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Message from the Principal

Dear Families,

 

Next Tuesday is the Halloween parade. It's an event for all parents, if at all possible. After you drop your child or children off in Lower School, head over to the Belfry for a cup of coffee and then to the fieldhouse for the parade. You should be on your way, back to your other routines, about 9:30. In keeping with the Quaker testimony of simplicity, your child does not need a special costume for the parade.  All the masks are made here at school.  If your child has a costume for trick or treating, the costume can be saved for the evening. There's no need to send in any candy or treats for Halloween. We keep it simple!

 

This week is part two in getting to know our specials' teachers.  I can attest to all the learning Teacher Lulu is facilitating in music. She has raised the bar in terms of musicianship skills and knowledge. When I am in my office, I hear them, above me, making all kinds of music and tapping out beats and rhythms.  See Lulu's letter below.

 

Next steps (haha) for me -- I head to the doctor's office on Monday to see if I can begin to bear weight on my feet; hopefully, one cast will come off. I am still in an assisted living facility.  All the cards the children have sent uplift me, each card reflecting the personality of the sender.  I'm in touch closely with the faculty.  They call to talk over whatever is on their minds and text photographs of the children's work.  We consult about details and plans. Thanks for your continued support through this bit of a blip.

 

Have a great weekend, full of fall magic,

Kristin


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Dear Lower School Families,

 

As the new music teacher in Lower School, I have the opportunity to see your children twice a week from Primary Circle through fifth grade. While the past two months of getting to know your child have been a pleasure, I wanted to take the opportunity to write to you and introduce myself.

 

As a graduate from the Eastman School of Music, I hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees in both Vocal Performance and Music Education, respectively. Throughout my musical studies, I have had the great privilege of working with renowned musicians such as Renee Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Teresa Berganza, and Jennifer Higdon. I have performed in the United States, Guatemala, France, and Spain. While I still enjoy performing, my true passion is teaching music to young children. For the past two years I worked for Hope Partnership for Education to develop their first music program, and with Settlement Music School to further enrich and create partnerships that engaged at-risk populations in the greater Philadelphia area through Early Childhood Music experiences.

 

The updated music curriculum for Lower School has been designed to engage students in active music making and listening, while creating a logical process that will continue through Middle School and Upper School musical experiences. Each grade is working on different musical aspects, and the overall goal is for students to gain a basic understanding of meter and tonality and how these influence and inform performance, analysis, and listening.

 

Primary Circle is working on aurally and orally identifying resting tones in a variety of tonalities; to this point, we have experienced Major, Minor, Dorian, Mixolydian, Phrygian, and Locrian. At the same time, they are working towards finding, playing, and maintaining a steady beat. The overarching goal is to enrich their music vocabulary.

 

First and second grade are our resident 'movers.' They are working on applying simple rhythm patterns and their knowledge of big and small beats to simple movement patterns. So far, we have experienced folk movement and salsa and will continue on with a simple waltz pattern. Furthermore, these two grades are working in small percussion ensembles and identifying meter and tonality for every chant, rhyme, and song they experience before they begin to acquire formal literacy reading skills.

 

Third grade is working towards identifying tonal and rhythm patterns as formal music notation. With the help of their recorders, they sing, chant, and analyze every melody and harmony part they play on the recorder. By the end of third grade, students will be able to read simple melodies in several tonalities and transpose meter and tonality for several tunes.

 

Fourth and fifth grade are working towards gaining formal musical literacy skills. Using their recorders, they will learn standard notations for every melody, bass line, and harmony they sing and play. They will also engage in small percussion ensembles where they will have the opportunity to begin the process of improvisation using familiar and unfamiliar patterns.

 

We have a busy year ahead, and I look forward to sharing every tune, beat, and step with you and your child. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting you throughout the course of the year!

 

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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 10 a.m. in the Barton-Test Theater - All parents and siblings are invited to join us for the 5th grade play.  (Please note: An incorrect start time was reflected in last week's Just The FactsThe start time of the play is 10 am.)

 

Saturday, November 11 - Lower School Parent Council is planning a Parent Social from 6 om to 8 pm in West Chester. We hope that you can join us. If you plan on attending, please click this link to RSVP.

Middle School Sneak-A-Peek:  5th Grade families are invited to preview the Middle School on Wednesday, November 15th at 11:00 a.m.  The program will begin in the Middle School lobby. Parents will tour the Middle School, observe classes, and lunch with current Middle School parents and faculty. If you haven't already responded, please email your RSVP to the Admission Office.

 

All-School Information

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.

 

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."


Did you miss the Head of School Welcome & Installation?  

If you missed Tori Jued's Welcome and Installation ceremony, you can watch it on-demand via LocalLive!

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

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