFORE                                    AFTER

   to provide the EMS experiences and                                                                                              we have the capacity to do so.”
   traditions that create a full social                                                                                                 The EMS Associate Teacher
   experience – all while providing a                                                                                              Program’s primary objectives are to
   healthy and safe environment for                                                                                                cultivate a rich learning environment
   students, parents, faculty, and staff.                                                                                          where talented new teachers collab-
       We are continuing our momen-                                                                                                orate with experienced professionals
   tum – including the completion of          Our new 2s
                                                                                                                                   and to provide beginning teachers
   the renovations of the Morrow House        classroom                                                                            with broad support for growth, reflec-
   fifth- and sixth-grade wing and Chilton                                                                                         tions, and career development as they
   House, launching our new associate        and I thank the Zhang family for being     preparations to keep students safe         enter the next phase in their careers.                                                     AFTER
   teacher program, developing our           beacons of hope and inspiration in         included touchless bathroom fixtures,      Associate teachers, who are overseen
   remote learning programs, and             highlighting our school’s strong phil-     HEPA filters in every classroom, aw-       by the lead classroom teacher(s),
   reimagining our music program, all        anthropic commitment to shaping the        nings and portable desks for outdoor       the associate teacher coordinator,
   while striving to live our mission.       leaders of tomorrow,” says Dr. Fonseca.    learning, Plexiglas classroom barriers,    and Brennan, begin the program by
                                                 Renovations started this past          additional laptops, the hiring of new      observing the lead teachers, and then
   RENOVATIONS IN CHILTON                    spring in Morrow House for fifth- and      faculty for in-class and remote learn-     progress into leading small groups,
   HOUSE AND MORROW                          sixth-grade middle school students         ing, and an endless supply of sanitizer.   leading and planning whole group
   HOUSE                                     who now enjoy better-equipped learn-                                                  lessons, and collaborating on the de-
       In early November, we celebrated      ing spaces with improved lighting and      NEW ASSOCIATE                              velopment of curriculum. In addition,
   the new Morrow House improvements         technology, new student desks, chairs,     TEACHER PROGRAM                            they participate in the management                 Fourth-grade associate teacher             to express my expectations for this
   made in the fifth- and sixth-grade wing   and storage units, as well as improved         In its inaugural year, the EMS Asso-   of classroom materials and setup, sup-         Christina Levy is already seeing the           class?’ ‘How can I use this break time
   with a socially-distanced ribbon-         music practice rooms, new lockers,         ciate Teacher Program in Little School     port small group instruction, parent/          benefits. “Upon arriving on campus             to prepare for my next reading group?’
   cutting ceremony with Board               and updated bathrooms.                     recruited six exceptional new aspiring     teacher conferences, and lunch and             in late August, I knew that I would be         or ‘How can I modify this lesson plan
   President Hanita Walia and Head               In addition, EMS now has a class for   educators. Working in partnership with     early morning supervision.                     challenged and pushed beyond my                to both reach my students as well as
   of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca.            2-year-old students in Chilton House,      the school, these educators support             “[The program is an] immersive            comfort zone. However, I thought               challenge them at the same time?’
   Renovations in Morrow House were          our school’s early childhood learning      our mission and the overall health and     experience that is hands-on,” says Dr.         a majority of the push would come              When the evaluation is complete, then
   made possible by a generous $2            center. The 2s class addition is aligned   wellness of our community while de-        Rurik Nackerud, Lower School Associ-           from my lead teachers and program              comes application because it does
   million donation to the school – the      with founder Elisabeth Morrow’s vision     veloping their pedagogical approach        ate Teacher Coordinator and Technol-           coordinator, not the students. From            not matter how the day begins, what
   largest in our 90-year history – from     when she opened the first Little School    to teaching and supporting the educa-      ogy Integrator. “You learn a lot more          the moment students arrive promptly            counts is how it ends. Therefore, I am
   EMS parents Frank and Jean Zhang.         90 years ago. Other improvements           tional, social, and emotional growth of    practical pieces that you may not be           at 7:30 a.m., all the way up until they        learning to listen closely, assess quick-
       “In 90 years, Mr. and Mrs. Zhang      in Chilton House include enhanced          our students.                              able to tie to the theory you learned so       are dismissed at 3:30 p.m., I am having        ly, and implement purposefully.”
