Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School

 
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
in s i g h t s
            2019-2020

          Resiliency
           IN   ACTION
            WHAT WE LE ARNED
           AND HOW IT MADE US
            A BET TER SCHOOL
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
MISSION
                                                                                               Whitfield School cultivates ethical,
                                                                                                                                                                           contents
                                                                                                confident, successful students
                                                                                                in a community of innovation,
    Dear Whitfield Families and Friends,
                                                                                                    collaboration, and trust.                 2 In the Words
    As I reflect on the 2019-2020 school year, the word that continues to                                                                        Head of School’s Letter
    come to mind is “unprecedented.” This period of our lives brought                                 BOARD OF TRUSTEES                      4-9 In focus
    challenges unlike anything we had witnessed previously. And                                           2019-2020
    yet, despite the obligation to reinvent ourselves as a school and a                                                                          Resiliency in Action
                                                                                                     Paul Minorini (Chair)                         Finding Their Voice
    community, thanks to the support of all our constituencies, we prevailed.
                                                                                                 Jessica Hoerman (Vice Chair)                      Inquiry- & Project-based Curriculum
                                                                                                  Steve Nordlund (Treasurer)
    As the effects of the coronavirus began to emerge in the late winter and
                                                                                                 Kinyetta Alexander (Secretary)            10-17 In the study
    spring, we found a way to complete the academic year with integrity,
    learning much about new modes of teaching in the process. Thanks to                                Akberet Boykin Farr                       Math in (Virtual) Action
    the support of our families, we were able to celebrate the Class of 2020                             Michele Holton                          Whitfield Team Receives Award at WWT Hackathon
    who once again raised the bar for the amount of merit scholarships                                     Don Jubel                             TSA Hauls in the Hardware at State
    awarded to a single group of Whitfield graduates: more than $3,300,000                                 Phillip Levy                          Framing Universal Human Rights
    for freshman year alone, with 89% of the class receiving an award of                                William Margulis
                                                                                                                                                 Whitfield Hosts Holocaust Speaker via Live Webinar
    some amount. These successes contributed to the start of a new school year                            Ghan Mehta
                                                                                                                                                 Learning About Liberty
    marked – in spite of current events – with robust numbers in both admissions                        Christine Moody
                                                                                                          Karen Myers                            Young People Making a Difference
    and revenue.
                                                                                                          David Payne                            Celebrating eLearning Creativity through Video Logs
                                                                                                          Dave Ressner                           Africa Infographic Project
    Our collective experience thus far has been the result of good communication,
    good listening, and a shared vision of what contributes to student health and                         Booker Shaw                            Sixth Graders Explore the Final Frontier
    growth in the midst of a global health crisis. Having made a commitment to return                  Cory Spielberg ’94                        English Innovation: The Great Gatsby Project
    to in-person instruction early on, many factors were required to make our plan                       Stephen Strum
    a reality: parental support and faculty buy-in were chief among them, but the                       Christopher Terry                  18-22 Inspired
    unanimity of the Board of Trustees and the talent of the school’s administrative                     James Williams                          Senior Retrospective
    leadership also proved essential. Looking back, the process has required                           Philip B. Cady Jr. ’70                    The Secret Voice
    some measure of sacrifice from each of our constituencies, but gratefully that                      Bruno B. Schmitter                       Our Town
    requirement has produced a heightened sense of unity and purpose based on                            Wayne L. Smith II                       The Happiness Shop
    shared experience. And even if this particular chapter in the school’s life is far from      John Delautre, Head of School                   Student-Directed One Acts
    over, it is appropriate to acknowledge that together we have accomplished much.                       (Ex-Officio)                           Quest for Z
                                                                                                                                                 Vocalists Share State Solos
    One of the tasks before us now is to take stock of the lessons the current
                                                                                                 Questions or comments should                    Musical Merits
    moment can teach us. We have all learned that “gathering” remotely, rather than
                                                                                                 be addressed to: Becky Marsh,                   Virtual Choir Performance
    in person, has some advantages, not the least of which is a dramatic increase
    in attendance. We have benefited from some of the recent developments in                      director of communications                     Photography Students Create Digital Collages
    communication technology; but we have also defined some of its limits. We have                        and marketing,                         Multi-Faceted Self-Portraits
    discovered a capacity for seriousness and for shouldering responsibility among               becky.marsh@whitfieldschool.org
    even our youngest students that was generally underestimated previously. Most                        Whitfield School                  23-33 In the Life
    meaningfully perhaps, we have received a clear confirmation of our mission and                   175 South Mason Road                        Homecoming Pep Rally & Bonfire
    core values: in difficult circumstances good character is essential.                            St. Louis, Missouri 63141                    A Community in Action:
                                                                                                          314-434-5141                             Q & A with Director of Equity & Inclusion Anna Warbelow
    Warmest regards,                                                                                                                             The Middle School Experience
                                                                                                    Visit Whitfield’s web site:                  Shenzhen Conference on Global Diversity
                                                                                                       whitfieldschool.org                       Community Celebrates with Virtual Awards Assemblies
                                                                                                                                                 Graduation and College Choices for Class of 2020
                                                                                               Whitfield School is an independent,               Dear Class of 2020
    John Delautre                                                                               coeducational, college-preparatory               Adapting Traditions
    Head of School                                                                             day school for grades 6–12. Whitfield
                                                                                                 seeks to maintain a student body          34-36 In step
                                                                                                 diverse in geographic, economic,                Cross Country, Field Hockey, Boys Soccer, Girls Tennis,
                                                                                                racial and religious backgrounds. It               Dance, Wrestling, Girls Basketball
                                                                                               does not discriminate on the basis of             Scoring Milestones
                                                                                              race, religion or color in administering
                                                                                                                                                 Collegiate Signings
                                                                                                 its academic policies, admissions
                                                                                              policies, athletic policies, financial aid   37-46 In Touch
                                                                                                 program or other school activities.             Alumni News
2
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
focus: 2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                I n focus

                                                                                                                            ADAPTABILITY & FLEXIBILITY
                                                                                                                            During the two weeks of Spring Break administrators
                                                                                                                            and faculty worked feverishly to develop and launch
                                                                                                                            our eLearning experience. The approach was rooted
                                                                                                                            in the Habits of Mind & Heart, with emphasis on
                                                                                                                            three areas: relationships & facetime, collaboration
                                                                                                                            & discussion, and physical & mental wellness.
                                                                                                                            We launched eLearning as a fully asynchronous
                                                                                                                            program—a decision very thoughtfully made to
                                                                                                                            support the functionality of our technology. Yet, a
                                                                                                                            mere 48-hours into the first week, it was clear that
                                                                                                                            our approach needed revision. There was a felt need
                                                                                                                            by our families, students, and faculty to engage in
                                                                                                                            real-time with one another.

