Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

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Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School
                                                                       FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 2 0

Magic and Metamorphosis  •  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  •  The Power of World Languages
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School
Clippings is a publication of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Head’s Greeting
       Advancement Office of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jennifer P. Bohnen
       Green Hedges School.

                 Lisa Gibb
         Chair, Board of Trustees
             Jennifer Bohnen
              Head of School
                                                                                                                                             When we began the
               Blake Kohn                                                                GREEN HEDGES SCHOOL                                                                                                                                                       1
                                                                                                                                             2020 –2021 school year on
         Director of Development                                                         FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 2 0
              Urmila Oberoi
       Director of Communications
                                                                                                                                             September 1, I felt a mix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
             Katherine Vazquez
 Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

                                                                                      Head’s Greeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1
                                                                                                                                             of excitement, anticipation,
           Ingrid Willenz-Isaacs
                                                                                      Jenn Bohnen’s First Year  . . . . . . . . . .  2       and truthfully, anxiousness.
            Michael Branscom                                                          Grade 1:
              James Kegley                                                            Magic and Metamorphosis  . . . . . . . . . 7
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Head of School Jennifer Bohnen with faculty.

              Urmila Oberoi
              Vanessa Vick                                                            Wonder Wall  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
            Katherine Vazquez
                                                                                      What Goes Into Making                                  As prepared as I knew we were for the start of an           This school year also brings with it an exciting
                  Design                                                              a Wax Museum?  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11        unprecedented school year, there were still so many         new strategic plan. “Our Vision of Wonder,” our
               Foret Design                                                                                                                  unknowns. Now, a few months later, we are in a              2020–2025 strategic plan, steers the School’s vision
                                                                                      Grade 5:                                               routine, students are joyful, and the faculty are           for the next five years and we are grateful for the
                                                                                      Threshold to Middle School . . . . . . . . 14          working extremely hard every single day to provide the      work of the Strategic Planning Committee, consisting
                                                                                      Families, Faculty, and Community:                      most inviting learning environment in this new world        of Board members, staff, and faculty, who began
                                                                                                                                             in which we now find ourselves. I express my deepest        this process in the spring of 2019. The plan addresses
                                                                                      A Timeline of Mutual Support  . . . . 16
                                                                                                                                             gratitude to you, our Green Hedges community near           four major themes: Invest, Lead, Design, and
                                                                                      Tech Team Superheroes . . . . . . . . . . . 20         and far, for your support, faith, and trust. I hope we      Connect. Accomplishing our strategic plan goals

                                                                                                                                             have made you proud.                                        began this summer and continues in earnest this
                                                                                      Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion . . . 22
                                                                                                                                                                                                         fall and winter. You may read more about the strategic
                                                                                      Instrumental Music: Warm & Slow                        This issue of Clippings brings together the                 plan at
                                                                                      Makes a Better Sound  . . . . . . . . . . . 24         extraordinary work of our teachers who began last
                                                                                                                                             fall in person and then transitioned seamlessly into        Once again, I am grateful for the Green Hedges
                                                                                      The Power of World Languages  . . . . 26               distance learning last spring. You will see in this issue   School community. I am thankful to work with
                                                                                      Graduation 2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30       how, as a community, we took an obstacle and not only       dedicated teachers and staff members who care about
                                                                                                                                             overcame it, but thrived throughout it.                     their craft. I am appreciative of a supportive parent
                                                                                      Class of 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34                                                               community. Most of all, I am grateful for our students.
                                                                                      Alumni News  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35      We have many things to look forward to this school          I love their curiosity and their joy. I know that we
         A Montessori student in the
                                                                                                                                             year. As many of you know, we began our Diversity,          are going to get through this. But, it is going to take

              classroom this fall.
        Photo is by Katherine Vazquez                                                 Gala Auction 2020  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37        Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work last year and a            continued patience and sacrifice. I hope you enjoy
                                                                                                                                             committee of faculty, staff, Board members, and             this issue of Clippings and best wishes for a healthy
                                                                                                                                             parents joined together to create a DEI statement and       new year.
                                                                                                                                             envision a future at Green Hedges where DEI helps
                                                                                                                                             guide our work. Read more about our DEI work in
                                                                                                                                             this issue of Clippings. I am excited for this important
                                                                                                                                             work to continue this school year.                          Jennifer P. Bohnen, Head of School
 Your comments and suggestions are
always welcomed and may be emailed
to               Green Hedges School does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, or
                                                        national origin in the administration of its education policies.
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                          Jennifer Bohnen’s First Year
                      2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           3
                                                                                  September 2019
                                                                                                                                            Jenn Bohnen with Montessori students (above), and at