   will be recognized for their vision and   security and private outdoor learning          “This program has allowed us to        far, but it makes a huge difference in         to do the arduous work of person-                   At the culmination of the one-year
   generosity, paving the way for all of     terraces for each classroom.               try and do more things even during         your result as a professional in any field     al assessment and self-evaluation. I           program, successful associate teach-
   our students. The students, faculty,           Campus-wide COVID-19-related          these very limited times,” says            you go into.”                                  ask myself, ‘Did I use the right words         ers will have the opportunity to apply

14 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 15
                                                                                                                                                                                EMS MEDICAL AND

             ur committed community,                                                                                                                                            DENTAL ADVISORY
             deep experience as educators,                                                                                                                                      COMMITTEE
             and the sheer size and expan-                                                                                                                                          The EMS Medical and
   siveness of our campus have helped                                                                                                                                           Dental Advisory Committee
   us develop a pandemic response that                                                                                                                                          was created to help the school
   is unparalleled by any school in the                                                                                                                                         outline the many ways we can
   vicinity. The keys to our success are                                                                                                                                        meet and exceed CDC and state
   trust, agility, and preparedness – from                                                                                                                                      guidelines. They also give us
   faculty, staff, and families.                                                                                                                                                more detailed perspectives and
       “Our focus at EMS continues to                                                                                                                                           share their insights that help us
   be on the quality of the academic                                                                                                                                            make decisions and inform the
   program together with care and pas-                                                                                                                                          community of best practices
   sion for the holistic development and                                                                                                                                        and protocols. This group is        for any openings that may occur
   success of each child,” says Head of                                                                                                                                         chaired by Dr. Brian Benson,        at the school and receive support
   School Dr. Maureen Fonseca.                                                                                                                                                  who works closely with our CFO      and recommendations for any work
                                                                                                                                                                                Lauren Bedell and Director of       they wish to pursue outside of EMS.
   ENCOMPASSING THE 4 CS                                                                                                                                                        Operations and Planning Michael         “This program will distinguish us
        Our EMS friends and families           The Hajjar                                                                                                                                                           and help us achieve our strategic
                                               Family                                                                                                                           Virzi. The committee holds Zoom
   stepped up to the plate to help us                                                                                                                                           sessions for parents, faculty,      goals,” says Brennan. “Over time,
   bring students back on campus.                                                                                                                                               and staff to answer questions       we will see the benefits of our own
        As part of our comprehensive                                                                                                                                            and concerns. In addition, some     professional growth as teachers
   plan to ensure the maximum safety                                                                                                                                            of the doctors have supplied        teaching other teachers.”
   of our EMS community, we require                                                                                                    OTHER NOTABLE                            PPE for our faculty and staff.          “We always say, ‘You learn best
   all employees and students to get a                                                                                                 DONATIONS SUPPLIED BY:                   Their generosity and caring are     when you can teach someone else
   COVID-19 test weekly. The Hajjar                                                                                                    • The EMS Board of Trustees              expressive of the 4 Cs in action,   what you know,’ and this is an op-
   Family – Dr. John Hajjar, Sharon Hajjar,                                                                                            • The Grossman Family                    and we are very grateful.           portunity for our teachers to devel-
   Brian Hajjar ‘07, Michael Hajjar ‘07,                                                                                               • The Margolin Family                                                        op and express themselves as who
   and Marc ‘01 – from Sovereign Labo-                                                                                                 • The Maxfield-Ostfeld Family            The following community             they are, what they are passionate
   ratories helped us test students prior                                                                                              • Michael Kim and Susan Park             members are on the committee:       about, and what learning means to
   to the school opening in September                                                                                                  • Toni Park and Katherine Wang           • Dr. Brian Benson, M.D.,          them,” she adds. “It helps us move
   and, now, they currently send a team                                                                                                                                           Committee Chair                   our professionalism and under-
                                                                                                                                       We THANK YOU for your kindness           • Dr. Natalie Amerkanian, D.M.D.    standing of what learning looks like
                                                                                                                                       and support of our school!               • Dr. Katalin Frisch, M.D.          at The Elisabeth Morrow School.”