                                                                                                                            Whitfield’s size, inherent adaptability and
                                                                                                                            flexibility made pivoting to a hybrid approach
                                                                                                                            that supplemented independent morning lessons
                                                                                                                            with “live” afternoon classes, not just possible, but
                                                                                                                            relatively easy. This hybrid approach was a success.
                                                                                                                                                                                       HOME + SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
                                                                                                                            Approximately 52% of Whitfield families participated
                                                                                                                            in a post-eLearning survey. Of those participants,        Over the course of the spring, the relationships
                                                                                                                            72% were satisfied or very satisfied with their child’s   between families and administrators evolved as the
                                                                                                                            experience. And, for those who also have children at      two groups navigated the challenges of eLearning
                                                                                                                            other schools, 89% of respondents found Whitfield’s       together. Sara Ringe, Upper School Director, shares,
                                                                                                                            program better in most or all ways than the other         “We gained a whole new appreciation of what it
                                                                                                                            eLearning programs they were experiencing.                means to have a school-home partnership. With
                                                                                                                            Families shared, through survey comments, that            parents serving as teaching assistants, they learned
                                                                                                                            the greatest strengths of Whitfield’s program were        a lot about their children’s learning styles and level
                                                                                                                            its infrastructure and schedule, the engagement           of executive functioning. We, as an administration,
                                                                                                                            experienced through “live” classes, and the hybrid        strived to better communicate with parents and
                                                                                                                            format overall.                                           to support learning at home. This role reversal

                                                                                                                                                    “
                                                                                                                                                                                      renewed our commitment to strong and transparent
                                                                                                                                                                                      communication between school and home and to an
                                                                                                                                                                                      open-door policy that encourages outreach for help.”
                                                                                                                              We gained a whole new appreciation of what
                                                                                                                              it means to have a school-home partnership.
                                                                                                                                                                                       CLASSROOM REVELATIONS

     Resiliency                                                             ACTION
                                                                                                                                                                                       & INNOVATIONS
                                                                                                                              With parents serving as teaching assistants,

                                                                   IN
                                                                                                                              they learned a lot about their children’s learning
                                                                                                                              styles and level of executive functioning. We, as       As the third trimester progressed, Whitfield faculty
                                                                                                                              an administration, strived to better communicate        members had to increase their use of (and in some
                                                                                                                                                                                      cases, comfort level with) technology. Faculty
      WHAT WE LEARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BETTER SCHOOL                                                                      with parents and to support learning at home.           members had to retool their curriculum to align with

     T
                                                                                                                              This role reversal renewed our commitment to            a different schedule and different venue. They had
                                                                                                                                                                                      to adjust to authentically connect with and support
                he sudden and unprecedented closure of Whitfield’s physical campus because of the COVID-19                    strong and transparent communication between            their students with less face-to-face time. From world
                pandemic last spring challenged our faculty and administration to design a ‘virtual campus’ that would
                                                                                                                              school and home and to an open-door policy              languages to math, revelations were happening all
                facilitate a robust eLearning experience. While some schools slowed down the pace of learning in
                                                                                                                                                                                      across virtual wires. Revelations that made learning
                the face of the challenges presented, we leaned into this shift, seeing it as an opportunity to evaluate,            that encourages outreach for help.               more conceptually relevant, that capitalized on every
                innovate and evolve; to reaffirm our foundation as a school dedicated to relationships, and to update
                                                                                                                                                                                      minute spent face-to-face with students, and that
                our processes and delivery systems to emerge as a more relevant, responsive, and savvy school.                      — Sara Ringe, Upper School Director
                                                                                                                                                                                      embraced new technologies and modes.

4                                                                                                                                                   ”                                                                                          5
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
I n focus: 2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                            I n focus

     In her Spanish classroom, prior to eLearning Rachel                                                                                                                         Of the summer programming for faculty, Director
     Gassner enthusiastically incorporated tech into                                                                                                                             of Teaching & Learning Mead Ploszay shares,
     coursework in order to engage her 21st century               F I N D I NG T H E I R VO I C E                                                                                “What we learned through this spring was that our
     students. Mrs. Gassner delivered curriculum using            (IN SPANISH, OF COURSE)                                                                                        faculty were willing to try new products and new
     platforms such as Microsoft OneNote, Quizlet,                                                                                                                               technologies—they were focused on the needs of their
     Kahoot, and VoiceThread. Over Spring Break she took          During spring 2020 eLearning, Rachel                                                                           students. Through summer professional development,
     advantage of the tutorials facilitated by Whitfield’s        Gassner connected new technologies with                                                                        faculty can take what they started during eLearning
     technology team, and when layering these new tools           project-based learning. She employed the                                                                       and build on those basics, to use those tools to be
     with what she was already doing, she felt confident          VoiceThread Program in her Spanish language                                                                    more fluid in order to amplify the student experience.”
     pivoting to digital learning. The use of VoiceThread,        classes, a teaching tool that allows educators to                                                              Mrs. Ploszay, entering her second year at Whitfield,
     specifically, made it possible to collect authentic          narrate slideshows, to create living diagrams.                                                                 found teachers eager for opportunities to grow and
     feedback about the progression and development of                                                                                                                           learn; to have space and encouragement to act on
     students’ oral language skills. This program provided        First, her students in “lock-down”                                                                             all their innovative ideas.
     the entire language department with a great deal of          photographed a favorite room in their home,
     comfort as they moved to a virtual platform.                 prepared a slideshow, then using VoiceThread
                                                                  narrated these slideshows (in Spanish, of
     In addition to embracing new technologies                    course). Students shared what they liked about                                                                  UNWAVERING COMMITMENT
     (see Finding Their Voice sidebar on the right),              the room or rooms, and why. All members of             PLANNING FOR 2020-21                                     TO TECHNOLOGY
     Mrs. Gassner and her students improved low-tech              the class were asked to provide a peer review
     skills. She observed that her students—used to               by reviewing their classmates’ work and
     hearing, reading, seeing and hearing again—now               leaving comments and questions (in Spanish,           We used all that we learned this spring as a starting    In last year’s Insights, we shared our innovative
     only had written instructions for assignments and            of course). For their final assessment, students      point to develop plans for the 2020-21 school year.      approach to STEAM education, rooted in a robust
     were forced to become increasingly aware of the              designed their dream homes and shared                 The flexibility and determination of our faculty and     technology infrastructure, 1:1 laptop program, and
                                                                  images, inspiration and a narrative with their        administration is a great strength of Whitfield. As      flexible staffing structure. This foundation set us
                                                                  classmates, again using VoiceThread. And,             we diversify our curriculum and delivery, we prepare     up for a successful transition to remote learning in
                                                                  again, their peers reviewed and recorded oral         ourselves to pivot from on-campus to remote learning     March 2020. In fact, in our post-eLearning survey
                                                                  questions and comments. Gassner’s overall             should the need arise. Also, we further develop an       nearly 40% of our families wrote in an open comment
                                                                  instructions were relatively vague. While she         ability to individualize instruction and engage and      box that the great strength of our technology program
                                                                  provided the tool and a general sense of the          inspire every Whitfield student. To this end, both       strengthened the overall eLearning experience for
                                                                  desired artifact, it was up to each student           academic and technology administrators offered           their children (other strengths written in include:
                                                                  to interpret the instructions and prepare a           a full calendar of professional development              the live classes and the hybrid synchronous/
                                                                  script for narration that demonstrated Spanish        opportunities for faculty over the summer to help        asynchronous format).
                                                                  proficiency, while further showcasing their           them integrate new learning tools and academic
                                                                                                                        structures. Specific examples include the                All students at Whitfield receive a computer from the
                                                                  language skills as they commented on the work
                                                                                                                        establishment of a partnership with Washington           Microsoft Surface Pro line. As tools during on-campus
                                                                  of their peers.
                                                                                                                        University’s Institute for School Partnership. Science   learning, these computers provide a window for our
                                                                  The project was 100% online and primarily             faculty participated in a two-day workshop that          teachers to track progress, coach students about
                                                                  required independent, asynchronous work. Yet          emphasized the Ambitious Science Teaching                organizational choices, and allow faculty, staff and
                                                                  the project also allowed students opportunities       Framework; a framework that deliberately aims to         parents opportunities to guide students as they make
                                                                  to engage with one another, to learn about            support students of all backgrounds in order to          screen time decisions that impact wellness, and make
                                                                  one another, to learn about new technology            deeply understand science ideas, participate in          ethical and kind choices about the content they share.
                                                                  tools and practice their Spanish speaking skills.     the activities of the discipline, and solve authentic
                                                                                                                                                                                 As we transitioned to remote learning, these
                                                                  Says Gassner of VoiceThread, “I will definitely       problems using evidenced-based problem solving.
                                                                                                                                                                                 computers meant that every student had tools
                                                                  use it again! It got them talking and listening       In addition to this workshop other faculty members
                                                                                                                                                                                 needed to fully engage from the start. Occasionally
                                                                  without the in-person piece.”                         were invited to complete technology trainings and
                                                                                                                                                                                 prospective families wonder if a 1:1 laptop program
                                                                                                                        professional development. Our Tech Team offered
                                                                                                                                                                                 may be detrimental to students (considering all the
                                                                                                                        sessions to improve virtual communication, and
                                                                                                                                                                                 time they spend online!). Prior to March, in response
                                                                                                                        enhance curriculum through platforms such as
                                                                                                                                                                                 to this concern we believed that tech fluency was
     directions presented to them. In turn, they took          a classroom doesn’t work in a Google Meet.” As           OneNote, EdPuzzle, and Fliprid. Other professional
                                                                                                                                                                                 essential for readiness for the world beyond Whitfield.
     greater ownership of their learning. She found this to    Mrs. Gassner slowed down her pace to ensure every        development modules created by our Director of
                                                                                                                                                                                 Additionally, by layering “digital wellness” on top of
     be particularly true among her youngest students.         voice was heard on each call, it struck her that after   Teaching & Learning Meade Ploszay focused on
                                                                                                                                                                                 fluency, we were helping our students set healthy
                                                               what felt like a long, almost uncomfortable, silence,    Inquiry Based Teaching and Learning, Project Based
                                                                                                                                                                                 boundaries and develop a sustainable relationship
     Similarly, when asked what she learned during             “the questions and comments came...really good           Teaching and Learning, Assessment Practice and
                                                                                                                                                                                 with technology.
     eLearning that may impact her instruction moving          ones. Processing a new language takes time for           Effective Student Feedback. Collectively, the
     forward, Mrs. Gassner shared, “in a language class        many people, maybe I wasn’t giving kids the proper       summer work our faculty participated in readied          After our successful pivot to eLearning, we know that
     that focuses on oral proficiency, we talk a lot! And, I   processing time before.” Wanting to be a better          them to leverage the benefits of remote learning.        our approach to technology is preparing our students
     have a lot of energy and bring that into my classrooms.   teacher for her students, Mrs. Gassner promises to       (See Inquiry- & Project-Based Curriculum sidebar         for the real world.
     But, the same kind of communication that works in         “embrace the silence.”                                   on the following page.)