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                                                                                            the Secondary School Breakfast (right).
                                                                                  Excerpt of Remarks at Installation by Heidi Everett,
                                                                                  Chair, Board of Trustees:
                                                                                                                                            Next, imagine a school that takes on the challenge        August 2020
                                                                                  When Green Hedges School was founded in 1942,
                                                                                                                                            of creating a green, ecologically sensitive campus…
                                                                                  the Kilmers sought to create an environment where
                                                                                                                                            we are creating a Greener Hedges School.                  Head of School Jenn Bohnen is in her office, where
                                                                                  education can be joyful and where childhood can be
                                                                                                                                                                                                      she has spent most every workday — and some days
                                                                                  cultivated. They invited students to think big and
                                                                                                                                            Additionally, imagine a school that enhances our          not scheduled to be workdays — since arriving on
                                                                                  question often. The Kilmers challenged the community
                                                                                                                                            current social emotional program to support students,     campus. Her window overlooks the Science and Native
                                                                                  to embrace new ideas and to be a leader in breaking
                                                                                                                                            faculty, and families as we are faced with the            Garden, which is the site of creative writing, art, and
                                                                                  down barriers by opening the school doors to all
                                                                                                                                            challenges of an ever-changing world.                     science projects when students are on campus. The
                                                                                  children and celebrating the benefits of a liberal arts
                                                                                                                                                                                                      garden was the backdrop for Ms. Bohnen’s Installation
                                                                                  education… That history and founding are still relevant
                                                                                                                                            Finally, imagine a school that makes certain that our     in the fall of 2019 and for Graduation in the summer
                                                                                  today as is the type of leadership that the Kilmers
                                                                                                                                            students have every opportunity to develop as excellent   of 2020. Thinking back on the school year bookmarked
                                                                                  exhibited — this type of leadership which also resides
                                                                                                                                            scholars, are engaged in the community, who know          by those events, Ms. Bohnen answered a few questions.
                                                                                  in Jenn Bohnen. When the Trustees first met her,
                                                                                                                                            and care about the community and the world beyond
                                                                                  it was immediately evident her approach is to keep
                                                                                                                                            their classrooms.
                                                                                  students at the center of everything. Creating
                                                                                  opportunities for them to be known and engaged
                                                                                  partners in their own learning. I remember a 5th
                                                                                  grader being shocked when Jenn greeted him by name        Your first year as Head of School has been even more      as did Dr. Vernon Walton, Pastor of the First Baptist
                                                                                  after meeting him earlier in the day as she stopped       eventful than most school years. What stands out for      Church of Vienna. It was a perfect blend of family
                                                                                  her conversations with adults to connect only with him.   you as you think back to that moment of beginning?        and community brought together by Carolyn Brandon,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      whose Installation Committee created the opportunity.
                                                                                  Excerpt of Remarks at Installation by Jennifer Bohnen,    The year has certainly had its twists and turns! The
                                                                                  Head of School:                                           first thing that comes to mind about the Installation     At your Installation, you invited everyone to imagine
                                                                                                                                            is how important the mix of people was to me as I         several ways that the School could use its philosophical
                                                                                  This is truly an important night for the Green Hedges     looked out from the podium. Noelie Kilmer, daughter       roots, dedicated leadership, and talented faculty to move
                          “...imagine a school that makes certain                 community. Thank you for welcoming me with open           of our founders and a visionary educator, along with      forward. What felt important in that moment?
                           that our students have every opportunity               arms. Your words of wisdom and thoughtful welcome         her husband Ed Angevine, who served on the Board
                                                                                  demonstrate the wonderful community I have joined.        of Green Hedges years ago, attended, as did Trustees,     It was thrilling to invite everyone to share a vision
                           to develop as excellent scholars, are                  I would like to share four strategic areas that follow    faculty, alumni, and current families. Chris Leggett,     of Green Hedges moving into the future. It also felt
                           engaged in the community, who know and                 the Kilmers’ vision to ignite wisdom:                     an alumnus from the early years, later a Trustee, and     solemn and humbling, thinking of the founders while
                                                                                                                                            now parent of a student at the school, spoke. My          being in the presence of those representing decades
                           care about the community and the world                 Imagine a school that increases our commitment to         family came from out of town for the occasion. And        in the life of the School and those representing our
                           beyond their classrooms.”                              appreciating the diverse abilities, backgrounds, and      there was support from our greater community. Mayor       current time here on campus and in the community.
                                                                                  cultures that make up the people of our school, our       Laurie DiRocco spoke, and State Delegate Mark Keam        The moment felt like stepping into the next part of
                                           — Jennifer P. Bohnen, Head of School   community, region, and nation.                            attended along with several Vienna Councilmembers,        our shared path, together.
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                                                                                                                                                            “It has been important to honor our roots in this regard — the Kilmers founded
                                                                                                                                                            the school partly because of their belief in the importance of diversity. Now is a
                      4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5
                                                                                                                                                            good time, in the life of the school and in the life of our country, to become more
                                                                                                                                                            intentional about carrying this work forward.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          — Jennifer Bohnen, Head of School

                          Jenn Bohnen speaking to an alumni parent at a gathering last winter.

                          And how did the specifics turn out? Of course no one                   Yes, it is important work. I imagine that the next area,   Let’s talk about the third area you spoke about,             Engagement Week, renamed and reimagined from
                          could have predicted the particular challenges of the                  a “Greener” Hedges, was affected by the emptying of        the social and emotional development of students.            what had previously been Stewardship Week in
                          school year that followed, but taking that into account,               campus after spring break.                                                                                              the spring. Then the pandemic happened, and,
                          what is your perspective now on what you described that                                                                           This is very exciting too. We’ve hired a part-time           in true Green Hedges style, the committee retooled
                          day? Let’s start with the topic of diversity and inclusion.            Yes, but we made a surprising amount of headway in         counselor dedicated to being in partnership with             once again.
                                                                                                 this area before then. Our students and families joined    faculty and parents, and to support students in
                          Throughout the year, faculty and parent committees                     with faculty members to do projects related to science     becoming better able to engage with their academic           Having had the intention of creating this series
                          met which were devoted to this topic. We shared                        and social studies, everything from looking at how         work, their peers, and the greater world. She                of events that unfortunately had to be canceled gave
                          stories and experiences that brought home in a very                    to reduce waste in lunch box packaging to comparing        will be working with every grade level, addressing           organizers a ready-made focus for reaching out to
                          personal way how much there is to discover about                       energy use in classrooms across campus. We partnered       what’s top of mind for the developmental needs               the community in the first weeks when everything
                          the experiences that we have as members of different                   with Eco-Schools for some of these projects, but our       of the students, and some of her time will be spent          changed last spring, maybe just when everyone
                          races, religions, ethnicities… we also got into topics                 goal has not been so much to earn official credit for      doing one on one work with students and parents.             needed the connection and appreciation most.
                          regarding issues of gender and some less obvious                       our work on campus. Rather, we have been inspired                                                                       Families sent care kits and thank you cards to local
                          issues, such as awareness of the health and dietary                    by their structure to continue looking at what we          Green Hedges has always been about nurturing the             first responders, hospital workers, and grocery stores;
                          needs of some students, and how those affect social                    can do within our own context and community.               growth of the whole person, so that while they are           they created positive messages in front of their houses
                          relationships.                                                         The Science and Native Garden itself represents            young and when they become adults, our students have         and apartments; made dog and cat toys for local
                                                                                                 an improved environment for the bird population            a greater sense of personal agency, of using their talents   shelters; and even completed online math problems
                          Just before we switched to distance learning, we                       of our area. We teach students about the many ways         in service to the greater world. Our Core Values are         to unlock food for others.
                          invited two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion specialists               they can have a positive impact on the environment,        Achieve Distinction, Explore Opportunities, Inspire
                          to campus to interview members of our school                           and that’s an important part of their education.           Character, and Become Yourself. We’re happy about            We also screened a video on planting victory gardens
                          community and offer recommendations. We’ve started                                                                                supporting these values in a new way.                        and another by DC beekeeper Bill Hahn who opened
                          a book club, are creating affinity group meetings, and                 Yes! And it looks like the Garden has continued to                                                                      up his working hives for the film. We have adopted
                          will be taking a look at curriculum. Elsewhere in this                 receive wonderful care, even in the absence of students    This leads us to the final area of growth you invited        one of the beehives as a school and will share the
                          issue there is more information about some of the                      on campus this past spring.                                everyone to imagine, engagement with our community.          honey that is produced with our historic Windover
                          initiatives that have come from our first steps. It has                                                                                                                                        Heights neighbors.
                          been important to honor our roots in this regard — the                 We have been fortunate that Math and Science teacher       An important area! Thanks to the Community
                          Kilmers founded the school partly because of their                     Matt Fisher, who was so instrumental in creating           Engagement Committee headed by former Trustee and            The culminating event of Community Engagement
                          belief in the importance of diversity. Now is a good                   what the garden has become, has continued to tend it.      current parent René Wilkinson, we initiated new ways         Week was our #lovegrowshere Day, which involved
                          time, in the life of the school and in the life of our                 And our campus crew, headed by the dedicated Rocky         of partnering with Vienna community organizations.           students and their families creating lawn signs
                          country, to become more intentional about carrying                     Kidwell who has been here for years, has ensured that      The plan was to have a number of events on and               of appreciation and displaying them in their
                          this work forward.                                                     the whole campus remains welcoming.                        off campus that would culminate in a Community               neighborhoods on May 1. It was great to have
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                          a school-wide event that spread our message of caring     “Yes, we have made progress,                                                                            GRADE 1:

                                                                                                                                                                                       Magic &
                          throughout the community and it generated a lot
                      6   of enthusiasm.                                            thanks to the amazingly strong and                                                                                                                                               7
                          How good that these events took place! It sounds          committed school community we have.

