Manhattan Country School has a new website!

Introducing Manhattan Country School’s new website - www.manhattancountryschool.org!

More and more, we have come to rely on our website to tell our story, share what is happening, and highlight the unique qualities of MCS as a school. The new design incorporates feedback from parents, faculty and staff, and alumni about ways the website can be used to communicate within our community. We have worked hard to create a user-friendly website that we hope will be an informative, timely, and useful resource that represents our vibrant community.

New website features include:

*Homepage with latest blog updates, photo galleries, videos and social media
*Easier website navigation
*School calendar integrated into MCS website
*Online store with MCS logo gear from Land’s End apparel
*Online applications for prospective families

Check out www.manhattancountryschool.org and let us know what you think at siteteam@manhattancountryschool.org. We’ll continue to update the new website throughout the summer/fall and your feedback is appreciated.

PLEASE NOTE: This WordPress version of the MCS blog will not be updated in the future. Please visit the www.manhattancountryschool.org homepage for new updates as our blog is now integrated into the new website. Thank you! 

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Robert’s Summer Math Suggestions

By Robert Berkman
Math Coordinator 

Break out the Tablet

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad math apps out there which are little more than electronic flash cards. At gottasolveit.blogspot.com you’ll find in-depth reviews of tablet based puzzles that will develop the grey matter in your child’s brain; there’s enough content there to entertain your child on a 37 hour road trip across the Amazon!

Read a Book

Attached to this newsletter is a reading list of general interest books featuring mathematical themes, including The Housekeeper and the Professor, a novel about a mathematician and his relationship with the woman who minds him, and her lonely son. The Man Who Counted is a wonderful collection of mathematical adventures, and for those who like biographies, In Code: A Mathematical Journey is the true story of Irish teenager Sarah Flannery who masters the art of cryptography.

Go to an Exhibit

The arts are a wonderful way to experience mathematics, whether you are looking at the beautiful geometric sculptures of Mark DiSevero on Governors Island, or the geometry laid out by Robert Smithson, Dan Flavin and Frank Stella at MOMA. Mathematics is out there, waiting for you to discover, appreciate and enjoy.

Watch a Video (?)

Violet Hart, a teen living out in the wilds of Long Island, calls herself a “recreational mathematician.” Her blog, www.vihart.com, features captivating (and quite silly) short films about everything from how to do a finger dance to the binary system, to a discourse on why she is against pi (the transcendental number, not the dessert). Great fun for the avant garde performer that lives within all of us.

Click here to read the MCS Summer Math Newsletter

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Highlights: Social Justice Data Fair 2012

On May 31, fifth floor students participated in the second annual Social Justice Data Fair at Manhattan Country School. Each student chooses a social justice issue to research and uses mathematics to compose a compelling argument for the need for change. Seventh graders serve as docents, touring younger students around and engaging them at their level.

The event began with a keynote speech by Debo Adegbile, an MCS alumnus and Interim President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He spoke to students about the importance of data in his work as a civil rights lawyer, as well as the important role of the people who collect and interpret such data.

Afterward, parents, teachers and fellow classmates were invited to the fifth floor to speak with students about their data findings. Students created exhibits on various topics, including teen pregnancy, food waste, death penalty, youth homelessness, racial breakdown of women in political roles, and more.

View a photo slideshow from the Social Justice Data Fair.

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The first farm trip for the 7-8s class

Good Morning from the Catskills!

The 7-8s are having an amazing time at the farm. They are honing their frog-catching skills, exploring the landscape of the farmyard, and indulging in the joy of fresh milk, even fresher salad greens and homemade ice cream with milk from Milky Way (the cow).

Yesterday, we had a beautiful sun-filled afternoon and evening. Most of the kids were immediately drawn to the stream and enjoyed water play with a mix of caution and adventure. Some enjoyed shooting hoops with their friends, while others greeted the farm animals for the first time. By dinnertime, many of the kids were telling each other which cow was their favorite and why.

Today, the 7-8s are off to their first day of farm classes: textiles, cooking, nature and farming. They’re planting the oak saplings from the classroom in the woods, weaving a class rug, cooking cake and tacos for lunch and snack, and weeding around the broccoli plants. All of the children are getting properly dirty from a farm-experience filled with outdoor play and the real work of exploring the farm with their hands.