6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
focus: 2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I n focus

      BORDERLESS CLASSROOMS                                     “State of Remote Work 2019” (https://owllabs.com/
                                                                state-of-remote-work/2019) analyzing data from 1,202
                                                                full-time workers across the United States between the
     As we begin the 2020-21 school year with new               ages of 22 and 65. Of the 1,202 people surveyed, 745
     challenges and opportunities, we are taking classroom      (62%) work remotely at any frequency, and 457 (38%)
     technology one step further.                               work onsite; nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers polled
                                                                shared they work remotely at least some of the time.
     In this unprecedented time, we need to make bold           In September 2019, the survey reported that more
     decisions and we need to continue to invest in the         than 40% of remote workers plan to work remotely
     resources necessary to create a classroom experience       more frequently in the future, and more than 50% of
     that maintains the values and academic rigor               on-site workers want to work remotely in the future.
     expected of Whitfield, no matter where learning takes
     place. The result of our values-driven investments:        Imagine how these numbers will look in the                                                                                OUR COMMITMENT TO GROWTH
     borderless classrooms.                                     coming years.
                                                                                                                                                                                          (AND A GROWTH MINDSET)
     Microsoft Surface Pros have exceptional cameras,           The world is changing. Whitfield is preparing its
     and a recent investment in infrastructure (installing      students for the new-normal working environment
                                                                while at the same time learning from the industries                                                                     Through this pandemic Whitfield faculty, staff and
     new campus networking equipment, upgrading
                                                                that do this best. Whitfield’s technology team is                                                                       students have learned a lot about ourselves and
     the school’s internet bandwidth and speed—now
                                                                approaching adaptive learning by employing the                                                                          about one another. As a school, we have put a
               comparable to many universities) allows                                                                     This forward-thinking approach expands Whitfield’s
                                                                best tools and resources available to bring our                                                                         stake in the ground with determination. We will
                     Whitfield students and faculty                                                                        portfolio of possible services for the future. Of course,
                                                                people together—wherever they may be. The Meeting                                                                       use this opportunity: to further our technological
                      tremendous flexibility. Yet, these                                                                   it serves us well today as we strive to minimize traffic
                                                                OWL smart video conferencing camera system                                                                              infrastructure and offerings; to enrich our curriculum
                       computers alone were not good                                                                       around campus and engage students who are unable
                                                                captures 360° video and audio for a near face-to-face                                                                   delivery so that it remains robust and relevant whether
                        enough last spring. In order to                                                                    or uncomfortable coming to campus. Also, it opens
                                                                experience. Specifically designed for smaller spaces,                                                                   on or off campus; and, to better serve our students.
                        seamlessly integrate the on- and                                                                   us up for future innovations, like better connecting
                        off-campus academic experience          this system allows a cohort model to not just exist,       with students across the world, including those taking       We are determined to continue to learn and grow as
                        during the 2020-21 school year,         but to thrive. Students in small groups in various         classes in our partner school in China. It allows for        an institution. This means that as a school we must
                        we needed one more tool.                spaces around campus and at home can come                  guest speakers located around the country, or even           embrace imperfection. We don’t always get it right
                                                                together for their classes. They can have an interactive   the world, to authentically join a class and take our        the first time, every time, and we don’t expect our
                        Enter: The Meeting OWL Pro smart        classroom experience no matter where they are.             students on virtual field trips allowing for experiences     students to. Instead, we are resilient, and we deeply
                        video conferencing camera system.       While historically, lectures may be filmed, and            well beyond the St. Louis community. And, it offers          believe that as we embrace our hiccups—learning and
                        In every classroom.                     students could watch their teachers asynchronously or      our students access to the kind of technology used           growing from them—we are teaching our students
                                                                synchronously, with this system the focus shifts from a    by today’s workforce, so that they may develop               to be resilient, too. We are teaching our students to
                        In September 2019 OWL Labs, in
                                                                camera targeting a single teacher to the whole class.      a familiarity that gives them an advantage over              embrace change (expected or not) as it pushes us to
                        partnership with Global Workplace
                        Analytics, published a report                                                                      their peers.                                                 adapt, learn, grow, and advance.