     THE 6 GOALS OF                                                                                                                                                                                                     “I think what we’ve done is
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dr. Maureen Kim, M.D.
     REOPENING EMS                                                                                                                                                                                                  monumentally amazing,” adds Dr.
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dr. Simona Korik-Barrett, O.D.
     3C ommit to meeting or                                                                                                                                                                                        Rurik, “but it’s a series of accidents
                                                                                                                                         MORNING ROUTINE                        • Dr. Vanita Kumar, M.D.
       exceeding CDC/state                                                                                                                                                                                          and purposeful planning on Beth’s
                                                                                                                                         Accurate wellness checks each          • Dr. Sean Lucan, M.D.
       guidelines                                                                                                                                                                                                   part that have landed us in a strate-
                                                                                                                                         morning on the SchoolPass app          • Dr. Mike Margolin, D.M.D.
     3P rovide a healthy and safe            of lab technicians to campus weekly to      sorely needed. It’s not that often in life                                                                                gically enviable position for a first-
                                                                                                                                         are a critical tool in our protocols   • Dr. Orit Markowitz, M.D.
       environment for our community          test all employees, as well as process-     we get the chance to see things come                                                                                      through fourth-grade educational
                                                                                                                                         for preventing                         • Dr. Alfred Ogden, M.D.
       (students, parents, faculty, and       ing the take-home student tests. They       around full circle.”                                                                                                      space.”
                                                                                                                                         COVID-19                               • Dr. Neeta Ogden, M.D.
       staff)                                 provide us with a guaranteed 48-hour            The thermal imaging cameras                                                                                               Turn to page 8 for a list of our
                                                                                                                                         on campus.                             • Dr. David Park, M.D.
     3 Commit to five-days per week           turnaround time on the results. “I truly    (shown above) in each main school                                                                                         new associate teachers.
                                                                                                                                         Faculty and                            • Dr. Tae Keun Park, M.D.
     3C ommit to full school day from        look forward to coming on campus            entrance, were donated by The Kamiel           staff also run                         • Dr. Anil Ranawat, M.D.
       7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.                    every week where I am very happy            Family. These cameras accurately                                                                                          REMOTE LEARNING
                                                                                                                                         an app on their                        • Dr. Diana Rodriguez, D.M.D.
     3C ommit to our original                to meet new faculty and reconnect           detect body temperature and allow                                                                                             When we switched to remote
                                                                                                                                         phones called                          • Dr. Michale Shohet, M.D., FACS
       academic calendar, including           with those who helped to educate my         us to know if someone has a tempera-                                                                                      learning on March 30, 2020, we
                                                                                                                                         TRACE that                             • Dr. Tim Vogel, M.D.
       planned breaks                         three sons during their time here,” says    ture of more than 100.4 degrees and                                                                                       had no idea that classes would not
                                                                                                                                         tracks their                           • Dr. George Vratsanos, M.D.
     3P rovide additional and                Sharon Hajjar, RPh. “It is so rewarding     needs to be sent home. The donation                                                                                       resume on campus until the start
                                                                                                                                         location while                         • Dr. Alfonso Waller, M.D.
       continual professional                 to be able to provide this service to the   also included three laptops and three                                                                                     of the new school year. Our EMS
                                                                                                                                         on campus.                             • Dr. Ali Weiselberg, D.D.S.
       development for faculty                EMS community at a time when it is          tripods for the complete setup.                                                                                           administration staff, faculty, and

16 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                 WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 17
                                                                                       riences of their classmates but they     Amy Man says that the trickiest
                                                                                       have also been able to extend their      aspects of this new teaching model
                                                                                       learning to the extent that directed     have been reimagining class activities
                                                                                       learning experiences of their own        and redesigning assessments.