We will see you all tomorrow afternoon, with heads full of hay and stories so numerous that three more days at home won’t be enough time to hear it all.

Best,
Aimee, Claire and 21 new farmers

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Highlights: 8-9s fishing trip

The 8-9s joined the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy with a catch and release fishing day! Students caught a variety of fish including striped bass and blackfish. They discovered the living estuary of the Hudson river, mussels and all. We had a great day, full of fish tales. – Lindsay Velazco

Click on each image for larger view.

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Highlights: 9-10s class trip to MCS Farm

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During the 9-10s class trip to the MCS Farm, students were exploring nature on the MCS Farm, feeding cows and chickens, finding snakes, and jumping in the hay loft, cooking food, and so much more.

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Highlights: Teach-In honors MCS’ 45th anniversary

Baking was one of the workshops offered to students during the teach-in.

By Flannery Denny
7th/8th Grade Math Specialist

MCS celebrated its 45th anniversary on April 4th with our first-ever Teach-In. We started the day with a whole school assembly during which we sang and laughed, heard stories from founder Gus Trowbridge about the first years of the school, shared what each grade is thinking about with their curriculum, and honored a number of community members who have been working at MCS for more than 20 years (including three who have been here since the school started!). After the assembly, we split into small mixed-age workshop groups to attend workshops. We sang, discussed, cooked, created, explored, advocated, moved, and learned from parents, teachers, former parents, students, and friends of the community.  The Teach-In Committee would like to thank everyone for all of your hard work planning and executing this event. View a photo slideshow from the event.

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TODAY: Join us for the 8th grade play!

The eighth graders are putting on a play, “Into the Woods,” as a gift back to the school. It’s an annual tradition at Manhattan Country School. The students have been working on it for two months in a special drama class.

Join us in the Music Room during these show times:

Today at 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 12 at 7 p.m.

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View Robert Berkman’s math exhibits on Governors Island

 This summer, enjoy math on Governors Island with MCS’ Math Coordinator Robert Berkman!

The Mobile Unit to Promote Mathematical Thinking (Mü-Math, for short), is now in residence in Building 315 on Governors Island every weekend from now until September 30th from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Come try out three rooms filled with unique hands-on, minds-on activities that will stimulate your brain, entertain your kids, and even tickle your funny bone. Fun for ages five and up!

Contact Robert if you’d like to volunteer to help visitors learn about math. Governors Island is reachable by ferry from the old Staten Island Ferry Terminal in South Ferry. Vist www.mu-math.com for more information.

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Join Us! Farm Outing Day is June 16

Manhattan Country School’s
Farm Outing Day 2012

is Saturday, June 16th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All MCS friends, families, new families, and alumni are invited
to a community picnic at our 180-acre farm in Roxbury, N.Y.,
150 miles north-northwest of NYC in the Catskill Mountains.

Come to the Farm and celebrate MCS’s 45th year!
RSVP via Facebook

Lots of fun and food to enjoy:

Pizza from our pizza oven
Local beer
Homemade lemonade, iced tea and water
Pig Roast
Salads galore
Frito Pie
Hay Jump
Tours of the farm
Frog Pond
DJ
Relay races
Enjoy our farm’s own lamb, hamburger, eggs, milk, garlic, pickles, relish, lettuce, pesto, spinach, & pork.
Food and drinks are available at a reasonable cost. 

Don’t forget to bring:

Water shoes for being in the stream
A change of clothes
Kites
Frisbees
Balls

For an extended stay in the Catskills, visit www.margaretvillelodging.com

A chartered bus leaves from the school at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. Call Lorraine Walton at (212) 348-0952 to reserve by Tuesday, June 12th. Cost: $35 per person and $120 for a family of four. Space is limited.

About the MCS Farm: The MCS Farm consists of 180 acres of meadows, pastures, woods and streams at the base of Plattekill Mountain. There is a three-story farmhouse, an attached greenhouse, an outdoor wood-burning oven, a large barn, nature lab, weather station, textiles studio, and sap house for producing maple syrup, a recreation building and a historic building, the Stone House, used for demonstrations of traditional woodstove cooking and conferences. On the farm there is livestock, including milking and beef cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. Two large gardens provide vegetables consumed year round.