        I N Q U I RY- & P R O J E C T- B A S E D C U R R I C U L U M                                                       math classes, students prepared papers that
                                                                                                                           combined data analysis with judgement supported
                                                                                                                                                                                       Project-based teaching can connect content to the
                                                                                                                                                                                       world around us--bringing curriculum to life and
        Whitfield teachers have always prioritized process       Project-based learning = teacher-driven projects          by math as they answered questions about whether            increasing its relevance. Inquiry-based learning
        over product. Through coursework and instruction,        that allow the students some independence                 or not Missouri should reopen.                              can help our students learn how to learn, how to
        our faculty members aim to instill in students a love    through the research process and some level                                                                           question, how to push themselves for the sake of
                                                                                                                           Over the summer, professional development led               knowledge alone.
        of learning, and help them discover and explore          of creativity with their finished product but
                                                                                                                           by Director of Teaching & Learning Mead Plozsay
        their unique intellectual curiosities. Working within    requires the students to meet criteria that is set
                                                                                                                           helped frame opportunities within these two                 As a practice, inquiry-based education, specifically,
        this paradigm, Whitfield faculty members often           by the teacher.
                                                                                                                           approaches to learning for all teachers. These              allows students to develop divergent thinking,
        employ inquiry-based and project-based learning.
                                                                 Through eLearning, this kind of learning proved           curriculum designs make the most of a hybrid                to strengthen their ability to address issues with
        Inquiry-based learning = student-directed                particularly effective, as it is rooted in independent    learning experience, as they require independent            multiple solutions, and to develop the skills
        exploration of a topic that they have chosen (within     study and individualized research by each                 research and allow students to dig into areas of            and attitudes essential to continue a quest for
        the parameters of the driving course curriculum)         student. Last spring several teachers employed            great interest. Both approaches “help kids take             knowledge throughout their lives. In short,
        to investigate. Their investigation and thinking         project-based learning in connection with current         more ownership over their learning if we have to            inquiry-based learning will prepare our students
        leads to the learning that culminates in creating an     events. Rachel Gassner assigned her Spanish               go online again for periods of time,” shares Mrs.           to be the kind of adaptive and creative thinkers
        artifact to present to the class and reflect on.         language students a narrated study of their “home,”       Ploszay. Yet, there are many advantages to this             necessary to thrive in our ever-changing world.
                                                                 while they were housebound. In Brandon Haynes’            kind of curriculum design, well beyond supporting
                                                                                                                           a hybrid learning model.

8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 9
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
I n The study:of
              2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                               I n The study of

     Math in (Virtual) Action                                                                                                    TSA Hauls in the                                         TSA STATE COMPETITION EVENTS AND RESULTS

                                                                                                                                 Hardware at State
     W
                 hitfield’s mathematics program assists            “The features of OneNote allow us to see that process.                                                                        FORENSIC               JUNIOR SOLAR SPRINT
                 students in gaining mathematical confidence       For example, I can highlight a section of a student’s                                                                       TECHNOLOGY                   Nihar Murali ’24
                 as well as competence. Learning objectives
                                                                                                                                 W      hitfield’s Technology Student Association (TSA)
                                                                   homework and ask the program                                                                                             Sloane Shatzer ’24 (1st)       Braydon Sellers ’24
     are focused on developing our students’ abilities to          to play it back for me so that I can watch them do their             middle school team competed in the TSA             Braydon Sellers ’24 (2nd)     Cohen Panneri ’24 (2nd)
     apply algorithms and nontraditional strategies to prob-       math just as I would if they were doing it on the board       virtual competition held April 20 – May 29, 2020.         Cohen Panneri ’24 (3rd)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          WEBSITE DESIGN
     lem-solving solutions. Whether on-campus or eLearning,        or on a piece of paper in front of me.”                                                                                  Lucy Heidenry ’24 (4th)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Isabel Cepeda ’24
     students use a variety of                                                                                                   The Warriors excelled in the competition earning 11
                                                                                                                                                                                               CAREER PREP                     Anna Gau ’24
     resources to learn new                                                                         In addition to live online   first place plaques and 30 individual medals! Faculty
                                                                                                                                                                                              Anna Gau ’24 (1st)         Sloane Shatzer ’24 (1st)
     content. Math faculty                                                                          classes during eLearning,    sponsor Michelle Brown drove to Jefferson City to
     utilize Microsoft OneNote                                                                      several teachers created     haul home the hardware.                                   TECHNICAL DESIGN                CYBERSECURITY
     to track their students’                                                                       virtual study groups of                                                                   Lucy Heidenry ’24         Lachlan Costible ’24 (1st)
                                                                                                    three or four students       “I am so proud of these students!” said Ms. Brown.         Finley Wilkins ’26 (1st)     Kira Glanton ’24 (3rd)
     problem-solving process.                                                                                                    “We learned that the in-person competition had
     During eLearning,                                                                              to meet weekly via                                                                           DIGITAL                   CHALLENGING
                                                                                                    Google Hangouts and          been cancelled and moved to a virtual event on
     faculty responded to the                                                                                                    our last day before Spring Break. I quickly packed           PHOTOGRAPHY               TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
     student work shared                                                                            work on math problems                                                                  Isabel Cepeda ’24 (2nd)          Kira Glanton ’24
                                                                                                     together. “Our in-person    up equipment and supplies for the kids to take home
     through OneNote with                                                                                                        and reviewed what they would need to do. They                                           Sloane Shatzer ’24 (1st)
                                                                                                     classrooms look like kids                                                              PREPARED SPEECH
     personalized audio clips                                                                                                    had already prepared extensively for the                  Sloane Shatzer ’24 (1st)        CHAPTER TEAM

                                                                “
     that provided one-on-one                                                                        are having conversations
                                                                                                     all the time with each      competition, so they were ready. During the next                                        Braydon Sellers ’24 (1st)
     feedback. In this way,                                                                                                                                                                     LEADERSHIP
                                                                                                     other and they are,” said   two months, they stayed focused and were ‘all in’                                        Nihar Murali ’24 (2nd)
     students built an archive                                                                                                                                                                  STRATEGIES
                                                                                                     Mrs. Hanks. “So much of     throughout the competition.”
     of audio clips from their                                                                                                                                                                Isabel Cepeda ’24               TECH BOWL
                                        So much of learning math is about conversation,
     teachers that they can                                                                          learning math is about      Whitfield’s 2019-2020 TSA participants                          Anna Gau ’24           Lachlan Costible ’24 (3rd)
     draw upon as a resource            talking  about  problem-solving     strategies  and          conversation, talking       were: Nolan Baird ’26, Isabel Cepeda ’24,                  Jenny Frazier ’24 (1st)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         PROBLEM SOLVING
     moving forward.                                                                                 about problem-solving       Lachlan Costabile ’25, Jenny Frazier ’24,                     Nihar Murali ’24
                                        learning how to ask for help. The online study                                                                                                                                   Lucy Heidenry ’24 (4th)
                                                                                                     strategies and learning     Anna Gau ’24, Kira Glanton ’24, Lucy Heidenry ’24,           Cohen Panneri ’24
     “As math teachers, it is           groups are a way to continue that skill-building             how to ask for help.        Nihar Murali ’24, Cohen Panneri ’24,                      Braydon Sellers ’24 (3rd)
     so important for us to                                                                          The online study groups     Braydon Sellers ’24, Sloane Shatzer ’24,
                                              and to maintain authentic connectivity.                                                                                                         PROMOTIONAL
     track a student’s process                                                                       are a way to continue       and Finley Wilkins ’26.
     —it’s not just about the                                                                        that skill-building and                                                                   MARKETING
                                                — Bridgett Hanks, faculty member
                                                                                                                                                                                           Lachlan Costible ’25 (1st)

                                                                ”
     final product,” said                                                                            to maintain authentic
                                                                                                                                 TSA is a national, non-profit organization of
     Mathematics Department                                                                          connectivity.”                                                                         STEM ANIMATION
                                                                                                                                 middle and high school students who are engaged
     Chair Bridgett Hanks.                                                                                                                                                                    Isabel Cepeda ’24
                                                                                                                                 in science, technology, engineering, and
                                                                                                                                                                                               Jenny Frazier ’24
                                                                                                                                 mathematics (STEM).
                                                                                                                                                                                              Lucy Heidenry ’24
                                                                                                                                                                                           Sloane Shatzer ’24 (1st)

