5th-grade Chase kids shared how prepared they are to move up to 6th-grade. And faculty reminded the 5th grade Chase kids just how many things they can think!
To see photos and videos from the event, click photo below or link here
To see photos and videos from the event, click photo below or link here
We've visited the Ben's Bells Connecticut Studio, our Chase kids pressed and decorated the #BeKind tiles, and now our Lower School's year-long #ChaseCares campaign comes full CLOVER with our very own Ben's Bells Project Mural, installed last week outside of Camp Hall! 🍀 During the unveiling of the mural, Lower School student Abby presented Cody Foss, from Ben's Bells CT, with a donation from funds raised by Lower School students.
View photo gallery here or click photo below.
As part of their "Being Different" conversations with School Counselor Mrs. Emmer, these talented Chase kids in 5th grade collaborated with Mr. Stango to make this video as a reminder that being different is what makes every person uniquely special. And remember, "we're all one in a melon!" #ThatsAChaseKid
There's something trending in the halls of the Upper and Middle School this last week of school, two Chase kids, Aneesh Avancha '18 and Logan Pronovost '22, are preparing their speeches for the end of the year ceremonies. And what is the common thread between each speech? Community, change, and friendships; and no, these Chase kids didn't plan to summarize their experiences at Chase so similarly!
Both tremendously honored by their teachers choosing them to represent their peers during Commencement and Chase's 8th Grade Closing Ceremony, Avancha and Pronovost are hesitant to give away any spoilers from their speeches, other than general themes.
"I don't want to give it away," laughed Avancha. "The theme is going to be change because we've been the class that has experienced the most change throughout our time [here at Chase]." Also aware of the many changes facing the 8th-grade class, Pronovost plans to talk about how change is "...really not an end; it's just a beginning." He explained, "I don't want to give too much away, but I just talk about our class and how we've grown as a family, and yeah, how much I appreciate our teachers."
And it is those same Chase teachers that bestowed the honor of Commencement and Closing Ceremony speakers on these two Chase kids, based on each of their abilities for public speaking, involvement in extracurriculars and community events, and the connections they've made with their peers over the years. So, how did Avancha and Pronovost react when they received the news that they'd be representing and speaking on behalf of their graduating classes?
"When I found out I was chosen as speaker, I was just completely floored," stated Avancha, who explained that right after getting the news he had to calmly sit through Senior Tea with tons of ideas and emotions floating through his head. "I honestly wasn't expecting it... it's an honor. I'm very tight with the other thirty people in my grade and to be able to represent them on such a special day - it means a lot to me that I was chosen by the faculty."
Similarly, Pronovost's initial reaction was one of happiness. "I was honored when I figured out that I was going to be the class speaker," he explained. "I feel happy that I am going to represent everyone in my grade. I just want to say thank you to everyone... I mean, I love Chase, I've been here since I was three."
And never the types to shy away from public speaking, both of these Chase kids are rehearsing and eager to get up to the podium. "I'm practicing it now," explained Pronovost abou this speech.
"Public speaking doesn't bother me," laughed Avancha, when asked if he has any nerves about the day. "I'm actually really excited for it. I like a lot of people there [in the audience]. It'll be fun."
Prepared but admittedly nostalgic during this time of transitions, both kids reflected on what they will miss about Chase.
"Just all the fun I've had with my friends," laughed Pronovost. "Moments when I can laugh and grow as a person."
"I've had a lot of close friends and close relationships with faculty, and I'm hoping to get that at the next level in college as well, but we'll see," echoed Avancha, who plans to study biological physics and pre-med at Brandeis University in the Fall. "That will definitely be the thing I miss the most - coming to school every day and knowing everybody and being familiar with everybody.""
As he reflects on his time as an Upper School student, Avancha fondly remembers the senior camping trip at the start of the school year, when each member of the senior class had the opportunity to sit around a campfire and share their hopes and goals for the future with each other. And have those hopes and dreams come true?
"We all wanted to get to college, and we are all going there," joked Avancha. "So at the end of the day, I guess we did it."
Hear all that Pronovost and Avancha have to share during Chase's 8th Grade Closing Ceremony on June 7th at 9am in the Fulkerson Arts Center, and Chase's 150th Commencement Ceremony on June 8th at 10:30am on the South Lawn.
~Kelly Ann Oleksiw
Digital & Social Media Specialist
Summer Assignments, including summer reading, are posted on Chase's parent and student portals.
From summer camp to summer jobs, vacations and cookouts to beach days, camping trips, and visits to the lake, the "lazy days of summer" can certainly be a busy time of year! As beneficial as pleasure reading is, we know it can be hard to carve out time for reading during the summer months, so we've designed a fun and meaningful summer reading program that will make this important activity less of a chore.
We've designed a fun and meaningful summer reading program that will make this important activity less of a chore. In Lower School, this means engaging and interactive theme reads and a choice-filled reading challenge with a STEM twist. Can you read five books and complete the circuit that will power up the Chasebot? Rumor has it this robot has a special job to do, but you'll need to bring in your completed reading chart to see what it is!
Middle School students will be sure to enjoy solving mind-bending puzzles alongside protagonist Lauren Ipsum in their all-school read, a book that teaches the basics of computer science in an intriguing and accessible way. They'll also explore the wide world of literature as they read a carefully curated selection of books that will help them gear up for their English classes in the Fall.
Choice is the name of the game in Upper School, as the students journey to Eastern Europe with their choice of one of five Theme Reads sponsored by the History Department in connection with next year's International Awareness Day. The Science, Math, English, Foreign Language, and Arts Departments have sponsored Book Clubs, too, and we know students will have a hard time choosing just one book that ties into their academic and extracurricular interests!