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Please return your library books

Dear MCS Community,

It’s hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close. I’m asking that all of you please check your homes for any library books. All books need to be returned by Wednesday, June 13th unless you have made other arrangements with me. I also wanted to take this time to thank the entire community for your support, book questions and chats, your generous donations, and general kindness. I do have the best job! The summer reading lists will soon be available on the blog, but if you need an e-mail copy, just send me a message at jfung@manhattancountryschool.org. Also, if you have any questions about books or the library, please feel free to contact me at that address.

Have a fantastic summer and happy reading!
Jay Fung
MCS Librarian

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Thanks for supporting the rooftop garden

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By Lindsay Velazco
Lower School Science Teacher

This school year has brought many changes, some have been years in the making. When I became Lower School science teacher, the 5-6s food study did not include homegrown food. Little by little the use of the rooftop garden grew. It wasn’t long before we found the parent-made wooden planters had been loved too long.

In addition, we had hopes to supply the kitchen with school-grown herbs and some vegetables. In coordination with numerous faculty and staff as well as parents and farm staff, I am proud to announce our rooftop garden has been completely made over. From six small planters, we have grown to 11 large, lightweight planters, an apple tree and a rain barrel. Currently, the garden has apples, sugar snap peas, corn, strawberries, apples, marigolds, summer squash, tomatoes, basil, soybeans, red kidney beans, potatoes, chives, parsley and milkweed for Fall caterpillars.

MCS parent, Jamie Evans graciously volunteered his time and resources to plan our rooftop garden makeover. He came with Delia Rollow, farm-based education intern (2010-11), to build the gorgeous table students use as a workspace. He has been a supporter of the garden project for more than two years. With heartfelt gratitude, we would like to thank Jamie for his work. Our garden makeover wouldn’t have happened without Jamie’s devotion to this project.

Delia also built a rain barrel to collect water for the garden. She salvaged the barrel and installed the hardware needed to make it useful for our garden. She also spent a Saturday with Jamie and I building the workspace table. We would like to thank her for her time and efforts. Anna Sobel’s 5-6s class (2010-2011) sold valentines they made to raise money for an apple tree. They were able to pay for a dwarf yellow delicious apple tree that has already begun its first apple crop. Thank you 6-7s, soon to be 7-8s!

Señorita Naomi and señorita Maria Tere have tolerated numerous interruptions to their class due to our garden work. Whether I tramp through their class with 20-pound bags of dirt, or with five 5-6s students in tow, or whether I’m shoveling dirt from bin to bin with a rapt audience of Upper School Spanish students, Maria Tere and Naomi  have suffered through my  distractions  for years. I appreciate their patience and cooperation, as well as the patience of the entire fifth floor.

George and Leonard have been an invaluable resource in hot summers as well as building structural questions. They have dragged our old enormous wooden planters away for disposal, and watered the garden over vacations and hot summer days. George also built storage/seating out of salvaged wood and milk crates for us! I appreciate their continued help taking care of our garden.

I would also like to thank Paul and Leonard, for their planting advice. They have graciously offered solutions to problems that have arisen, from organic aphid mitigation to ensuring the planters, full of wet soil, are lightweight enough to reposition.

Muchisimas gracias a Ana y Celia por cocinar la comida que los estudiantes traen del jardin!

While I leave MCS this year with a heavy heart, I am comforted to know that this garden will continue to be a long-lasting contribution to benefit the students of MCS for many years to come. Claire is well equipped to handle such a large garden as well as the numerous minutiae of maintaining it. I am happy to know that the people that make up the MCS community have built this garden, it is a treasured space. Without every person’s help, our garden wouldn’t be. Thank you all!

Photos by Lindsay Velazco

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8th grade textile projects

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By Lynn Haroldson
Farm Textiles Teacher

This year’s 8th grade textiles are characterized by the wide variety of fiber media used in their creation. For their graduation projects in textiles, students on the fifth floor create a useful object from the MCS Farm’s wool using one of the media they have learned about in earlier years in my classes that have introduced them to spinning, dyeing, weaving and braiding.