     Whitfield Team Receives Award at WWT Hackathon

     A
           t the 2019-2020 World Wide Technology (WWT)
           STEM Student Forum hackathon event held on
           Saturday, February 29, 2020, Whitfield’s team
     earned a $1,000 award. The award will be used to                                                                            At the hackathon, each team
     support Whitfield’s STEM initiatives.                                                                                       had just seven minutes to
                                                                                                                                 present to a panel of judges
     Whitfield student participants included Kaelyn                                                                              from WWT followed by a
     Beeman ’20, Xingda “Danny” Chen ’20, Agha Haider ’21,                                                                       three minute Q&A. Teams
     Danny Sallis ’21, Josh Schmidt ’21, Dane Shuler '22,                                                                        were judged on the efficacy
     Owen Taylor ’20, Robbie Wetzel ’20, and Yutiancheng                                                                         and technical quality of
     "William" Yang ’20. Whitfield’s Assistant Director of                                                                       their solution; the overall
     Technology Lisa Barry Jenkins and Computer Science                                                                          creativity and innovation of
     Integration Specialist Andrew Asikainen served as                                                                           their project; how well they
     faculty sponsors.                                              a prototype of the “Warrior Zone,” a new website, with       articulated their solution; and
                                                                                                                                 how well the team displayed the STEM Hackathon Core       WWT STEM Student Forum is an annual program that
     For the hackathon, students were asked to develop              a forum platform like Reddit, that would give students
                                                                                                                                 Values (team work, consistent effort and commitment,      encourages high school juniors and seniors to consider
     a solution that uses technology to solve a problem             the opportunity to post and chat about upcoming events
                                                                                                                                 embrace change, and learning).                            careers within the industries of science, technology,
     that exists at their school. Whitfield’s team introduced       and activities.
                                                                                                                                                                                           engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   11
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
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              2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I n The study of

     Framing Universal Human Rights                                                                                                  Whitfield Hosts Holocaust
                                                                                                                                     Speaker via Live Webinar
     I
          ntentionally titled “Social Studies,” rather than,         and overwhelmingly they wrote down WWII and the
          “History,” the curriculum of this department at            Holocaust,” said faculty member Grace Barlow. “I hope

                                                                                                                                     O
          Whitfield focuses on the experience of diverse             they will gain perspective on the lives of others and gain              n Monday, April 27, 2020 in lieu of “live” afternoon eLearning
     historical actors and the study of diverse historical           a broader world view of what it means to be human.”                     classes, Whitfield students, family members, and faculty &

                                                           “
     narratives. The teaching                                                                                                                staff had the opportunity to hear from Holocaust speaker
     of critical thinking skills                                                             Sophomores were tasked with
                                                                                                                                     Vera Emmons. Over 500 attendees participated in the webinar
     is emphasized, and                                                                      working together in small groups
                                                                                                                                     via Zoom and YouTube. At the conclusion of the presentation,
     a premium is placed                 At the beginning of this unit I asked the           to first dissect the UDHR then to
                                                                                                                                     questions were moderated by Director of Equity & Inclusion Anna
     on helping students                                                                     compare and contrast case studies
                                         students to come up with topics they                                                        Warbelow, Middle School Director Jarrett Young, and Social Studies
     learn how to integrate,                                                                 of other mass atrocities including
                                                                                                                                     Department Chair Michał Kwiecień. Following the Q&A, students virtually met with their Advisories to discuss
     analyze, synthesize, and            were interested in learning about in                those in Cambodia, Rwanda,
                                                                                                                                     the presentation.
     evaluate both primary and                                                               Bosnia, Burma/Myanmar, and Syria.
                                         relation to the themes of power and                 Each group was assigned six of the      "I can’t imagine a more meaningful way to use this time together as a community than listening to and discussing
     secondary sources and
                                         equality and overwhelmingly they wrote              UDHR’s articles to analyze in depth     a story that emphasizes Whitfield’s Habits of Mind & Heart—particularly cultural competence and good citizenship-
     to develop empathy for
                                                                                             and then share their findings with      builds empathy, and reminds us of the impact one person can have when they choose to act bravely as an upstander,"
     the people who lived in
                                         down WWII and the Holocaust. I hope                 the class in a group presentation.      said Dr. Warbelow.
     different times and places.
                                         they will gain perspective on the lives             Finally, each student selected
     Students in Modern World                                                                what they think are the top three
     History 10 explored the             of others and gain a broader world view             non-negotiable human rights in
     themes of power and                        of what it means to be human.                the UDHR and wrote an essay
     equality through the                                                                    defending their choices using what
     lens of the Universal                    — Grace Barlow, faculty member                 they learned from the case studies
                                                                                                                                     Learning About                                                                  trial are similar to those of

                                                           ”
     Declaration of Human                                                                    as evidence.                                                                                                            an actual trial, the bigger emphasis
     Rights (UDHR) adopted in
     1948 in response to the                                                                 “I think it’s good that we are having   Liberty                                                                         is on helping students gain an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     understanding of the meaning
                                                                                             these conversations so that we

                                                                                                                                     I
     Holocaust and WWII. As                                                                                                                                                                                          of the Bill of Rights.”
                                                                     can  be  more  informed    about the concepts of power              n US Government & Civics,
     students examined the UDHR they dissected its 30                                                                                    eighth grade students study
                                                                     and equality as they relate to history and to current                                                                                           Although students could not
     articles, identifying purpose and theme repetition,                                                                                 the evolution of American
                                                                     events,” said Savannah Harris ’22. “During our seminar                                                                                          alter the facts of their assigned
     and developed a historical frame of reference through                                                                           democracy from colonialism to
                                                                     discussions one of the questions we talk about is What                                                                                          case, they had the opportunity
     supportive readings and class discussions.                                                                                      today as they develop a deeper

                                                                                                                                                                                            “
                                                                     can we do? because these atrocities keep happening.                                                                                             to show their creativity as they
     “At the beginning of this unit I asked the students to          I think if we can try to care more about other people           understanding of what it means                                                  developed and presented opening
     come up with topics they were interested in learning            and their cultures that would help.”                            to be a citizen of the United States.                                           statements, arguments, and
     about in relation to the themes of power and equality                                                                           Through assignments and                                                         cross examinations. Some groups
                                                                                                                                                                               Understanding the Bill of
                                                                                                                                     projects, students strengthen                                                   also introduced and questioned
                                                                                                                                     effective research, writing, public       Rights is one of the most             fictitious witnesses to support their
                                                                                                                                     speaking, presentation, and critical                                            arguments. Playing roles such as
                                                                                                                                                                               important things in terms of
                                                                                                                                     thinking skills.                                                                lawyer or witness, allowed students
                                                                                                                                     To bring to life their study of the       understanding the meaning of          the opportunity to evoke their
                                                                                                                                     Bill of Rights, students participated                                           theatrical skills in addition to public
                                                                                                                                                                                      liberty in America.
                                                                                                                                     in a mock trial. Faculty member                                                 speaking, presentation and logical
                                                                                                                                     Matt Kingston developed four            — Matt Kingston, faculty member         argumentation skills.