                          like the goals you invited everyone to imagine last
                                                                                    But good intentional work takes time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                          fall have made their way into reality. Do you have any
                          concluding thoughts?                                      and listening to many voices. It is an
                          Yes, we have made progress, thanks to the amazingly       ongoing process. I am so appreciative
                          strong and committed school community we have.
                          But good intentional work takes time and listening        of the long-term commitment of
                          to many voices. It is an ongoing process. I am so                                                                      Lerner and Loewe. Ben and Jerry.     you look out the window and see         before, except that your teachers
                          appreciative of the long-term commitment of faculty
                                                                                    faculty members and families.”
                                                                                                                                                 Opiola and Bess? Alan Jay Lerner     your teachers outside, delivering       and parents have talked to each
                          members and families. And on a personal note,                                      — Jennifer Bohnen, Head of School   and Frederick Loewe wrote famous     an entire box of school supplies        other every second day to help you
                          I’m grateful to have benefited from the special feeling                                                                musicals. Ben Cohen and Jerry        and surprises! Pretty soon after        get started, and then your teachers
                          at Green Hedges, the support and caring that come                                                                      Greenfield make great ice cream.     that, you see your teachers again,      listened to you, one on one, to find
                          through daily in the way we treat each other. These                                                                    No less spectacularly, Kathie        this time on screen, and they are       out how you are doing. Lots of
                          are the things that will keep carrying us forward.        Jenn Bohnen at the School’s socially-distanced graduation    Opiola and Monica Bess create,       helping you sort through that box       teacher conferences going on!
                                                                                    this summer.
                                                                                                                                                 and deliver, magic as Grade 1        they delivered, separating familiar
                                                                                                                                                 co-teachers. Imagine being 7-years   materials to be used now from         This spring, the individual
                                                                                                                                                 old and unexpectedly not returning   new ones to be set aside until later conferences Mrs. Opiola and
                                                                                                                                                 to school after spring break. It     this spring. Actually, things might  Mrs. Bess had with students
                                                                                                                                                 might make you wonder what is        start to feel pretty familiar. It’s aresulted in a schedule change,
                                                                                                                                                 going on as you try to take in the   little like at the beginning of the  the extension of daily snack
                                                                                                                                                 explanations you hear. Suddenly,     school year, when you didn’t have    break. “The kids advocated for
                                                                                                                                                                                      an assigned desk, and then you       themselves, letting us know that
                                                                                                                                                                                      did, and then the desks were in      they needed a more leisurely
                                                                                                                                                                                      rows. There is a gentle, step-by-    break. They also helped each other,
                                                                                                                                                                                      step evolution, only now your cubby  and did independent problem
                                                                                                                                                                                      is at home. You might miss your      solving,” says Mrs. Opiola about
                                                                                                                                                                                      friends, but you get to work and     what the adults learned from the
                                                                                                                                                                                      play with them online. Maybe this    students. She is clearly proud of
                                                                                                                                                                                      is not going to be so bad.           them, and concludes: “They had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           been practicing ways of organizing
                                                                                                                                                                                      Over the course of the next few      themselves  — it’s part of what we
                                                                                                                                                                                      weeks, you look outside again, only teach — and we encouraged them
                                                                                                                                                                                      to see your teachers delivering...   to have patience with the changes.”
                                                                                                                                                                                      a butterfly hatching kit! A secret   Mrs. Bess agrees, and affectionately
                                                                                                                                                                                      folder for making Mothers’ Day       explains the goal that inspired the
                                                                                                                                                                                      and Fathers’ Day presents at home... teachers: “We wanted to make
                                                                                                                                                                                      shhh! Props for your class play!     this year as special as possible for
                                                                                                                                                                                      Meanwhile, your schedule has         the children. It is a unique year
                                                                                                                                                                                      stayed pretty much the same as       in their life and we wanted them
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                                                                 then it is a matter of responding to One unchanging mathematical             when the butterflies hatched, each      of honking horns. Along with the
                      8                                          children’s curiosity and extending   fact about Grade 1, it turns out, is    in their own time, the students         academic learning and personal       9
                                                                 the experiences we offer them.”      that all the students are 7-years       witnessed the profound change.          maturation of individual students,
                                                                The other, equally important          old. Why is that important?                                                     everyone that day was celebrating
                                                                 component, is the relationship       Mrs. Opiola and Mrs. Bess seized        The culminating challenge of Grade      the metamorphosis of young