                                                                                       choosing can allow them. For example,    “Creating opportunities for the remote
                                                                                       during remote PBL with remote learn-     learners and the on-campus learners
                                                                                       ing third- and fourth-grade teacher      to interact with one another has been
                                                                                       Phoebe Search, third graders learned     critical to building stronger connec-
                                                                                       about the various ways the internet      tions,” says Man. “At the beginning of
                                                                                       pathways can be mapped and they          class, we might take some time to do
                                                                                       created their own sketches of how        an ice-breaker or community-build-          CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC!
                                                                                       their computers might be connected       ing activities. It could be as silly as         On Nov. 13 and 20, Amelia Gold, Director of the Arts, and the Music
                                                                                       to those in their homes and neighbor-    challenging the on-campus learners to       Department faculty organized the first-ever socially-distanced Winter Arts
                                                                                       hoods. “Each map was as unique and       create a visual ‘wave’ for the remote       Festival with all three divisions contributing to the event. Chilton House
                                                                                       creative as the children who created     learners to see.”                           students recorded the Ukrainian Bell Carol with interpretive movement,
                                                                                       them,” says Search.                           DeGraff-McMenamy adds,                 followed by Little School performing the Ukrainian Bell Carol, as well
                                                                                           First- and second-grade remote       “Despite the remote students not            as the Hanukkah Dance and South African Lullaby. Our Morrow House
                                                                                       teacher Melissa Ebeling adds that        being present in the classroom, we are      Superchamber performed Hallelujah and Ruslan and Ludmilla, followed by
                                                                                       the parents of her students have         all a community of learners and em-         the rest of the middle-school students performing the Ukrainian Bell Carol
                                                                                       acknowledged the efforts the school      brace these unique circumstances.”          and Sleigh Ride with the band closing out the program with a performance of
                                                                                       has made to create an inclusive online        Dr. Fonseca praises our technology     a traditional New Orleans song, Second Line.
                                                                                       community and they appreciate the        team, educational leaders, administra-          “The goal of the Winter Arts Festival was to unite the entire EMS
                                                                                       sense of belonging that their children   tive department heads, teachers, and        community artistically,” says Gold, who chose the Ukrainian Bell Carol as a
                                                                                       feel in school. “Zoom breakout rooms     staff. “They have all demonstrated so       piece to be interpreted in different ways throughout the divisions.
                                                                                       have been a successful way to be able    much resilience, creativity, and good           While we were not able to film the whole school together due to COVID-19
                                                                                       to provide a space for small groups,     humor in planning to keep all your          restrictions, the final product included a combination of six videos of both
                                                                                       partner work, and community build-       children moving ahead and growing           in-person and remote musicians to create the first all-school performance
                                                                                       ing,” says Ebeling. “Parents love the    through remote learning while thinking      in the history of the school.
