The World Needs More Westonians!
The next Admissions Open House is April 21st at 9:00. Do you know someone who would benefit from a Westtown education? Be sure to tell them about our Open House and encourage them to register here!
Save the Date, Tell a Friend
It’ll be here before you know it – Science Day at Westtown! Join us to celebrate the opening of the new Science Center on April 12th, 12:00 – 3:00pm. There will be tours, hands-on activities for kids of all ages and the official ribbon cutting. It’s not to be missed! This is open to the public, so please come and bring a friend.
News from Advancement
We are in the final months of this year's Westtown Fund campaign. So far we have raised more than $800,000 of our $1.2 million goal. Thank you to everyone who has made a gift this year! If you haven't made your gift yet, we still need your help! A gift of any size makes a difference and directly impacts our students' lives. Give today: www.westtown.edu/wfdonate.
Oh, the places they'll go!
The Senior Project is a signature experience in Upper School and the capstone to a Westtown education. Since 1968, seniors have been charged with designing and implementing a two- to four-week learning or service project outside of Westtown. They can also opt to participate in a school-led project with a special mission. They choose projects that represent their passions and interests, from internships in a future field of study to independent research to language immersion and everything in between.
The class of 2014 is about to head off to 12 states and 18 countries for their Senior Projects. The school-led projects to Israel/Palestine, Ghana, Spain and Martinique have been offered for several years. This year, Westtown is offering inaugural projects to China and Peru as well. What all school-led projects have in common is a focus on cultural immersion; students have the opportunity to live in and interact with communities vastly different from their own. They all represent our commitment to prepare students for global citizenship and to provide students with real world experiences. The independent projects are as unique as the individuals who design them. They include, among many others, a study of heritage and family through food, an internship at The Huffington Post, working at a natural history museum and hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Several seniors will be blogging about their experiences in the field. You can follow them on the Senior Projects’ blog. We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to learn about their journeys. Happy travels, seniors!
Seniors in Nepal, 2013
Quaker Youth Leadership Conference
Westtown recently hosted the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference. Nearly 200 students and faculty from 23 Friends schools from around the country descended on Westtown to engage in a series of activities centered on the theme of personal integrity. Westtown students, in partnership with students from Delaware Valley Friends School, took the lead in organizing this important event - along with Teachers Betsy Swan, Cheryle Oshman Blunt, Susan Waterhouse, Tom Haviland and Paula Kline. They crafted a schedule that included workshops, service, Meetings for Worship and local sightseeing. Workshops on a wide variety of topics were offered, such as Effective Lobbying for Social & Environmental Justice, Quaker Practice in Student Government and Walk Cheerfully Over the Earth to name a few.
Our students felt the experience was a powerful one. “I learned the most on Friday which I spent at Cradles for Crayons, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia that provides supplies to disadvantaged children in the surrounding area," Amelia Hall ’14 says of her service experience during the conference. "This was a really eye-opening and rewarding experience for me, because I think we often overlook the poverty that is in our local community.”
Joseph Rue, a sophomore at Westtown, found it “amazing to be able watch and participate as the group of attendees, many of whom had never met before, progress to interact with one another in ways that exemplify how a community based on Quaker ideals and Quaker practice should function.”
Thanks to all who made the conference the success it was. Hats off once again to the kitchen staff who, on a wintry weekend when many were without power, had 200 extra mouths to feed. Kudos, too, to the faculty who slept on the gym floor with all our visitors, adding new meaning to the word ‘togetherness’!
Little Things Mean a Lot: Developmental Design Curriculum in Middle School
The Cow. Floppy Fish. Ankle Shake. The Harley.Coconut. Aunt Minerva. In the Manner of the Adverb. Rare Birds.
Share about: a time you were brave…a favorite family ritual…a hero you had as a little kid.
On any given morning in Middle School, you’re likely to see students using these greetings, playing these games and sharing these thoughts in their homerooms. There are numerous other examples, and they turn Middle School homerooms into developmentally appropriate hybrids of circle time in Lower School and Collection in Upper. All are part of the Developmental Designs curriculum the Middle School faculty adopted at the start of the 2013-14 school year, a simple program that’s yielding powerful results. All are geared for middle grade students, with the perfect blend of wacky humor and friendship-building that is so appealing – and so critical – for tweens and young teens. And all contribute to the sense of positive community that’s palpable in Middle School these days.
A typical 15-minute homeroom period consists of three elements: a greeting, a share and a game. According to the creators of the curriculum, “Games infuse the community with the positive power of play. Greeting each other by name shows that we all belong. Sharing is the way people get acquainted on a personal level and discover commonalities. Acknowledgments reinforce individuals and the group for persevering or for trying something new. These social activities glue the group together in a community committed to shared success.”