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                 the two teachers forged. “It         on this fact to create high interest    1 at Green Hedges is stepping onto      children into well-prepared
                                                                 was important to me to consult       math lessons. Slowly, in the            the stage as a class and presenting     Lower School students.
                                                                ‘The List,’ the curriculum outline    gradual ramping up of learning          a play. With that accomplishment,
                                                                 that enumerates the skills and       that predominates their classroom,      the children fully join their peers
                                                                 instructional units that should      the teachers used the wonderful         in the upper grades and participate
                          to have good memories, to have         be covered in a school year,” says   number 7 to bring home the              in the long-standing theatrical
                          all the good experiences of being     Mrs Bess. As the year went on, I      concept of “greater than” and           tradition of the school. Their
                          in Grade 1, and not miss out on       saw that we were able to accomplish “less than,” and later helped their       performance marks the end of what
                          anything,” she says.                  our goals by approaching them         students find “7 ways to make 18”       some fondly call “Theater Season”
                                                                from a variety of perspectives.       using addition and subtraction.         at the school, and is always eagerly
                          One of the things that helped make We negotiated innovative ways            Best of all, that box of school         awaited. Even as Broadway and the
                          the year so successful for Grade 1    we would do our teaching,             supplies the students received in       Metropolitan Opera in New York
                          students is that significant change   building trust with each other,       early spring included a pair of dice.   went dark this spring, Grade 1 went
                          is a feature, not a bug, of the       and getting excited about how         As luck would have it — and did         forward with its theater tradition.
                          Grade 1 curriculum. The Opiola        well it all worked.”                  you know this? — the numbers            Parents made costumes, uniform
                          and Bess teaching team is all about                                         of dots representing numbers on         background scenery was delivered
                          the important metamorphosis of       As Montessori materials and            opposite faces of each die always       to each family, and students
                          Green Hedges Montessori students learning strategies, predominant           add up to... 7! The magical year the    worked together to rehearse their
                          and incoming Kindergarten             during the first part of the school   teachers wanted for their students      lines. Not surprisingly, the online
                          students into full-fledged members    year, blended into the structure      had its own mathematical magic.         performance was a huge success!
                          of the Green Hedges Lower             of a traditional classroom day,                                               Audience members were enthralled
                          School. Each teacher has an           the children and their learning       Science was also amazing. There         by the theme of selflessness
                          ardent investment in the children’s   thrived. In the spring, when new,     were experiments creating               presented in the play, and by the
                          learning. Kathie Opiola brings        unforeseen adjustments were           photograms, handprints created          poise of the performers. There was
                          years of experience with the          required, the same principles of      using sunscreen and sunlight. One       even a cast party, coordinated by
                          Montessori method, while              managing change proved useful.        of the traditions of the Grade 1 year   parents and featuring an ocean
                          Monica Bess represents years of      “We pretty much kept to the            is observing the metamorphosis          theme with sea life snacks.
                          teaching using the traditional        familiar schedule, with reading,      of caterpillars into butterflies.
                          classroom format. In this, their      language arts, and math, plus         Students write, draw, or sometimes      Turnabout is fair play, goes the
                          first year of collaboration, they     the “specials” of Art, French, PE,    make a movie that summarizes            saying. So it was that, in a new
                          created a joyful and thoughtful       Library, Music, and Technology/       their science observations. With        wrinkle on the Green Hedges
                          bridge for students from different    STEM,” says Mrs. Opiola. “We          no possibility of establishing a        custom of celebrating Teacher
                          backgrounds based on two              continued our Junior Great Books      shared class experience around one      Appreciation Day at the end of the
                          components. One was what              readings,” adds Mrs. Bess, “and       classroom-sized butterfly hatching      school year, Mrs. Opiola and Mrs.
                          Mrs. Opiola describes as “starting    we still started our day with our     kit, Mrs. Opiola and Mrs. Bess          Bess looked outside their windows
                          where each child already feels        Morning Meeting, and through all      were instead able to distribute         to see a parade of cars and balloons,
                          confident in skills and in learning.  that we continued moving forward, individual kits to the students. The        and heard the thanks families
                          That helps everyone relax, and        extending our learning goals.”        young scientists went to work, and      shouted to them amid the sound
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WHAT GOES INTO
                           Wonder Wall                                                                                                                                      Making a Wax Museum?
                      10   How do you adopt a baby? How did words get started? What is the                                                                                                                                                                                                       11
                           hottest planet? 3 x what number = 23?
                                                                                                                                                                            A young Stevie Wonder turns from the keyboard, interrupting his piano rendition of Superstition long
                                                                                                                                                                            enough to face the camera through dark glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                           These and other questions preoccupy the minds of our       we are studying,”
                           Grade 2 students, and have had their place this year       says Mrs. Bayer,
                           on the Grade 2 Wonder Wall. Not all of the questions       adding that the
                                                                                                                                                                            “Oh hi,” he says casually, and for a few moments shares   orphaned at the age of 12. These characters and others
                           have obvious answers, even to an adult. You might          timing and
                                                                                                                                                                             stories from his life. “I’m blind, but I got accepted    populate the imagination of the viewer for a brief time,
                           think that Mercury is the hottest planet, being closest    process involved
                                                                                                                                                                             into Motown records at age eleven because I was so       each chosen, presented, and embodied by a Grade 4
                           to the sun, but actually Venus, second closest, has the    in finding
                                                                                                                                                                             talented,” he reveals with his characteristic mix of     student. Welcome to the Green Hedges Wax Museum!
                           highest temperature overall. If you are wondering why      answers is
                                                                                                                                                                             humor and modesty before filling us in on the outline
                           that is, you are becoming caught up in the twists and      important. “We
                                                                                                                                                                             of his life, including his birth in Saginaw, Michigan,   The Wax Museum is a Green Hedges tradition. It
                           turns of discovery that guide the minds of the students,   don’t want them
                                                                                                                                                                             his marriages, his children, the instruments he plays,   represents weeks of preparation at the intersection
                           and of scientists, artists, poets, and of all those        to lose interest
                                                                                                                                                                             and his involvement in the Civil Rights movement.        of Social Studies and Language Arts, normally
                           engaged in a creative way with the world we inhabit.       by answering
                                                                                                                                                                             Then, as quickly as it began, the intimate moment        culminating in a live presentation in the Multi Purpose
                                                                                      them too
                                                                                                                                                                             of sharing is over, and he returns to his music. One     Room, with visitors going from station to station and
                           As the keeper of the Grade 2 Wonder Wall, Jeannie          quickly,” she says, noting that
                                                                                                                                                                             after the other, important figures from other times      activating the historical figures that become animated
                           Bayer knows that there is an art to tailoring the          letting questions languish is risky,
                                                                                                                                                                             and places reveal themselves. Ernest Shackleton,         long enough to tell their stories and then return to
                           search for answers to the age and developmental            as well.
                                                                                                                                                                             the Irish Antarctic explorer, appears wearing clothing   wax-like repose until the next person approaches.
                           stage of her students. There are questions, and there
                                                                                                                                                                             suitable for the deep cold. Anne Frank, whose            Grade 4 teachers Katie Pluebell-Lord and Hank Mast
                           are questions. Upon finding out that there is no           Sometimes, having the teacher
                                                                                                                                                                             famous Holocaust diary was written                                    act as guides for students choosing and
                           whole number answer to how many times 3 can be             pose questions is a provocative way to start a unit of
                                                                                                                                                                             while she hid in an Amsterdam attic,                                     researching a character, eventually
                           multiplied into 23, her students reach for the horizon     study, and the “aha” moment comes as the students
                                                                                                                                                                             brings viewers into her confidence.                                         helping them distill a main theme
                           of their mathematical imagination, anticipating the        become familiar with the new content. Questions
                                                                                                                                                                             J. R. R. Tolkien rests his pipe long                                          in that character’s life and
                           role of fractions and remainders in an active way, out     and their answers also feature in other parts of daily
                                                                                                                                                                             enough to tell us that he went on                                                personalize the performance.
                           of their own curiosity. Then, when the new concepts        routines, such as the Morning Meeting. Throughout,
                                                                                                                                                                             to professorship at Oxford and                                                      This process involves note
                           are presented, these satisfy an intellectual desire for    the Wonder Wall offers the students a home for their
                                                                                                                                                                             to writing The Hobbit and The                                                         taking from readings,
                           mastery of their world. “We encourage everyone to be       inquisitiveness, and a tangible expression of their
                                                                                                                                                                             Lord of the Rings after being                                                            writing a biography
                           part of our learning community,” she says. “Helping        teacher’s receptivity toward each student’s unique
                           them find the answers is important, and what’s even        interests and experiences. “I want them to know that
                           more important is giving questions, and curiosity, a       this is a safe place to ask questions,” says Mrs. Bayer,
                           place of honor in the learning process.”                   reflecting on the importance of questioning in the
                                                                                      development of critical thinking.
                           The Wonder Wall is related to a device used in
                           the Responsive Classroom approach to classroom             By the way, if you do not have a Grade 2 student
                           management known as the parking lot, which invites         nearby to offer an explanation about the relative
                           students to “park,” or make visible, their questions,      temperatures of Mercury and Venus, here is the
                           ideas, words of encouragement, and suggestions for         answer: Temperatures on Venus, the hottest planet,
                           improvement. The teacher’s role is to recognize and        reach 870 degrees Fahrenheit, because of its carbon
                           respond to what the students express, and thereby to       dioxide-rich atmosphere that functions as an intense
                                                                                                                                                 ehrlif -