                                                                                                                                                                                            ”
                                                                                                                                     hypothetical cases which revolved
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “Participating in the mock trial was
                                                                                                                                     around the First, Second, Fourth,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     a challenging and fun experience
                                                                                                                                     and Eighth Amendments. Working
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     that helped me learn about the
                                                                                                                                     in small groups, students were
                                                                                                                                                                             “Understanding the Bill of Rights is    Bill of Rights,” said Samriddhi
                                                                                                                                     presented with a set of facts
                                                                                                                                                                             one of the most important things        Patankar ’24. “The cases were about
                                                                                                                                     for their case and assigned a
                                                                                                                                                                             in terms of understanding the           contemporary topics and we had
                                                                                                                                     side to represent. Some groups
                                                                                                                                                                             meaning of liberty in America,”         to do a lot of research to prepare.
                                                                                                                                     represented those whose rights
                                                                                                                                                                             said Mr. Kingston. “I focused on the    I want to be a lawyer or a person
                                                                                                                                     may have been violated and
                                                                                                                                                                             First, Second, Fourth, and Eighth       working in government after
                                                                                                                                     others represented the business
                                                                                                                                                                             Amendments because they are             college, so this was really fun for
                                                                                                                                     establishment, school, or
                                                                                                                                                                             accessible for eighth graders—they      me because I want to do this for
                                                                                                                                     government agency that was
                                                                                                                                                                             can see the relevancy in their lives.   a living.”
                                                                                                                                     being sued.
                                                                                                                                                                             While the processes in our mock

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Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
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              2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I n The study of

     Young People Making A Difference                                                                                                                      Africa Infographic Project

     W                                                                                                                                                     B
               hitfield’s sixth grade English curriculum is       organization, that is developing advanced technologies                                             efore Spring Break,      components to this project,
               designed to support and guide students             to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and climate                                                  students in seventh      and I think it really helped
               as they explore and develop their voices as        activist Greta Thunburg who at 16 years old delivered                                              grade World              students visually see the project
     readers and writers. Writing is approached as a spiraling    an address at the United Nations 2019 Climate                                             Cultures and Geography            as a whole.”
     process that evolves and strengthens throughout their        Action Summit.                                                                            completed the Africa
     time at Whitfield.                                                                                                                                     Infographic Project—a             To begin the project, students
                                                                                          “I focused on the activism                                        challenging assignment            selected five African countries
     In winter, sixth graders created                                                     of students who survived the                                      that combined their study         they were interested in exploring.
     eBooks that highlight young                                                          Parkland shooting [Marjory                                        of Africa with the creation       Their research included specific
     agents of change who are                                                             Stoneman Douglas High School                                      of high-quality, interactive,     information regarding geography
     making a difference in our world                                                     in Parkland, Florida]. People                                     digital infographics using        and the seven elements of
     addressing topics such as climate                                                    like David Hogg, who cares                                        PowerPoint within their           culture: social organization,
     change, racism, LGBTQ rights,                                                        a lot about making a positive                                     OneNote notebooks.                customs and traditions,
     gun control, and other                                                               difference and stopping gun                                       Through this six-week-long        language, arts and literature,
     global issues.                                                                       violence in schools,” said           project, these middle school students strengthened             religion, government, and
                                                                                          Zeke McMullen ’26.                   their research, writing, and critical thinking skills, built   economic systems.
     “Before the students began their
                                                                                                                               digital fluency, and expanded their cultural competence.

                                                            “
     eBook project, we talked about                                                       Finley Wilkins ’26 researched the                                                                   Before beginning the visual portion of the project,
     activism and what they think                                                         rights of transgender people. “I     This year, Director of Technology Matt DiGuilio                students were asked to narrow their focus to a single
     about when they hear the word                                                        focused on the laws and some         guided the students in learning and implementing               country and select three elements of culture to
     activist,” said faculty member         Before the students began their eBook         recent changes in the legal          the real-world application of Agile Planning methods           explore in greater depth. Next, students researched
     Samantha Alul. “They created a                                                       protections for transgender          including scrum and stand up meetings. “Agile” is              the elements of culture and created detailed pieces
     list of adult activists they know of   project, we talked about activism and         people that have created             an approach to project management for addressing               of writing. Using Whitfield’s multiple draft writing
     and respect, then reflected upon       what they think about when they hear          struggles for them,” said Finley.    complex problems, that includes implementing Scrum,            approach, students received specific feedback
     whether or not an activist has to                                                    “One of the activists I focused      which emphasizes teamwork and the ability to respond           regarding how to avoid plagiarism, organization
     be an adult. We decided that we                   the word activist.                 on is Rebekah Bruesehoff who         quickly to change, in order to create and deploy               of ideas, sentence structure, word choice, spelling,
     didn’t know enough about young                                                       works to advocate for policy         products of the highest possible value.                        and grammar.
                                              — Samantha Alul, faculty member

                                                            ”
     people who are also making                                                           changes that protect and
     a difference as activists.”                                                          support transgender and all          “Using Agile Planning was a huge change for us this year       An infographic is a visual representation of information
                                                                                          LGBTQ people.”                       in terms of how we approached the Africa Infographic           and data that combines elements of text, images, charts,
     For their eBook, each student                                                                                             Project,” said faculty member Mary Schnitzler. “We             or diagrams to explain complex issues in a way that
     chose a topic or issue they care                                                        Once completed, each              would start each class as a scrum team with a stand-up         can quickly lead to insight and better understanding.
     about, conducted research, and identified at least           eBook included a topic overview, profiles on selected        meeting where we would gather around a white                   Whether online or in print, infographics are effective
     three young people under the age of 18 who are raising       activists, and a list of organizations and local volunteer   board, review the task list for that day, review what          tools that convey information in a compact and easily
     awareness through their activism. They discovered            opportunities that support the issue. Students used          was completed, and celebrate project milestones. We            navigable format.
     young activists such as Dutch inventor Boyan Slat who at     Canva, a multimedia design platform, to publish              would move Post-It Notes along the board so that we
     the age of 18 founded The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit        their eBooks.                                                could visually track their progress. There are so many         Visit www.whitfieldschool.org/Insights-links
                                                                                                                                                                                              for digital content

     Celebrating eLearning Creativity Through Video Logs

     O
              ne component of the English 9 eLearning             compiled clips and screen grabs from the students’
              coursework was the “Pandemic Video Log,”            video logs and created a master video.
              a student-recorded video in which students
     responded to daily prompts provided by faculty               “Their responses to this prompt opened a window into
     member Sari Rotskoff '00. The video logs gave students       their moments of joy and creativity during this difficult
     the opportunity to record their reflections about this       time. I created this video with the hope of making
     unprecedented time in history. For their fourth entry,       them smile and as a way to stay connected to their
     students were asked to name some things they have            classmates,” said Ms. Rotskoff.
     always wanted to learn, read, watch or do for which they
     have never had time. Then in their video log, they shared    Visit www.whitfieldschool.org/Insights-links
     their responses by showing off a new activity, a piece       for digital content
     of writing or artwork or even a new TikTok. Ms. Rotskoff

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Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
I n The study:of
              2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                   I n The study of

     Sixth Graders Explore the Final Frontier                                                                              English Innovation: The Great Gatsby Project

     A                                                                                                                     W
             cross grade levels and                                              in the solar system. The project also                hitfield’s English curriculum           scenes, all from the perspective of three
             academic departments,                                               addresses human impact on Earth.                     prioritizes communication,              literary characters.
             Whitfield students and                                              Hypothetically if our world becomes                  connectivity, and innovative
                                                                                                                           thinking. Courses challenge students               “The goal of this project was to have a
     teachers immerse themselves in                                              too damaged to sustain life, we would
                                                                                                                           to examine ideas, read critically, make            more creative outlook on The Great Gatsby
     STEAM-forward learning in ways                                              have to determine where to move.
                                                                                                                           presentations, design media products,              rather than just analyzing it by writing a few
     that are meaningful, authentic,                                             These students are applying what
                                                                                                                           and communicate in a variety of ways.              paragraphs,” said Smith. “I selected the
     and relevant. Our school                                                    they learned about each of the
                                                                                                                           This diversity in research and presentation        sound-tracking option for my project because
     environment encourages                                                      planets to develop requirements for
                                                                                                                           prepares students to meet the expectations         I love music. I think music is an extension of
     exploration and cultivates                                                  their unique robots. They have had
                                                                                                                           of college, careers, and citizenship.              people’s innermost thoughts, so I created a