Middle School Principal Nancy van Arkel concurs. “Deep learning only happens when kids feel safe and connected to one another. The new homeroom period and the introduction of the greetings, games and sharings this year have really strengthened our social curriculum. They build on a robust advisory program, SPARK (Spirit, Participation, Academic excellence, Respect, Kindness), worship sharing groups and queries, Olweus bullying prevention, service learning, and our year-long Brown & White competitions. And best of all, the games are really fun and the kids look forward to homeroom!”
If you’re interested in the Cow handshake, for example, or any other greeting or game, you’ll have to ask students in Middle School to demonstrate. They’d be happy to show you, and in fact, they provided the leadership for the last meeting of the all-school community groups on Martin Luther King Day, where Developmental Design activities connected students and adults throughout the Westtown community. But here are the directions for one of the all-time favorite greetings: greet by waving your pinky finger. What’s this one called? Why, the “micro-wave,” of course. It’s one more example of a little thing that means a lot.
Under the direction of Nick Malakhow, the Upper School staged the musical Sweet Charity, playing to packed houses for three nights this month. The cast did a wonderful job! See the photos here.
The weather got in the way of the Dance Concerts but, as they say, the show must go on. Although one performance was cancelled, the troupe got to dance nonetheless the following evening. Take a look at some highlights below!
Three, two, one...blast off!
Second graders celebrated Space Day last week, getting into spacesuits and ‘experiencing’ space travel. Click here for the gallery.
A Winning Season
While the Olympic athletes were busy striving for medals in Sochi, our own scholar-athletes have been making news on the mats, in the pool and on the courts. It’s been an incredible winter season for Westtown athletics, with notable performances and championships. We’re proud of all our athletes! Here are some highlights:
The girls swim team, for the first time in nine years, lapped up a Friends Schools League championship title this year. The boys earned third place at the championship meet, a very strong showing for the team. What’s even more impressive is the teams’ sportsmanship. In the meet against Wilmington Friends, Westtown swimmers invited their opponents to join them in the pool for their traditional pre-meet pep chant.
The girls’ basketball team wrapped up a fantastic season with a narrow loss in the first round of the Pennsylvania Independent Athletic Association State Tournament. The season was full of triumphs as they tripled their 2012-2013 win total from three to nine games, won both games against our DISC rival, St. Andrew’s School, secured the inaugural Quaker Cup in front of a raucous home crowd and helped sophomore forward Naomi Jimenez earn a spot on the Friends’ Schools All-League team.
The boys’ varsity basketball team put an awesome season on the books. They took home the Friends Schools League Championship and placed second in the PAISAA State tourney. Jared Nickens '14, Georgios Papagiannis '15 and Jair Bolden '16 made the Friends Schools All-League first team. Honorable mentions went to Habib N'Garnim '14 and Edvinus Rupkus '15.
It was yet another stellar season for Westtown wrestlers. They steamrolled their way to their 10th consecutive Friends Schools League title, their 7th consecutive DISC title and placed fifth in States. They finished in a three-way tie for first at the Duals meet on Feb 1, and following the meet was a reception to honor retiring coach of 44 years, Tim Loose. It was a wonderful occasion as wrestlers past and present paid tribute to Coach Loose. Many thanks go to Chip Junkin '81 and Bob Bishop '74 who orchestrated the event, and to the many alumni who returned to join in the celebration of an esteemed career.
Stuart Tweedie took first place in the 200 Meters at the Meet of Champions, and 5th in the 60 Meters. Stuart is ranked third in the state in the 200 Meter and will compete in the State Indoor Track and Fireld Championship this weekend.
PARENTS, ALUMNI, AND FRIENDS, SAVE THESE DATES!
3rd Annual Splash & Dash benefitting Chester County Food Bank and Westtown School. There is something for everyone: a 5k Cross Country Run/Walk, a Student Triathlon or a Kiddie Sprint. Open to the public. Learn more here
10th Annual Westtown Golf & Tennis Outing
Monday, May 19th
12:30pm Shotgun Start and 2:30pm Tennis Round Robin
White Manor Country Club Malvern, PA
Join us for a day of fun on the course or courts followed by cocktails and dinner. Learn more here.
Garrick Utley '57
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Garrick Utley '57 last week. Please join us in holding Garrick's family in the Light. Read more about Garrick's life and career.
Alumni Weekend 2014
Watch your mail this Spring for the 2014 Alumni Weekend invitation! Alumni who graduated in the class years ending in 4s and 9s will celebrate their reunions from Friday, May 9-Sunday, May 11, 2014, but everyone is encouraged to attend!
Interested in helping plan your reunion? Please contact the Alumni Office at email@example.com or (610) 399-7941.