                           foster a feeling of community. “Questions arise from       version of the greenhouse gas phenomenon.
                           what’s going on in the children’s lives, and from what
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                                                                                                                                                   The Wax Museum is a Green Hedges tradition. It represents weeks of preparation at
                                                                                                                                                   the intersection of Social Studies and Language Arts, normally culminating in a live
                                                                                                                                                   presentation in the Multi Purpose Room, with visitors going from station to station
                      12                                                                                                                           and activating the historical figures that become animated long enough to tell their                                 13
                                                                                                                                                   stories and then return to wax-like repose until the next person approaches.

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                                                                                                                                                   Grade 3 research project is also structured through         apparent in the State Fair and Wax Museum projects.
                                                                                                                                                   a list of questions on such topics as engineering and      “I am impressed by how well students use the skills
                                                                                                                                                   manufacturing in a particular state, its ecosystems, and    they’ve been building on in previous grades,” he says.
                                                                                                   Grade 4’s Wax Museum                            its natural resources.                                     Along with strengthening their research and writing
                                                                                                   via Zoom this spring.                                                                                       skills, the students’ growing maturity instills their
                                                                                                                                                   The closely guided State Fair process culminates in         work with increasing depth and empathy.
                                                                                                                                                   a presentation that this year also took place online.
                                                                                                                                                   Parents and teachers, and some students from other          The Wax Museum brings them into contact with
                                                                                                                                                   grades, gathered as audience members in Zoom               challenges such as those faced by Native American
                           in the third person, and along the way intuiting           for wax modeling as a child and created her first wax        breakout rooms while Grade 3 students presented            dancer Maria Toltchieff, the first American to gain
                           something about each chosen character’s challenges         figure, that of Voltaire, when she was a teenager in the     interesting facts about their states and explained the     international recognition as a prima ballerina, and
                           and personal strengths. As time for the Wax Museum         years preceding the 1789 French Revolution, would            reasons for their chosen costumes. The well-prepared       of aviatrix Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in her
                           approaches, the students shift focus from third to         particularly appreciate the question students asked          students deftly fielded questions from audience            plane at age 41. Each student’s chosen character
                           first person, writing concise paragraphs from the          themselves in preparation for their presentations:           members, sometimes including extra information             brings a glimpse of another person’s life, struggles,
                           perspective of the historical figure, assembling a        “Did I capture the most important thing about this            they had not featured in the prepared talks they gave      and achievements. Collectively, it brings the class an
                           costume, and creating a trifold presentation board         person?” What she might not realize is that when             and pointing out their shoebox floats which displayed      enlarged sense of the possibilities inherent in being
                           with a collage of images they assemble online using a      the historical personages tell their tales, it is the        interesting facts about their state.                       human. It is a value Madame Tussaud would well
                           computer application.                                      culmination of a years-long process of the students’                                                                    understand, and is part of what has attracted us to wax
                                                                                      learning. The youngest Montessori students at Green          Hank Mast, former co-teacher in Grade 3, remarks           museums for well over two centuries, bringing us closer
                           This year’s Wax Museum faced the special challenge         Hedges are already investigators, actively reaching out      on the progressive sophistication and independence         to people as interesting as Voltaire and Stevie Wonder.
                           posed by distance learning. “Fortunately, students         for knowledge and enjoying the discovery. Soon they
                           chose their historical figures and found library books     begin reporting their findings, and by Grade 1 they
                           about them just before spring break,” says Katie           study the life cycle of butterflies while continuing their                                                                                            State Fair
                           Pluebell-Lord. Just as fortunately, supervising the        own maturation as scientists and authors.
                           research and writing process in a virtual classroom
                           revealed the students to be personally engaged,           In Grade 2 each student researches a particular
                           empathizing with their chosen characters and              animal, and in Grade 3 the State Fair provides an
                           admiring those who overcame difficulty. Plus, it          important subject focus. Teacher Anne Craig teaches
                           was enjoyable! “The students brought their own            Grade 3 students to use mind maps as they plan their
                           personalities and humor into the research and writing,”   presentations. It is a way of representing connected
                           says Hank Mast, commenting on the fresh perspective       ideas that looks like a highway map with branching
                           of the young researchers.                                 roads and smaller streets, and has the advantage of
                                                                                     providing structure while also accommodating the
                           Marie Tussaud, whose name is synonymous with              multi-directional curiosity and interest of students.
                           wax museums worldwide, would certainly approve of         Mrs. Craig says that mind maps are a helpful step             Grade 3’s State Fair presentations via Zoom this spring.
                           Grade 4’s enactments. She, who began showing talent       in teaching students to organize their writing. The
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                           GRADE 5:

                           Threshold to
                                                                         Many students express similar feelings, crediting              navigate as the Grade 5 year progresses.
                                                                         Mrs. Vagoun with helping them arrive at that moment.          “I can’t think of a better way to raise
                                                                         And small wonder: she challenges students to surpass           kids who can think for themselves, can

                                                                         their own expectations in order to succeed, and helps          become self-possessed enough to talk
                                                                         each one feel safe enough to take new risks and grow.          about subjects like race, religion, ethnicity,
                                                                                                                                        and world problems, and who can get
                      14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       15