                                                                                       breakout rooms, as well as the num-      of how to hold onto the special
                                                                                       ber of live sessions we offer with our   community spirit and value proposi-
                                                                                       teachers.”                               tion of our school,” she says.            flow across the courtyard. Then, when          “When we went remote for the first
                                                                                           “COVID has provided teachers                                                   I walked the fence line behind Morrow      time [in March], I got on a faculty call
                                                                                       with a unique challenge in the class-    OUR MUSIC PROGRAM                         House moments later, I was peppered        and said I only have one goal for the
                                                                                       room,” says Middle School Latin              Over the summer, a new curricu-       by the blare of a trumpet, tickled by      children; it’s that they maintain their
   technology team worked hard over the      from the comfort of their own homes.      teacher Megan DeGraff-McMenamy.          lum was developed for the music           notes from flutes and clarinets, and the   love of music and their connection
   spring break and prepared to roll out         “The most important factors to        “Teachers are needed to educate          program that encompassed move-            staccato of a snare drum,” recalls Mid-    to each other. I don’t care if they get
   our remote learning plans.                success for our school are community      students in two different modalities     ment, body percussion, music history,     dle School Head Phil Cox. “The work        better. And, wow, did they get better,”
       Flash forward to fall 2020: Some of   and collaboration. Being a Responsive     and create engaging lessons for both     music theory, and ear training because    the music department does here is the      says Gold. “Because the goal was on
   our youngest learners in Chilton House    Classroom-trained school, we have         remote and in-person students.” Given    of the constraints of COVID-19. “We       soundtrack of EMS. I’m so grateful for     the love of music.”
   participate in reaCH (remote learning     deep relationships and connections        the nature of DeGraff-McMenamy’s         completely reimagined the curricu-        what they do and what they bring to            Gold praises the faculty and staff
   for Chilton House) where they have a      to our students and families,” says       course, the transition was relatively    lum,” says Amelia Gold, Director of       our 14-acre patch of grass on this big     community support around the stu-
   place for connection and community,       Chilton House remote learning teacher     seamless for both herself and her        the Arts program.                         old planet of ours.”                       dents, especially the arts and music
   familiarity and consistency, discovery    Vanessa Anderson-Zheng. “That col-        students. “Technology has always been        Students are able to use our              While most schools have not been       team, who are made up of “extraor-
   and expression, and ways to encour-       laboration and connectedness make us      an integral part of my classroom, and    beautiful outdoor spaces for rehears-     able to reimagine what the arts look       dinary artists in their own right,” and
   age and embrace their love of learning.   feel as if we are face-to-face with our   this year is no different than having    als while properly socially distancing.   like during a pandemic, students           everyone’s commitment to re-doing
   Students participating in a reaCH         students in our classrooms.”              some students on Zoom. For the re-       “This is where our 14 acres are super     at EMS have been given “dynamic            and rethinking everything to make
   program are assigned an iPad for              In Little School, students who have   mote students, I share my screen with    magical,” adds Gold. “During music        education opportunities in music,”         progress. “It’s beautiful how invested
   remote learning (or they can use their    chosen the remote track have experi-      them and they see everything that I      classes, the hills are legitimately       says Gold, noting that students are        the school is in keeping the magic alive
   own device). They have participated in    enced a new sense of independence         am doing with the in-person students.    alive with the sound of music.”           becoming enriched in other areas of        for the kids,” she says.
   specials classes, service-learning book   and command of the material. The          The student experience is the same,          “When I went to pick up the balls     musicianship that they don’t always            “What we thought was impossible
   readings with seventh-and eighth-         remote third- and fourth-graders have     whether they are in the classroom or     by the basketball courts the other day,   get to focus on because of the process     is now normal,” Gold says. “This will
   grade students, and on-campus events      not only been able to keep pace with      at home.”                                I was surrounded by the melodic sound     and performance-focused nature of          make a significant impact on the rest
   like the Winter Arts Festival, albeit     the rich and varied curricular expe-          Seventh- and eighth-grade teacher    of violins – a sound that seemed to       the music program.                         of education.”

18 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                     WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 19
                                                                                                                                                                                                 “I have learned a few strategies that have improved my organization, time management,
                                                                                                                                                                                               work management, and focus, like the technique of working 20 minutes on and 5 minutes off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Remote learning has been challenging, but there are also positives. I attend ‘school’

                        A DAY IN
                                                                                                                                                                                                  at my aunt’s house so that my work and rest times do not merge. I am also able to bike
                                                                                                                                                                                                     to ‘school,’ which starts my day with exercise and helps me wake up. Even though
                                                                                                                                                                                                         I miss my teachers and friends a lot, I am excited for this year to continue.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               – CALEB STAMPUL

                        THE LIFE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                an eighth-grader who participates in our remote track

                                                                                                                                                                                         and was unable to understand it until I
                                                                                                                                                                                         did more work on it. When remote, this
                                                                                                                                                                                         is essentially eliminated because we
                                                                                                                                                                                         have more asynchronous assignments,
                                        How our students are handling                                                                                                                    giving me more time to get comfort-
                                                                                                                                                                                         able with concepts.