                                                                                                                                                                            “
     innovative and creative thinkers.                                           to be really strong researchers and
                                                                                                                                                                                                      journal that matched
                                                                                 problem-solvers.”
     In sixth grade science and math,                                                                                      Upper School students                                                      three songs with three
     students completed their Final                                              Students had to design their rovers to    in Pursuit of the                                                          important scenes.
     Frontier project before leaving for                                         successfully complete three distinct      American Dream,                These students brought new                  When I annotated the
     Winter Break as part of a cross-                                            tasks and moves based on their            a year-long English            and creative ideas to the table in          lyrics, the words came
     curricular unit on space systems.                                           planetary research.                       elective, spent the                                                        from Daisy, Gatsby,
                                                                                                                           majority of the first          their analysis of the characters            and Mr. Wilson and
     Working in small groups, students
     researched one of the planets in                                                Kaitlin Cochran '26 and her group     trimester reading              in The Great Gatsby,” said faculty          showed how they were
     our solar system and designed,                                                  used their creative problem-solving   and analyzing F. Scott                                                     experiencing the scene
                                                                skills to re-engineer their original rover design. “In     Fitzgerald’s The Great         member David Records. “The more             at that moment. This
     constructed, and wired rover robots for their planet
     using Pitsco Tetrix Robotics equipment.                    the beginning when my group was building our first         Gatsby. To conclude            I look at their projects, the more I        project was a really
                                                                design, we realized our idea wasn’t going to work,” said   their exploration of                                                       good experience for
      “This project reinforces critical thinking, creative      Cochran. “So, we changed a lot of things and that was      Fitzgerald’s classic text,     am impressed with the quality of the        me because it helped
     problem-solving, and collaboration in a cross-curricular   difficult, but it turned out awesome! At my old school,    students completed                   work that they produced.              me gain a deeper
     atmosphere,” said middle school science teacher            we had a very specific way that we had to build a robot.   a final assignment                                                         understanding of
     Michelle Brown. “It challenges students to analyze and     In Ms. Brown’s class, I liked that we had a lot more       in two parts: writing            — David Records, faculty member           the book.”

                                                                                                                                                                            ”
     interpret data to determine scale properties of objects    freedom in the way we designed this project.”              a five-paragraph
                                                                                                                           analytical response                                                         Students who chose
                                                                                                                           essay and designing                                                         the medium of prop
                                                                                                                                                                                                       design created a
                                                                  See What’s
                                                                                                                           a project using
                                                                                                                           the medium of sound-tracking, thematic             three-dimensional object, or prop, ‘owned’
                                                                                                                           cartography, or prop design.                       by one of the characters and illustrated that
                                                                  Happening Today                                          For their written response essay, students
                                                                                                                                                                              character’s traits. In addition, they wrote an
                                                                                                                                                                              artist statement to justify the approach of
                                                                                                                           were asked to come up with an original idea or     their piece.
                                                                  To keep up with the latest news and events, check out    theme in The Great Gatsby, develop a thesis,
                                                                  Whitfield’s website and follow us on social media!       and analyze how Fitzgerald’s use of literary       Several students chose an artist or movement
                                                                                                                           elements, techniques, or rhetorical devices        from the 1920s time-period as inspiration for
                                                                  www.whitfieldschool.org                                                                                     their projects. Zoe Brandenstein ’21 created an
                                                                                                                           support their central idea. Then to supplement
                                                                          Facebook                                         their essay, students created original projects    intricate collage that referenced themes of the
                                                                          @WhitfieldSchool                                 to further prove their theses.                     Dada art movement.
                                                                          @WhitfieldAthletics                                                                                 “I did a lot of research about the Dada
                                                                          @WhitfieldSchoolCC                               “These students brought new and creative
                                                                                                                           ideas to the table in their analysis of the        movement that informed my project,” said
                                                                          @Whitfieldalumni                                                                                    Brandenstein. Her artist statement explores
                                                                                                                           characters in The Great Gatsby,” said faculty
                                                                                                                           member David Records. “The more I look at          color, symbolism and the celebration of
                                                                          Twitter                                                                                             absurdity that is integral to this artistic
                                                                          @WhitfieldSchool                                 their projects, the more I am impressed with
                                                                                                                           the quality of the work that they produced.”       movement. “At the heart of my essay is the
                                                                          @WhitfieldSports                                                                                    idea that certain characters in The Great
                                                                          @WhitfieldCC                                     Malik Smith ’21 chose sound-tracking for           Gatsby create false identities, or masks, in
                                                                                                                           his Gatsby project. First, he identified three     order to fit into high society—that idea is
                                                                          Instagram                                        scenes he believed were important to the           represented by the mask in my collage. I
                                                                          @whitfieldwarriors                               story. Next, he selected one song per scene        learned a lot from this project, and I am sure
                                                                          @whitfieldsports                                 that was appropriate musically or lyrically.       that other students did, too. Listening to other
                                                                          @whitfieldalumni                                 Finally, Malik wrote an analysis of how each       people present their projects gave us insight
                                                                          @whitfieldcollegecounseling                      song reflected the tone and mood of the            into different perspectives and connections.”

16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   17
Resiliency IN ACTION WHAT WE LE ARNED AND HOW IT MADE US A BE T TER SCHOOL 2019-2020 - Whitfield School
I n Spired: 2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I n Spired

                                                            Senior Retrospective                                                   Our Town
                                                            W      hitfield's Senior Retrospective Virtual Show opened
                                                                   Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Visit our website to view
                                                            the virtual gallery.
                                                                                                                                   W      hitfield’s Upper School
                                                                                                                                          fall play, Thornton
                                                                                                                                   Wilder’s “Our Town,” was
                                                                                                                                   performed October 24-27,
                                                            This annual exhibit showcases both the best work and the               2019. Set in the fictional
                                                            artistic evolution of graduating seniors in the school's visual arts   small town of Grover’s
                                                            program. 27 seniors participated in the show.                          Corners, N.H., this Pulitzer
                                                                                                                                   Prize-winning play invites us
                                                            Olivia Barnes           Audrey Jennings         Maddie Seemiller       into the ordinary lives of two
                                                            Kaelyn Beeman           Ellie Lefton            Ryan Smith             families and their community.
                                                            Jillian Bhuyan          Mohan Li                Nina Steinberg         Through their experiences,
                                                            Julia Chrysler          Sam McClellan           Elijah Sykes           we are reminded of what truly
                                                            Zaria Daniels           Jade Moore              Nic Taylor             matters in life.
                                                            Donny Diemer            Abby Morgan             Emily Underwood
                                                            Mahlet Fentaw           Maggie Okun             Kylie Wagner           “This will be unlike any other
                                                            Dinah Garrison          Matt Schueddig          Robbie Wetzel          production of ‘Our Town’
                                                            Matthew Harkwell        Naya Shacham            Rebecca Zlepper        that you have seen,” said
                                                                                                                                   Director of Productions
                                                                                                                                   Amy Allen Cano. “Inspired by David Cromer’s critically
                                                            Visit www.whitfieldschool.org/Insights-links
                                                                                                                                   acclaimed production, ours will be a very intimate show with
                                                            for digital content
                                                                                                                                   the actors working on a small stage—the audience will be right
                                                           Droplet • Rebecca Zlepper '20 • Digital Photograph                      there,” said Allen Cano. “The cast will be in modern dress and
                                                                                                                                   with the minimal set and props, the actors will be extremely
                                                                                                                                   focused on making it real and believable.”