                                                                         The students’ speeches precede those from the Head             comfortable with the shared process of
                                                                         of School, and because Green Hedges is a small                 listening, internally and to each other,”
                                                                         community, both sets of speeches represent intimate            says Mrs. Vagoun. Her lessons focus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                         memories. The perspectives are complementary,                  on both content and process. She helps
                                                                         illuminating how the students have felt and how                students listen with discernment, and
                                                                         they have been seen in a school where they are known,          she teaches them to be intentional about
                                                                         appreciated, and supported. “When you went missing             using and attending to non-verbal cues
                           Grade 5 is a pivotal year, the threshold to   from your Grade 5 classroom, which happened                    like nodding or clapping to encourage a
                           Middle School. Teacher Stacey Vagoun acts     quite regularly, Mrs. Vagoun always knew where                 speaker. Along with oral communications
                                                                         to find you — in Ms. Nichols’ classroom, teaching              skills, the Grade 5 toolbox includes help
                           as a skilled, dedicated guide for students    our youngest students how to care for Coco [the                with study skills and with other specific
                           during this passage. One Grade 8 student      bearded dragon].”                                              strategies, such as hints for how to read
                                                                                                                                        a textbook compared to a novel, how to streamline           chances with new experiences, and just as important
                           about to receive his Green Hedges diploma     What is the “secret sauce” that makes for this great           note taking, how to use mnemonics to memorize facts,        to do that safely. “They become more sophisticated,
                           put it this way: “Mrs. Vagoun, thank you      learning recipe in Grade 5? Mrs. Vagoun says it                and how to annotate reading material. By the time they      their conversations become more nuanced, and they
                                                                         boils down to two important things: communication              are working on their final research papers, the students    take on more leadership,” says Mrs. Vagoun of the
                           for preparing me for Middle School with all   and failure.                                                   have acquired many new skills.                              students she has watched make their way through
                           those grammar worksheets and with the end                                                                                                                                Middle School and beyond.
                                                                         COMMUNICATION                                                 FAILURE
                           of the year Roman Research paper. I never                                                                                                                                GRADUATION
                                                                          Many of the students come with wonderful reading             “At the end of each school year, teachers share with
                           thought I’d get through it.”                   comprehension, says Mrs. Vagoun. In Grade 5 they              each other what strategies have been most helpful to        Calling graduation “commencement” is a nod to
                                                                          improve written and oral communication, but the aim           each student, so by September I have a good idea of         the way this passage represents both endings and
                                                                          and the process go deeper. For example, she explains,         where we’re starting out,” says Mrs. Vagoun. How            beginnings. The first Grade 5 class that teacher
                                                                         “I begin the year with a case study regarding a slash          does she use that information? “I think about each          Stacey Vagoun taught at Green Hedges just graduated
                                                                          and burn episode of the destruction of the Amazon             student’s academic and social emotional needs, and          from college. “I love working with students this age,”
                                                                          Rainforest. The topic and its presentation often              although I have goals for the class as a whole, my goals    she says, “because they are very open, passionate about
                                                                          elicit an emotional response, and understandably so.          are different for a child who starts out shy and one        ideas, and poised to find themselves.” Listening
                                                                          Through conversation, we circle back to the same facts        who may come across as a little brash. What I want          to her, it’s clear that she has a continuing devotion
                                                                          but from different perspectives, examining extenuating        all of them to experience is that this is a safe space to   to her students’ development. At each transition,
                                                                          circumstances and looking at the survival needs of all        think for themselves, and a safe space to take risks.       from Montessori to Lower School, from Lower School
                                                                          those involved. As the conversation becomes more              Inevitably, this means getting a little more comfortable    to Middle School, and from Green Hedges to high
                                                                          thoughtful, we include ourselves in the complexity of         with failure. How else can they test their limits and       school, college, and beyond, students benefit from
                                                                          making difficult choices and we learn to respectfully         stretch themselves?”                                        teachers who impart knowledge, instill confidence,
                                                                          agree or disagree, taking in each other’s perspective.                                                                    and prepare them to face challenges with optimism
                                                                          I, too, learn from these conversations. One of the           The theme of creating a safe space for failure is one        and resourcefulness. Each time they doubt their ability
                                                                          themes that comes up is that none of us can be perfect.      that Mrs. Vagoun says carries through Middle School          to “get through it” and land on their feet builds on
                                                                          How we work toward the good in a complicated world           at Green Hedges. “This school is like an incubator,”         their earlier successes. Mrs. Vagoun envisions this long
                                                                          is a question I hope my students will ask for a lifetime.”   she says, explaining that the size of classes and the        path forward for her students, and, as her first Grade 5
                                                                                                                                       ability to interact with “teachers who really know who       students take their next steps forward, prepares to
                                                                         The personal and communal aspects of communication            you are,” makes Green Hedges a safe place to enter the       welcome her incoming class next fall.
                                                                         are an important part of what students learn to               early phase of adolescence, when it is important to take
Magic and Metamorphosis Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Power of World Languages - IN THIS ISSUE - Green Hedges School

                                                 Families, Faculty, and Community:                                   April 6–10
                                                                                                                     Parent Teas

                      16                         A 2020 Timeline                                                     The abrupt metamorphosis of Green Hedges, and of
                                                                                                                     much of the country and the world, has already taken
                                                                                                                     place. For the sake of safety and health, the campus has
                                                                                                                                                                                  receive was always a given. Navigating the “how”
                                                                                                                                                                                  dictated by changing circumstances requires goodwill,
                                                                                                                                                                                  innovation, and constant feedback. Devoted teachers