                                     the start of the 2020-21 school year                                                                                                                     Remote learning is not perfect. It
                                                                                                                                                                                         isn’t what anyone preferred; however,
                                                                                                                                                                                         it is necessary for safety during the
                                                                                                                                                                                         pandemic. I am extremely thankful
                                                                                                                                                                                         that I go to EMS, as they have one of
                                                                                                                                                                                         the best remote learning programs.
                                                                                                                                                                                         Going to EMS has given me an op-
                                                                                                                                                                                         portunity that many students going
                                                                                                                                                                                         to different schools don’t have: an
                                                                                                                                                                                         opportunity to have a great learning
   REMOTE TRACK                                drive to learn, so I keep up my grades      I don’t know the cause, I would bet that                                                      experience despite a global pandemic.
   Written by JACK ZIRIN-HYMAN,                and almost always get my assignments        the majority of students in my grade                                                                                                       one take my temperature instead of
   an eighth-grade student                     turned in on time.                          have had issues with motivation during                                                                                                     just walking out. Then, when I walked             WHAT OUR

                                                   I am in the minority. Remote learn-     remote learning. The severity varies,                                                         ON-CAMPUS TRACK                              down to school and into my classroom,             YOUNGEST
         t’s 7:30 a.m. The blaring of my       ing is not nearly as difficult for me as it and I’m extremely lucky that my issues                                                        Written by AMALIA FEROLIE,                   I found my hand feeling funny from                STUDENTS IN
                                                                                                                                                                                         an eighth-grade student
         alarm clock beats against my          might be for other students. I made the     with motivation are minor. If I had                                                                                                        missing the morning handshake. The                CHILTON HOUSE

         head until I eventually get out of    choice to stay                                                       larger motiva-                                                                                                    morning handshake used to mark the                ARE SAYING
         bed and turn it off. Classes start    remote purely                                                        tion problems,                                                                ince returning to school            start of the day, and it was always nice
                                                                            “Despite the challenges of                                                                                                                                                                                  “I help you!”
   at 8 a.m. Usually, I would be waking up     by balancing                                                         I would have                                                                  during COVID, many things in        to start off with a friendly greeting.            “Are you sad?”
   between 6:30-7 a.m. since I live 20         learning and
                                                                           learning while remote, I still           chosen to go in                                                               everyday life at The Elisabeth      However, as the weeks have gone by, I             “Can I play with you?”
   minutes away from campus, but one of        safety. I decided             have my drive to learn.”               person. I don’t                                                               Morrow School have changed.         am finding that the temperature taken             “Can you play with me?”
   the luxuries of online school is an extra   that since I was                – JACK ZIRIN-HYMAN                   think there’s any                                                        The first day of school, and every       at carline is almost the same as the              “Here you go.”
   half hour of sleep. Downstairs, my          able to learn                                                        way to improve                                                       day since, carline has been very orga-       handshake.                                        “Want some?”
   mother prepares a quick breakfast for       well online, it would be prudent not to     motivation with online learning. You                                                          nized and neat, unlike previous years            In the morning, instead of adviso-            “I made room for you.”
   me, and then it’s time for class.           take the risk of going in person. Most      either can stay motivated, or you will                                                        with all the honking                                             ry, we all go straight        “Look at all of the leaves we
       The day goes by quickly. Short-         students who had trouble learning           be better off learning in-person.                                                             and cutting. My mom          “The 4 Cs are still being           to our first class.            collected!”