In creating their project students may choose to weave fabric on the four-harness table or floor looms or on the eight-harness table loom. They may choose to make a basket, to knit their project or to make something with wet felting, needle felting or needlepoint.
If they choose to weave a strap with a card-threaded inkle loom as an exception they may use cotton, which works better on that type of loom. They may also mix media using, for example, a needle felted design on a woven piece or a braided strap on a loom-woven bag handle.

Students may work on their textiles project in 7th and 8th grade, but many who start in 7th grade end up making multiple projects. The graduation requirement is one of the few times in textiles class where individual creation is emphasized. Except for the graduation project and weaving on pocket looms, textiles class usually focuses on a joint product. My class is as much about cooperation and community as it is about fiber.

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Highlights: Shop Show 2012

Leo Reynoso’s annual Shop Show was on display in the MCS lobby during parent-teacher conferences in May. Parents, teachers, students and school visitors were able to view the work created by students in their woodworking classes. In case you missed it, here’s a photo slideshow of some of their creative handiwork.

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2012-13 Teacher-Training Program: Introducing new Assistant Teachers

By Michèle Solá
Director

The four youngest classrooms at Manhattan Country School are some of the most sought-after placements for teachers-in-training at colleges such as Bank Street, Sarah Lawrence, City College, and others whose mission is to prepare educators who eventually teach in public or charter schools. Our interns and assistants generally stay for two years, working closely with teacher mentors of various age groups. They learn about themselves as educators, and about community building and teaching diverse students. They also bring contemporary research they are discussing in graduate courses to the faculty discussions at MCS. As Lower School Director, Mary Trowbridge oversees this program and has made the following four assistant teacher appointments for 2012-13.

Lesley Plimpton (4-5s). Lesley has a B.A. in Public Policy and Program in the Environment from the University of Michigan, and is a candidate for a M.S. in Early Childhood and Childhood General Education at Bank Street. She has completed placements in New York City at the Liberty School, Bank Street School for Children, Children’s Workshop School, and at The Common School in Amherst, MA. Lesley is fluent in Spanish as a result of her participation in The Quito Project.

Dawn Newman (5-6s). Dawn has a B.F.A. from Emerson College with a focus on drama and music, and is a candidate for an M.A. in the Art of Teaching Program at Sarah Lawrence College. Dawn is a graduate of MCS ’98, has been an intern and professional actor, singer, dancer with Sesame Street Live’s National Tour, Interactive Youth Theater with The Little Orchestra Society, and TheaterWorks USA. She chose to pursue education after three years of substitute teaching in MCS Lower School classrooms.

Nicole Joseph (6-7s). Nicole completed a B.A. in Liberal Studies at CUNY Medgar Evers College, and is a candidate for an M.S. in Science, Literacy, and Childhood General Education at Bank Street. She completed student teaching placements at Bronx Community Charter School (co-founded by Sasha Wilson, ’87) and in the 8-9s at MCS. She is also an affiliate of Facing History and Ourselves, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, and NY Cares.

Paulo Arango Bermeo (7-8s). Paulo completed a B.A. in Languages and Linguistics and Education at Universidad de Narino-Pasto in Colombia, and an M.S. in Education in the Art of Teaching Program at Sarah Lawrence College. Paulo has been an assistant in the 6-7s at MCS, co-taught an environmental art workshop at the 45th anniversary Teach-In, and developed and implemented an extension of the bird study that is on display in the Living Room. He is also the recipient of a summer grant to serve as a volunteer at Camp Sunshine.

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Join us this Friday! Year-End Breakfast & 45th Anniversary Parents’ Association Celebration

 

Please join us for the year-end breakfast and Parents’ Association celebration on Friday, June 8, 8:30 – 10 a.m. in the Music Room.