                                                 of Mutual Support                                                   stayed empty after spring break. Head of School Jennifer
                                                                                                                     Bohnen and Assistant Head of School Lisa Pence host
                                                                                                                                                                                  commit long hours to getting on board with new
                                                                                                                                                                                  technology, preparing materials in new ways, and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                                                                     online parent teas to talk about how things are going.       helping students adjust. Ms. Bohnen remarks, “For
                                                                                                                                                                                  our teachers, it is like going through the first year
                                                                                                                      Some parents of the youngest students say that              of teaching all over again,” and the adjustment is no
                                                                                                                      their children have struggled with the changes. “He         smaller for the parents. “How can we support you?”
                                                                                                                      wouldn’t look at the screen,” says one mother, adding,      is voiced in each direction, from parent to teacher
                                                                                                                     “I didn’t force him.” Others report that their children      and back again. The essence of Green Hedges, that
                                                        January 24                                                    were confused by the gallery view feature of Zoom,          word community so often held up as a hallmark of
                                                                                                                      which showed each of their friends in little boxes.         the School, is tested and found strong.
                                                        Parent Association Presentation                               Together, parents, teachers, and administrators
                                                        Ben Franklin’s portrait flashes at the front of the           examine what has been helpful and brainstorm how to          One touching topic comes up during a conversation.
                                                        Multi Purpose Room, with one of his famous sayings            continue improving. “She is just starting to join small     “My child misses the kids from other grades,” says one
                                                        alongside it:                                                 groups online,” is typical of a trend parents report. For    parent. Within two weeks, Mrs. Pence has organized
                                                                                                                      adults and children alike, taking the changes week by        a special event. On a Friday morning, faculty members
                                                        Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve    week, and sometimes day by day, is important.                host cross-grade visits, guiding animated conversations
                                                        me and I learn.                                                                                                            and fun problem solving activities. Some adults use
                                                                                                                     As parents of students at successively older grade levels     short readings as conversation starters. Pets wander
                                                        As she explains the reasons for taking the long view         attend the teas, the particulars center on different          through in the background of Zoom screens and smiles
                                                        and allowing students to learn by trial and error as         aspects of school and home life. How will the new             feature prominently as students have an opportunity
                                                        they grow, Dr. Heather Tedesco names three innate            reality affect grading and report cards? Will it be           to reconnect with each other across grades. It isn’t
                                                        psychological needs of humans:                               possible to assign reading from books to minimize             exactly like daily contact in the halls, but it is warm,
                                                                                                                     screen use when not in class? Could breakout rooms            comforting, and meaningful. Adults listened to the
                                                        Competence                                                   give students opportunities for more personal contact         children and responded creatively. Over and over this
                                                        Connection                                                   while they study? And there are positives: “I love not        past spring, Dr. Tedesco’s message, and Ben Franklin’s,
                                                        Autonomy                                                     having to commute, and it’s great seeing what my kid          help guide the way: Involve me and I learn.
                                                                                                                     does day-to-day,” says one parent.
                                                        Attending to these long-term needs helps parents make
                                                        students more resourceful, she says, and helps children      At each opportunity, Ms. Bohnen asks, “How can we
                                                        cope with the expected changes of development as well        support you?” In her question, and in the conversations
                                                        as the inevitable unexpected disruptions. During this        that ensue, a great strength of Green Hedges is evident.
                                                        presentation to parents about fostering independence         It is part of what Ms. Bohnen likes to call “The
                                                        in children, no one in the Multi Purpose Room                Power of Small,” the shared strength that comes from
                                                        realizes that the challenges of daily life are about to      personal relationships. What Dr. Heather Tedesco
                                                        change significantly. The strong relationship between        had preached, the collaboration between parents and
                                                        parents and teachers will need to support students           teachers that supports the development of children,
                                                        during a sudden transition into distance learning,           plays out in myriad examples at each tea.
                                                        with families getting used to life shared under one roof
                                                        around the clock while many parents begin working            The shared commitment of teachers and parents to
                           Dr. Heather Tedesco          from home.                                                   continue the strong academic grounding students

                                                                                                                                              May 6
                                                                                                                                              Parents Council of Washington Michael Thompson and Rob Evans
                                                                                                                                              “This is not home schooling; that’s voluntary. And         resilient, and that transient behavior or mood problems
                                                                                                                                               online learning is normally something people prepare      are to be expected. For parents experiencing their own
                                                                                                                                               for as students and teachers.” That’s how psychologists   sense of disorientation and loss, they counsel extending
                                                                                                                                               and authors Michael Thompson and Rob Evans begin          the same patience and confidence to themselves.
                      18                                                                                                                       their online talk to the Parents Council of Washington,                                                              19
                                                                                                                                               a group to which Green Hedges belongs. They reassure The psychologists conclude their evening presentation
                                                                                                                                               parents, saying that although schools and families        with a benediction. Referring to the devotion of

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                                                                                               are participating in what they call “a grand online       teachers and parents, they quote Mr. Rogers, who said,
                                                                                                                                               experiment,” the early data indicates that nothing has   “All of us have someone who loved us into being.” They
                                                                                                  April 27–May 1                               changed about the fundamental needs of children.          encourage the webinar audience to pause and think of
                                                                                                                                              “You have to level with them. They’ll miss their friends. someone who has been such a person to them, and to
                                                                                                         #lovegrowshere                       They might be grouchy. Kids will need to know that         imbue themselves with that good feeling. Then, naming
                                                                                            Community Engagement Week                          parents love them and will do everything to keep them the wisdom and perspective of grandparents as a great
                                                                        Green Hedges School holds its first-ever Community                     safe,” the psychologists agree. What is important for     resource, they counsel: “take a grandparenting pill!”
                                                                        Engagement Week from April 27 – May 1. Students and their              parents to remember, they add, is that children are
                                                                        families participate in many activities from their homes including
                                                                        making masks for the Lamb Center, a homeless shelter, donating
                                                                        supplies to local non-profit Second Story, making cards and
                                                                        drawings for Sunrise Senior Living, and writing thank you                                                     May 8
                                                                        notes for healthcare personnel at INOVA Hospital. The week            Grandparents and Special Friends’ Day
                                                                        culminates with a #lovegrowshere Community Engagement Day
                                                                        in which students spend time creating lawn signs for frontline        As luck would have it, the virtual campus soon fills
                                                                        essential personnel. The messages are intended to create hope, joy,   with actual grandparenting energy, provided by
                                                                        and encouragement to those who see them.                              grandparents from across the country and from several
                                                                                                                                              continents! Ms. Bohnen speaks about the School’s
                                                                        The mission of Community Engagement Week is to provide                founding and about the history of this day, which dates
                                                                        ways for students to responsibly and respectfully contribute to the   to 1987. She acknowledges that this year’s celebration
                                                                        improvement of their communities, and this first-ever one was a       is different, and gives details about inventive solutions has become a model for other schools. As a member
                                                                        timely and fitting one for the Green Hedges community.                the School had found for supporting academic learning of an oversight delegation for independent schools,
                           Making masks to donate to the Lamb Center.                                                                         and resilience among students on short notice. She        Ms. Bohnen notes that in its commitment to safety
                                                                                                                                              explains the difference between synchronous, “live”       and best practices, Green Hedges looks to peer schools
                                                                                                                                              learning and asynchronous, pre-recorded lessons,          and is studying European schools, tracking their
                                                                                                                                              giving examples of each. Guests hear about virtual        experiences of reopening and learning from what they
                                                                                                                                              field trips; about a scientist explaining viruses to      have found works best.
                                                                                                                                              students online; and about the students’ community
                                                                                                                                              engagement projects. The delighted visitors even watch “We applaud your philosophy and what you are doing,”
                                                                                                                                              videotaped interviews of Middle School students           says one grandparent. “Please let us know how we
                                                                                                                                              interviewing their grandparents.                          can support you,” says another. Among all the adult
                                                                                                                                                                                                        constituencies, the offer of support reverberates in each
                                                                                                                                              There is also serious conversation, including questions   direction, each time amplifying the importance of
                                                                                                                                              and answers about the uppermost importance of safety responsiveness and community. Ben Franklin’s “involve
                                                                                                                                              and about what would be required for reopening.           me and I learn” is a good watchword for navigating
                                                                                                                                              Ms. Bohnen praises the work of the Reopening Task         forward, for children and adults. Another quote from
                                                                                                                                              Force and notes that Green Hedges has been so             Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack comes to mind, as
                                                                                                                                              successful in its transition to distance learning that it well: “a right Heart exceeds all.”