   ened periods, combined with the fact        online returned to campus when given            Despite this, online learning has                                                         is extremely happy                                               Walking in and sitting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         reinforced, and they
                                                                                                                                        LAPTOP: ALEKSANDR SAMOCHERNYI

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “One for you and one for me.”
   that my environment doesn’t change          the opportunity, and while I think most     its positives. It has given me a lot                                                          about this and never                                             behind plexiglass,            “We can both be the mommy.”
   between classes, makes it so that days,     students learning remote right now          more freedom with learning. Since we                                                          fails to mention, every
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       are still one of the most          instead of right next         “That’s mine. Yours is over there.”
   weeks, and even months pass by fast.        are able to learn better online than        complete a lot more of our work asyn-                                                         morning, how nicely              important things.”              to my classmates, is          “I like your shoes.”
   At snack and lunch, I still talk with my    most students, it still is problematic      chronously, I am able to learn at a pace                                                      carline is running.              – AMALIA FEROLIE                strange, and some-            “We have to wait.”
   friends and “virtually” hang out with       and requires a lot of effort to maintain    more suited to myself. When in-per-                                                           When I got to the                                                times it gets lonely,
                                                                                                                                                                        BOOKS: FREEPIK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “That’s OK.”
   them, although I’m not able to do this      motivation in school.                       son, there were more times when I fell                                                        front of the carline on the first day and    but it also is nice because you do not            “He misses his daddy.”
   every day. Despite the challenges of            One of the toughest issues with         behind in the class some days because                                                         rolled down my window, with my mask          feel obligated to make awkward small              “He wants a hug from his sister.”
   learning while remote, I still have my      online learning is motivation. Although     I simply didn’t understand the concept                                                        on, it was very strange to have some-        talk. Instead of switching and moving

20 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 21
                                                                                                                             SUCCESS STORIES FROM TEACHERS
      “For my Travel Expo project, I chose to write lyrics and sing a short song about why East Asia is the
     best region to visit in Asia, using the accompaniment of the song “Where Is The Love.” In doing this,
     I not only developed numerous marketing strategies in trying to bring out the most positive aspects
    of my region, but I also learned to stay on top of both my classmates and my progress throughout the
    project, giving each other necessary feedback, and making sure that our ideas and information were
    aligned. I think this project was informative and fascinating. It required much time, quality, and effort
            to ensure that our greatest potential was exhibited through this single, riveting work.”
                                                         – LAUREN PARK                                                                                                                                        “The students in my class,
                                       a seventh-grader who participates in our on-campus track
                                                                                                                                                                                                              remote and physically present,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              engage each other in a way
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wasn’t sure was possible
   to different classes with different peo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              when we were talking about
   ple, I am in almost the same classroom,
   with the same people, for every class.                                                    HYBRID TRACK                                                                                                     returning to school in the fall.
   I enjoy staying in one classroom and                                                      “I usually don’t like to read                                                                                    These kids are upbeat and
   having mostly the same kids in class                                                      non-fiction because the                                                                                          excited to see each other, even
   because it allows me to get close to
                                                                                             plot isn’t as interesting                                                                                        if it is through a screen. Some
   those kids instead of knowing a little
   about everybody. I feel everyone has                                                      as some fiction books.                                                                                           of my students planned a group
   grown closer and is more comfortable                                                      However, when reading           “Remote PE students in first grade have played Twist Tag on                      costume [for Halloween] to
   around each other because of all the                                                      the Narrative of the Life       Zoom and the second-grade remote students participate in                         wear with their remote friends
   time we spend together.