Schedule:

8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. Directors’ Year-End Reflections

It’s easy to come up with a list of reasons to put the morning of June 8th on your calendar. Here are just a few…

* Gathering as a community of adults who are fully invested in children,

* Hearing Mary Trowbridge and Maiya Jackson’s insights into children as they reflect on a year’s worth of children’s development, progress, surprises and accomplishments,

* Acknowledging the many ways parents have engaged the 45th anniversary and thanking those who have fulfilled PA leadership roles.

Ending a school year well takes place in more than one meeting, in reality it’s a month-long flurry of activity. The final assembly (June 14) and Farm Outing Day (June 16) are like a coda on a symphony of final projects, progress reports and conferences, and a dizzying schedule of wrap-up meetings. The number of culminating events has grown significantly in recent years. Most are the result of purposeful decisions about how to do things in ways that are meaningful for children, or that build a deeper experience of our shared goals as a diverse community. We look forward to a good ending to a fulfilling year.

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Afterschool ‘All About Dogs’ class visits the vet

By Susan Harris
Afterschool Director

Students in the “All About Dogs” afterschool class are crazy about canines, and last month they visited a local veterinarian’s office.  It was a high point for these children who had spent semester learning about canine behavior, different breeds and appropriate human behavior around dogs.  The photos speak for themselves!

During the semester, a different dog and their owner would ride the elevator once a week to the third floor where a group of Lower School students eagerly awaited their arrival in the 6-7s room. Children gave verbal commands to the dogs, walked them on a leash, watched a doggie/owner dance routine, and observed a grooming session and brushed dogs’ fur – and teeth!

We thank Connie Formosa, class teacher, dog trainer and groomer, for sharing her knowledge and of love of dogs with MCS kids.

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9-10s student wins second place in Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest

Ayla won second place in the American Immigration Council’s annual Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest. According to the website: “The contest inspires educators to bring U.S. Immigration history and lessons into their classrooms and gives students the opportunity to explore America as a nation of immigrants.” They write on the theme, “Why I’m glad America is a nation of immigrants.” Several 9-10s students participated in the contest this year. Ayla’s entry – a poem – is below. Congratulations Ayla!

The Door is Open
By Ayla

I am so happy that we stand here today,
No longer distant people.

Thanks to the immigrants
We are a whole community,
Living as one.

I am so glad these immigrants,
Giving everything up,
Leaving everyone,
All worldly possessions,
To get these tickets,
To get to America,
With nothing but their dreams,
Ventured forwards into the path of unknown darkness.

Whether on a plane, boat, or sometimes stuck in a bucket,
One thing is for sure,
These are some of the bravest people
I have ever known.

These immigrants brought a change in history,
They mixed their blood with ours,
And now we have multi cultures,
Because the immigrants are our parents,
And the Americans are our parents.

Now that the immigrants have come,
Our religion is not just one same religion,
That has being going on and on,
Generation after generation.

Now when children ask their parents,
Grandparents or maybe even great-grandparents:
Where were you born?
Or where did you come from?
We will not just say America…

We will say
“I am from Mexico”
Or “I’m from Africa “
Or “I’m from Europe”
And these are your roots, too.

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You’re invited: Learning in Urban Outdoor Spaces

A bridge in the North Woods of Central Park where 7-8s students learn about nature.

Dear Friends, Parents and Colleagues,

On Friday, June 1st from 1-3 p.m., I hope you can join me for a talking and walking tour of my Master’s Project research, “Learning in Urban Outdoor Spaces.”

We will meet in the Living Room at 1 p.m. for an overview of the research and then walk through Central Park’s East Meadow and the North Woods as I talk about emergent and planned learning opportunities that the 7-8s’ students have experienced this year.

Bring stories of your childhood nature experiences or of your child’s learning this year as she/he moved through the 7-8s’ curriculum. Wear your walking shoes!

Here are two slideshows to whet your palate. See the 7-8s in action and some of their reflections:

By the way, this will be a grown-ups only event. The 7-8s’ students will be busy in their weekly Friday Worktime in the classroom with Claire and Marina.

Hope to see you on Friday at 1 p.m. in the Living Room!

