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Message from the Principal

Dear Families,

 

Week 2: I have a newfound appreciation for wheelchairs.  My feet remain unable to bear weight though I moved one ankle yesterday -- such small and huge progress.  My days are filled with therapies and keeping up with life at school.  My admiration grows for the faculty as they continue to prove maybe I'm not needed after all!  They are a remarkable team who keep the children at the forefront while supporting each other.  The timeline for my full return is still not quite known as it depends on when I can begin to walk.  Please don't hesitate to email me with any concerns.  Although I am not at school, I am not on leave.

 

Before I fell, I had a plan for T. Bekka and T. Lulu to write letters sharing a little about themselves and their teaching.  Please enjoy getting to know T. Bekka; her letter is below.

 

Warmly,
Kristin

 

Dear Lower School families,

 

It has been a pleasure getting to know your child over the past few weeks. As the new Lower School science teacher, I meet with second, third, fourth, and fifth grade twice a week, in addition to supporting the after-school robotics program.

 

Before coming to Westtown, I taught pre-kindergarten through fifth grade science for five years and worked as the Lower School Diversity Coordinator at Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey. Before MFS, I spent several years working at nature centers and public gardens in the greater Philadelphia region while I worked on a Master's Degree in Environmental Education. 

 

The Lower School science curriculum is rooted in engaging students in hands-on, real-word experiences that ignite curiosity and encourage questioning. To prepare students for a world that is increasingly dependent on science, engineering, and technology, I strive to give students opportunities to "do science" as much as possible. During our inquiry investigations, we also work on building problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills.

 

Ask your child about their Science Journal! Students use the journals as thinking tools; the pages contain predictions, experiments, drawings, diagrams, and reflections of their learning. We also discuss the importance of keeping records and how writing in science is different than writing in other subjects. 

 

Here's what we're investigating this fall:

 

  • Tuesday is Lab Day in second grade. Students are working as civil engineers and investigating factors like balance and motion. Through experimentation with blocks, beams and fulcrums, students are applying what they know about "push" and "pull" forces to the construction of different structures. Later this month, students will experiment with beam, arch, and suspension bridges. Our study will culminate with a design challenge, requiring students to plan, build, and test their own bridges. On Farm Day Fridays, we team up with Farmer Tim to explore the outdoor spaces on campus. Students participate in important farming practices, such as caring for chickens and seed saving. We have also been known to take an unscripted hike and let nature direct our discoveries and conversations that day.

  • In conjunction with the third grade community study, third graders have been investigating a community resource: electricity. Using a battery, light bulb, and wires, students independently discovered how to connect a complete circuit and create light. In each class, we build on that first experience, exploring other concepts such as conductors and insulators, and learning how to troubleshoot electrical circuits. Later this fall, students will have the opportunity to work as electrical engineers and plan, create and wire their own design.

  • Fourth graders were surprised to learn that chemicals aren't always "dangerous" or "explode." Imagine their disappointment with the latter! During our Chemical Tests study, students are building their understanding of elements, compounds, chemicals, and chemical reactions. They are exploring "mystery" chemicals and learning how to perform tests on these chemicals, such as a heat test and a filter test. Students are analyzing and interpreting the data they collect to make predictions and draw conclusions about the identity of the chemicals.

  • In our Food Chemistry study, fifth graders are exploring concepts related to food and nutrition by performing physical and chemical tests to identify the presence of starch, glucose, fat, and protein in various food samples. By analyzing their results and engaging in discussions about what influences their food choices, students are learning how fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins, are related to good health. Later this fall, students will also learn how to interpret food labels.

 

I look forward to meeting you as the year progresses and encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns throughout the year. I am so happy to be a member of this community and to share my love of science with your child!


In partnership,

T. Bekka

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Upcoming Events

Pre-Halloween Parade Parent Coffee - Tuesday, October 31st at 7:45 a.m. in the Belfry - Join us for a cup of coffee before enjoying the Halloween Parade. 


Lower School Halloween Parade - Tuesday, October 31st from 8:20 - 9:00 a.m. in Coach Downey Court - Parents are invited to join us for our annual Halloween parade. 

 

5th Grade Play - Friday, November 3rd at 8:30 a.m. in the Barton-Test Theater - All parents and siblings are invited to join us for the 5th grade play.

 

All-School Information

Annual Pie Sale

Once again the senior class will host a pie sale! This year new, locally sourced Amish pies will be available as well as gluten-free options! Pre-order by November 10th and pick them up right before Thanksgiving break. These delicious pies come to you unbaked and frozen, ready to be baked fresh in your home for the holiday or saved for another occasion. Don't need a pie? Perhaps you would consider supporting the Senior Class with a direct donation to the Senior Class Fund. Click here to order or donate online. Paper order/donation forms are available in each division office, or can be downloaded here. Order forms can be returned to division offices. Thank you for supporting the Senior Class!

 

Gallery Exhibit: Blu Seeds: Explorations and Reflections from the Adirondacks

October 9 - November 3, 2017

This exhibit features the work of Lower School art teacher Jeff Waring created during his summer residency at BluSeed art center in Saranac Lake. "The pieces I am including in this exhibit are explorations and reflections of flow, magnetism, vibration, and undulation, as well as light, color, form, and space...the act of painting is a gesture of communion, on a small and humble scale, with the immense spirit of the land." 

 

Head of School Welcome & Installation  

We are thrilled to officially welcome Tori Jueds to the Westtown community this Thursday and Friday October 19 & 20, 2017. If you are not able to join us, we encourage you to view Friday's event via LocalLive's streaming service.


College Fair

Saturday, October 21st

We are thrilled to host our biennial Independent School Multicultural Conference and College Fair on Saturday, October 21! All students and their parents are welcome to attend. If you are not able to be on campus for this event, you can watch the Keynote speaker and any session conducted in the theater via LocalLive's streaming service. (You can also catch them later on demand.) Please see this flyer for details, and consider volunteering. See you there!

 

Upper School Fall Play: Big Love by Charles Mee
October 27th and 28th, 2017 7:30 p.m. Theater
A post-modern retelling of The Suppliant Women, traditionally thought of as the oldest play in the dramatic canon. Fifty sisters, engaged against their will to their 50 cousins, flee to Italy. When the men follow, a one-of-a-kind battle of the sexes is sparked. At times funny, at times shocking, Big Love is a thrilling examination of love, consent, loyalty, and gender roles. This play is appropriate for 9th grade and older.

 
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Westtown School
975‌ Westtown‌ Road, West Chester‌, PA 19382-5700
Phone: 610‌ 399‌ 0123

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