                                                                                             of Frederick Douglass,          Rock-Paper-Scissors and they also jog to emulate the game the                    because they all were excited
        This year, when the weather allows
   it, we eat outside. I love eating outside                                                 there were many parts           students played in school. The students in school are enjoying                   about the holiday and would
   because my friends and I can all take                                                     of the story that seemed        the personal equipment that was given out during the first                       not let a screen or physical
   off our masks and spread out and eat                                                      unreal, and Douglass is         week of school. They are even using it at recess.”                               presence come between them.”
   and talk together. However, as it is get-
                                                                                             a great storyteller. His        – GINNY SMITH                                                                    – SARAH SMITH
   ting colder, we are eating inside more      doors into school at 7:50 a.m. to the                                         PE teacher and coach                                                             Morrow House art teacher
   often. When we eat inside it is very        moment we leave at 3:30 p.m., the 4           book has certain elements
   different from the years past because       Cs are still being reinforced, and they       that are usually used in
   we eat in our core classroom with only      are still one of the most important           fictional storytelling; it
   the people in our core classroom. Eat-      things. The teachers are also just as                                         “The first thing I noticed was that all the children were SO happy to be back    “The compassion, empathy, and
                                                                                             had elements that I’d           in school! It was just wonderful to see them in person, interacting with their   understanding of students given the
   ing inside is not as fun because I do not   helpful and try to make the classes as
   get to see everyone, and we have to sit     fun and interactive as possible, even         never seen in non-fiction.      classmates and teachers. I’ve enjoyed taking advantage of our beautiful          entire situation is palpable through-
   the whole time.                             though it is probably very hard to            Because times are so            campus and using it as my outdoor PBL (Project-Based Learning) classroom.        out Little School. Through these
        One last thing that has changed is     teach with some kids online and some                                          I felt extremely safe returning to the EMS campus. The school has gone           tough times, students have found
                                                                                             different now, seeing our
   sports. This year a lot of sports have      in school. There is also the same feel-                                       above and beyond in providing a safe environment for faculty, staff, and         ways to become resilient with their
                                                                                             almost dystopian past is        students.”                                                                       school work and their classmates as
   been taken out, like volleyball and         ing when everyone is in school – you
   tennis. In the beginning, when I saw the    are excited, nervous, and happy at the        surreal. In each chapter of     – MARY ANN ROTA                                                                  well. Students are more engaged and
   choices were limited, I was very sad,       same time. I think my classmates and          his book, he could always       Lower School math chair and math teacher                                         motivated to better understand their
   but now I am almost happy because I         I are responding to this new COVID                                                                                                                             world around them in these times.
                                                                                             get his point across and
   got to try Pilates. I have been enjoying    normal very well. However, sometimes                                                                                                                           Teachers have been able to provide
                                                                                             do so in an intriguing way                                                                                       real-life experiences from the last
   Pilates a lot and never would have          we have to be reminded to stay 6 feet
   thought to do it without the absence        away or pull our masks up.                    that makes the reader           “EMS 2020. We read facial expressions through our student’s eyes; new            several months – and looking to the
   of the other sports.                            On the first day of school, my            never want to put his book      masks and mask chains excite us; watching friendships being formed in            future – that students can use to
        Although COVID has changed             friends and I were very surprised at                                          person warms our souls. From our hearts to our cracked and dry hands,            not only continue and further their
   many aspects of life and how people         how much everything and everyone                                              we are so glad to be back at school.”                                            growth, but to help them become the
                                                                                             – SAMUEL CHIKVASHVILI                                                                                            global citizens that we need.”
   do things, it has not taken away the        had changed. The biggest talk around                                          – BECKY MARGEL
                                                                                             an eighth-grader who
   purpose and goals of The Elisabeth          my friends and I when we got home                                             Kindergarten teacher                                                             – KARA MAKOHON-MOORE
                                                                                             participates both in-person
   Morrow School. From the moment my           from the first day was how deep the           and remotely                                                                                                     Director of Faculty Development
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Institute and Lower School STEAM
   fellow students and I walk through the      boys’ voices got.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              chair and science teacher

22 APPLE TREE • WINTER 2021                                                                                                                                                                                             WINTER 2021 • APPLE TREE 23
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