Aimee Østensen
7-8s Head Teacher

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Space is available! Apply now to MCS Farm Camp

Manhattan Country School’s Farm Camp
Monday, July 9 – Friday, July 27

Daily activities are divided between sustainability and recreation at the MCS Farm in Roxbury, N.Y. MCS Farm Camp is open to students in the 9-10s class through the 8th grade. Enrollment is limited to 20 students who will be selected according to their expressed interest and their participation during school farm trips. A number of spaces at Farm Camp are available to MCS students at a reduced fee, based on a family’s financial circumstances. (Sliding-scale tuition applies to fees to make it affordable for all.)  If interested families can contact Chris for more info about the camp activities or Nancy about cost. There are a limited number of spaces during the first week of Farm Camp, from July 9 through July 15 for students who can only attend one week. Session fee: $4,200.

For more information, please contact MCS Farm Program Director John McDaniel at (607) 326-7049 or Business Manager Nancy Diekmann at (212) 348-0952.

Click here to download the application for MCS Farm Camp.

>> READ MORE:

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4-5s students hatch ducklings!

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By Sarah Leibowits
4-5s Head Teacher

The 4-5s class hatched 10 ducklings as part of their study of changes in the physical world. The ducklings stayed with us for more than one week. During their stay, they went on home visits, were cuddled by 4-5s students and 
had their first swim in our water table. It was a great experience for all.

I said goodbye to 4-5s ducklings at the Windwood Farm in Clintondale, N.Y. They have a beautiful new home, which they share with the ducklings we hatched last year (now fully grown), guinea hens, chicken, geese turkeys and a pair of rabbits!

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Connect with MCS online!


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Join us for the Social Justice Data Fair on May 31st

Debo Adegbile

By Flannery Denny
7th/8th Grade Math Specialist

Parents are invited to attend the second annual MCS Social Justice Data Fair on Thursday, May 31st following the spring concert.

We will kick off the event in the Music Room at around 10:15 a.m. with a keynote address given by Debo P. Adegbile, MCS class of 1980.  Debo is currently the Interim President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where he has served in various roles over the last decade.  In 2009, Debo successfully argued a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court which left in place a core provision of the historic Voting Rights Act following its Congressional reauthorization.  The Act is being employed by the U.S. Department of Justice as an important shield against the recent attack on voting rights. Debo will speak about the importance of data in his work as a civil rights lawyer, as well as the important role of the people who collect and interpret such data.

Parents are invited to an exhibit of student work on the fifth floor (11 a.m.) following the keynote. The exhibit will include:

  • A big graph of the 7-8′s compost collection this year
  • The 5th grade’s analysis of calculating gross domestic product for countries around the globe by applying three different methods.
  • Individualized 6th grade graphs connected to their activism project on veterans
  • 7th & 8th grade activism committee public service announcements on immigration
  • Individualized 8th grade culminating research projects on renewable energy, teen pregnancy, homelessness, body image, birth control, abuse, the death penalty, human trafficking, food waste, and how closely our government representatives reflect the demographics of its constituency.

 

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Highlights: 8-9s trip to MCS Farm

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The 8-9s class visited our 180-acre working farm in the Catskills during the week of May 8th. View a slideshow to see students cooking, gardening, and greeting baby chicks at the MCS Farm.

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Manhattan Country School students participate in Packer Model Congress: Fourth Year, 8 Bills, 3 Golden Gavels!

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On Saturday, 17 students from Manhattan Country School participated in a regional Model Congress at Packer Collegiate in Brooklyn. They competed against several independent schools to support bills they’ve been working on with the guidance of 5th grade teacher Pinki Shah and Community Service teacher Jermaine Lloyd. MCS students have been involved in Model Congress for the past four years. They learn to debate, research and write their own bills and get to experience how change takes place in a democracy.

MCS teams argued the merits of a wide range of subjects:

  • An act to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants through medical research
  • An act to ban Barbie dolls from public elementary schools
  • An act to limit the amount of money that can be spent on or in support of a presidential campaign
  • An act to give high school students, who come from a low income family with a grade point average between 3.0 and 4.0 to get a free college education
  • An act to shut down social network websites during school hours for minors
  • An act to justify warfare
  • An act to lower the voting age to sixteen
  • An act to ban saccharin that is used in diet soda and other sugarless products

MCS won three golden gavels, awarded to Altana (8th grade), Stefan (8th) and Naomi (6th). We had five honorary mentions awarded to Camrin (8th), Kai (8th), Mikah (8th), Isaiah (7th) and Oliver (6th). Of the 17 delegates, nine attended for the first time. And of those nine, two were honored (both 6th graders).