                                                                                                                                                        be integrated across grades, and       As he speaks, Mr. Hutzler               Administrators supported the

                                                                                               TECH TEAM
                                                                                                                                                        myriad other details. Head of          continues glancing at his devices,      transition to distance learning.
                                                                                                                                                        School Jenn Bohnen orchestrated        ready to respond to anyone who          Lisa Pence, Assistant Head of School,
                                                                                                                                                        the likely transition, putting         contacts him for tech help. This        describes what took place.

                                                                       SUPERHEROES                                                                      in place guidelines that would
                                                                                                                                                        help everyone in the early weeks
                                                                                                                                                        and beyond. She implemented
                                                                                                                                                        multiple channels that everyone,
                                                                                                                                                                                               commitment to being responsive
                                                                                                                                                                                               is shared by each member of the
                                                                                                                                                                                               tech team, and it has helped the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The administrators created a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       detailed Distance Learning and
                      20                                                                                                                                                                       community breathe easier. Teachers,     Academic Continuity Plan which           21
                                                                                                                                                        teachers and parents alike, would      parents, and students have been         draws on many resources shared
                                                                                                                                                        use to keep communication lines        right to assume that whatever           across independent schools and
                                                                                                                                                        open and to maintain goodwill          problem they face will quickly be       is on the Green Hedges website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CLIPPINGS  |  FALL/WINTER 2020
                                                                                                                                                        during the inevitable glitches.        resolved, sometimes even in real        They updated the Acceptable Use
                                                                                                                                                        Ms. Matthews describes the last        time during a class. That the help      Policy to take into account the
                                                                                                                                                        day at school and the days that        often comes not only with calm,         new learning environment, again
                                                                                                                                                        followed: “By Thursday we were         but also with good humor and even       benefitting from resources developed
                                                                                                                                                        running our first Zoom sessions        a feeling of fun for the process, has   by many schools.
                                                                                                                                                        with students. The students left       helped immeasurably. “Helping
                                                                                                                                                        Thursday with their belongings         individuals solve problems on their     Green Hedges hosted grade-level
                                                                                                                                                        in their backpacks, prepared to        own gives them confidence,” he          orientations prior to the return to
                                                                                                                                                        stay home if necessary after spring    says, “and knowing we’ll be there       instruction. During the orientations,
                                                                                                                                                        break. Friday was teacher training     for them has been important, too.”      teachers, students, and parents
                                                                                                                        Carl Hutzler trouble-shooting
                                                                                                                        from his car this spring.       day, and we spent spring break                                                 came together to review new
                                                                                                                                                        putting everything in place. The        Alison Matthews, who teaches           procedures, expectations, health
                                                                                                                                                        teachers were amazing, devoting         Science and serves as Middle           and wellness concerns regarding
                                                                                                                                                        long hours to planning. By the end      School Advisor in addition to her      screen time and the need for physical
                            Carl Hutzler does not wear a cape,    spare parts to do repairs while        learning looked like something                 of spring break, we were prepared.”     role as Technology Integration         activity, and the new daily routine.
                            but maybe he should. Posing as        parked in teachers’ or students’       we needed to plan for. Then the                                                        Specialist, has experienced this
                            a mild-mannered gardener on           driveways, delivered iPads, and did    Monday before spring break, we                 Thinking about what made                spring’s distance learning from        In order to preserve a sense of
                            the weekend, this technology          general troubleshooting. He seems      went into high gear. Mr. Hutzler               everything work so well, Mr.            the perspective of a teacher as        normalcy and consistency and
                            consultant is ready to drop his       to have relished it all: “There were   addressed two questions: Do the                Hutzler says, “We didn’t have the       well as in her role of integration     support teachers, the Assistant
                            watering can in an instant, day       some people with router issues, and    students have what they need, and              problems of larger school systems.”     specialist providing faculty           Head of School continued to meet
                            or night, and reveal his secret       some other things happened that        do the teachers have what they                 Noting that the overwhelming            support. “We have learned              with homeroom teachers on a
                            identity as...The Man From Zoom!! we couldn’t resolve by talking on          need? He made sure the answers                 majority of Green Hedges                from overseas schools and other        weekly basis and with Middle School
                            What has earned Mr. Hutzler his       the phone. I made videos for self-     to both questions would be ‘yes.’              families were already connected         online resources, including those      teachers in their subject area groups.
                            superhero reputation? For one         help. When those were not enough,      The teachers and I researched                  to the Internet and almost all          specifically addressing the needs
                            thing, he is a multitasking marvel.   I showed up in my car. It was kind     online learning resources, and I               students had iPads, Mr. Hutzler         of independent schools,” she says,     To keep the social and emotional
                            With an earbud in one ear and         of fun.”                               worked with students so they could             acknowledges the advantage             “and we have made an effort to          needs at the forefront and maintain
                            his eyes occasionally scanning a                                             practice distance learning skills.             that Green Hedges had initially.        make distance learning workable        relationships, Middle School advisors
                            screen or two, he maintains a calm, Science and Technology Integration       We met individually and in groups.             Beyond that, he credits the agility     for faculty, students, and parents     met each morning with their advisees
                            thoughtful focus on his interviewer. Specialist Alison Matthews              Those last days of school were a               of being a small organization with      alike.” Ms. Matthews concludes         for a daily check-in.
                           “Early on, I made some house calls,” could claim a cape of her own.           whirlwind.”                                    strong relationships, and the years-    with a thought worthy of a true
                            he says, remembering the zero to      Thanks to her role as support and                                                     long commitment of the School to        tech superhero, one of optimism        Because the teachers had already
                            60 miles per hour transition Green    consultant to teachers, she stepped    That week, Assistant Head of                   adding technology and providing         and goodwill: “From our work,          established such healthy learning
                            Hedges made to distance learning      into the fast forward preparations     School Lisa Pence pulled together              training to help teachers use it        we have been able to help others,      communities in their classrooms
                            during a week and a half last spring. seamlessly. As she describes it:       a completely new version of class              comfortably. “We didn’t know how        to become a model for what             from the beginning of the school year,
                            During those days and in the weeks “Jenn Bohnen, Lisa Pence, Carl            schedules that took into account               these things would play out when        can be done,” she says. “It gives      they were able to transition well to
                            following, Mr. Hutzler did some       Hutzler and I met two weeks before     things like how much screen time               we had to mobilize quickly,” he         us confidence for meeting new          the synchronous Zoom instruction
                            rewiring for Green Hedges families spring break, and once more the           students at different grades should            says, adding, “We were amazed at        challenges going forward.”             and classes.
                            while socially isolating, brought     following week. Going to distance      have, how special subjects would               how smoothly everyone adapted.”
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