     The Secret Voice

     T
            he Secret Voice, Whitfield’s annual art and
            literary magazine, includes original poems,
            short stories, photographs, and drawings
                                                                                                                                   The Happiness Shop
     from students, faculty, and staff. Students who
     work on the staff of The Secret Voice anonymously
     review and select the works to be published.
                                                                                                                                   T     he Middle School fall play “The Happiness
                                                                                                                                         Shop,” ran November 12-13, 2019. The story
                                                                                                                                   follows three middle school students who suddenly
                                                                                                                                   find themselves in another world inside an unusual
     "This year, we had new editors, Anna Ruvinov '21                                                                              store—The Happiness Shop. They don’t know
     and Caroline Sarris '21. Their enthusiasm for the                                                                             where they are or how they got there, but they
     club and The Secret Voice magazine fueled us                                                                                  quickly learn that this shop is unlike any other. The
     throughout the year! They guided the general                                                                                  shop is filled with Roppets, humans who are part
     staff in creative and fun ways to advertise the                                                                               robot and part puppet, programmed to be happy
     magazine and encourage students to submit their                                                                               all the time. As they watch the Roppets act out
     work for consideration. We are very proud of                                                                                  scenes from their personal lives, the three students
     the final product, especially considering that the                                                                            realize that they have been brought to the shop to
     pandemic and quarantine meant that we had to                                                                                  make a choice. Will they suppress their problems
     layout and finish the magazine remotely. Everyone                                                                             or face them?
     who has artwork or poetry in the magazine, as
     well as everyone who took a risk and submitted                                                                                “While the play has some really funny moments,
     something for consideration should be proud of                                                                                it also addresses themes and issues that today’s
     their unique, creative work. "One of the reasons I                                                                            middle school students face, like self-acceptance,
     love being the sponsor of this club is because we                                                                             conflict resolution, peer pressure, and family issues
     get to celebrate the incredible originality and artistry of our community. I also appreciate the bravery that it takes        such as divorce,” said faculty member and director Mary Schnitzler. “We at Whitfield encourage our students to use
     to share something as personal as creative expression," Sari Rotskoff '00, faculty sponsor.                                   their strengths to navigate through challenging times and to think about the Habits of Mind & Heart, always being
                                                                                                                                   mindful that you never know what someone might be going through at any given time.”
     Visit www.whitfieldschool.org/Insights-links for digital content

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I n Spired: 2019-2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I n Spired

                                                      Student-Directed One Acts                                                  Vocalists Share State Solos

                                                      O                                                                          T
                                                               n December 4-5, 2019, Whitfield’s International Thespian                  hree Whitfield vocalists, Liv Hand ’21, Kenny Hill ’20,
                                                               Troupe #5436 presented Student-Directed One Acts.                         and Anna Ruvinov ’21, earned the honor to
                                                               Unlike other theater productions, such as the Middle and                  perform at the MSHSAA State Solo and Ensemble
                                                      Upper School fall plays and the spring musical, the One Act plays          Music Festival in Columbia, MO which was scheduled for
                                                      are entirely directed and performed by students. In the span of            Friday, May 1, 2020. Because of COVID-19, the festival was Liv Hand ’21         Kenny Hill ’20    Anna Ruvinov ’21
                                                      just a few weeks, the student directors select a play, run auditions,      canceled. Instead, two of the three vocalists performed
                                                      choose their casts, hold rehearsals, and present their productions.        solos for the Whitfield community via self-recorded videos shared on Whitfield’s Facebook page on April 30. Liv Hand
                                                                                                                                 performed “Se florindo e fedele” by Scarlatti and Kenny Hill performed “Shenandoah” by Dougherty.
                                                      According to Director of Productions Amy Allen Cano, the
                                                      Student-Directed One Acts are an integral component of
                                                                                                                                 "All three of these young artists dedicated a lot of time and practice in preparing their pieces—please join me in
                                                      Whitfield’s theater curriculum.
                                                                                                                                 congratulating these awesome singers on their achievement!" said Ms. File.
                                                      “We started performing the Student-Directed One Acts many
                                                      years ago,” said Allen Cano. “This gives Upper School students

                                                                                                                                 Musical Merits
                                                      a chance to direct outside of class for a ‘real’ audience which gives
                                                      it a different level of importance. Traditionally, a lot of freshmen and
                                                      sophomores get involved in the casts so it’s a great opportunity
                                                      for younger actors to get their feet wet in theater. “

                                                      2019-20 directors were: Kate Courtney ’21, Kenny Hill ’20,
                                                                                                                                 W     hitfield band and choir students consistently receive top honors at local, regional, and state competitions.
                                                                                                                                       Highlights from 2019-20 include:

                                                      Sarah Kline ’21, Adam Lauer ’20, Alayah Lipnick ’20,                       ALL-DISTRICT CHOIRS                          MSHSAA DISTRICT SOLO & ENSEMBLE FESTIVAL
                                                      and Owen Taylor ’20.
                                                                                                                                 Liv Hand '21, Amari Christie-Pabon '21       Band                                    Choir
                                                                                                                                 and Shannon Riley '21 were selected
                                                                                                                                 to the Class 3, District 11 high             KatieMarie Anderson ’23* - flute        Liv Hand '21**
                                                                                                                                 school All-District Choirs. A total of       Tamir Armoza ’22* - flute               Kenny Hill '20**
                                                                                                                                 362 students from 25 area schools            Peter Blix ’23* - saxophone             Anna Ruvinov '21**
                                                                                                                                 auditioned. Only 154 students were           Colin Prakken 23** - marimba            Grant Simon '22*
                                                                                                                                                                              Chad Ruff ’22** - marimba               Nora Staley-Brain '23*
     Quest for Z
                                                                                                                                 selected for the SATB choir (Liv and
                                                                                                                                 Amari) and 80 were selected for the first
                                                                                                                                                                              * outstanding rating
                                                                                                                                 SSAA Honor Ensemble (Shannon). Liv
                                                                                                                                                                              **exemplary rating/qualified for MSHSAA state music festival

     T
             he Middle School spring play,                                                                                       and Amari also qualified to audition for
             “Quest for Z,” was performed                                                                                        the All-State Choir.
             March 10-12, 2020. The play is an
     original script created by faculty member
     and director Keith Borzillo in partnership
     with his cast. The show is set in a dystopian
     world in which a severe allergy has forced
                                                                                                                                                                                        Virtual Choir Performance

                                                                                                                                                                                        M
     a seven-year separation between children                                                                                                                                                     embers of Whitfield's Upper School Choir,
     and adults. The story follows one team                                                                                                                                                       led by faculty member Mary Kate File, created
     of children who are on a mission to find                                                                                                                                                     a virtual choir performance to congratulate the
     Responder Z, someone whose genetic                                                                                                                                                 Whitfield community on a successful finish to a very
     makeup will allow them to be an antidote                                                                                                                                           unique school year.
     to the allergy and potentially reunite them
     with the adults.                                                                                                                                                                 In May, Ms. File introduced the performance by sharing,
                                                                                                                                                                                      "We have all experienced a shift to our normal routine and
     As is the tradition with the plays directed                                                                                                                                      many times we find solace in music to help cope with the ups
     by Mr. Borzillo, the script is a collaborative                                                                                                                                   and downs of it all. Members of the Upper School Choir, along
     effort with the cast. “I developed the                                                                                                                                           with the tremendous help of Keith Borzillo [Middle School
     story and the basic arcs of the different                                                                                                                                        Theater faculty], put together this quick song for
     characters and groups,” said Borzillo.                                                                                                                                           your viewing enjoyment. To quote Yip Harburg, songwriter
     “The students started with that material                                                                                    for The Wizard of Oz, 'Words make you think thoughts. Music makes you feel a feeling. But a song makes you feel
     and then came up with some great ideas                                                                                      a thought.' We hope you enjoy this video and have a happy and healthy summer."
     through improv and in rehearsals that we
     added to the final script.”
                                                                                                                                 Visit www.whitfieldschool.org/Insights-links for digital content

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