Of the eight bills our students wrote, two passed in their committees and one made it all the way through. That bill belonged to Altana and Camrin, who wrote: “An act to limit the amount of money that can be spent on or in support of a presidential campaign.”

“Feel free to congratulate the delegates as you see them. They worked very hard!” said Pinki.

Congratulations to Stefan, Altana, and Kai who have been with Model Congress since it began four years ago.

Full list of delegates:
8th: Stefan, Khalil, Mikah, Kai, Altana, Camrin
7th: Isaiah, Kevin, Jamal, and Savio
6th: India, Naomi, Oliver, Abraham, Evan, Atiya, and Camille

Other schools participating in this year’s Congress included Brearley, Chapin, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Foote, Hackley, Hewitt, Hudson, Little Red School House, Marymount, Packer Collegiate, St. Ann’s, St. Bernard’s, and Staten Island Academy.

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You’re invited! Year-End Breakfast & 45th Anniversary Parents’ Association Celebration

Please join us for the year-end breakfast and Parents’ Association celebration on Friday, June 8, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. in the Music Room.

Schedule:

8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. Directors’ Year-End Reflections

It’s easy to come up with a list of reasons to put the morning of June 8th on your calendar. Here are just a few…

* Gathering as a community of adults who are fully invested in children,

* Hearing Mary Trowbridge and Maiya Jackson’s insights into children as they reflect on a year’s worth of children’s development, progress, surprises and accomplishments,

* Acknowledging the many ways parents have engaged the 45th anniversary and thanking those who have fulfilled PA leadership roles.

Ending a school year well takes place in more than one meeting, in reality it’s a month-long flurry of activity. The final assembly (June 14) and Farm Outing Day (June 16) are like a coda on a symphony of final projects, progress reports and conferences, and a dizzying schedule of wrap-up meetings. The number of culminating events has grown significantly in recent years. Most are the result of purposeful decisions about how to do things in ways that are meaningful for children, or that build a deeper experience of our shared goals as a diverse community. We look forward to a good ending to a fulfilling year.

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Save the Date! Farm Outing Day is June 16

Manhattan Country School’s
Farm Outing Day 2012

is Saturday, June 16th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All MCS friends, families, new families, and alumni are invited
to a community picnic at our 180-acre farm in Roxbury, N.Y.,
150 miles north-northwest of NYC in the Catskill Mountains.

Come to the Farm and celebrate MCS’s 45th year!
RSVP via Facebook

Lots of fun and food to enjoy:

Pizza from our pizza oven
Local beer
Homemade lemonade, iced tea and water
Pig Roast
Salads galore
Frito Pie
Hay Jump
Tours of the farm
Frog Pond
DJ
Relay races
Enjoy our farm’s own lamb, hamburger, eggs, milk, garlic, pickles, relish, lettuce, pesto, spinach, & pork.
Food and drinks are available at a reasonable cost. 

Don’t forget to bring:

Water shoes for being in the stream
A change of clothes
Kites
Frisbees
Balls

For an extended stay in the Catskills, visit www.margaretvillelodging.com

A chartered bus leaves from the school at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. Call Lorraine Walton at (212) 348-0952 to reserve by Tuesday, June 12th. Cost: $35 per person and $120 for a family of four. Space is limited.

About the MCS Farm: The MCS Farm consists of 180 acres of meadows, pastures, woods and streams at the base of Plattekill Mountain. There is a three-story farmhouse, an attached greenhouse, an outdoor wood-burning oven, a large barn, nature lab, weather station, textiles studio, and sap house for producing maple syrup, a recreation building and a historic building, the Stone House, used for demonstrations of traditional woodstove cooking and conferences. On the farm there is livestock, including milking and beef cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. Two large gardens provide vegetables consumed year round.