Summer can be a wonderful time to relax and recharge your mind for the school year ahead, and we hope that this year's summer reading program encourages you and your child to do both! Please see below for more information about this year's summer reading program and additional summer assignments. Don't hesitate to reach out over the summer with any questions- I'd love to talk more about reading with you!
Best wishes for a happy summer!
It's hard to believe that Upper School graduation is just over a week away. Being new to Chase, this has been a year full of "firsts", and I am looking forward to the many events on the immediate horizon that are there to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and close out the school year. In my first faculty meeting way back in August, I pledged to the faculty that I would be a "learner before a knower", and as I move into the summer months, I will take all that I have learned this year and begin to look at ways to build structure and program to better support our mission as a school and the well-being of our students. I am excited about changes we have already put in motion, specifically the course registration process and a new daily rotation which was built around the themes of mission, student choice, current pedagogy and methodology, best practice, consistency, and predictability. As I look at what I call my "summer list", I know that the next three months will be busy ones, but there is a distinct shift from being reactive to proactive. As a teacher that draws much of his energy from students and faculty, the first few weeks of summer bring a welcomed quiet, but by July I am looking forward to the start of school. If you happen to be in town during the summer months, please know that I am in my office on most days and welcome visitors.
Communication from my office and the Upper School will be light during the summer months. Grades will open a week after graduation, summer work will be finalized and posted during that week as well (most students will have gotten their work prior to leaving school, but just in case they misplace it, we will have it on the portal). As noted in my letter regarding scheduling, we are hoping that both rising juniors and seniors will have finalized schedules in their hands by the time they leave for break; we will be sending them home with a copy for parents. Rising sophomores will be starting their scheduling process this week and we hope to fast-track them as there are more required core-courses that make scheduling a bit more streamlined. In the beginning of August, you can expect the first official communication from me in the form of a welcome back letter with details on the start of school and class trips.
Every year around the final week of school I will mosey over to the English department and ask for a "summer reading list". What I ask for are titles of books, the quintessential high school literature, that I have not read. Some of my favorite books have come out of these lists: Slaughter House Five, The Caine Mutiny, As I Lay Dying, Of Mice & Men, 1984, Great Expectations, The Things They Carried, Things Fall Apart. I would recommend that if you are seeking a beach-book, go online and look at summer reading lists for high schools and pick something you remember hearing about, but have never read. You might even want to ask your child what two books they are reading for Chase summer work and pick those up for yourself; it can become a great springboard for conversation at the picnic table. I would also recommend a read or two on parenting. I have The Teenage Brain by F. Jensen and Amy Nutt on my list, as well as Untangled by Lisa Damour and Masterminds & Wingmen by Rosalind Wisemen. As my kids navigate a world I feel is vastly more complex than the one of my childhood, I hope these reads will give me a better understanding of what they face and help build my toolbox of appropriate and growth-focused support for them.
I look forward to seeing you over the next two weeks and celebrating all that our students have accomplished this year.
~ Karl Palmgren
Head of Upper School
PreK learned a big word that is a HUGE part of their world...
Environment- the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates. We brainstormed what was in our outdoor environment and what was in our classroom environment.
But, we couldn't stop there so we took it one step further in our classroom and we explored what environmental print was. This is a great topic for our pre-readers and early readers. Why? Environmental Print is the print of everyday life. It's the name given to the print that appears on signs, labels, and logos. Street signs, candy wrappers, labels on peanut butter, and the K in Kmart are other examples of environmental print.
Why is environmental print so important?
Children begin to 'read' environmental print, which is an important step in early literacy. This is the beginning stage when your child learns that print has meaning. The relationship between words and visual representation is an initial stage of the pre-reading process. Though adults don't think of this as true reading, it is and it is an important step in the process in the development of a child becoming a reader.
How many times have you driven past a Target in the car and you hear from the backseat,"Look Mom there is Target!" Children get excited when they can read print in their environment. It helps build their confidence and gets them excited about reading.
In the Classroom
Prior to our lesson, we asked families to collect as many pieces of environmental print as they could and send them into the classroom. Next, we thought of a place where we see a lot of print and after showing them a few cues like a cereal box, a carton of milk and an egg carton they soon concluded a grocery store is a place to find lots of environmental print. So we decided to build one. Poof! A grocery store has come to life as a center in our room, from carts to lists of what they need to buy to cash registers and of course food.
During small group time more connections were made. We introduced some more environmental print and we 'read' many of them as we looked for the beginning sound. An important lesson of this concept is learning that our letters are written representations of sounds and letters that are put in a special order to make words and words put together logically make sentences!
Each child picked out a environmental piece and wrote the words- 'I like----- and then glued the environmental piece down to show that print can be read as part of the sentence. The children read the sentence aloud and soon they were hung up for all to see.
So next time you are out driving around, have fun spotting all the environmental print while your out and about.
~ Shannon Fellin
Lead PreK Teacher
Our youngest middle schoolers wowed their friends, family and teachers last Thursday, as they delivered outstanding speeches. This preview to Declamations allowed the students to practice instructional writing skills and critical thinking and reasoning skills, as they developed a formal speech for the last public speaking event of the year!
Choosing a quotation from the work of Dr. Seuss, students analyzed the words, interpreted the meaning and made a personal connection. Each student offered something important to the audience from motivation to determination to the realities of imperfections to individuality to being positive in the face of adversity.
We are so proud of all of our students!
~Nedra Satin Gusenburg