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Faculty Changes: Looking Ahead to 2012-2013

5-6s Teacher

Anna Sobel is expecting a baby next October and will be taking a one-year leave of absence from being 5-6s teacher. She will work part-time for MCS on writing and website projects.

We are delighted to welcome Marina Tan to a new role as the 5-6s teacher for one year. Marina is a familiar presence in the Lower School, working as an assistant with the 4-5s, 5-6s, 6-7s, and 7-8s since 2008. Marina is a graduate of The New School for Social Research and, like many other MCS teachers, she received her training at Bank Street College of Education. She has also taught at The Children’s Storefront School and Resurrection Episcopal Day School. Mary Trowbridge, Marina, and Anna have already begun planning. We are very pleased that this transition can support continuity at the same time that Marina’s interests, strengths and training in the arts can bring new highlights to the 5-6s’ program.

Lower School Science & Resource Teacher (4-5s through 8-9s)

Lindsay Velazco will be teaching at The Dalton School next September.

Claire Galya has accepted the Lower School Science and Resource Teacher position at MCS. She is a graduate of Brown University, Smith College, and Antioch University New England. She has been the Assistant Teacher in the 7-8s this year. She is looking forward to joining the 7-8s on their upcoming farm trip and building connections between the city and farm programs. She will join the staff of MCS City Camp, and work with students in the rooftop garden. Claire also has experience as an artisan baker, adventure counselor, teacher naturalist, organic farmer, and environmental education intern. She joined the Go Green Committee of faculty and staff and will pilot a new composting effort next fall. We are very pleased to welcome Claire into her new role at MCS.

Accompanist

In June, Ray Jones will retire as the accompanist for the Upper School chorus after 26 years. He has had a remarkable career as a choral accompanist for venerable New York choirs, as well as an artist, chess aficionado, and trader of stocks. MCS choral directors, students, faculty members and parents have been lucky to have had such a long relationship with this talented musician. Susan Harris’ profile of Ray will appear in the upcoming issue of the MCS Courtyard.

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8-9s plant broccoli, watch sheep shearing at MCS Farm

By Debbie Weiss
8-9s Head Teacher

Here are some highlights from our trip so far:

First, it didn’t rain at all today.  Even this morning the weather said that it would thunderstorm.  It was sunny and in the 60s for most of the day.  Free time highlights included many frog pond visits, playing with cats, building a stone castle by the stream, basketball games, and hikes.

In classes, the 8-9s spun their own ropes in textiles, planted broccoli and watched the annual sheep shearing in farming, made apple crisp, mashed potatoes, taco fixings, and pound cake in cooking, and saw orange spotted newts on a hike in nature class.  We hear rumors that the new baby chicks are being delivered tomorrow, which will be very exciting if that is true.

Last night we had a great costume party (pictured above.)  Tonight we had an 8-9s Olympics, which included events such as getting out of a human knot and spinning around a baseball bat five times and then trying to run straight. We look forward to the talent show tomorrow!

Thanks for all your great letters!

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Highlights: Celebrating MCS’ 45th anniversary!

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Dear MCS Community,

Big Night Out! is a thrilling evening any year, but MCS’ 45th anniversary celebration this past Saturday, May 5, was a historic gathering “thrilling” only partially describes. Some highlights from this year’s celebration include:

• Eloquent remarks from two inspiring honorees, Frank Roosevelt and Michele Hatchette. Click here to read more about the 2012 “Living the Dream” Mentor Award Honorees.

• The premiere of a new short film, MCS: 45 Years of Impact, produced by parents, Deb Levy (4-5s) and Lizzie Berne DeGear (5-6s). Click here to watch the film.

• Record turn-out of parents, alumni, and former trustees, parents, and staff. See photos from this year’s BNO. 

• Delicious food — including lamb, broccoli, carrots and radishes from MCS Farm — and desserts prepared by current MCS parents.

Thank you to all those in the community who attended or supported Big Night Out! We are profoundly grateful to this year’s event co-chairs and committee, and to everyone who played a role in the success of this important annual benefit.

We are profoundly grateful for your continued support and commitment.

Michèle Solá & Roxanne Elings

Photos by Corris Little and Chris SooHoo
Video produced by Deb Levy and Lizzie Berne DeGear

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